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Coronary artery complications are the main reason for early mortality after an arterial switch operation. Late complications are relatively rare, and there is no consensus regarding the need or indications for routine follow-up coronary artery evaluations or the best first-line assessment modality. The aim of this study was to present the long-term post-operative frequency of coronary abnormalities in asymptomatic patients with transposition of the great arteries discovered by coronary CT angiography and potential “red flags” revealed by other examinations.
Patients and methods:
A group of 50 consecutive asymptomatic patients who underwent routine long-term coronary artery evaluation after an arterial switch operation according to our institutional protocol were qualified for this study. This routine in-hospital visit included a detailed medical interview, electrocardiography, echocardiography, Holter electrocardiography examinations, and laboratory and cardiopulmonary exercise tests. Patients who showed significant abnormalities were qualified for perfusion scintigraphy.
Unfavourable coronary abnormalities were detected in 30 patients (60%) and included ostial stenosis, muscular bridge, coronary fistula, interarterial course, proximal kinking, high ellipticity index, proximal acute angulation (<30 degree) of the left coronary artery, and proximal acute angulation of the right coronary artery. These features could not be predicted based on the medical interviews, surgical reports, or non-invasive screening test results.
Complex coronary configurations with potentially dangerous coronary features are common in patients with transposition after an arterial switch operation. Such high-risk patients cannot be identified indirectly, and coronary CT angiography provides accurate information that is useful for post-operative management.
A new deep level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) technique is described, called half-width at variable intensity analysis. This method utilizes the width and normalized intensity of a DLTS signal to determine the activation energy and capture cross section of the trap that generated the signal via a variable, kO. This constant relates the carrier emission rates giving rise to the differential capacitance signal associated with a given trap at two different temperatures: the temperature at which the maximum differential capacitance is detected, and an arbitrary temperature at which some nonzero differential capacitance signal is detected. The extracted activation energy of the detected trap center is used along with the position of the peak maximum to extract the capture cross section of the trap center.
Desperate to find a weapon so that his older brother can participate in a tournament, the young Arthur secretly pulls a sword from a stone and is thus recognised as the King of Britain. This story is ubiquitous today, but in medieval England it was only one of several narratives of how the young king came to the throne. The story is first told around 1200 in the French prose Merlin and this romance, along with the other parts of the Vulgate Cycle, was popular throughout late-medieval Britain. It is perhaps best known through its inclusion in Thomas Malory's late fifteenth-century Morte Darthur, but it is also found in other texts which translate the French Merlin, including Of Arthour and of Merlin (late thirteenth century), Henry Lovelich's verse Merlin (1420s or 1430s) and the Middle English prose Merlin (mid-fifteenth century).
One other translation of this scene merits attention. It is found in London, College of Arms MS Arundel 58, a mid-fifteenth-century copy of Robert of Gloucester's Metrical Chronicle. Inserted as an interpolation in its Arthurian narrative, the Arundel Coronacio Arthuri amounts to 398 lines of original Middle English verse and it reveals the complex relationship between the chronicle tradition of King Arthur's reign and the French romance tradition which complemented and, at times, contradicted the historical narrative. The poem also shares features with its fellow English versions of the story, and thus gives us some insight into the circulation of the French prose Merlin in England and the reading habits of the scribe of Arundel 58.
Not used extensively by either of the two editors of Robert of Gloucester's Metrical Chronicle, Arundel 58 begins with ‘The tabile offe cronycil offe Engelonde’ and the claim that ‘Thys boke with hys antecedens and consequens was ful ended the vj day offe Auguste the ʒere of oure lorde a Ml CCC. xlviij’ (i.e. 1448). This date may refer to when the text of Robert's Chronicle was brought together with a summarising prologue (i.e. ‘hys antecedens’) and a concluding pedigree of Henry VI (i.e. the ‘consequens’), but the Chronicle could not have been copied much earlier. The text of Robert's verse has been extensively expanded with prose excerpts from a variety of sources including the Middle English Brut, and translations of Geoffrey of Monmouth, William of Malmesbury, John of Glastonbury and others.
