Research by staff affiliated to Mercy University Hospital

Recent Submissions

  • Giant Cell Arteritis Presenting as an Ischaemic Upper Limb

    Fitzgerald, Gerald; O’Connor, Mortimer B.; Phelan, Mark J.; Mercy University Hospital, Cork (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-07)
    Aim: To present an interesting case of giant cell arteritis presenting as ischaemic upper limb. Methods Data was collected from the patient’s chart and from radiology and laboratory systems in our institution. Results: The patient had a temporal artery biopsy confirming the diagnosis of temporal arteritis. This was successfully treated with high dose steroids leading to resolution of symptoms in the arm. Conclusion: Arteritis is an important consideration to consider in patients who present with limb ischaemia as it is a reversible cause which can be treated effectively.
  • An audit of empiric antibiotic choice in the inpatient management of community-acquired pneumonia

    Delaney, F; Jackson, A (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-04)
    Adherence to antimicrobial guidelines for empiric antibiotic prescribing in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) has been reported to be worryingly low. We conducted a review of empiric antibiotic prescribing for sixty consecutive adult patients admitted to the Mercy University Hospital with a diagnosis of CAP. When analysed against local antimicrobial guidelines, guideline concordant empiric antibiotics were given in only 48% of cases, lower than the average rate in comparable studies. Concordance was 100% in cases where the CURB-65 pneumonia severity assessment score, on which the guidelines are based, was documented in the medical notes. The use of excessively broad spectrum and inappropriate antibiotics is a notable problem. This study supports the theory that lack of knowledge regarding pneumonia severity assessment tools and unfamiliarity with therapeutic guidelines are key barriers to guideline adherence, which remains a significant problem despite increased focus on antimicrobial stewardship programs in Ireland
  • Management of patients with subclinical hypothyroidism in primary

    McCarthy, E; Russell, A; Kearney, PM (Irish Medical Journal, 2016-01)
    Subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is defined as a raised serum thyroid stimulating hormone level with normal thyroxine. Despite a prevalence of up to 9% of the adult population there is widespread uncertainty on how to manage it. The aim of this study was to assess how older adults with SCH are managed in primary care. A retrospective case-note review was carried out on patients attending Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre. This study identified patients 65 years and over meeting the criteria for SCH in one year. The prevalence of SCH in this study was calculated as 2.9%. 22.2% of patients were treated with thyroxine. 6.1% of untreated patients progressed to clinical hypothyroidism within the study period while 18.2% spontaneously reverted to normal TSH levels.
  • Chronic kidney disease and obesity in Ireland: comparison of self-reported coronary artery disease in population study with clinic attendees.

    Lannin, U; Vaughan, C; Perry, I J; Browne, G (Irish Medical Journal, 2015-02)
    Obesity is a growing issue in Ireland. The link between obesity, CKD and CAD has not previously been described in the Irish population. The prevalence of obesity and CKD was compared across 3 groups: population based estimates with self-reported CAD, population based estimates without self-reported CAD (SLAN-07) and a random selection of cardiology outpatients with CAD. The SLAN-07 is a representative survey of 1207 randomly selected participants ≥ 45 years. Validated methods measured parameters including waist circumference, blood pressure and markers of renal function specifically glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and albumin: creatinine ratio. The Cardiology clinic surveyed a random selection of 126 participants ≥ 45 years with CAD. Similar parameters were measured using the validated methods utilised in SLAN-07 study. Prevalence of obesity and renal disease was significantly higher in both CAD groups. At population level, risk factors were modelled using logistic regression to compare odds of participants with self-reported CAD with those without. Age, hypertension, obesity, elevated waist circumference, renal disease and diabetes are significantly associated with existing CAD. Obesity and CKD are more frequent in patients with CAD. Routine evaluation is essential to facilitate more intensive management of these risk factors.
  • The Intensity of QuantiFERON TB-Gold Response does not Differentiate Active from Latent Tuberculosis

