Cocaine is a potent sympathomimetic agent associated with the development of possible fatal cardiovascular complications. Dysrhythmias, acute myocardial infarction, hypertension and dilated cardiomyopathy are just some of many cardiovascular effects related to the abuse of cocaine.
A 38-year-old Hispanic male with a past medical history of hypertension presented with a chief complaint of progressive shortness of breath. The patient confessed to the use of cocaine for almost 18 years once per week. On examination he was hypertensive and tachycardic with a systolic murmur over the 5th intercostal space at the level of the left mid-clavicular line. Laboratory workup revealed an elevated Brain natriuretic peptide; urine toxicology was positive for cocaine. 2D-echocardiogram showed dilated cardiomyopathy. Cardiac catheterization excluded angioischemic cause. He was managed medically and subsequently discharged with drug rehabilitation. On follow-up diagnostic evaluation after 5 months of cocaine cessation, his ejection function improved significantly.
The exact incidence of cocaine related cardiomyopathy is unknown and likely underreported. The clinical course is abrupt and comparatively similar to other types of cardiomyopathy. The management is like other forms of cardiomyopathy; however β-blockers should be avoided. The myocardial dysfunction is reversible with abstaining from additional cocaine ingestion. Non-invasive testing should be performed after several months to re-evaluate the treatment response.
Cocaine; Dilated cardiomyopathy; Congestive heart failure; Catecholamine
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic is among the greatest health crises ever faced by humanity. Morbidity and mortality in HIV disease is due to immunosuppression leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections (OIs) during the natural course of the disease. This study was aimed to assess the prevalence and CD4 correlates of OIs among adult HIV-infected patients attending at Gondar University Hospital.
Cross sectional study was conducted on 360 adult HIV-infected patients attending antiretroviral therapy clinic from February 2012-April 2012. Patients’ OI status was determined through clinical diagnosis and laboratory investigations. CD4 count was determined using flow cytometry technique. Sociodemographic and clinical data were obtained from interview and patients’ medical records. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was done using SPSS version 16 statistical soft ware and odds ratio was used as the measure of association. P-value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant for all tests.
In this study, 360 HIV-infected patients were included; of whom (n = 216/360, 60%) were females. The majority of patients (n = 153/360, 42.5%) were 25-34 years old with mean age of 35.5+ 8.8 standard deviation. The overall prevalence of OIs was (n = 71/360, 19.7%). Tuberculosis (n = 35/360, 9.72%) followed by oral candidiasis (n = 18/360, 5%) and diarrhea (n = 12/360, 3.3%) were the most frequently observed OIs. CD4 count less than 200/mm3 (OR = 4.933, P < 0.001), World Health Organization (WHO) clinical stage III (OR = 9.418, P < 0.001) and IV (OR = 22.665, P < 0.001) were found to have strong association with acquisition of OIs.
Tuberculosis, oral candidiasis and diarrhea were the leading OIs encountered by HIV-infected patients. CD4 count less than 200/mm3 and advanced WHO clinical stages of the disease were found to be predictors of OIs. Interventions aimed at preventing and treating HIV associated OIs are crucial. Initiation of ART before the CD4 count drops below 350 should be encouraged.
CD4 correlates; Ethiopia; Gondar; HIV-infected patients; Opportunistic infections
Ewing’s sarcoma uncommonly arises from extraosseous soft tissue or parenchymal organs. Primary adrenal Ewing’s Sarcoma, although very rare, is extremely aggressive and commonly fatal.
A 17 year old Pakistani male was referred to the outpatient oncology clinic at our center with a three month history of concomitant pain, swelling and dragging sensation in the right hypochondrium. Abdominal examination revealed a large, firm mass in the right hypochondrium extending into the right lumbar region and epigastrium. His genital exam was unremarkable and there were no stigmata of hepatic or adrenal disease.
Computed tomography scans revealed a large peripherally enhancing mass in the hepatorenal area, biopsy of which showed a neoplastic lesion composed of small round blue cells which exhibited abundance of glycogen and stained diffusely positive for CD99 (MIC2 antigen). Fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated gene rearrangement at chromosome 22q12 which confirmed the diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma. Staging scans revealed pulmonary metastasis and hence he was commenced on systemic chemotherapy.
