Publications by authors named "Luis Nunes"

61 Publications

Relative contribution of rice and fish consumption to bioaccessibility-corrected health risks for urban residents in eastern China.

Environ Int 2021 Oct 10;155:106682. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, PR China; Environmental and Life Sciences Program (EnLS), Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

There are global concerns about dietary exposure to metal(loid)s in foods. However, little is known about the relative contribution of rice versus fish to multiple metal(loid) exposure for the general population, especially in Asia where rice and fish are major food sources. We compared relative contributions of rice and fish consumption to multi-metal(loid) exposure on the city-scale (Nanjing) and province-scale in China. The effects of ingestion rate, metal(loid) level, and bioaccessibility were examined to calculate modeled risk from Cu, Zn, total As (TAs), inorganic As (iAs), Se, Cd, Pb, and methylmercury (MeHg). Metal(loid) levels in rice and fish samples collected from Nanjing City were generally low, except iAs. Metal(loid) bioaccessibilities in fish were higher than those in rice, except Se. Calculated carcinogenic risks induced by iAs intake (indicated by increased lifetime cancer risk, ILCR) were above the acceptable level (1 0 ) in Nanjing City (median: 3 × 10 for female and 4 × 10 for male) and nine provinces (1.4 × 10 to 5.9 × 10) in China. Rice consumption accounted for 85.0% to 99.8% of carcinogenic risk. The non-carcinogenic hazard quotients (HQ) for single metals and hazard index (HI) for multi-metal exposure were < 1 in all cases, indicating of their slight non-carcinogen health effects associated. In Guangdong and Jiangsu provinces, results showed that rice and fish intake contributed similarly to the HI (i.e., 42.6% vs 57.4% in Guangdong and 54.6% vs 45.4% in Jiangsu). Sensitivity analysis indicated that carcinogenic risk was most sensitive to rice ingestion rate and rice iAs levels, while non-carcinogenic hazard (i.e., HQ and HI) was most sensitive to ingestion rate of fish and rice, and Cu concentration in rice. Our results suggest that rice is more important than fish for human dietary metal(loid) exposure risk in China, and carcinogenic risk from iAs exposure in rice requires particular attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106682DOI Listing
October 2021

Bone Ring Technique for the Treatment of Vertical and Horizontal Bone Defects with Immediate Implants: A Report of Two Cases.

Int J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2021 May-Jun;41(3):413-421

In dental implant surgery, bone grafts are used for the reconstruction and reestablishment of alveolar bone volume and to improve bone architecture for better positioning of an implant. The present report describes the use of the bone ring technique for vertical and horizontal bone augmentation with simultaneous implant placement. This is a simple technique for acquiring donor bone in a ring shape and performing 3D reconstruction of bone defects, with an increase in the alveolar crest, using autogenous bone in a surgical procedure together with implant placement. Block bone grafts taken from the mentum can be used for predictable bone augmentation of up to 6 mm in the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The thickness of the bone ring collected from the mentum is very important. It cannot be too thin due to the risk of fracture, nor can it be too thick, as its contour could become deformed when placed in the receptor site. For stabilization and synthesis, a horizontal mattress suture is performed at the receptor site without promoting tension, and simple sutures are used for the complete co-optation of the flap and consequent stabilization of the clot. In the present type of bone defect, single-stage implant placement may be useful to shorten the overall treatment period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11607/prd.4401DOI Listing
June 2021

A hotel's customers personal, behavioral, demographic, and geographic dataset from Lisbon, Portugal (2015-2018).

Data Brief 2020 Dec 24;33:106583. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal.

This data article describes a hotel customer dataset with 31 variables describing a total of 83,590 instances (customers). It comprehends three full years of customer behavioral data. In addition to personal and behavioral information, the dataset also contains demographic and geographical information. This dataset contributes to reducing the lack of real-world business data that can be used for educational and research purposes. The dataset can be used in data mining, machine learning, and other analytical field problems in the scope of data science. Due to its unit of analysis, it is a dataset especially suitable for building customer segmentation models, including clustering and RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary value) models, but also be used in classification and regression problems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2020.106583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710633PMC
December 2020

Intermittent repeated stress but not ketamine changes mice response to antidepressants.

Neurosci Lett 2021 01 6;741:135452. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Laboratory of Experimental Psychopharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga 2752, sala 503-B, Porto Alegre, RS, CEP 90610-000, Brazil; Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Av. Carlos Chagas Filho, 373, bloco J, sala J1-029, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP 21941-902, Brazil. Electronic address:

Discovery of the rapid antidepressant effect of ketamine has been considered one of the most important advances in major depressive disorder treatment. Several studies report a significant benefit to patients that lasts up to 19 days after treatment. However, concerns arise from the long-term use of ketamine, thus a safe and effective strategy for maintaining its antidepressant effect is still necessary. To this end, our work assessed the effects of imipramine and fluoxetine after repeated ketamine treatment in male mice. Ketamine (30 mg/kg/day for 14 days) induced an anti-immobility effect in the forced swimming (FS) paradigm, detected 1 and 3 days after treatment. Seven days after the last ketamine injection, mice received imipramine (20 mg/kg) or fluoxetine (30 mg/kg). Imipramine and fluoxetine did not change mice's immobility time, regardless of the pre-treatment (saline or ketamine). Since both drugs' anti-immobility effect was demonstrated in the classical FS test, we can assume that repeated exposure to intermittent stress inhibited the antidepressant drugs' anti-immobility effects. Moreover, pre-exposure to ketamine did not counteract stress-induced changes in mice response to antidepressants. Since exposure to forced swim and i.p. injections are stressful to rodents, each stressor's contribution to the blunted response to antidepressants was investigated. Our data demonstrated that both stressors (FS and i.p. injections) influenced the reported effect. In summary, our results showed that exposure to intermittent repeated stress inhibited the anti-immobility effect of imipramine and fluoxetine in mice and corroborated findings demonstrating that exposure to stress can blunt patients' response to antidepressants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2020.135452DOI Listing
January 2021

A genetic mechanism for sexual dichromatism in birds.

