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Automated surveillance of healthcare-associated infections reduces workload and improves standardization, but it has not yet been adopted widely. In this study, we assessed the performance and feasibility of an easy implementable framework to develop algorithms for semiautomated surveillance of deep incisional and organ-space surgical site infections (SSIs) after orthopedic, cardiac, and colon surgeries.
Retrospective cohort study in multiple countries.
European hospitals were recruited and selected based on the availability of manual SSI surveillance data from 2012 onward (reference standard) and on the ability to extract relevant data from electronic health records. A questionnaire on local manual surveillance and clinical practices was administered to participating hospitals, and the information collected was used to pre-emptively design semiautomated surveillance algorithms standardized for multiple hospitals and for center-specific application. Algorithm sensitivity, positive predictive value, and reduction of manual charts requiring review were calculated. Reasons for misclassification were explored using discrepancy analyses.
The study included 3 hospitals, in the Netherlands, France, and Spain. Classification algorithms were developed to indicate procedures with a high probability of SSI. Components concerned microbiology, prolonged length of stay or readmission, and reinterventions. Antibiotics and radiology ordering were optional. In total, 4,770 orthopedic procedures, 5,047 cardiac procedures, and 3,906 colon procedures were analyzed. Across hospitals, standardized algorithm sensitivity ranged between 82% and 100% for orthopedic surgery, between 67% and 100% for cardiac surgery, and between 84% and 100% for colon surgery, with 72%–98% workload reduction. Center-specific algorithms had lower sensitivity.
Using this framework, algorithms for semiautomated surveillance of SSI can be successfully developed. The high performance of standardized algorithms holds promise for large-scale standardization.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Facial transplantation is emerging as a therapeutic option for self-inflicted gunshot wounds. The self-inflicted nature of this injury raises questions about the appropriate role of self-harm in determining patient eligibility. Potential candidates for facial transplantation undergo extensive psychosocial screening. The presence of a self-inflicted gunshot wound warrants special attention to ensure that a patient is prepared to undergo a demanding procedure that poses significant risk, as well as stringent lifelong management. Herein, we explore the ethics of considering mechanism of injury in the patient selection process, referring to the precedent set forth in solid organ transplantation. We also consider the available evidence regarding outcomes of individuals transplanted for self-inflicted mechanisms of injury in both solid organ and facial transplantation. We conclude that while the presence of a self-inflicted gunshot wound is significant in the overall evaluation of the candidate, it does not on its own warrant exclusion from consideration for a facial transplantation.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
A remarkable stela from Montoro, southern Spain, is unique in its morphology, epigraphic traits and landscape context. A programme of chemical characterisation, digital imaging, and geo-lithological and epigraphic analyses were conducted to determine its age and significance, and the results were integrated with data from archaeological investigations of the surrounding area. This multi-faceted approach allowed the stela to be interpreted within the context of early interactions between literate Mediterranean societies of the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age and non-literate Iberian societies. A key outcome of this research is a wider understanding of the complex patterns in the use and perception of early scripts.
Prematurity is a risk factor for hypertension, vascular stiffness, nephron deficit and adult onset cardiorenal disease. The vascular tree and kidneys share morphogenic drivers that promote maturation in utero before 36 weeks of gestation. Vascular elastin accrual terminates after birth leaving collagen to promote vascular stiffness. Our objective was to determine if the histomorphometry of the umbilical artery, an extension of the aorta, parallels nephron mass across gestational age groups. From a cohort of 54 newborns, 32 umbilical cord specimens were adequate for evaluation. The umbilical cord was sectioned, stained with trichrome, and digitalized. Muscular and collagenous areas of the umbilical artery were measured in pixels using the Image J 1.48q software. Total kidney volume was measured by ultrasound and factored by body surface area (TKV/BSA). The umbilical artery total area was significantly greater in term v. preterm infants (9.3±1.3 v. 7.0±2.0 mm2; P<0.05) and increased with gestational age; while the percent muscular and collagen areas were independent of gestational age (R2=0.04; P=ns). Percent muscular area correlated positively with TKV/BSA (r=0.53; P=0.002); while an increase in collagen correlated inversely with kidney mass (r=−0.53; P=0.002). In conclusion, an enhanced % muscular area and presumed vascular elasticity was associated with increased renal mass in all infants. Umbilical artery histomorphometry provides a link between the intrauterine environment, vascular and kidney development.
Volumetric atrophy and microstructural alterations in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measures of the hippocampus have been reported in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, no study to date has jointly investigated concomitant microstructural and volumetric changes of the hippocampus in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).
A total of 84 subjects (23 MCI, 17 DLB, 14 AD, and 30 healthy controls) were recruited for a multi-modal imaging (3T MRI and DTI) study that included neuropsychological evaluation. Freesurfer was used to segment the total hippocampus and delineate its subfields. The hippocampal segmentations were co-registered to the mean diffusivity (MD) and fractional anisotropy (FA) maps obtained from the DTI images.
