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Melbourne, Australia

Wheeler D.C.,University College London | Becker G.J.,Royal Melbourne Hospital
Kidney International | Year: 2013

The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Clinical Practice Guideline for management of blood pressure (BP) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) supersedes the 2004 Kidney Disease Quality Outcomes Initiative document on this topic. The new guideline has been designed to assist clinical decision making in patients with CKD who are not receiving dialysis. The recommendations in the guideline acknowledge that no single BP target is optimal for all CKD patients and encourage individualization of treatment depending on age, the severity of albuminuria, and comorbidities. In general, the available evidence indicates that in CKD patients without albuminuria the target BP should be ≤140 mm Hg systolic and ≤90 mm Hg diastolic. However, in most patients with an albumin excretion rate of ≥30 mg/24 h (i.e., those with both micro- and macroalbuminuria), a lower target of ≤130 mm Hg systolic and ≤80 mm Hg diastolic is suggested. In achieving BP control, the value of lifestyle changes and the need for multiple pharmacological agents is acknowledged. Use of agents that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is recommended or suggested in all patients with an albumin excretion rate of ≥30 mg/24 h. Recommendations are almost identical in CKD patients with and without diabetes. Special considerations relevant to children and those of older age and those who have received a kidney transplant are included. Ongoing controversies in BP management in the context of CKD are highlighted along with key areas for future research. © 2012 International Society of Nephrology.

Jacobs S.E.,Royal Melbourne Hospital
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Newborn animal studies and pilot studies in humans suggest that mild hypothermia following peripartum hypoxia-ischaemia in newborn infants may reduce neurological sequelae without adverse effects. To determine the effect of therapeutic hypothermia in encephalopathic asphyxiated newborn infants on mortality, long-term neurodevelopmental disability and clinically important side effects. We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group as outlined in The Cochrane Library (Issue 2, 2007). Randomised controlled trials evaluating therapeutic hypothermia in term and late preterm newborns with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy were identified by searching the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, 2007, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2007), previous reviews including cross-references, abstracts, conferences, symposia proceedings, expert informants and journal handsearching. We updated this search in May 2012. We included randomised controlled trials comparing the use of therapeutic hypothermia with standard care in encephalopathic term or late preterm infants with evidence of peripartum asphyxia and without recognisable major congenital anomalies. The primary outcome measure was death or long-term major neurodevelopmental disability. Other outcomes included adverse effects of cooling and 'early' indicators of neurodevelopmental outcome. Four review authors independently selected, assessed the quality of and extracted data from the included studies. Study authors were contacted for further information. Meta-analyses were performed using risk ratios (RR) and risk differences (RD) for dichotomous data, and weighted mean difference for continuous data with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We included 11 randomised controlled trials in this updated review, comprising 1505 term and late preterm infants with moderate/severe encephalopathy and evidence of intrapartum asphyxia. Therapeutic hypothermia resulted in a statistically significant and clinically important reduction in the combined outcome of mortality or major neurodevelopmental disability to 18 months of age (typical RR 0.75 (95% CI 0.68 to 0.83); typical RD -0.15, 95% CI -0.20 to -0.10); number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 7 (95% CI 5 to 10) (8 studies, 1344 infants). Cooling also resulted in statistically significant reductions in mortality (typical RR 0.75 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.88), typical RD -0.09 (95% CI -0.13 to -0.04); NNTB 11 (95% CI 8 to 25) (11 studies, 1468 infants) and in neurodevelopmental disability in survivors (typical RR 0.77 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.94), typical RD -0.13 (95% CI -0.19 to -0.07); NNTB 8 (95% CI 5 to 14) (8 studies, 917 infants). Some adverse effects of hypothermia included an increase sinus bradycardia and a significant increase in thrombocytopenia. There is evidence from the 11 randomised controlled trials included in this systematic review (N = 1505 infants) that therapeutic hypothermia is beneficial in term and late preterm newborns with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. Cooling reduces mortality without increasing major disability in survivors. The benefits of cooling on survival and neurodevelopment outweigh the short-term adverse effects. Hypothermia should be instituted in term and late preterm infants with moderate-to-severe hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy if identified before six hours of age. Further trials to determine the appropriate techniques of cooling, including refinement of patient selection, duration of cooling and method of providing therapeutic hypothermia, will refine our understanding of this intervention.

