This paper studies how incentives are affected by intention-based reciprocity preferences when the principal hires many agents. Our results describe the set of agents’ sensitivities to reciprocity required to sustain a given strategy profile. We also show that hiring reciprocal agents to implement a first- or a second-best contract will always benefit the principal if the strategy profile is symmetric. Instead, when the profile (first or second best) is asymmetric the principal’s interest might be better served by self-interested agents. We conclude the paper by clarifying when symmetric profiles are most likely to arise.
Background: Thyroglobulin (Tg) measurement following thyrotropin (TSH) stimulation is used in the follow-up of patients with differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). However, high-sensitive assays allow accurate measurement of serum Tg even without TSH stimulation. Here, we prospectively evaluated the impact of unstimulated high-sensitive Tg measurement in early and long-term outcome of patients with DTC.
Methods: One hundred and ninety five patients affected with DTC were evaluated. Six months after thyroid ablation (i.e., thyroidectomy plus radioiodine) serum Tg was measured during TSH-suppressive thyroxine (T4) treatment (onT4-Tg). Patients with undetectable onT4-Tg and negative neck ultrasound (US) were considered disease free and onT4-Tg was measured every 12 months for a mean follow-up of 6.8 (4.7–8.9) years. Patients with an increase in onT4-Tg underwent specific diagnostic work-up and appropriate treatment if necessary.
Results: Four patients showed recurrence at first follow-up visit with a corresponding increase in onT4-Tg concentrations (sensitivity 100%). Three patients had false positive onT4-Tg measurement (specificity 98%) with a spontaneous decrease within 3–6 months in all cases (specificity 100%). Three of 188 patients with undetectable serum onT4-Tg at first follow-up showed recurrence later with an increase in onT4-Tg as the first (n=2) or unique (n=1) sign of relapse (sensitivity 100%). Among 185 disease-free patients in a prolonged follow-up, 12 had a transient increase in onT4-Tg (specificity 91.6%). However, a spontaneous reduction within 3–6 months occurred in all cases (specificity 100%).
Conclusions: Undetectable serum onT4-Tg using a high-sensitivity immunoradiometric assay 6 months after thyroid ablation predicts low-risk of DTC recurrence. When onT4-Tg became detectable during follow-up, the evaluation of Tg slope in a 3–6 months period accurately discriminated patients with DTC recurrence from those without recurrence. This helped avoid unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
We give two short and elementary proofs of a characterization of constants function by Brezis. Whereas the original proof involves some refined arguments on Sobolev spaces and BV functions, ours are based either on convolutions or on a sort of nonsmooth Mean Value Theorem which is new to our knowledge.
The management of chronic pilonidal disease remains controversial, but recently, new minimal invasive approaches have been proposed. Whereas in the conventional surgical treatment an elliptical wedge of skin and subcutaneous tissue is created to remove the sinus and its lateral tracks, the basis for our new treatment is to create a minimal elliptical wedge of the subcutaneous tissue, including all the inflamed tissue and debris while leaving the overlying skin intact.
The mechanism of an endoscopic approach relies on use of the endoscope without cutaneous tissue damage. Advantages include shorter operative time and time to discharge, which impact resource management in both primary and secondary care: patients undergoing endoscopic technique have a high satisfaction rate, probably due to the low level of postoperative pain and early return to work and daily activities. However, it is mandatory that further studies would analyze surgical approaches to pilonidal sinus disease (PSD) with a consistent and adequate follow-up of at least 5 years. Both sinusectomy and endoscopic approach to PSD were found to be safe and effective compared with conventional techniques. Publishedresults of studies of newer approaches have demonstrated a low short-term complication rate, comparable to conventional surgery results.
BACKGROUND. Bacteriocins are peptides with antimicrobial efficacy produced by certain bacterial species. Probiotics indeed seem a promising method in the prevention of upper respiratory infections and our study would like to contribute to the results available in the literature, in order to underlie their true therapeutic potential role.
