Now showing items 1-20 of 8316

    • Incidental finding of an undifferentiated sarcoma during lower limb Doppler ultrasound: a case report

      Eteng, Rajuno Ernest (2024-05)
      Introduction: Undifferentiated sarcoma is considered a rare and aggressive type of soft tissue sarcoma with the lower extremity reported as the common site for soft tissue sarcomas. Case presentation: We present a rare incidental finding of undifferentiated sarcoma during lower limb Doppler ultrasound with a presenting symptom of right thrombotic-like calf pain in a 49-year-old female. Discussion: On ultrasound, the presented undifferentiated sarcoma appeared as a large heterogeneous, oval-shaped, soft tissue mass deeply seated in the right calf with involvement of the soleus muscle. The features on ultrasound mimicked those of a hematoma; however, the possibility of the lesion being a haematoma was promptly ruled out with the demonstration of internal vascularity on colour Doppler application. The case was then referred to a sarcoma triage multidisciplinary team for a review. Magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and biopsy were parts of the diagnostic workup for this case, histology confirmed the soft tissue lesion to be an undifferentiated sarcoma. Emergency above knee amputation of the right leg was performed as part of the patient's treatment. Conclusion: This case report presents a rare incidental finding of undifferentiated sarcoma encountered during lower limb Doppler ultrasound causing thrombotic-like calf pain. Sonographers are encouraged to pay necessary attention and carefully examine any adjacent and incidental soft tissue lesion during lower limb Doppler ultrasound using compression, two-dimensional imaging and colour imaging, especially those that appear with characteristic features of malignancy; urgent referral should be made of such cases to a tertiary soft tissue sarcoma centre for further evaluation and management.
    • Azithromycin therapy for prevention of chronic lung disease of prematurity (AZTEC): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial

      Hubbard, Marie (2024-04-25)
      Background: Systematic reviews have reported conflicting evidence on whether macrolide antibiotics reduce rates of chronic lung disease of prematurity (CLD) in at-risk preterm infants born at less than 30 weeks' gestation, including in those colonised with pulmonary Ureaplasma spp. Since an adequately powered trial has been lacking, we aimed to assess if the macrolide azithromycin improved survival without the development of physiologically defined moderate or severe CLD in preterm infants. Methods: AZTEC was a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial conducted in 28 tertiary neonatal intensive care units in the UK. Infants were eligible if they were born at less than 30 weeks' gestation and had received at least 2 h of either non-invasive (continuous positive airway pressure or humidified high flow nasal cannula therapy) or invasive respiratory support (via endotracheal tube) within 72 h of birth. Eligible infants were randomly allocated in a 1:1 ratio using random permuted blocks of four to receive either intravenous azithromycin at 20 mg/kg per day for 3 days followed by 10 mg/kg for 7 days, or to placebo. Allocation was stratified by centre and gestational age at birth (<28 weeks vs ≥28 weeks). Azithromycin and placebo vials were encased in tamper-evident custom cardboard cartons to ensure masking for clinicians, parents, and the research team. The primary outcome was survival without development of physiologically defined moderate or severe CLD at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age. Outcomes and safety were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis (all randomly allocated infants, regardless of any post-randomisation events). The study was registered with ISRCRN (11650227) and is closed. Findings: Infants were recruited between Oct 9, 2019, and March 22, 2022. 799 (53·1%) of 1505 eligible infants underwent random allocation; three infants were withdrawn, including consent to use their data, leaving 796 infants for analysis. Survival without moderate or severe CLD occurred in 166 (42%) of 394 infants in the intervention group and 179 (45%) of 402 in the placebo group (three-level adjusted OR [aOR] 0·84, 95% CI 0·55-1·29, p=0·43). Pulmonary Ureaplasma spp colonisation did not influence treatment effect. Overall, seven serious adverse events were reported for the azithromycin group (five graded as severe, two as moderate), and six serious adverse events were reported in the placebo group (two severe, two moderate, and two mild), as assessed by the local principal investigators. Interpretation: Since prophylactic use of azithromycin did not improve survival without development of physiologically-defined CLD, regardless of Ureaplasma spp colonisation, it cannot be recommended in clinical practice. Funding: UK National Institute for Health and Care Research.
    • Leveraging the pleural space for anticancer therapies in pleural mesothelioma

