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1.  Global and regional left ventricular myocardial deformation measures by magnetic resonance feature tracking in healthy volunteers: comparison with tagging and relevance of gender 
Background
Feature Tracking software offers measurements of myocardial strain, velocities and displacement from cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) images. We used it to record deformation parameters in healthy adults and compared values to those obtained by tagging.
Methods
We used TomTec 2D Cardiac Performance Analysis software to derive global, regional and segmental myocardial deformation parameters in 145 healthy volunteers who had steady state free precession (SSFP) cine left ventricular short (basal, mid and apical levels) and long axis views (horizontal long axis, vertical long axis and left ventricular out flow tract) obtained on a 1.5 T Siemens Sonata scanner. 20 subjects also had tagged acquisitions and we compared global and regional deformation values obtained from these with those from Feature Tracking.
Results
For globally averaged measurements of strain, only those measured circumferentially in short axis slices showed reasonably good levels of agreement between FT and tagging (limits of agreement −0.06 to 0.04). Longitudinal strain showed wide limits of agreement (−0.16 to 0.03) with evidence of overestimation of strain by FT relative to tagging as the mean of both measures increased. Radial strain was systematically overestimated by FT relative to tagging with very wide limits of agreement extending to as much as 100% of the mean value (−0.01 to 0.23). Reproducibility showed similar relative trends with acceptable global inter-observer variability for circumferential measures (coefficient of variation 4.9%) but poor reproducibility in the radial direction (coefficient of variation 32.3%). Ranges for deformation parameters varied between basal, mid and apical LV levels with higher levels at base compared to apex, and between genders by both FT and tagging.
Conclusions
FT measurements of circumferential but not longitudinally or radially directed global strain showed reasonable agreement with tagging and acceptable inter-observer reproducibility. We record provisional ranges of FT deformation parameters at global, regional and segmental levels. They show evidence of variation with gender and myocardial region in the volunteers studied, but have yet to be compared with tagging measurements at the segmental level.
doi:10.1186/1532-429X-15-8
PMCID: PMC3621526  PMID: 23331550
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance; Feature tracking; Tagging; Strain; Myocardial displacement; Myocardial velocity
3.  Staphylococcus aureus Bacteraemia in a Tropical Setting: Patient Outcome and Impact of Antibiotic Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(1):e4308.
Background
Most information on invasive Staphylococcus aureus infections comes from temperate countries. There are considerable knowledge gaps in epidemiology, treatment, drug resistance and outcome of invasive S. aureus infection in the tropics.
Methods
A prospective, observational study of S. aureus bacteraemia was conducted in a 1000-bed regional hospital in northeast Thailand over 1 year. Detailed clinical data were collected and final outcomes determined at 12 weeks, and correlated with antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of infecting isolates.
Principal Findings
Ninety-eight patients with S. aureus bacteraemia were recruited. The range of clinical manifestations was similar to that reported from temperate countries. The prevalence of endocarditis was 14%. The disease burden was highest at both extremes of age, whilst mortality increased with age. The all-cause mortality rate was 52%, with a mortality attributable to S. aureus of 44%. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was responsible for 28% of infections, all of which were healthcare-associated. Mortality rates for MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) were 67% (18/27) and 46% (33/71), respectively (p = 0.11). MRSA isolates were multidrug resistant. Only vancomycin or fusidic acid would be suitable as empirical treatment options for suspected MRSA infection.
Conclusions
S. aureus is a significant pathogen in northeast Thailand, with comparable clinical manifestations and a similar endocarditis prevalence but higher mortality than industrialised countries. S. aureus bacteraemia is frequently associated with exposure to healthcare settings with MRSA causing a considerable burden of disease. Further studies are required to define setting-specific strategies to reduce mortality from S. aureus bacteraemia, prevent MRSA transmission, and to define the burden of S. aureus disease and emergence of drug resistance throughout the developing world.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004308
PMCID: PMC2628727  PMID: 19180198
4.  Imaging of pericardial tumours: a case report 
Background
Pericardial tumours are unusual and may be difficult to characterise with imaging. They manifest as large, non-contractile, solid masses within the pericardium. Presenting symptoms include heart failure, arrythmias, sudden death, cyanosis and chest pain.
Case presentation
We describe a case of massive pericardial fibroma in a 52 year old woman, who presented with palpitations only.
Conclusion
We illustrate the different imaging modalities available to image this tumour prior to surgical resection, and indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each.
doi:10.1186/1476-7120-4-29
PMCID: PMC1538633  PMID: 16848884

Results 1-4 (4)