Recent Submissions

  • Research Output from the Irish Paediatric Hospitals in the Field of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Over 10 Years: A Bibliometric Analysis.

    Alkhatip, Ahmed Abdelaal Ahmed Mahmoud M; Younis, Mohamed; Holmes, Chris; Sallam, Amr (2019-10-22)
    Objective: To the best of our knowledge, no bibliometric studies have characterised the paediatric anaesthesia research in Ireland. In this study, we aim to analyse the research output from two anaesthetic departments in Irish paediatric hospitals. Methods: A Scopus database search was conducted to identify the publications from 2007 to 2018 of the departments of anaesthesia and intensive care medicine in the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street (CUH), and Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC). Results: The Irish publications in paediatric anaesthesia and intensive care included 108 publications. CUH and OLCHC published 37 (34.9%) and 73 (68.8%) documents, respectively, with 6 (5.6%) documents affiliated with both hospitals. The number of original research articles was 28 (75.7%) for CUH versus 46 (63%) for OLCHC. The number of published reviews was 5 (13.5%) for CUH versus 11 (15.1%) for OLCHC. Over the last 2 years (2016, 2017), the number of OLCHC publications was almost double (13 and 14 publications) that of CUH (4 and 6 publications). For CUH, only two publications were in specialised journals. For OLCHC, 18 publications were in specialised journals, in addition to four publications in high-ranked journals. The mean impact factor for CUH publications was 3.78 (standard deviation [SD], 7.19) versus 4.52 (SD, 10.56) for OLCHC. From OLCHC, 20 authors published with a median h-index of 2.00 (interquartile range, 0-4.25), versus 14 authors form CUH with a median h-index of 1.50 (1.00-4.50).
  • Ivacaftor decreases monocyte sensitivity to interferon-γ in people with cystic fibrosis.

    Hisert, Katherine B; Birkland, Timothy P; Schoenfelt, Kelly Q; Long, Matthew E; Grogan, Brenda; Carter, Suzanne; Liles, W Conrad; McKone, Edward F; Becker, Lev; Manicone, Anne M (2020-04-19)
    This study demonstrates that initiation of the CFTR modulator ivacaftor in people with cystic fibrosis and susceptible CFTR mutations causes an acute reduction in blood monocyte sensitivity to the key proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ
  • Case report: adult onset diabetes with partial pancreatic agenesis and congenital heart disease due to a de novo GATA6 mutation.

    Sanchez-Lechuga, Begona; Saqlain, Muhammad; Ng, Nicholas; Colclough, Kevin; Woods, Conor; Byrne, Maria (2020-04-03)
    Background: Mutations in GATA6 are the most frequent cause of pancreatic agenesis. Most cases present with neonatal diabetes mellitus. Case presentation: The case was a female born after an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery in a non-consanguineous family (3.59 kg, 70th percentile). Severe cardiac malformations were diagnosed at two and a half months old. No hyperglycaemic episodes were recorded in the neonatal period. Diabetes was diagnosed at 21 years due to the detection of incidental glycosuria. She had a low but detectable C-peptide level at diagnosis. Anti-GAD and Islet-cell antibodies were negative and she failed oral hypoglycaemic therapy and was started on insulin. Abdominal MRI revealed the absence of most of the neck, body, and tail of pancreas with normal pancreas elastase levels. Criteria for type 1 or type 2 diabetes were not fulfilled, therefore a next generation sequencing (NGS) panel was performed. A novel heterozygous pathogenic GATA6 mutation (p.Tyr235Ter) was identified. The GATA6 variant was not detected in her parents, implying that the mutation had arisen de novo in the proband. Conclusion: Rarely GATA6 mutations can cause adult onset diabetes. This report highlights the importance of screening the GATA6 gene in patients with adult-onset diabetes, congenital cardiac defects and pancreatic agenesis with no first-degree family history of diabetes. It also emphasizes the importance of genetic counselling in these patients as future offspring will be at risk of inheriting the variant and developing GATA6 anomalies.
  • What GDPR and the Health Research Regulations (HRRs) mean for Ireland: a research perspective.

