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The author reports on a 59-year-old woman with a history of a chronic, nonhealing skin ulcer who presented with sepsis, neck pain, and rapidly progressive quadriparesis. Precontrast and postcontrast MR imaging studies revealed a multifocal ventral cervical and upper thoracic spinal epidural abscess. Compression of the spinal cord from the abscess was greatest behind the disc space of C2-3 and C7-T1. Because of the patient's tenuous medical status, the author elected to apply a technique that would allow expeditious decompression without necessitating concomitant fusion and instrumentation. Multilevel, contiguous trough corpectomies were performed for evacuation of the compressive lesions. A high-speed matchstick bur was used to create a 5- to 7-mm midline trough in the vertebrae and intervening disc spaces from C-2 to T-3. Rapid and successful decompression of the entire ventral cervical and upper thoracic epidural space was achieved using this technique. Understanding that the surgical treatment of discitis or osteomyelitis can often result in a kyphotic deformity or frank instability, the patient was immobilized in a cervical collar following surgery and underwent vigilant monitoring with serial plain radiographs, CT scans, and MR images. These neuroimaging studies confirmed complete resolution of the abscess and the slow development of a mild, stable kyphotic deformity. At the 1-year follow-up, the patient was ambulating and had returned to work. A trough corpectomy is a viable surgical approach that allows for rapid decompression of ventral cervical and upper thoracic epidural abscesses while obviating the need for same-setting fusion and fixation. Source

Ionic transport resistance is a key performance property of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) and can be determined for transport within the plane of material (in-plane, longitudinal or transverse directions) and through the thickness of the membrane (throughplane). The conductivity of extruded Nafion® 112, dispersion-cast Nafion® NR-212 and two Gore-Select® membranes that contain a non-conductive support were characterized as a function of orientation, temperature and relative humidity. The conductivity of extruded Nafion 112 was highest in the extrusion direction and lowest in the through-plane orientation. In contrast, the conductivity of dispersion-cast NR-212 was isotropic. The effective conductivity of Gore-Select material was higher in-plane vs. through-plane, consistent with the analytical treatment of a membrane composed of layers of unequal intrinsic ion transport resistivity. The results highlight the need to make measurements in the relevant orientation. © 2011 ECS - The Electrochemical Society. Source

Browning D.J.,NC Associates | Kaiser P.K.,Cleveland Clinic | Rosenfeld P.J.,Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
American Journal of Ophthalmology | Year: 2012

• PURPOSE: To describe the pharmacokinetics, preclinical studies, and clinical trials of the newly approved anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug aflibercept (Eylea (VEGF Trap-Eye); Regeneron; and Bayer). • DESIGN: Review with editorial commentary. • METHODS: A review of the medical literature and pertinent Internet postings combined with analysis of key studies with expert opinion regarding the use of aflibercept for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration. • RESULTS: Aflibercept, a fusion protein with binding domains from native VEGF receptors, binds VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and placental growth factors 1 and 2 with high affinity. Preclinical ophthalmologic studies demonstrated that aflibercept suppresses choroidal neovascularization in several animal models. The results of phase 1 and 2 trials showed excellent short-term suppression of choroidal neovascularization in patients with exudative agerelated macular degeneration and suggested a longer durability of aflibercept compared with other anti-VEGF drugs. The pivotal phase 3 Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Trap-Eye: Investigation of Efficacy and Safety in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration 1 and 2 trials showed that monthly and bimonthly aflibercept were noninferior to monthly ranibizumab at preventing vision loss (< 15-letter loss) with comparable vision gains and safety. Year 2 treatment involved monthly pro re nata injections with required injections every 3 months and maintained vision gains from the first year, with an average of 4.2 injections of aflibercept and 4.7 injections of ranibizumab. • CONCLUSIONS: Aflibercept promises to deliver excellent visual outcomes for exudative age-related macular degeneration patients while undergoing fewer injections compared with ranibizumab. With a wholesale cost of $1850 per dose, the cost per patient with aflibercept treatment promises to be lower than with ranibizumab. © 2012 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Castro D.C.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Samuels M.,Orange County Partnership for Young Children | Harman A.E.,NC Associates
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Childhood obesity has increased dramatically in the past 3 decades, particularly among children aged 2-5 years. In this group, Latino children are among those with the highest prevalence of obesity. Purpose: This paper describes a pilot study to evaluate a community intervention, known as the Growing Healthy Kids Program (GHK), to prevent childhood obesity among low-income families in a Southern state. Methods: The intervention included a weekly gardening session, a 7-week cooking and nutrition workshop, and social events for parents and children. Matched pre- and post-program height and weight data were collected for 95 children aged 2-15 years. Children's BMI was determined. Also, families reported on the availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables at the beginning and the end of the family's participation in the GHK program. Data were collected in2008-2010 and analyzed in 2011. Results: About 60% of participants who enrolled in the program were Latino families (n=60 families/120 children). By the end of their participation in the program, 17% (n=6, p< 0.004) of obese or overweight children had improved their BMI classification and 100% of the children with a BMI classification of normal had maintained that BMI classification. According to parental reports, there was an increase of 146% (p<0.001) in the availability of fruits and vegetables and an increase in the consumption of fruits (28%; p<0.001) and vegetables (33%; p<0.001) among children of families participating in the GHK program. Conclusions: Findings from this pilot study are consistent with previous studies reporting an increase in availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables among families participating in community gardens. Although there are limitations because this is a pilot study, this strategy seems to be promising for addressing childhood obesity, particularly among low-income Latino immigrant families. © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Source

Purpose: To determine the impact of the revised academy guidelines on screening for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy. Design: Retrospective, observational cohort study. Methods: setting: Private practice of 29 doctors. study population: Total of 183 patients for follow-up and 36 patients for baseline screening. observation procedure: Review of charts, 10-2 visual fields (VFs), multifocal electroretinograms (mfERG), and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) images before and after the revised guidelines. main outcome measure: Rates of use of ancillary tests and clinical intervention, costs of screening, follow-up schedules, and comparative sensitivity of tests. Results: New hydroxychloroquine toxicity was found in 2 of 183 returning patients (1.1%). Dosing above 6.5 mg/kg/d was found in 28 of 219 patients (12.8%), an underestimate because patient height, weight, and daily dose were not determined in 77 (35.1%), 84 (38.4%), and 59 (26.9%), respectively. In 10 of the 28 (35.7%), the dose was reduced, in 2 (7.1%) hydroxychloroquine was stopped, but in 16 (57.1%) no action was taken. The cost of screening rose 40%/patient after the revised guidelines. Fundus autofluorescence imaging was not used. No toxicity was detected by adding mfERG or SD-OCT. In no case was a 5-year period free of follow-up recommended after baseline screening in a low-risk patient. Conclusions: Detection of toxic daily dosing is a cost-effective way to reduce hydroxychloroquine toxicity, but height, weight, and daily dose were commonly not checked. The revised guidelines, emphasizing mfERG, SD-OCT, or FAF, raised screening cost without improving case detection. The recommended 5-year screening-free interval for low-risk patients after baseline examination was ignored. © 2013 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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