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Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Introduction: Acute aortic syndrome (AAS) is a time sensitive aortic catastrophe that is often misdiagnosed. There are currently no Canadian guidelines to aid in diagnosis. Our goal was to adapt the existing American Heart Association (AHA) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) diagnostic algorithms for AAS into a Canadian evidence based best practices algorithm targeted for emergency medicine physicians. Methods: We chose to adapt existing high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPG) previously developed by the AHA/ESC using the GRADE ADOLOPMENT approach. We created a National Advisory Committee consisting of 21 members from across Canada including academic, community and remote/rural emergency physicians/nurses, cardiothoracic and cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiologist, radiologists and patient representatives. The Advisory Committee communicated through multiple teleconference meetings, emails and a one-day in person meeting. The panel prioritized questions and outcomes, using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to assess evidence and make recommendations. The algorithm was prepared and revised through feedback and discussions and through an iterative process until consensus was achieved. Results: The diagnostic algorithm is comprised of an updated pre test probability assessment tool with further testing recommendations based on risk level. The updated tool incorporates likelihood of an alternative diagnosis and point of care ultrasound. The final best practice diagnostic algorithm defined risk levels as Low (0.5% no further testing), Moderate (0.6-5% further testing required) and High ( >5% computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, trans esophageal echocardiography). During the consensus and feedback processes, we addressed a number of issues and concerns. D-dimer can be used to reduce probability of AAS in an intermediate risk group, but should not be used in a low or high-risk group. Ultrasound was incorporated as a bedside clinical examination option in pre test probability assessment for aortic insufficiency, abdominal/thoracic aortic aneurysms. Conclusion: We have created the first Canadian best practice diagnostic algorithm for AAS. We hope this diagnostic algorithm will standardize and improve diagnosis of AAS in all emergency departments across Canada.
Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
Chemistry of six white micas from the high-pressure garnet granulites of Jijal is presented, together with trace elements, refractive indices, and 2Vα for one. The micas are rich in the paragonite component (over 93%), with one analysis having the highest 100 Na/(Na + K) ratio (98.5) so far reported. The paragonite is not a stable mineral of the granulites but was overprinted on the granulites at about 505–540°C and 8–9 kbar (suggesting a depth of 30 km).
Background: Limbic encephalitis (LE) is a rare autoimmune syndrome affecting limbic system structures and causing variety of manifestations including memory changes, temporal epilepsies, and psychiatric symptoms. It is a rare disease in children but with a well-recognizable combination of clinical, neuroimaging and/or histological signature. Beyond the association with anti-neuronal auto-antibodies, no clear immune system phenotype has been associated with limbic encephalitis. Our aim is to characterize the clinical and paraclinical features of non-paraneoplasic limbic encephalitis and to correlate them with potential underlying immune deficiencies. Methods: Retrospective case series of seven patients with limbic encephalitis recruited at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) with a focus on the immune- and neuro-phenotypes, including anti-neuronal antibodies, lymphocyte sub-typing, key markers of immunoglobulin and complement systems. Literature review showed 77 cases of non-paraneoplastic non-NMDA limbic encephalitis. Results: Symptoms included temporal epilepsy (n=5), psychiatric symptoms such as ADHD or autistic symptoms (n=2), and memory changes (n=3). One patient was positive for both voltage gated potassium channel antibodies (VGKC) and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO) and two were positive only for anti TPO antibodies. One patient showed low CD19, and immunoglobulins. Three patients showed chronic low CD56 cell count. Conclusions: The study is still ongoing, but at least 3 patients already display some traits of immune dysregulation.
A prompt radio burst has been observed from the supernova 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Observations were made at 0.843, 1.415, 2.29, and 8.41 GHz. At frequencies around 1 GHz, the peak flux density reached about 150 mJy and occurred within four days of the supernova. This event may be a weak precursor to a major radio outburst of the type previously observed in other extragalactic supernovae. Radio monitoring of the supernova is continuing at each of the above frequencies, and coordination is underway of a southern hemisphere VLBI array to map the radio outburst region as it expands. Differential astrometry carried out on prime-focus plates taken with the Anglo-Australian telescope indicates that the component, star 1, of Sanduleak's star SK-69202 is within 0.05 ± 0.13 arcsec of the supernova.
