Preoperative physiotherapy reduces postoperative pulmonary complications in patients undergoing elective abdominal surgery

A randomized, controlled trial showed that, in patients having elective abdominal surgery, a 30-minute preoperative physiotherapy session – that focused on breathing exercise training and education – reduced postoperative pulmonary complications, including hospital-acquired pneumonia, by half (hazard ratio, 0.48; number needed to treat, seven).

Citation: Boden I et al. Preoperative physiotherapy for the prevention of respiratory complications after upper abdominal surgery: pragmatic, double blinded, multicenter randomized controlled trial. BMJ. 2018 Jan 24;360:j5916.

Severity of thrombocytopenia does not predict bleeding risk in patients with cirrhosis

A subgroup analysis of a prospective cohort study showed that, although platelet counts worsened with progression of liver disease, platelet counts were similar in patients with and without a bleeding event.

Citation: Basili S et al. Platelet count does not predict bleeding in cirrhotic patients: Results from the PRO-LIVER study. Am J Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar;113(3):368-75.

Patent foramen ovale closures are superior to medical therapy in patients with medium to large PFOs

A meta-analysis of four randomized, controlled trials found that patients with cryptogenic stroke who underwent PFO closure had decreased rates of stroke and transient ischemic attack, compared with medical therapy alone, but had increased incidence of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.

Citation: De Rosa S et al. Percutaneous closure versus medical treatment in stroke patients with patent foramen ovale: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Mar 6;168(5):343-50.

Short-run atrial tachyarrhythmias increase the risk of stroke

A retrospective, observational study showed that patients with short-run atrial tachyarrhythmias (more than three consecutive supraventricular ectopic beats lasting less than 5 seconds) have an increased risk of stroke (11.4% vs. 8.3%; P
Citation: Yamada S et al. Risk of stroke in patients with short-run atrial tachyarrhythmia. Stroke. 2017 Dec;48(12):3232-8.

Even one cigarette is too many

A meta-analysis of 55 publications containing 141 cohort studies demonstrated that even those that smoked one cigarette per day were at increased risk of developing coronary artery disease and stroke.

Citation: Hackshaw A et al. Low cigarette consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: Meta-analysis of 141 cohort studies in 55 study reports. BMJ. 2018 Jan 24;360:j5855.

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