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author:("germe, Oke")
1.  Infliximab’s influence on anastomotic strength and degree of inflammation in intestinal surgery in a rabbit model 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:23.
Infliximab, a TNF-α inhibitor, is a potent anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Recent studies have investigated the effect of infliximab treatment on postoperative complications such as anastomotic leakage, however, with conflicting results and conclusions. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a single dose infliximab has an adverse effect on the anastomotic healing process, observed as reduced anastomotic breaking strength and histopathologically verified lower grade of inflammatory response, in the small intestine of a rabbit.
Thirty New Zealand rabbits (median weight 2.5 kg) were allocated to treatment with an intravenous bolus of either 10 mg/kg infliximab (n = 15) or placebo (n = 15). One week later all rabbits underwent two separate end-to-end anastomoses in the jejunum under general anesthesia. At postoperative day three, the anastomotic breaking strength was determined and histopathological changes were examined.
The mean value of anastomotic breaking strength in the placebo group was 1.89 ± 0.36 N and the corresponding value was 1.81 ± 0.33 N in the infliximab treated rabbits. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups (p = 0.51). The infliximab-treated rabbits had a significant lower degree of inflammatory infiltration response compared to the placebo group (p = 0.047).
Our conclusion, limited by the small sample sizes in both groups, is that a single dose of infliximab, given one week prior to surgery, does not have an impact on the anastomotic breaking strength on the third postoperative day in the small intestine of rabbits.
PMCID: PMC4017771  PMID: 24762063
Infliximab; Intestinal anastomosis; Rabbits; Tensile strength; Wound healing
2.  Comparison of the diagnostic performance of CT colonography interpreted by radiologists and radiographers 
Insights into Imaging  2013;4(4):491-497.
To compare computed tomographic colonography (CTC) performance of four trained radiographers with the CTC performance of two experienced radiologists.
Four radiographers and two radiologists interpreted 87 cases with 40 polyps ≥6 mm. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) were assessed on a per-patient basis. On a per-polyp basis, sensitivity was calculated according to the respective size categories (polyps ≥6 mm as well as polyps ≥10 mm).
Overall per-patient sensitivity for polyps ≥6 mm was 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.4–91.0) and 76.2 % (95 % CI 61.7–90.6), for the radiographers and radiologists, respectively. Overall per-patient specificity for polyps ≥6 mm were 81.4 % (95 % CI 73.7–89.2) and 81.1 % (95 % CI 73.8–88.3) for the radiographers and the radiologists, respectively. For the radiographers, overall per-polyp sensitivity was 60.3 % (95 % CI 50.3–70.3) and 60.7 % (95 % CI 42.2–79.2) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively. For the radiologists, overall per polyp sensitivity was 59.2 % (95 % CI 46.4–72.0) and 69.0 % (95 % CI 48.1–89.6) for polyps ≥6 mm and ≥10 mm, respectively.
Radiographers with training in CT colonographic evaluation achieved sensitivity and specificity in polyp detection comparable with that of experienced radiologists.
Main messages
• The diagnostic accuracy of trained radiographers was comparable to that of experienced radiologists.
• The use of radiographers in reading CTC examinations is acceptable, however radiologists would still be necessary for the evaluation of extracolonic findings.
• Skilled non-radiologists may play a vital role as a second reader of intraluminal findings or by performing quality control of examinations before patient dismissal.
PMCID: PMC3731471  PMID: 23765729
CT colonography; Polyps; Diagnostic performance; Radiographer; Radiologist
3.  When is reacquisition necessary due to high extra-cardiac uptake in myocardial perfusion scintigraphy? 
EJNMMI Research  2013;3:20.
Technetium-labeled agents, which are most often used for assessing myocardial perfusion in myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS), are cleared by the liver and excreted by the biliary system. Spillover from extra-cardiac activity into the myocardium, especially the inferior wall, might conceal defects and lower the diagnostic accuracy of the study. The objective was to determine rules of thumb for when reacquisition is useful due to high extra-cardiac uptake, i.e., when interpretation of the studies was affected by poor image quality.
Patients admitted to MPS at any of the three study sites, who also underwent a reacquisition due to high extra-cardiac uptake were included. Image quality was assessed by ten technologists on a scale ranging from 1 to 5. Interpretations regarding the presence/absence of ischemia/infarction, including the certainty of the diagnosis, were made by three physicians.
