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1.  Quantification of Ellipsoid Zone Changes in Retinitis Pigmentosa Using en Face Spectral Domain–Optical Coherence Tomography 
JAMA ophthalmology  2016;134(6):628-635.
IMPORTANCE
New methods are needed to quantify the change in the outer retinal structures in retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
OBJECTIVE
To implement an alternate method for tracking ellipsoid zone (EZ) changes in RP by quantifying the EZ area on en face spectral domain–optical coherence tomographic (SD-OCT) images.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Data for this observational case study were collected at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Los Angeles, from May 1 to July 30, 2015, and included SD-OCT images of a subset of patients from the Trial of Oral Valproic Acid for Retinitis Pigmentosa. To be eligible for the en face OCT subanalysis, the preserved EZ area was required to be limited to the SD-OCT scanning field. Cases in which the EZ band extended to the margins of any B-scan or the most superior or inferior B-scan were excluded. The SD-OCT images of all included cases were imported into the manufacturer’s software to generate en face images at the level of the EZ. Two certified SD-OCT graders independently delineated the boundaries of the preserved EZ on the en face images.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES
Comparison of the 2 masked gradings of the generated en face images of patients with RP for agreement between the graders and the validity of the method.
RESULTS
Of the 43 available patients with volume SD-OCT data, 45 eyes of 24 patients met the eligibility criteria and were included in this subanalysis. Every patient had 2 visits that were 1 year apart, which included a total of 90 en face OCT images that were graded. The mean (SD) absolute difference and percentage difference between the 2 independent graders for each visit were 0.08 (0.10) mm2 and 4.5% (5.9%), respectively. The EZ area determined by the 2 graders showed excellent agreement with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.996 (95% CI, 0.995–0.997; P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
Quantification of the preserved EZ area on en face SD-OCT images of patients with RP is a valid and reproducible method. En face SD-OCT quantification may be a useful tool for monitoring the EZ changes of patients with advanced RP and a useful outcome measurement variable in therapeutic trials.
doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0502
PMCID: PMC5317200  PMID: 27031504
2.  Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology annual scientific meeting 2016 
Alsayegh, Mohammad A. | Alshamali, Hanan | Khadada, Mousa | Ciccolini, Amanda | Ellis, Anne K. | Quint, Diana | Powley, William | Lee, Laurie | Fiteih, Yahya | Baksh, Shairaz | Vliagoftis, Harissios | Gerega, Sebastien K. | Millson, Brad | Charland, Katia | Barakat, Stephane | Sun, Xichun | Jimenez, Ricardo | Waserman, Susan | FitzGerald, Mark J. | Hébert, Jacques | Cognet-Sicé, Josiane | Renahan, Kevin E. | Huq, Saiful | Chooniedass, Rishma | Sawyer, Scott | Pasterkamp, Hans | Becker, Allan | Smith, Steven G. | Zhang, Shiyuan | Jayasundara, Kavisha | Tacon, Claire | Simidchiev, Alex | Nadeau, Gilbert | Gunsoy, Necdet | Mullerova, Hana | Albers, Frank | Kim, Young Woong | Shannon, Casey P. | Singh, Amrit | Neighbour, Helen | Larché, Mark | Tebbutt, Scott J. | Klopp, Annika | Vehling, Lorena | Becker, Allan B. | Subbarao, Padmaja | Mandhane, Piushkumar J. | Turvey, Stuart E. | Sears, Malcolm R. | Azad, Meghan B. | Loewen, Keely | Monchka, Barret | Mahmud, Salaheddin M. | Jong, Geert ‘t | Longo, Cristina | Bartlett, Gillian | Ducharme, Francine M. | Schuster, Tibor | MacGibbon, Brenda | Barnett, Tracie | North, Michelle L. | Brook, Jeff | Lee, Elizabeth | Omana, Vanessa | Thiele, Jenny | Steacy, Lisa M. | Evans, Greg | Diamond, Miriam | Sussman, Gordon L. | Amistani, Yann | Abiteboul, Kathy | Tenn, Mark W. | Yang, ChenXi | Carlsten, Christopher | Conway, Edward M. | Mack, Douglas | Othman, Yasmin | Barber, Colin M. | Kalicinsky, Chrystyna | Burke, Andrea E. | Messieh, Mary | Nair, Parameswaran | Che, Chun T. | Douglas, Lindsay | Liem, Joel | Duan, Lucy | Miller, Charlotte | Dupuis, Pascale | Connors, Lori A. | Fein, Michael N. | Shuster, Joseph | Hadi, Hani | Polk, Brooke | Raje, Nikita | Labrosse, Roxane | Bégin, Philippe | Paradis, Louis | Roches, Anne Des | Lacombe-Barrios, Jonathan | Mishra, Sanju | Lacuesta, Gina | Chiasson, Meredith | Haroon, Babar | Robertson, Kara | Issekutz, Thomas | Leddin, Desmond | Couban, Stephen | Connors, Lori | Roos, Adrienne | Kanani, Amin | Chan, Edmond S. | Schellenberg, Robert | Rosenfield, Lana | Cvetkovic, Anna | Woodward, Kevin | Quirt, Jaclyn | Watson, Wade T. A. | Castilho, Edson | Sullivan, Jennifer A. | Temple, Beverley | Martin, Donna | Cook, Victoria E. | Mills, Christopher | Portales-Casamar, Elodie | Fu, Lisa W. | Ho, Alexander | Zaltzman, Jeffrey | Chen, Lucy | Vadas, Peter | Gabrielli, Sofianne | Clarke, Ann | Eisman, Harley | Morris, Judy | Joseph, Lawrence | LaVieille, Sebastien | Ben-Shoshan, Moshe | Graham, François | Barnes, Charles | Portnoy, Jay | Stagg, Vincent | Simons, Elinor | Lefebvre, Diana | Dai, David | Mandhane, Piushkumar | Sears, Malcolm | Tam, Herman | Simons, F. Estelle R. | Alotaibi, Dhaifallah | Dawod, Bassel | Tunis, Matthew C. | Marshall, Jean | Desjardins, Marylin | Béland, Marianne | Lejtenyi, Duncan | Drolet, Jean-Phillipe | Lemire, Martine | Tsoukas, Christos | Noya, Francisco J.D. | Alizadehfar, Reza | McCusker, Christine T. | Mazer, Bruce D. | Maestre-Batlle, Danay | Gunawan, Evelyn | Rider, Christopher F. | Bølling, Anette K. | Pena, Olga M. | Suez, Daniel | Melamed, Isaac | Hussain, Iftikhar | Stein, Mark | Gupta, Sudhir | Paris, Kenneth | Fritsch, Sandor | Bourgeois, Christelle | Leibl, Heinz | McCoy, Barbara | Noel, Martin | Yel, Leman | Scott, Ori | Reid, Brenda | Atkinson, Adelle | Kim, Vy Hong-Diep | Roifman, Chaim M. | Grunebaum, Eyal | AlSelahi, Eiman | Aleman, Fernando | Oberle, Amber | Trus, Mike | Sussman, Gordon | Kanani, Amin S. | Chambenoi, Olivier | Chiva-Razavi, Sima | Grodecki, Savannah | Joshi, Nikhil | Menikefs, Peter | Holt, David | Pun, Teresa | Tworek, Damian | Hanna, Raphael | Heroux, Delia | Rosenberg, Elli | Stiemsma, Leah | Turvey, Stuart | Denburg, Judah | Mill, Christopher | Teoh, Timothy | Zimmer, Preeti | Avinashi, Vishal | Paina, Mihaela | Darwish Hassan, Ahmed A. | Oliveria, John Paul | Olesovsky, Chris | Gauvreau, Gail | Pedder, Linda | Keith, Paul K. | Plunkett, Greg | Bolner, Michelle | Pourshahnazari, Persia | Stark, Donald | Vostretsova, Kateryna | Moses, Andrew | Wakeman, Andrew | Singer, Alexander | Gerstner, Thomas | Abrams, Elissa | Johnson, Sara F. | Woodgate, Roberta L.
doi:10.1186/s13223-017-0192-y
PMCID: PMC5390240
3.  Comparison of Short-Wavelength Reduced-Illuminance and Conventional Autofluorescence Imaging in Stargardt Macular Dystrophy 
Purpose
To compare grading results between short-wavelength reduced-illuminance and conventional autofluorescence imaging in Stargardt macular dystrophy.
Design
Reliability study.
Methods
setting: Moorfields Eye Hospital, London (United Kingdom). patients: Eighteen patients (18 eyes) with Stargardt macular dystrophy. observation procedures: A series of 3 fundus autofluorescence images using 3 different acquisition parameters on a custom-patched device were obtained: (1) 25% laser power and total sensitivity 87; (2) 25% laser power and freely adjusted sensitivity; and (3) 100% laser power and freely adjusted total sensitivity (conventional). The total area of 2 hypoautofluorescent lesion types (definitely decreased autofluorescence and poorly demarcated questionably decreased autofluorescence) was measured. main outcome measures: Agreement in grading between the 3 imaging methods was assessed by kappa coefficients (κ) and intraclass correlation coefficients.
Results
The mean ± standard deviation area for images acquired with 25% laser power and freely adjusted total sensitivity was 2.04 ± 1.87 mm2 for definitely decreased autofluorescence (n = 15) and 1.86 ± 2.14 mm2 for poorly demarcated questionably decreased autofluorescence (n = 12). The intraclass correlation coefficient (95% confidence interval) was 0.964 (0.929, 0.999) for definitely decreased autofluorescence and 0.268 (0.000, 0.730) for poorly demarcated questionably decreased autofluorescence.
