• Duplex ultrasound in aneurysm surveillance following endovascular aneurysm repair: a comparison with computed tomography aortography.

      Manning, Brian J; O'Neill, Sean M; Haider, Syed N; Colgan, Mary P; Madhavan, Prakash; Moore, Dermot J; Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, St James Hospital, Dublin,, Ireland. brianjmanning@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVES: Cumulative radiation dose, cost, and increased demand for computed tomography aortography (CTA) suggest that duplex ultrasonography (DU) may be an alternative to CTA-based surveillance. We compared CTA with DU during endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) follow-up. METHODS: Patients undergoing EVAR had clinical and radiological follow-up data entered in a prospectively maintained database. For the purpose of this study, the gold standard test for endoleak detection was CTA, and an endoleak detected on DU alone was assumed to be a false positive result. DU interpretation was performed independently of CTA and vice versa. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-two patients underwent EVAR, of whom 117 attended for follow-up ranging from six months to nine years (mean, 32 months). Adequate aneurysm sac visualisation on DU was not possible in 1.7% of patients, predominantly due to obesity. Twenty-eight endoleaks were detected in 28 patients during follow-up. Of these, 24 were initially identified on DU (four false negative DU examinations), and eight had at least one negative CTA with a positive DU prior to diagnosis. Twenty-three endoleaks were type II in nature and three of these patients had increased sac size. There was one type I and four type III endoleaks. Two of these (both type III) had an increased sac size. Of 12 patients with increased aneurysm size of 5 mm or more at follow-up, five had an endoleak visible on DU, yet negative CTA and a further five had endoleak visualisation on both DU and CTA. Of six endoleaks which underwent re-intervention, all were initially picked up on DU. One of these endoleaks was never demonstrated on CTA and a further two had at least one negative CTA prior to endoleak confirmation. Positive predictive value for DU was 45% and negative predictive value 94%. Specificity of DU for endoleak detection was 67% when compared with CTA, because of the large number of false positive DU results. Sensitivity for DU was 86%, with all clinically significant endoleaks demonstrated on CTA also detected on DU. CONCLUSION: Despite its low positive predictive value, we found DU to be a sensitive test for the detection of clinically significant endoleaks. Given concerns about cumulative radiation exposure and cost, and the surprisingly low sensitivity of CTA for endoleak detection in this series, selective CTA based on DU surveillance may be a more appropriate long-term strategy.
    • Molecular detection and confirmation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae in urogenital and extragenital specimens using the Abbott CT/NG RealTime assay and an in-house assay targeting the porA pseudogene.

      Walsh, A; Rourke, F O; Crowley, B; Microbiology Department, St. Jame's Hospital, James Street, Dublin 8, Ireland. adwalsh@stjames.ie (2011-04)
      Culture for detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is being replaced by molecular assays, but difficulties are observed with false positive and negatives results, especially for extragenital samples. This study evaluates the Abbott CT/NG Real-Time assay and a real-time porA pseudogene assay. Samples (n = 600) from a mixed prevalence Irish population include 164 male urines with corresponding urethral swabs, 58 endocervical swabs, 173 male pharyngeal swabs, 205 male rectal swabs, 36 NG clinical isolates and 26 commensal Neisseria species isolates. There was a 100% concordance between the Abbott CT/NG Real-Time and the porA assay. The positivity rate was 1.2%, 1.7%, 8.1% and 5.8% for FVU/urethral swabs, endocervical, pharyngeal and rectal swabs, respectively. These results were compared to culture and discrepancies were found with nine pharyngeal and three rectal swabs. Seven of the 12 discrepant positive samples were sequenced and were confirmed "true positives". The sensitivity and specificity of the molecular assays was 100%. The sensitivity of the culture-based testing was 100% for urogenital samples but 36% and 75% for pharyngeal and rectal swabs, respectively. The combined Abbott CT/NG and porA assays provide a valuable alternative to culture and also generate a significant increase in the diagnosis of pharyngeal and rectal NG infection.