      Darlison, Liz; Fennell, Dean (2024-05-10)
      Most patients with pleural mesothelioma (PM) present with symptomatic pleural effusion. In some patients, PM is only detectable on the pleural surfaces, providing a strong rationale for intrapleural anticancer therapy. In modern prospective studies involving expert radiological staging and specialist multidisciplinary teams, the population incidence of stage I PM (an approximate surrogate of pleura-only PM) is higher than in historical retrospective series. In this Viewpoint, we advocate for the expansion of intrapleural trials to serve these patients, given the paucity of data supporting licensed systemic therapies in this setting and the uncertainties involved in surgical therapy. We begin by reviewing the unique anatomical and physiological features of the PM-bearing pleural space, before critically appraising the evidence for systemic therapies in stage I PM and previous intrapleural PM trials. We conclude with a summary of key challenges and potential solutions, including optimal trial designs, repurposing of indwelling pleural catheters, and new technologies. Copyright © 2024 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.
    • Extended pleurectomy decortication and chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone for pleural mesothelioma (MARS 2): a phase 3 randomised controlled trial

      Fennell, Dean; Nelson, Louise (2024-05-10)
      Background: Extended pleurectomy decortication for complete macroscopic resection for pleural mesothelioma has never been evaluated in a randomised trial. The aim of this study was to compare outcomes after extended pleurectomy decortication plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy alone. Methods: MARS 2 was a phase 3, national, multicentre, open-label, parallel two-group, pragmatic, superiority randomised controlled trial conducted in the UK. The trial took place across 26 hospitals (21 recruiting only, one surgical only, and four recruiting and surgical). Following two cycles of chemotherapy, eligible participants with pleural mesothelioma were randomly assigned (1:1) to surgery and chemotherapy or chemotherapy alone using a secure web-based system. Individuals aged 16 years or older with resectable pleural mesothelioma and adequate organ and lung function were eligible for inclusion. Participants in the chemotherapy only group received two to four further cycles of chemotherapy, and participants in the surgery and chemotherapy group received pleurectomy decortication or extended pleurectomy decortication, followed by two to four further cycles of chemotherapy. It was not possible to mask allocation because the intervention was a major surgical procedure. The primary outcome was overall survival, defined as time from randomisation to death from any cause. Analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population for all outcomes, unless specified. This study is registered with, NCT02040272, and is closed to new participants. Findings: Between June 19, 2015, and Jan 21, 2021, of 1030 assessed for eligibility, 335 participants were randomly assigned (169 to surgery and chemotherapy, and 166 to chemotherapy alone). 291 (87%) participants were men and 44 (13%) women, and 288 (86%) were diagnosed with epithelioid mesothelioma. At a median follow-up of 22·4 months (IQR 11·3-30·8), median survival was shorter in the surgery and chemotherapy group (19·3 months [IQR 10·0-33·7]) than in the chemotherapy alone group (24·8 months [IQR 12·6-37·4]), and the difference in restricted mean survival time at 2 years was -1·9 months (95% CI -3·4 to -0·3, p=0·019). There were 318 serious adverse events (grade ≥3) in the surgery group and 169 in the chemotherapy group (incidence rate ratio 3·6 [95% CI 2·3 to 5·5], p<0·0001), with increased incidence of cardiac (30 vs 12; 3·01 [1·13 to 8·02]) and respiratory (84 vs 34; 2·62 [1·58 to 4·33]) disorders, infection (124 vs 53; 2·13 [1·36 to 3·33]), and additional surgical or medical procedures (15 vs eight; 2·41 [1·04 to 5·57]) in the surgery group. Interpretation: Extended pleurectomy decortication was associated with worse survival to 2 years, and more serious adverse events for individuals with resectable pleural mesothelioma, compared with chemotherapy alone. Funding: National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme (15/188/31), Cancer Research UK Feasibility Studies Project Grant (A15895). Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
    • Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of vestibular schwannoma reveals functionally distinct macrophage subsets

