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To study 2D and 3D dosimetric values for bladder and rectum, and the influence of bladder volume on bladder dose in high dose rate (HDR) intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT). The large patient data incorporated in this study would better represent the inherent variations in many parameters affecting dosimetry in HDR-ICBT.
Material and Methods:
We prospectively collected data for 103 consecutive cervical cancer patients (over 310 HDR fractions) undergoing CT-based HDR-ICBT at our centre. Correlation among bladder and rectum maximum volume doses and corresponding International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement (ICRU) point doses were estimated and analysed. Impact of bladder volume on bladder maximum dose was assessed.
The ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum varied from the volumetric doses to these organs. Further, bladder volume poorly correlated with bladder maximum dose for volume variations encountered in the clinical practice at our centre.
ICRU point doses to bladder and rectum are less likely to correlate with long-term toxicities to these organs. Further, in clinical practice where inter-fraction bladder volume does not vary widely there is no correlation between bladder volume and bladder dose.
Introduction: Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) are increasingly recognized as integral to the provision and advancement of emergency medicine (EM) care. In 2015, QIPS were added to the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) framework. However, the level of QIPS education and support that Canadian EM residents receive is unknown. In order to better plan national QIPS efforts aimed at enabling EM residents to improve their local care settings, we sought to assess the current state of QIPS education and support in Canadian EM residency programs. Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional electronic survey that was disseminated to all current Canadian EM residents from both Royal College (RC) and Family Medicine - EM training streams. Residents were recruited either directly or through their program's administrative assistant. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, Likert and free-text entry questions. Themes included a) familiarity with QIPS; b) local opportunities for QIPS projects and mentorship; and c) desire for further QIPS education and involvement. The survey was open for a five-week period, with formal reminders after the first and third weeks. Descriptive statistics are reported. Results: 189 (35%) of 535 current EM residents completed the survey, representing all 17 medical schools. 77% of respondents were from the RC stream. 54.7% of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” familiar with QIPS. 47.2% of respondents reported “not knowing” or “not having readily available” QIPS projects to participate in their local environment, and 51.5% had equivalent responses with respect to QIPS mentorship opportunities. Only 17.5% of respondents reported that QIPS methodologies were already formally taught in their residency program, and 66.9% indicated a desire for increased QIPS teaching. The majority of respondents were “slightly” (35.9%), “moderately” (23.2%) or “very” (11.3%) interested in becoming involved with QIPS training and initiatives. Conclusion: Responding Canadian EM residents are interested in obtaining greater QIPS education as well as project and mentorship opportunities, but many perceive that they do not have adequate access to these at the current time. As the importance of QIPS increases in the EM community, supporting residents with more robust educational infrastructures may be necessary. Future efforts may include the standardizing of QIPS postgraduate curricula and improving access to QIPS opportunities across the country.
Introduction: When presenting to the Emergency Department (ED), the care of elderly patients residing in Long Term Care (LTC) can be complicated by threats to patient safety created by ineffective transitions of care. Though standardized inpatient handover tools exist, there has yet to be a universal tool adopted for transfers to the ED. In this study, we surveyed relevant stakeholders and identified what information is essential in the transitions of care for this vulnerable population. Methods: We performed a descriptive, cross sectional electronic survey that was distributed to physicians and nurses in ED and LTC settings, paramedics, and patient advocates in two Canadian cities. The survey was kept open for a one month period with weekly formal reminders sent. Questions were generated after performing a literature review which sought to assess the current landscape of transitional care in this population. These were either multiple choice or free text entry questions aimed at identifying what information is essential in transitional periods. Results: A total of 191 health care providers (HCP) and 22 patient advocates (PA) responded to the survey. Within the HCPs, 38% were paramedics, 38% worked in the ED, and 24% were in LTC. In this group, only 41% of respondents were aware of existing handover protocols. Of the proposed informational items in transitional care, 100% of the respondents within both groups indicated that items including reason for transfer and advanced care directives were essential. Other areas identified as necessary were past medical history and baseline functional status. Furthermore, the majority of PAs identified that items such as primary language, bowel and bladder incontinence and spiritual beliefs should be included. Conclusion: This survey demonstrated that there is a need for an improved handover culture to be established when caring for LTC patients in the ED. Education needs to be provided surrounding existing protocols to ensure that health care providers are aware of their existence. Furthermore, we identified what information is essential to transitional care of these patients according to HCPs and PAs. These findings will be used to generate a simple, one page handover form. The next iteration of this project will pilot this handover form in an attempt to create safer transitions to the ED in this at-risk population.
