ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0209.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: good clinical practice; clinical trials; quality; investigator training; clinical investigator
Online: 19 January 2020 (04:46:48 CET)
Background: Good clinical practice (GCP) training is the industry standard for ensuring the quality conduct of registrational clinical trials. However, concerns have been raised about whether the current structure and delivery of GCP training sufficiently prepares clinical investigators and their delegates to conduct clinical trials. Methods: We conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with 13 clinical investigators and 10 research sponsors to 1) examine characteristics of the quality conduct of sponsored clinical trials, including critical tasks and concerns perceived as essential for trial quality, 2) identify key knowledge and skills required to perform critical tasks, and 3) identify gaps and redundancies in GCP training and areas of improvement to ensure the quality conduct of clinical trials. We used applied thematic analysis to analyze the data. Results: The top three tasks identified as critical for the quality conduct of clinical trials were obtaining informed consent, ensuring protocol compliance, and protecting participants’ health and safety. Respondents acknowledged that GCP principles address each of these critical tasks; however, they described many challenges and burdens of GCP training, including high training frequency and repetitive content. Respondents suggested moving beyond GCP training as a mere check-box activity by making it more effective, engaging, and interactive. They also emphasized that applying GCP principles in a real-world, skills-based environment would increase the relevance of GCP training to investigators and their delegates. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that although investigators and sponsors recognize that GCP training addresses critical tasks necessary to the quality conduct of clinical trials, they articulated the need for significant improvement in the design, content, and presentation of GCP training.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0279.v1
Online: 16 April 2020 (13:47:49 CEST)
Objectives: This study aims to identify, report, and analyze registered and published clinical trials and observational studies for the pharmacological treatment of COVID-19 conducted in China. Methods: A strategic search was conducted via the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry to identify and extract clinical trials and observational studies registered and conducted in China for the pharmacological treatment of COVID-2019 between January 1st, 2020 and March 21st, 2020. This was further supplemented by searches conducted via the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database, the MEDLINE database, the World Health Organization (WHO) database, and MedRxiv and BioRxiv electronic platforms for preprint articles, published up until April 8th, 2020. Studies available in Chinese and English were included in the searches and extracted. A primary descriptive analysis was performed for registered clinical trials and observational studies identified in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry based on the extraction of the following clinical study information: trial ID, planned date of enrollment, recruitment status, study design, population, sample size, intervention/exposure group, control /reference group, dosage, and primary outcomes. A secondary descriptive analysis was performed for published clinical trials and observational studies identified from the supplementary databases based on the extraction of the following published clinical study information: study design, population, intervention/exposure group, control /reference group and main results as appropriate. Results: A total of 221 clinical trials and observational studies were included from all databases searched. From the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, 195 registered clinical studies including 170 clinical trials and 25 observational studies were identified and included for primary analysis. From the supplementary databases, 26 published clinical studies including 8 clinical trials and 18 observational studies were included for secondary analysis. Of these 26 published clinical studies, 18 studies, including 3 clinical trials and 15 observational studies were identified from CNKI, 2 studies including 1 clinical trial and 1 observational study from MEDLINE, 2 including 1 clinical trials and 1 observational studies from the WHO database, and 4 including 3 clinical trials and 1 observational studies from MedRxiv and BioRxiv platforms. In the primary analysis, among the 170 clinical trials included from the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, 101 investigated western medicines (WMs), while 15 investigated Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs), and 54 investigated a combination of TCMs and WMs. Among the 25 included observational studies from the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, 2 investigated WMs, 2 investigated TCMs, and 21 investigated a combination of TCMs and WMs. The total number of exposed patients in all 195 clinical studies from the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry amounted to 24,500. In the secondary analysis, treatment with Lopinavir-ritonavir and treatment with Hydroxychloroquine was not associated with a difference from standard of care in the rate of RT-PCR negativity; treatment with a combination of Lopinavir-ritonavir, interferon α, and Lian-Hua-Qing-Wen capsule was found to significantly improve the effective rate of treatment compared with Interferon α combined with Lian-Hua-Qing-Wen capsule. Conclusions: China is generating a massive source of evidence that is critical for defeating the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only the clinical experience, but also the scientific evidence should be shared with the global scientific community.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: clinical trials; investigator qualification; good clinical practice; investigator training
Online: 8 October 2019 (05:18:34 CEST)
The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) Investigator Qualification Project addresses the need for a more efficient and effective means of identifying qualified clinical investigators and delegates. Selection of investigators and delegates who are qualified by training and experience to conduct clinical trials is essential to safeguarding protections for study participants and ensuring data quality and integrity. Sponsors generally document investigator qualification through training on the principles of good clinical practice (GCP), as defined by the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH), adopted by regulatory authorities in the US, Japan and the European Union. Although these GCP principles provide an important foundation for promoting the conduct of quality clinical trials, the industry standard “one-size-fits-all” GCP training may not fully prepare investigators and delegates for conducting quality clinical trials. Routine GCP training alone may not be sufficient to prepare an inexperienced member of a site team, while repeating such training is unlikely to enhance the qualifications of an experienced researcher. The CTTI project team used findings from qualitative research activities, as well as input from an expert meeting with multiple stakeholders, to identify gaps and redundancies in the current training of investigators and their delegates and recommend practical, action-based solutions. CTTI provides recommendations on how to implement a more efficient and effective means of qualification for investigators and delegates, determine whether a site team is a good fit for a particular protocol, and improve the quality of clinical trial conduct.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0541.v1
Online: 23 July 2020 (08:24:54 CEST)
Multicompartment compliance aids (MCAs) are devices with each discrete section denoting a single dosing occasion. The purpose of an MCA is to maximize patient adherence and thereby optimize the treatment benefits. These devices are widely employed throughout western Europe and UK and use appears to be rapidly increasing (2) although the RPS as moved away from these devices as a means to improve adherence. We analysed MCAs from various pharmacies over a wide geographic area in England and North Wales. We concluded that most MCA users are elderly patients. Also, most of the patients suffer of combined cardiovascular disease. However, a significant proportion of patients falls in the mental/ neurological disease category. Additionally, most of the externals added to MCAs are inhalers and painkillers. Moreover, SDIs are more frequent in female patients and these SDI are mainly related with mental health medication, cardiovascular disease medication and neurological medication. In conclusion, a directive for dispensing of MCAs in pharmacies by pharmacists through an enhanced service should be elaborated having in consideration PIMs, SDIs, drug stability and use of externals and MCA design and brand.
Online: 28 June 2020 (19:46:40 CEST)
Objectives: Data sharing has become a requirement of many funding bodies and is becoming a scientific standard in many disciplines. In medical research, however, data sharing can conflict with clinicians’ obligation to protect patients’ privacy. General recommendations on data sharing exist also for clinical research, but so far lack practical and Swiss-specific aspects. The objective of this document is to provide practical recommendations for all relevant aspects of data sharing in agreement with legislation in Switzerland. Methods: This document was written by members of the Swiss CTU Network, a network of academic clinical trial units. The process did not follow a formalized Delphi process. After an internal consensus round, this report is now published as pre-print for external review. A second version will incorporate external comments. We plan to publish this document as a text in progress, as we expect relevant changes in related fields such as the development of further dedicated medical repositories or methodological advances in anonymization techniques. Results: We developed principles and practical recommendations with respect to informed consent, data management plan, anonymization, data structure and format, coding of variables, metadata and documentation, version control, selection of repository, requesting and use of data. We also provide a summary of legal aspects relevant for the Swiss context. Conclusions: The intension to share data has an impact not only after a clinical trial or an observational study is completed, but also during the planning period, the conduct and the analysis phase. Clinical researchers need to be aware at the beginning of a study on how to inform patients and at least the amount of work related to preparing data for sharing, metadata, and any further documentation. This report provides details of aspects to be considered, suggests decision criteria, and provides examples and checklists, in order to support data sharing in practice.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0051.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: clinical instructor, clinical education, transcultural, intercultural communication, socio-culture and millennial generation
Online: 16 April 2021 (11:20:50 CEST)
Clinical education is a method that is applied to formal nurse education as a step to provide real and direct learning experiences in the nursing environment correctly and effectively. The success of education in a clinical setting certainly requires the support of teaching nurses (clinical instructors) who have credibility and competence in terms of knowledge, attitudes and skills and are actively involved in professional activities. The diversity of backgrounds of nurses and students, including patients, certainly contributes to a shift in paradigms and perspectives for the nursing environment both in education and in clinical settings in health services. Responding to this cultural diversity, it is important to prepare knowledge and understanding related to transcultural nursing issues, intercultural communication and clinical education which explores the socio-cultural elements in the implementation of staff, students and patients. Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to identify the extent to which nurse educators play a role by including socio-cultural and transcultural aspects in efforts to develop the quality of education in clinical practice environments in the millennium era. Method: The method of writing this article uses 11 literature review, the publication year period 2019,2020 and 2021 with sources from 4 databases such as science Direct, Scopus, ProQues and Elsevier. The review guidelines used are based on Prisma and the Joanna Briggs Institutute. The level of eligibility is identified through the title, abstract, research methodology as well as the type of scholarly journal and full text. Results: The results of the reviews found are presented in a narrative form. The results of the review study found that there were 11 articles explaining the competence of clinical education based on the socio-cultural approach, which is an educational strategy in the clinical area that integrates transcultural elements of nursing, intercultural communication, collaboration, self-directed with the principles of openness, honesty, and mutual respect in the implementation of team interaction and collaboration. The development of interpersonal relationships is also an important role that educators must have in helping to introduce the nurse orientation process to the organizational environment and other professional teams so that the achievement of satisfaction with clinical education is able to improve the performance of nurses and students perfectly. Conclusion: Clinical education which is supported by the competence of nurse educators (clinical instructors) who have individual and professional competences has a role to play in improving clinical learning outcomes by both students and nurses with a socio-cultural and transcultural strategic approach that will create satisfaction with the achievement of clinical competence and performance effectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0074.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Clinical Skills; Clinical Training; Competency; Cross-sectional Studies; Dental Education; Dentistry; Self-perception.
Online: 4 January 2023 (08:48:49 CET)
The transition from undergraduate dental student to the actual practicing dentist is a crucial phase and ensuring the preparedness of graduates for the complexity and demands of contempo-rary dental practice is a challenging task. This study aimed to evaluate the self-perceived prepar-edness of undergraduate dental students and house officers in the dental colleges of Pakistan. Cross-sectional national study was planned to collect the information from dental students and new graduates in Pakistan. The pre-validated Dental Undergraduates Preparedness Assessment Scale (DU-PAS) was used. Purposive sampling technique was utilized to recruit house officers and undergraduate dental students from 27 dental schools in Pakistan. The data analysis was car-ried out using the R statistical environment for Windows (R Core Team, 2015). The total of 862 responses with 642 females and 219 males were analyzed in the study. Overall, clinical skills score was 30.56+9.08 and score for soft skills was 30.54+10.6. The mean age of the participants was 23.42+1.28. Deficiencies were reported in various soft skills and clinical skills attributes.The results highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of dental students and new graduates in Pakistani den-tal institutions. The findings may be used to further develop and strengthen teaching and training of dental students in Pakistan.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: biosimilar; analytical assessment; animal testing; clinical pharmacology; clinical efficacy; FDA; EMA; MHRA; WHO
Online: 10 August 2022 (05:19:49 CEST)
Scientific, technical and bioinformatics advances have made it possible to establish analytics-based molecular biosimilarity for the approval of biosimilars. If the molecular structure and other product- and process-related attributes are comparable within the limits of testing then a biosimilar candidate would have safe safety and efficacy as its reference products. The current model of animal and human testing becomes redundant since all of these studies have much lower sensitivity and reproducibility in confirming biosimilarity. The recent AI-based protein structure prediction model has confirmed that the 3D structure can be predicted from the amino acid sequence, reducing the need for structural analysis; however, the new test methods based on MS are millions of times more sensitive and accurate. While the regulatory agencies have begun waiving animal testing and, in some cases, clinical efficacy testing, removing clinical pharmacology profiling brings a dramatic paradigm shift, reducing development costs without compromising safety and efficacy. Also shared is a list of 160+ products ready to enter as biosimilars. Major actions from regulatory agencies and developers are required to make this paradigm shift.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0411.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical Trials; disruption; non-COVID-19 clinical trials; drugs; therapeutic area
Online: 25 May 2020 (11:17:56 CEST)
COVID-19 is causing major turmoil around the globe, and the clinical trial industry is likely to face unprecedented challenges to health and business sectors. In an effort to find a suitable treatment and prevention options for COVID-19, several COVID-19 clinical trials are being planned and initiated, while a large number of clinical trials for non- COVID-19 indications are suffering delays. With over more than 1000 trials being disrupted and more trials being added to this category daily, there is a direct impact on trial site activation and patient enrolment. This analysis deals with the specific impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the clinical trial and pharmaceutical industry. The objective of this study is to provide an updated information of the disrupted clinical trials and its impact on various therapeutic areas and different drugs. Among the severely affected clinical trials, oncology and CNS trials are the hardest hit therapy areas.This article will certainly emphasize the need for advanced and innovative approaches to maintain the health of the clinical trial ecosystem by continuing the existing trials and the start of the new studies. We have to take and follow necessary actions to guarantee that the initiatives will not be locked during the COVID-19 pandemic, both for the treatment of patients and for the researchers to conduct decision-relevant clinical trials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: probiotics; cancer; safety; clinical trials
Online: 5 August 2020 (09:27:01 CEST)
In recent years, the consumption of over-the-counter probiotics used to promote health has grown rapidly worldwide and become an industry. In medicine, various studies have proven that probiotics can help improve the immune system and intestinal health. They are usually safe, but in some rare cases, they may cause concerning adverse reactions. Although the use of probiotics has been widely popularized in the public, the results of many probiotics clinical trials are contradictory. Especially for the cancer patients, the feasibility of probiotics management to provide benefits by targeting cancer and lessening anti-cancer side effects requires further investigations. And this review summarizes the interactions between probiotics and the host and current pros and cons of applying probiotics in the cancer patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0242.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Targeted therapy; Clinical trial
Online: 21 February 2022 (03:05:05 CET)
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Surgery or surgery plus radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy for patients with metastatic CRC (mCRC) were accepted as the main therapeutic strategies until the early 2000s, when targeted drugs, like cetuximab and bevacizumab were developed. The use of targeted drugs in clinical practice has significantly increased patients’ overall survival. To date, the emergence of several types of targeted drugs has opened new possibilities and revealed new prospects for mCRC treatment. Therapeutic strategies are continually being updated to select the most suitable targeted drugs based on the results of clinical trials that are currently underway. This review discusses the up-to date molecular evidence of targeted therapy for mCRC and summarizes the Food and Drug Administration-approved targeted drugs including the results of clinical trials. We also explain their mechanisms of action and how these affect the choice of a suitable targeted therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0294.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Mucormycosis; Zygomycosis; Epidemiology; Incidence; Clinical; Spain.
