University Hospital Vall d'Hebron
  • Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Recent publications
Endovascular aneurysm repair (EVAR) is a minimally invasive treatment proposed as an alternative to open repair in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms. EVAR consists in a stent-graft placement within the aorta in order to exclude the aneurysm from arterial circulation and reduce the risk of rupture. Knowledge of the various types of devices is mandatory because some stents/grafts are more frequently associated with complications. CT angiography is the gold standard diagnostic technique for preprocedural planning and postprocedural surveillance. EVAR needs long-term follow-up due to the high rate of complications. Complications can be divided in endograft device-related and systemic complications. The purpose of this article is to review the CT imaging findings of EVAR complications and the key features for the diagnosis.
Background Non-invasive oxygenation strategies have a prominent role in the treatment of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While the efficacy of these therapies has been studied in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the clinical outcomes associated with oxygen masks, high-flow oxygen therapy by nasal cannula and non-invasive mechanical ventilation in critically ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients remain unclear. Methods In this retrospective study, we used the best of nine covariate balancing algorithms on all baseline covariates in critically ill COVID-19 patients supported with > 10 L of supplemental oxygen at one of the 26 participating ICUs in Catalonia, Spain, between March 14 and April 15, 2020. Results Of the 1093 non-invasively oxygenated patients at ICU admission treated with one of the three stand-alone non-invasive oxygenation strategies, 897 (82%) required endotracheal intubation and 310 (28%) died during the ICU stay. High-flow oxygen therapy by nasal cannula ( n = 439) and non-invasive mechanical ventilation ( n = 101) were associated with a lower rate of endotracheal intubation (70% and 88%, respectively) than oxygen masks ( n = 553 and 91% intubated), p < 0.001. Compared to oxygen masks, high-flow oxygen therapy by nasal cannula was associated with lower ICU mortality (hazard ratio 0.75 [95% CI 0.58–0.98), and the hazard ratio for ICU mortality was 1.21 [95% CI 0.80–1.83] for non-invasive mechanical ventilation. Conclusion In critically ill COVID-19 ICU patients and, in the absence of conclusive data, high-flow oxygen therapy by nasal cannula may be the approach of choice as the primary non-invasive oxygenation support strategy.
Background There is growing concern about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on radiology and the future of the profession. The aim of this study is to evaluate general knowledge and concerns about trends on imaging informatics among radiologists working in Spain (residents and attending physicians). For this purpose, an online survey among radiologists working in Spain was conducted with questions related to: knowledge about terminology and technologies, need for a regulated academic training on AI and concerns about the implications of the use of these technologies. Results A total of 223 radiologists answered the survey, of whom 76.7% were attending physicians and 23.3% residents. General terms such as AI and algorithm had been heard of or read in at least 75.8% and 57.4% of the cases, respectively, while more specific terms were scarcely known. All the respondents consider that they should pursue academic training in medical informatics and new technologies, and 92.9% of them reckon this preparation should be incorporated in the training program of the specialty. Patient safety was found to be the main concern for 54.2% of the respondents. Job loss was not seen as a peril by 45.7% of the participants. Conclusions Although there is a lack of knowledge about AI among Spanish radiologists, there is a will to explore such topics and a general belief that radiologists should be trained in these matters. Based on the results, a consensus is needed to change the current training curriculum to better prepare future radiologists.
Background Patency of the false lumen in chronic aortic dissection (AD) is associated with aortic dilation and long-term aortic events. However, predictors of adverse outcomes in this population are limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between aortic growth rate and false lumen flow dynamics and biomechanics in patients with chronic, patent AD. Methods Patients with a chronic AD with patent false lumen in the descending aorta and no genetic connective tissue disorder underwent an imaging follow-up including a contrast-enhanced 4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) protocol and two consecutive computed tomography angiograms (CTA) acquired at least 1 year apart. A comprehensive analysis of anatomical features (including thrombus quantification), and false lumen flow dynamics and biomechanics (pulse wave velocity) was performed. Results Fifty-four consecutive patients with a chronic, patent false lumen in the descending aorta were included (35 surgically-treated type A AD with residual tear and 19 medically-treated type B AD). Median follow-up was 40 months. The in-plane rotational flow, pulse wave velocity and the percentage of thrombus in the false lumen were positively related to aortic growth rate (p = 0.006, 0.017, and 0.037, respectively), whereas wall shear stress showed a trend for a positive association (p = 0.060). These results were found irrespectively of the type of AD. Conclusions In patients with chronic AD and patent false lumen of the descending aorta, rotational flow, pulse wave velocity and wall shear stress are positively related to aortic growth rate, and should be implemented in the follow-up algorithm of these patients. Further prospective studies are needed to confirm if the assessment of these parameters helps to identify patients at higher risk of adverse clinical events.
