• A 40-year-old woman ‘off legs’

      Bhalla, Ashish (2013-10)
      We present the case of a 40-year-old woman with progressive lower-limb weakness resulting in an inability to mobilise independently. This was associated with a degree of confusion and shortness of breath on exertion. This case illustrates rare and severe complications of vitamin B12 deficiency, namely subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, megaloblastic anaemia and impaired cognitive function. The patient's condition improved considerably with adequate early resuscitation, followed by administration of synthetic vitamin B12 analogues and neuro-rehabilitation.
    • A 31-day time to surgery compliant exercise training programme improves aerobic health in the elderly.

      Boereboom, CL (2016-06)
      BACKGROUND: Over 41,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in the UK in 2011. The incidence of CRC increases with age. Many elderly patients undergo surgery for CRC, the only curative treatment. Such patients are exposed to risks, which increase with age and reduced physical fitness. Endurance-based exercise training programmes can improve physical fitness, but such programmes do not comply with the UK, National Cancer Action Team 31-day time-to-treatment target. High-intensity interval training (HIT) can improve physical performance within 2-4 weeks, but few studies have shown HIT to be effective in elderly individuals, and those who do employ programmes longer than 31 days. Therefore, we investigated whether HIT could improve cardiorespiratory fitness in elderly volunteers, age-matched to a CRC population, within 31 days. METHODS: This observational cohort study recruited 21 healthy elderly participants (8 male and 13 female; age 67 years (range 62-73 years)) who undertook cardiopulmonary exercise testing before and after completing 12 sessions of HIT within a 31-day period. RESULTS: Peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) (23.9 ± 4.7 vs. 26.2 ± 5.4 ml/kg/min, p = 0.0014) and oxygen consumption at anaerobic threshold (17.86 ± 4.45 vs. 20.21 ± 4.11 ml/kg/min, p = 0.008) increased after HIT. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in 31 days in individuals of comparable age to those presenting for CRC surgery.
    • A comparison between one-stage and two-stage procedures for the creation of brachiobasilic arteriovenous fistulas.

      Sheldrake, IL; Rowlands, Timothy (2015-06)
      INTRODUCTION: Vascular access is essential to end-stage renal failure patients requiring haemodialysis. Many patients require multiple fistula formation attempts in order to gain good access, making secondary and tertiary fistula options vital. Brachiobasilic fistulas are well established, but there is little evidence to compare the different surgical techniques in creating them. This study aimed to determine the patency and complication rates associated with these procedures. METHODS: Retrospective data was collected by reviewing case notes to determine fistula survival time and surgical setting. Patency, complications and required interventions were recorded for each group at three time intervals. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate survival for each cohort. RESULTS: 37 brachiobasilic arteriovenous fistulas were created in 35 patients. 17 fistulas were one-stage procedures; 20 fistulas were made in two stages. Survival proportions were measured as 70.6%, 58.8% and 51.5% for the one-stage procedure and 95%, 90% and 78% for the two-stage procedure at 1 month, 1 year and 2 years respectively with p = 0.0385. DISCUSSION: Native brachiobasilic fistulas have advantages over prosthetic grafts. There are technical aspects which make the two-staged procedure preferable, including being more amenable to a day case surgery setting. Despite this, there is a lack of relative outcome differences in the literature, thus necessitating further work. CONCLUSION: Our data suggests creation of brachiobasilic fistulas using a two-staged procedure may result in improved patency rates. Complication rates were found to be statistically equivocal, with fistuloplasties and embolectomy shown to be effective in fistula salvage.
    • A review article on gastric volvulus: a challenge to diagnosis and management.

      Rashid, Farhan (2010)
      Acute gastric volvulus is a life-threatening condition, but its intermittent nature and vague symptoms may make diagnosis difficult. Imaging is usually only diagnostic if carried out when patients are symptomatic. The population affected ranges from paediatric age group to elderly with multiple co-morbidities. Laparoscopic repair is advisable once a diagnosis is reached. This review on gastric volvulus focuses on the diagnostic and management challenges encountered, together with strategies for dealing with them. Lessons have emerged which may assist in dealing with such a rare presentation in future.
    • A review on gastric diverticulum.

