The crosstalk between estrogen and HER2 receptors and cell-cycle regulation sustains resistance to endocrine therapy of HER2- and hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. We earlier reported that women with HER2 and ER-positive breast cancer receiving neoadjuvant dual HER2-block and palbociclib in the NA-PHER2 trial had Ki67 decrease and 27% pathological complete responses (pCR). We extended NA-PHER2 to Cohort B using dual HER2-block and palbociclib without fulvestrant and report here Ki67 drops at week-2 (mean change −25.7), at surgery (after 16 weeks, mean change −9.5), high objective response (88.5%) and pCR (19.2%). In Cohort C [Ki67 > 20% and HER2 low (IHC 1+/2+ without gene amplification)], women also received fulvestrant, had dramatic Ki67 drop at week 2 (−29.5) persisting at surgery (−19.3), and objective responses in 78.3%. In view of the favorable tolerability and of the efficacy-predictive value of Ki67 drop at week-2, the chemotherapy-free approach of NA-PHER2 deserves further investigation in HER2 and ER-positive breast cancer. The trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02530424.
Background Early start of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in perinatally HIV-1 infected children is the optimal strategy to prevent immunological and clinical deterioration. To date, according to EMA, only 35% of antiretroviral drugs are licenced in children < 2 years of age and 60% in those aged 2–12 years, due to the lack of adequate paediatric clinical studies on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug safety in children. Methods An observational retrospective study investigating the rate and the outcomes of off-label prescription of HAART was conducted on 225 perinatally HIV-1 infected children enrolled in the Italian Register for HIV Infection in Children and followed-up from 2001 to 2018. Results 22.2% (50/225) of included children were receiving an off-label HAART regimen at last check. Only 26% (13/50) of off-label children had an undetectable viral load (VL) before the commencing of the regimen and the 52.0% (26/50) had a CD4 + T lymphocyte percentage > 25%. At last check, during the off label regimen, the 80% (40/50) of patients had an undetectable VL, and 90% (45/50) of them displayed CD4 + T lymphocyte percentage > 25%. The most widely used off-label drugs were: dolutegravir/abacavir/lamivudine (16%; 8/50), emtricitbine/tenofovir disoproxil (22%; 11/50), lopinavir/ritonavir (20%; 10/50) and elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/ tenofovir alafenamide (10%; 10/50). At logistic regression analysis, detectable VL before starting the current HAART regimen was a risk factor for receiving an off-label therapy (OR: 2.41; 95% CI 1.13–5.19; p = 0.024). Moreover, children < 2 years of age were at increased risk for receiving off-label HAART with respect to older children (OR: 3.24; 95% CI 1063–7.3; p = 0.001). Even if our safety data regarding off-label regimens where poor, no adverse event was reported. Conclusion The prescription of an off-label HAART regimen in perinatally HIV-1 infected children was common, in particular in children with detectable VL despite previous HAART and in younger children, especially those receiving their first regimen. Our data suggest similar proportions of virological and immunological successes at last check among children receiving off-label or on-label HAART. Larger studies are needed to better clarify efficacy and safety of off-label HAART regimens in children, in order to allow the enlargement of on-label prescription in children.
The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hard scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is an umbrella term for arthritis of unknown origin, lasting for >6 weeks with onset before 16 years of age. JIA is the most common chronic inflammatory rheumatic condition of childhood. According to the International League Against Rheumatism (ILAR) classification, seven mutually exclusive categories of JIA exist based on disease manifestations during the first 6 months of disease. Although the ILAR classification has been useful to foster research, it has been criticized mainly as it does not distinguish those forms of chronic arthritis observed in adults and in children from those that may be unique to childhood. Hence, efforts to provide a new evidence-based classification are ongoing. Similar to arthritis observed in adults, pathogenesis involves autoimmune and autoinflammatory mechanisms. The field has witnessed a remarkable improvement in therapeutic possibilities of JIA owing to the availability of new potent drugs and the possibility to perform controlled trials with support from legislative interventions and large networks availability. The goal of drug therapy in JIA is to rapidly reduce disease activity to inactive disease or clinical remission, minimize drug side effects and achieve a quality of life comparable to that of healthy peers. As JIA can influence all aspects of a child’s and their family’s life, researchers increasingly recognize improvement of health-related quality of life as a key treatment goal. This Primer by Martini and colleagues summarizes the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common chronic inflammatory rheumatic condition of childhood. In addition, this Primer discusses the quality of life of children with JIA and reviews future research directions to improve patient care.
