The cancer stem cell (CSC) theory hypothesizes that CSCs are the cause of tumor formation, recurrence and metastasis. Key to the study of CSCs is their isolation and identification. The present study investigated whether spheroid body-forming cells in the human gastric cancer (GC) MKN-45 cell line are enriched for CSC properties, and also assessed the expression of the candidate CSC markers, octamer-binding transcription factor-4 (OCT4) and adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter G2 (ABCG2) in the MKN-45 spheroid body cells. The MKN-45 cells were plated in a stem cell-conditioned culture system to allow for spheroid body formation. The expression levels of OCT4 and ABCG2 in the spheroid body cells were assessed by qPCR, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining, while the tumorigenicity of the spheroid body-forming cells was assessed by in vivo xenograft studies in nude mice. The MKN-45 cells were able to form spheroid bodies when cultured in stem cell-conditioned medium. The spheroid body-forming cells showed a significantly higher (P<0.01) expression of OCT4 and ABCG2 compared with the parental cells. These data suggest that the spheroid body cells from the MKN-45 GC cell line cultured in stem cell-conditioned medium possessed gastric CSC properties. The co-expression of OCT4 and ABCG2 by these cells may represent the presence of a subpopulation of gastric CSCs.
human gastric cancer; cancer stem cell; OCT4; ABCG2
In this study, a five-generation Chinese family (family F013) with progressive autosomal dominant hearing loss was mapped to a critical region spanning 28.54 Mb on chromosome 9q31.3-q34.3 by linkage analysis, which was a novel DFNA locus, assigned as DFNA56. In this interval, there were 398 annotated genes. Then, whole exome sequencing was applied in three patients and one normal individual from this family. Six single nucleotide variants and two indels were found co-segregated with the phenotypes. Then using mass spectrum (Sequenom, Inc.) to rank the eight sites, we found only the TNC gene be co-segregated with hearing loss in 53 subjects of F013. And this missense mutation (c.5317G>A, p.V1773M ) of TNC located exactly in the critical linked interval. Further screening to the coding region of this gene in 587 subjects with nonsyndromic hearing loss (NSHL) found a second missense mutation, c.5368A>T (p. T1796S), co-segregating with phenotype in the other family. These two mutations located in the conserved region of TNC and were absent in the 387 normal hearing individuals of matched geographical ancestry. Functional effects of the two mutations were predicted using SIFT and both mutations were deleterious. All these results supported that TNC may be the causal gene for the hearing loss inherited in these families. TNC encodes tenascin-C, a member of the extracellular matrix (ECM), is present in the basilar membrane (BM), and the osseous spiral lamina of the cochlea. It plays an important role in cochlear development. The up-regulated expression of TNC gene in tissue repair and neural regeneration was seen in human and zebrafish, and in sensory receptor recovery in the vestibular organ after ototoxic injury in birds. Then the absence of normal tenascin-C was supposed to cause irreversible injuries in cochlea and caused hearing loss.
The goal of this study was to identify mutations in 25 known causative genes in 47 unrelated Chinese families with cone-rod dystrophy (CORD).
Forty-seven probands from unrelated families with CORD were recruited. Genomic DNA prepared from leukocytes was analyzed by whole exome sequencing. Variants in the 25 genes were selected and then validated by Sanger sequencing.
Fourteen potential pathogenic mutations, including nine novel and five known, were identified in 10 of the 47 families (21.28%). Homozygous, compound heterozygous, and hemizygous mutations were detected in three, four, or three families, respectively. The 14 mutations in the 10 families were distributed among CNGB3 (three families), PDE6C (two families), ABCA4 (one family), RPGRIP1 (one family), RPGR (two families), and CACNA1F (one family).
This study provides a brief view on mutation spectrum of the 25 genes in a Chinese cohort with CORD. Identification of novel mutations enriched our understanding of variations in these genes and their associated phenotypes. To our knowledge, this is the first systemic exome-sequencing analysis of all of the 25 CORD-associated genes.
