Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
Recent publications
B cells are emerging as key players of anti-tumor adaptive immune responses. We investigated regulatory and pro-inflammatory cytokine-expressing B cells in patients with melanoma by flow cytometric intracellular cytokine, CyTOF, transcriptomic, immunofluorescence, single-cell RNA-seq, and B:T cell co-culture analyses. We found enhanced circulating regulatory (TGF-β+ and PD-L1+) and reduced pro-inflammatory TNF-α+ B cell populations in patients compared with healthy volunteers (HVs), including lower IFN-γ+:IL-4+ and higher TGF-β+:TNF-α+ B cell ratios in patients. TGF-β-expressing B cells in the melanoma tumor microenvironment assembled in clusters and interacted with T cells via lymphoid recruitment (SELL, CXCL13, CCL4, CD74) signals and with Tregs via CD47:SIRP-γ, and FOXP3-promoting Galectin-9:CD44. While reduced in tumors compared to blood, TNF-α-expressing B cells engaged in crosstalk with Tregs via TNF-α signaling and the ICOS/ICOSL axis. Patient-derived B cells promoted FOXP3+ Treg differentiation in a TGF-β-dependent manner, while sustaining expression of IFN-γ and TNF-α by autologous T-helper cells and promoting T-helper cell proliferation ex vivo, an effect further enhanced with anti-PD-1 checkpoint blockade. Our findings reveal cytokine-expressing B cell compartments skewed toward regulatory phenotypes in patient circulation and melanoma lesions, intratumor spatial localization, and bidirectional crosstalk between B and T cell subsets with immunosuppressive attributes.
Abstract Introduction Palliative care aims to improve quality of life through optimal symptom control and pain management. Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) have a proven role in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. However, there is a paucity of high-quality evidence with regards to the optimal therapeutic regimen, safety, and effectiveness of CBMPs in palliative care, as existing clinical trials are limited by methodological heterogeneity. The aim of this study is to summarise the outcomes of the initial subgroup of patients from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry who were prescribed CBMPs for a primary indication of palliative care, cancer pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, including effects on health-related quality of life and clinical safety. Methods A case series from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry of patients, who were receiving CBMPs for the indication of palliative care was undertaken. The primary outcome consisted of changes in patient-reported outcome measures including EQ-5D-5L, General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Single-Item Sleep Quality Scale (SQS), Pain Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the Australia-Modified Karnofsky Performance Scale at 1 and 3 months compared to baseline. Secondary outcomes included the incidence and characteristics of adverse events. Statistical significance was defined by p-value
Unlike sleep-walkers, patients with rapid-eye-movement-behaviour disorder (RBD) rarely leave the bed during the re-enactment of their dreams. RBD movements may be independent of spatial co-ordinates of the ‘outside-world’, and instead rely on (allocentric) brain-generated virtual space-maps, as evident by patients’ limited truncal/axial movements. To confirm this, a semiology analysis of video-polysomnography records of 38 RBD patients was undertaken and paradoxically restricted truncal/thoraco-lumbar movements during complex dream re-enactments demonstrated.
Background Monoclonal antibodies acting on the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) or its receptor have changed migraine preventive treatment. Those treatments have led to reconsidering the outcomes of migraine prevention. Available data mostly considered benefits in terms of relative efficacy (percent or absolute decrease in monthly migraine days [MMDs] or headache days compared with baseline). However, not enough attention has been paid to residual MMDs and/or migraine-related disability in treated patients. In the present study, we aimed at comparing the relative and absolute efficacy of erenumab. Methods ESTEEMen was a collaborative project among 16 European headache centers which already performed real-life data collections on patients treated with erenumab for at least 12 weeks. For the present study, we performed a subgroup analysis on patients with complete data on MMDs at baseline and at weeks 9-12 of treatment. Starting from efficacy thresholds proposed by previous literature, we classified patients into 0-29%, 30-49%, 50-74%, and ≥75% responders according to MMD decrease from baseline to weeks 9-12 of treatment. For each response category, we reported the median MMDs and Headache Impact test-6 (HIT-6) scores at baseline and at weeks 9-12. We categorized the number of residual MMDs at weeks 9-12 as follows: 0-3, 4-7, 8-14, ≥15. We classified HIT-6 score into four categories: ≤49, 50-55, 56-59, and ≥60. To keep in line with the original scope of the ESTEEMen study, calculations were performed in men and women. Results Out of 1215 patients, at weeks 9-12, 381 (31.4%) had a 0-29% response, 186 (15.3%) a 30-49% response, 396 (32.6%) a 50-74% response, and 252 (20.7%) a ≥75% response; 246 patients (20.2%) had 0-3 residual MMDs, 443 (36.5%) had 4-7 MMDs, 299 (24.6%) had 8-14 MMDs, and 227 (18.7%) had ≥15 MMDs. Among patients with 50-74% response, 246 (62.1%) had 4-7 and 94 (23.7%) 8-14 residual MMDs, while among patients with ≥75% response 187 (74.2%) had 0-3 and 65 (25.8%) had 4-7 residual MMDs. Conclusions The present study shows that even patients with good relative response to erenumab may have a clinically non-negligible residual migraine burden. Relative measures of efficacy cannot be enough to thoroughly consider the efficacy of migraine prevention.
