Crohn’s Disease: Biologics and immunomodulators

Hazlewood GS, et al. Comparative effectiveness of immunosuppressants and biologics for inducing and maintaining remission in Crohn’s disease: a network meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2015 Feb;148(2):344-54.e5; quiz e14-5.

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Key Findings: 

“One good-quality RCT and one poor-quality RCT were included. Intravenous infliximab was compared to oral ciclosporin, azathioprine, and the combination of azathioprine and infliximab among moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis patients without adequate response to corticosteroid treatment. In a pragmatic trial, there was no significant difference in quality-adjusted survival, mortality, colectomy rates, time to colectomy, lengths of hospital stay after randomization, severe adverse reactions or severe adverse effects, and quality of life measures. However, ciclosporin was associated with longer log-transformed hospital stays than infliximab. In the same trial, the UK resource use was considered. It was concluded that the total health service costs for ciclosporin were considerably lower than infliximab and ciclosporin was not less effective than infliximab.

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Postoperative complications of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ellison RT. Surgical complications in patients with COVID-19. NEJM Journal Watch, June 2, 2020.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, most hospitals have suspended nonemergent surgeries. However, an increasing number of patients need urgent and semiurgent procedures, and there are economic incentives to restart elective surgery. Thus, it is critically important to know how COVID-19 affects surgical outcomes. An international observational study has assessed 30-day mortality and pulmonary complications in patients with COVID-19 undergoing surgery at 235 hospitals between January 1 and March 31, 2020. The infection was identified between 7 days before and 30 days after the procedure.

Among 1128 patients identified, 835 (74%) underwent emergency surgery, and 280, elective surgery. COVID-19 was diagnosed preoperatively in 294 (26%) and was confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in 969 (86%). The overall 30-day mortality rate was 24%; for elective procedures, 19%. Mortality was higher in men, patients over 70 years of age, ASA grades 3–5, malignancy, and with emergency and major surgical procedures. Pulmonary complications developed in 577 patients (51%) and were associated with a higher 30-day mortality rate.”

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Article of Interest: Avoiding Pitfalls in Insulinomas by Preoperative Localization with a Dual Imaging Approach

Ramonell KM, Saunders ND, Sarmiento J, Bercu Z, Martin L, Weber CJ, Sharma J, Patel SG. Avoiding pitfalls in insulinomas by preoperative localization with a dual imaging approach. Am Surg. 2019 Jul 1;85(7):742-746.

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Delayed gastric emptying after Whipple procedure

Mirrielees JA, et al. Pancreatic Fistula and Delayed Gastric Emptying Are the Highest-Impact Complications After Whipple. J Surg Res. 2020 Jun;250:80-87.

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Results: About 10,922 patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy were included for analysis. The most common postoperative complications were DGE (17.3%), POPF (10.1%), incisional SSI (10.0%), and organ/space SSI (6.2%). POPF and DGE were the only complications that demonstrated sizable effects for all clinical and resource utilization outcomes studied. Other complications had sizable effects for only a few of the outcomes or had small effects for all the outcomes.

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15-Year Patency and Life Expectancy After Primary Stenting Guided by Intravascular Ultrasound for Iliac Artery Lesions in Peripheral Arterial Disease

Kumakura H, et al. 15-Year Patency and Life Expectancy After Primary Stenting Guided by Intravascular Ultrasound for Iliac Artery Lesions in Peripheral Arterial Disease. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2015 Dec 21;8(14): 1893-901.

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Methods: EVT was performed for 507 lesions in 455 patients with PAD. The 15-year endpoints were primary, primary-assisted, and secondary patency; overall survival; freedom from major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE); and freedom from major adverse cardiovascular and limb events (MACLE).

Results: The 5-, 10-, and 15-year primary and secondary patencies were 89%, 83%, and 75%, respectively, and 92%, 91%, and 91%, respectively. There were no significant differences among TASC-II categories.

