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/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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/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/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/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.
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.
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.
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/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/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.
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.
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/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/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/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/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.
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.
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/preprints201808.0020.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Keywords: expanded carrier screening; prenatal diagnosis; pregnancy management; clinical utility; at-risk couple
Online: 1 August 2018 (12:07:35 CEST)
Purpose: Expanded carrier screening (ECS) informs couples of their risk of having offspring affected by certain genetic conditions. Limited data exists assessing the actions and reproductive outcomes of at-risk couples (ARCs). We describe the impact of ECS on planned and actual pregnancy management in the largest sample of ARCs studied to date. Methods: Couples who elected ECS and were found to be at high risk of having a pregnancy affected by at least one of 176 genetic conditions were invited to complete a survey about their actions and pregnancy management. Results: Three hundred ninety-one ARCs completed the survey. Among those screened before becoming pregnant, 77% planned or pursued actions to avoid having affected offspring. Among those screened during pregnancy, 37% elected prenatal diagnostic testing (PNDx) for that pregnancy. In subsequent pregnancies that occurred in both the preconception and prenatal screening groups, PNDx was pursued in 29%. The decision to decline PNDx was most frequently based on the fear of procedure-related miscarriage, as well as the belief that termination would not be pursued in the event of a positive diagnosis. Conclusions: ECS results impacted couples’ reproductive decision-making and led to altered pregnancy management that effectively eliminates the risk of having affected offspring.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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/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/preprints202009.0684.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Clinical application; dimethyl fumarate; disease; fumaric acid esters; oxidative stress; inflammation; Nrf2; disease
Online: 28 September 2020 (11:03:25 CEST)
Fumaric acid esters (FAEs) are small molecules with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is the best characterised FAE and is approved and registered for the treatment of psoriasis and Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS). Psoriasis and RRMS share an immune-mediated aetiology, driven by severe inflammation and oxidative stress. DMF, as well as monomethyl fumarate and diroximel fumarate, are commonly prescribed first-line agents with favourable safety and efficacy profiles. The potential benefits of FAEs against other diseases that appear pathogenically different but share the pathologies of oxidative stress and inflammation are currently investigated.
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.
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/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.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0203.v1
Subject: Keywords: mobile technology; patient engagement; mobile clinical trials; virtual trials; digital trials; hybrid trials; site engagement; site support; mobile devices
Online: 16 December 2019 (02:44:52 CET)
In order to harness the potential of mobile technologies to enhance the quality of clinical research, it is critical to first understand how to engage patients and research sites when planning and conducting mobile clinical trials. The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative has developed the first comprehensive, evidence-based set of recommendations for incorporating patient and site perspectives in mobile clinical trials, which can aid in engaging stakeholders, addressing site challenges, and maximizing value for participants.
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/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.
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.
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.
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.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0093.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Cardiology Keywords: cardiomyopathy; hemodynamic and biochemical parameters; epidemiological and clinical Parameters; phospholamban angiotensin-1-converting enzyme
Online: 5 July 2018 (10:43:43 CEST)
Background: Cardiomyopathy is commonly observed disease that may occurs due to mutations in either susceptible genes or modifier gene. People with broad age group are affected either attributable to spontaneous or inherited mutations of these genes. Various gene mutations are reported so far but only few of them were studied in detail. Methods: In the current study, we evaluated epidemiological variables like age, sex, familial status, parental consanguinity. We also described specific clinical symptoms associated with the cardiomyopathy condition in Indian population. Results: Our studies on mutation screening of phospholamban gene revealed two transitions (4880 C/T, 4887 T/G) in 5’ flanking region which might cause inherited dilated cardiomyopathy with refractory congestive heart failure are We further deliberated the gene polymorphism of renin angiotensin system gene angiotensin-1-converting enzyme as an associated marker/ modifier in cardiomyopathy patients and their family members. Conclusions: Information on epidemiological, clinical statistics, phospholamban gene mutation analysis and angiotensin-1-converting enzyme gene polymorphism is essential to guide the successful execution for future therapies and benefits us to identify those patients at risk for faster disease progression, congestive heart failure, and arrhythmia.
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.
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/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.
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.
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/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.
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.
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/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.
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.
