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1.  Correction: Comparison of Current Diagnostic Criteria for Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133817.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133817
PMCID: PMC4508032  PMID: 26193100
2.  Sleep Quality of Patients with Differentiated Thyroid Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0130634.
Objective
We aimed to measure prevalence of sleep disturbance in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) by calculating Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and compare these data with patients with benign thyroid nodules or normal participants.
Methods
Three groups of patients participated in this cross-sectional study. In the first group, 162 patients with DTC received total thyroidectomy, and then 131I therapy. The second group consisted of 84 patients with benign thyroid nodules, who received partial thyroidectomy. The third group was 78 normal healthy control cases. PSQI was used to assess the sleep quality. Inter-group differences were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis test or independent samples T test. χ2 test was also used to check prevalence differences of poor sleep quality among the groups. Differences of PSQI score and poor sleep quality prevalence before and after 131I therapy in the same group of DTC participants were analyzed by paired T test and Mcnemar's test.
Results
Higher PSQI score (7.59 ± 4.21) and higher rate of poor sleep quality (54.32%) were shown in DTC patients than in any other group. After 131I therapy, PSQI score and prevalence of poor sleep quality in DTC patients increased significantly to 8.78 ± 4.72 and 70.99%. Then DTC patients were divided into two subgroups based on their metastatic status. DTC patients with metastasis (87/162 cases, 53.70%) had significantly higher PSQI score (10.87 ± 5.18) and higher prevalence of poor sleep quality (79.31%).
Conclusion
DTC patients suffer from sleep disturbance, 131I therapy and awareness of metastatic status could worsen sleep problem. Psychological fear of cancer, nuclear medicine therapy and metastasis could be one major underlying reason. Longitude and interventional studies are necessary for further investigations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130634
PMCID: PMC4471198  PMID: 26083787
3.  Increased Tim-3 expression on peripheral T lymphocyte subsets and association with higher disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Diagnostic Pathology  2015;10:71.
Background
Both the T cell immunoglobulin domain- and mucin domain-containing molecule-3 (Tim-3) and the death receptor Fas contribute to the pathogenesis of various autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of the present study was to determine whether Tim-3 and Fas are co-expressed on certain peripheral T lymphocyte subsets, and whether this expression is associated with greater disease activity in SLE.
Methods
Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 46 patients newly diagnosed with SLE and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs). Expression of Tim-3 and Fas on T subsets was analyzed by flow cytometry, while mRNA levels of the Tim-3 ligand galectin-9 and Fas ligand FasL were assayed using real-time RT-PCR.
Results
The proportions of CD3+CD4+ and CD3+CD4- T cells expressing Tim-3+ and Tim+Fas+ were significantly higher in patients than in HCs (p < 0.05), while the proportions of these subtypes expressing Fas were similar for the two groups. Patients with active SLE, as defined by their score on the SLE Disease Activity Index, had lower proportions of CD3+CD4+ T cells and higher proportions of CD3+CD4+Tim-3+ and CD3+CD4+Tim-3+Fas+ T cells than did patients with stable SLE. Serum levels of complement C3 and C4 proteins, considered as a marker of SLE activity, correlated negatively with proportions of CD3+CD4+ and CD3+CD4- T cells expressing Tim-3.
Conclusions
Expression of Tim-3 and co-expression of Tim-3 and Fas on certain peripheral T subsets are associated with disease activity in SLE patients. Future research should examine whether the same is true of other T subsets implicated in SLE, and should explore the potential role(s) of Tim-3 in the disease pathway.
Virtual slides
http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1855527845145188
doi:10.1186/s13000-015-0306-0
PMCID: PMC4469310  PMID: 26076826
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Tim-3; Fas; T lymphocyte subset; Disease activity
4.  Unique Urchin-like Ca2Ge7O16 Hierarchical Hollow Microspheres as Anode Material for the Lithium Ion Battery 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:11326.
