Upper GI bleeding: CTA prior to flouroscopic angiography?

A discussion this week included a diagnostic CTA prior to flourscopic angiography.

Reference: Wells ML, et al. CT for evaluation of acute gastrointestinal bleeding. RadioGraphics. 2018 Jul-Aug;38(4):1089-1107. doi:10.1148/rg.2018170138

Summary: “Teaching point: CT angiography is gaining popularity for use in emergent evaluations of acute GI bleeding. It has potential for use in the first-line evaluation of acute LGIB and the evaluation of UGIB after failed or nondiagnostic endoscopy.”

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Are diabetic patients at greater risk for anastomotic leaks and mortality when undergoing colectomies?

One discussion this week included postoperative anastomotic leaks.

Reference: Ziegler MA, et al. Risk factors for anastomotic leak and mortality in diabetic patients undergoing colectomy: analysis from a statewide surgical quality collaborative. Archives of Surgery. 2012 Jul;147(7):600-605. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2012.77.

Summary: In a database review of patients in Michigan who underwent colectomy, the study aimed to determine risk factors in diabetic patients that are associated with increased postcolectomy mortality and anastomotic leak.

Primary risk factors were diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia, steroid use, and emergency surgery. Of the 5123 patients, 889 were diabetic, 4234 were nondiabetic.

Diabetes alone was not found to be a risk factor for anastomotic leak in this study.

  • 56% of diabetic patients had preoperative glucose levels of 140 mg/dL or higher
  • Preoperative steroid use led to increased rates of anastomotic leak in diabetic patients
  • Diabetic patients who had a leak had more than a 4-fold higher mortality (26.3% vs 4.5%, P<.001) compared with nondiabetic patients (6.0% vs 2.5%, P<.05).
  • Mortality was associated with hyperglycemia for nondiabetic patients only

The authors conclude that improved screening may identify high-risk patients who would benefit from perioperative intervention.

Foreign body removal without hospitalization: a new use for a stent removal device

One discussion this week involved the removal of foreign bodies.

Reference: Smith PM, et al. Isiris: a novel method of removing foreign bodies from the lower urinary tract to avoid unnecessary hospitalization and anesthesia. Journal of Endourology Case Reports. 2016 Aug 1;2(1):144-147. doi: 10.1089/cren.2016.0086.

Summary: Polyembolokoilamania refers to the practice of inserting foreign bodies (FBs) into natural orifices. A FB within the urethra is a relatively rare phenomenon with 646 cases recorded last year in the United Kingdom. Management of these patients presents technical challenges and complexities because of underlying psychiatric disorders that are often associated. This case illustrates a novel way of removing FBs from the genitourinary tract, requiring less resources, preventing hospital admission, and attempts to break the cycle of behavior, leading to recurrent attendance with polyembolokoilamania.

A 38-year-old Caucasian male prisoner, with psychiatric history presented to the emergency department (ED) with a history of inserting FBs into his urethra on 12 different occasions over a 6-week period. Of these 12 attendances, 3 resulted in admission and 2 required emergency intervention in theater under general anesthesia. After the third attendance in 5 days, it was decided to use Isiris™, a single-use flexible cystoscopy device with a built-in ureteral stent grasper, to remove the FBs and check the integrity of the urethra. The procedure was performed within the ED, without the need for admission to a ward bed or general anesthesia. Furthermore, only two members of staff were required to remove all of the urethral FBs.

Isiris, although marketed as a stent removal device, enabled us to remove all the patient’s FBs in one procedure. Isiris is an easy to use device, similar to a flexible cystoscope, that a specialist nurse or resident would be familiar using. It allows efficient and safe removal of lower urinary tract FBs, even out of hours. It requires minimal staffing support and can be done in the ED. It has the potential to reduce associated sequela of urethral polyembolokoilamania, saving resources while preserving the availability of the emergency theater.

What are the rates of major and minor bleeding complications after pharmacologic DVT prophylaxis?

One discussion this week included the rate of bleeding complications after pharmacologic DVT prophylaxis.

Reference: Leonardi MJ, McGory ML, Ko CY. The rate of bleeding complications after pharmacologic deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis: a systematic review of 33 randomized controlled trials. Archives of Surgery. 2006 Aug;141(8):790-797.

