Publications by authors named "Saima Batool"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Application of structural equation modelling to develop a conceptual model for smallholder's credit access: The mediation of agility and innovativeness in organic food value chain finance.

PLoS One 2020 4;15(8):e0235921. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Resources and Development of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Heilongjiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China.

Developing a conceptual model is vital for small-scale organic farmer's credit access to sustain the livelihoods. However, smallholders continually face severe problems in getting finance that lead to reduce investment and in turn, challenges the livelihoods. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to establish and empirically test a theoretical model to explore how agility and innovativeness in organic food value chain finance are achieved through ITI, TRST, CG, ICT, and IS, and how these, in turn, can accelerate financial flow in the value chain and enhance competitiveness. The present study used a survey method and collected data from small-scale farmers, traders, and financial institutions. The model and hypothesis are tested using data obtained from 331 respondents through partial least square structure equation modeling techniques. We argue that development of theoretical model show potential to increase creditworthiness of smallholders and overcome uncertainties that impede traditional value chain credit arrangement. Thus, the present study could provide new ways to integrate the value chain partners, through information and communication technology and governance arrangements in the organic food value chain financing. This study demonstrates that the mediations of innovativeness and agility significantly affect the development of new financial products to make agile the financial flow, which in turn positively influences value chain competitiveness. Significant judgments are required for trustworthy relations among the value chain partners to positively harness innovative product development for swifter value chain finance. Therefore, this theoretical model should not be regarded as a quick solution, but a process of testing, error, and learning by doing so.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235921PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402512PMC
September 2020

Design and characterization of a biomass template/SnO nanocomposite for enhanced adsorption of 2,4-dichlorophenol.

Environ Res 2020 02 23;181:108955. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

MOE Key Laboratory of Materials Physics and Chemistry in Extraordinary Conditions, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science and Technology School of Natural & Applied Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, 710072, PR China. Electronic address:

2,4-Dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) is a hazardous chlorinated organic chemical derived from phenol that exerts serious effects on living organisms. In the present study, SnO templated with grapefruit peel carbon as a nanocomposite (SnO@GPC) was designed via ball-milling, and its mechanism of 2,4-DCP adsorption in aqueous solution was determined. Batch adsorption experiments revealed that the maximum adsorption efficiency of SnO@GPC occurred at 6.0 pH, 3 mg L initial adsorbate concentration, 2 h contact time, and 293 K temperature. The SnO@GPC nanocomposite and its non-tin-bearing counterpart, grapefruit derived char (@GPC), showed maximum adsorption capacities (Q) of 45.95 and 22.09 mg g and partition coefficients of 41.77 and 10.83 mg g μM, respectively. The adsorption of 2,4-DCP was best described by the Redlich-Peterson model followed by the Langmuir model with high correlation coefficients (R ≥ 0.96), and the adsorption kinetic data best fitted the pseudo-second-order model (R ≥ 0.98). The thermodynamic parameters indicated that the reaction was spontaneous, exothermic, and involved high affinity between SnO@GPC and 2,4-DCP. The high desorption efficiency obtained (>80%) demonstrated the recyclability of the adsorbent. The enhanced Q of SnO@GPC was due to the effective combination of GPC and SnO. A thin porous layer of GPC on SnO nanoparticles provided effective channels, a large surface area, and an abundance of active sites for 2,4-DCP adsorption. Thus, the SnO@GPC nanocomposite could potentially be used as a low-cost adsorbent to remove 2,4-DCP from water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.108955DOI Listing
February 2020

Implication of highly metal-resistant microalgal-bacterial co-cultures for the treatment of simulated metal-loaded wastewaters.

Int Microbiol 2019 Mar 23;22(1):41-48. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

