Publications by authors named "Susan J Moug"

22 Publications

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Healthcare professional preferences in the health and fitness assessment and optimization of older patients facing colorectal cancer surgery.

Colorectal Dis 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Oncology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.

Aim: There are few age- and fitness-specific, evidence-based guidelines for colorectal cancer surgery. The uptake of different assessment and optimization strategies is variable. The aim of this study was to explore healthcare professional opinion about these issues using a mixed methods design.

Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with healthcare professionals from a single UK region involved in the treatment, assessment and optimization of colorectal surgery patients. Interviews were analysed using the framework approach. An online questionnaire survey was subsequently designed and disseminated to UK surgeons to quantitatively assess the importance of interview themes. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse questionnaire data.

Results: Thirty-seven healthcare professionals out of 42 approached (response rate 88%) were interviewed across five hospitals in the south Yorkshire region. Three broad themes were developed: attitudes towards treatment of the older patient, methods of assessment of suitability and optimization strategies. The questionnaire was completed by 103 out of an estimated 256 surgeons (estimated response rate 40.2%). There was a difference in opinion regarding the role of major surgery in older patients, particularly when there is coexisting dementia. Assessment was not standardized. Access to optimization strategies was limited, particularly in the emergency setting.

Conclusion: There is wide variation in the process of assessment and provision of optimization strategies in UK practice. Lack of evidence-based guidelines, cost and time constraints restrict the development of services and pathways. Differences in opinion between surgeons towards patients with frailty or dementia may account for some of the variation in colorectal cancer outcomes.
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May 2021

The effect of frailty on survival in patients with COVID-19 (COPE): a multicentre, European, observational cohort study.

Lancet Public Health 2020 08 30;5(8):e444-e451. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Department of Surgery and Care of the Elderly, Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK. Electronic address:

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented strain on health-care systems. Frailty is being used in clinical decision making for patients with COVID-19, yet the prevalence and effect of frailty in people with COVID-19 is not known. In the COVID-19 in Older PEople (COPE) study we aimed to establish the prevalence of frailty in patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to hospital and investigate its association with mortality and duration of hospital stay.

Methods: This was an observational cohort study conducted at ten hospitals in the UK and one in Italy. All adults (≥18 years) admitted to participating hospitals with COVID-19 were included. Patients with incomplete hospital records were excluded. The study analysed routinely generated hospital data for patients with COVID-19. Frailty was assessed by specialist COVID-19 teams using the clinical frailty scale (CFS) and patients were grouped according to their score (1-2=fit; 3-4=vulnerable, but not frail; 5-6=initial signs of frailty but with some degree of independence; and 7-9=severe or very severe frailty). The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality (time from hospital admission to mortality and day-7 mortality).

Findings: Between Feb 27, and April 28, 2020, we enrolled 1564 patients with COVID-19. The median age was 74 years (IQR 61-83); 903 (57·7%) were men and 661 (42·3%) were women; 425 (27·2%) had died at data cutoff (April 28, 2020). 772 (49·4%) were classed as frail (CFS 5-8) and 27 (1·7%) were classed as terminally ill (CFS 9). Compared with CFS 1-2, the adjusted hazard ratios for time from hospital admission to death were 1·55 (95% CI 1·00-2·41) for CFS 3-4, 1·83 (1·15-2·91) for CFS 5-6, and 2·39 (1·50-3·81) for CFS 7-9, and adjusted odds ratios for day-7 mortality were 1·22 (95% CI 0·63-2·38) for CFS 3-4, 1·62 (0·81-3·26) for CFS 5-6, and 3·12 (1·56-6·24) for CFS 7-9.

Interpretation: In a large population of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19, disease outcomes were better predicted by frailty than either age or comorbidity. Our results support the use of CFS to inform decision making about medical care in adult patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

Funding: None.
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August 2020

Prehabilitation vs Postoperative Rehabilitation for Frail Patients.

JAMA Surg 2020 09;155(9):896

Department of Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, University of Glasgow, Paisley, Scotland.

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September 2020

The Prevalence of Delirium in An Older Acute Surgical Population and Its Effect on Outcome.

Geriatrics (Basel) 2019 Oct 16;4(4). Epub 2019 Oct 16.

Department of Surgery, Royal Alexandra hospital Paisley, G12 9PF, UK.

