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The “Fast track” protocol is an early extubation strategy to reduce ventilator-associated complications and induce early recovery after open-heart surgery. This study compared clinical outcomes between operating room extubation and ICU extubation after open-heart surgery in patients with CHD.
We retrospectively reviewed 215 patients who underwent open-heart surgery for CHDs under the scheduled “Fast track” protocol between September 2016 and April 2022. The clinical endpoints were post-operative complications, including bleeding, respiratory and neurological complications, and hospital/ICU stays.
The patients were divided into operating room extubation (group O, n = 124) and ICU extubation (group I, n=91) groups. The most frequently performed procedures were patch closures of the atrial septal (107/215, 49.8%) and ventricular septal (89/215, 41.4%) defects. There were no significant differences in major post-operative complications or ICU and hospital stay duration between the two groups; however, patients in group I showed longer mechanical ventilatory support (0.0 min vs. 59.0 min (interquartile range: 17.0–169.0), p < 0.001). Patients in Group O showed higher initial lactate levels (3.2 ± 1.7 mg/dL versus 2.5 ± 2.0 mg/dL, p = 0.007) and more frequently used additional sedatives and opioid analgesics (33.1% versus 19.8%, p = 0.031).
Extubation in the operating room was not beneficial for patients during post-operative ICU or hospital stay. Early extubation in the ICU resulted in more stable hemodynamics in the immediate post-operative period and required less use of sedatives and analgesics.
To avoid rhythm disturbance, sutures for ventricular septal defect closure have been traditionally placed 2∼5 mm or more away from the edge of the ventricular septal defect. However, the traditional suturing method appears to induce right bundle branch block and tricuspid valve regurgitation after ventricular septal defect closure more than our alternative technique, shallow suturing just at the edge of the ventricular septal defect (shallower bites at the postero-inferior margin). We aimed to verify our clinical experience of perimembranous ventricular septal defect repair.
The alternative shallow suturing method has been applied since 2003 at our institution. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 556 isolated perimembranous ventricular septal defect patients who underwent surgical closure from 2000 to 2019. We investigated the postoperative occurrence of right bundle branch block or progression of tricuspid regurgitation and analysed risk factors for right bundle branch block and tricuspid regurgitation.
Traditional suturing method (Group T) was used in 374 cases (66.8%), and alternative suturing method (Group A) was used in 186 cases (33.2%). The right bundle branch block occurred more frequently in Group T (39.6%) than in Group A (14.9%). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, Group T and patch material were significant risk factors for late right bundle branch block. More patients with progression of tricuspid regurgitation were found in Group T.
Shallow suturing just at the edge of the ventricular septal defect may reduce the rate of right bundle branch block occurrence and tricuspid regurgitation progression without other complications.
There is growing evidence for the use of acceptance-commitment therapy (ACT) for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). However, few fully implemented ACT have been conducted on the neural mechanisms underlying its effect on OCD. Thus, this study aimed to elucidate the neural correlates of ACT in patients with OCD using task-based and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Patients with OCD were randomly assigned to the ACT (n = 21) or the wait-list control group (n = 21). An 8-week group-format ACT program was provided to the ACT group. All participants underwent an fMRI scan and psychological measurements before and after 8 weeks.
Patients with OCD showed significantly increased activation in the bilateral insula and superior temporal gyri (STG), induced by the thought-action fusion task after ACT intervention. Further psycho-physiological interaction analyses with these regions as seeds revealed that the left insular–left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) connectivity was strengthened in the ACT group after treatment. Increased resting-state functional connectivity was also found in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus, and lingual gyrus after ACT intervention Most of these regions showed significant correlations with ACT process measures while only the right insula was correlated with the obsessive-compulsive symptom measure.
These findings suggest that the therapeutic effect of ACT on OCD may involve the salience and interoception processes (i.e. insula), multisensory integration (i.e. STG), language (i.e. IFG), and self-referential processes (i.e. PCC and precuneus). These areas or their interactions could be important for understanding how ACT works psychologically.
Predicting the course of depression is necessary for personalized treatment. Impaired glucose metabolism (IGM) was introduced as a promising depression biomarker, but no consensus was made. This study aimed to predict IGM at the time of depression diagnosis and examine the relationship between long-term prognosis and predicted results.
