Bottom Line: Treatment of H. pylori reduces the risk of gastric cancer in high-risk patients.
Citation: Fuccio L, Zagari RM, Eusebi LH, et al. Meta-analysis: can Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment reduce the risk for gastric cancer? Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(2):121-128.
Patients on Anti-Platelet Agents with Acute Coronary Syndrome Have a Lower Bleeding Risk When Treated with Fondaparinux
Clinical question: Is there a difference in bleeding risk with fondaparinux and enoxaparin when used with GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors or thienopyridines in NSTEMI-ACS?
Background: The OASIS 5 study reported a 50% reduction in severe bleeding when comparing fondaparinux to enoxaparin in ACS while maintaining a similar efficacy. This subgroup analysis was performed to evaluate whether reduced bleeding risk with fondaparinux remains in patients treated with additional anti-platelet agents.
Study design: Subgroup analysis of a large, multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial.
Setting: Acute-care hospitals in North America, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia.
Synopsis: Patients with NSTE-ACS received either fondaparinux or enoxaparin and were treated with GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors or thienopyridines at the discretion of their physician. At 30 days, the fondaparinux group had similar efficacy and decreased bleeding risk in both the GPIIb/IIIa and the thienopyridine groups. Of the 3,630 patients in the GPIIb/IIIa group, the risk for major bleeding with fondaparinux was 5.2%, whereas the risk with enoxaparin was 8.3% (HR 0.61; P<0.001) compared with enoxaparin. Of the 1,352 patients treated with thienopyridines, the risk for major bleeding with fondaparinux was 3.4%, whereas the risk with enoxaparin was 5.4% (HR 0.62; P<0.001).
Bottom Line: This subgroup analysis suggests there are less-severe bleeding complications in patients treated with fondaparinux when compared with enoxaparin in the setting of cotreatment with GPIIb/IIIa inhibitors, thienopyridines, or both.
Citation: Jolly SS, Faxon DP, Fox KA, et al. Efficacy and safety of fondaparinux versus enoxaparin in patients with acute coronary syndromes treated with glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors of thienopyridines: results from the OASIS 5 (Fifth Organization to Assess Strategies in Ischemic Syndromes) trial. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009;54(5):468-476.
Clinical question: What attitudes do surrogate decision-makers hold toward clinicians’ predictions of medical futility in critically-ill patients?
Background: The clinical judgment of medical futility leading to the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment—despite the objections of surrogate decision-makers—is controversial. Very little is known about how surrogate decision-makers view the futility rationale when physicians suggest limiting the use of life-sustaining treatment.
Study design: Multicenter, mixed, qualitative and quantitative study.
Setting: Three ICUs in three different California hospitals from 2006 to 2007.
Synopsis: Semi-structured interviews of surrogate decision-makers for 50 incapacitated, critically-ill patients were performed to ascertain their beliefs about medical futility in response to hypothetical situations. Of the surrogates surveyed, 64% expressed doubt about physicians’ futility predictions.
The interviewees gave four main reasons for their doubts. Two reasons not previously described were doubts about the accuracy of physicians’ predictions and the need for surrogates to see futility themselves. Previously described sources of conflict included a misunderstanding about prognosis and religious-based objections. Surrogates with religious objections were more likely to request continuation of life-sustaining treatments than those with secular or experiential objections (OR 4; 95% CI 1.2-14.0; P=0.03). Nearly a third (32%) of surrogates elected to continue life support with a <1% survival estimate; 18% elected to continue life support when physicians thought there was no chance of survival.
This study has several limitations: a small sample size, the use of hypothetical situations, and the inability to assess attitudes as they change over time.
Bottom line: The nature of surrogate decision-makers’ doubts about medical futility can help predict whether they accept predictions of medical futility from physicians.