Background The effects of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) on lung ultrasound (LUS) patterns, and their relationship with intracranial pressure (ICP) in brain injured patients have not been completely clarified. The primary aim of this study was to assess the effect of two levels of PEEP (5 and 15 cmH 2 O) on global (LUStot) and regional (anterior, lateral, and posterior areas) LUS scores and their correlation with changes of invasive ICP. Secondary aims included: the evaluation of the effect of PEEP on respiratory mechanics, arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO 2 ) and hemodynamics; the correlation between changes in ICP and LUS as well as respiratory parameters; the identification of factors at baseline as potential predictors of ICP response to higher PEEP. Methods Prospective, observational study including adult mechanically ventilated patients with acute brain injury requiring invasive ICP. Total and regional LUS scores, ICP, respiratory mechanics, and arterial blood gases values were analyzed at PEEP 5 and 15 cmH 2 O. Results Thirty patients were included; 19 of them (63.3%) were male, with median age of 65 years [interquartile range (IQR) = 66.7–76.0]. PEEP from 5 to 15 cmH 2 O reduced LUS score in the posterior regions (LUSp, median value from 7 [5–8] to 4.5 [3.7–6], p = 0.002). Changes in ICP were significantly correlated with changes in LUStot (rho = 0.631, p = 0.0002), LUSp (rho = 0.663, p < 0.0001), respiratory system compliance (rho = − 0.599, p < 0.0001), mean arterial pressure (rho = − 0.833, p < 0.0001) and PaCO 2 (rho = 0.819, p < 0.0001). Baseline LUStot score predicted the increase of ICP with PEEP. Conclusions LUS-together with the evaluation of respiratory and clinical variables-can assist the clinicians in the bedside assessment and prediction of the effect of PEEP on ICP in patients with acute brain injury.
Background The aim of this document is to support clinical decision-making concerning positioning and mobilization of the critically ill patient in the early identification and resolution of risk factors (primary prevention) and in the early recognition of those most at risk (secondary prevention). The addresses of this document are physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, and other professionals involved in patient positioning in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods A consensus pathway was followed using the Nominal Focus Group and the Delphi Technique, integrating a phase of focused group discussion online and with a pre-coded guide to an individual phase. A multidisciplinary advisory board composed by nine experts on the topic contributed to both the phases of the process, to reach a consensus on four clinical questions positioning and mobilization of the critically ill patient. Results The topics addressed by the clinical questions were the risks associated with obligatory positioning and therapeutic positions, the effective interventions in preventing pressure injuries, the appropriate instruments for screening for pressure injuries in the ICU, and the cost-effectiveness of preventive interventions relating to ICU positioning. A total of 27 statements addressing these clinical questions were produced by the panel. Among the statements, nine provided guidance on how to manage safely some specific patients’ positions, including the prone position; five suggested specific screening tools and patients’ factors to consider when assessing the individual risk of developing pressure injuries; five gave indications on mobilization and repositioning; and eight focused on the use of devices, such as positioners and preventive dressings. Conclusions The statements may represent a practical guidance for a broad public of healthcare professionals involved in the management of critically ill patients.
