Youth Top Problems: using idiographic, consumer-guided assessment to identify treatment needs and to track change during psychotherapy
OBJECTIVE: To complement standardized measurement of symptoms, we developed and tested an efficient strategy for identifying (before treatment) and repeatedly assessing (during treatment) the problems identified as most important by caregivers and youths in psychotherapy. METHOD: A total of 178 outpatient-referred youths, 7-13 years of age, and their caregivers separately identified the 3 problems of greatest concern to them at pretreatment and then rated the severity of those problems weekly during treatment. The Top Problems measure thus formed was evaluated for (a) whether it added to the information obtained through empirically derived standardized measures (e.g., the Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001] and the Youth Self-Report [YSR; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001]) and (b) whether it met conventional psychometric standards. RESULTS: The problems identified were significant and clinically relevant; most matched CBCL/YSR items while adding specificity. The top problems also complemented the information yield of the CBCL/YSR; for example, for 41% of caregivers and 79% of youths, the identified top problems did not correspond to any items of any narrowband scales in the clinical range. Evidence on test-retest reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, sensitivity to change, slope reliability, and the association of Top Problems slopes with standardized measure slopes supported the psychometric strength of the measure. CONCLUSIONS: The Top Problems measure appears to be a psychometrically sound, client-guided approach that complements empirically derived standardized assessment; the approach can help focus attention and treatment planning on the problems that youths and caregivers consider most important and can generate evidence on trajectories of change in those problems during treatment.
Air under the right diaphragm: colonoscopy in the setting of Chilaiditi syndrome [Case Report]
Acute esophageal necrosis: a rare syndrome [Case Report]
BACKGROUND: Acute esophageal necrosis, which presents as a black esophagus on endoscopy, is a rare disorder that is poorly described in the medical literature. In this study, we analyze all cases reported to date to define risk factors, clinical presentation, endoscopic features, histologic appearance, treatment, complications, outcome and etiopathogenesis of the disease and to describe a distinct medical syndrome and propose a staging system. METHODS: We searched Medline and PubMed from January 1965 to February 2006 for English-language articles using the key words 'acute esophageal necrosis,' 'necrotizing esophagitis,' and 'black esophagus.' RESULTS: A total of 88 patients were reported in the literature during the 40 years, 70 men and 16 women with an average age of 67 years. Patients were generally admitted for gastrointestinal bleeding and cardiovascular event/shock. Patients presented with hematemesis and melena in more than 70% of the cases. Upper endoscopy showed black, diffusely necrotic esophageal mucosa predominantly affecting the distal third of the organ. Necrosis was confirmed histologically in most cases. Complications included strictures or stenoses, mediastinitis/abscesses, and perforations. Overall mortality was 31.8%. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a structured approach to identifying risk factors, diagnosis, and pathogenesis of the acute esophageal necrosis. Risk factors include age, male sex, cardiovascular disease, hemodynamic compromise, gastric outlet obstruction, alcohol ingestion, malnutrition, diabetes, renal insufficiency, hypoxemia, hypercoagulable state, and trauma. Mechanism of damage is usually multifactorial secondary to ischemic compromise, acute gastric outlet obstruction, and malnutrition. Overall, acute esophageal necrosis should be viewed as a poor prognostic factor, associated with high mortality from the underlying clinical disease
Globular hepatic amyloid: a diagnostic peculiarity that bears clinical significance [Case Report]
Hepatic amyloid deposition in the form of globular inclusions is a rare occurrence. Only 24 such cases have been reported to date. Its clinical and pathological significance are undefined. Unawareness of such a pattern can cause diagnostic confusion. We herein describe a case of globular hepatic amyloid in a patient with a B-cell lymphoma and chronic hepatitis C. The findings in our case support the literature data in that (1) it is often an incidental finding during workup for other coexisting conditions and (2) its morphology is peculiar but can be recognized with ease if one is aware of its existence. Our case also provides new insights into this condition. First, it represents the first nonautopsy case to demonstrate that globular hepatic amyloid is an indication of systemic amyloidosis, thus emphasizing the clinical importance of the recognition of this condition. Second, in our case, there was a coexisting B-cell lymphoma, the constituent cells of which showed immunoglobulin lambda light chain restriction, and patient's serum lambda light chain was elevated. However, light chain restriction was not demonstrated in the globular inclusions, and there was no evidence of monoclonal gammopathy by serum electrophoresis. Whether immunoglobulin light-chain abnormality played a causal role in this condition is to be determined
Survival and risk of recidivism in methadone-dependent patients undergoing liver transplantation
Cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C virus is presently the most common indication for liver transplantation (OLT) in the United States. A number of U.S. transplant centers require cirrhotics who are using methadone to discontinue it before proceeding with OLT. We sought to examine the outcomes of those patients who had undergone OLT at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. A retrospective chart review of 36 subjects on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), and off heroin, at the time of OLT was performed. The median daily methadone dose pre-OLT was 50 mg. Post-OLT, there was an increase in methadone dose in 15 subjects, a decrease in four subjects, and no dose change in 17 subjects. Four subjects had documented single episodes of intravenous drug use post-OLT; only one subject had a dose change after the event. Patient and graft survival rates were comparable to the national average. There was no significant difference in post-OLT outcome in patients on MMT when compared with the general population. The few episodes of drug relapse were not related to changes in the methadone dose. Efforts should be made to allow methadone-using cirrhotics better access to OLT without regard to methadone dosage
Measurement of brain tissue density using pycnometry
A novel method to measure specific gravity (SG) of tissues, pycnometry (PYC), is described. This method utilizes a 2ml glass pycnometer filled with distilled H2O to determine the displacement volume of a tissue sample and an equation to compute SG from the sample's weight and the pycnometer's weight before and after adding the sample. The PYC method was validated using glass SG standards over the range 1.02-1.26, and against the column density gradient (DG) method using brain tissue from 250-300 g male rats. Factors which affect PYC accuracy, i.e. sample size, were also evaluated. Our results indicate that PYC SG values are highly correlated with the glass SG standards (slope = 1.0107, r = 0.9955, p less than 0.001), and highly correlated with DG when approximately 0.120 ml tissue samples are used in the pycnometer. The DG method was preferable to the PYC method, however, when small tissue samples, i.e. 0.60 ml or less, were used.