The latest medical research on Orthopaedic 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 orthopaedic surgery gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Association of Demographic and Program Factors With American Board of Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Examinations Pass Rates.

JAMA Surgery

American Board of Surgery board certification requires passing both a written qualifying examination and an oral certifying examination. No studies have been conducted assessing the effect of sociodemographic variables on board passage rates.

To evaluate if trainee sociodemographic factors are associated with board passage rates.

This national and multi-institutional prospective observational cohort study of 1048 categorical general surgery trainees starting in 2007-2008 were surveyed. Data collection began in June 2007, follow-up was completed on December 31, 2016, and analysis began September 2018.

Survey responses were linked to American Board of Surgery board passage data.

Of 662 examinees who had complete survey and follow-up data, 443 (65%) were men and 459 (69%) were white, with an overall board passage rate of 87% (n = 578). In a multinomial regression model, trainees of Hispanic ethnicity were more likely to not attempt the examinations (vs passed both) than non-Hispanic trainees (odds ratio [OR], 4.7; 95% CI, 1.5-14). Compared with examinees who were married with children during internship, examinees who were married without children (OR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.8) or were single (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.9) were less likely to fail the examinations. Logistic regression showed white examinees compared with nonwhite examinees (black individuals, Asian individuals, and individuals of other races) (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.03-3.0) and examinees who performed better on their first American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02-1.05) were more likely to pass the qualifying examination on the first try. White examinees compared with nonwhite examinees (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.8), non-Hispanic compared with Hispanic examinees (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.2-4.7), and single women compared with women who were married with children during internship (OR, 10.3; 95% CI, 2.1-51) were more likely to pass the certifying examination on the first try.

Resident race, ethnicity, sex, and family status at internship were observed to be associated with board passage rates. There are multiple possible explanations for these worrisome observations that need to be explored. Tracking demographics of trainees to help understand passage rates based on demographics will be important. The American Board of Surgery already has begun addressing the potential for unconscious bias among board examiners by increasing diversity and adding implicit bias training.

Perioperative Outcomes and Trends in the Use of Robotic Colectomy for Medicare Beneficiaries From 2010 Through 2016.

JAMA Surgery

The use of robotic surgery for common operations like colectomy is increasing rapidly in the United States, but evidence for its effectiveness is limited and may not reflect real-world practice.

To evaluate outcomes of and trends in the use of robotic, laparoscopic, and open colectomy across diverse practice settings.

This population-based study of Medicare beneficiaries undergoing elective colectomy was conducted between January 2010 and December 2016. We used an instrumental variable analysis to account for both measured and unmeasured differences in patient characteristics between robotic, open, and laparoscopic colectomy procedures. Data were analyzed from January 21, 2019, to March 1, 2019.

Receipt of robotic colectomy.

Incidence of postoperative medical and surgical complications and length of stay.

A total of 191 292 procedures (23 022 robotic procedures [12.0%], 87 639 open procedures [45.8%], and 80 631 laparoscopic colectomy procedures [42.0%]) were included. Robotic colectomy was associated with a lower adjusted rate of overall complications than open colectomy (17.6% [95% CI, 16.9%-18.2%] vs 18.6% [95% CI, 18.4%-18.7%]; relative risk [RR], 0.94 [95% CI, 0.91-0.98]). This difference was driven by lower rates of medical complications (15.5% [95% CI, 14.8%-16.2%] vs 16.9% [95% CI, 16.7%-17.1%]; RR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.87-0.96]) because surgical complications were higher with the robotic approach (3.0% [95% CI, 2.8%-3.2%] vs 2.4% [95% CI, 2.3%-2.5%]; RR, 1.18 [95% CI, 1.04-1.35]). There were no differences in complications between robotic and laparoscopic colectomy (11.1% [95% CI, 10.5%-11.6%] vs 11.0% [95% CI, 10.8%-11.2%]; RR, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.95-1.05]). There was an overall shift toward greater proportional use of robotic colectomy from 0.7% (457 of 65 332 patients) in 2010 to 10.9% (8274 of 75 909 patients) in 2016. In hospitals with the highest adoption of robotic colectomy between 2010 and 2016, increasing use of robotic colectomy (0.8% [100 of 12 522 patients] to 32.8% [5416 of 16 511 patients]) was associated with a greater replacement of laparoscopic operations (43.8% [5485 of 12 522 patients] to 25.2% [4161 of 16 511 patients]) than open operations (55.4% [6937 of 12 522 patients] to 41.9% [6918 of 16 511 patients]).