    Mee, Blanaid; Kirwan, Mary; Clarke, Niamh; Tanaka, Aoife; Manaloto, Lino; Halpin, Emma; Gibbons, Una; Cullen, Ann; McGarrigle, Sarah; Connolly, Elisabeth M; et al. (2020-07-29)
    Background: Irish Health Research Regulations (HRRs) were introduced following the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. The HRRs described specific supplementary regulatory requirements for research regarding governance, processes and procedure that impact on several facets of research. The numerous problems that the HRRs and particularly "explicit consent" inadvertently created were presented under the auspices of the Irish Academy of Medical Sciences (IAMS) on November 25, 2019, at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Aims: The objective of this review was to obtain feedback and to examine the impact of GDPR and the HRRs on health research in Ireland in order to determine whether the preliminary feedback, presented at the IAMS meetings, was reflected at a national level. Methods: Individuals from the research community were invited to provide feedback on the impact, if any, of the HRRs on health research. Retrospective patient recruitment and consent outside a hospital setting for a multi-institutional Breast Predict study (funded by the Irish Cancer Society) were also analysed. Results: Feedback replicated the issues presented at the IAMS with additional concerns identified. Only 20% of the original target population (n = 1987) could be included in the Breast Predict study. Conclusions: Our results confirm that the HRRs have had a significantly negative impact on health research in Ireland. Urgent meaningful engagement between patient advocate groups, the research community and legislators would help ameliorate these impacts.
  • A retrospective review of the contribution of rare diseases to paediatric mortality in Ireland.

    Gunne, Emer; McGarvey, Cliona; Hamilton, Karina; Treacy, Eileen; Lambert, Deborah M; Lynch, Sally Ann; Children's Health Ireland, Temple Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (2020-11-04)
    Aims: To ascertain the number of paediatric deaths (0-14 years) with an underlying rare disease in the Republic of Ireland between the years 2006-2016, and to analyse bed usage by a paediatric cohort of rare disease inpatients prior to in-hospital death. Background: Rare diseases are often chronically debilitating and sometimes life-threatening diseases, with the majority (69.9%) of rare diseases being of paediatric onset. The Orphanet database contains information on 6172 unique rare diseases. Under-representation of rare diseases in hospital healthcare coding systems leads to a paucity of rare disease epidemiological data required for healthcare planning. Studies have cited variable incidence rates for rare disease, however the burden of rare diseases to healthcare services still remains unclear. This study represents a thorough effort to identify the percentage of child mortality and paediatric bed usage attributable to rare diseases in the Republic of Ireland, thus addressing a major gap in the rare disease field. Methods: Retrospective analysis of paediatric death registration details for the Republic of Ireland in the 11-year period 2006-2016 from the National Paediatric Mortality Register. Data was subcategorised as Neonatal (0-28 days), Post Neonatal (29 days < 1 year) and older (1-14 years). Bed usage data (ICD-10 code, narrative and usage) of paediatric inpatients who died during hospitalisation from January 2015 to December 2016 was extracted from the National Quality Assurance Improvement System of in-patient data. Orphacodes were assigned to rare disease cases from ICD-10 codes or diagnostic narrative of both datasets. Results: There were 4044 deaths registered from 2006-2016, aged < 15 years, of these 2368 (58.6%) had an underlying rare disease. Stratifying by age group; 55.6% (1140/2050) of neonatal deaths had a rare disease, 57.8% (450/778) post-neonatal, and 64% (778/1216) of children aged 1-14 years. Mortality coding using ICD-10 codes identified 42% of rare disease cases with the remainder identified using death certificate narrative records. Rare disease patients occupied 87% of bed days used by children < 15 years who died during hospitalisation from January 2015 to December 2016. Conclusion: Additional routine rare disease coding is necessary to identify rare diseases within Irish healthcare systems to enable better healthcare planning. Rare disease patients are overrepresented in paediatric mortality statistics and in-patient length of stay during hospital admission prior to death.
  • Application of the critical incident technique in refining a realist initial programme theory.

