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Background: Previous studies have shown varied results with respect to the diagnostic utility of a positive nerve root sedimentation sign (SedSign) on MRI for symptomatic lumbar stenosis. The objective of this study was to analyze the clinical characteristics of SedSign utilizing a validated classification for low back and leg pain (Saskatchewan Spine Pathway classification; SSPc). Methods: This was a retrospective review of prospectively-collected data in 367 consecutive adult patients presenting to a spine surgeon with back and/or leg pain between January 1, 2012 and May 31, 2018. Inter- and intra-rater reliability for SedSign was 73% and 91%, respectively (3 examiners). Results: SedSign was positive in 111 (30.2%) and negative in 256 (69.8%) of patients. On the univariate analysis, a positive SedSign was correlated with age, male sex, several components of ODI, EQ5D mobility, cross-sectional area (CSA) of stenosis, and SSPc pattern 4 (intermitted leg dominant pain). On multivariate analysis, SedSign was associated with age, male sex, CSA stenosis and ODI sub-score for walking distance. The sensitivity and specificity of SedSign for neurogenic claudication was 50.3 and 82.9, respectively (positive predictive value 65.8%, negative predictive value 71.9%). Conclusions: The SedSign has high specificity for neurogenic claudication, but the sensitivity is poor.
Background: The nerve root sedimentation sign (SedSign) has been correlated with clinically significant lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), and promoted as a possible prognostic indicator. However, diagnostic methods were not clearly defined in prior reports. In this study, the clinically validated Saskatchewan Spine Pathway enabled diagnosis of neurogenic claudication due to LSS. The objective was to compare the outcome of lumbar laminectomy for neurogenic claudication with respect to SedSign. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of prospectively-collected data in patients with neurogenic claudication who underwent lumbar laminectomy. Outcome measures included Oswestry Disability Index, Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for back and leg pain, and EuroQol 5-Dimension questionnaire. Results: Laminectomy was performed in 106 patients, and 60 were SedSign positive. Outcomes did not differ with respect to SedSign for all outcome measures, in non-instrumented and instrumented cohorts. Improvement in walking distance was associated with dural cross-sectional area of stenosis (p=0.02). VAS back and leg improvements were associated with back dominant (p=0.038) and leg dominant (p=0.0036) pain. Conclusions: This is the largest analysis of SedSign with respect to operative outcomes, and the only study with validated criteria for defining neurogenic claudication. Although other radiological and clinical factors are associated with improvements, SedSign did not correlate with laminectomy outcome.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
The Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) measures three aspects of catastrophic cognitions about pain—rumination, magnification, and helplessness. To facilitate assessment and clinical application, we aimed to (a) develop a short version on the basis of its factorial structure and the items’ correlations with key pain-related outcomes, and (b) identify the threshold on the short form indicative of risk for depression.
Social centers for older people.
664 Chinese older adults with chronic pain.
Besides the PCS, pain intensity, pain disability, and depressive symptoms were assessed.
For the full scale, confirmatory factor analysis showed that the hypothesized 3-factor model fit the data moderately well. On the basis of the factor loadings, two items were selected from each of the three dimensions. An additional item significantly associated with pain disability and depressive symptoms, over and above these six items, was identified through regression analyses. A short-PCS composed of seven items was formed, which correlated at r=0.97 with the full scale. Subsequently, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted against clinically significant depressive symptoms, defined as a score of ≥12 on a 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. This analysis showed a score of ≥7 to be the optimal cutoff for the short-PCS, with sensitivity = 81.6% and specificity = 78.3% when predicting clinically significant depressive symptoms.
The short-PCS may be used in lieu of the full scale and as a brief screen to identify individuals with serious catastrophizing.