Background: With an ageing population, an increasing number of older adults are admitted for assessment to acute surgical units. Older adults have specific factors that may influence outcomes, one of which is delirium (acute cognitive impairment).

Objectives: To establish the prevalence of delirium on admission in an older acute surgical population and its effect on mortality. Secondary outcomes investigated include hospital readmission and length of hospital stay.

Method: This observational multi-centre study investigated consecutive patients, ≥65 years, admitted to the acute surgical units of five UK hospitals during an eight-week period. On admission the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) score was performed to detect delirium. The effect of delirium on important clinical outcomes was investigated using tests of association and logistic regression models.

Results: The cohort consisted of 411 patients with a mean age of 77.3 years (SD 8.1). The prevalence of admission delirium was 8.8% (95% CI 6.2-11.9%) and cognitive impairment was 70.3% (95% CI 65.6-74.7%). The delirious group were not more likely to die at 30 or 90 days (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.2 to 5.1, = 0.67; OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.4 to 4.1. = 0.82) or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge (OR 0.9, 95% CI 0.4 to 2.2, = 0.89). Length of hospital stay was significantly longer in the delirious group (median 8 vs. 5 days respectively, = 0.009).

Conclusion: Admission delirium occurs in just under 10% of older people admitted to acute surgical units, resulting in significantly longer hospital stays.
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October 2019

Frailty in Older Patients Undergoing Emergency Laparotomy: Results From the UK Observational Emergency Laparotomy and Frailty (ELF) Study.

Ann Surg 2021 04;273(4):709-718

Department of Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley, Scotland, UK.

Objective: This study aimed to document the prevalence of frailty in older adults undergoing emergency laparotomy and to explore relationships between frailty and postoperative morbidity and mortality.

Summary Background Data: The majority of adults undergoing emergency laparotomy are older adults (≥65 y) that carry the highest mortality. Improved understanding is urgently needed to allow development of targeted interventions.

Methods: An observational multicenter (n=49) UK study was performed (March-June 2017). All older adults undergoing emergency laparotomy were included. Preoperative frailty score was calculated using the progressive Clinical Frailty Score (CFS): 1 (very fit) to 7 (severely frail). Primary outcome measures were the prevalence of frailty (CFS 5-7) and its association to mortality at 90 days postoperative. Secondary outcomes included 30-day mortality and morbidity, length of critical care, and overall hospital stay.

Results: A total of 937 older adults underwent emergency laparotomy: frailty was present in 20%. Ninety-day mortality was 19.5%. After age and sex adjustment, the risk of 90-day mortality was directly associated with frailty: CFS 5 adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3.18 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.24-8.14] and CFS 6/7 aOR 6·10 (95% CI, 2.26-16.45) compared with CFS 1. Similar associations were found for 30-day mortality. Increasing frailty was also associated with increased risk of complications, length of Intensive Care Unit, and overall hospital stay.

Conclusions: A fifth of older adults undergoing emergency laparotomy are frail. The presence of frailty is associated with greater risks of postoperative mortality and morbidity and is independent of age. Frailty scoring should be integrated into acute surgical assessment practice to aid decision-making and development of novel postoperative strategies.
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April 2021

Barriers and facilitators to deliberate practice using take-home laparoscopic simulators.

Surg Endosc 2019 09 19;33(9):2951-2959. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Scottish Surgical Simulation Collaborative, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Edinburgh, UK.

Background: Several regions in the UK and Ireland have delivered home-based laparoscopic simulation programmes in an attempt to progress surgical trainees' skills through deliberate practice. However, engagement with these programmes has been poor. This study aims to uncover the barriers to engagement with home-based simulation, with a view to developing an improved programme.

Methods: This was a qualitative study using focus groups with key stakeholders including junior surgical trainees, consultants/attendings and simulation faculty. Data were collected across four regions in three countries. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed and a thematic analysis was performed using NVivo software.

Results: Sixty-three individuals were interviewed in 12 focus groups (43 trainees, 20 trainers). Trainees cited competing commitments as a barrier to engaging with home-based simulation. They tended to focus on scoring 'points' towards career progression rather than viewing tasks as interesting, or associated with personal development. Their view was that this approach is perpetuated by the training system, which rewards trainees for publications and exams, but not for operative skill. Trainees were unsatisfied with metric feedback and wanted individual feedback from consultants (attendings). Trainees perceived consultants as lacking interest in the programmes and training in general. However, some consultants were unaware of the programmes being delivered and others felt lacking in confidence to deliver the necessary training.

