Home » AGEB Journal » Issues » Volume 84 » Fasc.2 - Original articles

Volume 84 - 2021 - Fasc.2 - Original articles

Post-operative pain after laparoscopic right hemicolectomy for Crohn’s disease: a case control study

Aim : Surgery for Crohn’s disease (CD) is characterized by an enhanced inflammatory response. While inflammation can induce hyperalgesia, post-operative pain following surgery for CD has not been characterized. This retrospective study compared a consecutive series of patients undergoing laparoscopic right hemicolectomy for CD and neoplasia performed by a single surgeon. Method : Elective resections performed between Jan-2016 and Aug-2017 managed in an enhanced recovery pathway were eligible for inclusion. Patients were excluded if open surgery was performed, an ileostomy was fashioned, no patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) was used or data were incomplete. Results : 38 cases were included, 20 for neoplasia and 18 for ileocolonic CD. There was no difference in patient gender (P=0.520). CD patients were younger (39.8±2.8 Vs 77.2±2.1 years, P<0.001) but had an equivalent length of resection (312.9±43.5 Vs 283.3±71.7 mm, P=0.915). CD patients had higher pain scores on post-operative day 1 (6.8±0.8 Vs 2.6±1.0, P<0.001), day 2 (5.0±0.5 Vs 1.6±0.9, P<0.001) and day 3 (4.1±0.6 Vs 1.3±0.7, P=0.008). CD patients used their PCA for longer (85.7±16.3 Vs 47.7±4.2 hours, P=0.017) and used a greater total amount of morphine (148.6±33.8 Vs 37.0±7.8 mg, P<0.001). Post-operative CRP was higher in patients with CD on day 1 (P=0.011), day 2 (P=0.001), day 3 (P=0.001) and day 4 (P=0.007), but no leak or intra-abdominal abscess occurred in either group. Conclusions : CD patients experience increased post-operative pain, require more post-operative analgesia and have an enhanced post-operative inflammatory response. Further studies to elucidate the mechanism of this hyperalgesia and strategies to obviate it are required.

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Therapeutic outcome of diverticular associated colitis – a retrospective single centre experience

Background : Diverticular associated colitis (DAC) has become increasingly appreciated as a form of inflammatory disease, localized mainly in the sigmoid, and defined as chronic inflammation of the interdiverticular mucosa with sparing of rectum, right colon and diverticula themselves. Methods : A retrospective case identification from January 2005 to December 2016 was performed. Patients with a diagnosis of DAC based on clinical, endoscopic and histological findings were enrolled. We analyzed their characteristics and response to therapy, and performed a review of literature. Results : Out of 377 pathology reports, 37 cases of DAC were identified, with a median age of 73 years and followed during 1-13 years. Six patients (16.22%) were refractory to conservative treatment and required surgery. In three patients (8.11%) evolution to ulcerative colitis (UC) was observed. Patients were divided into four endoscopic patterns, with a more benign course for type A “crescentic fold disease” compared to the other subtypes. Patients with type B “mild to moderate ulcerative colitis-like” were at significantly higher risk of persistent disease activity or relapse (p < 0.01). Conclusion : DAC is a multifaceted disease and considered to be a relatively benign condition. However, a subset of patients requires surgery and/or may progress to develop UC.

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Predictive factors of complications and 30-day mortality in patients undergoing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy: the utility of C-reactive protein to albumin ratio

Background and study aims : Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a procedure that provides long term enteral nutrition. To investigate the predictors of PEG-related complications and 30-day mortality rates and evaluate the indicators for deciding whether to recommend elective PEG insertions, we sought to determine the complications and early mortality rates of patients who underwent PEG. Patients and methods : We performed a retrospective analysis of consecutive adult patients who had undergone PEG for the first time between October 2016 and January 2019. The predictors of complications and 30-day mortality were analyzed with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and logistic regression analysis. Results : This study included 309 patients. Patients were excluded from the study if they were < 18 years of age or there were missing data about them. Out of 253 patients, 33 (13%) had complications and 32 (12.6%) died within one month after PEG insertion. A higher C-reactive protein (CRP) to albumin ratio was the only independent factor predicting the complications (odds ratio (OR) : 3.17 ; 95% CI : 1.26-8.00 ; p = 0.014). The independent predictive factors for 30-day mortality after PEG placement included higher urea levels and higher CRP to albumin ratios (OR : 3.78 ; 95% CI : 1.41-10.17 ; p = 0.008) (OR : 6.67 ; 95% CI : 1.87- 23.75 ; p = 0.003). The only predictor for both complications and 30-day mortality was the CRP to albumin ratio. Conclusions : When appropriate, the PEG procedure can provide a safe and effective method for enteral feeding. The CRP to albumin ratio can be used to predict complications and early mortality after PEG insertion. Because PEG is elective, higher CRP to albumin ratios can be helpful in deciding to select patients for the procedure.

