ResearchPad - chemical-elements https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Early budget impact analysis on magnetic seed localization for non-palpable breast cancer surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13866 Current localization techniques used in breast conserving surgery for non-palpable tumors show several disadvantages. Magnetic Seed Localization (MSL) is an innovative localization technique aiming to overcome these disadvantages. This study evaluated the expected budget impact of adopting MSL compared to standard of care.MethodsStandard of care with Wire-Guided Localization (WGL) and Radioactive Seed Localization (RSL) use was compared with a future situation gradually adopting MSL next to RSL or WGL from a Dutch national perspective over 5 years (2017–2022). The intervention costs for WGL, RSL and MSL and the implementation costs for RSL and MSL were evaluated using activity-based costing in eight Dutch hospitals. Based on available list prices the price of the magnetic seed was ranged €100-€500.ResultsThe intervention costs for WGL, RSL and MSL were respectively: €2,617, €2,834 and €2,662 per patient and implementation costs were €2,974 and €26,826 for MSL and RSL respectively. For standard of care the budget impact increased from €14.7m to €16.9m. Inclusion of MSL with a seed price of €100 showed a budget impact of €16.7m. Above a price of €178 the budget impact increased for adoption of MSL, rising to €17.6m when priced at €500.ConclusionMSL could be a cost-efficient localization technique in resecting non-palpable tumors in the Netherlands. The online calculation model can inform adoption decisions internationally. When determining retail price of the magnetic seed, cost-effectiveness should be considered. ]]> <![CDATA[Administration of lower doses of radium-224 to ankylosing spondylitis patients results in no evidence of significant overall detriment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11232 The use of low doses of radium-224 (224Ra) chloride for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis was stopped following the discovery that patients treated with it had a higher than control incidence of leukaemia and other cancers. This was so even though the treatment resulted in decreased pain and increased mobility–both of which are associated with decreased mortality. It was decided to re-analyze the epidemiological data looking at all causes of death. The risk of leukaemia, solid cancer, death from non-cancer causes and from all causes in a study populations of men that received either the typical dose of 5.6 to 11.1 MBq of 224Ra, any dose of 224Ra or no radium were compared using the Cox proportional hazard model. For patients that received the typical dose of 224Ra agreed with the excess cancer was similar to that reported in previous studies. In contrast, these patients were less likely to die from non-cancer diseases and from all causes of death than the control patients. No excess mortality was also found in the population of all males that received the radionuclide. It is concluded that 224Ra treatment administered at low doses to patients with ankylosing spondylitis did not impact mortality from all causes. The study demonstrates the need to consider all causes of death and longevity when assessing health impacts following irradiation.

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<![CDATA[Effective coupling of rapid freeze-quench to high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7690 We report an easy, efficient and reproducible way to prepare Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples in sub-millimeter capillaries and load these into the probe head of a 275 GHz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer. Kinetic data obtained for the binding reaction of azide to myoglobin demonstrate the feasibility of the method for high-frequency EPR. Experiments on the same samples at 9.5 GHz show that only a single series of Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples is required for studies at multiple microwave frequencies.

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<![CDATA[Constitutive hydrogen inhalation prevents vascular remodeling via reduction of oxidative stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne1330967-900e-43ee-b1f2-140543b0d511

Molecular hydrogen is thought to have an inhibitory effect on oxidative stress, thereby attenuating the onset and progression of various diseases including cardiovascular disease; however, few reports have assessed the preventive effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on of vascular remodeling. Here, we investigated the effect of constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas on vascular neointima formation using a cuff-induced vascular injury mouse model. After constitutive inhalation of compressed hydrogen gas (O2 21%, N2 77.7%, hydrogen 1.3%) or compressed air only (O2 21%, N2 79%) by C57BL/6 mice for 2 weeks from 8 weeks of age in a closed chamber, inflammatory cuff injury was induced by polyethylene cuff placement around the femoral artery under anesthesia, and hydrogen gas administration was continued until sampling of the femoral artery. Neointima formation, accompanied by an increase in cell proliferation, was significantly attenuated in the hydrogen group compared with the control group. NADPH oxidase NOX1 downregulation in response to cuff injury was shown in the hydrogen group, but the expression levels of NADPH oxidase subunits, p40phox and p47phox, did not differ significantly between the hydrogen and control groups. Although the increase in superoxide anion production did not significantly differ between the hydrogen and control groups, DNA damage was decreased as a result of reduction of reactive oxygen species such as hydroxyl radical (⋅OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) in the hydrogen group. These results demonstrate that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas attenuates vascular remodeling partly via reduction of oxidative stress, suggesting that constitutive inhalation of hydrogen gas at a safe concentration in the living environment could be an effective strategy for prevention of vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.

