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1.  Low-dose radiation hyper-radiosensitivity in multicellular tumour spheroids 
The British Journal of Radiology  2012;85(1018):1398-1406.
Objective
We propose and study a new model aimed at describing the low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity phenomenon appearing in the survival curves of different cell lines.
Methods
The model uses the induced repair assumption, considering that the critical dose at which this mechanism begins to act varies from cell to cell in a given population. The model proposed is compared with the linear-quadratic model and the modified linear-quadratic model, which is commonly used in literature and in which the induced repair is taken into account in a heuristic way. The survival curve for the MCF-7 line of human breast cancer is measured at low absorbed doses and the uncertainties in these doses are estimated using thermoluminiscent dosemeters.
Results
It is shown that these multicellular spheroids present low-dose hyper-radiosensitivity. The new model permits an accurate description of the data of two human cell lines (previously published) and of the multicellular spheroids of the MCF-7 line here measured.
Conclusion
The model shows enough flexibility to account for data with very different characteristics and considers in a faithful way the hypothesis of the repair induction.
doi:10.1259/bjr/33201506
PMCID: PMC3474031  PMID: 22972973
2.  Using digital photography to implement the McFarland method 
The McFarland method allows the concentration of bacterial cells in a liquid medium to be determined by either of two instrumental techniques: turbidimetry or nephelometry. The microbes act by absorbing and scattering incident light, so the absorbance (turbidimetry) or light intensity (nephelometry) measured is directly proportional to their concentration in the medium. In this work, we developed a new analytical imaging method for determining the concentration of bacterial cells in liquid media. Digital images of a series of McFarland standards are used to assign turbidity-based colour values with the aid of dedicated software. Such values are proportional to bacterial concentrations, which allow a calibration curve to be readily constructed. This paper assesses the calibration reproducibility of an intra-laboratory study and compares the turbidimetric and nephelometric results with those provided by the proposed method, which is relatively simple and affordable; in fact, it can be implemented with a digital camera and the public domain software ImageJ.
doi:10.1098/rsif.2011.0809
PMCID: PMC3385748  PMID: 22337631
colorimetric imaging analysis; digital photography; McFarland method; charge-coupled device; ImageJ
4.  Prognostic factors influencing the outcome in pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in patients with AIDS. 
Thorax  1995;50(6):668-671.
BACKGROUND--Studies attempting to identify the prognostic factors that influence the outcome of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) in patients with AIDS using a multivariate analysis are few. In order to identify those prognostic factors amenable to medical intervention, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on 102 patients with AIDS suffering a first episode of PCP. METHODS--One hundred and two consecutive patients with AIDS (51% drug abusers, 45% homosexuals, and 4% with other HIV risk factors) admitted to our institution between 1986 and 1989 whose respiratory infection was diagnosed by bronchoalveolar lavage were studied prospectively. RESULTS--The overall mortality was 28%, rising to 79% in those patients who required mechanical ventilation. According to univariate analysis the following variables were related to a poor prognosis: age > 35 years; risk factor for HIV infection other than drug abuse; and AIDS diagnosis confirmed before 1988; PaO2 < 8 kPa at admission; severe acute respiratory failure on admission (PaO2/FIO2 < 20 kPa); mechanical ventilation; antibiotic therapy for PCP other than trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole; multiple microbial pulmonary infection; serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) > 22.5 mukat/l on admission; serum albumin level < 30 g/l. Multivariate analysis showed that only mechanical ventilation was independently associated with a poor outcome. CONCLUSIONS--The mortality of AIDS patients presenting with a first episode of PCP before 1990 was high (28%). The main prognostic factor associated with poor outcome was the requirement for mechanical ventilation due to severe acute respiratory failure.
PMCID: PMC1021269  PMID: 7638811
5.  Prospective randomized double-blind comparison of nephrotoxicity and auditory toxicity of tobramycin and netilmicin. 
Netilmicin or tobramycin was administered to 197 patients in a prospective randomized double-blind trial. Of these patients, 140 recipients of nine or more doses of netilmicin or tobramycin could be evaluated for nephrotoxicity. Fifty-five patients were able to cooperate in the administration of serial audiograms. Nephrotoxicity of similar severity developed in 7 of 73 (9.6%) recipients of tobramycin and in 7 of 67 (10.4%) recipients of netilmicin (P greater than 0.05). Mild or slight auditory toxicity developed in 5 of 28 (17.8%) recipients of tobramycin and in 2 of 27 (7.4%) recipients of netilmicin (P greater than 0.05).
PMCID: PMC180010  PMID: 6393868
6.  Comparison of the nephrotoxicity and auditory toxicity of tobramycin and amikacin. 
A total of 157 patients were treated with tobramycin or amikacin in a controlled prospective randomized trial. Dosages were adjusted to renal function according to a nomogram. Trough and peak aminoglycoside levels were available at the end of the trial. Of the above total, 113 recipients of nine or more doses of tobramycin or six or more doses of amikacin, without other apparent cause of renal failure, were evaluated for nephrotoxicity. Thirty-six patients were evaluated for auditory toxicity. The patients in groups evaluated for either nephrotoxicity or auditory toxicity were similar with respect to intensity and etiology of bacterial disease, concurrent exposure to other antimicrobial drugs, age and sex distribution, initial serum creatinine level, and total dose and duration of antimicrobial therapy. Nephrotoxicity of similar severity developed in 4 of 59 (6.8%) recipients of tobramycin and in 7 of 54 (13.1%) recipients of amikacin (P greater than 0.05). Mild auditory toxicity developed in 3 of 19 (15.7%) recipients of tobramycin and in 2 of 17 (11.7%) recipients of amikacin (P greater than 0.05). When patients with abnormally high mean trough or peak aminoglycoside levels were excluded from comparison, nephrotoxicity was 6.12 and 5.12% (P greater than 0.05) and auditory toxicity was 17.6 and 7.69% (P greater than 0.05) in the groups given tobramycin and amikacin, respectively. We conclude that the nephrotoxicity and auditory toxicity of amikacin and tobramycin are not significantly different and that such toxicities are indeed infrequent events when the dosages of these drugs are adjusted to hold blood levels within the safe boundaries suggested by the studies of others.
PMCID: PMC184998  PMID: 6614894

Results 1-6 (6)