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Long-term patient outcomes after severe brain injury are highly variable, and reliable prognostic indicators are urgently needed to guide treatment decisions. Functional neuroimaging is a highly sensitive method of uncovering covert cognition and awareness in patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness, and there has been increased interest in using it as a research tool in acutely brain injured patients. When covert awareness is detected in a research context, this may impact surrogate decisionmaking—including decisions about life-sustaining treatment—even though the prognostic value of covert consciousness is currently unknown. This paper provides guidance to clinicians and families in incorporating individual research results of unknown prognostic value into surrogate decisionmaking, focusing on three potential issues: (1) Surrogate decisionmakers may misinterpret results; (2) Results may create false hope about the prospects of recovery; (3) There may be disagreement about the meaningfulness or relevance of results, and appropriateness of continued care.
To examine the relationship between the therapeutic effect of intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion and histone acetylation in refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
Thirty-four refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients were enrolled and treated with intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Pure tone average, acetylated histone H3, acetylated histone H4 and histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) were measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells before and after intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Sixteen healthy volunteers were recruited to obtain normal reference values.
Pure tone average in sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients improved from 84.14 ± 13.54 dB to 73.56 ± 18.45 dB after intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion. Up-regulations in HDAC2 protein level, and down-regulations in histone H3 and H4 acetylation were observed in the intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion sensitive group (pure tone average gain of 15 dB or more), while no significant changes were observed in the intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion insensitive group (pure tone average gain of less than 15 dB).
Intratympanic methylprednisolone perfusion can improve hearing in a considerable number of refractory sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients. The therapeutic effect is closely related to reduced histone acetylation.
There is growing evidence that suggests the association of vitamin D status with the development and progression of heart failure (HF). The objective of the present study is to assess the impact of concentration of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) on cardiac prognosis in patients with HF. Between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2016, we consecutively recruited patients with HF. Patients were followed prospectively for a median duration of 1 year. Serum concentration of 25(OH)D was measured with competitive chemiluminescent immunoassay. The endpoints were cardiac events, including CVD death and rehospitalisation for worsening HF. Univariate and multivariable adjustments were performed with Cox proportional-hazard regression analyses. The 25(OH)D concentration was obtained in 343 patients with a median value of 17·4 (interquartile range 12·6–23·4) ng/ml. There were 102 cardiac events, including forty-three deaths and fifty-nine rehospitalisations. Multivariate Cox hazard analysis found that the serum concentration 25(OH)D was independently associated with cardiac events (hazard ratio 0·93, 95 % CI 0·88, 0·97) and CVD mortality (hazard ratio 0·83; 95 % CI 0·77, 0·89) after adjustment for confounding factors. We divided the HF patients into four groups according to the 25(OH)D quartiles. Kaplan–Meier analysis found that the patients with lower serum 25(OH)D concentration had a higher risk of cardiac events or CVD mortality than those with high serum 25(OH)D concentration (log-rank test P < 0·001 and P = 0·032). Decreased serum concentrations of 25(OH)D were associated with cardiac prognosis and CVD mortality in a Chinese population with HF independent of other baseline HF markers.
Objectives: How brain damage after stroke is related to specific clinical manifestation and recovery is incompletely understood. We studied cognitive reserve (CR) in stroke patients by two types of measurements: (i) objectively verifiable static proxies (i.e., education, occupational attainment), and (ii) subjective, dynamic proxies based on patient testimony in response to a questionnaire. We hypothesized that one or both of these types of CR measurements might correlate positively with patient cognitive performance during the post-acute and chronic phases of recovery. Method: Thirty-four stroke patients underwent neuropsychological assessment at 2, 6 and 24 months after stroke onset. In chronic stage at 24+ months, self-rating assessments of cognitive performance in daily life and social integration were obtained. CR before and after stroke was estimated using static proxies and dynamic proxies were obtained using the Cognitive Reserve Scale (CRS-Pre-stroke, CRS-Post-stroke). Results: CRS-Pre-stroke and CRS-Post-stroke showed significant mean differences. Dynamic proxies showed positive correlation with self-assessment of attention, metacognition, and functional ability in chronic stage. In contrast, significant correlations between static proxies and cognitive recovery were not found. Conclusions: Dynamic proxies of CR were positively correlated with patients’ perception of their functional abilities in daily life. To best guide cognitive prognosis and treatment, we propose that dynamic proxies of CR should be included in neuropsychological assessments of patients with brain damage.
