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1.  Impact of Global Fxr Deficiency on Experimental Acute Pancreatitis and Genetic Variation in the FXR Locus in Human Acute Pancreatitis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e114393.
Infectious complications often occur in acute pancreatitis, related to impaired intestinal barrier function, with prolonged disease course and even mortality as a result. The bile salt nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which is expressed in the ileum, liver and other organs including the pancreas, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting NF-κB activation and is implicated in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity and preventing bacterial overgrowth and translocation. Here we explore, with the aid of complementary animal and human experiments, the potential role of FXR in acute pancreatitis.
Experimental acute pancreatitis was induced using the CCK-analogue cerulein in wild-type and Fxr-/- mice. Severity of acute pancreatitis was assessed using histology and a semi-quantitative scoring system. Ileal permeability was analyzed in vitro by Ussing chambers and an in vivo permeability assay. Gene expression of Fxr and Fxr target genes was studied by quantitative RT-PCR. Serum FGF19 levels were determined by ELISA in acute pancreatitis patients and healthy volunteers. A genetic association study in 387 acute pancreatitis patients and 853 controls was performed using 9 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering the complete FXR gene and two additional functional SNPs.
In wild-type mice with acute pancreatitis, ileal transepithelial resistance was reduced and ileal mRNA expression of Fxr target genes Fgf15, SHP, and IBABP was decreased. Nevertheless, Fxr-/- mice did not exhibit a more severe acute pancreatitis than wild-type mice. In patients with acute pancreatitis, FGF19 levels were lower than in controls. However, there were no associations of FXR SNPs or haplotypes with susceptibility to acute pancreatitis, or its course, outcome or etiology.
We found no evidence for a major role of FXR in acute human or murine pancreatitis. The observed altered Fxr activity during the course of disease may be a secondary phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC4255038  PMID: 25470824
2.  Association Analysis of Genetic Variants in the Myosin IXB Gene in Acute Pancreatitis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e85870.
Impairment of the mucosal barrier plays an important role in the pathophysiology of acute pancreatitis. The myosin IXB (MYO9B) gene and the two tight-junction adaptor genes, PARD3 and MAGI2, have been linked to gastrointestinal permeability. Common variants of these genes are associated with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, two other conditions in which intestinal permeability plays a role. We investigated genetic variation in MYO9B, PARD3 and MAGI2 for association with acute pancreatitis.
Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MYO9B, two SNPs in PARD3, and three SNPs in MAGI2 were studied in a Dutch cohort of 387 patients with acute pancreatitis and over 800 controls, and in a German cohort of 235 patients and 250 controls.
Association to MYO9B and PARD3 was observed in the Dutch cohort, but only one SNP in MYO9B and one in MAGI2 showed association in the German cohort (p < 0.05). Joint analysis of the combined cohorts showed that, after correcting for multiple testing, only two SNPs in MYO9B remained associated (rs7259292, p = 0.0031, odds ratio (OR) 1.94, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.35-2.78; rs1545620, p = 0.0006, OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.16-1.53). SNP rs1545620 is a non-synonymous SNP previously suspected to impact on ulcerative colitis. None of the SNPs showed association to disease severity or etiology.
Variants in MYO9B may be involved in acute pancreatitis, but we found no evidence for involvement of PARD3 or MAGI2.
PMCID: PMC3875581  PMID: 24386489
3.  Transluminal endoscopic step-up approach versus minimally invasive surgical step-up approach in patients with infected necrotising pancreatitis (TENSION trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN09186711] 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:161.
Infected necrotising pancreatitis is a potentially lethal disease that nearly always requires intervention. Traditionally, primary open necrosectomy has been the treatment of choice. In recent years, the surgical step-up approach, consisting of percutaneous catheter drainage followed, if necessary, by (minimally invasive) surgical necrosectomy has become the standard of care. A promising minimally invasive alternative is the endoscopic transluminal step-up approach. This approach consists of endoscopic transluminal drainage followed, if necessary, by endoscopic transluminal necrosectomy. We hypothesise that the less invasive endoscopic step-up approach is superior to the surgical step-up approach in terms of clinical and economic outcomes.
The TENSION trial is a randomised controlled, parallel-group superiority multicenter trial. Patients with (suspected) infected necrotising pancreatitis with an indication for intervention and in whom both treatment modalities are deemed possible, will be randomised to either an endoscopic transluminal or a surgical step-up approach. During a 4 year study period, 98 patients will be enrolled from 24 hospitals of the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group. The primary endpoint is a composite of death and major complications within 6 months following randomisation. Secondary endpoints include complications such as pancreaticocutaneous fistula, exocrine or endocrine pancreatic insufficiency, need for additional radiological, endoscopic or surgical intervention, the need for necrosectomy after drainage, the number of (re-)interventions, quality of life, and total direct and indirect costs.
