Publications by authors named "Paul Balfe"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The RIPASA score is sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in a western population.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2017 Apr 15;32(4):491-497. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

Department of Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Aim: The definitive diagnosis of acute appendicitis (AA) requires histopathological examination. Various clinical diagnostic scoring systems attempt to reduce negative appendectomy rates. The most commonly used in Western Europe and the USA is the Alvarado score. The Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha appendicitis (RIPASA) score achieves better sensitivity and specificity in Asian and Middle Eastern populations. We aimed to determine the diagnostic accuracy of the RIPASA score in Irish patients with AA.

Methods: All patients who presented to our institution with right iliac fossa pain and clinically suspected AA between January 1 and December 31, 2015, were indentified from our hospital inpatient enquiry database and retrospectively studied. Operating theatre records and histology reports confirmed those who underwent a non-elective operative procedure and the presence or absence of AA. SPSS version 22 was used for statistical analysis. Standard deviation is provided where appropriate.

Results: Two hundred eight patients were included in the study (106/51% male, mean age 22.7 ± 9.2 years). One hundred thirty-five (64.9%) had histologically confirmed AA (mean symptom duration = 36.19 ± 15.90 h). At a score ≥7.5, the previously determined score most likely associated with AA in Eastern populations, the RIPASA scoring system demonstrated a sensitivity of 85.39%, specificity of 69.86%, positive predictive value of 84.06%, negative predictive value of 72.86% and diagnostic accuracy of 80% in our cohort.

Conclusion: The RIPASA score is a useful tool to aid in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis in the Irish population. A score of ≥7.5 provides sensitivity and specificity exceeding that previously documented for the Alvarado score in Western populations. WHAT DOES THIS PAPER ADD TO THE LITERATURE?: This is the first study evaluating the utility of the RIPASA score in predicting acute appendicitis in a Western population. At a value of 7.5, a cut-off score suggestive of appendicitis in the Eastern population, RIPASA demonstrated a high-sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and diagnostic accuracy in our cohort and was more accurate than the commonly used Alvarado score.
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April 2017

Study on colorectal cancer presentation, treatment and follow-up.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2016 Jul 7;31(7):1361-3. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Saint Luke's Hospital Kilkenny, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Background: Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is the second most common cancer in women and men affecting 9.7 % population worldwide. Although CRC mortality has been progressively declining since 1990 at a rate of about 3 % per year, it still remains the third most common cause of cancer deaths.

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the patterns of clinical presentation, treatment options and follow-up of colorectal carcinoma.

Methodology: Medical records of patients with colorectal carcinoma admitted at St. Luke's Hospital Kilkenny from January 2009 to December 2014 were included in the study.

Results: Out of 113, 57 were males and 28 were 75 years or older. Sixty-seven percent presented in the outpatient clinic. The main presentation symptom was bleeding per rectum (40 %), followed by abdominal pain, altered bowel habit, bowel obstruction and weight loss. Mean time delay was 4.79, 6.20 and 4.83 weeks for surgical outpatient department (SOPD), colonoscopy and surgery, respectively. Ninety-eight percent of patients underwent preoperative staging with computed tomography of thorax, abdomen and pelvis (CTTAP) and 78 % had preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) measurement. Thirty-four percent of cancers had already metastasized to distant organs. Twenty five percent underwent a right hemicolectomy. Seventy-eight percent received a primary anastomosis. Ninety-five percent achieved a R0 resection. Sixty-two percent were given adjuvant chemotherapy. Seventy-six percent had surgery follow-up and 57 % had excellent follow-up. Cancer recurred in two patients. Thirty day mortality was 2 %.

Conclusion: Our study shows that the mean age group at risk for colorectal cancer is 65 years (range 54-75). Still, 33 % of patients present to acute surgical assessment units with advanced disease. Though we did well in terms of operative resections, follow-up still remains a challenge.
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July 2016

The value of hyperbilirubinaemia in the diagnosis of acute appendicitis.

Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2011 Apr;93(3):213-7

Department of Surgery, St. Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Introduction: No reliably specific marker for acute appendicitis has been identified. Although recent studies have shown hyperbilirubinaemia to be a useful predictor of appendiceal perforation, they did not focus on the value of bilirubin as a marker for acute appendicitis. The aim of this study was to determine the value of hyperbilirubinaemia as a marker for acute appendicitis.

Materials And Methods: A retrospective analysis of appendicectomies performed in two hospitals (n=472). Data collected included laboratory and histological results. Patients were grouped according to histology findings and comparisons were made between the groups.

Results: The mean bilirubin levels were higher for patients with simple appendicitis compared to those with a non-inflamed appendix (p<0.001). More patients with simple appendicitis had hyperbilirubinaemia on admission (30% vs 12%) and the odds of these patients having appendicitis were over three times higher (odds ratio: 3.25, p<0.001). Hyperbilirubinaemia had a specificity of 88% and a positive predictive value of 91% for acute appendicitis. Patients with appendicitis who had a perforated or gangrenous appendix had higher mean bilirubin levels (p=0.01) and were more likely to have hyperbilirubinaemia (p<0.001). The specificity of hyperbilirubinaemia for perforation or gangrene was 70%. The specificities of white cell count and C-reactive protein were less than hyperbilirubinaemia for simple appendicitis (60% and 72%) and perforated or gangrenous appendicitis (19% and 36%).

Conclusions: Hyperbilirubinaemia is a valuable marker for acute appendicitis. Patients with hyperbilirubinaemia are also more likely to have appendiceal perforation or gangrene. Bilirubin should be included in the assessment of patients with suspected appendicitis.
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April 2011

On-table endoscopy following laparoscopic fundoplication.

J Gastrointest Surg 2008 Jun;12(6):991-6

University Department of Surgery, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James' Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Background: Laparoscopic fundoplication represents the gold standard in the surgical management of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The achievement of long-lasting symptomatic and physiological control of reflux is the goal of therapy, as well as the minimization of troubling sequelae, in particular, dysphagia. On-table endoscopy after fundoplication was introduced in this Unit as a quality initiative in an attempt to minimize dysphagia and technical errors, and the aim of this study is to report the experience to date, and compare outcomes with the previous 100 cases performed by an experienced team.

Methods: Eighty patients who underwent laparoscopic Rosetti-Nissen fundoplication and on-table endoscopy (group 2) were compared with 100 consecutive prior cases (group 1). Patients were prospectively evaluated and had pre- and postoperative symptom scoring and analysis of complications (all patients), and manometry and 24-h pH testing in 120 patients (60 in each group).

Results: Both groups were similar with respect to demographics, esophagitis, pH score, and dysmotility. No bougie was used in either group. On-table endoscopy resulted in technical modifications in 4 (5%) patients. Early grade 2 or 3 dysphagia was evident in 4 (5%) patients in group 2, compared with 15 (15%) in group 1 (p < 0.001). Late dysphagia was evident in one patient (1.5%) in group 2 compared with 7 (7%) in group 1 (p < 0.05). Dilatation was performed in four patients (5%) in group 2, compared with 11 (11%) in group 1 (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: These data suggest that on-table endoscopy may be a useful quality assurance adjunct in laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, in particular, reducing the incidence of dysphagia and reinterventions.
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June 2008