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J. Clin. Med., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-333

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of the Journal of Clinical Medicine in 2013
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 216-217; doi:10.3390/jcm3010216
Received: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of the Journal of Clinical Medicine would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Associations between U.S. Adult Obesity and State and County Economic Conditions in the Recession
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 153-166; doi:10.3390/jcm3010153
Received: 22 November 2013 / Revised: 20 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 27 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines the association between state and county unemployment rates and individuals’ body weight status during the latest recession in the U.S. We used the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data in 2007, 2009 and 2011, which were collected from
[...] Read more.
This study examines the association between state and county unemployment rates and individuals’ body weight status during the latest recession in the U.S. We used the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data in 2007, 2009 and 2011, which were collected from 722,692 American adults aged 18 or older. Overweight and obesity were defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥25, and ≥30, respectively. Multivariate linear and logistic regressions were applied to assess the association between BMI, risks of overweight and obesity, and state and county unemployment rates. State unemployment rates were negatively associated with individual BMI across years, while county unemployment rates were significantly positively associated with BMI and obesity rates in all years (p < 0.05). However, the scale of the positive relationship was reduced in 2009 and 2011. Stratified analyses were conducted among adults with employment and without employment. The unemployed group’s body weight status was not related to state- and county-level economic conditions in most times. In the pooled analyses with all three years’ data, the relationship between unemployment rates and body weight status were consistently reduced after the recession of 2008–2009. Our results indicated that macroeconomic conditions at different levels can have different associations with individuals’ obesity risk across time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Open AccessArticle Maternal Germinal Trisomy 21 in Down Syndrome
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 167-175; doi:10.3390/jcm3010167
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 17 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 28 January 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (360 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has now been over 50 years since it was discovered that Down syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome 21, i.e., trisomy 21. In the interim, it has become clear that in the majority of cases, the extra chromosome is inherited
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It has now been over 50 years since it was discovered that Down syndrome is caused by an extra chromosome 21, i.e., trisomy 21. In the interim, it has become clear that in the majority of cases, the extra chromosome is inherited from the mother, and there is, in this respect, a strong maternal age effect. Numerous investigations have been devoted to clarifying the underlying mechanism, most recently suggesting that this situation is exceedingly complex, involving both biological and environmental factors. On the other hand, it has also been proposed that germinal trisomy 21 mosaicism, arising during the very early stages of maternal oogenesis with accumulation of trisomy 21 germ cells during subsequent development, may be the main predisposing factor. We present data here on the incidence of trisomy 21 mosaicism in a cohort of normal fetal ovarian samples, indicating that an accumulation of trisomy 21 germ cells does indeed take place during fetal oogenesis, i.e., from the first to the second trimester of pregnancy. We presume that this accumulation of trisomy 21 (T21) cells is caused by their delay in maturation and lagging behind the normal cells. We further presume that this trend continues during the third trimester of pregnancy and postnatally, up until ovulation, thereby explaining the maternal age effect in Down syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
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Open AccessArticle Preferences for Prenatal Tests for Cystic Fibrosis: A Discrete Choice Experiment to Compare the Views of Adult Patients, Carriers of Cystic Fibrosis and Health Professionals
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 176-190; doi:10.3390/jcm3010176
Received: 3 January 2014 / Revised: 19 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As new technologies enable the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) for cystic fibrosis (CF), research examining stakeholder views is essential for the preparation of implementation strategies. Here, we compare the views of potential service users with those of health professionals who provide
