Publications by authors named "Xiaolong Qi"

177 Publications

A compendium and comparative epigenomics analysis of cis-regulatory elements in the pig genome.

Nat Commun 2021 04 13;12(1):2217. Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Although major advances in genomics have initiated an exciting new era of research, a lack of information regarding cis-regulatory elements has limited the genetic improvement or manipulation of pigs as a meat source and biomedical model. Here, we systematically characterize cis-regulatory elements and their functions in 12 diverse tissues from four pig breeds by adopting similar strategies as the ENCODE and Roadmap Epigenomics projects, which include RNA-seq, ATAC-seq, and ChIP-seq. In total, we generate 199 datasets and identify more than 220,000 cis-regulatory elements in the pig genome. Surprisingly, we find higher conservation of cis-regulatory elements between human and pig genomes than those between human and mouse genomes. Furthermore, the differences of topologically associating domains between the pig and human genomes are associated with morphological evolution of the head and face. Beyond generating a major new benchmark resource for pig epigenetics, our study provides basic comparative epigenetic data relevant to using pigs as models in human biomedical research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22448-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8044108PMC
April 2021

Extension of Coronavirus Disease 2019 on Chest CT and Implications for Chest Radiographic Interpretation.

Radiol Cardiothorac Imaging 2020 Apr 30;2(2):e200107. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Department of Radiology, Seoul National College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03080, Korea (H.C., S.H.Y., S.J.P., C.M.P., J.H.L., H. Kim, E.J.H., S.J.Y., J.G.N., C.H.L., J.M.G.); CHESS Center, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China (Q.X., J.L.); Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (K.H.L.); Department of Internal Medicine, Incheon Medical Center, Incheon, Korea (J.Y.K.); Department of Radiology, Seoul Medical Center, Seoul, Korea (Y.K.L.); Department of Radiology, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea (H. Ko); Department of Radiology, Myongji Hospital, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (K.H.K.); and Department of Radiology, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwanju, Korea (Y.H.K.).

Purpose: To study the extent of pulmonary involvement in coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) with quantitative CT and to assess the impact of disease burden on opacity visibility on chest radiographs.

Materials And Methods: This retrospective study included 20 pairs of CT scans and same-day chest radiographs from 17 patients with COVID-19, along with 20 chest radiographs of controls. All pulmonary opacities were semiautomatically segmented on CT images, producing an anteroposterior projection image to match the corresponding frontal chest radiograph. The quantitative CT lung opacification mass (QCT) was defined as (opacity attenuation value + 1000 HU)/1000 × 1.065 (g/mL) × combined volume (cm) of the individual opacities. Eight thoracic radiologists reviewed the 40 radiographs, and a receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was performed for the detection of lung opacities. Logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors affecting opacity visibility on chest radiographs.

Results: The mean QCT per patient was 72.4 g ± 120.8 (range, 0.7-420.7 g), and opacities occupied 3.2% ± 5.8 (range, 0.1%-19.8%) and 13.9% ± 18.0 (range, 0.5%-57.8%) of the lung area on the CT images and projected images, respectively. The radiographs had a median sensitivity of 25% and specificity of 90% among radiologists. Nineteen of 186 opacities were visible on chest radiographs, and a median area of 55.8% of the projected images was identifiable on radiographs. Logistic regression analysis showed that QCT ( < .001) and combined opacity volume ( < .001) significantly affected opacity visibility on radiographs.

Conclusion: QCT varied among patients with COVID-19. Chest radiographs had high specificity for detecting lung opacities in COVID-19 but a low sensitivity. QCT and combined opacity volume were significant determinants of opacity visibility on radiographs.Earlier incorrect version appeared online. This article was corrected on April 6, 2020 and December 14, 2020.© RSNA, 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/ryct.2020200107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233433PMC
April 2020

Dietary supplementation with natural astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis improves antioxidant enzyme activity, free radical scavenging ability, and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes in laying hens.

Poult Sci 2021 May 15;100(5):101045. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of natural astaxanthin (ASTA) from Haematococcus pluvialis on production performance, egg quality, antioxidant enzyme activity, free radical scavenging ability, and gene expression of antioxidant enzymes in laying hens. Nongda No. 3 laying hens (n = 450) were randomly allocated to 1 of 5 dietary treatments. Each treatment had 6 replicates of 15 hens each. All birds were assigned to a corn-soybean meal-based diet containing 0, 20, 40, 80, or 160 mg/kg ASTA for 4 wk. With increasing dietary ASTA, no significant effects were observed on egg weight, feed consumption, feed efficiency, laying rate, Haugh unit, or eggshell strength. Yolk color darkened linearly with increasing dose of ASTA (P < 0.05). Glutathione peroxidase activity was improved in the kidney with dietary ASTA at levels of 40 mg/kg. Total superoxide dismutase (SOD) was significantly increased in the liver, kidney, and plasma with dietary ASTA supplementation at 40 mg/kg. With increasing dietary ASTA, the scavenging abilities of hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions were linearly increased (P < 0.05), and the malondialdehyde content decreased linearly (P < 0.05). Compared with the control group, mRNA expression of Cu-Zn SOD (SOD1), Mn SOD (SOD2), and nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) in the liver and kidney was significantly increased in the 40 mg/kg ASTA group (P < 0.05). The level of GPX4 mRNA in the liver and kidney was significantly increased with ASTA supplementation at 40 and 80 mg/kg (P < 0.05). The results demonstrate that dietary ASTA improves free radical scavenging ability and antioxidant enzyme activity, which may be related in part to the upregulated mRNA expression of genes encoding antioxidant enzymes and NRF2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005829PMC
May 2021

