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UCLA Previously Published Works

Cover page of Assessing readiness: the impact of an experiential learning entrustable professional activity-based residency preparatory course

Assessing readiness: the impact of an experiential learning entrustable professional activity-based residency preparatory course

(2024)

As medical schools move to integrate the Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency (EPAs) into curricula and address the transition from student to resident, residency preparatory courses have become more prevalent. The authors developed an experiential learning EPA-based capstone course for assessment to determine impact on learner self-assessed ratings of readiness for residency and acquisition of medical knowledge. All fourth-year students from the classes of 2018-2020 completed a required course in the spring for assessment of multiple EPAs, including managing core complaints, performing basic procedures, obtaining informed consent, and providing patient handoffs. Learners selected between three specialty-based parallel tracks - adult medicine, surgery, or pediatrics. Students completed a retrospective pre-post questionnaire to provide self-assessed ratings of residency preparedness and comfort in performing EPAs. Finally, the authors studied the impact of the course on knowledge acquisition by comparing student performance in the adult medicine track on multiple choice pre- and post-tests. Four hundred and eighty-one students were eligible for the study and 452 (94%) completed the questionnaire. For all three tracks, there was a statistically significant change in learner self-assessed ratings of preparedness for residency from pre- to post-course (moderately or very prepared: adult medicine 61.4% to 88.6% [p-value < 0.001]; surgery 56.8% to 81.1% [p-value < 0.001]; pediatrics 32.6% to 83.7% [p-value 0.02]). A similar change was noted in all tracks in learner self-assessed ratings of comfort from pre- to post-course for all studied EPAs. Of the 203 students who participated in the adult medicine track from 2019-2020, 200 (99%) completed both the pre- and post-test knowledge assessments. The mean performance improved from 65.0% to 77.5% (p-value < 0.001). An experiential capstone course for the assessment of EPAs can be effective to improve learner self-assessed ratings of readiness for residency training and acquisition of medical knowledge.

Cover page of Methylation patterns associated with C-reactive protein in racially and ethnically diverse populations

Methylation patterns associated with C-reactive protein in racially and ethnically diverse populations

(2024)

Systemic low-grade inflammation is a feature of chronic disease. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a common biomarker of inflammation and used as an indicator of disease risk; however, the role of inflammation in disease is not completely understood. Methylation is an epigenetic modification in the DNA which plays a pivotal role in gene expression. In this study we evaluated differential DNA methylation patterns associated with blood CRP level to elucidate biological pathways and genetic regulatory mechanisms to improve the understanding of chronic inflammation. The racially and ethnically diverse participants in this study were included as 50% White, 41% Black or African American, 7% Hispanic or Latino/a, and 2% Native Hawaiian, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaska Native (total n = 13,433) individuals. We replicated 113 CpG sites from 87 unique loci, of which five were novel (CADM3, NALCN, NLRC5, ZNF792, and cg03282312), across a discovery set of 1,150 CpG sites associated with CRP level (p < 1.2E-7). The downstream pathways affected by DNA methylation included the identification of IFI16 and IRF7 CpG-gene transcript pairs which contributed to the innate immune response gene enrichment pathway along with NLRC5, NOD2, and AIM2. Gene enrichment analysis also identified the nuclear factor-kappaB transcription pathway. Using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) we inferred methylation at three CpG sites as causal for CRP levels using both White and Black or African American MR instrument variables. Overall, we identified novel CpG sites and gene transcripts that could be valuable in understanding the specific cellular processes and pathogenic mechanisms involved in inflammation.

Cover page of A cost-effectiveness analysis of intrauterine spacers used to prevent the formation of intrauterine adhesions following endometrial cavity surgery

A cost-effectiveness analysis of intrauterine spacers used to prevent the formation of intrauterine adhesions following endometrial cavity surgery

(2024)

Aim

To assess, from a United States (US) payer's perspective, the cost-effectiveness of gels designed to separate the endometrial surfaces (intrauterine spacers) placed following intrauterine surgery.

Materials and methods

A decision tree model was developed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of intrauterine spacers used to facilitate endometrial repair and prevent the formation (primary prevention) and reformation (secondary prevention) of intrauterine adhesions (IUAs) and associated pregnancy- and birth-related adverse outcomes. Event rates and costs were extrapolated from data available in the existing literature. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to corroborate the base case results.

Results

In this model, using intrauterine spacers for adhesion prevention led to net cost savings for US payers of $2,905 per patient over a 3.5-year time horizon. These savings were driven by the direct benefit of preventing procedures associated with IUA formation ($2,162 net savings) and the indirect benefit of preventing pregnancy-related complications often associated with IUA formation ($3,002). These factors offset the incremental cost of intrauterine spacer use of $1,539 based on an assumed price of $1,800 and the related increase in normal deliveries of $931. Model outcomes were sensitive to the probability of preterm and normal deliveries. Budget impact analyses show overall cost savings of $19.96 per initial member within a US healthcare plan, translating to $20 million over a 5-year time horizon for a one-million-member plan.

Limitations

There are no available data on the effects of intrauterine spacers or IUAs on patients' quality of life. Resultingly, the model could not evaluate patients' utility related to treatment with or without intrauterine spacers and instead focused on costs and events avoided.

Conclusion

This analysis robustly demonstrated that intrauterine spacers would be cost-saving to healthcare payers, including both per-patient and per-plan member, through a reduction in IUAs and improvements to patients' pregnancy-related outcomes.

