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Antibiotics are widely used by all specialties in the hospital setting. We evaluated previously defined high-risk antibiotic use in relation to Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs).
We analyzed 2016–2017 data from 171 hospitals. High-risk antibiotics included second-, third-, and fourth-generation cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, carbapenems, and lincosamides. A CDI case was a positive stool C. difficile toxin or molecular assay result from a patient without a positive result in the previous 8 weeks. Hospital-associated (HA) CDI cases included specimens collected >3 calendar days after admission or ≤3 calendar days from a patient with a prior same-hospital discharge within 28 days. We used the multivariable Poisson regression model to estimate the relative risk (RR) of high-risk antibiotic use on HA CDI, controlling for confounders.
The median days of therapy for high-risk antibiotic use was 241.2 (interquartile range [IQR], 192.6–295.2) per 1,000 days present; the overall HA CDI rate was 33 (IQR, 24–43) per 10,000 admissions. The overall correlation of high-risk antibiotic use and HA CDI was 0.22 (P = .003), and higher correlation was observed in teaching hospitals (0.38; P = .002). For every 100-day (per 1,000 days present) increase in high-risk antibiotic therapy, there was a 12% increase in HA CDI (RR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.04–1.21; P = .002) after adjusting for confounders.
High-risk antibiotic use is an independent predictor of HA CDI. This assessment of poststewardship implementation in the United States highlights the importance of tracking trends of antimicrobial use over time as it relates to CDI.
To test the hypothesis that long-term care facility (LTCF) residents with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or asymptomatic carriage of toxigenic strains are an important source of transmission in the LTCF and in the hospital during acute-care admissions.
A 6-month cohort study with identification of transmission events was conducted based on tracking of patient movement combined with restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS).
Veterans Affairs hospital and affiliated LTCF.
The study included 29 LTCF residents identified as asymptomatic carriers of toxigenic C. difficile based on every other week perirectal screening and 37 healthcare facility-associated CDI cases (ie, diagnosis >3 days after admission or within 4 weeks of discharge to the community), including 26 hospital-associated and 11 LTCF-associated cases.
Of the 37 CDI cases, 7 (18·9%) were linked to LTCF residents with LTCF-associated CDI or asymptomatic carriage, including 3 of 26 hospital-associated CDI cases (11·5%) and 4 of 11 LTCF-associated cases (36·4%). Of the 7 transmissions linked to LTCF residents, 5 (71·4%) were linked to asymptomatic carriers versus 2 (28·6%) to CDI cases, and all involved transmission of epidemic BI/NAP1/027 strains. No incident hospital-associated CDI cases were linked to other hospital-associated CDI cases.
Our findings suggest that LTCF residents with asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile or CDI contribute to transmission both in the LTCF and in the affiliated hospital during acute-care admissions. Greater emphasis on infection control measures and antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs is needed, and these efforts should focus on LTCF residents during hospital admissions.
Introduction: Health advocacy training is an important part of emergency medicine practice and education. There is little agreement, however, about how advocacy should be taught and evaluated in the postgraduate context, and there is no consolidated evidence-base to guide the design and implementation of post-graduate health advocacy curricula. This literature review aims to identify existing models used for teaching and evaluating advocacy training, and to integrate these findings with current best-practices in medical education to develop practical, generalizable recommendations for those involved in the design of postgraduate advocacy training programs. Methods: Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed searches combined both MeSH and non-MeSH variations on advocacy and internship and residency. Forward snowballing that incorporated grey literature searches from accreditation agencies, residency websites and reports were included. Articles were excluded if unrelated to advocacy and postgraduate medical education. Results: 507 articles were identified in the search. A total of 108 peer reviewed articles and 38 grey literature resources were included in the final analysis. Results show that many regulatory bodies and residency programs integrate advocacy training into their mission statements and curricula, but they are not prescriptive about training methods or assessment strategies. Barriers to advocacy training were identified, most notably confusion about the definition of the advocate role and a lower value placed on advocacy by trainees and educators. Common training methods included didactic modules, standardized patient encounters, and clinical exposure to vulnerable populations. Longitudinal exposure was less common but appeared the most promising, often linked to scholarly or policy objectives. Conclusion: This review indicates that postgraduate medical education advocacy curricula are largely designed in an ad-hoc fashion with little consistency across programs even within a given discipline. Longitudinal curriculum design appears to engage residents and allows for achievement of stated outcomes. Residency program directors from emergency medicine and other specialties may benefit from promising models in pediatrics, and a shared portal with access to advocacy curricula and the opportunity to exchange ideas related to curriculum design and implementation.
