Despite the publication of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Outcome Reporting Standards in 2015, there is still a great variety in definitions used for reporting remission of co-morbidities after bariatric surgery. This hampers meaningful comparison of results.
To assess compliance with the ASMBS standards in current literature, and to evaluate use of the standards by applying them in a report on the outcomes of 5 co-morbidities after bariatric surgery.
Two clinics of the Dutch Obesity Clinic, location Den Haag and Velp, and three affiliated hospitals: Haaglanden Medical Center in Den Haag, Groene Hart Hospital in Gouda, and Vitalys Clinic in Velp.
A systematic search in PubMed was conducted to identify studies using the ASMBS standards. Besides, the standards were applied to a cohort of patients who underwent a primary bariatric procedure between November 2016 and June 2017. Outcomes of co-morbidities were determined at 6 and 12 months after surgery.
Ten previous studies applying ASMBS definitions were identified by the search, including 6 studies using portions of the definitions, and 4 using complete definitions for 3 co-morbidities or in a small population. In this study, the standards were applied to 1064 patients, of whom 796 patients (75%) underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and 268 patients (25%) underwent sleeve gastrectomy. At 12 months, complete remission of diabetes (glycosylated hemoglobin <6%, off medication) was reached in 63%, partial remission (glycosylated hemoglobin 6%-6.4%, off medication) in 7%, and improvement in 28% of patients (n = 232/248, 94%). Complete remission of hypertension (normotensive, off medication) was noted in 8%, partial remission (prehypertensive, off medication) in 23% and improvement in 63% (n = 397/412, 96%). Remission rate for dyslipidemia (normal nonhigh-density lipoprotein, off medication) was 57% and improvement rate was 19% (n = 129/133, 97%). Resolution of gastroesophageal reflux disease (no symptoms, off medication) was observed in 54% (n = 265/265). Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome improved in 90% (n = 157/169, 93%).
Compliance with the ASMBS standards is low, despite ease of use. Standardized definitions provided by the ASMBS guideline could be used in future research to enable comparison of outcomes of different studies and surgical procedures.

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