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This paper describes a model of electron energization and cyclotron-maser emission applicable to astrophysical magnetized collisionless shocks. It is motivated by the work of Begelman, Ergun and Rees [Astrophys. J. 625, 51 (2005)] who argued that the cyclotron-maser instability occurs in localized magnetized collisionless shocks such as those expected in blazar jets. We report on recent research carried out to investigate electron acceleration at collisionless shocks and maser radiation associated with the accelerated electrons. We describe how electrons accelerated by lower-hybrid waves at collisionless shocks generate cyclotron-maser radiation when the accelerated electrons move into regions of stronger magnetic fields. The electrons are accelerated along the magnetic field and magnetically compressed leading to the formation of an electron velocity distribution having a horseshoe shape due to conservation of the electron magnetic moment. Under certain conditions the horseshoe electron velocity distribution function is unstable to the cyclotron-maser instability [Bingham and Cairns, Phys. Plasmas 7, 3089 (2000); Melrose, Rev. Mod. Plasma Phys. 1, 5 (2017)].
Introduction: ex-specific diagnostic cutoffs may improve the test characteristics of high-sensitivity troponin assays for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Sex-specific cutoffs for ruling in MI improve the sensitivity of the assay for MI among women, and improve the specificity of diagnosis among men. We hypothesized that the use of sex-specific high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) cutoffs for ruling out MI at the time of ED arrival would improve the classification efficiency of the assay by enabling more patients to have MI ruled out at the time of ED arrival while maintaining diagnostic sensitivity. The objective of this study was to quantify the test characteristics of sex-specific cutoffs of an hsTnT assay for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) when performed at ED arrival in patients with chest pain. Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive ED patients with suspected cardiac chest pain evaluated in four urban EDs were, excluding those with ST-elevation AMI, cardiac arrest or abnormal kidney function. The primary outcomes was AMI at 7 days. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (MACE: all-cause mortality, AMI and revascularization) and the individual MACE components. We quantified test characteristics (sensitivity, negative predictive value, likelihood ratios and proportion of patients ruled out) for multiple combinations of sex-specific rule-out cutoffs. We calculated net reclassification improvement compared to universal rule-out cutoffs of 5ng/L (the assays limit of detection) and 6ng/L (the FDA-approved limit of quantitation for US laboratories). Results: 7130 patients, including 3931 men and 3199 women, were included. The 7-day incidence of AMI was 7.38% among men and 3.78% among women. Universal cutoffs of 5 and 6 ng/L ruled out AMI with 99.7% sensitivity in 33.6 and 42.2% of patients. The best-performing combination of sex-specific cutoffs (8g/L for men and 6ng/L for men) ruled out AMI with 98.7% sensitivity in 51.9% of patients. Conclusion: Sex-specific hsTnT cutoffs for ruling out AMI at ED arrival may achieve substantial improvement in classification performance, enabling more patients to be ruled out at ED arrival, while maintaining acceptable diagnostic sensitivity for AMI. Universal and sex-specific rule-out cutoffs differ by only small changes in hsTnT concentration. Therefore, these findings should be confirmed in other datasets.