Background Regional citrate anticoagulation (RCA) is recommended for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). However, filter life varies and premature filter clotting can occur. The aims of this explorative prospective study were to investigate the effects of RCA on thrombin generation, fibrinolysis and platelet function in critically ill patients receiving CRRT, to compare clotting parameters between systemic and intra-circuit blood samples, and to screen participants for coagulation disorders. We recruited critically ill adult patients admitted to a 30-bedded Intensive care unit in a tertiary care hospital who required CRRT with RCA for acute kidney injury (AKI). Patients with pre-existing thrombotic, bleeding tendencies or a CRRT duration less than 48 h were excluded. We measured coagulation and thrombophilia parameters at baseline. Thrombin generation, D-dimer and platelet function were measured pre-CRRT and at 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72 h after commencing CRRT using blood samples taken from the arterial line and the circuit. Results At baseline, all eleven patients (mean age 62.4 years, 82% male) had Factor VIII and von Willebrand Factor concentrations above reference range and significantly increased peak thrombin generation. During CRRT, there were no significant changes in systemic maximum peak thrombin generation, time to peak thrombin generation, fibrinogen, D-dimer and platelet function analysis. We observed no significant difference between paired samples taken from the patient's arterial line and the circuit. Conclusions Critically ill patients with AKI requiring CRRT are hypercoagulable. Citrate used for anticoagulation during CRRT does not affect thrombin generation, D-dimer or platelet function. Systemic clotting parameters reflect intra-circuit results. Trial registration : Identifier: NCT02486614. Registered 01 July 2015—Registered after recruitment of first patient.
Background Bowel urgency, the sudden or immediate need to have a bowel movement, is a common, bothersome and disruptive symptom of ulcerative colitis (UC). UC treatment goals include control of urgency; however, it is not consistently assessed in UC clinical trials. The Urgency Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) is a new patient-reported measure to assess severity of bowel urgency in adults with UC developed in accordance with Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Methods Qualitative interviews were used to develop Urgency NRS. The scale asks patients to report the immediacy status of their UC symptom over the past 24 h on an 11-point horizontal numeric rating scale [0 (No urgency) to 10 (Worst possible urgency)]. Higher scores indicate worse urgency severity. A 2-week diary study assessed floor and ceiling effects, test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) (2,1) between Week 1 and 2), and construct validity (Spearman correlation using Week 1 scores). Weekly scores were calculated as mean score over each 7-day period. Results Qualitative interviews with 16 UC patients (mean age 37.9 ± 11.6 years; 50% female; 56% White) confirmed relevance, content, and comprehensiveness. The 2-week diary study included 41 UC patients (mean age 44.2 ± 14.6 years; 51% female; 56% White). No ceiling or floor effects were identified. Test–retest reliability was high (ICC = 0.877). Average Urgency NRS and patient global rating of severity scores were highly correlated, with a moderate correlation between average Urgency NRS and stool frequency, demonstrating construct validity. Conclusions Bowel urgency is a distinct symptom of UC. The Urgency NRS is a well-defined, content-valid, and reliable measurement of bowel urgency in adults with UC.
