2,3-Butanediol was mistakenly identified as ethylene glycol in plasma specimens from two alcoholic patients. The cyclic phenylboronate ester derivatives of 2,3-butanediol and ethylene glycol had the same retention time when OV-17 was used as the stationary phase for gas chromatography. This led to incorrect diagnosis of ethylene glycol poisoning and unnecessary invasive therapy. Plasma from two chronic alcoholics contained 2,3-butanediol at 3.5 and 3.4 mmol/L. The elimination half-life of 2,3-butanediol was 3.9 days when ethanol was administered during therapy for suspected ethylene glycol poisoning. Low concentrations of 2,3-butanediol might be present in blood of chronic alcoholics as a result of a novel pathway of intermediary metabolism associated with some forms of alcoholism. However, a more likely explanation for fairly high concentrations of 2,3-butanediol is enzymatic production from 2-butanone. This ketone occurs in denatured alcohol preparations often consumed by alcoholics in Sweden.
Cancer of the colon is the second most common malignancy in North America and screening methods are needed for diagnosing the lesions at an early stage. Faecal occult blood screening is a method of secondary prevention which is particularly adaptable to the family practice setting. In order to test the feasibility of using this test in family practice, 16 family physicians participated in a trial screening programme using the Hemoccult II test. During the two-month trial 776 patients over 40 years of age were screened; 19 of the tests were positive but in two cases patients were thought to have failed to follow dietary and medical restrictions. Of the 17 patients with verified positive tests, further investigation showed five patients had neoplastic disease and three of these had malignant disease. The detection rate for cancer of the colon using the Hemoccult II test was therefore 3/776, equivalent to 3.9 per 1000 cases screened. By narrowing the age range for screening patients to between 45 and 75 years, the time involved to screen the population at risk could be decreased.
This study investigated the accuracy and inter-rater reliability of 'specialized' physical therapists in the auscultation of tape-recorded lung sounds. In addition, a correlation was investigated between accuracy of interpretation and the number of years of specialization in the field of cardiorespiratory physical therapy. This research follows an earlier study which investigated the accuracy and inter-rater reliability of auscultating tape-recorded lung sounds in a 'non-specialized' cohort of physical therapists. The subjects were 26 'specialized' cardiorespiratory physical therapists working in acute urban teaching hospitals. These individuals were required to have been practising currently and exclusively for at least one year in the area of cardiorespiratory physical therapy. Participants listened with a stethoscope to five different sounds and identified them from a standardized list of terms. One of three tapes with the same lung sounds in different order was randomly selected for each physical therapist. The percentage of correct answers for all subjects was calculated. An accurate response in the detection of lung sounds was arbitrarily defined as a percentage of correct answers of 70% or greater. The difference between the pooled correct response rate of 50% and the arbitrarily set value of 70% was statistically significant (z = 2.23, p
Swedish population-based national health registers are widely used data sources in epidemiological research. Register-based diagnoses of Parkinson's disease have not been validated against clinical information.
Parkinson's disease (PD) and other parkinsonian disorder diagnoses were ascertained in two registers, i.e. the National Patient Register (NPR) and the Cause of Death Register (CDR). Diagnoses were validated in terms of accuracy (positive predictive value) and sensitivity against data from a population-based study of PD in 1998-2004 that screened more than 35,000 persons and identified 194 cases of parkinsonian disorders including 132 PD cases (the gold standard for the purposes of this study).
Accuracy for any parkinsonian disorder diagnoses was 88.0% in the NPR and 94.4% in the CDR. Accuracy of PD diagnoses was 70.8% in the NPR and 66.7% in the CDR. Misclassification between differential parkinsonian diagnoses was common. The accuracy of PD diagnoses in the NPR improved to 83.0% by restricting the definition to primary diagnoses only. The sensitivity of PD diagnoses in the NPR and CDR combined was 83.1%, with a mean time to detection of 6.9 years.
Population-based national health registers are valid data sources in epidemiological studies of PD or parkinsonian disorder etiology but are less suitable in studies of incidence or prevalence.
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In a Swedish celiac disease screening study (Exploring the Iceberg of Celiacs in Sweden), we systematically reviewed the clinical diagnostic procedures with the aim to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy and to take advantage of lessons learned for improving diagnostic routines.
A school-based celiac disease screening study involving 5 Swedish centers, with 10,041 invited 12-year-olds with 7567 consenting participation. All 192 children with elevated serological markers were recommended to undergo small-bowel biopsy, performed and evaluated according to local clinical routines. All of the mucosal specimens were reevaluated by 1 and, when needed, 2 expert pathologists to reach diagnostic consensus.
Small-bowel biopsies were performed in 184 children: 130 by endoscopy and 54 by suction capsule. Endoscopic biopsies were inconclusive in 0.6%, compared with 7.4% of biopsies by suction capsule. A patchy enteropathy was found in 9.1%. Reevaluation by the expert pathologist resulted in 6 additional cases with celiac disease and 1 cleared. Sixteen children with normal or inconclusive biopsies, 4 after endoscopy, and 12 after suction capsule were endoscopically rebiopsied, resulting in another 8 cases. The celiac disease prevalence of 30 of 1000 (95% confidence interval 26-34) was not statistically different from that previously reported.
The present review revealed the importance of controlling each step of the diagnostic procedure. Several cases would have been missed by relying only on local routines. To improve the quality of childhood celiac disease diagnostics, we recommend multiple endoscopic biopsies from both proximal and distal duodenum and standardized evaluation by a pathologist with good knowledge of celiac disease.
Two hundred autopsies were investigated to determine the correlation between the clinical and pathological diagnoses in three categories--major underlying disease, cause of death and significant incidental pulmonary findings. There was concurrence in diagnosis of the major underlying disease in 76% of cases, with 12% of disagreements being considered minor and 12% major. In only three cases might different management have affected the outcome had the correct diagnosis of the major underlying disease been made during life. There was concurrence of the diagnosis of the cause of death (which was often different from the underlying disease) in 64% of cases, and in 10% of cases the outcome might have been different had the clinical diagnosis been accurate. The clinical opinion that lung disease was the cause of death was confirmed at autopsy in 54% of cases, and 45% of the pulmonary causes of death as determined at autopsy had been recognized clinically. Major incidental pulmonary findings diagnosed clinically were confirmed in 76% of cases, and major pulmonary findings diagnosed at autopsy had been recognized clinically in 83%. The major sources of these discrepancies were pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. If autopsies are to play a role in patient management, clinicians will have to be made aware of discrepancies between clinical and autopsy diagnosis. The real test of efficacy would be modification of patient management for the good.
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