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Introduction: eCTAS is a real time electronic triage decision-support tool designed to improve patient safety and quality of care by standardizing the application of the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). The tool dynamically calculates a recommended CTAS score based on the presenting complaint, vital signs and selected clinical modifiers. The primary objective was to assess consistency of CTAS score distributions across 35 emergency departments (EDs) by 16 presenting complaints pre and post eCTAS implementation. Methods: This retrospective cohort study used population-based administrative data from January 2016 to December 2018 from all hospital EDs in Ontario that had implemented eCTAS with at least 9 months of data. Following a 3-month stabilization period, we compared data for 6 months post-eCTAS implementation to the same 6-month period the previous year (pre-implementation) to account for potential seasonal variation, patient volume and case-mix. We included triage encounters of adult (≥18 years) patients if they had one of 16 pre-specified high-volume, presenting complaints. A paired-samples t-test was used to determine consistency by estimating the absolute difference in CTAS distribution for each presenting complaint, by each hospital, pre and post eCTAS implementation, compared to the overall average of the 35 EDs. Results: There were 183,231 triage encounters in the pre-eCTAS cohort and 179,983 in the post-eCTAS cohort from 35 EDs across the province. Triage scores were more consistent with the overall average after eCTAS implementation in 6 (37.5%) presenting complaints: chest pain (cardiac features) (p < 0.001), extremity weakness/symptoms of cerebrovascular accident (p < 0.001), fever (p < 0.001), shortness of breath (p < 0.001), syncope (p = 0.02), and hyperglycemia (p = 0.03). Triage consistency was similar pre and post eCTAS implementation for the presenting complaints of altered level of consciousness, anxiety/situational crisis, confusion, depression/suicidal/deliberate self-harm, general weakness, head injury, palpitations, seizure, substance misuse/intoxication or vertigo. Conclusion: A standardized, electronic approach to performing triage assessments increased consistency in CTAS scores across many, but not all, high-volume CEDIS complaints. This does not reflect triage accuracy, as there are no known benchmarks for triage accuracy. Improvements in consistency were greatest for sentinel presenting complaints with a minimum allowable CTAS score.
We investigated the efficiency of the autoregressive repeatability model (AR) for genetic evaluation of longitudinal reproductive traits in Portuguese Holstein cattle and compared the results with those from the conventional repeatability model (REP). The data set comprised records taken during the first four calving orders, corresponding to a total of 416, 766, 872 and 766 thousand records for interval between calving to first service, days open, calving interval and daughter pregnancy rate, respectively. Both models included fixed (month and age classes associated to each calving order) and random (herd-year-season, animal and permanent environmental) effects. For AR model, a first-order autoregressive (co)variance structure was fitted for the herd-year-season and permanent environmental effects. The AR outperformed the REP model, with lower Akaike Information Criteria, lower Mean Square Error and Akaike Weights close to unity. Rank correlations between estimated breeding values (EBV) with AR and REP models ranged from 0.95 to 0.97 for all studied reproductive traits, when the total bulls were considered. When considering only the top-100 selected bulls, the rank correlation ranged from 0.72 to 0.88. These results indicate that the re-ranking observed at the top level will provide more opportunities for selecting the best bulls. The EBV reliabilities provided by AR model was larger for all traits, but the magnitudes of the annual genetic progress were similar between two models. Overall, the proposed AR model was suitable for genetic evaluations of longitudinal reproductive traits in dairy cattle, outperforming the REP model.
Preoperative mechanical ventilation is associated with morbidity and mortality following CHD surgery, but prior studies lack a comprehensive analysis of how preoperative respiratory support mode and timing affects outcomes.
We retrospectively collected data on children <18 years of age undergoing cardiac surgery at an academic tertiary care medical centre. Using multivariable regression, we examined the association between modes of preoperative respiratory support (nasal cannula, high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation, or invasive mechanical ventilation), escalation of preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery for three outcomes: operative mortality, postoperative length of stay, and postoperative complications. We repeated our analysis in a subcohort of neonates.
A total of 701 children underwent 800 surgical procedures, and 40% received preoperative respiratory support. Among neonates, 243 patients underwent 253 surgical procedures, and 79% received preoperative respiratory support. In multivariable analysis, all modes of preoperative respiratory support, escalation in preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery were associated with increased odds of prolonged length of stay in children and neonates. Children (odds ratio = 3.69, 95% CI 1.2–11.4) and neonates (odds ratio = 8.97, 95% CI 1.31–61.14) on high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation had increased odds of operative mortality compared to those on room air.
Preoperative respiratory support is associated with prolonged length of stay and mortality following CHD surgery. Knowing how preoperative respiratory support affects outcomes may help guide surgical timing, inform prognostic conversations, and improve risk stratification models.
