Publications by authors named "Traci Leong"

77 Publications

Order Set Use and Education Association With Pediatric Acute Pancreatitis Outcomes.

Hosp Pediatr 2021 Aug;11(8):885-892

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition

Background: The management of acute pancreatitis (AP) in children was historically derived from adult practice recommendations. Pediatric-specific recommendations for treatment of AP were recently developed by North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, but their impact on clinical outcomes has yet to be evaluated. We developed an AP order set on the basis of these recommendations to assess impact on clinical outcomes.

Methods: Patients admitted to a single center with 3 children's hospitals in 2017 and 2018 for isolated AP were included in a retrospective review. Patient demographic data, order set use, treatment variables (eg, fluid type, rate, type and timing of diet initiation, and narcotic use), and outcome variables (eg, length of stay [LOS], PICU admission, and 30-day readmission) were collected. Mixed-effects modeling was used to estimate the impact of order set use on clinical outcomes.

Results: There were 159 pancreatitis encounters and 137 unique patients who met inclusion criteria. In 2018, when using the log transform of LOS in a linear mixed-effects model for clustering by hospital, there was a 10% decrease in mean LOS, but this failed to reach statistical significance ( = .30). Among the 107 encounters who received at least 1 dose of narcotic, there were significantly fewer doses prescribed after implementation of the order set: mean (SD) of5.22 (2.86) vs 3.59 (2.47) ( < .001). Thirty-day readmission ( = .25) and PICU admission rates ( = .31) were not different between years.

Conclusions: The implementation of a pancreatitis order set is associated with a significant decrease in narcotic use in pediatric patients with AP without increasing readmission rates or PICU admissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1542/hpeds.2020-000323DOI Listing
August 2021

The RADx Tech Test Verification Core and the ACME POCT in the Evaluation of COVID-19 Testing Devices: A Model for Progress and Change.

IEEE Open J Eng Med Biol 2021 Apr 28;2:142-151. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Childrens Healthcare of AtlantaEmory University School of Medicine Atlanta GA USA.

Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the US system for developing and testing technologies was challenged in unparalleled ways. This article describes the multi-institutional, transdisciplinary team of the "RADx Tech Test Verification Core" and its role in expediting evaluations of COVID-19 testing devices. Expertise related to aspects of diagnostic testing was coordinated to evaluate testing devices with the goal of significantly expanding the ability to mass screen Americans to preserve lives and facilitate the safe return to work and school. Focal points included: laboratory and clinical device evaluation of the limit of viral detection, sensitivity, and specificity of devices in controlled and community settings; regulatory expertise to provide focused attention to barriers to device approval and distribution; usability testing from the perspective of patients and those using the tests to identify and overcome device limitations, and engineering assessment to evaluate robustness of design including human factors, manufacturability, and scalability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/OJEMB.2021.3070825DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118690PMC
April 2021

Fast track dialysis: Improving emergency department and hospital throughput for patients requiring hemodialysis.

Am J Emerg Med 2021 Jul 22;45:92-99. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University, 100 Woodruff Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322, United States of America.

Objective: To describe the impact of a novel communication and triage pathway called fast track dialysis (FTD) on the length of stay (LOS), resource utilization, and charges for unscheduled hemodialysis for end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients presenting to the emergency department (ED).

Methods: Prospective and retrospective cohorts of ESRD patients meeting requirements of routine or urgent hemodialysis at a tertiary academic hospital from September 25th, 2016 to September 25th, 2018 in 1 year cohorts. Two sample t-tests were used to compare most outcomes of the cohorts with a Mann-Whitney U test used for skewed data. Nephrology group outcomes were analyzed by two-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square tests.

Results: There were 98 encounters in the historical cohort and 143 encounters in the fast track dialysis cohort. FTD had significantly lowered median ED LOS (4.05 h, vs 5.3 h, p < 0.001), median hospital LOS (12.8 h vs 27 h, p < 0.001), time to hemodialysis (4.78 h vs 7.29 h, p < 0.001), and median hospital charges ($26,040 vs $30,747, p < 0.016). The FTD cohort had increased 30 day ED return for each encounter compared to the historical cohort (1.85 visits vs 0.73 visits, p < 0.001), however no significant increase in 1 year ED visits (6.52 visits vs 5.80, p = 0.4589) or 1 year readmissions (5.89 readmissions vs 4.81 readmissions, p = 0.3584). Most nephrology groups had significantly lower time to hemodialysis order placement and time to start hemodialysis.

Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach with key stakeholders using a standard pathway can lead to improved efficiency in throughput, reduced charges, and hospital resource utilization for patients needing urgent or routine hemodialysis. A study with a dedicated geographic observation unit for protocolized short stay patients including conditions ranging from low risk chest pain to transient ischemic events that incorporates FTD patients under this protocol should be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2021.02.035DOI Listing
July 2021

Standardized protocol for voiding cystourethrogram: Are recommendations being followed?

J Pediatr Urol 2021 02 14;17(1):66.e1-66.e6. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Department of Urology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) images the urethra and bladder during filling and emptying, as well as ureters and kidneys when vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) is present, providing detailed information about both anatomical and functional status of the urinary tract. Given the importance of information obtained, and the varying quality depending on VCUG technique and radiology reporting, the American Academy of Pediatrics Sections on Urology and Radiology published a joint standardized VCUG protocol in 2016.

Objective: We compared VCUG reports from multiple institutions before and after publication of the protocol to determine adherence to recommendations.

Study Design: VCUG reports generated during two separate time periods were assessed - before and after publication - to evaluate impact of the protocol. Adherence to the reporting template was evaluated. Studies performed on patients >18 years of age and those obtained for trauma evaluation were excluded from study.

