Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, NYU, Pediatrics, Science / 23.06.2016 Interview with: Guang Yang, Ph.D. Assistant Professor NYU Langone School of Medicine Alexandria Center for Life Sciences New York, NY 10016 What is the background for this study? How common is the problem of long-lasting behavioral deficits after repeated anesthesia exposure in neonates? Response: Each year, in the United States alone, more than 1 million children under 4 years of age undergo surgical procedures that require anesthesia. Many lines of evidence from animal studies have shown that prolonged or repeated exposure to general anesthesia during critical stages of brain development leads to long-lasting behavioral deficits later in life. The results from human studies are less clear, although some studies suggest a higher incidence of learning disabilities and attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorders in children repeatedly exposed to procedures requiring general anesthesia. To date, there has been no effective treatment to mitigate the potential neurotoxic effects of general anesthesia. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Columbia, JAMA, Pediatrics / 08.06.2016 Interview with: Lena S. Sun, MD E. M. Papper Professor of Pediatric Anesthesiology Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Anesthesiology Chief, Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology Columbia University Medical Center New York, New York 10032 What is the background for this study? Dr. Sun: The background for the study is as follow: There is robust evidence in both rodent and non-human primate studies that exposure of the developing brain leads to impairment in cognitive function and behavior later in life. The evidence from human studies derives mostly from retrospective studies and the results have been mixed. Some have demonstrated anesthesia in early childhood was associated with impaired neurocognitive function, while others have found no such association. Our study is the first to specifically designed to address the question of effects of general anesthesia exposure on cognitive function, comparing exposure with no exposure. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Surgical Research / 04.06.2016 Interview with: Dr Gilles Guerrier Cochin University Hospital Paris, France What is the background for this study? Dr. Guerrier: Awake eye surgery is particularly stressful for patients. Music has long been known to reduce anxiety, minimise the need for sedatives, and make patients feel more at ease. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the effect of music on anxiety in outpatients undergoing elective eye surgery under topical (local) anaesthesia. The music played was specifically composed to ease anxiety following strict criteria, including instrumental pieces only using a decreasing tempo and a progressive decrease in the number of instruments playing. Each patient was able to choose from a panel of 16 recorded music styles according to their own preferences, and listened through high quality headphones. There were various styles available, including jazz, flamenco, Cuban, classical and piano. The music was provided by MUSIC CARE, a Paris-based company that produces music aimed at preventing and managing pain, anxiety and depression. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Opiods, Pain Research / 04.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Sarah Saxena Université Libre de Bruxelles What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Saxena: Opioids are well known analgesics, but like every drug, they do not come without side-effects. Recently, certain studies have been published about an opioid-free approach in bariatric patients. An opioid free approach is possible combining ketamine, lidocaine and clonidine. We studied this type of approach in breast cancer patients and looked at several factors such as patient comfort pain quality after an opioid free approach vs after an opioid approach. The study showed patients requiring less analgesics after an opioid free approach. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Environmental Risks / 02.06.2016 Interview with: Dr. Eveline Claes Jessa Ziekenhuis Hospital Hasselt, Belgium What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background of this study was the presence of noise in our ICU, and patients complaining about it. We wanted to look into the problem. The main findings were that there is indeed too much noise in our ICU compared to the WHO recommendations, but the measured sound levels were comparable with other ICU's. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Surgical Research / 09.03.2016 Interview with: Unni Dokkedal, M.P.H. Unit of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Biodemography University of Southern Denmark MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?  