Background Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes strive for tight glucose targets (3.5-7.8 mmol/L) to minimise the risks of obstetric and neonatal complications. Despite using diabetes technologies including continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), insulin pumps and contemporary insulin analogues, most women struggle to achieve and maintain the recommended pregnancy glucose targets. This study aims to evaluate whether the use of automated closed-loop insulin delivery improves antenatal glucose levels in pregnant women with type 1 diabetes. Methods/design A multicentre, open label, randomized, controlled trial of pregnant women with type 1 diabetes and a HbA1c of ≥48 mmol/mol (6.5%) at pregnancy confirmation and ≤ 86 mmol/mol (10%) at randomization. Participants who provide written informed consent before 13 weeks 6 days gestation will be entered into a run-in phase to collect 96 h (24 h overnight) of CGM glucose values. Eligible participants will be randomized on a 1:1 basis to CGM (Dexcom G6) with usual insulin delivery (control) or closed-loop (intervention). The closed-loop system includes a model predictive control algorithm (CamAPS FX application), hosted on an android smartphone that communicates wirelessly with the insulin pump (Dana Diabecare RS) and CGM transmitter. Research visits and device training will be provided virtually or face-to-face in conjunction with 4-weekly antenatal clinic visits where possible. Randomization will stratify for clinic site. One hundred twenty-four participants will be recruited. This takes into account 10% attrition and 10% who experience miscarriage or pregnancy loss. Analyses will be performed according to intention to treat. The primary analysis will evaluate the change in the time spent in the target glucose range (3.5-7.8 mmol/l) between the intervention and control group from 16 weeks gestation until delivery. Secondary outcomes include overnight time in target, time above target (> 7.8 mmol/l), standard CGM metrics, HbA1c and psychosocial functioning and health economic measures. Safety outcomes include the number and severity of ketoacidosis, severe hypoglycaemia and adverse device events. Discussion This will be the largest randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of closed-loop insulin delivery during type 1 diabetes pregnancy. Trial registration ISRCTN 56898625 Registration Date: 10 April, 2018.
Background Patients presenting with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure due to exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD) are typically managed with non-invasive ventilation (NIV). The impact of low-flow extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO 2 R) on outcome in these patients has not been explored in randomised trials. Methods Open-label randomised trial comparing NIV (NIV arm) with ECCO 2 R (ECCO 2 R arm) in patients with AECOPD at high risk of NIV failure (pH < 7.30 after ≥ 1 h of NIV). The primary endpoint was time to cessation of NIV. Secondary outcomes included device tolerance and complications, changes in arterial blood gases, hospital survival. Results Eighteen patients (median age 67.5, IQR (61.5–71) years; median GOLD stage 3 were enrolled (nine in each arm). Time to NIV discontinuation was shorter with ECCO 2 R (7:00 (6:18–8:30) vs 24:30 (18:15–49:45) h, p = 0.004). Arterial pH was higher with ECCO 2 R at 4 h post-randomisation (7.35 (7.31–7.37) vs 7.25 (7.21–7.26), p < 0.001). Partial pressure of arterial CO 2 (PaCO 2 ) was significantly lower with ECCO 2 R at 4 h (6.8 (6.2–7.15) vs 8.3 (7.74–9.3) kPa; p = 0.024). Dyspnoea and comfort both rapidly improved with commencement of ECCO 2 R. There were no severe or life-threatening complications in the study population. There were no episodes of major bleeding or red blood cell transfusion in either group. ICU and hospital length of stay were longer with ECCO 2 R, and there was no difference in 90-day mortality or functional outcomes at follow-up. Interpretation There is evidence of benefit associated with ECCO 2 R with time to improvement in respiratory acidosis, in respiratory physiology and an immediate improvement in patient comfort and dyspnoea with commencement of ECCO 2 R. In addition, there was minimal clinically significant adverse events associated with ECCO 2 R use in patients with AECOPD at risk of failing or not tolerating NIV. However, the ICU and hospital lengths of stay were longer in the ECCO 2 R for similar outcomes. Trial registration The trial is prospectively registered on NCT02086084. Registered on 13th March 2014,
Background: Initial evidence have shown the short-term efficacy of sTMS in the acute and preventive treatment of migraine. It is unknown whether this treatment approach in the long-term is effective and well tolerated in difficult-to-treat migraine. Methods: This is a prospective, single centre, open-label, real-world analysis conducted in difficult-to-treat patients with high-frequency episodic migraine (HFEM) and chronic migraine (CM) with and without medication overuse headache (MOH), who were exposed to sTMS therapy. Patients responding to a three-month sTMS treatment, continued the treatment and were assessed again at month 12. The cut-off outcome for treatment continuation was reduction in the monthly moderate to severe headache days (MHD) of at least 30% (headache frequency responders) and/or a ≥ 4-point reduction in headache disability using the Headache Impact test-6 (HIT-6) (headache disability responders). Results: One hundred fifty-three patients were included in the analysis (F:M = 126:27, median age 43, IQR 32.3-56.8). At month 3, 93 out of 153 patients (60%) were responders to treatment. Compared to baseline, the median reduction in monthly headache days (MHD) for all patients at month 3 was 5.0 days, from 18.0 (IQR: 12.0-26.0) to 13.0 days (IQR: 5.75-24.0) (P = 0.002, r = - 0.29) and the median reduction in monthly migraine days (MMD) was 4.0 days, from 13.0 (IQR: 8.75-22.0) to 9.0 (IQR: 4.0-15.25) (P = 0.002, r = - 0.29). Sixty-nine out of 153 patients (45%) reported a sustained response to sTMS treatment at month 12. The percentage of patients with MOH was reduced from 52% (N = 79/153) at baseline to 19% (N = 29/153) at month 3, to 8% (N = 7/87) at month 12. There was an overall median 4-point reduction in HIT-6 score, from 66 (IQR: 64-69) at baseline to 62 at month 3 (IQR: 56-65) (P < 0.001, r = - 0.51). A total of 35 mild/moderate adverse events were reported by 23 patients (15%). One patient stopped sTMS treatment due to scalp sensitivity. Conclusions: This open label analysis suggests that sTMS may be an effective, well-tolerated treatment option for the long-term prevention of difficult-to-treat CM and HFEM.
