Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-72 of 905
Role of art centres for Aboriginal Australians living with dementia in remote communities
OBJECTIVE: To explore the role art centres in remote communities play for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians living with dementia. METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was undertaken, with no restrictions on articles regarding year of publication. RESULTS: Art programmes have been found to be of benefit to both people living with dementia and their carers, particularly when programmes are administered in environments that are culturally revered. Findings indicate remote art centres play a key role in maintaining traditions, culture and practices unique to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, but there is a gap in knowledge regarding how they cater for the needs of people with dementia. CONCLUSION: Addressing this gap will be helpful in remote areas where prevalence of dementia is up to five times that of non-Aboriginal people, and there are limited health and support services. Further research is required to explore strengths and gaps of current practices.
Filling the gaps and finding our way: family carers navigating the healthcare system to access physical health services for the people they care for.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To elicit the perspectives of carers of people with mental illness regarding access to, and experience with, physical healthcare services for mental health consumers. BACKGROUND: People diagnosed with mental illness have increased risks of physical illness and earlier death, problems able to be addressed through better physical health services. Carers of people with mental illness play a significant role in the mental healthcare system yet research examining their views is lacking. DESIGN: Qualitative exploratory. METHODS: In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mental health carers. They were asked to describe their views and experiences pertaining to the physical health and availability of physical health care for the people they care for. Data were analysed using the framework of Braun and Clarke. RESULTS: Analysis of carer responses identified two important themes: responsiveness and access, and a shortage of care coordination. Carers felt alienated from physical healthcare providers and were compelled to fill gaps in available care through persistence in ensuring access to physical healthcare services. CONCLUSIONS: The findings identify carers as key stakeholders in the physical health care for the people they care for. Their involvement in accessing and coordinating care provides vital perspective on health service capacity, which requires further consideration in the practice and research domains. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Carers of people diagnosed with mental illness are crucial to the effective delivery of mental health services. Their perspectives must be central to their research agenda and contribute to the development of initiatives to improve clinical practice and promote improved physical health care.
Fifteen-year groin hernia trends in Australia: the era of minimally invasive surgeons
BACKGROUND: Groin hernia repairs (GHRs) are among the commonest general surgical procedures in the Western population. The introduction of minimally invasive surgery has prompted the development of laparoscopic totally extraperitoneal and trans-abdominal preperitoneal hernia repairs. We aimed to determine the hernia treatment trends in Australia over the last 15 years. METHODS: Using Medicare Benefit Schedule data, we categorized the number of laparoscopic and open hernia repairs between 2000 and 2015 in Australia. Population data were collected from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Hernia repair rates were standardized by age, gender and location. RESULTS: During the study period, a total of 324 618 GHRs were performed on adult patients in Australia, 43% by a laparoscopic method. While there was a slight yearly increase in overall total GHRs performed, laparoscopic surgeries increased by 3.1 per 100 000 population every year (95% CI: 2.9-3.3) while open surgeries declined yearly by 2.6 per 100 000 population (95% CI: 2.4-2.8). From the available data, there appears to be a crossover point in 2011/2012 where the laparoscopic hernia repair became more frequent. Considerable state and gender-based trends exist. CONCLUSIONS: The use of laparoscopic GHRs has increased considerably over the last 15 years. Despite the increased use, significant state-based and gender discrepancies were observed. Our data offer insight to the public sector and the respective healthcare-related expenditures pertaining to laparoscopic hernia repair.
Is there a practical role for a virtual bone biopsy using high-resolution imaging of bone in patients with chronic kidney disease?
Renal osteodystrophy (ROD) refers to alterations in bone turnover, mineralisation, mass and microarchitecture in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and represents the skeletal component of 'CKD-mineral and bone disorder'. Changes in bone structure lead to impaired bone quality, compromised bone strength and increased susceptibility to fractures with associated significant morbidity, mortality and financial cost. Diagnosis and management of ROD is hindered by the inadequacy of currently available diagnostic methods to interpret the complex pathophysiology. Bone biopsy, the perceived gold standard test to assess ROD, is invasive and suboptimal for disease screening and management in routine clinical practice. High-resolution imaging, such as high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging provide accurate non-invasive quantification of bone microarchitecture and facilitate assessment of mechanical competence of bone, correlating with skeletal fragility. We discuss the potential for these imaging techniques in patients with CKD to provide quantification and assessment of bone structure and strength. When used in conjunction with serum biomarkers, these investigative tools may provide a non-invasive diagnostic virtual bone biopsy.
Is there a role for newer biomarkers in chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder management?
The current management of Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral Bone Disorder (CKD-MBD) relies largely on clinical judgement and assessment of biochemical parameters including serum calcium, phosphate and intact parathyroid hormone concentrations. In the past two decades, there has been a leap in the understanding of the pathophysiology of CKD-MBD, leading to the discovery of novel biomarkers. The potential utility of these markers in this clinical setting is an area of intense investigation. In the absence of any guidelines aiding the clinician's understanding and application of these markers, we summarise the current available literature surrounding fibroblast growth factor-23, α-Klotho, sclerostin and serum calcification propensity testing and their respective assays in the context of CKD-MBD management.
MUC13 overexpression in renal cell carcinoma plays a central role in tumor progression and drug resistance
Metastatic renal cell carcinoma is a largely incurable disease, and existing treatments targeting angiogenesis and tyrosine kinase receptors are only partially effective. Here we reveal that MUC13, a cell surface mucin glycoprotein, is aberrantly expressed by most renal cell carcinomas, with increasing expression positively correlating with tumor grade. Importantly, we demonstrated that high MUC13 expression was a statistically significant independent predictor of poor survival in two independent cohorts, particularly in stage 1 cancers. In cultured renal cell carcinoma cells MUC13 promoted proliferation and induced the cell cycle regulator, cyclin D1, and inhibited apoptosis by inducing the anti-apoptotic proteins, BCL-xL and survivin. Silencing of MUC13 expression inhibited migration and invasion, and sensitized renal cancer cells to killing by the multi-kinase inhibitors used clinically, sorafenib and sunitinib, and reversed acquired resistance to these drugs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that MUC13 promotion of renal cancer cell growth and survival is mediated by activation of nuclear factor κB, a transcription factor known to regulate the expression of genes that play key roles in the development and progression of cancer. These results show that MUC13 has potential as a prognostic marker for aggressive early stage renal cell cancer and is a plausible target to sensitize these tumors to therapy.
Bone turnover markers and bone mineral density in healthy mother-daughter pairs from South India
Bone turnover markers (BTMs) provide important insights into the dynamics of bone remodelling and are subjected to preanalytical and ethnic variations in addition to influence of genetic and environmental factors. AIM/OBJECTIVES: To derive ethnicity specific reference range for BTMs and to study their correlation with Bone Mineral Density (BMD) in a cohort of healthy postmenopausal women and their premenopausal daughters and to look at the impact of maternal bone mineral status on daughters bone health. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This community based cross sectional study included 300 subjects (150 mother-daughter pairs). Demographic details were collected. Fasting blood and a second void morning urine samples were obtained for measurement of BTMs (sCTX, sPTNP1, sOC and urine DPD respectively) and bone mineral parameters. BMD was measured by DXA scan. RESULTS: Osteoporosis was seen in 44·7% of the postmenopausal women. Ethnicity specific reference ranges of BTMs were derived for the study population. Significant inverse correlation was found between all BTMs (except urine DPD) and BMD(P < 0·05). Daughters of mothers with osteoporosis at spine and femoral neck had lower BMD, compared to daughters of mothers without osteoporosis(P = 0·03 & 0·05). CONCLUSION: Apart from deriving the ethnicity specific reference range for BTMs and finding a significant inverse correlation between BTM and BMD, this study found significantly lower BMD in daughters of mothers with osteoporosis at spine and femoral neck implicating the probable interplay of genetic, epigenetic and similar environmental factors.
Tropical Drosophila pandora carry Wolbachia infections causing cytoplasmic incompatibility or male killing
Wolbachia infections have been described in several Drosophila species, but relatively few have been assessed for phenotypic effects. Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) is the most common phenotypic effect that has been detected, while some infections cause male killing or feminization, and many Wolbachia infections have few host effects. Here, we describe two new infections in a recently described species, Drosophila pandora, one of which causes near-complete CI and near-perfect maternal transmission (the "CI" strain). The other infection is a male killer (the "MK" strain), which we confirm by observing reinitiation of male production following tetracycline treatment. No incompatibility was detected in crosses between CI strain males and MK strain females, and rare MK males do not cause CI. Molecular analyses indicate that the CI and MK infections are distantly related and the CI infection is closely related to the wRi infection of Drosophila simulans. Two population surveys indicate that all individuals are infected with Wolbachia, but the MK infection is uncommon. Given patterns of incompatibility among the strains, the infection dynamics is expected to be governed by the relative fitness of the females, suggesting that the CI infection should have a higher fitness. This was evidenced by changes in infection frequencies and sex ratios in population cages initiated at different starting frequencies of the infections.
'That red flag on your file': misinterpreting physical symptoms as mental illness.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the views and experiences of mental health consumers regarding the availability and quality of care and treatment received for their physical health needs. BACKGROUND: People diagnosed with mental illness have higher occurrence of physical health problems. Responsive health care services are crucial for prevention and management of physical health problems, and for reducing disparities in health between people diagnosed with mental illness and those who are not. There is limited research giving voice to consumer perspectives on their experiences with health care providers. DESIGN: Exploratory qualitative. METHODS: Focus group interviews with mental health consumers accessed via a consumer network group in a region of Australia (n = 31). All interview audio recordings were transcribed professionally. Interviews were thematically analysed. RESULTS: The main themes were: symptomising; failure to act and alertness to prejudice. The first two themes were consumer perceptions of the actions and behaviours of health professionals, and the third describes consumer responses to these behaviours and actions. Consumers described increased risks of illness and death because of undiagnosed physical illness despite their physical health advice-seeking as the reason for the health consultation. CONCLUSION: Health care providers' non-recognition of physical health problems presents a clear example of a significant and potentially life threatening health inequity. The service provider responses described by participants suggest that mental health consumers' physical health needs may not be taken seriously. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Clinicians need to take seriously the physical health needs and concerns of people with mental illness. Nurses can play a crucial role in the prevention of diagnostic overshadowing as part of a broader direction of balancing biomedical perspectives with other approaches to health care.
