The latest medical research on General Surgery

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 general surgery gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Use of Computerized Provider Order Entry Events for Postoperative Complication Surveillance.

JAMA Surgery

Conventional approaches for tracking postoperative adverse events requires manual medical record review, thus limiting the scalability of such efforts.

To determine if a surveillance system using computerized provider order entry (CPOE) events for selected medications as well as laboratory, microbiologic, and radiologic orders can decrease the manual medical record review burden for surveillance of postoperative complications.

This cohort study reviewed the medical records of 21 775 patients who underwent surgical procedures at a university-based tertiary referral center (University of Utah, Salt Lake City) from July 1, 2007, to August 31, 2017. Patients were included if their case was selected for review by a surgical clinical reviewer as part of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Patients were excluded if they had incomplete follow-up data.

Thirty-day postoperative occurrences of superficial surgical site infection, deep surgical site infection, organ space surgical site infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, sepsis, septic shock, deep vein thrombosis requiring therapy, and pulmonary embolism, as defined by the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. A logistic regression model was developed for each postoperative complication using CPOE features as predictors on a development set, and performance was measured on a holdout internal validation set. The models were internally validated using bootstrapping with 10 000 replications to determine the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of CPOE-based surveillance system.

The study included 21 775 patients who underwent surgical procedures. Among these patients, 11 855 (54.4%) were women and 9920 (45.6%) were men, with a mean (SD) age of 51.7 (16.8) years. Overall, the prevalence of postoperative complications was low, ranging from 0.2% (pulmonary embolism) to 2.6% (superficial surgical site infection). Use of CPOE events to detect patients who experienced at least 1 complication had a sensitivity of 74.8% (95% CI, 71.1%-78.4%), specificity of 86.8% (95% CI, 85.5%-88.3%), positive predictive value of 33.8% (95% CI, 31.2%-36.4%), negative predictive value of 97.5% (95% CI, 97.1%-97.8%), and area under the curve of 0.808 (95% CI, 0.791-0.824). The negative predictive value for individual complications ranged from 98.7% to 100%. Use of CPOE events to screen for adverse events was estimated to diminish the burden of manual medical record review by 55.4% to 90.3%. A CPOE-based surveillance system performed well for both inpatient and outpatient procedures.

A CPOE-based surveillance of postoperative complications has high negative predictive value, which demonstrates that this approach can augment the currently used, resource-intensive manual medical record review process.

Accuracy of a 3-Dimensionally Printed Navigational Template for Localizing Small Pulmonary Nodules: A Noninferiority Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Localization of small lung nodules are challenging because of the difficulty of nodule recognition during video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery. Using 3-dimensional (3-D) printing technology, a navigational template was recently created to assist percutaneous lung nodule localization; however, the efficacy and safety of this template have not yet been evaluated.

To assess the noninferiority of the efficacy and safety of a 3-D-printed navigational template guide for localizing small peripheral lung nodules.

This noninferiority randomized clinical trial conducted between October 2016 and October 2017 at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, Shanghai, China, compared the safety and precision of lung nodule localization using a template-guided approach vs the conventional computed tomography (CT)-guided approach. In total, 213 surgical candidates with small peripheral lung nodules (<2 cm) were recruited to undergo either CT- or template-guided lung nodule localization. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.

Percutaneous lung nodule localization.

The primary outcome was the accuracy of lung nodule localization (localizer deviation), and secondary outcomes were procedural duration, radiation dosage, and complication rate.

Of the 200 patients randomized at a ratio of 1:1 to the template- and CT-guided groups, most were women (147 vs 53), body mass index ranged from 15.4 to 37.3, the mean (SD) nodule size was 9.7 (2.9) mm, and the mean distance between the outer edge of target nodule and the pleura was 7.8 (range, 0.0-43.9) mm. In total, 190 patients underwent either CT- or template-guided lung nodule localization and subsequent surgery. Among these patients, localizer deviation did not significantly differ between the template- and CT-guided groups (mean [SD], 8.7 [6.9] vs 9.6 [5.8] mm; P = .36). The mean (SD) procedural durations were 7.4 (3.2) minutes for the template-guided group and 9.5 (3.6) minutes for the CT-guided group (P < .001). The mean (SD) radiation dose was 229 (65) mGy × cm in the template-guided group and 313 (84) mGy × cm in CT-guided group (P < .001).

The use of the 3-D-printed navigational template for localization of small peripheral lung nodules showed efficacy and safety that were not substantially worse than those for the CT-guided approach while significantly simplifying the localization procedure and decreasing patient radiation exposure. identifier: NCT02952261.

