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Anaemia in pregnancy remains a global health problem In this issue of BJOG Hull et al …… et al report on an important study from South Africa regarding anaemia in pregnancy and the response to iron therapy. They report that in HIV-positive women the response was slower than in HIV-negative women. The underlying causes of anaemia varied and included iron deficiency (as assessed by ferritin levels) as well as concurrent infections (urinary tract infections and tuberculosis)Anaemia in pregnancy (blood haemoglobin Hb<11.0g/dl) occurs in > 40% of women living in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and in some settings in Asia prevalence is >60%. (McCauley et al, BMJ Global Health, 2018; 3(3):e000625) The latest WHO recommendations on antenatal care consider anaemia as the world’s second leading cause of disability and one of the most serious global public health problems (WHO Geneva 2016 ) .Although globally the focus has largely been on anaemia in pregnancy resulting from either iron deficiency or malaria, this is an incomplete approach at best. Iron deficiency is hard to measure and confirm as; i) this requires a functioning laboratory to be in place, ii) indicators for iron deficiency are influenced by the presence of concurrent infection, or, iii) repeated measures of Hb are needed to check whether the anaemia is responsive to treatment with iron. By contrast, malaria is relatively easy to diagnose via rapid diagnostic tests or microscopic examination of a stained blood smear slide. The handful of studies which have comprehensively assessed aetiology of anaemia in pregnant women demonstrate that anaemia is most commonly the result of complex multiple underlying factors including nutritional deficiencies as well as infectious diseases. Both nutritional deficiency and other infections (malaria, tuberculosis) are more likely with HIV-infection which itself can lead to anaemia probably through direct suppression of erythropoiesis.Hull et al show what was possible in a real-life clinical practice setting. This example of integration of research into clinical practice is laudable and is illustrative of how such integration could result in better services being made available for women in LMIC where burden of disease is high, but diagnostic tests are largely unavailable. It is sobering to realise that the majority of women world-wide will still only be screened for anaemia during pregnancy using ‘conjunctival inspection’ which is highly inaccurate. (van den Broek et al. Bull WHO 1999; 77(1):15-21) Rapid diagnostic tests are available for Hb, malaria, syphilis, HIV and, more recently, for tuberculosis. We are doing women a dis-service if we cannot offer at least these basic diagnostic tests as part of antenatal care.To prevent anaemia during pregnancy, the ‘fall-back’ position is to offer all women daily iron prophylaxis (30-60mg elemental iron) - with luck tablets are available that include folic acid (0.4mg) - along with presumptive treatment of malaria (various regimes) in endemic areas. Multi-micronutrients (including the required amount of iron and folic acid) might actually be better but cannot be recommended because of lack of evidence and they are still three times as expensive as iron and folic acid supplementation alone (3$ vs 1$ approximately).WHO recently recommended a better understanding of the aetiology of anaemia. A search on PubMed shows a clear lack of papers on the topic and more good research is needed. Investment in the antenatal care package offered to women is also much needed if we are aiming for a global ‘Health for All’.

rishabh Sharma

and 5 more

Background: There is limited information available on the use of PIP medication in older adults having psychiatric illness. Objective: To determine the prevalence of PIP medications, and assess its predictors in older adults with psychiatric illness. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out at a tertiary care hospital on 456 patients of either sex, with a median age of 65 years attending the psychiatry outpatient department. Evaluation of PIP medication was done using Beers criteria 2019 and STOPP criteria 2015. Bivariate logistic regression was used to find out the predictors of PIP prescribing. Results: Results of the study reflect that a staggering number of older adults, (more than 91% and 73%) out of total of 456 patients were prescribed with at least one PIP medication identified by Beers criteria and STOPP criteria, respectively. Long-acting benzodiazepine (LABZD) like clonazepam was identified as one of the most commonly prescribed PIP medications by both set of criteria. Further analysis revealed that older adults from rural background (Odds Ratio (OR) 2.60, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.20-5.65; P=0.015), TCA (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.12- 0.75; P= 0.010), LABZD (OR 33.72, 95% CI 11.27-100.85; P=<0.001), atypical antipsychotics (OR 22.35, 95% CI 5.31- 93.99; P= <0.001) use were most common predictors for PIP medication prescribing. Conclusion: The use of PIP medication is highly prevalent among older adults according to Beers criteria and STOPP criteria. The study reflects a more comprehensive and sturdy nature of Beer criteria as it significantly detects more PIP medication than STOPP criteria.


