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Patients with single-ventricle CHD undergo a series of palliative surgeries that culminate in the Fontan procedure. While the Fontan procedure allows most patients to survive to adulthood, the Fontan circulation can eventually lead to multiple cardiac complications and multi-organ dysfunction. Care for adolescents and adults with a Fontan circulation has begun to transition from a primarily cardiac-focused model to care models, which are designed to monitor multiple organ systems, and using clues from this screening, identify patients who are at risk for adverse outcomes. The complexity of care required for these patients led our centre to develop a multidisciplinary Fontan Management Programme with the primary goals of earlier detection and treatment of complications through the development of a cohesive network of diverse medical subspecialists with Fontan expertise.
In the First-HD pivotal trial, the maximum deutetrabenazine dose evaluated to treat chorea associated with Huntington’s disease (HD chorea) was 48 mg/d, which is the approved maximum dose for this population. In ARC-HD, an open-label extension study evaluating the long-term efficacy and safety of deutetrabenazine to treat HD chorea, dosage ranged from 6 mg/d to 72 mg/d, with doses ≥12 mg/d administered twice daily. Doses in ARC-HD were increased by 6 mg/d per week in a response-driven manner based on efficacy and tolerability until 48 mg/d (Week 8). At the investigator’s discretion, further increases were permitted by 12 mg/d per week to a maximum of 72 mg/d. This post-hoc analysis evaluates the safety and tolerability of deutetrabenazine >48 mg/d compared to ≤48 mg/d to treat HD chorea in ARC-HD.
Patient counts and safety assessments were attributed to patients when they received a dose of either ≤48 mg/d or >48 mg/d. For 9 selected adverse events (AEs), we compared AE rates adjusted for duration of drug exposure (as number of AEs/year) at ≤48 mg/d or >48 mg/d. The AE rates were determined after titration when participants were on stable doses of deutetrabenazine.
All 113 patients were exposed to doses ≤48 mg/d (177.1 patient-years) and 49 patients were ever exposed to doses >48 mg/d (74.1 patient-years). In patients taking deutetrabenazine >48 mg/d compared to ≤48 mg/d after the titration period, there were no apparent differences in exposure-adjusted AE rates.
Based on clinical experience, some patients with HD may benefit from doses higher than 48 mg/d to adequately control chorea. These doses were tolerated without apparent increase in the exposure-adjusted rates of selected AEs after titration. This analysis does not address the occurrence of other AEs or whether adequate efficacy was achieved at lower doses, factors that may have influenced dose increases.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Petach Tikva, Israel
Chorea is a prominent motor dysfunction in Huntington’s disease (HD). Deutetrabenazine, a vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) inhibitor, is FDA-approved for the treatment of chorea in HD. In the pivotal, 12-week First-HD trial, deutetrabenazine treatment reduced the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) total maximal chorea (TMC) score versus placebo. ARC-HD, an open-label extension study, evaluated long-term safety and efficacy of deutetrabenazine dosed in a response-driven manner for treatment of HD chorea.
Patients who completed First-HD (Rollover) and patients who converted overnight from a stable dose of tetrabenazine (Switch) were included. Safety was assessed over the entire treatment period; exposure-adjusted incidence rates (EAIRs; adverse events [AEs] per person-year) were calculated. A stable, post-titration time point of 8 weeks was chosen for efficacy analyses.
Of 119 patients enrolled (Rollover, n=82; Switch, n=37), 100 (84%) completed ≥1 year of treatment (mean [SD] follow-up, 119  weeks). End of study EAIRs for patients in the Rollover and Switch cohorts, respectively, were: any AE, 2.6 and 4.3; serious AEs, 0.13 and 0.14; AEs leading to dose suspension, 0.05 and 0.04. Overall, 68% and 73% of patients in Rollover and Switch, respectively, experienced a study drug–related AE. Most common AEs possibly related to study drug were somnolence (17% Rollover; 27% Switch), depression (23%; 19%), anxiety (9%; 11%), insomnia (10%; 8%), and akathisia (9%; 14%). Rates of AEs of interest include suicidality (9%; 3%) and parkinsonism (6%; 11%). In both cohorts, mean UHDRS TMC score and total motor score (TMS) decreased from baseline to Week 8; mean (SD) change in TMC score (units) was –4.4 (3.1) and –2.1 (3.3) and change in TMS was –7.1 (7.3) and –2.4 (8.7) in Rollover and Switch, respectively. While receiving stable dosing from Week 8 to 132 (or end of treatment), patients showed minimal change in TMC score (0.9 [5.0]), but TMS increased compared to Week 8 (9.0 [11.3]). Upon drug withdrawal, there were no remarkable AEs and TMC scores increased 4.4 (3.7) units compared to end of treatment.