    F Khan, F; Cotter, O; Kennedy, B; Clair, J; O’Connor, B; Collins, J; Curran, D; O’Connor, T (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-12)
    We analyzed positive QuantiFERON (QFT) assays, performed between July 2009 and April 2011 in the Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland, which included, 94 patients with latent tuberculosis (LTBI) and 35 patients with active tuberculosis. There was no difference in the intensity of response between patients with LTBI and active tuberculosis (p=0.1589). In patients with LTBI, there were no correlations between age (p=0.353), sex (p=0.476), smoking (p=0.323), contact (p=0.612), Mantoux response (p=0.055), Irish nationality (p=0.768), previous BCG vaccination (p=0.504), WCC (p=0.187), lymphocyte count (p=0.786), neutrophil count (p=0.157) and the intensity of QFT response. Similarly in patients with active TB, there were no correlations between these variables and QFT response. The intensity of QFT response does not help to differentiate active from LTBI. The intensity of QFT response is not influenced by age, sex, smoking, remoteness of contact history, Mantoux response, nationality, CXR abnormalities, BCG vaccination and peripheral lymphocyte count.
  • COPD exacerbations: a comparison of Irish data with European data from the ERS COPD audit

    Crinion, S; Cotter, O; Kennedy, B; O’Connor, B; Curran, DR; McCormack, S; McDonnell, T J; O’Connor, TM (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2013-10)
    The European Respiratory Society COPD audit was a cross-sectional, multicentre study that analysed outcomes for COPD patients admitted to hospital with an exacerbation across Europe. We present the data on patients admitted to 11 Irish hospitals that participated in the audit. Among 237 patients (123 Male), the median age was 71 years and 79 (33%) patients were current smokers. 82 (35%) patients received high-flow oxygen before admission and 43 (18%) were cared for in a dedicated respiratory ward. 54 (23%) patients required ventilatory support. Median length of stay was 7 days, 98 (41%) patients were readmitted and 211 (89%) patients were alive at the 90 day follow up point. Irish patients were more likely to receive high-flow oxygen before admission, less likely to be managed in a dedicated respiratory ward and had a higher likelihood of readmission or death within 90 days than the European average.
  • Pancreatico pleural fistula an unusual complication of chronic pancreatitis

    Ferris, H; Buckley, M (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2012-07)
  • Family members' lived experience in the intensive care unit: a phemenological study.

    McKiernan, Margaret; McCarthy, Geraldine; Intensive Care Unit, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland., mckiernanm@yahoo.co.uk (2012-01-31)
    AIM: To describe the lived experience of family members of patients in the intensive care unit. BACKGROUND: Admission of a critically ill relative to an intensive care unit causes anxiety and stress to family members. Nursing care is initially focused on maintaining the physiological stability of the patient and less on the needs and concerns of family members. Understanding how families make sense of this experience may help nurses focus on the delivery of family centred care. METHODOLOGY: A phenomenological method was used to describe the lived experiences of family members of patients in an intensive care unit. In-depth interviews were conducted with six family members and analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. RESULTS: Four main themes emerged from the data: the need to know, making sense of it all, being there with them and caring and support. Family members needed honest information about the patient's progress and outcome to make the situation more bearable for them. Making sense of the situation was a continuous process which involved tracking and evaluating care given. Being with their relative sustained their family bond and was a way to demonstrate love and support. Caring reassurance provided by the nurses enabled a sense of security. Support was needed by family members to assist them in coping. CONCLUSION: The research provided an insight into how family members viewed the impact of the admission and how they subsequently found ways of dealing with the situation. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Using a holistic approach to nursing assessment and care delivery in intensive care necessitates that nurses interact with and care for family members of patients. Development of a philosophy of family centred care is necessary, with formal assessment of families to take place soon after admission and an appropriate plan of care drawn up at this time.
  • Listeria monocytogenes as a vector for anti-cancer therapies.