    Cunningham, U; De Brún, A; McAuliffe, E (2020-05-26)
    Background: As realist methodology is still evolving, there is a paucity of guidance on how to conduct theory driven interviews. Realist researchers can therefore struggle to collect interview data that can make a meaningful contribution to refining their initial programme theory. Collecting data to inform realist Inital Programme Theories (IPTs) in healthcare contexts is further compounded due to the healthcare workers' busy work schedules. In this case study of team interventions in acute hospital contexts, we explore the benefits of using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT) in order to build and refine an initial programme theory. We contend that use of the CIT helps to draw on more specific experiences of "Key Informants" and therefore elicits richer and more relevant data for realist enquiry. Methods: The five steps of the CIT were mapped against realist methods guidance and adapted into an interview framework. Specifications to identify an incident as "critical" were agreed. Probes were embedded in the interview framework to confirm, refine and/or refute previous theories. Seventeen participants were interviewed and recordings were transcribed and imported for analysis into NVivo software. Using RAMESES guidelines, Context-Mechanism-Outcomes configurations were extrapolated from a total of 31 incidents. Results: We found that the CIT facilitated construction of an interview format that allowed participants to reflect on specific experiences of interest. We demonstrate how the CIT strengthened initial programme theory development as it facilitated the reporting of the specifics of team interventions and the contexts and mechanisms characteristic of those experiences. As new data emerged, it was possible to evolve previous theories synthesised from the literature as well as to explore new theories. Conclusions: Utilising a CIT framework paid dividends in terms of the relevance and usefulness of the data for refining the initial programme theory. Adapting the CIT questioning technique helped to focus the participants on the specifics relating to an incident allowing the interviewers to concentrate on probes to explore theories during the interview process. The CIT interview format therefore achieved its purpose and can be adapted for use within realist methodology.
  • Gait speed, cognition and falls in people living with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer disease: data from NILVAD.

    Dyer, Adam H; Lawlor, Brian; Kennelly, Sean P (2020-03-30)
    Background: Previous evidence suggests that slower gait speed is longitudinally associated with cognitive impairment, dementia and falls in older adults. Despite this, the longitudinal relationship between gait speed, cognition and falls in those with a diagnosis of dementia remains poorly explored. We sought to assess this longitudinal relationship in a cohort of older adults with mild to-moderate Alzheimer Disease (AD). Methods: Analysis of data from NILVAD, an 18-month randomised-controlled trial of Nilvadipine in mild to moderate AD. We examined: (i) the cross-sectional (baseline) association between slow gait speed and cognitive function, (ii) the relationship between baseline slow gait speed and cognitive function at 18 months (Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale, Cognitive Subsection: ADAS-Cog), (iii) the relationship between baseline cognitive function and incident slow gait speed at 18 months and finally (iv) the relationship of baseline slow gait speed and incident falls over the study period. Results: Overall, one-tenth (10.03%, N = 37/369) of participants with mild-to-moderate AD met criteria for slow gait speed at baseline and a further 14.09% (N = 52/369) developed incident slow gait speed at 18 months. At baseline, there was a significant association between poorer cognition and slow gait speed (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01-1.09, p = 0.025). Whilst there was no association between baseline slow gait speed and change in ADAS-Cog score at 18 months, a greater cognitive severity at baseline predicted incident slow gait speed over 18 months (OR 1.04, 1.01-1.08, p = 0.011). Further, slow gait speed at baseline was associated with a significant risk of incident falls over the study period, which persisted after covariate adjustment (IRR 3.48, 2.05-5.92, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Poorer baseline cognition was associated with both baseline and incident slow gait speed. Slow gait speed was associated with a significantly increased risk of falls over the study period. Our study adds further evidence to the complex relationship between gait and cognition in this vulnerable group and highlights increased falls risk in older adults with AD and slow gait speed.
  • A risk score for prediction of venous thromboembolism in gynecologic cancer: The Thrombogyn score.

