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Background: Diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) tractography is commonly used in neurosurgical practice, but is largely limited to the preoperative setting. This is due primarily to image degradation caused by susceptibility artifact when conventional single-shot (SS) echo-planar imaging DTI is acquired for open cranial, surgical position intraoperative DTI (iDTI). A novel, artifact-resistant, readout-segmented (RS) DTI has not yet been evaluated in the intraoperative MRI (iMRI) environment. Our objective was to evaluate the performance of RS-DTI versus SS-DTI for intraoperative white matter imaging. Methods: Pre- and intraoperative 3T, T1-weighted and DTI (RS-iDTI and SS-iDTI) in 22 adults undergoing intraaxial iMRI resections (low-grade glioma: 14, 64%; high-grade glioma: 7, 32%; cortical dysplasia: 1). Regional susceptibility artifact, anatomical deviation relative to T1WI, and tractographic output were compared between iDTI sequences. Results: RS-iDTI resulted in less regional susceptibility artifact and mean anatomic deviation (RS-iDTI: 2.7±0.2 mm versus SS-iDTI 7.5±0.4 mm; p<0.0001). Tractographic failure occurred in 8/22 (36%) patients for SS-iDTI whereas RS-iDTI permitted successful reconstruction in 4 of these 8. Maximal tractographic differences between DTI sequences were substantial (mean 9.7±5.7 mm). Conclusions: Readout-segmented EPI enables higher quality and more accurate DTI for surgically relevant tractography of major white matter tracts in intraoperative, open cranium, neurosurgical applications at 3T.
Cold-sprayed high-entropy alloy (HEA) coatings have been generated for the first time. Mechanically alloyed (MA) AlCoCrFeNi powder was chosen as feedstock, owing to the extensive literature on this alloy. Coatings were synthesized under various gas temperature and pressure conditions. Isothermal oxidation was conducted at 1100 °C for 25 h on the coating cold-sprayed at 400 °C and 10 bar on a Ni-base superalloy substrate. The as-sprayed coating retained the MA phases and formed a protective alumina layer upon oxidation. An interdiffusion zone at the interface and unanticipated Mo diffusion from the superalloy substrate into the coating were observed after oxidation. A comprehensive characterization at the coating–substrate interface suggests that diffusion in HEAs is not sluggish. The factors governing the coating’s oxidation are elucidated, and a plausible oxidation mechanism is discussed. These studies are aimed at developing oxidation-resistant HEA coatings for potential applications at high operating temperatures.
We demonstrated that hand washing resulted in frequent dispersal of gram-negative bacilli from colonized sink drains in hospitals to cover gowns and hands. A plastic drain cover reduced but did not eliminate the risk for contamination. This mechanism of dispersal could result in contamination of healthcare personnel and patients.
BiCuTeO is a potential thermoelectric material owing to its low thermal conductivity and high carrier concentration. However, the thermoelectric performance of BiCuTeO is still below average and has much scope for improvement. In this study, we manipulated the nominal oxygen content in BiCuTeO and synthesized BiCuTeOx (x = 0.94–1.06) bulks by a solid-state reaction and pelletized them by a cold-press method. The power factor was enhanced by varying the nominal oxygen deficiency due to the increased Seebeck coefficient. The thermal conductivity was also reduced due to the decrease in lattice thermal conductivity owing to the small grain size generated by the optimal nominal oxygen content. Consequently, the ZT value was enhanced by ∼11% at 523 K for stoichiometric BiCuTeO0.94 compared to BiCuTeO. Thus, optimal oxygen manipulation in BiCuTeO can enhance the thermoelectric performance. This study can be applied to developing oxides with high thermoelectric performances.
