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Diagnostics, Volume 11, Issue 10 (October 2021) – 203 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell dyscrasia characterized by focal and nonfocal bone lesions. This retrospective study analyzed radiomics features associated to both focal lesions and the whole skeleton asset by means of artificial intelligence algorithms. Using unsupervised clustering techniques, we were able to realize patients’ stratification relying just on image-based features. The resulting radiomics skill scores were higher than the ones associated with a standard cytogenetic classification, thus showing that image- and AI-based risk prediction for multiple myeloma patients is possible. View this paper
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Article
Loss of DUSP4 Expression as a Prognostic Biomarker in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1939; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101939 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 447
Abstract
Dual-specificity protein phosphatase 4 (DUSP4) is a negative regulator of mitogen-activated protein kinases. The prognostic impact of DUSP4 expression in renal cell carcinoma is not well studied. Therefore, we evaluated the clinicopathological implications of DUSP4 expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma by [...] Read more.
Dual-specificity protein phosphatase 4 (DUSP4) is a negative regulator of mitogen-activated protein kinases. The prognostic impact of DUSP4 expression in renal cell carcinoma is not well studied. Therefore, we evaluated the clinicopathological implications of DUSP4 expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma by performing immunohistochemistry (IHC). The clinical outcome according to DUSP4 expression was evaluated through survival analyses, and the association between mRNA expression and prognosis was confirmed by online analysis (Kaplan–Meier plotter). Loss of DUSP4 expression was noted in most histological subtypes of renal cell carcinoma. Loss of DUSP4 expression in clear cell renal cell carcinoma was significantly correlated with old age (p = 0.033), high histologic grade (p < 0.001), tumor necrosis (p < 0.001), and high pT category (p < 0.001). In survival analysis, loss of DUSP4 expression was associated with poor clinical outcomes in cancer-specific survival and recurrence-free survival (p = 0.010 and p = 0.007, respectively). Upon TCGA data analysis, patients with low DUSP4 mRNA expression showed a shorter overall survival (p = 0.023). These results suggest that loss of DUSP4 expression can be used as a potential biomarker for predicting clinical outcomes in clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Biomarkers in Medicine)
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Review
The Role of Bronchoscopy in the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with SARS-Cov-2 Infection
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1938; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101938 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 571
Abstract
Bronchoscopy has several major diagnostic and therapeutic indications in pulmonology. However, it is an aerosol-generating procedure that places healthcare providers at an increased risk of infection. Now more than ever, during the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the infectious risk [...] Read more.
Bronchoscopy has several major diagnostic and therapeutic indications in pulmonology. However, it is an aerosol-generating procedure that places healthcare providers at an increased risk of infection. Now more than ever, during the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the infectious risk during bronchoscopy is significantly raised, and for this reason its role in diagnostic management is debated. In this review, we summarized current evidence regarding the indications for bronchoscopy and the measures that should be applied to decrease risk exposure. Indeed, seeing the long-lasting period of the pandemic, resuming standard of care for all patients is required. Full article
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Article
Differences in Dynamics of Lung Computed Tomography Patterns between Survivors and Deceased Adult Patients with COVID-19
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1937; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101937 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
This study’s aim was to investigate CT (computed tomography) pattern dynamics differences within surviving and deceased adult patients with COVID-19, revealing new prognostic factors and reproducing already known data with our patients’ cohort: 635 hospitalized patients (55.3% of them were men, 44.7%—women), of [...] Read more.
This study’s aim was to investigate CT (computed tomography) pattern dynamics differences within surviving and deceased adult patients with COVID-19, revealing new prognostic factors and reproducing already known data with our patients’ cohort: 635 hospitalized patients (55.3% of them were men, 44.7%—women), of which 87.3% had a positive result of RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) at admission. The number of deaths was 53 people (69.8% of them were men and 30.2% were women). In total, more than 1500 CT examinations were performed on patients, using a GE Optima CT 660 computed tomography (General Electric Healthcare, Chicago, IL, USA). The study was performed at hospital admission, the frequency of repetitive scans further varied based on clinical need. The interpretation of the imaging data was carried out by 11 radiologists with filling in individual registration cards that take into account the scale of the lesion, the location, contours, and shape of the foci, the dominating types of changes, as well as the presence of additional findings and the dynamics of the process—a total of 45 parameters. Statistical analysis was performed using the software packages SPSS Statistics version 23.0 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA) and R software version 3.3.2. For comparisons in pattern dynamics across hospitalization we used repeated measures general linear model with outcome and disease phase as factors. The crazy paving pattern, which is more common and has a greater contribution to the overall CT picture in different phases of the disease in deceased patients, has isolated prognostic significance and is probably a reflection of faster dynamics of the process with a long phase of progression of pulmonary parenchyma damage with an identical trend of changes in the scale of the lesion (as recovered) in this group of patients. Already known data on typical pulmonological CT manifestations of infection, frequency of occurrence, and the prognostic significance of the scale of the lesion were reproduced, new differences in the dynamics of the process between recovered and deceased adult patients were also found that may have prognostic significance and can be reflected in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Article
Brain Cancer Prediction Based on Novel Interpretable Ensemble Gene Selection Algorithm and Classifier
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101936 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
The growth of abnormal cells in the brain causes human brain tumors. Identifying the type of tumor is crucial for the prognosis and treatment of the patient. Data from cancer microarrays typically include fewer samples with many gene expression levels as features, reflecting [...] Read more.
