The nuclear accident at Chernobyl accounted for an acute radiation syndrome in 237 persons on the site. Triage was the initial problem and was carried out according to clinical and biological criteria; evaluating the doses received was based on these criteria. Thirty one persons died and only 1 survived a dose higher than 6 Gy. Skin radiation burns which were due to inadequate decontamination, greatly worsened prognosis. The results of 13 bone marrow transplantations were disappointing, with only 2 survivors. Some time after the accident, these severely irradiated patients are mainly suffering from psychosomatic disorders, in the USSR, some areas have been significantly contaminated and several measures were taken to mitigate the impact on population: evacuating 135,000 persons, distributing prophylactic iodine, establishing standards and controls on foodstuff. Radiation phobia syndrome which developed in many persons, is the only sanitary effect noticed up to now. Finally, in Europe, there was only an increase in induced abortions and this was totally unwarranted. If we consider the risk of radiation induced cancer, an effect might not be demonstrated.
The authors report the first results of a new 6-F symmetrically designed permanent nitinol inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, the Cordis TrapEase, evaluated in a multicenter prospective study with 6-months of follow-up.
A total of 65 patients (29 men, 36 women) who ranged in age from 37 to 96 years (mean age, 68 years) and who were at high risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) were enrolled in 12 centers in Europe and Canada. The study was approved by the institutional review boards at all centers. Study objectives were to evaluate filter effectiveness, filter stability, and caval occlusion. Indications for filter placement were deep vein thrombosis with recurrent thromboembolism and/or free-floating thrombus with contraindication to anticoagulation in 37 patients, and complications in achieving adequate anticoagulation in 28 patients. Follow-up included clinical examination, plain film, Doppler ultrasound, CT scan, and nuclear medicine.
The analysis of the data revealed a technical success of 95.4% (three filter-system related implantations not at the intended site, no events of filter tilting) and a clinical success of 100% at 6 months (no cases of symptomatic PE), the study primary endpoint. There were no cases (0%) of filter migration, insertion site thrombosis, filter fracture, or vessel wall perforation. During the study period, there were two cases of filter thrombosis: one case of early symptomatic thrombosis that was successfully treated in the hospital, and one case of nonsymptomatic filter thrombosis detected at 1-month follow-up, with spontaneous recanalization at 3 months. In the latter patient, some residual thrombus was still detected at 6 months. Of the study population of 65 patients, there were 23 deaths. These deaths were not related to the device or the implantation procedure but to the underlying disease process.
This study demonstrates the new nitinol permanent IVC filter to be a safe and an effective device, with a low overall complication rate, for use in patients with thromboembolic disease at high risk of PE.
A double-blind, randomized, parallel, comparative study was designed to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of subgingivally administered minocycline ointment versus a vehicle control.
One hundred four patients (104) with moderate to severe adult periodontitis (34 to 64 years of age; mean 46 years) were enrolled in the study. Following scaling and root planing, patients were randomized to receive either 2% minocycline ointment or a matched vehicle control. Study medication was administered directly into the periodontal pocket with a specially designed, graduated, disposable applicator at baseline; week 2; and at months 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12. Scaling and root planing was repeated at months 6 and 12. Standard clinical variables (including probing depth and attachment level) were evaluated at baseline and at months 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15. Microbiological sampling using DNA probes was done at baseline; at week 2; and at months 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15.
Both treatment groups showed significant and clinically relevant reductions in the numbers of each of the 7 microorganisms measured during the entire 15-month study period. When differences were detected, sites treated with minocycline ointment always produced statistically significantly greater reductions than sites which received the vehicle control. For initial pockets > or =5 mm, a mean reduction in probing depth of 1.9 mm was seen in the test sites, versus 1.2 mm in the control sites. Sites with a baseline probing depth > or =7 mm and bleeding index >2 showed an average of 2.5 mm reduction with minocycline versus 1.5 mm with the vehicle. Gains in attachment (0.9 mm and 1.1 mm) were observed in minocycline-treated sites, with baseline probing depth > or =5 mm and > or =7 mm, respectively, compared with 0.5 mm and 0.7 mm gain at control sites. Subgingival administration of minocycline ointment was well tolerated.
Overall, the results demonstrate that repeated subgingival administration of minocycline ointment in the treatment of adult periodontitis is safe and leads to significant adjunctive improvement after subgingival instrumentation in both clinical and microbiologic variables over a 15-month period.
