Publications by authors named "Constantinos A Parisinos"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

An informatics consult approach for generating clinical evidence for treatment decisions.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2021 10 12;21(1):281. Epub 2021 Oct 12.

Institute of Health Informatics, University College London, London, UK.

Background: An Informatics Consult has been proposed in which clinicians request novel evidence from large scale health data resources, tailored to the treatment of a specific patient. However, the availability of such consultations is lacking. We seek to provide an Informatics Consult for a situation where a treatment indication and contraindication coexist in the same patient, i.e., anti-coagulation use for stroke prevention in a patient with both atrial fibrillation (AF) and liver cirrhosis.

Methods: We examined four sources of evidence for the effect of warfarin on stroke risk or all-cause mortality from: (1) randomised controlled trials (RCTs), (2) meta-analysis of prior observational studies, (3) trial emulation (using population electronic health records (N = 3,854,710) and (4) genetic evidence (Mendelian randomisation). We developed prototype forms to request an Informatics Consult and return of results in electronic health record systems.

Results: We found 0 RCT reports and 0 trials recruiting for patients with AF and cirrhosis. We found broad concordance across the three new sources of evidence we generated. Meta-analysis of prior observational studies showed that warfarin use was associated with lower stroke risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.71, CI 0.39-1.29). In a target trial emulation, warfarin was associated with lower all-cause mortality (HR = 0.61, CI 0.49-0.76) and ischaemic stroke (HR = 0.27, CI 0.08-0.91). Mendelian randomisation served as a drug target validation where we found that lower levels of vitamin K1 (warfarin is a vitamin K1 antagonist) are associated with lower stroke risk. A pilot survey with an independent sample of 34 clinicians revealed that 85% of clinicians found information on prognosis useful and that 79% thought that they should have access to the Informatics Consult as a service within their healthcare systems. We identified candidate steps for automation to scale evidence generation and to accelerate the return of results.

Conclusion: We performed a proof-of-concept Informatics Consult for evidence generation, which may inform treatment decisions in situations where there is dearth of randomised trials. Patients are surprised to know that their clinicians are currently not able to learn in clinic from data on 'patients like me'. We identify the key challenges in offering such an Informatics Consult as a service.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01638-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8506488PMC
October 2021

Weight Change and the Onset of Cardiovascular Diseases: Emulating Trials Using Electronic Health Records.

Epidemiology 2021 09;32(5):744-755

From the Institute of Health Informatics, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom.

Background: Cross-sectional measures of body mass index (BMI) are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence, but less is known about whether weight change affects the risk of CVD.

Methods: We estimated the effect of 2-y weight change interventions on 7-y risk of CVD (CVD death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization from coronary heart disease, and heart failure) by emulating hypothetical interventions using electronic health records. We identified 138,567 individuals with 45-69 years of age without chronic disease in England from 1998 to 2016. We performed pooled logistic regression, using inverse-probability weighting to adjust for baseline and time-varying confounders. We categorized each individual into a weight loss, maintenance, or gain group.

Results: Among those of normal weight, both weight loss [risk difference (RD) vs. weight maintenance = 1.5% (0.3% to 3.0%)] and gain [RD = 1.3% (0.5% to 2.2%)] were associated with increased risk for CVD compared with weight maintenance. Among overweight individuals, we observed moderately higher risk of CVD in both the weight loss [RD = 0.7% (-0.2% to 1.7%)] and the weight gain group [RD = 0.7% (-0.1% to 1.7%)], compared with maintenance. In the obese, those losing weight showed lower risk of coronary heart disease [RD = -1.4% (-2.4% to -0.6%)] but not of stroke. When we assumed that chronic disease occurred 1-3 years before the recorded date, estimates for weight loss and gain were attenuated among overweight individuals; estimates for loss were lower among obese individuals.

Conclusion: Among individuals with obesity, the weight-loss group had a lower risk of coronary heart disease but not of stroke. Weight gain was associated with increased risk of CVD across BMI groups. See video abstract at, http://links.lww.com/EDE/B838.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318567PMC
September 2021

Data-driven identification of ageing-related diseases from electronic health records.