circHIPK3 regulates proliferation and differentiation of myoblast through the miR-7/TCF12 pathway.

J Cell Physiol 2021 Mar 21. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, China.

Skeletal muscle development is a complex biological process involving multiple key genes, signaling pathways and noncoding RNAs, including microRNAs and circular RNAs (circRNAs). However, the regulatory relationship among them is so complicated that it has not yet been fully elucidated. In this study, we found that miR-7 inhibited C2C12 cell proliferation and differentiation by targeting transcription factor 12 (TCF12). circHIPK3 acted as a competing endogenous RNA, and its overexpression effectively reversed the regulation of miR-7 on C2C12 cell proliferation and differentiation by increasing TCF12 expression. Taken together, our findings provide evidence that circHIPK3 regulates skeletal muscle development through the miR-7/TCF12 pathway. This study provides a scientific basis for further research on skeletal muscle development at the circRNA level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.30363DOI Listing
March 2021

SARS-CoV-2 infection aggravates chronic comorbidities of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes in mice.

Animal Model Exp Med 2021 03 6;4(1):2-15. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Key Laboratory of Human Disease Comparative Medicine National Health Commission of China (NHC) Institute of Laboratory Animal Science Peking Union Medicine College Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Beijing China.

Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and diabetes mellitus (DM) are top two chronic comorbidities that increase the severity and mortality of COVID-19. However, how SARS-CoV-2 alters the progression of chronic diseases remain unclear.

Methods: We used adenovirus to deliver h-ACE2 to lung to enable SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. SARS-CoV-2's impacts on pathogenesis of chronic diseases were studied through histopathological, virologic and molecular biology analysis.

Results: Pre-existing CVDs resulted in viral invasion, ROS elevation and activation of apoptosis pathways contribute myocardial injury during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Viral infection increased fasting blood glucose and reduced insulin response in DM model. Bone mineral density decreased shortly after infection, which associated with impaired PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling.

Conclusion: We established mouse models mimicked the complex pathological symptoms of COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases. Pre-existing diseases could impair the inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which further aggravated the pre-existing diseases. This work provided valuable information to better understand the interplay between the primary diseases and SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ame2.12155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7954823PMC
March 2021

A step forward to predict the risk of post-hepatectomy portal hypertension.

J Hepatol 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2021.02.025DOI Listing
March 2021

Effects of Early Placement of Transjugular Portosystemic Shunts in Patients With High-Risk Acute Variceal Bleeding: a Meta-analysis of Individual Patient Data.

Gastroenterology 2021 Jan 11. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 73000, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2021.01.006DOI Listing
January 2021

Pilot Study of the Effects of Polyphenols from Chestnut Involucre on Methane Production, Volatile Fatty Acids, and Ammonia Concentration during In Vitro Rumen Fermentation.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Jan 7;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali e Alimentari, Università degli Studi di Torino, Largo Paolo Braccini 2, Grugliasco, TO 10095, Italy.

Nutritional strategies can be employed to mitigate greenhouse emissions from ruminants. This article investigates the effects of polyphenols extracted from the involucres of Blume (PICB) on in vitro rumen fermentation. Three healthy Angus bulls (350 ± 50 kg), with permanent rumen fistula, were used as the donors of rumen fluids. A basic diet was supplemented with five doses of PICB (0%-0.5% dry matter (DM)), replicated thrice for each dose. Volatile fatty acids (VFAs), ammonia nitrogen concentration (NH-N), and methane (CH) yield were measured after 24 h of in vitro fermentation, and gas production was monitored for 96 h. The trial was carried out over three runs. The results showed that the addition of PICB significantly reduced NH-N ( < 0.05) compared to control. The 0.1%-0.4% PICB significantly decreased acetic acid content ( < 0.05). Addition of 0.2% and 0.3% PICB significantly increased the propionic acid content ( < 0.05) and reduced the acetic acid/propionic acid ratio, CH content, and yield ( < 0.05). A highly significant quadratic response was shown, with increasing PICB levels for all the parameters abovementioned ( < 0.01). The increases in PICB concentration resulted in a highly significant linear and quadratic response by 96-h dynamic fermentation parameters ( < 0.01). Our results indicate that 0.2% PICB had the best effect on in-vitro rumen fermentation efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11010108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7825775PMC
January 2021

The Presence of Ascites Affects the Predictive Value of HVPG on Early Rebleeding in Patients with Cirrhosis.