Participative mental health consumer research for improving physical health care: An integrative review.
People with mental illness have a significantly lower life expectancy and higher rates of chronic physical illnesses than the general population. Health care system reform to improve access and quality is greatly needed to address this inequity. The inclusion of consumers of mental health services as co-investigators in research is likely to enhance service reform. In light of this, the current paper reviews mental health consumer focussed research conducted to date, addressing the neglect of physical health in mental health care and initiatives with the aim of improving physical health care. The international literature on physical healthcare in the context of mental health services was searched for articles, including mental health consumers in research roles, via Medline, CINAHL and Google Scholar, in October 2015. Four studies where mental health consumers participated as researchers were identified. Three studies involved qualitative research on barriers and facilitators to physical health care access, and a fourth study on developing technologies for more effective communication between GPs and patients. This review found that participatory mental health consumer research in physical health care reform has only become visible in the academic literature in 2015. Heightened consideration of mental health consumer participation in research is required by health care providers and researchers. Mental health nurses can provide leadership in increasing mental health consumer research on integrated care directed towards reducing the health gap between people with and without mental illness.
Gene expression profiling of reproductive meristem types in early rice inflorescences by laser microdissection
In rice, inflorescence architecture is established at early stages of reproductive development and contributes directly to grain yield potential. After induction of flowering, the complexity of branching, and therefore the number of seeds on the panicle, is determined by the activity of different meristem types and the timing of transitions between them. Although some of the genes involved in these transitions have been identified, an understanding of the network of transcriptional regulators controlling this process is lacking. To address this we used a precise laser microdissection and RNA-sequencing approach in Oryza sativa ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare to produce quantitative data that describe the landscape of gene expression in four different meristem types: the rachis meristem, the primary branch meristem, the elongating primary branch meristem (including axillary meristems), and the spikelet meristem. A switch in expression profile between apical and axillary meristem types followed by more gradual changes during transitions in axillary meristem identity was observed, and several genes potentially involved in branching were identified. This resource will be vital for a mechanistic understanding of the link between inflorescence development and grain yield.
A randomised controlled trial comparing meat-based with human cadaveric models for teaching ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia
The aim of this prospective, blinded, randomised controlled study was to compare novices' acquisition of the technical skills of ultrasound-guided regional anaesthesia using either a meat phantom model or fresh-frozen human cadavers. The primary outcome was the time taken to successfully perform an ultrasound-guided sciatic nerve block on a cadaver; secondary outcomes were the cumulative score of errors, and best image quality of the sciatic nerve achieved. After training, the median (IQR [range]) time taken to perform the block was 311(164-390 [68-600]) s in the meat model trained group and 210 (174-354 [85-600]) s in the fresh-frozen cadaver trained group (p = 0.24). Participants made a median (IQR [range]) of 18 (14-33 [8-55]) and 15 (12-22 [8-44]) errors in the two groups respectively (p = 0.39). The image quality score was also not different, with a median (IQR [range]) of 62.5 (59.4-65.6 [25.0-100.0])% vs 62.5 (62.5-75.0 [25.0-87.5])% respectively (p = 0.58). The training and deliberate feedback improved all participants' block performance, the median (IQR [range]) times being 310 (206-532 [110-600]) s before and 240 (174-354 [85-600]) s after training (p = 0.02). We conclude that novices taught ultrasound scanning and needle guidance skills using an inexpensive and easily constructed meat model perform similarly to those trained on a cadaveric model.
Lysine acetylation of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis HU protein modulates its DNA binding and genome organization
Nucleoid-associated protein HU, a conserved protein across eubacteria is necessary for maintaining the nucleoid organization and global regulation of gene expression. Mycobacterium tuberculosis HU (MtHU) is distinct from the other orthologues having 114 amino acid long carboxyl terminal extensions with a high degree of sequence similarity to eukaryotic histones. In this study, we demonstrate that the DNA binding property of MtHU is regulated by posttranslational modifications akin to eukaryotic histones. MtHU purified from M. tuberculosis cells is found to be acetylated on multiple lysine residues unlike the E. coli expressed recombinant protein. Using coimmunoprecipitation assay, we identified Eis as one of the acetyl transferases that interacts with MtHU and modifies it. Although Eis is known to acetylate aminoglycosides, the kinetics of acetylation showed that its protein acetylation activity on MtHU is robust. In vitro Eis modified MtHU at various lysine residues, primarily those located at the carboxyl terminal domain. Acetylation of MtHU caused reduced DNA interaction and alteration in DNA compaction ability of the NAP. Over-expression of the Eis leads to hyperacetylation of HU and decompaction of genome. These results provide first insights into the modulation of the nucleoid structure by lysine acetylation in bacteria.
Wide allelic heterogeneity with predominance of large IDS gene complex rearrangements in a sample of Mexican patients with Hunter syndrome
Hunter syndrome or mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPSII) is caused by pathogenic variants in the IDS gene. This is the first study that examines the mutational spectrum in 25 unrelated Mexican MPSII families. The responsible genotype was identified in 96% of the families (24/25) with 10 novel pathogenic variants: c.133G>C, c.1003C>T, c.1025A>C, c.463_464delinsCCGTATAGCTGG, c.754_767del, c.1132_1133del, c.1463del, c.508-1G>C, c.1006+1G>T and c.(-217_103del). Extensive IDS gene deletions were identified in four patients; using DNA microarray analysis two patients showed the loss of the entire AFF2 gene, and epilepsy developed in only one of them. Wide allelic heterogeneity was noted, with large gene alterations (e.g. IDS/IDSP1 gene inversions, partial to extensive IDS deletions, and one chimeric IDS-IDSP1 allele) that occurred at higher frequencies than previously reported (36% vs 18.9-29%). The frequency of carrier mothers (80%) is consistent with previous descriptions (>70%). Carrier assignment allowed molecular prenatal diagnoses. Notably, somatic and germline mosaicism was identified in one family, and two patients presented thrombocytopenic purpura and pancytopenia after idursulfase enzyme replacement treatment. Our findings suggest a wide allelic heterogeneity in Mexican MPSII patients; DNA microarray analysis contributes to further delineation of the resulting phenotype for IDS and neighboring loci deletions.
Examining the N400m in affectively negative sentences: A magnetoencephalography study
Magnetoencephalography was used to examine the effect on the N400m of reading words that create emotional violations in sentences. The beginnings of the sentences were affectively negative and were completed with either a negative congruous, positive incongruous, or neutral incongruous adjective (e.g., "My mother was killed and I felt bad/great/normal"). The task conditions were also manipulated to favor semantic over affective processing. Compared to the sentences with the congruous negative adjectives, the results of sensor space analysis showed that there was an N400m effect with the sentences with the neutral but not positive adjectives, despite both types of sentences containing an emotional violation. Source localization results showed a similar pattern where the sentences with the incongruous positive versus congruous negative adjectives showed no significant N400m effect in the temporal and frontal areas examined, but the sentences with the incongruous neutral versus incongruous positive adjectives in the temporal areas did, particularly the left middle temporal gyrus. These results suggest that (a) the N400m effect was likely to be caused by the incongruous neutral adjectives being comparatively harder to integrate into a negative emotional context than the incongruous positive ones, (b) emotional context created by the negative sentence stems caused deeper semantic processing of the incongruous positive adjectives to be bypassed, and (c) negative affective context was generated from reading the sentences even in task conditions where it has not been generated with isolated words.
Embedding a physical health nurse consultant within mental health services: Consumers' perspectives.
The life expectancy of people living with mental illness is significantly shorter than that of the rest of the population. Despite the profound impact of physical health issues on both quality of life and life expectancy, the perspectives of mental health consumers have yet to be thoroughly explored. Furthermore, research has focused far more on describing barriers than on identifying solutions. This paper reports on findings from a qualitative exploratory research study, with the aim to examine the potential role of a specialist nurse with advanced physical health-care skills. Focus groups were conducted with 31 consumers. Data were analysed thematically. The concept of a role like this was supported; however, participants stressed: (i) the importance of integration between health professionals and various components of the health-care system; and (ii) the need for culture change for nurses to work from a less medically-dominated approach. Previous research literature suggests that a nursing position dedicated to physical health care and coordination might produce positive outcomes for mental health consumers. The findings from the current research project emphasize the need for consumers to be identified as key stakeholders in a solution-focused approach to improved physical health care for mental health consumers.
Evaluating a Muscle Ultrasound Education Program: Theoretical Knowledge, Hands-on Skills, Reliability, and Satisfaction of Critical Care Physiotherapists.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-09)
Objective: To evaluate learning results of critical care physiotherapists participating in a muscle ultrasound (MUS) educational program. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: A custom-made 20-hour MUS course was performed over a 2-week time period, including knobs familiarization, patient positioning, anatomic landmarks, image acquisition, and limb muscle measurements. Participants: Nineteen critical care physiotherapists with little to no prior experience in ultrasound (N=19). Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Theoretical knowledge, hands-on skills acquisition, and satisfaction were assessed. Inter- and intrarater reliability on landmarks, thickness, and pennation angle of quadriceps between participants was evaluated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Reliability among instructors measured prior to the course was also reported as a reference. Results: The percentage score (mean±SD) of knowledge questionnaires was 69±11 (pre-course), 89±10 (post-course), and 92±9 (hands-on skills). Course satisfaction scores ranged from 90%-100%. Pooled interrater reliability of participants (median ICC [interquartile range]) was good (0.70 [0.59-0.79]) for thickness, moderate (0.47 [0.46-0.92]) for landmarks, and absent (0.00 [0.00-0.05]) for pennation angle and the intrarater reliability was good (0.76 [0.51-0.91]) for thickness and weak (0.35 [0.29-0.52]) for pennation angle. Interrater ICC values for instructors were excellent (0.90) for thickness, good (0.67) for landmarks, and moderate (0.41) for pennation angle and intrarater ICC values were excellent (0.94) for thickness and good (0.75) for pennation angle. Conclusions: Although our sample was quite small and homogeneous, increased theoretical knowledge, high hands-on performance acquisition, and good satisfaction of physiotherapists were observed. Reliability was moderate to excellent for thickness and landmarks and absent to weak for pennation angle. Landmarking and pennation angle remain challenges for physiotherapist training in the application of MUS. Further studies are needed to identify variables that could modify reliability during MUS training.