A range of endophenotypes characterise psychosis, however there has been limited work understanding if and how they are inter-related.
This multi-centre study includes 8754 participants: 2212 people with a psychotic disorder, 1487 unaffected relatives of probands, and 5055 healthy controls. We investigated cognition [digit span (N = 3127), block design (N = 5491), and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (N = 3543)], electrophysiology [P300 amplitude and latency (N = 1102)], and neuroanatomy [lateral ventricular volume (N = 1721)]. We used linear regression to assess the interrelationships between endophenotypes.
The P300 amplitude and latency were not associated (regression coef. −0.06, 95% CI −0.12 to 0.01, p = 0.060), and P300 amplitude was positively associated with block design (coef. 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.28, p < 0.001). There was no evidence of associations between lateral ventricular volume and the other measures (all p > 0.38). All the cognitive endophenotypes were associated with each other in the expected directions (all p < 0.001). Lastly, the relationships between pairs of endophenotypes were consistent in all three participant groups, differing for some of the cognitive pairings only in the strengths of the relationships.
The P300 amplitude and latency are independent endophenotypes; the former indexing spatial visualisation and working memory, and the latter is hypothesised to index basic processing speed. Individuals with psychotic illnesses, their unaffected relatives, and healthy controls all show similar patterns of associations between endophenotypes, endorsing the theory of a continuum of psychosis liability across the population.
Cognitive remediation (CR) training has emerged as a promising approach to improving cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and related psychosis. The limited availability of psychological services for psychosis is a major barrier to accessing this intervention however. This study investigated the effectiveness of a low support, remotely accessible, computerised working memory (WM) training programme in patients with psychosis.
Ninety patients were enrolled into a single blind randomised controlled trial of CR. Effectiveness of the intervention was assessed in terms of neuropsychological performance, social and occupational function, and functional MRI 2 weeks post-intervention, with neuropsychological and social function again assessed 3–6 months post-treatment.
Patients who completed the intervention showed significant gains in both neuropsychological function (measured using both untrained WM and episodic task performance, and a measure of performance IQ), and social function at both 2-week follow-up and 3–6-month follow-up timepoints. Furthermore, patients who completed MRI scanning showed improved resting state functional connectivity relative to patients in the placebo condition.
CR training has already been shown to improve cognitive and social function in patient with psychosis. This study demonstrates that, at least for some chronic but stable outpatients, a low support treatment was associated with gains that were comparable with those reported for CR delivered entirely on a 1:1 basis. We conclude that CR has potential to be delivered even in services in which psychological supports for patients with psychosis are limited.
We have previously shown that the minor alleles of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) single-nucleotide polymorphism rs833069 and superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) single-nucleotide polymorphism rs2758331 are both associated with improved transplant-free survival after surgery for CHD in infants, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. We hypothesised that one or both of these minor alleles are associated with better systemic ventricular function, resulting in improved survival.
This study is a follow-up analysis of 422 non-syndromic CHD patients who underwent neonatal cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Echocardiographic reports were reviewed. Systemic ventricular function was subjectively categorised as normal, or as mildly, moderately, or severely depressed. The change in function was calculated as the change from the preoperative study to the last available study. Stepwise linear regression, adjusting for covariates, was performed for the outcome of change in ventricular function. Model comparison was performed using Akaike’s information criterion. Only variables that improved the model prediction of change in systemic ventricular function were retained in the final model.
Genetic and echocardiographic data were available for 335/422 subjects (79%). Of them, 33 (9.9%) developed worse systemic ventricular function during a mean follow-up period of 13.5 years. After covariate adjustment, the presence of the VEGFA minor allele was associated with preserved ventricular function (p=0.011).