The TENSION trial will answer the question whether an endoscopic step-up approach reduces the combined primary endpoint of death and major complications, as well as hospital stay and related costs compared with a surgical step-up approach in patients with infected necrotising pancreatitis.
PMCID: PMC4222267  PMID: 24274589
Acute pancreatitis; Necrotising; Treatment; Drainage; Trial; Endoscopy; Minimally invasive; Surgery; Necrosectomy; Pancreas
4.  A systematic review of individual patient data meta-analyses on surgical interventions 
Systematic Reviews  2013;2:52.
Compared to subgroup analyses in a single study or in a traditional meta-analysis, an individual patient data meta-analysis (IPDMA) offers important potential advantages. We studied how many IPDMAs report on surgical interventions, how many of those surgical IPDMAs perform subgroup analyses, and whether these subgroup analyses have changed decision-making in clinical practice.
Surgical IPDMAs were identified using a comprehensive literature search. The last search was conducted on 24 April 2012. For each IPDMA included, we obtained information using a standardized data extraction form, and the quality of reporting was assessed. We also checked whether results were implemented in clinical guidelines.
Of all 583 identified IPDMAs, 22 (4%) reported on a surgical intervention. Eighteen (82%) of these IPDMAs presented subgroup analyses. Subgroups were mainly based on patient and disease characteristics. The median number of reported subgroup analyses was 3.5 (IQR 1.25-6.5). Statistical methods for subgroup analyses were mentioned in 11 (61%) surgical IPDMAs.
Eleven (61%) of the 18 IPDMAs performing subgroup analyses reported a significant overall effect estimate, whereas six (33%) reported a non-significant one. Of the IPDMAs that reported non-significant overall results, three IPDMAs (50%) reported significant results in one or more subgroup analyses. Results remained significant in one or more subgroups in eight of the IPDMAs (73%) that reported a significant overall result.
Eight (44%) of the 18 significant subgroups appeared to be implemented in clinical guidelines. The quality of reporting among surgical IPDMAs varied from low to high quality.
Many of the surgical IPDMAs performed subgroup analyses, but overall treatment effects were more often emphasized than subgroup effects. Although, most surgical IPDMAs included in the present study have only recently been published, about half of the significant subgroups were already implemented in treatment guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3704956  PMID: 23826895
5.  Early surgery versus optimal current step-up practice for chronic pancreatitis (ESCAPE): design and rationale of a randomized trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:49.
In current practice, patients with chronic pancreatitis undergo surgical intervention in a late stage of the disease, when conservative treatment and endoscopic interventions have failed. Recent evidence suggests that surgical intervention early on in the disease benefits patients in terms of better pain control and preservation of pancreatic function. Therefore, we designed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the benefits, risks and costs of early surgical intervention compared to the current stepwise practice for chronic pancreatitis.
The ESCAPE trial is a randomized controlled, parallel, superiority multicenter trial. Patients with chronic pancreatitis, a dilated pancreatic duct (≥ 5 mm) and moderate pain and/or frequent flare-ups will be registered and followed monthly as potential candidates for the trial. When a registered patient meets the randomization criteria (i.e. need for opioid analgesics) the patient will be randomized to either early surgical intervention (group A) or optimal current step-up practice (group B). An expert panel of chronic pancreatitis specialists will oversee the assessment of eligibility and ensure that allocation to either treatment arm is possible. Patients in group A will undergo pancreaticojejunostomy or a Frey-procedure in case of an enlarged pancreatic head (≥ 4 cm). Patients in group B will undergo a step-up practice of optimal medical treatment, if needed followed by endoscopic interventions, and if needed followed by surgery, according to predefined criteria. Primary outcome is pain assessed with the Izbicki pain score during a follow-up of 18 months. Secondary outcomes include complications, mortality, total direct and indirect costs, quality of life, pancreatic insufficiency, alternative pain scales, length of hospital admission, number of interventions and pancreatitis flare-ups. For the sample size calculation we defined a minimal clinically relevant difference in the primary endpoint as a difference of at least 15 points on the Izbicki pain score during follow-up. To detect this difference a total of 88 patients will be randomized (alpha 0.05, power 90%, drop-out 10%).
The ESCAPE trial will investigate whether early surgery in chronic pancreatitis is beneficial in terms of pain relief, pancreatic function and quality of life, compared with current step-up practice.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3610165  PMID: 23506415
Chronic pancreatitis; Pain; Surgical management; Surgery; Endoscopic treatment; Endoscopy; ERCP; Opioid; Pancreaticojejunostomy; Frey procedure
6.  Pancreatitis of biliary origin, optimal timing of cholecystectomy (PONCHO trial): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:225.