Background: Even an ultraprotective ventilation strategy in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) might induce ventilator-induced lung injury and apneic ventilation with the sole application of positive end-expiratory pressure may, therefore, be an alternative ventilation strategy. We, therefore, compared the effects of ultraprotective ventilation with apneic ventilation on oxygenation, oxygen delivery, respiratory system mechanics, hemodynamics, strain, air distribution and recruitment of the lung parenchyma in ARDS patients with ECMO. Methods: In a prospective, monocentric physiological study, 24 patients with severe ARDS managed with ECMO were ventilated using ultraprotective ventilation (tidal volume 3 ml/kg of predicted body weight) with a fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) of 21%, 50% and 90%. Patients were then treated with apneic ventilation with analogous FiO2. The primary endpoint was the effect of the ventilation strategy on oxygenation and oxygen delivery. The secondary endpoints were mechanical power, stress, regional air distribution, lung recruitment and the resulting strain, evaluated by chest computed tomography, associated with the application of PEEP (apneic ventilation) and/or low VT (ultraprotective ventilation). Results: Protective ventilation, compared to apneic ventilation, improved oxygenation (arterial partial pressure of oxygen, p < 0.001 with FiO2 of 50% and 90%) and reduced cardiac output. Both ventilation strategies preserved oxygen delivery independent of the FiO2. Protective ventilation increased driving pressure, stress, strain, mechanical power, as well as induced additional recruitment in the non-dependent lung compared to apneic ventilation. Conclusions: In patients with severe ARDS managed with ECMO, ultraprotective ventilation compared to apneic ventilation improved oxygenation, but increased stress, strain, and mechanical power. Apneic ventilation might be considered as one of the options in the initial phase of ECMO treatment in severe ARDS patients to facilitate lung rest and prevent ventilator-induced lung injury. Trial registration: German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00013967). Registered 02/09/2018. https://www.drks.de/drks_web/navigate.do?navigationId=trial.HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00013967 .
Microbial drug discovery programs rely heavily on accessing bacterial diversity from the environment to acquire new specialized metabolite (SM) lead compounds for the therapeutic pipeline. Therefore, knowledge of how commonly culturable bacterial taxa are distributed in nature, in addition to the degree of variation of SM production within those taxa, is critical to informing these front-end discovery efforts and making the overall sample collection and bacterial library creation process more efficient. In the current study, we employed MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and the bioinformatics pipeline IDBac to analyze diversity within phylotype groupings and SM profiles of hundreds of bacterial isolates from two Eunapius fragilis freshwater sponges, collected 1.5 km apart. We demonstrated that within two sponge samples of the same species, the culturable bacterial populations contained significant overlap in approximate genus-level phylotypes but mostly nonoverlapping populations of isolates when grouped lower than the level of genus. Further, correlations between bacterial phylotype and SM production varied at the species level and below, suggesting SM distribution within bacterial taxa must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Our results suggest that two E. fragilis freshwater sponges collected in similar environments can exhibit large culturable diversity on a species-level scale, thus researchers should scrutinize the isolates with analyses that take both phylogeny and SM production into account to optimize the chemical space entering into a downstream bacterial library.
The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed to meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.
Background: Excessive inspiratory effort could translate into self-inflicted lung injury, thus worsening clinical outcomes of spontaneously breathing patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). Although esophageal manometry is a reliable method to estimate the magnitude of inspiratory effort, procedural issues significantly limit its use in daily clinical practice. The aim of this study is to describe the correlation between esophageal pressure swings (ΔPes) and nasal (ΔPnos) as a potential measure of inspiratory effort in spontaneously breathing patients with de novo ARF. Methods: From January 1, 2021, to September 1, 2021, 61 consecutive patients with ARF (83.6% related to COVID-19) admitted to the Respiratory Intensive Care Unit (RICU) of the University Hospital of Modena (Italy) and candidate to escalation of non-invasive respiratory support (NRS) were enrolled. Clinical features and tidal changes in esophageal and nasal pressure were recorded on admission and 24 h after starting NRS. Correlation between ΔPes and ΔPnos served as primary outcome. The effect of ΔPnos measurements on respiratory rate and ΔPes was also assessed. Results: ΔPes and ΔPnos were strongly correlated at admission (R2 = 0.88, p < 0.001) and 24 h apart (R2 = 0.94, p < 0.001). The nasal plug insertion and the mouth closure required for ΔPnos measurement did not result in significant change of respiratory rate and ΔPes. The correlation between measures at 24 h remained significant even after splitting the study population according to the type of NRS (high-flow nasal cannulas [R2 = 0.79, p < 0.001] or non-invasive ventilation [R2 = 0.95, p < 0.001]). Conclusions: In a cohort of patients with ARF, nasal pressure swings did not alter respiratory mechanics in the short term and were highly correlated with esophageal pressure swings during spontaneous tidal breathing. ΔPnos might warrant further investigation as a measure of inspiratory effort in patients with ARF. Trial registration: NCT03826797 . Registered October 2016.