Background Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a frequent complication in patients with severe respiratory failure receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). However, little is known of long-term kidney function in ECMO survivors. We aimed to assess the long-term mortality and kidney outcomes in adult patients treated with veno-venous ECMO (VV-ECMO). Methods This was a single-centre retrospective study of adult patients (≥ 18 years old) who were treated with VV-ECMO at a commissioned ECMO centre in the UK between 1st September 2010, and 30th November 2016. AKI was defined and staged using the serum creatinine and urine output criteria of the Kidney Diseases: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) classification. The primary outcome was 1-year mortality. Secondary outcomes were long-term mortality (up to March 2020), 1-year incidence of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or chronic kidney disease (CKD) among AKI patients who received renal replacement therapy (AKI-RRT), AKI patients who did not receive RRT (AKI-no RRT) and patients without AKI (non-AKI). Results A total of 300 patients [57% male; median age 44.5; interquartile range (IQR) 34–54] were included in the final analysis. Past medical histories included diabetes (12%), hypertension (17%), and CKD (2.3%). The main cause of severe respiratory failure was pulmonary infection (72%). AKI occurred in 230 patients (76.7%) and 59.3% received renal replacement therapy (RRT). One-year mortality was 32% in AKI-RRT patients vs. 21.4% in non-AKI patients ( p = 0.014). The median follow-up time was 4.35 years. Patients who received RRT had a higher risk of 1-year mortality than those who did not receive RRT (adjusted HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.06, 3.06; p = 0.029). ESKD occurred in 3 patients, all of whom were in the AKI-RRT group. At 1-year, 41.2% of survivors had serum creatinine results available. Among these, CKD was prevalent in 33.3% of AKI-RRT patients vs. 4.3% in non-AKI patients ( p = 0.004). Conclusions VV-EMCO patients with AKI-RRT had high long-term mortality. Monitoring of kidney function after hospital discharge was poor. In patients with follow-up creatinine results available, the CKD prevalence was high at 1 year, especially in AKI-RRT patients. More awareness about this serious long-term complication and appropriate follow-up interventions are required.
Background Achondroplasia is the most common form of skeletal dysplasia, with serious comorbidities and complications that may occur from early infancy to adulthood, requiring lifelong management from a multidisciplinary team expert in the condition The European Achondroplasia Forum guiding principles of management highlight the importance of accurate diagnosis and timely referral to a centre specialised in the management of achondroplasia to fully support individuals with achondroplasia and their families, and to appropriately plan management. The European Achondroplasia Forum undertook an exploratory audit of its Steering Committee to ascertain the current situation in Europe and to understand the potential barriers to timely diagnosis and referral. Results Diagnosis of achondroplasia was primarily confirmed prenatally (66.6%), at Day 0 (12.8%) or within one month after birth (12.8%). For suspected and confirmed cases of achondroplasia, a greater proportion were identified earlier in the prenatal period (87.1%) with fewer diagnoses at Day 0 (5.1%) or within the first month of life (2.6%). Referral to a specialist centre took place after birth (86.6%), predominantly within the first month, although there was a wide variety in the timepoint of referral between countries and in the time lapsed between suspicion or confirmed diagnosis of achondroplasia and referral to a specialist centre. Conclusions The European Achondroplasia Forum guiding principles of management recommend diagnosis of achondroplasia as early as possible. If concerns are raised at routine ultrasound, second line investigation should be implemented so that the diagnosis can be reached as soon as possible for ongoing management. Clinical and radiological examination supported by molecular testing is the most effective way to confirm diagnosis of achondroplasia after birth. Referral to a centre specialised in achondroplasia care should be made as soon as possible on suspicion or confirmation of diagnosis. In countries or regions where there are no official skeletal dysplasia reference or specialist centres, priority should be given to their creation or recognition, together with incentives to improve the structure of the existing multidisciplinary team managing achondroplasia. The length of delay between diagnosis of achondroplasia and referral to a specialist centre warrants further research.
