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Some evidence suggests that perinatal exposure to zidovudine may cause cardiac abnormalities in infants. We prospectively studied left ventricular structure and function in infants born to mothers infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in order to determine whether there was evidence of zidovudine cardiac toxicity after perinatal exposure.
We followed a group of infants born to HIV-infected women from birth to five years of age with echocardiographic studies every four to six months. Serial echocardiograms were obtained for 382 infants without HIV infection (36 with zidovudine exposure) and 58 HIV-infected infants (12 with zidovudine exposure). Repeated-measures analysis was used to examine four measures of left ventricular structure and function during the first 14 months of life in relation to zidovudine exposure.
Zidovudine exposure was not associated with significant abnormalities in mean left ventricular fractional shortening, end-diastolic dimension, contractility, or mass in either non–HIV-infected or HIV-infected infants. Among infants without HIV infection, the mean fractional shortening at 10 to 14 months was 38.1 percent for those never exposed to zidovudine and 39.0 percent for those exposed to zidovudine (mean difference, −0.9 percentage point; 95 percent confidence interval, −3.1 to 1.3 percentage points; P=0.43). Among HIV-infected infants, the mean fractional shortening at 10 to 14 months was similar in those never exposed to zidovudine (35.4 percent) and those exposed to the drug (35.3 percent) (mean difference, 0.1 percentage point; 95 percent confidence interval, −3.7 to 3.9 percentage points; P=0.95). Zidovudine exposure was not significantly related to depressed fractional shortening (shortening of 25 percent or less) during the first 14 months of life. No child over the age of 10 months had depressed fractional shortening.
Zidovudine was not associated with acute or chronic abnormalities in left ventricular structure or function in infants exposed to the drug in the perinatal period.
PMCID: PMC4280909  PMID: 11221608
27.  Giant-Cell Arteritis and Polymyalgia Rheumatica 
A 79-year-old woman presents with new-onset pain in her neck and both shoulders. She takes 7.5 mg of prednisone per day for giant-cell arteritis. Occipital tenderness and diplopia developed 11 months before presentation. At that time, her erythrocyte sedimentation rate was elevated, at 78 mm per hour, and a temporal-artery biopsy revealed granulomatous arteritis. The diplopia resolved after 6 days of treatment with 60 mg of prednisone daily. Neither headache nor visual symptoms developed when the glucocorticoids were tapered. How should this patient’s care be managed?
PMCID: PMC4277693  PMID: 24988557
28.  Timing of Antiretroviral Therapy after Diagnosis of Cryptococcal Meningitis 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(26):2487-2498.
Cryptococcal meningitis accounts for 20 to 25% of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome–related deaths in Africa. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is essential for survival; however, the question of when ART should be initiated after diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis remains unanswered.
We assessed survival at 26 weeks among 177 human immunodeficiency virus–infected adults in Uganda and South Africa who had cryptococcal meningitis and had not previously received ART. We randomly assigned study participants to undergo either earlier ART initiation (1 to 2 weeks after diagnosis) or deferred ART initiation (5 weeks after diagnosis). Participants received amphotericin B (0.7 to 1.0 mg per kilogram of body weight per day) and fluconazole (800 mg per day) for 14 days, followed by consolidation therapy with fluconazole.
The 26-week mortality with earlier ART initiation was significantly higher than with deferred ART initiation (45% [40 of 88 patients] vs. 30% [27 of 89 patients]; hazard ratio for death, 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 to 2.82; P = 0.03). The excess deaths associated with earlier ART initiation occurred 2 to 5 weeks after diagnosis (P = 0.007 for the comparison between groups); mortality was similar in the two groups thereafter. Among patients with few white cells in their cerebrospinal fluid (<5 per cubic millimeter) at randomization, mortality was particularly elevated with earlier ART as compared with deferred ART (hazard ratio, 3.87; 95% CI, 1.41 to 10.58; P = 0.008). The incidence of recognized cryptococcal immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome did not differ significantly between the earlier-ART group and the deferred-ART group (20% and 13%, respectively; P = 0.32). All other clinical, immunologic, virologic, and microbiologic outcomes, as well as adverse events, were similar between the groups.