Germanium is an outstanding anode material in terms of electrochemical performance, especially rate capability, but its developments are hindered by its high price because it is rare in the crust of earth, and its huge volume variation during the lithium insertion and extraction. Introducing other cheaper elements into the germanium-based material is an efficient way to dilute the high price, but normally sacrifice its electrochemical performance. By the combination of nanostructure design and cheap element (calcium) introduction, urchin-like Ca2Ge7O16 hierarchical hollow microspheres have been successfully developed in order to reduce the price and maintain the good electrochemical properties of germanium-based material. The electrochemical test results in different electrolytes show that ethylene carbonate/dimethyl carbonate/diethyl carbonate (3/4/3 by volume) with 5 wt% fluoroethylene carbonate additive is the most suitable solvent for the electrolyte. From the electrochemical evaluation, the as-synthesized Ca2Ge7O16 hollow microspheres exhibit high reversible specific capacity of up to 804.6 mA h g−1 at a current density of 100 mA g−1 after 100 cycles and remarkable rate capability of 341.3 mA h g−1 at a current density of 4 A g−1. The growth mechanism is proposed based on our experimental results on the growth process.
doi:10.1038/srep11326
PMCID: PMC4462153  PMID: 26061390
6.  Increased Thymic Cell Turnover under Boron Stress May Bypass TLR3/4 Pathway in African Ostrich 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0129596.
Previous studies revealed that thymus is a targeted immune organ in malnutrition, and high-boron stress is harmful for immune organs. African ostrich is the living fossil of ancient birds and the food animals in modern life. There is no report about the effect of boron intake on thymus of ostrich. The purpose of present study was to evaluate the effect of excessive boron stress on ostrich thymus and the potential role of TLR3/4 signals in this process. Histological analysis demonstrated that long-term boron stress (640 mg/L for 90 days) did not disrupt ostrich thymic structure during postnatal development. However, the numbers of apoptotic cells showed an increased tendency, and the expression of autophagy and proliferation markers increased significantly in ostrich thymus after boron treatment. Next, we examined the expression of TLR3 and TLR4 with their downstream molecular in thymus under boron stress. Since ostrich genome was not available when we started the research, we first cloned ostrich TLR3 TLR4 cDNA from thymus. Ostrich TLR4 was close to white-throated Tinamou. Whole avian TLR4 codons were under purify selection during evolution, whereas 80 codons were under positive selection. TLR3 and TLR4 were expressed in ostrich thymus and bursa of fabricius as was revealed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). TLR4 expression increased with age but significantly decreased after boron treatment, whereas TLR3 expression showed the similar tendency. Their downstream molecular factors (IRF1, JNK, ERK, p38, IL-6 and IFN) did not change significantly in thymus, except that p100 was significantly increased under boron stress when analyzed by qRT-PCR or western blot. Taken together, these results suggest that ostrich thymus developed resistance against long-term excessive boron stress, possibly by accelerating intrathymic cell death and proliferation, which may bypass the TLR3/4 pathway. In addition, attenuated TLRs activity may explain the reduced inflammatory response to pathogens under boron stress.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129596
PMCID: PMC4460079  PMID: 26053067
7.  Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes in the Vegetative Buds, Floral Buds and Buds of Chrysanthemum morifolium 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0128009.
Background
Chrysanthemum morifolium is an important floral crop that is cultivated worldwide. However, due to a lack of genomic resources, very little information is available concerning the molecular mechanisms of flower development in chrysanthemum.
Results
The transcriptomes of chrysanthemum vegetative buds, floral buds and buds were sequenced using Illumina paired-end sequencing technology. A total of 15.4 Gb of reads were assembled into 91,367 unigenes with an average length of 739 bp. A total of 43,137 unigenes showed similarity to known proteins in the Swissprot or NCBI non-redundant protein databases. Additionally, 25,424, 24,321 and 13,704 unigenes were assigned to 56 gene ontology (GO) categories, 25 EuKaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG) categories, and 285 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways, respectively. A total of 1,876 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (1,516 up-regulated, 360 down-regulated) were identified between vegetative buds and floral buds, and 3,300 DEGs (1,277 up-regulated, 1,706 down-regulated) were identified between floral buds and buds. Many genes encoding important transcription factors (e.g., AP2, MYB, MYC, WRKY, NAC and CRT) as well as proteins involved in carbohydrate metabolism, protein kinase activity, plant hormone signal transduction, and the defense responses, among others, were considerably up-regulated in floral buds. Genes involved in the photoperiod pathway and flower organ determination were also identified. These genes represent important candidate genes for molecular cloning and functional analysis to study flowering regulation in chrysanthemum.
