Vivek Buch, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
National audit of pathways in epileptic seizure referrals (NAPIER): A national, multicentre audit of first seizure clinics throughout the UK and Ireland.
2023; 111: 165-171
BACKGROUND: Current guidelines set clinical standards for the management of suspected first seizures and epilepsy. We aimed to assess if these standards are being met across first seizure clinics nationally, to describe variations in care and identify opportunities for service delivery improvement.METHODS: Multicentre audit assessing the care of adults (≥16 years) referred to first seizure clinics from 31st December 2019 going backwards (30 consecutive patients per centre). Patients with pre-existing diagnosis of epilepsy were excluded. Anonymised referral, clinic, and follow-up data are reported with descriptive statistics.RESULTS: Data provided for 727 patients from 25 hospitals in the UK and Ireland (median age 41 years [IQR 26-59], 52% males). Median time to review was 48 days (IQR 26-86), with 13.8% (IQR 3.3%-24.0%) of patients assessed within 2 weeks. Seizure recurrence was seen in 12.7% (IQR 6.6%-17.4%) of patients awaiting first appointment. Documentation for witness accounts and driving advice was evident in 85.0% (IQR 74.0%-100%) and 79.7% (IQR 71.2%-96.4%) of first seizure/epilepsy patients, respectively. At first appointment, discussion of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy was documented in 30.1% (IQR 0%-42.5%) of patients diagnosed with epilepsy. In epilepsy patients, median time to MRI neuroimaging was 37 days [IQR 22-56] and EEG was 30 days [IQR 19-47]. 30.4% ([IQR 0%-59.5%]) of epilepsy patients were referred to epilepsy nurse specialists.CONCLUSIONS: There is variability nationally in the documented care of patients referred to first seizure clinics. Many patients are facing delays to assessment with epilepsy specialists with likely subsequent impact on further management.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.seizure.2023.08.010
View details for PubMedID 37639958
Treatment of primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumour of infancy: a management paradigm focusing on surgical nuances
CHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM
Primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumour of infancy (PMMTI) is a rare mesenchymal tumour that typically appears in those under 6 months of age and preferentially affects the deep soft tissues of the trunk and paravertebral spinal regions. PMMTI has only recently been described, and there is scarce literature reporting cases regarding the management paradigm of the tumour. We report the case of an 11-week-old male who presented with bilaterally reduced movement and brisk reflexes in his lower limbs, and irritability. Despite numerous radiological investigations, including MRI, PMMTI was only diagnosed upon biopsy and histopathology. Although PMMTI is known to be relatively unresponsive to chemotherapy, we observed a notable decrease in tumour size after a series of chemotherapy sessions. After two-staged surgical resection of the tumour, the patient is currently stable and under close follow-up. In this article, we aim to report on the patient's clinical presentation, investigations, diagnosis, and treatment, while also discussing the findings from a review of the literature pertaining to future approaches in managing PMMTI. Overall, this case highlights the importance of considering PMMTI in the differential diagnosis of deep soft tissue tumours in young infants and the potential for a combination of chemotherapy and surgical resection to be effective in treating this rare tumour.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00381-023-06065-1
View details for Web of Science ID 001034561200001
View details for PubMedID 37480522
- Endoscopic surveillance in hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. The Lancet. Oncology 2023; 24 (7): e285
Follow Your Heart: Trials and Tribulations of Sir Terence English and the First Successful Heart Transplant in the United Kingdom.
