ResearchPad - original-research https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Hospitalist and Intensivist Experiences of the “Open” Intensive Care Unit Environment: a Qualitative Exploration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13317 Most U.S. academic medical centers employ “closed” intensive care units (ICUs), where critically ill patients are admitted under the supervision of intensivists managing dedicated ICU teams. Some centers utilize a unique “open” ICU structure, where primary services longitudinally follow patients who become critically ill into the ICU with intensivist comanagement. The impact of open ICUs on patient care and education of trainees has not been well-characterized.ObjectiveThe objective of this study is to characterize affordances and barriers to education and patient care, from the perspectives of hospitalists and intensivists teaching in the ICU.DesignWe conducted semi-structured interviews with hospitalist and intensivist faculty at a large academic medical center with an open ICU structure. We coded deidentified interview transcripts to inductively analyze the data for themes and subthemes.ParticipantsWe recruited hospitalist and intensivist faculty members who attend on teaching services in the open ICU system.ApproachGiven the complexity of multiple teachers and learners in the ICU environment, we selected shared mental models as our primary theoretical lens through which we analyzed and interpreted our data.Key ResultsWe identified three main themes regarding education in the open ICU system: (1) communication challenges, (2) educational barriers and affordances, and (3) structural barriers and affordances. Hospitalists and intensivists agreed on some barriers and facilitators to education, such as continuity of care, yet they disagreed on others. Specifically, hospitalists and intensivists had a shared mental model regarding barriers to patient care and education in the open ICU structure, but had divergent opinions regarding the affordances of the structure, such as continuity and availability of ICU expertise.ConclusionsThe open ICU environment presents facilitators and barriers to trainee education and patient care. Our findings can be leveraged to improve communication, education, and patient care on both hospitalist and ICU teams.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1007/s11606-020-05835-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. ]]> <![CDATA[Wearable Cardioverter-defibrillators for the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death: A Meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13300 Wearable cardioverter-defibrillators (WCDs) protect patients from sudden cardiac death (SCD) by detecting and treating life-threatening ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation (VT/VF). Recently, two large studies evaluating WCDs were published. However, the results of older and newer studies have yet to be systematically summarized. The objective of the current study was to conduct a meta-analysis assessing the use and effectiveness of WCDs. We searched MEDLINE and Scopus (January 1998–July 2017) as well as the gray literature. We included registry/observational studies that (1) evaluated adult patients using WCDs; (2) provided data on one or more outcomes of interest; and (3) were full-text studies published in English. We calculated pooled incidence and/or rate [with 95% confidence intervals (CIs)] estimates from nonoverlapping populations using a random-effects meta-analysis model. Statistical heterogeneity was assessed via the I2 statistic. We identified 11 studies (19,882 patients) with nonoverlapping populations/endpoints; seven of them evaluated WCD use across various indications, while the remaining studies restricted their focus to a single indication. Most of the studies were retrospective (82%) and multicenter (64%) in nature, with 45% using manufacturers’ registry data. The median duration of WCD use was three or more months in nine (82%) studies, and daily wear time ranged from a mean/median of 17 hours to 24 hours per day across included studies. Seven (64%) studies reported a mean/median daily wear time of more than 20 hours. This meta-analysis showed that the incidences of all-cause and SCD-related mortality among WCD patients were 1.4% (95% CI: 0.7%–2.4%) and 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1%–0.3%), respectively. VT/VF occurred in 2.6% (95% CI: 1.8%–3.5%) of patients. Across patients, 1.7% (95% CI: 1.4%–2.0%) received appropriate WCD treatment, corresponding to a rate of 9.1 patients/100 person-years (95% CI: 6.2–11.9 patients/100 person-years). Successful VT/VF termination following appropriate treatment occurred in 95.5% of patients (95% CI: 92.0%–98.0%) and the incidence of inappropriate treatment was infrequent (0.9%; 95% CI: 0.5%–1.4%). A moderate-to-high degree of statistical heterogeneity was observed in pooled analyses of mortality, VT/VF occurrence, and appropriate/inappropriate treatment (I2 ≥ 41% for all). In conclusion, WCDs appear to be successful in terms of terminating VT/VF in patients with an elevated risk of SCD and are appropriate for use while long-term risk management strategies are being identified.

