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To evaluate the association between novel pre- and post-operative biomarker levels and 30-day unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery.
Children aged 18 years or younger undergoing congenital heart surgery (n = 162) at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2010 to 2014 were enrolled in the prospective cohort. Collected novel pre- and post-operative biomarkers include soluble suppression of tumorgenicity 2, galectin-3, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide, and glial fibrillary acidic protein. A model based on clinical variables from the Society of Thoracic Surgery database was developed and evaluated against two augmented models.
Unplanned readmission or mortality within 30 days of cardiac surgery occurred among 21 (13%) children. The clinical model augmented with pre-operative biomarkers demonstrated a statistically significant improvement over the clinical model alone with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.754 (95% confidence interval: 0.65–0.86) compared to 0.617 (95% confidence interval: 0.47–0.76; p-value: 0.012). The clinical model augmented with pre- and post-operative biomarkers demonstrated a significant improvement over the clinical model alone, with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.802 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–0.89; p-value: 0.003).
Novel biomarkers add significant predictive value when assessing the likelihood of unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery. Further exploration of the utility of these novel biomarkers during the pre- or post-operative period to identify early risk of mortality or readmission will aid in determining the clinical utility and application of these biomarkers into routine risk assessment.
Bovine embryos produced in vivo and in vitro differ with respect to molecular profiles, including epigenetic marks and gene expression profiles. This study investigated the CpG methylation status in bovine testis satellite I (BTS) and Bos taurus alpha satellite I (BTαS) DNA sequences, and concomitantly the relative abundance of transcripts, critically involved in DNA methylation (DNMT1 and DNMT3A), growth and development (IGF2R) and pluripotency (POU5F1) in Bos indicus embryos produced in vitro or in vivo. Results revealed that methylation of BTS were higher (P < 0.05) in embryos produced in vitro compared with their in vivo produced counterparts, while the methylation status of BTαS was similar in both groups. There were no significant differences in transcript abundance for DNMT3A, IGF2R and POU5F1 between blastocysts produced in vivo and in vitro. However, a significantly lower amount of DNMT1 transcripts was found in the in vitro cultured embryos (P < 0.05) compared with their in vivo derived counterparts. In conclusion, this study reported only minor changes in the expression of developmentally important genes and satellite DNA methylation related to the in vitro embryo production system.
Liquid cell transmission electron microscopy (LCTEM) provides a unique insight into the dynamics of nanomaterials in solution. Controlling the addition of multiple solutions to the liquid cell remains a key hurdle in our ability to increase throughput and to study processes dependent on solution mixing including chemical reactions. Here, we report that a piezo dispensing technique allows for mixing of multiple solutions directly within the viewing area. This technique permits deposition of 50 pL droplets of various aqueous solutions onto the liquid cell window, before assembly of the cell in a fully controlled manner. This proof-of-concept study highlights the great potential of picoliter dispensing in combination with LCTEM for observing nanoparticle mixing in the solution phase and the creation of chemical gradients.
The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR BSI) reduction programme and healthcare workers' compliance with recommendations. A 3-year surveillance programme of CR BSIs in all hospital settings was implemented. As part of the programme, there was a direct observation of insertion and maintenance of central venous catheters (CVCs) to determine performance. A total of 38 education courses were held over the study period and feedback reports with the results of surveillance and recommendations were delivered to healthcare workers every 6 months. A total of 6722 short-term CVCs were inserted in 4982 patients for 58 763 catheter-days. Improvements of compliance with hand hygiene was verified at the insertion (87·1–100%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (51·1–72·1%, P = 0·029) of CVCs; and the use of chlorhexidine for skin disinfection was implemented at insertion (35·7–65·4%, P < 0·001) and maintenance (33·3–45·9%, P < 0·197) of CVCs. There were 266 CR BSI incidents recorded with an annual incidence density of 5·75/1000 catheter-days in the first year, 4·38 in the second year [rate ratio (RR) 0·76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·57–1·01] and 3·46 in the third year (RR 0·60, 95% CI 0·44–0·81). The education programme clearly improved compliance with recommendations for CVC handling, and was effective in reducing the burden of CR BSIs.