Sci Rep 2021 02 3;11(1):2938. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Health Data Research UK London, University College London, London, UK.

Reducing the burden of late-life morbidity requires an understanding of the mechanisms of ageing-related diseases (ARDs), defined as diseases that accumulate with increasing age. This has been hampered by the lack of formal criteria to identify ARDs. Here, we present a framework to identify ARDs using two complementary methods consisting of unsupervised machine learning and actuarial techniques, which we applied to electronic health records (EHRs) from 3,009,048 individuals in England using primary care data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) linked to the Hospital Episode Statistics admitted patient care dataset between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2015 (mean age 49.7 years (s.d. 18.6), 51% female, 70% white ethnicity). We grouped 278 high-burden diseases into nine main clusters according to their patterns of disease onset, using a hierarchical agglomerative clustering algorithm. Four of these clusters, encompassing 207 diseases spanning diverse organ systems and clinical specialties, had rates of disease onset that clearly increased with chronological age. However, the ages of onset for these four clusters were strikingly different, with median age of onset 82 years (IQR 82-83) for Cluster 1, 77 years (IQR 75-77) for Cluster 2, 69 years (IQR 66-71) for Cluster 3 and 57 years (IQR 54-59) for Cluster 4. Fitting to ageing-related actuarial models confirmed that the vast majority of these 207 diseases had a high probability of being ageing-related. Cardiovascular diseases and cancers were highly represented, while benign neoplastic, skin and psychiatric conditions were largely absent from the four ageing-related clusters. Our framework identifies and clusters ARDs and can form the basis for fundamental and translational research into ageing pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82459-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859412PMC
February 2021

Corrigendum to: "Genome-wide and Mendelian randomisation studies of liver MRI yield insights into the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis" [J Hepatol (2020) 241-251].

J Hepatol 2020 Dec 18;73(6):1594-1595. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Research Centre for Optimal Health, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London, UK; Genetics of Complex Traits, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; Division of Medical Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.08.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055539PMC
December 2020

rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 is associated with liver fat, ALT and fibrosis in NAFLD: A meta-analysis.

J Hepatol 2021 01 31;74(1):20-30. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU), University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Background & Aims: A common genetic variant near MBOAT7 (rs641738C>T) has been previously associated with hepatic fat and advanced histology in NAFLD; however, these findings have not been consistently replicated in the literature. We aimed to establish whether rs641738C>T is a risk factor across the spectrum of NAFLD and to characterise its role in the regulation of related metabolic phenotypes through a meta-analysis.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of studies with data on the association between rs641738C>T genotype and liver fat, NAFLD histology, and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lipids or insulin. These included directly genotyped studies and population-level data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). We performed a random effects meta-analysis using recessive, additive and dominant genetic models.

Results: Data from 1,066,175 participants (9,688 with liver biopsies) across 42 studies were included in the meta-analysis. rs641738C>T was associated with higher liver fat on CT/MRI (+0.03 standard deviations [95% CI 0.02-0.05], p = 4.8×10) and diagnosis of NAFLD (odds ratio [OR] 1.17 [95% CI 1.05-1.3], p = 0.003) in Caucasian adults. The variant was also positively associated with presence of advanced fibrosis (OR 1.22 [95% CI 1.03-1.45], p = 0.021) in Caucasian adults using a recessive model of inheritance (CC + CT vs. TT). Meta-analysis of data from previous GWAS found the variant to be associated with higher ALT (p = 0.002) and lower serum triglycerides (p = 1.5×10). rs641738C>T was not associated with fasting insulin and no effect was observed in children with NAFLD.

Conclusions: Our study validates rs641738C>T near MBOAT7 as a risk factor for the presence and severity of NAFLD in individuals of European descent.

