• Quality assurance measures in rectal cancer: caveat utilitor.

      Kennelly, R; Winter, D C; Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education (ICORE), St Vincent's, University Hospital, Dublin 4, Ireland. kennellyrory@yahoo.ie (2012-02-01)
    • Quality Improvement of Clinical Handover in a Liaison Psychiatry Department: A Three-Phase Audit

      Alexander, L; Bechan, N; Brady, S; Douglas, L; Moore, S; Shelley, R (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-06)
      Clinical handover has been identified as a period of high risk in healthcare, with increased incidence of adverse outcomes and near-misses. The purpose of handover is to communicate relevant information between medical professionals, with emphasis on completing management tasks and preventing patients from ‘falling through the cracks’1. Poor handover practices contribute to catastrophic but avoidable adverse events in healthcare. In Ireland, one such high profile incident has been a particular catalyst in the development of comprehensive handover guidelines in maternity settings2. Other specialities have yet to follow suit and there remains a dearth of guidance on handover practices, particularly guidance that can be applied to highly specialised and logistically unique areas, such as psychiatry
    • Quality of education at multidisciplinary case conferences in psychiatry.

      Naughton, Marie; MacSuibhne, Seamus; Callanan, Ian; Guerandel, Allys; Malone, Kevin; Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., marie.naughton@ucd.ie (2012-02-01)
      PURPOSE: A large Dublin-based teaching hospital facilitates a weekly Psychiatric Case Presentation meeting, which is relatively unique in medicine and even in psychiatry, in that there is a large variety of attendees from various multidisciplinary groups: consultant psychiatrists, psychiatric trainees, nurses, psychologists and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and pastoral care staff. The aim of this audit is to assess the quality of education for members of different disciplines at these meetings, and to highlight the differing learning needs of the attendees. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: Group-structured assessments and Likert scale questionnaires were used to identify what attendees thought were educational and what needed to be improved. FINDINGS: Overall, the case conference is educationally worthwhile but there were several areas of dissatisfaction. Some felt that the case conference was overly medical in its orientation and that there was excessive medical jargon. The seating arrangements were not conducive to group discussion. Consultants and psychiatric trainees felt that the quality of the clinical presentations could be improved. Presentation skills teaching classes and topic-based classes would be useful inclusions. Feedback to the multidisciplinary group on the patients' progress and feedback to the patient is important. Changes were implemented in areas of dissatisfaction, and these changes evaluated. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: The educational qualities of multidisciplinary Case Conferences need to be constantly evaluated to ensure that the learning needs of the different disciplines who attend are being met.
    • Quality of life after iatrogenic bile duct injury: a case control study.

      Hogan, Aisling M; Hoti, Emir; Winter, Desmond C; Ridgway, Paul F; Maguire, Donal; Geoghegan, Justin G; Traynor, Oscar; St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: To compare quality of life (QOL) of patients following iatrogenic bile duct injuries (BDI) to matched controls. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: BDI complicate approximately 0.3% of all cholecystectomy procedures. The literature regarding impact on quality of life is conflicted as assessment using clinical determinants alone is insufficient. METHODS: The medical outcomes study short form 36 (SF-36), a sensitive tool for quantification of life quality outcome, was used. The study group of iatrogenic BDI was compared with an age- and sex-matched group who underwent uncomplicated cholecystectomy. Telephone questionnaire using the SF-36 quality of life tool was administered to both groups at a median postoperative time of 12 years 8 months (range, 2 months -20 years). RESULTS: Seventy-eight patients were referred with BDI but due to mortality (n = 10) and unavailability (n = 6) 62 participated. The age- and sex-matched control cohort had undergone uncomplicated cholecystectomy (n = 62). Comparison between groups revealed that 7 of 8 variables examined were statistically similar to those of the control group (physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality and social functioning, and mental health index). Mean role emotional scores were slightly worse in the BDI group (46 vs. 50) but the significance was borderline (P = 0.045). Subgroup analysis by method of intervention for BDI did not demonstrate significant differences. CONCLUSION: Quality of life of surviving patients following BDI compares favorably to that after uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
    • Quality of life predicts outcome in a heart failure disease management program.

