Publications by authors named "Ben Griffiths"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Biologic Surgical Implant in Complex Abdominal Wall Repair: 3-Year Follow-Up Results of a Multicentric Prospective Study.

Med Devices (Auckl) 2021 25;14:257-264. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Abdominal Wall Surgery, University Hospital (C/O Instituto Clinica Chirugica II), Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Despite the advancements in the reinforcement and closure techniques available, complex abdominal wall reconstruction (CAWR) remains a challenging surgical undertaking with considerable risk of postoperative complications. Biological meshes were developed that may help to complement standard closure techniques and offer an alternative to synthetic meshes, which carry significant risks with their use in complex cases.

Patients And Methods: A total of 114 patients underwent surgical treatment for CAWR with a Permacol™ (a biologic surgical implant). The study objective was to evaluate the short-term (6 months), mid-term (12-24 months), and long-term (36 months) clinical outcomes (through 36 months) associated with the use of a biologic surgical implant in these cases.

Results: The cumulative hernia recurrence rate was 18.7% (17/91) at 24 months and 22.4% (19/85) at 36 months. Twelve (14.1%) subjects required reoperation for hernia repair within 36 months for repair of recurrent hernias. Between 6- and 36-months post-surgery, patients reported improvement in their Carolina comfort scale (CSS) measures of severity of pain, sensation of mesh, and movement limitations.

Conclusion: A biologic surgical implant can provide long-term benefit to complex abdominal wall repairs in patients staged grade III according to the Ventral Hernia Working Group (VHWG).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/MDER.S297897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8403569PMC
August 2021

Two-year outcomes from the Australian and New Zealand Emergency Laparotomy Audit-Quality Improvement pilot study.

ANZ J Surg 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Research, Audit and Academic Surgery, Royal Australian College of Surgeons, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Background: The aim of the Australian and New Zealand Emergency Laparotomy Audit-Quality Improvement (ANZELA-QI) pilot study was to determine (i) the outcomes of emergency laparotomy (EL) and (ii) the feasibility of a national, multi-disciplinary quality improvement (QI) project based on a bundle of evidence-based care standards.

Methods: An online database was created using the Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) programme. National ethics approval with waiver of consent was obtained. Data were entered directly onto REDCap and extracted monthly for eight care standards (preoperative consultant radiologist reporting of computed tomography scans, preoperative mortality risk score, consultant presence in theatre, timely access to theatre and critical care commensurate with risk and involvement of aged care). Monthly QI run charts using 'traffic' light graphics (green ≥80%, amber ≥50% to <80% and red <50%) reported compliance with the standards.

Results: Sixty hospitals indicated interest, but difficulties with site-specific ethics approval resulted in only 24 hospitals participating (2886 EL in 2755 patients). The overall in-hospital mortality was 7.1% (2.3%-13.3%) and average length of stay 15.5 (8.6-22.7) days. Both significantly declined. Preoperative risk assessment (overall 45%) improved almost three-fold during the study. Only 60% had timely access to theatre and only 70% with a predicted mortality risk of >10% were admitted to critical care.

Conclusion: Overall mortality compared favourably with similar international studies and declined in association with participation in the audit. Compliance with some care standards shows considerable scope to improve EL care using QI methodology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.17037DOI Listing
June 2021

: novel validated open-access and open-source web platform for calculating and sharing physiologically relevant quantities for light and lighting.

Wellcome Open Res 2021 3;6:69. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

f.lux software LLC, Los Angeles, USA.

