Research undertaken by staff affiliated to Galway university hospitals

Recent Submissions

  • Human Monocyte Subset Distinctions and Function: Insights From Gene Expression Analysis.

    Cormican, Sarah; Griffin, Matthew D (2020-06-04)
    Monocytes are a highly plastic innate immune cell population that displays significant heterogeneity within the circulation. Distinct patterns of surface marker expression have become accepted as a basis for distinguishing three monocyte subsets in humans. These phenotypic subsets, termed classical, intermediate and nonclassical, have also been demonstrated to differ in regard to their functional properties and disease associations when studied in vitro and in vivo. Nonetheless, for the intermediate monocyte subset in particular, functional experiments have yielded conflicting results and some studies point to further levels of heterogeneity. Developments in genetic sequencing technology have provided opportunities to more comprehensively explore the phenotypic and functional differences among conventionally-recognized immune cell subtypes as well as the potential to identify novel subpopulations. In this review, we summarize the transcriptomic evidence in support of the existence of three separate monocyte subsets. We also critically evaluate the insights into subset functional distinctions that have been garnered from monocyte gene expression analysis and the potential utility of such studies to unravel subset-specific functional changes which arise in disease states.
  • Mixed infected laryngocoele presenting as airway obstruction: a case report.

    James, Danielle L; Garry, Stephen; Corbett, Mel; Lang, John (2021-02-28)
    Laryngocoele is a rare entity, defined as an abnormal cystic dilatation of saccule of the laryngeal ventricle. Three types of laryngocele have been described, based on their relation to the thyrohyoid membrane: internal, external or mixed type. Symptoms are variable, including neck swelling, shortness of breath, dysphonia and fever, if the laryngocoele becomes infected. Patients may also present in extremis with airway obstruction. We present the case of a healthy 34-year-old gentleman with acute airway obstruction due to a mixed infected laryngocoele. Flexible nasoendoscopy showed a large cystic swelling arising from the laryngeal ventricle. Computed tomography of neck confirmed a right paraglottic collection extending into the ventricle and glottis, causing significant airway compromise. The patient was managed with microlaryngoscopy and cystic decompression. At outpatient follow up, he was completely asymptomatic and is currently under surveillance. Endoscopic decompression is a safe and effective initial management for mixed laryngocoele.
  • Awake Proning as an Adjunctive Therapy for Refractory Hypoxemia in Non-Intubated Patients with COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Failure: Guidance from an International Group of Healthcare Workers.

    Stilma, Willemke; Åkerman, Eva; Artigas, Antonio; Bentley, Andrew; Bos, Lieuwe D; Bosman, Thomas J C; de Bruin, Hendrik; Brummaier, Tobias; Buiteman-Kruizinga, Laura A; Carcò, Francesco; et al. (2021-03-11)
    Non-intubated patients with acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 could benefit from awake proning. Awake proning is an attractive intervention in settings with limited resources, as it comes with no additional costs. However, awake proning remains poorly used probably because of unfamiliarity and uncertainties regarding potential benefits and practical application. To summarize evidence for benefit and to develop a set of pragmatic recommendations for awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, focusing on settings where resources are limited, international healthcare professionals from high and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with known expertise in awake proning were invited to contribute expert advice. A growing number of observational studies describe the effects of awake proning in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia in whom hypoxemia is refractory to simple measures of supplementary oxygen. Awake proning improves oxygenation in most patients, usually within minutes, and reduces dyspnea and work of breathing. The effects are maintained for up to 1 hour after turning back to supine, and mostly disappear after 6-12 hours. In available studies, awake proning was not associated with a reduction in the rate of intubation for invasive ventilation. Awake proning comes with little complications if properly implemented and monitored. Pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications were formulated and adjusted for resource-limited settings. Awake proning, an adjunctive treatment for hypoxemia refractory to supplemental oxygen, seems safe in non-intubated patients with COVID-19 acute respiratory failure. We provide pragmatic recommendations including indications and contraindications for the use of awake proning in LMICs.
  • Camptodactyly and DiGeorge syndrome: A rare hand anomaly.