Deferring ART for 5 weeks after the diagnosis of cryptococcal meningitis was associated with significantly improved survival, as compared with initiating ART at 1 to 2 weeks, especially among patients with a paucity of white cells in cerebrospinal fluid. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; COAT number, NCT01075152.)
PMCID: PMC4127879  PMID: 24963568
29.  Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy and the Risk of Cardiac Defects 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(25):2397-2407.
There is controversy regarding whether the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants in pregnancy is associated with increased risks for congenital cardiac defects. In particular, concerns exist about a possible association between paroxetine and right ventricular outflow tract obstruction (RVOTO), and between sertraline and ventricular septal defects (VSD).
We performed a cohort study nested in the 2000–2007 nationwide Medicaid Analytic eXtract. The study included 949,504 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid from three months before conception through one month post delivery, and their live-born infants. We compared the risk of major cardiac defects in women with antidepressant medication use during the first trimester versus no use, restricting the cohort to women with depression and using propensity score adjustment to control for depression severity and other potential confounders.
64,389 women (6.8%) used antidepressants during the first trimester. Overall, 6,403 infants not exposed to antidepressants were born with a cardiac defect (72.3 per 10,000), compared with 580 infants exposed (90.1 per 10,000). Associations between antidepressant use and cardiac defects were attenuated with increasing levels of adjustment for confounding. For SSRIs, relative risks for any cardiac defect were 1.25 (95%CI, 1.13–1.38) unadjusted, 1.12 (1.00–1.26) depression-restricted, and 1.06 (0.93–1.22) depression-restricted and fully-adjusted. We found no significant associations between the use of paroxetine and RVOTO (1.07, 0.59–1.93), or the use of sertraline and VSD (1.04, 0.76–1.41).
Results of this large population-based cohort study suggest no substantial increased risk of cardiac malformations attributable to SSRIs.
PMCID: PMC4062924  PMID: 24941178
30.  Actionable Diagnosis of Neuroleptospirosis by Next-Generation Sequencing 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(25):2408-2417.
A 14-year-old boy with severe combined immunodeficiency presented three times to a medical facility over a period of 4 months with fever and headache that progressed to hydrocephalus and status epilepticus necessitating a medically induced coma. Diagnostic workup including brain biopsy was unrevealing. Unbiased next-generation sequencing of the cerebrospinal fluid identified 475 of 3,063,784 sequence reads (0.016%) corresponding to leptospira infection. Clinical assays for leptospirosis were negative. Targeted antimicrobial agents were administered, and the patient was discharged home 32 days later with a status close to his premorbid condition. Polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) and serologic testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) subsequently confirmed evidence of Leptospira santarosai infection.
PMCID: PMC4134948  PMID: 24896819
31.  Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Children with Vesicoureteral Reflux 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(25):2367-2376.
Children with febrile urinary tract infection commonly have vesicoureteral reflux. Because trial results have been limited and inconsistent, the use of antimicrobial prophylaxis to prevent recurrences in children with reflux remains controversial.
In this 2-year, multisite, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 607 children with vesicoureteral reflux that was diagnosed after a first or second febrile or symptomatic urinary tract infection, we evaluated the efficacy of trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis in preventing recurrences (primary outcome). Secondary outcomes were renal scarring, treatment failure (a composite of recurrences and scarring), and antimicrobial resistance.
Recurrent urinary tract infection developed in 39 of 302 children who received prophylaxis as compared with 72 of 305 children who received placebo (relative risk, 0.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38 to 0.78). Prophylaxis reduced the risk of recurrences by 50% (hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.74) and was particularly effective in children whose index infection was febrile (hazard ratio, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.64) and in those with baseline bladder and bowel dysfunction (hazard ratio, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.58). The occurrence of renal scarring did not differ significantly between the prophylaxis and placebo groups (11.9% and 10.2%, respectively). Among 87 children with a first recurrence caused by Escherichia coli, the proportion of isolates that were resistant to trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole was 63% in the prophylaxis group and 19% in the placebo group.
Among children with vesicoureteral reflux after urinary tract infection, antimicrobial prophylaxis was associated with a substantially reduced risk of recurrence but not of renal scarring. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; RIVUR number, NCT00405704.)
PMCID: PMC4137319  PMID: 24795142
32.  Null Mutation in Hormone-Sensitive Lipase Gene and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(24):2307-2315.
