Research Articles (Paediatric Surgery)

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    African multi-site 2-year neuropsychological study of school-age children perinatally infected, exposed, and unexposed to human immunodeficiency virus
    (Oxford University Press, 2020-10) Boivin, Michael J.; Chernoff, Miriam; Fairlie, Lee; Laughton, Barbara; Zimmer, Bonnie; Joyce, Celeste; Barlow-Mosha, Linda; Bwakura-Dangarembizi, Mutsawashe; Vhembo, Tichaona; Ratswana, Mmule; Kamthunzi, Portia; McCarthy, Katie; Familiar-Lopez, Itziar; Jean-Philippe, Patrick; Coetzee, Joan; Abrahams, Nasreen; Gous, Hermien; Violari, Avy; Cotton, Mark F.; Palumbo, Paul E.
    Background Children living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are at neuropsychological risk for cognitive and motor dysfunction. However, few prospective, multi-site studies have evaluated neuropsychological outcomes longitudinally among perinatally infected African children who received early antiretroviral treatment (ART). Methods We enrolled 611 children aged 5 to 11 years at 6 sites (South Africa [3], Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda). Of these, there were 246 children living with HIV (HIV+) who were initiated on ART before 3 years of age in a prior clinical trial comparing nevirapine to lopinavir/ritonavir (International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Clinical Trials [IMPAACT] P1060); 183 age-matched, exposed but uninfected (HEU) children; and 182 unexposed and uninfected (HUU) children. They were compared across 3 assessment time points (Weeks 0, 48, and 96) on cognitive ability (Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, second edition [KABC-II]), attention/impulsivity (Tests of Variables of Attention [TOVA]), motor proficiency (Bruininks-Oseretsky Test, second edition [BOT-2]), and on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). The cohorts were compared using linear mixed models, adjusting for site, child’s age and sex, and selected personal/family control variables. Results The HIV+ cohort performed significantly worse than the HEU and HUU cohorts for all KABC-II, TOVA, and BOT-2 performance outcomes across all 3 time points (P values < .001). The HUU and HEU cohorts were comparable. For the KABC-II planning/reasoning subtests, the HIV+ children showed less improvement over time than the HUU and HEU groups. The groups did not differ significantly on the BRIEF. Conclusions Despite initiation of ART in early childhood and good viral suppression at the time of enrollment, the HIV+ group had poorer neuropsychological performance over time, with the gap progressively worsening in planning/reasoning. This can be debilitating for self-management in adolescence.
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    How to manage obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) under COVID-19 : a clinician's guide from the International College of Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS) and the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders Research Network (OCRN) of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
    (Elsevier Inc., 2020-07) Fineberg, N. A.; Van Ameringen, M.; Drummond, L.; Hollander, E.; Stein, D. J.; Geller, D.; Walitza, S.; Pallanti, S.; Pellegrini, L.; Zohar, J.; Rodriguez, C. I.; Menchon, J. M.; Morgado, P.; Mpavaenda, D.; Fontenelle, L. F.; Feusner, J. D.; Grassi, G.; Lochner, C.; Veltman, D. J.; Sireau, N.; Carmi, L.; Adam, D.; Nicolini, H.; Dell'Osso, B.
    The rapid advance of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased mortality but also has demonstrated considerable potential to negatively impact mental health, including in the young [1,2]. From a public mental health perspective, guidelines for responding to mass trauma and disaster emphasize the importance of focusing on resilience. In the immediate and ongoing response, consensus guidelines emphasize the importance of interventions that maintain calm, build community, and sustain hope [3,4].
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    Paediatric blunt abdominal trauma : are we doing too many computed tomography scans?
    (Medpharm Publications, 2013-02) Arnold, M.; Moore, S. W.
