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To study 2D and 3D dosimetric values for bladder and rectum, and the influence of bladder volume on bladder dose in high dose rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT). The large patient data incorporated in this study would better represent the inherent variations in many parameters affecting dosimetry in HDR-ICBT.
Material and Methods:
We prospectively collected data for 103 consecutive cervical cancer patients (over 310 HDR fractions) undergoing CT-based HDR-ICBT at our centre. Correlation among bladder and rectum maximum volume doses and corresponding International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement (ICRU) point doses were estimated and analysed. Impact of bladder volume on bladder maximum dose was assessed.
The ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum varied from the volumetric doses to these organs. Further, bladder volume poorly correlated with bladder maximum dose for volume variations encountered in the clinical practice at our centre.
ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum are less likely to correlate with long-term toxicities to these organs. Further, in clinical practice where inter-fraction bladder volume does not vary widely there is no correlation between bladder volume and bladder dose.
Laboratory-identified bloodstream infections (LAB-ID BSIs) in recently discharged patients are likely to be classified as healthcare-associated community-onset (HCA-CO) infections, even though they may represent hospital-onset (HO) infections. A review of LAB-ID BSIs among patients discharged within 14 days revealed that 109 of 756 cases (14.4%) were HO infections. The BSI risk being misclassified as HCA CO may underestimate the hospital infection risk.
Biochar has received attention due to its potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration in soil and improving soil quality and crop productivity. This study evaluated the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB) and rice husk ash (RHA) each applied at 5 Mg ha−1 and four N levels (0, 40, 80, and 120 kg ha−1) on soil fertility, growth, and yield of rice and wheat for three consecutive rice–wheat rotations. RSB significantly increased electrical conductivity, dehydrogenase activity, and P and K contents when compared to control (no amendment) up to 7.5 cm soil depth. Both RSB and RHA did not influence shoot N concentration in wheat plant but significantly increased P and K concentrations at 60 days after sowing. Grain yields of both rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB as compared to control (no amendment) and RHA treatments. While the highest grain yields of rice and wheat were observed at 120 kg N ha−1 in RHA and no biochar-treated plots, a significant increase in grain yields was observed at 80 kg N ha−1 in RSB treatment, thereby saving 40 kg N ha−1 in each crop. Both agronomic and recovery N efficiencies in rice and wheat were significantly higher in RSB-amended soil compared to control. Significant positive correlations were observed between soil N, P, and K concentrations and total N, P, and K concentrations in aboveground biomass of wheat at 60 days after sowing. This study showed the potential benefits of applying RSB for improving soil fertility and yields of rice and wheat in a rice–wheat system.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Introduction: Individualizing risk for stroke following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a topic of intense research, as existing scores are context-dependent or have not been well validated. The Canadian TIA Score stratifies risk of subsequent stroke into low, moderate and high risk. Our objective was to prospectively validate the Canadian TIA Score in a new cohort of emergency department (ED) patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study in 14 Canadian EDs over 4 years. We enrolled consecutive adult patients with an ED visit for TIA or nondisabling stroke. Treating physicians recorded standardized clinical variables onto data collection forms. Given the ability of prompt emergency carotid endarterectomy (CEA) to prevent stroke (NNT = 3) in high risk patients, our primary outcome was the composite of subsequent stroke or CEA ≤7 days. We conducted telephone follow-up using the validated Questionnaire for Verifying Stroke Free Status at 7 and 90 days. Outcomes were adjudicated by panels of 3 local stroke experts, blinded to the index ED data collection form. Based on prior work, we estimated a sample size of 5,004 patients including 93 subsequent strokes, would yield 95% confidence bands of +/− 10% for sensitivity and likelihood ratio (LR). Our analyses assessed interval LRs (iLR) with 95% CIs. Results: We prospectively enrolled 7,569 patients with mean 68.4 +/−14.7 years and 52.4% female, of whom 107 (1.4%) had a subsequent stroke and 74 (1.0%) CEA ≤7 days (total outcomes = 181). We enrolled 81.2% of eligible patients; missed patients were similar to enrolled. The Canadian TIA Score stratified the stroke/CEA ≤7days risk as: Low (probability <0.2%, iLR 0.20 [95%CI 0.091-0.44]; Moderate (probability 1.3%, iLR 0.79 [0.68-0.92]; High (probability 2.6%, iLR 2.2 [1.9-2.6]. Sensitivity analysis for just stroke ≤7 days yielded similar results: Low iLR 0.17 [95%CI 0.056-0.52], Medium iLR 0.89 [0.75-1.1], High iLR 2.0 [1.6-2.4]. Conclusion: The Canadian TIA Score accurately identifies TIA patients risk for stroke/CEA ≤7 days. Patients classified as low risk can be safely discharged following a careful ED assessment with elective follow-up. Patients at moderate risk can undergo additional testing in the ED, have antithrombotic therapy optimized, and be offered early stroke specialist follow-up. Patients at high risk should in most cases be fully investigated and managed ideally in consultation with a stroke specialist during their index ED visit.
