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1.  The AMC Linear Disability Score (ALDS): a cross-sectional study with a new generic instrument to measure disability applied to patients with peripheral arterial disease 
Background
The AMC Linear Disability Score (ALDS) is a calibrated generic itembank to measure the level of physical disability in patients with chronic diseases. The ALDS has already been validated in different patient populations suffering from chronic diseases. The aim of this study was to assess the clinimetric properties of the ALDS in patients with peripheral arterial disease.
Methods
Patients with intermittent claudication (IC) and critical limb ischemia (CLI) presenting from January 2007 through November 2007 were included. Risk factors for atherosclerosis, ankle/brachial index and toe pressure, the Vascular Quality of Life Questionnaire (VascuQol), and the ALDS were recorded. To compare ALDS and VascuQol scores between the two patient groups, an unpaired t-test was used. Correlations were determined between VascuQol, ALDS and pressure measurements.
Results
Sixty-two patients were included (44 male, mean ± sd age was 68 ± 11 years) with IC (n = 26) and CLI (n = 36). The average ALDS was significantly higher in patients with IC (80, ± 10) compared to patients with CLI (64, ± 18). Internal reliability consistency of the ALDS expressed as Cronbach's α coefficient was excellent (α > 0.90). There was a strong convergent correlation between the ALDS and the disability related Activity domain of the VascuQol (r = 0.64).
Conclusion
The ALDS is a promising clinimetric instrument to measure disability in patients with various stages of peripheral arterial disease.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-7-88
PMCID: PMC2766362  PMID: 19822016
2.  Effectiveness of a 5-Day External Stenting Protocol on Urological Complications After Renal Transplantation 
World Journal of Surgery  2009;33(12):2722-2726.
Background
Ureteral stents are successful in reducing urological complications after renal transplantation. However, the optimal duration and method of stenting have not yet been clarified. The objective of the present study was to investigate the frequency of urological complications when a 5-day external stented ureterocystostomy protocol was followed.
Methods
A single-center nonrandomized analysis of 392 kidney transplantations between June 2003 and June 2007 was conducted. From July 2005 all 196 renal transplant recipients received a 5-day external stented ureterocystostomy. A urological complication was defined as any cause leading to the placement of a percutaneous nephrostomy catheter and/or surgical revision of the ureterocystostomy.
Results
In the non-stented group, 21 of the 196 patients (10.7%) developed a urological complication compared to 13 patients (6.6%) in the stented group (p = 0.151). In the stented group, 2 of the 66 recipients of a living donor transplant (3.0%) developed a urological complication compared to 8 of the 59 recipients (13.6%) in the non-stented group (P = 0.030). Eleven of 130 recipients of a deceased donor transplant (8.5%) in the stented group developed a urological complication, compared to 13 of the 137 recipients (9.5%) in the non-stented group (P = 0.769). The surgical revision rate of the stented and the non-stented group was 5/13 39% and 6/21 29%, respectively.
Conclusions
A 5-day routine external stent protocol is efficacious in living donor renal transplantation in preventing early postoperative ureter obstruction, but this stenting period seems inadequate for deceased donor renal transplantation.
doi:10.1007/s00268-009-0224-y
PMCID: PMC2840662  PMID: 19774409
3.  Always Contact a Vascular Interventional Specialist Before Amputating a Patient with Critical Limb Ischemia 
Patients with severe critical limb ischemia (CLI) due to long tibial artery occlusions are often poor candidates for surgical revascularization and frequently end up with a lower limb amputation. Subintimal angioplasty (SA) offers a minimally invasive alternative for limb salvage in this severely compromised patient population. The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of SA in patients with CLI caused by long tibial occlusions who have no surgical options for revascularization and are facing amputation. We retrospectively reviewed all consecutive patients with CLI due to long tibial occlusions who were scheduled for amputation because they had no surgical options for revascularization and who were treated by SA. A total of 26 procedures in 25 patients (14 males; mean age, 70 ± 15 [SD] years) were evaluated. Technical success rate was 88% (23/26). There were four complications, which were treated conservatively. Finally, in 10 of 26 limbs, no amputation was needed. A major amputation was needed in 10 limbs (7 below-knee amputations and 3 above-knee amputations). Half of the major amputations took place within 3 months after the procedure. Cumulative freedom of major amputation after 12 months was 59% (SE = 11%). In six limbs, amputation was limited to a minor amputation. Seven patients (28%) died during follow-up. In conclusion, SA of the tibial arteries seem to be a valuable treatment option to prevent major amputation in patients with CLI who are facing amputation due to lack of surgical options.
doi:10.1007/s00270-009-9687-3
PMCID: PMC2868169  PMID: 19688364
Subintimal angioplasty; Tibial arteries; Critical limb ischemia
4.  Intravenous fluid restriction after major abdominal surgery: a randomized blinded clinical trial 
Trials  2009;10:50.
Background
Intravenous (IV) fluid administration is an essential part of postoperative care. Some studies suggest that a restricted post-operative fluid regime reduces complications and postoperative hospital stay after surgery. We investigated the effects of postoperative fluid restriction in surgical patients undergoing major abdominal surgery.
Methods
In a blinded randomized trial, 62 patients (ASA I-III) undergoing elective major abdominal surgical procedures in a university hospital were allocated either to a restricted (1.5 L/24 h) or a standard postoperative IV fluid regime (2.5 L/24 h). Primary endpoint was length of postoperative hospital stay (PHS). Secondary endpoints included postoperative complications and time to restore gastric functions.