Various individual diet and lifestyle factors are associated with mortality. Investigating these factors collectively may help clarify whether dietary and lifestyle patterns contribute to life expectancy. We investigated the association of previously described evolutionary-concordance and Mediterranean diet pattern scores and a novel evolutionary-concordance lifestyle pattern score with all-cause and cause-specific mortality in the prospective Iowa Women’s Health Study (1986–2012). We created the diet pattern scores from Willett FFQ responses, and the lifestyle pattern score from self-reported physical activity, BMI and smoking status, and assessed their associations with mortality, using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. Of the 35 221 55- to 69-year-old cancer-free women at baseline, 18 687 died during follow-up. The adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for all-cause, all CVD, and all-cancer mortality among participants in the highest relative to the lowest quintile of the evolutionary-concordance lifestyle score were, respectively, 0·52 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·55), 0·53 (95 % CI 0·49, 0·57) and 0·51 (95 % CI 0·46, 0·57). The corresponding findings for the Mediterranean diet score were HR 0·85 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·90), 0·83 (95 % CI 0·76, 0·90) and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·84, 1·03), and for the evolutionary-concordance diet score they were close to null and not statistically significant. The lowest estimated risk was among those in the highest joint quintile of the lifestyle score and either diet score (both Pinteraction <0·01). Our findings suggest that (1) a more Mediterranean-like diet pattern and (2) a more evolutionary-concordant lifestyle pattern, alone and in interaction with a more evolutionary-concordant or Mediterranean diet pattern, may be inversely associated with mortality.
The alarm behavior plays a key role in the ecology of aphids, but the site and molecular mechanism for the biosynthesis of aphid alarm pheromone are largely unknown. Farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) catalyzes the synthesis of FPP, providing the precursor for the alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene (EβF), and we speculate that FPPS is closely associated with the biosynthetic pathway of EβF. We firstly analyzed the spatiotemporal expression of FPPS genes by using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, showing that they were expressed uninterruptedly from the embryonic stage to adult stage, with an obvious increasing trend from embryo to 4th-instar in the green peach aphid Myzus persicae, but FPPS1 had an overall significantly higher expression level than FPPS2; both FPPS1 and FPPS2 exhibited the highest expression in the cornicle area. This expression pattern was verified in Acyrthosiphon pisum, suggesting that FPPS1 may play a more important role in aphids and the cornicle area is most likely the site for EβF biosynthesis. We thus conducted a quantitative measurement of EβF in M. persicae by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The data obtained were used to perform an association analysis with the expression data, revealing that the content of EβF per aphid was significantly correlated with the mean weight per aphid (r = 0.8534, P = 0.0307) and the expression level of FPPS1 (r = 0.9134, P = 0.0109), but not with that of FPPS2 (r = 0.4113, P = 0.4179); the concentration of EβF per milligram of aphid was not correlated with the mean weight per aphid or the expression level of FPPS genes. These data suggest that FPPS1 may play a key role in the biosynthesis of aphid alarm pheromone.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
High-energy electron radiography (HEER) has been proposed for time-resolved imaging of materials, high-energy density matter, and for inertial confinement fusion. The areal-density resolution, determined by the image intensity information is critical for these types of diagnostics. Preliminary experimental studies for different materials with the same thickness and the same areal-density target have been imaged and analyzed. Although there are some discrepancies between experimental and theory analysis, the results show that the density distribution can indeed be attained from HEER. The reason for the discrepancies has been investigated and indicates the importance of the uniformity in the transverse distribution beam illuminating the target. Furthermore, the method for generating a uniform transverse distribution beam using octupole magnets was studied and verified by simulations. The simulations also confirm that the octupole field does not affect the angle-position correlation in the center part beam, a critical requirement for the imaging lens. A more practical method for HEER using collimators and octupoles for generating more uniform beams is also described. Detailed experimental results and simulation studies are presented in this paper.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
