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1.  Use of collagenase ointment in conjunction with negative pressure wound therapy in the care of diabetic wounds: a case series of six patients 
Diabetic Foot & Ankle  2015;6:10.3402/dfa.v6.24999.
Background
Diabetic wounds with additional comorbidities are costly, time intensive, and difficult to heal. Often, multiple modalities may be necessary to achieve wound resolution, relying on the synergistic advantage of each therapy to affect wound healing. The selectivity of Clostridium collagenase is physiologically effective at degrading non-viable collagen fibers while preserving living collagen tissue. Additionally, negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) has long been used to aid wound healing while concurrently depreciating biological wound burden time.
Methods
Six patients were selected from those appearing to our university based limb salvage service. Inclusion criteria included patients with a recurrent mixed fibrotic and granular wound base, in which NPWT was indicated, without exclusion criteria. Patients enrolled were administered clostridial collagenase ointment at each regularly scheduled NPWT dressing change. Patients were followed until healing, with visual representations of wound progression and time to full healing recorded.
Results
Tandem application of these therapies appeared to expedite wound healing by clearing degenerative fibrous tissue and expediting wound granulation without additional complication. Unfortunately, not all patients were able to reach full healing; with two patients experiencing ulcer recurrence, likely a result of their significant comorbid nature.
Conclusion
In our experience, we have noticed a specific subgroup of patients who benefit greatly when collagenase enzymatic debridement therapy is combined with NPWT. It is our belief that this combination therapy combines the molecular clearing of non-viable collagen with the wound granulation necessary to advance complex wounds to the next step in healing despite the current paucity in literature discussing this specific pairing.
doi:10.3402/dfa.v6.24999
PMCID: PMC4309834  PMID: 25630362
diabetes; ulcers; wound healing; negative pressure wound therapy; collagenase
2.  Reduction of pain via platelet-rich plasma in split-thickness skin graft donor sites: a series of matched pairs 
Diabetic Foot & Ankle  2015;6:10.3402/dfa.v6.24972.
In the past decade, autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has seen increasingly widespread integration into medical specialties. PRP application is known to accelerate wound epithelialization rates, and may also reduce postoperative wound site pain. Recently, we observed an increase in patient satisfaction following PRP gel (Angel, Cytomedix, Rockville, MD) application to split-thickness skin graft (STSG) donor sites. We assessed all patients known to our university-based hospital service who underwent multiple STSGs up to the year 2014, with at least one treated with topical PRP. Based on these criteria, five patients aged 48.4±17.6 (80% male) were identified who could serve as their own control, with mean time of 4.4±5.1 years between operations. In both therapies, initial dressing changes occurred on postoperative day (POD) 7, with donor site pain measured by Likert visual pain scale. Paired t-tests compared the size and thickness of harvested skin graft and patient pain level, and STSG thickness and surface area were comparable between control and PRP interventions (p>0.05 for all). Donor site pain was reduced from an average of 7.2 (±2.6) to 3 (±3.7), an average reduction in pain of 4.2 (standard error 1.1, p=0.0098) following PRP use. Based on these results, the authors suggest PRP as a beneficial adjunct for reducing donor site pain following STSG harvest.
doi:10.3402/dfa.v6.24972
PMCID: PMC4306752  PMID: 25623477
skin grafts; platelet-rich plasma; diabetic foot; pain reduction
3.  Microbiology of diabetic foot infections: from Louis Pasteur to ‘crime scene investigation’ 
BMC Medicine  2015;13:2.
