Publications by authors named "Arianna H Dart"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Clinical Features and Preventability of Delayed Diagnosis of Pediatric Appendicitis.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 Aug 2;4(8):e2122248. Epub 2021 Aug 2.

Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Delayed diagnosis of appendicitis is associated with worse outcomes than timely diagnosis, but clinical features associated with diagnostic delay are uncertain, and the extent to which delays are preventable is unclear.

Objective: To determine clinical features associated with delayed diagnosis of pediatric appendicitis, assess the frequency of preventable delay, and compare delay outcomes.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This case-control study included 748 children treated at 5 pediatric emergency departments in the US between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2019. Participants were younger than 21 years and had a diagnosis of appendicitis.

Exposures: Individual features of appendicitis and pretest likelihood of appendicitis were measured by the Pediatric Appendicitis Risk Calculator (pARC).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Case patients had a delayed diagnosis of appendicitis, defined as 2 emergency department visits leading to diagnosis and a case review showing the patient likely had appendicitis at the first visit. Control patients had a single emergency department visit yielding a diagnosis. Clinical features and pARC scores were compared by case-control status. Preventability of delay was assessed as unlikely, possible, or likely. The proportion of children with indicated imaging based on an evidence-based cost-effectiveness threshold was determined. Outcomes of delayed diagnosis were compared by case-control status, including hospital length of stay, perforation, and multiple surgical procedures.

Results: A total of 748 children (mean [SD] age, 10.2 [4.3] years; 392 boys [52.4%]; 427 White children [57.1%]) were included in the study; 471 (63.0%) had a delayed diagnosis of appendicitis, and 277 (37.0%) had no delay in diagnosis. Children with a delayed diagnosis were less likely to have pain with walking (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.16; 95% CI, 0.10-0.25), maximal pain in the right lower quadrant (aOR, 0.12; 95% CI, 0.07-0.19), and abdominal guarding (aOR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.21-0.51), and were more likely to have a complex chronic condition (aOR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.05-5.23). The pretest likelihood of appendicitis was 39% to 52% lower in children with a delayed vs timely diagnosis. Among children with a delayed diagnosis, 109 cases (23.1%) were likely to be preventable, and 247 (52.4%) were possibly preventable. Indicated imaging was performed in 104 (22.0%) to 289 (61.3%) children with delayed diagnosis, depending on the imputation method for missing data on white blood cell count. Patients with delayed diagnosis had longer hospital length of stay (mean difference between the groups, 2.8 days; 95% CI, 2.3-3.4 days) and higher perforation rates (OR, 7.8; 95% CI, 5.5-11.3) and were more likely to undergo 2 or more surgical procedures (OR, 8.0; 95% CI, 2.0-70.4).

Conclusions And Relevance: In this case-control study, delayed appendicitis was associated with initially milder symptoms but worse outcomes. These findings suggest that a majority of delayed diagnoses were at least possibly preventable and that many of these patients did not undergo indicated imaging, suggesting an opportunity to prevent delayed diagnosis of appendicitis in some children.
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August 2021

Validation of an Automated System for Identifying Complications of Serious Pediatric Emergencies.

Hosp Pediatr 2021 Aug;11(8):864-878

Divisions of Emergency Medicine.

Background: Illness complications are condition-specific adverse outcomes. Detecting complications of pediatric illness in administrative data would facilitate widespread quality measurement, however the accuracy of such detection is unclear.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients visiting a large pediatric emergency department. We analyzed those <22 years old from 2012 to 2019 with 1 of 14 serious conditions: appendicitis, bacterial meningitis, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), empyema, encephalitis, intussusception, mastoiditis, myocarditis, orbital cellulitis, ovarian torsion, sepsis, septic arthritis, stroke, and testicular torsion. We applied a method using disposition, diagnosis codes, and procedure codes to identify complications. The automated determination was compared with the criterion standard of manual health record review by using positive predictive values (PPVs) and negative predictive values (NPVs). Interrater reliability of manual reviews used a κ.