Imbalances in mitochondrial and peroxisomal dynamics are associated with a spectrum of human neurological disorders. Mitochondrial and peroxisomal fission both involve dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1) oligomerisation and membrane constriction, although the precise biophysical mechanisms by which distinct DRP1 variants affect the assembly and activity of different DRP1 domains remains largely unexplored. We analysed four unreported de novo heterozygous variants in the dynamin-1-like gene DNM1L , affecting different highly conserved DRP1 domains, leading to developmental delay, seizures, hypotonia, and/or rare cardiac complications in infancy. Single-nucleotide DRP1 stalk domain variants were found to correlate with more severe clinical phenotypes, with in vitro recombinant human DRP1 mutants demonstrating greater impairments in protein oligomerisation, DRP1-peroxisomal recruitment, and both mitochondrial and peroxisomal hyperfusion compared to GTPase or GTPase-effector domain variants. Importantly, we identified a novel mechanism of pathogenesis, where a p.Arg710Gly variant uncouples DRP1 assembly from assembly-stimulated GTP hydrolysis, providing mechanistic insight into how assembly-state information is transmitted to the GTPase domain. Together, these data reveal that discrete, pathological DNM1L variants impair mitochondrial network maintenance by divergent mechanisms.
Introduction Recent advancements in surgical technology, reduced working hours, and training opportunities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase in simulation-based training. Furthermore, a rise in endovascular procedures has led to a requirement for high-fidelity simulators that offer comprehensive feedback. This review aims to identify vascular surgery simulation models and assess their validity and levels of effectiveness (LoE) for each model in order to successfully implement them into current training curricula. Methods PubMed and EMBASE were searched on January 1, 2021, for full-text English studies on vascular surgery simulators. Eligible articles were given validity ratings based on Messick’s modern concept of validity alongside an LoE score according to McGaghie’s translational outcomes. Results Overall 76 eligible articles validated 34 vascular surgery simulators and training courses for open and endovascular procedures. High validity ratings were achieved across studies for: content (35), response processes (12), the internal structure (5), relations to other variables (57), and consequences (2). Only seven studies achieved an LoE greater than 3/5. Overall, ANGIO Mentor was the most highly validated and effective simulator and was the only simulator to achieve an LoE of 5/5. Conclusions Simulation-based training in vascular surgery is a continuously developing field with exciting future prospects, demonstrated by the vast number of models and training courses. To effectively integrate simulation models into current vascular surgery curricula and assessments, there is a need for studies to look at trainee skill retention over a longer period of time. A more detailed discussion on cost-effectiveness is also needed.
Background Persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD) is a common and disabling functional neuro-vestibular disorder. We aimed to determine the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a randomised controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy informed vestibular rehabilitation (INVEST intervention) designed for persistent dizziness. Methods A two-armed parallel groups randomised feasibility study of INVEST vs. a time-matched gold standard vestibular rehabilitation (VRT) control. Participants with PPPD were recruited from a specialist vestibular clinic in London, UK. Participants were individually randomised using a minimisation procedure with allocation concealment. Measures of feasibility and clinical outcome were collected and assessed at 4 months. Results Forty adults with PPPD were randomised to six sessions of INVEST ( n = 20) or gold standard VRT ( n = 20). Overall, 59% of patients screened met the inclusion criteria, of which 80% enrolled. Acceptability of INVEST, as assessed against the theoretical framework of acceptability (TFA), was excellent and 80% adhered to all 6 sessions. There were small to moderate treatment effects in favour of INVEST across all measures, including dizziness handicap, negative illness perceptions, symptom focussing, fear avoidance, and distress (standardised mean difference [SMD] g = 0.45; SMD g = 0.77; SMD g = 0.56; SMD g = 0.50, respectively). No intervention-related serious adverse events were reported. Conclusions The study results give strong support for the feasibility of a full-scale trial. Both arms had high rates of recruitment, retention, and acceptability. There was promising support of the benefits of integrated cognitive-behavioural therapy-based vestibular rehabilitation compared to gold standard vestibular rehabilitation. The study fulfilled all the a-priori criteria to advance to a full-scale efficacy trial. Trial registration number ISRCTN10420559.