Conclusion
This comparative transcriptome analysis revealed significant differences in gene expression and signaling pathway components between the vegetative buds, floral buds and buds of Chrysanthemum morifolium. A wide range of genes was implicated in regulating the phase transition from vegetative to reproductive growth. These results should aid researchers in the study of flower-time regulation, breeding and molecular biology in chrysanthemum.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0128009
PMCID: PMC4444331  PMID: 26009891
8.  Impacts of drought stress on soluble carbohydrates and respiratory enzymes in fruit body of Auricularia auricula  
In order to study the survival mechanisms to drought stress for fruit body of Auricularia auricula, soluble carbohydrates and respiratory enzymes were investigated. Fruit bodies were exposed to sunlight and were naturally dehydrated. Samples were taken at different levels of water loss (0%, 10%, 30%, 50% and 70%) to measure the content of soluble sugars and polysaccharides. The activities of phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI), combined glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH) and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6-PGDH), and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), were also determined. The results showed that with the increase in water loss, soluble sugars and MDH activity declined, whereas the activities of G-6-PDH and 6-PGDH increased. Soluble polysaccharides content and PGI activity decreased with water loss up to 30% and increased afterwards. These results suggested that the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), as demonstrated by activities of G-6-PDH and 6-PGDH, could be one of the mechanisms for survival during drought stress in the fruit body of A. auricula. Moreover, soluble polysaccharides may play a part in protecting the fruit body in further drought stress.
doi:10.1080/13102818.2014.984522
PMCID: PMC4433945  PMID: 26019613
Auricularia auricula; drought stress; soluble carbohydrates; respiratory enzyme; fruit bodies
9.  MicroRNA expression profiles predict clinical phenotypes and prognosis in chromophobe renal cell carcinoma 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:10328.
Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) is the third most common subtype of kidney cancers. In the present study, we identified 58 treatment-naïve primary chRCC patients from The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset and analyzed the genome-wide microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles, with the aim to assess the relationship of miRNA expression with the progression and prognosis of chRCC. Overall, a total of 105 miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed between tumor and the adjacent normal tissues from 22 chRCC patients. In the unpaired condition (58 chRCC vs. 22 normal tissues), 77 (96.3%) samples were distinguished correctly by the signatures. In the progression-related profiles, 27 miRNAs were selected for pathologic T and 9 for lymph node involvement. In the survival analyses, the expression levels of mir-191, mir-19a, mir-210, and mir-425 were significantly associated with both recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival, while mir-210 was proven as an independent prognostic factor in terms of RFS. In summary, miRNAs are expressed differentially in chRCC, and unique expression of miRNAs is associated with the progression and prognosis of chRCC.
doi:10.1038/srep10328
PMCID: PMC4434887  PMID: 25981392
10.  Cell Surface GRP78 Accelerated Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation and Migration by Activating STAT3 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0125634.
High levels of cell surface glucose regulated protein 78 (sGRP78) have been implicated in cancer growth, survival, metastasis, and chemotherapy resistance. However, the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. Here we report that the level of sGRP78 expression in human breast tumors gradually increases during cancer progression. Overexpression of GRP78 significantly enhanced its membrane distribution in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells, but had no effect on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. High levels of sGRP78 facilitated cell proliferation and migration, as well as suppressed cell apoptosis. Neutralization of sGRP78 by a specific antibody against GRP78 alleviated sGRP78-induced cell growth and migration. Importantly, high phosphorylation levels of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were found in human breast tumors that express sGRP78 and MCF-7 cells infected with adenovirus encoding human GRP78. Pretreatment with a GRP78 antibody suppressed STAT3 phosphorylation. Furthermore, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 reversed the impacts of GRP78 on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. These findings indicate that STAT3 mediates sGRP78-promoted breast cancer cell growth and migration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125634
PMCID: PMC4431800  PMID: 25973748
11.  Effect of N-acetylcysteine in COPD patients with different microsomal epoxide hydrolase genotypes 
Background
The role of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been clarified as yet. In early studies, we found that the proportion of smokers with COPD having extremely slow/slow microsomal epoxide hydrolase (EPHX1) enzyme activity is significantly higher than that in healthy smokers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether different EPHX1 enzyme activity is related to differential therapeutic effects of treatment with NAC in COPD.
Methods
A total of 219 patients with COPD were randomly allocated to an extremely slow/slow EPHX1 enzyme activity group (n=157) or a fast/normal EPHX1 enzyme activity group (n=62) according to their EPHX1 enzyme activity. Both groups were treated with NAC 600 mg twice daily for one year. The main study parameters, including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and yearly exacerbation rate, were measured at baseline and at 6-month intervals for one year.
Results
Both FEV1 and SGRQ symptom scores were improved after treatment with NAC in the slow activity group when compared with the fast activity group. Further, changes in FEV1 and SGRQ symptom score in patients with mild-to-moderate COPD were more significant than those in patients with severe-to-very severe COPD. The yearly exacerbation rates were reduced in both groups, but the reduction in the slow activity group was significantly lower than in the fast activity group.
Conclusion
NAC treatment in COPD patients with extremely slow/slow EPHX1 enzyme activity improves FEV1 and the SGRQ symptom score, especially in those with mild-to-moderate COPD, and polymorphism in the EPHX1 gene may have a significant role in differential responses to treatment with NAC in patients with COPD.
doi:10.2147/COPD.S79710
PMCID: PMC4437521  PMID: 25999707
N-acetylcysteine; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; microsomal epoxide hydrolase; polymorphism
12.  The Safety and Efficacy of Antifibrinolytic Therapy in Neonatal Cardiac Surgery 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126514.
Background
Neonates undergoing open-heart surgery are particularly at risk of postoperative bleeding requiring blood transfusion. Aprotinin has attained high efficacy in reducing the requirement for a blood transfusion following a cardiopulmonary bypass, but is seldom studied in the neonatal age group. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and adverse effects of aprotinin and tranexamic acid in neonates undergoing open-heart surgery at a single centre.
Methods
Between October 2003 and March 2008, perioperative data of 552 consecutive neonatal patients undergoing open-heart surgery in Children’s Hospital Boston were reviewed. Among them, 177 did not receive antifibrinolytic therapy (Group A); 100 were treated with tranexamic acid only (Group B); and 275 patients received aprotinin with or without tranexamic acid (Group C). Except for antifibrinolytic therapy, the anaesthesiological and surgical protocols remained identical. Postoperative complications and in-hospital mortality were the primary study endpoints.
Results
Body weight and Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS-1) scores were statistically comparable among the three groups. No statistically significant differences were observed between the duration of hospitalization, chest tube drainage, reexploration for bleeding, and kidney function impairment. In Group C, less blood was transfused within 24 hours than in GroupB. Operative mortality was similar among the three groups.
