The latest medical research on Paediatric Surgery

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Utility of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire to Identify Developmental Delay in Children Aged 12 to 60 Months: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Pediatrics

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a commonly used developmental screening tool, but its utility is debated.

To conduct a a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate ASQ's utility as a screening or diagnostic tool to identify developmental delay in children aged 12-60 months.

Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Mednar were searched from inception until December 2021.

Studies meeting both criteria were included. ASQ was performed at age 12 to 60 months or where the median age at ASQ was at least 12 months and formal developmental assessments were done within 2 months of ASQ.

True positive, false positive, false negative, and true negatives from individual studies were extracted. Meta-analysis was conducted with Stata version 16.1. Risk of bias was assessed using the QUADAS-2 tool. Certainty of evidence (COE) was assessed using GRADE guidelines.

Ability of ASQ scores more than 2 SDs below the mean in more than 1 domain (ASQ-2SD) to identify any developmental delay or severe delay. Based on generally accepted interpretation of likelihood ratio (LR) values, a positive LR (PLR) more than 5 and a negative LR (NLR) of 0.2 or less were considered necessary to rule in or rule out developmental delay, respectively, with at least moderate probability.

Initial search yielded 5777 citations of which 43 were included in the review. Of them, 36 were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, PLR, and NLR are as follows: ASQ-2SD to predict any delay in 1 or more domain (n = 16), 0.77 (95% CI, 0.64-0.86), 0.81 (95% CI, 0.75-0.86), 4.10 (95% CI, 3.17-5.30), and 0.28 (95% CI, 0.18-0.44); ASQ-2SD to predict severe delay in 1 or more domain (n = 15), 0.84 (95% CI, 0.75-0.90), 0.77 (95% CI, 0.71-0.82), 3.72 (95% CI, 2.98-4.64), and 0.20 (95% CI, 0.13-0.32); ASQ-2SD motor domain to predict motor delay (n = 7), 0.41 (95% CI, 0.26-0.57), 0.94 (95% CI, 0.87-0.97), 6.5 (95% CI, 3.8-11.1), and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.50-0.81); and ASQ-2SD cognitive domain to predict cognitive delay (n = 2), 0.44 (95% CI, 0.24-0.65), 0.93 (95% CI, 0.81-0.95), 6.4 (95% CI, 2.4-16.8), and 0.61 (95% CI, 0.43-0.86). The COE was low/very low.

If a child aged 12 to 60 months passes all ASQ domains, there is a moderate probability that they do not have severe developmental delay (low COE). If a child aged 12-60 months fails the motor or cognitive domain of ASQ, there is a moderate probability that they have some motor or cognitive delay, respectively (very low COE).

PROSPERO (CRD42021268543).

Improving Antibiotic Stewardship for Diarrheal Disease With Probability-Based Electronic Clinical Decision Support: A Randomized Crossover Trial.

JAMA Pediatrics

Inappropriate use of antibiotics for diarrheal illness can result in adverse effects and increase in antimicrobial resistance.

To determine whether the diarrheal etiology prediction (DEP) algorithm, which uses patient-specific and location-specific features to estimate the probability that diarrhea etiology is exclusively viral, impacts antibiotic prescriptions in patients with acute diarrhea.

A randomized crossover study was conducted to evaluate the DEP incorporated into a smartphone-based electronic clinical decision-support (eCDS) tool. The DEP calculated the probability of viral etiology of diarrhea, based on dynamic patient-specific and location-specific features. Physicians were randomized in the first 4-week study period to the intervention arm (eCDS with the DEP) or control arm (eCDS without the DEP), followed by a 1-week washout period before a subsequent 4-week crossover period. The study was conducted at 3 sites in Bangladesh from November 17, 2021, to January 21, 2021, and at 4 sites in Mali from January 6, 2021, to March 5, 2021. Eligible physicians were those who treated children with diarrhea. Eligible patients were children between ages 2 and 59 months with acute diarrhea and household access to a cell phone for follow-up.

Use of the eCDS with the DEP (intervention arm) vs use of the eCDS without the DEP (control arm).

The primary outcome was the proportion of children prescribed an antibiotic.

A total of 30 physician participants and 941 patient participants (57.1% male; median [IQR] age, 12 [8-18] months) were enrolled. There was no evidence of a difference in the proportion of children prescribed antibiotics by physicians using the DEP (risk difference [RD], -4.2%; 95% CI, -10.7% to 1.0%). In a post hoc analysis that accounted for the predicted probability of a viral-only etiology, there was a statistically significant difference in risk of antibiotic prescription between the DEP and control arms (RD, -0.056; 95% CI, -0.128 to -0.01). No known adverse effects of the DEP were detected at 10-day postdischarge.