2023; 15 (7): e42051
The journey of heart transplantation in the United Kingdom (UK) has been marked by challenges and triumphs. Following a series of unsuccessful transplant attempts in 1968, a moratorium was imposed on the procedure. However, in 1979, Sir Terence English broke the national ban, by performing the UK's first successful heart transplant at Papworth Hospital. This achievement opened doors for advancements in heart and lung transplantation and established the Papworth programme as a world leader in the field. Sir Terence's legacy stands as a testament to the transformative power of determination, perseverance and teamwork in overcoming the moratorium, lack of financial support, difficult colleagues and the failure of his first transplant attempt. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, qualitative interviews and Sir Terence's personal contributions, this article provides an account of his trials and tribulations, aiming to inspire and encourage physicians, surgeons and scientists in their pursuit of innovation in the field of medicine.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.42051
View details for PubMedID 37602124
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10434719
Management and outcomes of myelomeningocele-associated hydrocephalus in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol
2023; 13 (2): e066339
Hydrocephalus and myelomeningocele (MMC) place disproportionate burdens of disease on low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). MMC-associated hydrocephalus and its sequelae result in a spectrum of severely devastating clinical manifestations, for which LMICs are disproportionately unprepared in terms of human, capital and technological resources. This study aims to review and compare the management and outcomes of infant MMC-associated hydrocephalus in LMICs and high-income countries.This systematic review and meta-analysis will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2020 guidelines. The following databases will be searched without restrictions on language, publication date or country of origin: EMBASE, MEDLINE, The Cochrane Library, Global Index Medicus, African Journals Online and SciELO. All peer-reviewed studies of primary data reporting management and outcomes of infant MMC-associated hydrocephalus will be included. Where high-quality homogeneous studies exist, meta-analyses will be conducted to compare the management and outcomes of MMC-associated hydrocephalus across socioeconomic and geographical regions of the world. The primary outcome will be treatment failure of the first-line hydrocephalus treatment, which we defined operationally as the performance of a second intervention for the same reason as the first. Secondary outcomes include time to failure, rates of mortality and postoperative complications.Ethical approval was not applicable because this study does not involve human participants. Dissemination strategies will include publication in a peer-reviewed journal, oral and poster presentations at conferences and an interactive web application to facilitate interaction with the findings and promote the discussion and sharing of findings on social media.CRD42021285850.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-066339
View details for Web of Science ID 001000964400023
View details for PubMedID 36750288
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9906258
- Role of the glymphatic system in idiopathic intracranial hypertension CLINICAL NEUROLOGY AND NEUROSURGERY 2022; 222
Is there resource wastage in the research for spinal diseases? An observational analysis of discontinuation and non-publication in randomised controlled trials.
Brain & spine
2022; 2: 100922
The scale of waste in research funding systems is large and detrimental to research capacity. Both incompleteness and non-publication of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) have been increasingly reported in the literature. This is a serious consequence as RCTs demand monumental amounts of healthcare resources leading to wastage. Most importantly, both under-reporting and non-publication can distort the evidence landscape and obscure rationale behind clinical decisions.We, therefore, aimed at conducting the first systematic assessment of registered trial discontinuation and non-publication in the field of spinal disorders.A list of RCTs was obtained from the U.S National Library of Medicine ClinicalTrials.gov database from January 1st, 2013, to December 31st, 2020. Two independent authors excluded all non-RCTs, trials unrelated to spinal diseases, and trials that are in or before the recruitment phase. We extracted the progress status, sources of funding, the number of centres, type of intervention, principal investigator's department affiliation, publication status, location, the reason for discontinuation, publication date, and subtopics.112 trials were included in the study. 25 (22%) trials were discontinued early, with slow recruitment being the major reason (38%). Only 56 (50%) of the trials were published in peer-reviewed journals. The publication rate amongst discontinued trials was significantly lower compared to completed trials (P < 0·001). The trial discontinuation rate was much higher in trials registered in the United States (US) compared to other countries (P = 0·009). Industry-sponsored studies had 11 trials (23·4%) that were discontinued whilst there was 20% of non-industry-sponsored studies that were unfinished. Only 20% of the trials were compliant with the FDA reporting requirements over the study period.Nearly a quarter of all trials in spinal disorders were discontinued. Half of the trials were unpublished. There was over a third of trials that were completed but not published. These rates remain worrisome from an ethical and financial perspective. Both under-reporting and non-publication adversely affect efforts in evidence synthesis and can compromise clinical guideline development.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bas.2022.100922
