Publications by authors named "Charlene Flahiff"

8 Publications

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Complementary and integrative health interventions and their association with health-related quality of life in the primary brain tumor population.

Complement Ther Clin Pract 2019 Aug 18;36:43-48. Epub 2019 May 18.

Department of Neurosurgery, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC, 27710, USA. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Little is known about complementary and integrative health intervention usage in the primary brain tumor population. We aimed to identify the percentage of patients using these practices and explore the impact on quality of life.

Materials And Methods: Clinical records from patients seen in clinic between December 16, 2013 and February 28, 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. The questionnaires used were a modified version of the International Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire, the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy- Brain Cancer and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Fatigue.

Results: 76% of patients utilized a complementary and integrative health modality. The most frequently reported modalities used were vitamins, massage, and spiritual healing, prayer, diet and meditation.

Conclusion: These results confirm the usage of complementary and integrative health practices within the primary brain tumor population; however, there was no evidence of association between use and quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.05.002DOI Listing
August 2019

Depression, quality of life, and medical resource utilization in sickle cell disease.

Blood Adv 2017 Oct 12;1(23):1983-1992. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic, debilitating disorder. Chronically ill patients are at risk for depression, which can affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL), health care utilization, and cost. We performed an analytic epidemiologic prospective study to determine the prevalence of depression in adult patients with SCD and its association with HRQoL and medical resource utilization. Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory and clinical history in adult SCD outpatients at a comprehensive SCD center. HRQoL was assessed using the SF36 form, and data were collected on medical resource utilization and corresponding cost. Neurocognitive functions were assessed using the CNS Vital Signs tool. Pain diaries were used to record daily pain. Out of 142 enrolled patients, 42 (35.2%) had depression. Depression was associated with worse physical and mental HRQoL scores ( < .0001 and < .0001, respectively). Mean total inpatient costs ($25 000 vs $7487, = .02) and total health care costs ($30 665 vs $13 016, = .01) were significantly higher in patients with depression during the 12 months preceding diagnosis. Similarly, during the 6 months following diagnosis, mean total health care costs were significantly higher in depressed patients than in nondepressed patients ($13 766 vs $8670, = .04). Depression is prevalent in adult patients with SCD and is associated with worse HRQoL and higher total health care costs. Efforts should focus on prevention, early diagnosis, and therapy for depression in SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2017006940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5728280PMC
October 2017

A cross sectional analysis from a single institution's experience of psychosocial distress and health-related quality of life in the primary brain tumor population.

J Neurooncol 2017 Sep 1;134(2):363-369. Epub 2017 Jul 1.

Department of Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA.

Primary brain tumor patients experience high levels of distress. The purpose of this cross-sectional, retrospective study is to evaluate the level and different sources of psychosocial distress and how these pertain to health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The Primary and Recurrent Glioma registry at Duke's The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center was queried retrospectively for demographic and clinical information on patients seen between December 2013 and February 2014. Data also included the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's Distress Thermometer (NCCN-DT), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain Cancer (FACT-Br), and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Fatigue (FACIT-F). 829 subjects completed questionnaires. 54% were male; 96% completed the NCCN-DT; 33.3% had a DT score ≥4 (moderate/severe distress). Women reported DT ≥ 4 more often than men (38.6 vs 29.0%; p = 0.005). Patients within 1 year of diagnosis reported DT ≥ 4 more often than those 1+ years after diagnosis (38.8 vs 30.9%; p = 0.034). 73.0% reported physical problems; the most frequent being fatigue (43.2%) and memory/concentration (40.9%). 42.0% complained of emotional problems with worry (29.4%) and nervousness (22.4%) being the most common. Patients who reported at least one practical, family, emotional or physical problem had significantly lower HRQoL scores (p < 0.001). Primary brain tumor patients experience memory dysfunction, fatigue, nervousness, worry, and financial concerns, which have a negative effect on the patient's HRQoL. By identifying and addressing these stressors, it may be possible to improve patient HRQoL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-017-2535-4DOI Listing
September 2017

In situ crosslinking elastin-like polypeptide gels for application to articular cartilage repair in a goat osteochondral defect model.

Tissue Eng Part A 2008 Jul;14(7):1133-40

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

The objective of this study was to evaluate an injectable, in situ crosslinkable elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) gel for application to cartilage matrix repair in critically sized defects in goat knees. One cylindrical, osteochondral defect in each of seven animals was filled with an aqueous solution of ELP and a biocompatible, chemical crosslinker, while the contralateral defect remained unfilled and served as an internal control. Joints were sacrificed at 3 (n = 3) or 6 (n = 4) months for MRI, histological, and gross evaluation of features of biomaterial performance, including integration, cellular infiltration, surrounding matrix quality, and new matrix in the defect. At 3 months, ELP-filled defects scored significantly higher for integration by histological and gross grading compared to unfilled defects. ELP did not impede cell infiltration but appeared to be partly degraded. At 6 months, new matrix in unfilled defects outpaced that in ELP-filled defects and scored significantly better for MRI evidence of adverse changes, as well as integration and proteoglycan-containing matrix via gross and histological grading. The ELP-crosslinker solution was easily delivered and formed stable, well-integrated gels that supported cell infiltration and matrix synthesis; however, rapid degradation suggests that ELP formulation modifications should be optimized for longer-term benefits in cartilage repair applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ten.tea.2007.0245DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312393PMC
July 2008

Early-onset degeneration of the intervertebral disc and vertebral end plate in mice deficient in type IX collagen.

Arthritis Rheum 2008 Jan;58(1):164-71

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.

