ResearchPad - pharynx https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The emerging risk of oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancer in HPV-related subsites in young people in Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14563 Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for the rise in the incidence of cancer in the oropharynx, tonsils, and base of the tongue (i.e., HPV-related subsites). HPV triggered the changes in the epidemiology of oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancer (OPC/OCC) in Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. Hence, the incidence of cancer in HPV-related subsites is augmenting, while that in other HPV-unrelated subsites is decreasing. In South America, although the incidence of HPV-positive tumors has gradually increased, there is an atypically low prevalence of HPV in people with OPC/OCC. To clarify whether this dramatic shift in incidence trends also occurred in this population, we estimated the burden of HPV on the incidence trends of OPCs/OCCs in São Paulo city in Brazil. In this population-based study, we categorized OPCs/OCCs by HPV-related and HPV-unrelated subsites. We used Poisson regression to assess the age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) stratified by sex and age groups, as well as to examine the age-period-cohort effects. There were 15,391 cases of OPCs/OCCs diagnosed in HPV-related (n = 5,898; 38.3%) and HPV-unrelated (n = 9,493; 61.7%) subsites. Overall, the ASRs decreased for most subsites, for both sexes and for all age groups, except for HPV-related OPC/OCC in young males and females, which increased by 3.8% and 8.6% per year, respectively. In the birth-cohort-effect analysis, we identified an increasing risk for HPV-related OPC/OCC in both sexes in recent birth cohorts; however, this risk was sharply decreased in HPV-unrelated subsites. Our data demonstrate an emerging risk for HPV-related OPC/OCC in young people, which supports prophylactic HPV vaccination in this group.

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<![CDATA[The effects of heated humidification to nasopharynx on nasal resistance and breathing pattern]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cc9d5eed0c484c817b1

Background

Mouth breathing could induce not only dry throat and eventually upper respiratory tract infection, but also snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, while nasal breathing is protective against those problems. Thus, one may want to explore an approach to modify habitual mouth breathing as preferable to nasal breathing. The aim of this study was to investigate the physiological effects of our newly developed mask on facilitation of nasal breathing.

Methods

Thirty seven healthy male volunteers were enrolled in a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Participants wore a newly developed heated humidification mask or non-heated-humidification mask (placebo) for 10-min each. Subjective feelings including dry nose, dry throat, nasal obstruction, ease to breathe, relaxation, calmness, and good feeling were asked before and after wearing each mask. In addition, the effects of masks on nasal resistance, breathing pattern, and heart rate variability were assessed.

Results

Compared with the placebo mask, the heated humidification mask improved all components of subjective feelings except for ease to breathe; moreover, decreased nasal resistance and respiratory frequency accompanied a simultaneous increase in a surrogate maker for tidal volume. However, use of the heated humidification mask did not affect heart rate variability

Conclusion

Adding heated humidification to the nasopharynx could modulate breathing patterns with improvement of subjective experience and objective nasal resistance.

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<![CDATA[Heme peroxidase HPX-2 protects Caenorhabditis elegans from pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fefdd5eed0c484135895

Heme-containing peroxidases are important components of innate immunity. Many of them functionally associate with NADPH oxidase (NOX)/dual oxidase (DUOX) enzymes by using the hydrogen peroxide they generate in downstream reactions. Caenorhabditis elegans encodes for several heme peroxidases, and in a previous study we identified the ShkT-containing peroxidase, SKPO-1, as necessary for pathogen resistance. Here, we demonstrated that another peroxidase, HPX-2 (Heme-PeroXidase 2), is required for resistance against some, but not all pathogens. Tissue specific RNA interference (RNAi) revealed that HPX-2 functionally localizes to the hypodermis of the worm. In congruence with this observation, hpx-2 mutant animals possessed a weaker cuticle structure, indicated by higher permeability to a DNA dye, but exhibited no obvious morphological defects. In addition, fluorescent labeling of HPX-2 revealed its expression in the pharynx, an organ in which BLI-3 is also present. Interestingly, loss of HPX-2 increased intestinal colonization of E. faecalis, suggesting its role in the pharynx may limit intestinal colonization. Moreover, disruption of a catalytic residue in the peroxidase domain of HPX-2 resulted in decreased survival on E. faecalis, indicating its peroxidase activity is required for pathogen resistance. Finally, RNA-seq analysis of an hpx-2 mutant revealed changes in genes encoding for cuticle structural components under the non-pathogenic conditions. Under pathogenic conditions, genes involved in infection response were differentially regulated to a greater degree, likely due to increased microbial burden. In conclusion, the characterization of the heme-peroxidase, HPX-2, revealed that it contributes to C. elegans pathogen resistance through a role in generating cuticle material in the hypodermis and pharynx.

