Antifungal prophylaxis for esophageal perforation: what’s the evidence?

Elsayed H, et al. The impact of systemic fungal infection in patients with perforated oesophagus. Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2012 Nov;94(8):579-84.

“Some authors have concluded that antifungal prophylaxis could reduce mortality by 25% in non-neutropaenic critically ill patients and should be given prophylactically to patients at increased risk of invasive fungal infections.24 Patients with oesophageal perforation, the majority of whom are managed initially on critical care units, have several factors that increase their risk of secondary candidal infection including prolonged antibiotic use, surgery and being on total parental nutrition as well as a possible higher rate of candidal colonisation. As a result, this makes them ideal candidates for empirical antifungal therapy from diagnosis. This is the routine practice in our hospital now.

Until a randomised study comparing administration of antifungal versus no antifungal therapy proves empirically that there is no benefit of adding this medication, antifungal prophylaxis should be standard in patients with a ruptured oesophagus once diagnosed. We appreciate the limitation of this study in terms of the number of patients (27) but as a ruptured oesophagus is a rare presentation, it would be difficult to have a randomised study with a large number of patients.” (p. 583)

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Portal hypertensive bleeding: The place of portosystemic shunting

Knechtle SJ, Galloway JR. (2017) Chapter 85. Portal hypertensive bleeding: The place of portosystemic shunting. Ed.: Jarnagin WR, In Blumgart’s Surgery of the Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas, 2-Volume Set (6th ed.), Elsevier, pgs. 1218-1230.e3.

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Mesenteric ischemia caused by heparin-induced thrombocytopenia

Ahmed M, et al. Mesenteric Ischemia Caused by Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia: A Case Report. Cureus. 2019 Jan 16;11(1):e3900.

“The incidence of HIT incidence is 0.1% – 5% in patients receiving heparin with 35% – 50% of those patients developing thrombosis. It should always be suspected in patients receiving heparin who develop a new onset thrombocytopenia with platelet counts are less than 150,000, or there is a drop of 50% or more in the platelet count, venous or arterial thrombosis, skin necrosis at the site of the injection, and if the patient develops acute systemic reactions after intravenous (IV) administration of heparin (fever, chills, tachycardia, hypertension, dyspnea, cardiopulmonary arrest). Antibody formation typically requires four or more days of exposure to heparin and presents with a dropping platelet count within five to 14 days. HIT is subdivided into two subtypes: HIT Type I (none immune and usually resolves spontaneously in few days) and HIT Type II which is immune-mediated (immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody against heparin-platelet factor 4 (PF4) complex) resulting in excessive thrombin generation that leads to venous or arterial thrombosis [5].

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Article of interest: Tracheoesophageal Voice Prosthesis Use and Maintenance in Laryngectomees.

Brook I, Goodman JF. Tracheoesophageal Voice Prosthesis Use and Maintenance in Laryngectomees. Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2020 Oct;24(4):e535-e538.

Abstract: Tracheoesophageal speech is the most common voicing method used by laryngectomees. This method requires the installation of tracheoesophageal prosthesis (TEP), which requires continuous maintenance to achieve optimal speaking abilities and prevent fluid leakage from the esophagus to the trachea. The present manuscript describes the available types of TEPs, the procedures used to maintain them, the causes for their failure due to fluid leakage, and the methods used for their prevention. Knowledge and understanding of these issues can assist the otolaryngologist in caring for laryngectomees who use tracheoesophageal speech.

The utility of intraoperative perfusion assessment during resection of colorectal cancer

De Nardi P, et al. Intraoperative angiography with indocyanine green to assess anastomosis perfusion in patients undergoing laparoscopic colorectal resection: results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Surg Endosc. 2020 Jan;34(1):53-60.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: After randomization, 12 patients were excluded. Accordingly, 240 patients were included in the analysis; 118 were in the study group, and 122 in the control group. ICG angiography showed insufficient perfusion of the colic stump, which led to extended bowel resection in 13 cases (11%). An anastomotic leak developed in 11 patients (9%) in the control group and in 6 patients (5%) in the study group (p = n.s.).

Conclusions: Intraoperative ICG fluorescent angiography can effectively assess vascularization of the colic stump and anastomosis in patients undergoing colorectal resection. This method led to further proximal bowel resection in 13 cases, however, there was no statistically significant reduction of anastomotic leak rate in the ICG arm.

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Anti-fungal therapy in the treatment of perforated peptic ulcers: what’s the evidence?

Huston JM, et al. Role of Empiric Anti-Fungal Therapy in the Treatment of Perforated Peptic Ulcer Disease: Review of the Evidence and Future Directions. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2019 Dec;20(8):593-600.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: There are no randomized clinical trials comparing outcomes specifically for patients with PPU treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. We identified one randomized multi-center trial evaluating outcomes for patients with intra-abdominal perforations, including PPU, that were treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. We identified one single-center prospective series and three additional retrospective studies comparing outcomes for patients with PPU treated with or without empiric anti-fungal therapy. 

Conclusion: The current evidence reviewed here does not demonstrate efficacy of anti-fungal agents in improving outcomes in patients with PPU. As such, we caution against the routine use of empiric anti-fungal agents in these patients. Further studies should help identify specific subpopulations of patients who might derive benefit from anti-fungal therapy and help define appropriate treatment regimens and durations that minimize the risk of resistance, adverse events, and cost.

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