This study assessed the efficacy of closantel vis-à-vis herbal extracts with known anti-parasitic properties, against fenbendazole-resistant nematodes in goats maintained under a semi-intensive system of management at the University goat farm, Jabalpur. Fifty goats were randomly assigned to five groups, each comprising 10 animals, irrespective of their breed, age and sex. Each animal in Group I, II and III was orally administered with aqueous leaf extracts of neem (Azadirachta indica) at 1 g/kg body weight, sitaphal (Annona squamosa) at 1.5 g/kg body weight and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) at 1 g/kg body weight, respectively, whereas Group IV was an untreated control group. Each animal in Group V was orally treated with closantel at 10 mg/kg body weight. During the course of the study, all animals were maintained under an identical semi-intensive system of management. Compared to the untreated control group (Group IV), there was no conspicuous reduction in post-treatment (day 10) faecal egg counts (FEC) in animals administered with the herbal extracts (Groups I, II and III), which is suggestive of poor anti-parasitic activity. However, using the faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT), the overall efficacy of closantel was recorded as 95.64%. This supports the rotational use of closantel as a preferred choice over the benzimidazole group of anthelmintics and/or herbal extracts to meet the acute challenge of in situ development of drug-resistant gastrointestinal nematodes, especially Haemonchus contortus.
Artificial insemination (AI) technology use in poultry production has enabled the rapid dissemination of genetic material from a small number of superior males to a high number of females. Excellent fertility in poultry can be obtained by AI compared to natural mating. Successful application of this technique needs good quality semen that should be inseminated very close to the sperm storage tubules in the female to obtain the optimum fertility in chicken. Since the 1950s, AI has been used in commercial poultry production, initially in Israel and Australia, followed by the USA. Doses of spermatozoa required for AI increases with storage time or that obtained from aged bird. The average volume of semen is between 0.05-0.50 ml in light chicken breeds and 0.1-0.9 ml in heavy males. In light turkeys, volume is 0.08-0.30 ml, whereas in heavy-weight males it is 0.1-0.33 ml. Quality evaluation of semen gives an indication of the male reproductive potential and is the major determinant of fertility and subsequently hatchability of eggs. Semen from cockerels contains between 3-7 billion sperm cells/ml. Among the several factors that influence the semen quality, sperm motility is a primary determinant of fertility in domestic fowls; however, visual examination of semen cannot be ignored for successful AI under field conditions. Dilution of low and viscous volume of avian semen is essential for handling and storage, and chicken semen typically requires a two to three-fold dilution. Collected samples should be preserved at 2-8°C for avian species, ideally with turkey sperm stored at 4-8°C, and chicken semen at 7-8°C for good fertility. Currently, the technique of AI in most of the poultry species is well developed; however, there is a need for successful development programme of this technique in non-domesticated birds to assist in creating viable, self-sustaining populations of critically endangered species.
Rice has the lowest grain protein content (GPC) among cereals. Efforts have been made to improve GPC through the modified bulk-pedigree method of selection. A total of 1780 F8 recombinant lines were derived in the year 2013 from five different cross combinations involving two high-GPC landraces, namely ARC10075 and ARC10063, three high-yielding parents, namely Swarna, Naveen and IR64, and one parent, namely Sharbati, known for superior grain quality with high micronutrient content. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to facilitate high-throughput selection for GPC. Significant selection differential, response to selection and non-significant differences between the predicted and observed response to selection for GPC and protein yield indicated the effectiveness of this selection process. This resulted in lines with high GPC, protein yield and desirable levels of amylose content. Further, based on high mean and stability for GPC and protein yield over the environments in the wet seasons of 2013, 2014 and the dry season of 2014, 12 elite lines were identified. Higher accumulation of glutelin fraction and non-significant change in prolamin/glutelin ratio in the grain suggested safe guarding of the nutritional value of rice grain protein of most of these identified lines. Since rice is the staple food of millions, the output of breeding for high GPC could have a significant role in alleviating protein malnutrition, especially in the developing world.
Although quality of life (QoL) is receiving increasing attention in bipolar disorder (BD) research and practice, little is known about its naturalistic trajectory. The dual aims of this study were to prospectively investigate: (a) the trajectory of QoL under guideline-driven treatment and (b) the dynamic relationship between mood symptoms and QoL.
