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As the pathophysiology of Covid-19 emerges, this paper describes dysphagia as a sequela of the disease, including its diagnosis and management, hypothesised causes, symptomatology in relation to viral progression, and concurrent variables such as intubation, tracheostomy and delirium, at a tertiary UK hospital.
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, 208 out of 736 patients (28.9 per cent) admitted to our institution with SARS-CoV-2 were referred for swallow assessment. Of the 208 patients, 102 were admitted to the intensive treatment unit for mechanical ventilation support, of which 82 were tracheostomised. The majority of patients regained near normal swallow function prior to discharge, regardless of intubation duration or tracheostomy status.
Dysphagia is prevalent in patients admitted either to the intensive treatment unit or the ward with Covid-19 related respiratory issues. This paper describes the crucial role of intensive swallow rehabilitation to manage dysphagia associated with this disease, including therapeutic respiratory weaning for those with a tracheostomy.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Disorders of voice can limit an individual's participation and impair social interaction, thus affecting overall quality of life. Perceptual and objective evaluations can provide the clinician with detailed information regarding voice disorders.
This study comprised 40 subjects aged 34–46 years, 20 of whom (10 male, 10 female) had unilateral vocal fold palsy. Data were obtained for all participants from: the Voice Handicap Index, the grade, roughness, breathiness, asthenia and strain (‘GRBAS’) scale, acoustic voice analysis, electroglottography, and voice range profiles.
The voice evaluations revealed statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences between the controls and study group, both in males and females, pre- and post-therapy.
Despite the normalisation of vocal parameters, acoustic, perceptual and self-rated assessments revealed statistically significant differences after therapy. Hence, acoustic measures, namely electroglottographic perturbation, and voice frequency and intensity range, are recommended prior to termination of therapy.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
To propose a new classification of inner-ear anomalies that is more clinically oriented and surgically relevant: the SMS (Sawai Man Singh) classification of cochleovestibular malformations.
A retrospective multicentric study was conducted of 436 cochlear implantations carried out in 3 Indian tertiary care institutes. Patients with anomalous anatomy were included and classified, as per the new SMS classification, into cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, based on cochlear morphology, modiolus and lamina cribrosa.
There were 19, 23, 8 and 4 patients with cochleovestibular malformation types I, II, III and IV, respectively. Two-year post-operative Meaningful Auditory Integration Scale scores were statistically analysed.
This new classification for inner-ear anomalies is a simpler, more practical, outcome-oriented classification that can be used to better plan the surgery. These merits make it a more uniform classification for recording results.
Although quality of life (QoL) is receiving increasing attention in bipolar disorder (BD) research and practice, little is known about its naturalistic trajectory. The dual aims of this study were to prospectively investigate: (a) the trajectory of QoL under guideline-driven treatment and (b) the dynamic relationship between mood symptoms and QoL.
In total, 362 patients with BD receiving guideline-driven treatment were prospectively followed at 3-month intervals for up to 5 years. Mental (Mental Component Score – MCS) and physical (Physical Component Score – PCS) QoL were measured using the self-report SF-36. Clinician-rated symptom data were recorded for mania and depression. Multilevel modelling was used to analyse MCS and PCS over time, QoL trajectories predicted by time-lagged symptoms, and symptom trajectories predicted by time-lagged QoL.
MCS exhibited a positive trajectory, while PCS worsened over time. Investigation of temporal relationships between QoL and symptoms suggested bidirectional effects: earlier depressive symptoms were negatively associated with mental QoL, and earlier manic symptoms were negatively associated with physical QoL. Importantly, earlier MCS and PCS were both negatively associated with downstream symptoms of mania and depression.
The present investigation illustrates real-world outcomes for QoL under guideline-driven BD treatment: improvements in mental QoL and decrements in physical QoL were observed. The data permitted investigation of dynamic interactions between QoL and symptoms, generating novel evidence for bidirectional effects and encouraging further research into this important interplay. Investigation of relevant time-varying covariates (e.g. medications) was beyond scope. Future research should investigate possible determinants of QoL and the interplay between symptoms and wellbeing/satisfaction-centric measures of QoL.