Were he alive today, would Louis Pasteur still champion culture methods he pioneered over 150 years ago for identifying bacterial pathogens? Or, might he suggest that new molecular techniques may prove a better way forward for quickly detecting the true microbial diversity of wounds? As modern clinicians faced with treating complex patients with diabetic foot infections (DFI), should we still request venerated and familiar culture and sensitivity methods, or is it time to ask for newer molecular tests, such as 16S rRNA gene sequencing? Or, are molecular techniques as yet too experimental, non-specific and expensive for current clinical use? While molecular techniques help us to identify more microorganisms from a DFI, can they tell us ‘who done it?’, that is, which are the causative pathogens and which are merely colonizers? Furthermore, can molecular techniques provide clinically relevant, rapid information on the virulence of wound isolates and their antibiotic sensitivities? We herein review current knowledge on the microbiology of DFI, from standard culture methods to the current era of rapid and comprehensive ‘crime scene investigation’ (CSI) techniques.
doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0232-0
PMCID: PMC4286146  PMID: 25564342
Molecular diagnostics; Diabetic foot infection; Microbiology; Metagenomics; High-throughput sequencing
4.  Frailty and Technology: A Systematic Review of Gait Analysis in Those with Frailty 
Gerontology  2013;60(1):79-89.
Background
New technologies for gait assessment areemerging and have provided new avenues for accurately measuring gait characteristics in home and clinic. However, potential meaningful clinical gait parameters beyond speed have received little attention in frailty research.
Objective
To study gait characteristics in different frailty status groups for identifying the most useful parameters and assessment protocols for frailty diagnosis.
Methods
We searched PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Age Line. Articles were selected according to the following criteria: (1) population: individuals defined as frail, prefrail, or transitioning to frail, and (2) outcome measures: quantitative gait variables as obtained by biomechanical analysis. Effect sizes (d) were calculated for the ability of parameters to discriminate between different frailty status groups.
Results
Eleven publications met inclusion criteria. Frailty definitions, gait protocols and parameters were inconsistent, which made comparison of outcomes difficult. Effect sizes were calculated only for the three studies which compared at least two different frailty status groups. Gait speed shows the highest effect size to discriminate between frailty subgroups, in particular during habitual walking (d = 0.76–6.17). Gait variability also discriminates between different frailty status groups in particular during fast walking. Prominent parameters related to prefrailty are reduced cadence (d = 1.43) and increased step width variability (d = 0.64), whereas frailty (vs. prefrail status) is characterized by reduced step length during habitual walking (d = 1.32) and increased double support during fast walking (d = 0.78). Interestingly, one study suggested that dual-task walking speed can be used to predict prospective frailty development.
Conclusion
Gait characteristics in people with frailty are insufficiently analyzed in the literature and represent a major area for innovation. Despite the paucity of work, current results suggest that parameters beyond speed could be helpful in identifying different categories of frailty. Increased gait variability might reflect a multisystem reduction and may be useful in identifying frailty. In addition, a demanding task such as fast walking or adding a cognitive distractor might enhance the sensitivity and specificity of frailty risk prediction and classification, and is recommended for frailty assessment using gait analysis.
doi:10.1159/000354211
PMCID: PMC4017858  PMID: 23949441
Gait; Technology; Analysis; Assessment; Measurement; Frailty; Older adults
5.  Tissue-specific Leptin promoter DNA methylation is associated with maternal and infant perinatal factors 
Leptin a regulator of body weight is involved in reproductive and developmental functions. Leptin promoter DNA methylation (LEP) regulates gene expression in a tissue-specific manner and has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. In non-pathologic human pregnancies, we assessed LEP methylation, genotyped the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2167270 in placental (n=81), maternal and cord blood samples (n=60), and examined the association between methylation, genotype, and perinatal factors. Maternal blood LEP methylation was lower in pre-pregnancy obese women (P=0.01). Cord blood LEP methylation was higher in small for gestational age (SGA) (P=4.6×10−3) and A/A genotype (P=1.6×10−4), lower (−1.47, P=0.03) in infants born to pre-pregnancy obese mothers and correlated (P=0.01) with maternal blood LEP. Gender was associated with placental LEP methylation (P=0.05). These results suggest that LEP epigenetic control may be influenced by perinatal factors including: maternal obesity, infant growth, genotype and gender in a tissue-specific manner and may have multigenerational implications.
doi:10.1016/j.mce.2013.07.024
PMCID: PMC3795868  PMID: 23911897
leptin; epigenetics; DNA methylation; rs2167270; pregnancy; maternal obesity; small for gestational age
6.  The roles of DNA methylation of NR3C1 and 11β-HSD2 and exposure to maternal mood disorder in utero on newborn neurobehavior 
Epigenetics  2013;8(12):1321-1329.
