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Concept: Retrospective


Background Increasing overuse of opioids in the United States may be driven in part by physician prescribing. However, the extent to which individual physicians vary in opioid prescribing and the implications of that variation for long-term opioid use and adverse outcomes in patients are unknown. Methods We performed a retrospective analysis involving Medicare beneficiaries who had an index emergency department visit in the period from 2008 through 2011 and had not received prescriptions for opioids within 6 months before that visit. After identifying the emergency physicians within a hospital who cared for the patients, we categorized the physicians as being high-intensity or low-intensity opioid prescribers according to relative quartiles of prescribing rates within the same hospital. We compared rates of long-term opioid use, defined as 6 months of days supplied, in the 12 months after a visit to the emergency department among patients treated by high-intensity or low-intensity prescribers, with adjustment for patient characteristics. Results Our sample consisted of 215,678 patients who received treatment from low-intensity prescribers and 161,951 patients who received treatment from high-intensity prescribers. Patient characteristics, including diagnoses in the emergency department, were similar in the two treatment groups. Within individual hospitals, rates of opioid prescribing varied widely between low-intensity and high-intensity prescribers (7.3% vs. 24.1%). Long-term opioid use was significantly higher among patients treated by high-intensity prescribers than among patients treated by low-intensity prescribers (adjusted odds ratio, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 1.37; P<0.001); these findings were consistent across multiple sensitivity analyses. Conclusions Wide variation in rates of opioid prescribing existed among physicians practicing within the same emergency department, and rates of long-term opioid use were increased among patients who had not previously received opioids and received treatment from high-intensity opioid prescribers. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).

Concepts: Patient, Hospital, Retrospective, Physician, Doctor-patient relationship, Odds ratio, Opioid, Sensitivity analysis


Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. According to guidelines, a diagnosis of asthma should be confirmed using lung function testing in children aged >6 years. Previous studies indicate that asthma in children is probably overdiagnosed. However, the extent has not previously been assessed.

Concepts: Medicine, Asthma, Lung, Medical terms, Retrospective, Chronic


Internationally, a typical model of maternity care is a medically led system with varying levels of midwifery input. New Zealand has a midwife-led model of care, and there are movements in other countries to adopt such a system. There is a paucity of systemic evaluation that formally investigates safety-related outcomes in relationship to midwife-led care within an entire maternity service. The main objective of this study was to compare major adverse perinatal outcomes between midwife-led and medical-led maternity care in New Zealand.

Concepts: Cohort study, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Fetus, Obstetrics, Retrospective, Gestational age


Global programs of anti-HIV treatment depend on sustained laboratory capacity to assess treatment initiation thresholds and treatment response over time. Currently, there is no valid alternative to CD4 count testing for monitoring immunologic responses to treatment, but laboratory cost and capacity limit access to CD4 testing in resource-constrained settings. Thus, methods to prioritize patients for CD4 count testing could improve treatment monitoring by optimizing resource allocation.

Concepts: Retrospective, Economics, CD4, Resource allocation, Resource, Allocation of resources


Background. The treatment of choice in steroid-resistant immune thrombocytopenia is still controversial, due to the recent advent of new drugs (anti-CD20 antibodies and thrombopoietin mimetics) which have encouraged a generalized tendency to delay splenectomy. Consequently, the importance to define the efficacy and safety of splenectomy in the long-term is substantial. Patients and Methods. We retrospectively analyzed the data of 233 patients affected by immune thrombocytopenia, who underwent splenectomy between 1959 and 2001, in 6 European hematological Institutions and have now a minimum follow-up of 10 years from surgery. Results. Of the 233 patients, 180 (77%) achieved a complete response and 26 (11%) a response. Sixty-eight out of 206 (33%) responsive patients relapsed, mostly (75%) within 4 years from first response. In 92 patients (39.5%), further treatment was required after splenectomy, which was effective in 76 cases (83%). In 138 patients (59%) response was maintained, free of any treatment, at last contact. No significant association between baseline characteristics and likelihood of stable response was found. Overall, 73 (31%) and 58 (25%) patients experienced at least one infectious or hemorrhagic complication, which were fatal in 2 and 3 patients, respectively. A stable response to splenectomy was associated with a lower rate of infections (p=0.004) and hemorrhages (p<0.0001). Thrombosis developed in 18 patients (8%), fatal in 4. Conclusions. Splenectomy achieved a long-term stable responses in around 60% of cases. Complications mainly affected non-responding patients and were fatal in a minority of the cases.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Blood, Retrospective, Platelet, Leukemia, Bleeding, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura


Patients with Barrett’s esophagus (BE) are at an increased risk for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC); thus they may undergo regular endoscopic surveillance. If epithelial changes cannot be unequivocally classified as negative or positive for dysplasia, a diagnosis of indefinite for dysplasia (IND) is recommended. Several biomarkers have been proposed as markers or predictors of neoplasia in the general BE population; however, their significance is not clear in patients with BE-IND. We therefore performed a retrospective study to determine whether expression of these biomarkers was associated with the development of neoplasia in BE-IND patients.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Retrospective, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, Esophageal cancer, Barrett's esophagus, Metaplasia


Congenital Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and severe brain abnormalities (1). Congenital Zika syndrome comprises a spectrum of clinical features (2); however, as is the case with most newly recognized teratogens, the earliest documented clinical presentation is expected to be the most severe. Initial descriptions of the effects of in utero Zika virus infection centered prominently on the finding of congenital microcephaly (3). To assess the possibility of clinical presentations that do not include congenital microcephaly, a retrospective assessment of 13 infants from the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and CearĂ¡ with normal head size at birth and laboratory evidence of congenital Zika virus infection was conducted. All infants had brain abnormalities on neuroimaging consistent with congenital Zika syndrome, including decreased brain volume, ventriculomegaly, subcortical calcifications, and cortical malformations. The earliest evaluation occurred on the second day of life. Among all infants, head growth was documented to have decelerated as early as 5 months of age, and 11 infants had microcephaly. These findings provide evidence that among infants with prenatal exposure to Zika virus, the absence of microcephaly at birth does not exclude congenital Zika virus infection or the presence of Zika-related brain and other abnormalities. These findings support the recommendation for comprehensive medical and developmental follow-up of infants exposed to Zika virus prenatally. Early neuroimaging might identify brain abnormalities related to congenital Zika infection even among infants with a normal head circumference (4).

Concepts: Childbirth, Developmental biology, Evaluation, The Canon of Medicine, Retrospective, Cerebral cortex, Assessment, Congenital disorder


Ferric citrate (FC) has demonstrated efficacy as a phosphate binder and reduces the requirements for erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and intravenous (IV) iron in dialysis patients. We developed a net budgetary impact model to evaluate FC vs. other phosphate binders from the vantage of a large dialysis provider. We used a Markov microsimulation model to simulate mutually referential longitudinal effects between serum phosphate and phosphate binder dose; categories of these defined health states. Health states probabilistically determined treatment attendance and utilization of ESA and IV iron. We derived model inputs from a retrospective analysis of incident phosphate binder users from a large dialysis organization (January 2011-June 2013) and incorporated treatment effects of FC from a phase III trial. The model was run over a 1-year time horizon. We considered fixed costs of providing dialysis; costs of administering ESA and IV iron; and payment rates for dialysis, ESAs, and IV iron. In the base-case model, FC had a net budgetary impact (savings) of +US$213,223/year per 100 patients treated vs. standard of care. One-way sensitivity analyses showed a net budgetary impact of up to +US$316,296/year per 100 patients treated when higher hemoglobin levels observed with FC translated into a 30% additional ESA dose reduction, and up to +US$223,281/year per 100 patients treated when effects on missed treatment rates were varied. Two-way sensitivity analyses in which acquisition costs for ESA and IV iron were varied showed a net budgetary impact of +US$104,840 to +US$213,223/year per 100 patients treated. FC as a first-line phosphate binder would likely yield substantive savings vs. standard of care under current reimbursement.

Concepts: Nephrology, Iron, Retrospective, Calcium carbonate, Das Model, Renal osteodystrophy, Phosphate binders, Hyperphosphatemia


We aimed to investigate the efficacy of silodosin 4 mg/day and 8 mg/day for medical expulsive therapy(MET) of lower ureteral stones.

Concepts: Medicine, Retrospective


To identify patterns in euthanasia requests and practices relating to psychiatric patients; to generate recommendations for future research.

Concepts: Retrospective, Mental disorder, Psychiatry