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1.  Pudendal nerve decompression in perineology : a case series 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:15.
Perineodynia (vulvodynia, perineal pain, proctalgia), anal and urinary incontinence are the main symptoms of the pudendal canal syndrome (PCS) or entrapment of the pudendal nerve. The first aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of bilateral pudendal nerve decompression (PND) on the symptoms of the PCS, on three clinical signs (abnormal sensibility, painful Alcock's canal, painful "skin rolling test") and on two neurophysiological tests: electromyography (EMG) and pudendal nerve terminal motor latencies (PNTML). The second aim was to study the clinical value of the aforementioned clinical signs in the diagnosis of PCS.
In this retrospective analysis, the studied sample comprised 74 female patients who underwent a bilateral PND between 1995 and 2002. To accomplish the first aim, the patients sample was compared before and at least one year after surgery by means of descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing. The second aim was achieved by means of a statistical comparison between the patient's group before the operation and a control group of 82 women without any of the following signs: prolapse, anal incontinence, perineodynia, dyschesia and history of pelvi-perineal surgery.
When bilateral PND was the only procedure done to treat the symptoms, the cure rates of perineodynia, anal incontinence and urinary incontinence were 8/14, 4/5 and 3/5, respectively. The frequency of the three clinical signs was significantly reduced. There was a significant reduction of anal and perineal PNTML and a significant increase of anal richness on EMG. The Odd Ratio of the three clinical signs in the diagnosis of PCS was 16,97 (95% CI = 4,68 – 61,51).
This study suggests that bilateral PND can treat perineodynia, anal and urinary incontinence. The three clinical signs of PCS seem to be efficient to suspect this diagnosis. There is a need for further studies to confirm these preliminary results.
PMCID: PMC529451  PMID: 15516268
2.  External metallic circle in hepaticojejunostomy 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:14.
Biliary-enteric anastomosis especially Roux-en Y hepaticojejunostomy is frequently used for biliary diversion in benign biliary strictures. In this study, we present the results of hepaticojejunostomy with external metallic circle.
Hepaticojejunostomy with external metallic circle were performed in eight male Sprague-Dawley rats. At the end of the third month, anastomoses were analysed for patency and stability of external circles.
Relaparotomy revealed that all the anastomoses were patent and circles were in original places.
To provide the patency of narrow hepaticojejunostomy anastomoses, external metallic circle can be a good alternative to use of internal stents in suitable cases.
PMCID: PMC526374  PMID: 15469611
3.  Electroesophagogram in gastroesophageal reflux disease with a new theory on the pathogenesis of its electric changes 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:13.
In view of the disturbed esophageal peristaltic activity and abnormal esophageal motility in gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD), we investigated the hypothesis that these changes result from a disordered myoelectric activity of the esophagus.
The electric activity of the esophagus (electroesophagogram, EEG) was studied in 27 patients with GERD (16 men, 11 women, mean age 42.6 ± 5.2 years) and 10 healthy volunteers as controls (6 men, 4 women, mean age 41.4 ± 4.9 years). According to the Feussner scoring system, 7 patients had a mild (score 1), 10 a moderate (score 2) and 10 a severe (score 3) stage of the disease. One electrode was applied to the upper third and a second to the lower third of the esophagus, and the electric activity was recorded. The test was repeated after the upper electrode had been moved to the mid-esophagus.
The EEG of the healthy volunteers showed slow waves and exhibited the same frequency, amplitude and conduction velocity from the 2 electrodes of the individual subject, regardless of their location in the upper, middle or lower esophagus. Action potentials occurred randomly. In GERD patients, score 1 exhibited electric waves' variables similar to those of the healthy volunteers. In score 2, the waves recorded irregular rhythm and lower variables than the controls. Score 3 showed a "silent" EEG without waves.
The electric activity in GERD exhibited 3 different patterns depending on the stages of GERD. Score 1 exhibited a normal EEG which apparently denotes normal esophageal motility. Score 2 recorded irregular electric waves variables which are presumably indicative of decreased esophageal motility and reflux clearance. In score 3, a "silent" EEG was recorded with probably no acid clearance. It is postulated that the interstitial cells of Cajal which are the electric activity generators, are involved in the inflammatory process of GERD. Destruction of these cells appears to occur in grades that are in accordance with GERD scores. The EEG seems to have the potential to act as an investigative tool in the diagnosis of GERD stages.
