Recent Submissions

  • COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of infection in multiple sclerosis patients on disease modifying therapies: "what the bleep do we know?"

    Mansoor, Salman; Kelly, Siobhan; Murphy, Kevin; Waters, Aine; Siddiqui, Nauman Saleem (2020-05-01)
    The novel coronavirus which emerged in Wuhan province of China has taken world by surprise. Since been diagnosed in December 2019, it has been termed a "Pandemic" and there is a growing concern in physicians across the globe. As new evidence is emerging, there are various preventative strategies which are being deployed. Multiple sclerosis patients who are on disease modifying therapies (DMTs) might be at a higher risk of acquiring or a poorer outcome due to their immune status. This review looks at the available evidence in managing this global crisis.
  • Routine neck ultrasound by respiratory physicians in the diagnosis and staging of patients with lung cancer and mediastinal lymphadenopathy: a prospective pilot study.

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Daneshvar, Cyrus; Breen, David (2020-02-10)
    Introduction: Cervical lymphadenopathy in lung cancer indicates advanced disease. The presence of mediastinal lymphadenopathy is commonly associated with involvement of neck lymph nodes and some studies suggest routine neck ultrasound (NUS) in this group of patients. We conducted a two-phase study looking at training a respiratory physician to perform ultrasound-guided neck lymph node aspiration in patients with suspected lung cancer. Methods: In the first phase of the study, one of the authors underwent training in NUS according to predetermined criteria. The adequacy of sampling was prospectively recorded. In the second phase, consecutive patients with suspected lung cancer and mediastinal lymphadenopathy underwent NUS and sampling of abnormal lymph nodes. The outcomes were the adequacy of samples for pathological analysis and molecular analysis, prevalence of cervical lymphadenopathy, and change in stage. Results: Following the period of training, 35 patients underwent neck node sampling with an overall adequacy of 88.6% (95% CI 78.1-99.1%). Cervical lymph node involvement was confirmed in 13 out of 30 patients with lung cancer (43.3%, 95% CI 25.5-62.6%). Further immunohistochemistry and molecular studies were possible in all patients when it was required (nine cases). NUS led to nodal upstaging in four out of 30 (13.3%) cases. Conclusion: Training a respiratory physician to perform NUS and needle sampling to an acceptable level is feasible. Benefits of embedding this procedure in lung cancer diagnosis and pathway staging need to be explored in further studies.
  • Comparison of long-term clinical outcomes in multivessel coronary artery disease patients treated either with bioresoarbable polymer sirolimus-eluting stent or permanent polymer everolimus-eluting stent: 5-year results of the CENTURY II randomized clinical trial.

    Iñiguez, Andrés; Chevalier, Bernard; Richardt, Gert; Neylon, Antoinette; Jiménez, Victor A; Kornowski, Ran; Carrie, Didier; Moreno, Raul; Barbato, Emanuele; Serra-Peñaranda, Antoni; et al. (2019-04-29)
    Objectives: To assess the long-term safety and efficacy of a sirolimus-eluting stent with bioresorbable polymer (BP-SES; Ultimaster), in comparison to a benchmark everolimus-eluting, permanent polymer stent (PP-EES; Xience), in a prespecified subgroup of patients with multivessel coronary artery disease (MVD) enrolled in the CENTURY II trial. Background: The use of coronary stenting in high-risk subgroups, like MVD patients, is rising. The clinical evidence, including long-term comparative analysis of the efficacy and safety benefits of different new-generation drug eluting stents, however, remains insufficient. Methods: Among 1,119 patients (intention-to-treat) enrolled in the CENTURY II prospective, randomized, single-blind, multicenter trial, a prespecified subgroup of 456 MVD patients were allocated by stratified randomization to treatment with BP-SES (n = 225) or PP-EES (n = 231). The previously reported primary endpoint of this study was freedom from target lesion failure (TLF: a composite of cardiac death, target vessel-related myocardial infarction [MI] and clinically-indicated target lesion revascularization) at 9 months. Results: In this MVD substudy, baseline patient, lesion and procedure characteristics were similar between the treatment arms. At 1 and 5 years, both BP-SES and PP-EES displayed low and comparable rates of TLF (5.3 vs. 7.8%; p = .29 and 10.2 vs. 13.4%; p = .29), and definite or probable stent thrombosis (0.4 vs. 1.3%; p = .33 and 0.9 vs. 1.7%; p = .43), respectively. Composite endpoint of cardiac death and MI, and patient-oriented composite endpoint of any death, MI, and coronary revascularizations were also similar. Conclusions: These results confirm good long-term safety and efficacy of the studied bioresorbable polymer stent in this high-risk patient population.
  • Inflammatory marker alteration in response to systemic therapies in psoriasis.