These data support the hypothesis that the mechanism by which the VEGFA single-nucleotide polymorphism rs833069 minor allele improves survival may be the preservation of ventricular function. Further studies are needed to validate this genotype–phenotype association and to determine whether this mechanism is related to increased vascular endothelial growth factor production.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
Although repeatedly associated with white matter microstructural alterations, bipolar disorder (BD) has been relatively unexplored using complex network analysis. This method combines structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to model the brain as a network and evaluate its topological properties. A group of highly interconnected high-density structures, termed the ‘rich-club’, represents an important network for integration of brain functioning. This study aimed to assess structural and rich-club connectivity properties in BD through graph theory analyses.
We obtained structural and diffusion MRI scans from 42 euthymic patients with BD type I and 43 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers. Weighted fractional anisotropy connections mapped between cortical and subcortical structures defined the neuroanatomical networks. Next, we examined between-group differences in features of graph properties and sub-networks.
Patients exhibited significantly reduced clustering coefficient and global efficiency, compared with controls globally and regionally in frontal and occipital regions. Additionally, patients displayed weaker sub-network connectivity in distributed regions. Rich-club analysis revealed subtly reduced density in patients, which did not withstand multiple comparison correction. However, hub identification in most participants indicated differentially affected rich-club membership in the BD group, with two hubs absent when compared with controls, namely the superior frontal gyrus and thalamus.
This graph theory analysis presents a thorough investigation of topological features of connectivity in euthymic BD. Abnormalities of global and local measures and network components provide further neuroanatomically specific evidence for distributed dysconnectivity as a trait feature of BD.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
The decline in age of pubertal timing has serious public health implications ranging from psychosocial adjustment problems to a possible increase in reproductive cancers. One biologically plausible explanation for the decline is a decrease in exposures to infections. To systematically review studies that assess the role of infection in pubertal timing, Medline, Web of Science and EMBASE were systematically searched and retrieved studies were reviewed for eligibility. Eligible studies examined the association between infections, including microbial exposures, and physical pubertal characteristics (breast, genitalia and pubic hair development) or age at menarche. We excluded studies that were published in a language other than English, focused on precocious puberty, were case studies, and/or included youth with autoimmune diseases. We report on study design, population characteristics, measurement of infection and puberty and the main effects of infection on pubertal development. Based on our search terms we identified 1372 unique articles, of which only 15 human and five animal studies met our eligibility criteria. Not all studies examined all outcomes. Infection was associated with later breast development (4/4 human studies), with less consistent evidence for genitalia and pubic hair development. Seven studies assessed age at menarche with inconsistent findings (three supporting later, four no association). We conclude that a small but consistent literature supports that infection is associated with later breast development; the evidence for other pubertal events and age at menarche is less clear. Where fewer childhood infections coincide with the rise in incidence of hormone-related cancers.
Chronic rhinosinusitis has many risk factors; however, the effect of anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy has not been investigated in depth. Our experience points to a detrimental clinical effect in overall prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis, despite its benefit in certain subtypes.
A telephone survey was performed to parallel the findings of the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network chronic rhinosinusitis screening survey. This was itself based on the widely recognised European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyps criteria.
A total of 120 patients responded to the survey. The prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in the anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy population was 20 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval = 12.84–27.16). When compared using a chi-square test, for a two-by-two contingency table, this finding was significant against the prevalence recorded in the normal population.
This is the first observational study indicating increased prevalence of chronic rhinosinusitis in patients treated with anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy. These clinical findings require investigation in greater depth to clarify the nature of pathologies currently diagnosed and treated as chronic rhinosinusitis.
To evaluate and compare the opinions of key stakeholders involved in the involuntary admission and treatment of patients under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 2001 regarding their views towards the operation of the legislation.
We employed a descriptive survey design. A questionnaire was distributed to stakeholders involved in the operation of the MHA 2001 (except service users, whose views were explored in a separate qualitative study) via paper or online versions evaluating their opinions regarding the operation of the MHA 2001 in relation to assessment, care, rights, transfer and information available.
