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Introduction: Selecting appropriate patients for hospitalization following emergency department (ED) evaluation of syncope is critical for serious adverse event (SAE) identification. The primary objective of this study is to determine the association of hospitalization and SAE detection using propensity score (PS) matching. The secondary objective was to determine if SAE identification with hospitalization varied by the Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) risk-category. Methods: This was a secondary analysis of two large prospective cohort studies that enrolled adults (age ≥ 16 years) with syncope at 11 Canadian EDs. Patients with a serious condition identified during index ED evaluation were excluded. Outcome was a 30-day SAE identified either in-hospital for hospitalized patients or after ED disposition for discharged patients and included death, ventricular arrhythmia, non-lethal arrhythmia and non-arrhythmic SAE (myocardial infarction, structural heart disease, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage). Patients were propensity matched using age, sex, blood pressure, prodrome, presumed ED diagnosis, ECG abnormalities, troponin, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arrival by ambulance and hospital site. Multivariable logistic regression assessed the interaction between CSRS and SAE detection and we report odds ratios (OR). Results: Of the 8183 patients enrolled, 743 (9.0%) patients were hospitalized and 658 (88.6%) were PS matched. The OR for SAE detection for hospitalized patients in comparison to those discharged from the ED was 5.0 (95%CI 3.3, 7.4), non-lethal arrhythmia 5.4 (95%CI 3.1, 9.6) and non-arrhythmic SAE 6.3 (95%CI 2.9, 13.5). Overall, the odds of any SAE identification, and specifically non-lethal arrhythmia and non-arrhythmia was significantly higher in-hospital among hospitalized patients than those discharged from the ED (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in 30-day mortality (p = 1.00) or ventricular arrhythmia detection (p = 0.21). The interaction between ED disposition and CSRS was significant (p = 0.04) and the probability of 30-day SAEs while in-hospital was greater for medium and high risk CSRS patients. Conclusion: In this multicenter prospective cohort, 30-day SAE detection was greater for hospitalized compared with discharged patients. CSRS low-risk patients are least likely to have SAEs identified in-hospital; out-patient monitoring for moderate risk patients requires further study.
Introduction: Acute heart failure (AHF) is a common emergency department (ED) presentation and may be associated with poor outcomes. Conversely, many patients rapidly improve with ED treatment and may not need hospital admission. Because there is little evidence to guide disposition decisions by ED and admitting physicians, we sought to create a risk score for predicting short-term serious outcomes (SSO) in patients with AHF. Methods: We conducted prospective cohort studies at 9 tertiary care hospital EDs from 2007 to 2019, and enrolled adult patients who required treatment for AHF. Each patient was assessed for standardized real-time clinical and laboratory variables, as well as for SSO (defined as death within 30 days or intubation, non-invasive ventilation (NIV), myocardial infarction, coronary bypass surgery, or new hemodialysis after admission). The fully pre-specified, logistic regression model with 13 predictors (age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions with 3 knots and heart rate and creatinine with 5 knots) was fitted to the 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions and estimated a sample size of 170 SSOs. Results: The 2,246 patients had mean age 77.4 years, male sex 54.5%, EMS arrival 41.1%, IV NTG 3.1%, ED NIV 5.2%, admission on initial visit 48.6%. Overall there were 174 (7.8%) SSOs including 70 deaths (3.1%). The final risk scale is comprised of five variables (points) and had c-statistic of 0.76 (95% CI: 0.73-0.80): 1.Valvular heart disease (1) 2.ED non-invasive ventilation (2) 3.Creatinine 150-300 (1) ≥300 (2) 4.Troponin 2x-4x URL (1) ≥5x URL (2) 5.Walk test failed (2) The probability of SSO ranged from 2.0% for a total score of 0 to 90.2% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. The model was stable over 1,000 bootstrap samples. Choosing a risk model total point admission threshold of >2 would yield a sensitivity of 80.5% (95% CI 73.9-86.1) for SSO with no change in admissions from current practice (48.6% vs 48.7%). Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a concise and sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of this risk scoring scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
Introduction: Wide variability exists in emergency department (ED) syncope management. The Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) was derived and validated to predict the probability of 30-day serious outcomes after ED disposition. The objective was to identify barriers and facilitators among physicians for CSRS use to stratify risk and guide disposition decisions Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with physicians involved in ED syncope care at 8 Canadian sites. We used purposive sampling, contacting ED physicians, cardiologists, internists, and hospitalists until theme saturation was reached. Interview questions were designed to understand whether the CSRS recommendations are consistent with current practice, barriers and facilitators for application into practice, and intention for future CSRS use. Interviews were conducted via telephone or videoconference. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes, with discrepancies resolved through consensus. Our methods were consistent with the Knowledge to Action Framework, which highlights the need to assess barriers and facilitators for knowledge use and for adapting new interventions into local contexts. Results: We interviewed 14 ED physicians, 7 cardiologists, and 10 hospitalists/internists across 8 sites. All physicians reported the use of electrocardiograms for patients with syncope, a key component in the CSRS criteria. Almost all physicians reported that the low risk recommendation (discharge without specific follow-up) was consistent with current practice, while less consistency was seen for moderate (15 days outpatient monitoring) and high risk recommendations (outpatient monitoring and/or admission). Key barriers to following the CSRS included a lack of access to outpatient monitoring and uncertainty over timely follow-up care. Other barriers included patient/family concerns, social factors, and necessary bloodwork. Facilitators included assisting with patient education, reassurance of their clinical gestalt, and optimal patient factors (e.g. reliability to return, support at home, few comorbidities). Conclusion: Physicians are receptive to using the CSRS tool for risk stratification and decision support. Implementation should address identified barriers, and adaptation to local settings may involve modifying the recommended clinical actions based on local resources and feasibility.
