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Introduction: The optimal initial management approach for ureteral colic is unclear. Guidelines recommend spontaneous passage for most patients, but early stone intervention may rapidly terminate acute episodes. We compared 60-day treatment failure rates in matched patients undergoing early intervention versus spontaneous passage. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study all emergency department (ED) patients at nine Canadian hospitals who had an index ureteral colic visit and a computed tomography (CT) confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm stone during 2014. Using Cox Proportional Hazards models, we assessed 60-day treatment failure, defined as hospitalization or rescue intervention, in patients undergoing early intervention compared to propensity-score matched controls undergoing trial of spontaneous passage. Results: From 3,081 eligible patients, mean age 51 years and 70% male, we matched 577 patients in each group (total 1154). Control and intervention cohorts were balanced on all parameters and propensity scores, which reflect the conditional probability a patient would undergo early intervention, were similarly distributed. In the time to event analysis, 21.8% in both groups experienced the composite primary outcome of treatment failure (difference = 0%; 95% CI, -4.8 to 4.8%). Early intervention patients required more ED revisits (36.1% v. 25.5%; difference 10.6%; 95% CI 5.3 to 15.9%) and more 60-day hospitalizations (20.1% v. 12.8%). The strongest predictors of adverse outcome were stone size, proximal or middle stone location, and ED length of stay. Conclusion: If applied broadly to patients with 2.0-9.9mm ureteral stones, an early interventional approach was associated with similar rates of treatment failure, but more hospitalizations and emergency revisits. Research clarifying subgroups most likely to benefit will facilitate better targeting of early intervention, potentially reducing patient morbidity and improving system utilization.
Introduction: Ureteral colic is a common painful disorder. Early surgical intervention is an attractive management option but existing evidence does not clarify which patients benefit. Based on lack of evidence, current national specialty guidelines provide conflicting recommendations regarding who is a candidate for early intervention. We compared treatment failure rates in patients receiving early intervention to those in patients offered spontaneous passage to identify subgroups that benefit from early intervention. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study consecutive patients attending one of nine hospitals in two provinces with an index emergency department (ED) visit and a confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm ureteral stone. We described patient, stone and treatment variables, and used multivariable regression to identify factors associated with treatment failure, defined as the need for rescue intervention or hospitalization within 60 days. Our secondary outcome was ED revisit rate. Results: Overall, 1168 (37.9%) of 3081 eligible patients underwent early intervention. Patients with small stones <5mm experienced more treatment failures (31.5% v. 9.9%) and more ED revisits (38.5% v. 19.7%) with early intervention than with spontaneous passage. Patients with large stones ≥7.0mm experienced fewer treatment failures (34.7% v. 58.6%) and similar ED revisit rates with early intervention. Patients with intermediate-sized 5.0-6.9mm stones had fewer treatment failures with intervention (37.4% v. 55.5%), but only if stones were in the proximal or middle ureter. Conclusion: This study clarifies stone characteristics that identify patients likely to benefit from early intervention. We recommend low-risk patients with uncomplicated stones <5mm generally undergo initial trial of spontaneous passage, while high-risk patients with proximal or middle stones >5mm, or any stone >7mm, be offered early intervention.
The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) measures three aspects of catastrophic cognitions about pain—rumination, magnification, and helplessness. To facilitate assessment and clinical application, we aimed to (a) develop a short version on the basis of its factorial structure and the items’ correlations with key pain-related outcomes, and (b) identify the threshold on the short form indicative of risk for depression.
Social centers for older people.
664 Chinese older adults with chronic pain.
Besides the PCS, pain intensity, pain disability, and depressive symptoms were assessed.
For the full scale, confirmatory factor analysis showed that the hypothesized 3-factor model fit the data moderately well. On the basis of the factor loadings, two items were selected from each of the three dimensions. An additional item significantly associated with pain disability and depressive symptoms, over and above these six items, was identified through regression analyses. A short-PCS composed of seven items was formed, which correlated at r=0.97 with the full scale. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted against clinically significant depressive symptoms, defined as a score of ≥12 on a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. This analysis showed a score of ≥7 to be the optimal cutoff for the short-PCS, with sensitivity = 81.6% and specificity = 78.3% when predicting clinically significant depressive symptoms.
The short-PCS may be used in lieu of the full scale and as a brief screen to identify individuals with serious catastrophizing.
This study investigated the characteristics of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and their association with current and future cognitive functions.
A cohort of 209 community-dwelling individuals without dementia aged 47–90 years old was recruited for this 3-year study. Participants underwent neuropsychological and clinical assessments annually. Participants were divided into SMCs and non-memory complainers (NMCs) using a single question at baseline and a memory complaints questionnaire following baseline, to evaluate differential patterns of complaints. In addition, comprehensive assessment of memory complaints was undertaken to evaluate whether severity and consistency of complaints differentially predicted cognitive function.
