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Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality in the course of liver cirrhosis. Patients with liver disease frequently have haemostatic abnormalities like hyperfibrinolysis. Therefore, antifibrinolytic amino acids have been proposed to be used as supplementary interventions alongside any of the primary treatments for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases. To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of antifibrinolytic amino acids for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with acute or chronic liver disease. We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register (11 June 2012), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (2012, Issue 5 of 12), MEDLINE (Ovid SP) (1946 to June 2012), EMBASE (Ovid SP) (1974 to June 2012), Science Citation Index EXPANDED (1900 to June 2012), LILACS (1982 to June 2012), Clinical Trials Search Portal of the WHO (accessed June 18, 2012), and the Metaregister of Controlled Trials (accessed June 18, 2012). We scrutinised the reference lists of the retrieved publications. Randomised clinical trials irrespective of blinding, language, or publication status for assessment of benefits and harms. Observational studies for assessment of harms. Data from randomised clinical trials were to be summarised by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies. We could not find any randomised clinical trials assessing antifibrinolytic amino acids for treating upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with acute or chronic liver disease. We could not identify quasi-randomised, historically controlled, or observational studies in which we could assess harms. No randomised clinical trials assessing the benefits and harms of antifibrinolytic amino acids for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with acute or chronic liver disease were identified. The benefits and harms of antifibrinolytic amino acids need to be tested in randomised clinical trials. Unless randomised clinical trials are conducted to assess the trade off between benefits and harms, we cannot recommend nor refute antifibrinolytic amino acids for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with acute or chronic liver diseases.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Upper gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the most frequent causes of morbidity and mortality in the course of liver cirrhosis. Several treatments are used for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases. One of them is vitamin K administration, but it is not known whether it benefits or harms patients with acute or chronic liver disease and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. To assess the beneficial and harmful effects of vitamin K for patients with acute or chronic liver disease and upper gastrointestinal bleeding. We searched the Cochrane Hepato-Biliary Group Controlled Trials Register (12 June 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library (Issue 5 of 12, 2012), MEDLINE (Ovid SP) (1946 to 12 June 2012), EMBASE (Ovid SP) (1974 to 12 June 2012), Science Citation Index EXPANDED (1900 to 12 June 2012), and LILACS (1982 to 19 June 2012). Additional randomised trials were sought from two registries of clinical trials: the Clinical Trials Search Portal of the WHO, and the Metaregister of Controlled Trials. We looked through the reference lists of the retrieved publications and review articles. Randomised clinical trials irrespective of blinding, language, or publication status for assessment of benefits and harms. Observational studies were considered for assessment of harms only. Data from randomised clinical trials were to be summarised by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies. We could not find any randomised trials on vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases in which we could assess benefits and harms. We could not identify quasi-randomised studies, historically controlled or observational studies in which we could assess harms. This updated review found no randomised clinical trials on the benefits and harms of vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases. The effects of vitamin K need to be tested in randomised clinical trials. Until randomised clinical trials are conducted to assess the trade off between benefits and harms, we cannot recommend nor refute vitamin K for upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients with liver diseases.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Osteomyelitis (both acute and chronic) is one of the most common infectious complications in people with sickle cell disease. There is no standardized approach to antibiotic therapy and treatment is likely to vary from country to country. Thus, there is a need to identify the efficacy and safety of different antibiotic treatment approaches for people with sickle cell disease suffering from osteomyelitis. To determine whether an empirical antibiotic treatment approach (monotherapy or combination therapy) is effective and safe as compared to pathogen-directed antibiotic treatment and whether this effectiveness and safety is dependent on different treatment regimens, age or setting. We searched The Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. We also searched the LILACS database (1982 to 2 November 2012), African Index Medicus (3 November 2012), ISI Web of Knowledge (3 November 2012) and World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (3 November 2012).Date of most recent search of the Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register: 29 October 2012. We searched for published or unpublished randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials. Each author intended to independently extract data and assess trial quality by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies, but no eligible randomised controlled trials were identified. This update was unable to find any randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials on antibiotic treatment approaches for osteomyelitis in people with sickle cell disease. We were unable to identify any relevant trials on the efficacy and safety of the antibiotic treatment approaches for people with sickle cell disease suffering from osteomyelitis. Randomised controlled trials are needed to establish the optimum antibiotic treatment for this condition.


