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Aim: In this feasibility study, we aimed to implement a pilot telemedicine service at our healthcare facility in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and describe our experience. Methods: Telemedicine service was established by Faisalabad Medical University at two of its affiliated locations: 1) A 24-hour COVID-19 Telephone Helpline was established at Director Emergency Office, Allied Hospital and District Headquarter (DHQ) Hospital. 2) A Telemedicine Clinic comprising consultants and postgraduate residents from different specialties was established at Chief Office, Allied Hospital. The data related to the number and categories of calls and advice provided was collected from 27th March 2020 till 31st July 2020. Results: A total of 4582 calls were received, at both locations, during the study period, out of which 2325 callers (51%) were male, and 2257 (49%) were females. At Allied Hospital, 172 patients were advised accordingly for their complaints, whereas, at DHQ Hospital, 320 patients were advised accordingly for their complaints. At the telemedicine clinic only, a total of 2436 calls were received during the study period, 1474 (60%) callers were male, and 962 (40%) were female. The majority of the calls were received by medicine (43%), dermatology (21%), and pediatrics (11%) specialties, respectively. Conclusion: Despite some limitations, the benefits of telemedicine in this COVID-19 era are enormous and it is feasible to implement telemedicine services in developing countries. The developing countries must invest in the internet and technology access to facilitate telemedicine and other e-health services for not only curbing this pandemic but also to promote a more efficient healthcare system after the pandemic.

Richard Bell

and 6 more

Land development is rapidly occurring on sand--dominant soils that cover substantial areas of the Lower Mekong Basin. Sands are at risk of degradation on sloping uplands where agriculture is expanding and on lowland landscapes where intensification of cropping is occurring. Sandstone and granitic geology explain the prevalence of sand-dominant texture in profiles. The sand terrains in uplands of Cambodia and southern Laos mostly have not been comprehensively mapped and their diversity and edaphic properties are poorly understood. On high permeability sands, lowland rainfed rice crops are drought-prone, while nutrient losses from leaching are also a risk. Furthermore, waterlogging, inundation and subsoil hardpans are significant water-related hazards that influence the choice of field crops and forages for lowland soils. Land use change in the lowlands to alternative field crops and forages on sands is contingent on their profitability relative to rice, the amounts and reliability of early wet season rainfall and amounts of stored water available after harvesting rice. Soil acidity, low nutrient status, hard-setting and shallow rooting depth are significant constraints for crops and forages on sands in the lowlands. Low soil fertility and soil acidity are limitations to the productivity of farming systems on the sand profiles in uplands, while erosion, low soil organic matter levels and water balance are concerns for their sustainable use. There is a need for widespread land suitability assessment and the development of sustainable farming systems before uncontrolled expansion of agriculture causes degradation of sandy terrain of the Lower Mekong Basin.

Ye Zhu

and 5 more

Pei-Ni Jone

and 10 more

Ann Polyakov

and 5 more

In semi-arid environments, aperiodic rainfall pulses determine cycles of plant production and resource availability for higher trophic levels, creating strong bottom-up regulation. The influence of climatic factors on population vital rates often shapes the dynamics of small mammal populations in such resource-restricted environments. Using a 21-year biannual capture–recapture dataset (1993 to 2014), we examined the impacts of climatic factors on the population dynamics of the brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii) in semi-arid oak woodland of coastal-central California. We applied Pradel’s temporal symmetry model to estimate capture probability (p), apparent survival (φ), recruitment (f), and realized population growth rate (λ) of the brush mouse, and examined the effects of temperature, rainfall, and El Niño on these demographic parameters. The population was stable during the study period with a monthly realized population growth rate of 0.993 ± SE 0.032, but growth varied over time from 0.680 ± 0.054 to 1.450 ± 0.083. Monthly survival estimates averaged 0.817 ± 0.005 and monthly recruitment estimates averaged 0.175 ± 0.038. Survival probability and realized population growth were positively correlated with rainfall and negatively correlated with temperature. In contrast, recruitment was negatively correlated with rainfall and positively correlated with temperature. Brush mice maintained their population through multiple coping strategies, investing in high recruitment during warmer and drier periods and allocating more energy towards survival during cooler and wetter conditions. Although climatic change in coastal-central California will favor recruitment over survival, varying strategies may serve as a mechanism by which brush mice maintain resilience in the face of climate change. Our results indicate that rainfall and temperature are both important drivers of brush mouse population dynamics and will play a significant role in predicting the future viability of brush mice under a changing climate.