A Rare Case of Extra-Gonadal Oestrogen-Secreting Choriocarcinoma in a Male.
(SMC Media, 2021)
This report describes a rare case of an extra-gonadal oestrogen-secreting tumour in a male patient. An otherwise healthy 60-year-old man presented to our hospital with a 3-month history of shortness of breath and weight loss. Blood panels and histology supported the diagnosis of an oestrogen-secreting choriocarcinoma. Unfortunately, the patient died soon after his diagnosis. The highlighting features of this case are: (1) the difficulty of confirming a diagnosis in a rapidly deteriorating patient; (2) the rarity of oestrogen-secreting extra-gonadal tumours in males; and (3) the aggressive rate of tumour progression seen on sequential imaging. LEARNING POINTS: Extra-gonadal oestrogen-secreting tumours in males are rare, but early empiric chemotherapy can be of benefit if this diagnosis is suspected.Tumour progression can be rapid, and so prompt referral to oncology services is critical for emergent management of the condition.Full endocrine blood panels including oestrogen, β human chorionic gonadotrophin and α fetoprotein are useful to help diagnose the condition.
Total Body Sodium Balance in Chronic Kidney Disease
(HINDAWI LTD, 2021-09-22)
Excess sodium intake is a leading but modifiable risk factor for mortality, with implications on hypertension, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This review will focus mainly on the limitations of current measurement methods of sodium balance particularly in patients with CKD who have complex sodium physiology. The suboptimal accuracy of sodium intake and excretion measurement is seemingly more marked with the evolving understanding of tissue (skin and muscle) sodium. Tissue sodium represents an extrarenal influence on sodium homeostasis with demonstrated clinical associations of hypertension and inflammation. Measurement of tissue sodium has been largely unexplored in patients with CKD. Development and adoption of more comprehensive and dynamic assessment of body sodium balance is needed to better understand sodium physiology in the human body and explore therapeutic strategies to improve the clinical outcomes in the CKD population.
Activated osteoarthritis following immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment: an observational study
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-09-01)
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionized cancer therapy but can result in toxicities, known as immune-related adverse events (irAEs), due to a hyperactivated immune system. ICI-related inflammatory arthritis has been described in literature, but herewith we introduce and characterize post-ICI-activated osteoarthritis (ICI-aOA). We conducted a multicenter, retrospective, observational study of patients with cancer treated with ICIs and diagnosed with ICI-aOA by a rheumatologist. ICI-aOA was defined by (1) an increase in non-inflammatory joint pain after ICI initiation, (2) in joints characteristically affected by osteoarthritis, and (3) lack of inflammation on exam. Cases were graded using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) V.6.0 rubric for arthralgia. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors V.1.1 (v.4.03) guidelines determined tumor response. Results were analyzed using χ2 tests of association and multivariate logistic regression. Thirty-six patients had ICI-aOA with a mean age at time of rheumatology presentation of 66 years (51-81 years). Most patients had metastatic melanoma (10/36, 28%) and had received a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor monotherapy (31/36, 86%) with 5/36 (14%) combination therapy. Large joint involvement (hip/knee) was noted in 53% (19/36), small joints of hand 25% (9/36), and spine 14% (5/36). Two-thirds (24/36) suffered multiple joint involvement. Three of 36 (8%) had CTCAE grade 3, 14 (39%) grade 2 and 19 (53%) grade 1 manifestations. Symptom onset ranged from 6 days to 33.8 months with a median of 5.2 months after ICI initiation; five patients suffered from ICI-aOA after ICI cessation (0.6, 3.5, 4.4, 7.3, and 15.4 months after ICI cessation). The most common form of therapy was intra-articular corticosteroid injections only (15/36, 42%) followed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs only (7/36, 20%). Twenty patients (56%) experienced other irAEs, with rheumatic and dermatological being the most common. All three patients with high-grade ICI-aOA also had another irAE diagnosis at some point after ICI initiation. ICI-aOA should be recognized as an adverse event of ICI immunotherapy. Early referral to a rheumatologist can facilitate the distinction between ICI induced inflammatory arthritis from post-ICI mechanical arthropathy, the latter of which can be managed with local therapy that will not compromise ICI efficacy.
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Adverse Events with Anti-Interleukin 17A Agents and Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors in Rheumatic Disease and Skin Psoriasis
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this work is to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis of anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) and anti-interleukin-17 (anti-IL-17) trials for spondyloarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriasis comparing rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) events compared to placebo. METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and The Cochrane Library were searched for double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled anti-TNF and anti-IL-17 trials of included diseases. Inflammatory bowel disease events from the RCT period were pooled and meta-analyzed using statistical methods suitable for low-event-rate meta-analysis (Peto's, Mantel-Haenszel, hypergeometric-normal model, and Shuster-Guo-Skyler). When observed data were insufficient, we performed an exploratory sensitivity analysis to compare methods. RESULTS: We identified 9551 original papers, and included 96 publications: 65 anti-TNF and 31 anti-IL-17 trials, containing 21 new and 12 flare IBD events in 28,209 participants. New IBD on anti-IL-17 occurred 0.23/100 patient-years (PY) in psoriasis, 0.61/100 PY in PsA and 1.63/100 PY in spondyloarthritis, rates similar to observational cohorts, and less commonly on anti-TNF (0/100 PY, 0/100 PY, 0.32/100 PY, respectively). No evidence of difference between groups was found, with wide CI from many pooled counts of zero, especially in placebo arms. CONCLUSIONS: IBD events were rare, occurring at rates similar to biologic-naive groups. We could not find statistically significant differences in risk of new or recurrent IBD between treatment and control groups using selected meta-analytical methods for low event rate scenarios. Meta-analyses of this topic require more IBD events, ideally without pooling heterogeneous groups. Larger, thoroughly reported trials with systematic and detailed safety reporting are required to improve risk estimation and to make accurate inferences.
Immediate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient health, health-care use, and behaviours: results from an international survey of people with rheumatic diseases
Background: The impact and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with rheumatic disease are unclear. We developed the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Patient Experience Survey to assess the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with rheumatic disease worldwide. Methods: Survey questions were developed by key stakeholder groups and disseminated worldwide through social media, websites, and patient support organisations. Questions included demographics, rheumatic disease diagnosis, COVID-19 diagnosis, adoption of protective behaviours to mitigate COVID-19 exposure, medication access and changes, health-care access and communication with rheumatologists, and changes in employment or schooling. Adults age 18 years and older with inflammatory or autoimmune rheumatic diseases were eligible for inclusion. We included participants with and without a COVID-19 diagnosis. We excluded participants reporting only non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis. Findings: 12 117 responses to the survey were received between April 3 and May 8, 2020, and of these, 10 407 respondents had included appropriate age data. We included complete responses from 9300 adults with rheumatic disease (mean age 46·1 years; 8375 [90·1%] women, 893 [9·6%] men, and 32 [0·3%] participants who identified as non-binary). 6273 (67·5%) of respondents identified as White, 1565 (16·8%) as Latin American, 198 (2·1%) as Black, 190 (2·0%) as Asian, and 42 (0·5%) as Native American or Aboriginal or First Nation. The most common rheumatic disease diagnoses included rheumatoid arthritis (3636 [39·1%] of 9300), systemic lupus erythematosus (2882 [31·0%]), and Sjögren's syndrome (1290 [13·9%]). Most respondents (6921 [82·0%] of 8441) continued their antirheumatic medications as prescribed. Almost all (9266 [99·7%] of 9297) respondents adopted protective behaviours to limit SARS-CoV-2 exposure. A change in employment status occurred in 2524 (27·1%) of 9300) of respondents, with a 13·6% decrease in the number in full-time employment (from 4066 to 3514). Interpretation: People with rheumatic disease maintained therapy and followed public health advice to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. Substantial employment status changes occurred, with potential implications for health-care access, medication affordability, mental health, and rheumatic disease activity. Funding: American College of Rheumatology.
Early experience of COVID-19 vaccination in adults with systemic rheumatic diseases: results from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance Vaccine Survey
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2021-09-01)
BACKGROUND: We describe the early experiences of adults with systemic rheumatic disease who received the COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: From 2 April to 30 April 2021, we conducted an online, international survey of adults with systemic rheumatic disease who received COVID-19 vaccination. We collected patient-reported data on clinician communication, beliefs and intent about discontinuing disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) around the time of vaccination, and patient-reported adverse events after vaccination. RESULTS: We analysed 2860 adults with systemic rheumatic diseases who received COVID-19 vaccination (mean age 55.3 years, 86.7% female, 86.3% white). Types of COVID-19 vaccines were Pfizer-BioNTech (53.2%), Oxford/AstraZeneca (22.6%), Moderna (21.3%), Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (1.7%) and others (1.2%). The most common rheumatic disease was rheumatoid arthritis (42.3%), and 81.2% of respondents were on a DMARD. The majority (81.9%) reported communicating with clinicians about vaccination. Most (66.9%) were willing to temporarily discontinue DMARDs to improve vaccine efficacy, although many (44.3%) were concerned about rheumatic disease flares. After vaccination, the most reported patient-reported adverse events were fatigue/somnolence (33.4%), headache (27.7%), muscle/joint pains (22.8%) and fever/chills (19.9%). Rheumatic disease flares that required medication changes occurred in 4.6%. CONCLUSION: Among adults with systemic rheumatic disease who received COVID-19 vaccination, patient-reported adverse events were typical of those reported in the general population. Most patients were willing to temporarily discontinue DMARDs to improve vaccine efficacy. The relatively low frequency of rheumatic disease flare requiring medications was reassuring.