Association Between Antithrombotic Medication Use After Bioprosthetic Aortic Valve Replacement and Outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration System.

JAMA Surgery

The recommendations about antithrombotic medication use after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement (bAVR) vary.

To describe the post-bAVR antithrombotic medication practice across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and to assess the association between antithrombotic strategies and post-bAVR outcomes.

Retrospective cohort study. Multivariable modeling with propensity scores was conducted to adjust for differences in patient characteristics across the 3 most common antithrombotic medication strategies (aspirin plus warfarin sodium, aspirin only, and dual antiplatelets). Text mining of notes was used to identify the patients with bAVR (fiscal years 2005-2015).

This study used VHA and non-VHA outpatient pharmacy data and text notes to classify the following antithrombotic medications prescribed within 1 week after discharge from the bAVR hospitalization: aspirin plus warfarin, aspirin only, dual antiplatelets, no antithrombotics, other only, and warfarin only. The 90-day outcomes included all-cause mortality, thromboembolism risk, and bleeding events. Outcomes were identified using primary diagnosis codes from emergency department visits or hospital admissions.

The cohort included 9060 veterans with bAVR at 47 facilities (mean [SD] age, 69.3 [8.8] years; 98.6% male). The number of bAVR procedures per year increased from 610 in fiscal year 2005 to 1072 in fiscal year 2015. The most commonly prescribed antithrombotic strategy was aspirin only (4240 [46.8%]), followed by aspirin plus warfarin (1638 [18.1%]), no antithrombotics (1451 [16.0%]), dual antiplatelets (1010 [11.1%]), warfarin only (439 [4.8%]), and other only (282 [3.1%]). Facility variation in antithrombotic prescription patterns was observed. During the 90-day post-bAVR period, adverse events were uncommon, including all-cause mortality in 127 (1.4%), thromboembolism risk in 142 (1.6%), and bleeding events in 149 (1.6%). No differences in 90-day mortality or thromboembolism were identified across the 3 antithrombotic medication groups in either the unadjusted or adjusted models. Patients receiving the combination of aspirin plus warfarin had higher odds of bleeding than patients receiving aspirin only in the unadjusted analysis (odds ratio, 2.58; 95% CI, 1.71-3.89) and after full risk adjustment (adjusted odds ratio, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.17-3.14).

These data demonstrate that bAVR procedures are increasingly being performed in VHA facilities and that aspirin only was the most commonly used antithrombotic medication strategy after bAVR. The risk-adjusted results suggest that the combination of aspirin plus warfarin does not improve either all-cause mortality or thromboembolism risk but increases the risk of bleeding events compared with aspirin only.

Validation of the Bluebelle Wound Healing Questionnaire for assessment of surgical-site infection in closed primary wounds after hospital discharge.

Br J Surg

Accurate assessment of surgical-site infection (SSI) is crucial for surveillance and research. Self-reporting patient measures are needed because current SSI tools are limited for assessing patients after leaving hospital. The Bluebelle Wound Healing Questionnaire (WHQ) was developed for patient or observer completion; this study tested its acceptability, scale structure, reliability and validity in patients with closed primary wounds after abdominal surgery.

Patients completed the WHQ (self-assessment) within 30 days after leaving hospital and returned it by post. Healthcare professionals completed the WHQ (observer assessment) by telephone or face-to-face. Questionnaire response rates and patient acceptability were assessed. Factor analysis and Cronbach's α examined scale structure and internal consistency. Test-retest and self- versus observer reliability assessments were performed. Sensitivity and specificity for SSI discrimination against a face-to-face reference diagnosis (using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria) were examined.

Some 561 of 792 self-assessments (70·8 per cent) and 597 of 791 observer assessments (75·5 per cent) were completed, with few missing data or problems reported. Data supported a single-scale structure with strong internal consistency (α greater than 0·8). Reliability between test-retest and self- versus observer assessments was good (κ 0·6 or above for the majority of items). Sensitivity and specificity for SSI discrimination was high (area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve 0·91).

The Bluebelle WHQ is acceptable, reliable and valid with a single-scale structure for postdischarge patient or observer assessment of SSI in closed primary wounds.

Association of Screening and Treatment for Preoperative Asymptomatic Bacteriuria With Postoperative Outcomes Among US Veterans.

