Publications by authors named "Sian Taylor-Phillips"

81 Publications

Evaluating the effectiveness of abbreviated breast MRI (abMRI) interpretation training for mammogram readers: a multi-centre study assessing diagnostic performance, using an enriched dataset.

Breast Cancer Res 2022 07 30;24(1):55. Epub 2022 Jul 30.

Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.

Background: Abbreviated breast MRI (abMRI) is being introduced in breast screening trials and clinical practice, particularly for women with dense breasts. Upscaling abMRI provision requires the workforce of mammogram readers to learn to effectively interpret abMRI. The purpose of this study was to examine the diagnostic accuracy of mammogram readers to interpret abMRI after a single day of standardised small-group training and to compare diagnostic performance of mammogram readers experienced in full-protocol breast MRI (fpMRI) interpretation (Group 1) with that of those without fpMRI interpretation experience (Group 2).

Methods: Mammogram readers were recruited from six NHS Breast Screening Programme sites. Small-group hands-on workstation training was provided, with subsequent prospective, independent, blinded interpretation of an enriched dataset with known outcome. A simplified form of abMRI (first post-contrast subtracted images (FAST MRI), displayed as maximum-intensity projection (MIP) and subtracted slice stack) was used. Per-breast and per-lesion diagnostic accuracy analysis was undertaken, with comparison across groups, and double-reading simulation of a consecutive screening subset.

Results: 37 readers (Group 1: 17, Group 2: 20) completed the reading task of 125 scans (250 breasts) (total = 9250 reads). Overall sensitivity was 86% (95% confidence interval (CI) 84-87%; 1776/2072) and specificity 86% (95%CI 85-86%; 6140/7178). Group 1 showed significantly higher sensitivity (843/952; 89%; 95%CI 86-91%) and higher specificity (2957/3298; 90%; 95%CI 89-91%) than Group 2 (sensitivity = 83%; 95%CI 81-85% (933/1120) p < 0.0001; specificity = 82%; 95%CI 81-83% (3183/3880) p < 0.0001). Inter-reader agreement was higher for Group 1 (kappa = 0.73; 95%CI 0.68-0.79) than for Group 2 (kappa = 0.51; 95%CI 0.45-0.56). Specificity improved for Group 2, from the first 55 cases (81%) to the remaining 70 (83%) (p = 0.02) but not for Group 1 (90-89% p = 0.44), whereas sensitivity remained consistent for both Group 1 (88-89%) and Group 2 (83-84%).

Conclusions: Single-day abMRI interpretation training for mammogram readers achieved an overall diagnostic performance within benchmarks published for fpMRI but was insufficient for diagnostic accuracy of mammogram readers new to breast MRI to match that of experienced fpMRI readers. Novice MRI reader performance improved during the reading task, suggesting that additional training could further narrow this performance gap.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13058-022-01549-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9338668PMC
July 2022

Rapid, point-of-care antigen tests for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2022 07 22;7:CD013705. Epub 2022 Jul 22.

NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Background: Accurate rapid diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection would be a useful tool to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing strategies that use rapid antigen tests to detect current infection have the potential to increase access to testing, speed detection of infection, and inform clinical and public health management decisions to reduce transmission. This is the second update of this review, which was first published in 2020.

Objectives: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of rapid, point-of-care antigen tests for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We consider accuracy separately in symptomatic and asymptomatic population groups. Sources of heterogeneity investigated included setting and indication for testing, assay format, sample site, viral load, age, timing of test, and study design.

Search Methods: We searched the COVID-19 Open Access Project living evidence database from the University of Bern (which includes daily updates from PubMed and Embase and preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv) on 08 March 2021. We included independent evaluations from national reference laboratories, FIND and the Diagnostics Global Health website. We did not apply language restrictions.

Selection Criteria: We included studies of people with either suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, known SARS-CoV-2 infection or known absence of infection, or those who were being screened for infection. We included test accuracy studies of any design that evaluated commercially produced, rapid antigen tests. We included evaluations of single applications of a test (one test result reported per person) and evaluations of serial testing (repeated antigen testing over time). Reference standards for presence or absence of infection were any laboratory-based molecular test (primarily reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)) or pre-pandemic respiratory sample.

Data Collection And Analysis: We used standard screening procedures with three people. Two people independently carried out quality assessment (using the QUADAS-2 tool) and extracted study results. Other study characteristics were extracted by one review author and checked by a second. We present sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each test, and pooled data using the bivariate model. We investigated heterogeneity by including indicator variables in the random-effects logistic regression models. We tabulated results by test manufacturer and compliance with manufacturer instructions for use and according to symptom status.

Main Results: We included 155 study cohorts (described in 166 study reports, with 24 as preprints). The main results relate to 152 evaluations of single test applications including 100,462 unique samples (16,822 with confirmed SARS-CoV-2). Studies were mainly conducted in Europe (101/152, 66%), and evaluated 49 different commercial antigen assays. Only 23 studies compared two or more brands of test. Risk of bias was high because of participant selection (40, 26%); interpretation of the index test (6, 4%); weaknesses in the reference standard for absence of infection (119, 78%); and participant flow and timing 41 (27%). Characteristics of participants (45, 30%) and index test delivery (47, 31%) differed from the way in which and in whom the test was intended to be used. Nearly all studies (91%) used a single RT-PCR result to define presence or absence of infection. The 152 studies of single test applications reported 228 evaluations of antigen tests. Estimates of sensitivity varied considerably between studies, with consistently high specificities. Average sensitivity was higher in symptomatic (73.0%, 95% CI 69.3% to 76.4%; 109 evaluations; 50,574 samples, 11,662 cases) compared to asymptomatic participants (54.7%, 95% CI 47.7% to 61.6%; 50 evaluations; 40,956 samples, 2641 cases). Average sensitivity was higher in the first week after symptom onset (80.9%, 95% CI 76.9% to 84.4%; 30 evaluations, 2408 cases) than in the second week of symptoms (53.8%, 95% CI 48.0% to 59.6%; 40 evaluations, 1119 cases). For those who were asymptomatic at the time of testing, sensitivity was higher when an epidemiological exposure to SARS-CoV-2 was suspected (64.3%, 95% CI 54.6% to 73.0%; 16 evaluations; 7677 samples, 703 cases) compared to where COVID-19 testing was reported to be widely available to anyone on presentation for testing (49.6%, 95% CI 42.1% to 57.1%; 26 evaluations; 31,904 samples, 1758 cases). Average specificity was similarly high for symptomatic (99.1%) or asymptomatic (99.7%) participants. We observed a steady decline in summary sensitivities as measures of sample viral load decreased. Sensitivity varied between brands. When tests were used according to manufacturer instructions, average sensitivities by brand ranged from 34.3% to 91.3% in symptomatic participants (20 assays with eligible data) and from 28.6% to 77.8% for asymptomatic participants (12 assays). For symptomatic participants, summary sensitivities for seven assays were 80% or more (meeting acceptable criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO)). The WHO acceptable performance criterion of 97% specificity was met by 17 of 20 assays when tests were used according to manufacturer instructions, 12 of which demonstrated specificities above 99%. For asymptomatic participants the sensitivities of only two assays approached but did not meet WHO acceptable performance standards in one study each; specificities for asymptomatic participants were in a similar range to those observed for symptomatic people. At 5% prevalence using summary data in symptomatic people during the first week after symptom onset, the positive predictive value (PPV) of 89% means that 1 in 10 positive results will be a false positive, and around 1 in 5 cases will be missed. At 0.5% prevalence using summary data for asymptomatic people, where testing was widely available and where epidemiological exposure to COVID-19 was suspected, resulting PPVs would be 38% to 52%, meaning that between 2 in 5 and 1 in 2 positive results will be false positives, and between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 cases will be missed.