      Iftikhar, Syed (2012-01)
      The gastric fundal diverticulae are rare. They can present with variable symptoms. We are enclosing a literature review on gastric fundal diverticulum. Lessons have emerged which may help in the management of this rare condition in future.
    • A study investigating the validity of modified Tokuhashi score to decide surgical intervention in patients with metastatic spinal cancer.

      Gakhar, Harinder; Swamy, Girish; Bommireddy, Rajendranadh; Calthorpe, D; Klezl, Zdenek (2013-03)
      PURPOSE: Predicted survival of a patient is the most important parameter that helps to guide the treatment of a patient with metastatic spinal cancer. We aimed to investigate the reliability of modified Tokuhashi score in the decision-making process in patients with metastatic spinal cancer. METHODS: We performed a review of our prospectively collected Metastatic Cancer Database over a period of 4 years (2007-2010). Ninety consecutive patients who were treated for metastatic spinal cancer were enrolled. Data review included demographic details, source of primary cancer, duration of symptoms, location of metastases, calculated Karnofsky's performance status, and calculated survival based on modified Tokuhashi score. We divided the patients into 3 groups. Group A included patients with expected survival less than 6 months. Group B included patients with expected survival between 6 and 12 months. Group C included patients whose expected survival was more than 12 months. We compared the calculated expected survival to the actual survival in all three groups with all patients following up to a minimum of 1 year or until death. Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square test and the Fisher Exact test. RESULTS: The survival prediction in group C was significantly accurate in 80.9 % patients (P = 0.027). However, in groups A and B, only 36.1 and 9.1 % patients survived, respectively, as per predicted. (P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: We can conclude from this study that, when used alone, modified Tokuhashi score may not be a reliable tool to predict survival in all patient groups.
    • A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Haemodynamic Effects of Cannabidiol.

      Salahaden, Sultan; Millar, Sophie; England, Tim; O'Sullivan, Saoirse (2017-02)
      Despite cannabidiol (CBD) having numerous cardiovascular effects in vitro, its haemodynamic effects in vivo are unclear. Nonetheless, the clinical use of CBD (Epidiolex) is becoming more widespread. The aim of this systematic review was to establish whether CBD is associated with changes in haemodynamics in vivo. Twenty-five studies that assessed the haemodynamic effects of CBD (from PubMed, Medline and EMBASE) were systematically reviewed and meta-analyzed. Data on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), and blood flow (BF) were extracted and analysed using random effects models. Twenty-two publications assessed BP and HR among 6 species (BP n = 344 and HR n = 395), and 5 publications assessed BF in 3 species (n = 56) after acute dosing of CBD. Chronic dosing was assessed in 4 publications in 3 species (total subjects BP, n = 6; HR, n = 27; BF, n = 3). Acute CBD dosing had no effect on BP or HR under control conditions. Similarly, chronic dosing with CBD had no effect on HR. In models of stress, acute CBD administration significantly reduced the increase in BP and HR induced by stress (BP, mean difference (MD) -3.54, 95% CI -5.19, -1.9, p < 0.0001; HR, MD -16.23, 95% CI -26.44, -6.02, p = 0.002). In mouse models of stroke, CBD significantly increased cerebral blood flow (CBF, standardized mean difference (SMD) 1.62, 95% CI 0.41, 2.83, p = 0.009). Heterogeneity among the studies was present, there was no publication bias except in HR of control and stressful conditions after acute CBD dosing, and median study quality was 5 out of 9 (ranging from 1 to 8). From the limited data available, we conclude that acute and chronic administration of CBD had no effect on BP or HR under control conditions, but reduces BP and HR in stressful conditions, and increases cerebral blood flow (CBF) in mouse models of stroke. Further studies are required to fully understand the potential haemodynamic effects of CBD in humans under normal and pathological conditions.
    • Abnormalities of mucosal serotonin metabolism and 5-HT3 receptor subunit 3C polymorphism in irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea predict responsiveness to ondansetron.

