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PURPOSE - We undertook this pilot prospective cohort investigation to examine the feasibility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessments in survivors of critical illness and to analyze potential associations between delirium and brain activation patterns observed during a working memory task (N-back) at hospital discharge and 3-month follow-up.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - At hospital discharge and 3 months later, fMRI assessed subjects' functional activity during an N-back task. Multiple linear regression was used to examine associations between duration of delirium and brain activity, and elastic net regression was used to assess the relationship between brain activation patterns at 3 months and cognitive outcomes at 12 months.
RESULTS - Of 47 patients who underwent fMRI at discharge, 38 (80%) completed the protocol; of 37 who underwent fMRI at 3 months, 34 (91%) completed the protocol. At discharge, the mean (SD) percentage of correct responses on the most challenging version (the N2 version) of the N-back task was 70.4 (23.2; range of 20-100) compared with 76 (23.4; range of 33-100) at 3 months. No association was observed between delirium duration in the hospital and brain region activity in any brain region at discharge or 3 months after adjusting for relevant covariates (P values across all 11 brain regions of interest were >.25).
CONCLUSIONS - Our data support the feasibility of using fMRI in survivors of critical illness at 3-month follow-up but not at discharge. In this small study, delirium was not associated with distinct or abnormal brain activation patterns, although overall performance on a cognitive task of working memory was poorer than observed in other cohorts of individuals with medically related executive dysfunction, mild cognitive impairment, and mild traumatic brain injury.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
PURPOSE - To evaluate the fourth-year medical student's assessment and management of an unstable patient.
METHOD - The authors compared the performance of fourth-year medical students in a clinical performance examination (CPX) across a spectrum of simulated stable conditions as compared with a case of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). All fourth-year medical students at the Medical University of South Carolina participated in an eight-station CPX. Student performance was graded as the percentage of correct steps performed according to checklists developed through a modified Delphi technique. Repeated analysis of variance was performed to compare performance on different stations. Data are reported as mean (standard deviation), and P < .05 was considered significant.
RESULTS - A total of 143 fourth-year medical students participated in the study. The percentage of correct actions performed in the STEMI station was 47.8 (9.5), which was significantly lower than all other stations (P < .001). There was no difference in overall performance between any of the other stable encounters. Students performed significantly worse in the physical and management/treatment components of the STEMI station, as compared with history, differential diagnosis, labs/tests, and diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS - Fourth-year medical students were less prepared to manage a simulated STEMI case compared with a range of nonacute conditions. Given the prevalence of coronary artery disease and the necessity of interns to be equipped to handle emergent situations, this deficiency should be addressed in undergraduate medical curricula.
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES - To compare available grading and staging scales that measure external lymphedema in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) and to assess problems and gaps related to these tools.
DESIGN - Cross-sectional.
SETTING - A comprehensive cancer center in Tennessee.
SAMPLE - 103 participants post-HNC treatment.
METHODS - Four scales were used to evaluate study participant external lymphedema status, including the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) Lymphedema Scale (version 3.0), American Cancer Society Lymphedema Scale, Stages of Lymphedema (Földi's Scale), and the CTCAE Fibrosis Scale (version 3.0).
MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES - Occurrence rate, severity of lymphedema, and components and descriptors of each scale.
FINDINGS - The prevalence and severity of external lymphedema differed based on the tools. Each tool had an identified limitation. Current theory postulates a continuum between lymphedema and fibrosis, but only the Földi's Scale adequately reflected that concept.
CONCLUSIONS - None of the available scales clearly captured all the important characteristics of external lymphedema in patients with HNC. A need exists to develop a clearly defined and validated scale of external lymphedema in the HNC population.
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING - Oncology nurses should take an active role in addressing issues related to lymphedema assessment in patients post-HNC treatment; however, new assessment tools need to be developed for clinical use.
KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION - Early identification and accurate documentation of head and neck lymphedema are critically important to prevent lymphedema progress. However, existing grading criteria failed to capture important characteristics of external head and neck lymphedema. More research efforts need to be made to address this under-recognized issue.
BACKGROUND - The Fibromyalgia Diagnostic Screen was developed for use by primary care clinicians to assist in the diagnostic evaluation of fibromyalgia, a disorder that predominantly affects women.
METHODS - The screen was designed to have a patient-completed questionnaire and a clinician-completed section, which included a brief physical examination pertinent to the differential diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The items in the questionnaire were based on patient focus groups and clinician and patient Delphi exercises, which resulted in a ranking of the most common and troublesome fibromyalgia symptoms. One hundred new chronic pain patients (pain > 30 days) and their primary care physicians completed the screen. The patients were grouped as fibromyalgia or nonfibromyalgia by an independent fibromyalgia specialist, who was blind to screen responses. Logistic regression was used to model the probability of fibromyalgia as a function of physician-reported and patient-reported variables. Best subset regression was used to identify a subset of symptoms that were summed to form a single measure. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was then used to select thresholds for continuous variables. The symptom and clinical variables were combined to create candidate prediction rules that were compared in terms of sensitivity and specificity to select the best criterion.
RESULTS - Two final models were selected based on overall accuracy in predicting fibromyalgia: one used the patient-reported questionnaire only, and the other added a subset of the physical examination items to this patient questionnaire.
CONCLUSION - A patient-reported questionnaire with or without a brief physical examination may improve identification of fibromyalgia patients in primary care settings.