Quality improvement (QI) and patient safety are two areas that have grown into important operational and academic fields in recent years in health care, including in emergency medicine (EM). This is the third and final article in a series designed as a QI primer for EM clinicians. In the first two articles we used a fictional case study of a team trying to decrease the time to antibiotic therapy for patients with sepsis who were admitted through their emergency department. We introduced concepts of strategic planning, including stakeholder engagement and root cause analysis tools, and presented the Model for Improvement and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles as the backbone of the execution of a QI project. This article will focus on the measurement and evaluation of QI projects, including run charts, as well as methods that can be used to ensure the sustainability of change management projects.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to determine if the introduction of a pre-arrival and pre-departure Trauma Checklist as a cognitive aid, coupled with an educational session, will improve clinical performance in a simulated environment. The Trauma Checklist was developed in response to a quality assurance review of high-acuity trauma activations. It focuses on pre-arrival preparation and a pre-departure review prior to patient transfer to diagnostic imaging or the operating room. We conducted a pilot, randomized control trial assessing the impact of the Trauma Checklist on time to critical interventions on a simulated pediatric patient by multidisciplinary teams. Methods: Emergency department teams composed of 2 physicians, 2 nurses and 2 confederate actors were enrolled in our study. In the intervention arm, participants watched a 10-minute educational video modelling the use of the trauma checklist prior to their simulation scenario and were provided a copy of the checklist. Teams participated in a standardized simulation scenario caring for a severely injured adolescent patient with hemorrhagic shock, respiratory failure and increased intracranial pressure. Our primary outcome of interest was time measurement to initiation of key clinical interventions, including intubation, first blood product administration, massive transfusion protocol activation, initiation of hyperosmolar therapy and others. Secondary outcome measures included a Trauma Task Performance score and checklist completion scores. Results: We enrolled 14 multidisciplinary teams (n=56 participants) into our study. There was a statistically significant decrease in median time to initiation of hyperosmolar therapy by teams in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (581 seconds, [509-680] vs. 884 seconds, [588-1144], p=0.03). Time to initiation of other clinical interventions was not statistically significant. There was a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores in the intervention group however this did not reach statistical significant (p=0.09). Pre-arrival and pre-departure checklist scores were higher in the intervention group (9.0 [9.0-10.0] vs. 7.0 [6.0-8.0], p=0.17 and 12.0 [11.5-12.0] vs. 7.5 [6.0-8.5], p=0.01). Conclusion: Teams using the Trauma Checklist did not have decreased time to initiation of key clinical interventions except in initiating hyperosmolar therapy. Teams in the intervention arm had statistically significantly higher pre-arrival and pre-departure scores, with a trend to higher Trauma Task Performance scores. Our study was a pilot and recruitment did not achieve the anticipated sample size, thus underpowered. The impact of this checklist should be studied outside tertiary trauma centres, particularly in trainees and community emergency providers, to assess for benefit and further generalizability.
Introduction: The 2015 CanMEDS framework requires all residency programs to increase their focus on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS). We created a longitudinal (4-year), modular QIPS curriculum for FRCP emergency medicine residents at the University of Toronto (UT) using multiple educational methods. The curriculum addresses three levels of QIPS training: knowledge, practical skills at the microsystem level, and practical skills at the organization level. Aim Statement: To increase the UT FRCP emergency medicine residents absolute score on the QIKAT-R (Quality Improvement Knowledge Application Tool Revised) by 10% after the completion of the QIPS curriculum. Methods: Physicians and other healthcare professionals with QI expertise collaboratively designed and taught the curriculum. We used the QIKAT-R as the outcome measure to evaluate QI knowledge and its applicability. The QIKAT-R is a validated measure that assesses an individuals ability to decipher a QI issue within the healthcare