Sacred Heart University
  • Fairfield, 06824, United States
Recent publications
Background Timely administration of antibiotics is one of the most important interventions in reducing mortality in sepsis. However, administering antibiotics within a strict time threshold in all patients suspected with sepsis will require huge amount of effort and resources and may increase the risk of unintentional exposure to broad-spectrum antibiotics in patients without infection with its consequences. Thus, controversy still exists on whether clinicians should target different time-to-antibiotics thresholds for patients with sepsis versus septic shock. Methods This study analyzed prospectively collected data from an ongoing multicenter cohort of patients with sepsis identified in the emergency department. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) were compared for in-hospital mortality of patients who had received antibiotics within 1 h to that of those who did not. Spline regression models were used to assess the association of time-to-antibiotics as continuous variables and increasing risk of in-hospital mortality. The differences in the association between time-to-antibiotics and in-hospital mortality were assessed according to the presence of septic shock. Results Overall, 3035 patients were included in the analysis. Among them, 601 (19.8%) presented with septic shock, and 774 (25.5%) died. The adjusted OR for in-hospital mortality of patients whose time-to-antibiotics was within 1 h was 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.61–0.99; p = 0.046). The adjusted OR for in-hospital mortality was 0.66 (95% CI 0.44–0.99; p = 0.049) and statistically significant in patients with septic shock, whereas it was 0.85 (95% CI 0.64–1.15; p = 0.300) in patients with sepsis but without shock. Among patients who received antibiotics within 3 h, those with septic shock showed 35% ( p = 0.042) increased risk of mortality for every 1-h delay in antibiotics, but no such trend was observed in patients without shock. Conclusion Timely administration of antibiotics improved outcomes in patients with septic shock; however, the association between early antibiotic administration and outcome was not as clear in patients with sepsis without shock.
Background Prostate cancer (PC) is the most commonly diagnosed male malignancy and an important cause of mortality. Androgen deprivation therapy is the first line treatment but, unfortunately, a large part of patients evolves to a castration-resistant stage, for which no effective cure is currently available. The DNA/RNA helicase DHX9 is emerging as an important regulator of cellular processes that are often deregulated in cancer. Methods To investigate whether DHX9 modulates PC cell transcriptome we performed RNA-sequencing analyses upon DHX9 silencing in the androgen-responsive cell line LNCaP. Bioinformatics and functional analyses were carried out to elucidate the mechanism of gene expression regulation by DHX9. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas were mined to evaluate the potential role of DHX9 in PC. Results We found that up-regulation of DHX9 correlates with advanced stage and is associated with poor prognosis of PC patients. High-throughput RNA - sequencing analysis revealed that depletion of DHX9 in androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells affects expression of hundreds of genes, which significantly overlap with known targets of the Androgen Receptor (AR). Notably, AR binds to the DHX9 promoter and induces its expression, while Enzalutamide-mediated inhibition of AR activity represses DHX9 expression. Moreover, DHX9 interacts with AR in LNCaP cells and its depletion significantly reduced the recruitment of AR to the promoter region of target genes and the ability of AR to promote their expression in response to 5α-dihydrotestosterone. Consistently, silencing of DXH9 negatively affected androgen-induced PC cell proliferation and migration. Conclusions Collectively, our data uncover a new role of DHX9 in the control of the AR transcriptional program and establish the existence of an oncogenic DHX9/AR axis, which may represent a new druggable target to counteract PC progression.