JAMA Surgery

Limited data suggest that screening for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) prior to nonurologic procedures is not useful. However, high-quality evidence to support consensus recommendations and influence clinical practice is lacking.

To characterize the association between detection and treatment of preoperative ASB and postoperative outcomes.

This retrospective cohort study involved patients, predominantly male veterans, who underwent surgical procedures in 109 US facilities within the US Department of Veterans Affairs health care system from October 1, 2008, to September 30, 2013. Participants included patients (n = 68 265) who had cardiac, orthopedic, or vascular surgical procedures. Each received a planned clinician review of complete medical records for antimicrobial prophylaxis as well as 30-day surgical-site infection (SSI) and urinary tract infection (UTI) outcomes, and each had a preoperative urine culture result available within the 30 days prior to the procedure. Data analysis was performed from December 2016 to August 2018.

The primary outcome was the association between preoperative ASB and postoperative SSI. The secondary outcomes included postoperative UTI and the association between antimicrobial therapy for ASB and postoperative infectious outcomes.

In total, 68 265 patients (65 664 [96.2%] were men and 2601 [3.8%] were women, with a mean [SD] age of 64.6 [9.2] years) were identified, and 17 611 (25.8%) were eligible for inclusion in the primary analysis. Preoperative urine cultures were performed in 17 749 (26.0%) patients, and the results were positive in 755 (4.3%), of which 617 (81.7%) were classified as ASB. With adjustments for age, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, smoking status, race/ethnicity, sex, and diabetes status, patients with or without ASB had similar odds of SSI (2.4% vs 1.6%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.58; 95% CI, 0.93-2.70; P = .08). Receipt of antimicrobial therapy with activity against the ASB organism was not associated with a reduced SSI risk (aOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.28-3.65; P = .99). Urinary tract infection occurred in 14 (3.3%) of 423 patients with ASB and 196 (1.5%) of 12 913 patients without ASB (aOR, 1.42; 95% CI, 0.80-2.49; P = .22). Treatment or prophylaxis for the ASB organism similarly was not associated with reduced odds of postoperative UTI (aOR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.20-2.30; P = .54). The ASB organisms matched a postoperative wound culture in 2 cases, both Staphylococcus aureus.

The findings of this study suggest that receipt of antimicrobial therapy with activity against ASB organisms identified in preoperative urine cultures was not associated with reductions in the risk for postoperative infections, including UTI and SSI; such findings suggest there is evidence for discontinuing the practice of screening and treatment for preoperative ASB.

A New Aortic Arch Inclusion Technique With Frozen Elephant Trunk for Type A Aortic Dissection.

Annals of Surgery

Our aims were to describe a new surgical technique for the treatment of type A aortic dissection (TAAD) and to report the operative outcomes of 154 patients.

Surgical treatment of TAAD is complicated and carries a high mortality risk. To lower this risk, we developed a simplified procedure in which a stent graft was implanted as frozen elephant trunk (FET), and the proximally trimmed vascular graft was sutured from the inside of the aortic arch using the inclusion technique under moderate hypothermic circulatory arrest and antegrade selective cerebral perfusion.

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 154 cases of TAAD treated with our novel technique (93 men and 61 women, 52.5 ± 11.4 years). Computed tomography angiography was performed before discharge and at 6 months postoperatively.

In-hospital mortality rate was 5.19%, with paraplegia occurring in 2 patients (1.3%) and stroke in 6 (3.9%). The rate of closure of the aortic arch false lumen was 77.8%, with a 69.2% rate of descending thoracic aorta thrombosis at discharge. The survival rate was 91.1% at a mean follow-up of 21 ± 10 months, with rates of aortic arch false lumen closure of 92.4% and descending thoracic aorta thrombosis of 74.3% at 6 months postoperatively.

The aortic arch inclusion technique with FET provides a safe alternative for TAAD treatment, with satisfactory operative results. Short-term follow-up results are encouraging, and long-term outcomes need further evaluation.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

Factors Associated With Long-Term Outcomes After Injury: Results of the Functional Outcomes and Recovery After Trauma Emergencies (FORTE) Multicenter Cohort Study.

Annals of Surgery

The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with patient-reported outcomes, 6 to 12 months after moderate to severe injury.

Due to limitations of trauma registries, we have an incomplete understanding of factors that impact long-term patient-reported outcomes after injury. As 96% of patients survive their injuries, several entities including the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine have called for a mechanism to routinely follow trauma patients and determine factors associated with survival, patient-reported outcomes, and reintegration into society after trauma.