Exposure to maternal mood disorder in utero may program infant neurobehavior via DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD-2), two placental genes that have been implicated in perturbations of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis. We tested the relations among prenatal exposure to maternal depression or anxiety, methylation of exon 1F of NR3C1 and 11β-HSD-2, and newborn neurobehavior. Controlling for relevant covariates, infants whose mothers reported depression during pregnancy and showed greater methylation of placental NR3C1 CpG2 had poorer self-regulation, more hypotonia, and more lethargy than infants whose mothers did not report depression. On the other hand, infants whose mothers reported anxiety during pregnancy and showed greater methylation of placental 11β-HSD-2 CpG4 were more hypotonic compared with infants of mothers who did not report anxiety during pregnancy. Our results support the fetal programming hypothesis and suggest that fetal adjustments to cues from the intrauterine environment, in this case an environment that could be characterized by increased exposure to maternal cortisol, may lead to poor neurodevelopmental outcomes.
doi:10.4161/epi.26634
PMCID: PMC3933492  PMID: 24135662
DNA methylation; maternal depression; maternal anxiety; newborn neurobehavior
7.  Genetic and Epigenetic Variation of the Glucocorticoid Receptor (NR3C1) in Placenta and Infant Neurobehavior 
Developmental psychobiology  2012;55(7):673-683.
The intrauterine environment can impact the developing infant by altering the function of the placenta through changes to the epigenetic regulatory features of this tissue. Genetic variation, too, may impact infant development or may modify the relationship between epigenetic alterations and infant outcomes. To examine the association of this variation with early life infant neurodevelopment, we examined the extent of DNA methylation of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) promoter and a common SNP in the promoter region in a series of 186 placentas from healthy newborn infants. We associated these molecular features with specific summary measures from the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scales. After controlling for genotype and confounders, we identified significant associations of NR3C1 methylation with infant quality of movement (P=0.05) and with infant attention (P=0.05), and a potential interaction between methylation and genotype on infant attention score. These results suggest that epigenetic alteration of the NR3C1 gene in the placentas of genetically susceptible infants can have impacts on neurodevelopment which may have lifelong impact on neurobehavioral and mental health outcomes. Further research is needed to more precisely define these relationships and the interaction between epigenetic alterations and genetic variations on infant health.
doi:10.1002/dev.21061
PMCID: PMC3458180  PMID: 22714792
Epigenetic; glucocorticoid receptor; placenta; neurodevelopment; human; attention; quality of movement
9.  Inpatient Management of Diabetic Foot Disorders: A Clinical Guide 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(9):2862-2871.
The implementation of an inpatient diabetic foot service should be the goal of all institutions that care for patients with diabetes. The objectives of this team are to prevent problems in patients while hospitalized, provide curative measures for patients admitted with diabetic foot disorders, and optimize the transition from inpatient to outpatient care. Essential skills that are required for an inpatient team include the ability to stage a foot wound, assess for peripheral vascular disease, neuropathy, wound infection, and the need for debridement; appropriately culture a wound and select antibiotic therapy; provide, directly or indirectly, for optimal metabolic control; and implement effective discharge planning to prevent a recurrence. Diabetic foot ulcers may be present in patients who are admitted for nonfoot problems, and these ulcers should be evaluated by the diabetic foot team during the hospitalization. Pathways should be in place for urgent or emergent treatment of diabetic foot infections and neuropathic fractures/dislocations. Surgeons involved with these patients should have knowledge and interest in limb preservation techniques. Prevention of iatrogenic foot complications, such as pressure sores of the heel, should be a priority in patients with diabetes who are admitted for any reason: all hospitalized diabetic patients require a clinical foot exam on admission to identify risk factors such as loss of sensation or ischemia. Appropriate posthospitalization monitoring to reduce the risk of reulceration and infection should be available, which should include optimal glycemic control and correction of any fluid and electrolyte disturbances.
doi:10.2337/dc12-2712
PMCID: PMC3747877  PMID: 23970716
10.  Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and Gait: Does Footwear Modify This Association? 
