Delayed Pouch Closure in the Surgical Management of Ulcerative Colitis

B Kochar et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 1833-9.  This study reviewed prospectively collected data from 2011-2015 involving 2390 Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis (IPAA) surgeries for ulcerative colitis in those ≥18 years of age.  Two approaches were compared:

  1. ‘Traditional’ 2- stage IPAA where the pouch is created with the colectomy
  2. Or a 3-stage surgery where the pouch is created in a second surgery after the colectomy (delayed pouch creation)

Key findings:

  • Delayed pouch creation were significantly less likely to have an unplanned reoperation (RR =0.42, CI 0.24-0.75) and less likely to have major adverse events (RR=0.72, CI 0.52-0.99)
  • Those in the delayed pouch creation group were much less likely to be receiving chronic immunosuppression at the time of surgery –15% compared to 51% in 2-stage group

My take: Particularly for sicker patients, delayed pouch creation (3-stage procedure) is likely to be best approach.

Related blog posts:


Reflux Management in Preterm Infants

A recent review (EC Eichenwald, AAP  COMMITTEE ON FETUS AND NEWBORN. Pediatrics. June 2018) on reflux in pretern infants reinforces several important issues:

  1. Reflux medicines have not been shown to be effective and can cause harm
  2. Feeding regimen manipulation is not effective


  • The report asserts that pH monitoring is not reliable “to diagnose GER in preterm infants19 because their stomach pH is rarely <4 owing to frequent milk feedings and a higher baseline pH. In addition, abnormal esophageal pH does not correlate well with symptom severity…Currently, the most accurate method for detecting GER is MII monitoring, which is frequently combined with simultaneous measurement of pH.2 ”  There are problems with impedance testing as well, including sparse normative data.

Apnea, Bradycardia and Desaturations:

  • “Researchers examining the timing of reflux episodes in relation to apneic events have found that they are rarely temporally related14,27 and that GER does not prolong or worsen apnea… there is no evidence that pharmacologic treatment of GER with agents that decrease gastric acidity or promote gastrointestinal motility decrease the risk of recurrent apnea or bradycardia in preterm infants.30,31

Feeding problems:

  • “Feeding-associated arching or irritability and oral feeding aversion, are not temporally associated with MII or lower pH documented reflux events and, thus, are not reliable markers of clinically significant reflux.”20,24

Lung disease/BPD:

  • “Data regarding the possible association between worsening lung disease attributable to GER and microaspiration in mechanically ventilated preterm infants are sparse.”

Full Text: Diagnosis and Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux in Preterm Infants

Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), generally defined as the passage of gastric contents into the esophagus, is an almost universal phenomenon in preterm infants. It is a common diagnosis in the NICU; however, there is large variation in its treatment across NICU sites. In this clinical report, the physiology, diagnosis, and symptomatology in preterm infants as well as currently used treatment strategies in the NICU are examined. Conservative measures to control reflux, such as left lateral body position, head elevation, and feeding regimen manipulation, have not been shown to reduce clinically assessed signs of GER in the preterm infant. In addition, preterm infants with clinically diagnosed GER are often treated with pharmacologic agents; however, a lack of evidence of efficacy together with emerging evidence of significant harm (particularly with gastric acid blockade) strongly suggest that these agents should be used sparingly, if at all, in preterm infants.

My take: The information and recommendations in this review will not come with any surprises for most pediatric gastroenterologists.  Nevertheless, I think it may influence the care of neonatologists (and others) to use acid blockers less often in this population.

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

EMR Learning Curve -Long-term Benefits & Burnout Narrative

  1. Electronic Health Records Associated With Lower Hospital Mortality After Systems Have Time To Mature
  2. Beyond Burnout Moving narrative on the issue of burnout (JAMA link from 33mail -Bryan Vartabedian)

Related blog posts on EMRs:

Related blog posts on burnout:

Catheter-Related Venous Thrombosis in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A recent retrospective study (CE Diamond et al. J Pediatr 2018; 198: 53-9) examined the issue of catheter-related venous thrombosis in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients (2015-17).

In total, 40 patients (47 hospitalizations, median age 14 yrs) with IBD were reviewed.  At the discretion of the treating physician, anticoagulation therapy (AT) with enoxaparin was administered in some children due to the recognized increase risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).  This protocol did NOT evaluate for subclinical venous thrombotic events.  Detection of VTE was undertaken in those who became symptomatic (eg. pain or swelling).

