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1.  Incidence and mortality of acute and chronic pancreatitis in the Netherlands: A nationwide record-linked cohort study for the years 1995-2005 
AIM: To analyze trends in incidence and mortality of acute pancreatitis (AP) and chronic pancreatitis (CP) in the Netherlands and for international standard populations.
METHODS: A nationwide cohort is identified through record linkage of hospital data for AP and CP, accumulated from three nationwide Dutch registries: the hospital discharge register, the population register, and the death certificate register. Sex- and age-group specific incidence rates of AP and CP are defined for the period 2000-2005 and mortality rates of AP and CP for the period 1995-2005. Additionally, incidence and mortality rates over time are reported for Dutch and international (European and World Health Organization) standard populations.
RESULTS: Incidence of AP per 100000 persons per year increased between 2000 and 2005 from 13.2 (95%CI: 12.6-13.8) to 14.7 (95%CI: 14.1-15.3). Incidence of AP for males increased from 13.8 (95%CI: 12.9-14.7) to 15.2 (95%CI: 14.3-16.1), for females from 12.7 (95%CI: 11.9-13.5) to 14.2 (95%CI: 13.4-15.1). Irregular patterns over time emerged for CP. Overall mean incidence per 100000 persons per year was 1.77, for males 2.16, and for females 1.4. Mortality for AP fluctuated during 1995-2005 between 6.9 and 11.7 per million persons per year and was almost similar for males and females. Concerning CP, mortality for males fluctuated between 1.1 (95%CI: 0.6-2.3) and 4.0 (95%CI: 2.8-5.8), for females between 0.7 (95%CI: 0.3-1.6) and 2.0 (95%CI: 1.2-3.2). Incidence and mortality of AP and CP increased markedly with age. Standardized rates were lowest for World Health Organization standard population.
CONCLUSION: Incidence of AP steadily increased while incidence of CP fluctuated. Mortality for both AP and CP remained fairly stable. Patient burden and health care costs probably will increase because of an ageing Dutch population.
PMCID: PMC3662941  PMID: 23716981
Acute pancreatitis; Chronic pancreatitis; Epidemiology; Incidence; Mortality
2.  Preoperative endoscopic versus percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage in potentially resectable perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (DRAINAGE trial): design and rationale of a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2015;15:20.
Liver surgery in perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (PHC) is associated with high postoperative morbidity because the tumor typically causes biliary obstruction. Preoperative biliary drainage is used to create a safer environment prior to liver surgery, but biliary drainage may be harmful when severe drainage-related complications deteriorate the patients’ condition or increase the risk of postoperative morbidity. Biliary drainage can cause cholangitis/cholecystitis, pancreatitis, hemorrhage, portal vein thrombosis, bowel wall perforation, or dehydration. Two methods of preoperative biliary drainage are mostly applied: endoscopic biliary drainage, which is currently used in most regional centers before referring patients for surgical treatment, and percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage. Both methods are associated with severe drainage-related complications, but two small retrospective series found a lower incidence in the number of preoperative complications after percutaneous drainage compared to endoscopic drainage (18-25% versus 38-60%, respectively). The present study randomizes patients with potentially resectable PHC and biliary obstruction between preoperative endoscopic or percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage.
The study is a multi-center trial with an “all-comers” design, randomizing patients between endoscopic or percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage. All patients selected to potentially undergo a major liver resection for presumed PHC are eligible for inclusion in the study provided that the biliary system in the future liver remnant is obstructed (even if they underwent previous inadequate endoscopic drainage). Primary outcome measure is the total number of severe preoperative complications between randomization and exploratory laparotomy. The study is designed to detect superiority of percutaneous drainage: a provisional sample size of 106 patients is required to detect a relative decrease of 50% in the number of severe preoperative complications (alpha = 0.95; beta = 0.8). Interim analysis after inclusion of 53 patients (50%) will provide the definitive sample size. Secondary outcome measures encompass the success of biliary drainage, quality of life, and postoperative morbidity and mortality.
The DRAINAGE trial is designed to identify a difference in the number of severe drainage-related complications after endoscopic and percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage in patients selected to undergo a major liver resection for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register [NTR4243, 11 October 2013].
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12876-015-0251-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4332425
Perihilar cholangiocarcinoma; Resection; Preoperative biliary drainage; Complications
3.  Randomized controlled multicentre study comparing biological mesh closure of the pelvic floor with primary perineal wound closure after extralevator abdominoperineal resection for rectal cancer (BIOPEX-study) 
BMC Surgery  2014;14:58.
Primary perineal wound closure after conventional abdominoperineal resection (cAPR) for rectal cancer has been the standard of care for many years. Since the introduction of neo-adjuvant radiotherapy and the extralevator APR (eAPR), oncological outcome has been improved, but at the cost of increased rates of perineal wound healing problems and perineal hernia. This has progressively increased the use of biological meshes, although not supported by sufficient evidence. The aim of this study is to determine the effectiveness of pelvic floor reconstruction using a biological mesh after standardized eAPR with neo-adjuvant (chemo)radiotherapy compared to primary perineal wound closure.