Gastroenterol Res Pract 2020 24;2020:1329857. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

Background And Aims: Gastroesophageal variceal bleeding is a serious complication of portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients and could be predicted by hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG). However, whether the presence of ascites affects the prognostic value of HVPG for patients with acute variceal bleeding is still unknown. This retrospective study is aimed at investigating the influence of ascites on predictive performance of HVPG for early rebleeding in cirrhotic patients with acute variceal bleeding.

Methods: In this retrospective study, a total of 148 patients with cirrhosis hospitalized for acute variceal bleeding who underwent HVPG measurement and endoscopic variceal ligation (EVL) for the prevention of rebleeding were included. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and logistical regression method were employed to analyze the predictive performance of HVPG for early rebleeding. The locally weighted scatterplot smoothing approach was adopted to assess the monotonicity between bleeding risk and HVPG.

Results: A significantly higher HVPG level was observed in patients with early rebleeding compared to patients without rebleeding in the nonascites cohort. When using HVPG to predict early rebleeding, there was a lower area under curve in the ascites cohort compared to the nonascites cohort. HVPG was recognized as a risk factor for early rebleeding by a logistic regression model only in the nonascites cohort. An overall monotonicity in the trend of change in HVPG and risk for early rebleeding was observed in the nonascites cohort solely.

Conclusion: The predictive value of HVPG for early rebleeding in patients with cirrhosis that developed acute variceal bleeding is hindered by the presence of ascites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/1329857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7710417PMC
November 2020

Effects of supplementing natural astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis to laying hens on egg quality during storage at 4°C and 25°C.

Poult Sci 2020 Dec 12;99(12):6877-6883. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China. Electronic address:

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of different levels of dietary natural astaxanthin (ASTA) (from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis) and storage at 4°C and 25°C on the quality of eggs from laying hens. Nongda No. 3 laying hens (n = 450) were randomly allocated to 1 of 5 dietary treatments. Each treatment had 6 replicates of 15 hens each. All birds were assigned to a corn-soybean meal-based diet containing 0, 20, 40, 80, or 160 mg/kg natural ASTA for 4 wk. A total of 540 eggs were collected at the end of the 4-week feeding trial. Sixty fresh eggs were collected and measured for egg quality within 24 h after collection. The other 480 eggs were used in a factorial arrangement with 5 dietary ASTA levels, 4 storage times, and 2 storage temperatures. During the 8-week storage period at 4°C and 25°C, egg quality measurements were performed every 2 wk on 12 eggs per treatment. No significant effects (P > 0.05) on yolk index, yolk pH, Haugh units, weight loss, or eggshell strength were observed with increasing concentrations of dietary ASTA. Yolk color darkened linearly with increasing dose of ASTA (P < 0.05). During storage of eggs, yolk index and Haugh units decreased significantly (P < 0.05), whereas yolk pH and weight loss increased (P < 0.05). An interaction was observed between dietary ASTA level and storage time on yolk index, yolk color, and Haugh units (P < 0.05). These results demonstrated that dietary ASTA from H. pluvialis delayed the decrease in yolk index and yolk color during storage at 4°C and 25°C. Therefore, we speculate that there may be a combined effect of dietary ASTA level and storage time on egg internal quality; this information may provide additional options by which to extend the storage time of eggs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.09.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7704997PMC
December 2020

Exosomes from bovine endometrial epithelial cells ensure trophoblast cell development by miR-218 targeting secreted frizzled related protein 2.

J Cell Physiol 2021 Jun 23;236(6):4565-4579. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, China.

Endometritis is a common disease affecting fertility in cows during the perinatal period, which disturbs the molecular milieu of the uterine environment and impairs embryo development and implantation. Exosomes are important extracellular components that transmit a variety of micro RNAs (miRNAs), which perform key regulatory functions. In this study, we investigated plasma exosomal miRNAs from cows with endometritis and from cultured endometrial epithelial cells (EECs) challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to explore the role of EEC-derived exosomes and their miRNAs in bovine endometritis. Plasma exosomes were collected from nine healthy dairy cows and nine dairy cows with endometritis, and culture supernatant exosomes were isolated from EECs challenged with or without LPS. Exosomal RNA was extracted using commercial kits and miRNA profiles were generated using RNA-seq. We found that miR-218 was differentially expressed in EECs under conditions of endometrial inflammation. Inhibition studies suggested that reduced levels of miR-218 in EEC-derived exosomes when transferred into placental trophoblast cells impaired embryonic development and decreased placental trophoblast cell migration by targeting secreted frizzled related protein 2. We propose that exosomal miR-218 secreted from EECs acts as a driver of embryonic development and differentiation. In addition, exosomal miR-218 may provide a valuable diagnostic marker for bovine endometritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.30180DOI Listing
June 2021

Effects of dietary supplementation of natural astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis on antioxidant capacity, lipid metabolism, and accumulation in the egg yolk of laying hens.