    Hurley, C M; McHugh, N; Carr, S; Kelly, J L (2021-03-19)
    The most common deletion syndrome is 22q11.2 and it effects an estimated 1 in 3000 live births. Major features of this multisystem condition include congenital abnormalities, developmental delay, learning difficulties, immunodeficiency, endocrine anomalies and an array of psychiatric disorders. However, variability in phenotype and severity may cause the diagnosis to be overlooked. Early clinical recognition and treatment of DiGeorge syndrome has been shown to increase early life survival, decrease complications and enhance overall quality of life. Skeletal anomalies are infrequently described in 22q11.2 but a subset of patients exhibit upper and lower limb deformities. We present the case of a 5 year-old girl with bilateral fifth digit camptodactyly caused by a fibrous band, and the surgical management of this condition. The current report adds to the body of evidence that camptodactyly is a rare clinical feature of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and may serve as a diagnostic aid in these patients.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on a cohort of patients treated with clozapine.

    Fahy, Y; Dineen, B; McDonald, C; Hallahan, B (2021-04-05)
    Objectives: To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions on a cohort of patients with severe and enduring mental illness treated with clozapine. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 63 individuals attending a clozapine clinic within the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services to determine the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life, by utilising Likert scale data. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A) were additionally utilised to measure anxiety symptoms cross-sectionally. Results: Anxiety symptoms were low with a median BAI score of 4.0 and HAM-A score of 4.0. Likert scale measurements recorded only a modest adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and depressive symptoms, quality of life and occupational and social functioning. Free-text comments from patients (n = 55), were grouped into five themes: neutral impact (n = 22), negative psychological impact (n = 13), negative social impact (n = 11), positive psychological impact (n = 5) and media coverage inducing anxiety (n = 4). Conclusions: Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions, the impact on individuals with treatment-resistant psychotic disorders attending a clozapine clinic has been modest, with preliminary evidence demonstrating minimal increases in subjective symptoms of anxiety and reduced social functioning. Reduced social engagements and supports attainable both within the community and from mental health services were noted by some participants.
  • Death in hospital following ICU discharge: insights from the LUNG SAFE study.

    Madotto, Fabiana; McNicholas, Bairbre; Rezoagli, Emanuele; Pham, Tài; Laffey, John G; Bellani, Giacomo (2021-04-13)
    Background: To determine the frequency of, and factors associated with, death in hospital following ICU discharge to the ward. Methods: The Large observational study to UNderstand the Global impact of Severe Acute respiratory FailurE study was an international, multicenter, prospective cohort study of patients with severe respiratory failure, conducted across 459 ICUs from 50 countries globally. This study aimed to understand the frequency and factors associated with death in hospital in patients who survived their ICU stay. We examined outcomes in the subpopulation discharged with no limitations of life sustaining treatments ('treatment limitations'), and the subpopulations with treatment limitations. Results: 2186 (94%) patients with no treatment limitations discharged from ICU survived, while 142 (6%) died in hospital. 118 (61%) of patients with treatment limitations survived while 77 (39%) patients died in hospital. Patients without treatment limitations that died in hospital after ICU discharge were older, more likely to have COPD, immunocompromise or chronic renal failure, less likely to have trauma as a risk factor for ARDS. Patients that died post ICU discharge were less likely to receive neuromuscular blockade, or to receive any adjunctive measure, and had a higher pre- ICU discharge non-pulmonary SOFA score. A similar pattern was seen in patients with treatment limitations that died in hospital following ICU discharge. Conclusions: A significant proportion of patients die in hospital following discharge from ICU, with higher mortality in patients with limitations of life-sustaining treatments in place. Non-survivors had higher systemic illness severity scores at ICU discharge than survivors.
  • Mutation Underlying Silent Stroke.

    Faryal, Rehman; Lee Tokar, Lisa; Langabeer, Stephen E; Krawczyk, Janusz (2021-06-01)
  • Interhospital and interindividual variability in secondary prevention: a comparison of outpatients with a history of chronic coronary syndrome versus outpatients with a history of acute coronary syndrome (the iASPIRE Study).

