• An 18FDG-PET/CT finding of a mediastinal abscess.

      Purcell, Yvonne Marie; Hegarty, Chris; Sharaf, Osama; Fabre, Aurélie; Skehan, Stephen J; St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. yvonne.purcell@gmail.com (2013-02)
      A 66-year-old man with left pyriform fossa squamous cell carcinoma (T2N0) was treated with chemoradiation. Nine months later, an emergency tracheostomy was performed for respiratory distress. Contrast-enhanced neck and thorax CT demonstrated a right pyriform mass. FDG-PET/CT showed linear increased uptake extending superiorly from the tracheostomy to the right Eustachian tube and inferiorly to the posterior mediastinum. Postmortem examination confirmed a 7 × 2.2 cm abscess extending from the right parapharyngeal, peritracheal, and prevertebral structures to the mediastinum.
    • A 5-year prospective observational study of the outcomes of international treatment guidelines for Crohn's disease.

      Cullen, Garret; Keegan, Denise; Mulcahy, Hugh E; O'Donoghue, Diarmuid P; Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin,, Ireland. garret.cullen@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND & AIMS: Therapeutic strategies for patients with Crohn's disease are based on American and European guidelines. High rates of corticosteroid dependency and low remission rates are identified as weaknesses of this therapy and as justification for early introduction of biologic agents (top-down treatment) in moderate/severe Crohn's disease. We reviewed outcomes and corticosteroid-dependency rates of patients with moderate-to-severe disease who were treated according to the international guidelines. METHODS: Consecutive patients (102) newly diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2000-2002 were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Severity of disease was scored using the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI). Disease was classified by Montreal classification. Five-year follow-up data were recorded. RESULTS: Seventy-two patients had moderate/severe disease at diagnosis (HBI >8). Fifty-four (75%) had nonstricturing, nonpenetrating disease (B1). Sixty-four (89%) received corticosteroids, and 44 (61%) received immunomodulators. Twenty-one patients (29%) received infliximab. Thirty-nine patients (54%) required resection surgery. At a median of 5 years, 66 of 72 (92%) patients with moderate/severe disease were in remission (median HBI, 1). Twenty-five patients (35%) required neither surgery nor biologic therapy. CONCLUSIONS: When international treatment guidelines are strictly followed, Crohn's disease patients can achieve high rates of remission and low rates of morbidity at 5 years. Indiscriminate use of biologic agents therefore is not appropriate for all patients with moderate-to-severe disease.
    • Accessory left atrial diverticulae: contractile properties depicted with 64-slice cine-cardiac CT.

      Killeen, Ronan P; Ryan, Ronan; MacErlane, Aoife; Martos, Ramon; Keane, David; Dodd, Jonathan D; Departments of Radiology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4,, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      To assess the contractility of accessory left atrial appendages (LAAs) using multiphasic cardiac CT. We retrospectively analyzed the presence, location, size and contractile properties of accessory LAAs using multiphasic cardiac 64-slice CT in 102 consecutive patients (63 males, 39 females, mean age 57). Multiplanar reformats were used to create image planes in axial oblique, sagittal oblique and coronal oblique planes. For all appendages with an orifice diameter >or= 10 mm, axial and sagittal diameters and appendage volumes were recorded in atrial diastole and systole. Regression analysis was performed to assess which imaging appearances best predicted accessory appendage contractility. Twenty-three (23%) patients demonstrated an accessory LAA, all identified along the anterior LA wall. Dimensions for axial oblique (AOD) and sagittal oblique (SOD) diameters and sagittal oblique length (SOL) were 6.3-19, 3.4-20 and 5-21 mm, respectively. All appendages (>or=10 mm) demonstrated significant contraction during atrial systole (greatest diameter reduction was AOD [3.8 mm, 27%]). Significant correlations were noted between AOD-contraction and AOD (R = 0.57, P < 0.05) and SOD-contraction and AOD, SOD and SOL (R = 0.6, P < 0.05). Mean diverticulum volume in atrial diastole was 468.4 +/- 493 mm(3) and in systole was 171.2 +/- 122 mm(3), indicating a mean change in volume of 297.2 +/- 390 mm(3), P < 0.0001. Stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed SOL to be the strongest independent predictor of appendage contractility (R(2) = 0.86, P < 0.0001) followed by SOD (R(2) = 0.91, P < 0.0001). Accessory LAAs show significant contractile properties on cardiac CT. Those accessory LAAs with a large sagittal height or depth should be evaluated for contractile properties, and if present should be examined for ectopic activity during electrophysiological studies.
    • Acute aortic occlusion in a patient with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia treated by thrombectomy.

