Publications by authors named "Norma B Lerner"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Laboratory Biomarkers, Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity, and Intellectual Function in Children with Sickle Cell Disease.

Adv Hematol 2020 26;2020:8181425. Epub 2020 Feb 26.

Section of Hematology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Objective: The aim of this preliminary study was to describe putative markers of cerebral vasculopathy and investigate relationships among these markers, demographic factors, and cognitive function in a young sample of neurologically normal children with SCD. . Thirty-eight children with homozygous HbS, aged 4-11 years, were included. Estimated IQ and markers of coagulation and endothelial activation, hemolysis, and inflammation, as well as transcranial Doppler velocities, hydroxyurea use, and demographic information were obtained.

Results: Using multiple regression analyses, there were few significant independent associations between biomarkers or blood flow velocity and estimated IQ. Lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) independently predicted cognitive function, but blood flow velocity did not mediate this relationship. Maternal education, patient age, and hydroxyurea status were independent predictors of cognition. Given the small sample size, a LASSO statistical model was employed to further identify potential predictors of IQ, which identified LDH, absolute neutrophil count (ANC), platelet count, thrombin-antithrombin (TAT), tissue factor (TF), maternal education, age, and hydroxyurea as potential predictors of cognition.

Conclusions: In addition to effects of age and maternal education, some vasculopathic markers are associated with cognitive function in young children with SCD, and these relationships do not appear to be mediated through blood flow velocity. Although the lack of association among certain variables was not as predicted, results provide support for further research regarding the influence of vasculopathic markers on cognitive function in children with SCD without stroke, especially intravascular hemolysis and coagulation/endothelial activation, and a possible role for HU treatment in preventing or reversing cognitive decline.
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February 2020

Relationship of Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA with the inflammatory biomarker hs-CRP in children with sickle cell anemia.

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2019 07 10;146:11-18. Epub 2019 May 10.

Marian Anderson Sickle Cell Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Thomas Jefferson University Medical School, Philadelphia, PA, United States; Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE, United States.

Background: Inflammation and vaso-occlusion play key roles in Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) pathophysiology. Lipoxygenase products of the omega-3 fatty acids (O3FAs), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) acids, are potent anti-inflammatory mediators modulating pain. O3FAs decrease episodes of vaso-occlusion in SCD.

Methods: We assessed erythrocyte fatty acid composition in two major cell membrane phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, in children with SCD HbSS-disease (n = 38) and age/race-matched HbAA-controls (n = 18). Ratio of pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid (AA) to anti-inflammatory DHA and EPA (FA-Ratio), and its relationship to hs-CRP were evaluated.

Results: FA-Ratios were increased in both phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine in HbSS compared to controls. Correlations were noted in HbSS subjects between hs-CRP and FA-Ratios (p = 0.011). FA-Ratios increased with age (p = 0.0007) due to an increase in pro-inflammatory AA with a concomitant decrease in anti-inflammatory DHA.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate relative deficiencies in HbSS of the anti-inflammatory precursor fatty acids DHA and EPA, which correlates positively with hs-CRP.
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July 2019

Implementation Research to Address the United States Health Disadvantage: Report of a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Workshop.

Glob Heart 2018 06 30;13(2):65-72. Epub 2018 Apr 30.

Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Four decades ago, U.S. life expectancy was within the same range as other high-income peer countries. However, during the past decades, the United States has fared worse in many key health domains resulting in shorter life expectancy and poorer health-a health disadvantage. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute convened a panel of national and international health experts and stakeholders for a Think Tank meeting to explore the U.S. health disadvantage and to seek specific recommendations for implementation research opportunities for heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. Recommendations for National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute consideration were made in several areas including understanding the drivers of the disadvantage, identifying potential solutions, creating strategic partnerships with common goals, and finally enhancing and fostering a research workforce for implementation research. Key recommendations included exploring why the United States is doing better for health indicators in a few areas compared with peer countries; targeting populations across the entire socioeconomic spectrum with interventions at all levels in order to prevent missing a substantial proportion of the disadvantage; assuring partnership have high-level goals that can create systemic change through collective impact; and finally, increasing opportunities for implementation research training to meet the current needs. Connecting with the research community at large and building on ongoing research efforts will be an important strategy. Broad partnerships and collaboration across the social, political, economic, and private sectors and all civil society will be critical-not only for implementation research but also for implementing the findings to have the desired population impact. Developing the relevant knowledge to tackle the U.S. health disadvantage is the necessary first step to improve U.S. health outcomes.
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June 2018

Washing red blood cells and platelets transfused in cardiac surgery reduces postoperative inflammation and number of transfusions: results of a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Pediatr Crit Care Med 2012 May;13(3):290-9

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.