While robotic colectomy was associated with minimal safety benefit over open colectomy and had comparable outcomes with laparoscopic colectomy, population-based trends suggest that it replaced a greater proportion of laparoscopic rather than open colectomy, especially in hospitals with the highest adoption of robotics.

Association of Decreased Postsurgical Opioid Prescribing With Patients' Satisfaction With Surgeons.

JAMA Surgery

Opioid overdose is the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Several studies have shown that surgeons overprescribe opioids, and guidelines for appropriate opioid prescribing are available. Concern about patient-reported satisfaction scores may be a barrier to surgeons adopting guideline-directed prescribing.

To determine whether decreased opioid prescribing is associated with a decrease in patient-reported satisfaction with their surgeon.

Retrospective analysis of clinician satisfaction scores at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center obtained in 2 periods: 1 before (period A) and 1 after (period B) an educational intervention that resulted in decreased opioid prescribing. The analysis included 11 surgeons who performed 5 common outpatient general surgical operations on 996 patients. Data were analyzed between March and August 2018.

Patient-reported overall satisfaction rating of the surgeon (scale, 0-10). This was collected by a nonstudy-related, routine general institutional survey of approximately 40% of all outpatient encounters.

Of the total number of patients, 67% were women (667 of 996), and the mean patient age was 58 years. Comparing period A with B, the proportion of patients prescribed opioids decreased from 90.2% (n = 367 of 407) to 72.8% (n = 429 of 589) (P < .001). The mean number of opioid pills per prescription decreased from 28.3 to 13.3 (P < .001) and significantly decreased for each of the 11 surgeons. One hundred five of 996 patients (10.5%) undergoing index operations responded to the survey. There was no difference in the mean clinician satisfaction ratings from period A vs B (9.70 vs 9.65; P = .69). During the study periods, 640 total surveys were collected referencing these surgeons (including outpatient encounters associated with operations other than the 5 index cases). There was no difference in the mean satisfaction ratings from period A vs period B (9.55 vs 9.59; P = .62). When individual clinicians were analyzed, none had a significant difference in overall satisfaction rating from period A vs period B.

Despite a marked decrease in the proportion of patients receiving opioids and in the number of pills prescribed, there was no significant change in clinician satisfaction ratings.

Parathyroidectomy for Patients With Primary Hyperparathyroidism and Associations With Hypertension.

JAMA Surgery

Hyperparathyroidism is associated with cardiovascular disease. However, evidence for a beneficial consequence of parathyroidectomy on hypertension is limited.

To investigate if parathyroidectomy improves hypertension in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT).

In this cohort study and retrospective database review, patients with PHPT and hypertension between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2016, were identified. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) and number of antihypertensive medications were compared between those who did and did not undergo parathyroidectomy. The setting was a large health care system. Primary hyperparathyroidism was defined using biochemical data, and hypertension was identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes.

Parathyroidectomy was identified in the database by Current Procedural Terminology codes.

The MAP and use of antihypertensive medications were compared for patients who underwent parathyroidectomy and those who did not at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the adjusted odds ratios for both increased and decreased use of antihypertensive medications.

