Now showing items 21-40 of 3324

    • Clinical Management of Hyperkalemia

      Palmer, Biff F; Carrero, Juan Jesus; Clegg, Deborah J; Colbert, Gates B; Emmett, Michael; Fishbane, Steven; Hain, Debra J; Lerma, Edgar; Onuigbo, Macaulay; Rastogi, Anjay; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-11-04)
      Hyperkalemia is an electrolyte abnormality with potentially life-threatening consequences. Despite various guidelines, no universally accepted consensus exists on best practices for hyperkalemia monitoring, with variations in precise potassium (K+) concentration thresholds or for the management of acute or chronic hyperkalemia. Based on the available evidence, this review identifies several critical issues and unmet needs with regard to the management of hyperkalemia. Real-world studies are needed for a better understanding of the prevalence of hyperkalemia outside the clinical trial setting. There is a need to improve effective management of hyperkalemia, including classification and K+ monitoring, when to reinitiate previously discontinued renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor (RAASi) therapy, and when to use oral K+-binding agents. Monitoring serum K+ should be individualized; however, increased frequency of monitoring should be considered for patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart failure, or a history of hyperkalemia and for those receiving RAASi therapy. Recent clinical studies suggest that the newer K+ binders (patiromer sorbitex calcium and sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) may facilitate optimization of RAASi therapy. Enhancing the knowledge of primary care physicians and internists with respect to the safety profiles of these newer K+ binders may increase confidence in managing patients with hyperkalemia. Lastly, the availability of newer K+-binding agents requires further study to establish whether stringent dietary K+ restrictions are needed in patients receiving K+-binder therapy. Individualized monitoring of serum K+ among patients with an increased risk of hyperkalemia and the use of newer K+-binding agents may allow for optimization of RAASi therapy and more effective management of hyperkalemia.
    • Evidence of Structural Protein Damage and Membrane Lipid Remodeling in Red Blood Cells from COVID-19 Patients

      Thomas, Tiffany; Stefanoni, Davide; Dzieciatkowska, Monika; Issaian, Aaron; Nemkov, Travis; Hill, Ryan C; Francis, Richard O; Hudson, Krystalyn E; Buehler, Paul W; Zimring, James C; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2020-10-26)
      The SARS-CoV-2 beta coronavirus is the etiological driver of COVID-19 disease, which is primarily characterized by shortness of breath, persistent dry cough, and fever. Because they transport oxygen, red blood cells (RBCs) may play a role in the severity of hypoxemia in COVID-19 patients. The present study combines state-of-the-art metabolomics, proteomics, and lipidomics approaches to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on RBCs from 23 healthy subjects and 29 molecularly diagnosed COVID-19 patients. RBCs from COVID-19 patients had increased levels of glycolytic intermediates, accompanied by oxidation and fragmentation of ankyrin, spectrin beta, and the N-terminal cytosolic domain of band 3 (AE1). Significantly altered lipid metabolism was also observed, in particular, short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids, acyl-carnitines, and sphingolipids. Nonetheless, there were no alterations of clinical hematological parameters, such as RBC count, hematocrit, or mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, with only minor increases in mean corpuscular volume. Taken together, these results suggest a significant impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on RBC structural membrane homeostasis at the protein and lipid levels. Increases in RBC glycolytic metabolites are consistent with a theoretically improved capacity of hemoglobin to off-load oxygen as a function of allosteric modulation by high-energy phosphate compounds, perhaps to counteract COVID-19-induced hypoxia. Conversely, because the N-terminus of AE1 stabilizes deoxyhemoglobin and finely tunes oxygen off-loading and metabolic rewiring toward the hexose monophosphate shunt, RBCs from COVID-19 patients may be less capable of responding to environmental variations in hemoglobin oxygen saturation/oxidant stress when traveling from the lungs to peripheral capillaries and vice versa.
    • Comparative analysis of gene expression between Babesia bovis blood stages and kinetes allowed by improved genome annotation