The growth of abnormal cells in the brain causes human brain tumors. Identifying the type of tumor is crucial for the prognosis and treatment of the patient. Data from cancer microarrays typically include fewer samples with many gene expression levels as features, reflecting the curse of dimensionality and making classifying data from microarrays challenging. In most of the examined studies, cancer classification (Malignant and benign) accuracy was examined without disclosing biological information related to the classification process. A new approach was proposed to bridge the gap between cancer classification and the interpretation of the biological studies of the genes implicated in cancer. This study aims to develop a new hybrid model for cancer classification (by using feature selection mRMRe as a key step to improve the performance of classification methods and a distributed hyperparameter optimization for gradient boosting ensemble methods). To evaluate the proposed method, NB, RF, and SVM classifiers have been chosen. In terms of the AUC, sensitivity, and specificity, the optimized CatBoost classifier performed better than the optimized XGBoost in cross-validation 5, 6, 8, and 10. With an accuracy of 0.91±0.12, the optimized CatBoost classifier is more accurate than the CatBoost classifier without optimization, which is 0.81± 0.24. By using hybrid algorithms, SVM, RF, and NB automatically become more accurate. Furthermore, in terms of accuracy, SVM and RF (0.97±0.08) achieve equivalent and higher classification accuracy than NB (0.91±0.12). The findings of relevant biomedical studies confirm the findings of the selected genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer-Assisted Functional Diagnostics)
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Article
MAGnitude-Image-to-Complex K-space (MAGIC-K) Net: A Data Augmentation Network for Image Reconstruction
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1935; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101935 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Deep learning has demonstrated superior performance in image reconstruction compared to most conventional iterative algorithms. However, their effectiveness and generalization capability are highly dependent on the sample size and diversity of the training data. Deep learning-based reconstruction requires multi-coil raw k-space data, [...] Read more.
Deep learning has demonstrated superior performance in image reconstruction compared to most conventional iterative algorithms. However, their effectiveness and generalization capability are highly dependent on the sample size and diversity of the training data. Deep learning-based reconstruction requires multi-coil raw k-space data, which are not collected by routine scans. On the other hand, large amounts of magnitude images are readily available in hospitals. Hence, we proposed the MAGnitude Images to Complex K-space (MAGIC-K) Net to generate multi-coil k-space data from existing magnitude images and a limited number of required raw k-space data to facilitate the reconstruction. Compared to some basic data augmentation methods applying global intensity and displacement transformations to the source images, the MAGIC-K Net can generate more realistic intensity variations and displacements from pairs of anatomical Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) images. The reconstruction performance was validated in 30 healthy volunteers and 6 patients with different types of tumors. The experimental results demonstrated that the high-resolution Diffusion Weighted Image (DWI) reconstruction benefited from the proposed augmentation method. The MAGIC-K Net enabled the deep learning network to reconstruct images with superior performance in both healthy and tumor patients, qualitatively and quantitatively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Article
Keratoconus Diagnostic and Treatment Algorithms Based on Machine-Learning Methods
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1933; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101933 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
The accurate diagnosis of keratoconus, especially in its early stages of development, allows one to utilise timely and proper treatment strategies for slowing the progression of the disease and provide visual rehabilitation. Various keratometry indices and classifications for quantifying the severity of keratoconus [...] Read more.
The accurate diagnosis of keratoconus, especially in its early stages of development, allows one to utilise timely and proper treatment strategies for slowing the progression of the disease and provide visual rehabilitation. Various keratometry indices and classifications for quantifying the severity of keratoconus have been developed. Today, many of them involve the use of the latest methods of computer processing and data analysis. The main purpose of this work was to develop a machine-learning-based algorithm to precisely determine the stage of keratoconus, allowing optimal management of patients with this disease. A multicentre retrospective study was carried out to obtain a database of patients with keratoconus and to use machine-learning techniques such as principal component analysis and clustering. The created program allows for us to distinguish between a normal state; preclinical keratoconus; and stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the disease, with an accuracy in terms of the AUC of 0.95 to 1.00 based on keratotopographer readings, relative to the adapted Amsler–Krumeich algorithm. The predicted stage and additional diagnostic criteria were then used to create a standardised keratoconus management algorithm. We also developed a web-based interface for the algorithm, providing us the opportunity to use the software in a clinical environment. Full article
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Article
Visual Evaluation of Image Quality of a Low Dose 2D/3D Slot Scanner Imaging System Compared to Two Conventional Digital Radiography X-ray Imaging Systems
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101932 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 681
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess the image quality of the low dose 2D/3D slot scanner (LDSS) imaging system compared to conventional digital radiography (DR) imaging systems. Visual image quality was assessed using the visual grading analysis (VGA) method. This method [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess the image quality of the low dose 2D/3D slot scanner (LDSS) imaging system compared to conventional digital radiography (DR) imaging systems. Visual image quality was assessed using the visual grading analysis (VGA) method. This method is a subjective approach that uses a human observer to evaluate and optimise radiographic images for different imaging technologies. Methods and materials: ten posterior-anterior (PA) and ten lateral (LAT) images of a chest anthropomorphic phantoms and a knee phantom were acquired by an LDSS imaging system and two conventional DR imaging systems. The images were shown in random order to three (chest) radiologists and three experienced (knee) radiographers, who scored the images against a number of criteria. Inter- and intraobserver agreement was assessed using Fleiss’ kappa and weighted kappa. Results: the statistical comparison of the agreement between the observers showed good interobserver agreement, with Fleiss’ kappa coefficients of 0.27–0.63 and 0.23–0.45 for the chest and knee protocols, respectively. Comparison of intraobserver agreement also showed good agreement with weighted kappa coefficients of 0.27–0.63 and 0.23–0.45 for the chest and knee protocols, respectively. The LDSS imaging system achieved significantly higher VGA image quality compared to the DR imaging systems in the AP and LAT chest protocols (p < 0.001). However, the LDSS imaging system achieved lower image quality than one DR system (p ≤ 0.016) and equivalent image quality to the other DR systems (p ≤ 0.27) in the knee protocol. The LDSS imaging system achieved effective dose savings of 33–52% for the chest protocol and 30–35% for the knee protocol compared with DR systems. Conclusions: this work has shown that the LDSS imaging system has the potential to acquire chest and knee images at diagnostic quality and at a lower effective dose than DR systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Case Report
Dominating Cause of Pulmonary Hypertension May Change Over Time—Diagnostic and Therapeutic Considerations in a Patient with Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Rheumatoid Arthritis with Lung Involvement
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1931; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101931 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Chronic lung diseases are one of the most frequent causes of pulmonary hypertension (PH). The diagnostic challenge is to differentiate PH due to chronic lung disease from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with coexisting chronic lung disease. Moreover, the dominating cause of PH may [...] Read more.
