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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Effect of Multimodal Prehabilitation vs Postoperative Rehabilitation on 30-Day Postoperative Complications for Frail Patients Undergoing Resection of Colorectal Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Research supports use of prehabilitation to optimize physical status before and after colorectal cancer resection, but its effect on postoperative complications remains unclear. Frail patients are a target for prehabilitation interventions owing to increased risk for poor postoperative outcomes.

To assess the extent to which a prehabilitation program affects 30-day postoperative complications in frail patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection compared with postoperative rehabilitation.

This single-blind, parallel-arm, superiority randomized clinical trial recruited patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection from September 7, 2015, through June 19, 2019. Patients were followed up for 4 weeks before surgery and 4 weeks after surgery at 2 university-affiliated tertiary hospitals. A total of 418 patients 65 years or older were assessed for eligibility. Of these, 298 patients were excluded (not frail [n = 290], unable to exercise [n = 3], and planned neoadjuvant treatment [n = 5]), and 120 frail patients (Fried Frailty Index,≥2) were randomized. Ten patients were excluded after randomization because they refused surgery (n = 3), died before surgery (n = 3), had no cancer (n = 1), had surgery without bowel resection (n = 1), or were switched to palliative care (n = 2). Hence, 110 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis (55 in the prehabilitation [Prehab] and 55 in the rehabilitation [Rehab] groups). Data were analyzed from July 25 through August 21, 2019.

Multimodal program involving exercise, nutritional, and psychological interventions initiated before (Prehab group) or after (Rehab group) surgery. All patients were treated within a standardized enhanced recovery pathway.

The primary outcome included the Comprehensive Complications Index measured at 30 days after surgery. Secondary outcomes were 30-day overall and severe complications, primary and total length of hospital stay, 30-day emergency department visits and hospital readmissions, recovery of walking capacity, and patient-reported outcome measures.

Of 110 patients randomized, mean (SD) age was 78 (7) years; 52 (47.3%) were men and 58 (52.7%) were women; 31 (28.2%) had rectal cancer; and 87 (79.1%) underwent minimally invasive surgery. There was no between-group difference in the primary outcome measure, 30-day Comprehensive Complications Index (adjusted mean difference, -3.2; 95% CI, -11.8 to 5.3; P = .45). Secondary outcome measures were also not different between groups.

In frail patients undergoing colorectal cancer resection (predominantly minimally invasive) within an enhanced recovery pathway, a multimodal prehabilitation program did not affect postoperative outcomes. Alternative strategies should be considered to optimize treatment of frail patients preoperatively.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02502760.

Association of Early Postdonation Renal Function With Subsequent Risk of End-Stage Renal Disease in Living Kidney Donors.

JAMA Surgery

Living kidney donation is associated with increased long-term risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). An early postdonation marker of ESRD risk could improve postdonation risk assessment and counseling for kidney donors and allow early intervention for donors at increased risk.

To determine the association between renal function in the first 6 months postdonation and subsequent risk of ESRD in kidney donors.

This secondary analysis of a prospective national cohort uses a population-based registry of all living kidney donors in the United States between October 26, 1999, and January 1, 2018, with follow-up through December 31, 2018. All kidney donors who had donated in the date range and had serum creatinine measured at 6 months (±3 months) postdonation were included.

Renal function as measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate 6 months after donation (eGFR6).

End-stage renal disease, ascertained via linkage to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data.