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<![CDATA[Complete Atrioventricular Block with Intact Retrograde Conduction in Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices: Implications of the Phenomenon]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13283 Intact retrograde ventriculoatrial (VA) conduction in the presence of complete atrioventricular (AV) heart block has been well-documented in the past. We sought to describe the prevalence and clinical significance of intact VA conduction accompanied by complete antegrade AV block in patients with implanted cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices. During routine follow-up of CRM devices in our device clinic, 42 patients were found to be in a state of complete heart block. All patients presented in sinus rhythm. The patients’ underlying rhythms were tested with the inhibition of pacing and documented AV dissociation. Subsequently, retrograde VA conduction was tested with ventricular pacing. In the 42 patients with complete heart block as the underlying rhythm, five patients demonstrated retrograde VA conduction. In conclusion, the prevalence of intact of VA conduction was 11.9% in our study. The implications of this phenomenon can have noteworthy clinical significance. The occurrence of pacemaker-mediated tachycardia and repetitive nonreentrant VA synchrony are discussed herein. All patients, even those with a device indication of complete heart block, should be tested for retrograde conduction at implantation and during routine follow-up.

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<![CDATA[Scoring System Assessment of Cephalic Vein Access for Device Implantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13277 The purpose of this study was to explore the usability of the cephalic vein (CV) for cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) lead access by applying a scoring system to assess the venous anatomy. This prospective, single-center study included 100 consecutive patients who underwent CIED implantation within a period of one year. Contrast-enhanced venography images were obtained for every patient, focused on the CV, “T-junction,” and the subclavian/axillary veins (SV/AVs). Though careful examination of the images, an angle, valves, diameter, noncollateral (AVDnC) score was constructed and used to aid in choosing a CV or SV/AV access approach; in all cases, however, the preferred approach was CV independent of the AVDnC score result obtained. Upon use of the scoring system, the majority of patients (54%) had type A score result (≥ 3), indicating a favorable anatomy for CV access. In 48 of these patients, the CV was used for the implantation of at least one lead. The remaining 46 (46%) patients had type B score result (≤ 2). In 41 patients from this group, SV/AV access was used for lead implantation and, in five patients, CV access was used. The number of leads introduced through the CV was associated with larger score and the operator’s experience. In conclusion, in more than 50% of patients, at least one lead could be introduced through the CV. The scoring system used herein can simplify the choice between CV and SV/AV access and could eventually increase the efficiency and safety of the procedure, especially when less experienced implanters are involved.

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<![CDATA[P- and R-wave Amplitude Sensed by Reveal LINQ™ Loop Recorder in Pediatric Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13272 Implantable loop recorders are commonly used to sense arrhythmias. The purpose of this study is to assess the P- and R-wave amplitudes at implantation (I) and follow-up (F) following insertion of the Reveal LINQ™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) in an institutional review board-approved, multicenter study performed on pediatric patients younger than 18 years old. Collected data included demographics, presence of congenital heart disease (CHD), P- and R-wave-sensed amplitude at I and F, and the method of implant (i.e. mapping or standard.) P waves were manually measured and R-wave sensing was recorded by the device. A total of 87 patients had a Reveal LINQ™ (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) device implanted; the mean patient age was 11.8 years (0.5 years to 18 years) with 48% of patients being female and 19% of patients having CHD; mapping was used in 43% of patients. The Reveal LINQ™ (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) experienced no change in average sensed R-wave amplitude at either I or F (1.28 mV vs 1.26 mV, p = NS). There was no difference in sensed R-wave amplitude noted with or without mapping used at I (1.29 mV vs 1.26 mV, p = NS) or F (1.48 mV vs 1.18 mV, p = NS). Additionally, no difference could be found in R-wave sensing of patients with CHD or without CHD at I (1.26 mV vs 1.4 mV, p = NS) or F (1.32 mV vs 1.32 mV, p = NS). R-wave sensing trended towards being inversely proportional to patient body surface area (BSA) (p = NS). P waves were detected on 48% of tracings in all patients at I and/or F, irrespective of whether the Reveal LINQ™ (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) device was placed with mapping. The R wave was (0.37–3.5 mV) at I and (0.3–3 mV) (p = NS) at F when P waves were detected. From these results, it can be said that the Reveal LINQ™ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) has an excellent ability to sense R-wave amplitude in pediatric patients. No significant difference in the sensing ability of the device could be identified with respect to the presence of CHD, use of mapping or BSA. P waves tended to be identified when there was a higher baseline R-wave amplitude.

