ResearchPad - diagnostic-medicine https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Retrospective observational cohort study on innovation in oncology and progress in survival: How far have we gotten in the two decades of treating patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer as a single population?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13816 We assessed the impact of new antineoplastic agents on the overall survival (OS) of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (aNSCLC) patients followed up until 2012. Multivariate regression models were run for OS (outcome) and four proxies for innovation (exposure): Index (InnovInd, for SEER-Research data 1973–2012) and three levels of aggregation of Mean Medication Vintage, i.e. Overall (MMVOverall), using data aggregated at the State Level (MMVState), and using patient-level data (MMVPatient) using data from the US captured in SEER-Medicare 1991–2012. We derived Hazard ratios (HR) from Royston-Parmar models and odds ratios (OR) from a logistic regression on 1-year OS. Including 164,704 patients (median age 72 years, 56.8% stage IV, 61.8% with no comorbidities, 37.8% with adenocarcinoma, 22.9% with squamous-cell, 6.1% were censored). One-year OS improved from 0.22 in 1973 to 0.39 in 2012, in correlation with InnovInd (r = 0.97). Ten new NSCLC drugs were approved and 28 more used off-label. Regression-models results indicate that therapeutic innovation only marginally reduced the risk of dying (HROverall = 0.98 [0.98–0.98], HRMMV-Patient = 0.98 [0.97–0.98], and HRMMV-State = 0.98 [0.98–0.98], and slightly improved 1-year survival (ORMMV-Overall = 1.05 95%CI [1.04–1.05]). These results were validated with data from the Swedish National Health Data registers. Until 2013, aNSCLC patients were treated undifferentiated and the introduction of innovative therapies had statistically significant, albeit modest, effects on survival. Most treatments used off-guidelines highlight the high unmet need; however new advancements in treatment may further improve survival.

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<![CDATA[Is transjugular insertion of a temporary pacemaker a safe and effective approach?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13814 Temporary pacemakers (TPMs) are usually inserted in an emergency situation. However, there are few reports available regarding which route of access is best or what the most preferred approach is currently in tertiary hospitals. This study aimed to compare procedure times, complication rates, and indications for temporary pacing between the transjugular and transfemoral approaches to TPM placement. We analyzed consecutive patients who underwent TPM placement. Indications; procedure times; and rates of complications including localized infection, any bleeding, and pacing wire repositioning rates were analyzed. A total of 732 patients (361 treated via the transjugular approach and 371 treated via the transfemoral approach) were included. Complete atrioventricular block was the most common cause of TPM placement in both groups, but sick sinus syndrome was especially common in the transjugular approach group. Separately, procedure time was significantly shorter in the transjugular approach group (9.0 ± 8.0 minutes vs. 11.9 ± 9.7 minutes; P < 0.001). Overall complication rates were not significantly different between the two groups, and longer duration of temporary pacing was a risk factor for repositioning. The risk of reposition was significantly increased when the temporary pacing was continued more than 5 days and 3 days in the transjugular approach group and the transfemoral approach group, respectively. The transjugular approach should be considered if the TPM is required for more than 3 days.

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<![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13810 The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[Right ventricular pressure overload directly affects left ventricular torsion mechanics in patients with precapillary pulmonary hypertension]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8470 This study examined the impact of septal flattening on left ventricular (LV) torsion in patients with precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH). Fifty-two patients with proven precapillary PH and 13 healthy controls were included. Ventricular function was assessed including 4D-measurements, tissue velocity imaging, and speckle tracking analysis. Increased eccentricity index (1.39 vs. 1.08, p<0.001), systolic pulmonary artery pressure (64 vs. 29mmHg, p<0.001) and right ventricular Tei index (0.55 vs. 0.28, p = 0.007), and reduced tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (19.0 vs. 26.5mm, p<0.001) were detected in PH patients as compared to controls. With increasing eccentricity of left ventricle, LV torsion was both decreased and delayed. Torsion rate paralleled this pattern of change during systole, but not during diastole. In conclusion, right ventricular pressure overload directly affects LV torsion mechanics. The echocardiographic methodology applied provides novel insights in the interrelation of right- and left ventricular function.