To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
Infants and young children are frequently colonized with C. difficile but rarely have symptomatic disease. However, C. difficile testing remains prevalent in this age group.
To design a computerized provider order entry (CPOE) alert to decrease testing for C. difficile in young children and infants.
An interventional age-targeted before-after trial with comparison group
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
All children seen in the inpatient or emergency room settings from July 2012 through July 2013 (pre-CPOE alert) and September 2013 through September 2014 (post-CPOE alert)
In August of 2013, we implemented a CPOE alert advising against testing in infants and young children based on the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations with an optional override. We further offered healthcare providers educational seminars regarding recommended C. difficile testing.
The average monthly testing rate significantly decreased after the CPOE alert for children 0–11 months old (11.5 pre-alert vs 0 post-alert per 10,000 patient days; P<.001) and 12–35 months old (61.6 pre-alert vs 30.1 post-alert per 10,000 patients days; P<.001), but not for those children ≥36 months old (50.9 pre-alert vs 46.4 post-alert per 10,000 patient days; P=.3) who were not targeted with a CPOE alert. There were no complications in those children who testing positive for C. difficile.
The average monthly testing rate for C. difficile for children <35 months old decreased without complication after the use of a CPOE alert in those who tested positive for C. difficile.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
The Antarctic Roadmap Challenges (ARC) project identified critical requirements to deliver high priority Antarctic research in the 21st century. The ARC project addressed the challenges of enabling technologies, facilitating access, providing logistics and infrastructure, and capitalizing on international co-operation. Technological requirements include: i) innovative automated in situ observing systems, sensors and interoperable platforms (including power demands), ii) realistic and holistic numerical models, iii) enhanced remote sensing and sensors, iv) expanded sample collection and retrieval technologies, and v) greater cyber-infrastructure to process ‘big data’ collection, transmission and analyses while promoting data accessibility. These technologies must be widely available, performance and reliability must be improved and technologies used elsewhere must be applied to the Antarctic. Considerable Antarctic research is field-based, making access to vital geographical targets essential. Future research will require continent- and ocean-wide environmentally responsible access to coastal and interior Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Year-round access is indispensable. The cost of future Antarctic science is great but there are opportunities for all to participate commensurate with national resources, expertise and interests. The scope of future Antarctic research will necessitate enhanced and inventive interdisciplinary and international collaborations. The full promise of Antarctic science will only be realized if nations act together.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
The last triennium marked the 50th anniversary of the paper describing the first observations of cosmic radio emission by Karl Jansky in 1933. Sullivan (82 Classics in Radio Astronomy, Reidel) has published a collection of the major historical papers in radio astronomy, and collections of papers discussing the historical development have been published by Sullivan (84 Early Years of Radio Astronomy, Cambridge Univ. Press) and by Kellermann and Sheets (84 Serendipitous Discoveries in Radio Astronomy, NRAO).
The phase-coherent recording of pulsar data and subsequent software dispersion removal provide a flexible way to reach the limits of high time resolution, useful for more precise pulse timing and the study of fast signal fluctuations within a pulse. Because of the huge data rate and lack of adequate recording and computing capabilities, this technique has been used mostly only for small pulsar data sets. In recent years, however, the development of very capable, reasonably inexpensive high-speed recording systems and computers has made feasible the notion of pulsar baseband recording and subsequent processing with a workstation/computer. In this paper we discuss the development of a phase-coherent baseband processing system for radio pulsar observations. This system is based on the S2 VLBI recorder developed at ISTS/York University in Toronto, Canada. We present preliminary first results for data from the Vela pulsar, obtained at Parkes, Australia, and processed at ISTS/York University, and discuss plans for future developments.
