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The initial classic Fontan utilising a direct right atrial appendage to pulmonary artery anastomosis led to numerous complications. Adults with such complications may benefit from conversion to a total cavo-pulmonary connection, the current standard palliation for children with univentricular hearts.
A single institution, retrospective chart review was conducted for all Fontan conversion procedures performed from July, 1999 through January, 2017. Variables analysed included age, sex, reason for Fontan conversion, age at Fontan conversion, and early mortality or heart transplant within 1 year after Fontan conversion.
A total of 41 Fontan conversion patients were identified. Average age at Fontan conversion was 24.5 ± 9.2 years. Dominant left ventricular physiology was present in 37/41 (90.2%) patients. Right-sided heart failure occurred in 39/41 (95.1%) patients and right atrial dilation was present in 33/41 (80.5%) patients. The most common causes for Fontan conversion included atrial arrhythmia in 37/41 (90.2%), NYHA class II HF or greater in 31/41 (75.6%), ventricular dysfunction in 23/41 (56.1%), and cirrhosis or fibrosis in 7/41 (17.1%) patients. Median post-surgical follow-up was 6.2 ± 4.9 years. Survival rates at 30 days, 1 year, and greater than 1-year post-Fontan conversion were 95.1, 92.7, and 87.8%, respectively. Two patients underwent heart transplant: the first within 1 year of Fontan conversion for heart failure and the second at 5.3 years for liver failure.
Fontan conversion should be considered early when atrial arrhythmias become common rather than waiting for severe heart failure to ensue, and Fontan conversion can be accomplished with an acceptable risk profile.
Anthropogenic habitat alteration and invasive species are threatening carnivores globally. Understanding the impact of these factors is critical for creating localized, effective conservation programmes. Madagascar's Eupleridae have been described as the least studied and most threatened group of carnivores. We investigated the effects of habitat degradation and the presence of people and exotic species on the modelled occupancy of the endemic fosa Cryptoprocta ferox, conducting camera-trap surveys in two western deciduous forests, Ankarafantsika National Park and Andranomena Special Reserve. Our results indicated no clear patterns between habitat degradation and fosa occupancy but a strong negative association between cats Felis sp. and fosas. Cat occupancy was negatively associated with birds and positively associated with contiguous forest and narrow trails. In contrast, dog Canis lupus familiaris occupancy was best predicted by wide trails, degraded forest and exotic civets. Our results suggest fosas are capable of traversing degraded landscapes and, in the short term, are resilient to contiguous forest disturbance. However, high occupancy of cats and dogs in the landscape leads to resource competition through prey exploitation and interference, increasing the risk of transmission of potentially fatal diseases. Management strategies for exotic carnivores should be considered, to reduce the widespread predation of endemic species and the transmission of disease.
Australia has a unique heritage in its wildlife - so much so that it has become a part of our folklore and national identity. The rest of the world has come to know and recognise us through our wildlife symbols.
With every connected graph G there is associated a metric space M(G) whose points are the vertices of the graph with the distance between two vertices a and b defined as zero if a = b or as the length of any shortest arc joining a and b if a ≠ b. A metric space M is called a graph metric space if there exists a graph G such that M = M (G), i.e., if there exists a graph G whose vertex set can be put in one-to-one correspondence with the points of M in such a way that the distance between every two points of M is equal to the distance between the corresponding vertices of G.
We reviewed all patients who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device at our institution in order to describe diagnostic characteristics and assess mortality.
A retrospective cohort study was performed including all patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device from our first case (8 October, 1998) through 25 July, 2016. The primary outcome of interest was mortality, which was modelled by the Kaplan–Meier method.
A total of 223 patients underwent 241 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Median support time was 4.0 days, ranging from 0.04 to 55.8 days, with a mean of 6.4±7.0 days. Mean (±SD) age at initiation was 727.4 days (±146.9 days). Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were stratified by primary indication: cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=175; 72.6%) or respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=66; 27.4%). The most frequent diagnosis for cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was hypoplastic left heart syndrome or hypoplastic left heart syndrome-related malformation (n=55 patients with HLHS who underwent 64 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs). For respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the most frequent diagnosis was congenital diaphragmatic hernia (n=22). A total of 24 patients underwent 26 ventricular assist device runs. Median support time was 7 days, ranging from 0 to 75 days, with a mean of 15.3±18.8 days. Mean age at initiation of ventricular assist device was 2530.8±660.2 days (6.93±1.81 years). Cardiomyopathy/myocarditis was the most frequent indication for ventricular assist device placement (n=14; 53.8%). Survival to discharge was 42.2% for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients and 54.2% for ventricular assist device patients. Kaplan–Meier 1-year survival was as follows: all patients, 41.0%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 41.0%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%. Kaplan–Meier 5-year survival was as follows: all patients, 39.7%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 39.7%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%.
