Publications by authors named "Cameron J Fairfield"

16 Publications

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Prospective validation of the 4C prognostic models for adults hospitalised with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol.

Thorax 2021 Nov 22. Epub 2021 Nov 22.

Respiratory Department, Imperial College, London, UK.

Purpose: To prospectively validate two risk scores to predict mortality (4C Mortality) and in-hospital deterioration (4C Deterioration) among adults hospitalised with COVID-19.

Methods: Prospective observational cohort study of adults (age ≥18 years) with confirmed or highly suspected COVID-19 recruited into the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study in 306 hospitals across England, Scotland and Wales. Patients were recruited between 27 August 2020 and 17 February 2021, with at least 4 weeks follow-up before final data extraction. The main outcome measures were discrimination and calibration of models for in-hospital deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) and mortality, incorporating predefined subgroups.

Results: 76 588 participants were included, of whom 27 352 (37.4%) deteriorated and 12 581 (17.4%) died. Both the 4C Mortality (0.78 (0.77 to 0.78)) and 4C Deterioration scores (pooled C-statistic 0.76 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.77)) demonstrated consistent discrimination across all nine National Health Service regions, with similar performance metrics to the original validation cohorts. Calibration remained stable (4C Mortality: pooled slope 1.09, pooled calibration-in-the-large 0.12; 4C Deterioration: 1.00, -0.04), with no need for temporal recalibration during the second UK pandemic wave of hospital admissions.

Conclusion: Both 4C risk stratification models demonstrate consistent performance to predict clinical deterioration and mortality in a large prospective second wave validation cohort of UK patients. Despite recent advances in the treatment and management of adults hospitalised with COVID-19, both scores can continue to inform clinical decision making.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN66726260.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-217629DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8610617PMC
November 2021

Remote diagnosis of surgical-site infection using a mobile digital intervention: a randomised controlled trial in emergency surgery patients.

NPJ Digit Med 2021 Nov 18;4(1):160. Epub 2021 Nov 18.

Department of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, UK.

Surgical site infections (SSI) cause substantial morbidity and pose a burden to acute healthcare services after surgery. We aimed to investigate whether a smartphone-delivered wound assessment tool can expedite diagnosis and treatment of SSI after emergency abdominal surgery. This single-blinded randomised control trial (NCT02704897) enroled adult emergency abdominal surgery patients in two tertiary care hospitals. Patients were randomised (1:1) to routine postoperative care or additional access to a smartphone-delivered wound assessment tool for 30-days postoperatively. Patient-reported SSI symptoms and wound photographs were requested on postoperative days 3, 7, and 15. The primary outcome was time-to-diagnosis of SSI (Centers for Disease Control definition). 492 patients were randomised (smartphone intervention: 223; routine care: 269). There was no significant difference in the 30-day SSI rate between trial arms: 21 (9.4%) in smartphone vs 20 (7.4%, p = 0.513) in routine care. Among the smartphone group, 32.3% (n = 72) did not utilise the tool. There was no significant difference in time-to-diagnosis of SSI for patients receiving the intervention (-2.5 days, 95% CI: -6.6-1.6, p = 0.225). However, patients in the smartphone group had 3.7-times higher odds of diagnosis within 7 postoperative days (95% CI: 1.02-13.51, p = 0.043). The smartphone group had significantly reduced community care attendance (OR: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.34-0.94, p = 0.030), similar hospital attendance (OR: 0.76, 95% CI: 0.28-1.96, p = 0.577), and significantly better experiences in accessing care (OR: 2.02, 95% CI: 1.17-3.53, p = 0.013). Smartphone-delivered wound follow-up is feasible following emergency abdominal surgery. This can facilitate triage to the appropriate level of assessment required, allowing earlier postoperative diagnosis of SSI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41746-021-00526-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8602321PMC
November 2021

Genome-wide Analysis Identifies Novel Gallstone-susceptibility Loci Including Genes Regulating Gastrointestinal Motility.

