Pubmed Monday

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.

Pre-operative respiratory optimisation: an expert review.


Postoperative pulmonary complications are common and cause increased mortality and hospital stay. Smoking and respiratory diseases including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnoea are associated with developing postoperative pulmonary complications. Independent risk factors for such complications also include low pre-operative oxygen saturation, or a recent respiratory infection. Postponing surgery in patients who have respiratory infections or inadequately treated respiratory disease, until these can be fully treated, should, therefore, reduce postoperative pulmonary complications. There is evidence from several studies that pre-operative smoking cessation reduces such complications, with no agreed duration at which the benefits become significant; the longer the abstinence, the greater the benefit. Intensive smoking cessation programmes are more effective, and there are long-term benefits, as many patients become permanent non-smokers following their surgery. Supervised exercise programmes normally last 6-8 weeks, and although they reduce overall complications, the evidence of benefit for postoperative pulmonary complications is mixed. High-intensity interval training can improve fitness in just 2 weeks, and so may be more useful for surgical patients. Specific respiratory pre-operative interventions, such as deep breathing exercises and incentive spirometry, can help when used as components of a package of respiratory care. Pre-operative inspiratory muscle training programmes that involve inspiration against a predetermined respiratory load may also reduce some postoperative pulmonary complications. Pre-operative exercise programmes are recommended for patients having major surgery, or in those where pre-operative testing has shown low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness; interval training or respiratory interventions are more feasible as these reduce complications after a shorter pre-operative intervention.

Effect of ultra-short-term treatment of patients with iron deficiency or anaemia undergoing cardiac surgery: a prospective randomised trial.


BACKGROUND: Anaemia and iron deficiency are frequent in patients scheduled for cardiac surgery. This study assessed whether immediate preoperative treatment could result in reduced perioperative red blood cell (RBC) transfusions and improved outcome.

METHODS: In this single-centre, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group controlled study, patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery with anaemia (n=253; haemoglobin concentration (Hb) <120 g/L in women and Hb <130 g/L in men) or isolated iron deficiency (n=252; ferritin <100 mcg/L, no anaemia) were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned (1:1) with the use of a computer-generated range minimisation (allocation probability 0·8) to receive either placebo or combination treatment consisting of a slow infusion of 20 mg/kg ferric carboxymaltose, 40 000 U subcutaneous erythropoietin alpha, 1 mg subcutaneous vitamin B12, and 5 mg oral folic acid or placebo on the day before surgery. Primary outcome was the number of RBC transfusions during the first 7 days. This trial is registered with, number NCT02031289.

FINDINGS: Between Jan 9, 2014, and July 19, 2017, 1006 patients were enrolled; 505 with anaemia or isolated iron deficiency and 501 in the registry. The combination treatment significantly reduced RBC transfusions from a median of one unit in the placebo group (IQR 0-3) to zero units in the treatment group (0-2, during the first 7 days (odds ratio 0·70 [95% CI 0·50-0·98] for each threshold of number of RBC transfusions, p=0·036) and until postoperative day 90 (p=0·018). Despite fewer RBC units transfused, patients in the treatment group had a higher haemoglobin concentration, higher reticulocyte count, and a higher reticulocyte haemoglobin content during the first 7 days (p≤0·001). Combined allogeneic transfusions were less in the treatment group (0 [IQR 0-2]) versus the placebo group (1 [0-3]) during the first 7 days (p=0·038) and until postoperative day 90 (p=0·019). 73 (30%) serious adverse events were reported in the treatment group group versus 79 (33%) in the placebo group.

INTERPRETATION: An ultra-short-term combination treatment with intravenous iron, subcutaneous erythropoietin alpha, vitamin B12, and oral folic acid reduced RBC and total allogeneic blood product transfusions in patients with preoperative anaemia or isolated iron deficiency undergoing elective cardiac surgery.

Maternal cardiac arrest


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The review is intended to serve as a practical clinical aid for the clinician called to maternal cardiac arrest.

