Author Interviews, JAMA, Pain Research, Surgical Research, University of Pittsburgh, Weight Research / 06.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wendy King, PhD Associate Professor of Epidemiology Epidemiology Data Center, Room 105 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 15213 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. King: Severe obesity is associated with significant joint pain and impaired physical function, such as difficulty bending, lifting carrying and walking. Excess weight can lead to joint damage and accompanying pain, resulting in activity restriction and walking limitations. Obesity can also contribute to pain and physical limitations through factors such as impaired cardiorespiratory function, systematic inflammation, reduced flexibility, low strength per body mass, and depression.  Previous studies have reported significant improvements in mean values of bodily and joint specific pain, physical function, and walking capacity in the first 3-12 months following RYGB or LAGB. However, very few studies have examined the variability in response to surgery or reported on longer-term follow-up of these procedures. My colleagues and I followed 2,221 patients participating in the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2, a large NIH-funded prospective study of adults with severe obesity undergoing weight-loss surgery at one of 10 hospitals across the U.S. Through three years of follow-up, approximately 50 to 70 % of patients who underwent bariatric surgery reported clinically important improvements in bodily pain, physical function and usual walking speed. About three-quarters of the participants with symptoms indicative of osteoarthritis before surgery experienced improvements in knee and hip pain and function. In addition, over half of participants who had a mobility deficit prior to surgery did not post-surgery. Several baseline characteristics such as younger age, male sex, higher household income, lower body mass index, fewer depressive symptoms and no history of diabetes or venous edema with ulcerations, were associated with a higher chance of improvement in pain and physical function following surgery. In addition, pre- to post-surgery reductions in weight and depressive symptoms, and remission of diabetes and venous edema with ulcerations were associated with pre- to post-surgery improvements. Thus, our findings reinforce results from shorter-term studies by addressing the durability or response and expand our understanding of the variability in response, and what factors are related to chance of improvement. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 04.04.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ana Priscila Soggia Sirio Libanes Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For many years, bariatric surgery is performed to treat class II and III obesity with diabetes remission in 80-90% of cases, related to weight loss and change in the secretion of intestinal factors that control blood glucose, like GLP-1 and GIP. In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), proposed that diabetic patients with BMI between 30-35kg/m2 could be eligible, for bariatric surgery, in the case of no glycemic control with drug treatment. In this context, once glycemic control after bariatric surgery, was not related only to weight loss and also due to intestinal factors with physiological actions, the protocol was proposed. The objectives were to compare the clinical and surgical treatment in diabetics patients with class I obesity; and to compare the efficacy and security between two different surgical techniques. This study was developed and conducted by a research team from Sirio-Libanês Hospital in partnership with Ministry of Health through its philanthropic program PROADI. It is a clinical trial, with 42 class I obese diabetic type 2 patients with inadequate glycemic control that were randomized to tree arms: clinical treatment, gastric bypass surgery or sleeve with ileal transposition (sleeve-IT) surgery. The results showed that the sleeve-IT procedure is more effective for the treatment of diabetes in these patients compared with treatment with medication and with bypass surgery, currently considered the first choice of treatment. Among patients who underwent sleeve-IT, 100% achieved glycemic control after 1 year (HbA1c<6,5%) compared to 46% for bypass and 8% in the case of medication therapy. In addition, diabetes remission, that was defined as adequate glycemic control without any anti-diabetic medication, occured in 75% of sleeve-IT patients had versus 30% in bypass group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Pulmonary Disease, Surgical Research, Technology / 18.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ariel Drori MD Hadassah Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the ThoraXS device? Dr. Drori: The initial recognition of the need for a device like ThoraXS first came to me on an operational deployment during my reserve service where I serve as a military doctor. While serving on the Gazan border, I was called to a battle scene to treat a soldier who was suffering from pneumothorax after being shot in the chest.  A quick evacuation by helicopter meant that I didn't have the time to perform the entire procedure and I was forced to hand over a partially-treated patient whose condition was unstable. The reality of constant combat injuries mixed with a rising number of daily civilian terror attack casualties led us to understand that we need to provide a cheap, easy to use, robust and reliable solution that on the one hand can withstand the most extreme combat conditions and on the other, be used by any paramedic and in any pre-hospital and hospital setting. This line of thought eventually led to the adoption of ThoraXS's simple yet sophisticated mechanical mechanism that ticks all the boxes. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Flu - Influenza, Kaiser Permanente, Surgical Research, Vaccine Studies / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sara Y. Tartof, PhD, MPH Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tartof: The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, hospitalizations and, in some cases, even death. Some people, such as older adults, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications. In addition to recommending annual flu vaccination for people 6 months of age and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitalized patients who are eligible receive the flu vaccine before discharge. Historically, inpatient rates of vaccination have been low. There has been concern among surgeons that vaccinating patients while they are in the hospital can contribute to increased risk of vaccine-related fever or muscle pain, which might be incorrectly attributed to surgical complications. However, there have been no data to support that concern. The objective of this study was to provide clinical evidence that would either substantiate or refute concerns about the safety of perioperative vaccination. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics, PLoS, Surgical Research / 16.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mairead Black MBChB, MRCOG, MSc Clinical Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology School of Medicine and Dentistry, Division of Applied Health Sciences University of Aberdeen Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road Aberdeen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Black: The commonest reason for performing a planned Cesarean Section (CS) in high-income countries is a history of a previous CS. However, there is very little information available on childhood health outcomes of birth after a previous . MedicalResearch.com: Why might vaginal birth be beneficial? Dr. Black: If a baby is born naturally, it is exposed to various processes of labour and birth which may help their immunity and ability to avoid or fight future illness. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Johns Hopkins, Surgical Research / 15.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shaun C. Desai, MD Assistant Professor Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Desai: Estimates of the rate of revision septorhinoplasty and the risk factors associated with revision are unknown because the current published literature is limited to small, retrospective, single-surgeon studies with limited follow-up time. The purpose of this study is to determine the overall revision rates of patients undergoing a septorhinoplasty procedure (for functional or cosmetic reasons) and to determine risk factors for the revision. We found that the overall revision rate was 3.3% (5,775 patients of a total of 175,842 patients undergoing the procedure) with an average time to revision at 1 year. Risk factors for revision surgery included female gender, younger age, a history of anxiety or autoimmune disease, cosmetic indications, and more complicated initial surgery (i.e. cleft rhinoplasty). (more…)
Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Naveen Pokala, MD Division of Urology University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65212 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Pokala: The main purpose of the study was to determine survival outcome following salvage prostatectomy in men that fail radiation therapy. Radiation and surgery are the main modalities utilized to treat localized prostate cancer. When patients fail radiation treatment, traditionally, only hormonal treatment was offered. With refinements in surgical techniques, a select few of these patients that have recurrence after radiation may benefit with salvage surgery. Salvage prostatectomy is a complex procedure because prior radiation makes this procedure tenuous, but this procedure is offered in most major tertiary medical centers. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hospital Readmissions, JAMA, Orthopedics, Surgical Research / 11.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ronald S. Chamberlain, MD, MPA, FACS Chairman and Surgeon-in-Chief Department of Surgery Saint Barnabas Medical Center Professor of Surgery New Jersey Medical School Rutgers University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Dr. Chamberlain:  With the rapidly growing arthritic, aging, and obese population, total hip replacement (THR) has become the most commonly performed orthopedic procedure in the United States (US).  The Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama imposed financial penalties for excess readmissions following certain procedures and diagnoses. While the initial program aimed to reduce readmissions for heart failure, pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the program expanded to include THR in 2015. With current research estimating a 10%, 30-day readmission rate following a total or partial hip replacement, this study sought to identify factors associated with readmission and to create a scale which could reliably stratify preoperative readmission risk. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Surgical Research / 09.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com 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…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 06.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Seung-Whan Lee, MD, PHD Associate professor, Asan Medical Center University of Ulsan College of Medicine on behalf of our investigators.  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Survival benefit of successful coronary Chronic Total Occlusion  (CTO) recanalization has been a rationale behind PCI for CTOs. However, this knowledge is based on many observational studies that predate the widespread use of dedicated devices or techniques, drug-eluting stents (DESs), and current standards of medical management, making them low-quality evidence from the current perspective. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Our study showed that successful PCI using DES was not associated with a lower risk for mortality compared with failed CTO-PCI. The revascularization strategy for non-CTO vessels, high frequency of subsequent CABG in patients with failed PCI, and high procedural success with low life-threatening complication rate may all have contributed to our study finding. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Surgical Research, Urology / 29.02.2016