Background
Gait-related fall risk is the leading cause of mortality among patients with diabetes, especially those older than 65 years. Deterioration in balance and loss of protective sensation in lower extremities contribute significantly to fall risk in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). This study aimed to explore the impact of neuropathy and foot ulcer on gait.
Methods
We recruited 39 participants (age, 56.9 ± 8.2 years; body mass index, 29.6.3 ± 4.7 kg/m2), including 15 DPN patients without foot ulcers, 16 DPN patients with foot ulcers, and 8 healthy aged-matched controls. Patients with active foot ulcers wore an offloading device during gait examination, including removable cast walker.
Results
Results suggest that neuropathy alters gait mainly by increasing gait initiation, gait variability (coefficient of variation of gait velocity), and double support (DS) time, while reducing knee range of motion and center of mass sway (p < .05). Interestingly, the presence of foot ulcer does not impact gait velocity (p > .1) but enhances some of the gait parameters such as gait variability and DS time.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that neuropathy deteriorates gait, but the presence of foot ulcers does not alter gait parameters further than neuropathy. In addition, patients with foot ulcers demonstrated a better gait compared with DPN patients without ulcers. We speculate that offloading footwear may be enhancing the somatosensory feedback from sensate skin, thereby positively affecting gait parameters. A study with a larger sample is required to explore the effect of prescribed footwear in the DPN population in order to validate the findings of this research study.
PMCID: PMC3876356  PMID: 24124939
diabetes; foot ulcer; gait; offloading; wearable sensors
11.  Novel Wearable Technology for Assessing Spontaneous Daily Physical Activity and Risk of Falling in Older Adults with Diabetes 
Background
As baby boomers age and their expected life span increases, there is an unprecedented need to better manage the health care of elders with diabetes who are at increased risk of falling due to diabetes complications, frailty, or other conditions. New clinical and research tools are needed to measure functioning accurately and to identify early indicators of risk of falling, thus translating into more effective and earlier intervention.
Methods
The objective of this pilot study was to validate a significant change in hardware and algorithm to track activity patterns using a single triaxial accelerometer through validation of timed up and go and standard measures of balance and gait. We recruited a convenience sample of eight older adults with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy (age, 77 ± 7 years old) who were asked to wear the sensor for imposed daytime activity performed in our gait laboratory. Subjects were stratified into risk of falling categories based on Tinetti scores. We examined the accuracy of the suggested technology for discrimination of high- versus low-risk groups.
Results
The system was accurate in identifying the number of steps taken and walking duration (random error <5%). The proposed algorithm allowed accurate identification and stratification of those at highest risk of falling, suggesting that subjects with high risk of falling required a substantially longer duration for rising from a chair when compared with those with low risk of falling (p < .05).
Conclusions
Our new single triaxial accelerometer algorithm successfully tracked postural transition, allowing accurate identification of those at high risk of falling, and could be useful for intermittent or even continuous monitoring of older adults with diabetes. Other potential applications could include activity monitoring of the diabetes population with lower extremity disease and of patients undergoing surgical procedures or as an objective measure during rehabilitation.
J Diabetes Sci Technol 2013;7(5):1147–1160
PMCID: PMC3876357  PMID: 24124940
body-worn sensor; diabetes care; foot ulcer; home telemonitoring; physical activity monitoring; risk of falling; wearable technology
12.  Placental FKBP5 Genetic and Epigenetic Variation Is Associated with Infant Neurobehavioral Outcomes in the RICHS Cohort 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104913.