Department of Zoology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

Microalgal-bacterial co-cultures were employed for the treatment of artificially prepared metal-rich wastewaters in this study. For the purpose, highly metal-resistant microalgal and bacterial species were isolated from a leading wastewater channel flowing through Lahore, Pakistan, and characterized at the molecular level. The microbial identities were proved after BLAST analysis. The microalgal (Chlorella vulgaris-BH1) and bacterial (Exiguobacterium profundum-BH2) species were then co-cultured in five different proportions. Five different proportions of potentially mutualistic microbial co-cultures (comprising of microalgal to bacterial cells in ratios of 1:3, 2:3, 3:3, 3:1, and 3:2) prepared thus were employed to remediate artificially prepared metal-loaded wastewaters. Three randomly selected toxic metals (Cu, Cr, and Ni) were used in this study to prepare metal-rich wastewaters. The microalgal-bacterial co-cultures were then exposed independently to the wastewaters containing 100 ppm of each of the above mentioned metals. The inoculated wastewaters were incubated maximally for a period of 15 days. The metal uptake was noted periodically after every 5 days. The results of the present study depicted that maximally about 78.7, 56.4, and 80% of Cu, Cr, and Ni were removed, respectively after an incubation period of 15 days. The microbial co-culture consisting of microalgal to bacterial cells in a ratio of 3:1 showed the highest remedial potential. The findings of the present study will be helpful in developing effective microalgal-bacterial consortia for economical, efficient, and environment-friendly rehabilitation of the polluted sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10123-018-0025-yDOI Listing
March 2019

Roles of medical education department: What are expectations of the faculty?

Pak J Med Sci 2018 Jul-Aug;34(4):864-868

Prof. Dr. Rehan Ahmed Khan, FCPS, FRCS, MHPE, Ph.D. (Scholar). Professor of Surgery, Assistant Director Medical Education Department, Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Background & Objective: Pakistan like many Asian countries is investing in medical education to address increased societal needs and to meet the requirement of national and international accrediting bodies. Establishing medical education departments is part of this investment. The research question was "What are the expectations of faculty from medical education department?" The objective of this study was to explore the Faculty's perception about the roles of medical education department and their suggestions for its future endeavors.

Methods: A qualitative case study design was chosen for this study. Heterogeneous group of faculty members from basic and clinical sciences departments of University College of Medicine, Lahore were invited for this study. They represented a variety of disciplines, and seniority levels. They were queried about their perception of the roles of medical education department and were encouraged to give suggestions for better functioning of department. Data was collected by audio recording through focus group interviews. Data analysis was done using NVIVO 11 software.

Results: Initially 55 nodes/codes emerged which were then condensed to 35 nodes. Out of these three main themes emerged. The three emergent themes were: Knowledge about the roles of medical education department.Interactions with the medical education department.Future Prospects of the medical education department. Roles of medical education department identified by the faculty were mainly related to faculty development, curriculum planning and implementation, student support, policy making for student induction, improving teaching strategies, student assessment, quality assurance and accreditation of the medical college. Faculty development not only encompassed faculty training but also provision of opportunities for research and curriculum development. Student support was found to be a neglected role and faculty members suggested it to be an important area to be looked upon by medical education departments.

Conclusion: Institutions must ensure consultation with faculty members and should take proactive measures to sustain change, including giving ownership and team building among the faculty members.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12669/pjms.344.14609DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115568PMC
September 2018

Environmental risk assessment of chronic arsenic in drinking water and prevalence of type-2 diabetes mellitus in Pakistan.

Environ Technol 2020 Jan 13;41(2):232-237. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

MOE Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science and Technology, School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, People's Republic of China.

Chronic arsenic (As) unprotection in drinking water can lead to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM). The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between chronic As in drinking water and the prevalence of T2DM. A study was conducted in targeted urban areas of Peshawar city of KPK, Pakistan, where drinking water is heavily contaminated with chronic arsenic. Participants protected to arsenic were selected from Kohat city of KPK, Pakistan (where people consumed water that is free from As contamination) and treated as the control group. People with arsenic-related skin lesions were defined as participants unprotected to arsenic. T2DM was diagnosed using a glucometer following the fasting blood glucose ≥6.0 mmol L from the WHO guideline. The common odds ratio for T2DM among participants unprotected to arsenic was <4. The Mantel-Haenszel weighted prevalence ratio with 95% of confidence interval for confounding factors were (age <4 m femininity <4 and body mass index >4). The results revealed that designated association were important. The findings suggested that unprotected chronic arsenic in drinking water may be a risk factor of T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2018.1494754DOI Listing
January 2020

Animal manure-derived biochars produced via fast pyrolysis for the removal of divalent copper from aqueous media.

J Environ Manage 2018 May 23;213:109-118. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

MOE Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics & Chemistry, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science &Technology, School of Natural & Applied Sciences, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an, 710072, PR China.