      Collins, D; Moloney, M A; O'Donnell, D; Brophy, D; Sheehan, S J; Department of Vascular Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. daniellecol@gmail.com (2012-09)
      Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia syndrome (HITS) is an infrequent complication of heparin anticoagulation.
    • Acute colonic obstruction due to benign prostatic hypertrophy.

      Mac Giobuin, S; Kavanagh, D O; Ryan, R; Kinsella, A; Myers, E; Evoy, D; O'Higgins, N J; McDermott, E; Department of Surgery, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin., seaniemac@ireland.com (2012-02-01)
      A seventy two year old man presented to the Emergency Department with clinical features of colonic obstruction. Subsequent radiological investigations confirmed this impression and revealed the aetiology to be compression of the sigmoid colon against the sacrum by a massively distended urinary bladder. Chronic urinary retention due to benign prostatic hypertrophy is an extremely unusual cause of large bowel obstruction. Little in this patient's clinical findings suggested this aetiology. We reviewed the literature in this area and highlight the benefits of CT scanning over contrast studies.
    • Acute pain assessment

      Clear, Elaine (Nursing in General Practice, 2016-05)
      The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage” (IASP, 1997). This definition of pain emphasises that it is neither a sensory nor an emotional experience, but a combination of both. It is a subjective experience influenced by physical, psychological and environmental factors that is assessed from a biopsychosocial perspective. The gold standard in assessing pain however is always what the patient says it is.
    • Acute peritonitis as the first presentation of valvular cardiomyopathy.

      Higgins, Nikki; Burke, John P; McCreery, Charles J; Department of Cardiology, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland., nikki.c.higgins@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      Valvular cardiomyopathy can present a diagnostic challenge in the absence of overt cardiac symptoms. This report describes the case of a 46-year-old woman who presented with acute peritonitis associated with vomiting and abdominal distension. Subsequent abdominal computed tomography and ultrasound revealed bibasal pleural effusions, ascites, and normal ovaries. An echocardiogram revealed that all cardiac chambers were dilated with a global decrease in contractility and severe mitral, tricuspid, and aortic regurgitation. A diagnosis of cardiomyopathy with acute heart failure, secondary to valvular heart disease, was secured. Acute peritonitis as the presenting feature of valvular cardiomyopathy is a rare clinical entity.
    • Adalimumab treatment for severe recalcitrant chronic plaque psoriasis.

      Ryan, C; Kirby, B; Collins, P; Rogers, S; Department of Dermatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., caitrionaryan80@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
      AIM: To assess the efficacy and safety profile of adalimumab in patients with severe, recalcitrant chronic plaque psoriasis, and to assess short-term overlapping of other systemic treatment with adalimumab to prevent flaring of disease. METHODS: This was a retrospective study comprising 39 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis treated with adalimumab between October 2005 and January 2008. All had failed treatment with other systemic agents, including biological therapies in 59% of patients. Patients were started on adalimumab 40 mg weekly or fortnightly, as clinically indicated. Severity of psoriasis was assessed by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI). Therapeutic response was assessed by 75% improvement on PASI (PASI 75). All adverse events were recorded. RESULTS: Results were analysed separately for those treated with adalimumab only and those on combination treatment. PASI 75 was achieved in 38% (8 of 21 patients at week 16), 62% (13 of 21 patients) at week 24, 69% (9 of 13 patients) at week 48% and 71% (5 of 7 patients) at week 72 in the adalimumab-only group, compared with 56% (5 of 9 patients) at week 16, 50% (4 of 8 patients) at week 24, 80% (4 of 5 patients) at week 48% and 67% (2 of 3 patients) at week 72 in the combined group. Of the 39 patients, 15 (38%) achieved a PASI of 0 at some point in their treatment. Adalimumab was well tolerated; 38% of patients experienced side-effects, which were generally mild. CONCLUSION: Adalimumab was effective in a group of patients with psoriasis refractory to other systemic therapies, including biological treatments, and was well tolerated.
    • Adieu to Henri Hartmann?