After an initial attack of biliary pancreatitis, cholecystectomy minimizes the risk of recurrent biliary pancreatitis and other gallstone-related complications. Guidelines advocate performing cholecystectomy within 2 to 4 weeks after discharge for mild biliary pancreatitis. During this waiting period, the patient is at risk of recurrent biliary events. In current clinical practice, surgeons usually postpone cholecystectomy for 6 weeks due to a perceived risk of a more difficult dissection in the early days following pancreatitis and for logistical reasons. We hypothesize that early laparoscopic cholecystectomy minimizes the risk of recurrent biliary pancreatitis or other complications of gallstone disease in patients with mild biliary pancreatitis without increasing the difficulty of dissection and the surgical complication rate compared with interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
PONCHO is a randomized controlled, parallel-group, assessor-blinded, superiority multicenter trial. Patients are randomly allocated to undergo early laparoscopic cholecystectomy, within 72 hours after randomization, or interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy, 25 to 30 days after randomization. During a 30-month period, 266 patients will be enrolled from 18 hospitals of the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group. The primary endpoint is a composite endpoint of mortality and acute re-admissions for biliary events (that is, recurrent biliary pancreatitis, acute cholecystitis, symptomatic/obstructive choledocholithiasis requiring endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography including cholangitis (with/without endoscopic sphincterotomy), and uncomplicated biliary colics) occurring within 6 months following randomization. Secondary endpoints include the individual endpoints of the composite endpoint, surgical and other complications, technical difficulty of cholecystectomy and costs.
The PONCHO trial is designed to show that early laparoscopic cholecystectomy (within 72 hours) reduces the combined endpoint of mortality and re-admissions for biliary events as compared with interval laparoscopic cholecystectomy (between 25 and 30 days) after recovery of a first episode of mild biliary pancreatitis.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN72764151
PMCID: PMC3517749  PMID: 23181667
Acute pancreatitis; Gallstones; Trial; Common bile duct; Cholecystitis; Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography; Surgery; Cholecystectomy; Timing; Mortality
7.  The Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Experimental Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48811.
In February 2008, the results of the PRObiotics in PAncreatitis TRIAl (PROPATRIA) were published. This study investigated the use of probiotics in patients suffering from severe acute pancreatitis. No differences between the groups were found for any of the primary endpoints. However, mortality in the probiotics group was significantly higher than in the placebo group. This result was unexpected in light of the results of the animal studies referred to in the trial protocol. We used the methods of systematic review and meta-analysis to take a closer look at the relation between the animal studies on probiotics and pancreatitis and the PROPATRIA-trial, focussing on indications for harmful effects and efficacy.
Methods and results
Both PubMed and Embase were searched for original articles concerning the effects of probiotics in experimental acute pancreatitis, yielding thirteen studies that met the inclusion criteria. Data on mortality, bacterial translocation and histological damage to the pancreas were extracted, as well as study quality indicators. Meta-analysis of the four animal studies published before PROPATRIA showed that probiotic supplementation did not diminish mortality, reduced the overall histopathological score of the pancreas and reduced bacterial translocation to pancreas and mesenteric lymph nodes. Comparable results were found when all relevant studies published so far were taken into account.
A more thorough analysis of all relevant animal studies carried out before (and after) the publication of the study protocol of the PROPATRIA trial could not have predicted the harmful effects of probiotics found in the PROPATRIA-trial. Moreover, meta-analysis of the preclinical animal studies did show evidence for efficacy. It may be suggested, however, that the most appropriate animal experiments in relation to the design of the human trial have not yet been conducted, which compromises a fair comparison between the results of the animal studies and the PROPATRIA trial.
PMCID: PMC3496732  PMID: 23152810
8.  Correlation between Protection against Sepsis by Probiotic Therapy and Stimulation of a Novel Bacterial Phylotype▿† 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(21):7749-7756.
