Publications by authors named "Huimei Zhang"

18 Publications

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Association of child maltreatment and bullying victimization among chinese adolescents: The mediating role of family function, resilience, and anxiety.

J Affect Disord 2021 Nov 22;299:12-21. Epub 2021 Nov 22.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, No. 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China; Center for Evidence-Based Practice, Anhui Medical University, No. 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China. Electronic address:

Background: Among adolescents, child maltreatment is linked to being bullied at school. Nevertheless, little is known about the mediating mechanisms underlying this association. Therefore, our research aimed to explore and evaluate the potential mediators of the relationship between child maltreatment and bullying victimization among Chinese adolescents.

Methods: From October to December 2020, a population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 6247 adolescents (3401 males, 2846 females) in Anhui Province, China. The subjects of the survey were elementary and middle school students from grades 4 to 9. The data were collected through self-report questionnaires. Pearson correlation and linear regression were used to examine the relationships among child maltreatment, bullying victimization, family function, resilience, and anxiety. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to conduct mediation analyses.

Results: The results indicated that child maltreatment positively predicted the later bullying victimization of adolescents. Resilience and anxiety were each shown to separately mediate this relationship. Moreover, the sequential mediating effects of family function, resilience, and anxiety also mediated the predictive effect of child maltreatment on bullying victimization.

Conclusions: Resilience and anxiety were both shown to be important independent mediators for the relationship between child maltreatment and bullying victimization. Furthermore, the combined mediating effects of family function, resilience, and anxiety were also of great significance. These findings provide additional evidence that family and individual factors are critical to understanding bullying victimization. Effective prevention and intervention strategies for school bullying should target family and individual vulnerabilities in adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.11.053DOI Listing
November 2021

The Association Between Anti-diabetic Agents and Clinical Outcomes of COVID-19 in Patients with Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Arch Med Res 2021 Aug 9. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Background And Aims: During the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, patients with diabetes face disproportionately more. This study was performed to clarify anti-inflammatory effects of anti-diabetic agents on COVID-19 in patients with diabetes.

Methods And Results: Relevant literature was searched on 15 databases up to November 14, 2020 and was updated on April 13, 2021. The pooled ORs along with 95% CIs were calculated to evaluate combined effects. 31 studies with 66,914 patients were included in qualitative and quantitative synthesis. Meta-analysis showed that metformin was associated with a statistically significant lower mortality (pooled OR = 0.62, 95% CI, 0.50-0.76, p = 0.000) and poor composite outcomes (pooled OR = 0.83, 95% CI, 0.71-0.97, p = 0.022) in diabetic patients with COVID-19. Significance of slight lower mortality remained in sulfonylurea/glinides (pooled OR = 0.93, 95% CI, 0.89-0.98, p = 0.004), but of poor composite outcomes was not (pooled OR = 1.48, 95% CI, 0.61-3.60, p = 0.384). Dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP-4 inhibitors) were associated with statistically non-significant lower mortality (pooled OR = 0.95, 95% CI, 0.72-1.26, p = 0.739) or poor composite outcomes (pooled OR = 1.27, 95% CI, 0.91-1.77, p = 0.162) of COVID-19 in diabetic patients.

Conclusion: Metformin might be beneficial in decreasing mortality and poor composite outcomes in diabetic patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. DPP-4 inhibitors, sulfonylurea/glinides, SGLT-2 inhibitors, and GLP-1RA would not seem to be adverse. There was insufficient evidence to conclude effects of other anti-diabetic agents. Limited by retrospective characteristics, with relative weak capability to verify causality, more prospective studies, especially RCTs are needed. Registration number: PROSPERO-CRD42020221951.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.arcmed.2021.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8349690PMC
August 2021

Radiofrequency ablation versus stereotactic body radiotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: a meta-analysis.

Future Oncol 2021 Oct 19;17(30):4027-4040. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Department of Epidemiology & Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, No. 81 Meishan Road, Hefei, Anhui 230032, China.

