ResearchPad - autopsy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Effect of minimally invasive autopsy and ethnic background on acceptance of clinical postmortem investigation in adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7646 Autopsy rates worldwide have dropped significantly over the last five decades. Imaging based autopsies are increasingly used as alternatives to conventional autopsy (CA). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy, consisting of CT, MRI and tissue biopsies on the overall autopsy rate (of CA and minimally invasive autopsy) and the autopsy rate among different ethnicities.MethodsWe performed a prospective single center before-after study. The intervention was the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy as an alternative to CA. Minimally invasive autopsy consisted of MRI, CT, and CT-guided tissue biopsies. Autopsy rates over time and the effect of introducing minimally invasive autopsy were analyzed with a linear regression model. We performed a subgroup analysis comparing the autopsy rates of two groups: a group of western-European ethnicity versus a group of other ethnicities.ResultsAutopsy rates declined from 14.0% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2019. The linear regression model showed a significant effect of both time and availability of minimally invasive autopsy on the overall autopsy rate. The predicted autopsy rate in the model started at 15.1% in 2010 and dropped approximately 0.1% per month (β = -0.001, p < 0.001). Availability of minimally invasive autopsy increased the overall autopsy rate by 2.4% (β = 0.024, p < 0.001). The overall autopsy rate of people with an ethnic background other than western-European was significantly higher in years when minimally invasive autopsy was available compared to when it was not (22/176 = 12.5% vs. 81/1014 (8.0%), p = 0.049).ConclusionsThe introduction of the minimally invasive autopsy had a small, but significant effect on the overall autopsy rate. Furthermore, the minimally invasive autopsy appears to be more acceptable than CA among people with an ethnicity other than western-European. ]]> <![CDATA[How could hypoglycemia-inducing glycogen storage disease lead to hyperglycemia-induced mucormycosis?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8d3d6069-1be6-4fbc-b826-4f033f487576

Mucormycosis is an increasingly frequent, difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat, often fatal infection, especially in patients with hyperglycemia from uncontrolled diabetes. Type I (von Gierke) glycogen storage disease is due to inherited deficiency of enzymes in glycogen metabolism, which causes hypoglycemia. This report is the case of a patient with von Gierke disease and a missed diagnosis of pulmonary mucormycosis. This report illustrates the importance of having a high index of suspicion for mucormycosis in the appropriate clinical context.

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<![CDATA[Chronic brucellosis with hepatic brucelloma and AA amyloidosis in a patient with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb2d79124-89e4-422c-8cb4-33990c44b999

We describe an autopsy case of a 45-year-old male diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease who presented with complaints of altered sensorium. The autopsy revealed multiple tumor-like masses in the liver, which on histological examination depicted multiple large suppurative granulomas with the presence of variable acid-fast coccobacilli (consistent with Brucella spp.). Interestingly, extensive amyloid deposition in multiple organs was noted. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of chronic brucellosis causing tumor-like abscesses in the liver accompanied by secondary systemic amyloidosis in a patient with underlying autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.

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<![CDATA[A fatal case of multi-organ failure in acute yellow phosphorus poisoning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na46de838-fcca-4d3b-becc-7688ab23ad8a

Phosphorus is a nonmetallic irritant used in various sectors like rodenticide, firecracker industries, match industries, and fertilizers. Phosphorus poisoning is responsible for deaths among children and adults. Accidental yellow phosphorus poisoning is frequently reported in children, whereas suicidal consumption is not uncommon amongst adults. Herein, we present the case of a 30-year-old female patient who ingested Ratol paste containing yellow phosphorus in an attempt to commit suicide. Her initial chief complaints were nausea, vomiting along with loose motion during hospitalization, followed by a symptomless phase with stable vitals on the 2nd day, and managed conservatively. She took discharge against the medical advice. Later on, she was readmitted in the same hospital, after two days, complaining of generalized weakness, bodily pain, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and breathing difficulties. She developed severe complications due to the intoxication and died. An autopsy was performed. The histopathological and the toxicological examination were carried out. We found characteristic features in different organs due to yellow phosphorus toxicity. We concluded the cause of death as hepatic encephalopathy and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome caused by the yellow phosphorus poisoning.