Adverse maternal environments can lead to increased fetal exposure to maternal cortisol, which can cause infant neurobehavioral deficits. The placenta regulates fetal cortisol exposure and response, and placental DNA methylation can influence this function. FK506 binding protein (FKBP5) is a negative regulator of cortisol response, FKBP5 methylation has been linked to brain morphology and mental disorder risk, and genetic variation of FKBP5 was associated with post-traumatic stress disorder in adults. We hypothesized that placental FKBP5 methylation and genetic variation contribute to gene expression control, and are associated with infant neurodevelopmental outcomes assessed using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Network Neurobehavioral Scales (NNNS). In 509 infants enrolled in the Rhode Island Child Health Study, placental FKBP5 methylation was measured at intron 7 using quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing. Placental FKBP5 mRNA was measured in a subset of 61 infants by quantitative PCR, and the SNP rs1360780 was genotyped using a quantitative allelic discrimination assay. Relationships between methylation, expression and NNNS scores were examined using linear models adjusted for confounding variables, then logistic models were created to determine the influence of methylation on membership in high risk groups of infants. FKBP5 methylation was negatively associated with expression (P = 0.08, r = −0.22); infants with the TT genotype had higher expression than individuals with CC and CT genotypes (P = 0.06), and those with CC genotype displayed a negative relationship between methylation and expression (P = 0.06, r = −0.43). Infants in the highest quartile of FKBP5 methylation had increased risk of NNNS high arousal compared to infants in the lowest quartile (OR 2.22, CI 1.07–4.61). TT genotype infants had increased odds of high NNNS stress abstinence (OR 1.98, CI 0.92–4.26). Placental FKBP5 methylation reduces expression in a genotype specific fashion, and genetic variation supersedes this effect. These genetic and epigenetic differences in expression may alter the placenta’s ability to modulate cortisol response and exposure, leading to altered neurobehavioral outcomes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104913
PMCID: PMC4130612  PMID: 25115650
13.  Placental HTR2A methylation is associated with infant neurobehavioral outcomes 
Epigenetics  2013;8(8):796-801.
The serotonin receptor, HTR2A, exhibits placental expression and function and can be controlled through DNA methylation. The relationship between methylation of HTR2A in the placenta and neurodevelopmental outcomes, evaluated using the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scales (NNNS), was assessed in newborn infants (n = 444). HTR2A methylation was significantly higher in males and marginally higher in infants whose mothers reported tobacco use during pregnancy. Controlling for confounding variables, HTR2A methylation was negatively associated with infant quality of movement (p = 0.05) and positively associated with infant attention (p = 0.0001). These results suggest that methylation of the HTR2A gene can be biologically and environmentally modulated and is associated with key measures of neurodevelopment.
doi:10.4161/epi.25358
PMCID: PMC3883782  PMID: 23880519
placenta; DNA methylation; HTR2A; serotonin; developmental origins of disease; neurodevelopment; epigenetic; behavior
15.  A Population-Based Investigation into the Self-Reported Reasons for Sleep Problems 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101368.
Typologies of sleep problems have usually relied on identifying underlying causes or symptom clusters. In this study the value of using the patient's own reasons for sleep disturbance are explored. Using secondary data analysis of a nationally representative psychiatric survey the patterning of the various reasons respondents provided for self-reported sleep problems were examined. Over two thirds (69.3%) of respondents could identify a specific reason for their sleep problem with worry (37.9%) and illness (20.1%) representing the most commonly reported reasons. And while women reported more sleep problems for almost every reason compared with men, the patterning of reasons by age showed marked variability. Sleep problem symptoms such as difficulty getting to sleep or waking early also showed variability by different reasons as did the association with major correlates such as worry, depression, anxiety and poor health. While prevalence surveys of ‘insomnia’ or ‘poor sleep’ often assume the identification of an underlying homogeneous construct there may be grounds for recognising the existence of different sleep problem types particularly in the context of the patient's perceived reason for the problem.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101368
PMCID: PMC4077805  PMID: 24983754
16.  Summary of guidelines for infection prevention and control for flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy 
BACKGROUND:
High-quality processes to ensure infection prevention and control in the delivery of safe endoscopy services are essential. In 2010, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) developed a Canadian guideline for the reprocessing of flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy equipment.
