ResearchPad - thorax https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification of miRNA signatures associated with radiation-induced late lung injury in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7641 Acute radiation exposure of the thorax can lead to late serious, and even life-threatening, pulmonary and cardiac damage. Sporadic in nature, late complications tend to be difficult to predict, which prompted this investigation into identifying non-invasive, tissue-specific biomarkers for the early detection of late radiation injury. Levels of circulating microRNA (miRNA) were measured in C3H and C57Bl/6 mice after whole thorax irradiation at doses yielding approximately 70% mortality in 120 or 180 days, respectively (LD70/120 or 180). Within the first two weeks after exposure, weight gain slowed compared to sham treated mice along with a temporary drop in white blood cell counts. 52% of C3H (33 of 64) and 72% of C57Bl/6 (46 of 64) irradiated mice died due to late radiation injury. Lung and heart damage, as assessed by computed tomography (CT) and histology at 150 (C3H mice) and 180 (C57Bl/6 mice) days, correlated well with the appearance of a local, miRNA signature in the lung and heart tissue of irradiated animals, consistent with inherent differences in the C3H and C57Bl/6 strains in their propensity for developing radiation-induced pneumonitis or fibrosis, respectively. Radiation-induced changes in the circulating miRNA profile were most prominent within the first 30 days after exposure and included miRNA known to regulate inflammation and fibrosis. Importantly, early changes in plasma miRNA expression predicted survival with reasonable accuracy (88–92%). The miRNA signature that predicted survival in C3H mice, including miR-34a-5p, -100-5p, and -150-5p, were associated with pro-inflammatory NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways, whereas the signature identified in C57Bl/6 mice (miR-34b-3p, -96-5p, and -802-5p) was associated with TGF-β/SMAD signaling. This study supports the hypothesis that plasma miRNA profiles could be used to identify individuals at high risk of organ-specific late radiation damage, with applications for radiation oncology clinical practice or in the context of a radiological incident.

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<![CDATA[Correlation between maximal tumor diameter of fresh pathology specimens and computed tomography images in lung adenocarcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79aff5d5eed0c4841e3b32

The authors compared maximal tumor diameters between fresh lung tissue and axial and multiplanar reformatted chest computed-tomography (CT) images in lung adenocarcinoma and investigated the factors affecting tumor-size discrepancies. This study included 135 surgically resected lung adenocarcinomas. An experienced pulmonary pathologist aimed to cut the largest tumor section and measured pathological tumor size (PTS) in fresh specimens. Radiological maximal tumor sizes (RTS) were retrospectively measured on axial (RTSax) and multiplanar reformatted (RTSre) chest CT images. Mean PTS, RTSax, and RTSre were 19.13 mm, 18.63 mm, and 20.80 mm, respectively. RTSre was significantly larger than PTS (mean difference, 1.68 mm; p<0.001). RTSax was also greater than PTS for 6−10-mm and 11−20-mm tumors. PTS and RTS were strongly positively correlated (RTSax, r2 = 0.719, p<0.001; RTSre, r2 = 0.833, p<0.001). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.915 between PTS and RTSax and 0.954 between PTS and RTSre. Postoperative down-staging occurred in 11.0% and 27.4% of tumors on performing radiological staging using RTSax and RTSre, respectively. Postoperative up-staging occurred in 12.3% and 1.4% of tumors on performing radiological staging using RTSax and RTSre, respectively. Multiple linear regression revealed that pleural dimpling (p = 0.024) was an independent factor affecting differences between PTS and RTSax. Specimen type (p = 0.012) and tumor location (p = 0.020) were independent factors affecting differences between PTS and RTSre. In conclusion, RTSre was significantly larger than PTS and caused postoperative down-staging in 27.4% of the tumors. Reliability analysis revealed that RTSre was more strongly correlated with PTS than RTSax. Specimen type and anatomical tumor location influenced the measured size differences between PTS and RTSre.

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<![CDATA[Computational prediction of diagnosis and feature selection on mesothelioma patient health records]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7e0d5eed0c484386b51

Background

Mesothelioma is a lung cancer that kills thousands of people worldwide annually, especially those with exposure to asbestos. Diagnosis of mesothelioma in patients often requires time-consuming imaging techniques and biopsies. Machine learning can provide for a more effective, cheaper, and faster patient diagnosis and feature selection from clinical data in patient records.

