Pubmed Monday

The concept of peri-operative medicine to prevent major adverse events and improve outcome in surgical patients: A narrative review.


Peri-operative Medicine is the patient-centred and value-based multidisciplinary peri-operative care of surgical patients. Peri-operative stress, that is the collective response to stimuli occurring before, during and after surgery, is, together with pre-existing comorbidities, the pathophysiological basis of major adverse events. The ultimate goal of Peri-operative Medicine is to promote high quality recovery after surgery. Clinical scores and/or biomarkers should be used to identify patients at high risk of developing major adverse events throughout the peri-operative period. Allocation of high-risk patients to specific care pathways with peri-operative organ protection, close surveillance and specific early interventions is likely to improve patient-relevant outcomes, such as disability, health-related quality of life and mortality.

Lung-protective ventilation for the surgical patient: international expert panel-based consensus recommendations.


Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) occur frequently and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Evidence suggests that reduction of PPCs can be accomplished by using lung-protective ventilation strategies intraoperatively, but a consensus on perioperative management has not been established. We sought to determine recommendations for lung protection for the surgical patient at an international consensus development conference. Seven experts produced 24 questions concerning preoperative assessment and intraoperative mechanical ventilation for patients at risk of developing PPCs. Six researchers assessed the literature using questions as a framework for their review. The modified Delphi method was utilised by a team of experts to produce recommendations and statements from study questions. An expert consensus was reached for 22 recommendations and four statements. The following are the highlights: (i) a dedicated score should be used for preoperative pulmonary risk evaluation; and (ii) an individualised mechanical ventilation may improve the mechanics of breathing and respiratory function, and prevent PPCs. The ventilator should initially be set to a tidal volume of 6-8 ml kg-1 predicted body weight and positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) 5 cm H2O. PEEP should be individualised thereafter. When recruitment manoeuvres are performed, the lowest effective pressure and shortest effective time or fewest number of breaths should be used.

Anesthetic management of complex spine surgery in adult patients: a review based on outcome evidence.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to review the evidence regarding the anesthetic management of blood loss, pain control, and position-related complications of adult patients undergoing complex spine procedures.

RECENT FINDINGS: The most recent evidence of the anesthetic management of complex spine surgery was identified with a systematic search and graded. In our review, prophylactic tranexamic acid and optimal prone positioning were shown to be effective blood conservation strategies with minimal risks to the patients. Cell saver was cost-effective in complex surgeries with expected blood loss of greater than 500 ml. As for pain control, most interventions only produced mild analgesic effects, suggesting a multimodal approach is necessary to achieve optimal pain control after spine surgery. Regional techniques and NSAIDs were effective but because of their risks, their usage should be discussed with the surgical team. Further studies are required to assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and risks associated with combined uses of different analgesic interventions. On the basis of the available evidence, we recommend a combined use of gabapentinoids, ketamine, and opioids to achieve optimal analgesia. Lastly, literature for position-related injuries is heavily relied on case reports and the Anesthesia Closed Claim Study because of their rarity. Therefore, we advocate for a structured team-based approach with checklists to minimize position-related complications.

SUMMARY: As the number and complexity of spine procedures are being performed worldwide is increasing, we suggested to bundle the aforementioned effective interventions as part of an ERAS spine protocol to improve the patient outcome of spine surgery.

Functional anatomy of the nerve and optimal placement of the needle for successful (and) safe nerve blocks.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Summarize the current thinking concerning the clinically relevant aspects of nerve anatomy and best injection sites for nerve blocks.