    Grechin, Cristina; Gheucă Solovăstru, Laura; Vâță, Dan; Ionela Pătrașcu, Adriana; Ioana Grăjdeanu, Alina; Porumb-Andrese, Elena (2020-02-18)
    Substantial research has focused on the presence of biomarkers involved in both the pathogenesis of psoriasis and its comorbidities. The identification of these biomarkers has a crucial role in establishing the diagnosis and prognosis, in understanding the physiopathological mechanism and in determining the therapeutic response. The aim of this study was to emphasize the alteration in inflammatory markers in response to systemic therapies in psoriasis. Evolution of inflammatory marker alteration was studied in 194 patients with psoriasis, aged between 7 and 87 years. Two groups were set up: the first comprised of patients treated with methotrexate (n=51), while the second comprised patients treated with biological therapy (n=143). Each group was evaluated for blood values of C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and fibrinogen before and after treatment, the fluctuation of these values according to the treatment, the interrelation between inflammatory markers and inflammatory activity of the disease and the evolution of the disease after treatment. In group I, 46 out of 51 patients had elevated levels of acute phase reactants before treatment. After treatment with methotrexate 7.5 mg/week, 12 out of 46 patients had elevated blood levels of ESR and 18 out of 46 patients of CRP and fibrinogen. Before treatment with biological therapy, 138 patients out of 143 presented abnormal high range for acute phase reactants. After treatment with biological therapy, 18 patients out of 138 had elevated blood levels of ESR and 37 patients out of 138 had elevated CRP and fibrinogen. A favorable evolution was noted in 98 patients out of 138. It was concluded that the systemic treatment with both methotrexate and biological therapy showed a marked decline in the patients with abnormal values of CRP, ESR and fibrinogen, indirectly showing a decline in the inflammatory activity of psoriasis.
  • Senescence and Inflammatory Markers for Predicting Clinical Progression in Parkinson's Disease: The ICICLE-PD Study.

    Martin-Ruiz, Carmen; Williams-Gray, Caroline H; Yarnall, Alison J; Boucher, John J; Lawson, Rachael A; Wijeyekoon, Ruwani S; Barker, Roger A; Kolenda, Claire; Parker, Craig; Burn, David J; et al. (2020-01-13)
    Background: Cognitive decline is a frequent complication of Parkinson's disease (PD) and the identification of predictive biomarkers for it would help in its management. Objective: Our aim was to analyse whether senescence markers (telomere length, p16 and p21) or their change over time could help to better predict cognitive and motor progression of newly diagnosed PD patients. We also compared these senescence markers to previously analysed markers of inflammation for the same purpose. Methods: This study examined the association of blood-derived markers of cell senescence and inflammation with motor and cognitive function over time in an incident PD cohort (the ICICLE-PD study). Participants (154 newly diagnosed PD patients and 99 controls) underwent physical and cognitive assessments over 36 months of follow up. Mean leukocyte telomere length and the expression of senescence markers p21 and p16 were measured at two time points (baseline and 18 months). Additionally, we selected five inflammatory markers from existing baseline data. Results: We found that PD patients had shorter telomeres at baseline and 18 months compared to age-matched healthy controls which also correlated to dementia at 36 months. Baseline p16 levels were associated with faster rates of motor and cognitive decline over 36 months in PD cases, while a simple inflammatory summary score at baseline best predicted cognitive score over this same time period in PD patients. Conclusion: Our study suggests that both inflammatory and senescence markers (p16) are valuable predictors of clinical progression in PD patients.
  • Preference for Alternate-Day Versus Conventional In-Center Dialysis: A Health Utility Elicitation.