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<![CDATA[Uptake and speciation of zinc in edible plants grown in smelter contaminated soils]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N21b4cc8f-fdc5-4198-8cfa-2868c1971919

Heavy metal accumulation in edible plants grown in contaminated soils poses a major environmental risk to humans and grazing animals. This study focused on the concentration and speciation of Zn in different edible plants grown in soils contaminated with smelter wastes (Spelter, WV, USA) containing high levels of the metals Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd. Their accumulation was examined in different parts (roots, stem, and leaves) of plants and as a function of growth stage (dry seed, sprouting seed, cotyledon, and leaves) in the root vegetables radish, the leafy vegetable spinach and the legume clover. Although the accumulation of metals varied significantly with plant species, the average metal concentrations were [Zn] > [Pb] > [Cu] > [Cd]. Metal uptake studies were complemented with bulk and micro X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at Zn K-edge and micro X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) measurements to evaluate the speciation and distribution of Zn in these plant species. Dynamic interplay between the histidine and malate complexation of Zn was observed in all plant species. XRF mapping of spinach leaves at micron spatial resolution demonstrated the accumulation of Zn in vacuoles and leaf tips. Radish root showed accumulation of Zn in root hairs, likely as ZnS nanoparticles. At locations of high Zn concentration in spinach leaves, μXANES suggests Zn complexation with histidine, as opposed to malate in the bulk leaf. These findings shed new light on the dynamic nature of Zn speciation in plants.

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<![CDATA[The effect of Mn2Sb2 and Mn2Sb secondary phases on magnetism in (GaMn)Sb thin films]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N94466bcc-ad77-4d3b-8f3f-3aceb39bbed5

In this work, a detailed study of structural, electrical and magnetic characterization of (GaMn)Sb diluted magnetic semiconductors (DMS) is presented. (GaMn)Sb thin films were grown by DC magnetron co-sputtering method as an innovative procedure to fabricate III-V DMS. The presence of unusual Mn2Sb2 and Mn2Sb secondary phases, induced by substrate temperature and deposition time, were revealed through XRD measurements. Magnetization measurements allow determining crossover between a paramagnetic-like to a ferromagnetic-like behavior controlled by secondary phases. It was found that both, the magnetic remanence and magnetic coercivity, increases with substrate temperature. Interestingly, the magnetic response is paramagnetic at lower deposition times and substrate temperatures, and XRD measurements suggest the absence of Mn2Sb and Mn2Sb2 in secondary phases. For longer deposition times or higher substrate temperature, XRD shows the presence of Mn2Sb2 and Mn2Sb phases and ferromagnetic-like behavior. The DC resistivity of our samples was characterized and the carrier density was determined by Hall measurements and, in contrast with the reported in other studies, found them to be a p-type semiconductor with carrier densities as big as one order of magnitude larger than reported values. From the ferromagnetic-like samples, evidence of an anomalous Hall-effect in the sample was found, with higher magnetic saturation and a anomalous Hall conductivity of 2380 S/cm. All the results point to a contribution of the secondary phases to the overall magnetic response of the samples used, and suggest the importance of studying the formation of secondary phases in the growth of DMS, especially, for the case of (GaMn)Sb where Mn ion can have multiple oxidation states.