Results: A total of 3121 VCUG reports were analyzed, 989 (31.7%) were generated before and 2132 (68.3%) after protocol publication. Comparing cohorts, there was no difference in gender (62.6% female versus 61.4%; p = 0.53) though children in the post-cohort were slightly older (3.34 ± 3.82 versus 3.68 ± 4.19 years; p = 0.03). A significant increase in scout image reporting (91.5%) and cyclic studies (20.5%) were observed in the post-cohort, in comparison to 79.2% and 13.1%, respectively, in the pre-protocol cohort (p < 0.001) [Figure]. Measured PVR and recorded infused volume actually decreased between study periods (84.7% vs 72.8% and 97.2% vs 91.5%, p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between VUR grade reporting (99.4 vs 98.5%, p = 0.25). Recorded volume in which reflux occurred increased between periods (0.6% vs 2.3%, p < 0.05), while reporting of filling vs voiding reflux decreased in the post-cohort (84.4% pre-vs 77.4% post-protocol, p < 0.008).

Discussion: The 2016 VCUG protocol recommended inclusion of various data points, however the volume at which reflux occurs remained vastly underreported. Timing of reflux has been shown to predict likelihood of spontaneous resolution and risk of breakthrough urinary tract infection; thus, its omission may limit the information used to counsel families and provide individualized care.

Conclusion: Despite consensus on standard VCUG protocol to best perform and record data, reports remain inconsistent. While VUR grade is routinely reported, other important anatomic and functional findings which are known to impact resolution and breakthrough urinary tract infection rates, such as volume at which reflux occurs, are consistently underreported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpurol.2020.10.009DOI Listing
February 2021

Expansion of a multi-pronged safe sleep quality improvement initiative to three children's hospital campuses.

Inj Epidemiol 2020 Jun 12;7(Suppl 1):32. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, 30322, USA.

Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants should be Alone, on their Back, and in a clear Crib to combat relatively stagnant rates of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID). These are referred to as the ABCs of safe sleep. Studies have shown these recommendations are not consistently followed in the hospital setting, but further investigation would determine how to improve the rate of adherence. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of an expanded safe sleep initiative at three Georgia free-standing children's hospital campuses before and after a multipronged safe sleep initiative.

Methods: A quality improvement program with a pre/post analysis was performed using a convenience method of sampling. Infants < 12 months old in three inpatient pediatric campuses were analyzed pre- and post- interventions. The intervention included: 1) nursing education, 2) identification of nurse "safe sleep" champions, 3) crib cards, 4) crib audits, and 5) weekly reporting of data showing nursing unit ABC compliance via tracking boards. The goal was ABC compliance of ≥25% for the post-intervention period. A standardized crib audit tool evaluated sleep position/location, sleep environment, and ABC compliance (both safe position/location and environment). Chi square analysis, Fisher's exact test, and logistic regression were used to compare safe sleep behaviors before and after the interventions.

Results: There were 204 cribs included pre-intervention and 274 cribs post-intervention. Overall, there was not a significant change in sleep position/location (78.4 to 76.6%, p = 0.64). There was a significant increase in the percent of infants sleeping in a safe sleep environment following the intervention (5.9 to 39.8%, p < 0.01). Overall ABC compliance, including both sleep position/location and environment, improved from 4.4% pre-intervention to 32.5% post-intervention (p < 0.01). There was no significant variability between the hospitals (p = 0.71, p = 1.00).

Conclusions: The AAP's safe sleep recommendations are currently not upheld in children's hospitals, but safer sleep was achieved across three children's campuses in this study. Significant improvements were made in sleep environment and overall safe sleep compliance with this multi-pronged initiative.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40621-020-00256-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7291418PMC
June 2020

A Pilot Study of Cardiovascular Reactivity in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Semin Pediatr Neurol 2020 07 17;34:100807. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address:

In preparation for a larger case-control study of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and anxiety, we conducted a pilot study using a noninvasive electrocardiographic device to measure cardiovascular reactivity in 10 children (age range 9-14) with ASD. The 45-minute procedure included 6 conditions: baseline rest, an interview about school, interim rest, an unfair computerized ball-toss game followed by a fair version of the game, and a final rest. Data were successfully collected for 95% of all conditions. Omnibus Skillings-Mack tests suggested that heart rate variability variables including mean heart rate, mean RR interval, and root mean square of successive differences showed statistically significant variation across conditions. The procedure appears feasible and may be an informative biomarker of anxiety in ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.spen.2020.100807DOI Listing
July 2020

Predicting Breakthrough Urinary Tract Infection: Comparative Analysis of Vesicoureteral Reflux Index, Reflux Grade and Ureteral Diameter Ratio.

J Urol 2020 Sep 3;204(3):572-577. Epub 2020 Apr 3.

Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia.

Purpose: The vesicoureteral reflux index is a simple, validated tool for predicting resolution of reflux. Along with likelihood of spontaneous resolution identification of children at risk for febrile urinary tract infection impacts management. We evaluated the usefulness of the vesicoureteral reflux index as a predictive factor for breakthrough febrile urinary tract infection compared to reflux grade and distal ureteral diameter ratio.

Materials And Methods: Children with primary vesicoureteral reflux and detailed voiding cystourethrogram data were identified. A 1 to 6-point index was assigned, and ureteral diameter ratio was computed by measuring largest ureteral diameter within the pelvis and dividing by the distance between L1 to L3 vertebral bodies. Random forest modeling and logistic multivariable regression were employed to estimate the predictive ability of grade, ureteral diameter ratio and vesicoureteral reflux index with regard to breakthrough febrile urinary tract infection.

Results: We analyzed 94 girls and 45 boys with a mean±SD age of 5.4±4.7 months at diagnosis. Mean±SD length of followup was 32.1±24.5 months. A total of 13 children (9.4%) experienced breakthrough febrile urinary tract infection. On univariate analysis ureteral diameter ratio (p=0.01) and vesicoureteral reflux index (p=0.0005) were associated with breakthrough urinary tract infection, while grade (p=0.09) did not reach significance. Area under the curve was generated as a measure of accuracy for each variable and was 0.77 for the vesicoureteral reflux index, 0.71 for ureteral diameter ratio and 0.68 for grade, indicating superiority of the vesicoureteral reflux index for predicting breakthrough febrile urinary tract infection.