A total of 71 468 living kidney donors were included (of 109 065 total donors over this period). Their median (interquartile range) eGFR6 was 63 (54-74) mL/min/1.73 m2. Cumulative incidence of ESRD at 15 years postdonation ranged from 11.7 donors per 10 000 donors with eGFR6 values greater than 70 mL/min/1.73 m2 to 33.1 donors per 10 000 donors with eGFR6 values of 50 mL/min/1.73 m2 or less. Adjusting for age, race, sex, body mass index, and biological relationship, every 10 mL/min/1.73 m2 reduction in eGFR6 was associated with a 28% increased risk of ESRD (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.06-1.54]; P = .009). The association between predonation eGFR and ESRD was not significant and was fully mediated by eGFR6 (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.00 [95% CI, 0.86-1.17]; P = .97). The postdonation eGFR value was a better marker of ESRD than eGFR decline after donation or the ratio of eGFR6 to predonation eGFR, as determined by the Akaike information criterion (in which a lower value indicates a better model fit; eGFR6, 1495.61; predonation eGFR - eGFR6, 1503.58; eGFR6 / predonation eGFR, 1502.30).

In this study, there was an independent association of eGFR6 with subsequent ESRD risk in living kidney donors, even after adjusting for predonation characteristics. The findings support measurement of early postdonation serum creatinine monitoring in living kidney donors, and the use of these data to help identify donors who might need more careful surveillance and early intervention.

Association of Low-Dose Whole-Body Computed Tomography With Missed Injury Diagnoses and Radiation Exposure in Patients With Blunt Multiple Trauma.

JAMA Surgery

Initial whole-body computed tomography (WBCT) for screening patients with suspected blunt multiple trauma remains controversial and a source of excess radiation exposure.

To determine whether low-dose WBCT scanning using an iterative reconstruction algorithm does not increase the rate of missed injury diagnoses at the point of care compared with standard-dose WBCT with the benefit of less radiation exposure.

This quasi-experimental, prospective time-series cohort study recruited 1074 consecutive patients admitted for suspected blunt multiple trauma to an academic metropolitan trauma center in Germany from September 3, 2014, through July 26, 2015, for the standard-dose protocol, and from August 7, 2015, through August 20, 2016, for the low-dose protocol. Five hundred sixty-five patients with suspected blunt multiple trauma prospectively received standard-dose WBCT, followed by 509 patients who underwent low-dose WBCT. Confounding was controlled by segmented regression analysis and a secondary multivariate logistic regression model. Data were analyzed from January 16, 2017, through October 14, 2019.

Standard- or low-dose WBCT.

The primary outcome was the incidence of missed injury diagnoses at the point of care, using a synopsis of clinical, surgical, and radiological findings as an independent reference test. The secondary outcome was radiation exposure with either imaging strategy.

Of 1074 eligible patients, 971 (mean [SD] age, 52.7 [19.5] years; 649 men [66.8%]) completed the study. A total of 114 patients (11.7%) had multiple trauma, as defined by an Injury Severity Score of 16 or greater. The proportion of patients with any missed injury diagnosis at the point of care was 109 of 468 (23.3%) in the standard-dose and 107 of 503 (21.3%) in the low-dose WBCT groups (risk difference, -2.0% [95% CI, -7.3% to 3.2%]; unadjusted odds ratio, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.66-1.20]; P = .45). Adjustments for autocorrelation and multiple confounding variables did not alter the results. Radiation exposure, measured by the volume computed tomography dose index, was lowered from a median of 11.7 (interquartile range, 11.7-17.6) mGy in the standard-dose WBCT group to 5.9 (interquartile range, 5.9-8.8) mGy in the low-dose WBCT group (P < .001).

Low-dose WBCT using iterative image reconstruction does not appear to increase the risk of missed injury diagnoses at the point of care compared with standard-dose protocols while almost halving the exposure to diagnostic radiation.

Interventions and Operations 5 Years After Bariatric Surgery in a Cohort From the US National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Bariatric Study.

JAMA Surgery

Additional data comparing longer-term problems associated with various bariatric surgical procedures are needed for shared decision-making.

To compare the risks of intervention, operation, endoscopy, hospitalization, and mortality up to 5 years after 2 bariatric surgical procedures.

Adults who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) or sleeve gastrectomy (SG) between January 1, 2005, and September 30, 2015, within the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. Data from 33 560 adults at 10 centers within 4 clinical data research networks were included in this cohort study. Information was extracted from electronic health records using a common data model and linked to insurance claims and mortality indices. Analyses were conducted from January 2018 through October 2019.