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/preprints202007.0451.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Burnout syndrome; MBI; Clinical personnel; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; metal health
Online: 19 July 2020 (21:24:17 CEST)
Objective: To examine the burnout syndrome among the healthcare personnel in Puerto Rico during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Descriptive study that pursues to understand burnout syndrome in the clinical personnel in Puerto Rico. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was sent via email to healthcare professionals around the island. Furthermore, open questions were asked to the participants. Results: The overall burnout level on the clinical personnel was found to be moderate. Nonetheless, in physicians, 12.1% had severe burnout levels compared to a 13.1% score in nurses. Additionally, 92.4% of physicians and 100% of nurses had moderate to severe burnout. In the three subscales, nurses scored high levels in all of them, and physicians were high in Emotional Exhaustion and moderate level in Depersonalization and Personal Accomplishment at Work. There were high levels of burnout syndrome of the clinical personnel in Puerto Rico. Conclusion: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 90% of healthcare professionals in Puerto Rico have been working with moderate to severe burnout syndrome, being the nurses the most affected. Key Words: Burnout syndrome, MBI, Clinical personnel, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; epidemic dynamics; disease control; clinical features; tropical area
Online: 8 July 2020 (12:30:52 CEST)
Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the epidemic dynamics and clinical features of COVID-19 in southern Hainan Island, China, and provide experience for other tropical areas of the world. Methods: This retrospective study included confirmed cases of COVID-19 in southern Hainan. All enrolled patients were treated in Sanya, and data on epidemiological and clinical features of the disease and infection prevention and control measures adopted by the local government during the epidemic were collected. Results: Of the 74 cases, 71 (95.95%) were imported from Wuhan, Hubei Province (47, 63.51%), other cities in Hubei Province (11, 14.86%), or provinces other than Hubei and Hainan (13, 17.57%). Three (4.06%) patients were infected in southern Hainan, including one autochthonous case in Sanya. Fifty-four cases (72.97%) were detected in Sanya, and 27 cases (27.03%) were diagnosed in other cities. The rate of severe or critical cases was 28.38% (21/74), and mortality was 2.7% (2/74). The serum lactate levels and base excess of severe-critical patients were higher than those of patients with mild-moderate disease. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that chronic conditions were risk factors for severe and critical COVID-19. Seventy-four patients were diagnosed with COVID-19 over a 22-day period in Sanya, and the epidemic period in the city was 48 days. The outbreak was controlled rapidly because the local government adopted strict infection prevention and control measures. Conclusions: The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 in Hainan Island were similar to those reported in other regions. In Sanya, the rate of severe and very severe cases was higher than in other regions; however, most cases were imported, and there was only one autochthonous case. The rapid control of the outbreak in Sanya may be related to the tropical climate, adoption of strict infection prevention and control measures, daily reporting of new cases, increased public awareness about the epidemic, and other emergency actions implemented by the local government.
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.
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0163.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: next-generation sequencing; whole-genome sequencing; hospital-acquired pneumonia; antibiotic resistance; prediction; clinical metagenomics
Online: 30 September 2017 (04:49:23 CEST)
Clinical metagenomics (CMg), referred to as the application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to clinical samples, is a promising tool for the diagnosis of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP). Indeed, CMg allows identifying pathogens and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), thereby providing the information required for the optimization of the antibiotic regimen. Hence, provided that CMg would be faster than conventional culture, the probabilistic regimen used in HAP could be tailored faster, which should lead to an expected decrease of mortality and morbidity. While the inference of the antibiotic susceptibility testing from metagenomic or even genomic data is challenging, a limited number of antibiotics are used in the probabilistic regimen of HAP (namely beta-lactams, aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, glycopeptides and oxazolidinones). Accordingly in the perspective of applying CMg to the early diagnostic of HAP, we aimed at reviewing the performances of whole genomic sequencing (WGS) of the main HAP-causing bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Staphylococcus aureus) for the prediction of susceptibility to the antibiotic families advocated in the probabilistic regimen of HAP.
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/preprints202011.0156.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: Bacterial detection; Biosensors; Clinical pathogen; COVID-19; Electrospun nanofibers; Nano-biosensors; Point-of-care; SARS-CoV-2; Viral detection.
Online: 3 November 2020 (14:15:34 CET)
Biosensors are measurement devices that can sense several biomolecules, and are widely used for the detection of relevant clinical pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, showing outstanding results. Because of the latent existing risk of facing another pandemic like the one we are living due to COVID-19, researchers are constantly looking forward to developing new technologies for diagnosis and treatment of infections caused by different bacteria and viruses. Regarding that, nanotechnology has improved biosensors design and performance through the development of materials and nanoparticles that enhance their affinity, selectivity, and efficacy in detecting these pathogens, such as employing nanoparticles, graphene quantum dots, and electrospun nanofibers. Therefore, this work aims to present a comprehensive review that exposes how biosensors work in terms of bacterial and viral detection, and the nanotechnological features that are contributing to achieving a faster yet still efficient COVID-19 diagnosis at the point-of-care.
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/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.