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<![CDATA[Postoperative Antibiotic Prophylaxis Following Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Placement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13270 Infections related to cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) placement are associated with poor clinical outcomes. As such, preprocedural prophylactic antibiotic therapy is indicated for all patients prior to device insertion. However, the available data are less clear on the impact of postprocedural antibiotic therapy on rates of CIED infection when used in addition to preprocedural therapy. This is single-center, retrospective cohort study of 913 patients who underwent CIED-related procedures between October 2010 and August 2014 sought to compare the rate of CIED infections in patients receiving only preprocedural antibiotics with those receiving both preprocedural and postprocedural antibiotics. Univariate analysis was used to detect independent risk factors for CIED infection. After excluding patients receiving concomitant antibiotics for other conditions, those undergoing CIED extraction alone, and those with a lack of follow-up data and/or adequate documentation of clinical encounters, 569 patients were identified for inclusion in the final analysis. The majority of patients who received postprocedural antibiotics received three to five days of therapy, with the most common antibiotic used being cephalexin. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of infection between patients who did and did not receive postoperative antibiotics (4.5% versus 6.1%; p = 0.398). In a multivariate analysis, the use of postprocedural antibiotic therapy was not a significant risk factor for infection (adjusted odds ratio: 0.692; 95% confidence interval: 0.314–1.525; p = 0.361). It is therefore reasonable to withhold prescribing postoperative antibiotics in patients following CIED implantation. Individualized risk factor evaluation of patient comorbidities and procedural characteristics may be needed to aid in determining whether postoperative antibiotics are reasonable in different patients. The validity of these findings is contingent on further confirmation via a prospective, randomized clinical trial.

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<![CDATA[Feasibility and Usability of Patch-based Continuous Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring in Comparison with Traditional Telemetry in Noncritically Ill Hospitalized Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13263 Research on traditional cardiac telemetry demonstrates that excessive alarms are related to lead failures and noise-related interruptions. Patch-based continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring (CCRM) has emerged in outpatient ambulatory monitoring situations as a means to improve recording fidelity. In this study, patients hospitalized but not in the intensive care unit were simultaneously monitored via telemetry in parallel with the use of the Vital Signs Patch™ (VSP) CCRM system (LifeWatch Services, Rosemont, IL, USA), applying standardized monitoring and notifications provided by an off-site central monitoring unit (CMU). Among 11 patients (55% male; age: 66.8 ± 12.5 years), there were 42 CMU detections and 98 VSP detections. The VSP device was successfully applied by nursing with connectivity established in all 11 patients (100%). There were no VSP device–related adverse events or skin eruptions during the study. The CMU agreed with 59 (60%) of 98 VSP detections. Among those detections marked by disagreement 30 (77%) of 39 VSP detections were related to clinically meaningful arrhythmias (atrial: n = 9; ventricular: n = 7; brady-: n = 14) undetected by VSP due to noise. In two patients (18%), there were four clinically meaningful atrial fibrillation detections not recorded by the CMU. In conclusion, patch-based CCRM requires further development and review to replace traditional cardiac telemetry monitoring but could evolve into an appropriate method to detect clinically meaningful events missed by traditional methods if noise issues can be mitigated.

