The latest medical research on Anesthesiology

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about anesthesiology gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Perineural and intravenous dexamethasone and dexmedetomidine: network meta-analysis of adjunctive effects on supraclavicular bracheal plexus block.


Both perineural and intravenous dexamethasone and dexmedetomidine are used as local anaesthetic adjuncts to enhance peripheral nerve block characte...

The patient experience of hemodialysis vascular access decision-making.

J Vasc Access

To describe vascular access (VA)-related decision-making from the patient perspective, in patients who have already chosen hemodialysis as their renal replacement modality, and identify areas where physicians can improve this experience.

In-person, semi-structured interviews with 15 patients with end-stage kidney disease were systematically analyzed by two independent researchers using thematic analysis. Interviews were conducted until systematic analysis revealed no new themes.

Patients had mean age 57 (range 22-85), with seven males and diverse racial/ethnic/marital status. All (15/15) patients viewed VA as "intertwined and interrelated" with dialysis, prioritized the dialysis, described the VA merely as the "hookup" to life-preserving dialysis and gave it minimal consideration. Three themes were identified: consolidation of dialysis and VA, reliance on supportive advisors and communication with physicians. Although 14/15 patients described processes common to medical decision-making, including information seeking, learning from the experiences of others, and weighing risks and benefits, they did not apply these processes specifically to VA. While all participants took ownership of the VA decision, they lacked clear understanding about the different types of VA and their consequences. Most patients (14/15) depended on family and friends for reinforcement, motivation and advice. Patients all described physician characteristics they associated with trustworthiness, the most common being listening and explaining, demonstrating empathy and making an effort to meet the patient's individual needs. Perceived arrogance, unavailability and lack of expertise represented untrustworthiness. The majority (14/15) accepted VA recommendations from physicians they found trustworthy and authoritative.

The study participants were minimally engaged in VA decision-making. Educational aids and shared decision-making tools are needed to empower patients to make better-informed, self-efficacious VA decisions.

Anesthesiologist Age and Sex Influence Patient Perceptions of Physician Competence.


Uncovering patients' biases toward characteristics of anesthesiologists may inform ways to improve the patient-anesthesiologist relationship. The authors previously demonstrated that patients prefer anesthesiologists displaying confident body language, but did not detect a sex bias. The effect of anesthesiologists' age on patient perceptions has not been studied. In this follow-up study, it was hypothesized that patients would prefer older-appearing anesthesiologists over younger-appearing anesthesiologists and male over female anesthesiologists.

Three hundred adult, English-speaking patients were recruited in the Preanesthesia Evaluation and Testing Center. Patients were randomized (150 per group) to view a set of four videos in random order. Each 90-s video featured an older female, older male, younger female, or younger male anesthesiologist reciting the same script describing general anesthesia. Patients ranked each anesthesiologist on confidence, intelligence, and likelihood of choosing the anesthesiologist to care for their family member. Patients also chose the one anesthesiologist who seemed most like a leader.

Three hundred patients watched the videos and completed the questionnaire. Among patients younger than age 65 yr, the older anesthesiologists had greater odds of being ranked more confident (odds ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.41 to 2.64; P < 0.001) and more intelligent (odds ratio, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.62 to 3.11; P < 0.001), and had greater odds of being considered a leader (odds ratio, 2.62; 95% CI, 1.72 to 4.00; P < 0.001) when compared with younger anesthesiologists. The preference for older anesthesiologists was not observed in patients age 65 and older. Female anesthesiologists had greater odds of being ranked more confident (odds ratio, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.13 to 1.87; P = 0.003) and more likely to be chosen to care for one's family member (odds ratio, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.40 to 2.31; P < 0.001) compared with male anesthesiologists. The ranking preference for female anesthesiologists on these two measures was observed among white patients and not among nonwhite patients.

Patients preferred older anesthesiologists on the measures of confidence, intelligence, and leadership. Patients also preferred female anesthesiologists on the measures of confidence and likelihood of choosing the anesthesiologist to care for one's family member.