    Norris, Lucy A; Ward, Mark P; O'Toole, Sharon A; Marchocki, Zibi; Ibrahim, Nadia; Khashan, Ali S; Abu Saadeh, Feras; Gleeson, Noreen (2020-05-28)
    Background: Gynecologic cancers are associated with high rates of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which is exacerbated by pelvic surgery and chemotherapy. Objectives: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a risk score for VTE in patients with gynecologic cancer and to test the predictive ability of the score following addition of procoagulant biomarker data. Patients and methods: Clinical and laboratory variables were used to develop a risk score for the prediction of VTE in patients with gynecological cancer (n = 616), which was validated in a separate cohort of patients (n = 406). Endogenous thrombin potential and D-dimer levels were determined in a subset (n = 290) of patients and used to produce an extended score in the validation cohort. Results: Multivariable regression analysis identified BMI >30, hemoglobin <11.5 g/dL and chemotherapy as independent predictors of VTE, which formed the Thrombogyn score. Following competing risk regression analysis, subdistribution hazard ratios (SHRs), adjusted for cancer stage, were 8.16 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.69-43.77) in the high-risk group (score = 2-3) and 4.12 (95% CI, 0.85-20.15) in the intermediate-risk group (score = 1) compared with the low-risk group (score = 0). SHRs for the validation cohort were 6.26 (95% CI, 1.24-31.39) and 3.00 (95% CI, 0.67-13.32), respectively. Cumulative incidence of VTE in the validation cohort high-risk group was 10.34% (95% CI, 6.51-16.41) per women-years compared with 1.06% (95% CI, 0.26-4.26) in the low-risk group. Using the extended Thrombogyn score, adjusted SHRs were 16.83 (95% CI, 4.20-67.37) in the high-risk group with a cumulative incidence of 21.15% (95% CI, 10.32-45.24). External validation of the score is required. Conclusions: The Thrombogyn score identifies patients with gynecologic cancer at high and low risk of VTE. Addition of biomarker data improves the predictive power of the score.
  • Propylthiouracil-induced antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis and agranulocytosis in a patient with Graves' disease.

    Tomkins, Maria; Tudor, Roxana Maria; Smith, Diarmuid; Agha, Amar (2020-01-08)
    Summary: This case is the first to describe a patient who experienced concomitant agranulocytosis and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis as an adverse effect of propylthiouracil treatment for Graves' disease. A 42-year-old female with Graves' disease presented to the emergency department (ED) with a 2-week history of fevers, night sweats, transient lower limb rash, arthralgia, myalgia and fatigue. She had been taking propylthiouracil for 18 months prior to presentation. On admission, agranulocytosis was evident with a neutrophil count of 0.36 × 109/L and immediately propylthiouracil was stopped. There was no evidence of active infection and the patient was treated with broad-spectrum antibodies and one dose of granulocyte colony-stimulation factor, resulting in a satisfactory response. On further investigation, ANCAs were positive with dual positivity for proteinase 3 and myeloperoxidase. There was no evidence of end-organ damage secondary to vasculitis, and the patient's constitutional symptoms resolved completely on discontinuation of the drug precluding the need for immunosuppressive therapy. Learning points: Continued vigilance and patient education regarding the risk of antithyroid drug-induced agranulocytosis is vital throughout the course of treatment. ANCA-associated vasculitis is a rare adverse effect of antithyroid drug use. Timely discontinuation of the offending drug is vital in reducing end-organ damage and the need for immunosuppressive therapy in drug-induced ANCA-associated vasculitis. Similarities in the pathogenesis of agranulocytosis and drug-induced ANCA-associated vasculitis may offer insight into an improved understanding of vasculitis and agranulocytosis.
  • Does CT Reduce the Rate of Negative Laparoscopies for Acute Appendicitis? A Single-Center Retrospective Study.

