ResearchPad - vertebrae https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Bisegmental posterior stabilisation of thoracolumbar fractures with polyaxial pedicle screws: Does additional balloon kyphoplasty retain vertebral height?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15725 We retrospectively evaluated single-level compression fractures (T12-L3) scheduled for a short-segment POS (posterior-only stabilization) using polyaxial screws. Patients averaged 55.7 years (range, 19–65). Patients received either POS or, concomitantly, BK (balloon kyphoplasty) of the fractured vertebrae as well. Primary endpoint was the radiological outcome at the last radiographic follow-up prior to implant removal. POS together with BK of the fractured vertebrae resulted in a significant improvement of the local kyphosis angle and vertebral body compression rates immediately post-OP. During the further course of FU, a considerable loss of correction was observed post-OP in both groups. (Local KA: pre-OP/ post-OP/ FU: 12.6±4.8/ 3.35±4.8/ 11.6±6.0; anterior vertebral body compression%: pre-OP/post-OP/ FU: 71.94±12.3/ 94.78±19.95/ 78.17±14.74). VAS was significantly improved from 7.2±1.3 pre-OP to 2.7±1.3 (P<0.001) at FU. We found a significant restoration of the vertebral body height by BK. Nevertheless, follow-up revealed a noticeable loss of reduction. Given the fact that BK used together with polyaxial screws did not maintain intra-operative reduction, our data do not support this additional maneuver when used together with bi-segmental polyaxial pedicle screw fixation.

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<![CDATA[A new finite element based parameter to predict bone fracture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N73efbb2c-4546-457e-9797-023764c15f47

Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is currently the most widely adopted non-invasive clinical technique to assess bone mineral density and bone mineral content in human research and represents the primary tool for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. DXA measures areal bone mineral density, BMD, which does not account for the three-dimensional structure of the vertebrae and for the distribution of bone mass. The result is that longitudinal DXA can only predict about 70% of vertebral fractures. This study proposes a complementary tool, based on Finite Element (FE) models, to improve the DXA accuracy. Bone is simulated as elastic and inhomogeneous material, with stiffness distribution derived from DXA greyscale images of density. The numerical procedure simulates a compressive load on each vertebra to evaluate the local minimum principal strain values. From these values, both the local average and the maximum strains are computed over the cross sections and along the height of the analysed bone region, to provide a parameter, named Strain Index of Bone (SIB), which could be considered as a bone fragility index. The procedure is initially validated on 33 cylindrical trabecular bone samples obtained from porcine lumbar vertebrae, experimentally tested under static compressive loading. Comparing the experimental mechanical parameters with the SIB, we could find a higher correlation of the ultimate stress, σULT, with the SIB values (R2adj = 0.63) than that observed with the conventional DXA-based clinical parameters, i.e. Bone Mineral Density, BMD (R2adj = 0.34) and Trabecular Bone Score, TBS (R2adj = -0.03). The paper finally presents a few case studies of numerical simulations carried out on human lumbar vertebrae. If our results are confirmed in prospective studies, SIB could be used—together with BMD and TBS—to improve the fracture risk assessment and support the clinical decision to assume specific drugs for metabolic bone diseases.

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<![CDATA[An anatomical study on lumbar arteries related to the extrapedicular approach applied during lumbar PVP (PKP)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823e7d5eed0c48463929f