In total, 362 patients with BD receiving guideline-driven treatment were prospectively followed at 3-month intervals for up to 5 years. Mental (Mental Component Score – MCS) and physical (Physical Component Score – PCS) QoL were measured using the self-report SF-36. Clinician-rated symptom data were recorded for mania and depression. Multilevel modelling was used to analyse MCS and PCS over time, QoL trajectories predicted by time-lagged symptoms, and symptom trajectories predicted by time-lagged QoL.
MCS exhibited a positive trajectory, while PCS worsened over time. Investigation of temporal relationships between QoL and symptoms suggested bidirectional effects: earlier depressive symptoms were negatively associated with mental QoL, and earlier manic symptoms were negatively associated with physical QoL. Importantly, earlier MCS and PCS were both negatively associated with downstream symptoms of mania and depression.
The present investigation illustrates real-world outcomes for QoL under guideline-driven BD treatment: improvements in mental QoL and decrements in physical QoL were observed. The data permitted investigation of dynamic interactions between QoL and symptoms, generating novel evidence for bidirectional effects and encouraging further research into this important interplay. Investigation of relevant time-varying covariates (e.g. medications) was beyond scope. Future research should investigate possible determinants of QoL and the interplay between symptoms and wellbeing/satisfaction-centric measures of QoL.
To determine whether antimicrobial-impregnated textiles decrease the acquisition of pathogens by healthcare provider (HCP) clothing.
We completed a 3-arm randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of 2 types of antimicrobial-impregnated clothing compared to standard HCP clothing. Cultures were obtained from each nurse participant, the healthcare environment, and patients during each shift. The primary outcome was the change in total contamination on nurse scrubs, measured as the sum of colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING
Nurses working in medical and surgical ICUs in a 936-bed tertiary-care hospital.
Nurse subjects wore standard cotton-polyester surgical scrubs (control), scrubs that contained a complex element compound with a silver-alloy embedded in its fibers (Scrub 1), or scrubs impregnated with an organosilane-based quaternary ammonium and a hydrophobic fluoroacrylate copolymer emulsion (Scrub 2). Nurse participants were blinded to scrub type and randomly participated in all 3 arms during 3 consecutive 12-hour shifts in the intensive care unit.
In total, 40 nurses were enrolled and completed 3 shifts. Analyses of 2,919 cultures from the environment and 2,185 from HCP clothing showed that scrub type was not associated with a change in HCP clothing contamination (P=.70). Mean difference estimates were 0.118 for the Scrub 1 arm (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.206 to 0.441; P=.48) and 0.009 for the Scrub 2 rm (95% CI, −0.323 to 0.342; P=.96) compared to the control. HCP became newly contaminated with important pathogens during 19 of the 120 shifts (16%).
Antimicrobial-impregnated scrubs were not effective at reducing HCP contamination. However, the environment is an important source of HCP clothing contamination.
Oocyte-secreted factors (OSFs) play an important role in the acquisition of oocyte developmental competence through bidirectional cross-talk between oocyte and cumulus cells via gap junctions. Thus, the present study was designed to investigate the effect of two OSFs, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes derived from two different follicle sizes. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) from large follicles (LF, >6 mm) or small follicles (SF, <6 mm) were collected and matured in vitro either in the presence of GDF9 or BMP15, or both, or with the denuded oocytes (DOs) as a source of native OSFs. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in LF-derived than SF-derived oocytes. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the DOs and the combination groups compared with the control, GDF9 alone and BMP15 alone groups, both in LF-derived and SF-derived oocytes, although the cleavage and blastocyst rates did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) between DOs and combination groups. Relative mRNA analysis revealed significantly higher (P > 0.05) expression of the cumulus cell marker genes EGFR, HAS2, and CD44 in LF-derived than SF-derived oocyte; the expression of these markers was significantly higher (P > 0.05) in DOs and combination groups, irrespective of the follicle size. These results suggested that LF-derived oocytes have a higher developmental competence than SF-derived oocytes and that supplementation of GDF9 and BMP15 modulates the developmental competence of buffalo oocytes by increasing the relative abundance of cumulus-enabling factors and thereby increasing cleavage and the quality of blastocyst production.
Goats make up the largest group of ruminant livestock in Nigeria and are strategic in bridging animal protein supply gap and improving the economy of rural households. The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the caprine mitochondrial genome was investigated to better understand genetic diversity important for improving selection for animal breeding and conservation programs. We sequenced and analysed the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) HVR1 in 291 unrelated indigenous Nigerian goats (West African Dwarf (WAD), Red Sokoto (RSO) and Sahel (SAH)), randomly sampled from around the country, and compared them with the HVR1 sequences of 336 Indian goats and 12 other sequences in five different species in the genus Capra (C. falconeri, C. ibex nubiana, C. aegagrus, C. cylindricornis and C. sibirica). A total of 139 polymorphic sites from 291 individuals were captured in 204 haplotypes. Within and among population variations were 77.25 and 22.74 percent, respectively. Nigerian goats showed high genetic diversity (0.87) and high FST values, and separate from Indian goats and other wild species. Haplogroups in WAD separates it from RSO and SAH concomitant with a different demographic history. Clear genetic structure was found among Nigerian goat breeds with appreciable variation in mtDNA HVR1 region. This study grouped Nigerian goat breeds into two major groups suggesting two different demographic origins for Northern and Southern breeds. High genetic admixing denotes different maternal origins and in contrast to evidence from goats from Levant and Central Asia, where goats were originally domesticated.