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<![CDATA[Guidewire Method for Measuring Local Left Ventricular Electrical Activation Time During Cardiac Resynchronization Implantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13255 The timing of local activation at left ventricular (LV) pacing leads is measured from the onset of the QRS complex to the peak of the LV electrogram (QLV). Pacing from the sites of late activation is associated with higher response rates to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Prior studies have measured QLV from permanent pacing leads, or have used electroanatomic mapping systems. The current study compares QLV measurements made with a guidewire to those collected from permanent LV pacing leads positioned at the same venous site without the use of electroanatomic mapping systems. In this study, 20 patients undergoing CRT implantation (14 males, mean QRS: 164.0 ms) had QLV measurements taken using a guidewire. QLV and LV electrogram duration measurements were made at LV pacing sites, and were repeated after positioning the permanent LV pacing lead at the same site. There was no difference in QLV measurements obtained using a guidewire and those obtained using the permanent pacing lead placed at the same site (p = 0.569). QLV measurements obtained with a guidewire and the permanent LV pacing lead at the same site, respectively, were strongly correlated (r = 0.965; p < 0.001). The median absolute difference in electrogram duration was 7.0 ms (p = 0.55). The average time required to make QLV measurements using the guidewire was 11.7 minutes [standard deviation (SD): 6.8]. The average total fluoroscopy time for the entire CRT implant procedure was 10.9 minutes (SD: 5.1). In light of these results, it can be suggested that a guidewire can be used to prospectively measure LV prior to selection or placement of a permanent pacing lead without the use of an electroanatomic mapping system.

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<![CDATA[A Novel and Practical Method of Performing Atrioventricular Nodal Ablation via a Superior Approach in Patients with Refractory Atrial Fibrillation Undergoing Cardiac Resynchronization Device Implantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13248 Atrioventricular node (AVN) ablation is a strategy to manage patients with drug-refractory atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure in whom cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device implantation has been prescribed. This study describes a practical method to perform these two procedures using the same surgical site. Twenty-seven patients were indicated for AVN ablation and concurrent CRT device implantation while presenting with AF and rapid ventricular response (RVR) refractory to medical therapy. After placement of the right and left ventricular leads, a third puncture was made in the axillary vein to obtain access to perform the ablation. After hand-injecting contrast media through a RAMP™ (Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL, USA) sheath positioned in the right atrial cavity, the anatomical area corresponding to the AVN was identified using fluoroscopy cine runs obtained in the right anterior oblique and left anterior oblique projections. The adequate site for ablation was confirmed by the bipolar recording of a His-bundle deflection at the tip of the ablation catheter. Radiofrequency energy was delivered to achieve complete heart block. Subsequently, device implant was completed. The method was successfully applied in 27 consecutive cases, achieving permanent complete heart block in all patients. The mean radiofrequency time to achieve heart block was 110 seconds ± 43 seconds. The average procedural time including AVN ablation and device implant was 87 minutes ± 21 minutes. The images obtained with the hand-injected contrast media provided adequate information to readily identify the anatomical area corresponding to the AVN with 100% accuracy. This study suggests that ablation of the AVN can be safely and effectively accomplished via a superior approach in patients undergoing a CRT device implant.

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<![CDATA[Mortality and Costs Associated with Wearable Cardioverter-defibrillators after Acute Myocardial Infarction: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of Medicare Claims Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13217 Ventricular arrhythmias are common in the early period after myocardial infarction (MI), with the highest risk occurring in the immediate postinfarct window. The wearable cardioverter-defibrillator (WCD) has been proven to have efficacy in treating sudden cardiac arrest in patients soon after MI. However, data concerning clinical and health economic outcomes of WCD usage among Medicare patients have not been evaluated. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate the clinical and health economic impacts of WCD use among Medicare patients hospitalized for MI. A 5% sample of Medicare’s Standard Analytical Files (2010–2012) was used to identify patients. Beneficiaries with an acute inpatient admission for acute MI were stratified by WCD presence and absence, respectively. Baseline clinical history, all-cause mortality, and the total cost of health-care expenditures over one year were collected. In total, 16,935 patients were included in the final analysis; of these, 89 were placed in the WCD group and 16,846 were placed in the non-WCD group. Overall, WCD patients were younger (70 versus 74 years of age; p < 0.001), more likely to be male (74.2% versus 57.4%; p = 0.002), and more likely to have congestive heart failure and/or ventricular arrhythmias prior to the indexed acute MI. At 30 days, the mortality rate in the WCD group (not reported due to volume < 11 Medicare beneficiaries) was lower in comparison with the non-WCD group (10.4%; p = 0.18). At one year, the adjusted mortality rates were 11.5% for the WCD group and 19.8% for the non-WCD group (hazard ratio: 0.46; p = 0.017). For the WCD group, the one-year incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was $12,373 per life-year gained. Among Medicare beneficiaries, WCD use after an acute MI was associated with better 30-day and one-year survival. Thus, our findings indicate that WCD use was cost-effective in the present sample of Medicare patients.