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As new technologies enable the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) for cystic fibrosis (CF), research examining stakeholder views is essential for the preparation of implementation strategies. Here, we compare the views of potential service users with those of health professionals who provide counselling for prenatal tests. A questionnaire incorporating a discrete choice experiment examined preferences for key attributes of NIPD and explored views on NIPD for CF. Adult patients (n = 92) and carriers of CF (n = 50) were recruited from one children’s and one adult NHS specialist CF centre. Health professionals (n = 70) were recruited via an e-mail invitation to relevant professional bodies. The key attribute affecting service user testing preferences was no miscarriage risk, while for health professionals, accuracy and early testing were important. The uptake of NIPD by service users was predicted to be high and includes couples that would currently decline invasive testing. Many service users (47%) and health professionals (55.2%) thought the availability of NIPD for CF would increase the pressure to undergo prenatal testing. Most service users (68.5%) thought NIPD for CF should be offered to all pregnant women, whereas more health professionals (68.2%) thought NIPD should be reserved for known carrier couples. The implications for clinical practice are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Post-Laminectomy Wound Infections: Colonized Seromas Mimicking Wound Infections
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 191-196; doi:10.3390/jcm3010191
Received: 1 December 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 20 January 2014 / Published: 14 February 2014
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Abstract
Objective: Post-operative laminectomy wounds are frequently accompanied by seromas. Post-operative wound drainage may be colonized or infected. The differentiation of wound colonization from infection is difficult for non-infectious disease physicians. Methods: External chart reviewers classified 31/1531 laminectomies (over three years) as post-operative wound
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Objective: Post-operative laminectomy wounds are frequently accompanied by seromas. Post-operative wound drainage may be colonized or infected. The differentiation of wound colonization from infection is difficult for non-infectious disease physicians. Methods: External chart reviewers classified 31/1531 laminectomies (over three years) as post-operative wound infections. We re-evaluated these cases using infectious disease criteria, i.e., while pathogens may be cultured from both colonized and infected wounds, only wound infections have a purulent discharge with abundant white blood cells (WBCs) on Gram stain. Colonized wounds have positive wound cultures but no/few WBCs on Gram stain. Results: We found only 11/31 actual wound infections, the remainder were not bona fide wound infections, but were colonized seromas. Conclusion: Post-laminectomy colonized seromas that are culture positive for one or more organisms often mimic wound infections. In the era of public reporting of nosocomial infections, it is important that external reviewers differentiate colonization from infection to provide regulatory agencies with accurate data. Full article
Open AccessArticle Improving Clinical Prediction of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders in Youth
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 218-232; doi:10.3390/jcm3010218
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
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Abstract
This report evaluates whether classification tree algorithms (CTA) may improve the identification of individuals at risk for bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSD). Analyses used the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms (LAMS) cohort (629 youth, 148 with BPSD and 481 without BPSD). Parent ratings of
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This report evaluates whether classification tree algorithms (CTA) may improve the identification of individuals at risk for bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSD). Analyses used the Longitudinal Assessment of Manic Symptoms (LAMS) cohort (629 youth, 148 with BPSD and 481 without BPSD). Parent ratings of mania symptoms, stressful life events, parenting stress, and parental history of mania were included as risk factors. Comparable overall accuracy was observed for CTA (75.4%) relative to logistic regression (77.6%). However, CTA showed increased sensitivity (0.28 vs. 0.18) at the expense of slightly decreased specificity and positive predictive power. The advantage of CTA algorithms for clinical decision making is demonstrated by the combinations of predictors most useful for altering the probability of BPSD. The 24% sample probability of BPSD was substantially decreased in youth with low screening and baseline parent ratings of mania, negative parental history of mania, and low levels of stressful life events (2%). High screening plus high baseline parent-rated mania nearly doubled the BPSD probability (46%). Future work will benefit from examining additional, powerful predictors, such as alternative data sources (e.g., clinician ratings, neurocognitive test data); these may increase the clinical utility of CTA models further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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Open AccessArticle Circadian Phase Preference in Pediatric Bipolar Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 255-266; doi:10.3390/jcm3010255
Received: 10 December 2013 / Revised: 11 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
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Abstract
Pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) rates have notably increased over the past three decades. Given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with BD, efforts are needed to identify factors useful in earlier detection to help address this serious public health concern. Sleep is particularly
[...] Read more.