View details for PubMedID 36248143
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9560700
A 5-year outcome of propranolol for the treatment of paediatric intracranial cavernoma: case report and a review of the literature
CHILDS NERVOUS SYSTEM
We describe a case of a young male patient with KRIT1-driven familial cavernous malformation syndrome who developed multiple brain cavernomas, intracranial bleeding, and persistent seizures. Due to the relentless growth of cavernous malformations and recurrent intracranial bleeds, it was decided to enrol the patient in the "Propranolol for Intracranial Cavernoma" (PICC) pilot trial at our institution. Over the 5-year treatment period with 20 to 40-mg oral propranolol three times daily (TDS), we noted the near-complete arrest of the growth of cavernous malformations with no further evidence of intracranial bleeding or any further seizures. The observed outcome is consistent with the extremely limited published literature on the topic; thus, this case provides important evidence that supports the use of propranolol as a prophylactic treatment for paediatric intracranial cavernomas. We strongly encourage and recommend future prospective randomised controlled trials to definitively assess and characterize the therapeutic utility of propranolol in this patient population.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00381-022-05603-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000825251900001
View details for PubMedID 35836010
View details for PubMedCentralID 4300037
Social and psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK medical and nursing students: protocol for a national medical and nursing student survey
2022; 12 (5): e057467
Healthcare students have played a significant role in the National Health Service during the COVID-19 pandemic. We captured data on the well-being of medical students during the acute phase of the pandemic with the Social and Psychological Impact of COVID-19 on medical students: a national survey Evaluation (SPICE-19) study. We will evaluate changes in mental health and well-being of medical and nursing students 1 year after SPICE-19, in a cross-sectional study, to understand the impact of the pandemic, and inform well-being policies.This study will be a national, multi-institution, cross-discipline study. An online 53-item survey of demographics, mental health and well-being will be used to record responses. Students studying for a medical or nursing degree at any UK universities will be eligible to participate. The survey will be advertised through the Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group national network. Participation is anonymous and voluntary, with relevant mental health resources made available to participants.Ethical approval was granted by the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (R75719/RE001) on 21 May 2021. Study findings will be presented at national and international meetings, and submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-057467
View details for Web of Science ID 000793393900028
View details for PubMedID 35523504
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9082730
Hosting an Educational Careers Day Within the Virtual Paradigm: The Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group Experience
CUREUS JOURNAL OF MEDICAL SCIENCE
2022; 14 (1): e21162
To explore our experience of hosting the 10th Annual Neurology and Neurosurgery Interest Group-Society of British Neurological Surgeons (NANSIG-SBNS) Neurosurgery Careers Day, held virtually for the first time. Reflective feedback and review of an international, virtual neurosurgery careers day. The authors reflect on the logistics of organizing the event, and the pre- and post-event feedback provided by delegates. Recommendations have been made on how to successfully host a virtual event. The key themes that permeated the event have been outlined and discussed in the context of the feedback received. The event was attended by 231 delegates from 20 countries worldwide. Knowledge of neurosurgery as a career and the application process increased after attending the careers day (4.27/5 to 4.51/5, p=0.003 and 3.12/5 to 4.31/5, p<0.001 respectively). The key themes identified from the event include attendance, networking, and education. Qualitative feedback was positive and indicated a positive perception of the careers day. The future of educational events is unclear, and a hybrid approach is recommended to retain the benefits of the online space when in-person events eventually return.
