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One challenge for multisite clinical trials is ensuring that the conditions of an informative trial are incorporated into all aspects of trial planning and execution. The multicenter model can provide the potential for a more informative environment, but it can also place a trial at risk of becoming uninformative due to lack of rigor, quality control, or effective recruitment, resulting in premature discontinuation and/or non-publication. Key factors that support informativeness are having the right team and resources during study planning and implementation and adequate funding to support performance activities. This communication draws on the experience of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) Trial Innovation Network (TIN) to develop approaches for enhancing the informativeness of clinical trials. We distilled this information into three principles: (1) assemble a diverse team, (2) leverage existing processes and systems, and (3) carefully consider budgets and contracts. The TIN, comprised of NCATS, three Trial Innovation Centers, a Recruitment Innovation Center, and 60+ CTSA Program hubs, provides resources to investigators who are proposing multicenter collaborations. In addition to sharing principles that support the informativeness of clinical trials, we highlight TIN-developed resources relevant for multicenter trial initiation and conduct.
Leafy green vegetables are a common source of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157) foodborne illness outbreaks. Ruminant animals, primarily cattle, are the major reservoir of STEC O157. Epidemiological, traceback and field investigations were conducted to identify potential outbreak sources. Product and environmental samples were tested for STEC. A reoccurring strain of STEC O157 caused two multistate outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce in 2018 and 2019, resulting in 234 illnesses in 33 states. Over 80% of patients interviewed consumed romaine lettuce before illness. The romaine lettuce was sourced from two California growing regions: Santa Maria and Salinas Valley in 2018 and Salinas Valley in 2019. The outbreak strain was isolated from environmental samples collected at sites >90 miles apart across growing regions, as well as from romaine-containing products in 2019. Although the definitive route of romaine contamination was undetermined, use of a contaminated agricultural water reservoir in 2018 and contamination from cattle grazing on adjacent land in 2019 were suspected as possible factors. Preventing lettuce contamination from growth to consumption is imperative to preventing illness. These outbreaks highlight the need to further understand mechanisms of romaine contamination, including the role of environmental or animal reservoirs for STEC O157.
This chapter reviews the current concepts and ongoing controversies regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, significance, and treatment of the varicocele. Varicocele may also affect reactive oxygen species generation, rendering the testicle and the sperm unable to handle oxidative stress, and resulting in reactive oxygen species buildup. Toxic agents and heavy metals accumulate in tissues undergoing apoptosis, several investigators has examined testicular tissue heavy-metal content in men with varicocele. A pencil-probe Doppler stethoscope has been advocated as an adjunctive tool in the examination of the varicocele. Ultrasonography has become an increasingly useful modality in the diagnosis of varicocele. Surgical varicocelectomy is the cornerstone of varicocele therapy. Several surgical approaches are available to accomplish varicocelectomy. The approaches include the scrotal approach, the subinguinal approach, the inguinal approach, the retroperitoneal approach, and the laparoscopic approach. Azoospermia has generally been regarded as a contraindication to varicocelectomy.
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