In this cohort study of 2380 participants (79.0% female), patients undergoing parathyroidectomy (n = 501) were younger (mean [SD] age, 65.3 [9.7] vs 71.9 [10.4] years; P < .001) and took fewer antihypertensive medications at baseline (mean [SD] number of medications, 1.2 [1.1] vs 1.5 [1.3], P < .001) than nonsurgical patients (n = 1879). Patients with parathyroidectomy showed greater improvement in their MAP at all follow-up time points (the median [SD] MAP change from baseline to 1 year was 0.1 [8.7] mm Hg without parathyroidectomy vs -1.2 [7.7] mm Hg after parathyroidectomy, P = .002). Nonsurgical patients were more likely vs those with parathyroidectomy to require more antihypertensive medications at 6 months (15.9% [n = 298] vs 9.8% [n = 49], P = .001), 1 year (18.1% [n = 340] vs 10.8% [n = 54], P < .001), and 2 years (17.6% [n = 330] vs 12.2% [n = 61], P = .004). By multivariable analysis, parathyroidectomy was independently associated with freedom from an increased number of antihypertensive medications at all periods (eg, adjusted odds ratio, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.34-0.70; P < .001 at 1 year). Among patients who were initially not taking antihypertensive medications, patients with parathyroidectomy were less likely vs no surgery to start antihypertensive medication treatment at all periods (eg, 10.2% [13 of 127] vs 30.4% [136 of 447], P < .001 at 1 year).

This study's findings suggest that, among hypertensive patients with PHPT, parathyroidectomy may be associated not only with greater decreases in their MAP but also with reduced requirements for antihypertensive medications. Parathyroidectomy decreased the number of patients who began taking antihypertensive medications. Additional study will be required to find whether there are downstream cardiovascular benefits of parathyroidectomy. Preexisting hypertension, particularly in those not already taking antihypertensive medications, should be considered when weighing surgical treatment.

Risk of Pulmonary Embolism More Than 6 Weeks After Surgery Among Cancer-Free Middle-aged Patients.

JAMA Surgery

The risk of postoperative pulmonary embolism has been reported to be highest during the first 5 weeks after surgery. However, how long the excess risk of postoperative pulmonary embolism persists remains unknown.

To assess the duration and magnitude of the late postoperative risk of pulmonary embolism among cancer-free middle-aged patients by the type of surgery.

Case-crossover analysis to compute the respective risks of pulmonary embolism after 6 types of surgery using data from a French national inpatient database, which covers a total of 203 million inpatient stays over an 8-year period between 2007 and 2014. Participants were cancer-free middle-aged adult patients (aged 45 to 64) with a diagnosis of a first pulmonary embolism.

Hospital admission for surgery. Surgical procedures were classified into 6 types: (1) vascular surgery, (2) gynecological surgery, (3) gastrointestinal surgery, (4) hip or knee replacement, (5) fractures, and (6) other orthopedic operations.

Diagnosis of a first pulmonary embolism.

A total of 60 703 patients were included (35 766 [58.9%] male; mean [SD] age, 56.6 [6.0] years). The risk of postoperative pulmonary embolism was elevated for at least 12 weeks after all types of surgery and was highest during the immediate postoperative period (1 to 6 weeks). The excess risk of postoperative pulmonary embolism ranged from odds ratio (OR), 5.24 (95% CI, 3.91-7.01) for vascular surgery to OR, 8.34 (95% CI, 6.07-11.45) for surgery for fractures. The risk remained elevated from 7 to 12 weeks, with the OR ranging from 2.26 (95% CI, 1.81-2.82) for gastrointestinal operations to 4.23 (95% CI, 3.01-5.92) for surgery for fractures. The risk was not clinically significant beyond 18 weeks postsurgery for all types of procedures.

The risk of postoperative pulmonary embolism is elevated beyond 6 weeks postsurgery regardless of the type of procedure. The persistence of this excess risk suggests that further randomized clinical trials are required to evaluate whether the duration of postoperative prophylactic anticoagulation should be extended and to define the optimal duration of treatment with regard to both the thrombotic and bleeding risks.

Long-term Outcomes of Lung Transplant With Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion.

JAMA Surgery

The mortality rate for individuals on the wait list for lung transplant is 15% to 25%, and still only 20% of lungs from multiorgan donors are used for lung transplant. The lung donor pool may be increased by assessing and reconditioning high-risk extended criteria donor lungs with ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP), with similar short-term outcomes.

To assess the long-term outcomes of transplant recipients of donor lungs treated with EVLP.