    Solimano, Rafael J; Lineen, James; Naimark, David M J (2020-04-26)
    Background: Mortality rates for patients on hemodialysis (HD) continue to be high, in particular, following the long interdialytic period, yet thrice-weekly conventional HD (CHD) is still an almost universal regimen. Alternate-day dialysis (ADD) may have advantages over the current schedule because it would eliminate the long interdialytic break. A preliminary, as yet unpublished, patient simulation and cost-utility analysis compared CHD versus ADD and demonstrated that the economic attractiveness of ADD was sensitive, in particular, to patients' preference for ADD versus CHD. To date, this preference has not been elicited. Objective: To elicit utilities for both CHD and ADD using 3 standard elicitation methods among a prevalent cohort of patients on CHD. Design: This study is a single-center survey of patient preferences (utilities). Setting: This study took place within the dialysis units of Sunnybrook Health Centre, a university-affiliated teaching hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which encompasses 174 patients on in-center HD. Patients: Those older than 18 years of age, on thrice-weekly HD, were included in this study. Measurements: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize patient characteristics and the utility values generated. A multiple linear regression was performed to determine an association between participant characteristics and the utility ratio. Methods: Via standardized face-to-face interviews by a single investigator, 3 utility elicitation methods, visual analogue scale (VAS), time trade-off (TTO), and standard gamble (SG), were administered to generate utilities for each patient for their current health state of CHD (thrice-weekly). After completing this task, we provided each patient with a concise summary regarding the current literature on how ADD may impact their health. Finally, patients were asked to envision their health while on an ADD regimen while repeating the VAS, TTO, and SG. Results: We recruited 65 participants. The mean utilities of CHD versus ADD were similar for all 3 methods. Visual analogue scale, TTO, and SG had utility values of 0.6 ± 0.2, 0.6 ± 0.3, and 0.7 ± 0.3, and 0.6 ± 0.2, 0.7 ± 0.3, and 0.7 ± 0.3 for CHD and ADD, respectively. The ratio for CHD to ADD was 1.1 ± 0.4, 1.1 ± 0.5, and 1.0 ± 0.2 for VAS, TTO, and SG, respectively. Limitations: Small sample size from a single center, where not all participants agreed to participate, wide variability in participant responses and requiring patients to conceptually imagine life on ADD may have affected our results. Conclusions: Compared with CHD, there was no difference in the preference toward ADD which demonstrates promise that adopting an alternate-day schedule may be acceptable to patients. Furthermore, with the generation of a utility for ADD, this will allow for more precise estimates in future simulation studies of the economic attractiveness of ADD.
  • ERS International Congress, Madrid, 2019: highlights from the Airway Diseases, Asthma and COPD Assembly.

    Lahousse, Lies; Bahmer, Thomas; Cuevas-Ocaña, Sara; Flajolet, Pauline; Mathioudakis, Alexander G; McDonnell, Melissa; Uller, Lena; Schleich, Florence; Dortas Junior, Sergio; Idzko, Marco; et al. (2020-02-17)
    The European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2019 in Madrid, Spain, was a platform for scientific discussion of the highest quality scientific research, cutting-edge techniques and innovative new therapies within the respiratory field. This article discusses some of the high-quality research studies presented at that Congress, with a focus on airway diseases, including asthma, COPD, small airways, bronchiectasis and cough, presented through the Airway Diseases, Asthma and COPD Assembly (Assembly 5) of the ERS. The authors establish the key take-home messages of these studies, compare their findings and place them into context of current understanding.
  • Prevalence and clinical implications of respiratory viruses in stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and exacerbations: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

    Kefala, Anastasia M; Fortescue, Rebecca; Alimani, Gioulinta S; Kanavidis, Prodromos; McDonnell, Melissa Jane; Magiorkinis, Emmanouil; Megremis, Spyridon; Paraskevis, Dimitrios; Voyiatzaki, Chrysa; Mathioudakis, Georgios A; et al. (2020-04-07)
    Introduction: Both stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute exacerbations represent leading causes of death, disability and healthcare expenditure. They are complex, heterogeneous and their mechanisms are poorly understood. The role of respiratory viruses has been studied extensively but is still not adequately addressed clinically. Through a rigorous evidence update, we aim to define the prevalence and clinical burden of the different respiratory viruses in stable COPD and exacerbations, and to investigate whether viral load of usual respiratory viruses could be used for diagnosis of exacerbations triggered by viruses, which are currently not diagnosed or treated aetiologically. Methods and analysis: Based on a prospectively registered protocol, we will systematically review the literature using standard methods recommended by the Cochrane Collaboration and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation working group. We will search Medline/PubMed, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), the Cochrane Library, the WHO's Clinical Trials Registry and the proceedings of relevant international conferences on 2 March 2020. We will evaluate: (A) the prevalence of respiratory viruses in stable COPD and exacerbations, (B) differences in the viral loads of respiratory viruses in stable COPD vs exacerbations, to explore whether the viral load of prevalent respiratory viruses could be used as a diagnostic biomarker for exacerbations triggered by viruses and (C) the association between the presence of respiratory viruses and clinical outcomes in stable COPD and in exacerbations. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval is not required since no primary data will be collected. Our findings will be presented in national and international scientific conferences and will be published in peer reviewed journals. Respiratory viruses currently represent a lost opportunity to improve the outcomes of both stable COPD and exacerbations. Our work aspires to 'demystify' the prevalence and clinical burden of viruses in stable COPD and exacerbations and to promote clinical and translational research.
  • Biallelic CYP24A1 variants presenting during pregnancy: clinical and biochemical phenotypes.