Over 30 months, major trauma patients [Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥9] admitted to 3 Level-I trauma centers in Boston were assessed via telephone between 6 and 12 months after injury. Outcome measures evaluated long-term functional, physical, and mental-health outcomes. Multiple regression models were utilized to identify patient and injury factors associated with outcomes.

We successfully followed 1736 patients (65% of patients contacted). More than half (62%) reported current physical limitations, 37% needed help for at least 1 activity of daily living, 20% screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), all SF-12 physical health subdomain scores were significantly below US norms, and 41% of patients who were working previously were unable to return to work. Age, sex, and education were associated with long-term outcomes, while almost none of the traditional measures of injury severity were.

The long-term sequelae of trauma are more significant than previously expected. Collection of postdischarge outcomes identified patient factors, such as female sex and low education, associated with worse recovery. This suggests that social support systems are potentially at the core of recovery rather than traditional measures of injury severity.

Shift working reduces operative experience for trauma and orthopaedic higher surgical trainees: a UK multicentre study.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

In recent years there has been a rise in the number of trauma and orthopaedics trainees working on full shift patterns. Historically, most trauma and orthopaedics trainees worked 24 hours non-resident on-call shifts. The effect of this change in shift patterns has not previously been measured. As two trusts (one trauma unit, one major trauma centre) in our region underwent a change to full shift working, we assessed the impact on the trainees' operating experience.

Fifty-five logbooks were analysed across the two trusts over a two-year period, with comparisons made between pre- and post-shift working.

Overall operating fell by 13% for trainees working full shift patterns, which was statistically significant. There was a loss of elective operating of 15% at the trauma unit and 32% at the major trauma centre for trainees doing shift work. The effect on trauma operating opportunities was mixed. Index operating was largely preserved.

Shift working significantly impacts on surgical training opportunities. We explore approaches to minimising this effect.

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Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality and life expectancy, 1950-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The GBD uses all available data to produce estimates of mortality rates between 1950 and 2017 for 23 age groups, both sexes, and 918 locations, including 195 countries and territories and subnational locations for 16 countries. Data used include vital registration systems, sample registration systems, household surveys (complete birth histories, summary birth histories, sibling histories), censuses (summary birth histories, household deaths), and Demographic Surveillance Sites. In total, this analysis used 8259 data sources. Estimates of the probability of death between birth and the age of 5 years and between ages 15 and 60 years are generated and then input into a model life table system to produce complete life tables for all locations and years. Fatal discontinuities and mortality due to HIV/AIDS are analysed separately and then incorporated into the estimation. We analyse the relationship between age-specific mortality and development status using the Socio-demographic Index, a composite measure based on fertility under the age of 25 years, education, and income. There are four main methodological improvements in GBD 2017 compared with GBD 2016: 622 additional data sources have been incorporated; new estimates of population, generated by the GBD study, are used; statistical methods used in different components of the analysis have been further standardised and improved; and the analysis has been extended backwards in time by two decades to start in 1950.

Globally, 18·7% (95% uncertainty interval 18·4-19·0) of deaths were registered in 1950 and that proportion has been steadily increasing since, with 58·8% (58·2-59·3) of all deaths being registered in 2015. At the global level, between 1950 and 2017, life expectancy increased from 48·1 years (46·5-49·6) to 70·5 years (70·1-70·8) for men and from 52·9 years (51·7-54·0) to 75·6 years (75·3-75·9) for women. Despite this overall progress, there remains substantial variation in life expectancy at birth in 2017, which ranges from 49·1 years (46·5-51·7) for men in the Central African Republic to 87·6 years (86·9-88·1) among women in Singapore. The greatest progress across age groups was for children younger than 5 years; under-5 mortality dropped from 216·0 deaths (196·3-238·1) per 1000 livebirths in 1950 to 38·9 deaths (35·6-42·83) per 1000 livebirths in 2017, with huge reductions across countries. Nevertheless, there were still 5·4 million (5·2-5·6) deaths among children younger than 5 years in the world in 2017. Progress has been less pronounced and more variable for adults, especially for adult males, who had stagnant or increasing mortality rates in several countries. The gap between male and female life expectancy between 1950 and 2017, while relatively stable at the global level, shows distinctive patterns across super-regions and has consistently been the largest in central Europe, eastern Europe, and central Asia, and smallest in south Asia. Performance was also variable across countries and time in observed mortality rates compared with those expected on the basis of development.

