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Introduction: Despite their widespread use, measures of classification accuracy (i.e. sensitivity and specificity) have several limitations that conceals relevant information and may bias decision-making. Assessing the predictive ability of clinical tools instead may provide more useful prognostic information to support decision-making, particularly in an Emergency setting. We sought to contrast classification accuracy versus predictive ability of the Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) and quick Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) Sepsis scores for determining mortality risk among patients with infection transported by paramedics. Methods: A one-year cohort of patients with infections transported to the Emergency Department by paramedics was linked to in-hospital administrative databases. Hospital mortality was determined for each patient at the time of discharge. We calculated sensitivity and specificity of SIRS and qSOFA for classifying hospital mortality across different score thresholds, and estimated discrimination (assessed using the C statistic) and calibration (assessed visually) of prediction. Prediction models for hospital mortality were constructed using the aggregated SIRS or qSOFA scores for each patient as a predictor, while accounting for clustering by institution and adjusting for differences in patient age and sex. Predicted and observed risk were plotted to assess calibration and change in risk across levels of each score. Results: A total of 10,409 patients with infection who were transported by paramedics were successfully linked, with an overall mortality rate of 9.2%. The median SIRS score among non-survivors was 2, while the median qSOFA score was 1. SIRS score had higher sensitivity estimates than qSOFA for classifying hospital mortality at all thresholds (0.11 – 0.83 vs. 0.08 – 0.80), but the qSOFA score had better discrimination (C statistic 0.76 vs. 0.71) and calibration. The risk of hospital mortality predicted by the SIRS score ranged from 6.6-24% across score values, whereas the risk predicted by the qSOFA score ranged from 8.6-53%. Conclusion: Assessing the SIRS and qSOFA scores predictive ability reveals that the qSOFA score provides more information to clinicians about a patient's mortality risk despite having worse sensitivity. This study highlights important limitations of classification accuracy for diagnostic test studies and supports a shift toward assessing predictive ability instead. Character count 2490
Introduction: The quick Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment (qSOFA) score was developed to provide clinicians with a quick assessment for patients with latent organ failure possibly consistent with sepsis at high-risk for mortality. With the clinical heterogeneity of patients presenting with sepsis, a Bayesian validation approach may provide a better understanding of its clinical utility. This study used a Bayesian analysis to assess the prediction of hospital mortality by the qSOFA score among patients with infection transported by paramedics. Methods: A one-year cohort of adult patients transported by paramedics in a large, provincial EMS system was linked to Emergency Department (ED) and hospital administrative databases, then restricted to those patients with an ED diagnosed infection. A Bayesian binomial regression model was constructed using Hamiltonian Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling, normal priors for each parameter, the calculated score, age and sex as the predictors, and hospital mortality as the outcome. Discrimination was assessed using posterior predictions to calculate a “Bayesian” C statistic, and calibration was assessed with calibration plots of the observed and predicted probability distributions. The independent predictive ability of each measure was tested by including each component measure (respiratory rate, Glasgow Coma Scale, and systolic blood pressure) as continuous predictors in a second model. Results: A total of 9,920 patients with ED diagnosed infection were included. 264 (2.7%) patients were admitted directly to the ICU, and 955 (9.6%) patients died in-hospital. As independent predictors, the probability of mortality increased as each measure became more extreme, with the Glasgow Coma Scale predicting the greatest change in mortality risk from a high to low score; however, no dramatic change in the probability supporting a single decision threshold was seen for any measure. For the calculated score, the C statistic for predicting mortality was 0.728. The calibration curve had no overlap of predictions, with a probability of 0.5 (50% credible interval 0.47-0.53) for patients with a qSOFA score of 3. Conclusion: Although no single decision threshold was identified for each component measure, a calculated qSOFA score provides good prediction of mortality for patients with ED diagnosed infection. When validating clinical prediction scores, a Bayesian approach may be used to assess probabilities of interest for clinicians to support better clinical decision making. Character count 2494
Respiratory viral infections are a leading cause of disease worldwide. A variety of respiratory viruses produce infections in humans with effects ranging from asymptomatic to life-treathening. Standard surveillance systems typically only target severe infections (ED outpatients, hospitalisations, deaths) and fail to track asymptomatic or mild infections. Here we performed a large-scale community study across multiple age groups to assess the pathogenicity of 18 respiratory viruses. We enrolled 214 individuals at multiple New York City locations and tested weekly for respiratory viral pathogens, irrespective of symptom status, from fall 2016 to spring 2018. We combined these test results with participant-provided daily records of cold and flu symptoms and used this information to characterise symptom severity by virus and age category. Asymptomatic infection rates exceeded 70% for most viruses, excepting influenza and human metapneumovirus, which produced significantly more severe outcomes. Symptoms were negatively associated with infection frequency, with children displaying the lowest score among age groups. Upper respiratory manifestations were most common for all viruses, whereas systemic effects were less typical. These findings indicate a high burden of asymptomatic respiratory virus infection exists in the general population.
