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Failure of the Fontan circulation is not a well-understood clinical phenomena.For some patients, a gradual increase in pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and structural changes in the pulmonary artery may be an important causative factor. To further investigate this issue, we employed optical coherence tomography (OCT) to evaluate structural changes within the pulmonary arteries of Fontan patients and compared to those with a normal pulmonary circulation.
Materials and Methods:
Pulmonary artery OCT was performed, without complications, in 12 Fontan and 11 control patients. Wall thickness and wall:vessel cross-sectional area (CSA) ratio were calculated after image acquisition, using digital planimetry.
There was no difference in wall thickness between both groups. Median wall thickness for Fontan patients was 0.12 mm (IQR, 0.10–0.14) and for controls was 0.11 mm (IQR, 0.10–0.12; p = 0.62). Wall:vessel CSA ratio for Fontan patients was 0.13 (IQR, 0.12–0.16) and for controls was 0.13 (IQR, 0.11–0.15) (p = 0.73). There was no association between wall thickness and ventricle morphology, age at catheterisation, age at Fontan, years since Fontan completion, pulmonary artery pressure, and PVR. The vessel media was more readily visualised in control patients.
OCT of the pulmonary arteries in Fontan patients is safe and feasible. Our OCT findings suggest that during childhood, pulmonary artery wall dimensions are normal in Fontan children with reassuring hemodynamics. Further evaluation of Fontan patients with abnormal hemodynamics and serial evaluation into adulthood are required to conclude on the utility of OCT for identifying early pulmonary artery structural changes.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is known to be cardioprotective and its association with the components of the metabolic syndrome in children is becoming clearer. The aim of the present study was to examine the extent to which cardiorespiratory fitness may offset the weight-related association with mean arterial pressure (MAP) in schoolchildren.
Schoolchildren from the East of England, UK.
A total of 5983 (48 % females) schoolchildren, 10 to 16 years of age, had height, weight and blood pressure measured by standard procedures and cardiorespiratory fitness assessed by the 20 m shuttle-run test. Participants were classified as fit or unfit using internationally accepted fitness cut-off points; and as normal weight, overweight or obese based on BMI, again using international cut-off points. Age-adjusted ANCOVA was used to determine the main effects and interaction of fitness and BMI on MAP Z-score. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios of elevated MAP.
Prevalence of elevated MAP in schoolchildren was 14·8 % overall and 35·7 % in those who were obese-unfit. Approximately 21 % of participants were overweight and 5 % obese, while 23 % were classified as unfit. MAP generally increased across BMI categories and was higher in the aerobically unfit participants. Obese-fit males had lower MAP compared with obese-unfit males (P < 0·001); this trend was similar in females (P = 0·05).
Increasing fitness level may have a positive impact on the weight-related elevations of MAP seen in obese and overweight schoolchildren.
Environmental problems related to nitrogen concern all economic sectors and impact all media: atmosphere, pedosphere, hydrosphere and anthroposphere.
Therefore, the integration of fluxes allows an overall coverage of problems related to reactive nitrogen (Nr) in the environment, which is not accessible from sectoral approaches or by focusing on specific media.
This chapter presents a set of high resolution maps showing key elements of the N flux budget across Europe, including N2 and Nr fluxes.
Comparative nitrogen budgets are also presented for a range of European countries, highlighting the most efficient strategies for mitigating Nr problems at a national scale. A new European Nitrogen Budget (EU-27) is presented on the basis of state-of-the-art Europe-wide models and databases focusing on different segments of Europe's society.
From c. 18 Tg Nr yr−1 input to agriculture in the EU-27, only about 7 Tg Nr yr−1 find their way to the consumer or are further processed by industry.
Some 3.7 Tg Nr yr−1 is released by the burning of fossil fuels in the EU-27, whereby the contribution of the industry and energy sectors is equal to that of the transport sector. More than 8 Tg Nr yr−1 are disposed of to the hydrosphere, while the EU-27 is a net exporter of reactive nitrogen through atmospheric transport of c. 2.3 Tg Nr yr−1.
The largest single sink for Nr appears to be denitrification to N2 in European coastal shelf regions (potentially as large as the input of mineral fertilizer, about 11 Tg N yr–1 for the EU-27); however, this sink is also the most uncertain, because of the uncertainty of Nr import from the open ocean.
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