      O'Loughlin, Christina; Murphy, Niamh F; Conlon, Carmel; O'Donovan, Aoife; Ledwidge, Mark; McDonald, Ken; Department of Cardiology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Chronic heart failure (HF) is associated with a poor Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL). HRQoL has been shown to be a predictor of HF outcomes however, variability in the study designs make it difficult to apply these findings to a clinical setting. The aim of this study was to establish if HRQoL is a predictor of long-term mortality and morbidity in HF patients followed-up in a disease management program (DMP) and if a HRQoL instrument could be applied to aid in identifying high-risk patients within a clinical context. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of HF patients attending a DMP with 18+/-9 months follow-up. Clinical and biochemical parameters were recorded on discharge from index HF admission and HRQoL measures were recorded at 2 weeks post index admission. RESULTS: 225 patients were enrolled into the study (mean age=69+/-12 years, male=61%, and 78%=systolic HF). In multivariable analysis, all dimensions of HRQoL (measured by the Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire) were independent predictors of both mortality and readmissions particularly in patients <80 years. A significant interaction between HRQoL and age (Total((HRQoL))age: p<0.001) indicated that the association of HRQoL with outcomes diminished as age increased. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that HRQoL is a predictor of outcome in HF patients managed in a DMP. Younger patients (<65 years) with a Total HRQoL score of > or =50 are at high risk of an adverse outcome. In older patients > or =80 years HRQoL is not useful in predicting outcome.
    • Quantification of mitral regurgitation on cardiac computed tomography: comparison with qualitative and quantitative echocardiographic parameters.

      Arnous, Samer; Killeen, Ronan P; Martos, Ramon; Quinn, Martin; McDonald, Kenneth; Dodd, Jonathan Dermot; Department of Cardiology, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      PURPOSE: To assess whether cardiac computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) can quantify the severity of chronic mitral regurgitation (MR) compared to qualitative and quantitative echocardiographic parameters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cardiac computed tomographic angiography was performed in 23 patients (mean +/- SD age, 63 +/- 16 years; range, 24-86 years) with MR and 20 patients without MR (controls) as determined by transthoracic echocardiography. Multiphasic reconstructions (20 data sets reconstructed at 5% increments of the electrocardiographic gated R-R interval) were used to analyze the mitral valve. Using CCTA planimetry, 2 readers measured the regurgitant mitral orifice area (CCTA ROA) during systole. A qualitative echocardiographic assessment of severity of MR was made by visual assessment of the length of the regurgitant jet. Quantitative echocardiographic measurements included the vena contracta, proximal isovelocity surface area, regurgitant volume, and estimated regurgitant orifice (ERO). Comparisons were performed using the independent t test, and correlations were assessed using the Spearman rank test. RESULTS: All controls and the patients with MR were correctly identified by CCTA. For patients with mild, moderate, or severe MR, mean +/- SD EROs were 0.16 +/- 0.03, 0.31 +/- 0.08, and 0.52 +/- 0.03 cm(2) (P < 0.0001) compared with mean +/- SD CCTA ROAs 0.09 +/- 0.05, 0.30 +/- 0.04, and 0.97 +/- 0.26 cm(2) (P < 0.0001), respectively. When echocardiographic measurements were graded qualitatively as mild, moderate, or severe, strong correlations were seen with CCTA ROA (R = 0.89; P < 0.001). When echocardiographic measurements were graded quantitatively, the vena contracta and the ERO showed modest correlations with CCTA ROA (0.48 and 0.50; P < 0.05 for both). Neither the proximal isovelocity surface area nor the regurgitant volume demonstrated significant correlations with CCTA ROA. CONCLUSIONS: Single-source 64-slice CCTA provides a strong agreement with qualitative echocardiographic parameters but only a moderate correlation with quantitative echocardiographic parameters of chronic MR. Cardiac computed tomographic angiography slightly overestimates mild MR while slightly underestimating severe MR.
    • The &quot;flying&quot; bile duct: avulsion of the common bile duct in a plane crash survivor.

      Mohan, H; Beddy, D; Latif, A; Bangash, T; Quill, D; Traynor, O; Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., eibhlinmohan@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
      Blunt trauma is an unusual cause of extrahepatic bile duct injury. This is a case of a 51-year-old gentleman who sustained a significant seatbelt injury in a plane crash. Laparotomy, performed due to persistent abdominal pain, revealed that the common bile duct (CBD) was completely avulsed from the duodenum. Following insertion of drains and transfer to a hepatobiliary centre, the devascularised CBD was excised and replaced with a roux-en-y hepaticojejunostomy. Necrotic tissue was debrided from the pancreatic head. A persistent bile leak developed from the sub-hepatic drain. Repeat laparotomy revealed a bile leak from small ducts on the liver surface. Ligation of the ducts and bioglue sealing of the area were successfully performed. Subsequent to this a pancreatic fistula developed from the main pancreatic duct, which has since resolved. This unusual case illustrates the need for prompt recognition and early repair to optimise outcomes in traumatic CBD injury.
    • Radiation and chemotherapy bystander effects induce early genomic instability events: telomere shortening and bridge formation coupled with mitochondrial dysfunction.