Chronic lung diseases are one of the most frequent causes of pulmonary hypertension (PH). The diagnostic challenge is to differentiate PH due to chronic lung disease from pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) with coexisting chronic lung disease. Moreover, the dominating cause of PH may change over time, requiring the implementation of new diagnostic procedures and new treatment modalities. We present a 68-year-old female, initially diagnosed with PH in the course of interstitial lung disease, with restrictive impairment of lung function. Therapy with immunosuppressive drugs resulted in significant clinical, radiological and functional improvement. However, five years later, arthritis symptoms developed, with PH worsening, despite stable lung disease. The patient was diagnosed with PAH in the course of rheumatoid arthritis. The introduction of sildenafil resulted in marked clinical and hemodynamic responses. Long-term survival (eleven years from PH onset and five years from PAH confirmation) has been achieved, and the patient remains in good functional condition. As the differential diagnosis of PH in patients with lung diseases is complex, the cooperation of pulmonologists and cardiologists is mandatory to obtain therapeutic success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Article
Radial Basis Function for Breast Lesion Detection from MammoWave Clinical Data
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1930; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101930 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Recently, a novel microwave apparatus for breast lesion detection (MammoWave), uniquely able to function in air with 2 antennas rotating in the azimuth plane and operating within the band 1–9 GHz has been developed. Machine learning (ML) has been implemented to understand information [...] Read more.
Recently, a novel microwave apparatus for breast lesion detection (MammoWave), uniquely able to function in air with 2 antennas rotating in the azimuth plane and operating within the band 1–9 GHz has been developed. Machine learning (ML) has been implemented to understand information from the frequency spectrum collected through MammoWave in response to the stimulus, segregating breasts with and without lesions. The study comprises 61 breasts (from 35 patients), each one with the correspondent output of the radiologist’s conclusion (i.e., gold standard) obtained from echography and/or mammography and/or MRI, plus pathology or 1-year clinical follow-up when required. The MammoWave examinations are performed, recording the frequency spectrum, where the magnitudes show substantial discrepancy and reveals dissimilar behaviours when reflected from tissues with/without lesions. Principal component analysis is implemented to extract the unique quantitative response from the frequency response for automated breast lesion identification, engaging the support vector machine (SVM) with a radial basis function kernel. In-vivo feasibility validation (now ended) of MammoWave was approved in 2015 by the Ethical Committee of Umbria, Italy (N. 6845/15/AV/DM of 14 October 2015, N. 10352/17/NCAV of 16 March 2017, N 13203/18/NCAV of 17 April 2018). Here, we used a set of 35 patients. According to the radiologists conclusions, 25 breasts without lesions and 36 breasts with lesions underwent a MammoWave examination. The proposed SVM model achieved the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 91%, 84.40%, and 97.20%. The proposed ML augmented MammoWave can identify breast lesions with high accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancement in Breast Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology)
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Article
Association of Cervical and Lumbar Paraspinal Muscle Composition Using Texture Analysis of MR-Based Proton Density Fat Fraction Maps
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1929; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101929 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
In this study, the associations of cervical and lumbar paraspinal musculature based on a texture analysis of proton density fat fraction (PDFF) maps were investigated to identify gender- and anatomical location-specific structural patterns. Seventy-nine volunteers (25 men, 54 women) participated in the present [...] Read more.
In this study, the associations of cervical and lumbar paraspinal musculature based on a texture analysis of proton density fat fraction (PDFF) maps were investigated to identify gender- and anatomical location-specific structural patterns. Seventy-nine volunteers (25 men, 54 women) participated in the present study (mean age ± standard deviation: men: 43.7 ± 24.6 years; women: 37.1 ± 14.0 years). Using manual segmentations of the PDFF maps, texture analysis was performed and texture features were extracted. A significant difference in the mean PDFF between men and women was observed in the erector spinae muscle (p < 0.0001), whereas the mean PDFF did not significantly differ in the cervical musculature and the psoas muscle (p > 0.05 each). Among others, Variance(global) and Kurtosis(global) showed significantly higher values in men than in women in all included muscle groups (p < 0.001). Not only the mean PDFF values (p < 0.001) but also Variance(global) (p < 0.001), Energy (p < 0.001), Entropy (p = 0.01), Homogeneity (p < 0.001), and Correlation (p = 0.037) differed significantly between the three muscle compartments. The cervical and lumbar paraspinal musculature composition seems to be gender-specific and has anatomical location-specific structural patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spine Imaging: Novel Image Acquisition Techniques and Analysis Tools)
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Article
SERPINE2 Overexpression Is Associated with Poor Prognosis of Urothelial Carcinoma
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1928; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101928 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Recent studies have reported that SERPINE2 contributes to the development of various cancers. However, its association with urothelial carcinoma (UC) remains unclear. In this study, data on urinary bladder UC (UBUC) cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were used to investigate [...] Read more.
Recent studies have reported that SERPINE2 contributes to the development of various cancers. However, its association with urothelial carcinoma (UC) remains unclear. In this study, data on urinary bladder UC (UBUC) cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database were used to investigate the prognostic value of SERPINE2 mRNA expression. Then, SERPINE2 expression was analyzed with tissue microarrays constructed from 117 upper tract UC (UTUC) and 84 UBUC tissue specimens using immunohistochemical staining. Results were compared to clinicopathologic data by multivariate analysis. In the TCGA database, high SERPINE2 mRNA expression indicated a poor prognosis in patients with UBUC. Furthermore, Mann–Whitney U test showed that high SERPINE2 immunoexpression was significantly associated with adverse pathologic parameters including invasion, high grade, coexistence of UC in situ, and advanced pT stage (all p < 0.05, except for a marginal association with high-grade UBUC, p = 0.066). Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed that high SERPINE2 expression was associated with worse overall survival (OS; UTUC, p = 0.003; UBUC, p = 0.014) and disease-free survival (UTUC, p = 0.031; UBUC, p = 0.033). Moreover, multivariate analysis identified high SERPINE2 expression as an independent prognostic factor for OS (UTUC, p = 0.002; UBUC, p = 0.024). Taken together, our findings demonstrated that increased SERPINE2 expression is associated with adverse pathologic features and may serve as a prognostic biomarker for UC. Full article
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Article
Factors Influencing Concordance of PD-L1 Expression between Biopsies and Cytological Specimens in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1927; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101927 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
PD-L1 expression assessed by immunohistochemical staining is used for the selection of immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Appropriate validation of PD-L1 expression in cytology specimens is important as cytology is often the only diagnostic material in NSCLC. In a previous study [...] Read more.