Temporal and mechanistic dissociation of ATP and adenosine release during ischaemia in the mammalian hippocampus
(BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, 2007-06-01)
Adenosine is well known to be released during cerebral metabolic stress and is believed to be neuroprotective. ATP release under similar circumstances has been much less studied. We have now used biosensors to measure and compare in real time the release of ATP and adenosine during in vitro ischaemia in hippocampal slices. ATP release only occurred following the anoxic depolarisation, whereas adenosine release was apparent almost immediately after the onset of ischaemia. ATP release required extracellular Ca2+. By contrast adenosine release was enhanced by removal of extracellular Ca2+, whilst TTX had no effect on either ATP release or adenosine release. Blockade of ionotropic glutamate receptors substantially enhanced ATP release, but had only a modest effect on adenosine release. Carbenoxolone, an inhibitor of gap junction hemichannels, also greatly enhanced ischaemic ATP release, but had little effect on adenosine release. The ecto-ATPase inhibitor ARL 67156, whilst modestly enhancing the ATP signal detected during ischaemia, had no effect on adenosine release. Adenosine release during ischaemia was reduced by pretreatment with homosysteine thiolactone suggesting an intracellular origin. Adenosine transport inhibitors did not inhibit adenosine release, but instead they caused a twofold increase of release. Our data suggest that ATP and adenosine release during ischaemia are for the most part independent processes with distinct underlying mechanisms. These two purines will consequently confer temporally distinct influences on neuronal and glial function in the ischaemic brain.
Design and methodology of SNAP-1: a Sprint National Anaesthesia Project to measure patient reported outcome after anaesthesia
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2015-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Patient satisfaction is an important metric of health-care quality. Accidental awareness under general anaesthesia (AAGA) is a serious complication of anaesthesia care which may go unrecognised in the immediate perioperative period but leads to long-term psychological harm for affected patients. The SNAP-1 study aimed to measure patient satisfaction with anaesthesia care and the incidence of AAGA, reported on direct questioning within 24 h of surgery, in a large multicentre cohort. A secondary aim of SNAP-1 was to test the effectiveness of a new network of Quality Audit and Research Coordinators in NHS anaesthetic departments, to achieve widespread study participation and high patient recruitment rates. This manuscript describes the study methodology. METHODS: SNAP-1 was a prospective observational cohort study. The study protocol was approved by the National Research Ethics Service. All UK NHS hospitals with anaesthetic departments were invited to participate. Adult patients undergoing any type of non-obstetric surgery were recruited in participating hospitals on 13th and 14th May 2014. Demographic data were collected by anaesthetists providing perioperative care. Patients were then approached within 24 h of surgery to complete two questionnaires-the Bauer patient satisfaction questionnaire (to measure patient reported outcome) and the modified Brice questionnaire (to detect possible accidental awareness). Completion of postoperative questionnaires was taken as evidence of implied consent. Results were recorded on a standard patient case report form, and local investigators entered anonymised data into an electronic database for later analysis by the core research team. RESULTS: Preliminary analyses indicate that over 15,000 patients were recruited across the UK, making SNAP-1 the largest NIHR portfolio-adopted study in anaesthesia to date. Both descriptive and analytic epidemiological analyses will be used to answer specific questions about the patient perception of anaesthesia care overall and in surgical sub-specialties and to determine the incidence of AAGA. CONCLUSIONS: The SNAP-1 study recruited a large number of UK hospitals and thousands of perioperative patients using newly established networks in the UK anaesthetic profession. The results will provide benchmarking information to aid interpretation of patient satisfaction data and also determine the incidence of AAGA reported on a single postoperative visit.
Safety and Feasibility of an Interdisciplinary Treatment Approach to Optimize Recovery From Critical Coronavirus Disease 2019.
(Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), 2021-08)
OBJECTIVES: Examine the safety and feasibility of a multimodal in-person or telehealth treatment program, administered in acute recovery phase for patients surviving critical coronavirus disease 2019. DESIGN: Pragmatic, pre-post, nonrandomized controlled trial with patients electing enrollment into one of the two recovery pathways. SETTING: ICU Recovery Clinic in an academic medical center. PATIENTS: Adult patients surviving acute respiratory failure due to critical coronavirus disease 2019. INTERVENTIONS: Patients participated in combined ICU Recovery clinic and 8 weeks of physical rehabilitation delivered: 1) in-person or 2) telehealth. Patients received medical care by an ICU Recovery Clinic interdisciplinary team and physical rehabilitation focused on aerobic, resistance, and respiratory muscle training. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-two patients enrolled with mean age 57 ± 12, 62% were male, and the median Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score was 9.5. There were no differences between the two groups except patients in telehealth pathway (n = 10) lived further from clinic than face-to-face patients (162 ± 60 vs 31 ± 47 kilometers, t = 6.06, p < 0.001). Four safety events occurred: one minor adverse event in the telehealth group, two minor adverse events, and one major adverse event in the in-person group. Three patients did not complete the study (two in-person and one telehealth). Six-minute walk distance increased to 101 ± 91 meters from pre to post (n = 29, t = 6.93, p < 0.0001), which was similar between the two groups (110 vs 80 meters, t = 1.34, p = 0.19). Self-reported levels of anxiety, depression, and distress were high in both groups with similar self-report quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: A multimodal treatment program combining care from an interdisciplinary team in an ICU Recovery Clinic with physical rehabilitation is safe and feasible in patients surviving the ICU for coronavirus disease 2019 acute respiratory failure.
Examining the association of social risk with heart failure readmission in the Veterans Health Administration
BACKGROUND: Previous research has found that social risk factors are associated with an increased risk of 30-day readmission. We aimed to assess the association of 5 social risk factors (living alone, lack of social support, marginal housing, substance abuse, and low income) with 30-day Heart Failure (HF) hospital readmissions within the Veterans Health Affairs (VA) and the impact of their inclusion on hospital readmission model performance. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study using chart review and VA and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrative data from a random sample of 1,500 elderly (≥ 65 years) Veterans hospitalized for HF in 2012. Using logistic regression, we examined whether any of the social risk factors were associated with 30-day readmission after adjusting for age alone and clinical variables used by CMS in its 30-day risk stratified readmission model. The impact of these five social risk factors on readmission model performance was assessed by comparing c-statistics, likelihood ratio tests, and the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit statistic. RESULTS: The prevalence varied among the 5 risk factors; low income (47 % vs. 47 %), lives alone (18 % vs. 19 %), substance abuse (14 % vs. 16 %), lacks social support (2 % vs. <1 %), and marginal housing (< 1 % vs. 3 %) among readmitted and non-readmitted patients, respectively. Controlling for clinical factors contained in CMS readmission models, a lack of social support was found to be associated with an increased risk of 30-day readmission (OR 4.8, 95 %CI 1.35-17.88), while marginal housing was noted to decrease readmission risk (OR 0.21, 95 %CI 0.03-0.87). Living alone (OR: 0.9, 95 %CI 0.64-1.26), substance abuse (OR 0.91, 95 %CI 0.67-1.22), and having low income (OR 1.01, 95 %CI 0.77-1.31) had no association with HF readmissions. Adding the five social risk factors to a CMS-based model (age and comorbid conditions; c-statistic 0.62) did not improve model performance (c-statistic: 0.62). CONCLUSIONS: While a lack of social support was associated with 30-day readmission in the VA, its prevalence was low. Moreover, the inclusion of some social risk factors did not improve readmission model performance. In an integrated healthcare system like the VA, social risk factors may have a limited effect on 30-day readmission outcomes.
The effect of low-level red and near-infrared photobiomodulation on pain and function in tendinopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials
BACKGROUND: Tendinopathy is a common clinical condition that can significantly affect a person's physical function and quality of life. Despite exercise therapy being the mainstay of tendinopathy management, there are many potential adjunct therapies that remain under investigated, one of which is photobiomodulation (PBM). PBM uses varied wavelengths of light to create a biological effect. While PBM is used frequently in the management of tendinopathy, high quality evidence supporting its utility is lacking. METHODS: A systematic search of the Pubmed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, Cochrane Database, Web of Science and SPORTSDICUS databases was performed for eligible articles in August 2020. Randomized Control Trials that used red or near-infrared PBM to treat tendinopathy disorders that made comparisons with a sham or 'other' intervention were included. Pain and function data were extracted from the included studies. The data were synthesized using a random effects model. The meta-analysis was performed using the mean difference (MD) and standardized mean difference (SMD) statistics. RESULTS: A total of 17 trials were included (n = 835). When compared solely to other interventions PBM resulted in similar decreases in pain (MD -0.09; 95% CI - 0.79 to 0.61) and a smaller improvement in function (SMD -0.52; 95% CI - 0.81 to - 0.23). When PBM plus exercise was compared to sham treatment plus exercise, PBM demonstrated greater decreases in pain (MD 1.06; 95% CI 0.57 to 1.55) and improved function (MD 5.65; 95% CI 0.25 to 11.04). When PBM plus exercise was compared to other interventions plus exercise, no differences were noted in pain levels (MD 0.31; 95% CI - 0.07 to 0.70). Most studies were judged as low-risk of bias. The outcome measures were classified as very low to moderate evidence quality according to the Grading of Recommendation, Development and Evaluation tool. CONCLUSION: There is very-low-to-moderate quality evidence demonstrating that PBM has utility as a standalone and/or adjunctive therapy for tendinopathy disorders. TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROPERO registration number: CRD42020202508 .