Metastatic brain disease is still a major contributor to cancer treatment failure. Various treatments have improved in the recent decades, which allow for better control of brain metastatic lesions. Various prognostic scoring tools have been developed and used worldwide to stratify patients with brain metastases to determine who will benefit most from aggressive treatment. The three most commonly used prognostic scoring tools are recursive partitioning analysis (RPA), basic score for brain metastases (BSBM) and graded prognostic assessment (GPA). The aim of this study is to validate these scoring tools using an Indonesian cancer patient population.
A retrospective analysis of all patients presenting with brain metastases from January 2012 until December 2014, through using hospital medical records, was conducted. All patients receiving whole brain radiotherapy during this period were included in this study. A follow-up with a telephone call was carried out to determine the patient’s health and survival status. Uncontactable patients were excluded from the analysis. Survival analysis was carried out by stratifying patients based on the three prognostic scoring systems.
A total of 80 patients were eligible to be included in the study, with 18 excluded due to being uncontactable. The remaining 62 patients’ data were analysed and stratified with all three scoring systems. The RPA was found to confer better stratification than BSBM and GPA in our study population.
GPA was non-prognostic in our study population and BSBM was less prognostic, especially in the middle group, class 1 and class 2. Those BSBM class 1 and class 2 did not provide good prognostic stratification in our study population, whereas RPA was proven to be the best in stratifying patients’ prognosis with brain metastases in our study population.
Introduction: La réanimation par circulation extracorporelle (R-CEC) permet potentiellement d'améliorer la survie de patients souffrant d'un arrêt cardiaque extrahospitalier (ACEH) réfractaire aux traitements habituels. Cette technique, se pratiquant généralement en centre hospitalier (CH), doit être réalisée le plus précocement possible. Un transport vers le CH en temps opportun est donc nécessaire. Cette étude vise à décrire la durée nécessaire des manœuvres de réanimation préhospitalières afin d'optimiser le moment du départ vers le CH dans le but d'obtenir un maximum de retour de circulation spontanée (RCS) préhospitalier. Methods: La présente étude de cohorte a été réalisée à partir des bases de données collectées de la Corporation d'Urgences-santé dans la région de Montréal entre 2010 et 2015. Les patients éligibles à une R-CEC selon les critères locaux ont été inclus (<65 ans, rythme initial défibrillable, arrêt témoigné avec réanimation par un témoin). Les patients ayant eu un arrêt devant les paramédics ont été exclus, tout comme ceux avec un RCS avant l'arrivée des services préhospitaliers. Nous avons calculé la sensibilité et la spécificité à différents seuils afin de prédire un RCS préhospitalier et une survie au congé hospitalier. Une courbe ROC a également été construite. Results: Un total de 236 patients (207 hommes et 29 femmes) d'un âge moyen de 52 ans (±10) ont été inclus dans l’étude, parmi lesquels 93 (39%) ont survécu jusqu’à leur congé hospitalier et 136 (58%) ont obtenu un RCS préhospitalier. Le délai moyen avant leur RCS était de 13 minutes (±10). Plus de 50% des survivants avaient eu un RCS moins de 8 minutes après l'initiation des manœuvres de réanimation par les intervenants préhospitaliers, et plus de 90% avant 24 minutes. Plus de 50% de tous les RCS survenaient dans les 10 premières minutes de réanimation et plus de 90% dans les 31 premières minutes. La courbe ROC montrait visuellement que le délai avant le RCS maximisant la sensibilité et la spécificité pour prédire la survie chez ces patients était à 22 minutes (Sensibilité = 90%, spécificité = 78%; aire sous la courbe = 0,89 [intervalle de confiance à 95% 0,84-0,93]). Conclusion: Le départ vers le CH pourrait être considéré pour ces patients entre 8 et 24 minutes après l'initiation des manœuvres. Une période de réanimation de 22 minutes semble être le meilleur compromis à cet égard.