      Garsed, Klara (2019-09)
      BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea (IBS-D) is a common condition, greatly reducing the quality of life with few effective treatment options available. AIM: To report the beneficial response shown in our trial with the 5-hydroyxtryptamine (5-HT) receptor 3 antagonist, ondansetron in IBS-D METHODS: A randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial of 5 weeks of ondansetron versus placebo in 125 patients meeting modified Rome III criteria for IBS-D as previously described. Patients were compared to 21 healthy controls. 5-HT and 5-HIAA were measured in rectal biopsies. Whole gut transit time was assessed using a radio-opaque marker technique. Whole blood DNA was genotyped for an insertion polymorphism in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4, as well as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the tryptophan hydroxylase gene TPH1 and 5-HT3 receptor genes HTR3A, C and E. RESULTS: Patients' biopsies showed significantly higher 5-HIAA levels (2.1 (1.2-4.2) pmol/mg protein vs 1.1 (0.4-1.5) in controls, P < .0001). 39 patients used < 4 mg/d ("super-responders") while 55 required ≥ 4 mg/d. 5-HT concentrations in rectal biopsies were significantly lower in super-responders (21.3 (17.0-31.8) vs 37.7 (21.4-61.4), P = .0357) and the increase in transit time on ondansetron was significantly greater (15.6 (1.8-31) hours vs 3.9 (-5.1-17.9) hours). Stool consistency responders were more likely to carry the CC genotype of the SNP p.N163K rs6766410 of the HTR3C gene (33% vs 14%, P = .0066). CONCLUSION: IBS-D patients have significant abnormalities in mucosal 5-HT metabolism. Those with the lowest concentration of 5-HT in rectal biopsies showed the greatest responsiveness to ondansetron.
    • Anaesthetists stress is induced by patient ASA grade and may impair non-technical skills during intubation.

      Doleman, Brett; Blackwell, James; Lund, Jonathan; Williams, John P; Bhalla, Ashish; Karangizi, A; Butt, W (2016-08)
      BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to determine if patient ASA grade was associated with increased stress in anaesthetists with a subsequent effect on non-technical skills. METHODS: Stress was measured using a validated objective (heart rate variability or heart rate) and subjective tool. We studied eight consultant anaesthetists at baseline (rest) and during 16 episodes of intubation with an ASA 1 or 2 patient vs. an ASA 3 or 4 patient. The primary outcome for the study was objective and subjective stress between both patient groups. Secondary outcomes were non-technical skill ratings and the association between stress measurements. RESULTS: ASA 3 or 4 patients were associated with increases in objective stress when compared to baseline (mean 4.6 vs. 6.7; P = 0.004). However, ASA 1 or 2 patients were not associated with increases in stress when compared to baseline (mean 4.6 vs. 4.7; P = 1). There was no significant difference in subjective stress between the groups (P = 0.18). Objective stress negatively affected situational awareness (P = 0.03) and decision-making (P = 0.03); however, these did not decline to a clinically significant threshold. Heart rate variability (r = 0.60; P = 0.002) better correlated with subjective stress when compared to heart rate (r = 0.30; P = 0.15). Agreement between raters for Anaesthetic Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) scores was acceptable (ICC = 0.51; P = 0.003). CONCLUSION: This study suggests that higher patient ASA grade can increase stress in anaesthetists, which may impair non-technical skills.
    • Are online prediction tools a valid alternative to genomic profiling in the context of systemic treatment of ER-positive breast cancer?

      Carmichael, Amtul (2017-09)
      BACKGROUND: Clinicians use clinical and pathological parameters, such as tumour size, grade and nodal status, to make decisions on adjuvant treatments for breast cancer. However, therapeutic decisions based on these features tend to vary due to their subjectivity. Computational and mathematical algorithms were developed using clinical outcome data from breast cancer registries, such as Adjuvant! Online and NHS PREDICT. More recently, assessments of molecular profiles have been applied in the development of better prognostic tools. METHODS: Based on the available literature on online registry-based tools and genomic assays, we evaluated whether these online tools could be valid and accurate alternatives to genomic and molecular profiling of the individual breast tumour in aiding therapeutic decisions, particularly in patients with early ER-positive breast cancer. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Early breast cancer is currently considered a systemic disease and a complex ecosystem with behaviour determined by the complex genetic and molecular signatures of the tumour cells, mammary stem cells, microenvironment and host immune system. We anticipate that molecular profiling will continue to evolve, expanding beyond the primary tumour to include the tumour microenvironment, cancer stem cells and host immune system. This should further refine therapeutic decisions and optimise clinical outcome. This article was specially invited by the editors and represents work by leading researchers.
    • Are we cross-matching too much blood for elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair?