Conclusions: Scheduled simulation sessions which provide trainees with the opportunity for consultant feedback may improve engagement. Tackling the 'point-scoring' culture is more challenging. This could be addressed by modified assessment structures, greater recognition and accountability for trainers, and recognition and funding of simulation strategies including in-house skills sessions.
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September 2019

Is anemia associated with cognitive impairment and delirium among older acute surgical patients?

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018 Jul 1;18(7):1025-1030. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Aim: The determinants of cognitive impairment and delirium during acute illness are poorly understood, despite being common among older people. Anemia is common in older people, and there is ongoing debate regarding the association between anemia, cognitive impairment and delirium, primarily in non-surgical patients.

Methods: Using data from the Older Persons Surgical Outcomes Collaboration 2013 and 2014 audit cycles, we examined the association between anemia and cognitive outcomes in patients aged ≥65 years admitted to five UK acute surgical units. On admission, the Confusion Assessment Method was carried out to detect delirium. Cognition was assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and two levels of impairment were defined as Montreal Cognitive Assessment <26 and <20. Logistic regression models were constructed to examine these associations in all participants, and individuals aged ≥75 years only.

Results: A total of 653 patients, with a median age of 76.5 years (interquartile range 73.0-80.0 years) and 53% women, were included. Statistically significant associations were found between anemia and age; polypharmacy; hyperglycemia; and hypoalbuminemia. There was no association between anemia and cognitive impairment or delirium. The adjusted odds ratios of cognitive impairment were 0.95 (95% CI 0.56-1.61) and 1.00 (95% CI 0.61-1.64) for the Montreal Cognitive Assessment <26 and <20, respectively. The adjusted odds ratio of delirium was 1.00 (95% CI 0.48-2.10) in patients with anemia compared with those without. Similar results were observed for the ≥75 years age group.

Conclusions: There was no association between anemia and cognitive outcomes among older people in this acute surgical setting. Considering the retrospective nature of the study and possible lack of power, findings should be taken with caution. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 1025-1030.
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July 2018

Electrospun collagen-based nanofibres: A sustainable material for improved antibiotic utilisation in tissue engineering applications.

Int J Pharm 2017 Oct 12;531(1):67-79. Epub 2017 Aug 12.

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), University of Strathclyde, 161 Cathedral Street, Glasgow, G4 0RE, United Kingdom; Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Medway Campus, Anson Building, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TB, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

For the creation of scaffolds in tissue engineering applications, it is essential to control the physical morphology of fibres and to choose compositions which do not disturb normal physiological function. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, is a well-established biopolymer used in electrospinning compositions. It shows high in-vivo stability and is able to maintain a high biomechanical strength over time. In this study, the effects of collagen type I in polylactic acid-drug electrospun scaffolds for tissue engineering applications are examined. The samples produced were subsequently characterised using a range of techniques. Scanning electron microscopy analysis shows that the fibre morphologies varied across PLA-drug and PLA-collagen-drug samples - the addition of collagen caused a decrease in average fibre diameter by nearly half, and produced nanofibres. Atomic force microscopy imaging revealed collagen-banding patterns which show the successful integration of collagen with PLA. Solid-state characterisation suggested a chemical interaction between PLA and drug compounds, irgasan and levofloxacin, and the collagen increased the amorphous regions within the samples. Surface energy analysis of drug powders showed a higher dispersive surface energy of levofloxacin compared with irgasan, and contact angle goniometry showed an increase in hydrophobicity in PLA-collagen-drug samples. The antibacterial studies showed a high efficacy of resistance against the growth of both E. coli and S. Aureus, except with PLA-collagen-LEVO which showed a regrowth of bacteria after 48h. This can be attributed to the low drug release percentage incorporated into the nanofibre during the in vitro release study. However, the studies did show that collagen helped shift both drugs into sustained release behaviour. These ideal modifications to electrospun scaffolds may prove useful in further research regarding the acceptance of human tissue by inhibiting the potential for bacterial infection.
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October 2017

Heuristics and bias in rectal surgery.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2017 Aug 25;32(8):1109-1115. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Purpose: Deciding to defunction after anterior resection can be difficult, requiring cognitive tools or heuristics. From our previous work, increasing age and risk-taking propensity were identified as heuristic biases for surgeons in Australia and New Zealand (CSSANZ), and inversely proportional to the likelihood of creating defunctioning stomas. We aimed to assess these factors for colorectal surgeons in the British Isles, and identify other potential biases.

