• Haematinic Deficiency and Macrocytosis in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

      McNamee, Therese; Hyland, Trish; Harrington, Janas; Cadogan, Sharon; Honari, Bahman; Perera, Kanthi; Fitzgerald, Anthony P.; Perry, Ivan J.; Cahill, Mary R.; Collins, James F. (2013-11-07)
      Objective To assess the prevalence and determinants of haematinic deficiency (lack of B12 folate or iron) and macrocytosis in blood from a national population-based study of middle-aged and older adults. Methods A cross-sectional study involving 1,207 adults aged ≥45 years, recruited from a sub-study of the Irish National Survey of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition (SLÁN 2007). Participants completed a health and lifestyle questionnaire and a standard food frequency questionnaire. Non-fasting blood samples were obtained for measurement of full blood count and expert morphological assessment, serum ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor assay (sTfR), B12, folate and coeliac antibodies. Blood samples were also assayed for thyroid function (T4, TSH), liver function, aminotransferase (AST) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT). Results The overall prevalence (95% C.I.) of anaemia (Hb <13.5g/dl men and 11.3 g/dl women) was 4.6% (2.9%–6.4%) in men and 1.0% (0.2%–1.9%) in women. Iron deficiency (ferritin <17ng/ml men and <11ng/ml in women) was detected in 6.3% of participants (3.7% in males and 8.7% in females, p<0.001). Based on both low ferritin and raised sTfR (>21nmol/ml) only 2.3% were iron-deficient. 3.0% and 2.7% were found to have low levels of serum folate (<2.3ng/ml) and serum B12 (<120ng/l) respectively. Clinically significant macrocytosis (MCV>99fl) was detected in 8.4% of subjects. Strong, significant and independent associations with macrocytosis were observed for lower social status, current smoking status, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, elevated GGT levels, deficiency of folate and vitamin B12, hypothyroidism and coeliac disease. The population attributable fraction (PAF) for macrocytosis associated with elevated GGT (25.0%) and smoking (24.6%) was higher than for excess alcohol intake (6.3%), folate deficiency (10.5%) or vitamin B12 (3.4%). Conclusions Haematinic deficiency and macrocytosis are common in middle-aged/older adults in Ireland. Macrocytosis is more likely to be attributable to an elevated GGT and smoking than vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.
    • Haematuria: an imaging guide.

      Moloney, Fiachra; Murphy, Kevin P; Twomey, Maria; O'Connor, Owen J; Maher, Michael M; Department of Radiology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2014)
      This paper discusses the current status of imaging in the investigation of patients with haematuria. The physician must rationalize imaging so that serious causes such as malignancy are promptly diagnosed while at the same time not exposing patients to unnecessary investigations. There is currently no universal agreement about the optimal imaging work up of haematuria. The choice of modality to image the urinary tract will depend on individual patient factors such as age, the presence of risk factors for malignancy, renal function, a history of calculus disease and pregnancy, and other factors, such as local policy and practice, cost effectiveness and availability of resources. The role of all modalities, including conventional radiography, intravenous urography/excretory urography, ultrasonography, retrograde pyelography, multidetector computed tomography urography (MDCTU), and magnetic resonance urography, is discussed. This paper highlights the pivotal role of MDCTU in the imaging of the patient with haematuria and discusses issues specific to this modality including protocol design, imaging of the urothelium, and radiation dose. Examination protocols should be tailored to the patient while all the while optimizing radiation dose.
    • Have we stopped looking for a red reflex in newborn screening?