    Griffin, Tomás P; Joyce, Caroline M; Alkanderi, Sumaya; Blake, Liam M; O'Keeffe, Derek T; Bogdanet, Delia; Islam, Md Nahidul; Dennedy, Michael C; Gillan, John E; Morrison, John J; et al.
    Introduction: Inactivating mutations in CYP24A1, encoding vitamin D-24-hydroxylase, can lead to an accumulation of active vitamin D metabolites and consequent hypercalcaemia. Patient (infantile and adult) presentation is varied and includes mild-severe hypercalcaemia, hypercalciuria, nephrocalcinosis and nephrolithiasis. This study aimed to characterize the clinical and biochemical phenotypes of a family with two CYP24A1 missense variants. Methods: The proband and seven family members underwent detailed clinical and biochemical evaluation. Laboratory measurements included serum calcium, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), vitamin D metabolites and urine calcium and creatinine. Results: The proband presented during the second trimester of a planned pregnancy with flu-like symptoms. Laboratory tests showed elevated adjusted calcium of 3.27 (upper reference limit (URL: 2.30) mmol/L), suppressed iPTH (<6 ng/L), elevated 25(OH)D (264 (URL: 55) nmol/L) and elevated 1,25(OH)D (293 (URL: <280) pmol/L). Ionized calcium was 1.55 (URL: 1.28) mmol/L. Sanger sequencing revealed two heterozygous missense variants in the CYP24A1: p.(Arg439Cys), R439C and p.(Trp275Arg), W275R. The proband's brother and sister had the same genotype. The brother had intermittent hypercalcaemia and hypervitaminosis D. Only the sister had a history of nephrolithiasis. The proband's daughter and two nephews were heterozygous for the R439C variant. The proband and her brother frequently had elevated 25(OH)D:24,25(OH)2D ratios (>50) during follow-up. Conclusions: W275R is a new pathogenic CYP24A1 mutation in compound heterozygotic form with R439C in this family.
  • A prospective cohort study of the conservative management of focal cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2.

    McMahon, Gabriela; Griffin, Sinead; Curley, Jennifer; Hartel, Paul; Kilgallen, Clive; Kondaveeti, Nirmala; Sligo University Hospital (European Society of Gynaecology, 2020)
    Background and Purpose: Traditionally, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 (CIN 2) is managed by the removal of affect-ed tissue in a procedure known as a large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ). In our unit, pathology reports on LLETZ specimens done for a diagnosis of CIN 2 often are reported as CIN 1 or a normal result. So we wondered – are we over-managing CIN 2? Methods: This study was designed to assess the acceptability and outcomes of the conservative management of focal CIN 2. We wanted to establish if monitoring of the disease is sufficient in selected women. In this prospective cohort, women were selected for inclusion in the study by having a histological diagnosis of focal CIN 2 from a cervical biopsy and after discussion at the colposcopy multi-disciplinary team meeting. After explanation of CIN 2 and its future impli-cations, women were informed of the risks and benefits of conservative management versus LLETZ. Women who opted for conservative management were seen in the colposcopy clinic for colposcopy examination, cervical biopsy ± cervical smear and HPV testing at six monthly intervals for two years.Results: Over the two-year follow-up period, 20/31 women (64.5%) had regression of disease, 7/31 women (22.6%) had persistence of CIN 2 and 4/31 women (12.9%) had progression of disease to CIN 3. There were no reported cases of cervical carcinoma in situ or invasive cervical carcinoma. During the follow-up period, patients were offered treatment if there was progression to CIN 3 or worse, persistence of CIN 2 or if they wished to undergo treatment at any stage.Conclusions: Conservative management of CIN 2 may be considered in women who are under the age of 30 with focal CIN 2. However, larger studies should be carried out to define the safety or acceptability of changing this practice.
  • The Prevalence and Management of Metabolic Acidosis of Chronic Kidney Disease

    Ahmed, A.R.; Satti, M.M.; Abdalla, A.E.; Giblin, L.; Lappin, D. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-10)
    Emerging evidence supports initiating oral sodium bicarbonate (OSB) at a serum bicarbonate (HCO3) level of less than 22mmol/L. We look to identify the prevalence of metabolic acidosis of chronic kidney disease (MA-CKD) and its management with OSB at a regional university hospital.
  • What Stops Doctors Switching from Intravenous to Oral Antibiotics?