Methods and findings

We analyzed a dataset of health records of 324 patients having mesothelioma symptoms from Turkey. The patients had prior asbestos exposure and displayed symptoms consistent with mesothelioma. We compared probabilistic neural network, perceptron-based neural network, random forest, one rule, and decision tree classifiers to predict diagnosis of the patient records. We measured classifiers’ performance through standard confusion matrix scores such as Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC). Random forest outperformed all models tried, obtaining MCC = +0.37 on the complete imbalanced dataset and MCC = +0.64 on the under-sampled balanced dataset. We then employed random forest feature selection to identify the two most relevant dataset traits associated with mesothelioma: lung side and platelet count. These two risk factors resulted so predictive, that decision tree focusing on them achieved the second top accuracy on the complete dataset diagnosis prediction (MCC = +0.28), outperforming all other methods and even decision tree itself applied to all features.

Conclusions

Our results show that machine learning can predict diagnoses of patients having mesothelioma symptoms with high accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, in few minutes. Additionally, random forest can efficiently select the most important features of this clinical dataset (lung side and platelet count) in few seconds. The importance of pleural plaques in lung sides and blood platelets in mesothelioma diagnosis indicates that physicians should focus on these two features when reading records of patients with mesothelioma symptoms. Moreover, doctors can exploit our machinery to predict patient diagnosis when only lung side and platelet data are available.

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<![CDATA[Behavior and exocrine glands in the myrmecophilous beetle Dinarda dentata (Gravenhorst, 1806) (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Aleocharinae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4243a0d5eed0c4845e08c0

The nests of advanced eusocial ant species can be considered ecological islands with a diversity of ecological niches inhabited by not only the ants and their brood, but also a multitude of other organisms adapted to particular niches. In the current paper, we describe the myrmecophilous behavior and the exocrine glands that enable the staphylinid beetle Dinarda dentata to live closely with its host ants Formica sanguinea. We confirm previous anecdotal descriptions of the beetle’s ability to snatch regurgitated food from ants that arrive with a full crop in the peripheral nest chambers, and describe how the beetle is able to appease its host ants and dull initial aggression in the ants.

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<![CDATA[Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis: A retrospective study of patients in Accra, Ghana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5e5d5eed0c484ca9d66

Background

Information on extrapulmonary TB (EPTB) patients is limited in many African countries including Ghana. The study objective was to describe the epidemiology of EPTB patients diagnosed from different categories of health facilities in Accra, Ghana compared to pulmonary TB (PTB) patients and identify risk factors for mortality among EPTB patients.

Method

We conducted retrospective analyses of demographic and clinical data accessed from medical records of EPTB and PTB patients from different types of health facilities from June 2010 to December 2013. Factors at diagnosis associated with EPTB compared to pulmonary TB (PTB) and factors associated with treatment outcome death among EPTB patients were assessed using logistic regression.

Results

Out of 3,342 new TB patients ≥15 years diagnosed, 728 (21.8%) had EPTB with a male: female ratio of 1.17. The EPTB sites commonly affected were disseminated 32.8%, pleura 21%, spine 13%, and Central Nervous System (CNS) 11%. Treatment success rate for EPTB was 70.1% compared to 84.2% for PTB (p<0.001). In logistic regression, HIV positivity (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] 3.19; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.69–3.79) and female gender (aOR 1.59; 95% CI 1.35–1.88) were found to be significantly associated with EPTB compared with PTB. Older age, being HIV positive (aOR 3.15; 95% CI 1.20–8.25) and having CNS TB (aOR 3.88; 95% CI 1.14–13.23) were associated with mortality among EPTB patients. While more EPTB patients were diagnosed in the tertiary hospital, health facility type was not associated with mortality.

Conclusion

EPTB patients in Accra have a worse treatment outcome compared to PTB patients with mortality of EPTB being associated with HIV, older age and CNS TB. Being HIV positive and female gender were found to be significantly associated with EPTB. Increased awareness of these factors may facilitate early case finding and better management outcomes for these patients.

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<![CDATA[Coronary calcium scoring with partial volume correction in anthropomorphic thorax phantom and screening chest CT images]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254568d5eed0c48442c6c5

Introduction

The amount of coronary artery calcium determined in CT scans is a well established predictor of cardiovascular events. However, high interscan variability of coronary calcium quantification may lead to incorrect cardiovascular risk assignment. Partial volume effect contributes to high interscan variability. Hence, we propose a method for coronary calcium quantification employing partial volume correction.