Simancas-Racines D.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

The common cold is a spontaneously remitting infection of the upper respiratory tract, characterised by a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, malaise, sore throat and fever (usually < 37.8 ° C). The widespread morbidity it causes worldwide is related to its ubiquitousness rather than its severity. The development of vaccines for the common cold has been difficult because of antigenic variability of the common cold virus and the indistinguishable multiple other viruses and even bacteria acting as infective agents. There is uncertainty regarding the efficacy and safety of interventions for preventing the common cold in healthy people. To assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of vaccines for preventing the common cold in healthy people. We searched CENTRAL (2012, Issue 12), MEDLINE (1948 to January week 1, 2013), EMBASE (1974 to January 2013), CINAHL (1981 to January 2013) and LILACS (1982 to January 2013). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of any virus vaccines to prevent the common cold in healthy people. Two review authors independently evaluated methodological quality and extracted trial data. Disagreements were resolved by discussion or by consulting a third review author. This review included one RCT with 2307 healthy participants; all of them were analysed. This trial compared the effect of an adenovirus vaccine against a placebo. No statistically significant difference in common cold incidence was found: there were 13 events in 1139 participants in the vaccines group and 14 events in 1168 participants in the placebo group; risk ratio (RR) 0.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45 to 2.02, P = 0.90). No adverse events related to the live vaccine were reported. This Cochrane review has found a lack of evidence on the effects of vaccines for the common cold in healthy people. Only one RCT was found and this did not show differences between comparison groups; it also had a high risk of bias. There are no conclusive data to support the use of vaccines for preventing the common cold in healthy people. We identified the need for well-designed, adequately powered RCTs to investigate vaccines for the common cold in healthy people. Unless RCTs provide evidence of a treatment effect and the trade-off between potential benefits and harms is established, policy-makers, clinicians and academics should not recommend the use of vaccines for preventing the common cold in healthy people. Any future trials on medical treatments for preventing the common cold should assess a variety of virus vaccines for this condition. Outcome measures should include common cold incidence, vaccine safety and mortality related to the vaccine.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

Cardiovascular disease (including coronary artery disease, stroke and congestive heart failure), is a leading cause of death worldwide. Homocysteine is an amino acid with biological functions in methionine metabolism. A postulated risk factor is elevated circulating total homocysteine levels, which are associated with cardiovascular events. This is an update of a review previously published in 2009. To assess the clinical effectiveness of homocysteine-lowering interventions in people with or without pre-existing cardiovascular disease. We searched The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) on The Cochrane Library (2012, Issue 2), MEDLINE (1950 to Feb week 2 2012), EMBASE (1980 to 2012 week 07), and LILACS (1986 to February 2012). We also searched ISI Web of Science (1970 to February 2012). We handsearched the reference lists of included papers. We also contacted researchers in the field. There was no language restriction in the search. We included randomised controlled trials assessing the effects of homocysteine-lowering interventions for preventing cardiovascular events with a follow-up period of one year or longer. We considered myocardial infarction and stroke as the primary outcomes. We excluded studies in patients with end-stage renal disease. We performed study selection, 'Risk of bias' assessment and data extraction in duplicate. We estimated risk ratios (RR) for dichotomous outcomes. We measured statistical heterogeneity using I(2). We used a random-effects model. In this updated systematic review, we identified four new randomised trials, resulting in a total of 12 randomised controlled trials involving 47,429 participants. In general terms, the trials had a low risk of bias. Homocysteine-lowering interventions compared with placebo did not significantly affect non-fatal or fatal myocardial infarction (pooled RR 1.02, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.10, I(2) = 0%), stroke (pooled RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.0, I(2) = 11%) or death by any cause (pooled RR 1.01 (95% CI 0.96 to 1.07, I(2): 6%)). Homocysteine-lowering interventions compared with placebo did not significantly affect serious adverse events (cancer) (1 RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.98 to 1.13; I(2) = 0%). This updated Cochrane review found no evidence to suggest that homocysteine-lowering interventions in the form of supplements of vitamins B6, B9 or B12 given alone or in combination should be used for preventing cardiovascular events. Furthermore, there is no evidence suggesting that homocysteine-lowering interventions are associated with an increased risk of cancer.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