Hepatology 2021 Oct 15. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

Centre for Medical Informatics, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh.

Background & Aims: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk loci for gallstone disease. As with most polygenic traits, it is likely many genetic determinants are undiscovered. The aim of this study was to identify novel genetic variants, representing new targets for gallstone research and treatment.

Approach & Results: We performed a GWAS of 28,627 gallstone cases and 348,373 controls in the UK Biobank, replicated findings in a Scottish cohort (1,089 cases, 5,228 controls) and conducted a GWA meta-analysis (43,639 cases,506,798 controls) with the FinnGen cohort. We assessed pathway enrichment using gene-based then gene-set analysis and tissue expression of identified genes in Genotype-Tissue Expression project data. We constructed a polygenic risk score (PRS) and evaluated phenotypic traits associated with the score. Seventy-five risk loci were identified (P < 5 * 10 ), of which forty-six were novel. Pathway enrichment revealed associations with lipid homeostasis, glucuronidation, phospholipid metabolism and gastrointestinal motility. ANO1 and TMEM147, both in novel, replicated loci, are expressed in the gallbladder and gastrointestinal tract. Both regulate gastrointestinal motility. The gallstone risk allele rs7599-A leads to suppression of hepatic TMEM147 expression suggesting the protein protects against gallstone formation. The highest decile of the PRS demonstrated a 6-fold increased odds of gallstones compared to the lowest decile. The PRS was strongly associated with increased body mass index, serum liver enzymes and C-reactive protein concentrations and decreased lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations.

Conclusions: This GWAS demonstrates the polygenic nature of gallstone risk and identifies 46 novel susceptibility loci. For the first time, we implicate genes influencing gastrointestinal motility in the pathogenesis of gallstones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.32199DOI Listing
October 2021

Genome-Wide Association Study of NAFLD Using Electronic Health Records.

Hepatol Commun 2021 Sep 17. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edingburgh, Scotland.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk loci for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Previous studies have largely relied on small sample sizes and have assessed quantitative traits. We performed a case-control GWAS in the UK Biobank using recorded diagnosis of NAFLD based on diagnostic codes recommended in recent consensus guidelines. We performed a GWAS of 4,761 cases of NAFLD and 373,227 healthy controls without evidence of NAFLD. Sensitivity analyses were performed excluding other co-existing hepatic pathology, adjusting for body mass index (BMI) and adjusting for alcohol intake. A total of 9,723,654 variants were assessed by logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, genetic principal components, and genotyping batch. We performed a GWAS meta-analysis using available summary association statistics. Six risk loci were identified (P < 5*10 ) (apolipoprotein E [APOE], patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 [PNPLA3, transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 [TM6SF2], glucokinase regulator [GCKR], mitochondrial amidoxime reducing component 1 [MARC1], and tribbles pseudokinase 1 [TRIB1]). All loci retained significance in sensitivity analyses without co-existent hepatic pathology and after adjustment for BMI. PNPLA3 and TM6SF2 remained significant after adjustment for alcohol (alcohol intake was known in only 158,388 individuals), with others demonstrating consistent direction and magnitude of effect. All six loci were significant on meta-analysis. Rs429358 (P = 2.17*10 ) is a missense variant within the APOE gene determining ϵ4 versus ϵ2/ϵ3 alleles. The ϵ4 allele of APOE offered protection against NAFLD (odds ratio for heterozygotes 0.84 [95% confidence interval 0.78-0.90] and homozygotes 0.64 [0.50-0.79]). Conclusion: This GWAS replicates six known NAFLD-susceptibility loci and confirms that the ϵ4 allele of APOE is associated with protection against NAFLD. The results are consistent with published GWAS using histological and radiological measures of NAFLD, confirming that NAFLD identified through diagnostic codes from consensus guidelines is a valid alternative to more invasive and costly approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep4.1805DOI Listing
September 2021

Characterisation of in-hospital complications associated with COVID-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK: a prospective, multicentre cohort study.