METHODS:
The CAG Endoscopy Committee carefully reviewed the 2010 guidelines and prepared an executive summary.
RESULTS:
Key elements relevant to infection prevention and control for flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy were highlighted for each of the recommendations included in the 2010 document. The 2010 guidelines consist of seven sections, including administrative recommendations, as well as recommendations for endoscopy and endoscopy decontamination equipment, reprocessing endoscopes and accessories, endoscopy unit design, quality management, outbreak investigation and management, and classic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
DISCUSSION:
The recommendations for infection prevention and control for flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy are intended for all individuals with responsibility for endoscopes in all settings where endoscopy is performed.
PMCID: PMC3684370  PMID: 23781518
Endoscopy; Gastrointestinal; Guideline; Infection; Prevention
19.  Virtualizing the Assessment: A Novel Pragmatic Paradigm to Evaluate Lower Extremity Joint Perception in Diabetes 
Gerontology  2012;58(5):463-471.
Background
Persons with diabetes have a higher risk of falls and fall related injuries. People with diabetes often develop peripheral neuropathy (DPN) as well as nerve damage throughout the body. In particular, reduced lower extremity proprioception due to DPN may cause a misjudgment of foot position and thus increase the risk of fall.
Objective
An innovative virtual obstacle crossing (VOC) paradigm using wearable sensors was developed in attempt to assess lower extremity position perception damage due to DPN.
Methods
Sixty-seven participants (Age: 55.4±8.9; BMI: 28.1±5.8) including diabetes with and without DPN as well as aged matched healthy controls were recruited. Severity of neuropathy was quantified using vibratory perception threshold (VPT) test. The ability of perception of lower extremity was quantified by measuring obstacle crossing success rate (OCSR), toe-obstacle clearance (TOC), and reaction time (TR) while crossing a series of virtual obstacles with heights at 10% and 20% of the subject’s leg length.
Results
No significant difference was found between groups for age and BMI. The data revealed that DPN subjects had a significantly lower OCSR compared to diabetes with no neuropathy and controls at obstacle size of 10% (p<0.05). DPN subjects also demonstrated longer TR compared to other groups and for both obstacle sizes. In addition TOC was reduced in neuropathy groups. Interestingly, a significant correlation between TR and VPT (r=0.5, p<10-5) was observed indicating delay in reaction by increasing neuropathy severity. The delay becomes more pronounced by increasing the size of obstacle. Using regression model suggests that the change in reaction time between obstacle sizes of 10% and 20% of leg size is the most sensitive predictors for neuropathy severity with an odds ratio of 2.70 (p=0.02).
Conclusion
The findings demonstrate proof of concept of virtual reality application as a promising method for objective assessment of neuropathy severity, however; a further study is warranted to establish a stronger relationship between the measured parameters and neuropathy.
doi:10.1159/000338095
PMCID: PMC3955209  PMID: 22572476
Virtual Reality; Diabetes Peripheral Neuropathy; Lower Extremity Joint Perception; Body Worn Sensors; Fall Prevention; Obstacle crossing
20.  Mechanically Powered Negative Pressure Wound Therapy as a Bolster for Skin Grafting 
Summary:
The use of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) as a bolster for split-thickness skin grafts has been well documented in the literature. It facilitates the removal of transudate, which can result in the formation of seroma, and mitigates shear stress, which can detach the graft from the underlying wound bed. Its widespread use may be limited by factors such as increased cost and length of hospitalization. Recently, mechanically powered devices (Smart Negative Pressure; Spiracur, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif.) have been reported as showing promise in healing wounds with outcomes surprisingly comparable to standard NPWT in the populations studied. We are unaware of any reports in the literature that have detailed the use of a mechanically powered NPWT device as a postoperative bolster for split-thickness skin grafts.
doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000000044
PMCID: PMC4173823  PMID: 25289297
21.  Mucosal and systemic antibody responses to potential Pseudomonas aeruginosa vaccine protein antigens in young children with cystic fibrosis following colonization and infection 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important prognostic determinant in cystic fibrosis (CF). Little is known however, about P. aeruginosa induced local mucosal and systemic immune responses. Twenty CF children were categorized according to their P. aeruginosa status: (1) chronic lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), (2) prior successfully treated initial LRTI, (3) isolated upper respiratory tract (URT) colonization, and (4) no known URT colonization or previous LRTI. Their antibody responses, and those of six non-CF disease controls, in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid to potential P. aeruginosa vaccine antigens outer membrane protein F (OprF), outer membrane protein H (OprH), catalase A (KatA) and a whole killed cell (WKC) extract were evaluated. Outer membrane protein G (OprG) responses were also measured in blood. Natural exposure, colonization and infection resulted in detectable antibody levels in BAL and serum in all CF groups. Both chronically infected and URT colonized CF children had substantially elevated immunoglobulin A antibody levels in the BAL fluid and sera toward the WKC extract and OprF antigen compared with the other groups of CF children and non-CF controls. The serum levels of specific P. aeruginosa antibodies involving immunoglobulin G and M isotypes increased with chronic LRTI, especially antibody levels to KatA, OprH and WKC extract, which were substantially greater in chronically infected children compared with all other groups. In conclusion, natural exposure, URT colonization and LRTI with P. aeruginosa all induce substantial mucosal and systemic antibody responses to potential vaccine antigens with chronically infected CF children having the highest levels.
doi:10.4161/hv.23226
PMCID: PMC3891706  PMID: 23249482
cystic fibrosis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; OprF; OprH; OprG; KatA; mucosal and systemic antibody; vaccine
22.  The 2012 SAGE wait times program: Survey of Access to GastroEnterology in Canada 
BACKGROUND:
Periodically surveying wait times for specialist health services in Canada captures current data and enables comparisons with previous surveys to identify changes over time.
METHODS:
During one week in April 2012, Canadian gastroenterologists were asked to complete a questionnaire (online or by fax) recording demographics, reason for referral, and dates of referral and specialist visits for at least 10 consecutive new patients (five consultations and five procedures) who had not been seen previously for the same indication. Wait times were determined for 18 indications and compared with those from similar surveys conducted in 2008 and 2005.
RESULTS:
Data regarding adult patients were provided by 173 gastroenterologists for 1374 consultations, 540 procedures and 293 same-day consultations and procedures. Nationally, the median wait times were 92 days (95% CI 85 days to 100 days) from referral to consultation, 55 days (95% CI 50 days to 61 days) from consultation to procedure and 155 days (95% CI 142 days to 175 days) (total) from referral to procedure. Overall, wait times were longer in 2012 than in 2005 (P<0.05); the wait time to same-day consultation and procedure was shorter in 2012 than in 2008 (78 days versus 101 days; P<0.05), but continued to be longer than in 2005 (P<0.05). The total wait time remained longest for screening colonoscopy, increasing from 201 days in 2008 to 279 days in 2012 (P<0.05).
DISCUSSION:
Wait times for gastroenterology services continue to exceed recommended targets, remain unchanged since 2008 and exceed wait times reported in 2005.
PMCID: PMC3731118  PMID: 23472243
Access; Audit; Canada; Endoscopy; Gastroenterology; Wait time
23.  Patient-identified quality indicators for colonoscopy services 
BACKGROUND:
Current quality improvement tools for endoscopy services, such as the Global Rating Scale (GRS), emphasize the need for patient-centred care. However, there are no studies that have investigated patient expectations and/or perceptions of quality indicators in endoscopy services.
OBJECTIVES:
To identify quality indicators for colonoscopy services from the patient perspective; to rate indicators of importance; to determine factors that influence indicator ratings; and to compare the identified indicators with those of the GRS.
