Harmonization of multi-scanner in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy: ENIGMA consortium task group considerations
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a powerful, non-invasive, quantitative imaging technique that allows for the measurement of brain metabolites that has demonstrated utility in diagnosing and characterizing a broad range of neurological diseases. Its impact, however, has been limited due to small sample sizes and methodological variability in addition to intrinsic limitations of the method itself such as its sensitivity to motion. The lack of standardization from a data acquisition and data processing perspective makes it difficult to pool multiple studies and/or conduct multisite studies that are necessary for supporting clinically relevant findings. Based on the experience of the ENIGMA MRS work group and a review of the literature, this manuscript provides an overview of the current state of MRS data harmonization. Key factors that need to be taken into consideration when conducting both retrospective and prospective studies are described. These include (1) MRS acquisition issues such as pulse sequence, RF and B0 calibrations, echo time, and SNR; (2) data processing issues such as pre-processing steps, modeling, and quantitation; and (3) biological factors such as voxel location, age, sex, and pathology. Various approaches to MRS data harmonization are then described including meta-analysis, mega-analysis, linear modeling, ComBat and artificial intelligence approaches. The goal is to provide both novice and experienced readers with the necessary knowledge for conducting MRS data harmonization studies.
Post-ablation Dyspnea a Case Report to Highlight the Differential Diagnoses [Case Report]
The diagnosis of post-cardiac ablation pericarditis is difficult as it requires the exclusion of the more common causes of chest pain, but in the right setting, non-invasive diagnostic tools are adequate. Here we present the case of a 60-year-old man who underwent atrial fibrillation ablation and subsequently developed severe mid-sternal chest pain and dyspnea one day later without significant electrocardiographic findings, a mildly elevated troponin T, and elevation of the right hemidiaphragm. The patient was managed conservatively.Â A two-dimensional transthoracicÂ echocardiogram showed no regional wall motion abnormalities, significant transvalvular gradients, but showed minimal pericardialÂ effusion. A sniff test was negative for diaphragmatic paralysis. After the diagnosis, the patient's symptoms resolved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and colchicine. This case of pericarditis after cardiac ablation highlights the possible differential diagnosis when confronted with post-ablation cardiac symptoms. Despite the classic presentation, the electrocardiogram showed no significant ST/PR changes. In the right clinical setting, non-invasive imaging may be appropriate management.
Initial Invasive or Conservative Strategy for Stable Coronary Disease
BACKGROUND:Among patients with stable coronary disease and moderate or severe ischemia, whether clinical outcomes are better in those who receive an invasive intervention plus medical therapy than in those who receive medical therapy alone is uncertain. METHODS:We randomly assigned 5179 patients with moderate or severe ischemia to an initial invasive strategy (angiography and revascularization when feasible) and medical therapy or to an initial conservative strategy of medical therapy alone and angiography if medical therapy failed. The primary outcome was a composite of death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for unstable angina, heart failure, or resuscitated cardiac arrest. A key secondary outcome was death from cardiovascular causes or myocardial infarction. RESULTS:Over a median of 3.2 years, 318 primary outcome events occurred in the invasive-strategy group and 352 occurred in the conservative-strategy group. At 6 months, the cumulative event rate was 5.3% in the invasive-strategy group and 3.4% in the conservative-strategy group (difference, 1.9 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.8 to 3.0); at 5 years, the cumulative event rate was 16.4% and 18.2%, respectively (difference, -1.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -4.7 to 1.0). Results were similar with respect to the key secondary outcome. The incidence of the primary outcome was sensitive to the definition of myocardial infarction; a secondary analysis yielded more procedural myocardial infarctions of uncertain clinical importance. There were 145 deaths in the invasive-strategy group and 144 deaths in the conservative-strategy group (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.32). CONCLUSIONS:Among patients with stable coronary disease and moderate or severe ischemia, we did not find evidence that an initial invasive strategy, as compared with an initial conservative strategy, reduced the risk of ischemic cardiovascular events or death from any cause over a median of 3.2 years. The trial findings were sensitive to the definition of myocardial infarction that was used. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ISCHEMIA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01471522.).