Pediatric bipolar disorder (BD) rates have notably increased over the past three decades. Given the significant morbidity and mortality associated with BD, efforts are needed to identify factors useful in earlier detection to help address this serious public health concern. Sleep is particularly important to consider given the sequelae of disrupted sleep on normative functioning and that sleep is included in diagnostic criteria for both Major Depressive and Manic Episodes. Here, we examine one component of sleep—i.e., circadian phase preference with the behavioral construct of morningness/eveningness (M/E). In comparing 30 BD and 45 typically developing control (TDC) participants, ages 7–17 years, on the Morningness-Eveningness Scale for Children (MESC), no between-group differences emerged. Similar results were found when comparing three groups (BD−ADHD; BD+ADHD; TDC). Consistent with data available on circadian phase preference in adults with BD, however, we found that BD adolescents, ages 13 years and older, endorsed significantly greater eveningness compared to their TDC peers. While the current findings are limited by reliance on subjective report and the high-rate of comorbid ADHD among the BD group, this finding that BD teens demonstrate an exaggerated shift towards eveningness than would be developmentally expected is important. Future studies should compare the circadian rhythms across the lifespan for individuals diagnosed with BD, as well as identify the point at which BD youth part ways with their healthy peers in terms of phase preference. In addition, given our BD sample was overall euthymic, it may be that M/E is more state vs. trait specific in latency age youth. Further work would benefit from assessing circadian functioning using a combination of rating forms and laboratory-based measures. Improved understanding of sleep in BD may identify behavioral targets for inclusion in prevention and intervention protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
Open AccessArticle Effectiveness of Proadrenomedullin Enhanced CURB65 Score Algorithm in Patients with Community-Acquired Pneumonia in “Real Life”, an Observational Quality Control Survey
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 267-279; doi:10.3390/jcm3010267
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
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Abstract
Background: An intervention trial found a trend for shorter length of stay (LOS) in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) when the CURB65 score was combined with the prognostic biomarker proadrenomedullin (ProADM) (CURB65-A). However, the efficacy and safety of CURB65-A in real life situations
[...] Read more.
Background: An intervention trial found a trend for shorter length of stay (LOS) in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) when the CURB65 score was combined with the prognostic biomarker proadrenomedullin (ProADM) (CURB65-A). However, the efficacy and safety of CURB65-A in real life situations remains unclear. Methods: From September, 2011, until April, 2012, we performed a post-study prospective observational quality control survey at the cantonal Hospital of Aarau, Switzerland of consecutive adults with CAP. The primary endpoint was length of stay (LOS) during the index hospitalization and within 30 days. We compared the results with two well-defined historic cohorts of CAP patients hospitalized in the same hospital with the use of multivariate regression, namely 83 patients in the observation study without ProADM (OPTIMA I) and the 169 patients in the intervention study (OPTIMA II RCT). Results: A total of 89 patients with confirmed CAP were included. As compared to patients with CURB65 only observed in the OPTIMA I study, adjusted regression analysis showed a significant shorter initial LOS (7.5 vs. 10.4 days; −2.32; 95% CI, −4.51 to −0.13; p = 0.04) when CURB65-A was used in clinical routine. No significant differences were found for LOS within 30 days. There were no significant differences in safety outcomes in regard to mortality and ICU admission between the cohorts. Conclusion: This post-study survey provides evidence that the use of ProADM in combination with CURB65 (CURB65-A) in “real life” situations reduces initial LOS compared to the CURB65 score alone without apparent negative effects on patient safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: Subtype Trend and Impact of Behavioral Comorbidities
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 310-322; doi:10.3390/jcm3010310
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 5 February 2014 / Accepted: 11 February 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
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Abstract
The diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) has increased dramatically in community-treated youth in the past 20 years. No previous study has assessed the trend in PBD subtype diagnoses or the impact of clinician-reported behavioral comorbidities (BC) on psychotropic medication prescribing patterns. This
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The diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) has increased dramatically in community-treated youth in the past 20 years. No previous study has assessed the trend in PBD subtype diagnoses or the impact of clinician-reported behavioral comorbidities (BC) on psychotropic medication prescribing patterns. This study aims: (1) to characterize national trends in PBD visits in relation to PBD subtypes; and (2) to assess differences in socio-demographic PBD subtype diagnostic patterns and psychotropic medications prescribed in PBD visits with and without behavioral comorbidities (w/w/o BC). PBD visits for 1999–2010 from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) data were assessed using population-weighted chi-square and logistic regression analyses. While PBD visit rates were stable across 12 years, the proportional shift of subtype diagnosis from Bipolar I (89.0%) in 1999–2002 to Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) (74.1%) in 2007–2010 was notable. Compared with PBD without behavioral comorbidities (w/o BC), PBD visits w/BC had greater