Estrogens are presumed to underlie, at least in part, the greater pain sensitivity and chronic pain prevalence that women experience compared to men. Although previous studies revealed populations of estrogen receptor-expressing neurons in primary afferents and in superficial dorsal horn neurons, there is little to no information as to the contribution of these neurons to the generation of acute and chronic pain. Here we molecularly characterized neurons in the mouse superficial spinal cord dorsal horn that express estrogen receptor α (ERα) and explored the behavioral consequences of their ablation. We found that spinal ERα-positive neurons are largely excitatory interneurons and many coexpress substance P, a marker for a discrete subset of nociceptive, excitatory interneurons. After viral, caspase-mediated ablation of spinal ERα-expressing cells, we observed a significant decrease in the first phase of the formalin test, but in male mice only. ERα-expressing neuron-ablation also reduced pruritogen-induced scratching in both male and female mice. There were no ablation-related changes in mechanical or heat withdrawal thresholds or in capsaicin-induced nocifensive behavior. In chronic pain models, we found no change in Complete Freund's adjuvant-induced thermal or mechanical hypersensitivity, or in partial sciatic nerve injury-induced mechanical allodynia. We conclude that ERα labels a subpopulation of excitatory interneurons that are specifically involved in chemically evoked persistent pain and pruritogen-induced itch.
An esophagopulmonary fistula (EPF) may occur in patients with esophageal carcinoma and result in pulmonary abscess formation. Lung abscesses may in turn cause pulmonary artery (PA) pseudoaneurysms and life-threatening hemoptysis. We report a 59-year-old man with past medical history of metastatic distal esophageal adenocarcinoma who presented with fever, cough, and massive hemoptysis. Imaging evaluation demonstrated an EPF, associated lung abscess, and PA pseudoaneurysms. The presented case illustrates that embolization of PA pseudoaneurysms to prevent bleeding, and endoscopic esophageal covered stent graft placement to divert esophageal contents from the abscess, may facilitate a favorable outcome.
Healthcare systems worldwide are responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), an emerging infectious syndrome caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Patients with COVID-19 can progress from asymptomatic or mild illness to hypoxemic respiratory failure or multisystem organ failure, necessitating intubation and intensive care management. Healthcare providers, and particularly anesthesiologists, are at the frontline of this epidemic, and they need to be aware of the best available evidence to guide therapeutic management of patients with COVID-19 and to keep themselves safe while doing so. Here, the authors review COVID-19 pathogenesis, presentation, diagnosis, and potential therapeutics, with a focus on management of COVID-19-associated respiratory failure. The authors draw on literature from other viral epidemics, treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome, and recent publications on COVID-19, as well as guidelines from major health organizations. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the evidence currently available to guide management of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
Purpose:This is a retrospective case report illustrating the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges associated with a chronic rhegmatogenous retinal detachment masquerading as a severe panuveitis with intense anterior chamber inflammation. We have included clinical features, anterior segment and fundus photography, B-scan ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, and intraoperative findings. Observations:A 26-year-old male presented with features of unilateral panuveitis: hypotony, anterior segment inflammation (posterior synechiae and anterior chamber cell with fibrin clumping), diffuse choroidal thickening, and retinal detachment. Laboratory investigations for infectious or rheumatologic processes were negative, and empiric systemic corticosteroid therapy was unsuccessful. This prompted suspicion for an alternate primary etiology, and pars plana vitrectomy revealed small retinal breaks as the underlying cause of the retinal detachment and inflammation. Conclusions:Rhegmatogenous retinal detachments are a known cause of intraocular inflammation. Nevertheless, it remains a challenge to recognize retinal breaks in this setting, particularly with robust anterior segment inflammation and posterior findings resembling severe exudative uveitis. Being aware of this unique presentation may prevent delays in diagnosis and have important prognostic implications.