Introduction: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at high risk of cardiovascular events, and have worse outcomes following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Cardiac troponin is often elevated in CKD, making the diagnosis of AMI challenging in this population. We sought to quantify test characteristics for AMI of a high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) assay performed at emergency department (ED) arrival in CKD patients with chest pain, and to derive rule-out cutoffs specific to patient subgroups stratified by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We also quantified the sensitivity and classification performance of the assays limit of detection (5 ng/L) and the FDA-approved limit of quantitation (6 ng/L) for ruling out AMI at ED arrival. Methods: Consecutive patients in four urban EDs from the 2013 calendar year with suspected cardiac chest pain who had a Roche Elecsys hsTnT assay performed on arrival were included f. This analysis was restricted to patients with an eGFR< 60 ml/min/1.73m2. The primary outcome was 7-day AMI. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (death, AMI and revascularization). Test characteristics were calculated and ROC curves were generated for eGFR subgroups. Results: 1416 patients were included. 7-day AMI incidence was 10.1%. 73% of patients had an initial hsTnT concentration greater than the assays 99th percentile (14 ng/L). TCurrently accepted cutoffs to rule out MI at ED arrival ( 5 ng/L and 6 ng/L) had 100% sensitivity for AMI, but no patients with an eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73M had hsTnT concentrations below these thresholds. We derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule out MI with sensitivity >98% at ED arrival, which were able to rule out 6-42% of patients, depending on eGFR category. The proportion of patients able to be accurately ruled-in with a single hsTnT assay was substantially lower among patients with an eGFR <30 ml/min/1.73m2 (6-20% vs 25-43%). We also derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule-in AMI with specificity >90%, which accurately ruled-in up to 18% of patients. Conclusion: Cutoffs achieving acceptable diagnostic performance for AMI using single hsTnT sampling on ED arrival may have limited clinical utility, particularly among patients with very low eGFR. The ideal diagnostic strategy for AMI in patients with CKD likely involves serial high-sensitivity troponin testing with diagnostic thresholds customized to different eGFR categories.
Radio emission from astrophysical transients allows us to derive calorimetry of kinetic feedback and detailed imaging in ways that are not possible at other wavelengths, and as such it forms an important part of the multi-messenger follow-ups of these events. The field is burgeoning, with a renaissance of interest in accretion, stellar explosions and jetted supernovæ, alongside newer classes of phenomena such as fast radio bursts and tidal disruption events. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the infrastructure and techniques for detecting, identifying and probing radio transients, with a particular focus on how best to exploit transient alerts from multi-messenger facilities. We examined the type of transient alerts those facilities will broadcast, and methods for following them up, such as rapid-response triggering and shadowing. In break-out groups, participants chose a science question related to a particular radio transient type or class and discussed whether the planned transient strategies and observing techniques on the Square Kilometre Array will be adequate to address the particular question. The classes they chose included fast radio bursts, supernovæ, cataclysmic variable and unknown transients. Any proposed adaptation or suggestion was relayed to a panel of experts for further discussion. The second part of the workshop concentrated on the application of long baseline interferometry for detecting and measuring radio transients.
Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia affecting 1-2% of the population. Oral anticoagulation (OAC) reduces stroke risk by 60-80% in AF patients, but only 50% of indicated patients receive OAC. Many patients present to the ED with AF due to arrhythmia symptoms, however; lack of OAC prescription in the ED has been identified as a significant gap in the care of AF patients. Methods: This was a multi-center, pragmatic, three-phase before-after study, in three Canadian sites. Patients who presented to the ED with electrocardiographically (ECG) documented, nonvalvular AF and were discharged home were included. Phase 1 was a retrospective chart review to determine OAC prescription of AF patients in each ED; Phase 2 was a low-intensity knowledge translation intervention where a simple OAC-prescription tool for ED physicians with subsequent short-term OAC prescription was used, as well as an AF patient education package and a letter to family physicians; phase 3 incorporated Phase 2 interventions, but added immediate follow-up in a community AF clinic. The primary outcome of the study was the rate of new OAC prescriptions at ED discharge in AF patients who were OAC eligible and were not on OAC at presentation. Results: A total of 632 patients were included from June, 2015-November, 2016. ED census ranged from 30000-68000 annual visits. Mean age was 71±15, 67±12, 67±13 years, respectively. 47.5% were women, most responsible ED diagnosis was AF in 75.8%. The mean CHA2DS2-VASc score was 2.6±1.8, with no difference amongst groups. There were 266 patients eligible for OAC and were not on this at presentation. In this group, the prescription of new OAC was 15.8% in Phase 1 as compared to 54% and 47%, in Phases 2 and 3, respectively. After adjustment for center, components of the CHA2DS2-VASc score, prior risk of bleeding and most responsible ED diagnosis, the odds ratio for new OAC prescription was 8.0 (95%CI (3.5,18.3) p<0.001) for Phase 3 vs 1, and 10.0 (95%CI (4.4,22.9) p<0.001), for Phase 2 vs 1). No difference in OAC prescription was seen between Phases 2 and 3. Conclusion: Use of a simple OAC-prescription tool was associated with an increase in new OAC prescription in the ED for eligible patients with AF. Further testing in a rigorous study design to assess the effect of this practice on stroke prevention in the AF patients who present to the ED is indicated.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