      Ueti, Massaro W; Johnson, Wendell C; Kappmeyer, Lowell S; Herndon, David R; Mousel, Michelle R; Reif, Kathryn E; Taus, Naomi S; Ifeonu, Olukemi O; Silva, Joana C; Suarez, Carlos E; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-10-15)
      Throughout their life cycle, Babesia parasites alternate between a mammalian host, where they cause babesiosis, and the tick vector. Transition between hosts results in distinct environmental signals that influence patterns of gene expression, consistent with the morphological and functional changes operating in the parasites during their life stages. In addition, comparing differential patterns of gene expression among mammalian and tick parasite stages can provide clues for developing improved methods of control. Hereby, we upgraded the genome assembly of Babesia bovis, a bovine hemoparasite, closing a 139 kbp gap, and used RNA-Seq datasets derived from mammalian blood and tick kinete stages to update the genome annotation. Of the originally annotated genes, 1,254 required structural changes, and 326 new genes were identified, leading to a different predicted proteome compared to the original annotation. Next, the RNA-Seq data was used to identify B. bovis genes that were differentially expressed in the vertebrate and arthropod hosts. In blood stages, 28% of the genes were upregulated up to 300 fold, whereas 26% of the genes in kinetes, a tick stage, were upregulated up to >19,000 fold. We thus discovered differentially expressed genes that may play key biological roles and serve as suitable targets for the development of vaccines to control bovine babesiosis.
    • Complex obstructive lung disease – A diagnostic and management conundrum

      Glick, Danielle R.; Galvin, Jeffrey R.; Deepak, Janaki (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-11-06)
      Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease most well-known for its inflammatory, destructive polyarthropathy. Extraarticular manifestations of the disease may involve the respiratory system, including interstitial lung disease, pleural disease, pulmonary vascular abnormalities, and airways disease. Smoking is highly prevalent in the RA population, and may even have a synergistic effect in disease development and progression. In the diagnosis of pulmonary disease, this presents a unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. We present a case of a woman in her 50s who presented for evaluation of dyspnea and was found to have obstructive lung disease. In addition to RA, she had a significant smoking history and also owned pet birds, making definitive diagnosis difficult. Ultimately, chest imaging was crucial in identifying RA-related lung disease as the root cause of her symptoms, leading to successful treatment and symptom management.
    • Cancer-work management: Hourly and salaried wage women's experiences managing the cancer-work interface following new breast cancer diagnosis.

      Tracy, J Kathleen; Adetunji, Fiyinfolu; Al Kibria, Gulam M; Swanberg, Jennifer E (Public Library of Science, 2020-11-05)
      OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to report the baseline characteristics of EMPOWER participants-a group of newly diagnosed breast cancer survivors-and describe differences in hourly and salaried wage women's experiences regarding cancer and work management in the three months following breast cancer diagnosis. DESIGN AND SETTING: The EMployment and Potential Outcomes of Working through canceER (EMPOWER) project is a prospective longitudinal, mixed methods pilot study designed to evaluate how employment influences treatment decisions among women diagnosed with breast cancer. Participants were women diagnosed with new breast cancer and treated at one of two clinical sites of the University of Maryland Medical System. Women were enrolled in the study within three months of first breast cancer diagnosis. Study visits occurred every three months for one year. This paper reports data from for the baseline and three-month visit which had been completed by all enrollees. METHODS: Trained research personnel collected demographic information, medical history and health status, social history, employment data, cancer-related data, psychosocial adjustment, and financial wellbeing at the baseline enrollment visit. A semi-structured qualitative interview was administered at the three-month study visit to assess employment decisions and the impact of job demands, cancer care, and cancer-work fit during the three months following diagnosis. RESULT: Fifty women with new, primary diagnosis of breast cancer were enrolled in the study. Mean age of participants was 51 years, and 46% identified their race as Black or other. The majority of women disclosed their diagnosis to their employer and nearly all maintained some level of employment during the first three to six months of treatment. Women with hourly wage jobs were similar to those with salaried wage jobs with respect to demographic and social characteristics. Women with hourly wage jobs were more likely to report working in physically demanding jobs and taking unpaid leave. They were also more likely to experience side effects that required physical restrictions at work, to leave their jobs due to demands of treatment, and to report managing cancer and work concurrently as very difficult. Women in salaried wage jobs were more likely to report falling behind or missing work and working remotely as a cancer-management strategy. Women in hourly jobs more often reported difficulty managing the competing demands of cancer and work. CONCLUSION: While further study is needed, these results suggest that women in hourly and salaried workers reported similar experiences managing cancer and work, with a few key exceptions. These exceptions pertain to the nature of hourly-wage work. Cancer survivors employed in hourly jobs may be more vulnerable to poor employment outcomes due to limited access to paid time off and workplace flexibility, and challenges related to managing physical aspects of cancer and employment.
    • Extracellular histones in lung dysfunction: a new biomarker and therapeutic target?

