• AP diameter shows the strongest correlation with CTDI and DLP in abdominal and chest CT.

      Zarb, Francis; Rainford, Louise; McEntee, Mark F; Radiography, Institute of Health Care, University of Malta, Malta. francis.zarb@um.edu.mt (Oxford Journals, 2010)
      The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships among cross-sectional diameters, weight and computed tomography (CT) dose descriptors (CTDI and DLP) to identify which is best used as a measure for the establishment of DRLs in CT. Data (gender, weight, cross-sectional diameters, dose descriptors) from 56 adult patients attending for either a CT examination of the abdomen or chest was obtained from two spiral CT units using automatic milliampere modulation. The AP diameter was demonstrated as the main contributing factor influencing the dose in CT (CTDI: r(2) = 0.269, p-value < or =0.001; DLP: r(2) = 0.260, p-value < or =0.001) since it has a greater correlation with radiation dose than body weight and can thus be its substitute in dose-reduction strategies and establishment of DRLs. The advantages of using the AP diameter are that it can easily be measured prior to scanning or retrospectively from previous CT images. However, further studies on the practicality of this approach are recommended.
    • Are pregnant women receiving support for smoking dependence when attending routine antenatal appointments?

      Cully, G; Health Promotion Service, 52 Broomhill Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24. geraldine.cully@hse.ie (2010-09)
      Early and consistent intervention with pregnant smokers can reduce the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes associated with smoking during pregnancy. A survey of 470 pregnant women was conducted to establish the care they received in relation to smoking whilst attending routine public antenatal appointments. The overall prevalence of smoking was 23.5%. Age, level of education and nationality were associated with smoking status with younger, less educated Irish women being most likely to smoke. Women attending for their first visit were much more likely to be asked about their smoking status 71 (85.5) versus 68 (17.8) and advised to quit if they were smokers 11 (73.3) versus 11 (15.7). None of the women were offered specific assistance to help them stop smoking or had a follow-up appointment arranged specifically to do with smoking. 167 women (35.6) were exposed to passive smoking in their own homes.
    • Childhood obesity: parents fail to recognise, general practitioners fail to act.

      White, A; O'Brien, B; Houlihan, T; Darker, C; O'Shea, B; Chapelizod Medical Centre, Belgrove Park, Chapelizod, Dublin 20. afric@ireland.com (Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), 2012-01)
      General Practitioners (GPs) have an important role to play in recognition of and intervention against childhood obesity in Ireland. Data were collected prospectively on a cohort of children aged 4-14 and their parents (n = 101 pairs) who attended consecutively to a semi-rural group general practice. Parents estimated their child's weight status. Actual weight status was determined for both parent and child using the United States Centres' for Disease Control's BMI-for-age references. 15 (14.9%) of the children and 49 (51.6%) of the parents were overweight or obese. While 71 (95.5%) of normal weight status children were correctly identified, parents showed poor concordance in identifying their children as overweight 2 (18.2%) or obese 0 (0%). BMI was only evidently recorded in the clinical records of 1 out of 15 cases of overweight children identified. With parents failing to recognise childhood obesity, GPs have a responsibility in tackling this problem at a family level.
    • Cocaine-related admissions to an intensive care unit: a five-year study of incidence and outcomes.

      Galvin, S; Campbell, M; Marsh, B; O'Brien, B; Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. sineadagalvin@yahoo.ie (2010-02)
      Cocaine misuse is increasing and it is evidently considered a relatively safe drug of abuse in Ireland. To address this perception, we reviewed the database of an 18-bed Dublin intensive care unit, covering all admissions from 2003 to 2007. We identified cocaine-related cases, measuring hospital mortality and long-term survival in early 2009. Cocaine-related admissions increased from around one annually in 2003-05 to 10 in 2007. Their median (IQR [range]) age was 25 (21-35 [17-47]) years and 78% were male. The median (IQR [range]) APACHE II score was 16 (11-27 [5-36]) and length of intensive care stay was 5 (3-9 [1-16]) days. Ten patients died during their hospital stay. A further five had died by the time of follow-up, a median of 24 months later. One was untraceable. Cocaine toxicity necessitating intensive care is increasingly common in Dublin. Hospital mortality in this series was 52%. These findings may help to inform public attitudes to cocaine.
    • Cumulative radiation exposure in children with cystic fibrosis.