This retrospective cohort single-center study was conducted from August 1, 2008, to February 28, 2017, among 706 recipients of donor lungs not undergoing EVLP and 230 recipients of donor lungs undergoing EVLP.

Donor lungs undergoing EVLP.

The incidence of chronic lung allograft dysfunction and allograft survival during the 10-year EVLP era were the primary outcome measures. Secondary outcomes included donor characteristics, maximum predicted percentage of forced expiratory volume in 1 second, acute cellular rejection, and de novo donor-specific antibody development.

This study included 706 patients (311 women and 395 men; median age, 50 years [interquartile range, 34-61 years]) in the non-EVLP group and 230 patients (85 women and 145 men; median age, 46 years [interquartile range, 32-55 years]) in the EVLP group. The EVLP group donors had a significantly lower mean (SD) Pao2:fraction of inspired oxygen ratio than the non-EVLP group donors (348 [108] vs 422 [88] mm Hg; P < .001), higher prevalence of abnormal chest radiography results (135 of 230 [58.7%] vs 349 of 706 [49.4%]; P = .02), and higher proportion of smoking history (125 of 204 [61.3%] vs 322 of 650 [49.5%]; P = .007). More recipients in the EVLP group received single-lung transplants (62 of 230 [27.0%] vs 100 of 706 [14.2%]; P < .001). There was no significant difference in time to chronic lung allograft dysfunction between the EVLP and non-EVLP group (70% vs 72% at 3 years; 56% vs 56% at 5 years; and 53% vs 36% at 9 years; log-rank P = .68) or allograft survival between the EVLP and non-EVLP groups (73% vs 72% at 3 years; 62% vs 58% at 5 years; and 50% vs 44% at 9 years; log-rank P = .97) between the 2 groups. All secondary outcomes were similar between the 2 groups.

Since 2008, 230 of 936 lung transplants (24.6%) in the Toronto Lung Transplant Program were performed after EVLP assessment and treatment. Use of EVLP-treated lungs led to an increase in the number of patients undergoing transplantation, with comparable long-term outcomes.

Sex-Based Disparities in the Hourly Earnings of Surgeons in the Fee-for-Service System in Ontario, Canada.

JAMA Surgery

Sex-based income disparities are well documented in medicine and most pronounced in surgery. These disparities are commonly attributed to differences in hours worked. One proposed solution to close the earnings gap is a fee-for-service payment system, which is theoretically free of bias. However, it is unclear whether a sex-based earnings gap persists in a fee-for-service system when earnings are measured on the basis of hours worked.

To determine whether male and female surgeons have similar earnings for each hour spent operating in a fee-for-service system.

This cross-sectional, population-based study used administrative databases from a fee-for-service, single-payer health system in Ontario, Canada. Surgeons who submitted claims for surgical procedures performed between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016, were included. Data analysis took place from February 2018 to December 2018.

Surgeon sex.

This study compared earnings per hour spent operating between male and female surgeons and earnings stratified by surgical specialty in a matched analysis. We explored factors potentially associated with earnings disparities, including differences in procedure duration and type between male and female surgeons and hourly earnings for procedures performed primarily on male vs female patients.

We identified 1 508 471 surgical procedures claimed by 3275 surgeons. Female surgeons had practiced fewer years than male surgeons (median [interquartile range], 8.4 [2.9-16.6] vs 14.7 [5.9-25.7] years; P < .001), and the largest proportion of female surgeons practiced gynecology (400 of 819 female surgeons [48.8%]). Hourly earnings for female surgeons were 24% lower than for male surgeons (relative rate, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.74-0.79]; P < .001). This disparity persisted after adjusting for specialty and in matched analysis stratified by specialty, with the largest mean differences in cardiothoracic surgery (in US dollars: $59.64/hour) and orthopedic surgery ($55.45/hour). There were no differences in time taken by male and female surgeons to perform common procedures; however, female surgeons more commonly performed procedures with the lowest hourly earnings.