      Baruah, Paramita (2024-06)
      Background: Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) remain a challenge due to their anatomical location and propensity to growth. Macrophages are present in VS but their roles in VS pathogenesis remains unknown. Objectives: The objective was to assess phenotypic and functional profile of macrophages in VS with single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq). Methods: scRNAseq was carried out in three VS samples to examine characteristics of macrophages in the tumour. RT-qPCR was carried out on 10 VS samples for CD14, CD68 and CD163 and a panel of macrophage-associated molecules. Results: scRNAseq revealed macrophages to be a major constituent of VS microenvironment with three distinct subclusters based on gene expression. The subclusters were also defined by expression of CD163, CD68 and IL-1β. AREG and PLAUR were expressed in the CD68+CD163+IL-1β+ subcluster, PLCG2 and NCKAP5 were expressed in CD68+CD163+IL-1β- subcluster and AUTS2 and SPP1 were expressed in the CD68+CD163-IL-1β+ subcluster. RT-qPCR showed expression of several macrophage markers in VS of which CD14, ALOX15, Interleukin-1β, INHBA and Colony Stimulating Factor-1R were found to have a high correlation with tumour volume. Conclusions: Macrophages form an important component of VS stroma. scRNAseq reveals three distinct subsets of macrophages in the VS tissue which may have differing roles in the pathogenesis of VS.
    • A National audit of the care of patients with acute kidney injury in England and Wales in 2019 and the association with patient outcomes

      Graham-Brown, M P M; Hull, Katherine; Medcalf, James; Adenwalla, Sherna (2024-03)
      Background: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication of hospitalisations. This national audit assessed the care received by patients with AKI in hospital Trusts in England and Wales. Methods: Twenty four hospital Trusts across England and Wales took part. Patients with AKI stage2/3 were identified using the UK Renal Registry AKI master patient index. Data was returned through a secure portal with linkage to hospital episode statistic mortality and hospitalisation data. Completion rates of AKI care standards and regional variations in care were established. Results: 989 AKI episodes were included in the analyses. In-hospital 30-day mortality was 31-33.1% (AKI 2/3). Standard AKI interventions were completed in >80% of episodes. Significant inter-hospital variation remained in attainment of AKI care standards after adjustment for age and sex. Recording of urinalysis (41.9%) and timely imaging (37.2%) were low. Information on discharge summaries relating to medication changes/re-commencement and follow-up blood tests associated with reduced mortality. No quality indicators relating to clinical management associated with mortality. Better communication on discharge summaries associated with reduced mortality. Conclusions: Outcomes for patients with AKI in hospital remain poor. Regional variation in care exists. Work is needed to assess whether improving and standardising care improves patient outcomes.
    • Tertiary centre study highlights low inpatient deintensification and risks associated with adverse outcomes in frail people with diabetes

      Aftab, Faseeha; Fazil, Mohamed; Gallagher, Alison; Higgins, Kath; Lwin, Huin; Melson, Eka; Thomas, Anu; Thottungal, Kevin; Tun, HayMar (2024-03)
      Introduction: The community deintensification rates in older people with diabetes are low and hospital admission presents an opportunity for medication review. We audited the inpatient assessment and deintensification rate in people with diabetes and frailty. We also identified factors associated with adverse inpatient outcomes. Methods: A retrospective review of electronic charts was conducted in all people with diabetes and clinical frailty score ≥6 who were discharged from the medical unit in 2022. Data on demographics, comorbidities and background glucose-lowering medications were collected. Results: Six-hundred-and-sixty-five people with diabetes and moderate/severe frailty were included in our analysis. For people with no HbA1c in the last six months preceding admission, only 9.0% had it assessed during inpatient. Deintensification rates were 19.1%. Factors that were associated with adverse inpatient outcomes included inpatient hypoglycaemia, non-White ethnicity, and being overtreated (HbA1c <7.0% [53 mmol/mol] with any glucose-lowering medication). Conclusion: The assessment and deintensification rate in secondary care for people with diabetes and frailty is low. Inpatient hypoglycaemia, non-White ethnicity, and overtreatment are important factors in determining inpatient outcomes highlighting the importance of deintensification and the need for an evidence-based risk stratification tool.
    • Glenoid Fracture Fixation Using an Acu-Loc Distal Radius Plate