Objectives: Children undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass are susceptible to additional inflammatory and immunogenic insults from blood transfusions. We hypothesize that washing red blood cells and platelets transfused to these patients will reduce postoperative transfusion-related immune modulation and inflammation.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial.

Setting: University hospital pediatric cardiac intensive care unit.

Patients: Children from birth to 17 yrs undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.

Interventions: Children were randomized to an unwashed or washed red blood cells and platelet transfusion protocol for their surgery and postoperative care. All blood was leuko-reduced, irradiated, and ABO identical. Plasma was obtained for laboratory analysis preoperatively, immediately, and 6 and 12 hrs after cardiopulmonary bypass. Primary outcome was the 12-hr postcardiopulmonary bypass interleukin-6-to-interleukin-10 ratio. Secondary measures were interleukin levels, C-reactive protein, and clinical outcomes.

Measurements And Main Results: One hundred sixty-two subjects were studied, 81 per group. Thirty-four subjects (17 per group) did not receive any blood transfusions. Storage duration of blood products was similar between groups. Among transfused subjects, the 12-hr interleukin ratio was significantly lower in the washed group (3.8 vs. 4.8; p = .04) secondary to lower interleukin-6 levels (after cardiopulmonary bypass: 65 vs.100 pg/mL, p = .06; 6 hrs: 89 vs.152 pg/mL, p = .02; 12 hrs: 84 vs.122 pg/mL, p = .09). Postoperative C-reactive protein was lower in subjects receiving washed blood (38 vs. 43 mg/L; p = .03). There was a numerical, but not statistically significant, decrease in total blood product transfusions (203 vs. 260) and mortality (2 vs. 6 deaths) in the washed group compared to the unwashed group.

Conclusions: Washed blood transfusions in cardiac surgery reduced inflammatory biomarkers, number of transfusions, donor exposures, and were associated with a nonsignificant trend toward reduced mortality. A larger study powered to test for clinical outcomes is needed to determine whether these laboratory findings are clinically significant.
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May 2012

Prevalence of a loss-of-function mutation in the proton-coupled folate transporter gene (PCFT-SLC46A1) causing hereditary folate malabsorption in Puerto Rico.

J Pediatr 2011 Oct 13;159(4):623-7.e1. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.

Objective: To determine whether subjects of Puerto Rican heritage are at increased risk for a specific mutation of the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT) causing hereditary folate malabsorption (HFM).

Study Design: Three percent of the births in Puerto Rico in 2005, with additional regional oversampling, were screened for the prevalence of the c.1082G>A; p.Y362_G389 del PCFT gene mutation. Six new subjects of Puerto Rican heritage with the clinical diagnosis of HFM were also assessed for this mutation.

Results: Six subjects of Puerto Rican heritage with the clinical diagnosis of HFM were all homozygous for the c.1082G>A; p.Y362_G389 del PCFT mutation. Three heterozygote carriers were identified from the 1582 newborn samples randomly selected from births in Puerto Rico in 2005. The carrier frequency for the mutated allele was 0.2% island-wide and 6.3% in Villalba.

Conclusion: These findings are consistent with a common mutation in the PCFT gene causing HFM that has disseminated to Puerto Ricans who have migrated to mainland United States. Because prompt diagnosis and treatment of infants with HFM can prevent the consequences of this disorder, newborn screening should be considered in high-risk populations and physicians should be aware of its prevalence in infants of Puerto Rican ancestry.
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October 2011

Aspirin resistance following pediatric cardiac surgery.

Thromb Res 2010 Sep 13;126(3):200-6. Epub 2010 Jun 13.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center 601 Elmwood Avenue Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

Introduction: Aspirin is often used to prevent thrombosis in pediatric cardiac surgery. The primary study aim was to assess aspirin resistance in this context. Secondary aims were to evaluate (1) the relationship between elevated inflammatory markers and thrombosis and (2) aspirin's effect on these levels.