Abstract Background Prone positioning in combination with the application of low tidal volume and adequate positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) improves survival in patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). However, the effects of PEEP on end-expiratory transpulmonary pressure (Ptpexp) during prone positioning require clarification. For this purpose, the effects of three different PEEP titration strategies on Ptpexp, respiratory mechanics, mechanical power, gas exchange, and hemodynamics were evaluated comparing supine and prone positioning. Methods In forty consecutive patients with moderate to severe ARDS protective ventilation with PEEP titrated according to three different titration strategies was evaluated during supine and prone positioning: (A) ARDS Network recommendations (PEEPARDSNetwork), (B) the lowest static elastance of the respiratory system (PEEPEstat,RS), and (C) targeting a positive Ptpexp (PEEPPtpexp). The primary endpoint was to analyze whether Ptpexp differed significantly according to PEEP titration strategy during supine and prone positioning. Results Ptpexp increased progressively with prone positioning compared with supine positioning as well as with PEEPEstat,RS and PEEPPtpexp compared with PEEPARDSNetwork (positioning effect p
Objectives While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is considered the gold standard for the imaging of female pelvis, there is an ongoing debate about the most appropriate indications and optimal imaging protocols. The European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR) launched a survey to evaluate the current utilization of female pelvic MRI in clinical practice. Methods The ESUR female imaging subgroup developed an online survey that was then approved by the ESR board and circulated among the ESR members. The questions in the survey encompassed training and experience, indications for imaging and MR imaging protocols, reporting styles and preferences. The results of the survey were tabulated, and subgroups were compared using χ ² test. Results A total of 5900 ESR members with an interest in both MRI and female pelvic imaging were invited to participate; 840 (14.23%) members completed the survey. Approximately 50% of respondents were academic radiologists (50.6%) and nearly 60% women (59.69%). One third of the respondents were subspecialized in Gynecological imaging. Nearly half of the survey participants were aware of the presence of ESUR guidelines for imaging of the female pelvis (47.1%). The adoption of the ESUR recommendations was higher among subspecialized and/or academic and/or senior and/or European radiologists compared to all others. The current ESUR recommendations about female pelvic MRI protocols were generally followed. However wide variations in practice were identified with respect to the use of contrast media. Conclusion Female pelvic MRI protocol was generally following the ESUR recommendations, especially among subspecialized and academic radiologists. However, the fact that they are followed by only half of the participants highlights the need for wider awareness of these recommendations .
Background Alternative noninvasive methods capable of excluding intracranial hypertension through use of transcranial Doppler (ICP tcd ) in situations where invasive methods cannot be used or are not available would be useful during the management of acutely brain-injured patients. The objective of this study was to determine whether ICP tcd can be considered a reliable screening test compared to the reference standard method, invasive ICP monitoring (ICP i ), in excluding the presence of intracranial hypertension. Methods This was a prospective, international, multicenter, unblinded, diagnostic accuracy study comparing the index test (ICP tcd ) with a reference standard (ICP i ), defined as the best available method for establishing the presence or absence of the condition of interest (i.e., intracranial hypertension). Acute brain-injured patients pertaining to one of four categories: traumatic brain injury (TBI), subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) or ischemic stroke (IS) requiring ICP i monitoring, were enrolled in 16 international intensive care units. ICP i measurements (reference test) were compared to simultaneous ICP tcd measurements ( index test) at three different timepoints: before, immediately after and 2 to 3 h following ICP i catheter insertion. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) were calculated at three different ICP i thresholds (> 20, > 22 and > 25 mmHg) to assess ICP tcd as a bedside real-practice screening method. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis with the area under the curve (AUC) was used to evaluate the discriminative accuracy and predictive capability of ICP tcd. Results Two hundred and sixty-two patients were recruited for final analysis. Intracranial hypertension (> 22 mmHg) occurred in 87 patients (33.2%). The total number of paired comparisons between ICP tcd and ICP i was 687. The NPV was elevated (ICP > 20 mmHg = 91.3%, > 22 mmHg = 95.6%, > 25 mmHg = 98.6%), indicating high discriminant accuracy of ICP tcd in excluding intracranial hypertension. Concordance correlation between ICP tcd and ICP i was 33.3% (95% CI 25.6–40.5%), and Bland–Altman showed a mean bias of -3.3 mmHg. The optimal ICP tcd threshold for ruling out intracranial hypertension was 20.5 mmHg, corresponding to a sensitivity of 70% (95% CI 40.7–92.6%) and a specificity of 72% (95% CI 51.9–94.0%) with an AUC of 76% (95% CI 65.6–85.5%). Conclusions and relevance ICP tcd has a high NPV in ruling out intracranial hypertension and may be useful to clinicians in situations where invasive methods cannot be used or not available. Trial registration : NCT02322970 .