Conclusion
No further risk and kidney injury were observed in the use of aprotinin in neonatal cardiac surgery, aprotinin demonstrated a reduced requirement for blood transfusion compared with tranexamic acid. Our data provide reasonable evidence that aprotinin and tranexamic acid are safe and efficacious as antifibrinolytic modalities in neonatal patients undergoing cardiac surgery.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126514
PMCID: PMC4425500  PMID: 25954976
13.  The latest therapeutic strategies after resistance to first generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) 
First-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs), gefitinib and erlotinib, produce reliable responses and survival benefits in selected patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Unfortunately, most patients who initially respond to first-line therapy with EGFR TKIs will experience disease progression in 1-2 years. To overcome the resistance of EGFR TKIs, the potent resistance mechanisms and novel therapeutic strategies have been developed. T790M mutation and activation of bypass signaling pathway are identified the predominant mechanisms of acquired resistance to TKIs. Several approaches have shown promise, such as next-generation EGFR TKIs, immunotherapy, and combinational therapies. And the limited clinical data suggest that all drugs are acceptable safe. Additionally, this review will also focus on the increasingly importance of re-biopsy at the time of disease progression, and the matching effective therapies is related to the identification of specific molecular types of tumors.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2015.03.60
PMCID: PMC4430733  PMID: 26015938
Epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR TKIs) resistance; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); therapeutic strategies
14.  Design and methods of the NiCK study: neurocognitive assessment and magnetic resonance imaging analysis of children and young adults with chronic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2015;16:66.
Background
Chronic kidney disease is strongly linked to neurocognitive deficits in adults and children, but the pathophysiologic processes leading to these deficits remain poorly understood. The NiCK study (Neurocognitive Assessment and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analysis of Children and Young Adults with Chronic Kidney Disease) seeks to address critical gaps in our understanding of the biological basis for neurologic abnormalities in chronic kidney disease. In this report, we describe the objectives, design, and methods of the NiCK study.
Design/methods
The NiCK Study is a cross-sectional cohort study in which neurocognitive and neuroimaging phenotyping is performed in children and young adults, aged 8 to 25 years, with chronic kidney disease compared to healthy controls. Assessments include (1) comprehensive neurocognitive testing (using traditional and computerized methods); (2) detailed clinical phenotyping; and (3) multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess brain structure (using T1-weighted MRI, T2-weighted MRI, and diffusion tensor imaging), functional connectivity (using functional MRI), and blood flow (using arterial spin labeled MRI). Primary analyses will examine group differences in neurocognitive testing and neuroimaging between subjects with chronic kidney disease and healthy controls. Mechanisms responsible for neurocognitive dysfunction resulting from kidney disease will be explored by examining associations between neurocognitive testing and regional changes in brain structure, functional connectivity, or blood flow. In addition, the neurologic impact of kidney disease comorbidities such as anemia and hypertension will be explored. We highlight aspects of our analytical approach that illustrate the challenges and opportunities posed by data of this scope.
Discussion
The NiCK study provides a unique opportunity to address key questions about the biological basis of neurocognitive deficits in chronic kidney disease. Understanding these mechanisms could have great public health impact by guiding screening strategies, delivery of health information, and targeted treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease and its related comorbidities.
doi:10.1186/s12882-015-0061-1
PMCID: PMC4419485  PMID: 25924831
Neurocognition; Neuropsychological; Chronic kidney disease; Hypertension; Cerebrovascular disease; Cardiovascular disease; Neuroimaging; Magnetic resonance imaging; Children; Adolescents; Adults
15.  Construction of a BALB/c-Nu Mouse Model of Invasive Bladder Carcinoma and Preliminary Studies on the Treatment of Bladder Tumors through Internal Iliac Arterial Infusion of Albumin-Bound Arsenic Trioxide (As2O3) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0124959.