SMC and NMC individuals were significantly different on various features of SMCs. Greater overall severity (but not consistency) of complaints was significantly associated with current and future cognitive functioning.
SMC individuals present distinctive features of memory complaints as compared to NMCs. Further, the severity of complaints was a significant predictor of future cognition. However, SMC did not significantly predict change over time in this sample. These findings warrant further research into the specific features of SMCs that may portend subsequent neuropathological and cognitive changes when screening individuals at increased future risk of dementia.
Some centres favour early intervention for ureteral colic while others prefer trial of spontaneous passage, and relative outcomes are poorly described. Calgary and Vancouver have similar populations and physician expertise, but differing approaches to ureteral colic. We studied 60-day hospitalization and intervention rates for patients having a first emergency department (ED) visit for ureteral colic in these diverse systems.
We used administrative data and structured chart review to study all Vancouver and Calgary patients with an index visit for ureteral colic during 2014. Patient demographics, arrival characteristics and triage category were captured from ED information systems, while ED visits and admissions were captured from linked regional hospital databases. Laboratory results were obtained from electronic health records and stone characteristics were abstracted from diagnostic imaging reports. Our primary outcome was hospitalization or urological intervention from 0 to 60 days. Secondary outcomes included ED revisits, readmissions and rescue interventions. Time to event analysis was conducted and Cox Proportional Hazards modelling was performed to adjust for covariate imbalance.
We studied 3283 patients with CT-defined stones. Patient and stone characteristics were similar for the cities. Hospitalization or intervention occurred in 60.9% of Calgary patients and 31.3% of Vancouver patients (p<0.001). Calgary patients had higher index intervention rates (52.1% v. 7.5%), and experienced more ED revisits and hospital readmissions during follow-up. The data suggest that outcome events were associated with overtreatment of small stones in one city and undertreatment of large stones in the other.
An early interventional approach was associated with higher ED revisit, hospitalization and intervention rates. If these events are markers of patient disability, then a less interventional approach to small stones and earlier definitive management of large stones may reduce system utilization and improve outcomes for patients with acute ureteral colic.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
A substantial and continual economic loss within the pig industry is the 5-20% pre-weaning mortality rate that occurs during the neonatal period (MLC, 2002). The principal causes of piglet death are low birth weight in conjunction with insufficient amounts of body fat reserves (Herpin et al., 1993; Varley, 1995). Studies by Rooke et al. (2000) have demonstrated that the fatty acid profiles of the sows diet during late pregnancy and lactation is an important factor influencing piglet performance. The benefits of dietary manipulations aimed at improving piglet survival, however, remain controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing the maternal diet with palm and/or soya oil during late gestation on piglet growth performance.
Early nutrition of the neonatal pig has a major impact on its survival and subsequent development (Cieslak et al., 1983). The success of maternal nutrition trials has been limited in improving the survival and growth performance of piglets. Milk yield and composition has been altered (Jackson et al., 1995; Averette et al., 1999), which subsequently enhanced piglet health and growth performance but feeding supplemental fat had little or no effect on the birth weight of piglets. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of supplementing palm and/or soya oil directly to the piglet on its subsequent growth performance.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether significant difference exists on radiation dose delivered to organs at risks in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) verification using three predefined scanning modes, namely fine (2 mm), normal (4 mm) and coarse (6 mm). This will provide information for the imaging protocol of tomotherapy for the left breast.
Materials and methods
Organ doses were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) placed within a female Rando phantom for MVCT imaging. Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted with p<0·05 to evaluate the significant difference between the three MVCT scanning modes.
Statistically significant difference existed in organ absorbed dose between different scan mode selections (p<0·001). Relative to the normal scan selection (4 mm), the absorbed dose to the organs of interests can be scaled down by 0·7 and scaled up by 2·1 for coarse (6 mm) and fine scans (2 mm) respectively.
Optimisation of imaging protocols is of paramount importance to keep the radiation exposure ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. The recommendation of undergoing daily coarse mode for MVCT verification in breast tomotherapy not only mitigates the radiation exposure to normal tissues, but also trims the scan-acquisition time.
This study examined the processing of derivational morphology and its association with measures of morphological awareness and literacy outcomes in 30 Dutch-speaking high-functioning dyslexics, and 30 controls, matched for age and reading comprehension. A masked priming experiment was conducted where the semantic overlap between morphologically related pairs was manipulated as part of a lexical decision task. Measures of morphological awareness were assessed using a specifically designed sentence completion task. Significant priming effects were found in each group, yet adults with dyslexia were found to benefit more from the morphological structure than the controls. Adults with dyslexia were found to be influenced by both form (morpho-orthographic) and meaning (morphosemantic) properties of morphemes while controls were mainly influenced by morphosemantic properties. The reports suggest that morphological processing is intact in high-functioning dyslexics and a strength when compared to controls matched for reading comprehension and age. Thus, reports support morphological processing as a potential factor in the reading compensation of adults with dyslexia. However, adults with dyslexia performed significantly worse than controls on morphological awareness measures.