Conclusions: Children with higher vesicoureteral reflux index are at increased risk for breakthrough febrile urinary tract infection independent of reflux grade. The vesicoureteral reflux index provides valuable prognostic information about infection risk, facilitating improved clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JU.0000000000001035DOI Listing
September 2020

Comparative Effectiveness of a Web-Based Patient Decision Aid for Therapeutic Options for Sickle Cell Disease: Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Med Internet Res 2019 12 4;21(12):e14462. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, United States.

Background: Hydroxyurea, chronic blood transfusions, and bone marrow transplantation are efficacious, disease-modifying therapies for sickle cell disease but involve complex risk-benefit trade-offs and decisional dilemma compounded by the lack of comparative studies. A patient decision aid can inform patients about their treatment options, the associated risks and benefits, help them clarify their values, and allow them to participate in medical decision making.

Objective: The objective of this study was to develop a literacy-sensitive Web-based patient decision aid based on the Ottawa decision support framework, and through a randomized clinical trial estimate the effectiveness of the patient decision aid in improving patient knowledge and their involvement in decision making.

Methods: We conducted population decisional needs assessments in a nationwide sample of patients, caregivers, community advocates, policy makers, and health care providers using qualitative interviews to identify decisional conflict, knowledge and expectations, values, support and resources, decision types, timing, stages and learning, and personal clinical characteristics. Interview transcripts were coded using QSR NVivo 10. Alpha testing of the patient decision aid prototype was done to establish usability and the accuracy of the information it conveyed, and then was followed by iterative cycles of beta testing. We conducted a randomized clinical trial of adults and of caregivers of pediatric patients to evaluate the efficacy of the patient decision aid.

Results: In a decisional needs assessment, 223 stakeholders described their preferences, helping to guide the development of the patient decision aid, which then underwent alpha testing by 30 patients and 38 health care providers and iterative cycles of beta testing by 87 stakeholders. In a randomized clinical trial, 120 participants were assigned to either the patient decision aid or standard care (SC) arm. Qualitative interviews revealed high levels of usability, acceptability, and utility of the patient decision aid in education, values clarification, and preparation for decision making. On the acceptability survey, 72% (86/120) of participants rated the patient decision aid as good or excellent. Participants on the patient decision aid arm compared to the SC arm demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in decisional self-efficacy (P=.05) and a reduction in the informed sub-score of decisional conflict (P=.003) at 3 months, with an improvement in preparation for decision making (P<.001) at 6 months. However, there was no improvement in terms of the change in knowledge, the total or other domain scores of decisional conflicts, or decisional self-efficacies at 6 months. The large amount of missing data from survey completion limited our ability to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the patient decision aid. The patient decision aid met 61 of 62 benchmarks of the international patient decision aid collaboration standards for content, development process, and efficacy.

Conclusions: We have developed a patient decision aid for sickle cell disease with extensive input from stakeholders and in a randomized clinical trial demonstrated its acceptability and utility in education and decision making. We were unable to demonstrate its effectiveness in improving patient knowledge and involvement in decision making.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03224429; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03224429 and ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02326597; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02326597.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/14462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6934048PMC
December 2019

A Spatial Analysis of Health Disparities Associated with Antibiotic Resistant Infections in Children Living in Atlanta (2002-2010).

EGEMS (Wash DC) 2019 Sep 12;7(1):50. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Florida State University, College of Medicine, US.

Background: Antibiotic resistant bacteria like community-onset methicillin resistant (CO-MRSA) have continued to cause infections in children at alarming rates and are associated with health disparities. Geospatial analyses of individual and area level data can enhance disease surveillance and identify socio-demographic and geographic indicators to explain CO-MRSA disease transmission patterns and risks.

Methods: A case control epidemiology approach was undertaken to compare children with CO-MRSA to a noninfectious condition (unintentional traumatic brain injury (uTBI)). In order to better understand the impact of place based risks in developing these types of infections, data from electronic health records (EHR) were obtained from CO-MRSA cases and compared to EHR data from controls (uTBI). US Census data was used to determine area level data. Multi-level statistical models were performed using risk factors determined and geospatial analyses were conducted and mapped.

Results: From 2002-2010, 4,613 with CO-MRSA and 34,758 with uTBI were seen from two pediatric hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia. Hispanic children had reduced odds of infection; females and public health insurance were more likely to have CO-MRSA. Spatial analyses indicate significant 'hot spots' for CO-MRSA and the overall spatial cluster locations, differed between CO-MRSA cases and uTBI controls.

Conclusions: Differences exist in race, age, and type of health insurance between CO-MRSA cases compared to noninfectious control group. Geographic clustering of cases is distinct from controls, suggesting placed based factors impact risk for CO-MRSA infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/egems.308DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6743030PMC
September 2019

Evaluating Child Toothbrushing Behavior Changes Associated with a Mobile Game App: A Single Arm PrePost Pilot Study.

Pediatr Dent 2019 Jul;41(4):299-303

Dr. Chi is a professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences, UW School of Dentistry, University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, Wash., USA;, Email:

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate changes in toothbrushing behaviors associated with a mobile game app. Thirty-four five- to six-year-olds were taught to use the Brush Up game app and played it once per day at home for seven days. The primary outcome was toothbrushing quality measured as duration and distribution. The paired t test was used to assess pre/post changes and Holm's method adjusted for multiple testing (α equals 0.05). The mean age was 73.7±6.6 months; 29.4 percent were female, and 47.1 percent were Caucasian. After seven days, toothbrushing duration increased significantly (P<0.001). Toothbrushing distribution improved with increased brushing of the lingual, maxillary occlusal, and posterior buccal surfaces. For 15 children who played the game for 14 days, even greater improvements in quality and distribution were observed. Improvements in toothbrushing did not persist one year later without further app use but there were noted changes that could be clinically meaningful. Mobile health game apps can potentially improve toothbrushing quality in children. Additional trials are needed to assess mobile toothbrushing game apps.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6709707PMC
July 2019

As easy as ABC: evaluation of safe sleep initiative on safe sleep compliance in a freestanding pediatric hospital.