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<![CDATA[Dysregulated biodynamics in metabolic attractor systems precede the emergence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd64c8bc4-d849-4cf6-88a9-792b4ee4d346

Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms maintain homeostasis of essential elements, and are believed to be highly time-variant. However, current approaches measure elemental biomarkers at a few discrete time-points, ignoring complex higher-order dynamical features. To study dynamical properties of elemental homeostasis, we apply laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to tooth samples to generate 500 temporally sequential measurements of elemental concentrations from birth to 10 years. We applied dynamical system and Information Theory-based analyses to reveal the longest-known attractor system in mammalian biology underlying the metabolism of nutrient elements, and identify distinct and consistent transitions between stable and unstable states throughout development. Extending these dynamical features to disease prediction, we find that attractor topography of nutrient metabolism is altered in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as early as childhood, suggesting these pathways are involved in disease risk. Mechanistic analysis was undertaken in a transgenic mouse model of ALS, where we find similar marked disruptions in elemental attractor systems as in humans. Our results demonstrate the application of a phenomological analysis of dynamical systems underlying elemental metabolism, and emphasize the utility of these measures in characterizing risk of disease.

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<![CDATA[Citrate lyase CitE in Mycobacterium tuberculosis contributes to mycobacterial survival under hypoxic conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5c16b8fb-2363-48af-bce8-dbbca8329b25

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis and has evolved an ability to survive in hostile host environments. M. tuberculosis is thought to utilize the rTCA cycle to sustain its latent growth during infection, but the enzymatic characteristics and physiological function for the key citrate lyase of the rTCA cycle, MtbCitE, in the important pathogen remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the function of MtbCitE based on its structural properties and sequence comparisons with other bacterial citrate lyase subunits. We showed that several amino acid residues were important for the citrate cleavage activity of MtbCitE. Strikingly, the citrate cleavage activity of MtbCitE was inhibited by ATP, indicating that energy metabolism might couple with the regulation of MtbCitE activity, which differed from other CitEs. More interestingly, deletion of citE from Mycobacterium bovis BCG decreased the mycobacterial survival rate under hypoxic conditions, whereas complementation with citE restored the phenotype to wild-type levels. Consistently, three key rTCA cycle enzymes were positively regulated under hypoxic conditions in mycobacteria. Therefore, we characterized a unique citrate lyase MtbCitE from M. tuberculosis and found that the CitE protein significantly contributed to mycobacterial survival under hypoxic conditions.

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<![CDATA[Overnight polysomnography and the recording of sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians – possible protective effects of wind instruments on respiration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N88c23519-1215-408d-ac46-2899835df1cf

Our study is the first to objectively assess sleep and sleep-related respiration in orchestra musicians. We hypothesized low sleep quality due to high work demands and irregular work-sleep schedules, and a better respiration for wind instrument (WI) players than string instrument (SI) players due to habitual upper airway muscles training. We recorded overnight polysomnography with 29 professional orchestra musicians (21 men, 14 WI/ 15 SI). The musicians presented a sleep efficiency of 88% (IQR 82–92%) with WI having a significant higher sleep efficiency than SI (89%, 85–93% vs. 85%, 74–89%; p = 0.029). The group had a total sleep time around 6 hours (377min, 340-421min) with signs of increased NREM 1 (light sleep) and decreased REM (dream sleep). The musicians displayed an apnea-hypopnea-index of 2.1events/hour (0.7–5.5) and an oxygen saturation of 98% (97–100%). While SI player exhibited declining sleep-related respiration with age (breathing events: r = 0.774, p = 0.001, oxygen: r = -0.647, p = 0.009), WI player showed improved respiration with age (breathing events: r = -0.548, p = 0.043; oxygen: r = 0.610, p = 0.020). Our study is the first objective investigation of sleep pattern and respiration during sleep with overnight polysomnography in professional orchestra musicians. While sleep and respiration were unexpectedly good, our results revealed possible signs of sleep deprivation and an interesting age-related pattern on respiration depending on instrument. While sample size was small and results modest, these findings present first objective evidence towards the assumption that habitual playing of a WI–and training of the upper airway muscles–may have a protective effect on respiration.