      O'Reilly, R; Ryan, S; Donoghue, V; Saidlear, C; Twomey, E; Slattery, D M; Children's University Hospital, Temple St, Dublin 1. roreilly@imperial.ac.uk (2010-02)
      This retrospective study calculated the cumulative radiation dose for children with cystic fibrosis (CF) attending a tertiary CF centre. Information on 77 children with a mean age of 9.5 years, a follow up time of 658 person years and 1757 studies including 1485 chest radiographs, 215 abdominal radiographs and 57 computed tomography (CT) scans, of which 51 were thoracic CT scans, were analysed. The average cumulative radiation dose was 6.2 (0.04-25) mSv per CF patient. Cumulative radiation dose increased with increasing age and number of CT scans and was greater in children who presented with meconium ileus. No correlation was identified between cumulative radiation dose and either lung function or patient microbiology cultures. Radiation carries a risk of malignancy and children are particularly susceptible. Every effort must be made to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure in these patients whose life expectancy is increasing.
    • A decade of non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis 1996-2006.

      Zaid, A A; Elnazir, B; Greally, P; Department of Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, National Children's Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin 24. (2010-03)
      This study aimed to determine the aetiology, clinical presentation, co-morbidity, severity and the lobar distribution of non cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFB). We performed a retrospective review of clinical, radiological, immunological and microbiological data from 92 non-CF patients with a High resolution thoracic CT (HRCT) diagnosis of bronchiectasis in the three Dublin Children's referral Hospitals for the period 1996-2006. Of 92 patients (50 female), the median age at diagnosis was 6.4 years. The aetiology of bronchiectasis was as follows; idiopathic 29 (32%), post-pneumonia 16 (17%), immune deficiency 15 (16%), recurrent aspiration 15 (16%), primary ciliary dyskinesia 8 (9%), chronic aspiration with immune deficiency 5 (5%), post foreign body inhalation 2 (2%), tracheomalacia 1 (1%) and Obliterative bronchiolitis 1 (1%). Bronchial asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) were concurrently present in 18 (20%) and 10 (11%) respectively. Left lower lobe was commonly involved followed next by the right middle lobe. The common isolates were Haemophilus influenza (50), Streptococcus pneumoniae (34) and Staphylococcus aureus (14), Moraxella catarrhalis (9) and Pseudomonas auerginosa (8). Surgical interventions were performed in 23 (25%) of patients, lobectomy 11 (12%), pneumectomy 2 (2%), laryngeal cleft repair 4 (5%), rigid bronchoscopy for foreign body removal 2 (2%), Nissan's fundoplication 2 (2%), tracheoesophageal fistula repair 2 (2%). We conclude NCFB is under-recognised in Irish children and diagnosis is often delayed and Bronchial Asthma and GORD are common co morbidity. A high index of suspicion and early HRCT can expedite the diagnosis.
    • Delayed cystic fibrosis presentation in children in the absence of newborn screening.

      Jackson, A; Foley, L; Daly, L; Fitzpatrick, P; Harrington, M; Zhou, S; Kelleher, C; UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, Woodview Hse, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4. abaigeal.jackson@ucd.ie (2010-04)
      Newborn cystic fibrosis (CF) screening facilitates early diagnosis and nutritional intervention, which prevents malnourishment and improves growth in childhood. To provide baseline information on the natural history of CF in the Republic of Ireland, where newborn screening has not yet been introduced and CF incidence is high (1:1353 live births), we examined the effect of presentation mode, symptom type and gender on age at diagnosis. Median age at diagnosis was calculated by gender and for presentation mode/symptom type for 601 CF registry children diagnosed 1986-2007. Modes of presentation were each significantly associated with delayed presentation. An adjusted odds ratio of 4.5 (95% CI: 1.8, 11.1) was determined for presentation with family history, 43.1 for gastrointestinal symptoms presentation (95% CI: 18.3, 101.4), 96.9 for both respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms (95% CI: 38.6, 243,4), and 115.4 for respiratory symptoms (95% CI: 45.2, 294.7). Children with respiratory symptoms had the greatest likelihood of delayed diagnosis (median age: 20.4 months), followed by those with respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms (9.2 months). Gender was not significantly associated with a delayed presentation when presentation mode was taken into account.
    • Dental experience of cleft affected children in the west of Ireland.

      Hewson, A R; McNamara, C M; Foley, T F; Sandy, J R (2001-04)
      To investigate caries experience and initial access to dental services in a group of children with cleft lip/palate in the west of Ireland.
    • The effect of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in previously injured subjects.