Prophylactic probiotic therapy has shown beneficial effects in an experimental rat model for acute pancreatitis on the health status of the animals. Mechanisms by which probiotic therapy interferes with severity of acute pancreatitis and associated sepsis, however, are poorly understood. The aims of this study were to identify the probiotic-induced changes in the gut microbiota and to correlate these changes to disease outcome. Duodenum and ileum samples were obtained from healthy and diseased rats subjected to pancreatitis for 7 days and prophylactically treated with either a multispecies probiotic mixture or a placebo. Intestinal microbiota was characterized by terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene fragments. These analyses showed that during acute pancreatitis the host-specific ileal microbiota was replaced by an “acute pancreatitis-associated microbiota.” This replacement was not reversed by administration of the probiotic mixture. An increase, however, was observed in the relative abundance of a novel bacterial phylotype most closely related to Clostridium lituseburense and referred to as commensal rat ileum bacterium (CRIB). Specific primers targeting the CRIB 16S rRNA gene sequence were developed to detect this phylotype by quantitative PCR. An ileal abundance of CRIB 16S rRNA genes of more than 7.5% of the total bacterial 16S rRNA gene pool was correlated with reduced duodenal bacterial overgrowth, reduced bacterial translocation to remote organs, improved pancreas pathology, and reduced proinflammatory cytokine levels in plasma. Our current findings and future studies involving this uncharacterized bacterial phylotype will contribute to unraveling one of the potential mechanisms of probiotic therapy.
PMCID: PMC3209155  PMID: 21926217
9.  Pancreatitis, very early compared with normal start of enteral feeding (PYTHON trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial 
Trials  2011;12:73.
In predicted severe acute pancreatitis, infections have a negative effect on clinical outcome. A start of enteral nutrition (EN) within 24 hours of onset may reduce the number of infections as compared to the current practice of starting an oral diet and EN if necessary at 3-4 days after admission.
The PYTHON trial is a randomised controlled, parallel-group, superiority multicenter trial. Patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis (Imrie-score ≥ 3 or APACHE-II score ≥ 8 or CRP > 150 mg/L) will be randomised to EN within 24 hours or an oral diet and EN if necessary, after 72 hours after hospital admission.
During a 3-year period, 208 patients will be enrolled from 20 hospitals of the Dutch Pancreatitis Study Group. The primary endpoint is a composite of mortality or infections (bacteraemia, infected pancreatic or peripancreatic necrosis, pneumonia) during hospital stay or within 6 months following randomisation. Secondary endpoints include other major morbidity (e.g. new onset organ failure, need for intervention), intolerance of enteral feeding and total costs from a societal perspective.
The PYTHON trial is designed to show that a very early (< 24 h) start of EN reduces the combined endpoint of mortality or infections as compared to the current practice of an oral diet and EN if necessary at around 72 hours after admission for predicted severe acute pancreatitis.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3068962  PMID: 21392395
10.  Tailored or Routine Addition of an Antireflux Fundoplication in Laparoscopic Large Hiatal Hernia Repair: A Comparative Cohort Study 
World Journal of Surgery  2010;35(1):78-84.
There is controversy about the tailored or routine addition of an antireflux fundoplication in large hiatal hernia (type II–IV) repair. We investigated the strategy of selective addition of a fundoplication in patients with a large hiatal hernia and concomitant gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Between 2002 and 2008, 60 patients with a large hiatal hernia were evaluated preoperatively and 12 months after surgery by reflux-related symptoms, upper endoscopy, and esophageal 24-h pH monitoring. In patients with preoperatively documented gastroesophageal reflux disease, an antireflux fundoplication was added during hiatal hernia repair.
An antireflux procedure was added in 35 patients and 25 patients underwent hiatal hernia repair only. Preoperative symptoms were improved or resolved in 31 patients (88.6%) in the group who had fundoplication and in 20 patients (87.0%) in the group who did not have fundoplication. In patients with fundoplication, esophagitis was present in 6 patients (22.2%) after surgery and abnormal esophageal acid exposure persisted in 11 (39.3%). Seven patients (38.9%) with hernia repair only developed abnormal esophageal acid exposure, and esophagitis was postoperatively generated in five (27.8%). In neither group did patients have new onset of daily heartburn or dysphagia.
In patients with a large hiatal hernia associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, addition of a fundoplication during hernia repair yields acceptable reduction of symptoms and does not generate symptomatic side effects. Objective control of reflux, however, is only moderate. Omission of an antireflux procedure in the absence of gastroesophageal reflux disease induced esophagitis in 28% and abnormal esophageal acid exposure in 39% of patients. Therefore, routine addition of an antireflux fundoplication should be recommended.
PMCID: PMC3006643  PMID: 20957361
11.  Costs of relaparotomy on-demand versus planned relaparotomy in patients with severe peritonitis: an economic evaluation within a randomized controlled trial 
Critical Care  2010;14(3):R97.
Results of the first randomized trial comparing on-demand versus planned-relaparotomy strategy in patients with severe peritonitis (RELAP trial) indicated no clear differences in primary outcomes. We now report the full economic evaluation for this trial, including detailed methods, nonmedical costs, further differentiated cost calculations, and robustness of different assumptions in sensitivity analyses.