Online: 20 October 2021 (15:48:58 CEST)
Background: Mucormycosis is a worldwide angio-invasive fungal infection that is associated with high morbidity and mortality. A few European studies have focused on the epidemiology. Methodology: A retrospective longitudinal descriptive study was performed with inpatients diagnosed with mucormycosis (ICD-9-CM, code 117.7, cases 1997-2015; and ICD-10, code B46, cases 2016-2018; along with length of hospital stay) in Spanish public hospitals between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2018. Data were obtained from the Minimum Basic Data Set (CMBD in Spanish). Principal findings: A total of 962 patients were recorded; 665 were men. The mean age (±SD) was 55±18.8 years. The annual incidence rate increased from 0.74 to 1.24 cases per million person-years. The lethality rate was 31.3%. Renal failure (41.6%) and hematological malignancy (36.3%) were the main factors involved. Conclusions: Mucormycosis is a rare infectious disease in Spain, but it has had a significantly increased incidence in the last two decades. Being an adult male and having diabetes, neoplasm or renal failure are the main factors associated. High mortality is usually associated mainly with hematological malignancy and renal failure. CMBD studies could be an efficient tool for assessing changes in the epidemiology of mucormycosis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0265.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Peptides; Clinical Practice; Drug Therapy; Therapeutic
Online: 10 February 2021 (15:51:13 CET)
The treatment of peptides has played an important role in clinical practice since the discovery of insulin therapy in the 1920s. Over 60 peptide drugs are approved in the United States (US and other regional mar-kets, and peptides continue to undergo drug discovery steadily. Peptide research and development has lev-eraged a wider range of structures known from other plant sources, via pharmacology and medicinal molecular biology, beyond its conventional focus on individual endogenous peptides. We build a comprehensive database of peptides that have met scientific studies with more than 150 constantly evolving peptides. Here we provide a simple overview of the peptide-based drug therapy environment, comprising evolutionary points of view, structural properties, operational thresholds, and explanation of the therapeutic area.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0187.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: clinical characteristics; febrile children; Kawasaki disease
Online: 20 February 2019 (09:10:15 CET)
Background: Kawasaki disease (KD) is a form of vasculitis that primarily affects children under the age of 5 years old. Patients may be missed diagnosis when initial clinical symptoms do not fulfill the traditional criteria. We aimed to analyze factors that clinicians could use to differentiate febrile children suspected of KD. Method: We retrospectively enrolled a total of 83 febrile children who were initially suspected of KD, but they did not meet the American Heart Association (AHA) criteria for a diagnosis. However, some of these patients were diagnosed with KD during their second visit. We analyzed patients' characteristics, clinical symptoms, and laboratory data. Results: In total, 50 patients were enrolled in the study. Of those, ten patients were diagnosed with KD on their second visit (group 1), while the other 40 patients still did not fit a KD diagnosis (group 2). A patient with a neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio greater than 1.33 combined with a C-reactive protein more than 33 mg/L was more likely to have KD. Conclusion: Among patients suspected of KD that did not initially meet the criteria, clinicians should pay special attention to elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios and CRP levels and closely follow up such patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0174.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: e-portfolio; clinical skills; competences; medicine
Online: 11 May 2018 (04:45:11 CEST)
Clinical training in medical schools in Spain is performed by rotations in university hospitals. During these internships, students are expected to acquire and master basic procedural skills. However, the assessment tools available rarely check whether these skills are completely acquired by the students. We have used an e-portfolio to determine the optimal number of times the students need to repeat a procedure to be able to perform it independently. The results were compared with the actual performance during the internships. An e-portfolio collected qualitative information about the internships. Quantitative information was also requested about the number of times each clinical skill was performed. Later, a survey asked these students and their teachers the optimal number of times each skill should be repeated before it could be considered fully acquired. The questionnaire was answered by 98.6% of the students and 70.3% of their teachers. Out of the 21 clinical skills and procedures selected, both students and their tutors agreed in a similar optimal value in 16 of them; only in five of them, teachers thought that students needed a greater number of times than that selected by the students. When these optimal values were compared with the actual values recorded in the portfolio during the internships, it was found that about half of the clinical skills were carried out less frequently than expected, thus providing an important feedback about the internships. Quantitative information collected in portfolios reveals a moderate mismatch between students and tutors perceptions of their training needs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0296.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: nasal delivery; glioblastoma multiforme; drug delivery; nanoparticles; nose-to-brain delivery; pre-clinical studies; clinical evaluation
Online: 27 October 2019 (09:36:27 CET)
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal form of brain tumor, characterized by rapid growth and surrounding tissue invasion. The current standard treatment is surgery followed by radiotherapy, and concurrent chemotherapy, typically with temozolomide. Although extensive research has been performed over the past years to develop an effective therapeutic strategy for the treatment of GBM, efforts have not provided major improvements in the overall survival of patients with GBM. Thus, new therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. A major challenge in the development of therapies for central nervous system (CNS) disorders is overcoming the blood–brain barrier (BBB). In this context, the intranasal (IN) route of drug administration has been proposed as a non-invasive alternative route to directly targeting the CNS. In fact, this route of drug administration may bypass the blood-brain barrier and reduce systemic side effects. Recently, formulations have been developed to further enhance nose-to-brain transport, mainly with the use of nano-sized and nanostructured drug delivery systems. The focus of this review will be on the strategies developed to deliver a number of anticancer compounds for the treatment of GBM using the nasal administration. In particular, the specific properties of nanomedicines proposed for the nose-to-brain delivery will be critically evaluated. The number of preclinical and clinical data reviewed support the idea that nasal delivery of anticancer drugs might represent a breakthrough advancement in the fight against GBM.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0270.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; clinical trial fails; disease-modifying treatments; alzheimer’s disease biomarkers; combination treatment; clinical trial designs
Online: 24 September 2019 (11:23:25 CEST)
Despite all scientific efforts and many protracted and expensive clinical trials, no new drug has been approved by FDA for treatment of Alzheimer disease (AD) since 2003. Indeed, more than 200 investigational programs have failed or have been abandoned in the last decade. The most probable explanations for failures of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) for AD may include late initiation of treatments during the course of AD development, inappropriate drug dosages, erroneous selection of treatment targets, and mainly an inadequate understanding of the complex pathophysiology of AD, which may necessitate combination treatments rather than monotherapy. Clinical trials’ methodological issues have also been criticized. Current drug-development research for AD is aimed to overcome these drawbacks. Preclinical and prodromal AD populations, as well as traditionally investigated populations representing all the clinical stages of AD, are included in recent trials. Systematic use of biomarkers in staging preclinical and prodromal AD and of a single primary outcome in trials of prodromal AD are regularly integrated. The application of amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration biomarkers, including new biomarkers—such as Tau positron emission tomography, neurofilament light chain (blood and CSF biomarker of axonal degeneration) and neurogranin (CSF biomarker of synaptic functioning)—to clinical trials allows more precise staging of AD. Additionally, use of the Bayesian statistics, modifiable clinical trial designs, and clinical trial simulators enrich the trial methodology. Besides, combination therapy regimens are currently assessed in clinical trials. The abovementioned diagnostic and statistical advances, which have been recently integrated in clinical trials, are consequential to the recent failures of studies of disease-modifying treatments. Their experiential rather than theoretical origins may better equip potentially successful drug-development strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: leprosy; ABO/Rh blood group; Clinical; Angola
Online: 20 September 2022 (09:28:22 CEST)
Introduction: Leprosy, caused by Mycobacterium leprae is one of the oldest infectious diseases in human history and its eradication is linked to poverty control, lack of basic sanitation, the fragility of health, and education services. Objective: To evaluate the frequency of blood groups (ABO/Rh) and the sociodemographic and clinical profile of Angolan patients with Leprosy treated at the Anti-Tuberculosis and Leprosy Dispensary in Luanda, the capital city of Angola. Methodology: A descriptive, introspective, cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach was carried out with 102 patients of Luanda, in the second half of 2021. Results: Of the 102 patients included in the study, the majority belonged to the ORh+ group (51.9%), followed by the BRh+ group (27.4%) and ARh+ (18.6%), most were under 51 years of age ( 87.3%), with low education (54.9%), coming from urban areas (44.1%). As for clinical conditions, most had a multibacillary infection (93.1%), diagnosed mainly by smear microscopy (75.5%) without other infection (79.4%), some of them with complications (28.4%) and individuals with non-O blood group showed changes in the blood count. Conclusion: Leprosy seems to be common in ORh+ individuals, it continues to affect especially those residing in areas of population agglomerations and with low education, presenting itself as a multibacillary infection, where changes in the blood count are greater in non-O individuals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0078.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: digitalization; clinical chemistry; artificial intelligence; interoperability; FAIRification
Online: 15 July 2022 (05:00:44 CEST)
Laboratory medicine is a digital science. Every large hospital produces a wealth of data each day - from simple numerical results from e.g. sodium measurements to highly complex output of “-omics” analyses, as well as quality control results and meta-data. Processing, connecting, storing, and ordering extensive parts of these individual data requires Big Data techniques. Whereas novel technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning have exciting application for the augmentation of laboratory medicine, the Big Data concept remains fundamental for any sophisticated data analysis in large databases. To make laboratory medicine data optimally usable for clinical and research purposes, they need to be FAIR: findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. This can be achieved for example by automated recording, connection of devices, efficient ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes, careful data governance, and modern data security solutions. Enriched with clinical data, laboratory medicine data allow a gain in pathophysiological insights, can improve patient care, or they can be used to develop reference intervals for diagnostic purposes. Nevertheless, Big Data in laboratory medicine do not come without challenges: The growing number of analyses and data derived from them is a demanding task to be taken care of. Laboratory medicine experts are and will be needed to drive this development, take an active role in the ongoing digitalization, and provide guidance for their clinical colleagues engaging with the laboratory data in research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0175.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: ESKAPE; heteroaryl-ethylenes; clinical strains; antimicrobial activity
Online: 13 May 2022 (03:30:57 CEST)
The World Health Organization has identified antimicrobial resistance as a public health emergency and developed a global priority pathogens list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be summarized in the acronym ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacterales species), reminding us of their ability to escape the effect of antibacterial drugs. We previously tested new heteroaryl-ethylene compounds in order to define their spectrum of activity and antibacterial capability. Now, we focus our attention on PB4, a compound with promising MIC and MBC values in all conditions tested. In the present study, we evaluate the activity of PB4 on selected samples of ESKAPE isolates from nosocomial infections: 14 S. aureus, 6 E. faecalis, 7 E. faecium, 12 E. coli and 14 A. baumanii. Furthermore, an ATCC control strain was selected for all species tested. MICs were performed according to the standard method, with some modifications. PB4 MIC values were within very low ranges regardless of bacterial species and resistance profiles: from 0,12 to 2 mg/L for S. aureus, E. faecalis, E. faecium and A. baumannii. For E. coli, the MIC values obtained were slightly higher (4-64 mg/L), butstill promising. The PB4 heteroaryl-ethylenic compound was able to counteract the bacterial growth of both high-priority Gram-positive and Gram-negative clinical strains. In the future, it would be interesting to evaluate the activity of PB4 in animal models to test for its toxicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0121.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: botulinum toxin; subtype A2; clinical tolerability; safety
Online: 7 October 2021 (15:02:29 CEST)
All the available botulinum type A neurotoxins for clinical uses are of A1 subtype. We developed a subtype A2 low molecular weight (150kD) neurotoxin (A2NTX), with less spread and faster entry into the motor nerve terminal than A1 in vitro and in vivo. Preliminary clinical studies showed its efficacy superior to A1 toxins. We conducted an open study exploring its safety and tolerability profile in comparison with A1LL (onabotulinumtoxinA) and low molecular weight (150kD) A1 neurotoxin (A1NTX). Those who had been using A1LL (n=90; 50-360 mouse LD50 units) or A1NTX (n=30; 50-580 units) were switched to A2NTX (n=120; 25-600 units) from 2010 till 2018 (number of sessions ~ 27, cumulative doses ~11,640 units per patient). Adverse events for A2NTX included weakness (n=1, ascribed to alcoholic polyneuropathy), dysphagia (1), local weakness (4), spread to other muscles (1), whereas those for A1LL or A1NTX comprised weakness (n=2, A1NTX), dysphagia (8), ptosis (6), local weakness (7) and spread to other muscles (15). After injections, 89 out of 120 patients preferred A2NTX to A1 for the successive sessions. The present study demonstrated that A2NTX had the clinical safety up to the dose of 500 units, and was well tolerated compared to A1 toxins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0400.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: pharmacovigilance; clinical pharmacology; male; female; emergency department.