PMCID: PMC526194  PMID: 15462680
Slow waves; action potentials; acid reflux; GERD; gastroesophageal reflux disease
4.  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
5.  Development of a perioperative medicine research agenda: a cross sectional survey 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:11.
Post-operative complications are a significant source of morbidity and mortality for patients undergoing surgery. However, there is little research in the emerging field of perioperative medicine beyond cardiac risk stratification. We sought to determine the research priorities for perioperative medicine using a cross sectional survey of Canadian and American general internists.
Surveys were electronically sent to 312 general internists from the Canadian Society of Internal Medicine and 130 internists from the perioperative medicine research interest group within the US based Society of General Internal Medicine. The questionnaire contained thirty research questions and respondents were asked to rate the priority of these questions for future study.
The research topics with the highest ratings included: the need for tight control of diabetes mellitus postoperatively and the value of starting aspirin on patients at increased risk for postoperative cardiac events. Research questions evaluating the efficacy and safety of perioperative interventions had higher ratings than questions relating to the prediction of postoperative risk. Questions relating to the yield of preoperative diagnostic tests had the lowest ratings (p < 0.001 for differences across these categories).
The results of this survey suggest that practicing general internists believe that interventions studies are a priority within perioperative medicine. These findings should help prioritize research in this emerging field.
PMCID: PMC521487  PMID: 15377387
6.  Radiation enteropathy and leucocyte-endothelial cell reactions in a refined small bowel model 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:10.
Leucocyte recruitment and inflammation are key features of high dose radiation-induced tissue injury. The inflammatory response in the gut may be more pronounced following radiotherapy due to its high bacterial load in comparison to the response in other organs. We designed a model to enable us to study the effects of radiation on leucocyte-endothelium interactions and on intestinal microflora in the murine ileum. This model enables us to study specifically the local effects of radiation therapy.
A midline laparotomy was performed in male C57/Bl6 mice and a five-centimetre segment of ileum is irradiated using the chamber. Leucocyte responses (rolling and adhesion) were then analysed in ileal venules 2 – 48 hours after high dose irradiation, made possible by an inverted approach using intravital fluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, intestinal microflora, myeloperoxidase (MPO) and cell histology were analysed.
The highest and most reproducible increase in leucocyte rolling was exhibited 2 hours after high dose irradiation whereas leucocyte adhesion was greatest after 16 hours. Radiation reduced the intestinal microflora count compared to sham animals with a significant decrease in the aerobic count after 2 hours of radiation. Further, the total aerobic counts, Enterobacteriaceae and Lactobacillus decreased significantly after 16 hours. In the radiation groups, the bacterial count showed a progressive increase from 2 to 24 hours after radiation.
This study presents a refinement of a previous method of examining mechanisms of radiation enteropathy, and a new approach at investigating radiation induced leucocyte responses in the ileal microcirculation. Radiation induced maximum leucocyte rolling at 2 hours and adhesion peaked at 16 hours. It also reduces the microflora count, which then starts to increase steadily afterwards. This model may be instrumental in developing strategies against pathological recruitment of leucocytes and changes in intestinal microflora in the small bowel after radiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC522820  PMID: 15363103
7.  Graft calcifications and dysfunction following liver transplantation 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:9.
The molecular events, following ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) of the liver during transplantation are largely unknown. There is evidence that apoptotic and necrotic events may take place, and occasionally result in primary graft dysfunction. We herein report two cases, where significant I/R injury correlated with the development of liver calcification and primary liver dysfunction.
Case Presentation
Both patients with clinical and biochemical evidence of primary graft dysfunction demonstrated calcification at light and electron microscopy levels. In addition, one patient had macroscopic evidence of calcification on cross-sectional imaging. Both patients died secondary to the sequelae of the graft dysfunction.