In this multicentre randomized controlled trial, patients with a clinical diagnosis of primary rectal cancer who are scheduled for eAPR after neo-adjuvant (chemo)radiotherapy will be considered eligible. Exclusion criteria are prior radiotherapy, sacral resection above S4/S5, allergy to pig products or polysorbate, collagen disorders, and severe systemic diseases affecting wound healing, except for diabetes. After informed consent, 104 patients will be randomized between standard care using primary wound closure of the perineum and the experimental arm consisting of suturing a biological mesh derived from porcine dermis in the pelvic floor defect, followed by perineal closure similar to the control arm. Patients will be followed for one year after the intervention and outcome assessors and patients will be blinded for the study treatment. The primary endpoint is the percentage of uncomplicated perineal wound healing, defined as a Southampton wound score of less than II on day 30. Secondary endpoints are hospital stay, incidence of perineal hernia, quality of life, and costs.
The BIOPEX-study is the first randomized controlled multicentre study to determine the additive value of using a biological mesh for perineal wound closure after eAPR with neo-adjuvant radiotherapy compared to primary perineal wound closure with regard to perineal wound healing and the occurrence of perineal hernia.
Trail registration number
NCT01927497 (
PMCID: PMC4158342  PMID: 25163547
Abdominoperineal resection; Rectal cancer; Radiotherapy; Primary perineal wound closure; Biological mesh; perineal wound infection; Perineal wound healing
4.  Modelling Gaucher disease progression: long-term enzyme replacement therapy reduces the incidence of splenectomy and bone complications 
Long-term complications and associated conditions of type 1 Gaucher Disease (GD) can include splenectomy, bone complications, pulmonary hypertension, Parkinson disease and malignancies. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) reverses cytopenia and reduces organomegaly. To study the effects of ERT on long-term complications and associated conditions, the course of Gaucher disease was modelled.
The cohort consisted of all diagnosed GD patients in the Netherlands. Mutually exclusive disease states were defined as ‘asymptomatic’, ‘signs/symptoms’, ‘recovery’, ‘splenectomy’, ‘bone complication’, ‘multiple complications’ and ‘malignancy’. A natural history (NH) cohort was delineated based upon historical data on Dutch patients before ERT was available. Cumulative incidence curves were composed for progression from each disease state to the next. Two scenarios were applied for the ERT cohort: time to complications was calculated from A. start of ERT; B. entering the previous disease state.
Median time for the development of signs and/or symptoms was 30.1 years (N = 73). In the NH cohort (N = 42), 9% had developed a bone complication after 10 years in the signs/symptoms phase, while 21% had undergone a splenectomy. In the ERT cohort (N = 29 (A), N = 28 (B)), 12% (A) or 4% (B) had developed a bone complication after 10 years in this phase and no patient was splenectomized. No patients in the NH cohort recovered, compared to 50% in the ERT cohort after 3.6 years (N = 28 (A)) or 22.4 years (N = 27 (B)) of treatment. Median time from a first to a second complication was 11 years in the NH cohort (N = 31), whereas 16 respectively 14 percent had developed a second complication after 10 years in the ERT cohort (N = 17, scenario A/B). Fourteen percent (scenario A/B) developed an associated malignancy after 10 years in the phase ‘multiple complications’ (N = 23). Associated malignancies occurred almost exclusively in advanced disease stages, therefore it is suggested that ERT reduces their incidence
Long-term ERT for GD can reduce the incidence of splenectomy and bone complications. As ERT prevents progression to more advanced stages of GD it will most likely result in a reduction of associated malignancies.
PMCID: PMC4226965  PMID: 25056340
5.  Gut-directed hypnotherapy in children with irritable bowel syndrome or functional abdominal pain (syndrome): a randomized controlled trial on self exercises at home using CD versus individual therapy by qualified therapists 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:140.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional abdominal pain (syndrome) (FAP(S)) are common pediatric disorders, characterized by chronic or recurrent abdominal pain. Treatment is challenging, especially in children with persisting symptoms. Gut-directed hypnotherapy (HT) performed by a therapist has been shown to be effective in these children, but is still unavailable to many children due to costs, a lack of qualified child-hypnotherapists and because it requires a significant investment of time by child and parent(s). Home-based hypnotherapy by means of exercises on CD has been shown effective as well, and has potential benefits, such as lower costs and less time investment. The aim of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) is to compare cost-effectiveness of individual HT performed by a qualified therapist with HT by means of CD recorded self-exercises at home in children with IBS or FAP(S).
260 children, aged 8-18 years with IBS or FAP(S) according to Rome III criteria are included in this currently conducted RCT with a follow-up period of one year. Children are randomized to either 6 sessions of individual HT given by a qualified therapist over a 3-month period or HT through self-exercises at home with CD for 3 months.
The primary outcome is the proportion of patients in which treatment is successful at the end of treatment and after one year follow-up. Treatment success is defined as at least 50% reduction in both abdominal pain frequency and intensity scores. Secondary outcomes include adequate relief, cost-effectiveness and effects of both therapies on depression and anxiety scores, somatization scores, QoL, pain beliefs and coping strategies.