RECENT FINDINGS: The widespread use of ultrasound in regional anesthesia has changed the practice of regional anesthesia and created new possibilities. Among them is the ability to identify fascial planes, and this has become the basis for a new group of blocks, the fascial plane blocks. In this kind of blocks, the target for injection is the plane itself and not a nerve in particular. transversus abdominis plane, pectoralis muscles, erector spinae plane blocks are some examples of fascial blocks. Because injecting into a fascial plane is not controversial, these blocks are not included in our discussion of optimal placement of the needle.To determine optimal needle placement, it is important to have a clear definition of what constitutes intraneural. Although, there is almost universal agreement that the violation of the epineurium defines the intraneural concept, the literature include several studies where this assessment is erroneous.Although intentional intraneural injection is still considered objectionable, some literature suggests that injecting intraneurally, especially if extrafascicular, may be benign. This evidence is limited and anecdotal.

SUMMARY: It is necessary to have a better understanding of what intraneural injection is when dealing with any type of nerve blocks, be that single nerve, plexuses, or the sciatic nerve. Perineural injections provide successful anesthesia without putting the nerve integrity at risk. That practice is supported by years of experience and common sense. Currently, there is no evidence to support any kind of intraneural injections, intrafascicular or extrafascicular.

Tramadol use is associated with enhanced postoperative outcomes in breast cancer patients: a retrospective clinical study with in vitro confirmation.


There is growing interest in the effect of postoperative analgesics on oncological outcomes after cancer surgery. We investigated the impact of tramadol after breast cancer surgery on recurrence and mortality and explored the mechanism by which tramadol affects cultured breast cancer cells in vitro.

METHODS: Electronic medical records of patients who underwent breast cancer surgery between November 2005 and December 2010 at Severance Hospital in Korea were reviewed. Cox regression analyses were used to identify factors related to postoperative recurrence and mortality. We performed the sensitivity test with propensity score matching to adjust for selection bias. In addition, we investigated the effects of tramadol on human breast adenocarcinoma (Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 [MCF-7]) cells via assessment of cell viability, clonogenic assay, and cell cycle analysis in vitro.

RESULTS: Of 2588 breast cancer patients, 36.4% had received tramadol. Those who received tramadol had a 0.71-fold decreased risk of recurrence and a 0.56-fold decrease in mortality. The MCF-7 cell viability assays showed that tramadol had an anti-proliferative effect by cell cycle arrest, suppressing colony formation, and regulation of oestrogen and progesterone receptors. Tramadol induced apoptosis of MCF-7 cells via extracellular signal-regulated kinases by decreasing of 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT)2B receptor and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 expression.

CONCLUSIONS: After breast cancer surgery, patients who received tramadol had a decreased risk of postoperative recurrence and mortality. The anti-tumour effect of tramadol appears to involve inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and effects on 5-HT2B receptor and TRPV-1.

Pediatric ambulatory anesthesia: an update.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Ambulatory surgery is the standard for the majority of pediatric surgery in 2019 and adenotonsillectomy is the second most common ambulatory surgery in children so it is an apt paradigm. Preparing and managing these children as ambulatory patients requires a thorough understanding of the current literature.

RECENT FINDINGS: The criteria for undertaking pediatric adenotonsillectomy on an ambulatory basis, fasting after clear fluids, postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), perioperative pain management and discharge criteria comprise the themes addressed in this review.

SUMMARY: Three criteria determine suitability of adenotonsillectomy surgery on an ambulatory basis: the child's age, comorbidities and the severity of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Diagnosing OSAS in children has proven to be a challenge resulting in alternate, noninvasive techniques, which show promise. Abbreviating the 2 h clear fluid fasting guideline has garnered attention, although the primary issue is that parents do not follow the current clear fluid fasting regimen and until that is resolved, consistent fasting after clear fluids will remain elusive. PONV requires aggressive prophylactic measures that fail in too many children. The importance of unrecognized genetic polymorphisms in PONV despite prophylactic treatment is understated as are the future roles of palonosetron and Neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists that may completely eradicate PONV when combined with dexamethasone. Pain management requires test doses of opioids intraoperatively in children with OSAS and nocturnal desaturation to identify those with lowered opioid dosing thresholds, an uncommon practice as yet. Furthermore, postdischarge nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents as well as other pain management strategies should replace oral opioids to prevent respiratory arrests in those who are ultra-rapid CYP2D6 metabolizers. Finally, discharge criteria are evolving and physiological-based criteria should replace time-based, reducing the risk of readmission.