To assess the impact of a newly developed Central-Line Insertion Site Assessment (CLISA) score on the incidence of local inflammation or infection for CLABSI prevention.
A pre- and postintervention, quasi-experimental quality improvement study.
Setting and participants:
Adult inpatients with central venous catheters (CVCs) hospitalized in an intensive care unit or oncology ward at a large academic medical center.
We evaluated CLISA score impact on insertion site inflammation and infection (CLISA score of 2 or 3) incidence in the baseline period (June 2014–January 2015) and the intervention period (April 2015–October 2017) using interrupted times series and generalized linear mixed-effects multivariable analyses. These were run separately for days-to-line removal from identification of a CLISA score of 2 or 3. CLISA score interrater reliability and photo quiz results were evaluated.
Among 6,957 CVCs assessed 40,846 times, percentage of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 in the baseline and intervention periods decreased by 78.2% (from 22.0% to 4.7%), with a significant immediate decrease in the time-series analysis (P < .001). According to the multivariable regression, the intervention was associated with lower percentage of lines with a CLISA score of 2 or 3, after adjusting for age, gender, CVC body location, and hospital unit (odds ratio, 0.15; 95% confidence interval, 0.06–0.34; P < .001). According to the multivariate regression, days to removal of lines with CLISA score of 2 or 3 was 3.19 days faster after the intervention (P < .001). Also, line dwell time decreased 37.1% from a mean of 14 days (standard deviation [SD], 10.6) to 8.8 days (SD, 9.0) (P < .001). Device utilization ratios decreased 9% from 0.64 (SD, 0.08) to 0.58 (SD, 0.06) (P = .039).
The CLISA score creates a common language for assessing line infection risk and successfully promotes high compliance with best practices in timely line removal.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Accurate low-dimensional models for the dynamics of falling liquid films subject to localized or time-varying heating are essential for applications that involve patterning or control. However, existing modelling methodologies either fail to respect fundamental thermodynamic properties or else do not accurately capture the effects of advection and diffusion on the temperature profile. We argue that the best-performing long-wave models are those that give the surface temperature implicitly as the solution of an evolution equation in which the wall temperature alone (and none of its derivatives) appears as a source term. We show that, for both flat and non-uniform films, such a model can be rationally derived by expanding the temperature field about its free-surface values. We test this model in linear and nonlinear regimes, and show that its predictions are in remarkable quantitative agreement with full Navier–Stokes calculations regarding the surface temperature, the internal temperature field and the surface displacement that would result from temperature-induced Marangoni stresses.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
While much research has focused on crop damage following foliar exposure to auxin herbicides, reports documenting the risk posed by exposure via root uptake of irrigation water are lacking. Herbicide residues circulated in tailwater recovery systems may pose threats of cross-crop impacts to nonresistant cultivars with known sensitivity to auxins. An auxin-susceptible soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] cultivar was grown in a controlled growth chamber environment and exposed to dicamba dissolved in irrigation water applied to the soil surface, simulating furrow irrigation. Five herbicide treatment concentrations, ranging from 0.05 to 5.0 mg L−1 and encompassing estimated field doses of 3.1 to 310g ha−1, were applied to the soil of potted soybean plants at V3/V4 or R1 growth stages. Plant injury (0% to 100%), dry mass, height, number of pods, and number of pod-bearing nodes were measured. Kruskal-Wallis and logistic regression analyses were performed to determine treatment differences and examine dose effects. Yield losses were projected using (1) 14 d after treatment plant injury assessments based on injury–yield relationships described for foliar exposures and (2) pod counts. Dicamba concentration was the main significant factor affecting all growth response metrics, and growth stage was a significant explanatory variable only for the height response metric. A nonlinear response to dicamba dose was observed, with the threshold response dose required to affect 50% of plants being three times greater for 40% crop injury compared with 20% injury. Yield projections derived from plant response to root uptake compared with foliar exposure indicate that soybean may express both magnitude of injury and specific symptomology differently when exposure occurs via root uptake. Drift exposure–based models may be incompatible to predict soybean yield loss when injury results from irrigation. Data are needed to develop correlations for predicting yield losses based on field-scale exposure to dicamba in irrigation water, as well as assessment of real-world concentrations of herbicide residues in tailwater recovery systems.
In 2016, imported Zika virus (ZIKV) infections and the presence of a potentially competent mosquito vector (Aedes albopictus) implied that ZIKV transmission in New York City (NYC) was possible. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developed contingency plans for a urosurvey to rule out ongoing local transmission as quickly as possible if a locally acquired case of confirmed ZIKV infection was suspected. We identified tools to (1) rapidly estimate the population living in any given 150-m radius (i.e. within the typical flight distance of an Aedes mosquito) and (2) calculate the sample size needed to test and rule out the further local transmission. As we expected near-zero ZIKV prevalence, methods relying on the normal approximation to the binomial distribution were inappropriate. Instead, we assumed a hypergeometric distribution, 10 missed cases at maximum, a urine assay sensitivity of 92.6% and 100% specificity. Three suspected example risk areas were evaluated with estimated population sizes of 479–4,453, corresponding to a minimum of 133–1244 urine samples. This planning exercise improved our capacity for ruling out local transmission of an emerging infection in a dense, urban environment where all residents in a suspected risk area cannot be feasibly sampled.