Light exposure has a profound impact on human physiology and behaviour. For example, light exposure at the wrong time can disrupt our circadian rhythms and acutely suppress the production of melatonin. In turn, appropriately timed light exposure can support circadian photoentrainment. Beginning with the discovery that melatonin production is acutely suppressed by bright light more than 40 years ago, understanding which aspects of light drive the 'non-visual' responses to light remains a highly active research area, with an important translational dimension and implications for "human-centric" or physiologically inspired architectural lighting design. In 2018, the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) standardised the spectral sensitivities for predicting the non-visual effects of a given spectrum of light with respect to the activation of the five photoreceptor classes in the human retina: the L, M and S cones, the rods, and the melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Here, we described a novel, lean, user-friendly, open-access and open-source platform for calculating quantities related to light. The platform, called , enables researchers and research users in chronobiology, sleep research and adjacent field to turn spectral measurements into reportable quantities. The code base, released under the GPL-3.0 License, is modular and therefore extendable to other spectrum-derived quantities. has been endorsed by the CIE following black-box validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16595.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095192.2PMC
June 2021

Closed incision negative pressure wound therapy is associated with reduced surgical site infection after emergency laparotomy: A propensity matched-cohort analysis.

Surgery 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Background: Surgical site infection contributes to a significant proportion of postoperative morbidity in patients undergoing emergency laparotomy. Surgical site infections cause significant patient burden, increase duration of stay, and have economic implications. Closed incision negative pressure therapy has been shown to reduce surgical site infection rates in patients undergoing elective laparotomy; however, there is limited evidence for their use in the emergency setting. This study aims to compare rates of surgical site infection between patients receiving closed incision negative pressure therapy and standard surgical dressing after emergency laparotomy through a propensity matched analysis.

Methods: A registry-based, prospective cohort study was undertaken using data from the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit database at our center. The primary outcome measure was surgical site infection as defined by the Centers for Disease Control criteria. Secondary outcomes included 30-day postoperative morbidity and grade, duration of stay, 30-day mortality, and readmission rates. A propensity-score matching was performed in a 1:1 ratio to mitigate for selection bias.

Results: A total of 1,484 patients were identified from the National Emergency Laparotomy Audit data set, and propensity-score matching resulted in 2 equally matched cohorts with 237 patients in each arm. The rate of surgical site infection was significantly lower in the closed incision negative pressure therapy cohort (16.9% vs 33.8%, P < .001). There were no overall differences in 30-day morbidity, Clavien-Dindo grade, Comprehensive Complication Index severity, length of hospital stay, reoperation rates, and 30-day mortality between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: Prophylactic closed incision negative pressure therapy in emergency laparotomy patients is associated with a reduction in surgical site infection rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2021.04.009DOI Listing
May 2021

Exploring cation disorder in mixed-metal pyrochlore ceramics using O NMR spectroscopy and first-principles calculations.

Magn Reson Chem 2021 Sep 15;59(9-10):961-974. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

School of Chemistry, EaStCHEM and Centre of Magnetic Resonance, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK.

Characterising the local structures (e.g., the cation distribution) of mixed-metal ceramics by NMR spectroscopy is often challenging owing to the unfavourable properties (low γ, large quadrupole moment and/or low abundance) of many metal nuclei. O is an attractive option owing to the prevalence of oxygen within ceramics. The moderate γ and small quadrupole moment of O mean that the greatest barrier to accessing the information available from this nucleus is isotopic enrichment. We explore the challenges of ensuring uniform isotopic enrichment with O (g) for the pyrochlore solid solutions, Y Sn Ti O , La Sn Zr O and La Sn Hf O , demonstrating that high enrichment temperatures (900 °C for 12 hr) are required. In addition, for sites with very high symmetry (such as the tetrahedral OY4 and OLa4 sites with C  ≈ 0 present here), we demonstrate that quantitative O NMR spectra require correction for the differing contributions from the centreband of the satellite transitions, which can be as high as a factor of ~3.89. It is common to use first-principles calculations to aid in interpreting NMR spectra of disordered solids. Here, we use an ensemble modelling approach to ensure that all possible cation arrangements are modelled in the minimum possible number of calculations. By combining uniform isotopic enrichment, quantitative NMR spectroscopy and a comprehensive computational approach, we are able to show that the cation distribution in Y Sn Ti O is essentially random, whereas in La Sn Zr O and La Sn Hf O , OLa2SnZr and OLa2SnHf sites are slightly energetically disfavoured, leading to a weak preference for clustering of like cations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrc.5140DOI Listing
September 2021

Exposing human primary dermal fibroblasts to particulate matter induces changes associated with skin aging.