Background Findings from the T.O.S.CA. Registry recently reported that patients with concomitant chronic heart failure (CHF) and impairment of insulin axis (either insulin resistance—IR or diabetes mellitus—T2D) display increased morbidity and mortality. However, little information is available on the relative impact of IR and T2D on cardiac structure and function, cardiopulmonary performance, and their longitudinal changes in CHF. Methods Patients enrolled in the T.O.S.CA. Registry performed echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise test at baseline and at a patient-average follow-up of 36 months. Patients were divided into three groups based on the degree of insulin impairment: euglycemic without IR (EU), euglycemic with IR (IR), and T2D. Results Compared with EU and IR, T2D was associated with increased filling pressures (E/e′ratio: 15.9 ± 8.9, 12.0 ± 6.5, and 14.5 ± 8.1 respectively, p < 0.01) and worse right ventricular(RV)-arterial uncoupling (RVAUC) (TAPSE/PASP ratio 0.52 ± 0.2, 0.6 ± 0.3, and 0.6 ± 0.3 in T2D, EU and IR, respectively, p < 0.05). Likewise, impairment in peak oxygen consumption (peak VO 2 ) in TD2 vs EU and IR patients was recorded (respectively, 15.8 ± 3.8 ml/Kg/min, 18.4 ± 4.3 ml/Kg/min and 16.5 ± 4.3 ml/Kg/min, p < 0.003). Longitudinal data demonstrated higher deterioration of RVAUC, RV dimension, and peak VO 2 in the T2D group (+ 13% increase in RV dimension, − 21% decline in TAPSE/PAPS ratio and − 20% decrease in peak VO 2 ). Conclusion The higher risk of death and CV hospitalizations exhibited by HF-T2D patients in the T.O.S.CA. Registry is associated with progressive RV ventricular dysfunction and exercise impairment when compared to euglycemic CHF patients, supporting the pivotal importance of hyperglycaemia and right chambers in HF prognosis. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT023358017
Introduction/purpose Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) is a valuable tool for analyzing the death of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between PMCT lung findings in autopsy cadavers positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection and the severity of COVID-19 lung disease by histopathological analysis. Materials and methods We reviewed chest PMCT findings, paying particular attention to the lung parenchyma, in 8 autopsy cases positive for SARS-CoV-2. Correlations between chest PMCT and histopathological findings were assessed. Clinical conditions and comorbidities were also recorded and discussed. The primary cause of death was finally considered. Results In 6/8 cases, pulmonary PMCT findings were massive consolidation (4/8) and bilateral diffuse mixed densities with a crazy-paving pattern (2/8). These cases showed severe pulmonary signs of COVID-19 at histopathological analysis. In the remaining 2/8 cases, pulmonary PMCT findings were scant antideclive ground-glass opacities in prevalent gradient densities attributed to hypostasis. In 4/8 cases with massive consolidations, important comorbidities were noted. In 6/8 cases with severe pulmonary histopathological signs of lung COVID-19, autopsy found that the cause of death was cardiorespiratory failure. In the remaining 2/8 cases, histopathological analysis revealed lung alterations due to edema and some signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection; the cause of death was not attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection (Table 1). Discussion and conclusion Chest PMCT findings correlate with the severity of COVID-19 lung disease at histopathology examination. According to our results, there may also be a relationship between cause of death and PMCT findings in COVID-19, which must be critically analyzed considering clinical antemortem data.
Slum tourism, referring to trips, leisure, and other activities conducted by wealthy people in spaces inhabited by disadvantaged populations, is highly controversial. On the one hand, there is the risk of exploitation and dehumanization of slum dwellers; on the other hand, it can help fighting stereotypes and stigmatization. We explore the images of slum tourism shared online on a popular tourism website, TripAdvisor, and test their impact on stereotyping. Using a mixed-method approach, in Study 1 we analyze a large corpus of images of slumming experience to explore the social representations characterizing three typical destinations of slum tourism (Brazil, India, South Africa). In Study 2, we focus on India images of slum tourism, centered on contact with the local populations. Specifically, we test the impact of photo framing (as Tourism, TripAdvisor, Volunteerism, or no label) on three key stereotype dimensions (sociability, competence, morality). Results generally revealed detrimental effects on competence and morality by images framed as Tourism or TripAdvisor (but with also positive effects on sociability), and positive indirect effects (via more positive photo category evaluation) of images framed as Volunteerism on the three stereotype dimensions.