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<![CDATA[Risk of stomach cancer incidence in a cohort of Mayak PA workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5246167-3f67-43a4-8a84-93c6a22ed7ff

Stomach cancer is a widespread health condition associated with environmental and genetic factors. Contribution of ionizing radiation to stomach cancer etiology is not sufficiently studied. This study was aimed to assess an association of the stomach cancer incidence risk with doses from occupational radiation exposure in a cohort of workers hired at main Mayak production association facilities in 1948–1982 taking into account non-radiation factors including digestive disorders. The study cohort comprised 22,377 individuals and by 31.12.2013 343 stomach cancer diagnoses had been reported among the cohort members. Occupational stomach absorbed doses were provided by the Mayak Worker Dosimetry System– 2008 (MWDS–2008) for external gamma ray exposure and by the Mayak Worker Dosimetry System– 2013 (MWDS–2013) for internal exposure to plutonium. Excess relative risks (ERR) per Gy for stomach cancer were estimated using the Poisson’s regression. Analyses were run using the AMFIT module of the EPICURE software. The stomach cancer incidence risk in the study cohort was found to be significantly associated with the stomach absorbed dose of gamma rays: ERR/Gy = 0.19 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.44) with a 0 year lag, and ERR/Gy = 0.20 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.45) with a 5 year lag. To estimate the baseline risk, sex, attained age, smoking status and alcohol consumption, chronic diseases (peptic ulcer, gastritis and duodenitis) were taken into account. No modifications of the radiogenic risk by non-radiation factors were found in the study worker cohort. No association of the stomach cancer incidence risk with internal exposure to incorporated plutonium was observed.

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<![CDATA[Graphene oxide in zinc alginate films: Antibacterial activity, cytotoxicity, zinc release, water sorption/diffusion, wettability and opacity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c990314d5eed0c484b98c1a

Alginate is considered an exceptional biomaterial due to its hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, nontoxicity and low-cost in comparison with other biopolymers. We have recently demonstrated that the incorporation of 1% graphene oxide (GO) into alginate films crosslinked with Ca2+ cations provides antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis, and no cytotoxicity for human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. However, many other reports in literature have shown controversial results about the toxicity of GO demanding further investigation. Furthermore, the synergic effect of GO with other divalent cations with intrinsic antibacterial and cytotoxic activity such as Zn2+ has not been explored yet. Thus, here, two commercially available sodium alginates were characterised and utilized in the synthesis of zinc alginate films with GO following the same chemical route reported for the calcium alginate/GO composites. The results of this study showed that zinc release, water sorption/diffusion and wettability depended significantly on the type of alginate utilized. Furthermore, Zn2+ and GO produced alginate films with increased water diffusion, wettability and opacity. However, neither the combination of GO with Zn2+ nor the use of different types of sodium alginates modified the antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of the zinc alginates against these Gram-positive pathogens and human cells respectively.

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<![CDATA[Microlearning for patient safety: Crew resource management training in 15-minutes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accebd5eed0c4849902fc

Objectives

We sought to establish the feasibility of chunking crew resource management (CRM) training into micro-size interventions and to compare different training approaches in the context of micro-learning.

Design

We evaluated whether participants in micro-learning CRM activities achieved learning objectives following training. In a between-subjects design, groups were observed for behaviour during a simulation that was part of a 15-minute modular intervention and tested for recollection afterwards.

Participants

The 129 participants recruited for this study were medical students, who already had relevant experience treating patients.

Interventions

The experimental setting involved three 5-minute components: video, simulation, and debriefing. Different groups viewed videos involving different didactic concepts: one group observed a videotaped concrete example of a medical care team applying a CRM tool (example group), and one group observed a videotaped lecture on the same topic (lecture group).

Main outcome measures

All simulations were videotaped and coded in detail for the occurrence of and time spent engaging in team behaviour and medical care. Questionnaires were administered before, immediately after, and two weeks after the intervention. We compared the groups’ behaviour during the simulation (team cooperation and medical care), retention of knowledge from the training content, and results of the evaluation.

Results

Both groups exhibited most of the behaviours included in the content of the instructional videos during the simulations and recollected information 2 weeks later. The example group exhibited significantly more of the training content during the simulation and demonstrated better retention 2 weeks later. Although the example group spent more time on team coordination, there was no difference in the number of executed medical measures.

Conclusion

Delivering CRM training in chunks of relatively short and highly standardised interventions appears feasible. In this study, the form of didactical presentation caused a difference in learning success between groups: a traditional lecture was outperformed by an instructional video demonstrating a practical example.