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/preprints202005.0014.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: HIV/AIDS; community health worker; clinical trial; informed consent; HIV positive; STI
Online: 2 May 2020 (13:45:36 CEST)
Aim: The overall aim of the study was to assess the reasons and experiences of participants involved in Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) HIV prevention clinical trial at University of North Carolina (UNC) Project, Lilongwe, Malawi. We determined the participants’ reasons for participating in HIV Prevention clinical trials; and the experiences of participants in HIV Prevention clinical trials. Methods: We adopted the qualitative cross-sectional study method. Data were collected using in-depth interviews (IDIs). Purposive sampling was used to select 12 study participants who consented to take part in the study. All participants were the ones taking part in the AMP HIV prevention study at the UNC Project. Data analysis was done concurrently with data collection using content analysis. Results: Individuals were motivated to participate in HIV research due to a range of perceived benefits. These included personal, health, and financial benefits. Participants' research experiences and their continued participation in HIV research were influenced by the research clinic context and the nature of their interactions with research staff. Conclusion: When the clinical trial study participants’ expectations are met through what they experience in the study, the chances of them adhering to the study visits and procedures are high. Even for those who did not have any expectations prior to the study, feeling welcomed and being able to open up to the study staff encouraged their continued participation. In the end, this outweighed the negative comments made by the people in their communities or their friends
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/preprints202208.0520.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Multiplex PCR; Real time PCR; Human herpes viruses; clinical significance; Pediatric Leukemia patients
Online: 30 August 2022 (10:30:06 CEST)
Objectives: Human herpes viruses can cause life-threatening diseases in immunocompromised children, especially leukemic patients. Therefore, the aim of this study is to detect the human herpes viruses (HHV1-7) and to investigate its clinical significance in Middle Eastern Pediatric Leukemia Patients by using 2 Independent PCR assays. Methods: Detection of human herpes virus DNA has been done in blood samples of 200 pediatric leukemia patients in addition to 90 blood donors as a control group using multiplex PCR assays. When a ‘‘positive’’ result was observed, real-time PCR was performed to measure the viral load. Results: The most frequent herpes virus infection in Middle Eastern Pediatric Leukemia cases was CMV, followed by EBV, then HHV6, VZV, HHV7, HSV1, and HSV2, where they were 92/200 (46%), 76/200 (38%), 72/200 (36%), 48/200 (24%), 12/200 (6%), 8/200 (4%), and 2/200 (1%) respectively. Also, there was a statistically significance difference between leukemic patients and their controls regarding CMV, EBV, HHV6, and VZV (P <0.05). Correlation between percentage of co-infection, and clinical parameters for the 7 herpes viruses has been studied, and there is an increase in absolute neutrophilic count (ANC), total leukocyte count (TLC) and duration of fever and neutropenia in age group 6-11 years for HHV6/CMV, then in age group 12-18 years especially for EBV/CMV and CMV/HHV6. Also, our results show that multiplex PCR assay is close to single PCR assay in relation to specificity and sensitivity which in turn prove its validity for early diagnosis of herpes viral infection. Conclusions: Adopting multiplex PCR technique is helpful in screening of virus infections. It will save time, effort, cost effective and will assist in rapid diagnosis. However, the clinical relevance of the virus infection needs to be evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR which in turn will help patient's management by using appropriate antiviral treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0343.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Agreement analysis; Bland-Altman method; Clinical tolerance limits; Limits of agreement; Nonparametric approach; Robust method
Online: 16 August 2021 (13:53:22 CEST)
Clinical agreement between two quantitative measurements on a group of subjects is generally assessed with the help of the Bland-Altman (B-A) limits. The interpretation regarding agreement is based on whether B-A limits are within the pre-specified clinical tolerance. Thus, clinical tolerance limits are necessary for this method. We argue in this communication that such limits of clinical tolerance can be directly used for assessing agreement and plead that this nonparametric approach is simple and robust to the distribution pattern and outliers. Such direct use of clinical tolerance limits has more flexibility, and it is more effective in assessing the extent of agreement.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0234.v1
Subject: Keywords: myostatin inhibition; Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy; skeletal muscle; muscle development; clinical trials; translation
Online: 12 October 2020 (12:07:43 CEST)
Myostatin inhibition therapy has held much promise for the treatment of muscle wasting disorders. This is particularly true for the fatal myopathy, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Following on from promising pre-clinical data in dystrophin-deficient mice and dogs, several clinical trials were initiated in DMD patients using different modality myostatin inhibition therapies. All failed to show modification of disease course as dictated by the primary and secondary outcomes measures selected: the myostatin inhibition story thus far, is a failed clinical story. These trials have recently been extensively reviewed and reasons why pre-clinical data collected in animal models has failed to translate into clinical benefit to patients has been purported. However, the biological mechanisms underlying translational failure need to be examined to ensure future myostatin inhibitor development endeavors do not meet with the same fate. Here, we explore the biology which could explain the failed translation of myostatin inhibitors in the treatment of DMD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0528.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Community onset ESBL -producing Klebsiella pneumoniae; Urinary tract infection; Clinical impact; Economic impact