Influenza A(H1N1) viruses of the 2009 pandemic (A(H1N1)pdm09) continue to cause outbreaks in the post-pandemic period. During January to May 2015, an upsurge of influenza was recorded that resulted in high fatality in central India. Genetic lineage, mutations in the hemagglutinin (HA) gene and infection by quasi-species are reported to affect disease severity. The objective of this study is to present the molecular and epidemiological trends during the 2015 influenza outbreak in central India. All the referred samples were subjected to qRT–PCR for diagnosis. HA gene sequencing (23 survivors and 24 non-survivors) and cloning were performed and analyzed using Molecular Evolutionary Genomic Analyzer (MEGA 5·05). Of the 3625 tested samples, 1607 (44·3%) were positive for influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, of which 228 (14·2%) individuals succumbed to death. A significant trend was observed in positivity (P = 0·003) and mortality (P < 0·0001) with increasing age. The circulating A(H1N1)pdm09 virus was characterized as belonging to clade-6B. Clinically significant mutations were detected. Patients infected with the quasi-species of the virus had a greater risk of death (P = 0·009). This study proposes a robust molecular and clinical surveillance program for the detection and characterization of the virus, along with prompt treatment protocols to prevent outbreaks.
The Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) is composed by four ground cosmic ray detectors distributed around the Earth: Nagoya (Japan), Hobart (Australia), Sao Martinho da Serra (Brazil) and Kuwait city (Kuwait). The network has operated since March 2006. It has been upgraded a few times, increasing its detection area. Each detector is sensitive to muons produced by the interactions of ~50 GeV Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) with the Earth′s atmosphere. At these energies, GCR are known to be affected by interplanetary disturbances in the vicinity of the earth. Of special interest are the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their driven shocks because they are known to be the main origins of geomagnetic storms. It has been observed that these ICMEs produce changes in the cosmic ray gradient, which can be measured by GMDN observations. In terms of applications for space weather, some attempts have been made to use GMDN for forecasting ICME arrival at the earth with lead times of the order of few hours. Scientific space weather studies benefit the most from the GMDN network. As an example, studies have been able to determine ICME orientation at the earth using cosmic ray gradient. Such determinations are of crucial importance for southward interplanetary magnetic field estimates, as well as ICME rotation.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.
In low- and middle-income countries, mental health training often includes sending few generalist clinicians to specialist-led programs for several weeks. Our objective is to develop and test a video-assisted training model addressing the shortcomings of traditional programs that affect scalability: failing to train all clinicians, disrupting clinical services, and depending on specialists.
We implemented the program -video lectures and on-site skills training- for all clinicians at a rural Nepali hospital. We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to evaluate pre- and post-test change in knowledge (diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, and appropriate treatment). We used a series of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions to assess attitudes about mental illness, and utilized exact McNemar's test to analyze the proportions of participants who held a specific belief before and after the training. We assessed acceptability and feasibility through key informant interviews and structured feedback.
For each topic except depression, there was a statistically significant increase (Δ) in median scores on knowledge questionnaires: Acute Stress Reaction (Δ = 20, p = 0.03), Depression (Δ = 11, p = 0.12), Grief (Δ = 40, p < 0.01), Psychosis (Δ = 22, p = 0.01), and post-traumatic stress disorder (Δ = 20, p = 0.01). The training received high ratings; key informants shared examples and views about the training's positive impact and complementary nature of the program's components.
Video lectures and on-site skills training can address the limitations of a conventional training model while being acceptable, feasible, and impactful toward improving knowledge and attitudes of the participants.
This study aimed to assess the utility of onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap in preventing pharyngocutaneous fistula following salvage total laryngectomy.
A retrospective analysis was performed of 172 patients who underwent salvage laryngectomy for recurrent carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx between 1999 and 2014. One hundred and ten patients underwent primary closure and 62 patients had pectoralis major myofascial flap onlay.
The overall pharyngocutaneous fistula rate was 43 per cent, and was similar in both groups (primary closure group, 43.6 per cent; onlay flap group, 41.9 per cent; p = 0.8). Fistulae in the onlay flap group healed faster: the median and mean fistula duration were 37 and 55 days, respectively, in the primary closure group and 20 and 25 days, respectively, in the onlay flap group (p = 0.008).
Use of an onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap did not decrease the pharyngocutaneous fistula rate, although fistula duration was shortened. A well-designed randomised-controlled trial is needed to establish parameters for its routine use in clinical practice.
Rotavirus (RV) infection causes acute infantile diarrhoea in humans and animals and remains a major concern for vaccine development. The close proximity of humans to animals may foster cross-species infection resulting in the emergence of novel/unusual strains by genetic reassortment. In this study, we characterized 500 diarrhoeal samples for group A rotaviruses (RVA) from children (n = 290), piglets (n = 95) and calves (n = 115) in Northeast India during 2012–2013. The data showed that 142/500 (28·4%) faecal samples were positive for RVA with the highest level of infection detected in piglets (57/142, 40·1%) followed by children (51/142, 35·9%) and calves (34/142, 23·9%). Sequence-based G- and P-typing showed G1P (25%) and G1P (35%) were the prevailing genotypes in both humans and animals. Single cases of unusual genotypes, i.e. G9P, G5P in humans and G1P, G1P and G3P in animals were also identified. Cluster analyses of the sequences showed regional strains were genetically closer to their homologous strains. However, human G5P and porcine G1P strains showed homology to heterologous hosts of their prototype strains. The subsequent global spread of unusual RV strains may result in their establishment over time, presenting challenges to future vaccine evaluation programmes. More studies on emerging genotypes are required to elucidate how RVA strains evolve post-vaccination. This study supports the need for continuous surveillance of RVA infections after detecting from diverse hosts in a common setting.