Dong Geum Shin

and 7 more

Hui Ma

and 7 more

Aims To provide evidence for the clinically rational administration of bupropion (BUP), the effects of high-fat diet and CYP2B6 mutants on BUP and hydroxybupropion (HBUP) among 44 healthy Chinese subjects. Methods The concentrations of BUP and HBUP in plasma were determined with a high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) analysis. Genotypes were ascertained after amplified by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Results The maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and time to Cmax (tmax) of BUP as well as the concentration–time curve (AUC(0→96)) and Cmax of HBUP all increased by 1.18-, 1.41-, 1.38-, and 1.33-fold in the feeding group relative to the fasting group, respectively. Interestingly, the Cmax and terminal half-life (t1/2) of BUP increased by 1.33- and 1.39-fold among those subjects carrying the CYP2B6*1/*1 genotype in the feeding group relative to those in the fasting group. Similarly, the apparent volume of distribution (Vd) and clearance (CL) of HBUP increased by 1.38- and 1.59-fold, respectively, while the Cmax and AUC(0→96) of HBUP decreased by 1.44- and 1.49-fold among those subjects carrying the CYP2B6*1/*1 genotype in the feeding group relative to those in the fasting group. Concliusion These data suggest that high-fat diet and CYP2B6 mutants can influence the pharmacokinetic parameters of BUP and HBUP, thereby offering clear evidence for the rational administration of BUP among Chinese subjects in clinical settings.
Introduction: Several studies on late effects of childhood cancer have been conducted during the past decades. To ensure external validation of a study population, the participation rate must be high. This study investigated demographic data in late effect studies and potential factors impacting on participation rates such as cancer type, time since diagnosis and duration of clinical examinations. Procedure: By searching the databases PubMed, Embase and Web of Science and by contacting researchers and clinicians, we identified studies including an invitation to a clinical examination for late effects after childhood cancer. Studies conducted from January 2010 - March 2020 in the Nordic countries were included. Results: We found 80 published studies originating from 16 cohorts. The overall participation rates ranged between 27 and 100%. The majority of studies (eleven studies) were conducted more than ten years after the cancer diagnosis and primarily on hematologic malignancies (seven studies). The highest participation rates were seen in studies of survivors with solid tumors (92%) and the lowest in survivors with hematologic malignancies (67%) and central nervous system tumors (73%). Neither duration of the clinical examination nor time since diagnosis seemed to affect the participation rate. Conclusion: A trend of lower participation rates when recruiting survivors of hematologic malignancies and central nervous system tumors was found. We encourage future studies to describe the recruitment process more thouroughly to improve understanding of the factors influencing participation rates.

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Oktay Ucer

and 3 more

Semih Ak

and 1 more

Background: Hookah is a tobacco product of Middle Eastern origin; however, its popularity increases in Europe and the US. Despite its frequent use, hookah’s potentially detrimental effects are underestimated due to the scarcity of the relevant research. Since septoplasty is one of the most commonly performed procedures of otolaryngology practice, we aimed to investigate the impact of hookah consumption on recovery after septoplasty. Methods: Patients who underwent septoplasty in Sanliurfa Training and Research Hospital Department of Otolaryngology between January 2017 and December 2019 were divided into four groups based on their history of hookah and cigarette smoking. The patients’ prospectively collected data, including demographic features, healing time, and presence or absence of septal perforation during follow-up, were compared between these four groups. Results: The entire cohort included 270 patients. The mean patient age was 29.2±5.8 years. One hundred and thirty-two (48.9%) patients were non-smokers, 96 (35.5%) were cigarette smokers, 27 (10%) were hookah smokers, and 15 (5.6%) consumed both tobacco products regularly. Mean healing time was 10 days, and septal perforation was encountered in 10 patients (3.7%). A comparison of the groups revealed that cigarette smoking did not impact septal perforation rates (p=0.326) but prolonged the healing time. However, hookah smoking with or without cigarette smoking significantly influenced septal perforation rates and healing times. Conclusion: Patients should be questioned about hookah smoking in addition to cigarette smoking before the septoplasty procedure. Patients with a positive history of hookah smoking should be followed closely in terms of delayed healing and increased septal perforation rates.