Response: Early (seven days) postoperative cognitive impairment is common in adult surgical patients of all ages, but elderly patients are at higher risk for this complication. Previous studies have shown that these impairments are detectable up to three months after surgery in patients older than 60 years. Furthermore, the condition may persist for longer than six months in some patients with potential long-term implications of the surgery leading to impaired quality of life and increased mortality risk. We wanted to investigate the contribution of surgery, anesthesia, preexisting conditions and other factors on the postoperative cognitive functioning of elderly patients. MedicalResearch:  What are the main findings? Response: For a sample of 4,299 middle-aged twins younger than 70 years and 4,204 elderly twins over 70 years, all of whom were residents of Denmark, medical records were reviewed from 1977 and until the accomplishment of cognitive tests in the period from 1995 to 2001. Results from five cognitive tests were compared in twins exposed to surgery, classified as major, minor, hip and knee replacement, or other, with those of a reference group without surgery. A statistically significant lower composite cognitive score was found in twins with at least one major surgery compared with the reference group (mean difference, −0.27; 95% CI, −0.48 to −0.06), which is a negligible effect size. None of the other groups differed from the reference group except the knee and hip replacement group that tended to have higher cognitive scores (mean difference, 0.35; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.87).To consider genetic and shared environmental confounding and to take preoperative cognition into account, intrapair analyses were performed in same-sexed pairs in whom one had a history of major surgery and the other no surgery. No difference was found in the intra-pair analysis. The results suggest that preoperative cognitive functioning and underlying diseases were more important for cognitive functioning in mid- and late life than surgery and anesthesia. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease / 22.02.2016 Interview with: John G. Laffey MD Chief, Department of Anesthesia; Co-Director, Critical illness and Injury Research Centre; Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science ‑ St. Michael's Hospital Professor, Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Physiology ‑ University of Toronto Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Laffey: Acute respiratory distress syndrome is the commonest cause of severe acute respiratory failure in the critically ill. ARDS is a major cause of death and disability in the critically ill worldwide. Second, there is no treatment for ARDS, and our present management approaches are limited to supporting organ function while treating the underlying causes We performed the LUNG SAFE study to address several clinically important questions regarding ARDS. First, the current incidence in a large international cohort was not known. Large regional differences had been suggested: for example, the incidence of ARDS in the US was reported to be ten times greater of that in Europe_ENREF_4. Second, we wanted to understand how we manage patients with  Acute respiratory distress syndrome in the ‘real world’ situation. Specifically, it was not clear to what extent newer approaches to artificial ventilation, such as reducing the size of the breaths (lower tidal volumes) and keeping the lung pressure positive at all times to minimize collapse (PEEP) were used. The impact of studies showing promise for other measures to improve gas exchange such as turning patients prone during mechanical ventilation, or using neuromuscular blockade, on routine clinical practice in the broader international context was not known. Third, there were some concerns over the extent of clinician recognition of ARDS. This was an important issue because implementation of the effective therapies may be limited by lack of recognition of ARDS by clinicians. A better understanding the factors associated with ARDS recognition and how this recognition influenced patient management could lead to effective interventions to improve care. Lastly we wanted to determine the outcome from  Acute respiratory distress syndrome in a global cohort of patients. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Laffey: We found that ARDS continues to represent an important public health problem globally, with 10% of ICU patients meeting clinical criteria for ARDS. While there appeared to be some geographic variation, this did not seem as great as previously thought. An important finding was the under-recognition of  Acute respiratory distress syndrome by clinicians, with 40% of all cases not being recognized. In addition, over one third of patients did not receive protective lung ventilation strategies. The use of other measures to aid gas exchange during artificial ventilation, such as turning the patient into the prone position, or the use of neuromuscular blockade was also quite low. Of most concern, ARDS continues to have a very high mortality of approximately 40% of patients dying in hospital. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Duke, Radiology / 11.02.2016 Interview with: Mary Scott Soo, M.D. FACR Associate professor of Radiology Duke Cancer Institute Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Soo: Imaging-guided needle breast biopsies for diagnosing suspicious breast lesions have been performed for many years and have definite advantages as a diagnostic tool over surgical biopsies. These biopsies are performed in outpatient settings, which decrease costs and reduce delays, and are highly accurate and less invasive than surgical procedures, requiring only local anesthesia. However, performing biopsies in this outpatient setting limits the use of intravenous sedation and pain medication that could address commonly experienced patient anxiety and occasional associated pain. Anxiety and pain can negatively impact the patient's experience and could possibly