Methods: The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (ACPGBI) was invited to complete an online survey. Questions included demographics, risk-taking propensity, sensitivity to professional criticism, self-perception of anastomotic leak rate and propensity for creating defunctioning stomas. Chi-squared testing was used to assess differences between ACPGBI and CSSANZ respondents. Multiple regression analysis identified independent surgeon predictors of stoma formation.

Results: One hundred fifty (19.2%) eligible members of the ACPGBI replied. Demographics between ACPGBI and CSSANZ groups were well-matched. Significantly more ACPGBI surgeons admitted to anastomotic leak in the last year (p < 0.001). ACPGBI surgeon age over 50 (p = 0.02), higher risk-taking propensity across several domains (p = 0.044), self-belief in a lower-than-average anastomotic leak rate (p = 0.02) and belief that the average risk of leak after anterior resection is 8% or lower (p = 0.007) were all independent predictors of less frequent stoma formation. Sensitivity to criticism from colleagues was not a predictor of stoma formation.

Conclusions: Unrecognised surgeon factors including age, everyday risk-taking, self-belief in surgical ability and lower probability bias of anastomotic leak appear to exert an effect on decision-making in rectal surgery.
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August 2017

Lifestyle interventions are feasible in patients with colorectal cancer with potential short-term health benefits: a systematic review.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2017 Jun 3;32(6):765-775. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, Division of Cancer Research, Ninewells Medical School, Level 7, Mailbox 7, Dundee, DD1 9SY, UK.

Purpose: Lifestyle interventions have been proposed to improve cancer survivorship in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), but with treatment pathways becoming increasingly multi-modal and prolonged, opportunities for interventions may be limited. This systematic review assessed the evidence for the feasibility of performing lifestyle interventions in CRC patients and evaluated any short- and long-term health benefits.

Methods: Using PRISMA Guidelines, selected keywords identified randomised controlled studies (RCTs) of lifestyle interventions [smoking, alcohol, physical activity (PA) and diet/excess body weight] in CRC patients. These electronic databases were searched in June 2015: Dynamed, Cochrane Database, OVID MEDLINE, OVID EMBASE, and PEDro.

Results: Fourteen RCTs were identified: PA RCTs (n = 10) consisted mainly of telephone-prompted walking or cycling interventions of varied durations, predominately in adjuvant setting; dietary/excess weight interventions RCTs (n = 4) focused on low-fat and/or high-fibre diets within a multi-modal lifestyle intervention. There were no reported RCTs in smoking or alcohol cessation/reduction. PA and/or dietary/excess weight interventions reported variable recruitment rates, but good adherence and retention/follow-up rates, leading to short-term improvements in dietary quality, physical, psychological and quality-of-life parameters. Only one study assessed long-term follow-up, finding significantly improved cancer-specific survival after dietary intervention.

Conclusions: This is the first systematic review on lifestyle interventions in patients with CRC finding these interventions to be feasible with improvements in short-term health. Future work should focus on defining the optimal type of intervention (type, duration, timing and intensity) that not only leads to improved short-term outcomes but also assesses long-term survival.
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June 2017

Analysis of lesion localisation at colonoscopy: outcomes from a multi-centre U.K. study.

Surg Endosc 2017 07 8;31(7):2959-2967. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Department of Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Corsebar Road, Paisley, PA2 9PN, Scotland, UK.

Background: Colonoscopy is currently the gold standard for detection of colorectal lesions, but may be limited in anatomically localising lesions. This audit aimed to determine the accuracy of colonoscopy lesion localisation, any subsequent changes in surgical management and any potentially influencing factors.

Methods: Patients undergoing colonoscopy prior to elective curative surgery for colorectal lesion/s were included from 8 registered U.K. sites (2012-2014). Three sets of data were recorded: patient factors (age, sex, BMI, screener vs. symptomatic, previous abdominal surgery); colonoscopy factors (caecal intubation, scope guide used, colonoscopist accreditation) and imaging modality. Lesion localisation was standardised with intra-operative location taken as the gold standard. Changes to surgical management were recorded.