Lipolysis regulates energy homeostasis through the hydrolysis of intracellular triglycerides and the release of fatty acids for use as energy substrates or lipid mediators in cellular processes. Genes encoding proteins that regulate energy homeostasis through lipolysis are thus likely to play an important role in determining susceptibility to metabolic disorders.
We sequenced 12 lipolytic-pathway genes in Old Order Amish participants whose fasting serum triglyceride levels were at the extremes of the distribution and identified a novel 19-bp frameshift deletion in exon 9 of LIPE, encoding hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL), a key enzyme for lipolysis. We genotyped the deletion in DNA from 2738 Amish participants and performed association analyses to determine the effects of the deletion on metabolic traits. We also obtained biopsy specimens of abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue from 2 study participants who were homozygous for the deletion (DD genotype), 10 who were heterozygous (ID genotype), and 7 who were noncarriers (II genotype) for assessment of adipose histologic characteristics, lipolysis, enzyme activity, cytokine release, and messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels.
Carriers of the mutation had dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis, systemic insulin resistance, and diabetes. In adipose tissue from study participants with the DD genotype, the mutation resulted in the absence of HSL protein, small adipocytes, impaired lipolysis, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Transcription factors responsive to peroxisome-proliferator–activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ) and downstream target genes were down-regulated in adipose tissue from participants with the DD genotype, altering the regulation of pathways influencing adipogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism.
These findings indicate the physiological significance of HSL in adipocyte function and the regulation of systemic lipid and glucose homeostasis and underscore the severe metabolic consequences of impaired lipolysis. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others).
PMCID: PMC4096982  PMID: 24848981
33.  CPAP, Weight Loss, or Both for Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(24):2265-2275.
Obesity and obstructive sleep apnea tend to coexist and are associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure, but their causal relation to these abnormalities is unclear.
We randomly assigned 181 patients with obesity, moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea, and serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) greater than 1.0 mg per liter to receive treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), a weight-loss intervention, or CPAP plus a weight-loss intervention for 24 weeks. We assessed the incremental effect of the combined interventions over each one alone on the CRP level (the primary end point), insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, and blood pressure.
Among the 146 participants for whom there were follow-up data, those assigned to weight loss only and those assigned to the combined interventions had reductions in CRP levels, insulin resistance, and serum triglyceride levels. None of these changes were observed in the group receiving CPAP alone. Blood pressure was reduced in all three groups. No significant incremental effect on CRP levels was found for the combined interventions as compared with either weight loss or CPAP alone. Reductions in insulin resistance and serum triglyceride levels were greater in the combined-intervention group than in the group receiving CPAP only, but there were no significant differences in these values between the combined-intervention group and the weight-loss group. In per-protocol analyses, which included 90 participants who met prespecified criteria for adherence, the combined interventions resulted in a larger reduction in systolic blood pressure and mean arterial pressure than did either CPAP or weight loss alone.
In adults with obesity and obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP combined with a weight-loss intervention did not reduce CRP levels more than either intervention alone. In secondary analyses, weight loss provided an incremental reduction in insulin resistance and serum triglyceride levels when combined with CPAP. In addition, adherence to a regimen of weight loss and CPAP may result in incremental reductions in blood pressure as compared with either intervention alone.
PMCID: PMC4138510  PMID: 24918371
34.  Resistance Mechanisms for the Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Ibrutinib 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(24):2286-2294.
Ibrutinib is an irreversible inhibitor of Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) and is effective in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Resistance to irreversible kinase inhibitors and resistance associated with BTK inhibition have not been characterized. Although only a small proportion of patients have had a relapse during ibrutinib therapy, an understanding of resistance mechanisms is important. We evaluated patients with relapsed disease to identify mutations that may mediate ibrutinib resistance.
We performed whole-exome sequencing at baseline and the time of relapse on samples from six patients with acquired resistance to ibrutinib therapy. We then performed functional analysis of identified mutations. In addition, we performed Ion Torrent sequencing for identified resistance mutations on samples from nine patients with prolonged lymphocytosis.