Poult Sci 2020 Nov 31;99(11):5874-5882. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing 102206, China. Electronic address:

The present study evaluated the effects of natural astaxanthin (ASTA) from Haematococcus pluvialis on the antioxidant capacity, lipid metabolism, and ASTA accumulation in the egg yolk of laying hens. Hy-Line Brown layers (n = 288, 50 wk old) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 dietary treatment groups. Each group had 6 replicates of 12 hens each. All birds were given a corn-soybean meal-based diet containing 0, 25, 50, or 100 mg/kg ASTA for 6 wk. The results showed that the total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase level, and glutathione peroxidase level in the plasma, livers, and egg yolks were significantly increased in the ASTA groups compared with those of the control group (P < 0.05), whereas the content of malondialdehyde linearly decreased (P < 0.05). The plasma levels of high-density and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the ASTA groups were significantly higher than those in the control group (P < 0.05). In addition, ASTA supplementation decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride plasma levels (P < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in the other lipid metabolism parameters among the ASTA-supplemented groups relative to the control group except for an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the liver. Compared with the control, dietary ASTA supplementation significantly increased the enrichment of ASTA in egg yolks at the end of week 2, 4, and 6 (P < 0.05). The mRNA expression of scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SCARB1) and very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) in the ASTA groups was markedly higher (P < 0.05) than that in the control group in the liver and ovaries, respectively. In conclusion, these results suggest that dietary ASTA enhances the antioxidant capacity and regulates lipid metabolism in laying hens. ASTA enrichment in egg yolks may be closely related to the upregulation of SCARB1 and VLDLR gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.08.029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7647864PMC
November 2020

Chest CT findings in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a comprehensive review.

Diagn Interv Radiol 2020 Nov 2. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Radiology, the First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Intelligent Imaging Medical Engineering Research Center, Accurate Image Collaborative Innovation International Science and Technology Cooperation, Lanzhou, China.

The objective of this review was to summarize the most pertinent CT imaging findings in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A literature search retrieved eligible studies in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Web of Science up to June 1, 2020. A comprehensive review of publications of the Chinese Medical Association about COVID-19 was also performed. A total of 84 articles with more than 5340 participants were included and reviewed. Chest CT comprised 92.61% of abnormal CT findings overall. Compared with real-time polymerase chain reaction result, CT findings has a sensitivity of 96.14% but a low specificity of 40.48% in diagnosing COVID-19. Ground glass opacity (GGO), pure (57.31%) or mixed with consolidation (41.51%) were the most common CT features with a majority of bilateral (80.32%) and peripheral (66.21%) lung involvement. The opacity might associate with other imaging features, including air bronchogram (41.07%), vascular enlargement (54.33%), bronchial wall thickening (19.12%), crazy-paving pattern (27.55%), interlobular septal thickening (42.48%), halo sign (25.48%), reverse halo sign (12.29%), bronchiectasis (32.44%), and pulmonary fibrosis (26.22%). Other accompanying signs including pleural effusion, lymphadenopathy and pericardial effusion were rare, but pleural thickening was common. The younger or early stage patients tended to have more GGOs, while extensive/multilobar involvement with consolidation was prevalent in the older or severe population. Children with COVID-19 showed significantly lower incidences of some ancillary findings than those of adults and showed a better performance on CT during follow up. Follow-up CT showed GGO lesions gradually decreased, and the consolidation lesions first increased and then remained relatively stable at 6-13 days, and then absorbed and fibrosis increased after 14 days. Chest CT imaging is an important component in the diagnosis, staging, disease progression and follow-up of patients with COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5152/dir.2020.20212DOI Listing
November 2020

Impact of exposure to patients with COVID-19 on residents and fellows: an international survey of 1420 trainees.

Postgrad Med J 2020 Oct 21. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare System and University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Objectives: To determine how self-reported level of exposure to patients with novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) affected the perceived safety, training and well-being of residents and fellows.

Methods: We administered an anonymous, voluntary, web-based survey to a convenience sample of trainees worldwide. The survey was distributed by email and social media posts from April 20th to May 11th, 2020. Respondents were asked to estimate the number of patients with COVID-19 they cared for in March and April 2020 (0, 1-30, 31-60, >60). Survey questions addressed (1) safety and access to personal protective equipment (PPE), (2) training and professional development and (3) well-being and burnout.

Results: Surveys were completed by 1420 trainees (73% residents, 27% fellows), most commonly from the USA (n=670), China (n=150), Saudi Arabia (n=76) and Taiwan (n=75). Trainees who cared for a greater number of patients with COVID-19 were more likely to report limited access to PPE and COVID-19 testing and more likely to test positive for COVID-19. Compared with trainees who did not take care of patients with COVID-19 , those who took care of 1-30 patients (adjusted OR [AOR] 1.80, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.51), 31-60 patients (AOR 3.30, 95% CI 1.86 to 5.88) and >60 patients (AOR 4.03, 95% CI 2.12 to 7.63) were increasingly more likely to report burnout. Trainees were very concerned about the negative effects on training opportunities and professional development irrespective of the number of patients with COVID-19 they cared for.