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<![CDATA[Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis: Incidental finding - should we Ignore?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb16d5f6b-940d-4376-97f5-dc04e94d94cf

Pulmonary alveolar microlithiasis (PAM) is a rare entity, presenting mostly as an incidental finding. This disease has an autosomal recessive inheritance with inactivating mutations in the gene “solute carrier family 34 member 2”. The present study was conducted to bring attention to this rare though preventable disease. The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study, conducted at the Department of Pathology, of a tertiary care hospital in New Dehli-India. PAMs were incidentally seen in two patients diagnosed with micronodular hepatic cirrhosis leading to reanalysis of 212 autopsies, retrospectively. Statistical analysis was done using Stata 14.0. We observed three forms (Type A, B and C) of round hyaline bodies measuring in diameter with thin delicate, radiating fibrils. These bodies were PAS positive, showed black discolouration of the pigment with von Kossa stain and birefringence on polarized microscopy using Congo red stain, however the refringence was light green as compared to apple green birefringence seen with amyloid deposition. PAM has a slow progressive course leading to a high rate of incidental detection. Drugs known to inhibit the micro-crystal growth of hydroxyapatite may slow the disease progression. The family members of patients with PAM may also be kept on follow up with regular imaging. Key messages: It is important to bring out the incidental finding as, seemingly innocuous observations may provide valuable insight into incurable diseases, especially rare diseases.

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<![CDATA[Pulmonary artery aneurysm rupture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N62666732-ab11-4129-9754-6abf9fa358b1

Pulmonary artery aneurysm is a disorder of varying etiology and should be diagnosed early for appropriate interventions. A 45-year-old man was hospitalized for chest pain, dyspnea, cough, chills, diarrhea, and vomiting, which had started 3 weeks before admission. Physical examination indicated a reduced vesicular murmur in the right hemithorax. A chest x-ray performed indicated a pneumothorax and pulmonary abscess in the right hemithorax. Thoracostomy released abundant purulent and fetid fluid. Direct examination of the pleural fluid using saline revealed structures similar to Trichomonas. Non-contrast chest computed tomography revealed right pneumothorax along with an irregular cavitation located at the pleuropulmonary interface of the posterior margin of the right lower lobe. A pleurostomy was performed. On the second postoperative day, the patient suffered a sudden major hemorrhage through the surgical wound and died on the way to the operating room. The autopsy revealed an abscess and ruptured aneurysm of the lower lobar artery in the lower right lung. Microscopic examination revealed extensive liquefactive necrosis associated with purulent inflammation and the presence of filamentous fungi and spores. This case can be characterized as a severe disorder that requires early diagnosis to achieve a good therapeutic response and to avoid fatal outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Idiopathic Lipoid Pneumonia: An incidental finding in autopsy specimen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N558b6fa2-69e5-4182-ab67-c740daadd931

Lipoid pneumonia is a rare form of pneumonia which was initially described to be caused by inhalation or aspiration of fatty substances. Certain autopsy studies have reported the incidence to be 1.0-2.5%. Based on the mode of lipid acquisition, it has been classified into endogenous, exogenous or idiopathic types. Almost 50% of the patients with lipoid pneumonia are asymptomatic, and may be discovered by chance during routine chest imaging. In symptomatic patients, the symptoms are non- specific. However, it can produce inflammatory pneumonitis that can progress to irreversible pulmonary fibrosis as seen in our case. We present a case of a 53-year-old deceased male. A piece of one of his lungs was received after autopsy, which appeared normal grossly. There was no history of any illness before death. Microscopy revealed interstitial fibrosis with collection of foamy macrophages in alveolar spaces and cholesterol crystals surrounded by inflammatory reaction including occasional giant cells. The clinical picture and radiologic changes in cases of lipoid pneumonia can mimic bacterial pneumonia and tuberculosis. The occupational history is of extreme importance and should always be investigated.

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<![CDATA[Community health workers trained to conduct verbal autopsies provide better mortality measures than existing surveillance: Results from a cross-sectional study in rural western Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca23d5eed0c48452a833

Background

In much of sub-Saharan Africa, health facilities serve as the primary source of routine vital statistics. These passive surveillance systems, however, are plagued by infrequent and unreliable reporting and do not capture events that occur outside of the formal health sector. Verbal autopsies (VA) have been utilized to estimate the burden and causes of mortality where civil registration and vital statistics systems are weak, but VAs have not been widely employed in national surveillance systems. In response, we trained lay community health workers (CHW) in a rural sub-county of western Uganda to conduct VA interviews in order to assess the feasibility of leveraging CHW to measure the burden of disease in resource limited settings.