Summary: In a systematic review of 33 RCTs with 33,813 patients, Leonardi et al (2006) concluded that there is a small, but measurable, rate of minor bleeding complications associated with pharmacologic DVT prophylaxis: injection site bruising (6.9%), wound hematoma (5.7%), drain site bleeding (2.0%), and hematuria (1.6%).

The rate of major complications, such as GI tract (0.2%) or RP (<0.1%) bleeding, was extremely low in this review. Complications requiring a change in care, such as subsequent operation (0.7%) or discontinuation of prophylaxis (2.0%), were also infrequent. The subsequent operation rate for bleeding problems for pharmacologic prophylaxis vs placebo was identical, at 0.7%.



Additional Reading: Leonardi MJ, McGory ML, Ko CY. A systematic review of deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis in cancer patients: implications for improving quality. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2007 Feb;14(2):929-936.

Ureteral catheters and injury during colectomy: A NSQIP study

One discussion this week included ureteral injuries during colectomy.

Reference: Coakley KM, et al. Prophylactic ureteral catheters for colectomy: A National Surgical Quality Improvement Program-based analysis. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2018 Jan;61(1):84-88. doi:10.1097/DCR.0000000000000976.

Summary: Despite improvement in technique and technology, using prophylactic ureteral catheters to avoid iatrogenic ureteral injury during colectomy remains controversial. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate outcomes and costs attributable to prophylactic ureteral catheters with colectomy. Conducted at a signle tertiary care center, the authors pulled clinical data, 2012-2014, from ACS NSQIP database.

A total of 51,125 patients were identified with a mean age of 60.9 ± 14.9 years and a BMI of 28.4 ± 6.7 k/m; 4.90% (n = 2486) of colectomies were performed with prophylactic catheters, and 333 ureteral injuries (0.65%) were identified.

  • Prophylactic ureteral catheters were most commonly used for diverticular disease (42.2%; n = 1048), with injury occurring most often during colectomy for diverticular disease (36.0%; n = 120).
  • Univariate analysis of outcomes demonstrated higher rates of ileus, wound infection, urinary tract infection, urinary tract infection as reason for readmission, superficial site infection, and 30-day readmission in patients with prophylactic ureteral catheter placement.
  • On multivariate analysis, prophylactic ureteral catheter placement was associated with a lower rate of ureteral injury (OR = 0.45 (95% CI, 0.25-0.81)).
  • Additional research is needed to delineate patient populations most likely to benefit from prophylactic ureteral stent placement.

Open vs closed hemorrhoidectomy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs

One discussion this week included open versus closed hemorrhoidectomy.

Reference: Bhatti M, Sajid MS, Baig MK. Milligan-Morgan (open) versus Ferguson haemorrhoidectomy (closed): A systematic review and meta-analysis of published randomized, controlled trails. World Journal of Surgery. 2016 Jun;40(6):1509-1519. doi:10.1007/s00268-016-3419-z.

Summary: In Europe, the Milligan-Morgan procedure or open haemorrhoidectomy (OH) is more frequently practised, whereas in the United States of America the closed haemorrhoidectomy (CH) procedure, as described by Ferguson and Heaton, is the most popular. CH is purported to be a less painful procedure and associated with faster wound healing due to primary wound closure. However, the conflicting outcomes following both procedures have been debated in the published literature and several controversies around post-operative pain still need clarification.

Relevant prospective randomized, controlled trials (irrespective of type, language, gender, blinding, sample size or publication status) on CH versus OH for the management of HD until May 2014 were included in this review.

Ultimately, 11 RCTs encompassing 1326 patients were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Significant heterogeneity was found among included trials.

CONCLUSIONS: Variables of pain on defecation, length of hospital stay, post-operative complications, HD recurrence and risk of surgical site infection were similar in both groups.

Based upon the findings of this review, CH was associated with a reduced post-operative pain, faster wound healing, lesser risk of post-operative bleeding but prolonged duration of operation.

Findings of this review are contradictory to a 2007 meta-analysis of six randomized, controlled trials.


To view full data analyses (3 tables and 11 figures!) click on the link in the reference at the top of this post.


Is TNT a viable treatment strategy for rectal cancer?

