• Association between acute statin therapy, survival, and improved functional outcome after ischemic stroke: the North Dublin Population Stroke Study.

      Ní Chróinín, Danielle; Callaly, Elizabeth L; Duggan, Joseph; Merwick, Áine; Hannon, Niamh; Sheehan, Órla; Marnane, Michael; Horgan, Gillian; Williams, Emma B; Harris, Dawn; et al. (2011-04)
      Statins improve infarct volume and neurological outcome in animal stroke models. We investigated the relationship between statin therapy and ischemic stroke outcome in the North Dublin Population Stroke Study.
    • Can the National Health Service Cancer Plan timeline be applied to colorectal hepatic metastases?

      Jones, Claire; Badger, Stephen A; McClements, Jane; McKie, Lloyd; Diamond, Tom; Taylor, Mark A; Hepatobiliary Surgical Unit, Mater Hospital, Belfast, UK. cjones82@hotmail.co.uk (2012-02-01)
      INTRODUCTION: The National Health Service (NHS) Cancer Plan guidelines recommend a maximum 2-week wait from referral to first appointment, and 2 months from referral to treatment for primary cancers. However, there are currently no guidelines available for metastatic disease. In the UK, nearly half of all colorectal cancer patients develop hepatic metastases. Timely, surgical resection offers the potential for cure. The aim of this study was to audit current practice for colorectal liver metastases in a regional hepatobiliary unit, and compare this to the NHS Cancer Plan standards for primary disease. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of the unit's database was performed for all hepatic metastases referrals from January 2006 to December 2008. The dates of referral, first appointment, investigations and initiation of treatment, along with patient's age and sex, were recorded on Microsoft Excel and analysed. Time was expressed as mean +/- SD in days. RESULTS: A total of 102 patients with hepatic metastases were identified. Five were excluded due to incomplete data. The average time from referral to first appointment was 10.6 +/- 9.4 days and the average time from referral to treatment was 38.5 +/- 28.6 days. Seventy-five (72.7%) had surgical intervention, of whom 37 also had chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: The data compare favourably to the NHS Cancer Plan guidelines for primary malignancy, demonstrating that a regional hepatobiliary unit is capable of delivering a service for colorectal liver metastases that adheres to the NHS Cancer Plan. Therefore, the NHS Cancer Plan can be applied to this cohort.
    • Catheter-related infection in Irish intensive care units diagnosed with HELICS criteria: a multi-centre surveillance study.

      Conrick-Martin, I; Foley, M; Roche, F M; Fraher, M H; Burns, K M; Morrison, P; Healy, M; Power, M W; Fitzpatrick, F; Phelan, D; et al. (2013-03)
      Catheter-related infection (CRI) surveillance is advocated as a healthcare quality indicator. However, there is no national CRI surveillance programme or standardized CRI definitions in Irish intensive care units (ICUs).
    • Images in clinical medicine. Pronator drift.

      Darcy, Philip; Moughty, Adrian M; Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2013-10-17)
    • Increasing cardiac interventions among the aged.

      Groarke, J D; Blake, G; McCann, H; Sugrue, D; Mahon, N; Department of Cardiology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles St, Dublin 7. johngroarke1@eircom.net (2010-11)
      Ireland's over 65 year population is growing. As incidence of coronary events rises with age, there is a growing population of elderly patients with cardiac disease. The changing age profile of patients treated by a tertiary hospital's Cardiology service was quantified using Hospital Inpatient Enquiry data. 53% of CCU admissions were aged > or = 65 years, with admissions aged > or = 85 years in 2008 four times greater than in 2002. Percentages of patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions in 1997 aged > or = 70 years were 19% and 18% respectively. By 2007, these percentages had risen to 31% and 34% respectively--greatest increases were in the very elderly age categories. The proportion of ICD recipients aged > 70 years increased from 8% in 2003 to 25% by 2008. The proportion of elderly patients receiving advanced cardiac care is increasing. This trend will continue and has clear resource implications. Outcomes of interventions in the very old need further investigation, since the 'old old' are under-represented in clinical trials.
    • The long-term functional outcome of type II odontoid fractures managed non-operatively.