Inj Epidemiol 2019 29;6(Suppl 1):26. Epub 2019 May 29.

5Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA USA.

Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the ABCs of safe infant sleep (alone, back, clear crib) to combat the increasing rates of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID). It is unclear if these recommendations are followed for infants hospitalized in pediatric facilities after the newborn period. The objectives of this study were to assess baseline infant sleep behaviors at a tertiary care freestanding pediatric hospital and to evaluate the effectiveness of a hospital-based infant safe sleep program in improving adherence to safe sleep recommendations.

Methods: A quality improvement program with pre- and post- analyses was performed on a convenience sample of infants < 12-months old utilizing a crib audit tool on two general pediatric inpatient units. The crib audit tool was used before and after the safe sleep program intervention. It recorded the infant's sleep position, location during sleep, and sleep environment. Interventions included: 1) nursing education, 2) crib cards with a checklist of the ABC's of safe sleep provided for the cribs of hospitalized infants, and 3) tracking boards to report weekly measured compliance with the ABCs. Chi square analysis was used to compare adherence to recommendations before and after program implementation.

Results: There were 62 cribs included pre-intervention and 90 cribs post-intervention. Overall, there was no significant change in safe sleep positioning (81% to 82%,  = 0.97). There was a significant increase in adherence to the safe sleep environment recommendation (3% to 38%,  < 0.01). Overall safe sleep, including both position and environment, referred to as ABC compliance, improved from 3% pre-intervention to 34% post-intervention ( < 0.01). Only 18% of cribs audited displayed a crib card, demonstrating poor compliance on placement of the cards. There was no significant difference in compliance with safe sleep recommendations between infants with a crib card compared to those without (25% vs. 37%,  = 0.51).

Conclusions: Significant improvements were made in sleep environments and overall safe sleep compliance after introduction of crib cards and tracking boards. Most likely the crib auditing process itself and the tracking boards had a larger impact than the crib cards.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40621-019-0205-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6616382PMC
May 2019

Effects of Second-Hand Smoke on Pancreatitis in Children.

Pancreas 2019 May/Jun;48(5):706-710

Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Objectives: Pediatric pancreatitis incidence is increasing, but little is known about risk factors. Smoking increases the risk for adult pancreatitis and has been shown to affect CFTR function in vitro. Therefore, we evaluated passive smoke exposure effects on disease outcomes in children with various pancreatitis etiologies.

Methods: We conducted a 5-year retrospective chart review of patients admitted for pancreatitis to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Demographic data, etiology of pancreatitis, and number of hospitalizations with length of stay (LOS) were compared with smoking exposure, obtained through telephone query.

Results: Of the 134 subjects admitted for pancreatitis, 90 reported no smoke exposure (none), 33 reported outdoor smoke exposure (outside), and 11 reported exposure to indoor smoking (inside). Average hospital admissions (P = 0.038) and LOS (P = 0.004) were significantly higher among subjects with inside smoke exposure compared with those with outdoor or no exposure. Average hospital admissions were significantly higher in subjects with CFTR mutations compared with those with nongenetic or other genetic etiologies (P ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions: Second-hand smoke exposure may increase hospital admission rates and LOS for pediatric pancreatitis. Children with an identifiable CFTR mutation may have increased risk for hospital admissions compared with those who do not.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPA.0000000000001308DOI Listing
February 2020

Geographic surveillance of community associated MRSA infections in children using electronic health record data.

BMC Infect Dis 2019 Feb 18;19(1):170. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Florida State University College of Medicine, 1115 W. Call St, Tallahassee, FL, 32306, USA.

Background: Community- associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) cause serious infections and rates continue to rise worldwide. Use of geocoded electronic health record (EHR) data to prevent spread of disease is limited in health service research. We demonstrate how geocoded EHR and spatial analyses can be used to identify risks for CA-MRSA in children, which are tied to place-based determinants and would not be uncovered using traditional EHR data analyses.

Methods: An epidemiology study was conducted on children from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2010 who were treated for Staphylococcus aureus infections. A generalized estimated equations (GEE) model was developed and crude and adjusted odds ratios were based on S. aureus risks. We measured the risk of S. aureus as standardized incidence ratios (SIR) calculated within aggregated US 2010 Census tracts called spatially adaptive filters, and then created maps that differentiate the geographic patterns of antibiotic resistant and non-resistant forms of S. aureus.

Results: CA-MRSA rates increased at higher rates compared to non-resistant forms, p = 0.01. Children with no or public health insurance had higher odds of CA-MRSA infection. Black children were almost 1.5 times as likely as white children to have CA-MRSA infections (aOR 95% CI 1.44,1.75, p < 0.0001); this finding persisted at the block group level (p < 0.001) along with household crowding (p < 0.001). The youngest category of age (< 4 years) also had increased risk for CA-MRSA (aOR 1.65, 95%CI 1.48, 1.83, p < 0.0001). CA-MRSA encompasses larger areas with higher SIRs compared to non-resistant forms and were found in block groups with higher proportion of blacks (r = 0.517, p < 0.001), younger age (r = 0.137, p < 0.001), and crowding (r = 0.320, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In the Atlanta MSA, the risk for CA-MRSA is associated with neighborhood-level measures of racial composition, household crowding, and age of children. Neighborhoods which have higher proportion of blacks, household crowding, and children < 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Understanding spatial relationship at a community level and how it relates to risks for antibiotic resistant infections is important to combat the growing numbers and spread of such infections like CA-MRSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-3682-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6378744PMC
February 2019

Incorporating Continuity in a 7-On 7-Off Hospitalist Model and the Correlation With Patient Handoffs and Length of Stay.

