• Current perspectives on defining and mitigating frailty in relation to critical illness

      Banerjee, Jaydip
      Up to half of ICU survivors, many of whom were premorbidly well, will have residual functional and/or cognitive impairment and be vulnerable to future health problems. Frailty describes vulnerability to poor resolution of homeostasis after a stressor event but it is not clear whether the vulnerability seen after ICU correlates with clinical measures of frailty. In clinical practice, the scales most commonly used in critically ill patients are based on the assessment of severity and survival. Identification and monitoring of frailty in the ICU may be an alternative or complimentary approach, particularly if it helps explain vulnerability during the recovery and rehabilitation period. The purpose of this review is to discuss the use of tools to assess frailty status in the critically ill, and consider their importance in clinical practice. Amongst these, we consider biomarkers with potential to identify patients at greater or lesser risk of developing post-ICU vulnerability.
    • Frailty factors and outcomes in vascular surgery patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Houghton, John; Nickinson, Andrew; Nduwayo, Sarah; Pepper, Coral; Rayt, Harjeet; Haunton, Victoria; Sayers, Rob
      Objective: To describe and critique tools used to assess frailty in vascular surgery patients, and investigate its associations with patient factors and outcomes. Background: Increasing evidence shows negative impacts of frailty on outcomes in surgical patients, but little investigation of its associations with patient factors has been undertaken. Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of studies reporting frailty in vascular surgery patients (PROSPERO registration: CRD42018116253) searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Quality of studies was assessed using Newcastle-Ottawa scores (NOS) and quality of evidence using Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria. Associations of frailty with patient factors were investigated by difference in means (MD) or expressed as risk ratios (RRs), and associations with outcomes expressed as odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs). Data were pooled using random-effects models. Results: Fifty-three studies were included in the review and only 8 (15%) were both good quality (NOS ≥ 7) and used a well-validated frailty measure. Eighteen studies (62,976 patients) provided data for the meta-analysis. Frailty was associated with increased age [MD 4.05 years; 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.35, 4.75], female sex (RR 1.32; 95% CI 1.14, 1.54), and lower body mass index (MD -1.81; 95% CI -2.94, -0.68). Frailty was associated with 30-day mortality [adjusted OR (AOR) 2.77; 95% CI 2.01-3.81), postoperative complications (AOR 2.16; 95% CI 1.55, 3.02), and long-term mortality (HR 1.85; 95% CI 1.31, 2.62). Sarcopenia was not associated with any outcomes. Conclusion: Frailty, but not sarcopenia, is associated with worse outcomes in vascular surgery patients. Well-validated frailty assessment tools should be preferred clinically, and in future research.
    • Frailty identification in the emergency department-a systematic review focussing on feasibility

      Elliott, Amy; Hull, Louise
      Introduction: risk-stratifying older people accessing urgent care is a potentially useful first step to ensuring that the most vulnerable are able to access optimal care from the start of the episode. While there are many risk-stratification tools reported in the literature, few have addressed the practical issues of implementation. This review sought evidence about the feasibility of risk stratification for older people with urgent care needs. Methods: medline was searched for papers addressing risk stratification and implementation (feasibility or evaluation or clinician acceptability). All search stages were conducted by two reviewers, and selected papers were graded for quality using the CASP tool for cohort studies. Data were summarised using descriptive statistics only. Results: about 1872 titles of potential interest were identified, of which 1827 were excluded on title/abstract review, and a further 43 after full-text review, leaving four papers for analysis. These papers described nine tools, which took between 1 and 10 minutes to complete for most participants. No more than 52% of potentially eligible older people were actually screened using any of the tools. Little detail was reported on the clinical acceptability of the tools tested. Discussion: the existing literature indicates that commonly used risk-stratification tools are relatively quick to use, but do not cover much more than 50% of the potential population eligible for screening in practice. Additional work is required to appreciate how tools are likely to be used, by whom, and when in order to ensure that they are acceptable to urgent care teams.
    • Isolated tectal cavernomas: A comprehensive literature review with a case presentation

      Asfour, Hasan
      ntracranial cavernous angiomas or cavernomas (ICCs) are abnormal blood-filled vasculatures made of mono-endothelial layer and characterized by their bubble-like caverns. Brainstem cavernomas (BSCs) is a critical form of ICCs since slight changes in the lesion can result in devastating or life-threatening outcomes. We hereby present a rare case of BSC developed in the mesencephalic tectum with intraventricular bleeding and Parinaud's Syndrome. Our patient was managed by complete surgical resection of the lesion through an infra-tentorial supracerebellar approach. Additionally, we reviewed and analyzed the hitherto reported cases of isolated tectal cavernomas (TCs) in the literature, including our case, to elucidate the main factors associated with the management outcomes of TCs. There have been 25 cases of isolated TC reported until now. Most of the patients were adults between 18-77 y of age, except for two children (7 and 13 y). There was no sex predominance. Symptomatic patients presented with headache 56%, altered level of consciousness 24%, and/or double vision 20%. Most cases (64%) had hemorrhagic lesions at presentation, and 60% of all cases experienced recurrent hemorrhages. Parinaud's Syndrome was recorded in five cases, including the current one. All cases affected with Parinaud's were males. Lesion size was a determinant of the outcome as larger lesions were more likely to result in persistent deficits. Surgical resection of the lesion was an effective management modality with ∼79% (15/19) of patients who underwent surgery ended up with complete recovery.
    • Vascular and haemodynamic issues of brain ageing

      Beishon, Lucy; Kadicheeni, Meeriam; Minhas, Jatinder; Robinson, Thompson; Haunton, Victoria; Chithiramohan, Tamara (2021-05)
      The population is ageing worldwide, thus increasing the burden of common age-related disorders to the individual, society and economy. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke, dementia) contribute a significant proportion of this burden and are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Thus, understanding and promoting healthy vascular brain ageing are becoming an increasing priority for healthcare systems. In this review, we consider the effects of normal ageing on two major physiological processes responsible for vascular brain function: Cerebral autoregulation (CA) and neurovascular coupling (NVC). CA is the process by which the brain regulates cerebral blood flow (CBF) and protects against falls and surges in cerebral perfusion pressure, which risk hypoxic brain injury and pressure damage, respectively. In contrast, NVC is the process by which CBF is matched to cerebral metabolic activity, ensuring adequate local oxygenation and nutrient delivery for increased neuronal activity. Healthy ageing is associated with a number of key physiological adaptations in these processes to mitigate age-related functional and structural declines. Through multiple different paradigms assessing CA in healthy younger and older humans, generating conflicting findings, carbon dioxide studies in CA have provided the greatest understanding of intrinsic vascular anatomical factors that may mediate healthy ageing responses. In NVC, studies have found mixed results, with reduced, equivalent and increased activation of vascular responses to cognitive stimulation. In summary, vascular and haemodynamic changes occur in response to ageing and are important in distinguishing "normal" ageing from disease states and may help to develop effective therapeutic strategies to promote healthy brain ageing.