Transoral laser microsurgery is an increasingly common treatment modality for glottic carcinoma. This study aimed to determine the effect of age, gender, stage and time on voice-related quality of life using the Voice Handicap Index-10.
Primary early glottic carcinoma patients treated with transoral laser microsurgery were included in the study. Self-reported Voice Handicap Index testing was completed pre-operatively, three months post-operatively, and yearly at follow-up appointments.
Voice Handicap Index improvement was found to be dependent on age and tumour stage, while no significant differences were found in Voice Handicap Index for gender. Voice Handicap Index score was significantly improved at 12 months and 24 months. Time versus Voice Handicap Index modelling revealed a preference for non-linear over linear regression.
Age and stage are important factors, as younger patients with more advanced tumours show greater voice improvement post-operatively. Patient's Voice Handicap Index is predicted to have 95 per cent of maximal improvement by 5.5 months post-operatively.
where F1(z),… , Fn(z) are rational functions of z with complex coefficients. We shall speak of F (z, u) = 0 as the fundamental algebraic equation and shall adopt z as the independent variable and u as the dependent, except in § 4, where we use x and y instead of them, and where it is understood that x and y are connected birationally with z and u.
Detecting gastrointestinal (GI) infection transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in England is complicated by a lack of routine sexual behavioural data. We investigated whether gender distributions might generate signals for increased transmission of GI pathogens among MSM. We examined the percentage male of laboratory-confirmed patient-episodes for patients with no known travel history for 10 GI infections of public health interest in England between 2003 and 2013, stratified by age and region. An adult male excess was observed for Shigella spp. (annual maximum 71% male); most pronounced for those aged 25–49 years and living in London, Brighton and Manchester. An adult male excess was observed every year for Entamoeba histolytica (range 59.8–76.1% male), Giardia (53.1–57.6%) and Campylobacter (52.1–53.5%) and for a minority of years for hepatitis A (max. 69.8%) and typhoidal salmonella (max. 65.7%). This approach generated a signal for excess male episodes for six GI pathogens, including a characterised outbreak of Shigella among MSM. Stratified analyses by geography and age group were consistent with MSM transmission for Shigella. Optimisation and routine application of this technique by public health authorities elsewhere might help identify potential GI infection outbreaks due to sexual transmission among MSM, for further investigation.
This study aimed to examine the epidemiology and treatment outcomes of community-onset purulent staphylococcal skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) in Central Australia. We performed a prospective observational study of patients hospitalised with community-onset purulent staphylococcal SSTI (n = 160). Indigenous patients accounted for 78% of cases. Patients were predominantly young adults; however, there were high rates of co-morbid disease. Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) was the dominant phenotype, accounting for 60% of cases. Hospitalisation during the preceding 6 months, and haemodialysis dependence were significant predictors of CA-MRSA infection on univariate analysis. Clinical presentation and treatment outcomes were found to be comparable for methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant cases. All MRSA isolates were characterised as non-multi-resistant, with this term used interchangeably with CA-MRSA in this analysis. We did not find an association between receipt of an active antimicrobial agent within the first 48 h, and progression of infection; need for further surgical debridement; unplanned General Practitioner or hospital re-presentation; or need for further antibiotics. At least one adverse outcome was experienced by 39% of patients. Clindamycin resistance was common, while rates of trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole resistance were low. This study suggested the possibility of healthcare-associated transmission of CA-MRSA. This is the first Australian report of CA-MRSA superseding MSSA as the cause of community onset staphylococcal SSTI.