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<![CDATA[Association between Arrhythmia and Pulmonary Artery Pressure in Heart Failure Patients Implanted with a Cardiac Defibrillator and Ambulatory Pulmonary Artery Pressure Sensor]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13216 The association between ventricular arrhythmia (VA) burden or defibrillator therapy and pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) has not been characterized in an ambulatory setting; thus, we sought in the present research to determine the relationship between ambulatory PAP and VA burden. A retrospective cohort study involving patients with an implantable cardiac defibrillator and CardioMEMS™ PAP sensor (Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL, USA) both transmitting remotely into the Merlin.net™ patient care network (Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL, USA) was conducted. VA and therapy burden in the six months following sensor implant were stratified by the baseline mean PAP. Patients with PAPs of 25 mmHg to 35 mmHg and those with PAPs of 35 mmHg or more were compared with individuals with PAPs of less than 25 mmHg. The change in VA burden was reported using the averaged mean PAP reduction during the first three months. A total of 162 patients aged 69.4 years ± 10.9 years were included (74% male) with a baseline mean PAP of 36.2 mmHg ± 10.4 mmHg. Twenty patients with a baseline mean PAP of less than 25 mmHg had no VAs over six months. For 61 patients with a baseline mean PAP of between 25 mmHg and 35 mmHg, the annualized number of days with ventricular tachycardia (VT)/ventricular fibrillation (VF) was 1.65/patient-year (p < 0.001), with 8% of patients having VT/VF events. For 81 patients with a baseline mean PAP of 35 mmHg or more, 19% of patients had a VT/VF event and an annualized number of days with VT/VF events of 1.45/patient-year (p < 0.001). When analyzing the treatment effect, a reduction of 3 mmHg or more in mean PAP over three months reduced arrhythmia burden over the next three months as compared with in patients without such an improvement. In conclusion, it is indicated that VAs are associated with high PAPs, and a reduction in PAP may lead to a reduction in VAs in real-world ambulatory patients.

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<![CDATA[Anticoagulation Patterns in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Following Percutaneous Coronary Intervention in an Academic Center]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13205 A common dilemma facing physicians treating patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who have undergone percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the management of oral anticoagulation (OAC) therapy, because there is also an indication for dual antiplatelet therapy in these patients. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate anticoagulation patterns in this patient population in an attempt to identify patterns of risk factors that may influence OAC prescribing habits. This retrospective study entailed a review of a total of 4,648 patients from two academic hospitals who underwent PCI between 2008 and 2016. We ultimately included 211 patients who had AF and an indication for OAC. Chart review revealed patients’ risk factors, CHA2DS2-VASc and HAS-BLED scores, and antithrombotic regimens. Only 105 (49.8%) patients who met the indications for OAC were actually placed on OAC post-PCI. There was no significant relationship between discharge on OAC and HAS-BLED score (t = 0.14; p = 0.44) or CHA2DS2-VASc score (t = 0.76; p = 0.22). Patients younger than 65 years of age were prescribed more triple therapy (56% versus 33%; p < 0.01) or any OAC (69% versus 41%; p < 0.01) on discharge in comparison with patients 65 years of age or older. The older patient group had a significantly higher average CHA2DS2-VASc score (4.4 versus 3.2; p < 0.01) and a higher average HAS-BLED score (2.8 versus 2.4; p < 0.01). Ultimately, this study indicated that less than half of AF patients with an indication for OAC were placed on OAC post-PCI. There was no association between discharge on OAC and CHA2DS2-VASc score, HAS-BLED score, or any other individual risk factor, with the exception of age.

