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  • Antifibrinolytics (lysine analogues) for the prevention of bleeding in patients with haematological disorders.

    2 April 2018

    BACKGROUND: Patients with haematological disorders are frequently at risk of severe or life-threatening bleeding as a result of thrombocytopenia. This is despite the routine use of prophylactic platelet transfusions (PlTx) to prevent bleeding once the platelet count falls below a certain threshold. PlTx are not without risk and adverse events may be life-threatening. A possible adjunct to prophylactic PlTxs is the use of antifibrinolytics, specifically the lysine analogues tranexamic acid (TXA) and epsilon aminocaproic acid (EACA). OBJECTIVES: To determine the efficacy and safety of antifibrinolytics (lysine analogues) in preventing bleeding in patients with haematological disorders. SEARCH METHODS: We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL Issue 12, 2012), MEDLINE (1948 to 10 January 2013), EMBASE (1980 to 10 January 2013), CINAHL (1982 to 10 January 2013), PubMed (e-publications only) and the Transfusion Evidence Library (1980 to January 2013). We also searched several international and ongoing trial databases to 10 January 2013 and citation-tracked relevant reference lists. SELECTION CRITERIA: RCTs involving patients with haematological disorders, who would routinely require prophylactic platelet transfusions to prevent bleeding. We only included trials involving the use of the lysine analogues TXA and EACA. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently screened all electronically derived citations and abstracts of papers, identified by the review search strategy, for relevancy. Two authors independently assessed the full text of all potentially relevant trials for eligibility, completed the data extraction and assessed the studies for risk of bias using The Cochrane Collaboration's 'Risk of bias' tool. We requested missing data from one author but the data were no longer available. The outcomes are reported narratively: we performed no meta-analyses because of the heterogeneity of the available data. MAIN RESULTS: Of 470 articles initially identified, 436 were excluded on the basis of the title and abstract. We reviewed 34 full-text articles from which four studies reported in five articles were eligible for inclusion. We did not identify any RCTs which compared TXA with EACA. We did not identify any ongoing RCTs.One cross-over TXA study (eight patients) was excluded from the outcome analysis because data from this study were at a high risk of bias. Data from the other three studies were all at unclear risk of bias due to lack of reporting of study methodology.Three studies (two TXA (12 to 56 patients), one EACA (18 patients)) reported in four articles (published 1983 to 1995) were included in the narrative review. All three studies compared the drug with placebo.All studies reported bleeding, but it was reported in different ways. All three studies suggested antifibrinolytics reduced the risk of bleeding. The first study showed a difference in average bleeding score of 42 in placebo (P) versus three (TXA). The second study only showed a difference in bleeding episodes during consolidation chemotherapy, with a mean of 2.6 episodes/patient (standard deviation (SD) 2.2) (P) versus a mean of 1.1 episodes/patient (SD 1.4) (TXA). The third study reported bleeding on 50% of days at risk (P) versus bleeding on 31% of days at risk (EACA).Two studies (68 patients) reported thromboembolism and no events occurred.All three studies reported a reduction in PlTx usage. The first study reported a difference of 222 platelet units (P) versus 69 platelet units (TXA). The second study only showed a difference in total platelet usage during consolidation chemotherapy, with a mean of 9.3 units (SD 3.3) (P) versus 3.7 (SD 4.1) (TXA). The third study reported one PlTx every 10.5 days at risk (P) versus one PlTx every 13.3 days at risk (EACA).Two studies reported red cell transfusion requirements and one study found a reduction in red cell transfusion usage.One study reported death due to bleeding as an outcome measure and none occurred.Only one study reported adverse events of TXA as an outcome measure and none occurred.None of the studies reported on the following pre-specified outcomes: overall mortality, adverse events of transfusion, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) or quality of life (QoL). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the evidence available for the use of antifibrinolytics in haematology patients is very limited. The only available data suggest that TXA and EACA may be useful adjuncts to platelet transfusions so that platelet use, and the complications associated with their use, can be reduced. However, the trials were too small to assess whether antifibrinolytics increased the risk of thromboembolic events. Large, high-quality RCTs are required before antifibrinolytics can be demonstrated to be efficacious and safe in widespread clinical practice.

  • Perioperative fluid volume optimization following proximal femoral fracture.

