Clinical School (Austin Health) - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 61
Zinc ion dyshomeostasis increases resistance of prostate cancer cells to oxidative stress via upregulation of HIF1α.
(Impact Journals, 2018-02-02)
Zinc ions (Zn2+) are known to influence cell survival and proliferation. However the homeostatic regulation of Zn2+ and their role in prostate cancer (PC) progression is poorly understood. Therefore the subcellular distribution and uptake of Zn2+ in PC cells were investigated. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy and fluorescent microscopy with the Zn2+-specific fluorescent probe FluoZin-3 were used to quantify total and free Zn2+, respectively, in the normal prostate epithelial cell line (PNT1A) and three human PC cell lines (PC3, DU145 and LNCaP). The effects of Zn2+ treatment on proliferation and survival were measured in vitro using MTT assays and in vivo using mouse xenografts. The ability of Zn2+ to protect against oxidative stress via a HIF1α-dependent mechanism was investigated using a HIF1α knock-down PC3 model. Our results demonstrate that the total Zn2+ concentration in normal PNT1A and PC cells is similar, but PC3 cells contain significantly higher free Zn2+ than PNT1A cells (p < 0.01). PNT1A cells can survive better in the presence of high concentrations of Zn2+ than PC3 cells. Exposure to 10 µM Zn2+ over 72 hours significantly reduces PC3 cell proliferation in vitro but not in vivo. Zn2+ increases PC3 cell survival up to 2.3-fold under oxidative stress, and this protective effect is not seen in PNT1A cells or in a HIF1α-KD PC3 cell model. A state of Zn2+ dyshomeostasis exists in PC. HIF1α is an integral component of a Zn2+-dependent protective mechanism present in PC3 cells. This pathway may be clinically significant through its contribution to castrate-resistant PC survival.
Translating genomics into practice for real-time surveillance and response to carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae: evidence from a complex multi-institutional KPC outbreak
(PEERJ INC, 2018-01-03)
Background: Until recently, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Enterobacteriaceae were rarely identified in Australia. Following an increase in the number of incident cases across the state of Victoria, we undertook a real-time combined genomic and epidemiological investigation. The scope of this study included identifying risk factors and routes of transmission, and investigating the utility of genomics to enhance traditional field epidemiology for informing management of established widespread outbreaks. Methods: All KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates referred to the state reference laboratory from 2012 onwards were included. Whole-genome sequencing was performed in parallel with a detailed descriptive epidemiological investigation of each case, using Illumina sequencing on each isolate. This was complemented with PacBio long-read sequencing on selected isolates to establish high-quality reference sequences and interrogate characteristics of KPC-encoding plasmids. Results: Initial investigations indicated that the outbreak was widespread, with 86 KPC-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates (K. pneumoniae 92%) identified from 35 different locations across metropolitan and rural Victoria between 2012 and 2015. Initial combined analyses of the epidemiological and genomic data resolved the outbreak into distinct nosocomial transmission networks, and identified healthcare facilities at the epicentre of KPC transmission. New cases were assigned to transmission networks in real-time, allowing focussed infection control efforts. PacBio sequencing confirmed a secondary transmission network arising from inter-species plasmid transmission. Insights from Bayesian transmission inference and analyses of within-host diversity informed the development of state-wide public health and infection control guidelines, including interventions such as an intensive approach to screening contacts following new case detection to minimise unrecognised colonisation. Conclusion: A real-time combined epidemiological and genomic investigation proved critical to identifying and defining multiple transmission networks of KPC Enterobacteriaceae, while data from either investigation alone were inconclusive. The investigation was fundamental to informing infection control measures in real-time and the development of state-wide public health guidelines on carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae surveillance and management.
Three dimensional models in uro-oncology: a future built with additive fabrication
PURPOSE: Three-dimensional (3D) printing was invented in 1983 but has only just begun to influence medicine and surgery. Conversion of digital images into physical models demonstrates promise to revolutionize multiple domains of surgery. In the field of uro-oncology, researchers and clinicians have recognized the potential of this technology and are working towards making it an integral part of urological practice. We review current literature regarding 3D printing and other 3D technology in the field of urology. METHOD: A comprehensive assessment of contemporary literature was performed according to a modified PRISMA analysis for the purposes of this narrative review article. Medical databases that were searched included: Web of Science, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. Articles assessed were limited only to English-language peer-reviewed articles published between 1980 and 2017. The search terms used were "3D", "3-dimensional", "printing", "printing technology", "urology", "surgery". Acceptable articles were reviewed and incorporated for their merit and relevance with preference given for articles with high impact, original research and recent advances. RESULTS: Thirty-five publications were included in final analysis and discussion. CONCLUSIONS: The area of 3D printing in Urology shows promising results, but further research is required and cost reduction must occur before clinicians fully embrace its use. As costs continue to decline and diversity of materials continues to expand, research and clinical utilization will increase. Recent advances have demonstrated the potential of this technology in the realms of education and surgical optimization. The generation of personalized organs using 3D printing scaffolding remains the 'holy grail' of this technology.