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Introduction: Parmi les patients souffrant d'un arrêt cardiaque extrahospitalier (ACEH), ceux ayant un retour de circulation spontanée (RCS) durant la phase préhospitalière de leur réanimation ont un meilleur taux de survie. Il est plausible que les patients ayant un RCS plus précocement durant leur réanimation préhospitalière aient de meilleur taux de survie que les patients ayant un RCS plus tardif. Cette étude visait à décrire l'association entre la survie et la durée de la réanimation par les paramédics avant le RCS préhospitalier. Methods: La présente étude de cohorte a été réalisée à partir des bases de données collectées de la Corporation d'Urgences-santé dans la région de Montréal entre 2010 et 2015. Tous les patients adultes avec un RCS préhospitalier suite à un ACEH d'origine médicale ont été inclus. Les patients ayant eu un arrêt devant les paramédics ont été exclus, tout comme ceux avec un RCS avant l'arrivée des services préhospitaliers. L'association entre la survie et le temps de réanimation avant le RCS a été évaluée à l'aide d'une régression logistique multivariée ajustant pour les variables sociodémographiques et cliniques pertinentes (âge, sexe, rythme initial, heure de l'appel initial, arrêt témoigné, manœuvre par témoin, présence de premiers répondants ou de paramédics de soins avancés, délai avant l'arrivée des intervenants préhospitaliers). Results: Un total de 1194 patients (818 hommes et 376 femmes) d'un âge moyen de 64 ans ( ±17) ont été inclus dans l’étude, parmi lesquels 433 (36%) ont survécu jusqu’à leur congé hospitalier. Le délai moyen avant leur RCS était de 17 minutes ( ±12). Nous avons observé une association indépendante entre la survie au congé hospitalier et le délai avant le RCS préhospitalier (rapport de cotes ajusté = 0,91 [intervalle de confiance à 95% 0,89-0,92], p < 0,001). Plus de 50% des survivants avaient obtenu un RCS moins de 9 minutes après l'initiation des manœuvres de réanimation par les intervenants préhospitaliers, et plus de 95% avant 26 minutes. Aucun (0%) des 17 patients ayant eu un RCS plus de 56 minutes après l'initiation de la réanimation préhospitalière n'a survécu. Conclusion: Un RCS précoce semble être un facteur de bon pronostic parmi les patients souffrant d'un ACEH. La majorité des patients avec un RCS préhospitalier allant survivre à leur hospitalisation ont obtenus leur RCS dans les 9 minutes suivant l'initiation des manœuvres de réanimation.
Introduction: Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is a common, sometimes difficult to diagnose spectrum of diseases. Given the diagnostic challenge, it is sensible for emergency physicians to have an approach to prognosticate patients with possible ACS. The objective of this review was to investigate the ability of the HEART score to predict major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in patients presenting to the ED with possible ACS. Methods: Eleven databases and other sources identified 468 potentially relevant studies. Sixty-seven studies underwent full text review with 25 studies meeting eligibility criteria. Main outcome measures were pooled prevalence, risk ratio (RR), and absolute risk reduction (ARR) for MACE within six weeks of ED evaluation, comparing HEART score 0–3 versus 4–10. Model discrimination (sensitivity, specificity, concordance statistic) and calibration (observed to expected events ratio) were also evaluated. Results: Data from 25 studies including 41,397 patients were combined in the meta-analysis. In total, 4815 patients (11.6%) developed MACE. Among 18,866 patients with HEART score 0–3, 396 (2.1%) developed MACE (RR 0.08; ARR 0.20). Outcome measures were consistent across planned subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Among studies with secondary outcome data for patients with HEART score 0–3, 5 of 6461 (0.1%) died and 75 of 7556 (1.0%) had a myocardial infarction. Conclusion: The HEART score provides a reliable quantitative risk assessment of MACE in ED patients with possible ACS. Emergency clinicians should consider using the HEART score to facilitate risk communication and shared decision making with patients and other care providers.
To evaluate the significance of patients’ ability to recognise symptoms that signify recurrence.
A retrospective analysis was conducted in Norway of demographic, clinical and follow-up data for patients with laryngeal carcinoma considered free of disease following treatment. The study included clinical data from 732 patients with glottic tumours and 249 patients with supraglottic tumours who were considered cured of disease. Data on the site, time and type of recurrence (symptomatic or asymptomatic) were retrieved.