Chest radiologists rely on the segmentation and quantificational analysis of ground-glass opacities (GGO) to perform imaging diagnoses that evaluate the disease severity or recovery stages of diffuse parenchymal lung diseases. However, it is computationally difficult to segment and analyze patterns of GGO while compared with other lung diseases, since GGO usually do not have clear boundaries. In this paper, we present a new approach which automatically segments GGO in lung computed tomography (CT) images using algorithms derived from Markov random field theory. Further, we systematically evaluate the performance of the algorithms in segmenting GGO in lung CT images under different situations. CT image studies from 41 patients with diffuse lung diseases were enrolled in this research. The local distributions were modeled with both simple and adaptive (AMAP) models of maximum a posteriori (MAP). For best segmentation, we used the simulated annealing algorithm with a Gibbs sampler to solve the combinatorial optimization problem of MAP estimators, and we applied a knowledge-guided strategy to reduce false positive regions. We achieved AMAP-based GGO segmentation results of 86.94%, 94.33%, and 94.06% in average sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy, respectively, and we evaluated the performance using radiologists’ subjective evaluation and quantificational analysis and diagnosis. We also compared the results of AMAP-based GGO segmentation with those of support vector machine-based methods, and we discuss the reliability and other issues of AMAP-based GGO segmentation. Our research results demonstrate the acceptability and usefulness of AMAP-based GGO segmentation for assisting radiologists in detecting GGO in high-resolution CT diagnostic procedures.
Image segmentation; Lung diseases; Markov chains; Tomography; X-ray computed
Olmsted syndrome is a rare congenital skin disorder presenting with periorifical hyperkeratotic lesions and mutilating palmoplantar keratoderma, which is often associated with infections of the keratotic area. A recent study identified de novo mutations causing constitutive activation of TRPV3 as a cause of the keratotic manifestations of Olmsted syndrome.
Genetic, clinical and immunological profiling was performed on a case study patient with the clinical diagnosis of Olmsted syndrome.
The patient was found to harbour a previously undescribed 1718G-C transversion in TRPV3, causing a G573A point mutation. In depth clinical and immunological analysis found multiple indicators of immune dysregulation, including frequent dermal infections, inflammatory infiltrate in the affected skin, hyper IgE production and elevated follicular T cells and eosinophils in the peripheral blood.
These results provide the first comprehensive assessment of the immunological features of Olmsted syndrome. The systemic phenotype of hyper IgE and persistent eosinophilia suggest a primary or secondary role of immunological processes in the pathogenesis of Olmsted syndrome, and have important clinical consequences with regard to the treatment of Olmsted syndrome patients.
Olmsted syndrome; TRPV3; IgE; Eosinophil; Follicular T cell
We studied a family including two half-siblings, sharing the same mother, affected by slowly progressive, adult-onset neurological syndromes. In spite of the diversity of the clinical features, characterized by a mild movement disorder with cognitive impairment in the elder patient, and severe motor-neuron disease (MND) in her half-brother, the brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) features were compatible with adult-onset Alexander’s disease (AOAD), suggesting different expression of the same, genetically determined, condition.
Since mutations in the alpha isoform of glial fibrillary acidic protein, GFAP-α, the only cause so far known of AOAD, were excluded, we applied exome Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) to identify gene variants, which were then functionally validated by molecular characterization of recombinant and patient-derived cells.
Exome-NGS revealed a mutation in a previously neglected GFAP isoform, GFAP-ϵ, which disrupts the GFAP-associated filamentous cytoskeletal meshwork of astrocytoma cells. To shed light on the different clinical features in the two patients, we sought for variants in other genes. The male patient had a mutation, absent in his half-sister, in X-linked histone deacetylase 6, a candidate MND susceptibility gene.
Exome-NGS is an unbiased approach that not only helps identify new disease genes, but may also contribute to elucidate phenotypic expression.