affect the biopsy outcome due to patient movement, and could potentially even alter patients' adherence to follow-up recommendations. Prior studies have explored methods to reduce anxiety, using interventions such as music, hypnosis and anxiolytics. Although hypnosis and anxiolytics are effective, these are a little more complicated to implement due to training costs for administering hypnotherapy, and costs, potential side effects, and need for an adult driver to take the patients home when anxiolytics are used. Other research has shown that meditation-based interventions can lead to positive psychological and physical outcomes, and may be helpful for decreasing anxiety, pain and fatigue. Loving-kindness mediation is a type of mediation that focuses on relaxation and developing positive emotions, by silently repeating phrases encouraging compassion and goodwill towards oneself and others, while also reducing negative emotions. Previous studies have shown that even a 7-minute loving-kindness meditation can be effective for increasing positive emotions, so my co-authors Rebecca Shelby PhD, a clinical psychologist at Duke’s Pain Prevention and Treatment Research Program,clinical psychologist Anava Wrenn PhDwho has used loving-kindness meditation in a different practice setting, and breast imaging radiologist Jennifer Jarosz MD and I put together a team to study whether an audio-recorded, lovingkindness meditation could reduce anxiety, fatigue and pain during the imaging-guided breast biopsy time frame.  We consulted with Mary Brantley, MA, LMFT, who teaches loving-kindness meditation at Duke's Integrative Medicine, to develop an audio-recorded loving-kindness mediation used specifically in the breast biopsy setting, and compared this to using music during biopsies or standard care (supportive dialogue) from the technologist and radiologist performing the biopsy. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Frailty, JAMA, Surgical Research / 20.01.2016

More on Frailty on Interview with: Dr. Daniel I McIsaac, MD, MPH, FRCPC Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology Department of Anesthesiology The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus Ottawa, ON Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. McIsaac: Older age is a well-known risk factor for adverse outcomes after surgery, however, many older patients have positive surgical outcomes. Frailty is a syndrome that encompasses the negative health attributes and comorbidities that accumulate across the lifespan, and is a strong discriminating factor between high- and low-risk older surgical patients.  By definition, frail patients are “sicker” than non-frail patients, so their higher rates of morbidity and mortality after surgery aren’t surprising. However, frailty increases in prevalence with increasing age, so as our population ages we expect to see more frail people presenting for surgery.  Our goal was to evaluate the impact of frailty on postoperative mortality at a population-level, and over the first year after surgery to provide insights that aren’t available in the current literature, which largely consists of single center studies limited to in-hospital and 30-day outcome windows. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, PLoS / 16.01.2016

More on Anesthesiology on Interview with: Srivas Chennu, PhD Senior Research Associate Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge Visiting Scientist, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit College Research Associate, Homerton College Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Chennu:  Scientific understanding of how brain networks generate consciousness has seen rapid advances in recent years, but the application of this knowledge to accurately track transitions to unconsciousness during general anaesthesia has proven difficult. Crucially, one reason for this is the considerable individual variability in susceptibility to anaesthetic dosage.  To better understand the factors underlying this variability, we measured interconnected, oscillatory brain activity ('brain networks'), using non-invasive, high-density electroencephalography (EEG) from healthy volunteers while they were sedated with the common anaesthetic propofol. Alongside, we measured their behavioural responsiveness, and the actual concentration of the drug in their blood plasma.  (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Pain Research / 09.12.2015 Interview with: Michael D. April, MD, DPhil Department of Emergency Medicine San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium San Antonio, TX  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. April: Anesthesia research studies have found that nasal inhalation of isopropyl alcohol has efficacy in treating nausea among post-operative patients. We sought to study this agent among Emergency Department patients with nausea or vomiting. We found that patients randomized to inhale isopropyl alcohol had improved self-reported nausea scores compared to patients randomized to inhale saline (placebo). MedicalEditor's note:  Do Not Do This Without Medical Supervision! (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Pain Research / 03.11.2015 Interview with: Dr Emmanuel Boselli, MD, PhD Anesthesiology and Intensive Care University Claude Bernard Lyon I University of Lyon Lyon, France Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Boselli: We hypothesized that the use of conversational hypnosis in patients undergoing