View details for DOI 10.7759/cureus.21162
View details for Web of Science ID 000744069900015
View details for PubMedID 35165612
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8836971
Estimating the global and regional burden of meningitis in children caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b: A systematic review and meta-analysis
JOURNAL OF GLOBAL HEALTH
2022; 12: 04014
Haemophilus influenzae Type B (Hib) meningitis caused significant public health concern for children. Recent assessment in 2015 suggests vaccination has virtually eliminated invasive Hib diseases. However, many countries launched their programs after 2010, and few are yet to establish routine Hib immunisations. We therefore aimed to update the most recent global burden of Hib meningitis before the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, from 2010 to 2020, in order to aid future public health policies on disease management and prevention.Epidemiological data regarding Hib meningitis in children <5 years old were systematically searched and evaluated from PubMed and Scopus in August, 2020. We included studies published between 2010 and 2019 that reported incidence, prevalence, mortality, or case-fatality-ratio (CFR), and confirmation of meningitis by cerebrospinal fluid culture, with a minimum one year study period and ten cases. Each data was stratified by one study-year. Median study-year was used if information was not available. Quality of all studies were assessed using our adapted assessment criteria from Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) and Study Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies from National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). We constructed and visually inspected a funnel plot of standard error by the incidence rate and performed an Egger's regression test to statistically assess publication bias. To ascertain incidence and CFR, we performed generalised linear mixed models on crude individual study estimates. Heterogeneity was assessed using I-squared statistics whilst further exploring heterogeneity by performing subgroup analysis.33 studies were identified. Pooled incidence of global Hib meningitis in children was 1.13 per 100 000-child-years (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.80-1.59). Southeast Asian Region (SEAR) of World Health Organisation (WHO) region reported the highest incidence, and European Region (EUR) the lowest. Considering regions with three or more data, Western Pacific Region (WPR) had the highest incidence rate of 5.22 (95% CI = 3.12-8.72). Post-vaccination incidence (0.67 cases per 100 000-child-years, 95% CI = 0.48-0.94) was dramatically lower than Pre-vaccination incidence (4.84 cases per 100 000-child-years, 95% CI = 2.95-7.96). Pooled CFR in our meta-analysis was 11.21% (95% CI = 7.01-17.45). Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) had the highest CFR (26.92, 95% CI = 13.41-46.71) while EUR had the lowest (4.13, 95% CI = 1.73-9.54). However, considering regions with three or more data, African Region (AFR) had the highest CFR at 21.79% (95% CI = 13.65-32.92). Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) impact, the estimation for global Hib meningitis cases in 2020 is 7645 and 857 deaths.Global burden of Hib meningitis has markedly decreased, and most regions have implemented vaccination programs. Extrapolating population-at-risk from studies has possibly led to an underestimation. Continuous surveillance is necessary to monitor vaccination impact, resurgence, vaccine failures, strain variance, COVID-19 impact, and to track improvement of regional and global Hib meningitis mortality.
View details for DOI 10.7189/jogh.12.04014
View details for Web of Science ID 000766656900001
View details for PubMedID 35265327
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8893283
SPICE-19: a 3-Month Prospective Cohort Study of 640 Medical Students and Foundation Doctors
MEDICAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
2021; 31 (5): 1621-1637
There is paucity of data around the support that medical students have been provided with, need to be provided with, and would like to be provided with during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical students and establish the support they require.A prospective, observational, multicentre study was conducted in 2020. All medical students and interim foundation year 1 doctors were eligible to participate.Six hundred forty individuals participated from 32 medical schools. Participants reported a drop in their mood following the onset of the pandemic (p < 0.001). This drop in mood was evident in both May and August. Participants did have an improved mood in August compared to May (p < 0.001). There was a significant decrease in pandemic disease-anxiety (13.8/20 to 12.4/20, p < 0.001) and consequence-anxiety (6.3/10 to 6.0/10, p < 0.001) between May and August. Nineteen percent of participants (n = 111/596, 19%) had not received the support they needed from their university by August. The most common area of support that our participants needed and had not received from their medical schools by August was support with course material (n = 58/111, 52%). 'Clinical knowledge' was thought to have been affected by the greatest number of participants in both May and August.Medical students' mental well-being has been adversely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings have actionable implications that can better protect medical students as they acclimatise to a working environment that has been radically changed by COVID-19.The online version contains supplementary material available at (10.1007/s40670-021-01349-0).
View details for DOI 10.1007/s40670-021-01349-0
View details for Web of Science ID 000677565900001
View details for PubMedID 34306817
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8294310
- Diversity and inclusion in neurosurgery LANCET NEUROLOGY 2021; 20 (6): 419
The Factors That Influenced Medical Students' Decision to Work Within the NHS During the COVID-19 Pandemic-A National, Cross-sectional Study
JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE
2021; 63 (4): 296-301
Medical students across the United Kingdom helped the National Health Service (NHS) with the increased workload caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study was conducted to better understand the implications of COVID-19 on the intricate relationship between the psychological wellbeing of students and working within the NHS.This was a cross-sectional, national UK study analyzing the self-reported pandemic anxiety scale (PAS) of participants during the pandemic, using an online questionnaire.25.2% of participants worked within the NHS. Working significantly reduced anxiety levels of participants. Concerns around the training and information provided on personal protective equipment (PPE) (odds ratio [OR] 2.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] OR: 1.93, 3.43) (P < 0.001) and Ethnicity (OR 2.15, 95% CI OR: 1.54, 2.99) (P < 0.001) were the most significant covariates affecting the likelihood of working.Working during the pandemic was influenced by age, ethnicity, and information surrounding PPE. On average those who worked experienced less anxiety and were more cheerful and energetic.