and 2 more

Enze Xie

and 4 more

Understanding the spatiotemporal changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) and their driving factors is an important prerequisite for decision-making in maintaining sustainable agricultural development and addressing climate change. A total of 1219 cropland topsoil SOC data (0-20 cm) collected from southern Jiangsu Province of China in 1980, 2000, and 2015, and geostatistical sequential Gaussian simulation were used to identify the changes in the spatiotemporal patterns of SOC during the period of 1980-2015. Results showed that the changes in SOC within the different time periods were significantly different, with a net increment of 3.65 g kg-1 during the period of 1980-2000 and a net decrement of 2.32 g kg-1 during the period of 2000-2015. Significant SOC accumulation occurred throughout the study area during 1980-2000, while SOC decline became predominant in the southeast during 2000-2015. Overall, the SOC contents for 60% of the study area increased significantly over the entire 35-year period. The SOC increase during the first two decades (1980-2000) was largely attributed to the increasing soil C input that resulted from the enhanced crop productivity by chemical fertilizers, while the stagnant soil carbon inputs associated with the rapid urban expansion were the primary reason for constraining cropland SOC accumulation in the subsequent 15 years (2000-2015). These findings highlight the importance of balancing agricultural development and urbanization processes to maintain SOC levels, and may also provide some guidance for planning cropland soil C management strategies in many areas that are undergoing similar urbanization processes.

Kai Liu

and 5 more

Importance: Tumor encasement of the common carotid artery (CCA) and/or the internal carotid artery (ICA) in patients with advanced head and neck tumors represents a significant surgical challenge. At present, there are few reports on the treatment approach that can achieve the maximal oncological resection and reduce the difficulty of operation without affecting the carotid artery blood flow. Objective: To examine whether the combination of oncologic complete tumor resection and intravascular covered stent placement is more advantageous in the management of advanced head and neck cancer. Design, Setting, and Participants: Five patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (AHNSCC) invading one side of the carotid artery were retrospectively enrolled. The contrast-enhanced computed Tomography (CT) and angiography were performed to assess the severity of extrinsic tumor compression to the carotid artery. Covered stent was placed intra-arterially at least 1 cm proximal and distal beyond the area of tumor involvement. The tumor and the involved carotid artery were resected, and pectoralis major flap transfer was utilized for coverage of the great vessels supported with intra-arterial covered stent. Main Outcomes and Measures: Efficacy of oncologic complete tumor resection combined with endovascular stent placement. Results: The post-stenting demonstrated an improvement in the appearance and caliber of the affected carotid artery. Four patients experienced transient bradycardia and hypotension. All five patients underwent R0 resection. Postoperatively, the flap all had rich vascularity and healing. Three patients underwent adjuvant radiotherapy or chemoradiation. With median follow-up 6.5 months, one patient died of multiple organ failures at 6.5 months after surgery; one patient developed tracheal stoma recurrence and treated with salvaged surgery; the three other patients had no disease recurrence in their last follow-ups. Conclusions and Relevance: Surgical resection with intravascular covered stent placement could potentially achieve the maximal oncological resection without compromise carotid artery blood flow in patients with carotid artery encased head and neck cancer.

Tugba Arslan Gülen

and 2 more

Introduction: The population is aging and older adults comprise the majority of patients in intensive care units. Colistin (COL) has been reintroduced to treat increasingly common resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections. Our study aims to investigate the factors affecting colistin nephrotoxicity in the general population and geriatric age group. Materials and Method: This retrospective study included 170 patients, 116 (68.2%) of which were in the geriatric group (age ≥65). Acute renal failure was evaluated using the RIFLE score. Firstly, factors associated with COL nephrotoxicity in the general population were investigated. Then, risk factors for COL nephrotoxicity were evaluated in the geriatric patient group. Results: Advanced age (odds ratio [OR]=1.043; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.018-1.068; p=0.001) and initial serum creatinine level (OR=23.122; 95% CI: 3.123-171.217; p=0.002) were found to be independent risk factors associated with nephrotoxicity. In the evaluation of the geriatric population-based on nephrotoxicity, the initial serum urea and creatinine levels, immunosuppression, and overall mortality rates were found to be statistically significant in the group with nephrotoxicity (p<0.05). Initial serum creatinine level (OR=22.48; 95% CI: 2.835-178.426; p=0.003) and concomitant nephrotoxic agent use (OR=2.516; 95% CI: 1.275-4.963; p=0.008) were independent risk factors associated with nephrotoxicity in geriatric patients. Conclusion: Advanced age was found to be a risk factor for COL nephrotoxicity. Caution should be exercised especially in geriatric patients who have initial serum creatinine levels close to the upper limit, concomitant use of nephrotoxic drugs should be avoided and if possible, evaluation should be made in terms of non-COL treatment options in these patients.