Bariatric surgical procedures.

The primary outcome was time until operation or intervention. Secondary outcomes included endoscopy, hospitalization, and mortality rates.

Of 33 560 adults, 18 056 (54%) underwent RYGB, and 15 504 (46%) underwent SG. The median (interquartile range) follow-up for operation or intervention was 3.4 (1.6-5.0) years for RYGB and 2.2 (0.9-3.6) years for SG. The overall mean (SD) patient age was 45.0 (11.5) years, and the overall mean (SD) patient body mass index was 49.1 (7.9). The cohort was composed predominantly of women (80%) and white individuals (66%), with 26% of Hispanic ethnicity. Operation or intervention was less likely for SG than for RYGB (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.65-0.79; P < .001). The estimated, adjusted cumulative incidence rates of operation or intervention at 5 years were 8.94% (95% CI, 8.23%-9.65%) for SG and 12.27% (95% CI, 11.49%-13.05%) for RYGB. Hospitalization was less likely for SG than for RYGB (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.78-0.87; P < .001), and the 5-year adjusted cumulative incidence rates were 32.79% (95% CI, 31.62%-33.94%) for SG and 38.33% (95% CI, 37.17%-39.46%) for RYGB. Endoscopy was less likely for SG than for RYGB (hazard ratio, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.43-0.52; P < .001), and the adjusted cumulative incidence rates at 5 years were 7.80% (95% CI, 7.15%-8.43%) for SG and 15.83% (95% CI, 14.94%-16.71%) for RYGB. There were no differences in all-cause mortality between SG and RYGB.

Interventions, operations, and hospitalizations were relatively common after bariatric surgical procedures and were more often associated with RYGB than SG.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02741674.

Breast Conservation After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Surgical Results From the BrighTNess Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA Surgery

Neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NST) is often administered to enable breast-conserving therapy (BCT) in stages II to III breast cancer.

To prospectively evaluate the role of NST in conversion from BCT ineligibility to BCT eligibility and to assess the association of response to NST, germline BRCA (gBRCA) status, and region of treatment with surgical choice in women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

This prespecified secondary analysis of a multicentered, phase 3, double-blind, randomized clinical trial (BrighTNess) enrolled 634 eligible women across 145 centers in 15 countries in North America, Europe, and Asia. Women with operable, clinical stages II to III TNBC who underwent gBRCA mutation testing before initiating NST were eligible to participate. Data were collected from April 1, 2014, to December 8, 2016. This preplanned analysis was performed from January 5, 2018, to October 28, 2019.

Study participants were randomized to receive 12 weeks of weekly paclitaxel alone or with the addition of carboplatin and/or veliparib, followed by 4 cycles of doxorubicin hydrochloride and cyclophosphamide.

Surgeons assessed BCT candidacy by clinical and radiographic criteria before and after NST. Surgical choices and whether BCT eligibility was associated with the likelihood of pathologic complete response were then analyzed.

Among the 634 randomized patients (median age, 51 [range, 22-78] years), pre- and post-NST assessments were available for 604 patients. Of 141 patients deemed BCT ineligible at baseline, 75 (53.2%) converted to BCT eligible. Overall, 342 (68.1%) of 502 patients deemed BCT eligible after NST underwent BCT, including 42 (56.0%) of the 75 who converted to BCT eligible. Patients treated in Europe and Asia were more likely to undergo BCT (odds ratio, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.84-3.84) compared with those treated in North America. Among patients without gBRCA mutation undergoing mastectomy, those treated in North America were more likely to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (57 of 81 [70.4%] vs 6 of 30 [20.0%]; P < .001). Rates of pathologic complete response were similar between patients deemed BCT eligible at baseline and those who were BCT ineligible but converted to BCT eligibility after NST (55.3 [235 of 425] vs 49.3% [37 of 75]; P = .38).