Even within a fee-for-service system, male and female surgeons do not have equal earnings for equal hours spent working, suggesting that the opportunity to perform the most lucrative surgical procedures is greater for men than women. These findings call for a comprehensive analysis of drivers of sex-based earning disparities, including referral patterns, and highlight the need for systems-level solutions.

Association of Prehospital Time to In-Hospital Trauma Mortality in a Physician-Staffed Emergency Medicine System.

JAMA Surgery

The association between total prehospital time and mortality in physician-staffed trauma systems remains uncertain.

To describe the association of total prehospital time and in-hospital mortality in prehospital, physician-staffed trauma systems in France, with the hypothesis that total prehospital time is associated with increased mortality.

This cohort study was conducted from January 2009 to December 2016. Data for this study were derived from 2 distinct regional trauma registries in France (1 urban and 1 rural) that both have a physician-staffed emergency medical service. Consecutive adult trauma patients admitted to either of the regional trauma referral centers during the study period were included. Data analysis took place from March 2018 to September 2018.

The association between death and prehospital time was assessed with a multivariable model adjusted with confounders. Total prehospital time was the primary exposure variable, recorded as the time from the arrival of the physician-led prehospital care team on scene to the arrival at the hospital. The main outcome of interest was all-cause in-hospital mortality.

A total of 10 216 patients were included (mean [SD] age, 41 [18] years; 7937 men [78.3%]) affected by predominantly nonpenetrating injuries (9265 [91.5%]), with a mean (SD) Injury Severity Score of 17 (14) points. Of the patients, 6737 (66.5%) had at least 1 body region with an Abbreviated Injury Scale score of 3 or more. A total of 1259 patients (12.4%) presented in shock (with systolic pressure <90 mm Hg) and 2724 (26.9%) with severe head injury (Abbreviated Injury Scale score ≥3 points). On unadjusted analysis, increasing prehospital times (in 30-minute categories) were associated with a markedly and constant increase in the risk of in-hospital death. The odds of death increased by 9% for each 10-minute increase in prehospital time (odds ratio, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.07-1.11]) and after adjustment by 4% (odds ratio, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.01-1.07]).

In this study, an increase in total prehospital time was associated with increasing in-hospital all-cause mortality in trauma patients at a physician-staffed emergency medical system, after adjustment for case complexity. Prehospital time is a management objective in analogy to physiological targets. These findings plead for a further streamlining of prehospital trauma care and the need to define the optimal intervention-to-time ratio.

Assessment of Laparoscopic Distal Gastrectomy After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Gastric Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Laparoscopic distal gastrectomy and neoadjuvant chemotherapy are increasingly used to treat locally advanced gastric cancer. However, the safety and efficacy of the laparoscopic procedure after neoadjuvant chemotherapy remain unclear.

To evaluate the short-term outcomes of patients with locally advanced gastric cancer who received either laparoscopic distal gastrectomy or open distal gastrectomy.

Between April 23, 2015, and November 16, 2017, a phase 2, open-label, noninferiority randomized clinical trial was conducted at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center of Peking University Cancer Hospital and Institute in Beijing, China. Patients (n = 96) between 18 and 80 years of age with locally advanced gastric cancer (cT2-4aN+M0) who were receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were enrolled and randomized. An as-treated population and a modified intention-to-treat (mITT) population were defined for the data analysis.

Patients were randomized to undergo either laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy (LADG) with D2 lymphadenectomy or open distal gastrectomy (ODG) with D2 lymphadenectomy.

The primary end point was 3-year recurrence-free survival rate. Secondary end points were surgical radicality, 30-day postoperative morbidity and mortality, 2-week postoperative recovery indexes, and adjuvant chemotherapy completion status.