There is contradictory evidence regarding negative memory biases in major depressive disorder (MDD) and whether these persist into remission, which would suggest their role as vulnerability traits rather than correlates of mood state. Early life stress (ELS), common in patients with psychiatric disorders, has independently been associated with memory biases, and confounds MDD versus control group comparisons. Furthermore, in most studies negative biases could have resulted from executive impairments rather than memory difficulties per se.
To investigate whether memory biases are relevant to MDD vulnerability and how they are influenced by ELS, we developed an associative recognition memory task for temporo-spatial contexts of social actions with low executive demands, which were matched across conditions (self-blame, other-blame, self-praise, other-praise). We included fifty-three medication-free remitted MDD (25 with ELS, 28 without) and 24 healthy control (HC) participants without ELS.
Only MDD patients with ELS showed a reduced bias (accuracy/speed ratio) towards memory for positive vs. negative materials when compared with MDD without ELS and with HC participants; attenuated positive biases correlated with number of past major depressive episodes, but not current symptoms. There were no biases towards self-blaming or self-praising memories.
This demonstrates that reduced positive biases in associative memory were specific to MDD patients with ELS rather than a general feature of MDD, and were associated with lifetime recurrence risk which may reflect a scarring effect. If replicated, our results would call for stratifying MDD patients by history of ELS when assessing and treating emotional memories.
Aberrant reward mechanisms with regard to slim body shapes are discussed in patients with anorexia nervosa (AN). The aim of the present study was to examine of cue reactivity toward body shapes in AN via the late positive potential (LPP), an event-related electroencephalography (EEG) component. By including adolescents and adults, aspects of development and chronification could be studied (2 × 2 design).
Thirty-two female AN patients (19 adolescents and 13 adults) and 37 control participants (16 adolescents and 21 adults) were included. Standardized photographic stimuli showing women's bodies in underwear from five body mass index (BMI) categories (extremely underweight to extremely overweight) were presented. During picture evaluation, EEG activity was recorded (10–20 system). The LPP was measured in two time windows characterized by different topographies (450–700 ms: posterior; 1000–1300 ms: central).
Regarding the posterior component, LPP amplitudes were clearly reduced in adult but not in adolescent patients; for both time windows the LPP showed differential patterns over BMI categories for patients and controls. Regarding the central component, a highly significant linear decrease from extremely underweight to extremely overweight body shapes was revealed in patients and no significant modulation in control participants.
Adolescent and adult patients show increased sustained attention toward extremely underweight bodies. In chronically ill patients, this bias appears to be accompanied by generally reduced automatic attention. The LPP findings provide a differentiated picture of aberrant cue reactivity which could be interpreted as motivated attention toward body shapes in AN.
A high proportion of patients with remitted major depressive disorder (MDD) will experience recurring episodes, whilst some develop resilience and remain in recovery. The neural basis of resilience to recurrence is elusive. Abnormal resting-state connectivity of the subgenual cingulate cortex (sgACC) was previously found in cross-sectional studies of MDD, suggesting its potential pathophysiological importance. The current study aimed to investigate whether resting-state connectivity to a left sgACC seed region distinguishes resilient patients from those developing recurring episodes.
A total of 47 medication-free remitted MDD patients and 38 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) at baseline. Over 14 months, 30 patients remained resilient whilst 17 experienced a recurring episode.
Attenuated interhemispheric left-to-right sgACC connectivity distinguished the resilient from the recurring-episode and control groups and was not correlated with residual depressive symptoms.
The current study revealed a neural signature of resilience to recurrence in MDD and thereby elucidates the role of compensatory adaptation in sgACC networks.