Conclusion: Exposure to patients with COVID-19 is significantly associated with higher burnout rates in physician trainees.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-138789DOI Listing
October 2020

Development and validation of a radiomics signature as a non-invasive complementary predictor of gastroesophageal varices and high-risk varices in compensated advanced chronic liver disease: A multicenter study.

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Oct 19. Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Department of Gastroenterology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Background And Aim: Gastroesophageal varices (GEV) present in compensated advanced chronic liver disease (cACLD) and can develop into high-risk varices (HRV). The gold standard for diagnosing GEV is esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). However, EGD is invasive and less tolerant. This study aimed to develop and validate radiomics signatures based on noncontrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) images for non-invasive diagnosis of GEV and HRV in patients with cACLD.

Methods: The multicenter trial enrolled 161 patients with cACLD from six university hospitals in China between January 2015 and September 2019, who underwent both EGD and noncontrast-enhanced CT examination within 14 days prior to the endoscopy. Two radiomics signatures, termed rGEV and rHRV, respectively, were built based on CT images in a training cohort of 129 patients and validated in a prospective validation cohort of 32 patients (ClinicalTrials. gov identifier: NCT03749954).

Results: In the training cohort, both rGEV and rHRV exhibited high discriminative abilities on determining the existence of GEV and HRV with the area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.941 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.904-0.978) and 0.836 (95% CI 0.766-0.905), respectively. In validation cohort, rGEV and rHRV showed high discriminative abilities with AUCs of 0.871 (95% CI 0.739-1.000) and 0.831 (95% CI 0.685-0.978), respectively.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that rGEV and rHRV could serve as the satisfying auxiliary parameters for detection of GEV and HRV with good diagnostic performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15306DOI Listing
October 2020

A computational model-based study on the exchangeability of hepatic venous pressure gradients measured in multiple hepatic veins.

Med Eng Phys 2020 10 30;84:28-35. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 73000, China.

Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is a hemodynamic index widely used for evaluating the severity of portal hypertension. Theoretically, HVPG can be measured in any of the three major (i.e., right, middle and left) hepatic veins (HVs); however, it remains unclear whether HVPGs measured in different HVs are exchangeable, and if not, what factors cause inter-HV HVPG differences? In consideration of the potential limitations of invasive in vivo measurements, we employed a computational model implemented in conjunction with stochastic parameter sampling to simulate and compare HVPG measurements in multiple HVs under various sinusoidal portal hypertensive conditions. Results demonstrated that HVPGs measured in the right and middle HVs were basically exchangeable, whereas those in the left HV were relatively lower due primarily to the smaller proportion of hepatic venous flow through the left HV compared with that through the right or middle HV. Moreover, it was found that hepatic vein-to-vein shunts (HVVS) led to a marked augmentation of inter-HV HVPG differences and significant underestimation of portal pressure gradient with HVPG. These findings suggest that understanding the distribution of hepatic venous flow and status of HVVS is essential for selecting a proper HV for implementing HVPG measurement in clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.medengphy.2020.07.022DOI Listing
October 2020

Validation of Baveno VI and expanded Baveno VI criteria to identify high-risk varices in patients with MAFLD-related compensated cirrhosis.

J Hepatol 2020 12 21;73(6):1571-1573. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2020.06.042DOI Listing
December 2020

Circulating chemerin level and risk of cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Biomark Med 2020 07 18;14(10):919-928. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

School of Public Health, Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, China.

Circulating chemerin level has been reported to be higher in patients with various types of cancer. However, the conclusions obtained are not unified. The aim of present study is to draw an evidence-based conclusion on the relationship between circulating chemerin and risk of cancer. A systematic search was carried out in PubMed and Web of Science up to 30 June 2019. The random-effects model was applied to calculate summary standardized mean differences with 95% CIs. The meta-analysis included a total of 12 separate studies, 876 cases and 739 healthy controls. The results showed that the expression level of circulating chemerin was significantly higher in cancer patients than that in control group (pooled standardized mean difference = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.03-1.90). This meta-analysis concludes that a high level of circulating chemerin is strongly associated with cancer risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/bmm-2019-0500DOI Listing
July 2020

Machine learning-based CT radiomics method for predicting hospital stay in patients with pneumonia associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection: a multicenter study.