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Huseyin Kazan

and 6 more

Objective: To investigate the factors, especially preoperative urinalysis, predicting postoperative early infection after retrograde intrarenal surgery (RIRS) in 1-2 cm renal stones. Methods: Of the 642 patients who underwent RIRS between September 2013 and July 2019, 289 patients with a total stone size of 1-2 cm were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups as with and without postoperative urinary tract infection. The demographic data and perioperative findings of all patients were retrospectively reviewed. Sterile urine cultures were obtained in all patients during the preoperative 30-day period and urine analysis values were included in the data. Results: Urinary system infection (UTI) was seen in 20 (6.9%) of 289 patients. Patient demographics were similar between groups. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of stone diameter and stone localization (median diameter 13.5 vs 15, p=0.285). Patients with postoperative UTI had a higher rate of UTI history (55% vs 20.5%, p=0.000) and longer operative times (62.5 vs 60 min., p=0.008). Rate of pyuria, leukocyte esterase and nitrite positivity were observed more frequently in patients with postoperative UTI. In multivariate analysis, UTI history, prolonged operative time, and nitrite positivity were found to be independent risk factors for postoperative UTI. Conclusion: Nitrite positivity in preoperative urinanalysis, history of UTI and prolonged operation time are the factors that predict the postoperative infection in RIRS for stones between 1-2 cm.

Gunter Sturm

and 38 more

Background: There is controversy whether taking β-blockers or ACE inhibitors (ACEI) is a risk factor for more severe systemic insect sting reactions (SSR) and whether it increases the number or severity of adverse events (AE) during venom immunotherapy (VIT). Methods: In this open, prospective, observational, multicenter trial, we recruited patients with a history of a SSR and indication for VIT. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate whether patients taking β-blockers or ACEI show more systemic AE during VIT compared to patients without such treatment. Results: In total, 1,425 patients were enrolled and VIT was performed in 1,342 patients. Of all patients included, 388 (27.2%) took antihypertensive (AHT) drugs (10.4% took β-blockers, 11.9% ACEI, 5.0% β-blockers and ACEI). Only 5.6% of patients under AHT treatment experienced systemic AE during VIT as compared with 7.4% of patients without these drugs (OR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.43–1.22, p=0.25). The severity of the initial sting reaction was not affected by the intake of β-blockers or ACEI (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 0.89–1.46, p=0.29). In total, 210 (17.7%) patients were re-stung during VIT and 191 (91.0%) tolerated the sting without systemic symptoms. Of the 19 patients with VIT treatment failure, 4 took β-blockers, none an ACEI. Conclusions: This trial provides robust evidence that taking β-blockers or ACEI does neither increase the frequency of systemic AE during VIT nor aggravate SSR. Moreover, results suggest that these drugs do not impair effectiveness of VIT. (Funded by Medical University of Graz, Austria; number, NCT04269629)

Nazanin Kermani

and 12 more

Background. Patients with severe asthma may have a greater risk of dying from COVID-19 disease. Angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) and the enzyme proteases, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and FURIN, are needed for viral attachment and invasion into host cells. Methods. We examined microarray mRNA expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and FURIN in sputum, bronchial brushing and bronchial biopsies of the European U-BIOPRED cohort. Clinical parameters and molecular phenotypes, including asthma severity, sputum inflammatory cells, lung functions, oral corticosteroid (OCS) use, and transcriptomic-associated clusters, were examined in relation to gene expression levels. Results. ACE2 levels were significantly increased in sputum of severe asthma compared to mild-moderate asthma. In multivariate analyses, sputum ACE2 levels were positively associated with OCS use and male gender. Sputum FURIN levels were significantly related to neutrophils (%) and the presence of severe asthma. In bronchial brushing samples, TMPRSS2 levels were positively associated with male gender and body mass index, whereas FURIN levels with male gender and blood neutrophils. In bronchial biopsies, TMPRSS2 levels were positively related to blood neutrophils. The neutrophilic molecular phenotype characterised by high inflammasome activation expressed significantly higher FURIN levels in sputum than the eosinophilic Type 2-high or the pauci-granulocytic oxidative phosphorylation phenotypes. Conclusion. Levels of ACE2 and FURIN may differ by clinical or molecular phenotypes of asthma. Sputum FURIN expression levels were strongly associated with neutrophilic inflammation and with inflammasome activation. This might indicate the potential for a greater morbidity and mortality outcome from SARS-CoV-2 infection in neutrophilic severe asthma.