After completing this article, readers should be able to:1. Articulate a systematic medical approach to the child who has school failure or suspected learning disability.2. Compare and contrast learning disability from other related conditions that may affect a child's school function.3. Identify key historic factors recognized during developmental surveillance for children who have learning disabilities.4. List key school and community resources for advising parents about the evaluation,treatment, and prognosis of a child who has a learning disability.5. Outline a medical home management plan for children who have learning disabilities.
OBJECTIVE - To investigate the associations among brain morphologic changes as seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cerebrovascular risk (CVR), and clinical diagnosis and cognition in elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment and dementia living in urban Shanghai.
DESIGN - Cross-sectional study performed from May 1, 2007, to November 31, 2008.
SETTING - Memory Disorders Clinic of the Huashan Hospital and the Shanghai community.
PARTICIPANTS - Ninety-six older people: 32 with normal cognition (NC), 30 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), and 34 with dementia.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - For each patient, we administered a neurologic and physical examination, neuropsychological evaluation, and brain MRI and genotyped the apolipoprotein E-ε4 (APOE-ε4) gene. The volumes determined by MRI were assessed using a semiautomatic method.
RESULTS - Brain volume was significantly smaller in the dementia patients compared with the NC (P < .001) and aMCI patients (P = .04). Hippocampal volume (HV) was lower and white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume was higher in those with aMCI (HV: P = .03; WMH volume: P = .04) and dementia (HV: P < .001; WMH volume: P = .002) compared with NC participants. The presence of APOE-ε4 was significantly associated with reduced HV (P = .02). Systolic blood pressure was positively associated with CVR score (P = .04); diastolic blood pressure (P = .02) and CVR score (P = .04) were positively associated with WMH volume. The WMH volume (P = .03) and CVR score (P = .03) were higher among dementia patients compared with NC participants.
CONCLUSIONS - Brain structure changes seen on MRI were significantly associated with clinical diagnosis. In addition, blood pressure was highly associated with CVR score and WMH volume. These results suggest that MRI is a valuable measure of brain injury in a Chinese cohort and can serve to assess the effects of various degenerative and cerebrovascular diseases.
OBJECTIVE - The addition of spiral computed tomography (SCT) to bedside assessment in patients with major trauma may improve detection of significant injury. We hypothesized that in high-acuity trauma patients, emergency physicians' ability to detect significant injuries based solely on bedside assessment would lack the sensitivity needed to exclude serious injuries when compared with SCT.
METHODS - This was a prospective single-cohort study of high-acuity trauma patients routinely undergoing whole-body SCT at a level 1 trauma center from January to September 2006. Before SCT, emergency physicians assigned ratings for likelihood of injury to 5 body regions on the basis of bedside assessment. These ratings were compared with final SCT interpretations.
RESULTS - We enrolled 400 patients as a convenience sample; 71 were excluded. When a "very low" rating was considered negative and "low," "intermediate," "high," and "very high" were considered positive, emergency physicians were able to detect head, cervical spine, chest, abdominal/pelvic, and thoracic/lumbar spine injuries with sensitivities (95% confidence interval) of 100% (98.6%-100%), 97.4% (94.9%-98.8%), 96.9% (94.2%-98.4%), 97.9% (95.5%-99.1%), and 97.0% (94.3%-98.5%), respectively. For overall diagnostic accuracy, areas under the receiver operating characteristics curve (95% confidence interval) were 0.87 (0.82-0.92), 0.71 (0.62-0.81), 0.81 (0.76-0.86), 0.77(0.71-0.83), 0.74 (0.65-0.84), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Bedside assessment by emergency physicians before SCT was sensitive in ruling out serious injuries in high-acuity trauma patients with a "very low" rating for injury. However, overall diagnostic accuracy was low, suggesting that SCT should be considered in most high-acuity patients to prevent missing injuries.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - The volume of subcutaneous xenograft tumors is an important metric of disease progression and response to therapy in preclinical drug development. Noninvasive imaging technologies suitable for measuring xenograft volume are increasingly available, yet manual calipers, which are susceptible to inaccuracy and bias, are routinely used. The goal of this study was to quantify and compare the accuracy, precision, and inter-rater variability of xenograft tumor volume assessment by caliper measurements and ultrasound imaging.
METHODS - Subcutaneous xenograft tumors derived from human colorectal cancer cell lines (DLD1 and SW620) were generated in athymic nude mice. Experienced independent reviewers segmented 3-dimensional ultrasound data sets and collected manual caliper measurements resulting in tumor volumes. Imaging- and caliper-derived volumes were compared with the tumor mass, the reference standard, determined after resection. Bias, precision, and inter-rater differences were estimated for each mouse among reviewers. Bootstrapping was used to estimate mean and confidence intervals of variance components, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), and confidence intervals for each source of variation.
RESULTS - The average deviation from the true volume and inter-rater differences were significantly lower for ultrasound volumes compared with caliper volumes (P = .0005 and .001, respectively). Reviewer ICCs for ultrasound and caliper measurements were similarly low (1%), yet caliper volume variance was 1.3-fold higher than for ultrasound.
CONCLUSIONS - Ultrasound imaging more accurately, precisely, and reproducibly reflects xenograft tumor volume than caliper measurements. These data suggest that preclinical studies using the xenograft burden as a surrogate end point measured by ultrasound imaging require up to 30% fewer animals to reach statistical significance compared with analogous studies using caliper measurements.