proportions of the bipolar-NOS subtype, more males, 2–14-year-olds, and more publicly-insured visits. The prescription of antipsychotics (60% vs. 61%) was common in PBD visits regardless of the presence of behavioral comorbidities. Stimulants were the predominant class prescribed for PBD visits with BC (67.8% vs. 9.4%). Antidepressants were significantly greater in PBD visits without BC (41.6% vs. 21.0%). Overall one-third of PBD youth visits were prescribed antipsychotics concomitant with other psychotropic classes. Behavioral conditions accompanying PBD visits were prominent, suggesting the need for monitoring and evaluating the outcomes of complex medication regimens in community populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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Open AccessArticle The Impacts of Obesity and Metabolic Abnormality on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children from an Inland Chinese City
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 323-333; doi:10.3390/jcm3010323
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 18 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 20 March 2014
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Abstract
The Chinese inland, where low child obesity and overweight rates were reported in earlier studies, has recently experienced rapid economy changes. This may impact children’s health. In the present study, we investigated the obesity rate, metabolic health status, and their impacts on carotid
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The Chinese inland, where low child obesity and overweight rates were reported in earlier studies, has recently experienced rapid economy changes. This may impact children’s health. In the present study, we investigated the obesity rate, metabolic health status, and their impacts on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among children from Yueyang, an inland city of China. We found that the obesity rate was about 5% for both 7- and 11-year olds. Overweightness rates were 9.5% and 11.5% for the 7- and 11-year olds, respectively. Clinical and laboratory examinations revealed significant differences among different weight groups in the 11-year old volunteers, which were absent in the 7-year olds. Further statistical analysis showed that: age, BMI, blood pressure, triglyceride level, and metabolic abnormality were positively correlated to carotid IMT; triglyceride level, obesity, male, and the number of metabolic abnormalities were independent risk factors for NAFLD in these children. Our study suggests that: childhood overweightness and obesity are now epidemic in Yueyang, which have contributed to increased carotid IMT and may also increased NAFLD incidents; and serum triglyceride level is a critical factor in the development of childhood NAFLD. Thus, childhood metabolic health warrants further vigorous research in the inland of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)

Review

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Open AccessReview Treatment and Prevention of Bone Metastases from Breast Cancer: A Comprehensive Review of Evidence for Clinical Practice
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 1-24; doi:10.3390/jcm3010001
Received: 9 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 9 January 2014
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Abstract
Bone is the most common site of metastasis from breast cancer. Bone metastases from breast cancer are associated with skeletal-related events (SREs) including pathological fractures, spinal cord compression, surgery and radiotherapy to bone, as well as bone pain and hypercalcemia, leading to impaired
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Bone is the most common site of metastasis from breast cancer. Bone metastases from breast cancer are associated with skeletal-related events (SREs) including pathological fractures, spinal cord compression, surgery and radiotherapy to bone, as well as bone pain and hypercalcemia, leading to impaired mobility and reduced quality of life. Greater understanding of the pathophysiology of bone metastases has led to the discovery and clinical utility of bone-targeted agents such as bisphosphonates and the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANK-L) antibody, denosumab. Both are now a routine part of the treatment of breast cancer bone metastases to reduce SREs. With regards to prevention, there is no evidence that oral bisphosphonates can prevent bone metastases in advanced breast cancer without skeletal involvement. Several phase III clinical trials have evaluated bisphosphonates as adjuvant therapy in early breast cancer to prevent bone metastases. The current published data do not support the routine use of bisphosphonates in unselected patients with early breast cancer for metastasis prevention. However, significant benefit of adjuvant bisphosphonates has been consistently observed in the postmenopausal or ovarian suppression subgroup across multiple clinical trials, which raises the hypothesis that its greatest anti-tumor effect is in a low estrogen microenvironment. An individual patient data meta-analysis will be required to confirm survival benefit in this setting. This review summarizes the key evidence for current clinical practice and future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Treatment of Bone Metastases from Breast Cancer)
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Open AccessReview Economical Analysis of Different Clinical Approaches in Pre-Viability Amniorrhexis—A Case Series
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 25-38; doi:10.3390/jcm3010025
Received: 19 November 2013 / Revised: 18 December 2013 / Accepted: 30 December 2013 / Published: 9 January 2014
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Abstract
Prolonged oligohydramnios following extreme preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (EPPROM) is traditionally associated with a high morbidity and mortality to both the mother and the baby. The clinical maternal evaluation and fetal ultrasound assessment may provide important prognostic information for the clinicians and
[...] Read more.