We identified a cysteine-to-serine mutation in BTK at the binding site of ibrutinib in five patients and identified three distinct mutations in PLCγ2 in two patients. Functional analysis showed that the C481S mutation of BTK results in a protein that is only reversibly inhibited by ibrutinib. The R665W and L845F mutations in PLCγ2 are both potentially gain-of-function mutations that lead to autonomous B-cell–receptor activity. These mutations were not found in any of the patients with prolonged lymphocytosis who were taking ibrutinib.
Resistance to the irreversible BTK inhibitor ibrutinib often involves mutation of a cysteine residue where ibrutinib binding occurs. This finding, combined with two additional mutations in PLCγ2 that are immediately downstream of BTK, underscores the importance of the B-cell–receptor pathway in the mechanism of action of ibrutinib in CLL. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others.)
PMCID: PMC4144824  PMID: 24869598
35.  CPAP versus Oxygen in Obstructive Sleep Apnea 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(24):2276-2285.
Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with hypertension, inflammation, and increased cardiovascular risk. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) reduces blood pressure, but adherence is often suboptimal, and the benefit beyond management of conventional risk factors is uncertain. Since intermittent hypoxemia may underlie cardiovascular sequelae of sleep apnea, we evaluated the effects of nocturnal supplemental oxygen and CPAP on markers of cardiovascular risk.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial in which patients with cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors were recruited from cardiology practices. Patients were screened for obstructive sleep apnea with the use of the Berlin questionnaire, and home sleep testing was used to establish the diagnosis. Participants with an apnea–hypopnea index of 15 to 50 events per hour were randomly assigned to receive education on sleep hygiene and healthy lifestyle alone (the control group) or, in addition to education, either CPAP or nocturnal supplemental oxygen. Cardiovascular risk was assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks of the study treatment. The primary outcome was 24-hour mean arterial pressure.
Of 318 patients who underwent randomization, 281 (88%) could be evaluated for ambulatory blood pressure at both baseline and follow-up. On average, the 24-hour mean arterial pressure at 12 weeks was lower in the group receiving CPAP than in the control group (−2.4 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval [CI], −4.7 to −0.1; P = 0.04) or the group receiving supplemental oxygen (−2.8 mm Hg; 95% CI, −5.1 to −0.5; P = 0.02). There was no significant difference in the 24-hour mean arterial pressure between the control group and the group receiving oxygen. A sensitivity analysis performed with the use of multiple imputation approaches to assess the effect of missing data did not change the results of the primary analysis.
In patients with cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors, the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP, but not nocturnal supplemental oxygen, resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; HeartBEAT number, NCT01086800.)
PMCID: PMC4172401  PMID: 24918372
36.  A Randomized Trial of Prolonged Co-trimoxazole in HIV-Infected Children in Africa 
Co-trimoxazole (fixed-dose trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole) prophylaxis administered before antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces morbidity in children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We investigated whether children and adolescents receiving long-term ART in sub-Saharan Africa could discontinue co-trimoxazole.
We conducted a randomized, noninferiority trial of stopping versus continuing daily open-label co-trimoxazole in children and adolescents in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Eligible participants were older than 3 years of age, had been receiving ART for more than 96 weeks, were using insecticide-treated bed nets (in malaria-endemic areas), and had not had Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. Coprimary end points were hospitalization or death and adverse events of grade 3 or 4.
A total of 758 participants were randomly assigned to stop or continue co-trimoxazole (382 and 376 participants, respectively), after receiving ART for a median of 2.1 years (interquartile range, 1.8 to 2.3). The median age was 7.9 years (interquartile range, 4.6 to 11.1), and the median CD4 T-cell percentage was 33% (interquartile range, 26 to 39). Participants who stopped co-trimoxazole had higher rates of hospitalization or death than those who continued (72 participants [19%] vs. 48 [13%]; hazard ratio, 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 2.37; P = 0.007; noninferiority not shown). There was no evidence of variation across ages (P = 0.93 for interaction). A total of 2 participants in the prophylaxis-stopped group (1%) died, as did 3 in the prophylaxis-continued group (1%). Most hospitalizations in the prophylaxis-stopped group were for malaria (49 events, vs. 21 in the prophylaxis-continued group) or infections other than malaria (53 vs. 25), particularly pneumonia, sepsis, and meningitis. Rates of adverse events of grade 3 or 4 were similar in the two groups (hazard ratio, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.72; P = 0.33), but more grade 4 adverse events occurred in the prophylaxis-stopped group (hazard ratio, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.99 to 4.22; P = 0.05), with anemia accounting for the largest number of events (12, vs. 2 with continued prophylaxis).