As part of further investigations into three linked haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) cases in Wales and England, 21 rats from a breeding colony in Cherwell, and three rats from a household in Cheltenham were screened for hantavirus. Hantavirus RNA was detected in either the lungs and/or kidney of 17/21 (81%) of the Cherwell rats tested, higher than previously detected by blood testing alone (7/21, 33%), and in the kidneys of all three Cheltenham rats. The partial L gene sequences obtained from 10 of the Cherwell rats and the three Cheltenham rats were identical to each other and the previously reported UK Cherwell strain. Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) RNA was detected in the heart, kidney, lung, salivary gland and spleen (but not in the liver) of an individual rat from the Cherwell colony suspected of being the source of SEOV. Serum from 20/20 of the Cherwell rats and two associated HFRS cases had high levels of SEOV-specific antibodies (by virus neutralisation). The high prevalence of SEOV in both sites and the moderately severe disease in the pet rat owners suggest that SEOV in pet rats poses a greater public health risk than previously considered.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism Met allele exacerbates amyloid (Aβ) related decline in episodic memory (EM) and hippocampal volume (HV) over 36–54 months in preclinical Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the extent to which Aβ+ and BDNF Val66Met is related to circulating markers of BDNF (e.g. serum) is unknown. We aimed to determine the effect of Aβ and the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on levels of serum mBDNF, EM, and HV at baseline and over 18-months.
Non-demented older adults (n = 446) underwent Aβ neuroimaging and BDNF Val66Met genotyping. EM and HV were assessed at baseline and 18 months later. Fasted blood samples were obtained from each participant at baseline and at 18-month follow-up. Aβ PET neuroimaging was used to classify participants as Aβ– or Aβ+.
At baseline, Aβ+ adults showed worse EM impairment and lower serum mBDNF levels relative to Aβ- adults. BDNF Val66Met polymorphism did not affect serum mBDNF, EM, or HV at baseline. When considered over 18-months, compared to Aβ– Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Val homozygotes showed significant decline in EM and HV but not serum mBDNF. Similarly, compared to Aβ+ Val homozygotes, Aβ+ Met carriers showed significant decline in EM and HV over 18-months but showed no change in serum mBDNF.
While allelic variation in BDNF Val66Met may influence Aβ+ related neurodegeneration and memory loss over the short term, this is not related to serum mBDNF. Longer follow-up intervals may be required to further determine any relationships between serum mBDNF, EM, and HV in preclinical AD.
In this paper, a control approach called Artificial Neural Tissue (ANT) is applied to multirobot excavation for lunar base preparation tasks including clearing landing pads and burying of habitat modules. We show for the first time, a team of autonomous robots excavating a terrain to match a given three-dimensional (3D) blueprint. Constructing mounds around landing pads will provide physical shielding from debris during launch/landing. Burying a human habitat modules under 0.5 m of lunar regolith is expected to provide both radiation shielding and maintain temperatures of −25 °C. This minimizes base life-support complexity and reduces launch mass. ANT is compelling for a lunar mission because it does not require a team of astronauts for excavation and it requires minimal supervision. The robot teams are shown to autonomously interpret blueprints, excavate and prepare sites for a lunar base. Because little pre-programmed knowledge is provided, the controllers discover creative techniques. ANT evolves techniques such as slot-dozing that would otherwise require excavation experts. This is critical in making an excavation mission feasible when it is prohibitively expensive to send astronauts. The controllers evolve elaborate negotiation behaviors to work in close quarters. These and other techniques such as concurrent evolution of the controller and team size are shown to tackle problem of antagonism, when too many robots interfere reducing the overall efficiency or worse, resulting in gridlock. Although many challenges remain with this technology, our work shows a compelling pathway for field testing this approach.
We describe here the parallels in astronomy and earth science datasets, their analyses, and the opportunities for methodology transfer from astroinformatics to geoinformatics. Using example of hydrology, we emphasize how meta-data and ontologies are crucial in such an undertaking. Using the infrastructure being designed for EarthCube - the Virtual Observatory for the earth sciences - we discuss essential steps for better transfer of tools and techniques in the future e.g. domain adaptation. Finally we point out that it is never a one-way process and there is enough for astroinformatics to learn from geoinformatics as well.