Recurrence was observed in 127 patients with glottic tumours and 71 with supraglottic tumours. A total of 103 glottic recurrences and 53 supraglottic recurrences were symptomatic. For patients with glottic carcinoma, recurrence detection through symptoms was associated with a favourable post-salvage survival rate compared with asymptomatic recurrences (p = 0.003).
A patient's ability to self-detect ‘red flag’ symptoms and self-initiate visits represents a previously ignored prognostic factor, and may rationalise follow up and improve survival.
There is little consensus on how best to manage head and neck cancer with palliative intent. Predicting outcome is difficult and reported survival varies. The present study sought to delineate local practice and outcomes in patients treated with palliative intent.
The clinical records of all head and neck cancer patients treated with palliative intent presenting between 2015 and 2016 to our multidisciplinary team were reviewed.
Eighty-four patients (21.5 per cent) were treated with palliative intent. All had squamous cell carcinoma. Mean survival time was 151 days (standard deviation = 121.1; range, 8–536 days). Of the patients, 83.3 per cent had a palliative care referral; 74.1 per cent had a hospice referral. Patients received a variety of interventions, and there was an associated complication in 8.2 per cent. The mean number of days spent in hospital for interventions was 11.9 days (standard deviation = 12.5; range, 0–41 days).
Different interventions are used to manage head and neck cancer patients with palliative intent, and these may be associated with significant morbidity. Survival time is variable, often several months; thus, any treatment must take into account morbidity in conjunction with the patient's wishes.
It has been shown that patients with a greater tumour volume have poorer outcomes following definitive radiotherapy but its exact role remains unclear. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of tumour volume as a prognostic indicator in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients treated with definitive radiotherapy in a single institution over 10 years.
In total, 167 patients with NSCLC treated by definitive (chemo)radiotherapy were retrospectively reviewed between 2006 and 2015. Patient demographics, disease characteristics and tumour volume parameters were collected. Univariate analyses were carried out using Kaplan–Meier survival curves to assess the association of potential prognostic factors with the primary endpoints of overall survival (OS) rates and locoregional recurrence rates. Multivariate analyses were carried out using a Cox regression method.
The median total tumour volume (TTV), defined as the gross tumour volume plus the volume of involved nodes, was 103 cm3. Patients were divided into small and large tumour groups based on this median. OS rates at 1, 3 and 5 years for smaller volumes were 69%, 24% and 13% and for larger volumes 48%, 14% and 8%, respectively. On univariate survival analyses larger TTV was significantly associated with poorer OS (p = 0·019). The concurrent use of chemotherapy significantly improved survival (p = 0·026). Nodal involvement (p = 0·03) and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (p < 0·001) were also significant independent prognostic factors of OS. On multivariate analysis TTV was strongly predictive of survival (p = 0·03; hazard ratio 1·702, 95% confidence interval 1·198–2·415). There was no association between nodal volume, tumour stages, overall stage, age, histology and radiation dose with any of the primary endpoints.
TTV is a significant prognostic factor in patients with advanced NSCLC treated by radical radiotherapy. In this cohort of patients TTV is more reliable at predicting survival than T stage and overall stage.
Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) consists of small fragments of DNA that circulate freely in the bloodstream. In cancer patients, a fraction of cfDNA is derived from tumour cells, therefore containing the same genetic and epigenetic alterations, and is termed circulating cell-free tumour DNA. The potential use of cfDNA, the so-called ‘liquid biopsy’, as a non-invasive cancer biomarker has recently received a lot of attention. The present review will focus on studies concerning the potential clinical applications of cfDNA in ovarian cancer patients.
In Pakistan, oral cancer ranks as the most common malignancy in males and the second most common malignancy in females. Cyclooxygenase-2 has been explored as an agent of carcinogenesis in oral and other neoplasms. This study aimed to observe the expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in oral squamous cell carcinoma, and to correlate the expression with patients’ clinical features and overall and disease-free survival.
Immunohistochemistry for cyclooxygenase-2 was performed on a total of 100 oral squamous cell carcinoma formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks. Expression was correlated with patients’ clinicopathological variables and overall and disease-free survival.