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Recurrence rate of intramucosal gastric cancer with positive vertical margin due to lesion damage during endoscopic submucosal dissection

Background and study aim : In principle, additional surgery is performed after endoscopic submucosal dissection for early gastric cancer if the vertical margin is positive, regardless of lesion damage. The recurrence rate of vertical margin-positive lesions due to lesion damage after endoscopic submucosal dissection is unknown, and unnecessary surgeries may be performed. In this study, we investigated whether there was a difference in the recurrence rate between vertical margin-positive lesions due to lesion damage and vertical margin-negative lesions. Patients and methods : We included 1,294 intramucosal gastric cancer lesions that were resected by endoscopic submucosal dissection between January 2008 and December 2016, without additional surgery. The lesions were divided into the Damage and No damage groups based on vertical margin status. The Damage group had only one non-curative indication: a positive vertical margin due to lesion damage. The No damage group had no noncurative indications. We compared the recurrence rate between the Damage and No damage groups. Results : The recurrence rates of the Damage and No damage groups were 0% (0/23; 95% confidence interval: 0-14.8%) and 0% (0/1,271; 95% confidence interval: 0-0.003%), respectively, with no statistically significant difference. Conclusions : In intramucosal gastric cancer, the recurrence rate of vertical margin-positive lesions due to lesion damage was 0%, which did not differ from that of vertical margin-negative lesions with curative resection. Follow-up, instead of additional surgery, may be an option for patients with non-curative resection when the only non-curative indication is a positive vertical margin due to lesion damage.

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Prospective switch study comparing two irrigation systems for transanal irrigation in children

Background and study aims : Transanal irrigation (TAI) is used in children to treat constipation and incontinence. Belgium has 2 systems available: Colotip® (cheaper, however not designed for TAI) or Peristeen®. Patients and methods : This patient-control switch study is the first to compare 2 TAI systems. Children regularly using Colotip® for TAI were asked to participate, after consent, a visual analogue scale (VAS) rating the system and a 2-week diary (fecal continence, self-reliance, time spent on the toilet, pain, Bristol stool scale, irrigation volume and frequency of enema) were completed. Non-parametric statistics were used. Results : Out of 26 children using Colotip®, 18 (69%) children participated and 5 refused (fear n=1, satisfaction Colotip® system n=7). Of these 18 children (interquartile range: 3-18 years, median 12.5 years, 9 girls) 5 patients stopped Peristeen® (pain n=1, fear n=1 and balloon loss n=3) and 2 were lost from follow up. Dropouts and included patients showed no statistical difference. In the 11 remaining patients, pseudo-continence (p 0.015), independence (p 0.01) and VAS score (p 0.007) were significantly better with Peristeen®, no difference was found in time spent on the toilet (p 0.288) and presence of pain (p 0.785). Conclusions : In children Peristeen® offered significantly higher pseudo-continence and independency. 30% refused participation because of satisfaction with the Colotip® and 30% spina bifida patients reported rectal balloon loss due to sphincter hypotony. To diminish Peristeen® failure, a test-catheter could be of value. Considering Colotip® satisfaction, both systems should be available. Patient selection for Peristeen® needs further research.

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Reference values for the water load test in healthy school children and adolescents

Background and study aim : The water load test (WLT) is an easy and cheap tool, useful in evaluating gastric accommodation and visceral hypersensitivity. This test can be used in diagnosing functional gastrointestinal disorders, like functional dyspepsia. Our main aim was to propose reference values for the WLT. Our secondary aim was to correlate the water volume drunk with the students’ gender, age, and anthropometric measures. Patients and methods : We performed the WLT in students aged 8 to 17 years. Students drank water ad libitum for 3 minutes or until pain, satiety or vomiting occurred. We correlated anthropometric variables with water volumes drunk. Upper and lower limit for the maximum tolerated volume were calculated as the 5th and 95th percentile. Pain and nausea were recorded before and after the test. Results : We evaluated 99 students, with a median age (interquartile range) of 11 years 10-13 years) and 55.6 % were girls. Median water volume drank was 380 ml (190-540 ml). Boys (523 ml, interquartile range : 275-760 ml) drank more water than girls (380 ml, interquartile range : 190-570 ml) (p = 0.016). There was a significant correlation between water volume drank and students´ age, weight, height, and body mass index. Of the students that completed the WLT, 22.2 % had nausea and 30.3 % had mild abdominal pain after the test. Conclusions : We proposed reference values for the WLT in children aged 8 to 17 years. Adverse effects are minimal, it is safe to perform, and well tolerated.