Lancet 2021 07;398(10296):223-237

Centre for Medical Informatics, Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: COVID-19 is a multisystem disease and patients who survive might have in-hospital complications. These complications are likely to have important short-term and long-term consequences for patients, health-care utilisation, health-care system preparedness, and society amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim was to characterise the extent and effect of COVID-19 complications, particularly in those who survive, using the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK.

Methods: We did a prospective, multicentre cohort study in 302 UK health-care facilities. Adult patients aged 19 years or older, with confirmed or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to COVID-19 were included in the study. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of in-hospital complications, defined as organ-specific diagnoses occurring alone or in addition to any hallmarks of COVID-19 illness. We used multilevel logistic regression and survival models to explore associations between these outcomes and in-hospital complications, age, and pre-existing comorbidities.

Findings: Between Jan 17 and Aug 4, 2020, 80 388 patients were included in the study. Of the patients admitted to hospital for management of COVID-19, 49·7% (36 367 of 73 197) had at least one complication. The mean age of our cohort was 71·1 years (SD 18·7), with 56·0% (41 025 of 73 197) being male and 81·0% (59 289 of 73 197) having at least one comorbidity. Males and those aged older than 60 years were most likely to have a complication (aged ≥60 years: 54·5% [16 579 of 30 416] in males and 48·2% [11 707 of 24 288] in females; aged <60 years: 48·8% [5179 of 10 609] in males and 36·6% [2814 of 7689] in females). Renal (24·3%, 17 752 of 73 197), complex respiratory (18·4%, 13 486 of 73 197), and systemic (16·3%, 11 895 of 73 197) complications were the most frequent. Cardiovascular (12·3%, 8973 of 73 197), neurological (4·3%, 3115 of 73 197), and gastrointestinal or liver (0·8%, 7901 of 73 197) complications were also reported.

Interpretation: Complications and worse functional outcomes in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 are high, even in young, previously healthy individuals. Acute complications are associated with reduced ability to self-care at discharge, with neurological complications being associated with the worst functional outcomes. COVID-19 complications are likely to cause a substantial strain on health and social care in the coming years. These data will help in the design and provision of services aimed at the post-hospitalisation care of patients with COVID-19.

Funding: National Institute for Health Research and the UK Medical Research Council.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00799-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8285118PMC
July 2021

Co-infections, secondary infections, and antimicrobial use in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave from the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study: a multicentre, prospective cohort study.

Lancet Microbe 2021 Aug 2;2(8):e354-e365. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Medical Research Council-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Microbiological characterisation of co-infections and secondary infections in patients with COVID-19 is lacking, and antimicrobial use is high. We aimed to describe microbiologically confirmed co-infections and secondary infections, and antimicrobial use, in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Methods: The International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study is an ongoing, prospective cohort study recruiting inpatients from 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales, conducted by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium. Patients with a confirmed or clinician-defined high likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection were eligible for inclusion in the ISARIC WHO CCP-UK study. For this specific study, we excluded patients with a recorded negative SARS-CoV-2 test result and those without a recorded outcome at 28 days after admission. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, therapeutic, and outcome data were collected using a prespecified case report form. Organisms considered clinically insignificant were excluded.

Findings: We analysed data from 48 902 patients admitted to hospital between Feb 6 and June 8, 2020. The median patient age was 74 years (IQR 59-84) and 20 786 (42·6%) of 48 765 patients were female. Microbiological investigations were recorded for 8649 (17·7%) of 48 902 patients, with clinically significant COVID-19-related respiratory or bloodstream culture results recorded for 1107 patients. 762 (70·6%) of 1080 infections were secondary, occurring more than 2 days after hospital admission. and were the most common pathogens causing respiratory co-infections (diagnosed ≤2 days after admission), with Enterobacteriaceae and most common in secondary respiratory infections. Bloodstream infections were most frequently caused by and . Among patients with available data, 13 390 (37·0%) of 36 145 had received antimicrobials in the community for this illness episode before hospital admission and 39 258 (85·2%) of 46 061 patients with inpatient antimicrobial data received one or more antimicrobials at some point during their admission (highest for patients in critical care). We identified frequent use of broad-spectrum agents and use of carbapenems rather than carbapenem-sparing alternatives.

