Research conducted by staff affiliated to St. Vincent's University Hospital

Recent Submissions

  • A Temporal Comparative Study of Women’s Rugby Injuries Presenting to an Emergency Department

    Gilmartin, S.; Ryan, J. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
    We aimed to examine the change in injury patterns, diagnostics and treatments provided to female rugby players in an emergency department between two separate seasons ten years apart.
  • The Role of Interventional Radiology in the Management of Obstetric and Gynaecological Haemorrhage

    O’Brien, C.; Healy, G.M.; Anglim, B.C.; O’Brien, A.; Duignan, J.; Patel, A.; Cheung, M.; Cantwell, C.P. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-07)
    Aim We will review our experience of emergent arterial embolization used to treat haemodynamically unstable patients with obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage. Methods This is a retrospective study of patients with haemodynamically unstable obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage treated with emergent arterial embolization from 2010 to 2015. Results 22 patients (average age 41 (SD +/-9) years) had emergent arterial embolization. 63% had post-partum haemorrhage(PPH). 82% of cases were performed with conscious sedation and local anaesthesia. Embolization was technically successful in all cases. Embolization was clinically successful in 95% (21/22). In one case of PPH the patient represented six days later with recurrent bleeding and was treated with surgical suturing of the cervix. There were no complications or deaths. Conclusion Arterial embolization is a highly successful treatment of obstetric and gynaecological haemorrhage in unstable patients.
  • Emergence and spread of a human-transmissible multidrug-resistant nontuberculous mycobacterium.

    Bryant, Josephine M; Grogono, Dorothy M; Rodriguez-Rincon, Daniela; Everall, Isobel; Brown, Karen P; Moreno, Pablo; Verma, Deepshikha; Hill, Emily; Drijkoningen, Judith; Gilligan, Peter; et al. (2016-11-11)
    Lung infections with Mycobacterium abscessus, a species of multidrug resistant nontuberculous mycobacteria, are emerging as an important global threat to individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) where they accelerate inflammatory lung damage leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Previously, M. abscessus was thought to be independently acquired by susceptible individuals from the environment. However, using whole genome analysis of a global collection of clinical isolates, we show that the majority of M. abscessus infections are acquired through transmission, potentially via fomites and aerosols, of recently emerged dominant circulating clones that have spread globally. We demonstrate that these clones are associated with worse clinical outcomes, show increased virulence in cell-based and mouse infection models, and thus represent an urgent international infection challenge.
  • Physiotherapist-Led Triage at a Rheumatology-Based Musculoskeletal Assessment Clinic: an 18-Month Service Evaluation of Activity and Outcomes

    Caffrey, Aoife; Smart, Keith M.; Fitzgerald, Oliver (American College of Rheumatology, 2019)
    Physiotherapist-led musculoskeletal triage clinics are an effective and efficient means of managing patients presenting with musculoskeletal disorders in primary and secondary care. Data regarding the activity and outcomes of physiotherapist-led triage in hospital-based outpatient rheumatology clinics are scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to undertake a service evaluation of activity and outcomes of a physiotherapist-led rheumatologybased Musculoskeletal Assessment Clinic (MAC). The primary objective was to quantify the proportion of patients independently managed by the clinical specialist physiotherapists (CSPs).
  • Oxygen Therapy in Ireland: A Nationwide Review of Delivery, Monitoring and Cost Implications

    O’Donnell, C; Davis, P (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-05)
    Our aim was to establish which hospitals in Ireland are running oxygen clinics and to compare oxygen prescription in hospitals to a guideline standard. Long term oxygen therapy is known to be of benefit to a specific cohort of patients but is not without risk.
  • An Under-Recognised Cause of Iatrogenic, Severe Metabolic Acidosis

    Spring, A; Owens, R; Fratita, M; O’Dwyer, M (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
    Pyroglutamic acidosis is an uncommonly diagnosed but important cause of a high anion gap metabolic acidosis. Our case report concerns an elderly male admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) following the acute onset of coma which developed during treatment of a prosthetic joint infection. A diagnosis of pyroglutamic acidosis was ultimately made and later confirmed with laboratory testing. Blood gas analysis revealed a profound high anion gap metabolic acidosis.
  • The Management of Incidental Prostate Cancer Following TURP