Authors' Conclusions: Antigen tests vary in sensitivity. In people with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, sensitivities are highest in the first week of illness when viral loads are higher. Assays that meet appropriate performance standards, such as those set by WHO, could replace laboratory-based RT-PCR when immediate decisions about patient care must be made, or where RT-PCR cannot be delivered in a timely manner. However, they are more suitable for use as triage to RT-PCR testing. The variable sensitivity of antigen tests means that people who test negative may still be infected. Many commercially available rapid antigen tests have not been evaluated in independent validation studies. Evidence for testing in asymptomatic cohorts has increased, however sensitivity is lower and there is a paucity of evidence for testing in different settings. Questions remain about the use of antigen test-based repeat testing strategies. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of screening programmes at reducing transmission of infection, whether mass screening or targeted approaches including schools, healthcare setting and traveller screening.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013705.pub3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9305720PMC
July 2022

Comparing outcomes from tailored meta-analysis with outcomes from a setting specific test accuracy study using routine data of faecal calprotectin testing for inflammatory bowel disease.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2022 07 12;22(1):192. Epub 2022 Jul 12.

Division of Health Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.

Background: Meta-analyses of test accuracy studies may provide estimates that are highly improbable in clinical practice. Tailored meta-analysis produces plausible estimates for the accuracy of a test within a specific setting by tailoring the selection of included studies compatible with a specific setting using information from the target setting. The aim of this study was to validate the tailored meta-analysis approach by comparing outcomes from tailored meta-analysis with outcomes from a setting specific test accuracy study.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of primary care electronic health records provided setting-specific data on the test positive rate and disease prevalence. This was used to tailor the study selection from a review of faecal calprotectin testing for inflammatory bowel disease for meta-analysis using the binomial method and the Mahalanobis distance method. Tailored estimates were compared to estimates from a study of test accuracy in primary care using the same routine dataset.

Results: Tailoring resulted in the inclusion of 3/14 (binomial method) and 9/14 (Mahalanobis distance method) studies in meta-analysis. Sensitivity and specificity from tailored meta-analysis using the binomial method were 0.87 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.94) and 0.65 (95% CI 0.60 to 0.69) and 0.98 (95% CI 0.83 to 0.999) and 0.68 (95% CI 0.65 to 0.71), respectively using the Mahalanobis distance method. The corresponding estimates for the conventional meta-analysis were 0.94 (95% CI 0.90 to 0.97) and 0.67 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.76) and for the FC test accuracy study of primary care data 0.93 (95%CI 0.89 to 0.96) and 0.61 (95% CI 0.6 to 0.63) to detect IBD at a threshold of 50 μg/g. Although the binomial method produced a plausible estimate, the tailored estimates of sensitivity and specificity were not closer to the primary study estimates than the estimates from conventional meta-analysis including all 14 studies.

Conclusions: Tailored meta-analysis does not always produce estimates of sensitivity and specificity that lie closer to the estimates derived from a primary study in the setting in question. Potentially, tailored meta-analysis may be improved using a constrained model approach and this requires further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-022-01668-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9275166PMC
July 2022

UK National Screening Committee's approach to reviewing evidence on artificial intelligence in breast cancer screening.

Lancet Digit Health 2022 07;4(7):e558-e565

Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could have the potential to accurately classify mammograms according to the presence or absence of radiological signs of breast cancer, replacing or supplementing human readers (radiologists). The UK National Screening Committee's assessments of the use of AI systems to examine screening mammograms continues to focus on maximising benefits and minimising harms to women screened, when deciding whether to recommend the implementation of AI into the Breast Screening Programme in the UK. Maintaining or improving programme specificity is important to minimise anxiety from false positive results. When considering cancer detection, AI test sensitivity alone is not sufficiently informative, and additional information on the spectrum of disease detected and interval cancers is crucial to better understand the benefits and harms of screening. Although large retrospective studies might provide useful evidence by directly comparing test accuracy and spectrum of disease detected between different AI systems and by population subgroup, most retrospective studies are biased due to differential verification (ie, the use of different reference standards to verify the target condition among study participants). Enriched, multiple-reader, multiple-case, test set laboratory studies are also biased due to the laboratory effect (ie, radiologists' performance in retrospective, laboratory, observer studies is substantially different to their performance in a clinical environment). Therefore, assessment of the effect of incorporating any AI system into the breast screening pathway in prospective studies is required as it will provide key evidence for the effect of the interaction of medical staff with AI, and the impact on women's outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(22)00088-7DOI Listing
July 2022

Artificial intelligence to complement rather than replace radiologists in breast screening.

Lancet Digit Health 2022 07;4(7):e478-e479

Warwick Screening, The University of Warwick, CV4 7AL Coventry, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(22)00094-2DOI Listing
July 2022

REducing Colonoscopies in patients without significant bowEl DiseasE: the RECEDE Study - protocol for a prospective diagnostic accuracy study.

BMJ Open 2022 03 30;12(3):e058559. Epub 2022 Mar 30.

Research & Development, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK.

Introduction: Demand for colonoscopies and CT colonography (CTC) is exceeding capacity in National Health Service Trusts. In many patients colonoscopies and CTCs show no significant bowel disease (SBD). Faecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) is being introduced to prioritise patients for colonoscopies but is insufficient to identify non-SBD patients meaning colonoscopy and CTC demand remains high. The REducing Colonoscopies in patients without significant bowEl DiseasE (RECEDE) study aims to test urine volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis alongside FIT to improve detection of SBD and to reduce the number of colonoscopies and CTCs.

Methods And Analysis: This is a multicentre, prospective diagnostic accuracy study evaluating whether stool FIT plus urine VOC compared with stool FIT alone improves detection of SBD in patients referred for colonoscopy or CTC due to persistent lower gastrointestinal symptoms. To ensure SBD is not missed, the dual test requires a high sensitivity, set at 97% with 95% CI width of 5%. Our assumption is that to achieve this sensitivity requires 200 participants with SBD. Further assuming 19% of all participants will have SBD and 55% of all participants will return both stool and urine samples we will recruit 1915 participants. The thresholds for FIT and VOC results diagnosing SBD have been pre-set. If either FIT or VOC exceeds the respective threshold, the participant will be classed as having suspected SBD. As an exploratory analysis we will be testing different thresholds. The reference comparator will be a complete colonoscopy or CTC. Secondary outcomes will look at optimising the FIT and VOC thresholds for SBD detection. An economic evaluation, using a denovo decision analytic model, will be carried out determine the costs, benefits and overall cost-effectiveness of FIT +VOC vs FIT followed by colonoscopy.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval was obtained by Liverpool Central Research Ethics Committee (20/NW/0346).

Trial Registration Number: RECEDE is registered on Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04516785 & ISRCTN14982373. This protocol was written and published before results of the trial were available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-058559DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8968545PMC
March 2022

Breast screening atypia and subsequent development of cancer: protocol for an observational analysis of the Sloane database in England (Sloane atypia cohort study).

BMJ Open 2022 Jan 7;12(1):e058050. Epub 2022 Jan 7.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Introduction: The National Health Service (NHS) Breast Screening Programme aims to detect cancer earlier when treatment is more effective but can harm women by over diagnosing and overtreating cancers which would never have become symptomatic. As well as breast cancer, a spectrum of atypical epithelial proliferations (atypia) can also be detected as part of screening. This spectrum of changes, while not cancer, may mean that a woman is more likely to develop breast cancer in the future. Follow-up of atypia is not evidence based. We currently do not know which atypia should be detected to avoid future cancer. This study will explore how atypia develops into breast cancer in terms of number of women, time of cancer development, cancer type and severity, and whether this varies for different types of atypia.