Methods and findings

Trained CHWs conducted a cross-sectional survey of the 36 villages comprising the Bugoye sub-county to identify all deaths occurring in the prior year. The sub county has an estimated population of 50,249, approximately one-quarter of whom are children under 5 years of age (25.3%). When an eligible death was reported, CHWs administered a WHO 2014 VA questionnaire, the results of which were analyzed using the InterVA-4 tool. To compare the findings of the CHW survey to existing surveillance systems, study staff reviewed inpatient registers from neighboring referral health facilities in an attempt to match recorded deaths to those identified by the survey. Overall, CHWs conducted high quality VA interviews on direct observation, identifying 230 deaths that occurred within the sub-county, including 77 (33.5%) among children under five years of age. More than half of the deaths (123 of 230, 53.5%) were reported to have occurred outside a health facility and thus would not be captured by passive surveillance. More than two-thirds (73 of 107, 68.2%) of facility deaths took place in one of three nearby hospitals, yet only 35 (47.9%) were identified on our review of inpatient registers. Consistent with previous VA studies, the leading causes of death among children under five years of age were malaria (19.5%), prematurity (19.5%), and neonatal pneumonia (15.6%). while among adults, HIV/AIDS-related deaths illness (13.6%), pulmonary tuberculosis (11.4%) and malaria (8.6%) were the leading causes of death. No child deaths identified from inpatient registers listed HIV/AIDS as a cause of death despite 8 deaths (10.4%) attributed to HIV/AIDS as determined by VA.

Conclusions

Lay CHWs are able to conduct high quality VA interviews to capture critical information that can be analyzed using standard methodologies to provide a more complete estimate of the burden and causes of mortality. Similar approaches can be scaled to improve the measurement of vital statistics in order to facilitate appropriate public health interventions in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Multiple hepatic metastases of cardiac angiosarcoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b65cd5eed0c4841ed1cb

The differential diagnosis of hepatic focal lesions is challenging because the etiology can be inflammatory, infectious, and even neoplastic. A rare cause of metastatic liver nodules is cardiac angiosarcoma. We report a case of this tumor, which was diagnosed only after autopsy.

A 26-year-old Caucasian man was admitted for progressive dyspnea and cough over the past 3 weeks. Physical examination showed only hypophonetic heart sounds. Laboratory analysis demonstrated anemia and elevated inflammatory markers, despite normal biochemical parameters and liver function. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed massive pericardial effusion. Abdomen computed tomography (CT) showed multiple hepatic nodules, the largest of which measured 3 cm, but the percutaneous biopsy revealed only lobular necrosis and perisinusoidal fibrosis without granulomas or neoplastic cells. During hospitalization, the patient had fever and night sweats with weight loss, and empiric treatment for extrapulmonary tuberculosis associated with corticosteroids was initiated. The outpatient follow-up revealed complete improvement of the pericardial effusion, but maintenance of the liver lesions. After 2 months of hospital discharge, the patient was readmitted with hemorrhagic shock due to bleeding liver lesions, which were evidenced by CT. Embolization of the right hepatic artery was performed, but the patient soon died. The autopsy revealed a primary cardiac angiosarcoma with multiple hepatic metastases, rupture of the Glisson’s capsule and laceration of the liver. The case shows how important and difficult the diagnosis of focal liver lesions is, since it may result in an unexpected fatal outcome.

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<![CDATA[Late stillbirth due to listeriosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b66ad5eed0c4841ed2f7

Listeriosis is a sporadic infectious disease, which affects high-risk populations, such as the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, and immunocompromised patients. During pregnancy, listeriosis usually presents like a mild non-specific infection, but it may be responsible for fetal loss, preterm labor, early onset neonatal sepsis, and neonatal death. We report the case of a late stillbirth secondary to maternal chorioamnionitis. Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from the amniotic fluid and the fetal pleural fluid. The fetal autopsy revealed a disseminated inflammatory response with multi-organ involvement. This case illustrates the importance of the prevention and the diagnosis of listeriosis during gestation and may help us to understand the physiopathology of fetal loss due to listeriosis.