      Lowe, Emily; Quarmby, John (2017-01)
      OBJECTIVES: This study aims to identify current blood transfusion requirements in elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and to compare this to an existing maximum surgical blood order schedule. METHODS: We retrospectively identified patients who underwent elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair over a 40-month period in our institution. Pre-operative number of units cross-matched and the number of units actually transfused were identified. The cross-match to transfusion ratio was then calculated. RESULTS: Blood transfusion at any time post-operatively was required in 23 (48.9%) cases. Patients needing an intra-operative blood transfusion had a median of 2 units. Of the pre-operative cross-matched units (123), only 43 were used, giving a cross-match to transfusion ratio of 2.86. CONCLUSION: Our current maximum surgical blood order schedule is poorly followed and a cross-match to transfusion ratio of 2.86 indicates we are cross-matching too many units for elective open abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. A carefully considered individualised management of blood products, with the requirement of at least a valid group and save sample, may be more appropriate.
    • Are we meeting the British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines for cholecystectomy post-gallstone pancreatitis?

      Creedon, Lee; Neophytou, Chris; Leeder, Paul; Awan, Altaf (2014-08)
      BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to audit the current management of patients suffering with gallstone pancreatitis (GSP) at a university teaching hospital for compliance with the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) guidelines regarding cholecystectomy post-GSP. METHODS: Data were collected on all patients identified via the hospital coding department that presented with GSP between January 2011 and November 2013. Patients with alcoholic pancreatitis were excluded. The primary outcome was the length of time in days from diagnosis of GSP to cholecystectomy. Secondary outcomes included readmission with gallstone-related disease prior to definitive management and admitting speciality. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-eight patients were identified with a presentation of GSP during the study period. Thirty-nine patients were treated conservatively. One hundred and six patients underwent laparoscopic cholecystectomy a median (interquartile range) interval of 33.5 days (64 days) post-admission. Patients with a severe attack as classified by the Glasgow severity score (n = 16) waited a median of 79.5 days (71.5) for cholecystectomy. Only 32% (n = 34) of patients with mild disease underwent cholecystectomy during the index admission or within 2 weeks. When grouped by admitting speciality, patients admitted initially under hepatobiliary surgery waited significantly fewer days for definitive treatment compared with other specialities (P < 0.0001). Twenty-one patients (19.8%) re-presented with gallstone-related pathology prior to undergoing cholecystectomy. CONCLUSIONS: Only 32.1% were treated as per BSG guidelines. About 19.8% (n = 21) of the patients suffered further morbidity as a result of a delayed operation and there is a clear difference between admitting speciality and the median time to operation.
    • Art and craft activities during haemodialysis-an untapped potential to improve patients' treatment experience

      Williams, Tony; Bird, Karen; Martin, Jim; Bishop, Helen (2018-05)
      Introduction and Aims:We have runanArton Dialysis programat this satellite dialysis unit since 2013, funded by Kidney Care UK and a local charity. A professional art teacher, Karen Bird, developed the program and a volunteer, Jim Martin, now supports it. Patients do activities such as drawing, painting and tapestry. Patients have commented: "Drawing when you are on dialysis takes your mind off what is going on". "Art has unlocked something in me. I feel so much better for it and it's helped with my emo-tions and my self-esteem". "My family are so pleased with what I have done. I am going to have my pictures framed". "I was told as a child that I'd never amount to much but through this art project I've found something I'm good at."We have investigated the potential for art and craft activity during dialysis to be adopted more widely and whether having an art and craft teacher affects the number of patients interested. Methods:We surveyeda randomsample of haemodialysis patients from 17UKdial-ysis units with a questionnaire in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study in 2016/17. Results: 333 patients received the questionnaire and 83% responded. Of those responding, 9% reported currently doing art or craft as a hobby and 7% did art or craft while on dialysis (table). Activities reported were: painting (5 patients), drawing (6), colouring (4), knitting/crochet (4), drawing on computer (1), calligraphy (1), cross-stitch (1), embroidery (1), tapestry (1), weaving (1), origami (1). [Figure Presented] 8% patients were definitely interested in doing art or craft on dialysis and 18% were possibly interested. Of those definitely interested, 25% had never done art or craft and 35% had done it in the past but did not currently. Of those possibly interested, 38% had never done art or craft and 44% had done it in the past but did not currently. The number expressing an interest increased to 29% if an art and craft teacher was available to help. Conclusions: Few patients in the UK currently do art or craft during haemodialysis but 26% are interested. Offering a teacher increases the number interested only slightly. Dialysis unit staff are missing an opportunity to improve the experience of patients. They should give patients permission to do art or craft during haemodialysis, help with providing equipment and encourage their activities, possibly with the help of volunteers.
    • Assessment of activity and outcome from a one-stop clinic for men with suspected prostate cancer: Five years’ experience