      Sotomi, O; Ryan, C A; O'Connor, G; Murphy, B P; Unified Maternity and Neonatal Services, and Department of Paediatrics & Child, Health, Cork University Hospital. (2012-02-03)
      Best medical evidence indicates that surgical treatment of significant congenital cataracts is required within the first 3 months of life for optimal visual outcome. The aim of the present study was to review when the diagnosis of congenital cataracts was made in our region, by whom it was made, and the visual outcome at 2 years of age or more. This was a retrospective study in a region with a population of 546,000 and approximately 8500 births per annum, served by a single Regional Ophthalmology centre. All children under 15 years, diagnosed with Congenital Cataract over a 10-year period (1991-2002), were identified using the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry [HIPE] database. Children with cataract(s) from infancy from a congenital cause and those first presenting outside infancy but with salient clinical features indicating early cataract were included in the study. 27 cases of congenital and infantile cataract 15 (56%) males, 12 (44%) females were retrieved. 17 infants (63%) were diagnosed with bilateral disease, while the remainder were unilateral 10 (37%). Most of the cases 17 (63%) were diagnosed following presentation with parental/carer concerns about visual function (usually a squint). However only 2 of these 17 cases presented before 3 months of age. The remaining cases of congenital cataracts were diagnosed by general practitioners 8 (24%), paediatricians 4 (12%), ophthalmologists 3 (9%) or School Medical Officer (1, 3%). No case of congenital cataract was diagnosed by newborn screening examination. Six of 8 infants diagnosed with congenital cataracts before three months of age had a good visual outcome, (visual acuity < 6/24 at 2 years or more). In contrast only 3 of 19 cases who were diagnosed after 3 months of age had good visual outcomes. Despite their relative rarity, it is imperative that congenital cataracts are diagnosed and treated within 3 months of birth. The onus of diagnosis rests with newborn screening examiners at birth and with general practitioners at the 6-8 week checks. Parental concerns about a possible squint should be addressed by performing a red light reflex examination and urgent specialist ophthalmological referral if a flaw is detected.
    • Health-related quality of life in patients with skull base tumours.

      Kelleher, M O; Fernandes, M F; Sim, D W; O'Sullivan, M G; Department of Neurosurgery, Cork University Hospital, Cork, Eire, UK. (2012-02-03)
      The objective of the investigation was to report on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients diagnosed with skull base tumours using the Short Form Health Survey questionnaire (SF-36). Those patients suffering with vestibular schwannoma were examined to determine the effect facial nerve function had on their quality of life. It took place at the tertiary referral centre at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. A prospective study of 70 consecutive patients was taken, who harboured the following tumours: 54 vestibular schwannomas, 13 meningiomas, two haemangioblastomas and one hypoglossal schwannoma. Patients were interviewed using the short form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Facial nerve function was assessed in those patients who had vestibular schwannomas. The entire cohort of live skull base patients were assessed after a median follow-up time of 38.4 months. Patients with vestibular schwannoma treated conservatively with interval MRI had a quality of life similar to t he normal population. Those who underwent surgery had a significant difference in two of the SF-36 domains. No statistically significant correlation was found at final assessment between the degree of facial nerve functioning and any of the domains of SF-36. Patients with non-vestibular tumours had an impaired HRQoL in seven of the eight domains. Patients with skull base tumours have a significant impairment of their HRQoL. A conservative policy of follow up with interval MRI for patients with small vestibular schwannomas may therefore be more appropriate to preserve their HRQoL. Facial nerve outcome has little influence on quality of life in vestibular schwannoma patients.
    • Helicopter winchmens experiences with pain management in challenging environments

      Van Der Velde, J; Linehan, L; Cusack, S (Irish Medical Journal, 2013-02)
    • Hepatitis C virus liver disease in women infected with contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin.

      Sheehan, M M; Doyle, C T; Whelton, M; Kenny-Walsh, E; Department of Histopathology, Cork University Hospital, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      Screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is carried out by detection of antibodies to the virus (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA)) with confirmation by identification of HCV RNA genome in serum (polymerase chain reaction (PCR)). We describe the histological features on liver biopsy in 88 women with chronic HCV infection (serum positive on ELISA, RIBA and PCR) acquired from virus contaminated anti-D immunoglobulin. For the majority of these patients the time interval from virus infection to presentation was between 17 and 18 years. We separately assessed necroinflammatory disease activity and architectural features on liver biopsy and applied a scoring system which permitted semi-quantitative documentation of abnormal features. Only three women showed liver biopsies within normal limits (+/-focal steatosis). The remaining 85 cases showed a predominantly mild or moderate degree of disease activity with interface hepatitis (56.8% of cases), spotty necrosis, apoptosis and focal inflammation (88.6% of cases) and portal inflammation (90.9% of cases). Confluent necrosis was an uncommon finding (2.3% of cases). Assessment of architectural features showed normal appearance in 35.2% of biopsies. The predominant architectural abnormality noted was portal tract fibrosis. Ten per cent of cases, however, showed significant fibrous band and/or nodule formation.
    • Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Infection in Ireland