PD-L1 expression assessed by immunohistochemical staining is used for the selection of immunotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Appropriate validation of PD-L1 expression in cytology specimens is important as cytology is often the only diagnostic material in NSCLC. In a previous study comprising two different cohorts of paired biopsies and cytological specimens, we found a fairly good cyto-histological correlation of PD-L1 expression in one, whereas only a moderate correlation was found in the other cohort. Therefore, that cohort with additional new cases was now further investigated for the impact of preanalytical factors on PD-L1 concordance in paired biopsies and cytological specimens. A total of 100 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cell blocks from 19 pleural effusions (PE), 17 bronchial brushes (BB), and 64 bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and concurrent matched biopsies from 80 bronchial biopsies and 20 transthoracic core biopsies from NSCLC patients were stained using the PD-L1 28-8 assay. Using the cutoffs ≥1%, ≥5%, ≥10%, and ≥50% positive tumour cells, the overall agreement between histology and cytology was 77–85% (κ 0.51–0.70) depending on the applied cutoff value. The concordance was better for BALs (κ 0.53–0.81) and BBs (κ 0.55–0.85) than for PEs (κ −0.16–0.48), while no difference was seen for different types of biopsies or histological tumour type. A high number of tumour cells (>500) in biopsies was associated with better concordance at the ≥50% cutoff. In conclusion, the study results suggest that PEs may be less suitable for evaluation of PD-L1 due to limited cyto-histological concordance, while a high amount of tumour cells in biopsies may be favourable when regarding cyto-histological PD-L1 concordance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyto-Histopathological Correlations in Pathology Diagnostics)
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Review
Diagnostic Accuracy of Non-Invasive Imaging for Detection of Colonic Inflammation in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101926 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
Endoscopy is the gold standard for objective assessment of colonic disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Non-invasive colonic imaging using bowel ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may have a role in quantifying colonic disease activity. We reviewed [...] Read more.
Endoscopy is the gold standard for objective assessment of colonic disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Non-invasive colonic imaging using bowel ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may have a role in quantifying colonic disease activity. We reviewed the diagnostic accuracy of these modalities for assessment of endoscopically or histopathologically defined colonic disease activity in IBD. We searched Embase, MEDLINE, and the Web of Science from inception to 20 September 2021. QUADAS-2 was used to evaluate the studies’ quality. A meta-analysis was performed using a bivariate model approach separately for MRI and US studies only, and summary receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were obtained. CT studies were excluded due to the absence of diagnostic test data. Thirty-seven studies were included. The mean sensitivity and specificity for MRI studies was 0.75 and 0.91, respectively, while for US studies it was 0.82 and 0.90, respectively. The area under the ROC curves (AUC) was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.82 to 0.93) for MRI, and 0.90 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.00) for US. Both MRI and US show high diagnostic accuracy in the assessment of colonic disease activity in IBD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Imaging of Gastrointestinal Diseases)
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Article
A Multivariate Model to Predict Chronic Heart Failure after Acute ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction: Preliminary Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1925; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101925 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 494
Abstract
A multivariate model for predicting the risk of decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF) within 48 weeks after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has been developed and tested. Methods. The study included 173 patients with acute STEMI aged 51.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 42–61) [...] Read more.
A multivariate model for predicting the risk of decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF) within 48 weeks after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) has been developed and tested. Methods. The study included 173 patients with acute STEMI aged 51.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 42–61) years. Two-dimensional (2D) speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) has been performed on the 7th–9th days, and at the 12th, 24th, and 48th weeks after the index event with the analysis of volumetric parameters and values for global longitudinal strain (GLS), global circumferential strain (GCS), and global radial strain (GRS). A 24-h ECG monitoring (24 h ECG) of the electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess heart rate turbulence (HRT) has been performed on the 7th–9th days of STEMI. The study involved two stages of implementation. At the first stage, a multivariate model to assess the risk of CHF progression within 48 weeks after STEMI has been built on the basis of examination and follow-up data for 113 patients (group M). At the second stage, the performance of the model has been assessed based on a 48-week follow-up of 60 patients (group T). Results. A multivariate regression model for CHF progression in STEMI patients has been created based on the results of the first stage. It included the following parameters: HRT, left ventricular (LV) end-systolic dimension (ESD), and GLS. The contribution of each factor for the relative risk (RR) of decompensated CHF has been found: 3.92 (95% CI: 1.66–9.25) (p = 0.0018) for HRT; 1.04 (95% CI: 1.015–1.07) (p = 0.0027) for ESD; 0.9 (95% CI: 0.815–0.98) (p = 0.028) for GLS. The diagnostic efficiency of the proposed model has been evaluated at the second stage. It appeared to have a high specificity of 83.3%, a sensitivity of 95.8%, and a diagnostic accuracy of 93.3%. Conclusion. The developed model for predicting CHF progression within 48 weeks after STEMI has a high diagnostic efficiency and can be used in early stages of myocardial infarction to stratify the risk of patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Heart Failure)
Review
A Promising and Challenging Approach: Radiologists’ Perspective on Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Fighting COVID-19
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101924 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 490
Abstract
Chest X-rays (CXR) and computed tomography (CT) are the main medical imaging modalities used against the increased worldwide spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, based on medical imaging fully extracting and utilizing the [...] Read more.