To establish a BALB/c-nu mouse model of invasive bladder carcinoma and to investigate the feasibility, efficacy, and side effects of treating the mouse xenografts with internal iliac arterial infusion of albumin-bound arsenic trioxide (As2O3). Bladder tumors were established by intravesicular injection. Color Doppler were used to monitor tumor growth. Albumin-bound As2O3 and bovine serum albumin (BSA) nanoparticles were synthesized by cross-linking. BALB/c-nu mice were randomly divided into four treatment groups: 1) normal saline, 2) BSA nanoparticles, 3) As2O3 injections, and 4) albumin-bound As2O3. In an attempt to replicate the treatment of bladder cancer in humans using internal iliac arterial infusion, the drugs were injected into the mouse abdominal aorta. Tumor xenografts were established successfully. Mice treated with As2O3 injections and with albumin-bound As2O3 had significantly smaller bladders (36.59% and 37.82% smaller, respectively) than mice given normal saline injections (P < 0.01). Mice receiving As2O3 injections had lower white blood cell (WBC) and platelet counts compared with mice receiving normal saline injections only (P < 0.05). However, mice treated with albumin-bound As2O3 did not experience a significant decrease in WBC or platelet counts compared with control mice. A model of intra-arterial bladder cancer treatment was successfully established in BALB/c-nu mice. In this model, albumin-bound As2O3 appeared to be an effective method for treating bladder tumors, with less severe hematologic side effects compared with As2O3 alone. The infusion of albumin-bound As2O3 through the internal iliac artery is a promising method of bladder cancer therapy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124959
PMCID: PMC4410949  PMID: 25915411
16.  Associations between pentraxin 3 and severity of coronary artery disease 
BMJ Open  2015;5(4):e007123.
Objective
To investigate the associations between plasma levels of pentraxins 3 (PTX3) and C reactive protein (CRP) and the severity of coronary artery lesions.
Design and methods
60 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) who underwent coronary angiography (CAG) in our hospital were included. Plasma was collected during CAG. The coronary Gensini score was used to evaluate the severity of coronary artery lesions. Associations between Gensini scores and plasma levels of PTX3 and CRP were analysed. Patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 were included in the chronic renal dysfunction subgroup.
Results
A linear correlation was observed between PTX3 and the Gensini score (r=0.513, p<0.001). One-way analysis of variance showed that PTX3 levels were significantly higher in patients with Gensini scores >90 compared with patients with scores of 46–90 or <45 (0–45:4.8±0.8, 46–90:6.7±1.2, >90:7.7±2.0, p<0.001). Stepwise multiple linear regression showed that PTX3 levels were significantly associated with Gensini score in patients with chronic renal dysfunction (p=0.012), while no significant association was found for CRP.
Conclusions
PTX3 levers were positively associated with the severity of coronary artery lesions. PTX3 is closely associated with the severity of coronary artery stenosis in patients with chronic renal dysfunction.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007123
PMCID: PMC4390731  PMID: 25854969
19.  Comparison of Current Diagnostic Criteria for Acute-On-Chronic Liver Failure 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(3):e0122158.
Background and Aims
Currently, acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) has been defined differently by Asia–Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) and Chinese Medical Association (CMA) in the East, as well as EASL-Chronic Liver Failure (EASL-CLIF) Consortium in the West. This study aimed to compare current different diagnostic criteria for ACLF and to determine predictors of the progression into post-enrollment EASL-CLIF ACLF from ACLF at enrollment defined by APASL alone or by both APASL and CMA but not by EASL-CLIF Consortium.
Methods
We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from 394 eligible cirrhotic patients fulfilling at least APASL criteria for ACLF at enrollment. Patient survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and subsequently compared by log-rank test. Independent predictors of disease progression were determined using univariate analysis and multivariate Cox regression analysis.
Results
The 90-day mortality rate was 13.1% in patients with ACLF at enrollment defined by APASL alone, 25.3% in patients with ACLF at enrollment defined by both APASL and CMA but not EASL-CLIF Consortium, and 59.3% in patients with ACLF at enrollment defined by EASL-CLIF Consortium in addition to APASL. Baseline Chronic Liver Failure-Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (CLIF-SOFA) score, and the maximum rising rates of CLIF-SOFA score, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease-Sodium (MELD-Na) score and total bilirubin were independent predictors of progression into post-enrollment EASL-CLIF ACLF from ACLF at enrollment defined by APASL alone or by both APASL and CMA but not by EASL-CLIF Consortium.
