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Undiagnosed ventricular septal defect with resultant Eisenmenger syndrome presenting with diplopia [Case Report]

Duncan, Ellen; Small, Adam; Sulica, Roxana; Halpern, Dan
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is the most common congenital heart lesion among children. In most cases, however, it is identified and corrected in childhood, before long-term sequelae such as pulmonary hypertension develop. In this case report, we present a young man with an undiagnosed VSD with consequent Eisenmenger syndrome who initially presented to medical attention with diplopia found to be caused by cerebral infarcts.
PMID: 36456362
ISSN: 1532-8171
CID: 5374132

Low Concordance Between Pediatric Emergency Attendings and Pediatric Residents for Predictors of Serious Intracranial Injury

Duncan, Ellen; Mojica, Michael; Ching, Kevin; Harwayne-Gidansky, Ilana
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Minor head trauma is a common cause of pediatric emergency room visits. The Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network head trauma clinical decision rules (PECARN-CDR) are designed to assist clinicians in determining which patients require imaging. However, only minimal data are available on the accuracy of residents' assessments using PECARN-CDR. Prior research suggests that trainees often come to erroneous conclusions about pediatric head trauma. The objective of the present study was to assess concordance between pediatric residents' and attending physicians' assessments of children with low-risk head trauma, with the ultimate goal of improving education in pediatric trauma assessment. METHODS:This is a retrospective cohort study analyzing concordance between pediatric residents and pediatric emergency attendings who provided PECARN-CDR-based evaluations of low-risk head injuries. It is a planned subanalysis based on a prospectively collected, multicenter data set tracking pediatric head trauma encounters from July 2014 to June 2019. RESULTS:Data were collected from 436 pediatric residents, who encountered 878 patients. In the case of patients younger than 2 years, low concordance between residents and attendings was observed for the following elements of the PECARN-CDR: severe mechanism (κ = 0.24), palpable skull fracture (κ = 0.23), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score less than 15 (κ = 0.14), and altered mental status (AMS; κ = -0.03). There was moderate to high agreement between residents and attendings for loss of consciousness (κ = 0.71), nonfrontal hematoma (κ = 0.48), and not acting normally per parent (κ = 0.35). In the case of patients older than 2 years, there was low concordance for signs of basilar skull fracture (κ = 0.28) and GCS score less than 15 (κ = 0.10). Concordance was high to moderate for history of vomiting (κ = 0.88), loss of consciousness (κ = 0.67), severe headache (κ = 0.50), severe mechanism (κ = 0.44), and AMS (κ = 0.42). Residents were more conservative, that is, more likely to report a positive finding, in nearly all components of the PECARN-CDR. CONCLUSIONS:Resident assessment of children presenting to the ED with minor head trauma is often poorly concordant with attending assessment on the major predictors of clinically important traumatic brain injury (abnormal GCS, AMS, signs of skull fracture) based on the PECARN-CDR. Future work may explore the reasons for low concordance and seek ways to improve pediatric resident education in the diagnosis and management of trauma.
PMID: 33273432
ISSN: 1535-1815
CID: 4930012

Infected urachal duct cyst in a young adult male

Duncan, Ellen; Bhansali, Suneet; Tay, Ee Tein
ISSN: 2405-4690
CID: 4796862

Vertical nystagmus as isolated presentation in a patient with new diagnosis of multiple sclerosis [Case Report]

Imas, Daniel M; Duncan, Ellen L; Tay, Ee Tein
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive demyelinating disease of the central nervous system with a wide array of symptoms. We present a healthy young woman who came to the Emergency Department with two days of isolated vertical nystagmus and was subsequently diagnosed with MS on imaging. Although bilateral vertical nystagmus is not a common presentation of MS, its presence should prompt inclusion of this disease process in the differential diagnosis.
PMID: 32798013
ISSN: 1532-8171
CID: 4629712

Task-dependent spatial selectivity in the primate amygdala

Peck, Ellen L; Peck, Christopher J; Salzman, C Daniel
Humans and other animals routinely encounter visual stimuli that indicate whether future reward delivery depends upon the identity or location of a stimulus, or the performance of a particular action. These reinforcement contingencies can influence how much attention is directed toward a stimulus. Neurons in the primate amygdala encode information about the association between visual stimuli and reinforcement as well as about the location of reward-predictive stimuli. Amygdala neural activity also predicts variability in spatial attention. In principle, the spatial properties of amygdala neurons may be present independent of spatial attention allocation. Alternatively, the encoding of spatial information may require attention. We trained monkeys to perform tasks that engaged spatial attention to varying degrees to understand the genesis of spatial processing in the amygdala. During classical conditioning tasks, conditioned stimuli appeared at different locations; amygdala neurons responded selectively to the location of stimuli. These spatial signals diminished rapidly upon stimulus disappearance and were unrelated to selectivity for expected reward. In contrast, spatial selectivity was sustained in time when monkeys performed a delayed saccade task that required sustained spatial attention. This temporally extended spatial signal was correlated with signals encoding reward expectation. Furthermore, variability in firing rates was correlated with variability in spatial attention, as measured by reaction time. These results reveal two types of spatial signals in the amygdala: one that is tied to initial visual responses and a second that reflects coordination between spatial and reinforcement information and that relates to the engagement of spatial attention.
PMID: 25471563
ISSN: 1529-2401
CID: 4930002