C-Terminal EH domain-containing protein 2 (EHD2) of the EHD family is associated with plasma membrane. We investigated the expression of EHD2 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and the EHD2 expression to study the therapeutic effect of chemotherapy drugs. Western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to measure the expression of EHD2 protein in ESCC and adjacent normal tissue in 98 patients. EHD2 protein level was reduced in ESCC tissues in comparison with adjacent normal tissues. Under-expression of EHD2 increased the motility property of ESCC cell TE1 in vitro by wound-healing assays and transwell migration assays, and it was concurrent with the decreased expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin. Under-expression of EHD2 in TE1 can cause resistance to cisplatin. Our results suggested that EHD2 low expression is involved in the pathogenesis of ESCC, and it might be a favorable independent poor prognostic parameter for ESCC.
EHD2; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Migration; Prognosis
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its complications is higher among First Nations people and people with low socio-economic status (SES). Previous studies in Alberta have shown that provision of care through Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is associated with better quality of care and better outcomes for people with diabetes, possibly because of greater utilization of chronic disease management programs. However, it is unknown whether First Nations individuals and those in lower SES groups experience these benefits.
We used administrative and laboratory data for a population-based cohort analysis of Alberta residents under 65 years of age with diabetes. The primary outcome, assessed over a 1-year period, was admission to hospital or emergency department visit for a diabetes-specific ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC). Secondary outcomes were 2 quality-of-care indicators (likelihood of measurement of glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] and or retinal screening) and 2 measures of health care utilization (visits to specialist and primary care physicians). We used negative binomial regression to determine the association between care within a PCN and hospital admission or emergency department visit for diabetes-specific ACSCs. We also assessed outcomes in 3 populations of interest (individuals receiving a health care subsidy [household income less than $39 250 and not eligible for Income Support], those receiving Income Support, and First Nations individuals) relative to the remainder of the population, controlling for whether care was provided in a PCN and adjusting for several baseline characteristics.
We identified a total of 106 653 patients with diabetes eligible for our study, of whom 43 327 (41%) received care in a PCN. Receiving care through a PCN was associated with lower rates of ACSC-related hospital admission or emergency department visits for all groups of interest, which suggests that PCNs had similar effects across each group. However, regardless of where care was provided, First Nations and low-SES patients had more than twice the adjusted rates of hospital admission or emergency department visits for diabetes-specific ACSCs than the general population and were less likely to receive guideline-recommended care, including measurement of HbA1c and retinal screening.
Care in a PCN was associated with lower risks of hospital admission or emergency department visits for diabetes-specific ACSCs, even within vulnerable groups such as First Nations people and those of low SES. However, differences in outcomes and quality-of-care indicators persisted for First Nations individuals and those of low SES, relative to the general population, irrespective of where care was provided.
The cancer stem cell theory hypothesizes that cancer stem cells (CSCs), which possess self-renewal and other stem cell properties, are regarded as the cause of tumor formation, recurrence and metastasis. The isolation and identification of CSCs could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies specifically targeting CSCs. In this study, we enriched gastric cancer stem cells through spheroid body formation by cultivating the human gastric cancer cell line MKN-45 in defined serum-free medium. The stemness characteristics of spheroid body-forming cells, including self-renewal, proliferation, chemoresistance, tumorigenicity of the MKN-45 spheroid body-forming cells were evaluated, and the expression levels of stemness genes and related proteins in the MKN-45 spheroid body-forming cells were assessed. Furthermore, immunofluorescence staining for the stem cell markers on spheroid body-forming cells was examined to evaluate the association between stemness factors (Oct4, Sox2, Nanog) and the proposed CSC marker CD44. Our data demonstrated that non-adherent spheroid body-forming cells from the gastric cancer cell line MKN-45 cultured in stem cell-conditioned medium possessed gastric CSC properties, such as persistent self-renewal, extensive proliferation, drug resistance, high tumorigenic capacity and overexpression of CSC-related genes and proteins (Oct4, Sox2, Nanog and CD44), compared with the parental cells. More importantly, CD44-positive cells co-expressing the pluripotency genes Oct4, Sox2 and Nanog may represent gastric CSCs. Further experiments using more refined selection criteria such as a combination of two or multiple markers would be useful to specifically identify and purify CSCs.
gastric cancer; cancer stem cell; CD44; Oct4; Sox2; Nanog
Mitochondrial disorders with multiple mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) enzyme deficiency and depletion of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are autosomal recessive conditions due to mutations in several nuclear genes necessary for proper mtDNA maintenance.