Science 2020 06;368(6496):1270-1274

CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Universidade do Porto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal.

Sexual dichromatism, a difference in coloration between males and females, may be due to sexual selection for ornamentation and mate choice. Here, we show that carotenoid-based dichromatism in canaries, a hybrid phenotype that arises in offspring of the sexually dichromatic red siskin and monochromatic canaries, is controlled by the gene that encodes the carotenoid-cleaving enzyme β-carotene oxygenase 2 (). Dichromatism in canaries is explained by differential carotenoid degradation in the integument, rather than sex-specific variation in physiological functions such as pigment uptake or transport. Transcriptome analyses suggest that carotenoid degradation in the integument might be a common mechanism contributing to sexual dichromatism across finches. These results suggest that differences in ornamental coloration between sexes can evolve through simple molecular mechanisms controlled by genes of major effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aba0803DOI Listing
June 2020

Impact of Emergency Medical System Transportation in ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: A Nationwide Retrospective Study.

Acta Med Port 2020 Jun 31;33(6):390-400. Epub 2020 May 31.

Cardiology department. Hospital de São Teotónio. Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu. Viseu.

Introduction: Emergency medical system transportation has been shown to reduce treatment times in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. The authors studied the Portuguese National Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes to determine the nationwide impact of the emergency medical system transportation in the treatment of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.

Material And Methods: A multicentric, nationwide, retrospective study of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients inserted in the National Registry from 2010 to 2017 was performed. The patients were divided into: Group I, composed of patients transported by emergency medical system, and Group II, patients arriving to the Emergency department by other means.

Results: Of the 5702 patients studied, 25.9% were transported via emergency medical system. Rates of emergency medical system activation increased by 17% in the last 7 years. The emergency medical system provided a higher rate of transport to a percutaneous coronary intervention capable centre, of Emergency department bypass, of on-site fibrinolysis, and ensured a 59-minute reduction of the median reperfusion time (p < 0.001). There was no difference in in-hospital mortality.

Discussion: In this nationwide cohort, emergency medical system transportation is associated with a reduction in reperfusion times. It provides a higher amount of salvaged myocardium and reduces the incidence of acute heart failure. However, emergency medical system use did not result in lower in-hospital mortality, probably due to confounding factors of higher disease severity and comorbidity.

Conclusion: The benefits associated with emergency medical system based transportation of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction do not translate into lower in-hospital mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20344/amp.11082DOI Listing
June 2020

Methyl mercury concentrations in seafood collected from Zhoushan Islands, Zhejiang, China, and their potential health risk for the fishing community: Capsule: Methyl mercury in seafood causes potential health risk.

Environ Int 2020 04 18;137:105420. Epub 2020 Feb 18.

CAS Key Laboratory of Urban Environment and Health, Fujian Key Laboratory of Watershed Ecology, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China; Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Urban Environmental Processes and Pollution Control, Ningbo Urban Environment Observation and Research Station, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315800, China. Electronic address:

Seafood is an important exposure route for mercury, especially methyl mercury (MeHg). Therefore, we quantified MeHg concentrations in 69 species of seafood including fish, crustaceans and mollusks collected from Zhoushan Islands, China. MeHg concentrations ranged from <0.0020-0.2098 µg/g and did not exceed the threshold limit of 1 µg/g in all sampled species, However, MeHg concentrations significantly differed among fish species (0.0085-0.2098 mg kg), crustaceans (<0.002-0.0221 mg kg) and mollusks (<0.002-0.1389 mg kg). The trophic magnification factor (TMF) was determined on the basis of the trophic level (TL). The TL values for fish, crustaceans and mollusks were above 3 when the TMF values were >1. The daily dietary intake and hazard quotient for MeHg were calculated to estimate exposure and health risk through seafood consumption by local inhabitants. The calculated HQ was lower than 1, thus indicating that the exposure was below the risk threshold of related chronic diseases. However, higher MeHg concentrations in fish species such as Scoliodon sorrakowah and Auxis thazard are concerning and may pose health risk through continuous consumption by local inhabitants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105420DOI Listing
April 2020

Effect of cooking on arsenic concentration in rice.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Apr 16;27(10):10757-10765. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Departamento de Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola Facultade de Bioloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain.

This study assessed the effect of rinsing and boiling on total content of As (tAs) and of its inorganic and organic forms in different types of rice (polished and brown) from Spain and Ecuador. Rice was subjected to five different treatments. The results showed that the treatment consisting of three grain rinsing cycles followed by boiling in excess water showed a significant decrease in tAs content compared with raw rice. Regarding As species, it is worth noting that the different treatments significantly reduced the content of the most toxic forms of As. The estimated lifetime health risks indicate that pre-rinsing alone can reduce the risk by 50%, while combining it with discarding excess water can reduce the risk by 83%; therefore, the latter would be the preferable method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-07552-2DOI Listing
April 2020

Molecular characterization of a large unselected cohort of metastatic colorectal cancers in relation to primary tumor location, rare metastatic sites and prognosis.