    Curneen, James Mg; Judge, Conor; Traynor, Bryan; Buckley, Anthony; Saiva, Lavanya; Murphy, Laura; Murray, Donal; Fleming, Sean; Kearney, Peter; Murphy, Ross T; et al. (2021-06)
    Background: Studying variability in the care provided to secondary prevention coronary heart disease (CHD) outpatients can identify interventions to improve their outcomes. Methods: We studied outpatients who had an index CHD event in the preceding 6-24 months. Eligible CHD events included acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and coronary revascularisation for stable chronic coronary syndrome (CCS). Site training was provided by a core team and data were collected using standardised methods. Results: Between 2017 and 2019, we enrolled 721 outpatients at nine Irish study sites; 81% were men and mean age was 63.9 (SD ±8.9) years. The study examination occurred a median of 1.16 years after the index CHD event, which was ACS in 399 participants (55%) and stable-CCS in 322. On examination, 42.5% had blood pressure (BP) >140/90 mm Hg, 63.7% had low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) >1.8 mmol/L and 44.1% of known diabetics had an HbA1c >7%. There was marked variability in risk factor control, both by study site and, in particular, by index presentation type. For example, 82% of outpatients with prior-ACS had attended cardiac rehabilitation versus 59% outpatients with prior-CCS (p<0.001) and there were also large differences in control of traditional risk factors like LDL-C (p=0.002) and systolic BP (p<0.001) among outpatients with prior-ACS versus prior-CCS as the index presentation. Conclusions: Despite international secondary prevention guidelines broadly recommending the same risk factor targets for all adults with CHD, we found marked differences in outpatient risk factor control and management on the basis of hospital location and index CHD presentation type (acute vs chronic). These findings highlight the need to reduce hospital-level and patient-level variability in preventive care to improve outcomes; a lesson that should inform CHD prevention programmes in Ireland and around the world.
  • A Comparison of Presentations with Self-Harm to Hospital in Lithuania and Ireland.

    Kamal, Samah; McGovern, Mark; Kunideliene, Aida; Casey, Patricia; Doherty, Anne M (2021-03-02)
    Suicide is a serious problem globally, especially in Europe, with suicide rates varying between different countries. Self-harm is a known risk factor for dying by suicide and represents an opportunity to intervene in order to treat any associated mental illness and reduce risk. This study aimed to compare the characteristics of people presenting to hospital with self-harm at two clinical sites: Galway, Ireland and Kaunas, Lithuania. Data were obtained from the services' database and anonymised for analysis. Over a 5-month period, 89 patients presented with self-harm at the Lithuanian site and 224 patients presented with self-harm at the Irish site. This study found significant differences in presentation, diagnosis and treatment between the two sites. All patients at the Lithuanian site were admitted to psychiatry, compared to 22% of patients at the Irish site (p < 0.001). In Lithuania, the main clinical diagnoses were adjustment disorder (37.1%) and major depression (20.2%), compared to substance misuse being the main clinical diagnosis (33.8%) in Ireland (p < 0.001). There were significant differences in the prescription of psychotropic medications (which were three times more commonly prescribed at the Lithuanian site) after controlling for age, gender and psychiatric history (p < 0.001). Further research is required to understand the cultural context behind and further association between hospitalisation and future death by suicide.
  • SafePsych: improving patient safety by delivering high-impact simulation training on rare and complex scenarios in psychiatry.