The impact of fluid intervention on complications and length of hospital stay after pancreaticoduodenectomy (Whipple's procedure)
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2014-05-14)
BACKGROUND: There is limited information on the impact on perioperative fluid intervention on complications and length of hospital stay following pancreaticoduodenectomy. Therefore, we conducted a detailed analysis of fluid intervention in patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy at a university teaching hospital to test the hypothesis that a restrictive intravenous fluid regime and/or a neutral or negative cumulative fluid balance, would impact on perioperative complications and length of hospital stay. METHODS: We retrospectively obtained demographic, operative details, detailed fluid prescription, complications and outcomes data for 150 consecutive patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy in a university teaching hospital. Prognostic predictors for length of hospital stay and complications were determined. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty consecutive patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenectomy were evaluated between 2006 and 2012. The majority of patients were, middle-aged, overweight and ASA class III. Postoperative complications were frequent and occurred in 86 patients (57%). The majority of complications were graded as Clavien-Dindo Class 2 and 3. Postoperative pancreatic fistula occurred in 13 patients (9%), and delayed gastric emptying occurred in 25 patients (17%). Other postoperative surgical complications included sepsis (22%), bile leak (4%), and postoperative bleeding (2%). Serious medical complications included pulmonary edema (6%), myocardial infarction (8%), cardiac arrhythmias (13%), respiratory failure (8%), and renal failure (7%). Patients with complications received a higher median volume of intravenous therapy and had higher cumulative positive fluid balances. Postoperative length of stay was significantly longer in patients with complications (median 25 days vs. 10 days; p < 0.001). After adjustment for covariates, a fluid balance of less than 1 litre on postoperative day 1 and surgeon caseloads were associated with the development of complications. CONCLUSIONS: In the context of pancreaticoduodenectomy, restrictive perioperative fluid intervention and negative cumulative fluid balance were associated with fewer complications and shorter length of hospital stay. These findings provide good opportunities to evaluate strategies aimed at improving perioperative care.
The haemodynamic effects of intravenous paracetamol (acetaminophen) in healthy volunteers: a double-blind, randomized, triple crossover trial
AIM: The haemodynamic effects of intravenous paracetamol have not been systematically investigated. We compared the physiological effects of intravenous mannitol-containing paracetamol, and an equivalent dosage of mannitol, and normal saline 0.9% in healthy volunteers. METHODS: We performed a blinded, triple crossover, randomized trial of 24 adult healthy volunteers. Participants received i.v. paracetamol (1 g paracetamol +3.91 g mannitol 100 ml(-1) ), i.v. mannitol (3.91 g mannitol 100 ml(-1) ) and i.v. normal saline (100 ml). Composite primary end points were changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) measured pre-infusion, during a 15 min infusion period and over a 45 min observation period. Systemic vascular resistance index (SVRI) and cardiac index were measured at the same time points. RESULTS: Infusion of paracetamol induced a transient yet significant decrease in blood pressures from pre-infusion values (MAP -1.85 mmHg, 95% CI -2.6, -1.1, SBP -0.54 mmHg, 95% CI -1.7, 0.6 and DBP -1.92 mmHg, 95% CI -2.6, -1.2, P < 0.0001), associated with a transient reduction in SVRI and an increase in cardiac index. Changes were observed, but to a lesser extent with normal saline (MAP -0.15 mmHg, SBP +1.44 mmHg, DBP --0.73 mmHg, P < 0.0001), but not with mannitol (MAP +1.47 mmHg, SBP +4.03 mmHg, DBP +0.48 mmHg, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: I.v. paracetamol caused a transient decrease in blood pressure immediately after infusion. These effects were not seen with mannitol or normal saline. The physiological mechanism was consistent with vasodilatation. This study provides plausible physiological data in a healthy volunteer setting, supporting transient changes in haemodynamic variables with i.v. paracetamol and justifies controlled studies in the peri-operative and critical care setting.
The genetic basis of music ability
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2014-06-27)
Music is an integral part of the cultural heritage of all known human societies, with the capacity for music perception and production present in most people. Researchers generally agree that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the broader realization of music ability, with the degree of music aptitude varying, not only from individual to individual, but across various components of music ability within the same individual. While environmental factors influencing music development and expertise have been well investigated in the psychological and music literature, the interrogation of possible genetic influences has not progressed at the same rate. Recent advances in genetic research offer fertile ground for exploring the genetic basis of music ability. This paper begins with a brief overview of behavioral and molecular genetic approaches commonly used in human genetic analyses, and then critically reviews the key findings of genetic investigations of the components of music ability. Some promising and converging findings have emerged, with several loci on chromosome 4 implicated in singing and music perception, and certain loci on chromosome 8q implicated in absolute pitch and music perception. The gene AVPR1A on chromosome 12q has also been implicated in music perception, music memory, and music listening, whereas SLC6A4 on chromosome 17q has been associated with music memory and choir participation. Replication of these results in alternate populations and with larger samples is warranted to confirm the findings. Through increased research efforts, a clearer picture of the genetic mechanisms underpinning music ability will hopefully emerge.