Chest X-rays (CXR) and computed tomography (CT) are the main medical imaging modalities used against the increased worldwide spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, based on medical imaging fully extracting and utilizing the hidden information in massive medical imaging data, have been used in COVID-19 research of disease diagnosis and classification, treatment decision-making, efficacy evaluation, and prognosis prediction. This review article describes the extensive research of medical image-based ML and AI methods in preventing and controlling COVID-19, and summarizes their characteristics, differences, and significance in terms of application direction, image collection, and algorithm improvement, from the perspective of radiologists. The limitations and challenges faced by these systems and technologies, such as generalization and robustness, are discussed to indicate future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics)
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Review
Features of Mobile Apps for People with Autism in a Post COVID-19 Scenario: Current Status and Recommendations for Apps Using AI
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1923; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101923 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The new ‘normal’ defined during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-assess how people with special needs thrive in these unprecedented conditions, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These changing/challenging conditions have instigated us to revisit the usage of telehealth [...] Read more.
The new ‘normal’ defined during the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to re-assess how people with special needs thrive in these unprecedented conditions, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These changing/challenging conditions have instigated us to revisit the usage of telehealth services to improve the quality of life for people with ASD. This study aims to identify mobile applications that suit the needs of such individuals. This work focuses on identifying features of a number of highly-rated mobile applications (apps) that are designed to assist people with ASD, specifically those features that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies. In this study, 250 mobile apps have been retrieved using keywords such as autism, autism AI, and autistic. Among 250 apps, 46 were identified after filtering out irrelevant apps based on defined elimination criteria such as ASD common users, medical staff, and non-medically trained people interacting with people with ASD. In order to review common functionalities and features, 25 apps were downloaded and analysed based on eye tracking, facial expression analysis, use of 3D cartoons, haptic feedback, engaging interface, text-to-speech, use of Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy, Augmentative and Alternative Communication techniques, among others were also deconstructed. As a result, software developers and healthcare professionals can consider the identified features in designing future support tools for autistic people. This study hypothesises that by studying these current features, further recommendations of how existing applications for ASD people could be enhanced using AI for (1) progress tracking, (2) personalised content delivery, (3) automated reasoning, (4) image recognition, and (5) Natural Language Processing (NLP). This paper follows the PRISMA methodology, which involves a set of recommendations for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics)
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Article
Detection Accuracy and Latency of Colorectal Lesions with Computer-Aided Detection System Based on Low-Bias Evaluation
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1922; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101922 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
We developed a computer-aided detection (CADe) system to detect and localize colorectal lesions by modifying You-Only-Look-Once version 3 (YOLO v3) and evaluated its performance in two different settings. The test dataset was obtained from 20 randomly selected patients who underwent endoscopic resection for [...] Read more.
We developed a computer-aided detection (CADe) system to detect and localize colorectal lesions by modifying You-Only-Look-Once version 3 (YOLO v3) and evaluated its performance in two different settings. The test dataset was obtained from 20 randomly selected patients who underwent endoscopic resection for 69 colorectal lesions at the Jikei University Hospital between June 2017 and February 2018. First, we evaluated the diagnostic performances using still images randomly and automatically extracted from video recordings of the entire endoscopic procedure at intervals of 5 s, without eliminating poor quality images. Second, the latency of lesion detection by the CADe system from the initial appearance of lesions was investigated by reviewing the videos. A total of 6531 images, including 662 images with a lesion, were studied in the image-based analysis. The AUC, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy were 0.983, 94.6%, 95.2%, 68.8%, 99.4%, and 95.1%, respectively. The median time for detecting colorectal lesions measured in the lesion-based analysis was 0.67 s. In conclusion, we proved that the originally developed CADe system based on YOLO v3 could accurately and instantaneously detect colorectal lesions using the test dataset obtained from videos, mitigating operator selection biases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Colonoscopy)
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Coronary-Pulmonary Artery Fistula Recanalization on Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography Images
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1921; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101921 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 416
Abstract
Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a non-invasive diagnostic method used (apart from the diagnosis of coronary artery disease) in the diagnosis of malformations of the coronary circulation and monitoring the effects of their treatment. In this paper, the authors present the case [...] Read more.
Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a non-invasive diagnostic method used (apart from the diagnosis of coronary artery disease) in the diagnosis of malformations of the coronary circulation and monitoring the effects of their treatment. In this paper, the authors present the case of recanalization of the coronary-pulmonary fistula, which was surgically closed in the past. This case highlights that follow-up CCTA after surgical treatment of coronary artery fistula should be performed in every patient. The recommendations regarding the frequency of such follow-up should be made. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Article
Deep Semi-Supervised Algorithm for Learning Cluster-Oriented Representations of Medical Images Using Partially Observable DICOM Tags and Images
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1920; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101920 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 387
Abstract
The task of automatically extracting large homogeneous datasets of medical images based on detailed criteria and/or semantic similarity can be challenging because the acquisition and storage of medical images in clinical practice is not fully standardised and can be prone to errors, which [...] Read more.
The task of automatically extracting large homogeneous datasets of medical images based on detailed criteria and/or semantic similarity can be challenging because the acquisition and storage of medical images in clinical practice is not fully standardised and can be prone to errors, which are often made unintentionally by medical professionals during manual input. In this paper, we propose an algorithm for learning cluster-oriented representations of medical images by fusing images with partially observable DICOM tags. Pairwise relations are modelled by thresholding the Gower distance measure which is calculated using eight DICOM tags. We trained the models using 30,000 images, and we tested them using a disjoint test set consisting of 8000 images, gathered retrospectively from the PACS repository of the Clinical Hospital Centre Rijeka in 2017. We compare our method against the standard and deep unsupervised clustering algorithms, as well as the popular semi-supervised algorithms combined with the most commonly used feature descriptors. Our model achieves an NMI score of 0.584 with respect to the anatomic region, and an NMI score of 0.793 with respect to the modality. The results suggest that DICOM data can be used to generate pairwise constraints that can help improve medical images clustering, even when using only a small number of constraints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics)
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Article
Identifying Thrombus on Non-Contrast CT in Patients with Acute Ischemic Stroke
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1919; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101919 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 832
Abstract
The hyperdense sign is a marker of thrombus in non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) datasets. The aim of this work was to determine optimal Hounsfield unit (HU) thresholds for thrombus segmentation in thin-slice non-contrast CT (NCCT) and use these thresholds to generate 3D thrombus [...] Read more.
