Phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens

Morales MH, Leigh CL, Simon EL. COVID-19 infection with extensive thrombosis: A case of phlegmasia cerulea dolens. Am J Emerg Med. 2020 May 15. Epub ahead of print.

Free full-text.

“Cytokine storm has been implicated in COVID-19 and associated with severe infection [4], allowing for a focus on cytokine and other proinflammatory markers. It is suspected that the extensive release of cytokines causing a proinflammatory state may play a role in thrombus formation [5]. Tanaka et al. reported that IL-6 could activate the coagulation cascade [6], increasing the risk of thrombosis and complication. Our patient did have an elevated level of IL-6, in addition to hypertension and elevated CRP, which are all independent risk factors for increased severity of COVID-19 infection [7].

Helms et al. found that 50 of 57 patients had positive lupus anticoagulant and antiphospholipid (aPL) antibodies [1], both of which have been associated with thrombotic complications.”


Shackford SR. (2018). Venous Disease. In: Abernathy’s Surgical Secrets, 7th ed.: p. 357.

What is the difference between phlegmasia alba dolens and phlegmasia cerulea dolens? 

“These two entities occur following iliofemoral venous thrombosis, 75% of which occur on the left side presumably because of compression of the left common iliac vein by the overlying right common iliac artery (May-Thurner syndrome). Iliofemoral venous thrombosis is characterized by unilateral pain and edema of an entire lower extremity, discoloration, and groin tenderness. In phlegmasia alba dolens (literally, painful white swelling), the leg becomes pale. Arterial pulses remain normal. Progressive thrombosis may occur with propagation proximally or distally and into neighboring tributaries. The entire leg becomes both edematous and mottled or cyanotic. This stage is called phlegmasia cerulea dolens (literally, painful purple swelling). When venous outflow is seriously impeded, arterial inflow may be reduced secondarily by as much as 30%. Limb loss is a serious concern and aggressive management (i.e., venous thrombectomy, catheter-directed lytic therapy, or both) is necessary.”

Continue reading

Smoking and pancreatic disease

Yadav D, Hawes RH, Brand RE, et al. Alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and the risk of recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jun 8; 169(11):1035-45.

Free full-text.

Chronic pancreatitis_smoking

Figure 3. Distribution of self-reported smoking status (A) and amount (B) stratified by drinking categories. All proportions are based on effective numbers, and never smokers account for the proportions not reflected in the graphs. C indicates control group; CP, chronic pancreatitis group; RAP, recurrent acute pancreatitis group.

Continue reading

The timing of surgical intervention in chronic pancreatitis

Issa Y, Kempeneers MA, Bruno MJ, et al. Effect of Early Surgery vs Endoscopy-First Approach on Pain in Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis: The ESCAPE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020 Jan 21;323(3):237-247.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: Among 88 patients who were randomized (mean age, 52 years; 21 (24%) women), 85 (97%) completed the trial. During 18 months of follow-up, patients in the early surgery group had a lower Izbicki pain score than patients in the group randomized to receive the endoscopy-first approach group (37 vs 49; between-group difference, -12 points [95% CI, -22 to -2]; P = .02). Complete or partial pain relief at end of follow-up was achieved in 23 of 40 patients (58%) in the early surgery vs 16 of 41 (39%)in the endoscopy-first approach group (P = .10). The total number of interventions was lower in the early surgery group (median, 1 vs 3; P < .001). Treatment complications (27% vs 25%), mortality (0% vs 0%), hospital admissions, pancreatic function, and quality of life were not significantly different between early surgery and the endoscopy-first approach.

Conclusions and relevance: Among patients with chronic pancreatitis, early surgery compared with an endoscopy-first approach resulted in lower pain scores when integrated over 18 months. However, further research is needed to assess persistence of differences over time and to replicate the study findings.

Continue reading

Cefepime-induced neurotoxicity

Lau C, et al. A retrospective study to determine the cefepime-induced neurotoxicity threshold in hospitalized patients. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2020 Mar 1;75(3):718-725.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: In total, 206 patients were administered 259 courses of cefepime, with an overall CIN incidence of 6% (16/259 courses). A total of 64 courses had a cefepime trough concentration measured (24.7%). A cefepime trough concentration of 36 mg/L provided the best differentiation between patients who experienced neurotoxicity and those who did not. No other patient covariates were identified to be significantly associated with neurotoxicity occurring.