In total, 95 patients were eligible for as-treated analyses (LADG: 45, of whom 13 were female [29%], with a median [interquartile range (IQR)] age of 59 [52-65] years; ODG: 50, of whom 16 were female [32%], with a median [IQR] age of 61 [55-64] years) and mITT analyses (LADG: 47, of whom 14 were female [30%], with a median [IQR] age of 59 [52-65] years; ODG: 48, of whom 15 were female [31%], with a median [IQR] age of 61 [55-64] years). In the as-treated analyses, the LADG group had a significantly lower postoperative complication rate than the ODG group (20% vs 46%; P = .007). The postoperative visual analog scale score for pain was 1.2 units lower on postoperative day 2 only in the LADG group (95% CI, -2.1 to -0.3; P = .008). Patients in the LADG group had better adjuvant chemotherapy completion (adjusted odds ratio, 4.39; 95% CI, 1.63-11.80; P = .003) and were less likely to terminate adjuvant chemotherapy because of adverse effects (10 [22%] vs 21 [42%]; P = .04). The mITT analyses showed similar results to as-treated analyses.

This trial found that LADG appears to offer the benefits of better postoperative safety and adjuvant chemotherapy tolerance compared with ODG for patients with locally advanced gastric cancer who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. identifier: NCT02404753.

Courtesy Authorship in Academic Surgery Publications.

JAMA Surgery

Courtesy authorship is defined as including an individual who has not met authorship criteria as an author. Although most journals follow strict authorship criteria, the current incidence of courtesy authorship is unknown.

To assess the practices related to courtesy authorship in surgical journals and academia.

A survey was conducted from July 15 to October 27, 2017, of the first authors and senior authors of original articles, reviews, and clinical trials published between 2014 and 2015 in 8 surgical journals categorized as having a high or low impact factor.

The prevalence of courtesy authorship overall and among subgroups of authors in high impact factor journals and low impact factor journals and among first authors and senior authors, as well as author opinions regarding courtesy authorship.

A total of 203 first authors and 254 senior authors responded (of 369 respondents who provided data on sex, 271 were men and 98 were women), with most being in academic programs (first authors, 116 of 168 [69.0%]; senior authors, 173 of 202 [85.6%]). A total of 17.2% of respondents (42 of 244) reported adding courtesy authors for the surveyed publications: 20.4% by first authors (32 of 157) and 11.5% by senior authors (10 of 87), but 53.7% (131 of 244) reported adding courtesy authorship on prior publications and 33.2% (81 of 244) had been added as a courtesy author in the past. Although 45 of 85 senior authors (52.9%) thought that courtesy authorship has decreased, 93 of 144 first authors (64.6%) thought that courtesy authorship has not changed or had increased (P = .03). There was no difference in the incidence of courtesy authorship for low vs high impact factor journals. Both first authors (29 of 149 [19.5%]) and senior authors (19 of 85 [22.4%]) reported pressures to add courtesy authorship, but external pressure was greater for low impact factor journals than for high impact factor journals (77 of 166 [46.4%] vs 60 of 167 [35.9%]; P = .04). More authors in low impact factor journals than in high impact factor journals thought that courtesy authorship was less harmful to academia (55 of 114 [48.2%] vs 34 of 117 [29.1%]). Overall, senior authors reported more positive outcomes with courtesy authorship (eg, improved morale and avoided author conflicts) than did first authors.

Courtesy authorship use is common by both first and senior authors in low impact factor journals and high impact factor journals. There are different perceptions, practices, and pressures to include courtesy authorship for first and senior authors. Understanding these issues will lead to better education to eliminate this practice.

Association of Vessel-Sealant Devices vs Conventional Hemostasis With Postoperative Neck Hematoma After Thyroid Operations.

JAMA Surgery

Vessel-sealant devices (VSDs) have been popularized for use in thyroid operations; however, the association of their use with postoperative neck hematoma, a rare but potentially fatal complication, has not been well studied.

To examine the association of VSDs vs conventional hemostasis (CH) in thyroid operations with the development of neck hematoma.

This retrospective cohort study evaluated 10 903 patients in the Thyroid Procedure-Targeted Database of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2017. One-to-one nearest-neighbor propensity score matching was conducted to adjust for differences in baseline covariates, including demographics, comorbidities, indications for thyroid procedure (goiter, Graves disease, malignant and benign thyroid nodule), and several other thyroid-specific characteristics, between the VSD and CH groups.