Associations of a Preoperative Anemia and Suboptimal Iron Stores Screening and Management Clinic in Colorectal Surgery With Hospital Cost, Reimbursement, and Length of Stay: A Net Cost Analysis.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

In 2016, a preoperative clinic was implemented to screen, evaluate, and manage anemia and suboptimal iron stores at a major tertiary care medical center in Western Australia. Few studies compare the costs and reimbursements associated with preoperative anemia and suboptimal iron stores management. The objective of our study was to conduct a net cost analysis associated with the implementation of this clinic.

We designed a retrospective cohort study involving elective colorectal surgical admissions over a 3-year period. The baseline year selected was the 2015-2016 financial year, with outcomes in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 year compared to baseline. The study perspective was the Western Australian Health System. Hospital costs were extracted from the health service clinical costing system, which captures costs at the admission level. The primary outcome was net cost, defined as gross cost minus reimbursement (or funding) received.

Our 3-year study included 544 admissions for elective colorectal surgery. After the implementation of the preoperative clinic, 73.4% (n = 257) of admissions were screened for anemia and suboptimal iron stores, and 31.4% (n = 110) received intravenous iron. In our adjusted analysis, when comparing the final year (2017-2018) with baseline (2015-2016), the units of red blood cells transfused per admission decreased 53% (142 vs 303 units per 1000 discharges; P = .006), and mean hospital length of stay decreased 15% (7.7 vs 9.1 days; P = .008). When comparing the final year with baseline, rectal resection admissions were associated with a mean decrease in the net cost of Australian dollar (A$) 7619 (95% confidence interval, 4230-11,008; P < .001) between 2015-2016 and 2017-2018. For small and large bowel procedures, there was a mean decrease of A$6744 (95% confidence interval, 2430-11,057; P = .002).

The implementation of a preoperative anemia and suboptimal iron stores screening and management clinic in elective colorectal surgery was associated with reductions in red cell transfusions, length of stay, and net costs.

Anesthetic Potency of Intravenous Infusion of 20% Emulsified Sevoflurane and Effect on the Blood-Gas Partition Coefficient in Dogs.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Intravenous (IV) infusions of volatile anesthetics in lipid emulsion may increase blood lipid concentration, potentially altering the anesthetic agent's blood solubility and blood-gas partition coefficient (BGPC). We examined the influence of a low-lipid concentration 20% sevoflurane emulsion on BGPC, and the anesthetic potency of this emulsion using dogs.

We compared BGPC and anesthetic characteristics in 6 dogs between the IV anesthesia of emulsion and the sevoflurane inhalation anesthesia in a randomized crossover substudy. Minimum alveolar concentrations (MACs) were determined by tail-clamp stimulation by using the up-and-down method. Blood sevoflurane concentration and partial pressure were measured by gas chromatography; end-tidal sevoflurane concentration was measured using a gas monitor. The primary outcome was BGPC at the end of IV anesthesia and inhalation anesthesia. Secondary outcomes were time to loss/recovery of palpebral reflex, finish intubation and awakening, MAC, blood concentration/partial pressure at MAC and awakening, correlation between blood partial pressure and gas monitor, and the safety of emulsions.

BGPC showed no difference between IV and inhaled anesthesia (0.859 [0.850-0.887] vs 0.813 [0.791-0.901]; P = .313). Induction and emergence from anesthesia were more rapid in IV anesthesia of emulsion than inhalation anesthesia. MAC of emulsion (1.33% [1.11-1.45]) was lower than that of inhalation (2.40% [2.33-2.48]; P = .031), although there was no significant difference in blood concentration. End-tidal sevoflurane concentration could be estimated using gas monitor during IV anesthesia of emulsion. No major complications were observed.

IV anesthesia with emulsion did not increase the BGCP significantly compared to inhalation anesthesia. It was suggested that the anesthetic potency of this emulsion may be equal to or more than that of inhalation.

Anesthesia and Long-Term Oncological Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Whether propofol elicits a survival benefit over volatile anesthetics during cancer surgery remains inconclusive. The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to compare the effects of propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with any volatile anesthesia on long-term oncological outcomes. The secondary aim is to compare propofol-based TIVA with specific volatile agents on long-term oncological outcomes.

We searched PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library from inception through March 3, 2020. Randomized control trials and observational studies that compared the effects of propofol-based TIVA and volatile anesthesia on long-term oncological outcomes, which also reported hazard ratios (HR) as effect estimates, were considered eligible for inclusion. Using the inverse variance method with a random-effects model, HR and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Trial sequential analysis was incorporated to test if the results were subject to a type I or type II error.