      Ashwood, Neil; Dekker, Andrew (2024-05)
      Displaced fractures of the glenoid require surgical fixation. This poses multiple problems, including a difficult approach and achieving adequate reduction with current implants. We provide a surgical technical tip for fixing scapula neck and glenoid rim fractures with an Acu-Loc distal radius plate (Acumed, Weyhill, UK), illustrated with two recent case reports. Here, we present two cases of a 58-year-old female and a 51-year-old male presenting to a hospital following a fall, both sustaining an isolated right glenoid intra-articular fracture evident on plain radiographs. CT scans revealed a displaced and fragmented glenoid surface. A reverse Judet posterior approach facilitated exposure to enable the reduction of the glenoid, an uncommon approach. Current plate designs provide surgeons with limited options to fix complex fractures of the scapula and were not suitable here. The lateral scapula border and inferior glenoid have a similar anatomical shape to the distal radius. An Acu-Loc locking distal radius plate with a radial styloid plate was trialled and provided a good reduction to the fragmented glenoid. A distal radius plate can be a useful option to consider in complex scapula neck and glenoid rim fractures. A better understanding of glenoid shape will facilitate the further development of orthopaedic implants. Familiarity with various surgical approaches is needed to operate on these complex fractures.
    • Optimal surgical approach for mid-transverse colon cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

      Ebeidallah, Guirgis
      BACKGROUND AND AIM: The incidence of cancer colon has increased dramatically. In addition, the database lacks a review to analyze the outcomes of surgeries for mid-transverse colon cancer with several recent controversial studies. We aimed to compare the outcomes of extended hemicolectomy versus transverse colectomy for mid-transverse colon cancer. METHOD: PubMed, Scopes, Web of Science and Cochrane Library were searched for eligible studies from inception to 1 December 2022 and a systematic review and meta-analysis were done to detect. RESULTS: According to eligibility criteria, 8 studies (2237 patients) were included in our study. The pooled results of the included studies showed no difference in the 5-year OS, 3-year DFS and 5-year DFS between the two types of surgery (5-year OS, RR = 1.15, 95% CI 0.94-1.39, P = 0.17), (3-year OS, RR = 0.96, 95% CI 0.88-1.06, P = 0.42) and (5-year DFS, RR = 1.21, 95% CI 0.91-1.62, P = 0.20). In addition to that, the recurrence rate and the incidence of complications were similar in the two groups (Recurrence rate, RR = 1.08, 95% CI 0.62-1.89, P = 0.79) and (Complications, RR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.74-1.54, P = 0.72). However, the number of LN harvest and the time of the operation were more in case of extended hemicolectomy. CONCLUSION: Despite harvesting less LN, transverse colectomy has similar oncological outcomes to extended hemicolectomy for mid-transverse colon cancer. In addition to that, there was no significant difference in the incidence of complications between the two surgeries.
    • Appendectomy versus antibiotic treatment for acute appendicitis.