The present meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the efficacy of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. A systematic literature search was conducted of online databases prior to February 21, 2021. Eleven articles involving 8429 patients were included. The pooled hazard ratio for overall survival (OS) of RFA versus SBRT was 0.79 (p < 0.001). Statistically significant differences were found in the 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-year pooled OS and freedom from local progression (FFLP) rates between the two groups, favoring the RFA arms. However, the pooled local control (LC) rates were higher in the SBRT arm. RFA provided better OS and FFLP for treating HCC, while SBRT achieved superior LC. CRD42020207877.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2021-0263DOI Listing
October 2021

The impact of prenatal stressful life events on adverse birth outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Affect Disord 2021 05 31;287:406-416. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, No. 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China; Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, Anhui Medical University, No. 81 Meishan Road, Hefei 230032, Anhui, China. Electronic address:

Background: Stressful life events as important stressors have gradually been recognized as the potential etiology that may lead to adverse birth outcomes such as preterm birth (PTB), low birth weight (LBW), and small for gestational age (SGA). However, researches on this topic have shown relatively inconsistent results. This systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to synthesize available data on the association between prenatal stressful life events and increased risks of PTB, LBW, and SGA.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched from their inception until September 2020. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the association between prenatal stressful life events and PTB, LBW, and SGA using random effects models. In addition, subgroup analyses, cumulative meta-analyses, sensitivity analyses, and publication bias diagnosis were conducted. STATA 14.0 was applied for statistical analyses.

Results: Totally 31 cohort studies involving 5,665,998 pregnant women were included. Prenatal stressful life events were associated with a 20% higher risk of PTB (RR = 1.20, 95%CI = 1.10-1.32), a 23% increased risk for LBW (RR = 1.23, 95%CI = 1.10-1.39), and a 14% higher risk of SGA (RR = 1.14, 95%CI = 1.08-1.20). Sensitivity analysis indicated the results were stable.

Conclusions: Findings indicated that pregnant women experiencing prenatal stressful life events were at increased risk of PTB, LBW, and SGA. This information provided additional supports that pregnant women experiencing prenatal stressful life events would benefit from receiving assessment and management in prenatal care services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.03.083DOI Listing
May 2021

Aspirin Use and Risk of Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis of Observational Studies from 1989 to 2019.

Clin Breast Cancer 2021 Dec 17;21(6):552-565. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China; Center for Evidence-Based Practice, Anhui Medical University, Anhui, China. Electronic address:

Background: Some evidence shows that aspirin can reduce the morbidity and mortality of different cancers, including breast cancer. Aspirin has become a new focus of cancer prevention and treatment research at present, however, clinical studies found conflicting conclusions of its anticancer characteristics.

Materials And Methods: A systematic literature search was performed in 8 electronic databases. The pooled relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using the random effects model to estimate the effect of aspirin on breast cancer.

Results: Forty-two published articles with 99,769 patients were identified. The meta-analysis showed a significant decrease in breast cancer risk with aspirin use (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.89-0.96; I = 72%). Aspirin use decreased the risk of hormone receptor-positive tumors (estrogen receptor [ER]-positive RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.97; I=54%; progesterone receptor [PR]-positive RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78-0.95; I=32%; ER- and PR-positive RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.85-1.00; I=45%) and reduced the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86-0.98; I=59%). Further analysis showed that for the in situ breast cancer, regular-dose and more than 3 years use of aspirin were associated with the reduced risk of breast cancer.

Conclusion: This meta-analysis suggested that aspirin may reduce the overall risk of breast cancer, reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, hormone receptor-positive tumors, and in situ breast cancer. Larger, multicenter clinical studies are needed to find the optimal dose range, frequency, and duration of the aspirin use to explore the best benefit-risk ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clbc.2021.02.005DOI Listing
December 2021

Are CT and MRI useful tools to distinguish between micropapillary type and typical type of ovarian serous borderline tumors?

Abdom Radiol (NY) 2021 07 3;46(7):3354-3364. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Radiology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, Yunnan Cancer Hospital, No. 519 Kunzhou Road, Xishan District, Kunming, 650118, Yunnan, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: To investigate the computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) characteristics of ovarian serous borderline tumors (SBTs), and evaluate whether CT and MRI can be used to distinguish micropapillary from typical subtypes.