FASEB J 2020 11 11;34(11):14725-14735. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Dermatological Sciences, Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

With a large proportion of the world's population living in areas where air quality does not meet current WHO guidelines, combined with the knowledge that pollutants can interact with human skin, it is now of even greater importance that the effects of air pollutant exposure on human skin be investigated. To evaluate the damaging effects of a known component of air pollution (particulate matter) on human primary dermal fibroblasts. These studies were undertaken by exposing primary human dermal fibroblasts to different concentrations of particulate matter and analyzing the effects over time using resazurin reduction assays. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to determine if particulate matter caused activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, and phosphorylation of histone H2AX, a known marker of double-strand DNA breaks. Dot blotting was also used to analyze expression changes in secreted MMP-1, MMP-3, and TGFβ. Particulate matter was found to dose-dependently increase cellular viability, activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, increase double-strand DNA breaks, and increase the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and TGFβ. With the potential of air pollutants such as particulate matter to not only modulate the expression of proteins implicated in skin aging, but also affect cells at a genetic level, brings a pressing need for further investigation so protective strategies can be implemented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202001357RDOI Listing
November 2020

Associations Between Mutations in MSH6 and PMS2 and Risk of Surveillance-detected Colorectal Cancer.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 11 30;18(12):2768-2774. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Department of Gastroenterology, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch.

Background & Aims: Lynch syndrome is the most common inherited cause of colorectal cancer (CRC). Contemporary and mutation-specific estimates of CRC-risk in patients undergoing colonoscopy would optimize surveillance strategies. We performed a prospective national cohort study, using data from New Zealand, to assess overall and mutation-specific risk of CRC in patients with Lynch syndrome undergoing surveillance.

Methods: We performed a prospective study of 381 persons with Lynch syndrome in New Zealand (98 with Lynch-syndrome associated variants in MLH1, 159 in MSH2, 103 in MSH6, and 21 in PMS2). Participants were offered annual colonoscopy starting at age 25 y, and those who underwent 2 or more colonoscopies before December 31, 2017 were included in the final analysis. Patients with previous colonic resection, history of CRC or diagnosis of CRC at index colonoscopy were excluded.

Results: Study participants underwent 2061 colonoscopies during 2296 person-y; the median observation-period was 4.43 y and mean-age at enrollment was 43 y. Eighteen patients developed CRC (8 with variants in MLH1, 8 in MSH2, and 2 in MSH6) after a median follow-up period of 6.5 y (range 1-16 y). Eighty-three percent of patients had a surveillance colonoscopy in preceding 24 months before diagnosis of CRC; 94% were diagnosed with stage 0-II CRC and there was no CRC-related mortality. The overall-risk of developing CRC in the 5 y after first surveillance colonoscopy was 2.49% (95% CI, 1.18-5.23); cumulative risks for CRC in patients with Lynch syndrome-associated variants in MLH1, MSH2, or MSH6 by age 70 y were 17.7%, 17.8%, and 8.5%, respectively. Age-adjusted CRC-risk in patients with variants in MSH6 was lower than in MLH1 (hazard ratio, 0.2; 95% CI, 0.04-0.94; P = .02). Of patients with CRC, 33% had an adenomatous polyp resected from same segment in which a colorectal tumor later developed.

Conclusions: The risk of CRC in patients with Lynch syndrome-associated mutations in MSH6 or PMS2 was significantly lower than in patients with mutations in MLH1. Incomplete adenomatous polyp resection might be responsible for one third of surveillance-detected CRCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2020.03.048DOI Listing
November 2020

The time has come for New Zealand to improve outcomes after emergency laparotomy.

N Z Med J 2019 01 18;132(1488):55-61. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Specialist Anaesthetist, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland; Co-Chair of ANZELA-QI (Australia and New Zealand Emergency Laparotomy Quality Improvement Project) Working Group; Principal Co-Investigator of CADENZAA: CAre DElivery in New Zealand for the Acute Abdomen.