    Tangney, Mark; Gahan, Cormac G M; Cork Cancer Research Centre, Mercy University Hospital, University College Cork, , Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    The intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes represents a promising therapeutic vector for the delivery of DNA, RNA or protein to cancer cells or to prime immune responses against tumour-specific antigens. A number of biological properties make L. monocytogenes a promising platform for development as a vector for either gene therapy or as an anti-cancer vaccine vector. L. monocytogenes is particularly efficient in mediating internalization into host cells. Once inside cells, the bacterium produces specific virulence factors which lyse the vaculolar membrane and allow escape into the cytoplasm. Once in the cytosol, L. monocytogenes is capable of actin-based motility and cell-to-cell spread without an extracellular phase. The cytoplasmic location of L. monocytogenes is significant as this potentiates entry of antigens into the MHC Class I antigen processing pathway leading to priming of specific CD8(+) T cell responses. The cytoplasmic location is also beneficial for the delivery of DNA (bactofection) by L. monocytogenes whilst cell-to-cell spread may facilitate access of the vector to cells throughout the tumour. Several preclinical studies have demonstrated the ability of L. monocytogenes for intracellular gene or protein delivery in vitro and in vivo, and this vector has also displayed safety and efficacy in clinical trial. Here, we review the features of the L. monocytogenes host-pathogen interaction that make this bacterium such an attractive candidate with which to induce appropriate therapeutic responses. We focus primarily upon work that has led to attenuation of the pathogen, demonstrated DNA, RNA or protein delivery to tumour cells as well as research that shows the efficacy of L. monocytogenes as a vector for tumour-specific vaccine delivery.
  • Urine cytology in the evaluation of urological malignancy revisited: is it still necessary?

    Falebita, Opeyemi Adegboyega; Lee, Garry; Sweeney, Paul; Department of Urology, Mercy University Hospital, Glenville Place, Cork, Ireland., opefaleb@yahoo.com (2012-01-31)
    OBJECTIVE: We aim to determine if urine cytology was still necessary as a routine part of the evaluation for the presence of urological malignancy and to evaluate its cost effectiveness. METHODS: Urine cytology reports over a 6-year period (2000-2005) were retrieved from our institution's pathology department database. Patients with urine cytology positive for malignant cells were identified. We retrospectively reviewed the charts of these patients for age, sex, flexible cystoscopy and radiological imaging results. The cost of urine cytology was retrieved from the pathology department. RESULTS: There were a total of 2,568 urine cytological examinations. Of these, 25 were positive for malignant cells. There were 19 male (76%) and 6 female (24%) patients with a mean age of 72 years (range: 49-97). In 21 patients with positive cytology, a bladder tumor was identified at flexible cystoscopy and/or imaging studies. For a positive cytology yield of 1%, EUR 210,000 was spent. CONCLUSIONS: Routine urine cytology was not cost effective and did not add to the diagnostic yield beyond cystoscopy and diagnostic imaging. It may be omitted in the initial evaluation of urological malignancy.
  • Retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paraganglioma: a rare but important diagnosis.

    Ahmad, S; Cathy, D; Sheikh, M; Sweeney, P; Department of Urology, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland., drsarfrazrana@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
    BACKGROUND: Extra-adrenal paragangliomas of the retroperitonium are infrequently diagnosed. Their malignant behaviour cannot be predicted on initial clinical and histological assessment. These tumours have higher propensity for subsequent metastasis compared with pargangliomas at other sites. AIM: We aim to describe a case report of an incidental finding of left retroperitoneal paraganglioma in a young man who presented with right flank pain. We also aim to emphasize the importance of diagnosis and the malignant potential of these tumours. METHOD: Patient's clinical notes, operative findings, imaging studies and laboratory investigations including histology results were reviewed. A literature search was done to look into the incidence, presentation, follow-up plan and treatment options for these tumours. CONCLUSION: Surgical resection is the only available curative option for extra-adrenal paragangliomas. Metastasis is observed years after surgery, hence long-term follow-up is required.
  • Curcumin induces apoptosis-independent death in oesophageal cancer cells.