Acta Oncol 2020 Apr 10;59(4):417-426. Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

We have reported that V600E mutations and microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) are more prevalent in a population-based cohort of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients than has been reported from clinical trials or hospital-based patient groups. The aim was to explore if other mutations in mCRC differ in prevalence between these cohorts in relation to mismatch repair status and primary tumor location and if presence of bone or brain metastases is associated with any mutations. A population-based cohort of 798 mCRC patients from three regions in Scandinavia was used. Forty-four cancer related genes were investigated in a custom designed Ampliseq hotspot panel. Differences in survival were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier estimator and the Cox regression analysis. Determination of mutations was possible in 449/501 patients for 40/44 genes. Besides V600E, seen in 19% of the tumors, none of the other mutations appeared more prevalent than in trial cohorts. V600E and MSI-H, seen in 8%, were associated with poor prognosis as was right-sided primary tumor location (39%) when compared to left-sided and rectum together; however, in a multivariable regression, only the mutation retained its statistical significance. No other mutations were associated with poor prognosis. ERBB2 alterations were more common if bone metastases were present at diagnosis (17% vs. 4%,  = .011). No association was found for brain metastases. Fifty-two percent had an alteration that is treatable with an FDA-approved targeted therapy, chiefly by EGFR-inhibitor for RAS wild-type and a check-point inhibitor for MSI-H tumors. Right-sided tumor location, V600E mutations, but no other investigated mutation, and MSI-H are more commonly seen in an unselected cohort than is reported from clinical patient cohorts, likely because they indicate poor prognosis. Half of the patients have a tumor that is treatable with an already FDA-approved targeted drug for mCRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2019.1711169DOI Listing
April 2020

Usefulness of Routine Fractional Flow Reserve for Clinical Management of Coronary Artery Disease in Patients With Diabetes.

JAMA Cardiol 2020 03;5(3):272-281

Department of Cardiologie, Centre Hospitalier La Durance, Avignon, France.

Importance: Approximately one-third of patients considered for coronary revascularization have diabetes, which is a major determinant of clinical outcomes, often influencing the choice of the revascularization strategy. The usefulness of fractional flow reserve (FFR) to guide treatment in this population is understudied and has been questioned.

Objective: To evaluate the usefulness and rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) of integrating FFR in management decisions for patients with diabetes who undergo coronary angiography.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cross-sectional study used data from the PRIME-FFR study derived from the merger of the POST-IT study (Portuguese Study on the Evaluation of FFR-Guided Treatment of Coronary Disease [March 2012-November 2013]) and R3F study (French Study of FFR Integrated Multicenter Registries Implementation of FFR in Routine Practice [October 2008-June 2010]), 2 prospective multicenter registries that shared a common design. A population of all-comers for whom angiography disclosed ambiguous lesions was analyzed for rates, patterns, and outcomes associated with management reclassification, including revascularization deferral, in patients with vs without diabetes. Data analysis was performed from June to August 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Death from any cause, myocardial infarction, or unplanned revascularization (MACE) at 1 year.

Results: Among 1983 patients (1503 [77%] male; mean [SD] age, 65 [10] years), 701 had diabetes, and FFR was performed for 1.4 lesions per patient (58.2% of lesions in the left anterior descending artery; mean [SD] stenosis, 56% [11%]; mean [SD] FFR, 0.81 [0.01]). Reclassification by FFR was high and similar in patients with and without diabetes (41.2% vs 37.5%, P = .13), but reclassification from medical treatment to revascularization was more frequent in the former (142 of 342 [41.5%] vs 230 of 730 [31.5%], P = .001). There was no statistical difference between the 1-year rates of MACE in reclassified (9.7%) and nonreclassified patients (12.0%) (P = .37). Among patients with diabetes, FFR-based deferral identified patients with a lower risk of MACE at 12 months (25 of 296 [8.4%]) compared with those undergoing revascularization (47 of 257 [13.1%]) (P = .04), and the rate was of the same magnitude of the observed rate among deferred patients without diabetes (7.9%, P = .87). Status of insulin treatment had no association with outcomes. Patients (6.6% of the population) in whom FFR was disregarded had the highest MACE rates regardless of diabetes status.

Conclusions And Relevance: Routine integration of FFR for the management of coronary artery disease in patients with diabetes may be associated with a high rate of treatment reclassification. Management strategies guided by FFR, including revascularization deferral, may be useful for patients with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2019.5097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6990935PMC
March 2020

High retention of silver sulfide nanoparticles in natural soils.

J Hazard Mater 2019 10 5;378:120735. Epub 2019 Jun 5.