A semi-automated continuous-flow system used to process archaeological bone to purified gelatin or amino acids for 14C dating is described. Powdered bone is retained in flow cells specifically designed to permit the sequential leaching of the bone with acid, alkali and water. Crude collagen obtained by this process is gelatinized, and than either purified directly using a macroporous cation exchange resin (BioRad AGMP-50), or hydrolyzed and the amino acids desalted on BioRad 50W-X8 resin. When compared with previous methods used by the laboratory, the new method allows more samples to be treated to a higher degree of purification. Examples of dates obtained on “standard” bones are presented, and confirm that no contamination is introduced from the components used in the new process.
It is well known that 14C dating of fossil bone with seriously depleted protein levels, or bone that has been consolidated with preservatives, can produce erroneous results. In the tropics, warm and moist soil conditions lead to constant reworking of organic matter and add to the danger of bone contamination. Because of this, 14C dating of preservative-impregnated bone from such areas has rarely been successful. We report here a set of AMS dates on both unconsolidated animal bone and polyvinyl acetate/polyvinyl alcohol (PVA/PV-OH) impregnated human burials from the Maya site of Cuello, Belize. The steps needed to purify the samples are described, together with details on the use of qualitative infra-red (IR) spectra as a means of assessing sample purity.
Sleep curtailment is common in the Westernised world and coincides with an increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This review considers the recently published evidence for whether sleep duration is involved in the development of T2DM in human subjects and whether sleep has a role to play in glucose control in people who have diabetes. Data from large, prospective studies indicate a U-shaped relationship between sleep duration and the development of T2DM. Smaller, cross-sectional studies also support a relationship between short sleep duration and the development of both insulin resistance and T2DM. Intervention studies show that sleep restriction leads to insulin resistance, with recent sleep extension studies offering tantalising data showing a potential benefit of sleep extension on glucose control and insulin sensitivity. In people with established diabetes the published literature shows an association between poor glucose control and both short and long sleep durations. However, there are currently no studies that determine the causal direction of this relationship, nor whether sleep interventions are likely to offer benefit for people with diabetes to help them achieve tighter glucose control.
Repeat rectal chlamydia infection is common in men who have sex with men (MSM) following treatment with 1 g azithromycin. This study describes the association between organism load and repeat rectal chlamydia infection, genovar distribution, and efficacy of azithromycin in asymptomatic MSM. Stored rectal chlamydia-positive samples from MSM were analysed for organism load and genotyped to assist differentiation between reinfection and treatment failure. Included men had follow-up tests within 100 days of index infection. Lymphogranuloma venereum and proctitis diagnosed symptomatically were excluded. Factors associated with repeat infection, treatment failure and reinfection were investigated. In total, 227 MSM were included – 64 with repeat infections [28·2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 22·4–34·5]. Repeat positivity was associated with increased pre-treatment organism load [odds ratio (OR) 1·7, 95% CI 1·4–2·2]. Of 64 repeat infections, 29 (12·8%, 95% CI 8·7–17·8) were treatment failures and 35 (15·4%, 95% CI 11·0–20·8) were reinfections, 11 (17·2%, 95% CI 8·9–28·7) of which were definite reinfections. Treatment failure and reinfection were both associated with increased load (OR 2·0, 95% CI 1·4–2·7 and 1·6, 95% CI 1·2–2·2, respectively). The most prevalent genovars were G, D and J. Treatment efficacy for 1 g azithromycin was 83·6% (95% CI 77·2–88·8). Repeat positivity was associated with high pre-treatment organism load. Randomized controlled trials are urgently needed to evaluate azithromycin's efficacy and whether extended doses can overcome rectal infections with high organism load.
Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) with diverse multilocus sequence typing emerged among our nursing home residents (6.5%) with a high background rate of MRSA (32.2%). Rectal swabs yielded a higher rate of CRAB detection than axillary or nasal swabs. Bed-bound status, use of adult diapers, and nasogastric tube were risk factors for CRAB colonization.
Several outbreaks of hepatitis A in men who have sex with men (MSM) were reported in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia and other countries. An effective hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccine has been available in Australia since 1994 and is recommended for high-risk groups including MSM. No outbreaks of hepatitis A in Australian MSM have been reported since 1996. In this study, we aimed to estimate HAV transmissibility in MSM populations in order to inform targets for vaccine coverage in such populations. We used mathematical models of HAV transmission in a MSM population to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and the probability of an HAV epidemic occurring as a function of the immune proportion. We estimated a plausible range for R0 of 1·71–3·67 for HAV in MSM and that sustained epidemics cannot occur once the proportion immune to HAV is greater than ~70%. To our knowledge this is the first estimate of R0 and the critical population immunity threshold for HAV transmission in MSM. As HAV is no longer endemic in Australia or in most other developed countries, vaccination is the only means of maintaining population immunity >70%. Our findings provide impetus to promote HAV vaccination in high-risk groups such as MSM.