      Karki, Pratap; Birukov, Konstantin G.; Birukova, Anna A. (SAGE Publications Inc., 2020-10-13)
      Extracellular histones released from injured or dying cells following trauma and other severe insults can act as potent damage-associated molecular patterns. In fact, elevated levels of histones are present in human circulation in hyperinflammatory states such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis. The molecular mechanisms owing to histone-induced pathologies are at the very beginning of elucidating. However, neutralization of histones with antibodies, histone-binding or histone-degrading proteins, and heparan sulfates have shown promising therapeutic effects in pre-clinical acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis models. Various cell types undergoing necrosis and apoptosis or activated neutrophils forming neutrophil extracellular traps have been implicated in excessive release of histones which further augments tissue injury and may culminate in multiple organ failure. At the molecular level, an uncontrolled inflammatory cascade has been considered as the major event; however, histone-activated coagulation and thrombosis represent additional pathologic events reflecting coagulopathy. Furthermore, epigenetic regulation and chemical modifications of circulating histones appear to be critically important in their biological functions as evidenced by increased cytotoxicity associated with citrullinated histone. Herein, we will briefly review the current knowledge on the role of histones in acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis, and discuss the future potential of anti-histone therapy for treatment of these life-threatening disorders.
    • ZOOMICS: Comparative Metabolomics of Red Blood Cells From Old World Monkeys and Humans

      Bertolone, Lorenzo; Shin, Hye K.; Stefanoni, Davide; Baek, Jin Hyen; Gao, Yamei; Morrison, Evan J.; Nemkov, Travis; Thomas, Tiffany; Francis, Richard O.; Hod, Eldad A.; et al. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020-10-23)
      As part of the ZOOMICS project, we set out to investigate common and diverging metabolic traits in the blood metabolome across various species by taking advantage of recent developments in high-throughput metabolomics. Here we provide the first comparative metabolomics analysis of fresh and stored human (n = 21, 10 males, 11 females), olive baboon (n = 20), and rhesus macaque (n = 20) red blood cells at baseline and upon 42 days of storage under blood bank conditions. The results indicated similarities and differences across species, which ultimately resulted in a differential propensity to undergo morphological alterations and lyse as a function of the duration of refrigerated storage. Focusing on purine oxidation, carboxylic acid, fatty acid, and arginine metabolism further highlighted species-specific metabolic wiring. For example, through a combination of steady state measurements and 13C615N4-arginine tracing experiments, we report an increase in arginine catabolism into ornithine in humans, suggestive of species-specific arginase 1 activity and nitric oxide synthesis—an observation that may impact the translatability of cardiovascular disease studies carried out in non-human primates (NHPs). Finally, we correlated metabolic measurements to storage-induced morphological alterations via scanning electron microscopy and hemolysis, which were significantly lower in human red cells compared to both NHPs.
    • Nursing and Allied Health Research Priorities in the Care of Patients With Thoracic Malignancies: An International Cross-Sectional Survey

      Molassiotis, Alex; Fraser, Anne; Culligan, Melissa; Labuc, Pippa; Csaba, Degi L.; Charalambous, Andreas (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020-10-26)
      Background: There is currently no evidence of research priorities from nurses and allied health professionals working in the field of thoracic malignancies, which could provide strategic directions for funders, policy makers, and researchers. Objective: The aim of this study is to identify the priorities for lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies research and practice in nurses and allied health professionals. Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional web-based international survey conducted through international societies’ membership lists. Results: Participants included 152 nurses and allied health professionals. Key priority categories were related to developing and evaluation interventions; symptom management interventions; health care system issues; treatment-related research (immunotherapy; targeted therapies); persistent/late effects management (fatigue; pulmonary toxicity); risk reduction, and screening research. The specific topic with the highest endorsement (80.9%) was the development of interventions to improve quality of life. Symptom management interventions, particularly for pain, dyspnea, and fatigue, were also highly endorsed. Health care system topics were related to delivery of care and included nurse-/allied health-led care (67.5%), working with the multidisciplinary team (67.5%), continuity of care (69.2%), and access to care (67.5%). Topics around screening/early detection research were highly endorsed too. Conclusion: A clear focus (and need) for research in interventions to improve quality of life and symptom management, particularly for pain, dyspnea, and fatigue was also established, alongside healthcare system issues and screening research. Implications for practice: International societies and funding bodies could consider these topics in their funding decisions and in shaping their strategic directions in the care of patients with thoracic malignancies.
    • Complications and mortality of typhoid fever: A global systematic review and meta-analysis

