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1.  Vitrectomy with short term postoperative tamponade using perfluorocarbon liquid for giant retinal tears 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2005;89(9):1176-1179.
Aim: To determine the efficacy and safety of perfluorocarbon liquid as a short term postoperative tamponade in patients with retinal detachment from giant retinal tears.
Method: A retrospective consecutive case series of patients with retinal detachment from giant retinal tears who underwent vitrectomy using perfluorocarbon liquid as a short term postoperative internal tamponade. The perfluorocarbon liquid was removed 5–14 days (mean 7.5 days) later and replaced by gas or silicone oil. Scleral buckling was performed in some cases with proliferative vitreoretinopathy. The crystalline lens was removed if there was interference with the surgical view or if it was subluxated. The success rate of retinal reattachment, visual outcome, and postoperative complications were assessed.
Results: A total of 62 eyes of 61 patients with a follow up of 8–69 months (mean 24.5 months) were included. All retinas were attached intraoperatively. 14 eyes (22.6%) developed re-detachment and additional operations were performed in 13 eyes. At final visit, 58 eyes (93.5%) had retinas that remained attached with visual acuity 6/12 or better in 27 eyes (46.5%). The visual acuity improved in 34 eyes (54.8%) with 28 eyes (45.2%) improving at least two Snellen lines, it was unchanged in 20 eyes (32.3%), and was worse in eight eyes (12.9%). Three patients developed glaucoma that was controlled medically. There was no retained perfluorocarbon liquid in any eyes.
Conclusion: Perfluorocarbon liquid appears safe and effective to use as a short term postoperative tamponade in management of retinal detachment from giant retinal tears.
PMCID: PMC1772834  PMID: 16113376
giant retinal tear; perfluorocarbon liquid; vitrectomy; retinal detachment
2.  Chlamydia trachomatis PCR positivity and inflammatory changes on cervical cytology 
Sexually Transmitted Infections  2005;81(4):360-361.
PMCID: PMC1745011  PMID: 16061550
3.  Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor bioactivity in patients with acute lung injury 
Thorax  2005;60(2):153-158.
Methods: Forty one patients with ARDS, 12 at risk of developing ARDS, and 16 normal controls were studied. Bioactive VEGF, total VEGF, and sVEGFR-1 were measured by ELISA in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for sVEGFR-1 was performed on BAL cells.
Results: sVEGFR-1 was detectable in the BAL fluid of 48% (20/41) of patients with early ARDS (1.4–54.8 ng/ml epithelial lining fluid (ELF)) compared with 8% (1/12) at risk patients (p = 0.017) and none of the normal controls (p = 0.002). By day 4 sVEGFR-1 was detectable in only 2/18 ARDS patients (p = 0.008). Patients with detectable sVEGFR-1 had lower ELF median (IQR) levels of bioactive VEGF than those without detectable sVEGFR-1 (1415.2 (474.9–3192) pg/ml v 4761 (1349–7596.6) pg/ml, median difference 3346 pg/ml (95% CI 305.1 to 14711.9), p = 0.016), but there was no difference in total VEGF levels. BAL cells expressed mRNA for sVEGFR-1 and produced sVEGFR-1 protein which increased following incubation with tumour necrosis factor α.
Conclusion: This study shows for the first time the presence of sVEGFR-1 in the BAL fluid of patients with ARDS. This may explain the presence of reduced bioactive VEGF in patients early in the course of ARDS.
PMCID: PMC1747283  PMID: 15681505
4.  Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease and its Impact on Insurance Purchasing Behavior 
Health affairs (Project Hope)  2005;24(2):483-490.
New genetic tests for adult-onset diseases raise concerns about possible adverse selection in insurance markets. To test for this behavior, 148 cognitively normal individuals participating in a randomized clinical trial of genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) were tracked for one year after risk assessment and APOE genotype disclosure. Although no significant differences were found in health, life, or disability insurance purchases, those who tested positive were 5.76 times more likely to have altered their long-term care insurance than individuals who did not receive APOE genotype disclosure. If genetic testing for AD risk assessment becomes common, it could trigger adverse selection in the long-term care insurance market.
PMCID: PMC1761120  PMID: 15757934
5.  Adjuvant bleomycin, vincristine and cisplatin (BOP) for high-risk stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours: a prospective trial (MRC TE17) 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;92(12):2107-2113.
Adjuvant BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, cisplatin) is effective treatment for high-risk clinical stage I (HRCS1) non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT), but the known toxicities of etoposide, and the expansion of the HR group to any patient with vascular invasion (50% of patients), led the Medical Research Council to pilot the BOP regimen. Patients received two courses of BOP 14 days apart: cisplatin 50 mg m−2 days 1 and 2, vincristine 1.4 mg m−2 (max. 2 mg) days 2 and 8, bleomycin 30 000 IU days 2 and 8. Primary outcome was relapse rate; quality of life, fertility, hearing and lung function were assessed pre- and post-treatment. In all, 100 patients were required. A total of 115 eligible patients were registered, all received two courses of chemotherapy. Median follow-up is 70 months; two relapses have occurred and the 5-year relapse-free rate is 98.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.5%, 99.9%). As assessed by clinicians during treatment, complete (reversible) alopecia was present in 20% of patients; World Health Organization (WHO) grade 1/2 neurotoxicity was present in 41%/5% of patients during treatment and 22%/1% at 6 months. However, 12% of patients reported ‘quite a bit' or ‘very much' pain/numbness/tingling in hands/feet 2 years after chemotherapy. Mature follow-up confirms high efficacy for two courses of cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy in HRCS1 NSGCT. Substituting vincristine for etoposide decreases alopecia, but gives a low incidence of significant neuropathy. There are no clearcut advantages to 2 × BOP over 2 × BEP, except for patients who wish to maximise the chance of avoiding significant alopecia.
PMCID: PMC2361823  PMID: 15928672
adjuvant chemotherapy; stage I non-seminoma
6.  Development of Multiplex PCRs for Detection of Common Viral Pathogens and Agents of Congenital Infections 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2005;43(10):5102-5110.
Potential causes of congenital infection include Toxoplasma gondii and viruses such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), enterovirus, hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2), human herpesvirus types 6, 7, and 8, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, parvovirus, rubella virus, and varicella-zoster virus. Testing for each of these agents using nucleic acid tests is time consuming and the availability of clinical samples such as amniotic fluid or neonatal blood is often limited. The aim of this study was to develop multiplex PCRs (mPCRs) for detection of DNA and RNA agents in the investigation of congenital infection and an mPCR for the viruses most commonly requested in a diagnostic virology laboratory (CMV, Epstein-Barr virus, enterovirus, HSV-1, HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus). The assays were assessed using known pathogen-positive tissues (cultures, placentae, plasma, and amniotic fluid) and limits of detection were determined for all the agents studied using serial dilutions of plasmid targets. Nested PCR was performed as the most sensitive assay currently available, and detection of the amplicons using hybridization to labeled probes and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detection was incorporated into three of the four assays. This allowed detection of 10 to 102 copies of each agent in the samples processed. In several patients, an unexpected infection was diagnosed, including a case of encephalitis where HSV was the initial clinical suspicion but CMV was detected. In the majority of these cases the alternative agent could be confirmed using reference culture, serology, or fluorescence methods and was of relevance to clinical care of the patient. The methods described here provide useful techniques for diagnosing congenital infections and a paradigm for assessment of new multiplex PCRs for use in the diagnostic laboratory.
PMCID: PMC1248455  PMID: 16207970

Results 1-6 (6)