Observational studies have suggested that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with inflammatory markers. Most trials reporting significant associations between vitamin D intake and inflammatory markers used specific patient groups. Thus, we aimed to determine the effect of supplementary vitamin D using secondary data from a population-based, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (Pilot D-Health trial 2010/0423). Participants were 60- to 84-year-old residents of one of the four eastern states of Australia. They were randomly selected from the electoral roll and were randomised to one of three trial arms: placebo (n 214), 750 μg (n 215) or 1500 μg (n 215) vitamin D3, each taken once per month for 12 months. Post-intervention blood samples for the analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, IL-10, leptin and adiponectin levels were available for 613 participants. Associations between intervention group and biomarker levels were evaluated using quantile regression. There were no statistically significant differences in distributions of CRP, leptin, adiponectin, leptin:adiponectin ratio or IL-10 levels between the placebo group and either supplemented group. The 75th percentile IL-6 level was 2·8 pg/ml higher (95 % CI 0·4, 5·8 pg/ml) in the 1500 μg group than in the placebo group (75th percentiles:11·0 v. 8·2 pg/ml), with a somewhat smaller, non-significant difference in 75th percentiles between the 750 μg and placebo groups. Despite large differences in serum 25(OH)D levels between the three groups after 12 months of supplementation, we found little evidence of an effect of vitamin D supplementation on cytokine or adipokine levels, with the possible exception of IL-6.
In this paper, the design and test of a single-chip RF pulse-width modulator and driver (PWMD) aimed at exciting a high-power class-E GaN high-power stage at 435 MHz is described. For the required buffer size, avoiding potential ringing of the pulses within the buffer structure presents a major challenge in the design process. Therefore, a smaller test chip capable of driving capacitive loads of up to 5 pF was initially designed, fabricated, and tested. An approach based on three-dimensional electromagnetic simulations was used to validate the test results and offers excellent simulation accuracy. Based on the results obtained for test chip an enlarged PWMD chip capable of driving a 40 W high-power stage has been designed and tested on passive loads representing the targeted final stage.
All antipsychotic medications carry warnings of increased mortality for older adults, but little is known about comparative mortality risks between individual agents.
To estimate the comparative mortality risks of commonly prescribed antipsychotic agents in older people living in the community.
A retrospective, claims-based cohort study was conducted of people over 65 years old living in the community who had been newly prescribed risperidone, olanzapine, quetiapine, haloperidol, aripiprazole or ziprasidone (n = 136 393). Propensity score-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models assessed the 180-day mortality risk of each antipsychotic compared with risperidone.
Risperidone, olanzapine and haloperidol showed a dose–response relation in mortality risk. After controlling for propensity score and dose, mortality risk was found to be increased for haloperidol (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.18, 95% CI 1.06–1.33) and decreased for quetiapine (HR = 0.81, 95% CI 0.73–0.89) and olanzapine (HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.74–0.90).
Significant variation in mortality risk across commonly prescribed antipsychotics suggests that antipsychotic selection and dosing may affect survival of older people living in the community.
Several studies demonstrating that central line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are preventable prompted a national initiative to reduce the incidence of these infections.
We conducted a collaborative cohort study to evaluate the impact of the national “On the CUSP: Stop BSI” program on CLABSI rates among participating adult intensive care units (ICUs). The program goal was to achieve a unit-level mean CLABSI rate of less than 1 case per 1,000 catheter-days using standardized definitions from the National Healthcare Safety Network. Multilevel Poisson regression modeling compared infection rates before, during, and up to 18 months after the intervention was implemented.