      Marchello, Christian S; Birkhold, Megan; Crump, John A (Elsevier Ltd., 2020-11-02)
      Objectives: Updated estimates of the prevalence of complications and case fatality ratio (CFR) among typhoid fever patients are needed to understand disease burden. Methods: Articles published in PubMed and Web of Science from 1 January 1980 through 29 January 2020 were systematically reviewed for hospital or community-based non-surgical studies that used cultures of normally sterile sites, and hospital surgical studies of typhoid intestinal perforation (TIP) with intra- or post-operative findings suggestive of typhoid. Prevalence of 21 pre-selected recognized complications of typhoid fever, crude and median (interquartile range) CFR, and pooled CFR estimates using a random effects meta-analysis were calculated. Results: Of 113 study sites, 106 (93.8%) were located in Asia and Africa, and 84 (74.3%) were non-surgical. Among non-surgical studies, 70 (83.3%) were hospital-based. Of 10,355 confirmed typhoid patients, 2,719 (26.3%) had complications. The pooled CFR estimate among non-surgical patients was 0.9% for the Asia region and 5.4% for the Africa region. Delay in care was significantly correlated with increased CFR in Asia (r = 0.84; p<0.01). Among surgical studies, the median CFR of TIP was 15.5% (6.7–24.1%) per study. Conclusions: Our findings identify considerable typhoid-associated illness and death that could be averted with prevention measures, including typhoid conjugate vaccine introduction.
    • Genome Sequencing of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolates That Harbor the FOX-5 β-Lactamase Gene

      Hazen, Tracy H; Johnson, J Kristie; Harris, Anthony D; Rasko, David A (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-11-05)
      We generated draft genome assemblies of three Escherichia coli and seven Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates that harbor the FOX-5 β-lactamase-encoding gene.
    • Draft Genome Sequence of Escherichia coli Strain UMD142

      Hazen, Tracy H; Poonawala, Husain; Saharia, Kapil K; Donnenberg, Michael S; Rasko, David A (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-11-05)
      Escherichia coli can be a harmless commensal organism or cause a range of diseases in humans, including diarrhea, urinary tract infections, meningitis, sepsis, and skin and soft tissue infections. Here, we describe the genome of an isolate that was associated with necrotizing fasciitis and the decompensation of previously undiagnosed cirrhosis.
    • Six ways to foster community-engaged research during times of societal crises

      Edwards, Hillary A; Monroe, Dwyan Y; Mullins, C Daniel (Future Medicine Ltd., 2020-10-30)
    • In Vivo Emergence of a Novel Protease Inhibitor Resistance Signature in HIV-1 Matrix

      Datir, Rawlings; Kemp, Steven; El Bouzidi, Kate; Mlchocova, Petra; Goldstein, Richard; Breuer, Judy; Towers, Greg J; Jolly, Clare; Quiñones-Mateu, Miguel E; Dakum, Patrick S; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-11-03)
      Protease inhibitors (PIs) are the second- and last-line therapy for the majority of HIV-infected patients worldwide. Only around 20% of individuals who fail PI regimens develop major resistance mutations in protease. We sought to explore the role of mutations in gag-pro genotypic and phenotypic changes in viruses from six Nigerian patients who failed PI-based regimens without known drug resistance-associated protease mutations in order to identify novel determinants of PI resistance. Target enrichment and next-generation sequencing (NGS) with the Illumina MiSeq system were followed by haplotype reconstruction. Full-length Gag-protease gene regions were amplified from baseline (pre-PI) and virologic failure (VF) samples, sequenced, and used to construct gag-pro-pseudotyped viruses. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using maximum-likelihood methods. Susceptibility to lopinavir (LPV) and darunavir (DRV) was measured using a single-cycle replication assay. Western blotting was used to analyze Gag cleavage. In one of six participants (subtype CRF02_AG), we found 4-fold-lower LPV susceptibility in viral clones during failure of second-line treatment. A combination of four mutations (S126del, H127del, T122A, and G123E) in the p17 matrix of baseline virus generated a similar 4-fold decrease in susceptibility to LPV but not darunavir. These four amino acid changes were also able to confer LPV resistance to a subtype B Gag-protease backbone. Western blotting demonstrated significant Gag cleavage differences between sensitive and resistant isolates in the presence of drug. Resistant viruses had around 2-fold-lower infectivity than sensitive clones in the absence of drug. NGS combined with haplotype reconstruction revealed that resistant, less fit clones emerged from a minority population at baseline and thereafter persisted alongside sensitive fitter viruses. We used a multipronged genotypic and phenotypic approach to document emergence and temporal dynamics of a novel protease inhibitor resistance signature in HIV-1 matrix, revealing the interplay between Gag-associated resistance and fitness.
    • Biocompatible Nanocomposite Enhanced Osteogenic and Cementogenic Differentiation of Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells In Vitro for Periodontal Regeneration