In the present study, the phase evolution and microstructure of CrMoNbTiW, a new equi-atomic refractory high-entropy alloy, are studied. The alloy was synthesized through mechanical alloying (MA) followed by consolidation using spark plasma sintering. After MA, a major BCC solid solution along with residual Cr and Nb were observed. However, secondary phases such as Laves and carbides were also observed in addition to the major BCC solid solution after sintering. Unsolicited contamination from the milling media is found to be one of the reasons for the formation of secondary phases. The high hardness of 8.9 GPa after sintering was attributed to the presence of secondary phases along with the nanocrystalline nature of the alloy. To understand the phase evolution, calculation of phase diagram was carried out using CALPHAD. Further, binary phase diagram inspection and simple empirical parameters were also used to assess their effectiveness in predicting phases.
The statistics of the deformation and breakup of neutrally buoyant sub-Kolmogorov ellipsoidal drops is investigated via Lagrangian simulations of homogeneous isotropic turbulence. The mean lifetime of a drop is also studied as a function of the initial drop size and the capillary number. A vector model of a drop previously introduced by Olbricht et al. (J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech., vol. 10, 1982, pp. 291–318) is used to predict the behaviour of the above quantities analytically.
Background: Surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) can be highly effective, but durability of pain relief varies and factors influencing surgical failure are poorly understood. We hypothesized that structural brain differences—assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—might distinguish surgical responders from early non-responders. Methods: We retrospectively identified 35 TN patients treated surgically from 2005-2017 with high-resolution, -pre-operative MRI scans adequate for quantitative structural analysis. Patients were classified as non-responders if, within 12-months after surgery, they: 1) underwent or were offered another surgical procedure; or 2) reported persistent, inadequately-controlled pain. Volumes of pain-relevant subcortical structures (amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus) were measured on T1-weighted MRI scans using an automated approach (FSL-FIRST). Results: Surgical responders had significantly larger hippocampi bilaterally compared to early non-responders. Thalamus and amygdala volumes did not differ between groups. Conclusions: Pre-operative differences in brain structure, notably in the hippocampus, may predict durability of response to surgery in patients with TN.
Background: External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is a common neurosurgical procedure performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, but can be associated with complications. The objectives of this study are to evaluate data on national practice patterns and complications rates in order to optimize clinical care Methods: The Canadian Neurosurgery Research Collaborative conducted a prospective multi-centre registry of patients undergoing EVD insertions at Canadian residency programs Results: In this interim analysis, 4 sites had recruited 46 patients (mean age: 53.9 years, male:female 2:1). Most EVD insertions occurred outside of the operating theatre, using free-hand technique, and performed by junior neurosurgery residents (R1-R3). The catheter tip was in the ipsilateral frontal horn or body of the lateral ventricle in 76% of cases. Suboptimally placed catheters did not have higher rates of short-term occlusion. EVD-related hemorrhage occurred in 6.5% (3/45) with only 1 symptomatic patient. EVD-related infection occurred in 13% (6/46) at a mean of 6 days and was associated with longer duration of CSF drainage (P=0.039; OR: 1.13) Conclusions: Interim results indicate rates of EVD-related complications may be higher than previously thought. This study will continue to recruit patients to confirm these findings and determine specific risk factors associated with them
Artificial Neural Network based Nonlinear Autoregressive Model is designed to reconstruct and predict Forbush Decrease (FD) Data obtained from Izmiran, Russia. Result indicates that the model seems adequate for short term prediction of the FD data.
The daily time series Flare Index (FI) data of Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere and Total Disk for Solar Cycle 21- 23 and 24 up to Dec. 2014 has been pre-processed using a 2nd order exponential smoothing algorithm to remove orthogonal noise. The smoothed data in each case is processed for scaling analysis using Rescaled-Range Analysis as well as Finite Variance Scaling Method in order to search for the Hurst exponent. As the value of H obtained from our analysis lies in between 0 and 1, so it can be said that the signal may behave like Fractional Brownian Motion. Also, it is observed that H is less than 0.5 which indicates the data is anti-persistent in nature and it has a strong negative correlation within the signal. The value of H also indicates the oscillating features of the signal which might have some fundamental periodicities in the Suns atmosphere.