The hyperdense sign is a marker of thrombus in non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) datasets. The aim of this work was to determine optimal Hounsfield unit (HU) thresholds for thrombus segmentation in thin-slice non-contrast CT (NCCT) and use these thresholds to generate 3D thrombus models. Patients with thin-slice baseline NCCT (≤2.5 mm) and MCA-M1 occlusions were included. CTA was registered to NCCT, and three regions of interest (ROIs) were placed in the NCCT, including: the thrombus, contralateral brain tissue, and contralateral patent MCA-M1 artery. Optimal HU thresholds differentiating the thrombus from non-thrombus tissue voxels were calculated using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Linear regression analysis was used to predict the optimal HU threshold for discriminating the clot only based on the average contralateral vessel HU or contralateral parenchyma HU. Three-dimensional models from 70 participants using standard (45 HU) and patient-specific thresholds were generated and compared to CTA clot characteristics. The optimal HU threshold discriminating thrombus in NCCT from other structures varied with a median of 51 (IQR: 49–55). Experts chose 3D models derived using patient-specific HU models as corresponding better to the thrombus seen in CTA in 83.8% (31/37) of cases. Patient-specific HU thresholds for segmenting the thrombus in NCCT can be derived using normal parenchyma. Thrombus segmentation using patient-specific HU thresholds is superior to conventional 45 HU thresholds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Article
Reactive Hyperemia-Triggered Wrist Pulse Analysis for Early Monitoring of Young Men with High Atherosclerotic Risk
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101918 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 792
Abstract
The high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in young adults has raised significant concern regarding the early identification of risk factors to allow for timely intervention. This study aimed to identify young males at risk of atherosclerosis using a noninvasive instrument and an initial [...] Read more.
The high prevalence of cardiovascular disease in young adults has raised significant concern regarding the early identification of risk factors to allow for timely intervention. This study aimed to identify young males at risk of atherosclerosis using a noninvasive instrument and an initial application percussion entropy analysis of the wrist pressure pulse (WPP). In total, 49 young males aged 18 to 28, without any known history of vascular disease, were recruited. Blood samples were obtained whereby a TC/HDL cutoff value of 4 was used to divide the young men into low-risk (Group 1, TC/HDL < 4, N = 32) and high-risk (Group 2, TC/HDL ≥ 4, N = 17) groups regarding atherosclerosis. The reactive hyperemia-triggered WPPs were measured using a modified air-pressure-sensing system (MAPSS). The dilation index (DI) of the endothelial function and percussion entropy index (PEI) of the heart rate variability (HRV) assessments, calculated using pragmatic signal-processing techniques, were compared between the two groups. The nonparametric Mann–Whitney U test showed that the DI and PEI of the two groups showed statistical differences (both p < 0.05). Not only could the MAPSS assess endothelial function and HRV in young males, but the results also showed that waist circumference and PEI may serve as indicators for the early identification of young males at risk of atherosclerosis. Full article
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Article
Hysteroscopy as a Primary Tool in Exploration and Treatment of Infertility: Single Center Experience in Western Romania
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1917; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101917 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
(1) Background: Infertility is a disease that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Intrauterine lesions are common in infertile women, hysteroscopy being considered the gold standard for assessing them, even if in routine clinical practice indirect imaging techniques are the first-line investigative tools. The [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Infertility is a disease that affects millions of individuals worldwide. Intrauterine lesions are common in infertile women, hysteroscopy being considered the gold standard for assessing them, even if in routine clinical practice indirect imaging techniques are the first-line investigative tools. The aim of the study was to evaluate hysteroscopic findings among women with unexplained infertility and to analyze fertility outcomes after operative hysteroscopy; (2) Methods: a retrospective cohort study was conducted among 198 women with infertility that had undergone hysteroscopy as the first step of their infertility workup. (3) Results: The median age of the participants was 34 years, 67.7% of them being diagnosed with primary infertility. The most common abnormalities were endometrial polyps, uterine synechiae and uterine fibroids. In addition, pregnancy rates were 23.1% after hysteroscopic polypectomy, 11.1% after hysteroscopic myomectomy and 23.8% after uterine synechiae resection; (4) Conclusions: Endometrial polyps were the most common uterine abnormality found in women with infertility. Hysteroscopic interventions appeared to increase pregnancy rates and outcomes among these women. Full article
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Article
A Survival Guide for the Rapid Transition to a Fully Digital Workflow: The “Caltagirone Example”
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101916 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Digital pathology for the routine assessment of cases for primary diagnosis has been implemented by few laboratories worldwide. The Gravina Hospital in Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy), which collects cases from 7 different hospitals distributed in the Catania area, converted the entire workflow to digital [...] Read more.
Digital pathology for the routine assessment of cases for primary diagnosis has been implemented by few laboratories worldwide. The Gravina Hospital in Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy), which collects cases from 7 different hospitals distributed in the Catania area, converted the entire workflow to digital starting from 2019. Before the transition, the Caltagirone pathology laboratory was characterized by a non-tracked workflow, based on paper requests, hand-written blocks and slides, as well as manual assembling and delivering of the cases and glass slides to the pathologists. Moreover, the arrangement of the spaces and offices in the department was illogical and under-productive for the linearity of the workflow. For these reasons, an adequate 2D barcode system for tracking purposes, the redistribution of the spaces inside the laboratory and the implementation of the whole-slide imaging (WSI) technology based on a laboratory information system (LIS)-centric approach were adopted as a needed prerequisite to switch to a digital workflow. The adoption of a dedicated connection for transfer of clinical and administrative data between different software and interfaces using an internationally recognised standard (Health Level 7, HL7) in the pathology department further facilitated the transition, helping in the integration of the LIS with WSI scanners. As per previous reports, the components and devices chosen for the pathologists’ workstations did not significantly impact on the WSI-based reporting phase in primary histological diagnosis. An analysis of all the steps of this transition has been made retrospectively to provide a useful “handy” guide to lead the digital transition of “analog”, non-tracked pathology laboratories following the experience of the Caltagirone pathology department. Following the step-by-step instructions, the implementation of a paperless routine with more standardized and safe processes, the possibility to manage the priority of the cases and to implement artificial intelligence (AI) tools are no more an utopia for every “analog” pathology department. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Pathology: Records of Successful Implementations)
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Article
Long-Term Monitoring of the Antibody Response to a SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1915; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101915 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 557
Abstract
A group of 110 patients from the West Bohemian region who had been infected with COVID-19 was monitored for the purposes of this study. We focused on cases of mild or moderate COVID-19; statistically the most likely to occur. Day zero was defined [...] Read more.
