Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Cleveland


BACKGROUND: It was the aim of this prospective study to analyze both the feasibility and preliminary results of video-assisted anal fistula treatment (VAAFT) combined with advancement flap repair for complex fistulas in Crohn’s disease. METHODS: All patients with perianal Crohn’s disease suffering from complex fistulas who underwent definitive surgery using VAAFT combined with advancement flap repair were prospectively enrolled in the study. Only complex fistulas with concurrent stable disease and without any evidence of severe inflammatory activity or perianal sepsis were treated using the VAAFT technique. Patients with Crohn’s proctitis or prior proctectomy were not candidates for the procedure. VAAFT was performed by using the VAAFT equipment (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany). Key steps included visualization of the fistula tract and/or side tracts using the fistuloscope and correct localization of the internal fistula opening under direct vision with irrigation. Diagnostic fistuloscopy was followed by advancement flap repair. In addition to feasibility, primary end points included detection of side tracts, success and continence status (assessed by the Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score). Success was defined as closure of both internal and external openings, absence of drainage without further intervention and absence of abscess formation. Follow-up information was derived from clinical examination 3, 6 and 9 months postoperatively. RESULTS: Within a 3-month observation period (September to November 2011), VAAFT was attempted in 13 patients with Crohn’s associated complex fistulas. The completion rate was 85 % (11/13). In these 11 patients (median age 34 years, 64 % females), complex fistulas were transsphincteric (8), suprasphincteric (2) and recto-vaginal (1). Forty-six percent (5/11) had concomitant therapy with biologic drugs. In 36 % (4/11), VAAFT was performed with fecal diversion. Median duration of surgery was 22 (range 18-42) minutes. Using VAAFT, additional side tracts not detected preoperatively could be identified in 64 % (7/11). No morbidity occurred. After a mean follow-up of 9 months, the success rate was 82 % (9/11). No deterioration of continence was documented (Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score 2.4 vs. 1.6, p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Preliminary results of the addition of the VAAFT technique to advancement flap repair in Crohn’s fistulas demonstrate that this leads to a high identification rate of occult side tracts with encouraging short-term healing rates. Moreover, a completion rate of 85 % seems promising.

Concepts: Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Fistula, Fecal incontinence, Anal fistula, Abscess, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic


Treatment of CMML remains a clinical challenge, with no drug demonstrating clear clinical benefit. Even if azacitidine is approved in the treatment of CMML, its role remains disputed. We report a cohort of 76 CMML patients (according to WHO classification) treated with azacitidine in 3 programs (French AZA compassionate program, Cleveland Clinic Foundation and H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center). 45% had CMML2, and 55% had splenomegaly and/or WBC counts >13G/L, which are known to be poor prognostic factors in CMML. All patients received AZA for at least one cycle, and the median number of cycles administered was 6. Thirty-three patients (43%) achieved a response according to IWG 2006 criteria, including 13 complete remissions (%). Median survival was 29 months. Increased bone marrow blast percentage and proliferative features of the disease, including splenomegaly and high WBC counts, were significantly associated with shorter survival. By multivariate analysis, only marrow blasts >10% and palpable splenomegaly had prognostic impact on survival. Although promising, the efficacy of azacitidine in advanced CMML needs to be confirmed in a randomized prospective study.

Concepts: Cancer, Bone marrow, Leukemia, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Cycle, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute


AIM: This retrospective study aimed to determine functional results of Laparoscopic Ventral Rectopexy (LVR) for rectal prolapse (RP) and symptomatic rectoceles in a large cohort of patients. METHODS: All patients treated between 2004 and 2011 were identified. Relevant patient characteristics were gathered. A questionnaire concerning disease related symptoms as well as the Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score (CCIS) and Cleveland Clinic Constipation Score (CCCS) was sent to all patients. RESULTS: A total 245 patients were operated. Twelve patients (5%) deceased during follow-up (FU) and were excluded. Remaining patients (224 females, 9 males) were sent a questionnaire. Indications for LVR were: external RP (n=36), internal RP or symptomatic rectocele (n=157) or a combination of symptomatic rectocele and enterocele (n=40). Mean age and follow-up were 62 years (range: 22-89) and 30 months (range 5-83), respectively. Response rate was 64% (150 patients). The complication rate was 4.6% (11 complications). A significant reduction in symptoms of constipation or obstructed defecation syndrome (ODS) was reported (53% of patients before vs. 19% after surgery, P< 0.001). Mean CCCS during FU was 8.1 points (range 0-23, SD ± 4.3). Incontinence was reported in 138 patients (59%) before surgery and in 32 patients after surgery (14%), indicating a significant reduction (P<0.001). Mean CCIS was 6.7 (range 0-19, SD ± 5.2) after surgery. CONCLUSION: A significant reduction of incontinence and constipation or ODS after LVR was observed in this large retrospective study. LVR therefore appears a suitable treatment for RP and rectocele with and without associated enterocele. © 2013 The Authors. Colorectal Disease © 2013 The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.

Concepts: Surgery, Colorectal cancer, Colon, Constipation, Rectum, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defecation, Cleveland


Statin therapy is a proven effective treatment of hyperlipidemia. However, a significant number of patients cannot tolerate statins. This study was conducted to review treatment strategies for patients intolerant to statin therapy with a focus on intermittent statin dosing.