Conclusions
Short-wavelength reduced-illuminance and conventional fundus autofluorescence imaging showed good concordance in assessing areas of definitely decreased autofluorescence. However, there was significantly higher variability between imaging modalities for assessing areas of poorly demarcated questionably decreased autofluorescence.
doi:10.1016/j.ajo.2016.06.003
PMCID: PMC4977015  PMID: 27296491
4.  Expression of the mouse MHC class Ib H2-T11 gene product, a paralog of H2-T23 (Qa-1) with shared peptide-binding specificity 
The mouse MHC class Ib gene H2-T11 is 95% identical at the DNA level to H2-T23, which encodes Qa-1, one of the most studied MHC class Ib molecules. H2-T11 mRNA was observed to be expressed widely in tissues of C57BL/6 mice, with highest levels in thymus. To circumvent the availability of a specific mAb, cells were transduced with cDNA encoding T11 with a substituted α3 domain. Hybrid T11D3 protein was expressed at high levels similar to control T23D3 molecules on the surface of both TAP+ and TAP− cells. Soluble T11D3 was generated by folding in vitro with Qdm, the dominant peptide presented by Qa-1. The circular dichroism spectrum of this protein was similar to that of other MHC class I molecules, and it was observed to bind labeled Qdm peptide with rapid kinetics. By contrast to the Qa-1 control, T11 tetramers did not react with cells expressing CD94/NKG2A, supporting the conclusion that T11 cannot replace Qa-1 as a ligand for NK cell inhibitory receptors. T11 also failed to substitute for Qa-1 in the presentation of insulin to a Qa-1-restricted T cell hybridoma. Despite divergent function, T11 was observed to share peptide-loading specificity with Qa-1. Direct analysis by tandem mass spectrometry of peptides eluted from T11D3 and T23D3 isolated from Hela cells demonstrated a diversity of peptides with a clear motif that was shared between the two molecules. Thus T11 is a paralog of T23 encoding an MHC class Ib molecule that shares peptide-binding specificity with Qa-1 but differs in function.
doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1302048
PMCID: PMC4211609  PMID: 24958902
MHC class Ib; T23/Qa-1b; T11; Qdm; peptide elution
5.  Seasonality pattern of breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer is dependent on latitude 
Background
The season of diagnosis of several forms of cancer has been observed to impact survival, supporting the hypothesis that vitamin D3 has a protective role in cancer survival. All previous studies demonstrating this seasonality were performed in European populations residing at latitudes upwards of 50°N. This study investigated whether seasonality of prognosis persists in populations residing in the lower latitudes of the contiguous United States (Latitude 21°N to 48°N).
Material/Methods
The 5-year survival data of 19 204 female breast cancer, 6740 colorectal cancer, and 1644 prostate cancer cases was analyzed.
Results
Female breast cancer patients exhibited improved survival when diagnosed in the summer as compared to the winter at all latitudes (Hazard Ratio [HR]: 0.940, 95%; Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.938 to 0.941, P=0.002). Colorectal cancer and prostate cancer also exhibited a similar seasonal pattern (HR: 0.978, 95% CI: 0.975 to 0.980, P=0.008 and HR: 0.935, 95%, CI 0.929 to 0.943, P=0.006), respectively, when the analysis was restricted to northern regions.
Conclusions
These observations contribute to the mounting evidence that vitamin D3 may affect the progression of cancer. Data also suggest that vitamin D3 status at the onset of treatment may synergistically improve the prognosis of several cancer types.
doi:10.12659/MSM.890062
PMCID: PMC4038642  PMID: 24835144
Latitude; Vitamin D; Breast Neoplasms; Prostatic Neoplasms; Colonic Neoplasms
6.  Enforcing Quality Metrics over Equipment Utilization Rates as Means to Reduce Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Imaging Costs and Improve Quality of Care 
Radiology has been the focus of efforts to reduce inefficiencies while attempting to lower medical costs. The 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule has reduced Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) reimbursements related to the technical component of imaging services. By increasing the utilization rate, the cost of equipment spreads over more studies, thus lowering the payments per procedure. Is it beneficial for CMS to focus on equipment utilization as a cost-cutting measure? Can greater financial and quality of care rewards be made by improving metrics like appropriateness criteria and pre-authorization?
On examining quality metrics, such as appropriateness criteria and pre-authorization, promising results have ensued. The development and enforcement of appropriateness criteria lowers overutilization of studies without requiring unattainable fixed rates. Pre-authorization educates ordering physicians as to when imaging is indicated.
doi:10.4103/2156-7514.81771
PMCID: PMC3177413  PMID: 21966625
Appropriateness criteria; pre-authorization; quality metrics; utilization rate

Results 1-6 (6)