2,360 research outputs found

    Microstructure and chemical composition of Roman orichalcum coins emitted after the monetary reform of Augustus (23 B.C.)

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    A collection of ancient Roman orichalcum coins, i.e., a copper-zinc alloy, minted under the reigns from Caesar to Domitianus, have been characterised using scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDS) and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA). We studied, for the first time, coins emitted by Romans after the reforms of Augustus (23 B.C.) and Nero (63-64 A.D). These coins, consisting of asses, sestertii, dupondii and semisses, were analysed using non- and invasive analyses, aiming to explore microstructure, corrosive process and to acquire quantitative chemical analysis. The results revealed that the coins are characterized by porous external layers, which are affected by dezincification and decuprification processes. As pictured by the X-ray maps, the elemental distribution of Cu and Zn shows patterns of depletion that in some cases penetrate in deep up to 1 mm. The composition of the un-corroded nucleus is a Cu-Zn alloy containing up to 30% of Zn, typical of coins produced via cementation process

    Factors affecting the vaccination choices of pregnant women for their children. A systematic review of the literature

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    In recent years, an increase in vaccine hesitancy has led to a decrease in vaccination coverage in several countries. We conducted a systematic review of studies that assessed knowledge of and attitudes toward pediatric vaccinations, and the vaccination choices and their determinants among pregnant women. A total of 6,277 records were retrieved, and 16 full texts were included in the narrative synthesis. The published literature on the topic shows that, overall, pregnant women believe that vaccines are important for the protection of their children and the community, but various concerns and misunderstandings persist around vaccine safety and efficacy, which reduce the trust of expectant mothers in immunization. Nevertheless, such attitudes and choices vary depending on the vaccine being considered and the corresponding determinants should therefore be studied in the context of each specific vaccination. Further research on this topic is needed, particularly in non-western countries

    Emergency Department Overcrowding. A Retrospective Spatial Analysis and the Geocoding of Accesses. A Pilot Study in Rome

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    The overcrowding of first aid facilities creates considerable hardship and problems which have repercussions on patients’ wellbeing, the time needed for a diagnosis, and on the quality of the assistance. The basic objective of this contribution, based on the data collected by the Hospital Policlinico Umberto I in Rome (Lazio region, Italy), is to carry out a territorial screening of the municipality using GIS applications and spatial analyses aimed at reducing—in terms of triage—code white (inappropriate) attendances, after having identified the areas of greatest provenance of improperly used emergency room access. Working in a GIS environment and using functions for geocoding, we have tested an experimental model aimed at giving a close-up geographical-sanitary look at the situation: recognizing the territorial sectors in Rome which contribute to amplifying the Policlinico Umberto I emergency room overcrowding; leading up to an improvement of the situation; promoting greater awareness and knowledge of the services available on the territory, a closer relationship between patient and regular doctor (general practitioner, GP) or Local Healthcare Unit and a more efficient functioning of the emergency room. In particular, we have elaborated a “source” map from which derive all the others and it is a dot map on which all the codes white have been geolocalized on a satellite image through geocoding. We have produced three sets made up of three digital cartographic elaborations each, constructed on the census sections, the census areas and the sub-municipal areas, according to data aggregation, for absolute and relative values, and using different templates. Finally, following the same methodology and steps, we elaborated another dot map about all the codes red to provide another kind of information and input for social utility. In the near future, this system could be tested on a platform that spatially analyzes the emergency department (ED) accesses in near-real-time in order to facilitate the identification of critical territorial issues and intervene in a shorter time to regulate the influx of patients to the ED

    Measles among healthcare workers in Italy. Is it time to act?

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    Vaccination of healthcare workers (HCWs) against measles is strongly recommended in Europe. In this study, we examined the impact of measles on Italian HCWs by systematically and quantitatively analyzing measles cases involving HCWs over time and by identifying the epidemiological characteristics of the respective measles outbreaks. We retrieved data on measles cases from the Italian national integrated measles and rubella surveillance system from January 2013 to May 2019. Additionally, we performed a systematic review of the literature and an analysis of the measles and rubella aggregate outbreaks reporting forms from 2014 to 2018. Our review suggests that preventing measles infection among HCWs in disease outbreaks may be crucial for the elimination of measles in Italy. National policies aiming to increase HCW immunization rates are fundamental to the protection of HCWs and patients, will limit the economic impact of outbreaks on the institutions affected and will help achieve the elimination goal