    O'Sullivan-Coyne, G; O'Sullivan, G C; O'Donovan, T R; Piwocka, K; McKenna, S L; Leslie C. Quick Laboratory, Cork Cancer Research Centre, BioSciences Institute,, University College Cork and Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    BACKGROUND: Oesophageal cancer incidence is increasing and survival rates remain extremely poor. Natural agents with potential for chemoprevention include the phytochemical curcumin (diferuloylmethane). We have examined the effects of curcumin on a panel of oesophageal cancer cell lines. METHODS: MTT (3-(4,5-dimethyldiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide) assays and propidium iodide staining were used to assess viability and DNA content, respectively. Mitotic catastrophe (MC), apoptosis and autophagy were defined by both morphological criteria and markers such as MPM-2, caspase 3 cleavage and monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining. Cyclin B and poly-ubiquitinated proteins were assessed by western blotting. RESULTS: Curcumin treatment reduces viability of all cell lines within 24 h of treatment in a 5-50 muM range. Cytotoxicity is associated with accumulation in G2/M cell-cycle phases and distinct chromatin morphology, consistent with MC. Caspase-3 activation was detected in two out of four cell lines, but was a minor event. The addition of a caspase inhibitor zVAD had a marginal or no effect on cell viability, indicating predominance of a non-apoptotic form of cell death. In two cell lines, features of both MC and autophagy were apparent. Curcumin-responsive cells were found to accumulate poly-ubiquitinated proteins and cyclin B, consistent with a disturbance of the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This effect on a key cell-cycle checkpoint regulator may be responsible for the mitotic disturbances and consequent cytotoxicity of this drug. CONCLUSION: Curcumin can induce cell death by a mechanism that is not reliant on apoptosis induction, and thus represents a promising anticancer agent for prevention and treatment of oesophageal cancer.
  • Characteristics of patients presenting with erythema nodosum and sarcoidosis.

    O'Connor, T M; Cagney, D; Jahangir, A; Brady, A; Fitzgibbon, J; Lee, G; El-Gammal, A; Brennan, N J; Department of Respiratory Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Cork., terryoconnor@eircom.net (2012-01-31)
    We explored the relationship between erythema nodosum (EN) and sex, age, serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocytosis (BAL-I), interstitial granulomas and radiological stage in patients presenting with pulmonary sarcoidosis in Ireland. Sixty-nine patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis between 2003 and 2006 were studied. Forty one patients (59%) were male. Sixteen patients (23%) presented with EN. Forty one patients of 65 (63%) had transbronchial biopsies demonstrating non-caseating granulomas. Patients with sarcoidosis presenting with EN were more likely to be female (p=0.042), younger (p=0.012) and have earlier stage pulmonary disease (p=0.02). There were no correlations between serum ACE, interstitial granulomas and disease stage. BAL-I did however predict increasing disease radiological stage (p=0.042). In this study, one quarter of patients with sarcoidosis presented with EN among their presenting features. These patients were more likely to be young females with early stage radiological disease.
  • Autophagy induction by Bcr-Abl-expressing cells facilitates their recovery from a targeted or nontargeted treatment.

    Crowley, Lisa C; Elzinga, Baukje M; O'Sullivan, Gerald C; McKenna, Sharon L; Leslie C. Quick Laboratory, Cork Cancer Research Centre, BioSciences Institute,, University College Cork and Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork,, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    Although Imatinib has transformed the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), it is not curative due to the persistence of resistant cells that can regenerate the disease. We have examined how Bcr-Abl-expressing cells respond to two mechanistically different therapeutic agents, etoposide and Imatinib. We also examined Bcr-Abl expression at low and high levels as elevated expression has been associated with treatment failure. Cells expressing low levels of Bcr-Abl undergo apoptosis in response to the DNA-targeting agent (etoposide), whereas high-Bcr-Abl-expressing cells primarily induce autophagy. Autophagic populations engage a delayed nonapoptotic death; however, sufficient cells evade this and repopulate following the withdrawal of the drug. Non-Bcr-Abl-expressing 32D or Ba/F3 cells induce both apoptosis and autophagy in response to etoposide and can recover. Imatinib treatment induces both apoptosis and autophagy in all Bcr-Abl-expressing cells and populations rapidly recover. Inhibition of autophagy with ATG7 and Beclin1 siRNA significantly reduced the recovery of Imatinib-treated K562 cells, indicating the importance of autophagy for the recovery of treated cells. Combination regimes incorporating agents that disrupt Imatinib-induced autophagy would remain primarily targeted and may improve response to the treatment in CML.
  • Impact of pharmacotherapy on the incidence of transurethral prostatectomy for benign prostatic hyperplasia and the implications for surgical training.