This prospective analysis of NST and BCT eligibility in TNBC demonstrates a conversion from BCT ineligibility to BCT eligibility of 53.2%. Lower BCT rates among eligible patients and higher bilateral mastectomy rates among patients without gBRCA mutation in North America merit investigation.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02032277.

Comparison of Decompressing Stoma vs Stent as a Bridge to Surgery for Left-Sided Obstructive Colon Cancer.

JAMA Surgery

Bridge to elective surgery using self-expandable metal stent (SEMS) placement is a debated alternative to emergency resection for patients with left-sided obstructive colon cancer because of oncologic concerns. A decompressing stoma (DS) might be a valid alternative, but relevant studies are scarce.

To compare DS with SEMS as a bridge to surgery for nonlocally advanced left-sided obstructive colon cancer using propensity score matching.

This national, population-based cohort study was performed at 75 of 77 hospitals in the Netherlands. A total of 4216 patients with left-sided obstructive colon cancer treated from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2016, were identified from the Dutch Colorectal Audit and 3153 patients were studied. Additional procedural and intermediate-term outcome data were retrospectively collected from individual patient files, resulting in a median follow-up of 32 months (interquartile range, 15-57 months). Data were analyzed from April 7 to October 28, 2019.

Decompressing stoma vs SEMS as a bridge to surgery.

Primary anastomosis rate, postresection presence of a stoma, complications, additional interventions, permanent stoma, locoregional recurrence, disease-free survival, and overall survival. Propensity score matching was performed according to age, sex, body mass index, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, prior abdominal surgery, tumor location, pN stage, cM stage, length of stenosis, and year of resection.

A total of 3153 of the eligible 4216 patients were included in the study (mean [SD] age, 69.7 [11.8] years; 1741 [55.2%] male); after exclusions, 443 patients underwent bridge to surgery (240 undergoing DS and 203 undergoing SEMS). Propensity score matching led to 2 groups of 121 patients each. Patients undergoing SEMS had more primary anastomoses (104 of 121 [86.0%] vs 90 of 120 [75.0%], P = .02), more postresection stomas (81 of 121 [66.9%] vs 34 of 117 [29.1%], P < .001), fewer major complications (7 of 121 [5.8%] vs 18 of 118 [15.3%], P = .02), and more subsequent interventions, including stoma reversal (65 of 113 [57.5%] vs 33 of 117 [28.2%], P < .001). After DS and SEMS, the 3-year locoregional recurrence rates were 11.7% for DS and 18.8% for SEMS (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; 95% CI, 0.30-1.28; P = .20), the 3-year disease-free survival rates were 64.0% for DS and 56.9% for SEMS (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.61-1.33; P = .60), and the 3-year overall survival rates were 78.0% for DS and 71.8% for SEMS (HR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.48-1.22; P = .26).

The findings suggest that DS as bridge to resection of left-sided obstructive colon cancer is associated with advantages and disadvantages compared with SEMS, with similar intermediate-term oncologic outcomes. The existing equipoise indicates the need for a randomized clinical trial that compares the 2 bridging techniques.

Palliative Care and End-of-Life Outcomes Following High-Risk Surgery.

JAMA Surgery

Palliative care has the potential to improve care for patients and families undergoing high-risk surgery.

To characterize the use of perioperative palliative care and its association with family-reported end-of-life experiences of patients who died within 90 days of a high-risk surgical operation.

This secondary analysis of administrative data from a retrospective cross-sectional patient cohort was conducted in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. Patients who underwent any of 227 high-risk operations between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015, were included.

Palliative-care consultation within 30 days before or 90 days after surgery.

The outcomes were family-reported ratings of overall care, communication, and support in the patient's last month of life. The VA surveyed all families of inpatient decedents using the Bereaved Family Survey, a valid and reliable tool that measures patient and family-centered end-of-life outcomes.