Materials And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical features and CT and MR imaging findings of 47 patients with SBTs encountered at our institute from September 2013 to December 2019. 30 patients with 58 histologically proven typical SBT and 17 patients with 26 micropapillary SBT were reviewed. Preoperative CT and MR images were evaluated, by two observers in consensus for the laterality, maximum diameter (MD), morphology patterns, internal architecture, attenuation or signal intensity, ADC value, enhancement patterns of solid portions (SP), and extra-ovarian imaging features.

Results: The median age were similar between typical SBT and SBT-MP (32.5 years, 36 years, respectively, P>0.05). Morphology patterns between two subtypes were significantly different on CT and MR images (P < 0.001). Irregular solid tumor (21/37, 56.76%) was the major morphology pattern of typical SBT tumor, while unilocular cyst with mural nodules (14/20, 70%) was the major morphology pattern of SBT-MP on CT images. Similarly, papillary architecture with internal branching (PA&IB) (17/21, 80.95%) was the major morphology pattern of typical SBT tumor, while unilocular cyst with mural nodules (4/6, 66.67%) was the major pattern of SBT-MP on MR images. PA&IB all showed slightly hyperintense papillary architecture with hypointense internal branching on T2-weighted MRI. More calcifications were found in typical SBT (24/37, 64.86%) than SBT-MP mass lesion (6/20, 30%) (P < 0.05). Hemorrhage was less frequently visible in (20/37, 54.05%) typical SBT lessons than SBT-MP mass lesion (18/20, 90%) (P < 0.05). The ovarian preservation is more seen in typical SBT (38/58, 65.52%) than SBT-MP (12/28, 42.86%) in our series (P < 0.05). Mean ADC value of solid portions (papillary architecture and mural nodules) was 1.68 (range from 1.44 to 1.85) × 10 mm/s for typical SBT and 1.62 (range from 1.45 to 1.7) × 10 mm/s for that of SBT-MP. The solid components of the two SBT subtypes showed wash-in appearance enhancements after contrast injection both in CT and MR images except 2 of SBT-MP with no enhancement as complete focal hemorrhage on MR images.

Conclusion: Morphology and internal architecture are two major imaging features that can help to distinguish between SBT-MP and typical SBT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00261-021-03000-3DOI Listing
July 2021

Association of smoking history with severe and critical outcomes in COVID-19 patients: A systemic review and meta-analysis.

Eur J Integr Med 2021 Apr 18;43:101313. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

AMITA Health Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago, 2900 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60657, Illinois, USA.

Introduction: The highly infectious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now rapidly spread around the world. This meta-analysis was strictly focused on the influence of smoking history on the severe and critical outcomes on people with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in eight online databases before 1 February 2021. All studies meeting our selection criteria were included and evaluated. Stata 14.0 software was used to analyze the data.

Results: A total of 109 articles involving 517,020 patients were included in this meta-analysis. A statistically significant association was discovered between smoking history and COVID-19 severity, the pooled OR was 1.55 (95%CI: 1.41-1.71). Smoking was significantly associated with the risk of admission to intensive care unit (ICU) (OR=1.73, 95%CI: 1.36-2.19), increased mortality (OR=1.58, 95%CI: 1.38-1.81), and critical diseases composite endpoints (OR=1.61, 95%CI: 1.35-1.93), whereas there was no relationship with mechanical ventilation. The pooled prevalence of smoking using the random effects model (REM) was 15% (95%CI: 14%-16%). Meta-regression analysis showed that age (0.004), hypertension (=0.007), diabetes (=0.029), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (=0.001) were covariates that affect the association.