Methods

Two phantoms containing artificial coronary artery calcifications and 293 subject chest CT scans were used. The first and second phantom contained nine calcifications and the second phantom contained three artificial arteries with three calcifications of different volumes, shapes and densities. The first phantom was scanned five times with and without extension rings. The second phantom was scanned three times without and with simulated cardiac motion (10 and 30 mm/s). Chest CT scans were acquired without ECG-synchronization and reconstructed using sharp and soft kernels. Coronary calcifications were annotated employing the clinically used intensity value thresholding (130 HU). Thereafter, a threshold separating each calcification from its background was determined using an Expectation-Maximization algorithm. Finally, for each lesion the partial content of calcification in each voxel was determined depending on its intensity and the determined threshold.

Results

Clinical calcium scoring resulted in overestimation of calcium volume for medium and high density calcifications in the first phantom, and overestimation of calcium volume for high density and underestimation for low density calcifications in the second phantom. With induced motion these effects were further emphasized. The proposed quantification resulted in better accuracy and substantially lower over- and underestimation of calcium volume even in presence of motion. In chest CT, the agreement between calcium scores from the two reconstructions improved when proposed method was used.

Conclusion

Compared with clinical calcium scoring, proposed quantification provides a better estimate of the true calcium volume in phantoms and better agreement in calcium scores between different subject scan reconstructions.

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<![CDATA[Automatic classification of pediatric pneumonia based on lung ultrasound pattern recognition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b51d5eed0c484698a67

Pneumonia is one of the major causes of child mortality, yet with a timely diagnosis, it is usually curable with antibiotic therapy. In many developing regions, diagnosing pneumonia remains a challenge, due to shortages of medical resources. Lung ultrasound has proved to be a useful tool to detect lung consolidation as evidence of pneumonia. However, diagnosis of pneumonia by ultrasound has limitations: it is operator-dependent, and it needs to be carried out and interpreted by trained personnel. Pattern recognition and image analysis is a potential tool to enable automatic diagnosis of pneumonia consolidation without requiring an expert analyst. This paper presents a method for automatic classification of pneumonia using ultrasound imaging of the lungs and pattern recognition. The approach presented here is based on the analysis of brightness distribution patterns present in rectangular segments (here called “characteristic vectors“) from the ultrasound digital images. In a first step we identified and eliminated the skin and subcutaneous tissue (fat and muscle) in lung ultrasound frames, and the “characteristic vectors”were analyzed using standard neural networks using artificial intelligence methods. We analyzed 60 lung ultrasound frames corresponding to 21 children under age 5 years (15 children with confirmed pneumonia by clinical examination and X-rays, and 6 children with no pulmonary disease) from a hospital based population in Lima, Peru. Lung ultrasound images were obtained using an Ultrasonix ultrasound device. A total of 1450 positive (pneumonia) and 1605 negative (normal lung) vectors were analyzed with standard neural networks, and used to create an algorithm to differentiate lung infiltrates from healthy lung. A neural network was trained using the algorithm and it was able to correctly identify pneumonia infiltrates, with 90.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity. This approach may be used to develop operator-independent computer algorithms for pneumonia diagnosis using ultrasound in young children.

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<![CDATA[Neutropenic Mice Provide Insight into the Role of Skin-Infiltrating Neutrophils in the Host Protective Immunity against Filarial Infective Larvae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ddab0ee8fa60b6823a

Our knowledge and control of the pathogenesis induced by the filariae remain limited due to experimental obstacles presented by parasitic nematode biology and the lack of selective prophylactic or curative drugs. Here we thought to investigate the role of neutrophils in the host innate immune response to the infection caused by the Litomosoides sigmodontis murine model of human filariasis using mice harboring a gain-of-function mutation of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and characterized by a profound blood neutropenia (Cxcr4+/1013). We provided manifold evidence emphasizing the major role of neutrophils in the control of the early stages of infection occurring in the skin. Firstly, we uncovered that the filarial parasitic success was dramatically decreased in Cxcr4+/1013 mice upon subcutaneous delivery of the infective stages of filariae (infective larvae, L3). This protection was linked to a larger number of neutrophils constitutively present in the skin of the mutant mice herein characterized as compared to wild type (wt) mice. Indeed, the parasitic success in Cxcr4+/1013 mice was normalized either upon depleting neutrophils, including the pool in the skin, or bypassing the skin via the intravenous infection of L3. Second, extending these observations to wt mice we found that subcutaneous delivery of L3 elicited an increase of neutrophils in the skin. Finally, living L3 larvae were able to promote in both wt and mutant mice, an oxidative burst response and the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NET). This response of neutrophils, which is adapted to the large size of the L3 infective stages, likely directly contributes to the anti-parasitic strategies implemented by the host. Collectively, our results are demonstrating the contribution of neutrophils in early anti-filarial host responses through their capacity to undertake different anti-filarial strategies such as oxidative burst, degranulation and NETosis.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptome and Expression Patterns of Chemosensory Genes in Antennae of the Parasitoid Wasp Chouioia cunea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb56ef