Spoonful of honey or a gallon of vinegar? A conditional COVID-19 vaccination policy for front-line healthcare workers.
Seven COVID-19 vaccines are now being distributed and administered around the world (figure correct at the time of submission), with more on the horizon. It is widely accepted that healthcare workers should have high priority. However, questions have been raised about what we ought to do if members of priority groups refuse vaccination. Using the case of influenza vaccination as a comparison, we know that coercive approaches to vaccination uptake effectively increase vaccination rates among healthcare workers and reduce patient morbidity if properly implemented. Using the principle of least restrictive alternative, we have developed an intervention ladder for COVID-19 vaccination policies among healthcare workers. We argue that healthcare workers refusing vaccination without a medical reason should be temporarily redeployed and, if their refusal persists after the redeployment period, eventually suspended, in order to reduce the risk to their colleagues and patients. This 'conditional' policy is a compromise between entirely voluntary or entirely mandatory policies for healthcare workers, and is consistent with healthcare workers' established professional, legal and ethical obligations to their patients and to society at large.
Establishing a multidisciplinary initiative for interoperable electronic health record innovations at an academic medical center.
(Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021-07)
Objective: To establish an enterprise initiative for improving health and health care through interoperable electronic health record (EHR) innovations. Materials and Methods: We developed a unifying mission and vision, established multidisciplinary governance, and formulated a strategic plan. Key elements of our strategy include establishing a world-class team; creating shared infrastructure to support individual innovations; developing and implementing innovations with high anticipated impact and a clear path to adoption; incorporating best practices such as the use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and related interoperability standards; and maximizing synergies across research and operations and with partner organizations. Results: University of Utah Health launched the ReImagine EHR initiative in 2016. Supportive infrastructure developed by the initiative include various FHIR-related tooling and a systematic evaluation framework. More than 10 EHR-integrated digital innovations have been implemented to support preventive care, shared decision-making, chronic disease management, and acute clinical care. Initial evaluations of these innovations have demonstrated positive impact on user satisfaction, provider efficiency, and compliance with evidence-based guidelines. Return on investment has included improvements in care; over $35 million in external grant funding; commercial opportunities; and increased ability to adapt to a changing healthcare landscape. Discussion: Key lessons learned include the value of investing in digital innovation initiatives leveraging FHIR; the importance of supportive infrastructure for accelerating innovation; and the critical role of user-centered design, implementation science, and evaluation. Conclusion: EHR-integrated digital innovation initiatives can be key assets for enhancing the EHR user experience, improving patient care, and reducing provider burnout.
Characterization of a novel KCNQ1 mutation for type 1 long QT syndrome and assessment of the therapeutic potential of a novel IKs activator using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2015-03-19)
INTRODUCTION: Type 1 long QT syndrome (LQT1) is a common type of cardiac channelopathy associated with loss-of-function mutations of KCNQ1. Currently there is a lack of drugs that target the defected slowly activating delayed rectifier potassium channel (IKs). With LQT1 patient-specific human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), we tested the effects of a selective IKs activator ML277 on reversing the disease phenotypes. METHODS: A LQT1 family with a novel heterozygous exon 7 deletion in the KCNQ1 gene was identified. Dermal fibroblasts from the proband and her healthy father were reprogrammed to hiPSCs and subsequently differentiated into hiPSC-CMs. RESULTS: Compared with the control, LQT1 patient hiPSC-CMs showed reduced levels of wild type KCNQ1 mRNA accompanied by multiple exon skipping mRNAs and a ~50% reduction of the full length Kv7.1 protein. Patient hiPSC-CMs showed reduced IKs current (tail current density at 30 mV: 0.33±0.02 vs. 0.92±0.21, P<0.05) and prolonged action potential duration (APD) (APD 50 and APD90: 603.9±39.2 vs. 319.3±13.8 ms, P<0.005; and 671.0±41.1 vs. 372.9±14.2 ms, P<0.005). ML277, a small molecule recently identified to selectively activate KV7.1, reversed the decreased IKs and partially restored APDs in patient hiPSC-CMs. CONCLUSIONS: From a LQT1 patient carrying a novel heterozygous exon7 deletion mutation of KCNQ1, we generated hiPSC-CMs that faithfully recapitulated the LQT1 phenotypes that are likely associated with haploinsufficiency and trafficking defect of KCNQ1/Kv7.1. The small molecule ML277 restored IKs function in hiPSC-CMs and could have therapeutic value for LQT1 patients.
Tocotrienol is a cardioprotective agent against ageing-associated cardiovascular disease and its associated morbidities
Ageing is a nonmodifiable risk factor that is linked to increased likelihood of cardiovascular morbidities. Whilst many pharmacological interventions currently exist to treat many of these disorders such as statins for hypercholesterolemia or beta-blockers for hypertension, the elderly appear to present a greater likelihood of suffering non-related side effects such as increased risk of developing new onset type 2 diabetes (NODM). In some cases, lower efficacy in the elderly have also been reported. Alternative forms of treatment have been sought to address these issues, and there has been a growing interest in looking at herbal remedies or plant-based natural compounds. Oxidative stress and inflammation are implicated in the manifestation of ageing-related cardiovascular disease. Thus, it is natural that a compound that possesses both antioxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities would be considered. This review article examines the potential of tocotrienols, a class of Vitamin E compounds with proven superior antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activity compared to tocopherols (the other class of Vitamin E compounds), in ameliorating ageing-related cardiovascular diseases and its associated morbidities. In particular, the potential of tocotrienols in improving inflammaging, dyslipidemia and mitochondrial dysfunction in ageing-related cardiovascular diseases are discussed.
Identification of an I-Na-dependent and I-to-mediated proarrhythmic mechanism in cardiomyocytes derived from pluripotent stem cells of a Brugada syndrome patient
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2018-07-26)
Brugada syndrome (BrS) is an inherited cardiac arrhythmia commonly associated with SCN5A mutations, yet its ionic mechanisms remain unclear due to a lack of cellular models. Here, we used human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) from a BrS patient (BrS1) to evaluate the roles of Na+ currents (INa) and transient outward K+ currents (Ito) in BrS induced action potential (AP) changes. To understand the role of these current changes in repolarization we employed dynamic clamp to "electronically express" IK1 and restore normal resting membrane potentials and allow normal recovery of the inactivating currents, INa, ICa and Ito. HiPSC-CMs were generated from BrS1 with a compound SCN5A mutation (p. A226V & p. R1629X) and a healthy sibling control (CON1). Genome edited hiPSC-CMs (BrS2) with a milder p. T1620M mutation and a commercial control (CON2) were also studied. CON1, CON2 and BrS2, had unaltered peak INa amplitudes, and normal APs whereas BrS1, with over 75% loss of INa, displayed a loss-of-INa basal AP morphology (at 1.0 Hz) manifested by a reduced maximum upstroke velocity (by ~80%, p < 0.001) and AP amplitude (p < 0.001), and an increased phase-1 repolarization pro-arrhythmic AP morphology (at 0.1 Hz) in ~25% of cells characterized by marked APD shortening (~65% shortening, p < 0.001). Moreover, Ito densities of BrS1 and CON1 were comparable and increased from 1.0 Hz to 0.1 Hz by ~ 100%. These data indicate that a repolarization deficit could be a mechanism underlying BrS.
A Veterinary Vaccine for SARS-CoV-2: The First COVID-19 Vaccine for Animals
As coronaviruses have a wide range of host species, many animals harbor these pathogens, however only a handful of them become severely infected [...].
COVID-19 Vaccines in the Pipeline, Are Antibodies Adequate?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus strain SARS-CoV-2 has already led to catastrophic consequences in global physical and psychological health, as well as economic recession [...].
Low Birthweight Is Associated with Higher Risk of High Blood Pressure in Chinese Girls: Results from a National Cross-Sectional Study in China
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between low birthweight (LBW) and blood pressure and to assess whether LBW leads to a higher risk of high blood pressure (HBP) by gender in Chinese students aged 6-18 years. Also, to investigate whether the association was affected by childhood obesity. METHODS: Data was obtained from a baseline dataset of a national school-based program. Anthropometric parameters, including height, weight, and blood pressure, were measured, while birthweight and other characteristics were obtained from questionnaires. Stratified chi-squared tests were used to compare the prevalence of HBP between LBW and normal birthweight (NBW) groups in each age and sex category. Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to estimate the HBP risks in each birthweight group. RESULTS: Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure showed a U-shaped relationship with increased birthweight. Compared to NBW groups, LBW girls showed a higher HBP risk, with an odds ratio of 1.29 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02, 1.64, p = 0.033), regardless of their current body mass index status, while no significant association in boys was found. Conclusions: Low birthweight is associated with higher HBP risk in adolescent girls, regardless of their childhood BMI status.
Population genomic screening of all young adults in a health-care system: a cost-effectiveness analysis (vol 21, pg 1958, 2019)
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-09-01)
In the original version of this Article, the affiliation details for Lei Zhang were given as Monash University. While working on the Article Dr. Zhang was also affiliated with the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Xi'an Jiaotong University Health Science Center, Xi'an, Shaanxi, PR China. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
A prospective evaluation of health-related quality of life after skull base re-irradiation
PURPOSE: To report cancer control outcomes and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes after highly conformal skull-based re-irradiation (re-RT). METHODS: Patients planned for curative intent re-RT to a recurrent or new skull base tumor were enrolled. HRQoL were assessed using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory Brain Tumor (MDASI-BT) and the anterior skull base surgery quality of life (ASBQ) questionnaires. RESULTS: Thirty-nine patients were treated with stereotactic body RT or intensity modulated RT. Median follow-up was 14 months. Progression free survival was 71% at 1-year. There was mild clinically significant worsening of fatigue, lack of appetite and drowsiness (MDASI-BT), and physical function (ASBQ) at the end of RT, followed by recovery to baseline on subsequent follow-ups. Subjective emotions were clinically improved at 12 months, with patients reporting feeling less tense/nervous. CONCLUSION: Conformal skull base re-RT is associated with mild immediate deterioration in physical function followed by rapid and sustained recovery.