Survival has been considered the cornerstone for clinical outcome evaluation in critically ill patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). There is evidence that ICU survivors commonly show impairments in long-term outcomes such as quality of life (QoL) considering them as the most relevant ones. In the last years, the concept of patient-important outcomes has been introduced and increasingly reported in peer-reviewed publications. In the present systematic review, we evaluated how many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted on critically ill patients and reporting a benefit on survival reported also data on QoL. All RCTs investigating nonsurgical interventions that significantly reduced mortality in critically ill patients were searched on MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus and Embase from inception until August 2021. In a second stage, for all the included studies, the outcome QoL was investigated. The primary outcome was to evaluate how many RCTs analyzing interventions reducing mortality reported also data on QoL. The secondary endpoint was to investigate if QoL resulted improved, worsened or not modified. Data on QoL were reported as evaluated outcome in 7 of the 239 studies (2.9%). The tools to evaluate QoL and QoL time points were heterogeneous. Four interventions showed a significant impact on QoL: Two interventions improved survival and QoL (pravastatin in subarachnoid hemorrhage, dexmedetomidine in elderly patients after noncardiac surgery), while two interventions reduced mortality but negatively influenced QoL (caloric restriction in patients with refeeding syndrome and systematic ICU admission in elderly patients). In conclusion, only a minority of RCTs in which an intervention demonstrated to affect mortality in critically ill patients reported also data on QoL. Future research in critical care should include patient-important outcomes like QoL besides mortality. Data on this topic should be collected in conformity with PROs statement and core outcome sets to guarantee quality and comparability of results.
Background The role of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is not fully elucidated. Therefore, we aimed to investigate in COVID-19 patients with moderate-to-severe ARDS the impact of early use of NMBAs on 90-day mortality, through propensity score (PS) matching analysis. Methods We analyzed a convenience sample of patients with COVID-19 and moderate-to-severe ARDS, admitted to 244 intensive care units within the COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium, from February 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. Patients undergoing at least 2 days and up to 3 consecutive days of NMBAs (NMBA treatment), within 48 h from commencement of IMV were compared with subjects who did not receive NMBAs or only upon commencement of IMV (control). The primary objective in the PS-matched cohort was comparison between groups in 90-day in-hospital mortality, assessed through Cox proportional hazard modeling. Secondary objectives were comparisons in the numbers of ventilator-free days (VFD) between day 1 and day 28 and between day 1 and 90 through competing risk regression. Results Data from 1953 patients were included. After propensity score matching, 210 cases from each group were well matched. In the PS-matched cohort, mean (± SD) age was 60.3 ± 13.2 years and 296 (70.5%) were male and the most common comorbidities were hypertension (56.9%), obesity (41.1%), and diabetes (30.0%). The unadjusted hazard ratio (HR) for death at 90 days in the NMBA treatment vs control group was 1.12 (95% CI 0.79, 1.59, p = 0.534). After adjustment for smoking habit and critical therapeutic covariates, the HR was 1.07 (95% CI 0.72, 1.61, p = 0.729). At 28 days, VFD were 16 (IQR 0–25) and 25 (IQR 7–26) in the NMBA treatment and control groups, respectively (sub-hazard ratio 0.82, 95% CI 0.67, 1.00, p = 0.055). At 90 days, VFD were 77 (IQR 0–87) and 87 (IQR 0–88) (sub-hazard ratio 0.86 (95% CI 0.69, 1.07; p = 0.177). Conclusions In patients with COVID-19 and moderate-to-severe ARDS, short course of NMBA treatment, applied early, did not significantly improve 90-day mortality and VFD. In the absence of definitive data from clinical trials, NMBAs should be indicated cautiously in this setting.