Materials And Methods: This was a prospective observational study of children undergoing cardiac surgery managed with and without aspirin. Aspirin response was assessed using the VerifyNow system and urinary 11-dehydrothromboxane B2 (uTxB2) measurements. Laboratory studies of inflammation were also obtained.

Results: 101 subjects were studied; 50 received aspirin. Six subjects (5.9%), 5 aspirin-treated, experienced symptomatic thrombosis. When measured by VerifyNow resistance was 43% after aspirin suppositories and 14% after additional days of oral aspirin. There was no correlation with thrombosis. Upper quartile post-operative day (POD) #5 uTxB2 was correlated with thrombosis in aspirin treated subjects (p<0.01). High risk aspirin-treated subjects who experienced thrombosis had higher POD#5 uTxB2. This finding did not reach statistical significance (p=0.07). Elevated pre-operative C-reactive protein (CRP) was independently associated with thrombosis (p<0.02) in all subjects and in high risk subjects (p=0.01). Inflammatory markers were not affected by aspirin.

Conclusions: Aspirin inhibited ex-vivo platelet function with a low incidence of resistance. Elevated POD#5 uTxB2 and pre-operative CRP were correlated with thrombosis in aspirin treated subjects. Further studies are needed to determine whether children with high levels of uTxB2 despite aspirin therapy and/or those with elevated preoperative CRP are at increased risk for thrombosis.
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September 2010

Children with single-ventricle physiology do not benefit from higher hemoglobin levels post cavopulmonary connection: results of a prospective, randomized, controlled trial of a restrictive versus liberal red-cell transfusion strategy.

Pediatr Crit Care Med 2011 Jan;12(1):39-45

Department of Pediatrics, Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.

Objective: To examine the impact of a restrictive vs. liberal transfusion strategy on arterial lactate and oxygen content differences in children with single-ventricle physiology post cavopulmonary connection. Children with single-ventricle physiology are routinely transfused postoperatively to increase systemic oxygen delivery, and transfusion thresholds in this population have not been studied.

Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled, clinical trial.

Setting: Pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in a teaching hospital.

Patients: Infants and children (n = 60) with variations of single-ventricle physiology presenting for cavopulmonary connection.

Interventions: Subjects were randomized to a restrictive (hemoglobin of < 9.0 g/dL), or liberal (hemoglobin of ≥ 13.0 g/dL) transfusion strategy for 48 hrs post operation. Primary outcome measures were mean and peak arterial lactate. Secondary end points were arteriovenous (C(a-v)o2) and arteriocerebral oxygen content (C(a-c)o2) differences and clinical outcomes.

Measurements And Main Results: A total of 30 children were in each group. There were no significant preoperative differences. Mean hemoglobin in the restrictive and liberal groups were 11 ± 1.3 g/dL and 13.9 ± 0.5 g/dL, respectively (p < .01). No differences in mean (1.4 ± 0.5 mmol/L [Restrictive] vs. 1.4 ± 0.4 mmol/L [Liberal]) or peak (3.1 ± 1.5 mmol/L [Restrictive] vs. 3.2 ± 1.3 mmol/L [Liberal]) lactate between groups were found. Mean number of red blood cell transfusions were 0.43 ± 0.6 and 2.1 ± 1.2 (p < .01), and donor exposure was 1.2 ± 0.7 and 2.4 ± 1.1 to (p < .01), for each group, respectively. No differences were found in C(a-v)o2, C(a-c)o2, or clinical outcome measures.

Conclusion: Children with single-ventricle physiology do not benefit from a liberal transfusion strategy after cavopulmonary connection. A restrictive red blood cell transfusion strategy decreases the number of transfusions, donor exposures, and potential risks in these children. Larger studies with clinical outcome measures are needed to determine the transfusion threshold for children post cardiac repair or palliation for congenital heart disease.
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January 2011

Predictors of cerebral arteriopathy in children with arterial ischemic stroke: results of the International Pediatric Stroke Study.

Circulation 2009 Mar 2;119(10):1417-23. Epub 2009 Mar 2.