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January 2019

Dystonia in paediatric intensive care: a retrospective prevalence study.

Arch Dis Child 2020 09 7;105(9):912-914. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

Paediatric Neurosciences, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2018-316421DOI Listing
September 2020

Segmental dilatation following side-to-side isoperistaltic strictureplasty in Crohn's disease: a note of caution.

ANZ J Surg 2019 12 4;89(12):E570-E571. Epub 2019 Mar 4.

Department of General Surgery, Wellington Regional Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ans.15001DOI Listing
December 2019

Update from the New Zealand Familial GI Cancer Service 2018.

N Z Med J 2018 11 30;131(1486):54-57. Epub 2018 Nov 30.

Colorectal Surgeon, Department of Surgery, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch.

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November 2018

A Study of Through-Space and Through-Bond J Coupling in a Rigid Nonsymmetrical Bis(phosphine) and Its Metal Complexes.

Inorg Chem 2018 Mar 8;57(6):3387-3398. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

EaStCHEM School of Chemistry , University of St Andrews , St Andrews , Fife KY16 9ST , U.K.

A series of representative late d-block metal complexes bearing a rigid bis(phosphine) ligand, iPrP-Ace-PPh (L, Ace = acenaphthene-5,6-diyl), was prepared and fully characterized by various techniques, including multinuclear NMR and single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The heteroleptic nature of the peri-substituted ligand L allows for the direct observation of the J couplings in the P{H} NMR spectra. Magnitudes of J are correlated with the identity and geometry of the metal and the distortions of the ligand L. The forced overlap of the phosphine lone pairs due to the constraints imposed by the rigid acenaphthene skeleton in L results in a large J of 180 Hz. Sequestration of the lone pairs, either via oxidation of the phosphine or via metal chelation, results in distinct changes in the magnitude of J. For tetrahedral d complexes ([LMCl], M = Zn, Cd, Hg), the J is comparable to or larger than (193-309 Hz) that in free ligand L, although the P···P separation in these complexes is increased by ca. 0.4 Å (compare to free ligand L). The magnitude of J diminishes to 26-117 Hz in square planar d complexes ([LMX], M = Ni, Pd, Pt; X = Cl, Br) and the octahedral Mo complex ([LMo(CO)], 33 Hz). Coupling deformation density calculations indicate the through-space interaction dominates in free L, while in metal complexes the main coupling pathway is via the metal atom.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b00162DOI Listing
March 2018

Feasibility of a multicentre, randomised controlled trial of laparoscopic versus open colorectal surgery in the acute setting: the LaCeS feasibility trial protocol.

BMJ Open 2018 02 22;8(2):e018618. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

John Goligher Colorectal Department, St James' University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

Introduction: Acute colorectal surgery forms a significant proportion of emergency admissions within the National Health Service. There is limited evidence to suggest minimally invasive surgery may be associated with improved clinical outcomes in this cohort of patients. Consequently, there is a need to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of laparoscopic surgery in the acute colorectal setting. However,emergency colorectal surgical trials have previously been difficult to conduct due to issues surrounding recruitment and equipoise. The LaCeS (randomised controlled trial of Laparoscopic versus open Colorectal Surgery in the acute setting) feasibility trial will determine the feasibility of conducting a definitive, phase III trial of laparoscopic versus open acute colorectal resection.

Methods And Analysis: The LaCeS feasibility trial is a prospective, multicentre, single-blinded, parallel group, pragmatic randomised controlled feasibility trial. Patients will be randomised on a 1:1 basis to receive eitherlaparoscopic or open surgery. The trial aims to recruit at least 66 patients from five acute general surgical units across the UK. Patients over the age of 18 with a diagnosis of acute colorectal pathology requiring resection on clinical and radiological/endoscopic investigations, with a National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death classification of urgent will be considered eligible for participation. The primary outcome is recruitment. Secondary outcomes include assessing the safety profile of laparoscopic surgery using intraoperative and postoperative complication rates, conversion rates and patient-safety indicators as surrogate markers. Clinical and patient-reported outcomes will also be reported. The trial will contain an embedded qualitative study to assess clinician and patient acceptability of trial processes.