Introduction: Emergency department (ED) syncope management is extremely variable. We developed practice recommendations based on the validated Canadian Syncope Risk Score (CSRS) and outpatient cardiac monitoring strategy with physician input. Methods: We used a 2-step approach. Step-1: We pooled data from the derivation and validation prospective cohort studies (with adequate sample size) conducted at 11 Canadian sites (Sep 2010 to Apr 2018). Adults with syncope were enrolled excluding those with serious outcome identified during index ED evaluation. 30-day adjudicated serious outcomes were arrhythmic (arrhythmias, unknown cause of death) and non-arrhythmic (MI, structural heart disease, pulmonary embolism, hemorrhage)]. We compared the serious outcome proportion among risk categories using Cochran-Armitage test. Step-2: We conducted semi-structured interviews using observed risk to develop and refine the recommendations. We used purposive sampling of physicians involved in syncope care at 8 sites from Jun-Dec 2019 until theme saturation was reached. Two independent raters coded interviews using an inductive approach to identify themes; discrepancies were resolved by consensus. Results: Of the 8176 patients (mean age 54, 55% female), 293 (3.6%; 95%CI 3.2-4.0%) experienced 30-day serious outcomes; 0.4% deaths, 2.5% arrhythmic, 1.1% non-arrhythmic outcomes. The serious outcome proportion significantly increased from low to high-risk categories (p < 0.001; overall 0.6% to 27.7%; arrhythmic 0.2% to 17.3%; non-arrhythmic 0.4% to 5.9% respectively). C-statistic was 0.88 (95%CI0.86–0.90). Non-arrhythmia risk per day for the first 2 days was 0.5% for medium-risk, 2% for high-risk and very low thereafter. We recruited 31 physicians (14 ED, 7 cardiologists, 10 hospitalists/internists). 80% of physicians agreed that low risk patients can be discharged without specific follow-up with inconsistencies around length of ED observation. For cardiac monitoring of medium and high-risk, 64% indicated that they don't have access; 56% currently admit high-risk patients and an additional 20% agreed to this recommendation. A deeper exploration led to following refinement: discharge without specific follow-up for low-risk, a shared decision approach for medium-risk and short course of hospitalization for high-risk patients. Conclusion: The recommendations were developed (with online calculator) based on in-depth feedback from key stakeholders to improve uptake during implementation.
We report the results from the first 12 months of a 2-year maintenance phase of a study evaluating long-term efficacy and safety of venlafaxine extended-release (XR) in preventing recurrence of depression.
Patients with recurrent unipolar depression (N=1096) were randomly assigned in a 3:1 ratio to 10-week treatment with venlafaxine XR (75 mg/d to 300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20 mg/d to 60 mg/d). Responders (HAM-D17 total score ≤12 and ≥50% decrease from baseline) entered a 6-month, double-blind, continuation phase on the same medication. Continuation phase responders enrolled into the maintenance treatment period consisting of 2 consecutive 12-month phases. At the start of each maintenance phase, venlafaxine XR responders were randomly assigned to double-blind treatment with venlafaxine XR or placebo; fluoxetine responders continued for each period. Time to recurrence (HAM-D17 total score >12 and <50% reduction from acute phase baseline at 2 consecutive visits or the last visit prior to discontinuation) was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods and compared between groups using log-rank tests.