There was a statistically significant increase in image quality between the first and the repeated acquisition (1,256 cases of increased quality at the repeated study (66%), 134 cases of decreased quality at the repeated study (7%), 510 cases of unchanged quality (27%) P < 0.0001). The number of equivocal studies, interpreted by physicians, decreased when evaluating the repeated studies compared to the first studies for all physicians, both for the interpretations of ischemia and for infarction. Receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that for both endpoints (ischemia, infarction) and all physicians, the optimal cutoff point for performing a reacquisition was between quality categories 2 and 3.
This study indicates that repeat acquisition is useful when (1) the intensity of the extra-cardiac uptake is equal to or higher than the cardiac uptake when there is no separation between the extra-cardiac uptake and the inferior cardiac wall and (2) when the intensity of the extra-cardiac uptake is higher than the cardiac uptake when there is a separation between the extra-cardiac uptake and the inferior wall of less than one cardiac wall.
PMCID: PMC3614539  PMID: 23521849
Myocardial perfusion imaging; Quality assessment; Image interpretation; Extra-cardiac uptake; Ischemic heart disease
4.  Interim analyses in diagnostic versus treatment studies: differences and similarities 
The purpose of this paper was to contrast interim analyses in (randomized controlled) treatment studies with interim analyses in paired diagnostic studies of accuracy with respect to planning and conduct. The term ‘treatment study’ refers to a (randomized) clinical trial that aims to demonstrate the superiority or noninferiority of one treatment compared with another, and the term ‘diagnostic study’ to a clinical study that compares two diagnostic procedures, using a third diagnostic procedure as the gold standard. Though interim analyses in treatment studies and paired diagnostic studies show similarities in a priori planning of timing, decision rules, and the consequences of the analyses, they differ with respect to (1) the need for sample size adjustments, (2) the possibility of early decisions without early stopping, and (3) the impact of keeping results secret. These differences are due, respectively, to certain characteristics of paired diagnostic studies: the dependence of the sample size on the agreement rate between the modalities, multiple aims of diagnostic accuracy studies, and the advantages of early unblinding of results at the individual level. We exemplified our points by using a recent investigation at our institution on the detection of bone metastases from prostate cancer in patients with histologically confirmed prostate cancer in which 99mTc-MDP whole body bone scintigraphy was compared to positron emission tomography/computed tomography with 18F-fluorocholine as tracer, using magnetic resonance imaging as a reference.
PMCID: PMC3477734  PMID: 23133821
Study design; diagnostic imaging; PET/CT; efficacy studies; accuracy studies; sample size
5.  How to study optimal timing of PET/CT for monitoring of cancer treatment 
The use of PET/CT for monitoring treatment response in cancer patients after chemo- or radiotherapy is a very promising approach to optimize cancer treatment. However, the timing of the PET/CT-based evaluation of reduction in viable tumor tissue is a crucial question. We investigated how to plan and analyze studies to optimize this timing.
General considerations about studying the optimal timing are given and four fundamental steps are illustrated using data from a published study.
The optimal timing should be examined by optimizing the schedule with respect to predicting the overall individual time course we can observe in the case of dense measurements. The optimal timing needs not to and should not be studied by optimizing the association with the prognosis of the patient.
The optimal timing should be examined in specific ‘schedule optimizing studies’. These should be clearly distinguished from studies evaluating the prognostic value of a reduction in viable tumor tissue.
PMCID: PMC3477720  PMID: 23133795
cancer; response evaluation; prognostic value; optimal schedule
6.  PET/CT without capacity limitations: a Danish experience from a European perspective 
European Radiology  2011;21(6):1277-1285.
We report the 3-year clinical experience of a large new Danish PET/CT centre without capacity limitations in relation to national and European developments.
The use of PET/CT in cancer was registered from early 2006 to early 2009 to judge the impact on patient management and to compare it with national and European trends.
6056 PET/CT examinations were performed in 4327 patients. Activity increased by 86 examinations per month compared with the same month the year before. Referrals came primarily from oncology (23.0%), haematology (21.6%), surgery (12.6%), internal medicine (12.7%) and gynaecology (5.5%). Referral indications were diagnosis (31.3%), staging (22.3%), recurrence detection (21.2%), response evaluation (17.0%) and other (8.2%). Response from nearly 60% of users showed that PET/CT caused a change in diagnosis and/or staging and/or treatment plan in 36.0% of cases. During the study period, there was a steep increase in the national use of FDG and in the European use of PET/CT.
We recorded a constantly increasing use of PET/CT that caused a change in diagnosis and/or staging and/or treatment plan in 36.0% of cases. In line with national and European trends this may suggest a shift in favour of functional rather than anatomical imaging.
PMCID: PMC3088822  PMID: 21274717
Radionuclide imaging; PET/CT; Referral pattern; Indications; Clinical impact

Results 1-6 (6)