      Liu, Jin; Dai, Quan; Weir, Michael D; Schneider, Abraham; Zhang, Charles; Hack, Gary D; Oates, Thomas W; Zhang, Ke; Li, Ang; Xu, Hockin H K (MDPI AG, 2020-11-04)
      Decays in the roots of teeth is prevalent in seniors as people live longer and retain more of their teeth to an old age, especially in patients with periodontal disease and gingival recession. The objectives of this study were to develop a biocompatible nanocomposite with nano-sized calcium fluoride particles (Nano-CaF2), and to investigate for the first time the effects on osteogenic and cementogenic induction of periodontal ligament stem cells (hPDLSCs) from human donors.Nano-CaF2 particles with a mean particle size of 53 nm were produced via a spray-drying machine.Nano-CaF2 was mingled into the composite at 0%, 10%, 15% and 20% by mass. Flexural strength (160 ± 10) MPa, elastic modulus (11.0 ± 0.5) GPa, and hardness (0.58 ± 0.03) GPa for Nano-CaF2 composite exceeded those of a commercial dental composite (p < 0.05). Calcium (Ca) and fluoride (F) ions were released steadily from the composite. Osteogenic genes were elevated for hPDLSCs growing on 20% Nano-CaF2. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) peaked at 14 days. Collagen type 1 (COL1), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) and osteopontin (OPN) peaked at 21 days. Cementogenic genes were also enhanced on 20% Nano-CaF2 composite, promoting cementum adherence protein (CAP), cementum protein 1 (CEMP1) and bone sialoprotein (BSP) expressions (p < 0.05). At 7, 14 and 21 days, the ALP activity of hPDLSCs on 20% Nano-CaF2 composite was 57-fold, 78-fold, and 55-fold greater than those of control, respectively (p < 0.05). Bone mineral secretion by hPDLSCs on 20% Nano-CaF2 composite was 2-fold that of control (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the novel Nano-CaF2 composite was biocompatible and supported hPDLSCs. Nano-CaF2 composite is promising to fill tooth root cavities and release Ca and F ions to enhance osteogenic and cementogenic induction of hPDLSCs and promote periodontium regeneration.
    • Evaluation of different ways to identify persistent positivity of lupus anticoagulant in systemic lupus erythematosus

      Petri, Michelle A; Avci, Mertcan; Magder, Laurence S (BMJ Publishing Group, 2020-11-02)
      Among the 785 patients included in our analysis, the prevalence of persistent lupus anticoagulant as defined by the first two patient assessments was 4.3%. Annual assessment resulted in a prevalence of 6.6%, and using all 16 assessments resulted in a prevalence of 10.5%. The prevalence was substantially higher in men than in women, and in Caucasians than in African-Americans (p<0.01 for all comparisons). The rate of thrombosis was significantly elevated among those with persistently positive lupus anticoagulant by any definition (HR ranging from 2.75 to 3.42) relative to those without persistently positive lupus anticoagulant.
    • Prosthetic graft infection after vascular trauma

      Tchorz, Kathryn; Rozycki, Grace; Feliciano, David V (BMJ Publishing Group, 2020-11-03)
    • Alternative signaling pathways from IGF1 or insulin to AKT activation and FOXO1 nuclear efflux in adult skeletal muscle fibers

      Russell, Sarah J; Schneider, Martin F (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc., 2020-08-31)
      Muscle atrophy is regulated by the balance between protein degradation and synthesis. FOXO1, a transcription factor, helps to determine this balance by activating pro-atrophic gene transcription when present in muscle fiber nuclei. Foxo1 nuclear efflux is promoted by AKT-mediated Foxo1 phosphorylation, eliminating FOXO1's atrophy-promoting effect. AKT activation can be promoted by insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) or insulin via a pathway including IGF1 or insulin, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and AKT. We used confocal fluorescence time-lapse imaging of FOXO1-GFP in adult isolated living muscle fibers maintained in culture to explore the effects of IGF1 and insulin on FOXO1-GFP nuclear efflux with and without pharmacological inhibitors. We observed that although AKT inhibitor blocks the IGF1- or insulin-induced effect on FOXO1 nuclear efflux, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors, which we show to be effective in these fibers, do not. We also found that inhibition of the protein kinase ACK1 or ATM contributes to the suppression of FOXO1 nuclear efflux after IGF1. These results indicate a novel pathway that has been unexplored in the IGF1- or insulin-induced regulation of FOXO1 and present information useful both for therapeutic interventions for muscle atrophy and for further investigative areas into insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes.
    • Comparison of transgenic and adenovirus hACE2 mouse models for SARS-CoV-2 infection