    Wagner, Pedro de J; Haroon, Muthana; Morarasu, Stefan; Eguare, Emmanuel; Al-Sahaf, Osama (2020-01)
    In surgical practice, surgeons request CT scans to rule out acute appendicitis, even in young patients. We aimed to assess the feasibility of using a CT scan to reduce the rate of negative laparoscopies in patients younger than 40 with equivocal signs of acute appendicitis. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective observational study on the patients admitted with a provisional diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Patients younger than 40 and with the Alvarado score between 3 and 6 were included. These were divided into two groups: those who had or did not have a CT scan. Each group was further subdivided into patients that had a laparoscopy and those that did not. Out of 204 patients included in the study, 16% were included in the CT group, and 84% in the non-CT group. 71.9% of the patients that underwent a CT scan had appendicitis and underwent an appendectomy. Five patients with a normal CT scan had appendectomy due to persistent signs of acute appendicitis. The histopathology of the 23 patients with positive CT was positive, and 3 of the 5 patients with negative CT that underwent appendectomy had positive histology results. The negative appendectomy rate for patients that had preoperative CT is 7.14% compared to 32.4% in patients without preoperative CT. The rate of negative laparoscopy in patients younger than 40 years old that undergo preoperative CT is significantly lower with a p-value of .00667.
  • Technical challenges and potential solutions for rectal and sigmoid tumours following previous radiation for prostate malignancy: A case series.

    Hannan, Enda; Ryan, Jessica; Toomey, Desmond (2020-07-16)
    Introduction: The aftermath of pelvic radiotherapy for prostate cancer (PC) can pose a significant challenge for surgeons in the management of rectal and sigmoid tumours, resulting in extensive fibrosis and difficult anatomy. Higher rates of ureteric injuries and anastomotic leakage following anterior resection (AR) have been reported with no clear consensus for an optimal approach. We present three cases, each employing a different surgical approach tailored to the individual patient-specific and disease-specific factors. Presentation of case: In each case, the patient had active radiation proctitis. Case 1 was a T3 rectal cancer 9 cm from the anal verge. A non-restorative procedure was performed with a permanent end colostomy, due to the extensive pelvic fibrosis encountered in a comorbid patient. In case 2, a large rectal polyp at 12 cm from the anal verge was managed using transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) with a covering loop ileostomy. In case 3, an elderly patient with dementia with a malignant sigmoid polyp underwent a segmental resection rather than standard oncological resection, thus avoiding either a stoma or rectal anastomosis in the context of active radiation proctitis. All three patients remain well at follow-up with no evidence of recurrence. Discussion: All three cases demonstrate an individualised approach, taking into account specific factors relating to both patient and disease. In all cases, the presence of active chronic radiation proctitis meant that primary colorectal anastomosis was not safe, thus, alternative approaches were taken. Conclusion: It is essential to tailor treatment according to patient-specific and disease-specific factors.
  • Conservative management of complete traumatic pancreatic body transection; A case report.

    Duggan, W; Hannan, E; Brosnan, C; O'Sullivan, S; Conlon, K (2020-05-21)
    Introduction: Isolated pancreatic body transection secondary to blunt abdominal trauma is a very rare injury associated with poor outcomes. Almost all previously reported cases were managed by emergency distal pancreatectomy, which is associated with high morbidity and mortality. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of complete transection of the pancreas at the body that was successfully treated by conservative management in an adult patient. Presentation of case: A 19-year-old male was found to have complete transection of the pancreatic body on computed tomography (CT) following blunt force abdominal trauma. Given that he was haemodynamically stable without evidence of haemorrhage or bile leakage on imaging, a trial of conservative management was initiated. He remained well through his admission, gradually improving clinically and biochemically with stable appearances on serial imaging. He remains asymptomatic as of six months since discharge from the hospital and continues to be monitored in the outpatient setting. Discussion: Management of pancreatic trauma with ductal injury has typically been with emergency distal pancreatectomy, which is associated with high morbidity and mortality. The decision to operate should not be purely based on radiological findings, and should take into account clinical status, haemodynamic stability, coexisting injuries and evidence of active haemorrhage or bile leak. Conclusion: In select cases, it is reasonable to trial conservative management in isolated traumatic pancreatic body fracture by means of close clinical observation and serial imaging. This may allow the patient to avoid a high-risk emergency distal pancreatectomy.
  • Development and relative validation of a short food frequency questionnaire for assessing dietary intakes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients.