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<![CDATA[Safety and Efficacy of Botulinum Toxin to Preserve Gland Function after Radiotherapy in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blinded Phase I Clinical Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf5ab0ee8fa60bc2ae7

This prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded phase I clinical trial investigates safety and efficacy of botulinum toxin (BoNT) to preserve gland function after radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer. Twelve patients with advanced head and neck cancer were injected with BoNT into the submandibular glands prior to primary radiochemotherapy. Six patients received BoNT/A and 6 patients BoNT/A and B, half of each subgroup into their left and the other half into their right gland. As an internal control, sodium chloride was injected into the respective contralateral gland (placebo). For the evaluation of the salivary gland function, technetium pertechnetate salivary gland scintigraphy was performed before and after the end of radiotherapy. BoNT/A and B were well tolerated. Analysis of the scintigraphic data revealed no statistically significant difference between BoNT and placebo regarding the scintigraphic uptake difference (pBoNT/A = 0.84 and pBoNT/A-B = 0.56 for BoNT/A vs. placebo and BoNT/A-B vs. placebo, respectively). We also found no significant difference in treatment between BoNT and placebo in terms of salivary excretion fraction (pBoNT/A = 0.44; pBoNT/A-B = 0.44). This study demonstrates that BoNT can be safely combined with radiochemotherapy. Dosing and timing of BoNT injection should be further investigated for efficacy analysis.

Trial Registration

German Registry for Clinical Trails DRKS00004595

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<![CDATA[The Oropharyngeal Airway in Young Adults with Skeletal Class II and Class III Deformities: A 3-D Morphometric Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bac959

Objectives

1) To determine the accuracy and reliability of an automated anthropometric measurement software for the oropharyngeal airway and 2) To compare the anthropometric dimensions of the oropharyngeal airway in skeletal class II and III deformity patients.

Methods

Cone-beam CT (CBCT) scans of 62 patients with skeletal class II or III deformities were used for this study. Volumetric, linear and surface area measurements retroglossal (RG) and retropalatal (RP) compartments of the oropharyngeal airway was measured with the 3dMDVultus software. Accuracy of automated anthropometric pharyngeal airway measurements was assessed using an airway phantom.

Results

The software was found to be reasonably accurate for measuring dimensions of air passages. The total oropharyngeal volume was significantly greater in the skeletal class III deformity group (16.7 ± 9.04 mm3) compared with class II subjects (11.87 ± 4.01 mm3). The average surface area of both the RG and RP compartments were significantly larger in the class III deformity group. The most constricted area in the RG and RP airway was significantly larger in individuals with skeletal class III deformity. The anterior-posterior (AP) length of this constriction was significantly greater in skeletal class III individuals in both compartments, whereas the width of the constriction was not significantly different between the two groups in both compartments. The RP compartment was larger but less uniform than the RG compartment in both skeletal deformities.

Conclusion

Significant differences were observed in morphological characteristics of the oropharyngeal airway in individuals with skeletal class II and III deformities. This information may be valuable for surgeons in orthognathic treatment planning, especially for mandibular setback surgery that might compromise the oropharyngeal patency.

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<![CDATA[Pneumococcal Serotypes Colonise the Nasopharynx in Children at Different Densities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0c46

Prevalence of pneumococcal serotypes in carriage and disease has been described but absolute serotype colonisation densities have not been reported. 515 paediatric nasal swab DNA extracts were subjected to lytA qPCR and molecular serotyping by microarray. Absolute serotype densities were derived from total pneumococcal density (qPCR cycle threshold and standard curve) and relative abundance (microarray) and varied widely. Compared to all serotype densities observed, the strongest evidence of differences was seen for serotypes 21 and 35B (higher) and 3, 38 and non-typeables (lower) (p<0.05) with a similar hierarchy when only a single serotype carriage was assessed. There was no evidence of any overall density differences between children with single or multiple serotypes detected but serotypes with mid-range densities were more prevalent. The hierarchy of distinct pneumococcal serotype carriage densities described here for the first time, may help explain the dynamics of transmission between children.

