Publications by authors named "Aida Venado"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The association of post-operative delirium with patient-reported outcomes and mortality after lung transplantation.

Clin Transplant 2021 Mar 7:e14275. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Post-operative delirium after lung transplantation is common. Its associations with health-related quality of life (HRQL), depression, and mortality remains unknown. In 236 lung transplant recipients, HRQL and depressive symptoms were assessed as part of a structured survey battery before and after transplantation. Surveys included the Geriatric Depressive Scale (GDS) and Short Form 12 (SF12). Delirium was assessed throughout the post-operative intensive care unit (ICU) stay with Confusion Assessment Method for ICU. Delirium and mortality data were extracted from electronic medical records. We examined associations between delirium and changes in depressive symptoms and HRQL using linear mixed effects models and association between delirium and mortality with Cox-proportional hazard models. Post-operative delirium occurred in 34 participants (14%). Delirium was associated with attenuated improvements in SF12-PCS (difference ₋4.0; 95%CI: -7.4, -0.7) but not SF12-MCS (difference 2.2; 95%CI: -0.7,5.7) or GDS (difference ₋0.4; 95%CI: -1.5,0.7). Thirty-two participants died during the study period. Delirium was associated with increased adjusted hazard risk of mortality (HR 17.9, 95%CI: 4.4,72.5). Delirium after lung transplantation identifies a group at increased risk for poorer HRQL and death within the first post-operative year. Further studies should investigate potential causal links between delirium, and poorer HRQL and mortality risk after lung transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14275DOI Listing
March 2021

Construct and Predictive Validity of Sarcopenia in Lung Transplant Candidates.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

UC San Francisco, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, San Francisco, California, United States.

Rationale: Sarcopenia is associated with disability and death. The optimal definition and clinical relevance of sarcopenia in lung transplantation remain unknown.

Objective: To assess the construct and predictive validity of sarcopenia definitions in lung transplant candidates.

Methods: In a multicenter prospective cohort of 424 lung transplant candidates, we evaluated limited (muscle mass only) and expanded (muscle mass and quality) sarcopenia definitions from the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People 2 (EWGSOP2), Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and a cohort-specific distribution-based lowest quartile definition. We assessed construct validity using associations with conceptually related factors. We evaluated the relationship between sarcopenia and frailty using generalized additive models. We also evaluated associations between sarcopenia definitions and key pre-transplant outcomes including disability (quantified by the Lung Transplant Valued Life Activities scale [range 0-3, higher scores = worse disability; minimally important difference: 0.3]) and waitlist delisting/death by multivariate linear and Cox regression, respectively.

Results: Sarcopenia prevalence ranged from 6-13% by definition used. The limited EWGSOP2 definition demonstrated the highest construct validity, followed by the expanded EWGSOP2 and both limited and expanded FNIH and lowest quartile definitions. Sarcopenia exhibited a linear association with the risk of frailty. The EWGSOP2 and expanded lowest quartile definitions were associated with disability, ranging from 0.20 to 0.25 higher LT-VLA scores. Sarcopenia was associated with increased risk of waitlist delisting or death by the limited and expanded lowest quartile definitions (HR: 3.8; 95%CI: 1.4, 9.9 and HR: 3.5; 95%CI: 1.1, 11.0, respectively) and the EWGSOP2 limited definition (HR 2.8; 95%CI: 0.9, 8.6) but not with the three other candidate definitions.

Conclusions: The prevalence and validity of sarcopenia vary by definition; the EWGSOP2 limited definition exhibited the broadest validity in lung transplant candidates. The linear relationship between low muscle mass and frailty highlights sarcopenia's contribution to frailty and also questions the clinical utility of a sarcopenia cut-point in advanced lung disease. The associations between sarcopenia and important pre-transplant outcomes support further investigation into using body composition for candidate risk stratification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202007-796OCDOI Listing
February 2021

Strategies for forming effective women's groups.