Conclusions: A cefepime trough plasma concentration ≥36 mg/L appears to be the most sensitive and specific cut-off to predict CIN occurring. No patient factors were associated with the development of CIN when accounting for cefepime trough plasma concentrations.

Continue reading

Dor versus Toupet fundoplication after laparoscopic Heller myotomy

Torres-Villalobos G, et al. Dor Vs Toupet Fundoplication After Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy: Long-Term Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluated by High-Resolution Manometry. J Gastrointest Surg. 2018 Jan;22(1):13-22.

Full-text for Emory users.

Surgical data table

Results: Seventy-three patients were randomized, 38 underwent Dor and 35 Toupet. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. Postoperative HRM showed that the integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) and basal lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure were similar at 6 and 24 months. The number of patients with abnormal acid exposure was significantly lower for Dor (6.9%) than that of Toupet (34.0%) at 6 months, but it was not different at 12 or 24 months. No differences were found in postoperative symptom scores at 1, 6, or 24 months.

Conclusion: There were no differences in symptom scores or HRM between fundoplications in the long term. A higher percentage of abnormal 24-h pH test were found for the Toupet group, with no difference in the long term.


More PubMed results on Dor vs.Toupet fundoplication after Heller myotomy.

Article of interest: The Landmark Series: MSLT-1, MSLT-2 and DeCOG (Management of Lymph Nodes)

Bello DM, Faries MB. The Landmark Series: MSLT-1, MSLT-2 and DeCOG (Management of Lymph Nodes). Ann Surg Oncol. 2020 Jan;27(1):15-21.

Full-text for Emory users.

Management of regional lymph nodes in patients with melanoma has evolved significantly in recent years. The value of nodal intervention, long utilized for its perceived therapeutic benefit, has now shifted to that of a critical prognostic procedure used to guide clinical decision making. This review focuses on the three landmark, randomized controlled trials evaluating the role of surgery for regional lymph nodes in melanoma: Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial I (MSLT-I), German Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group-Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial (DeCOG-SLT), and Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial II (MSLT-II).

The use of balanced crystalloids versus saline in sepsis

Brown RM, et al. Balanced Crystalloids versus Saline in Sepsis. A Secondary Analysis of the SMART Clinical Trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Dec 15;200(12):1487-1495.

Free full-text.

Measurements and Main Results: Of 15,802 patients enrolled in SMART, 1,641 patients were admitted to the medical ICU with a diagnosis of sepsis. A total of 217 patients (26.3%) in the balanced crystalloids group experienced 30-day in-hospital morality compared with 255 patients (31.2%) in the saline group (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.74; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59-0.93; P = 0.01). Patients in the balanced group experienced a lower incidence of major adverse kidney events within 30 days (35.4% vs. 40.1%; aOR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.63-0.97) and a greater number of vasopressor-free days (20 ± 12 vs. 19 ± 13; aOR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.02-1.54) and renal replacement therapy-free days (20 ± 12 vs. 19 ± 13; aOR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.08-1.69) compared with the saline group.

Conclusions: Among patients with sepsis in a large randomized trial, use of balanced crystalloids was associated with a lower 30-day in-hospital mortality compared with use of saline.

Continue reading

Preoperative communication with older patients and their families about high-risk surgical outcomes

Berian JR, et al. Association of Loss of Independence With Readmission and Death After Discharge in Older Patients After Surgical Procedures. JAMA Surg. 2016 Sep 21;151(9): e161689.

Full-text for Emory users.

Results: Of the 5077 patients included in this study, 2736 (53.9%) were female and 3876 (76.3%) were white, with a mean (SD) age of 75 (7) years. For this cohort, LOI increased with age; LOI occurred in 1386 of 2780 patients (49.9%) aged 65 to 74 years, 1162 of 1726 (67.3%) aged 75 to 84 years, and 479 of 571 (83.9%) 85 years and older (P < .001). Readmission occurred in 517 patients (10.2%). In a risk-adjusted model, LOI was strongly associated with readmission (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.4-2.2) and postoperative complication (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% CI, 4.9-9.0). Death after discharge occurred in 69 patients (1.4%). After risk adjustment, LOI was the strongest factor associated with death after discharge (odds ratio, 6.7; 95% CI, 2.4-19.3). Postoperative complication was not significantly associated with death after discharge.

Continue reading