At the end of the continuation phase, venlafaxine XR responders were randomly assigned to venlafaxine XR (n=164) or placebo (n=172); 129 patients in each group were evaluated for efficacy. The cumulative probability of recurrence through 12 months was 23.1% (95% CI: 15.3, 30.9) for venlafaxine XR and 42.0% (95% CI: 31.8, 52.2) for placebo (P=0.005).
Twelve months of venlafaxine XR maintenance treatment was effective in preventing recurrence in depressed patients who had been successfully treated with venlafaxine XR during acute and continuation therapy.
This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of venlafaxine extended-release (XR) in preventing recurrence of depression.
Outpatients with recurrent unipolar depression (N=1096) were randomly assigned in a 3:1 ratio to 10-week treatment with venlafaxine XR (75 mg/d to 300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20 mg/d to 60 mg/d). Responders (HAM-D17 ≤12 and ≥50% decrease from baseline) entered a 6-month, double-blind, continuation phase on the same medication. Continuation phase responders enrolled into maintenance treatment consisting of 2 consecutive 12-month phases. At the start of each maintenance phase, venlafaxine XR responders were randomized to double-blind treatment with venlafaxine XR or placebo; fluoxetine responders continued on fluoxetine. Time to recurrence (HAM-D17 >12 and <50% reduction from acute phase baseline at 2 consecutive visits or the last valid visit prior to discontinuation) was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier methods and compared between groups using log-rank tests.
In the second maintenance phase, the cumulative probabilities of recurrence through 12 months in the venlafaxine XR (n=43) and placebo (n=40) groups were 8.0% (95% CI: 0.0, 16.8) and 44.8% (95% CI: 27.6, 62.0), respectively (P<0.001). The probabilities of recurrence over 24 months for patients assigned to venlafaxine XR (n=129) or placebo (n=129) for the first maintenance phase were 28.5% (95% CI 18.3, 37.8) and 47.3% (95% CI 36.4, 58.2), respectively (P=0.005).
An additional 12 months of venlafaxine XR maintenance therapy was effective in preventing recurrence in depressed patients who had responded to venlafaxine XR after acute, continuation, and 12 months' initial maintenance therapy.
The efficacy of venlafaxine extended-release (XR) at doses between 75 mg/d and 300 mg/d has been demonstrated in patients with recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) over 2.5 years. This analysis evaluated the long-term efficacy of venlafaxine XR ≤225 mg/d, the approved dosage in many countries.
In the primary multicenter, double-blind trial, outpatients with recurrent MDD (N=1096) were randomized to receive 10-week acute-phase treatment with venlafaxine XR (75 mg/d to 300 mg/d) or fluoxetine (20 mg/d to 60 mg/d), followed by a 6-month continuation phase. Subsequently, at the start of 2 consecutive, double-blind, 12-month maintenance phases, venlafaxine XR responders were randomized to receive venlafaxine XR or placebo. Data from the 24 months of maintenance treatment were analyzed for the combined end point of maintenance of response (ie, no recurrence of depression and no dose increase above 225 mg/d), and each component individually. Time to each outcome was evaluated with Kaplan-Meier methods using log-rank tests for venlafaxine XR-placebo comparisons.
The analysis population included 114 patients who had received venlafaxine XR doses less than or equal to 225 mg/d prior to maintenance phase baseline (venlafaxine XR: n=55; placebo: n=59). Probability estimates for maintaining response were 70% for venlafaxine XR and 38% for placebo (P=0.007), for no dose increase were 76% and 58%, respectively (P=0.019), and for no recurrence were 87% vs 65%, respectively (P=.099).
These data confirm venlafaxine XR is effective maintaining response at doses ≤225 mg/d for up to 2.5 years in patients with MDD.
Recently, a triple-network model suggested the abnormal interactions between the executive-control network (ECN), default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) are important characteristics of addiction, in which the SN plays a critical role in allocating attentional resources toward the ECN and DMN. Although increasing studies have reported dysfunctions in these brain networks in Internet gaming disorder (IGD), interactions between these networks, particularly in the context of the triple-network model, have not been investigated in IGD. Thus, we aimed to assess alterations in the inter-network interactions of these large-scale networks in IGD, and to associate the alterations with IGD-related behaviors.