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<![CDATA[Interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7726 Since its initial recognition, HIV has been responsible for around 35 million deaths globally. The introduction of Antiretroviral Therapy has helped to reduce mortality from HIV. However, the resulting increased longevity has influenced the experience of people living with HIV, which now manifests as a chronic condition requiring effective self-management. This review aimed to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral therapy.MethodsThe review included published experimental studies addressing interventions to improve self-management of adults living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy. Studies were included if they addressed two or more outcomes of self-management, as defined by the Theory of Individual and Family Self-Management. The search covered four databases and was limited to papers published in the English language from 2001 to March 30, 2019. The reference lists of included studies were further searched for additional studies. Two independent reviewers using the Joanna Briggs Institute Meta-Analysis of Statistics Assessment and Review Instrument (JBI SUMARI) assessed the methodological quality of the reviewed papers. Data extraction was undertaken using the JBI SUMARI standardized data extraction tool. As the included papers were not homogeneous, it was not possible to conduct a meta-analysis. A narrative synthesis was undertaken to synthesize the findings of the included studies.ResultsThe search identified 337 articles from which 10 experimental and 2 quasi-experimental studies were included. The total participant sample in the included studies was 1661 adults living with HIV. The overall evidence quality of the findings was considered moderate. Many of the studies included in this review comprised multi-component interventions to improve self-management. Skills training, in conjunction with other forms of interventions, particularly phone counseling, was commonly employed and generally effective in improving self-management outcomes. Counseling with a symptom management manual was another employed and effective intervention, followed by technology-assisted self-management interventions. The most common outcomes measured were maintaining medication adherence and quality of life, followed by symptom management, self-efficacy, coping, and social support.ConclusionsInterventions to improve self-management varied across studies. However, promising outcomes achieved in the majority of studies through interventions comprising a combination of skills training, phone counseling, counseling with symptom management manuals, and technology-assisted interventions. ]]> <![CDATA[Plasma Galectin-3 predicts deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-myocardial infarction patients: An explanatory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7712 In a previous analysis of a post-myocardial infarction (MI) cohort, abnormally high systemic vascular resistances (SVR) were shown to be frequently revealed by MRI during the healing period, independently of MI severity, giving evidence of vascular dysfunction and limiting further recovery of cardiac function. The present ancillary and exploratory analysis of the same cohort was aimed at characterizing those patients suffering from high SVR remotely from MI with a large a panel of cardiovascular MRI parameters and blood biomarkers.MethodsMRI and blood sampling were performed 2–4 days after a reperfused MI and 6 months thereafter in 121 patients. SVR were monitored with a phase-contrast MRI sequence and patients with abnormally high SVR at 6-months were characterized through MRI parameters and blood biomarkers, including Galectin-3, an indicator of cardiovascular inflammation and fibrosis after MI. SVR were normal at 6-months in 90 patients (SVR-) and abnormally high in 31 among whom 21 already had high SVR at the acute phase (SVR++) while 10 did not (SVR+).ResultsWhen compared with SVR-, both SVR+ and SVR++ exhibited lower recovery in cardiac function from baseline to 6-months, while baseline levels of Galectin-3 were significantly different in both SVR+ (median: 14.4 (interquartile range: 12.3–16.7) ng.mL-1) and SVR++ (13.0 (11.7–19.4) ng.mL-1) compared to SVR- (11.7 (9.8–13.5) ng.mL-1, both p < 0.05). Plasma Galectin-3 was an independent baseline predictor of high SVR at 6-months (p = 0.002), together with the baseline levels of SVR and left ventricular end-diastolic volume, whereas indices of MI severity and left ventricular function were not. In conclusion, plasma Galectin-3 predicts a deleterious vascular dysfunction affecting post-MI patients, an observation that could lead to consider new therapeutic targets if confirmed through dedicated prospective studies. ]]> <![CDATA[The qualitative assessment of optical coherence tomography and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7697 To analyze the relationships between qualitative and quantitative parameters of spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and the central retinal sensitivity in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).Materials and methodsNinety-three eyes of 93 patients were finally enrolled, with a median age (quartile) of 58 (24.5) years. We assessed the patients using SD-OCT and the 10–2 program of a Humphry Field Analyzer (HFA). As a qualitative parameter, two graders independently classified the patients’ SD-OCT images into five severity grades (grades 1–5) based on the severity of damage to the photoreceptor inner and outer segments (IS/OS) layer. As quantitative parameters, we measured the IS-ellipsoid zone (IS-EZ) width, IS/OS thickness, outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness, central macular thickness (CMT, 1 and 3 mm) and macular cube (6 × 6 mm) volume and thickness. The central retinal sensitivity was defined by the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA; logMAR), average sensitivities of the central 4 (foveal sensitivity [FS]) and 12 (macular sensitivity [MS]) points of the HFA 10–2 program and the mean deviation (MD) of the 10–2 program. Spearman’s correlation was used to assess the association between both qualitative and quantitative parameters and variables of the central retinal sensitivity. In addition, we performed a multiple regression analysis using these parameters to identify the parameters most strongly influencing the central retinal sensitivity.ResultsThe IS/OS severity grade was significantly correlated with the BCVA (ρ = 0.741, P < 0.001), FS (ρ = −0.844, P < 0.001), MS (ρ = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (ρ = −0.681, P < 0.001) and showed stronger correlations to them than any other quantitative parameters including the IS-EZ width, IS/OS thickness, ONL thickness, CMTs and macular cube volume/thickness. Furthermore, a step-wise multiple regression analysis indicated that the IS/OS severity grade was more strongly associated with the BCVA (β = 0.659, P < 0.001), FS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001), MS (β = −0.820, P < 0.001) and MD (β = −0.674, P < 0.001) than any other quantitative parameters. The intraclass correlation coefficient between two graders indicated substantial correlation (κ = 0.70).DiscussionThe qualitative grading of OCT based on the severity of the IS/OS layer was simple and strongly correlated with the central retinal sensitivity in patients with RP. It may be useful to assess the central visual function in patients with RP, although there is some variation in severity within the same severity grade. ]]> <![CDATA[Is postural dysfunction related to sarcopenia? A population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7695 Postural dysfunction is one of the most common community health symptoms and frequent chief complaints in hospitals. Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, muscle quality, and muscle strength, and is the main contributor to musculoskeletal impairment in the elderly. Previous studies reported that loss of muscle mass is associated with a loss of diverse functional abilities. Meanwhile, there have been limited studies concerning postural dysfunction among older adults with sarcopenia. Although sarcopenia is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be associated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older persons. Also, recent studies recognize that sarcopenia may begin to develop earlier in life. The objective of this paper was to investigate the association between the prevalence of sarcopenia and postural dysfunction in a wide age range of adults using data from a nationally representative cohort study in Korea. Korean National Health & Nutrition Exhibition Survey V (KNHANES V, 2010–2012) data from the fifth cross-sectional survey of the South Korean population performed by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare were used. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM)/height (ht)2 was used to define sarcopenia, and the Modified Romberg test using a foam pad (“foam balance test”) was performed to evaluate postural dysfunction. ASM/ht2 was lower in women and significantly decreased with age in men. Subjects with sarcopenia were significantly more likely to fail the foam balance test, regardless of sex and age. Regression analysis showed a significant relationship between sarcopenia and postural dysfunction (OR: 2.544, 95% CI: 1.683–3.846, p<0.001). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that sarcopenia (OR: 1.747, 95% CI: 1.120–2.720, p = 0.014) and age (OR: 1.131, 95% CI: 1.105–1.158, p<0.001) are independent risk factors for postural instability. In middle age subjects, the adjusted OR for sarcopenia was 3.344 (95% CI: 1.350–8.285) (p = 0.009). The prevalence of postural dysfunction is higher in sarcopenia patients, independent of sex and age.