Chouioia cunea Yang is an endoparasitic wasp that attacks pupae of Hyphantria cunea (Drury), an invasive moth species that severely damages forests in China. Chemosensory systems of insects are used to detect volatile chemical odors such as female sex pheromones and host plant volatiles. The antennae of parasite wasps are important for host detection and other sensory-mediated behaviors. We identified and documented differential expression profiles of chemoreception genes in C. cunea antennae. A total of 25 OBPs, 80 ORs, 10 IRs, 11 CSP, 1 SNMPs, and 17 GRs were annotated from adult male and female C. cunea antennal transcriptomes. The expression profiles of 25 OBPs, 16 ORs, and 17 GRs, 5 CSP, 5 IRs and 1 SNMP were determined by RT-PCR and RT-qPCR for the antenna, head, thorax, and abdomen of male and female C. cunea. A total of 8 OBPs, 14 ORs, and 8 GRs, 1 CSP, 4 IRs and 1 SNMPs were exclusively or primarily expressed in female antennae. These female antennal-specific or dominant expression profiles may assist in locating suitable host and oviposition sites. These genes will provide useful targets for advanced study of their biological functions.

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<![CDATA[Dispersal strategies in the highly polygynous ant Crematogaster (Orthocrema) pygmaea Forel (Formicidae: Myrmicinae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be040a

In ants, dispersal strategies and morphology of female sexuals are generally linked to the mode of colony founding. In species using long-range dispersal tactics, queen/worker dimorphism is generally high and young queens are able to initiate new colonies by themselves, using their metabolic reserves. By contrast, in species using short-range dispersal strategies, queen/worker dimorphism is generally low and, due to their limited metabolic reserves, queens have lost the capacity to raise their brood alone and to found their colony independently. Moreover, polygyny is also often associated with short-range dispersal strategies, although the relationship between the number of queens and the dispersal strategy in ants is not clear-cut. Here, dispersal strategies were investigated in C. pygmaea, a highly polygynous and polydomous ant species from northeastern Brazil. Field observations and laboratory experiments show that this ant exhibits a suite of traits that are more commonly associated with long-range dispersal and independent colony foundation: functional wings in both males and females, high queen/worker dimorphism, strong weight loss in mature queens, nuptial flights and, in the lab, ability of young queens to found new colonies in haplometrotic conditions. On the other hand, this species shows a high degree of polygyny with a strong seasonal component, and, at least under laboratory conditions, mature queens seem able to develop propagules if they are accompanied by at least 10 workers. These features strongly suggest that (1) some of the gynes do not engage in a long-range dispersal but become new queens in their mother colony and (2) that budding events are possible in this species. We therefore speculate that C. pygmaea has a dual dispersal strategy probably related to environmental conditions: some gynes engage in long-range dispersal followed by independent colony foundation at the beginning of rainy season, while others mate in the parental colony and are re-adopted leading to high polygyny. During the rainy season, budding events can lead to colony extension and increased polydomy. Polydomy is commonly thought to improve resource discovery and exploitation through decentralized foraging behavior, a significant advantage during the rainy season when food ressources (mainly floral/extrafloral nectaries and hemipteran honeydew) are more abundant and when colony needs for food supplies are highest.