Both AD and MCI groups showed significantly smaller hippocampal volumes compared to DLB and controls, predominantly in the CA1 and subiculum subfields. Compared to controls, hippocampal MD was elevated in AD, but not in MCI. DLB was characterized by both volumetric and microstructural preservation of the hippocampus. In MCI, higher hippocampal MD was associated with greater atrophy of the hippocampus and CA1 region. Hippocampal volume was a stronger predictor of memory scores compared to MD within the MCI group.
Through a multi-modal integration, we report novel evidence that the hippocampus in DLB is characterized by both macrostructural and microstructural preservation. Contrary to recent suggestions, our findings do not support the view that DTI measurements of the hippocampus are superior to volumetric changes in characterizing group differences, particularly between MCI and controls.
We studied neuroinflammation in individuals with late-life, depression, as a
risk factor for dementia, using [11C]PK11195 positron emission
tomography (PET). Five older participants with major depression and 13
controls underwent PET and multimodal 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
with blood taken to measure C-reactive protein (CRP). We found significantly
higher CRP levels in those with late-life depression and raised
[11C]PK11195 binding compared with controls in brain regions
associated with depression, including subgenual anterior cingulate cortex,
and significant hippocampal subfield atrophy in cornu ammonis 1 and
subiculum. Our findings suggest neuroinflammation requires further
investigation in late-life depression, both as a possible aetiological
factor and a potential therapeutic target.
The characteristics of silicon films deposited by plasma depend strongly on the reactor parameters. In our experiments, the two-level factorial design was implemented. Pressure, silane and hydrogen flows were set at high and low values for the synthesis of silicon films. Results showed that the flows of silane and hydrogen played a key role, being the influence of pressure low. In particular, the samples at high level of hydrogen exhibited the lowest deposition rate and photosensitivity. On the other hand, the samples at low level of hydrogen showed crystalline regions and high deposition rate. For the lowest dilution ratio, nano/meso-structured silicon films were obtained, showing high photosensitivity and high roughness that increases the scattering of light. These characteristics of our films make them suitable to be used in photovoltaics.
The monitoring of corrosion in reinforced concrete structures is considered an important preventive factor against the corrosive damage. The present paper shows the design and construction of a device which performs remote measurements of the polarization resistance of reinforcing steel, this was made using the electrochemical technique of linear polarization resistance as a method to obtain the information of the corrosive process. The development was carried out by implementing a potentiostat based on a free development platform. The design allows to store all the data on a physical memory and to send the results through the mobile network to a web server, where the measured values can be analyzed using an internet connection.
The linear polarization resistance measurements were made in cylindrical concrete specimens with rebars of ½ ”, each one instrumented with embedded electrodes of Copper/Copper sulfate and graphite. The specimens were subjected to a saturated environment of chlorides (3.5%) where the corrosive process was monitored with the developed system. The results were compared with tests performed on a commercial potentiostat / galvanostat, where the values obtained have an mean of 4.83%.
In general, solitary right aortic arch carries the left-sided ductus arteriosus communicating between the left subclavian and pulmonary arteries or the right-sided ductus connecting the descending aorta to the left pulmonary artery. Serial sections of fifteen 5- to 6-week-old embryos and ten 8- to 9-week-old fetuses suggested that the pathogenesis was unrelated to inversion due to dysfunction in gene cascades that control the systemic left/right axis. With inversion, conversely, the ductus or the sixth pharyngeal arch artery should connect to the right pulmonary artery. The disappearance of the right aortic arch started before the caudal migration of the aortic attachment of the ductus. Sympathetic nerve ganglia developed immediately posterior to both aortae, with a single embryonic specimen showing a large ganglion at the midline close to the union of the aortic arches. These ganglia may interfere with blood flow through the distal left arch, resulting in the ductus ending at the descending aorta behind the oesophagus. In another fetus examined, a midline shift of the ductus course resulted in the trachea curving posteriorly. Therefore, solitary right arch is likely to accompany abnormalities of the surrounding structures. The timing and site of the obstruction should be different between types: an almost midline obstruction near the aortic union needed for the development of the left-sided ductus and a distal obstruction near the left subclavian arterial origin needed for the development of the right-sided ductus. A mass effect of the sympathetic ganglia may explain the pathogenesis of any type of anomalous ductus arteriosus shown in previous reports of the solitary right arch.
Cocoa flavanol (CF) intake improves endothelial function in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and disease. We investigated the effects of CF on surrogate markers of cardiovascular health in low risk, healthy, middle-aged individuals without history, signs or symptoms of CVD. In a 1-month, open-label, one-armed pilot study, bi-daily ingestion of 450 mg of CF led to a time-dependent increase in endothelial function (measured as flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD)) that plateaued after 2 weeks. Subsequently, in a randomised, controlled, double-masked, parallel-group dietary intervention trial (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01799005), 100 healthy, middle-aged (35–60 years) men and women consumed either the CF-containing drink (450 mg) or a nutrient-matched CF-free control bi-daily for 1 month. The primary end point was FMD. Secondary end points included plasma lipids and blood pressure, thus enabling the calculation of Framingham Risk Scores and pulse wave velocity. At 1 month, CF increased FMD over control by 1·2 % (95 % CI 1·0, 1·4 %). CF decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 4·4 mmHg (95 % CI 7·9, 0·9 mmHg) and 3·9 mmHg (95 % CI 6·7, 0·9 mmHg), pulse wave velocity by 0·4 m/s (95 % CI 0·8, 0·04 m/s), total cholesterol by 0·20 mmol/l (95 % CI 0·39, 0·01 mmol/l) and LDL-cholesterol by 0·17 mmol/l (95 % CI 0·32, 0·02 mmol/l), whereas HDL-cholesterol increased by 0·10 mmol/l (95 % CI 0·04, 0·17 mmol/l). By applying the Framingham Risk Score, CF predicted a significant lowering of 10-year risk for CHD, myocardial infarction, CVD, death from CHD and CVD. In healthy individuals, regular CF intake improved accredited cardiovascular surrogates of cardiovascular risk, demonstrating that dietary flavanols have the potential to maintain cardiovascular health even in low-risk subjects.