Results
After a 1-year inclusion period, an unplanned interim analysis was made because of many protocol violations due to patient deterioration. In the group with the restricted regime we found a significantly increased PHS (12.3 vs. 8.3 days; p = 0.049) and significantly more major complications: 12 in 30 (40%) vs. 5 in 32 (16%) patients (Absolute Risk Increase: 0.24 [95%CI: 0.03 to 0.46], i.e. a number needed to harm of 4 [95%CI: 2–33]). Therefore, the trial was stopped prematurely. Intention to treat analysis showed no differences in time to restore gastric functions between the groups.
Conclusion
Restricted postoperative IV fluid management, as performed in this trial, in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery appears harmful as it is accompanied by an increased risk of major postoperative complications and a prolonged postoperative hospital stay.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN16719551
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-10-50
PMCID: PMC2717956  PMID: 19583868
5.  Attitudes, Awareness, and Barriers Regarding Evidence-Based Surgery Among Surgeons and Surgical Nurses 
World Journal of Surgery  2009;33(7):1348-1355.
Background
Evidence-based surgery (EBS) is stressed to increase efficiency and health care quality, but not all surgeons and surgical nurses use EBS in clinical practice. To define future tailor-made interventions to improve evidence-based behavior, the aim of this study was to determine the attitude and awareness among surgeons and surgical nurses as to the paradigm of EBS and the barriers experienced when practicing EBS.
Methods
In this cross-sectional study, surgeons and surgical nurses at a university hospital in Amsterdam were invited to complete the BARRIERS scale and McColl et al. questionnaire. An evidence quiz was composed for the surgeons.
Results
Response rates were 67% (29/43) for surgeons and 60% (73/122) for nurses. Attitudes toward EBS were positive. Among the surgeons, 90% were familiar with EBS terms, whereas only 40% of the nurses were. Common barriers for surgeons were conflicting results (79%, 23/29) and the methodologic inadequacy of research reports (73%, 21/29); and for nurses they were unawareness of EBS (67%, 49/73) and unclear reported research (59%, 43/73). Only about half of the convincing evidence presented in the quiz was actually applied.
Conclusions
Surgeons have a positive attitude toward EBS and are familiar with EBS terminology, but conflicting results and methodologic shortcomings of research reports are major barriers to practicing EBS. Continual confrontations with available evidence through frequent critical appraisal meetings or grand rounds and using more aggregate sources of evidence are advocated. Nurses can probably benefit from EBS training focusing on basic skills. Finally, collaboration is needed among surgeons and nurses with the same zest about EBS.
doi:10.1007/s00268-009-0020-8
PMCID: PMC2691930  PMID: 19412569
6.  Subintimal Angioplasty for Peripheral Arterial Occlusive Disease: A Systematic Review 
The objective of this study was to summarize outcomes of subintimal angioplasty (SA) for peripheral arterial occlusive disease. The Cochrane Library, Medline and Embase databases were searched to perform a systematic review of the literature from 1966 through May 2007 on outcomes of SA for peripheral arterial occlusive disease of the infrainguinal vessels. The keywords “percutaneous intentional extraluminal revascularization,” “subintimal angioplasty,” “peripheral arterial disease,” “femoral artery,” “popliteal artery,” and “tibial artery” were used. Assessment of study quality was done using a form based on a checklist of the Dutch Cochrane Centre. The recorded outcomes were technical and clinical success, primary (assisted) patency, limb salvage, complications, and survival, in relation to the clinical grade of disease (intermittent claudication or critical limb ischemia [CLI] or mixed) and location of lesion (femoropopliteal, crural, or mixed). Twenty-three cohort studies including a total of 1549 patients (range, 27 to 148) were included in this review. Methodological and reporting quality were moderate, e.g., there was selection bias and reporting was not done according to the reporting standards. These and significant clinical heterogeneity obstructed a meta-analysis. Reports about length of the lesion and TASC classification were too various to summarize or were not mentioned at all. The technical success rates varied between 80% and 90%, with lower rates for crural lesions compared with femoral lesions. Complication rates ranged between 8% and 17% and most complications were minor. After 1 year, clinical success was between 50% and 70%, primary patency was around 50% and limb salvage varied from 80% to 90%. In conclusion, taking into account the methodological shortcomings of the included studies, SA can play an important role in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease, especially in the case of critical limb ischemia. Despite the moderate patency rates after one year, SA may serve as a “temporary bypass” to provide wound healing and limb salvage.
doi:10.1007/s00270-008-9331-7
PMCID: PMC2515568  PMID: 18414946
Subintimal angioplasty; Peripheral arterial disease; Revascularization; Percutaneous intentional extraluminal recanalization; Systematic review
7.  PSI: The Dutch Academic Infrastructure for shared biobanks for translational research 
Translational research requires large patient populations. A single research institute is not able to build up such a population in a short period of time. The String of Pearls Initiative (in Dutch “Parelsnoer Initiatief”, PSI) is a joint effort by the eight academic medical centers in the Netherlands to built an infrastructure for joint biobanking as to meet this challenge of establishing large collections of data and samples in relevant medical domains.
PMCID: PMC3041528  PMID: 21347130

Results 1-7 (7)