      Butler, J S; Dolan, R T; Burbridge, M; Hurson, C J; O'Byrne, J M; McCormack, D; Synnott, K; Poynton, A R; National Spinal Injuries Unit, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. josephsbutler@hotmail.com (2010-10)
      Odontoid fractures currently account for 9-15% of all adult cervical spine fractures, with type II fractures accounting for the majority of these injuries. Despite recent advances in internal fixation techniques, the management of type II fractures still remains controversial with advocates still supporting non-rigid immobilization as the definitive treatment of these injuries. At the NSIU, over an 11-year period between 1 July 1996 and 30 June 2006, 66 patients (n = 66) were treated by external immobilization for type II odontoid fractures. The medical records, radiographs and CT scans of all patients identified were reviewed. Clinical follow-up evaluation was performed using the Cervical Spine Outcomes Questionnaire (CSOQ). The objectives of this study were to evaluate the long-term functional outcome of patients suffering isolated type II odontoid fractures managed non-operatively and to correlate patient age and device type with clinical and functional outcome. Of the 66 patients, there were 42 males and 24 females (M:F = 1.75:1) managed non-operatively for type II odontoid fractures. The mean follow-up time was 66 months. Advancing age was highly correlated with poorer long-term functional outcomes when assessing neck pain (r = 0.19, P = 0.1219), shoulder and arm pain (r = 0.41, P = 0.0007), physical symptoms (r = 0.25, P = 0.472), functional disability (r = 0.24, P = 0.0476) and psychological distress (r = 0.41, P = 0.0007). Patients >65 years displayed a higher rate of pseudoarthrosis (21.43 vs. 1.92%) and established non-union (7.14 vs. 0%) than patients <65 years. The non-operative management of type II odontoid fractures is an effective and satisfactory method of treating type II odontoid fractures, particularly those of a stable nature. However, patients of advancing age have been demonstrated to have significantly poorer functional outcomes in the long term. This may be linked to higher rates of non-union.
    • Maximizing outcomes in genitourinary cancers across the treatment continuum.

      Fitzpatrick, John M; Bellmunt, Joaquim; Dreicer, Robert; Fleshner, Neil E; Logothetis, Christopher J; Moul, Judd W; Tombal, Bertrand; Zlotta, Alexandre; Department of Surgery, Mater Misericordiae Hospital and University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. (2011-04)
      Key controversies concerning the management of genitourinary cancers across the treatment continua were discussed at the second annual Interactive Genitourinary Cancer Conference (IGUCC) held in February 2010 in Athens, Greece. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among western men and prevention strategies are needed. Trials evaluating 5α-reductase inhibitors have reported beneficial and clinically meaningful results, but uptake remains low for primary prostate cancer prevention. Prostate cancer detection programmes are also important as curative treatments for advanced disease are unavailable. Two large landmark randomized controlled trials reported conflicting results concerning screening efficacy and uncovered high levels of over-diagnosis and potential over-treatment. Tailored management strategies after diagnosis are important and predictive markers that distinguish between aggressive and indolent tumours are needed. The majority of newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer are clinically localized. Active surveillance of favourable risk patients may be beneficial in the intermediate term, while an integrated approach of multi-modality therapy in patients with adverse features is recommended. The benefits of new technologies such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and robotic prostatectomy have not been established in prospective randomized trials vs current standards of care. A multidisciplinary approach is essential to evolving the management of advanced prostate cancer into a chronic disease paradigm. Docetaxel plus prednisone is the standard first-line chemotherapy for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), but the optimal timing of chemotherapy initiation has not been addressed in randomized clinical trials. Retrospective analyses suggest that asymptomatic patients with adverse prognostic factors for survival may also benefit from receiving chemotherapy. Bladder cancer is a common malignancy and the most expensive cancer per patient. Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a heterogenous disease that requires dynamic multidisciplinary management. Aggressive early intervention may be beneficial in some cases. Platinum-based therapies represent the first-line standard of care for advanced bladder cancer, but the maximum benefit may have been reached for conventional chemotherapies and new strategies are needed. Several ongoing clinical trials are assessing combination chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
    • Prevalence of Internet use amongst an elective spinal surgery outpatient population.