Methods And Analysis: The Sloane cohort study began in April 2003 with ongoing data collection including atypia diagnosed through screening at screening units in the UK. The database for England has 3645 cases (24 September 2020) of epithelial atypia, with follow-up from 1 to 15 years. The outcomes include subsequent invasive breast cancer and the nature of subsequent cancer. Descriptive statistics will be produced. The observed rates of breast cancer at 1, 3 and 6 years for types of atypia will be reported with CIs, to enable comparison to women in the general population. Time to event methods will be used to describe the time to breast cancer diagnosis for the types of atypia, including flexible parametric modelling if appropriate. Patient representatives from Independent Cancer Patients' Voice are included at every stage of the research.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study has received research ethics approval from the University of Warwick Biomedical and Scientific Research Ethics Committee (BSREC 10/20-21, 8 October 2020), Public Health England office for data release approvals (ODR1718_313) and approval from the English Breast Research Advisory Committee (BSPRAC_031). The findings will be disseminated to breast screening clinicians (via journal publication and conference presentation), to the NHS Breast Screening Programme to update their guidelines on how women with atypia should be followed up, and to the general public.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-058050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8744119PMC
January 2022

2021 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations: Summary From the Basic Life Support; Advanced Life Support; Neonatal Life Support; Education, Implementation, and Teams; First Aid Task Forces; and the COVID-19 Working Group.

Resuscitation 2021 12 11;169:229-311. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation initiated a continuous review of new, peer-reviewed published cardiopulmonary resuscitation science. This is the fifth annual summary of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations; a more comprehensive review was done in 2020. This latest summary addresses the most recently published resuscitation evidence reviewed by International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation task force science experts. Topics covered by systematic reviews in this summary include resuscitation topics of video-based dispatch systems; head-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation; early coronary angiography after return of spontaneous circulation; cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the prone patient; cord management at birth for preterm and term infants; devices for administering positive-pressure ventilation at birth; family presence during neonatal resuscitation; self-directed, digitally based basic life support education and training in adults and children; coronavirus disease 2019 infection risk to rescuers from patients in cardiac arrest; and first aid topics, including cooling with water for thermal burns, oral rehydration for exertional dehydration, pediatric tourniquet use, and methods of tick removal. Members from 6 International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation task forces have assessed, discussed, and debated the quality of the evidence, according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria, and their statements include consensus treatment recommendations or good practice statements. Insights into the deliberations of the task forces are provided in Justification and Evidence-to-Decision Framework Highlights sections. In addition, the task forces listed priority knowledge gaps for further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2021.10.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8581280PMC
December 2021

Factors associated with attendance at screening for breast cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMJ Open 2021 11 30;11(11):e046660. Epub 2021 Nov 30.

Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Objective: Attendance at population-based breast cancer (mammographic) screening varies. This comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis assesses all identified patient-level factors associated with routine population breast screening attendance.

Design: CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Embase, Medline, OVID, PsycINFO and Web of Science were searched for studies of any design, published January 1987-June 2019, and reporting attendance in relation to at least one patient-level factor.

Data Synthesis: Independent reviewers performed screening, data extraction and quality appraisal. OR and 95% CIs were calculated for attendance for each factor and random-effects meta-analysis was undertaken where possible.

Results: Of 19 776 studies, 335 were assessed at full text and 66 studies (n=22 150 922) were included. Risk of bias was generally low. In meta-analysis, increased attendance was associated with higher socioeconomic status (SES) (n=11 studies; OR 1.45, 95% CI: 1.20 to 1.75); higher income (n=5 studies; OR 1.96, 95% CI: 1.68 to 2.29); home ownership (n=3 studies; OR 2.16, 95% CI: 2.08 to 2.23); being non-immigrant (n=7 studies; OR 2.23, 95% CI: 2.00 to 2.48); being married/cohabiting (n=7 studies; OR 1.86, 95% CI: 1.58 to 2.19) and medium (vs low) level of education (n=6 studies; OR 1.24, 95% CI: 1.09 to 1.41). Women with previous false-positive results were less likely to reattend (n=6 studies; OR 0.77, 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.88). There were no differences by age group or by rural versus urban residence.

Conclusions: Attendance was lower in women with lower SES, those who were immigrants, non-homeowners and those with previous false-positive results. Variations in service delivery, screening programmes and study populations may influence findings. Our findings are of univariable associations. Underlying causes of lower uptake such as practical, physical, psychological or financial barriers should be investigated.

Trial Registration Number: CRD42016051597.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8634222PMC
November 2021

2021 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations: Summary From the Basic Life Support; Advanced Life Support; Neonatal Life Support; Education, Implementation, and Teams; First Aid Task Forces; and the COVID-19 Working Group.

Circulation 2022 03 11;145(9):e645-e721. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation initiated a continuous review of new, peer-reviewed published cardiopulmonary resuscitation science. This is the fifth annual summary of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations; a more comprehensive review was done in 2020. This latest summary addresses the most recently published resuscitation evidence reviewed by International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation task force science experts. Topics covered by systematic reviews in this summary include resuscitation topics of video-based dispatch systems; head-up cardiopulmonary resuscitation; early coronary angiography after return of spontaneous circulation; cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the prone patient; cord management at birth for preterm and term infants; devices for administering positive-pressure ventilation at birth; family presence during neonatal resuscitation; self-directed, digitally based basic life support education and training in adults and children; coronavirus disease 2019 infection risk to rescuers from patients in cardiac arrest; and first aid topics, including cooling with water for thermal burns, oral rehydration for exertional dehydration, pediatric tourniquet use, and methods of tick removal. Members from 6 International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation task forces have assessed, discussed, and debated the quality of the evidence, according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation criteria, and their statements include consensus treatment recommendations or good practice statements. Insights into the deliberations of the task forces are provided in Justification and Evidence-to-Decision Framework Highlights sections. In addition, the task forces listed priority knowledge gaps for further research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001017DOI Listing
March 2022

Faecal calprotectin testing in UK general practice: a retrospective cohort study using The Health Improvement Network database.

Br J Gen Pract 2021 11 28;71(712):e854-e861. Epub 2021 Oct 28.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry.

Background: Faecal calprotectin (FC) testing to detect inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was recommended for use in UK general practice in 2013. The actual use of FC testing following the national recommendations is unknown.

Aim: To characterise the use of FC testing for IBD in UK general practice.

Design And Setting: A retrospective cohort study of routine electronic patient records from The Health Improvement Network database from UK general practice.

Method: The study included 6 965 853 adult patients (aged ≥18 years), between 2006 and 2016. FC test uptake, the patients tested, and patient management following testing were characterised.

Results: A total of 17 027 patients had 19 840 FC tests recorded. The mean age of tested patients was 44.2 years. The first FC tests were documented in 2009. FC test use was still increasing in 2016. By 2016, 66.8% ( = 493/738) of practices had started FC testing. About one-fifth (20.7%, = 1253/6051) of tests were carried out in patients aged ≥60 years. Only 7.8% ( = 473/6051) of the FC test records were preceded by symptoms eligible for FC testing. Only 3.1% ( = 1720/55 477) of patients with eligible symptoms have received FC testing since the national recommendations were published. There was only a small number of patients with symptoms, FC test, and a IBD diagnosis. In total, 71.3% ( = 1416/1987) of patients with a positive and 47.7% ( = 1337/2805) with a negative FC test were referred or further investigated.

