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Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
In December 2016, Public Health England investigated an outbreak of campylobacteriosis in North West England, with 69 cases in total. Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations associated the illness with the consumption of unpasteurised cows' milk from Farm X, where milk was predominantly sold from a vending machine. Campylobacter was detected in milk samples which, when sequenced, were identical in sequence type as pathogens isolated from cases (Clonal Complex ST-403, Sequence Type 7432). The farm was served with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order to prevent further cases. To our knowledge, this is the first outbreak of campylobacter associated with unpasteurised milk in England since 1996. Our findings highlighted several important lessons, including that the current testing regime in England for unpasteurised milk is not fit for purpose and that the required warning label should include additional wording, underscoring the risk to vulnerable groups. There has been a substantial increase in both the volume of unpasteurised milk consumed in England and the use of vending machines to sell unpasteurised milk over the last 10 years, making unpasteurised milk more readily accessible to a wider population. The evidence generated from outbreaks like this is therefore critical and should be used to influence policy development.
Healthcare organizations are required to provide workers with respiratory protection (RP) to mitigate hazardous airborne inhalation exposures. This study sought to better identify gaps that exist between RP guidance and clinical practice to understand issues that would benefit from additional research or clarification.
Computed tomography is the standard pre-operative imaging modality for sinonasal papilloma. The complementary use of magnetic resonance imaging as an additional investigation is debated. This study aimed to establish whether magnetic resonance imaging can accurately detect tumour extent and is a useful adjunct to computed tomography.
A retrospective review was conducted on 19 patients with sinonasal papilloma. The interpretation of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, by three clinicians, was conducted by comparing prediction of tumour extent. The perceived necessity of magnetic resonance imaging was compared between clinicians.
The addition of magnetic resonance imaging improved accuracy of pre-operative interpretation; specifically, this finding was significant in cases with frontal sinus involvement. Surgeons were more likely than a radiologist to request magnetic resonance imaging, particularly when computed tomography indicated frontal sinus disease.
Pre-operative combined magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography helped predict disease in the frontal sinus better than computed tomography alone. A close working relationship between the ENT and radiology departments is important for accurate tumour localisation.
Inverted papilloma is the most common benign tumour affecting the nose. There is a high rate of recurrence and a potential of malignant transformation. This review article aimed to identify the best available management of this pathology today.
A systematic review of the current English-language literature was performed. Only original articles with a minimum follow up of one year and an average follow up of two years were included.
A total of 1385 patients from 16 case series were identified. The total recurrence rate for all patients was 11.5 per cent. Significantly lower recurrence rates were found for procedures using an attachment-oriented excision (recurrence of 6.9 per cent; p = 0.0001) and utilising frozen sections (recurrence of 7.0 per cent; p = 0.0001).
There is a general trend towards endoscopic surgery. There may be some benefit to the use of attachment-oriented surgery and frozen sections. Multi-centred randomised controlled trials are required.
There has been a shift towards conservative management of penetrating neck trauma in selected patients.
A retrospective case note review of the management of penetrating neck trauma (2007–2013) was undertaken at our large teaching hospital and compared against best-evidenced practice.
Sixty-three patients were admitted over six years. The incidence of penetrating neck trauma is reducing, contrary to our belief. Most cases were knife inflicted (33 out of 63), and of these most were attempted suicide. There was a high rate of negative findings for neck explorations under general anaesthesia (18 out of 22). Only nine cases had justification for general anaesthesia exploration according to best practice.
The rate of neck explorations under general anaesthesia has dramatically fallen, in line with best practice. The need for operative intervention in patients with penetration of the aerodigestive tract or a major vascular injury should be based on clinical features, and these have been shown to be reliable indicators prior to open exploration.
This is the official guideline endorsed by the specialty associations involved in the care of head and neck cancer patients in the UK. With only limited high-level evidence for management of nasal and paranasal sinus cancers owing to low incidence and diverse histology, this paper provides recommendations on the work up and management based on the existing evidence base.