State Key Laboratory of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture, Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, 210008, China. Electronic address:

Silver, either in ionic or nanoparticulate form, is widely used in consumer products. However, silver sulfide (AgS) are more likely to be the form that Ag enters the environment. The retention of silver sulfide nanoparticles (AgS-NPs) in natural soils is critical for bioavailability and toxicity but remains unclear. Here, we examined the retention of AgS-NPs in 11 natural soils with varying properties using batch assays. More than 99% of AgS-NPs were retained in soil solids, irrespective of soil properties. Such high retention of AgS-NPs, at least partially, explained the distinct differences in phytoavailability performed in soil vs. liquid media in the literature. Nanoparticles containing Ag and S were identified in representative soil solids by high resolution transmission electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer. Iron-rich acidic soil had a high dissolution of AgS-NPs ranging from 47.1% to 61.7% in porewater. In contrast to AgS-NPs, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and Ag in these soils were less retained (as described by Freundlich model) and the retention was closely associated with soil properties. These findings highlight the unique behaviors of AgS-NPs in natural soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.06.012DOI Listing
October 2019

Mechanisms of algal biomass input enhanced microbial Hg methylation in lake sediments.

Environ Int 2019 05 27;126:279-288. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Institute for Advanced Study, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. Electronic address:

Eutrophication is a major environmental concern in lake systems, impacting the ecological risks of contaminants and drinking water safety. It has long been believed that eutrophication and thus algal blooms would reduce methylmercury (MeHg) levels in water, as well as MeHg bioaccumulation and trophic transfer (e.g., by growth dilution). In this study, however, we demonstrated that algae settlement and decomposition after algal blooms increased MeHg levels in sediments (54-514% higher), as evidenced by the results from sediments in 10 major lakes in China. These could in turn raise concerns about enhanced trophic transfer of MeHg and deterioration of water quality after algal blooms, especially considering that 9 out of the 10 examined lakes also serve as drinking water sources. The enhanced microbial MeHg production in sediments could be explained by the algal organic matter (AOM)-enhanced abundances of microbial methylators as well as the input of algae-inhabited microbes into sediments, but not Hg speciation in sediments: (1) Several AOM components (e.g., aromatic proteins and soluble microbial by product-like material with generally low molecular weights), rather than the bulk AOM, played key roles in enhancing the abundances of microbial methylators. The copies of Archaea-hgcA methylation genes were 51-397% higher in algae-added sediments; thus, MeHg production was also higher. (2) Input of algal biomass-inhabited microbial methylators contributed to 2-21% of total Archaea-hgcA in the 10 lake sediments with added algal biomass. (3) However, AOM-induced changes in Hg speciation, with implications on Hg availability to microbial methylators, played a minor role in enhancing microbial Hg methylation in sediments as seen in X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) data. Our results suggest the need to better understand the biogeochemistry and risks of contaminants in eutrophic lakes, especially during the period of algae settlement and decomposition following algal blooms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.02.043DOI Listing
May 2019

Hotel booking demand datasets.

Data Brief 2019 Feb 29;22:41-49. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Lisbon, Portugal.

This data article describes two datasets with hotel demand data. One of the hotels (H1) is a resort hotel and the other is a city hotel (H2). Both datasets share the same structure, with 31 variables describing the 40,060 observations of H1 and 79,330 observations of H2. Each observation represents a hotel booking. Both datasets comprehend bookings due to arrive between the 1st of July of 2015 and the 31st of August 2017, including bookings that effectively arrived and bookings that were canceled. Since this is hotel real data, all data elements pertaining hotel or costumer identification were deleted. Due to the scarcity of real business data for scientific and educational purposes, these datasets can have an important role for research and education in revenue management, machine learning, or data mining, as well as in other fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dib.2018.11.126DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6297060PMC
February 2019

Quantitative assessment of the valorisation of used cooking oils in 23 countries.

Waste Manag 2018 Aug 23;78:611-620. Epub 2018 Jun 23.

CERIS, Civil Engineering Research and Innovation For Sustainability, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal. Electronic address:

The article quantifies, in a set of 23 countries, the amounts consumed of vegetable oils, the amounts of used oils produced after cooking, the amounts available for valorisation, and finally the quantities being valorised. The management practices adopted are also reviewed. Based on data collected, a production factor, relating vegetable oil consumption with used cooking oil production, of 0.32 is proposed. The valorisation factor, which quantifies the fraction of UCO being valorised, is higher in better performing countries (0.749) and worst in the remaining (0.232). Three consumption-valorisation factors, relating consumption with valorisation, were obtained: for high performing countries (0.274); intermediate performing (0.105); and under-performing (0.078). The management systems adopted by the different countries are based on either second-generation economic instruments (USA and Brazil), or on third-generation economic instruments (EU, Argentina, Japan). The former has allowed countries to attain better valorisation rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2018.06.039DOI Listing
August 2018

Bioaccessibility-corrected risk assessment of urban dietary methylmercury exposure via fish and rice consumption in China.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Jul 23;630:222-230. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, People's Republic of China; Environmental and Life Sciences Program (EnLS), Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

