Carrie L Kovarik

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Publications (91)212.65 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background
    Infectious Agents and Cancer 08/2014; 9(28).
  • JAMA dermatology. 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to describe the prevalence of select oncogenic viruses within vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (VSCC) and their association with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status in women in Botswana, where the national HIV prevalence is the third highest in the world. A cross-sectional study of biopsy-confirmed VSCC specimens and corresponding clinical data was conducted in Gaborone, Botswana. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) viral testing were done for Epstein-Barr virus, human papillomavirus (HPV) strains, and Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus, and PCR viral testing alone was done for John Cunningham virus. Human papillomavirus prevalence by PCR was 100% (35/35) among tested samples. Human papillomavirus type 16 was the most prevalent HPV strain (82.9% by PCR, 94.7% by either PCR or IHC). Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus prevalence by PCR had a significant association with HIV status (P = 0.013), but not by IHC (P = 0.650). The high burden of HPV, specifically HPV16, in vulvar squamous cell cancer in Botswana suggests a distinct HPV profile that differs from other studied populations, which provides increased motivation for HPV vaccination efforts. Oncogenic viruses Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus and Epstein-Barr virus were also more prevalent in our study population, although their potential role in vulvar squamous cell cancer pathology is unclear.
    International Journal of Gynecological Cancer 03/2014; · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Mobile teledermatology may increase access to care. OBJECTIVE To determine whether mobile teledermatology in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients in Gaborone, Botswana, was reliable and produced valid assessments compared with face-to-face dermatologic consultations. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Cross-sectional study conducted in outpatient clinics and public inpatient settings in Botswana for 76 HIV-positive patients 18 years and older with a skin or mucosal condition that had not been evaluated by a dermatologist. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES We calculated the κ coefficient for diagnosis, diagnostic category, and management for test-retest and interrater reliability. We also determined sensitivity and specificity for each diagnosis. RESULTS The κ coefficient for test-retest reliability ranged from 0.47 (95% CI, 0.35 to 0.59) to 0.78 (0.67 to 0.88) for the primary diagnosis, 0.29 (0.18 to 0.42) to 0.73 (0.61 to 0.84) for diagnostic category, and 0.17 (-0.01 to 0.36) to 0.54 (0.38 to 0.70) for management. The κ coefficient for interrater reliability ranged from 0.41 (95% CI, 0.31 to 0.52) to 0.51 (0.41 to 0.61) for the primary diagnosis, 0.22 (0.14 to 0.31) to 0.43 (0.34 to 0.53) for diagnostic category, and 0.08 (0.02 to 0.15) to 0.12 (0.01 to 0.23) for management. Sensitivity and specificity for the top 10 diagnoses varied from 0 to 0.88 and 0.84 to 1.00, respectively. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Our results suggest that while the use of mobile teledermatology technology in HIV-positive patients in Botswana has significant potential for improving access to care, additional work is needed to improve the reliability and validity of this technology on a larger scale in this population.
    JAMA dermatology. 03/2014;
  • International journal of dermatology 02/2014; · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Many hospitals do not have inpatient dermatologic consultative services, and most have reduced availability of services during off-hours. Dermatologists based in outpatient settings can find it challenging to determine the urgency with which they need to evaluate inpatients when consultations are requested. Teledermatology may provide a valuable mechanism for dermatologists to triage inpatient consultations and increase efficiency, thereby expanding access to specialized care for hospitalized patients. OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether a store-and-forward teledermatology system is reliable for the initial triage of inpatient dermatology consultations. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Prospective study of 50 consenting adult patients, hospitalized for any indication, for whom an inpatient dermatology consultation was requested between September 1, 2012, and April 31, 2013, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, an academic medical center. The participants were evaluated separately by both an in-person dermatologist and 2 independent teledermatologists. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary study outcomes were the initial triage and decision to biopsy concordance between in-person and teledermatology evaluations. RESULTS Triage decisions were as follows: if the in-person dermatologist recommended the patient be seen the same day, the teledermatologist agreed in 90% of the consultations. If the in-person dermatologist recommended a biopsy, the teledermatologist agreed in 95% of cases on average. When the teledermatologist did not choose the same course of action, there was substantial diagnostic agreement between the teledermatologist and the in-person dermatologist. The Kendall τ rank correlation coefficients for initial triage concordance between the in-person dermatologist and teledermatologists were 0.41 and 0.48. The Cohen κ coefficients for decision to biopsy concordance were 0.35 and 0.61. The teledermatologists were able to triage 60% of consultations to be seen the next day or later. The teledermatologists were able to triage, on average, 10% of patients to be seen as outpatients after discharge. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Teledermatology is reliable for the triage of inpatient dermatology consultations and has the potential to improve efficiency.