    Tong, Kezanne; McMahon, Eimear; Reid-McDermott, Bronwyn; Byrne, Dara; Doherty, Anne M; National Forensic Mental Health Service, Central Mental Hospital, Dundrum, Ireland. 2School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland. 3Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Galway, Galway, Ireland. 4Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation, National University of Ireland - Galway, Galway, Ireland. 5Department of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland 6Department of Psychiatry, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (BMJ Journals, 2021-09-10)
    Introduction: Despite an evidence base demonstrating simulation to be an effective medical education tool, it is not commonly used in postgraduate psychiatry training as it is in other medical specialties. Objective: This paper outlines the development and effectiveness of a hybrid-virtual simulation-based workshop designed to improve patient care by improving clinical skills of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs) in detecting and managing rare and complex psychiatric emergencies. Methods: Three clinical vignettes based on near-miss psychiatric cases were developed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians and nurses in psychiatry and experts in simulation-based medical education. The workshop, 'SafePsych' was delivered in a simulation laboratory while and broadcast via Zoom video-conferencing platform to observers. Debriefing followed each clinical scenario. Participants completed preworkshop and postworkshop questionnaires to evaluate clinical knowledge. Results: The workshop was attended by consultants (n=12) and NCHDs in psychiatry and emergency medicine (n=19), and psychiatric nurses (n=5). In the psychiatry NCHD group, test scores significantly improved following the workshop (p<0.001). There were significant improvements in the test scores with a mean difference of 2.56 (SD 1.58, p<0.001). Feedback from participants and observers was positive, with constructive appraisals to improve the virtual element of the workshop. Conclusion: Simulation-based training is effective in teaching high risk, rare complex psychiatric cases to psychiatry NCHDs. Further exploration of the learning needs of nursing staff is required. Future workshop delivery is feasible in the COVID-19 environment and beyond, using a virtual element to meet social distancing requirements while enhancing the reach of the training.
  • Impact on percutaneous coronary intervention for acute coronary syndromes during the COVID-19 outbreak in a non-overwhelmed European healthcare system: COVID-19 ACS-PCI experience in Ireland.

    Connolly, Niall Patrick; Simpkin, Andrew; Mylotte, Darren; Crowley, James; O'Connor, Stephen; AlHarbi, Khalid; Kiernan, Thomas; Arockiam, Sacchin; Owens, Patrick; John, Amal; et al. (2021-04-02)
    Aims: To evaluate temporal trends of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) treated via percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) throughout the COVID-19 outbreak in a European healthcare system affected but not overwhelmed by COVID-19-related pathology. Methods and results: We performed a retrospective multicentre analysis of the rates of PCI for the treatment of ACS within the period 2 months pre and post the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Ireland, as well as comparing PCI for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) with the corresponding period in 2019. During the 2020 COVID-19 period (29 February-30 April 2020), there was a 24% decline in PCI for overall ACS (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.76; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.88; p<0.001), including a 29% reduction in PCI for non-ST-elevation ACS (IRR 0.71; 95% CI 0.57 to 0.88; p=0.002) and an 18% reduction in PCI for STEMI (IRR 0.82; 95% CI 0.67 to 1.01; p=0.061), as compared with the 2020 pre-COVID-19 period (1 January-28 February 2020). A 22% (IRR 0.78; 95% CI 0.65 to 0.93; p=0.005) reduction of PCI for STEMI was seen as compared with the 2019 reference period. Conclusion: This study demonstrates a significant reduction in PCI procedures for the treatment of ACS since the COVID-19 outbreak in Ireland. The reasons for this decline are still unclear but patients need to be encouraged to seek medical attention when cardiac symptoms appear, in order to avoid incremental cardiac morbidity and mortality due to a reduction in coronary revascularisation for the treatment of ACS.
  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with pre-existing anxiety disorders attending secondary care.

    Plunkett, R; Costello, S; McGovern, M; McDonald, C; Hallahan, B (2020-06-08)
    Objectives: To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with established anxiety disorders during a period of stringent mandated social restrictions. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 individuals attending the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services with an International Classification of Diseases diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to determine the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and mood symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life. Results: Twelve (40.0%) participants described COVID-19 restrictions as having a deleterious impact on their anxiety symptoms. Likert scale measurements noted that the greatest impact of COVID-19 related to social functioning (mean = 4.5, SD = 2.9), with a modest deleterious effect on anxiety symptoms noted (mean = 3.8, SD = 2.9). Clinician rated data noted that 8 (26.7%) participants had disimproved and 14 (46.7%) participants had improved since their previous clinical review, prior to commencement of COVID-19 restrictions. Conditions associated with no 'trigger', such as generalised anxiety disorder, demonstrated a non-significant increase in anxiety symptoms compared to conditions with a 'trigger', such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychiatric or physical comorbidity did not substantially impact on symptomatology secondary to COVID-19 mandated restrictions. Conclusions: The psychological and social impact of COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders has been modest with only minimal increases in symptomatology or social impairment noted.
  • Ottawa Knee Rule: Investigating Use and Application in a Tertiary Teaching Hospital.