Use of a tool that provides an estimate of etiological likelihood did not result in a significant change in overall antibiotic prescriptions. Post hoc analysis suggests that a higher predicted probability of viral etiology was linked to reductions in antibiotic use. Identifier: NCT04602676.

Clinical Features and Burden of Postacute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Children and Adolescents.

JAMA Pediatrics

The postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) has emerged as a long-term complication in adults, but current understanding of the clinical presentation of PASC in children is limited.

To identify diagnosed symptoms, diagnosed health conditions, and medications associated with PASC in children.

This retrospective cohort study used electronic health records from 9 US children's hospitals for individuals younger than 21 years who underwent antigen or reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and had at least 1 encounter in the 3 years before testing.

SARS-CoV-2 positivity by viral test (antigen or RT-PCR).

Syndromic (symptoms), systemic (conditions), and medication PASC features were identified in the 28 to 179 days following the initial test date. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) were obtained for 151 clinically predicted PASC features by contrasting viral test-positive groups with viral test-negative groups using proportional hazards models, adjusting for site, age, sex, testing location, race and ethnicity, and time period of cohort entrance. The incidence proportion for any syndromic, systemic, or medication PASC feature was estimated in the 2 groups to obtain a burden of PASC estimate.

Among 659 286 children in the study sample, 348 091 (52.8%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 8.1 (5.7) years. A total of 59 893 (9.1%) tested positive by viral test for SARS-CoV-2, and 599 393 (90.9%) tested negative. Most were tested in outpatient testing facility settings (322 813 [50.3%]) or office settings (162 138 [24.6%]). The most common syndromic, systemic, and medication features were loss of taste or smell (aHR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.16-3.32), myocarditis (aHR, 3.10; 95% CI, 1.94-4.96), and cough and cold preparations (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.18-1.96), respectively. The incidence of at least 1 systemic, syndromic, or medication feature of PASC was 41.9% (95% CI, 41.4-42.4) among viral test-positive children vs 38.2% (95% CI, 38.1-38.4) among viral test-negative children, with an incidence proportion difference of 3.7% (95% CI, 3.2-4.2). A higher strength of association for PASC was identified in those cared for in the intensive care unit during the acute illness phase, children younger than 5 years, and individuals with complex chronic conditions.

In this large-scale, exploratory study, the burden of pediatric PASC that presented to health systems was low. Myocarditis was the most commonly diagnosed PASC-associated condition. Acute illness severity, young age, and comorbid complex chronic disease increased the risk of PASC.

Long-term Outcomes of Childhood Family Income Supplements on Adult Functioning.

JAMA Pediatrics

During an ongoing longitudinal cohort study, a casino opening created a natural cash transfer experiment. Some participating families received income supplements, and others did not. The children in this study are now adults.

To assess the long-term outcomes of family income supplements received in childhood.

This community-representative longitudinal cohort study set in western North Carolina assessed 1266 participants aged 9, 11, and 13 years at intake up to 11 times up to age 30 years from January 1993 to December 2015. Data were analyzed from January to December 2021.

In 1996, a southeastern American Indian tribe implemented a cash transfer program of approximately $5000 annually per person for tribal members. Participants were compared on whether their family ever received the cash transfers (American Indian vs non-American Indian), the duration of the transfers, and annual amount based on the number of parents.

Participants were followed up at ages 25 and 30 years to assess mental health symptoms, substance use symptoms, and functional outcomes (physical health, risky or illegal behaviors, and financial and social functioning).

Of 1266 included participants, 320 (25.3%) were American Indian and 581 (49.7%) were female. Participants whose families received cash transfers during childhood reported fewer anxiety symptoms (relative risk [RR], 0.33; 95% CI, 0.25-0.44), depressive symptoms (RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.42-0.62), and cannabis symptoms (RR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.27-0.82). They also reported improved physical health (RR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.55-0.80) and financial functioning (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.67-0.89) and fewer risky or illegal behaviors (RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.46-0.72) compared with those who did not receive the cash transfer. This pattern was supported by a series of heterogeneity analyses in which children whose families received the transfers for the longest duration and whose families received the largest transfer (due to having multiple American Indian parents) had the lowest levels of symptoms and the highest levels of functioning.