Here, we report a pyrolyzed guinea fowl manure-derived biochar (GFM-BC) and cattle manure-derived biochar (CTM-BC) and their use as adsorbent for the removal of divalent copper from aqueous media was evaluated. The BCs physical and chemical properties were characterized by Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Elemental dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX), Fourier transform infrared microscopy (FTIR) and thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA). The results presented that the BCs obtained higher content were quite effective for Cu (II) removal with maximum capacities of 43.60 and 44.50 mg g for GFM-BC and CTM-BC, respectively. From simulation of experimental data with different adsorption isotherms and kinetics models it was found that the adsorption of both BCs was adequately fitted by Freundlich adsorption model and pseudo-second order kinetic model, respectively. Thermodynamic parameters suggested that the adsorption of Cu (II) onto both BCs was feasible, spontaneous and exothermic under evaluated parameters. Thus, the biomass used in this study proved to be effective adsorbents for the removal of Cu (II) from aqueous media.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.02.003DOI Listing
May 2018

Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using Sida acuta extract for antimicrobial actions and corrosion inhibition potential.

Environ Technol 2019 Mar 12;40(8):1071-1078. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

e Department of Zoology , University of Sargodha , Sargodha , Pakistan.

Nanotechnology exhibits a multidisciplinary area and gained interests for researchers. Nanoparticles produced via physical and chemical methods affects ecosystem drastically. Green synthesis is the charming technique that is inexpensive and safe for the environment. This study aimed to explore the antibacterial actions of as-synthesized silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs) against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus faecalis. Also, the anti-corrosion actions confirmed that the Ag-NPs proved as good inhibitors. In this way, Ag-NPs were prepared via biosynthesis technique by consuming the ground leaves and stem of 'Sida acuta' as a capping agent. The Ag-NPs were formed by irradiation of the aqueous solution of silver nitrate (AgNO) with extract of S. acuta stem and leaves. The as-synthesized reaction mixture of Ag-NPs was found to exhibit an absorbance band at 446-447 nm, by an UV/VIS spectrophotometer, which is a characteristic of Ag-NPs due to the surface plasmon resonance absorption band. The X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used for the confirmation of Ag-NPs' variety dimension, morphology and dispersion. The infrared spectra confirmed the bio-fabrication of the Ag-NPs displayed the existence of conceivable functional groups responsible for the bio-reduction and capping. The antimicrobial actions were measured and the zone of inhibition was compared with standard antibiotics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2018.1435738DOI Listing
March 2019

Impaired memory is more closely associated with brain beta-amyloid than leukoaraiosis in hypertensive patients with cognitive symptoms.

PLoS One 2018 30;13(1):e0191345. Epub 2018 Jan 30.

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Background: Hypertension is the strongest modifiable risk factor for subcortical ischemic changes and is also a risk factor for Alzheimer's dementia. We used neuroimaging to investigate the pathological basis of early cognitive symptoms in patients with hypertension.

Methods: In this cross-sectional cohort study 67 patients age >60 years with hypertension and Clinical Dementia Rating scale score of 0.5 without dementia, and without history of symptomatic stroke, underwent MRI for measurement of subcortical vascular changes and positron emission tomography (PET) scan with Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB-PET) to detect beta-amyloid deposition. These imaging measures were related to neuropsychological tests of memory, executive function and processing speed.

Results: Mean age was 75.0 (standard deviation, SD, 7.3). Mean neuropsychological Z scores were: episodic memory -0.63 (SD 1.23), executive function -0.40 (SD 1.10), processing speed -0.24 (SD 0.88); 22 of the 67 subjects met criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and the remaining 45 subjects had subjective cognitive concerns only. In multivariable models adjusting for age and years of education, each 0.1 unit increase in mean cortical PiB-PET binding was associated with 0.14 lower mean Z score for episodic memory (95% CI -0.28 to -0.01). This means that for every 0.1 unit increase in mean cortical PiB-PET, episodic memory was 0.14 standard deviations lower. White matter hyperintensity volume, silent brain infarcts and microbleeds were not associated with neuropsychological test scores.