    20 March 2018

    BACKGROUND: Proximal femoral fracture (PFF) is a common orthopaedic emergency, affecting mainly elderly people at high risk of complications. Advanced methods for managing fluid therapy during treatment for PFF are available, but their role in reducing risk is unclear. OBJECTIVES: To compare the safety and effectiveness of different methods of perioperative fluid optimization in adult participants undergoing surgical repair of hip fracture. We considered the following methods: advanced invasive haemodynamic monitoring, such as transoesophageal Doppler and pulse contour analysis; a protocol using standard measures, such as blood pressure, urine output and central venous pressure; and usual care.Comparisons of fluid types (e.g. crystalloid vs colloid) and other methods of optimizing oxygen delivery, such as blood product therapies and pharmacological treatment with inotropes and vasoactive drugs, are considered elsewhere. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 9); MEDLINE (1966 to October 2012); and EMBASE (1980 to October 2012) without language restrictions. We ran forward and backward citation searches on identified trials. We contacted authors and searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for unpublished trials. This is an updated version of a review published in 2004. The original search was performed in October 2003. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in adult participants undergoing surgical treatment for PFF, which compared any two of advanced haemodynamic monitoring, protocols using standard measures or usual care, irrespective of blinding, language or publication status. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors assessed the impact of fluid optimization interventions on outcomes of mortality, length of hospital stay, return of participant to pre-fracture accommodation and mobility at six months and adverse events in hospital. We pooled data using risk ratio or mean difference for dichotomous or continuous data, respectively, based on random-effects models. MAIN RESULTS: We included three RCTs with a total of 200 participants. One of these included studies was found to have a high risk of bias; no trial featured all pre-specified outcomes. We found one trial for which data are awaited for classification and two ongoing trials. One included study with low risk of bias found that compared with usual care, time to medical fitness for discharge was shorter with the use of advanced haemodynamic monitoring (mean reduction 6.20 days, 95% CI 2.3 to 10.1 days; 59 participants, one trial) and with the use of protocols that apply standard measures (mean reduction 3.9 days, 95% CI 0.75 to 7.05; 57 participants, one trial). Our results are consistent with both increased and decreased risk of mortality and adverse events in participants receiving the intervention. No data for other outcomes were available. Our results are limited by the quantity of available data. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Three studies considering a total of 200 participants reveal an absence of evidence that fluid optimization strategies improve outcomes for participants undergoing surgery for PFF. Length of hospital stay may be improved, but lack of good quality data leaves uncertainty. Further research powered to test some of these outcomes is ongoing.

  • Reoperation rates after breast conserving surgery for breast cancer among women in England: retrospective study of hospital episode statistics.

    6 April 2018

    OBJECTIVES: To examine whether rate of reoperation after breast conserving surgery is associated with patients' characteristics and investigate whether reoperation rates vary among English NHS trusts. DESIGN: Cohort study using patient level data from hospital episode statistics. SETTING: English NHS trusts. PARTICIPANTS: Adult women who had breast conserving surgery between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2008. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Reoperation rates after primary breast conserving surgery within 3 months, adjusted using logistic regression for tumour type, age, comorbidity, and socioeconomic deprivation. Tumours were grouped by whether a carcinoma in situ component was coded at the time of the primary breast conserving surgery. RESULTS: 55,297 women had primary breast conserving surgery in 156 NHS trusts during the three year period. 11,032 (20.0%, 95% confidence interval 19.6% to 20.3%) women had at least one reoperation. 10,212 (18.5%, 18.2% to 18.8%) had one reoperation only; of these, 5943 (10.7%, 10.5% to 11.0%) had another breast conserving procedure and 4269 (7.7%, 7.5% to 7.9%) had a mastectomy. Of the 45,793 women with isolated invasive disease, 8229 (18.0%) had at least one reoperation. In comparison, 2803 (29.5%) of the 9504 women with carcinoma in situ had at least one reoperation (adjusted odds ratio 1.9, 95% confidence interval 1.8 to 2.0). Substantial differences were found in the adjusted reoperation rates among the NHS trusts (10th and 90th centiles 12.2% and 30.2%). CONCLUSION: One in five women who had breast conserving surgery in England had a reoperation. Reoperation was nearly twice as likely when the tumour had a carcinoma in situ component coded. Women should be informed of this reoperation risk when deciding on the type of surgical treatment of their breast cancer.

  • What motivates interest in attending a familial cancer genetics clinic?

    9 March 2018

    The motivation of people who seek advice about a family history of cancer was explored in a cross sectional study of new cancer referrals to five regional cancer genetics centres in England: the PACT (patient and clinical team) psychosocial study. One hundred sixty-two people took part. Measures were source of referral, estimated and perceived cancer risk, level of cancer worry, and personal and family-centred reasons for wanting to be seen in clinic. General practitioners referred more people than hospital doctors, and referred a larger proportion of people at low genetic risk of developing cancer. More than half of the participants had been the first to raise the issue of their family history of cancer. Personal motivation for referral is clearly different for those who have had a diagnosis of cancer and for those with children, compared to unaffected and childless people, and is characterised by altruistic concern for other family members rather than a perception of increased personal risk. Men and people from ethnic minorities are very significantly under-represented. Understanding people's motivation may be useful in targeting genetic counselling for people with a family history of cancer.