Department of Neurology, Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA.

Background: Cerebral arteriopathies, including an idiopathic focal cerebral arteriopathy of childhood (FCA), are common in children with arterial ischemic stroke and strongly predictive of recurrence. To better understand these lesions, we measured predictors of arteriopathy within a large international series of children with arterial ischemic stroke.

Methods And Results: Between January 2003 and July 2007, 30 centers within the International Pediatric Stroke Study enrolled 667 children (age, 29 days to 19 years) with arterial ischemic stroke and abstracted clinical and radiographic data. Cerebral arteriopathy and its subtypes were defined using published definitions; FCA was defined as cerebral arterial stenosis not attributed to specific diagnoses such as moyamoya, arterial dissection, vasculitis, or postvaricella angiopathy. We used multivariate logistic regression techniques to determine predictors of arteriopathy and FCA among those subjects who received vascular imaging. Of 667 subjects, 525 had known vascular imaging results, and 53% of those (n=277) had an arteriopathy. The most common arteriopathies were FCA (n=69, 25%), moyamoya (n=61, 22%), and arterial dissection (n=56, 20%). Predictors of arteriopathy include early school age (5 to 9 years), recent upper respiratory infections, and sickle cell disease, whereas prior cardiac disease and sepsis reduced the risk of arteriopathy. The only predictor of FCA was recent upper respiratory infection.

Conclusions: Arteriopathy is prevalent among children with arterial ischemic stroke, particularly those presenting in early school age, and those with a history of sickle cell disease. Recent upper respiratory infection predicted cerebral arteriopathy and FCA in particular, suggesting a possible role for infection in the pathogenesis of these lesions.
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March 2009

Newborn sickle cell screening in a region of Western New York State.

J Pediatr 2009 Jan 19;154(1):121-5. Epub 2008 Sep 19.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.

Objectives: To assess local trends in the incidence of sickle cell disease (SCD) and hemoglobin (Hb) S trait. Hemoglobinopathy clinic follow-up and cohort mortality rates were also evaluated.

Study Design: A longstanding newborn hemoglobinopathy screening program was reviewed. Incidence rates were computed with information from a confidential database, specialty clinic/hospital data, and local birth statistics.

Results: Over 27 years, the incidence of Hb SS in live black births was 0.163% or 1 in 615. Over 18 years, the incidence of Hb AS was 8.5% or 1 in 11.8. No significant differences in the incidence of Hb SS, Hb AS, and the S allele were found over time. Specialty clinic follow-up improved. Death before age 18 years was documented for 6 SCD cases (2.8%; mortality rate of 0.23 per 100 patient years).

Conclusions: Local screening activities may have had an impact on participation in specialized SCD care and the disease-associated mortality rate. The incidence of Hb SS has remained unchanged over 27 years, and that of Hb S trait and the S allele has been unaffected in the last 18 years. Trait notification goals and approaches should be reevaluated.
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January 2009

Developmental changes in soluble CD40 ligand.

J Pediatr 2008 Jan 24;152(1):50-4, 54.e1. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

Objectives: To determine if soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L; formally CD154) levels vary with age and to identify age-dependent ranges in healthy pediatric and adult populations.

Study Design: sCD40L was measured in 25 neonates, 74 children (3 months-15 years of age) and 20 adults using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For age group comparisons, Mann-Whitney tests were performed. Correlation coefficients assessed relationships between plasma and serum sCD40L.

Results: Plasma sCD40L levels were higher in neonates than in all other age groups, (P <.001). All grouped pediatric plasma levels were significantly higher than in adults (P < .0001). There were no significant differences in plasma sCD40L between pediatric age groups. Serum levels were significantly higher in neonates than in any other age group (P < .0001). Pediatric and adult serum sCD40L levels were not significantly different.

Conclusions: Plasma sCD40L levels are highest at birth and remain higher than those in adults throughout childhood. Reasons for such developmental changes remain to be investigated. Age-appropriate reference ranges should be used when sCD40L is being evaluated in pediatric disorders.
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January 2008

Elevated risk of thrombosis in neonates undergoing initial palliative cardiac surgery.

Ann Thorac Surg 2007 Oct;84(4):1320-5

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA.