regional anesthesia procedures for ambulatory upper limb surgery might provide better comfort than the use of oral premedication during the regional anesthesia procedure. We assessed the subjective effect of conversational hypnosis on a patient self-reported comfort scale ranging from 0 (no comfort) to 10 (maximal comfort), and the objective effect was assessed using the Analgesia/Nociception Index (ANI), a 0-100 index derived from heart rate variability reflecting the relative parasympathetic tone. In our study of 100 patients undergoing hand surgery in two different centers, 50 had conversational hypnosis while being given regional anesthesia (Saint-Grégoire hospital), and 50 were given of oral hydroxyzine 30 minutes to an hour before the regional anesthesia procedure (Lyon hospital). Patients having hypnosis measured an average ANI of 51 before and 78 after hypnosis, whereas those who had premedication averaged 63 before and 70 after. The average comfort scale of those who had received hypnosis was 6.7 before and 9.3 after, while patients who had medication averaged 7.8 before and 8.3 after. The main finding of this study is that conversational hypnosis induced greater increase in comfort scales and ANI values than oral premedication. Medical Research: What is conversational hypnosis? What does it consist of? Dr. Boselli: Conversational hypnosis consists of matching the patient's behavioral communication patterns, reflective listening, avoiding any negative suggestion (e.g. "Keep calm and quiet" instead of "Please don't move!") and focalizing the patient's attention on something else than the regional anesthesia procedure, such as the ultrasound machine screen. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 26.10.2015 Interview with: Jashvant Poeran MD PhD Assistant Professor Dept. of Population Health Science & Policy Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Poeran: Neuraxial anesthesia and peripheral nerve blocks  are two techniques for regional anesthesia for hip and knee replacements. Compared to general anesthesia, these two regional anesthesia techniques are increasingly seen as ‘higher quality care’ as a growing number of studies show that patients have better outcomes after surgery when regional anesthesia is used. However, less is known about the factors that influence the process of anesthetic care. This is important information because the choice for regional anesthesia might affect outcomes after hip and knee replacement surgery. We therefore used a large national database of health claims of hip and knee replacement procedures to study if specific patient subgroups were less likely to receive regional anesthesia. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, CHEST, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, PTSD, Pulmonary Disease / 24.10.2015 Interview with: Jad Kebbe, MD Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department of Medicine University of Buffalo Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kebbe: This study proceeded after sensing that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was a major contributor to ill outcomes in Veterans who are hospitalized in general, and mechanically ventilated in the intensive care unit (ICU) in particular. There is plenty of data depicting the comorbid roles PTSD plays in other medical conditions, leading to an increase in the use of medical services. Furthermore, PTSD affects a Veteran’s adherence to both medical and psychiatric therapies. Having said this, the ICU course could itself negatively affect a pre-existing PTSD, or even lead to the inception of such a condition de novo. However, to date, there has been no study looking at the effect a pre-existing PTSD diagnosis may have on the ICU hospitalization and thereafter. Our study confirmed that PTSD led to an increase in sedative requirements (opiates and benzodiazepines) for Veterans who were mechanically ventilated for more than 24h between 2003 and 2013, and revealed a trend towards an increase in mortality when compared to Veterans not suffering from PTSD. This is why many veterans are trying to claim disability benefits using va benefits and disability lawyer Tennessee to help them fight their case. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 04.09.2015

Dr. Gregory M.T. Hare MD PhD Department of Anesthesia St. Michael's Interview with: Dr. Gregory M.T. Hare MD PhD Department of Anesthesia St. Michael's Hospital Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hare: While many randomized trials had demonstrated that tranexamic acid (TXA therapy) was effective at reducing surgical blood loss and red blood cell transfusion in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery, our hospital and many other centers in Ontario were not fully utilizing this therapy. Part of the reason was a concern about drug safety and potential side effects. While no serious adverse events had been reported using TXA, we set out to assess the impact of a protocol designed to ensure that we administered TXA (20 mg/kg iv preoperatively) to all eligible patients undergoing hip and knee replacement and determining the effect on our red blood cell transfusion rate and adverse effects including blood clot, stroke, heart attack, kidney injury and death. We excluded patients at high risk of any thrombotic complication. After implementing our protocol, we increased utilization of the drug from 46% to 95% of eligible patients. With this increase in TXA use, we observed a 40% reduction in red blood cell transfusion. The impact was greater in patients with pre-operative anemia, but was also effective in non-anemic patients. The threshold for transfusion was not different after initiating our protocol and patients were discharged with higher red blood cell counts. Length of hospital stay remained constant and the incidence of adverse events did not increase. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Journal Clinical Oncology, Surgical Research / 19.08.2015

Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, MM, MT-BC University Hospitals Of Cleveland Cleveland, Interview with: Jaclyn Bradley Palmer, MM, MT-BC University Hospitals Of Cleveland Cleveland, OH  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients awaiting breast cancer surgery may be understandably anxious. While pharmacologic intervention may reduce anxiety, higher doses of preoperative drugs can depress circulation and respiration, making alternative measures a particular interest. Music therapy is the clinical use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a board-certified music therapist. While music in surgery has been researched under the label of "music therapy", many of the studied investigations illicit recorded music provided by non-music therapy staff, making it truly "music medicine" practices instead. In this investigation, the effect of both live and recorded music therapy on anxiety, anesthesia requirements, recovery time and patient satisfaction were studied perioperatively. Breast cancer surgery patients were engaged in a brief music therapy session which consisted of one live or recorded preferred song choice, followed by discussion and processing of emotions. Compared to usual care, both live and recorded music therapy groups experienced significantly greater reductions in anxiety (p<.001) with point reductions of 27.5 (42.5%) and 26.7 (41.2%), respectively. During surgery, both music groups listened to music-therapist selected recorded, instrumental harp music, chosen for it's evidence-based therapeutic value of smooth lines, consistent volumes and stable melodies. In measuring the amount of interoperative drug (propofol) needed to reach moderate sedation, the intraoperative music was not found to have an effect in this trial. Patient satisfaction was universally high in all three study groups. Those who received live music preoperatively were discharged an average of 12.5 minutes sooner than those who received recorded music preoperatively, although neither music group was dischanged significantly sooner than the control group. Subjective reactions to the music interventions relayed that music therapy in surgery was an enjoyable addition. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, BMJ, Surgical Research / 24.06.2015

Dr. Andrea Tricco Ph.D Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Interview with: Dr. Andrea Tricco Ph.D Dalla Lana School of Public Health University of Toronto Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tricco: We were commissioned by Health Canada to assess the safety and effectiveness of serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists in patients undergoing surgery. In order to examine this research question, we conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis including >450 studies. We found that more patients receiving granisetron plus dexamethasone experienced arrhythmia compared to all other interventions and placebo. No differences were observed regarding mortality and QT prolongation in meta‐analysis; no studies reported on PR prolongation or sudden cardiac death. Granisetron plus dexamethasone was often the most effective antiemetic, with the number needed to treat ranging from two to nine. We found that ondansetron plus droperidol intravenous (IV) was also a highly effective antiemetic for decreasing the risk of vomiting and post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV). (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA / 21.06.2015 Interview with: Christoph Czarnetzki MD, MBA Division of Anesthesiology Geneva University Hospitals Geneva, Switzerland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Czarnetzki: In the US, about 40 million patients undergo a general anesthetic each year, and approximately 12,000 broncho-aspirate. Broncho-aspiration of gastric juice may lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, carrying a 40% mortality rate. The risk is increased 10-fold in patients undergoing emergency surgery. Trauma patients may have ingested food before their accident, or have swallowed blood from oral or nasal injuries. Also, gastric emptying is delayed due to head injury, stress, pain, and opioid medication. Non-trauma patients may have delayed gastric emptying due to paralytic ileus and critical illness, leading to significant residual stomach content even after long fasting periods. Erythromycin, a macrolide antibiotic, and motilin receptor agonist induces antral contractions, and increases the lower esophageal sphincter tone, which is an important barrier against gastro-esophageal reflux. Although gastric emptying properties of erythromycin are well known, its efficacy in patients undergoing emergency surgery has never been investigated before to our knowledge. In our study we included 132 patients undergoing general anesthesia for emergency procedures and we could show that erythromycin increased the proportion of clear stomach and decreased acidity of residual gastric liquid. Dependent of the definition of empty stomach (less than 40 ml and absence of solid food or completely empty stomach) the absolute risk reduction ranged from 17% to 24%, equivalent to a number needed to treat of four to six patients to produce one completely cleared stomach. Erythromycin was particularly efficacious in non-trauma patients. Adverse effects were minor. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Surgical Research / 31.05.2015