      Rathnasinghe, Raveen; Strohmeier, Shirin; Amanat, Fatima; Gillespie, Virginia L; Krammer, Florian; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Coughlan, Lynda; Schotsaert, Michael; Uccellini, Melissa B (Springer Nature, 2020-11-06)
      Severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently causing a worldwide pandemic with high morbidity and mortality. Development of animal models that recapitulate important aspects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is critical for the evaluation of vaccines and antivirals, and understanding disease pathogenesis. SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to use the same entry receptor as SARS-CoV-1, human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) [1-3]. Due to amino acid differences between murine and hACE2, inbred mouse strains fail to support high titer viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 virus. Therefore, a number of transgenic and knock-in mouse models, as well as viral vector-mediated hACE2 delivery systems have been developed. Here we compared the K18-hACE2 transgenic model to adenovirus-mediated delivery of hACE2 to the mouse lung. We show that K18-hACE2 mice replicate virus to high titers in the nasal turbinates, lung and brain, with high lethality, and cytokine/chemokine production. In contrast, adenovirus-mediated delivery results in viral replication to lower titers limited to the nasal turbinates and lung, and no clinical signs of infection. The K18-hACE2 model provides a stringent model for testing vaccines and antivirals, whereas the adenovirus delivery system has the flexibility to be used across multiple genetic backgrounds and modified mouse strains.
    • Financial incentives versus standard of care to improve patient compliance with live kidney donor follow-up: protocol for a multi-center, parallel-group randomized controlled trial

      Levan, Macey L; Waldram, Madeleine M; DiBrito, Sandra R; Thomas, Alvin G; Al Ammary, Fawaz; Ottman, Shane; Bannon, Jaclyn; Brennan, Daniel C; Massie, Allan B; Scalea, Joseph; et al. (Springer Nature, 2020-11-09)
      Background: Live kidney donors (LKDs) account for nearly a third of kidney transplants in the United States. While donor nephrectomy poses minimal post-surgical risk, LKDs face an elevated adjusted risk of developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and end-stage renal disease. Routine screening presents an opportunity for the early detection and management of chronic conditions. Transplant hospital reporting requirements mandate the submission of laboratory and clinical data at 6-months, 1-year, and 2-years after kidney donation, but less than 50% of hospitals are able to comply. Strategies to increase patient engagement in follow-up efforts while minimizing administrative burden are needed. We seek to evaluate the effectiveness of using small financial incentives to promote patient compliance with LKD follow-up. Methods/design: We are conducting a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) of patients who undergo live donor nephrectomy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Transplant Center (MDJH) and the University of Maryland Medical Center Transplant Center (MDUM). Eligible donors will be recruited in-person at their first post-surgical clinic visit or over the phone. We will use block randomization to assign LKDs to the intervention ($25 gift card at each follow-up visit) or control arm (current standard of care). Follow-up compliance will be tracked over time. The primary outcome will be complete (all components addressed) and timely (60 days before or after expected visit date), submission of LKD follow-up data at required 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year time points. The secondary outcome will be transplant hospital-level compliance with federal reporting requirements at each visit. Rates will be compared between the two arms following the intention-to-treat principle. Discussion: Small financial incentivization might increase patient compliance in the context of LKD follow-up, without placing undue administrative burden on transplant providers. The findings of this RCT will inform potential center- and national-level initiatives to provide all LKDs with small financial incentives to promote engagement with post-donation monitoring efforts. Trial registration: number: NCT03090646 Date of registration: March 2, 2017 Sponsors: Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland Medical Center Funding: The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland © 2020, The Author(s).
    • Successful transfer of anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity using convalescent plasma in an MM patient with hypogammaglobulinemia and COVID-19

      Luetkens, Tim; Metcalf, Ryan; Planelles, Vicente; Zheng, Yue; Larragoite, Erin T; Spivak, Emily S; Spivak, Adam M; Steinbach, Mary; Blaylock, Robert C; Avila, Stephanie V; et al. (American Society of Hematology, 2020-10-08)