Recent Submissions

  • COVID-19 Countermeasures: An Algorithm to Stay Unlocked.

    Izadi, D
    We describe a visual algorithm to help prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contagion as well as manage COVID-19 disease according to categories of clinical severity. The algorithm is timely, with multiple countries worldwide declaring repeat surges in SARS-CoV-2 infections following the easing of lockdown measures. Its flowchart assimilates key effective interventions in a visual manner that will assist healthcare workers to manage COVID-19 disease algorithmically, and policymakers to suppress further SARS-CoV-2 waves. Importantly, we include the innovative use of topical p-menthane-3,8-diol spray by the British Army for COVID-19 Support Force personnel, which in light of its coronavirucidal properties, deserves wider dissemination. This algorithm has the potential to be updated as numerous studies are concluded globally.
  • Research priorities in emergency general surgery (EGS): a modified Delphi approach.

    Tierney, Gillian
    BACKGROUND: Emergency general surgery (EGS) patients account for more than one-third of admissions to hospitals in the National Health Service (NHS) in England. The associated mortality of these patients has been quoted as approximately eight times higher than that of elective surgical admissions. This study used a modified Delphi approach to identify research priorities in EGS. The aim was to establish a research agenda using a formal consensus-based approach in an effort to identify questions relevant to EGS that could ultimately guide research to improve outcomes for this cohort. METHODS: Three rounds were conducted using an electronic questionnaire and involved health care professionals, research personnel, patients and their relatives. In the first round, stakeholders were invited to submit clinical research questions that they felt were priorities for future research. In rounds two and three, participants were asked to score individual questions in order of priority using a 5-point Likert scale. Between rounds, an expert panel analysed results before forwarding questions to subsequent rounds. RESULTS: Ninety-two EGS research questions were proposed in Phase 1. Following the first round of prioritisation, forty-seven questions progressed to the final phase. A final list of seventeen research questions were identified from the final round of prioritisation, categorised as condition-specific questions of high interest within general EGS, emergency colorectal surgery, non-technical and health services research. A broad range of research questions were identified including questions on peri-operative strategies, EGS outcomes in older patients, as well as non-technical and technical influences on EGS outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides a consensus delivered framework that should determine the research agenda for future EGS projects. It may also assist setting priorities for research funding and multi-centre collaborative strategies within the academic clinical interest of EGS.
  • Posterolateral Corner Reconstruction of the Knee Using Gracilis Autograft and Biceps Femoris.

    Stragier, B; Geutjens, G
    We introduce our technique for posterolateral corner reconstruction, which is based on the principle described in Arciero's technique for anatomic reconstruction of lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and popliteofibular ligament (PFL) to gain static stability in varus strain and external rotation. This technique uses a doubled gracilis autograft to reconstruct the PFL and a split biceps tendon transfer to reconstruct the LCL. Using this technique an anatomical LCL and PFL reconstruction can be performed in combination with anterior cruciate ligament or posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction without contralateral graft harvest or allograft. The technique also enables an isolated reconstruction of LCL or PFL when required and can be performed to augment an acute repair.
  • Intraoperative robotic-assisted low anterior rectal resection performance assessment using procedure-specific binary metrics and a global rating scale.

    Tou, Samson
    BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate the use of binary metric-based (proficiency-based progression; PBP) performance assessments and global evaluative assessment of robotic skills (GEARS) of a robotic-assisted low anterior rectal resection (RA-LAR) procedure. METHOD: A prospective study of video analysis of RA-LAR procedures was carried out using the PBP metrics with binary parameters previously developed, and GEARS. Recordings were collected from five novice surgeons (≤30 RA-LAR previously performed) and seven experienced surgeons (>30 RA-LAR previously performed). Two consultant colorectal surgeons were trained to be assessors in the use of PBP binary parameters to evaluate the procedure phases, surgical steps, errors, and critical errors in male and female patients and GEARS scores. Novice and experienced surgeons were categorized and assessed using PBP metrics and GEARS; mean scores obtained were compared for statistical purpose. Also, the inter-rater reliability (IRR) of these assessment tools was evaluated. RESULTS: Twenty unedited recordings of RA-LAR procedures were blindly assessed. Overall, using PBP metric-based assessment, a subgroup of experienced surgeons made more errors (20 versus 16, P = 0.158) and critical errors (9.2 versus 7.8, P = 0.417) than the novice group, although not significantly. However, during the critical phase of RA-LAR, experienced surgeons made significantly fewer errors than the novice group (95% CI of the difference, Lower = 0.104 - Upper = 5.155, df = 11.9, t = 2.23, p = 0.042), and a similar pattern was observed for critical errors. The PBP metric and GEARS assessment tools distinguished between the objectively assessed performance of experienced and novice colorectal surgeons performing RA-LAR (total error scores with PBP metrics, P = 0.019-0.008; GEARS scores, P = 0.029-0.025). GEARS demonstrated poor IRR (mean IRR 0.49) and weaker discrimination between groups (15-41 per cent difference). PBP binary metrics demonstrated good IRR (mean 0.94) and robust discrimination particularly for total error scores (58-64 per cent). CONCLUSIONS: PBP binary metrics seem to be useful for metric-based training for surgeons learning RA-LAR procedures.
  • Nonfreezing Cold Injury and Cold Intolerance in Paddlesport.

