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Abstract

Objectives

The use of kidney function and injury markers for early detection of drug-related glomerular or tubular kidney injury in infants, children and adolescents requires age-specific data on reference intervals in a pediatric healthy population. This study characterizes serum values for eight kidney function and injury markers in healthy infants, children and adolescents.

Methods

A single center prospective observational study was conducted between December 2018 and June 2019. Serum samples from 142 healthy infants, children and adolescents aged between 0 and ≤15 years were collected. Statistical analyses for eight markers (albumin (ALB), β2-microglobulin (B2M), β-trace protein (BTP), creatinine (SCR), cystatin C (CYSC), kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1), neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), uromodulin (URO)) were performed to obtain reference intervals and associations with age, sex and weight were investigated (Pearson correlation, linear and piecewise regression).

Results

ALB and SCR increased with age (p<0.01), whereas B2M, BTP and KIM-1 values decreased with advancing age (p<0.05) in this healthy pediatric study population. CYSC showed dependency on sex (lower concentration in females) and decreased with age until reaching approximately 1.8 years; thereafter an increase with age was seen. NGAL and URO did not show any age-dependency.

Conclusions

This study provides age appropriate reference intervals for key serum kidney function and injury markers determined in healthy infants, children and adolescents. Such reference intervals facilitate the interpretation of changes in kidney function and injury markers in daily practice, and allow early detection of glomerular and tubular injury in infancy, childhood and adolescence.

Abstract

Objectives

Patients with impaired kidney function have a significantly slower decrease of procalcitonin (PCT) levels during infection. Our aim was to study PCT-guided antibiotic stewardship and clinical outcomes in patients with impairments of kidney function as assessed by creatinine levels measured upon hospital admission.

Methods

We pooled and analyzed individual data from 15 randomized controlled trials who were randomly assigned to receive antibiotic therapy based on a PCT-algorithms or based on standard of care. We stratified patients on the initial glomerular filtration rate (GFR, ml/min/1.73 m2) in three groups (GFR >90 [chronic kidney disease; CKD 1], GFR 15–89 [CKD 2–4] and GFR<15 [CKD 5]). The main efficacy and safety endpoints were duration of antibiotic treatment and 30-day mortality.

Results

Mean duration of antibiotic treatment was significantly shorter in PCT-guided (n=2,492) compared to control patients (n=2,510) (9.5–7.6 days; adjusted difference in days −2.01 [95% CI, −2.45 to −1.58]). CKD 5 patients had overall longer treatment durations, but a 2.5-day reduction in treatment duration was still found in patients receiving in PCT-guided care (11.3 vs. 8.6 days [95% CI −3.59 to −1.40]). There were 397 deaths in 2,492 PCT-group patients (15.9%) compared to 460 deaths in 2,510 control patients (18.3%) (adjusted odds ratio, 0.88 [95% CI 0.78 to 0.98)]. Effects of PCT-guidance on antibiotic treatment duration and mortality were similar in subgroups stratified by infection type and clinical setting (p interaction >0.05).

Conclusions

This individual patient data meta-analysis confirms that the use of PCT in patients with impaired kidney function, as assessed by admission creatinine levels, is associated with shorter antibiotic courses and lower mortality rates.

