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As the pathophysiology of Covid-19 emerges, this paper describes dysphagia as a sequela of the disease, including its diagnosis and management, hypothesised causes, symptomatology in relation to viral progression, and concurrent variables such as intubation, tracheostomy and delirium, at a tertiary UK hospital.
During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, 208 out of 736 patients (28.9 per cent) admitted to our institution with SARS-CoV-2 were referred for swallow assessment. Of the 208 patients, 102 were admitted to the intensive treatment unit for mechanical ventilation support, of which 82 were tracheostomised. The majority of patients regained near normal swallow function prior to discharge, regardless of intubation duration or tracheostomy status.
Dysphagia is prevalent in patients admitted either to the intensive treatment unit or the ward with Covid-19 related respiratory issues. This paper describes the crucial role of intensive swallow rehabilitation to manage dysphagia associated with this disease, including therapeutic respiratory weaning for those with a tracheostomy.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Introduction: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are first-line analgesics for emergency department (ED) patients with renal colic. Lower doses of intravenous (IV) ketorolac may provide similar pain relief to standard dosing in patients with acute pain. Patients with renal colic may be at increased risk of acute kidney injury; exposing them to lower doses of NSAIDs may put them at lower risk while providing equally effective analgesia. We conducted a pilot study to determine the feasibility of a randomized trial comparing the effectiveness and safety of low with standard ketorolac dosing in ED patients with suspected renal colic. The primary objective was to demonstrate the ability to achieve an enrolment target of 2 patients per week. Methods: We enrolled a convenience sample of adults presenting to an academic urban ED with unilateral flank pain suspected to be renal colic. We randomized patients to 10 mg (low dose, intervention) or 30 mg (standard dose, control). Participants, treating physicians and nurses, and researchers were blinded to treatment allocation. Our main feasibility outcome was the recruitment rate. Secondary outcomes were changes in pain scores (0-10) at 30 and 120 minutes post-ketorolac administration, vital signs, adverse events and ED length of stay. Results: We approached 82 patients, of whom 47 (57.3%) were eligible. Of these, 36 consented to participating and 30 were randomized. The proportion of screened patients who were enrolled was 36.6% (30/82). We completed enrolment over a 21-week period, with an average recruitment rate of 1.5 patients/week (range 0-4). The average baseline pain score for all participants was 6.9 (SD = 2.1). At 30 minutes post-ketorolac administration, the low dose group had a mean pain reduction of 2.0 points compared to a pain reduction of 1.7 in standard dose group (difference = 0.3, 90% CI: -0.7 to 1.4). Conclusion: These preliminary results support the possibility that low dose ketorolac may be efficacious in this patient population. We did not meet our target recruitment of 2 patients per week as this was primarily due to restricted recruitment hours. To successfully conduct a larger trial, we would need to expand both recruitment hours and the number of sites.
Endoscopes provide a magnified view of the middle ear and visualisation of hidden areas. Otoendoscopes facilitate excellent visualisation of the round window niche during cochlear implantation.
To compare microscopic and endoscopic visualisation of the round window membrane during cochlear implantation in 20 patients.
Twenty patients who underwent cochlear implantation were included in the study. After maximum exposure of the round window, the accessibility of the round window membrane was graded according to the St Thomas Hospital classification, first by microscope and then by endoscope.
With the use of the endoscope, visualisation of the round window membrane improved in all the patients as compared to the microscope. The electrode array was inserted via a round window or extended round window approach in all but two cases; the latter cases required bony cochleostomy because of unfavourable anatomy.
The main benefit of endoscope-assisted cochlear implantation is improved visibility of the round window region.
To compare round window niche visibility as seen endoscopically during cochlear implant surgery with pre-operative high-resolution computed tomography of the temporal bone.
Nineteen patients scheduled for cochlear implantation, aged 2–20 years, were referred for computed tomography from October 2016 to March 2018. Angles were measured between the lines passing through the mid-sagittal plane and cochlear basal turn on the scans. Endoscopic round window niche visibility during posterior tympanotomy was categorised as: type I = 100 per cent, type IIa = more than 50 per cent, type IIb = less than 50 per cent or type III = 0 per cent. Pre-operative computed tomography measurements were used to predict round window niche visibility before surgery and correlated with intra-operative findings.
The mean (range) of pre-operative angles on computed tomography for endoscopic visibility types I, IIa and IIb, were 64.06° (61.16–69.37°), 63.81° (58.61–71.35°) and 56.48° (50.37–59.05°), respectively, a statistically significant finding (one-way analysis of variance test, p = 0.016).