    Mohamed, Abubakr; Babikir, Elkhidir; Mustafa, Mohamed Kamal Elbashir (2020-06-24)
    Background Knee injuries are encountered commonly in the emergency departments (EDs) in Ireland. Validated clinical decision rules such as Ottawa knee rule (OKR) can be used in acute knee injury settings to reduce the number of unnecessary radiography. Clinical judgment can be used to distinguish between suspected fractures and non-fractures in many cases; however, radiography is still routinely requested. Objectives We evaluated the OKRs in a high-volume tertiary teaching hospital in Ireland to determine whether the rule could be safely used to decide whether patients with acute blunt knee trauma should undergo radiography. Methods This was an observational study conducted in the ED over a three-month period in a tertiary referral hospital. A total of 110 patients with acute knee injuries were examined using OKR. Inclusion criteria included patients with acute knee injuries due to blunt trauma or twisting injury and patients with lacerations or contusions. Open fractures and fractures due to penetrating injury were excluded from the study. Results Fractures were seen in 12 (13.2%) of the 110 patents who met the inclusion criteria. The OKR predicted all 12 fractures. Sensitivity was 100%, and specificity was 39%. Conclusions The OKR is highly sensitive for fracture in this setting and can be safely used to decide whether patients with acute blunt knee trauma should undergo radiography.
  • Determining the Effect of External Stressors and Cognitive Distraction on Microsurgical Skills and Performance.

    Carr, Shane; McDermott, Bronwyn Reid; McInerney, Niall; Hussey, Alan; Byrne, D; Potter, Shirley (2020-01-22)
    Introduction: Microsurgery is an essential element of Plastic Surgery practice. There is a paucity of studies assessing the impact of stress and cognitive distraction on technical microsurgical performance. The ability to complete cognitive and technical skills in parallel has not been assessed in a microsurgical setting. Aim: To test the hypothesis that cognitive distraction and external stressors negatively affect microsurgical performance in a high fidelity simulation setting. Materials/Methods: Fourteen surgeons across all levels of training undertook 2 microsurgical skills sessions, 1 month apart. Session one established baseline microsurgical skill. In session two, skills were assessed with the introduction of realistic operative room cognitive distractions (ORDIs). Outcome measures were efficiency and accuracy, measured by Time to Completion (TTC) and Anastomosis Lapse Index (ALI), respectively. Key Results: Fourteen participants (6 novices, 5 plastic surgery specialist trainees and 3 consultants) completed both microsurgical skills sessions. In total, 28-microvascular anastomosis were analyzed. Mean baseline TTC for the group was 20.36 min. With cognitive distraction and external stress mean TTC decreased to 17.87 min. Mean baseline ALI score for the group was 3.32 errors per anastomosis. The introduction of cognitive distraction and external stress increased the mean to 4.86 errors per anastomosis. Total errors per anastomosis increased from 91 errors at baseline to 137 errors with cognitive distraction and external stress. Under stress, participants were more efficient but had reduced anastomotic accuracy. Conclusion: Under stress, surgeons were more efficient, this translated into faster completion of a microsurgical anastomosis. Efficiency, however, came at the expense of accuracy.
  • When the bowel meets the bladder: Optimal management of colorectal pathology with urological involvement.