The aim of this study was to quantify the correlation between adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measurements and bacterial cultures from duodenoscopes for evaluation of contamination following high-level disinfection.
Duodenoscopes used for any intended endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedure were included. Microbiologic and ATP data were collected concomitantly and in the same manner from ERCP duodenoscopes.
A high-volume endoscopy unit at a tertiary referral acute-care facility.
Duodenoscopes were sampled for ATP and bacterial contamination in a contemporaneous and highly standardized fashion using a “flush-brush-flush” method for the working channel (WC) and a dry flocked swab for the elevator mechanism (EM). Specimens were processed for any aerobic bacterial growth (colony-forming units, CFU). Growth of CFU>0 and ATP relative light unit (RLU)>0 was considered a contaminated result. Frequency of discord between among WC and EM measurements were calculated using 2×2 contingency tables. The Spearman correlation coefficient was used to calculate the relatedness of bacterial contamination and ATP as continuous measurements.
The Spearman correlation coefficient did not demonstrate significant relatedness between ATP and CFU for either a WC or EM site. Among 390 duodenoscope sampling events, ATP and CFU assessments of contamination were discordant in 82 of 390 WC measurements (21%) and 331 of 390 of EM measurements (84.9%). The EM was frequently and markedly positive by ATP measurement.
ATP measurements correlate poorly with a microbiologic standard assessing duodenoscope contamination, particularly for EM sampling. ATP may reflect biological material other than nonviable aerobic bacteria and may not serve as an adequate marker of bacterial contamination.
We present the first description of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) used to successfully manage a multi-antimicrobial drug shortage. Without resorting to formulary restriction, meropenem utilization decreased by 69% and piperacillin-tazobactam by 73%. During the shortage period, hospital mortality decreased (P=.03), while hospital length of stay remained unchanged.
Complications from systemic inflammation are reported in neonates following exposure to cardiopulmonary bypass. Although the use of asanguinous primes can reduce these complications, in neonates, this can result in significant haemodilution, requiring addition of blood. This study investigates whether the addition of blood after institution of bypass alters the inflammatory response compared with a blood prime. Neonatal swine were randomised into four groups: blood prime, blood after bypass but before cooling, blood after cooling but before low flow, and blood after re-warming. All groups were placed on central bypass, cooled, underwent low flow, and then re-warmed for a total bypass time of 2 hours. Although haematocrit values between groups varied throughout bypass, all groups ended with a similar value. Although they spent time with a lower haematocrit, asanguinous prime groups did not have elevated lactate levels at the end of bypass compared with blood prime. Asanguinous primes released less tumour necrosis factor α than blood primes (p=0.023). Asanguinous primes with blood added on bypass produced less interleukin 10 and tumour necrosis factor α (p=0.006, 0.019). Animals receiving blood while cool also showed less interleukin 10 and tumour necrosis factor α production than those that received blood warm (p=0.026, 0.033). Asanguinous primes exhibited less oedema than blood primes, with the least body weight gain noted in the end cool group (p=0.011). This study suggests that using an asanguinous prime for neonates being cooled to deep hypothermia is practical, and the later addition of blood reduces inflammation.
We have investigated the physical properties of molecular clouds which are presumably interacting with the G359.54+0.18 Nonthermal Filaments and an associated H ii region east of the filaments (Staguhn et al., 1996). The sub-mm spectra of 12CO(3-2) were observed with the KOSMA 3 m telescope, while the 490 GHz [C i] 3P1 →3P0 observations were made with the AST/RO 1.7 m sub-mm telescope. Fig. 1 shows channel maps of the integrated CO and [C i] line intensities in the velocity range of the recombination line observed towards the nearby H ii region. This H ii region is traced by the VLA 5 GHz continuum observations which are shown as contours in the central parts of the maps. The G359.54+0.18 Nonthermal Filaments, situated further to the west, appear to be morphologically associated with the H ii region. The [C i] emission of the molecular cloud east of the filaments which is kinematically linked to the H ii region is anti-correlated with the molecular line emission over a large angular extent. It is unlikely that the large morphological differences between [C i] and CO in this region can be explained exclusively by a high abundance of neutral carbon in the surface regions of dense molecular clumps, as is usually the case in PDR regions near the Sun.
