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Wiley Online Library : Anaesthesia
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Cognitive decline in the middle-aged after surgery and anaesthesia: results from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention cohort

22. February 2018 - 4:15
Summary

Surgery and anaesthesia might affect cognition in middle-aged people without existing cognitive dysfunction. We measured memory and executive function in 964 participants, mean age 54 years, and again four years later, by when 312 participants had had surgery and 652 participants had not. Surgery between tests was associated with a decline in immediate memory by one point (out of a maximum of 30), p = 0.013: memory became abnormal in 77 out of 670 participants with initially normal memory, 21 out of 114 (18%) of whom had had surgery compared with 56 out of 556 (10%) of those who had not, p = 0.02. The number of operations was associated with a reduction in immediate memory on retesting, beta coefficient (SE) 0.08 (0.03), p = 0.012. Working memory decline was also associated with longer cumulative operations, beta coefficient (SE) −0.01 (0.00), p = 0.028. A reduction in cognitive speed and flexibility was associated with worse ASA physical status, beta coefficient (SE) 0.55 (0.22) and 0.37 (0.17) for ASA 1 and 2 vs. 3, p = 0.035. However, a decline in working memory was associated with better ASA physical status, beta coefficient (SE) −0.48 (0.21) for ASA 1 vs. 3, p = 0.01.

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The effect of anaesthetic technique during primary breast cancer surgery on neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio, platelet–lymphocyte ratio and return to intended oncological therapy

19. February 2018 - 5:45
Summary

Inflammation and immunosuppression contribute to the pathogenesis of cancer. An increased neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio reflects these processes and is associated with adverse cancer outcomes. Whether anaesthetic technique for breast cancer surgery influences these factors, and potentially cancer recurrence, remains unknown. We conducted a secondary analysis in patients enrolled in an ongoing trial of anaesthetic technique on breast cancer recurrence. The primary hypothesis was that postoperative neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio is lower in patients allocated to receive propofol-paravertebral rather than inhalational agent-opioid anaesthesia for primary breast cancer surgery. Among 397 patients, 116 had differential white cell counts performed pre-operatively and postoperatively. Pre-operative neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio was similar in the propofol-paravertebral 2.3 (95%CI 1.8–2.8) and inhalational agent-opioid anaesthesia 2.2 (1.9–3.2) groups, p = 0.72. Postoperative neutrophil–lymphocyte ratio was lower (3.0 (2.4–4.2) vs. 4.0 (2.9–5.4), p = 0.001) in the propofol-paravertebral group. Propofol-paravertebral anaesthesia attenuated the postoperative increase in the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio.

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Advances in thromboelastograph technology

13. February 2018 - 14:01
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Issue Information – Editorial Board

13. February 2018 - 14:01
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Removing air bubbles from a 1-ml syringe

13. February 2018 - 14:01
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A mixed-methods evaluation of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland Uganda Fellowship Scheme

8. February 2018 - 2:20
Summary

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and the then Uganda Society of Anaesthesia established the Uganda Fellowship Scheme in 2006, to provide scholarships to encourage doctors to train in anaesthesia in Uganda. We conducted an evaluation of this programme using online questionnaires and face-to-face semi-structured interviews with trainees who received scholarships, as well as with senior surgeons and anaesthetists. Focus group discussions were held to assess changes in attitudes towards anaesthesia over the last 10 years. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using the constant comparative method. A total of 54 Ugandan doctors have received anaesthesia scholarships since 2006 (median funding per trainee (IQR [range]) £5520 (£5520–£6750 [£765–£9000]). There has been a four-fold increase in the number of physician anaesthetists in Uganda during this time. All those who received funding remain in the region. The speciality of anaesthesia is undergoing a dramatic transformation led by this group of motivated young anaesthetists. There is increased access to intensive care, and this has allowed surgical specialities to develop. There is greater understanding and visibility of anaesthesia, and the quality of education in anaesthesia throughout the country has improved. The Uganda Fellowship Scheme provided a relatively small financial incentive to encourage doctors to train as anaesthetists. Evaluation of the project shows a wide-ranging impact that extends beyond the initial goal of simply improving human resource capacity. Financial incentives combined with strong ‘north-south’ links between professional organisations can play an important role in tackling the shortage of anaesthesia providers in a low-income country and in improving access to safe surgery and anaesthesia.

