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Diagnostics, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2021) – 235 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Metabolic acidosis is a common disorder in CKD patients. Under physiological conditions, arterial bicarbonate level is higher in arterial than in venous blood due to the production of endogenous acids in tissues. In the lungs, bicarbonate is regenerated. We found that arteriovenous gradient of bicarbonate (AVΔ-HCO3−) positively correlated with eGFR. In patients with advanced CKD, there is practically no arteriovenous difference in bicarbonate concentration. The value of AVΔ-HCO3− may facilitate decision of bicarbonate supplementation or renal replacement therapy start in doubtful situations. View this paper.
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Open AccessReview
Milestones in Understanding Pulmonary Circulation: From Antiquity to Heart-Lung Machine
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020381 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
Human pulmonary circulation is as full of mysteries and surprises as is the history of attempts to uncover and understand them. The Special Issue of Diagnostics, appearing after 2020 immobilized the world, give us an opportunity, space and momentum to remind to [...] Read more.
Human pulmonary circulation is as full of mysteries and surprises as is the history of attempts to uncover and understand them. The Special Issue of Diagnostics, appearing after 2020 immobilized the world, give us an opportunity, space and momentum to remind to our medical community at least the main milestones which mark the progress that was made before our times. This review’s aim is to remind about pioneers and their ideas which now are considered as if they were always with us—which is not the case… Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pulmonary Hypertension: Diagnosis and Management)
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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of PET Textural Analysis and Radiomics in Cancer
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020380 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Background: Although many works have supported the utility of PET radiomics, several authors have raised concerns over the robustness and replicability of the results. This study aimed to perform a systematic review on the topic of PET radiomics and the used methodologies. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Although many works have supported the utility of PET radiomics, several authors have raised concerns over the robustness and replicability of the results. This study aimed to perform a systematic review on the topic of PET radiomics and the used methodologies. Methods: PubMed was searched up to 15 October 2020. Original research articles based on human data specifying at least one tumor type and PET image were included, excluding those that apply only first-order statistics and those including fewer than 20 patients. Each publication, cancer type, objective and several methodological parameters (number of patients and features, validation approach, among other things) were extracted. Results: A total of 290 studies were included. Lung (28%) and head and neck (24%) were the most studied cancers. The most common objective was prognosis/treatment response (46%), followed by diagnosis/staging (21%), tumor characterization (18%) and technical evaluations (15%). The average number of patients included was 114 (median = 71; range 20–1419), and the average number of high-order features calculated per study was 31 (median = 26, range 1–286). Conclusions: PET radiomics is a promising field, but the number of patients in most publications is insufficient, and very few papers perform in-depth validations. The role of standardization initiatives will be crucial in the upcoming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiomics in Oncology)
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Open AccessReview
Evidence of Tri-Exponential Decay for Liver Intravoxel Incoherent Motion MRI: A Review of Published Results and Limitations
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020379 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 310
Abstract
Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) have been explored to assess liver tumors and diffused liver diseases. IVIM reflects the microscopic translational motions that occur in voxels in magnetic resonance (MR) DWI. In biologic tissues, molecular diffusion of water and [...] Read more.
Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) have been explored to assess liver tumors and diffused liver diseases. IVIM reflects the microscopic translational motions that occur in voxels in magnetic resonance (MR) DWI. In biologic tissues, molecular diffusion of water and microcirculation of blood in the capillary network can be assessed using IVIM DWI. The most commonly applied model to describe the DWI signal is a bi-exponential model, with a slow compartment of diffusion linked to pure molecular diffusion (represented by the coefficient Dslow), and a fast compartment of diffusion, related to microperfusion (represented by the coefficient Dfast). However, high variance in Dfast estimates has been consistently shown in literature for liver IVIM, restricting its application in clinical practice. This variation could be explained by the presence of another very fast compartment of diffusion in the liver. Therefore, a tri-exponential model would be more suitable to describe the DWI signal. This article reviews the published evidence of the existence of this additional very fast diffusion compartment and discusses the performance and limitations of the tri-exponential model for liver IVIM in current clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sequences and Contrast Agents for Quantitative MRI)
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Open AccessSystematic Review
Internal Jugular Vein Thrombosis: Etiology, Symptomatology, Diagnosis and Current Treatment
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020378 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 764
Abstract
(1) Background: internal jugular vein thrombosis (IJVthr) is a potentially life-threating disease but no comprehensive reviews on etiology, symptomatology, diagnosis and current treatment guidelines are yet available; (2) Methods: we prospectively developed a protocol that defined objectives, search strategy for study identification, criteria [...] Read more.