Pre-operative high-resolution temporal bone computed tomography measurements are useful in predicting round window niche visualisation as viewed endoscopically during posterior tympanotomy. The angle was more acute in type IIb compared to type I.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Background: Continuous electroencephalographic (cEEG) monitoring is essential to diagnosing non-convulsive seizures (NCS), reported to occur in 7-46% of at-risk critically ill patients. However, cEEG is labour-intensive, and given scarcity of resources at most centres cEEG is feasible in only selected patients. We aim to evaluate the clinical utility of cEEG at our centre in order to optimize further cEEG allocation among critically ill patients. Methods: Using a clinical database, we identified critically ill children who underwent cEEG monitoring in 2016, 2017 and 2018. We abstracted underlying diagnoses, indication for cEEG monitoring, cEEG findings, and associated changes in management. Results: Over this three year period, 928 cEEGs were performed. Among the 100 studies analyzed to date, primary indications for monitoring were characterization of events of unclear etiology (32%), diagnosis of NCS (30%), and monitoring of therapy for seizures (17%). Seizures were captured in 31% of patients (22% subclinical only, 5% electroclinical only, 4% both), which resulted in a treatment change in 90% of cases. Non-epileptic events were captured in 26% of patients. Conclusions: cEEG yielded clinically meaningful information in 57% of cases, frequently resulting in management changes. Subgroup analyses by cEEG indication and ICU location will be presented.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common chronic sleep disorder characterised by collapse of the upper airway during sleep. The nasal airway forms a significant part of the upper airway and any obstruction is thought to have an impact on obstructive sleep apnoea. A systematic review was performed to determine the role of rhinological surgical interventions in the management of obstructive sleep apnoea.
A systematic review of current literature was undertaken; studies were included if they involved comparison of a non-surgical and/or non-rhinological surgical intervention with a rhinological surgical intervention for treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.
Sixteen studies met the selection criteria. The pooled data suggest that there are reductions in the apnoea/hypopnea index and respiratory disturbance index following nasal surgery. However, the current body of studies is too heterogeneous for statistically significant meta-analysis to be conducted.
Nasal surgery may have limited benefit for a subset of patients based on current evidence.
The Global Muon Detector Network (GMDN) is composed by four ground cosmic ray detectors distributed around the Earth: Nagoya (Japan), Hobart (Australia), Sao Martinho da Serra (Brazil) and Kuwait city (Kuwait). The network has operated since March 2006. It has been upgraded a few times, increasing its detection area. Each detector is sensitive to muons produced by the interactions of ~50 GeV Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) with the Earth′s atmosphere. At these energies, GCR are known to be affected by interplanetary disturbances in the vicinity of the earth. Of special interest are the interplanetary counterparts of coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and their driven shocks because they are known to be the main origins of geomagnetic storms. It has been observed that these ICMEs produce changes in the cosmic ray gradient, which can be measured by GMDN observations. In terms of applications for space weather, some attempts have been made to use GMDN for forecasting ICME arrival at the earth with lead times of the order of few hours. Scientific space weather studies benefit the most from the GMDN network. As an example, studies have been able to determine ICME orientation at the earth using cosmic ray gradient. Such determinations are of crucial importance for southward interplanetary magnetic field estimates, as well as ICME rotation.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.
There are few data on excess direct and indirect costs of diabetes in India and limited data on rural costs of diabetes. We aimed to further explore these aspects of diabetes burdens using a clinic-based, comparative cost-of-illness study.
Persons with diabetes (n = 606) were recruited from government, private, and rural clinics and compared to persons without diabetes matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status (n = 356). We used interviewer-administered questionnaires to estimate direct costs (outpatient, inpatient, medication, laboratory, and procedures) and indirect costs [absence from (absenteeism) or low productivity at (presenteeism) work]. Excess costs were calculated as the difference between costs reported by persons with and without diabetes and compared across settings. Regression analyses were used to separately identify factors associated with total direct and indirect costs.
Annual excess direct costs were highest amongst private clinic attendees (INR 19 552, US$425) and lowest amongst government clinic attendees (INR 1204, US$26.17). Private clinic attendees had the lowest excess absenteeism (2.36 work days/year) and highest presenteeism (0.06 work days/year) due to diabetes. Government clinic attendees reported the highest absenteeism (7.48 work days/year) and lowest presenteeism (−0.31 work days/year). Ten additional years of diabetes duration was associated with 11% higher direct costs (p < 0.001). Older age (p = 0.02) and longer duration of diabetes (p < 0.001) were associated with higher total lost work days.
Excess health expenditures and lost productivity amongst individuals with diabetes are substantial and different across care settings. Innovative solutions are needed to cope with diabetes and its associated cost burdens in India.
Lower and middle income countries (LMICs) are home to >80% of the global population, but mental health researchers and LMIC investigator led publications are concentrated in 10% of LMICs. Increasing research and research outputs, such as in the form of peer reviewed publications, require increased capacity building (CB) opportunities in LMICs. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative, Collaborative Hubs for International Research on Mental Health reaches across five regional ‘hubs’ established in LMICs, to provide training and support for emerging researchers through hub-specific CB activities. This paper describes the range of CB activities, the process of monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities conducted by the five research hubs.