• Sinonasal tumours are best treated de novo and unusual polyps should be imaged and biopsied prior to definitive surgery. (G)
• Treatment of sinonasal malignancy should be carefully planned and discussed at a specialist skull base multidisciplinary team meeting with all relevant expertise. (G)
• Complete surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for inverted papilloma and juvenile angiofibroma. (R)
• Essential equipment is necessary and must be available prior to commencing endonasal resection of skull base malignancy. (G)
• Endoscopic skull base surgery may be facilitated by two surgeons working simultaneously, utilising both sides of the nose. (G)
• To ensure the optimum oncological results, the primary tumour must be completely removed and margins checked by frozen section if necessary. (G)
• The most common management approach is surgery followed by post-operative radiotherapy, ideally within six weeks. (R)
• Radiation is given first if a response to radiation may lead to organ preservation. (G)
• Radiotherapy should be delivered within an accredited department using megavoltage photons from a linear accelerator (typical energies 4–6 MV) as an unbroken course. (R)
An anecdotal increase in C. perfringens outbreaks was observed in the North East of England during 2012–2014. We describe findings of investigations in order to further understanding of the epidemiology of these outbreaks and inform control measures. All culture-positive (>105 c.f.u./g) outbreaks reported to the North East Health Protection Team from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2014 were included. Epidemiological (attack rate, symptom profile and positive associations with a suspected vehicle of infection), environmental (deficiencies in food preparation or hygiene practices and suspected vehicle of infection) and microbiological investigations are described. Forty-six outbreaks were included (83% reported from care homes). Enterotoxin (cpe) gene-bearer C. perfringens were detected by PCR in 20/46 (43%) and enterotoxin (by ELISA) and/or enterotoxigenic faecal/food isolates with indistinguishable molecular profiles in 12/46 (26%) outbreaks. Concerns about temperature control of foods were documented in 20/46 (43%) outbreaks. A suspected vehicle of infection was documented in 21/46 (46%) of outbreaks (meat-containing vehicle in 20/21). In 15/21 (71%) identification of the suspected vehicle was based on descriptive evidence alone, in 5/21 (24%) with supporting evidence from an epidemiological study and in 2/21 (10%) with supporting microbiological evidence. C. perfringens-associated illness is preventable and although identification of foodborne outbreaks is challenging, a risk mitigation approach should be taken, particularly in vulnerable populations such as care homes for the elderly.
There are no UK guidelines for the use of antibiotics and/or immunisations in patients with an active anterior skull base cerebrospinal fluid leak. This study aimed to define current UK practice in this area and inform appropriate guidelines for ENT surgeons.
A web-based survey of all members of the British Rhinological Society was carried out and the literature in this area was reviewed.
Of those who responded to the survey, 14 per cent routinely give prophylactic antibiotics to patients with cerebrospinal fluid leaks, and 34.9 per cent recommend immunisation against at least one organism, most commonly Streptococcus pneumoniae (86.7 per cent).
There is no evidence to support the use of antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with a cerebrospinal fluid leak. We propose that all such patients are advised to seek immunisation against pneumococcus, meningococcus and haemophilus.
Chronic cough is defined as a cough persisting for more than eight weeks. This condition generates significant healthcare and economic costs. It is associated with a spectrum of disorders across multiple medical specialties and can provide significant challenges for effective evaluation and management. The current literature was reviewed to gain further insight into chronic cough, including its relationship with sinonasal disease.
Within the reviewed literature, there was strong emphasis on post-nasal drip syndrome as a major causative factor.
Cough is the most common complaint for which adult patients seek medical consultation in primary care settings. Chronic cough is associated with a deterioration in the quality of patients' lives. Thorough assessment of a patient with a chronic cough relies on a multidisciplinary approach.
A biofilm is a community of micro-organisms encased within a self-produced, extracellular, polymeric substance. The role of biofilms as a major pathological aetiology in chronic rhinosinusitis would help explain the clinical manifestation of the disease.
To examine the current evidence, and to discuss possible future research directions, in relation to biofilms and chronic rhinosinusitis.
Systematic literature review.
Two assessors independently undertook critical appraisal of the studies identified by the literature search. Significant findings were incorporated into this review. The primary outcome assessed was the presence of biofilm in human mucosal biopsy samples taken from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis, and from healthy controls.