Medicalresearch.com Interview with: Dr. Pedro Recabal, MD and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Surgery, Urology Service New York, NY Urology service, Fundacion Arturo Lopez Perez, Santiago, Chile Dr. Vincent P. Laudone, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Surgery Urology Service New York, NY Medicalresearch.com What is the background for this study? Response:  One of the most concerning adverse events that may arise following surgery for prostate cancer (radical prostatectomy) is postoperative erectile dysfunction. The loss of erectile function after surgery is most frequently caused by intraoperative injury to the neurovascular bundles, tiny packages of blood vessels and nerves that conduct the impulses responsible for erection. It is known that if both bundles are removed, patients seldom recover erectile function. Accordingly, neurovascular bundle preservation during Radical prostatectomy has proven benefits in terms of erectile function recovery. However, as these bundles are intimately associated with the posterolateral aspects of the prostate, they must be carefully separated from the surface of the prostate without cutting them, applying excessive traction, or using cautery, all of which could produce irreversible damage and the consequent loss of function. During this dissection, the surgeon risks cutting into the prostatic capsule , which could result in leaving tumor behind. In some cases, the tumor extends beyond the prostate into the neurovascular bundles, and an attempt to preserve these structures could also result in incomplete tumor removal, defeating the purpose of radical prostatectomy. Therefore, many urologists treating patients with “aggressive” tumors (such as the patients in our cohort) would try to avoid leaving cancer behind by removing not only the prostate but also the tissue around it, including the neurovascular bundles. In other words, if you had to chose between removing all the cancer but loosing erectile function, or preserving erectile function but risking an incomplete cancer removal, most patients and surgeons naturally lean towards the first option. Also, in many centers, patients with aggressive prostate cancers are managed with combined treatments (multimodal therapy), by adding hormonal therapy and/or radiotherapy, which could also result in erectile dysfunction. As such, many surgeons believe that there is no rationale for attempting to preserve the neurovascular bundles in these “high-risk” patients because most will end up with erectile dysfunction . However, with the advent of MRI (and integrating other clinical information such as location of the positive biopsies, and intraoperative cues), surgeons can now have a better idea of where the cancer is located, which may aid in surgical planning. For instance, if a tumor is located in the anterior prostate, removing the neurovascular bundles (located on the posterolateral aspects) would provide no oncologic benefit, regardless of the aggressiveness of the tumor. Similarly, if the tumor compromises only the left side, removing the right neurovascular bundle is unlikely to help the patient, but can instead result in harm. Moreover, neurovascular bundle preservation is not an all-or-none procedure; on each side, these bundles can be completely preserved (meaning dissecting exactly along the border between the prostate and the bundle); partially preserved (meaning preserving some of the nerves that are further away from the prostate, and removing the ones that are closer to the prostate); or completely removed along with the prostate (This has been graded in a scale from 1 to 4, where 1 represents complete preservation, and 4 represents complete removal of the neurovascular bundle, with 2 and 3 being partial preservation. This grade is recorded by the surgeon for each side, at the end of the procedure.) As such, sometimes it’s possible to preserve part of the bundle, even if there is a tumor on the same side We designed a retrospective study to look at how high volume surgeons at MSKCC performed radical prostatectomy in high risk patients (how frequently and to what extent where the neurovascular bundles preserved), and what were the outcomes in terms of positive surgical margins (a surrogate for “leaving tumor behind”); use of additional oncologic treatments such as hormone therapy or radiotherapy, and finally, erectile function recovery in patients with functional erections before the operation. The patients in our cohort had at least one NCCN-defined high risk criteria (Gleason score ≥ 8; PSA ≥ 20 ng/ml; Clinical stage ≥ T3). (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Ophthalmology, Surgical Research, Toxin Research / 27.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yu-Chih Hou, MD Department of Ophthalmology National Taiwan University Hospital Taipei, Taiwan MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Yu-Chih Hou: We have encountered 3 patients with right eye pain and corneal edema after left orofacial surgery under general anesthesia since December 6. 