In this report, we describe two Italian siblings presenting with encephalomyopathy and mtDNA depletion in muscle. By whole exome-sequencing and prioritization of candidate genes, we identified a novel homozygous missense mutation in the SUCLA2 gene in a highly conserved aminoacid residue. Although a recurrent mutation in the SUCLA2 gene is relatively frequent in the Faroe Islands, mutations in other populations are extremely rare. In contrast with what has been reported in other patients, methyl-malonic aciduria, a biomarker for this genetic defect, was absent in our proband and very mildly elevated in her affected sister.
This report demonstrates that next-generation technologies, particularly exome-sequencing, are user friendly, powerful means for the identification of disease genes in genetically and clinically heterogeneous inherited conditions, such as mitochondrial disorders.
► We report a novel homozygous mutation in the SUCLA2, identified by exome sequencing. ► Methyl-malonic aciduria can be absent in patients with SUCLA2 mutations. ► Exome sequencing is useful for the diagnosis of genetically heterogeneous diseases.
MDS, mtDNA depletion syndrome; MMA, methylmalonic acid; MRC, mitochondrial respiratory chain; mtDNA, mitochondrial DNA; NGS, next-generation sequencing; OXPHOS, oxidative phosphorylation; Mitochondrial disorder; Encephalomyopathy; Mitochondrial DNA depletion; SUCLA2; Exome-sequencing
There have been several reports on hemivertebra resection via a posterior-only procedure. However, the number of reported cases is small, and various types of instrumentation have been used. In our study, we retrospectively investigated 56 consecutive cases of congenital scoliosis that were treated by posterior hemivertebra resection with transpedicular instrumentation. Radiographs were reviewed to determine the type and location of the hemivertebra, the coronal curve magnitude and the sagittal alignment pre-operatively, post-operatively and at the latest follow-up. Radiographs were also used to assess implant failure and inter-body fusion. Surgical reports and patient charts were reviewed to record any peri-operative complications. Fifty-eight posterior hemivertebrae resections from 56 patients aged 1.5–17 years with fully segmented non-incarcerated hemivertebra were evaluated. The average age at surgery was 9.9 years (1.5–17 years). The average follow-up was 32.9 months (24–58 months). The mean fusion level was 5.0 segments (2–11 segments). There was a mean improvement of 72.9% in the segmental scoliosis, from 42.4° before surgery to 12.3° at the time of the latest follow-up, and there was a mean improvement of 70% in segmental kyphosis from 42.0° to 14.5° over the same time period. The thoracic kyphosis (T5–T12) averaged 10.8° before surgery and 23.9° at the latest follow-up. The lumbar lordosis (L1–S1) averaged −52.8° before surgery and −51.6° at the latest follow-up. Two cases with neurological claudications had complete recovery immediately after the surgery. There was one case of delayed wound healing, two fractures of the pedicle at the instrumented level, two rod breakages and one proximal junction kyphosis that required revision. There were no neurological complications. Radiolucent gaps were found in the residual space after resection on the lateral view in five cases, without any sign of implant failure or correction loss. Our results show that one-stage posterior hemivertebra resection with transpedicular instrumentation can achieve excellent correction, 360° decompression and short fusion without neurological complications. Pedicle cutting still remains a challenge in younger children when using bisegmental instrumentation. In addition, the radiolucent gaps in the residual space require further investigation.
Congenital scoliosis; Hemivertebra; Resection; Posterior surgery
Numblike, a negative regulator in glioma cell migration and invasion, was found to mediate nuclear factor kappa B activation by suppressing tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 5.
