The purpose of this study was to examine the pulse wave velocity, aortic augmentation index corrected for heart rate 75 (AIx@75), and central systolic and diastolic blood pressure during 24-hour monitoring in normotensive volunteers. Overall, 467 subjects (206 men and 261 women) were recruited in this study. Participants were excluded from the study if they were less than 19 years of age, had blood test abnormalities, had a body mass index greater than 2 7.5 kg/m(2), had impaired glucose tolerance, or had hypotension or hypertension. Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) with the BPLab(®) device was performed in each subject. ABPM waveforms were analyzed using the special automatic Vasotens(®) algorithm, which allows the calculation of pulse wave velocity, AIx@75, central systolic and diastolic blood pressure for "24-hour", "awake", and "asleep" periods. Circadian rhythms and sex differences in these indexes were identified. Pending further validation in prospective outcome-based studies, our data may be used as preliminary diagnostic values for the BPLab ABPM additional index in adult subjects.
Previous research has found that current smokers are less likely to have access to the Internet than nonsmokers. As access to the Internet continues to expand, does this finding remain true? Also, how many smokers are interested in Web-assisted tobacco interventions (WATIs)? These questions are important to determine the potential role that WATIs might play in promoting tobacco cessation.
The aims of the study were to determine whether smokers are less likely than nonsmokers to have access to the Internet and to establish the level of interest in WATIs among a representative sample of smokers.
A random digit dialing telephone survey was conducted of 8467 adult respondents, 18 years and older, in Ontario, Canada from September 2006 to August 2007. All respondents were asked their smoking status and whether they used the Internet (at home or work in the past 12 months; where; how often in the past 12 months). To assess the level of interest in WATIs, current daily smokers were asked whether they would be interested in a confidential program that they could access on the Internet, free of charge, that would allow them to check their smoking and compare it to other Canadians.
Smokers were marginally less likely to have used the Internet than nonsmokers (74% vs 81% in the last year), and, of those who had access to the Internet, smokers used the Internet less often than nonsmokers. Overall, 40% of smokers said they would be interested in a WATI. The number of cigarettes smoked per day was unrelated to level of interest in the WATI, but time to first cigarette after waking was. Smokers who used the Internet were more interested in the WATI than smokers who did not use the Internet (46% vs 20%).
While the difference in level of Internet use between smokers and nonsmokers was greatly reduced compared to 2002 and 2004 data, smokers still remain marginally less likely to use the Internet than nonsmokers. Overall, there was a substantial level of interest in the WATI among smokers, in particular among smokers who currently use the Internet. These results indicate that WATIs have a substantial potential audience among smokers, and, given the growing body of evidence regarding their efficacy, there is growing support that WATIs have a significant role to play in promoting tobacco cessation.
There is a wide variation in reported accuracy ofnoninvasive stress myocardial imaging as a screening tool for coronary artery disease (CAD). This study was undertaken to determine its current accuracy in a wide spectrum of patients with chest pain syndromes using invasive coronary angiography as the gold standard.
The patient population consisted of consecutive patients undergoing coronary angiography in whom noninvasive stress imaging, either nuclear or echocardiographic, was performed within 6 months prior to the angiogram. The specificity, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive values, and diagnostic accuracy for detecting > or =1 lesions with > or =50% diameter coronary stenosis were determined for each modality.
Of the 227 eligible patients, 141 were men and 86 were women; 70% had significant CAD. The diagnostic accuracy overall was 71% and was no different for nuclear or echocardiographic testing. The positive predictive value (86% vs. 52%; P = 0.002) and diagnostic accuracy (83% vs. 51%; P = 0.002) were better in men than in women.
In this study, noninvasive stress imaging lacked the accuracy of a good screening test for significant CAD. This finding was particularly true for women, for whom it was not much better than a coin toss.
Assessment of image analysis methods and computer software used in (99m) Tc-MAG3 dynamic renography is important to ensure reliable study results and ultimately the best possible care for patients. In this work, we present a national multicentre study of the quantification accuracy in (99m) Tc-MAG3 renography, utilizing virtual dynamic scintigraphic data obtained by Monte Carlo-simulated scintillation camera imaging of digital phantoms with time-varying activity distributions. Three digital phantom studies were distributed to the participating departments, and quantitative evaluation was performed with standard clinical software according to local routines. The differential renal function (DRF) and time to maximum renal activity (Tmax ) were reported by 21 of the 28 Swedish departments performing (99m) Tc-MAG3 studies as of 2012. The reported DRF estimates showed a significantly lower precision for the phantom with impaired renal uptake than for the phantom with normal uptake. The Tmax estimates showed a similar trend, but the difference was only significant for the right kidney. There was a significant bias in the measured DRF for all phantoms caused by different positions of the left and right kidney in the anterior-posterior direction. In conclusion, this study shows that virtual scintigraphic studies are applicable for quality assurance and that there is a considerable uncertainty associated with standard quantitative parameters in dynamic (99m) Tc-MAG3 renography, especially for patients with impaired renal function.
