Wang C.-M.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Chuang J.-J.,National Chiayi University
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology | Year: 2013
Background: Allergic asthma is a TH2 inflammatory disease. Dendritic cells (DCs) play key roles in the TH1/TH2 balance. Allergen specific immunotherapy (SIT) has the potential to modify the course of allergy because the ratio of TH1 to TH2 cytokines produced is increased after SIT. Objective: To determine how SIT affects DCs in children and to define novel parameters of this treatment. Methods: We investigated the changes of phenotypic and functional variations of monocyte-derived DCs from allergic asthmatic children undergoing complete mite SIT. Peripheral blood monocytes from SIT allergic asthmatic children, allergic asthmatic controls, and healthy controls were cultured with granulocyte- macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin 4 and then stimulated with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) allergen or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The expressions of surface molecules on monocyte-derived DCs were assessed by flow cytometry. Cytokine production by cultured monocyte-derived DCs was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: After LPS stimulation, monocyte-derived DCs of the allergic asthmatic group had a higher CD86 and lower HLA-DR expression than the healthy controls. In SIT patients, the expression was similar to that of the healthy controls. After Der p stimulation monocyte-derived DCs of the allergic asthmatic patients displayed lower Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), whereas again in SIT patients the expression was similar to that of healthy controls. Conclusion: These findings indicate that SIT normalizes the expression of CD86, HLA-DR, and TLR4 on DCs. Moreover, CD86, HLA-DR, and TLR4 may be useful parameters for monitoring SIT. Decreased TLR4 expression in allergic asthmatic patients might be compensated by TLR4 agonists, with the potential of amplifying the effects of SIT. © 2013 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lee H.-M.,Tamkang University |
Wu J.-W.,National Chiayi University |
Lei C.-L.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital
IEEE Transactions on Reliability | Year: 2013
Lifetime performance assessment has been crucial to the manufacturing industry. In practice, a lifetime performance index CL is used to measure the larger-the-better type quality characteristics. Accelerated life test (ALT) has often been used to yield information quickly so that the life distribution of products can be estimated. This study constructs a maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) of CL for exponential products based on type II right censored data from the step-stress accelerated life test (SSALT). The MLE of CL is then utilized to develop the hypothesis testing procedure with the given lower specification limit L. This new testing procedure can be easily applied to assess whether the lifetime of products meets the requirements. Finally, we give two examples to explicate the proposed testing procedures. © 1963-2012 IEEE.
Wang P.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Liou S.-R.,Chang Gung University |
Cheng C.-Y.,Chang Gung University
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | Year: 2013
Background: Preterm birth is a significant cause of newborn morbidity and mortality and strains society's healthcare resources due to its long-term effects on the health of the newborn. Prenatal maternal quality of life (QoL) may be related to the occurrence of preterm birth and low birthweight infants. Few studies, however, have investigated maternal QoL, especially throughout the continuum of pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. Therefore, the purposes of this longitudinal study were to measure the levels of QoL during and immediately after pregnancy in women with uncomplicated pregnancies, investigate the relationships between the dimensions of QoL, and determine whether prenatal QoL can predict preterm birth and low birthweight.Methods: Using convenience sampling in one hospital in Taiwan, we recruited 198 pregnant women without pregnancy complications after 24 gestational weeks and followed up monthly until one-month postpartum. The Duke Health Profile was used to measure QoL. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the Mann-Whitney U test, the Kruskal-Wallis test, generalized estimation equations, Pearson correlations, and hierarchical logistic regression.Results: Pregnant women did not perceive that they had a high level of QoL. Women at late pregnancy experienced a significant decrease in their level of physical and general health. After childbirth, although the mothers had better physical health, they had poorer social health. Poor QoL at late pregnancy predicted preterm birth. Employment, parity, educational level, and happiness about pregnancy were related to prenatal maternal QoL; employment was a factor related to postpartum maternal QoL.Conclusions: Early assessment of QoL, including its dimensions, of pregnant women may help us to understand women's health status. Based on this understanding, healthcare professionals can develop interventions to promote pregnant women's QoL and to lessen the occurrence of preterm birth and low birthweight infants. Further, an emphasis on the positive aspects of pregnancy may increase maternal QoL. © 2013 Wang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Hung P.-L.,Chang Gung University |
Huang C.-C.,National Cheng Kung University |
Huang H.-M.,Chang Gung University |
Tu D.-G.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Chang Y.-C.,Chang Gung University
Stroke | Year: 2013