Ethics And Dissemination: The LaCeS feasibility trial is approved by the Yorkshire and The Humber, Bradford Leeds Research Ethics Committee (REC reference: 15/ YH/0542). The results from the trial will be presented at national and international colorectal conferences and will be submitted for publication to peer-reviewed journals.

Trial Registration Number: ISRCTN15681041; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879497PMC
February 2018

Analysis of lesion localisation at colonoscopy: outcomes from a multi-centre U.K. study.

Surg Endosc 2017 07 8;31(7):2959-2967. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Department of Surgery, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Corsebar Road, Paisley, PA2 9PN, Scotland, UK.

Background: Colonoscopy is currently the gold standard for detection of colorectal lesions, but may be limited in anatomically localising lesions. This audit aimed to determine the accuracy of colonoscopy lesion localisation, any subsequent changes in surgical management and any potentially influencing factors.

Methods: Patients undergoing colonoscopy prior to elective curative surgery for colorectal lesion/s were included from 8 registered U.K. sites (2012-2014). Three sets of data were recorded: patient factors (age, sex, BMI, screener vs. symptomatic, previous abdominal surgery); colonoscopy factors (caecal intubation, scope guide used, colonoscopist accreditation) and imaging modality. Lesion localisation was standardised with intra-operative location taken as the gold standard. Changes to surgical management were recorded.

Results: 364 cases were included; majority of lesions were colonic, solitary, malignant and in symptomatic referrals. 82% patients had their lesion/s correctly located at colonoscopy. Pre-operative CT visualised lesion/s in only 73% of cases with a reduction in screening patients (64 vs. 77%; p = 0.008). 5.2% incorrectly located cases at colonoscopy underwent altered surgical management, including conversion to open. Univariate analysis found colonoscopy accreditation, scope guide use, incomplete colonoscopy and previous abdominal surgery significantly influenced lesion localisation. On multi-variate analysis, caecal intubation and scope guide use remained significant (HR 0.35, 0.20-0.60 95% CI and 0.47; 0.25-0.88, respectively).

Conclusion: Lesion localisation at colonoscopy is incorrect in 18% of cases leading to potentially significant surgical management alterations. As part of accreditation, colonoscopists need lesion localisation training and awareness of when inaccuracies can occur.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-016-5313-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5487844PMC
July 2017

Protocol for a multicentre, prospective, observational cohort study of variation in practice in perioperative analgesic strategies in elective laparoscopic colorectal surgery: the LapCoGesic Study.

BMJ Open 2016 09 6;6(9):e008810. Epub 2016 Sep 6.

Department of Academic Surgery, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Introduction: Laparoscopic surgery combined with enhanced recovery programmes has become the gold standard in the elective management of colorectal disease. However, there is no consensus with regard to the optimal perioperative analgesic regime in this cohort of patients, with a number of options available, including thoracic epidural spinal analgesia, patient-controlled analgesia, subcutaneous and/or intraperitoneal local anaesthetics, local anaesthetic wound infiltration catheters and transversus abdominis plane blocks. This study aims to explore any differences in analgesic strategies employed across the North East of England and to assess whether any variation in practice has an impact on clinical outcomes.

Methods And Analysis: All North East Colorectal units will be recruited for participation by the Northern Surgical Trainees Research Association (NoSTRA). Data will be collected over a consecutive 2-month period. Outcome measures will include postoperative pain score, postoperative opioid analgesic use and side effects, length of stay, 30-day complication rates, 30-day reoperative rates and 30-day readmission rates.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval for this study has been granted by the National Research Ethics Service. The protocol will be disseminated through NoSTRA. Individual unit data will be presented at local meetings. Overall collective data will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at relevant surgical meetings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5020879PMC
September 2016

Systematic review of health-related quality of life issues in locally recurrent rectal cancer.

