Medical student's attitude towards influenza vaccination
Birthe A. Lehmann
Robert AC Ruiter
- Background Influenza vaccination is recommended for all healthcare personnel (HCP) and most institutions offer vaccination for free and on site. However, medical students do not always have such easy access, and the predictors that might guide the motivation of medical students to get vaccinated are largely unknown. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey study among pre-clinical medical students in a German University hospital to assess the social cognitive predictors of influenza vaccination, as well as reasons for refusal and acceptance of the vaccine. Results Findings show that pre-clinical medical students have comparable knowledge gaps and negative attitudes towards influenza vaccination that have previously been reported among HCP. Lower injunctive norms and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to no intention to get vaccinated against influenza, while a positive instrumental attitude and higher feelings of autonomy contribute to a high intention to get vaccinated. The variables in the regression model explained 20% of the variance in intention to get vaccinated. Conclusions The identified factors should be addressed early in medical education, and hospitals might benefit from a more inclusive vaccination program and accessibility of free vaccines for their medical students.
Differences between mechanically stable and unstable chronic ankle instability subgroups when examined by arthrometer and FAAM-G
- Background: The objective measurement of the mechanical component and its role in chronic ankle instability is still a matter of scientific debate. We analyzed known group and diagnostic validity of our ankle arthrometer. Additionally, functional aspects of chronic ankle instability were evaluated in relation to anterior talar drawer.
Methods: By manual stress testing, 41 functionally unstable ankles were divided as mechanically stable (n = 15) or mechanically unstable (n = 26). Ankle laxity was quantified using an ankle arthrometer. Stiffness values from the load displacement curves were calculated between 40 and 60 N. Known group validity and eta2 were established by comparing manual and arthrometer testing results. Diagnostic validity for the ankle arthrometer was determined by a 2 × 2 contingency table. The functional ankle instability severity was quantified by the German version of the Foot and Ankle Ability Measure (FAAM-G). Stiffness (40–60 N) and FAAM-G values were correlated.
Results: Mechanically unstable ankles had lower 40–60 N stiffness values than mechanically stable ankles (p = 0.006 and <0.001). Eta for the relation between manual and arthrometer anterior talar drawer testing was 0.628. With 5.1 N/mm as cut-off value, accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were 85%, 81%, and 93%, respectively. The correlation between individual 40–60 N arthrometer stiffness values and FAAM-G scores was r = 0.286 and 0.316 (p = 0.07 and 0.04).
Conclusions: In this investigation, the ankle arthrometer demonstrated a high diagnostic validity for the determination of mechanical ankle instability. A clear interaction between mechanical (ankle arthrometer) and functional (FAAM-G) measures could not be demonstrated.
The INCA trial (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
- BACKGROUND: Patients with liver cirrhosis have a highly elevated risk of developing bacterial infections that significantly decrease survival rates. One of the most relevant infections is spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). Recently, NOD2 germline variants were found to be potential predictors of the development of infectious complications and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. The aim of the INCA (Impact of NOD2 genotype-guided antibiotic prevention on survival in patients with liver Cirrhosis and Ascites) trial is to investigate whether survival of this genetically defined high-risk group of patients with cirrhosis defined by the presence of NOD2 variants is improved by primary antibiotic prophylaxis of SBP.
METHODS/DESIGN: The INCA trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with two parallel treatment arms (arm 1: norfloxacin 400 mg once daily; arm 2: placebo once daily; 12-month treatment and observational period). Balanced randomization of 186 eligible patients with stratification for the protein content of the ascites (<15 versus ≥15 g/L) and the study site is planned. In this multicenter national study, patients are recruited in at least 13 centers throughout Germany. The key inclusion criterion is the presence of a NOD2 risk variant in patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The most important exclusion criteria are current SBP or previous history of SBP and any long-term antibiotic prophylaxis. The primary endpoint is overall survival after 12 months of treatment. Secondary objectives are to evaluate whether the frequencies of SBP and other clinically relevant infections necessitating antibiotic treatment, as well as the total duration of unplanned hospitalization due to cirrhosis, differ in both study arms. Recruitment started in February 2014.