      Baker, Joseph F; Devitt, Brian M; Kiely, Paul D; Green, James; Mulhall, Kevin J; Synnott, Keith A; Poynton, Ashley R; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. joseph.f.baker@gmail.com (2010-10)
      Nationally 62% of individuals in Ireland have internet access. Previous published work has suggested that internet use is higher among those with low back pain. We aimed to determine the levels of internet access and use amongst an elective spinal outpatient population and determine what characteristics influence these. We distributed a self-designed questionnaire to patients attending elective spinal outpatient clinics. Data including demographics, history of surgery, number of visits, level of satisfaction with previous consultations, access to the internet, possession of health insurance, and details regarding use of the internet to research one's spinal complaint were collected. 213 patients completed the questionnaire. 159 (75%) had access to the internet. Of this group 48 (23%) used the internet to research their spinal condition. Increasing age, higher education level, and possession of health insurance were all significantly associated with access to the internet (p < 0.05). A higher education level predicted greater internet use while possession of insurance weakly predicted non-use (p < 0.05). In our practice, internet access is consistent with national statistics and use is comparable to previous reports. Approximately, one quarter of outpatients will use the internet to research their spinal condition. Should we use this medium to disseminate information we need to be aware some groups may not have access.
    • Prospective, blinded trial of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging versus computed tomography positron emission tomography in staging primary and recurrent cancer of the head and neck.

      O'Neill, J P; Moynagh, M; Kavanagh, E; O'Dwyer, T; Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Mater Hospital, Dublin, , Ireland. joneill@rcsi.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVES: To compare the use of computed tomography - positron emission tomography and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging for the staging of head and neck cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January to July 2009, 15 consecutive head and neck cancer patients (11 men and four women; mean age 59 years; age range 19 to 81 years) underwent computed tomography - positron emission tomography and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging for pre-therapeutic evaluation. All scans were staged, as per the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumour-node-metastasis classification, by two blinded consultant radiologists, in two sittings. Diagnoses were confirmed by histopathological examination of endoscopic biopsies, and in some cases whole surgical specimens. RESULTS: Tumour staging showed a 74 per cent concordance, node staging an 80 per cent concordance and metastasis staging a 100 per cent concordance, comparing the two imaging modalities. CONCLUSION: This study found radiological staging discordance between the two imaging modalities. Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging is an emerging staging modality with superior visualisation of metastatic disease, which does not require exposure to ionising radiation.
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy in node-negative squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx.

      Burns, P; Foster, A; Walshe, P; O'Dwyer, T; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mater Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., drfatihtunca@yahoo.com (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVES: Considerable controversy exists regarding the merits of elective neck dissection in patients with early stage oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. It is highly desirable to have a method of identifying those patients who would benefit from further treatment of the neck when they are clinically node-negative. The purpose of the present study was to examine the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy in identifying occult neck disease in a cohort of patients with node-negative oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. DESIGN: We evaluated a total of 13 patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer who were clinically and radiologically node-negative. RESULTS: A sentinel lymph node was found in all 13 patients, revealing metastatic disease in five patients, four of whom had one or more positive sentinel lymph nodes. There was one false negative result, in which the sentinel lymph node was negative for tumour whereas histological examination of the neck dissection specimen showed occult disease. CONCLUSION: In view of these findings, we would recommend the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy in cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, in order to aid the differentiation of those patients whose necks are harbouring occult disease and who require further treatment.
    • What do you think of us? Evaluating patient knowledge of and satisfaction with a psychiatric outpatient service.

      Jabbar, F; Casey, P; Schelten, S L; Kelly, B D; Department of Adult Psychiatry, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, University College Dublin, 62/63 Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. (2011-03)
      This study aimed to measure patient satisfaction with the care they were receiving; examine patients' knowledge of the psychiatric services in general; and identify variables associated with satisfaction.