Clin Teach 2021 Apr 15;18(2):126-130. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Women are under-represented at the highest levels of leadership in health care, so many institutions have started forming "women in medicine" affinity groups. In this The Clinical Teacher's Toolbox, we review the history of women's professional peer-to-peer networking groups in health care, describe the rationale for establishing a women's group, discuss the goals and common content covered by successful women's groups, share best practices on forming and sustaining women's groups, and describe common pitfalls to avoid. When forming a women's group, identifying the group's vision, mission, and primary aim statements are important, and early meetings should deliberately establish a tone of inclusion. We acknowledge that the term "women's groups" implies that gender identity is binary - in reality, these groups are for all who want to combat gender inequities in health care. While early stages of women's groups typically focus on community-building, peer networking, and inviting guest speakers to speak about relevant topics, successful groups often ultimately pivot to advocacy, internal capacity-building, evaluation, and dissemination. To sustain and maintain the group, succession planning, regular opportunities for evaluation, and deliberate planning are essential. Although usual principles of successful small group creation apply, this article outlines unique considerations for how women's groups can advance gender equity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tct.13277DOI Listing
April 2021

Primary graft dysfunction attenuates improvements in health-related quality of life after lung transplantation, but not disability or depression.

Am J Transplant 2021 02 5;21(2):815-824. Epub 2020 Sep 5.

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

Disability, depressive symptoms, and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQL) are common among patients with life-threatening respiratory compromise. We sought to determine if primary graft dysfunction (PGD), a syndrome of acute lung injury, attenuates improvements in patient-reported outcomes after transplantation. In a single-center prospective cohort, we assessed disability, depressive symptoms, and HRQL before and at 3- to 6-month intervals after lung transplantation. We estimated the magnitude of change in disability, depressive symptoms, and HRQL with hierarchical segmented linear mixed-effects models. Among 251 lung transplant recipients, 50 developed PGD Grade 3. Regardless of PGD severity, participants had improvements in disability and depressive symptoms, as well as generic-physical, generic-mental, respiratory-specific, and health-utility HRQL, exceeding 1- to 4-fold the minimally clinically important difference across all instruments. Participants with PGD Grade 3 had a lower magnitude of improvement in generic-physical HRQL and health-utility than in all other participants. Among participants with PGD Grade 3, prolonged mechanical ventilation was associated with greater attenuation of improvements. PGD remains a threat to the 2 primary aims of lung transplantation, extending survival and improving HRQL. Attenuation of improvement persists long after hospital discharge. Future studies should assess if interventions can mitigate the impact of PGD on patient-reported outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.16257DOI Listing
February 2021

Recurrent Pulmonary Fibrosis in a Lung Allograft Secondary to Antisynthetase Syndrome.

Ann Am Thorac Soc 2020 07;17(7):901-904

University of Washington Medical CenterSeattle, Washingtonand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1513/AnnalsATS.202002-126RLDOI Listing
July 2020

Frailty after lung transplantation is associated with impaired health-related quality of life and mortality.

Thorax 2020 08 6;75(8):669-678. Epub 2020 May 6.

Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: Lung transplantation and related medications are associated with pathobiological changes that can induce frailty, a state of decreased physiological reserve. Causes of persistent or emergent frailty after lung transplantation, and whether such transplant-related frailty is associated with key outcomes, are unknown.

Methods: Frailty and health-related quality of life (HRQL) were prospectively measured repeatedly for up to 3 years after lung transplantation. Frailty, quantified by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), was tested as a time-dependent binary and continuous predictor. The association of transplant-related frailty with HRQL and mortality was evaluated using mixed effects and Cox regression models, respectively, adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, and for body mass index and lung function as time-dependent covariates. We tested the association between measures of body composition, malnutrition, renal dysfunction and immunosuppressants on the development of frailty using mixed effects models with time-dependent predictors and lagged frailty outcomes.

Results: Among 259 adults (56% male; mean age 55.9±12.3 years), transplant-related frailty was associated with lower HRQL. Frailty was also associated with a 2.5-fold higher mortality risk (HR 2.51; 95% CI 1.21 to 5.23). Further, each 1-point worsening in SPPB was associated, on average, with a 13% higher mortality risk (HR 1.13; 95% CI 1.04 to 1.23). Secondarily, we found that sarcopenia, underweight and obesity, malnutrition, and renal dysfunction were associated with the development of frailty after transplant.