The primary outcome was postoperative hematoma requiring intervention with open evacuation, return to the operating room, tracheostomy, additional observation, or extended length of stay. Secondary outcomes include recurrent laryngeal nerve injury, operative duration, and hospital length of stay.

One-to-one propensity score matching yielded 6522 patients (mean [SD] age, 52 [15] years; 8544 [78.4%] female) with 3261 in each exposure group such that distribution of observed baseline covariates was not different between groups of the same propensity score. Within the matched cohort, CH was associated with higher odds of neck hematoma compared with VSD (odds ratio, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.55-3.49; P < .001), with 34 (1.0%) hematomas in the VSD group and 78 (2.4%) in the CH group. On the basis of this analysis, the number needed to treat with a VSD to prevent 1 postoperative hematoma was 74. Secondary outcomes included longer length of hospital stay (incidence rate ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.23-1.36; P < .001]) in the CH group compared with the VSD group but no difference in the odds of recurrent laryngeal nerve injury (odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.73-1.11; P = .32) or operative duration (incidence rate ratio, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.96-1.01; P = .24).

Use of VSDs during thyroid operations was associated with reduced odds of neck hematoma compared with CH techniques without increasing odds of nerve injury. The results suggest that postoperative neck hematoma rates after thyroid surgery may differ based on the hemostasis technique and that these differences should be considered when developing strategies for quality improvement of postoperative outcomes.

Association Between Liver Transplant Wait-list Mortality and Frailty Based on Body Mass Index.

JAMA Surgery

Among liver transplant candidates, obesity and frailty are associated with increased risk of death while they are on the wait-list. However, use of body mass index (BMI) may not detect candidates at a higher risk of death owing to the fact that ascites and muscle wasting are seen across transplant candidates of all BMI measurements.

To evaluate whether the association between wait-list mortality and frailty varied by BMI of liver transplant candidates.

A prospective cohort study was conducted at 9 liver transplant centers in the United States from March 1, 2012, to May 1, 2018, among 1108 adult liver transplant candidates without hepatocellular carcinoma.

At outpatient evaluation, the Liver Frailty Index score was calculated (grip strength, chair stands, and balance), with frailty defined as a Liver Frailty Index score of 4.5 or more. Candidates' BMI was categorized as nonobese (18.5-29.9), class 1 obesity (30.0-34.9), and class 2 or greater obesity (≥35.0).

The risk of wait-list mortality was quantified using competing risks regression by candidate frailty, adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, Model for End-stage Liver Disease Sodium score, cause of liver disease, and ascites, including an interaction with candidate BMI.

Of 1108 liver transplant candidates (474 women and 634 men; mean [SD] age, 55 [10] years), 290 (26.2%) were frail; 170 of 670 nonobese candidates (25.4%), 64 of 246 candidates with class 1 obesity (26.0%), and 56 of 192 candidates with class 2 or greater obesity (29.2%) were frail (P = .57). Frail nonobese candidates and frail candidates with class 1 obesity had a higher risk of wait-list mortality compared with their nonfrail counterparts (nonobese candidates: adjusted subhazard ratio, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.02-2.33; P = .04; and candidates with class 1 obesity: adjusted subhazard ratio, 1.72; 95% CI, 0.99-2.99; P = .06; P = .75 for interaction). However, frail candidates with class 2 or greater obesity had a 3.19-fold higher adjusted risk of wait-list mortality compared with nonfrail candidates with class 2 or greater obesity (95% CI, 1.75-5.82; P < .001; P = .047 for interaction).

This study's finding suggest that among nonobese liver transplant candidates and candidates with class 1 obesity, frailty was associated with a 2-fold higher risk of wait-list mortality. However, the mortality risk associated with frailty differed for candidates with class 2 or greater obesity, with frail candidates having a more than 3-fold higher risk of wait-list mortality compared with nonfrail patients. Frailty assessments may help to identify vulnerable patients, particularly those with a BMI of 35.0 or more, in whom a clinician's visual evaluation may be less reliable to assess muscle mass and nutritional status.