Lay Summary: Fatty liver disease is a common condition where fat builds up in the liver, which can cause liver inflammation and scarring (including 'cirrhosis'). It is closely linked to obesity and diabetes, but some genes are also thought to be important. We did this study to see whether one specific change ('variant') in one gene ('MBOAT7') was linked to fatty liver disease. We took data from over 40 published studies and found that this variant near MBOAT7 is linked to more severe fatty liver disease. This means that drugs designed to work on MBOAT7 could be useful for treating fatty liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.08.027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755037PMC
January 2021

Genome-wide and Mendelian randomisation studies of liver MRI yield insights into the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis.

J Hepatol 2020 08 2;73(2):241-251. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Research Centre for Optimal Health, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London, UK; Genetics of Complex Traits, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK; Division of Medical Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: MRI-based corrected T1 (cT1) is a non-invasive method to grade the severity of steatohepatitis and liver fibrosis. We aimed to identify genetic variants influencing liver cT1 and use genetics to understand mechanisms underlying liver fibroinflammatory disease and its link with other metabolic traits and diseases.

Methods: First, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 14,440 Europeans, with liver cT1 measures, from the UK Biobank. Second, we explored the effects of the cT1 variants on liver blood tests, and a range of metabolic traits and diseases. Third, we used Mendelian randomisation to test the causal effects of 24 predominantly metabolic traits on liver cT1 measures.

Results: We identified 6 independent genetic variants associated with liver cT1 that reached the GWAS significance threshold (p <5×10). Four of the variants (rs759359281 in SLC30A10, rs13107325 in SLC39A8, rs58542926 in TM6SF2, rs738409 in PNPLA3) were also associated with elevated aminotransferases and had variable effects on liver fat and other metabolic traits. Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver and body mass index were causally associated with elevated cT1, whilst favourable adiposity (instrumented by variants associated with higher adiposity but lower risk of cardiometabolic disease and lower liver fat) was found to be protective.

Conclusion: The association between 2 metal ion transporters and cT1 indicates an important new mechanism in steatohepatitis. Future studies are needed to determine whether interventions targeting the identified transporters might prevent liver disease in at-risk individuals.

Lay Summary: We estimated levels of liver inflammation and scarring based on magnetic resonance imaging of 14,440 UK Biobank participants. We performed a genetic study and identified variations in 6 genes associated with levels of liver inflammation and scarring. Participants with variations in 4 of these genes also had higher levels of markers of liver cell injury in blood samples, further validating their role in liver health. Two identified genes are involved in the transport of metal ions in our body. Further investigation of these variations may lead to better detection, assessment, and/or treatment of liver inflammation and scarring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.03.032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7372222PMC
August 2020

A chronological map of 308 physical and mental health conditions from 4 million individuals in the English National Health Service.

Lancet Digit Health 2019 06 20;1(2):e63-e77. Epub 2019 May 20.

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, London.

Background: To effectively prevent, detect, and treat health conditions that affect people during their lifecourse, health-care professionals and researchers need to know which sections of the population are susceptible to which health conditions and at which ages. Hence, we aimed to map the course of human health by identifying the 50 most common health conditions in each decade of life and estimating the median age at first diagnosis.

Methods: We developed phenotyping algorithms and codelists for physical and mental health conditions that involve intensive use of health-care resources. Individuals older than 1 year were included in the study if their primary-care and hospital-admission records met research standards set by the Clinical Practice Research Datalink and they had been registered in a general practice in England contributing up-to-standard data for at least 1 year during the study period. We used linked records of individuals from the CALIBER platform to calculate the sex-standardised cumulative incidence for these conditions by 10-year age groups between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2015. We also derived the median age at diagnosis and prevalence estimates stratified by age, sex, and ethnicity (black, white, south Asian) over the study period from the primary-care and secondary-care records of patients.