context, and propose a change initiative to address it. The first cohort of residents completed the QIKAT-R prior to the first session in 2014 (pre) and at the completion of the curriculum in 2017 (post). Each response was anonymized and scored by physicians with QI expertise. The QIKAT-R scores and comments from course evaluations are used to make yearly iterative curriculum changes. Results: The QIPS curriculum was implemented in September 2014. All nine residents in the first cohort completed the curriculum; they demonstrated an absolute increase of 19.6% (5.3/27) in the mean QIKAT-R score (13.0 +/− 3.3 pre vs. 18.3 +/− 3.8 post, p=0.001). Of the pre-test responses, 26% were categorized as poor, 70% as good, and 4% as excellent, whereas of the post-test 11% of responses were categorized as poor, 37% as good, and 52% as excellent (p<0.001). Two iterative curriculum changes were made at the end of each academic year since 2014: (1) The time between sessions were decreased to promote knowledge retention, and (2) different PGY3 QI practical project options were provided to suit residents individual QI interests. QIKAT-R scores and resident feedback were used to evaluate the impact of the curriculum changes. Conclusion: A collaborative, modular, longitudinal QIPS curriculum for UT FRCP emergency medicine residents that met CanMEDS requirements was created using multiple educational methods. The first resident cohort that completed the curriculum demonstrated an absolute increase in QI knowledge and its applicability (as measured by the QIKAT-R) by 19.6%. Two PDSA cycles were completed to improve the curriculum with the change ideas generated from resident feedback. Ongoing challenges include limited staff availability to teach and supervise resident QI projects. Future directions include incentivising staff participation and providing mentorship for residents with a career interest in QI beyond what is offered by the curriculum.
Introduction: With the current opioid crisis in Canada, presentations of acute opioid withdrawal (AOW) to emergency departments (ED) are increasing. Undertreated symptoms may result in relapse, overdose and death. Buprenorphine/naloxone (bup/nal) is a partial opioid agonist/antagonist used to mitigate symptoms of AOW, approved by Health Canad in 2007 for opioid use disorder. It is superior to clonidine, and increases follow up with addiction treatment programs when initiated in the ED. Nevertheless, in our inner-city ED in 2014, bup/nal was rarely prescribed. We aimed to increase ED physician prescribing of bup/nal for AOW by 50% over a 26-month period. Methods: Commencing in 2014, an interprofessional team of ED physicians, nurses (RN), pharmacists and QI specialists collaborated to improve the care of patients with AOW. PDSA cycles included: (1) needs assessment of emergency physicians knowledge and practices in 2014; (2) Grand Rounds and a web based information sheet in 2015; (3) ED stocking of bup/nal; (4) convenience order set to standardize AOW management; (5) Grand Rounds in 2016 and (6) peer-coaching for RNs, including case-based discussions and pocket card cognitive aids. The outcome was the number of times bup/nal was prescribed per month by ED physicians between Sept, 2015 and Oct, 2017. Data included the prescriber and use of order set as the process measure. The balancing measure was the number of patients referred to the Addiction Medicine Team who subsequently received bup/nal. Results: Bup/nal was prescribed by ED physicians 70 times, and 14 times by the Addiction Medicine Team. With each PDSA cycle, there was an increase in prescribing, with no significant shifts or trends. By all physicians, the median number of prescriptions per month was 3, and increased from 2 to 4 prescriptions/month after nursing education. There was a smaller increase in the median from 2 to 3 prescriptions/month by ED physicians alone. The order set was used 97% of the time. Conclusion: Bup/nal is safe, effective, and increases follow up with addiction programs for comprehensive assessment and treatment planning. We met our goal of increasing bup/nal prescribing in the ED for AOW by 50%. Moreover, prescribing increased by 100% with the addition of patients who received bup/nal after a referral to the Addiction Medicine Team. The intervention with the greatest impact was RN education, demonstrating that peer-coaching and teaching by an interprofessional team is key to changing practice. Unfortunately, overall prescribing remains low, and ED physicians may still be hesitant to prescribe bup/nal and defer to the specialists. It is unclear if this is due to a low number of patients presenting with AOW, patients with contraindications to bup/nal, or ED physician factors. The next step is an audit of all patients with AOW to see what percentage of those eligible are treated with bup/nal. A follow up survey to determine ongoing barriers will inform further PDSA cycles.