The Notch signaling regulator Numblike (Numbl) is expressed in the brain, but little is known regarding its role in the pathophysiology of glial cells. In this paper, we report that Numbl expression was down-regulated in high-grade human glioma tissue samples and glioblastoma cell lines. To investigate the role of Numbl in glioma migration and invasion, we generated human glioma cell lines in which Numbl was either overexpressed or depleted. Overexpression of Numbl suppressed, while elimination of Numbl promoted, the migration and invasion of glioma cells. Numbl inhibited glioma migration and invasion by dampening NF-κB activity. Furthermore, Numbl interacted directly with tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 5 (TRAF5), which signals upstream and is required for the activation of NF-κB, and committed it to proteasomal degradation by promoting K48-linked polyubiquitination of TRAF5. In conclusion, our data suggest that Numbl negative regulates glioma cell migration and invasion by abrogating TRAF5-induced activation of NF-κB.
As the largest K+ transport gene family, KT/HAK/KUP family plays an important role in plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, there is limited information about this family in woody plant species. In this study, with genome-wide in-depth investigation, 31 Poplar KT/HAK/KUP transporter genes including six pairs of tandem duplicated and eight pairs of segmental duplicated paralogs have been identified, suggesting segmental and tandem duplication events contributed to the expansion of this family in Poplar. The combination of phylogenetic, exon structure and splice site, and paragon analysis revealed 11 pairs of Poplar KT/HAK/KUP duplicates. For these 11 pairs, all pairs are subject to purify selection, and asymmetric evolutionary rates have been found to occur in three pairs. This study might provide more insights into the underlying evolution mechanisms of trees acclimating to their natural habitat.
Asymmetric evolutionary rates; KT/HAK/KUP family; segmental duplication; tandem duplication.
Primary care networks are a newer model of primary care that focuses on improved access to care and the use of multidisciplinary teams for patients with chronic disease. We sought to determine the association between enrolment in primary care networks and the care and outcomes of patients with diabetes.
We used administrative health care data to study the care and outcomes of patients with incident and prevalent diabetes separately. For patients with prevalent diabetes, we compared those whose care was managed by physicians who were or were not in a primary care network using propensity score matching. For patients with incident diabetes, we studied a cohort before and after primary care networks were established. Each cohort was further divided based on whether or not patients were cared for by physicians enrolled in a network. Our primary outcome was admissions to hospital or visits to emergency departments for ambulatory care sensitive conditions specific to diabetes.
Compared with patients whose prevalent diabetes is managed outside of primary care networks, patients in primary care networks had a lower rate of diabetes-specific ambulatory care sensitive conditions (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.75 to 0.87), were more likely to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist (risk ratio 1.19, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.21) and had better glycemic control (adjusted mean difference −0.067, 95% CI −0.081 to −0.052).
Patients whose diabetes was managed in primary care networks received better care and had better clinical outcomes than patients whose condition was not managed in a network, although the differences were very small.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of global disease burden. Although stroke was thought to be more prevalent than coronary heart disease (CHD) in Chinese, the epidemic pattern might have been changed in some rural areas nowadays. This study was to estimate up-to-date prevalence of CVD and its risk factors in rural communities of Fangshan District, Beijing, China.
A cross-sectional population survey was carried out by stratified cluster sampling. A total of 58,308 rural residents aged over 40 years were surveyed by face-to-face interview and physical examination during 2008 and 2010. The standardized prevalence was calculated according to adult sample data of China's 5th Population Census in 2000, and the adjusted prevalence odds ratio (POR) was calculated for the association of CHD/stroke with its cardiovascular risk factors in multivariate logistic regression models.