George Angelidis

and 3 more

COVID-19 and nuclear cardiology: Introducing the ‘’forward” virtual visit Angelidis G, Valotassiou V, Psimadas D, Georgoulias PNuclear Medicine Laboratory, University of Thessaly, Larissa, GreeceWe read with great interest the recent review article by Kaushik A, et al. concerning the potential role of digital health applications in the present pandemic situation [1]. As the authors noted, alternative tools are needed for the optimal management of cardiovascular patients, avoiding unnecessary visits to health care facilities. The severe acute respiratory syndrome – coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can invade the cardiovascular cells, potentially causing life-threatening cardiac impairment [2]. In particular, patients with pre-existing cardiovascular diseases are characterized by a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Therefore, most of those referred for nuclear cardiology techniques are expected to be at higher risk of developing serious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) complications. However, the performance of the individually required diagnostic and follow-up procedures is important [3].Telemedicine applications have been used in public health emergencies, leading to several advantages in terms of safety and efficacy. In the field of nuclear cardiology, the initial evaluation of patients’ history and clinical features can take place remotely (‘’forward” virtual visit). This approach seems to be patient-centred (permitting an adequate case assessment) and conducive to self-quarantine (protecting patients, healthcare professionals, and the community from viral exposure). Importantly, possible clinical presentations of COVID-19 may be evaluated during the ‘’forward” virtual visit, as well as information regarding travel and exposure histories. Moreover, local epidemiological information may be used to adjust screening pattern, and special measures could be developed (such as isolation in dedicated ‘’hot” rooms) for patients with high-risk features. After the performance of the examination, telemedicine applications could be also used for the consultation with the patients.Telemedicine applications may contribute to a better adjustment of nuclear cardiology services under the current demanding circumstances. Of course, no telemedicine programme can be created overnight, but this approach may be of value not only during the next months but also after the end of COVID-19 pandemic [4]. For example, our nuclear medicine laboratory is located in central Greece providing services to inhabitants of mountain villages, and nearby small islands. Consequently, the use of telemedicine applications could aid our practice in the future as well, particularly during the winter months when travelling by car or sea travels may be extremely demanding.

Attila Mokánszki

and 8 more

Background Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a malignant tumor of the developing retina that affects children before the age of five years in association with inherited or early germline mutations of the RB1 gene. The genetic predisposition is also related with second primary malignancies arising de novo, or following radiotherapy which have become the leading cause of death in retinoblastoma survivors. Procedure We describe a retinoblastoma case with a novel RB1 and a synchronous MET aberration. Our goal was to identify all germline and somatic genetic alterations in available tissue samples from different time periods and to reconstruct their clonal relations using next generation sequencing (NGS). We also used structural and functional prediction of the mutant RB and MET proteins to find interactions between the defected proteins with potential causative role in the development of this uniqe form of retinoblastoma. Results In this study we detected a retinoblastoma case of non-parental origin with a novel RB1 c.2548C>T;p.(Gln850Ter) and a synchronous MET c.3029C>T;p.(Thr1010Ile) germline mutations. Following bilateral retinoblastoma the boy further developed at least four different manifestations of two independent osteosarcomas. Both histopathology and NGS findings supported the independent nature of a chondroblastic osteosarcoma of the irradiated facial bone followed by an osteoblastic sarcoma of the leg (tibia). Conclusions Because of the expanding number of registered Rb cases, the novel rare cases publication is very important to understand the molecular mechanism of this malignancy. We reported a novel form of Rb and consequential chondroblastic and osteoblastic osteosarcoma, the latter one developing pulmonary metastatses.