Nineteen retrospective observational studies were included. Patients who received propofol-based TIVA during cancer surgery were associated with significantly better overall survival than those who received volatile anesthesia (HR = 0.79, 95% CI, 0.66-0.94, P = .008, I = 82%). In contrast, no statistically significant difference was observed in recurrence-free survival between patients who received propofol-based TIVA and volatile anesthesia during cancer surgery (HR = 0.81, 95% CI, 0.61-1.07, P = .137, I = 85%). In the subgroup analysis by different volatile anesthetics, patients who received propofol-based TIVA were associated with better overall survival than those who received desflurane (HR = 0.54, 95% CI, 0.36-0.80, P = .003, I = 80%). In contrast, there was no statistically significant difference in overall survival between patients who received propofol-based TIVA and those who received sevoflurane (HR = 0.92, 95% CI, 0.74-1.14, P = .439, I = 70%). In the trial sequential analysis of overall survival, the cumulative Z curve reached the required heterogeneity-adjusted information size and crossed the traditional significance boundary. In contrast, in the trial sequential analysis of recurrence-free survival, the cumulative Z curve did not cross the traditional significance boundary. However, the required heterogeneity-adjusted information size has not yet been reached.

Propofol-based TIVA is generally associated with better overall survival than volatile anesthesia during cancer surgery. Further large-scaled, high-quality randomized control trials are warranted to confirm our findings.

Development and Impact of an Institutional Enhanced Recovery Program on Opioid Use, Length of Stay, and Hospital Costs Within an Academic Medical Center: A Cohort Analysis of 7774 Patients.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Enhanced Recovery (ER) is a change management framework in which a multidisciplinary team of stakeholders utilizes evidence-based medicine to protocolize all aspects of a surgical care to allow more rapid return of function. While service-specific reports of ER adoption are common, institutional-wide adoption is complex, and reports of institution-wide ER adoption are lacking in the United States. We hypothesized that ER principles were generalizable across an institution and could be implemented across a multitude of surgical disciplines with improvements in length of stay, opioid consumption, and cost of care.

Following the establishment of a formal institutional ER program, ER was adopted in 9 distinct surgical subspecialties over 5 years at an academic medical center. We compared length of stay, opioid consumption, and total cost of care in all surgical subspecialties as a function of time using a segmented regression/interrupted time series statistical model.

There were 7774 patients among 9 distinct surgical populations including 2155 patients in the pre-ER cohort and 5619 patients in the post-ER cohort. The introduction of an ER protocol was associated with several significant changes: a reduction in length of stay in 5 of 9 specialties; reduction in opioid consumption in 8 specialties; no change or reduction in maximum patient-reported pain scores; and reduction or no change in hospital costs in all specialties. The ER program was associated with an aggregate increase in profit over the study period.

Institution-wide efforts to adopt ER can generate significant improvements in patient care, opioid consumption, hospital capacity, and profitability within a large academic medical center.

Derivation, Validation, Sustained Performance, and Clinical Impact of an Electronic Medical Record-Based Perioperative Delirium Risk Stratification Tool.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Postoperative delirium is an important problem for surgical inpatients and was the target of a multidisciplinary quality improvement project at our institution. We developed and tested a semiautomated delirium risk stratification instrument, Age, WORLD backwards, Orientation, iLlness severity, Surgery-specific risk (AWOL-S), in 3 independent cohorts from our tertiary care hospital and describe its performance characteristics and impact on clinical care.

The risk stratification instrument was derived with elective surgical patients who were admitted at least overnight and received at least 1 postoperative delirium screen (Nursing Delirium Screening Scale [NuDESC] or Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit [CAM-ICU]) and preoperative cognitive screening tests (orientation to place and ability to spell WORLD backward). Using data pragmatically collected between December 7, 2016, and June 15, 2017, we derived a logistic regression model predicting probability of delirium in the first 7 postoperative hospital days. A priori predictors included age, cognitive screening, illness severity or American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, and surgical delirium risk. We applied model odds ratios to 2 subsequent cohorts ("validation" and "sustained performance") and assessed performance using area under the receiver operator characteristic curves (AUC-ROC). A post hoc sensitivity analysis assessed performance in emergency and preadmitted patients. Finally, we retrospectively evaluated the use of benzodiazepines and anticholinergic medications in patients who screened at high risk for delirium.

