ABSTRACT: The purpose of our study was to determine the effectiveness, clinical impact, and feasibility of double reading barium enemas.
Independent double readings of 1,003 consecutive barium enemas (822 double- and 181 single-contrast examinations) were prospectively performed. From this pool of 1,003 examinations, 994 were included in our study. Examinations showing at least one polyp or carcinoma 5 mm or larger were considered to have positive results. For combined readings, results were considered positive if either of the two interpreters reported finding a polyp or carcinoma. A McNemar test was used to compare the first reader's results with the combined results of the first and second readers. Results were retrospectively correlated with endoscopic or surgical results in 360 patients, and agreement between first and combined readings and endoscopic results was determined.
Adding a second reader increased the number of positive results on examinations from 249 to 315 (p < 0.0001) and resulted in potential alteration of clinical treatment in 98 patients (9.9%). Sensitivity of the first and combined readings for detection of all lesions was identical, 76.3% (95% CI, 65.4-87.1%). Specificity decreased from 91.0% (95% CI, 87.9-94.3%) for the first reading to 86.4% (95% CI, 82.2-90.0%) for the combined reading. The overall measurement of agreement decreased from a kappa value of 61.8 (95% CI, 51.2-72.4%) for the first reading to 52.9 (95% CI, 42.2-63.6%) for the combined reading. The second reading required an average of 3.3 min. Sensitivity for the detection of adenocarcinomas was 100%.
Although feasible, double reading of barium enemas does not improve sensitivity for detection of polyps and produces a higher false-positive rate.
American Journal of Roentgenology 01/2004; 181(6):1607-10. · 2.78 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery with talc pleurodesis is a therapeutic option for patients with hepatic hydrothorax that is refractory to medical therapy. We report the outcomes of 15 patients who underwent this procedure for significantly symptomatic disease.
Data on 15 consecutive patients presenting to our institution between November, 1996, and June, 2000, with refractory hepatic hydrothorax was retrospectively collected. Baseline demographical and clinical characteristics and outcomes after the procedure were analyzed.
The mean age of our cohort was 51.5 yr, and eight (53%) of the 15 patients were male. The etiologies of liver disease were hepatitis C virus and/or alcohol (n = 12) and cryptogenic cirrhosis (n = 3). Nine patients were Child-Pugh class C and six class B. Success defined as control of symptomatic hydrothorax in the first 30 days after the procedure was achieved in 11 of 15 patients (73%). Eight of these patients remained asymptomatic at a median follow-up of 5.5 months after the procedure, but three patients experienced symptomatic fluid reaccumulation 45, 61, and 62 days after the initial procedure. After a second VATS procedure, control was achieved in two of these three patients. Complications included pain around the chest tube site, low grade fever with leukocytosis, pleurocutaneous fistula and empyema, all of which responded to medical therapy. Four patients did not respond to the procedure. There were no procedure-related deaths. Overall mortality and baseline clinical characteristics were similar between responders and nonresponders to VATS with pleurodesis.
Symptomatic hepatic hydrothorax can be controlled with a single VATS with pleurodesis in as many as 53% of patients and with two procedures in 73% with no procedure-related mortality. The procedure may be considered as a palliative alternative in patients needing frequent thoracocentesis. It also provides an alternative to transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts and is a bridge toward liver transplantation.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology 01/2003; 97(12):3172-5. · 7.28 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The case discussed is of a 38-year-old African-American woman who developed upper abdominal symptoms and liver test abnormalities. She underwent cholecystectomy for presumed gallstone disease. This was followed by a worsening of her condition, with the development of jaundice in the next 2 weeks. Results of reevaluation included transaminases around 1000 IU/L with minimal elevation of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), an antimitochondrial antibody (AMA) titer of 1:320, and an elevated immunoglobulin M (IgM). The antinuclear antibodies (ANA) level was positive, but titers were not obtained. There was no suggestion of bile duct obstruction. Liver biopsy findings were believed to be consistent with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). She was therefore started on, but failed treatment with, ursodeoxycholic acid. She was transferred to a transplant center 8 weeks later after a brief episode of encephalopathy and hypoglycemia. The clinical findings were consistent with subfulminant hepatic failure secondary to autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) with an ANA titer of 1:1280, an anti-smooth muscle antibody (SMA) titer of 1:40, and an elevated IgG. Review of the biopsy showed panlobular inflammation and bridging necrosis consistent with severe AIH. On imaging, she had ascites and a nodular appearance of the liver. An immediate drop in transaminases followed corticosteroid therapy, but her disease was already irreversible, and she underwent successful liver transplantation. The explanted liver was shrunken and noncirrhotic with massive hepatocellular collapse and contained multiple regenerating nodules, explaining the ultrasonographic appearances. The inflammatory component had greatly diminished compared with the earlier biopsy. The case illustrates the importance of knowledge of the natural course of a specific disease and the careful interpretation of clinical data, including autoimmune markers. PBC would rarely cause liver failure in a young woman; it is not a rapidly progressive disease. The original clinical diagnosis was unduly swayed by a positive AMA, which can be seen in up to 20% of patients with AIH. Markedly elevated transaminases with minimal elevation of ALP and positive ANA in a young woman should have pointed toward AIH at an earlier stage. The academic discussion of AMA-positive AIH versus PBC/AIH overlap syndrome remains intriguing, but prompt institution of aggressive immunosuppressive therapy aimed at the AIH component should not be deferred. In retrospect, an opportunity was missed.
Seminars in Liver Disease 12/2002; 22(4):395-406. · 7.05 Impact Factor