To investigate a Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreak event involving multiple healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; to characterize transmission; and to explore infection control implications.
Cases presented in 4 healthcare facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: a tertiary-care hospital, a specialty pulmonary hospital, an outpatient clinic, and an outpatient dialysis unit.
Contact tracing and testing were performed following reports of cases at 2 hospitals. Laboratory results were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) and/or genome sequencing. We assessed exposures and determined seropositivity among available healthcare personnel (HCP) cases and HCP contacts of cases.
In total, 48 cases were identified, involving patients, HCP, and family members across 2 hospitals, an outpatient clinic, and a dialysis clinic. At each hospital, transmission was linked to a unique index case. Moreover, 4 cases were associated with superspreading events (any interaction where a case patient transmitted to ≥5 subsequent case patients). All 4 of these patients were severely ill, were initially not recognized as MERS-CoV cases, and subsequently died. Genomic sequences clustered separately, suggesting 2 distinct outbreaks. Overall, 4 (24%) of 17 HCP cases and 3 (3%) of 114 HCP contacts of cases were seropositive.
We describe 2 distinct healthcare-associated outbreaks, each initiated by a unique index case and characterized by multiple superspreading events. Delays in recognition and in subsequent implementation of control measures contributed to secondary transmission. Prompt contact tracing, repeated testing, HCP furloughing, and implementation of recommended transmission-based precautions for suspected cases ultimately halted transmission.
Agriculture in the Central Himalayan Region depends on the availability of suitable germplasm as well as natural conditions. Due to extreme weather conditions, food and nutrition security is a major issue for communities inhabiting these remote and inaccessible areas. Millets are common crops grown in these areas. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv) is an important crop and forms a considerable part of the diet in this region. The aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the untapped genetic diversity of foxtail millet at the molecular level and discover variability in their nutritional traits. A total of 30 accessions having unique traits of agronomic importance were collected and molecular profiling was performed. A total of 63 alleles were generated with an average of 2.52 alleles per locus and average expected heterozygosity of 0.37 ± 0.231. Significant genetic variability was revealed through the genetic differentiation (Fst) and gene flow (Nm) values. Structure-based analysis divided whole germplasm into three sub-groups. Rich variability was found in nutritional traits such as dietary fibre in husked grains, carbohydrate, protein, lysine and thiamine content. The collected germplasm may be useful for developing nutritionally rich and agronomically beneficial varieties of foxtail millet and also designing strategies for utilization of unexploited genetic diversity for food and nutrition security in this and other similar agro-ecological regions.
We compared the impact of a commercial chlorination product (brand name Air RahMat) in stored drinking water to traditional boiling practices in Indonesia. We conducted a baseline survey of all households with children <5 years in four communities, made 11 subsequent weekly home visits to assess acceptability and use of water treatment methods, measured Escherichia coli concentration in stored water, and determined diarrhoea prevalence among children <5 years. Of 281 households surveyed, boiling (83%) and Air RahMat (7%) were the principal water treatment methods. Multivariable log-binomial regression analyses showed lower risk of E. coli in stored water treated with Air RahMat than boiling (risk ratio (RR) 0·75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·56–1·00). The risk of diarrhoea in children <5 years was lower among households using Air RahMat (RR 0·43, 95% CI 0·19–0·97) than boiling, and higher in households with E. coli concentrations of 1–1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·54, 95% CI 1·04–2·28) or >1000 MPN/100 ml (RR 1·86, 95% CI 1·09–3·19) in stored water than in households without detectable E. coli. Although results suggested that Air RahMat water treatment was associated with lower E. coli contamination and diarrhoeal rates among children <5 years than water treatment by boiling, Air RahMat use remained low.