Background:Deficits in cognition, social cognition, and motivation are significant predictors of poor functional outcomes in schizophrenia. Evidence of durable benefit following social cognitive training is limited. We previously reported the effects of 70 h of targeted cognitive training supplemented with social cognitive exercises (TCT + SCT) verses targeted cognitive training alone (TCT). Here, we report the effects six months after training. Methods:111 participants with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were randomly assigned to TCT + SCT or TCT-only. Six months after training, thirty-four subjects (18 TCT + SCT, 16 TCT-only) were assessed on cognition, social cognition, reward processing, symptoms, and functioning. Intent to treat analyses was used to test the durability of gains, and the association of gains with improvements in functioning and reward processing were tested. Results:Both groups showed durable improvements in multiple cognitive domains, symptoms, and functional capacity. Gains in global cognition were significantly associated with gains in functional capacity. In the TCT + SCT group, participants showed durable improvements in prosody identification and reward processing, relative to the TCT-only group. Gains in reward processing in the TCT + SCT group were significantly associated with improvements in social functioning. Conclusions:Both TCT + SCT and TCT-only result in durable improvements in cognition, symptoms, and functional capacity six months post-intervention. Supplementing TCT with social cognitive training offers greater and enduring benefits in prosody identification and reward processing. These results suggest that novel cognitive training approaches that integrate social cognitive exercises may lead to greater improvements in reward processing and functioning in individuals with schizophrenia.
Numerous studies have assessed individual-level factors associated with intention to quit smoking. However, fewer studies have assessed how neighborhood and built environment also contribute towards individual-level behavior. We used baseline data of 340 Chinese and Vietnamese male daily smokers from August 2015 to November 2017 living in the San Francisco Bay Area, who enrolled in a lifestyle intervention trial. The outcome variable was intention to quit in 30 days. To understand the role of contextual factors participants' residential addresses were geocoded, and neighborhood median income, ethnic composition, and tobacco retail density were computed. Individual level analysis suggested that Vietnamese American men had greater intention to quit smoking (OR = 2.90 CI = 1.59, 5.26) in comparison to Chinese Americans. However, after adding neighborhood level factors to the model, no ethnic group difference was observed. Neighborhood household median income (OR = 0.74, CI = 0.64, 0.86) and tobacco retail counts (OR = 0.79, CI = 0.67, 0.94) were negatively associated with intention to quit. Years lived in the U.S. was the only individual level factor associated with intention to quit. By comparing two Asian American groups that live in heterogeneous neighborhoods, we identify key environmental and policy drivers that are associated with quit intention. Future studies aimed at influencing individual-level behavior should take into consideration the neighborhood context and built environment characteristics.
Little is known about the evolution of diaphragmatic function in the early post-cardiac surgery period. The main purpose of this work is to describe its evolution using ultrasound measurements of muscular excursion and thickening fraction (TF). Single-center prospective study of 79 consecutive uncomplicated elective cardiac surgery patients, using motion-mode during quiet unassisted breathing. Excursion and TF were measured sequentially for each patient [pre-operative (D1), 1 day (D2) and 5 days (D3) after surgery]. Pre-operative median for right and left hemidiaphragmatic excursions were 1.8 (IQR 1.6 to 2.1) cm and 1.7 (1.4 to 2.0) cm, respectively. Pre-operative median right and left thickening fractions were 28 (19 to 36) % and 33 (22 to 51) %, respectively. At D2, there was a reduction in both excursion (right: 1.5 (1.1 to 1.8) cm, p < 0.001, left: 1.5 (1.1 to 1.8), p = 0.003) and thickening fractions (right: 20 (15 to 34) %, p = 0.021, left: 24 (17 to 39) %, p = 0.002), followed by a return to pre-operative values at D3. A positive moderate correlation was found between excursion and thickening fraction (Spearman's rho 0.518 for right and 0.548 for left hemidiaphragm, p < 0.001). Interobserver reliability yielded a bias below 0.1 cm with limits of agreement (LOA) of ± 0.3 cm for excursion and - 2% with LOA of ± 21% for thickening fractions. After cardiac surgery, the evolution of diaphragmatic function is characterized by a transient impairment followed by a quick recovery. Although ultrasound diaphragmatic excursion and thickening fraction are correlated, excursion seems to be a more feasible and reproducible method in this population.