This case report highlights the importance of keeping Ewing’s sarcoma in mind when a young patient presents with a large non-functional adrenal mass.
Ewing’s sarcoma; Adrenal; CD99
Pseudoxanthoma elasticum is an inherited disorder that is associated with accumulation of pathologic elastic fibers in the skin, vascular walls and Bruch’s membrane in the eye. Choroidal neovascularization is one of the most common causes of acute vision loss in these patients. We report an atypical case of suspected choroidal neovascularization associated with pseudoxanthoma elasticum.
A 47-year-old Caucasian woman with pseudoxanthoma elasticum and angioid streaks was referred because of decreased and distorted vision in her right eye of one week’s duration. Visual acuity was 6/12 in the right eye and 6/6 in the left eye. Fundus examination revealed angioid streaks and white intraretinal macular deposits bilaterally. Fluorescein angiography did not reveal any obvious leakage in the right eye while optical coherence tomography revealed subretinal fluid associated with an adjacent intraretinal hyperreflective structure. Autofluoresence imaging showed focal areas of increased autofluorescence corresponding to the deposits in both eyes. Over the following year the patient underwent five intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (Genentech/Roche,US) in the right eye, which resulted in visual acuity improving to 6/9 with regression of the hyperreflective structrure and complete resolution of subretinal fluid.
Traditionally, fluorescein angiography is effective in the detection of choroidal neovascularization in patients with pseudoxanthoma elasticum. In our case, optical coherence tomography revealed subretinal fluid and an adjacent hyperreflective structure while fluorescein angiography did not reveal any obvious leakage. The sole presence of subretinal fluid does not necessarily imply the presence of choroidal neovascularization and certainly retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction could also explain subretinal fluid in these patients. However, the complete absorption of the fluid and the disappearance of the previously evident hyperreflective structure following treatment, led us to suspect choroidal neovascularization as the primary cause of the above findings. The poor natural course of choroidal neovascularization in these patients increases the importance of early detection and should result in the adaptation of a low-threshold strategy concerning the initiation of treatment.
Bevacizumab; Choroidal neovascularization; Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
Familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis is a rare tubulopathy leading to renal calcification and progressive renal failure.
We report a consanguineous Arab family (of Qatari origin) with 7 affected siblings with variable phenotypes including hypomagnesaemia, hypercalciuria, nephrocalcinosis and renal stones. Presenting features included haematuria and recurrent urinary tract infections. As the biochemical and clinical phenotypes of this family resembled familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis, we performed genetic investigation in order to provide a precise molecular diagnosis. We screened all coding regions of the CLDN16 gene and identified a novel mutation (c.G647A, p.R216H) which was found homozygously in the six severely affected cases, who manifested significant nephrocalcinosis, often nephrolithiasis and sometimes reduced GFR. Parents were both heterozygous for the mutation and, together with children carrying the mutation in its heterozygous state, exhibited mild or no biochemical phenotypes.
Mutations in CLDN16 underlie familial hypomagnesaemia with hypercalciuria and nephrocalcinosis but remain a rare cause of nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. Management includes reduction of hypercalciuria with thiazide diuretics, correction of serum magnesium and close monitoring of renal function given the significant risk of end stage renal failure with this inherited form of nephrocalcinosis.
CLDN16; Claudin-16; Hypercalciuria; Hypocalcaemia; Hypomagnesaemia; Nephrocalcinosis; End stage renal disease
Convenience is a major reason for using killed preparations of bacteria to investigate host-pathogen interactions, however, host responses to such preparations can result in different outcomes when compared to live bacterial stimulation. We investigated whether cryopreservation of Streptococcus pneumoniae and nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) permitted investigation of host responses to infection without the complications of working with freshly prepared live bacteria on the day of experimental challenge.
