(1/1907) New perspectives on biliary atresia.
An investigation into the aetiology, diagnosis, and treatment of biliary atresia was carried out because the prognosis remains so poor.In an electron microscopical study no viral particles or viral inclusion bodies were seen, nor were any specific ultrastructural features observed. An animal experiment suggested that obstruction within the biliary tract of newborn rabbits could be produced by maternal intravenous injection of the bile acid lithocholic acid.A simple and atraumatic method of diagnosis was developed using(99) (m)Tc-labelled compounds which are excreted into bile. Two compounds, (99m)Tc-pyridoxylidene glutamate ((99m)Tc-PG) and (99m)Tc-dihydrothioctic acid ((99m)Tc-DHT) were first assessed in normal piglets and piglets with complete biliary obstruction. Intestinal imaging correlated with biliary tract patency, and the same correlation was found in jaundiced human adults, in whom the (99m)Tc-PG scan correctly determined biliary patency in 21 out of 24 cases. The (99m)Tc-PG scan compared well with liver biopsy and (131)I-Rose Bengal in the diagnosis of 11 infants with prolonged jaundice.A model of extrahepatic biliary atresia was developed in the newborn piglet so that different methods of bile drainage could be assessed. Priorities in biliary atresia lie in a better understanding of the aetiology and early diagnosis rather than in devising new bile drainage procedures. (+info)
(2/1907) Colon and rectal anastomoses do not require routine drainage: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
OBJECTIVE: Many surgeons continue to place a prophylactic drain in the pelvis after completion of a colorectal anastomosis, despite considerable evidence that this practice may not be useful. The authors conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to determine if placement of a drain after a colonic or rectal anastomosis can reduce the rate of complications. METHODS: A search of the Medline database of English-language articles published from 1987 to 1997 was conducted using the terms "colon," "rectum," "postoperative complications," "surgical anastomosis," and "drainage." A manual search was also conducted. Four randomized controlled trials, including a total of 414 patients, were identified that compared the routine use of drainage of colonic and/or rectal anastomoses to no drainage. Two reviewers assessed the trials independently. Trial quality was critically appraised using a previously published scale, and data on mortality, clinical and radiologic anastomotic leakage rate, wound infection rate, and major complication rate were extracted. RESULTS: The overall quality of the studies was poor. Use of a drain did not significantly affect the rate of any of the outcomes examined, although the power of this analysis to exclude any difference was low. Comparison of pooled results revealed an odds ratio for clinical leak of 1.5 favoring the control (no drain) group. Of the 20 observed leaks among all four studies that occurred in a patient with a drain in place, in only one case (5%) did pus or enteric content actually appear in the effluent of the existing drain. CONCLUSIONS: Any significant benefit of routine drainage of colon and rectal anastomoses in reducing the rate of anastomotic leakage or other surgical complications can be excluded with more confidence based on pooled data than by the individual trials alone. Additional well-designed randomized controlled trials would further reinforce this conclusion. (+info)
(3/1907) Lens extraction with ultrasound. Experiments in rabbits.
The extraction of the rabbit lens is described using a 25 G irrigating needle and a 22 G aspirating needle; at the latter's bevelled tip lens fragmentation occurs due to the longitudinal ultrasonic vibrations generated there--an 'acoustic horn' causes the tip to vibrate with large amplitudes. The use of small needles allows considerable manoeuvrability in the anterior chamber and usually eliminates the need for corneal suturing. Push-pull coupled syringes equate the volume of irrigation with that of aspiration. This procedure makes possible lens extraction through an aperture in the anterior capsule of the rabbit's lens and a similar machine is being constructed for trial on human cataract. (+info)
(4/1907) Cyclic compression of the intracranial optic nerve: patterns of visual failure and recovery.
A patient with a cystic craniopharyngioma below the right optic nerve had several recurrences requiring surgery. Finally the cyst was connected with a subcutaneous reservoir by means of a fine catheter. Symptoms of optic nerve compression recurred more than 50 times during the following year, and were relieved within seconds upon drainage of the reservoir. In each cycle, a drop in visual acuity preceded a measurable change in the visual field. The pattern of field changes was an increasingly severe, uniform depression. Optic nerve ischaemia induced by compression was probably the most important factor causing visual failure in this case. (+info)
(5/1907) Refractory pneumothorax treated by parietal pleurolysis.
