Year of publication
- Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation (2011)
- BACKGROUND: Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues. METHODS: In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position. RESULTS: There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
- Reference values and physiological characterization of a specific isolated pig kidney perfusion model (2007)
- BACKGROUND: Models of isolated and perfused kidneys are used to study the effects of drugs, hazardous or toxic substances on renal functions. Since physiological and morphological parameters of small laboratory animal kidneys are difficult to compare to human renal parameters, porcine kidney perfusion models have been developed to simulate closer conditions to the human situation, but exact values of renal parameters for different collection and perfusion conditions have not been reported so far. If the organs could be used out of regular slaughtering processes animal experiments may be avoided. METHODS: To assess renal perfusion quality, we analyzed different perfusion settings in a standardized model of porcine kidney hemoperfusion with organs collected in the operating theatre (OP: groups A-D) or in a public abattoir (SLA: group E) and compared the data to in vivo measurements in living animals (CON). Experimental groups had defined preservation periods (0, 2 and 24 hrs), one with additional albumin in the perfusate (C) for edema reduction. RESULTS: Varying perfusion settings resulted in different functional values (mean +/- SD): blood flow (RBF [ml/min*100 g]: (A) 339.9 +/- 61.1; (C) 244.5 +/- 53.5; (D) 92.8 +/- 25.8; (E) 153.8 +/- 41.5); glomerular filtration (GFR [ml/min*100 g]: (CON) 76.1 +/- 6.2; (A) 59.2 +/- 13.9; (C) 25.0 +/- 10.6; (D) 1.6 +/- 1.3; (E) 16.3 +/- 8.2); fractional sodium reabsorption (RFNa [%] (CON) 99.8 +/- 0.1; (A) 82.3 +/- 8.1; (C) 86.8 +/- 10.3; (D) 38.4 +/- 24.5; (E) 88.7 +/- 5.8). Additionally the tubular coupling-ratio of Na-reabsorption/O2-consumption was determined (TNa/O2-cons [mmol-Na/mmol- O2] (CON) 30.1; (A) 42.0, (C) 80.6; (D) 17.4; (E) 23.8), exhibiting OP and SLA organs with comparable results. CONCLUSION: In the present study functional values for isolated kidneys with different perfusion settings were determined to assess organ perfusion quality. It can be summarized that the hemoperfused porcine kidney can serve as a biological model with acceptable approximation to in vivo renal physiology, also if the organs originate from usual slaughtering processes.
- Nanoparticles and cars - analysis of potential sources (2012)
- Urban health is potentially affected by particle emissions. The potential toxicity of nanoparticles is heavily debated and there is an enormous global increase in research activity in this field. In this respect, it is commonly accepted that nanoparticles may also be generated in processes occurring while driving vehicles. So far, a variety of studies addressed traffic-related particulate matter emissions, but only few studies focused on potential nanoparticles. Therefore, the present study analyzed the literature with regard to nanoparticles and cars. It can be stated that, to date, only a limited amount of research has been conducted in this area and more studies are needed to 1) address kind and sources of nanoparticles within automobiles and to 2) analyse whether there are health effects caused by these nanoparticles.
- Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels in ETS emissions of a Marlboro Red cigarette in comparison to the 3R4F reference cigarette under open- and closed-door condition (2012)
- Introduction: Potential health damage by environmental emission of tobacco smoke (environmental tobacco smoke, ETS) has been demonstrated convincingly in numerous studies. People, especially children, are still exposed to ETS in the small space of private cars. Although major amounts of toxic compounds from ETS are likely transported into the distal lung via particulate matter (PM), few studies have quantified the amount of PM in ETS. Study aim The aim of this study was to determine the ETS-dependent concentration of PM from both a 3R4F reference cigarette (RC) as well as a Marlboro Red brand cigarette (MRC) in a small enclosed space under different conditions of ventilation to model car exposure. Method: In order to create ETS reproducibly, an emitter (ETSE) was constructed and mounted on to an outdoor telephone booth with an inner volume of 1.75 m3. Cigarettes were smoked under open- and closed-door condition to imitate different ventilation scenarios. PM2.5 concentration was quantified by a laser aerosol spectrometer (Grimm; Model 1.109), and data were adjusted for baseline values. Simultaneously indoor and outdoor climate parameters were recorded. The time of smoking was divided into the ETS generation phase (subset "emission") and a declining phase of PM concentration (subset "elimination"); measurement was terminated after 10 min. For all three time periods the average concentration of PM2.5 (Cmean-PM2.5) and the area under the PM2.5 concentration curve (AUC-PM2.5) was calculated. The maximum concentration (Cmax-PM2.5) was taken from the total interval. Results: For both cigarette types open-door ventilation reduced the AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 59 400 +/- 14 600 to 5 550 +/- 3 900 