Amatya B.,Royal Melbourne Hospital
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Spasticity is commonly experienced by people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and it contributes to overall disability in this population. A wide range of non pharmacological interventions are used in isolation or with pharmacological agents to treat spasticity in MS. Evidence for their effectiveness is yet to be determined. To assess the effectiveness of various non pharmacological interventions for the treatment of spasticity in adults with MS. A literature search was performed using the Specialised Register of the Cochrane Multiple Sclerosis and Rare Diseases of the Central Nervous System Review Group on using the Cochrane MS Group Trials Register which among other sources, contains CENTRAL, Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, LILACS, PEDRO in June 2012. Manual searching in the relevant journals and screening of the reference lists of identified studies and reviews were carried out. Abstracts published in proceedings of conferences were also scrutinised. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that reported non pharmacological intervention/s for treatment of spasticity in adults with MS and compared them with some form of control intervention (such as sham/placebo interventions or lower level or different types of intervention, minimal intervention, waiting list controls or no treatment; interventions given in different settings), were included. Three review authors independently selected the studies, extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of the studies using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) tool for best-evidence synthesis. A meta-analysis was not possible due to methodological, clinical and statistical heterogeneity of included studies. Nine RCTs (N = 341 participants, 301 included in analyses) investigated various types and intensities of non pharmacological interventions for treating spasticity in adults with MS. These interventions included: physical activity programmes (such as physiotherapy, structured exercise programme, sports climbing); transcranial magnetic stimulation (Intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation (iTBS), Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)); electromagnetic therapy (pulsed electromagnetic therapy; magnetic pulsing device), Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS); and Whole Body Vibration (WBV). All studies scored 'low' on the methodological quality assessment implying high risk of bias. There is 'low level' evidence for physical activity programmes used in isolation or in combination with other interventions (pharmacological or non pharmacological), and for repetitive magnetic stimulation (iTBS/rTMS) with or without adjuvant exercise therapy in improving spasticity in adults with MS. No evidence of benefit exists to support the use of TENS, sports climbing and vibration therapy for treating spasticity in this population. There is 'low level' evidence for non pharmacological interventions such as physical activities given in conjunction with other interventions, and for magnetic stimulation and electromagnetic therapies for beneficial effects on spasticity outcomes in people with MS. A wide range of non pharmacological interventions are used for the treatment of spasticity in MS, but more robust trials are needed to build evidence about these interventions.