J Surg Oncol 2015 Mar 29;111(4):431-8. Epub 2014 Dec 29.

The John Goligher Department of Colorectal Surgery, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK; St James's Institute of Oncology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.

The standardization of surgical techniques supplemented with appropriate neoadjuvant chemoradiation has led to the decline in local recurrence rates of rectal cancer (LRRC) from 25-50% to 5-10%. The outcomes reported for surgical intervention in LRRC is encouraging, however, a number of controversies exist especially in the ultra-advanced and palliative setting. Incorporating health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in this field could supplement traditional clinical endpoints in assessing the effectiveness of surgical intervention in this cohort. This review aimed to identify the HRQOL themes that might be relevant to patients with LRRC. A systematic review was undertaken to identify all studies reporting HRQoL in LRRC. Each study was evaluated with regards to its design and statistical methodology. A meta-synthesis of qualitative and quantitative studies was undertaken to identify relevant HRQoL themes. A total of 14 studies were identified, with 501 patients, with 80% of patients undergoing surgery. HRQoL was the primary endpoint in eight studies. Eight themes were identified: physical, psychological and social impact, symptoms, financial and occupational impact, relationships with others, communication with healthcare professionals and sexual function. The impact on HRQoL is multifactorial and wide ranging, with a number of issues identified that are not included in current measures. These issues must be incorporated into the assessment of HRQoL in LRRC through the development of a validated, disease-specific tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.23832DOI Listing
March 2015

An atypical presentation of colorectal cancer.

J Surg Case Rep 2012 Jan 1;2012(1). Epub 2012 Jan 1.

The John Goligher Unit of Colorecta.

Colorectal cancer is a common type of cancer in developed countries and is an important public health problem. Patients with colorectal cancer presents in a variety of ways in different settings. Most commonly, they present in the outpatient settings with changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding and iron deficiency anaemia. This case reports an atypical presentation of colorectal cancer and how the cancer was diagnosed and treated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jscr/2012.1.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649449PMC
January 2012

AV conduction block and proximal myopathy induced by Gee's cough linctus.

N Z Med J 2009 Apr 24;122(1293):3557. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Wellington Hospital, Capital and Coast District Health Board, Private Bag 7902, Wellington South, New Zealand.

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April 2009

Single-pollen analysis by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and Raman microscopy.

Appl Opt 2003 Oct;42(30):6119-32

Department of Physics, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.

The application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to the analysis of single biological microparticles (bioaerosols) is described, exemplified here for a range of pollens. Spectra were recorded by exposure of the pollen to a single laser pulse from a Nd:YAG laser (lambda = 1064 nm, Ep approximately 30 mJ). The intensities of the single-pulse laser-induced breakdown spectra fluctuated dramatically, but an internal signal calibration procedure was applied that referenced elemental line intensities to the carbon matrix of the sample (represented by molecular bands of CN and C2). This procedure allowed us to determine relative element concentration distributions for the different types of pollen. These pollens exhibited some distinct concentration variations, for both major and minor (trace) elements in the biomatrix, through which ultimately individual pollens might be identified and classified. The same pollen samples were also analyzed by Raman microscopy, which provided molecular compositional data (even with spatial resolution). These data allowed us to distinguish between biological and nonbiological specimens and to obtain additional classification information for the various pollen families, complementing the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy measurement data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ao.42.006119DOI Listing
October 2003

Application of frustrated total internal reflection devices to analytical laser spectroscopy.

Appl Opt 2003 Oct;42(30):6006-15

Department of Physics, University of Wales Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.

Novel implementations of single-fiber laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy systems that gated light switches based on frustrated total internal reflection are described. The switching devices are largely wavelength independent, with full temporal and spatial separation of laser and fluorescence light. Wavelength-independent beam separation or beam combination schemes can be implemented for coaxial optical setups, e.g., in single-fiber or telescopic experimental arrangements. Selected practical examples of schemes for qualitative and quantitative analytical spectroscopy are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/ao.42.006006DOI Listing
October 2003
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