Conclusions: Smoking was associated with severe or critical outcomes and increased the risk of admission to ICU and mortality in COVID-19 patients, but not associated with mechanical ventilation. This association was more significant for former smokers than in current smokers. Current smokers also had a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 compared with non-smokers. More detailed data, which are representative of more countries, are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2021.101313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7889467PMC
April 2021

Does aspirin reduce the incidence, recurrence, and mortality of colorectal cancer? A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2021 Aug 16;36(8):1653-1666. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of all cancer deaths in the USA. Some evidences are shown that aspirin can reduce the morbidity and mortality of different cancers, including CRC. Aspirin has become a new focus of cancer prevention and treatment research so far; clinical studies, however, found conflicting conclusions of its anti-cancer characteristics. This study is to summarize the latest evidence of correlation between aspirin use and CRC and/or colorectal adenomas.

Methods: Databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the salvage setting. The pooled relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to estimate the effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer and/or colorectal adenomas. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were also conducted.

Results: The result showed that aspirin use was not associated with incidence of CRC (RR 0.97; 95% CI 0.84-1.12; P = 0.66; I = 34%), aspirin use was found to be associated with reduced recurrence of colorectal adenomas (RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72-0.95; P = 0.006; I = 63%) and reduced mortality of CRC (RR 0.79; 95% CI 0.64-0.97; P = 0.02; I = 14%). Subgroup analysis found a statistically significant association in low dose with a pooled RR of 0.85 (95% CI 0.74-0.99; P = 0.03; I = 31%).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial data indicates that aspirin reduces the overall risk of recurrence and mortality of CRC and/or colorectal adenomas. Incidence of CRC was also reduced with low-dose aspirin. The emerging evidence on aspirin's cancer protection role highlights an exciting time for cancer prevention through low-cost interventions.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov no: CRD42020208852; August 18, 2020; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42020208852 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-021-03889-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Does aspirin reduce the incidence, recurrence, and mortality of colorectal cancer? A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

Int J Colorectal Dis 2021 Aug 16;36(8):1653-1666. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Radiation Oncology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of all cancer deaths in the USA. Some evidences are shown that aspirin can reduce the morbidity and mortality of different cancers, including CRC. Aspirin has become a new focus of cancer prevention and treatment research so far; clinical studies, however, found conflicting conclusions of its anti-cancer characteristics. This study is to summarize the latest evidence of correlation between aspirin use and CRC and/or colorectal adenomas.

Methods: Databases were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the salvage setting. The pooled relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to estimate the effect of aspirin on colorectal cancer and/or colorectal adenomas. Subgroup analysis and sensitivity analysis were also conducted.

Results: The result showed that aspirin use was not associated with incidence of CRC (RR 0.97; 95% CI 0.84-1.12; P = 0.66; I = 34%), aspirin use was found to be associated with reduced recurrence of colorectal adenomas (RR 0.83; 95% CI 0.72-0.95; P = 0.006; I = 63%) and reduced mortality of CRC (RR 0.79; 95% CI 0.64-0.97; P = 0.02; I = 14%). Subgroup analysis found a statistically significant association in low dose with a pooled RR of 0.85 (95% CI 0.74-0.99; P = 0.03; I = 31%).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trial data indicates that aspirin reduces the overall risk of recurrence and mortality of CRC and/or colorectal adenomas. Incidence of CRC was also reduced with low-dose aspirin. The emerging evidence on aspirin's cancer protection role highlights an exciting time for cancer prevention through low-cost interventions.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov no: CRD42020208852; August 18, 2020; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42020208852 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00384-021-03889-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Treadmill exercise attenuates cerebral ischaemic injury in rats by protecting mitochondrial function via enhancement of caveolin-1.

Life Sci 2021 Jan 23;264:118634. Epub 2020 Oct 23.

The Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, 109 Xueyuan Western Road, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province 325027, China. Electronic address:

Aims: Exercise training has a neuroprotective effect against ischaemic injury, but the underlying mechanism is not completely clear. This study explored the potential mechanisms underlying the protective effects of treadmill training and caveolin-1 regulation against mitochondrial dysfunction in cerebral ischaemic injury.