Online: 15 June 2021 (11:51:17 CEST)
This post-hoc analysis of an Italian active pharmacovigilance study describes pharmacological differences of ADEs leading to emergency department (ED) visit and hospitalization in women and men. During the study period (January 2007 – December 2018), 61,855 reports of ADE leading to ED visit were collected. Overall, 30.6% of ADEs resulted in hospitalization (30% in women and 31% in men). Multivariate logistic regression showed that, among women, drug classes significantly associated with an increased risk of hospitalization were heparins (ROR 1.41, CI 1.13-176), antidepressants (ROR 1.12, CI 1.03-1.23) and antidiabetics (ROR 1.13, CI 1.02-1.24). Among men only vitamin K antagonists (ROR 1.28, CI 1.09-1.50), opioids (ROR 1.30, CI 1.06-1.60) and digitalis glycosides (ROR 1.32, CI 1.09-1.59) were associated with a higher risk of hospitalization. Overall, older age, multiple suspected drugs and the presence of comorbidi-ties were significantly associated with a higher risk of hospitalization. A significantly reduced risk of hospitalization was observed in both women and men experiencing and adverse event following immunization (ROR 0.36, CI 0.27-0.48 and 0.83, 0.42-0.74, respectively) compared to drugs. Results obtained from this real-world analysis highlight important aspects of drug safety between sexes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0387.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Chikungunya; seroprevalence; clinical presentation; febrile outpatient; Malawi
Online: 17 May 2021 (13:19:32 CEST)
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by Chikungunya virus (CHIKV. We conducted this study determine the seroprevalence and clinical presentation of Chikungunya infection among outpatients seeking healthcare in Mzuzu City, Malawi. Blood samples were collected from malaria negative and non-septic febrile outpatients with fevers ≥38 °C, for not more than 5 days. The enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test was used to detect anti-CHIKV IgM antibodies and its results were used to determine seroprevalence of Chikungunya. A total of 119 serum samples were tested, of these, 73 (61.3%) tested positive for anti-CHIKV IgM antibodies by ELISA. Laboratory requisition forms were used to capture demographic information such as age, sex, clinical signs and symptoms presented by the enrolled patients. Age groups of 1-9, 10- 19, 20- 29, 30- 39, 40- 49, and ≥50 years had 17.8% (n= 13), 12.3 %,( n=9), 15.1%) (n=11), 19.2%; (n=14), 17.8% (n=13) and 17.8% (n=13) proportion of seroprevalence respectively. Most of the CHIKV infected individuals presented with fever (52.05%), joint pain (45.21%) and abdominal pain (42.67%). The presence of anti- CHIKV IgM antibodies suggest the presence of recent CHIKV infection and therefore accurate laboratory assays are highly recommended for CHIKV diagnosis and appropriate management of febrile patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0445.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Causality; Clinical Predisposing Factors; Delirium; Palliative Care
Online: 17 March 2021 (14:46:06 CET)
Delirium occurs in 50-80% of end-of-life patients but it is often misdiagnosed. Identification of clinical factors potentially associated with delirium onset can lead to a correct early diagnosis. To this aim, we conducted an observational prospective study on patients from an Italian Palliative Care Unit (PCU) in 2018-2019 and evaluated the presence of clinical factors at patients’ admission. We then compared their presence in patients who developed delirium and in those who did not during follow-up. On 503 enrolled patients, 95 (18.9%) developed delirium. In univariate analyses, factors significantly more frequent in patients with delirium were advanced age, care in hospice, very compromised performance status, hypoxia, high number of simultaneous clinical factors, presence of breathlessness, poor well-being, severe drowsiness, and background therapy with haloperidol and drugs acting on CNS. In multivariate analyses, setting of care (odds ratio, OR, 1.68 for hospice versus home care, 95% confidence interval, CI 1.02-2.75; p=0.040), and administration of psychiatric drugs (OR 1.74 for administration versus no administration, 95% CI 1.08-2.81; p=0.023) were significantly associated with the risk of developing delirium, while the associations with age (OR 1.82 for > 80 years versus ≤ 70 years, 95% CI=0.98-3.36; p=0.046) and presence of breathlessness (OR 1.70, 95%, CI 0.99-2.89, p=0.053) were of borderline significance. The study indicates that some clinical factors are associated with the probability of delirium onset. Their evaluation in PC patients could help the healthcare professionals to timely identify the development of delirium in those patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0293.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Hsp70; biomarker; glioblastoma; NK cells; clinical study
Online: 26 January 2021 (11:33:34 CET)
Despite rapid progress in the treatment of many cancers, glioblastoma remains a devastating disease with dismal prognosis. The aim of this study was to identify immune-related biomarkers that more effectively predict outcome of glioblastoma. Since heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and IL-2 are known to increase the expression of activatory NK cell receptors, recognizing aggressive human tumor cells that present Hsp70 on their cell surface, extracellular Hsp70 levels were determined in glioma patients together with activatory NK cell receptors. All gliomas are membrane Hsp70-positive (mHsp70+) and high grade gliomas more frequently show an overexpression of Hsp70 in the nucleus and cytosol. Significantly increased extracellular Hsp70 levels are detected predominantly in glioblastomas with large necrotic areas. Overall survival (OS) is more favorable in patients with low Hsp70 serum levels indicating that a high Hsp70 expression is associated with an unfavorable prognosis. Elevated frequencies of NK cells are associated with a more favorable outcome. Of caution, a glucocorticoid therapy reduces the prevalence of NK cells. In summary, elevated frequencies of Hsp70-reactive NK cells at diagnosis and lower Hsp70 levels predict a more favorable prognosis in glioblastoma patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0142.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; serology; RT-PCR; lab; clinical
Online: 8 May 2020 (12:26:46 CEST)
COVID-19 was identified in Wuhan, China in in December 2019, and rapidly spread worldwide, being declared global pandemic one month later on 30 January 2020. Since its emergence, COVID-19 has raised global concerns associated with drastic measures that were never adopted in any previous outbreak, to contain the situation as early as possible. The 2019 novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) or SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. 2019-nCoV genetic sequence was rapidly identified within few days since the first reported cases and RT-PCR kits became available for COVID-19 diagnosis. However, RT-PCR diagnosis carries a risk of false-negative results, therefore additional serologic test are needed. The most important approach in the battle against COVID-19 is rapid diagnosis of suspicious cases, timely therapeutic intervention and isolation to avoid community spread. In this review, we summarize the clinical scenario that raises suspicion of COVID-19 and available laboratory diagnostics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0179.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: knowledge acquisition; clinical practice guidelines; data driven knowledge acquisition; cancer treatment plan; clinical decision support system; formal verification
Online: 22 July 2019 (06:17:34 CEST)
Validation and verification are the critical requirements in the knowledge acquisition method for the clinical decision support system (CDSS). After acquiring the medical knowledge from diverse sources, the rigorous validation and formal verification process are required before creating the final knowledge model. Previously, we have proposed a hybrid knowledge acquisition method for acquiring medical knowledge from clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and patient data in the Smart CDSS for treatment of oral cavity cancer. The final knowledge model was created by combining knowledge models obtained from CPGs and patient data after passing through a rigorous validation process. However, detailed analysis shows that due to lack of formal verification process, it involves various inconsistencies in knowledge relevant to the formalism of knowledge, conformance to CPGs, quality of knowledge, and complexities of knowledge acquisition artifacts. Therefore, it is required to enhance a hybrid knowledge acquisition method that thwarts the inconsistencies using formal verification. This paper presents the verification process using the Z formal method and its outcome as an enhanced acquisition method – known as the refined knowledge acquisition (ReKA) method. The ReKA method adopted verification method and explored the mechanism of theorem proving using the Z notation. It enables to identify inconsistencies in the validation process used for hybrid knowledge acquisition. Additionally, it refines the hybrid knowledge acquisition method by discovering the missing steps in the current validation process at the acquisition stage. Consequently, ReKA adds a set of nine additional criteria to be used to have a final valid refined clinical knowledge model. The criteria ensure the validity of final knowledge model concerning formalism of knowledge, conformance to GPGs, quality of the knowledge, usage of stringent conditions and treatment plans, and inconsistencies possibly resulting from the complexities. Evaluation, using four medical knowledge acquisition scenarios, shows that newly added knowledge in CDSS due to the addition of criteria by ReKA method always produces a valid knowledge model. The final knowledge model was also evaluated with 1229 oral cavity patient cases, which outperformed with an accuracy of 72.57\% compared to a similar approach with an accuracy of 69.7\%. Furthermore, ReKA method identified a set of decision paths (about 47.8%) in the existing approach, which results in a final knowledge model with low quality, non-conformed from standard CPGs. In conclusion, ReKA is formally proved method which always yields valid knowledge model having high quality, supporting local practices, and influenced from standard guidelines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0378.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: staphylococcus aureus; infective endocarditis; clinical prediction rules; echocardiography
Online: 25 January 2022 (10:41:47 CET)
Background. It is unclear whether the use of clinical prediction rules is sufficient to rule out infective endocarditis (IE) in patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) without an echocardiogram evaluation, either transthoracic (TTE) and/or transesophageal (TEE). Our primary purpose was to test the usefulness of PREDICT, POSITIVE and VIRSTA scores to rule out IE without echocardiography. Our secondary purpose was to evaluate whether not performing an echocardiogram evaluation is associated with higher mortality. Methods. We conducted a unicentric retrospective cohort including all patients with a first SAB episode from January 2015 to December 2020. IE was defined according to modified Duke criteria. We predefined threshold cut-off points to consider that IE was ruled out by means of the mentioned scores. To assess 30-day mortality, we used a multivariable regression model considering performing an echocardiogram as covariate. Results. Out of 404 patients, IE was diagnosed in 50 (12.4%). Prevalence of IE within patients with negative PREDICT, POSITIVE and VIRSTA scores was: 3.6% (95% CI 0.1-6.9%), 4.9% (95% CI 2.2-7.7%), and 2.2% (95% CI 0.2-4.3%), respectively. Patients with negative VIRSTA and negative TTE had an IE prevalence of 0.9% (95% CI 0-2.8%). Performing an echocardiogram was independently associated with lower 30-day mortality (OR 0.24 95%CI 0.10-0.54, p=0.001). Conclusion. PREDICT and POSITIVE scores were not sufficient to rule out IE without TEE. In patients with negative VIRSTA score, it was doubtful if IE could be discarded with a negative TTE. Not performing an echocardiogram was associated with worse outcomes, which might be related to presence of occult IE. Further studies are needed to assess the usefulness of clinical prediction rules in avoiding echocardiographic evaluation in SAB patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0202.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: helminth; self-treatment; clinical trials; inflammation; dose escalation
Online: 13 December 2021 (12:46:41 CET)
The virtually complete loss of intestinal worms, known as helminths, from Western society has resulted in elimination of a range of helminth-induced morbidities. Unfortunately, that loss has also led to inflammation-associated deficiencies in immune function, ultimately contributing to widespread pandemics of allergies, autoimmunity, and neuropsychiatric disorders. Several socio-medical studies have examined the effects of intentional reworming, or self-treatment with helminths, on a variety of inflammation-related disorders. In this study, the latest results from ongoing socio-medical studies are described. The results point toward two important factors that appear to be overlooked in some if not most clinical trials. Specifically, (a) the method of preparation of the helminth can have a profound effect on its therapeutic efficacy, and (b) variation between individuals in the effective therapeutic dosage apparently covers a 10-fold range, regardless of the helminth used. These results highlight current limits in our understanding of the biology of both hosts and helminths, and suggest that information from self-treatment may be critical for clinical evaluation of the benefits and limits of helminth therapy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0198.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: CAR-T; TCR; cancer immunotherapy; immunotherapy clinical trials
Online: 8 July 2021 (11:04:10 CEST)
Chimeric antigen receptor and T-cell receptor (CAR-T/TCR) cellular immunotherapies have shown remarkable success in the treatment of some refractory B-cell malignancies, with potential to provide durable clinical response for other types of cancer. In this paper, we look at all available FDA CAR-T/TCR clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, and analyze them with respect to different disease tissues, targeted antigens, products, and originator locations. We found that 627 of 1,007 registered are currently active and of those 273 (44%) originated in China and 280 (45%) in the US. Our analysis suggests that the rapid increase in the number of clinical trials is driven by the development of different CAR-T products that use a similar therapeutic approach. We coin the term bioparallels to describe such products. Our results suggest that one feature of the CAR-T/TCR industry may be a robust response to success and failure of competitor products.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0116.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s Disease; Clinical trial; Precision medicine.
Online: 5 July 2021 (16:08:41 CEST)
Concomitant neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) are common in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Furthermore, AD biomarkers are associated with cognitive decline and dementia in PD patients during life. Here, we highlight the considerable overlap between AD and PD, emphasizing neuropathological, biomarker, and mechanistic studies. We suggest that precision medicine approaches may successfully identify PD patients most likely to develop concomitant AD. The ability to identify PD patients at high risk for future concomitant AD in turn provides an ideal cohort for trials of AD-directed therapies in PD patients, aimed at delaying or preventing cognitive symptoms.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0130.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: nursing student; patient safety; clinical education; educational institutions
Online: 5 April 2021 (12:46:34 CEST)
Students' knowledge of the concept of patient safety in infection prevention and control and treatment safety is still low. Real-life problem-based learning approaches in the area of clinical education assist in patient safety education. This study was designed to identify, evaluate and summarize available evidence on the effectiveness of clinical education on student achievement of patient safety competencies. The Methode that use in this study is systematic review. Search for articles in research journals obtained from Sciencedirect, Ebscohost, Garuda, Proquest and Scopus. As many as 228 articles were obtained consisting of nursing journals and health journals with the keywords clinical education, competence, and patient safety. After that, the screening process was carried out based on the inclusion criteria and obtained 25 articles that met the criteria. The result of this study are the contribution of educational institutions in the achievement of patient safety competencies for nursing students is still low and the achievement of patient safety competencies for students at the professional level is better than for students who are still learning theory in educational institutions. The conclusion of this study is clinical education carried out by educational institutions is considered ineffective in achieving the competence of patient safety for nursing students. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a patient safety model or curriculum that is attached to clinical education in nursing education institutions
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0455.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Prognosis; prosthodontics; dental implant; clinical performance; risk factor.
Online: 18 December 2020 (11:34:49 CET)
Background: The treatment plan of prosthetic restorations supported by dental implants require comprehensive scientific knowledge to deliver prostheses with good prognosis, even before the implant insertion. This review aims to analyze the main prosthetic determinants of the prognosis of implant-supported prostheses. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted with a PICO question: "For partially or complete edentulous subjects treated with implant-supported prostheses, which prosthetic factors could affect clinical outcomes?". A literature search was performed electronically in PubMed (MEDLINE), Scopus and Cochrane Library with the following equation [PROGNOS* OR RISK] FACTOR IMPLANT DENTAL, and by hand search in relevant journals and throughout the selected papers. Results: This revision was carried out based on 50 papers focused on several prosthodontics-related risk factors that were grouped as follows: implant-connection, loading protocol, transmucosal abutments, prosthetic fit, provisionalization, type of retention, impression technique, fabrication technique, and occlusion. More than a half of the studies were systematic reviews (30%), meta-analysis (16%) or prospective evaluations of prosthesis with various kinds of events (18%). But also narrative reviews of literature (14%) and in vitro/animal studies (16%) were found. Conclusions: The current literature provides insufficient evidence for most of the investigated topics. However, based on the accumulated data, it seems reasonable to defend that the best treatment approach is the use of morse taper implants with transmucosal abutments, recorded by means of rigidly splinted copings through the pick-up technique, and screwed by milled prosthesis occlusally adjusted to minimize functional overloading.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0453.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: neurology; clinical features; coronavirus; stroke; encephalitis; headache; delirium
Online: 25 April 2020 (02:36:21 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease due to SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan city, China in December 2019 and rapidly spread more than 200 countries as a global health pandemic. There are more 3 million confirmed cases and around 207,000 fatalities. The primary manifestation is respiratory and cardiac but neurological manifestations are being reported in the literature as case reports and case series. The most common reported symptoms to include headache and dizziness followed by encephalopathy and delirium. Among the complications noted are Cerebrovascular accident, Guillian barre syndrome, acute transverse myelitis, and acute encephalitis. The most common peripheral manifestation was hyposmia. It is further noted that sometimes the neurological manifestations can precede the typical features like fever and cough and later on typical manifestations develop in these patients. Hence a high index of suspicion is required for timely diagnosis and isolation of cases to prevent the spread in neurology wards. We present a narrative review of the neurological manifestations and complications of COVID-19. Our aim is to update the neurologists and physicians working with suspected cases of COVID-19 about the possible neurological presentations and the probable neurological complications resulting from this novel virus infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0325.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: dental caries; prevention; clinical trials; herbal; scoping review
Online: 27 November 2019 (03:57:04 CET)
It is currently recognized that an injudicious strategy in the last decades has been not only focusing of research typically on caries in children, but also the narrow focusing on fluoride, because despite sufficient availability of fluoride in water and oral healthcare products, caries levels escalate steadily as people get older and caries remain a main public health issue to be settled. In the last two decades the scientific community intensified efforts of exploring other products for caries prevention, herbal products being one of these approaches. Because preliminary evidence indicated that clinical trials for caries prevention with herbal products are heterogeneous in design, quality and products evaluated, we performed a scoping review intended to explore the main characteristics of such clinical trials. From an initial collection of 1986 unique papers from different literature databases, 56 articles satisfied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The species investigated, dosage forms, study designs, duration of intervention, controls, endpoints, quality of reporting and risk of bias are discussed. 85.71% of the trials reviewed here reported positive results but given the methodological flaws and biases affecting them, it is difficult to conclude on the efficacy of those products based on the studies published thus far.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0296.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: point-of-care; cholesterol; clinical diagnostics; laboratory test