I deficiency is still a worldwide public health problem, with children being especially vulnerable. No nationwide study had been conducted to assess the I status of Spanish children, and thus an observational, multicentre and cross-sectional study was conducted in Spain to assess the I status and thyroid function in schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The median urinary I (UI) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in whole blood were used to assess the I status and thyroid function, respectively. A FFQ was used to determine the consumption of I-rich foods. A total of 1981 schoolchildren (52 % male) were included. The median UI was 173 μg/l, and 17·9 % of children showed UI<100 μg/l. The median UI was higher in males (180·8 v. 153·6 μg/l; P<0·001). Iodised salt (IS) intake at home was 69·8 %. IS consumption and intakes of ≥2 glasses of milk or 1 cup of yogurt/d were associated with significantly higher median UI. Median TSH was 0·90 mU/l and was higher in females (0·98 v. 0·83; P<0·001). In total, 0·5 % of children had known hypothyroidism (derived from the questionnaire) and 7·6 % had TSH levels above reference values. Median TSH was higher in schoolchildren with family history of hypothyroidism. I intake was adequate in Spanish schoolchildren. However, no correlation was found between TSH and median UI in any geographical area. The prevalence of TSH above reference values was high and its association with thyroid autoimmunity should be determined. Further assessment of thyroid autoimmunity in Spanish schoolchildren is desirable.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of life in patients with vascular chronic Q fever at time of diagnosis and during follow-up. Based upon the SF-36 questionnaire, the mean physical and mental health of each patient were assessed at 3-month intervals for up to 18 months. A total of 26 patients were included in the study. At time of diagnosis, the mean physical health and mental health score was 50·6 [95% confidence interval (CI) 46·7–54·4] and 44·6 (95% CI 41·6–47·5), respectively. During treatment, the mean physical health score declined significantly by 1·7 points each 3 months (P < 0·001) to 40·8 (95% CI 34·4–45·1). The mean mental health score significantly and steadily increased towards 51·2 (95% CI 46·9–54·3) during follow-up (P = 0·026). A total of 23% of patients were cured after 18 months of follow-up. In conclusion, quality of life at time of diagnosis for patients with vascular chronic Q fever is lower compared to a similar group of patients, matched for age and gender, with an aortic abdominal aneurysmal disease, and physical health decreases further after starting treatment. Considering the low percentage of cure, the current treatment of vascular chronic Q fever patients may require a separate strategy from that of endocarditis in order to increase survival.
Although severe hoarding symptoms have been considered rare among obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) samples, the prevalence of animal hoarding in OCD is unknown. To help clarifying this issue, we searched for cases of animal hoarding among patients attending a university OCD clinic (n=420).
Only two patients from our sample exhibited animal hoarding (<0.5%) and only one of them presented additional obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Both cases also collected inanimate objects, presented low insight, exhibited poor response to serotonin reuptake inhibitors and did not adhere to therapy.
There seems to be a lack of relationship between animal hoarding and OCD. However, further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed to better define their psychopathological profile and more appropriate nosological insertion.
In August 2011, one of the earliest cases of influenza A(H3N2) variant [A(H3N2)v] virus infection was hospitalized with severe illness. To investigate the potential for healthcare-associated transmission of influenza A(H3N2)v, we evaluated both healthcare providers and patient contacts of the case. We found that healthcare-associated transmission was unlikely.
In July 2011, a cluster of Yersinia enterocolitica infections was detected in southwestern Pennsylvania, USA. We investigated the outbreak's source and scope in order to prevent further transmission. Twenty-two persons were diagnosed with yersiniosis; 16 of whom reported consuming pasteurized dairy products from dairy A. Pasteurized milk and food samples were collected from this dairy. Y. enterocolitica was isolated from two products. Isolates from both food samples and available clinical isolates from nine dairy A consumers were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Environmental and microbiological investigations were performed at dairy A and pasteurization deficiencies were noted. Because consumption of pasteurized milk is common and outbreaks have the potential to become large, public health interventions such as consumer advisories or closure of the dairy must be implemented quickly to prevent additional cases if epidemiological or laboratory evidence implicates pasteurized milk as the outbreak source.
This study investigated the role of length and complexity on sentence repetition in children with dyslexia and typical readers. Length and complexity each had independent effects on sentence repetition, and children with dyslexia performed more poorly than typical readers. This group effect was attributable to individual differences in language rather than memory skills. Error analyses revealed that content words (specifically adjectives) were more likely to be omitted in longer than in shorter sentences independent of complexity. In complex sentences, function words (specifically prepositions) were the most vulnerable to errors, particularly for a subgroup of children with dyslexia who had oral language difficulties. It is proposed that deficits in sentence repetition are indicative of language difficulties in children with dyslexia.