  • Risk factors for cataract subtypes waterclefts and retrodots: two case-control studies.

    6 April 2018

    UNLABELLED: Waterclefts and retrodots are independently associated with visual impairment, yet a review identified no data on risk factors. PURPOSE: To investigate risk factors for these two human lens cataract subtypes. METHOD: Two nested case-control studies: The host study comprised 1078 subjects (55 years) attending the Somerset and Avon Eye Study (SAES). In total, 197 watercleft cases (Oxford grade 0.2 in either eye) and 199 retrodot cases (Oxford grade 1.0 in either eye) were individually age/gender matched to controls. Detailed ophthalmic and potential risk factor data were collected, including body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol, diabetes, hypertension, analgesics, vitamin supplementation, nutrition, sunlight exposure, dehydration, hormonal (women), blood lipids, glucose, urea, creatinine, uric acid, and vitamin levels. RESULTS: For waterclefts, univariable analysis identified BMI, alcohol intake, vitamin status, sunlight, urea, creatinine, and uric acid as possible risk factors. Multivariable analysis identified two independent associations. Total number of 'any' analgesics in the previous year: adjusted P<0.01 (U-shaped risk profile, unadjusted high vs medium use (=reference) OR 2.39, 95% CI 1.35-4.26 with medium use vs none (=reference) OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26-0.72); total sunlight: adjusted P=0.03 (unadjusted highest exposure vs lowest (=reference) OR 3.25, 95% CI 1.11-9.50). For retrodots, univariable analysis identified alcohol, HRT, and lipids. Multivariable analysis identified two independent associations. Mean number of alcohol units consumed per month, adjusted P=0.02 and HDL cholesterol levels, adjusted P=0.02 (unadjusted ORs NS both). CONCLUSION: This is the first available published information on risk factors for the human cataractous lens features waterclefts and retrodots.

  • Safety of antipsychotics in people with intellectual disability.

    2 April 2018

    BACKGROUND: Despite frequent use, little is known about the metabolic and endocrine side-effects of antipsychotics in individuals with intellectual disability. AIMS: To compare indices of obesity, glucose, lipids and prolactin between antipsychotic-treated and antipsychotic-naive individuals with intellectual disability and also between participants with intellectual disability and controls from the general population. METHOD: Observational study comparing 138 antipsychotic-treated and 64 antipsychotic-naive participants with intellectual disability in one National Health Service trust with general population controls. RESULTS: Antipsychotic treatment comprised: risperidone 48%,olanzapine 18%, thioxanthenes 10%, other 24%; monotherapy 95% of participants; mean treatment duration 8 years;median daily chlorpromazine equivalent dose 108 mg(range 16–667). Metabolic indices were the same or more favourable in the intellectual disability group than the general population control group but overweight/obesity and type 2 diabetes were more prevalent in the women in the intellectual disability group than the control group. Metabolic indices were similar, statistically or clinically, between the antipsychotic-treated and the antipsychotic-naive groups but there was a non-significant trend towards a higher rate of type 2 diabetes in the antipsychotic group. A total of 100%and 70% of participants on amisulpride/sulpiride and risperidone respectively had hyperprolactinaemia, with secondary hypogonadism in 77% and 4% of affected women and men. CONCLUSIONS: Antipsychotics, on average, did not increase metabolic risk,although the existence of a susceptible subgroup at risk of diabetes cannot be excluded. Some antipsychotics induced hyperprolactinaemic hypogonadism, requiring active management. However, our findings suggest that antipsychotics at the low doses routinely prescribed for people with intellectual disability are generally safe in relation to metabolic adverse effects, even if efficacy remains poorly defined.

  • A short narrative review of the feasibility of adopting mild ovarian stimulation for IVF as the current standard of care.

    5 March 2018

    INTRODUCTION: Mild ovarian stimulation has been conceived, proposed and implemented in clinical practice as a safer and cheaper alternative to conventional strategies of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation in preparation for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Our aim was to summarize the key evidence on this topic and explore its possible role as the standard treatment option for women undergoing IVF. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A short narrative review of the existing literature, with emphasis on mild ovarian stimulation clinical and cost effectiveness, as well as treatment limitations. RESULTS: Numerous studies highlight mild ovarian stimulation's favorable characteristics with respect to oocyte/embryo quality, reduced patient risk, and ease of intervention. There is, however, a need for high-quality laboratory environment. Limitations regarding poor responders, older women, or those seeking ovarian stimulation for non-infertility indications should also be considered. Finally, outcomes on the cumulative success rates and the cost effectiveness of mild ovarian stimulation remain inconclusive. CONCLUSION: Mild ovarian stimulation protocols for IVF should currently be implemented only in carefully selected populations. Further research is needed to clarify the remaining controversies in this IVF approach.