A total of 95 204 patients underwent high-risk operations in 129 inpatient VA Medical Centers. Most patients were 65 years or older (69 278 [72.8%]), and the most common procedures were cardiothoracic (31 157 [32.7%]) or vascular (23 517 [24.7%]). The 90-day mortality rate was 6.0% (5740 patients) and varied by surgical subspecialty (ranging from 278 of 7226 [3.8%] in urologic surgery to 875 of 6223 patients [14.1%] in neurosurgery). A multivariate mixed model revealed that families of decedents who received palliative care were 47% more likely to rate overall care in the last month of life as excellent than those who did not (odds ratio [OR], 1.47 [95% CI, 1.14-1.88]; P = .007), after adjusting for patient's characteristics, surgical subspecialty of the high-risk operation, and survey nonresponse. Similarly, families of decedents who received palliative care were more likely to rate end-of-life communication (OR, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.09-1.87]; P = .004) and support (OR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.01-1.71]; P = .05) components of medical care as excellent. Of the entire cohort, 3374 patients (3.75%) had a palliative care consultation, and 770 patients (0.8%) received it before surgery. Of all decedents, 1632 (29.9%) had a palliative care consultation, with 319 (5.6%) receiving it before surgery.

Receipt of a palliative consultation was associated with better ratings of overall end-of-life care, communication, and support, as reported by families of patients who died within 90 days of high-risk surgery. Yet only one-third of decedents was exposed to palliative care. Expanding integration of perioperative palliative care may benefit patients undergoing high-risk operations and their families.

Occupational Reproductive Hazards for Female Surgeons in the Operating Room: A Review.

JAMA Surgery

Higher rates of infertility and pregnancy complications have been found for female surgeons compared with the general population. Several reproductive hazards are present in the operating room and may be associated with these findings. Hazards should be identified and controlled to minimize risks.

Studies comparing surgeons with the general population show increased rates of infertility and pregnancy complications, including conditions affecting both mother and fetus, such as spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, growth restriction, and congenital abnormalities. Attention has focused on older age and demanding working conditions of pregnant surgeons; however, there are reproductive hazards present in the operating room that might also be contributing. Relevant hazards include radiation, surgical smoke, working conditions, sharps injury, anesthetic gases, and intraoperative use of toxic agents. Published evidence is limited to retrospective studies. Robust data are often unavailable to guide specific dose-response relationships, making it difficult to quantify risk and create occupational safety guidelines. Nevertheless, regulatory agencies have set exposure limits for some agents, relying on limited evidence. Various workplace interventions have shown success in reducing exposure levels for many reproductive hazards and should be adopted by surgical workplaces.

Reproductive hazards exist in the operating room that may contribute to pregnancy complications and infertility in surgeons. Information and guidance should be given to female surgeons and trainees of reproductive age, and efforts should be made in the workplace to control exposures but not restrict female surgeons' activities unnecessarily.

Mortality and Health Care Utilization Among Medicare Patients Undergoing Emergency General Surgery vs Those With Acute Medical Conditions.

JAMA Surgery

Emergency general surgery (EGS) represents 11% of hospitalizations, and almost half of these hospitalized patients are older adults. Older adults have high rates of mortality and readmissions after EGS, yet little is known as to how these outcomes compare with acute medical conditions that have been targets for quality improvement.

To examine whether Medicare beneficiaries who undergo EGS experience similar 1-year outcomes compared with patients admitted with acute medical conditions.

This population-based, retrospective cohort study using Medicare claims data from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2014, included adults 65 years or older with at least 1 year of Medicare claims who had urgent or emergency admissions for 1 of the 5 highest-burden EGS procedures (partial colectomy, small-bowel resection, peptic ulcer disease surgery, lysis of adhesions, or laparotomy) or a primary diagnosis of an acute medical condition (pneumonia, heart failure, or acute myocardial infarction). Patients undergoing EGS and those with acute medical conditions were matched 1:1 in a 2-step algorithm: (1) exact match by hospital or (2) propensity score match with age, sex, race/ethnicity, Charlson Comorbidity Index, individual comorbid conditions, claims-based frailty index, year of admission, and any intensive care unit stay. Data analysis was performed from July 16, 2018, to November 13, 2019.