Health-Status Outcomes with Invasive or Conservative Care in Coronary Disease
BACKGROUND:In the ISCHEMIA trial, an invasive strategy with angiographic assessment and revascularization did not reduce clinical events among patients with stable ischemic heart disease and moderate or severe ischemia. A secondary objective of the trial was to assess angina-related health status among these patients. METHODS:We assessed angina-related symptoms, function, and quality of life with the Seattle Angina Questionnaire (SAQ) at randomization, at months 1.5, 3, and 6, and every 6 months thereafter in participants who had been randomly assigned to an invasive treatment strategy (2295 participants) or a conservative strategy (2322). Mixed-effects cumulative probability models within a Bayesian framework were used to estimate differences between the treatment groups. The primary outcome of this health-status analysis was the SAQ summary score (scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating better health status). All analyses were performed in the overall population and according to baseline angina frequency. RESULTS:At baseline, 35% of patients reported having no angina in the previous month. SAQ summary scores increased in both treatment groups, with increases at 3, 12, and 36 months that were 4.1 points (95% credible interval, 3.2 to 5.0), 4.2 points (95% credible interval, 3.3 to 5.1), and 2.9 points (95% credible interval, 2.2 to 3.7) higher with the invasive strategy than with the conservative strategy. Differences were larger among participants who had more frequent angina at baseline (8.5 vs. 0.1 points at 3 months and 5.3 vs. 1.2 points at 36 months among participants with daily or weekly angina as compared with no angina). CONCLUSIONS:In the overall trial population with moderate or severe ischemia, which included 35% of participants without angina at baseline, patients randomly assigned to the invasive strategy had greater improvement in angina-related health status than those assigned to the conservative strategy. The modest mean differences favoring the invasive strategy in the overall group reflected minimal differences among asymptomatic patients and larger differences among patients who had had angina at baseline. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; ISCHEMIA ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01471522.).
ENIGMA and global neuroscience: A decade of large-scale studies of the brain in health and disease across more than 40 countries
This review summarizes the last decade of work by the ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta Analysis) Consortium, a global alliance of over 1400 scientists across 43 countries, studying the human brain in health and disease. Building on large-scale genetic studies that discovered the first robustly replicated genetic loci associated with brain metrics, ENIGMA has diversified into over 50 working groups (WGs), pooling worldwide data and expertise to answer fundamental questions in neuroscience, psychiatry, neurology, and genetics. Most ENIGMA WGs focus on specific psychiatric and neurological conditions, other WGs study normal variation due to sex and gender differences, or development and aging; still other WGs develop methodological pipelines and tools to facilitate harmonized analyses of "big data" (i.e., genetic and epigenetic data, multimodal MRI, and electroencephalography data). These international efforts have yielded the largest neuroimaging studies to date in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. More recent ENIGMA WGs have formed to study anxiety disorders, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sleep and insomnia, eating disorders, irritability, brain injury, antisocial personality and conduct disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. Here, we summarize the first decade of ENIGMA's activities and ongoing projects, and describe the successes and challenges encountered along the way. We highlight the advantages of collaborative large-scale coordinated data analyses for testing reproducibility and robustness of findings, offering the opportunity to identify brain systems involved in clinical syndromes across diverse samples and associated genetic, environmental, demographic, cognitive, and psychosocial factors.
High early life stress and aberrant amygdala activity: risk factors for elevated neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults
Relative to HIV-negative adults, HIV+ adults report elevated levels of early life stress (ELS). In non-HIV samples, high ELS has been linked to abnormalities in brain structure and function, as well as increased risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms. Yet, little is known about the neural effects of high ELS, and their relation to elevated neuropsychiatric symptoms, in HIV+ adults. Recent studies have revealed combined effects of HIV and high ELS on amygdala morphometry. Aberrant amygdala activity is prominently implicated in studies of neuropsychiatric symptomology in non-HIV samples. Hence, this preliminary study examined: 1) the combined effects of HIV and high ELS on amygdala activity, and 2) the relation between amygdala activity and neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults. We included 28 HIV+ adults and 25 demographically-matched HIV-negative control (HC) adults. ELS exposure was quantified using a retrospective ELS questionnaire, which defined four groups: HIV+ Low-ELS (N = 15); HIV+ High-ELS (N = 13); HC Low-ELS (N = 16); and HC High-ELS (N = 9). Participants completed a battery of neuropsychiatric measures. BOLD fMRI assessed amygdala reactivity during explicit observation of fearful/angry faces. High-ELS participants demonstrated reduced levels of amygdala reactivity relative to Low-ELS participants. HIV+ High-ELS participants reported higher levels of neuropsychiatric symptoms than all other groups. In the HIV+ group, lower amygdala responses were associated with higher neuropsychiatric symptoms, particularly depression, anxiety, and alexithymia. Collectively, these results suggest that high ELS exposure is a significant risk factor for neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults. Furthermore, our results implicate ELS-related abnormalities in amygdala activity in the etiology of neuropsychiatric symptoms in HIV+ adults.
A Very Unusual Cause of Hemoptysis
The use of Lucite balls or spheres played a role in the management of tuberculosis during the first decade of the 20th century. Several complications have been reported with the use of this surgical technique, but are rarely seen nowadays. The availability of effective oral regimens has forced to abandon this approach. Calcification of these spheres within the lung cavity produced a series of late complications result of the migration of these foreign bodies to adjacent structures, causing erosion of blood vessels and nerves. Herein, we present a case where the aforementioned complication caused significant bleeding with hemodynamic instability. The source of the profuse hemoptysis was identified and was resolved with the combined use of noninvasive approaches such as bronchoscopy and angiographic embolization.