      O'Sullivan, Kieran; Murray, Elaine; Sainsbury, David; Physiotherapy Department, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. kieran.osullivan@ul.ie (2009)
      BACKGROUND: Warm-up and stretching are suggested to increase hamstring flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. This study examined the short-term effects of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in individuals with previous hamstring injury and uninjured controls. METHODS: A randomised crossover study design, over 2 separate days. Hamstring flexibility was assessed using passive knee extension range of motion (PKE ROM). 18 previously injured individuals and 18 uninjured controls participated. On both days, four measurements of PKE ROM were recorded: (1) at baseline; (2) after warm-up; (3) after stretch (static or dynamic) and (4) after a 15-minute rest. Participants carried out both static and dynamic stretches, but on different days. Data were analysed using Anova. RESULTS: Across both groups, there was a significant main effect for time (p < 0.001). PKE ROM significantly increased with warm-up (p < 0.001). From warm-up, PKE ROM further increased with static stretching (p = 0.04) but significantly decreased after dynamic stretching (p = 0.013). The increased flexibility after warm-up and static stretching reduced significantly (p < 0.001) after 15 minutes of rest, but remained significantly greater than at baseline (p < 0.001). Between groups, there was no main effect for group (p = 0.462), with no difference in mean PKE ROM values at any individual stage of the protocol (p > 0.05). Using ANCOVA to adjust for the non-significant (p = 0.141) baseline difference between groups, the previously injured group demonstrated a greater response to warm-up and static stretching, however this was not statistically significant (p = 0.05). CONCLUSION: Warm-up significantly increased hamstring flexibility. Static stretching also increased hamstring flexibility, whereas dynamic did not, in agreement with previous findings on uninjured controls. The effect of warm-up and static stretching on flexibility was greater in those with reduced flexibility post-injury, but this did not reach statistical significance. Further prospective research is required to validate the hypothesis that increased flexibility improves outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12608000638336.
    • Effects and mechanisms of action of sildenafil citrate in human chorionic arteries.

      Maharaj, Chrisen H; O'Toole, Daniel; Lynch, Tadhg; Carney, John; Jarman, James; Higgins, Brendan D; Morrison, John J; Laffey, John G; Department of Anaesthesia, University College Hospital, Galway, Ireland. chrisenm@gmail.com (2009)
      OBJECTIVES: Sildenafil citrate, a specific phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, is increasingly used for pulmonary hypertension in pregnancy. Sildenafil is also emerging as a potential candidate for the treatment of intra-uterine growth retardation and for premature labor. Its effects in the feto-placental circulation are not known. Our objectives were to determine whether phosphodiesterase-5 is present in the human feto-placental circulation, and to characterize the effects and mechanisms of action of sildenafil citrate in this circulation. STUDY DESIGN: Ex vivo human chorionic plate arterial rings were used in all experiments. The presence of phosphodiesterase-5 in the feto-placental circulation was determined by western blotting and immunohistochemical staining. In a subsequent series of pharmacologic studies, the effects of sildenafil citrate in pre-constricted chorionic plate arterial rings were determined. Additional studies examined the role of cGMP and nitric oxide in mediating the effects of sildenafil. RESULTS: Phosphodiesterase-5 mRNA and protein was demonstrated in human chorionic plate arteries. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated phosphodiesterase-5 within the arterial muscle layer. Sildenafil citrate produced dose dependent vasodilatation at concentrations at and greater than 10 nM. Both the direct cGMP inhibitor methylene blue and the cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor Rp-8-Br-PET-cGMPS significantly attenuated the vasodilation produced by sildenafil citrate. Inhibition of NO production with L-NAME did not attenuate the vasodilator effects of sildenafil. In contrast, sildenafil citrate significantly enhanced the vasodilation produced by the NO donor sodium nitroprusside. CONCLUSION: Phosphodiesterase-5 is present in the feto-placental circulation. Sildenafil citrate vasodilates the feto-placental circulation via a cGMP dependent mechanism involving increased responsiveness to NO.
    • Encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease in patients with Graves' disease: clinical manifestations, follow-up, and outcomes.

