Recent Submissions

  • Predicting 30-day mortality in patients with sepsis: An exploratory analysis of process of care and patient characteristics

    Simmonds, Mark J.R. (2018)
    BACKGROUND: Sepsis represents a significant public health burden, costing the NHS 2.5 billion annually, with 35% mortality in 2006. The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate risk factors predictive of 30-day mortality amongst patients with sepsis in Nottingham. METHODS: Data were collected prospectively from adult patients with sepsis in Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust as part of an on-going quality improvement project between November 2011 and March 2014. Patients admitted to critical care with the diagnosis of sepsis were included in the study. In all, 97 separate variables were investigated for their association with 30-day mortality. Variables included patient demographics, symptoms of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, organ dysfunction or tissue hypoperfusion, locations of early care, source of sepsis and time to interventions. RESULTS: A total of 455 patients were included in the study. Increased age (adjOR = 1.05 95%CI = 1.03-1.07 p p = 0.016), hospital-acquired sepsis (adjOR = 3.34 95%CI = 1.78-6.27 p p = 0.02) and mottling (adjOR = 3.80 95%CI = 1.06-13.55 p = 0.04) increased 30-day mortality odds. Conversely, fever (adjOR = 0.46 95%CI = 0.28-0.75 p = 0.002), fluid refractory hypotension (adjOR = 0.29 95%CI = 0.10-0.87 p = 0.027) and being diagnosed in surgical wards (adjOR = 0.35 95%CI = 0.15-0.81 p = 0.015) were protective. Treatment timeliness were not significant factors. CONCLUSION: Several important predictors of 30-day mortality were found by this research. Retrospective analysis of our sepsis data has revealed mortality predictors that appear to be more patient-related than intervention-specific. With this information, care can be improved for those identified most at risk of death.
  • Airway management outside the operating room: How to better prepare

    Beed, Martin (2017)
    Airway management outside the operating room is associated with increased risks compared with airway management inside the operating room. Moreover, airway management-whether in the intensive care unit, emergency department, interventional radiology suite, or general wards-often requires mastery of not only the anatomically difficult airway but also the physiologically and situationally difficult airway. The 2015 Difficult Airway Society Guidelines encourage the airway team to "stop and think". This article provides a practical review of how that evidence applies during emergency airway management outside of the operating room. To counter the challenges of airway management outside the operating room, we offer a mnemonic that combines both technical and non-technical insights summarized using the seven letters of the word PREPARE (P: pre-oxygenate/position; R: reset/resist; E: examine/explicit; P: plan A/B; A: adjust/attention; R: remain/review; E: exit/explore). We hope it can unite potentially disparate personnel with a structure that allows them to make acute decisions, coordinate action, and communicate unequivocally. This multidisciplinary publication also hopes to encourage common understanding and language between anesthesiologists and non-anesthesiologists about the perils of airway management outside the operating room and the importance of airway teamwork.
  • Left atrial enlargement on non-gated CT is associated with large vessel occlusion in acute ischaemic stroke

    Butt, Waleed; Dhillon, Permesh Singh; Lenthall, Robert; Malik, Luqman; George, Bindu; Pointon, Kate (2021)
    BACKGROUND: Recent reports have suggested that atrial fibrillation (AF) is more prevalent in the large vessel occlusion (LVO) subgroup of acute ischaemic stroke patients. Given the association between left atrial enlargement (LAE) and AF, we sought to evaluate the feasibility of assessing LAE on non-gated CT and its association with LVO in the hyperacute stroke setting. METHODS: We analysed our prospectively collected database that included all stroke patients referred for consideration of endovascular treatment between April 14, 2020, and May 21, 2020. During this period, a CT chest was included in our regional stroke protocol to aid triage of patients suspected for COVID-19 from which cardiac measurements were obtained. Patients were dichotomized into LVO and no-LVO groups, and LA measurements were trichotomized into normal, borderline, and enlarged. Univariate analyses were performed between groups. RESULTS: Of the included 38 patients, 21 were categorized as LVO and 17 as no LVO. There was a statistically significant association between LAE and LVO (p = 0.028). No significant difference was demonstrated between groups for the baseline AF and other clinical characteristics, except for baseline NIHSS (p = 0.0005). There was excellent inter- and intra-rater reliability (ICC = 0.969) for LA measurements. CONCLUSION: Our study provides preliminary data to suggest LAE is more prevalent in the LVO stroke subgroup at presentation and can be reliably assessed on non-gated CT in the hyperacute setting. These findings have potential implications for stratifying secondary management and may prompt a more rigorous pursuit of occult AF or other cardiac causes of stroke. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.
  • Comparison of LI-RADS with other non-invasive liver MRI criteria and radiological opinion for diagnosing hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic livers using gadoxetic acid with histopathological explant correlation