Prof. Dr. Robert Sanders MD Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology & Critical Care Trials & Interdisciplinary Outcomes Network (ACTION) Department of Anesthesiology University of Wisconsin, Madison, Interview with: Prof. Dr. Robert Sanders MD Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology & Critical Care Trials & Interdisciplinary Outcomes Network (ACTION) Department of Anesthesiology University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sanders: While it is known that chronic raised blood pressure exerts important effects on long term health outcomes, it is unclear how pre-operative blood pressure levels effect risk from surgery. In this study we show that after adjustment for other diseases, high blood pressure does not increase perioperative risk. Rather low blood pressure is associated with an increase in risk of death following surgery and anesthesia. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, JAMA, Sleep Disorders / 24.02.2015

Nick Franks FSB, FRCA, FMedSci, FRS Professor of Biophysics and Anaesthetics, Professor William Wisden, Chair in Molecular Interview Professor Nick Franks  Professor of Biophysics and Anaesthetics Professor William Wisden, Chair in Molecular Neuroscience Department of Life sciences Wolfson Laboratories, Imperial College, South Kensington London Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Profs. Franks and Wisden: We were interested in finding out how a particular type of sedative drug, dexmedetomidine, works in the brain. This drug is increasingly used during intensive care for sedation of patients, but unlike other powerful sedatives, it induces a state whereby the patient can be temporarily woken up. This is a highly useful property because it means patients can be both sedated and responsive during procedures. The drugged sedative state induced by dexmedetomidine struck us as being highly similar to the deep sleep that we all need to have if we have been extensively sleep deprived. If people and animals are kept awake for extended periods of time, they have to sleep. Most people know this from common experience - catching up on lost sleep. But how and why we need to sleep after sleep deprivation is not known. We found that dexmedetomidine-induced sedation and this recovery sleep used the same brain circuits, in a tiny area at the base of the brain called the preoptic hypothalamus. To do this we used a new genetic technique in mice that allowed us to mark or "tag" which neurons in the mouse’s brain were active during sedation or recovery sleep after sleep deprivation. The beauty of this technique is that we could then specifically reactivate these same neurons several days later with a special molecule that only binds to the tagged neurons. This reactivation caused the mice to go into a deep sleep. We concluded that the sedative drug dexmedetomidine copies or hijacks the mechanism used by the brain to respond to sleep deprivation and trigger deep sleep. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews / 22.01.2015

Daniel Sessler, M.D. Michael Cudahy Professor and Chair of the Department of Outcomes Research Cleveland Interview with: Daniel Sessler, M.D. Michael Cudahy Professor and Chair of the Department of Outcomes Research Cleveland Clinic Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sessler: That intraoperative hypothermia is well established. However, temperature patterns during surgery are not. We thus evaluated core temperature in more tan 50,000 surgical patients, all of whom were actively warmed with forced air. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Infections / 11.10.2014 Interview with: Sana Dastgheyb National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MDDepartment of Orthopedic Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA and Dr. Noreen Hickok Department of Orthopedic Surgery Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Response: Physicians have long been resigned to the fact that staphylococcal joint infections are among the most challenging to treat. Our study points towards a definitive mechanism whereby bacteria become insensitive to antibiotics in the human joint environment. We added MRSA to synovial fluid and observed dense, biofilm-like aggregates, as well as a relative insensitivity to antibiotics as compared to ideal medium. Our findings suggest that serum/extracellular matrix proteins within synovial fluid contribute greatly to staphylococcal antibiotic insensitivity in synovial fluid. Furthermore, pre-treatment of synovial fluid with the enzyme plasmin, which degrades extracellular matrix proteins, significantly inhibits aggregate formation, and restores normal antibiotic sensitivity to MRSA. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Pain Research, Surgical Research / 30.08.2014