The mountain ecosystem of the Central Himalayan Region is known for its diversity of crops and their wild relatives. In spite of adverse climatic conditions, this region is endowed with a rich diversity of millets. Hence, the aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the diversity of barnyard millet (Echinochloa frumentacea) to find out the extent of diversity available in different traits and the traits responsible for abiotic stress tolerance, and to identify trait-specific accessions for crop improvement and also for the cultivation of millets in the region as well as in other similar agro-ecological regions. A total of 178 accessions were collected and evaluated for a range of morpho-physiological and biochemical traits. Significant variability was noted in days to 50% flowering, days to 80% maturity, 1000 seed weight and yield potential of the germplasm. These traits are considered to be crucial for tailoring new varieties for different agro-climatic conditions. Variations in biochemical traits such as lipid peroxidation (0·552–7·421 nmol malondialdehyde formed/mg protein/h), total glutathione (105·270–423·630 mmol/g fresh weight) and total ascorbate (4·980–9·880 mmol/g fresh weight) content indicate the potential of collected germplasm for abiotic stress tolerance. Principal component analysis also indicated that yield, superoxide dismutase activity, plant height, days to 50% flowering, catalase activity and glutathione content are suitable traits for screening large populations of millet and selection of suitable germplasm for crop improvement and cultivation. Trait-specific accessions identified in the present study could be useful in crop improvement programmes, climate-resilient agriculture and improving food security in areas with limited resources.
Some patients with pulmonary valve stenosis do not respond to balloon valvuloplasty and must undergo surgical repair. We report the case of a 12-year-old child with pulmonary valve stenosis and Noonan syndrome in whom we performed transcatheter Melody pulmonary valve implantation after balloon dilation failed. The result was excellent. This technique can be proposed as an alternative to surgery in such cases.
A possible role of the APC/beta-catenin pathway in the pathogenesis of sporadic juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma has been suggested. This paper presents its current status and clinical association in our patients.
A prospective observational study was conducted at King George Medical University and Central Drug Research Institute, in Lucknow, India. Western blot analysis was undertaken in 16 cases to examine beta-catenin expression. The clinical details were recorded along with follow up observations, to determine associations.
Up-regulation of beta-catenin expression was seen in 69 per cent of cases. The clinical variables did not reveal significant differences between patients with extremes of expression (extreme under- vs over-expression). However, absent expression was shown exclusively in young adults aged over 18 years, while enhanced expression was associated with an altered facial profile.
Although a beta-catenin association was seen in a subset of our sporadic juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma cases, its expression was not homogeneous. This is in contrast to the Western literature that suggests a universal (homogenous) enhanced expression in the majority. Hence, further research is required to better define its molecular cascade.
Depression is characterized by poor executive function, but – counterintuitively – in some studies, it has been associated with highly accurate performance on certain cognitively demanding tasks. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this paradoxical finding are unclear. To address this issue, we applied a drift diffusion model (DDM) to flanker task data from depressed and healthy adults participating in the multi-site Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response for Clinical Care for Depression (EMBARC) study.
One hundred unmedicated, depressed adults and 40 healthy controls completed a flanker task. We investigated the effect of flanker interference on accuracy and response time, and used the DDM to examine group differences in three cognitive processes: prepotent response bias (tendency to respond to the distracting flankers), response inhibition (necessary to resist prepotency), and executive control (required for execution of correct response on incongruent trials).
Consistent with prior reports, depressed participants responded more slowly and accurately than controls on incongruent trials. The DDM indicated that although executive control was sluggish in depressed participants, this was more than offset by decreased prepotent response bias. Among the depressed participants, anhedonia was negatively correlated with a parameter indexing the speed of executive control (r = −0.28, p = 0.007).
Executive control was delayed in depression but this was counterbalanced by reduced prepotent response bias, demonstrating how participants with executive function deficits can nevertheless perform accurately in a cognitive control task. Drawing on data from neural network simulations, we speculate that these results may reflect tonically reduced striatal dopamine in depression.
Differentiating bipolar from recurrent unipolar depression is a major clinical challenge. In 18 healthy females and 36 females in a depressive episode – 18 with bipolar disorder type I, 18 with recurrent unipolar depression – we applied pattern recognition analysis using subdivisions of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) blood flow at rest, measured with arterial spin labelling. Subgenual ACC blood flow classified unipolar v. bipolar depression with 81% accuracy (83% sensitivity, 78% specificity).