    Clarke, Christopher (2021)
    AIM: To establish the diagnostic accuracy of the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and compare its performance to that of international criteria from European Assofor the Study of the Liver (EASL), Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH), Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL), and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), and to the reporting radiologist's overall opinion regarding the probability of a nodule being a HCC by correlating with a histological diagnosis from whole liver explants. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present single-centre, retrospective review selected participants based on the following criteria: adults (>=18 years) listed for liver transplantation in 2014/2015, with liver cirrhosis at the time of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with hepatocyte specific contrast agent, and at least one liver lesion >=10 mm on MRI with histology from subsequent liver explant for comparison. Each lesion was assessed against international criteria and given a "radiologist opinion" score of 1-5 (1 = definitely benign, 5 = definitely HCC). RESULTS: Total 268 patient records were reviewed, with 105 eligible lesions identified from 47 patients. Median lesion size was 15.5 mm (range 10-68 mm). Sensitivity (%), specificity (%), and positive predictive value (PPV; %) for LI-RADS LR5 was 45, 89, and 89, for LI-RADS LR4+5 + TIV was 61, 80, and 86, for EASL was 44, 86 and 86, for JSH/APASL was 64, 81, and 87, for OPTN was 36, 90, and 88, and for "radiologist impression" of probably or definitely HCC was 79, 79, and 88 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: MRI has moderate sensitivity and good specificity for the diagnosis of HCC with considerable variation depending on criteria used. OPTN criteria have the best specificity, but low sensitivity. "Radiologist opinion" gives highest overall accuracy with increases in sensitivity and reduction in specificity when compared to the imaging criteria. Copyright © 2021 The Royal College of Radiologists. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Collaboration between an NHS University Teaching Hospital and independent hospital to maintain CT colonography service provision during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic

    Holland, Paul; De Abreu, Deborah; Higashi, Yutaro; Clarke, Christopher (2021)
    Our trust performed CTCs at 93% of the capacity of the previous year, scanning 1265 patients in 2020, compared with 1348 in 2019. We describe the changes made to our service to achieve this, which included collaboration with the colorectal surgical team to prioritise existing CTC patients according to faecal-immunochemical tests and full blood count results, and the associated challenges which included image transfer delays and patient attendance for scans. Furthermore, the endoscopy and radiology services used the opportunity created by co-location at the same hospital site to provide a same day incomplete colonoscopy and staging service for optically confirmed cancers. Collaboration between the NHS and independent sector allowed us to achieve continuity of service provision during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic without substituting unprepared CT abdomen and pelvis instead of the more sensitive CTC. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by the British Institute of Radiology.
  • Ch.9 Diagnosis of death in modern hospital practice

    Gardiner, Dale C. (2016)
    There is the potential for many death diagnoses in hospitals to not satisfy a philosopher’s definition of irreversibility. It is estimated there are 360,000 deaths in UK hospitals each year. Our results of death diagnosis practices in a modern hospital indicates that in the UK over 133,000 patients each year would have to have the way their deaths were diagnosed to satisfy a 60 minutes standard and 300,000 (83% of all hospital deaths) to satisfy a three hour standard. The radicalness of an insistence on irreversibility as impossible to reverse has not been appreciated and is inconsistent with what is regarded as normal hospital practice. We note that physicians use permanence, being the chance that something will happen rather than could happen (impossible to reverse) to make their death declaration. This is a dignity-consistent approach to making a diagnosis of death, as it is both safe and timely. The five-minute observation standard, as first proposed by Eugene Bouchut in 1846, remains the most valid physiological and patient-centered criteria for modern doctors to employ when diagnosing death after cardio-respiratory arrest.
  • Diagnosing death

    Gardiner, Dale C. (2020)
  • Renal mass mimicking prominent columns of bertin: A case series

    Ilounoh, Christopher Ekene (2023)
    Prominent column of Bertin (PCB), also known as hypertrophic column of Bertin, are often referred to as pseudo tumors, given that they can mimic the appearance of renal tumors. This case series demonstrates a reverse situation where renal masses mimicked PCB. Two patient cases are presented to demonstrate how renal masses mimicked PCB, and a third comparative case is presented to demonstrate a split sinus sign that represents a PCB, a pseudo tumor confirmed with a computed tomogram (CT). Considering the renal masses mimicking PCB, CT, and histology confirmed the presence of renal cell carcinoma. Renal masses which present sonographically as PCB, are most likely to be overlooked and have negative impacts when undetected. Early detection of renal tumors is vital in improving a patient’s prognosis. This case series is useful in providing further evidence of how renal masses can mimic PCB, with sonography. Careful sonographic examination of PCB should be encouraged, and if sonographic features are uncertain, consider further evaluation by urology, especially for those patients with a background of hematuria and no previous imaging studies.
  • Assessing whether COVID-19 patients will benefit from critical care, and an objective approach to capacity challenges during a pandemic: An Intensive Care Society clinical guideline.