Online: 22 March 2021 (12:08:23 CET)
Objective: To analyze the clinical and economic impact of community-onset urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae requiring hospitalization. Methods: A retrospective cohort study included all adults with UTI caused by K. pneumoniae admitted to a tertiary care hospital in Barcelona, Spain, between 2011 and 2015. Demographic, clinical and economic data were analyzed. Results: One hundred and seventy-three episodes of UTI caused by K. pneumoniae were studied; 112 were non-ESBL-producing and 61 ESBL-producing. Multivariate analysis identified ESBL production, acute confusional state associated with UTI, shock, and time to adequate treatment as risk factors for clinical failure during the first 7 days. Economic analysis showed differences between ESBL-producing and non-ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae for the total cost of hospitalization per episode (mean 6,718 € vs 3,688 € respectively). Multivariate analysis of the higher costs of UTI episodes found statistically significant differences for ESBL production and time to adequate treatment. Conclusion: UTI caused by ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae requiring hospitalization, and time to adequate antimicrobial therapy are associated with worse clinical and economic outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0420.v1
Subject: Keywords: absolute uterine factor infertility; uterus transplant; experimental; clinical practice; ethics; living donors; risk assessment
Online: 26 June 2018 (12:58:08 CEST)
Background: Absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI) is a kind of infertility that is completely attributable to uterine absence (surgical or congenital for women with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome: MRKH) or anatomic or functional abnormality that prevents embryo implantation or completion of pregnancy to term. Until recently, the only viable option to parenthood for couples with AUFI were adoption or surrogacy. Since a first attempt of uterus transplant (UTx) in 2000, nine babies were born from women with a transplanted uterus from 2014, eight of which in Sweden, and one in the United States. These promising results are raising immense hopes for the women with AUFI and there is optimism about the possibility for UTx to become part of clinical care even though, besides encouraging results, the procedure has also resulted in increased risks and harms for both the donors and recipients and increased risks of premature birth for the fetus. At present UTx is still considered as experimental and requiring more research and safety assessment before becoming a therapeutic option for AUFI. The transition from experimental procedure to therapeutic care would result in less strict ethical scrutiny for UTx and in the possibility for patients to get reimbursement for the procedure by the relevant healthcare insurance or public healthcare providers. In turn, an increase in the number of UTx performed yearly by specialized surgical teams would result in a general improvement of the “field strength”. However, at present it is difficult to establish the amount of evidence that we need in order to consider UTx as no longer experimental but routine clinical practice. The literature on UTx provides recommendations on the different outcomes that should be monitored in this experimental phase but no study is anticipating the number of subjects that should be followed and for how long. Conclusion: As for other transplants that have become routine practice, like renal transplant and heart transplant, it is likely that the decision on “routine practice readiness” will result from available cumulated evidences, from expert capacity to find a consensus on best practices and on political considerations as well, including pressures form patients and patient groups.
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.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: clinical trial; statistical analysis; experimental error; chronic diseases; cancer; health optimization; hypothesis test; variance analysis; covariance; stratification; randomization
Online: 21 November 2019 (04:04:15 CET)
Chronic diseases are still known as incurable diseases, and we suspect that the medical research model is unfit for characterizing chronic diseases. In this study, we examined accuracy and reliability required for characterizing chronic diseases, reviewed implied presumptions in clinical trials and assumptions used in statistical analysis, examined sources of variances normally encountered in clinical trials, and conducted numeric simulations by using hypothetical data for several theoretical and hypothetical models. We found that the sources of variances attributable to personal differences in clinical trials can distort hypothesis test outcomes, that clinical trials introduce too many errors and too much inaccuracies that tend to hide weak and slow effects of treatments, and that the means of treatments used in statistical analysis have little or no relevance to specific patients. We further found that a large number of uncontrolled co-causal or interfering factors normally seen in human subjects can greatly enlarge the means and the variances of the experimental errors, and the use of high rejection criteria (e.g., low p values) further raises the chances of failing to find treatment effects. As a whole, we concluded that the research model using clinical trials is wrong on multiple grounds, under any of our realistic theoretical and hypothetical models, and that misuse of statistical analysis is most probably responsible for failure to identify treatment effects for chronic diseases and to detect harmful effects of toxic substances in the environment. We proposed alternative experimental models involving the use of single-person or mini optimization trials for studying low-risk weak treatments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0033.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; clinical mastitis; antibiotic resistance (AR) prevalence; AR phenotype; AR genotype; recent trend