    Bredin, Carla; Naimimohasses, Sara; Norris, Suzanne; Wright, Ciara; Hancock, Neil; Hart, Kathryn; Moore, J Bernadette (2019-02-25)
    Fifty-five patients completed both the SFFQ and the 4DDD within 30 weeks; 42 (76%) were diagnosed with simple steatosis, whereas 13 (24%) had biopsy-proven steatohepatitis; the majority were overweight or obese, with a median (25th; 75th percentile) BMI of 33.2 kg/m2 (29.3; 36.0). Reported energy intakes were well below EER with a median intake of 73% of requirements, suggesting widespread under-reporting. Significant correlations were observed between sugar (r = 0.408, P = 0.002), fat (r = 0.44, P = 0.001), fruits (r = 0.51, P = 0.0001) and vegetables (r = 0.40, P = 0.0024) measurements by the SFFQ and 4DDD. Bland Altman plots with regression analysis demonstrated broad comparability with the 4DDD for intakes of fat (bias - 13.8 g/day) and sugar (bias  + 12.9 g/day).
  • Endovascular flow-diversion of visceral and renal artery aneurysms using dual-layer braided nitinol carotid stents.

    van Veenendaal, Penelope; Maingard, Julian; Kok, Hong Kuan; Ranatunga, Dinesh; Buckenham, Tim; Chandra, Ronil V; Lee, Michael J; Brooks, Duncan Mark; Asadi, Hamed (2020-06-28)
    Background: Visceral and renal artery aneurysms (VRAAs) are uncommon but are associated with a high mortality rate in the event of rupture. Endovascular treatment is now first line in many centres, but preservation of arterial flow may be difficult in unfavourable anatomy including wide necked aneurysms, parent artery tortuosity and proximity to arterial bifurcations. Endovascular stenting, and in particular flow-diversion, is used in neurovascular intervention to treat intracranial aneurysms but is less often utilised in the treatment of VRAAs. The CASPER stent is a low profile dual-layer braided nitinol stent designed for carotid stenting with embolic protection and flow-diversion properties. We report the novel use of the CASPER stent for the treatment of VRAAs. We present a case series describing the treatment of six patients with VRAAs using the CASPER stent. Results: Six patients with unruptured VRAAs were treated electively. There were three splenic artery aneurysms and three renalartery aneurysms. Aneurysms were treated with the CASPER stent, with or without loose aneurysm coil packing or liquid embolic depending on size and morphology. All stents were successfully deployed with no immediate or periprocedural complications. Four aneurysms completely occluded after serial imaging follow up with one case requiring repeat CASPER stenting for complete occlusion. In one patient a single aneurysm remained patent at last follow up, A single case was complicated by delated splenic infarction and surgical splenectomy.
  • Initial Assessment of the Percutaneous Electrical Phrenic Nerve Stimulation System in Patients on Mechanical Ventilation.