      Tierney, Gillian; Tou, Samson; Williams, John P.
      BACKGROUND: Acute appendicitis is one of the most common emergency general surgical conditions worldwide. Uncomplicated/simple appendicitis can be treated with appendectomy or antibiotics. Some studies have suggested possible benefits with antibiotics with reduced complications, length of hospital stay, and the number of days off work. However, surgery may improve success of treatment as antibiotic treatment is associated with recurrence and future need for surgery. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of antibiotic treatment for uncomplicated/simple acute appendicitis compared with appendectomy for resolution of symptoms and complications. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, and two trial registers (World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform and on 19 July 2022. We also searched for unpublished studies in conference proceedings together with reference checking and citation search. There were no restrictions on date, publication status, or language of publication. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included parallel-group randomised controlled trials (RCTs) only. We included studies where most participants were adults with uncomplicated/simple appendicitis. Interventions included antibiotics (by any route) compared with appendectomy (open or laparoscopic). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methodology expected by Cochrane. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence for each outcome. Primary outcomes included mortality and success of treatment, and secondary outcomes included number of participants requiring appendectomy in the antibiotic group, complications, pain, length of hospital stay, sick leave, malignancy in the antibiotic group, negative appendectomy rate, and quality of life. Success of treatment definitions were heterogeneous although mainly based on resolution of symptoms rather than incorporation of long-term recurrence or need for surgery in the antibiotic group. MAIN RESULTS: We included 13 studies in the review covering 1675 participants randomised to antibiotics and 1683 participants randomised to appendectomy. One study was unpublished. All were conducted in secondary care and two studies received pharmaceutical funding. All studies used broad-spectrum antibiotic regimens expected to cover gastrointestinal bacteria. Most studies used predominantly laparoscopic surgery, but some included mainly open procedures. Six studies included adults and children. Almost all studies aimed to exclude participants with complicated appendicitis prior to randomisation, although one study included 12% with perforation. The diagnostic technique was clinical assessment and imaging in most studies. Only one study limited inclusion by sex (male only). Follow-up ranged from hospital admission only to seven years. Certainty of evidence was mainly affected by risk of bias (due to lack of blinding and loss to follow-up) and imprecision. Primary outcomes It is uncertain whether there was any difference in mortality due to the very low-certainty evidence (Peto odds ratio (OR) 0.51, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.05 to 4.95; 1 study, 492 participants). There may be 76 more people per 1000 having unsuccessful treatment in the antibiotic group compared with surgery, which did not reach our predefined level for clinical significance (risk ratio (RR) 0.91, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.96; I2 = 69%; 7 studies, 2471 participants; low-certainty evidence). Secondary outcomes At one year, 30.7% (95% CI 24.0 to 37.8; I2 = 80%; 9 studies, 1396 participants) of participants in the antibiotic group required appendectomy or, alternatively, more than two-thirds of antibiotic-treated participants avoided surgery in the first year, but the evidence is very uncertain. Regarding complications, it is uncertain whether there is any difference in episodes of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea due to very low-certainty evidence (Peto OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.24 to 3.89; 1 study, 1332 participants). There may be a clinically significant reduction in wound infections with antibiotics (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.68; I2 = 16%; 9 studies, 2606 participants; low-certainty evidence). It is uncertain whether antibiotics affect the incidence of intra-abdominal abscess or collection (RR 1.58, 95% CI 0.61 to 4.07; I2 = 19%; 6 studies, 1831 participants), or reoperation (Peto OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.01 to 2.16; 1 study, 492 participants) due to very low-certainty evidence, mainly due to rare events causing imprecision and risk of bias. It is uncertain if antibiotics prolonged length of hospital stay by half a day due to the very low-certainty evidence (MD 0.54, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.01; I2 = 97%; 11 studies, 3192 participants). The incidence of malignancy was 0.3% (95% CI 0 to 1.5; 5 studies, 403 participants) in the antibiotic group although follow-up was variable. Antibiotics probably increased the number of negative appendectomies at surgery (RR 3.16, 95% CI 1.54 to 6.49; I2 = 17%; 5 studies, 707 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics may be associated with higher rates of unsuccessful treatment for 76 per 1000 people, although differences may not be clinically significant. It is uncertain if antibiotics increase length of hospital stay by half a day. Antibiotics may reduce wound infections. A third of the participants initially treated with antibiotics required subsequent appendectomy or two-thirds avoided surgery within one year, but the evidence is very uncertain. There were too few data from the included studies to comment on major complications.
    • A commentary review on endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty: Indications, outcomes and future implications

      Abuawwad, Mahmoud
      Metabolic and bariatric surgeries have been shown to be the most effective strategy to induce and maintain significant weight loss for people living with severe obesity. However, ongoing concerns regarding operative risks, irreversibility and excess costs limit their broader clinical use. Endoscopic bariatric therapies are pragmatic alternatives for patients who are not suitable for metabolic and bariatric surgeries or who are concerned regarding their long-term safety. Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty has emerged as a novel technique of endoscopic bariatric therapies, which have garnered significant interest and evidence in the past few years. Its safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness have been shown in various studies, while comparisons with sleeve gastrectomy have been widely made. This review brings together current evidence pertaining to the technicality of the procedure itself, current indications, safety and efficacy, cost-effectiveness, as well as its future role and development.
    • Post-prostatectomy incontinence: a guideline of guidelines.