Findings: We developed case definitions for 308 disease phenotypes. We used records of 2 784 138 patients for the calculation of cumulative incidence and of 3 872 451 patients for the calculation of period prevalence and median age at diagnosis of these conditions. Conditions that first gained prominence at key stages of life were: atopic conditions and infections that led to hospital admission in children (<10 years); acne and menstrual disorders in the teenage years (10-19 years); mental health conditions, obesity, and migraine in individuals aged 20-29 years; soft-tissue disorders and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in individuals aged 30-39 years; dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and erectile dysfunction in individuals aged 40-59 years; cancer, osteoarthritis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cataract, diverticular disease, type 2 diabetes, and deafness in individuals aged 60-79 years; and atrial fibrillation, dementia, acute and chronic kidney disease, heart failure, ischaemic heart disease, anaemia, and osteoporosis in individuals aged 80 years or older. Black or south-Asian individuals were diagnosed earlier than white individuals for 258 (84%) of the 308 conditions. Bone fractures and atopic conditions were recorded earlier in male individuals, whereas female individuals were diagnosed at younger ages with nutritional anaemias, tubulointerstitial nephritis, and urinary disorders.

Interpretation: We have produced the first chronological map of human health with cumulative-incidence and period-prevalence estimates for multiple morbidities in parallel from birth to advanced age. This can guide clinicians, policy makers, and researchers on how to formulate differential diagnoses, allocate resources, and target research priorities on the basis of the knowledge of who gets which diseases when. We have published our phenotyping algorithms on the CALIBER open-access Portal which will facilitate future research by providing a curated list of reusable case definitions.

Funding: Wellcome Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates, Department of Health and Social Care (England), Health and Social Care Research and Development Division (Welsh Government), Public Health Agency (Northern Ireland), Economic and Social Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, and The Alan Turing Institute.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(19)30012-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6798263PMC
June 2019

Effectiveness of influenza vaccines in adults with chronic liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMJ Open 2019 09 6;9(9):e031070. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London, London, UK.

Objectives: Patients with liver disease frequently require hospitalisation with infection often the trigger. Influenza vaccination is an effective infection prevention strategy in healthy and elderly but is often perceived less beneficial in patients with liver disease. We investigated whether influenza vaccination triggered serological response and prevented hospitalisation and death in liver disease.

Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed and CENTRAL up to January 2019.

Eligibility Criteria: Randomised or observational studies of the effects of influenza vaccine in adults with liver disease.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Two reviewers screened studies, extracted data and assessed risk of bias and quality of evidence. Primary outcomes were all-cause hospitalisation and mortality. Secondary outcomes were cause-specific hospitalisation and mortality, and serological vaccine response. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to estimate pooled effects of vaccination.

Results: We found 10 041 unique records, 286 were eligible for full-text review and 12 were included. Most patients had viral liver disease. All studies were of very low quality. Liver patients both with and without cirrhosis mounted an antibody response to influenza vaccination, and vaccination was associated with a reduction in risk of hospital admission from 205/1000 to 149/1000 (risk difference -0.06, 95% CI -0.07 to 0.04) in patients with viral liver disease. Vaccinated patients were 27% less likely to be admitted to hospital compared with unvaccinated patients (risk ratio 0.73, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.80). No effect against all-cause or cause-specific mortality or cause-specific hospitalisation was found.

Conclusions: The low quantity and quality of the evidence means that the protective vaccine effect may be uncertain. Considering the high risk of serious health outcomes from influenza infection in patients with liver disease and the safety and low cost of vaccination, overall, the potential benefits of seasonal vaccination both to patients and the healthcare systems are likely to outweigh the costs and risks associated with vaccination.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42017067277.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6731888PMC
September 2019

Genetic studies of abdominal MRI data identify genes regulating hepcidin as major determinants of liver iron concentration.

J Hepatol 2019 09 19;71(3):594-602. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Research Centre for Optimal Health, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London, UK; Genetics of Complex Traits, College of Medicine and Health, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Excess liver iron content is common and is linked to the risk of hepatic and extrahepatic diseases. We aimed to identify genetic variants influencing liver iron content and use genetics to understand its link to other traits and diseases.

Methods: First, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in 8,289 individuals from UK Biobank, whose liver iron level had been quantified by magnetic resonance imaging, before validating our findings in an independent cohort (n = 1,513 from IMI DIRECT). Second, we used Mendelian randomisation to test the causal effects of 25 predominantly metabolic traits on liver iron content. Third, we tested phenome-wide associations between liver iron variants and 770 traits and disease outcomes.