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 86 500 +/- 32 000 to 7 300 +/- 2 400 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 600 +/- 150 to 56 +/- 40 mug/m3, MRC from 870 +/- 320 to 75 +/- 25 mug/m3; p < 0.001) by about 90%. Cmax-PM2.5 was reduced by about 80% (RC: from 1 050 +/- 230 to 185 +/- 125 mug/m3; MRC: from 1 560 +/-500 mug/m3 to 250 +/- 85 mug/m3; p < 0.001). In the subset "emission" we identified a 78% decrease in AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 18 600 +/- 4 600 to 4 000 +/- 2 600 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 26 600 +/- 7 200 to 5 800 +/- 1 700 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 430 +/- 108 to 93 +/- 60 mug/m3; MRC: from 620 +/- 170 to 134 +/- 40 mug/m3; p < 0.001). In the subset "elimination" we found a reduction of about 96-98% for AUC-PM2.5 (RC: from 40 800 +/- 11 100 to 1 500 +/- 1 700 mug*sec/m3; MRC: from 58 500 +/- 25 200 to 1 400 +/- 800 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.001) and Cmean-PM2.5 (RC: from 730 +/- 200 to 27 +/- 29 mug/m3; MRC: from 1 000 +/- 450 to 26 +/- 15 mug/m3; p < 0.001). Throughout the total interval Cmax-PM2.5 of MRC was about 50% higher (1 550 +/- 500 mug/m3) compared to RC (1 050 +/- 230 mug/m3; p < 0.05). For the subset "emission" - but not for the other periods - AUC-PM2.5 for MRC was 43% higher (MRC: 26 600 +/- 7 200 mug*sec/m3; RC: 18 600 +/- 4 600 mug*sec/m3; p < 0.05) and 44% higher for Cmean-PM2.5 (MRC: 620 +/- 170 mug/m3; RC: 430 +/- 108 mug/m3; p < 0.05). Conclusion: This method allows reliable quantification of PM2.5-ETS exposure under various conditions, and may be useful for ETS risk assessment in realistic exposure situations. The findings demonstrate that open-door condition does not completely remove ETS from a defined indoor space of 1.75 m3. Because there is no safe level of ETS exposure ventilation is not adequate enough to prevent ETS exposure in confined spaces, e.g. private cars. Additionally, differences in the characteristics of cigarettes affect the amount of ETS particle emission and need to be clarified by ongoing investigations.
- The role of endocarditis, myocarditis and pericarditis in qualitative and quantitative data analysis (2009)
- The current study is the first scientometric analysis of research activity and output in the field of inflammatory disorders of the heart (endo-, myo- and pericarditis). Scientometric methods are used to compare scientific performance on national and on international scale to identify single areas of research interest. Interest and research productivity in inflammatory diseases of the heart have increased since 1990. The majority of publications about inflammatory heart disorders were published in Western Europe and North America. The United States of America had a leading position in terms of research productivity and quality; half of the most productive authors in this study came from American institutions. The analysis of international cooperation revealed research activity in countries that are less established in the field of inflammatory heart disorder research, such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. These results indicate that future research of heart inflammation may no longer be influenced predominantly by a small number of countries. Furthermore, this study revealed weaknesses in currently established scientometric parameters (i.e., h-index, impact factor) that limit their suitability as measures of research quality. In this respect, self-citations should be generally excluded from calculations of h-index and impact factor.
- Models of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (2004)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a major global health problem and is predicted to become the third most common cause of death by 2020. Apart from the important preventive steps of smoking cessation, there are no other specific treatments for COPD that are as effective in reversing the condition, and therefore there is a need to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms that could lead to new therapeutic strategies. The development of experimental models will help to dissect these mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level. COPD is a disease characterized by progressive airflow obstruction of the peripheral airways, associated with lung inflammation, emphysema and mucus hypersecretion. Different approaches to mimic COPD have been developed but are limited in comparison to models of allergic asthma. COPD models usually do not mimic the major features of human COPD and are commonly based on the induction of COPD-like lesions in the lungs and airways using noxious inhalants such as tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxide, or sulfur dioxide. Depending on the duration and intensity of exposure, these noxious stimuli induce signs of chronic inflammation and airway remodelling. Emphysema can be achieved by combining such exposure with instillation of tissue-degrading enzymes. Other approaches are based on genetically-targeted mice which develop COPD-like lesions with emphysema, and such mice provide deep insights into pathophysiological mechanisms. Future approaches should aim to mimic irreversible airflow obstruction, associated with cough and sputum production, with the possibility of inducing exacerbations.