    Oakley, Ben; Johnson, Nicholas; Bainbridge, Chris
    INTRODUCTION: Nonfreezing cold injury (NFCI) occurs when tissues are subjected to prolonged cooling that causes tissue damage, but not freezing. Long-term effects include cold intolerance, with allodynia, pain, or numbness of the affected limb. Those who participate in outdoor paddlesports are at particular risk. METHODS: This is an epidemiological study that aimed to determine the risk factors for paddlesport athletes developing NFCI and chronic cold intolerance in their hands. Secondary outcomes were to correlate cumulative cold exposure with the development of cold intolerance and to identify risk factors for developing NFCI or cold intolerance. Six hundred nine athletes responded to a survey distributed by their national governing body obtaining demographic and activity details, symptoms of NFCI, and a cold intolerance severity score (CISS). RESULTS: Twenty-three percent reported symptoms consistent with acute NFCI. The median CISS was 31 y (interquartile range 25-43 y), and 15% had a pathological CISS defined as >50. Females and individuals with Raynaud's phenomenon or migraines had a significantly higher CISS (P<0.05). Regression analysis found that females, smokers, and those with Raynaud's phenomenon or a previous nerve injury had a significantly higher risk of developing pathological cold intolerance (CISS >50). There was no correlation between cumulative cold exposure and CISS. CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of paddlesport athletes undertaking activity in cold conditions have a pathological CISS or episodes consistent with NFCI. Cumulative cold exposure was not associated with a pathologically high CISS. The risk factors were female sex, smokers, and those suffering from either Raynaud's phenomenon or nerve injury.
  • The false dichotomy of surgical futility in the emergency laparotomy setting: scoping review.

    Tierney, Gillian
    BACKGROUND: Futile is defined as 'the fact of having no effect or of achieving nothing'. Futility in medicine has been defined through seven guiding principles, which in the context of emergency surgery, have been relatively unexplored. This scoping review aimed to identify key concepts around surgical futility as it relates to emergency laparotomy. METHODS: Using the Arksey and O'Malley framework, a scoping review was conducted. A search of the Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, and Embase was performed up until 1 November 2021 to identify literature relevant to the topic of futility in emergency laparotomy. RESULTS: Three cohort studies were included in the analysis. A total of 105 157 patients were included, with 1114 patients reported as futile. All studies were recent (2019 to 2020) and focused on the principle of quantitative futility (assessment of the probability of death after surgery) within a timeline after surgery: two defining futility as death within 48 hours of surgery and one as death within 72 hours. In all cases this was derived from a survival histogram. Predictors of defined futile procedures included age, level of independence prior to admission, surgical pathology, serum creatinine, arterial lactate, and pH. CONCLUSION: There remains a paucity of research defining, exploring, and analysing futile surgery in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. With limited published work focusing on quantitative futility and the binary outcome of death, research is urgently needed to explore all principles of futility, including the wishes of patients and their families.
  • Epiploic Appendagitis in an Incarcerated Inguinal Hernia: A Case Report and Literature Review.