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<![CDATA[A paper-based, cell-free biosensor system for the detection of heavy metals and date rape drugs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897715d5eed0c4847d23fa

Biosensors have emerged as a valuable tool with high specificity and sensitivity for fast and reliable detection of hazardous substances in drinking water. Numerous substances have been addressed using synthetic biology approaches. However, many proposed biosensors are based on living, genetically modified organisms and are therefore limited in shelf life, usability and biosafety. We addressed these issues by the construction of an extensible, cell-free biosensor. Storage is possible through freeze drying on paper. Following the addition of an aqueous sample, a highly efficient cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) reaction is initiated. Specific allosteric transcription factors modulate the expression of ‘superfolder’ green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) depending on the presence of the substance of interest. The resulting fluorescence intensities are analyzed with a conventional smartphone accompanied by simple and cheap light filters. An ordinary differential equitation (ODE) model of the biosensors was developed, which enabled prediction and optimization of performance. With an optimized cell-free biosensor based on the Shigella flexneri MerR transcriptional activator, detection of 6 μg/L Hg(II) ions in water was achieved. Furthermore, a completely new biosensor for the detection of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a substance used as date-rape drug, was established by employing the naturally occurring transcriptional repressor BlcR from Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

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<![CDATA[Probabilistic analysis of a concrete column in an aggressive soil environment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acce9d5eed0c4849902cb

Sulphate attack is one of the most important factors that limit the lifetime of pure concrete constructions. Harsh environmental conditions have a large impact on the operational costs of concrete columns or piles dipped into soil. The results are non-deterministic; therefore, reliability analysis is often used. The strength characteristics of the substrate around the construction were modelled as one-dimensional prismatic beams related with random p-y curves. Sulphate deterioration is defined as a set of random variables jointed with two dimensional mechanical systems at acceptable levels. Fick’s second law describes the penetration of sulphate ingress into pure concrete with explicit numerical solutions for boundary conditions and an increase in the transition factor under the progress of sulphate ingress. This process was partially solved via analytical methods for sulphate ion transport and numerically for a random field. This solves the mechanical task and determines the system reliability. A numerical example is provided to illustrate the proposed method to prevent unexpected structural failures during column service life. The proposed methodology can assist designers and can help to make decisions on existing foundations to ensure the safety of geotechnical construction.

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<![CDATA[How elevated CO2 affects our nutrition in rice, and how we can deal with it]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f8d5eed0c48463945d

Increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are predicted to reduce the content of essential elements such as protein, zinc, and iron in C3 grains and legumes, threatening the nutrition of billions of people in the next 50 years. However, this prediction has mostly been limited to grain crops, and moreover, we have little information about either the underlying mechanism or an effective intervention to mitigate these reductions. Here, we present a broader picture of the reductions in elemental content among crops grown under elevated CO2 concentration. By using a new approach, flow analysis of elements, we show that lower absorption and/or translocation to grains is a key factor underlying such elemental changes. On the basis of these findings, we propose two effective interventions—namely, growing C4 instead of C3 crops, and genetic improvements—to minimize the elemental changes in crops, and thereby avoid an impairment of human nutrition under conditions of elevated CO2.

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<![CDATA[Association between sublingual microcirculation, tissue perfusion and organ failure in major trauma: A subgroup analysis of a prospective observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c2d5eed0c484638f67

Introduction

Previous studies described impaired microvascular perfusion and tissue oxygenation as reliable predictors of Multiple Organ Failure in major trauma. However, this relationship has been incompletely investigated. The objective of this analysis is to further evaluate the association between organ dysfunction and microcirculation after trauma.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective subgroup analysis on 28 trauma patients enrolled for the Microcirculation DAIly MONitoring in critically ill patients study (NCT 02649088). Patients were divided in two groups according with their Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score at day 4. At admission and every 24 hours, the sublingual microcirculation was evaluated with Sidestream Darkfield Imaging (SDF) and peripheral tissue perfusion was assessed with Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Vascular Occlusion Test (VOT). Simultaneously, hemodynamic, clinical/laboratory parameters and main organ supports were collected.