    Hogan-Murphy, D.; Waqas, S.; Tuite, H.; Ni Riain, U. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-09)
    To explore doctors’ perceptions of the motivators and barriers to complying with intravenous to oral switch antibiotic guidelines in a Model 4 Irish hospital.
  • Living with relapsed myeloma: Symptoms and self-care strategies.

    Cormican, Orlaith; Dowling, Maura (2018-04-01)
    Aims and Objectives To explore which symptoms relapsed myeloma patients experience and what self‐care strategies are used. Methods This was a qualitative study utilising focus group interviews (n = 4) with relapsed myeloma patients (n = 15) and carers (n = 9). The focus groups were analysed and guided by thematic analysis. Results Three major themes with subthemes were identified following analysis of the interview data: “difficult symptoms; “self‐care” and “feeling vulnerable.” These findings indicate the challenges relapsed myeloma patients experience with ongoing symptoms and highlight the importance of continuity of care. Conclusions Symptom management for myeloma patients remains complex due to the array of treatments given. These patients require holistic care and thorough regular assessments to help them cope with the adverse effects on their physical and psychological health. For patients with a long‐term diagnosis of myeloma, self‐management workshops and regular education sessions may be of benefit.
  • Research, recovery and mental health: challenges and opportunities.

    Collins, Pádraig; Crowe, Sa; Roscommon Primary Care Psychology Service (Emerald Group Publishing, 2016)
  • Recovery and practice-based evidence: reconnecting the diverging discourses in mental health.

    Collins, Pádraig; Crowe, Sarah; Roscommon Primary Care Psychology Service (Emerald Group Publishing, 2017)
  • Targeted Anti-D, The First Irish Perspective

    McCormick, C.A; Mulvany, L; De Tavernier, M.C (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
    The use of anti-D to prevent haemolytic disease of the new-born can be regarded as one of the greatest success stories of modern medicine. Rhesus antibodies cause significant harm to rhesus positive foetuses in utero including anaemia, jaundice, hydrops fetalis and stillbirth. Deaths due to haemolytic disease of the new born have fallen dramatically. In the UK 1 in 2180 babies in 1953 died due to Rhesus haemolytic disease. 37 years later, in 1990, this figure had dropped to 1 in 62,500 1. Recent initiatives including the routine administration of anti-D at 28-32 weeks gestation have further reduced the incidence of sensitisation2.
  • Can Early Changes in Vital signs Predict Duration of Antibiotic Therapy in Suspected Neonatal Sepsis?

    McGovern, M; Morrissey, P; Ryan, E (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-04)
    Suspected sepsis remains a leading causes of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit admission, with infants often receiving 48-72 hours of empirical antibiotic therapy. Early in treatment it is difficult to predict infants who will require prolonged antibiotic therapy. Our aim was to assess if vital sign measurements in the initial period of treatment can predict those neonates requiring prolonged antibiotic therapy in term and late-preterm infants.
  • Joint association of urinary sodium and potassium excretion with cardiovascular events and mortality: prospective cohort study.

    O'Donnell, Martin; Mente, Andrew; Rangarajan, Sumathy; McQueen, Matthew J; O'Leary, Neil; Yin, Lu; Liu, Xiaoyun; Swaminathan, Sumathi; Khatib, Rasha; Rosengren, Annika; et al. (BMJ, 2019-03-13)
    To evaluate the joint association of sodium and potassium urinary excretion (as surrogate measures of intake) with cardiovascular events and mortality, in the context of current World Health Organization recommendations for daily intake (<2.0 g sodium, >3.5 g potassium) in adults.
  • A Case of Paget-Schroetter Syndrome in a Young Male After Lifting Weights

    Umana, E.; Elsherif, M.; Binchy, J. (Irish Medical Journal, 2019-02)
    Paget-Schroetter Syndrome (PSS) or effort thrombosis of the axillary-subclavian venous axis is a rare disease affecting healthy young adults which requires a high index of suspicion to diagnose. Management often requires not only anticoagulation but also thrombolysis with first rib resection to prevent recurrence and complications. We present a case of a 31-year-old male who presented to our emergency department with pain and swelling of his left upper limb. He was diagnosed with PSS and underwent; anticoagulation, catheter directed thrombolysis and planned for first rib resection.

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