Year of publication
- Tobacco smoke particles and indoor air quality (ToPIQ) - the protocol of a new study (2011)
- Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a major contributor to indoor air pollution. Since decades it is well documented that ETS can be harmful to human health and cause premature death and disease. In comparison to the huge research on toxicological substances of ETS, less attention was paid on the concentration of indoor ETS-dependent particulate matter (PM). Especially, investigation that focuses on different tobacco products and their concentration of deeply into the airways depositing PM-fractions (PM10, PM2.5 and PM1) must be stated. The tobacco smoke particles and indoor air quality study (ToPIQS) will approach this issue by device supported generation of indoor ETS and simultaneously measurements of PM concentration by laser aerosol spectrometry. Primarily, the ToPIQ study will conduct a field research with focus on PM concentration of different tobacco products and within various microenvironments. It is planned to extend the analysis to basic research on influencing factors of ETS-dependent PM concentration.
- The toxicity of cadmium and resulting hazards for human health (2006)
- Cadmium (Cd) has been in industrial use for a long period of time. Its serious toxicity moved into scientific focus during the middle of the last century. In this review, we discuss historic and recent developments of toxicological and epidemiological questions, including exposition sources, resorption pathways and organ damage processes.
- 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.
- The impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on IL-6 and TNF-α immune responses (2010)
- AIM: Sleep disturbances induce proinflammatory immune responses, which might increase cardiovascular disease risk. So far the effects of acute sleep deprivation and chronic sleep illnesses on the immune system have been investigated. The particular impact of shift work induced chronic circadian disruption on specific immune responses has not been addressed so far. METHODS: Pittsburgh-Sleep-Quality-Index (PSQI) questionnaire and blood sampling was performed by 225 shift workers and 137 daytime workers. As possible markers the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha and lymphocyte cell count were investigated. A medical examination was performed and biometrical data including age, gender, height, weight, waist and hip circumference and smoking habits were collected by a structured interview. RESULTS: Shift workers had a significantly higher mean PSQI score than day workers (6.73 vs. 4.66; p < 0.001). Day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6 (2.30 vs. 2.67 resp.; p = 0.276), TNF-alpha (5.58 vs. 5.68, resp.; p = 0.841) or lymphocytes count (33.68 vs. 32.99, resp.; p = 0.404). Furthermore there were no differences in cytokine levels (IL-6 p = 0.761; TNF-alpha p = 0.759) or lymphocyte count (p = 0.593) comparing the sleep quality within the cohorts. When this calculation of sleep quality was stratified by shift and day workers irrespective of their sleep quality day workers and shift workers had similar serum levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha or lymphocytes count. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant correlation of lymphocytes count and smoking habits. CONCLUSION: Shift work induces chronic sleep debt. Our data reveals that chronic sleep debt might not always lead to an activation of the immune system, as we did not observe differences in lymphocyte count or level of IL-6 or TNF-alpha serum concentration between shift workers and day workers. Therefore chronic sleep restriction might be eased by a long-term compensating immune regulation which (in healthy) protects against an overstimulation of proinflammatory immune mechanisms and moderates metabolic changes, as they are known from short-term sleep deprivation or sleep related breathing disorders.
- 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.
- Ships, ports and particulate air pollution - an analysis of recent studies (2011)
- The duration of use is usually significantly longer for marine vessels than for roadside vehicles. Therefore, these vessels are often powered by relatively old engines which may propagate air pollution. Also, the quality of fuel used for marine vessels is usually not comparable to the quality of fuels used in the automotive sector and therefore, port areas may exhibit a high degree of air pollution. In contrast to the multitude of studies that addressed outdoor air pollution due to road traffic, only little is known about ship-related air pollution. Therefore the present article aims to summarize recent studies that address air pollution, i.e. particulate matter exposure, due to marine vessels. It can be stated that the data in this area of research is still largely limited. Especially, knowledge on the different air pollutions in different sea areas is needed.
- Self-reported adverse reactions in 4337 healthcare workers immunizations against novel H1N1 influenza (2011)
- Purpose: The use of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine has generated much debate concerning safety issues among the general population and physicians. Therefore, we investigated the safety of an inactivated monovalent H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine Methods: We focused on the H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine Pandemrix(R) and applied a self reporting questionnaire in a population of healthcare workers (HCWs) and medical students at a major university hospital. Results: In total, 4337 individuals were vaccinated, consisting of 3808 HCWs and 529 medical students. The vaccination rate of the employees was higher than 40%.The majority of individuals were vaccinated in November 2009. In total, 291 of the 4337 vaccinations were reported to lead to one or more adverse reactions (6.7%). Local reactions were reported in 3.8%, myalgia and arthralgia in 3.7%, fatigue in 3.7%, headache in 3.1%. Conclusions: Our data together with available data from several national and international institutions points to a safe pandemic influenza vaccine.
- Scoliosis: density-equalizing mapping and scientometric analysis (2009)
- BACKGROUND: Publications related to scoliosis have increased enormously. A differentiation between publications of major and minor importance has become difficult even for experts. Scientometric data on developments and tendencies in scoliosis research has not been available to date. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the scientific efforts of scoliosis research both quantitatively and qualitatively. METHODS: Large-scale data analysis, density-equalizing algorithms and scientometric methods were used to evaluate both the quantity and quality of research achievements of scientists studying scoliosis. Density-equalizing algorithms were applied to data retrieved from ISI-Web. RESULTS: From 1904 to 2007, 8,186 items pertaining to scoliosis were published and included in the database. The studies were published in 76 countries: the USA, the U.K. and Canada being the most productive centers. The Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) was identified as the most prolific institution during that period, and orthopedics represented by far the most productive medical discipline. "BRADFORD, DS" is the most productive author (146 items), and "DANSEREAU, J" is the author with the highest scientific impact (h-index of 27). CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that currently established measures of research output (i.e. impact factor, h-index) should be evaluated critically because phenomena, such as self-citation and co-authorship, distort the results and limit the value of the conclusions that may be drawn from these measures. Qualitative statements are just tractable by the comparison of the parameters with respect to multiple linkages. In order to obtain more objective evaluation tools, new measurements need to be developed.
- Scientometric analysis of the world-wide research efforts concerning Leishmaniasis (2010)
- Background: Leishmaniasis is a chronic disease that is found in various countries of the world. The aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of leishmaniasis on the world's research output. The present study assessed benchmarking of research output for the period between 1957 and 2006. Using large database analyses, research in the field of leishmaniasis was evaluated. Furthermore, cooperation between different countries was identified. Results: The number of publications increased with time. Most publications came from Western countries such as the US, UK or Germany. Interestingly, countries like Brazil and India had a high research output. We found a substantial amount of cooperation between countries. Conclusion: Although leishmaniasis is of limited geographic distribution it attracts a wide research interest. The central hub of research cooperation is the USA.
- 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.