Surveillance imaging for patients with head and neck cancer treated with definitive radiotherapy: A partially observed Markov decision process model
BACKGROUND: A possible surveillance model for patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who received definitive radiotherapy was created using a partially observed Markov decision process. The goal of this model is to guide surveillance imaging policies after definitive radiotherapy. METHODS: The partially observed Markov decision process model was formulated to determine the optimal times to scan patients. Transition probabilities were computed using a data set of 1508 patients with HNC who received definitive radiotherapy between the years 2000 and 2010. Kernel density estimation was used to smooth the sample distributions. The reward function was derived using cost estimates from the literature. Additional model parameters were estimated using either data from the literature or clinical expertise. RESULTS: When considering all forms of relapse, the model showed that the optimal time between scans was longer than the time intervals used in the institutional guidelines. The optimal policy dictates that there should be less time between surveillance scans immediately after treatment compared with years after treatment. Comparable results also held when only locoregional relapses were considered as relapse events in the model. Simulation results for the inclusive relapse cases showed that <15% of patients experienced a relapse over a simulated 36-month surveillance program. CONCLUSIONS: This model suggests that less frequent surveillance scan policies can maintain adequate information on relapse status for patients with HNC treated with radiotherapy. This model could potentially translate into a more cost-effective surveillance program for this group of patients.
Early Detection of Muscle Weakness and Functional Limitations in the Critically Ill: A Retrospective Evaluation of Bioimpedance Spectroscopy
BACKGROUND: The potential for bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) to identify muscle weakness and functional limitations in critical illness is unknown; this study aimed to determine association of BIS with strength/function and differences between 3 intensive care units (ICUs). METHODS: A retrospective post hoc analysis of BIS, strength, and functional data from adults who required ≥48 hours of mechanical ventilation was conducted. Measures of body composition included the proportion (%) of total body water (TBW), fat mass (FM), and fat-free mass (FFM). The Medical Research Council sum score (MRC-ss) and Physical Function in ICU Test-Scored (PFIT-s) were used for strength and functional assessments. Nonparametric cross-sectional analyses were done at enrollment (≤48 hours of admission: site-A, site-C) and awakening from sedation (site-A, site-B). Raw impedance variables including 50-kHz phase angle (PA) and impedance ratio (IR) were available from site-A and site-B. RESULTS: Participants were 135 adults (site-A n=59, site-B n=33, site-C n=44), with a median (interquartile range) age of 59 (50-69) years. At enrollment, TBW%, FM%, and FFM% were similar between site-A and site-C (P>.05); pooled data were not associated with MRC-ss at awakening or MRC-ss/PFIT-s at ICU discharge. At awakening, there was less TBW%, less FFM%, and greater FM% at site-B vs site-A (P≤.001) but no associations with MRC-ss/PFIT-s when using pooled data. Trends with pooled data of a lower PA and higher IR being associated with awakening MRC-ss were confirmed within site-B (PA ρ=0.70, P≤.001; IR ρ=-0.79, P≤.001). CONCLUSION: Site-by-site data suggest that raw impedance variables might be useful for screening weakness and poor function.
A linkage and exome study implicates rare variants of KANK4 and CAP2 in bipolar disorder in a multiplex family
OBJECTIVES: Bipolar disorder (BD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder with a complex pattern of inheritance. Although many genetic studies have been conducted on BD, its genetic correlates remain uncertain. This study was aimed at identifying the genetic underpinnings of the disorder in an Indian family, which has been under comprehensive clinical evaluation and follow-up for over 12 years. METHODS: We analysed a four-generation family with several of its members diagnosed for BD employing a combination of genetic linkage and exome analysis. RESULTS: We obtained suggestive LOD score for a chromosome 1 and a chromosome 6 marker (D1S410; LOD = 3.01, Ө = 0; and D6S289; LOD = 1.58, Ө = 0). Manual haplotyping of the regions encompassing these two markers helped delimit a critical genomic interval of 32.44 Mb (D1S2700-D1S435; chromosome 1p31.1-13.2) and another of 10.34 Mb (D6S470-D6S422; chromosome 6p22.3-22.2). We examined the exomic sequences corresponding to these two intervals and found rare variants, NM_181712.4: c.2461G>T (p.Asp821Tyr) in KANK4 at 1p31.1-13.2; and NM_006366:c.-93G>A, in the 5' UTR of CAP2 at 6p22.3-22.2. CONCLUSIONS: Our studysuggests involvement of KANK4 or CAP2 or both in BD in this family. Further analysis of these two genes in BD patients and functional evaluation of the allelic variants identified are suggested.
Disclosure of maternal HIV infection to children among Chinese women with HIV: The application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the role of various norms
Maternal HIV disclosure to children has numerous benefits for both mothers and children. However, the prevalence of maternal HIV disclosure to children remains low in many countries. The present study examined factors associated with intention to disclose maternal HIV status to children among Chinese HIV+ women who have not disclosed their HIV status to their child. Factors from the Theory of Planned Behavior and various norms (injunctive, descriptive and moral norm) were examined. Findings from 179 HIV+ women revealed that only 16.8% intended to disclose their HIV status to their child in the future. Adjusted for significant background variables, all factors from the TPB and various norms (i.e. attitude, injunctive norm, descriptive norm, moral norm, perceived behavioural control) were associated with intention to disclose HIV status (adjusted odds ratios ranged from 3.22, 15.85). Stepwise logistic regression showed that attitude (ORm = 6.96) and injunctive norm (ORm = 6.81) were associated with intention to disclose HIV status. Interventions to promote maternal HIV disclosure were warranted to promote attitude, perceived behavioural control, and various norms associated with HIV disclosure.
Application of nanomaterials in three-dimensional stem cell culture.
Petri dish cultured cells have for long provided scientists an aperture to understanding cell's behavior both in normal and disease states as well as in vitro and in vivo. But recent advances have brought to light how the architecture and composite nature of the immediate environment within which the cell is proliferated can profoundly influence its phenotypic features and functions, thus making obvious, limitations of the conventional two-dimensional cell culture despite it cost effectiveness. Fortunately, the transition to three-dimensional (3D) cell culture has occurred concurrently with expanded knowledge of nanoscience and materials, thereby lending significant impetus for innovative research. This review is focused on the application of nanoparticles in 3D stem cell breeding, recent trends and developments in medical sciences for improved drug delivery, and treatment approaches to some human diseases. We also reviewed prevailing challenges and concerns of nanotoxicity as it continues to impede and delay clinical applications as well the ongoing concerted and multidisciplinary efforts to overcome them.
'It is meant to be heart rather than head'; International perspectives of teaching from lived experience in mental health nursing programs.
Consumer participation is a clear expectation of contemporary mental health policy. Most activity has concentrated in direct service delivery, and academic roles for mental health consumers have been slow to establish. An international project was undertaken to implement and evaluate meaningful consumer involvement in mental health nursing education. A learning module was co-produced between 'Experts by Experience' (drawing on experience of mental distress and service use) and Mental Health Nurse Academics. This qualitative exploratory study aimed to capture how Experts by Experience perceive their contribution. Interviews were undertaken with Experts by Experience who delivered the learning module. Data were analysed thematically and subsequently interpreted with Critical Social Theory. Two main themes emerged from the findings: 'there wasn't a barrier' described how personal narratives enhanced relationships between Experts by Experience and students; and 'made the human being visible', described their experiences of allowing students to see the person behind a diagnosis. These findings suggest Experts by Experience teaching is valuable and potentially a tool in redressing stigma. Addressing poor public perceptions could attract higher numbers of quality practitioners to mental health and meet identified workforce shortages. The findings presented here strengthen the evidence base for Expert by Experience roles in mental health professional education. These findings can be considered in international curricula reviews and aid progress towards a more socio-political, humanistic focus in mental health nursing, congruent with rights-based reform agendas.
"I felt some prejudice in the back of my head": Nursing students' perspectives on learning about mental health from "Experts by Experience"
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Consumer participation in mental health services is embedded in mental health policy in many countries. The negative attitudes of nurses and other health professionals to consumer participation poses a significant obstacle to this policy goal Involving mental health "Experts by Experience" in the education of nursing students demonstrates positive attitudinal change WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: More detailed understanding of nursing students' experiences and perspectives about being taught mental health nursing by "Experts by Experience" An international focus, extending understandings about how Experts by Experience might be perceived in a broader range of countries WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: Positive attitudes towards people labelled with mental illness are essential for quality nursing practice Nurses have an important leadership role in facilitating consumer participation within health services. It is critical that their attitudes are professional and optimistic. ABSTRACT: Introduction Consumer participation is central to mental health policy. Negative attitudes of health professionals are barriers to realizing policy goals. Evidence suggests consumers (Experts by Experience) can influence positive attitudes in nursing students. Research in this area to date is limited and primarily from Australia and New Zealand. Aim To enhance understanding of nursing students' perspectives and experiences of being taught mental health by an Expert by Experience. Method A qualitative exploratory approach was used. Focus groups were conducted with nursing students from seven universities in Australia and Europe. Data were analysed thematically. Results Student participants described how exposure to Experts by Experience challenged their views and attitudes and provided a mechanism for reflection, critique and change. The main theme "changing mindset" includes two subthemes: exposing stereotypes and reflection. Discussion This unique international study demonstrates the capacity for Experts by Experience to contribute to positive attitudinal change towards mental illness in nursing students. This changed mindset must occur for policy goals to be realized. Implications for practice Nurses in all areas of practice will work with people labelled with mental illness and experiencing mental distress. Overcoming stereotypes and adopting more positive attitudes is essential to deliver quality mental health care.