RECENT FINDINGS: Anesthesia complications comprise an important cause of maternal cardiac arrest in developed countries Also predominant are hemorrhage and infections. Recent in-depth reports highlight fractionated care for pregnant women with cardiac and also probably neurological comorbidities. Pathology reports reveal a prevalence of thromboembolic phenomena that is higher than previously assumed but still rare. These are accompanied by particularly high mortality rates. The presenting rhythms of cardiac arrest which differ from most cardiac arrest populations, suggest the need for further in-depth investigation of both the causes and management of these cases. Despite these, outcomes are far better than those of most arrests. Key differences in treatment include are consideration of early airway management and possible medication complications. Pulseless electrical activity and VF should always alert to the possibility of hemorrhage. Echocardiography can diagnose thromboembolism. Also different are the need for Left uterine displacement and early delivery within after 4-5 min of initiation of resuscitation effort in cases with suspected compromise of the venous return or a poor likelihood of a good maternal outcome.

SUMMARY: Maternal cardiac arrest should be managed similarly to other adult cardiac arrests. At the same time its unique reversible causes require a different form of thought regarding diagnosis and treatment during the code.

Patient Blood Management: Recommendations From the 2018 Frankfurt Consensus Conference.


IMPORTANCE: Blood transfusion is one of the most frequently used therapies worldwide and is associated with benefits, risks, and costs.

OBJECTIVE: To develop a set of evidence-based recommendations for patient blood management (PBM) and for research.

EVIDENCE REVIEW: The scientific committee developed 17 Population/Intervention/Comparison/Outcome (PICO) questions for red blood cell (RBC) transfusion in adult patients in 3 areas: preoperative anemia (3 questions), RBC transfusion thresholds (11 questions), and implementation of PBM programs (3 questions). These questions guided the literature search in 4 biomedical databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Transfusion Evidence Library), searched from inception to January 2018. Meta-analyses were conducted with the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) methodology and the Evidence-to-Decision framework by 3 panels including clinical and scientific experts, nurses, patient representatives, and methodologists, to develop clinical recommendations during a consensus conference in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, in April 2018.

FINDINGS: From 17 607 literature citations associated with the 17 PICO questions, 145 studies, including 63 randomized clinical trials with 23 143 patients and 82 observational studies with more than 4 million patients, were analyzed. For preoperative anemia, 4 clinical and 3 research recommendations were developed, including the strong recommendation to detect and manage anemia sufficiently early before major elective surgery. For RBC transfusion thresholds, 4 clinical and 6 research recommendations were developed, including 2 strong clinical recommendations for critically ill but clinically stable intensive care patients with or without septic shock (recommended threshold for RBC transfusion, hemoglobin concentration <7 g/dL) as well as for patients undergoing cardiac surgery (recommended threshold for RBC transfusion, hemoglobin concentration <7.5 g/dL). For implementation of PBM programs, 2 clinical and 3 research recommendations were developed, including recommendations to implement comprehensive PBM programs and to use electronic decision support systems (both conditional recommendations) to improve appropriate RBC utilization.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The 2018 PBM International Consensus Conference defined the current status of the PBM evidence base for practice and research purposes and established 10 clinical recommendations and 12 research recommendations for preoperative anemia, RBC transfusion thresholds for adults, and implementation of PBM programs. The relative paucity of strong evidence to answer many of the PICO questions supports the need for additional research and an international consensus for accepted definitions and hemoglobin thresholds, as well as clinically meaningful end points for multicenter trials.

In search of the Holy Grail: Poisons and extended release local anesthetics.


Regional anesthesia has been advocated as adjunct to a multimodal analgesia regimen. The limited duration of the action of available local anesthetics limits their application. Catheters, perineural or IV adjuvants, or repetition of blocks are modalities available to prolong the analgesic benefit of LRA. All of these approaches have their shortcomings. New extended release local anesthetic formulations may provide time-efficient and longer duration of analgesia with a single injection. Available data on liposomal bupivacaine are promising, and more recently, it has been FDA approved for use in interscalene brachial plexus block but not for other nerve blocks at this time. Several other new formulations and compounds, such as HTX-011, Neosaxitoxin, and SABER-Bupivacaine, are also being developed and tested for their safety and analgesic potential.

Outcomes and Safety Among Patients With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Undergoing Cancer Surgery Procedures in a Freestanding Ambulatory Surgical Facility.