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Seronegative autoimmune hepatitis in children: a single-center experience

Background : Seronegative autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a diagnostic challenge with unclear prognosis. This study describes the features and outcomes of seronegative AIH in children. Patients and methods : Patients under 18 years of age, who had been diagnosed with AIH between April 2014 and April 2020, were retrospectively evaluated. Seronegative AIH was identified by the absence of the three conventional non-organ-specific autoantibodies (anti-nuclear antibody [ANA], anti-smooth muscle antibody [ASMA], and anti-liver kidney microsomal [anti-LKM] type 1 antibody), alongside the characteristic AIH liver histopathology and a positive response to immunosuppressive therapy in the absence of other liver diseases. Results : The study included 54 patients with AIH. 15 (27.77%) were seronegative at the time of diagnosis. 13 of the 15 seronegative patients presented with acute hepatitis or acute liver failure (ALF). Mean follow-up duration was 27.48 months in seronegative patients. Two seronegative patients had lymphocytopenia on admission, and, although the liver disease improved after corticosteroid treatment, they developed aplastic anemia (AA). Other seronegative patients responded well to immunosuppressive therapy. Conclusions : Patients with seronegative AIH present frequently with acute hepatitis or ALF. AIH diagnosis can be confirmed by observing the effects of corticosteroid therapy in seronegative patients with characteristic AIH liver histopathological features. However, the presence of lymphocytopenia in seronegative patients is a sign of bone marrow failure.

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Hypoxic hepatitis with marked elevation of serum ferritin probably due to activation of intrahepatic macrophages: another form of hypoxic hepatitis hitherto not reported?

Background and study aims : Hypoxic hepatitis (HH) is an acute liver injury that develops in patients with underlying diseases, such as heart failure, respiratory failure, septic/toxic shock. However, some patients do not have underlying diseases or episodes which are known to result in HH. Here, we analyzed the clinical characteristics of this particular patient group (called ‘unknown HH’ hereafter) to understand its pathogenesis. Patients and methods : Between October 2010 and January 2016, 157 consecutive patients with acute liver injury were admitted to our hospital. Among these patients, 15 patients were categorized as unknown HH. Medical histories and blood test results of unknown HH were analyzed. Results : Among 15 patients of unknown HH, 11 were habitual drinkers and all experienced one of digestive symptoms which might result in mild hypovolemia such as vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, and epigastralgia. All patients of unknown HH presented marked elevation of serum ferritin concentration paralleled with aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) concentrations. The serum levels of ferritin, ALT, LDH, and prothrombin time-international normalized ratio (PT-INR) were rapidly decreased during hospitalization and all 15 patients of unknown HH recovered without any complication. Conclusions : We found the particular group of HH with marked elevation of serum ferritin probably due to intrahepatic macrophage activation. Anti-inflammatory treatments might be effective for this group of hypoxic hepatitis.

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Can we use endocan level to determine severity of pancreatitis?

Background and study aims : Endothelial cell specific molecule-1 (ESM-1), also known as endocan, is a soluble proteoglycan secreted by human vascular endothelial cells. In some studies, it has been found that endocan have important effects on cell adhesion, inflammation and angiogenesis. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the endocan level in patients with pancreatitis and the availability of endocan level in determining the severity of the disease. Patients and methods : A total of 42 patients with pancreatitis and 33 healthy individuals were included in the study. The serum endocan levels in patients were evaluated 1st and 3 th days after the symptom’s onset. Current scoring systems and the relationship between the severity of the disease and endocan levels were evaluated. Results : The endocan levels of the patients on day 1 are significantly correlated only with the APACHE II score (p=0.039 r=0.319), while the endocan values on day 3 are significantly correlated with the BISAP (bedside index of severity in acute pancreatitis) (p=0.013 r=0.380), APACHE II (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation)(p<0.001; r=0.53) and Ranson (p=0.037 r=0.32) scores. The cutoff level of endocan (day 3) was calculated 92.2 pg/ml (83% sensitivity and 50% specificity; p=0.039 area under the curve 0.706) for severe pancreatitis when considering the patients with a score of 8 or higher in the APACHE II scoring system. Conclusion : Serum endocan level can be used as a marker of prognosis in patients with pancreatitis. However, studies involving large populations are needed on this matter.

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Uptake of hepatitis C virus screening and treatment in persons under opioid substitution therapy between 2008 and 2013 in Belgium

Background : Hepatitis C is a viral infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) with people who inject drugs as the main group at risk worldwide. Aim : This study investigated the differences in uptake for HCV screening and treatment between persons in opioid substitution therapy (OST) and the other members of the Christian Health Insurance Fund in Belgium. Methods : Invoice data were retrospectively collected from the Christian Health Insurance Fund, representing 42% of the healthcare users. Information on demographics, screening, diagnostic tests, treatment and disease progression was obtained from 2008 till 2013. All people in this study were aged 20-65 year. Persons in the OST group were identified as having at least one prescription reimbursed for methadone. This group was compared to the other members of the Insurance Fund not on OST (NOST). Results : The Insurance Fund registered 8,409 unique OST and 3,525,190 members in the general group. HCV RNA screening rate was higher in the OST group after correction for age and gender (4.3% vs. 0.2%). Ribavirin reimbursement, did not differ between the OST and NOST group screened for HCV RNA (16.9% vs. 14.4%), though the probability of having ribavirin reimbursed was smaller for females than for males. Procedures concerning disease progression were reimbursed less frequently in the HCV RNA screened OST group compared to the NOST group (0.3% vs. 1.2%). Conclusion : People on OST were screened more often for HCV RNA. However, the general uptake for HCV screening and treatment in both populations remained suboptimal.

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