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery: Comparison of iStent with iStent inject in primary open angle glaucoma
IMPORTANCE: Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery has gained significant traction in recent years. This study evaluates the first- and second-generation trabecular micro-bypass stents "iStent" and "iStent inject". BACKGROUND: To evaluate and compare the effect of a single iStent and double iStent inject in primary open angle glaucoma. DESIGN: Prospective comparative case series. PARTICIPANTS: Primary open angle glaucoma patients undergoing trabecular micro-bypass stent insertion combined with cataract surgery. METHODS: Baseline demographic information, preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative outcomes including intraocular pressure (IOP), visual acuity, reliance on glaucoma medication and complications were collected and analysed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary, secondary and tertiary outcome measures were consecutively defined as an IOP of ≤18 mmHg with zero medications, an IOP of ≤18 mmHg with reduced medications or a 20% reduction in IOP with or without medication. RESULTS: The study comprised 145 eyes in the iStent and 100 eyes in the iStent inject group. At 12 months, 56.0% of the iStent and 51.3% of the iStent inject eyes had achieved primary success and 63.1% and 57.7% secondary success. The mean postoperative IOP was 16.6 mmHg in iStent and 16.9 mmHg in iStent inject. Survival analysis demonstrated a greater incidence of failure in the iStent inject beyond 5 months. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Both trabecular micro-bypass stents in this study were effective in reducing IOP and the burden of medication when combined with cataract surgery. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups across our outcome measures although the iStent inject required earlier recommencement of medications for optimal IOP control.
Management and prevention of cytomegalovirus infection in paediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients: A binational survey
CMV infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality among HSCT recipients. Optimal strategies for prevention and management of CMV disease following haematopoietic stem cell transplantation remain uncertain. We conducted an online survey of Australasian paediatric allogeneic HSCT centres on management and prevention of CMV disease in this patient group. We asked for one response from a representative of the HSCT team and one from a representative of the ID team at each centre. All Australasian paediatric HSCT centres responded to our survey. Management of CMV in pre-transplant setting was consistent between centres. All centres used a pre-emptive strategy to prevent CMV disease, guided by quantitative CMV PCR. In the post-transplant post engraftment setting, all centres recommended using ganciclovir (5mg/kg/dose twice daily) as a first-line therapy for CMV reactivation or disease, with treatment duration of 14 days, provided declining CMV quantitative PCR. There was substantial variability of practice between centres in post-transplant management of CMV reactivation, especially during the pre-engraftment phase. Similarly, there was lack of uniformity in indication, dosing and duration of maintenance therapy. Divergence was noted between responses from HSCT and ID physicians within centres. This study identifies areas of uniformity and others of great variability in prevention and management strategies for CMV in paediatric HSCT. Data on CMV infection and management in HSCT patients should be routinely collected as part of prospective trials to inform guidelines and improve prevention and treatment of this important complication.
Knowledge gap regarding osteoporosis among medical professionals in Southern India.
RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES: Osteoporosis is a common health problem in India, which leads to significant morbidity and mortality in elderly individuals. Lack of knowledge and awareness among medical professionals is one of the important barriers in management of these patients. Therefore, this study was conducted to assess knowledge pertaining to diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis among a group of Indian medical practitioners. METHODS: The study participants included 222 allopathic medical professionals, either graduate or postgraduate working in primary or secondary health care levels. They were assessed using a previously validated Fogelman's multiple choice questionnaire. Out of a total of 18 questions, four questions pertained to knowledge of diagnosis, three questions to treatment decisions, one question to assess knowledge regarding recommended dosage of vitamin D and calcium supplementation, five questions concerned medication use, and the rest to assess attitude and practices. The correct answers were converted into scores and expressed as percentages with a maximum of 100. RESULTS: The mean total score among them was 22.5%, which was quite low. Almost all of them had a score of less than 50%. Medical practitioners performed better in diagnosis-related questions, (19.4% answered all options correctly) than in medication knowledge (no correct response regarding side effects and 2% regarding contraindications). In treatment-related decisions, 37.4% answered correctly for duration of treatment, and 59% answered correctly for treatment goal. Only 1.4% of them were able to answer correctly regarding recommended calcium and vitamin D intake. Professional literature, conferences, and Continuing Medical Education (CME's) were regarded as the main sources of information on the subject by 40% of practitioners. CONCLUSION: This study showed suboptimal knowledge among a group of medical professionals regarding various aspects of diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, and it stipulates the need for escalating the efforts to improve their knowledge regarding various aspects of osteoporosis.
Adherence to surgical antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines in children: A cohort study
AIMS: Surgical antimicrobial prophylaxis (SAP) is an important measure to reduce post-operative infections. Guidelines exist, but their efficacy and performance in children is poorly understood compared with adults. To review adherence to SAP guidelines, this study assesses risk factors for non-adherence and rate of early post-surgical infections. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of paediatric surgical cases (0-<18 years) at a tertiary children's hospital was performed. Patient characteristics, surgical factors and antimicrobial details were evaluated against hospital guidelines for overall adherence and domains of: antimicrobial choice, dose, re-dosing, timing and duration. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for non-adherence. Hospital records were reviewed for post-operative infections at 7 and 30 days. RESULTS: Among 326 cases, overall guideline adherence was 39.6% but varied by domain and surgical subspecialty. Incorrect wound classification was associated with overall non-adherence on multivariate regression (odds ratio (OR): 2.59; P < 0.001). Incorrect antimicrobial choice was more likely in children with penicillin hypersensitivity (OR 138.34, P = 0.004) and incorrect dosing more likely in adolescent patients (OR 4.33; P = 0.004). Presence of invasive devices was associated with prolonged duration of antimicrobials (OR 2.92, P = 0.016). Only two post-operative infections were documented by 30 days, but data were insufficient to exclude mild infections managed in the community. CONCLUSIONS: SAP was suboptimal in children, with areas for improvement including better guidance on wound classification, allergy management and care for adolescent patients. Documented infections were rare, but mild infections were unable to be excluded due to limited post-discharge information.
Infectious complications in the Southern Tasmanian kidney transplant population
AIM: Examine the incidence of suspected and proven infections, the range of infections, antimicrobial use and hospital admissions in kidney transplant recipients (KTx) in southern Tasmania. METHODS: An audit of the medical records of KTx managed by the Royal Hobart Hospital for the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016. Data were collected on positive microbiological investigations, antimicrobial use and hospital admissions. RESULTS: Of the 151 evaluable KTx, there were 339 episodes of suspected infection in 95 (63%) patients with a preponderance of urinary tract infections. Overall, these 95 KTx received a total of 249 courses of antimicrobials, with predominantly monotherapy (n = 101, 65%). There were 11 vaccine preventable infections, including herpes zoster (n = 7), Influenza A (n = 3) and invasive pneumococcal disease (n = 1). Hospitalization was required for 50 infectious episodes, for a total of 227 admitted bed days (median 4; interquartile range 2-7; range 1-18 days). CONCLUSION: In conclusion, episodes of infection, hospitalization, antimicrobial use and development of multi-resistant organisms are common following kidney transplantation in this southern Tasmanian cohort. This study has identified several areas of focus for improved patient care including antimicrobial management of urinary tract infections, implementation of programmes to vaccinate KTx prior to transplantation, and development of transplantation specific antimicrobial stewardship programmes.
How to use visual methods to promote health among adolescents: A qualitative study of school nursing
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Public health nurses attended a 3-day course to learn the use of visual methods in health dialogue with adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore how to use visual methods to promote health among adolescents in a school nursing context. BACKGROUND: Photovoice is a visualising technique that enables adolescents to participate in health promotion projects in a school setting. Photovoice also enhances work of public health nurses and other health professionals. DESIGN: This was a qualitative action research study. We developed and conducted a course in visual methods and used data from focus group discussions in combination with participant observations involving public health nurses working in school health services. METHODS: We conducted focus group interviews (n = 40) using separate semi-structured discussion guides before and after a course in visual methods. The interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim, and we documented the workshops (n = 8) through field notes. We collected the data from January-October 2016. Data were analysed and coded into themes and subthemes using systematic text condensation. We reported the study in accordance with the COREQ checklist. FINDINGS: Public health nurses found photovoice useful in school nursing. The use of images offered pupils an active role in dialogues and more control in defining the topics and presenting their stories. When nurses allowed adolescents to bring images into conversations, they discovered new insights into public health promotion. The public health nurses pointed out the benefits and challenges of using new methods in practice. CONCLUSION: Public health nurses considered photovoice to be useful in health promotion and other public health issues. Involving pupils in bringing images to conversations offered them an active role and voice in health promotion. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: We recommend the use of photovoice and visual technologies (e.g., smartphones) in health promotion activities for adolescents.
'There's more to a person than what's in front of you': Nursing students' experiences of consumer taught mental health education
Holistic and person-centred nursing care is commonly regarded as fundamental to nursing practice. These approaches are complementary to recovery which is rapidly becoming the preferred mode of practice within mental health. The willingness and ability of nurses to adopt recovery-oriented practice is essential to services realizing recovery goals. Involving consumers (referred herein as Experts by Experience) in mental health nursing education has demonstrated positive impact on the skills and attitudes of nursing students. A qualitative exploratory research project was undertaken to examine the perspectives of undergraduate nursing students to Expert by Experience-led teaching as part of a co-produced learning module developed through an international study. Focus groups were held with students at each site. Data were analysed thematically. Understanding the person behind the diagnosis was a major theme, including subthemes: person-centred care/seeing the whole person; getting to know the person, understanding, listening; and challenging the medical model, embracing recovery. Participants described recognizing consumers as far more than their psychiatric diagnoses, and the importance of person-centred care and recovery-oriented practice. Understanding the individuality of consumers, their needs and goals, is crucial in mental health and all areas of nursing practice. These findings suggest that recovery, taught by Experts by Experience, is effective and impactful on students' approach to practice. Further research addressing the impact of Experts by Experience is crucial to enhance our understanding of ways to facilitate the development of recovery-oriented practice in mental health and holistic and person-centred practice in all areas of health care.