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE-: Low level of thyroid hormone is a strong independent risk factor for white matter (WM) injury, a major cause of cerebral palsy, in preterm infants. Thyroxin upregulates brain-derived neurotrophic factor during development. We hypothesized that thyroxin protected against preoligodendrocyte apoptosis and WM injury in the immature brain via upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. METHODS-: Postpartum (P) day-7 male rat pups were exposed to hypoxic ischemia (HI) and intraperitoneally injected with thyroxin (T4; 0.2 mg/kg or 1 mg/kg) or normal saline immediately after HI at P9 and P11. WM damage was analyzed for myelin formation, axonal injury, astrogliosis, and preoligodendrocyte apoptosis. Neurotrophic factor expression was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Neuromotor functions were measured using open-field locomotion (P11 and P21), inclined plane climbing (P11), and beam walking (P21). Intracerebroventricular injection of TrkB-Fc or systemic administration of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone was performed. RESULTS-: On P11, the HI group had significantly lower blood T4 levels than the controls. The HI group showed ventriculomegaly and marked reduction of myelin basic protein immunoreactivities in the WM. T4 (1 mg/kg) treatment after HI markedly attenuated axonal injury, astrocytosis, and microgliosis, and increased preoligodendrocyte survival. In addition, T4 treatment significantly increased myelination and selectively upregulated brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the WM, and improved neuromotor deficits after HI. The protective effect of T4 on WM myelination and neuromotor performance after HI was significantly attenuated by TrkB-Fc. Systemic 7,8-dihydroxyflavone treatment ameliorated hypomyelination after HI injury. CONCLUSIONS-: T4 protects against WM injury at both pathological and functional levels via upregulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor-TrkB signaling in the immature brain. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.
Liou S.-R.,Chang Gung University |
Wang P.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Cheng C.-Y.,Chang Gung University
Midwifery | Year: 2014
Objectives: to understand the trends in, and relationships between, maternal stress, depressive symptoms and anxiety in pregnancy and post partum. Design: a prospective longitudinal survey study was undertaken to explore maternal psychological distress throughout the perinatal period. The participants were recruited after 24 completed weeks of gestation, and were followed-up monthly until one month post partum (four surveys in total). Setting: participants were recruited from a single hospital in southern Taiwan, and asked to complete questionnaires in the hospital waiting area. Participants: inclusion criteria were: age ≥18 years, able to read and write Chinese, ≥24 weeks of gestation, singleton pregnancy and no pregnancy complications (including a diagnosis of antenatal depression or anxiety disorder). In total, 197 women completed all four surveys (response rate 74.62%). Measurements and findings: stress was measured with the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale, depressive symptoms were measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies' Depression scale, and anxiety was measured with the Zung Self-reported Anxiety Scale. Participants were followed-up at four time points: T1 (25-29 gestational weeks), T2 (30-34 gestational weeks), T3 (>34 gestational weeks) and T4 (4-6 weeks post partum). Appointments for data collection were made in accordance with the participants' antenatal and postnatal check-ups. The three types of maternal distress had different courses of change throughout the perinatal period, as levels of depressive symptoms remained unchanged, anxiety levels increased as gestation advanced but declined after birth, and stress decreased gradually during pregnancy but returned to the T1 level after birth. There was a low to high degree of correlation in maternal stress, depressive symptoms and anxiety in pregnancy and post partum. Key conclusions: around one-quarter of the study participants had depressive symptoms during pregnancy and post partum. Stress and anxiety showed opposing courses during the perinatal period. Regardless of the trend, maternal mental distress returned to the T1 level after birth. Implications for practice: effective survey questionnaires are suggested for use as primary screening for possible psychological distress among pregnant and post partum women. It is suggested that health care professionals involved in obstetrics and midwifery should pay attention to the psychological needs of pre- and postnatal women, provide women with sufficient information about their mental well-being, and make appropriate and timely referrals to psychiatric or psychological care. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Kan C.-D.,National Cheng Kung University |
Yen H.-T.,Chang Gung University |
Kan C.-B.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Yang Y.-J.,National Cheng Kung University
Journal of Vascular Surgery | Year: 2012
Open surgical treatment for an infected aortic aneurysm has a high rate of surgical morbidity and mortality and does not guarantee eradication of the infected nidus. The use of endovascular aortic repair (EVAR) might simplify the procedure and provide a good alternative for this critical condition, but this remains to be proved. This study assessed the efficacy and outcome of EVAR with an adjunctive antibiotic treatment strategy. We focused on the experiences and results of the management of infected aortic aneurysms with positive blood cultures. We drew the blood for culture study, immediately prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics, performed EVAR procedures, and followed this with sensitive antibiotics and adjunctive procedures. Twelve consecutive patients (mean age, 70 years) were included in this EVAR strategy. Three patients had thoracic, two thoracoabdominal, and the remaining seven had infected abdominal aneurysms. Ten Salmonella, one Staphylococcus, and one Streptococcus spp were identified. There was no hospital death. Three patients underwent computed tomography (CT)-guided drainage, and one underwent open laparotomy debridement. Mean follow-up was 24 months. One late death occurred but was unrelated to reinfection. All patients seemed well, with no evidence of EVAR graft infection at a mean follow-up of 23.6 months. This small multi-institutional study summarizing the experiences of patients with an infected aortic aneurysm managed by EVAR and an aggressive antibiotic strategy revealed that this EVAR strategy might be a suitable approach to treating this disease. These favorable results may be typical for Salmonella infection, which was present in most of the patients. Further experience is needed to assess whether this therapeutic strategy works equally well in aneurysm infection caused by other organisms. © 2012 Society for Vascular Surgery.