A group of 110 patients from the West Bohemian region who had been infected with COVID-19 was monitored for the purposes of this study. We focused on cases of mild or moderate COVID-19; statistically the most likely to occur. Day zero was defined as the day on which a positive PCR test was first established. The mean length of observation was 6.5 months, the maximum length 12 months. The first blood samples were taken from a smaller cohort during the 1–3 months following the first positive PCR test. We assumed that SARS-CoV-2 antibodies would be present during this period and therefore a limited number of samples were taken for the purpose of detecting antibodies. More samples were collected, starting 4 months after the first positive PCR test. A subsequent set of blood samples were drawn, mostly 6 months after the first ones. Our study confirmed the presence of total IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies up to 1 year after the onset of the disease. The peak of antibody production was observed in the third month after the first positive PCR test. A mathematical estimate of the median duration of antibody positivity was calculated to be 18 months from the onset of the COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease)
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Article
Obesity and Bone Loss at Menopause: The Role of Sclerostin
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1914; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101914 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 495
Abstract
Background. Peripheral fat tissue is known to positively influence bone health. However, evidence exists that the risk of non-vertebral fractures can be increased in postmenopausal women with obesity as compared to healthy controls. The role of sclerostin, the SOST gene protein product, [...] Read more.
Background. Peripheral fat tissue is known to positively influence bone health. However, evidence exists that the risk of non-vertebral fractures can be increased in postmenopausal women with obesity as compared to healthy controls. The role of sclerostin, the SOST gene protein product, and body composition in this condition is unknown. Methods. We studied 28 severely obese premenopausal (age, 44.7 ± 3.9 years; BMI, 46.0 ± 4.2 kg/m2) and 28 BMI-matched post-menopausal women (age, 55.5 ± 3.8 years; BMI, 46.1 ± 4.8 kg/m2) thorough analysis of bone density (BMD) and body composition by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), bone turnover markers, sclerostin serum concentration, glucose metabolism, and a panel of hormones relating to bone health. Results. Postmenopausal women harbored increased levels of the bone turnover markers CTX and NTX, while sclerostin levels were non-significantly higher as compared to premenopausal women. There were no differences in somatotroph, thyroid and adrenal hormone across menopause. Values of lumbar spine BMD were comparable between groups. By contrast, menopause was associated with lower BMD values at the hip (p < 0.001), femoral neck (p < 0.0001), and total skeleton (p < 0.005). In multivariate regression analysis, sclerostin was the strongest predictor of lumbar spine BMD (p < 0.01), while menopausal status significantly predicted BMD at total hip (p < 0.01), femoral neck (p < 0.001) and total body (p < 0.05). Finally, lean body mass emerged as the strongest predictor of total body BMD (p < 0.01). Conclusions. Our findings suggest a protective effect of obesity on lumbar spine and total body BMD at menopause possibly through mechanisms relating to lean body mass. Given the mild difference in sclerostin levels between pre- and postmenopausal women, its potential actions in obesity require further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in the Diagnostics and Management of Musculoskeletal Diseases)
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Article
Do We Really Need Hazard Prevention at the Expense of Safeguarding Death Dignity in COVID-19?
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101913 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 353
Abstract
To date, little is known regarding the transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection for subjects involved in handling, transporting, and examining deceased persons with known or suspected COVID-19 positivity at the time of death. This experimental study aims to define if and/or how long [...] Read more.
To date, little is known regarding the transmission risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection for subjects involved in handling, transporting, and examining deceased persons with known or suspected COVID-19 positivity at the time of death. This experimental study aims to define if and/or how long SARS-CoV-2 persists with replication capacity in the tissues of individuals who died with/from COVID-19, thereby generating infectious hazards. Sixteen patients who died with/from COVID-19 who underwent autopsy between April 2020 and April 2021 were included in this study. Based on PMI, all samples were subdivided into two groups: ‘short PMI’ group (eight subjects who were autopsied between 12 to 72 h after death); ‘long PMI’ (eight subjects who were autopsied between 24 to 78 days after death). All patients tested positive for RT-PCR at nasopharyngeal swab both before death and on samples collected during post-mortem investigation. Moreover, a lung specimen was collected and frozen at −80 °C in order to perform viral culture. The result was defined based on the cytopathic effect (subjective reading) combined with the positivity of the RT-PCR test (objective reading) in the supernatant. Only in one sample (PMI 12 h), virus vitality was demonstrated. This study, supported by a literature review, suggests that the risk of cadaveric infection in cases of a person who died from/with COVID-19 is extremely low in the first hours after death, becoming null after 12 h after death, confirming the World Health Organization (WHO) assumed in March 2020 and suggesting that the corpse of a subject who died from/with COVID-19 should be generally considered not infectious. Full article
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Article
Before and after Endovascular Aortic Repair in the Same Patients with Aortic Dissection: A Cohort Study of Four-Dimensional Phase-Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1912; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101912 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 336
Abstract
(1) Background: We used four-dimensional phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (4D PC-MRI) to evaluate the impact of an endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) on aortic dissection. (2) Methods: A total of 10 patients received 4D PC-MRI on a 1.5-T MR both before and after TEVAR. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: We used four-dimensional phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (4D PC-MRI) to evaluate the impact of an endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) on aortic dissection. (2) Methods: A total of 10 patients received 4D PC-MRI on a 1.5-T MR both before and after TEVAR. (3) Results: The aortas were repaired with either a GORE TAG Stent (Gore Medical; n = 7) or Zenith Dissection Endovascular Stent (Cook Medical; n = 3). TEVAR increased the forward flow volume of the true lumen (TL) (at the abdominal aorta, p = 0.047). TEVAR also reduced the regurgitant fraction in the TL at the descending aorta but increased it in the false lumen (FL). After TEVAR, the stroke distance increased in the TL (at descending and abdominal aorta, p = 0.018 and 0.015), indicating more effective blood transport per heartbeat. Post-stenting quantitative flow revealed that the reductions in stroke volume, backward flow volume, and absolute stroke volume were greater when covered stents were used than when bare stents were used in the FL of the descending aorta. Bare stents had a higher backward flow volume than covered stents did. (4) Conclusions: TEVAR increased the stroke volume in the TL and increased the regurgitant fraction in the FL in patients with aortic dissection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Techniques in Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging 2.0)
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Article
Assessment of Serum Neopterin as a Biomarker in Peripheral Artery Disease
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1911; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101911 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Neopterin (NPT), a pyrazino-pyrimidine compound mainly produced by activated macrophages, has been regarded as a proinflammatory and proatherosclerotic agent. The study was designed to evaluate NPT level and its interaction with conventional peripheral artery disease (PAD) biomarkers and vascular regenerative potential in severe [...] Read more.