    Matanhelia, D.M; Croghan, S.; Nason, G.J; O’Connell, C.; Galvin, D.J.; 1. St Vincent’s University Hospital 2. Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-02)
    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common non-cutaneous cancer diagnosed in Ireland with a cumulative lifetime risk of 1 in 7 men1. At autopsy, up to 60% of 80 years olds have latent CaP2 while up to 80% have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) 3. The detection of CaP incidentally has fallen in the post prostate specific antigen (PSA) era from ~ 20% to ~5%4. Incidental CaP detected at transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) can be sub-classified into pT1a (<5% of prostate chips) and pT1b (>5% of prostate chips) and the management subsequently stratified.
  • Canis Caveat (Beware of the Dog) - Septic Shock Due To Capnocytophaga Canimorsus Contracted From A Dog Bite

    O’Shaughnessy, SM; Broderick, L; Walsh, J; Schaffer, K; Westbrook, A; St. Vincent’s University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-11)
    We describe the case of a 61-year-old immunocompetent male who developed septic shock and multiorgan failure due to Capnocytophaga canimorsus (C. canimorsus) bloodstream infection, sustained from a dog bite. Unusually, this patient developed acute liver failure and splenic infarction in addition to many of the better-known clinical sequelae of C. canimorsus infection.
  • Preclinical validation of the small molecule drug quininib as a novel therapeutic for colorectal cancer.

    Murphy, Adrian G; Casey, Rory; Maguire, Aoife; Tosetto, Miriam; Butler, Clare T; Conroy, Emer; Reynolds, Alison L; Sheahan, Kieran; O'donoghue, Diarmuid; Gallagher, William M; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2016-10-14)
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer deaths. Molecularly targeted therapies (e.g. bevacizumab) have improved survival rates but drug resistance ultimately develops and newer therapies are required. We identified quininib as a small molecule drug with anti-angiogenic activity using in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo screening models. Quininib (2-[(E)-2-(Quinolin-2-yl) vinyl] phenol), is a small molecule drug (molecular weight 283.75 g/mol), which significantly inhibited blood vessel development in zebrafish embryos (p < 0.001). In vitro, quininib reduced endothelial tubule formation (p < 0.001), cell migration was unaffected by quininib and cell survival was reduced by quininib (p < 0.001). Using ex vivo human CRC explants, quininib significantly reduced the secretions of IL-6, IL-8, VEGF, ENA-78, GRO-α, TNF, IL-1β and MCP-1 ex vivo (all values p < 0.01). Quininib is well tolerated in mice when administered at 50 mg/kg intraperitoneally every 3 days and significantly reduced tumour growth of HT-29-luc2 CRC tumour xenografts compared to vehicle control. In addition, quininib reduced the signal from a α
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis Response to TNF Inhibition Is Gender Specific: A 6-Year Cohort Study

    Murray, C; Fearon, C; Dockery, M; Moran, D; Heffernan, E; Fitzgerald, O; Veale, D.J; Harty, L; St. Vincent's University Hospital (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-10)
    Recent studies have suggested gender-specific differences with respect to both baseline disease activity and severity in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) have shown significant benefit in AS but there may be gender-specific differences regarding responses to TNFi therapy.
  • A Life-Saving Palsy: Hereditary Neuropathy with Liability to Pressure Palsies (HNPP) Presenting As Hand Weakness during Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training

    Hughes, H; Tubridy, N; Connolly, S; St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-09)
    Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP), is an uncommon condition characterised by recurrent episodes of painless, focal motor and sensory peripheral neuropathies, often preceded by nerve compression 1, 2. Despite the rarity of the condition, HNPP should form part of the differential diagnosis in patients presenting with this picture.
  • St Vincent’s University Hospital Make Bold Move by Banning Soap

    Murphy, Lisa (St Vincent's University Hospital, 2017)
  • Maternal Early Warning Scores (MEWS)