If the effectiveness of home-based HT with CD is comparable to, or only slightly lower, than HT by a therapist, this treatment may become an attractive form of therapy in children with IBS or FAP(S), because of its low costs and direct availability.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register number NTR2725 (date of registration: 1 February 2011)
PMCID: PMC4060754  PMID: 24894077
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Functional abdominal pain (FAP); Functional abdominal pain syndrome (FAPS); Hypnotherapy; Children; Pediatrics; Hypnosis; Randomized controlled trial (RCT); Functional gastrointestinal disorders
6.  Update on the Preventive Antibiotics in Stroke Study (PASS): a randomised controlled phase 3 clinical trial 
Trials  2014;15:133.
Stroke is a leading cause of death worldwide. Infections after stroke occur in 30% of stroke patients and are strongly associated with unfavourable outcome. Preventive antibiotic therapy lowers infection rate in patients after stroke, however, the effect of preventive antibiotic treatment on functional outcome after stroke has not yet been investigated.The Preventive Antibiotics in Stroke Study (PASS) is an ongoing, multicentre, prospective, randomised, open-label, blinded end point trial of preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke. Patients are randomly assigned to either ceftriaxone at a dose of 2 g, given every 24 hours intravenously for four-days, in addition to stroke-unit care, or standard stroke-unit care without preventive antibiotic therapy. Aim of the study is to assess whether preventive antibiotic treatment improves functional outcome at three months by preventing infections.
To date, 2,470 patients have been included in PASS. Median stroke severity of the first 2,133 patients (second interim analysis) is 5 (IQR 3 to 9) on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). Due to the PROBE design, no outcome data are available yet. In the initial trial protocol we proposed a dichotomisation of the mRS as primary analysis of outcome and ordinal regression analysis as secondary analysis of primary outcome, requiring a sample size of 3,200 patients. However, ordinal analysis of outcome data is becoming increasingly more common in acute stroke trials, as it increases statistical power. For PASS, funding is insufficient for inclusion of 3,200 patients with the overall inclusion rate of 15 patients per week. Therefore we change the analysis of our primary outcome from dichotomisation to ordinal regression analysis on the mRS. Power analysis showed that with similar assumptions 2,550 patients are needed using ordinal regression analysis. We expect to complete follow-up in June 2014. A full statistical analysis plan will be submitted for publication before treatment allocation will be unblinded.
The data from PASS will establish whether preventive antibiotic therapy in acute stroke improves functional outcome by preventing infection. In this update, we changed our primary outcome analysis from dichotomisation to ordinal regression analysis.
Trial registration
Current controlled trials; ISRCTN66140176. Date of registration: 6 April 2010.
PMCID: PMC4000143  PMID: 24750904
Stroke; Infection; Antibiotics
7.  Cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy for type 1 Gaucher disease 
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) compared to standard medical care without ERT in the Dutch cohort of patients with type 1 Gaucher disease (GD I).
Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed using a life-time state-transition model of the disease’s natural course. Transition probabilities, effectiveness data and costs were derived from retrospective data and prospective follow-up of the Dutch study cohort.
The tertiary referral center for Gaucher disease in the Netherlands.
The Dutch cohort of patients with GD I.
ERT versus standard medical care without ERT in symptomatic patients.
Main outcome measures
Years free of end organ damage (YFEOD) (splenectomy, bone complication, malignancy, multiple complications), quality adjusted life years (QALY), and costs.
Over an 85 year lifetime, an untreated GD I patient will generate 48.9 YFEOD and 55.86 QALYs. Starting ERT in a symptomatic patient increases the YFEOD by 12.8 years, while the number of QALYs gained increases by 6.27. The average yearly ERT medication costs range between €124,000 and €258,000 per patient. The lifetime costs of ERT starting in the symptomatic stage are €5,716,473 against €171,780 without ERT, a difference of €5,544,693. Consequently, the extra costs per additional YFEOD or per additional QALY are €434,416 and €884,994 respectively. After discounting effects by 1.5% and costs by 4% and under a reasonable scenario of ERT unit cost reduction by 25%, these incremental cost-effectiveness ratios could decrease to €149,857 and €324,812 respectively.
ERT is a highly potential drug for GD I with substantial health gains. The conservatively estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios are substantially lower than for Pompe and Fabry disease. We suggest that the high effectiveness has contributed importantly to acceptance of reimbursement of ERT for GD I. The present study may further support discussions on acceptable price limits for ultra-orphan products.
PMCID: PMC4022049  PMID: 24731506
8.  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
9.  The influence of medical testing on patients’ health: an overview from the gynecologists’ perspective 
A medical tests may influence the health of patients by guiding clinical decisions, such as treatment in case of a positive test result. However, a medical test can influence the health of patients through other mechanisms as well, like giving reassurance. To make a clinical recommendation about a medical test, we should be aware of the full range of effects of that test on patients. This requires an understanding of the range of effects that medical testing can have on patients. This study evaluates the mechanisms through which medical testing can influence patients’ health, other than the effect on clinical management, from a gynecologist’s perspective.