BACKGROUND: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be at increased risk for serious perioperative complications. The suitability of ambulatory surgery for patients with OSA remains controversial, and several national guidelines call for more evidence that assesses clinically significant outcomes. In this study, we investigate the association between OSA status (STOP-BANG risk, or previously diagnosed) and short-term outcomes and safety for patients undergoing cancer surgery at a freestanding ambulatory surgery facility.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of all patients having surgery at the Josie Robertson Surgery Center, a freestanding ambulatory surgery facility of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Surgeries included more complex ambulatory extended recovery procedures for which patients typically stay overnight, such as mastectomy, thyroidectomy, and minimally invasive hysterectomy, prostatectomy, and nephrectomy, as well as typical outpatient surgeries. Both univariate and multivariable analyses were used to assess the association between OSA risk and transfer to the main hospital, urgent care center visit, and hospital readmission within 30 days postoperatively (primary outcomes) and length of stay and discharge time (secondary outcomes). Multivariable models were adjusted for age, American Society of Anesthesiologists score, robotic surgery, and type of anesthesia (general or monitored anesthesia care) and also adjusted for surgery start time for length of stay and discharge time outcomes. χ tests were used to assess the association between OSA risk and respiratory events and device use.

RESULTS: Of the 5721 patients included in the analysis, 526 (9.2%) were diagnosed or at moderate or high risk for OSA. We found no evidence of a difference in length of stay when comparing high-risk or diagnosed patients with OSA to low- or moderate-risk patients whether they underwent outpatient (P = .2) or ambulatory extended recovery procedures (P = .3). Though a greater frequency of postoperative respiratory events were reported in high-risk or diagnosed patients with OSA compared to moderate risk (P = .004), the rate of hospital transfer was not significantly different between the groups (risk difference, 0.78%; 95% CI, -0.43% to 2%; P = .2). On multivariable analysis, there was no evidence of increased rate of urgent care center visits (adjusted risk difference, 1.4%; 95% CI, -0.68% to 3.4%; P = .15) or readmissions within 30 days (adjusted risk difference, 1.2%; 95% CI, -0.40% to 2.8%; P = .077) when comparing high-risk or diagnosed OSA to low- or moderate-risk patients. Based on the upper bounds of the CIs, a clinically relevant increase in transfers, readmissions, and urgent care center visits is unlikely.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results contribute to the body of evidence supporting that patients with moderate-risk, high-risk, or diagnosed OSA can safely undergo outpatient and advanced ambulatory oncology surgery without increased health care burden of extended stay or hospital admission and avoiding adverse postoperative outcomes. Our results support the adoption of several national OSA guidelines focusing on preoperative identification of patients with OSA and clinical pathways for perioperative management and postoperative monitoring.

Low-dose spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section to prevent spinal-induced hypotension.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present review evaluates the evidence available in the literature to see whether low-dose spinal anaesthesia for Caesarean section is effective in preventing maternal hypotension while at the same time guaranteeing effective anaesthetic conditions.

MAIN FINDINGS: From prospective trials, it is clear that lowering the spinal dose improves maternal haemodynamic stability. Doses of intrathecal bupivacaine between 5 and 7 mg are sufficient to provide effective anaesthesia. Complete motor block is, however, seldom achieved and adequate anaesthesia is limited in time.

SUMMARY: Low-dose spinal anaesthesia as part of a combined spinal-epidural technique is a valuable method in improving maternal and fetal outcome during anaesthesia for operative delivery.

Sepsis - What's new in 2019?


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sepsis-3 guidelines have implications in a deeper understanding of the biopathology of the disease. Further, the review focuses on timely topics and new literature on fluid resuscitation, the value of steroids in sepsis, and new therapeutic options such as angiotensin II, vitamin C, and thiamine as well as the emerging role of procalcitonin (PCT) in managing antibiotics.

RECENT FINDINGS: Traditional therapies such as type of crystalloid fluid administration and steroid therapy for sepsis are currently under re-evaluation. Angiotensin II is investigated for reversing vasodilatory shock. The role of capillary endothelium leak and cellular metabolism can be affected by vitamin C and thiamine levels. Biomarker level trends, specifically PCT, can aid clinical suspicion of infection.

SUMMARY: Sepsis-3 shifts the focus from a noninfectious inflammatory process and an emphasis on a dysregulated host response to infection. Hyperchloremic crystalloid resuscitation is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Steroid administration can reverse shock physiology; however, mortality benefits remain uncertain. Angiotensin II, vitamin C, and thiamine are novel treatment options that need further validation. PCT assays can help discern between infectious and noninfectious inflammation.

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