An economic evaluation was conducted from a societal perspective alongside a randomized controlled trial in 229 patients with severe secondary peritonitis and an acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE)-II score ≥11 from two academic and five regional teaching hospitals in the Netherlands. After the index laparotomy, patients were randomly allocated to an on-demand or a planned-relaparotomy strategy. Primary resource-utilization data were used to estimate mean total costs per patient during the index admission and after discharge until 1 year after the index operation. Overall differences in costs between the on-demand relaparotomy strategy and the planned strategy, as well as relative differences across several clinical subgroups, were evaluated.
Costs were substantially lower in the on-demand group (mean, €65,768 versus €83,450 per patient in the planned group; mean absolute difference, €17,682; 95% CI, €5,062 to €29,004). Relative differences in mean total costs per patient (approximately 21%) were robust to various alternative assumptions. Planned relaparotomy consistently generated more costs across the whole range of different courses of disease (quick recovery and few resources used on one end of the spectrum; slow recovery and many resources used on the other end). This difference in costs between the two surgical strategies also did not vary significantly across several clinical subgroups.
The reduction in societal costs renders the on-demand strategy a more-efficient relaparotomy strategy in patients with severe peritonitis. These differences were found across the full range of healthcare resources as well as across patients with different courses of disease.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2911734  PMID: 20507557
13.  Assessing factors influencing return back to work after cholecystectomy: a qualitative research 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:12.
Cholecystectomy causes considerable financial burden on society with a major part caused by sick-leave. There are wide variations in duration of sick-leave. The aim of our study was to identify all aspects that influence the moment of return to work by using focus groups and to compare responses from patients and physicians.
A qualitative research design was planned using focus group discussions. Four focus group discussions were organized: two patient groups and two physician groups. Employed patients who had recovered after cholecystectomy were included in the patient groups. The physicians groups consisted of general practitioners, surgeons, and company physicians. Three investigators independently searched transcriptions of the sessions for all items relating to return to work. The importance of items and categories were assessed by determining frequencies.
In the patients groups physical limitations (35.3%) and individual patient factors (17.5%) were important factors in the duration of sick-leave, while influence or advice comprised only 8.4% of the items. In the physicians groups influence or advice (21.8%) and information-related factors (21.4%) were thought to be important categories.
Physicians perceive their advices as an important factor in patients' duration of sick-leave. In contrast, patients seldom mention this factor and experience physical complaints as the major reason influencing the moment of return to work.
PMCID: PMC2834604  PMID: 20105318
14.  Cost-minimization analysis in a blind randomized trial on small-incision versus laparoscopic cholecystectomy from a societal perspective: sick leave outweighs efforts in hospital savings 
Trials  2009;10:80.
After its introduction, laparoscopic cholecystectomy rapidly expanded around the world and was accepted the procedure of choice by consensus. However, analysis of evidence shows no difference regarding primary outcome measures between laparoscopic and small-incision cholecystectomy. In absence of clear clinical benefit it may be interesting to focus on the resource use associated with the available techniques, a secondary outcome measure. This study focuses on a difference in costs between laparoscopic and small-incision cholecystectomy from a societal perspective with emphasis on internal validity and generalisability
A blinded randomized single-centre trial was conducted in a general teaching hospital in The Netherlands. Patients with reasonable to good health diagnosed with symptomatic cholecystolithiasis scheduled for cholecystectomy were included. Patients were randomized between laparoscopic and small-incision cholecystectomy. Total costs were analyzed from a societal perspective.
Operative costs were higher in the laparoscopic group using reusable laparoscopic instruments (difference 203 euro; 95% confidence interval 147 to 259 euro). There were no significant differences in the other direct cost categories (outpatient clinic and admittance related costs), indirect costs, and total costs. More than 60% of costs in employed patients were caused by sick leave.
Based on differences in costs, small-incision cholecystectomy seems to be the preferred operative technique over the laparoscopic technique both from a hospital and societal cost perspective. Sick leave associated with convalescence after cholecystectomy in employed patients results in considerable costs to society.
Trial registration
ISRCTN Register, number ISRCTN67485658.
PMCID: PMC2748072  PMID: 19732431
15.  Surgical Reintervention After Failed Antireflux Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature 
Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery  2009;13(8):1539-1549.
Outcome and morbidity of redo antireflux surgery are suggested to be less satisfactory than those of primary surgery. Studies reporting on redo surgery, however, are usually much smaller than those of primary surgery. The aim of this study was to summarize the currently available literature on redo antireflux surgery.
Material and Methods
A structured literature search was performed in the electronic databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.