      Tamagno, Gianluca; Celik, Yahya; Simó, Rafael; Dihné, Marcel; Kimura, Kazumi; Gelosa, Giorgio; Lee, Byung I; Hommet, Caroline; Murialdo, Giovanni; Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus, St Vincent's University Hospital, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. gianluca.tamagno@ucd.ie (2010)
      BACKGROUND: The encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroid disease (EAATD) is characterized by neurological/psychiatric symptoms, high levels of anti-thyroid antibodies, increased cerebrospinal fluid protein concentration, non-specific electroencephalogram abnormalities, and responsiveness to the corticosteroid treatment in patients with an autoimmune thyroid disease. Almost all EAATD patients are affected by Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), although fourteen EAATD patients with Graves' disease (GD) have been also reported. METHODS: We have recorded and analyzed the clinical, biological, radiological, and electrophysiological findings and the data on the therapeutic management of all GD patients with EAATD reported so far as well as the clinical outcomes in those followed-up in the long term. RESULTS: Twelve of the fourteen patients with EAATD and GD were women. The majority of GD patients with EAATD presented with mild hyperthyroidism at EAATD onset or shortly before it. Active anti-thyroid autoimmunity was detected in all cases. Most of the patients dramatically responded to corticosteroids. The long term clinical outcome was benign but EAATD can relapse, especially at the time of corticosteroid dose tapering or withdrawal. GD and HT patients with EAATD present with a similar clinical, biological, radiological, and electrophysiological picture and require an unaffected EAATD management. CONCLUSIONS: GD and HT equally represent the possible background condition for the development of EAATD, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all patients with encephalopathy of unknown origin and an autoimmune thyroid disease, regardless of the nature of the underlying autoimmune thyroid disease.
    • Enhanced surveillance of initial cases of pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza in Ireland, April-July 2009.

      Martin, J; O'Donnell, J; Igoe, D; O'Hora, A; Thornton, L; Murphy, N; Cullen, G; Fitzgerald, M; Cotter, S; McKeown, P; et al. (2009-09-24)
      From 28 April to 18 July 2009 there were 156 cases of pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza confirmed in Ireland. During this time, Ireland was in containment phase, and detailed case-based epidemiological information was gathered on all cases presenting in the community and acute health care setting. Active case finding was performed among contacts of cases. Eighty percent of cases were in people less than 35 years of age and 86% were imported. The most frequent symptoms were fever, sore throat, myalgia and dry cough. Nine people were hospitalized, no fatalities occurred.
    • Epidemiology of hepetitis C infection, ERHA/HSE Eastern region.

      Meara, M O; Barry, J; Mullen, L; Department of Public Health, Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. (2007-02)
      Hepatitis C became statutorily notifiable in Ireland on 1 January 2004. Prior to 2004, only hepatitis A and hepatitis B were notifiable as distinct types of hepatitis. A third category notifiable under the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 was "viral hepatitis unspecified". The majority of cases notified under this heading were thought to be due to infection with hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Between January 1 2004 and December 31 2005, the Department of Public Health HSE Eastern Region, received notification of 2,014 cases of HCV infection (2004, 941 cases, 2005 1,073 cases). This report outlines basic demographic details on cases notified and comments on missing data. Peak age band at notification for males and females is in the 25-29 year old age group where 538 (26.7%) were notified. Thirty cases notified (1.5%) were under 15 years of age. Drug misuse has been confirmed as a risk factor for 1247 (61.9%) of cases notified, and may be a risk factor in a large percentage of the reminder where risk factor data are unknown. Problems with completeness of notification have been identified. Enhanced surveillance of all hepatitis C infections is a prerequisite for future service planning.
    • Epidemiology of MRSA: the North/South study of MRSA in Ireland 1999.

      McDonald, P; Mitchell, E; Johnson, H; Rossney, A; Humphreys, H; Glynn, G; Burd, M; Doyle, D; McDonnell, R; Health Information Unit, Department of Public Health, Eastern Regional Health Authority, Dr Steeven's Hospital, 8, Dublin, Ireland. patriciamcdonald@eircom.net.ie (2003-06)
      The North/South Study of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Ireland, 1999, includes a joint review of the epidemiology of MRSA across both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. Data were gathered on all MRSA cases identified in laboratories in Northern Ireland (the North) and in the Republic of Ireland (the South) over a two-week period. The prevalence rate per 100000 population was 11.4 in the North and 14.0 in the South, with a marked variation across geographical regions. MRSA cases were located throughout hospitals and the community, were slightly more common in males than females, and occurred in all age groups, especially in the elderly. The majority of cases were inpatients in acute hospitals and were distributed across all types of wards. Most cases were colonized with MRSA but 5% of cases in the North and 10% in the South had invasive infection. Invasive infection was associated with intravascular lines and invasive procedures/surgery. Continuous surveillance is recommended to monitor the epidemiology of MRSA and the effectiveness of control measures.
    • Establishing five derived mands in three adolescent boys with autism.