This status report presents details on the project to search for serendipitous time-correlated optical photographic observations of γ-ray bursters. The ongoing photographic observations at nine observatories are used to look for plates which have been exposed simultaneously with a γ-ray burst detected by BATSE and contain the burst position. The results for the third year of BATSE operation are presented.
Medullosa stands apart from most Paleozoic seed plants in its combination of large leaf area, complex vascular structure, and extremely large water-conducting cells. To investigate the hydraulic consequences of these anatomical features and to compare them with other seed plants, we have adapted a model of water transport in xylem cells that accounts for resistance to flow from the lumen, pits, and pit membranes, and that can be used to compare extinct and extant plants in a quantitative way. Application of this model to Medullosa, the Paleozoic coniferophyte Cordaites, and the extant conifer Pinus shows that medullosan tracheids had the capacity to transport water at volume flow rates more comparable to those of angiosperm vessels than to those characteristic of ancient and modern coniferophyte tracheids. Tracheid structure in Medullosa, including the large pit membrane area per tracheid and the high ratio of tracheid diameter to wall thickness, suggests that its xylem cells operated at significant risk of embolism and implosion, making this plant unlikely to survive significant water stress These features further suggest that tracheids could not have furnished significant structural support, requiring either that other tissues supported these plants or that at least some medullosans were vines. In combination with high tracheid conductivity, distinctive anatomical characters of Medullosa such as the anomalous growth of vascular cambium and the large number of leaf traces that enter each petiole base suggest vascular adaptations to meet the evapotranspiration demands of its large leaves. The evolution of highly efficient conducting cells dictates a need to supply structural support via other tissues, both in tracheid-based stem seed plants and in vessel-bearing angiosperms.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
Little is known about cause-specific long-term mortality beyond 30 days in pneumonia. We aimed to compare the mortality of patients with hospitalized pneumonia compared to age- and sex-matched controls beyond 30 days. Participants were drawn from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk prospective population study. Hospitalized pneumonia cases were identified from record linkage (ICD-10: J12-J18). For this study we excluded people with hospitalized pneumonia who died within 30 days. Each case identified was matched to four controls and followed up until the end June 2012 (total 15 074 person-years, mean 6·1 years, range 0·08–15·2 years). Cox regression models were constructed to examine the all-cause, respiratory and cardiovascular mortality using date of pneumonia onset as baseline with binary pneumonia status as exposure. A total of 2465 men and women (503 cases, 1962 controls) [mean age (s.d.) 64·5 (8·3) years] were included in the study. Between a 30-day to 1-year period, hazard ratios (HRs) of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality were 7·3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 5·4–9·9] and 5·9 (95% CI 3·5–9·7), respectively (with very few respiratory deaths within the same period) in cases compared to controls after adjusting for age, sex, asthma, smoking status, pack years, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, physical activity, waist-to-hip ratio, prevalent cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. All outcomes assessed also showed increased risk of death in cases compared to controls after 1 year; respiratory cause of death being the most significant during that period (HR 16·4, 95% CI 8·9–30·1). Hospitalized pneumonia was associated with increased all-cause and specific-cause mortality beyond 30 days.
A description is given of a rocket payload designed to record high resolution ultraviolet stellar spectra using the star-stabilised ‘Skylark’ rocket vehicle. The system consists of a 35 cm aperture f/12 Cassegrain telescope and a spectrometer in which the high spectral dispersion of an echelle grating is crossed with that of a plane grating to separate the echelle orders. The spectrum is focussed onto an electrostatic image intensifier tube, the fibre optic faceplate of which is coated with sodium salicylate to give ultraviolet sensitivity. Photographic film is used to record the two dimensional spectrum array with a resolving power λ/dλ ≃ 104 between 1200 Å and 3000 Å. Efficiency measurements of components indicate that the photometric efficiency of the entire system will allow spectra to be recorded for early-type stars which are brighter than mr ≃ 5.