Ann Transl Med 2020 Jul;8(14):859

CHESS-COVID-19 Group, CHESS Center, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global challenge since the December 2019. The hospital stay is one of the prognostic indicators, and its predicting model based on CT radiomics features is important for assessing the patients' clinical outcome. The study aimed to develop and test machine learning-based CT radiomics models for predicting hospital stay in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Methods: This retrospective, multicenter study enrolled patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and their initial CT images from 5 designated hospitals in Ankang, Lishui, Lanzhou, Linxia, and Zhenjiang between January 23, 2020 and February 8, 2020. Patients were classified into short-term (≤10 days) and long-term hospital stay (>10 days). CT radiomics models based on logistic regression (LR) and random forest (RF) were developed on features from pneumonia lesions in first four centers. The predictive performance was evaluated in fifth center (test dataset) on lung lobe- and patients-level.

Results: A total of 52 patients were enrolled from designated hospitals. As of February 20, 21 patients remained in hospital or with non-findings in CT were excluded. Therefore, 31 patients with 72 lesion segments were included in analysis. The CT radiomics models based on 6 second-order features were effective in discriminating short- and long-term hospital stay in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, with areas under the curves of 0.97 (95% CI, 0.83-1.0) and 0.92 (95% CI, 0.67-1.0) by LR and RF, respectively, in test. The LR and RF model showed a sensitivity and specificity of 1.0 and 0.89, 0.75 and 1.0 in test respectively. As of February 28, a prospective cohort of six discharged patients were all correctly recognized as long-term stay using RF and LR models.

Conclusions: The machine learning-based CT radiomics features and models showed feasibility and accuracy for predicting hospital stay in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-20-3026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396749PMC
July 2020

LncRNAs are regulated by chromatin states and affect the skeletal muscle cell differentiation.

Cell Prolif 2020 Sep 7;53(9):e12879. Epub 2020 Aug 7.

Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Objective: This study aims to clarify the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation and regulatory roles of lncRNAs in skeletal muscle cell differentiation.

Methods: We analysed the expression patterns of lncRNAs via time-course RNA-seq. Then, we further combined the ATAC-seq and ChIP-seq to investigate the governing mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of differentially expressed (DE) lncRNAs. Weighted correlation network analysis and GO analysis were conducted to identify the transcription factor (TF)-lncRNA pairs related to skeletal muscle cell differentiation.

Results: We identified 385 DE lncRNAs during C2C12 differentiation, the transcription of which is determined by chromatin states around their transcriptional start sites. The TF-lncRNA correlation network showed substantially concordant changes in DE lncRNAs between C2C12 differentiation and satellite cell rapid growth stages. Moreover, the up-regulated lncRNAs showed a significant decrease following the differentiation capacity of satellite cells, which gradually declines during skeletal muscle development. Notably, inhibition of the lncRNA Atcayos and Trp53cor1 led to the delayed differentiation of satellite cells. Those lncRNAs were significantly up-regulated during the rapid growth stage of satellite cells (4-6 weeks) and down-regulated with reduced differentiation capacity (8-12 weeks). It confirms that these lncRNAs are positively associated with myogenic differentiation of satellite cells during skeletal muscle development.

Conclusions: This study extends the understanding of mechanisms governing transcriptional regulation of lncRNAs and provides a foundation for exploring their functions in skeletal muscle cell differentiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cpr.12879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7507427PMC
September 2020

Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in Gansu province, China.

Ann Palliat Med 2020 Jul 13;9(4):1404-1412. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

CHESS Center, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China.

Background: The novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has outbreak in the world. Little is known about the clinical characteristics of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection in the high-altitude region of China. We reported the clinical characteristics of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Gansu province, China.

Methods: In this retrospective study, patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were consecutively enrolled from January 21, 2020 to February 11, 2020. The information on the epidemiological, clinical characteristics, laboratory tests, radiological features on admission, treatment and outcome were obtained with the final follow-up of March 13, 2020. On the basis of the median length of hospital stay, patients were further analyzed in two groups (long- vs. short-hospital stay).

Results: Of the 86 patients of COVID-19 in 11 cities of Gansu Province, the median hospital stay was 14.0 days (interquartile rang, 11.0-19.0 days). In the overall cohort, the median age was 41.0 years (interquartile rang, 31.0-54.3 years), and 48 (55.8%) patients were female. Forty (46.5%) had a history of exposure to epidemic regions, but none exposed to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Common symptoms included fever (41, 47.7%), and cough (37, 43.0%). On admission, 30 (34.9%) and 58 (67.4%) patients had leukopenia and lymphopenia. According to chest CT scans, 53 (66.3%) of 80 patients showed bilateral pneumonia, and 19 (23.8%) of 80 patients showed unilateral pneumonia. Of the 15 asymptomatic cases, 10 (66.6%) cases were found CT findings of pneumonia. Besides, there were 65 (75.6%) patients with mild and moderate type of COVID-19. All 86 patients received antiviral and traditional Chinese medicine therapy, 53 (61.6%) received antibacterial therapy, and 3 (3.5%) patients received invasive ventilator mechanical ventilation. The proportion of patients received antibiotic treatment in long-hospital stay group was significantly higher than that in the short-hospital stay group (P=0.045). As of March 13, 2020, 84 (97.7%) patients were discharged, and two (2.3%) cases died.