S. pneumoniae and NTHi retained >90% viability following cryopreservation in fetal calf serum for at least 8 weeks. Host responses to live, cryopreserved (1 week and 4 weeks), heat-killed or ethanol-killed S. pneumoniae and NTHi were assessed by measuring cytokine release from stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). We found that cryopreserved bacteria, in contrast to heat-killed and ethanol-killed preparations, resulted in comparable levels of inflammatory cytokine release from PBMCs when compared with fresh live bacterial cultures.
Cryopreservation of S. pneumoniae and NTHi does not alter the immunostimulatory properties of these species thereby enabling reproducible and biologically relevant analysis of host responses to infection. This method also facilitates the analysis of multiple strains on the same day and allows predetermination of culture purity and challenge dose.
Ethanol-killed; Heat-killed; Live bacteria; Cryopreservation; S. pneumoniae; NTHi; Immunostimulation; PBMCs
Although a number of studies have reported acquired drug resistance due to administration of epidermal growth factor receptor antibody inhibitors, the underlying causes of this phenomenon remain unclear.
Here we report a case of a 75-year-old man with liver metastasis at 3 years after a successful transverse colectomy to treat KRAS wild-type colorectal cancer. While initial administration of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors proved effective, continued use of the same treatment resulted in new peritoneal seeding. An acquired KRAS mutation was found in a resected tissue specimen from one such area. This mutation, possibly caused by administration of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, appears to have conferred drug resistance.
The present findings suggest that administration of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors results in an acquired KRAS mutation that confers drug resistance.
KRAS; Acquired resistance; Cetuximab
Patient satisfaction in health care constitutes an important component of organizational performance in the hospital setting. Satisfaction measures have been developed and used to evaluate and improve hospital performance, quality of care and physician practice. In order to direct improvement strategies, it is necessary to evaluate both individual and organizational factors that can impact patients’ perception of care. The study aims were to determine the dimensions of patient satisfaction, and to analyze the individual and organizational determinants of satisfaction dimensions in hospitals.
We used patient and hospital survey data as well as administrative data collected for a 2008 public hospital report in Ontario, Canada. We evaluated the clustering of patient survey items with exploratory factor analysis and derived plausible dimensions of satisfaction. A two-level multivariate model was fitted to analyze the determinants of satisfaction.
We found eight satisfaction factors, with acceptable to good level of loadings and good reliability. More than 95% of variation in patient satisfaction scores was attributable to patient-level variation, with less than 5% attributable to hospital-level variation. The hierarchical models explain 5 to 17% of variation at the patient level and up to 52% of variation between hospitals. Individual patient characteristics had the strongest association with all dimensions of satisfaction. Few organizational performance indicators are associated with patient satisfaction and significant determinants differ according to the satisfaction dimension.
The research findings highlight the importance of adjusting for both patient-level and organization-level characteristics when evaluating patient satisfaction. Better understanding and measurement of organization-level activities and processes associated with patient satisfaction could contribute to improved satisfaction ratings and care quality.
Patient satisfaction; Experience of care; Organizational performance; Determinants of satisfaction; Quality of care; Multilevel model
Auricular tophi are firm deposits of monosodium urate in crystal form, which may slowly develop in subcutaneous tissue of the ear. Ear is not usual locations for gout tophi, but when this growth does occur, helix and the antihelix are common sites.
We present a 64-year-old man who had multiple painless nodules over bilateral helix. An excisional biopsy was performed. Hematoxylin-eosin staining of biopsy specimens revealed a proteinaceous matrix that surrounded dissolved crystals, consistent with gout tophi. Bilateral auricular tophi are not common and may resemble a number of other diseases including squamous cell carcinomas, Kaposi’s sarcoma, epidermal and dermoid cysts, rheumatoid nodules. Biopsy should be performed to rule out malignancy.
Tophi of the auricle are usually asymptomatic but can become inflamed and occasionally ulcerate through the overlying skin. Chronic tophaceous gout is treated with dietary control and medication. Surgical excision is performed under local anesthetic if symptoms progression or cosmetically deformity is concerned.
The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of congenital cardiac disease among children attending UNTH, Enugu, Nigeria. The nature of these abnormalities and the outcome were also considered. The exact etiology is unknown but genetic and environmental factors tend to be implicated. The difference in the pattern obtained worldwide and few studies in Nigeria could be due to genetic, environmental, socioeconomic, or ethnic origin.
A retrospective analysis of discharged cases in which a review of the cases of all children attending children outpatient clinics including cardiology clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu over a five year period (January 2007-June 2012) was undertaken. All the children presenting with cardiac anomalies were included in the study and the cases were investigated using ECG, X-ray and echocardiography studies.
A total of 31,795 children attended the children outpatient clinics of the hospital over the study period. Of these, seventy one (71) had cardiac diseases. The overall prevalence of cardiac disease is 0.22%. The commonest symptoms were breathlessness, failure to thrive and cyanosis. Almost all types of congenital detects were represented, the commonest being isolated ventricular septal detect (VSD), followed by tetralogy of Fallot. One of these cardiac anomalies presented with Downs’s syndrome and another with VACTERAL association.
The results of this study show that 0.22% per cent of children who attended UNTH in Enugu State had congenital cardiac abnormalities and the commonest forms seen were those with VSD.
Congenital cardiac disease; Prevalence; Pattern; Children; Enugu
Worldwide preeclampsia (PE) is the leading cause of maternal death and affects 5 to 8% of pregnant women. PE is characterized by elevated blood pressure and proteinuria. Doppler Ultrasound (US) evaluation has been considered a useful method for prediction of PE; however, there is no complete data about the most frequently altered US parameters in the pathology. The aim of this study was to evaluate the uterine, umbilical, and the middle cerebral arteries using Doppler US parameters [resistance index (RI), pulsatility index (PI), notch (N), systolic peak (SP) and their combinations] in pregnant women, in order to make a global evaluation of hemodynamic repercussion caused by the established PE.
A total of 102 pregnant Mexican women (65 PE women and 37 normotensive women) were recruited in a cases and controls study. Blood velocity waveforms from uterine, umbilical, and middle cerebral arteries, in pregnancies from 24 to 37 weeks of gestation were recorded by trans-abdominal examination with a Toshiba Ultrasound Power Vision 6000 SSA-370A, with a 3.5 MHz convex transducer. Abnormal general Doppler US profile showed a positive association with PE [odds ratio (OR) = 2.93, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.2 - 7.3, P = 0.021)], and a specificity and predictive positive value of 89.2% and 88.6%, respectively. Other parameters like N presence, RI and PI of umbilical artery, as well as the PI of middle cerebral artery, showed differences between groups (P values < 0.05).
General Doppler US result, as well as N from uterine vessel, RI from umbilical artery, and PI from umbilical and middle cerebral arteries in their individual form, may be considered as tools to determine hemodynamic repercussion caused by PE.
Doppler velocimetry; Preeclampsia; Uterine artery; Umbilical artery; Middle cerebral artery
Novel therapeutic agents are currently being investigated for neuroendocrine tumour treatment.
We report here on the case of a patient presenting with hypersensitivity pneumonitis while being treated with everolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor.
Side effects of everolimus should be familiar to clinicians, including nonspecialists, and be monitored carefully to allow for prompt management.
Neuroendocrine tumor; Everolimus; Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Delirium is a frequently misdiagnosed and inadequately treated neuropsychiatric complication most commonly observed in terminally ill cancer patients. To our knowledge this is the first report describing delirium in two patients aged less than 60 years and enrolled in an intensive chemotherapeutic protocol for acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Two female Caucasian acute promyelocytic leukemia patients aged 46 and 56 years developed delirium during their induction treatment with all-trans retinoic acid and idarubicin. In both cases symptoms were initially attributed to all-trans retinoic acid that was therefore immediately suspended. In these two patients several situations may have contribute to the delirium: in patient 1 a previous psychiatric disorder, concomitant treatments with steroids and benzodiazepines, a severe infection and central nervous system bleeding while in patient 2 steroid treatment and isolation. In patient 1 delirium was treated with short-term low-doses of haloperidol while in patient 2 non-pharmacologic interventions had a beneficial role. When the diagnosis of delirium was clear, induction treatment was resumed and both patients completed their therapeutic program without any relapse of the psychiatric symptoms. Both patients are alive and in complete remission as far as their leukemia is concerned.
We suggest that patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia eligible to intensive chemotherapy should be carefully evaluated by a multisciplinary team including psychiatrists in order to early recognize symptoms of delirium and avoid inadequate treatments. In case of delirium, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions may be considered.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Delirium; ATRA
Food spoilage caused by molds is a severe problem. In food and feed, e.g. dairy products, sourdough bread and silage, lactic acid bacteria are used as starter cultures. Besides lactic and acetic acid, some strains produce other low molecular weight compounds with antifungal activities. One of these metabolites is phenyllactic acid (PLA), well known for its antifungal effect. The inhibitory effect of PLA has only partially been investigated, and the objective of this study was to elucidate in detail the antifungal properties of PLA.
We investigated the outgrowth of individual conidia from Aspergillus niger, Cladosporium cladosporioides and Penicillium roqueforti, and observed the morphologies of resulting colonies on solid media using different acid concentrations. We found that PLA inhibits molds similar to weak acid preservatives. Furthermore, it has an additional activity: at sub-inhibitory concentrations, fungal colonies displayed slower radial growth and inhibited sporulation. The L isoform of PLA is a more potent inhibitor than the D form. Increased expression of phiA was observed during PLA treatment. This gene was initially identified as being induced by Streptomyces-produced macrolide antibiotics, and is shown to be a structural protein in developed cells. This suggests that PhiA may act as a general stress protectant in fungi.
From a food protection perspective, the results of this study support the usage of lactic acid bacteria strains synthesizing PLA as starter cultures in food and feed. Such starter cultures could inhibit spore synthesis, which would be beneficial as many food borne fungi are spread by airborne spores.
Aspergillus niger; Conidia; Lactobacillus; Dairy products; Sourdough; phiA
Vermiculite is the most common soil-free growing substrate used for plants in horticultural and scientific studies due to its high water holding capacity. However, some studies are not suitable to be conducted in it. The described experiments aimed to test the suitability of vermiculite to study the effect of acidity on nodulation and growth of soybean (Glycine max L.).
Two different nutrient solutions (Broughton & Dilworth, and modified Herridge nutrient solutions) with or without MES buffer addition were used to irrigate soybean grown on vermiculite growth substrates. The pH of nutrient solutions was adjusted to either pH 4.0 or 7.0 prior its use. The nodulation and vegetative growth of soybean plants were assessed at 3 and 4 weeks after inoculation.
The unsuitability of presumably inert vermiculite as a physical plant growth substrate for studying the effects of acidity on soybean nodulation and plant growth was illustrated. Nodulation and growth of soybean grown in vermiculite were not affected by irrigation with pH-adjusted nutrient solution either at pH 4.0 or 7.0. This was reasonably caused by the ability of vermiculite to neutralise (buffer) the pH of the supplied nutrient solution (pH 2.0 – 7.0).
Due to its buffering capacity, vermiculite cannot be used as growth support to study the effect of acidity on nodulation and plant growth.
Acidity; Buffer; Nodulation; Soybean; Vermiculite
Classical scrapie in sheep is a fatal neurodegenerative disease associated with the conversion PrPC to PrPSc. Much is known about genetic susceptibility, uptake and dissemination of PrPSc in the body, but many aspects of prion diseases are still unknown. Different proteomic techniques have been used during the last decade to investigate differences in protein profiles between affected animals and healthy controls. We have investigated the protein profiles in serum of sheep with scrapie and healthy controls by SELDI-TOF-MS and LC-MS/MS. Latent Variable methods such as Principal Component Analysis, Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis and Target Projection methods were used to describe the MS data.
The serum proteomic profiles showed variable differences between the groups both throughout the incubation period and at the clinical end stage of scrapie. At the end stage, the target projection model separated the two groups with a sensitivity of 97.8%, and serum amyloid A was identified as one of the protein peaks that differed significantly between the groups.
At the clinical end stage of classical scrapie, ten SELDI peaks significantly discriminated the scrapie group from the healthy controls. During the non-clinical incubation period, individual SELDI peaks were differently expressed between the groups at different time points. Investigations of differences in -omic profiles can contribute to new insights into the underlying disease processes and pathways, and advance our understanding of prion diseases, but comparison and validation across laboratories is difficult and challenging.
Scrapie; SELDI-TOF-MS; PCA; PLS-DA; Target projection; LC-MS/MS; Serum amyloid A; Sheep
The p.Leu1077Pro CFTR mutation was firstly described in 1992 as a mild allele that confers a pancreatic sufficiency phenotype but the information collected in database CFTR2 lead to consider p.Leu1077Pro as a severe CF mutation. Although it is typical of Southern Italy, p.Leu1077Pro is not included in the mutation panel firstly tested in individuals originated from this area. The aim of our study was to describe prevalence and clinical features in patients bearing this mutation followed in our Cystic Fibrosis Centre to demonstrate that this mutation should be included in the mutation panel firstly tested in patients originated from Southern Italy.
We reviewed data from a cohort of 111 cystic fibrosis patients. 4 patients who were heterozygous for the p.Leu1077Pro mutation were included in the study.
In our Cystic Fibrosis Centre, the prevalence of p.Leu1077Pro is 3.6% among all mutations. All patients had positive sweat test values, pancreatic insufficiency and pulmonary exacerbations. One out of four patients even showed both FEV1 and FVC values significantly below the normal range, the presence of bronchiectasis and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonization.
We found that the p.Leu1077Pro CFTR mutation is associated with a classic CF phenotype confirming what is reported in CFTR2 database. The relatively high prevalence of p.Leu1077Pro associated with the severe clinical course of the disease in patients bearing this mutation is of interest for genetic counselling purposes, as it should be part of mutation panel to be tested in individuals originated from Southern Italy.
Cystic fibrosis; CFTR; pLeu1077Pro; L1077P; Genotype-phenotype; Sicilian patients
The efficacy of bendiocarb against pyrethroid resistant An. gambiae and the residual life of this insecticide on different substrates were evaluated under laboratory and field conditions.
Bioassays according to the WHO (World Health Organization) standard protocol were carried out on different substrates impregnated with bendiocarb. Data were analyzed using a binomial regression model with R software.
A good efficacy of the bendiocarb against pyrethroid resistant An. gambiae and a high variation of its residual life according to the surfaces treated was observed. The probability that a female mosquito died after exposure to a treated substrate was below 80% after 13 weeks for the teak wood; 7 weeks for the wall made with a mixture of sand and cement and 6 weeks for walls made with red clay and those made with a mixture of the red clay and cement.
Considering the residual life of bendiocarb on walls made with red clay, the main substrates treated during IRS campaigns in rural areas in Benin, more than 2 treatments rounds per year would be necessary to achieve a long term efficacy of IRS using bendiocarb in these areas. Financial and logistical resources required to achieve such levels of coverage need more political will from leaders of African endemic countries. While waiting for innovative malaria control tool, alternative insecticides or combinations of insecticides have to be used for insecticide resistance management in Benin.
Indoor residual spraying; Bendiocarb; Residual life; Substrates; Laboratory; Field
In recent years, improving the quality of care for nursing home residents has generated a considerable amount of attention. In response, quality indicators (QIs), based on available evidence and expert consensus, have been identified within the Resident Assessment Instrument – Minimum Data Set 2.0 (RAI-MDS 2.0), and validated as proxy measures for quality of nursing home care. We sought to identify practice sensitive QIs; that is, those QIs believed to be the most sensitive to clinical practice.
We enlisted two experts to review a list of 35 validated QIs and to select those that they believed to be the most sensitive to practice. We then asked separate groups of practicing physicians, nurses, and policy makers to (1) rank the items on the list for overall “practice sensitivity” and then, (2) to identify the domain to which the QI was most sensitive (nursing care, physician care, or policy maker).