Neopterin (NPT), a pyrazino-pyrimidine compound mainly produced by activated macrophages, has been regarded as a proinflammatory and proatherosclerotic agent. The study was designed to evaluate NPT level and its interaction with conventional peripheral artery disease (PAD) biomarkers and vascular regenerative potential in severe PAD. The study included 59 patients (females n = 17, males n = 42) aged 67.0 ± 8.2 years classified into two groups based on ankle-brachial index (ABI) measurements (ABI ≤ 0.9 n = 43, ABI ≤ 0.5 n = 16). A total of 60 subjects aged 70.4 ± 5.5 years (females n = 42, males n = 18) with ABI > 0.9 constituted a reference group. NPT concentration reached values above 10 nmol/L in patients with PAD, which differed significantly from reference group (8.15 ± 1.33 nmol/L). High levels of CRP > 5 mg/L, TC > 200 mg/dL as well as lipoproteins LDL > 100 mg/dL and non-HDL > 130 mg/dL were found in the same group, indicating the relationship between NPT and conventional atherogenic markers. The endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) tended toward lower values in patients with ABI ≤ 0.5 when compared to reference group, and inversely correlated with NPT. These findings indicate a crucial role of NPT in atheromatous process and its usefulness in monitoring PAD severity. However, the role of NPT in chronic PAD needs further studies including relatively high number of subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Vascular Diseases 2.0)
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Article
Comprehensive Molecular Analysis of DMD Gene Increases the Diagnostic Value of Dystrophinopathies: A Pilot Study in a Southern Italy Cohort of Patients
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101910 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD) is an X-linked neuromuscular disease due to pathogenic sequence variations in the dystrophin (DMD) gene, one of the largest human genes. More than 70% of DMD gene defects result from genomic rearrangements principally leading to large deletions, while [...] Read more.
Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD/BMD) is an X-linked neuromuscular disease due to pathogenic sequence variations in the dystrophin (DMD) gene, one of the largest human genes. More than 70% of DMD gene defects result from genomic rearrangements principally leading to large deletions, while the remaining are small nucleotide variants, including nonsense and missense variants, small insertions/deletions or splicing alterations. Considering the large size of the gene and the wide mutational spectrum, the comprehensive molecular diagnosis of DMD/BMD is complex and may require several laboratory methods, thus increasing the time and costs of the analysis. In an attempt to simplify DMD/BMD molecular diagnosis workflow, we tested an NGS method suitable for the detection of all the different types of genomic variations that may affect the DMD gene. Forty previously analyzed patients were enrolled in this study and re-analyzed using the next generation sequencing (NGS)-based single-step procedure. The NGS results were compared with those from multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA)/multiplex PCR and/or Sanger sequencing. Most of the previously identified deleted/duplicated exons and point mutations were confirmed by NGS and 1 more pathogenic point mutation (a nonsense variant) was identified. Our results show that this NGS-based strategy overcomes limitations of traditionally used methods and is easily transferable to routine diagnostic procedures, thereby increasing the diagnostic power of DMD molecular analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Article
Machine Learning-Based Three-Month Outcome Prediction in Acute Ischemic Stroke: A Single Cerebrovascular-Specialty Hospital Study in South Korea
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1909; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101909 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 416
Abstract
Background: Functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke are of great concern to patients and their families, as well as physicians and surgeons who make the clinical decisions. We developed machine learning (ML)-based functional outcome prediction models in acute ischemic stroke. Methods: This retrospective [...] Read more.
Background: Functional outcomes after acute ischemic stroke are of great concern to patients and their families, as well as physicians and surgeons who make the clinical decisions. We developed machine learning (ML)-based functional outcome prediction models in acute ischemic stroke. Methods: This retrospective study used a prospective cohort database. A total of 1066 patients with acute ischemic stroke between January 2019 and March 2021 were included. Variables such as demographic factors, stroke-related factors, laboratory findings, and comorbidities were utilized at the time of admission. Five ML algorithms were applied to predict a favorable functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale 0 or 1) at 3 months after stroke onset. Results: Regularized logistic regression showed the best performance with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.86. Support vector machines represented the second-highest AUC of 0.85 with the highest F1-score of 0.86, and finally, all ML models applied achieved an AUC > 0.8. The National Institute of Health Stroke Scale at admission and age were consistently the top two important variables for generalized logistic regression, random forest, and extreme gradient boosting models. Conclusions: ML-based functional outcome prediction models for acute ischemic stroke were validated and proven to be readily applicable and useful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Approaches for Medical Diagnostics in Korea)
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