To observe the regional anatomy of the lumbar artery (LA) associated with the extrapedicular approach applied during percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP) and percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), we collected 78 samples of abdominal computed tomography angiography imaging data. We measured the nearest distance from the center of the vertebral body puncture point to the LA (distance VBPP-LA, DVBPP-LA). According to the DVBPP-LA, four zones, Zone I, Zone II, Zone III and Zone IV, were identified. LAs that passed through these zones were called Type I, Type II, Type III and Type IV LAs, respectively. A portion of the lumbar vertebrae had an intersegmental branch that originated from the upper segmental LA and extended longitudinally across the lateral wall of the pedicle; it was called Type V LA. Compared with the DVBPP-LA in L1, L2, L3 and L4, the overall difference and between-group differences were significant (P < 0.05). In L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5, there were 8, 4, 4, 0 and 1 Type I LAs, respectively. There were no Type V LAs in L1 and L2, but there were 2, 16 and 26 Type V LAs in L3, L4 and L5, respectively. In L1-L5, the numbers of Type I LA plus Type V LA were 8, 4, 6, 16 and 27, and the presence ratios were 5.1%, 2.6%, 5.6%, 10.3% and 17.3%, respectively. In L4 and L5, the male presence ratios of Type I LA plus Type V LA were 7.1% and 10.7%, respectively, and the female presence ratios were 13.9% and 25.0%, respectively. Thus, extrapedicular PVP (PKP) in lumbar vertebrae had a risk of LA injury and was not suggested for use in L4 and L5, especially in female patients.

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<![CDATA[Anatomy of the dinosaur Pampadromaeus barberenai (Saurischia—Sauropodomorpha) from the Late Triassic Santa Maria Formation of southern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe1bd5eed0c484e5b4e9

Sauropodomorphs are the most abundant and diverse clade of Triassic dinosaurs, but the taxonomy of their earliest (Carnian) representatives is still poorly understood. One such taxon is Pampadromaeus barberenai, represented by a nearly complete disarticulated skeleton recovered from the upper part of the Santa Maria Formation of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Here, the osteology of Pam. barberenai is fully described for the first time. Detailed comparisons with other Carnian sauropodomorphs reveal a unique anatomy, corroborating its status as a valid species. Potential autapomorphies of Pam. barberenai can be seen in the articulation of the sacral zygapophyses, the length of the pectoral epipodium, the shape of the distal articulation of the femur and the proximal articulation of metatarsal 1. A novel phylogenetic study shows that relationships among the Carnian sauropodomorphs are poorly constrained, possibly because they belong to a “zone of variability”, where homoplasy abounds. Yet, there is some evidence that Pam. barberenai may nest within Saturnaliidae, along with Saturnalia tupiniquim and Chromogisaurus novasi, which represents the sister group to the larger sauropodomorphs, i.e. Bagualosauria.

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<![CDATA[A novel nonosteocytic regulatory mechanism of bone modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df343d5eed0c484581048

Osteocytes, cells forming an elaborate network within the bones of most vertebrate taxa, are thought to be the master regulators of bone modeling, a process of coordinated, local bone-tissue deposition and removal that keeps bone strains at safe levels throughout life. Neoteleost fish, however, lack osteocytes and yet are known to be capable of bone modeling, although no osteocyte-independent modeling regulatory mechanism has so far been described. Here, we characterize a novel, to our knowledge, bone-modeling regulatory mechanism in a fish species (medaka), showing that although lacking osteocytes (i.e., internal mechanosensors), when loaded, medaka bones model in mechanically directed ways, successfully reducing high tissue strains. We establish that as in mammals, modeling in medaka is regulated by the SOST gene, demonstrating a mechanistic link between skeletal loading, SOST down-regulation, and intense bone deposition. However, whereas mammalian SOST is expressed almost exclusively by osteocytes, in both medaka and zebrafish (a species with osteocytic bones), SOST is expressed by a variety of nonosteocytic cells, none of which reside within the bone bulk. These findings argue that in fishes (and perhaps other vertebrates), nonosteocytic skeletal cells are both sensors and responders, shouldering duties believed exclusive to osteocytes. This previously unrecognized, SOST-dependent, osteocyte-independent mechanism challenges current paradigms of osteocyte exclusivity in bone-modeling regulation, suggesting the existence of multivariate feedback networks in bone modeling—perhaps also in mammalian bones—and thus arguing for the possibility of untapped potential for cell targets in bone therapeutics.