Background We aimed to assess the efficacy of a closed-loop oxygen control in critically ill patients with moderate to severe acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) treated with high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO). Methods In this single-centre, single-blinded, randomized crossover study, adult patients with moderate to severe AHRF who were treated with HFNO (flow rate ≥ 40 L/min with FiO 2 ≥ 0.30) were randomly assigned to start with a 4-h period of closed-loop oxygen control or 4-h period of manual oxygen titration, after which each patient was switched to the alternate therapy. The primary outcome was the percentage of time spent in the individualized optimal SpO 2 range. Results Forty-five patients were included. Patients spent more time in the optimal SpO 2 range with closed-loop oxygen control compared with manual titrations of oxygen (96.5 [93.5 to 98.9] % vs. 89 [77.4 to 95.9] %; p < 0.0001) (difference estimate, 10.4 (95% confidence interval 5.2 to 17.2). Patients spent less time in the suboptimal range during closed-loop oxygen control, both above and below the cut-offs of the optimal SpO 2 range, and less time above the suboptimal range. Fewer number of manual adjustments per hour were needed with closed-loop oxygen control. The number of events of SpO 2 < 88% and < 85% were not significantly different between groups. Conclusions Closed-loop oxygen control improves oxygen administration in patients with moderate-to-severe AHRF treated with HFNO, increasing the percentage of time in the optimal oxygenation range and decreasing the workload of healthcare personnel. These results are especially relevant in a context of limited oxygen supply and high medical demand, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Trial registration The HILOOP study was registered at under the identifier NCT04965844 .
Introduction: Value-based health care represents a patient-centered approach by valuing Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). Our aim was to describe the additional value of PROMs after an acute stroke over conventional outcome measures and to identify early predictors of poor PROMs. Methods: Acute stroke patients discharged from a tertiary care hospital followed by a web/phone-based PROMs collection program in the post hospitalization phase. Main PROMs involve anxiety and depression (HADS) (each defined by HADS ≥ 10) and global physical (PHY-) and mental (M-) health (PROMIS-10). PROMIS cut-off raw values of normality were: PHY-PROMIS ≥ 13 and M-PROMIS ≥ 11. An overall health status (OHS) from 0 to 100 was also determined. PROMs related to the different modified Rankin Scale (mRS) grades were defined. Early predictors of PROMs were evaluated. Results: We included 1321 stroke patients, mean age 75 (± 8.6) and 55.7% male; 77.7% returned home. Despite a favorable mRS at 3 months (< 3), a relevant rate of patients considered without symptoms or with mild disability showed unfavorable results in the measured PROMs (8% unfavorable OHS, 15% HAD-depression, 12.1% HAD-anxiety, 28.7% unfavorable M-PROMIS and 33.1% unfavorable PHY-PROMIS results). Along follow-up, only PHY-PROMIS and OHS showed significant improvement (p < 0.01 and 0.03, respectively). The multivariate analysis including discharge variables showed that female sex, higher discharge mRS and discharge to socio-rehabilitation-center (SRC) were independent predictors of unfavorable results in PROMs (p < 0.01). When adding 7 days PROMs results, they emerged as the strongest predictors of 3 months PROMs. Conclusions: A high proportion of stroke patients show unfavorable results in PROMs at 3 months, even those with favorable mRS, and most results obtained by PROMs during follow-up continued to indicate alterations. Female sex, mRS and discharge to SRC predicted unfavorable results in PROMs, but the strongest predictors of 3 months PROMs were the results of the 7 days PROMs.