      Gorman, Sheeona; Tosetto, Miriam; Lyng, Fiona; Howe, Orla; Sheahan, Kieran; O'Donoghue, Diarmuid; Hyland, John; Mulcahy, Hugh; O'Sullivan, Jacintha; Centre for Colorectal Disease, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park,, Dublin 4, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      The bridge breakage fusion cycle is a chromosomal instability mechanism responsible for genomic changes. Radiation bystander effects induce genomic instability; however, the mechanism driving this instability is unknown. We examined if radiation and chemotherapy bystander effects induce early genomic instability events such as telomere shortening and bridge formation using a human colon cancer explant model. We assessed telomere lengths, bridge formations, mitochondrial membrane potential and levels of reactive oxygen species in bystander cells exposed to medium from irradiated and chemotherapy-treated explant tissues. Bystander cells exposed to media from 2Gy, 5Gy, FOLFOX treated tumor and matching normal tissue showed a significant reduction in telomere lengths (all p values <0.018) and an increase in bridge formations (all p values <0.017) compared to bystander cells treated with media from unirradiated tissue (0Gy) at 24h. There was no significant difference between 2Gy and 5Gy treatments, or between effects elicited by tumor versus matched normal tissue. Bystander cells exposed to media from 2Gy irradiated tumor tissue showed significant depolarisation of the mitochondrial membrane potential (p=0.012) and an increase in reactive oxygen species levels. We also used bystander cells overexpressing a mitochondrial antioxidant manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) to examine if this antioxidant could rescue the mitochondrial changes and subsequently influence nuclear instability events. In MnSOD cells, ROS levels were reduced (p=0.02) and mitochondrial membrane potential increased (p=0.04). These events were coupled with a decrease in percentage of cells with anaphase bridges and a decrease in the number of cells undergoing telomere length shortening (p values 0.01 and 0.028 respectively). We demonstrate that radiation and chemotherapy bystander responses induce early genomic instability coupled with defects in mitochondrial function. Restoring mitochondrial function through overexpression of MnSOD significantly rescues nuclear instability events; anaphase bridges and telomere length shortening.
    • Radical prostatectomy outcome when performed with PSA above 20 ng/ml.

      Connolly, S S; Oon, S F; Carroll, C; Kinsella, S; O'Brien, M F; Mulvin, D W; Quinlan, D M; Department of Urology, St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4., stephensconnolly@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      Many centres currently do not offer radical prostatectomy (RP) to men with high-risk localised prostate cancer due to concerns regarding poor outcome, despite evidence to the contrary. We identified 18 men undergoing RP with serum PSA >20 ng/ml (high-risk by National Comprehensive Cancer Network definition) and minimum follow-up of 12 years (mean 13.5). Mean preoperative PSA was 37.0 ng/ml (Range 21.1-94.0). Prostatectomy pathology reported extracapsular disease in 16 (88.9%), positive surgical margins in 15 (83%) and positive pelvic lymph nodes in 5 (27.8%). Overall and cancer-specific survival at 5 and 10-years was 83.3%, 88.2%, 72% and 76.5% respectively. With complete follow-up 11 (61.1%) are alive, and 5 (27.8%) avoided any adjuvant therapy. Complete continence (defined as no involuntary urine leakage and no use of pads) was achieved in 60%, with partial continence in the remainder. We conclude that surgery for this aggressive variant of localised prostate cancer can result in satisfactory outcome.
    • Radical prostatectomy outcome when performed with PSA above 20ng/ml

      Connolly, SS; Oon, SF; Carroll, C (Irish Medical Journal, 2011-04)
    • Radiographic appearance of a post-epidural headache.

      Weekes, G; Breslin, D; St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4. gavin.weekes@gmail.com (2012-02-01)
      We report the case of a 35-year-old lady who presented with a 6-day history of a postural headache following an uncomplicated epidural catheter insertion. Meningitis was initially suspected and a neurology review was obtained. CT and MRI brain revealed features suggestive of meningitis. However these radiological features are also consistent with post dural puncture headache (PDPH). This case highlights the under reported and possible misleading radiographical features of PDPH.
    • Radioiodine therapy for hyperthyroidism.

      O'Connell, J; Hayes, F (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2012-03)
    • Randomised controlled trials: important but overrated?