Online: 26 July 2019 (01:13:11 CEST)
Managing blood cholesterol levels is important for the treatment and prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. An easy-to-use, portable cholesterol blood test will accelerate more frequent testing by patients and at-risk populations. We aim to evaluate the performance of smartphone-based point-of-care cholesterol blood tests as compared to that of hospital-grade laboratory tests. We used smartphone systems that are already familiar to many people. Because smartphone systems can be carried around everywhere, blood can be measured easily and frequently. We compared the results of cholesterol tests with those of existing clinical diagnostic laboratory methods. We found that smartphone-based point-of-care lipid blood tests are as accurate as hospital-grade laboratory tests (N=116, R>0.97, P<0.001 for all 3 cholesterol blood tests: total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, and triglyceride). Our system will be useful for those who need to manage blood cholesterol levels to motivate them to track and control their behavior.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0384.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; children; clinical features; comorbidities; male genderSARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, children, clinical features, comorbidities, male gender
Online: 26 July 2022 (04:43:02 CEST)
Background: Given the potential for additional development to clarify a better knowledge of the overall impact of COVID-19 on the pediatric population, the clinical symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children and adolescents are still being explored. Morbidity in children is characterized by a variable clinical course. Our study's goal was to compare clinical aspects of 230 pediatric patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were hospitalized between April 2020 and March 2022. Methods: In a retrospective analysis, we compared two groups hospitalized in the infectious diseases clinical ward IX at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "Prof. Dr. Matei Bals," Bucharest, Romania. The first group of 88 patients was admitted between (April–December 2020) and their clinical manifestations were compared with the second group of 142 children followed between July 2021 and March 2022. Results: Of 230 children, the median age was 4.5 (interquartile range 0.6-17) years, 53.9% were male. 88 (36.21%) patients (first group) were admitted during the second wave in Romania, mostly aged < 5 years old, and experienced digestive manifestations like fever (p=0.001), and diarrhoea (p=0.004). The second group experienced different clinical signs when compared with the first group, with higher temperature and increased respiratory symptoms analogous to those of acute respiratory viral infections. The proportion in the second group increased, and 64.5% had symptoms for a median interval of 5 days; age (0-4 -years old) and length of stay were both proportionally inversely (p<0.01) and with correlation with hospital admission (p = 0.04). We report two Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) in the second group, with favourable evolution under treatment. Comorbidities were risk factors for complications appear (p < 0.001) in both groups. All paediatric cases admitted to our clinic evolved favourably and no death was recorded. Conclusions: In the first group children experienced digestive symptoms, whereas the second group experienced mild and moderate respiratory symptoms. We confirmed risk factors for severe cases as manifestations across the age spectrum, 0-4 (digestive symptoms) and 5-12 years old (for respiratory symptoms), associated comorbidities, fever, and male gender. The potential effects of COVID-19 infection in children older than 5 years should encourage caregivers to vaccinate and improve the prognosis among pediatric patients at risk.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0289.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: Primary Sjögren's Syndrome; dryness; fatigue; depression; anxiety; clinical trials
Online: 19 October 2022 (14:26:01 CEST)
Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease defined as exocrine gland hypofunction resulting in dry eyes and dry mouth. Recent interest in biological therapies for pSS has been garnered, however achieving FDA-approval has been challenging due to the numerous complications in the trials. Current literature lacks insight and a molecular target-based approach to the development of biological therapies. This review focuses on novel research in newly defined drug targets and latest clinical trials for pSS treatment. A literature search was conducted on ClinicalTrials.gov using the search term “Primary Sjögren's syndrome”. Articles published between 2000 and 2021 in English language were included. Our findings revealed the potential targets for pSS treatment in clinical trials and the most recent advances in understand-ing of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of pSS. A prominent gap in current trials is overlooking the treatment of extraglandular symptoms such as fatigue, depression and anxiety which pervade most patients with pSS. Based on dryness and these symptom-directed therapies, emerging biological agents targeting inflammatory cytokines, signal pathways and immune reaction have been studied and proved the efficacy and safety. Novel therapies may complement existing non-pharmacological methods of alleviating symptoms of pSS. Better grad-ing systems adding extraglandular symptoms to gauge disease activity and severity should be created. The future of pSS therapies may lie in gene therapy, stem cell and tissue engineering ther-apy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0316.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: ANCA-associated vasculitis; Proteinase 3; Myeloperoxidase; Clinical Phenotype; Outcome
Online: 17 August 2022 (09:58:51 CEST)
The traditional nomenclature system for classifying Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides (AAV), based on clinical phenotype, described Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA), Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA) and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) as distinct clinical entities. This classification has proved its expedience in clinical trials and every day clinical practice, yet, a substantial overlap in clinical presentation still exists, and often causes difficulties in prompt definition and clinical distinction. Additionally, new insights into the AAV pathogenesis point out that PR3 and MPO-AAV may not represent expressions of the same disease spectrum but rather two distinct disorders, as they display significant differences. Thus, it is supported that a classification based on ANCA serotype (PR3-ANCA, MPO-ANCA or ANCA-negative), could be more accurate and also closer to the nature of the disease, instead of the phenotype-based one. This review aims to elucidate the major differences between PR3 and MPO-AAV, in terms of epidemiology, pathogenesis, histological and clinical manifestations, and response to therapeutic approaches.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0027.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: acute pulmonary embolism; dilemmas; therapeutic treatment; recommendations; clinical application
Online: 2 August 2022 (03:12:56 CEST)
Pulmonary thromboembolism is a very common cardiovascular disease, with a still high mortality rate. Despite the clear guidelines, this disease still represents a great challenge both in diagnosis and treatment. Heterogeneous clinical picture, often without pathognomonic signs and symptoms, represents a huge differential diagnostic problem even for experienced doctors. The decision on the therapeutic regimen also represents a major dilemma in the group of patients who are hemodynamically stable at initial presentation and have signs of right ventricular (RV) dysfunction proven by echocardiography and positive biomarker values (pulmonary embolism of intermediate-high risk). Studies have shown conflicting results about the benefit of using fibrinolytic therapy in this group of patients until hemodynamic decompensation, due to the risk of major bleeding. The latest recommendations give preference to new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKA), except for certain categories of patients (patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, mechanical valves, pregnancy). When using oral anticoagulant therapy, special attention should be paid to drug-drug interactions, which can lead to many complications, even to the death of the patient. Special population groups such as pregnant women, obese patients, patients with antiphospholipid syndrome and cancer represent a great therapeutic challenge in the application of anticoagulant therapy. In these patients, not only the effectiveness of the drugs must be taken into account, but great attention must be paid to their safety and possible side effects, which is why a multidisciplinary approach is emphasized in order to provide the best therapeutic option.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0149.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: clinical S.aureus; skin carriage; geriatric-MRSA pneumonia; endogenous-S.aureus
Online: 11 July 2022 (04:33:22 CEST)
The changing epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus has created several gaps in its population structure and emergence of strains. Two global shifts in the aftermath of the past methicil-lin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) pandemic are: a rise in healthcare-associated infections and evolu-tion of cutaneous and soft tissue infections with high morbidities and mortalities. Furthermore, bitter lessons from COVID-19 showed S. aureus necrotizing-pneumonia and skin conditions ag-gravating Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Monkeypox manifestations. Limited data and paucity of high-quality evidence exist for many key clinical questions. Using clinical microbiology, molecular characterization, hospital data on age and in-fection sites, and antibiograms, we have investigated S. aureus infection patterns. We showed that age-specific distribution in both intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU revealed highest infection rates (94.7%) in senior-patients >50 years; most were MRSA (81.99%). However, specific distribu-tions of geriatric MRSA and MSSA rates were 46.5% and 4.6% in ICU and 35.48% and 8.065% in non-ICU, respectively. Intriguingly, age groups 0-20 years showed uniquely similar MRSA pat-terns in ICU and non-ICU patients (13.9%, 9.7%, respectively) and MSSA in ICU (11.6%). In age groups 20-50 years, MRSA were 2-fold in non-ICU (35%) than ICU (18.6%). Interestingly, highly significant association was found between infection-site and age-groups (P-value .000). Skin in-fections remained higher in all ages; pediatrics 32.14%, adults 56%, and seniors 25% while res-piratory infections were lower in pediatrics (14.3%) and adult 17%), and highest in seniors (38%). Blood and “other” sites in pediatrics recorded (28.6%; 25%, respectively), slightly lower in adults (18.6%; 8.6%) and seniors (14%); 22.8%), respectively. Further, significant association existed between infection-site and MRSA (Chi-Square Test, P-value .002). The common cutaneous infec-tions across all age-groups and the significant association of MRSA to geriatric-respiratory infec-tions have a high potential for skin-carriage as reservoir for endogenous infection. The similar frequencies of both lineages in youth in all settings imply MSSA-carriage as potential evolutionary origins for MRSA. These findings have important clinical implications for strategic planning in patient management and S. aureus control particularly in age-specific infections and vigilance for potential viral coinfections.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0064.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: combination treatment; monotherapy; clinical trial design; benefit/risk assessment
Online: 6 January 2022 (10:14:10 CET)
Combination treatment, i.e., the use of two or more drugs for the same condition, is frequent in medicine if monotherapy yields an insufficient therapeutic response. We here review and challenge clinical study designs and formats of reporting outcomes for the evaluation of the benefit/risk ratio of combination treatment over monotherapy. We demonstrate that benefits of combination treatment at the group level over-estimate the probability of benefit at the single patient level based on outcome simulations under almost any imaginable setting. Based on these findings we propose that studies testing combination treatment should always report on percentages of responders to monotherapy and combination treatment. We provide equations that allow calculation of the percentage of patients truly benefitting from combination (responders to both monotherapies) and that of patients exposed to risk of harm from adverse effects without a reasonable expectation of individual benefit. These considerations are explained based on real clinical data, mostly from the field of functional urology (male lower urinary tract symptoms).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0241.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, JIA, Research registry, Clinical trial, DMARD
Online: 18 October 2021 (11:00:57 CEST)
Management of Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has improved tremendously in recent years due to the introduction of new drug therapies but remains complex also in terms of non-pharmaceutical issues. In order to determine the direction of scientific progress by characterizing the current spectrum of ongoing clinical research in JIA, we analyzed all ongoing studies in the field of JIA registered in clinicaltrials.gov and clinicaltrialsregister.eu concerning sponsoring, enrollment, duration, localization, and particularly objectives. Close of database was 7 January 2021. After identifying doubled-registered studies, N=72 went into further analysis. Of these, 61.1% were academia-sponsored and 37.5% by pharma industry. The majority of studies was of interventional type (77.8%), while others (22.2%) were observational. Median planned enrollments were 100 participants (interventional studies) and 175 participants (observational studies), respectively. Duration differed remarkably from one month to more than 15 years with a median of 42.5 months. 61.1% of studies were located in a single country, 38.9% were in several. Europe and North America clearly dominated study localizations. Study objectives were DMARDs (56.9%), followed by diagnostics and disease activity measurement (18.1%), and medication other than DMARD (12.5%), besides others. Studies on DMARDs were mainly sponsored by industry, predominantly interventional studies on established and novel biologics, with several on specific issues like systemic JIA and others. The spectrum of registered studies is currently centered on drug therapy and diagnostics, while other issues in JIA play a subordinated role.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; artificial intelligence; clinical trials; eligibility assessment; randomization
Online: 8 October 2021 (11:31:14 CEST)
Clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) face multiple challenges, such as the high screen failure rate and even allocation of heterogeneous participants. Artificial intelligence (AI), which has become a potent tool of modern science with the expansion in the volume, variety, and velocity of biological data, offers promising potential to address these issues in AD clinical trials. In this review, we introduce the current status of AD clinical trials and topic of machine learning. Then, a comprehensive review is focused on the potential applications of AI in the steps of AD clinical trials, including the prediction of AD biomarkers and differential diagnosis of AD in the prescreen during eligibility assessment and the likelihood stratification of patients who will progress to AD dementia and fast cognitive decline group from the slow decline group in randomization. Finally, this review provides challenges, developments and the future outlook on the integration of AI into AD clinical trials.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0223.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: nephroblastoma; clinical malformations; cancer predisposition syndromes; tumor surveillance; outcome
Online: 10 August 2021 (09:55:14 CEST)
Background: About 10% of Wilms Tumor (WT) patients have a malformation or cancer predisposition syndrome (CPS) with causative germline genetic or epigenetic variants. Knowledge on CPS is essential for genetic counselling. Methods: This retrospective analysis focused on 2927 consecutive patients with WTs registered between 1989 and 2017 in the SIOP/GPOH studies. Results: (GU, N=66, 2,3%), Beckwith-Wiedemann spectrum (BWS, N=32, 1,1%), isolated hemihypertrophy (IHH, N=29, 1,0%), Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS, N=24, 0,8%) and WAGR syndrome (N=20, 0,7%) were reported most frequently. Compared to others, these patients were younger at WT diagnosis (median age 24,5 months vs. 39,0 months), had smaller tumors (334,8mL vs. 496,9mL), less often metastasis (8,2% vs. 18%), but more often nephroblastomatosis (12,9% vs. 1,9%). WT with IHH was associated with blastemal WT and DDS with stromal subtype. Bilateral WTs were common in WAGR (30%), DDS (29%) and BWS (31%). Chemotherapy induced reduction in tumor volume was poor in DDS (7,7% increase) and favorable in BWS (84,6% reduction). The event-free survival (EFS) of patients with BWS was significantly (p=0,002) worse than in others. Conclusions: CPS should be considered in WTs with specific clinical features resulting in referral to a geneticist. Their outcome was not always favorable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0354.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: allergic rhinitis; subcutaneous immunotherapy; clinical benefit; cost-saving benefit
Online: 14 June 2021 (11:42:37 CEST)
Background. Until now, cost of allergy treatment in insured public health care system and non-insured self-financing private health care system in Indonesia has not been well documented and published, as well as the cost of allergy treatment with subcutaneous immunotherapy. Objective. To evaluate the clinical and cost benefits of allergic rhinitis treatment in children with subcutaneous immunotherapy in non-insured self-financing private health care system. Methods. A retrospective cohort study conducted from 2015 until 2020, compared clinical improvement and health care costs over 18 months in newly diagnosed AR children who received SCIT versus matched AR control subjects who did not receive SCIT, with each group consisting of 1,098 subjects Results. Decrease of sp-HDM-IgE level (kU/ml) from 20.5 + 8.75 kU/ml to 12.1 + 3.07 kU/ml had been observed in the SCIT group. To reduce the symptom score of allergic rhinitis by 1.0 with SCIT it costs IDR 21,753,062.7 per child, for non SCIT it costs IDR 104,147,878.0 per child. Meanwhile, to reduce the medication score (MS) by 1.0 with SCIT it costs Rp. 17,024,138.8 while with non SCIT it costs Rp. 104,147,878.0. Meanwhile, to lower combination symptoms and medication score (CSMS) by 1.0, with SCIT it costs IDR 9,550,126.6, while with non SCIT it costs IDR 52,073,938.9. Conclusion. In conclusion, this first Indonesia-based study demonstrates substantial health care cost savings associated with SCIT for children with AR in an uninsured private health care system and provides strong evidence for the clinical benefits and cost-savings benefits of AR treatment in children.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0468.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Vaccine Development; Clinical Trial; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2
Online: 19 April 2021 (12:04:31 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is a devastating blow to the entire world community and changes the order of human life. All efforts and strategies are being carried out to contain and reduce the spread of the SARS-COV-2 virus, both by tightening the health protocol and using vaccines to the public. Currently, several vaccines are available and have passed phase 3 clinical trials, such as vector vaccines (Gamaleya Sputnik V Russia, University of Oxford/AstraZeneca, CanSino, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies), mRNA-based vaccines (Moderna/BioNTech/Fosun Pharma/Pfizer), inactivated vaccines (SinoVac and SinoPharm from China, Covaxin from Bharat Biotech India), and adjuvanted recombinant protein nanoparticles (Novavax from the USA) are expected to be able to suppress the spread of the virus and produce a minimum of 70 percent herd-immunity in a population. Each vaccine's efficacy varies from the lowest, namely the Sinovac vaccine (CoronaVac) 50% to the highest the Novavax vaccine (NVX-Cov2373) 96% effectivity value. Moreover, further rigorous research is still being carried out for the development of an effective and efficient vaccine.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0227.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: rehabilitation; stress; reptiles; injury; disease; euthanasia; trauma; clinical care
Online: 9 February 2021 (09:23:18 CET)
Direct and indirect anthropogenic factors play a massive role in driving wildlife species towards extinction. Longitudinal retrospective studies identify key ‘factors’ responsible for the decline in numbers of wildlife, however, lack the reasoning behind the events leading to mortality. The overarching aim of this study was to categorize these ‘factors’ into different stressor categories faced by reptiles to understand its impact on an individual, and to compare how each stressor category influences the survival of an individual. The results from this study indicated that almost half of the number of reptiles being hospitalized were due to exposure to preliminary stressors such as lawn mowing incidents and pet attack. Primary and secondary admissions were fairly equal in number, however the mortality rate for secondary admissions was drastically high (~80%). The discussion integrates species’ ecology and stress physiology which can prove to have multi-faceted benefits across the fields of ecology and animal welfare. Ecologists can use the results from this study to comprehend species’ activity patterns to better plan reptilian conservation programs, whereas, for wildlife clinicians and rehabilitators, assignment of stressor categories could be a beneficial tool for bolstering the welfare monitoring program for small native reptiles in clinical settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0679.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Sub Clinical Mastitis; prevalence; Surf Field Mastitis Test; Jhenaidah