Background Patient registries provide long-term, real-world evidence that aids the understanding of the natural history and progression of disease, and the effects of treatment on large patient populations with rare diseases. The year 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Fabry Outcome Survey (FOS), an international, multicenter, observational registry (NCT03289065). The primary aims of FOS are to broaden the understanding of Fabry disease (FD), an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder, and to improve the clinical management of affected patients. Here, we review the history of FOS and the analyses and publications disseminated from the registry, and we discuss the contributions FOS studies have made in understanding FD. Results FOS was initiated in April 2001 and, as of January 2021, 4484 patients with a confirmed diagnosis and patient informed consent have been enrolled from 144 centers across 26 countries. Data from FOS have been published in nearly 60 manuscripts on a wide variety of topics relevant to FD. Analyses of FOS data have investigated the long-term effectiveness and safety of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with agalsidase alfa and its effects on morbidity and mortality, as well as the benefits of prompt and early treatment with agalsidase alfa on the progression of cardiomyopathy and the decline in renal function associated with FD. Based on analyses of FOS data, ERT with agalsidase alfa has also been shown to improve additional signs and symptoms of FD experienced by patients. FOS data analyses have provided a better understanding of the natural history of FD and the specific populations of women, children, and the elderly, and have provided practical tools for the study of FD. FOS has also provided methodology and criteria for assessing disease severity which contributed to the continuous development of medical practice in FD and has largely improved our understanding of the challenges and needs of long-term data collection in rare diseases, aiding in future rare disease real-world evidence studies. Conclusion FOS over the last 20 years has substantially increased the scientific knowledge around improved patient management of FD and continues to expand our understanding of this rare disease.
Background The development of liver cirrhosis is usually an asymptomatic process until late stages when complications occur. The potential reversibility of the disease is dependent on early diagnosis of liver fibrosis and timely targeted treatment. Recently, the use of non-invasive tools has been suggested for screening of liver fibrosis, especially in subjects with risk factors for chronic liver disease. Nevertheless, large population-based studies with cost-effectiveness analyses are still lacking to support the widespread use of such tools. The aim of this study is to investigate whether non-invasive liver stiffness measurement in the general population is useful to identify subjects with asymptomatic, advanced chronic liver disease. Methods This study aims to include 30,000 subjects from eight European countries. Subjects from the general population aged ≥ 40 years without known liver disease will be invited to participate in the study either through phone calls/letters or through their primary care center. In the first study visit, subjects will undergo bloodwork as well as hepatic fat quantification and liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by vibration-controlled transient elastography. If LSM is ≥ 8 kPa and/or if ALT levels are ≥1.5 x upper limit of normal, subjects will be referred to hospital for further evaluation and consideration of liver biopsy. The primary outcome is the percentage of subjects with LSM ≥ 8kPa. In addition, a health economic evaluation will be performed to assess the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of such an intervention. The project is funded by the European Commission H2020 program. Discussion This study comes at an especially important time, as the burden of chronic liver diseases is expected to increase in the coming years. There is consequently an urgent need to change our current approach, from diagnosing the disease late when the impact of interventions may be limited to diagnosing the disease earlier, when the patient is asymptomatic and free of complications, and the disease potentially reversible. Ultimately, the LiverScreen study will serve as a basis from which diagnostic pathways can be developed and adapted to the specific socio-economic and healthcare conditions in each country. Trial registration This study is registered on ( NCT03789825 ).
Background All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) plays an essential role during human eye development, being temporally and spatially adjusted to create gradient concentrations that guide embryonic anterior and posterior axis formation of the eye. Perturbations in ATRA signaling can result in severe ocular developmental diseases. Although it is known that ATRA is essential for correct eye formation, how ATRA influences the different ocular tissues during the embryonic development of the human eye is still not well studied. Here, we investigated the effects of ATRA on the differentiation and the maturation of human ocular tissues using an in vitro model of human-induced pluripotent stem cells-derived multiocular organoids. Methods Multiocular organoids, consisting of the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and cornea, were cultured in a medium containing low (500 nM) or high (10 µM) ATRA concentrations for 60 or 90 days. Furthermore, retinal organoids were cultured with taurine and T3 to further study photoreceptor modulation during maturation. Histology, immunochemistry, qPCR, and western blot were used to study gene and protein differential expression between groups. Results High ATRA levels promote the transparency of corneal organoids and the neuroretinal development in retinal organoids. However, the same high ATRA levels decreased the pigmentation levels of RPE organoids and, in long-term cultures, inhibited the maturation of photoreceptors. By contrast, low ATRA levels enhanced the pigmentation of RPE organoids, induced the opacity of corneal organoids—due to an increase in collagen type IV in the stroma— and allowed the maturation of photoreceptors in retinal organoids. Moreover, T3 promoted rod photoreceptor maturation, whereas taurine promoted red/green cone photoreceptors. Conclusion ATRA can modulate corneal epithelial integrity and transparency, photoreceptor development and maturation, and the pigmentation of RPE cells in a dose-dependent manner. These experiments revealed the high relevance of ATRA during ocular tissue development and its use as a potential new strategy to better modulate the development and maturation of ocular tissue through temporal and spatial control of ATRA signaling.