    Husain, Najam; Bhatia, Vilomi; Rahman, Muhammed
    Epiploic appendagitis (EA) is a rare and frequently overlooked cause of abdominal pain. EA within the sigmoid colon in a right-sided inguinal hernia is a rare entity with only a few cases reported. In this article, we present a case of an 80-year-old male with a palpable mass within an incarcerated right inguinal hernia. The patient underwent urgent surgical intervention due to incarceration and the operative findings were of a large indirect inguinoscrotal hernia containing sigmoid colon, with an inflamed epiploic appendage. The colon was reduced into the abdominal cavity and standard tension-free Lichtenstein repair was performed. EA should be a consideration in patients with an acute abdomen as well as those with a painful groin lump. CT is diagnostic; however, emergency surgery should not be delayed for a scan if the hernia is irreducible and tender.
  • Cervical arthroplasty in a professional kick-boxing fighter, 7 years follow-up.

    Klezl, Zdenek
    Spinal surgery in professional athletes is a topic of much discussion. Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is the standard procedure used by surgeons, and other techniques used to treat athletes includes foraminotomies, laminoplasties and total disc replacement. Total disc replacement is an unusual technique used to treat athletes in general and is becoming a more important issue in full contact sports. This case report illustrates a 34 years old professional fighter that suffered a cervical injury that evolved with cervical axial pain and irradiated pain and numbness. She was submitted to total disc replacement (TDR) at the C5-6 level, returning to competitive sports after and with a seven-year follow-up. To the date she remains symptom free and besides having an anterior foramen, the spine was able to keep movement at that level. TDR may be a safe and trustworthy technique when treating elite athletes.
  • Green Tea Extract Concurrent with an Oral Nutritional Supplement Acutely Enhances Muscle Microvascular Blood Flow without Altering Leg Glucose Uptake in Healthy Older Adults.

    Lund, Jonathan; Williams, John P (2021)
    Postprandial macro- and microvascular blood flow and metabolic dysfunction manifest with advancing age, so vascular transmuting interventions are desirable. In this randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial, we investigated the impact of the acute administration of green tea extract (GTE; containing ~500 mg epigallocatechin-3-gallate) versus placebo (CON), alongside an oral nutritional supplement (ONS), on muscle macro- and microvascular, cerebral macrovascular (via ultrasound) and leg glucose/insulin metabolic responses (via arterialised/venous blood samples) in twelve healthy older adults (42% male, 74 ± 1 y). GTE increased m. vastus lateralis microvascular blood volume (MBV) at 180 and 240 min after ONS (baseline: 1.0 vs. 180 min: 1.11 ± 0.02 vs. 240 min: 1.08 ± 0.04, both p < 0.005), with MBV significantly higher than CON at 180 min (p < 0.05). Neither the ONS nor the GTE impacted m. tibialis anterior perfusion (p > 0.05). Leg blood flow and vascular conductance increased, and vascular resistance decreased similarly in both conditions (p < 0.05). Small non-significant increases in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation were observed in the GTE only and middle cerebral artery blood flow did not change in response to GTE or CON (p > 0.05). Glucose uptake increased with the GTE only (0 min: 0.03 ± 0.01 vs. 35 min: 0.11 ± 0.02 mmol/min/leg, p = 0.007); however, glucose area under the curve and insulin kinetics were similar between conditions (p > 0.05). Acute GTE supplementation enhances MBV beyond the effects of an oral mixed meal, but this improved perfusion does not translate to increased leg muscle glucose uptake in healthy older adults.
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with an increased risk of idiopathic acute pancreatitis but not pancreatic exocrine insufficiency or diabetes: long-term results of the COVIDPAN study.

    Awan, Altaf (BMJ, 2021)
    SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with an increased risk of idiopathic acute pancreatitis but not pancreatic exocrine insufficiency or diabetes: long-term results of the COVIDPAN study.
  • Postoperative arginine-enriched immune modulating nutrition: Long-term survival results from a randomised clinical trial in patients with oesophagogastric and pancreaticobiliary cancer.