DISCUSSION: Preventive strategies are required to avoid life-threatening infections in patients with liver cirrhosis, but unselected use of antibiotics can trigger resistant bacteria and worsen outcome. Thus, individualized approaches that direct intervention only to patients with the highest risk are urgently needed. This trial meets this need by suggesting stratified prevention based on genetic risk assessment. To our knowledge, the INCA trial is first in the field of hepatology aimed at rapidly transferring and validating information on individual genetic risk into clinical decision algorithms.
TRIAL REGISTRATIONS: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00005616 . Registered 22 January 2014. EU Clinical Trials Register EudraCT 2013-001626-26 . Registered 26 January 2015.
Modeling autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C in mice reveals distinct functions for Ltbp-4 isoforms
Alexandra C. Maul
Alexander P. Wohl
F. Thomas Wunderlich
Alexander C. Bunck
Harald Melchner von
- Recent studies have revealed an important role for LTBP-4 in elastogenesis. Its mutational inactivation in humans causes autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 1C (ARCL1C), which is a severe disorder caused by defects of the elastic fiber network. Although the human gene involved in ARCL1C has been discovered based on similar elastic fiber abnormalities exhibited by mice lacking the short Ltbp-4 isoform (Ltbp4S−/−), the murine phenotype does not replicate ARCL1C. We therefore inactivated both Ltbp-4 isoforms in the mouse germline to model ARCL1C. Comparative analysis of Ltbp4S−/− and Ltbp4-null (Ltbp4−/−) mice identified Ltbp-4L as an important factor for elastogenesis and postnatal survival, and showed that it has distinct tissue expression patterns and specific molecular functions. We identified fibulin-4 as a previously unknown interaction partner of both Ltbp-4 isoforms and demonstrated that at least Ltbp-4L expression is essential for incorporation of fibulin-4 into the extracellular matrix (ECM). Overall, our results contribute to the current understanding of elastogenesis and provide an animal model of ARCL1C.
The Ariadne principles: how to handle multimorbidity in primary care consultations
Marjan van den Akker
Jeanet W. Blom
Christian D. Mallen
François G. Schellevi
Hendrik van den Bussche
Paul P. Glasziou
- Multimorbidity is a health issue mostly dealt with in primary care practice. As a result of their generalist and patient-centered approach, long-lasting relationships with patients, and responsibility for continuity and coordination of care, family physicians are particularly well placed to manage patients with multimorbidity. However, conflicts arising from the application of multiple disease oriented guidelines and the burden of diseases and treatments often make consultations challenging. To provide orientation in decision making in multimorbidity during primary care consultations, we developed guiding principles and named them after the Greek mythological figure Ariadne. For this purpose, we convened a two-day expert workshop accompanied by an international symposium in October 2012 in Frankfurt, Germany. Against the background of the current state of knowledge presented and discussed at the symposium, 19 experts from North America, Europe, and Australia identified the key issues of concern in the management of multimorbidity in primary care in panel and small group sessions and agreed upon making use of formal and informal consensus methods. The proposed preliminary principles were refined during a multistage feedback process and discussed using a case example. The sharing of realistic treatment goals by physicians and patients is at the core of the Ariadne principles. These result from i) a thorough interaction assessment of the patient’s conditions, treatments, constitution, and context; ii) the prioritization of health problems that take into account the patient’s preferences – his or her most and least desired outcomes; and iii) individualized management realizes the best options of care in diagnostics, treatment, and prevention to achieve the goals. Goal attainment is followed-up in accordance with a re-assessment in planned visits. The occurrence of new or changed conditions, such as an increase in severity, or a changed context may trigger the (re-)start of the process. Further work is needed on the implementation of the formulated principles, but they were recognized and appreciated as important by family physicians and primary care researchers.