      Myers, E; Winter, D C; Department of Surgery, Saint Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Elm Park, Dublin, Ireland. eddiemyers@eircom.net (2010-09)
    • Adipose tissue invariant NKT cells protect against diet-induced obesity and metabolic disorder through regulatory cytokine production.

      Lynch, Lydia; Nowak, Michael; Varghese, Bindu; Clark, Justice; Hogan, Andrew E; Toxavidis, Vasillis; Balk, Steven P; O'Shea, Donal; O'Farrelly, Cliona; Exley, Mark A; et al. (Immunity, 2012-09-21)
      Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are evolutionarily conserved innate T cells that influence inflammatory responses. We have shown that iNKT cells, previously thought to be rare in humans, were highly enriched in human and murine adipose tissue, and that as adipose tissue expanded in obesity, iNKT cells were depleted, correlating with proinflammatory macrophage infiltration. iNKT cell numbers were restored in mice and humans after weight loss. Mice lacking iNKT cells had enhanced weight gain, larger adipocytes, fatty livers, and insulin resistance on a high-fat diet. Adoptive transfer of iNKT cells into obese mice or in vivo activation of iNKT cells via their lipid ligand, alpha-galactocylceramide, decreased body fat, triglyceride levels, leptin, and fatty liver and improved insulin sensitivity through anti-inflammatory cytokine production by adipose-derived iNKT cells. This finding highlights the potential of iNKT cell-targeted therapies, previously proven to be safe in humans, in the management of obesity and its consequences.
    • Adjuncts to local anesthetics in peripheral nerve blockade.

      Thornton, Patrick C; Grant, Stuart A; Breslin, Dara S; Department of Anesthesiology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
    • Age Adjusted D-Dimer for exclusion of Pulmonary Embolism: a retrospective cohort study.

      Monks, D; Neill, A; Barton, D; Moughty, A; McFeely, A; Timmons, A; Hatton, S; McMorrow, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-08)
      D-Dimer (DD) will increase with age and recent studies have shown the upper limit of normal can be raised in those who are low risk and over 50. We studied age adjusted D-dimer (AADD) levels to assess whether pulmonary embolism (PE) could be safely excluded. This study analysed the Emergency Department (ED) Computed Tomographic Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA) requests. There were 756 requests. The parameters studied were; age, DD value, calculated AADD, CT result and Simplified Geneva Score (SGS). The primary outcome was the diagnostic performance of AADD. One hundred and eighty-five patients were included in the final cohort. Twenty-one patients had a negative DD after age adjustment. Of these one had a PE, corresponding to a failure rate of 4.76% (1 in 22). The sensitivity of AADD was 0.96 (95% CI 0.76 to 0.99) and its specificity was 0.12 (95% CI 0.08- 0.19). AADD demonstrated a reduction in false positives with one false negative, giving rise to a failure rate higher than that of other larger studies. Further study is indicated to accurately define the diagnostic characteristics for the Irish context.
    • Age-specific incidence of hip fracture in the elderly: a healthy decline.

      Green, C; Molony, D; Fitzpatrick, C; O'Rourke, K; Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin,, Ireland. connorjgreen@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      Hip fractures in the elderly are an important source of morbidity and mortality. The predicted increase in the number of hip fractures due to the increasing elderly population has not been universally observed. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of hip fractures over a twenty year period to determine if this rise is occurring in our region. All hip fractures from the unit over 20 years were identified. Population data for those over 65 in the catchment area of our hospital was acquired. The rate of fractures occurring each year relative to the population was determined. The results were split into age groups. There was a strong correlation between the population rise and number of fractures (p = 0.77). But there was no significant difference in the rate of fracture over time (p = 0.41). However, the average age at which fracture occurred increased by two years. In addition we show the overall trend in the rate of fractures decreases in the younger age groups and increases in the older age groups. Therefore, the predicted rapid increase in rate is not occurring. This probably reflects the strengthening of the economy in Ireland from the 1930's onwards, leading to a healthier population.
    • Ageing towards 21 as a risk factor for young adult suicide in the UK and Ireland.