Introduction: In 2006, Alberta implemented an Electronic Health Record called the Alberta Netcare Portal (ANP). The ANP provides provincial read-only access to lab tests, diagnostic imaging, medication information and numerous text reports. There is no computerized order entry, and care is coordinated using a hybrid of paper charting and various electronic systems. Here, we quantify observed ANP use by physician participants providing care in four urban Emergency Departments (EDs) in Alberta. The results form part of a larger mixed methods research project aimed at detecting broader implications of ANP use for patient care. Methods: Between October 2014 and July 2015, ED physicians at four EDs (University of Alberta Hospital [UAH], Grey Nuns Community Hospital [GNCH], Foothills Medical Centre [FMC], Peter Lougheed Centre [PLC]) participated in structured clinical observations. Observations were purposively sampled during the first hours of shifts, when physicians orient themselves to the patients they will see during the rest of their shift, including reviewing available historic patient information. Observers used a tablet based tool to generate a time-stamped record of the information tools used alongside patient care. Information tools included permanent paper records, paper excluding permanent documentation, the ANP, clinical and other applications accessed via desktop computers, and mobile devices. Observers also recorded contextual data, including participant commentary, on paper field notes. Results: Across the 4 sites, 142 physicians participated in 376 sessions for a total of 566 observed physician-hours. Participants accessed information in different computerized applications and on paper (i.e., a ‘hybrid’ care environment). The highest proportion of observed physician time interacting with ANP was observed at the UAH (7.0%-8.1%, all values 95% Confidence Intervals). Physicians spent less time using ANP at GNCH (4.1%-4.8%), which was similar to the Calgary EDs (FMC: 4.4-5.3% and PLC: 5.2%-5.9%). Thematic analysis of field notes showed that ANP acceptance was very high. Patient safety concerns were recorded related to care provided alongside ‘hybrid’ patient records. Conclusion: We found high physician acceptance of ANP based on documented comments and observed usage. We posit a high potential for EHRs such as ANP to support improved care coordination which remains partly realized.
Introduction: Chest pain and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome are responsible for a large proportion of ED visits and acute hospitalizations. However, only about 15% of patients presenting to the ED with high-risk symptoms do, in fact, have an acute coronary syndrome. The objective of this study is to derive a 2-hour high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) testing algorithm with outcome based-cutoffs to rapidly rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a large proportion of ED chest pain patients. Methods: Patients included consecutive ED patients with a chief complaint of cardiac chest pain who had an hsTnT assay performed at ED arrival and 2 hours after ED arrival. Administrative databases were queried to identify troponin results and major adverse cardiac outcomes (MACE) including death, MI, and revascularization. Test characteristics of iterative combinations of initial troponin level and absolute change in troponin level were quantified in order to identify the testing algorithm that identified the greatest proportion of patients eligible for early discharge while maintaining a target sensitivity of 98.5% for the primary outcome of 7-day AMI. Results: 755 eligible patients had hsTnT assays performed at ED arrival and at 2 hours. 91 patients (12.1%) had a 7-day AMI while 108 (14.0%) had 7-day MACE. An initial hsTnT level of less than 14 ng/L, in combination with a 2-hour absolute change of less than 10ng/L had a sensitivity of 98.9% (95% CI 94.0,99.8) and an NPV of 99.8% (95% CI 98.7, 100.0) for 7-day AMI. This identified 58.5% of all patients as being suitable for early discharge. Sensitivity and NPV for 7-day MACE were 90.0% (95% CI 83.3, 94.2) and 97.3% (95% CI 95.3,98.4) respectively. Sex-specific differences in test characteristics were not clinically important. Rule-in hsTnT cutoffs were also evaluated, with specificities ranging from 85-95%, although cutoffs with higher specificity had less ability to rapidly rule-in AMI, leaving more patients with indeterminate results after 2 hours. Conclusion: A hsTnT algorithm can safely and accurately rule out AMI in 58.5% of ED chest pain patients within 2 hours of ED arrival. The lower sensitivity of this algorithm for MACE compared to AMI speaks to the importance of clinical assessment and ECG findings in identifying patients at risk for acute coronary syndromes.