Results: 364 cases were included; majority of lesions were colonic, solitary, malignant and in symptomatic referrals. 82% patients had their lesion/s correctly located at colonoscopy. Pre-operative CT visualised lesion/s in only 73% of cases with a reduction in screening patients (64 vs. 77%; p = 0.008). 5.2% incorrectly located cases at colonoscopy underwent altered surgical management, including conversion to open. Univariate analysis found colonoscopy accreditation, scope guide use, incomplete colonoscopy and previous abdominal surgery significantly influenced lesion localisation. On multi-variate analysis, caecal intubation and scope guide use remained significant (HR 0.35, 0.20-0.60 95% CI and 0.47; 0.25-0.88, respectively).

Conclusion: Lesion localisation at colonoscopy is incorrect in 18% of cases leading to potentially significant surgical management alterations. As part of accreditation, colonoscopists need lesion localisation training and awareness of when inaccuracies can occur.
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July 2017

Prevalence of multimorbidity and its association with outcomes in older emergency general surgical patients: an observational study.

BMJ Open 2016 Mar 31;6(3):e010126. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Department of General Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.

Objectives: Multimorbidity is the presence of 2 or more medical conditions. This increasingly used assessment has not been assessed in a surgical population. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of multimorbidity and its association with common outcome measures.

Design: A cross-sectional observational study.

Setting: A UK-based multicentre study, included participants between July and October 2014.

Participants: Consecutive emergency (non-elective) general surgical patients admitted to hospital, aged over 65 years.

Outcome Measures: The outcome measures were (1) the prevalence of multimorbidity and (2) the association between multimorbidity and frailty; the rate and severity of surgery; length of hospital stay; readmission to hospital within 30 days of discharge; and death at 30 and 90 days.

Results: Data were collected on 413 participants aged 65-98 years (median 77 years, (IQR (70-84)). 51.6% (212/413) participants were women. Multimorbidity was present in 74% (95% CI 69.7% to 78.2%) of the population and increased with age (p<0.0001). Multimorbidity was associated with increasing frailty (p for trend <0.0001). People with multimorbidity underwent surgery as often as those without multimorbidity, including major surgery (p=0.03). When comparing multimorbid people with those without multimorbidity, we found no association between length of hospital stay (median 5 days, IQR (1-54), vs 6 days (1-47), (p=0.66)), readmission to hospital (64 (21.1%) vs 18 (16.8%) (p=0.35)), death at 30 days (14 (4.6%) vs 6 (5.6%) (p=0.68)) or 90-day mortality (28 (9.2%) vs 8 (7.6%) (p=0.60)).

Conclusions And Implications: Multimorbidity is common. Nearly three-quarters of this older emergency general surgical population had 2 or more chronic medical conditions. It was strongly associated with age and frailty, and was not a barrier to surgical intervention. Multimorbidity showed no associations across a range of outcome measures, as it is currently defined. Multimorbidity should not be relied on as a useful clinical tool in guidelines or policies for older emergency surgical patients.
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March 2016

The prevalence of hyperglycaemia and its relationship with mortality, readmissions and length of stay in an older acute surgical population: a multicentre study.

Postgrad Med J 2016 9;92(1091):514-519. Epub 2016 Mar 9.

University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff, UK.

Background: The purpose of the study is to examine the prevalence of hyperglycaemia in an older acute surgical population and its effect on clinically relevant outcomes in this setting.

Methods: Using Older Persons Surgical Outcomes Collaboration (OPSOC) multicentre audit data 2014, we examined the prevalence of admission hyperglycaemia, and its effect on 30-day and 90-day mortality, readmission within 30 days and length of acute hospital stay using logistic regression models in consecutive patients, ≥65 years, admitted to five acute surgical units in the UK hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales. Patients were categorised in three groups based on their admission random blood glucose: <7.1, between 7.1 and 11.1 and ≥11.1 mmol/L.

Results: A total of 411 patients (77.25±8.14 years) admitted during May and June 2014 were studied. Only 293 patients (71.3%) had glucose levels recorded on admission. The number (%) of patients with a blood glucose <7.1, 7.1-11.1 and ≥11.1 mmol/L were 171 (58.4), 99 (33.8) and 23 (7.8), respectively. On univariate analysis, admission hyperglycaemia was not predictive of any of the outcomes investigated. Although the characteristics of those with no glucose level were not different from the included sample, 30-day mortality was significantly higher in those who had not had their admission glucose level checked (10.2% vs 2.7%), suggesting a potential type II error.