Interpretation: In patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, microbiologically confirmed bacterial infections are rare, and more likely to be secondary infections. Gram-negative organisms and are the predominant pathogens. The frequency and nature of antimicrobial use are concerning, but tractable targets for stewardship interventions exist.

Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, UK Department for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, and NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2666-5247(21)00090-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172149PMC
August 2021

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use and outcomes of COVID-19 in the ISARIC Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK cohort: a matched, prospective cohort study.

Lancet Rheumatol 2021 Jul 7;3(7):e498-e506. Epub 2021 May 7.

Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Background: Early in the pandemic it was suggested that pre-existing use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could lead to increased disease severity in patients with COVID-19. NSAIDs are an important analgesic, particularly in those with rheumatological disease, and are widely available to the general public without prescription. Evidence from community studies, administrative data, and small studies of hospitalised patients suggest NSAIDs are not associated with poorer COVID-19 outcomes. We aimed to characterise the safety of NSAIDs and identify whether pre-existing NSAID use was associated with increased severity of COVID-19 disease.

Methods: This prospective, multicentre cohort study included patients of any age admitted to hospital with a confirmed or highly suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection leading to COVID-19 between Jan 17 and Aug 10, 2020. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality, and secondary outcomes were disease severity at presentation, admission to critical care, receipt of invasive ventilation, receipt of non-invasive ventilation, use of supplementary oxygen, and acute kidney injury. NSAID use was required to be within the 2 weeks before hospital admission. We used logistic regression to estimate the effects of NSAIDs and adjust for confounding variables. We used propensity score matching to further estimate effects of NSAIDS while accounting for covariate differences in populations.

Results: Between Jan 17 and Aug 10, 2020, we enrolled 78 674 patients across 255 health-care facilities in England, Scotland, and Wales. 72 179 patients had death outcomes available for matching; 40 406 (56·2%) of 71 915 were men, 31 509 (43·8%) were women. In this cohort, 4211 (5·8%) patients were recorded as taking systemic NSAIDs before admission to hospital. Following propensity score matching, balanced groups of NSAIDs users and NSAIDs non-users were obtained (4205 patients in each group). At hospital admission, we observed no significant differences in severity between exposure groups. After adjusting for explanatory variables, NSAID use was not associated with worse in-hospital mortality (matched OR 0·95, 95% CI 0·84-1·07; p=0·35), critical care admission (1·01, 0·87-1·17; p=0·89), requirement for invasive ventilation (0·96, 0·80-1·17; p=0·69), requirement for non-invasive ventilation (1·12, 0·96-1·32; p=0·14), requirement for oxygen (1·00, 0·89-1·12; p=0·97), or occurrence of acute kidney injury (1·08, 0·92-1·26; p=0·33).

Interpretation: NSAID use is not associated with higher mortality or increased severity of COVID-19. Policy makers should consider reviewing issued advice around NSAID prescribing and COVID-19 severity.

Funding: National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2665-9913(21)00104-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8104907PMC
July 2021

Development and validation of the ISARIC 4C Deterioration model for adults hospitalised with COVID-19: a prospective cohort study.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 04 11;9(4):349-359. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Prognostic models to predict the risk of clinical deterioration in acute COVID-19 cases are urgently required to inform clinical management decisions.

Methods: We developed and validated a multivariable logistic regression model for in-hospital clinical deterioration (defined as any requirement of ventilatory support or critical care, or death) among consecutively hospitalised adults with highly suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who were prospectively recruited to the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) study across 260 hospitals in England, Scotland, and Wales. Candidate predictors that were specified a priori were considered for inclusion in the model on the basis of previous prognostic scores and emerging literature describing routinely measured biomarkers associated with COVID-19 prognosis. We used internal-external cross-validation to evaluate discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across eight National Health Service (NHS) regions in the development cohort. We further validated the final model in held-out data from an additional NHS region (London).