Severe I/R-induced injury to the liver, clinically leads to graft dysfunction. This is due to advanced apoptotic and/or necrotic events at the hepatocyte level that may, on the most severe form, lead to calcification. The study of microcalcification at the early posttransplant period could provide insight in the events taking place following significant ischemia/reperfusion-induced injury to the graft.
PMCID: PMC517503  PMID: 15347427
Liver Transplantation; Ischemia; Reperfusion; Graft Dysfunction; Outcome
8.  Modified capitonage in partial cystectomy performed for liver hydatid disease: Report of 2 cases 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:8.
Several techniques have been described in liver hydatid disease surgery, with most well known partial cystectomy, capitonage and introflexion.
We present a technical modification on open partial cystectomy for liver hydatid disease. We performed this operation in 2 patients with liver echinococcosis. The cyst is being unroofed and evacuated from the daughter cysts. The identified bile vessels ligated. The remnants of the anterior wall (capsule of the cyst) are anchored with sutures in the posterior wall in a manner that the cavity of the cyst disappears.
In both patients the disease eradicated. No postoperative complications were observed including bile leaking and/or abscess formation.
Our technique helps in the fast, and effective mobilization of the patient, as well as in the minimization of postoperative bile leaking.
PMCID: PMC446201  PMID: 15222891
partial cystectomy; hydatid disease; echinococcosis; surgical treatment of hydatid disease
9.  Is amiodarone a safe antiarrhythmic to use in supraventricular tachyarrhythmias after lung cancer surgery? 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:7.
Supraventricular arrhythmias after thoracotomy for pulmonary resections are well documented. There has been considerable interest in their incidence, nature, predictability from preoperative assessment and treatment. The purpose of this study is to define prevalence, type, risk factors for post-thoracotomy supraventricular arrhythmias and to assess the efficacy of amiodarone as an antiarrhythmic drug.
The records of 250 patients undergoing pulmonary resection for lung cancer during last two years were followed up in this prospective study with particular attention to possible risk factors (gender, age, extent and side of resection, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, tobacco smoking, beta-blocker ingestion). Patients underwent biopsy only were excluded. Once onset of supraventricular arrhythmia was monitored or documented in the electrocardiogram, intravenous infusion of amiodarone was started with a loading dose of 5 mg/kg in 30 minutes and a maintenance dose of 15 mg/kg until remission of it.
Forty-three episodes (21.6%) of supraventricular arrhythmias were documented with atrial fibrillation being the most common (88.3%). Rhythm disturbances were most likely to develop on the second postoperative day. Pneumonectomy, lobectomy and age >65 years were the statistically significant factors. The overall postoperative mortality was 3.2% and 2.3% for the patients with postoperative supraventricular arrhythmias. In none of the cases did supraventricular arrhythmia cause cardiac failure leading to death. Sinus rhythm was achieved with amiodarone in 37 out of 43 patients (86%). Electrical cardioversion was necessary for 6 patients who were hemodynamically unstable. The most common amiodarone-related complication was bradycardia (13.5%).
Postoperative supraventricular arrhythmias are a common complication in elderly patients undergoing lung resection surgery (especially pneumonectomy or lobectomy). Amiodarone is both safe and effective in establishing sinus rhythm.
PMCID: PMC434512  PMID: 15191616
10.  Early rectal stenosis following stapled rectal mucosectomy for hemorrhoids 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:6.
Within the last years, stapled rectal mucosectomy (SRM) has become a widely accepted procedure for second and third degree hemorrhoids. One of the delayed complications is a stenosis of the lower rectum. In order to evaluate the specific problem of rectal stenosis following SRM we reviewed our data with special respect to potential predictive factors or stenotic events.
A retrospective analysis of 419 consecutive patients, which underwent SRM from December 1998 to August 2003 was performed. Only patients with at least one follow-up check were evaluated, thus the analysis includes 289 patients with a mean follow-up of 281 days (±18 days).
For statistic analysis the groups with and without stenosis were evaluated using the Chi-Square Test, using the Kaplan-Meier statistic the actuarial incidence for rectal stenosis was plotted.