Background Questions remain on the optimal management of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients once they are admitted to the referring center, before and after the aneurysm treatment. To address these issues, we created a consensus of experts endorsed by the Italian Society of Anesthesia and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) to provide clinical guidance regarding this topic. Specifically, in this manuscript (part 2), we aim to provide a list of experts’ recommendations regarding the management of SAH patients in a center with neurosurgical/neuroendovascular facilities after aneurysm treatment. Methods A multidisciplinary consensus panel composed by 24 physicians selected for their established clinical and scientific expertise in the acute management of SAH patients with different specializations (anesthesia/intensive care, neurosurgery, and interventional neuroradiology) was created. A modified Delphi approach was adopted. Results A total of 33 statements were discussed, voted, and approved. Consensus was reached on 30 recommendations (28 strong and 2 weak). In 3 cases, where consensus could not be agreed upon, no recommendation was provided. Conclusions This consensus provides practical recommendations (and not mandatory standard of practice) to support clinician’s decision-making in the management of SAH patients in centers with neurosurgical/neuroendovascular facilities after aneurysm securing.
Background In multiple sclerosis, the correlation between white matter lesion volumes (LV) and expanded disability status scale (EDSS) is at best moderate, leading to the “clinico-radiological paradox”, influenced by many factors, including the lack of information on the spatial localisation of each lesion on synthetic metrics such as LV. We used a probabilistic approach to provide the volume of WM tracts that may be disconnected by lesions and to evaluate its correlation with EDSS. Methods Forty-five patients (aged 37.4 ± 6.8 years, mean ± standard deviation; 30 females; 29 relapsing-remitting, 16 progressive) underwent 3-T magnetic resonance imaging. Both LV and the volume of the tracts crossing the lesioned regions (disconnectome volume, DV) were calculated using BCBtoolkit and correlated with EDSS. Results T1-weighted LV and DV significantly correlated with EDSS ( p ≤ 0.006 r ≥ 0.413) as it was for T2-weighted LV and T2-weighted DV ( p ≤ 0.004 r ≥ 0.430), but only T1-weighetd and T2-weighted DVs were EDSS significant predictors ( p ≤ 0.001). The correlations of T1-weighted and T2-weighted LV with EDSS were significantly mediated by DV, while no effect of LV on the EDSS-DV correlation was observed. Conclusion The volume of disconnected WM bundles mediates the LV-EDSS correlation, representing the lonely EDSS predictor.
On-bill schemes are innovative financial frameworks for supporting investments in energy efficiency with a particular focus on residential buildings. These schemes are interesting since they allow to attract private capital in the energy efficiency market, and they also see the involvement of energy utilities which can be regarded as market aggregators. Despite the conceptual simplicity of these mechanisms, namely the utility provides upfront capital for the investment which is repaid by final users on the bill in a number of years, solid and innovative business models are necessary to support their development and implementation. To this aim the present paper employs the Value Flow Model to develop four business models to implement on-bill schemes. In particular, standard on-bill financing and on-bill repayment business models are developed in detail. In addition, more complicated and innovative business models, namely on-bill repayment via a Special Purpose Vehicle and on-bill repayment with a Master Servicer, are also developed for more complex schemes. These four fundamental business models can be used and adapted according to market context of operation. Finally, the possible involvement of Distribution System Operators as service providers or facilitators for on-bill schemes is also outlined.
This article presents the Lightning Performance (LP) assessment of a realistic portion of the Italian distribution network with the use of probability distributions for lightning parameters inferred from local data recorded by a Lightning Location System (LLS). The procedure considers downward negative first, negative subsequent, and positive return strokes, taking into account the number of strokes per flash (flash multiplicity) and the distance among return stroke impact points within the same flash (stroke terminations distance). The analysis of the effect produced using LLS data on the estimated number of flashovers per year on the test line is achieved by replacing one by one the standard distributions and parameters typically adopted in the literature, with those inferred from the LLS, when they can be considered reliable. Results show that adopting LLS-inferred parameters and distributions produces significant (positive or negative) variations in the estimated number of flashovers with respect to values computed with the standard approach.
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