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1.  Adherence to osteoporosis regimens among men and analysis of risk factors of poor compliance: a 2-year analytical review 
Background
To investigate adherence and patient-specific factors associated with poor compliance with osteoporosis regimens among men.
Methods
In this retrospective chart review study, we collected data on male patients with osteoporosis treated in accordance with therapeutic recommendations. Adherence was determined by the compliance and persistence of those patients who had been dispensed an osteoporosis regimen after an index prescription. All osteoporosis regimens were considered equivalent for the purpose of investigating adherence.
Results
The prescriptions of 333 males met the inclusion criteria for data collection. The mean age was 68.6 ± 10.4 years. The median medication possession ratio (MPR, %) at years 1 and 2 was 90.1% (interquartile range (IQR) 19–100) and 53.7% (IQR 10.4-100), respectively; 52.3% of male patients at year 1 and 37.5% at year 2 had good compliance (defined as a MPR≧80%). The 1- and 2-year persistence rates were 45.9% and 30.0%, respectively. Patient-specific factors associated with poor compliance (MPR < 80%) during year 1 were first prescriptions given by orthopedists (odds ratio (OR) = 2.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.58-4.53; adjusted OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.26-4.22, p = 0.007). Male patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (OR = 0.22, 95% CI = 0.06-0.78, adjusted OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.04-0.81, p = 0.025) and baseline bone mineral density (BMD) measurements (OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.32-0.85; adjusted OR = 0.51; 95% CI = 0.28-0.93, p = 0.029) were less likely to have poor compliance.
Conclusions
Adherence to osteoporosis regimens in males was suboptimal in our study. Poor compliance was more likely in prescription of the first anti-osteoporotic regimen by an orthopedist. Men with RA and BMD measurements before therapy had a lower risk of non-adherence. Healthcare professionals need to target patients with specific factors to improve adherence to osteoporotic regimens.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-276
PMCID: PMC3849144  PMID: 24060442
Adherence; Osteoporosis regimens; Compliance; Persistence
2.  Bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma following radiotherapy: microbiology, clinical features and therapeutic outcomes 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:204.
Background
This study aimed to analyze the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes of bacterial brain abscess in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) following radiotherapy.
Methods
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess were evaluated. Their clinical data were collected over a 22-year period. For comparison, the clinical features, causative pathogens, neuro-imaging findings, and therapeutic outcomes between NPC and non-NPC patients were analyzed.
Results
NPC accounted for 5.7% (12/210) of the predisposing factors, with Viridans streptococci and Staphylococcus aureus as the two most common causative pathogens. Significant statistical analysis between the two groups (NPC and non-NPC patients) included chronic otitis media (COM) as the underlying disease, post-radiation necrosis by neuro-imaging, and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses. The fatality rate in patients with and without NPC was 16.7% and 20.7%, respectively.
Conclusions
NPC patients with bacterial brain abscess frequently have COM as the underlying disease. Neuro-imaging often reveals both post-radiation necrosis and the temporal lobe as the most common site of brain abscesses, the diagnosis of which is not always a straightforward process. Radiation necrosis can mimic brain abscess on neuro-imaging and pose significant diagnostic challenges. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for survival.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-204
PMCID: PMC3482557  PMID: 22943134
Bacterial brain abscess; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Therapeutic outcome
3.  Predictors and outcomes of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients with aneurysmal sub-arachnoid hemorrhage 
BMC Surgery  2012;12:12.
Background
Hydrocephalus following spontaneous aneurysmal sub-arachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is often associated with unfavorable outcome. This study aimed to determine the potential risk factors and outcomes of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in aneurysmal SAH patients but without hydrocephalus upon arrival at the hospital.
Methods
One hundred and sixty-eight aneurysmal SAH patients were evaluated. Using functional scores, those without hydrocephalus upon arrival at the hospital were compared to those already with hydrocephalus on admission, those who developed it during hospitalization, and those who did not develop it throughout their hospital stay. The Glasgow Coma Score, modified Fisher SAH grade, and World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies grade were determined at the emergency room. Therapeutic outcomes immediately after discharge and 18 months after were assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Score.
Results
Hydrocephalus accounted for 61.9% (104/168) of all episodes, including 82 with initial hydrocephalus on admission and 22 with subsequent hydrocephalus. Both the presence of intra-ventricular hemorrhage on admission and post-operative intra-cerebral hemorrhage were independently associated with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients without hydrocephalus on admission. After a minimum 1.5 years of follow-up, the mean Glasgow outcome score was 3.33 ± 1.40 for patients with shunt-dependent hydrocephalus and 4.21 ± 1.19 for those without.
Conclusions
The presence of intra-ventricular hemorrhage, lower mean Glasgow Coma Scale score, and higher mean scores of the modified Fisher SAH and World Federation of Neurosurgical grading on admission imply risk of shunt-dependent hydrocephalus in patients without initial hydrocephalus. These patients have worse short- and long-term outcomes and longer hospitalization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-12
PMCID: PMC3467164  PMID: 22765765
Outcome; Risk factors; Hydrocephalus after spontaneous aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
4.  Plasma nuclear and mitochondrial DNA levels as predictors of outcome in severe sepsis patients in the emergency room 
Background and aim
The sensitivity and specificity of biomarkers and scoring systems used for predicting fatality of severe sepsis patients remain unsatisfactory. This study aimed to determine the prognostic value of circulating plasma DNA levels in severe septic patients presenting at the Emergency Department (ED).
Methods
Sixty-seven consecutive patients with severe sepsis and 33 controls were evaluated. Plasma DNA levels were estimated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay using primers for the human β-hemoglobin and ND2 gene. The patients’ clinical and laboratory data on admission were analyzed.
Results
The median plasma nuclear and mitochondria DNA levels for severe septic patients on admission were significantly higher than those of the controls. The mean plasma nuclear DNA level on admission correlated with lactate concentration (γ = 0.36, p = 0.003) and plasma mitochondrial DNA on admission (γ = 0.708, p < 0.001). Significant prognostic factors for fatality included mechanical ventilation within the first 24 hours (p = 0.013), mean sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score on admission (p = 0.04), serum lactate (p < 0.001), and both plasma nuclear and mitochondrial DNA on admission (p < 0.001). Plasma mitochondrial DNA was an independent predictor of fatality by stepwise logistic regression such that an increase by one ng/mL in level would increase fatality rate by 0.7%.
Conclusion
Plasma DNA has potential use for predicting outcome in septic patients arriving at the emergency room. Plasma mitochondrial DNA level on admission is a more powerful predictor than lactate concentration or SOFA scores on admission.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-130
PMCID: PMC3441240  PMID: 22720733
Hospital mortality; Mitochondrial DNA; Nucleus DNA; Severe sepsis

Results 1-4 (4)