DMN, ECN and SN were identified using group-level independent component analysis (gICA) in 39 individuals with IGD and 34 age and gender matched healthy controls (HCs). Then alterations in the SN-ECN and SN-DMN connectivity, as well as in the modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN, using a resource allocation index (RAI) developed and validated previously in nicotine addiction, were assessed. Further, associations between these altered network coupling and clinical assessments were also examined.
Compared with HCs, IGD had significantly increased SN-DMN connectivity and decreased RAI in right hemisphere (rRAI), and the rRAI in IGD was negatively associated with their scores of craving.
These findings suggest that the deficient modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN might provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis of IGD and might provide novel evidence for the triple-network model in IGD.
This study evaluated the quality of YouTube content focusing on common paediatric otolaryngology procedures, as this content can influence the opinions and medical decisions of patients.
A total of 120 YouTube videos were compiled to review using the terms ‘adenoid removal’, ‘adenoidectomy’, ‘ear tubes’, ‘tympanostomy’, ‘tonsil removal’ and ‘tonsillectomy’. The Discern criteria was used to rate the quality of health information presented in each video.
The mean bias Discern score was 3.18 and the mean overall Discern score was 2.39. Videos including US board certified physicians were rated significantly higher (p < 0.001) than videos without (bias Discern score = 3.00 vs 2.38; overall Discern score = 3.79 vs 1.55). The videos had been viewed a total of 176 769 549 times.
Unbiased, high quality videos on YouTube are lacking. As patients may rely on this information when making medical decisions, it is important that practitioners continually evaluate and improve this video content. Otolaryngologists should be prepared to discuss YouTube content with patients.
Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of vector-borne disease (VBD) in pets is one cornerstone of companion animal practices. Veterinarians are facing new challenges associated with the emergence, reemergence, and rising incidence of VBD, including heartworm disease, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichiosis. Increases in the observed prevalence of these diseases have been attributed to a multitude of factors, including diagnostic tests with improved sensitivity, expanded annual testing practices, climatologic and ecological changes enhancing vector survival and expansion, emergence or recognition of novel pathogens, and increased movement of pets as travel companions. Veterinarians have the additional responsibility of providing information about zoonotic pathogen transmission from pets, especially to vulnerable human populations: the immunocompromised, children, and the elderly. Hindering efforts to protect pets and people is the dynamic and ever-changing nature of VBD prevalence and distribution. To address this deficit in understanding, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) began efforts to annually forecast VBD prevalence in 2011. These forecasts provide veterinarians and pet owners with expected disease prevalence in advance of potential changes. This review summarizes the fidelity of VBD forecasts and illustrates the practical use of CAPC pathogen prevalence maps and forecast data in the practice of veterinary medicine and client education.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
Introduction: We previously derived (N = 559) and validated (N = 1,100) the 10-item Ottawa Heart Failure Risk Scale (OHFRS), to assist with disposition decisions for patients with acute heart failure (AHF) in the emergency department (ED). In the current study we sought to use a larger dataset to develop a more concise and more accurate risk scale. Methods: We analyzed data from the prior two studies and from a new cohort. For all 3 groups we conducted prospective cohort studies that enrolled patients who required treatment for AHF at 8 tertiary care hospital EDs. Patients were followed for 30 days. The primary outcome was short-term serious outcome (SSO), defined as death within 30 days, intubation or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) after admission, myocardial infarction, or relapse resulting in hospital admission within 14 days. The fully pre-specified logistic regression model with 13 predictors (where age, pCO2, and SaO2 were modeled using spline functions) was fitted to 10 multiple imputation datasets. Harrell's fast stepdown procedure reduced the number of variables. We calculated the potential impact on sensitivity (95% CI) for SSO and hospital admissions, and estimated a sample size of 2,000 patients. Results: The 1,986 patients had mean age 77.3 years, male 54.1%, EMS arrival 41.2%, IV NTG 3.3%, ED NIV 5.4%, admission on initial visit 49.5%. Overall there were 236 (11.9%) SSOs including 61 deaths (3.1%), meaning that current admission practice sensitivity for SSO was only 59.7%. The final HEARTRISK6 scale is comprised of 6 variables (points) (C-statistic 0.68): Valvular heart disease (2) Antiarrhythmic medication (2) ED non-invasive ventilation (3) Creatinine 80–150 (1); ≥150 (3) Troponin ≥3x URL (2) Walk test failed (1). The probability of SSO ranged from 4.8% for a total score of 0 to 62.4% for a score of 10, showing good calibration. Choosing a HEARTRISK6 total point admission threshold of ≥3 would yield sensitivity of 70.8% (95%CI 64.5-76.5) for SSO with a slight decrease in admissions to 47.9%. Choosing a threshold of ≥2 would yield a sensitivity of 84.3% (95%CI 79.0-88.7) but require 66.6% admissions. Conclusion: Using a large prospectively collected dataset, we created a more concise and more sensitive risk scale to assist with admission decisions for patients with AHF in the ED. Implementation of the HEARTRISK6 scale should lead to safer and more efficient disposition decisions, with more high-risk patients being admitted and more low-risk patients being discharged.