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<![CDATA[A new African Titanosaurian Sauropod Dinosaur from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation (Mtuka Member), Rukwa Rift Basin, Southwestern Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca2ad5eed0c48452a874

The African terrestrial fossil record has been limited in its contribution to our understanding of both regional and global Cretaceous paleobiogeography, an interval of significant geologic and macroevolutionary change. A common component in Cretaceous African faunas, titanosaurian sauropods diversified into one of the most specious groups of dinosaurs worldwide. Here we describe the new titanosaurian Mnyamawamtuka moyowamkia gen. et sp. nov. from the Mtuka Member of the Galula Formation in southwest Tanzania. The new specimen preserves teeth, elements from all regions of the postcranial axial skeleton, parts of both appendicular girdles, and portions of both limbs including a complete metatarsus. Unique traits of M. moyowamkia include the lack of an interpostzygapophyseal lamina in posterior dorsal vertebrae, pronounced posterolateral expansion of middle caudal centra, and an unusually small sternal plate. Phylogenetic analyses consistently place M. moyowamkia as either a close relative to lithostrotian titanosaurians (e.g., parsimony, uncalibrated Bayesian analyses) or as a lithostrotian and sister taxon to Malawisaurus dixeyi from the nearby Aptian? Dinosaur Beds of Malawi (e.g., tip-dating Bayesian analyses). M. moyowamkia shares a few features with M. dixeyi, including semi-spatulate teeth and a median lamina between the neural canal and interpostzygapophyseal lamina in anterior dorsal vertebrae. Both comparative morphology and phylogenetic analyses support Mnyamawamtuka as a distinct and distant relative to Rukwatitan bisepultus and Shingopana songwensis from the younger Namba Member of the Galula Formation with these results largely congruent with newly constrained ages for the Mtuka Member (Aptian–Cenomanian) and Namba Member (Campanian). Coupled with recent discoveries from the Dahkla Oasis, Egypt (e.g., Mansourasaurus shahinae) and other parts of continental Afro-Arabia, the Tanzania titanosaurians refine perspectives on the development of African terrestrial faunas throughout the Cretaceous—a critical step in understanding non-marine paleobiogeographic patterns of Africa that have remained elusive until the past few years.

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<![CDATA[Comparisons of Schansitherium tafeli with Samotherium boissieri (Giraffidae, Mammalia) from the Late Miocene of Gansu Province, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7573d5eed0c4843cfdbf

We are describing and figuring for the first time skulls of Schansitherium tafeli, which are abundant in the Gansu area of China from the Late Miocene. They were animals about the size of Samotherium with shorter necks that had two pairs of ossicones that merge at the base, which is unlike Samotherium. The anterior ossicones consist of anterior lineations, which may represent growth lines. They were likely mixed feeders similar to Samotherium. Schansitherium is tentatively placed in a very close position to Samotherium. Samotherium and Schansitherium represent a pair of morphologically very similar species that likely coexisted similarly to pairs of modern species, where the main difference is in the ossicones. Pairs of ruminants in Africa, for example, exist today that differ mostly in their horn shape but otherwise are similar in size, shape, and diet. The absence of Schansitherium from Europe is interesting, however, as Samotherium is found in both locations. While is it challenging to interpret neck length and ossicone shape in terms of function in combat, we offer our hypothesis as to how the two species differed in their fighting techniques.