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Coronary-artery revascularization before elective major vascular surgery

McFalls EO, Ward HB, Moritz TE, et al. Coronary-artery revascularization before elective major vascular surgery. N Engl J Med. 2004 Dec 30;351(27):2795-804.

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Results: Of 5859 patients scheduled for vascular operations at 18 Veterans Affairs Medical centers, 510 (9 percent) were eligible for the study and were randomly assigned to either coronary-artery revascularization before surgery or no revascularization before surgery. The indications for a vascular operation were an expanding abdominal aortic aneurysm (33 percent) or arterial occlusive disease of the legs (67 percent). Among the patients assigned to preoperative coronary-artery revascularization, percutaneous coronary intervention was performed in 59 percent, and bypass surgery was performed in 41 percent. The median time from randomization to vascular surgery was 54 days in the revascularization group and 18 days in the group not undergoing revascularization (P<0.001). At 2.7 years after randomization, mortality in the revascularization group was 22 percent and in the no-revascularization group 23 percent (relative risk, 0.98; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.70 to 1.37; P=0.92). Within 30 days after the vascular operation, a postoperative myocardial infarction, defined by elevated troponin levels, occurred in 12 percent of the revascularization group and 14 percent of the no-revascularization group (P=0.37). Continue reading

Aortic stenosis and noncardiac surgery: risks and postoperative outcomes

Pislaru SV, et al. Aortic stenosis and noncardiac surgery: managing the risk. Curr Probl Cardiol. 2015 Nov;40(11):483-503.

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“In summary, the mortality risk at contemporary noncardiac surgery has followed the general trend of decreasing surgical mortality rate, and is currently at 1.5%-4% for elective procedures, significantly lower than those in the early reports (Fig 1). Presence of severe AS does not result in increased mortality rates, but rather in excess cardiovascular morbidity (most notably myocardial infarction [13] or new or worsening heart failure [14]). Symptomatic patients have worse outcomes.” (pg. 488) Continue reading

The safety of enteral and parenteral nutrition in ICU patients receiving vasopressors

Patel JJ, et al. Phase 3 Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Early Trophic Enteral Nutrition With “No Enteral Nutrition” in Mechanically Ventilated Patients With Septic Shock. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2020 Jul;44(5):866-873.

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Results: One hundred thirty-one patients were eligible for enrollment, and 49 were available for consent. Thirty-one (86%) consented and were randomized and 100% of patients in the early EN arm and 94% in the “no EN” arm completed their protocols. While on vasopressors, early EN group received median 384 kcal, and the “no EN” group received median 0 kcal. Contamination rate was 0 in the early trophic EN arm and 6% in the “no EN” arm. The early EN group had median 25 intensive care unit-free days, as compared with 12 in the “no EN” arm (P = .014). The early EN arm had median 27 ventilator-free days, compared with 14 in “no EN” arm (P = .009).

Conclusion: Our protocol comparing early trophic EN with “no EN” in septic shock was feasible. Early trophic EN may be beneficial, but a larger multicenter trial is warranted to confirm the observed clinical benefits seen in this trial.

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Systemic Thrombolysis for Pulmonary Embolism

Tapson VF, Friedman O. Systemic Thrombolysis for Pulmonary Embolism: Who and How. Tech Vasc Interv Radiol. 2017 Sep;20(3):162-174.

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PE screenshot

“For several decades, clinicians and clinical trialists have worked toward a more aggressive, yet safe solution for patients with intermediate-risk PE. Standard-dose thrombolysis, low-dose systemic thrombolysis, and catheter-based therapy which includes a number of devices and techniques, with or without low-dose thrombolytic therapy, have offered potential solutions and this area has continued to evolve. On the basis of heterogeneity within the category of intermediate-risk as well as within the high-risk group of patients, we will focus on the use of systemic thrombolysis in carefully selected high- and intermediate-risk patients. In certain circumstances when the need for aggressive therapy is urgent and the bleeding risk is acceptable, this is an appropriate approach, and often the best one.”


More PubMed results on systemic thrombolysis.