Stakeholders agreed that in their opinion that patients generally benefit from the care they receive (79%) and that the MHA 2001 ensures an independent and fair review of the person’s detention (65%). However, only 23% of stakeholders were satisfied with the process of transferring patients to hospital and with the clinical assessment procedures therein (37%), with the greatest levels of dissatisfaction amongst Gardai (Police), general practitioners (GPs) and family members.
While the introduction of the MHA 2001 has assisted delivery of care to patients with improved adherence to international human rights frameworks applicable at the time of its enactment, substantial dissatisfaction with the implementation of the MHA 2001 in practice is experienced by stakeholders particularly at the distressing phase of clinical assessment and transfer to hospital.
We analyze the dust emission features seen in Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) spectra of red supergiant (RSG) and oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies and in various Milky Way globular clusters. The spectra come from the Spitzer Legacy program SAGE-Spectroscopy (PI: F. Kemper), the Spitzer program SMC-Spec (PI: G. Sloan), and other archival Spitzer-IRS programs. The broad 10 and 20 micron emission features attributed to amorphous dust of silicate composition seen in the spectra show evidence for systematic differences in the centroid of both emission features between O-rich AGB and RSG populations. Radiative transfer modeling using the GRAMS grid of models of AGB and RSG stars suggests that the centroid differences are due to differences in dust properties. We investigate differences in dust composition, size, shape, etc that might be responsible for these spectral differences. We explore how these differences may arise from the different circumstellar environments around RSG and O-rich AGB stars and assess effects of varying metallicity (LMC versus SMC versus Milky Way globular cluster) and other properties (mass-loss rate, luminosity, etc.) on the dust originating from these stars. BAS acknowledges funding from NASA ADAP grant NNX13AD54G.
Palladosilicide, Pd2Si, is a new mineral (IMA 2014-080)
discovered in chromite-rich samples from the Kapalagulu intrusion, western
Tanzania (30°03′51′′E 5°53′16′′S and 30°05′37′′E 5°54′26′′S) and from the
UG-2 chromitite, Bushveld complex, South Africa. A total of 13 grains of
palladosilicide, ranging in size from 0.7 to 39.1 μm (equivalent circle
diameters), were found. Synthetic Pd2Si is hexagonal, space group
P62m, with a =
6.496(5), c = 3.433(4) Å, V = 125.5(1)
Å3, c:a = 0.529 with Z = 3.
The strongest lines calculated from the powder pattern (Anderko and
Schubert, 1953) are [d in Å (I)
(hkl)] 2.3658 100 (111); 2.1263 37 (120); 2.1808 34
(021); 3.240 20 (110); 1.8752 19 (030); 1.7265 12 (002); 1.3403 11 (122);
1.2089 10 (231). The calculated density for three analyses varies from 9.562
to 9.753 g cm–3. Palladosilicide is considered to be equivalent
to synthetic Pd2Si based on results from electron backscattered
diffraction analyses. Reflectance data in air for the four Commission on Ore
Mineralogy wavelengths are [λ nm, R1 (%) R2 (%)] 470 49.6 52.7; 546 51.2 53.8; 589 51.6 53.7; 650 51.7 53.3
and the mineral is bright creamy white against chromite, weakly bireflectant
and displays no discernible pleochroism or twinning. It is weakly
anisotropic, has weak extinction and rotation tints in shades of blue and
olive green. Electron probe microanalyses of palladosilicide yield a
simplified formula of Pd2Si.
The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of radiographer led verification of cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) images for patients with solitary lung tumours treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment (SBRT).
Material and methods
CBCT setup images of 20 patients from the first fraction of each patient were retrospectively registered by therapeutic radiographers. The displacements recorded were compared with the clinical oncologist’s original online match. The time taken by radiographers to verify the CBCT images was also recorded.
Overall agreement for all radiographers when compared with the clinical oncologist match was 91%. Interobserver variations between radiographers were X plane 0·87 (0·76–0·94); Y plane 0·74 (0·51–0·88); and Z plane 0·88 (0·78–0·95) intraclass correlation coefficient and 95% confidence interval. The average time taken for verification was 128 seconds.