Demetrios M.,Royal Melbourne Hospital
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Spasticity may affect stroke survivors by contributing to activity limitations, caregiver burden, pain and reduced quality of life (QoL). Spasticity management guidelines recommend multidisciplinary (MD) rehabilitation programmes following botulinum toxin (BoNT) treatment for post-stroke spasticity. However, the evidence base for the effectiveness of MD rehabilitation is unclear. To assess the effectiveness of MD rehabilitation, following BoNT and other focal intramuscular treatments such as phenol, in improving activity limitations and other outcomes in adults and children with post-stroke spasticity. To explore what settings, types and intensities of rehabilitation programmes are effective. We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (February 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 12), MEDLINE (1948 to December 2011), EMBASE (1980 to January 2012), CINAHL (1982 to January 2012), AMED (1985 to January 2012), LILACS (1982 to September 2012), PEDro, REHABDATA and OpenGrey (September 2012). In an effort to identify further published, unpublished and ongoing trials we searched trials registries and reference lists, handsearched journals and contacted authors. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared MD rehabilitation (delivered by two or more disciplines in conjunction with medical input) following BoNT and other focal intramuscular treatments for post-stroke spasticity with placebo, routinely available local services, or lower levels of intervention; or studies that compared MD rehabilitation in different settings, of different types, or at different levels of intensity. We excluded RCTs that assessed the effectiveness of unidisciplinary therapy (for example physiotherapy only) or a single modality (for example stretching, casting, electrical stimulation or splinting only). The primary outcomes were validated measures of activity level (active and passive function) according to the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Secondary outcomes included measures of symptoms, impairments, participation, QoL, impact on caregivers and adverse events. We independently selected the trials, extracted data, and assessed methodological quality using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). Due to the limited number of included studies, with clinical, methodological and statistical heterogeneity, quantitative meta-analysis was not possible. Therefore, GRADE provided qualitative synthesis of 'best evidence'. We included three RCTs involving 91 participants. All three studies scored 'low quality' on the methodological quality assessment, implying high risk of bias. All studies investigated various types and intensities of outpatient rehabilitation programmes following BoNT for upper limb spasticity in adults with chronic stroke. Rehabilitation programmes included: modified constraint-induced movement therapy (mCIMT) compared with a neurodevelopmental therapy programme; task practice therapy with cyclic functional electrical stimulation (FES) compared with task practice therapy only; and occupational, manual therapy with dynamic elbow extension splinting compared with occupational therapy only. There was 'low quality' evidence for mCIMT improving upper limb motor function and spasticity in chronic stroke survivors with residual voluntary upper limb activity, up to six months, and 'very low quality' evidence for dynamic elbow splinting and occupational therapy reducing elbow range of movement at 14 weeks. Task practice therapy with cyclic FES did not improve upper limb function more than task practice therapy alone, only at 12 weeks. No studies addressed interventions in children and those with lower limb spasticity, or after other focal intramuscular treatments for spasticity. At best there was 'low level' evidence for the effectiveness of outpatient MD rehabilitation in improving active function and impairments following BoNT for upper limb spasticity in adults with chronic stroke. No trials explored the effect of MD rehabilitation on 'passive function' (caring for the affected limb), caregiver burden, or the individual's priority goals for treatment. The optimal types (modalities, therapy approaches, settings) and intensities of therapy for improving activity (active and passive function) in adults and children with post-stroke spasticity, in the short and longer term, are unclear. Further research is required to build evidence in this area.

Manser R.,Royal Melbourne Hospital
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

This is an updated version of the original review published in The Cochrane Library in 1999 and updated in 2004 and 2010. Population-based screening for lung cancer has not been adopted in the majority of countries. However it is not clear whether sputum examinations, chest radiography or newer methods such as computed tomography (CT) are effective in reducing mortality from lung cancer. To determine whether screening for lung cancer, using regular sputum examinations, chest radiography or CT scanning of the chest, reduces lung cancer mortality. We searched electronic databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 5), MEDLINE (1966 to 2012), PREMEDLINE and EMBASE (to 2012) and bibliographies. We handsearched the journal Lung Cancer (to 2000) and contacted experts in the field to identify published and unpublished trials. Controlled trials of screening for lung cancer using sputum examinations, chest radiography or chest CT. We performed an intention-to-screen analysis. Where there was significant statistical heterogeneity, we reported risk ratios (RRs) using the random-effects model. For other outcomes we used the fixed-effect model. We included nine trials in the review (eight randomised controlled studies and one controlled trial) with a total of 453,965 subjects. In one large study that included both smokers and non-smokers comparing annual chest x-ray screening with usual care there was no reduction in lung cancer mortality (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.07). In a meta-analysis of studies comparing different frequencies of chest x-ray screening, frequent screening with chest x-rays was associated with an 11% relative increase in mortality from lung cancer compared with less frequent screening (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.23); however several of the trials included in this meta-analysis had potential methodological weaknesses. We observed a non-statistically significant trend to reduced mortality from lung cancer when screening with chest x-ray and sputum cytology was compared with chest x-ray alone (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.74 to 1.03). There was one large methodologically rigorous trial in high-risk smokers and ex-smokers (those aged 55 to 74 years with ≥ 30 pack-years of smoking and who quit ≤ 15 years prior to entry if ex-smokers) comparing annual low-dose CT screening with annual chest x-ray screening; in this study the relative risk of death from lung cancer was significantly reduced in the low-dose CT group (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.70 to 0.92). The current evidence does not support screening for lung cancer with chest radiography or sputum cytology. Annual low-dose CT screening is associated with a reduction in lung cancer mortality in high-risk smokers but further data are required on the cost effectiveness of screening and the relative harms and benefits of screening across a range of different risk groups and settings.

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