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[ When Abdominal Ultrasound Inconclusive, Follow-Up CT Often Effective ]

When Abdominal Ultrasound Inconclusive, Follow-Up CT Often Effective

About one-third of CT examinations performed following an inconclusive abdominal ultrasound examination have positive findings, according to a study of 449 patients at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Opinions vary as to the need and relevance for further diagnostic imaging workup after an inconclusive abdominal ultrasound examination, said Supriya Gupta, MD, one of the authors of the study. "Our study found that 32.9% of follow-up CT examinations had positive findings, while 42.7% had findings that were not significant and 11.7% were equivocal. The remaining 12% had incidental findings, that is, important findings but not related to the clinical indication for the exam, said Dr. Gupta. "While only about 33% of the CT examinations had positive findings it doesn't mean that the other CT exams were not valuable as sometimes even negative exams add a lot to patient management, " noted Dr.

Minimally Invasive Procedure For Oesophageal Cancer Shows Promise

Patients with oesophageal cancer could gain substantial benefit from minimally invasive procedure. A new study published Online First in The Lancet reveals that removing the oesophagus via minimally invasive surgery is considerably more beneficial for individuals with oesophageal cancer than traditional open surgery. Results from the study indicate that oesophageal cancer patients who undergo the minimally invasive procedure have better short-term quality of life, considerably shorter hospitalizations and are nearly three times less likely to develop pulmonary infections. According to the researchers, over the last two decades the incidence of esophageal cancer has increased by 50%. At present, the mainstay of treatment is a procedure called open oesophagectomy which involves removing part of or the entire oesophagus by cutting through a patient's chest.

For Emergency Laparotomy, Major Funding Shortfall And High Death Rates Revealed By Study

Anaesthetists have identified a major shortfall in funding for emergency laparotomies in England and have called for a national database to establish a more accurate picture of outcomes and costs. Figures published in the May issue of Anaesthesia suggest a shortfall of 300 million pounds per year for emergency midline general surgical laparotomies, 32% of the total cost of care. The study also found that emergency laparotomy, which involves a large midline incision in the abdomen, had a high death rate, with 14% of patients dying in hospital and a further 11% dying within 30 days of surgery. Patients over 70 years of age were three times as likely to die as patients under 70. "There has been considerable interest in trying to improve surgical outcomes after emergency operations, particularly among sick, elderly patients" says Dr Stuart M White, Consultant Anaesthetist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, UK.

Racial Differences Found In Care Of Children With Abdominal Pain In ED

Black children are less likely than white children to receive medication for abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) even when they report severe pain, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 28, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. "The emergency department serves as our nation's health care safety net, where all children can receive care regardless of their insurance status, ability to pay or race, " said lead author Tiffani J. Johnson, MD, pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and a postdoctoral scholar at RAND-University of Pittsburgh. "It is concerning to find that black children are less likely than white children to receive pain medication for treatment of their abdominal pain." Dr. Johnson and her colleagues analyzed data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) for patients who went to the ED for abdominal pain from 2006-2009.

Consuming Pistachios May Promote A Beneficial Gut Environment

First-of-its-kind research presented as an abstract at the 2012 American Society for Nutrition suggests eating pistachios may positively impact bacterial profile of the digestive tract A preliminary 16-person study suggests that eating pistachios may help alter levels of potentially beneficial bacteria in the gut, a finding that holds promise for supporting digestive health(1). The research, presented as an abstract this week at the Experimental Biology conference, is the first study of pistachios and almonds and their modulating role on the gut microbiota composition. "Gut microbiota, or the microbial environment in the gastrointestinal tract, provides important functions to the human host, " said Volker Mai, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

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