The frequency of skin ulceration makes it an important contributor to the morbidity burden in people with sickle cell disease. Many treatment options are available to the healthcare professional, although it is uncertain which treatments have been assessed for effectiveness in people with sickle cell disease. To assess the clinical effectiveness and safety of interventions for treating leg ulcers in people with sickle cell disease. We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register.We searched LILACS (1982 to August 2012), the African Index Medicus (up to August 2012), ISI Web of Knowledge (1985 to August 2012), and the Clinical Trials Search Portal of the World Health Organization (August 2012). We checked the reference lists of all the trials identified. We also contacted those groups or individuals who may have completed relevant randomised trials in this area.Date of the last search of the Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register: 25 May 2012. Randomised controlled trials of interventions for treating leg ulcers in people with sickle cell disease compared to placebo or an alternative treatment. Two authors independently selected studies for inclusion. All three authors independently assessed the risk of bias of the included studies and extracted data. Six studies met the inclusion criteria (198 participants with 250 ulcers). Each trial investigated a different intervention and within this review we have grouped these as systemic pharmaceutical interventions (L-cartinine, arginine butyrate, isoxsuprine) and topical pharmaceutical interventions (Solcoseryl(®) cream, RGD peptide dressing, topical antibiotics). Three interventions reported on the change in ulcer size (arginine butyrate, RGD peptide, L-cartinine). Of these, RGD peptide matrix significantly reduced ulcer size compared with a control group, mean reduction 6.60cm(2) (95% CI 5.51 to 7.69). Three trials reported on the incidence of complete closure (isoxsuprine, arginine butyrate, RGD peptide matrix). None reported a significant effect. No trial reported on: the time to complete ulcer healing; ulcer-free survival following treatment for sickle cell leg ulcers; quality of life measures; or incidence of amputation. There was no reported information on the safety of these interventions. There is evidence that a topical intervention (RGD peptide matrix) reduced ulcer size in treated participants compared to controls. This evidence of efficacy is limited by the generally high risk of bias associated with these reports.We planned to analyse results according to general groups: pharmaceutical interventions (systemic and topical); and non-pharmaceutical interventions (surgical and non-surgical). However, we were unable to pool findings due to the heterogeneity in outcome definitions, and inconsistency between the unit of randomisation and the unit of analysis. This heterogeneity, along with a paucity of identified trials, prevented us performing any meta-analyses.This Cochrane review provides some evidence for the effectiveness of one topical intervention - RGD peptide matrix. However, this intervention was assessed as having a high risk of bias due to inadequacies in the single trial report. Other included studies were also assessed as having a high risk of bias. We recommend that readers interpret the trial results with caution. The safety profile of the all interventions was inconclusive.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Sepsis is a common and frequently fatal condition. Human recombinant activated protein C (APC) has been introduced to reduce the high risk of death associated with severe sepsis or septic shock. This systematic review is an update of a Cochrane review originally published in 2007. We assessed the benefits and harms of APC for patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. We searched CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 6); MEDLINE (2010 to June 2012); EMBASE (2010 to June 2012); BIOSIS (1965 to June 2012); CINAHL (1982 to June 2012) and LILACS (1982 to June 2012). There was no language restriction. We included randomized clinical trials assessing the effects of APC for severe sepsis or septic shock in adults and children. We excluded studies on neonates. We considered all-cause mortality at day 28 and at the end of study follow up, and hospital mortality as the primary outcomes. We independently performed trial selection, risk of bias assessment, and data extraction in duplicate. We estimated relative risks (RR) for dichotomous outcomes. We measured statistical heterogeneity using the I(2) statistic. We used a random-effects model. We identified one new randomized clinical trial in this update which includes six randomized clinical trials involving 6781 participants in total, five randomized clinical trials in adult (N = 6307) and one randomized clinical trial in paediatric (N = 474) participants. All trials had high risk of bias and were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. APC compared with placebo did not significantly affect all-cause mortality at day 28 compared with placebo (780/3435 (22.7%) versus 767/3346 (22.9%); RR 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.86 to 1.16; I(2) = 56%). APC did not significantly affect in-hospital mortality (393/1767 (22.2%) versus 379/1710 (22.1%); RR 1.01, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.16; I(2) = 20%). APC was associated with an increased risk of serious bleeding (113/3424 (3.3%) versus 74/3343 (2.2%); RR 1.45, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.94; I(2) = 0%). APC did not significantly affect serious adverse events (463/3334 (13.9%) versus 439/3302 (13.2%); RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.18; I(2) = 0%). Trial sequential analyses showed that more trials do not seem to be needed for reliable conclusions regarding these outcomes. This updated review found no evidence suggesting that APC should be used for treating patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. APC seems to be associated with a higher risk of bleeding. The drug company behind APC, Eli Lilly, has announced the discontinuation of all ongoing clinical trials using this drug for treating patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. APC should not be used for sepsis or septic shock outside randomized clinical trials.