A total of 81 studies met the inclusion criteria. The study design was prospective in 29, retrospective in 15, and not reported in 37 studies. In these studies, 4,584 reoperations in 4,509 patients are reported. Recurrent reflux and dysphagia were the most frequent indications; intraoperative complications occurred in 21.4% and postoperative complications in 15.6%, with an overall mortality rate of 0.9%. The conversion rate in laparoscopic surgery was 8.7%. Mean(±SEM) duration of surgery was 177.4 ± 10.3 min and mean hospital stay was 5.5 ± 0.5 days. Symptomatic outcome was successful in 81.1% and was equal in the laparoscopic and conventional approach. Objective outcome was obtained in 24 studies (29.6%) and success was reported in 78.3%, with a slightly higher success rate in case of laparoscopy than with open surgery (85.8% vs. 78.0%).
This systematic review on redo antireflux surgery has confirmed that morbidity and mortality after redo surgery is higher than after primary surgery and symptomatic and objective outcome are less satisfactory. Data on objective results were scarce and consistency with regard to reporting outcome is necessary.
PMCID: PMC2710493  PMID: 19347410
Gastro esophageal reflux disease; Antireflux surgery; Nissen fundoplication; Dysphagia; Reoperation
16.  Probiotics Prevent Intestinal Barrier Dysfunction in Acute Pancreatitis in Rats via Induction of Ileal Mucosal Glutathione Biosynthesis 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4512.
During acute pancreatitis (AP), oxidative stress contributes to intestinal barrier failure. We studied actions of multispecies probiotics on barrier dysfunction and oxidative stress in experimental AP.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Fifty-three male Spraque-Dawley rats were randomly allocated into five groups: 1) controls, non-operated, 2) sham-operated, 3) AP, 4) AP and probiotics and 5) AP and placebo. AP was induced by intraductal glycodeoxycholate infusion and intravenous cerulein (6 h). Daily probiotics or placebo were administered intragastrically, starting five days prior to AP. After cerulein infusion, ileal mucosa was collected for measurements of E. coli K12 and 51Cr-EDTA passage in Ussing chambers. Tight junction proteins were investigated by confocal immunofluorescence imaging. Ileal mucosal apoptosis, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione levels were determined and glutamate-cysteine-ligase activity and expression were quantified. AP-induced barrier dysfunction was characterized by epithelial cell apoptosis and alterations of tight junction proteins (i.e. disruption of occludin and claudin-1 and up-regulation of claudin-2) and correlated with lipid peroxidation (r>0.8). Probiotic pre-treatment diminished the AP-induced increase in E. coli passage (probiotics 57.4±33.5 vs. placebo 223.7±93.7 a.u.; P<0.001), 51Cr-EDTA flux (16.7±10.1 vs. 32.1±10.0 cm/s10−6; P<0.005), apoptosis, lipid peroxidation (0.42±0.13 vs. 1.62±0.53 pmol MDA/mg protein; P<0.001), and prevented tight junction protein disruption. AP-induced decline in glutathione was not only prevented (14.33±1.47 vs. 8.82±1.30 nmol/mg protein, P<0.001), but probiotics even increased mucosal glutathione compared with sham rats (14.33±1.47 vs. 10.70±1.74 nmol/mg protein, P<0.001). Glutamate-cysteine-ligase activity, which is rate-limiting in glutathione biosynthesis, was enhanced in probiotic pre-treated animals (probiotics 2.88±1.21 vs. placebo 1.94±0.55 nmol/min/mg protein; P<0.05) coinciding with an increase in mRNA expression of glutamate-cysteine-ligase catalytic (GCLc) and modifier (GCLm) subunits.
Probiotic pre-treatment diminished AP-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction and prevented oxidative stress via mechanisms mainly involving mucosal glutathione biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC2639703  PMID: 19223985
17.  Advanced glycation end product modification of bone proteins and bone remodelling: hypothesis and preliminary immunohistochemical findings 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2006;65(1):101-104.
The process of bone remodelling is disturbed in the development of osteoporosis.
To investigate if proteins in osteoporotic bone are modified by advanced glycation end products (AGEs), and whether these alterations are related to measures of bone remodelling based on histomorphometric findings.
Bone specimens taken from the iliac crest by bone biopsy of eight osteoporotic patients were investigated by histomorphometry and by immunohistochemical staining with the AGEs imidazolone and Nε‐carboxymethyllysine.
Both AGEs were found in all bone specimens. The intensity of staining correlated with patient age. The percentage of bone surface covered with osteoblasts showed a significantly negative correlation with the staining intensity of both AGEs.