Background Late HIV diagnosis (i.e CD4≤350 cells/µL) is associated with poorer outcomes. However, determinants of long-term mortality and factors influencing immune recovery within the first years after antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation are poorly defined. Methods From PISCIS cohort, we included all HIV-positive adults, two-year survivors after initiating ART between 2005–2019. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality according to the two-year CD4 count. We used Poisson regression. The secondary outcome was incomplete immune recovery (i.e., two-year CD4<500 cells/µL). We used logistic regression and propensity score matching. Findings We included 2,719 participants (16593·1 person-years): 1441 (53%) late presenters (LP) and 1278 non-LP (1145 non-LP with two-year CD4 count >500 cells/µL, reference population). Overall, 113 patients (4·2%) died. Mortality was higher among LP with two-year CD4 count 200–500 cells/µL (aMRR 1·95[95%CI:1·06-3·61]) or <200 cells/µL (aMRR 4·59[2·25-9·37]). Conversely, no differences were observed in participants with two-year CD4 counts >500 cells/µL, regardless of being initially LP or non-LP (aMRR 1·05[0·50-2·21]). Mortality rates within each two-year CD4 strata were not affected by the initial CD4 count at ART initiation (test-interaction, p = 0·48). The stronger factor influencing immune recovery was the CD4 count at ART initiation. First-line integrase-inhibitor-(INSTI)-based regimens were associated with reduced mortality compared to other regimens (aMRR 0·54[0·31-0·93]) and reduced risk of incomplete immune recovery in LP (aOR 0·70[0·52-0·95]). Interpretation Two-year immune recovery is a good early predictor of long-term mortality in LP after surviving the first high-risk 2 years. Nearly half experienced a favorable immune recovery with a life expectancy similar to non-LP. INSTI-based regimens were associated with higher rates of successful immune recovery and better survival compared to non-INSTI regimens. Funding Southern-Denmark University, Danish AIDS-foundation, and Region of Southern Denmark.
Purpose Regional lymph node disease (N1) is a component of the risk-based treatment stratification in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). The purpose of this study was to determine the contribution of nodal disease to the prognosis of patients with non-metastatic embryonal RMS (ERMS) and analyse their outcome by treatment received. Patients and methods Between 2005 and 2016, 1294 children with ERMS were enrolled in the European paediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group (EpSSG) RMS 2005 protocol, 143 patients with N1. Treatment comprised 9 cycles of ifosfamide, vincristine and dactinomycin. Some patients also received doxorubicin and/or maintenance if enrolled in the randomised studies. Local treatment was planned after 4 cycles of chemotherapy and included surgery to remove macroscopic residual tumour and/or radiotherapy (primary tumour and involved nodes). Results N1 patients were older and presented with tumours of unfavourable size, invasiveness, site and resectability. Unlike alveolar RMS, nodal involvement was more frequent in the head and neck area and rare in extremity sites. The 5-year event-free and overall survival were 75.5% and 86.3% for patients with N0, and 65.2% and 70.7% for patients with N1, respectively. The nodal involvement and the result of surgery at diagnosis (Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study group) were independent prognostic factors on multivariate analysis. Considering only patients with N1 ERMS, we were not able to identify any treatment variables which correlated with the outcome. Conclusion In the case of nodal involvement, patients with ERMS present different characteristics and a better outcome than alveolar RMS. Regional nodal involvement is an independent prognostic factor in ERMS, therefore it is appropriate to include this population in the high-risk category.