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<![CDATA[Laryngeal Elevation Velocity and Aspiration in Acute Ischemic Stroke Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da64ab0ee8fa60b919a5

Objectives

Aspiration after stroke has been associated with aspiration pneumonia, which contributes to increased mortality of stroke. Laryngeal elevation is a core mechanism for protection from aspiration. Few studies have explored the predictive value of laryngeal elevation velocity for aspiration after stroke. This study aimed to explore the ability of laryngeal elevation velocity to predict aspiration in patients with acute ischemic stroke.

Methods

This was a prospective cohort study that included consecutive acute ischemic stroke patients treated at a teaching hospital during a 10-month period. Patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm the diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke. Patients who were at risk of aspiration and could swallow 5 ml of diluted barium (40%, w/v) for a videofluoroscopic swallowing (VFS) study were included. The association between abnormal indices in the oral and pharyngeal phase of the VFS study and aspiration was examined using univariate analyses. These indices included the lip closure, tongue movement and control, laryngeal elevation velocity and range, the latency of pharyngeal swallowing, pharyngeal transit time (PTT), abnormal epiglottis tilt, residual barium in the pharynx, and the duration of upper esophageal sphincter (UES) opening. The laryngeal elevation velocity (%/s) was calculated as the range of laryngeal elevation (%) from the resting position to the maximum superior position or to the position where the laryngeal vestibule is fully closed divided by the corresponding duration of laryngeal elevation. The range of laryngeal elevation (%) was the percentage calculated as the distance between the resting laryngeal position and the maximum superior excursion position or position where the laryngeal vestibule is fully closed divided by the distance between the resting laryngeal position and the lowest edge of the mandible. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine the predictive value for aspiration secondary to reduced laryngeal elevation velocity after adjusting for the effects of other indices. Intrarater and interrater reliability were calculated using Pearson’s correlation coefficients.

Results

Data from 89 patients were analyzed. This cohort included 71 males and 18 females with a mean age of 59.31±11.46 years. The mean time from stroke onset to the VFS study was 3 days (1–7). Twenty one (23%) patients aspirated while swallowing 5 ml of diluted barium (40%, w/v). Aspiration was associated with age, the velocity (%/s) of laryngeal elevation and duration, delayed pharyngeal phase, pharyngeal transit time, abnormal epiglottic tilt, and invalid laryngeal elevation before true swallowing, and duration of upper esophageal sphincter (UES) opening. After adjusting for the effects of the indices mentioned above, logistic regression analysis revealed that a reduced of laryngeal elevation velocity before vestibule closure was predictive of aspiration independently (OR, 0.993; 95% CI, 0.987–1.000).

Discussions

Reduced laryngeal elevation velocity for laryngeal elevated to position where laryngeal vestibule is fully closed was an independent predictor of aspiration in patients with acute ischemic stroke. This may be related to a decreased contraction velocity of the muscles involved in hyolaryngeal elevation. Therapeutic methods aimed at improving laryngeal elevation velocity may decrease aspiration events and pneumonias after stroke.

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<![CDATA[Transaminase Activity Predicts Survival in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae7ab0ee8fa60bbdef4

Various serum biomarkers have been developed for predicting head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) prognosis. However, none of them have been proven to be clinically significant. A recent study reported that the ratio of aspartate aminotransaminase (AST) to alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) had a prognostic effect on non-metastatic cancers. This study aimed to examine the effect of the AST/ALT ratio on the survival of patients with HNSCC. Clinical data of 356 patients with locoregionally advanced HNSCC were collected. The effect of the AST/ALT ratio on overall survival was analyzed using a Cox proportional hazard model. Moreover, recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) was used to divide the patients into groups on the basis of the clinical stage and AST/ALT ratio. The prognostic ability of this grouping was validated using an independent data set (N = 167). The AST/ALT ratio ranged from 0.42 to 4.30 (median, 1.42) and was a prognostic factor for overall survival that was independent of age, primary sites, and tumor stage (hazard ratio: 1.36, confidence interval: 1.08−1.68, P = 0.010). RPA divided patients with stage IVA into the following two subgroups: high AST/ALT (≥2.3) and low AST/ALT (<2.3) subgroups. The 5-year survival rate for patients with stage III, stage IVA with a low AST/ALT ratio, stage IVA with a high AST/ALT ratio, and stage IVB were 64.8%, 49.2%, 28.6%, and 33.3%, respectively (p < 0.001). Compared with the low AST/ALT group, the adjusted hazard ratio for death was 2.17 for high AST/ALT group (confidence interval: 1.02–.22 P = 0.045). The AST/ALT ratio was demonstrated to be a prognostic factor of HNSCC. The ratio subdivided patients with stage IVA into low- and high-risk groups. Moreover, intensified treatment for the high-risk group may be considered.

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<![CDATA[Onset of Buccal Pumping in Catshark Embryos: How Breathing Develops in the Egg Capsule]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab5ab0ee8fa60bacba4

Respiration in fishes involves buccal pumping, which is characterized by the generation of nearly continuous water flow over the gills because of the rhythmic expansion/compression of the pharyngeal cavity. This mechanism is achieved by the functions of the vascular, skeletal, and muscular systems. However, the process by which the embryo establishes the mechanism remains a mystery. Morphological and kinematical observations on captive cloudy catsharks, Scyliorhinus torazame, have suggested that the embryo starts buccal pumping just before the respiratory slits open on the egg capsule. During the pre-opening period, the embryo acquires oxygen mainly via the external gill filaments. After slit opening, respiration of the embryo involves buccal pumping to pass water over the “internal gills.” The onset of buccal pumping accompanies four morphological changes: (1) regression of the external gill filaments, (2) development of blood vessels within the “internal gills,” (3) completion of the development of hyoid skeletal and muscular elements, and (4) development of the oral valve. A previous study showed that buccal pumping allows the embryo to actively regulate oxygen intake by changing the pumping frequency. Thus, establishment of buccal pumping in the egg capsule is probably important for embryo survival in the unstable oxygen environment of the egg capsule after slit opening.

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<![CDATA[A Comprehensive Analysis on the Association between Tobacco-Free Betel Quid and Risk of Head and Neck Cancer in Taiwanese Men]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafaab0ee8fa60bc4377

Objectives

Although betel quid (BQ) is an established risk factor of head and neck cancer (HNC), insufficiencies exist in the literature regarding the dose-response, BQ types, HNC sites, and BQ cessation. The current study was conducted to fill these insufficiencies.

Materials and Methods

A hospital-based case-control study was conducted to evaluate the association between BQ and HNC. In-person interview was conducted to collect data on BQ chewing. The current analysis included 487 men newly diagnosed with HNC and 617 male controls who were frequency-matched to the cases by age. The association between BQ and HNC was assessed using multivariable unconditional logistic regression.

Results

Ever BQ chewing was associated with an increased HNC risk regardless of the BQ types. A non-linear positive association between BQ and HNC was observed, with a steep rise in HNC risk for the first 5 pack-years or 200,000 minutes of BQ consumption. Every year of BQ cessation was associated with a 2.9% reduction in HNC risk; however, the risk did not reduce to the level of non-BQ chewers even after 20 years of BQ cessation. Eliminating BQ chewing may prevent 51.6% of HNCs, 62.6% of oral cancers, and 41.3% of pharyngeal cancers in Taiwan.

Conclusion

Our results supported the positive association between BQ and HNC. BQ cessation is effective in reducing HNC risk and should be encouraged. Because BQ cessation may not reduce the HNC risk to the level of non-BQ chewers, it is important to prevent the initiation of BQ chewing.

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<![CDATA[The Invertebrate Lysozyme Effector ILYS-3 Is Systemically Activated in Response to Danger Signals and Confers Antimicrobial Protection in C. elegans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da19ab0ee8fa60b7c543

Little is known about the relative contributions and importance of antibacterial effectors in the nematode C. elegans, despite extensive work on the innate immune responses in this organism. We report an investigation of the expression, function and regulation of the six ilys (invertebrate-type lysozyme) genes of C. elegans. These genes exhibited a surprising variety of tissue-specific expression patterns and responses to starvation or bacterial infection. The most strongly expressed, ilys-3, was investigated in detail. ILYS-3 protein was expressed constitutively in the pharynx and coelomocytes, and dynamically in the intestine. Analysis of mutants showed that ILYS-3 was required for pharyngeal grinding (disruption of bacterial cells) during normal growth and consequently it contributes to longevity, as well as being protective against bacterial pathogens. Both starvation and challenge with Gram-positive pathogens resulted in ERK-MAPK-dependent up-regulation of ilys-3 in the intestine. The intestinal induction by pathogens, but not starvation, was found to be dependent on MPK-1 activity in the pharynx rather than in the intestine, demonstrating unexpected communication between these two tissues. The coelomocyte expression appeared to contribute little to normal growth or immunity. Recombinant ILYS-3 protein was found to exhibit appropriate lytic activity against Gram-positive cell wall material.