Results

Median SOFA score at Day 4 was 6.5. Accordingly, patients were divided in two groups: D4-SOFA ≤6.5 and D4-SOFA >6.5. The Length of Stay in Intensive Care was significantly higher in patients with D4-SOFA>6.5 compared to D4-SOFA≤6.5 (p = 0.013). Total Vessel Density of small vessels was significantly lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.002) and Day 2 (p = 0.006) after admission; the Perfused Vessel Density was lower in patients with high D4-SOFA score at Day 1 (p = 0.007) and Day 2 (p = 0.033). At Day 1, NIRS monitoring with VOT showed significantly faster tissue oxygen saturation downslope (p = 0.018) and slower upslope (p = 0.04) in patients with high D4-SOFA.

Discussion

In our cohort of major traumas, sublingual microcirculation and peripheral microvascular reactivity were significantly more impaired early after trauma in those patients who developed more severe organ dysfunctions. Our data would support the hypothesis that restoration of macrocirculation can be dissociated from restoration of peripheral and tissue perfusion, and that microvascular alterations can be associated with organ failure.

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<![CDATA[Intra-hospital transport of critically ill patients with rapid response team and risk factors for cardiopulmonary arrest: A retrospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823c5d5eed0c484638fbe

Introduction

This study aimed to determine the occurrence rate and risk factors of cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) during intra-hospital transport (IHT) among critically ill patients, accompanied by a rapid response team (RRT).

Methods

We performed a retrospective cohort study in a 1300-bed tertiary-care teaching hospital. Data of all admitted patients transported within the hospital and accompanied by the RRT from October 2012 to May 2016 were included. We compared patients with CPA (+) and patients without CPA (-) to identify risk factors for CPA during transport.

Results

Among 535 patients, CPA occurred in eight (1.5%) patients during IHT. There were no significant differences in age, sex, and comorbidities between groups. More patients in the CPA (+) group than in the CPA (-) group received manual ventilation during IHT (75% vs. 23.0%, p = 0.001). An increased risk of CPA (p<0.001) corresponded with a higher number of vasopressors used during IHT. In univariate logistic regression analysis, history of myocardial infarction (OR 10.7, 95% CI 2.4–50.5, p = 0.005), manual ventilation (OR 10.1, 95% CI 2.0–50.5, p = 0.005), and use of three or more vasopressors (OR 11.1, 95% CI 2.5–48.9, p = 0.001) were significantly associated with risk of CPA during RRT-led IHT.

Conclusions

Despite accompaniment by a specialized team such as the RRT, CPA can occur during IHT. History of myocardial infarction, manual ventilation with bag-valve mask, and the use of three or more vasopressors were independent risk factors of CPA during IHT of critically ill patients accompanied by the RRT.

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<![CDATA[Interest in “organic,” “natural,” and “additive-free” cigarettes after hearing about toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897764d5eed0c4847d2b91

Introduction

The US Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act requires the government to disseminate information about the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke. We sought to understand how the descriptors “organic,” “natural,” or “additive-free” affect smokers’ interest in cigarettes in the context of information about chemicals in cigarette smoke.

Methods

Participants were a national probability sample of 1,101 US adult (ages ≥18) smokers recruited in 2014–2015. A between-subjects experiment randomized participants in a telephone survey to 1 of 4 cigarette descriptors: “organic,” “natural,” “additive-free,” or “ultra-light” (control). The outcome was expected interest in cigarettes with the experimentally assigned descriptor, after learning that 2 chemicals (hydrogen cyanide and lead) are in cigarette smoke. Experimental data analysis was conducted in 2016–2017.

Results

Smokers indicated greater expected interest in “organic,” “natural,” and “additive-free” cigarettes than “ultra-light” cigarettes (all p <.001) after learning that hydrogen cyanide and lead were in cigarette smoke. Smokers who intended to quit in the next 6 months expressed greater expected interest in the 4 types of cigarettes (“organic,” “natural,” “additive-free,” and “ultra-light”) compared to smokers not intending to quit (p <.001).