The role of seafood consumption for dietary methylmercury (MeHg) exposure is well established. Recent studies also reveal that rice consumption can be an important pathway for dietary MeHg exposure in some Hg-contaminated areas. However, little is known about the relative importance of rice versus finfish in MeHg exposure for urban residents in uncontaminated areas. Especially, the lack of data on MeHg bioaccessibility in rice hinders accurately assessing MeHg exposure via rice consumption, and its importance compared to fish. By correcting commonly used risk models with quantified MeHg bioaccessibility, we provide the first bioaccessibility-corrected comparison on MeHg risk in rice and fish for consumers in non-contaminated urban areas of China, on both city- and province-scales. Market-available fish and rice samples were cooked and quantified for MeHg bioaccessibility. Methylmercury bioaccessibility in rice (40.5±9.4%) was significantly (p<0.05) lower than in fish (61.4±14.2%). This difference does not result from selenium content but may result from differences in protein or fiber content. Bioaccessibility-corrected hazard quotients (HQs) were calculated to evaluate consumption hazard of MeHg for consumers in Nanjing city, and Monte Carlo Simulations were employed to evaluate uncertainty and variability. Results indicate that MeHg HQs were 0.14 (P50) and 0.54 (P90). Rice consumption comprised 27.2% of the overall dietary exposure to MeHg in Nanjing, while fish comprised 72.8%. Employing our bioaccessibility data combined with literature parameters, calculated relative contribution to MeHg exposure from rice (versus fish) was high in western provinces of China, including Sichuan (95.6%) and Guizhou (81.5%), and low to moderate in eastern and southern provinces (Guangdong: 6.6%, Jiangsu: 17.7%, Shanghai: 15.1%, Guangxi: 20.6%, Jiangxi: 22.8% and Hunan: 25.9%). This bioaccessibility-corrected comparison of rice versus fish indicates that rice consumption can substantively contribute to dietary MeHg exposure risk for urban populations in Asia, and should be regularly included in dietary MeHg exposure assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.224DOI Listing
July 2018

Archaea diversity in vegetation gradients from the Brazilian Cerrado.

Braz J Microbiol 2018 Jul - Sep;49(3):522-528. Epub 2018 Feb 11.

Federal University of Ceara, Laboratório de Ecologia Microbiana e Biotecnologia, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

We used 16S rRNA sequencing to assess the archaeal communities across a gradient of Cerrado. The archaeal communities differed across the gradient. Crenarcheota was the most abundant phyla, with Nitrosphaerales and NRPJ as the predominant classes. Euryachaeota was also found across the Cerrado gradient, including the classes Metanocellales and Methanomassiliicoccaceae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjm.2017.08.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6066726PMC
October 2018

Quantification of health risks in Ecuadorian population due to dietary ingestion of arsenic in rice.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2017 Dec 4;24(35):27457-27468. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Departamento de Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola, Facultade de Bioloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Campus Sur, 15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

In Ecuador alone, 500,000 people in rural areas are estimated to have been exposed to high concentrations of As from water and food, but no quantitative evaluation of health risk has yet been made. The present study quantifies exposure and health risk for the Ecuadorian population from the ingestion of arsenic in white rice. Estimated exposure is correlated with published data on tap water quality and biomarkers of exposure for the population of two towns in the metropolitan area of Quito. Estimated daily intake (EDI) of arsenic for infants living in urban areas of Ecuador is around four times that of European infants, being equal for those livings in rural areas. EDI for the population as a whole is almost twice that of Europe, but between a half and a third of that of Brazil, Bangladesh, and India. Estimated excess lifetime risk (ELTR) for adults is 3 per 10,000, while for infants varies between 10 per 10,000 in rural areas and 20 per 10,000 in urban areas. Future research on arsenic impacts on human health in Ecuador should consider in particular poor populations living in regions where environmental arsenic concentrations are highest, including cross-sectional and longitudinal epidemiologic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0265-yDOI Listing
December 2017

Time-dependent effect of composted tannery sludge on the chemical and microbial properties of soil.

Ecotoxicology 2017 Dec 3;26(10):1366-1377. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil.

Composting has been suggested as an efficient method for tannery sludge recycling before its application to the soil. However, the application of composted tannery sludge (CTS) should be monitored to evaluate its effect on the chemical and microbial properties of soil. This study evaluated the time-dependent effect of CTS on the chemical and microbial properties of soil. CTS was applied at 0, 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 Mg ha and the soil chemical and microbial properties were evaluated at 0, 45, 75, 150, and 180 days. Increased CTS rates increased the levels of Ca, Cr, and Mg. While Soil pH, organic C, and P increased with the CTS rates initially, this effect decreased over time. Soil microbial biomass, respiration, metabolic quotient, and dehydrogenase increased with the application of CTS, but decreased over time. Analysis of the Principal Response Curve showed a significant effect of CTS rate on the chemical and microbial properties of the soil over time. The weight of each variable indicated that all soil properties, except β-glucosidase, dehydrogenase and microbial quotient, increased due to the CTS application. However, the highest weights were found for Cr, pH, Ca, P, phosphatase and total organic C. The application of CTS in the soil changed the chemical and microbial properties over time, indicating Cr, pH, Ca, phosphatase, and soil respiration as the more responsive chemical and microbial variables by CTS application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10646-017-1861-9DOI Listing
December 2017

Acute Heart Failure Registry: Risk Assessment Model in Decompensated Heart Failure.

Arq Bras Cardiol 2016 Dec;107(6):557-567

Serviço de Cardiologia, Centro Hospitalar Tondela Viseu, Viseu, Portugal.

Background: Heart failure (HF) is a highly prevalent syndrome. Although the long-term prognostic factors have been identified in chronic HF, this information is scarcer with respect to patients with acute HF. despite available data in the literature on long-term prognostic factors in chronic HF, data on acute HF patients are more scarce.

Objectives: To develop a predictor of unfavorable prognostic events in patients hospitalized for acute HF syndromes, and to characterize a group at higher risk regarding their clinical characteristics, treatment and outcomes.