Main Methods: After middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) surgery, rats were subjected to treadmill training and received daidzein injections and combined therapy. A series of analyses, including neurological function scoring; body weight measurement; Nissl, haematoxylin and eosin staining; cerebral infarction volume assessment; mitochondrial morphology examination; caveolin-1, cytoplasmic and mitochondrial cytochrome C (CytC), and translocase of outer membrane 20 (TOM20) expression analysis; apoptosis index analysis; and transmission electron microscopy were conducted.

Key Findings: Treadmill training increased caveolin-1 expression, reduced neurobehavioral scores and cerebral infarction volumes, improved tissue morphology, reduced neuronal loss, inhibited mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) through the caveolin-1 pathway, prevented excessive Cyt-C release from mitochondria, and reduced the degrees of apoptosis and mitochondrial damage. In addition, treadmill training increased the expression of TOM20 through the caveolin-1 pathway and maintained import signal function, thereby protecting mitochondrial integrity.

Significance: Treadmill exercise protected mitochondrial integrity and inhibited the endogenous mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. The damage of cerebral ischaemia was alleviated in rats through enhancement of caveolin-1 by treadmill exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118634DOI Listing
January 2021

Assessing CT imaging features combined with CEA and CA125 levels to identify endometriosis-associated ovarian cancer.

Abdom Radiol (NY) 2021 06;46(6):2367-2375

Department of Radiology, The First people's Hospital of Neijiang, No. 31 Jiaotong Road, Neijiang, China.

Purpose: To improve the diagnosis and identification of ovarian clear cell carcinoma (CCC) and ovarian endometrioid carcinoma (EC), we evaluated CT imaging findings and cut-off values for CEA and CA125.

Methods: The CT features and tumour markers (tumour size, location, morphology, composition, number of cysts, growth pattern of the mural nodules, mural nodule HWR, enhancement of the mural nodules, ascites, complications, CEA level, CA125 level) of 55 tumours in 52 patients with CCC, confirmed by surgery and pathology at the Yunnan Cancer Hospital from January 1, 2012 to December 30, 2018, were compared with those of 41 tumours in 36 patients with EC. All patients had a long history of endometriosis. Statistical analysis was performed using t test, chi-square test, Mann-Whitney U test, univariate analysis, multivariate logistic regression analysis and receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves.

Results: CCC and EC presented as large oval or irregular mixed cystic-solid masses in the pelvic region, with moderately delayed enhancement of the solid components. There was a statistically significant difference between the number of cysts, the growth pattern of the mural nodules, the presence/absence of ascites, and the levels of CEA and CA125 (P < 0.05). Most CCCs had unilocular cysts, mural nodules that were polypoid structures, and no ascites (46/55, 33/55, 42/55); most ECs had multilocular cysts and broad-based nodular structures and were ascites positive (28/41, 31/41, 21/41). The CEA positive rate was lower in the CCC group than in the EC group (2/52, 3.8% versus 11/36, 30.6%, P < 0.05), and the CA125 positive rate was high in both the CCC and EC groups (44/52, 84.6% versus EC = 35/36, 97.2%, P = 0.118). The ROC curves revealed that when the values of CEA and CA125 were higher than the cut-off values (CEA = 3.270 µg/L, CA125 = 589.400 kU/L), the diagnostic efficiency of CEA was 0.723, and the diagnostic specificity of CEA was as high as 0.903.

Conclusions: The number of cysts, growth pattern of the mural nodules, presence/absence of ascites, and levels of CEA and CA125 were useful factors for distinguishing CCC from EC; the best cut-off values of CEA and CA125 for distinguishing CCC from EC were 3.270 and 589.40, respectively. These findings may be helpful for correctly diagnosing and identifying CCC and EC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00261-020-02571-xDOI Listing
June 2021

A thermosensitive chitosan-based hydrogel for sealing and lubricating purposes in dental implant system.

Clin Implant Dent Relat Res 2019 Apr 1;21(2):324-335. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) & Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School & Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Background: Mechanical and biological complications associated with implant systems happen frequently in the clinic.

Purpose: To develop a chitosan (CS)-based thermosensitive hydrogel for sealing and lubricating purposes in dental implant system.