Online: 28 July 2020 (10:40:34 CEST)
A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of subclinical mastitis (SCM) among medium to large scale household dairy farms in southwestern district, Jhenaidah, Bangladesh during July to December 2019. A total of 78 (n=100) lactating cows from household dairy farms (N=32) having three or more dairy cows were selected randomly as sampled populations. Milk samples were screened for SCM by using Surf Field Mastitis Test (SFMT). The prevalence of SCM varied among farm level [71.9% (95% CI: 53.3-86.3)], individual animal level [67.9% (95% CI: 56.4-86.3)] and quarter level [29.5% (95% CI: 24.5-34.9)]. Descriptive statistics represented the farmers and farm demography, characteristics of the sampled population, and overall management feature. Random Effect Logistic Regression identified, Body Condition Score (BCS) [OR=3.8 and 2.9, at cows level and quarter level respectively (BCS-2 vs. BCS-≥3)], and breed [OR=5.1 and 2.9, at cows level and quarter level respectively (HF× Sahiwal vs. HF × Local)] as potential risk factors. This study shows that SCM is highly prevalent in the study area, which is a major threat to the dairy industry's production performance. Regular screening by SFMT, proper hygiene, improve the management system, and farmer’s awareness is required to control the disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0392.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: RAAS inhibitors; COVID-19; coronavirus; angiotensin; clinical outcome; antihypertensive
Online: 24 May 2020 (17:48:42 CEST)
Since the effects of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors on the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) have been conflicting in different studies, we performed this meta-analysis. A systematic search of published articles was performed in PubMed and EMBASE from January-May 5, 2020. Studies that reported the clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19, stratified by the class of concomitant antihypertensive drug therapy, were included. The Mantel-Haenszel random effects model was used to estimate pooled odds ratio (OR). A total of 6,997 hypertensive patients with COVID-19 were included. The overall risk of poor patient outcomes (severe COVID-19 or death) was lower in patients taking RAAS inhibitors (OR=0.84, 95% CI: [0.73, 0.96]; P=0.017) compared with those receiving non-RAAS inhibitor antihypertensives. Patients taking angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) were less likely to experience poor clinical outcomes (OR=0.73, 95% CI: [0.58-0.92]; P=0.01) compared with those receiving angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs). Compared to all other antihypertensives, ACEIs decreases the risk poor COVID-19 outcomes (OR=0.77, 95% CI: [0.63-0.93]) while ARBs did not (OR=1.13, 95% CI: [0.95-1.35]). The risk of poor patient outcomes from COVID-19 was lower in patients who received RAAS inhibitors compared with those who took non-RAAS inhibitors. Unlike ARBs, ACEIs might help in decreasing the severity and mortality of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0292.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Porphyra tenera; immune; clinical trial; natural killer cells; cytokines
Online: 17 April 2020 (02:15:58 CEST)
Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if Porphyra tenera extract (PTE) has immune-enhancing effects and is safe in healthy adults. Methods: Subjects (3x103 ≤ peripheral blood leukocyte levels < 8x103 cells/μl) who met the inclusion criteria were recruited for this study. Enrolled subjects (n=120) were randomly assigned to either the PTE group (n=60) who were given 2.5 g/day of PTE (as Porphyra tenera extract) in capsule form or the placebo group (n=60) who were given crystal cellulose capsules with the identical appearance, weight, and flavor as the PTE capsules for 8 weeks. Outcomes were assessed by measuring natural killer cell (NK-cell) activity, cytokines, and upper respiratory infection (URI), and safety parameters were assessed at baseline and 8 weeks. Results: Compared to baseline, NK cell activity (%) increased for all effector cell to target cell ratios in the PTE group after 8 weeks, but there were no changes in the placebo group (p<0.1). Subgroup analysis of 101 subjects without an URI revealed that NK-cell activity in the PTE group tended to be increased for all E:T ratios (E:T=12.5:1 p=0.068; E:T=25:1 p=0.036; E:T=50:1 p=0.081) compared to the placebo group. There was a significant difference between these two groups for the E:T=25:1 ratio, which increased from 20.3±12.0% at baseline to 23.2±12.4% after 8 weeks in the PTE group (p=0.036). There was no significant difference in levels of cytokines between these two groups. Conclusions: PTE supplementation appears to enhance immune function by improving NK-cell activity without adverse effects in healthy adults.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0348.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: SARS-COV-2; COVID-19; clinical pathology; pathogenesis; immunopathology
Online: 23 March 2020 (07:51:17 CET)
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a novel coronavirus named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in early December 2019 in China and attained a pandemic situation worldwide by its rapid spread to nearly 167 countries with 287.239 confirmed cases and 11.921 human deaths with a case fatality rate (CFR) of around 4 per cent. Bats were considered as the reservoir host, and the search of a probable intermediate host is still going on. Animals have anticipated culprit of SARS-CoV-2 as of now. The disease is mainly manifested by pneumonia and related respiratory signs and symptoms, but the involvement of the gastrointestinal system and nervous system is also suggested. The severe form of the disease associated with death is mainly reported in older and immune-compromised patients with pre-existing disease history. Death in severe cases is attributed to respiratory failure associated with hyperinflammation. Cytokine storm syndrome associated with rampant inflammation in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is considered as the leading killer of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients were reported with higher levels of many pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines like IFN-g, IL-1b, IP-10, and MCP-1. Furthermore, severe cases of COVID-19 revealed higher levels of TNF-α, G-CSF, and MIP-1A. Blood profile of the COVID-19 patients exhibits lymphopenia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and RNAaemia along with increased levels of aspartate aminotransferase. SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women does not lead to fetus mortalities unlike other zoonotic coronaviruses like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, with no evidence of intrauterine transmission to neonates. Rapid and confirmatory diagnostics have been developed, and high efforts are being made to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics. In the absence of any virus-specific therapeutic, internationally health care authorities are recommending adoption of effective prevention and control measures to counter and contain this pandemic virus. This paper is an overview of this virus and the disease with a particular focus on SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19 clinical pathology, pathogenesis and immunopathology along with a few recent research developments.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0278.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Machine learning; clinical decision-making; personalized medicine; digital health
Online: 24 November 2019 (13:26:16 CET)
The use of machine learning (ML) approaches to target clinical problems is called to revolutionize clinical decision-making. The success of these tools is subjected to the understanding of the intrinsic processes being used during the classical pathway by which clinicians make decisions. In a parallelism with this pathway, ML can have an impact at four levels: for data acquisition, predominantly by extracting standardized, high-quality information with the smallest possible learning curve; for feature extraction, by discharging healthcare practitioners from performing tedious measurements on raw data; for interpretation, by digesting complex, heterogeneous data in order to augment the understanding of the patient status; and for decision support, by leveraging the previous step to predict clinical outcomes, response to treatment or to recommend a specific intervention. This paper discusses the state-of-the-art, as well as the current clinical status and challenges associated with each of these tasks, together with the challenges related to the learning process, the auditability/traceability, the system infrastructure and the integration within clinical processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0010.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: aromatase inhibitors; anastrozole; levonorgestrel-iud; endometriosis; endometriomas; clinical trial
Online: 1 November 2019 (12:47:34 CET)
Background: Effectiveness of Anastrozole and levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (LNG-IUD, Mirena®) in the treatment of endometriosis. Methods: Randomized clinical trial. Elegibility criteria: Endometriomas >3×4 cm, CA-125>35 U/mL and symptoms suggestive of endometriosis. Thirty-one women were randomized to anastrozole+Mirena®+Conservative Surgery(CS) (n=8), anastrozole+Mirena®+transvaginal ultrasound-guided puncture-aspiration(TUGPA) (n=7), Mirena®+CS (n=9), or Mirena®+TUGPA (n=7). Interventions: Anastrozole 1 mg/day and/or only Mirena® for 6 months. CS or TUGPA one month after starting medical treatment. Results: A significant improvement in symptoms during the treatment (difference of 43%, 95% CI 29.9-56.2) occurred, which was maintained at 1 and 2 years. It was more significant in patients treated with anastrozole. For CA-125, the most significant decrease was observed without anastrozole. After CS for endometriosis, a reduction of findings of endometriomas and long-term recurrences occurred, with or without anastrozole, although anastrozole seems to delay recurrences. At 4,2±1,7 years, 88% of the patients who underwent CS were asymptomatic, compared to only 21% if TUGPA was performed, with or without anastrozole (p=0.019). Conclusion: Dosing anastrozole for 6 months, starting one month before CS of endometriosis, reduces more significantly the painful symptoms and delays recurrences, but has no other significant advantages over the single insertion of LNG-IUD (Mirena®) during the same time.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0760.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Multiplex serology, serosurveillance, vaccine monitoring, emerging diseases, clinical microbiology
Online: 1 November 2018 (18:02:59 CET)
High throughput multiplex serological systems enable the small developer to set up tests at small cost, for microbes for which there are no commercial tests, and for aspects which have not been addressed by them. An example is testing for Zika and Tick Borne Encephalitis virus antibodies, where antigenic cross-reactions make diagnosis problematic. Our technique variant, Suspension Multiplex Immunoassay (SMIA) allows many samples to be tested for antibodies to many antigens in a short time. Computational compensation for cross-reactions is possible if a SMIA panel contains most of the potentially cross-reacting antigens. Using antibody avidity and pattern of reactivity to whole virus and nonstructural protein, antibodies due to vaccination and infection, respectively, as well as probable degree of protection, can be determined with high throughput. These multiplex techniques hold great promise for future diagnostic development. Theoretically, even large scale serological monitoring, like blood donor pathogen testing, could be done inexpensively and rationally with multiplex serology developed in house. However, the quality control demands are steep and in most cases out of scope for a single laboratory. There remain however a number of clinical applications where in house multiplex serology can be performed with adequate quality control under high throughput conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0200.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: adipose-derived; bone regeneration; cartilage regeneration; clinical application; clinical studies; differentiation; hair loss; induced pluripotent stem cells; maxillary sinus augmentation; osteoarthritis; pluripotency; regenerative
Online: 17 April 2019 (11:25:14 CEST)
Various tissue resident stem cells are receiving attention from basic scientists and clinicians as they hold certain promise for regenerative medicine. This paper is intended to clarify and facilitate the understanding, development and adoption of regenerative medicine in general and specifically of therapies based on unmodified, autologous adipose-derived regenerative cells (UA-ADRCs). To this end, results of landmark experiments on stem cells and stem cell therapy performed in the labs of the authors are summarized, the most intriguing of which are the following: (i) vascular associated mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from different organs (adipose tissue, heart, skin, bone marrow and skeletal muscle) and differentiated into ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm, providing significant support for the hypothesis of the existence of a small, ubiquitously distributed, universal vascular associated stem cell with full pluripotency; (ii) the orientation and differentiation of MSCs are driven by signals of the respective microenvironment; and (iii) these stem cells irrespective of the tissue origin exhibit full pluripotent differentiation potential without any prior genetic modification or the need for culturing. They can be obtained from a small amount of adipose tissue when using the appropriate technology for isolating the cells, and can be harvested from and re-applied to the same patient at the point of care without the need for complicated processing, manipulation, culturing, expensive equipment, or repeat interventions. These findings demonstrate the potential of UA-ADRCs for triggering the development of an entire new generation of medicine for the benefit of patients and of healthcare systems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0426.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: simulation; nursing students; clinical practice; knowledge; nursing education and skills
Online: 23 November 2022 (01:14:09 CET)
Implementing the methodology of clinical simulation in the nursing degree course is a necessity in the European framework of higher education to acquire competences. The objectives of this research were to evaluate the strategies and techniques used during the simulations, identify the contents learned, and determine which of them are transferred to the nursing practice. We performed an observational, descriptive, and cross-sectional study from the nursing students’ perspective during the 2020-21-year course. On the one hand, our results show that the DASH scale helped us to obtain an internal validity of the simulations obtaining a mean score of 6.61 out of 7. On the other hand, the Ad Hoc scale, based on the competences were acquired in the simulations were transferred to the care practices. In conclusion, it is possible to improve care practices by integrating knowledge through clinical simulations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0133.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: otolith; vestibular; oVEMP; utricular; clinical audiovestibular testing; vestibular screening test
Online: 8 July 2022 (05:55:49 CEST)
We have previously reported that a single test measuring oVEMP n10 to 4000Hz stimuli (either bone-conducted vibration (BCV) or air-conducted sound (ACS)) provides a definitive diagnosis of semicircular canal dehiscence (SCD) in 22 CT-verified patients with a sensitivity of 1.0 and specificity of 1.0. Such a single short screening test has great advantages of speed, minimizing testing time and the exposure of patients to stimulation. However some studies of the 4000Hz test for SCD have reported sensitivity and sensitivity values somewhat less that what we reported.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0167.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: deep learning; convolutional neural network; brain tumor classification; clinical application
Online: 13 June 2022 (04:57:42 CEST)
Deep learning has shown remarkable results in every field, especially in the biomedical field, due to its ability to exploit large-scale datasets. A convolutional neural network (CNN) is a widely used deep learning approach to solve medical imaging problems. Over the past few years, many studies have focused on CNN-based techniques for brain tumor diagnosis. There are, however, still some critical challenges that CNNs face towards clinic application. This study presents a comprehensive review of current literature that involves CNN architectures for brain tumor classification. We compare the key achievements in the performance evaluation metrics of the applied classification algorithms. In addition, this review assesses the clinical effectiveness of the included studies to elaborate on the limitations and directions of this area for future work. No review focusing on the clinical effectiveness of previous works in this field has been published. We believe that this study has the potential to elevate the application of CNN-based deep learning methods in clinical practice and also can be a quick reference for biomedical researchers who are interested in this field.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0370.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Acute non hepA–E hepatitis; clinical manifestations; epidemiological characteristics; prevention
Online: 27 May 2022 (08:41:42 CEST)
The emergence of acute, severe non hepA–E hepatitis of unknown etiology (ASHUE) has attracted global concern owing to the very young age of the patients and its unknown etiology. Although this condition has been linked to several possible causes, including viral infection, drugs, and/or toxin exposure, the exact cause remains unknown; this makes treatment recommendations very difficult. In this review, we summarize recent updates on the clinical manifestations, complemented with laboratory results, case numbers with the global distribution and other epidemiological characteristics, and the possible etiologies. We also provide the proposed actions that could be undertaken to control and prevent further spread of this hepatitis. Since many etiological and pathological aspects of the acute non hepA–E hepatitis remain unclear, further research is needed to minimize the severe impact of this disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0276.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Roy's Adaptation Model; Nursing Research; Nursing Clinical Practice; Nursing Theory
Online: 20 May 2022 (09:44:47 CEST)
Background: One way to demonstrate the existence of nursing is to develop a nursing theory model through nursing research which can ultimately be implemented in nursing practice. RAM is one of the most frequently used models in guiding nursing research. Roy's Adaptation Model (RAM) is one of the most useful conceptual frameworks that guide nursing practice, direct research, and influence education. Theory-guided nursing practice is fundamental in providing the framework for developing superior and quality nursing care.Objectives: This systematic review aims to critically analyze recent studies using RAM as a conceptual framework to identify the effectiveness of this model in guiding nursing research.Methods: A literature search was conducted on five databases, namely SCOPUS, PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and SAGEPub. There were no population boundaries and diagnoses involved in the study. The study is a quantitative design focused on publication between 2015-2021. The methodological quality of applying the Cochrane and JBI bias tools. The analysis uses narrative synthesis.Results: 20 studies were found out of 1,315 studies. The research population found is very diverse. The given intervention follows the conceptual framework of RAM. RAM-based interventions effectively overcome the problems experienced by patients and reduce the perceived symptoms and improve the patient's quality of life.Conclusion: The conceptual use of RAM theory in nursing research has been widely reported. RAM-based interventions have a significant impact and have strong evidence-based practice in improving patient health status.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0399.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: clinical assistants; pediatric oncology; assistance activity; new roles; skill mix
Online: 22 November 2021 (14:00:03 CET)
Background: There is a high bureaucratic and administrative burden associated with health care tasks (test requesting, visits scheduling, supporting documents provision) that has historically largely fallen on health care professionals, which is one among the factors contributing to low job satisfaction and lower productivity. Incorporating new professional roles that help to better respond to the needs of both patients and professionals can increase the quality and efficiency of service provision. Objective: To evaluate the impact of the clinical assistant’s introduction in the Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital’s pediatric oncology department, in terms of displacement of activity loads carried out by this new professional role and the consequent time freed up for physicians. Methodology: Observational and retrospective study using administrative data based on the analysis of the type of activity performed by clinical assistants and the measurement of the time freed up in favor of the physicians, based on in situ timekeeping, to approximate the potential skill mix productivity increase. Results: Since its implementation in the pediatric oncology department, clinical assistants have performed 13,553 requests (69.93% of the total), representing a total saving of 266.83 hours or 6.67 workweeks of 40 hours. They performed 74.25% of outpatient surgical requests in the oncology department, 87.5% of day hospital requests and 54.13% of total requests in the outpatient consultations area. Conclusion: The introduction of clinical assistants in the oncology department could be efficient to the extent that it displaces a good part of the bureaucratic and administrative tasks previously performed by health care professionals. This delegation allows them to work more closely to the maximum of their competences and the physicians to have more time for higher added value clinical tasks. In terms of efficiency, this role change enables to optimize the clinical process, reducing the cost by 56% compared to the conventional model.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0307.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: SARS-Cov-2; COVID-19; oncology; cancer screening; clinical trials
