American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

e-Posters of merit receive honors

OCTOBER 24, 2017
Clinical Congress Daily Highlights, Tuesday First Edition

Nearly 370 e-Posters (electronic posters) are on display at this year’s Clinical Congress, but only nine have been designated by the Scientific Forum Committee as e-Posters of Exceptional Merit (e-POEM). Presented on Tuesday afternoon, they covered a wide range of topics ranging from the ethics of hand transplantation to the use of post-operative analgesics in patients undergoing ambulatory operations.

This year’s winner of the Best Scientific e-Poster was Cameron Schlegel, MD, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Dr. Schlegel was honored for her research on congenital diarrheal disorders (CDD), a group of rare genetic conditions resulting in chronic severe diarrhea.

In a case study following a 3-year-old child with severe diarrhea, Dr. Schlegel and colleagues identified a truncation mutation in the diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene using whole-exome sequencing. DGAT1 is normally highly expressed in the human intestine and responsible for the final step in triglyceride synthesis. The finding suggested that the gene defect was leading to the patient having difficulty metabolizing fats, and subsequently, deficits in absorption.

When placed on a low-fat diet, the patient’s diarrhea resolved and his intestinal environment mirrored concurrent in vitro studies of epithelial DGAT1 knockout cells. The results from Dr. Schlegel and colleagues are promising, and demonstrate new treatment and diagnostic approaches for others suffering from CDD.

The Scientific Forum Committee also presented the award for Best International e-Poster. This year’s winner, Taisuke Imamura, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan, presented new research identifying a novel plasma miRNA which has tumor suppressor function in pancreatic cancer. Using genome-wide miRNA microarray analysis, Imamura and colleagues were able to show that the miRNA, miR-107, could be a novel predictive biomarker for cancer detection, disease monitoring, and predicting prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

Two other posters recognized by the committee:

A retrospective study from Carissa Cooney, MPH, reviewed the ethical concerns of physicians and their views on hand transplantation. Due to the life-enhancing versus life-saving nature of upper extremity transplantation and the availability of high-performance prosthetics, there has been much ethical debate around the procedure. Cooney’s research sought to identify and characterize these ethical concerns.

Michael Leitman, MD, FACS, presented new research on the prescription of opioid analgesics following ambulatory surgery in obese and nonobese patients. Dr. Leitman and colleagues’ results suggest there is a trend among physicians to prescribe nonnarcotic analgesics, particularly to obese patients undergoing ambulatory surgery. Less-experienced physicians reported prescribing opioid analgesics to obese patients after ambulatory surgery at a higher rate than more experienced physicians. These results suggest that more work needs to be done to develop postdischarge analgesic protocols for patients with morbid obesity.

Additional Information:
The Special Interest Session, e-Posters of Exceptional Merit (e-POEM), was held October 24, at the 2017 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in San Diego, CA. Program, webcast and audio information is available online at

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