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<![CDATA[A new baby oviraptorid dinosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation of Mongolia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648cf4d5eed0c484c81b9d

Recent discoveries of new oviraptorosaurs revealed their high diversity from the Cretaceous Period in Asia and North America. Particularly, at the family level, oviraptorids are among the most diverse theropod dinosaurs in the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia and China. A new oviraptorid dinosaur Gobiraptor minutus gen. et sp. nov. from the Upper Cretaceous Nemegt Formation is described here based on a single holotype specimen that includes incomplete cranial and postcranial elements. The most prominent characters of Gobiraptor are its thickened rostrodorsal end of the mandibular symphysis and a rudimentary lingual shelf on each side of the dentary. Each lingual shelf is lined with small occlusal foramina and demarcated by a weakly developed lingual ridge. This mandibular morphology of Gobiraptor is unique among oviraptorids and likely to be linked to a specialized diet that probably included hard materials, such as seeds or bivalves. The osteohistology of the femur of the holotype specimen indicates that the individual was fairly young at the time of its death. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Gobiraptor as a derived oviraptorid close to three taxa from the Ganzhou region in southern China, but rather distantly related to other Nemegt oviraptorids which, as the results of recent studies, are also not closely related to each other. Gobiraptor increases diversity of oviraptorids in the Nemegt Formation and its presence confirms the successful adaptation of oviraptorids to a mesic environment.

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<![CDATA[The stability of long-segment and short-segment fixation for treating severe burst fractures at the thoracolumbar junction in osteoporotic bone: A finite element analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8dbd5eed0c48496f278

The majority of compressive vertebral fractures in osteoporotic bone occur at the level of the thoracolumbar junction. Immediate decompression is often required in order to reduce the extent of neurological damage. This study evaluated four fixation methods for decompression in patients with thoracolumbar burst fractures, and presented the most suitable method for osteoporotic patients. A finite element model of a T7–L5 spinal segment was created and subjected to an L1 corpectomy to simulate a serious burst fracture. Five models were tested: a) intact spine; 2) two segment fixation (TSF), 3) up-three segment fixation (UTSF), below-three segment fixation (BTSF), and four segment fixation (FSF). The ROM, stiffness and compression ratio of the fractured vertebra were recorded under various loading conditions. The results of this study showed that the ROM of the FSF model was the lowest, and the ROMs of UTSF and BTSF models were similar but still greater than the TSF model. Decreasing the BMD to simulate osteoporotic bone resulted in a ROM for the four instrumented models that was higher than the normal bone model. Of all models, the FSF model had the highest stiffness at T12-L2 in extension and lateral bending. Similarly, the compression ratio of the FSF model at L1 was also higher than the other instrumented models. In conclusion, FSF fixation is suggested for patients with osteoporotic thoracolumbar burst fractures. For patients with normal bone quality, both UTSF and BTSF fixation provide an acceptable stiffness in extension and lateral bending, as well as a favorable compression ratio at L1.

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<![CDATA[Stomach contents of the archaeocete Basilosaurus isis: Apex predator in oceans of the late Eocene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa556d5eed0c484ca331a

Apex predators live at the top of an ecological pyramid, preying on animals in the pyramid below and normally immune from predation themselves. Apex predators are often, but not always, the largest animals of their kind. The living killer whale Orcinus orca is an apex predator in modern world oceans. Here we focus on an earlier apex predator, the late Eocene archaeocete Basilosaurus isis from Wadi Al Hitan in Egypt, and show from stomach contents that it fed on smaller whales (juvenile Dorudon atrox) and large fishes (Pycnodus mokattamensis). Our observations, the first direct evidence of diet in Basilosaurus isis, confirm a predator-prey relationship of the two most frequently found fossil whales in Wadi Al-Hitan, B. isis and D. atrox. This extends our understanding of their paleoecology. Late Eocene Basilosaurus isis, late Miocene Livyatan melvillei, and modern Orcinus orca are three marine apex predators known from relatively short intervals of time. Little is known about whales as apex predators through much of the Cenozoic era, and whales as apex predators deserve more attention than they have received.