Am J Med Qual 2019 Nov/Dec;34(6):553-560. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Little research in hospital medicine examines the effects of hospitalist continuity on patient outcomes. This study implemented a novel staffing model with approximately half of rounding teams starting their 7-day workweek on Monday and the others on Friday. Teams admitted their own patients on their first 4 days with additional nighttime admissions handed off to those teams. No admissions were given to teams on their last 3 days. Length of stay was significantly reduced from 6.34 days in 2015 to 5.7 days in 2016 ( < .002) with a significant decrease in handoffs. There was an increase in odds ratio of death (1.37, SE = .128) with each additional hospitalist involved in a patient's care while adjusting for year and number of patient diagnoses ( < .001). There was no statistical difference in charges, 30-day readmissions, or mortality between years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1062860618818355DOI Listing
July 2020

Smartphone app for non-invasive detection of anemia using only patient-sourced photos.

Nat Commun 2018 12 4;9(1):4924. Epub 2018 Dec 4.

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

We introduce a paradigm of completely non-invasive, on-demand diagnostics that may replace common blood-based laboratory tests using only a smartphone app and photos. We initially targeted anemia, a blood condition characterized by low blood hemoglobin levels that afflicts >2 billion people. Our app estimates hemoglobin levels by analyzing color and metadata of fingernail bed smartphone photos and detects anemia (hemoglobin levels <12.5 g dL) with an accuracy of ±2.4 g dL and a sensitivity of 97% (95% CI, 89-100%) when compared with CBC hemoglobin levels (n = 100 subjects), indicating its viability to serve as a non-invasive anemia screening tool. Moreover, with personalized calibration, this system achieves an accuracy of ±0.92 g dL of CBC hemoglobin levels (n = 16), empowering chronic anemia patients to serially monitor their hemoglobin levels instantaneously and remotely. Our on-demand system enables anyone with a smartphone to download an app and immediately detect anemia anywhere and anytime.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07262-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6279826PMC
December 2018

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone for Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome: The ATLANTIS Randomized Trial.

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2018 12 15;13(12):1859-1865. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Department of Pediatrics, Emory and Children's Pediatric Institute, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background And Objectives: There is renewed interest in adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of ACTH in children with frequently relapsing or steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome in a randomized trial.

Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: Participants aged 2-20 years old with frequently relapsing or steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome were enrolled from 16 sites in the United States and randomized 1:1 to ACTH (repository corticotropin injection) or no relapse-preventing treatment. ACTH treatment regimen was 80 U/1.73 m administered twice weekly for 6 months, followed by 40 U/1.73 m administered twice weekly for 6 months. The primary outcome was disease relapse during the first 6 months. Participants in the control group were offered crossover to ACTH treatment if they relapsed within 6 months. Secondary outcomes were relapse after ACTH dose reduction and treatment side effects.

Results: The trial was stopped at a preplanned interim analysis after enrollment of 31 participants because of a lack of discernible treatment efficacy. Fourteen out of 15 (93%) participants in the ACTH arm experienced disease relapse in the first 6 months, with a median time to first relapse of 23 days (interquartile range, 9-32), compared with 15 out of 16 (94%) participants and at a median of 21 days (interquartile range, 14-51) in the control group. There was no difference in the proportion of relapsed patients (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval, 0.05 to 16.40; >0.99) or time to first relapse (hazard ratio, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 2.15; =0.93). Thirteen out of 16 participants in the control group crossed over to ACTH treatment. Three out of 28 participants completed 12 months of ACTH treatment; the others exited the trial because of frequent relapses or side effects. There were no disease relapses after ACTH dose reduction among the three participants. Most side effects were mild and similar to side effects of corticosteroids.

Conclusions: ACTH at 80 U/1.73 m administered twice weekly was ineffective at preventing disease relapses in pediatric nephrotic syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2215/CJN.06890618DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6302334PMC
December 2018

Hemoglobin A clearance in children with sickle cell anemia on chronic transfusion therapy.

Transfusion 2018 06 17;58(6):1363-1371. Epub 2018 Apr 17.

Center for Transfusion and Cellular Therapies, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; the.

Background: Chronic transfusion therapy for sickle cell anemia reduces disease complications by diluting sickle-erythrocytes with hemoglobin A (HbA)-containing erythrocytes and suppressing erythropoiesis. Minor antigen mismatches may result in alloimmunization, but it is unknown if antigen mismatches or recipient characteristics influence HbA clearance posttransfusion.

Study Design And Methods: Children with sickle cell anemia on chronic transfusion therapy were followed prospectively for 12 months. All patients received units serologically matched for C/c, E/e, and K; patients with prior red blood cell (RBC) antibodies had additional matching for Fy , Jk , and any previous alloantibodies. Patients' RBC antigen genotypes, determined by multiplexed molecular assays (PreciseType Human Erythrocyte Antigen, and RHCE and RHD BeadChip, Immucor) were compared to genotypes of transfused RBC units to assess for antigen mismatches. Decline in hbA (ΔHbA) from posttransfusion to the next transfusion was calculated for each transfusion episode.

Results: Sixty patients received 789 transfusions, 740 with ΔHbA estimations, and 630 with donor Human Erythrocyte Antigen genotyping. In univariate mixed-model analysis, ΔHbA was higher in patients with past RBC antibodies or splenomegaly and lower in patients with splenectomy. RBC antigen mismatches were not associated with ΔHbA. In multivariate linear mixed-effects modeling, ΔHbA was associated with RBC antibodies (2.70 vs. 2.45 g/dL/28 d, p = 0.0028), splenomegaly (2.87 vs. 2.28 g/dL/28 d, p = 0.019), and negatively associated with splenectomy (2.46 vs. 2.70 g/dL/28 d, p = 0.011).