Results: We identified 3 independent genetic variants (rs1800562 [C282Y] and rs1799945 [H63D] in HFE and rs855791 [V736A] in TMPRSS6) associated with liver iron content that reached the GWAS significance threshold (p <5 × 10). The 2 HFE variants account for ∼85% of all cases of hereditary haemochromatosis. Mendelian randomisation analysis provided evidence that higher central obesity plays a causal role in increased liver iron content. Phenome-wide association analysis demonstrated shared aetiopathogenic mechanisms for elevated liver iron, high blood pressure, cirrhosis, malignancies, neuropsychiatric and rheumatological conditions, while also highlighting inverse associations with anaemias, lipidaemias and ischaemic heart disease.

Conclusion: Our study provides genetic evidence that mechanisms underlying higher liver iron content are likely systemic rather than organ specific, that higher central obesity is causally associated with higher liver iron, and that liver iron shares common aetiology with multiple metabolic and non-metabolic diseases.

Lay Summary: Excess liver iron content is common and is associated with liver diseases and metabolic diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. We identified 3 genetic variants that are linked to an increased risk of developing higher liver iron content. We show that the same genetic variants are linked to higher risk of many diseases, but they may also be associated with some health advantages. Finally, we use genetic variants associated with waist-to-hip ratio as a tool to show that central obesity is causally associated with increased liver iron content.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2019.05.032DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6694204PMC
September 2019

Development and validation of a prediction model to estimate the risk of liver cirrhosis in primary care patients with abnormal liver blood test results: protocol for an electronic health record study in Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

Diagn Progn Res 2019 23;3:10. Epub 2019 May 23.

3Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HB UK.

Background: Driven by alcohol consumption and obesity, the prevalence of non-viral liver disease in the UK is increasing. Due to its silent and slow nature, the progression of liver disease is currently unpredictable and challenging to monitor. The latest National Institute for Health Care Excellence cirrhosis guidelines call for a validated risk tool that would allow general practitioners to identify patients that are at high risk of developing cirrhosis.

Methods: Using linked electronic health records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (a database of > 10 million patients in England), we aim to develop and validate a prediction model to estimate 2-, 5- and 10-year risk of cirrhosis. The model will provide individualised cirrhosis risk predictions for adult primary care patients, free from underlying liver disease or viral hepatitis infection, whose liver blood test results come back abnormal. We will externally validate the model in patients from 30 further Clinical Practice Research Datalink general practices in England.

Discussion: The prediction model will provide estimates of cirrhosis risk in primary care patients with abnormal liver blood test results to guide referral to secondary care, to identify patients who are in serious need of preventative health interventions and to help reassure patients at low risk of cirrhosis in the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s41512-019-0056-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6532213PMC
May 2019

Reply.

Gastroenterology 2019 02 16;156(3):824. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Institute of Health Informatics Research, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.01.023DOI Listing
February 2019

Variation in Interleukin 6 Receptor Gene Associates With Risk of Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Gastroenterology 2018 08 5;155(2):303-306.e2. Epub 2018 Jul 5.

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, Faculty of Population Health Sciences, University College London, London, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL6) is an inflammatory cytokine; signaling via its receptor (IL6R) is believed to contribute to development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The single nucleotide polymorphism rs2228145 in IL6R associates with increased levels of soluble IL6R (s-IL6R), as well as reduced IL6R signaling and risk of inflammatory disorders; its effects are similar to those of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody that blocks IL6R signaling. We used the effect of rs2228145 on s-IL6R level as an indirect marker to investigate whether reduced IL6R signaling associates with risk of ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease (CD). In a genome-wide meta-analysis of 20,550 patients with CD, 17,647 patients with UC, and more than 40,000 individuals without IBD (controls), we found that rs2228145 (scaled to a 2-fold increase in s-IL6R) was associated with reduced risk of CD (odds ratio 0.876; 95% confidence interval 0.822-0.933; P = .00003) or UC (odds ratio 0.932; 95% confidence interval 0.875-0.996; P = .036). These findings indicate that therapeutics designed to block IL6R signaling might be effective in treatment of IBD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2018.05.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6083435PMC
August 2018