We present new and revised data for the phocine distemper virus (PDV) epidemics that resulted in the deaths of more than 23 000 harbour seals Phoca vitulina in 1988 and 30,000 in 2002. On both occasions the epidemics started at the Danish island of Anholt in central Kattegat, and subsequently spread to adjacent colonies in a stepwise fashion. However, this pattern was not maintained throughout the epidemics and new centres of infection appeared far from infected populations on some occasions: in 1988 early positive cases were observed in the Irish Sea, and in 2002 the epidemic appeared in the Dutch Wadden Sea, 6 wk after the initiation of the outbreak at Anholt Island. Since the harbour seal is a rather sedentary species, such 'jumps' in the spread among colonies suggest that another vector species could have been involved. We discussed the role of sympatric species as disease vectors, and suggested that grey seal populations could act as reservoirs for PDV if infection rates in sympatric species are lower than in harbour seals. Alternatively, grey seals could act as subclinical infected carriers of the virus between Arctic and North Sea seal populations. Mixed colonies of grey and harbour seal colonies are found at all locations where the jumps occurred. It seems likely that grey seals, which show long-distance movements, contributed to the spread among regions. The harbour seal populations along the Norwegian coast and in the Baltic escaped both epidemics, which could be due either to genetic differences among harbour seal populations or to immunity. Catastrophic events such as repeated epidemics should be accounted for in future models and management strategies of wildlife populations.
The first genome-wide association study for BMI identified a polymorphism, rs7566605, 10 kb upstream of the insulin-induced gene 2 (INSIG2) transcription start site, as the most significantly associated variant in children and adults. Subsequent studies, however, showed inconsistent association of this polymorphism with obesity traits. This polymorphism has been hypothesized to alter INSIG2 expression leading to inhibition of fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. Hence, we investigated the association of the INSIG2 rs7566605 polymorphism with obesity- and lipid-related traits in Danish and Estonian children (930 boys and 1,073 girls) from the European Youth Heart Study (EYHS), a school-based, cross-sectional study of pre- and early pubertal children. The association between the polymorphism and obesity traits was tested using additive and recessive models adjusted for age, age-group, gender, maturity and country. Interactions were tested by including the interaction terms in the model. Despite having sufficient power (98%) to detect the previously reported effect size for association with BMI, we did not find significant effects of rs7566605 on BMI (additive, P = 0.68; recessive, P = 0.24). Accordingly, the polymorphism was not associated with overweight (P = 0.87) or obesity (P = 0.34). We also did not find association with waist circumference (WC), sum of four skinfolds, or with total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein, or high-density lipoprotein. There were no gender-specific (P = 0.55), age-group-specific (P = 0.63) or country-specific (P = 0.56) effects. There was also no evidence of interaction between genotype and physical activity (P = 0.95). Despite an adequately powered study, our findings suggest that rs7566605 is not associated with obesity-related traits and lipids in the EYHS.
In the last several years, West Nile virus (WNV) was proven to be present especially in the neighboring countries of Austria, such as Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as in eastern parts of Austria, where it was detected in migratory and domestic birds. In summer 2010, infections with WNV were reported from Romania and northern Greece with about 150 diseased and increasingly fatal cases. We tested the sera of 1,607 blood donors from North Tyrol (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy) for antibodies against WNV by using IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Initial results of the ELISA tests showed seroprevalence rates of 46.2% in North Tyrol and 0.5% in South Tyrol, which turned out to be false-positive cross-reactions with antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) by adjacent neutralization assays. These results indicate that seropositivity against WNV requires confirmation by neutralization assays, as cross-reactivity with TBEV is frequent and because, currently, WNV is not endemic in the study area.
Chorionic gonadotropin (CG) is an essential signal in establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in humans and higher primates. A G-to-A transition in exon 3 of human CGbeta gene 5, changing the naturally occurring valine residue to methionine in codon 79 (Val(79)Met) has been reported at carrier frequency 4.2% in a random population from the Midwest of the United States. The biological activity of the variant hCG was similar to that of wild-type (WT) hCG. However, the Val(79)Met beta-subunit displayed impaired ability to assemble with alpha-subunit, and the amount of hCG alpha/beta heterodimers formed and secreted by transfected cells was seriously impaired in the previous study. Because of these functional implications we found it important to study the occurrence of the Val(79)Met hCGbeta variant in other populations. By using a PCR-RFLP method, a search for the Val(79)Met hCGbeta variant was carried out on a total of 580 DNA samples from five European populations (Finland, Denmark, Greece, Germany and the UK). The results demonstrated an absence of the polymorphism in these populations. Hence, the naturally occurring variant (Val(79)Met) of the hCGbeta gene 5, found previously at high frequency in the US, is clearly less common, or absent, in the European populations studied.