Cyclooxygenase-2 was overexpressed in 55 per cent of oral squamous cell carcinoma patients. Overexpression was correlated with overall survival (p = 0.013) and disease-free survival (p = 0.001) on univariate analysis. However, on multivariate analysis, cyclooxygenase-2 was associated with only disease-free survival (p = 0.044) and not overall survival (p = 0.208).
Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 is associated with poorer overall survival and higher rates of recurrence in oral squamous cell carcinoma patients.
A late onset frontal lobe syndrome (LOF) refers to a clinical syndrome with apathy, disinhibition, or stereotypical behavior arising in middle or late adulthood. Diagnostics are challenging, and both clinicians and patients need reliable predictors of progression to improve clinical guidance. In this longitudinal multicenter and genetically screened prospective study, 137 LOF patients with frontal behavior (FBI score≥11) and/or stereotypical behavior (SRI≥10) were included. Progression was defined as institutionalization, death, or progression of frontal or temporal atrophy at magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after two years of follow up. Absence of progression at MRI in addition to stable or improved Mini Mental State Examination and Frontal Assessment Battery scores after two years was indicative for non-progression. The presence of stereotypy and a neuropsychological profile with executive deficits at baseline were found to be predictive for progression, while a history and family history with psychiatric disorders were predictors for non-progression. The combination of these clinical markers had a predictive value of 80.4% (p < 0.05). In patients presenting with late onset behavioral symptoms, an appraisal of the rate of deterioration can be made by detailed mapping of clinical symptoms. Distinction of progressive discourses from non-progressive or treatable conditions is to be gained.
Perinatal mortality is higher in twins. Effects of twin order have not previously been studied in the context of single fetal demise. Our objective was to determine whether death of the fetus more proximal to the cervix will result in worse perinatal outcomes. Our population included multiple pregnancies with two viable fetuses confirmed prior to 20 weeks’ gestation with the subsequent death of at least one twin. All the pregnancies were managed at The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne between 2006 and 2014. We excluded pregnancies of higher order multiples, the death of both twins simultaneously, and cases with incomplete outcome data. Maternal and neonatal data were reviewed. Of 46 pregnancies included, in 24 (52%), the dead twin was presenting. Gestational age at delivery was significantly earlier in these cases (mean difference: -5.0 weeks, 95% CI [-7.4, -2.6], p < .001), and emergency cesarean rates were higher 67% versus 32% (OR 4.29, 95% CI [1.25, 14.7], p = .02). There were no differences in the frequency of chorioamnionitis, preterm prelabor rupture of membranes, or placental abruption. Survival rates for co-twins were similar in both groups (presenting 83%; not presenting 91%; OR 0.41, 95% CI [0.07, 2.50], p = .29). The increase in neonatal morbidities was related to prematurity rather than to order. Findings were more common in dichorionic twins. Analysis was limited by a small sample size. If the dead twin is presenting, delivery is likely to occur earlier, with associated morbidity for the survivors. This is especially relevant for dichorionic twin pregnancies.
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the plasma levels of asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine in children with pulmonary hypertension due to CHD before and after treatment with sildenafil and to evaluate its diagnostic and prognostic value as a biomarker in such children.
A total of 60 children with CHD and 30 healthy control children matched for age and sex were recruited. Children with CHD were divided into two equal groups: the normal pulmonary pressure group (n=30) and the pulmonary hypertension group (n=30). Children with pulmonary hypertension were treated with sildenafil and were followed up for 6 months. Clinical data, haemodynamic parameters, echocardiographic examination, and asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine levels were evaluated before and after treatment.
Asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine levels were significantly higher in patients with pulmonary hypertension than in those with CHD-only or the control group, and this increase was positively correlated with increased severity of pulmonary hypertension. Asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine levels, mean pulmonary artery pressure, and pulmonary vascular resistance were significantly decreased after treatment with sildenafil. Moreover, asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine level was significantly lower in patients who responded to sildenafil treatment compared with those who did not. At a cut-off point of more than 0.85 nmol/ml, asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine has a sensitivity of 83% and a specificity of 80% to diagnose pulmonary hypertension-CHD. Asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine has a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 94% to predict poor prognosis in pulmonary hypertension-CHD children at a cut-off point of 1.3 nmol/ml.