A qualitative study in which explorative focus groups were conducted with gynecologists, gynecological residents and gynecological M.D. researchers (n = 43). Discussions were transcribed verbatim. Transcriptions were coded inductively and analyzed by three researchers.
All participants contributed various clinical examples in which medical testing had influenced patients’ health. Clinical examples illustrated that testing, in itself or in interaction with contextual factors, may provoke a wide range of effects on patients. Our data showed that testing can influence the doctor’s perceptions of the patients’ appraisal of their illness, their perceived control, or the doctor-patient relationship. This may lead to changes in psychological, behavioral, and/or medical outcomes, both favorably or unfavorably. The data were used to construct a conceptual framework of effects of medical testing on patients.
Besides supporting clinical decision making, medical testing may have favorable or unfavorable effects on patients’ health though several mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3842635  PMID: 24106969
Test evaluation; Patient outcomes; Diagnostic test; Methodology; Qualitative research
10.  Occurrence and preventability of adverse drug events in surgical patients: a systematic review of literature 
Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a considerable cause of inhospital morbidity and mortality. Patient flow differs substantially for surgical and nonsurgical patients: surgical patients are subjected to multiple medication changes related to surgical intervention or postoperative care. The objective of this study is to systematically review the occurrence and nature of ADEs in surgical patients. Also, a comparison with nonsurgical patients was made.
A search was conducted in Embase and Medline identifying studies that reported observational data on the occurrence and nature of ADEs in surgical hospitalised adult patients. If sufficient data were available, the occurrence of (preventable) ADEs was compared between surgical and nonsurgical patients.
Six studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The occurrence of ADEs in surgical patients ranged from 2.0 to 27.7 per 100 admissions, from 4.7 to 8.9 per 1,000 patient days, or involved 8.9% of the patients. Proportions of preventable ADEs in surgical patients were 18% and 54%, described in two studies. A head-to-head comparison of surgical patients and nonsurgical patients was possible for five of six studies. The occurrence of ADEs in nonsurgical patients was significantly higher than in surgical patients in three studies.
ADEs are a relevant problem in surgical patients and nonsurgical patients, with a high proportion of preventable ADEs. The occurrence of ADEs appears to be higher in nonsurgical patients than in surgical patients. However, studies lack details on the differences in nature of ADEs between hospital populations. To improve medication safety this knowledge is essential.
PMCID: PMC3852674  PMID: 24074346
Adverse drug events; Occurrence; Preventability; Nature; Surgical patient; Nonsurgical patient
11.  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
12.  Cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease 
The cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) compared to standard medical care was evaluated in the Dutch cohort of patients with Fabry disease.
Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed using a life-time state-transition model. Transition probabilities, effectiveness data and costs were derived from retrospective data and prospective follow-up of the Dutch study cohort consisting of males and females aged 5–78 years. Intervention with ERT (either agalsidase alfa or agalsidase beta) was compared to the standard medical care. The main outcome measures were years without end organ damage (renal, cardiac en cerebrovascular complications), quality adjusted life years (QALYs), and costs.
Over a 70 year lifetime, an untreated Fabry patient will generate 55.0 years free of end-organ damage (53.5 years in males, 56.9 years in females) and 48.6 QALYs (47.8 in males, 49.7 in females). Starting ERT in a symptomatic patient increases the number of years free of end-organ damage by 1.5 year (1.6 in males, 1.3 in females), while the number of QALYs gained increases by a similar amount (1.7 in males, 1.4 in females). The costs of ERT starting in the symptomatic stage are between €9 - €10 million (£ 7.9 - £ 8.8 million, $13.0- $14.5 million) during a patient’s lifetime. Consequently, the extra costs per additional year free of end-organ damage and the extra costs per additional QALY range from €5.5 - €7.5 million (£ 4.8 – £ 6.6 million, $ 8.0 – $ 10.8 million), undiscounted.
In symptomatic patients with Fabry disease, ERT has limited effect on quality of life and progression to end organ damage. The pharmaco-economic evaluation shows that this modest effectiveness drives the costs per QALY and the costs per year free of end-organ damage to millions of euros. Differentiation of patients who may benefit from ERT should be improved to enhance cost-effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3598841  PMID: 23421808
13.  A multicenter, randomized controlled trial of immediate total-body CT scanning in trauma patients (REACT-2) 
Computed tomography (CT) scanning has become essential in the early diagnostic phase of trauma care because of its high diagnostic accuracy. The introduction of multi-slice CT scanners and infrastructural improvements made total-body CT scanning technically feasible and its usage is currently becoming common practice in several trauma centers. However, literature provides limited evidence whether immediate total-body CT leads to better clinical outcome then conventional radiographic imaging supplemented with selective CT scanning in trauma patients. The aim of the REACT-2 trial is to determine the value of immediate total-body CT scanning in trauma patients.