Ian Gilron, MD, MSc, FRCPC Director of Clinical Pain Research Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, and Center for Neuroscience Studies Queen's University Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Interview with: Ian Gilron, MD, MSc, FRCPC Director of Clinical Pain Research Professor of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, and Center for Neuroscience Studies Queen's University Kingston General Hospital, Kingston, Ontario, Canada Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Gilron: Pain is the most common symptom which prevents recovery from surgery. Even with the best available treatments today, many patients still suffer from moderate to severe pain after surgery. Antidepressants - drugs used to treat depression - are also proven effective for treating chronic pain due to nerve disease and fibromyalgia. However, there has been much less research on the effects of antidepressant drugs on pain after surgery. Our group conducted a systematic review of all published clinical trials of antidepressant for post surgical pain. Slightly more than half of these studies suggested some benefit of these drugs but the details of this review led us to conclude that there is not yet enough evidence to recommend these medications for post surgical pain treatment. Given the possibility that these medications could be useful treatments for pain after surgery, we believe that future studies of higher scientific quality and which involve larger numbers of patients should be carried out in the hopes of finding safer and more effective treatments for pain after surgery. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Fish, PLoS, Toxin Research / 20.08.2014

Prof. Peter B. Marko Department of Biology University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, Interview with: Prof. Peter B. Marko Department of Biology University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study Prof. Marko: The main finding of the study was that species substitutions and fishery stock substitutions together obscure a complex pattern of mercury contamination in Chilean sea bass (or Patagonian toothfish) that can put consumers unknowingly at risk of ingesting greater levels of mercury than the labeling would suggest.  Although it is well appreciated that mercury levels vary dramatically among different species of fish, and that species substitutions have the potential to expose consumers to unwanted mercury, our study shows that for Chilean sea bass, fish mislabeled as to their country or region of origin (but labeled as the correct species) have a high potential to expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Karolinski Institute / 19.08.2014 Interview with: Jan G. Jakobsson Institution for Clinical Science Karolinska Institutet, Danderyds Hospital Stockholm, Sweden Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Jakobsson:  We found that anaesthesiologists and nurse anaesthetists were concerned about the risk for neurocognitive side effects, but there routines and practice for preoperative identification of patients at risk, intraoperative management to minimise risk and assessment and management of patients showing signs and/or symptoms of neurocognitive side effects after anaesthesia was rarely at place. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Emergency Care / 01.08.2014 Interview with: Lindsay Cohen MD Department of Emergency Medicine University of British Columbia Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Cohen: In our systematic review of the literature, we sought to synthesize the available evidence on the effect of ketamine on clinical outcomes as compared to other sedative agents in intubated patients. Our outcomes of interest included intracranial and cerebral perfusion pressures, neurologic outcomes, ICU length of stay, and mortality. We included only randomized controlled trials and prospective controlled studies, and identified a total of ten studies that met our inclusion criteria. Due to the lack of homogeneity in the studies, data was analyzed in a qualitative manner. None of the studies reported significant differences between ketamine and other sedative agents for any of our outcomes of interest. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Menopause / 04.11.2013 Interview with: David Walega, MD Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.David Walega, MD Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Walega: Patients who underwent a single stellate ganglion injection with a local anesthetic had a 50% decrease in moderate -to- very severe hot flashes and this effect appeared to last thru the 6 month duration of the study; the placebo or "sham control" group had injections of saline and they did not demonstrate long-term improvements in hot flash symptoms (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Duke, Pain Research / 21.07.2013

Ru-Rong Ji, PhD Professor, Chief of Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC Interview with: Ru-Rong Ji, PhD Professor, Chief of Pain Research Department of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology Duke University Medical Center Durham, NC 27710 Neuroprotectin/Protectin D1 protects neuropathic pain in mice after nerve trauma What are the main findings of the study? Answer: We found the pro-resolution lipid mediator protectin D1 (PD1), derived from the fish oil DHA, can effectively prevent nerve injury-induced neuropathic pain. This treatment can also prevent nerve injury-induced neuroinflammation in the spinal cord (such as glial activation and expression of cytokines and chemokines, e.g., IL-1b, CCL2). These cytokines and chemokines are known to elicit pain. (more…)