Contaminated hands of healthcare workers (HCWs) are an important source of transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, while effective, do not provide sustained antimicrobial activity. The objective of this study was to compare the immediate and persistent activity of 2 hand hygiene products (ethanol [61% w/v] plus chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG; 1.0% solution] and ethanol only [70% v/v]) when used in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, crossover study
Three ICUs at a large teaching hospital
In total, 51 HCWs involved in direct patient care were enrolled in and completed the study.
All HCWs were randomized 1:1 to either product. Hand prints were obtained immediately after the product was applied and again after spending 4–7 minutes in the ICU common areas prior to entering a patient room or leaving the area. The numbers of aerobic colony-forming units (CFU) were compared for the 2 groups after log transformation. Each participant tested the alternative product after a 3-day washout period.
On bare hands, use of ethanol plus CHG was associated with significantly lower recovery of aerobic CFU, both immediately after use (0.27 ± 0.05 and 0.88 ± 0.08 log10 CFU; P = .035) and after spending time in ICU common areas (1.81 ± 0.07 and 2.17 ± 0.05 log10 CFU; P<.0001). Both the antiseptics were well tolerated by HCWs.
In comparison to the ethanol-only product, the ethanol plus CHG sanitizer was associated with significantly lower aerobic bacterial counts on hands of HCWs, both immediately after use and after spending time in ICU common areas.
At present, we do not have any biological tests which can contribute towards a diagnosis of depression. Neuroimaging measures have shown some potential as biomarkers for diagnosis. However, participants have generally been from the same ethnic background while the applicability of a biomarker would require replication in individuals of diverse ethnicities.
We sought to examine the diagnostic potential of the structural neuroanatomy of depression in a sample of a wide ethnic diversity.
Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained from 23 patients with major depressive disorder in an acute depressive episode (mean age: 39.8 years) and 20 matched healthy volunteers (mean age: 38.8 years). Participants were of Asian, African and Caucasian ethnicity recruited from the general community.
Structural neuroanatomy combining white and grey matter distinguished patients from controls at the highest accuracy of 81% with the most stable pattern being at around 70%. A widespread network encompassing frontal, parietal, occipital and cerebellar regions contributed towards diagnostic classification.
These findings provide an important step in the development of potential neuroimaging-based tools for diagnosis as they demonstrate that the identification of depression is feasible within a multi-ethnic group from the community.
Contaminated surfaces are a suspected source for dissemination of the globally emerging pathogen Candida auris. In laboratory testing, sporicidal and improved hydrogen peroxide disinfectants were highly effective against C. auris, C. glabrata, and C. albicans. The widely used quaternary ammonium disinfectants exhibited relatively poor activity against all of the Candida species.
To determine the impact of an environmental disinfection intervention on the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A multicenter randomized trial.
In total,16 acute-care hospitals in northeastern Ohio participated in the study.
We conducted a 12-month randomized trial to compare standard cleaning to enhanced cleaning that included monitoring of environmental services (EVS) personnel performance with feedback to EVS and infection control staff. We assessed the thoroughness of cleaning based on fluorescent marker removal from high-touch surfaces and the effectiveness of disinfection based on environmental cultures for C. difficile. A linear mixed model was used to compare CDI rates in the intervention and postintervention periods for control and intervention hospitals. The primary outcome was the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
Overall, 7 intervention hospitals and 8 control hospitals completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly increased fluorescent marker removal in CDI and non-CDI rooms and decreased recovery of C. difficile from high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms. However, no reduction was observed in the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI in the intervention hospitals during the intervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, there was no correlation between the percentage of positive cultures after cleaning of CDI or non-CDI rooms and the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
An environmental disinfection intervention improved the thoroughness and effectiveness of cleaning but did not reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI. Thus, interventions that focus only on improving cleaning may not be sufficient to control healthcare-associated CDI.