AT protocol: 

  • In patients less than 40 kg, the starting dose of enoxaparin was 0.5 mg/kg/dose SC every 12 hrs with anti-factor Xa levels drawn 4-6 hours after the patient had received at least 2 doses with a target level of 0.1-0.3 U/mL. The first dose was administered on the same day as CVC placement but after placement.
  • In patients >40 kg, a fixed dose of 40 mg of enoxaparin SC every 24 hrs without laboratory monitoring

Key findings:

  • 5 of 23 (22%) hospitalizations without AT developed VTE; in contrast 0 of 24 with AT prophylaxis.  Mean duration of AT was 11 days.
  • All five who developed VTE had complete resolution after treatment with anticoagulation Rx. No cases of genetic thrombophilia were identified.
  • Bleeding issues were similar in the two groups –46% of those receiving AT Rx required at least one blood transfusion compared with 39% who did not receive AT Rx.

Overall, these groups (with and without AT Rx) had similar demographic features and had severe active IBD.  Most were receiving biologic therapy and the majority were receiving steroids.  The authors observed a trend towards more use of AT over the study period, “suggesting increased comfort levels of treating physician…even in the presence of rectal bleeding.”

My take: This relatively small study found that AT Rx reduced the rate of CVC-related venous thrombosis.  A larger prospective study is needed to confirm the potential benefit of AT treatment.

Related blog posts:

Artwork near Azalea Drive/Chattahoochee river

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Liver Shorts August 2018

M Yakoot et al. JPGN 2018; 67: 86-89. This prospective, open-label, unblinded study from Egypt indicated that 29 of 30 (96.7%) pediatric (12-17 yr) patients with HCV (genotype 4) attained an SVR12 with sofusbuvir/daclatasvir.  No serious adverse effects were evident.  The one patient who did not achieve SVR12 was lost to followup but had viral negativity after completing treatment.

Related blog post: New HCV Treatment Effective in Adolescents –Important Study Now Published Online

O El-Sherif, ZG Jiang et al. Gastroenterol 2018; 154: 2111-21. This study showed that a “BE3A Score” based on BMI <25, no Encephalopathy, no Ascites, Albumin >3.5 and ALT >60 IU/L could be used to discriminate the likelihood of reducing the Child-Pugh-Turcotte (CPT) score to class A in patients with hepatitis C virus-associated decompensated cirrhosis who received DAA therapy.  This retrospective  analysis was based on 4 trials of a sofusbuvir-therapy with 502 CPT class B and 120 CPT class C patients.

AH Ali et al. Hepatology 2018; 67: 2338-51.  This study convincingly shows that surveillance for hepatobiliary cancers improves outcomes in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis.  Among their cohort of 830 patients (Mayo clinic), 79 developed malignancies.  Of those under surveillance (n=40), the 5-year survival was 68% compared to 20% for those who had not been under surveillance.  While the true cynic might ascribe some of the difference to ‘lead-time’ bias, this is unlikely to account for this difference at 5 years.

F Aberg et al. Hepatology 2018; 67: 2141-49.  This Finish-population prospective study, over an 11 year follow-up, using a nationally-representative cohort (n=6771) showed that even moderate alcohol consumption worsened outcomes (eg hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma) in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  In addition, the authors showed that diabetes the most significant predictor of poor outcome (HR 6.79). In a related commentary, pg 2072-73, the authors state that this article “put an end to the ongoing ddebate whether moderate alcohol drinking (less than 20 g of alcohol/day or 2 drinks per day) could be helpful.”

IBD Shorts August 2018

Vitamin D Receptor Signaling in IBD. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 1149-54.  This article reviews the ways vitamin D/vitamin D receptor may contribute to the genetic, environmental, immune, and microbial aspects of IBD.

LY Chi et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 1344-51. This study with 223 pediatric patients & young adults found that current or prior combination therapy with infliximab, compared to monotherapy resulted in higher infliximab levels and lower antibody formation. Combination agent was mainly methotrexate (n=71) rather than thiopurine (n=13). In those with infliximab dose <10 mg/kg, those currently receiving combination therapy had median level of 11.1 compared with 7.0 for prior combination and 5.86 for monotherapy (never combination).

CM Johnson et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018; 16: 900-7.  In this retrospective study with 1466 patients with Crohn’s disease, the subset of patients with granulomas (n=187, 12.8%) were associated with a more aggressive phenotype and a younger age at diagnosis (23.6 years compared with 27.9 years; P= .0005). These patients had higher rates of steroid use, narcotic use, more stricturing and penetrating disease along with increase rates of surgery.