Conclusions

Smokers, especially those intending to quit, may be more inclined towards cigarettes described as “organic,” “natural,” and “additive-free” in the context of chemical information. An accumulating body of evidence shows that the US should fully restrict use of “organic” and “natural” descriptors for tobacco products as it has done for “additive-free” and “light” descriptors.

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<![CDATA[In vitro activity and mode of action of phenolic compounds on Leishmania donovani]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7d95f4d5eed0c48473501e

Background

Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by the protozoan parasite, Leishmania. The disease remains a global threat to public health requiring effective chemotherapy for control and treatment. In this study, the effect of some selected phenolic compounds on Leishmania donovani was investigated. The compounds were screened for their anti-leishmanial activities against promastigote and intracellular amastigote forms of Leishmania donovani.

Methodology/Principal findings

The dose dependent effect and cytotoxicity of the compounds were determined by the MTT assay. Flow cytometry was used to determine the effect of the compounds on the cell cycle. Parasite morphological analysis was done by microscopy and growth kinetic studies were conducted by culturing cells and counting at 24 hours intervals over 120 hours. The cellular levels of iron in promastigotes treated with compounds was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy and the effect of compounds on the expression of iron dependent enzymes was investigated using RT-qPCR.

The IC50 of the compounds ranged from 16.34 μM to 198 μM compared to amphotericin B and deferoxamine controls. Rosmarinic acid and apigenin were the most effective against the promastigote and the intracellular amastigote forms. Selectivity indexes (SI) of rosmarinic acid and apigenin were 15.03 and 10.45 respectively for promastigotes while the SI of 12.70 and 5.21 respectively was obtained for intracellular amastigotes. Morphologically, 70% of rosmarinic acid treated promastigotes showed rounded morphology similar to the deferoxamine control. About 30% of cells treated with apigenin showed distorted cell membrane. Rosmarinic acid and apigenin induced cell arrest in the G0/G1 phase in promastigotes. Elevated intracellular iron levels were observed in promastigotes when parasites were treated with rosmarinic acid and this correlated with the level of expression of iron dependent genes.

Conclusions/Significance

The data suggests that rosmarinic acid exerts its anti-leishmanial effect via iron chelation resulting in variable morphological changes and cell cycle arrest.

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<![CDATA[Exploring clinical, echocardiographic and molecular biomarkers to predict bronchopulmonary dysplasia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89778ad5eed0c4847d2f5c

Introduction

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common chronic lung disease in childhood, related to prematurity, and the most common cause of pulmonary hypertension (PH) secondary to pulmonary disease in children. Moderate and severe BPD have a worse outcome and relate more frequently with PH. The prediction of moderate or severe BPD development in extremely premature newborns is vital to implement preventive strategies. Starting with the hypothesis that molecular biomarkers were better than clinical and echocardiographic factors, this study aims to explore the ability of clinical, echocardiographic and analytical variables to predict moderate or severe BPD in a cohort of extremely preterm infants.

Patients and methods

We designed a prospective longitudinal study, in which we followed a cohort of preterm newborns (gestational age <28 weeks and weight ≤ 1250 grams). In these newborns we recorded weekly clinical and echocardiographic variables as well as blood and tracheal aspirate samples, to analyze molecular biomarkers (IL-6, IL-1, IP10, uric acid, HGF, endothelin-1, VEGF, CCL5). Variables and samples were collected since birth up to week 36 (postmenstrual age), time-point at which the diagnosis of BPD is established.

Results

We included 50 patients with a median gestational age of 26 weeks (IQR 25–27) and weight of 871 g (SD 161,0) (range 590-1200g). Three patients were excluded due to an early death. Thirty-five patients (74.5%) developed BPD (mild n = 14, moderate n = 15, severe n = 6). We performed a logistic regression in order to identify risk factors for moderate or severe BPD. We compared two predictive models, one with two variables (mechanical ventilation and inter-ventricular septum flattening), and another-one with an additional molecular biomarker (ET-1).

Conclusions

The combination of clinical and echocardiographic variables is a valuable tool for determining the risk of BPD. We find the two variable model (mechanical ventilation and echocardiographic signs of PH) more practical for clinical and research purposes. Future research on BPD prediction should be oriented to explore the potential role of ET-1.

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