Detection of Respiratory Adverse Events in Pediatric Dental Patients Sedated With 0.75mg/Kg of Midazolam and Oxygen by Continuous Pretracheal Auscultation: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Clin Pediatr Dent 2017;41(2):154-160

Purpose: Sedation is becoming more commonplace for pediatric patients undergoing minor procedures. Fortunately, electronic monitors have contributed to a reduction in the associated respiratory adverse events (RAEs). To test the hypothesis that adding the pretracheal stethoscope (PTS) to standard monitoring methods (SMMs) may improve RAE detection in sedated pediatric dental patients, the frequency of RAEs detected by SMMs (i.e. visual observation, capnography, and pulse oximetry) was compared to that detected by SMMs alongside continuous PTS auscultation.

Study Design: A prospective, randomised, controlled trial was performed with 100 pediatric patient participants of ASA≤2, who were scheduled to receive dental treatment under 0.75 mg/kg and oxygen. Patients were randomised into Groups A (n=50; SMMs) and B (n=50; SMMs+PTS). Inclusion criteria were behavioral management problems and intolerance to dental treatment despite behavioral management techniques or nitrous oxide administration. Exclusion criteria were high-risk conditions for RAEs, altered mental status, gastrointestinal disorders, parental refusal of conscious sedation and failure of previous conscious sedation. An anesthesist was present throughout the dental treatments.

Results: RAEs were detected in 10 (20%) and 22(44%) Group A and B patients respectively (p=0.01). The majority of RAEs within Group B were detected by PTS auscultation (n=19). Capnography produced 13 and 15 false-positive results in Groups A and B respectively, whereas the PTS produced 4(8%) false-positive results in Group B (p=0.009).

Conclusions: PTS was found to be useful for detecting RAEs during pediatric dental sedation with 0.75mg/kg midazolam and oxygen, in the presence of an anesthesist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17796/1053-4628-41.2.154DOI Listing
June 2017

Health and population effects of rare gene knockouts in adult humans with related parents.

Science 2016 Apr 3;352(6284):474-7. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge CB10 1SA, UK.

Examining complete gene knockouts within a viable organism can inform on gene function. We sequenced the exomes of 3222 British adults of Pakistani heritage with high parental relatedness, discovering 1111 rare-variant homozygous genotypes with predicted loss of function (knockouts) in 781 genes. We observed 13.7% fewer homozygous knockout genotypes than we expected, implying an average load of 1.6 recessive-lethal-equivalent loss-of-function (LOF) variants per adult. When genetic data were linked to the individuals' lifelong health records, we observed no significant relationship between gene knockouts and clinical consultation or prescription rate. In this data set, we identified a healthy PRDM9-knockout mother and performed phased genome sequencing on her, her child, and control individuals. Our results show that meiotic recombination sites are localized away from PRDM9-dependent hotspots. Thus, natural LOF variants inform on essential genetic loci and demonstrate PRDM9 redundancy in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aac8624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4985238PMC
April 2016

Hyperdense middle and anterior cerebral arteries: familiar and not so familiar CT signs of acute ischaemic stroke.

BMJ Case Rep 2012 Oct 19;2012. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

Department of Radiology, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Midlothian, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2012-006915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4544441PMC
October 2012

The effect of combined spinal-epidural anesthesia versus general anesthesia on the recovery time of intestinal function in young infants undergoing intestinal surgery: a randomized, prospective, controlled trial.

J Clin Anesth 2012 Sep 2;24(6):439-45. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Department of Anesthesiology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, the Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.

Study Objective: To assess the rate of restoration of gastrointestinal (GI) function following combined spinal-epidural (CSE) anesthesia compared with general anesthesia in young infants undergoing elective intestinal surgery.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled study.

Setting: Operating room and neonatal intensive care unit of a university hospital.