Conclusions: Transplant-related frailty is associated with lower HRQL and higher mortality in lung recipients. Abnormal body composition, malnutrition and renal dysfunction may contribute to the development of frailty after transplant. Confirming the role of these potential contributors and developing interventions to mitigate frailty may improve lung transplant success.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-213988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023537PMC
August 2020

Improvements in frailty contribute to substantial improvements in quality of life after lung transplantation in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Pediatr Pulmonol 2020 06 1;55(6):1406-1413. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

Background: While lung transplantation (LTx) improves health-related quality of life (HRQL) in cystic fibrosis (CF), the determinants of this improvement are unknown. In other populations, frailty-a syndrome of vulnerability to physiologic stressors-is associated with disability and poor HRQL. We hypothesized that improvements in frailty would be associated with improved disability and HRQL in adults with CF undergoing LTx.

Methods: In a single-center prospective cohort study from 2010 to 2017, assessments of frailty, disability, and HRQL were performed before and at 3- and 6-months after LTx. We assessed frailty by the short physical performance battery (SPPB). We assessed disability with the Lung Transplant Valued Life Activities scale (LT-VLA) and HRQL by the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Physical and Mental Component Summary scales (SF12-PCS, -MCS), the Airway Questionnaire 20-Revised (AQ20R), and the Euroqol 5D (EQ5D). We tested the association of concurrent changes in frailty and lung function on disability and HRQL by linear mixed-effects models adjusted for sex and body mass index.

Results: Among 23 participants with CF, improvements in frailty and lung function were independently associated with improved disability and some HRQL measures. For example, each 1-point improvement in SPPB or 200 mL improvement in FEV1 was associated with improved LT-VLA disability by 0.14 (95%CI: 0.08-0.20) and 0.07 (95%CI: 0.05-0.09) points and improved EQ5D by 0.05 (95%CI: 0.03 to 0.07) and 0.02 (95%CI: 0.01-0.03) points, respectively.

Conclusion: Improvement in frailty is a novel determinant of improved disability and HRQL in adults with CF undergoing LTx.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ppul.24747DOI Listing
June 2020

Diaphragmatic Atrophy May Limit Progression of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 05;201(9):e72-e73

Department of Medicine and.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201905-0989IMDOI Listing
May 2020

Tacrolimus trough monitoring guided by mass spectrometry without accounting for assay differences is associated with acute kidney injury in lung transplant recipients.

Am J Health Syst Pharm 2019 12;76(24):2019-2027

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA.

Purpose: Tacrolimus is a nephrotoxic immunosuppressant historically monitored via enzyme-based immunoassay (IA). After 2011, the 2 largest laboratory companies in the United States implemented tacrolimus quantification by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS); this method excludes metabolites, potentially resulting in lower quantified drug concentrations. We sought to determine if tacrolimus therapeutic drug monitoring via LC-MS, as performed using trough targets originally derived from IA values, influences clinical outcomes.

Methods: In a single-center retrospective cohort study of lung transplant recipients, risks of acute kidney injury, acute renal failure, and new-onset diabetes after transplantation, as well as chronic lung allograft dysfunction-free survival, were compared in 82 subjects monitored by LC-MS and 102 subjects monitored by IA using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for age, sex, baseline renal function, and race.

Results: LC-MS-based monitoring was associated with a greater risk of acute kidney injury (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-2.67). No statistically significant differences in risks of acute renal failure and new-onset diabetes after transplantation were observed.

Conclusion: Although LC-MS provides a more accurate representation of the blood concentration of the parent compound tacrolimus exclusive of metabolite, established cut points for tacrolimus dosing may need to be adjusted to account for the increased risk of renal injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajhp/zxz243DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7170730PMC
December 2019

Mitochondrial DNA Stimulates TLR9-Dependent Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation in Primary Graft Dysfunction.

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2020 03;62(3):364-372

Department of Medicine.

