1,777 research outputs found

    Integrated Chest Image Analysis System "BU-MIA"

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    We introduce "BU-MIA," a Medical Image Analysis system that integrates various advanced chest image analysis methods for detection, estimation, segmentation, and registration. BU-MIA evaluates repeated computed tomography (CT) scans of the same patient to facilitate identification and evaluation of pulmonary nodules for interval growth. It provides a user-friendly graphical user interface with a number of interaction tools for development, evaluation, and validation of chest image analysis methods. The structures that BU-MIA processes include the thorax, lungs, and trachea, pulmonary structures, such as lobes, fissures, nodules, and vessels, and bones, such as sternum, vertebrae, and ribs

    Radiological Society of North America expert consensus document on reporting chest CT findings related to COVID-19: Endorsed by the Society of Thoracic Radiology, the American College of Radiology, and RSNA

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    Routine screening CT for the identification of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pneumonia is currently not recommended by most radiology societies. However, the number of CT examinations performed in persons under investigation for COVID-19 has increased. We also anticipate that some patients will have incidentally detected findings that could be attributable to COVID-19 pneumonia, requiring radiologists to decide whether or not to mention COVID-19 specifically as a differential diagnostic possibility. We aim to provide guidance to radiologists in reporting CT findings potentially attributable to COVID-19 pneumonia, including standardized language to reduce reporting variability when addressing the possibility of COVID-19. When typical or indeterminate features of COVID-19 pneumonia are present in endemic areas as an incidental finding, we recommend contacting the referring providers to discuss the likelihood of viral infection. These incidental findings do not necessarily need to be reported as COVID-19 pneumonia. In this setting, using the term viral pneumonia can be a reasonable and inclusive alternative. However, if one opts to use the term COVID-19 in the incidental setting, consider the provided standardized reporting language. In addition, practice patterns may vary, and this document is meant to serve as a guide. Consultation with clinical colleagues at each institution is suggested to establish a consensus reporting approach. The goal of this expert consensus is to help radiologists recognize findings of COVID-19 pneumonia and aid their communication with other health care providers, assisting management of patients during this pandemic. Published under a CC BY 4.0 license

    Rapid reduction versus abrupt quitting for smokers who want to stop soon: a randomised controlled non-inferiority trial

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    Background: The standard way to stop smoking is to stop abruptly on a quit day with no prior reduction in consumption of cigarettes. Many smokers feel that reduction is natural and if reduction programmes were offered, many more might take up treatment. Few trials of reduction versus abrupt cessation have been completed. Most are small, do not use pharmacotherapy, and do not meet the standards necessary to obtain a marketing authorisation for a pharmacotherapy.\ud Design/Methods: We will conduct a non-inferiority andomised trial of rapid reduction versus standard abrupt cessation among smokers who want to stop smoking. In the reduction arm,participants will be advised to reduce smoking consumption by half in the first week and to 25% of baseline in the second, leading up to a quit day at which participants will stop smoking completely.This will be assisted by nicotine patches and an acute form of nicotine replacement therapy. In the abrupt arm participants will use nicotine patches only, whilst smoking as normal, for two weeks prior to a quit day, at which they will also stop smoking completely. Smokers in either arm will have standard withdrawal orientated behavioural support programme with a combination of nicotine patches and acute nicotine replacement therapy post-cessation.\ud Outcomes/Follow-up: The primary outcome of interest will be prolonged abstinence from smoking, with secondary trial outcomes of point prevalence, urges to smoke and withdrawal\ud symptoms. Follow up will take place at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 6 months post-quit day

    De-Novo Identification of PPARγ/RXR Binding Sites and Direct Targets during Adipogenesis

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    BACKGROUND: The pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with abnormalities in endocrine signaling in adipose tissue and one of the key signaling affectors operative in these disorders is the nuclear hormone transcription factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma). PPARgamma has pleiotropic functions affecting a wide range of fundamental biological processes including the regulation of genes that modulate insulin sensitivity, adipocyte differentiation, inflammation and atherosclerosis. To date, only a limited number of direct targets for PPARgamma have been identified through research using the well established pre-adipogenic cell line, 3T3-L1. In order to obtain a genome-wide view of PPARgamma binding sites, we applied the pair end-tagging technology (ChIP-PET) to map PPARgamma binding sites in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte cells. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Coupling gene expression profile analysis with ChIP-PET, we identified in a genome-wide manner over 7700 DNA binding sites of the transcription factor PPARgamma and its heterodimeric partner RXR during the course of adipocyte differentiation. Our validation studies prove that the identified sites are bona fide binding sites for both PPARgamma and RXR and that they are functionally capable of driving PPARgamma specific transcription. Our results strongly indicate that PPARgamma is the predominant heterodimerization partner for RXR during late stages of adipocyte differentiation. Additionally, we find that PPARgamma/RXR association is enriched within the proximity of the 5' region of the transcription start site and this association is significantly associated with transcriptional up-regulation of genes involved in fatty acid and lipid metabolism confirming the role of PPARgamma as the master transcriptional regulator of adipogenesis. Evolutionary conservation analysis of these binding sites is greater when adjacent to up-regulated genes than down-regulated genes, suggesting the primordial function of PPARgamma/RXR is in the induction of genes. Our functional validations resulted in identifying novel PPARgamma direct targets that have not been previously reported to promote adipogenic differentiation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We have identified in a genome-wide manner the binding sites of PPARgamma and RXR during the course of adipogenic differentiation in 3T3L1 cells, and provide an important resource for the study of PPARgamma function in the context of adipocyte differentiation