It is known that AGEs can regulate proliferation and differentiation of osteoblastic cells and that AGE‐specific binding sites are present in cultured osteoblast‐like cells. Moreover, AGE induced biological effects in these cells might be mediated by RAGE (receptor of AGE) or by other AGE receptors in different stages of osteoblast development. The inverse relation between AGE staining intensity and the percentage of bone surface covered with osteoblasts in the trabecular bone may provide evidence that AGE modification of bone proteins disturbs bone remodelling.
PMCID: PMC1797982  PMID: 16344492
glycation end products; bone remodelling; histomorphometry; immunohistochenical staining; osteoporosis
18.  Laparoscopic versus small-incision cholecystectomy: Health status in a blind randomised trial 
Surgical Endoscopy  2007;22(7):1649-1659.
Gallstones are a major cause of morbidity, and cholecystectomy is a commonly performed procedure. Minimal invasive procedures, laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) and small-incision cholecystectomy (SIC), have replaced the classical open cholecystectomy. No differences have been found in primary outcome measures between LC and SIC, therefore secondary outcome measures have to be considered to determine preferences. The aim of our study was to examine health status applying evidence-based guidelines in LC and SIC in a randomised trial.
Patients with symptomatic cholecystolithiasis were included in a blind randomised trial. Operative procedures, anaesthesia, analgesics and postoperative care were standardised in order to limit bias. Questionnaires were filled in preoperatively, the first day postoperatively, and at outpatients follow-up at 2, 6 and 12 weeks. In accordance with evidence-based guidelines, the generic short form (SF-36) and the disease-specific gastrointestinal quality-of-life index (GIQLI) questionnaires were used in addition to the body image questionnaire (BIQ).
A total of 257 patients were randomised between LC (120) and SIC (137). Analyses were performed according to intention-to-treat (converted procedures included) and also distinguishing converted from minimal invasive (nonconverted) procedures. Questionnaires were obtained with a response rate varying from 87.5% preoperatively to 77.4% three months postoperatively. Except for two time-specific measurements in one SF-36 subscale, there were no differences between LC and SIC. There were significant differences in several subscales in all three questionnaires comparing minimal invasive versus converted procedures.
Applying adequate methodological quality and evidence-based guidelines (by using SF-36 and GIQLI), there are no significant differences in health status between LC and SIC.
PMCID: PMC2422865  PMID: 18071815
Health status; Cholecystectomy; Surgery; Laparoscopy; Surgery; Laparotomy
19.  Health related quality of life six months following surgical treatment for secondary peritonitis – using the EQ-5D questionnaire 
To compare health related quality of life (HR-QoL) in patients surgically treated for secondary peritonitis to that of a healthy population. And to prospectively identify factors associated with poorer (lower) HR-QoL.
A prospective cohort of secondary peritonitis patients was mailed the EQ-5D and EQ-VAS 6-months following initial laparotomy.
Multicenter study in two academic and seven regional teaching hospitals.
130 of the 155 eligible patients (84%) responded to the HR-QoL questionnaires.
HR-QoL was significantly worse on all dimensions in peritonitis patients than in a healthy reference population. Peritonitis characteristics at initial presentation were not associated with HR-QoL at six months. A more complicated course of the disease leading to longer hospitalization times and patients with an enterostomy had a negative impact on the mobility (p = 0.02), self-care (p < 0.001) and daily activities: (p = 0.01). In a multivariate analysis for the EQ-VAS every doubling of hospital stay decreases the EQ-VAS by 3.8 points (p = 0.015). Morbidity during the six-month follow-up was not found to be predictive for the EQ-5D or EQ-VAS.
Six months following initial surgery, patients with secondary peritonitis report more problems in HR-QoL than a healthy reference population. Unfavorable disease characteristics at initial presentation were not predictive for poorer HR-QoL, but a more complicated course of the disease was most predictive of HR-QoL at 6 months.
PMCID: PMC1950493  PMID: 17601343
20.  Minimally invasive 'step-up approach' versus maximal necrosectomy in patients with acute necrotising pancreatitis (PANTER trial): design and rationale of a randomised controlled multicenter trial [ISRCTN38327949] 
BMC Surgery  2006;6:6.
The initial treatment of acute necrotizing pancreatitis is conservative. Intervention is indicated in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis. In the Netherlands, the standard intervention is necrosectomy by laparotomy followed by continuous postoperative lavage (CPL). In recent years several minimally invasive strategies have been introduced. So far, these strategies have never been compared in a randomised controlled trial. The PANTER study (PAncreatitis, Necrosectomy versus sTEp up appRoach) was conceived to yield the evidence needed for a considered policy decision.