The immune system is designed to robustly respond to pathogenic stimuli but to be tolerant to endogenous ligands to not trigger autoimmunity. Here, we studied an endogenous damage-associated molecular pattern, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), during primary graft dysfunction (PGD) after lung transplantation. We hypothesized that cell-free mtDNA released during lung ischemia-reperfusion triggers neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation via TLR9 signaling. We found that mtDNA increases in the BAL fluid of experimental PGD (prolonged cold ischemia followed by orthotopic lung transplantation) and not in control transplants with minimal warm ischemia. The adoptive transfer of mtDNA into the minimal warm ischemia graft immediately before lung anastomosis induces NET formation and lung injury. TLR9 deficiency in neutrophils prevents mtDNA-induced NETs, and TLR9 deficiency in either the lung donor or recipient decreases NET formation and lung injury in the PGD model. Compared with human lung transplant recipients without PGD, severe PGD was associated with high levels of BAL mtDNA and NETs, with evidence of relative deficiency in DNaseI. We conclude that mtDNA released during lung ischemia-reperfusion triggers TLR9-dependent NET formation and drives lung injury. In PGD, DNaseI therapy has a potential dual benefit of neutralizing a major NET trigger (mtDNA) in addition to dismantling pathogenic NETs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2019-0140OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055700PMC
March 2020

Longitudinal assessment of interstitial lung disease in single lung transplant recipients with scleroderma.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 04;59(4):790-798

Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical and Molecular Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Objective: To investigate the natural history of fibrotic lung disease in recipients of a single lung transplant for scleroderma-associated interstitial lung disease (ILD).

Methods: Global ILD (including ground glass, nodular opacities and fibrosis) was categorized into severity quintiles on first and last post-transplant CT scans, and percent fibrosis by manual contouring was also determined, in nine single lung transplant recipients. Quantitative mean lung densities and volumes for the native and allograft lungs were also acquired.

Results: In the native lung, global ILD severity quintile worsened in two cases and percent fibrosis worsened in four cases (range 5-28%). In the lung allograft, one case each developed mild, moderate and severe ILD; of these, new fibrotic ILD (involving <10% of lung) occurred in two cases and acute cellular rejection occurred in one. The average change in native lung density over time was +2.2 Hounsfield Units per year and lung volume +1.4 ml per year, whereas the allograft lung density changed by -5.5 Hounsfield Units per year and total volume +27 ml per year (P = 0.011 and P = 0.039 for native vs allograft density and volume comparisons, respectively).

Conclusions: While the course of ILD in the native and transplanted lungs varied in this series, these cases illustrate that disease progression is common in the native lung, suggesting that either the immune process continues to target autoantigens or ongoing fibrotic pathways are active in the native lung. Mild lung disease may occur in the allograft after several years due to either allograft rejection or recurrent mild ILD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188227PMC
April 2020

Frailty trajectories in adult lung transplantation: A cohort study.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2019 07 18;38(7):699-707. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Departments of Medicine.

Background: Frailty is common in adults with advanced lung disease and is associated with death before and after lung transplantation. We aimed to determine whether frailty changes from before to after the lung transplant.

Methods: In a single-center, prospective cohort study among adults undergoing lung transplantation from 2010 to 2017, we assessed frailty by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB; higher scores reflect less frailty) and Fried Frailty Phenotype (FFP; higher scores reflect greater frailty) before and repeatedly up to 36 months after transplant. We tested for changes in frailty scores over time using segmented mixed effects models, adjusting for age, sex, and diagnosis. We quantified the proportion of subjects transitioning between frailty states (frail vs not frail) from before to after the transplant.

Results: In 246 subjects, changes in frailty occurred within the first 6 post-operative months and remained stable thereafter. The overall change in frailty was attributable to improvements among those subjects who were frail before transplant. They experienced a 5.1-point improvement in SPPB (95% confidence interval [CI] 4.6-5.7) and a 1.8-point improvement in FFP (95% CI -2.1 to -1.6) during the early period. Frailty by SPPB and FFP did not change in those who were not frail before transplant. Approximately 84% of survivors who were frail before transplant became not frail after transplant.

Conclusions: Pre-operative frailty resolves in many patients after lung transplantation. Because a large proportion of frailty may be attributable to advanced lung disease, frailty alone should not be an absolute contraindication to transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2019.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612595PMC
July 2019

Management and clinical outcomes after lung transplantation in patients with pre-transplant Mycobacterium abscessus infection: A single center experience.