Background It is unclear whether different anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) graft trajectories in the distal femur would have different effects on stress generated within the distal femur around the femoral tunnel during knee motion. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine differences in stress patterns around the femoral tunnel created by trans-portal (TP) vs. modified trans-tibial (TT) technique in anatomical ACL reconstruction at different knee flexion angles. Methods Twelve male subjects’ right knees were scanned with a high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scanner (slice thickness: 1 mm) at four different knee flexion angles (0°, 45°, 90°, and 135°). Three-dimensional (3D) models of these four different flexion angles were created and manipulated with several modelling programs. For the TP group, the virtual femoral tunnelling procedure was performed in a 135° flexion model from the low far anteromedial (AM) portal. For the modified TT group, the same knee models were drilled through the modified TT technique at 90° of flexion separately. Virtual grafts under tension of 40 N were put into corresponding bone tunnel and fixed at the outer aperture of femoral tunnels to simulate the suspensory fixation, followed by fixation of the grafts at the middle of tibial tunnels in the 0° knee flexion models. Finally, the models were exported to a finite element analysis package and analysed using ABAQUS/Explicit code (ABAQUS, USA) to monitor the stress occurring at the node where stress distribution occurred most significantly in the femoral bone around the bone tunnel. Results In general, both groups showed a high stress distribution in bony structures around inner and outer orifices of the femoral tunnel. Mean maximal stresses occurring at the lateral femoral condyle around the inner orifice of the femoral tunnel in the TP group were found to be significantly greater than those in the modified TT group at all flexion angles except 90° of flexion. Mean maximal stresses monitored around the outer orifice of the femoral tunnel in the TP group were also significantly greater than those in the modified TT group at all flexion angles. Conclusions Different tunnelling technologies could yield different stress patterns in the lateral femoral condyle around the femoral tunnel. During knee motion, higher stresses were noticed in the TP group than in the modified TT group, especially around inner and outer orifices of the tunnel. Position of the tunnel after reconstruction with the TP technique can have a greater effect on the stress increase in the femur compared to that with the modified TT technique.
Carcinoma ex pleomorphic adenoma (CXPA) is a rare malignancy that transforms from PA. Early detection of the carcinoma by biopsy is difficult due to similar histopathology of the malignant and benign components. To address this, we investigated and compared the characteristic miRNA expression patterns across samples of the PA, carcinomatous portions (CA) of CXPA, as well as conventional PA. We selected 13 CXPA and 16 conventional PA FFPE samples, separated the PA and CA portions of CXPA samples and conducted miRNA profiling for each group. Among 13 transcripts that were differentially expressed between PA and CA of CXPA, eight miRNAs were up-regulated and five down-regulated in CA. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the up-regulated miRNAs were related to cancer progression and down-regulated ones to tumor suppression. Additionally, seven miRNAs were significantly up-regulated in PA of CXPA compared to conventional PA, although they are histopathologically similar. Almost all of these transcripts interacted with TP53, a well-known tumor suppressor. In conclusion, we identified differentially expressed miRNAs in PA and CA of CXPA, which were closely associated with TP53 and various cancer-related pathways. We also identified differentially expressed miRNAs in the PA of CXPA and conventional PA which may serve as potential biomarkers.
We investigate the predictability of payoffs from selling variance swaps on the S&P500, US 10‐year treasuries, gold, and crude oil. In‐sample analysis shows that structural breaks are an important feature when modeling payoffs, and hence the ex post variance risk premium. Out‐of‐sample tests, on the other hand, reveal that structural break models do not improve forecast performance relative to simpler linear (or state invariant) models. We show that a host of variables that had previously been shown to forecast excess returns for the four asset classes, contain predictive power for ex post realizations of the respective variance risk premia as well. We also find that models fit directly to payoffs perform as well or better than models that combine the current variance swap rate with a realized variance forecast. These novel findings have important implications for variance swap sellers, and investors seeking to include volatility as an asset in their portfolio.