      Pavithran, A
      AIM: To provide a comprehensive review of guidelines from various professional organisations on the work-up and management of post-prostatectomy Incontinence (PPI). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The following guidelines were included in this review: European Association of Urology (EAU 2023), American Urological Association/Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (AUA/SUFU 2019), International Consultation on Incontinence (ICI, 2018), the Canadian Urological Association (CUA, 2012) and the Urological Society of India (USI, 2018). RESULTS: In general, the guidelines concur regarding the significance of conducting a comprehensive history and physical examination for patients with post-prostatectomy incontinence (PPI). However, there are variations among the guidelines concerning the recommended additional investigations. In cases of troublesome PPI, male slings are typically recommended for mild to moderate urinary incontinence (UI), while artificial urinary sphincters are preferred for moderate to severe UI, although the precise definition of this severity remains unclear. The guidelines provided by AUA/SUFU and the ICI have offered suggestions for managing complications or persistent/recurrent UI post-surgery, though some differences can be observed within these recommendations as well. CONCLUSION: This is a first of its kind review encompassing Guidelines on PPI spanning over a decade. Although guidelines share overarching principles, nuanced variations persist, posing challenges for clinicians. This compilation consolidates and highlights both the similarities and differences among guidelines, providing a comprehensive overview of PPI diagnosis and management for practitioners. It is our expectation that as more evidence emerges in this and other areas of PPI management, the guidelines will converge and address crucial patient-centric aspects.
    • Classification and stratification in pilonidal sinus disease: findings from the PITSTOP cohort

      Lund, Jonathan
      AIM: Research in pilonidal disease faces several challenges, one of which is consistent and useful disease classification. The International Pilonidal Society (IPS) proposed a four-part classification in 2017. The aim of this work was to assess the validity and reliability of this tool using data from the PITSTOP cohort study. METHOD: Face validity was assessed by mapping the items/domains in the IPS tool against tools identified through a systematic review. Key concepts were defined as those appearing in more than two-thirds of published tools. Concurrent and predictive validity were assessed by comparing key patient-reported outcome measures between groups at baseline and at clinic visit. The outcomes of interest were health utility, Cardiff Wound Impact Questionnaire (CWIQ) and pain score between groups. Significance was set at p = 0.05 a priori. Interrater reliability was assessed using images captured during the PITSTOP cohort. Ninety images were assessed by six raters (two experts, two general surgeons and two trainees), and classified into IPS type. Interrater reliability was assessed using the unweighted kappa and unweighted Gwet's AC1 statistics. RESULTS: For face validity items represented in the IPS were common to other classification systems. Concurrent and predictive validity assessment showed differences in health utility and pain between groups at baseline, and for some treatment groups at follow-up. Assessors agreed the same classification in 38% of participants [chance-corrected kappa 0.52 (95% CI 0.42-0.61), Gwet's AC1 0.63 (95% CI 0.56-0.69)]. CONCLUSION: The IPS classification demonstrates key aspects of reliability and validity that would support its implementation.
    • Making research everybody's business-innovation to introduce foundation doctors to research

      Brunskill, Nigel; Choudhary, Pratik; Davies, Melanie; Screder, Sally (2024-03-05)
      In order to train a future workforce able to meet the needs of its patients it is vital to ensure that opportunities to engage in research are inbuilt to training programmes. This strategy meets national recommendations recently published by NIHR, RCP and GMC. A nationally funded expansion of 'standard' Foundation programmes offers a unique opportunity to develop innovative new posts which include exposure to clinical research. In NHSE Midlands a pilot Foundation Year two (F2) post in Diabetes Research was implemented in August 2022, embedded into a standard Foundation programme. Subjective evaluation of the post, by F2 doctors and trainers, has been very positive and a further two posts in Research and Innovation commence August 2023 and 2024. These unique and geographically co-located programmes also aim to support the widening participation in medicine agenda. This model could be adapted within any Foundation School.
    • A protocol for the conduct of a multicentre, prospective, randomized superiority trial of surgical versus non-surgical interventions for humeral shaft fractures