Physicians' guideline adherence is associated with long-term heart failure mortality in outpatients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction: the QUALIFY international registry.
BACKGROUND: Physicians' adherence to guideline-recommended therapy is associated with short-term clinical outcomes in heart failure (HF) with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, its impact on longer-term outcomes is poorly documented. Here, we present results from the 18-month follow-up of the QUALIFY registry. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data at 18 months were available for 6118 ambulatory HFrEF patients from this international prospective observational survey. Adherence was measured as a continuous variable, ranging from 0 to 1, and was assessed for five classes of recommended HF medications and dosages. Most deaths were cardiovascular (CV) (228/394) and HF-related (191/394) and the same was true for unplanned hospitalizations (1175 CV and 861 HF-related hospitalizations, out of a total of 1541). According to univariable analysis, CV and HF deaths were significantly associated with physician adherence to guidelines. In multivariable analysis, HF death was associated with adherence level [subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) 0.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.87-0.99 per 0.1 unit adherence level increase; P = 0.034] as was composite of HF hospitalization or CV death (SHR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94-0.99 per 0.1 unit adherence level increase; P = 0.043), whereas unplanned all-cause, CV or HF hospitalizations were not (all-cause: SHR 0.99, 95% CI 0.9-1.02; CV: SHR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96-1.01; and HF: SHR 0.99, 95% CI 0.96-1.02 per 0.1 unit change in adherence score; P = 0.52, P = 0.2, and P = 0.4, respectively). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that physicians' adherence to guideline-recommended HF therapies is associated with improved outcomes in HFrEF. Practical strategies should be established to improve physicians' adherence to guidelines.
Usefulness of surveillance imaging in patients with head and neck cancer who are treated with definitive radiotherapy
BACKGROUND: The current study was performed to assess the efficacy of surveillance imaging in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who are treated definitively with radiotherapy. METHODS: Eligible patients included those with a demonstrable disease-free interval (≥1 follow-up imaging procedure without evidence of disease and a subsequent visit/imaging procedure) who underwent treatment of HNC from 2000 through 2010. RESULTS: A total of 1508 patients were included. The median overall survival was 99 months, with a median imaging follow-up period of 59 months. Of the 1508 patients, 190 patients (12.6%) experienced disease recurrence (107 patients had locoregional and 83 had distant disease recurrence). A total of 119 patients (62.6%) in the group with disease recurrence were symptomatic and/or had an adverse clinical finding associated with the recurrence. Approximately 80% of patients with locoregional disease recurrences presented with a clinical finding, whereas 60% of distant disease recurrences were detected by imaging in asymptomatic patients. Despite the earlier detection of disease recurrence via imaging, those patients in the group of patients with clinically detected disease recurrence were significantly more likely to undergo salvage therapy compared with those whose recurrence was detected on imaging (odds ratio, 0.35). There was no difference in overall survival noted between those patients with disease recurrences that were detected clinically or with imaging alone. Approximately 70% of disease recurrences occurred within the first 2 years. In those patients who developed disease recurrence after 2 years, the median time to recurrence was 51 months. After 2 years, the average number of imaging procedures per patient for the detection of a salvageable recurrence for the imaging-detected group was 1539. CONCLUSIONS: Surveillance imaging in asymptomatic patients with HNC who are treated definitively with radiotherapy without clinically suspicious findings beyond 2 years has a low yield and a high cost. Physicians ordering these studies must use judicious consideration and discretion.
Composite pronator quadratus: radial forearm free flap in functional lip reconstruction.
BACKGROUND: Reconstruction of lip defects following neoplasia and trauma is a common procedure in plastic surgery. Reconstruction of large lip defects is a difficult undertaking and some degree of residual functional impairment and disability are likely to occur. Microsurgical reconstruction is the recommended technique for large lip defects; however, limitations exist regarding optimal aesthetic and functional outcomes with current free flap options. METHOD: We propose a new composite flap design based on the innervated pronator quadratus with the radial forearm free flap for a more dynamic reconstruction of total or near total lip defects. Results of our series of four patients have been reviewed. RESULTS: The radial forearm flap - innervated pronator quadratus flap has been used in four patients thus far for lip reconstruction. This flap, in our limited series has shown excellent results in achieving oral competence, good motor function and acceptable cosmetic appearance. CONCLUSION: The composite radial forearm-pronator quadratus flap is a promising new lip reconstruction technique that has potential to provide a higher level of oral competence, sphincteric function and symmetrical lip movement, than current microsurgical options in dynamic lip reconstruction. This method warrants further investigation in plastic surgery literature.
Digital stethoscopes in paediatric medicine
AIM: To explore, synthesise and discuss currently available digital stethoscopes (DS) and the evidence for their use in paediatric medicine. METHODS: Systematic review and narrative synthesis of digital stethoscope use in paediatrics following searches of OVID Medline, Embase, Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar databases. RESULTS: Six digital stethoscope makes were identified to have been used in paediatric focused studies so far. A total of 25 studies of DS use in paediatrics were included. We discuss the use of digital stethoscope technology in current paediatric medicine, comment on the technical properties of the available devices, the effectiveness and limitations of this technology, and potential uses in the fields of paediatrics and neonatology, from telemedicine to computer-aided diagnostics. CONCLUSION: Further validation and testing of available DS devices is required. Comparison studies between different types of DS would be useful in identifying strengths and flaws of each DS as well as identifying clinical situations for which each may be most appropriately suited.
Radiographic retropharyngeal lymph node involvement in HPV-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma: Patterns of involvement and impact on patient outcomes
BACKGROUND: The objective of the current study was to characterize the incidence, pattern, and impact on oncologic outcomes of retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) involvement in HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). METHODS: Data regarding patients with HPV-associated OPC who were treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with intensity-modulated radiotherapy from 2004 through 2013 were analyzed retrospectively. RPLN status was determined by reviewing pretreatment imaging and/or reports. Outcomes analysis was restricted to patients with lymph node-positive (+) disease. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were generated and survival curves were compared using the log-rank test. Bayesian information criterion assessed model performance changes with the addition of RPLN status to current American Joint Committee on Cancer staging. Competing risk analysis compared modes of disease recurrence. RESULTS: The incidence of radiographic RPLN involvement was 9% (73 of 796 patients) and was found to vary by primary tumor site. The 5-year rates of freedom from distant metastases (FDM) and overall survival were lower in patients with RPLN(+) status compared with those with RPLN-negative (-) status (84% vs 93% [P = .0327] and 74% vs 87% [P = .0078], respectively). RPLN(+) status was not found to be associated with outcomes on multivariate analysis. Bayesian information criterion analysis demonstrated that current American Joint Committee on Cancer staging was not improved with the inclusion of RPLN. Locoregional and distant disease recurrence probabilities for those patients with RPLN(+) status were 8% and 13%, respectively, compared with 10% and 6%, respectively, for those with RPLN(-) status. RPLN(+) status portended worse 5-year FDM in the low-risk subgroup (smoking history of <10 pack-years) and among patients who received concurrent chemotherapy but not induction chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: RPLN(+) status was associated with worse overall survival and FDM on univariate but not multivariate analysis. In subgroup analyses, RPLN(+) status was associated with poorer FDM in both patients with a smoking history of <10 pack-years and those who received concurrent chemotherapy, suggesting that RPLN(+) status could be considered an exclusion criteria in treatment deintensification efforts seeking to omit chemotherapy.
Implementation of a mental health consumer academic position: Benefits and challenges.
PURPOSE: Academic positions for consumers of mental health services remain rare despite positive evaluation. This paper considers the benefits and challenges of a consumer academician position, from perspectives of stakeholders involved in the implementation. DESIGN AND METHODS: Qualitative, exploratory involving in-depth interviews with academicians. Thematic analysis identified the main benefits and challenges. FINDINGS: Benefits identified included lived experience perspective and facilitates interaction and reflection; demonstrating recovery and promoting person centered care. Challenges identified included process, too close to home, and too little too late. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Enhanced understanding of consumer academician positions could increase effectiveness and maximize educational opportunity.
Vaccine-preventable child deaths in New South Wales from 2005 to 2014: How much is preventable?
AIM: To identify and describe potentially vaccine-preventable child deaths in New South Wales (NSW). METHODS: Child deaths in NSW from 2005 to 2014 potentially preventable by vaccination were identified from the NSW Child Death Register (maintained by the NSW Ombudsman) and the Notifiable Conditions Information Management System (NSW Health). Medical and post-mortem records were reviewed. Cases were classified as vaccine-preventable based on the strength of evidence for the relevant infection causing death and likelihood that death was preventable through vaccination. A two-source capture-recapture method was used to estimate the true number of deaths. Age-specific mortality rate and number of deaths by disease, area of residence and comorbidity were analysed. Deaths were classified as preventable based on vaccine availability, eligibility under the National Immunisation Program, age and presence of any contraindications. RESULTS: Fifty-four deaths were identified as definitely or probably due to diseases for which a vaccine was available, with a total average annual mortality rate of 0.33 per 100 000 children and 2.1 per 100 000 infants. Two thirds of deaths occurred in children with no identified comorbidities. Twenty-three deaths were classified as preventable or potentially preventable by vaccination, with influenza (12 deaths) and meningococcal disease (five deaths) most common. An additional 15 deaths would be potentially preventable as of August 2016 due to immunisation recommendation changes including maternal vaccination. CONCLUSION: Maternal vaccination along with increased uptake of childhood influenza vaccination could reduce child deaths, particularly from influenza.