Clinical data were extracted from four electronic health records in South Korea. The study population included patients with depression, and the outcome was IGM within 1 year. One database was used to develop the model using three algorithms. External validation was performed using the best algorithm across the three databases. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated to determine the model’s performance. Kaplan–Meier and Cox survival analyses of the risk of hospitalization for depression as the long-term outcome were performed. A meta-analysis of the long-term outcome was performed across the four databases.
A prediction model was developed using the data of 3,668 people, with an AUC of 0.781 with least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) logistic regression. In the external validation, the AUCs were 0.643, 0.610, and 0.515. Through the predicted results, survival analysis and meta-analysis were performed; the hazard ratios of risk of hospitalization for depression in patients predicted to have IGM was 1.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.41, p = 0.027) at a 3-year follow-up.
We developed prediction models for IGM occurrence within a year. The predicted results were related to the long-term prognosis of depression, presenting as a promising IGM biomarker related to the prognosis of depression.
There are growing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of older adults. We examined the effect of the pandemic on the risk of depression in older adults.
We analyzed data from the prospective cohort study of Korean older adults, which has been followed every 2 years. Among the 2308 participants who completed both the third and the fourth follow-up assessments, 58.4% completed their fourth follow-up before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rest completed it during the pandemic. We conducted face-to-face diagnostic interviews using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and used Geriatric Depression Scale. We performed generalized estimating equations and logistic regression analyses.
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased depressive symptoms in older adults [b (standard error) = 0.42 (0.20), p = 0.040] and a doubling of the risk for incident depressive disorder even in euthymic older adults without a history of depression (odds ratio = 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.18–5.02, p = 0.016). Less social activities, which was associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic. However, less family gatherings, which was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was associated with the doubled risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influences the risk of late-life depression in the community. Older adults with a lack of family gatherings may be particularly vulnerable.
Accumulating evidence suggests that alterations in inflammatory biomarkers are important in depression. However, previous meta-analyses disagree on these associations, and errors in data extraction may account for these discrepancies.
PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and the Cochrane Library were searched from database inception to 14 January 2020. Meta-analyses of observational studies examining the association between depression and levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1-β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were eligible. Errors were classified as follows: incorrect sample sizes, incorrectly used standard deviation, incorrect participant inclusion, calculation error, or analysis with insufficient data. We determined their impact on the results after correction thereof.
Errors were noted in 14 of the 15 meta-analyses included. Across 521 primary studies, 118 (22.6%) showed the following errors: incorrect sample sizes (20 studies, 16.9%), incorrect use of standard deviation (35 studies, 29.7%), incorrect participant inclusion (7 studies, 5.9%), calculation errors (33 studies, 28.0%), and analysis with insufficient data (23 studies, 19.5%). After correcting these errors, 11 (29.7%) out of 37 pooled effect sizes changed by a magnitude of more than 0.1, ranging from 0.11 to 1.15. The updated meta-analyses showed that elevated levels of TNF- α, IL-6, CRP, but not IL-1β, are associated with depression.
These findings show that data extraction errors in meta-analyses can impact findings. Efforts to reduce such errors are important in studies of the association between depression and peripheral inflammatory biomarkers, for which high heterogeneity and conflicting results have been continuously reported.
Cognitive theories of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) stress the importance of dysfunctional beliefs in the development and maintenance of the disorder. However, a neurobiological understanding of these cognitive models, including thought-action fusion (TAF), is surprisingly lacking. Thus, this functional magnetic resonance imaging study aimed to investigate whether altered functional connectivity (FC) is associated with the TAF paradigm in OCD patients.
Forty-one OCD patients and 47 healthy controls (HCs) participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study using a TAF task, in which they were asked to read the name of a close or a neutral person in association with positive and negative statements.
The conventional TAF condition (negative statements/close person) induced significant FC between the regions of interest (ROIs) identified using multivoxel pattern analysis and the visual association areas, default mode network subregions, affective processing, and several subcortical regions in both groups. Notably, sparser FC was observed in OCD patients. Further analysis confined to the cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) and affective networks demonstrated that OCD patients exhibited reduced ROI FC with affective regions and greater ROI FC with CSTC components in the TAF condition compared to HCs. Within the OCD patients, middle cingulate cortex–insula FC was correlated with TAF and responsibility scores.
Our TAF paradigm revealed altered context-dependent engagement of the CSTC and affective networks in OCD patients. These findings suggest that the neurobiology of cognitive models corresponds to current neuroanatomical models of OCD. Further, they elucidate the underlying neurobiological mechanisms of OCD at the circuit-based level.