Despite evidence for the effectiveness of structured psychological
therapies for bipolar disorder no psychological interventions have been
specifically designed to enhance personal recovery for individuals with
recent-onset bipolar disorder.
A pilot study to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a new
intervention, recovery-focused cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT),
designed in collaboration with individuals with recent-onset bipolar
disorder intended to improve clinical and personal recovery outcomes.
A single, blind randomised controlled trial compared treatment as usual
(TAU) with recovery-focused CBT plus TAU (n = 67).
Recruitment and follow-up rates within 10% of pre-planned targets to
12-month follow-up were achieved. An average of 14.15 h (s.d. = 4.21) of
recovery-focused CBT were attended out of a potential maximum of 18 h.
Compared with TAU, recovery-focused CBT significantly improved personal
recovery up to 12-month follow-up (Bipolar Recovery Questionnaire mean
score 310.87, 95% CI 75.00–546.74 (s.e. = 120.34), P =
0.010, d=0.62) and increased time to any mood relapse
during up to 15 months follow-up (χ2 = 7.64,
P<0.006, estimated hazard ratio (HR) = 0.38, 95%
CI 0.18–0.78). Groups did not differ with respect to medication
Recovery-focused CBT seems promising with respect to feasibility and
potential clinical effectiveness. Clinical- and cost-effectiveness now
need to be reliably estimated in a definitive trial.
The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a high contrast coronagraph designed to directly image exoplanets and circumstellar disks. GPI includes a polarimetry mode designed to characterize dust grains and enhance the contrast of scattered, polarized light by a factor of 100. Reflections and birefringence of optics within the optical train induce a polarization signature that needs to be measured a priori and calibrated out during data reduction. Here we report on the results of an extensive laboratory characterization campaign of the polarimetry mode. The linear instrumental polarization has been measured in 4 GPI passbands and found to be between 3.5 ± 0.3 % at 1.0 micron and 1.1 ± 0.3 % at 2.0 microns. Modulation efficiency has been measured to be 94% at 1.0 micron increasing to 97% at 2.0 microns. Stability has been shown to better than 0.6% over timescales of ~ 3 months and over cool down cycles. The tests show that GPI passes all polarimetry design requirements and should be able to measure circumstellar disk linear polarization to 1% accuracy.
Between April and August 2005 Christchurch, New Zealand experienced an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. There were 19 laboratory-confirmed case including three deaths. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 (Lpsg1) was identified as the causative agent for all cases. A case-control study indicated a geographical association between the cases but no specific common exposures. Rapid spatial epidemiological investigation confirmed the association and identified seven spatially significant case clusters. The clusters were all sourced in the same area and exhibited a clear anisotropic process (noticeable direction) revealing a plume effect consistent with aerosol dispersion from a prevailing southwesterly wind. Four out of five cases tested had indistinguishable allele profiles that also matched environmental isolates from a water cooling tower within the centre of the clusters. This tower was considered the most probable source for these clusters. The conclusion would suggest a maximum dispersal distance in this outbreak of 11·6 km. This work illustrated the value of geostatistical techniques for infectious disease epidemiology and for providing timely information during outbreak investigations.