Conclusions: HbA decline was increased among patients with sickle cell anemia with prior immunologic response to RBC antigens and decreased among those with prior splenectomy, demonstrating that recipient immunologic characteristics influenced the clearance of transfused RBCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.14610DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6021219PMC
June 2018

Red blood cell minor antigen mismatches during chronic transfusion therapy for sickle cell anemia.

Transfusion 2017 11 24;57(11):2738-2746. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Center for Transfusion and Cellular Therapies, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Red blood cell (RBC) alloimmunization occurs at a high frequency in sickle cell anemia (SCA) despite serologic matching for Rh (C/c, E/e) and K antigens. RBC minor antigen genotyping allows for prediction of antigens and RH variants that may lead to alloimmunization.

Study Design And Methods: RBC antigen genotyping was performed on chronically transfused pediatric SCA patients, using PreciseType human erythrocyte antigen (HEA), RHCE, and RHD BeadChip arrays. All patients received C/c, E/e, and K serologically matched units (Category 1); patients with prior RBC antibodies were also matched for Fy , Jk , and any antibodies (Category 2). The RBC genotypes of all leukoreduced (LR) units transfused over a 12-month period were determined by the prototype HEA-LR BeadChip assay.

Results: There were 2320 RBC units transfused to 90 patients in 1135 transfusion episodes. Thirty-five (38.9%) patients had homozygous or compound heterozygous RH variants. Seven new alloantibodies were detected, with alloantibody incidence of 0.706 in 100 units for Category 2 transfusions and 0.068 in 100 units for Category 1 (p = 0.02). Three patients on Category 2 transfusions formed new anti-Js and had a higher rate of exposure to Js than those who did not form anti-Js (20.4 vs. 8.33 exposures/100 units, p = 0.02). The most frequent mismatches were S (43.9%), Do (43.9%), Fy (29.2%), M (28.4%), and Jk (28.1%).

Conclusions: Alloimmunization incidence was higher in those with prior RBC antibodies, suggesting that past immunologic responders are at higher risk for future alloimmunization and therefore may benefit from more extensive antigen matching beyond C/c, E/e, K, Fy , and Jk .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.14282DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5673534PMC
November 2017

Distal Ureteral Diameter Ratio is Predictive of Breakthrough Febrile Urinary Tract Infection.

J Urol 2017 12 8;198(6):1418-1423. Epub 2017 Jul 8.

Department of Urology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa; Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa. Electronic address:

Purpose: Distal ureteral diameter ratio is an objective measure that is prognostic of spontaneous resolution of vesicoureteral reflux. Along with likelihood of resolution, improved identification of children at risk for recurrent febrile urinary tract infections may impact management decisions. We evaluated the usefulness of ureteral diameter ratio as a predictive factor for breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections.

Materials And Methods: Children with primary vesicoureteral reflux and detailed voiding cystourethrogram were identified. Ureteral diameter ratio was computed by measuring largest ureteral diameter within the pelvis and dividing by the distance between L1 and L3 vertebral bodies. Demographics, vesicoureteral reflux grade, laterality, presence/absence of bladder-bowel dysfunction, and ureteral diameter ratio were tested in univariate and multivariable analyses. Primary outcome was breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections.

Results: We analyzed 112 girls and 28 boys with a mean ± SD age of 2.5 ± 2.3 years at diagnosis. Vesicoureteral reflux was grade 1 to 2 in 64 patients (45.7%), grade 3 in 50 (35.7%), grade 4 in 16 (11.4%) and grade 5 in 10 (7.2%). Mean ± SD followup was 3.2 ± 2.7 years. A total of 40 children (28.6%) experienced breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections. Ureteral diameter ratio was significantly greater in children with (0.36) vs without (0.25) breakthrough febrile infections (p = 0.004). Controlling for vesicoureteral reflux grade, every 0.1 U increase in ureteral diameter ratio resulted in 1.7 times increased odds of breakthrough infection (95% CI 1.24 to 2.26, p <0.0001).

Conclusions: Children with increased distal ureteral diameter ratio are at greater risk for breakthrough febrile urinary tract infections independent of reflux grade. Ureteral diameter ratio provides valuable prognostic information about risk of recurrent pyelonephritis and may assist with clinical decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2017.06.095DOI Listing
December 2017

The Metropolitan Atlanta community adolescent rapid testing initiative study: closing the gaps in HIV care among youth in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

AIDS 2017 07;31 Suppl 3:S267-S275

aDivision of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine bPonce Family and Youth Clinic, Grady Infectious Diseases Program, Grady Health Systems cDepartment of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine dChildren's Healthcare of Atlanta eAtlanta Veterans Affair Medical Center fHubert Department of Global Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University gDivision of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hICF iDepartment of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University jDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Objective: To determine the effectiveness of the Metropolitan Atlanta community adolescent rapid testing initiative (MACARTI) intervention relative to standard of care (SOC), in achieving early diagnosis, linkage, and retention among HIV-infected youth ages 18-24 years.

Design: MACARTI was a pilot single-center, prospective, nonrandomized study.

Methods: MACARTI combined nontraditional venue HIV testing, motivational interviewing, and case management. We collected demographic, clinical variables and calculated linkage and appointment adherence rates. We obtained SOC data from an adolescent HIV clinic. Longitudinal data were analyzed using inverse propensity treatment-weighted linear growth models; medians, interquartile ranges (IQR), means, and 95% confidence intervals are provided.

Results: MACARTI screened 435 participants and identified 49 (11.3%) HIV infections. The SOC arm enrolled 49 new HIV-infected individuals. The 98 participants, (49 in each arm) were: 85% men; 91% Black; mean age = 21 years (SD : 1.8). Overall, 63% were linked within 3 months of diagnosis; linkage was higher for MACARTI compared to SOC (96 vs. 57%, P < 0.001). Median linkage time for MACARTI participants compared to SOC was 0.39 (IQR : 0.20-0.72) vs. 1.77 (IQR : 1.12-12.65) months (P < 0.001). MACARTI appointment adherence was higher than SOC (86.1 vs. 77.2%, P = 0.018). In weight-adjusted models, mean CD4 T-cell counts increased and mean HIV-1 RNA levels decreased in both arms over 12 months, but the differences were more pronounced in the MACARTI arm.