Prolonged oligohydramnios following extreme preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (EPPROM) is traditionally associated with a high morbidity and mortality to both the mother and the baby. The clinical maternal evaluation and fetal ultrasound assessment may provide important prognostic information for the clinicians and should be taken into account when counselling the patients so as to provide them with enough information to make decision of continuing or interrupting the pregnancy. Current financial constraints on the National Healthcare Service (NHS) resources make it imperative for clinical decision-makers and budgetary planners to make the right decision of continuing or terminating a second trimester pre-viability amniorrhexis for desperate parents. To assess the economic consequences following EPPROM, the risk of infection to both baby and mother, psychological impact on the parents and associated complications and further disability after delivery on this fragile group of patients to the NHS resources. We review the clinical course, outcome, and the challenges to parents and health care professionals on three pregnancies complicated by EPPROM, occurring before 24 weeks’ gestation with a membrane rupture to delivery interval (latent period) of 14 days or more. The anticipated birth of an extremely premature infant poses many challenges for parents and health care professionals. As parents are faced with difficult decisions that can have a long-term impact on the infant, family and country’s resources, it is critical to provide the type of information and support that is needed by them. Taking all these into consideration with the period of ventilation and respiratory assistance in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is essential to provide maximum chances for survival, minimizing the risk for long term sequelae of the neonate and provides the parents enough time to decide on making the right decision with the associated guidance of the healthcare provider. Full article
Open AccessReview Stem Cells on Biomaterials for Synthetic Grafts to Promote Vascular Healing
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 39-87; doi:10.3390/jcm3010039
Received: 6 October 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 16 November 2013 / Published: 15 January 2014
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Abstract
This review is divided into two interconnected parts, namely a biological and a chemical one. The focus of the first part is on the biological background for constructing tissue-engineered vascular grafts to promote vascular healing. Various cell types, such as embryonic, mesenchymal and
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This review is divided into two interconnected parts, namely a biological and a chemical one. The focus of the first part is on the biological background for constructing tissue-engineered vascular grafts to promote vascular healing. Various cell types, such as embryonic, mesenchymal and induced pluripotent stem cells, progenitor cells and endothelial- and smooth muscle cells will be discussed with respect to their specific markers. The in vitro and in vivo models and their potential to treat vascular diseases are also introduced. The chemical part focuses on strategies using either artificial or natural polymers for scaffold fabrication, including decellularized cardiovascular tissue. An overview will be given on scaffold fabrication including conventional methods and nanotechnologies. Special attention is given to 3D network formation via different chemical and physical cross-linking methods. In particular, electron beam treatment is introduced as a method to combine 3D network formation and surface modification. The review includes recently published scientific data and patents which have been registered within the last decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Stem Cell Treatments)
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Open AccessReview Adult Stem Cells and Diseases of Aging
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 88-134; doi:10.3390/jcm3010088
Received: 20 November 2013 / Revised: 15 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (616 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preservation of adult stem cells pools is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis into old age. Exhaustion of adult stem cell pools as a result of deranged metabolic signaling, premature senescence as a response to oncogenic insults to the somatic genome, and other causes