Abstract

Most hereditary diseases are incurable, but their deterioration could be delayed or stopped if diagnosed timely. It is thus imperative to explore the state-of-the-art and high-efficient diagnostic techniques for precise analysis of the symptoms or early diagnosis of pre-symptoms. Diagnostics based on clinical presentations, hard to distinguish different phenotypes of the same genotype, or different genotypes displaying similar phenotypes, are incapable of pre-warning the disease status. Molecular diagnosis is ahead of harmful phenotype exhibition. However, conventional gold-standard molecular classifications, such as karyotype analysis, Southern blotting (SB) and sequencing, suffer drawbacks like low automation, low throughput, prolonged duration, being labor intensive and high cost. Also, deficiency in flexibility and diversity is observed to accommodate the development of precise and individualized diagnostics. The aforementioned pitfalls make them unadaptable to the increasing clinical demand for detecting and interpreting numerous samples in a rapid, accurate, high-throughput and cost-effective manner. Nevertheless, capillary electrophoresis based on genetic information analysis, with advantages of automation, high speed, high throughput, high efficiency, high resolution, digitization, versatility, miniature and cost-efficiency, coupled with flexible-designed PCR strategies in sample preparation (PCR-CE), exhibit an excellent power in deciphering cryptic molecular information of superficial symptoms of genetic diseases, and can analyze in parallel a large number of samples in a single PCR-CE, thereby providing an alternative, accurate, customized and timely diagnostic tool for routine screening of clinical samples on a large scale. Thus, the present study focuses on CE-based nucleic acid analysis used for inherited disease diagnosis. Also, the limitations and challenges of this PCR-CE for diagnosing hereditary diseases are discussed.

Abstract

Objectives

Dual platelet inhibition is commonly used for prevention of cardiovascular events in patients undergoing neuroendovascular procedures. Non-responsiveness to platelet inhibitors may be associated with adverse outcomes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of the platelet function analyzer PFA-100® in comparison to light transmittance aggregometry (LTA) for monitoring clopidogrel and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) non-responsiveness in a cohort of patients treated for intracranial aneurysm or cranial artery stenosis.

Methods

Non-responsiveness to clopidogrel and ASA was assessed by LTA using adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and arachidonic acid and by PFA-100® with the ADP/prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and collagen/epinephrine cartridges, respectively.

Results

A total of 203 patients (145 females; median age, 57 years) were analyzed. Agreement between the two tests was poor for clopidogrel non-responsiveness (ƙ=0.19) and not better than chance for ASA non-responsiveness (ƙ=0.01). Clopidogrel non-responsiveness by LTA and PFA-100® was associated with higher von Willebrand factor antigen and activity levels. ADP-induced platelet disaggregation was lower in patients with clopidogrel non-responsiveness as assessed by PFA-100®. Clopidogrel non-responsiveness by LTA was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes and a higher body mass index (BMI). Adverse outcomes (death, thromboembolism, or in-stent thrombosis) occurred in 13% (n=26) of all patients independently of ASA and clopidogrel non-responsiveness as assessed by both devices.

Conclusions

Our results show that LTA and PFA-100® are not interchangeable in the assessment of ASA and clopidogrel non-responsiveness in patients undergoing neuroendovascular interventions.

Abstract

Objectives

The rRT-PCR test, the current gold standard for the detection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), presents with known shortcomings, such as long turnaround time, potential shortage of reagents, false-negative rates around 15–20%, and expensive equipment. The hematochemical values of routine blood exams could represent a faster and less expensive alternative.

Methods

Three different training data set of hematochemical values from 1,624 patients (52% COVID-19 positive), admitted at San Raphael Hospital (OSR) from February to May 2020, were used for developing machine learning (ML) models: the complete OSR dataset (72 features: complete blood count (CBC), biochemical, coagulation, hemogasanalysis and CO-Oxymetry values, age, sex and specific symptoms at triage) and two sub-datasets (COVID-specific and CBC dataset, 32 and 21 features respectively). 58 cases (50% COVID-19 positive) from another hospital, and 54 negative patients collected in 2018 at OSR, were used for internal-external and external validation.

Results

We developed five ML models: for the complete OSR dataset, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the algorithms ranged from 0.83 to 0.90; for the COVID-specific dataset from 0.83 to 0.87; and for the CBC dataset from 0.74 to 0.86. The validations also achieved good results: respectively, AUC from 0.75 to 0.78; and specificity from 0.92 to 0.96.

Conclusions

ML can be applied to blood tests as both an adjunct and alternative method to rRT-PCR for the fast and cost-effective identification of COVID-19-positive patients. This is especially useful in developing countries, or in countries facing an increase in contagions.