Background Uganda accounts for 5% of all malaria cases and deaths reported globally and, in endemic countries, pregnancy is a risk factor for both acquisition of P. falciparum infection and development of severe malaria. In recent years, malaria control has been threatened by COVID-19 pandemic and by the emergence, in Northern Uganda, of both resistance to artemisinin derivatives and to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Methods In this facility-based, prospective, observational study, pregnant women will be recruited at antenatal-care visits and followed-up until delivery. Collected data will explore the incidence of asymptomatic parasitemia and malaria-related outcomes, as well as the attitudes towards malaria prevention, administration of intermittent preventive treatment, healthcare seeking behavior and use of insecticide-treated nets. A subpopulation of women diagnosed with malaria will be recruited and their blood samples will be analyzed for detection of genetic markers of resistance to artemisinin derivatives and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Also, to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on malaria care among pregnant women, a retrospective, interrupted-time series will be conducted on at the study sites for the period January 2018 to December 2021. Discussion The present study will explore the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on incidence of malaria and malaria-related adverse outcomes, along with the prevalence of resistance to artemisinin derivatives and to sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. To our knowledge, this is the first study aiming to explore the combined effect of these factors on a cohort of pregnant women. Trial registration : This study has been registered on the ClinicalTrials.gov public website on 26th April, 2022. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05348746.
Few data are available on the prevalence of right ventricle (RV) systolic dysfunction, assessed including RV strain, and RV to pulmonary artery (PA) coupling in patients with aortic stenosis (AS) submitted to TAVI and the early effect of the procedure. We performed standard and speckle tracking echocardiography in 80 patients with severe AS the day before TAVI and within 48 h after TAVI. In all patients we measured TAPSE/PASP (cut-off for RV-PA uncoupling 0.31) and in 60/80 we were able to analyze RV global longitudinal strain (RV-GLS) and RV free wall strain (RV-FWS). RVFAC and TAPSE were impaired in 8.3% while RV-GLS and RV-FWS in 45% and 33.3% respectively before TAVI. TAPSE/PASP < 0.31 was documented in 7/80 patients (8.7%) before TAVI. These subjects differed from patients with TAPSE/PASP ≥ 0.31 for: enlarged left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes (p < 0.001), worst LV ejection fraction (p < 0.001) and RVFAC (p < 0.001), worst RV-GLS and RV-FWS (p = 0.01 and p = 0.03) and bigger right atrium (RA) area (p < 0.001). After TAVI, RV systolic function did not improve while PASP significantly decreased (p = 0.005) driving the improvement of TAPSE/PASP (p = 0.01). Patients with TAPSE/PASP improvement (51%) differed from the others for worst pre-TAVI diastolic function (E/eʹ p = 0.045), RVFAC (p = 0.042), RV-GLS (p = 0.049) and RA area (p = 0.02). RV-GLS unveils RV systolic dysfunction in as much as 45% of patients with AS vs only 8.3% revealed by conventional echocardiography. RV systolic function does not significantly improve early after TAVI while RV-PA coupling does. Patients with lower TAPSE/PASP at baseline have worst LV and RV systolic function as well as larger RA. Patients who improve TAPSE/PASP after TAVI are those with worst diastolic function, RV systolic function and larger RA at baseline.
In many microeconometric studies distance from a relevant point of interest (such as a hospital) is often used as a predictor in a regression framework. Confidentiality rules, often, require to geo-mask spatial micro-data, reducing the quality of such relevant information and distorting inference on models’ parameters. This paper extends previous literature, extending the classical results on the measurement error in a linear regression model to the case of hospital choice, showing that in a discrete choice model the higher is the distortion produced by the geo-masking, the higher will be the downward bias in absolute value toward zero of the coefficient associated to the distance in the models. Monte Carlo simulations allow us to provide evidence of theoretical hypothesis. Results can be used by the data producers to choose the optimal value of the parameters of geo-masking preserving confidentiality, not destroying the statistical information.
This paper assesses the effects of monetary policy shocks on the macroeconomy and the euro area banking sector after the global financial crisis. First, financial risk-return indicators of the banking sector based on a compound option-based structural credit risk model are embedded in a large macro-financial quarterly database covering the period 2008Q4-2019Q4. Second, a SFAVAR identifies and estimates the shocks’ responses relating them to the endogenous build-up of banks’ vulnerabilities which are consistent with the internally coherent structure of the credit risk model. By introducing structure in the understanding of banks’ asset-liability management behavior following monetary policy shocks, the research strategy contributes to disentangling results that are often mixed in the empirical literature. The study finds that unconventional monetary policy, in particular the Asset Purchase Program of the European Central Bank, seems to have been more successful than conventional monetary policy in raising output and inflation. The desired boost to bank lending has been muted and loan cyclicality has varied across countries and loan types. The performance of the banking sector following monetary policy shocks can be characterized by a drop in expected return on equity and assets, a relaxation of lending conditions and increased correlation between banks’ assets return and the market return, a mechanism pointing to enhanced risk-taking. While banks’ probabilities of default fall following monetary policy shocks, the price of risk increases. Banks’ net worth rises via higher market capitalization and implied assets value together with lower volatility, despite often incurring more debt. Risk-taking in the banking sector may pose a risk to financial stability, especially if its effects on banks’ vulnerability spread and increase systemic risk. The unintended endogenous build-up of macro-financial vulnerabilities may need to become part of monetary policymaking.