Meditation is believed to have many health benefits apart from enhancing spiritual health. However, there is evidence that meditation may even lead to psychosis or worsen it in some cases. The aim of this paper is to present a case and discuss the role of meditation as a precipitating factor to psychosis. A 27-year-old male presented with psychotic symptoms with a temporal correlation with meditation. He was then successfully treated with antipsychotic medication and is maintaining well. This case report highlights the possibility that intense meditation could precipitate psychosis in vulnerable individuals. However, there are several beneficial effects of meditation in patients with psychosis if practiced with caution.
A restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay was developed to examine the genetic relationship between 67 (29 Indian, 38 global) rotavirus isolates of human, bovine and porcine neonates. The assay involved direct digestion of RT–PCR amplified VP7 cDNAs with three restriction enzymes (VspI, HaeIII, NlaIV) independently. Forty-eight RFLP patterns were identified for all 67 strains, and of these 20 patterns were associated with Indian isolates. A correlation between the restriction patterns and G type was apparent through deduction of enzyme restriction sites from known sequences. Major G serotypes (G1, G2, G6, G8) with a few mixed types could be differentiated where there was a positive assortment of intrinsic serotypes from multiple host origin, and certain single or combined enzyme profiles were highly dominant in the population. Significant genetic variations were established between global and Indian isolates and none of the RFLP patterns were shared between them. These data suggest that the Indian wild-type rotavirus population is distinguishable based on the VP7 gene, and co-circulation of distinct strains in different hosts is foremost, indicating the possible likelihood of inter-species transmission.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a malignant mesenchymal neoplasm rarely diagnosed in the larynx. Traditionally, it has been treated by radical surgery (i.e. total laryngectomy), followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy. Recent advances suggest that it may be treated with combination therapy comprising high-dose radiation and pulse chemotherapy, with a high success rate.
We report the first documented case of subglottic embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma in an adolescent female treated with chemoradiation alone, and review the literature reflecting a move towards organ preservation.
While surgery has been successfully used to treat this neoplasm, combination therapy, as described in our study, also seems effective and has the added advantage of preserving laryngeal function.
To explore the treatment outcomes of patients treated with re-irradiation for recurrent or second primary head and neck cancer.
An analysis was performed of 79 head and neck cancer patients who underwent re-irradiation for second primaries or recurrent disease from January 1999 to December 2011.
Median time from previous radiation to re-irradiation for second primary or recurrence was 53.6 months (range, 2.7–454.7 months). Median age at diagnosis of first primary was 54 years. Median re-irradiation dose was 45 Gy (range, 45–60 Gy). Acute grade 3 or worse toxicity was seen in 30 per cent of patients. Median progression-free survival for recurrent disease was 15.0 months (95 per cent confidence interval, 8.33–21.66). The following factors had a statistically significant, positive impact on progression-free survival: patient age of less than 50 years (median progression-free survival was 29.43, vs 13.9 months for those aged 50 years or older; p = 0.004) and disease-free interval of 2 years or more (median progression-free survival was 51.66, vs 13.9 months for those with less than 2 years disease-free interval).
Re-irradiation of second primaries or recurrences of head and neck cancers with moderate radiation doses yields acceptable progression-free survival and morbidity rates.
Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease, has become a major public health problem with marked expansion in recent decades. Dengue has now become hyperendemic in India with co-circulation of all the four serotypes. Herein, we report an unprecedented outbreak which occurred during August to October 2011 in Odisha, eastern India. This is the first report of a large epidemic in Odisha. Detailed serological and molecular investigation was carried out to identify the aetiology. Almost half of the samples were found to be dengue antigen (NS1) positive. Further molecular assays revealed circulation of mixed dengue serotypes (DENV-2 and DENV-3). Cosmopolitan genotype of DENV-2 and -3 were identified as the aetiology by phylogenetic analysis. Interestingly, a new lineage of DENV-3 within cosmopolitan genotype was incriminated in this outbreak. The emergence of the unprecedented magnitude of the dengue outbreak with the involvement of a novel lineage of DENV in a newer state of India is a major cause for concern. There is an urgent need to monitor phylodynamics of dengue viruses in other endemic areas.