Conclusion
Different diagnostic criteria for ACLF caused different patient prognosis. So, it is imperative to formulate a unifying diagnostic criteria for ACLF worldwide, thus attaining early identification and treatment, and eventual improvement in survival of ACLF patients. Baseline CLIF-SOFA score, and the maximum rising rates of CLIF-SOFA score, MELD-Na score and total bilirubin may early predict post-enrollment development of EASL-CLIF ACLF.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122158
PMCID: PMC4364726  PMID: 25785855
20.  Efficacy and safety of endobronchial valves for advanced emphysema: a meta analysis 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2015;7(3):320-328.
Objective
A meta-analysis was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction with endobronchial valves (EBV) for advanced emphysema.
Methods
A systematic search was performed from PubMed, EMBASE, CNKI, Cochrane Library database. Randomized control clinical trials on treatment of emphysema for 3-12 months with the EBV compared with standard medications and sham EBV were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were applied to select patients with advanced emphysema treated with EBV. The primary outcome was the percentage of the forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1%). Secondary outcomes included St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) score, the distance of the 6-minute walk (6MWD) test, the Modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) dyspnoea score, cycle ergometry workload, and the rate of the six major complications at 3 or 12 months. Fixed- or random-effects models were used and weighted mean differences (WMD), relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
Results
Three trials (565 patients) were considered in the meta-analysis. EBV patients yielded greater increases in FEV1% than standard medications (WMD =6.71; 95% CI, 3.31 to 10.10; P=0.0001), EBV patients also demonstrated a significant change for SGRQ score (WMD =−3.64; 95% CI, −5.93 to −1.34; P=0.002), MMRC dyspnoea score (WMD =−0.26; 95% CI, −0.44 to -0.08; P=0.004), and cycle ergometry workload (WMD =4.18; 95% CI, 2.14 to 6.22; P<0.0001). A similar level was evident for 6MWD (WMD =11.66; 95% CI, −3.31 to 26.64; P=0.13). EBV may increase the rate of hemoptysis (RR =5.15; 95% CI, 1.16 to 22.86; P=0.03), but didn’t increase the adverse events including mortality, respiratory failure, empyema, pneumonia, pneumothrax. The overall rates for complications compared EBV with standard medications and sham EBV was not significant (RR =2.03; 95% CI, 0.98 to 4.21; P=0.06).
Conclusions
EBV lung volume reduction for advanced emphysema showed superior efficacy and a good safety and tolerability compared with standard medications and sham EBV, further more randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies are needed to pay more attention to the long-term efficacy and safety of bronchoscopic lung volume reduction with EBV in advanced emphysema.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.11.04
PMCID: PMC4387449  PMID: 25922709
Bronchoscope; endobronchial valves (EBV); emphysema
21.  Effects of ischemic preconditioning on the systemic and renal hemodynamic changes in renal ischemia reperfusion injury 
Background: Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) could protect against subsequent renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI). However, the mechanisms underlying IPC remain far from complete. Hence, we explored the effects of IPC on the renal and systemic hemodynamic changes, renal function and morphology, as well the involvement of endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/iNOS), and nitric oxide (NO). Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into five groups after right-side nephrectomy: Sham group (surgery without vascular clamping); IRI group (the left renal artery was clamped for 45 min); IPC group (pretreated with 15 min of ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion); IPC + vehicle group (administrated with 0.9% saline 5 min before IPC); and IPC + NG-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME) group (pretreated with L-NAME 5 min prior to IPC). The renal and systemic hemodynamic parameters, renal function and morphology, as well as eNOS, iNOS, and NO expression levels in the kidneys were measured at the indicated time points after reperfusion. Results: IPC rats exhibited significant improvements in renal function, morphology, and renal artery blood flow (RABF), without obvious influence on the systemic hemodynamics and renal vein blood flow. Increased eNOS, iNOS, and NO expression levels were detected in the kidneys of IPC rats 24 h after reperfusion. Furthermore, the beneficial effects were fully abolished by the administration of L-NAME. Conclusions: The results suggest that IPC contributes to early restoration of RABF, probably through eNOS/iNOS-mediated NO production, thereby alleviating the renal dysfunction and histological damage caused by IRI.