Subjects: 50 young infants undergoing elective intestinal surgery.

Interventions And Measurements: 50 young infants were randomly allocated to two groups of 25 patients each, a general anesthesia group and a CSE anesthesia group. The two groups were further divided into two subgroups according to whether the surgical procedure was performed on the small or large intestine. The main outcome of this study was to measure the recovery times of GI function by determining the time to the first postoperative stool, duration of nasogastric feeding, and onset time of full enteral nutrition. The secondary outcome was to detect adverse events postoperatively.

Main Results: Recovery of intestinal function was faster (P < 0.0001) and the frequencies of postoperative abdominal distension and pneumonia were less (P < 0.04) in infants who were anesthetized with CSE anesthesia than general anesthesia.

Conclusions: Combined spinal-epidural anesthesia leads to faster restoration of GI function while reducing adverse events in infants who require elective intestinal surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2012.02.004DOI Listing
September 2012

Totally laparoscopic resection of a rare duodenal tumour.

BMJ Case Rep 2012 May 30;2012. Epub 2012 May 30.

Medical School, University College London, London, UK.

A 39-year-old woman presented to the gastroenterology clinic with recurrent right-upper-quadrant pain and elevated liver enzymes. Endoscopy revealed a small submucosal mass at the edge of the major duodenal papilla, which was not amenable to endoscopic resection. The mass was successfully resected by laparoscopy. The papilla was subsequently reconstructed and a cannula inserted in the common bile duct. The postoperative period was uneventful and the patient was discharged on the third postoperative day. Subsequent pathological examination of the excised mass revealed a gangliocytic paraganglioma. Six weeks later, the patient was free of symptoms and the cannula was removed by duodenoscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr.02.2012.5860DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4542961PMC
May 2012

Improved outcomes in paediatric anaesthesia: contributing factors.

Pediatr Surg Int 2012 Jun 12;28(6):553-61. Epub 2012 May 12.

Anesthesiology Department, Pediatric Anesthesia Unit, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, P.O.B 4940, 31048, Haifa, Israel.

Purpose: To discuss developments in paediatric anaesthesia and explore the factors which have contributed to improved anaesthetic-related patient outcomes.

Methods: Narrative review of findings in the literature retrieved from MEDLINE/Pubmed and manual search.

Results: Adverse perioperative outcomes related to anaesthesia have been extensively debated over the past few decades, with studies implicating factors such as major human error and equipment failure. Case series and event registries have enlightened physicians on sources of error and patient risk factors such as extremes of age, comorbidity and emergent circumstances. Anaesthetic-related deaths in children fell from 6.4 per 10,000 anaesthetics in the early 1950s to as low as 0.1 per 10,000 anaesthetics by the end of the century. Advances in anaesthetic agents, techniques, monitoring technologies and training programmes in paediatric anaesthesia play a vital role in driving this downward trend.

Conclusion: Despite substantial progress, there is still much room for improvement in areas such as adverse-event reporting, anaesthetic-related risk and late neurocognitive outcomes. Systematic reviews comparing paediatric patient outcomes after neuroaxial block versus general anaesthesia are currently unavailable. The future of paediatric anaesthesia will most likely be influenced by much-needed large prospective studies, which can provide further insight into patient safety and service delivery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00383-012-3101-yDOI Listing
June 2012

Optimising the dose of oral midazolam sedation for dental procedures in children: a prospective, randomised, and controlled study.

Int J Paediatr Dent 2012 Jul 1;22(4):271-9. Epub 2011 Nov 1.

Anaesthesia Department, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Background: Midazolam sedation poses a significant dilemma in paediatric dentistry, which is to find out the optimal dosing with minimal undesirable adverse events. In this study, we aimed to compare the effect of three doses of oral midazolam (0.5, 0.75, and 1 mg/kg) on the sedative state and cooperative behaviour of children during dental treatment. We further compared completion rates, parent satisfaction, and all adverse events.