Results: We analyzed 1534 encounters. PPVs and NPVs for complications were >80% for 8 of 14 conditions: appendicitis, bacterial meningitis, intussusception, mastoiditis, myocarditis, orbital cellulitis, sepsis, and testicular torsion. Lower PPVs for complications were observed for DKA (57%), empyema (53%), encephalitis (78%), ovarian torsion (21%), and septic arthritis (64%). A lower NPV was observed in stroke (68%). The κ between reviewers was 0.88.

Conclusions: An automated method to measure complications by using administrative data can detect complications in appendicitis, bacterial meningitis, intussusception, mastoiditis, myocarditis, orbital cellulitis, sepsis, and testicular torsion. For DKA, empyema, encephalitis, ovarian torsion, septic arthritis, and stroke, the tool may be used to screen for complicated cases that may subsequently undergo manual review.
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August 2021

Electrocardiogram as a Lyme Disease Screening Test.

J Pediatr 2021 Jul 12. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

Division of Emergency Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Objective: To examine the association between electrocardiographic (ECG) evidence of carditis at the time of Lyme disease evaluation and a diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Study Design: We performed an 8-center prospective cohort study of children undergoing emergency department evaluation for Lyme disease limited to those who had an ECG obtained by their treating clinicians. The study cardiologist reviewed all ECGs flagged as abnormal by the study sites to assess for ECG evidence of carditis. We defined Lyme disease as the presence of an erythema migrans lesion or a positive 2-tier Lyme disease serology. We used logistic regression to measure the association between Lyme disease and atrioventricular (AV) block or any ECG evidence of carditis.

Results: Of the 546 children who had an ECG obtained, 214 (39%) had Lyme disease. Overall, 42 children had ECG evidence of carditis, of whom 24 had AV block (20 first-degree). Of the patients with ECG evidence of carditis, only 21 (50%) had any cardiac symptoms. The presence of AV block (OR 4.7, 95% CI 1.8-12.1) and any ECG evidence of carditis (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.3) were both associated with diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Conclusions: ECG evidence of carditis, especially AV block, was associated with a diagnosis of Lyme disease. ECG evidence of carditis can be used as a diagnostic biomarker for Lyme disease to guide initial management while awaiting Lyme disease test results.
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July 2021

Measuring complications of serious pediatric emergencies using ICD-10.

Health Serv Res 2021 Apr 29;56(2):225-234. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Objective: To create definitions for complications for 16 serious pediatric conditions using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification or Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS), and to assess whether complication rates are similar to those measured with ICD-9-CM/PCS.

Data Sources: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Emergency Department and Inpatient Databases from five states between 2014 and 2017 were used to identify cases and assess complication rates. Incidences were calculated using population counts from the 5-year American Community Survey.

Data Collection/extraction Methods: Patients were identified by the presence of a diagnosis code for one of the 16 serious conditions. Only the first encounter for a given condition by a patient was included. Encounters resulting in transfer were excluded as the presence of complications was unknown.

Study Design: We defined complications using data elements routinely available in administrative databases including ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. The definitions were adapted from ICD-9-CM/PCS using general equivalence mappings and refined using consensus opinion. We included 16 serious conditions: appendicitis, bacterial meningitis, compartment syndrome, new-onset diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), ectopic pregnancy, empyema, encephalitis, intussusception, mastoiditis, myocarditis, orbital cellulitis, ovarian torsion, sepsis, septic arthritis, stroke, and testicular torsion. Using data from children under 18 years, we compared incidences and complication rates across the ICD-10-CM/PCS transition for each condition using interrupted time series.

Principal Findings: There were 61 314 ED visits for a serious condition; the most common was appendicitis (n = 37 493). Incidence rates for each condition were not significantly different across the ICD-10-CM/PCS transition for 13/16 conditions. Three differed: empyema (increased 42%), orbital cellulitis (increased 60%), and sepsis (increased 26%). Complication rates were not significantly different for each condition across the ICD-10-CM/PCS transition, except appendicitis (odds ratio 0.62, 95% CI 0.57-0.68), DKA (OR 3.79, 95% CI 1.92-7.50), and orbital cellulitis (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.30-0.95).