One discussion this week included total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT) for rectal cancer.

Reference: Cercek A, et al. Adoption of total neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced rectal cancer. JAMA Oncology. 2018 Jun 14;4(6):e180071. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.0071.

Summary: Treatment of locally advanced rectal (LARC) cancer involves chemoradiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. The concept of total neoadjuvant therapy (TNT), in which chemoradiation and chemotherapy are administered prior to surgery, has been developed to optimize delivery of effective systemic therapy aimed at micrometastases.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the traditional approach of preoperative chemoradiation (chemoRT) followed by postoperative adjuvantchemotherapy with the more recent TNT approach for LARC.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis using Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) records from 2009 to 2015 was carried out. A total of 811 patients who presented with LARC (T3/4 or node-positive) were identified; 320 received chemoRT with planned adjuvant chemotherapy and 308 received TNT (induction fluorouracil- and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy followed by chemoRT). Of the 628 patients, 373 (59%) were men, 255 (41%) were women, and the mean age was 56.7 years.

RESULTS: Patients in the TNT cohort received greater percentages of the planned oxaliplatin and fluorouracil prescribed dose than those in the chemoRT with plannned adjuvant chemotherapy cohort. The complete response (CR) rate, including both pathologic CR (pCR) in those who underwent surgery and sustained clinical CR (cCR) for at least 12 months posttreatment in those who did not undergo surgery, was 36% in the TNT cohort compared with 21% in the chemoRT with planned adjuvant chemotherapy cohort. TNT(Cerek et al, 2018)

CONCLUSIONS: Total neoadjuvant therapy was associated with improved delivery of systemic therapy and increased response to treatment, and it provides a promising platform for nonoperative watch-and-wait protocols. Long-term follow-up is necessary to determine if early systemic chemotherapy improves overall outcome

The authors conclude their findings provide additional support for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines that categorize TNT as a viable treatment strategy for rectal cancer.

Adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer: The PROCTOR-SCRIPT trial

A discussion this week included adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer after neoadjuvant and surgery.

Reference: Breugom AJ, et al. Adjuvant chemotherapy for rectal cancer patients treated with preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and total mesorectal excision: a Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group (DCCG) randomized phase III trial. Annals of Oncology. 2015 Apr;26(4):696-701. doi:10.1093/annonc/mdu560.

Summary: Locoregional recurrence rates and survival have significantly
improved with the introduction of total mesorectal excision (TME) for patients with rectal cancer. The addition of preoperative radiotherapy to TME surgery resulted in a more than 50% decrease in locoregional recurrences. However, the combination of preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and TME surgery did not improve overall or disease-free survival.  Up to 30% of all patients treated with curative intent for localized rectal cancer will develop distant metastases, and distant metastases are still the main cause
of death after rectal cancer.

A multicentre, randomized phase III trial, PROCTOR-SCRIPT, was conducted to investigate the value of adjuvant chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidine monotherapy after preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and TME surgery. The primary outcome was overall survival. Secondary outcomes were disease-free survival, overall recurrence rate, and locoregional and distant recurrence rate separately.

METHODS: Patients from 52 hospitals were recruited. Those with histologically proven stage II or III rectal adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned to observation (n=221) or adjuvant chemotherapy (n=216) after preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and TME. Radiotherapy consisted of 5 × 5 Gy. Chemoradiotherapy consisted of 25 × 1.8-2 Gy combined with 5-FU-based chemotherapyAdjuvant chemotherapy consisted of 5-FU/LV (PROCTOR) or eight courses capecitabine (SCRIPT). Randomization was based on permuted blocks of six, stratified according to centre, residual tumour, time between last irradiation and surgery, and preoperative treatment. The primary end point was overall survival.

RESULTS: Between 1 March 2000 and 1 January 2013, 470 patients were included, of whom 33 were incorrectly randomized. Therefore, 437 patients (309 Dutch and 128 Swedish patients) were eligible for analyses. The trial was finally closed due to poor patient accrual without reaching the intended inclusion.