    Keady, Conor; Hechtl, Daniel; Joyce, Myles (2020-05-27)
    Fistulae between the gastrointestinal and urinary systems are rare but becoming increasingly more common in current surgical practice. They are a heterogeneous group of pathological entities that are uncommon complications of both benign and malignant processes. As the incidence of complicated diverticular disease and colorectal malignancy increases, so too does the extent of fistulous connections between the gastrointestinal and urinary systems. These complex problems will be more common as a factor of an aging population with increased life expectancy. Diverticular disease is the most commonly encountered aetiology, accounting for up to 80% of cases, followed by colorectal malignancy in up to 20%. A high index of suspicion is required in order to make the diagnosis, with ever improving imaging techniques playing an important role in the diagnostic algorithm. Management strategies vary, with most surgeons now advocating for a single-stage approach to enterovesical fistulae, particularly in the elective setting. Concomitant bladder management techniques are also disputed. Traditionally, open techniques were the standard; however, increased experience and advances in surgical technology have contributed to refined and improved laparoscopic management. Unfortunately, due to the relative rarity of these entities, no randomised studies have been performed to ascertain the most appropriate management strategy. Rectourinary fistulae have dramatically increased in incidence with advances in the non-operative management of prostate cancer. With radiotherapy being a major contributing factor in the development of these complex fistulae, optimum surgical approach and exposure has changed accordingly to optimise their management. Conservative management in the form of diversion therapy is effective in temporising the situation and allowing for the diversion of faecal contents if there is associated soiling, macerated tissues or associated co-morbidities. One may plan for definitive surgical intervention at a later stage. Less contaminated cases with no fibrosis may proceed directly to definitive surgery if the appropriate expertise is available. An abdominal approach with direct repair and omentum interposition between the repaired tissues has been well described. In low lying fistulae, a transperineal approach with the patient in a prone-jack knife position provides optimum exposure and allows for the use of interposition muscle grafts. According to recent literature, it offers a high success rate in complex cases.
  • Chimney Stenting During Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.

    Rosseel, Liesbeth; Rosseel, Michael; Hynes, Brian; Bel, Xavier Armario; Crilly, Emily; Mylotte, Darren (2020-07-13)
    Acute coronary artery obstruction is a rare but life-threatening complication of transcatheter aortic valve implantation. In patients at risk of coronary artery obstruction, pre-emptive coronary artery protection with a coronary wire, balloon or stent provides a bailout treatment option. The authors describe the steps involved in performing chimney stenting and summarise the short- and long-term outcome data associated with this technique.
  • Routine neck ultrasound by respiratory physicians in the diagnosis and staging of patients with lung cancer and mediastinal lymphadenopathy: a prospective pilot study.

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Daneshvar, Cyrus; Breen, David (2020-02-10)
    Introduction: Cervical lymphadenopathy in lung cancer indicates advanced disease. The presence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy is commonly associated with involvement of neck lymph nodes and some studies suggest routine neck ultrasound (NUS) in this group of patients. We conducted a two-phase study looking at training a respiratory physician to perform ultrasound-guided neck lymph node aspiration in patients with suspected lung cancer. Methods: In the first phase of the study, one of the authors underwent training in NUS according to predetermined criteria. The adequacy of sampling was prospectively recorded. In the second phase, consecutive patients with suspected lung cancer and mediastinal lymphadenopathy underwent NUS and sampling of abnormal lymph nodes. The outcomes were the adequacy of samples for pathological analysis and molecular analysis, prevalence of cervical lymphadenopathy, and change in stage. Results: Following the period of training, 35 patients underwent neck node sampling with an overall adequacy of 88.6% (95% CI 78.1-99.1%). Cervical lymph node involvement was confirmed in 13 out of 30 patients with lung cancer (43.3%, 95% CI 25.5-62.6%). Further immunohistochemistry and molecular studies were possible in all patients when it was required (nine cases). NUS led to nodal upstaging in four out of 30 (13.3%) cases. Conclusion: Training a respiratory physician to perform NUS and needle sampling to an acceptable level is feasible. Benefits of embedding this procedure in lung cancer diagnosis and pathway staging need to be explored in further studies.
  • Comparison of long-term clinical outcomes in multivessel coronary artery disease patients treated either with bioresoarbable polymer sirolimus-eluting stent or permanent polymer everolimus-eluting stent: 5-year results of the CENTURY II randomized clinical trial.