The present study was designed to examine whether oblique radiographs (Judet views) in addition to 2D and 3D CT scans improved the intra- and interobserver reliability when assessing acetabular fractures.
Four international orthopedic pelvic trauma centers reviewed the radiological images for 20 acetabular fracture patients. Three different image sets were made; one set containing plain radiographs including oblique (Judet) views and 2D axial CT scans. The second set contained an AP radiograph of the pelvis, without oblique views, 2D and 3D CT scans. The third set contained all the images. The image sets were evaluated in three separate sessions, for each session the raters were asked to classify the fracture according to Letournel, as well as record a number of other important radiological features concerning the fracture.
The interobserver agreement for the Letournel classification was found to be moderate for all image sets. The image set without oblique views showed the best agreement with a kappa value of 0.60. The intra- and interobserver agreement for important modifiers were found to be substantial. The addition of oblique radiographs did not seem to increase the intra- or interobserver agreement for any of the factors evaluated except for the roof arc score.
The moderate agreement found for the Letournel classification is to be expected given the complexity of the classification. The addition of oblique radiographs to the image sets does not seem to improve the reliability and thus its routine use for classification and decision making may be debated.
Ventilation/perfusion (V/P) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is recognized as a diagnostic method with potential beyond the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism. V/P SPECT identifies functional impairment in diseases such as heart failure (HF), pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The development of hybrid SPECT/computed tomography (CT) systems, combining functional with morphological imaging through the addition of low-dose CT (LDCT), may be useful in COPD, as these patients are prone to lung cancer and other comorbidities. The aim of this study was to investigate the added value of LDCT among healthy smokers and patients with stable COPD, when examined with V/P SPECT/CT hybrid imaging. Sixty-nine subjects, 55 with COPD (GOLD I-IV) and 14 apparently healthy smokers, were examined with V/P SPECT and LDCT hybrid imaging. Spirometry was used to verify COPD grade. Only one apparently healthy smoker and three COPD patients had a normal or nearly normal V/P SPECT. All other patients showed various degrees of airway obstruction, even when spirometry was normal. The same interpretation was reached on both modalities in 39% of the patients. LDCT made V/P SPECT interpretation more certain in 9% of the patients and, in 52%, LDCT provided additional diagnoses. LDCT better characterized the type of emphysema in 12 patients. In 19 cases, tumor-suspected changes were reported. Three of these 19 patients (ie, 4.3% of all subjects) were in the end confirmed to have lung cancer. The majority of LDCT findings were not regarded as clinically significant. V/P SPECT identified perfusion patterns consistent with decompensated left ventricular HF in 14 COPD patients. In 16 patients (23%), perfusion defects were observed. HF and perfusion defects were not recognized with LDCT. In COPD patients and long-time smokers, hybrid imaging had added value compared to V/P SPECT alone, by identifying patients with lung malignancy and more clearly identifying emphysema. V/P SPECT visualizes comorbidities to COPD not seen with LDCT, such as pulmonary embolism and left ventricular HF.
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The additional value of thallium-201 SPECT to a conventional exercise test for the identification of patients with severe coronary lesions was evaluated in 170 men, one month after an episode of unstable coronary artery disease. Severe coronary lesions at coronary angiography--defined as three vessel disease, left main stenosis or proximal left anterior descending artery stenosis as part of two vessel disease--were observed in 45.9%. In the SPECT image, the left ventricular myocardium was divided into nine segments and each segment was classified as either normal (= 0), reduced uptake (= 1) or uptake defect (= 2). The sum of gradings in all segments post-exercise was denoted "SPECT score". The patients were divided into nine different groups regarding ST-depression during exercise (no ST-depression, ST-depression in 1-2 leads or > or = 3 leads) and "SPECT score" (no SPECT score, 1-3 scores or > or = 4 scores). Severe coronary lesions were, in 68% identified by SPECT score > or = 4 and in 65% by ST-depression in > or = 1 lead at exercise test. The specificity for identification of severe coronary lesions was, for both tests, 65%. SPECT score > or = 4 and/or ST-depression in > or = 3 leads identified 82% of the patients with severe coronary lesions with a specificity of 63%. Furthermore, SPECT score > or = 3 identified more patients with isolated proximal left anterior descending artery stenosis than ST-depression alone at exercise test.