    Mapping infectious disease hospital surge threats to lessons learnt in Singapore: a systems analysis and development of a framework to inform how to DECIDE on planning and response strategies.

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    BACKGROUND: Hospital usage and service demand during an Infectious Disease (ID) outbreak can tax the health system in different ways. Herein we conceptualize hospital surge elements, and lessons learnt from such events, to help build appropriately matched responses to future ID surge threats. METHODS: We used the Interpretive Descriptive qualitative approach. Interviews (n = 35) were conducted with governance and public health specialists; hospital based staff; and General Practitioners. Key policy literature in tandem with the interview data were used to iteratively generate a Hospital ID Surge framework. We anchored our narrative account within this framework, which is used to structure our analysis. RESULTS: A spectrum of surge threats from combinations of capacity (for crowding) and capability (for treatment complexity) demands were identified. Starting with the Pyramid scenario, or an influx of high screening rates flooding Emergency Departments, alongside fewer and manageable admissions; the Reverse-Pyramid occurs when few cases are screened and admitted but those that are, are complex; during a 'Black' scenario, the system is overburdened by both crowding and complexity. The Singapore hospital system is highly adapted to crowding, functioning remarkably well at constant near-full capacity in Peacetime and resilient to Endemic surges. We catalogue 26 strategies from lessons learnt relating to staffing, space, supplies and systems, crystalizing institutional memory. The DECIDE model advocates linking these strategies to types of surge threats and offers a step-by-step guide for coordinating outbreak planning and response. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of a shared definition and decision making of surge threats had rendered the procedures somewhat duplicative. This burden was paradoxically exacerbated by a health system that highly prizes planning and forward thinking, but worked largely in silo until an ID crisis hit. Many such lessons can be put into play to further strengthen our current hospital governance and adapted to more diverse settings

    The Multifunctional LigB Adhesin Binds Homeostatic Proteins with Potential Roles in Cutaneous Infection by Pathogenic Leptospira interrogans

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    Leptospirosis is a potentially fatal zoonotic disease in humans and animals caused by pathogenic spirochetes, such as Leptospira interrogans. The mode of transmission is commonly limited to the exposure of mucous membrane or damaged skin to water contaminated by leptospires shed in the urine of carriers, such as rats. Infection occurs during seasonal flooding of impoverished tropical urban habitats with large rat populations, but also during recreational activity in open water, suggesting it is very efficient. LigA and LigB are surface localized proteins in pathogenic Leptospira strains with properties that could facilitate the infection of damaged skin. Their expression is rapidly induced by the increase in osmolarity encountered by leptospires upon transition from water to host. In addition, the immunoglobulin-like repeats of the Lig proteins bind proteins that mediate attachment to host tissue, such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, collagens, laminin, and elastin, some of which are important in cutaneous wound healing and repair. Hemostasis is critical in a fresh injury, where fibrinogen from damaged vasculature mediates coagulation. We show that fibrinogen binding by recombinant LigB inhibits fibrin formation, which could aid leptospiral entry into the circulation, dissemination, and further infection by impairing healing. LigB also binds fibroblast fibronectin and type III collagen, two proteins prevalent in wound repair, thus potentially enhancing leptospiral adhesion to skin openings. LigA or LigB expression by transformation of a nonpathogenic saprophyte, L. biflexa, enhances bacterial adhesion to fibrinogen. Our results suggest that by binding homeostatic proteins found in cutaneous wounds, LigB could facilitate leptospirosis transmission. Both fibronectin and fibrinogen binding have been mapped to an overlapping domain in LigB comprising repeats 9–11, with repeat 11 possibly enhancing binding by a conformational effect. Leptospirosis patient antibodies react with the LigB domain, suggesting applications in diagnosis and vaccines that are currently limited by the strain-specific leptospiral lipopolysaccharide coats