Introduction Nazartinib, a novel third-generation EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor, previously demonstrated antitumor activity and manageable safety in patients with EGFR-mutant advanced non−small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received ≤ 3 prior lines of systemic therapy. Herein, we report phase 2 efficacy and safety of first-line nazartinib. Methods This single-arm, open-label, global study enrolled treatment-naive adult patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC harboring EGFR-activating mutations (eg, L858R and/or ex19del). Patients with neurologically stable and controlled brain metastases were also eligible. Patients received oral nazartinib 150 mg once daily. The primary endpoint was Blinded Independent Review Committee (BIRC)-assessed overall response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1. Results Forty-five patients received ≥ 1 dose of nazartinib. The median follow-up time from enrollment to data cutoff (November 1, 2019) was 30 months (range: 25–34). The BIRC-assessed ORR was 69% (95% CI, 53–82). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 18 months (95% CI, 15-not estimable [NE]). The median overall survival was NE. In patients with baseline brain metastases (n = 18), the ORR and median PFS (95% CIs) were 67% (41–87) and 17 months (11–21). Seventeen of 18 patients had brain metastases as non-target lesions; the CNS lesions were absent/normalized in 9 of 17 (53%). Only 2 of 27 patients without baseline brain metastases developed new brain metastases postbaseline. Most frequent adverse events (≥ 25%, any grade, all-causality) were diarrhea (47%), maculopapular rash (38%), pyrexia (29%), cough, and stomatitis (27% each). Conclusions First-line nazartinib demonstrated promising efficacy, including clinically meaningful antitumor activity in the brain, and manageable safety in patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC. Trial registration
Introduction: ERAS protocols have been shown to improve surgical and clinical outcomes. The aim of this survey was to acquire a comprehensive assessment of the current status of implementation of ERAS protocols across Europe. Methods: The survey was launched by The European Network of Young gynecologic oncologists (ENYGO). A 45 item survey was disseminated online through the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) Network database. Results: A total of 116 ESGO centers participated in the survey between December 2020 and June 2021. Overall, 80 (70%) centers reported that ERAS was implemented at their institution. 63% reported a length of stay (LOS) for advanced ovarian cancer surgery between 5-7 days; 57 (81%) centers reported a LOS between 2-4 days in patients who underwent an early-stage gynecological cancer surgery. The ERAS items with high reported compliance (>75% 'normally-always') included deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis (89%), antibiotic prophylaxis (79%), prevention of hypothermia (55%) and early mobilization (55%). The ERAS items that were poorly adhered to (less than 50%) included early removal of urinary catheter (33%), and avoidance of drains (25%). Conclusion: This survey shows broad implementation of ERAS protocols across Europe, however, a wide variation in adherence to the various ERAS protocol items were reported.
Aims: The response to Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RAs) is highly varia-ble among patients. Thus, the identification of predictive biomarkers of therapeutic response to GLP-1 RA could help us to optimize the use of this class of drugs. GLP-1RAs increase exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (EPAC). The aim of the present study was to assess whether the increase of EPAC1 after GLP-1RAs treatment could be a biomarker of clinical response. Methods: After showing that GLP-1 (10 ng/mL) significantly increased the expression of EPAC1 in human endo-thelial vascular cells (HUVEC), a pilot clinical study was planned. For this purpose 49 patients with type 2 diabetes who started treatment with liraglutide were included. EPAC1 concentration was determined by ELISA before and at one month of liraglutide treatment. Results: We found that serum concentration of EPAC1 increased significantly after treatment with liraglutide. Only in those patients in whom EPAC1 increased (64%), a significant decrease in HbA1c, LDL-C, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference was shown. Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that the increase of circulating EPAC1 after GLP-1RAs treatment could be a useful biomarker to predict clinical GLP1-RAs response.
Transgender identities are still considered a psychiatric pathology in many countries according to the prevailing biomedical model. However, in recent years, this pathologizing vision has begun to shift towards a perspective that focuses on the diversity of transgender peoples’ experiences. However, some transgender people still face denial of services, discrimination, harassment, and even violence by healthcare professionals, causing them to avoid seeking ongoing or preventive healthcare. This article describes the health experiences of transgender people in Barcelona regarding their access and use of non-specialized health services. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a descriptive phenomenological approach with sixteen transgender people between December 2018 and July 2019. The data were analyzed descriptively and thematically following the method proposed by Colaizzi with the help of the Atlas.ti8 software. Transgender people care experiences were divided into three categories: overcoming obstacles, training queries, and coping strategies. Participants identified negative experiences and difficulties with the health system due to healthcare providers’ lack of competence. Discriminatory, authoritarian, and paternalist behaviors are still present and hinder the therapeutic relationship, care, and access to healthcare services. There is a fundamental need for the depathologization of transgender reality and training for healthcare professionals in the field of sexual diversity. Training in sexual and gender diversity must be included in the curricula of university courses in the health sciences.
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1,175 members
Adrian Curran
  • Department of Infectious Diseases
David Gómez
  • Child Neurology Section
Andres Anton
  • Microbiology Department
Pilar Lusilla
  • Department of Psychiatry
Teresa Pont
  • Donation and Transplant Procurement & Management
Pssg. Vall d'Hebron 119 - 129, 08035, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Head of institution
Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez