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1.  Effectiveness guidance document (EGD) for acupuncture research - a consensus document for conducting trials 
Background
There is a need for more Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) to strengthen the evidence base for clinical and policy decision-making. Effectiveness Guidance Documents (EGD) are targeted to clinical researchers. The aim of this EGD is to provide specific recommendations for the design of prospective acupuncture studies to support optimal use of resources for generating evidence that will inform stakeholder decision-making.
Methods
Document development based on multiple systematic consensus procedures (written Delphi rounds, interactive consensus workshop, international expert review). To balance aspects of internal and external validity, multiple stakeholders including patients, clinicians and payers were involved.
Results
Recommendations focused mainly on randomized studies and were developed for the following areas: overall research strategy, treatment protocol, expertise and setting, outcomes, study design and statistical analyses, economic evaluation, and publication.
Conclusion
The present EGD, based on an international consensus developed with multiple stakeholder involvement, provides the first systematic methodological guidance for future CER on acupuncture.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-148
PMCID: PMC3495216  PMID: 22953730
Comparative effectiveness research; Effectiveness guidance document; Acupuncture
2.  VESGEN 2D: Automated, User-Interactive Software for Vascular Quantification and Mapping of Angiogenic and Lymphangiogenic Trees and Networks 
Quantification of microvascular remodeling as a meaningful discovery tool requires mapping and measurement of site-specific changes within vascular trees and networks. Vessel density and other critical vascular parameters are often modulated by molecular regulators as determined by local vascular architecture. For example, enlargement of vessel diameter by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is restricted to specific generations of vessel branching (Microvascular Research 72(3):91, 2006). The averaging of vessel diameter over many successively smaller generations is therefore not particularly useful. The newly automated, user-interactive software VESGEN (VESsel GENeration Analysis) quantifies major vessel parameters within two-dimensional (2D) vascular trees, networks, and tree-network composites. This report reviews application of VESGEN 2D to angiogenic and lymphangiogenic tissues that includes the human and murine retina, embryonic coronary vessels, and avian chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). Software output includes colorized image maps with quantification of local vessel diameter, fractal dimension, tortuosity and avascular spacing. The density of parameters such as vessel area, length, number and branch point are quantified according to site-specific generational branching within vascular trees. The sole user input requirement is a binary (black/white) vascular image. Future applications of VESGEN will include analysis of 3D vascular architecture and bioinformatic dimensions such as blood flow and receptor localization. Branching analysis by VESGEN has demonstrated that numerous regulators including VEGF165, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), transforming growth factor β-1 (TGFβ-1), angiostatin and the clinical steroid triamcinolone acetonide induce ‘fingerprint’ or ‘signature’ changes in vascular patterning that provide unique readouts of dominant molecular signaling.
doi:10.1002/ar.20862
PMCID: PMC2880175  PMID: 19248164
angiogenesis; lymphangiogenesis; VESGEN; retina; neovascularization; NPDR; coronary vascular development; vascular complexity; VEGF; fractal; chorioallantoic membrane; CAM; quail; avian; triamcinolone acetonide

Results 1-2 (2)