The REACT-2 trial is an international, multicenter randomized clinical trial. All participating trauma centers have a multi-slice CT scanner located in the trauma room or at the Emergency Department (ED). All adult, non-pregnant, severely injured trauma patients according to predefined criteria will be included. Patients in whom direct scanning will hamper necessary cardiopulmonary resuscitation or who require an immediate operation because of imminent death (both as judged by the trauma team leader) are excluded. Randomization will be computer assisted. The intervention group will receive a contrast-enhanced total-body CT scan (head to pelvis) during the primary survey. The control group will be evaluated according to local conventional trauma imaging protocols (based on ATLS guidelines) supplemented with selective CT scanning. Primary outcome will be in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes are differences in mortality and morbidity during the first year post trauma, several trauma work-up time intervals, radiation exposure, general health and quality of life at 6 and 12 months post trauma and cost-effectiveness.
The REACT-2 trial is a multicenter randomized clinical trial that will provide evidence on the value of immediate total-body CT scanning during the primary survey of severely injured trauma patients. If immediate total-body CT scanning is found to be the best imaging strategy in severely injured trauma patients it could replace conventional imaging supplemented with CT in this specific group.
Trial Registration (NCT01523626).
PMCID: PMC3361475  PMID: 22458247
14.  The Academic Medical Center Linear Disability Score for evaluation of physical reserve on admission to the ICU: can we query the relatives? 
Critical Care  2011;15(5):R212.
Evaluating the pre-morbid functional status in critically ill patients is important and frequently done using the physical component score (PCS) of the Short Form 36, although this approach has its limitations. The Academic Medical Center Linear Disability Score (ALDS) is a recently developed generic item bank used to measure the disability status of patients with a broad range of diseases. We aimed to study whether proxy scoring with the ALDS could be used to assess the patients' functional status on admission for cardiac care unit (CCU) or ICU patients and how the ALDS relates to the PCS using the Short Form 12 (SF-12).
Patients and proxies completed the ALDS and SF-12 score in the first 72 hours following ICU scheduled surgery (n = 14), ICU emergency admission (n = 56) and CCU emergency admission (n = 70).
In all patients (n = 140) a significant intra-class correlation was found for the ALDS (0.857), the PCS (0.798) and the mental component score (0.679) between patients and their proxy. In both scheduled and emergency admissions, a significant correlation was found between patients and their proxy for the ALDS, although the lowest correlation was found for the ICU scheduled admissions (0.755) compared with the ICU emergency admissions (0.889). In CCU patients, the highest significant correlation between patients and proxies was found for the ALDS (0.855), for the PCS (0.807) and for the mental component score (0.740).
Relatives in close contact with critically ill patients can adequately reflect the patient's level of disability on ICU and CCU admission when using the ALDS item bank, which performed at least as well as the PCS. The ALDS could therefore be a useful alternative for the PCS of the SF-12.
PMCID: PMC3334756  PMID: 21917138
15.  Rationale and design of the plate or pin (pop) study for dislocated midshaft clavicular fractures: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Trials  2011;12:177.
To describe the rationale and design of a future study comparing results of plate fixation and Elastic Stable Intramedullary Nailing (ESIN) with a Titanium Elastic Nail (TEN) for adults with a dislocated midshaft clavicular fracture.
Prospective randomized multicenter clinical trial in two level 1 and one level 2 trauma centers. 120 patients between 18 and 65 years of age will be included. They are randomized to either plate fixation or ESIN with a TEN with a one year follow-up. Sixty patients will be treated with plate fixation and 60 patients will be treated with ESIN. Primary outcome parameter is the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score after 6 months. Secondary outcome parameters are Constant Shoulder Score, complications, experienced pain, radiologic consolidation and cosmetics after both procedures.
Prospective randomized studies comparing operative techniques for treatment of dislocated midshaft clavicular fracture are lacking. By studying shoulder function, complications, quality of life, radiographic union, cosmetics as well as experienced pain, a complete efficacy assessment of both procedures will be performed.
Trial registration
The POP study is registered in the Dutch Trial Register (NTR NTR2438).
PMCID: PMC3160903  PMID: 21762476
16.  Fracture Surgery of the extremities with the intra-operative use of 3D-RX: A randomized multicenter trial (EF3X-trial) 
Posttraumatic osteoarthritis can develop after an intra-articular extremity fracture, leading to pain and loss of function. According to international guidelines, anatomical reduction and fixation are the basis for an optimal functional result. In order to achieve this during fracture surgery, an optimal view on the position of the bone fragments and fixation material is a necessity. The currently used 2D-fluoroscopy does not provide sufficient insight, in particular in cases with complex anatomy or subtle injury, and even an 18-26% suboptimal fracture reduction is reported for the ankle and foot. More intra-operative information is therefore needed.
Recently the 3D-RX-system was developed, which provides conventional 2D-fluoroscopic images as well as a 3D-reconstruction of bony structures. This modality provides more information, which consequently leads to extra corrections in 18-30% of the fracture operations. However, the effect of the extra corrections on the quality of the anatomical fracture reduction and fixation as well as on patient relevant outcomes has never been investigated.