    JAMA dermatology. 02/2014;
  • Cutis. 02/2014; 93(2):E15-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Tumors expressing both melanocytic and neural features can pose a diagnostic challenge to the dermatopathologist and provoke questions regarding lineage. We report a case of a tumor arising on the right cheek of a nine-year-old boy with neurofibromatosis type 1. This neoplasm featured nests of non-pigmented epithelioid cells arising within a neurofibroma. The entire tumor stained strongly with S100, while the epithelioid population stained with MART-1, HMB-45, and MiTF. The neoplasm demonstrates only scattered Ki-67 positivity. This tumor represents a neurofibroma with portions that have undergone melanocytic differentiation (melanocytic neurofibroma). This exceedingly rare tumor represents a distinct entity from neurotized melanocytic nevi, combined melanocytic nevi, or pigmented neurofibromas and provides further evidence that melanocytes arise indirectly from ventromedial neural crest-derived Schwann cell precursors.
    Journal of Cutaneous Pathology 01/2014; · 1.77 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 01/2014; 70(3):586–588. · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine differences in health-related quality of life (HRQL) by obesity status in a community-based sample of urban Latinos. To determine if sex moderates the relationship between HRQL and obesity status in this cohort. Cross-sectional study of 202 foreign-born Latinos with low levels of acculturation, living in an urban setting. Health-related quality of life by the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Including the entire study cohort, t-tests were used to determine the unadjusted difference between obese and non-obese participants on SF-12 physical and mental functioning scores (PCS and MCS, respectively). Linear regression was used to estimate the adjusted difference in SF-12 scores between obese and non-obese participants after adjusting for potential confounders. The association between obesity status and HRQL summary scores were then assessed separately in men and women both with and without adjustment for potential confounders. There was a small but statistically significant unadjusted difference between obese and non-obese participants in the physical functioning domain of HRQL (-2.2, 95% CI -4.0, -.4), which was no longer significant in multivariate analysis (difference -1.5, 95% CI -3.3, .3). There were no significant differences in mental functioning scores in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. Sex did not moderate the relationship between obesity status and HRQL scores in stratified analyses. Our results in an under-studied population suggest that obesity may have little impact on HRQL in urban Latinos. Future studies with larger and more diverse Latino populations are needed to further investigate the relationship between obesity and HRQL, and explore how acculturation impacts the association between these two factors.
    Ethnicity & disease 01/2014; 24(1):14-8. · 1.12 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 08/2013; 69(2):e90-1. · 4.91 Impact Factor
  • JAMA dermatology (Chicago, Ill.). 07/2013; 149(7):881-3.
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    ABSTRACT: : There are multiple clinical and histopathologic presentations of cutaneous metastases. We report 3 cases of visceral malignancies metastasizing to the skin and histopathologically mimicking interstitial granulomatous processes, including granuloma annulare and interstitial granulomatous dermatitis. Histopathologic examination of skin biopsy specimens, from our patients with established histories of cancer, revealed malignant carcinoma-derived cells organized in an interstitial pattern. Of note, some of the lesional cells appeared relatively bland without significant cellular atypia. When examining a skin biopsy of a new lesion from a patient with a history of internal malignancy, it is important to perform immunohistochemical staining to evaluate for metastatic disease, even if the histological pattern is suggestive of a benign interstitial granulomatous process.