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<![CDATA[Streptococcus pneumoniae Cell-Wall-Localized Phosphoenolpyruvate Protein Phosphotransferase Can Function as an Adhesin: Identification of Its Host Target Molecules and Evaluation of Its Potential as a Vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7bab0ee8fa60b985ce

In Streptococcus pneumonia, phosphoenolpyruvate protein phosphotransferase (PtsA) is an intracellular protein of the monosaccharide phosphotransferase systems. Biochemical and immunostaining methods were applied to show that PtsA also localizes to the bacterial cell-wall. Thus, it was suspected that PtsA has functions other than its main cytoplasmic enzymatic role. Indeed, recombinant PtsA and anti-rPtsA antiserum were shown to inhibit adhesion of S. pneumoniae to cultured human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. Screening of a combinatorial peptide library expressed in a filamentous phage with rPtsA identified epitopes that were capable of inhibiting S. pneumoniae adhesion to A549 cells. The insert peptides in the phages were sequenced, and homologous sequences were found in human BMPER, multimerin1, protocadherin19, integrinβ4, epsin1 and collagen type VIIα1 proteins, all of which can be found in A549 cells except the latter. Six peptides, synthesized according to the homologous sequences in the human proteins, specifically bound rPtsA in the micromolar range and significantly inhibited pneumococcal adhesion in vitro to lung- and tracheal-derived cell lines. In addition, the tested peptides inhibited lung colonization after intranasal inoculation of mice with S. pneumoniae. Immunization with rPtsA protected the mice against a sublethal intranasal and a lethal intravenous pneumococcal challenge. In addition, mouse anti rPtsA antiserum reduced bacterial virulence in the intravenous inoculation mouse model. These findings showed that the surface-localized PtsA functions as an adhesin, PtsA binding peptides derived from its putative target molecules can be considered for future development of therapeutics, and rPtsA should be regarded as a candidate for vaccine development.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology of Otitis Media with Spontaneous Perforation of the Tympanic Membrane in Young Children and Association with Bacterial Nasopharyngeal Carriage, Recurrences and Pneumococcal Vaccination in Catalonia, Spain - The Prospective HERMES Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb86f

The Epidemiology of otitis media with spontaneous perforation of the tympanic membrane and associated nasopharyngeal carriage of bacterial otopathogens was analysed in a county in Catalonia (Spain) with pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs) not included in the immunization programme at study time. A prospective, multicentre study was performed in 10 primary care centres and 2 hospitals (June 2011-June 2014), including all otherwise healthy children ≥2 months ≤8 years with otitis media presenting spontaneous tympanic perforation within 48h. Up to 521 otitis episodes in 487 children were included, showing by culture/PCR in middle ear fluid (MEF): Haemophilus influenzae [24.2%], both Streptococcus pneumoniae and H. influenzae [24.0%], S. pneumoniae [15.9%], Streptococcus pyogenes [13.6%], and Staphylococcus aureus [6.7%]. Culture-negative/PCR-positive otitis accounted for 31.3% (S. pneumoniae), 30.2% (H. influenzae) and 89.6% (mixed S. pneumoniae/H. influenzae infections). Overall, incidence decreased over the 3-year study period, with significant decreases in otitis by S. pneumoniae and by H. influenzae, but no decreases for mixed S. pneumoniae/H. influenzae infections. Concordance between species in nasopharynx and MEF was found in 58.3% of cases, with maximal rates for S. pyogenes (71.8%), and with identical pneumococcal serotype in 40.5% of cases. Most patients (66.6%) had past episodes. PCV13 serotypes were significantly more frequent in first episodes, in otitis by S. pneumoniae as single agent, and among MEF than nasopharyngeal isolates. All non-PCV13 serotypes separately accounted for <5% in MEF. Up to 73.9% children had received ≥1 dose of PCV, with lower carriage of PCV13 serotypes than among non-vaccinated children. Pooling pneumococcal isolates from MEF and nasopharynx, 30% were multidrug resistant, primarily belonging to serotypes 19A [29.8%], 24A [14.3%], 19F [8.3%] and 15A [6.0%]. Our results suggest that increasing PCV13 vaccination would further reduce transmission of PCV13 serotypes with special benefits for youngest children (with none or uncompleted vaccine schedules), preventing first otitis episodes and subsequent recurrences.

