Clinical Characteristics of Asymptomatic Patients with SARS-CoV-2 in Zhejiang: An Imperceptible Source of InfectionRead the full article
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Cardiorespiratory Fitness as a Correlate of Cardiovascular, Anthropometric, and Physical Risk Factors: Using the Ruffier Test as a Template
Background. Assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a standard procedure in routine clinical practices. Early identification of risk factors through screening is vital in the fight against chronic diseases. Evaluation of CRF can impose cost implications in the clinical setting; thus, a simple and easy-to-use test is to be advocated. The Ruffier test is a simple test that can assess CRF, and it is necessary to find whether the test reflects the effects of compounding factors in CRF. Objective. This study aims to determine the association between CRF (estimated VO2max) with cardiovascular, anthropometric, and physical risk factors using the Ruffier test. Methods. A cross-sectional study with a sample of 52 male participants was conducted. Before the Ruffier test, each participant’s body weight, height, waist circumference, skinfold thickness, thigh length, lower-limb length, thigh circumference, physical activity, blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and pulmonary functions were recorded, and these factors correlated with CRF. Results. There was a significant inverse relationship found between the estimated VO2max and age, height, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, a sum of skinfold, fat percentage, thigh length, lower-limb length, thigh circumference, smoking, blood pressure, heart rates, and diabetes . A significant positive correlation was found between the estimated VO2max with physical activity and respiratory functions . In the multivariable model, body weight and resting heart rate were significantly inversely associated with the estimated VO2max. Conclusion. Using the Ruffier test, various risk factors of CRF are correlated with the estimated VO2max. This test reflects the effects of different compounding factors on CRF; therefore, it can be used in routine clinical practices to identify the risk factors early.
Tuberculosis and COVID-19: Lessons from the Past Viral Outbreaks and Possible Future Outcomes
Background. The threat of contagious infectious diseases is constantly evolving as demographic explosion, travel globalization, and changes in human lifestyle increase the risk of spreading pathogens, leading to accelerated changes in disease landscape. Of particular interest is the aftermath of superimposing viral epidemics (especially SARS-CoV-2) over long-standing diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB), which remains a significant disease for public health worldwide and especially in emerging economies. Methods and Results. The PubMed electronic database was systematically searched for relevant articles linking TB, influenza, and SARS-CoV viruses and subsequently assessed eligibility according to inclusion criteria. Using a data mining approach, we also queried the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). We aimed to answer the following questions: What can be learned from other coronavirus outbreaks (focusing on TB patients)? Is coinfection (TB and SARS-CoV-2) more severe? Is there a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2? How does the TB vaccine affect COVID-19? How does one diagnosis affect the other? Discussions. Few essential elements about TB and SARS-CoV coinfections were discussed. First, lessons from past outbreaks (other coronaviruses) and influenza pandemic/seasonal outbreaks have taught the importance of infection control to avoid the severe impact on TB patients. Second, although challenging due to data scarcity, investigating the pathological pathways linking TB and SARS-CoV-2 leads to the idea that their coexistence might yield a more severe clinical evolution. Finally, we addressed the issues of vaccination and diagnostic reliability in the context of coinfection. Conclusions. Because viral respiratory infections and TB impede the host’s immune responses, it can be assumed that their lethal synergism may contribute to more severe clinical evolution. Despite the rapidly growing number of cases, the data needed to predict the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with latent TB and TB sequelae still lies ahead. The trial is registered with NCT04327206, NCT01829490, and NCT04121494.
Survival Analysis of Risk Factors for Mortality in a Cohort of Patients with Tuberculosis
Identify the treatment effects and risk factors for mortality in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis receiving antituberculosis treatment under the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) program to reduce the mortality rate of tuberculosis. A retrospective cohort analysis was conducted on the outcomes of antituberculosis treatment of 7,032 patients with tuberculosis in the DOTS program, in the Tuberculosis Management Information System from 2014 to 2017 in Tianjin, China. The Kaplan–Meier method and multifactor Cox proportional risk regression model were used to analyze the risk factors for mortality during antituberculosis treatment under DOTS. The success rate of antituberculosis treatment was 90.24% and the mortality rate was 4.56% among 7,032 cases of tuberculosis in Tianjin. Cox regression analysis showed that advanced age, male sex, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positivity, first sputum positivity, retreated tuberculosis, and a delayed visit (≥14 days) were risk factors for mortality in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis receiving antituberculosis treatment under DOTS. The treatment effects in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis during antituberculosis treatment under DOTS were positive in Tianjin. Advanced age, male sex, HIV positivity, first sputum positivity, retreated tuberculosis, and a delayed visit (≥14 days) increased the risk for mortality during antituberculosis treatment.