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<![CDATA[Whole genome variant association across 100 dogs identifies a frame shift mutation in DISHEVELLED 2 which contributes to Robinow-like syndrome in Bulldogs and related screw tail dog breeds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf03d5eed0c484913d1e

Domestic dog breeds exhibit remarkable morphological variations that result from centuries of artificial selection and breeding. Identifying the genetic changes that contribute to these variations could provide critical insights into the molecular basis of tissue and organismal morphogenesis. Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers share many morphological and disease-predisposition traits, including brachycephalic skull morphology, widely set eyes and short stature. Unlike other brachycephalic dogs, these breeds also exhibit vertebral malformations that result in a truncated, kinked tail (screw tail). Whole genome sequencing of 100 dogs from 21 breeds identified 12.4 million bi-allelic variants that met inclusion criteria. Whole Genome Association of these variants with the breed defining phenotype of screw tail was performed using 10 cases and 84 controls and identified a frameshift mutation in the WNT pathway gene DISHEVELLED 2 (DVL2) (Chr5: 32195043_32195044del, p = 4.37 X 10−37) as the most strongly associated variant in the canine genome. This DVL2 variant was fixed in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs and had a high allele frequency (0.94) in Boston Terriers. The DVL2 variant segregated with thoracic and caudal vertebral column malformations in a recessive manner with incomplete and variable penetrance for thoracic vertebral malformations between different breeds. Importantly, analogous frameshift mutations in the human DVL1 and DVL3 genes cause Robinow syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by similar craniofacial, limb and vertebral malformations. Analysis of the canine DVL2 variant protein showed that its ability to undergo WNT-induced phosphorylation is reduced, suggesting that altered WNT signaling may contribute to the Robinow-like syndrome in the screwtail breeds.

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<![CDATA[New skeletal material sheds light on the palaeobiology of the Pleistocene marsupial carnivore, Thylacoleo carnifex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab823d5eed0c484026da2

The extinct marsupial ‘lion’ Thylacoleo carnifex was Australia’s largest mammalian carnivore. Despite being the topic of more discussion than any other extinct Australian marsupial (excepting perhaps the Thylacine), basic aspects of its palaeobiology, including its locomotory repertoire, remain poorly understood. Recent discoveries allowed the first reconstruction of an entire skeleton including the first complete tail and hitherto-unrecognised clavicles. Here we describe these elements and re-assess the biomechanics of the postcranial skeleton via comparisons with a range of extant terrestrial, scansorial and arboreal Australian marsupials. Our analysis suggests that T. carnifex possessed: a relatively stiff tail comprising half of the vertebral column length; proximal caudal centra exhibiting a relatively high resistance to sagittal and lateral bending (RSB and RTB); relatively enlarged areas of origin for caudal flexors and extensors; a rigid lumbar spine; and a shoulder girdle braced by strong clavicles. The lever arms of major muscle/tendon systems controlling the axial and appendicular skeleton were identified and RSB and RTB calculated. The combination of these features compared most closely overall with those of the much smaller Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), a hunter/scavenger capable of climbing. Similar locomotor behaviour is proposed for Thylacoleo carnifex. Orientation of articular facets and RSB stresses also indicate that T. carnifex may have held its tail in a dorsally-flexed position.

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<![CDATA[Revision of Varanus marathonensis (Squamata, Varanidae) based on historical and new material: morphology, systematics, and paleobiogeography of the European monitor lizards]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b75d5eed0c4846994b2