Resin-Induced Colonic Pseudotumor: Rare Complication from Chronic Use of Potassium Binders in a Hemodialysis Patient
Potassium-binding resins are widely used in the treatment of hyperkalemia, mostly in the acute setting. Gastrointestinal adverse events, although reported, are not frequently seen due to its short course of use. This report describes a case involving an end-stage renal disease patient on hemodialysis who developed a colonic mass after being on sodium polystyrene sulfonate chronically for persistent hyperkalemia. Gastrointestinal symptoms developed late during the treatment rather than early as reported previously in the literature. This mass was mistaken for a carcinomatous lesion, which initiated an extensive work-up as well as hospitalization that nearly resulted in a subtotal colectomy.
Long-term safety and efficacy of dalfampridine for walking impairment in patients with multiple sclerosis: Results of open-label extensions of two Phase 3 clinical trials
BACKGROUND: In Phase 3 double-blind trials (MS-F203 and MS-F204), dalfampridine extended release tablets 10 mg twice daily (dalfampridine-ER; prolonged-release fampridine in Europe; fampridine modified or sustained release elsewhere) improved walking speed relative to placebo in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). OBJECTIVES: Evaluation of long-term safety and efficacy of dalfampridine-ER in open-label extensions (MS-F203EXT, MS-F204EXT). METHODS: Patients received dalfampridine-ER 10 mg twice daily; and had Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW) assessments at 2, 14 and 26 weeks, and then every 6 months. Subjects were categorized as dalfampridine-ER responders or non-responders, based on their treatment response in the double-blind parent trials that assessed T25FW. RESULTS: We had 269 patients enter MS-F203EXT and 154 patients complete it; for a maximum exposure of 5 years. We had 214 patients enter MS-F204EXT and 146 complete it; for a maximum exposure of 3.3 years. No new safety signals emerged and dalfampridine-ER tolerability was consistent with the double-blind phase. Improvements in walking speed were lost after dalfampridine-ER was discontinued in the parent trial, but returned by the 2-week assessment after re-initiation of the drug. Throughout the extensions, mean improvement in walking speed declined, but remained improved, among the double-blind responders as compared with non-responders. CONCLUSIONS: The dalfamipridine-ER safety profile was consistent with the parent trials. Although walking speed decreased over time, dalfampridine-ER responders continued to show improved walking speed, which was sustained compared with non-responders.
Effect of a 24-Month Physical Activity Intervention vs Health Education on Cognitive Outcomes in Sedentary Older Adults: The LIFE Randomized Trial
IMPORTANCE: Epidemiological evidence suggests that physical activity benefits cognition, but results from randomized trials are limited and mixed. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a 24-month physical activity program results in better cognitive function, lower risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, or both, compared with a health education program. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A randomized clinical trial, the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study, enrolled 1635 community-living participants at 8 US centers from February 2010 until December 2011. Participants were sedentary adults aged 70 to 89 years who were at risk for mobility disability but able to walk 400 m. INTERVENTIONS: A structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program (n = 818) that included walking, resistance training, and flexibility exercises or a health education program (n = 817) of educational workshops and upper-extremity stretching. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Prespecified secondary outcomes of the LIFE study included cognitive function measured by the Digit Symbol Coding (DSC) task subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (score range: 0-133; higher scores indicate better function) and the revised Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT-R; 12-item word list recall task) assessed in 1476 participants (90.3%). Tertiary outcomes included global and executive cognitive function and incident MCI or dementia at 24 months. RESULTS: At 24 months, DSC task and HVLT-R scores (adjusted for clinic site, sex, and baseline values) were not different between groups. The mean DSC task scores were 46.26 points for the physical activity group vs 46.28 for the health education group (mean difference, -0.01 points [95% CI, -0.80 to 0.77 points], P = .97). The mean HVLT-R delayed recall scores were 7.22 for the physical activity group vs 7.25 for the health education group (mean difference, -0.03 words [95% CI, -0.29 to 0.24 words], P = .84). No differences for any other cognitive or composite measures were observed. Participants in the physical activity group who were 80 years or older (n = 307) and those with poorer baseline physical performance (n = 328) had better changes in executive function composite scores compared with the health education group (P = .01 for interaction for both comparisons). Incident MCI or dementia occurred in 98 participants (13.2%) in the physical activity group and 91 participants (12.1%) in the health education group (odds ratio, 1.08 [95% CI, 0.80 to 1.46]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among sedentary older adults, a 24-month moderate-intensity physical activity program compared with a health education program did not result in improvements in global or domain-specific cognitive function. TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01072500.