The objective of this study protocol is to investigate the effectiveness of the intra-operative use of the 3D-RX-system as compared to the conventional 2D-fluoroscopy in patients with traumatic intra-articular fractures of the wrist, ankle and calcaneus. The effectiveness will be assessed in two different areas: 1) the quality of fracture reduction and fixation, based on the current golden standard, Computed Tomography. 2) The patient-relevant outcomes like functional outcome range of motion and pain. In addition, the diagnostic accuracy of the 3D-RX-scan will be determined in a clinical setting and a cost-effectiveness as well as a cost-utility analysis will be performed.
In this protocol for an international multicenter randomized clinical trial, adult patients (age > 17 years) with a traumatic intra-articular fracture of the wrist, ankle or calcaneus eligible for surgery will be subjected to additional intra-operative 3D-RX. In half of the patients the surgeon will be blinded to these results, in the other half the surgeon may use the 3D-RX results to further optimize fracture reduction. In both randomization groups a CT-scan will be performed postoperatively. Based on these CT-scans the quality of fracture reduction and fixation will be determined. During the follow-up visits after hospital discharge at 6 and 12 weeks and 1 year postoperatively the patient relevant outcomes will be determined by joint specific, health economic and quality of life questionnaires. In addition a follow up study will be performed to determine the patient relevant outcomes and prevalence of posttraumatic osteoarthritis at 2 and 5 years postoperatively.
The results of the study will provide more information on the effectiveness of the intra-operative use of 3D-imaging during surgical treatment of intra-articular fractures of the wrist, ankle and calcaneus. A randomized design in which patients will be allocated to a treatment arm during surgery will be used because of its high methodological quality and the ability to detect incongruences in the reduction and/or fixation that occur intra-operatively in the blinded arm of the 3D-RX. An alternative, pragmatic design could be to randomize before the start of the surgery, then two surgical strategies would be compared. This resembles clinical practice better, but introduces more bias and does not allow the assessment of incongruences that would have been detected by 3D-RX in the blinded arm.
Trial registration
Dutch Trial Register NTR 1902
PMCID: PMC3152540  PMID: 21733185
Fracture; Wrist; Ankle; Calcaneus; Intra-operative imaging; 2D-fluoroscopy; 3D-imaging; Conebeam-CT; 3D-RX
17.  Effect of remote ischemic conditioning on atrial fibrillation and outcome after coronary artery bypass grafting (RICO-trial) 
BMC Anesthesiology  2011;11:11.
Pre- and postconditioning describe mechanisms whereby short ischemic periods protect an organ against a longer period of ischemia. Interestingly, short ischemic periods of a limb, in itself harmless, may increase the ischemia tolerance of remote organs, e.g. the heart (remote conditioning, RC). Although several studies have shown reduced biomarker release by RC, a reduction of complications and improvement of patient outcome still has to be demonstrated. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common complications after coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), affecting 27-46% of patients. It is associated with increased mortality, adverse cardiovascular events, and prolonged in-hospital stay. We hypothesize that remote ischemic pre- and/or post-conditioning reduce the incidence of AF following CABG, and improve patient outcome.
This study is a randomized, controlled, patient and investigator blinded multicenter trial. Elective CABG patients are randomized to one of the following four groups: 1) control, 2) remote ischemic preconditioning, 3) remote ischemic postconditioning, or 4) remote ischemic pre- and postconditioning. Remote conditioning is applied at the arm by 3 cycles of 5 minutes of ischemia and reperfusion. Primary endpoint is the incidence AF in the first 72 hours after surgery, detected using a Holter-monitor. Secondary endpoints include length-of-stay on the intensive care unit and in-hospital, and the occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events at 30 days, 3 months and 1 year.
Based on an expected incidence in the control group of 27%, 195 patients per group are needed to detect with 80% power a reduction by 45% following either pre- or postconditioning, while allowing for a 10% dropout and at an alpha of 0.05. With the combined intervention expected to be stronger, we need 75 patients in this group to detect a reduction in incidence of AF of 60%.
The RICO-trial (the effect of Remote Ischemic Conditioning on atrial fibrillation and Outcome) is a randomized controlled multicenter trial, designed to investigate whether remote ischemic pre- and/or post-conditioning of the arm reduce the incidence of AF following CABG surgery.
Trial registration under NCT01107184.
PMCID: PMC3119027  PMID: 21605453
18.  Cost-effectiveness of ward-based pharmacy care in surgical patients: protocol of the SUREPILL (Surgery & Pharmacy In Liaison) study 
Preventable adverse drug events (pADEs) are widely known to be a health care issue for hospitalized patients. Surgical patients are especially at risk, but prevention of pADEs in this population is not demonstrated before. Ward-based pharmacy interventions seem effective in reducing pADEs in medical patients. The cost-effectiveness of these preventive efforts still needs to be assessed in a comparative study of high methodological standard and also in the surgical population. For these aims the SUREPILL (Surgery & Pharmacy in Liaison) study is initiated.