CCL2 chemokine as a potential biomarker for prostate cancer: a pilot study
Ana Maria Waaga-Gasser
Kilian M. Gust
Roman A. Blaheta
- Purpose: Prostate specific antigen is not reliable in diagnosing prostate cancer (PCa), making the identification of novel, precise diagnostic biomarkers important. Since chemokines are associated with more aggressive disease and poor prognosis in diverse malignancies, we aimed to investigate the diagnostic relevance of chemokines in PCa.
Materials and Methods: Preoperative and early postoperative serum samples were obtained from 39 consecutive PCa patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Serum from 15 healthy volunteers served as controls. Concentrations of CXCL12, CXCL13, CX3CL1, CCL2, CCL5, and CCL20 were measured in serum by Luminex. The expression activity of CXCR3, CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR7, CXCL12, CXCL13, CX3CR1, CXCL1, CCR2, CCR5, CCR6, CCR7, CCL2, and CCL5 mRNA was assessed in tumor and adjacent normal tissue of prostatectomy specimens by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The associations of these chemokines with clinical and histological parameters were tested.
Results: The gene expression activity of CCL2 and CCR6 was significantly higher in tumor tissue compared to adjacent normal tissue. CCL2 was also significantly higher in the blood samples of PCa patients, compared to controls. CCL5, CCL20, and CX3CL1 were lower in patient serum, compared to controls. CCR2 tissue mRNA was negatively correlated with the Gleason score and grading.
CONCLUSION: Chemokines are significantly modified during tumorigenesis of PCa, and CCL2 is a promising diagnostic biomarker.
Myeloid knockout of HIF-1 α does not markedly affect hemorrhage/resuscitation-induced inflammation and hepatic injury.
- Background. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and NF-κB play important roles in the inflammatory response after hemorrhagic shock and resuscitation (H/R). Here, the role of myeloid HIF-1α in liver hypoxia, injury, and inflammation after H/R with special regard to NF-κB activation was studied. Methods. Mice with a conditional HIF-1α knockout (KO) in myeloid cell-line and wild-type (WT) controls were hemorrhaged for 90 min ( mm Hg) and resuscitated. Controls underwent only surgical procedures. Results. After six hours, H/R enhanced the expression of HIF-1α-induced genes vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and adrenomedullin (ADM). In KO mice, this was not observed. H/R-induced liver injury in HIF-1α KO was comparable to WT. Elevated plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels after H/R were not reduced by HIF-1α KO. Local hepatic hypoxia was not significantly reduced in HIF-1α KO compared to controls after H/R. H/R-induced NF-κB phosphorylation in liver did not significantly differ between WT and KO. Conclusions. Here, deleting HIF-1α in myeloid cells and thereby in Kupffer cells was not protective after H/R. This data indicates that other factors, such as NF-κB, due to its upregulated phosphorylation in WT and KO mice, contrary to HIF-1α, are rather key modulators of inflammation after H/R in our model.
Gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine alone in advanced biliary tract cancer: a double-blind placebo-controlled multicentre phase II AIO study with biomarker and serum programme
Markus Hermann Möhler
Carl C. Schimanski
Frank Thomas Kolligs
Matthias P. Ebert
Matthias Maximilian Dollinger
E. M. Duerr
Peter R. Galle
Marcus Alexander Wörns
- Background: Since sorafenib has shown activity in different tumour types and gemcitabine regimens improved the outcome for biliary tract cancer (BTC) patients, we evaluated first-line gemcitabine plus sorafenib in a double-blind phase II study.