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<![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[Incidence and determinants of Implanon discontinuation: Findings from a prospective cohort study in three health zones in Kinshasa, DRC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7634 Kinshasa is Africa's third largest city and one of the continent’s most rapidly growing urban areas. PMA2020 data showed that Kinshasa has a modern contraceptive prevalence of 26.5% among married women in 2018. In Kinshasa’s method mix, the contraceptive implant recently became the dominant method among contraceptive users married and in union. This study provides insight into patterns of implant use in a high-fertility setting by evaluating the 24-month continuation rate for Implanon NXT and identifying the characteristics associated with discontinuation.MethodologyThis community-based, prospective cohort study followed 531 Implanon users aged 18–49 years at 6, 12 and 24 months. The following information was collected: socio-demographic characteristics, Method Information Index (MII) and contraceptive history. The main outcome variable for this study was implant discontinuation. The incidence rate of discontinuation is presented as events per 1000 person/months (p-m), from the date of enrolment. The Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to measure predictors of discontinuation.ResultsA total of 9158.13 p-m were available for analysis, with an overall incidence rate of 9.06 (95% CI: 9.04–9.08) removals per 1000 p-m. Of nine possible co-variates tested, the likelihood of discontinuation was higher among women who lived in military camps, had less than three children, never used injectables or implants in the past, had experienced heavy/prolonged bleeding, and whose MII score was less than 3.ConclusionIn addition to four client characteristics that predicted discontinuation, we identified one programmatic factor: quality of counseling as measured by the Method Information Index. Community providers in similar contexts should pay more attention to clients having less than three children, new adopters, and to clients living military camps as underserved population, where clients have less access to health facilities. More targeted counselling and follow-up is needed, especially on bleeding patterns. ]]> <![CDATA[Model based estimation of QT intervals in non-invasive fetal ECG signals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7659 The end timing of T waves in fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) is important for the evaluation of ST and QT intervals which are vital markers to assess cardiac repolarization patterns. Monitoring malignant fetal arrhythmias in utero is fundamental to care in congenital heart anomalies preventing perinatal death. Currently, reliable detection of end of T waves is possible only by using fetal scalp ECG (fsECG) and fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG). fMCG is expensive and less accessible and fsECG is an invasive technique available only during intrapartum period. Another safer and affordable alternative is the non-invasive fECG (nfECG) which can provide similar assessment provided by fsECG and fMECG but with less accuracy (not beat by beat). Detection of T waves using nfECG is challenging because of their low amplitudes and high noise. In this study, a novel model-based method that estimates the end of T waves in nfECG signals is proposed. The repolarization phase has been modeled as the discharging phase of a capacitor. To test the model, fECG signals were collected from 58 pregnant women (age: (34 ± 6) years old) bearing normal and abnormal fetuses with gestational age (GA) 20-41 weeks. QT and QTc intervals have been calculated to test the level of agreement between the model-based and reference values (fsECG and Doppler Ultrasound (DUS) signals) in normal subjects. The results of the test showed high agreement between model-based and reference values (difference < 5%), which implies that the proposed model could be an alternative method to detect the end of T waves in nfECG signals.