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Comparison of laryngeal morbidities with modified reinforced silicone tube intubation guided over a bougie vs. a guidewire: novel assessment with voice analysis

7. February 2018 - 6:15
Summary

Semi-rigid flexible introducer-guided tracheal intubation is associated with pharyngolaryngeal morbidities. We compared the practice of railroading a newly described modified reinforced silicone tracheal tube with a built-in guide channel in its wall over a non-kinking guidewire with railroading the same tube over a disposable bougie, with respect to pharyngolaryngeal morbidities. One hundred and twenty-four ASA 1 and 2 adults were randomly assigned to undergo bougie-guided (n = 62) or wire-guided (n = 62) intubation under general anaesthesia. All patients were assessed for postoperative pharyngolaryngeal complaints. In addition, voice parameters (fundamental frequency, shimmer, jitter and harmonic noise ratio) with vowels ‘a’ and ‘i’ were analysed pre-operatively and 24 h postoperatively. The success of first-attempt intubation and the associated haemodynamic response were also recorded. A higher incidence of pharyngolaryngeal complaints was seen in the bougie group, 48.3%, 95%CI (35.9–60.9%) when compared with wire-guided group 28.3%, 95%CI (18.0–40.6%), p = 0.01. Postoperatively, all the voice parameters were significantly more affected when compared with their pre-operative value in the bougie-guided group (p < 0.05) but not in the wire-guided group. The success of first-attempt intubation was similar in both groups. Wire-guided orotracheal intubation was associated with a lower incidence of pharyngolaryngeal complaints and effect on voice when compared with bougie-guided intubation.

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Optimisation of the dosage of tranexamic acid in trauma patients with population pharmacokinetic analysis

7. February 2018 - 6:00
Summary

Tranexamic acid is used both pre-hospital and in-hospital as an antifibrinolytic drug to treat or prevent hyperfibrinolysis in trauma patients; dosing, however, remains empirical. We aimed to measure plasma levels of tranexamic acid in patients receiving pre-hospital anti-hyperfibrinolytic therapy and to build a population pharmacokinetic model to propose an optimised dosing regimen. Seventy-three trauma patients were enrolled and each received tranexamic acid 1 g intravenously pre-hospital. A blood sample was drawn after arrival in the emergency department, and we measured the plasma tranexamic acid concentration using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and modelled the data using non-linear mixed effect modelling. Tranexamic acid was administered at a median (IQR [range]) time of 43 (30–55 [5–135]) min after trauma. Plasma tranexamic acid levels were determined on arrival at hospital, 57 (43–70 [20–148]) min after pre-hospital administration of the drug. The measured concentration was 28.7 (21.5–38.5 [8.7–89.0]) μg.ml−1. Our subjects had sustained severe trauma; injury severity score 20 (16–29 [5–75]), including penetrating injury in 2.8% and isolated traumatic brain injury in 19.7%. The pharmacokinetics were ascribed a two-compartment open model with body-weight as the main covariate. As tranexamic acid concentrations may fall below therapeutic levels during initial hospital treatment, we propose additional dosing schemes to maintain a specific target blood concentration for as long as required. This is the first study to investigate plasma level and pharmacokinetics of tranexamic acid after pre-hospital administration in trauma patients. Our proposed dosing regimen could be used in subsequent clinical trials to better study efficacy and tolerance profiles with controlled blood concentrations.

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Videolaryngoscopy vs. Macintosh laryngoscopy for double-lumen tube intubation in thoracic surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

6. February 2018 - 7:35
Summary

Double-lumen intubation is more difficult than single-lumen tracheal intubation. Videolaryngoscopes have many advantages in airway management. However, the advantages of videolaryngoscopy for intubation with a double-lumen tube remain controversial compared with traditional Macintosh laryngoscopy. In this study, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library and the Web of Science for randomised controlled trials comparing videolaryngoscopy with Macintosh laryngoscopy for double-lumen tube intubation. We found that videolaryngoscopy provided a higher success rate at first attempt for double-lumen tube intubation, with an odds ratio (95%CI) of 2.77 (1.92–4.00) (12 studies, 1215 patients, moderate-quality evidence, p < 0.00001), as well as a lower incidence of oral, mucosal or dental injuries during double-lumen tube intubation, odds ratio (95%CI) 0.36 (0.15–0.85) (11 studies, 1145 patients, low-quality evidence, p = 0.02), and for postoperative sore throat, odds ratio (95%CI) 0.54 (0.36–0.81) (7 studies, 561 patients, moderate-quality evidence, p = 0.003), compared with Macintosh laryngoscopy. There were no significant differences in intubation time, with a standardised mean difference (95%CI) of −0.10 (−0.62 to 0.42) (14 studies, 1310 patients, very low-quality evidence, p = 0.71); and the incidence of postoperative voice change, odds ratio (95%CI) 0.53 (0.21–1.31) (7 studies, 535 patients, low-quality evidence, p = 0.17). Videolaryngoscopy led to a higher incidence of malpositioned double-lumen tube, with an odds ratio (95%CI) of 2.23 (1.10–4.52) (six studies, 487 patients, moderate-quality evidence, p = 0.03).

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