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1.  Oral and topical sodium cromoglicate in the treatment of diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis in an infant 
BMJ Case Reports  2011;2011:bcr0220113910.
Diffuse cutaneous mastocytosis (DCM) is a rare, severe, variant of cutaneous mastocytosis. The authors report the case of a male infant who developed maculae and maculopapulae on his legs and abdomen when aged 3.5 months, which spread to all body surfaces within weeks. Diagnosis of DCM was made at the age of 6 months when he had developed extensive bullous eruptions, generalised pruritus, flushing and abdominal pain. Treatment was started with oral dimethindine maleate. At the age of 18 months, oral sodium cromoglicate (SCG) was introduced. At the age of 23 months, additional treatment was started with a cutaneous emulsion containing 4% SCG. Continued treatment with oral dimethindine maleate, oral SCG with the dose maintained at 25 mg/kg/day, and SCG 4% cutaneous emulsion applied two to four times daily has resulted in a steady improvement of symptoms and skin appearance.
doi:10.1136/bcr.02.2011.3910
PMCID: PMC3128352  PMID: 22693187
2.  Diagnostic X-ray examinations and increased chromosome translocations: evidence from three studies 
Controversy regarding potential health risks from increased use of medical diagnostic radiologic examinations has come to public attention. We evaluated whether chromosome damage, specifically translocations, which are a potentially intermediate biomarker for cancer risk, was increased after exposure to diagnostic X-rays, with particular interest in the ionizing radiation dose–response below the level of approximately 50 mGy. Chromosome translocation frequency data from three separately conducted occupational studies of ionizing radiation were pooled together. Studies 1 and 2 included 79 and 150 medical radiologic technologists, respectively, and study 3 included 83 airline pilots and 50 university faculty members (total = 155 women and 207 men; mean age = 62 years, range 34–90). Information on personal history of radiographic examinations was collected from a detailed questionnaire. We computed a cumulative red bone marrow (RBM) dose score based on the numbers and types of X-ray examinations reported with 1 unit approximating 1 mGy. Poisson regression analyses were adjusted for age and laboratory method. Mean RBM dose scores were 49, 42, and 11 for Studies 1–3, respectively (overall mean = 33.5, range 0–303). Translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing dose score (P < 0.001). Restricting the analysis to the lowest dose scores of under 50 did not materially change these results. We conclude that chromosome damage is associated with low levels of radiation exposure from diagnostic X-ray examinations, including dose scores of approximately 50 and lower, suggesting the possibility of long-term adverse health effects.
doi:10.1007/s00411-010-0307-z
PMCID: PMC3075914  PMID: 20602108
3.  The effects of topical sodium cromoglicate on itch and flare in human skin induced by intradermal histamine: a randomised double-blind vehicle controlled intra-subject design trial 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:47.
Background
Itch is a prominent feature of many skin diseases, particularly atopic dermatitis and cutaneous mastocytosis. Sodium cromoglicate (SCG), a chromone developed for the treatment of allergic disease has been shown to reduce the severity of itch when applied topically to subjects with atopic dermatitis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether topical sodium cromoglicate can reduce the severity of itch induced by intradermal histamine.
Methods
SCG was introduced into the skin of healthy volunteers both by iontophoresis and by topical application using a new 4% cutaneous emulsion (Altoderm™). The skin was then challenged with intradermal histamine. Measurements were made of severity of itch, size of wheal and flare and change in blood flux
Results
SCG significantly reduced the severity of itch (P = 0.0045) and flare (P = 0.0143) when delivered by iontophoresis. SCG 4% cutaneous emulsion significantly reduced severity of itch (P = 0.024) and flare (P = 0.015) in atopic subjects. Trend analysis showed increasing effect on itch with increased concentrations of SCG, which was significant (P = 0.046). There were no effects on wheal or blood flux.
Conclusions
Topically applied SCG, administered in a new cutaneous emulsion base, significantly reduced the itch and flare caused by intradermal histamine. The effect was greatest in atopic subjects and increased with the concentration of SCG in the emulsion.