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Preservation of adult stem cells pools is critical for maintaining tissue homeostasis into old age. Exhaustion of adult stem cell pools as a result of deranged metabolic signaling, premature senescence as a response to oncogenic insults to the somatic genome, and other causes contribute to tissue degeneration with age. Both progeria, an extreme example of early-onset aging, and heritable longevity have provided avenues to study regulation of the aging program and its impact on adult stem cell compartments. In this review, we discuss recent findings concerning the effects of aging on stem cells, contributions of stem cells to age-related pathologies, examples of signaling pathways at work in these processes, and lessons about cellular aging gleaned from the development and refinement of cellular reprogramming technologies. We highlight emerging therapeutic approaches to manipulation of key signaling pathways corrupting or exhausting adult stem cells, as well as other approaches targeted at maintaining robust stem cell pools to extend not only lifespan but healthspan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Stem Cell Treatments)
Open AccessReview Clinical Guidelines on Long-Term Pharmacotherapy for Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 135-143; doi:10.3390/jcm3010135
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 27 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
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Abstract
Bipolar disorder is a severe affective disorder which can present in adolescence, or sometimes earlier, and often requires a pharmacotherapeutic approach. The phenomenology of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents appears to differ from that of adult patients, prompting the need for specific
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Bipolar disorder is a severe affective disorder which can present in adolescence, or sometimes earlier, and often requires a pharmacotherapeutic approach. The phenomenology of bipolar disorder in children and adolescents appears to differ from that of adult patients, prompting the need for specific pharmacotherapy guidelines for long-term management in this patient population. Current treatment guidelines were mainly developed based on evidence from studies in adult patients, highlighting the requirement for further research into the pharmacotherapy of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder. This review compares and critically analyzes the available guidelines, discussing the recommended medication classes, their mechanisms of action, side effect profiles and evidence base. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
Open AccessReview Towards a Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence: Application of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Regeneration of the Sphincter Muscle
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 197-215; doi:10.3390/jcm3010197
Received: 13 December 2013 / Revised: 16 January 2014 / Accepted: 17 January 2014 / Published: 24 February 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2030 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stress urinary incontinence is a significant social, medical, and economic problem. It is caused, at least in part, by degeneration of the sphincter muscle controlling the tightness of the urinary bladder. This muscular degeneration is characterized by a loss of muscle cells and
[...] Read more.
Stress urinary incontinence is a significant social, medical, and economic problem. It is caused, at least in part, by degeneration of the sphincter muscle controlling the tightness of the urinary bladder. This muscular degeneration is characterized by a loss of muscle cells and a surplus of a fibrous connective tissue. In Western countries approximately 15% of all females and 10% of males are affected. The incidence is significantly higher among senior citizens, and more than 25% of the elderly suffer from incontinence. When other therapies, such as physical exercise, pharmacological intervention, or electrophysiological stimulation of the sphincter fail to improve the patient’s conditions, a cell-based therapy may improve the function of the sphincter muscle. Here, we briefly summarize current knowledge on stem cells suitable for therapy of urinary incontinence: mesenchymal stromal cells, urine-derived stem cells, and muscle-derived satellite cells. In addition, we report on ways to improve techniques for surgical navigation, injection of cells in the sphincter muscle, sensors for evaluation of post-treatment therapeutic outcome, and perspectives derived from recent pre-clinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Stem Cell Treatments)
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Open AccessReview Frontotemporal White Matter in Adolescents with, and at-Risk for, Bipolar Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 233-254; doi:10.3390/jcm3010233
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 17 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
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Abstract
Frontotemporal neural systems are highly implicated in the emotional dysregulation characteristic of bipolar disorder (BD). Convergent genetic, postmortem, behavioral and neuroimaging evidence suggests abnormalities in the development of frontotemporal white matter (WM) in the pathophysiology of BD. This review discusses evidence for the
[...] Read more.