Online: 22 January 2023 (06:50:19 CET)
This study was aimed to examine the recent trends of antibiotic resistance (AR) prevalence in Staphylococcus aureus isolated from milk of animals with clinical mastitis in areas of the Abruzzo and Molise regions in central Italy. Fifty-four S. aureus isolates could be obtained from routine testing for clinical mastitis agents carried out in the author institution in years 2021 and 2022. These were analyzed for phenotypic resistance to eight antibiotics recommended for testing by European norms and belonging to the antibiotic classes used for mastitis treatment in milk producing animals. Moreover, the presence of 14 transferable genetic determinants encoding resistance to the same antibiotics was analyzed by qPCR tests developed in this study. Phenotypic resistance to non-β-lactams was infrequent, with only one 2022 isolate resistant to clindamycin. However, low level resistance to the β-lactam cefoxitin was observed in 59.2% isolates in both years making these isolates classifiable as methicillin resistant. The AR genotypes detected were blaZ gene (50% 2021 isolates and 44.4% 2022 isolates), ermC/T- aphA3-blaZ (one 2021 isolate), ant6-ermC/T-aphA3-blaZ (one 2021 isolate), ermB-blaZ (one 2022 isolate) and mecA-mph (one 2022 isolate). An interview to the veterinarians who conferred the samples, regarding antimicrobials prescribed for mastitis treatment and criteria of usage, indicated a possible causal relation with the AR test results. The low prevalence of AR genotypes, not increasing in time, most probably reflecting the reported management of antibiotic therapies in farms. However, the frequently observed cefoxitin resistance needs to be explained genotypically, further monitored and limited by modifying antibiotic usage practices. The identification of a mecA positive isolate in 2022 suggests to investigate further if this genotype is emerging locally.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0413.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: financial capacity instruments; Semi-Structured Clinical Interview for Financial Capacity; deci-sional capacity; mild cognitive impairment; gamification
Online: 31 May 2022 (07:37:21 CEST)
Financial capacity instruments are psychometric tools designed to evaluate individual decisional capacity based on financial decisions. As tests are complex and need special conditions for administration and evaluation, it is difficult to use them in daily geriatric clinics. Our scoping review objective was to evaluate existing financial capacity instruments from the perspective of simplicity and portability. We evaluated one English speaking knowledge database (Medline) using a dedicated MeSH terminology. The review yielded one independent instrument, The Semi-Structured Clinical Interview for Financial Capacity, that can be easy adapted for every-day clinical use. It is simple to understand and perform and do not need trained personnel for administration. It can be finalized in 15 minutes. Initially validated on 261 subjects (with different forms of cognitive impairment), it showed good accuracy and precision mainly in subjects with cognitive impairment. The test is less apt to detect early or fluctuating cognitive impairment. Simplicity, the main advantage of the test, allows gamification fact that increases portability. Familiar images (coins, money) that are used for performing simple tasks does not need complex translation and adaptation. In form of a game, the test is suitable for serial administration, increasing the chance for early capacity reduction detection. Results reflect a physician judgement related to the subjects’ capacity to understand and execute simple financial instructions and not financial proficiency scores. The main limitation of our review is that we investigated only one, English speaking, knowledge database. The scoping strategy generated a financial capacity instrument that can be used in geriatric clinics for early diagnostic of decisional capacity reduction. Further studies are needed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the test in conditions of serial administration and in populations having various financial experience.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0394.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: deep learning; DNN; machine learning; breast cancer; metastasis, metastatic breast cancer, distant recurrence of breast cancer metastasis; prediction; clinical; EHR
Online: 29 June 2022 (04:06:16 CEST)
ABSTRACT Background It is important to be able to predict, for each individual patient, the likelihood of later metastatic occurrence, because the prediction can guide treatment plans tailored to a specific patient to prevent metastasis and to help avoid under- or over-treatment. Deep Neural Network (DNN) learning, commonly referred to as deep learning, has become popular due to its success in image detection and prediction, but questions such as whether deep learning outperforms other machine learning methods when using non-image clinical data remain unanswered. Grid search has been introduced to deep learning hyperparameter tunning for the purpose of improving its prediction performance, but the effect of grid search on other machine learning methods are under-studied. In this research, we take the empirical approach to study the performance of deep learning and other machine learning methods when using non-image clinical data to predict the occurrence of breast cancer metastasis (BCM) 5, 10, or 15-years after the initial treatment. We developed DNN models as well as models using 9 other machine learning methods including Naive Bayes (NB), Logistic Regression (LR), Support Vector Machine (SVM), LASSO, Decision Tree (DT), k-Nearest Neighbors (KNN), Random Forrest (RF), AdaBoost (ADB), and XGBoost (XGB). We used grid search to tune hyperparameters for all methods. We then compared the deep learning models to the models trained using the 9 other machine learning methods. Results Based on the mean test AUC results, DNN ranks 6th, 4th, and 3rd