Gosan-ri-type pottery (GTP) is a unique plant-fiber-tempered pottery from Korea and has only been found in Early Neolithic sites on Jeju Island. In this study, we conducted radiocarbon (14C) dating for one GTP sample and 10 charcoal samples collected from archaeological structures in which GTP was found in 2012. The measurement conditions, the internal quality assurance test, and the reliability test indicate that each 14C date is very reliable. However, the 14C dates of the charcoal samples were more accurate than that of the GTP sample due to contamination from younger humic acids. From the summary of all 14C dates of charcoal samples using the KDE model, we finally conclude that GTP was manufactured and utilized throughout the period 9610–9490 cal BP (7670–7550 BC) with 95.4% confidence level. This age corroborates the inference that GTP is the oldest known Korean Neolithic pottery.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
This study investigates the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctions including, subjective memory impairment (SMI), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and dementia, by considering depression in a community sample of elderly individuals.
Data for 1,740 elderly individuals aged 65 years and over were obtained from a nationwide dementia epidemiological study conducted in South Korea. Cognitive functional status was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Packet Clinical Assessment Battery. Insomnia was defined as the presence of at least one of the four sleep complaints (difficulty in initiating sleep, difficulty in maintaining sleep, early morning awakening, and non-restorative sleep), accompanied by moderate to severe daytime consequences. Depression was evaluated using the Geriatric Depression Scale.
The prevalence of insomnia in the patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia was found to be 23.2%, 19.6%, and 31.0%, respectively. The patients with SMI, MCI, and dementia were significantly more likely to have insomnia and the four sleep complaints than the normal comparison patients. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, the significant relationships between cognitive dysfunctional status and insomnia remained. However, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors and depression, no significant relationships with any of the sleep complaints or insomnia remained.
Insomnia is a very common complaint in the elderly with SMI, MCI, and dementia. Depression might play an important factor in the relationship between insomnia and cognitive dysfunctional status in the elderly.
To date, there have been a number of research proposals to explore the newly emerging wireless charging technologies based on radio-frequency (RF) signals, ambient or dedicated. In particular, research efforts towards achieving the goal of transmitting information and energy at the same time have been rapidly expanding, but the feasibility of this goal has not been fully addressed. Moreover, the respective coverage areas of transmitting information and energy are wildly different, the latter being considerably smaller than the former. This is because the receiver sensitivities are very different, namely -60 dBm for an information receiver and -10 dBm for an energy receiver [1, 2].
Owing to this limitation, recently a commercial implementation of RF energy transfer has been restricted to lower-power sensor nodes with dedicated RF energy transmitters, such as the Powercast wireless rechargeable sensor system  and the Cota system .
In this chapter, we discuss the implementation of long- and short-range RF energy harvesting systems, where the former is to provide far-field-based RF energy transfer over long distances with a 4 × 4 phased antenna array and the latter to provide biosensors with RF energy over short distances. An overall circuit design for these RF energy harvesting systems is described in detail, along with the measurement results to validate the feasibility of far-field-based RF energy transfer. We illustrate the designed test-beds which will be applied to develop sophisticated energy beamforming algorithms to increase the transmission range. Finally, a new research framework is developed through the cross-layer design of the RF energy harvesting system, which is intended to power a low-power sensor node, like the Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensor node. To this end, we present a circuit-layer stored energy evolution model based on the measurements which will be used in designing the upper-layer energy management algorithm for efficient control of the stored energy at the sensor node. The new framework will be useful because the existing works on RF energy harvesting do not explicitly take into account a realistic temporal evolution model of the stored energy in the energy storage device, like such as a supercapacitor.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Whether an association exists between cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) and functional recovery after ischemic stroke is unclear. We aimed to evaluate the association between CMBs and functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
Consecutive patients with acute stroke were enrolled, and all patients were stratified into good and poor functional outcome groups at discharge and 6 months after ischemic stroke by using a modified Rankin Scale score. Cardiovascular risk factors, CMBs, and white matter hyperintensities were compared between these two outcome groups. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the risk of poor functional outcomes.
A total of 225 patients were enrolled, 121 of whom were classified as having a good functional outcome at discharge and 142 as having a good 6-month functional outcome. The presence of CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge [CMBs (+) patients in poor vs. good functional group; 48.1% vs. 30.6%; p=0.007] and 6 months [53.0% vs. 30.3%; p=0.001]. After adjustment for confounding factors, only the presence of infratentorial CMBs was associated with a poor functional outcome at discharge and 6 months. The poor functional outcome group had more CMBs than the good outcome group at 6 months.