Conclusion: MACARTI successfully identified and linked HIV-infected youth in Atlanta, USA. MACARTI may serve as an effective linkage and care model for clinics serving HIV-infected youth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000001512DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5497786PMC
July 2017

Role of body mass index in school-aged children with lower urinary tract dysfunction: Does weight classification predict treatment outcome?

J Pediatr Urol 2017 Oct 25;13(5):454.e1-454.e5. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Introduction: Lower urinary tract (LUT) dysfunction comprises a large percentage of pediatric urology referrals. Childhood obesity is a major health concern, and has been associated with voiding symptoms. We assessed the impact of body mass index (BMI) on treatment outcomes of children presenting with LUT or bladder-bowel dysfunction (BBD).

Study Design: Children aged 5-17 years diagnosed with non-neurogenic LUT dysfunction and no prior urologic diagnoses were identified. Patient demographics including BMI, lower urinary tract symptoms, constipation, medical and psychologic comorbidities, imaging, and treatment outcomes were evaluated. BMI was normalized by age and gender according to percentiles: underweight < 5th, healthy 5th to <85th, overweight 85th to <95th, and obese > 95th percentile. Uni- and multivariate analyses were performed to identify predictors of treatment response.

Results: During an 18-month period, 100 children (54 girls, 46 boys) met the inclusion criteria. The mean age at diagnosis was 7.7 ± 2.4 years, and mean length of follow-up 15.3 ± 13.1 months. Sixty-nine patients were a normal weight, 22 were overweight, and nine were obese. Fifteen percent of the children had complete treatment response, 63% partial response, and 22% non-response. On univariate analysis, children with elevated BMI (p = 0.04) or history of urinary tract infection (p = 0.01) were statistically more likely to not respond to treatment. Controlling for all other variables, children with BMI > 85th percentile had 3.1 times (95% CI 1.11-8.64; p = 0.03) increased odds of treatment failure (Table).

Discussion: BBD management includes implementation of a bowel program and timed voiding regimen, with additional treatment modalities tailored on the basis of the prevailing symptoms. We observed that school-aged children with a BMI ≥ 85th percentile were over three times more likely to experience treatment failure when controlling for all other patient characteristics including constipation and a history of urinary tract infection. Limitations of the study include the relatively small sample size, lack of uroflow with electromyography to confirm the presence or the absence of detrusor sphincter dyssynergia, and inconsistent anticholinergic dosing.

Conclusions: Nearly one-third of school-aged children presenting to our institution with LUT or BBD were overweight or obese when normalized for age and gender. Children with LUT dysfunction and elevated BMI are significantly less likely to experience treatment response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpurol.2017.03.033DOI Listing
October 2017

Hospital-acquired Urinary Tract Infections in Neonatal ICU Patients: Is Voiding Cystourethrogram Necessary?

Urology 2017 Jul 10;105:163-166. Epub 2017 Apr 10.

Departments of Urology and Pediatrics, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA. Electronic address:

Objective: To evaluate the radiographic findings of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients diagnosed with hospital-acquired urinary tract infection (UTI).

Materials And Methods: Children with no preexisting genitourinary anomalies undergoing a voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) for culture-documented UTI during NICU admission were identified. Demographics, microbiology results, and imaging findings were evaluated.

Results: A total of 147 NICU patients underwent VCUG during the study period. Of these, the indication for VCUG was UTI in 58 children. Neonates diagnosed with UTI were born at a mean gestational age of 28 3/7 ± 4 3/7 weeks, and underwent VCUG at a mean of age of 70.3 ± 42 days. Urine culture grew Enterococcus in 32 (55.2%), Enterobacter in 6 (10.3%), coagulase negative staphylococcus in 6 (10.3%), Escherichia coli in 5 (8.7%), and other in 9 infants (15.5%). All patients underwent a retroperitoneal ultrasound, which was read as normal in 31 patients (53.4%). Fourteen children (24.1%) diagnosed with UTI were found to have vesicoureteral reflux on VCUG. On univariate analysis, no patient characteristics were associated with VCUG positivity. On multivariate analysis, the effect of age at VCUG differed by renal-bladder ultrasound results. Patients with an abnormal ultrasound were 3.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.39-9.24) times more likely to have a positive VCUG for every 1 month increase in age.

Conclusion: Ultrasound anomalies are common in NICU patients diagnosed with UTI. The effect of age at VCUG differed by ultrasound result; the probability of vesicoureteral reflux in infants with sonographic abnormalities and UTI increases with age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.urology.2017.04.002DOI Listing
July 2017

Level of γ-glutamyltransferase in 2-Year-old Children With Biliary Atresia Associates With Progression of Portal Hypertension.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017 07 1;15(7):1133-1135. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Emory University School of Medicine/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cgh.2017.02.025DOI Listing
July 2017

Validation of the ureteral diameter ratio for predicting early spontaneous resolution of primary vesicoureteral reflux.

J Pediatr Urol 2017 Aug 14;13(4):383.e1-383.e6. Epub 2017 Feb 14.

Department of Urology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction And Objective: Management of primary vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) remains controversial, and reflux grade currently constitutes an important prognostic factor. Previous reports have demonstrated that distal ureteral diameter ratio (UDR) may be more predictive of outcome than vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) grade. We performed an external validation study in young children, evaluating early spontaneous resolution rates relative to reflux grade and UDR.

Study Design: Voiding cystourethrograms (VCUGs) were reviewed. UDR was computed by measuring largest ureteral diameter within the pelvis and dividing by the distance between the L1 and L3 vertebral bodies (Figure). VUR grade and UDR were tested in univariate and multivariable analyses. Primary outcome was status of VUR at last clinical follow-up (i.e. resolution, persistence, or surgical intervention). Demographics, VUR timing, laterality, and imaging indication were also assessed.