This single-institutional 18-year review documents the differential probability of survival for various sub-groups of patients who require support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricular assist device. The indication for mechanical circulatory support, underlying diagnosis, age, and setting in which cannulation occurs may affect survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device. The Kaplan–Meier analyses in this study demonstrate that patients who survive to hospital discharge have an excellent chance of longer-term survival.
Recent evidence suggests that exercise plays a role in cognition and that the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) can be divided into dorsal and ventral subregions based on distinct connectivity patterns.
To examine the effect of physical activity and division of the PCC on brain functional connectivity measures in subjective memory complainers (SMC) carrying the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE 4) allele.
Participants were 22 SMC carrying the APOE ɛ4 allele (ɛ4+; mean age 72.18 years) and 58 SMC non-carriers (ɛ4–; mean age 72.79 years). Connectivity of four dorsal and ventral seeds was examined. Relationships between PCC connectivity and physical activity measures were explored.
ɛ4+ individuals showed increased connectivity between the dorsal PCC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the ventral PCC and supplementary motor area (SMA). Greater levels of physical activity correlated with the magnitude of ventral PCC–SMA connectivity.
The results provide the first evidence that ɛ4+ individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline show distinct alterations in dorsal and ventral PCC functional connectivity.
Health anxiety and medically unexplained symptoms cost the National
Health Service (NHS) an estimated £3 billion per year in unnecessary
costs with little evidence of patient benefit. Effective treatment is
rarely taken up due to issues such as stigma or previous negative
experiences with mental health services. An approach to overcome this
might be to offer remotely delivered psychological therapy, which can be
just as effective as face-to-face therapy and may be more accessible and
To investigate the clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of remotely
delivered cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) to people with high health
anxiety repeatedly accessing unscheduled care (trial registration:
A multicentre randomised controlled trial (RCT) will be undertaken in
primary and secondary care providers of unscheduled care across the East
Midlands. One hundred and forty-four eligible participants will be
equally randomised to receive either remote CBT (6–12 sessions) or
treatment as usual (TAU). Two doctoral research studies will investigate
the barriers and facilitators to delivering the intervention and the
factors contributing to the optimisation of therapeutic outcome.
This trial will be the first to test the clinical outcomes and
cost-effectiveness of remotely delivered CBT for the treatment of high
The findings will enable an understanding as to how this intervention
might fit into a wider care pathway to enhance patient experience of
This article presents the key results of a major survey carried out by the NEARCH project on the public perception of archaeology and heritage across Europe. The analysis focuses on three main points of significance for contemporary archaeological practice. The first is the image of archaeology and its definition in the perception of the general public. The second concerns the values that archaeology represents for the public. The third focuses on the social expectations placed on archaeologists and archaeology. The NEARCH survey clearly indicates that there is a significant public expectation by Europeans that archaeology should work comprehensively across a broad range of areas, and that cultural heritage management in general needs to engage more with different archaeological and heritage groups.
Fetal growth discordance is a relatively common complication of monochorionic diamniotic (MCDA) twin pregnancies and is caused by a combination of maternal and placental factors. The aim of the study was to survey placental gene expression patterns and identify genes associated with growth discordance. Clinical samples comprised eight growth-discordant MCDA twin placentas (31+3–34+4 weeks gestational age) and six growth-concordant twin placentas (31+2–37 weeks gestational age). Gene expression libraries were constructed from placental biopsy samples and analyzed by RNA-sequencing. The distribution and relative abundance of mRNA transcripts expressed in the smaller and larger placentas from growth-discordant and concordant MCDA twins was remarkably similar. However, leptin (LEP) and age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2 (ARMS2) mRNA levels were exclusively up-regulated in all of the eight smaller growth-discordant twin placentas. Quantitative real-time PCR of independent biopsy samples confirmed the levels of differential mRNA expression for both genes. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissue sections from matching twin placentas showed increased leptin expression in 5–10% of blood vessel cells of the smaller placenta and marginally higher levels of ARMS2 expression in the microvillous membrane of the smaller placenta. Based on these findings, we speculate that up-regulation of leptin and ARMS2 forms part of an important survival mechanism to compensate for placental growth discordance. Since, leptin and ARMS2 are both expressed as soluble proteins, they may have clinical potential as measurable biomarkers for predicting the onset of growth discordance in MCDA twin pregnancies.