Age- and sex-standardized prevalence was 5.6% for CHD (5.2% in males and 5.9% in females), higher than the counterpart of 3.7% (4.7% in males and 2.6% in females) for stroke. Compared with previous studies, higher prevalence of 7.7%, 47.2%, 53.3% in males and 8.2%, 44.8%, 60.7% in females for diabetes, hypertension and overweight/obesity were presented accordingly. Moreover, adjusted POR (95% confidence interval) of diabetes, obesity, stage 1 and stage 2 hypertension for CHD as 2.51 (2.29 to 2.75), 1.53 (1.38 to 1.70), 1.13 (1.02 to 1.26) and 1.35 (1.20 to 1.52), and for stroke as 2.24 (1.98 to 2.52), 1.25 (1.09 to 1.44), 1.44 (1.25 to 1.66) and 1.70 (1.46 to 1.98) were shown respectively in the multivariate logistic regression models.
High prevalence of CVD and probably changed epidemic pattern in rural communities of Beijing, together with the prevalent cardiovascular risk factors and population aging, might cause public health challenges in rural Chinese population.
Warfarin nomograms to guide dosing have been shown to improve control of the international normalized ratio (INR) in the general outpatient setting. However, the effectiveness of these nomograms in hemodialysis patients is unknown. We evaluated the effectiveness of anticoagulation using an electronic warfarin nomogram administered by nurses in outpatient hemodialysis patients, compared to physician directed therapy.
Hemodialysis patients at any of the six outpatient clinics in Calgary, Alberta, treated with warfarin anticoagulation were included. Two five-month time periods were compared: prior to and post implementation of the nomogram. The primary endpoint was adequacy of anticoagulation (proportion of INR measurements within range ± 0.5 units).
Overall, 67 patients were included in the pre- and 55 in the post-period (with 40 patients in both periods). Using generalized linear mixed models, the adequacy of INR control was similar in both periods for all range INR levels: in detail, range INR 1.5 to 2.5 (pre 93.6% (95% CI: 88.6% - 96.5%); post 95.6% (95% CI: 89.4% - 98.3%); p = 0.95); INR 2.0 to 3.0 (pre 82.2% (95% CI: 77.9% - 85.8%); post 77.4% (95% CI: 72.0% - 82.0%); p = 0.20); and, INR 2.5 to 3.5 (pre 84.3% (95% CI: 59.4% - 95.1%); post 66.8% (95% CI: 39.9% - 86.0%); p = 0.29). The mean number of INR measurements per patient decreased significantly between the pre- (30.5, 95% CI: 27.0 - 34.0) and post- (22.3, 95% CI: 18.4 - 26.1) (p = 0.003) period. There were 3 bleeding events in each of the periods.
An electronic warfarin anticoagulation nomogram administered by nurses achieved INR control similar to that of physician directed therapy among hemodialysis patients in an outpatient setting, with a significant reduction in frequency of testing. Future controlled trials are required to confirm the efficacy of this nomogram.
Anticoagulation; Hemodialysis; Warfarin nomogram
The recent energy crisis has triggered significant attention on the microbial synthesis of lipids, which comprise the raw material for biodiesel production. Microbial oil accumulation with filamentous fungi has great potential because filamentous fungi can form pellets during cell growth, and these pellets are much easier to harvest from cell broth. This paper focuses on the cell pelletization process of the oleaginous Mucor circinelloides. We have studied the effect of various cultural conditions on pelletized cell growth and lipid accumulation. This study is the first to report that pH adjustment during cell growth plays a key role in pellet formation of M. circinelloides and describes a handy method by which to induce cell pelletization in submerged fungal cultivation. Our study reveals that cell growth and lipid production are not significantly affected by pelletization and that lipid accumulation is triggered at stressed conditions, such as a high carbon-to-nitrogen ratio and high temperature.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a complex three-dimensional deformity of the spine. The cause and pathogenesis of scoliosis and the accompanying generalized osteopenia remain unclear despite decades of extensive research. In this study, we utilized two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) to analyze the differential proteome of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) from AIS patients. In total, 41 significantly altered protein spots were detected, of which 34 spots were identified by MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis and found to represent 25 distinct gene products. Among these proteins, five related to bone growth and development, including pyruvate kinase M2, annexin A2, heat shock 27 kDa protein, γ-actin, and β-actin, were found to be dysregulated and therefore selected for further validation by Western blot analysis. At the protein level, our results supported the previous hypothesis that decreased osteogenic differentiation ability of MSCs is one of the mechanisms leading to osteopenia in AIS. In summary, we analyzed the differential BM-MSCs proteome of AIS patients for the first time, which may help to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of bone loss in AIS and also increase understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of AIS.