Findings: 74 944 participants (recruited between Feb 6 and Aug 26, 2020) were included, of whom 31 924 (43·2%) of 73 948 with available outcomes met the composite clinical deterioration outcome. In internal-external cross-validation in the development cohort of 66 705 participants, the selected model (comprising 11 predictors routinely measured at the point of hospital admission) showed consistent discrimination, calibration, and clinical utility across all eight NHS regions. In held-out data from London (n=8239), the model showed a similarly consistent performance (C-statistic 0·77 [95% CI 0·76 to 0·78]; calibration-in-the-large 0·00 [-0·05 to 0·05]); calibration slope 0·96 [0·91 to 1·01]), and greater net benefit than any other reproducible prognostic model.

Interpretation: The 4C Deterioration model has strong potential for clinical utility and generalisability to predict clinical deterioration and inform decision making among adults hospitalised with COVID-19.

Funding: National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Department for International Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EU Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics, NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections at University of Liverpool, NIHR HPRU in Respiratory Infections at Imperial College London.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30559-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7832571PMC
April 2021

Steroid-Free Versus Steroid-Containing Immunosuppression for Liver Transplant Recipients.

Clin Liver Dis (Hoboken) 2020 Nov 10;16(5):191-195. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Department of Medicine-Gastroenterology & Hepatology and Preventive Medicine Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago IL.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cld.992DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7727845PMC
November 2020

Clinical characteristics of children and young people admitted to hospital with covid-19 in United Kingdom: prospective multicentre observational cohort study.

BMJ 2020 08 27;370:m3249. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Respiratory Medicine, Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool L12 2AP, UK

Objective: To characterise the clinical features of children and young people admitted to hospital with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in the UK and explore factors associated with admission to critical care, mortality, and development of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents temporarily related to coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19) (MIS-C).

Design: Prospective observational cohort study with rapid data gathering and near real time analysis.

Setting: 260 hospitals in England, Wales, and Scotland between 17 January and 3 July 2020, with a minimum follow-up time of two weeks (to 17 July 2020).

Participants: 651 children and young people aged less than 19 years admitted to 138 hospitals and enrolled into the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emergency Infections Consortium (ISARIC) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study with laboratory confirmed SARS-CoV-2.

Main Outcome Measures: Admission to critical care (high dependency or intensive care), in-hospital mortality, or meeting the WHO preliminary case definition for MIS-C.

Results: Median age was 4.6 (interquartile range 0.3-13.7) years, 35% (225/651) were under 12 months old, and 56% (367/650) were male. 57% (330/576) were white, 12% (67/576) South Asian, and 10% (56/576) black. 42% (276/651) had at least one recorded comorbidity. A systemic mucocutaneous-enteric cluster of symptoms was identified, which encompassed the symptoms for the WHO MIS-C criteria. 18% (116/632) of children were admitted to critical care. On multivariable analysis, this was associated with age under 1 month (odds ratio 3.21, 95% confidence interval 1.36 to 7.66; P=0.008), age 10-14 years (3.23, 1.55 to 6.99; P=0.002), and black ethnicity (2.82, 1.41 to 5.57; P=0.003). Six (1%) of 627 patients died in hospital, all of whom had profound comorbidity. 11% (52/456) met the WHO MIS-C criteria, with the first patient developing symptoms in mid-March. Children meeting MIS-C criteria were older (median age 10.7 (8.3-14.1) 1.6 (0.2-12.9) years; P<0.001) and more likely to be of non-white ethnicity (64% (29/45) 42% (148/355); P=0.004). Children with MIS-C were five times more likely to be admitted to critical care (73% (38/52) 15% (62/404); P<0.001). In addition to the WHO criteria, children with MIS-C were more likely to present with fatigue (51% (24/47) 28% (86/302); P=0.004), headache (34% (16/47) 10% (26/263); P<0.001), myalgia (34% (15/44) 8% (21/270); P<0.001), sore throat (30% (14/47) (12% (34/284); P=0.003), and lymphadenopathy (20% (9/46) 3% (10/318); P<0.001) and to have a platelet count of less than 150 × 10/L (32% (16/50) 11% (38/348); P<0.001) than children who did not have MIS-C. No deaths occurred in the MIS-C group.