Materials And Methods: In this study, a thermosensitive hydrogel made up of CS, β-glycerophosphate pentahydrate (β-GP), and povidone-iodine (PVP-I), called CS/β-GP/PVP-I thermosensitive hydrogel, was fabricated. Three experimental groups with different volume ratios of CS to β-GP were prepared, namely 16/4, 13/7, and 10/10 groups. The surface topography of the different groups and their physicochemical characteristics were examined by SEM, FTIR, and X-ray diffraction analysis. The cytotoxicity of the hydrogel was examined by CCK-8 test. In vitro antibacterial efficiency was analyzed by the spread plate method. Sealing ability was detected by incubating two-piece implants in Escherichia coli suspension. Lubricating ability of the hydrogel was evaluated by the removal torque test with a calibrated digital torque meter.

Results: The CS/β-GP/PVP-I thermosensitive hydrogel was fabricated and showed a highly porous structure under SEM. An in vitro cytotoxicity test demonstrated that 13/7 group displayed no cytotoxicity. Furthermore, all three groups showed obviously antibacterial effects. In the sealing ability test, 16/4 group showed the best sealing ability. The removal torque of 16/4 group and 13/7 group was significantly greater than control group.

Conclusions: Based on our findings, it could be concluded that the thermosensitive and antibacterial CS/β-GP/PVP-I hydrogel with sealing and lubricating ability was successfully prepared. The hydrogel had better sealing and lubricating effects when the volume ratio of CS to β-GP was 16/4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cid.12738DOI Listing
April 2019

The application value of MRI in the diagnosis of subclinical inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in remission.

J Orthop Surg Res 2018 Jul 3;13(1):164. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Department of Radiology, Huzhou Central Hospital, Huzhou, 313000, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China.

Background: To explore the value of MRI in the diagnosis of subclinical inflammation in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in remission and to predict the radiographic progression.

Methods: A total of 76 of 156 patients with early RA in remission at 1 year and with available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data at baseline and at 12 months were included. Complete clinical and laboratory evaluations were conducted for the patients. MRI images were assessed according to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scoring (RAMRIS) system. Progression of bone erosions was defined as an increase of 1 or more units in annual RAMRIS score for erosions compared to baseline.

Results: At 1 year, the majority of patients with RA in sustained remission showed some inflammatory activity on MRI (43.4% synovitis, 39.5% bone marrow edema (BME), and 9.2% tenosynovitis), and 25 of the 76 patients (32.9%) showed MRI progression of bone erosions. A significant difference was observed in MRI BME and bone erosion at 1 year, with higher mean score in patients with progression compared to non-progression of erosions (BME, 4.8 ± 3.6 vs 3.1 ± 2.1, P = 0.01; bone erosion, 13.5 ± 9.6 vs 4.4 ± 3.6, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Persistent subclinical inflammations were shown in patients with sustained remission; BME in MRI may be a strong predictor of future radiographic progression of bone erosions in patients with persistent clinical remission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-018-0866-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6029344PMC
July 2018

Ameliorative effects of aspirin against lipopolysaccharide-induced preeclampsia-like symptoms in rats by inhibiting the pro-inflammatory pathway.

Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2018 Nov 3;96(11):1084-1091. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Department of Obstetrics, Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated Dalian University, Dalian, China.

Preeclampsia is an inflammatory disease and has connection with increased pro-inflammatory cytokines. Aspirin reduces the incidence of preeclampsia complications. However, the effects of aspirin on lipopolysaccharide-induced preeclampsia-like symptoms in rats have not been reported and the underlying molecular mechanism has not been illuminated. Hence, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin on lipopolysaccharide-induced preeclampsia-like phenotypes in pregnant rats and elucidated the potential molecular mechanism. Preeclampsia-like phenotypes were induced by tail vein injection of lipopolysaccharide (1 μg/kg) on gestational day 14. Aspirin (2 mg/kg per day) were administered from gestational day 14 to 19. Clinical phenotypes were recorded. Placenta tissues and serum were obtained to measure inflammatory cytokines levels using ELISA kit on gestational day 20. The mRNA expressions of IL-6, IL-1β, and MCP-1 were measured by real-time PCR. Protein expressions including TLR4, MyD88, NF-κBp65, and TLR2 were determined by Western blot analysis in the rat placentas of each group. Aspirin obviously assuaged lipopolysaccharide-induced preeclampsia-like phenotypes in pregnant rats. Aspirin treatment significantly decreased the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in serum and placenta tissues of preeclampsia rats. Aspirin also obviously downregulated the mRNA expressions of IL-6, IL-1β, and MCP-1 and assuaged the activation of TLR4, MyD88, NF-κBp65, and TLR2 in the placental tissue. Our results indicated that aspirin could assuage preeclampsia-like phenotypes, and this improvement effect is possibly the result of the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines via the TLR4, MyD88, NF-κBp65, and TLR2 signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjpp-2018-0087DOI Listing
November 2018

Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Protects Astrocytes Against Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury by Upregulating the Caveolin-1/VEGF Signaling Pathway.

J Mol Neurosci 2018 Feb 3;64(2):211-223. Epub 2018 Jan 3.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital & Yuying Children's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, No. 109, Xueyuanxi Road, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, 325027, China.

A previous in vivo study demonstrated that intracerebroventricular injection of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in middle cerebral artery occlusion rats increased the expression of caveolin-1 (cav-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cerebral ischemia penumbra. Because astrocytes are the largest population in the brain, the aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the influence of bFGF on cav-1 and VEGF expression in rat astrocytes following oxygen glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R). For this, an ischemic model in vitro of oxygen glucose deprivation lasting for 6 h, followed by 24 h of reoxygenation was used. Primary astrocytes from newborn rats were pre-treated with siRNA targeting bFGF before OGD/R. Cell viability was measured by a CCK-8 assay. The protein and mRNA expressions of bFGF, cav-1, and VEGF were evaluated by western blotting, immunofluorescence staining, and reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that OGD/R reduced cell viability, which was decreased further following bFGF knockdown; however, restoring bFGF improved cell survival. A cav-1 inhibitor abrogated the effect of bFGF on cell viability. The expression levels of bFGF mRNA, bFGF protein, cav-1 mRNA, cav-1 protein, and VEGF protein were higher in OGD/R astrocytes. bFGF knockdown markedly decreased the expression levels of cav-1 mRNA, cav-1 protein, and VEGF protein, which were effectively reversed by exogenous bFGF treatment. Moreover, exogenous bFGF treatment significantly increased the expression levels of cav-1 mRNA, cav-1 protein, and VEGF protein in OGD/R astrocytes; however, a cav-1 inhibitor abolished the effect of bFGF on VEGF protein expression. These results suggested that bFGF may protect astrocytes against ischemia/reperfusion injury by upregulating caveolin-1/VEGF signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12031-017-1023-9DOI Listing
February 2018

Comparison of the clinical effectiveness of US grading scoring system vs MRI in the diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

J Orthop Surg Res 2017 Oct 17;12(1):152. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Department of Ultrasound, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, San Xiang Road 1055, Suzhou, 215004, China.

Background: As an irreversible disease, a treatment delay can negatively affect treatment response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ultrasound and MRI have played an important role in assessing disease progression and response to treatment in RA for many years. The present study was designed to compare the diagnostic efficacy of ultrasound grading and MRI in early RA.

Methods: In this retrospective study, 62 early RA patients within 12 months of symptom onset were included. DAS28, rheumatoid factor (RF), CRP, ESR, and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (CCP) of the patients were measured. Bilateral hand joints and wrists were examined by ultrasonography (US) and MRI; diagnosis outcome was compared. Relationship between DAS28 scores, laboratory parameters, and ultrasound findings were analyzed.