The risks associated with using an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and an angiotensin-receptor blocker together are unclear. This study was designed to determine the safety of combination therapy with these two drugs in clinical practice.
We conducted a population-based longitudinal analysis using linked administrative and laboratory data for elderly patients who were new users of an ACE inhibitor, an angiotensin-receptor blocker or a combination of both medications between May 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2006. We compared outcomes in patients given combination therapy versus patients given monotherapy using Cox proportional hazards analyses with adjustment for baseline characteristics.
Of the 32 312 new users of either medication (mean age 76.1 years, median creatinine level 92 μmol/L), 1750 (5.4%) received combination therapy. However, 1512 (86.4%) of the patients who were given combination therapy did not have trial-established indications such as heart failure or proteinuria. Renal dysfunction was more common among patients given combination therapy (5.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.4 to 7.9] events per 1000 patients per month) than among patients given monotherapy (2.4 [95% CI 2.2 to 2.7] events per 1000 patients per month) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 2.36, 95% CI 1.51 to 3.71). Hyperkalemia was also more common among patients given combination therapy (2.5 [95% CI 1.4 to 4.3] events per 1000 patients per month) than among patients given monotherapy (0.9 [95% CI 0.8 to 1.0] events per 1000 patients per month) (adjusted HR 2.42, 95% CI 1.36 to 4.32). Most patients took combination therapy for only a short time (median three months before at least one agent was stopped).
Combination therapy was frequently prescribed for patients without established indications and was associated with an increased risk of adverse renal outcomes when compared with monotherapy. These results mirrored data from randomized controlled trials.
There are lots of work being done to develop computer-assisted diagnosis and detection (CAD) technologies and systems to improve the diagnostic quality for pulmonary nodules. Another way to improve accuracy of diagnosis on new images is to recall or find images with similar features from archived historical images which already have confirmed diagnostic results, and the content-based image retrieval (CBIR) technology has been proposed for this purpose. In this paper, we present a method to find and select texture features of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPNs) detected by computed tomography (CT) and evaluate the performance of support vector machine (SVM)-based classifiers in differentiating benign from malignant SPNs. Seventy-seven biopsy-confirmed CT cases of SPNs were included in this study. A total of 67 features were extracted by a feature extraction procedure, and around 25 features were finally selected after 300 genetic generations. We constructed the SVM-based classifier with the selected features and evaluated the performance of the classifier by comparing the classification results of the SVM-based classifier with six senior radiologists′ observations. The evaluation results not only showed that most of the selected features are characteristics frequently considered by radiologists and used in CAD analyses previously reported in classifying SPNs, but also indicated that some newly found features have important contribution in differentiating benign from malignant SPNs in SVM-based feature space. The results of this research can be used to build the highly efficient feature index of a CBIR system for CT images with pulmonary nodules.
Feature selection; content-based image retrieval; classification; CT images; lung diseases
Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy is common among patients on hemodialysis. While a relationship between blood pressure (BP) and LV hypertrophy has been established, it is unclear which BP measurement method is the strongest correlate of LV hypertrophy. We sought to determine agreement between various blood pressure measurement methods, as well as identify which method was the strongest correlate of LV hypertrophy among patients on hemodialysis.
This was a post-hoc analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial. We evaluated the agreement between seven BP measurement methods: standardized measurement at baseline; single pre- and post-dialysis, as well as mean intra-dialytic measurement at baseline; and cumulative pre-, intra- and post-dialysis readings (an average of 12 monthly readings based on a single day per month). Agreement was assessed using Lin's concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) and the Bland Altman method. Association between BP measurement method and LV hypertrophy on baseline cardiac MRI was determined using receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve (AUC).