Prior studies have suggested that major depressive disorder (MDD) with pre-adult onset represents a distinct subtype with greater symptom severity and higher rates of suicidal ideation. Whether these patients have poorer response to various types of antidepressant treatment than those with adult-onset MDD is unclear.
A total of 665 psychiatric and primary care out-patients (aged 18–75 years) with non-psychotic chronic or recurrent MDD participated in a single-blind, randomized trial that compared the efficacy of escitalopram plus placebo, bupropion sustained-release plus escitalopram, or venlafaxine extended-release plus mirtazapine. We compared participants who self-reported MDD onset (before age 18) to those with a later onset (adult onset) with respect to baseline characteristics and treatment/outcome variables at 12 and 28 weeks.
Early-onset chronic/recurrent MDD was associated with a distinct set of sociodemographic (female, younger age) and clinical correlates (longer duration of illness, greater number of prior episodes, greater likelihood of atypical features, higher rates of suicidality and psychiatric co-morbidity, fewer medical problems, poorer quality of life, greater history of child abuse/neglect). However, results from unadjusted and adjusted analyses showed no significant differences in response, remission, tolerability of medications, quality of life, or retention at 12 or 28 weeks.
Although early-onset chronic/recurrent MDD is associated with a more severe clinical picture, it does not seem to be useful for predicting differential treatment response to antidepressant medication. Clinicians should remain alert to an increased risk of suicidality in this population.
A variety of approaches have been used for optical limiting in the past [1–6].A relatively new approach, an electro-optic power limiter (EOPL) has a simple and compact design, wavelength agile sensitivity, the ability to respond to coherent as well as incoherent radiation, low threshold and a large field of view (up to 15°). EOPL devices allow the transmission of low intensity background radiation while simultaneously blocking the damaging high intensity beam. We have demonstrated EOPL in the past using the II-VI semiconductors CdTe:In [7,8], CdTe:V  and ZnTe . In this paper, we are reporting on EOPL using a new ternary II-VI semiconductor Cdl-xMnxTe:V. Cd0.55Mn0.45Te is capable of limiting optical radiation from visible (0.630.tm) to near infrared (1.5pm) wavelengths, which covers the wavelength ranges of both CdTe and ZnTe combined. Additionally, crystals of Cd0.55Mn0.45Te are relatively easier to grow than ZnTe. We report our preliminary results of optical limiting in Cd0.55Mn0.45Te:V at 0.780μm, 0.895μm, and 1.06μm, and we discuss the materials issues involved in improving and optimizing Cd1-xMnxTe for electro-optic power limiting.
Current trends in population aging affect both recipients and providers of informal family caregiving, as the pool of family caregivers is shrinking while demand is increasing. Epidemiological research has not yet examined the implications of these trends for burdens experienced by aging family caregivers.
Cross-sectional community surveys in 20 countries asked 13 892 respondents aged 50+ years about the objective (time, financial) and subjective (distress, embarrassment) burdens they experience in providing care to first-degree relatives with 12 broadly defined serious physical and mental conditions. Differential burden was examined by country income category, kinship status and type of condition.
Among the 26.9–42.5% respondents in high-, upper-middle-, and low-/lower-middle-income countries reporting serious relative health conditions, 35.7–42.5% reported burden. Of those, 25.2–29.0% spent time and 13.5–19.4% money, while 24.4–30.6% felt distress and 6.4–21.7% embarrassment. Mean caregiving hours per week in those giving any time were 16.6–23.6 (169.9–205.8 h/week per 100 people aged 50+ years). Burden in low-/lower-middle-income countries was 2- to 3-fold higher than in higher-income countries, with any financial burden averaging 14.3% of median family income in high-, 17.7% in upper-middle-, and 39.8% in low-/lower-middle-income countries. Higher burden was reported by women than men and for conditions of spouses and children than parents or siblings.
Uncompensated family caregiving is an important societal asset that offsets rising formal healthcare costs. However, the substantial burdens experienced by aging caregivers across multiple family health conditions and geographic regions threaten the continued integrity of their caregiving capacity. Initiatives supporting older family caregivers are consequently needed, especially in low-/lower-middle-income countries.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is commonly chronic and/or recurrent. We aimed to determine whether a chronic and/or recurrent course of MDD is associated with acute and longer-term MDD treatment outcomes.