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<![CDATA[MR Image Analytics to Characterize the Upper Airway Structure in Obese Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da01ab0ee8fa60b742fe

Purpose

Quantitative image analysis in previous research in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) has focused on the upper airway or several objects in its immediate vicinity and measures of object size. In this paper, we take a more general approach of considering all major objects in the upper airway region and measures pertaining to their individual morphological properties, their tissue characteristics revealed by image intensities, and the 3D architecture of the object assembly. We propose a novel methodology to select a small set of salient features from this large collection of measures and demonstrate the ability of these features to discriminate with very high prediction accuracy between obese OSAS and obese non-OSAS groups.

Materials and Methods

Thirty children were involved in this study with 15 in the obese OSAS group with an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) = 14.4 ± 10.7) and 15 in the obese non-OSAS group with an AHI = 1.0 ± 1.0 (p<0.001). Subjects were between 8–17 years and underwent T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the upper airway during wakefulness. Fourteen objects in the vicinity of the upper airways were segmented in these images and a total of 159 measurements were derived from each subject image which included object size, surface area, volume, sphericity, standardized T2-weighted image intensity value, and inter-object distances. A small set of discriminating features was identified from this set in several steps. First, a subset of measures that have a low level of correlation among the measures was determined. A heat map visualization technique that allows grouping of parameters based on correlations among them was used for this purpose. Then, through T-tests, another subset of measures which are capable of separating the two groups was identified. The intersection of these subsets yielded the final feature set. The accuracy of these features to perform classification of unseen images into the two patient groups was tested by using logistic regression and multi-fold cross validation.

Results

A set of 16 features identified with low inter-feature correlation (< 0.36) yielded a high classification accuracy of 96% with sensitivity and specificity of 97.8% and 94.4%, respectively. In addition to the previously observed increase in linear size, surface area, and volume of adenoid, tonsils, and fat pad in OSAS, the following new markers have been found. Standardized T2-weighted image intensities differed between the two groups for the entire neck body region, pharynx, and nasopharynx, possibly indicating changes in object tissue characteristics. Fat pad and oropharynx become less round or more complex in shape in OSAS. Fat pad and tongue move closer in OSAS, and so also oropharynx and tonsils and fat pad and tonsils. In contrast, fat pad and oropharynx move farther apart from the skin object.

Conclusions

The study has found several new anatomic bio-markers of OSAS. Changes in standardized T2-weighted image intensities in objects may imply that intrinsic tissue composition undergoes changes in OSAS. The results on inter-object distances imply that treatment methods should respect the relationships that exist among objects and not just their size. The proposed method of analysis may lead to an improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying OSAS.

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<![CDATA[Tumor Regression and Patterns of Distant Metastasis of T1-T2 Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma with Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf1ab0ee8fa60bc12dd

Purpose

To study tumor regression and failure patterns in T1-T2 non-metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) after intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

Methods

A retrospective analysis of 139 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients treated with IMRT between January 2005 and December 2010 in our center was performed. According to the AJCC staging system, all primary lesions were attributed to T1 and T2. The prescription doses were 66 Gy at 30 fractions to gross tumor volume of the nasopharynx and the positive neck nodes, 60 Gy to high-risk clinical target volume and 54 Gy to low-risk clinical target volume. Patients staged III, IV A/B or II (lymph node measured 4 cm or more in diameter) received platinum-based chemotherapy.

Results

By the end of radiotherapy, 7.2% (10/139), 23.7% (33/139), and 9.4% (13/139) of patients had residual lesions in the nasopharynx, cervical lymph nodes and retropharyngeal lymph nodes, respectively. The majority of patients had complete remission within 6 months of radiotherapy completion. Five months after IMRT, three patients with residual tumors in the cervical lymph nodes underwent surgery. Among these patients, two patients had positive pathological findings, and one patient had negative findings. With a median follow-up of 59 months, the 5-year overall survival, local control, regional control and distant metastasis-free rates were 87.8%, 96.7%, 94.9% and 89.1%, respectively. Fifteen patients developed distant metastases, representing the primary failure pattern.