2010. The first patient underwent a left tongue tumor excision by an ENT doctor. Postoperative day one, corneal epithelial defect and edema with mild anterior chamber reaction were noted in the right eye. Because his presentation was different from corneal abrasion which was the most common eye injury after general anesthesia, we suspected this ocular complication could be due to toxic reaction to antiseptic. Although corneal edema decreased, corneal endothelial cell density decreased and cataract developed later in the first patient. Two months later, the second patient had a similar toxic keratopathy but with severe corneal edema in his right eye after wide tumor excision of left lower gingival cancer by dentist surgeons. We found the antiseptic they used contained alcohol. We recommended not to use alcohol-containing antiseptics in oral surgery. Unfortunately, more severe toxic keratopathy occurred in the third patient after a left nasal tumor excision by other ENT doctor one year later. Because these severe ocular complications may occur again, it raised us to do detail study and we found all antiseptics they used contained alcohol. We hope to prevent occurrence of this toxic keratopathy in nonocular surgery by reporting our findings to other clinicians. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, PAD, Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania / 26.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Grace Wang MD FACS Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Wang: PAD is a major source of morbidity and mortality resulting in functional impairment, limb loss, as well as death. Despite epidemiologic studies which have contributed to our understanding of PAD prevalence and its association with traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, there have been conflicting studies published on the incidence of PAD and differences in treatment outcomes in women versus men. Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at particularly high risk for PAD. We set out to to define how the incidence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) differs according to sex and age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Esophageal, Lung Cancer, Radiology, Surgical Research, University of Michigan / 25.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark A. Healy, MD Department of Surgery Center for Healthcare Outcomes & Policy, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Healy: In our study, we found high overall use of PET as a primary study for recurrence detection in lung and esophageal cancers, with substantial hospital-based variation in the use of PET. Despite this, there was not a significant difference in survival for patients across high and low PET use hospitals. (more…)
Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 19.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Junaid A. Bhatti, MBBS, MSc, PhD Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Research Institute Toronto, Canada  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Bhatti: Weight loss surgeries are consistently increasing in the US. While the positive impact of surgery on patient’s health are undebatable, limited information is available about long-term healthcare utilization, especially, emergency care utilization in bariatric surgery patients. This study compared emergency care utilization in bariatric patients three years following surgery to that of three years prior to surgery. Overall, we found that emergency care utilization increased by about 17% following surgery compared to the before surgery period. While complaints related to cardiovascular, ear, respiratory, and dermatology decreased, the complaints related to gastrointestinal, genitourinary, mental health, and substance misuse increased following surgery.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, NEJM, Surgical Research / 18.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. William A Gray, MD Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease Main Line Health President of Main Line Health’s Lankenau Heart Institute  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gray: The basis for this study was two-fold: the ACST-1 trial had shown, in asymptomatic patients with severe carotid disease, that immediate Carotid Endarterectomy reduced subsequent stroke as compared to deferred Carotid Endarterectomy---so the next logical question was, could Carotid Artery Stenting (CAS) compare as an equal alternative to Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) in this same, standard risk, population with severe carotid stenosis. The CREST trial, as originally constructed and at the time ACT 1 was conceived did not include this population (although it later expanded to encompass asymptomatic patients as well), so it was an open question. The second reason had to do with Abbott Vascular, the study sponsor, achieving FDA regulatory approval for their stent system in this population---as well as in the symptomatic population being studied n CREST (which they were also the device sponsor). The main findings were that the primary endpoint of death/stroke and MI at 30 days plus ipsilateral stroke out to 1 and 5 years was not different between CAS and CEA in asymptomatic patients with severe carotid stenosis on good medical secondary prevention therapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, JAMA, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 17.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Art Sedrakyan MD PhD ScD Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research in Cardiothoracic Surgery Department of Public Health Weill Cornell Medical College  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Sedrakyan: In the most recent years available to us for research(2011-2013) one in four women underwent repeat surgery within 90 days after breast conserving approach to cancer removal. Patients operated by higher volume physicians had lower chance of undergoing repeat surgery.Uniform guidelines and increased surgical training are needed to standardize the breast conserving surgery to reduce the high rate of repeat surgery. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Surgical Research / 14.