Online: 21 October 2021 (12:45:12 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused considerable global disruption to clinical practice. This article will review the impact that the pandemic has had on oncology clinical trials. It will assess the effect of the COVID-19 situation on the initial presentation and investigation of patients with suspected cancer. It will also discuss the impact of the pandemic on the subsequent management of cancer patients and how clinical trial approval, recruitment and conduct were affected during the pandemic. An intriguing aspect of the pandemic is that clinical trials investigating treatments for COVID-19 and vaccinations against the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2, have been approved and conducted at unprecedented speed. In light of this, this re-view will also discuss the potential that this enhanced regulatory environment could have on the running of oncology clinical trials in the future.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: African swine fever virus, Belgium, virulence, clinical course, domestic pigs
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:05:54 CEST)
African swine fever (ASF) is one of the most important and devastating viral diseases in wild boar and domestic pigs worldwide. In the absence of vaccines or treatment options, early clinical detection is key and requires sound knowledge of disease characteristics. To provide practitioners and state veterinarians with detailed information, the objective of the present study was to characterize the ASF virus (ASFV) isolate “Belgium 2018/1” in subadult and weaning domestic pigs. To this end, two animal trials were performed. Trial A included eight subadult domestic pigs and trial B five weaner pigs. In general, clinical signs and pathological lesions were in line with previous studies utilizing highly virulent ASF genotype II viruses. However, in trial A, four subadult domestic pigs survived and recovered pointing to an age dependent outcome. The long-term fate of those survivors remains under discussion and would need further investigations.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: pharmacotherapy, pharmacogenetics, genetic panel tests, clinical relevance, CYP450, SONOGEN XP
Online: 19 April 2021 (16:44:43 CEST)
There is a growing number of evidence-based indications for pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing. We aimed to evaluate clinical relevance of a 16-gene panel test for PGx-guided pharmacotherapy. In an observational cohort study we included subjects tested with a PGx panel for variants of ABCB1, COMT, CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2D6, CYP4F2, DPYD, OPRM1, POR, SLCO1B1, TPMT and VKORC1. PGx-guided pharmacotherapy management was supported by the PGx expert system SONOGEN XP. The primary study outcome was PGx-based changes and recommendations regarding current and potential future medication. PGx-testing was triggered by specific drug-gene pairs in 102 subjects, and by screening in 33. Based on PharmGKB expert guidelines we identified at least one “actionable” variant in all 135 (100%) tested patients. Drugs that triggered PGx-testing were clopidogrel in 60, tamoxifen in 15, polypsychopharmacotherapy in 9, opioids in 7, and other in 11 patients. Among those, PGx variants resulted in clinical recommendations to change PGx-triggering drugs in 33 (32.4 %), and other current pharmacotherapy in 23 (22.5%). Additional costs of panel vs. single gene tests are moderate, and the efficiency of PGx panel testing challenges traditional cost-benefit calculations for single drug-gene pairs. However, PGx-guided pharmacotherapy requires specialized expert consultations with interdisciplinary collaborations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0409.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Reflux; Laryngopharyngeal; Clinical; Atypical; Nasal; Otological; Respiratory; Management; Treatment; Diagnosis
Online: 15 April 2021 (12:08:19 CEST)
Background: Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a common disease in otolaryngology characterized by an inflammatory reaction of the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract caused by digestive refluxate enzymes. LPR has been identified as etiological or favoring factor of laryngeal, oral, sinonasal or otological diseases. In this case-series, we reported atypical clinical presentation of LPR in patients presenting in our clinic with reflux. Methods: A retrospective medical chart review of 351 patients with LPR treated in the European Reflux Clinic in Brussels, Poitiers and Paris was performed. In order to be included, patients had to report atypical clinical presentation of LPR, consisting of symptoms or findings that are not described in reflux symptom score and reflux sign assessment. The LPR diagnosis was confirmed with 24-hour hypopharyngeal-esophageal impedance pH-study and patients were treated with a combination of diet, proton pump inhibitors and alginates. The atypical symptoms or findings had to be resolved from pre- to posttreatment Results: From 2017 to 2021, 21 patients with atypical LPR were treated in our center. The clinical presentation consisted of recurrent aphthosis or burning mouth (N=9), recurrent burps and abdominal disorders (N=2), posterior nasal obstruction (N=2), recurrent acute suppurative otitis media (N=2), severe vocal fold dysplasia (N=2), and recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis (N=1), tearing (N=1), aspirations (N=1) or tracheobronchitis (N=1). Abnormal upper aerodigestive tract reflux events were identified in all of these patients. Atypical clinical findings resolved and did not recur after an adequate anti-reflux treatment. Conclusion: LPR may present with various clinical presentations including mouth, eye, tracheobronchial, nasal or laryngeal findings, which may all regress with an adequate treatment. Future studies are needed to better specify the relationship between LPR and these atypical findings through analyses identifying gastroduodenal enzyme in the enflamed tissue.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0530.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Epidemiolog; Pathophysiology; Clinical manifestations; Vaccines
Online: 23 February 2021 (16:00:05 CET)
During 2019, the number of patients suffering from cough, fever and reduction of WBC’s count increased. At the beginning, this mysterious illness was called “fever with unknown origin”. At the present time, the cause of this pneumonia is known as the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or the severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 is one member of great family of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses can cause different kind of illnesses including respiratory, enteric, hepatic, and neurological diseases in animals like cat and bat. Coronaviruses are enveloped positive-stranded RNA viruses. The SARS-CoV-2 has some particular structures for binding to host cells, reproducing itself in cells and damaging human cells. The SARS-CoV-2 can bind angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE‐2) receptors and cause various difficulties for human. The SARS-CoV-2 can cause either not-serious issues like fever and cough or serious concerns such as multi-organ failure. Source(s) of SARS-CoV-2 is under debate. Malayan pangolin and bat are the most suspicious candidate for being sources of the SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted by various ways such as transmitting from infected human to healthy human and can make severe pneumonia, which can lead to death. The SARS-CoV-2 can infect different kind of people with different ages, races, and social and economic levels. The SARS‐CoV‐2 infection can cause various sorts of clinical manifestations like cough and fever and intensity of signs and symptoms depends on sufferer conditions. Clinicians use all of available documents and tests like laboratory, histopathological and radiological findings for diagnosing new cases and curing patients with high accuracy. At the present time, there is no particular way for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection; neither antiviral drugs nor palliative agents. It seems that the best way for standing against the SARS-CoV-2 infection is preventing from it by social distancing and vaccination. This review tries to prepare an essential brief update about SARS-CoV-2 infection for clinicians.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0405.v1
Subject: Keywords: drug repurposing; antifungal therapy; antifungal mechanism; clinical application; antifungal agents
Online: 18 February 2021 (10:21:38 CET)
The morbidity and mortality caused by invasive fungal infections is increasing across the globe due to developments in transplant surgery, the use of immunosuppressive agents, and the emergence of drug-resistant fungal strains, which has led to a challenge in terms of treatment due to the limitations of three classes of drugs. Hence, it is imperative to establish effective strategies to identify and design new antifungal drugs. Drug repurposing is an effective way of expanding the application of existing drugs. In the last years, various existing drugs have been shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of the invasive fungi. In this review, we summarize the currently used antifungal agents. In addition, the most up to date information on the effectiveness of existing drugs with antifungal activity is discussed. Moreover, the antifungal mechanisms of existing drugs are highlighted. These data will provide valuable knowledge to stimulate further investigation and clinical application in this field.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; diagnosis; Health services; clinical care
Online: 16 October 2020 (08:58:18 CEST)
Designed by a group of ME/CFS researchers and health professionals, the European Network on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (EUROMENE) has received funding from the European Cooperation is Science and Technology (COST) (https://www.cost.eu/cost-actions/what-are-cost-actions/ ) - COST action 15111 - from 2016 to 2020. The main goal of the Cost Action was to assess the existing fragmented knowledge and experience on health care delivery for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in European countries, and to enhance coordinated research and health care provision in this field. We report on the recommendations for clinical diagnosis, heath services and care for people with ME/CFS in Europe, as prepared by the group of clinicians and researchers from 22 countries and 55 European health professionals and researchers, who have been informed by people with ME/CFS (https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA15111/#tabs|Name:overview).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0124.v1
Subject: Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemic Prediction; Clinical Diagnosis; Policy Effectiveness; Contact Tracing
Online: 7 July 2020 (10:06:05 CEST)
The widely spread CoronaVirus Disease (COVID)- 19 is one of the worst infectious disease outbreaks in history and has become an emergency of primary international concern. As the pandemic evolves, academic communities have been actively involved in various capacities, including accurate epidemic estimation, fast clinical diagnosis, policy effectiveness evaluation and development of contract tracing technologies. There are more than 23,000 academic papers on the COVID-19 outbreak, and this number is doubling every 20 days while the pandemic is still on-going . The literature, however, at its early stage, lacks a comprehensive survey from a data analytics perspective. In this paper, we review the latest models for analyzing COVID19 related data, conduct post-publication model evaluations and cross-model comparisons, and collect data sources from different projects.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0327.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: anosmia; ageusia; clinical manifestations; neurological; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19
Online: 20 May 2020 (10:39:41 CEST)
Over the course of the pandemic due to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), multiple new clinical manifestations, as the consequence of the tropism of the virus, have been recognized. That includes now the neurological manifestations and conditions, such as headache, encephalitis, as well as olfactory and taste disorders. We present a series of ten cases of RT-PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected patients diagnosed with viral-associated olfactory and taste loss from four different countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0367.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; drugs; 2019-nCoV; clinical trials; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 20 April 2020 (15:53:56 CEST)
The emergence of new type of viral pneumonia cases in China, on December 31, 2019; identified as the cause of human coronavirus, labeled as "COVID-19," took a heavy toll of death and reported cases of infected people all over the world, with the potential to spread widely and rapidly, achieved worldwide prominence but arose without the procurement guidance. There is an immediate need for active intervention and fast drug discovery against the 2019-nCoV outbreak. Herein, the study provides numerous candidates of drugs (either alone or integrated with another drugs) which could prove to be effective against 2019-nCoV, are under different stages of clinical trials. This review will offer rapid identification of a number of repurposable drugs and potential drug combinations targeting 2019-nCoV and preferentially allow the international research community to evaluate the findings, to validate the efficacy of the proposed drugs in prospective trials and to lead potential clinical practices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0697.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: glioma; glioblastoma; pre-clinical drug development; 3D culture systems; radiotherapy
Online: 30 October 2018 (03:38:28 CET)
Glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in adults, remains one of the least treatable cancers. Current standard of care—combining surgical resection, radiation, and alkylating chemotherapy—results in a median survival of only 15 months. Despite decades of investment and research into the development of new therapies, most candidate anti-glioma compounds fail to translate into effective treatments in clinical trials. One key issue underlying this failure of therapies that work in pre-clinical models to generate meaningful improvement in human patients is the profound mismatch between drug discovery systems—cell cultures and mouse models—and the actual tumors they are supposed to imitate. Indeed, current strategies that evaluate the effects of novel treatments on GBM cells in vitro fail to account for a wide range of factors known to influence tumor growth. These include secreted factors, the brain’s unique extracellular matrix, circulatory structures, the presence of non-tumor brain cells, and nutrient sources available for tumor metabolism. While mouse models provide a more realistic testing ground for potential therapies, they still fail to account for the full complexity of tumor-microenvironment interactions, as well as the role of the immune system. Based on the limitations of current models, researchers have begun to develop and implement novel culture systems that better recapitulate the complex reality of brain tumors growing in situ. A rise in the use of patient derived cells, creative combinations of added growth factors and supplements, may provide a more effective proving ground for the development of novel therapies. This review will summarize and analyze these exciting developments in 3D culturing systems. Special attention will be paid to how they enhance the design and identification of compounds that increase the efficacy of radiotherapy, a bedrock of GBM treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0173.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Noni juice; Morinda citrifolia; clinical trial; antioxidant; immune system; inflammation
Online: 20 March 2018 (07:48:10 CET)
Noni juice is a globally popular health beverage that originates from the tropics. Traditional Tahitian healers believe the noni plant to be useful for a wide range of maladies, and noni juice consumers throughout the world have similar perceptions. Nevertheless, human clinical trials are necessary for an understanding of what the health benefits of noni juice truly are. A review of published human intervention studies suggest that noni juice may provide protection against tobacco smoke-induced DNA damage, blood lipid and homocysteine elevation, and systemic inflammation. Human interventions studies also suggest that noni juice may improve joint health, increase physical endurance, increase immune activity, inhibit glycation of proteins, aid weight management, help maintain bone health in women, help maintain normal blood pressure, and improve gum health. Further, these studies point to noni juice possessing notable antioxidant activity, more so than the other fruit juices that served as placebos. It is this antioxidant effect, and its interaction with the immune system and inflammation pathways, that may account for many of the observed health benefits of noni juice. However, the existing evidence does have some limitations in its application to noni juice products in general as all the peer-reviewed human interventions studies to-date have involved only one source of French Polynesian noni juice. Geographical factors and variations in processing methods are known to produce commercial noni juice products with divergent phytochemical and nutrient compositions. Therefore, other sources of noni products may have different toxicological and pharmacological profiles.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0090.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: BRCA1; variants of uncertain clinical significance; VUS; germline variants; hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; breast cancer; genetic testing, ovarian cancer; variant classification; clinical annotation
Online: 11 February 2019 (16:12:03 CET)
Genetic testing allows for identification of germline DNA variations which are associated with a significant increase in risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Detection of a BRCA1 or BRCA2 pathogenic variant triggers several clinical management actions, which may include increased surveillance and prophylactic surgery for healthy carriers or treatment with PARP inhibitor therapy for carriers diagnosed with cancer. Thus, standardized validated criteria for annotation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants according to their pathogenicity are necessary to support clinical decision making and ensure improved outcomes. Upon detection, variants whose pathogenicity can be inferred by the genetic code are typically classified as pathogenic, likely pathogenic, likely benign, or benign. Variants whose impact on function cannot be directly inferred by the genetic code are labeled as Variants of Uncertain Clinical Significance (VUS) and are evaluated by multifactorial likelihood models that use personal and family history of cancer, segregation data, prediction tools, and co-occurrence with a pathogenic BRCA variant. Missense variants, coding alterations that replace a single amino acid residue with another, are a class of variants for which determination of clinical relevance is particularly challenging. Here, we discuss current issues in variant classification by following a typical life cycle of a BRCA1 missense variant through detection, annotation and information dissemination. Advances in massively parallel sequencing have led to a substantial increase in VUS findings. Although comprehensive assessment and classification of missense variants according to their pathogenicity remains the bottle neck, new developments in functional analysis, high throughput assays, data sharing, and statistical models are rapidly changing this scenario.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0341.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Deep Learning; COVID-19; Clinical Informatics; Machine Learning; Transformer; Association Mining
Online: 19 January 2023 (02:00:16 CET)
Predicting Length of Stay (LoS) and understanding its underlying factors is essential to minimize the risk of hospital-acquired conditions, improve financial, operational, and clinical outcomes, and to better manage future pandemics. The purpose of this study is to forecast patients’ LoS using a deep learning model and analyze cohorts of risk factors minimizing or maximizing LoS. We employed various pre-processing techniques, SMOTE-N to balance data, and Tab-Transformer model to forecast LoS. Finally, Apriori algorithm was applied to analyze cohorts of risk factors influencing LoS at hospital. The Tab-Transformer outperformed the base Machine Learning models with an F1-score (.92), precision (.83), recall (.93), and accuracy (.73) for discharge dataset, and F1-score (.84), precision (.75), recall (.98), and accuracy (.77) for deceased dataset. The association mining algorithm was able to identify significant risk factors/indicators belonging to lab, X-Ray, and clinical data such as elevated LDH, and D-Dimer, lymphocytes count, and comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes responsible for extending patients LoS. It also reveals what treatments has reduced the symptoms of COVID-19 patients leading to reduction in LoS particularly when no vaccines or medication such as Paxlovid were available.