Large volumes of data and multiple computing platforms are now universal components of paediatric cardiovascular medicine, but are in a constant state of evolution. Often, multiple sets of related data reside in disconnected “silos”, resulting in clinical, administrative, and research activities that may be duplicative, inefficient, and at times inaccurate. Comprehensive and integrated data solutions are needed to facilitate these activities across congenital heart centres. We describe methodology, key considerations, successful use cases, and lessons learnt in developing an integrated data platform across our congenital heart centre.
We study the impacts of investment in public capital on equity and efficiency. Taking into account stylized facts on wealth accumulation, we model agent heterogeneity through differences in saving behavior, income source and time preference. We find that in the long run, public investment is Pareto-improving and that it reduces inequality in wealth, welfare, and income at the same time, if it is financed by a capital tax. Consumption tax financing is also Pareto-improving but distribution-neutral. Only for labor tax financing, a trade-off between equity and efficiency occurs. Additionally, we find that agents differ in their preferred tax rates.The results for capital and labor tax financing are valid for both, the case of decreasing and constant returns to accumulable factors.
Van der Waals (vdW) heterojunctions consisting of vertically-stacked individual or multiple layers of two-dimensional layered semiconductors, especially the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), show novel optoelectronic functionalities due to the sensitivity of their electronic and optical properties to strong quantum confinement and interfacial interactions. Here, monolayers of n-type MoSe2 and p-type Mo1−xWxSe2 are grown by vapor transport methods, then transferred and stamped to form artificial vdW heterostructures with strong interlayer coupling as proven in photoluminescence and low-frequency Raman spectroscopy measurements. Remarkably, the heterojunctions exhibit an unprecedented photoconductivity effect that persists at room temperature for several days. This persistent photoconductivity is shown to be tunable by applying a gate bias that equilibrates the charge distribution. These measurements indicate that such ultrathin vdW heterojunctions can function as rewritable optoelectronic switches or memory elements under time-dependent photo-illumination, an effect which appears promising for new monolayer TMDs-based optoelectronic devices applications.
This study forms part of a larger European programme investigating the transition from home care to long-term care (LTC) facility in people with dementia (PwD) at the margins of LTC. The aim of this study was to explore the factors associated with depressive symptomatology in PwD in different settings.
A total of 1,538 PwD, of which 957 received home care and 581 lived in a LTC facility, and their carers were interviewed. The Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) measured depressive symptomatology. PwD completed measures of cognition and quality of life (QoL), and informal or formal carers completed measures on the PwD’ QoL, neuropsychiatric behavior, activities of daily living, comorbidities, pain, and falls. Logistic regression was used to assess which factors contributed to depressive symptomatology in the two settings.
Those receiving home care, living in Germany, and with severe dementia, showed the highest prevalence of depressive symptomatology. In the home care group, high levels of pain, neuropsychiatric behavior, and comorbidity, as well as low self- and proxy-rated QoL were factors associated with depressive symptomatology. In the LTC group, low proxy-rated QoL, more severe neuropsychiatric behavior, being a male informal carer and living in Germany were associated with depressive symptomatology.
Evidence highlights the need for targeting different aspects in the management of depression in dementia, including offering improved pain management for those living in the community. Further research needs to explore cultural variations and carer gender factors associated with higher levels of depressive symptomatology.
There appears to be a growing consensus among those engaged in research in the international organization field that regional integration has been the most stimulating area of research for the last ten years because of the conscious efforts of the major theorists in this area to develop and test hypotheses concerning the dynamics of organizational development. There is consensus also that the rest of the field could profit by developing a more conscious concern with the dynamics of organizational development. Robert O. Keohane’s “Institutionalization in the United Nations General Assembly” represents a substantial attempt to provide the framework for a model of organizational development applicable to the United Nations.
The unprecedented Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, with its first cases documented in March 2014, has claimed the lives of thousands of people, and it has devastated the health care infrastructure and workforce in affected countries. Throughout this outbreak, there has been a critical lack of health care workers (HCW), including physicians, nurses, and other essential non-clinical staff, who have been needed, in most of the affected countries, to support the medical response to EVD, to attend to the health care needs of the population overall, and to be trained effectively in infection protection and control. This lack of sufficient and qualified HCW is due in large part to three factors: 1) limited HCW staff prior to the outbreak, 2) disproportionate illness and death among HCWs caused by EVD directly, and 3) valid concerns about personal safety among international HCWs who are considering responding to the affected areas. These guidelines are meant to inform institutions who deploy professional HCWs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:586–590)