Patients and methods: 102 unresectable or metastatic BTC patients with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of gallbladder or intrahepatic bile ducts, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0–2 were randomised to gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2 once weekly, first 7-weeks + 1-week rest followed by once 3-weeks + 1-week rest) plus sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or placebo. Treatment continued until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Tumour samples were prospectively stained for sorafenib targets and potential biomarkers. Serum samples (first two cycles) were measured for vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF1)α by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Gemcitabine plus sorafenib was generally well tolerated. Four and three patients achieved partial responses in the sorafenib and placebo groups, respectively. There was no difference in the primary end-point, median progression-free survival (PFS) for gemcitabine plus sorafenib versus gemcitabine plus placebo (3.0 versus 4.9 months, P = 0.859), and no difference for median overall survival (OS) (8.4 versus 11.2 months, P = 0.775). Patients with liver metastasis after resection of primary BTC survived longer with sorafenib (P = 0.019) compared to placebo. Patients who developed hand-foot syndrome (HFS) showed longer PFS and OS than patients without HFS. Two sorafenib targets, VEGFR-2 and c-kit, were not expressed in BTC samples. VEGFR-3 and Hif1α were associated with lymph node metastases and T stage. Absence of PDGFRβ expression correlated with longer PFS.
Conclusion: The addition of sorafenib to gemcitabine did not demonstrate improved efficacy in advanced BTC patients. Biomarker subgroup analysis suggested that some patients might benefit from combined treatment.
Integrating retrogenesis theory to Alzheimer's disease pathology: insight from DTI-TBSS investigation of the white matter microstructural integrity
Gilberto Sousa Alves
Viola Oertel Knöchel
André Férrer Carvalho
- Microstructural abnormalities in white matter (WM) are often reported in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may reflect primary or secondary circuitry degeneration (i.e., due to cortical atrophy). The interpretation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) eigenvectors, known as multiple indices, may provide new insights into the main pathological models supporting primary or secondary patterns of WM disruption in AD, the retrogenesis, and Wallerian degeneration models, respectively. The aim of this review is to analyze the current literature on the contribution of DTI multiple indices to the understanding of AD neuropathology, taking the retrogenesis model as a reference for discussion. A systematic review using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PUBMED was performed. Evidence suggests that AD evolves through distinct patterns of WM disruption, in which retrogenesis or, alternatively, the Wallerian degeneration may prevail. Distinct patterns of WM atrophy may be influenced by complex interactions which comprise disease status and progression, fiber localization, concurrent risk factors (i.e., vascular disease, gender), and cognitive reserve. The use of DTI multiple indices in addition to other standard multimodal methods in dementia research may help to determine the contribution of retrogenesis hypothesis to the understanding of neuropathological hallmarks that lead to AD.
The burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in children with underlying risk factors in North America and Europe
Markus A. Rose
Tin Tin Htar Myint
Iris de Schutter
- Background:Characterisation of risk groups who may benefit from pneumococcal vaccination is essential for the generation of recommendations and policy.
Methods: We reviewed the literature to provide information on the incidence and risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in at-risk children in Europe and North America. The PubMed database was searched using predefined search terms and inclusion/exclusion criteria for papers reporting European or North American data on the incidence or risk of IPD in children with underlying medical conditions.
Results: Eighteen references were identified, 11 from North America and 7 from Europe, with heterogeneous study methods, periods and populations. The highest incidence was seen in US children positive for human immunodeficiency virus infection, peaking at 4167 per 100,000 patient-years in 2000. Studies investigating changes in incidence over time reported decreases in the incidence of IPD between the late 1990s and early 2000s. The highest risk of IPD was observed in children with haematological cancers or immunosuppression. Overall, data on IPD in at-risk children were limited, lacking incidence data for a wide range of predisposing conditions. There was, however, a clear decrease in the incidence of IPD in at-risk children after the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine into immunisation programmes, as previously demonstrated in the general population.
Conclusion: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies identified, the available data show a substantial incidence of IPD in at-risk children, particularly those who are immunocompromised. Further research is needed to determine the true risk of IPD in at-risk children, particularly in the post-PCV period, and to understand the benefits of vaccination and optimal vaccination schedules.