when predicting 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year BCM respectively, out of 10 machine learning methods. The top performing methods in predicting 5-year BCM are XGB(1st), RF(2nd), and KNN(3rd). For predicting 10-year BCM the top performers are XGB (1st), RF(2nd), and NB(3rd) . Finally, for 15-year BCM the top performers are SVM (1st), LR and LASSO (tied for 2nd), and DNN (3rd). The ensemble methods RF and XGB outperform other methods when data are less balanced, while SVM, LR, LASSO, and DNN outperform other methods when data are more balanced. Our statistical testing results show that at a significance level of 0.05 DNN overall performs no worse than other machine learning methods when predicting 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year BCM. Conclusions Our results show that deep learning with grid search overall performs at least as well as other machine learning methods when using non-image clinical data. It is interesting to note that some of the other machine learning methods such as XGB, RF, and SVM are very strong competitors of DNN when incorporating grid search. It is also worth noting that the computation time required to do grid search with DNN is way more than that required to do grid search with the other 9 machine learning methods.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0202.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Clinical handover; Patient Handoff; Patient transfer; Referral and Consultation; Medical Records Systems; Computerized; Patient Safety; Risk Management; Attitude; Institutional Practice
Online: 31 May 2022 (07:14:42 CEST)
Background: Handover is a critical process for ensuring quality and safety in healthcare. Considerable research suggests that poor handover results in significant morbidity, mortality, dissatisfaction, and excess financial costs. Despite this, little formal attention, education, and evaluation has been given to handover. There is also paucity of data on the opinions of practitioners on the safety of handover.Objectives: The aim of this study was to measure the perceived risk, degree of patient harm and the systems used to support handover, and to understand how this varied by care setting, type of clinical practice, location, or level of experience. Methods: An open, anonymous and confidential online questionnaire covering: (a) respondent characteristics; (b) peer-to-peer handover; (c) internal referrals; (d) discharges and transfers between organisations; and (e) leading and improving handover was conducted with healthcare practitioners and managers from various settings. Results: We gathered a total of 432 completed responses from 26 countries. The average reported performance of handover was rated as 3.9 out of 5.For each type of handover, 12 - 14% reported errors occurring more than weekly. Of those that knew the outcome of such errors, between 29% and 34% reported that they had witnessed moderate or severe harm. 12% and 17% of respondents believed that handover was high or very high risk (See table 4). These respondents were more likely to have witnessed moderate or severe harm, or to be more senior.A wide combination of handover systems was utilised by respondents. 28% - 32% relied exclusively on EPRs (with or without face-to-face contact). 21% used Office documents such as Word and Excel for peer-to-peer handover, and over 30% used hand-written or manual systems. Conclusions: This study suggests the need to do more — and go further — to improve communication and reduce risk during all types of handovers. Clinical leaders should find ways to train and support handover with effective systems, with less experienced staff being the primary focus. More research is needed to demonstrate the interventions that improve the safety of handover.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0572.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: randomized controlled clinical trials; mathematical model; binary system; statistical analysis; epidemiological model; junk science; reductionist treatments; failure of medicine
Online: 24 September 2020 (08:13:15 CEST)
Modern medicine adopted four presumptions when it evolved from ancient experienced-based mind-body medicine. To understand its failure in finding cures for chronic diseases, we examined four presumptions, and found that statistical population of health properties does not exist for most research purposes, mathematical models are misused to model intensive properties, synthetic drugs are inherently more dangerous than nature-made medicines under their respective application conditions, and reductionist treatments are inferior and inherently dangerous. We found that clinical trials are valid only for research where treatment effect is much stronger than the total effects of all interfering or co-causal factors or errors introduced by misused mathematical models can be tolerated. In all other situations, clinical trials introduce excessive errors and fail to detect treatment effects, or produce biased, incorrect or wrong results. We further found that chronic diseases are manifestation of small departures in multiple process attributes in distinctive personal biological pathways networks, that modern medicine lacks required accuracy for accurately characterizing chronic diseases, and that reductionist treatments are good at controlling symptoms and safe for short term uses. For all stated reasons, as long as modern medicine continues relying on the flawed presumptions, it can never find predictable cures for chronic diseases. By implication, predictable cures to chronic diseases are adjustments to lifestyle, dietary, emotional, and environmental factors to slowly correct departures in process attributes responsible for chronic diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0297.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Data Mining; Alzheimer’s Dementia; Composite Hybrid Feature Selection; Machine learning; Stack Hybrid Classification; AI Techniques; Classification; AD Diagnose; Clinical AD Dataset
Online: 19 March 2020 (10:52:31 CET)