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<![CDATA[Migratory phase of Litomosoides sigmodontis filarial infective larvae is associated with pathology and transient increase of S100A9 expressing neutrophils in the lung]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be01cd

Filarial infections are tropical diseases caused by nematodes of the Onchocercidae family such as Mansonella perstans. The infective larvae (L3) are transmitted into the skin of vertebrate hosts by blood-feeding vectors. Many filarial species settle in the serous cavities including M. perstans in humans and L. sigmodontis, a well-established model of filariasis in mice. L. sigmodontis L3 migrate to the pleural cavity where they moult into L4 around day 9 and into male and female adult worms around day 30. Little is known of the early phase of the parasite life cycle, after the L3 is inoculated in the dermis by the vector and enters the afferent lymphatic vessels and before the moulting processes in the pleural cavity. Here we reveal a pulmonary phase associated with lung damage characterized by haemorrhages and granulomas suggesting L3 reach the lung via pulmonary capillaries and damage the endothelium and parenchyma by crossing them to enter the pleural cavity. This study also provides evidence for a transient inflammation in the lung characterized by a very early recruitment of neutrophils associated with high expression levels of S100A8 and S100A9 proteins.

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<![CDATA[Control of Neural Daughter Cell Proliferation by Multi-level Notch/Su(H)/E(spl)-HLH Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da86ab0ee8fa60b9c5bf

The Notch pathway controls proliferation during development and in adulthood, and is frequently affected in many disorders. However, the genetic sensitivity and multi-layered transcriptional properties of the Notch pathway has made its molecular decoding challenging. Here, we address the complexity of Notch signaling with respect to proliferation, using the developing Drosophila CNS as model. We find that a Notch/Su(H)/E(spl)-HLH cascade specifically controls daughter, but not progenitor proliferation. Additionally, we find that different E(spl)-HLH genes are required in different neuroblast lineages. The Notch/Su(H)/E(spl)-HLH cascade alters daughter proliferation by regulating four key cell cycle factors: Cyclin E, String/Cdc25, E2f and Dacapo (mammalian p21CIP1/p27KIP1/p57Kip2). ChIP and DamID analysis of Su(H) and E(spl)-HLH indicates direct transcriptional regulation of the cell cycle genes, and of the Notch pathway itself. These results point to a multi-level signaling model and may help shed light on the dichotomous proliferative role of Notch signaling in many other systems.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of influencing factors on outcomes of single and multiple road traffic injuries: A regional study in Shanghai, China (2011-2014)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf75a

Introduction

To identify key intervention factors and reduce road traffic injury (RTI)-associated mortality, this study compared outcomes and influencing factors of single and multiple road traffic injuries (RTIs) in Shanghai.

Methods

Based on the design of National Trauma Data Bank, this study collected demographic, injury, and outcome data from RTI patients treated at the four largest trauma centers in Shanghai from January 2011 to January 2015. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, univariate analysis, and hierarchical logistic regression analysis.

Results

Among 2397 participants, 59.4% had a single injury, and 40.6% had multiple injuries. Most patients’ outcome was cure or improvement. For single-RTI patients, length of stay, body region, central nervous system injury, acute renal failure, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, bacterial infection, and coma were significantly related to outcome. For multiple-RTI patients, age, admission pathway, prehospital time, length of stay, number of body regions, body region, injury condition, injury severity score, and coma were significantly related to outcome.

Conclusions

Emergency rescue in road traffic accidents should focus on high-risk groups (the elderly), high-incidence body regions (head, thorax, pelvis) and number of injuries, injury condition (central nervous system injury, coma, complications, admission pathway), injury severity (critically injured patients), and time factors (particularly prehospital time).

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<![CDATA[Robust CPD Algorithm for Non-Rigid Point Set Registration Based on Structure Information]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadcab0ee8fa60bba07f

Recently, the Coherent Point Drift (CPD) algorithm has become a very popular and efficient method for point set registration. However, this method does not take into consideration the neighborhood structure information of points to find the correspondence and requires a manual assignment of the outlier ratio. Therefore, CPD is not robust for large degrees of degradation. In this paper, an improved method is proposed to overcome the two limitations of CPD. A structure descriptor, such as shape context, is used to perform the auxiliary calculation of the correspondence, and the proportion of each GMM component is adjusted by the similarity. The outlier ratio is formulated in the EM framework so that it can be automatically calculated and optimized iteratively. The experimental results on both synthetic data and real data demonstrate that the proposed method described here is more robust to deformation, noise, occlusion, and outliers than CPD and other state-of-the-art algorithms.