- Analysis of airway secretions in a model of sulfur dioxide induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (2006)
- Hypersecretion and chronic phlegm are major symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but animal models of COPD with a defined functional hypersecretion have not been established so far. To identify an animal model of combined morphological signs of airway inflammation and functional hypersecretion, rats were continuously exposed to different levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2, 5 ppm, 10 ppm, 20 ppm, 40 ppm, 80 ppm) for 3 (short-term) or 20–25 (long-term) days. Histology revealed a dose-dependent increase in edema formation and inflammatory cell infiltration in short-term-exposed animals. The submucosal edema was replaced by fibrosis after long-term-exposure. The basal secretory activity was only significantly increased in the 20 ppm group. Also, stimulated secretion was significantly increased only after exposure to 20 ppm. BrdU-assays and AgNOR-analysis demonstrated cellular metaplasia and glandular hypertrophy rather than hyperplasia as the underlying morphological correlate of the hypersecretion. In summary, SO2-exposure can lead to characteristic airway remodeling and changes in mucus secretion in rats. As only long-term exposure to 20 ppm leads to a combination of hypersecretion and airway inflammation, only this mode of exposure should be used to mimic human COPD. Concentrations less or higher than 20 ppm or short term exposure do not induce the respiratory symptom of hypersecretion. The present model may be used to characterize the effects of new compounds on mucus secretion in the background of experimental COPD.
- Editorial: Experimental models of asthma (2008)
- Since 2002, a workshop entitled “Asthma in animal models” has been held once a year in Hannover, Germany. It is organized by the Fraunhofer Institute of Toxicology and Experimental Medicine in collaboration with the collaborative research centre “Sonderforschungsbereich” 587, “Immune reactions of the lung in infection and allergy” (Hannover Medical School). The aim of these meetings is an intense scientific exchange between researchers and clinicians coming from academic or industrial background. Over the years the topics within the extensive field of asthma and COPD have ranged from methodological aspects to the influence of infections and environmental factors up to perspectives in the development of new therapeutic strategies.
- Specific immunotherapy in Albanian patients with anaphylaxis to hymenoptera venoms (2002)
- BACKGROUND: Severe allergic reactions during rush-specific immunotherapy (Rush-SIT) may occur in the treatment of hymenoptera sting allergy. The objective of the present study was to examine the characteristics of allergic reactions during Rush-SIT in a cohort of patients with allergy towards hymenoptera venom in the mediterranean population of Albania. METHODS: A retrospective study was performed using the clinical reports of 37 patients with venom of bee (apinae), wasp (vespidae, subfamily vespinae) or paperwasp (vespidae, subfamily polistinae) allergy treated with Rush-SIT between 1987 and 1996. After hymenoptera sting allergy diagnosis according to anamnesis and intracutaneous tests the patient were treated with Rush-SIT. The protocol lasted 3 - 4 d with an increase in the concentration from 0.01 microg/ml to 100 microg/ml. Anaphylactic reactions were classified according to the Mueller-classification. RESULTS: The frequency of reactions during Rush-SIT for bee-venom was 4.7% and for wasp-venom was 1.5% (p < 0.01). The mean frequency of reactions of Mueller grade II for the bee-venom Rush-SIT patients during the first 4 d (= 26 injections) was 0.73 and for the wasp-venom Rush-SIT patients 0.15. No patient experienced a third-degree reaction. 94.6% of the patient supported an end dose of 100 microg. CONCLUSIONS: Rush-SIT is a reliable method for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to hymenoptera venom even in less developed countries. Bee-venom Rush-SIT was found to cause higher numbers allergic reactions than wasp or paperwasp Rush-SIT.
- Does type of hospital ownership influence physicians' daily work schedules? : An observational real-time study in German hospital departments (2009)
- BACKGROUND: During the last two decades the German hospital sector has been engaged in a constant process of transformation. One obvious sign of this is the growing amount of hospital privatization. To date, most research studies have focused on the effects of privatization regarding financial outcomes and quality of care, leaving important organizational issues unexplored. Yet little attention has been devoted to the effects of privatization on physicians' working routines. The aim of this observational real-time study is to deliver exact data about physicians' work at hospitals of different ownership. By analysing working hours, further impacts of hospital privatization can be assessed and areas of improvement identified. METHODS: Observations were made by shadowing 100 physicians working in private, for-profit or non-profit as well as public hospital departments individually during whole weekday shifts in urban German settings. A total of 300 days of observations were conducted. All working activities were recorded, accurate to the second, by using a mobile personal computer. RESULTS: Results have shown significant differences in physicians' working activities, depending on hospital ownership, concerning working hours and time spent on direct and indirect patient care. CONCLUSION: This is the first real-time analysis on differences in work activities depending on hospital ownership. The study provides an objective insight into physicians' daily work routines at hospitals of different ownership, with additional information on effects of hospital privatization.