We identified 11 studies examining biofilm formation in human mucosal biopsy samples taken from patients with chronic rhinosinusitis.
It is unlikely that biofilms occur in every case of chronic rhinosinusitis; consequently, the significance of ‘biofilm detection’ in some series should be considered carefully. Several authors have argued strongly for the use of confocal scanning laser microscopy with fluorescent in situ hybridisation probes as the ‘gold standard’ for biofilm imaging. This imaging modality should be combined with further investigation of the microbiology of chronic rhinosinusitis, and of the efficacy of traditional culture techniques used for pathogen identification.
Regular adolescent cannabis use predicts a range of later drug use and
psychosocial problems. Little is known about whether occasional cannabis
use carries similar risks.
To examine associations between occasional cannabis use during
adolescence and psychosocial and drug use outcomes in young adulthood;
and modification of these associations according to the trajectory of
cannabis use between adolescence and age 20 years, and other potential
A 10-year eight-wave cohort study of a representative sample of 1943
secondary school students followed from 14.9 years to 24 years.
Occasional adolescent cannabis users who continued occasional use into
early adulthood had higher risks of later alcohol and tobacco dependence
and illicit drug use, as well as being less likely to complete a
post-secondary qualification than non-users. Those using cannabis at
least weekly either during adolescence or at age 20 were at highest risk
of drug use problems in young adulthood. Adjustment for smoking in
adolescence reduced the association with later educational achievement,
but associations with drug use problems remained.
Occasional adolescent cannabis use predicts later drug use and
educational problems. Partial mediation by tobacco use raises a
possibility that differential peer affiliation may play a role.
Inverted nasal papilloma is a benign tumour with variable biological behaviour. It is a unique neoplasm and is often difficult to manage, being characterised by a tendency to recur following excision, an association with malignancy and an ability to destroy bone. Radiological diagnosis has traditionally been based on computed tomography, but it is often impossible to differentiate between polyps with entrapped debris and inverted nasal papilloma. Magnetic resonance imaging, especially T2-weighted images, is perhaps a better tool in differentiating inverted nasal papilloma from other nasal lesions, and has recently been advocated as the imaging modality of choice.
To review the evidence on the ideal imaging modality for pre-operative planning of surgery for patients with histologically proven inverted nasal papilloma.
Materials and methods:
A systematic review of studies was undertaken, focusing on radiological assessment of inverted nasal papilloma (primary and recurrent). All English language articles were potentially included in the review. However, we excluded single case reports, case series, pictorial essays, ‘teaching’ reviews and reviews of inverted nasal papilloma not focusing on pre-operative imaging.
Sixteen studies were identified based on our search strategy. Only 10 fulfilled our criteria. Computed tomography scanning was the standard imaging modality of choice for assessing sinus involvement of inverted papilloma and for planning the extent of surgery. T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were able to distinguish tumour (intermediate signal) from inflammatory tissues (bright signal), but not post-operative scarring from recurrent tumour. No studies were found which compared the specificity and sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography in the accurate pre-operative identification of the extent of inverted papilloma.
There is currently not enough evidence to suggest one sole modality as providing optimum imaging for inverted nasal papilloma. Computed tomography remains the imaging modality of first choice for inverted nasal papilloma, despite certain disadvantages. Magnetic resonance imaging is able to distinguish tumour from inflammation and is advocated as a better tool for recurrent tumour, but bone destruction of sinus walls is less easy to recognise, compared with computed tomography. Evaluation of sinus tumours usually involves both imaging modalities, and inverted nasal papilloma should be included within this pathological group. The cohort of patients is usually small, so cost-effectiveness should not generally be an issue when considering whether to use computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or both. A well structured, prospective study is needed to evaluate the efficacy of magnetic resonance imaging versus computed tomography for pre-operative planning of histologically proven inverted nasal papilloma.
Young's syndrome describes a combination of male infertility, azoospermia, bronchiectasis and sinusitis. Although Young's syndrome is a well accepted disorder within the realms of infertility medicine, it is also accepted as being a potential cause of sino-nasal disease which is rarely seen by otolaryngologists. However, the significance of the sinus component within this triad is not fully understood. To gain further insight into the relationship of sinusitis with Young's syndrome, we reviewed all of the currently available published literature.