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<![CDATA[Streamlined Surgical Draping Reduces Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter-defibrillator Implant Procedure Preparation Time]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13201 The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) is a proven alternative to transvenous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator systems. One critique of S-ICD use, however, has been the time required for implantation. Here, we discuss the use of an alternative surgical draping technique to reduce preparation time for device implantation.

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<![CDATA[Imaging of Atrioventricular Nodal Conduction Tissue in Porcine Hearts Using Optical Coherence Tomography]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13178 Optical coherence tomography (OCT) employs near-infrared light to image the microstructure of different tissues. Clinically, it has been used to image the walls of coronary arteries. In research settings, one of the applications for OCT is visualizing endocardial and subendocardial structures. The present experiment sought to determine whether OCT can identify native conduction tissues in adult porcine hearts. During the study, the right atrial endocardial surfaces of excised adult porcine hearts were exposed. The triangle of Koch was imaged with the OCT system and the conduction tissue was identified. The area was then prepared for histologic examination with Masson’s trichrome stain. The results of histologic preparations and OCT images were then compared. Ultimately, nine porcine hearts were examined using this methodology. OCT imaging successfully identified subendocardial structures presumed to be the compact atrioventricular node. Histologic images of the preparations delineated the different tissue types and conduction tissue was easily identified. The location of distinctive hyporeflective areas in the OCT images correlated with the location of conduction tissue in the histology images. In light of the findings of this study, it is suggested that atrioventricular nodal tissue can be identified by OCT in freshly dissected unfixed porcine hearts. OCT images distinguished the differentiated conduction tissue in close proximity with the endocardium, myofibers, and fibrous tissue, and the success of this was verified with histology. This technology may be useful for the direct visualization of the native conduction system during procedures in the operating room and electrophysiology laboratory. Further studies with perfused tissue samples and live animal experiments are needed to better assess the efficacy of this novel application.

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<![CDATA[A Comparison of the Efficacy of Voltage-directed Cavotricuspid Isthmus Ablation Using Mini Versus Conventional Electrodes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13177 Cavotricuspid isthmus (CTI) ablation is a current first-line management method for typical atrial flutter. A voltage-directed technique that systematically targets points of maximal voltage has be found to reduce procedure and fluoroscopy times without increasing recurrence. We hypothesized that this technique’s efficiency would be enhanced by using signals from radial minielectrodes of a novel catheter (IntellaTip MiFi™; Boston Scientific, Natick, MA, USA). Prospectively, atrial flutter patients underwent voltage-directed ablation with a nonirrigated 8-mm-tip catheter. Ablation was either directed by conventional bipolar electrodes (group A, n = 13) or mini-electrodes (group B, n = 17) with the goal of achieving bidirectional block at the CTI and a subsequent observation time of 30 minutes. Total radiofrequency application time and lesion numbers were not significantly different. Group B had a lower mean power [38.7 watts (W) ± 2.0 W versus 44.8 W ± 1.9 W; p < 0.05] and a tendency for longer fluoroscopy and procedure times. In three of the cases in group B, a switch to an irrigated catheter was required in order to achieve bidirectional block. In group A, bidirectional block was obtained in all patients using the nonirrigated catheter with no significant increase in reconnection. Differences in the catheter performance between the two groups were driven by poorer performance of the MiFi™ catheter (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA, USA) in patients presenting in atrial flutter. Electroanatomical mapping revealed a more proximal localization of the maximal voltage by the minielectrodes as compared with the conventional bipolar electrodes, resulting in less efficient identification and ablation of the conducting muscle bundles. Final results indicated CTI ablation using minielectrodes is not superior to conventional bipolar electrodes in the use of 8-mm, nonirrigated electrodes.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Leadless Pacing and Temporary Externalized Pacing Following Cardiac Implanted Device Extraction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13175 Pacemaker-dependent (PD) patients undergoing implantable cardiac electronic device extraction often must be subjected to temporary pacing interventions. We sought to determine the safety and utility of a leadless pacing system (Micra™; Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN, USA) in patients undergoing system extraction as compared with externalized temporary transvenous right ventricular lead (temp-perm) placement. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of all patients receiving either permanent Micra™ or temp-perm systems following system extraction from October 2013 to September 2017 at Vanderbilt University Hospital. The Micra™ and temp-perm cohorts included nine and 27 patients meeting the inclusion criteria, respectively. System infection was the most common indication for extraction (67% Micra™, 84% temp-perm), but no patients had active bacteremia at the time of permanent system reimplantation. There was no difference in system type (p = 0.09) or mean lead dwell time extracted (109 versus 81 months; p = 0.93). Procedure times were comparable between the two groups (180 versus 194 minutes; p = 0.74). Patients receiving Micra™ systems had shorter hospital stays after extraction (two versus eight days; p < 0.005), with no difference in major complications (11% versus 15%; p = 0.78) or 30-day (11% versus 7%; p = 0.77) or 90-day (11% versus 11%; p = 0.45) mortality. No reinfections were observed in either group at 90 days. Implantation of the Micra™ pacing system in select PD patients after system extraction is feasible and appears to reduce the hospital length of stay as compared with the use of temp-perm systems.