Results: One-hundred and forty-seven children (98 girls, 49 boys) were diagnosed with primary VUR at a mean age of 5.5 ± 4.7 months. Sixty-seven (45.6%) resolved spontaneously, 55 (37.4%) had persistent disease, and 25 (17%) were surgically corrected. Patients who spontaneously resolved had significantly lower VUR grade, refluxed later during bladder filling, and had significantly lower UDR. In a multivariable model, grade of VUR (p = 0.001), age <12 months (p = 0.008), ureteral diameter (p = 0.02), and UDR (p < 0.0001) achieved statistical significance. For every 0.1 unit increase in UDR, there was a 2.6 (95% CI 1.58-4.44) increased odds of persistent VUR, whereas a 1.6 (95% CI 0.9-3.0) increased odds was observed for every unit increase in grade.

Discussion: Both grade of reflux and UDR were statistically significant in a multivariable model; however, UDR had a higher likelihood ratio and was more predictive of early spontaneous resolution than grade alone. Furthermore, unlike traditional VUR grading where children with grade 1-5 may outgrow reflux depending on other factors, there appears to be a consistent UDR cutoff whereby patients are unlikely to resolve. In the present study, no child with a UDR greater than 0.43 experienced early spontaneous resolution, and only three (4.5%) of those with spontaneous resolution had a UDR above 0.35.

Conclusions: UDR correlates with reflux grade, and is predictive of early resolution in children with primary VUR. UDR is an objective measurement of VUR, and provides valuable prognostic information about spontaneous resolution, facilitating more individualized patient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpurol.2017.01.012DOI Listing
August 2017

Rotavirus vaccination rate disparities seen among infants with acute gastroenteritis in Georgia.

Ethn Health 2017 12 14;22(6):585-595. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

a Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology/Biochemistry/Immunology , Morehouse School of Medicine , Atlanta , GA , USA.

Objective: Rotavirus (RV) is one of the most common diarrheal diseases affecting children less than 5 years of age. RV vaccines have greatly reduced this burden in the United States. The purpose of this study was to determine possible disparities and socio-economic differences in RV vaccination rates.

Design: Children with acute gastroenteritis were enrolled. Stool was tested for presence of rotavirus using an enzyme immunoassay kit. Vaccination records were abstracted from the state immunization registry and healthcare providers to examine complete and incomplete vaccination status. Cases were identified as children receiving a complete RV dose series and controls were identified as children with incomplete RV doses. A logistic regression model was used to determine disparities seen amongst children with incomplete vaccination status.

Results: Racial differences between Black and white infants for RV vaccination rates were not significant when controlling for covariates (OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.74-1.78); however ethnicity (p-value .0230), age at onset of illness (p-value .0004), birth year (p-value < .0001), and DTaP vaccination status (p-value < .0001) were all significant in determining vaccination status for children.

Conclusions: Racial disparities and socio-economic differences are not determinants in rotavirus vaccination rates; however, age and ethnicity have an effect on RV vaccine status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13557858.2016.1244744DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314174PMC
December 2017

Delayed upper tract drainage on voiding cystourethrogram may not be associated with increased risk of urinary tract infection in children with vesicoureteral reflux.

J Pediatr Urol 2016 Oct 21;12(5):312.e1-312.e6. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

Department of Pediatric Urology, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Urinary stasis in the setting of obstruction provides an opportunistic environment for bacterial multiplication and is a well-established risk factor for UTI. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) with delayed upper tract drainage (UTD) on VCUG has been reported to correlate with increased UTI risk. We sought to determine whether delayed UTD can be reliably classified, and whether it correlates with UTI incidence, VCUG, or endoscopic findings.

Methods: Children undergoing endoscopic surgery for primary VUR (2009-2012) were identified. VUR grade, timing, and laterality were abstracted. Demographics, hydrodistention (HD) grade, reported febrile and culture-proven UTI were assessed. UTD on VCUG was graded on post-void images as 1 = partial/complete UTD or 2 = no/increased UTD. Inter-observer agreement was calculated. Patients were excluded for incomplete imaging or inability to void during VCUG.

Results: The cohort included 128 patients (10M, 118F), mean age 4.1 ± 2.1 years. Mean age at diagnosis was 2.8 ± 2.8 years. Mean maximum VUR grade was 3 ± 0.9: 1 (7.8%), 2 (20.3%), 3 (43%), 4 (25.8%), 5 (3.1%). UTD occurred in 45 (35%), and no drainage in 83 (65%) patients. Agreement coefficient between graders was 0.596 (p < 0.0001). Cultures were available in 100 patients (70 positive). Patients experienced a mean of 2 ± 1.2 parent-reported fUTIs and 1.2 ± 1.2 culture-proven UTIs from birth to surgery. UTI rate did not differ by UTD status for parent or culture-proven UTI (Table). On multivariate analysis, no patient characteristic was a significant predictor of UTI based on drainage status. Children diagnosed with VUR before 1 year of age had a higher verified UTI rate (p < 0.001). However, drainage was not a significant predictor of UTI rate and when testing the interaction of drainage and age.

Conclusion: We sought to determine whether UTD was an accurate predictor of UTI risk to maximize available prognostic information from a single VCUG. Delayed UTD was not a predictor of infection in our patients, nor was it associated with previously described UTI risk factors, such as VUR timing or grade, and voiding dysfunction. Limitations included the retrospective nature of the study in patients undergoing endoscopic VUR treatment, and possible inaccurate UTI reports from parents and pediatricians. UTD can be reliably scored using a binary system with high inter-observer correlation. Our data call into question the previous finding that children with poor UTD are at increased risk of recurrent UTI. Delayed UTD is also not associated with higher HD, or VUR grade compared with those with more prompt UTD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpurol.2016.04.056DOI Listing
October 2016
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