Conclusions: Children and young people have less severe acute covid-19 than adults. A systemic mucocutaneous-enteric symptom cluster was also identified in acute cases that shares features with MIS-C. This study provides additional evidence for refining the WHO MIS-C preliminary case definition. Children meeting the MIS-C criteria have different demographic and clinical features depending on whether they have acute SARS-CoV-2 infection (polymerase chain reaction positive) or are post-acute (antibody positive).

Study Registration: ISRCTN66726260.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3249DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488201PMC
August 2020

Risk stratification of patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol: development and validation of the 4C Mortality Score.

BMJ 2020 09 9;370:m3339. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

NIHR Health Protection Research Unit, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Objective: To develop and validate a pragmatic risk score to predict mortality in patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).

Design: Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting: International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) World Health Organization (WHO) Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK) study (performed by the ISARIC Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium-ISARIC-4C) in 260 hospitals across England, Scotland, and Wales. Model training was performed on a cohort of patients recruited between 6 February and 20 May 2020, with validation conducted on a second cohort of patients recruited after model development between 21 May and 29 June 2020 PARTICIPANTS: Adults (age ≥18 years) admitted to hospital with covid-19 at least four weeks before final data extraction.

Main Outcome Measure: In-hospital mortality.

Results: 35 463 patients were included in the derivation dataset (mortality rate 32.2%) and 22 361 in the validation dataset (mortality rate 30.1%). The final 4C Mortality Score included eight variables readily available at initial hospital assessment: age, sex, number of comorbidities, respiratory rate, peripheral oxygen saturation, level of consciousness, urea level, and C reactive protein (score range 0-21 points). The 4C Score showed high discrimination for mortality (derivation cohort: area under the receiver operating characteristic curve 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.78 to 0.79; validation cohort: 0.77, 0.76 to 0.77) with excellent calibration (validation: calibration-in-the-large=0, slope=1.0). Patients with a score of at least 15 (n=4158, 19%) had a 62% mortality (positive predictive value 62%) compared with 1% mortality for those with a score of 3 or less (n=1650, 7%; negative predictive value 99%). Discriminatory performance was higher than 15 pre-existing risk stratification scores (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve range 0.61-0.76), with scores developed in other covid-19 cohorts often performing poorly (range 0.63-0.73).

Conclusions: An easy-to-use risk stratification score has been developed and validated based on commonly available parameters at hospital presentation. The 4C Mortality Score outperformed existing scores, showed utility to directly inform clinical decision making, and can be used to stratify patients admitted to hospital with covid-19 into different management groups. The score should be further validated to determine its applicability in other populations.

Study Registration: ISRCTN66726260.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3339DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116472PMC
September 2020

Can a smartphone-delivered tool facilitate the assessment of surgical site infection and result in earlier treatment? Tracking wound infection with smartphone technology (TWIST): protocol for a randomised controlled trial in emergency surgery patients.

BMJ Open 2019 10 3;9(10):e029620. Epub 2019 Oct 3.

Department of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, UK.

Introduction: National data suggest that surgical site infection (SSI) complicates 2%-10% of general surgery cases, although the patient-reported incidence is much higher. SSIs cause significant patient morbidity and represent a significant burden on acute healthcare services, in a cohort predominantly suitable for outpatient management. Over three-quarters of UK adults now own smartphones, which could be harnessed to improve access to care. We aim to investigate if a smartphone-delivered wound assessment tool results in earlier treatment.