Frontotemporal neural systems are highly implicated in the emotional dysregulation characteristic of bipolar disorder (BD). Convergent genetic, postmortem, behavioral and neuroimaging evidence suggests abnormalities in the development of frontotemporal white matter (WM) in the pathophysiology of BD. This review discusses evidence for the involvement of abnormal WM development in BD during adolescence, with a focus on frontotemporal WM. Findings from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies in adults and adolescents are reviewed to explore possible progressive WM abnormalities in the disorder. Intra- and interhemispheric frontotemporal abnormalities were reported in adults with BD. Although evidence in children and adolescents with BD to date has been limited, similar intrahemispheric and interhemispheric findings have also been reported. The findings in youths suggest that these abnormalities may represent a trait marker present early in the course of BD. Functional connectivity studies, demonstrating a relationship between WM abnormalities and frontotemporal dysfunction in BD, and DTI studies of vulnerability in first-degree relatives of individuals with BD, are discussed. Together, findings suggest the involvement of abnormal frontotemporal WM development in the pathophysiology of BD and that these abnormalities may be early trait markers of vulnerability; however, more studies are critically needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
Open AccessReview Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Prenatal Testing for Embryos Finally Achieving Its Potential
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 280-309; doi:10.3390/jcm3010280
Received: 22 January 2014 / Revised: 12 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 17 March 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis was developed nearly a quarter-century ago as an alternative form of prenatal diagnosis that is carried out on embryos. Initially offered for diagnosis in couples at-risk for single gene genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington
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Preimplantation genetic diagnosis was developed nearly a quarter-century ago as an alternative form of prenatal diagnosis that is carried out on embryos. Initially offered for diagnosis in couples at-risk for single gene genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington disease, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has most frequently been employed in assisted reproduction for detection of chromosome aneuploidy from advancing maternal age or structural chromosome rearrangements. Major improvements have been seen in PGD analysis with movement away from older, less effective technologies, such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), to newer molecular tools, such as DNA microarrays and next generation sequencing. Improved results have also started to be seen with decreasing use of Day 3 blastomere biopsy in favor of polar body or Day 5 trophectoderm biopsy. Discussions regarding the scientific, ethical, legal and social issues surrounding the use of sequence data from embryo biopsy have begun and must continue to avoid concern regarding eugenic or inappropriate use of this technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 1)
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Open AccessCreative Women’s Attitudes Regarding Prenatal Testing for a Range of Congenital Disorders of Varying Severity
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(1), 144-152; doi:10.3390/jcm3010144
Received: 27 December 2013 / Revised: 6 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 21 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Little is known about women’s comparative attitudes towards prenatal testing for different categories of genetic disorders. We interviewed women who delivered healthy infants within the past year and assessed attitudes towards prenatal screening and diagnostic testing, as well as pregnancy termination, for Down
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Little is known about women’s comparative attitudes towards prenatal testing for different categories of genetic disorders. We interviewed women who delivered healthy infants within the past year and assessed attitudes towards prenatal screening and diagnostic testing, as well as pregnancy termination, for Down syndrome (DS), fragile X (FraX), cystic fibrosis (CF), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), phenylketonuria (PKU) and congenital heart defects (CHD). Ninety-five women aged 21 to 48 years participated, of whom 60% were Caucasian, 23% Asian, 10% Latina and 7% African American; 82% were college graduates. Ninety-five to ninety-eight percent indicated that they would have screening for each condition, and the majority would have amniocentesis (64% for PKU to 72% for SMA). Inclinations regarding pregnancy termination varied by condition: Whereas only 10% reported they would probably or definitely terminate a pregnancy for CHD, 41% indicated they would do so for DS and 62% for SMA. Most women in this cohort reported that they would undergo screening for all six conditions presented, the majority without the intent to terminate an affected pregnancy. These women were least inclined to terminate treatable disorders (PKU, CHD) versus those associated with intellectual disability (DS, FraX) and were most likely to terminate for SMA, typically lethal in childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)

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