      Shah, Jyoti (2016-01)
      Objective:We have set up a weekly one stop prostate specific antigen (PSA) clinic to evaluate men with suspected prostate cancer (CaP) and report our five years of experience. Methods: Patients with an elevated PSA result, abnormal digital rectal examination, or worrisome symptoms were booked into this clinic. Prostate biopsy was done on the same day, if required. The clinic is run by a single consultant urological surgeon and an advanced nurse practitioner. A database of all patients attending this clinic has been maintained. Results: A total of 729 patients were seen. Rates of non-attendance were low at 2–5 patients each year, and 50.9%–67.1% of patients had a biopsy. Of these, 46.8%–56.1% were diagnosed with CaP, given their results and appropriately treated after multi-disciplinary meeting (MDT) discussion within 15 days. Patients who did not have a cancer diagnosis received a phone call from the consultant at a median time of 2.5 days. Patient and general practitioner (GP) satisfaction levels with this service were high. Conclusions: The one-stop clinic is feasible, efficient in quickly reassuring men without cancer, allows rapid diagnosis and starts treatment within 15 days for those who need it. This clinic reduces waiting times and the number of follow-up visits, and is highly acceptable to patients and GPs.
    • 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.
    • Association between surgeon special interest and mortality after emergency laparotomy.

      Doleman, Brett; Herrod, Philip; Williams, John P; Lund, Jonathan (2019-04)
      BACKGROUND: Approximately 30 000 emergency laparotomies are performed each year in England and Wales. Patients with pathology of the gastrointestinal tract requiring emergency laparotomy are managed by general surgeons with an elective special interest focused on either the upper or lower gastrointestinal tract. This study investigated the impact of special interest on mortality after emergency laparotomy. METHODS: Adult patients having emergency laparotomy with either colorectal or gastroduodenal pathology were identified from the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit database and grouped according to operative procedure. Outcomes included all-cause 30-day mortality, length of hospital stay and return to theatre. Logistic and Poisson regression were used to analyse the association between consultant special interest and the three outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 33 819 patients (28 546 colorectal, 5273 upper gastrointestinal (UGI)) were included. Patients who had colorectal procedures performed by a consultant without a special interest in colorectal surgery had an increased adjusted 30-day mortality risk (odds ratio (OR) 1·23, 95 per cent c.i. 1·13 to 1·33). Return to theatre also increased in this group (OR 1·13, 1·05 to 1·20). UGI procedures performed by non-UGI special interest surgeons carried an increased adjusted risk of 30-day mortality (OR 1·24, 1·02 to 1·53). The risk of return to theatre was not increased (OR 0·89, 0·70 to 1·12). CONCLUSION: Emergency laparotomy performed by a surgeon whose special interest is not in the area of the pathology carries an increased risk of death at 30 days. This finding potentially has significant implications for emergency service configuration, training and workforce provision, and should stimulate discussion among all stakeholders.
    • Audit of emergency laparotomy undertaken at the royal derby hospital compared to the results of the UK emergency laparotomy network; do we meet the optimum standards of care?