Partial colectomy, small-bowel resection, peptic ulcer disease surgery, lysis of adhesions, or laparotomy or a primary diagnosis pneumonia, heart failure, or acute myocardial infarction.

One-year mortality, postdischarge health care utilization (emergency department visit, additional hospitalization, intensive care unit stay, or total hospital encounters), and days at home during 1 year.

A total of 481 417 matched pairs (mean [SD] age, 78.9 [7.8] years; 272 482 [56.6%] female) with adequate covariate balance were included in the study. Patients undergoing EGS experienced higher 30-day mortality (60 683 [12.6%] vs 56 713 [11.8%], P < .001) yet lower 1-year mortality (142 846 [29.7%] vs 158 385 [32.9%], P < .001) compared with medical patients. Among 409 363 pairs who survived discharge, medical patients experienced higher rates of total hospital encounters in the year after discharge (4 vs 3 per person-year; incidence rate ratio, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.30-1.32) but had similar mean days at home compared with patients undergoing EGS (293 vs 309 days; incident rate ratio, 1.004; 95% CI, 1.004-1.004).

In this study, older patients undergoing EGS had similarly high 1-year rates of mortality, hospital use, and days away from home as acutely ill medical patients. These findings suggest that EGS should also be targeted for national quality improvement programs.

Association of Prehospital Plasma Transfusion With Survival in Trauma Patients With Hemorrhagic Shock When Transport Times Are Longer Than 20 Minutes: A Post Hoc Analysis of the PAMPer and COMBAT Clinical Trials.

JAMA Surgery

Both military and civilian clinical practice guidelines include early plasma transfusion to achieve a plasma to red cell ratio approaching 1:1 to 1:2. However, it was not known how early plasma should be given for optimal benefit. Two recent randomized clinical trials were published, with apparently contradictory results. The Prehospital Air Medical Plasma (PAMPer) clinical trial showed a nearly 30% reduction in mortality with plasma transfusion in the prehospital environment, while the Control of Major Bleeding After Trauma (COMBAT) clinical trial showed no survival improvement.

To facilitate a post hoc combined analysis of the COMBAT and PAMPer trials to examine questions that could not be answered by either clinical trial alone. We hypothesized that prehospital transport time influenced the effects of prehospital plasma on 28-day mortality.

A total of 626 patients in the 2 clinical trials were included. Patients with trauma and hemorrhagic shock were randomly assigned to receive either standard care or 2 U of thawed plasma followed by standard care in the prehospital environment. Data analysis was performed between September 2018 and January 2019.

Prehospital transfusion of 2 U of plasma compared with crystalloid-based resuscitation.

The main outcome was 28-day mortality.

In this post hoc analysis of 626 patients (467 men [74.6%] and 159 women [25.4%]; median [interquartile range] age, 42 [27-57] years) who had trauma with hemorrhagic shock, a Cox regression analysis showed a significant overall survival benefit for plasma (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65; 95% CI, 0.47-0.90; P = .01) after adjustment for injury severity, age, and clinical trial cohort (COMBAT or PAMPer). A significant association with prehospital transport time was detected (from arrival on scene to arrival at the trauma center). Increased mortality was observed in patients in the standard care group when prehospital transport was longer than 20 minutes (HR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.05-4.30; P = .04), while increased mortality was not observed in patients in the prehospital plasma group (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.40-1.51; P = .46). No serious adverse events were associated with prehospital plasma transfusion.

These data suggest that prehospital plasma is associated with a survival benefit when transport times are longer than 20 minutes and that the benefit-risk ratio is favorable for use of prehospital plasma.

ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT01838863 (COMBAT) and NCT01818427 (PAMPer).