Background: How international migrants access and use primary care in England is poorly understood. We aimed to compare primary care consultation rates between international migrants and non-migrants in England before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (2015-2020). Methods: Using data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) GOLD, we identified migrants using country-of-birth, visa-status or other codes indicating international migration. We linked CPRD to Office for National Statistics deprivation data and ran a controlled interrupted time series (ITS) using negative binomial regression to compare rates before and during the pandemic. Findings: In 262,644 individuals, pre-pandemic consultation rates per person-year were 4.35 (4.34-4.36) for migrants and 4.60 (4.59-4.60) for non-migrants (RR:0.94 [0.92-0.96]). Between 29 March and 26 December 2020, rates reduced to 3.54 (3.52-3.57) for migrants and 4.2 (4.17-4.23) for non-migrants (RR:0.84 [0.8-0.88]). The first year of the pandemic was associated with a widening of the gap in consultation rates between migrants and non-migrants to 0.89 (95% CI 0.84-0.94) times the ratio before the pandemic. This widening in ratios was greater for children, individuals whose first language was not English, and individuals of White British, White non-British and Black/African/Caribbean/Black British ethnicities. It was also greater in the case of telephone consultations, particularly in London. Interpretation: Migrants were less likely to use primary care than non-migrants before the pandemic and the first year of the pandemic exacerbated this difference. As GP practices retain remote and hybrid models of service delivery, they must improve services and ensure primary care is accessible and responsive to migrants' healthcare needs. Funding: This study was funded by the Medical Research Council (MC_PC 19070 and MR/V028375/1) and a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (206602).
Whereas pathogen-specific T and B cells are a primary focus of interest during infectious disease, we have used COVID-19 to ask whether their emergence comes at a cost of broader B cell and T cell repertoire disruption. We applied a genomic DNA-based approach to concurrently study the immunoglobulin-heavy (IGH) and T cell receptor (TCR) β and δ chain loci of 95 individuals. Our approach detected anticipated repertoire focusing for the IGH repertoire, including expansions of clusters of related sequences temporally aligned with SARS-CoV-2-specific seroconversion, and enrichment of some shared SARS-CoV-2-associated sequences. No significant age-related or disease severity-related deficiencies were noted for the IGH repertoire. By contrast, whereas focusing occurred at the TCRβ and TCRδ loci, including some TCRβ sequence-sharing, disruptive repertoire narrowing was almost entirely limited to many patients aged older than 50 y. By temporarily reducing T cell diversity and by risking expansions of nonbeneficial T cells, these traits may constitute an age-related risk factor for COVID-19, including a vulnerability to new variants for which T cells may provide key protection.
Children and young people (CYP) with skin and hair conditions are at an increased risk of mental health problems and vice versa. Current child and adolescent mental health services are already stretched and in our experience, this unique combination of symptoms and signs requires a multi‐disciplinary approach. We report our experience of establishing a paediatric psychodermatology clinic where, at each appointment, CYP are seen by a consultant dermatologist and a clinical psychologist initially jointly and then individually to ensure all viewpoints are heard and a collaborative treatment plan can be agreed. The clinic was established one month prior to the national lockdown during the COVID‐19 pandemic and the face‐to‐face model was converted to a virtual format. CYP are now seen either face to face or virtually according to CYP/parent/carer preference and this hybrid model increases accessibility and has reduced DNA rates. Referrals were received from primary, secondary and tertiary care settings. Thirty –six new patients were seen and followed‐up over a 2 year period, age range 3–17 years old. The majority of patients presented with compulsive hair pulling (trichotillomania) and medically unexplained signs (dermatitis artefacta); other problems seen were eczema, skin picking and acne. Half of the patients required additional psychology sessions. Seventy‐six percent of patients have been discharged, almost half back to the care of their general practitioner. We use pre‐ and post‐clinic questionnaires and share these and feedback from CYP/families who have found this clinic model helpful and effective. Establishing and developing a paediatric psychodermatology service and our experience of a new paediatric psychodermatology clinic during the Covid 19 pandemic
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Philip Anthony Berry
  • Department of Gastroenterology
Nikolaos Karydis
  • Transplant Unit
Jon Orlando Cleary
  • Department of Radiology
Nikolaos Tsoukalas
  • Department of Oncology
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