  • Regional variation in use of immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer in England.

    5 February 2018

    AIMS: English national guidelines recommend that breast reconstruction is made available to women with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy. We examined the use of immediate reconstruction (IR) across English Cancer Networks, who are responsible for the regional organisation of cancer services and ensuring equitable access to treatment. METHODS: We analysed Hospital Episodes Statistics data for all women with breast cancer who underwent mastectomy in the English NHS between April 2006 and February 2009. IR rates were calculated for the 30 Networks. Multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust the rates for patient age, comorbidity, ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation. RESULTS: Of 44 837 mastectomy patients, 7375 (16.5%) underwent IR. The IR rate was highest in women under 50 years (32.7%) and lowest in women aged 70 years or over (1.5%), and was lower in women with more comorbidities. Unadjusted IR rates varied from 8.4% to 31.9% among the 30 Networks (p<0.001). Adjusting for their patient characteristics did not appreciably reduce Network-level variation, with adjusted IR rates still ranging from 8.0% to 29.4% (p<0.001). The risk-model also suggested that non-white women and those from more deprived areas were less likely to undergo immediate reconstruction. CONCLUSIONS: There is substantial regional variation in immediate reconstruction use in England that is not explained by the characteristics of the local patient population. English Cancer Networks should act to reduce this variation. They should also examine why rates of reconstruction differ between particular patient groups.

  • Prevention of post splenectomy sepsis: a population based approach.

    8 December 2017

    BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to prevent the occurrence of serious, overwhelming infection following splenectomy, by a district based initiative. Subjects were residents of Plymouth and Torbay District Health Authority (DHA) who had undergone splenectomy in the past and general practitioners (GPs) within the District. METHODS: District guidelines on the prevention of post splenectomy sepsis were developed and disseminated among local GPs and hospital doctors. Patients who had undergone operative splenectomy were actively traced through GP and hospital information systems so that they could be offered sepsis preventive measures in accordance with the guidelines. Data capture-recapture was used as an ascertainment adjustment method to estimate the district prevalence of alive patients who have had an operative splenectomy. A postal questionnaire of district GPs was undertaken after one year to determine their awareness and use of the guidelines. RESULTS: Eight-eight alive patients who had undergone splenectomy were not previously identified be their GP as being asplenic. They were traced so that they could be offered sepsis preventive measures in line with the local guidelines. The estimated district prevalence of individuals who had had an operative splenectomy after ascertainment adjustment using data capture-recapture is p = 9.75 per 10,000 population [95 per cent confidence interval (CI) (7.87, 11.64) per 10,000]. Out of 367 district GPs, 201 used the local guidelines after one year. CONCLUSIONS: Effective prevention of overwhelming infection following splenectomy requires an active population based approach.

  • Preoperative p53, bcl-2, CD44 and E-cadherin immunohistochemistry as predictors of biochemical relapse after radical prostatectomy.

    6 April 2018

    PURPOSE: Since radical prostatectomy is performed to cure prostate cancer, identification of markers enabling preoperative prediction of relapse after radical prostatectomy is essential to counsel and select patients for adjuvant therapy. Aberrant p53, bcl-2, CD44 and E-cadherin immunohistochemistry has been associated with aggressiveness in prostate cancer. We assessed these biomarkers in biopsy and radical prostatectomy specimens as predictors of biochemical relapse. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 76 patients with untreated clinically localized prostatic adenocarcinoma underwent radical prostatectomy. Preoperative (prostate specific antigen, biopsy Gleason score) and postoperative (pathological stage and margin status) variables, biopsy and radical prostatectomy biomarker immunohistochemistry were correlated with relapse. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses identified significant predictors. RESULTS: Of the 76 patients 23 (30%) had relapse (mean followup 38 months). Aberrant p53, bcl-2, CD44 and E-cadherin expression was observed in 64, 12, 85 and 12% of biopsies and 57, 20, 64 and 49% of radical prostatectomy specimens, respectively. Biopsy Gleason 7 to 10 and biopsy p53, respectively, gave the highest positive and negative predictive values for relapse. Relapse occurred in 13% of patients with normal biopsy p53 and in half with aberrant p53. Multivariate analysis revealed Gleason score and p53 to be independent preoperative predictors (p = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively). Estimated risk of relapse was 3.5 times higher in patients with Gleason scores 7 to 10 and 24% higher in those with aberrant p53. Significant postoperative predictors were bcl-2, p53, Gleason score and margin status (p = 0.01, 0.01, 0.04 and 0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Aberrant biopsy p53 is associated with a significantly worse outcome after radical prostatectomy than normal p53, highlighting a potential clinical role for p53. Postoperative p53 and bcl-2 were significant predictors of outcome after radical prostatectomy.