    Iñiguez, Andrés; Chevalier, Bernard; Richardt, Gert; Neylon, Antoinette; Jiménez, Victor A; Kornowski, Ran; Carrie, Didier; Moreno, Raul; Barbato, Emanuele; Serra-Peñaranda, Antoni; et al. (2019-04-29)
    Objectives: To assess the long-term safety and efficacy of a sirolimus-eluting stent with bioresorbable polymer (BP-SES; Ultimaster), in comparison to a benchmark everolimus-eluting, permanent polymer stent (PP-EES; Xience), in a prespecified subgroup of patients with multivessel coronary artery disease (MVD) enrolled in the CENTURY II trial. Background: The use of coronary stenting in high-risk subgroups, like MVD patients, is rising. The clinical evidence, including long-term comparative analysis of the efficacy and safety benefits of different new-generation drug eluting stents, however, remains insufficient. Methods: Among 1,119 patients (intention-to-treat) enrolled in the CENTURY II prospective, randomized, single-blind, multicenter trial, a prespecified subgroup of 456 MVD patients were allocated by stratified randomization to treatment with BP-SES (n = 225) or PP-EES (n = 231). The previously reported primary endpoint of this study was freedom from target lesion failure (TLF: a composite of cardiac death, target vessel-related myocardial infarction [MI] and clinically-indicated target lesion revascularization) at 9 months. Results: In this MVD substudy, baseline patient, lesion and procedure characteristics were similar between the treatment arms. At 1 and 5 years, both BP-SES and PP-EES displayed low and comparable rates of TLF (5.3 vs. 7.8%; p = .29 and 10.2 vs. 13.4%; p = .29), and definite or probable stent thrombosis (0.4 vs. 1.3%; p = .33 and 0.9 vs. 1.7%; p = .43), respectively. Composite endpoint of cardiac death and MI, and patient-oriented composite endpoint of any death, MI, and coronary revascularizations were also similar. Conclusions: These results confirm good long-term safety and efficacy of the studied bioresorbable polymer stent in this high-risk patient population.
  • Senescence and Inflammatory Markers for Predicting Clinical Progression in Parkinson's Disease: The ICICLE-PD Study.

    Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Williams-Gray, Caroline H; Yarnall, Alison J; Boucher, John J; Lawson, Rachael A; Wijeyekoon, Ruwani S; Barker, Roger A; Kolenda, Claire; Parker, Craig; Burn, David J; et al. (2020-01-13)
    Background: Cognitive decline is a frequent complication of Parkinson's disease (PD) and the identification of predictive biomarkers for it would help in its management. Objective: Our aim was to analyse whether senescence markers (telomere length, p16 and p21) or their change over time could help to better predict cognitive and motor progression of newly diagnosed PD patients. We also compared these senescence markers to previously analysed markers of inflammation for the same purpose. Methods: This study examined the association of blood-derived markers of cell senescence and inflammation with motor and cognitive function over time in an incident PD cohort (the ICICLE-PD study). Participants (154 newly diagnosed PD patients and 99 controls) underwent physical and cognitive assessments over 36 months of follow up. Mean leukocyte telomere length and the expression of senescence markers p21 and p16 were measured at two time points (baseline and 18 months). Additionally, we selected five inflammatory markers from existing baseline data. Results: We found that PD patients had shorter telomeres at baseline and 18 months compared to age-matched healthy controls which also correlated to dementia at 36 months. Baseline p16 levels were associated with faster rates of motor and cognitive decline over 36 months in PD cases, while a simple inflammatory summary score at baseline best predicted cognitive score over this same time period in PD patients. Conclusion: Our study suggests that both inflammatory and senescence markers (p16) are valuable predictors of clinical progression in PD patients.
  • ERS International Congress, Madrid, 2019: highlights from the Airway Diseases, Asthma and COPD Assembly.

    Lahousse, Lies; Bahmer, Thomas; Cuevas-Ocaña, Sara; Flajolet, Pauline; Mathioudakis, Alexander G; McDonnell, Melissa; Uller, Lena; Schleich, Florence; Dortas Junior, Sergio; Idzko, Marco; et al. (2020-02-17)
    The European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2019 in Madrid, Spain, was a platform for scientific discussion of the highest quality scientific research, cutting-edge techniques and innovative new therapies within the respiratory field. This article discusses some of the high-quality research studies presented at that Congress, with a focus on airway diseases, including asthma, COPD, small airways, bronchiectasis and cough, presented through the Airway Diseases, Asthma and COPD Assembly (Assembly 5) of the ERS. The authors establish the key take-home messages of these studies, compare their findings and place them into context of current understanding.

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