A multi-centre controlled trial, with randomisation at ward-level and preceding baseline assessments is designed. Patients admitted to the surgical study wards for elective surgery with an expected length of stay of more than 48 hours will be included. Patients admitted to the intervention ward, will receive ward-based pharmacy care from the clinical pharmacy team, i.e. pharmacy practitioners and hospital pharmacists. This ward-based pharmacy intervention includes medication reconciliation in consultation with the patient at admission, daily medication review with face-to-face contact with the ward doctor, and patient counselling at discharge. Patients admitted in the control ward, will receive standard pharmaceutical care.
The primary clinical outcome measure is the number of pADEs per 100 elective admissions. These pADEs will be measured by systematic patient record evaluation using a trigger tool. Patient records positive for a trigger will be evaluated on causality, severity and preventability by an independent expert panel. In addition, an economic evaluation will be performed from a societal perspective with the costs per preventable ADE as the primary economic outcome. Other outcomes of this study are: severity of pADEs, number of patients with pADEs per total number of admissions, direct (non-)medical costs and indirect non-medical costs, extra costs per prevented ADE, number and type of pharmacy interventions, length of hospital stay, complications registered in a national complication registration system for surgery, number of readmissions within three months after initial admission (follow-up), quality of life and number of non-institutionalized days during follow-up.
This study will assess the cost-effectiveness of ward-based pharmacy care on preventable adverse drug events in surgical patients from a societal perspective, using a comparative study design.
Trial registration
Netherlands Trial Register (NTR): NTR2258
PMCID: PMC3059300  PMID: 21385352
19.  Protocol for the CUPIDO trials; multicenter randomized controlled trials to assess the value of combining prolapse surgery and incontinence surgery in patients with genital prolapse and evident stress incontinence (CUPIDO I) and in patients with genital prolapse and occult stress incontinence (CUPIDO II) 
BMC Women's Health  2010;10:16.
About 40% of all patients with genital prolapse report stress-incontinence. In about half of the 60% patients that do not report stress-incontinence, occult urinary stress-incontinence can be detected. In these patients stress-incontinence is masked due to kinking or compression of the urethra by the prolapse.
In case surgical correction is indicated there are two strategies to manage patients with combined prolapse and (occult) stress incontinence. This strategy is either (i) a combination of prolapse surgery and stress-incontinence surgery or (ii) to correct the prolapse first and evaluate afterwards whether additional stress-incontinence surgery is indicated. The advantage of combining prolapse and stress-incontinence surgery is that only few patients report stress-incontinence following such combination. However, this combination has been associated with an increased risk on complications, of which the development of obstructive micturition symptoms, overactive bladder symptoms and bladder retention are the most important ones. Furthermore, combining two procedures may be unnecessary as performing only prolapse surgery may cure stress-incontinence
In the randomized CUPIDO trials both strategies are compared in patients with prolapse and evident stress incontinence (CUPIDO I trial) and in patients with prolapse and occult stress incontinence (CUPIDO II trial).
The CUPIDO trials are two multicenter randomized controlled trials in which women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or occult stress urinary incontinence (OSUI) are randomized to prolapse surgery combined with anti incontinence surgery (concomitant surgery) or to prolapse surgery only. Patients with at least stage 2 POP are eligible, women with evident SUI are randomized in CUPIDO I. Patients without SUI are eligible for CUPIDO II and will have urodynamic evaluation or a standardized redression test. Women with OSUI are randomized, women without OSUI are followed up but not randomized.
The primary outcome measure is absence of SUI twelve months after surgery. Furthermore, economic evaluations are conducted, and the effectiveness of urodynamic investigation is evaluated against a non-invasive way to determine SUI in women with POP.
A total of 450 women will be included in the study.
Trial Registration
Trial registration NTRR 1197 en 1070
PMCID: PMC2879229  PMID: 20459818
20.  Transanal endoscopic microsurgery versus endoscopic mucosal resection for large rectal adenomas (TREND-study) 
BMC Surgery  2009;9:4.
Recent non-randomized studies suggest that extended endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is equally effective in removing large rectal adenomas as transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM). If equally effective, EMR might be a more cost-effective approach as this strategy does not require expensive equipment, general anesthesia and hospital admission. Furthermore, EMR appears to be associated with fewer complications.
The aim of this study is to compare the cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of TEM and EMR for the resection of large rectal adenomas.
Multicenter randomized trial among 15 hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients with a rectal adenoma ≥ 3 cm, located between 1–15 cm ab ano, will be randomized to a TEM- or EMR-treatment strategy. For TEM, patients will be treated under general anesthesia, adenomas will be dissected en-bloc by a full-thickness excision, and patients will be admitted to the hospital. For EMR, no or conscious sedation is used, lesions will be resected through the submucosal plane in a piecemeal fashion, and patients will be discharged from the hospital. Residual adenoma that is visible during the first surveillance endoscopy at 3 months will be removed endoscopically in both treatment strategies and is considered as part of the primary treatment.
Primary outcome measure is the proportion of patients with recurrence after 3 months. Secondary outcome measures are: 2) number of days not spent in hospital from initial treatment until 2 years afterwards; 3) major and minor morbidity; 4) disease specific and general quality of life; 5) anorectal function; 6) health care utilization and costs. A cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis of EMR against TEM for large rectal adenomas will be performed from a societal perspective with respectively the costs per recurrence free patient and the cost per quality adjusted life year as outcome measures.