    Iftikhar, Syed (Elsevier, 2021)
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Immune modulating nutrition (IMN) has been shown to reduce postoperative infectious complications and length of stay in patients with gastrointestinal cancer. Two studies of IMN in patients undergoing surgery for head and neck cancer also suggested that this treatment might improve long-term survival and progression-free survival. In the present study, we analysed follow-up data from our previous randomised controlled trial of IMN, in patients undergoing surgery for oesophagogastric and pancreaticobiliary cancer, in order to evaluate the long-term impact on survival of postoperative IMN versus an isocaloric, isonitrogenous control feed. METHODS: This study included patients undergoing surgery for cancers of the pancreas, oesophagus and stomach, who had been randomised in a double-blind manner to receive postoperative jejunostomy feeding with IMN (Stresson, Nutricia Ltd.) or an isonitrogenous, isocaloric feed (Nutrison High Protein, Nutricia) for 10-15 days. The primary outcome was long-term overall survival. RESULTS: There was complete follow-up for all 108 patients, with 54 patients randomised to each group. There were no statistically significant differences between groups by demographics [(age, p = 0.63), sex (p = 0.49) or site of cancer (p = 0.25)]. 30-day mortality was 11.1% in both groups. Mortality in the intervention group was 13%, 31.5%, 70.4%, 85.2%, 88.9%, and 96.3% at 90 days, and 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years respectively. Corresponding mortality in the control group was 14.8%, 35.2%, 68.6%, 79.6%, 85.2% and 98.1% (p > 0.05 for all comparisons). CONCLUSION: Early postoperative feeding with arginine-enriched IMN had no impact on long-term survival in patients undergoing surgery for oesophagogastric and pancreaticobiliary cancer.
  • Safe Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Madhok, Brijesh (2021)
    PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) has had an enormous impact on all aspects of healthcare, but its effect on patients needing surgery and surgeons has been disproportionate. In this review, we aim to understand the impact of the pandemic on surgical patients and teams. We compiled the emerging data on pre-operative screening methods, vaccinations, safe-surgery pathways and surgical techniques and make recommendations for evidence-based safe-surgical pathways. We also present surgical outcomes for emergency, oncological and benign surgery in the context of the pandemic. Finally, we attempt to address the impact of the pandemic on patients, staff and surgical training and provide perspectives for the future. RECENT FINDINGS: Surgical teams have developed consensus guidelines and established research priorities and safety precautions for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence supports that surgery in patients with a peri-operative SARS-CoV-2 infection carries substantial risks, but risk mitigation strategies are effective at reducing harm to staff and patients. Surgery has increased risk for patients and staff, but this can be mitigated effectively, especially for elective surgery. Elective surgery can be safely performed during the COVID-19 pandemic employing the strategies discussed in this review.
  • Subclavian Artery Perforation and Mediastinal Hematoma Following Transradial Percutaneous Coronary Intervention.

    Gulsin, Gaurav; Taqi, Hussein; Azeem, Tariq (2021-06)
    We present a case of subclavian artery perforation with mediastinal hematoma following elective percutaneous coronary intervention. A conservative approach was preferred over invasive correction. Although no outcome data exist specifically for subclavian artery injury, registry data in patients with iatrogenic aortic dissection suggest that long-term outcomes are good without vascular repair. (Level of Difficulty: Advanced.).
  • Patellar resurfacing during primary total knee replacement is associated with a lower risk of revision surgery.

    Howard, Peter
    AIMS: Debate remains whether the patella should be resurfaced during total knee replacement (TKR). For non-resurfaced TKRs, we estimated what the revision rate would have been if the patella had been resurfaced, and examined the risk of re-revision following secondary patellar resurfacing. METHODS: A retrospective observational study of the National Joint Registry (NJR) was performed. All primary TKRs for osteoarthritis alone performed between 1 April 2003 and 31 December 2016 were eligible (n = 842,072). Patellar resurfacing during TKR was performed in 36% (n = 305,844). The primary outcome was all-cause revision surgery. Secondary outcomes were the number of excess all-cause revisions associated with using TKRs without (versus with) patellar resurfacing, and the risk of re-revision after secondary patellar resurfacing. RESULTS: The cumulative risk of all-cause revision at ten years was higher (p < 0.001) in primary TKRs without patellar resurfacing (3.54% (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.47 to 3.62)) compared to those with resurfacing (3.00% (95% CI 2.91 to 3.11)). Using flexible parametric survival modelling, we estimated one 'excess' revision per 189 cases performed where the patella was not resurfaced by ten years (equivalent to 2,842 excess revisions in our cohort). The risk of all-cause re-revision following secondary patellar resurfacing was 4.6 times higher than the risk of revision after primary TKR with patellar resurfacing (at five years from secondary patellar resurfacing, 8.8% vs 1.9%). CONCLUSION: Performing TKR without patellar resurfacing was associated with an increased risk of revision. Secondary patellar resurfacing led to a high risk of re-revision. This represents a potential substantial healthcare burden that should be considered when forming treatment guidelines and commissioning services. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(5):864-871.
  • Protocol for the development of a core outcome set for lateral elbow tendinopathy (COS-LET).