    Impairment of the autophagic flux in astrocytes intoxicated by trimethyltin

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    Autophagy is a lysosomal catabolic route for protein aggregates and damaged organelles which in different stress conditions, such as starvation, generally improves cell survival. An impairment of this degradation pathway has been reported to occur in many neurodegenerative processes. Trimethyltin (TMT) is a potent neurotoxin present as an environmental contaminant causing tremors, seizures and learning impairment in intoxicated subjects. The present data show that in rat primary astrocytes autophagic vesicles (AVs) appeared after few hours of TMT treatment. The analysis of the autophagic flux in TMT-treated astrocytes was consistent with a block of the late stages of autophagy and was accompanied by a progressive accumulation of the microtubule associated protein light chain 3 (LC3) and of p62/SQSTM1. Interestingly, an increased immunoreactivity for p62/SQSTM1 was also observed in hippocampal astrocytes detected in brain slices of TMT-intoxicated rats. The time-lapse recordings of AVs in EGFP-mCherry-LC3B transfected astrocytes demonstrated a reduced mobility of autophagosomes after TMT exposure respect to control cells. The observed block of the autophagic flux cannot be overcome by known autophagy inducers such as rapamycin or 0.5mM lithium. Although ineffective when used at 0.5mM, lithium at higher concentrations (2mM) was able to protect astrocyte cultures from TMT toxicity. This effect correlated well with its ability to determine the phosphorylation/inactivation of glycogen kinase synthase-3β (GSK-3β)

    Genomics knowledge and attitudes among European public health professionals. Results of a cross-sectional survey

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    Background The international public health (PH) community is debating the opportunity to incorporate genomic technologies into PH practice. A survey was conducted to assess attitudes of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) members towards their role in the implementation of public health genomics (PHG), and their knowledge and attitudes towards genetic testing and the delivery of genetic services. Methods EUPHA members were invited via monthly newsletter and e-mail to take part in an online survey from February 2017 to January 2018. A descriptive analysis of knowledge and attitudes was conducted, along with a univariate and multivariate analysis of their determinants. Results Five hundred and two people completed the questionnaire, 17.9% were involved in PHG activities. Only 28.9% correctly identified all medical conditions for which there is (or not) evidence for implementing genetic testing; over 60% thought that investing in genomics may divert economic resources from social and environmental determinants of health. The majority agreed that PH professionals may play different roles in incorporating genomics into their activities. Better knowledge was associated with positive attitudes towards the use of genetic testing and the delivery of genetic services in PH (OR = 1.48; 95% CI 1.01–2.18). Conclusions Our study revealed quite positive attitudes, but also a need to increase awareness on genomics among European PH professionals. Those directly involved in PHG activities tend to have a more positive attitude and better knowledge; however, gaps are also evident in this group, suggesting the need to harmonize practice and encourage greater exchange of knowledge among professionals

    Cost-effectiveness of RAS genetic testing strategies in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. A systematic review

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    Background: Monoclonal antibodies against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have proved beneficial for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), particularly when combined with predictive biomarkers of response. International guidelines recommend anti-EGFR therapy only for RAS (NRAS, KRAS) wild-type tumors because tumors with RAS mutations are unlikely to benefit. Objectives: We aimed to review the cost-effectiveness of RAS testing in mCRC patients before anti-EGFR therapy and to assess how well economic evaluations adhere to guidelines. Methods: A systematic review of full economic evaluations comparing RAS testing with no testing was performed for articles published in English between 2000 and 2018. Study quality was assessed using the Quality of Health Economic Studies scale, and the British Medical Journal and the Philips checklists. Results: Six economic evaluations (2 cost-effectiveness analyses, 2 cost-utility analyses, and 2 combined cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses) were included. All studies were of good quality and adopted the perspective of the healthcare system/payer; accordingly, only direct medical costs were considered. Four studies presented testing strategies with a favorable incremental cost-effectiveness ratio under the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (£20 000-£30 000/QALY) and the US (50000−50 000-100 000/QALY) thresholds. Conclusions: Testing mCRC patients for RAS status and administering EGFR inhibitors only to patients with RAS wild-type tumors is a more cost-effective strategy than treating all patients without testing. The treatment of mCRC is becoming more personalized, which is essential to avoid inappropriate therapy and unnecessarily high healthcare costs. Future economic assessments should take into account other parameters that reflect the real world (eg, NRAS mutation analysis, toxicity of biological agents, genetic test sensitivity and specificity)

    Procedure Manual for the Pneumology Department of an Argentine university hospital