Pneumothorax, persisting in spite of efficient drainage, may in some cases be caused by discrepancy between lung volume and size of the pleural cavity. The logical treatment is reduction of the pleural cavity simultaneously with a traditional surgical procedure on the pulmonary tissue. An increasing number of refractory pneumothoraces--both spontaneous and istrogenic--is probably due to the fact that more people are living with and suffer the sequelae of pulmonary disease. During a 15-year survey a parietal pleurolysis, tailored to fit the size and shape of the lung, was performed in 10 patients as the main surgical procedure in 100 thoracotomies for 1130 cases of spontaneous and 62 cases of iatrogenic pneumothorax. The results were encouraging. (+info)
(6/1907) Infected total hip arthroplasty--the value of intraoperative histology.
Intraoperative histology showed a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 98%. These results were better than those observed for the other tests evaluated. Our data provide evidence that intraoperative histology is useful tool in the diagnosis of infected total hip arthroplasty. (+info)
(7/1907) Use of fibrinolytic agents in the management of complicated parapneumonic effusions and empyemas.
BACKGROUND: Standard treatment for pleural infection includes catheter drainage and antibiotics. Tube drainage often fails if the fluid is loculated by fibrinous adhesions when surgical drainage is needed. Streptokinase may aid the process of pleural drainage, but there have been no controlled trials to assess its efficacy. METHODS: Twenty four patients with infected community acquired parapneumonic effusions were studied. All had either frankly purulent/culture or Gram stain positive pleural fluid (13 cases; 54%) or fluid which fulfilled the biochemical criteria for pleural infection. Fluid was drained with a 14F catheter. The antibiotics used were cefuroxime and metronidazole or were guided by culture. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive intrapleural streptokinase, 250,000 IU daily, or control saline flushes for three days. The primary end points related to the efficacy of pleural drainage--namely, the volume of pleural fluid drained and the chest radiographic response to treatment. Other end points were the number of pleural procedures needed and blood indices of inflammation. RESULTS: The streptokinase group drained more pleural fluid both during the days of streptokinase/control treatment (mean (SD) 391 (200) ml versus 124 (44) ml; difference 267 ml, 95% confidence interval (CI) 144 to 390; p < 0.001) and overall (2564 (1663) ml versus 1059 (502) ml; difference 1505 ml, 95% CI 465 to 2545; p < 0.01). They showed greater improvement on the chest radiograph at discharge, measured as the fall in the maximum dimension of the pleural collection (6.0 (2.7) cm versus 3.4 (2.7) cm; difference 2.9 cm, 95% CI 0.3 to 4.4; p < 0.05) and the overall reduction in pleural fluid collection size (p < 0.05, two tailed Fisher's exact test). Systemic fibrinolysis and bleeding complications did not occur. Surgery was required by three control patients but none in the streptokinase group. CONCLUSIONS: Intrapleural streptokinase probably aids the treatment of pleural infections by improving pleural drainage without causing systemic fibrinolysis or local haemorrhage. (+info)
(8/1907) Empyema thoracis: a role for open thoracotomy and decortication.
BACKGROUND: Thoracentesis and antibiotics remain the cornerstones of treatment in stage I empyema. The management of disease progression or late presentation is controversial. Open thoracotomy and decortication is perceived to be synonymous with protracted recovery and prolonged hospitalisation. Advocates of thoracoscopic adhesiolysis cite earlier chest drain removal and hospital discharge. This paper challenges traditional prejudice towards open surgery. METHODS: A five year audit of empyema cases referred to a regional cardiothoracic surgical unit analysing previous clinical course, surgical management, and outcome. RESULTS: Between February 1992 and February 1997, the number of referrals to this centre increased dramatically. Twenty-two children were referred for surgery (15 boys, seven girls; age range, 0.5-16 years). Before referral, patients had been unwell for 6-50 days (median, 15), had been treated with several antibiotics, and had undergone chest ultrasound (15 patients), computed tomography (five patients), pleural aspiration attempts (13 patients), and intercostal drainage (seven patients). The organism responsible was identified in only two cases (Streptococcus pneumoniae). Three patients had intraparenchymal abscess formation. Eighteen patients underwent open thoracotomy and decortication. Drain removal was performed on the first or second day. Fever resolved within 48 hours. Median hospital stay was four days. All patients had complete clinical and radiological resolution. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment must be tailored to the disease stage. In stage II and III diseases, open decortication followed by early drain removal results in rapid symptomatic recovery, early hospital discharge, and complete resolution. In the early fibrinopurulent phase, alternative strategies should be considered. However, even in ideal cases, neither fibrinolysis nor thoracoscopic adhesiolysis can achieve more rapid resolution at lower risk. (+info)