Methods: cohort study of 600 patients admitted for acute HF, defined according to the European Society of Cardiology criteria. Primary endpoint for score derivation was defined as all-cause mortality and / or rehospitalization for HF at 12 months. For score validation, the following endpoints were used: all-cause mortality and / or readmission for HF at 6, 12 and 24 months. The exclusion criteria were: high output HF; patients with acute myocardial infraction, acute myocarditis, infectious endocarditis, pulmonary infection, pulmonary artery hypertension and severe mitral stenosis.

Results: 505 patients were included, and prognostic predicting factors at 12 months were identified. One or two points were assigned according to the odds ratio (OR) obtained (p < 0.05). After the total score value was determined, a 4-point cut-off was determined for each ROC curve at 12 months. Two groups were formed according to the number of points, group A < 4 points, and group B = 4 points. Group B was composed of older patients, with higher number of comorbidities and predictors of the combined endpoint at 6, 12 and 24 months, as linearly represented in the survival curves (Log rank).

Conclusions: This risk score enabled the identification of a group with worse prognosis at 12 months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/abc.20160178DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5210460PMC
December 2016

Fungal diversity in soils across a gradient of preserved Brazilian Cerrado.

J Microbiol 2017 Apr 27;55(4):273-279. Epub 2017 Jan 27.

Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology Lab., Federal University of Ceara, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.

The preserved Cerrado from Northeastern Brazil presents different physicochemical properties and plant diversity, which can influence the fungal communities. Therefore, we evaluated the fungal diversity in preserved sites, at Sete Cidades National Park, across a gradient of vegetation that included Campo graminoide, Cerrado stricto sensu, Cerradao, and Floresta decidual. Of all of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) obtained, the Floresta decidual presented the highest richness. Ascomycota were the most abundant phylum (45%), followed by Basidiomycota (32%). Basal fungi and other phyla accounted for 23% of the total dataset. Agaricomycetes, Eurotiomycetes, Lecanoromycetes, Basidiobolus, Dothideomycetes, and Taphrinomycetes were the most abundant classes of fungi found across the gradient of Cerrado vegetation. In conclusion, our study suggests that the Brazilian Cerrado from Sete Cidades National Park presents a high fungal diversity and includes sources of new fungal species for biotechnological purposes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12275-017-6350-6DOI Listing
April 2017

European adults' physical activity socio-demographic correlates: a cross-sectional study from the European Social Survey.

PeerJ 2016 2;4:e2066. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Centro de Investigação em Saúde Pública, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Universidade Nova de Lisboa , Lisboa , Portugal.

Background. From a public health perspective, the study of socio-demographic factors related to physical activity is important in order to identify subgroups for intervention programs. Objective. This study aimed to identify the prevalence of, and the socio-demographic correlates related to, the achievement of recommended physical activity levels. Methods. Using data from the European Social Survey round 6, physical activity and socio-demographic characteristics were collected, in 2012, from 39,278 European adults (18,272 men, 21,006 women), aged 18-65 years, from 28 countries. The question of meeting physical activity guidelines was assessed using World Health Organization criteria. Results. A total of 64.50% (63.36% men, 66.49% women) attained physical activity recommended levels. The likelihood of attaining physical activity recommendations was higher in the 55-64 years age group (men: OR = 1.22, p < 0.05; women: OR = 1.66, p < 0.001), among those who had secondary education (men: OR = 1.28, p < 0.01; women: OR = 1.26, p < 0.05), among those who lived in rural areas (men: OR = 1.20, p < 0.001; women: OR = 1.10, p < 0.05), and among those who had three or more people living at home (men: OR = 1.40, p < 0.001; women: OR = 1.43, p < 0.001). On the other hand, attaining physical activity recommendations was negatively associated with being unemployed (men: OR = 0.70, p < 0.001; women: OR = 0.87, p < 0.05), being a student (OR = 0.56, p < 0.001; women: OR = 0.64, p < 0.01), being a retired person (men: OR = 0.86, p < 0.05) and with having a higher household income (OR = 0.80, p < 0.001; women: OR = 0.81, p < 0.01). Conclusions. This research helped clarify that, as the promotion of physical activity is critical to sustain health and prevent disease, socio-demographic factors are important to consider when planning the increase of physical activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2066DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893333PMC
June 2016

Are Chinese consumers at risk due to exposure to metals in crayfish? A bioaccessibility-adjusted probabilistic risk assessment.

Environ Int 2016 Mar 13;88:261-268. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

Nanjing University, School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China; Environmental and Life Sciences Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Freshwater crayfish, the world's third largest crustacean species, has been reported to accumulate high levels of metals, while the current knowledge of potential risk associated with crayfish consumption lags behind that of finfish. We provide the first estimate of human health risk associated with crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) consumption in China, the world's largest producer and consumer of crayfish. We performed Monte Carlo Simulation on a standard risk model parameterized with local data on metal concentrations, bioaccessibility (φ), crayfish consumption rate, and consumer body mass. Bioaccessibility of metals in crayfish was found to be variable (68-95%) and metal-specific, suggesting a potential influence of metal bioaccessibility on effective metal intake. However, sensitivity analysis suggested risk of metals via crayfish consumption was predominantly explained by consumption rate (explaining >92% of total risk estimate variability), rather than metals concentration, bioaccessibility, or body mass. Mean metal concentrations (As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, Se and Zn) in surveyed crayfish samples from 12 provinces in China conformed to national safety standards. However, risk calculation of φ-modified hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) suggested that crayfish metals may pose a health risk for very high rate consumers, with a HI of over 24 for the highest rate consumers. Additionally, the φ-modified increased lifetime risk (ILTR) for carcinogenic effects due to the presence of As was above the acceptable level (10(-5)) for both the median (ILTR=2.5×10(-5)) and 90th percentile (ILTR=1.8×10(-4)), highlighting the relatively high risk of As in crayfish. Our results suggest a need to consider crayfish when assessing human dietary exposure to metals and associated health risks, especially for high crayfish-consuming populations, such as in China, USA and Sweden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2015.12.035DOI Listing
March 2016

Boosting the sensitivity of Nd(3+)-based luminescent nanothermometers.