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses worldwide and a leading cause of disability, especially in the setting of treatment resistance. In recent years, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has emerged as a promising alternative strategy for treatment-resistant depression and its clinical efficacy has been investigated intensively across the world. However, the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of the antidepressant effect of rTMS are still not fully understood. This review aims to systematically synthesize the literature on the neurobiological mechanisms of treatment response to rTMS in patients with depression. Medline (1996–2014), Embase (1980–2014) and PsycINFO (1806–2014) were searched under set terms. Three authors reviewed each article and came to consensus on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. All eligible studies were reviewed, duplicates were removed, and data were extracted individually. Of 1647 articles identified, 66 studies met both inclusion and exclusion criteria. rTMS affects various biological factors that can be measured by current biological techniques. Although a number of studies have explored the neurobiological mechanisms of rTMS, a large variety of rTMS protocols and parameters limits the ability to synthesize these findings into a coherent understanding. However, a convergence of findings suggest that rTMS exerts its therapeutic effects by altering levels of various neurochemicals, electrophysiology as well as blood flow and activity in the brain in a frequency-dependent manner. More research is needed to delineate the neurobiological mechanisms of the antidepressant effect of rTMS. The incorporation of biological assessments into future rTMS clinical trials will help in this regard.
Suicide is a devastating public health problem and very few biological treatments have been found to be effective for quickly reducing the intensity of suicidal ideation (SI). We have previously shown that a single dose of ketamine, a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is associated with a rapid reduction in depressive symptom severity and SI in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ketamine in patients with mood and anxiety spectrum disorders who presented with clinically significant SI (n = 24). Patients received a single infusion of ketamine or midazolam (as an active placebo) in addition to standard of care. SI measured using the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI) 24 h post-treatment represented the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale – Suicidal Ideation (MADRS-SI) score at 24 h and additional measures beyond the 24-h time-point.
The intervention was well tolerated and no dropouts occurred during the primary 7-day assessment period. BSI score was not different between the treatment groups at 24 h (p = 0.32); however, a significant difference emerged at 48 h (p = 0.047). MADRS-SI score was lower in the ketamine group compared to midazolam group at 24 h (p = 0.05). The treatment effect was no longer significant at the end of the 7-day assessment period.
The current findings provide initial support for the safety and tolerability of ketamine as an intervention for SI in patients who are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior. Larger, well-powered studies are warranted.
The emergence of invasive fungal wound infections (IFIs) in combat casualties led to development of a combat trauma-specific IFI case definition and classification. Prospective data were collected from 1133 US military personnel injured in Afghanistan (June 2009–August 2011). The IFI rates ranged from 0·2% to 11·7% among ward and intensive care unit admissions, respectively (6·8% overall). Seventy-seven IFI cases were classified as proven/probable (n = 54) and possible/unclassifiable (n = 23) and compared in a case-case analysis. There was no difference in clinical characteristics between the proven/probable and possible/unclassifiable cases. Possible IFI cases had shorter time to diagnosis (P = 0·02) and initiation of antifungal therapy (P = 0·05) and fewer operative visits (P = 0·002) compared to proven/probable cases, but clinical outcomes were similar between the groups. Although the trauma-related IFI classification scheme did not provide prognostic information, it is an effective tool for clinical and epidemiological surveillance and research.
A mathematical model is developed to describe deoxidation of water in a physical model of a batch aluminum degassing reactor equipped with the rotor-injector technique, assuming that deoxidation kinetics of water is similar to dehydrogenization of liquid aluminum. Degassing kinetics is described by using mass transport and mass balance principles by assuming that degassing kinetics can be characterized by a mass transfer coefficient, which depends on the process variables. The transport coefficient and the average bubble diameter are estimated with correlations reported in the literature for similar gas-injection systems. The water physical model helped to validate the mathematical model and to perform a process analysis by varying: 1) Gas flow rate (20 and 40 l/min); and 2) Impeller’s angular velocity (290 and 573 rpm). Results from the model agree well with measurements of deoxidation kinetics at low impeller rotating speeds. At high rotating speeds the model is still valid but less reliable because it does not take into account the formation of the vortex at the free surface. Nevertheless, the model provides predictions of the influence of every operating parameter and it can be used as a good approximation for real systems.