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Medscape: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Associated With Various Complications in Hospitalized Patients

By Steve Cimino

Hospitalized patients with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) are more likely to have gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, autonomic, and allergic disorders than are hospitalized patients who do not have EDS, according to a new study of hospital outcomes in these four areas.

"Further research is necessary to explore the prevalence of these manifestations in the different subtypes of EDS and in outpatient population," wrote Rachel S. Brooks of the University of Connecticut, Farmington, and her coauthors. The study was published in Rheumatology.

"Anyone who takes care of patients with EDS has likely seen some of these complications before and knows they can occur," Jordan T. Jones, DO, a pediatric rheumatologist at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., said in an interview. "I think this study legitimizes what many who take care of patients with EDS know to be true, and for those who don't, it brings a lot of attention to many of the symptoms and associated conditions."

He did, however, draw a conclusion that differed from one of the researchers' chief observations.

"They note that these patients have a longer-than-average hospital stay, suggesting that EDS may be linked to adverse complications during hospitalization," he said. "I think the reason for longer-than-average hospital stays is due to the number of symptoms and complexity of these patients, which can lead to delays in diagnosis. The complexity can lead to more involved evaluation that keeps them in the hospital longer than usual. Another reason for longer-than-average hospital stays that I've seen is the presentation of severe and chronic pain, which can be difficult to treat in the hospital and then transition to outpatient therapy. An inpatient hospitalization is not always the best place to treat chronic pain symptoms, which can drag out a hospital stay."

He also highlighted the lack of discussion regarding musculoskeletal complications, which he sees as one of the most common symptoms related to EDS.

"As a rheumatologist, I see many patients with EDS present with chronic pain, chronic muscle weakness, and chronic fatigue. If you think about the joint laxity with EDS, these patients are a perfect setup to develop tight, weak muscles, which leads to a lot of musculoskeletal pain and fatigue."

That said, he ultimately emphasized the clear benefits of such a large study on such an under-researched subject.


Read the full story via Medscape

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