Therapeutic radiographers are able to verify CBCT images for thorax SBRT with results comparable to the ‘gold standard’ clinical oncologists’ match, however additional training will be provided for online verification. The time taken was within acceptable limits.
Background: Transitioning from medical school to residency is difficult and stressful, necessitating innovation in easing this transition. In response, a Canadian neurosurgical Rookie Camp was designed and implemented to foster acquisition of technical, cognitive and behavioral skills among incoming Canadian post graduate year one (PGY-1) neurosurgery residents. Methods: The inaugural Rookie Camp was held in July 2012 in Halifax. The curriculum was developed based on a national needs-assessment and consisted of a pre-course manual, 7 case-based stations, 4 procedural skills stations and 2 group discussions. The content was clinically focused, used a variety of teaching methods, and addressed multiple CanMEDS competencies. Evaluation included participant and faculty surveys and a pre-course, post-course, and 3-month retention knowledge test. Results: 17 of 23 PGY-1 Canadian neurosurgical residents participated in the Camp. All agreed the course content was relevant for PGY-1 training and the experience prepared them for residency. All participants would recommend the course to future neurosurgical residents. A statistically significant improvement was observed in knowledge related to course content (F(2,32) = 7.572, p<0.002). There were no significant differences between post-test and retention-test scores at three months. Conclusion: The inaugural Canadian Neurosurgery Rookie Camp for PGY-1 residents was successfully delivered, with engagement from participants, training programs, the Canadian Neurosurgical Society, and the Royal College. In addition to providing fundamental knowledge, which was shown to be retained, the course eased junior residents’ transition to residency by fostering camaraderie and socialization within the specialty.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
To explore the demographic, psychosocial and clinical characteristics of individuals known to the mental health services, who died by probable suicide in the West of Ireland.
Postmortem reports between January 2006 and May 2012 detailed 153 individuals who died by probable suicide, 58 of whom attended the mental health services. Relevant socio-demographic and clinical data was extracted from individuals’ lifetime case notes.
Recurrent depressive disorder (44%) was the most common diagnosis and hanging the most common method of death (58%). Of individuals who died by hanging, 79% previously attempted suicide by the same method. For individuals with a documented history of depression, only 32% had antidepressants detected in their toxicology reports. Similarly, only one individual (20%) with schizophrenia had antipsychotics detected in their toxicology report.
Individuals who died by probable suicide, most commonly died by hanging and drowning; with previous attempts of hanging particularly prevalent in the group who subsequently died by hanging. At the time of death, less than one-third of individuals according to toxicology reports were taking the medication that was last prescribed to them by the mental health services suggesting a high rate of treatment non-concordance in individuals who died by probable suicide.
Mineralized soil nitrogen (N) is an important source of N for grassland production. Some soils can supply large quantities of plant-available N through mineralization of soil organic matter. Grass grown on such soils require less fertilizer N applications per unit yield. A reliable, accurate and user-friendly method to account for soil N supply potential across a large diversity of soils and growing conditions is needed to improve N management and N recommendations over time. In the current study, the effectiveness of chemical N tests and soil properties to predict soil N supply for grass uptake across 30 Irish soil types varying in N supply potential was investigated under controlled environmental conditions. The Illinois soil N test (ISNT) combined with soil C : N ratio provided a good estimate of soil N supply in soils with low residual mineral N. Total oxidized N (TON) had the largest impact on grass dry matter (DM) yield and N uptake across the 30 soil types, declining in its influence in later growth periods. This reflected the high initial mineral N levels in these soils, which declined over time. In the current study, a model with ISNT-N, C : N and TON (log TON) best explained variability in grass DM yield and N uptake. All three rapid chemical soil tests could be performed routinely on field samples to provide an estimate of soil N supply prior to making N fertilizer application decisions. It can be concluded that these soil tests, through their assessment of soil N supply potential, can be effective tools for N management on grassland; however, field studies are needed to evaluate this under more diverse growing conditions.