    Nair, Shrijit; Dockrell, Lucy; Mac Colgain, Siaghal; St. Vincent’s University Hospital (World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists, 2018-07)
    According to Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries in the UK (MBRRACE-UK) report 2016, maternal mortality rate is 8.5 per 100,000 maternities. More than 50% of maternal deaths are potentially preventable.Nine pregnant women develop severe maternal morbidity for every maternal death. Evolving morbidity can be difficult to recognise in the obstetric population because of the normal changes in peripartum physiology. Delays in recognition of patient deterioration and initiation of treatment lead to worse outcomes.2 Early Warning Systems (EWS) have been used since 1999 in the general patient population to identify clinical deterioration. The Maternal Early Warning System (MEWS) has been advocated with the aim to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality, and improve clinical outcomes. The MEWS tracks physiological parameters and evolving morbidity and once a predetermined threshold has been reached, it triggers evaluation by a healthcare professional.
  • Quality Improvement of Clinical Handover in a Liaison Psychiatry Department: A Three-Phase Audit

    Alexander, L; Bechan, N; Brady, S; Douglas, L; Moore, S; Shelley, R (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-06)
    Clinical handover has been identified as a period of high risk in healthcare, with increased incidence of adverse outcomes and near-misses. The purpose of handover is to communicate relevant information between medical professionals, with emphasis on completing management tasks and preventing patients from ‘falling through the cracks’1. Poor handover practices contribute to catastrophic but avoidable adverse events in healthcare. In Ireland, one such high profile incident has been a particular catalyst in the development of comprehensive handover guidelines in maternity settings2. Other specialities have yet to follow suit and there remains a dearth of guidance on handover practices, particularly guidance that can be applied to highly specialised and logistically unique areas, such as psychiatry
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor PD-1 pathway is down-regulated in synovium at various stages of rheumatoid arthritis disease progression.

    Guo, Yanxia; Walsh, Alice M; Canavan, Mary; Wechalekar, Mihir D; Cole, Suzanne; Yin, Xuefeng; Scott, Brittney; Loza, Mathew; Orr, Carl; McGarry, Trudy; et al. (PLoS One, 2018)
    Immune checkpoint blockade with therapeutic anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen (CTLA)-4 (Ipilimumab) and anti-programmed death (PD)-1 (Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab) antibodies alone or in combination has shown remarkable efficacy in multiple cancer types, concomitant with immune-related adverse events, including arthralgia and inflammatory arthritis (IA) in some patients. Herein, using Nivolumab (anti-PD-1 antagonist)-responsive genes along with transcriptomics of synovial tissue from multiple stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease progression, we have interrogated the activity status of PD-1 pathway during RA development. We demonstrate that the expression of PD-1 was increased in early and established RA synovial tissue compared to normal and OA synovium, whereas that of its ligands, programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and PD-L2, was increased at all the stages of RA disease progression, namely arthralgia, IA/undifferentiated arthritis, early RA and established RA. Further, we show that RA patients expressed PD-1 on a majority of synovial tissue infiltrating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Moreover, enrichment of Nivolumab gene signature was observed in IA and RA, indicating that the PD-1 pathway was downregulated during RA disease progression. Furthermore, serum soluble (s) PD-1 levels were increased in autoantibody positive early RA patients. Interestingly, most of the early RA synovium tissue sections showed negative PD-L1 staining by immunohistochemistry. Therefore, downregulation in PD-1 inhibitory signaling in RA could be attributed to increased serum sPD-1 and decreased synovial tissue PD-L1 levels. Taken together, these data suggest that agonistic PD1 antibody-based therapeutics may show efficacy in RA treatment and interception.
  • Isolation and gene expression profiling of intestinal epithelial cells: crypt isolation by calcium chelation from in vivo samples.

    Balfe, Aine; Lennon, Grainne; Lavelle, Aonghus; Docherty, Neil G; Coffey, J Calvin; Sheahan, Kieran; Winter, Desmond C; O'Connell, P Ronan (Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology, 2018)
    The epithelial layer within the colon represents a physical barrier between the luminal contents and its underlying mucosa. It plays a pivotal role in mucosal homeostasis, and both tolerance and anti-pathogenic immune responses. Identifying signals of inflammation initiation and responses to stimuli from within the epithelial layer is critical to understanding the molecular pathways underlying disease pathology. This study validated a method to isolate and analyze epithelial populations, enabling investigations of epithelial function and response in a variety of disease setting.
  • Overnight Emergency CT Imaging: A 10-Year Experience at an Irish Tertiary Referral Hospital.