    O'Rourke, James; Soták, Michal; Curley, Gerard F; Doolan, Aoife; Henlín, Tomáš; Mullins, Gerard; Tyll, Tomáš; Omlie, William; Ranieri, Marco V (2020-05)
    Objectives: Maintaining diaphragm work using electrical stimulation during mechanical ventilation has been proposed to attenuate ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction. This study assessed the safety and feasibility of temporary percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation on user-specified inspiratory breaths while on mechanical ventilation. Design: Two-center, nonblinded, nonrandomized study. Setting: Hospital ICU. Patients: Twelve patients mechanically ventilated from 48 hours to an expected 7 days. Interventions: Leads were inserted to lie close to the phrenic nerve in the neck region using ultrasound guidance. Two initial patients had left-sided placement only with remaining patients undergoing bilateral lead placement. Percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation was used for six 2-hour sessions at 8-hour intervals over 48 hours. Measurements and main results: Data collected included lead deployment success, nerve conduction, ventilation variables, work of breathing, electrical stimulation variables, stimulation breath synchrony, and diaphragm thickness measured by ultrasound at baseline, 24, and 48 hours. Primary endpoints included ability to capture the left and/or right phrenic nerves and maintenance of work of breathing within defined limits for 80% of stimulated breaths. Lead insertion was successful in 21 of 22 attempts (95.5%). Analysis of 36,059 stimulated breaths from 10 patients with attempted bilateral lead placement demonstrated a mean inspiratory lag for phrenic nerve stimulation of 23.7 ms (p < 0.001 vs null hypothesis of <88ms). Work of breathing was maintained between 0.2 and 2.0 joules/L 96.8% of the time, exceeding the 80% target. Mean diaphragm thickness increased from baseline by 7.8% at 24 hours (p = 0.022) and 15.0% at 48 hours (p = 0.0001) for patients receiving bilateral stimulation after excluding one patient with pleural effusion. No serious device/procedure-related adverse events were reported. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated the ability to safely and successfully place percutaneous electrical phrenic nerve stimulation leads in patients on mechanical ventilation and the feasibility of using this approach to synchronize electrical stimulation with inspiration while maintaining work of breathing within defined limits.
  • Technical outcome of atlantoaxial transarticular screw fixation without supplementary posterior construct for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Thomas, Philip; Amoo, Michael; Horan, Jack; Husien, Mohammed Ben; Cawley, Derek; Nagaria, Jabir; Bolger, Ciaran (2020-07-11)
    Background: transarticular screw (TAS) fixation without a supplementary posterior construct, even in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, provides sufficient stability with acceptable clinical results. Here, we present our experience with 15 RA patients who underwent atlantoaxial (AA) TAS fixation without utilizing a supplementary posterior fusion. Methods: To treat AA instability, all 15 RA patients underwent C1-C2 TAS fixation without a supplementary posterior construct. Patients were followed for at least 24 months. Pre- and postoperative sagittal measures of C1- C2, C2-C7, and C1-C7 angles, atlanto-dens interval (ADI), posterior atlanto-dens interval (PADI), and adjacent segment (i.e., C2-C3) anterior disc height (ADH) were retrospectively recorded from lateral X-ray imaging. The presence or absence of superior migration of the odontoid (SMO), cervical subaxial subluxation, C1-C2 bony fusion, screw pull-out, and screw breakage were also noted. Results: There was little difference between the pre- and postoperative studies regarding angles measured. Following TAS fixation, the mean ADI shortened, and mean PADI lengthened. There was no difference in the mean measures of C2-C3 ADH. There was no evidence of SMO pre- or postoperatively. Two patients developed anterior subluxation at C5-C6; one of the two also developed anterior subluxation at C2-C3. All patients subsequently showed C1-C2 bony fusion without screw pull-out or breakage. Conclusion: In RA patients who have undergone C1-C2 TAS fixation, eliminating a supplementary posterior fusion resulted in adequate stability.
  • Editorial: Cardiovascular Adjustments and Adaptations to Exercise: From the Athlete to the Patient.

    Crisafulli, Antonio; Piepoli, Massimo F; Thijssen, Dick; Bassareo, Pier Paolo (2020-02-27)
  • Fertility-sparing treatment in early endometrial cancer: current state and future strategies.