Agreement between BP measurement methods in the 39 patients on hemodialysis varied considerably, from a CCC of 0.35 to 0.94, with overlapping 95% confidence intervals. Pre-dialysis measurements were the weakest predictors of LV hypertrophy while standardized, post- and inter-dialytic measurements had similar and strong (AUC 0.79 to 0.80) predictive power for LV hypertrophy.
A single standardized BP has strong predictive power for LV hypertrophy and performs just as well as more resource intensive cumulative measurements, whereas pre-dialysis blood pressure measurements have the weakest predictive power for LV hypertrophy. Current guidelines, which recommend using pre-dialysis measurements, should be revisited to confirm these results.
In the present study, a theoretical study of 1,1-diaminohexaazidocyclotetraphophazene (DAHA) and its isomers has been performed, using quantum computational density functional theory (B3LYP and B3PW91 methods) with 6-31G* and 6-31G** basis sets implemented in Gaussian 03 program suite. Molecular structure and bonding, vibrational frequencies, Milliken population analysis, and natural bond orbit (NBO) have been studied. The heats of formation from atomization energies have also been calculated based on the optimized geometry. The obtained heats of formation data are compared with their homologous cyclophosphazene in order to demonstrate the accuracy of the methods, which indicate that the studied compounds might be potentially used as high energetic materials. In addition, the relative stability of five isomers have been deduced based on the total energy and the gap of frontier orbital energies.
density functional theory; vibrational analysis; Mulliken analysis; heats of formation; diamino-hexaazidocyclotetraphophazene
Here we present the first diploid genome sequence of an Asian individual. The genome was sequenced to 36-fold average coverage using massively parallel sequencing technology. We aligned the short reads onto the NCBI human reference genome to 99.97% coverage, and guided by the reference genome, we used uniquely mapped reads to assemble a high-quality consensus sequence for 92% of the Asian individual's genome. We identified approximately 3 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) inside this region, of which 13.6% were not in the dbSNP database. Genotyping analysis showed that SNP identification had high accuracy and consistency, indicating the high sequence quality of this assembly. We also carried out heterozygote phasing and haplotype prediction against HapMap CHB and JPT haplotypes (Chinese and Japanese, respectively), sequence comparison with the two available individual genomes (J. D. Watson and J. C. Venter), and structural variation identification. These variations were considered for their potential biological impact. Our sequence data and analyses demonstrate the potential usefulness of next-generation sequencing technologies for personal genomics.
Previously published equations to adjust calcium for albumin concentration may vary depending on factors such as the type of reagents used. Albumin-adjusted calcium equations derived from laboratories using the bromocresol purple (BCP) albumin binding reagent have not been described.
The linear regression equation for the binding of calcium and BCP-albumin was derived in a cohort of 4613 outpatients, and the albumin-adjusted calcium equation was internally validated in a separate cohort of 1538 subjects. The performance of this equation was compared with a previously published equation (adjusted [Ca](mmol/L) = total [Ca](mmol/L) + 0.02 (40 - [albumin] (g/L)) in 343 subjects with albumin < 33 g/L (below reference range).
The local adjustment equation was expressed by the relationship; adjusted [Ca](mmol/L) = total [Ca](mmol/L) + 0.012 (39.9 - [albumin](g/L)). The equation showed evidence of good internal validity (shrinkage value of adjusted r2 = -0.0059). Classification of calcium status differed between the two equations in 47 of 343 subjects with low serum albumin (weighted κ = 0.46; moderate agreement).
A locally derived and internally validated albumin-adjusted calcium equation differed from previously published equations and resulted in important differences in classification of calcium status in hypoalbuminemia patients. Individual laboratories should determine their own linear regression equation for calcium on albumin rather than relying on published formulas.