We investigated risk factors for severe acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) among hospitalised children <2 years, with a focus on the interactions between virus and age. Statistical interactions between age and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, adenovirus (ADV) and rhinovirus on the risk of ALRI outcomes were investigated. Of 1780 hospitalisations, 228 (12.8%) were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The median (range) length of stay (LOS) in hospital was 3 (1–27) days. An increase of 1 month of age was associated with a decreased risk of ICU admission (rate ratio (RR) 0.94; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.91–0.98) and with a decrease in LOS (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.97). Associations between RSV, influenza, ADV positivity and ICU admission and LOS were significantly modified by age. Children <5 months old were at the highest risk from RSV-associated severe outcomes, while children >8 months were at greater risk from influenza-associated ICU admissions and long hospital stay. Children with ADV had increased LOS across all ages. In the first 2 years of life, the effects of different viruses on ALRI severity varies with age. Our findings help to identify specific ages that would most benefit from virus-specific interventions such as vaccines and antivirals.
Introduction: The optimal diagnostic strategy for children presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with suspected appendicitis (SA), the most common non-traumatic surgical emergency in children, remains unclear. This study aims to identify which investigations and management priorities are preferred by Canadian surgeons prior to consultation from the ED. Methods: An internet survey was extended to practicing surgeons who are members of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons and Canadian Association of General Surgeons. Three case-based scenarios evaluated surgeons expected ED investigations and management for SA with varying severity of disease (simple - SA vs perforated - PA) and sex (male vs female). Differences across scenarios were determined by ANOVA and direct comparisons were reported using proportions and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Surveys were completed by 82 surgeons. Across the 3 cases, CBC (227/246, 92.3%) and urinalysis (188/246, 76.4%) were the sole investigations expected in >75% of responses. Expectations differed across cases for use of blood cultures (p<0.001), electrolytes (p<0.001), sexually transmitted infection testing (0.015) and ultrasound (US) (p<0.001). Blood cultures (26/82, 31.7% vs 4/82, 4.9%; OR 9.05 95%CI 2.88-37.33) and electrolytes (58/82, 70.7% vs 33/82, 40.2%; OR 3.59 95%CI 1.79-7.24) were expected more often in severe disease. US was expected more often in females (58/82,70.7% vs 25/82, 30.5%; OR 5.51, 95% CI 2.68-11.38). Expected management differed across cases for fluid boluses (p=0.01), intravenous (IV) analgesia (p<0.001) and antibiotics (p<0.001), with all differences attributed to severity of illness (fluids 73/82, 89.0% vs 59/82, 72.0% OR 3.16 95%CI 1.28-8.33; IV analgesia 66/82, 80.5% vs 42/82, 51.2% OR 3.93 95%CI 1.86-8.45; antibiotics 44/82, 53.7% vs 10/82, 12.2% OR 8.34 95%CI 3.59-20.44). Conclusion: Severity of illness and sex of the child impact the ED investigations and management expected by surgeons consulted for suspected appendicitis. Further research focusing on how these expectations influence patient outcomes should be conducted. Collaborative ED-surgery protocols for the diagnosis and management of acute appendicitis in children should be established.
In ewe lambs, acceleration of growth and accumulation of both muscle and fat leads to earlier sexual maturity and better reproductive performance. The next stage in the development of this theme is to test whether these aspects of growth in young ewes affect milk production in their first lactation and the growth of their first progeny. We studied 75 young Merino ewes that had known phenotypic values for depth of eye muscle (EMD) and fat (FAT), and known Australian Sheep Breeding Values for post-weaning weight (PWT) and depths of eye muscle (PEMD) and fat (PFAT). They lambed for the first time at 1 year of age. Their lambs were weighed weekly from birth to weaning at 10 weeks to determine live weight gain and weaning weight. Progeny birth weight was positively associated with live weight gain and weaning weight (P<0.001). The PWT of the mothers was positively associated with birth weight (P<0.01), live weight gain and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.05); however, these progeny traits were not influenced by EMD, FAT, PEMD, PFAT of the mothers (P>0.05). The PWT of the sire was positively associated with live weight gain (P<0.05) and weaning weight of the progeny (P<0.01). At around day 20 postpartum, we measured milk production and milk composition (fat, protein, lactose, total solids). Milk production was influenced positively by birth type (single or twin; P<0.05) and negatively by birth weight (P<0.05), but not by mother phenotype or genotype, sire genotype of the mother or the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). The concentrations of fat, protein, lactose and total solids in the milk were not affected by the phenotype or genotype of the mothers or of the sires of the mothers, or by the sex of the progeny (P>0.05). We conclude that selection of young Merino ewes for better growth, and more rapid accumulation of muscle and fat, will lead to progeny that are heavier at birth, grow faster and are heavier at weaning. Moreover, milk production and composition do not seem to be affected by the genetic merit of the mother for post-weaning live weight or PEMD or PFAT. Therefore, Merino ewes can lamb at 1 year of age without affecting the production objectives of the Merino sheep industry.