Background: Thrombotic events cause significant morbidity and mortality in children who undergo surgery for complex congenital cardiac disease. We prospectively evaluated the incidence of thrombosis and examined preoperative and postoperative laboratory tests of coagulation and inflammation in neonates experiencing initial surgical palliation for variations of single ventricle physiology.

Methods: Neonates (<30 days) requiring initial surgical palliation were studied. All subjects received aspirin from postoperative day 1 onward. Thromboses were diagnosed by serial transthoracic echocardiograms, vascular imaging, and interstage cardiac catheterizations according to predefined criteria.

Results: Twenty-two neonates, age 1 to 11 days (mean 4 +/- 2.5) were studied. Follow-up ranged from three hours to 18 months (median, 212 days). Eight infants died. Four of the 14 subjects who survived (28%), and one of the eight who died (12.5%), had evidence of thrombosis identified over a range of four hours to nine months postoperatively (median 14 days). When compared with reference values established in healthy children, preoperative subject hematocrit (Hct), platelet count, factors II, V, VII, VIII, and X, antithrombin, protein C, and soluble CD40 ligand measures were significantly lower, and the prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time were significantly higher. Postoperative C reactive protein (CRP) was significantly higher, and Hct and platelet count significantly lower, than preoperative values. Thrombotic events were significantly related to high preoperative CRP (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Thrombotic complications occur frequently in neonates undergoing initial palliative surgery, suggesting that aspirin therapy alone may constitute inadequate protection. Elevated preoperative CRP appears to be associated with increased thrombotic risk.
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October 2007

Trials in sickle cell disease.

Pediatr Neurol 2006 Jun;34(6):450-8

Institute of Child Health (University of London), London, England.

Children with sickle cell disease are at risk of developing neurologic complications, including stroke, transient ischemic attack, seizures, coma, and a progressive reduction in cognitive function. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and overnight pulse oximetry appear to predict, making prevention an achievable goal so that there is now a focus on randomized controlled trials. The Stroke Prevention Trial in Sickle Cell Anemia (STOP) reported a reduction in the number of overt clinical strokes experienced by those children with critically high transcranial Doppler velocities (>200 centimeters per second) who were chronically transfused. Two additional Phase III studies and two pilot trials have been funded. STOP II focused on whether it is safe to discontinue blood in prophylactically transfused children when their velocities had remained normal for at least 30 months. The Silent Infarct Transfusion trial is designed to determine whether children with sickle cell anemia and silent cerebral infarcts, approximately 20% of the population, will have a decrease in the progressive neurologic complications after receiving regular blood transfusion therapy. Pilot safety and feasibility trials of low-dose aspirin and overnight respiratory support are also beginning. The collaboration provides an infrastructure for future clinical trials in this vulnerable group of children.
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June 2006

The kallikrein-kinin system in sickle cell nephropathy: does it play a role?

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2006 Mar;28(3):111-4

Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

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March 2006

Characterization of hemoglobin bassett (alpha94Asp-->Ala), a variant with very low oxygen affinity.

Am J Hematol 2004 Nov;77(3):268-76

Division of Hematology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Hemoglobin (Hb) Bassett, an abnormal Hb variant with a markedly reduced oxygen affinity, was discovered in a Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) male child who experienced episodes of cyanosis. Cation-exchange and reversed-phase (RP) high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed that the patient has an abnormal Hb, with a mutation in the alpha-globin. Tryptic peptide digest of the abnormal alpha-globin with subsequent HPLC analysis revealed abnormal elution of the alpha-T11 peptide. Further studies with Edman sequencing and electrospray mass spectrometry of tryptic peptide alpha-T11, as well as structural analysis by X-ray crystallography revealed an Asp-->Ala substitution at the alpha94 (G1) position, a match for Hb Bassett. Detailed functional studies showed that this Hb variant had a markedly reduced oxygen affinity (P(50) at pH 7.0 = 22 mmHg; Hb A P(50) = 10.5 mmHg), reduced Bohr effect (-0.26 compared to - 0.54 in Hb A), and low subunit cooperativity (n = 1.4, compared to 2.6 in Hb A). X-ray crystallography results explain the probable effects of the structural modification on the oxygen-binding properties of this Hb variant.
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November 2004