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Concept: Fistula

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BACKGROUND: Obstetric fistula is a severe condition which can have devastating consequences for a woman’s life. Despite a considerable literature, very little is known about its prevalence. This project was conducted to carry out a situational analysis of fistula services in South Sudan and to pilot test the Key Informant Method (KIM) to estimate the prevalence of fistula in a region of South Sudan. METHODS: Key stakeholder interviews, document reviews and fistula surgery record reviews were undertaken. A KIM survey was conducted in a district of Western Bahr-el-Ghazal in January 2012. One hundred sixty-six community-based distributors, traditional birth attendants and village midwives were trained as key informants to identify women with fistula in the community. Women identified were subsequently examined by an obstetrician and nurse to verify whether they had a fistula. RESULTS: There were limited fistula repair services in South Sudan. Approximately 50–80 women per year attend periodic campaigns, with around half having a fistula and receiving a repair. On average a further 5 women a year received fistula repair from hospital services. Ten women with potential fistula were identified via KIM; all confirmed by the obstetrician. Of these, three were from the survey area, which had 8,865 women of reproductive age (15–49 years). This gives a minimal estimated prevalence of at least 30 fistulas per 100,000 women of reproductive age (95% CI 10–100). CONCLUSIONS: Routine fistula repair services available do not meet the population’s needs. The pilot study suggests that KIM can be used to identify women with fistula in the community. Data on fistula are generally poor; the KIM methodology we used in South Sudan yielded a lower fistula prevalence than estimates reported previously in the region.

Concepts: Childbirth, Obstetrics, Approximation, Vesicovaginal fistula, Fistula, Sudan, Rectovaginal fistula, Southern Sudan

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Vascular access problems are a daily occurrence in hemodialysis units. Loss of patency of the vascular access limits hemodialysis delivery and may result in underdialysis that leads to increased morbidity and mortality. Despite the known superiority of autogenous fistulae over grafts, autogenous fistulae also suffer from frequent development of stenosis and subsequent thrombosis. International guidelines recommend programmes for detection of stenosis and consequent correction in an attempt to reduce the rate of thrombosis. Physical examination of autogenous fistulae has recently been revisited as an important element in the assessment of stenotic lesions. Prospective observational studies have consistently demonstrated that physical examination performed by trained physicians is an accurate method for the diagnosis of fistula stenosis and, therefore, should be part of all surveillance protocols of the vascular access. However, to optimize hemodialysis access surveillance, hemodialysis practitioners may need to improve their skills in performing physical examination. The purpose of this article is to review the basics and drawbacks of physical examination for dialysis arteriovenous fistulae and to provide the reader with its diagnostic accuracy in the detection of arteriovenous fistula dysfunction, based on current published literature.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Dialysis, Hemodialysis, Renal replacement therapy, Arteriovenous fistula, Fistula, Cimino fistula

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We have devised a modified seton technique that resects the external fistula tract while preserving the anal sphincter muscle. This study assessed the technique when used for the management of complex anal fistulas.

Concepts: Stomach, Muscular system, Fistula, The Technique, Sphincter, Anal fistula, Seton stitch, Anus

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BACKGROUND: The initial pathology in hidradenitis suppurativa / acne inversa (HS) takes place in the folliculopilosebaceous unit (FPSU) and its surrounding tissue. The process involves follicular hyperkeratosis, inflammation and perifolliculitis. Identification of the exact origin of inflammation may shed new light on the pathogenesis and aetiology of the disease. OBJECTIVES: To study the morphology of the basement membrane zone (BMZ) in patients with HS. METHODS: Operative specimens obtained from 20 patients diagnosed with HS were cut stepwise. Within each specimen focus was set on heavily involved HS regions (centre) and clinically uninvolved regions (border). All (n=65) were stained with Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) to visualise the epithelial support structures (basement membrane zone, BMZ) of the FPSU, the sinus tracts (ST) and the interfollicular epidermis (BM). The intensity of BMZ PAS staining was graded 0-4+. RESULTS: Compared to axillary skin of human controls the sebofollicular junction in HS patients was found to be almost devoid of PAS positive material (0/1+) in both the border and centre lesions of HS, whereas STs and BMs showed uniformly 2-3+ positivity irrespective of inflammation present. The distribution of inflammatory cells around the sebofollicular junction occurred predominantly in areas of BMZ thinning CONCLUSIONS: BMZ PAS-positivity of clinically uninvolved FPSUs of HS patients appears to be wispy or missing entirely. It is speculated that this may explain the apparent fragility of the sebofollicular junction. There is an increased concentration of inflammatory cells adjacent to these areas, whilst inflammatory cells are scarce in areas where the PAS material is intact. It is hypothesised that the PAS gap identifies areas susceptible to leakage, trauma and rupture, leading to release of materials that trigger inflammatory mediators, and the seeding of the dermis with free-living stem cells generating benign but invasive epithelialised sinuses, spreading horizontally in the dermis.