Conclusions

Most residual lesions that persisted after IMRT vanished completely in six months. Considering the potential damage to normal structures, clinicians should be cautious when considering the use of boost irradiation after radiotherapy. Distant metastasis was the primary cause of treatment failure, which was significantly higher in N2-3 patients than in N0-1. Additional studies to better understand distant metastases are needed.

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<![CDATA[On the Morphological Description of Tracheal and Esophageal Displacement and Its Phylogenetic Distribution in Avialae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b93a8f

This research examines the evolution and phylogenetic distribution of a peculiar and often overlooked character seen in birds, herein called tracheal and esophageal displacement. Tracheal and esophageal displacement refers to an asymmetrically situated trachea and/or esophagus along the length of the neck. This contrasts with what would be perceived as the “normal” (midsagittal) placement of these organs, wherein the two organs are situated along the ventral midline of the neck with no deviation. A total of forty-two bird species were examined (thirty-six of which came from dissections whereas six came from comments from previous literature or personal observations), as well as turtles, lizards, crocodylians, and mammals. This study found that essentially all birds have a laterally displaced trachea and/or esophagus. Lizards and mammals were seen to have normal, midsagittally placed tracheae and esophagi. Crocodylians were interesting in that alligators were defined by a normally situated trachea and esophagus whereas some crocodiles were characterized by displacement. In birds, the displacement may occur gradually along the neck, or it may happen immediately upon exiting the oropharynx. Displacement of these organs in birds is the result of a heavily modified neck wherein muscles that restrict mobility of the trachea and esophagus in lizards, alligators, and mammals (e.g., m. episternocleidomastoideus, m. omohyoideus, and m. sternohyoideus) no longer substantially restrict positions of the trachea and esophagus in birds. Rather, these muscles are modified in ways which may assist with making tracheal movements. The implications of this study may provide interesting insights for future comparisons in extinct taxa.

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<![CDATA[Nasopharyngeal Microbiome Diversity Changes over Time in Children with Asthma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb850

Background

The nasopharynx is a reservoir for pathogens associated with respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been used to characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiome of infants and adults during health and disease; less is known, however, about the composition and temporal dynamics (i.e., longitudinal variation) of microbiotas from children and adolescents. Here we use NGS technology to characterize the nasopharyngeal microbiomes of asthmatic children and adolescents (6 to 18 years) and determine their stability over time.

Methods

Two nasopharyngeal washes collected 5.5 to 6.5 months apart were taken from 40 children and adolescents with asthma living in the Washington D.C. area. Sequence data from the 16S-V4 rRNA gene region (~250 bp) were collected from the samples using the MiSeq platform. Raw data were processed in mothur (SILVA123 reference database) and Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU)-based alpha- and beta-diversity metrics were estimated. Relatedness among samples was assessed using PCoA ordination and Procrustes analyses. Differences in microbial diversity and taxon mean relative proportions were assessed using linear mixed effects models. Core microbiome analyses were also performed to identify stable and consistent microbes of the nasopharynx.

Results and Discussion

A total of 2,096,584 clean 16S sequences corresponding to an average of 167 OTUs per sample were generated. Representatives of Moraxella*, Staphylococcus*, Dolosigranulum, Corynebacterium, Prevotella, Streptococcus*, Haemophilus*, Fusobacterium* and a Neisseriaceae genus accounted for 86% of the total reads. These nine genera have been previously found in the nasopharynxes of both infants and adults, but in different proportions. OTUs from the five genera highlighted (*) above defined the nasopharyngeal core microbiome at the 95% level. No significant differences in alpha- and beta-diversity were observed between seasons, but bacterial mean relative proportions of Haemophilus, Moraxella, Staphylococcus and Corynebacterium varied significantly between summer-fall and age groups (inter-patient variation). Additionally, OTUs varied significantly within patients between time points in 35 of the 40 patients analyzed. Future cross-sectional studies should be mindful of the temporal dynamics of the nasopharyngeal microbiota.