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<![CDATA[A Hox Transcription Factor Collective Binds a Highly Conserved Distal-less cis-Regulatory Module to Generate Robust Transcriptional Outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb0694

cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) generate precise expression patterns by integrating numerous transcription factors (TFs). Surprisingly, CRMs that control essential gene patterns can differ greatly in conservation, suggesting distinct constraints on TF binding sites. Here, we show that a highly conserved Distal-less regulatory element (DCRE) that controls gene expression in leg precursor cells recruits multiple Hox, Extradenticle (Exd) and Homothorax (Hth) complexes to mediate dual outputs: thoracic activation and abdominal repression. Using reporter assays, we found that abdominal repression is particularly robust, as neither individual binding site mutations nor a DNA binding deficient Hth protein abolished cooperative DNA binding and in vivo repression. Moreover, a re-engineered DCRE containing a distinct configuration of Hox, Exd, and Hth sites also mediated abdominal Hox repression. However, the re-engineered DCRE failed to perform additional segment-specific functions such as thoracic activation. These findings are consistent with two emerging concepts in gene regulation: First, the abdominal Hox/Exd/Hth factors utilize protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions to form repression complexes on flexible combinations of sites, consistent with the TF collective model of CRM organization. Second, the conserved DCRE mediates multiple cell-type specific outputs, consistent with recent findings that pleiotropic CRMs are associated with conserved TF binding and added evolutionary constraints.

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<![CDATA[Prenatal Diagnosis and Evaluation of Sonographic Predictors for Intervention and Adverse Outcome in Congenital Pulmonary Airway Malformation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3dab0ee8fa60b88cef

Objective

To describe antenatal findings and evaluate prenatal risk parameters for adverse outcome or need for intervention in fetuses with congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM).

Methods

In our retrospective study all fetuses with a prenatal diagnosis of CPAM detected in our tertiary referral center between 2002 and 2013 were analyzed. Sonographic findings were noted and measurements of mass-to-thorax-ratio (MTR), congenital pulmonary airway malformation volume-ratio (CVR) and observed to expected lung-to head-ratio (o/e LHR) were conducted and correlated to fetal or neonatal morbidity and mortality and/or need for prenatal intervention.

Results

67 fetuses with CPAM were included in the study. Hydropic fetuses were observed in 16.4% (11/67) of cases, prenatal intervention was undertaken in 9 cases; 7 pregnancies were terminated. The survival rate of non-hydropic fetuses with conservatively managed CPAM was 98.0% (50/51), the survival rate for hydropic fetuses with intention to treat was 42.9% (3/7). 10 (18.2%) children needed respiratory assistance. Fetuses with a CVR of <0.91 were significantly less likely to experience adverse outcome or need for prenatal intervention with sensitivity, specificity and positive/negative predictive value of 0.89, 0.71, 0.62 and 0.93, respectively. A MTR (mass-to-thorax-ratio) of < 0.51 had a positive predictive value of 0.54 and a negative predictive value of 0.96 of adverse events with a sensitivity of 0.95 and a specificity of 0.63. The negative predictive value for o/e LHR of 45% was 0.84 with sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of 0.73, 0.68 and 0.52, respectively.

Conclusions

The majority of cases with CPAM have a favorable outcome. MTR and CVR are able to identify fetuses at risk, the o/e LHR is less sensitive.

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<![CDATA[A New Method for Quick and Easy Hemolymph Collection from Apidae Adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbb17

Bio-analysis of insects is increasingly dependent on highly sensitive methods that require high quality biological material, such as hemolymph. However, it is difficult to collect fresh and uncontaminated hemolymph from adult bees since they are very active and have the potential to sting, and because hemolymph is rapidly melanized. Here we aimed to develop and test a quick and easy method for sterile and contamination-free hemolymph sampling from adult Apidae. Our novel antennae method for hemolymph sampling (AMHS), entailed the detachment of an antenna, followed by application of delicate pressure to the bee's abdomen. This resulted in the appearance of a drop of hemolymph at the base of the detached antenna, which was then aspirated using an automatic pipetter. Larger insect size corresponded to easier and faster hemolymph sampling, and to a greater sample volume. We obtained 80–100 μL of sterile non-melanized hemolymph in 1 minute from one Bombus terrestris worker, in 6 minutes from 10 Apis mellifera workers, and in 15 minutes from 18 Apis cerana workers (+/−0.5 minutes). Compared to the most popular method of hemolymph collection, in which hemolymph is sampled by puncturing the dorsal sinus of the thorax with a capillary (TCHS), significantly fewer bees were required to collect 80–100 μL hemolymph using our novel AMHS method. Moreover, the time required for hemolymph collection was significantly shorter using the AMHS compared to the TCHS, which protects the acquired hemolymph against melanization, thus providing the highest quality material for biological analysis.