Conclusion: Despite current guidelines, nearly a third of older people with surgical diagnoses did not have their glucose checked on admission highlighting the challenges in prognostication and evaluation research to improve care of older frail surgical patients.
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March 2016

Prevalence of frailty and its association with mortality in general surgery.

Am J Surg 2015 Feb 27;209(2):254-9. Epub 2014 Jul 27.

North Bristol NHS Trust, Frenchay Park Road, Bristol BS16 1LE, UK.

Background: We assessed the prevalence of frailty in an older acute general surgical population and its correlation with length of hospital stay, readmission to hospital, and 30- and 90-day mortality.

Methods: In 3 acute surgical admission units, we assessed consecutive participants aged over 65 years with general surgical conditions. We measured the prevalence of frailty using a 7-point frailty score. We measured length of hospital stay, readmission to hospital, and mortality at both 30 and 90 days.

Results: We studied 325 participants with an average age of 77.3 years 8.2 (standard deviation), 185 (57%) women. There were 88 (28%) participants who were classified as being mildly, moderately, or severely frail. The frail group spent longer in hospital (7.6 days, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.1 to 9.2 vs 11.1, 95% CI 7.2 to 15.0; P = .03). They also were more likely to die at both 30 and 90 days (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 15.2, P = .04; OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.3 to 7.4, P = .02). Readmission to hospital did not differ (OR 1.1, 95% CI .5 to 2.3).

Conclusions: Over 1 in 4 people were frail. These individuals spent longer in hospital and were more likely to die.
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February 2015

The prevalence of cognitive impairment in emergency general surgery.

Int J Surg 2014 Oct 14;12(10):1031-5. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

North Bristol NHS Trust, UK.

Objectives: Rates of all surgical procedures are increasing at a faster rate than the population is ageing. However, this encouraging statistic, necessitates a robust evidence base. The epidemiological evidence base in acute general surgery in the older person is sparse. This is the first assessment of the prevalence of cognitive impairment measured using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment tool (MoCA) in acute general surgery.

Methods: In three sites in Wales, England and Scotland comprising rural and urban populations, we studied consecutive patients aged over 65 years. We considered any older person admitted to the acute general surgical unit. We assessed them for baseline demographic data. They each underwent a MoCA assessment.

Results: We collected data on 245 people, mean age 76.9 years (8.1, standard deviation), 136 (55.5%) were women. Of these 201 completed the MoCA test, mean score of 18.9 and median score 20 (range 0-30). There were 37 (15.1%) MoCA scores in the normal range (≥26) and 44 (18%) people were unable to attempt (or complete) the MoCA. Increasing age (p < 0.01) but not sex (p = 0.14) predicted an abnormal MoCA. Considering only the 44 people who were unable to attempt the MoCA assessment, 11 (25%) were known to have a diagnosis of dementia, 9 (20.5%) were too unwell and the remainder unable to complete the assessment to due pre-existing disability.

Conclusions: In a representative UK wide population, a high proportion of older people admitted with an acute general surgical problem had cognitive impairment when assessed using the MoCA.
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October 2014

The lymph node ratio optimises staging in patients with node positive colon cancer with implications for adjuvant chemotherapy.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2014 May 20;29(5):599-604. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

West of Scotland Cancer Surveillance Unit, University of Glasgow, 1 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, G12 8RZ, UK,

Purpose: The ratio of positive lymph nodes to total retrieved lymph nodes (lymph node ratio, LNR) has been proposed to be the superior prognostic score in colon cancer. This study aimed to validate LNR in a large, multi-centred population, focusing on patients that have undergone adjuvant chemotherapy.

Methods: Analysis of a prospectively collected database (The West of Scotland Colorectal Cancer Managed Clinical Network) with 1,514 patients with colonic cancer identified that had undergone elective curative surgical resection in the 12 hospitals in the West of Scotland from 2000-2004. Variables recorded were as follows: demographics, adjuvant chemotherapy, number of lymph nodes retrieved, lymph node retrieval ≥12, number of positive lymph nodes and LNR. Follow up continued until June 2009. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the influence of LNR on overall survival.