MATERIAL AND METHODS. Our multicenter pilot prospective study investigates 366 patients from September 2015 to February 2016. All the patients were treated with a topical device made up of a suspension of two specific bacterial strains: Streptococcus salivarius 24SMB and Streptococcus oralis 89a to be administered as nasal spray. The nasal spray was administered twice daily for 7 days per month for three consecutive months. A questionnaire about the subjective efficacy of the therapy correlated to an improvement of symptoms was also collected from patients.
RESULTS. After one year from the enrolment, a 70.07% reduction in the number of events compared with the number of expected episodes was observed.
CONCLUSION. The aim of our data is to propose a new therapeutic approach to treat the recurrence of upper airway infection and to support an adequate therapy in all cases where the traditional antibiotic therapeutic protocol did not obtain completely efficient results in terms of recurrence.
We report the effect of the aluminum oxide substrate on the emission of monolithic AlGaAs-on-insulator nonlinear nanoantennas. By coupling nonlinear optical measurements with electron diffraction and microscopy observations, we find that the oxidation-induced stress causes negligible crystal deformation in the AlGaAs nanostructures and only plays a minor role in the polarization state of the harmonic field. This result highlights the reliability of the wet oxidation of thick AlGaAs optical substrates and further confirms the bulk χ(2) origin of second harmonic generation at 1.55 μm in these nanoantennas, paving the way for the development of AlGaAs-on-insulator monolithic metasurfaces.
Within a project co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the final aim of which is to develop a WSN for smart monitoring of pesticides on agricultural land, the Italian and Serbian researchers have developed a hardware section of an electronic nose for pesticides. Since there are no specialized sensors which can smell the presence or absence of pesticides in the air, the electronic nose has been designed starting from an array of commercial gas sensors developed for other environmental applications. These sensors have a great advantage as they are COTS components. A measurement bench for testing the performance of the system has also been developed. Experimental tests have been conducted and the results have demonstrated the appropriateness of the idea. A test for calibration has been designed, as well, and it will be performed in the near future.
To evaluate the strength of association between maternal and pregnancy characteristics and the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes in pregnancies with laboratory confirmed COVID-19.
Secondary analysis of a multinational, cohort study on all consecutive pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from February 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020 from 73 centers from 22 different countries. A confirmed case of COVID-19 was defined as a positive result on real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay of nasal and pharyngeal swab specimens. The primary outcome was a composite adverse fetal outcome, defined as the presence of either abortion (pregnancy loss before 22 weeks of gestations), stillbirth (intrauterine fetal death after 22 weeks of gestation), neonatal death (death of a live-born infant within the first 28 days of life), and perinatal death (either stillbirth or neonatal death). Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate parameters independently associated with the primary outcome. Logistic regression was reported as odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Mean gestational age at diagnosis was 30.6±9.5 weeks, with 8.0% of women being diagnosed in the first, 22.2% in the second and 69.8% in the third trimester of pregnancy. There were six miscarriage (2.3%), six intrauterine device (IUD) (2.3) and 5 (2.0%) neonatal deaths, with an overall rate of perinatal death of 4.2% (11/265), thus resulting into 17 cases experiencing and 226 not experiencing composite adverse fetal outcome. Neither stillbirths nor neonatal deaths had congenital anomalies found at antenatal or postnatal evaluation. Furthermore, none of the cases experiencing IUD had signs of impending demise at arterial or venous Doppler. Neonatal deaths were all considered as prematurity-related adverse events. Of the 250 live-born neonates, one (0.4%) was found positive at RT-PCR pharyngeal swabs performed after delivery. The mother was tested positive during the third trimester of pregnancy. The newborn was asymptomatic and had negative RT-PCR test after 14 days of life. At logistic regression analysis, gestational age at diagnosis (OR: 0.85, 95% CI 0.8–0.9 per week increase; p<0.001), birthweight (OR: 1.17, 95% CI 1.09–1.12.7 per 100 g decrease; p=0.012) and maternal ventilatory support, including either need for oxygen or CPAP (OR: 4.12, 95% CI 2.3–7.9; p=0.001) were independently associated with composite adverse fetal outcome.
Early gestational age at infection, maternal ventilatory supports and low birthweight are the main determinants of adverse perinatal outcomes in fetuses with maternal COVID-19 infection. Conversely, the risk of vertical transmission seems negligible.