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  • Plasma transfusions prior to lumbar punctures and epidural catheters for people with abnormal coagulation.

    29 December 2017

    BACKGROUND: The insertion of a lumbar puncture needle or epidural catheter may be associated with peri- and post-procedural bleeding. People who require this procedure may have disorders of coagulation as a result of their underlying illness, co-morbidities or the effects of treatment. Clinical practice in some institutions is to mitigate the risk of bleeding in these patients by prophylactically transfusing plasma in order to correct clotting factor deficiencies prior to the procedure. However, plasma transfusion is not without risk, and it remains unclear whether this intervention is associated with reduced rates of bleeding or other clinically-meaningful outcomes. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of different prophylactic plasma transfusion regimens prior to insertion of a lumbar puncture needle or epidural catheter in people with abnormal coagulation. SEARCH METHODS: We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomised controlled trials (non-RCT) and controlled before-after studies (CBAs) in CENTRAL (the Cochrane Library 2016, Issue 11), MEDLINE (from 1946), Embase (from 1974), CINAHL (from 1937), the Transfusion Evidence Library (from 1950), and five other electronic databases as well as ClinicalTrials.gov and World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) for ongoing trials to 9 January 2017. SELECTION CRITERIA: We planned to include RCTs, non-RCTs, and CBAs involving transfusions of plasma given to prevent bleeding in people of any age with a coagulopathy requiring insertion of a lumbar puncture needle or epidural catheter. If identified, we would have excluded uncontrolled studies, cross-sectional studies and case-control studies. We would only have included cluster-RCTs, non-randomised cluster trials, and CBAs with at least two intervention sites and two control sites. In studies with only one intervention or control site, the intervention (or comparison) is completely confounded by study site making it difficult to attribute any observed differences to the intervention rather than to other site-specific variables.We planned to exclude people with haemophilia as they should be treated with the appropriate factor concentrate. We also planned to exclude people on warfarin as guidelines recommend the use of prothrombin complex concentrate for emergency reversal of warfarin. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS: We identified no completed or ongoing RCTs, non-RCTs, or CBAs. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence from RCTs, non-RCTs, and CBAs to determine whether plasma transfusions are required prior to insertion of a lumbar puncture needle or epidural catheter, and, if plasma transfusions are required, what is the degree of coagulopathy at which they should be given. We would need to design a study with at least 47,030 participants to be able to detect an increase in the number of people who had bleeding after lumbar puncture or epidural anaesthetic from 1 in 1000 to 2 in 1000.

  • Factors Associated with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Treatment Choice Across Four European Countries.

    9 January 2018

    PURPOSE: The aim of this analysis was to identify factors associated with the choice of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) therapy at the time of intensification of antidiabetic treatment across 4 European countries. METHODS: Antidiabetic drug prescription/dispensing records and patients' characteristics were obtained from the electronic health care records of patients with T2DM from the Netherlands (NL), Italy, and Spain (ES) (all, 2007-2011); and the United Kingdom (UK; 2008-2012). Oral monotherapy was defined as first-line; oral dual therapy, as second-line; >2 oral treatments or oral combined with an injectable, as third-line; and injectables only, as fourth-line treatment. Treatment intensification was defined as the start of a higher line of treatment. Comedication, comorbidities, clinical parameters, and other factors associated with treatment choice were identified using multivariate relative risk estimation by Poisson regression with robust error variance. FINDINGS: In the 5-year study period, 485,120 patients (79% of the treated T2DM population) underwent treatment intensification. Changes in treatment choice were clearly visible over the study period, such as a decline in the use of thiazolidinediones (NL, ES, UK) and increases in the use of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4i) (NL, ES, UK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (UK). With first-line treatment, advanced age and renal comorbidity were associated with the use of sulfonylureas (SUs; all countries), whereas high body mass index (BMI) was inversely associated with SU use in the United Kingdom and Spain. With second-line treatment, advanced age was associated with metformin + SU use (all countries); and renal comorbidity with SU + DPP4i use in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. High BMI was associated with metformin + thiazolidinedione (TZD) use in the United Kingdom and Spain, and with metformin + DPP4i in the United Kingdom. With third-line treatment, advanced age and renal comorbidity were associated with the use of SU + insulin (NL, ES, UK). Hemoglobin A1c >8.5% was positively associated, and high BMI was inversely associated, with the use of any third-line combination containing insulin. Across treatment lines TZD and metformin were negatively associated with renal and cardiac morbidity. Second and third line treatment choices strongly depended on prior treatments. With fourth-line treatment, women were more likely to receive glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists than were men in the United Kingdom and Spain. IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest that the main factors driving treatment choice at any stage of intensification were age, hemoglobin A1c, BMI, renal and cardiac morbidity, and treatment history. These drivers were consistent with guidelines on, and contraindications of, specific medications. Differences between countries were generally consistent with, but not solely attributable to, differences in local guidelines and reimbursement policies.

  • Symptomatic treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infections in the ambulatory setting: randomised, double blind trial.