Continuing co-trimoxazole prophylaxis after 96 weeks of ART was beneficial, as compared with stopping prophylaxis, with fewer hospitalizations for both malaria and infection not related to malaria. (Funded by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council and others; ARROW Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN24791884.)
PMCID: PMC4264559  PMID: 24382064
37.  How a Single Patient Influenced HIV Research — 15-Year Follow-up 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(7):682-683.
PMCID: PMC4264571  PMID: 24521131
38.  A Large-Scale, Consortium-Based Genomewide Association Study of Asthma 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(13):1211-1221.
Susceptibility to asthma is influenced by genes and environment; implicated genes may indicate pathways for therapeutic intervention. Genetic risk factors may be useful in identifying subtypes of asthma and determining whether intermediate phenotypes, such as elevation of the total serum IgE level, are causally linked to disease.
We carried out a genomewide association study by genotyping 10,365 persons with physician-diagnosed asthma and 16,110 unaffected persons, all of whom were matched for ancestry. We used random-effects pooled analysis to test for association in the overall study population and in subgroups of subjects with childhood-onset asthma (defined as asthma developing before 16 years of age), later-onset asthma, severe asthma, and occupational asthma.
We observed associations of genomewide significance between asthma and the following single-nucleotide polymorphisms: rs3771166 on chromosome 2, implicating IL1RL1/IL18R1 (P =3×10−9); rs9273349 on chromosome 6, implicating HLA-DQ (P = 7×10−14); rs1342326 on chromosome 9, flanking IL33 (P = 9×10−10); rs744910 on chromosome 15 in SMAD3 (P = 4×10−9); and rs2284033 on chromosome 22 in IL2RB (P = 1.1×10−8). Association with the ORMDL3/GSDMB locus on chromosome 17q21 was specific to childhood-onset disease (rs2305480, P = 6×10−23). Only HLA-DR showed a significant genomewide association with the total serum IgE concentration, and loci strongly associated with IgE levels were not associated with asthma.
Asthma is genetically heterogeneous. A few common alleles are associated with disease risk at all ages. Implicated genes suggest a role for communication of epithelial damage to the adaptive immune system and activation of airway inflammation. Variants at the ORMDL3/GSDMB locus are associated only with childhood-onset disease. Elevation of total serum IgE levels has a minor role in the development of asthma. (Funded by the European Commission and others.)
PMCID: PMC4260321  PMID: 20860503
39.  User Fees and Beyond — The FDA Safety and Innovation Act of 2012 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;367(14):1277-1279.
PMCID: PMC4258823  PMID: 23034017
40.  Rosuvastatin for Sepsis-Associated Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(23):2191-2200.
In the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), inflammation in the lungs and other organs can cause life-threatening organ failure. Inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (statins) can modulate inflammatory responses. Previous observational studies suggested that statins improved clinical outcomes in patients with sepsis. We hypothesized that rosuvastatin therapy would improve clinical outcomes in critically ill patients with sepsis-associated ARDS.
We conducted a multicenter trial in which patients with sepsis-associated ARDS were randomly assigned to receive either enteral rosuvastatin or placebo in a double-blind manner. The primary outcome was mortality before hospital discharge home or until study day 60 if the patient was still in a health care facility. Secondary outcomes included the number of ventilator-free days (days that patients were alive and breathing spontaneously) to day 28 and organ-failure–free days to day 14.
The study was stopped because of futility after 745 of an estimated 1000 patients had been enrolled. There was no significant difference between study groups in 60-day in-hospital mortality (28.5% with rosuvastatin and 24.9% with placebo, P = 0.21) or in mean (±SD) ventilator-free days (15.1±10.8 with rosuvastatin and 15.1±11.0 with placebo, P = 0.96). The groups were well matched with respect to demographic and key physiological variables. Rosuvastatin therapy, as compared with placebo, was associated with fewer days free of renal failure to day 14 (10.1±5.3 vs. 11.0±4.7, P = 0.01) and fewer days free of hepatic failure to day 14 (10.8±5.0 vs. 11.8±4.3, P = 0.003). Rosuvastatin was not associated with an increased incidence of serum creatine kinase levels that were more than 10 times the upper limit of the normal range.
