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During the acellular pertussis vaccine trial in Sweden, 4 children who were randomly assigned to receive the vaccine died of suspected or confirmed bacterial infections compared to 1 expected. There were no deaths in the placebo arm. This raised concern about the role of pertussis immunization in the development of serious infections. Through linking computerized immunization records with an active surveillance system for serious bacterial infections in children, the authors studied a cohort of 64,591 children immunized through Tennessee county health clinics who had a total of 158 episodes of invasive bacterial infections after a diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis (DTP) immunization. There were 8 invasive bacterial infections that occurred within the first 7 days following DTP immunization, yielding an age-adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) of 1.0 (0.5 to 2.0), compared to the interval 29 or more days following immunization. There were 7 and 20 infections in the 8- through 14- and 15- through 28-day intervals following DTP immunization, giving relative risks of 0.8 (0.4 to 1.7) and 1.2 (0.7 to 1.9), respectively. These data provide reassurance that the use of DTP vaccine is not followed by a large increased risk of serious bacterial infections.
An analysis is made of functional studies performed in 96 constipated patients to see how these studies influenced the choice of surgical treatment. All patients underwent anal manometry, and other investigations included colonic transit studies (56), anal sphincter electromyography (42) and defaecatory proctography (34). Additionally nine patients underwent full thickness rectal biopsy. The resting anal canal pressures of the patients studied were lower than controls, and fibre density studies on electromyography were abnormal in half the patients studied suggesting a degree of denervation of the sphincter muscles, which possibly related to chronic straining on the toilet. There was evidence of reduced rectal sensation as shown by an increase in the least perceived volume on balloon distension of the rectum, and in those with megarectum and/or megacolon an increase in maximum tolerated volume. The recto-anal inhibitory reflex was used to screen for adult Hirschsprung's disease, but in one patient the reflex was present despite absence of ganglia on full thickness rectal biopsy indicating the need for biopsy as the definitive diagnostic procedure. Delayed colonic transit using radio opaque markers was a necessary requirement before recommending colectomy, and delayed transit was demonstrated in 34% of the patients studied. Anismus on electromyography was found in 20% of the patients but there was poor correlation with failure of the anorectal angle to widen when bearing down on proctography. The investigations helped in the choice of treatment, but were difficult to interpret. They should be used in severe constipation when surgery is being contemplated.
BACKGROUND - The purpose of this study was to describe the long-term event-free survival patterns of patients with significant coronary artery disease treated medically versus patterns of those treated surgically and to evaluate the factors associated with improved event-free survival.
METHODS AND RESULTS - We studied the results of 5,824 patients undergoing medical and surgical therapy for ischemic heart disease from 1969 to 1984, with follow-up to 1991. Events considered for this evaluation were nonfatal myocardial infarction or cardiovascular death. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine factors differentially affecting surgical event-free survival. The survival benefits previously reported for bypass surgery in this population were largely preserved when event-free survival was examined. The two factors associated with significant event-free survival benefits for surgically treated patients were more severe coronary artery disease and a more recent surgery data. Patients with more severe coronary obstruction had a greater relative improvement with surgery in event-free survival than did patients with less severe anatomic disease. Event-free survival with surgery progressively improved over the period of the study and, by 1984, was significantly better than medical therapy for most patient subgroups. Patients with poor prognosis because of risk factors such as older age, severe angina, or left ventricular dysfunction had a risk reduction with surgery proportional to their overall risk under medical therapy.
CONCLUSIONS - Higher-risk patients with more severe disease (due to either coronary disease or other risk factors and age) should be considered for coronary revascularization because it is in these patients that coronary artery bypass graft surgery has the greatest impact in reducing future cardiovascular events.
BACKGROUND - Zidovudine has been shown to prolong survival in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and, in persons with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection but not AIDS, to delay the progression to AIDS. However, it is still uncertain whether treatment before the development of AIDS prolongs survival.
METHODS - We analyzed data from a cohort of 2162 high-risk men who were already seropositive for HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and 406 men who seroconverted from October 1986 through April 1991. There were 306 deaths. The probabilities of death were compared among men at similar stages of disease who began zidovudine therapy before the diagnosis of AIDS and among those who did not. Relative risks of death were calculated for each of five initial disease states on the basis of CD4+ cell counts and clinical symptoms and signs appearing over follow-up periods of 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Adjustments were also made for the use of prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP).
RESULTS - After we controlled for CD4+ cell count and symptoms, the use of zidovudine with or without PCP prophylaxis before the development of AIDS significantly reduced mortality in all follow-up periods. The relative risks of death were 0.43 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.23 to 0.78) at 6 months, 0.54 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.38 to 0.78) at 12 months, 0.59 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.44 to 0.79) at 18 months, and 0.67 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.86) at 24 months. After we adjusted for the effects of PCP prophylaxis, zidovudine alone significantly reduced mortality at 6, 12, and 18 months (relative risks, 0.45, 0.59, and 0.70, respectively), but not at 24 months (relative risk, 0.81). Among zidovudine users, those who also used PCP prophylaxis before the development of AIDS had significantly lower mortality at 18 and 24 months than those who did not (relative risks, 0.62 and 0.60, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS - The results of this study support the hypothesis that in HIV-1 infection, early treatment with zidovudine and PCP prophylaxis improves survival in addition to slowing the progression to AIDS.
We performed a second examination for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA on 51 sexually experienced 13- to 21-year-old (mean = 17.8 years) female patients seen at an urban teaching hospital. Cervicovaginal lavages were performed 6 to 36 months apart (median = 13.3 months) to collect cells for HPV DNA detection and typing by Southern blot hybridization. At the first and second visits, 39.2% (20/51) and 25.5% (13/51) of patients, respectively, were infected with HPV. Collectively, 56.9% (29/51) of patients had at least one positive HPV test result. Although 7.8% (4/51) were infected with HPV at both visits, only one patient had infection with the same HPV type. These findings suggest that although HPV infection is a common sexually transmitted disease, genotype-specific HPV infection detected by Southern blot at two visits was rare.