After combining results of all three groups, pressure ulcers were identified as the most practice sensitive QI followed by worsening pain, physical restraint use, the use of antipsychotic medications without a diagnosis of psychosis, and indwelling catheters. When stratified by informant group, although the top five QIs stayed the same, the ranking of the 13 QIs differed by group.
In addition to identifying a reduced and manageable set of QIs for regular reporting, we believe that focusing on these 13 practice sensitive QIs provides both the greatest potential for improving resident function and slowing the trajectory of decline that most residents experience.
Nursing home; Performance measurement; RAI-MDS; Quality indicators
An epidemiological approach to preventing the development or progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is necessary, while few effective preventive measures are currently available. We conducted a community-based, cohort study to identify the factors associated with the development of CKD in the general population.
We examined 1876 local residents of a Japanese community who had an annual health check-up and, of those, 1506 residents judged not to have CKD (473 men and 1033 women) were followed for the development of CKD over 10 years.
The numbers of male and female residents who developed CKD during the follow-up period were 167 (35.3%) and 299 (28.9%), respectively. As compared to those without CKD development, the residents who developed CKD were older, and had a higher body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, and creatinine in both genders. The rate of CKD development in obese female residents was higher than in non-obese women, but such a difference was not noted in male residents. In addition to age and serum creatinine, we identified BMI as an independently significant factor for the development of CKD in women, but not in men.
Increased BMI is a significant risk factor for the development of CKD in women, and there seems to be a gender difference in the association between increased BMI and the development of CKD in the general population.
Chronic kidney disease; Body mass index; Obesity; General population
Metastatic melanoma involving the esophagus is rare; the occurrence of metastatic melanoma in a background of Barrett esophagus is rarer still. We report a case of an 80 year-old male who presented to our institution for workup of Barrett esophagus with high-grade dysplasia and who proved to have metastatic melanoma occurring in the background of Barrett esophagus, the first report of this kind, to our knowledge, in the English literature.
An 80 year-old Caucasian male was diagnosed at an outside institution with Barrett’s esophagus with high grade dysplasia and presented to our institution for therapy. The patient underwent endoscopic mucosal resection using a band ligation technique of an area of nodularity within the Barrett esophagus. Microscopic examination demonstrated extensive Barrett esophagus with high-grade dysplasia as well as a second tumor which was morphologically different from the surrounding high-grade dysplasia and which was positive for S-100, HMB 45 and Melan-A on immunohistochemistry, consistent with melanoma. Further workup of the patient demonstrated multiple radiologic lesions consistent with metastases. Molecular studies demonstrated that the melanoma was positive for the 1799T>A (V600E) mutation in the BRAF gene. The overall features of the tumor were most consistent with metastatic melanoma occurring in a background of Barrett esophagus with high-grade dysplasia.
This case demonstrates a unique intersection between a premalignant condition (Barrett esophagus with high grade dysplasia) and a separate malignancy (melanoma). This report also shows the utility of molecular testing to support the hypothesis of primary versus metastatic disease in melanoma.
Barrett; Esophagus; Metastases; Melanoma; BRAF
The mobile medical unit/polyclinic (MMU/PC) was an essential part of the medical services to support ill or injured Olympic or Paralympics family during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics winter games. The objective of this study was to survey the satisfaction of the clinical staff that completed the training programs prior to deployment to the MMU.
Medical personnel who participated in at least one of the four training programs, including (1) week-end sessions; (2) web-based modules; (3) just-in-time training; and (4) daily simulation exercises were invited to participate in a web-based survey and comment on their level of satisfaction with training program.
A total of 64 (out of 94 who were invited) physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists completed the survey. All participants reported favorably that the MMU/PC training positively impacted their knowledge, skills and team functions while deployed at the MMU/PC during the 2010 Olympic Games. However, components of the training program were valued differently depending on clinical job title, years of experience, and prior experience in large scale events. Respondents with little or no experience working in large scale events (45%) rated daily simulations as the most valuable component of the training program for strengthening competencies and knowledge in clinical skills for working in large scale events.