      Murphy, Carol; Barnes-Holmes, Dermot; Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland. Carol.A.Murphy@nuim.ie (2010)
      Three 14-year-old boys with diagnoses of autism learned to mand for the delivery or removal of tokens by presenting nonsense syllables (A(1-5), respectively). A match-to-sample procedure was used to establish conditional discriminations between the 5 A stimuli and 5 B stimuli and between the B stimuli and 5 C stimuli. Subsequently, each participant was able to use the C stimuli to mand, illustrating a transfer of function, although 1 participant first required multiple-exemplar training.
    • Factors associated with postoperative sensitivity of amalgam restorations.

      Al-Omari, Qasem D; Al-Omari, Wael M; Omar, Ridwaan; Department of Restorative Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Kuwait University, Kuwait. (Irish Dental Association, 2009-04)
      Postoperative sensitivity is a common clinical problem with restorative treatments.
    • Femoro-acetabular impingement and hip pain with conventionally normal x-rays.

      Baker, J F; Mulhall, K J; Orthopaedic Research Foundation, Sports Surgery Clinic, Santry, Dublin 9. (2010-06)
      There has in recent years been a fundamental change in the understanding of hip pain in the young adult and hip pain without plain radiographic findings of arthritis. Pain in these groups has long represented a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. With new appreciation of hip biomechanics, pathological processes and the arrival of modern imaging modalities we now have a greater understanding of non-arthritic hip pathology. One of the commonest yet least well recognized 'new' diagnoses around the hip is femoro-acetabular impingement (FAI). FAI is a developmental condition of the hip joint that is associated with abnormal anatomical configuration and thus joint mechanics on either the femoral or acetabular sides or both. It is hypothesized to have a variety of precipitants and may ultimately lead to labral and chondral injury and what has previously been referred to as 'primary' or 'idiopathic' hip osteoarthritis.
    • How well are European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines adhered to in patients with syncope?

      O'Dwyer, C; Hade, D; Fan, C W; Cunningham, C; Kenny, R A; Falls & Blackout Unit, St James's Hospital, James's St, Dublin 8. odwyercl@tcd.ie (2010-01)
      The ESC guidelines on syncope were published in 2001 and updated in 2004. Adherence to the recommendations enables early stratification of low and high risk patients and prevents unnecessary investigations and admissions. Vasovagal syncope (VVS) is the commonest cause of syncope in all age groups and a low risk condition. The study objective was to determine whether the ESC guidelines were adhered to prior to referral to a syncope unit; 100 consecutive patients with unexplained syncope (52 +/- 23 (15-91) years); 53 female. Sixty-six patients had VVS. Forty nine (75%) of patients with VVS had undergone unnecessary investigations prior to diagnosis and 31 (47%) were admitted to hospital for investigation. Research from other countries confirms that adherence to the ESC guidelines expediates accurate diagnosis, improves resource utilization and reduces health care cost. Greater awareness amongst Irish practitioners of guidelines may improve syncope management and reduce costs.
    • The incidence of injury presentations to emergency departments: what we don't know can hurt us.

      Meaney, S; Williamson, E; Corcoran, P; Arensman, E; Perry, I J; National Suicide Research Foundation, 1 Perrott Avenue, College Road, Cork. Sarah.Meaney@nsrf.ie (Irish Medical Journal, 2012-01)
      The incidence of injury presentations to emergency departments in the Republic of Ireland has not been established. Data were collected relating to all injuries that presented on every eighth day in July-December 2005 to the three hospitals in Cork City. In total, 2,967 injury presentations were recorded. The total, male and female age-adjusted rate of injury presentations was 11,322, 13,933 and 8,550 per 100,000, respectively. The peak male rate was among 15-29 year-olds (26,735 per 100,000), 2.5 times the female rate in the same age range (10,719 per 100,000). The peak female rate was among over 85 year-olds (18,543 per 100,000). Place of injury, activity at time of injury and underlying substance/object causing injury were unspecified for 44%, 46% and 43% of recorded injuries. Improving the recording of injury data needs to be prioritised in Irish emergency departments ideally in conjunction with the development of a national injury surveillance system.