    Blunt abdominal trauma in childhood contributes significantly to both morbidity and mortality. Selective non-operative management of blunt abdominal trauma in children depends on both diagnostic and clinical factors. Computed tomography (CT) scanning is widely used to facilitate better management. Increased availability of CT may, however, result in its overuse in the management of blunt abdominal trauma in children, which carries significant radiation exposure risks. Aim. To evaluate the use and value of CT scanning in the overall management and outcome of blunt abdominal trauma in children in the Tygerberg Academic Hospital trauma unit, Parow, Cape Town, South Africa, before and after improved access to CT as a result of installation of a new rapid CT scanner in the trauma management area (previously the scanner had been 4 floors away). Methods. Patients aged 0 - 13 years who were referred with blunt abdominal trauma due to vehicle-related accidents before the introduction of the new CT scanner (group 1, n=66, November 2003 - March 2009) were compared with those seen in the 1-year period after the scanner was installed (group 2, n=37, April 2009 - April 2010). Details of clinical presentation, imaging results and their influence on management were retrospectively reviewed. A follow-up group was evaluated after stricter criteria for abdominal CT scanning (viz. prior evaluation by paediatric surgical personnel) were introduced (group 3, n=14, November 2011 - May 2012) to evaluate the impact of this clinical screening on the rate of negative scans. Results. There were 66 patients in group 1 and 37 in group 2. An apparent increase in CT use with increased availability was accompanied by a marked increase in negative CT scans (38.9% compared with 6.2%; p<0.006). Despite a slightly higher prevalence of associated injuries in group 2, as well as a slightly longer length of hospital stay, there was a similar prevalence of intra-abdominal injuries detected in positive scans in the two groups. In addition, rates of small-bowel perforation in the two groups were similar. The rate of negative scans in group 3 was 46.2% (6/13), but all except one of these patients had a severe brain injury preventing adequate clinical evaluation of intra-abdominal injury. Conclusion. CT scanning for blunt abdominal trauma in children is essential in the presence of appropriate clinical indications. Ease of access probably increases availability, but the rate of negative scans may increase. Management guidelines should be in place to direct CT scanning to cases in which clinical examination and/or other modalities indicate a likelihood of intra-abdominal injury. The principle of ‘as low (radiation) dose as reasonably achievable’ (ALARA) should be adhered to because of the increased radiation exposure risks in children.
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    Missed opportunities for retention in pre-ART care in Cape Town, South Africa
    (Public Library of Science -- PLoS, 2014-05) Du Toit, Elizabeth; Van Schalkwyk, Cari; Dunbar, Rory; Jennings, Karen; Yang, Blia; Coetzee, David; Beyers, Nulda; Fox, Matthew
    Background: Few studies have evaluated access to and retention in pre-ART care. Objectives: To evaluate the proportion of People Living With HIV (PLWH) in pre-ART and ART care and factors associated with retention in pre-ART and ART care from a community cohort. Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted from February – April 2011. Self reported HIV positive, negative or participants of unknown status completed a questionnaire on their HIV testing history, access to pre-ART and retention in pre-ART and ART care. Results: 872 randomly selected adults who reported being HIV positive in the ZAMSTAR 2010 prevalence survey were included and revisited. 579 (66%) reconfirmed their positive status and were included in this analysis. 380 (66%) had initiated ART with 357 of these (94%) retained in ART care. 199 (34%) had never initiated ART of whom 186 (93%) accessed pre-ART care, and 86 (43%) were retained in pre-ART care. In a univariable analysis none of the factors analysed were significantly associated with retention in care in the pre-ART group. Due to the high retention in ART care, factors associated with retention in ART care, were not analysed further. Conclusion: Retention in ART care was high; however it was low in pre-ART care. The opportunity exists, if care is better integrated, to engage with clients in primary health care facilities to bring them back to, and retain them in, pre-ART care.
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    Problems related to cytomegalovirus infection and biliary atresia
    (Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG), 2012-11) Zabiegaj-Zwick, C.; Nel, E. D.; Moore, S. W.
    Background. Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is related to biliary disease, being cholestatic in its own right. It has also been associated with intrahepatic bile duct destruction and duct paucity, indicating a possible role in the pathogenesis and progression of extrahepatic biliary atresia (BA). BA patients who are CMV-IgM-positive appear to have greater liver damage than uninfected patients, consequently affecting outcome. Methods. We reviewed the medical records of 74 patients diagnosed with hepatobiliary disease between 2000 and 2011, assessing clinical outcome and potential risk factors. Patients, categorised into those with and those without BA, were compared in terms of CMV infection. Results. The 74 patients included 39 (52%) BA and 35 non-BA patients; following the exclusion of patients due to insufficient data, 27 (69%) BA and 31 non-BA patients were reviewed. Twenty-one (78%) BA patients were CMV-positive (IgM/IgG), including 20 IgM-positive patients versus 8 in the non-BA group (p<0.01). Two (7.5%) CMV-IgM-positive BA infants were HIV-exposed versus 7 (35%) in the non-BA group (p<0.01). Long-term outcomes included 3 deaths in the non-HIV CMV-positive group and a higher rate of severe early liver damage, suggesting a poorer outcome in CMV affected patients. Conclusions. Our results suggest a correlation between CMV exposure/infection and BA which affects clinical outcome. HIV positivity does not preclude BA and should be investigated further.