This cohort study recruited out-patients aged 18–75 years with non-psychotic MDD from 18 primary and 23 psychiatric care clinics across the USA. Participants were grouped as: chronic (index episode >2 years) and recurrent (n=398); chronic non-recurrent (n=257); non-chronic recurrent (n=1614); and non-chronic non-recurrent (n=387). Acute treatment was up to 14 weeks of citalopram (⩽60 mg/day) with up to 12 months of follow-up treatment. The primary outcomes for this report were remission [16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self-Rated (QIDS-SR16) ⩽5] or response (⩾50% reduction from baseline in QIDS-SR16) and time to first relapse [first QIDS-SR16 by Interactive Voice Response (IVR) ⩾11].
Most participants (85%) had a chronic and/or recurrent course; 15% had both. Chronic index episode was associated with greater sociodemographic disadvantage. Recurrent course was associated with earlier age of onset and greater family histories of depression and substance abuse. Remission rates were lowest and slowest for those with chronic index episodes. For participants in remission entering follow-up, relapse was most likely for the chronic and recurrent group, and least likely for the non-chronic, non-recurrent group. For participants not in remission when entering follow-up, prior course was unrelated to relapse.
Recurrent MDD is the norm for out-patients, of whom 15% also have a chronic index episode. Chronic and recurrent course of MDD may be useful in predicting acute and long-term MDD treatment outcomes.
The preparation and characterization of nanostructured materials and catalysts is the focus of intense study in recent years. The micro emulsion technique is one of the chemical methods known for isolation of nano-sized materials and some simple compounds such as AgCl and LiF have been prepared using this technique. However, very few attempts have been made to isolate nano-sized coordination compounds, which are known to be good catalysts.
In the present paper, nano-sized complexes of Cu(II) and Ni(II) with Leucine were prepared by the reaction of metal chloride and the ligand solution in water in oil micro-emulsion medium. N-Heptane was used as oil and sodium salt of dioctyl sulfo succinate (AOT) was used as surfactant to stabilize the emulsion. The complexes were characterized by elemental analysis and spectral studies. The crystallite sizes were determined by XRD studies using single line approximation through Scherrer equation. The X- ray diffraction studies revealed that the crystallite size of the complexes prepared by micro-emulsion technique was smaller than that of the material prepared by conventional method. The difference in particle size was also observed in differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) studies, where in, the reaction peaks were observed at lower temperatures for the complexes prepared by the micro-emulsion technique. The increased surface to volume ratio is expected to give better catalytic behavior.
The surface kinetics of MBE growth of (100) Ga0.5 Al0.5As are studied theoretically using a stochastic model which is based on master equation with random distribution approximation. The kinetic processes considered are: adsorption and inter- and intra-layer migrations for Ga, Al and As. Both monoatomic and diatomic As molecular species are considered. The model parameters such as the atomic pair interaction energies, migrational requency and activation energy were obtained from available experimental and theoretical data. The surface ordering kinetics are studied as a function of the fluxes (2Å/sec. for cations), flux ratio (1 : 10, 1 : 20 and 1 : 30 for cation to anion) and substrate temperature (775° – 923°K). Degree of ordering was obtained in terms of a short range order (SRO) parameter. The order-disorder temperature defined as the temperature of maximum order (above and below which the order parameter decreases) was obtained for flux ratios of 1 : 10 and 1 : 20. Both As and As2 species were considered. The order-disorder temperature was found to increase as the flux ratio was changed from 1 : 10 to 1 : 30, while the maximum degree of ordering decreased slightly. The results are in good qualitative agreement with experiments. The surface ordering kinetics observed can be described in terms of effective surface migration rates of the cations as follows. Lower temperature and higher flux ratio yield smaller effective surface migration rates for cation, which results in lesser degree of ordering. Beyond the transition temperature, the thermal energy is large enough to thermally randomize the atom pair bonds, thereby decreasing the degree of ordering. The higher transition temperature for higher flux ratios is attributed to lower effective migration rate.