Rosuvastatin therapy did not improve clinical outcomes in patients with sepsis-associated ARDS and may have contributed to hepatic and renal organ dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC4241052  PMID: 24835849
41.  Randomized Trial of N-acetylcysteine in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(22):2093-2101.
N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been suggested as a beneficial treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). A placebo-controlled study of this agent administrated orally alone in an IPF population has not been conducted.
An initially designed three-arm randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of prednisone plus azathioprine plus NAC (three-drug regimen) versus NAC versus placebo in IPF patients with mild-moderate impairment in pulmonary function was interrupted due to safety concerns associated with the three-drug regimen. The trial continued as a two-arm design (NAC vs. placebo) without other changes and enrolled 133 and 131 patients in the NAC and placebo arms, respectively. The primary outcome measure was the change in forced vital capacity (FVC) over a 60-week period.
Over the 60-week treatment period, there was no difference between the NAC and placebo groups in the decline of FVC (60-week change of −0.18 liters for NAC vs. −0.19 liters for placebo, p=0.77). In addition, there were no significant differences between NAC and placebo for mortality (6 [4.9%] vs. 3 [2.5%] events, p=0.50) or acute exacerbation (3 [2.3%] vs. 3 [2.3%] events, p>0.99).
Compared to placebo NAC offered no benefit for the preservation of FVC in IPF patients with mild-to-moderate physiological abnormalities.
PMCID: PMC4116664  PMID: 24836309
42.  Dietary Intervention in Infancy and Later Signs of Beta-Cell Autoimmunity 
The New England journal of medicine  2010;363(20):1900-1908.
Early exposure to complex dietary proteins may increase the risk of beta-cell autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in children with genetic susceptibility. We tested the hypothesis that supplementing breast milk with highly hydrolyzed milk formula would decrease the cumulative incidence of diabetes-associated autoantibodies in such children.
In this double-blind, randomized trial, we assigned 230 infants with HLA-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes and at least one family member with type 1 diabetes to receive either a casein hydrolysate formula or a conventional, cow’s-milk–based formula (control) whenever breast milk was not available during the first 6 to 8 months of life. Autoantibodies to insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the insulinoma-associated 2 molecule (IA-2), and zinc transporter 8 were analyzed with the use of radiobinding assays, and islet-cell antibodies were analyzed with the use of immunofluorescence, during a median observation period of 10 years (mean, 7.5). The children were monitored for incident type 1 diabetes until they were 10 years of age.
The unadjusted hazard ratio for positivity for one or more autoantibodies in the casein hydrolysate group, as compared with the control group, was 0.54 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.29 to 0.95), and the hazard ratio adjusted for an observed difference in the duration of exposure to the study formula was 0.51 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.91). The unadjusted hazard ratio for positivity for two or more autoantibodies was 0.52 (95% CI, 0.21 to 1.17), and the adjusted hazard ratio was 0.47 (95% CI, 0.19 to 1.07). The rate of reported adverse events was similar in the two groups.
Dietary intervention during infancy appears to have a long-lasting effect on markers of beta-cell autoimmunity — markers that may reflect an autoimmune process leading to type 1 diabetes. (Funded by the European Commission and others; number, NCT00570102.)
PMCID: PMC4242902  PMID: 21067382
45.  The Quest for an HIV-1 Vaccine — Moving Forward 
The New England journal of medicine  2013;369(22):2073-2076.
PMCID: PMC4239025  PMID: 24283223
46.  A Form of the Metabolic Syndrome Associated with Mutations in DYRK1B 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(20):1909-1919.
Genetic analysis has been successful in identifying causative mutations for individual cardiovascular risk factors. Success has been more limited in mapping susceptibility genes for clusters of cardiovascular risk traits, such as those in the metabolic syndrome.
We identified three large families with coinheritance of early-onset coronary artery disease, central obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. We used linkage analysis and whole-exome sequencing to identify the disease-causing gene.