This is the official guideline endorsed by the specialty associations involved in the care of head and neck cancer patients in the UK. It discusses the role of the clinical nurse specialist in the head and neck cancer patient journey and provides recommendations on the clinical nurse specialist led assessments and interventions for this group of patients receiving cancer care.
• All cancer patients should meet a clinical nurse specialist at the point of diagnosis. (R)
• Clinical nurse specialists must act as gate keeper to the patients' cancer pathway to provide a seamless journey. (R)
• Holistic needs assessment should be completed at different stages of the patient's pathway to reflect the changes of the patients' needs. (R)
• Clinical nurse specialists to be part of local and national initiatives for health promotion and raising awareness in the public domain. (G)
• Clinical nurse specialists should lead in redesigning of services and policies to ensure they are responsive to patient's needs for the future. (G)
• Treatment summaries should become part of practice to provide good communication between primary and secondary care to enable continuity of care for the patient. (G)
Item response theory (IRT) analyses of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and other psychological disorders are a predominant method for assessing overall and individual criterion severity for psychiatric diagnosis. However, no investigation has established the consistency of the relative criteria severities across different samples.
PubMed/Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science and ProQuest databases were queried for entries relating to alcohol use and IRT. Study data were extracted using a standardized data entry sheet. Consistency of reported criteria severities across studies was analysed using generalizability theory to estimate generalized intraclass correlations (ICCs).
A total of 451 citations were screened and 34 papers (30 unique samples) included in the research synthesis. The AUD criteria set exhibited low consistency in the ordering of criteria using both traditional [ICC = 0.16, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06–0.56] and generalized (ICC = 0.18, 95% CI 0.15–0.21) approaches. These results were partially accounted for by previously studied factors such as age and type of sample (e.g. clinical v. community), but the largest source of unreliability was the diagnostic instrument employed.
Despite the robust finding of unidimensional structure of AUDs, inconsistency in the relative severities across studies suggests low replicability, challenging the generalizability of findings from any given study. Explicit modeling of well-studied factors like age and sample type is essential and increases the generalizability of findings. Moreover, while the development of structured diagnostic interviews is considered a landmark contribution toward improving psychiatric research, variability across instruments has not been fully appreciated and is substantial.
Our previous observations established the small angular size and high brightness temperature of emission from the v=1, J=1-0 transition of SiO from the circumstellar envelopes of the supergiant VX Sgr and the Mira variable R Cas. We performed a second VLBI experiment on the SiO masers in several late type stars on 31 Oct.-2 Nov. 1978 to compare the physical characteristics of the SiO masers in the v=1 and v=2 states. With an energy separation of 1258 cm-1 (an equivalent temperature of 1753 K) between the two vibrational states, differences in excitation and pumping of the maser states may lead to different maser properties.
A symptom of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease
(AD) is a flat learning profile. Learning slope calculation methods vary, and
the optimal method for capturing neuroanatomical changes associated with MCI and
early AD pathology is unclear. This study cross-sectionally compared four
different learning slope measures from the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test
(simple slope, regression-based slope, two-slope method, peak slope) to
structural neuroimaging markers of early AD neurodegeneration (hippocampal
volume, cortical thickness in parahippocampal gyrus, precuneus, and lateral
prefrontal cortex) across the cognitive aging spectrum [normal
control (NC); (n=198;
age=76±5), MCI (n=370;
age=75±7), and AD (n=171;
age=76±7)] in ADNI. Within diagnostic group,
general linear models related slope methods individually to neuroimaging
variables, adjusting for age, sex, education, and APOE4 status. Among MCI,
better learning performance on simple slope, regression-based slope, and late
slope (Trial 2–5) from the two-slope method related to larger
parahippocampal thickness (all p-values<.01) and
hippocampal volume (p<.01). Better regression-based
slope (p<.01) and late slope
(p<.01) were related to larger ventrolateral
prefrontal cortex in MCI. No significant associations emerged between any slope
and neuroimaging variables for NC (p-values ≥.05) or
AD (p-values ≥.02). Better learning performances
related to larger medial temporal lobe (i.e., hippocampal volume,
parahippocampal gyrus thickness) and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex in MCI
only. Regression-based and late slope were most highly correlated with
neuroimaging markers and explained more variance above and beyond other common
memory indices, such as total learning. Simple slope may offer an acceptable
alternative given its ease of calculation. (JINS, 2015,