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<![CDATA[The Role of 18F-FDG PET/CT Integrated Imaging in Distinguishing Malignant from Benign Pleural Effusion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b65aea

Objective

The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging in differentiating malignant from benign pleural effusion.

Methods

A total of 176 patients with pleural effusion who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT examination to differentiate malignancy from benignancy were retrospectively researched. The images of CT imaging, 18F-FDG PET imaging and 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging were visually analyzed. The suspected malignant effusion was characterized by the presence of nodular or irregular pleural thickening on CT imaging. Whereas on PET imaging, pleural 18F-FDG uptake higher than mediastinal activity was interpreted as malignant effusion. Images of 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging were interpreted by combining the morphologic feature of pleura on CT imaging with the degree and form of pleural 18F-FDG uptake on PET imaging.

Results

One hundred and eight patients had malignant effusion, including 86 with pleural metastasis and 22 with pleural mesothelioma, whereas 68 patients had benign effusion. The sensitivities of CT imaging, 18F-FDG PET imaging and 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging in detecting malignant effusion were 75.0%, 91.7% and 93.5%, respectively, which were 69.8%, 91.9% and 93.0% in distinguishing metastatic effusion. The sensitivity of 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging in detecting malignant effusion was higher than that of CT imaging (p = 0.000). For metastatic effusion, 18F-FDG PET imaging had higher sensitivity (p = 0.000) and better diagnostic consistency with 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging compared with CT imaging (Kappa = 0.917 and Kappa = 0.295, respectively). The specificities of CT imaging, 18F-FDG PET imaging and 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging were 94.1%, 63.2% and 92.6% in detecting benign effusion. The specificities of CT imaging and 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging were higher than that of 18F-FDG PET imaging (p = 0.000 and p = 0.000, respectively), and CT imaging had better diagnostic consistency with 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging compared with 18F-FDG PET imaging (Kappa = 0.881 and Kappa = 0.240, respectively).

Conclusion

18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging is a more reliable modality in distinguishing malignant from benign pleural effusion than 18F-FDG PET imaging and CT imaging alone. For image interpretation of 18F-FDG PET/CT integrated imaging, the PET and CT portions play a major diagnostic role in identifying metastatic effusion and benign effusion, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Effect of Electrode Belt and Body Positions on Regional Pulmonary Ventilation- and Perfusion-Related Impedance Changes Measured by Electric Impedance Tomography]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd8772

Ventilator-induced or ventilator-associated lung injury (VILI/VALI) is common and there is an increasing demand for a tool that can optimize ventilator settings. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) can detect changes in impedance caused by pulmonary ventilation and perfusion, but the effect of changes in the position of the body and in the placing of the electrode belt on the impedance signal have not to our knowledge been thoroughly evaluated. We therefore studied ventilation-related and perfusion-related changes in impedance during spontaneous breathing in 10 healthy subjects in five different body positions and with the electrode belt placed at three different thoracic positions using a 32-electrode EIT system. We found differences between regions of interest that could be attributed to changes in the position of the body, and differences in impedance amplitudes when the position of the electrode belt was changed. Ventilation-related changes in impedance could therefore be related to changes in the position of both the body and the electrode belt. Perfusion-related changes in impedance were probably related to the interference of major vessels. While these findings give us some insight into the sources of variation in impedance signals as a result of changes in the positions of both the body and the electrode belt, further studies on the origin of the perfusion-related impedance signal are needed to improve EIT further as a tool for the monitoring of pulmonary ventilation and perfusion.

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<![CDATA[Procedures and Frequencies of Embalming and Heart Extractions in Modern Period in Brittany. Contribution to the Evolution of Ritual Funerary in Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db43ab0ee8fa60bd7590

The evolution of funeral practices from the Middle Ages through the Modern era in Europe is generally seen as a process of secularization. The study, through imaging and autopsy, of two mummies, five lead urns containing hearts, and more than six hundred skeletons of nobles and clergymen from a Renaissance convent in Brittany has led us to reject this view. In addition to exceptional embalming, we observed instances in which hearts alone had been extracted, a phenomenon that had never before been described, and brains alone as well, and instances in which each spouse's heart had been placed on the other's coffin. In some identified cases we were able to establish links between the religious attitudes of given individuals and either ancient Medieval practices or more modern ones generated by the Council of Trent. All of these practices, which were a function of social status, were rooted in religion. They offer no evidence of secularization whatsoever.

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