      Hickey, C; Spillane, D; Benson, J; Levis, J; Fanning, LJ; Cryan, B; Prentice, Michael B (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-09)
      Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a single stranded RNA virus causing infection worldwide. In developing countries HEV genotypes 1 and 2 spread faeco-orally via water. Recently, infections with HEV have been detected in Europe and North America in patients with no travel history. These are food-borne HEV genotypes 3 and 4, a pig-associated zoonosis. Most infections are asymptomatic but morbidity and chronic infection may occur with prior liver disease or immunosuppression. International seroprevalence rates vary and with improved diagnostics have increased. To determine the current prevalence in this region we studied anonymised serum samples submitted in 2015 for routine testing. We detected anti-HEV IgG in 16/198 (8%) individuals, highest rate in 40-59 year olds (43.8%). This is higher than reported for the same region in 1995 (0.4%) using a previous generation assay. This study provides evidence of HEV circulation in Ireland and reinforces the need for ongoing surveillance.
    • High Rates of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in Patients with New and Known Type 1 Diabetes over a Six-Year Period

      Finn, B.P.; Trayer, J.; Cronin, C.; O’Connell, S.M (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-03)
      Ireland is a high incidence country for type 1 diabetes (T1DM) with 28.8 newly diagnosed cases/100,000/year1. Patients with new onset T1DM frequently (15-70%) present with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)2,3,4,5. Lansdown et al found that 25% of children with new onset T1DM under 19 years of age presented in DKA in Wales between 1991 and 20096. The rates of DKA in known T1DM on an international stage remains significant- Austria and Germany (5%), Wales and England (6.4%) and the United States (7.1%)7. The aim of our study was to analyse all admissions with diabetic ketoacidosis to the regional paediatric diabetes centre at Cork University Hospital, over the past six years. Our objectives include assessing the proportion of patients with new and known T1DM, treatment modalities (e.g. pump/multiple daily injections), patient demographics, severity, length of stay and outcomes.
    • High-flow Nasal Cannulae, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia and Retinopathy of Prematurity

      Healy, L.I; Corcoran, P.; Murphy, B.P (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-09)
      To determine if HFNC use was associated with changes in incidence of BPD and ROP.
    • HIV positive: who do they tell?

      O'Connor, M B; O'Connor, C; Saunders, J A; Sheehan, C; Murphy, E; Horgan, M; Carr, A; Cooper, D A (2009-07)
    • Hodgkin's lymphoma with digital clubbing.

      Goodyer, Matthew J; Cronin, Marie-Claire; Ketsitlile, Dawn G; O'Reilly, Seamus P; Moylan, Eugene J; Maher, Michael M; Hogan, John M; Department of Medical Oncology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
    • Hodgkin's lymphoma with digital clubbing.

      Goodyer, Matthew J; Cronin, Marie-Claire; Ketsitlile, Dawn G; O'Reilly, Seamus P; Moylan, Eugene J; Maher, Michael M; Hogan, John M; Department of Medical Oncology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork, Ireland. (2009-09-10)
    • Hospital Acquired Thrombosis (HAT) Prevention in an Acute Hospital; A Single Centre Cross-Sectional Study

      Khan, MI; O’Leary, C; O’Brien, A; Lester, L; Silvari, V; Duggan, C; O’Shea, S (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-04)
      Evidence based guidelines are effective in reducing incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) which is associated with morbidly, mortality and economic burden. This study aimed to identify the proportion of inpatients who had a VTE risk assessment (RA) performed and who received thromboprophylaxis (TP), in Cork University Hospital. There was no structured RA tool at the time; information was obtained from medical and drug charts to ascertain if a RA was performed. Patients were then RA by researchers and stratified as per NICE guidelines and the proportion who received TP was calculated. One thousand and nineteen inpatients were screened. Risk was documented in 24% of cases. TP was prescribed in 43.2% of inpatients. Following application of a RA tool >80% were at high risk of VTE with low risk of bleeding with TP prescription in 46.3% of inpatients. A national collaborative effort should be encouraged to develop a standardized approach for safe RA of inpatients and prescription of TP for prevention of HAT
    • How much heparin do we really need to go on pump? A rethink of current practices.