In this natural experiment, a family cash transfer in childhood was associated with positive adult functioning 20 years later. The findings support programs like the child tax credit or universal basic income that provide cash directly to families with children.

Framework for Training in Minimally Invasive Pancreatic Surgery: An International Delphi Consensus Study.

Journal of the

Previous reports suggest that structured training in minimally invasive pancreatic surgery (MIPS) can ensure a safe implementation into standard practice. Although some training programs have been constructed, worldwide consensus on fundamental items of these training programs is lacking. This study aimed to determine items for a structured MIPS training program using the Delphi consensus methodology.

The study process consisted of 2 Delphi rounds among international experts in MIPS, identified by a literature review. The study committee developed a list of items for 3 key domains of MIPS training: (1) framework, (2) centers and surgeons eligible for training, and (3) surgeons eligible as proctor. The experts rated these items on a scale from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important). A Cronbach's α of 0.70 or greater was defined as the cut-off value to achieve consensus. Each item that achieved 80% or greater of expert votes was considered as fundamental for a training program in MIPS.

Both Delphi study rounds were completed by all invited experts in MIPS, with a median experience of 20 years in MIPS. Experts included surgeons from 31 cities in 13 countries across 4 continents. Consensus was reached on 38 fundamental items for the framework of training (16 of 35 items, Cronbach's α = 0.72), centers and surgeons eligible for training (19 of 30 items, Cronbach's α = 0.87), and surgeons eligible as proctor (3 of 10 items, Cronbach's α = 0.89). Center eligibility for MIPS included a minimum annual volume of 10 distal pancreatectomies and 50 pancreatoduodenectomies.

Consensus among worldwide experts in MIPS was reached on fundamental items for the framework of training and criteria for participating surgeons and centers. These items act as a guideline and intend to improve training, proctoring, and safe worldwide dissemination of MIPS.

Broad vs Narrow Spectrum Antibiotics in Common Bile Duct Stones: A Post Hoc Analysis of an Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma Multicenter Study.

Journal of the

Antimicrobial guidance for common bile duct stones during the perioperative period is limited. We sought to examine the effect of broad-spectrum (BS) vs narrow-spectrum (NS) antibiotics on surgical site infections (SSIs) in patients with common bile duct stones undergoing same-admission cholecystectomy.

We performed a post hoc analysis of a prospective, observational, multicenter study of patients undergoing same-admission cholecystectomy for choledocholithiasis and/or acute biliary pancreatitis between 2016 and 2019. We excluded patients with cholangitis, perforated cholecystitis, and nonbiliary infections on admission. Patients were divided based on receipt of BS or NS antibiotics. Our primary outcome was the incidence of SSIs, and secondary outcomes included hospital length of stay, acute kidney injury (AKI), and 30-day readmission for SSI.

The cohort had 891 patients: 51.7% (n= 461) received BS antibiotics and 48.3% (n = 430) received NS antibiotics. Overall antibiotic duration was longer in the BS group than in the NS group (6 vs 4 d, p = 0.01); however, there was no difference in rates of SSI (0.9% vs 0.5%, p = 0.7) or 30-day readmission for SSI (1.1% vs 1.2%, p = 1.0). Hospital length of stay was significantly longer in the BS group (p < 0.001) as were rates of AKI (5% vs 1.4%, p = 0.001). On multivariable regression, BS antibiotic use was a risk factor for AKI (adjusted odds ratio 2.8, 95% CI 1.16 to 7.82, p = 0.02).

The incidence of SSI and 30-day readmission for SSI was similar between antibiotic groups. However, BS antibiotic use was associated with a longer hospitalization and greater likelihood of AKI.

Impedance Planimetry (Endoflip) and Ideal Distensibility Ranges for Optimal Outcomes after Nissen and Toupet Fundoplication.

Journal of the

Previous research has shown that impedance planimetry-based functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) measurements are associated with patient-reported outcomes after laparoscopic antireflux surgery. We hypothesize that Nissen and Toupet fundoplications have different ideal FLIP profiles, such as distensibility.

A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained quality database was performed. Patients who had FLIP measurements during fundoplications between 2013 and 2021 were included. Reflux Symptom Index, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health Related Quality of Life Questionnaire, and dysphagia score were collected for up to 2 years postoperatively. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare FLIP measurements vs outcomes.