Design: Ninety children aged 3-10 years were randomised to three equal groups. Groups A, B, and C received 0.5, 0.75, and 1 mg/kg of oral midazolam, respectively. Levels of sedation, cooperative behaviour, procedures completion rates, parent satisfaction, and adverse events were prospectively recorded.

Results: Sedation scores in B and C were higher (P < 0.001) than in A. Cooperation scores (CS) in B and C were higher (P < 0.001) than in A. Significant increase in completion rates was observed between A and C (P = 0.025). Parent satisfaction was greater in B and C (P < 0.001) compared to A. Adverse events were higher in C (P < 0.05) than in A or B.

Conclusion: Amount of 0.75 mg/kg oral midazolam appears to be the optimal oral dose in terms of effectiveness, acceptability, and safety for dental treatments in paediatric patients, when administered by an experienced, paediatric anaesthetist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-263X.2011.01192.xDOI Listing
July 2012

Mediastinal paraganglioma: time to panic?

BMJ Case Rep 2011 Feb 23;2011. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, UK.

Paragangliomas (extra-adrenal phaeochromocytomas) are tumours arising from extra-adrenal chromaffin tissue. The authors describe a case of a 54-year-old woman presenting with shortness of breath and chest pain. CT pulmonary angiogram demonstrated a mediastinal mass. Further history taking revealed spontaneous attacks of headaches and palpitations. Subsequent imaging and biochemical testing confirmed the presence of a rare posterior mediastinal paraganglioma. The patient was prepared for surgery. A left thoracolaparotomy was performed and the mass was excised in its entirety. Postoperatively, 24-h urine collections showed normal normetanephrine and metanephrine levels. Since then, yearly catecholamine levels remain within the normal range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr.06.2010.3107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062821PMC
February 2011

Right abdominal mass in a 2 year-old child.

BMJ Case Rep 2011 Oct 11;2011. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Department of Internal Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.

The authors report a case of a wandering spleen presenting as a right lower quadrant abdominal mass, 2 years post a transabdominal left diaphragmatic hernia repair in a 2-year-old child with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The wandering spleen was fixed laparoscopically in an extraperitoneal pouch.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr.08.2011.4676DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3207771PMC
October 2011

The osmotic sensitivity of rat growth plate chondrocytes in situ; clarifying the mechanisms of hypertrophy.

J Cell Physiol 2008 Mar;214(3):621-9

Centre for Integrative Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Hugh Robson Building, George Square, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Bone elongation is predominantly driven by the volume expansion of growth plate chondrocytes. This mechanism was initially believed to be "hypertrophy", describing a proportional increase of cell water and organelles. However, morphometrical analysis subsequently assumed the increase to be "swelling", resulting in a disproportionate increase of cell water (osmotically active fraction). Histological approaches were performed on fixed tissue, and for the "swelling" assumption to be valid, the osmotic sensitivity of living cells before and during volume increase should differ. To test this, analysis of images acquired by 2-photon laser scanning microscopy (2PLSM) were used to determine the osmotic sensitivity, and osmotically active/inactive proportions of in situ chondrocytes from 15 living rat growth plates exposed to varying media osmolarities ( approximately 0-580 mOsm). The dimensions of cell volume swelling in hypotonic media were different to the preferential lengthening seen in vivo, confirming the complexity of directional cell volume increase. Boyle-van't Hoff analysis of cell volume over the range of media osmolarity indicated no significant difference (Student's t-test) in the osmotically inactive fraction, 39.5 +/- 2.9% and 47.0 +/- 4.3% (n = 13) for proliferative and hypertrophic zones, respectively, or the sensitivity of volume to changes in media osmolarity (proliferative 15.5 +/- 0.8 and hypertrophic zone 15.5 +/- 1.2%volume . Osm). The osmotic fractions did not change as chondrocytes progress from proliferative to hypertrophic regions of the growth plate. Our data suggest cell volume increase by hypertrophy may play a greater role in cell enlargement than swelling, and should be re-evaluated as a mechanism responsible for growth plate chondrocyte volume increase and hence bone elongation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.21249DOI Listing
March 2008
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