Rectal stenosis was observed in 9 patients (3.1%), eight of these stenoses were detected within the first 100 days after surgery; the median time to stenosis was 95 days. Only one patient had a rectal stenosis after more than one year. 8 of the 9 patients had no obstructive symptoms, however the remaining patients complained of obstructive defecation and underwent surgery for transanal strictureplasty with electrocautery. A statistical analysis revealed that patients with stenosis had significantly more often prior treatment for hemorrhoids (p < 0.01). According to the SRM only severe postoperative pain was significantly associated with stenoses (p < 0.01). Other factors, such as gender (p = 0.11), surgical technique (p = 0.25), revision (p = 0.79) or histological evidence of squamous skin (p = 0.69) showed no significance.
Rectal stenosis is an uncommon event after SRM. Early stenosis will occur within the first three months after surgery. The majority of the stenoses are without clinical relevance. Only one of nine patients had to undergo surgery for a relevant stenosis. The predictive factor for stenosis in the patient-characteristics is previous interventions for hemorrhoids, severe postoperative pain might also predict rectal stenosis.
PMCID: PMC420246  PMID: 15153248
11.  Furuncular myiasis of the breast caused by the larvae of the Tumbu fly (Cordylobia anthropophaga) 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:5.
Cutaneous myiasis of the breast due to infestation by the larva of Cordylobia anthropophaga is rare. To the best of our knowledge, only one case has been reported in the English literature. This rarity calls for an awareness of its possibility as a cause of furuncular breast lesions, especially in areas where the C. anthropophaga (Tumbu fly) is endemic or in patients returning from such areas. As it can be easily confused with other furuncular breast lesions (like tuberculosis, mycosis, actinomycosis, furunculosis, chronic breast abscess and fungating malignancies), this awareness is important to avoid misdiagnosis or delay in diagnosis.
We present a case of furuncular breast myiasis due to the larvae of C. anthropophaga earlier misdiagnosed as mastitis in a patient living in tropical Africa (Nigeria) where the Tumbu fly is endemic.
Case presentation
We report a 70 year old woman who presented with a week history of itchy multiple discharging sinuses of the right breast. The sinuses contained wriggling larvae of C. anthropophaga. Fourteen larvae were extracted from the breast and the sinuses healed quite well after the extraction.
Cutaneous myiasis of the breast is rare, hence, an awareness of its clinical features is necessary when a patient presents with furuncular skin lesions especially in endemic areas or people returning from such areas. Diagnosis is mainly clinical and lesions heal well after the extraction of the larvae.
Preventive measures such as ironing after drying of dresses and a good personal hygiene are crucial in controlling C. anthropophaga infestation.
PMCID: PMC394335  PMID: 15113429
12.  The outcome of kidney transplants with multiple renal arteries 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:4.
The use of grafts with multiple renal arteries has been considered a relative contraindication because of the increased incidence of vascular and urologic complications The aim of this study is to determine whether the kidney grafts with multiple arteries have any adverse effect upon post-transplant graft and patient survival.
We reviewed the records of 225 adult kidney transplants done consecutively at our institution. Twenty-nine patients (12.8%) had grafts with multiple renal arteries. We analyzed the incidence of post-transplant hypertension and vascular complications, mean creatinine levels, patient and graft survival. In 17 cases reconstruction was done as conjoined anastomosis between two arteries of equal size, and in 6 cases as end-to-side anastomosis of smaller arteries to larger arteries. Multiple anastomoses were performed in 6 cases.
In one patient postoperative bleeding occurred. Mean systolic blood pressures, creatinine levels at first year and last follow-up and complication rates were all in acceptable ranges. There was no significant difference in graft and patient survival between multiple and single renal artery allografts.
Although the kidney grafts with multiple renal arteries have been considered a relative contraindication because of the increased risk of complications, in our study allografts with multiple arteries were used successfully in kidney transplantation.
PMCID: PMC362880  PMID: 15018624
13.  Emergency department spirometric volume and base deficit delineate risk for torso injury in stable patients 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:3.
We sought to determine torso injury rates and sensitivities associated with fluid-positive abdominal ultrasound, metabolic acidosis (increased base deficit and lactate), and impaired pulmonary physiology (decreased spirometric volume and PaO2/FiO2).