View details for DOI 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002113
View details for Web of Science ID 000663719900018
View details for PubMedID 33350663
- Medical student perceptions of working in clinical environments during the COVID-19 pandemic JOURNAL OF GLOBAL HEALTH 2020; 10 (2): 020380
Direct access CT for suspicion of brain tumour: an analysis of referral pathways in a population-based patient group
BMC FAMILY PRACTICE
2019; 20 (1): 118
Brain tumour patients see their primary care doctor on average three or more times before diagnosis, so there may be an opportunity to identify 'at risk' patients earlier. Suspecting a brain tumour diagnosis is difficult because brain tumour-related symptoms are typically non-specific.We explored the predictive value of referral guidelines (Kernick and NICE 2005) for brain imaging where a tumour is suspected, in a population-based patient group referred for direct access CT of the head. A consensus panel reviewed whether non-tumour findings were clinically important or whether further investigation was necessary.Over a 5-year period, 3257 head scans were performed; 318 scans were excluded according to pre-specified criteria. 53 patients (1.8%) were reported to have intracranial tumours, of which 42 were significant (diagnostic yield of 1.43%). There were no false negative CT scans for tumour. With symptom-based referral guidelines primary care doctors can identify patients with a 3% positive predictive value (PPV). 559 patients had non-tumour findings, 31% of which were deemed clinically significant. In 34% of these 559 patients, referral for further imaging and/or specialist assessment from primary care was still thought warranted.Existing referral guidelines are insufficient to stratify patients adequately based on their symptoms, according to the likelihood that a tumour will be found on brain imaging. Identification of non-tumour findings may be significant for patients and earlier specialist input into interpretation of these images may be beneficial. Improving guidelines to better identify patients at risk of a brain tumour should be a priority, to improve speed of diagnosis, and reduce unnecessary imaging and costs. Future guidelines may incorporate groups of symptoms, clinical signs and tests to improve the predictive value.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12875-019-1003-y
View details for Web of Science ID 000483061500001
View details for PubMedID 31431191
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6702708
Growth Pattern and Prognostic Factors of Untreated Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenomas
JOURNAL OF KOREAN NEUROSURGICAL SOCIETY
2019; 62 (2): 256-262
Pituitary adenomas (PAs) are often detected as incidental findings. However, the natural history remains unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the natural history and growth pattern of untreated PAs.Between 2003 and 2014, 59 PAs were managed with clinico-radiological follow up for longer than 12 months without any kind of therapeutic intervention. Tumor volumes were calculated at initial and last follow-up visit, and tumor growth during the observation period was determined. Data were analyzed according to clinical and imaging characteristics.The mean initial and last tumor volume and diameter were 1.83±2.97 mL and 13.77±6.45 mm, 2.85±4.47 mL and 15.75±8.08 mm, respectively. The mean annual tumor growth rate was 0.33±0.68 mL/year during a mean observation period of 46.8±32.1 months. Sixteen (27%) PAs showed tumor growth. The initial tumor size (HR, 1.140; 95% confidence interval, 1.003-1.295; p=0.045) was the independent predictive factor that determined the tumor growth. Six patients (11%) of 56 conservatively managed non-symptomatic PAs underwent resection for aggravating visual symptoms with mean interval of 34.5 months from diagnosis. By Cox regression analysis, PAs of last longest diameter over 21.75 mm were a significant prognostic factor for eventual treatment.The initial tumor size of PAs was independently associated with the tumor growth. Six patients (11%) of conservatively managed PAs were likely to be treated eventually. PAs of last follow-up longest diameter over 21.75 mm were a significant prognostic factor for treatment. Further studies with a large series are required to determine treatment strategy.
View details for DOI 10.3340/jkns.2018.0153
View details for Web of Science ID 000466716300015
View details for PubMedID 30840981
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6411565