    Obermair, Andreas; Baxter, Eva; Brennan, Donal J; McAlpine, Jessica N; Muellerer, Jennifer J; Amant, Frédéric; van Gent, Mignon D J M; Coleman, Robert L; Westin, Shannon N; Yates, Melinda S; et al. (2020-07-08)
    Endometrial cancer (EC) is the fifth most common cancer in women worldwide. Global estimates show rising incidence rates in both developed and developing countries. Most women are diagnosed postmenopausal, but 14-25% of patients are premenopausal and 5% are under 40 years of age. Established risk factors include age and hyperestrogenic status associated with nulliparity, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Standard treatment for EC, which involves total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, has excellent survival outcomes, particularly for low-grade endometrioid tumors. However, it leads to permanent loss of fertility among women who wish to preserve their reproductive potential. With current trends of reproductive-age women delaying childbearing, rising EC incidence rates, and a growing epidemic of obesity, particularly in developed countries, research on conservative non-surgical treatment approaches remains a top priority. Fertility-sparing treatment predominantly involves the use of oral progestins and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine devices, which have been shown to be feasible and safe in women with early stage EC and minimal or no myometrial invasion. However, data on the efficacy and safety of conservative management strategies are primarily based on retrospective studies. Randomized clinical trials in younger women and high-risk obese patients are currently underway. Here, we have presented a comprehensive review of the current literature on conservative, fertility-sparing approaches, defining the optimal candidates and evaluating tumor characteristics, reproductive and oncologic outcomes, and ongoing clinical trials. We have also summarized current guidelines and recommendations based on the published literature.
  • Determinants of healthcare seeking for childhood illnesses among caregivers of under-five children in urban slums in Malawi: a population-based cross-sectional study.

    Lungu, Edgar Arnold; Darker, Catherine; Biesma, Regien (2020-01-17)
    Background: There is considerable evidence that health systems, in so far as they ensure access to healthcare, promote population health even independent of other determinants. Access to child health services remains integral to improving child health outcomes. Cognisant that improvements in child health have been unevenly distributed, it is imperative that health services and research focus on the disadvantaged groups. Children residing in urban slums are known to face a health disadvantage that is masked by the common view of an urban health advantage. Granted increasing urbanisation rates and proliferation of urban slums resulting from urban poverty, the health of under-five children in slums remains a public health imperative in Malawi. We explored determinants of healthcare-seeking from a biomedical health provider for childhood symptoms of fever, cough with fast breathing and diarrhoea in three urban slums of Lilongwe, Malawi. Methods: This was a population-based cross-sectional study involving 543 caregivers of under-five children. Data on childhood morbidity and healthcare seeking in three months period were collected using face-to-face interviews guided by a validated questionnaire. Data were entered in CS-Pro 5.0 and analysed in SPSS version 20 using descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses. Results: 61% of caregivers sought healthcare albeit 53% of them sought healthcare late. Public health facilities constituted the most frequently used health providers. Healthcare was more likely to be sought: for younger than older under-five children (AOR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.30-0.99); when illness was perceived to be severe (AOR = 2.40; 95% CI: 1.34-4.30); when the presenting symptom was fever (AOR = 1.77; 95% CI: 1.10-2.86). Home management of childhood illness was negatively associated with care-seeking (AOR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.36-0.81) and timely care-seeking (AOR = 0.44; 95% CI: 0.2-0.74). Caregivers with good knowledge of child danger signs were less likely to seek care timely (AOR = 0.57; 95% CI: 0.33-0.99). Conclusions: Even in the context of geographical proximity to healthcare services, caregivers in urban slums may not seek healthcare or when they do so the majority may not undertake timely healthcare care seeking. Factors related to the child, the type of illness, and the caregiver are central to the healthcare decision making dynamics. Improving access to under-five child health services therefore requires considering multiple factors.
  • Letter to the editor: HIV in women in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region.

    Aebi-Popp, Karoline; Mulcahy, Fiona; Gilleece, Yvonne; On Behalf Of Wave (2020-01-30)

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