Selected abstracts:

1                    Cheng Q, Wang DS, Jiang GX, Han H, Zhang Y, Wang WZ, Fredrikson S. A case-control study of Guillain-Barre syndrome in Harbin, China. Eur J Neurol. 2006 Sep;13(9):953-7. Eur J Neurol. 2006 Sep;13(9):953-7.

Department of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Second Medical University, E-institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai, China. of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Second Medical University, E-institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai, China.

We evaluated the putative factors for the onset of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) in Harbin, China by a case-control study based on the information from GBS patients identified from a population-based incidence survey, which is the first study of this kind in China. Sixty-nine GBS patients were identified during a 1-year period from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 1998, and they were matched with 69 controls for gender and age (+/-5 years). GBS diagnosis was validated by senior neurologists and GBS patients were followed up for 6 months after onset. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each putative factor for the onset of GBS were calculated and compared between GBS cases and controls. Precedent respiratory infections within 2 months before onset were found to be significantly more frequent in GBS patients than in controls (OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.21-2.33). Although the number of cases with gastroenteritis among GBS patients was more than double of that in the controls, the difference was not statistically significant (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 0.73-6.96). Other putative factors as well as characteristics regarding family situation, education level, occupation, etc., were not found to be statistically different between GBS patients and controls.

2                    Nagler J, Wright RO, Krauss B. End-tidal carbon dioxide as a measure of acidosis among children with gastroenteritis. Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):260-7.

Division of Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Ave, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine the correlation between end-tidal carbon dioxide levels and serum bicarbonate concentrations among patients with gastroenteritis, to compare the end-tidal carbon dioxide with other clinical parameters that might also be associated with the degree of acidosis, and to examine the relationship between end-tidal carbon dioxide levels and return visits. METHODS: Our prospective sample included patients presenting to the emergency department with a chief complaint of vomiting and/or diarrhea. The association between end-tidal carbon dioxides and serum bicarbonate concentrations was determined with simple linear-regression analysis. Receiver operating characteristic curves were computed to determine the predictive ability of the end-tidal carbon dioxide to detect metabolic acidosis. RESULTS: One hundred thirty of 146 subjects who were approached were included in the final analysis. For those for whom laboratory studies were performed, the mean serum bicarbonate concentration was 17.3 +/- 4.3 mmol/L and the mean end-tidal carbon dioxide level was 34.2 +/- 5.2 mm Hg. End-tidal carbon dioxide levels and serum bicarbonate concentrations were correlated linearly in bivariate analysis. Receiver operating characteristic curves were calculated for end-tidal carbon dioxide as a predictor of serum bicarbonate concentrations of < or = 13, < or = 15, and < or = 17 mmol/L, with areas under the curves of 0.94, 0.95, and 0.90, respectively. The relationship between end-tidal carbon dioxide levels and serum bicarbonate concentrations was independent of other potential predictors of acidosis in multivariable analysis. The mean end-tidal carbon dioxide level for patients who required an unanticipated return visit (33.0 +/- 4.0 mm Hg) was lower than the level for those who did not seek reevaluation (36.6 +/- 3.6 mm Hg). CONCLUSIONS: End-tidal carbon dioxide levels were correlated with serum bicarbonate concentrations among children with vomiting and diarrhea, independent of other clinical parameters. Capnography offers an objective noninvasive measure of the severity of acidosis among patients with gastroenteritis.

3                    Tanabe T, Hara K, Kashiwagi M, Tamai H. Classification of benign infantile afebrile seizures. Epilepsy Res. 2006 Aug;70 Suppl 1:S185-9.