Methods And Analysis: This is a randomised controlled trial aiming to recruit 500 patients across National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. All emergency abdominal surgery patients over the age of 16 who own smartphones will be considered eligible, with the exclusion of those with significant visual impairment. Participants will be randomised in a 1:1 ratio between standard postoperative care and the intervention - use of the smartphone tool in addition to standard postoperative care. The main outcome measure will be time-to-diagnosis of SSI with secondary outcome measures considering use of emergency department and general practitioner services and patient experience. Follow-up will be conducted by clinicians blinded to group allocation. Analysis of time-to-diagnosis will be by comparison of means using an independent two sample t-test.

Ethics And Dissemination: This is the first randomised controlled trial on the use of a smartphone-delivered wound assessment tool to facilitate the assessment of SSI and the impact on time-to-diagnosis. The intervention is being used in addition to standard postoperative care. The study design and protocol were reviewed and approved by Southeast Scotland Research and Ethics Committee (REC Ref: 16/SS/0072 24/05/2016). Study findings will be presented at academic conferences, published in peer-reviewed journals and are expected in 2020. A written lay summary will be available to study participants on request.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02704897; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029620DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6797297PMC
October 2019

The harms of early cessation of trials on systematic reviews.

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019 09;4(9):667

Department of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2468-1253(19)30192-XDOI Listing
September 2019

Gallstone Disease and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

Sci Rep 2019 04 9;9(1):5830. Epub 2019 Apr 9.

Department of Clinical Surgery, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SA, UK.

Gallstone disease (GD) is one of the most common presentations to surgical units worldwide and shares several risk factors with cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD remains the most common cause of death worldwide and results in considerable economic burden. Recent observational studies have demonstrated an association between GD and CVD with some studies demonstrating a stronger association with cholecystectomy. We present the findings of a meta-analysis assessing the relationship between GD and CVD. A total of fourteen cohort studies with over 1.2 million participants were included. The pooled hazard ratio (HR, 95% confidence interval [CI]) for association with GD from a random-effects model is 1.23 (95%CI: 1.16-1.30) for fatal and non-fatal CVD events. The association was present in females and males. Three studies report the relationship between cholecystectomy and CVD with a pooled HR of 1.41 (95%CI: 1.21-1.64) which compares to a HR of 1.30 (95%CI: 1.07-1.58) when cholecystectomy is excluded although confounding may influence this result. Our meta-analysis demonstrates a significant relationship between GD and CVD events which is present in both sexes. Further research is needed to assess the influence of cholecystectomy on this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42327-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6456597PMC
April 2019

Duplicate publication bias weakens the validity of meta-analysis of immunosuppression after transplantation.

World J Gastroenterol 2017 Oct;23(39):7198-7200

Department of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, United Kingdom.

Duplicate publication can introduce significant bias into a meta-analysis if studies are inadvertently included more than once. Many studies are published in more than one journal to maximize readership and impact of the study findings. Inclusion of multiple publications of the same study within a meta-analysis affords inappropriate weight to the duplicated data if reports of the same study are not linked together. As studies which have positive findings are more likely to be published in multiple journals this leads to a potential overestimate of the benefits of an intervention. Recent advances in immunosuppression strategies following liver transplantation have led to many studies investigating immunosuppressive regimes including immunosuppression monotherapy. In this letter we focus on a recently published meta-analysis by Lan et al investigating studies assessing immunosuppression monotherapy for liver transplantation. The authors claim to have identified fourteen separate randomised studies investigating immunosuppression monotherapy. Seven of the references appear to relate to only three studies which have been subject to duplicate publication. Several similarities can be identified in each of the duplicate publications including similar authorship, identical immunosuppression regimes, identical dates of enrolment and citation of the original publication in the subsequent manuscripts. We discuss the evidence of the duplicate publication inclusion in the meta-analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v23.i39.7198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5656468PMC
October 2017

A neglected priority? The importance of surgery in tackling global health inequalities.

J Glob Health 2015 Jun;5(1):010304

Specialty registrar in General Surgery, Wishaw General Hospital, Wishaw, Scotland, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7189/jogh.05.010304DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4416335PMC
June 2015
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