Transpl Infect Dis 2019 Jun 16;21(3):e13084. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

Background: Preoperative Mycobacterium abscessus infection is often considered a contraindication to lung transplantation because of its association with poor outcomes after transplant. Detailed strategies for bridging to transplant, post-operative management, and data regarding outcomes are lacking.

Methods: We reviewed outcomes in subjects with M abscessus infection who underwent lung transplantation between 2010 and 2018 at the University of California San Francisco. M abscessus infection was defined by American Thoracic Society (ATS) criteria. Data collected included age, FEV , BMI, LAS, antibiotic regimens, and other management decisions. Time to chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) and survival were also assessed.

Results: Of 387 lung transplant recipients, seven were infected with M abscessus at the time of listing. All received multiple antibiotics before transplant. While all subjects converted to smear negative for acid-fast bacilli before listing, five of the seven remained culture-positive at the time of transplant. After transplant, subjects received a median of 6 months of a multi-antibiotic regimen. One subject developed a post-operative M abscessus soft tissue infection that was treated medically. Six of the seven subjects survived the observation period; one died unrelated to M abscessus. Time to CLAD and survival were similar to a contemporary comparator group of CF transplant recipients.

Conclusion: Lung transplant recipients with M abscessus infection have a low incidence of recurrent infection, excellent survival, and freedom from CLAD when an aggressive management and surveillance strategy is utilized. Given these findings, M abscessus infection may not be considered a contraindication to lung transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tid.13084DOI Listing
June 2019

Frailty phenotypes and mortality after lung transplantation: A prospective cohort study.

Am J Transplant 2018 08 14;18(8):1995-2004. Epub 2018 May 14.

Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Frailty is associated with increased mortality among lung transplant candidates. We sought to determine the association between frailty, as measured by the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), and mortality after lung transplantation. In a multicenter prospective cohort study of adults who underwent lung transplantation, preoperative frailty was assessed with the SPPB (n = 318) and, in a secondary analysis, the Fried Frailty Phenotype (FFP; n = 299). We tested the association between preoperative frailty and mortality following lung transplantation with propensity score-adjusted Cox models. We calculated postestimation marginalized standardized risks for 1-year mortality by frailty status using multivariate logistic regression. SPPB frailty was associated with an increased risk of both 1- and 4-year mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]: 7.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6-36.0 and aHR 3.8; 95%CI: 1.8-8.0, respectively). Each 1-point worsening in SPPB was associated with a 20% increased risk of death (aHR: 1.20; 95%CI: 1.08-1.33). Frail subjects had an absolute increased risk of death within the first year after transplantation of 12.2% (95%CI: 3.1%-21%). In secondary analyses, FFP frailty was associated with increased risk of death within the first postoperative year (aHR: 3.8; 95%CI: 1.1-13.2) but not over longer follow-up. Preoperative frailty is associated with an increased risk of death after lung transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajt.14873DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6105397PMC
August 2018

Mechanosensing by the α6-integrin confers an invasive fibroblast phenotype and mediates lung fibrosis.

Nat Commun 2016 08 18;7:12564. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama 35294 USA.

Matrix stiffening is a prominent feature of pulmonary fibrosis. In this study, we demonstrate that matrix stiffness regulates the ability of fibrotic lung myofibroblasts to invade the basement membrane (BM). We identify α6-integrin as a mechanosensing integrin subunit that mediates matrix stiffness-regulated myofibroblast invasion. Increasing α6-expression, specifically the B isoform (α6B), couples β1-integrin to mediate MMP-2-dependent pericellular proteolysis of BM collagen IV, leading to myofibroblast invasion. Human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis lung myofibroblasts express high levels of α6-integrin in vitro and in vivo. Genetic ablation of α6 in collagen-expressing mesenchymal cells or pharmacological blockade of matrix stiffness-regulated α6-expression protects mice against bleomycin injury-induced experimental lung fibrosis. These findings suggest that α6-integrin is a matrix stiffness-regulated mechanosensitive molecule which confers an invasive fibroblast phenotype and mediates experimental lung fibrosis. Targeting this mechanosensing α6(β1)-integrin offers a novel anti-fibrotic strategy against lung fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12564DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4992155PMC
August 2016

Protocol-based treatment of septic shock, fibrinolysis for submassive pulmonary embolism, and use of corticosteroids in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease requiring mechanical ventilation.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014 10;190(7):827-8

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.201406-1055RRDOI Listing
October 2014

Prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use as a bridge to lung transplantation: it is time for a national registry.