Vitamin E and selenium have been reported to improve immune function across a range of species. Ewes lambing on poor-quality dry pasture in autumn in Western Australia are at risk of being deficient in vitamin E and selenium at lambing thus predisposing their lambs to deficiencies and increasing the risk of infection and disease. This study tested the hypotheses that (i) supplementation of autumn-lambing ewes with vitamin E plus selenium in late gestation will increase the concentrations of vitamin E and selenium in plasma in the ewe and lamb and (ii) that the increased concentrations of vitamin E and selenium in plasma in the lambs will improve their innate and adaptive immune responses and thus survival. Pregnant Merino ewes were divided into a control group (n=58) which received no supplementation or a group supplemented with vitamin E plus selenium (n=55). On days 111, 125 and 140 of pregnancy ewes in the vitamin E plus selenium group were given 4 g all-rac-α-tocopherol acetate orally. On day 111 the ewes were also given 60 mg of selenium as barium selenate by subcutaneous injection. The concentrations of α-tocopherol and selenium were measured in ewes and/or lambs from day 111 of pregnancy to 14 weeks of age±10 days (weaning). Immune function of the lamb was assessed by analysing the numbers and phagocytic capacities of monocytes and polymorphonuclear leucocytes and plasma IgG and anti-tetanus toxoid antibody concentrations between birth and 14 weeks of age±10 days. Maternal supplementation with vitamin E plus selenium increased the concentration of α-tocopherol in plasma (1.13 v. 0.67 mg/l; P<0.001) and selenium in whole blood (0.12 v. 0.07 mg/l; P<0.01) of the ewes at lambing compared with controls. Supplementation also increased the concentration of α-tocopherol (0.14 v. 0.08 mg/l; P<0.001) and selenium (0.08 v. 0.05 mg/l; P<0.01) in lambs at birth compared with controls. There was no significant effect of supplementation on immune function or survival in the lambs.
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
Atlanto-axial rotatory fixation is a persistent deformity of the C1–2 vertebral relationship caused by subluxation of the articular surfaces, and can occur after positioning for ENT procedures where the head is rotated – for example to access the ear or posterior triangle of the neck. If promptly recognised, it can usually be managed successfully with conservative methods, without long-lasting sequelae, but delayed or inappropriate management may lead to permanent neck deformity, neurological problems and pain.
Two children with atlanto-axial rotatory fixation following ENT surgery; one child was referred early and managed successfully, and one had delayed referral resulting in permanent severe positional deformity.
Atlanto-axial rotatory fixation is easily missed; there are significant clinical and medicolegal implications if it is not promptly recognised. A suggested management algorithm is presented.
Depression and pain are leading causes of global disability. However, there is a paucity of multinational population data assessing the association between depression and pain, particularly among low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where both are common. Therefore, we investigated this association across 47 LMICs.
Community-based data on 273 952 individuals from 47 LMICs were analysed. Multivariable logistic and linear regression analyses were performed to assess the association between the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision depression/depression subtypes (over the past 12 months) and pain in the previous 30 days based on self-reported data. Country-wide meta-analysis adjusting for age and sex was also conducted.
The prevalence of severe pain was 8.0, 28.2, 20.2, and 34.0% for no depression, subsyndromal depression, brief depressive episode, and depressive episode, respectively. Logistic regression adjusted for socio-demographic variables, anxiety and chronic medical conditions (arthritis, diabetes, angina, asthma) demonstrated that compared with no depression, subsyndromal depression, brief depressive episode, and depressive episode were associated with a 2.16 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.83–2.55], 1.45 (95% CI 1.22–1.73), and 2.11 (95% CI 1.87–2.39) increase in odds of severe pain, respectively. Similar results were obtained when a continuous pain scale was used as the outcome. Depression was significantly associated with severe pain in 44/47 countries with a pooled odds ratio of 3.93 (95% CI 3.54–4.37).
Depression and severe pain are highly comorbid across LMICs, independent of anxiety and chronic medical conditions. Whether depression treatment or pain management in patients with comorbid pain and depression leads to better clinical outcome is an area for future research.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.