This analysis of age-sex-specific mortality shows that there are remarkably complex patterns in population mortality across countries. The findings of this study highlight global successes, such as the large decline in under-5 mortality, which reflects significant local, national, and global commitment and investment over several decades. However, they also bring attention to mortality patterns that are a cause for concern, particularly among adult men and, to a lesser extent, women, whose mortality rates have stagnated in many countries over the time period of this study, and in some cases are increasing.

Global, regional, and national age-sex-specific mortality for 282 causes of death in 195 countries and territories, 1980-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The causes of death database is composed of vital registration (VR), verbal autopsy (VA), registry, survey, police, and surveillance data. GBD 2017 added ten VA studies, 127 country-years of VR data, 502 cancer-registry country-years, and an additional surveillance country-year. Expansions of the GBD cause of death hierarchy resulted in 18 additional causes estimated for GBD 2017. Newly available data led to subnational estimates for five additional countries-Ethiopia, Iran, New Zealand, Norway, and Russia. Deaths assigned International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for non-specific, implausible, or intermediate causes of death were reassigned to underlying causes by redistribution algorithms that were incorporated into uncertainty estimation. We used statistical modelling tools developed for GBD, including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm), to generate cause fractions and cause-specific death rates for each location, year, age, and sex. Instead of using UN estimates as in previous versions, GBD 2017 independently estimated population size and fertility rate for all locations. Years of life lost (YLLs) were then calculated as the sum of each death multiplied by the standard life expectancy at each age. All rates reported here are age-standardised.

At the broadest grouping of causes of death (Level 1), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) comprised the greatest fraction of deaths, contributing to 73·4% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 72·5-74·1) of total deaths in 2017, while communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional (CMNN) causes accounted for 18·6% (17·9-19·6), and injuries 8·0% (7·7-8·2). Total numbers of deaths from NCD causes increased from 2007 to 2017 by 22·7% (21·5-23·9), representing an additional 7·61 million (7·20-8·01) deaths estimated in 2017 versus 2007. The death rate from NCDs decreased globally by 7·9% (7·0-8·8). The number of deaths for CMNN causes decreased by 22·2% (20·0-24·0) and the death rate by 31·8% (30·1-33·3). Total deaths from injuries increased by 2·3% (0·5-4·0) between 2007 and 2017, and the death rate from injuries decreased by 13·7% (12·2-15·1) to 57·9 deaths (55·9-59·2) per 100 000 in 2017. Deaths from substance use disorders also increased, rising from 284 000 deaths (268 000-289 000) globally in 2007 to 352 000 (334 000-363 000) in 2017. Between 2007 and 2017, total deaths from conflict and terrorism increased by 118·0% (88·8-148·6). A greater reduction in total deaths and death rates was observed for some CMNN causes among children younger than 5 years than for older adults, such as a 36·4% (32·2-40·6) reduction in deaths from lower respiratory infections for children younger than 5 years compared with a 33·6% (31·2-36·1) increase in adults older than 70 years. Globally, the number of deaths was greater for men than for women at most ages in 2017, except at ages older than 85 years. Trends in global YLLs reflect an epidemiological transition, with decreases in total YLLs from enteric infections, respiratory infections and tuberculosis, and maternal and neonatal disorders between 1990 and 2017; these were generally greater in magnitude at the lowest levels of the Socio-demographic Index (SDI). At the same time, there were large increases in YLLs from neoplasms and cardiovascular diseases. YLL rates decreased across the five leading Level 2 causes in all SDI quintiles. The leading causes of YLLs in 1990-neonatal disorders, lower respiratory infections, and diarrhoeal diseases-were ranked second, fourth, and fifth, in 2017. Meanwhile, estimated YLLs increased for ischaemic heart disease (ranked first in 2017) and stroke (ranked third), even though YLL rates decreased. Population growth contributed to increased total deaths across the 20 leading Level 2 causes of mortality between 2007 and 2017. Decreases in the cause-specific mortality rate reduced the effect of population growth for all but three causes: substance use disorders, neurological disorders, and skin and subcutaneous diseases.

Improvements in global health have been unevenly distributed among populations. Deaths due to injuries, substance use disorders, armed conflict and terrorism, neoplasms, and cardiovascular disease are expanding threats to global health. For causes of death such as lower respiratory and enteric infections, more rapid progress occurred for children than for the oldest adults, and there is continuing disparity in mortality rates by sex across age groups. Reductions in the death rate of some common diseases are themselves slowing or have ceased, primarily for NCDs, and the death rate for selected causes has increased in the past decade.