Conclusions: Episodic memory was prominently affected in hypertensive participants with MCI or subjective cognitive concerns, and was associated with PiB-PET binding. This suggests a prominent role for Alzheimer pathology in cognitive impairment even in hypertensive participants at elevated risk for vascular cognitive impairment.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191345PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790236PMC
February 2018

Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Is Associated With Executive Dysfunction and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Stroke 2016 08 23;47(8):2010-6. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

From the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Canada (N.F.C.); Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary (A.C., A.Z., C.R.M., C.Z., R.F., B.G., A.H., E.E.S.), Department of Radiology (S.B., C.R.M., R.F., B.G.), Department of Medicine (D.B.H.), Hotchkiss Brain Institute (C.R.M., D.B.H., Z.I., S.B.C., R.F., B.G., E.E.S.), Department of Psychiatry (Z.I., S.B.C., E.E.S.), and Department of Community Health Sciences (S.B.C., E.E.S.), University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Seaman Family MR Research Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Health Services, Alberta, Canada (C.R.M., R.F., B.G.).

Background And Purpose: Autopsy studies suggest that cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is associated with cognitive impairment and risk for dementia. We analyzed neuropsychological test data from a prospective cohort study of patients with CAA to identify the prevalence of cognitive impairment and its associations with brain magnetic resonance imaging features and the apolipoprotein E genotype.

Methods: Data were analyzed from 34 CAA, 16 Alzheimer's disease, 69 mild cognitive impairment, and 27 ischemic stroke participants. Neuropsychological test results were expressed as z scores in relation to normative data provided by the test manuals and then grouped into domains of memory, executive function, and processing speed.

Results: Mean test scores in CAA participants were significantly lower than norms for memory (-0.44±1.03; P=0.02), executive function (-1.14±1.07; P<0.001), and processing speed (-1.06±1.12; P<0.001). Twenty-seven CAA participants (79%) had mild cognitive impairment based on low cognitive performance accompanied by cognitive concerns. CAA participants had similarly low executive function scores as Alzheimer's disease, but relatively preserved memory. CAA participants' scores were lower than those of ischemic stroke controls for executive function and processing speed. Lower processing speed scores in CAA were associated with higher magnetic resonance imaging white matter hyperintensity volume. There were no associations with the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele.

Conclusions: Mild cognitive impairment is very prevalent in CAA. The overall cognitive profile of CAA is more similar to that seen in vascular cognitive impairment rather than Alzheimer's disease. White matter ischemic lesions may underlie some of the impaired processing speed in CAA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.012999DOI Listing
August 2016

Longitudinal decrease in blood oxygenation level dependent response in cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

Neuroimage Clin 2016 3;11:461-467. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Calgary, Canada; Seaman Family MR Research Centre, Foothills Medical Centre, Alberta Health Services, Canada. Electronic address:

Lower blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes in response to a visual stimulus in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have been observed in cross-sectional studies of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), and are presumed to reflect impaired vascular reactivity. We used fMRI to detect a longitudinal change in BOLD responses to a visual stimulus in CAA, and to determine any correlations between these changes and other established biomarkers of CAA progression. Data were acquired from 22 patients diagnosed with probable CAA (using the Boston Criteria) and 16 healthy controls at baseline and one year. BOLD data were generated from the 200 most active voxels of the primary visual cortex during the fMRI visual stimulus (passively viewing an alternating checkerboard pattern). In general, BOLD amplitudes were lower at one year compared to baseline in patients with CAA (p = 0.01) but were unchanged in controls (p = 0.18). The longitudinal difference in BOLD amplitudes was significantly lower in CAA compared to controls (p < 0.001). White matter hyperintensity (WMH) volumes and number of cerebral microbleeds, both presumed to reflect CAA-mediated vascular injury, increased over time in CAA (p = 0.007 and p = 0.001, respectively). Longitudinal increases in WMH (rs = 0.04, p = 0.86) or cerebral microbleeds (rs = -0.18, p = 0.45) were not associated with the longitudinal decrease in BOLD amplitudes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2016.02.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827726PMC
December 2016

Early cerebral small vessel disease and brain volume, cognition, and gait.

Ann Neurol 2015 Feb;77(2):251-61

Hotchkiss Brain Institute; Department of Clinical Neurosciences; Department of Radiology; Seaman Family Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.