The type and severity of AEs observed in long-term deutetrabenazine exposure are consistent with the previous study. Efficacy in reducing chorea persisted over time. There was no unexpected worsening of HD or chorea associated with HD upon deutetrabenazine withdrawal.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Petach Tikva, Israel
The era of American leadership in the multilateral trading regime has ended. This paper argues that this current antipathy to trade is unsurprising: support for US leadership of the regime has always rested on a precarious balance among domestic interests. To overcome a historic bias in favor of home market production, American leaders created incentives for exporters to organize while creating roadblocks for import-competing firms and their employees. The dominance of the exporters’ voice had a significant influence on the policies the US pursued in the design and execution of the global trade regime. Most importantly, the absence of labor's voice undermined the prospect for “embedded liberalism” and instead resulted in an anemic system of adjustment for job loss at home and limited support for worker interests within the regime. While policymakers’ decision to shift power away from potential “veto” groups may have been necessary for US leadership of the Liberal International Order, this institutional design undermined a robust response to the economic dislocation thought to be a result of globalization. The result was a fracturing of the coalition in support of American leadership in the GATT/WTO regime.
The Fontan Outcomes Network was created to improve outcomes for children and adults with single ventricle CHD living with Fontan circulation. The network mission is to optimise longevity and quality of life by improving physical health, neurodevelopmental outcomes, resilience, and emotional health for these individuals and their families. This manuscript describes the systematic design of this new learning health network, including the initial steps in development of a national, lifespan registry, and pilot testing of data collection forms at 10 congenital heart centres.
Drawing on a landscape analysis of existing data-sharing initiatives, in-depth interviews with expert stakeholders, and public deliberations with community advisory panels across the U.S., we describe features of the evolving medical information commons (MIC). We identify participant-centricity and trustworthiness as the most important features of an MIC and discuss the implications for those seeking to create a sustainable, useful, and widely available collection of linked resources for research and other purposes.
Literary and historical studies have tended to focus primarily on what social scientists call the culinary, or the “what of eating”—the food on our plates, how it got there, and what it does to us. But of equal importance is the commensal, or the “how of eating”—how acts of sharing food help construct self-other relationships, group interactions, and indeed whole societies. This essay considers the role of commensality in literature through several lenses, using illustrations from works from the Greeks to the contemporary period. Texts discussed include Plato’s Gorgias, Aristophanes’ Knights, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare’s plays, Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and Anita Desai’s Fasting, Feasting.
Individual differences in neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness are associated with, and may predict onset of, internalizing disorders. These general traits can be parsed into facets, but there is a surprising paucity of research on facet risk for internalizing disorders. We examined general traits and facets of neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness in predicting first onsets of depressive and anxiety disorders.
A community sample of 550 adolescent females completed general and facet-level personality measures and diagnostic interviews. Interviews were re-administered 18 months later.
First onsets of depressive disorders were predicted by neuroticism, extraversion, and conscientiousness. Facets predicting first onset of depression included depressivity (neuroticism facet) and lower positive emotionality and sociability (extraversion facets). First onsets of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were predicted by neuroticism, and particularly the facet of anxiousness. First onsets of social phobia were predicted at the facet level by anxiousness. First onsets of specific phobia were predicted by neuroticism, low conscientiousness, and all neuroticism facets. In multivariate analyses, first onsets of depression were uniquely predicted by depressivity, and onsets of GAD and social phobia were uniquely predicted by anxiousness over and above the general trait of neuroticism.
General traits predict first onsets of depressive and anxiety disorders. In addition, more specific associations are evident at the facet level. Facets can refine our understanding of the links between personality and psychopathology risk, and provide finer-grained targets for personality-informed interventions.
Norwood palliation for patients with single ventricle heart disease is associated with a significant risk for acute kidney injury, which portends a worse prognosis. We sought to investigate the impact of hybrid stage I palliation (Hybrid) on acute kidney injury risk.
This study is a single-centre prospective case–control study of seven consecutive neonates with single ventricle undergoing Hybrid palliation. Levels of serum creatinine and four novel urinary biomarkers, namely neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, interleukin-18, liver fatty acid-binding protein, and kidney injury molecule-1, were obtained before and after palliation. Acute kidney injury was defined as a ⩾50% increase in serum creatinine within 48 hours after the procedure. Data were compared with a contemporary cohort of 12 neonates with single ventricle who underwent Norwood palliation.
Patients who underwent Hybrid were more likely to be high-risk candidates (86 versus 25%, p=0.01) compared with those who underwent Norwood. Despite similar preoperative serum creatinine levels, there was a trend towards higher levels of postoperative peak serum creatinine (0.7 [0.63, 0.94] versus 0.56 [0.47, 0.74], p=0.06) and rate of acute kidney injury (67 versus 29%, p=0.17) in the Norwood cohort. Preoperative neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (58.4 [11, 86.3] versus 6.3 [5, 16.2], p=0.07) and interleukin-18 (30.6 [9.6, 167.2] versus 6.3 [6.3, 16.4], p=0.03) levels were higher in the Hybrid cohort. Nevertheless, longitudinal mixed-effect models demonstrated Hybrid palliation to be a protective factor against increased postoperative levels of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (estimate −1.8 [−3.0, −9.0], p<0.001) and liver fatty acid-binding protein (−49.3 [−89.7, −8.8], p=0.018).