Deep Generative Models for Fast Photon Shower Simulation in ATLAS

(2024)

Abstract: The need for large-scale production of highly accurate simulated event samples for the extensive physics programme of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider motivates the development of new simulation techniques. Building on the recent success of deep learning algorithms, variational autoencoders and generative adversarial networks are investigated for modelling the response of the central region of the ATLAS electromagnetic calorimeter to photons of various energies. The properties of synthesised showers are compared with showers from a full detector simulation using geant4. Both variational autoencoders and generative adversarial networks are capable of quickly simulating electromagnetic showers with correct total energies and stochasticity, though the modelling of some shower shape distributions requires more refinement. This feasibility study demonstrates the potential of using such algorithms for ATLAS fast calorimeter simulation in the future and shows a possible way to complement current simulation techniques.

Software Performance of the ATLAS Track Reconstruction for LHC Run 3

(2024)

Charged particle reconstruction in the presence of many simultaneous proton–proton (pp) collisions in the LHC is a challenging task for the ATLAS experiment’s reconstruction software due to the combinatorial complexity. This paper describes the major changes made to adapt the software to reconstruct high-activity collisions with an average of 50 or more simultaneous pp interactions per bunch crossing (pile-up) promptly using the available computing resources. The performance of the key components of the track reconstruction chain and its dependence on pile-up are evaluated, and the improvement achieved compared to the previous software version is quantified. For events with an average of 60pp collisions per bunch crossing, the updated track reconstruction is twice as fast as the previous version, without significant reduction in reconstruction efficiency and while reducing the rate of combinatorial fake tracks by more than a factor two.

Cover page of Quantifying the electric service panel capacities of California's residential buildings

Quantifying the electric service panel capacities of California's residential buildings

(2024)

This study seeks to quantify the size distribution of existing installed electrical service panels within California's residential buildings, a potentially significant barrier to future decarbonization efforts. A large sample of historical building permit data was collected for municipalities throughout the state, from which permitted panel upgrades were extracted and analyzed. These data were used to develop a method for estimating panel capacities that incorporates information about historical code requirements for panel sizing in new construction with a statewide database of parcel-level building attributes. Overall, we find that 3% of single-family (SF) and 10% of multi-family (MF) properties in California have panels in the smallest size range, which will most likely require upgrades. However, 32% of SF and 59% of MF properties have panels of intermediate size, which will likely require the addition of load management systems to support comprehensive electrification. Future panel upgrade needs are expected to be more acute within disadvantaged communities, where the proportion of SF homes with the smallest-sized panels is 4x that in more affluent neighborhoods. We discuss the implications of these and other results within the context of existing and planned future state policies related to residential electrification.

Cover page of Trafficking of mitochondrial double-stranded RNA from mitochondria to the cytosol.

Trafficking of mitochondrial double-stranded RNA from mitochondria to the cytosol.

(2024)

In addition to mitochondrial DNA, mitochondrial double-stranded RNA (mtdsRNA) is exported from mitochondria. However, specific channels for RNA transport have not been demonstrated. Here, we begin to characterize channel candidates for mtdsRNA export from the mitochondrial matrix to the cytosol. Down-regulation of SUV3 resulted in the accumulation of mtdsRNAs in the matrix, whereas down-regulation of PNPase resulted in the export of mtdsRNAs to the cytosol. Targeting experiments show that PNPase functions in both the intermembrane space and matrix. Strand-specific sequencing of the double-stranded RNA confirms the mitochondrial origin. Inhibiting or down-regulating outer membrane proteins VDAC1/2 and BAK/BAX or inner membrane proteins PHB1/2 strongly attenuated the export of mtdsRNAs to the cytosol. The cytosolic mtdsRNAs subsequently localized to large granules containing the stress protein TIA-1 and activated the type 1 interferon stress response pathway. Abundant mtdsRNAs were detected in a subset of non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines that were glycolytic, indicating relevance in cancer biology. Thus, we propose that mtdsRNA is a new damage-associated molecular pattern that is exported from mitochondria in a regulated manner.

Cover page of In-hospital and readmission outcomes of patients with cancer admitted for pulmonary embolism treated with or without catheter-based therapy

In-hospital and readmission outcomes of patients with cancer admitted for pulmonary embolism treated with or without catheter-based therapy

(2024)

Background

Cancer patients are at risk of pulmonary embolism (PE). Catheter-based therapies (CBT) are novel reperfusion options for PE though data in patients with cancer is lacking.

Study design and methods

Patients with intermediate- or high-risk PE were identified using the National Readmission Database (NRD) from 2017 to 2020. Primary outcome were in-hospital death and 90-day readmission. Secondary outcomes were in-hospital bleeding, 90-day readmission for venous thromboembolism (VTE)-related or right heart failure-related reasons and bleeding. Propensity scores were estimated using logistic regression and inverse-probability treatment weighting (IPTW) was utilized to compare outcomes between CBT and no CBT as well as CBT versus systemic thrombolysis.

Results

A total of 7785 patients were included (2511 with high-risk PE) of whom 1045 (13.4%) were managed with CBT. After IPTW, CBT was associated with lower rates of index hospitalization death (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.83-0.96) and 90-day readmission (HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.69-0.81) but higher rates of in-hospital bleeding (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.03-1.20) which was predominantly post-procedural bleeding. CBT was associated with lower risk of major bleeding (20.8% vs 24.8%; OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.94) compared with systemic thrombolysis.

Interpretation

Among patients with cancer with intermediate or high-risk PE, CBT was associated with lower in-hospital death and 90-day readmission. CBT was also associated with decreased risk of index hospitalization major bleeding compared with systemic thrombolysis. Prospective, randomized trials with inclusion of patients with cancer are needed to confirm these findings.