Monitor lizards (genus Varanus) inhabited Europe at least from the early Miocene to the Pleistocene. Their fossil record is limited to about 40 localities that have provided mostly isolated vertebrae. Due to the poor diagnostic value of these fossils, it was recently claimed that all the European species described prior to the 21st century are not taxonomically valid and a new species, Varanus amnhophilis, was erected on the basis of fragmentary material including cranial elements, from the late Miocene of Samos (Greece). We re-examined the type material of Varanus marathonensis Weithofer, 1888, based on material from the late Miocene of Pikermi (Greece), and concluded that it is a valid, diagnosable species. Previously unpublished Iberian material from the Aragonian (middle Miocene) of Abocador de Can Mata (Vallès-Penedès Basin, Barcelona) and the Vallesian (late Miocene) of Batallones (Madrid Basin) is clearly referable to the same species on a morphological basis, further enabling to provide an emended diagnosis for this species. Varanus amnhophilis appears to be a junior subjective synonym of V. marathonensis. On the basis of the most complete fossil Varanus skeleton ever described, it has been possible to further resolve the internal phylogeny of this genus by cladistically analyzing 80 taxa coded for 495 morphological and 5729 molecular characters. Varanus marathonensis was a large-sized species distributed at relatively low latitudes in both southwestern and southeastern Europe from at least MN7+8 to MN12. Our cladistic analysis nests V. marathonensis into an eastern clade of Varanus instead of the African clade comprising Varanus griseus, to which it had been related in the past. At least two different Varanus lineages were present in Europe during the Neogene, represented by Varanus mokrensis (early Miocene) and V. marathonensis (middle to late Miocene), respectively.

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<![CDATA[Largescale mullet (Planiliza macrolepis) can recover from thermal pollution-induced malformations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0993d3d5eed0c4842ada20

It is well known in aquaculture that hyperthermic perturbations may cause skeleton malformations in fish, but this phenomenon has rarely been documented in wild species. One rare location where thermal pollution has increased the proportion of malformed fish in wild population is in the waters near the Kuosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan. At this site, the threshold temperature and critical exposure time for inducing deformations have not been previously determined. In addition, it was unclear whether juvenile fish with thermal-induced malformations are able to recover when the temperature returns below the threshold. In the present study, juvenile largescale mullet (Planiliza macrolepis) were kept at temperatures ranging from 26°C and 36°C for 1–4 weeks, after which malformed fish were maintained at a preferred temperature of 26°C for another 8 weeks. The vertebrae bending index (VBI) of fish was increased after 2 weeks at 36°C, and deformed vertebral columns were detected by radiography after 4 weeks. However, malformations were not observed in groups kept at or below 34°C. Moreover, at the end of the recovery period, both the VBI and the vertebrae malformations had returned to normal. The results of this study may help to more precisely determine potential environmental impacts of thermal pollution and raise the possibility that the capacity for fish vertebrae to recover from the impacts of chronic thermal exposures may be an important consideration in marine fish conservation.

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<![CDATA[Paedomorphosis as an Evolutionary Driving Force: Insights from Deep-Sea Brittle Stars]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e6ab0ee8fa60b6b56d

Heterochronic development has been proposed to have played an important role in the evolution of echinoderms. In the class Ophiuroidea, paedomorphosis (retention of juvenile characters into adulthood) has been documented in the families Ophiuridae and Ophiolepididae but not been investigated on a broader taxonomic scale. Historical errors, confusing juvenile stages with paedomorphic species, show the difficulties in correctly identifying the effects of heterochrony on development and evolution. This study presents a detailed analysis of 40 species with morphologies showing various degrees of juvenile appearance in late ontogeny. They are compared to a range of early ontogenetic stages from paedomorphic and non-paedomorphic species. Both quantitative and qualitative measurements are taken and analysed. The results suggest that strongly paedomorphic species are usually larger than other species at comparable developmental stage. The findings support recent notions of polyphyletic origin of the families Ophiuridae and Ophiolepididae. The importance of paedomorphosis and its correct recognition for the practice of taxonomy and phylogeny are emphasized.

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<![CDATA[Target localization of 3D versus 4D cone beam computed tomography in lipiodol-guided stereotactic radiotherapy of hepatocellular carcinomas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc19f

Background

Aim of this study was to comparatively evaluate the accuracy of respiration–correlated (4D) and uncorrelated (3D) cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) in localizing lipiodolized hepatocellular carcinomas during stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT).