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<![CDATA[Use of portfolios in teaching communication skills and professionalism for Portuguese-speaking medical students]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13139 This study aimed to analyse the effect of a portfolio with three activities fostering students’ reflection, self-efficacy and teaching of communication skills and professionalism.MethodsA cross-sectional study was applied with a sample of third- and fourth-year medical students in one Portuguese and three Brazilian universities. A three-activity portfolio (course evaluation and learning, self-efficacy activity and free reflective writing) was used during a two-month course on communication skills and professionalism. The 69 students enrolled in the course were invited to complete the three-activity portfolio via Likert-type questionnaires, open-ended questions and narrative. Content and lexical analysis and the Reflection Evaluation for Learners’ Enhanced Competencies Tool (REFLECT) were used for assessing the qualitative data. The questionnaires were evaluated using principal components analysis and Cronbach’s α. Pearson’s correlation was applied to portfolio activities. ResultsOf the 69 participants, 85.5% completed at least one activity. Reflecting on what they learned in the communication module, the students did not mention professionalism themes. In the self-efficacy activity on communication, 25% of the fragments were related to professionalism themes. There was a negative correlation between students’ self-efficacy and the REFLECT rubric score (r(19)=−0.744; p< 0.0001).ConclusionsTeachers must consider the activity’s influence on the reflections when assessing the portfolio. This model of a three-activity portfolio provided diverse ways of encouraging and assessing reflections, supporting teaching improvement and adaptation, evaluating students’ self-efficacy and showing that students’ higher reflective capacity may promote feelings of low effectiveness. ]]> <![CDATA[Exploring burnout and depression of Thai medical students: the psychometric properties of the Maslach Burnout Inventory]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13138 To examine the psychometric properties of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS) Thai version and to determine the frequency of burnout and correlation between burnout and associated factors.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students using convenience sampling (n=545, 76.1% response rate, female 52.1%). Data were collected by a self-report survey. The MBI-SS was translated in Thai and tested for internal consistency using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed using as fit indices of the chi-square and degree of freedom ratio (χ2/df), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), the Goodness of Fit Index (GFI), the Non-normed Fit Index (NNFI), Akaike information criterion (AIC) and the Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA). Spearman and Kendall’s tau-b were used to identify correlations between burnout, depression and other factors.ResultsInterrater reliability was acceptable with Kappa of 0.83. Confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated good fit indices (χ2/df=197.62/83, CFI=0.97, GFI=0.95, NNFI=0.96, AIC=271.62 and RMSEA=0.06). Burnout had a weak, positive association with the PHQ-9 (r=0.294, df=2, p< 0.001). The screening depression score had a significant, modest positive association with emotional exhaustion (r=0.469, df=4, p<0.001) and cynicism (r=0.411, df=4, p< 0.001), and a weak inverse association with professional efficacy (r=−0.273, df=4, p< 0.001). ConclusionsThe Thai version of the MBI-SS had adequate psychometric properties among Thai medical students and can be used to assess burnout among undergraduate medical students in Thailand. Burnout was associated with risk for depression. Further studies on other associated factors contributing to depression are suggested. ]]> <![CDATA[Peach PpSnRK1 Participates in Sucrose-Mediated Root Growth Through Auxin Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13111 Sugar signals play a key role in root growth and development. SnRK1, as one of the energy centers, can respond to energy changes in plants and affect the growth and development of plants. However, studies on sugar signals and SnRK1 regulating root growth in fruit trees have not been reported. In this study, we found that 5% exogenous sucrose could increase the total volume and total surface area of the peach root system, enhance the number and growth of lateral roots, and promote the activity of SnRK1. When exogenous trehalose was applied, the growth of roots was poor. Sucrose treatment reversed the inhibitory effects of trehalose on SnRK1 enzyme activity and root growth. We also found that the lateral root number of PpSnRK1a-overexpressing plants (4-1, 4-2, and 4-3) increased significantly. Therefore, we believe that peach SnRK1 is involved in sucrose-mediated root growth and development. To further clarify this mechanism, we used qRT-PCR analysis to show that exogenous sucrose could promote the expression of auxin-related genes in roots, thereby leading to the accumulation of auxin in the root system. In addition, the genes related to auxin synthesis and auxin transport in the root systems of PpSnRK1a-overexpressing lines were also significantly up-regulated. Using peach PpSnRK1a as the bait, we obtained two positive clones, PpIAA12 and PpPIN-LIKES6, which play key roles in auxin signaling. The interactions between peach PpSnRK1a and PpIAA12/PpPIN-LIKES6 were verified by yeast two-hybrid assays and bimolecular fluorescence complementation experiments, and the complexes were localized in the nucleus. After exogenous trehalose treatment, the expression of these two genes in peach root system was inhibited, whereas sucrose had a significant stimulatory effect and could alleviate the inhibition of these two genes by trehalose, which was consistent with the trend of sucrose’s regulation of SnRK1 activity. In conclusion, peach SnRK1 can respond to sucrose and regulate root growth through the auxin signal pathway. This experiment increases our understanding of the function of fruit tree SnRK1 and provides a new insight to further study sugar hormone crosstalk in the future.