A total of 1,071 ICUs from 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, reporting 27,153 ICU-months and 4,454,324 catheter-days of data, were included in the analysis. The overall mean CLABSI rate significantly decreased from 1.96 cases per 1,000 catheter-days at baseline to 1.15 at 16–18 months after implementation. CLABSI rates decreased during all observation periods compared with baseline, with adjusted incidence rate ratios steadily decreasing to 0.57 (95% confidence intervals, 0.50–0.65) at 16–18 months after implementation.
Coincident with the implementation of the national “On the CUSP: Stop BSI” program was a significant and sustained decrease in CLABSIs among a large and diverse cohort of ICUs, demonstrating an overall 43% decrease and suggesting the majority of ICUs in the United States can achieve additional reductions in CLABSI rates.
The Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO's VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters (Z, Y, J, H, and Ks), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main part of the survey, which is focused on the variability in the Ks-band, is currently underway, with bulge fields observed between 34 and 73 times, and disk fields between 34 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage in the near-IR. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data.
A new beam-combination and detection system has been installed in the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer working at the red end of the visual spectrum (λλ 500–950 nm) to complement the existing blue-sensitive system (λλ 430–520 nm) and to provide an increase in sensitivity. Dichroic beam-splitters have been introduced to allow simultaneous observations with both spectral systems, albeit with some restriction on the spectral range of the longer wavelength system (λλ 550–760 nm). The blue system has been upgraded to allow remote selection of wavelength and spectral bandpass, and to enable simultaneous operation with the red system with the latter providing fringe-envelope tracking. The new system and upgrades are described and examples of commissioning tests presented. As an illustration of the improvement in performance the measurement of the angular diameter of the southern F supergiant δ CMa is described and compared with previous determinations.
Few studies have investigated the effects of infant nutrition on later bone health in term infants, although low sn-2 palmitate in infant formulas has been shown to result in the formation of stool fatty acid soaps, reduced Ca absorption and lower bone mass in the short term. To investigate the effect of (1) breast-feeding (BF) and (2) the type of infant formula (standard fat blend v. high-sn-2 fat blend) on bone mass at age 10 years, anthropometry and bone mass (from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (GE Lunar Prodigy); lumbar spine (LS) and total body less head; adjusted for size (bone mineral apparent density standard deviation score (SDS) and regression)) were measured in 10-year-old subjects born at term and either breast-fed (n 34) or randomised to a standard control formula (n 27) or a high-sn-2 palmitate formula (n 30) for the first 12 weeks of life. At follow-up, previously BF children were older but lighter (by 0·5 SDS, P= 0·03) than formula-fed children with a lower LS bone mineral density SDS (by 0·44, P= 0·03), but size-adjusted bone mass did not differ. There were no significant differences in bone mass between the formula-fed groups. These findings suggest that there is no significant effect of BF or high-sn-2 infant formula on size-adjusted bone mass in mid-childhood, and that the effects of infant nutrition on bone mass previously reported may be confined to the short term. A larger study would be required to exclude smaller effects.
Although usually thought of as external environmental stressors, a significant heritable component has been reported for measures of stressful life events (SLEs) in twin studies.
We examined the variance in SLEs captured by common genetic variants from a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 2578 individuals. Genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA) was used to estimate the phenotypic variance tagged by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We also performed a GWAS on the number of SLEs, and looked at correlations between siblings.
A significant proportion of variance in SLEs was captured by SNPs (30%, p = 0.04). When events were divided into those considered to be dependent or independent, an equal amount of variance was explained for both. This ‘heritability’ was in part confounded by personality measures of neuroticism and psychoticism. A GWAS for the total number of SLEs revealed one SNP that reached genome-wide significance (p = 4 × 10−8), although this association was not replicated in separate samples. Using available sibling data for 744 individuals, we also found a significant positive correlation of R2 = 0.08 in SLEs (p = 0.03).
These results provide independent validation from molecular data for the heritability of reporting environmental measures, and show that this heritability is in part due to both common variants and the confounding effect of personality.