Results: In 673 patients (44.5%), ≥12 lymph nodes were retrieved. Patients had a poorer long-term prognosis with increasing age, T stage and N stage. Retrieval of <12 lymph nodes and increasing LNR were both found to be significantly associated with poorer long-term survival, but on multivariable analysis, LNR was the only independently significant variable. In patients that had received adjuvant chemotherapy, only patients staged in the second lowest LNR group (0.05-0.19) had a significant improvement in long-term survival.

Conclusion: Lymph node ratio is the optimal method of assessing lymph node status and highlights the heterogeneity of patients with node positive disease, altering patient stratification with implications for adjuvant chemotherapy.
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May 2014

The role of synchronous procedures in the treatment of colorectal liver metastases.

Surg Oncol 2007 Jul 22;16(1):53-8. Epub 2007 May 22.

University Department of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Queen Elizabeth Building, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.

Twenty-five percent of colorectal cancer patients present with synchronous disease in the bowel and liver. Traditionally, the primary cancer was resected and the patient re-staged some 3-4 months later. In the interim, the majority of oncology centres offered these patients chemotherapy. At re-staging, if conditions remained favourable, hepatic resection was considered. This treatment protocol was supported by the literature published in the 1990s. However, there have been many advances in aggressive multimodality care of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and there are increasing reports of the benefits of synchronous resection for this population of patients.
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July 2007

Prospective multicenter trial evaluating a novel method of characterizing focal liver lesions using contrast-enhanced sonography.

AJR Am J Roentgenol 2006 Jun;186(6):1551-9

Department of Radiology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow, Scotland G31 2ER.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical value and potential impact of SonoVue-enhanced sonography in the characterization of focal liver lesions.

Subjects And Methods: This study included 127 patients with 82 malignant and 52 benign lesions in the liver. Contrast-enhanced sonography was performed using nonlinear imaging modes at low mechanical index (0.1-0.3) to enable real-time visualization of arterial, portal, and late-phase enhancement. Digital recordings of unenhanced sonography and contrast-enhanced sonography were reviewed by on-site investigators and two off-site blinded interpreters. The final diagnosis was based on consensus interpreting of all examinations by another two expert observers with access to CT, MRI, and histologic data; the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced sonography in identifying the lesion as benign, malignant, or indeterminate and as actual tumor type was compared with baseline sonography.

Results: For on-site investigators, contrast-enhanced sonography reduced the number of indeterminate diagnoses by 67% and improved the sensitivity and specificity to 90.2% and 80.8%, respectively (p < 0.001). For off-site interpreters, contrast-enhanced sonography reduced the number of indeterminate diagnoses by 51-56% (p < 0.001); significantly improved sensitivity and specificity to 90.8-95.4% and 83.7-89.8%, respectively (p < 0.001); eliminated observers' variability (kappa coefficient: 0.66-0.77); and showed no significant difference in all comparisons in the analysis of lesions measuring less than 1.5 cm, 1.5-2.5 cm, and all sizes combined. Contrast-enhanced sonography did not rely on availability of clinical history to enable the diagnoses, and it reduced the need for further imaging investigations 23.7% to 90.4%.

Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced sonography improves the characterization of focal liver lesions and may limit the need for further investigations.
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June 2006

Potential value of contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasonography during partial hepatectomy for metastases: an essential investigation before resection?

Ann Surg 2006 Feb;243(2):236-40

Department of Surgery, Alexandra Parade, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.

Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the clinical value of contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasound (CE-IOUS) as a novel tool in the hepatic staging of patients undergoing liver resection.

Methods: Sixty patients scheduled to undergo liver resection for metastatic disease were studied. Preoperative staging with contrast-enhanced CT and/or MR scans was performed within 2 to 6 weeks of operation. Following exploration, intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) was performed using an HDI-5000 scanner (Philips) and a finger-probe with pulse inversion harmonic (PIH) capability. CE-IOUS in the PIH mode was performed in a standardized protocol (low MI: 0.02-0.04) after intravenous injection of 3-4 mL of SonoVue (Bracco spa, Milan); all detected lesions on precontrast and postcontrast scans were counted and mapped. Any alteration in surgical management was documented following CE-IOUS compared with IOUS.