The logistic regression model used to derive odds ratios for the risk prediction tool included 2091 patients. Model AUC-ROC was 0.71 (0.67-0.75), compared with 0.65 (0.58-0.72) in the validation (n = 908) and 0.75 (0.71-0.78) in the sustained performance (n = 3168) cohorts. Sensitivity was approximately 75% in the derivation and sustained performance cohorts; specificity was approximately 59%. The AUC-ROC for emergency and preadmitted patients was 0.71 (0.67-0.75; n = 1301). After AWOL-S was implemented clinically, patients at high risk for delirium (n = 3630) had 21% (3%-36%) lower relative risk of receiving an anticholinergic medication perioperatively after controlling for secular trends.

The AWOL-S delirium risk stratification tool has moderate accuracy for delirium prediction in a cohort of elective surgical patients, and performance is largely unchanged in emergent/preadmitted surgical patients. Using AWOL-S risk stratification as a part of a multidisciplinary delirium reduction intervention was associated with significantly lower rates of perioperative anticholinergic but not benzodiazepine, medications in those at high risk for delirium. AWOL-S offers a feasible starting point for electronic medical record-based postoperative delirium risk stratification and may serve as a useful paradigm for other institutions.

An Implementation-Effectiveness Study of a Perioperative Delirium Prevention Initiative for Older Adults.

Anesthesia and Analgesia

Postoperative delirium is a common and serious problem for older adults. To better align local practices with delirium prevention consensus guidelines, we implemented a 5-component intervention followed by a quality improvement (QI) project at our institution.

This hybrid implementation-effectiveness study took place at 2 adult hospitals within a tertiary care academic health care system. We implemented a 5-component intervention: preoperative delirium risk stratification, multidisciplinary education, written memory aids, delirium prevention postanesthesia care unit (PACU) orderset, and electronic health record enhancements between December 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. This was followed by a department-wide QI project to increase uptake of the intervention from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. We tracked process outcomes during the QI period, including frequency of preoperative delirium risk screening, percentage of "high-risk" screens, and frequency of appropriate PACU orderset use. We measured practice change after the interventions using interrupted time series analysis of perioperative medication prescribing practices during baseline (December 1, 2016 to November 30, 2017), intervention (December 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018), and QI (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) periods. Participants were consecutive older patients (≥65 years of age) who underwent surgery during the above timeframes and received care in the PACU, compared to a concurrent control group <65 years of age. The a priori primary outcome was a composite of perioperative American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use (Beers PIM) medications. The secondary outcome, delirium incidence, was measured in the subset of older patients who were admitted to the hospital for at least 1 night.

During the 12-month QI period, preoperative delirium risk stratification improved from 67% (714 of 1068 patients) in month 1 to 83% in month 12 (776 of 931 patients). Forty percent of patients were stratified as "high risk" during the 12-month period (4246 of 10,494 patients). Appropriate PACU orderset use in high-risk patients increased from 19% in month 1 to 85% in month 12. We analyzed medication use in 7212, 4416, and 8311 PACU care episodes during the baseline, intervention, and QI periods, respectively. Beers PIM administration decreased from 33% to 27% to 23% during the 3 time periods, with adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.97 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95-0.998; P = .03) per month during the QI period in comparison to baseline. Delirium incidence was 7.5%, 9.2%, and 8.5% during the 3 time periods with aOR of delirium of 0.98 (95% CI, 0.91-1.05, P = .52) per month during the QI period in comparison to baseline.

A perioperative delirium prevention intervention was associated with reduced administration of Beers PIMs to older adults.

Mega Fistulae! A case series.

J Vasc Access

A mega fistula can be defined as generalized aneurysmal dilatation of arteriovenous fistula. Mega fistulae can lead to complications like high outp...

A prospective six-month audit of airway incidents during anaesthesia in twelve tertiary level hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

This audit of airway incidents was conducted over six months in 12 tertiary level hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. During that time, 131...

Surgical prehabilitation using mobile health coaching in patients with obesity: A pilot study.

Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

Many patients spend months waiting for elective procedures, and many have significant modifiable risk factors that could contribute to an increased...