Mehmet Pehlivaoğlu

and 5 more

Aim: This study evaluated the effect of intracavitary levobupivacaine infusion diluted with locally applied isotonic solution for pain control in cystoscopy. Methods: Included in this study are 100 patients who had previously undergone transurethral tumor resection for bladder tumor and were followed up by cystoscopy. The patients were randomized into five groups (n = 20). In the first, second, third, and fourth groups, 4, 6, 8, and 10 mL of levobupivacaine HCl (5.0 mg/mL) were mixed with 26, 24, 22, and 20 mL of isotonic solution, respectively. Hence, the total mixture was 30 mL for each group. The fifth group was the control group. In this group, the standard method commonly used in most clinics was utilized. That is, a gel containing Cathejell-2% lidocaine (25 mg lidocaine) was applied. Cystoscopic interventions were performed with a 17.5 Fr rigid cystoscope and 0°, 30°, and 70° lens. During cystoscopy and 30 min later, the pain status of patients was assessed using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), and patient satisfaction was questioned. Results: The mean VAS score during and after the cystoscopy procedure was significantly lower in the levobupivacaine groups compared to the lidocaine group. In addition, patient satisfaction in the levobupivacaine groups was significantly higher than in the lidocaine group. No drug-related side-effects were observed in all groups. Conclusion: Thus, levobupivacaine is a more effective drug than lidocaine alone to control pain during cystoscopy. The use of levobupivacaine is recommended to prevent possible complications of general anesthesia by eliminating the need for the aforementioned as well as its cost-saving advantage.

Yanhui Dong

and 4 more

Groundwater age is often used to estimate groundwater recharge through a simplified analytical approach. This estimated recharge is thought to be representative of the mean recharge between the point of entry and the sampling point. However, given the complexity in actual recharge, whether the mean recharge is reasonable is still unclear. This study examined the validity of the method to estimate long-term average groundwater recharge and the possibility of obtaining reasonable spatial recharge pattern. We first validated our model in producing reasonable age distributions using a constant flux boundary condition. We then generated different flow fields and age patterns by using various spatially-varying flux boundary conditions with different magnitudes and wavelengths. Groundwater recharge was estimated and analyzed afterwards using the method at the spatial scale. We illustrated the main findings with a field example in the end. Our results suggest that we can estimate long-term average groundwater recharge with 10% error in many parts of an aquifer. The size of these areas decreases with the increase in both the amplitude and the wavelength. The chance of obtaining a reasonable groundwater recharge is higher if an age sample is collected from the middle of an aquifer and at downstream areas. Our study also indicates that the method can also be used to estimate local groundwater recharge if age samples are collected close to the water table. However, care must be taken to determine groundwater age regardless of conditions.

Xinyi Guan

and 4 more

Adriana Bustamante

and 3 more

Yasser Mubarak

and 1 more

Background: Small Aortic Annulus (AA) is big issue during Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR) necessitating replacement of an undersized prosthetic valve especially with Double Valve Replacement (DVR). Despite that small aortic valve prostheses can lead to Prosthesis-Patient Mismatch (PPM), there remains reluctance to perform aortic root enlargement (ARE) procedures fearing from morbidity and mortality. Objective: To evaluate clinical and echocardiographic outcomes in patients with small aortic annulus undergoing double valve replacement. Methods: The study included 100 consecutive patients underwent DVR for combined rheumatic aortic and mitral valve diseases, between Jan. 2016 and Sept. 2020. Only (50) patients had ARE with DVR. ARE was performed using an autologous or bovine pericardium or Dacron patch by Nicks or Manouguian procedures. The estimated postoperative end-points were mortality, effective orifice areas (EOA), mean aortic pressure gradient and valve-related complications. The least postoperative follow-up period was 6 months. Results: The study included 30 male and 70 female patients with mean age of 35±20 years, body surface area (BSA) of 1.7 ±0.3 m2, aortic annulus diameter was 20±1.4 mm, aortic orifice area was 0.8±0.1 cm2, and mean pressure gradient 85±2.5 mmHg. During follow-up period, there was a mild to moderate paravalvular leak (1%) with, (1%) heart block, and residual gradient on prosthetic aortic valve; that was all in DVR alone. Conclusion: Enlargement of aortic root by Nicks or Manouguian technique is safe and effective in patients with small aortic annulus undergoing double valve replacements.

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