    Bateman, Marcus
    BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET) is a common condition that can cause significant disability and associated socioeconomic cost. Although it has been widely researched, outcome measures are highly variable which restricts evidence synthesis across studies. In 2019, a working group of international experts, health care professionals and patients, in the field of tendinopathy (International Scientific Tendinopathy Symposium Consensus (ICON) Group), published the results of a consensus exercise defining the nine core domains that should be measured in tendinopathy research. The aim of this study is to develop a core outcome set (COS) for LET mapping to these core domains. The primary output will provide a template for future outcome evaluation of LET. In this protocol, we detail the methodological approach to the COS-LET development. METHODS: This study will employ a three-phase approach. (1) A systematic review of studies investigating LET will produce a comprehensive list of all instruments currently employed to quantify the treatment effect or outcome. (2) Instruments will be matched to the list of nine core tendinopathy outcome domains by a Steering Committee of clinicians and researchers with a specialist interest in LET resulting in a set of candidate instruments. (3) An international three-stage Delphi study will be conducted involving experienced clinicians, researchers and patients. Within this Delphi study, candidate instruments will be selected based upon screening using the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) truth, feasibility and discrimination filters with a threshold of 70% agreement set for consensus. CONCLUSIONS: There is currently no COS for the measurement or monitoring of LET in trials or clinical practice. The output from this project will be a minimum COS recommended for use in all future English language studies related to LET. The findings will be published in a high-quality journal and disseminated widely using professional networks, social media and via presentation at international conferences. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered with the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) database, November 2019. https://www.comet-initiative.org/Studies/Details/1497 .
  • Protective Effects of Cannabidivarin and Cannabigerol on Cells of the Blood-Brain Barrier Under Ischemic Conditions.

    England, Tim; O'Sullivan, Saoirse
    Background and Objectives: Preclinical studies have shown cannabidiol is protective in models of ischemic stroke. Based on results from our recent systematic review, we investigated the effects of two promising neuroprotective phytocannabinoids, cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidivarin (CBDV), on cells of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), namely human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), pericytes, and astrocytes. Experimental Approach: Cultures were subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) protocol to model ischemic stroke and cell culture medium was assessed for cytokines and adhesion molecules post-OGD. Astrocyte cell lysates were also analyzed for DNA damage markers. Antagonist studies were conducted where appropriate to study receptor mechanisms. Results: In astrocytes CBG and CBDV attenuated levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), whereas CBDV (10 nM-10 μM) also decreased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion. CBDV (300 nM-10 μM) attenuated levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 in HBMECs. In astrocytes, CBG decreased levels of DNA damage proteins, including p53, whereas CBDV increased levels of DNA damage markers. Antagonists for CB1, CB2, PPAR-γ, PPAR-α, 5-HT1A, and TRPV1 had no effect on CBG (3 μM) or CBDV (1 μM)-mediated decreases in LDH in astrocytes. GPR55 and GPR18 were partially implicated in the effects of CBDV, but no molecular target was identified for CBG. Conclusions: We show that CBG and CBDV were protective against OG mediated injury in three different cells that constitute the BBB, modulating different hallmarks of ischemic stroke pathophysiology. These data enhance our understanding of the protective effects of CBG and CBDV and warrant further investigation into these compounds in ischemic stroke. Future studies should identify other possible neuroprotective effects of CBG and CBDV and their corresponding mechanisms of action.
  • The Association Between Psoriasis and Cardiovascular Diseases.

    Taqi, Hussein
    Cardiovascular diseases and psoriasis have been well established as separate entities, however, there is uncertainty with regards to a link between the two diseases. A few environmental, psychological and social factors have been implicated as potential common risk factors that may exacerbate the two diseases, and an array of complex immune and non-immune inflammatory mediators can potentially explain a plausible link. Pharmacotherapy has also played a role in establishing a potential association, especially with the advent of biological agents which directly act on inflammatory factors shared by the two diseases. This review will look at existing evidence and ascertain a potential correlation between the two.

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