Conclusion: Uptake of FC testing in clinical practice has been slow and inconsistent. The indication of non-compliance with national recommendations may suggest that these recommendations lack applicability to the general practice context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2021.0125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8510694PMC
November 2021

Health screening needs independent regular re-evaluation.

BMJ 2021 09 27;374:n2049. Epub 2021 Sep 27.

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Odense (CEBMO) and Cochrane Denmark, Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2049DOI Listing
September 2021

Use of artificial intelligence for image analysis in breast cancer screening programmes: systematic review of test accuracy.

BMJ 2021 09 1;374:n1872. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Division of Health Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Objective: To examine the accuracy of artificial intelligence (AI) for the detection of breast cancer in mammography screening practice.

Design: Systematic review of test accuracy studies.

Data Sources: Medline, Embase, Web of Science, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from 1 January 2010 to 17 May 2021.

Eligibility Criteria: Studies reporting test accuracy of AI algorithms, alone or in combination with radiologists, to detect cancer in women's digital mammograms in screening practice, or in test sets. Reference standard was biopsy with histology or follow-up (for screen negative women). Outcomes included test accuracy and cancer type detected.

Study Selection And Synthesis: Two reviewers independently assessed articles for inclusion and assessed the methodological quality of included studies using the QUality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 (QUADAS-2) tool. A single reviewer extracted data, which were checked by a second reviewer. Narrative data synthesis was performed.

Results: Twelve studies totalling 131 822 screened women were included. No prospective studies measuring test accuracy of AI in screening practice were found. Studies were of poor methodological quality. Three retrospective studies compared AI systems with the clinical decisions of the original radiologist, including 79 910 women, of whom 1878 had screen detected cancer or interval cancer within 12 months of screening. Thirty four (94%) of 36 AI systems evaluated in these studies were less accurate than a single radiologist, and all were less accurate than consensus of two or more radiologists. Five smaller studies (1086 women, 520 cancers) at high risk of bias and low generalisability to the clinical context reported that all five evaluated AI systems (as standalone to replace radiologist or as a reader aid) were more accurate than a single radiologist reading a test set in the laboratory. In three studies, AI used for triage screened out 53%, 45%, and 50% of women at low risk but also 10%, 4%, and 0% of cancers detected by radiologists.

Conclusions: Current evidence for AI does not yet allow judgement of its accuracy in breast cancer screening programmes, and it is unclear where on the clinical pathway AI might be of most benefit. AI systems are not sufficiently specific to replace radiologist double reading in screening programmes. Promising results in smaller studies are not replicated in larger studies. Prospective studies are required to measure the effect of AI in clinical practice. Such studies will require clear stopping rules to ensure that AI does not reduce programme specificity.

Study Registration: Protocol registered as PROSPERO CRD42020213590.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8409323PMC
September 2021

Methods for evaluating the benefits and harms of antenatal and newborn screening programmes adopted by health economic assessments: protocol for a systematic review.

BMJ Open 2021 08 24;11(8):e048031. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Introduction: Complex organisational arrangements are required to deliver antenatal and newborn screening programmes. Decision-makers consider the benefits and harms of screening when reviewing the evidence about these programmes. Economic evaluations contribute one important part of this assessment process. However, it is not fully understood what approaches health economic assessments have adopted to measure and value benefits and harms. This study aims to systematically review and critique the published and grey literature on methods for identifying, measuring and valuing the benefits and harms of antenatal and newborn screening adopted by health economic assessments.

Methods And Analysis: Nine bibliographic databases will be searched from 2000 onwards. These search strategies will be supplemented by manual reference searching of bibliographies, forward citation searching, contacts with experts, author searching and web searching for grey literature. Studies will be selected for review if they report health economic assessments of an antenatal or newborn screening programme. Assessments of title and abstracts and full reports will be undertaken independently with disagreements resolved through discussion. Data extraction will include fields to assess the reporting quality of the studies using the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards statement and a bespoke ancillary form to assess how benefits and harms have been accounted for.

Ethics And Dissemination: This is an evidence synthesis review from already published materials and hence ethics committee approval or written informed consent will not be required. Our results will be disseminated by publishing in high-impact peer-review journals and presenting at relevant conferences.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42020165236.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8386210PMC
August 2021

Screening for Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force.

JAMA 2021 08;326(8):744-760

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Importance: Type 2 diabetes is common and is a leading cause of morbidity and disability.

Objective: To review the evidence on screening for prediabetes and diabetes to inform the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Data Sources: PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and trial registries through September 2019; references; and experts; literature surveillance through May 21, 2021.

Study Selection: English-language controlled studies evaluating screening or interventions for prediabetes or diabetes that was screen detected or recently diagnosed.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Dual review of abstracts, full-text articles, and study quality; qualitative synthesis of findings; meta-analyses conducted when at least 3 similar studies were available.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Mortality, cardiovascular morbidity, diabetes-related morbidity, development of diabetes, quality of life, and harms.

Results: The review included 89 publications (N = 68 882). Two randomized clinical trials (RCTs) (25 120 participants) found no significant difference between screening and control groups for all-cause or cause-specific mortality at 10 years. For harms (eg, anxiety or worry), the trials reported no significant differences between screening and control groups. For recently diagnosed (not screen-detected) diabetes, 5 RCTs (5138 participants) were included. In the UK Prospective Diabetes Study, health outcomes were improved with intensive glucose control with sulfonylureas or insulin. For example, for all-cause mortality the relative risk (RR) was 0.87 (95% CI, 0.79 to 0.96) over 20 years (10-year posttrial assessment). For overweight persons, intensive glucose control with metformin improved health outcomes at the 10-year follow-up (eg, all-cause mortality: RR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.45 to 0.91]), and benefits were maintained longer term. Lifestyle interventions (most involving >360 minutes) for obese or overweight persons with prediabetes were associated with reductions in the incidence of diabetes (23 RCTs; pooled RR, 0.78 [95% CI, 0.69 to 0.88]). Lifestyle interventions were also associated with improved intermediate outcomes, such as reduced weight, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure (pooled weighted mean difference, -1.7 mm Hg [95% CI, -2.6 to -0.8] and -1.2 mm Hg [95% CI, -2.0 to -0.4], respectively). Metformin was associated with a significant reduction in diabetes incidence (pooled RR, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.64 to 0.83]) and reduction in weight and body mass index.

Conclusions And Relevance: Trials of screening for diabetes found no significant mortality benefit but had insufficient data to assess other health outcomes; evidence on harms of screening was limited. For persons with recently diagnosed (not screen-detected) diabetes, interventions improved health outcomes; for obese or overweight persons with prediabetes, interventions were associated with reduced incidence of diabetes and improvement in other intermediate outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.10403DOI Listing
August 2021

Asymptomatic rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2.

BMJ 2021 07 7;374:n1733. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Test Evaluation Research Group, Institute of applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1733DOI Listing
July 2021

Testing strategies for Lynch syndrome in people with endometrial cancer: systematic reviews and economic evaluation.

Health Technol Assess 2021 06;25(42):1-216

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Background: Lynch syndrome is an inherited genetic condition that is associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended that people with colorectal cancer are tested for Lynch syndrome. Routine testing for Lynch syndrome among people with endometrial cancer is not currently conducted.