Trial registration
ISRCTN35671014
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-47
PMCID: PMC3060830  PMID: 21385340
4.  THE VALUE OF PHYSICAL EXAMINATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SURVEY FOR IDENTIFYING YOUTH PITCHERS WITH ARM PAIN 
The Iowa Orthopaedic Journal  2011;31:133-139.
Objective
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a screening survey in identifying injuries in youth baseball pitchers. It is hypothesized that a standalone survey is unlikely to give a complete picture and that an additional physical examination is necessary to identify all injuries.
Methods
Seventy-seven youth baseball players who pitched in the last 12 months completed the survey. Players underwent physical examination if they reported a history of time-loss injury (16 players) or if they had any current complaints of pain without a history of time-loss injury (22 players).
Results
This screening protocol resulted in positive physical examination findings in 37.6% of all 77 players. This included a rate of 56.3% of pitchers with a positive time-loss injury history and 90.9% of pitchers with a negative time-loss injury, but positive complaint of pain. The most common complaint in both groups was elbow tenderness with the most common location being the medial epicondyle.
Conclusion
While the survey was effective at identifying time-loss injuries, it may neglect more mild injuries, underestimating the percentage of players with pain and positive physical examination findings. The high frequency of positive examination findings in athletes without a history of time-loss injury demands further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3215126  PMID: 22096432
5.  Oral and inhaled sodium cromoglicate in the management of systemic mastocytosis: a case report 
Introduction
Mastocytosis is a rare disease consisting of a group of disorders characterized by a pathologic increase in the number of mast cells in one or more organ system. Treatment is symptomatic. Oral sodium cromoglicate (SCG) is the only treatment licensed for the treatment of mastocytosis. In this case we report how in a mastocytosis patient being treated with H1 and H2 antihistamines, and oral sodium cromoglicate, the addition of inhaled sodium cromoglicate resulted in further improvement. This is the first report of this use of the drug in this disease.
Case presentation
The subject is a Caucasian woman aged 40 years. Symptoms of mastocytosis began when she was aged 13 years, but the diagnosis was not made until after her first pregnancy aged 33 years. Symptoms improved with H1 and H2 antihistamines, and oral sodium cromoglicate, but it required the addition of inhaled sodium cromoglicate to produce further improvement, specifically in the symptoms of bone pain, fatigue and headache. Doses of oral sodium cromoglicate had to be increased if challenged with a food to which the subject was sensitive. Doses of inhaled sodium cromoglicate had to be increased during the menstrual period.
Conclusions
Patients suffering from the rare disease of mastocytosis have symptoms affecting many body systems. Symptoms result from the release of inflammatory mediators from mast cells. Sodium cromoglicate, a drug that reduces the release of mediators from mast cells, is effective in controlling gastrointestinal symptoms, but less effective in those affecting other body systems. In this case report we have shown that the addition of inhaled sodium cromoglicate controls the symptoms of bone pain, fatigue and headache and also that the doses have to be increased during the menstrual period.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-4-193
PMCID: PMC2904792  PMID: 20579383
6.  ROUTINE DIAGNOSTIC X-RAY EXAMINATIONS AND INCREASED FREQUENCY OF CHROMOSOME TRANSLOCATIONS AMONG U. S. RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGISTS 
Cancer research  2008;68(21):8825-8831.