Concepts: Statin, Hyperlipidemia, Ezetimibe, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Significant figures, Intolerance


Although regional health improvement collaboratives have been adopted nationwide to improve primary care quality, their effects on avoidable hospitalizations and costs remain unclear. We quantified the association of the Better Health Partnership, a primary care-led regional health improvement collaborative operating in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (Cleveland and surrounding suburbs), with hospitalization rates for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions. The partnership uses a positive deviance approach to identify, disseminate publicly, and accelerate adoption of best practices for care of patients with diabetes, heart failure, and hypertension. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we compared rates of hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions in six Ohio counties before (2003-08) and after (2009-14) the establishment of the partnership. Age- and sex-adjusted hospitalization rates for targeted ambulatory care-sensitive conditions in Cuyahoga County declined significantly more than the rates in the comparator counties in 2009-11 (106 fewer hospitalizations per 100,000 adult residents) and 2012-14 (91 fewer hospitalizations). We estimated that 5,746 hospitalizations for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions were averted in 2009-14, leading to cost savings of nearly $40 million.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Hypertension, Hospital, Ohio, Cleveland, Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio


A recent multicenter study presented 52-week safety and efficacy results from an open-label extension of a randomized, sham-controlled trial for patients with chronic migraine (CM) undergoing peripheral nerve stimulation of the occipital nerves. We present the data from a single center of 20 patients enrolled at the Cleveland Clinic’s Pain Management Department.

Concepts: Action potential, Serotonin, Spinal nerve, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic


The purpose of this study was to assess the smallest possible body sizes of patients in whom the Cleveland Clinic continuous-flow total artificial heart for adult (CFTAH) and pediatric configurations (P-CFTAH) can fit. One of the most critical dimensions is the vertebra-to-sternum distance at the junction of the right atrium to the inferior vena cava (V-S distance). Our previous CFTAH anatomical fitting study suggested that the CFTAH would fit patients of V-S distance ≥ 7.5 cm and the P-CFTAH of V-S distance ≥ 5.25 cm (70% of 7.5 cm). To confirm this, we assessed the relationship between body surface area (BSA) and V-S distance in 15 adult patients (BSA 1.86-2.62 m2) and 31 pediatric patients (BSA 0.17-1.80 m2) whose computed tomography scans were available. We found a highly significant correlation between BSA and V-S distance (p < 1.0 × 10-25). It appears that the CFTAH will fit in most patients with BSA ≥ 1.0 m2(corresponding height of ≥ 130 cm and age of 9 years) and the P-CFTAH in patients with BSA ≥ 0.3 m2(corresponding height of ≥ 55 cm and age of 1 month). Further anatomical fitting studies are needed to evaluate the two pump models inside human chests to determine the smallest patient size/critical dimensions and device port configurations.

Concepts: Cardiology, Physician, Tricuspid valve, Inferior vena cava, Superior vena cava, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic, Artificial heart


While reoperative cardiac surgery has become safer in recent years, it is still more difficult and dangerous than a primary operation. In a recent review of the Cleveland Clinic’s experience, 7% of the patients undergoing cardiac reoperations had major intraoperative adverse events (IAEs). In that report, if an IAE occurred, there was a 5% mortality and a 19% incidence of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, or death [Roselli 2011]. Those are sobering statistics, particularly when reported by one of the busiest cardiac surgical services in the world. The take-home message is that reoperative cardiac surgery is riskier than primary cardiac operations and that there are strategies that should be employed at each juncture to lower the risks of a reoperation.However, many of these strategies and recommendations have been more implicit than explicit. In fact, surprisingly little has been written about reoperative cardiac surgery. Thus, it seems appropriate to collect some of the lessons, adages, tricks, and tools that might make reoperations a click safer.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Coronary artery disease, Stroke, Infarction, Cardiac surgery, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic


The aim of this study was to compare the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) models of classification of aRCC patients. In addition, the model developed from the pivotal trial of temsirolimus and those proposed by Motzer et al. in 2004, Escudier et al., Heng et al., Choueiri et al. and Bamias et al. were examined. An observational, retrospective study of patients starting first-line systemic therapy was conducted between 2008 and 2011. The variables used to evaluate the classification models were median overall survival (mOS) and median progression-free survival (mPFS). The comparison of different classification models was performed by comparing the area under the ROC (Receiver Operating Characteristic) curve (AUC) for time-dependent variables proposed by Heagerty. Eighty-eight patients were included. When the different models were compared, it was found that although based on the mOS, the Escudier model had better short-term (1-year) prognostic value, followed by the Heng model; in the long term, the models that presented a higher prognosis capacity were the Hudes and CCF models, closely followed by the Heng model. In addition, the Heng model had a slightly higher predictive ability than the other models. Based on the results, and in line with the European society for medical oncology (ESMO) guidelines, it appears that the model of Heng could be the best model to classify patients with aRCC and combines good short- and long-term prognostics while possessing better predictive ability and a more equal distribution of patients.

Concepts: Comparison, Cancer, Lung cancer, Prognosis, Term, Receiver operating characteristic, Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic


In February 2016, the Cleveland Clinic initiated the first attempt at cadaveric uterine transplantation (UTx) in the United States. The transplantation was ultimately unsuccessful, but it opened doors for further research on both live and cadaveric UTx. While initial strides toward successful transplantation have been made, questions persist on the ethics of UTx: whether the uterus is a vital organ, whether we should prioritize live or cadaveric options, and how the procedure should be covered by health insurance. If we agree that the goal of the medical profession is both to treat and improve quality of life, then the question of whether or not infertility is considered a disease becomes inconsequential in the discussion. As such, the medical enterprise should move forward with research in UTx. In doing so, considering the ethical implications of UTx remains essential-and we must remember to pair innovation with regulation.

Concepts: Medicine, United States, Physician, Ethics, Larynx, Business ethics, Organs, Cleveland