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Evaluation of post-operative donor site disability remains unaddressed in radial forearm free flap cases. This study aimed to assess donor site dysfunction following radial forearm free flap harvest using validated general, disease-specific and site-specific disability questionnaires.
In this retrospective case series of 24 patients at a tertiary academic medical centre, patients were assessed using the Short Form 36 Health Survey, Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire, and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire. One-sample z-tests were performed, comparing means of the cohort to controls.
Compared to population controls, the cohort had higher mean scores for the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (18.22 vs 10.1, p < 0.01), and Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire bothersome index (21.44 vs 13.77, p = 0.04), and a lower mean score for the Short Form 36 Health Survey physical component (38.88 vs 50, p < 0.01), indicating a greater disability for the cohort compared to controls.
Radial forearm free flap harvest causes significant long-term donor site disability in head and neck tumour patients. The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire is a concise tool for measuring this dysfunction.
We evaluated the utility of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) surveillance by varying 2 parameters: admission versus weekly surveillance and perirectal swabbing versus stool sampling.
Prospective, patient-level surveillance program of incident VRE colonization.
Liver transplant surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of a tertiary-care referral medical center with a high prevalence of VRE.
All patients admitted to the SICU from June to August 2015.
We conducted a point-prevalence estimate followed by admission and weekly surveillance by perirectal swabbing and/or stool sampling. Incident colonization was defined as a negative screen followed by positive surveillance. VRE was detected by culture on Remel Spectra VRE chromogenic agar. Microbiologically-confirmed VRE bloodstream infections (BSIs) were tracked for 2 months. Statistical analyses were calculated using the McNemar test, the Fisher exact test, the t test, and the χ2 test.
In total, 91 patients underwent VRE surveillance testing. The point prevalence of VRE colonization was 60.9%; VRE prevalence on admission was 30.1%. Weekly surveillance identified an additional 7 of 28 patients (25.0%) with incident colonization. VRE BSIs were more common in VRE-colonized patients than in noncolonized patients (8 of 43 vs 2 of 48; P=.028). In a direct comparison, perirectal swabs were more sensitive than stool samples in detecting VRE (64 of 67 vs 56 of 67; P=.023). Compliance with perirectal swabbing was 89% (201 of 226) compared to 56% (127 of 226) for stool collection (P≤0.001).
We recommend weekly VRE surveillance over admission-only screening in high-burden units such as liver transplant SICUs. Perirectal swabs had greater collection compliance and sensitivity than stool samples, making them the preferred methodology. Further work may have implications for antimicrobial stewardship and infection control.
This study aimed to evaluate the presence of subjective post-operative donor site morbidity after fibula free flap reconstruction in head and neck cancer patients, utilising three validated instruments: the 36-item Short Form Health Survey, the Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment questionnaire and the Lower Limb Core Scale.
In this retrospective study, all head and neck cancer patients who underwent fibula free flap reconstruction between January 2009 and July 2014 were identified. All questionnaires and their respective subcomponents were scored.
Twenty-one cases were included. Patients were found to have a higher Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment bothersome index (22.42 vs 13.77, p = 0.03), a lower Short Form 36 Health Survey Physical Component Summary score (42.44 vs 50, p < 0.01) and a decreased Lower Limb Core Scale score (47.08 vs 90.52, p < 0.01), compared to US population norms. The Short Form 36 Health Survey Mental Component Summary scores and Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment function index failed to demonstrate significant differences. Gender affected overall disability.
In this study, significant long-term disability was demonstrated after fibular flap reconstruction, as measured by the Lower Limb Core Scale.
The ablation of advanced head and neck cancer often results in large three-dimensional defects that require free tissue transfer to optimally address functional and cosmetic issues. The subscapular system is a highly versatile donor site for flaps used for head and neck reconstruction. Traditional methods of harvesting subscapular flaps require repositioning and re-preparing, which significantly increases the operative time and prevents simultaneous harvesting of the flap.
This paper presents our experience of a single-stage ‘sit and tilt’ technique, which provides a convenient method for harvesting subscapular system free flaps without significant repositioning.
Results and conclusion:
This technique was used for a variety of head and neck defects, and body habitus did not seem to affect free tissue harvesting. It is hoped that utilisation of this preparation and harvesting technique will make head and neck surgeons more willing to take advantage of the subscapular system.
This study aimed to evaluate the role of 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging in predicting tongue tumour thickness via direct and reconstructed measures, and their correlations with corresponding histological measures, nodal metastasis and extracapsular spread.
A prospective study was conducted of 25 patients with histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and pre-operative 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging from 2009 to 2012.
Correlations between 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and histological measures of tongue tumour thickness were assessed using the Pearson correlation coefficient: r values were 0.84 (p < 0.0001) and 0.81 (p < 0.0001) for direct and reconstructed measurements, respectively. For magnetic resonance imaging, direct measures of tumour thickness (mean ± standard deviation, 18.2 ± 7.3 mm) did not significantly differ from the reconstructed measures (mean ± standard deviation, 17.9 ± 7.2 mm; r = 0.879). Moreover, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging had 83 per cent sensitivity, 82 per cent specificity, 82 per cent accuracy and a 90 per cent negative predictive value for detecting cervical lymph node metastasis.
In this cohort, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging measures of tumour thickness correlated highly with the corresponding histological measures. Further, 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging was an effective method of detecting malignant adenopathy with extracapsular spread.
Few studies have examined the association between ABO blood grouping and head and neck cancer. This retrospective review examined the association between blood group and laryngeal cancer incidence and patient mortality.
Of 271 patients treated for squamous cell laryngeal carcinoma (1997–2002), 143 patients with supraglottic, glottic and subglottic tumours were included; 128 patients were excluded. The blood group characteristics of patients and healthy blood donors were compared.
There was no significant correlation between blood type and laryngeal carcinoma incidence or mortality. Type A blood was commoner in African Americans with laryngeal cancer than Caucasian patients, but not significantly so. As expected, five-year survival rates were lower in patients with more advanced stage cancer (p < 0.0001).
Although our findings show no association between blood group and five-year survival, these results are inconclusive, and warrant further study of the association between blood type and laryngeal (and other) head and neck cancers.
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