    Gardiner, Dale C.; Harvey, Daniel J. (2021)
    This national professional society guidance lays out operational and ethical principles for decision-making during a pandemic, in the immediate context of COVID-19 in the early 2020 surge iteration but with potential ongoing relevance. It identifies the different phases of a pandemic and the implications for capacity and mutual aid within a national healthcare system, and introduces a revised CRITCON-PANDEMIC framework for shared operational responsibilities and clinical decision-making. Usual legal and ethical frameworks should continue to apply while capacity and mutual aid are available (CRITCON-PANDEMIC levels 0-3); clinicians should focus on current clinical needs and should not treat patients differently because of anticipated future pressures. In conditions of resource limitation (CRITCON-PANDEMIC 4), a structured and equitable approach is necessary and an objective Decision Support Aid is proposed. In producing this guidance, we emphasise that all patients must be treated with respect and without discrimination, because everyone is of equal value. The guidance has been put together with input from patient and public groups and aims to provide standards that are fair to everyone. We acknowledge that COVID-19 is a new disease with a partial and evolving knowledge base, and aim to provide an objective clinical decision-making framework based on the best available information. It is recognised that a factual assessment of likely benefit may take into account age, frailty and comorbidities, but the guidance emphasises that every assessment must be individualised on a balanced, case by case, basis and may inform clinical judgement but not replace it. The effects of a comorbidity on someone's ability to benefit from critical care should be individually assessed. Measures of frailty should be used with care, and should not disadvantage those with stable disability. Copyright © The Intensive Care Society 2020.
  • CRITCON-pandemic levels: A stepwise ethical approach to clinician responsibility.

    Harvey, Daniel J.; Gardiner, Dale C.; DeBeer, Thearina (2022)
    CRITCON-Pandemic levels with an associated operational responsibility matrix were recently published by the Intensive Care Society as a modification to Winter Flu CRITCON levels, to better account for differences between a winter flu surge in critical care activity and the capacity challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this paper, we propose an expansion and explanation of the operational matrix to suggest a stepwise ethical approach to clinician responsibility. We propose and outline the main ethical risks created at each level and discuss how those risks can be mitigated through a balanced application of the predominant ethical principle which in turn provides practical guidance to clinician responsibility. We thus seek to specify the ethical and legal principles that should be used in applying the operational matrix, and what the practical effects could be.Copyright © The Intensive Care Society 2020.
  • Permanent brain arrest as the sole criterion of death in systemic circulatory arrest

    Gardiner, Dale C. (2020)
    Historically, there has been a tendency to think that there are two types of death: circulatory and neurological. Holding onto this tendency is making it harder to navigate emerging resuscitative technologies, such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and the recent well-publicised experiment that demonstrated the possibility of restoring cellular function to some brain neurons 4 h after normothermic circulatory arrest (decapitation) in pigs. Attempts have been made to respond to these difficulties by proposing a unified brain-based criterion for human death, which we call 'permanent brain arrest'. The clinical characteristics of permanent brain arrest are the permanent loss of capacity for consciousness and permanent loss of all brainstem functions, including the capacity to breathe. These losses could arise from a primary brain injury or as a result of systemic circulatory arrest. We argue that permanent brain arrest is the true and sole criterion for the death of human beings and show that this is already implicit in the circulatory-respiratory criterion itself. We argue that accepting the concept of permanent cessation of brain function in patients with systemic permanent circulatory arrest will help us better navigate the medical advances and new technologies of the future whilst continuing to provide sound medical criteria for the determination of death. Copyright © 2020 Association of Anaesthetists.
  • Diagnosis of death using neurological criteria in adult patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: Development of UK guidance.

    Gardiner, Dale C. (2020)
    The diagnosis of death using neurological criteria is an important legal method of establishing death in the UK. The safety of the diagnosis lies in the exclusion of conditions which may mask the diagnosis and the testing of the fundamental reflexes of the brainstem including the apnoea reflex. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac or respiratory support can impact upon these tests, both through drug sequestration in the circuit and also through the ability to undertake the apnoea test. Until recently, there has been no nationally accepted guidance regarding the conduct of the tests to undertake the diagnosis of death using neurological criteria for a patient on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This article considers both the background to and the process of guideline development. Copyright © The Intensive Care Society 2019.
  • Chest radiograph scoring alone or combined with other risk scores for predicting outcomes in COVID-19: A UK study