Introduction: The treatment of cutaneous abscesses in the Emergency Department (ED) is common. While most sources describe only incision and drainage (I&D) followed by healing through secondary intention, recent literature suggests that primary repair following I&D results in similar rates of healing as well as treatment failures when compared to standard care in the ED. The primary goal of this research project was to describe the variability in practice with respect to self-reported management of abscesses among Canadian ED physicians and explore potential reluctance in adopting primary repair as a management strategy. Methods: An electronic survey was distributed through the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). Practicing physician members of CAEP were invited to complete the survey. The 9-question survey probed the willingness of physicians to perform primary closure of abscess in the ED as well as factors that dissuade them from performing this type of closure. The primary outcome was the quantification of practice variability among ED physicians with respect to abscess closure in the ED. The data was presented with simple descriptive statistics. Results: 217 surveys were completed out of 1145 eligible physicians. Physicians working at academic centres comprised 53% of responses, with 47% coming from community centres. Over half of responses were from physicians in practice at least ten years (65.9%). The overwhelming majority of physicians indicated that they manage abscesses following I&D by secondary closure (96.3%). The two main concerns dissuading respondents from performing primary closure of abscesses included risk of treatment failure (47.8%) and the procedure not being considered standard of care (36.7%). Despite these concerns, 67.3% of physicians indicated a willingness to perform primary closure if further evidence supported its use. These physicians were most likely to consider primary closure at the head and neck, breast, trunk, and extremities, however, only 1.5% considered primary closure appropriate for perianal or pilonidal abscesses. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that almost all Canadian ED physicians, regardless of experience or practice centre, manage cutaneous abscesses with I&D followed by healing via secondary intention. With increasing evidence supporting the use of primary closure, many physicians may be willing to adopt primary closure as part of the management of cutaneous abscesses in the ED.
We present the defect analysis by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy of CdSexTe1-x thin films, grown with varying Se content by a co-sputtered deposition method. We observe a peak at 1.203 eV in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.21, which shifts towards higher energies with increase in laser power. This peak was assigned to a donor-to-acceptor (DAP) transition, with a measured j-shift of ∼4.7 meV/decade. Temperature dependent PL intensity measurements confirm that the observed DAP peak involves a shallow defect state of binding energy ∼34.7 meV. In contrast, a free-to-bound (FB) peak at 1.294 eV involving a shallow defect of binding energy ∼18.3 meV was observed in the CdSexTe1-x film for x = 0.14. Additionally, we observe band edge emission at 1.452 eV and 1.448 eV in CdSexTe1-x films for x = 0.14 and x = 0.21 respectively. Our analysis shows that the Se concentration not only changes the band gap energy of the resulting CdSexTe1-x alloy thin film, but also modifies the nature of the dominant observed defect emission.
Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd2+, Zn2+, and Fe2+salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd2+ or Zn2+in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are one of the most common and severe symptoms of schizophrenia, but the neuroanatomical abnormalities underlying AVHs are not well understood. The present study aims to investigate whether AVHs are associated with cortical thinning.
Participants were schizophrenia patients from four centers across China, 115 with AVHs and 93 without AVHs, as well as 261 healthy controls. All received 3 T T1-weighted brain scans, and whole brain vertex-wise cortical thickness was compared across groups. Correlations between AVH severity and cortical thickness were also determined.
The left middle part of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was significantly thinner in schizophrenia patients with AVHs than in patients without AVHs and healthy controls. Inferences were made using a false discovery rate approach with a threshold at p < 0.05. Left MTG thickness did not differ between patients without AVHs and controls. These results were replicated by a meta-analysis showing them to be consistent across the four centers. Cortical thickness of the left MTG was also found to be inversely correlated with hallucination severity across all schizophrenia patients.
The results of this multi-center study suggest that an abnormally thin left MTG could be involved in the pathogenesis of AVHs in schizophrenia.