The Impact of Multidisciplinary Discussion (MDD) in the Diagnosis and Management of Fibrotic Interstitial Lung Diseases
Accurate diagnosis of interstitial lung disease (ILD) is crucial for management and prognosis but can be challenging even for experienced clinicians. Expert multidisciplinary discussion (MDD) is considered the reference standard for ILD diagnosis; however, there remain concerns regarding lack of validation studies and relative limited information on the impact of MDD in real-life clinical practice. The goal of this study was to assess the effect of MDD in providing a specific ILD diagnosis, changing the diagnosis provided upon referral, and to determine how often and in which way MDD altered management. Material and Methods. Retrospective observational study in an ILD referral tertiary academic center. MDD diagnoses were categorized as specific, provisional, and unclassifiable ILD. Pre-MDD and MDD diagnoses were compared for change in diagnosis and concordance rates for specific diagnoses. Relevant change in management including initiation or change in pharmacological treatment, referral to surgical biopsy, and nonpharmacological management were recorded. Results. 126 cases were included (79M, 47F, 36–93 years, mean 70 y). Specific MDD diagnosis was provided in 62% (78/126); 12% (15/126) had provisional diagnosis, and 21% (27/126) was unclassifiable. Overall agreement for specific pre-MDD and MDD diagnosis was 41% (52/126) and 80% for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) diagnosis. MDD altered diagnosis in 37% (47/126) and changed management in 39% (50/126). Amongst concordant diagnoses, management was altered in 46% (24/52). In summary, MDD provided a specific diagnosis discordant with pre-MDD diagnosis in a significant proportion of cases and was particularly valuable in the diagnosis of non-IPF ILD. MDD often altered management and had relevant impact on management even in cases with concordant pre-MDD diagnosis.
Effects of Apatinib on the “Stemness” of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells In Vivo and Its Related Mechanisms
Objective. To investigate the effects of Apatinib on the “stemness” of lung cancer cells in vivo and to explore its related mechanisms. Methods. A xenograft model of lung cancer cells A549 was established in nude mice and randomized into a control group (n = 4) and an Apatinib group (n = 4). Tumor tissues were harvested after 2 weeks, and mRNA was extracted to detect changes in stemness-related genes (CD133, EPCAM, CD13, CD90, ALDH1, CD44, CD45, SOX2, NANOG, and OCT4) and Wnt/β-catenin, Hedgehog, and Hippo signal pathways. Results. Compared with the control group, the volume and weight of nude mice treated with Apatinib were different and had statistical significance. Apatinib inhibited the expressions of ABCG2, CD24, ICAM-1, OCT4, and SOX2 and upregulated the expressions of CD44, CD13, and FOXD3. Apatinib treatment also inhibited the Wnt/β-catenin, Hedgehog, and Hippo signaling pathways. Conclusion. Apatinib suppressed the growth of non-small-cell lung cancer cells by repressing the stemness of lung cancer through the inhibition of the Hedgehog, Hippo, and Wnt signaling pathways.
Extracorporeal Shock Waves Increase Markers of Cellular Proliferation in Bronchial Epithelium and in Primary Bronchial Fibroblasts of COPD Patients
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is due to structural changes and narrowing of small airways and parenchymal destruction (loss of the alveolar attachment as a result of pulmonary emphysema), which all lead to airflow limitation. Extracorporeal shock waves (ESW) increase cell proliferation and differentiation of connective tissue fibroblasts. To date no studies are available on ESW treatment of human bronchial fibroblasts and epithelial cells from COPD and control subjects. We obtained primary bronchial fibroblasts from bronchial biopsies of 3 patients with mild/moderate COPD and 3 control smokers with normal lung function. 16HBE cells were also studied. Cells were treated with a piezoelectric shock wave generator at low energy (0.3 mJ/mm2, 500 pulses). After treatment, viability was evaluated and cells were recultured and followed up for 4, 24, 48, and 72 h. Cell growth (WST-1 test) was assessed, and proliferation markers were analyzed by qRT-PCR in cell lysates and by ELISA tests in cell supernatants and cell lysates. After ESW treatment, we observed a significant increase of cell proliferation in all cell types. C-Kit (CD117) mRNA was significantly increased in 16HBE cells at 4 h. Protein levels were significantly increased for c-Kit (CD117) at 4 h in 16HBE ( < 0.0001) and at 24 h in COPD-fibroblasts ( = 0.037); for PCNA at 4 h in 16HBE ( = 0.046); for Thy1 (CD90) at 24 and 72 h in CS-fibroblasts ( = 0.031 and = 0.041); for TGFβ1 at 72 h in CS-fibroblasts ( = 0.038); for procollagen-1 at 4 h in COPD-fibroblasts ( = 0.020); and for NF-κB-p65 at 4 and 24 h in 16HBE ( = 0.015 and = 0.0002). In the peripheral lung tissue of a representative COPD patient, alveolar type II epithelial cells (TTF‐1+) coexpressing c-Kit (CD117) and PCNA were occasionally observed. These data show an increase of cell proliferation induced by a low dosage of extracorporeal shock waves in 16HBE cells and primary bronchial fibroblasts of COPD and control smoking subjects.