88 patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis will be randomly allocated to either group A) minimally invasive 'step-up approach' starting with drainage followed, if necessary, by videoscopic assisted retroperitoneal debridement (VARD) or group B) maximal necrosectomy by laparotomy. Both procedures are followed by CPL. Patients will be recruited from 20 hospitals, including all Dutch university medical centres, over a 3-year period. The primary endpoint is the proportion of patients suffering from postoperative major morbidity and mortality. Secondary endpoints are complications, new onset sepsis, length of hospital and intensive care stay, quality of life and total (direct and indirect) costs. To demonstrate that the 'step-up approach' can reduce the major morbidity and mortality rate from 45 to 16%, with 80% power at 5% alpha, a total sample size of 88 patients was calculated.
The PANTER-study is a randomised controlled trial that will provide evidence on the merits of a minimally invasive 'step-up approach' in patients with (suspected) infected necrotizing pancreatitis.
PMCID: PMC1508161  PMID: 16606471
21.  Evaluation of free and peptide bound collagen crosslink excretion in different skeletal diseases 
Methods: Pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD) were measured by high performance liquid chromatography.
Results: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA) all fractions of PYD and DPD were significantly raised compared with osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and healthy controls. PYD and DPD correlated with disease activity in RA. In RA the collagen degradation resulted in primarily peptide bound forms.
Conclusion: The correlation between total peptide bound or free collagen crosslinks in different chronic joint diseases varies; however, this variation does not allow for a reliable differentiation between inflammatory and degenerative joint diseases.
PMCID: PMC1754278  PMID: 12480673
22.  Identification of the advanced glycation end products N -carboxymethyllysine in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2002;61(6):488-492.
Background: Generation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) is an inevitable process in vivo and can be accelerated under pathological conditions such as oxidative stress. In serum and synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) raised AGE levels have been found.
Objective: To determine the presence of N -carboxymethyllysine (CML; marker of oxidative stress) in RA synovial tissue by immunohistology.
Methods: Frozen synovial tissue samples from 10 patients with RA and eight controls (four patients without joint disease and four patients with osteoarthritis (OA)) were treated with rabbit-anti-CML-IgG and goat-antirabbit-IgG. Immunostaining was visualised by streptavidine-alkaline phosphatase (chromogen fuchsin). Cell differentiation was performed with antibodies against CD68, CD45RO, and CD20.
Results: CML was detected in the synovial lining, sublining, and endothelium in 10/10 RA and 4/4 OA synovial specimens. In RA some macrophages (CD68+) and T cells (CD45RO+) showed positive immunostaining for CML, whereas B cells were negative. Staining in OA synovial sublining was weak compared with RA.
Conclusions: CML was detected for the first time in RA and OA synovial tissue. Different patterns of immunostaining in RA and OA and the presence of CML on macrophages and T cells, suggest a role for CML in the pathogenesis of RA. This might be due to presentation of new epitopes which can maintain or even trigger an autoimmune response.
PMCID: PMC1754129  PMID: 12006318
23.  Probiotic prophylaxis in patients with predicted severe acute pancreatitis (PROPATRIA): design and rationale of a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised multicenter trial [ISRCTN38327949] 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:12.
Infectious complications are the major cause of death in acute pancreatitis. Small bowel bacterial overgrowth and subsequent bacterial translocation are held responsible for the vast majority of these infections. Goal of this study is to determine whether selected probiotics are capable of preventing infectious complications without the disadvantages of antibiotic prophylaxis; antibiotic resistance and fungal overgrowth.
PROPATRIA is a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised multicenter trial in which 200 patients will be randomly allocated to a multispecies probiotic preparation (Ecologic 641) or placebo. The study is performed in all 8 Dutch University Hospitals and 7 non-University hospitals. The study-product is administered twice daily through a nasojejunal tube for 28 days or until discharge. Patients eligible for randomisation are adult patients with a first onset of predicted severe acute pancreatitis: Imrie criteria 3 or more, CRP 150 mg/L or more, APACHE II score 8 or more. Exclusion criteria are post-ERCP pancreatitis, malignancy, infection/sepsis caused by a second disease, intra-operative diagnosis of pancreatitis and use of probiotics during the study. Administration of the study product is started within 72 hours after onset of abdominal pain. The primary endpoint is the total number of infectious complications. Secondary endpoints are mortality, necrosectomy, antibiotic resistance, hospital stay and adverse events. To demonstrate that probiotic prophylaxis reduces the proportion of patients with infectious complications from 50% to 30%, with alpha 0,05 and power 80%, a total sample size of 200 patients was calculated.
The PROPATRIA study is aimed to show a reduction in infectious complications due to early enteral use of multispecies probiotics in severe acute pancreatitis.
PMCID: PMC526218  PMID: 15456517

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