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<![CDATA[Barriers to linking high-risk jail detainees to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N6cdd8894-eb56-44cf-b406-5a297c3ac14c

Individuals involved in the criminal justice (CJ) system continue to be at disproportionate risk for HIV infection, and often have a greater prevalence of substance use and sexual related risk behaviors relative to their non-CJ involved peers. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a once daily antiretroviral medicine, is an evidence-based approach for reducing the risk of contracting HIV but limited data exist regarding the use of PrEP among CJ populations, especially in the U.S. South. This study was conducted at the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility (PCRDF) in Little Rock, Arkansas (AR), the largest county jail in the state. We explored knowledge about PrEP and HIV, perceptions about PrEP feasibility in both the jail and community settings and barriers to PrEP program implementation, through in-depth qualitative interviews with 21 jail detainees. We purposively sampled individuals based on specific self-reported risk behavior, including sexual risk (both heterosexual and same-sex) and drug related risk (e.g. IDU), among all eligible individuals. We identified five primary themes from the interviews: 1) accessing healthcare during community reentry was a low priority; 2) perception of risk and interaction with people with HIV was low; 3) there are many barriers to disclosing HIV risk behaviors in jail settings; 4) knowledge of PrEP is low but willingness to use is high; and 5) multiple barriers exist to PrEP uptake post-release. Our findings are contextually unique and therefore have important implications for future implementation of PrEP access either within jail settings or linkage to PrEP post release.

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<![CDATA[Highly efficient serum-free manipulation of miRNA in human NK cells without loss of viability or phenotypic alterations is accomplished with TransIT-TKO]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4e6e8e95-63ae-420d-a6d7-c2f1aa3d99e6

Natural killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes with functions that include target cell killing, inflammation and regulation. NK cells integrate incoming activating and inhibitory signals through an array of germline-encoded receptors to gauge the health of neighbouring cells. The reactive potential of NK cells is influenced by microRNA (miRNA), small non-coding sequences that interfere with mRNA expression. miRNAs are highly conserved between species, and a single miRNA can have hundreds to thousands of targets and influence entire cellular programs. Two miRNA species, miR-155-5p and miR-146a-5p are known to be important in controlling NK cell function, but research to best understand the impacts of miRNA species within NK cells has been bottlenecked by a lack of techniques for altering miRNA concentrations efficiently and without off-target effects. Here, we describe a non-viral and straightforward approach for increasing or decreasing expression of miRNA in primary human NK cells. We achieve >90% transfection efficiency without off-target impacts on NK cell viability, education, phenotype or function. This opens the opportunity to study and manipulate NK cell miRNA profiles and their impacts on NK cellular programs which may influence outcomes of cancer, inflammation and autoimmunity.