Within the reviewed literature, the diagnosis of sinusitis in Young's syndrome was crude and poorly defined; there was little emphasis on sinus disease in most publications.
The prevalence of Young's syndrome is reported to be declining, and the level of evidence regarding sinus disease within this syndrome is limited to case series only. There is, in fact, little evidence to support Young's syndrome being a significant aetiological factor for sinus disease, nor indeed to support the existence of Young's syndrome as an entity in its own right. The only documented aetiological factor is mercury exposure in childhood, an event that is seldom currently encountered; this would support our theory of the extinction of the condition. As an incidental finding, we found that the term Young's syndrome refers to two different medical conditions.
The Nearby Supernova Factory aims at discovering and stud- ying
a large sample of nearby (0.03 < z < 0.08) thermonuclear
supernovae. Potential targets are extracted from the unbiased
Palomar-QUEST survey, and follow-up spectro-photometric observations
are performed using the dedicated Supernovae Integral-Field
Spectrograph. The current sample comprises more than 2700
flux-calibrated optical spectra (320-1000 nm) from 181 supernovæ
followed over their full life-time. Specific operation and
data-reduction issues are discussed, and first scientific results
from this unprecedented dataset are presented.
To review Behçet's disease and to describe its clinical features in the head, neck and upper respiratory tract.
A literature review was undertaken, following a Medline search of publications over a 30-year period, and utilising the expert knowledge of one of the authors (RJM) with a specialist interest in Behçet's disease.
Twenty-seven articles with ENT relevance were obtained. Otorhinolaryngological manifestations included symptoms and signs in the mouth, nose, sinus, larynx and ear.
Behçet's disease is usually considered to be a condition affecting the oral cavity, eyes and genitals. This article shows that most patients will also exhibit other ENT symptoms, hearing loss in particular. Indeed, Behçet's disease may present with features other than the classic triad of symptoms. Raised awareness of the clinical features within the head and neck region will hopefully enable early diagnosis and treatment of this potentially serious condition.
To review the management, causative organisms, morbidity and mortality of intracranial abscesses secondary to sinus and ear disease.
Study design and setting:
Retrospective, case note review of suppurative intracranial complications of ear and sinus disease in patients admitted to a regional neurosurgical centre between 1980 and 2004. These data were compared with published material from the same region from 1950–1979.
There was a marked reduction in the mortality rate and the number of intracranial abscesses secondary to chronic ear disease, comparing the two time periods. However, there was little change in the percentage of sinus-related abscesses treated and in their symptoms, signs, abscess location and long term morbidity. Microbiology results showed that streptococcal species predominated as causative organisms, with a high percentage of anaerobic bacteria in otogenic abscesses.
Despite improved outcomes, a high index of suspicion for intracranial complications of ear or sinus disease should be maintained in the presence of appropriate signs and symptoms.
In this paper we report on the development of micromachined filters for operation at terahertz frequencies. SU8, a negative photodefinable epoxy, is used to define arrays of high aspect ratio rods which are subsequently sputter coated in gold to form the filter. We fabricate and test a filter with a fixed period but variable diameter along the length of the array. By moving the array in the terahertz beam we demonstrate the ability to mechanically tune specific filter characteristics from a single device.
Acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas) comprise more than 90 per cent of all cerebello-pontine angle (CPA) lesions. We present a rare case of a giant vertebro-basilar aneurysm presenting as a CPA lesion. The general condition of the patient precluded the completion of the magnetic resonance (MR) sequences. The clinical and limited radiological results (T2 images alone, the features of which were not specific) initially did not lead to a specific diagnosis. To obtain further radiological information a computed tomography (CT) scan with contrast was performed and this revealed the lesion to be an aneurysm. The diagnostic difficulties and the treatment dilemmas of such a lesion are discussed. The importance of fine, axial, post-contrast CT arteriography with three-dimensional reconstruction, MR angiography and digital subtraction angiography are highlighted. The limitations of MR imaging in patients with CPA lesions are discussed.