Results: Ultrasound and MRI had an equivalent diagnosis value in synovitis, joint effusion, and tenosynovitis. The detection rate of synovitis, arthroedema, and tenosynovitis on ultrasound and MRI was very close (P > 0.05). The detection rate of bone erosion was lower in ultrasonography than that in MRI (P < 0.05). There were significant differences between power Doppler ultrasonography (PDUS) and gray-scale ultrasonography (GSUS) in the diagnosis of synovitis (χ  = 3.92, P < 0.05); the sensitivity of GSUS was better than that of PDUS (P < 0.05). PDUS was positively correlated with DAS28, ESR, CRP, and CCP (P < 0.01), but not correlated with RF and disease duration (P > 0.05). GSUS was positively correlated with RF and CRP (P < 0.01), but not correlated with DAS28, CCP, ESR, and disease duration (P > 0.05). Bone erosion was positively correlated with disease duration, CCP, and RF (P < 0.01) and was not correlated with DAS28, ESR, and CRP (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Ultrasonography has a high reliability in the diagnosis of early RA in synovitis, joint effusion, tenosynovitis, and bone erosion. Ultrasonography and clinical and laboratory parameters had a great correlativity. Both ultrasound and MRI are effective techniques. In view of the advantages of low cost and convenience, ultrasound may be a better choice during early RA diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-017-0653-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5646118PMC
October 2017

Role of caveolin-1/vascular endothelial growth factor pathway in basic fibroblast growth factor-induced angiogenesis and neurogenesis after treadmill training following focal cerebral ischemia in rats.

Brain Res 2017 05 12;1663:9-19. Epub 2017 Mar 12.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, The Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children's Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, No. 109, Xueyuanxi Road, Wenzhou 325027, Zhejiang, China. Electronic address:

Exercise is known to aid functional recovery following ischemia, though the mechanisms responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise on recovery from ischemic stroke are not fully understood. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) contributes to angiogenesis and promotes neurologic functional recovery after stroke. The present study aimed to investigate the possible mechanisms whereby treadmill exercise ameliorated impaired angiogenesis and neurogenesis following transient cerebral ischemia in middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats. Treadmill exercise was started 2days after ischemia-reperfusion in MCAO rats and continued until 7 or 28days after MCAO, after which the animals were sacrificed. Changes in neurological deficit, infarction volume, neuronal morphology, expression levels of bFGF, caveolin-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and angiogenesis and neurogenesis in the ischemic penumbra were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blots, and/or double immunofluorescence. The results suggested that treadmill exercise promoted the expression of bFGF, improved neurological recovery, and reduced infarct volume compared with non-exercised rats, and also enhanced the expression of caveolin-1, VEGF, VEGF receptor 2(FIK-1)/CD34, and Brdu/nestin staining. Small interfering RNA targeting bFGF blocked the protective effects of bFGF. In addition, 4weeks of post-stroke recovery still ameliorated ischemia-induced damage without bFGF shRNA. These findings suggest a novel mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of bFGF following stroke, and indicate that treadmill exercise may aid stroke recovery by regulating the caveolin-1/VEGF pathway in the ischemic zone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2017.03.012DOI Listing
May 2017

Altered brain activation and functional connectivity in working memory related networks in patients with type 2 diabetes: An ICA-based analysis.

Sci Rep 2016 Mar 29;6:23767. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Department of Radiology and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Functional Imaging, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin 300052, China.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) can cause multidimensional cognitive deficits, among which working memory (WM) is usually involved at an early stage. However, the neural substrates underlying impaired WM in T2DM patients are still unclear. To clarify this issue, we utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and independent component analysis to evaluate T2DM patients for alterations in brain activation and functional connectivity (FC) in WM networks and to determine their associations with cognitive and clinical variables. Twenty complication-free T2DM patients and 19 matched healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled, and fMRI data were acquired during a block-designed 1-back WM task. The WM metrics of the T2DM patients showed no differences compared with those of the HCs, except for a slightly lower accuracy rate in the T2DM patients. Compared with the HCs, the T2DM patients demonstrated increased activation within their WM fronto-parietal networks, and activation strength was significantly correlated with WM performance. The T2DM patients also showed decreased FC within and between their WM networks. Our results indicate that the functional integration of WM sub-networks was disrupted in the complication-free T2DM patients and that strengthened regional activity in fronto-parietal networks may compensate for the WM impairment caused by T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep23767DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810460PMC
March 2016
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