Recent advances in diabetes treatments and their perioperative implications.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The implications for perioperative management of new oral antihyperglycemic medications and new insulin treatment technologies are reviewed.

RECENT FINDINGS: The preoperative period represents an opportunity to optimize glycemic control and potentially to reduce adverse outcomes. There is now general consensus that the optimal blood glucose target for hospitalized patients is approximately 106-180 mg/dl (6-10 mmol/l). Recommendations for the management of antihyperglycemic medications vary among national guidelines. It may not be necessary to cease all antihyperglycemic agents prior to surgery. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are associated with higher rates of ketoacidosis especially in acutely unwell and postsurgical patients. The clinical practice implications of new insulin formulations, and new systems for insulin delivery, are not clear. The optimal perioperative management of these will vary depending on local institutional factors such as staff skills and existing clinical practices. Improved hospital care delivery standards, quality assurance, process improvements, consistency in clinical practice, and coordinated multidisciplinary teamwork should be a major focus for improving outcomes of perioperative patients with diabetes.

SUMMARY: Sulfonylureas and SGLT2i should be ceased before moderate or major surgery. Other oral antihyperglycemic therapies may be continued or ceased. Complex patients and/or new therapies require specialized multidisciplinary management.

Hyperventilation in neurological patients: from physiology to outcome evidence.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Hyperventilation is commonly used in neurological patients to decrease elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) or relax a tense brain. However, the potentially deleterious effects of hyperventilation may limit its clinical application. The aim of this review is to summarize the physiological and outcome evidence related to hyperventilation in neurological patients.

RECENT FINDINGS: Physiologically, hyperventilation may adversely decrease cerebral blood flow (CBF) and the match between the cerebral metabolic rate and CBF. In patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), prolonged prophylactic hyperventilation with arterial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) less than 25 mmHg or during the first 24 h after injury is not recommended. Most patients (>90%) with an aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage undergo hyperventilation (PaCO2 <35 mmHg); however, whether hyperventilation is associated with poor outcomes in this patient population is controversial. Hyperventilation is effective for brain relaxation during craniotomy; however, this practice is not based on robust outcome evidence.

SUMMARY: Although hyperventilation is commonly applied in patients with TBI or intracranial hemorrhage or in those undergoing craniotomy, its effects on patient outcomes have not been proven by quality research. Hyperventilation should be used as a temporary measure when treating elevated ICP or to relax a tense brain. Outcome research is needed to better guide the clinical use of hyperventilation in neurological patients.**

Neuromonitoring in the elderly.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To summarize recent recommendations on intraoperative electroencephalogram (EEG) neuromonitoring in the elderly aimed at the prevention of postoperative delirium and long-term neurocognitive decline. We discuss recent perioperative EEG investigations relating to aging and cognitive dysfunction, and their implications on intraoperative EEG neuromonitoring in elderly patients.

RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of postoperative delirium in elderly can be reduced by monitoring depth of anesthesia, using an index number (0-100) derived from processed frontal EEG readings. The recently published European Society of Anaesthesiology guideline on postoperative delirium in elderly now recommends guiding general anesthesia with such indices (Level A). However, intraoperative EEG signatures are heavily influenced by age, cognitive function, and choice of anesthetic agents. Detailed spectral EEG analysis and research on EEG-based functional connectivity provide new insights into the pathophysiology of neuronal excitability, which is seen in elderly patients with postoperative delirium.

SUMMARY: Anesthesiologists should become acquainted with intraoperative EEG signatures and their relation to age, anesthetic agents, and the risk of postoperative cognitive complications. A working knowledge would allow an optimized and individualized provision of general anesthesia for the elderly.

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