The U.S. population has nearly one radiographic examination per person per year and concern about cancer risks associated with medical radiation has increased. Radiologic technologists were surveyed to determine whether their personal cumulative exposure to diagnostic x-rays was associated with increased frequencies of chromosome translocations, an established radiation biomarker and possible intermediary suggesting increased cancer risk. Within a large cohort of U. S. radiologic technologists, 150 provided a blood sample for whole chromosome painting and were interviewed about past x-ray examinations. The number and types of examinations reported were converted to a red bone marrow (RBM) dose score with units that approximated 1 mGy. The relationship between dose score and chromosome translocation frequency was assessed using Poisson regression. The estimated mean cumulative RBM radiation dose score was 49 (range 0 – 303). After adjustment for age, translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing RBM dose score with an estimate of 0.004 translocations per 100 cell equivalents per score unit (95% confidence interval 0.002 to 0.007; P < 0.001). Removing extreme values or adjustment for gender, cigarette smoking, occupational radiation dose, allowing practice x-rays while training, work with radioisotopes, and radiotherapy for benign conditions did not affect the estimate. Cumulative radiation exposure from routine x-ray examinations was associated independently with increased chromosome damage, suggesting the possibility of elevated long-term health risks, including cancer. The slope estimate was consistent with expectation based on cytogenetic experience and atomic bomb survivor data.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-1691
PMCID: PMC2586176  PMID: 18974125
Radiation exposure; diagnostic x-rays; chromosome translocations; FISH; risk factors
7.  Increased Frequency of Chromosome Translocations Associated with Diagnostic X-Ray Examinations 
Radiation research  2008;170(2):149-155.
Informative studies of cancer risks associated with medical radiation are difficult to conduct owing to low radiation doses, poor recall of diagnostic X rays, and long intervals before cancers occur. Chromosome aberrations have been associated with increased cancer risk and translocations are a known radiation biomarker. Seventy-nine U.S. radiologic technologists were selected for blood collection, and translocations were enumerated by whole chromosome painting. We developed a dose score to the red bone marrow for medical radiation exposure from X-ray examinations reported by the technologists that they received as patients. Using Poisson regression, we analyzed translocations in relation to the dose scores. Each dose score unit approximated 1 mGy. The estimated mean cumulative red bone marrow radiation dose score was 42 (range 1–265). After adjustment for age, occupational radiation, and radiotherapy for benign conditions, translocation frequencies significantly increased with increasing red bone marrow dose score with an estimate of 0.007 translocations per 100 CEs per score unit (95% CI, 0.002 to 0.013; P = 0.01). Chromosome damage has been linked with elevated cancer risk, and we found that cumulative radiation exposure from medical X-ray examinations was associated with increased numbers of chromosome translocations.
doi:10.1667/RR1422.1
PMCID: PMC2766815  PMID: 18666821
8.  International study of factors affecting human chromosome translocations 
Mutation research  2008;652(2):112-121.
Chromosome translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of normal, healthy humans increase with age, but the effects of gender, race, and cigarette smoking on background translocation yields have not been examined systematically. Further, the shape of the relationship between age and translocation frequency (TF) has not been definitively determined. We collected existing data from sixteen laboratories in North America, Europe, and Asia on TFs measured in peripheral blood lymphocytes by fluorescence in situ hybridization whole chromosome painting among 1933 individuals. In Poisson regression models, age, ranging from newborns (cord blood) to 85 years, was strongly associated with TF and this relationship showed significant upward curvature at older ages vs. a linear relationship (p <0.001). Ever smokers had significantly higher TFs than non-smokers (rate ratio (RR) = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–1.30) and smoking modified the effect of age on TFs with a steeper age-related increase among ever smokers compared to non-smokers (p<0.001). TFs did not differ by gender. Interpreting an independent effect of race was difficult owing to laboratory variation. Our study is three times larger than any pooled effort to date, confirming a suspected curvilinear relationship of TF with age. The significant effect of cigarette smoking has not been observed with previous pooled studies of TF in humans. Our data provide stable estimates of background TF by age, gender, race, and smoking status and suggest an acceleration of chromosome damage above age 60 and among those with a history of smoking cigarettes.
doi:10.1016/j.mrgentox.2008.01.005
PMCID: PMC2696320  PMID: 18337160
chromosome translocations; background frequency; controls; fluorescence in situ hybridization
10.  Merit awards 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1992;305(6861):1099.
PMCID: PMC1883610
11.  ABC of Asthma 
PMCID: PMC1441876  PMID: 6428566

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