      Malone, K M; Quinlivan, L; Grant, T; Kelleher, C C; Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy & Mental Health Research, St Vincent's University Hospital, School of Medicine & Medical Science, University College Dublin, Ireland. (2012-11-13)
      Aims. Youth and young adult suicide has increasingly appeared on international vital statistics as a rising trend of concern in age-specific mortality over the past 50 years. The reporting of suicide deaths in 5-year age bands, which has been the international convention to date, may mask a greater understanding of year-on-year factors that may accelerate or ameliorate the emergence of suicidal thoughts, acts and fatal consequences. The study objective was to identify any year-on-year period of increased risk for youth and young adult suicide in the UK and Ireland. Methods. Collation and examination of international epidemiological datasets on suicide (aged 18-35) for the UK and Ireland 2000-2006 (N = 11 964). Outcome measures included the age distribution of suicide mortality in international datasets from the UK and Ireland, 2000-2006. Results. An accelerated pattern of risk up to the age of 20 for the UK and Ireland which levels off moderately thereafter was uncovered, thus identifying a heretofore unreported age-related epidemiological transition for suicide. Conclusions. The current reporting of suicide in 5-year age bands may conceal age-related periods of risk for suicide. This may have implications for suicide prevention programmes for young adults under age 21.
    • Alcohol misuse in patients with psoriasis: identification and relationship to disease severity and psychological distress.

      McAleer, M A; Mason, D L; Cunningham, S; O'Shea, S J; McCormick, P A; Stone, C; Collins, P; Rogers, S; Kirby, B; Department of Dermatology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, , Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Moderate to severe psoriasis is associated with increased alcohol intake and excessive mortality from alcohol-related causes. Alcohol biomarkers provide an objective measure of alcohol consumption. Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is the single most sensitive and specific alcohol biomarker. OBJECTIVES: To assess alcohol consumption in a cohort of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis using standard alcohol screening questionnaires and biomarkers. We investigated whether there was an association between alcohol intake, anxiety, depression and disease severity. METHODS: Consecutive patients with chronic plaque psoriasis were recruited and completed a range of anonymized assessments. Psoriasis severity, anxiety and depression, and the impact of psoriasis on quality of life were assessed. Alcohol screening questionnaires were administered. Blood specimens were taken and gamma-glutamyltransferase (gammaGT) and CDT were measured. RESULTS: A total of 135 patients completed the study. Using validated questionnaires, between 22% and 32% had difficulties with alcohol. Seven per cent had CDT > 1.6% indicating a heavy alcohol intake. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) questionnaire was superior to other validated questionnaires in detecting alcohol misuse. There were no significant associations between measures of excessive alcohol consumption and disease severity. Excessive alcohol intake as measured by the CAGE questionnaire was associated with increased depression (P = 0.001) but other measures of alcohol excess did not correlate with psychological distress. Men had significantly more difficulties with alcohol than women (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Alcohol misuse is common in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. Screening with the AUDIT questionnaire and CDT may allow the identification of patients who are misusing alcohol and allow appropriate intervention.
    • An anaesthetic pre-operative assessment clinic reduces pre-operative inpatient stay in patients requiring major vascular surgery.