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<![CDATA[Fatal Disseminated Herpes Simplex in a very premature neonate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b663d5eed0c4841ed261

Herpes Simplex Virus infections (HSV) are ubiquitous. The neonatal HSV infection (NHSV) is rare. The incidence is estimated globally at only 10.3 per 100,000 births, but it can cause devastating disease in premature infants. Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be the etiologic agents in this type of vertically transmittted NHSV infection. Here we describe the pathological findings from a complete autopsy of a very low birth weight infant who succumbed to the infection despite early institution of antiviral treatment. We urge more awareness of this disease with continued surveillance; every effort should be taken to make an early diagnosis and thus prevent this devastating disease.

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<![CDATA[Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase deficiency as a cause of fatal 5-Fluorouracil toxicity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b66ed5eed0c4841ed356

5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), in combination with other cytotoxic drugs, is commonly used to treat a variety of cancers. Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) catalyzes the first catabolic step of the 5-FU degradation pathway, converting 80% of 5-FU to its inactive metabolite. Approximately 0.3% of the population demonstrate complete DPD deficiency, translating to extreme toxicity of 5-FU. Here we present a case of a patient who had a fatal outcome after treatment with 5-FU who was found to have an unknown DPD deficiency discovered at autopsy.

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<![CDATA[Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma: The Great Imitator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79b65ed5eed0c4841ed1e8

Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVLBCL) is a rare subtype of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with an estimated incidence of less than one per million. Unlike other hematopoietic malignancies, lymphadenopathy and hepatosplenomegaly are uncommon, and patients typically present with nonspecific symptoms. IVLBCL presents a diagnostic challenge and patients are usually diagnosed late in the disease course, if at all, and the prognosis is poor. The differential diagnosis is broad, and physicians often pursue multiple diagnostic possibilities during patient workup. We present a case of IVLBCL discovered at autopsy in an 80-year-old male who presented with history and symptoms pointing to the tick-borne illness ehrlichiosis.

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<![CDATA[Machine learning in population health: Opportunities and threats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f02fd5eed0c484c6d308

Abraham D. Flaxman and Theo Vos of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, discuss near-term applications for ML in population health and name their priorities for ongoing ML development.

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<![CDATA[“We might get a lot more families who will agree”: Muslim and Jewish perspectives on less invasive perinatal and paediatric autopsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0c04f1d5eed0c48481d0d7

Background

Perinatal and paediatric autopsy rates are at historically low levels with declining uptake due to dislike of the invasiveness of the procedure, and religious objections particularly amongst Muslim and Jewish parents. Less invasive methods of autopsy including imaging with and without tissue sampling have been shown to be feasible alternatives. We sought to investigate attitudes including religious permissibility and potential uptake amongst members of the Muslim and Jewish communities in the United Kingdom.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews with religious and faith-based authorities (n = 16) and bereaved parents from the Jewish community (n = 3) as well as 10 focus groups with community members (60 Muslim participants and 16 Jewish participants) were conducted. Data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify key themes.

Findings

Muslim and Jewish religious and faith-based authorities agreed that non-invasive autopsy with imaging was religiously permissible because it did not require incisions or interference with the body. A minimally invasive approach was less acceptable as it still required incisions to the body, although in those circumstances where it was required by law it was more acceptable than a full autopsy. During focus group discussions with community members, the majority of participants indicated they would potentially consent to a non-invasive autopsy if the body could be returned for burial within 24 hours, or if a family had experienced multiple fetal/pregnancy losses and the information gained might be useful in future pregnancies. Minimally invasive autopsy was less acceptable but around half of participants might consent if a non-invasive autopsy was not suitable, with the exception of the Jewish Haredi community who unanimously stated they would decline this alternative.

Conclusions

Our research suggests less invasive autopsy offers a viable alternative to many Muslim and Jewish parents in the UK who currently decline a full autopsy. The findings may be of importance to other countries with significant Muslim and/or Jewish communities as well as to other religious communities where concerns around autopsy exist. Awareness-raising amongst religious leaders and community members will be important if these methods become routinely available.

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<![CDATA[Beyond causes of death: The social determinants of mortality among children aged 1-59 months in Nigeria from 2009 to 2013]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be010c

Background

Millions of children worldwide suffer and die from conditions for which effective interventions exist. While there is ample evidence regarding these diseases, there is a dearth of information on the social factors associated with child mortality.