Methods

4D–CBCT scans of eighteen HCCs were acquired during free–breathing SBRT following trans–arterial chemo–embolization (TACE) with lipiodol. Approximately 1320 x–ray projections per 4D–CBCT were collected and phase–sorted into ten bins. A 4D registration workflow was followed to register the reconstructed time–weighted average CBCT with the planning mid–ventilation (MidV) CT by an initial bone registration of the vertebrae and then tissue registration of the lipiodol. For comparison, projections of each 4D–CBCT were combined to synthesize 3D–CBCT without phase–sorting. Using the lipiodolized tumor, uncertainties of the treatment setup estimated from the absolute and relative lipiodol position to bone were analyzed separately for 4D– and 3D–CBCT.

Results

Qualitatively, 3D–CBCT showed better lipiodol contrast than 4D–CBCT primarily because of a tenfold increase of projections used for reconstruction. Motion artifact was observed to subside in 4D–CBCT compared to 3D–CBCT. Group mean, systematic and random errors estimated from 4D– and 3D–CBCT agreed to within 1 mm in the cranio–caudal (CC) and 0.5 mm in the anterior–posterior (AP) and left–right (LR) directions. Systematic and random errors are largest in the CC direction, amounting to 4.7 mm and 3.7 mm from 3D–CBCT and 5.6 mm and 3.8 mm from 4D–CBCT, respectively. Safety margin calculated from 3D–CBCT and 4D–CBCT differed by 2.1, 0.1 and 0.0 mm in the CC, AP, and LR directions.

Conclusions

3D–CBCT is an adequate alternative to 4D–CBCT when lipoid is used for localizing HCC during free–breathing SBRT. Similar margins are anticipated with 3D– and 4D–CBCT.

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<![CDATA[Inability of ‘Whole Genome Amplification’ to Improve Success Rates for the Biomolecular Detection of Tuberculosis in Archaeological Samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db42ab0ee8fa60bd71ff

We assessed the ability of whole genome amplification (WGA) to improve the efficiency of downstream polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) directed at ancient DNA (aDNA) of members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Using extracts from a variety of bones and a tooth from human skeletons with or without lesions indicative of tuberculosis, from multiple time periods, we obtained inconsistent results. We conclude that WGA does not provide any advantage in studies of MTBC aDNA. The sporadic nature of our results are probably due to the fact that WGA is itself a PCR-based procedure which, although designed to deal with fragmented DNA, might be inefficient with the low concentration of templates in an aDNA extract. As such, WGA is subject to similar, if not the same, restrictions as PCR when applied to aDNA.

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<![CDATA[Mice with an N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU) Induced Tyr209Asn Mutation in Natriuretic Peptide Receptor 3 (NPR3) Provide a Model for Kyphosis Associated with Activation of the MAPK Signaling Pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da72ab0ee8fa60b95233

Non-syndromic kyphosis is a common disorder that is associated with significant morbidity and has a strong genetic involvement; however, the causative genes remain to be identified, as such studies are hampered by genetic heterogeneity, small families and various modes of inheritance. To overcome these limitations, we investigated 12 week old progeny of mice treated with the chemical mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) using phenotypic assessments including dysmorphology, radiography, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. This identified a mouse with autosomal recessive kyphosis (KYLB). KYLB mice, when compared to unaffected littermates, had: thoraco-lumbar kyphosis, larger vertebrae, and increased body length and increased bone area. In addition, female KYLB mice had increases in bone mineral content and plasma alkaline phosphatase activity. Recombination mapping localized the Kylb locus to a 5.5Mb region on chromosome 15A1, which contained 51 genes, including the natriuretic peptide receptor 3 (Npr3) gene. DNA sequence analysis of Npr3 identified a missense mutation, Tyr209Asn, which introduced an N-linked glycosylation consensus sequence. Expression of wild-type NPR3 and the KYLB-associated Tyr209Asn NPR3 mutant in COS-7 cells demonstrated the mutant to be associated with abnormal N-linked glycosylation and retention in the endoplasmic reticulum that resulted in its absence from the plasma membrane. NPR3 is a decoy receptor for C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), which also binds to NPR2 and stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, thereby increasing the number and size of hypertrophic chondrocytes. Histomorphometric analysis of KYLB vertebrae and tibiae showed delayed endochondral ossification and expansion of the hypertrophic zones of the growth plates, and immunohistochemistry revealed increased p38 MAPK phosphorylation throughout the growth plates of KYLB vertebrae. Thus, we established a model of kyphosis due to a novel NPR3 mutation, in which loss of plasma membrane NPR3 expression results in increased MAPK pathway activation, causing elongation of the vertebrae and resulting in kyphosis.