Cigarette smoking is associated with neurocognitive dysfunction in various populations, including those seeking treatment for an alcohol use disorder (AUD). This study compared the rate and extent of recovery on measures of processing speed, executive functions, general intelligence, visuospatial skills and working memory in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent individuals (ALC) who were never-smokers (nvsALC), former-smoker (fsALC), and active smokers (asALC), over approximately 8 months of abstinence from alcohol. Methods: ALC participants were evaluated at approximately 1 month of abstinence (AP1; n = 132) and reassessed after 8 months of sobriety (AP2; n = 54). Never-smoking controls (CON; n = 33) completed a baseline and follow-up (n = 19) assessment approximately 9 months later. Domains evaluated were executive functions, general intelligence, processing speed, visuospatial skills and working memory; a domain composite was formed from the arithmetic average of the foregoing domains. nvsALC showed greater improvement than fsALC, asALC and CON on most domains over the AP1-AP2 interval. fsALC demonstrated greater recovery than asALC on all domains except visuospatial skills; fsALC also showed greater improvements than CON on general intelligence, working memory and domain composite. asALC did not show significant improvement on any domain over the AP1-AP2 interval. At 8 months of abstinence, asALC were inferior to CON and nvsALC on multiple domains, fsALC performed worse than nvsALC on several domains, but nvsALC were not different from CON on any domain. Our results provide robust evidence that smoking status influenced the rate and extent of neurocognitive recovery between 1 and 8 months of abstinence in this ALC cohort. Chronic smoking in AUD likely contributes to the considerable heterogeneity observed in neurocognitive recovery during extended abstinence. The findings provide additional strong support for the benefits of smoking cessation and the increasing clinical movement to offer smoking cessation resources concurrent with treatment for AUD.
BACKGROUND:As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to spread, swift actions and preparation are critical for ensuring the best outcomes for patients and providers. We aim to describe our hospital and Department of Surgery's experience in preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic and caring for surgical patients during this unprecedented time. STUDY DESIGN:This is a descriptive study outlining the strategy of a single academic health system for addressing the following 4 critical issues facing surgical departments during the COVID-19 pandemic: developing a cohesive leadership team and system for frequent communication throughout the department; ensuring adequate hospital capacity to care for an anticipated influx of COVID-19 patients; safeguarding supplies of blood products and personal protective equipment to protect patients and providers; and preparing for an unstable workforce due to illness and competing personal priorities, such as childcare. RESULTS:Through collaborative efforts within the Department of Surgery and hospital, we provided concise and regular communication, reduced operating room volume by 80%, secured a 4-week supply of personal protective equipment, and created reduced staffing protocols with back-up staffing plans. CONCLUSIONS:By developing an enabling infrastructure, a department can nimbly respond to crises like COVID-19 by promoting trust among colleagues and emphasizing an unwavering commitment to excellent patient care. Sharing principles and practical applications of these changes is important to optimize responses across the country and the world.
Purpose:To demonstrate that rifabutin-related corneal deposits are localized to the deep stroma using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT) and confocal microscopy. Observations:A 55-year-old male with a history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and disseminated mycobacterium avium complex on rifabutin treatment for 3 years presented with bilateral corneal deposits. Confocal microscopy and anterior segment OCT confirm that rifabutin-related corneal deposits are located in the deep stroma, rather than in the endothelium. Conclusions:And Importance: Rifabutin deposits localize to the deep corneal stroma, and can be seen with both confocal microscopy and anterior segment OCT. Anterior segment OCT is a widely available and easily used diagnostic tool, and can provide utility in the diagnosis of corneal deposits.