Lynn Closway (@closway)
Activity by Lynn Closway
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A simple treatment that involves transplanting healthy feces into a patient suffering from a debilitating and sometimes deadly infection of the colon called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is continuing to show significant promise, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
VIDEO ALERT:: To view videos of a patient and physician discussing fecal transplantation, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network
Called a fecal transplant, the stool of a healthy patient is directly transplanted into the colon of a C. diff patient to replenish the normal bacteria in the colon. C. diff infections typically happen following repeated doses of antibiotics, causing the healthy bacteria in the colon to be killed off. That is when infection can occur, and patients often experience severe bouts of diarrhea that over time can be life-threatening. C. diff is one of the most common hospital-acquired infections.
As reported in the August 2013 edition of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, in a two-year study between January 2011 and January 2013, 31 patients with two or more episodes of recurring C. diff were treated with a fecal transplant at Mayo Clinic.
Eighty-seven percent of those patients experienced relief within one week. No serious adverse events directly related to the fecal transplant were reported. Improvement or resolution of their diarrhea occurred in 97 percent of the patients.
A fecal transplant works like this: Once the stool sample is collected from a healthy donor – often a family member or friend – the material is mixed with saline and filtered before being readied for transplant. Donors are screened to assess their general health and eligibility and are excluded if they have gastrointestinal or other disorders of the bowel, or if they have used antibiotics within three months preceding the study.
Participants in the study were administered the liquefied stool viacolonoscopy so that the healthy bacteria solution could be delivered throughout the colon– the site of most C. diff infections.
The study was led by Neal Patel, M.D., Gastroenterology; John DiBaise, M.D., Gastroenterology; Robert Orenstein, DO, Infectious Diseases and Cheryl Griesbach, R.N., Gastroenterology, all from Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
"The incidence of C. diff has risen sharply over the past two decades," says Dr. Orenstein. "Although half of all C. diff cases occur in people under age 65, it is a huge problem for the elderly. They have few conventional treatment options. However, one therapy – fecal transplantation – has proved to be highly effective in eradicating C. diff and restoring healthy bacteria in the gut."
Dr. Orenstein adds that on the basis of published data, fecal transplantation is the most effective therapy for repeated bouts of C. diff, although it remains an investigational treatment.
"Social stigma and the 'ick' factor have often been cited as reasons to avoid fecal transplantation," he says. "But none of the patients we treated, who were miserable because of their health issues related to C. diff, felt that way."
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ROCHESTER, Minn. — June 28, 2012. Mayo Clinic as a three-site organization (Arizona, Florida and Minnesota) is among 66 employers nationwide receiving the Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles, sponsored by the National Business Group on Health's Institute on Innovation in Workforce Well-being in Washington, D.C.
Mayo Clinic is receiving the Platinum Award for the second time because of its healthy living programs and ability to continue improving and innovating. Twenty-nine other employers are receiving the Platinum award.
The National Business Group on Health , a nonprofit organization of large employers,
initiated the awards eight years ago to honor organizations that demonstrate a commitment to promoting a healthy workplace and encouraging healthy lifestyles for employees and
their families. This is the seventh year Mayo Clinic has been recognized as an employer promoting healthy lifestyles since the program began in 2005.
"Receiving this award is a great honor," says Karen Ytterberg, M.D., chair of the Mayo Clinic Employee Wellness Committee at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.. "It recognizes the commitment Mayo Clinic has made to the health of its employees and celebrates the ongoing success of many wellness programs and activities that have established a culture of healthy living at Mayo."
Mayo Clinic has many health promotion programs that help its employees achieve the best quality of life possible. By utilizing existing resources, employees can access programs directly related to their individual health situations.
Employers can apply for one of two award levels:
Platinum, organizations with established workplace well-being programs and that have documented measurable outcomes and success; and Gold, organizations that develop cultural and environmental changes that support employees who are dedicated to long-term behavior changes.
About Mayo Clinic:
Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit 150years.mayoclinic.org, http://www.mayoclinic.org and newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.
Media Contact: Lynn Closway, Public Affairs, 480-301-4222, Mayo Clinic
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 28, 2012. Twenty-five years ago, in June 1987, a crew of just 47 physicians and 225 allied health employees rallied to formally launch Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Before the doors even opened, 1,800 patient appointments had been booked.
Now, at the organization's 25th anniversary, set for Friday, June 29, 470 physicians and scientists and nearly 5,000 allied health employees, including many from the "original crew," will celebrate Mayo Clinic's many successes over the past quarter century of operation.
Mayo Clinic in Arizona now spans two campuses, comprising more than 400 acres of land, and has added two research buildings on the Scottsdale campus and, on the Phoenix campus, a 244-bed hospital, a specialty clinic, housing for transplant and cancer patients and leased space for a child care center, a hospice and a hotel. Offsite family medicine practices were also added in Scottsdale and Glendale, Ariz.
A visible new development on the Phoenix campus is construction currently under way for the Proton Beam Therapy Program, a precise form of cancer treatment that allows greater control over radiation doses, using pencil-beam scanning. Located just east of Mayo Clinic Hospital, the 100,000-plus square foot facility is expected to open its first treatment rooms by 2016. The center will be the first one in the Southwest.