Objectives: To systematically review the evidence on the test accuracy of immunohistochemistry- and microsatellite instability-based strategies to detect Lynch syndrome among people who have endometrial cancer, and the clinical effectiveness and the cost-effectiveness of testing for Lynch syndrome among people who have been diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

Data Sources: Searches were conducted in the following databases, from inception to August 2019 - MEDLINE ALL, EMBASE (both via Ovid), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (both via Wiley Online Library), Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment Database (both via the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination), Science Citation Index, Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science (both via Web of Science), PROSPERO international prospective register of systematic reviews (via the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination), NHS Economic Evaluation Database, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, EconPapers (Research Papers in Economics) and School of Health and Related Research Health Utilities Database. The references of included studies and relevant systematic reviews were also checked and experts on the team were consulted.

Review Methods: Eligible studies included people with endometrial cancer who were tested for Lynch syndrome using immunohistochemistry- and/or microsatellite instability-based testing [with or without mutL homologue 1 () promoter hypermethylation testing], with Lynch syndrome diagnosis being established though germline testing of normal (non-tumour) tissue for constitutional mutations in mismatch repair. The risk of bias in studies was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool, the Consolidated Health Economic Reporting Standards and the Philips' checklist. Two reviewers independently conducted each stage of the review. A meta-analysis of test accuracy was not possible because of the number and heterogeneity of studies. A narrative summary of test accuracy results was provided, reporting test accuracy estimates and presenting forest plots. The economic model constituted a decision tree followed by Markov models for the impact of colorectal and endometrial surveillance, and aspirin prophylaxis with a lifetime time horizon.

Results: The clinical effectiveness search identified 3308 studies; 38 studies of test accuracy were included. (No studies of clinical effectiveness of endometrial cancer surveillance met the inclusion criteria.) Four test accuracy studies compared microsatellite instability with immunohistochemistry. No clear difference in accuracy between immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability was observed. There was some evidence that specificity of immunohistochemistry could be improved with the addition of methylation testing. There was high concordance between immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability. The economic model indicated that all testing strategies, compared with no testing, were cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year. Immunohistochemistry with promoter hypermethylation testing was the most cost-effective strategy, with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £9420 per quality-adjusted life-year. The second most cost-effective strategy was immunohistochemistry testing alone, but incremental analysis produced an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio exceeding £130,000. Results were robust across all scenario analyses. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios ranged from £5690 to £20,740; only removing the benefits of colorectal cancer surveillance produced an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio in excess of the £20,000 willingness-to-pay threshold. A sensitivity analysis identified the main cost drivers of the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio as percentage of relatives accepting counselling and prevalence of Lynch syndrome in the population. A probabilistic sensitivity analysis showed, at a willingness-to-pay threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year, a 0.93 probability that immunohistochemistry with promoter hypermethylation testing is cost-effective, compared with no testing.

Limitations: The systematic review excluded grey literature, studies written in non-English languages and studies for which the reference standard could not be established. Studies were included when Lynch syndrome was diagnosed by genetic confirmation of constitutional variants in the four mismatch repair genes (i.e. , mutS homologue 2, mutS homologue 6 and postmeiotic segregation increased 2). Variants of uncertain significance were reported as per the studies. There were limitations in the economic model around uncertainty in the model parameters and a lack of modelling of the potential harms of gynaecological surveillance and specific pathway modelling of genetic testing for somatic mismatch repair mutations.

Conclusion: The economic model suggests that testing women with endometrial cancer for Lynch syndrome is cost-effective, but that results should be treated with caution because of uncertain model inputs.

Future Work: Randomised controlled trials could provide evidence on the effect of earlier intervention on outcomes and the balance of benefits and harms of gynaecological cancer surveillance. Follow-up of negative cases through disease registers could be used to determine false negative cases.

Study Registration: This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42019147185.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Evidence Synthesis programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 25, No. 42. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta25420DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8273681PMC
June 2021

Optimising breast cancer screening reading: blinding the second reader to the first reader's decisions.

Eur Radiol 2022 Jan 12;32(1):602-612. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.

Objectives: In breast cancer screening, two readers separately examine each woman's mammograms for signs of cancer. We examined whether preventing the two readers from seeing each other's decisions (blinding) affects behaviour and outcomes.

Methods: This cohort study used data from the CO-OPS breast-screening trial (1,119,191 women from 43 screening centres in England) where all discrepant readings were arbitrated. Multilevel models were fitted using Markov chain Monte Carlo to measure whether reader 2 conformed to the decisions of reader 1 when they were not blinded, and the effect of blinding on overall rates of recall for further tests and cancer detection. Differences in positive predictive value (PPV) were assessed using Pearson's chi-squared test.

Results: When reader 1 recalls, the probability of reader 2 also recalling was higher when not blinded than when blinded, suggesting readers may be influenced by the other's decision. Overall, women were less likely to be recalled when reader 2 was blinded (OR 0.923; 95% credible interval 0.864, 0.986), with no clear pattern in cancer detection rate (OR 1.029; 95% credible interval 0.970, 1.089; Bayesian p value 0.832). PPV was 22.1% for blinded versus 20.6% for not blinded (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that when not blinded, reader 2 is influenced by reader 1's decisions to recall (alliterative bias) which would result in bypassing arbitration and negate some of the benefits of double-reading. We found a relationship between blinding the second reader and slightly higher PPV of breast cancer screening, although this analysis may be confounded by other centre characteristics.

Key Points: • In Europe, it is recommended that breast screening mammograms are analysed by two readers but there is little evidence on the effect of 'blinding' the readers so they cannot see each other's decisions. • We found evidence that when the second reader is not blinded, they are more likely to agree with a recall decision from the first reader and less likely to make an independent judgement (alliterative error). This may reduce overall accuracy through bypassing arbitration. • This observational study suggests an association between blinding the second reader and higher positive predictive value of screening, but this may be confounded by centre characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-021-07965-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8660753PMC
January 2022

Accuracy of four lateral flow immunoassays for anti SARS-CoV-2 antibodies: a head-to-head comparative study.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jun 4;68:103414. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

Public Health England, UK.

Background: SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests are used for population surveillance and might have a future role in individual risk assessment. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can deliver results rapidly and at scale, but have widely varying accuracy.

Methods: In a laboratory setting, we performed head-to-head comparisons of four LFIAs: the Rapid Test Consortium's AbC-19 Rapid Test, OrientGene COVID IgG/IgM Rapid Test Cassette, SureScreen COVID-19 Rapid Test Cassette, and Biomerica COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test. We analysed blood samples from 2,847 key workers and 1,995 pre-pandemic blood donors with all four devices.

Findings: We observed a clear trade-off between sensitivity and specificity: the IgG band of the SureScreen device and the AbC-19 device had higher specificities but OrientGene and Biomerica higher sensitivities. Based on analysis of pre-pandemic samples, SureScreen IgG band had the highest specificity (98.9%, 95% confidence interval 98.3 to 99.3%), which translated to the highest positive predictive value across any pre-test probability: for example, 95.1% (95% uncertainty interval 92.6, 96.8%) at 20% pre-test probability. All four devices showed higher sensitivity at higher antibody concentrations ("spectrum effects"), but the extent of this varied by device.

Interpretation: The estimates of sensitivity and specificity can be used to adjust for test error rates when using these devices to estimate the prevalence of antibody. If tests were used to determine whether an individual has SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, in an example scenario in which 20% of individuals have antibodies we estimate around 5% of positive results on the most specific device would be false positives.

Funding: Public Health England.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103414DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8176919PMC
June 2021

Association between vitamin D supplementation or serum vitamin D level and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 including clinical course, morbidity and mortality outcomes? A systematic review.

BMJ Open 2021 05 28;11(5):e043737. Epub 2021 May 28.

Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Objective: To systemically review and critically appraise published studies of the association between vitamin D supplementation or serum vitamin D level and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19, including clinical course, morbidity and mortality outcomes.

Design: Systematic review.

Data Sources: MEDLINE (OVID), Embase (OVID), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MedRxiv and BioRxiv preprint databases. COVID-19 databases of the WHO, Cochrane, CEBM Oxford and Bern University up to 10 June 2020.

Study Selection: Studies that assessed vitamin D supplementation and/or low serum vitamin D in patients acutely ill with, or at risk of, severe betacoronavirus infection (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2).

Data Extraction: Two authors independently extracted data using a predefined data extraction form and assessed risk of bias using the Downs and Black Quality Assessment Checklist.

Results: Searches elicited 449 papers, 59 studies were eligible full-text assessment and 4 met the eligibility criteria of this review. The four studies were narratively synthesised and included (1) a cross-sectional study (n=107) suggesting an inverse association between serum vitamin D and SARS-CoV-2; (2) a retrospective cohort study (348 598 participants, 449 cases) in which univariable analysis showed that vitamin D protects against COVID-19; (3) an ecological country level study demonstrating a negative correlation between vitamin D and COVID-19 case numbers and mortality; and (4) a case-control survey (n=1486) showing cases with confirmed/probable COVID-19 reported lower vitamin D supplementation. All studies were at high/unclear risk of bias.

Conclusion: There is no robust evidence of a negative association between vitamin D and COVID-19. No relevant randomised controlled trials were identified and there is no robust peer-reviewed published evidence of association between vitamin D levels and severity of symptoms or mortality due to COVID-19. Guideline producers should acknowledge that benefits of vitamin D supplementation in COVID-19 are as yet unproven despite increasing interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-043737DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8166456PMC
May 2021

Newborn Screening for Long-Chain 3-Hydroxyacyl-CoA Dehydrogenase and Mitochondrial Trifunctional Protein Deficiencies Using Acylcarnitines Measurement in Dried Blood Spots-A Systematic Review of Test Accuracy.

Front Pediatr 2021 19;9:606194. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.

Long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and mitochondrial trifunctional protein (MTP) deficiencies are rare autosomal recessive fatty acid β-oxidation disorders. Their clinical presentations are variable, and premature death is common. They are included in newborn blood spot screening programs in many countries around the world. The current process of screening, through the measurement of acylcarnitines (a metabolic by-product) in dried blood spots with tandem mass spectrometry, is subject to uncertainty regarding test accuracy. We conducted a systematic review of literature published up to 19th June 2018. We included studies that investigated newborn screening for LCHAD or MTP deficiencies by tandem mass spectrometry of acylcarnitines in dried blood spots. The reference standards were urine organic acids, blood acylcarnitine profiles, enzyme analysis in cultured fibroblasts or lymphocytes, mutation analysis, or at least 10-year follow-up. The outcomes of interest were sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). Assessment of titles, abstracts, and full-text papers and quality appraisal were carried out independently by two reviewers. One reviewer extracted study data. This was checked by a second reviewer. Ten studies provided data on test accuracy. LCHAD or MTP deficiencies were identified in 23 babies. No cases of LCHAD/MTP deficiencies were identified in four studies. PPV ranged from 0% (zero true positives and 28 false positives from 276,565 babies screened) to 100% (13 true positives and zero false positives from 2,037,824 babies screened). Sensitivity, specificity, and NPV could not be calculated as there was no systematic follow-up of babies who screened negative. Test accuracy estimates of screening for LCHAD and MTP deficiencies with tandem mass spectrometry measurement of acylcarnitines in dried blood were variable in terms of PPVs. Screening methods (including markers and thresholds) varied between studies, and sensitivity, specificity, and NPVs are unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fped.2021.606194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017228PMC
March 2021

The incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in UK primary care: a retrospective cohort study of the IQVIA Medical Research Database.

BMC Gastroenterol 2021 Mar 26;21(1):139. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Background: Our knowledge of the incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is uncertain. Recent studies reported an increase in prevalence. However, they excluded a high proportion of ambiguous cases from general practice. Estimates are needed to inform health care providers who plan the provision of services for IBD patients. We aimed to estimate the IBD incidence and prevalence in UK general practice.

Methods: We undertook a retrospective cohort study of routine electronic health records from the IQVIA Medical Research Database covering 14 million patients. Adult patients from 2006 to 2016 were included. IBD was defined as an IBD related Read code or record of IBD specific medication. Annual incidence and 12-month period prevalence were calculated.

Results: The prevalence of IBD increased between 2006 and 2016 from 106.2 (95% CI 105.2-107.3) to 142.1 (95% CI 140.7-143.5) IBD cases per 10,000 patients which is a 33.8% increase. Incidence varied across the years. The incidence across the full study period was 69.5 (95% CI 68.6-70.4) per 100,000 person years.

Conclusions: In this large study we found higher estimates of IBD incidence and prevalence than previously reported. Estimates are highly dependent on definitions of disease and previously may have been underestimated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12876-021-01716-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004426PMC
March 2021

Rapid, point-of-care antigen and molecular-based tests for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2021 03 24;3:CD013705. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Background: Accurate rapid diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection could contribute to clinical and public health strategies to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. Point-of-care antigen and molecular tests to detect current infection could increase access to testing and early confirmation of cases, and expediate clinical and public health management decisions that may reduce transmission.

Objectives: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of point-of-care antigen and molecular-based tests for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We consider accuracy separately in symptomatic and asymptomatic population groups.

Search Methods: Electronic searches of the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and the COVID-19 Living Evidence Database from the University of Bern (which includes daily updates from PubMed and Embase and preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv) were undertaken on 30 Sept 2020. We checked repositories of COVID-19 publications and included independent evaluations from national reference laboratories, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics and the Diagnostics Global Health website to 16 Nov 2020. We did not apply language restrictions.

Selection Criteria: We included studies of people with either suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection, known SARS-CoV-2 infection or known absence of infection, or those who were being screened for infection. We included test accuracy studies of any design that evaluated commercially produced, rapid antigen or molecular tests suitable for a point-of-care setting (minimal equipment, sample preparation, and biosafety requirements, with results within two hours of sample collection). We included all reference standards that define the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 (including reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests and established diagnostic criteria).

Data Collection And Analysis: Studies were screened independently in duplicate with disagreements resolved by discussion with a third author. Study characteristics were extracted by one author and checked by a second; extraction of study results and assessments of risk of bias and applicability (made using the QUADAS-2 tool) were undertaken independently in duplicate. We present sensitivity and specificity with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each test and pooled data using the bivariate model separately for antigen and molecular-based tests. We tabulated results by test manufacturer and compliance with manufacturer instructions for use and according to symptom status.