PMCID: PMC4396246  PMID: 25972999
Ischemic preconditioning; ischemia reperfusion injury; renal/systemic hemodynamics; eNOS/iNOS; nitric oxide
22.  A facile approach to synthesize stable CNTs@MnO electrocatalyst for high energy lithium oxygen batteries 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8012.
A composite of manganese monoxide loaded onto carbon nanotubes (CNTs@MnO) has been synthesized by a facile approach, in which the CNTs form a continuous conductive network connecting the electrocatalyst MnO nanoparticles together to facilitate good electrochemical performance. The electrocatalyst MnO shows favourable rechargeability, and good phase and morphology stability in lithium oxygen batteries. Excellent cycling performance is also demonstrated, in which the terminal voltage is higher than 2.4 V after 100 cycles at 0.4 mA cm−2, with 1000 mAh g−1(composite) capacity. Therefore, this hybrid material is promising for use as a cathode material for lithium oxygen batteries.
doi:10.1038/srep08012
PMCID: PMC4311244  PMID: 25634100
24.  Recurrent Syncope Attributed to Left Main Coronary Artery Severe Stenosis 
Case Reports in Medicine  2015;2015:782347.
Patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) rarely manifest as recurrent syncope due to malignant ventricular arrhythmia. We report a case of a 56-year-old Chinese male with complaints of paroxysmal chest burning sensation and distress for 2 weeks as well as loss of consciousness for 3 days. The electrocardiogram (ECG) revealed paroxysmal multimorphologic ventricular tachycardia during attack and normal heart rhythm during intervals. Coronary angiograph showed 90% stenosis in left main coronary artery and 80% stenosis in anterior descending artery. Two stents sized 4.0∗18 mm and 2.75∗18 mm were placed at left main coronary artery and anterior descending artery, respectively, during percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The patient was discharged and never had ventricular arrhythmia again during a 3-month follow-up since the PCI. This indicated that ventricular tachycardia was correlated with persistent severe myocardial ischemia. Coronary vasospasm was highly suspected to be the reason of the sudden attack and acute exacerbation. PCI is recommended in patients with both severe coronary artery stenosis and ventricular arrhythmia. Removing myocardial ischemia may stop or relieve ventricular arrhythmia and prevent cardiac arrest.
doi:10.1155/2015/782347
PMCID: PMC4312630  PMID: 25685155
25.  The prevalence of primary headache disorders and their associated factors among nursing staff in North China 
Background
Epidemiological data on the prevalence of headache in nursing staff in Mainland China are lacking. We therefore performed a study to assess the prevalence of headache, and factors associated with headaches, in nursing staff in three hospitals in North China.
Methods
Stratified random cluster sampling was used to select 1102 nurses from various departments in three hospitals. A structured questionnaire was used to collect epidemiological data, headache characteristics and associated factors.
Results
The response rate was 93.0%. Among nursing staff, the 1-year prevalence of primary headache disorders was 45.3%, of migraine 14.8% (migraine with aura 3.4%, migraine without aura 11.4%), of tension-type headache (TTH) 26.2%, of chronic daily headache (CDH) 2.7%. Multivariate analysis showed that seniority (≥5 years) was a risk factor for migraine (OR 2.280), obesity (BMI ≥ 25) was a risk factor for TTH and CDH (OR 1.684 and 3.184), and age (≥40 years) was a risk factor for CDH (OR 8.455). Nurses working in internal medicine were more likely to suffer CDH than those in other departments. Working a greater number of night shifts was also associated with increased prevalence of headache.
Conclusion
The prevalence of primary headache disorders in nurses is higher than that in the general population in China, and occupational factors may play an important role. Therefore, the prevalence of headache in nurses should be a focus of attention, and coping strategies should be provided. Such measures could contribute to improving patient care.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-16-4
PMCID: PMC4405508  PMID: 25582043
Prevalence; Headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Chronic daily headache; Nursing staff

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