Hidalgo R.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Chagas disease-related cardiomyopathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Latin America. Despite the substantial burden to the healthcare system, there is uncertainty regarding the efficacy and safety of pharmacological interventions for treating heart failure in patients with Chagas disease. To assess the benefits and harms of current pharmacological interventions for treating heart failure in patients with Chagas cardiomyopathy. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library) Issue 1, 2011, MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), LILACS and ISI Web of Science to April 2011. We checked the reference lists of included papers. No language restrictions were applied. We included randomized clinical trials assessing the effects of pharmacological interventions for treating heart failure in adult patients (≥18 years) with symptomatic heart failure (New York Heart Association class II to IV), irrespective of the left ventricular ejection fraction stage, reduced or preserved, with Chagas cardiomyopathy. No limits were applied with respect to the follow-up duration. Primary outcomes were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality at 30 days, time to heart decompensation and disease-free period (at 30, 60 and 90 days), and adverse events. Two authors independently performed study selection, risk of bias assessment and data extraction. We estimated relative risks (RR) and the respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for dichotomous outcomes. We measured statistical heterogeneity using the I(2) statistic. We used a fixed-effect model to synthesize the findings. We contacted authors for additional data. We included two randomized clinical trials involving 69 participants. Both trials compared carvedilol against placebo, and had a high risk of bias. Carvedilol compared with placebo did not significantly affect all-cause mortality (2/34 (5.88%) versus 3/35 (5.87%); pooled RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.12 to 3.88, I(2) = 0%). None of the trials reported on cardiovascular mortality, time to heart decompensation or disease-free period. Evidence on the adverse effects of carvedilol is inconclusive. This Cochrane review has found a lack of evidence on the effects of carvedilol for treating heart failure in patients with Chagas disease. The two included trials were underpowered and had a high risk of bias. There are no conclusive data to support the use of carvedilol for treating Chagas cardiomyopathy. Unless randomized clinical trials provide evidence of a treatment effect, and the trade off between potential benefits and harms is established, policy-makers, clinicians, and academics should be cautious when recommending and administering carvedilol for treating heart failure in patients with Chagas disease. The efficacy and safety of other pharmacological interventions for treating heart failure in patients with Chagas disease is unknown.


Camacho D.O.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Proceedings - 2015 Asia-Pacific Conference on Computer-Aided System Engineering, APCASE 2015 | Year: 2015

Android portable devices are well equipped with sensors and communication capabilities, and start to be widely used among computer science students and researchers. Many projects include Android and Bluetooth to build distributed applications, but programming this kind of systems is not easy, especially for the novice programmer. The learning curve can be quite steep. Red fang provides the means to tackle this inconvenience, reducing development time by allowing the researchers to focus on the specific problem at hand, instead on low-level code and debugging. © 2015 IEEE.


Marti-Carvajal A.J.,Equinox University of Technology, Quito
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2013

The clinical presentation of acute chest syndrome is similar whether due to infectious or non-infectious causes, thus antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat all episodes. Many different pathogens, including bacteria, have been implicated as causative agents of acute chest syndrome. There is no standardized approach to antibiotic therapy and treatment is likely to vary from country to country. Thus, there is a need to identify the efficacy and safety of different antibiotic treatment approaches for people with sickle cell disease suffering from acute chest syndrome. To determine whether an empirical antibiotic treatment approach (used alone or in combination): 1. is effective for acute chest syndrome compared to placebo or standard treatment; 2. is safe for acute chest syndrome compared to placebo or standard treatment;Further objectives are to determine whether there are important variations in efficacy and safety: 3. for different treatment regimens, 4. by participant age, or geographical location of the clinical trials. We searched The Group's Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register, which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearching of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. We also searched the LILACS database (1982 to 19 October 2012), African Index Medicus (1982 to 3 November 2012). and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal (19 October 2012).Date of most recent search of the Haemoglobinopathies Trials Register: 29 October 2012. We searched for published or unpublished randomised controlled trials. Each author intended to independently extract data and assess trial quality by standard Cochrane Collaboration methodologies, but no eligible randomised controlled trials were identified. For this update, we were unable to find any randomised controlled trials on antibiotic treatment approaches for acute chest syndrome in people with sickle cell disease. This update was unable to identify randomised controlled trials on efficacy and safety of the antibiotic treatment approaches for people with sickle cell disease suffering from acute chest syndrome. Randomised controlled trials are needed to establish the optimum antibiotic treatment for this condition.

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