Infratentorial cerebral microbleeds were significantly associated with worse functional outcomes not only in the early phase of ischemic stroke but also in the chronic phase. These findings suggest that the presence of infratentorial CMBs can predict poor functional outcome after acute ischemic stroke.
Social support programs for dementia caregivers were widely used in order to reduce care burden. We investigated which types of social supports can reduce psychological and non-psychological burdens of dementia caregivers, and explored the mechanism of those social supports.
We evaluated 731 community-dwelling dementia patients and their caregivers from the National Survey of Dementia Care in South Korea. We investigated the five types of social supports (emotional support, informational support, tangible support, positive social interaction, affectionate support) using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey in each caregiver. The mechanisms of specific types of social support on psychological/non-psychological burden were examined using path analysis.
Positive social interaction and affectionate support reduced psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Tangible support reduced the non-psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Informational support and emotional support were not helpful for reducing psychological or non-psychological burden. A maximum of 20% of psychological burden could be relieved by positive social interaction and 10.3% of that could be reduced by affectionate support. Tangible support was associated with a 15.1% maximal improvement in non-psychological burden.
In order to reduce caregiver burden in dementia effectively, psychosocial interventions should be tailored to target type of caregiver burden.
The lower dielectric constant (k) insulator is required for faster, smaller, and higher performance integrated circuit of the microprocessor and other advanced semiconductor devices that are so important to modern electronics and information technologies. Aromatic polyimides are among the candidate materials of low k due to their high thermal stability, mechanical strength and chemical resistance.
In this work, we show an 2,6-di-tert-butyl-9,10-diphenylanthracene core based novel polyimide which has been designed to have the lower polar imide concentration compared to that of conventional polyimides as well as the synthesis and characterization of its constitutional units, diamine and dianhydride.
We investigated the microstructural evolution of Sn96.4Ag2.8Cu0.8 solder through in situ heating transmission electron microscopy observations. As-soldered bump consisted of seven layers, containing the nanoeutectic lamella structure of AuSn and Au5Sn phases, and the polygonal grains of AuSn2 and AuSn4, on Au-plated Cu bond pads. Here, we found that there are two nanoeutectic lamellar layers with lamella spacing of 40 and 250 nm. By in situ heating above 140°C, the nanoeutectic lamella of AuSn and Au5Sn was decomposed with structural degradation by sphering and coarsening processes of the lamellar interface. At the third layer neighboring to the lamella layer, on the other hand, Au5Sn particles with a zig-zag shape in AuSn matrix became spherical and were finally dissipated in order to minimize the interface energy between two phases. In the other layers except both lamella layers, polycrystal grains of AuSn2 and AuSn4 grew by normal grain growth during in situ heating. The high interface energy of nanoeutectic lamella and polygonal nanograins, which are formed by rapid solidification, acted as a principal driving force on the microstructural change during the in situ heating.
Background: Insomnia is a common psychiatric complaint among elderly individuals. This study investigates the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of insomnia by considering a community sample of elderly individuals in South Korea.
Methods: A face-to-face household survey was conducted in five regions of South Korea from June 2008 to August 2008. Among a total of 3,074 individuals aged 65 years and over, 2,002 participants were interviewed. The presence of insomnia was defined as having at least one of four sleep complaints that included difficulty in initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty in maintaining sleep (DMS), early morning awakening (EMA), and non-restorative sleep (NRS) more than three times per week in the last month. The Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) Questionnaire, a short form of the Geriatric Depression scale (GDS), and a medical review of systems were implemented.
Results: Insomnia was found in 29.2% of the participants. DIS, DMS, EMA, and NRS accounted for 19.4%, 21.7%, 19.6%, and 8.0% of the participants respectively. Insomnia accompanied by daytime consequences accounted for 17.1% of the participants. The participants who were females, had no education, lived alone, showed symptoms of RLS or depression, and had a lifetime history of physical illness were significantly more likely to report insomnia. The prevalence of DIS, DMS, EMA, or insomnia increased slightly with age, whereas that of NRS decreased slightly. The lifetime history of head trauma, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, anemia, or depression was significantly related to insomnia.
Conclusion: Sleep problems are common among elderly individuals and are closely related to their lifetime history of physical illness.