Objective: Decline in cognitive function begins by the 40s, and may be related to future dementia risk. We used data from a community-representative study to determine whether there are age-related differences in simple cognitive and gait tests by the 40s, and whether these differences were associated with covert cerebrovascular disease on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Methods: Between 2010 and 2012, 803 participants aged 40 to 75 years in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, recruited from prespecified postal code regions centered on 4 Canadian cities, underwent brain MRI and simple tests of cognition and gait as part of a substudy (PURE-MIND).

Results: Mean age was 58 ± 8 years. Linear decreases in performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and Timed Up and Go test of gait were seen with each age decade from the 40s to the 70s. Silent brain infarcts were observed in 3% of 40- to 49-year-olds, with increasing prevalence up to 18.9% in 70-year-olds. Silent brain infarcts were associated with slower timed gait and lower volume of supratentorial white matter. Higher volume of supratentorial MRI white matter hyperintensity was associated with slower timed gait and worse performance on DSST, and lower volumes of the supratentorial cortex and white matter, and cerebellum.

Interpretation: Covert cerebrovascular disease and its consequences on cognitive and gait performance and brain atrophy are manifest in some clinically asymptomatic persons as early as the 5th decade of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.24320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338762PMC
February 2015

Incidental magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging-positive lesions are rare in neurologically asymptomatic community-dwelling adults.

Stroke 2014 Jul 12;45(7):2115-7. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

From the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (S.B., R.F., E.E.S.); Department of Medicine, Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (M.O., M.S., S.I., K.T., J.D., S.R., S.Y.); Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Laval University, Quebec, Canada (G.R.D., P.P.); Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada (S.A.L.); Division of Cardiology, Providence Health Care, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (S.A.L.); The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (A.W., G.S.); Department of Radiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (C.R.M., R.F., E.E.S.); Seaman Family MR Research Centre, Alberta Health Services, Alberta, Canada (C.R.M., R.F., E.E.S.); and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (R.F., E.E.S.).

Background And Purpose: Incidental magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)-positive lesions, considered to represent small acute infarcts, have been detected in patients with cerebral small vessel diseases or cognitive impairment, but the prevalence in the community population is unknown.

Methods: DWI sequences collected in 793 participants in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study were reviewed for DWI lesions consistent with small acute infarcts.

Results: No DWI-positive lesions were detected (0%, 95% confidence interval, 0-0.5).

Conclusions: DWI-positive lesions are rare in an asymptomatic community population. The prevalence of DWI-positive lesions in the community seems to be lower than in patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy, intracerebral hemorrhage, or cognitive impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.005782DOI Listing
July 2014

Susceptibility-weighted imaging is more reliable than T2*-weighted gradient-recalled echo MRI for detecting microbleeds.

Stroke 2013 Oct 6;44(10):2782-6. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

From the Department of Radiology (A.-L.C., C.R.M., M.L.L., R.F., M.G., E.E.S.), Seaman Family MR Research Centre (S.B., C.R.M., M.L.L., R.F., M.G., E.E.S.), Hotchkiss Brain Institute (R.F., M.G., E.E.S.), and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada (E.E.S.).

Background And Purpose: We investigated the sensitivity and reliability of MRI susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) compared with routine MRI T2*-weighted gradient-recalled echo (GRE) for cerebral microbleed (CMB) detection.

Methods: We used data from a prospective study of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (n=9; mean age, 71±8.3) and healthy non-cerebral amyloid angiopathy controls (n=22; mean age, 68±6.3). Three raters (labeled 1, 2, and 3) independently interpreted the GRE and SWI sequences (using the phase-filtered magnitude image) blinded to clinical information.

Results: In 9 cerebral amyloid angiopathy cases, the raters identified 1146 total CMBs on GRE and 1432 CMBs on SWI. In 22 healthy control subjects, the raters identified ≥1 CMBs in 6/22 on GRE (total 9 CMBs) and 5/22 on SWI (total 19 CMBs). Among cerebral amyloid angiopathy cases, the reliability between raters for CMB counts was good for SWI (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.87) but only moderate for GRE (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.52). In controls, agreement on the presence or absence of CMBs in controls was moderate to good on both SWI (κ coefficient ranged from 0.57 to 0.74 across the 3 combinations of rater pairs) and GRE (κ range, 0.31 to 0.70). A review of 114 hypointensities identified as possible CMBs indicated that increased detection and reliability on SWI was related to both increased contrast and higher resolution, allowing better discrimination of CMBs from the background and better anatomic differentiation from pial vessels.

