PATIENTS AND METHODS: This international, multicenter randomized controlled trial included adults with bilateral mandibular fractures located at either the angle and body, angle and symphysis, or body and symphysis. Patients were treated with either a combination of rigid fixation for the anterior fracture and nonrigid fixation for the posterior fracture (mixed fixation) or nonrigid fixation for both fractures. The primary outcome was complications within 6 weeks after surgery. Secondary outcomes were complications within 3 months, Helkimo dysfunction index, and mandibular mobility at 6 weeks and 3 months after surgery.
RESULTS: Of the 315 patients enrolled, 158 were randomized to the mixed fixation group and 157 to the nonrigid fixation group. The overall complication rate at 6 weeks in the intention-to-treat population was 9.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.3% to 15.6%) in the mixed fixation group and 7.8% (95% CI, 4.0% to 13.5%) in the nonrigid fixation group. With an unadjusted odds ratio of 1.25 (95% CI, 0.51 to 3.17), there were no statistically significant differences in complication rates between the 2 groups (P = .591). A multivariable model for complication risk at 6 weeks found no significant differences between treatment groups, but patients with moderate or severe displacement had a higher complication rate than those with no or minimal displacement (adjusted odds ratio, 4.58; 95% CI, 1.16 to 18.06; P = .030). There were no significant between-group differences in complication rates at 3 months. Moreover, no significant differences in Helkimo dysfunction index and mandibular mobility index at 6 weeks and 3 months were found between groups according to treatment allocated and treatment received.
CONCLUSIONS: A combination of rigid and nonrigid fixation in patients with bilateral mandibular fracture has similar complication rates and functional outcomes to nonrigid fixation for both fractures.
METHODS: We studied the patterns and effect of practice variations (ie, treatments used and access to services) among participants in the INTERSTROKE study, an international observational study that enrolled 13 447 stroke patients from 142 clinical sites in 32 countries between Jan 11, 2007, and Aug 8, 2015. We supplemented patient data with a questionnaire about health-care and stroke service facilities at all participating hospitals. Using univariate and multivariate regression analyses to account for patient casemix and service clustering, we estimated the association between services available, treatments given, and patient outcomes (death or dependency) at 1 month.
FINDINGS: We obtained full information for 12 342 (92%) of 13 447 INTERSTROKE patients, from 108 hospitals in 28 countries; 2576 from 38 hospitals in ten high-income countries and 9766 from 70 hospitals in 18 low and middle-income countries. Patients in low-income and middle-income countries more often had severe strokes, intracerebral haemorrhage, poorer access to services, and used fewer investigations and treatments (p<0·0001) than those in high-income countries, although only differences in patient characteristics explained the poorer clinical outcomes in low and middle-income countries. However across all countries, irrespective of economic level, access to a stroke unit was associated with improved use of investigations and treatments, access to other rehabilitation services, and improved survival without severe dependency (odds ratio [OR] 1·29; 95% CI 1·14-1·44; all p<0·0001), which was independent of patient casemix characteristics and other measures of care. Use of acute antiplatelet treatment was associated with improved survival (1·39; 1·12-1·72) irrespective of other patient and service characteristics.
INTERPRETATION: Evidence-based treatments, diagnostics, and stroke units were less commonly available or used in low and middle-income countries. Access to stroke units and appropriate use of antiplatelet treatment were associated with improved recovery. Improved care and facilities in low-income and middle-income countries are essential to improve outcomes.
FUNDING: Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.