Two hundred fifty patients (171 Toupet, 79 Nissen) were analyzed. Distensibility ranges were categorized as tight, ideal, or loose. The ideal distensibility index range of Toupet patients with the 30- and 40-mL balloon fills were 2.6 to 3.7 mm2/mmHg. This range was associated with less dysphagia at 1 year compared with the tight group (p = 0.02). For Nissen patients, the 30- and 40-mL ideal threshold was a distensibility index of ≥2.2 mm2/mmHg. Patients with distensibility exceeding this threshold had a better quality of life than the tight group, reporting better Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (p = 0.02) and lower dysphagia scores (p = 0.01) at 2 years.

Impedance planimetry revealed different ideal distensibility ranges after Toupet and Nissen fundoplications that are associated with improved patient-reported outcomes, suggesting that intraoperative FLIP has the potential to tailor fundoplication.

Financial Vulnerability of American College of Surgeons-Verified Trauma Centers: A Statewide Analysis.

Journal of the

Although trauma centers represent an integral part of healthcare in the US, characterization of their financial vulnerability has not been reported. We sought to characterize the financial health and vulnerability among California trauma centers and identify factors associated with high and low vulnerability.

The RAND Hospital Data financial dataset was used to evaluate all American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified trauma centers in California. Financial vulnerability of each center was calculated using 6 metrics to calculate a composite Financial Vulnerability Score (FVS). Tertiles of the FVS were generated to classify trauma centers as high, medium, or low financial vulnerability. Hospital characteristics were also analyzed and compared.

Forty-seven ACS trauma centers were identified. Nine were Level I, 27 were Level II, and 8 were Level III. Level I centers encompassed the greatest proportion of the high FVS tier (44%), whereas Level II and III centers were the most likely to be in the middle and lower tiers, respectively (44%; 63%). Lower FVS centers had greater asset:liability ratios, operating margins, and days cash on hand compared with the 2 higher tiers, whereas high FVS centers showed a greater proportion of uncompensated care, outpatient share rates, outpatient surgeries, and longer days in net accounts. Lower FVS centers were more likely to be teaching hospitals and members of a larger corporate entity.

Many ACS trauma centers are at moderate/high risk for financial vulnerability and disparate impacts of stressor events, and the FVS may represent a novel metric that could be used at the local or statewide level.

Effect of Function-Based Approach to Nontraumatic Major Lower Extremity Amputation on 5-Year Mortality.

Journal of the

Five-year mortality rates after lower extremity amputation in the chronic wound population have long been regarded as high and inevitable. We theorize that function-based surgical technique and multidisciplinary care improve mortality and assess our institution's mortality rates after major lower extremity amputation (MLEA).

We performed a retrospective review of patients who underwent primary nontraumatic MLEA at our institution from 2010 to 2013. Major amputations included below knee amputation, through knee amputation, and above knee amputation. Our function-based surgical approach to MLEA is guided by 4 tenets: (1) optimization of limb biomechanics, (2) maximal soft tissue preservation, (3) multidisciplinary team approach, and (4) addressing nerves during primary amputation to prevent postamputation pain. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression were performed to estimate cumulative 5-year mortality and to identify predictors of 5-year mortality, respectively.

A total of 188 patients underwent MLEA. Median Charlson Comorbidity Index was 4. Estimated 5-year mortality was 40% overall and 43% for diabetic patients. When stratified by amputation level, 5-year mortalities were 36.3% for below knee amputation, 60.9% for through knee amputation, and 44.0% for above knee amputation. Charlson Comorbidity Index (hazard ratio 1.24, p < 0.001) and end-stage renal disease (hazard ratio 3.38, p < 0.001) were the strongest predictors of 5-year mortality.

We demonstrate the lowest mortality rate reported for MLEA. Improved functional and mortality outcomes can be achieved with a function-based surgical approach to MLEA and close follow-up by a multidisciplinary team. Future studies, using standardized reporting of mortality data and incorporating patient-reported outcomes, are warranted to correlate return to function and mortality.

Effect of Background Music in the Operating Room on Surgical Outcomes: A Prospective Single-Blinded Case-Control Study.

Journal of the

The effect of playing background music on surgical outcomes has been controversial. This prospective case-control study aims to evaluate the impact of music tempo in general surgical settings.

Six hundred consecutive patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer receiving breast cancer surgery have been recruited since April 2017. Patients were then assigned to 3 arms in consecutive order. The surgeon operated without music in study arm A; the surgeon operated with slow music in study arm B; and in study arm C, the surgeon operated with fast background music. Patients' clinical records were reviewed by an independent blinded assessor.