    Abatacept, Cenicriviroc, or Infliximab for Treatment of Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 Pneumonia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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    IMPORTANCE: Immune dysregulation contributes to poorer outcomes in COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether abatacept, cenicriviroc, or infliximab provides benefit when added to standard care for COVID-19 pneumonia. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled clinical trial using a master protocol to investigate immunomodulators added to standard care for treatment of participants hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia. The results of 3 substudies are reported from 95 hospitals at 85 clinical research sites in the US and Latin America. Hospitalized patients 18 years or older with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days and evidence of pulmonary involvement underwent randomization between October 2020 and December 2021. INTERVENTIONS: Single infusion of abatacept (10 mg/kg; maximum dose, 1000 mg) or infliximab (5 mg/kg) or a 28-day oral course of cenicriviroc (300-mg loading dose followed by 150 mg twice per day). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was time to recovery by day 28 evaluated using an 8-point ordinal scale (higher scores indicate better health). Recovery was defined as the first day the participant scored at least 6 on the ordinal scale. RESULTS: Of the 1971 participants randomized across the 3 substudies, the mean (SD) age was 54.8 (14.6) years and 1218 (61.8%) were men. The primary end point of time to recovery from COVID-19 pneumonia was not significantly different for abatacept (recovery rate ratio [RRR], 1.12 [95% CI, 0.98-1.28]; P = .09), cenicriviroc (RRR, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.86-1.18]; P = .94), or infliximab (RRR, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.99-1.28]; P = .08) compared with placebo. All-cause 28-day mortality was 11.0% for abatacept vs 15.1% for placebo (odds ratio [OR], 0.62 [95% CI, 0.41-0.94]), 13.8% for cenicriviroc vs 11.9% for placebo (OR, 1.18 [95% CI 0.72-1.94]), and 10.1% for infliximab vs 14.5% for placebo (OR, 0.59 [95% CI, 0.39-0.90]). Safety outcomes were comparable between active treatment and placebo, including secondary infections, in all 3 substudies. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Time to recovery from COVID-19 pneumonia among hospitalized participants was not significantly different for abatacept, cenicriviroc, or infliximab vs placebo. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04593940

    Lifetime self-reported arthritis is associated with elevated levels of mental health burden: A multi-national cross sectional study across 46 low- and middle-income countries

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    Population-based studies investigating the relationship of arthritis with mental health outcomes are lacking, particularly among low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We investigated the relationship between arthritis and mental health (depression spectrum, psychosis spectrum, anxiety, sleep disturbances and stress) across community-dwelling adults aged ≥18 years across 46 countries from the World Health Survey. Symptoms of psychosis and depression were established using questions from the Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Severity of anxiety, sleep problems, and stress sensitivity over the preceding 30 days were self-reported. Self-report lifetime history of arthritis was collected, including presence or absence of symptoms suggestive of arthritis: pain, stiffness or swelling of joints over the preceding 12-months. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were undertaken. Overall, 245,706 individuals were included. Having arthritis increased the odds of subclinical psychosis (OR = 1.85; 95%CI = 1.72–1.99) and psychosis (OR = 2.48; 95%CI = 2.05–3.01). People with arthritis were at increased odds of subsyndromal depression (OR = 1.92; 95%CI = 1.64–2.26), a brief depressive episode (OR = 2.14; 95%CI = 1.88–2.43) or depressive episode (OR = 2.43; 95%CI = 2.21–2.67). Arthritis was also associated with increased odds for anxiety (OR = 1.75; 95%CI = 1.63–1.88), sleep problems (OR = 2.23; 95%CI = 2.05–2.43) and perceived stress (OR = 1.43; 95%CI = 1.33–1.53). Results were similar for middle-income and low-income countries. Integrated interventions addressing arthritis and mental health comorbidities are warranted to tackle this considerable burden

    Waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio of Hong Kong Chinese children

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Central body fat is a better predictor than overall body fat for cardiovascular (CV) risk factors in both adults and children. Waist circumference (WC) has been used as a proxy measure of central body fat. Children at high CV risk may be identified by WC measurements. Waist-to-height ratio (WHTR) has been proposed as an alternative, conveniently age-independent measure of CV risk although WHTR percentiles have not been reported. We aim to provide age- and sex-specific reference values for WC and WHTR in Hong Kong Chinese children.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>Cross sectional study in a large representative sample of 14,842 children aged 6 to 18 years in 2005/6. Sex-specific descriptive statistics for whole-year age groups and smoothed percentile curves of WC and WHTR were derived and presented.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>WC increased with age, although less after age 14 years in girls. WHTR decreased with age (particularly up to age 14). WHTR correlated less closely than WC with BMI (r = 0.65, 0.59 cf. 0.93, 0.91, for boys and girls respectively).</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Reference values and percentile curves for WC and WHRT of Chinese children and adolescents are provided. Both WC and WHTR are age dependent. Since the use of WHRT does not obviate the need for age-related reference standards, simple WC measurement is a more convenient method for central fat estimation than WHRT.</p