The indicators used to describe the nature, the monitoring, and the early outcomes of CB activities were developed collectively by the members of an inter-hub CB workgroup representing all five hubs. These indicators included but were not limited to courses, publications, and grants.
Results for all indicators demonstrate a wide range of feasible CB activities. The five hubs were successful in providing at least one and the majority several courses; 13 CB recipient-led articles were accepted for publication; and nine grant applications were successful.
The hubs were successful in providing CB recipients with a wide range of CB activities. The challenge remains to ensure ongoing CB of mental health researchers in LMICs, and in particular, to sustain the CB efforts of the five hubs after the termination of NIMH funding.
This study aimed to measure changes in disease-specific quality of life in children following tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy.
A multicentre prospective cohort study was performed involving seven ENT departments in England. A total of 276 children entered the study over a 2-month period: 107 underwent tonsillectomy and 128 adenotonsillectomy. Forty-one children referred with throat problems initially managed by watchful waiting were also recruited. The follow-up period was 12 months. Outcome measures were the T14, parental impressions of their child's quality of life and the number of days absent from school.
One-year follow-up data were obtained from 150 patients (52 per cent). The mean baseline T14 score in the non-surgical group was significantly lower (T14 = 23) than in the tonsillectomy group (T14 = 31) or the adenotonsillectomy group (T14 = 35; p < 0.001). There was a significant improvement in the T14 scores of responders in all groups at follow up. The effect size was 1.3 standard deviations (SD) for the non-surgical group, 2.1 SD for the tonsillectomy group and 1.9 SD for the adenotonsillectomy group. Between-group differences did not reach statistical significance. A third of children in the non-surgical group underwent surgery during the follow-up period.
Children who underwent surgical intervention achieved a significant improvement in disease-specific quality of life. Less severely affected children were managed conservatively and also improved over 12 months, but 1 in 3 crossed over to surgical intervention.
This paper proposes the novel use of a weighted Interval Kalman Filter (wIKF) in a robust navigational approach for integration with the guidance and control systems of an uninhabited surface vehicle named Springer. The waypoint tracking capability of this technique is compared with that of one that uses a conventional Kalman Filter (KF) navigational design, when the model of the sensing equipment used by the filter is incorrect. In this case, the KF fails to predict correctly the vehicle's heading, which consequently impacts negatively on the performance of its integrated navigation, guidance and control (NGC). However, the use of a wIKF technique that is immune to this kind of erroneous modelling endows the integrated NGC system with better accuracy and efficiency in completing a mission.
Plant genetic resources are raw materials and their use in breeding is one of the most sustainable ways to conserve biodiversity. The ICRISAT has over 120,000 accessions of its five mandate crops and six small millets. The management and utilization of such large diversity are greatest challenges to germplasm curators and crop breeders. New sources of variations have been discovered using core and minicore collections developed at the ICRISAT. About 1.4 million seed samples have been distributed; some accessions with specific attributes have been requested more frequently. The advances in genomics have led researchers to dissect population structure and diversity and mine allelic variations associated with agronomically beneficial traits. Genome-wide association mapping in sorghum has revealed significant marker–trait associations for many agronomically beneficial traits. Wild relatives harbour genes for resistance to diseases and insect pests. Resistance to pod borer in chickpea and pigeonpea and resistance to rust and late leaf spot in groundnut have been successfully introgressed into a cultivated genetic background. Synthetics in groundnut are available to broaden the cultigen's gene pool. ICRISAT has notified the release of 266 varieties/cultivars, germplasm, and elite genetic stocks with unique traits, with some having a significant impact on breeding programs. Seventy-five germplasm lines have been directly released for cultivation in 39 countries.
To analyse the aetiological profile and surgical results of patients with acquired chronic subglottic stenosis, and formulate a surgical scheme based on an audit of various surgical procedures.
Thirty patients were treated by 65 procedures (31 endoscopic and 34 external) between 2004 and 2009.
Isolated subglottic stenosis was noted as unusual in the majority (27 cases), demonstrating contiguous tracheal or glottic involvement. The major aetiologies were intubation injury (n = 8) and external injury (n = 21) (i.e. blunt trauma, strangulation or penetrating injury). Vocal fold immobility and cartilage framework involvement were frequent with external injury and infrequent with intubation injury. Luminal restoration was achieved by endoscopic procedures in 2 cases, external procedures in 19 cases, and external plus adjuvant endoscopic procedures in 8 cases. The preferred surgical options were: endoscopic procedures, restricted to short, recent, grade I or II mucosal stenosis cases; and external procedures for all other stenosis situations, including isolated subglottic (anterior cricoid split plus cartilage graft), subglottic and glottic or high subglottic (anterior plus posterior cricoid split with cartilage graft), and subglottic and tracheal (cricotracheal resection with anastomosis).
External injury stenosis has a worse profile than intubation injury stenosis. Anatomical categorisation of subglottic stenosis guides surgical procedure selection. Endoscopic procedures have limited indications as primary procedures but are useful adjunctive procedures.