      Boylan, J F; Kavanagh, B P; Armitage, J; St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. jboylan@iol.ie (2012-02-01)
      Practising physicians individualise treatments, hoping to achieve optimal outcomes by tackling relevant patient variables. The randomised controlled trial (RCT) is universally accepted as the best means of comparison. Yet doctors sometimes wonder if particular patients might benefit more from treatments that fared worse in the RCT comparisons. Such clinicians may even feel ostracised by their peers for stepping outside treatments based on RCTs and guidelines. Are RCTs the only acceptable evaluations of how patient care can be assessed and delivered? In this controversy we explore the interpretation of RCT data for practising clinicians facing individualised patient choices. First, critical care anaesthetists John Boylan and Brian Kavanagh emphasise the dangers of bias and show how Bayesian approaches utilise prior probabilities to improve posterior (combined) probability estimates. Secondly, Jane Armitage, of the Clinical Trial Service Unit in Oxford, argues why RCTs remain essential and explores how the quality of randomisation can be improved through systematic reviews and by avoiding selective reporting.
    • The rapid development of hyponatraemia and seizures in an elderly patient following sodium picosulfate/magnesium citrate (Picolax).

      Dillon, Cassandra Emily; Laher, Mark S; Department of Geriatrics, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., cejaneczko@hotmail.com (2012-02-01)
    • Rapid effects of phytoestrogens on human colonic smooth muscle are mediated by oestrogen receptor beta.

      Hogan, A M; Collins, D; Sheehan, K; Zierau, O; Baird, A W; Winter, D C; Institute for Clinical Outcomes Research and Education, St. Vincent's University , Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4, Ireland. Aislinghogan@yahoo.com (2012-02-01)
      Epidemiological studies have correlated consumption of dietary phytoestrogens with beneficial effects on colon, breast and prostate cancers. Genomic and non-genomic mechanisms are responsible for anti-carcinogenic effects but, until now, the effect on human colon was assumed to be passive and remote. No direct effect on human colonic smooth muscle has previously been described. Institutional research board approval was granted. Histologically normal colon was obtained from the proximal resection margin of colorectal carcinoma specimens. Circular smooth muscle strips were microdissected and suspended under 1g of tension in organ baths containing oxygenated Krebs solution at 37 degrees C. After an equilibration period, tissues were exposed to diarylpropionitrile (DPN) (ER beta agonist) and 1,3,5-tris(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4-propyl-1H-pyrazole (PPT) (ER alpha agonist) or to the synthetic phytoestrogen compounds genistein (n=8), daidzein (n=8), fisetin (n=8) and quercetin (n=8) in the presence or absence of fulvestrant (oestrogen receptor antagonist). Mechanism of action was investigated by inhibition of downstream pathways. The cholinergic agonist carbachol was used to induce contractile activity. Tension was recorded isometrically. Phytoestrogens inhibit carbachol-induced colonic contractility. In keeping with a non-genomic, rapid onset direct action, the effect was within minutes, reversible and similar to previously described actions of 17 beta oestradiol. No effect was seen in the presence of fulvestrant indicating receptor modulation. While the DPN exerted inhibitory effects, PPT did not. The effect appears to be reliant on a p38/mitogen activated protein kinase mediated induction of nitric oxide production in colonic smooth muscle. The present data set provides the first description of a direct effect of genistein, daidzein, fisetin and quercetin on human colonic smooth muscle. The presence of ER in colonic smooth muscle has been functionally proven and the beta isoform appears to play a predominant role in exerting non-genomic effects.
    • A rare case of BRCA2-associated breast cancer in pregnancy

      Leidhin, C N; Heeney, A; Connolly, C; Swan, N; Foster, A; Geraghty, J (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-07)
      A 30-year old woman was referred to our department with symptomatic breast cancer at 35 weeks gestation. Genetic testing revealed a pathogenic BRCA2 mutation. Labour was induced at 38 weeks. Mastectomy and axillary clearance were performed with a view to adjuvant chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy. Multidisciplinary involvement is crucial for management of BRCA-associated breast cancer, especially in the context of pregnancy. Bilateral mastectomy may be indicated given the increased risk of ipsilateral and contralateral breast cancers. Tamoxifen may lower contralateral breast cancer risk in those in whom risk-reducing surgery is not performed.
    • The rationale for Janus kinase inhibitors for the treatment of spondyloarthritis.