Conclusions: In the Gansu province cohort of 86 patients of COVID-19, most patients were with mild or moderate type, and most asymptomatic cases showed CT imaging findings of SARS-CoV-2 related pneumonia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-20-887DOI Listing
July 2020

Systematic review with meta-analysis: liver manifestations and outcomes in COVID-19.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2020 08 8;52(4):584-599. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Department of Gastroenterology, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, India.

Background: The incidence of elevated liver chemistries and the presence of pre-existing chronic liver disease (CLD) have been variably reported in COVID-19.

Aims: To assess the prevalence of CLD, the incidence of elevated liver chemistries and the outcomes of patients with and without underlying CLD/elevated liver chemistries in COVID-19.

Methods: A comprehensive search of electronic databases from 1 December 2019 to 24 April 2020 was done. We included studies reporting underlying CLD or elevated liver chemistries and patient outcomes in COVID-19.

Results: 107 articles (n = 20 874 patients) were included for the systematic review. The pooled prevalence of underlying CLD was 3.6% (95% CI, 2.5-5.1) among the 15 407 COVID-19 patients. The pooled incidence of elevated liver chemistries in COVID-19 was 23.1% (19.3-27.3) at initial presentation. Additionally, 24.4% (13.5-40) developed elevated liver chemistries during the illness. The pooled incidence of drug-induced liver injury was 25.4% (14.2-41.4). The pooled prevalence of CLD among 1587 severely infected patients was 3.9% (3%-5.2%). The odds of developing severe COVID-19 in CLD patients was 0.81 (0.31-2.09; P = 0.67) compared to non-CLD patients. COVID-19 patients with elevated liver chemistries had increased risk of mortality (OR-3.46 [2.42-4.95, P < 0.001]) and severe disease (OR-2.87 [95% CI, 2.29-3.6, P < 0.001]) compared to patients without elevated liver chemistries.

Conclusions: Elevated liver chemistries are common at presentation and during COVID-19. The severity of elevated liver chemistries correlates with the outcome of COVID-19. The presence of CLD does not alter the outcome of COVID-19. Further studies are needed to analyse the outcomes of compensated and decompensated liver disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apt.15916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7361465PMC
August 2020

Consensus recommendations of three-dimensional visualization for diagnosis and management of liver diseases.

Hepatol Int 2020 Jul 7;14(4):437-453. Epub 2020 Jul 7.

Department of Radiology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510282, China.

Three-dimensional (3D) visualization involves feature extraction and 3D reconstruction of CT images using a computer processing technology. It is a tool for displaying, describing, and interpreting 3D anatomy and morphological features of organs, thus providing intuitive, stereoscopic, and accurate methods for clinical decision-making. It has played an increasingly significant role in the diagnosis and management of liver diseases. Over the last decade, it has been proven safe and effective to use 3D simulation software for pre-hepatectomy assessment, virtual hepatectomy, and measurement of liver volumes in blood flow areas of the portal vein; meanwhile, the use of 3D models in combination with hydrodynamic analysis has become a novel non-invasive method for diagnosis and detection of portal hypertension. We herein describe the progress of research on 3D visualization, its workflow, current situation, challenges, opportunities, and its capacity to improve clinical decision-making, emphasizing its utility for patients with liver diseases. Current advances in modern imaging technologies have promised a further increase in diagnostic efficacy of liver diseases. For example, complex internal anatomy of the liver and detailed morphological features of liver lesions can be reflected from CT-based 3D models. A meta-analysis reported that the application of 3D visualization technology in the diagnosis and management of primary hepatocellular carcinoma has significant or extremely significant differences over the control group in terms of intraoperative blood loss, postoperative complications, recovery of postoperative liver function, operation time, hospitalization time, and tumor recurrence on short-term follow-up. However, the acquisition of high-quality CT images and the use of these images for 3D visualization processing lack a unified standard, quality control system, and homogeneity, which might hinder the evaluation of application efficacy in different clinical centers, causing enormous inconvenience to clinical practice and scientific research. Therefore, rigorous operating guidelines and quality control systems need to be established for 3D visualization of liver to develop it to become a mature technology. Herein, we provide recommendations for the research on diagnosis and management of 3D visualization in liver diseases to meet this urgent need in this research field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12072-020-10052-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7366600PMC
July 2020

Pre-existing liver disease is associated with poor outcome in patients with SARS CoV2 infection; The APCOLIS Study (APASL COVID-19 Liver Injury Spectrum Study).

Hepatol Int 2020 Sep 4;14(5):690-700. Epub 2020 Jul 4.

Division of Hepatobiliary, Cipto Mangunkusuamo Hospital, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Background And Aims: COVID-19 is a dominant pulmonary disease, with multisystem involvement, depending upon comorbidities. Its profile in patients with pre-existing chronic liver disease (CLD) is largely unknown. We studied the liver injury patterns of SARS-Cov-2 in CLD patients, with or without cirrhosis.

Methods: Data was collected from 13 Asian countries on patients with CLD, known or newly diagnosed, with confirmed COVID-19.