    Hynes J; Redmond CE; Healy GM; Cronin, J; Heffernan, EJ (Irish Medical Journal, 2018-01)
    In recent years there has been increased utilisation of computed tomography (CT) imaging in developed countries, however there is a paucity of data regarding the utilisation of CT in the emergency overnight setting. We retrospectively analysed trends in ‘overnight’ (midnight to 8am) CT utilisation over a ten-year period at a single Irish tertiary referral hospital. Over the study period, we observed a significant increase in the proportion of CT imaging that was carried out overnight. There was no significant variation in the yield of pathological findings over the study period, which remained low (64% of CT studies were normal or had non-critical findings). The multiple factors which have contributed to the increased utilization of overnight emergency CT in recent years, the potential for reporting errors overnight and the implications therein for patient safety warrant consideration.
  • Age Adjusted D-Dimer for exclusion of Pulmonary Embolism: a retrospective cohort study.

    Monks, D; Neill, A; Barton, D; Moughty, A; McFeely, A; Timmons, A; Hatton, S; McMorrow, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-08)
    D-Dimer (DD) will increase with age and recent studies have shown the upper limit of normal can be raised in those who are low risk and over 50. We studied age adjusted D-dimer (AADD) levels to assess whether pulmonary embolism (PE) could be safely excluded. This study analysed the Emergency Department (ED) Computed Tomographic Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA) requests. There were 756 requests. The parameters studied were; age, DD value, calculated AADD, CT result and Simplified Geneva Score (SGS). The primary outcome was the diagnostic performance of AADD. One hundred and eighty-five patients were included in the final cohort. Twenty-one patients had a negative DD after age adjustment. Of these one had a PE, corresponding to a failure rate of 4.76% (1 in 22). The sensitivity of AADD was 0.96 (95% CI 0.76 to 0.99) and its specificity was 0.12 (95% CI 0.08- 0.19). AADD demonstrated a reduction in false positives with one false negative, giving rise to a failure rate higher than that of other larger studies. Further study is indicated to accurately define the diagnostic characteristics for the Irish context.
  • Impact of receptor phenotype on nodal burden in patients with breast cancer who have undergone neoadjuvant chemotherapy

    Boland, M. R.; McVeigh, T. P.; O'Flaherty, N.; Gullo, G.; Keane, M.; Quinn, C. M.; McDermott, E. W.; Lowery, A. J.; Kerin, M. J.; Prichard, R. S.; et al. (BSJ Open, 2017-07-31)
    Optimal evaluation and management of the axilla following neoadjuvant chemotherapy(NAC) in patients with node-positive breast cancer remains controversial. The aim of this study wasto examine the impact of receptor phenotype in patients with nodal metastases who undergo NAC to seewhether this approach can identify those who may be suitable for conservative axillary management.Methods: Between 2009 and 2014, all patients with breast cancer and biopsy-proven nodal diseasewho received NAC were identied from prospectively developed databases. Details of patients who hadaxillary lymph node dissection (ALND) following NAC were recorded and rates of pathological completeresponse (pCR) were evaluated for receptor phenotype.
  • Long-term follow-up of patients with spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C: does viral clearance mean cure?

    Iqbal, M; McCormick, P A; Cannon, M; Murphy, N; Flanagan, P; Hegarty, J E; Thornton, L (Irish Medical Journal, 2017-06)
    Up to 40% of patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies are negative for HCV RNA at initial evaluation. If there is a risk of viral re-activation, long term follow-up is required with attendant financial, psychological and medical implications. We investigated the risk of re-activation in the Irish anti-D cohort. Information was obtained from the national hepatitis C database which includes data on patients infected by anti-D immunoglobulin in two large outbreaks, 1977-9 and 1991-94. As part of a screening programme, starting in 1994, 64,907 females exposed to anti-D immunoglobulin were evaluated. Three hundred and forty-seven were found to be antibody positive but HCV RNA negative at initial assessment. 93% had subsequent RNA tests. There was no evidence of HCV recurrence in patients whose infection resolved spontaneously. It appears that two initial sequential negative results for HCV RNA are sufficient to confirm spontaneous viral clearance and probable cure of hepatitis C virus infection.

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