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<![CDATA[Genetic and Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Revealed DEGs Involved in the Purple Leaf Formation in <i>Brassica juncea</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13103 Brassica juncea is an important dietary vegetable cultivated and consumed in China for its edible stalks and leaves. The purple leaf mustard, which is rich in anthocyanins, is eye-catching and delivers valuable nutrition. However, the molecular mechanism involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis has not been well studied in B. juncea. Here, histological and transcriptome analyses were used to characterize the purple leaf color and gene expression profiles. Free-hand section analysis showed that the anthocyanin was mainly accumulated in the adaxial epidermal leaf cells. The anthocyanin content in the purple leaves was significantly higher than that in the green leaves. To investigate the critical genes and pathways involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis and accumulation, the transcriptome analysis was used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between the purple and green leaves from the backcrossed BC3 segregation population in B. juncea. A total of 2,286 different expressed genes were identified between the purple and green leaves. Among them, 1,593 DEGs were up-regulated and 693 DEGs were down-regulated. There were 213 differently expressed transcription factors among them. The MYB and bHLH transcription factors, which may regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis, were up-regulated in the purple leaves. Interestingly, most of the genes involved in plant–pathogen interaction pathway were also up-regulated in the purple leaves. The late biosynthetic genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis were highly up-regulated in the purple leaves of B. juncea. The up regulation of BjTT8 and BjMYC2 and anthocyanin biosynthetic genes (BjC4H, BjDFR, and BjANS) may activate the purple leaf formation in B. juncea. This study may help to understand the transcriptional regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in B. juncea.

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