Objective: Type IX collagen is an important component of the intervertebral disc extracellular matrix. Mutations in type IX collagen are associated with premature disc degeneration in mice and a predisposition to disc disorders in humans. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and timeline of intervertebral disc degeneration in mice homozygous for an inactivated Col9a1 gene.

Methods: Intact spine segments were harvested from wild-type (WT) and type IX collagen-knockout (Col9a1(-/-)) mice at 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Sagittal spine sections were evaluated for evidence of histologic changes, by 2 blinded graders, using a semiquantitative grading method.

Results: There was evidence of more degeneration of the disc and end plate in the spines of Col9a1(-/-) mice compared with those of WT controls, at most time points. These findings were significant for the disc region at 3 and 6 months (P<0.01) and at 12 months (P<0.10) and for the end plate region only at 6 months (P<0.10). Degenerative changes in the disc consisted of cellular changes and mucous degeneration. Degeneration in the end plates was associated with more cell proliferation, cartilage disorganization, and new bone formation.

Conclusion: A deletion mutation for type IX collagen is associated with connective tissue changes characteristic of musculoskeletal degeneration in bony and cartilaginous tissue regions. Some of the observed changes were similar to cartilage changes in osteoarthritis, while others were more similar to disc degenerative changes in humans. The finding of premature onset of intervertebral disc degeneration in this mouse model may be useful in studies of the pathology and treatment of human disc degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.23231DOI Listing
January 2008

Ascorbic acid increases the severity of spontaneous knee osteoarthritis in a guinea pig model.

Arthritis Rheum 2004 Jun;50(6):1822-31

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Objective: To determine whether ascorbic acid might be of benefit for the treatment of spontaneous osteoarthritis (OA) when administered over a long period of time.

Methods: We investigated the effects of 8 months' exposure to low, medium, and high doses of ascorbic acid on the in vivo development of histologic knee OA in the male Hartley guinea pig. The low dose represented the minimum amount needed to prevent scurvy. The medium dose was the amount present in standard laboratory guinea pig chow and resulted in plasma levels comparable with those achieved in a person consuming 200 mg/day (5 fruits and vegetables daily). The high dose was the amount shown in a previous study of the guinea pig to slow the progression of surgically induced OA.

Results: We found an association between ascorbic acid supplementation and increased cartilage collagen content but, in contrast to findings in a previous study of surgically induced OA in the guinea pig, ascorbic acid worsened the severity of spontaneous OA. Active transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) was expressed in marginal osteophytes, whose size and number were significantly increased with increasing intake of ascorbic acid. Synovial fluid levels of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, a biomarker of cartilage turnover, corroborated the histologic findings.

Conclusion: Ascorbic acid has been shown to activate latent TGF beta. Prolonged intraarticular exposure to TGF beta has been shown to cause OA-like changes. We found expression of active TGF beta in osteophytes, a prominent feature of the joint histology seen in association with ascorbic acid treatment. Thus, the deleterious effects of prolonged ascorbic acid exposure may be mediated in part by TGF beta. This worsening of OA with ascorbic acid supplementation suggests that ascorbic acid intake should not be supplemented above the currently recommended dietary allowance (90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.20291DOI Listing
June 2004

Cartilage mechanics in the guinea pig model of osteoarthritis studied with an osmotic loading method.

Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2004 May;12(5):383-8

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.

Objective: To determine the material properties of articular cartilage in the Hartley guinea pig model of spontaneous osteoarthritis.

Methods: Cartilage-bone samples from the medial femoral condyle and tibial plateau of 12 month-old guinea pig knees were subjected to osmotic loading. Site-matched swelling strains and fixed charge density values were used in a triphasic theoretical model for cartilage swelling to determine the modulus of the cartilage solid matrix. The degree of cartilage degeneration was assessed in adjacent tissue sections using a semi-quantitative histological grading scheme.

Results: Decreased values for both moduli and surface zone fixed charge density were associated with increasing grades of cartilage degeneration. Decreases in moduli reflect damage to the collagen matrix, which give rise to greater swelling strains.

Conclusion: Histological evidence of cartilage degeneration was associated with impaired cartilage mechanics in the aging Hartley guinea pig.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2004.01.007DOI Listing
May 2004

Osmotic loading to determine the intrinsic material properties of guinea pig knee cartilage.

J Biomech 2002 Sep;35(9):1285-90

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Box 90281, 136 Hudson Hall, Durham, NC 22708-0281, USA.

Few methods exist to study cartilage mechanics in small animal joints due to the difficulties associated with handling small tissue samples. In this study, we apply an osmotic loading method to quantify the intrinsic material properties of articular cartilage in small animal joints. Cartilage samples were studied from the femoral condyle and tibial plateau of two-month old guinea pigs. Swelling strains were measured using confocal fluorescence scanning microscopy in samples subjected to osmotic loading. A histochemical staining method was developed and calibrated for quantification of negative fixed charge density in guinea pig cartilage. Site-matched swelling strain data and fixed charge density values were then used with a triphasic theoretical model for cartilage swelling to determine the uniaxial modulus of the cartilage solid matrix. Moduli obtained in this study (7.2 MPa femoral condyle; 10.8 MPa, tibial plateau) compare well with previously reported values for the tensile moduli of human and other animal cartilages determined from uniaxial tension experiments. This study provides the first available data for material properties and fixed charge density in cartilage from the guinea pig knee and suggests a promising method for tracking changes in cartilage mechanics in small animal models of degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0021-9290(02)00079-9DOI Listing
September 2002