Based on comparable recurrence rates for TEM and EMR of 3.3% and considering an upper-limit of 10% for EMR to be non-inferior (beta-error 0.2 and one-sided alpha-error 0.05), 89 patients are needed per group.
The TREND study is the first randomized trial evaluating whether TEM or EMR is more cost-effective for the treatment of large rectal adenomas.
Trial registration number
( NTR1422
PMCID: PMC2664790  PMID: 19284647
21.  An evaluation of a Shockroom located CT scanner: a randomized study of early assessment by CT scanning in trauma patients in the bi-located trauma center North-West Netherlands (REACT trial) 
Trauma is a major source of morbidity and mortality, especially in people below the age of 50 years. For the evaluation of trauma patients CT scanning has gained wide acceptance in and provides detailed information on location and severity of injuries. However, CT scanning is frequently time consuming due to logistical (location of CT scanner elsewhere in the hospital) and technical issues. An innovative and unique infrastructural change has been made in the AMC in which the CT scanner is transported to the patient instead of the patient to the CT scanner. As a consequence, early shockroom CT scanning provides an all-inclusive multifocal diagnostic modality that can detect (potentially life-threatening) injuries in an earlier stage, so that therapy can be directed based on these findings.
The REACT-trial is a prospective, randomized trial, comparing two Dutch level-1 trauma centers, respectively the VUmc and AMC, with the only difference being the location of the CT scanner (respectively in the Radiology Department and in the shockroom). All trauma patients that are transported to the AMC or VUmc shockroom according to the current prehospital triage system are included. Patients younger than 16 years of age and patients who die during transport are excluded. Randomization will be performed prehospitally.
Study parameters are the number of days outside the hospital during the first year following the trauma (primary outcome), general health at 6 and 12 months post trauma, mortality and morbidity, and various time intervals during initial evaluation. In addition a cost-effectiveness analysis of this shockroom concept will be performed.
Regarding primary outcome it is estimated that the common standard deviation of days spent outside of the hospital during the first year following trauma is a total of 12 days. To detect an overall difference of 2 days within the first year between the two strategies, 562 patients per group are needed. (alpha 0.95 and beta 0.80).
The REACT-trial will provide evidence on the effects of a strategy involving early shockroom CT scanning compared with a standard diagnostic imaging strategy in trauma patients on both patient outcome and operations research.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2532999  PMID: 18721455
22.  Optimization of diagnostic imaging use in patients with acute abdominal pain (OPTIMA): Design and rationale 
The acute abdomen is a frequent entity at the Emergency Department (ED), which usually needs rapid and accurate diagnostic work-up. Diagnostic work-up with imaging can consist of plain X-ray, ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT) and even diagnostic laparoscopy. However, no evidence-based guidelines exist in current literature. The actual diagnostic work-up of a patient with acute abdominal pain presenting to the ED varies greatly between hospitals and physicians. The OPTIMA study was designed to provide the evidence base for constructing an optimal diagnostic imaging guideline for patients with acute abdominal pain at the ED.
Thousand consecutive patients with abdominal pain > 2 hours and < 5 days will be enrolled in this multicentre trial. After clinical history, physical and laboratory examination all patients will undergo a diagnostic imaging protocol, consisting of plain X-ray (upright chest and supine abdomen), US and CT. The reference standard will be a post hoc assignment of the final diagnosis by an expert panel. The focus of the analysis will be on the added value of the imaging modalities over history and clinical examination, relative to the incremental costs.
This study aims to provide the evidence base for the development of a diagnostic algorithm that can act as a guideline for ED physicians to evaluate patients with acute abdominal pain.
PMCID: PMC1976317  PMID: 17683592
23.  The Academic Medical Center Linear Disability Score (ALDS) item bank: item response theory analysis in a mixed patient population 
Currently, there is a lot of interest in the flexible framework offered by item banks for measuring patient relevant outcomes. However, there are few item banks, which have been developed to quantify functional status, as expressed by the ability to perform activities of daily life. This paper examines the measurement properties of the Academic Medical Center linear disability score item bank in a mixed population.
This paper uses item response theory to analyse data on 115 of 170 items from a total of 1002 respondents. These were: 551 (55%) residents of supported housing, residential care or nursing homes; 235 (23%) patients with chronic pain; 127 (13%) inpatients on a neurology ward following a stroke; and 89 (9%) patients suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Of the 170 items, 115 were judged to be clinically relevant. Of these 115 items, 77 were retained in the item bank following the item response theory analysis. Of the 38 items that were excluded from the item bank, 24 had either been presented to fewer than 200 respondents or had fewer than 10% or more than 90% of responses in the category 'can carry out'. A further 11 items had different measurement properties for younger and older or for male and female respondents. Finally, 3 items were excluded because the item response theory model did not fit the data.
The Academic Medical Center linear disability score item bank has promising measurement characteristics for the mixed patient population described in this paper. Further studies will be needed to examine the measurement properties of the item bank in other populations.
PMCID: PMC1327691  PMID: 16381611

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