    Long, R; Connolly, S; Sweeney, P; Mercy University Hospital, Grenville Place, Cork. ronanlong@hotmail.com (2012-01-31)
    Medical therapy has become first line treatment for Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) and in many cases TURP may no longer be required. Proof and quantification of this evolution in practice has been somewhat elusive and provided the principle impetus for this study. This is a retrospective study of BPH management in Republic of Ireland from 1995 to 2008. National treatment databases were sourced for numbers undergoing TURP and pharmacotherapy prescribing data was obtained from individual pharmaceutical companies. A total of 28,240 TURP's were performed nationally between 1995 and 2008. TURP's performed annually, decreased by 1,494 (51%), alpha-blocker prescriptions increased from 8,710 to 302,159 units and the number of urology trainees increased by 10 (60%). Clear association between decreases in TURP's and increases in pharmacotherapy for BPH is demonstrated. Implications on training likely exist and will require proper evaluation in order to maintain future standards in this surgical practice.
  • Progress in genomics, metabolism and biotechnology of bifidobacteria.

    Cronin, Michelle; Ventura, Marco; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; van Sinderen, Douwe; Cork Cancer Research Centre, Mercy University Hospital and Leslie C. Quick Jnr., Laboratory, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    Members of the genus Bifidobacterium were first described over a century ago and were quickly associated with a healthy intestinal tract due to their numerical dominance in breast-fed babies as compared to bottle-fed infants. Health benefits elicited by bifidobacteria to its host, as supported by clinical trials, have led to their wide application as probiotic components of health-promoting foods, especially in fermented dairy products. However, the relative paucity of genetic tools available for bifidobacteria has impeded development of a comprehensive molecular understanding of this genus. In this review we present a summary of current knowledge on bifidobacterial metabolism, classification, physiology and genetics and outline the currently available methods for genetically accessing and manipulating the genus.
  • Novel agents in the management of lung cancer.

    Kennedy, B; Gargoum, F; Bystricky, B; Curran, D R; O'Connor, T M; Department of Respiratory Medicine, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Survival remains poor as approximately 80% of cases present with advanced stage disease. However, new treatments are emerging which offer hope to patients with advanced disease. Insights into cell biology have identified numerous intracellular and extracellular peptides that are pivotal in cancer cell signalling. Disrupting the function of these peptides inhibits intracellular signal transduction and diminishes uncontrolled proliferation, resistance to apoptosis and tumour angiogenesis. The most widely studied signalling pathway is the Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) pathway. EGF signalling can be disrupted at numerous points. Blockade of the cell surface receptor is achieved by the monoclonal antibody cetuximab; intracellular tyrosine kinase activity is inhibited by erlotinib. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) regulates another pathway important for tumour growth. Inhibition of VEGF impairs angiogenesis and disrupts metastatic spread. Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to VEGF and blocks interaction with its cell surface receptor. Clinical trials have demonstrated that disruption of these signalling pathways can improve survival in advanced lung cancer. New compounds including folate antimetabolites such as pemetrexed, proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib, modified glutathione analogues such as TLK286, and other agents such as epothilones and other small molecules are currently being evaluated in patients with lung cancer. As more and more signalling peptides are targeted for manipulation, it is hoped that a new era is dawning in the treatment of advanced stage lung cancer. This review will focus on emerging new therapies in the management of lung cancer.
  • Management outcome of acute urinary retention: model of prediction.