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Josep Rodés-CabauMD Director, Catheterization and Interventional Laboratories Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several concerns have recently emerged regarding valve thrombosis post-TAVR. It has been also proposed that rapid changes in transvalvular gradients may be the hallmark of valve thrombosis despite of the absence of clinical symptoms. However, no data exist on the incidence of and factors associated with valve hemodynamic deterioration (VHD) following TAVR. We included 1,521 patients who underwent TAVR in 10 centers worldwide. VHD was defined as an absolute change in mean transvalvular gradient during follow-up ≥10 mm Hg compared with discharge assessment. Incidence of  valve hemodynamic deterioration was 4.5% during a mean echocardiographic FU of 20 months (2.8% within the first year). We found that the lack of anticoagulation therapy, a valve-in-valve procedure (TAVR in a surgical valve), a greater BMI, and the use of a 23mm transcatheter valve were the factors associated with higher rates of VHD post-TAVR. Also, the absence of anticoagulant therapy remained as an independent predictor of VHD in a sub-analysis excluding patients with small valves, valve-in-valve procedure, and aortic regurgitation at discharge ≥moderate. We think these results suggest a thrombotic mechanism as one of the factors underlying VHD. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, Weight Research / 11.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lance Davidson, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Exercise Sciences Brigham Young University Provo, UT  84602  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Davidson: A growing body of literature indicates that bariatric surgery imparts a mortality benefit in severely obese individuals.  Whether age at surgery affects this relationship is not well established.  One might suppose that a person who has been severely obese for several decades may already have sustained enough metabolic damage that weight loss surgery would have less influence on subsequent mortality.  We conducted an age-specific analysis of a previously-published mortality cohort in gastric bypass patients and severely obese controls, following them for up to 18 years (mean 7.2 years), and examined mortality rates in four age categories: under 35, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-74. The primary finding of this retrospective cohort study was that gastric bypass surgery attenuated the age-related increase in mortality, demonstrating a widening gap in mortality risk when compared to age-matched severely obese controls as age-at-surgery increased, with a 66% reduction in mortality in the oldest group.  Another interesting result, highlighted in our previous publication on this cohort (Adams et al. NEJM 2007), was a higher mortality rate from external causes (accidents, poisonings, suicides, homicides) in surgery patients.  We explored this phenomenon further by age at surgery and found that externally-caused deaths were only increased in women (not men) who had surgery before age 35. (more…)
Author Interviews, Surgical Research / 05.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Ross Davenport PhD Post doctoral clinical academic working at the Royal London Hospital Queen Mary University of London MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Davenport: Bleeding is the leading cause of preventable death in trauma. Globally, bleeding following injury is estimated to be responsible for over two million deaths per year. Current treatment strategies focus on the rapid delivery of red blood cells, plasma and other clotting products. However, the logistics of providing the correct quantities in the right proportion during the first minutes and hours of emergency care can be extremely challenging. Our UK NIHR-funded study, conducted at the Centre for Trauma Sciences - Queen Mary University of London, estimates that nearly 5,000 trauma patients sustain major haemorrhage in England and Wales each year and that one-third of those die. The research spotlights how delays in blood transfusion practices may contribute to this high death rate. The rapid and consistent delivery of blood, plasma, platelets and other clotting products to trauma patients is essential to maintain clotting during haemorrhage, and in previous research from both civilian and military studies, has been shown to halve mortality. Overall, only two per cent of all patients with massive haemorrhage received what might be considered the optimal transfusion of a high dose of clotting products in conjunction with red blood cells during the first hour of arrival within the Emergency Department. The study, published this week in the British Journal of Surgery, is the first to describe patterns of blood use and outcomes from major trauma haemorrhage on a national level. Looking at 22 hospitals in England and Wales, our research team studied 442 patients who had experienced major trauma haemorrhage as a result of their injuries. Mortality from bleeding tended to occur early, with nearly two-thirds of all deaths in the first 24 hours. An unexpectedly high number of deaths (7.9 per cent) occurred once the patient left hospital, the reasons for which are unclear. The average time to transfusion of red blood cells was longer than expected, at 41 minutes. Administration of specific blood components to aid with blood clotting such as plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate was significantly delayed, on average 2-3 hours after admission. The incidence of major haemorrhage increased markedly in patients over 65 years, who were twice as likely to suffer massive haemorrhage as a result of an injury compared to younger groups. The causes for this increased incidence were unclear and the researchers say further investigation is needed to examine the role of associated medical problems and prescribed medication. Transfusion procedures may also need to be adapted for older patients. Study limitations include the data not being complete for all patients, such as timings of transfusions. The study was also undertaken at an early stage in national trauma network reorganization. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, JAMA, Pediatrics, Surgical Research / 03.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Silje Steinsbekk PhD Associate Professor Dept. of Pschology Norwegian University of Science and Technology  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Steinsbekk:  More than every third American child is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is associated with multiple negative health outcomes such as metabolic syndrome and hypertension, as well as mental health problems, reduced self-esteem and impaired quality of life. Further, overweight and obesity tend to persist from childhood into adulthood, and the risk of adult overweight increases the longer a child has been overweight. Identifying modifiable factors contributing to the development and continuity of unhealthy weight is therefore needed. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified genetic risks for obesity and these genetic risks have shown to influence development of obesity partly by accelerating weight gain in childhood. Identification of mechanisms through which genetic risks for obesity accelerate weight gain in childhood can therefore provide insight into the developmental pathogenesis of obesity and thus inform intervention. Cross-sectional studies suggest appetite traits as a candidate mechanism. Appetite traits may therefore be targets of intervention to protect children against the effect of genetic predispositions to develop obesity. However, such a preventive approach presupposes that appetite traits indeed transmit the genetic effect upon later development of obesity. Notably, cross-sectional studies cannot establish whether appetite traits precede the development of obesity or are caused by it—a critical piece of information for clinicians seeking treatment targets to prevent childhood obesity. We therefore aimed to test whether genetic risk for obesity was associated with rapid childhood BMI growth and if this genetic effect was mediated by appetite traits, following a representative sample of Norwegian children from age 4 to 8. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Adil H. Haider, MD, MPH Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Deputy Editor of JAMA SurgeryAdil H. Haider, MD, MPH Kessler Director for the Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women's Hospital  Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Deputy Editor of JAMA Surgery  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Haider: Racial/Ethnic disparities have been identified in multiple surgical fields. They are thought to be caused by a complex interplay of patient-, provider-, and systems-level factors. As healthcare professionals, providers play a key role in the care and outcomes that patients experience. However, despite published research about the existence of disparities, it remains unknown the extent to which surgeons perceive that racial/ethnic disparities exist. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Haider: In a pilot study designed to assess the extent to which US surgeons report awareness of racial/ethnic disparities, only 36.6% agreed that racial/ethnic disparities exist in healthcare. Even fewer, 11.6% acknowledged that disparities were present in their hospital or clinic, and a mere 4.7% reported disparities in their personal practice. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer, Colon Cancer, Surgical Research / 29.01.2016

More on Colon Cancer on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Samantha Hendren, MD, MPH Associate Professor of Surgery Colorectal Surgery University of Michigan  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We studied colorectal cancer nationally, and found that about 1 in 7 colorectal cancer patients in the U.S. (that is, 14.7%) is diagnosed before the age of 50.  We also found that these younger colorectal cancer patients were diagnosed when their cancers were more advanced (higher “stage”, meaning more of them had spread to lymph nodes and/or to other organs).  Part of the reason for this is that these young patients are often diagnosed only after their cancers start to cause symptoms such as anemia, bowel bleeding or a blockage in the colon. The age of 50 is when screening for colorectal cancer is started in the U.S.  This study means that a pretty large proportion of colorectal cancers are  happening in people who are too young to receive screening tests.  To put this in context, breast cancer screening often begins at age 40, and less than 5% of invasive breast cancers occur in women under that age. Our study found that about 15% of colorectal cancers are diagnosed before the screening age of 50. Fortunately, the young patients with colorectal cancer do a little better than you might predict, knowing that they are diagnosed at a worse cancer “stage”.  For the young patients under 50, about 68% survived 5 years, while about 67% of the patients 50 and older survived 5 years.  It looks like patients’ young age helps them in their cancer treatment and survival; our study found that treatment may be a bit more aggressive in the younger patients. (more…)