METHODS:
A two-phase mixed methods study was undertaken in Montreal (Quebec), Calgary (Alberta) and Hamilton (Ontario) among patients ≥18 years of age who spoke and read English or French. In phase 1, focus group participants identified quality indicators that were then used to construct a survey questionnaire. In phase 2, survey questionnaires, which were completed immediately after colonoscopy, prompted respondents to rate the 20 focus group-derived indicators according to their level of importance (low, medium, high) and to list up to nine additional items. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors that influenced focus group-derived indicator ratings. Patient-identified indicators were compared with those used in the GRS to identify novel indicators.
RESULTS:
Three quality indicator themes were identified by 66 participants in 12 focus groups: communication, comfort and service environment. Of the 828 surveys distributed, 402 (48.6%) were returned and 65% of focus group-derived indicators were rated highly important by at least 55% of survey respondents. Indicator ratings differed according to age, sex, site and perceived colorectal cancer risk. Of the 29 patient-identified indicators, 17 (58.6%) were novel.
CONCLUSIONS:
Patients identified 17 novel quality indicators, suggesting that patients and health professionals differ in their perspectives with respect to quality in colonoscopy services.
PMCID: PMC3545623  PMID: 23378980
Colorectal cancer screening; Indicators; Quality
24.  Report on the Expert Forum on Using Information Technology to Facilitate Uptake and Impact of Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines 
The present report summarizes the proceedings of the pan-Canadian Expert Forum on Using Information Technology to Facilitate Uptake and Impact of Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines, which was held in Montreal, Quebec, November 18 to 19, 2011. The meeting assembled a multidisciplinary group of family physicians, gastroenterologists, nurses, patients, foundation representatives, screening program administrators and researchers to discuss the development of a mechanism or strategy that would permit the collection of comparable data by all colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs, which would not only support the needs of each program but also provide a national perspective. The overarching theme of the meeting was ‘designing a national approach to computerized electronic data collection and dissemination for CRC screening that would improve knowledge transfer across the continuum of preventive health care’. The forum encouraged presentations on clinical, research and technical topics. The meeting fostered valuable cross-disciplinary communication and delivered the message that it is essential to develop a national health informatics approach for CRC screening data collection and dissemination to support provincial CRC screening programs.
PMCID: PMC3551566  PMID: 23248792
Colorectal cancer; Information technology; National registry; Report; Screening
25.  A survey of the practice of after-hours and emergency endoscopy in Canada 
OBJECTIVE:
To determine staffing and practice patterns for after-hours endoscopy service in Canada
METHODS:
A link to a web-based survey was sent by e-mail to all clinical members of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology in February 2011. A priori, it was planned to compare variations in practice among gastroenterologists (GIs) performing endoscopy in different regions of Canada, between pediatric and adult GIs, and between university and community hospitals.
RESULTS:
Of 422 potential respondents, 168 (40%) responded. Of the 139 adult GIs, 61% performed after-hours endoscopy in the endoscopy suite where daytime procedures were performed, 62% had a trained endoscopy nurse available for all procedures, 38% had access to propofol sedation, 12% reprocessed the endoscopes themselves or with the help of a resident, 4% had out-of-hospital patients come directly to their endoscopy suite and 53% were highly satisfied. The adult endoscopists practising at community hospitals were more likely to have an anesthetist attend the procedure. Regional differences were noted, with more involvement of anesthetists (13%) and availability of propofol (50%) in Ontario, more frequent reprocessing of endoscopes in the central reprocessing units in British Columbia (78%) and almost universal availability of a trained endoscopy nurse (96%) with concomitant higher endoscopist satisfaction (84% highly satisfied) in Alberta.
CONCLUSIONS:
More than one-third of surveyed endoscopists across the country do not have a trained endoscopy nurse to assist in after-hours endoscopy – the time period when urgent patients often present and typically require therapeutic endoscopic interventions. There are significant regional differences in the practice of after-hours endoscopy in Canada.
PMCID: PMC3551559  PMID: 23248785
Emergency care; Endoscopy; Staffing; Standards

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