Publications by authors named "Li-Lun Chen"

7 Publications

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Clinical characteristics of recurrent pneumonia in children with or without underlying diseases.

J Formos Med Assoc 2021 Aug 25. Epub 2021 Aug 25.

Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background: Recurrent pneumonia is uncommon in children and few studies investigate the clinical impact of underlying diseases on this issue. This study aimed to explore the difference in clinical manifestations, pathogens, and prognosis of recurrent pneumonia in children with or without underlying diseases.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of pediatric recurrent pneumonia from 2007 to 2019 in National Taiwan University Hospital. Patients under the age of 18 who had two or more episodes of pneumonia in a year were included, and the minimum interval of two pneumonia episodes was more than one month. Aspiration pneumonia was excluded. Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients were collected and compared.

Results: Among 8508 children with pneumonia, 802 (9.4%) of them had recurrent pneumonia. Among these 802 patients, 655 (81.7%) had underlying diseases including neurological disorders (N = 252, 38.5%), allergy (N = 211, 32.2%), and cardiovascular diseases (N = 193, 29.5%). Children without underlying diseases had more viral bronchopneumonia (p < 0.001). Children with underlying diseases were more likely to acquire Staphylococcus aureus (p = 0.001), and gram-negative bacteriae, more pneumonia episodes (3 vs 2, p < 0.001), a longer hospital stay (median: 7 vs. 4 days, p < 0.001), a higher ICU rate (28.8% vs 3.59%, p < 0.001), and a higher case-fatality rate (5.19% vs 0%, p < 0.001) than those without underlying diseases.

Conclusion: Children with underlying diseases, prone to have recurrent pneumonia and more susceptible to resistant microorganisms, had more severe diseases and poorer clinical outcomes. Therefore, more attention may be paid on clinical severity and the therapeutic plan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2021.08.013DOI Listing
August 2021

RSV pneumonia with or without bacterial co-infection among healthy children.

J Formos Med Assoc 2021 Aug 23. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of childhood pneumonia, but there is limited understanding of whether bacterial co-infections affect clinical severity.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study at National Taiwan University Hospital from 2010 to 2019 to compare clinical characteristics and outcomes between RSV with and without bacterial co-infection in children without underlying diseases, including length of hospital stay, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, ventilator use, and death.

Results: Among 620 inpatients with RSV pneumonia, the median age was 1.33 months (interquartile range, 0.67-2 years); 239 (38.6%) under 1 year old; 366 (59.0%) males; 201 (32.4%) co-infected with bacteria. The three most common bacteria are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae. The annually seasonal analysis showed that spring and autumn were peak seasons, and September was the peak month. Compared with single RSV infection, children with bacterial co-infection were younger (p = 0.021), had longer hospital stay (p < 0.001), needed more ICU care (p = 0.02), had higher levels of C-reactive protein (p = 0.009) and more frequent hyponatremia (p = 0.013). Overall, younger age, bacterial co-infection (especially S. aureus), thrombocytosis, and lower hemoglobin level were associated with the risk of requiring ICU care.

Conclusion: RSV related bacterial co-infections were not uncommon and assoicated with ICU admission, especially for young children, and more attention should be given. For empirical antibacterial treatment, high-dose amoxicillin-clavulanic acid or ampicillin-sulbactam was recommended for non-severe cases; vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins were suggested for critically ill patients requiring ICU care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2021.08.012DOI Listing
August 2021

Advances in Biomimetic Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis.

Molecules 2021 Aug 20;26(16). Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan.

Biomimetic nanoparticles have recently emerged as a novel drug delivery platform to improve drug biocompatibility and specificity at the desired disease site, especially the tumour microenvironment. Conventional nanoparticles often encounter rapid clearance by the immune system and have poor drug-targeting effects. The rapid development of nanotechnology provides an opportunity to integrate different types of biomaterials onto the surface of nanoparticles, which enables them to mimic the natural biological features and functions of the cells. This mimicry strategy favours the escape of biomimetic nanoparticles from clearance by the immune system and reduces potential toxic side effects. Despite the rapid development in this field, not much has progressed to the clinical stage. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop biomimetic-based nanomedicine to produce a highly specific and effective drug delivery system, especially for malignant tumours, which can be used for clinical purposes. Here, the recent developments for various types of biomimetic nanoparticles are discussed, along with their applications for cancer imaging and treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26165052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8401254PMC
August 2021

Clinical characteristics of influenza with or without Streptococcus pneumoniae co-infection in children.

J Formos Med Assoc 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.

Background/purpose: Influenza is frequently complicated with bacterial co-infection. This study aimed to disclose the significance of Streptococcus pneumoniae co-infection in children with influenza.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed medical records of pediatric patients hospitalized for influenza with or without pneumococcal co-infection at the National Taiwan University Hospital from 2007 to 2019. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were compared between patients with and without S. pneumoniae co-infection.