      O'Connor, D B; Cotter, M; Treacy, O; Owens, T; McShane, A; Mehigan, D; Sheehan, S J; Barry, M C; Department of Vascular Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park,, Dublin 4, Ireland. donaloconor@yahoo.com (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Patients undergoing major vascular surgery (MVS) require extensive anaesthetic assessment. This can require extended pre-operative stays. AIMS: We investigated whether a newly established anaesthetic pre-operative assessment clinic (PAC) would reduce the pre-operative inpatient stay, avoid unnecessary investigations and facilitate day before surgery (DBS) admissions for patients undergoing MVS. PATIENT AND METHODS: One year following and preceding the establishment of the PAC the records of patients undergoing open or endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, carotid endarterectomy and infra-inguinal bypass were reviewed to measure pre-operative length of stay (LoS). RESULTS: Pre-operative LoS was significantly reduced in the study period (1.85 vs. 4.2 days, respectively, P < 0.0001). Only 12 out of 61 patients in 2007 were admitted on the DBS and this increased to 33 out of 63 patients (P = 0.0002). No procedure was cancelled for medical reasons. CONCLUSION: The PAC has facilitated accurate outpatient anaesthetic assessment for patients requiring MVS. The pre-operative in-patient stay has been significantly reduced.
    • Angiogenesis and blood vessel stability in inflammatory arthritis.

      Kennedy, Aisling; Ng, Chin Teck; Biniecka, Monika; Saber, Tajvur; Taylor, Cormac; O'Sullivan, Jacintha; Veale, Douglas J; Fearon, Ursula; Dublin Academic Health Care, St. Vincent's University Hospital and The Conway, Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess blood vessel stability in inflammatory synovial tissue (ST) and to examine neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM), oxidative DNA damage, and hypoxia in vivo. METHODS: Macroscopic vascularity and ST oxygen levels were determined in vivo in patients with inflammatory arthritis who were undergoing arthroscopy. Vessel maturity/stability was quantified in matched ST samples by dual immunofluorescence staining for factor VIII (FVIII)/alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA). NCAM and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) were examined by immunohistochemistry. Angiogenesis was assessed in vitro, using human dermal endothelial cells (HDECs) in a Matrigel tube formation assay. RESULTS: A significant number of immature vessels (showing no pericyte recruitment) was observed in tissue from patients with inflammatory arthritis (P < 0.001), in contrast to osteoarthritic and normal tissue, which showed complete recruitment of pericytes. Low in vivo PO(2) levels in the inflamed joint (median [range] 22.8 [3.2-54.1] mm Hg) were inversely related to increased macroscopic vascularity (P < 0.04) and increased microscopic expression of FVIII and alpha-SMA (P < 0.04 and P < 0.03, respectively). A significant proportion of vessels showed focal expression of NCAM and strong nuclear 8-oxodG expression, implicating a loss of EC-pericyte contact and increased DNA damage, levels of which were inversely associated with low in vivo PO(2) (P = 0.04 for each comparison). Circulating cells were completely negative for 8-oxodG. Exposure of HDEC to 3% O(2) (reflecting mean ST in vivo measurements) significantly increased EC tube formation (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate the presence of unstable vessels in inflamed joints associated with hypoxia, incomplete EC-pericyte interactions, and increased DNA damage. These changes may further contribute to persistent hypoxia in the inflamed joint to further drive this unstable microenvironment.
    • Ankylosing Spondylitis Response to TNF Inhibition Is Gender Specific: A 6-Year Cohort Study

      Murray, C; Fearon, C; Dockery, M; Moran, D; Heffernan, E; Fitzgerald, O; Veale, D.J; Harty, L; St. Vincent's University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-10)
      Recent studies have suggested gender-specific differences with respect to both baseline disease activity and severity in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) have shown significant benefit in AS but there may be gender-specific differences regarding responses to TNFi therapy.
    • Annual Report 1991

      St Vincent's University Hospital (St Vincent's University Hospital, 1992)
    • Antibiotic prophylaxis for transrectal ultrasound biopsy of the prostate in Ireland.

      Smyth, L G; Mulvin, D W; Department of Urology, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. elizabethsmyth@rcsi.ie (2012-03)
      Prostate cancer is the most common solid cancer affecting men in Ireland. Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) biopsies of the prostate are routinely performed to diagnose prostate cancer. They are, in general, a safe procedure but are associated with a significant risk of infective complications ranging from fever, urinary tract infection to severe urosepsis. At present, there are no recommended national guidelines on the use of antibiotic prophylaxis to minimise the risk of infective complications post-TRUS biopsy.