Objective The presence of micropapillary and solid adenocarcinoma patterns leads to a worse survival and a significantly higher tendency to recur. This study aims to assess the impact of pT descriptor combined with the presence of high-grade components on long-term outcomes in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas. Methods We retrospectively collected data of consecutive resected pT1-T3N0 lung adenocarcinoma from nine European Thoracic Centers. All patients who underwent a radical resection with lymph node dissection between 2014 and 2017 were included. Differences in Overall Survival (OS) and Disease-Free Survival (DFS) and possible prognostic factors associated with outcomes were evaluated also after performing a propensity score matching to compare tumors containing non-high-grade and high-grade patterns. Results Among 607 patients, the majority were male and received a lobectomy. At least one high-grade histological pattern was seen in 230 cases (37.9%), of which 169 solid and 75 micropapillary. T1a-b-c without high-grade pattern had a significant better prognosis compared to T1a-b-c with high-grade pattern (p=0.020), but the latter had similar OS compared to T2a (p=0.277). Concurrently, T1a-b-c without micropapillary or solid patterns had a significantly better DFS compared to those with high-grade patterns (p=0.034), and it was similar to T2a (p=0.839). Multivariable analysis confirms the role of T descriptor according to high-grade pattern both for OS (p=0.024; HR 1.285 95% CI 1.033-1.599) and DFS (p=0.003; HR 1.196, 95% CI 1.054-1.344 respectively). These results were confirmed after the propensity score matching analysis. Conclusions pT1 lung adenocarcinomas with a high-grade component have similar prognosis of pT2a tumors.
Background This study investigated the impact of physical frailty on the development of disabilities in mobility, activities of daily living (ADL), and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) according to sex among community-dwelling Korean older adults. Methods We used data of 2,905 older adults aged 70-84 years from the Korean Frailty and Aging Cohort Study (KFACS) at baseline (2016-2017) and Wave 2 (2018-2019). Fried’s physical frailty phenotype was used to identify frailty. Results After adjustment, frailty showed a higher impact for women than men on developing mobility disability (odds ratio [OR]=14.00, 95% confidence interval [CI]=4.8–40.78 vs. OR=9.89, 95% CI=4.28–22.86) and IADL disability after two years (OR=7.22, 95% CI=2.67–19.56 vs. OR=3.19, 95% CI=1.17–8.70). Pre-frailty led to mobility disability for women and men (OR=2.77, 95% CI=1.93–3.98 vs. OR=2.49, 95% CI=1.66–3.72, respectively), and IADL disability only for women (OR=3.01, 95% CI=1.28–7.09). Among the IADL components, both men and women who were prefrail or frail showed increased disability in ‘using transportation’. Among men, pre-frailty was significantly associated with disability in “going out” and “shopping”. In women, frailty was significantly associated with disability in “doing laundry,” “performing household chores,” “shopping,” and “managing money”. Conclusions Physical frailty increased disability over 2 years for women more than men. Physical frailty increased disability in outdoor activity-related IADL components in men and household work-related IADL components in women. This study highlights the need for gender-specific policies and preventative programs for frailty, particularly restorative interventions that focus on women who are physically frail.
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2,309 members
Heather Miller Kuhaneck
  • Department of Occupational Therapy
Kathy Dhanda
  • Department of Management
Eloisa Tiberi
  • Institute of Pediatrics , division of neonatology
Maura D Iversen
  • College of Health Professions and Depts of Public health and Human Movement Sciences
Maria Letizia Vita
  • Thoracic Surgery
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