Concepts: Inflammation, Pathology, Epithelium, Skin, Epidermis, Fistula, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Abscess

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BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to document our recent experience in managing horseshoe fistula of cryptoglandular origin with a modification of the Hanley procedure using a hybrid elastic one-stage cutting seton. METHODS: Surgical outcomes of the modified Hanley procedure for horseshoe fistulae using a seton from 2004 through 2010 were analyzed. The seton fashioned from a surgical glove was tied around the sphincter under less tension than a traditional cutting seton, hence the definition of “hybrid seton”. In addition to excision of the superficial segments of the lateral tracts, deeper extensions into the ischiorectal spaces were curetted, and Penrose drains were placed. RESULTS: All of the patients were discharged on the first postoperative day. None required readmission or needed narcotic analgesics after discharge. Complete healing was achieved in all 21 cases at 8.0 ± 3.22 weeks postoperatively. Patients were able to return to regular work activity in 3.5 ± 1 weeks. The postoperative Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score did not differ significantly from the preoperative score (p = 0.317, Wilcoxon’s test). Recurrent fistula was noted in a single patient (4.8 %) after a mean follow-up of 20.9-months. CONCLUSIONS: The use of the hybrid elastic seton is a useful and safe additional modification for the treatment of horseshoe fistulae with the Hanley technique.

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Surgery, Fistula, Hybrid, Anal fistula, Seton stitch

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Background  The mostly widely studied biomaterials for the sphincter sparing treatment of anal fistulas are fibrin glue and the anal fistula plug (AFP). However their overall mean clinical success is only 50-60%. As the understanding of the pathology of anal fistula, wound healing and the host response to materials has improved, so new biological sphincter-sparing strategies have been developed. The aim of this review is to assess the safety and efficacy of these novel techniques. Method  PubMed, the Cochrane database and EMBASE were independently searched. All studies that investigated the potential of a biomaterial (defined as any synthetic or biologically derived substance in contact with host tissue) to augment the healing of anal fistula without sphincter division were included. Studies solely describing the role of fibrin glue or an AFP were excluded. Data extraction included type of material, fistula aetiology, treatment of the primary tract, fistula healing, incontinence, duration of follow-up and any specific complications. Systematic quality assessment of the included articles was performed. Results  Twenty-three articles were finally selected for review. These included a variety of biological and synthetic systems that were employed to deliver selected components of the extracellular matrix, growth factors, cytokines, stem cells or drugs to the fistula tract. Conclusion  To date no study matches fistulotomy with regard to long-term fistula eradication rate. This is probably due to implant extrusion, inadequate track preparation or an unsuitable material. Future techniques need to address all these issues to ensure success. Success should be validated by MRI or long-term follow-up.

Concepts: Wound healing, Extracellular matrix, Angiogenesis, Tissue engineering, Materials science, Novel, Fistula, Anal fistula

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: The ideal surgery following seton insertion for high anal fistulas remains debatable.

Concepts: Surgery, Fistula, Anal fistula, Seton stitch

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: In transarterial embolization of anterior cranial fossa and tentorial dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF), acute angulation of the feeding artery off the internal carotid artery (ICA) may render stable distal catheterization and, therefore, successful transarterial treatment difficult. In some anatomic dispositions, following selection of the feeding artery, subsequent forward force may lead to prolapse of the microcatheter into the ICA rather than advancing it into either the ophthalmic artery or the meningohypophyseal trunk.

Concepts: Internal carotid artery, Common carotid artery, External carotid artery, Internal jugular vein, Arteriovenous fistula, Fistula, Arteries of the head and neck, Ophthalmic artery

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Several biomaterials have been proposed to treat anal fistula alone or in combination with other surgical procedures aiming to reduce recurrence rates while minimizing continence impairment. More recently a porcine dermal matrix injection has been proposed as infill biomaterial to treat fistulae. We propose an approach consisting of non-cutting seton positioning followed several weeks later by flap repair associated with dermal matrix injection into the fistula tracts. We report our experience with this two-staged procedure on 24 consecutive patients with complex anal fistulae with a median follow up of > 12 months. In our experience this two-stage approach seems to be safe and effective.

Concepts: Surgery, Fistula, Anal fistula, Seton stitch