The multi-phase MMU/PC training was found to be beneficial for preparing the medical team for the 2010 Winter Games. In particular this survey demonstrates the effectiveness of simulation training programs on teamwork competencies in ad hoc groups.
Mobile medical unit; Medical education; Curriculum; 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games
Long-term administration of low-dose aspirin (LDA) is associated with a greater risk of adverse events, including gastroduodenal ulcers. The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors for and assess the role of medication use in the development of peptic ulcer disease in Japanese patients with no history of peptic ulcers.
Consecutive outpatients receiving LDA (75 mg/day) who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy between January and December 2010 were enrolled. Clinical parameters, peptic ulcer history, concomitant drugs, the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection, reason for endoscopy, and endoscopic findings were analysed.
Of 226 total patients, 14 (6.2%) were endoscopically diagnosed with peptic ulcer. Age, sex, current smoking status, current alcohol consumption, endoscopic gastric mucosal atrophy, and abdominal symptoms were not significantly associated with peptic ulcers. Diabetes mellitus was more frequent (42.9% vs. 16.5%; P = 0.024) in patients with peptic ulcers than in those without peptic ulcers. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, co-treatment with anticoagulants or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) was significantly associated with increased and decreased risk for peptic ulcer, respectively (odds ratio [OR], 5.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19 − 28.99; P = 0.03 and OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.02 − 0.73; P = 0.02, respectively). Co-treatment with additional antiplatelet agents, H2-receptor antagonists, angiotensin II Type 1 receptor blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitor, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs was not associated with peptic ulcer development.
The use of PPIs reduces the risk of developing gastric or duodenal ulcers in Japanese patients taking LDA without pre-existing gastroduodenal ulcers. However, this risk is significantly increased in both patients ingesting anticoagulants and patients with diabetes. These results may help identify patients who require intensive prophylaxis against aspirin-induced peptic ulcers.
Low-dose aspirin; Peptic ulcer; Primary prevention; Proton pump inhibitors; Risk factor
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs involved in gene expression regulation by targeting specific regions in the 3′-UTR of the mRNA of their target genes. This binding leads to a decrease in the protein levels of such genes either by mRNA degradation or mRNA destabilization and translation inhibition. The interaction between a miRNA and its target mRNAs is usually studied by co-transfection of a reporter expression vector containing the 3′-UTR region of the mRNA and an inhibitory or precursor molecule for the miRNA. This approach, however, does not measure the direct and physical interaction between a miRNA and a specific mRNA.
RNA molecules corresponding to miR-224 and to the 3′-UTR of SLC4A4 were incubated together and their interaction studied under different binding conditions using electrophoretic mobility shift assays. A direct and specific interaction between miR-224 and SLC4A4 mRNA was observed. This interaction was abolished in the presence of competitors.
In this study, we explored a new application for the electrophoretic mobility shift assay and we demonstrated that it is a useful alternative method to assess, in a direct and specific manner, whether a miRNA binds to a specific predicted target mRNA.
3′-UTR; Binding assay; miRNA; Target validation; EMSA
Loeys–Dietz syndrome, also known as Marfan syndrome type II, is a rare connective tissue disorder caused by dominant mutations in transforming growth factor-beta receptors (TGFBR1 and 2).
We report a 7-year-old Japanese boy with Loeys–Dietz syndrome who carried a novel, de novo missense mutation in TGFBR2 (c.1142g > c, R381P). He showed dysmorphic faces and skeletal malformations that were typical in previous cases with Loeys-Dietz syndrome. The cardiac studies disclosed the presence of markedly dilated aortic root and patent ductus aorteriosus. The cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and angiography (MRA) detected the tortuous appearances of the bilateral middle cerebral and carotid arteries.
This study depicts the systemic vascular phenotypes of a child with Loeys–Dietz syndrome that were caused by a novel heterozygous mutation of TGFR2. A large cohort with serial imaging studies for vascular phenotypes will be useful for delineating the genotype-phenotype correlations of Loeys–Dietz syndrome.
Loeys–Dietz syndrome; Transforming growth factor-beta receptor 2 (TGFBR2); Vascular phenotypes; Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)