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<![CDATA[Safety and Efficacy Studies of Vertebroplasty, Kyphoplasty, and Mesh-Container-Plasty for the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures: Preliminary Report]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab3ab0ee8fa60bac13b

To evaluate the clinical safety and efficacies of percutaneous vertebroplasty (PVP), percutaneous kyphoplasty (PKP), and percutaneous mesh-container-plasty (PMCP) for the treatment of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), a retrospective study of 90 patients with VCFs who had been treated by PVP (n = 30), PKP (n = 30), and PMCP (n = 30) was conducted. The clinical efficacies of these three treatments were evaluated by comparing their PMMA cement leakages, cement patterns, height restoration percentages, wedge angles, visual analogue scales (VAS), and oswestry disability index (ODI) at the pre- and post-operative time points. 6.67%, 3.33%, and 0% of patients had PMMA leakage in PVP, PKP, and PMCP groups, respectively. Three (solid, trabecular, and mixed patterns), two (solid and mixed patterns), and one (mixed patterns) types of cement patterns were observed in PVP, PKP, and PMCP groups, respectively. PKP and PMCP treatments had better height restoration ability than PVP treatment. PVP, PKP, and PMCP treatments had significant and similar ability in pain relief and functional recovery ability for the treatment of VCFs. These results indicate minimally invasive techniques were effective methods for the treatment of VCFs. Moreover, these initial outcomes suggest PMCP treatment may be better than both PVP treatment and PKP treatment.

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<![CDATA[From Clinging to Digging: The Postembryonic Skeletal Ontogeny of the Indian Purple Frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (Anura: Nasikabatrachidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac327

The Indian Purple frog, Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, occupies a basal phylogenetic position among neobatrachian anurans and has a very unusual life history. Tadpoles have a large ventral oral sucker, which they use to cling to rocks in torrents, whereas metamorphs possess adaptations for life underground. The developmental changes that underlie these shifts in habits and habitats, and especially the internal remodeling of the cranial and postcranial skeleton, are unknown. Using a nearly complete metamorphic series from free-living larva to metamorph, we describe the postembryonic skeletal ontogeny of this ancient and unique monotypic lineage. The torrent-dwelling larva possesses a dorsoventrally flattened body and a head with tiny dorsal eyes, robust lower and upper jaw cartilages, well-developed trabecular horns, and a definable gap between the trabecular horns and the tip of the snout. Unlike tadpoles of many other frogs, those of Nasikabatrachus retain larval mouthparts into late metamorphic stages. This unusual feature enables the larvae to maintain their clinging habit until near the end of metamorphosis. The subsequent ontogenetic shift from clinging to digging is correlated with rapid morphological changes and behavioral modifications. Metamorphs are equipped with a shortened tibiafibula and ossified prehallical elements, which likely facilitate initial digging using the hind limbs. Subsequently, the frogs may shift to headfirst burrowing by using the wedge-shaped skull, anteriorly positioned pectoral girdle, well-developed humeral crests and spatula-shaped forelimbs. The transition from an aquatic life in torrents to a terrestrial life underground entails dramatic changes in skeletal morphology and function that represent an extreme in metamorphic remodeling. Our analysis enhances the scope for detailed comparative studies across anurans, a group renowned for the diversity of its life history strategies.

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