    The American Journal of dermatopathology 05/2013; · 1.30 Impact Factor
  • Rachel H Gormley, Glen H Crawford, Carrie L Kovarik
    Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 04/2013; 68(4):681-2. · 4.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Many mobile phone resources have been developed to increase access to health education in the developing world, yet few studies have compared these resources or quantified their performance in a resource-limited setting. This study aims to compare the performance of resident physicians in answering clinical scenarios using PubMed abstracts accessed via the PubMed for Handhelds (PubMed4Hh) website versus medical/drug reference applications (Medical Apps) accessed via software on the mobile phone. METHODS: A two-arm comparative study with crossover design was conducted. Subjects, who were resident physicians at the University of Botswana, completed eight scenarios, each with multi-part questions. The primary outcome was a grade for each question. The primary independent variable was the intervention arm and other independent variables included residency and question. RESULTS: Within each question type there were significant differences in 'percentage correct' between Medical Apps and PubMed4Hh for three of the six types of questions: drug-related, diagnosis/definitions, and treatment/management. Within each of these question types, Medical Apps had a higher percentage of fully correct responses than PubMed4Hh (63% vs 13%, 33% vs 12%, and 41% vs 13%, respectively). PubMed4Hh performed better for epidemiologic questions. CONCLUSIONS: While mobile access to primary literature remains important and serves an information niche, mobile applications with condensed content may be more appropriate for point-of-care information needs. Further research is required to examine the specific information needs of clinicians in resource-limited settings and to evaluate the appropriateness of current resources in bridging location- and context-specific information gaps.
    Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 03/2013; · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is the most common HIV-associated malignancy in sub-Saharan Africa. The presentation and outcomes of pediatric KS are not well understood. PROCEDURE: We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of 81 HIV-infected children with KS at the Baylor Children's Clinical Centres of Excellence in Malawi and Botswana from March 2003 to October 2009. RESULTS: Eighty-one children with KS were identified whose median age was 8.0 (inter-quartile range 5.1-11.3) years. KS lesions were presented primarily on the skin (83%), lymph nodes (52%), and oral mucosa (41%). Occasionally disease was limited to the lymph nodes only (10%). Severe immunosuppression (70%), anemia (29%), and thrombocytopenia (17%) were common laboratory findings. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was administered to 94% of children, including 77% who received HAART plus chemotherapy. KS immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) occurred in 22%. Disease status 12 months after KS diagnosis was determined for 69 children: 43% were alive and 57% had died. Severe immunosuppression was independently associated with mortality in multivariate analysis (OR = 4.3; 95% CI 1.3-14.6; P = 0.02). CONCLUSION: KS occurs in a significant number of HIV infected children in sub-Saharan Africa. Pediatric KS is distinct from KS in adults. Lymph node involvement was a common manifestation of KS in children, and severe immunosuppression was associated with the highest mortality risk. Though overall mortality was high in children with KS, patients did achieve clinical remission in settings with limited diagnostic and therapeutic resources. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2013;9999:XX-XX. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 03/2013; · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although Botswana has recently been categorised as an upper middle income country, it is burdened by a scarcity of resources, both human and technological. There are barriers to patients' access to specialized care and healthcare providers' access to medical knowledge. Over the past three years, the Botswana-University of Pennsylvania Partnership (BUP) has piloted four mobile telemedicine projects in the specialties of women's health (cervical cancer screening utilizing visual inspection with acetic acid), radiology, oral medicine and dermatology. Mobile telemedicine has been used in 11 locations in Botswana, training a total of 24 clinicians and successfully contributing to the management of 643 cases. In addition to mobile telemedicine, BUP has initiated an m-learning programme with the University of Botswana School of Medicine. While successfully providing patients and providers with improved access to healthcare resources, the m-health projects have faced numerous technical and social challenges. These include malfunctioning mobile devices, unreliable IT infrastructure, accidental damage to mobile devices, and cultural misalignment between IT and healthcare providers. BUP has worked with its local partners to develop solutions to these problems. To ensure sustainability, m-health programmes must have strategic goals that are aligned with those of the national health and education system, and the initiatives must be owned and led by local stakeholders. Whenever possible, open source technology and local IT expertise and infrastructure should be employed.