  • Survival: A total of 95 patients died. Five-year overall survival was 79.2% in the observation group and 80.4% in the chemotherapy group.
  • Disease-free survival: No statistically significant difference in disease-free survival was
    observed. Five-year disease-free survival was 55.4% for the observation group and 62.7% for the chemotherapy group.
  • Recurrences: In total, there were 157 recurrences. At 5 years, the cumulative incidence for overall recurrences was 40.3% in the observation group and 36.2% in the chemotherapy group.
  • Locoregional recurrences: The 5-year cumulative incidence for locoregional recurrences was 7.8% in the observation group versus 7.8% in the chemotherapy group. This amounted to 38.5% and 34.7%, respectively, for distant recurrences.

CONCLUSION: The PROCTOR-SCRIPT trial could not demonstrate a significant benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidine monotherapy regarding overall survival, disease-free survival, and recurrence rates after preoperative (chemo)radiotherapy and TME surgery in ypTNM stage II and III rectal cancer patients. However, this trial did not complete planned accrual.

Helicobacter pylori infection: patient management

One discussion this week involved the management of patients with helicobacter pylori infection.

Reference: DynaMed Plus [Internet]. Ipswich (MA): EBSCO Information Services. 1995 – . Record No. T114484, Helicobacter pylori infection; [updated 2018 Dec 04, cited 2019 Apr 05]. Emory login required. [NOTE: direct link is not functional. Go to DynaMed Plus main page and search “helicobacter pylori infection” to access full content.]

Summary: Management overview (DynaMed Plus, 2018)

  • offer treatment to all patients who test positive for active infection with Helicobacter pylori (ACG Strong recommendation)(1); the clinical efficacy of H. pylori eradication varies among associated conditions
    • peptic ulcer disease
      • in patients with H. pylori-positive duodenal ulcers, H. pylori eradication therapy (alone or in addition to ulcer-healing drugs) may increase ulcer healing, and eradication therapy alone may reduce ulcer recurrence (level 3 [lacking direct] evidence)
      • in patients with H. pylori-positive gastric ulcers, addition of H. pylori eradication therapy to ulcer-healing drugs may not improve ulcer healing but H. pylori eradication therapy alone may reduce ulcer recurrence (level 3 [lacking direct] evidence)
      • peptic ulcer bleeding
        • H. pylori eradication therapy appears more effective than short-term antisecretory therapy or long-term ranitidine in preventing recurrent peptic ulcer bleeding in patients not taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
        • H. pylori eradication therapy appears less effective than daily proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for preventing recurrent peptic ulcer bleeding in patients who continue long-term NSAIDs (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
    • precancerous gastric lesions – H. pylori eradication may reduce progression of lesions (level 3 [lacking direct] evidence)
    • iron deficiency anemia – eradicating H. pylori may improve response to oral iron therapy
    • nonulcer dyspepsia – H. pylori eradication improves but does not eliminate symptoms (level 1 [likely reliable] evidence)
    • chronic gastritis – H. pylori eradication may decrease histologic evidence of gastritis in multiple clinical settings (level 3 [lacking direct] evidence), but may not be associated with improved symptoms in children (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
    • long-term PPI use – H. pylori eradication reduces healthcare use and may reduce dyspepsia symptoms but not reflux symptoms (level 1 [likely reliable] evidence)
    • long-term NSAID use – H. pylori eradication prevents ulcers and ulcer complications in patients starting NSAIDs (level 1 [likely reliable] evidence) but may be less effective than long-term PPI use (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
    • immune thrombocytopenia – H. pylori eradication improves platelet count (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
    • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – H. pylori eradication does not clearly cause, improve, or worsen GERD symptoms (level 2 [mid-level] evidence)
    • asymptomatic patients – H. pylori eradication may prevent future dyspepsia (level 2 [mid-level] evidence), but low overall risk (< 15%) may not warrant such therapy
  • when choosing therapy, consider all of following(1)
    • patient’s history of penicillin allergy, and history of macrolide exposure
    • patient’s ability to adhere to a multidrug regimen with potential adverse effects
    • sensitivity of regional H. pylori strain to the combination of antibiotics administered (H. pylori clarithromycin resistance is > 15% in many areas of North America); see Antimicrobial resistance considerations in Recommendations section for details

Additional Reading: Chey WD, et al. ACG Clinical Guideline: Treatment of Helicobactor pylori infection. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2017 Feb;112(2):212-239. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2016.563.