Lower and middle income countries (LMICs) are home to >80% of the global population, but mental health researchers and LMIC investigator led publications are concentrated in 10% of LMICs. Increasing research and research outputs, such as in the form of peer reviewed publications, require increased capacity building (CB) opportunities in LMICs. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative, Collaborative Hubs for International Research on Mental Health reaches across five regional ‘hubs’ established in LMICs, to provide training and support for emerging researchers through hub-specific CB activities. This paper describes the range of CB activities, the process of monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities conducted by the five research hubs.
The indicators used to describe the nature, the monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities were developed collectively by the members of an inter-hub CB workgroup representing all five hubs. These indicators included but were not limited to courses, publications, and grants.
Results for all indicators demonstrate a wide range of feasible CB activities. The five hubs were successful in providing at least one and the majority several courses; 13 CB recipient-led articles were accepted for publication; and nine grant applications were successful.
The hubs were successful in providing CB recipients with a wide range of CB activities. The challenge remains to ensure ongoing CB of mental health researchers in LMICs, and in particular, to sustain the CB efforts of the five hubs after the termination of NIMH funding.
Many medications administered to patients with schizophrenia possess anticholinergic properties. When aggregated, pharmacological treatments may result in a considerable anticholinergic burden. The extent to which anticholinergic burden has a deleterious effect on cognition and impairs ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatments is unknown.
Seventy patients were followed for approximately 3 years. The MATRICS consensus cognitive battery (MCCB) was administered at baseline. Anticholinergic burden was measured with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale. Ability to benefit from psychosocial programmes was measured using the DUNDRUM-3 Programme Completion Scale (D-3) at baseline and follow-up. Psychiatric symptoms were measured using the PANSS. Total antipsychotic dose was measured using chlorpromazine equivalents. Functioning was measured using the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS).
Mediation analysis found that the influence of anticholinergic burden on ability to participate and benefit from psychosocial programmes was completely mediated by the MCCB. For every 1-unit increase on the ACB scale, change scores for DUNDRUM-3 decreased by −0.27 points. This relationship appears specific to anticholinergic burden and not total antipsychotic dose. Moreover, mediation appears to be specific to cognition and not psychopathology. Baseline functioning also acted as mediator but only when MCCB was not controlled for.
Anticholinergic burden has a significant impact on patients’ ability to participate in and benefit from psychosocial treatment programmes. Physicians need to be mindful of the cumulative effect that medications can have on patient cognition, functional capacity and ability to benefit from psychosocial treatments.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is an emerging zoonotic disease in India which is prevalent in neighbouring countries. CCHF virus (CCHFV) is a widespread tick-borne virus which is endemic in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In the present study, samples of clinically suspected human cases from different areas of northern-western India were tested for the presence of CCHFV by RT–PCR through amplification of nucleocapsid (N) gene of CCHFV. Positive samples were sequenced to reveal the prevailing CCHFV genotype(s) and phylogenetic relatedness. A phylogenetic tree revealed the emergence of diverse strains in the study region showing maximum identity with the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran strains, which was different from earlier reported Indian strains. Our findings reveal for the first time the emergence of the Asia 1 group in India; while earlier reported CCHFV strains belong to the Asia 2 group.
This study aimed to assess the utility of onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap in preventing pharyngocutaneous fistula following salvage total laryngectomy.
A retrospective analysis was performed of 172 patients who underwent salvage laryngectomy for recurrent carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx between 1999 and 2014. One hundred and ten patients underwent primary closure and 62 patients had pectoralis major myofascial flap onlay.
The overall pharyngocutaneous fistula rate was 43 per cent, and was similar in both groups (primary closure group, 43.6 per cent; onlay flap group, 41.9 per cent; p = 0.8). Fistulae in the onlay flap group healed faster: the median and mean fistula duration were 37 and 55 days, respectively, in the primary closure group and 20 and 25 days, respectively, in the onlay flap group (p = 0.008).
Use of an onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap did not decrease the pharyngocutaneous fistula rate, although fistula duration was shortened. A well-designed randomised-controlled trial is needed to establish parameters for its routine use in clinical practice.