Methods

The 2014 Verbal and Social Autopsy Study was conducted based on a nationally representative sample of 3,254 deaths that occurred in children under the age of five and were reported on the birth history component of the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey. We conducted a descriptive analysis of the preventive and curative care sought and obtained for the 2,057 children aged 1–59 months who died in Nigeria and performed regional (North vs. South) comparisons.

Results

A total of 1,616 children died in the northern region, while 441 children died in the South. The majority (72.5%) of deceased children in the northern region were born to mothers who had no education, married at a young age, and lived in the poorest two quintiles of households. When caregivers first noticed that their child was ill, a median of 2 days passed before they sought or attempted to seek healthcare for their children. The proportion of children who reached and departed from their first formal healthcare provider alive was greater in the North (30.6%) than in the South (17.9%) (p<0.001). A total of 548 children were moderately or severely sick at discharge from the first healthcare provider, yet only 3.9%-18.1% were referred to a second healthcare provider. Cost, lack of transportation, and distance from healthcare facilities were the most commonly reported barriers to formal care-seeking behavior.

Conclusions

Maternal, household, and healthcare system factors contributed to child mortality in Nigeria. Information regarding modifiable social factors may be useful in planning intervention programs to promote child survival in Nigeria and other low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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<![CDATA[Autopsy Prevalence of Tuberculosis and Other Potentially Treatable Infections among Adults with Advanced HIV Enrolled in Out-Patient Care in South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da04ab0ee8fa60b75119

Background

Early mortality among HIV-positive adults starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains high in resource-limited settings, with tuberculosis (TB) the leading cause of death. However, current methods to estimate TB-related deaths are inadequate and most autopsy studies do not adequately represent those attending primary health clinics (PHCs). This study aimed to determine the autopsy prevalence of TB and other infections in adults enrolled at South African PHCs in the context of a pragmatic trial of empiric TB treatment (“TB Fast Track”).

Methods and Findings

Adults with CD4 ≤150 cells/μL, not on ART or TB treatment, were enrolled to TB Fast Track and followed up for at least six months. Minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) was conducted as soon as possible after death. Lungs, liver, and spleen were biopsied; blood, CSF, and urine aspirated; and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid obtained. Samples underwent mycobacterial, bacterial, and fungal culture; molecular testing (including Xpert® MTB/RIF); and histological examination. 34 MIAs were conducted: 18 (53%) decedents were female; median age was 39 (interquartile range 33–44) years; 25 (74%) deaths occurred in hospitals; median time from death to MIA was five (IQR 3–6) days. 16/34 (47%) had evidence of TB (14/16 [88%] with extrapulmonary disease; 6/16 [38%] not started on treatment antemortem); 23 (68%) had clinically important bacterial infections; four (12%) cryptococcal disease; three (9%) non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease; and two (6%) Pneumocystis pneumonia. Twenty decedents (59%) had evidence of two or more concurrent infections; 9/16 (56%) individuals with TB had evidence of bacterial disease and two (13%) cryptococcal disease.

Conclusions

TB, followed by bacterial infections, were the leading findings at autopsy among adults with advanced HIV enrolled from primary care clinics. To reduce mortality, strategies are needed to identify and direct those at highest risk into a structured pathway that includes expedited investigation and/or treatment of TB and other infections.

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<![CDATA[Implementing at-scale, community-based distribution of misoprostol tablets to mothers in the third stage of labor for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage in Sokoto State, Nigeria: Early results and lessons learned]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbca3

Background

Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death in Sokoto State, Nigeria, where 95% of women give birth outside of a health facility. Although pilot schemes have demonstrated the value of community-based distribution of misoprostol for the prevention of PPH, none have provided practical insight on taking such programs to scale.

Methods

A community-based system for the distribution of misoprostol tablets (in 600ug) and chlorhexidine digluconate gel 7.1% to mother-newborn dyads was introduced by state government officials and community leaders throughout Sokoto State in April 2013, with the potential to reach an estimated 190,467 annual births. A simple outcome form that collected distribution and consumption data was used to assess the percentage of mothers that received misoprostol at labor through December 2014. Mothers’ conditions were tracked through 6 weeks postpartum. Verbal autopsies were conducted on associated maternal deaths.