Chiu W.-T.,National Cheng Kung University |
Huang Y.-F.,National Cheng Kung University |
Tsai H.-Y.,National Cheng Kung University |
Chen C.-C.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
And 5 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015
Chemoresistance to anti-cancer drugs substantially reduces survival in epithelial ovarian cancer. In this study, we showed that chemoresistance to cisplatin and paclitaxel induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and a stem cell phenotype in ovarian cancer cells. Chemoresistance was associated with the downregulation of epithelial markers and the upregulation of mesenchymal markers, EMT-related transcription factors, and cancer stem cell markers, which enhanced invasion and sphere formation ability. Overexpression of FOXM1 increased cisplatin-resistance and sphere formation in cisplatin-sensitive and low FOXM1-expressing ovarian cancer cells. Conversely, depletion of FOXM1 via RNA interference reduced cisplatin resistance and sphere formation in cisplatin-resistant and high FOXM1-expressing cells. Overexpression of FOXM1 also increased the expression, nuclear accumulation, and activity of β-CATENIN in chemoresistant cells, whereas downregulation of FOXM1 suppressed these events. The combination of cisplatin and the FOXM1 inhibitor thiostrepton inhibited the expression of stem cell markers in chemoresistant cells and subcutaneous ovarian tumor growth in mouse xenografts. In an analysis of 106 ovarian cancer patients, high FOXM1 levels in tumors were associated with cancer progression and short progression-free intervals. Collectively, our findings highlight the importance of FOXM1 in chemoresistance and suggest that FOXM1 inhibitors may be useful for treatment of ovarian cancer.
Ke D.-S.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital |
Ke D.-S.,Chi Mei Medical Center
Acta Neurologica Taiwanica | Year: 2012
Karoshi, death from over-work, is usually the extreme result of acute cardiovascular events including stroke. Among 203 karoshi cases received worker compensation in Japan, sixty percent died of stroke. Karoshi is a term for social medicine originated from Japan. Literature reviews on karoshi found that long overtime at work, on duty in holidays, attending a new job with no family members around, and working at night shift are risk factors. Work stress increases secretion of catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine) and cortisol which is associated with progression of atherosclerosis and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To avoid long working hours, stress management and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are key issues in preventing karoshi caused by stroke.
Lien F.-C.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital
Orthopedics | Year: 2012
Open reduction and internal fixation is used to treat complex acetabular fractures. Traction on the femur is necessary to reduce the acetabulum and is accomplished by surgical assistants or with mechanical devices. To overcome the disadvantages of various traction methods, the author designed a simple, novel traction device that can be used on an ordinary orthopedic or radiolucent operating table and has advantages over manual traction and commercial traction tables. The device consists of a horizontal cross-bar supported over the patient by 2 free-standing legs and is constructed from commercially available parts.
Chu C.-I.,Tzu Chi University |
Tseng C.-C.A.,Chia Yi Christian Hospital
BMC Public Health | Year: 2013
Background: There is a lack of research examining patient-perceived empathy and its effect on low-literacy patients' understanding of health information. This study investigated the moderating effect of patient-perceived empathy on the relationship between health literacy and understanding of preoperative information. Methods. During a 2-month period, a total of 144 patients took a survey that included the Chinese-edition Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine, the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory and the Preoperative Information Understanding Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis provided a test of moderator effects. Results: All Cronbach's alphas exceeded 0.6, with REALM at 0.91, BLRI at 0.67, and PIUS at 0.77.The finding that the interaction term was significant suggests perceived empathy is a relevant factor when considering the relationship between health literacy and the understanding of information by patients. The relationship between the health literacy and understanding of information was stronger and positive among patients who perceived greater empathy from their physicians. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that a focus on improving physician-patient empathy skills could be beneficial in helping to overcome the negative consequences associated with limited health-literacy capabilities. Healthcare providers who wish to improve the understanding of information by low health-literacy patients should first identify components of their empathic communication mechanisms, and then try to refine these skills to better serve their patients. © 2013 Chu and Tseng; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.