Plans were also announced in September 2011 for development of a branch of Mayo Medical School, called the Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus, in collaboration with Arizona State University. Expected to open in 2015, the school will offer both a medical degree granted by Mayo and a master's degree in the Science of Health Care Delivery through ASU.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 26, 2012. For a significant number of patients, gastric bypass surgery for weight loss can reverse Type 2 diabetes, but a new Mayo Clinic study finds that the disease can return in some 21 percent of patients within three to five years.
The recurrence of diabetes was mainly influenced by the patients' longstanding history of Type 2 diabetes, explains Yessica Ramos, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and study lead. "This suggests that early surgical intervention for obese people with diabetes can improve the chances for remission of the disease."
Ramos and colleagues at Mayo Clinic studied records of 72 patients with Type 2 diabetes who had undergone a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure (the most common form of gastric bypass surgery in which part of the patient's stomach is used to create a new, smaller stomach pouch) between 2000 and 2007. Of those patients, 66 (92 percent) experienced reversal of their diabetes at some point following the surgery.
However, 14 of those same patients (21 percent) experienced a recurrence of their Type 2 diabetes within three to five years, according to the researchers who studied their blood work. Both groups of patients – those whose diabetes was reversed, and those whose diabetes returned – regained similar amounts of weight post-surgery. Those whose diabetes was reversed lost more weight originally and maintained a lower mean weight throughout the five years of follow-up.
The Mayo researchers found that the longer the patients had diabetes previous to their weight loss surgery, the higher the probability that their diabetes would recur. In particular, patients who had diabetes for longer than five years before their surgery were 3.8 times more likely to experience a recurrence of their diabetes, compared with patients who had less than a five-year history with the disease.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — May 29, 2012. Mayo Clinic in Arizona is the first medical center in Arizona and the Southwest to provide a new technology that treats dry eye by targeting blocked eyelid glands. Blocked glands can inhibit production of oil that is necessary for healthy tears needed to lubricate the eyes.
VIDEO ALERT: Click here for footage of the procedure and information from Dr. Shen about dry eye.
People with chronic dry eye, from this evaporative sub-type , often experience pain and irritation caused by an inadequate protective layer of oils in their tears, which creates a cycle where they resort to excessive use of eye drops that can exacerbate the condition, according to Joanne Shen, M.D., Ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Patients are frustrated in their attempts to find relief, frequently trying warm compresses, ointment, eye drops or even vitamins," says Dr. Shen.
The new treatment, called the LipiFlow thermal pulsation system, represents a significant shift from the traditional management of dry eye, in that the system is able to diagnose and address the root cause of the condition — obstructed meibomian glands. When active, these glands lubricate the tear layer, reducing friction caused by the constant rubbing of the eyelids on the eyeballs and providing relief from symptoms such as itchiness, redness, gritty sensation, burning and sensitivity to light.
An in-office evaluation of the patient's oil glands determines eligibility for the treatment. The exam includes assessing the severity of symptoms, measuring oil layer thickness by interferometry and observing the number of functioning oil glands in the lower eyelid margins. If eligible, based on this three-part part exam, the patient moves to the next step in the treatment — unblocking the oil glands.
An FDA-approved, patented, single-use sterile device resembling an eyecup is placed over the eye while the patient reclines. During a 12-minute period, the device produces a warm, gentle, pulsating massage to the lower eyelid to relieve the blocked meibomian glands. The treatment aids the glands in resuming release of oil with every blink, which is needed for a healthy tear film.
PHOENIX — March 29, 2012. An emerging fungal infection of the gastrointestinal tract that mimics cancer and inflammatory bowel disease appears to be emerging in the Southwestern United States and other desert regions, according to Mayo Clinic researchers in Arizona investigating the disease. The invasive fungus, Basidiobolus ranarum, is typically found in the soil, decaying organic matter and the gastrointestinal tracts of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and bats.
VIDEO ALERT: Click here to watch.
Mayo researchers studied 44 cases of human gastrointestinal basidiobolomycosis reported from around the world, including 17 from Arizona, one from southern Utah and one from elsewhere in the U.S. Eight of the 44 patients died. Mayo's review of the cases is published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Basidiobolomycosis is usually a subcutaneous infection in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world that develops following traumatic inoculation of the fungus under the skin. The emergence of gastrointestinal involvement with Basidiobolus in arid regions has been considered unusual.
"The exact mode of acquisition of this gastrointestinal infection is unclear, although consumption of contaminated food or dirt is the favored hypothesis," says lead author
H.R. Vikram, M.D., an infectious diseases physician at Mayo Clinic, where seven of the 19 U.S. cases studied were treated. "The infection is still considered so rare that no one had put together a complete description." He adds that more study needs to be done to determine how this infection is contracted, what underlying diseases might predispose patients to this infection and how best to treat it. He emphasizes that early recognition is key to successful treatment.
The first U.S. case of gastrointestinal Basidiobolus infection was reported in 1986. The CDC subsequently investigated six cases in Arizona between 1994 and 1999. This sparked the interest of researchers at Mayo Clinic in Arizona to study this infection.