Nanoscale 2015 Nov;7(41):17261-7

Department of Physics and CICECO Aveiro Institute of Materials, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.

Luminescence thermal sensing and deep-tissue imaging using nanomaterials operating within the first biological window (ca. 700-980 nm) are of great interest, prompted by the ever-growing demands in the fields of nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Here, we show that (Gd1-xNdx)2O3 (x = 0.009, 0.024 and 0.049) nanorods exhibit one of the highest thermal sensitivity and temperature uncertainty reported so far (1.75 ± 0.04% K(-1) and 0.14 ± 0.05 K, respectively) for a nanothermometer operating in the first transparent near infrared window at temperatures in the physiological range. This sensitivity value is achieved using a common R928 photomultiplier tube that allows defining the thermometric parameter as the integrated intensity ratio between the (4)F5/2 → (4)I9/2 and (4)F3/2 → (4)I9/2 transitions (with an energy difference between the barycentres of the two transitions >1000 cm(-1)). Moreover, the measured sensitivity is one order of magnitude higher than the values reported so far for Nd(3+)-based nanothermometers enlarging, therefore, the potential of using Nd(3+) ions in luminescence thermal sensing and deep-tissue imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5nr05631dDOI Listing
November 2015

Toxicokinetics and tissue distribution of cadmium-based Quantum Dots in the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis.

Environ Pollut 2015 Sep 14;204:207-14. Epub 2015 May 14.

CIMA, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal. Electronic address:

Environmental health hazards of Quantum Dots (QDs) are of emergent concern, but limited data is available about their toxicokinetics (TK) and tissue distribution in marine bivalves. This study investigated the QDs behavior in seawater, their TK and tissue distribution in Mytilus galloprovincialis, in comparison with soluble Cd. Mussels were exposed to CdTe QDs and soluble Cd for 21 days at 10 μgCd L(-1) followed by a 50 days depuration. TK of QDs in mussels is related to the homo-aggregate uptake, surface charge, aggregation and precipitation as key factors. There were tissue- and time-dependent differences in the TK of both Cd forms, and soluble Cd is the most bioavailable form. Digestive gland is a preferential site for QDs storage and both Cd forms are not eliminated by mussels (t1/2>50 days). Results indicate that the TK model of CdTe QDs in marine mussels is distinct from their soluble counterparts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2015.05.008DOI Listing
September 2015

A conservative strategy in non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction - constraints and prognosis: The situation in Portugal.

Rev Port Cardiol 2015 May 29;34(5):315-28. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

Serviço de Cardiologia, Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu, Viseu, Portugal.

Introduction And Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of a conservative strategy in non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in patients in the Portuguese Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes.

Methods: The 3780 patients included in the study over a three-year period were divided into three groups: group 1, patients treated by a conservative strategy during hospitalization; group 2, patients who underwent coronary angiography without percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI); and group 3, patients who underwent PCI. Clinical and procedural data and in-hospital complications were compared. The primary endpoint was defined as in-hospital or one-year mortality and the secondary endpoint as the presence of at least one of the following in-hospital complications: major bleeding according to the GUSTO criteria, need for blood transfusion, invasive ventilation, heart failure or reinfarction.

Results: Of the patients analyzed, 16.5% were treated by a conservative strategy. Patients in this group were older, more often women, and had more high-risk factors. A conservative strategy was associated with a higher rate of the primary endpoint - in-hospital mortality (10.6% vs. 1.1% vs. 0.6% in groups 1, 2 and 3, respectively, p<0.001, odds ratio (OR) 6.974, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.775-17.527) and one-year mortality (26.1% vs. 6.8% vs. 4.1%, p<0.001, hazard ratio (HR) 2.925, 95% CI: 1.433 -5.974) - and of the secondary endpoint - 37.2% vs. 18.9% vs. 14.6%, p<0.001; OR 1.471 95% CI: 1.043 -2.076.

Conclusions: In this patient population, a conservative strategy is an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality, in-hospital complications and one-year mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2014.10.006DOI Listing
May 2015

Implications of literacy for health for body mass index.

Aten Primaria 2014 Nov;46 Suppl 5:180-6

Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Lisboa, Portugal.

Introduction: Literacy for health (LH) may be considered a set of skills that people appropriate, understand, evaluate and use information and knowledge of health to make informed choices, reduce risks to their health, maintain a healthy nutritional status and enhance quality of life.

Objectives: To assess the level of literacy for health; analyse the relationship of socio-demographic variables with LH; to classify the Body Mass Index (BMI) and to determine the effect of LH on BMI.

Design: a quantitative study with a descriptive and cross-sectional approach conducted in the centre and north of Portugal. Particnipants: a non-probabilistic sample of 508 Portuguese participants with a mean age 44.48 years (SD = 21 years).

Measuring Instruments: LH was assessed by the European Questionnaire on Literacy for Health (LHS-EU-PT) validated in Portuguese by Saboga-Nunes and Sorensen (2013) and BMI classification followed the WHO reference accepted by Portugal, DGS (2013).