Ugur Balkanci

and 2 more

An Unusual Case of Necrotizing Pneumonia Presenting with Acute Kidney InjuryUgur Berkay Balkanci, MDSchool of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MNDavid J. Sas, DODivision of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MinnesotaNadir Demirel, MDDivision of Pediatric Pulmonology, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MinnesotaCorresponding Author:Nadir Demirel, MDDivision of Pediatric Pulmonology200 First Street SWRochester, MN 55906Tel. No.: 5075380754Fax No.: 5072840727Demirel.nadir@mayo.eduKey words: postinfectious glomerulonephritis, pneumothorax, complications, complicated pneumoniaFinancial Disclosure: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.Funding: No external funding.Short title: “An unusual case of necrotizing pneumonia”To the Editor:Lower respiratory tract infections are the most common reason for hospitalization in the pediatric age group in the United States. Although pneumonia is prevalent, complicated pneumonia such as empyema, lung abscess and necrotizing pneumonia (NP) is uncommon in children1. The prevalence of complicated pneumococcal pneumonia decreased significantly after the introduction of the thirteen-valent pneumococcal vaccine in 20101. NP in the pediatric population is a severe disease characterized by extensive destruction and liquefaction of the lung tissue resulting in loss of the pulmonary parenchymal architecture, cavitation of the lung, and pleural involvement. Renal complications of complicated pneumonia are rare and mostly reported as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)2. Post-infectious glomerulonephritis (PIGN) is an unexpected complication of bacterial pneumonia3.We report a six-year-old otherwise healthy fully vaccinated girl with a 4-day history of fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, non-bloody diarrhea, and poor oral intake. Parents reported decreased urine output and dark-colored urine on the day of admission. Initial evaluation revealed serum creatinine of 5.01 mg/dL and blood urea nitrogen of 86 mg/dL, elevated acute phase reactants suggesting acute kidney injury (AKI) in the setting of an undiagnosed acute infectious process. The patient was admitted with decreased effective circulatory volume. Urinalysis revealed hematuria with <25% dysmorphic red blood cells (RBCs), proteinuria, pyuria, and RBC casts and granular casts, suggestive of acute glomerulonephritis.She was started on intermittent hemodialysis at day 2 of admission to address uremia, fluid overload, and hyperphosphatemia. A renal biopsy revealed diffuse exudative glomerulonephritis, consistent with infection-related glomerulonephritis. ASO, Anti-DNase B were negative; C3, C4 levels were low. She was treated with pulse IV methylprednisolone 10mg/kg/day for three days. The first 5 days in the hospital, the patient remained afebrile and her lung exam was normal without respiratory symptoms.On day six of admission, she developed acute right-sided chest pain and shortness of breath during hemodialysis. Chest x-ray (CXR) revealed a large right-sided tension pneumothorax, prompting therapeutic chest tube placement. Repeat CXR revealed reexpansion of the right lung and a significant right upper lobe consolidation with an ovoid hyperlucency and an air-fluid level. A chest CT scan confirmed the diagnosis of NP with multiple cavities (Image).Flexible bronchoscopy was performed with bronchoalveolar lavage revealing 42% neutrophils and negative cultures. She was treated with broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics.During admission, she developed hypertension, well-controlled with scheduled enalapril and amlodipine, as well as isradipine as needed. On day 14 of admission, hemodialysis was discontinued as kidney function improved, and chest tube was removed. She was discharged at day 26 of admission on intravenous ceftriaxone and oral metronidazole to complete 30 days of treatment. A repeat chest CT at end of treatment showed complete resolution of NP. Renal functions and blood pressure normalized on follow up.NP is characterized by persistent high fevers and prolonged hospitalizations even with appropriate antibiotic treatment1. Most often, NP affects immunocompetent children with no underlying risk factors4. The pathophysiology of this complication is acute liquefactive necrosis of the lung parenchyma which results in the development of pneumatoceles4. The most common pathogen causing NP is Streptococcus pneumoniae followed by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Other rarer bacterial and viral pathogens are Mycoplasma pneumonia, Influenza, and Adenovirus1. Identifying the microbiologic pathogen can be challenging and is only