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    Introducción La redacción de un manual de procedimientos (MP) obliga a racionalizar la actividad diaria, permite hallar imperfecciones, discutir e implementar medidas preventivas y correctivas, y acorta la brecha entre teoría y práctica. Nuestro objetivo es describir las etapas que llevaron a su redacción para un Servicio de Neumonología en un hospital universitario de gestión pública, detallar su estructura y relatar dificultades y perspectivas. Material y métodos Se determinó el organigrama y se establecieron interrelaciones y competencias. Se asignó la redacción de procedimientos según competencia de cada profesional en base a bibliografía, regulaciones, normas de acreditación y experiencia institucional. Los procedimientos fueron vinculados mediante hipertexto y cargados en la red informática. Resultados Ocupa 300 páginas, en 3 secciones: Procedimientos Administrativos, Operativos y de Seguridad, y un anexo. Consta de 57 procedimientos (48 de confección propia, 9 tomados de sociedades científicas). Para estudios específicos que se realizan en el Laboratorio se redactaron procedimientos de novo. Cuando se hallaron disponibles, se utilizaron procedimientos previos, especialmente aquellos referidos a bioseguridad y seguridad ambiental. Discusión: Se dedicó toda una sección a detallar diversas acciones administrativas de uso habitual, detectadas como fuente de conflicto. Dado que cada institución tiene su idiosincrasia administrativa y operativa, creemos que los textos y recomendaciones de sociedades científicas deben ser adaptados y/o modificados para expresar la práctica habitual en cada Servicio. Conclusiones: La información recabada dará lugar a futuras actualizaciones. Esto debe culminar en una mejor atención del paciente, fin último de nuestra Institución.Introduction The writing of a procedure manual (PM) requires streamlining daily activities, allowing to find imperfections, discuss and implement preventive and corrective measures, and decreases the gap between theory and practice. We describe the stages that led to the drafting of a PM for a Pneumology Department at a public university hospital, detailing its structure and reporting problems and prospects. Methods We determined an organization flow chart and established interrelations and personnel skills. The drafting of procedures was assigned according to competence of each staff member, based on literature, regulations, accreditation standards and institutional experience. The procedures were linked by hypertext and loaded into our computer network. Results: It extend over 300 pages in 3 sections: Administrative, Operational and Safety Procedures, and an appendix . It consists of 57 procedures (48 of these are own, while 9 were drawn from scientific societies). Some procedures for specific studies that are performed in our laboratory were written de novo. When available, previous procedures were used, especially those related to biosafety and environmental safety. Discussion: An entire section is devoted to a number of commonly used administrative actions, identified as source for conflict. As each institution has its own administrative and operational idiosyncrasies, we believe that recommendations of scientific societies should not be used verbatim, but must be adapted and/or modified to the usual practice in each department. Conclusions: The gathered information will lead to future updates. All this must lead to better patient care, ultimate goal of our InstitutionFil: Arce, S. C.. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Medicina. Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas; ArgentinaFil: Civale, S. N.. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Medicina. Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas; ArgentinaFil: Rodriguez, M. N.. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Medicina. Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas; ArgentinaFil: de Vito, Eduardo. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Medicina. Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Houssay; Argentin


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    BackgroundAortic valve replacement leads to improvement of coronary flow but not to complete normalization. Coronary hypoperfusion contributes to higher left ventricular mass persistence, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure and sudden death. This prospective study compares 2 similarly sized aortic prostheses (mechanical and porcine) regarding coronary flow and hemodynamic performances in patients who underwent surgery for pure aortic stenosis.MethodsSixty patients having undergone aortic valve replacement for pure aortic stenosis with Medtronic Mosaic Ultra bioprosthesis 21 mm (n = 30) or St Jude Regent mechanical valve 19 mm (n = 30) were evaluated preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively comparing the coronary flow and the hemodynamic behavior. Echocardiography and cardiac positron emission tomography were performed at rest and during exercise or adenosine maximal stimulation, respectively.ResultsThe St Jude Regent mechanical valve, compared with the Medtronic Mosaic Ultra bioprosthesis, had reduced coronary flow reserve (2.1 ± 0.3 vs 2.3 ± 0.2; P = .003), less favorable systolic/diastolic time ratio (0.87 ± 0.02 vs 0.78 ± 0.03; P < .001), and higher mean transprosthetic gradient (46 ± 11 vs 38 ± 9; P = .003) during exercise. Multivariate analysis of impaired coronary reserve related indexed effective orifice area less than 0.65 cm/m2 (risk ratio [RR], 1.9; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 1.5-2.8; P < .001), mechanical valve (RR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.7-3.3; P < .001), and systolic/diastolic time ratio greater than 0.75 (RR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.8-3.8; P < .001), as well as high transprosthetic gradient (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.4; P < .001) ) during exercise with coronary reserve less than 2.2.ConclusionsImprovement of coronary flow and reserve was more evident for bioprostheses than for mechanical valves. The bioprostheses demonstrated superior hemodynamics during exercise, which may have some impact on exercise capability during normal daily life
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