    10 January 2018

    Objective To investigate whether symptomatic treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is non-inferior to antibiotics in the treatment of uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, thus offering an opportunity to reduce antibiotic use in ambulatory care.Design Randomised, double blind, non-inferiority trial.Setting 17 general practices in Switzerland.Participants 253 women with uncomplicated lower UTI were randomly assigned 1:1 to symptomatic treatment with the NSAID diclofenac (n=133) or antibiotic treatment with norfloxacin (n=120). The randomisation sequence was computer generated, stratified by practice, blocked, and concealed using sealed, sequentially numbered drug containers.Main outcome measures The primary outcome was resolution of symptoms at day 3 (72 hours after randomisation and 12 hours after intake of the last study drug). The prespecified principal secondary outcome was the use of any antibiotic (including norfloxacin and fosfomycin as trial drugs) up to day 30. Analysis was by intention to treat.Results 72/133 (54%) women assigned to diclofenac and 96/120 (80%) assigned to norfloxacin experienced symptom resolution at day 3 (risk difference 27%, 95% confidence interval 15% to 38%, P=0.98 for non-inferiority, P<0.001 for superiority). The median time until resolution of symptoms was four days in the diclofenac group and two days in the norfloxacin group. A total of 82 (62%) women in the diclofenac group and 118 (98%) in the norfloxacin group used antibiotics up to day 30 (risk difference 37%, 28% to 46%, P<0.001 for superiority). Six women in the diclofenac group (5%) but none in the norfloxacin group received a clinical diagnosis of pyelonephritis (P=0.03).Conclusion Diclofenac is inferior to norfloxacin for symptom relief of UTI and is likely to be associated with an increased risk of pyelonephritis, even though it reduces antibiotic use in women with uncomplicated lower UTI.Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01039545.

  • Cochrane column.

    9 January 2018

  • Perifoveal capillary network quantification in young diabetic patients with subclinical or no retinopathy

    9 January 2018

    © 2017 Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Objective: To assess the morphology of perifoveal capillary network with quantitative parameters in young patients with diabetes mellitus type I (DM I) using an algorithm. Methods: Fifty-three images (33 eyes of 33 DM I patients and 20 eyes of 20 non-DM controls) were chosen retrospectively from the University Hospital of Heraklion digital fluorescein angiography database. An additional group consisting of patients with advanced DR abnormalities was included in our analysis to investigate whether our method detects alterations when they are present. The developed algorithm allows the user to manually trace the perifoveal capillary network by selecting with the cursor in a 5° × 5° subimage field of the original image, including the foveal avascular zone (FAZ), and provides measurements of the capillary density, the branch point density, and the FAZ surface in this subarea. Results: The age in the patient group was 19 ± 5 years; age was 21 ± 8 years for the control group. Patients had a history of DM I for 11 ± 5 years. The mapping revealed a perifoveal capillary density of 2.494 ± 0.559 deg -1 in the DM I group versus 2.974 ± 0.442 deg -1 in the control group (p = 0.005). The branch point density was 3.041 ± 0.919 branch points/deg 2 and 3.613 ± 1.338 branch points/deg 2 in each group, respectively (p = 0.128). The FAZ area was 0.216 ± 0.061 deg 2 in the diabetic group and 0.208 ± 0.060 deg 2 in the control group (p = 0.672). Conclusions: The selected quantitative parameters tend to increase or decrease in diabetic patients, in agreement with previous studies. Among the parameters, capillary density may represent the most sensitive metric for the detection of very early diabetic changes. Further improvement of the method could contribute to the development of an automated processing tool for capillary network quantitative assessment.

  • Patients' intention to consume prescribed and non-prescribed medicines: A study based on the theory of planned behaviour in selected European countries.

    9 January 2018

    WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Polypharmacy has a significant impact on patients' health with overall expenditure on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines representing a substantial burden in terms of cost of treatment. The aim of this study, which was conducted within the framework of a European Project funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme and was entitled OTC-SOCIOMED, was to report on possible determinants of patient behaviour regarding the consumption of medicines, and particularly OTCs, in the context of primary care. METHODS: A multicentre, cross-sectional study was designed and implemented in well-defined primary healthcare settings in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Malta and Turkey. Patients completed a questionnaire constructed on the basis of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), which was administered via face-to-face interviews. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The percentage of patients who had consumed prescribed medicines over a 6-month period was consistently high, ranging from 79% in the Czech Republic and 82% in Turkey to 97% in Malta and 100% in Cyprus. Reported non-prescribed medicine consumption ranged from 33% in Turkey to 92% in the Czech Republic and 97% in Cyprus. TPB behavioural antecedents explained 43% of the variability of patients' intention to consume medicines in Malta and 24% in Greece, but only 3% in Turkey. Subjective norm was a significant predictor of the intention to consume medicines in all three countries (Greece, Malta and Turkey), whereas attitude towards consumption was a significant predictor of the expectation to consume medicines, if needed. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: This study shows that parameters such as patients' beliefs and influence from family and friends could be determining factors in explaining the high rates of medicine consumption. Factors that affect patients' behavioural intention towards medicine consumption may assist in the formulation of evidence-based policy proposals and inform initiatives and interventions aimed at increasing the appropriate use of medicines.