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a significant regular type of dementia that causes damage in brain cells. Early detection of AD acting as an essential role in global health care due to misdiagnosis and sharing many clinical sets with other types of dementia, and costly monitoring the progression of the disease over time by magnetic reasoning imaging (MRI) with consideration of human error in manual reading. Our proposed model, in the first stage, apply the medical dataset to a composite hybrid feature selection (CHFS) to extract new features for select the best features to improve the performance of the classification process due to eliminating obscures features. In the second stage, we applied a dataset to a stacked hybrid classification system to combine Jrip and random forest classifiers with six model evaluations as meta-classifier individually to improve the prediction of clinical diagnosis. All experiments conducted on a laptop with an Intel Core i7- 8750H CPU at 2.2 GHz and 16 G of ram running on windows 10 (64 bits). The dataset evaluated using an explorer set of weka data mining software for the analysis purpose. The experimental show that the proposed model of (CHFS) feature extraction performs better than principal component analysis (PCA), and lead to effectively reduced the false-negative rate with a relatively high overall accuracy with support vector machine (SVM) as meta-classifier of 96.50% compared to 68.83% which is considerably better than the previous state-of-the-art result. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was equal to 95.5%. Also, the experiment on MRI images Kaggle dataset of CNN classification process with 80.21% accuracy result. The results of the proposed model show an accurate classify Alzheimer's clinical samples against MRI neuroimaging for diagnoses AD at a low cost.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0078.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: health data science; clinical trials; research participant reporting; personal health data diary; personal private webserver; research data integrity
Online: 6 June 2018 (09:40:35 CEST)
We describe how clinical researchers can exploit the Android cell phone as an economic platform for the gathering of data from clinical trial participants. The aim was to provide a solution with the shortest possible learning curve for researchers who are comfortable with setting up web pages. The additional requirement is that they extend their skills to the installation of a local webserver on the cell phone and then use four simple PHP templates to construct the clinical research data collection and processing forms. Data so collected is automatically written to local csv files on the cell phone. These csv phones can be retrieved from the device by the researcher simply by plugging the cell phone into their desktop PC and accessing the cell phone memory in just the same way as they would a USB memory stick. The results are presented as a list of recommended Android Apps along with settings that have proved to provide a stable combination likely to be easily used by clinical research participants. We have made a limited ‘user trial’ of this approach with satisfactory feedback received. We have concluded that this approach will reward researchers with a solution that is user friendly, will provide transcription free data and that is more than cost competitive with the conventional error prone/poor compliance ‘paper based participant form – researcher transcription’ cycle.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0625.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; dementia, beta-amyloid; germ theory; drug development; clinical trials; herpes; spirochetes; Chlamydia pneumoniae; Porphyromonas gingivalis; toxoplasma; mycobacteria
Online: 29 January 2021 (13:57:18 CET)
There is now considerable evidence that several infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, or parasites) may play a contributing role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The six primary suspects are herpes viruses, spirochetal bacteria, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Porphyromonas gingivalis, mycobacteria, and toxoplasma parasites. Also, some of the antimicrobial and antiviral agents that are used to treat them have shown promise for AD interventions. I describe this evidence and assert it is now time to accelerate clinical trials of these existing drugs, already federally approved, to determine if such treatments can delay, halt, or reverse AD.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Glioblastom; high-grade glioma; convection enhanced delivery; OS2966; CD29; β1 integrin; ITGB1; monoclonal antibody; clinical trial
Online: 2 December 2020 (09:11:37 CET)
Introduction: OS2966 is a fist-in-class, humanized and de-immunized monoclonal antibody which targets the adhesion receptor subunit, CD29/β1 integrin. CD29 expression is highly upregulated in glioblastoma and has been shown to drive tumor progression, invasion, and resistance to multiple modalities of therapy. Here, we present a novel Phase I clinical trial design addressing several factors plaguing effective treatment of high-grade gliomas (HGG). Study Design: This 2-part, ascending-dose, Phase I clinical trial will enroll patients with recurrent/progressive HGG requiring a clinically-indicated resection. In Study Part 1, patients will undergo stereotactic tumor biopsy followed by placement of a purpose-built catheter which will be used for intratumoral, convection-enhanced delivery (CED) of OS2966. Subsequently, patients will undergo their clinically-indicated tumor resection followed by CED of OS2966 to the surrounding tumor-infiltrated brain. Matched pre- and post-infusion tumor specimens will be utilized for biomarker development and validation of target engagement by receptor occupancy. Dose escalation will be achieved using a unique concentration-based accelerated titration design. Discussion: The present study design leverages multiple innovations including: 1) the latest CED technology, 2) 2-part design including neoadjuvant intratumoral administration, 3) a first-in-class investigational therapeutic, and 4) concentration-based dosing. Trial registration: A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational New Drug application (IND) for the above protocol is now active. A Phase I trial is registered at clinicialtrials.gov (NCT04608812).