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<![CDATA[Diplectanids from Mycteroperca spp. (Epinephelidae) in the Mediterranean Sea: Redescriptions of six species from material collected off Tunisia and Libya, proposal for the 'Pseudorhabdosynochus riouxi group’, and a taxonomic key]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc353

Diplectanid monogeneans are gill parasites that can infect fish in huge numbers and thus become harmful, especially in maricultured fish. It is therefore useful to have taxonomic tools, such as keys, to identify species. The following diplectanid species from groupers of the Mediterranean Sea were studied: five species of Pseudorhabdosynochus Yamaguti, 1958, including P. riouxi (Oliver, 1986) Kritsky & Beverley-Burton, 1986 from the dusky grouper Mycteroperca marginata, P. enitsuji Neifar & Euzet, 2007, P. bouaini Neifar & Euzet, 2007, P. dolicocolpos Neifar & Euzet, 2007 and P. sinediscus Neifar & Euzet, 2007 from the goldblotch grouper M. costae, and Echinoplectanum echinophallus (Euzet & Oliver, 1965) Justine & Euzet, 2006 from the dusky grouper. New material was obtained from fish collected from off Tunisia and Libya and compared to the type-material and voucher specimens in museum collections. Identifications of fish were confirmed by barcoding of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. The sclerotized vagina was considered the most important structure for systematics. The three species P. riouxi, P. bouaini, and P. enitsuji share a common general structure of the sclerotized vagina with a conspicuous spherical secondary chamber. We thus propose the ‘Pseudorhabdosynochus riouxi group’ to accommodate them. Pseudorhabdosynochus dolicocolpos has an elongate vaginal structure that is completely different from all its congeneric species reported from the Mediterranean Sea, and Pseudorhabdosynochus sinediscus has a sclerotized vagina in which the secondary chamber is not visible, and a haptor without squamodiscs. A taxonomic key to diplectanid species on Mycteroperca spp. in the Mediterranean Sea is proposed; it includes ten species of Pseudorhabdosynochus and one species of Echinoplectanum.

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<![CDATA[The nasal and oropharyngeal microbiomes of healthy livestock workers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c915f54d5eed0c48420a5d8

Little information exists on the microbiomes of livestock workers. A cross-sectional, epidemiological study was conducted enrolling 59 participants (26 of which had livestock contact) in Iowa. Participants were enrolled in one of four ways: from an existing prospective cohort study (n = 38), from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Animal Feeding Operations database (n = 17), through Iowa county fairs (n = 3), and through snowball sampling (n = 1). We collected swabs from the nares and oropharynx of each participant to assess the microbiome via 16s rRNA sequencing. We observed livestock workers to have greater diversity in their microbiomes compared to those with no livestock contact. In the nares, there were 27 operational taxonomic units found to be different between livestock workers and non-livestock workers with the greatest difference seen with Streptococcus and Proteobacteria. In the oropharynx, livestock workers with swine exposure were more likely to carry several pathogenic organisms. The results of this study are the first to characterize the livestock worker nasal and oropharyngeal microbiomes.

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<![CDATA[Robust Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) Increases Estimated Clinical Benefit in Head and Neck Cancer Patients]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b77535

Purpose

To compare the clinical benefit of robust optimized Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy (minimax IMPT) with current photon Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and PTV-based IMPT for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. The clinical benefit is quantified in terms of both Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) and target coverage in the case of setup and range errors.

Methods and Materials

For 10 HNC patients, PTV-based IMRT (7 fields), minimax and PTV-based IMPT (2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 fields) plans were tested on robustness. Robust optimized plans differed from PTV-based plans in that they target the CTV and penalize possible error scenarios, instead of using the static isotropic CTV-PTV margin. Perturbed dose distributions of all plans were acquired by simulating in total 8060 setup (±3.5 mm) and range error (±3%) combinations. NTCP models for xerostomia and dysphagia were used to predict the clinical benefit of IMPT versus IMRT.

Results

The robustness criterion was met in the IMRT and minimax IMPT plans in all error scenarios, but this was only the case in 1 of 40 PTV-based IMPT plans. Seven (out of 10) patients had relatively large NTCP reductions in minimax IMPT plans compared to IMRT. For these patients, xerostomia and dysphagia NTCP values were reduced by 17.0% (95% CI; 13.0–21.1) and 8.1% (95% CI; 4.9–11.2) on average with minimax IMPT. Increasing the number of fields did not contribute to plan robustness, but improved organ sparing.

Conclusions

The estimated clinical benefit in terms of NTCP of robust optimized (minimax) IMPT is greater than that of IMRT and PTV-based IMPT in HNC patients. Furthermore, the target coverage of minimax IMPT plans in the presence of errors was comparable to IMRT plans.

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