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Abstracts: In Other Archives Journals
Sept/Oct 15, 2008

Abstracts: In Other Archives Journals

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2008;10(5):357-358. doi:
Archives of DermatologyArchives of SurgeryArchives of Internal MedicineArchives of Ophthalmology
The “Ugly Duckling” Sign: Agreement Between Observers

To assess whether multiple observers can identify the same pigmented lesion(s) as being different from a patient's other moles (“ugly duckling” [UD] sign) and to explore whether the UD sign is sensitive for melanoma detection.


Baseline back images of 12 patients were obtained from a database of standardized patient images. All patients had at least 8 atypical moles on the back, and in 5 patients, one of the lesions was a histologically confirmed melanoma. The overview back images were supplemented with close-up clinical images of lesions. Participants were asked to evaluate whether the images showed any lesions on the back that differed from other nevi.


Dermatology clinic specializing in pigmented lesions.


Images were evaluated by 34 participants, including 8 pigmented lesion experts, 13 general dermatologists, 5 dermatology nurses, and 8 nonclinical medical staff.

Main Outcome Measures

A lesion was considered a generally apparent UD if it was perceived as different by at least two-thirds of the participants. Sensitivity was defined as the fraction of melanomas identified as different.


All 5 melanomas (100%) and only 3 of 140 benign lesions (2.1%) were generally apparent as different. The sensitivity of the UD sign for melanoma detection was 0.9 for the whole group, 1.0 for experts, 0.89 for general dermatologists, 0.88 for nurses, and 0.85 for nonclinicians. A limitation of the study is that assessment was done in virtual settings.


In the present study, melanomas were generally apparent as UDs. The potential of the UD sign for melanoma screening should be further assessed.

Scope A, Dusza SW, Halpern AC, et al

Evaluation of a Preoperative Checklist and Team Briefing Among Surgeons, Nurses, and Anesthesiologists to Reduce Failures in Communication

To assess whether structured team briefings improve operating room communication.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This 13-month prospective study used a preintervention/postintervention design. All staff and trainees in the division of general surgery at a Canadian academic tertiary care hospital were invited to participate. Participants included 11 general surgeons, 24 surgical trainees, 41 operating room nurses, 28 anesthesiologists, and 24 anesthesia trainees.


Surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists gathered before 302 patient procedures for a short team briefing structured by a checklist.

Main Outcome Measure

The primary outcome measure was the number of communication failures (late, inaccurate, unresolved, or exclusive communication) per procedure. Communication failures and their consequences were documented by 1 of 4 trained observers using a validated observational scale. Secondary outcomes were the number of checklist briefings that demonstrated “utility” (an effect on the knowledge or actions of the team) and participants' perceptions of the briefing experience.


One hundred seventy-two procedures were observed (86 preintervention, 86 postintervention). The mean (SD) number of communication failures per procedure declined from 3.95 (3.20) before the intervention to 1.31 (1.53) after the intervention (P < .001). Thirty-four percent of briefings demonstrated utility, including identification of problems, resolution of critical knowledge gaps, decision-making, and follow-up actions.


Interprofessional checklist briefings reduced the number of communication failures and promoted proactive and collaborative team communication.

Lingard L, Regehr G, Orser B, et al

Risk of Thromboembolism With Short-term Interruption of Warfarin Therapy

Significant uncertainty surrounds the treatment of patients who must discontinue warfarin sodium therapy before an invasive procedure. In part, the uncertainty results from the lack of published information about the risk of thromboembolism associated with short-term warfarin therapy interruption. We aimed to assess the frequency of thromboembolism and bleeding within a large cohort of patients whose warfarin therapy was temporarily withheld for an outpatient invasive procedure.


This prospective, observational cohort study was performed at 101 sites (primarily community-based physician office practices) in the United States. Enrollment was conducted from April 4, 2000, to March 6, 2002. The main outcome measures were thromboembolism or clinically significant hemorrhage within 30 days of warfarin therapy interruption.


A total of 1293 episodes of warfarin therapy interruption in 1024 individuals were included. The mean (SD) patient age was 71.9 (10.6) years; 438 (42.8%) were female. The most common indications for anticoagulant therapy were atrial fibrillation (n = 550), venous thromboembolism (n = 144), and mechanical heart valve (n = 132). The most common procedures were colonoscopy and oral and ophthalmic surgery. Perioperative heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin was used in only 8.3% of cases overall. Seven patients (0.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3%-1.4%) experienced postprocedure thromboembolism within 30 days. None of the 7 patients who experienced thromboembolism received periprocedural bridging therapy. Six patients (0.6%; 95% CI, 0.2%-1.3%) experienced major bleeding, whereas an additional 17 patients (1.7%; 95% CI, 1.0%-2.6%) experienced a clinically significant, nonmajor bleeding episode. Of these 23 patients who had bleeding episodes, 14 received periprocedural heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin. The duration of warfarin therapy interruption was variable; however, more than 80% of patients had warfarin therapy withheld for 5 days or fewer.


For many patients receiving long-term anticoagulation who need to undergo a minor outpatient intervention, a brief (5 days) periprocedural interruption of warfarin therapy is associated with a low risk of thromboembolism. The risk of clinically significant bleeding, even among outpatients undergoing minor procedures, should be weighed against the thromboembolic risk of an individual patient before the administration of bridging anticoagulant therapy.

Garcia DA, Regan S, Henault LE, et al

Motion Analysis as a Tool for the Evaluation of Oculoplastic Surgical Skill: Evaluation of Oculoplastic Surgical Skill

To evaluate motion analysis as a discriminator of ophthalmic plastic surgical skill between surgeons of varying experience.


Thirty subjects were divided into 3 groups based on surgical experience: novice (<5 performed procedures; n = 10), intermediate (5-100 procedures; n = 10), and expert (>100 procedures; n = 10). Detailed 3-dimensional motion data from surgeons performing 2 oculoplastic surgical tasks on a wet laboratory skills board were obtained using the Qualisys motion capture system. The first task was a deep 3-1-1 suture. The second was skin closure with a continuous suture. The main outcome measures were time, overall path length, and total number of movements. Kruskal-Wallis analysis was performed to evaluate statistical significance.


Highly significant differences were found during the skin closure task between all groups for mean time (P = .002), overall path length (P = .002), and number of movements (P = .001). For the deep stitch, highly significant differences were also found for time (P < .001), path length (P < .001), and number of movements (P < .001).


Motion analysis, using this technology, was able to differentiate between surgeons of varying experience performing oculoplastic tasks, thus demonstrating construct validity. This technique may be useful in the objective quantitative measurement of oculoplastic skill, with potential applications for training and research.

Saleh GM, Gauba V, Sim D, Lindfield D, Borhani M, Ghoussayni S