Main Results: Seventy-eight study cohorts were included (described in 64 study reports, including 20 pre-prints), reporting results for 24,087 samples (7,415 with confirmed SARS-CoV-2). Studies were mainly from Europe (n = 39) or North America (n = 20), and evaluated 16 antigen and five molecular assays. We considered risk of bias to be high in 29 (50%) studies because of participant selection; in 66 (85%) because of weaknesses in the reference standard for absence of infection; and in 29 (45%) for participant flow and timing. Studies of antigen tests were of a higher methodological quality compared to studies of molecular tests, particularly regarding the risk of bias for participant selection and the index test. Characteristics of participants in 35 (45%) studies differed from those in whom the test was intended to be used and the delivery of the index test in 39 (50%) studies differed from the way in which the test was intended to be used. Nearly all studies (97%) defined the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 based on a single RT-PCR result, and none included participants meeting case definitions for probable COVID-19. Antigen tests Forty-eight studies reported 58 evaluations of antigen tests. Estimates of sensitivity varied considerably between studies. There were differences between symptomatic (72.0%, 95% CI 63.7% to 79.0%; 37 evaluations; 15530 samples, 4410 cases) and asymptomatic participants (58.1%, 95% CI 40.2% to 74.1%; 12 evaluations; 1581 samples, 295 cases). Average sensitivity was higher in the first week after symptom onset (78.3%, 95% CI 71.1% to 84.1%; 26 evaluations; 5769 samples, 2320 cases) than in the second week of symptoms (51.0%, 95% CI 40.8% to 61.0%; 22 evaluations; 935 samples, 692 cases). Sensitivity was high in those with cycle threshold (Ct) values on PCR ≤25 (94.5%, 95% CI 91.0% to 96.7%; 36 evaluations; 2613 cases) compared to those with Ct values >25 (40.7%, 95% CI 31.8% to 50.3%; 36 evaluations; 2632 cases). Sensitivity varied between brands. Using data from instructions for use (IFU) compliant evaluations in symptomatic participants, summary sensitivities ranged from 34.1% (95% CI 29.7% to 38.8%; Coris Bioconcept) to 88.1% (95% CI 84.2% to 91.1%; SD Biosensor STANDARD Q). Average specificities were high in symptomatic and asymptomatic participants, and for most brands (overall summary specificity 99.6%, 95% CI 99.0% to 99.8%). At 5% prevalence using data for the most sensitive assays in symptomatic people (SD Biosensor STANDARD Q and Abbott Panbio), positive predictive values (PPVs) of 84% to 90% mean that between 1 in 10 and 1 in 6 positive results will be a false positive, and between 1 in 4 and 1 in 8 cases will be missed. At 0.5% prevalence applying the same tests in asymptomatic people would result in PPVs of 11% to 28% meaning that between 7 in 10 and 9 in 10 positive results will be false positives, and between 1 in 2 and 1 in 3 cases will be missed. No studies assessed the accuracy of repeated lateral flow testing or self-testing. Rapid molecular assays Thirty studies reported 33 evaluations of five different rapid molecular tests. Sensitivities varied according to test brand. Most of the data relate to the ID NOW and Xpert Xpress assays. Using data from evaluations following the manufacturer's instructions for use, the average sensitivity of ID NOW was 73.0% (95% CI 66.8% to 78.4%) and average specificity 99.7% (95% CI 98.7% to 99.9%; 4 evaluations; 812 samples, 222 cases). For Xpert Xpress, the average sensitivity was 100% (95% CI 88.1% to 100%) and average specificity 97.2% (95% CI 89.4% to 99.3%; 2 evaluations; 100 samples, 29 cases). Insufficient data were available to investigate the effect of symptom status or time after symptom onset.

Authors' Conclusions: Antigen tests vary in sensitivity. In people with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, sensitivities are highest in the first week of illness when viral loads are higher. The assays shown to meet appropriate criteria, such as WHO's priority target product profiles for COVID-19 diagnostics ('acceptable' sensitivity ≥ 80% and specificity ≥ 97%), can be considered as a replacement for laboratory-based RT-PCR when immediate decisions about patient care must be made, or where RT-PCR cannot be delivered in a timely manner. Positive predictive values suggest that confirmatory testing of those with positive results may be considered in low prevalence settings. Due to the variable sensitivity of antigen tests, people who test negative may still be infected. Evidence for testing in asymptomatic cohorts was limited. Test accuracy studies cannot adequately assess the ability of antigen tests to differentiate those who are infectious and require isolation from those who pose no risk, as there is no reference standard for infectiousness. A small number of molecular tests showed high accuracy and may be suitable alternatives to RT-PCR. However, further evaluations of the tests in settings as they are intended to be used are required to fully establish performance in practice. Several important studies in asymptomatic individuals have been reported since the close of our search and will be incorporated at the next update of this review. Comparative studies of antigen tests in their intended use settings and according to test operator (including self-testing) are required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD013705.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8078597PMC
March 2021

Optimum screening mammography reading volumes: evidence from the NHS Breast Screening Programme.

Eur Radiol 2021 Sep 25;31(9):6909-6915. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Division of Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7A, UK.

Objectives: Minimum caseload standards for professionals examining breast screening mammograms vary from 480 (US) to 5000 (Europe). We measured the relationship between the number of women's mammograms examined per year and reader performance.

Methods: We extracted routine records from the English NHS Breast Screening Programme for readers examining between 1000 and 45,000 mammograms between April 2014 and March 2017. We measured the relationship between the volume of cases read and screening performance (cancer detection rate, recall rate, positive predictive value of recall (PPV) and discrepant cancers) using linear logistic regression. We also examined the effect of reader occupational group on performance.

Results: In total, 759 eligible mammography readers (445 consultant radiologists, 235 radiography advanced practitioners, 79 consultant radiographers) examined 6.1 million women's mammograms during the study period. PPV increased from 12.9 to 14.4 to 17.0% for readers examining 2000, 5000 and 10000 cases per year respectively. This was driven by decreases in recall rates from 5.8 to 5.3 to 4.5 with increasing volume read, and no change in cancer detection rate (from 7.6 to 7.6 to 7.7). There was no difference in cancer detection rate with reader occupational group. Consultant radiographers had higher recall rate and lower PPV compared to radiologists (OR 1.105, p = 0.012; OR 0.874, p = 0.002, unadjusted).

Conclusion: Positive predictive value of screening increases with the total volume of cases examined per reader, through decreases in numbers of cases recalled with no concurrent change in numbers of cancers detected.

Key Points: • In the English Breast Screening Programme, readers who examined a larger number of cases per year had a higher positive predictive value, because they recalled fewer women for further tests but detected the same number of cancers. • Reader type did not affect cancer detection rate, but consultant radiographers had a higher recall rate and lower positive predictive value than consultant radiologists, although this was not adjusted for length of experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-021-07754-8DOI Listing
September 2021

Test accuracy of faecal calprotectin for inflammatory bowel disease in UK primary care: a retrospective cohort study of the IMRD-UK data.

BMJ Open 2021 02 22;11(2):e044177. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Objective: To estimate the test accuracy of faecal calprotectin (FC) for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the primary care setting using routine electronic health records.

Design: Retrospective cohort test accuracy study.

Setting: UK primary care.

Participants: 5970 patients (≥18 years) without a previous IBD diagnosis and with a first FC test between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2016. We excluded multiple tests and tests without numeric results in units of µg/g.

Intervention: FC testing for the diagnosis of IBD. Disease status was confirmed by a recorded diagnostic code and/or a drug code of an IBD-specific medication at three time points after the FC test date.

Main Outcome Measures: Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for the differential of IBD versus non-IBD and IBD versus irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at the 50 and 100 µg/g thresholds.

Results: 5970 patients met the inclusion criteria and had at least 6 months of follow-up data after FC testing. 1897 had an IBS diagnosis, 208 had an IBD diagnosis, 31 had a colorectal cancer diagnosis, 80 had more than one diagnosis and 3754 had no subsequent diagnosis. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 92.9% (88.6% to 95.6%), 61.5% (60.2% to 62.7%), 8.1% (7.1% to 9.2%) and 99.6% (99.3% to 99.7%), respectively, at the threshold of 50 µg/g. Raising the threshold to 100 µg/g missed less than 7% additional IBD cases. Longer follow-up had no effect on test accuracy. Overall, uncertainty was greater for specificity than sensitivity. General practitioners' (GPs') referral decisions did not follow the anticipated clinical pathways in national guidance.