The effects on coagulation of the reinfusion of unprocessed residual blood from the cardiopulmonary bypass.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-02-03)
BACKGROUND: Autologous blood transfusion is a common technique in cardiac surgery to directly re-infuse residual blood from the cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuit to the patient. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of reinfusion of unprocessed residual pump blood on the coagulation system after separation from the CPB circuit and reversal of systemic heparin with protamine. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: After ethics approval, 40 participants undergoing cardiac surgery were recruited in a prospective single center cohort study. Changes in coagulation were assessed with standard plasma based laboratory assays and thromboelastography. After the reinfusion of unprocessed residual pump blood there were decreases in the mean aPTT (effect size 6 s; SD: 6.05; p < 0.0001) and thrombin time (effect size 4.08 s; SD: 9.7; p = 0.01). There were no significant changes in PT, INR and D-dimer. Post reinfusion there were increases in fibrinogen, hemoglobin and platelet counts. There were improvements in the R-time (effect size 9.1 s; SD: 16.9; p = 0.0023), K-time (effect size 1.5 s; SD: 3.6 s; p = 0.0017), alpha angle (6.9°; SD: 15.8; p = 0.012), and maximum amplitude (3.0 mm; SD: 5.6, p = 0.002) on thromboelastography. CONCLUSION: The reinfusion of unprocessed residual CPB blood resulted in no deleterious effects on the coagulation system measured by both the common laboratory plasma based measurements of coagulation and thromboelastography.
The academic tweet: Twitter as a tool to advance academic surgery
(ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2018-06-01)
Social media, Twitter in particular, has emerged as an essential tool for surgeons. In the realm of academic surgery, it enables surgeons to advance the core values of academic surgery, as outlined by the Association for Academic Surgery: inclusion, leadership, innovation, scholarship, and mentorship. This article details the ways in which surgeons are using Twitter to embody these values and how the Twitter account for the Association of Academic Surgeons accomplishes its goal of inspiring and developing young academic surgeons.
Testosterone levels increase in association with recovery from acute fracture in men
(SPRINGER LONDON LTD, 2014-08-01)
UNLABELLED: In this longitudinal case-control study, acute fracture was associated with low serum testosterone, which was transient in 43% of men. While assessment of gonadal status is part of the assessment of bone fragility, measurement of testosterone in the early period after fracture may overestimate the prevalence of androgen deficiency. INTRODUCTION: Measurement of circulating testosterone is recommended in the evaluation of bone fragility in men. Since acute illness can transiently decrease circulating testosterone, we quantified the association of acute fracture and serum testosterone levels. METHODS: A case-control study was conducted involving 240 men with a radiologically confirmed minimal trauma fracture presenting to a tertiary referral hospital and 89 age-matched men without a history of minimal trauma fracture serving as controls. Follow-up testosterone levels 6 months after baseline were available for 98 cases and 27 controls. Results were expressed as the median and interquartile (IQR) range. RESULTS: Compared to controls, cases had lower total testosterone [TT, 7.2 (3.5, 10.8) vs 13.6 (10.9, 17.1) nmol/L, p < 0.001]. The 143 cases treated as inpatients had lower testosterone levels than the 97 cases treated as outpatients [TT 4.7 (2.3, 8.1) vs 10.3 (7.5, 12.7) nmol/L, p < 0.001]. Group differences in calculated free testosterone (cFT) were comparable to the group differences in TT. At follow-up, in 98 cases, median TT increased from 6.5 nmol/L (3.2, 8.5) to 9.6 nmol/L (6.9, 12.0) p < 0.0001, and SHBG remained unchanged. Of cases with low testosterone, 43% with TT <10 nmol/L and/or cFT <230 pmol/L at presentation were reclassified as androgen sufficient at follow-up. TT was unchanged in the controls. CONCLUSIONS: Low testosterone levels in men presenting with an acute fracture may, at least in part, be due to an acute, fracture-associated, stress response. To avoid over diagnosis, evaluation for testosterone deficiency should be deferred until recovery from the acute event.
Temporal lobe epilepsy following maintenance electroconvulsive therapyElectrical kindling in the human brain?
Maintenance electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is sometimes prescribed for refractory psychiatric conditions. We describe five patients who received maintenance ECT and developed florid temporal epileptiform abnormalities on electroencephalography (EEG) despite no history of epilepsy and normal neuroimaging. All patients had received regular ECT for at least 8 months. Three patients had clinical events consistent with epileptic seizures, and video-EEG monitoring captured electrographic seizures in two patients. After cessation of ECT the EEGs normalized in all patients, and no further clinical seizures occurred. Maintenance ECT may predispose to epilepsy with a seizure focus in the temporal lobe.