A founder mutation was identified in DYRK1B, substituting cysteine for arginine at position 102 in the highly conserved kinase-like domain. The mutation precisely cosegregated with the clinical syndrome in all the affected family members and was absent in unaffected family members and unrelated controls. Functional characterization of the disease gene revealed that nonmutant protein encoded by DYRK1B inhibits the SHH (sonic hedgehog) and Wnt signaling pathways and consequently enhances adipogenesis. Furthermore, DYRK1B promoted the expression of the key gluconeogenic enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase. The R102C allele showed gain-offunction activities by potentiating these effects. A second mutation, substituting proline for histidine 90, was found to cosegregate with a similar clinical syndrome in an ethnically distinct family.
These findings indicate a role for DYRK1B in adipogenesis and glucose homeostasis and associate its altered function with an inherited form of the metabolic syndrome. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)
PMCID: PMC4069260  PMID: 24827035
49.  Parasite Burden and Severity of Malaria in Tanzanian Children 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(19):1799-1808.
Severe Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major cause of death in children. The contribution of the parasite burden to the pathogenesis of severe malaria has been controversial.
We documented P. falciparum infection and disease in Tanzanian children followed from birth for an average of 2 years and for as long as 4 years.
Of the 882 children in our study, 102 had severe malaria, but only 3 had more than two episodes. More than half of first episodes of severe malaria occurred after a second infection. Although parasite levels were higher on average when children had severe rather than mild disease, most children (67 of 102) had high-density infection (>2500 parasites per 200 white cells) with only mild symptoms before severe malaria, after severe malaria, or both. The incidence of severe malaria decreased considerably after infancy, whereas the incidence of high-density infection was similar among all age groups. Infections before and after episodes of severe malaria were associated with similar parasite densities. Nonuse of bed nets, placental malaria at the time of a woman’s second or subsequent delivery, high-transmission season, and absence of the sickle cell trait increased severe-malaria risk and parasite density during infections.
Resistance to severe malaria was not acquired after one or two mild infections. Although the parasite burden was higher on average during episodes of severe malaria, a high parasite burden was often insufficient to cause severe malaria even in children who later were susceptible. The diverging rates of severe disease and high-density infection after infancy, as well as the similar parasite burdens before and after severe malaria, indicate that naturally acquired resistance to severe malaria is not explained by improved control of parasite density. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others.)
PMCID: PMC4091983  PMID: 24806160
50.  Diagnosis of Childhood Tuberculosis and Host RNA Expression in Africa 
The New England journal of medicine  2014;370(18):1712-1723.
Improved diagnostic tests for tuberculosis in children are needed. We hypothesized that transcriptional signatures of host blood could be used to distinguish tuberculosis from other diseases in African children who either were or were not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The study population comprised prospective cohorts of children who were undergoing evaluation for suspected tuberculosis in South Africa (655 children), Malawi (701 children), and Kenya (1599 children). Patients were assigned to groups according to whether the diagnosis was culture-confirmed tuberculosis, culture-negative tuberculosis, diseases other than tuberculosis, or latent tuberculosis infection. Diagnostic signatures distinguishing tuberculosis from other diseases and from latent tuberculosis infection were identified from genomewide analysis of RNA expression in host blood.
We identified a 51-transcript signature distinguishing tuberculosis from other diseases in the South African and Malawian children (the discovery cohort). In the Kenyan children (the validation cohort), a risk score based on the signature for tuberculosis and for diseases other than tuberculosis showed a sensitivity of 82.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 68.6 to 94.3) and a specificity of 83.6% (95% CI, 74.6 to 92.7) for the diagnosis of culture-confirmed tuberculosis. Among patients with cultures negative for Mycobacterium tuberculosis who were treated for tuberculosis (those with highly probable, probable, or possible cases of tuberculosis), the estimated sensitivity was 62.5 to 82.3%, 42.1 to 80.8%, and 35.3 to 79.6%, respectively, for different estimates of actual tuberculosis in the groups. In comparison, the sensitivity of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for molecular detection of M. tuberculosis DNA in cases of culture-confirmed tuberculosis was 54.3% (95% CI, 37.1 to 68.6), and the sensitivity in highly probable, probable, or possible cases was an estimated 25.0 to 35.7%, 5.3 to 13.3%, and 0%, respectively; the specificity of the assay was 100%.
RNA expression signatures provided data that helped distinguish tuberculosis from other diseases in African children with and those without HIV infection. (Funded by the European Union Action for Diseases of Poverty Program and others).
PMCID: PMC4069985  PMID: 24785206

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