Results: Three patients were excluded due to disseminated disease on exploration. CE-IOUS was significantly more sensitive than CT/MR and IOUS in detecting liver metastases (96.1% versus 76.7% and 81.5%, respectively) (P<0.05); it altered surgical management in 29.8% (17 of 57) of cases, due to 1) additional metastases in 19.3% (11 of 57), 2) less metastases in 3.5% (2 of 57), 3) benign lesions wrongly diagnosed as metastasis on IOUS/CT in 5.3% (3 of 57), and 4) vascular proximity in 1.8% (1 of 57). Management was unchanged in 70.2% (40 of 57) despite additional lesions detected in 3.5% (2 of 57) and benign lesion wrongly diagnosed on IOUS and CT as metastasis in 1.8% (1 of 57). CE-IOUS altered combined IOUS/CT/MR staging in 35.1%.

Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest CE-IOUS is an essential tool prior to liver resection for metastases.
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February 2006

Radiofrequency ablation has a valuable therapeutic role in metastatic VIPoma.

Pancreatology 2006 ;6(1-2):155-9

Department of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK.

Background: Vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumours (VIPomas) are rare islet cell tumours of the pancreas that can result in life-threatening biochemical abnormalities. The optimal intervention for metastatic VIPoma remains undecided. This case history documents the clinical role of radiofrequency (RF) ablation in the treatment of metastatic VIPoma.

Case History: A primary pancreatic VIPoma was diagnosed in a 61-year-old female in 1998 and a distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy were performed. She remained disease-free for 44 months when she presented as an emergency with watery diarrhoea, hypokalaemia, renal failure and an elevated serum VIP level. CT scanning showed a liver metastasis and open RF ablation was performed with complete resolution of symptoms and biochemistry within 48 h. Post-ablation imaging confirmed complete ablation of the metastasis. She remained disease-free until 22 months later when watery diarrhoea resumed and a new hepatic metastasis was seen on CT. Percutaneous RF ablation was performed and follow-up CT scan showed complete ablation of the metastasis. The patient remains disease- and symptom-free 10 months after the second RF ablation.

Conclusion: This case illustrates that the pronounced clinical and biochemical upset caused by metastatic VIPoma can be resolved safely, quickly and repeatedly by RF ablation.
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June 2006

The outcome of laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy in malignant gastric outlet obstruction.

Int J Gastrointest Cancer 2005 ;35(3):165-9

University Department of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow, G31 2ER, UK.

Background And Aims: The development of gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer is regarded by some as a terminal event. There are several interventional options available, one of which is laparoscopic gastrojejunostomy (LGJ). To date, there are little data on the effectiveness of this intervention. Using patient records we sought to analyze our own experience of LGJ in patients with terminal pancreatic cancer.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients with pancreatic or peri-ampullary cancer that underwent LGJ for GOO. All LGJ were performed by two consultant surgeons at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Patient notes were assessed for survival time after LGJ; post-operative complications; resumption of oral intake; time to discharge and recurrence of GOO after surgery.

Results: A total of 18 patients underwent LGJ for GOO between 2000 and 2004. Median age at time of procedure was 66.5 yr (range 40 to 79). Two patients were converted to an open procedure for technical reasons, both of whom died in the post-operative period. Of the remaining 16, 15 had successful relief of GOO. The remaining patient underwent revisional open surgery 15 d post-operatively due to persistent GOO. Two patients died in hospital but 14 were discharged with symptom relief. Median survival for these patients was 59 d (range 12 to 248).

Conclusion: The development of GOO in pancreatic and peri-ampullary cancer should not be regarded as a terminal event. LGJ should be considered as a treatment option in these patients.
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December 2005

Potential impact and utilization of ultrasound contrast media.

Eur Radiol 2004 Oct;14 Suppl 8:P16-24

University of Glasgow, Radiology Department, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland.

Advances in non-linear imaging combined with new generations of ultrasound contrast agents have broadened and improved the applications of sonography in general. New guidelines to the use of this novel technique from the European Federation of Societies of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) will support its dissemination in the wider clinical practice. The effective impact of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography has been more predominant in liver imaging with respect to detection and characterization of focal hepatic lesions. Whilst it is not regarded as competing with contrast-enhanced CT and MRI, there are specific clinical niches where its potential impact and utilization are more likely to be universal.
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October 2004