      Shuhaibar, M N; Hargrove, M; Millat, M H; O'Donnell, A; Aherne, T; Cork University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. msampca@msn.com (2012-02-03)
      OBJECTIVES: Patients undergoing myocardial revascularisation using extracorporeal circulation require heparin anticoagulation. We aimed to evaluate the effect of reducing heparin dosage on target activated clotting time (ACT) and postoperative blood loss. METHODS: In a prospective randomised trial, 195 patients undergoing isolated primary CABG were randomised into four groups A, B, C, and D receiving an initial heparin dosage of 100, 200, 250 and 300 iu/kg, respectively. Extra incremental heparin (50 iu/kg) was added if required to achieve a target ACT of 480 s before initiating cardiopulmonary bypass. Postoperative blood loss was measured from the time of heparin reversal to drain removal 24h later. RESULTS: Target ACT was achieved in 0, 63, 68.3 and 82.4% of patients in groups A, B, C and D, respectively, after the initial dose of heparin. In group B, of those not achieving target act a single increment of heparin was sufficient to achieve target ACT in further 18.6%. The mean ACT after the initial dose in groups B, C and D was 482.9, 519 and 588 s, respectively (P<0.05). Postoperative blood loss in millilitre per kilogram was directly proportional to preoperative heparin dose. CONCLUSIONS: Patients receiving lower dose of heparin has lower postoperative blood loss. Of those achieving the target ACT, group B was significantly the closest to the target ACT. A starting dose of 200 iu/kg of heparin and if necessary one 50 iu/kg increment achieved target ACT in 81.5% of patients. The added benefit of significant drop in postoperative blood loss is evident.
    • How to work up a patient with polyneuropathy?

      Renganathan, R; Atkinson, A; McNamara, B; Department of Neurophysiology, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork. howrurenga@yahoo.com (2009-01)
      Undiagnosed and untreated neuropathy may lead to disability and poor quality of life. Ordering every possible test to find the cause of polyneuropathy can waste time and resources. In this study, we investigated what could be used as a routine neuropathy screen. A retrospective audit of all charts of patients diagnosed to have polyneuropathy by nerve conduction studies from November 2001 to November 2002 were carried out. Demographics, background history, type of neuropathy and investigations done were documented. The charts of 61 patients were audited. 12 patients had a background history of diabetes mellitus. 2 patients had history of alcohol abuse. 23 patients presented with paraesthesia and 33 with weakness of limbs. We found a cause of polyneuropathy in 79% of cases. In most patients with polyneuropathy where a cause can be identified, this can be achieved by the medical history, neurological examination, nerve conduction studies and the baseline blood tests. We suggest a 3-step approach to the diagnostic workup of polyneuropathy.
    • HPV vaccination in Ireland.

      O'Connor, M B; O'Connor, C (2009-12)
    • The HPV vaccine for men.

      O'Connor, M B; O'Connor, C (2009-04)
    • Human intravenous immunoglobulin and its traceability.

      Nolan, D; O'Connor, M B; Lynch, D; Breen, K (2009-05)
    • Human Mycobacterium bovis infection in the south-west of Ireland 1983-1992: a comparison with M. tuberculosis.

      Cotter, T P; O'Shaughnessy, E; Sheehan, S; Cryan, B; Bredin, C P; Dept. of Respiratory Medicine, Cork University Hospital, Ireland. (2012-02-03)
      Epidemiological and bacteriological aspects of human Mycobacterium bovis disease were investigated in south-west Ireland (counties Cork & Kerry, population 536,000) over the years 1983-92 inclusive and compared to M. tuberculosis. Results showed a small, stable incidence of culture positive M. bovis human disease, mean annual incidence 0.56 per 100,000 population compared to a higher but declining incidence of culture positive M. tuberculosis (15.3 per 100,000 in 1983, 9.0 per 100,000 in 1992). Male patients were the majority, 63.4 per cent of M. bovis; 62.4% of M. tuberculosis (p = 0.03). Fifty three per cent of M. bovis cases (n = 30) were pulmonary, compared to 85% of M. tuberculosis (n = 626; p = 0.0001). M. bovis patients were older (p = 0.02), mean age 58.4 years (SD 18.9) compared to 48.5 (SD 22.2). The mycobacterial smear positive rate was similar in both groups taken as a whole. No rural-urban difference in incidence was found in either disease, suggesting in the case of M. bovis initial infection in childhood via contaminated milk in the pre-pasteurisation era.