Level I trauma center prospective pilot and post-pilot study (2000–2001) of stable patients. Increased base deficit was < 0.0 in ethanol-negative and ≤ -3.0 in ethanol-positive patients. Increased lactate was > 2.5 mmol/L in ethanol-negative and ≥ 3.0 mmol/L in ethanol-positive patients. Decreased PaO2/FiO2 was < 350 and decreased spirometric volume was < 1.8 L.
Of 215 patients, 66 (30.7%) had a torso injury (abdominal/pelvic injury n = 35 and/or thoracic injury n = 43). Glasgow Coma Scale score was 14.8 ± 0.5 (13–15). Torso injury rates and sensitivities were: abdominal ultrasound negative and normal base deficit, lactate, PaO2/FiO2, and spirometric volume – 0.0% & 0.0%; normal base deficit and normal spirometric volume – 4.2% & 4.5%; chest/abdominal soft tissue injury – 37.8% & 47.0%; increased lactate – 39.7% & 47.0%; increased base deficit – 41.3% & 75.8%; increased base deficit and/or decreased spirometric volume – 43.8% & 95.5%; decreased PaO2/FiO2 – 48.9% & 33.3%; positive abdominal ultrasound – 62.5% & 7.6%; decreased spirometric volume – 73.4% & 71.2%; increased base deficit and decreased spirometric volume – 82.9% & 51.5%.
Trauma patients with normal base deficit and spirometric volume are unlikely to have a torso injury. Patients with increased base deficit or lactate, decreased spirometric volume, decreased PaO2/FiO2, or positive FAST have substantial risk for torso injury. Increased base deficit and/or decreased spirometric volume are highly sensitive for torso injury. Base deficit and spirometric volume values are readily available and increase or decrease the suspicion for torso injury.
PMCID: PMC343284  PMID: 14731306
14.  Electrophysiological evaluation of phrenic nerve injury during cardiac surgery – a prospective, controlled, clinical study 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:2.
According to some reports, left hemidiaphragmatic paralysis due to phrenic nerve injury may occur following cardiac surgery. The purpose of this study was to document the effects on phrenic nerve injury of whole body hypothermia, use of ice-slush around the heart and mammary artery harvesting.
Electrophysiology of phrenic nerves was studied bilaterally in 78 subjects before and three weeks after cardiac or peripheral vascular surgery. In 49 patients, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and heart valve replacement with moderate hypothermic (mean 28°C) cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) were performed. In the other 29, CABG with beating heart was performed, or, in several cases, peripheral vascular surgery with normothermia.
In all patients, measurements of bilateral phrenic nerve function were within normal limits before surgery. Three weeks after surgery, left phrenic nerve function was absent in five patients in the CPB and hypothermia group (3 in CABG and 2 in valve replacement). No phrenic nerve dysfunction was observed after surgery in the CABG with beating heart (no CPB) or the peripheral vascular groups. Except in the five patients with left phrenic nerve paralysis, mean phrenic nerve conduction latency time (ms) and amplitude (mV) did not differ statistically before and after surgery in either group (p > 0.05).
Our results indicate that CPB with hypothermia and local ice-slush application around the heart play a role in phrenic nerve injury following cardiac surgery. Furthermore, phrenic nerve injury during cardiac surgery occurred in 10.2 % of our patients (CABG with CPB plus valve surgery).
PMCID: PMC320489  PMID: 14723798
15.  Non-operative treatment for perforated gastro-duodenal peptic ulcer in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: a case report 
BMC Surgery  2004;4:1.
Clinical characteristics and complications of Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by skeletal and cardiac muscle degeneration are well known. Gastro-intestinal involvement has also been recognised in these patients. However an acute perforated gastro-duodenal peptic ulcer has not been documented up to now.
Case presentation
A 26-year-old male with Duchenne muscular dystrophy with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of acute perforated gastro-duodenal peptic ulcer is treated non-operatively with naso-gastric suction and intravenous medication. Gastrointestinal involvement in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and therapeutic considerations in a high risk patient are discussed.
Non-surgical treatment for perforated gastro-duodenal peptic ulcer should be considered in high risk patients, as is the case in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Patients must be carefully observed and operated on if non-operative treatment is unsuccessful.
PMCID: PMC324410  PMID: 14713321

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