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<![CDATA[Fingerprint evidence for the division of labour and learning pottery-making at Early Bronze Age Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5152a5b5-1b3f-41e8-b706-9ccd50f6a496

The organization of craft production has long been a marker for broader social, economic and political changes that accompanied urbanism. The identity of producers who comprised production groups, communities, or workshops is out of reach using conventional archaeological data. There has been some success using epidermal prints on artefacts to identify the age and sex of producers. However, forensic research indicates that a combination of ridge breadth and ridge density would best identify the age and sex of individuals. To this end, we combine mean ridge breadth (MRB) and mean ridge density (MRD) to distinguish the age and sex of 112 fingerprints on Early Bronze Age (EB) III pottery from the early urban neighbourhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel, dating to a 100 year time span. Our analysis accounts for the shrinkage of calcareous fabrics used to make six type of vessels, applies a modified version of the Kamp et al. regression equation to the MRB for each individual print, and infers sex by correlating MRD data to appropriate modern reference populations. When the results are combined, our analyses indicate that most fingerprints were made by adult and young males and the remainder by adult and young females. Children’s prints are in evidence but only occur on handles. Multiple prints of different age and sex on the same vessels suggest they were impressed during the training of young potters. Production appears dominated by adult and young males working alone, together, and in cooperation with adult and/or young females. Vessels with prints exclusively by females of any age are rare. This male dominant cooperative labour pattern contrasts recent studies showing that adult women primarily made Neolithic figurines in Anatolia, and more females than males were making pottery prior to the rise of city-states in northern Mesopotamia.

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<![CDATA[Clustered micronodules as predominant manifestation on CT: A sign of active but indolently evolving pulmonary tuberculosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48b20e2f-c3ed-4c3c-a251-c583ed3c8c8a

Objective

To investigate the prevalence, patient characteristics, and natural history of clustered micronodules (CMs) in active pulmonary tuberculosis.

Materials and methods

From January 2013 through July 2018, 833 consecutive patients with bacteriologically or polymerase chain reaction–proven active pulmonary tuberculosis were retrospectively evaluated. CMs were defined as a localized aggregation of multiple dense discrete micronodules, which primarily distributed around small airways distal to the level of the segmental bronchus: small airways surrounded by CMs maintained luminal patency and the CMs might coalesce into a larger nodule. The patients were dichotomized according to whether the predominant computed tomography (CT) abnormalities were CMs. We analyzed radiologic and pathologic findings in patients whose predominant diagnostic CT abnormalities were CMs, along with those of incidental pre-diagnostic CT scans, if available. Chi-square, McNemar, Student t-test and Wilcoxon-signed rank test were performed.

Results

CMs were the predominant CT abnormality in 2.6% of the patients (22/833, 95% CI, 1.8–4.0%) with less sputum smear-positivity (4.8% vs 31.0%; p = .010) and a similar proportion of immunocompromised status (40.9% vs 46.0%; p = .637) than those without having CMs as the predominant CT abnormality. The time interval for minimal radiologic progression was 6.4 months. The extent of CMs increased with disease progression, frequently accompanied by consolidation and small airway wall thickening. Pathologically, smaller CMs were non-caseating granulomas confined to the peribronchiolar interstitium, whereas larger CMs were caseating granulomas involving lung parenchyma. Two of the five patients with a pre-diagnostic CT scan obtained more than 50 months pre-diagnosis showed an incipient stage of CMs, in which they were small peribronchiolar nodules.

Conclusion

Active pulmonary tuberculosis manifested predominantly as CMs in 2.6% of patients, with scarce of acid-fast bacilli smear-positivity and no association with impaired host immunity. CMs indolently progressed, accompanied by consolidation and small airway wall thickening, and originated from small nodules.