Results

Misoprostol distribution was successfully introduced and reached mothers in labor in all 244 wards in Sokoto State. Community data collection systems were successfully operational in all 244 wards with reliable capacity to record maternal deaths. 70,982 women or 22% of expected births received misoprostol from April 2013 to December 2014. Between April and December 2013, 33 women (< 1%) reported that heavy bleeding persisted after misoprostol use and were promptly referred. There were a total of 11 deaths in the 2013 cohort which were confirmed as maternal deaths by verbal autopsies. Between January and December of 2014, a total 434 women (1.25%) that ingested misoprostol reported associated side effects.

Conclusion

It is feasible and safe to utilize government guidelines on results-based primary health care to successfully introduce community distribution of life saving misoprostol at scale to reduce PPH and improve maternal outcomes. Lessons from Sokoto State’s at-scale program implementation, to assure every mother’s right to uterotonics, can inform scale-up elsewhere in Nigeria.

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<![CDATA[Validity of a minimally invasive autopsy for cause of death determination in stillborn babies and neonates in Mozambique: An observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5fab0ee8fa60be14ce

Background

Over 5 million stillbirths and neonatal deaths occur annually. Limited and imprecise information on the cause of these deaths hampers progress in achieving global health targets. Complete diagnostic autopsies (CDAs)—the gold standard for cause of death determination—are difficult to perform in most high-burden settings. Therefore, validation of simpler and more feasible methods is needed.

Methods and findings

In this observational study, the validity of a minimally invasive autopsy (MIA) method in determining the cause of death was assessed in 18 stillbirths and 41 neonatal deaths by comparing the results of the MIA with those of the CDA. Concordance between the categories of diseases obtained by the 2 methods was assessed by the Kappa statistic, and the sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values of the MIA diagnoses were calculated. A cause of death was identified in 16/18 (89%) and 15/18 (83%) stillborn babies in the CDA and the MIA, respectively. Fetal growth restriction accounted for 39%, infectious diseases for 22%, intrapartum hypoxia for 17%, and intrauterine hypoxia for 11% of stillborn babies. Overall, the MIA showed in this group a substantial concordance with the CDA (Kappa = 0.78, 95% CI [0.56–0.99]). A cause of death was identified in all (100%) and 35/41 (85%) neonatal deaths in the CDA and the MIA, respectively. In this group, the majority of deaths were due to infectious diseases (66%). The overall concordance of the MIA with the CDA in neonates was moderate (Kappa = 0.40, 95% CI [0.18–0.63]). A high percentage of accuracy was observed for the MIA in all the diagnostic categories in both stillbirths and neonates (>75%). The main limitation of this study is that some degree of subjective interpretation is inherent to cause-of-death attribution in both the MIA and the CDA; this is especially so in stillbirths and in relation to fetal growth restriction.

Conclusions

The MIA could be a useful tool for cause-of-death determination in stillbirths and neonatal deaths. These findings may help to accelerate progress towards meeting global health targets by obtaining more accurate information on the causes of death in these age groups, which is essential in guiding the design of new interventions and increasing the effectiveness of those already implemented.

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<![CDATA[Individual Case Analysis of Postmortem Interval Time on Brain Tissue Preservation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa0ab0ee8fa60ba5647

At autopsy, the time that has elapsed since the time of death is routinely documented and noted as the postmortem interval (PMI). The PMI of human tissue samples is a parameter often reported in research studies and comparable PMI is preferred when comparing different populations, i.e., disease versus control patients. In theory, a short PMI may alleviate non-experimental protein denaturation, enzyme activity, and other chemical changes such as the pH, which could affect protein and nucleic acid integrity. Previous studies have compared PMI en masse by looking at many different individual cases each with one unique PMI, which may be affected by individual variance. To overcome this obstacle, in this study human hippocampal segments from the same individuals were sampled at different time points after autopsy creating a series of PMIs for each case. Frozen and fixed tissue was then examined by Western blot, RT-PCR, and immunohistochemistry to evaluate the effect of extended PMI on proteins, nucleic acids, and tissue morphology. In our results, immunostaining profiles for most proteins remained unchanged even after PMI of over 50 h, yet by Western blot distinctive degradation patterns were observed in different protein species. Finally, RNA integrity was lower after extended PMI; however, RNA preservation was variable among cases suggesting antemortem factors may play a larger role than PMI in protein and nucleic acid integrity.

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