    Journal of telemedicine and telecare 03/2013; · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Information retrieval (IR) practice is invaluable in health care, where the growth of medical knowledge has long surpassed human memory capabilities, and health care workers often have unmet information needs. While the information and communications technology (ICT) revolution is improving, IR in the Western world, the global digital divide has never been wider. Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) have the least advanced ICT infrastructure and service provision, and are also burdened with the majority of the world's health issues and severe shortages of health care workers. Initiatives utilizing mobile technology in healthcare and public health (mHealth) have shown potential at addressing these inequalities and challenges. Using Botswana as a reference point, this paper aims to broadly describe the healthcare and ICT challenges facing LMICs, the promise of mHealth as a field in health informatics, and then propose health informatics solutions that specifically address IR content and needs. One solution proposes utilizing Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) for accessing treatment guidelines, and the other solution outlines applications of smart devices for IR.
    Studies in health technology and informatics 01/2013; 192:894-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Mobile telemedicine, which involves the use of cellular phone telecommunications to facilitate exchange of information between parties in different locations to assist in the management of patients, has become increasingly popular, particularly in resource-limited settings. In Botswana, small studies of mobile telemedicine programs suggest access to these services positively affect patients, but these programs' impact is difficult to capture given limitations of baseline and comparative data. Our observational study uses each patient receiving mobile oral telemedicine services in Botswana as his/her own control to assess the impact of these services on his/her diagnosis and management plan. At month 5 of 12 total, preliminary analysis of eligible cases (n = 27) reveals management plan discordance between clinicians submitting cases and the specialist was 68.0% (17/25), suggesting that telemedicine can result in significant changes in management of patients.
    Studies in health technology and informatics 01/2013; 192:1074.
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    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In 2011, there were 8.7 million new cases and 1.4 million deaths from the disease, with >95% of these deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries [1]. Contact tracing prevents the spread of tuberculosis by identifying and screening a case's contacts and referring symptomatic individuals to health care providers. Traditionally, contact tracing has been conducted with paper forms, which can lead to considerable inefficiencies in data collection, storage, and retrieval. These inefficiencies are problematic as tuberculosis can continue to spread if disruption of disease transmission is delayed. Mobile health approaches to tuberculosis contact tracing remain largely unaddressed and limited to management and monitoring of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis [2].To address these limitations, a mobile health application that digitizes and automates contact tracing was developed. This poster presents work currently underway to evaluate this new approach in Botswana, which has the tenth highest incidence rate of tuberculosis in the world [3]. Operational considerations for implementing a mobile health approach to contact tracing in resource-limited settings are also presented.
    Studies in health technology and informatics 01/2013; 192:1188.

Publication Stats

283 Citations
212.65 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2014
    • University of Pennsylvania
      • Department of Dermatology
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
    • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
      • • Department of Dermatology
      • • Division of Infectious Diseases
      Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2013
    • State University of New York Downstate Medical Center
      Brooklyn, New York, United States
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2012
    • University Hospital of North Norway
      • Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine
      Tromsø, Troms Fylke, Norway
  • 2011
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      New York City, New York, United States
    • University of Toronto
      • Department of Medicine
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Minnesota Twin Cities
      • Department of Dermatology
      Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 2010
    • The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
    • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
      Syracuse, New York, United States
    • Medical University of Graz
      • Universitätsklinik für Dermatologie und Venerologie
      Gratz, Styria, Austria
  • 2009
    • Mount Sinai Medical Center
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
      • Department of Dermatology
      Dallas, TX, United States
  • 2004
    • University of Texas at Dallas
      Richardson, Texas, United States