      Singh, Harvinder (2024-04-22)
      Aims: Fractures of the humeral shaft represent 3% to 5% of all fractures. The most common treatment for isolated humeral diaphysis fractures in the UK is non-operative using functional bracing, which carries a low risk of complications, but is associated with a longer healing time and a greater risk of nonunion than surgery. There is an increasing trend to surgical treatment, which may lead to quicker functional recovery and lower rates of fracture nonunion than functional bracing. However, surgery carries inherent risk, including infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. The aim of this trial is to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of functional bracing compared to surgical fixation for the treatment of humeral shaft fractures. Methods: The HUmeral SHaft (HUSH) fracture study is a multicentre, prospective randomized superiority trial of surgical versus non-surgical interventions for humeral shaft fractures in adult patients. Participants will be randomized to receive either functional bracing or surgery. With 334 participants, the trial will have 90% power to detect a clinically important difference for the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire score, assuming 20% loss to follow-up. Secondary outcomes will include function, pain, quality of life, complications, cost-effectiveness, time off work, and ability to drive. Discussion: The results of this trial will provide evidence regarding clinical and cost-effectiveness between surgical and non-surgical treatment of humeral shaft fractures. Ethical approval has been obtained from East of England - Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee. Publication is anticipated to occur in 2024.
    • The links between the amount of antipsychotic medication prescribed at GP practice level, local demographic factors and medication selection.

      Khine, C (BMC Psychiatry, 2021-06)
      Background: Antipsychotic medications are the first-line pharmacological intervention for severe mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia and other psychoses, while also being used to relieve distress and treat neuropsychiatric symptoms in dementia. Our aim was to examine the factors relating to antipsychotic prescribing in general practices across England and how cost changes in recent years have impacted on antipsychotic prescribing. Methods: The study examined over time the prescribing volume and prices paid for antipsychotic medication by agent in primary care. Monthly prescribing in primary care was consolidated over 5 years (2013-2018) and DDD amount from WHO/ATC for each agent was used to convert the amount to total DDD/practice. The defined Daily Dose (DDD is the assumed average maintenance dose per day for a drug used for its main indication in adults. Results: We included 5750 general practices with practice population > 3000 and with > 30 people on their SMI register. In 2018/19 there were 10,360,865 prescriptions containing 136 million DDD with costs of £110 million at an average cost of £0.81/DDD issued in primary care. In 2017/18 there was a sharp increase in overall prices and they had not reduced to expected levels by the end of the 2018/19 evaluation year. There was a gradual increase in antipsychotic prescribing over 2013-2019 which was not perturbed by the increase in drug price in 2017/18. The strongest positive relation to increased prescribing of antipsychotics came from higher social disadvantage, higher population density (urban), and comorbidities e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Higher % younger and % older populations, northerliness and non-white (Black and Minority Ethnic(BAME)) ethnicity were all independently associated with less antipsychotic prescribing. Higher DDD/general practice population was linked with higher proportion(%) injectable, higher %liquid, higher doses/prescription and higher %zuclopenthixol depot. Less DDD/population was linked with general practices using higher % risperidone and higher spending/dose of antipsychotic. Conclusions: The levels of antipsychotic prescribing at general practice level are driven by social factors/comorbidities. We found a link between depot prescriptions with higher antipsychotic DDD and risperidone prescriptions with lower antipsychotic DDD. It is important that all prescribers are aware of these drivers / links.
    • Comparison of interventions for lateral elbow tendinopathy: A systematic review and network meta-analysis for patient-rated tennis elbow evaluation pain outcome