    Daly, Padraig; Connolly, Stephen; Rogers, Eamonn; Sweeney, Paul; Department of Urology, Mercy University Hospital, University College Cork, Cork, , Ireland. (2012-01-31)
    OBJECTIVES: To assess for predictors of outcome in patients presenting with acute urinary retention (AUR). METHODS: A study was performed in our unit to evaluate trial without catheter (TWOC) and successive management. We assessed for predictors of surgical or medical management, which included: age, volume drained at time of catheterisation, cause of retention, serum creatinine, success of trial of voiding, co-morbidities, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate size on digital rectal examination (DRE). RESULTS: 72 men were entered into the study over an 18-month period: 27 had a successful first TWOC, 20 patients had a second TWOC, and 6 were successful. In total, 31 of the 33 patients with a successful TWOC remained on alpha-blockers without a further episode of AUR within a minimum of 6 months' follow-up. Patients failing TWOC were managed by transurethral resection of the prostate (n = 22), long-term catheterisation (n = 15) or prostatic stents (n = 3), and 1 patient died prior to intervention. Three predictors were significant on multivariate analysis: PSA (>2.9 ng/ml), prostate size on DRE (large) and volume drained at time of catheterisation (>or=1,000 ml). CONCLUSION: Patients with elevated PSA (>2.9 ng/ml), a large prostate size on DRE and a volume drained at time of catheterisation >1,000 ml are best managed by surgical intervention, while those with volumes drained at time of catheterisation of <1,000 ml, a PSA
  • B-type natriuretic peptide as predictor of heart failure in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction, single-vessel disease, and complete revascularization: follow-up study.

    Manola, Sime; Pavlovic, Nikola; Radeljic, Vjekoslav; Delic Brkljacic, Diana; Pintaric, Hrvoje; Stambuk, Kresimir; Bulj, Nikola; Trbusic, Matias; Krcmar, Tomislav; Lukinac, Ljerka; Departmet of Cardiology, Sisters of Mercy University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia. (2012-01-31)
    AIM: To assess the concentration of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) as a predictor of heart failure in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with successful and complete revascularization. METHODS: Out of a total of 220 patients with acute STEMI admitted to the Sisters of Mercy University Hospital in the period January 1 to December 31, 2007, only patients with acute STEMI undergoing primary PCI who had single vessel disease and were successfully revascularized were included in the study. Selected patients had no history of myocardial infarction or heart failure and a normal or near-normal left ventricular ejection fraction (> or =50%) assessed by left ventriculography at admission. Only 58 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. Out of those, 6 patients refused to participate in the study, and another 5 could not be followed up, so a total of 47 patients were evaluated. Blood samples were taken for measurement of BNP levels at admission, 24 hours later, and 7 days later. Patients were followed up for 1 year. The primary outcome was reduction in left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) to <50% after 1 year. RESULTS: Patients who developed echocardiographic signs of reduced systolic function defined as LVEF<50% had significantly higher values of BNP (> or =80 pg/mL) at 24 hours (P=0.001) and 7 days (P=0.020) after STEMI and successful reperfusion. Patients who had BNP levels > or =80 pg/mL after 7 days were 21 times more likely to develop LVEF<50 (odds ratio, 20.8; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-195.2; P=0.008). CONCLUSION: BNP can be used as a predictor of reduced systolic function in patients with STEMI who underwent successful reperfusion and had normal ejection fraction at admission.
  • Why routine intensive care unit admission after elective open infrarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm repair is no longer an evidence based practice.

    Ryan, David; McGreal, Gerard; Department of Vascular Surgery, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland., ryansurgeon@gmail.com (2012-01-31)
    BACKGROUND: Elective open infrarenal Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) repair is major surgery performed on high-risk patients. Routine ICU admission postoperatively is the current accepted standard of care. Few of these patients actually require a level of care that cannot be provided just as effectively in a surgical high dependency unit (HDU). Our aim was to determine, 'can high risk patients that will require ICU admission postoperatively be reliably identified preoperatively?'. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of all elective open infrarenal AAA repairs in our institution over a 3-year period was performed. The Estimation of Physiological Ability and Surgical Stress (E-PASS) model was used as our risk stratification tool for predicting post-operative morbidity. Renal function was also considered as a predictor of outcome, independent of the E-PASS. RESULTS: 80% (n = 16) were admitted to ICU. Only 30% (n = 6) of the total study population necessitated intensive care. There were 9 complications in 7 patients in our study. The E-PASS comprehensive risk score (CRS)/Surgical stress score (SSS) were found to be significantly associated with the presence of a complication (p = 0.009)/(p = 0.032) respectively. Serum creatinine (p = 0.013) was similarly significantly associated with the presence of a complication. CONCLUSIONS: The E-PASS model possessing increasing external validity is an effective risk stratification tool in safely deciding the appropriate level of post-operative care for elective infrarenal AAA repairs.

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