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Criteria for Treatment Optimization Recommendations (TOR) for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) identify suboptimal response to disease-modifying treatment (DMT). The Canadian TOR (CanTOR) were used to indicate recommendations for treatment switches or treatment maintenance based on relapse, disease progression and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) criteria in patients. We assessed concordance between the TOR and clinicians' decisions regarding treatment response and identified prevalence of patients with MS receiving DMT meeting medium/high levels of concern according to TOR.
Prospective baseline and end-of-study assessments of patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) or clinically isolated syndrome were conducted in this open-label, 12-month, Phase IV, observational Canadian study.
Data were reported for 184 patients (female 72%, mean age 39 years) of which 96% had RRMS. The TOR criteria identified 19 (10.3%) patients with suboptimal response to treatment. Twelve patients had ≥1 high level of concern. Two patients had ≥2 medium levels of concern. Concordance between TOR and clinician decision in maintaining treatment was 95.3%. Where treatment change was recommended by the TOR, concordance was 29.4%. Clinicians identified the TOR as the principal reason for changing treatment in 50.0% of cases where the TOR identified suboptimal response. The TOR were considered useful by 70.6% of clinicians when treatment optimization was recommended and by 55.3% when maintaining treatment was recommended.
The TOR criteria can identify suboptimal response in this patient cohort. Concordance between TOR and clinician decision was high when maintaining treatment was recommended. Usefulness of the TOR was most apparent when treatment optimization was recommended.
To perform surgical closure of a clinically significant arterial duct on children in a third world country.
An arterial duct is one of the most common congenital cardiac defects. Large arterial ducts can cause significant pulmonary overcirculation, causing symptoms of congestive cardiac failure, ultimately resulting in premature death. Closure of an arterial duct is usually curative, allowing for a normal quality of life and expectancy. In western countries, arterial duct closure in children is usually performed by deployment of a device through a catheter-based approach, replacing previous surgical approaches. In third world countries, there is limited access to the necessary resources for performing catheter-based closure of an arterial duct. Consequently, children with an arterial duct in a third world country may only receive palliative care, can be markedly symptomatic, and often do not survive to adulthood.
We assembled a team of 11 healthcare workers with extensive experience in the medical and surgical management of children with congenital cardiac disease. In all, 21 patients with a history of an arterial duct were screened by performing a comprehensive history, physical, and echocardiogram at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
A total of 18 children (eight male and ten female), ranging in age from 10 months to 14 years, were deemed suitable to undergo surgery. All patients were symptomatic, and the arterial ducts ranged in size from 4 to 15 millimetres. Surgical closure was performed using two clips, and in four cases with the largest arterial duct, sutures were also placed. All patients had successful closure without any significant complications, and were able to be discharged home within 2 days of surgery. Of note, four children with arterial ducts died in the 5 months before our arrival.
Surgical closure of an arterial duct can be performed safely and effectively by an experienced paediatric cardiothoracic surgical team on children in a third world country. We hope that our experience will inspire others to perform similar missions throughout the world.
A proton magnetometer was used in a magnetic survey of a site near San Diego, California. Two hearths and a fire pit were located which otherwise would not have been discovered without extensive excavation. Magnetic surveying of a site in southern California has proved successful and further use of the method in North America is warranted.
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