    Au-Yong, Iain; Higashi, Yutaro; Gianotti, Elisabetta; Fogarty, Andrew; Morling, Joanne R.; Race, Andrea; Juurlink, Irene; Simmonds, Mark; Briggs, Steve; Cruickshank, Simon; et al. (2021)
  • CT texture analysis in histological classification of epithelial ovarian carcinoma

    Wong, Esther M.F. (2021)
    OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to compare the ability of morphological and texture features derived from contrast-enhanced CT in histological subtyping of epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC). METHODS: Consecutive 205 patients with newly diagnosed EOC who underwent contrast-enhanced CT were included and dichotomised into high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) and non-HGSC. Clinical information including age and cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) was documented. The pre-treatment images were analysed using commercial software, TexRAD, by two independent radiologists. Eight qualitative CT morphological features were evaluated, and 36 CT texture features at 6 spatial scale factors (SSFs) were extracted per patient. Features' reduction was based on kappa score, intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), univariate ROC analysis and Pearson's correlation test. Texture features with ICC >= 0.8 were compared by histological subtypes. Patients were randomly divided into training and testing sets by 8:2. Two random forest classifiers were determined and compared: model 1 incorporating selected morphological and clinical features and model 2 incorporating selected texture and clinical features. RESULTS: HGSC showed specifically higher texture features than non-HGSC (p < 0.05). Both models performed highly in predicting histological subtypes of EOC (model 1: AUC 0.891 and model 2: AUC 0.937), and no statistical significance was found between the two models (p = 0.464). CONCLUSION: CT texture analysis provides objective and quantitative metrics on tumour characteristics with HGSC demonstrating specifically high texture features. The model incorporating texture analysis could classify histology subtypes of EOC with high accuracy and performed as well as morphological features. KEY POINTS: * A number of CT morphological and texture features showed good inter- and intra-observer agreements. * High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma showed specifically higher CT texture features than non-high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma. * CT texture analysis could differentiate histological subtypes of epithelial ovarian carcinoma with high accuracy.
  • Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging in perianal Crohn's disease at 1.5 and 3.0 T: A feasibility study

    Bannur, Uday; Clarke, Christopher; Latief, Khalid (2021)
    Perianal Crohn's Disease (pCD) is a common manifestation of Crohn's Disease. Absence of reliable disease measures makes disease monitoring unreliable. Qualitative MRI has been increasingly used for diagnosing and monitoring pCD and has shown potential for assessing response to treatment. Quantitative MRI sequences, such as diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic contrast enhancement (DCE) and magnetisation transfer (MT), along with T2 relaxometry, offer opportunities to improve diagnostic capability. Quantitative MRI sequences (DWI, DCE, MT and T2) were used in a cohort of 25 pCD patients before and 12 weeks after biological therapy at two different field strengths (1.5 and 3 T). Disease activity was measured with the Perianal Crohn's Disease Activity index (PDAI) and serum C-reactive protein (CRP). Diseased tissue areas on MRI were defined by a radiologist. A baseline model to predict outcome at 12 weeks was developed. No differences were seen in the quantitative MR measured in the diseased tissue regions from baseline to 12 weeks; however, PDAI and CRP decreased. Baseline PDAI, CRP, T2 relaxometry and surgical history were found to have a moderate ability to predict response after 12 weeks of biological treatment. Validation in larger cohorts with MRI and clinical measures are needed in order to further develop the model.
  • Clinical utility of small bowel ultrasound assessment of Crohn's disease in adults: A systematic scoping review

    Clarke, Christopher (2022)
    Background: Ultrasound (US) is an alternative to magnetic resonance enterography, and has the potential to significantly reduce waiting times, expedite clinical decision-making and improve patient experience. Point of care US is an advantage of the US imaging modality, where same day scanning, interpretation and treatment decisions can be made. Aim: To systematically scope the literature on point of care US use in small bowel Crohn's disease, generating a comprehensive list of factors relating to the current understanding of clinical utility of this imaging modality. Methods: Searches included MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycINFO,,'TRIP' and Epistemonikos. Reference lists of included studies were hand searched. Search terms were searched for as both keywords and subject headings (MeSH) as appropriate. Searches were performed with the 'suggested search terms' and 'explode' selection, and restricted to 'human', 'adult' and 'English language' publications. No date limits were applied to be as inclusive as possible. Two investigators conducted abstract and full-text review. No formal quality appraisal process was undertaken; however, quality of sources was considered when reporting findings. A narrative synthesis was conducted. Results: The review included 42 sources from the UK, Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA. Small bowel ultrasound (SBUS) has been shown to be as accurate in detecting the presence of small bowel Crohn's disease, is quicker, safer and more acceptable to patients, compared with magnetic resonance enterography. SBUS is used widely in central Europe and Canada but has not been embraced in the UK. Further research considering economic evaluation, clinical decision-making and exploration of perceived barriers to future implementation of SBUSs is required. Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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