TECHNICAL NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0505.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Semantics; standards; clinical research infrastructure; terminology; graph data; data-driven medicine
Online: 29 September 2021 (17:32:40 CEST)
Health-related data originating from diverse sources are commonly stored in manifold databases and formats, making it difficult to find, access and gather data for research purposes. In addition, so-called secondary use scenarios for health data are usually hindered by local data codes, missing dictionaries and the lack of metadata and context descriptions. Following the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable), we developed a decentralized infrastructure to overcome these hurdles and enable collaborative research by making the meaning of health-related data understandable to both, humans and machines. This infrastructure is currently being implemented in the realm of the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN), a research infrastructure initiative for enabling the use and exchange of health-related data for research in Switzerland. The SPHN ecosystem for FAIR data consists of the SPHN Dataset (semantic definitions), the SPHN RDF Schema (linkage and transport of the semantics in a machine-readable format), a project RDF template, extensive guidelines and conventions on how to generate SPHN RDF schema, a Terminology Service (converter of clinical terminologies in RDF), and a Quality Assurance Framework (automated data validation with SHACLs and SPARQLs). The SPHN ecosystem has been built in a way that it can easily be adapted and extended by any SPHN project to fit individual needs. By providing such a national ecosystem, SPHN supports researchers in generating, processing and sharing FAIR data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0433.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Tele-exercise; physical activity; rural; older adults; knee osteoarthritis; clinical trial
Online: 20 July 2021 (09:36:22 CEST)
Enhance®Fitness (EF) is an evidence-based exercise program recommended for management of osteoarthritis (OA). However, access to EF is limited in rural areas. Accordingly, we evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of remotely delivered EF in rural, community-dwelling older adults with symptomatic knee OA. A single arm pilot trial of remotely delivered EF classes was conducted. Videoconferencing was used to livestream the instructor-led, 1-hour EF classes 3 days/week for 12 weeks. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and immediately post-intervention. A total of 15 participants were enrolled with a median age of 70 years (interquartile range [IQR]: 67-75) and 14 (93%) were women. Median EF class attendance rate was 91% (IQR: 85-94%). Knee pain, as measured by the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), improved significantly from baseline to 12-week endpoint (mean difference=-11.4 [95% CI:-20.9, -2.0); P=0.02). In addition, participants’ self-reported knee function improved significantly (mean difference in KOOS Function score=-11.8 [95% CI:-18.4, -5.2]; P<0.01) as well as their physical capacity (mean difference in Timed Up and Go test time=1.8 seconds [95% CI: 0.2, 3.4]; P=0.03). All participants (100%) were very satisfied with remotely delivered EF classes and there were no serious adverse events. Findings from this pilot trial indicate that remotely delivered EF is feasible and acceptable in rural older adults with knee OA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0244.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; animals; dogs; epidemiology; risk factors; clinical picture; Croatia
Online: 9 June 2021 (07:40:55 CEST)
Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infections among dogs are more common than previously thought. In this study, the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was investigated in two dog population. The first group was comprised of 1069 dogs admitted to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for any given reason. The second group included dogs that shared households with confirmed COVID-19 cases in humans. This study group numbered 78 dogs. In COVID-19 infected households, 43.9% tested ELISA positive, and neutralisation antibodies were detected in 25.64% of dogs. Those data are comparable with the secondary attack rate in the human population. With 14.69% of dogs in the general population testing ELISA positive, there was a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections within the dog population amid the second wave of the pandemic. Noticeably seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in the dog and the human population did not differ at the end of the study period. Male sex, breed and age were identified as significant risk factors. This study gives strong evidence that while acute dog infections are mostly asymptomatic, they can pose a significant risk to dog health. Seropositive dogs had a 1.97 times greater risk for developing central nervous symptoms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0285.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: PP2A; LB100; nervous system; tumor biology; brain tumor; preclinical; clinical trial
Online: 13 May 2021 (11:32:51 CEST)
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a ubiquitous serine/threonine phosphatase implicated in a wide variety of regulatory cellular functions. PP2A is abundant in the mammalian nervous system and dysregulation of its cellular functions are associated with myriad neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, PP2A has oncologic implications, recently garnering attention and emerging as a therapeutic target because of the antitumor effects of a potent PP2A inhibitor, LB100. LB100 abrogation of PP2A is believed to exert its inhibitory effects on tumor progression through cellular chemo- and radio-sensitization to adjuvant agents. An updated and unifying review of PP2A biology and inhibition with LB100 as a therapeutic strategy for targeting cancers of the nervous system is needed, as other reviews have mainly covered broader applications of LB100. In this review, we discuss the role of PP2A in normal cells and tumor cells of the nervous system. Further, we summarize current evidence regarding the therapeutic potential of LB100 for treating solid tumors of the nervous system.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0231.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Phage therapy; clinical trials; animal models; safety and toxicity; immune activation
Online: 11 May 2021 (10:30:59 CEST)
Increasing rates of infection by antibiotic resistant bacteria have led to a resurgence of interest in bacteriophage (phage) therapy. Several phage therapy studies in animals and humans have been completed over the last two decades. We conducted a systematic review of safety and toxicity data associated with phage therapy in both animals and humans reported in English-language publications from 2008 – 2021. Overall, 69 publications met our eligibility criteria including 20 animal studies, 35 clinical case reports or case series, and 14 clinical trials. After summarizing safety and toxicity data from these publications, we discuss potential approaches to optimizing safety and toxicity monitoring with the therapeutic use of phage moving forward. In our systematic review of the literature, we found few, but no serious, adverse events associated with phage therapy. Comprehensive and standardized reporting of potential toxicities associated with phage therapy has generally been lacking in the published literature. Structured safety and tolerability endpoints are necessary when phages are administered as anti-infective therapeutics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0348.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: porous tantalum; clinical application; additive manufacturing; surface modification; bone tissue engineering
Online: 13 April 2021 (11:36:57 CEST)
Porous tantalum (Ta) is a promising biomaterial and has been applied in orthopedics and dentistry for nearly two decades. The high porosity and interconnected pore structure of porous Ta promise fine bone ingrowth and new bone formation within the inner space, which further guarantee rapid osteointegration and bone-implant stability in long term. Porous Ta has high wettability and surface energy that can facilitate adherence, proliferation and mineralization of osteoblasts. Meanwhile, low elastic modulus and high friction coefficient of porous Ta can effectively avoid stress shield effect, minimize marginal bone loss and ensure primary stability. Accordingly, the satisfactory clinical application of porous Ta based implants or prostheses are mainly derived from its excellent biological and mechanical properties. With the advent of additive manufacturing, personalized porous Ta based implants or prostheses have shown their clinical value in the treatment of individual patient who need specially designed implant or prosthesis. In addition, many modification methods have been introduced to enhance the bioactivity and antibacterial property of porous Ta with promising in vitro and in vivo research results. In any case, choosing suitable patients is of great importance to guarantee surgical success after porous Ta insertion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0103.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Next Generation Sequencing; Laboratory automation; Hereditary Cancer; Genetic Testing; Clinical Genomics.
Online: 2 March 2021 (16:00:24 CET)
(1) Background: the NGS based mutational study of hereditary cancer genes is crucial to design tailored prevention strategies in subjects with different hereditary cancer risk. The ease of amplicon-based NGS library construction protocols contrasts with the greater uniformity of enrichment provided by capture-based protocols and so with greater chances for detecting larger genomic rearrangements and copy-number variations. Capture-based protocols, however, are characterized by a higher level of complexity of sample handling, extremely susceptible to human bias. Robotics platforms may definitely help dealing with these limits, reducing hands-on time, limiting random errors and guaranteeing process standardization. (2) Methods: We implemented and validated the complete automation of the SOPHiA GENETICS’ CE-IVD Hereditary Cancer Solution™ (HCS) libraries preparation workflow on the Hamilton’s STARlet platform. (3) Results: We demonstrate that this automated workflow, used for more than 1000 samples achieved the same performances of manual setup in terms of coverages and reads uniformity, with extremely lower variability of reads mapping rate onto the regions of interest. (4) Conclusions: This automated solution offers same reliable and affordable NGS data, but with the essential advantages of a flexible, automated and integrated framework, minimizing possible human errors and depicting a laboratory’s walk-away scenario.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0179.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: evidence-based practice; clinical reasoning; causal model; intervention theory; Concept Mapping
Online: 8 February 2021 (10:35:52 CET)
Significant efforts in the past decades to teach evidence-based practice (EBP) implementation has emphasized increasing knowledge of EBP and developing interventions to support adoption to practice. These efforts have resulted in only limited sustained improvements in the daily use of evidence-based interventions in clinical practice in most health professions. Many new interven-tions with limited evidence of effectiveness are readily adopted each year - indicating openness to change is not the problem. The selection of an intervention is the outcome of an elaborate and complex cognitive process which is shaped by how they represent the problem in their mind and is mostly invisible processes to others. Therefore, the complex thinking process which support appropriate adoption of interventions should be taught more explicitly. Making the process visible to clinicians increases the acquisition of the skills required to judiciously select one in-tervention over others. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the selection process and the critical analysis that is required to appropriately decide to trial or not trial new intervention strategies with patients.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0356.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Comorbidities; Clinical characteristics; Pathobiology; 2019-nCov
Online: 14 December 2020 (18:16:00 CET)
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill with the infected cases surpassing millions. The causative agent of COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged from the wet animal market in Wuhan, China in early December 2019. Soon after, human-to-human transmission increased the rate of infection making the disease widespread with new hotspots emerging around the world.The epidemiological reports based on clinical characteristics including age, gender, symptoms (both severe and non-severe), and the conditions requiring intensive medical care, along with case fatality revealed that people with co-existing health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, and others with cardiovascular and kidney diseases were more susceptible to COVID-19 infection with poor prognosis in cases related to the severity of symptoms and requiring ICU, medical ventilators with a high fatality rate. Even people with immunosuppressed conditions like HIV and cancer, alongwith old age and pregnant women are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and can cause severe health complications.It is extremely important to have a comprehensive idea of the underlying pathophysiology related to these health conditions which makes them more susceptible to contract SARS-CoV-2 infection in correlation with the development of severe symptoms. This review will provide an extensive viewpoint related to COVID-19 patients having coexisting health conditions together with the association between the prognosis of the disease and the pathogenesis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, based on the current information available.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0551.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: steroids; steroid panel; clinical mass spectrometry; plasma; sample automation; endocrine; Synacthen
Online: 21 November 2020 (08:36:10 CET)
Steroid analysis is important in the clinical assessment of endocrine function in health and disease. Although tandem mass spectrometry methods coupled with chromatographic separation are considered the gold standard analytical technique in this setting, enabling profiling of multiple steroids in a single sample, sample processing can be labour-intensive. Here we present a simple, efficient automated 96-well Supported Liquid Extraction method with dichloromethane/isopropanol as organic solvent, carried out on a Extrahera automated sample handler (Biotage), which completes sample preparation of 80 plasma samples (200µL) in 90 minutes. Compounds were separated on a Kinetex C18 column (150x3mm;2.6um) using a mobile phase of methanol and water (0.1% formic acid). The run time was 16 minutes on a Nexera uHPLC system (Shimadzu) with a QTrap 6500+ linear ion trap mass spectrometer (AB Sciex). Precisions ranged 8.1 to 18.1% RSD, bias -10.1-5.8%, and extraction recoveries 73.5-111.9%. LOQs ranged between 0.025–0.500 ng/mL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0530.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: KTAS; simulation; clinical decision-making ability; job satisfaction; customer orientation; nurse
Online: 26 October 2020 (14:14:54 CET)
This study focused on the development and implementation of an educational simulation program based on Korean Triage and Acuity Scale (KTAS) for nurses in emergency medical centers who completed KTAS training. We also examined its educational effects based on the evaluation of clinical decision-making ability, job satisfaction, and customer orientation. The study participants were 30 nurses in the emergency medical center of a general hospital. Data were collected from May 3 to 24, 2017, and analyzed using SPSS 22.0. There was a significant difference in the mean scores in clinical decision-making ability, job satisfaction, and customer orientation before and after simulation education. In other words, emergency nurses who received KTAS-based simulation education program improved their clinical decision making ability, job satisfaction, and customer orientation. Based on the results of this study, it is expected that it can be used for KTAS education, and it was found that simulation-based education is a useful learning method for triage nurses in emergency medical center.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0223.v1
Online: 13 May 2020 (05:10:48 CEST)
Abstract. The COVID-19 has turned in to a global human tragedy and economic devastation. Governments have implemented lockdown measures, blocked international travel, and enforced other public containment measures to mitigate the virus morbidity and mortality. As of today, no drug has the power to fight the infection and bring normalcy to the utter chaos. This leaves us with only one choice namely an effective and safe vaccine that shall be manufactured as soon as possible and available to all countries and populations affected by the pandemic at an affordable price. There has been an unprecedented fast track path taken in R&D by the World community for developing an effective and safe vaccine. Platform technology has been exploited to develop candidate vaccines in a matter of days to weeks and as of now, 108 such vaccines are available. Six of these vaccines have entered clinical trials. As clinical trials are ‘rate-limiting’ and ‘time-consuming’, many innovative methods are in practice for a fast track. These include parallel phase I-II trials and obtaining efficacy data from phase IIb trials. Human ‘challenge experiments’ to confirm efficacy in humans is under serious consideration. The availability of the COVID-19 vaccine has become a race against time in the middle of death and devastation. There is an atmosphere of tremendous hype around the COVID-19 vaccine and developers are using every moment to make claims, which remain unverified. However, concerns are raised about a rush to deploy a COVID-19 vaccine. Applying ‘Quick fix’ and ‘short cuts’ can lead to errors with disastrous consequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0378.v3
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Coronavirus Disease 2019; SARS-CoV-2; clinical features; laboratory; outcomes; epidemic.