Annals Thoracic Surgery, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research / 27.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Christian McNeely, MD Resident Physician, Department of Medicine Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University Medical Center St. Louis, Missosuri  MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. McNeely : Since year 2000, 30-day mortality of aortic valve replacement (AVR) in Medicare beneficiaries has improved. Additionally, mechanical valve use in the elderly, which are often avoided in older patients largely because the risk of bleeding complications outweighs the risk of valve deterioration over time, has fallen significantly. Prior research has demonstrated worse outcomes in cardiac surgery for lower volume centers. Therefore, we sought to investigate the longitudinal relationship between institutional volume and outcomes in AVR using the Medicare database, looking at patients only > 65 years over a 10-year period. We found that, in general, mechanical valve use in the elderly decreased with increasing hospital volume. Lower volume hospitals exhibited increased adjusted operative mortality. Importantly, the discrepancy in operative mortality between low and high-volume hospitals diverged during the course of the study such that higher volume centers demonstrated significantly greater improvement over time compared to lower volume centers. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Surgical Research, UCSF / 22.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rachael Callcut M.D., M.S.P.H Assistant Professor of Surgery Division of General Surgery UCSF Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Callcut: San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH) responded on July 6, 2013 to one of the larger multiple casualty events in the history of our institution.  Asiana Airlines flight 214 crashed on approach to San Francisco International Airport with 307 people on board.  192 patients were injured and SFGH received the highest total of number of patients of area hospitals. The majority of data that is available on disaster response focuses on initial scene triage or initial hospital resources required to respond to these types of major events.  Our paper focuses on some additional considerations for optimizing disaster response not typically included in literature on these events including nursing resources, blood bank needs, and radiology studies. As an example, over 370 hours of nursing overtime were needed just in the first 18 hours following the disaster to care for patients.  This type of information in traditionally not been included in disaster planning, but clearly was a critical element of providing optimum care to our patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nursing, Outcomes & Safety, Surgical Research, University of Pennsylvania / 20.01.2016

More on Nursing Research on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jeffrey H. Silber, M.D., Ph.D. The Nancy Abramson Wolfson Professor of Health Services Research Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology & Critical Care,  The University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Professor of Health Care Management The Wharton School Director, Center for Outcomes Research The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 19104  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: We wanted to test whether hospitals with better nursing work environments displayed better outcomes and value than those with worse nursing environments, and to determine whether these results depended on how sick patients were when first admitted to the hospital. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Hospitals with better nursing work environments (defined by Magnet status), and staffing that was above average (a nurse-to-bed ratio greater than or equal to 1), had lower mortality than those hospitals with worse nursing environments and below average staffing levels. The mortality rate in Medicare patients undergoing general surgery was 4.8% in the hospitals with the better nursing environments versus 5.8% in those hospitals with worse nursing environments. Furthermore, cost per patient was similar. We found that better nursing environments were also associated with lower need to use the Intensive Care Unit. The greatest mortality benefit occurred in patients in the highest risk groups. (more…)
Anesthesiology, Author Interviews, Frailty, JAMA, Surgical Research / 20.01.2016

More on Frailty on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com 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…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Surgical Research / 14.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jenny Löfgren Surgery and Perioperative Sciences Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Umeå Umeå Sweden  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There are an estimated 220 million groin hernia patients in the World. 20 million are operated on annually making it one of the worlds most commonly performed surgeries. The surgical repair rate in low income settings is very low. Also, the quality of the surgery is lower than in high income settings. The superior technique that uses a synthetic mesh to reinforce the abdominal wall at the site of the hernia is not affordable due to the high cost of that mesh. Mosquito mesh, which is very similar to the expensive mesh, is already used in several settings but its safety and effectiveness had not previously been investigated in a randomized trial of sufficient size with follow up for as long as one year.   Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: The most important finding of the study is that it was not able to detect any differences in terms of safety, effectiveness and patient satisfaction when outcomes in the group receiving the low-cost (mosquito) mesh with the group receiving a commonly used commercial mesh. The study also shows that high quality surgery, on par with standards in high income settings, can be provided for an underserved population in rural Uganda, at an affordable cost. Finally, the study shows that it is possible to conduct high quality surgical (clinical) research with high follow up rates also in settings such as rural Uganda. This should encourage us and others to conduct other trials in the future (more…)