Chest 2014 Jan;145(1):184-185

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1378/chest.13-1851DOI Listing
January 2014

Alcohol ingestion disrupts alveolar epithelial barrier function by activation of macrophage-derived transforming growth factor beta1.

Respir Res 2013 Apr 2;14:39. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322-1047, USA.

Background: Chronic alcohol abuse causes oxidative stress and impairs alveolar epithelial barrier integrity, thereby rendering the lung susceptible to acute edematous injury. Experimentally, alcohol-induced oxidative stress increases the expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) in the lung; however, we do not know the precise contribution of various alveolar cells in this process. In the present study, we focused on cell-cell interactions between alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells and the potential mechanisms by which TGFβ1 may become activated in the alveolar space of the alcoholic lung.

Methods: Primary alveolar macrophages and epithelial cells were isolated from control- and alcohol-fed Sprague-Dawley rats. Expression of TGFβ1 and the epithelial integrin αvβ6 were examined by real time PCR and either immunocytochemistry or flow cytometry. Alveolar epithelial cells were cultured on transwell supports in the presence of macrophage cell lysate from control- or alcohol-fed rats or in the presence of viable macrophages ± alcohol. Epithelial barrier function was assessed by transepithelial resistance (TER) and paracellular flux of Texas Red dextran.

Results: TGFβ1 expression was increased in alveolar macrophages from alcohol-fed rats, and TGFβ1 protein was predominantly membrane-bound. Importantly, alveolar macrophage cellular lysate from alcohol-fed rats decreased TER and increased paracellular dextran flux in primary alveolar epithelial cell monolayers as compared to the lysates from control-fed rats. Alcohol-induced epithelial barrier dysfunction was prevented by anti-TGFβ1 antibody treatment, indicating the presence of bioactive TGFβ1 in the macrophage lysate. In addition, co-culturing macrophages and epithelial cells in the presence of alcohol decreased epithelial barrier function, which also was prevented by anti-TGFβ1 and anti-αvβ6 treatment. In parallel, chronic alcohol ingestion in vivo, or direct treatment with active TGFβ1 in vitro, increased the expression of αvβ6 integrin, which is known to activate TGFβ1, in alveolar epithelial cells.

Conclusions: Taken together, these data suggest that interactions between alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages contribute to the alcohol-mediated disruption of epithelial barrier function via the expression and activation of TGFβ1 at points of cell-cell contact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-14-39DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3623812PMC
April 2013

Images in clinical medicine. Unexpected swallowing of a knife.

N Engl J Med 2012 Aug;367(5):451

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMicm1008826DOI Listing
August 2012

On the spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus in Mexico.

J Infect Dev Ctries 2009 Jun 1;3(5):327-30. Epub 2009 Jun 1.

Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico.

A novel influenza A H1N1 virus of swine origin is responsible for the influenza epidemic affecting Mexico, the United States of America (USA), and 39 other countries. While the origin of this emerging pathogen remains uncertain, an increase in the reported incidence of respiratory diseases was noted during March 2009 at the town of La Gloria, in the southeastern state of Veracruz, Mexico. So far, this is the first community in which a case of novel influenza A H1N1 virus has been identified. Further cases were rapidly detected in other areas of Mexico and elsewhere. Initially, the atypical respiratory disease outbreak caused great uncertainty posing a challenge to the Mexican health system. Control measures such as social distancing, timely medical care, and personal hygiene have so far proven effective in containing the outbreak, resulting in a decline of the number of new cases. To the best of our knowledge, it appears that the virus might not be as virulent or contagious as previously thought. Here we provide a description of the influenza epidemic spread in Mexico. As the virus disseminates worldwide, there is concern about the possibility of a new reassortment resulting in a more pathogenic strain that will pose a threat for every country. The influenza epidemic provided lessons that underscore the importance of epidemiologic surveillance and preparedness. Further investigation to address questions about this new virus and conditions for its spread is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3855/jidc.238DOI Listing
June 2009