The purpose of this paper is to report our 10 years of experience of interventional treatment of patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and to focus on the frequency, type, and results of percutaneous interventions during all the stages of palliation, considering the different techniques, devices, and complications.
Constant progress in surgical treatment of congenital heart defects in the last decade has significantly improved the prognosis for children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. However, morbidity and mortality remain relatively high. Modern interventional procedures complement or occasionally replace surgical treatment.
Between January, 2001 and December, 2010, 161 percutaneous interventions were performed in 88 patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Patients were divided into four groups: (a) before the first surgical treatment including hybrid approach, (b) after first-stage Norwood operation, (c) after second-stage bidirectional Glenn operation, and (d) after third-stage Fontan operation.
Percutaneous interventions resulted in statistically significant changes in pulmonary artery pressures, vessel diameters, and O2 saturation. Complications occurred in 4.3% of interventions and were related mainly to stent implantation in stenosed pulmonary arteries.
Percutaneous interventions may result in haemodynamic stability and reduction in the number of operations. They may result in significant changes in pulmonary artery pressures, vessel diameters, O2 saturation, with a low rate of complications, which are mainly related to stent implantation in the pulmonary arteries.
In Pennsylvania, reporting of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) was mandated in 2007, and hospitals were encouraged to implement qualified electronic surveillance (QES) systems to assist HAI detection. This study evaluated the usefulness of these systems in reducing HAIs.
Online survey and retrospective cohort study. Eligible facilities had a QES or manual system in place for the entire study period and sufficient data in selected hospital units.
Surveys were sent to infection preventionists (IPs) in all Pennsylvania hospitals to gather qualitative information about their systems. National Healthcare Safety Network data from Pennsylvania hospitals for July 2008 through June 2010 were used to compare catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates in facilities with and without a QES system.
IPs from 174 facilities responded to the survey. Data from 119 of 234 hospitals were analyzed.
IPs in facilities with a QES system reported spending as much time on data management and education as IPs in hospitals with manual surveillance. Significant interaction was observed in CAUTI rates over time between groups of facilities with and without a QES system after controlling for device-utilization ratio, location within hospital, and licensed bed size (P< .01). QES hospitals showed a significant decline in CAUTI rates (P< .01); manual surveillance facilities showed no change in rates (P> .05).
Over the 2-year period, a significant decline in CAUTI rates was observed in facilities with a QES system. This suggests that electronic systems may aid in reducing HAI rates. Additional data are needed to see whether these improvements and trends persist.
A questionnaire was sent to 2099 dairy farms to investigate the occurrence of poor milkability. Based on that, the frequency of poor milkability in Swiss dairy cows was 4% and the percentage of cows treated with oxytocin (OT) was 2%. In addition, 270 dairy farms that had reported cases of animals with poor milkability were contacted for an interview to classify the disorders. Farmers suspected disturbed milk ejection in 52%, anatomical dysfunction of the teat and/or the udder in 16% and milk ejection disorder or impaired milkability caused by discernable environmental factors in 32% of the cases. Forty-eight animals from 18 farms with suspected milk ejection disorders were selected for an experimental field study which included milk flow recording and OT administration to induce milk ejection. After cessation of the spontaneous milk flow, a low dose of OT (0·2, 0·5 or 1 i.u.) was injected i.v. to test the responsiveness of the udder to OT at a physiological level. When milk flow ceased again, 10 i.u. OT was injected i.v. (supraphysiological) to ensure complete udder emptying and to determine the residual milk. Milk ejection disorder could be confirmed in 69% of the cases, i.e. if residual milk was >20% of the total milk. Because in 27% of the animals milk ejection disorder was not confirmed on the basis of elevated residual milk, an anatomical disorder of the teat and/or the udder was suspected. Milk ejection disorder could be confirmed in 69% of the cases whereas in 27% of the suspected cases an anatomical disorder of the teat and/or the udder was suspected. An increased cortisol production in cows with milk ejection disorder was not obvious because faecal concentrations of cortisol metabolites with a 5β-androstane-3α,11oxo-structure were not augmented in animals with disturbed milk ejection.