Conclusions: SWI confers greater reliability as well as greater sensitivity for CMB detection compared with GRE, and should be the preferred sequence for quantifying CMB counts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.113.002267DOI Listing
October 2013

Accuracy of Doppler ultrasound in diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma.

J Pak Med Assoc 2013 Jan;63(1):28-31

Department of Radiology, CMH, Lahore.

Objective: To determine the accuracy of Doppler ultrasound in the diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma in patients presenting with post-menopausal bleeding while taking histopathological findings as the gold standard.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was done at the Department of Radiology, Bahawal Victoria Hospital, Bahawalpur, from April 1 to September 30, 2009, and comprised 128 patients above 50 years of age having history of post-menopausal bleeding and who were referred to the department. Name, age and hospital registration number were recorded on a proforma. Doppler ultrasound was performed and endometrial thickness and uterine artery resistive index were recorded on transabdominal ultrasonography. Patients with endometrial thickness of more than 5 mm and uterine artery resistive index of less than 0.7 were considered to be having endometrial carcinoma. Histopathology findings were also recorded using the hospital registration number of the patient. The findings of Doppler ultrasound scan were validated with the findings of histopathology.

Results: Of the 128 patients, 48 (37.5%) were between the ages of 51 and 55 years; 46 (35.93%) were in the 56-60 age group; and 34 (26.57%) were over 65 years. On the basis of Doppler ultrasound findings, 106 (82.8%) patients were diagnosed as having endometrial carcinoma, while 22 (17.19%) were declared negative. Ultrasonography results were compared with histopathology findings. The percentages of true positive, true negative, false positive and false negative were calculated. There were 103 (80.47%) true positive; 12 (9.37%) false positive; 10 (7.81%) true negative; and 3 (2.35%) false negative. Specificity, sensitivity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were found to be 97.16%, 76%, 89.56% and 76.92% respectively.

Conclusion: The use of Doppler ultrasonography in non-invasive diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma in patients presenting with post-menopausal bleeding was quite useful with good sensitivity, specificity, as well as positive and negative predictive values. There were no procedural complications.
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January 2013

A study on natural radioactivity in Khewra Salt Mines, Pakistan.

J Radiat Res 2012 ;53(3):411-21

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Department of Physics, Islamabad, Pakistan.

The Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mines in the world, are located 160 km south of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. Around 1000 workers are involved in the removal of salt from these mines. More than 40,000 visitors come annually to see the mines. The visitors and workers are directly exposed to the internal and external radiological hazards of radon and gamma rays in these mines. The general public is affected by the intake of the salt containing the naturally occurring radionuclides. Therefore the concentration of radon (²²²Rn) in the Khewra Salt Mines and activity concentrations of the naturally occurring radionuclides in the salt samples from these mines were measured. Both active and passive techniques were employed for the measurement of radon with Radon Alpha Detector (RAD-7) and SSNTD respectively. The concentration of ²²²Rn was 26 ± 4 Bq m⁻³ measured by the active method while 43 ± 8 Bq m⁻³ was measured by the passive method. The activity concentration of the radionuclides was measured using gamma ray spectrometry with HPGe detector. The mean activity of ⁴⁰K in salt samples was found to be 36 ± 20 Bq kg⁻¹ and the concentration of ²²⁶Ra and ²³²Th in the salt samples was below the detection limits. Gamma radiation hazard was assessed in terms of the external gamma dose from salt slabs and the rooms made of salt and the annual effective dose due to gamma radiation. The exposure to radon daughters, annual effective dose and excessive lifetime cancer risk due to radon in the mines were estimated. The mean annual effective dose due to an intake of ⁴⁰K from the salt was calculated as 20.0 ± 11.1 µSv, which is lower than the average annual effective dose rate of 0.29 mSv, received by the ingestion of natural radionuclides. Due to the low concentration values of primordial radionuclides in the salt and radon ²²²Rn) in the mines, a 'low level activity measurement laboratory' is suggested to be established in these mines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1269/jrr.11162DOI Listing
January 2013