In this single-centre case–control study, postoperative acute kidney injury risk did not differ significantly by single ventricle stage I treatment strategy; however, postoperative elevation in novel urinary biomarkers, consistent with subclinical kidney injury, was encountered in the Norwood cohort but not in the Hybrid cohort.
People with pancreatic cancer have poor survival, and management is challenging. Pancreatic cancer patients' perceptions of their care coordination and its association with their outcomes have not been well-studied. Our objective was to determine if perception of care coordination is associated with patient-reported outcomes or survival.
People with pancreatic cancer who were 1–8 months postdiagnosis (52 with completed resection and 58 with no resection) completed a patient-reported questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of care coordination, quality of life, anxiety, and depression using validated instruments. Mean scores for 15 care-coordination items were calculated and then ranked from highest (best experience) to lowest (worst experience). Associations between care-coordination scores (including communication and navigation domains) and patient-reported outcomes and survival were investigated using general linear regression and Cox regression, respectively. All analyses were stratified by whether or not the tumor had been resected.
In both groups, the highest-ranked care-coordination items were: knowing who was responsible for coordinating care, health professionals being informed about their history, and waiting times. The worst-ranked items related to: how often patients were asked about visits with other health professionals and how well they and their family were coping, knowing the symptoms they should monitor, having sufficient emotional help from staff, and access to additional specialist services. For people who had a resection, better communication and navigation scores were significantly associated with higher quality of life and less anxiety and depression. However, these associations were not statistically significant for those with no resection. Perception of cancer care coordination was not associated with survival in either group.
Significance of results:
Our results suggest that, while many core clinical aspects of care are perceived to be done well for pancreatic cancer patients, improvements in emotional support, referral to specialist services, and self-management education may improve patient-reported outcomes.
Simulation models have been used to investigate the impact of hand hygiene on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission within the healthcare setting, but they have been limited by their ability to accurately model complex patient–provider interactions.
Using a network-based modeling approach, we created a simulated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) representing the potential for per-hour infant–infant MRSA transmission via the healthcare worker resulting in subsequent colonization. The starting prevalence of MRSA colonized infants varied from 2% to 8%. Hand hygiene ranged from 0% (none) to 100% (theoretical maximum), with an expected effectiveness of 88% inferred from literature.
Based on empiric care provided within a 1-hour period, the mean number of infant–infant MRSA transmissible opportunities per hour was 1.3. Compared to no hand hygiene and averaged across all initial colonization states, colonization was reduced by approximately 29%, 51%, 67%, 80%, and 86% for the respective levels of hygiene: 24%, 48%, 68%, 88%, and 100%. Preterm infants had a 61% increase in MRSA colonization, and mechanically ventilated infants had a 27% increase.
Even under optimal hygiene conditions, horizontal transmission of MRSA is possible. Additional prevention paradigms should focus on the most acute patients because they are at greatest risk.
Occupancy has been associated with risk for healthcare-associated infections, yet its definition varies widely. Occupancy can be modeled as a function of census, acuity of the patient care unit, staffing ratio, or some combination. This article discusses the appropriate parameterization of these measures and how to interpret their impact.
Fontan survivors have depressed cardiac index that worsens over time. Serum biomarker measurement is minimally invasive, rapid, widely available, and may be useful for serial monitoring. The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers that correlate with lower cardiac index in Fontan patients.
Methods and results
This study was a multi-centre case series assessing the correlations between biomarkers and cardiac magnetic resonance-derived cardiac index in Fontan patients ⩾6 years of age with biochemical and haematopoietic biomarkers obtained ±12 months from cardiac magnetic resonance. Medical history and biomarker values were obtained by chart review. Spearman’s Rank correlation assessed associations between biomarker z-scores and cardiac index. Biomarkers with significant correlations had receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve estimated. In total, 97 cardiac magnetic resonances in 87 patients met inclusion criteria: median age at cardiac magnetic resonance was 15 (6–33) years. Significant correlations were found between cardiac index and total alkaline phosphatase (−0.26, p=0.04), estimated creatinine clearance (0.26, p=0.02), and mean corpuscular volume (−0.32, p<0.01). Area under the curve for the three individual biomarkers was 0.63–0.69. Area under the curve for the three-biomarker panel was 0.75. Comparison of cardiac index above and below the receiver operating characteristic curve-identified cut-off points revealed significant differences for each biomarker (p<0.01) and for the composite panel [median cardiac index for higher-risk group=2.17 L/minute/m2 versus lower-risk group=2.96 L/minute/m2, (p<0.01)].
Higher total alkaline phosphatase and mean corpuscular volume as well as lower estimated creatinine clearance identify Fontan patients with lower cardiac index. Using biomarkers to monitor haemodynamics and organ-specific effects warrants prospective investigation.