Online: 11 March 2020 (10:35:01 CET)
Introduction: An epidemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) begun in December 2019 in China, causing a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Among raised questions, clinical, laboratory, and imaging features have been partially characterized in some observational studies. No systematic reviews have been published on this matter. Methods: We performed a systematic literature review with meta-analysis, using three databases to assess clinical, laboratory, imaging features, and outcomes of COVID-19 confirmed cases. Observational studies, and also case reports, were included and analyzed separately. We performed a random-effects model meta-analysis to calculate the pooled prevalence and 95% confidence interval (95%CI). Results: 660 articles were retrieved (1/1/2020-2/23/2020). After screening by abstract/title, 27 articles were selected for full-text assessment. Of them, 19 were finally included for qualitative and quantitative analyses. Additionally, 39 case report articles were included and analyzed separately. For 656 patients, fever (88.7%, 95%CI 84.5-92.9%), cough (57.6%, 40.8-74.4%) and dyspnea (45.6%, 10.9-80.4%) were the most prevalent manifestations. Among the patients, 20.3% (95%CI 10.0-30.6%) required intensive care unit (ICU), with 32.8% presenting acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (95%CI 13.7-51.8), 6.2% (95%CI 3.1-9.3) with shock and 13.9% (95%CI 6.2-21.5%) of hospitalized patients with fatal outcomes (case fatality rate, CFR).Conclusion: COVID-19 brings a huge burden to healthcare facilities, especially in patients with comorbidities. ICU was required for approximately 20% of polymorbid, COVID-19 infected patients and this group was associated with a CFR of over 13%. As this virus spreads globally, countries need to urgently prepare human resources, infrastructure, and facilities to treat severe COVID-19.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0209.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: bone morphogenetic protein 4; molecular mechanism; delivery; clinical application; malignant glioma
Online: 16 February 2020 (04:19:22 CET)
Malignant gliomas are heterogeneous neoplasms. Glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) are undifferentiated and self-renewing cells that develop and maintain these tumors. These cells are the main population that resist current therapies. Genomic and epigenomic analyses has identified various molecular subtypes. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) reduces the number of GSCs through differentiation and induction of apoptosis, thus increasing therapeutic sensitivity. However, the short half-life of BMP4 impedes its clinical application. We have previously reviewed BMP4 signaling in central nervous system development and glioma tumorigenesis and its’ potential as a treatment target in human gliomas. Recent advances in understanding both adult and pediatric malignant gliomas highlight critical roles of BMP4 signaling pathways in the regulation of tumor biology, and indicate its’ potential as a therapeutic molecule. Furthermore, significant progress has been made on synthesizing BMP4 biocompatible delivery materials, which can bind to and markedly extend BMP4 half-life. Here, we review current research associated with BMP4 in brain tumors, especially in pediatric malignant gliomas. We also summarize BMP4 delivery strategies, with a focus on biocompatible BMP4 binding peptide amphiphile nanostructures as promising novel delivery platforms for treatment of these devastating tumors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0289.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; clinical trials
Online: 25 July 2019 (11:38:57 CEST)
A nutritional approach could be a promising strategy to prevent or slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, since there is no effective therapy for these diseases so far. The beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids are now well established by a plethora of studies through their involvement in multiple biochemical functions, including synthesis of antinflammatory mediators, cell membrane fluidity, intracellular signalling and gene expression. This systematic review will consider epidemiological studies and clinical trials that assessed the impact of supplementation or dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Indeed, treatment with omega-3 fatty acids, being safe and well tolerated, represent a valuable and biologically plausible tool in the management of neurodegenerative diseases in their early stages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0179.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: atherogenesis; passiflora edulis sims; lipid profile; free radicals; pre-clinical trial
Online: 15 July 2019 (05:59:18 CEST)
High oxidative stress in cells due to inflammation process or excessive cell proliferation would produce oxidants or free radicals with biomarkers, one of which is malondialdehyde (MDA). Passion fruit seed’s contain high antioxidant and are expected to decrease the level of cholesterol and MDA. The objective is to identify the effect of passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract in Wistar rats that have been fed with atherogenic feed. The method was preclinical trial (post-test control group design) in rats, by administering passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract for 14 days. This study used 26 male rats aged two months, divided into 5 groups. The result showed significant difference in MDA level which was found in group that was given passion fruit seed extract 10mg/kg BW with positive control group that was given standard feed. Passion fruit seed’s extract showed significant difference in level of triglyceride, which was found in negative control group that was given atherogenic feed with group that was given passion fruit seed’s extract 5mg/kg BW (mean±standard deviation: 1.09±0.30 mg/dL vs 0.77±0.25mg/dL; p=0.048). This study showed that passion fruit seed’s ethanol extract had significant lowering effect in level of MDA, total cholesterol, and triglyceride for 14 days.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0037.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: clinical psychology; cultural psychology; ethic and professionalism; holistic medicine; qualitative methods
Online: 2 July 2019 (09:39:40 CEST)
This study aimed to explore how Indonesian clinical psychologists (CPs) address aspects of spirituality and religion (SR), particularly their attitudes towards and experience of it, on the mental health context. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 43 CPs in public health centres in Yogyakarta Province, Indonesia. Data were anyalsed using deductive thematic analysis and they generated ten sub-themes which were merged into three central themes. The first theme was experiences related to SR, particularly in Indonesian sociocultural context. The second theme concentrated on participants’ clinical experience related to SR integration into clinical practice. The last theme highlighted the effort made by participants to create holistic mental health services. The originality of this study was represented by the interview quote in the title, “Doing my profession is also part of worship”. It was found that SR is part of culture and belief among Indonesian people, including CPs and mental health treatment clients. In summary, participants genuinely acknowledged that they were not able to completely detach SR from their professional practice. However, participants also pointed out that they were different with spiritual-religious healers (SRHs) and favourably welcomed future collaboration with credible SRHs. This positive attitude embodied a holistic care approach that recognises the diverse biopsycho-social-spiritual needs of clients. Therefore, professional organisations and psychology faculties should establish regulations and education of SR in psychology curricula and conventional psychotherapy to achieve this holistic mental health services in Indonesia.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0142.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: celiac disease; avenins; genetic variability; immunoreactivity; clinical studies; oats (Avena sativa)
Online: 13 March 2019 (09:27:54 CET)
Oats represents a promising alternative to small-grain cereals from Triticeae group (wheat, barley, rye) for persons suffering from any form of gluten intolerance, especially celiac disease (CD), since oat-specific prolamins avenins reveal generally lower gluten content and immunoreactivity. Recent studies on avenin molecular structure revealed large genetic variability in avenin sequences affecting the spectrum of gluten peptides produced by hydrolases in human digestive tract. The aim of the present review is to summarise recent knowledge obtained in laboratory in vitro studies focused on the effect of avenin-derived peptides on reactivity of crucial components of human immune system such as dendritic cells (DC) and T-cells. The other part of the review summarises the results of clinical studies with CD patients including oat products in their diet. Since different clinical studies revealed contradictory results regarding potential safety of oats for CD patients, the focus has to be directed at genetic variability in oat avenins. Identification of avenin isoforms with minimum CD immunoreactivity will open up ways leading to designing novel oat cultivars suitable for CD patients. Knowledge on immunoreactivity of gluten peptides together with breeding new oat cultivars revealing minimum avenin immunoreactivity with respect to CD as well as application of food processing technologies leading to gluten content reduction should result in development of gluten-free oats safe for celiacs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0334.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Fiber optics sensors; Fiber Bragg gratings; Clinical applications; Medical optics instrumentation
Online: 24 May 2018 (05:57:50 CEST)
Placing the needle inside the epidural space for locoregional anesthesia is a challenging procedure, which even today is left to the expertise of the operator. Recently, we have demonstrated that the use of optically sensorized needles significantly improve the effectiveness of such procedure. Here we propose an optimized configuration, where the optical fiber strain sensor is directly integrated inside the epidural catheter. The new design allows to solve the biocompatibility issues and increases the versatility of the former configuration. Through an in vivo study carried out on a porcine model we confirm the reliability of our approach, which also opens the way to catheter monitoring during its insertion inside biological spaces.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0185.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Plant sterols, wholegrain wheat, breakfast cereal, crossover clinical trial, LDL cholesterol
Online: 27 February 2018 (16:32:51 CET)
Meta-analysis of plant sterol supplement studies suggests an 8% lowering of LDL cholesterol for 2 to 2.5g/day of plant sterols. Cereal foods have been rarely tested and one study showed a lower LDL lowering of 5.4% with 1.6g of plant sterol in breakfast cereal. We aimed to test a breakfast wheat biscuit with 2g of plant sterols in a single serve of two wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuits. Fifty volunteers with a total cholesterol of >5.5mmol/L were recruited for a randomised crossover study with two 4-week periods with no washout of which 45 successfully completed the study. After exclusion of four outliers the difference in LDL cholesterol between standard wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit and plant sterol-enriched wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit was 0.23 mmol/L or 5.6% (P=0.001) with a 95% confidence interval of 2.4-8.9%. Men and daily cereal consumers had greater responses 9.8% vs 3.6% and 7.2% vs 3.8% respectively (P<0.05). The LDL lowering effect of 2g of plant sterol enriched from one serve of wholegrain wheat breakfast cereal biscuit was not significantly different from other food products delivering 2-2.5g of plant sterols daily. Regular cereal consumers have a better response.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0388.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: inertial measurement units; gait kinematics; lower limbs; tridimensional kinematics; clinical gait analysis
Online: 28 June 2022 (16:06:30 CEST)
The use of inertial measurement units (IMUs) to compute gait outputs such as the 3D lower limb kinematics is of huge potential, but no consensus on the procedures and algorithms exists. This study aimed at evaluating the validity of a 7-IMUs system against the optoelectronic system. Ten asymptomatic subjects were included. They wore IMUs on their feet, shanks, thighs and pelvis. The IMUs were embedded in clusters with reflective markers. Reference kinematics was computed from anatomical markers. Gait kinematics was obtained from accelerometer and gyroscope data after sensor orientation estimation and sensor-to-segment (S2S) calibration steps. The S2S calibration steps were also applied to the cluster data. IMU-based and cluster-based kinematics were compared to the reference through root mean square errors (RMSEs), centered RMSEs (after mean removal), correlation coefficients (CCs) and differences of amplitude. The mean RMSE and centered RMSE were respectively 7.5° and 4.0° for IMU-kinematics, and 7.9° and 3.8° for cluster-kinematics. Very good CCs were found in the sagittal plane for both IMUs and cluster-based kinematics at the hip, knee and ankle levels (CCs>0.85). The overall mean amplitude difference was about 7°. These results reflected good accordance of our system with the reference, especially in the sagittal plane, but the presence of offsets requires caution for clinical use.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0102.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Breast cancer; self-management; non-pharmacological interventions; clinical practice guidelines; content analysis
Online: 7 March 2022 (14:21:21 CET)
Background: A growing number of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) with regards to non-pharmacological interventions for breast cancer survivors are available. However, given the limitations in guideline development methodologies and inconsistency of recommendations, it remains uncertain how best to design and implement such non-pharmacological strategies to tailor interventions for breast cancer survivors with varied health conditions, healthcare needs, and preferences. Aim: To critically appraise and summarise available non-pharmacological interventions for symptom management and health promotion that can be self-managed by breast cancer survivors based on the recommendations of the CPGs. Methods: Clinical practice guidelines which were published between January 2016 and September 2021 and described non-pharmacological interventions for breast cancer survivors were systematically searched in six electronic databases, nine relevant guideline databases, and five cancer care society websites. The quality of the included CPGs was assessed by four evaluators using the Appraisal of Guidelines for REsearch and Evaluation, second edition tool. Content analysis was conducted to synthesise the characteristics of the non-pharmacological interventions that were recommended by the included CPGs, such as the intervention’s form, duration and frequency, level of evidence, grade of recommendation, and source of evidence. Results: Fourteen CPGs were identified and analysed. Of the 14 CPGs appraised, only five were rated as high quality. The domain with the highest standardised percentage was “scope and purpose” (84.61%), while the “applicability” domain had the lowest standardised percentage (51.04%). Five guidelines were assessed as “recommended”, seven were rated as “recommended with modifications”, and the remaining two were considered “not recommended”. Regarding the content analysis, physical activity/exercise, meditation, hypnosis, yoga, music therapy, stress management, relaxation, massage, and acupressure were the common self-managed non-pharmacological interventions recommended by the 14 CPGs. Physical activity/exercise was the only self-managed non-pharmacological intervention that was mostly recommended for psychological and physical symptom management by the included CPGs. However, there were significant disparities in terms of level of evidence and grade of recommendation in the included CPGs. Conclusion: The recommendations for the self-managed non-pharmacological interventions were varied and limited among the 14 CPGs, and some were based on medium- and low-quality evidence. More rigorous methods are required to develop high-quality CPGs in order to guide clinicians in offering high-quality and tailored breast cancer survivorship care.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0599.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Clinical Study; Retrospective Studies; Surgical Procedures, Operative; Postoperative Period; Follow-Up Studies.
Online: 28 July 2021 (16:56:31 CEST)
Background In this study, we describe our clinical experience with the fifth-generation of a breast implant with a smooth, fine surface from a Korean manufacturer (BellaGelÒ SmoothFine; HansBiomed Co. Ltd., Seoul, Korea) in Asian women. Methods We analyzed 223 women (mean age=35.28±9.45 years and mean follow-up period=12.03±2.48 months), comprising 118 bilateral cases and 109 unilateral ones, who received breast augmentation using the BellaGelÒ SmoothFine at our hospital between June 4, 2018 and February 28, 2019. For safety assessment, we analyzed frequencies of postoperative complications and overall survival of the BellaGelÒ SmoothFine. Results Postoperatively, complications (12 cases, 5.38%) include asymmetry (3 cases, 1.35%), hematoma (2 cases, 0.90%), hypertrophic scars (2 cases, 0.90%), wound disruption (2 cases, 0.90%), rippling (1 case, 0.45%), capsular contracture (1 case, 0.45%), stretch deformities with skin excess (1 case, 0.45%). In addition, time-to-events were calculated as 10.94±0.64 months (95% CI 9.69-12.19) and the survival rate reached 0.290±0.168 (95% CI 0.094-0.901) at 12 months postoperatively. Conclusions Here, we describe our clinical experience with the BellaGelÒ SmoothFine. Our results are of significance in that this is the first report about the fifth-generation of a breast implant with a smooth, fine surface from a Korean manufacturer in Asian women.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0649.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: text mining; natural language processing; electronic health records; clinical text; machine learning
Online: 3 February 2021 (10:31:14 CET)
Electronic health records (EHRs) are becoming a vital source of data for healthcare quality improvement, research, and operations. However, much of the most valuable information contained in EHRs remains buried in unstructured text. The field of clinical text mining has advanced rapidly in recent years, transitioning from rule-based approaches to machine learning and, more recently, deep learning. With new methods come new challenges, however, especially for those new to the field. This review provides an overview of clinical text mining for those who are encountering it for the first time (e.g. physician researchers, operational analytics teams, machine learning scientists from other domains). While not a comprehensive survey, it describes the state of the art, with a particular focus on new tasks and methods developed over the past few years. It also identifies key barriers between these remarkable technical advances and the practical realities of implementation at health systems and in industry.