Conclusions: GPs can be confident in excluding IBD on the basis of a negative FC test in a population with low pretest risk but should interpret a positive test with caution. The applicability of national guidance to general practice needs to be improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-044177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7903095PMC
February 2021

Testing for lynch syndrome in people with endometrial cancer using immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability-based testing strategies - A systematic review of test accuracy.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 01 24;160(1):148-160. Epub 2020 Oct 24.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: Lynch syndrome is an inherited genetic condition that is associated with an increased risk of cancer, including endometrial and colorectal cancer. We assessed the test accuracy of immunohistochemistry and microsatellite instability-based testing (with or without MLH1 promoter methylation testing) for Lynch syndrome in women with endometrial cancer.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of literature published up to August 2019. We searched bibliographic databases, contacted experts and checked reference lists of relevant studies. Two reviewers conducted each stage of the review.

Results: Thirteen studies were identified that included approximately 3500 participants. None of the studies was at low risk of bias in all domains. Data could not be pooled due to the small number of heterogeneous studies. Sensitivity ranged from 60.7-100% for immunohistochemistry, 41.7-100% for microsatellite instability-based testing, and 90.5-100% for studies combining immunohistochemistry, microsatellite instability-based testing, and MLH1 promoter methylation testing. Specificity ranged from 60.9-83.3% (excluding 1 study with highly selective inclusion criteria) for immunohistochemistry, 69.2-89.9% for microsatellite instability-based testing, and 72.4-92.3% (excluding 1 study with highly selective inclusion criteria) for testing strategies that included immunohistochemistry, microsatellite instability-based testing, and MLH1 promoter methylation. We found no statistically significant differences in test accuracy estimates (sensitivity, specificity) in head-to-head studies of immunohistochemistry versus microsatellite instability-based testing. Reported test failures were rare.

Conclusions: Sensitivity of the index tests were generally high, though most studies had much lower specificity. We found no evidence that test accuracy differed between IHC and MSI based strategies. The evidence base is currently small and at high risk of bias.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.10.003DOI Listing
January 2021

Accuracy of UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC) "AbC-19 Rapid Test" for detection of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection in key workers: test accuracy study.

BMJ 2020 11 11;371:m4262. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Public Health England, London, UK

Objective: To assess the accuracy of the AbC-19 Rapid Test lateral flow immunoassay for the detection of previous severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Design: Test accuracy study.

Setting: Laboratory based evaluation.

Participants: 2847 key workers (healthcare staff, fire and rescue officers, and police officers) in England in June 2020 (268 with a previous polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive result (median 63 days previously), 2579 with unknown previous infection status); and 1995 pre-pandemic blood donors.

Main Outcome Measures: AbC-19 sensitivity and specificity, estimated using known negative (pre-pandemic) and known positive (PCR confirmed) samples as reference standards and secondly using the Roche Elecsys anti-nucleoprotein assay, a highly sensitive laboratory immunoassay, as a reference standard in samples from key workers.

Results: Test result bands were often weak, with positive/negative discordance by three trained laboratory staff for 3.9% of devices. Using consensus readings, for known positive and negative samples sensitivity was 92.5% (95% confidence interval 88.8% to 95.1%) and specificity was 97.9% (97.2% to 98.4%). Using an immunoassay reference standard, sensitivity was 94.2% (90.7% to 96.5%) among PCR confirmed cases but 84.7% (80.6% to 88.1%) among other people with antibodies. This is consistent with AbC-19 being more sensitive when antibody concentrations are higher, as people with PCR confirmation tended to have more severe disease whereas only 62% (218/354) of seropositive participants had had symptoms. If 1 million key workers were tested with AbC-19 and 10% had actually been previously infected, 84 700 true positive and 18 900 false positive results would be projected. The probability that a positive result was correct would be 81.7% (76.8% to 85.8%).

Conclusions: AbC-19 sensitivity was lower among unselected populations than among PCR confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the scope for overestimation of assay performance in studies involving only PCR confirmed cases, owing to "spectrum bias." Assuming that 10% of the tested population have had SARS-CoV-2 infection, around one in five key workers testing positive with AbC-19 would be false positives.

Study Registration: ISRCTN 56609224.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m4262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7656121PMC
November 2020

Information given by websites selling home self-sampling COVID-19 tests: an analysis of accuracy and completeness.

BMJ Open 2020 11 6;10(11):e042453. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Objectives: To assess the accuracy and completeness of information provided by websites selling home self-sampling and testing kits for COVID-19.

Design: Cross-sectional observational study.

Setting: All websites (n=27) selling direct to user home self-sampling and testing kits for COVID-19 (41 tests) in the UK (39 tests) and USA (two tests) identified by a website search on 23 May 2020.

Main Outcome Measures: Thirteen predefined basic information items to communicate to a user, including who should be tested, when and how testing should be done, test accuracy, and interpretation of results.

Results: Many websites did not provide the name or manufacturer of the test (32/41; 78%), when to use the test (10/41; 24%), test accuracy (12/41; 29%), and how to interpret results (21/41; 51%). Sensitivity and specificity were the most commonly reported test accuracy measures (either reported for 27/41 [66%] tests): we could only link these figures to manufacturers' documents or publications for four (10%) tests. Predictive values, most relevant to users, were rarely reported (five [12%] tests reported positive predictive values). For molecular virus tests, 9/23 (39%) websites explained that test positives should self-isolate, and 8/23 (35%) explained that test negatives may still have the disease. For antibody tests, 12/18 (67%) websites explained that testing positive does not necessarily infer immunity from future infection. Seven (39%) websites selling antibody tests claimed the test had a CE mark, when they were for a different intended use (venous blood rather than finger-prick samples).

Conclusions: At the point of online purchase of home self-sampling COVID-19 tests, users in the UK are provided with incomplete, and, in some cases, misleading information on test accuracy, intended use, and test interpretation. Best practice guidance for communication about tests to the public should be developed and enforced for online sales of COVID-19 tests.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7650079PMC
November 2020

Incidence of sudden cardiac death in the young: a systematic review.

BMJ Open 2020 10 7;10(10):e040815. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK.

Objective: To summarise studies describing incidence of sudden cardiac death in a general population of young individuals to inform screening policy.

Design: Systematic review.

Data Sources: Database searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane library (all inception to current) on 29 April 2019 (updated 16 November 2019), and forward/backward citation tracking of eligible studies.

Study Eligibility Criteria: All studies that reported incidence of sudden cardiac death in young individuals (12-39 years) in a general population, with no restriction on language or date. Planned subgroups were incidence by age, sex, race and athletic status (including military personnel).

Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently assessed study eligibility, extracted study data and assessed risk of bias using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal checklist for prevalence studies.

Analysis: Reported incidence of sudden cardiac death in the young per 100 000 person-years.

Results: 38 studies that reported incidence across five continents. We identified substantial heterogeneity in population, sudden cardiac death definition, and case ascertainment methods, precluding meta-analysis. Median reported follow-up years was 6.97 million (IQR 2.34 million-23.70 million) and number of sudden cardiac death cases was 64 (IQR 40-251). In the general population, the median of reported incidence was 1.7 sudden cardiac death per 100 000 person-years (IQR 1.3-2.6, range 0.75-11.9). Most studies (n=14, 54%) reported an incidence between one and two cases per 100 000 person-years. Incidence was higher in males and older individuals.

Conclusions: This systematic review identified variability in the reported incidence of sudden cardiac death in the young across studies. Most studies reported an incidence between one and two cases per 100 000 person-years.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42019120563.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040815DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542928PMC
October 2020
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