Artificial Intelligence and Surgical Decision-Making.

JAMA Surgery

Surgeons make complex, high-stakes decisions under time constraints and uncertainty, with significant effect on patient outcomes. This review describes the weaknesses of traditional clinical decision-support systems and proposes that artificial intelligence should be used to augment surgical decision-making.

Surgical decision-making is dominated by hypothetical-deductive reasoning, individual judgment, and heuristics. These factors can lead to bias, error, and preventable harm. Traditional predictive analytics and clinical decision-support systems are intended to augment surgical decision-making, but their clinical utility is compromised by time-consuming manual data management and suboptimal accuracy. These challenges can be overcome by automated artificial intelligence models fed by livestreaming electronic health record data with mobile device outputs. This approach would require data standardization, advances in model interpretability, careful implementation and monitoring, attention to ethical challenges involving algorithm bias and accountability for errors, and preservation of bedside assessment and human intuition in the decision-making process.

Integration of artificial intelligence with surgical decision-making has the potential to transform care by augmenting the decision to operate, informed consent process, identification and mitigation of modifiable risk factors, decisions regarding postoperative management, and shared decisions regarding resource use.

Association of Treatment Inequity and Ancestry With Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Survival.

JAMA Surgery

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has a higher incidence and worse outcomes among black patients than white patients, potentially owing to a combination of socioeconomic, biological, and treatment differences. The role that these differences play remains unknown.

To determine the level of survival disparity between black and white patients in a modern PDAC cohort and whether treatment inequity is associated with such a disparity.

This cohort study used data on 278 936 patients with PDAC with database-defined race from the National Cancer Database from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2015. The median follow-up for censored patients was 24 months. The National Cancer Database, comprising academic and community facilities, includes about 70% of new cancer diagnoses in the United States. Race-stratified receipt of therapy was the primary variable of interest. Multivariable analyses included additional demographic and clinical parameters. Data analysis was initially completed on November 30, 2018, and revised data analysis was completed on June 27, 2019.

Overall survival was the primary outcome, analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression modeling.

The cohort included 278 936 patients (137 121 women and 141 815 men; mean [SD] age, 68.72 [11.57] years); after excluding patients from other racial categories, 243 820 of the 278 936 patients (87.4%) were white and 35 116 of the 278 936 patients (12.6%) were black. Unadjusted median overall survival was longer for white patients than for black patients (6.6 vs 6.0 months; P < .001). Black patients presented at younger ages than white patients (15 819 of 35 116 [45.0%] vs 83 846 of 243 820 [34.4%] younger than 65 years; P < .001) and with more advanced disease (20 853 of 31 600 [66.0%] vs 135 317 of 220 224 [61.4%] with stage III or IV disease; P < .001). Black patients received fewer surgical procedures than white patients for potentially resectable stage II disease (4226 of 8097 [52.2%] vs 39 214 of 65 124 [60.2%]; P < .001) and slightly less chemotherapy for advanced disease (2756 of 4067 [67.8%] vs 17 296 of 25 227 [68.6%] for stage III disease [P = .001]; 8208 of 16 104 [51.0%] vs 58 603 of 105 616 [55.5%] for stage IV disease [P < .001]). Decreased survival for black patients persisted in multivariable modeling controlled for sociodemographic parameters (hazard ratio, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.02-1.05]). Conversely, modeling that controlled specifically for clinical parameters such as disease stage and treatment revealed a modest survival advantage (hazard ratio, 0.94 [95% CI, 0.93-0.96]) among black patients. Resection was the factor most strongly associated with overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.39 [95% CI, 0.38-0.39]).

Black patients with PDAC present at younger ages and with more advanced disease than white patients, suggesting that differences in tumor biology may exist. Black patients receive less treatment stage for stage and fewer surgical procedures for resectable cancers than white patients; these findings may be only partly associated with socioeconomic differences. When disease stage and treatment were controlled for, black patients had no decrease in survival.