made in 50% of cases1. In our case, we did not isolate the causative microorganism. NP typically resolves without residual morbidity, even after a protracted course1,4.Pleural involvement is almost universal in NP, and the course of pleural disease often determines duration and outcome, particularly as it relates to the complication of bronchopleural fistula (BPF)1. BPF is most likely due to the necrotic development of a connection between bronchial space and pleural space4. BPF formation is associated with a significantly longer hospital stay in children with NP4. Yet, most cases heal without surgical intervention4. Tension pneumothorax has been observed as a rare complication of NP1.Renal involvement in complicated pneumonia is rare. Atypical HUS has been reported as a complication of pneumonia, particularly associated with empyema. (most commonly due to invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae)2. In a case series of 37 cases of atypical HUS, 34 patients (92%) had pneumonia with 10 patients (29%) with NP5. Less commonly, pneumonia can be associated with PIGN. PIGN is the most common glomerulonephritis in children worldwide. Pneumonia-associated PIGN is rare. In a case series from the US, PIGN accounted for 0.15% of admissions for pneumonia and 0.39% of admissions for glomerulonephritis6. Pneumonia-associated PIGN is known to be caused by various bacterial pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Nocardia, and Coxiella burnetii3. Different from the usual presentation of the PIGN (in which the time interval between a pharyngeal group A Streptococcal infection and PIGN is 6 to 10 days), pneumonia-associated PIGN is usually concomitant with the pulmonary disease3,6.Our case is unusual in several ways: pneumonia-associated PIGN typically presents with respiratory symptoms first, and acute kidney injury developing during the course of pneumonia3. More surprisingly, the patient developed NP which is characterized by even more severe respiratory symptoms1. Yet, our patient presented without respiratory complaints and pneumonia became apparent only after the development of pneumothorax. We could only identify 2 cases of pneumonia-associated PIGN who presented with renal involvement before pulmonary complaints6,7. Also, previous cases in the literature of pneumonia-associated PIGN report mostly a non-complicated course of pulmonary disease3,6. In a case series of 11 children with pneumonia-associated PIGN, only one case developed a small empyema6. Similarly, the majority of the reported cases of pneumonia-associated PIGN describe a benign course of renal disease3,6. Our patient’s kidney failure progressed rapidly, and she required 2 weeks of intermittent hemodialysis and a three-day course of pulse steroid therapy. At present, systemic corticosteroids are not recommended for patients with complicated pneumonia. A Cochrane review including 17 randomized controlled trials, of which four were conducted on children, found that corticosteroid therapy reduced mortality and morbidity in adults with severe CAP, and morbidity, but not mortality, in adults and children with non-severe CAP1. We speculate that pulse steroid treatment may have modified the course of NP in our patient.This case suggests an atypical presentation of NP with predominant renal complications is possible. Pediatricians should be aware of renal complications of respiratory diseases. Systemic steroids should be considered in the treatment of NP.References:1. de Benedictis FM, Kerem E, Chang AB, Colin AA, Zar HJ, Bush A. Complicated pneumonia in children. Lancet 2020;396:786-798.2. Spinale JM, Ruebner RL, Kaplan BS, Copelovitch L. Update on Streptococcus pneumoniae associated hemolytic uremic syndrome. Curr Opin Pediatr 2013;25:203-208.3. Carceller Lechón F, de la Torre Espí M, Porto Abal R, Écija Peiró JL. Acute glomerulonephritis associated with pneumonia: a review of three cases. Pediatr Nephrol 2010;25:161-164.4. Sawicki GS, Lu FL, Valim C, Cleveland RH, Colin AA. Necrotising pneumonia is an increasingly detected complication of pneumonia in children. Eur Respir J 2008;31:1285-1291.5. Banerjee R, Hersh AL, Newland J, Beekmann SE, Polgreen PM, Bender J, Shaw J, Copelovitch L, Kaplan BS, Shah SS. Streptococcus pneumoniae-associated Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Among Children in North America. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2011;30:736-739.6. Srivastava T, Warady BA, Alon US. Pneumonia-associated acute glomerulonephritis. Clin Nephrol 2002;57:175-182.7. Schachter J, Pomeranz A, Berger I, Wolach B. Acute glomerulonephritis secondary to lobar pneumonia. Int J Pediatr Nephrol 1987;8:211-214.

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