Asymmetric dimethyl-L-arginine level has a good diagnostic and prognostic value as a biomarker in children with pulmonary hypertension-CHD and can be used for following up patients with pulmonary hypertension and predicting response to treatment.
This is a systematic review on the role of metalloproteases in the pathogenicity of the American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL) caused by New World Leishmania species. The review followed the PRISMA method, searching for articles in PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS and ISI Web of Science, by employing the following terms: ‘leishmaniasis’, ‘cutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘mucocutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis’, ‘Leishmania’ and ‘metalloproteases’. GP63 of New World Leishmania species is a parasite metalloproteases involved in the degradation and cleavage of many biological molecules as kappa-B nuclear factor, fibronectin, tyrosine phosphatases. GP63 is capable of inhibiting the activity of the complement system and reduces the host's immune functions, allowing the survival of the parasite and its dissemination. High serological/tissue levels of host matrix metalloproteases (MMP)-9 have been associated with tissue damage during the infection, while high transcriptional levels of MMP-2 related with a satisfactory response to treatment. Host MMPs serological and tissue levels have been investigated using Western Blot, zymography, and Real Time polymerase chain reaction. GP63 detection characterizes species and virulence in promastigotes isolated from lesions samples using techniques mentioned previously. The monitoring of host MMPs levels and GP63 in Leishmania isolated from host samples could be used on the laboratory routine to predict the prognostic and treatment efficacy of ATL.
Weight, weight change and physical activity may affect prognosis among women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Observational studies show associations between overweight/obesity and weight gain with several measures of reduced prognosis in women with breast cancer, and some suggestions of lower survival in women who are underweight or who experience unexplained weight loss after diagnosis. Observational studies have also shown an association between higher levels of physical activity and reduced breast cancer-specific and all-cause mortality, although a dose–response relationship has not been established. The effects of purposive dietary weight loss and increase in physical activity on survival or recurrence in breast cancer are not yet established, and randomised controlled trials are needed for definitive data. This paper presents the epidemiologic evidence on weight status, weight change, and physical activity and breast cancer survival; suggests potential mediating mechanisms; summarises evidence on weight loss interventions in breast cancer survivors; describes ongoing randomised clinical trials designed to test the effects of weight loss or physical activity on breast cancer survival; and provides information on available guidelines on weight and physical activity for cancer survivors.
Clinical observations indicate that patients with advanced cancer and depression report higher symptom burden than nondepressed patients. This is rarely examined empirically. Study aim was to investigate the association between self-reported depression disorder (DD) and symptoms in patients with advanced cancer controlled for prognostic factors.
The sample included 935 patients, mean age 62, 52% males, from an international multicentre observational study (European Palliative Care Research Collaborative – Computerised Symptom Assessment and Classification of Pain, Depression and Physical Function). DD was assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and scored with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder-5 algorithm for major depressive disorder, excluding somatic symptoms. Symptom burden was assessed by summing scores on somatic Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) symptoms, excluding depression, anxiety, and well-being. Item-by-item scores and symptom burden of those with and without DD were compared using nonparametric Mann-Whitney U tests. The relative importance of sociodemographic, medical, and prognostic factors and DD in predicting symptom burden was assessed by hierarchical, multiple regression analyses.
Patients with DD reported significantly higher scores on ESAS items and a twofold higher symptom burden compared with those without. Factors associated with higher symptom burden were as follows. Diagnosis: lung (β = 0.15, p < 0.001) or breast cancer (β = 0.08, p < 0.05); poorer prognosis: high C-reactive protein (β = 0.08, p < 0.05), lower Karnofsky Performance Status (β = −0.14, p < 0.001), and greater weight loss (β = −0.15, p < 0.001); taking opioids (β = 0.11, p < 0.01); and having DD (β = 0.23, p < 0.001). The full model explained 18% of the variance in symptom burden. DD explained 4.4% over and above that explained by all the other variables.
Significance of results
Depression in patients with advanced cancer is associated with higher symptom burden. These results encourage improved routines for identifying and treating those suffering from depression.