      Rowe, Aimee; Shore, Sarah; Doleman, Brett; Mulvey, David; Bewick, Mike (2014-11)
      Introduction: To compare our performance locally at The Royal Derby Hospital against the recently published National Emergency Laparotomy Audit by the Emergency Laparotomy Network. Methods: Prospective data were collected over a three month period, totalling 85 patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. Data included grade of surgeon and anaesthetist, time of procedure and post-operative destination, and 30 day mortality figures. Results: Mortality locally was similar in all the age groups compared with NELA (P>0.05). Overall 30-day mortality was 14% in the local audit versus 14.9% nationally. Factors found to affect 30-day mortality ranged from underlying pathology to the timing of surgery, with a higher mortality of 20% for the 27/85 cases undertaken 'out of hours' (00:00-07:59) compared with 10% 'in hours' (08:00-17:59). Mortality appears to correlate with involvement of consultant anaesthetists/surgeons as more were present 'in hours'. Post-operative destination was highlighted locally as an area for improvement; 30-day mortality was 17% for patients returning to ICS level 0 care, versus 10% (level 1/2) and 16% (level 3). Conclusions: This study gave insights into current local management of a particularly high-risk patient group. Improved utilisation of critical care units and outreach teams in support of such patients has resulted from this audit.
    • Axillary Surgery Following Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy - Multidisciplinary Guidance From the Association of Breast Surgery, Faculty of Clinical Oncology of the Royal College of Radiologists, UK Breast Cancer Group, National Coordinating Committee for Breast Pathology and British Society of Breast Radiology.

      Goyal, Amit (2019-06)
      AIMS: These multidisciplinary guidelines aim to provide clinically helpful, evidence-based recommendations on the surgical management of the axilla in patients who have received neo-adjuvant chemotherapy for early breast cancer. MATERIALS & METHODS: Following a review of published evidence, a writing group representing all disciplines quorate within a breast cancer multidisciplinary meeting prepared the guidelines. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS: In patients presenting with clinically node negative axillae, sentinel node biopsy (SNB) may be performed prior to or on completion of neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT). In patients presenting with clinically node positive axillae, SNB may be safely considered following completion of NACT. Four nodes should be removed with dual mapping. If evidence of complete pathological response of previous metastases is seen, axillary radiotherapy may be offered. If residual cancer (isolated tumour cells, micro- or macrometastes) is seen within the SNB, offer axillary node dissection.
    • Axillary tumour burden in women with a fine-needle aspiration/core biopsy-proven positive node on ultrasonography compared to women with a positive sentinel node.

      Lloyd, P; Theophilidou, E; Pugh, Laura; Goyal, Amit (2017-10)
      BACKGROUND: The sensitivity of axillary ultrasonography (AUS) has increased in recent years, enabling detection of even low-volume axillary nodal metastases. The aim here was to evaluate the axillary tumour burden in women with a fine-needle aspiration/core biopsy-proven positive node on AUS and in those with a positive sentinel node biopsy (SNB). METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included all patients with early breast cancer who had AUS and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) between 2011 and 2014. RESULTS: A total of 332 patients who had ALND were eligible for the study, 191 (57·5 per cent) in the AUS-positive group and 141 (42·5 per cent) in the SNB-positive group. Patients in the AUS-positive group were older at diagnosis (P = 0·018), more likely to have larger tumours (P = 0·002), higher tumour grade (P = 0·005), positive human epidermal growth factor 2 status (P = 0·015), and negative oestrogen receptor status (P < 0·001). The AUS-positive group also had a larger number of lymph nodes with macrometastases (P < 0·001) and were more likely to have extranodal invasion (P < 0·001). In the AUS-positive group, 40·3 per cent of patients (77 of 191) had only one or two nodes with macrometastases identified at histology after ALND. Tumour size no larger than 20 mm, invasive ductal or lobular histology and breast-conserving surgery were associated with the presence of two or fewer macrometastases at ALND. Only tumour size and tumour histology remained significant in multiple logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSION: Patients with AUS-detected metastases had a higher axillary tumour burden than those with SNB-detected metastases. Around 40 per cent of patients with AUS-detected nodal disease had one or two nodes with macrometastases and were thus overtreated by ALND.