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.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0006.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: hormesis; polyphenols; clinical trials; antioxidants; reactive oxygen species; oxidative stress; plant-derived antioxidants; dietary antioxidants; nutritional hormesis; free radicals
Online: 1 February 2023 (03:03:40 CET)
A consistent factor in the epidemic of chronic disease is a pro-inflammatory metabolic state. The ability of clinicians to use nutrients to balance inflammation by supporting oxidant homeostasis rests on the quality of research within the field of antioxidants. Understanding the intersection of two prominent theories regarding the role of antioxidants in quelling inflammation, nutritional hormesis and oxidant scavenging, will enable the therapeutic use of antioxidants in clinical practice. This review investigates the less well-established theory, nutritional hormesis, which has not been comprehensively reviewed recently to our knowledge. To understand the state of research on the hormetic response, we conducted a comprehensive literature review describing the relationship between dietary antioxidants, hormesis, and chronic disease. We used an adaptive search strategy in PubMed and Scopus, retrieving a total of 343 articles, of which 218 were unique. Title and abstract screenings were conducted by two reviewers independently with a third as a tiebreaker, resulting in 152 articles included in this review. Most studies reviewed the hormetic response in plant and cell models (73.6%) while only 2.2% were conducted in humans. Limitations exist in translating plant/cell/animal models into the complexities of human biochemistry and physiology that warrant consideration before extrapolating such results into clinical practice. A critical hurdle in our literature review process is the lack of standardized nomenclature describing the hormetic effect in the research community that challenges the ability to comprehensively review the subject matter. Further, aA knowledge gap exists between the cell culture and animal model research that shows a biphasic, hormetic quality to the role of antioxidants and the observational human studies, which have yet to corroborate these findings. Therefore, we cannot accurately translate this research into clinical care at this time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0001.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Giant cell arteritis; anterior ischemic optic neuropathy; clinical prediction rule; diagnostic algorithm; C-reactive protein; temporal compression sonography; ultrasound
Online: 1 February 2021 (08:44:33 CET)
Background: Risk tratification based on pre-test probability may improve the diagnostic accuracy of temporal artery high-resolution compression sonography (hrTCS) in the diagnostic workup of cranial giant cell arteriitis (cGCA). Methods: A logistic regression model with candidate items was derived from a cohort of patients with suspected cGCA (n = 87). The diagnostic accuracy of the model was tested in the derivation cohort and in an independent validation cohort (n = 114) by receiver operator characteristics (ROC)-analysis. The clinical items were composed to a clinical prediction rule, integrated into a stepwise diagnostic algorithm together with CRP-values and hrTCS-values. Results: The model consisted of 4 clinical variables (age > 70, headache, jaw claudication, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy). The diagnostic accuracy of the model for discrimination of patients with and without a final clinical diagnosis of cGCA was excellent in both cohorts (AUC 0.96 and AUC 0.92, respectively). The diagnostic algorithm improved the positive predictive value of hrCTS substantially. Within the algorithm, 32.8% of patients (derivation cohort) and 49.1% (validation cohort) would not have been tested by hrtCS. None of these patients had a final diagnosis of cGCA. Conclusion: A diagnostic algorithm based on a clinical prediction rule improves the diagnostic accuracy of hrTCS.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0373.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells; regenerative medicine; tissue engineering; Clinical Application; Differentiation Capacity; Cellular Immunomodulation; Inflammation; Signaling Cells; Transplantation; International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy
Online: 15 March 2021 (11:51:28 CET)
Early reports demonstrated the presence of cells with stem-like properties in bone marrow, with these cells having both hematopoietic and mesenchymal lineages. Over the years, various investigations have purified and characterized mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) from different human tissues as cells with multi-lineage differentiation potential under the appropriate conditions. Due to their appealing characteristics and potential, MSCs are leveraged in many applications including medicine, oncology, bioprinting and as recent as treatment of COVID-19. To date, reports indicate mesenchymal stromal/stem cells have varied differentiation capabilities into different cell types and demonstrate immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory properties. Reports indicate that different MSCs microenvironments or niche and the resulting heterogeneity may influence their behavior and differentiation capacity. The potential clinical applications of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells have led to an avalanche of research reports on their properties and hundreds of clinical trials being undertaken. The future looks bright and promising for mesenchymal stem cell research with many clinical trials under way to prove their utility in many applications and in the clinic. This report provides an update on the potential broader use of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells, review early observations of the presence of these cells in the bone marrow and their magnificent differentiation capabilities and immunomodulation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0287.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: prostate cancer; castrate resistance, non-metastatic CRPC, clinical trial, epithelial mesenchymal transition, STAT3
Online: 12 April 2021 (12:28:10 CEST)
Nearly one third of men will incur biochemical recurrence after treatment for localized prostate cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the therapeutic mainstay, however almost all patients will eventually transition to a castrate resistant state (castrate resistant prostate cancer, CRPC). Subjects with CRPC generally develop symptomatic metastatic disease (mCRPC) and incur mortality several years later. Prior to metastatic disease, men acquire non-metastatic CRPC (nmCRPC) which lends the unique opportunity for intervention to delay disease progression and symptoms. This review addresses current therapies for nmCRPC, as well as novel therapeutics and pathway strategies targeting men with nmCRPC.
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/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/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/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.
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/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.
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.
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.
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/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/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.
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.
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.
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.