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<![CDATA[Reference values of physiological 18F-FET uptake: Implications for brain tumor discrimination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N80bdbd58-ef10-47b0-8bc3-8bde8c3b2b52

Purpose

The aim of this study was to derive reference values of 18F-fluoro-ethyl-L-tyrosine positron emission tomography (18F-FET-PET) uptake in normal brain and head structures to allow for differentiation from tumor tissue.

Materials and methods

We examined the datasets of 70 patients (median age 53 years, range 15–79), whose dynamic 18F-FET-PET was acquired between January 2016 and October 2017. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), target-to-background standardized uptake value ratio (TBR), and time activity curve (TAC) of the 18F-FET-PET were assessed in tumor tissue and in eight normal anatomic structures and compared using the t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test. Correlation analyses were performed using Pearson or Spearman coefficients, and comparisons between several variables with Pearson’s chi-squared tests and Kruskal-Wallis tests as well as the Benjamini-Hochberg correction.

Results

All analyzed structures showed an 18F-FET uptake higher than background (threshold: TBR > 1.5). The venous sinuses and cranial muscles exhibited a TBR of 2.03±0.46 (confidence interval (CI) 1.92–2.14), higher than the uptake of caudate nucleus, pineal gland, putamen, and thalamus (TBR 1.42±0.17, CI 1.38–1.47). SUVmax, TBR, and TAC showed no difference in the analyzed structures between subjects with high-grade gliomas and subjects with low-grade gliomas, except the SUVmax of the pineal gland (t-tests of the pineal gland: SUVmax: p = 0.022; TBR: p = 0.411). No significant differences were found for gender and age.

Conclusion

Normal brain tissue demonstrates increased 18F-FET uptake compared to background tissue. Two distinct clusters have been identified, comprising venous structures and gray matter with a reference uptake of up to SUVmax of 2.99 and 2.33, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Stepwise stroke recognition through clinical information, vital signs, and initial labs (CIVIL): Electronic health record-based observational cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0f0adfcb-3c92-4db3-bdce-cd884fd183e7

Background

Stroke recognition systems have been developed to reduce time delays, however, a comprehensive triaging score identifying stroke subtypes is needed to guide appropriate management. We aimed to develop a prehospital scoring system for rapid stroke recognition and identify stroke subtype simultaneously.

Methods and findings

In prospective database of regional emergency and stroke center, Clinical Information, Vital signs, and Initial Labs (CIVIL) of 1,599 patients suspected of acute stroke was analyzed from an automatically-stored electronic health record. Final confirmation was performed with neuroimaging. Using multiple regression analyses, we determined independent predictors of tier 1 (true-stroke or not), tier 2 (hemorrhagic stroke or not), and tier 3 (emergent large vessel occlusion [ELVO] or not). The diagnostic performance of the stepwise CIVIL scoring system was investigated using internal validation. A new scoring system characterized by a stepwise clinical assessment has been developed in three tiers. Tier 1: Seven CIVIL-AS3A2P items (total score from –7 to +6) were deduced for true stroke as Age (≥ 60 years); Stroke risks without Seizure or psychiatric disease, extreme Sugar; “any Asymmetry”, “not Ambulating”; abnormal blood Pressure at a cut-off point ≥ 1 with diagnostic sensitivity of 82.1%, specificity of 56.4%. Tier 2: Four items for hemorrhagic stroke were identified as the CIVIL-MAPS indicating Mental change, Age below 60 years, high blood Pressure, no Stroke risks with cut-point ≥ 2 (sensitivity 47.5%, specificity 85.4%). Tier 3: For ELVO diagnosis: we applied with CIVIL-GFAST items (Gaze, Face, Arm, Speech) with cut-point ≥ 3 (sensitivity 66.5%, specificity 79.8%). The main limitation of this study is its retrospective nature and require a prospective validation of the CIVIL scoring system.

Conclusions

The CIVIL score is a comprehensive and versatile system that recognizes strokes and identifies the stroke subtype simultaneously.

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<![CDATA[Trajectories of fatigue among stroke patients from the acute phase to 18 months post-injury: A latent class analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc2795b82-f9e4-46cc-9fc3-23c3f213e7d4

Introduction

Post-stroke fatigue (PSF) is a common symptom affecting 23–75% of stroke survivors. It is associated with increased risk of institutionalization and death, and it is of many patients considered among the worst symptoms to cope with after stroke. Longitudinal studies focusing on trajectories of fatigue may contribute to understanding patients’ experience of fatigue over time and its associated factors, yet only a few have been conducted to date.

