• Prevalence of Gastrointestinal Symptoms, Hepatic Dysfunction, and Outcomes in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 Infection: An Early Experience.

      Hasel, Krystal; Salim, Ahlaa; Verma, Sandeep; D'Adamo, Christopher; Arrup, Denise; Vinayek, Rakesh; Dutta, Sudhir K (Cureus, Inc., 2022-02-12)
      Background and objective Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first reported in China two years ago as primarily a lung infection associated with cough and fever. It spread rapidly across the world and was declared a pandemic in early 2020, with 131 million people infected and 2.85 million deaths worldwide. To date, approximately 550,000 deaths have occurred due to COVID-19 in the United States and the numbers continue to rise. The extrapulmonary manifestations of this disease such as acute kidney injury (AKI), cardiovascular events, and gastrointestinal (GI) indications were not emphasized initially. However, subsequent studies from the United States and Canada have noted GI involvement in this disease in a large number of cases. Our group, taking care of these patients during the early phase of the pandemic in 2020, observed the frequent presentations of GI symptoms such as diarrhea and hepatic dysfunction and this study examines the same. Methods We undertook a retrospective study of 184 consecutive adult patients who were hospitalized at our center with confirmed COVID-19 infection, with a view to further elucidate the GI and hepatic involvement during the early breakout (March 17-May 17, 2020) of this illness. Results Major comorbidities associated with this illness in our cohort of patients included hypertension (HTN, 66%), diabetes mellitus (DM, 44%), obesity (41%), and chronic kidney disease (CKD, 17%). The most common GI manifestation was diarrhea (25%) and, interestingly, more than two-thirds of the patients had at least one liver function abnormality. The most common liver function abnormality was elevated serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Elevated AST was significantly correlated (p<0.05) with inflammatory markers such as D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and ferritin, as well as AKI by bi-variate analysis. Salient observations from our study include higher mortality, frequent AKI, and cardiovascular events in male patients (p<0.05). The liver injury in our cohort was suspected to be multifactorial, involving excessive cytokine release, viral infiltration of the hepatocytes, and cholangiocytes playing a role in transaminitis. The mean (±SD) duration of hospital stay was 13.5 ±15 days with 33% admissions to the ICU. The overall mortality was around 27%, with no significant difference between African Americans and Caucasians. However, patients admitted to the ICU had a very high mortality rate (54%) compared to those admitted to intermediate care (IMC)/acute care who had less severity of illness and associated pulmonary complications. Conclusions This study evaluates the presence of comorbidities such as DM, HTN, and obesity in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at a community hospital in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Statistical analysis of the data obtained for this cohort revealed a high frequency of GI symptoms, with diarrhea as the predominant common initial manifestation of the disease. Serum AST elevations were common and correlated with inflammatory markers and AKI. Male gender was also significantly associated with the development of AKI, higher frequency of cardiovascular events, and increased mortality. Overall mortality was noted to be 27%, with higher mortality in patients admitted to the ICU (54%) as compared to the IMC/floor (13%). These observations should spur future investigations into the role of these comorbidities, development of diarrhea, and hepatic dysfunction in COVID-19.
    • Risks and benefits of antioxidant dietary supplement use during cancer treatment: protocol for a scoping review

      Wieland, L. Susan; Moffet, Ilana; Shade, Sydney; Emadi, Ashkan; Knott, Cheryl; Gorman, Emily F.; D'Adamo, Christopher (BMJ Publishing Group, 2021-04-13)
      Introduction: Antioxidant dietary supplements are used by many patients with cancer to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and improve prognosis. While some research indicates oral antioxidant supplementation reduces side effects and improves patient survival, other studies suggest the use of antioxidant dietary supplements may interfere with chemotherapy and reduce its curative effects. There is a need to clarify the evidence base on the impact of dietary antioxidant supplementation during chemotherapy on both side effect and treatment efficacy outcomes. We will use a scoping review approach to identify what systematic review evidence exists regarding beneficial and harmful effects of dietary antioxidant supplements when used during cancer treatment. Methods and analysis: We will use Arksey & O'Malley and Joanna Briggs Institute methods for scoping reviews. We will systematically search PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Scopus, Dissertations & Theses Global and the Cochrane Library from inception to October 2020. Systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials of oral dietary antioxidant supplements used by participants receiving curative chemotherapy, radiotherapy or other biological therapy for cancer will be eligible. Two reviewers will screen citations and full texts for inclusion and chart data on research questions from included reviews. Two reviewers will assess the overall confidence in systematic review results using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews-2 (AMSTAR-2), and summarised evidence will focus on reviews rated at high or moderate overall confidence. Tables will be used to map existing evidence and identify evidence gaps for safety and effectiveness outcomes.
    • Telehealth Adaptation for Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic

      Aghedo, Blessing O; Svoboda, Shane; Holmes, Leslie; Man, Lillian; Wu, Yin; Linder, Jeanette; D'Adamo, Christopher; Mavanur, Arun; Poehler, Kathryn; Codling, Deanna; et al. (Cureus, Inc., 2021-09-09)
      Background: The study objectives were to transition in-person colorectal cancer multidisciplinary clinic (MDC) to a telehealth MDC (tele-MDC) format and to assess early outcomes. Methods: A colorectal tele-MDC was devised, in which patients used remote-access technology while supervised by a clinician. The team consisted of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. Outcomes were assessed with patient and provider surveys, using a 5-point Likert scale (higher = more favorable). Results: A total of 18 patients participated in the tele-MDC. Surveyed patients (n=18) and physicians (n=19) were satisfied with the quality of care (mean Likert = 4.93, 4.53, respectively), and low standard deviations (range 0-1.03) across all questions reflected homogeneity in satisfaction with the metrics surveyed. Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates that a functional colorectal cancer tele-MDC is a feasible alternative to in-person MDC during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with the potential for a high degree of patient and physician satisfaction.