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1.  Evaluation of Operator Radioprotection Using a New Injection Device during Vertebroplasty 
Interventional Neuroradiology  2013;19(2):173-179.
Summary
This study aimed to evaluate the protection granted by a simple device (X'TENS®, Thiebaud, France) and to provide operators with information on the performance of this new device, which has not yet been assessed. Our assumption is that this device efficiently reduces the radiation dose to the operator.
In a prospective clinical study, the radiation dose the operator's hand receives has been assessed using a specific sensor (UNFOR Instrument). Each patient included in the study was to receive at least two injections of cement during the procedure. Exposure was measured with and without the range extender. The data collected were then processed using a Wilcoxon matched pairs test.
During 14 interventions, 20 vertebrae were treated with both procedures. Eleven women and three men were included. Seven patients underwent vertebroplasty for metastatic lesions and seven for osteoporotic lesions, bone fractures or vertebral compressions. The average injection time was 1.35 minutes with the device and 1.20 without (p=0.75). The dose to the hand per ml injected was 111.37 vs. 166.91 (p<0.05).
Theoretically, the protection granted by the range extender depends on the length of the device. Our results are consistent with the inverse-square law. However, the variations in our results indicate that a proper and rigorous use is mandatory for the device to be effective. Given that radioprotection during fluoroscopy procedures is a frequently raised issue, the need for information for a safer practice increases likewise.
PMCID: PMC3670055  PMID: 23693040
radioprotection, vertebroplasty, medical device evaluation
2.  The Lupus Family Registry and Repository 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2010;50(1):47-59.
The Lupus Family Registry and Repository (LFRR) was established with the goal of assembling and distributing materials and data from families with one or more living members diagnosed with SLE, in order to address SLE genetics. In the present article, we describe the problems and solutions of the registry design and biometric data gathering; the protocols implemented to guarantee data quality and protection of participant privacy and consent; and the establishment of a local and international network of collaborators. At the same time, we illustrate how the LFRR has enabled progress in lupus genetics research, answering old scientific questions while laying out new challenges in the elucidation of the biologic mechanisms that underlie disease pathogenesis. Trained staff ascertain SLE cases, unaffected family members and population-based controls, proceeding in compliance with the relevant laws and standards; participant consent and privacy are central to the LFRR’s effort. Data, DNA, serum, plasma, peripheral blood and transformed B-cell lines are collected and stored, and subject to strict quality control and safety measures. Coded data and materials derived from the registry are available for approved scientific users. The LFRR has contributed to the discovery of most of the 37 genetic associations now known to contribute to lupus through 104 publications. The LFRR contains 2618 lupus cases from 1954 pedigrees that are being studied by 76 approved users and their collaborators. The registry includes difficult to obtain populations, such as multiplex pedigrees, minority patients and affected males, and constitutes the largest collection of lupus pedigrees in the world. The LFRR is a useful resource for the discovery and characterization of genetic associations in SLE.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keq302
PMCID: PMC3307518  PMID: 20864496
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Registry; Repository; Autoimmune diseases; Genetics; Heritability; Genome-wide association studies; Linkage analysis; Minorities; Women
3.  Identification of Unique MicroRNA Signature Associated with Lupus Nephritis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(5):e10344.
MicroRNAs (miRNA) have emerged as an important new class of modulators of gene expression. In this study we investigated miRNA that are differentially expressed in lupus nephritis. Microarray technology was used to investigate differentially expressed miRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed cell lines obtained from lupus nephritis affected patients and unaffected controls. TaqMan-based stem-loop real-time polymerase chain reaction was used for validation. Microarray analysis of miRNA expressed in both African American (AA) and European American (EA) derived lupus nephritis samples revealed 29 and 50 differentially expressed miRNA, respectively, of 850 tested. There were 18 miRNA that were differentially expressed in both racial groups. When samples from both racial groups and different specimen types were considered, there were 5 primary miRNA that were differentially expressed. We have identified 5 miRNA; hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-423-5P, hsa-miR-638, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-663 that were differentially expressed in lupus nephritis across different racial groups and all specimen types tested. Hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-423-5P, are reported here for the first time to be associated with lupus nephritis. Our work establishes EBV-transformed B cell lines as a useful model for the discovery of miRNA as biomarkers for SLE. Based on these findings, we postulate that these differentially expressed miRNA may be potential novel biomarkers for SLE as well as help elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of lupus nephritis. The investigation of miRNA profiles in SLE may lead to the discovery and development of novel methods to diagnosis, treat and prevent SLE.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010344
PMCID: PMC2867940  PMID: 20485490

Results 1-3 (3)