Objectives

To explore whether subgroups of stroke survivors with distinct trajectories of fatigue in the first 18 months post stroke could be identified and whether these subgroups differ regarding sociodemographic, medical and/or symptom-related characteristics.

Materials and methods

115 patients with first-ever stroke admitted to Oslo University Hospital or Buskerud Hospital were recruited and data was collected prospectively during the acute phase and at 6, 12 and 18 months post stroke. Data on fatigue (both pre- and post-stroke), sociodemographic, medical and symptom-related characteristics were collected through structured interviews, standardized questionnaires and from the patients’ medical records.

Growth mixture modeling (GMM) was used to identify latent classes, i.e., subgroups of patients, based on their Fatigue Severity Scales (FSS) scores at the four time points. Differences in sociodemographic, medical, and symptom-related characteristics between the latent classes were evaluated using univariate and multivariable ordinal regression analyses.

Results and their significance

Using GMM, three latent classes of fatigue trajectories over 18 months were identified, characterized by differing levels of fatigue: low, moderate and high. The mean FSS score for each class remained relatively stable across all four time points. In the univariate analyses, age <75, pre-stroke fatigue, multiple comorbidities, current depression, disturbed sleep and some ADL impairment were associated with higher fatigue trajectories. In the multivariable analyses, pre-stroke fatigue (OR 4.92, 95% CI 1.84–13.2), multiple comorbidities (OR 4,52,95% CI 1.85–11.1) and not working (OR 4.61, 95% CI 1.36–15,7) were the strongest predictor of higher fatigue trajectories The findings of this study may be helpful for clinicians in identifying patients at risk of developing chronic fatigue after stroke.

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<![CDATA["Clicks, likes, shares and comments" a systematic review of breast cancer screening discourse in social media]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8d8d3073-6769-4a60-aed8-e2beb958c228

Background

Unsatisfactory participation rate at population based organised breast cancer screening is a long standing problem. Social media, with 3.2 billion users in 2019, is potentially an important site of breast cancer related discourse. Determining whether these platforms might be used as channels by screening providers to reach under-screened women may have considerable public health significance.

Objectives

By systematically reviewing original research studies on breast cancer related social media discourse, we had two aims: first, to assess the volume, participants and content of breast screening social media communication and second, to find out whether social media can be used by screening organisers as a channel of patient education.

Methods

We followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). After searching PubMed, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Springer and Ebsco, 17 studies were found that met our criteria. A systematic narrative framework was used for data synthesis. Owing to the high degree of heterogeneity in social media channels, outcomes and measurement included in this study, a meta-analytic approach was not appropriate.

Results

The volume of breast cancer related social media discourse is considerable. The majority of participants are lay individuals as opposed to healthcare professionals or advocacy groups. The lay misunderstandings surrounding the harms and benefits of mammography is well mirrored in the content of social media discourse. Although there is criticism, breast cancer screening sentiment on the social media ranges from the neutral to the positive. Social media is suitable for offering peer emotional support for potential participants.

Conclusion

Dedicated breast screening websites operated by screening organisers would ensure much needed quality controlled information and also provide space for reliable question and answer forums, the sharing of personal experience and the provision of peer and professional support.

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<![CDATA[A new simple brain segmentation method for extracerebral intracranial tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb837d809-9647-425d-8dfd-2c3174a6dd80

Normal brain segmentation is available via FreeSurfer, Vbm, and Ibaspm software. However, these software packages cannot perform segmentation of the brain for patients with brain tumors. As we know, damage from extracerebral tumors to the brain occurs mainly by way of pushing and compressing while leaving the structure of the brain intact. Three-dimensional (3D) imaging, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) technology have begun to be applied in clinical practice. The free medical open-source software 3D Slicer allows us to perform 3D simulations on a computer and requires little user interaction. Moreover, 3D Slicer can integrate with the third-party software mentioned above. The relationship between the tumor and surrounding brain tissue can be judged, but accurate brain segmentation cannot be performed using 3D Slicer. In this study, we combine 3D Slicer and FreeSurfer to provide a novel brain segmentation method for extracerebral tumors. This method can help surgeons identify the “real” relationship between the lesion and adjacent brain tissue before surgery and improve preoperative planning.

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