[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there are numerous case reports and small case series describing the experiences of leech therapy in various circumstances, there are relatively few large studies evaluating the effectiveness of leeching to relieve venous congestion. The therapeutic value of leeching is illustrated by these reports but the current literature lacks a cohesive summary of previous experiences.
An electronic search of PubMed, the Cochrane library and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination between 1966 and 2009 was used to retrieve human studies published in the English language evaluating outcomes following leech therapy. The "success" and "failure" of leech therapy were the primary outcome measures and secondary outcomes included complications, number of leeches used, pharmacological adjuncts and blood transfusion requirements.
In total, out of 461 articles, 394 articles met the exclusion criteria. The 67 included papers reported on 277 cases of leech use with an age range of 2-81 years and a male to female ratio of almost 2:1. The overall reported "success" rate following leech therapy was 77.98% (216/277). In terms of secondary outcome measures, 49.75% of cases (N = 101) required blood transfusions, 79.05% received antibiotics (N = 166) and 54.29% received concomitant anticoagulant therapy. The overall complication rate was 21.8%.
In the absence of robust randomized controlled trials on which the evidence may be based, this synthesis of current best evidence guides clinicians during the process of consenting patients and using leeches in their practice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The survival of a microsurgically replanted segment of nose in a 41-year-old woman was facilitated by the assistance of the medicinal leech Hirudo medicinalis. An arterial microanastomosis was made to a severed partial segment of nose with no possibility of recreating a venous anastomosis. The resulting venous congestion was treated with nine days of treatment with a medical leech until venous neovascularisation had been achieved. At follow-up six months after discharge there was a well-heeled nasal segment and a satisfying functional - as well as cosmetic - result.
Journal of plastic surgery and hand surgery. 10/2012;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 32-year-old male patient with a history of treatment resistant paranoid schizophrenia developed neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) during changeover of his antipsychotic medication from zuclopenthixol depot to clozapine. This case highlights the difficulties of cross-tapering two antipsychotics-that is, converting from a typical depot medication to an oral atypical antipsychotic.
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