Conclusions: For most conditions, incidences and complication rates were similar before and after the transition to ICD-10-CM/PCS codes, suggesting our system identifies complications of conditions in administrative data similarly using ICD-9-CM/PCS and ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. This system may be applied to screen for cases with complications and in health services research.
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April 2021

Development of a rubric for assessing delayed diagnosis of appendicitis, diabetic ketoacidosis and sepsis.

Diagnosis (Berl) 2021 05 26;8(2):219-225. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Objectives: Using case review to determine whether a patient experienced a delayed diagnosis is challenging. Measurement would be more accurate if case reviewers had access to multi-expert consensus on grading the likelihood of delayed diagnosis. Our objective was to use expert consensus to create a guide for objectively grading the likelihood of delayed diagnosis of appendicitis, new-onset diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and sepsis.

Methods: Case vignettes were constructed for each condition. In each vignette, a patient has the condition and had a previous emergency department (ED) visit within 7 days. Condition-specific multi-specialty expert Delphi panels reviewed the case vignettes and graded the likelihood of a delayed diagnosis on a five-point scale. Delayed diagnosis was defined as the condition being present during the previous ED visit. Consensus was defined as ≥75% agreement. In each Delphi round, panelists were given the scores from the previous round and asked to rescore. A case scoring guide was created from the consensus scores.

Results: Eighteen expert panelists participated. Consensus was achieved within three Delphi rounds for all appendicitis and sepsis vignettes. We reached consensus on 23/30 (77%) DKA vignettes. A case review guide was created from the consensus scores.

Conclusions: Multi-specialty expert reviewers can agree on the likelihood of a delayed diagnosis for cases of appendicitis and sepsis, and for most cases of DKA. We created a guide that can be used by researchers and quality improvement specialists to allow for objective case review to determine when delayed diagnoses have occurred for appendicitis, DKA, and sepsis.
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May 2021

Hip Synovial Fluid Cell Counts in Children From a Lyme Disease Endemic Area.

Pediatrics 2018 05 18;141(5). Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Divisions of Emergency Medicine and

Background: Patients with septic hip arthritis require surgical drainage, but they can be difficult to distinguish from patients with Lyme arthritis. The ability of synovial fluid white blood cell (WBC) counts to help discriminate between septic and Lyme arthritis of the hip has not been investigated.

Methods: We assembled a retrospective cohort of patients ≤21 years of age with hip monoarticular arthritis and a synovial fluid culture obtained who presented to 1 of 3 emergency departments located in Lyme disease endemic areas. Septic arthritis was defined as a positive synovial fluid culture result or synovial fluid pleocytosis (WBC count ≥50 000 cells per µL) with a positive blood culture result. Lyme arthritis was defined as positive 2-tiered Lyme disease serology results and negative synovial fluid bacterial culture results. All other patients were classified as having other arthritis. We compared median synovial fluid WBC counts by arthritis type.

Results: Of the 238 eligible patients, 26 (11%) had septic arthritis, 32 (13%) had Lyme arthritis, and 180 (76%) had other arthritis. Patients with septic arthritis had a higher median synovial fluid WBC count (126 130 cells per µL; interquartile range 83 303-209 332 cells per µL) than patients with Lyme arthritis (53 955 cells per µL; interquartile range 33 789-73 375 cells per µL). Eighteen patients (56%) with Lyme arthritis had synovial fluid WBC counts ≥50 000 cells per µL. Of the 94 patients who underwent surgical drainage, 13 were later diagnosed with Lyme arthritis.

Conclusions: In Lyme disease endemic areas, synovial fluid WBC counts cannot always help differentiate septic from Lyme arthritis. Rapid Lyme diagnostics could help avoid unnecessary operative procedures in patients with Lyme arthritis.
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May 2018