      Veale, Douglas J; McGonagle, Dennis; McInnes, Iain B; Krueger, James G; Ritchlin, Christopher T; Elewaut, Dirk; Kanik, Keith S; Hendrikx, Thijs; Berstein, Gabriel; Hodge, Jennifer; et al.
      The pathogenesis of SpA is multifactorial and involves a range of immune cell types and cytokines, many of which utilize Janus kinase (JAK) pathways for signaling. In this review, we summarize the animal and pre-clinical data that have demonstrated the effects of JAK blockade on the underlying molecular mechanisms of SpA and provide a rationale for JAK inhibition for the treatment of SpA. We also review the available clinical trial data evaluating JAK inhibitors tofacitinib, baricitinib, peficitinib, filgotinib and upadacitinib in PsA, AS and related inflammatory diseases, which have demonstrated the efficacy of these agents across a range of SpA-associated disease manifestations. The available clinical trial data, supported by pre-clinical animal model studies demonstrate that JAK inhibition is a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of SpA and may offer the potential for improvements in multiple articular and extra-articular disease manifestations of PsA and AS.
    • Reactivation of BK polyomavirus in patients with multiple sclerosis receiving natalizumab therapy.

      Lonergan, Roisin M; Carr, Michael J; De Gascun, Cillian F; Costelloe, Lisa F; Waters, Allison; Coughlan, Suzie; Duggan, Marguerite; Doyle, Katie; Jordan, Sinead; Hutchinson, Michael W; et al. (2012-02-01)
      Natalizumab therapy in multiple sclerosis has been associated with JC polyomavirus-induced progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy. We hypothesized that natalizumab may also lead to reactivation of BK, a related human polyomavirus capable of causing morbidity in immunosuppressed groups. Patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis treated with natalizumab were prospectively monitored for reactivation of BK virus in blood and urine samples, and for evidence of associated renal dysfunction. In this cohort, JC and BK DNA in blood and urine; cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in blood and urine; CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte counts and ratios in peripheral blood; and renal function were monitored at regular intervals. BK subtyping and noncoding control region sequencing was performed on samples demonstrating reactivation. Prior to commencement of natalizumab therapy, 3 of 36 patients with multiple sclerosis (8.3%) had BK viruria and BK reactivation occurred in 12 of 54 patients (22.2%). BK viruria was transient in 7, continuous in 2 patients, and persistent viruria was associated with transient viremia. Concomitant JC and CMV viral loads were undetectable. CD4:CD8 ratios fluctuated, but absolute CD4 counts did not fall below normal limits. In four of seven patients with BK virus reactivation, transient reductions in CD4 counts were observed at onset of BK viruria: these resolved in three of four patients on resuppression of BK replication. No renal dysfunction was observed in the cohort. BK virus reactivation can occur during natalizumab therapy; however, the significance in the absence of renal dysfunction is unclear. We propose regular monitoring for BK reactivation or at least for evidence of renal dysfunction in patients receiving natalizumab.
    • Real-world experience of leadless left ventricular endocardial cardiac resynchronization therapy: A multicenter international registry of the WiSE-CRT pacing system.

      Sieniewicz, Benjamin J; Betts, Timothy R; James, Simon; Turley, Andrew; Butter, Christian; Seifert, Martin; Boersma, Lucas V A; Riahi, Sam; Neuzil, Petr; Biffi, Mauro; et al. (2020-03-09)
      Background: Biventricular endocardial pacing (BiV ENDO) is a therapy for heart failure patients who cannot receive transvenous epicardial cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) or have not responded adequately to CRT. BiV ENDO CRT can be delivered by a new wireless LV ENDO pacing system (WiSE-CRT system; EBR Systems, Sunnyvale, CA), without the requirement for lifelong anticoagulation. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the safety and efficacy of the WiSE-CRT system during real-world clinical use in an international registry. Methods: Data were prospectively collected from 14 centers implanting the WiSE-CRT system as part of the WiCS-LV Post Market Surveillance Registry. (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02610673). Results: Ninety patients from 14 European centers underwent implantation with the WiSE-CRT system. Patients were predominantly male, age 68.2 ± 10.5 years, left ventricular ejection fraction 30.6% ± 8.9%, mean QRS duration 180.7 ± 27.0 ms, and 40% with ischemic etiology. Successful implantation and delivery of BiV ENDO pacing was achieved in 94.4% of patients. Acute (<24 hours), 1- to 30-day, and 1- to 6-month complications rates were 4.4%, 18.8%, and 6.7%, respectively. Five deaths (5.6%) occurred within 6 months (3 procedure related). Seventy percent of patients had improvement in heart failure symptoms. Conclusion: BiV ENDO pacing with the WiSE-CRT system seems to be technically feasible, with a high success rate. Three procedural deaths occurred during the study. Procedural complications mandate adequate operator training and implantation at centers with immediately available cardiothoracic and vascular surgical support.