Results: Altogether, 228 patients [185 CLD without cirrhosis and 43 with cirrhosis] were enrolled, with comorbidities in nearly 80%. Metabolism associated fatty liver disease (113, 61%) and viral etiology (26, 60%) were common. In CLD without cirrhosis, diabetes [57.7% vs 39.7%, OR = 2.1 (1.1-3.7), p = 0.01] and in cirrhotics, obesity, [64.3% vs. 17.2%, OR = 8.1 (1.9-38.8), p = 0.002] predisposed more to liver injury than those without these. Forty three percent of CLD without cirrhosis presented as acute liver injury and 20% cirrhotics presented with either acute-on-chronic liver failure [5 (11.6%)] or acute decompensation [4 (9%)]. Liver related complications increased (p < 0.05) with stage of liver disease; a Child-Turcotte Pugh score of 9 or more at presentation predicted high mortality [AUROC 0.94, HR = 19.2 (95 CI 2.3-163.3), p < 0.001, sensitivity 85.7% and specificity 94.4%). In decompensated cirrhotics, the liver injury was progressive in 57% patients, with 43% mortality. Rising bilirubin and AST/ALT ratio predicted mortality among cirrhosis patients.

Conclusions: SARS-Cov-2 infection causes significant liver injury in CLD patients, decompensating one fifth of cirrhosis, and worsening the clinical status of the already decompensated. The CLD patients with diabetes and obesity are more vulnerable and should be closely monitored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12072-020-10072-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7334898PMC
September 2020

Hepatic venous pressure gradient-guided laparoscopic splenectomy and pericardial devascularisation versus endoscopic therapy for secondary prophylaxis for variceal rebleeding in portal hypertension (CHESS1803): study protocol of a multicenter randomised controlled trial in China.

BMJ Open 2020 06 23;10(6):e030960. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

CHESS Center, Institute of Portal Hypertension, The First Hospital of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China

Introduction: Gastro-oesophageal variceal bleeding is one of the most common and severe complications with high mortality in cirrhotic patients who developed portal hypertension. Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is a globally recommended golden standard for the portal pressure assessment and an HVPG ≥16 mm Hg indicates a higher risk of death and rebleeding. This study aims to compare the effectiveness and safety of splenectomy and pericardial devascularisation (laparoscopic therapy) plus propranolol and endoscopic therapy plus propranolol for variceal rebleeding in cirrhotic patients with HVPG between 16 and 20 mm Hg.

Methods And Analysis: This is a multicenter, randomised, controlled clinical trial. Participants will be 1:1 assigned randomly into either laparoscopic or endoscopic groups. Forty participants whose transjugular HVPG lies between 16 and 20 mm Hg with a history of gastro-oesophageal variceal bleeding will be recruited from three sites in China. Participants will receive either endoscopic therapy plus propranolol or laparoscopic therapy plus propranolol. The primary outcome measure will be the occurrence of gastro-oesophageal variceal rebleeding. Secondary outcome measures will include overall survival, occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma, the occurrence of venous thrombosis, the occurrence of adverse events, quality of life and tolerability of treatment. Outcome measures will be evaluated at baseline, 12 weeks, 24 weeks, 36 weeks, 48 weeks and 60 weeks. Multivariate COX regression model will be introduced for analyses of occurrence data and Kaplan-Meier analysis with the log-rank test for intergroup comparison.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval was obtained from all three participating sites. Primary and secondary outcome data will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and widely disseminated.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03783065; Pre-results.

Trial Status: Recruitment for this study started in December 2018 while the first participant was randomised in January 2019. Recruitment is estimated to stop in October 2019.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030960DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7312451PMC
June 2020

An integrated analysis of testis miRNA and mRNA transcriptome reveals important functional miRNA-targets in reproduction traits of roosters.

Reprod Biol 2020 Sep 16;20(3):433-440. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Animal Science and Technology College, Beijing University of Agriculture, Beijing, 102206, China. Electronic address:

The reproductive efficiency of roosters is an important trait in poultry production; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying this trait are not clearly understood. Here, we compared the mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) transcriptomes of testis from roosters with divergent sperm motility. A total of 302 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 182 upregulated genes and 120 downregulated genes, were identified in high sperm motility groups compared with low sperm motility groups. A subset of these DEGs related to steroid hormone biosynthesis and thus could be important for spermatogenesis. Additionally, we detected 13 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEMs) between two groups, and target gene prediction indicated seven of these could be associated with spermatogenesis. Based on a comprehensive analysis of these transcriptomes, miRNA-mRNA interaction networks were constructed. Six DEGs were predicted to be regulated by DEMs. Subsequently, we validated the negative regulation of family with sequence similarity 84, member A (FAM84A) by miR-215 using a dual-luciferase reporter system. These results provide new insights into the molecular profile of the testis and identify genes that may determine sperm motility in chickens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repbio.2020.03.003DOI Listing
September 2020