Results: It was found that overall, 73.62% of the participants have an inappropriate and problematic level of literacy for health; this was significantly lower in women (P=.000). Participants with inadequate LH, are those with higher BMI (χ(2)=78.09; P=.000), so are at risk of a sub-optimal state of health.

Conclusions: The results suggest a significant relationship between the LH and BMI. It is found that, the better the LH, the more appropriate is the BMI. This evidence reinforces the importance of promoting literacy for health to the Portuguese population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0212-6567(14)70088-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8171473PMC
November 2014

[Twiddler syndrome: rare cause of definitive pacemaker dysfunction].

Acta Med Port 2014 Sep-Oct;27(5):652-4. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Serviço de Cardiologia. Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu. Viseu. Portugal.Twiddler Syndrome: Rare Cause of Definitive Pacemaker Dysfunction.

The authors present a case of Twiddler's syndrome, a rare complication after pacemaker implantation, first described in 1968. The article is complemented by an approach to the etiology and manifestations of this entity.
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December 2016

Soil microbial properties after 5 years of consecutive amendment with composted tannery sludge.

Environ Monit Assess 2015 Jan 18;187(1):4153. Epub 2014 Nov 18.

Soil Quality Lab., Agricultural Science Center, Federal University of Piauí, Teresina, PI, Brazil,

Composting has been recognised an alternative method to tannery sludge recycling and afterwards to be used in agriculture. As the tannery sludge contains salts and chromium, the application of composted tannery sludge (CTS) should be performed carefully to minimise negative effects on soil microbial properties. Therefore, this study evaluated the effects of 5-year repeated CTS amendment on soil microbial biomass (SMB) and enzyme activities in a tropical soil. CTS was applied during 5 years at 0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 Mg ha(-1), and at the fifth year, the microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN), basal and substrate-induced respiration (SIR), metabolic quotient (qCO₂) and dehydrogenase (DHA) and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis were determined in the soil samples. Soil MBC and MBN showed the highest values with the amendment of 5 Mg ha(-1) CTS. Soil respiration increased with the increase in CTS rates, while SIR showed the highest values with the amendment of 0, 2.5 and 5 Mg ha(-1) CTS. DHA activity showed the highest values with the amendment up to 2.5 Mg ha(-1), while FDA hydrolysis increased up to the rate of 5 Mg ha(-1) CTS. The results show that after 5 years of permanent amendment of CTS, soils amended with 2.5 Mg ha(-1) have SMB and enzymatic activities similar to those in unamended soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-4153-3DOI Listing
January 2015

Quantitative performance targets by using balanced scorecard system: application to waste management and public administration.

Waste Manag Res 2014 Sep 14;32(9):927-36. Epub 2014 Jul 14.

CENSE - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, Lisbon, Portugal Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal

This article demonstrates how decision-makers can be guided in the process of defining performance target values in the balanced scorecard system. We apply a method based on sensitivity analysis with Monte Carlo simulation to the municipal solid waste management system in Loulé Municipality (Portugal). The method includes two steps: sensitivity analysis of performance indicators to identify those performance indicators with the highest impact on the balanced scorecard model outcomes; and sensitivity analysis of the target values for the previously identified performance indicators. Sensitivity analysis shows that four strategic objectives (IPP1: Comply with the national waste strategy; IPP4: Reduce nonrenewable resources and greenhouse gases; IPP5: Optimize the life-cycle of waste; and FP1: Meet and optimize the budget) alone contribute 99.7% of the variability in overall balanced scorecard value. Thus, these strategic objectives had a much stronger impact on the estimated balanced scorecard outcome than did others, with the IPP1 and the IPP4 accounting for over 55% and 22% of the variance in overall balanced scorecard value, respectively. The remaining performance indicators contribute only marginally. In addition, a change in the value of a single indicator's target value made the overall balanced scorecard value change by as much as 18%. This may lead to involuntarily biased decisions by organizations regarding performance target-setting, if not prevented with the help of methods such as that proposed and applied in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0734242X14540977DOI Listing
September 2014

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy: contribution of different electrocardiographic techniques.

Rev Port Cardiol 2014 Apr 26;33(4):243.e1-7. Epub 2014 Apr 26.

Serviço de Cardiologia, Centro Hospitalar Tondela-Viseu, Viseu, Portugal.

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, also known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, is a condition in which myocardium is replaced by fibrous or fibrofatty tissue, predominantly in the right ventricle. It is clinically characterized by potentially lethal ventricular arrhythmias, and is a leading cause of sudden cardiac death. Its prevalence is not known exactly but is estimated at approximately 1:5000 in the adult population. Diagnosis can be on the basis of structural and functional alterations of the right ventricle, electrocardiographic abnormalities (including depolarization and repolarization alterations and ventricular arrhythmias) and family history. Diagnostic criteria facilitate the recognition and interpretation of non-specific clinical features of this disease. The authors present a case in which the diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy was prompted by the suspicion of right ventricular disease on transthoracic echocardiography. This was confirmed by detection of epsilon waves on analysis of the ECG, which generally go unnoticed but in this case were the key to the diagnosis. Their presence was also shown by non-conventional ECG techniques such as modified Fontaine ECG. The course of the disease culminated in the occurrence of ventricular tachycardia, which prompted placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2013.10.008DOI Listing
April 2014
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