Baseline demographic data were comparable among the 3 study arms. Seven (3.5%) patients from study arm A developed minor complications (Clavien-Dindo class I and II); none developed major complications (Clavien-Dindo class III or above). Six (3.0%) patients from study arm B and C, respectively (slow/fast music groups), developed minor complications; none developed a major complication. Mean blood loss was also similar among the 3 study arms (5.1, 5.1, and 5.2 mL, respectively; p > 0.05). Operating time was significantly shorter in study arm C: 115 minutes (90-145), compared with 125 minutes (100-160) in study arm A (p < 0.0001) and 120 minutes (95-155) in study arm B (p = 0.0024). After a median follow-up of 40 months (3-56), 40 months (3-56), and 39.5 months (3-56), the local recurrence rates were 1.5%, 1%, and 1%, respectively (p > 0.05).

Playing music in the operating room is safe in general surgical settings in experienced hands.

Dexamethasone for Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Journal of the

Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) frequently occur after thyroidectomy. Previous studies have investigated the effects of preoperative dexamethasone for alleviating PONV in various cancers, but studies focused on papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) were limited. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of a single preoperative dose of dexamethasone to prevent PONV in patients with PTC.

This single-center, parallel-group, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted on patients with PTC in West China Hospital. Patients were randomized 1:1 into Group Dex (preoperative 8-mg dexamethasone) or Group Control (0.9% NaCl as control). The primary outcome was the incidence and severity of PONV. The secondary outcomes included postoperative pain, vocal dysfunction, and adverse events.

Six hundred participants were recruited and randomized. The total incidence of PONV was 33.3% (200 of 600 patients; 95% CI, 29.6-37.1). In the intention-to-treat analysis, PONV occurred in 81 of 300 patients (27.0%; 95% CI, 21.9-32.1) in Group Dex and in 119 of 300 patients (39.7%; 95% CI, 34.1-45.2) in Group Control (p = 0.001), and the absolute risk reduction was 12.7% (95% CI, 5.1-20.0). Patients in Group Dex reported fewer antiemetic requirements than those in Group Control (p = 0.004). Multivariate analysis indicated that dexamethasone administration (OR = 0.546; 95% CI, 0.383-0.777; p = 0.001) was associated with a reduced rate of PONV. Dexamethasone treatment also contributed to alleviating postoperative pain and improving subjective vocal dysfunction, with no increase in adverse events.

A single dose of dexamethasone is effective and safe for preventing PONV in PTC patients.

Role of Transfusion Volume and Transfusion Rate as Markers of Futility During Ultramassive Blood Transfusion in Trauma.

Journal of the

Using a large national database, we evaluated the relationship between RBC transfusion volume, RBC transfusion rate, and in-hospital mortality to explore the presence of a futility threshold in trauma patients receiving ultramassive blood transfusion.

The ACS-TQIP 2013 to 2018 database was analyzed. Adult patients who received ultramassive blood transfusion (≥20 units of RBC/24 hours) were included. RBC transfusion volume and rate were captured at the only 2 time points available in TQIP (4 hours and 24 hours), or time of death, whichever came first.

Among 5,135 patients analyzed, in-hospital mortality rate was 62.1% (n = 3,190), and 4-hour and 24-hour mortality rates were 17.53% (n = 900) and 42.41% (n = 2,178), respectively. RBC transfusion volumes at 4 hours (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve [AUROC] 0.59 [95% CI 0.57 to 0.60]) and 24 hours (AUROC 0.59 [95% CI 0.57 to 0.60]) had low discriminatory ability for mortality and were inconclusive for futility. Mean RBC transfusion rates calculated within 4 hours (AUROC 0.65 [95% CI 0.63 to 0.66]) and 24 hours (AUROC 0.85 [95% CI 0.84 to 0.86]) had higher discriminatory ability than RBC transfusion volume. A futility threshold was not found for the mean RBC transfusion rate calculated within 4 hours. All patients with a final mean RBC transfusion rate of ≥7 U/h calculated within 24 hours of arrival experienced in-hospital death (n = 1,326); the observed maximum length of survival for these patients during the first 24 hours ranged from 24 hours for a rate of 7 U/h to 4.5 hours for rates ≥21 U/h.

RBC transfusion volume within 4 or 24 hours and mean RBC transfusion rate within 4 hours were not markers of futility. The observed maximum length of survival per mean RBC transfusion rate could inform resuscitation efforts in trauma patients receiving ongoing transfusion between 4 and 24 hours.