OBJECTIVE: To report the 5-year experience of a diagnostic programme for adrenal incidentaloma with special emphasis to diagnose hormonally active and malignant lesions. DESIGN: A prospective study in which new cases of adrenal incidentalomas in Sweden have been evaluated by a standardized diagnostic protocol between January 1996 and July 2001. SETTING: Thirty-three different Swedish hospitals have contributed with cases. SUBJECTS: A total of 381 patients (217 females, 164 males) with adrenal incidentalomas were studied. INTERVENTIONS: Diagnostic procedures were undertaken according to a standardized programme. Operation was recommended if the incidentaloma had a size of more than 3-4 cm or if there was a suspicion of a hypersecreting tumour. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The size of the incidentaloma, clinical characteristics of the patients and results of biochemical diagnostic tests were registered. RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 64 years (18-84 years), and the median size of the incidentalomas was 3 cm (1-20 cm). A total of 85(22%) patients were operated. Twenty of these patients were diagnosed with a benign hypersecreting tumour and 14 with a malignant tumour. Fourteen of 15 operated patients with diagnosed pheochromocytoma had elevated 24-h urinary noradrenaline and all of the patients operated because of a biochemical suspicion of aldosterone or cortisol hypersecretion (n = 6) were found to have adrenal adenomas. Of the 14 operated patients with malignant diseases, 10 were adrenal carcinomas (median size 10 cm; range 4-16 cm). In a multiple logistic regression model, incidentaloma size was significantly associated with the risk of a malignant tumour (P = 0.009), and there was a tendency of an association between age/male sex and the risk of a malignancy (both, P = 0.07). CONCLUSION: In this Swedish multicentre study of 381 cases with adrenal incidentalomas, 5% had benign hypersecreting tumours and nearly 4% had malignant tumours. The results of the biochemical diagnostic tests used had a high compatibility with the histological diagnosis found at operation in the patients with hypersecreting tumours. Tumour size, male gender and high age were predictive for the risk of a malignant tumour. A follow-up of the patients is warranted in order to establish whether there are undiscovered cases of malignant or hypersecreting tumours amongst the nonoperated patients.
The introduction of brain imaging with computed tomography revolutionised the treatment of patients with acute ischaemic stroke. With the visual differentiation of haemorrhagic stroke from ischaemic stroke, thrombolytic therapy became feasible. The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score was devised to quantify the extent of early ischaemic changes in the middle cerebral artery territory on noncontrast computed tomography. With its systematic approach, the score is simple and reliable. However, the assessment of early ischaemic changes and Alberta Stroke Program Early CT scoring require training. The Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score is a strong predictor of functional outcome. Furthermore, the effectiveness of intraarterial thrombolysis in patients with middle cerebral artery occlusion shows effect modification by the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score. This review summarises the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score methodology. We illustrate current knowledge regarding Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score applied to clinical trials and comment on how Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score may facilitate clinical treatment decision making and future trial design. Moreover, we introduce a modification of the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score methodology that disregards isolated cortical swelling, i.e. focal brain swelling without associated parenchymal hypoattenuation, as early ischaemic changes in the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score system.
Opioids alter resting state brain oscillations by multiple and complex factors, which are still to be elucidated. To increase our knowledge, multi-channel electroencephalography (EEG) was subjected to multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA), to identify the most descriptive frequency bands and scalp locations altered by remifentanil in healthy volunteers. Sixty-two channels of resting EEG followed by independent measures of pain scores to heat and bone pain were recorded in 21 healthy males before and during remifentanil infusion in a placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study. EEG frequency distributions were extracted by a continuous wavelet transform and normalized into delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma bands. Alterations relative to pre-treatment responses were calculated for all channels and used as input to the MVPA. Compared to placebo, remifentanil increased the delta band and decreased the theta and alpha band oscillations as a mean over all channels (all p = 0.007). The most discriminative channels in these frequency bands were F1 in delta (83.33%, p = 0.0023) and theta bands (95.24%, p