Division of Pediatrics, Hirakata City Hospital, 2-14-1 Kinyahonmachi, Hirakata City, Osaka 573-1013, Japan.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to classify infantile cases with benign seizures into known epileptic syndromes, thereby facilitating discussion of clinical factors that could play an important role in diagnosis. SUBJECTS: Fifty-seven patients with afebrile seizures fulfilling all of the following criteria were enrolled: (1) normal development prior to the onset, (2) no underlying disorders nor neurological abnormalities, (3) onset before the age of four and (4) normal interictal EEG and neuroimaging findings. RESULTS: Thirty-nine cases (Group A) were characterized by an association of mild gastroenteritis. The remaining 18 cases were divided into two groups according to the seizure type. One group had partial seizures (Group B, 13 cases) while the other was suspected to have generalized seizures (Group C, 5 cases). Age at onset was significantly higher for Group A (19.5 +/- 5.5 months) than Groups B (5.3 +/- 1.8 months) (p<0.001) and C (5.8 +/- 3.5 months) (p=0.038). Positive family history of seizure disorder, seizure cluster tendency, and the efficacy of lidocaine against seizure clusters were common in the three groups. CONCLUSIONS: Features in Group A were consistent with benign convulsions with mild gastroenteritis (proposed by Morooka) [Morooka, K., 1982. Mild diarrhea and convulsions. Shonika 23, 134-137 (in Japanese)], those of Group B with benign partial epilepsy in infancy [Watanabe, K., Yamamoto, N., Negoro, T., Takaesu, E., Aso, K., Furune, S., Takahashi, I., 1987. Benign complex partial epilepsies in infancy. Pediatr. Neurol. 3, 208-211], and those of Group C with benign infantile convulsions [Fukuyama, Y., 1963. Borderland of epilepsy with special reference to febrile convulsions and so-called infantile convulsions. Seishin Igaku 5, 211-223 (in Japanese)]. The distinction between these syndromes depends upon age at onset, association with gastroenteritis, and ictal symptomatology. In our experience, however, it was not easy to catch seizure type accurately in clinical situations. As far as the results of ictal video-EEG monitoring ever carried out concern, focal initiation of parxysmal discharges was demonstrated in all cases, not only of BPEI but also of apparent generalized seizures examined without exception. These observations led the authors to conclude that the identity of BIC is dubious, most probably it will represent a subtype of BPEI.

4                    Alhashimi D, Alhashimi H, Fedorowicz Z. Antiemetics for reducing vomiting related to acute gastroenteritis in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Oct 18;(4):CD005506.

Salmaniya Medical Complex, Paediatrics, Box 12, Manama, Bahrain.

BACKGROUND: Vomiting caused by acute gastroenteritis is very common in children and adolescents. Treatment of vomiting in children can be problematic and the use of antiemetics remains a controversial issue. There have been concerns expressed about apparently unacceptable levels of side effects such as sedation and extrapyramidal reactions, which are associated with some of the earlier generation of antiemetics. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of antiemetics on gastroenteritis induced vomiting in children and adolescents. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Central register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), which includes the Cochrane Upper Gastrointestinal and Pancreatic Diseases Group Trials Register (searched 28 July 2023), MEDLINE (1966 to July 2005) and EMBASE (1980 to July 2005). Published abstracts from conference proceedings from the United European Gastroenterology Week and Digestive Disease Week were handsearched. Members of the Cochrane UGPD Group were contacted for details of any ongoing or relevant unpublished clinical trials. The search was re-run on 12th July 2006 and one new trial was found. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials comparing antiemetics and/or placebo in children and adolescents, under the age of 18, with vomiting due to gastroenteritis. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers independently assessed trial quality and extracted data. Study authors were contacted for additional information. Adverse effects data was collected from the studies. MAIN RESULTS: Three trials involving 396 participants were included. Although no data were available for the precise time to cessation of vomiting (the primary outcome specified in the protocol for this review), one trial reported that the proportion of patients without vomiting over a 24 hour period was higher in the ondansetron and metoclopramide groups than placebo. In the second trial, ondansetron ensured complete anti-emesis for 8/12 (67%) patients within the first 4 hours and in 7/12 (58%) patients in the first 24 hr period. A few secondary outcomes were reported in the included trials. The third trial reported that 14% of patients who received ondansetron vomited during oral rehydration (which was given over one hour period after randomization) compared to 35% of the placebo group. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The small number of included trials provided some, albeit weak and unreliable, evidence which appeared to favor the use of ondansetron and metoclopramide over placebo to reduce the number of episodes of vomiting due to gastroenteritis in children. The increased incidence of diarrhea noted with both ondansetron and metoclopramide was considered to be as a result of retention of fluids and toxins that would otherwise have been eliminated through the process of vomiting.

5                    Conway PH, Edwards S, Stucky ER, Chiang VW, Ottolini MC, Landrigan CP. Variations in management of common inpatient pediatric illnesses: hospitalists and community pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2006 Aug;118(2):441-7.

Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

OBJECTIVE: The goal was to test the hypothesis that pediatric hospitalists use evidence-based therapies and tests more consistently in the care of inpatients and use therapies and tests of unproven benefit less often, compared with community pediatricians. METHODS: A national survey was administered to hospitalists and a random sample of community pediatricians. Hospitalists and community pediatricians reported their frequency of use of diagnostic tests and therapies, on 5-point Likert scales (ranging from never to almost always), for common inpatient pediatric illnesses. Responses were compared in univariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses controlling for gender, race, years out of residency, days spent attending per year, hospital practice type, and completion of fellowship/postgraduate training. RESULTS: Two hundred thirteen pediatric hospitalists and 352 community pediatricians responded. In multivariable regression analyses, hospitalists were significantly more likely to report often or almost always using the following evidence-based therapies for asthma: albuterol and ipratropium in the first 24 hours of hospitalization. After the first urinary tract infection, hospitalists were more likely to report obtaining the recommended renal ultrasound and voiding cystourethrogram. Hospitalists were significantly more likely than community pediatricians to report rarely or never using the following therapies of unproven benefit: levalbuterol, inhaled steroid therapy, and oral steroid therapy for bronchiolitis; stool culture and rotavirus testing for gastroenteritis; and ipratropium after 24 hours of hospitalization for asthma. CONCLUSION: Overall, in comparison with community pediatricians, hospitalists reported greater adherence to evidence-based therapies and tests in the care of hospitalized patients and less use of therapies and tests of unproven benefit.                   

6                    Hartling L, Bellemare S, Wiebe N, Russell K, Klassen TP, Craig W. Oral versus intravenous rehydration for treating dehydration due to gastroenteritis in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Jul 19;3:CD004390.

BACKGROUND: Dehydration associated with gastroenteritis is a serious complication. Oral rehydration is an effective and inexpensive treatment, but some physicians prefer intravenous methods. OBJECTIVES: To compare oral with intravenous therapy for treating dehydration due to acute gastroenteritis in children. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register (March 2006), CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2006, Issue 1), MEDLINE (1966 to March 2006), EMBASE (1974 to March 2006), LILACS (1982 to March 2006), and reference lists. We also contacted researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and relevant organizations. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials comparing intravenous rehydration therapy (IVT) with oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in children up to 18 years of age with acute gastroenteritis. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently extracted data and assessed quality using the Jadad score. We expressed dichotomous data as a risk difference (RD) and number needed to treat (NNT), and continuous data as a weighted mean difference (WMD). We used meta-regression for subgroup analyses. MAIN RESULTS: Seventeen trials (1811 participants), of poor to moderate quality, were included. There were more treatment failures with ORT (RD 4%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1 to 7, random-effects model; 1811 participants, 18 trials; NNT = 25). Six deaths occurred in the IVT group and two in the ORT groups (4 trials). There were no significant differences in weight gain (369 participants, 6 trials), hyponatremia (248 participants, 2 trials) or hypernatremia (1062 participants, 10 trials), duration of diarrhea (960 participants, 8 trials), or total fluid intake at six hours (985 participants, 8 trials) and 24 hours (835 participants, 7 trials). Shorter hospital stays were reported for the ORT group (WMD -1.20 days, 95% CI -2.38 to -0.02 days; 526 participants, 6 trials). Phlebitis occurred more often in the IVT group (NNT 50, 95% CI 25 to 100) and paralytic ileus more often in the ORT group (NNT 33, 95% CI 20 to 100, fixed-effect model), but there was no significant difference between ORT using the low osmolarity solutions recommended by the World Health Organization and IVT (729 participants, 6 trials). AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Although no clinically important differences between ORT and IVT, the ORT group did have a higher risk of paralytic ileus, and the IVT group was exposed to risks of intravenous therapy. For every 25 children (95% CI 14 to 100) treated with ORT one would fail and require IVT.


15022.  Covanis A.  Panayiotopoulos syndrome: a benign childhood autonomic epilepsy frequently imitating encephalitis, syncope, migraine, sleep disorder, or gastroenteritis. Pediatrics. 2006 Oct;118(4):e1237-43.

15023.  Dohar J, Giles W, Roland P, Bikhazi N, Carroll S, Moe R, Reese B, Dupre S, Wall M, Stroman D, McLean C, Crenshaw K. Topical ciprofloxacin/dexamethasone superior to oral amoxicillin/clavulanic acid in acute otitis media with otorrhea through tympanostomy tubes. Pediatrics. 2006 Sep;118(3):e561-9. 

15024.  Rossignol JF, Abu-Zekry M, Hussein A, Santoro MG. Effect of nitazoxanide for treatment of severe rotavirus diarrhoea: randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2006 Jul 8;368(9530):124-9.