Results: There were 558 children hospitalized for influenza: 494 had influenza alone whereas 64 had S. pneumoniae co-infection. Patients with S. pneumoniae co-infection had older ages, lower SpO, higher C-Reactive Protein (CRP), lower serum sodium, lower platelet counts, more chest radiograph findings of patch and consolidation on admission, longer hospitalization, more intensive care, longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay, more mechanical ventilation, more inotropes/vasopressors use, more surgical interventions including video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and higher case-fatality rate.

Conclusion: Compared to influenza alone, patients with S. pneumoniae co-infection had more morbidities and mortalities. Pneumococcal co-infection is considered when influenza patients have lower SpO, lower platelet counts, higher CRP, lower serum sodium, and more radiographic patches and consolidations on admission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2021.07.012DOI Listing
July 2021

Immune cell shuttle for precise delivery of nanotherapeutics for heart disease and cancer.

Sci Adv 2021 Apr 23;7(17). Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Ph.D. Program in Translational Medicine, National Taiwan University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

The delivery of therapeutics through the circulatory system is one of the least arduous and less invasive interventions; however, this approach is hampered by low vascular density or permeability. In this study, by exploiting the ability of monocytes to actively penetrate into diseased sites, we designed aptamer-based lipid nanovectors that actively bind onto the surface of monocytes and are released upon reaching the diseased sites. Our method was thoroughly assessed through treating two of the top causes of death in the world, cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma with or without liver metastasis, and showed a significant increase in survival and healing with no toxicity to the liver and kidneys in either case, indicating the success and ubiquity of our platform. We believe that this system provides a new therapeutic method, which can potentially be adapted to treat a myriad of diseases that involve monocyte recruitment in their pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abf2400DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064633PMC
April 2021

Nanotechnology Approaches in Tackling Cardiovascular Diseases.

Molecules 2019 May 27;24(10). Epub 2019 May 27.

Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, 128 Section 2 Academia Road, Nangang District, Taipei 115, Taiwan.

Cardiovascular diseases have continued to remain a leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Poor proliferation capability of adult cardiomyocytes disables the heart from regenerating new myocardium after a myocardial ischaemia event and therefore weakens the heart in the long term, which may result in heart failure and death. Delivery of cardioprotective therapeutics soon after the event can help to protect the heart from further cell death and improve cardiac function, but delivery methods and potential side effects of these therapeutics may be an issue. Advances in nanotechnology, particularly nanoparticles for drug delivery, have enabled researchers to obtain better drug targeting capability, thus increasing the therapeutic outcome. Detailed study of nanoparticles in vivo is useful as it can provide insight for future treatments. Nanogel can help to create a more favourable environment, not only for a sustained delivery of therapeutics, but also for a better navigation of the therapeutics to the targeted sites. Finally, if the damage to the myocardium is too severe for drug treatment, nanopatch can help to improve cardiac function and healing by becoming a platform for pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes to grow for the purpose of cell-based regenerative therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules24102017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6572019PMC
May 2019

Loss of Gut Microbiota Alters Immune System Composition and Cripples Postinfarction Cardiac Repair.

Circulation 2019 01;139(5):647-659

Program in Molecular Medicine, National Yang Ming University and Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan (T.W.H.T., P.C.C.H.).

Background: The impact of gut microbiota on the regulation of host physiology has recently garnered considerable attention, particularly in key areas such as the immune system and metabolism. These areas are also crucial for the pathophysiology of and repair after myocardial infarction (MI). However, the role of the gut microbiota in the context of MI remains to be fully elucidated.

Methods: To investigate the effects of gut microbiota on cardiac repair after MI, C57BL/6J mice were treated with antibiotics 7 days before MI to deplete mouse gut microbiota. Flow cytometry was applied to examine the changes in immune cell composition in the heart. 16S rDNA sequencing was conducted as a readout for changes in gut microbial composition. Short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) species altered after antibiotic treatment were identified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Fecal reconstitution, transplantation of monocytes, or dietary SCFA or Lactobacillus probiotic supplementation was conducted to evaluate the cardioprotective effects of microbiota on the mice after MI.

Results: Antibiotic-treated mice displayed drastic, dose-dependent mortality after MI. We observed an association between the gut microbiota depletion and significant reductions in the proportion of myeloid cells and SCFAs, more specifically acetate, butyrate, and propionate. Infiltration of CX3CR1+ monocytes to the peri-infarct zone after MI was also reduced, suggesting impairment of repair after MI. Accordingly, the physiological status and survival of mice were significantly improved after fecal reconstitution, transplantation of monocytes, or dietary SCFA supplementation. MI was associated with a reorganization of the gut microbial community such as a reduction in Lactobacillus. Supplementing antibiotic-treated mice with a Lactobacillus probiotic before MI restored myeloid cell proportions, yielded cardioprotective effects, and shifted the balance of SCFAs toward propionate.

Conclusions: Gut microbiota-derived SCFAs play an important role in maintaining host immune composition and repair capacity after MI. This suggests that manipulation of these elements may provide opportunities to modulate pathological outcome after MI and indeed human health and disease as a whole.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.035235DOI Listing
January 2019
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