      Dhingra, Mohit; Lowdon, Hamish; Singh, Harvinder Pal (2024-04-27)
      Purpose: There is controversy regarding the optimal treatment for lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET), and not all available treatment options have been compared directly with placebo/control. A network meta-analysis was conducted to compare the effectiveness of different LET treatments directly and indirectly against control/placebo based on a validated outcome, the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation (PRTEE) pain score. Methods: Randomized, controlled trials comparing different treatment methods for LET were included, provided they reported outcome data using the PRTEE pain score. A network meta-analysis with random effect was used to combine direct and indirect evidence between treatments compared with placebo in the short term (up to six weeks) and midterm (more than six weeks and up to six months) after intervention. Results: Thirteen studies with 12 comparators including control/placebo were eligible. The results indicated no significant improvement in PRTEE pain score in the short term across all treatments compared with control/placebo. In the midterm, physiotherapy/exercise showed benefit against placebo (mean difference: -4.32, 95% confidence interval: -7.58 and -1.07). Although steroid injections, dry needling, and autologous blood also exhibited potential treatment effects, it is crucial for the clinician to consider certain pitfalls when considering these treatments. The limited number of small studies and paucity of data call for caution in interpreting the results and need for further evidence. Conclusions: Patients should be informed that there is currently no strong evidence that any treatment produces more rapid improvement in pain symptoms when compared with control/placebo in the short and medium terms. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic I.
    • A practical approach to screening for Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacterales- views of a group of multidisciplinary experts from English hospitals

      Jenkins, David (2024-04-26)
      Introduction: Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE) are an important public health threat, with costly operational and economic consequences for NHS Integrated Care Systems and NHS Trusts. UK Health Security Agency guidelines recommend that Trusts use locally developed risk assessments to accurately identify high-risk individuals for screening, and implement the most appropriate method of testing, but this presents many challenges. Methods: A convenience sample of cross-specialty experts from across England met to discuss the barriers and practical solutions to implementing UK Health Security Agency framework into operational and clinical workflows. The group derived responses to six key questions that are frequently asked about screening for CPE. Key findings: Four patient groups were identified for CPE screening: high-risk unplanned admissions, high-risk elective admissions, patients in high-risk units, and known positive contacts. Rapid molecular testing is a preferred screening method for some of these settings, offering faster turnaround times and more accurate results than culture-based testing. It is important to stimulate action now, as several lessons can be learnt from screening during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from CPE outbreaks. Conclusion: Further decisive and instructive information is needed to establish CPE screening protocols based on local epidemiology and risk factors. Local management should continually evaluate local epidemiology, analysing data and undertaking frequent prevalence studies to understand risks, and prepare resources- such as upscaled screening- to prevent increasing prevalence, clusters or outbreaks. Rapid molecular-based methods will be a crucial part of these considerations, as they can reduce unnecessary isolation and opportunity costs.
    • Serial postoperative circulating tumor DNA assessment has strong prognostic value during long-term follow-up in patients with breast cancer

      Ahmed, Samreen; Richards, Cathy (2024-04)
      Purpose: Here, we report the sensitivity of a personalized, tumor-informed circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) assay (Signatera) for detection of molecular relapse during long-term follow-up of patients with breast cancer. Methods: A total of 156 patients with primary breast cancer were monitored clinically for up to 12 years after surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. Semiannual blood samples were prospectively collected, and analyzed retrospectively to detect residual disease by ultradeep sequencing using ctDNA assays, developed from primary tumor whole-exome sequencing data. Results: Personalized Signatera assays detected ctDNA ahead of clinical or radiologic relapse in 30 of the 34 patients who relapsed (patient-level sensitivity of 88.2%). Relapse was predicted with a lead interval of up to 38 months (median, 10.5 months; range, 0-38 months), and ctDNA positivity was associated with shorter relapse-free survival (P < .0001) and overall survival (P < .0001). All relapsing triple-negative patients (n = 7/23) had a ctDNA-positive test within a median of 8 months (range, 0-19 months), while the 16 nonrelapsed patients with triple-negative breast cancer remained ctDNA-negative during a median follow-up of 58 months (range, 8-99 months). The four patients who had negative tests before relapse all had hormone receptor-positive (HR+) disease and conversely, five of the 122 nonrelapsed patients (all HR+) had an occasional positive test. Conclusion: Serial postoperative ctDNA assessment has strong prognostic value, provides a potential window for earlier therapeutic intervention, and may enable more effective monitoring than current clinical tests such as cancer antigen 15-3. Our study provides evidence that those with serially negative ctDNA tests have superior clinical outcomes, providing reassurance to patients with breast cancer. For select cases with HR+ disease, decisions about treatment management might require serial monitoring despite the ctDNA-positive result.