(1) Background: internal jugular vein thrombosis (IJVthr) is a potentially life-threating disease but no comprehensive reviews on etiology, symptomatology, diagnosis and current treatment guidelines are yet available; (2) Methods: we prospectively developed a protocol that defined objectives, search strategy for study identification, criteria for study selection, data extraction, study outcomes, and statistical methodology, according to the PRISMA standard. We performed a computerized search of English-language publications listed in the various electronic databases. We also retrieved relevant reports from other sources, especially by the means of hand search in the Glauco Bassi Library of the University of Ferrara; (3) Results: using the predefined search strategy, we retrieved and screened 1490 titles. Data from randomized control trials were few and limited to the central vein catheterization and to the IJVthr anticoagulation treatment. Systematic reviews were found just for Lemierre syndrome, the risk of pulmonary embolism, and the IJVthr following catheterization. The majority of the information required in our pre-defined objectives comes from perspectives observational studies and case reports. The methodological quality of the included studies was from moderate to good. After title and abstract evaluation, 1251 papers were excluded, leaving 239 manuscripts available. Finally, just 123 studies were eligible for inclusion. We found out the description of 30 different signs, symptoms, and blood biomarkers related to this condition, as well as 24 different reported causes of IJVthr. (4) Conclusions: IJVthr is often an underestimated clinical problem despite being one of the major sources of pulmonary embolism as well as a potential cause of stroke in the case of the upward propagation of the thrombus. More common symptoms are neck pain and headache, whereas swelling, erythema and the palpable cord sign beneath the sternocleidomastoid muscle, frequently associated with fever, are the most reported clinical signs. An ultrasound of the neck, even limited to the simple and rapid assessment of the compression maneuver, is a quick, economic, cost-effective, noninvasive tool. High quality studies are currently lacking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Acceptability and Usability of HCV Self-Testing in High Risk Populations in Vietnam
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020377 - 23 Feb 2021
Viewed by 539
Abstract
HIV self-testing has emerged as a safe and effective approach to increase the access to and uptake of HIV testing and treatment, especially for key populations. Applying self-testing to hepatitis C virus (HCV) may also offer an additional way to address low coverage [...] Read more.
HIV self-testing has emerged as a safe and effective approach to increase the access to and uptake of HIV testing and treatment, especially for key populations. Applying self-testing to hepatitis C virus (HCV) may also offer an additional way to address low coverage of HCV testing and to accelerate elimination efforts. To understand the potential for HCV self-testing (HCVST), an observational study was conducted to assess the acceptability and usability of the OraQuick® HCV Self-Test (prototype) among people who inject drugs (PWID) and men who have sex with men (MSM) in Thai Nguyen, a province in northern Vietnam. A total of 105 PWID and 104 MSM were eligible and agreed to participate in the study. Acceptability, defined as the proportion of participants among eligible subjects who agreed to participate in the study, was 92.9% in PWID and 98.6% in MSM. Compared to MSM, PWID were older (median age: 45 vs. 22 years; p < 0.0001) and had a lower education level (high school and college: 38.1% vs. 100%; p < 0.0001). HCVST usability was high among MSM with fewer observed mistakes, difficulties, or participants requiring assistance (33.7%, 28.8%, and 17.3%, respectively) compared to PWID (62.9%, 53.3%, and 66.7%, respectively; all p < 0.0001)). Inter-reader and inter-operator agreement were good in both groups (Kappa coefficient range: 0.61–0.99). However, the concordance between HCVST and study staff -read or performed HCV testing was lower among PWID than MSM (inter-reader concordance 88.6% vs. 99.0% and inter-operator concordance 81.9% vs. 99%). Overall, HCVST was highly acceptable with moderate to high usability among PWID and MSM in Thai Nguyen. Efforts to provide support and assistance may be needed to optimize performance, particularly for PWID populations and for those who are older and with lower literacy or education levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Diagnostics and Testing Strategies for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV))
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Open AccessArticle
A Simulation-Based Methodology of Developing 3D Printed Anthropomorphic Phantoms for Microwave Imaging Systems
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020376 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 408
Abstract
This work is devoted to the development and manufacturing of realistic benchmark phantoms to evaluate the performance of microwave imaging devices. The 3D (3 dimensional) printed phantoms contain several cavities, designed to be filled with liquid solutions that mimic biological tissues in terms [...] Read more.
This work is devoted to the development and manufacturing of realistic benchmark phantoms to evaluate the performance of microwave imaging devices. The 3D (3 dimensional) printed phantoms contain several cavities, designed to be filled with liquid solutions that mimic biological tissues in terms of complex permittivity over a wide frequency range. Numerical versions (stereolithography (STL) format files) of these phantoms were used to perform simulations to investigate experimental parameters. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, a general methodology for the development of a biological phantom is presented. Second, this approach is applied to the particular case of the experimental device developed by the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications at Politecnico di Torino (POLITO) that currently uses a homogeneous version of the head phantom considered in this paper. Numerical versions of the introduced inhomogeneous head phantoms were used to evaluate the effect of various parameters related to their development, such as the permittivity of the equivalent biological tissue, coupling medium, thickness and nature of the phantom walls, and number of compartments. To shed light on the effects of blood circulation on the recognition of a randomly shaped stroke, a numerical brain model including blood vessels was considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Imaging for a Novel Generation of Medical Devices)
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Open AccessReview
Molecular Approaches Using Body Fluid for the Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020375 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most malignant form of gastrointestinal tumor and is the fourth leading cause of deaths due to cancer in Japan. This cancer shows a poor outcome due to the difficulty of its early diagnosis and its rapid growth. [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most malignant form of gastrointestinal tumor and is the fourth leading cause of deaths due to cancer in Japan. This cancer shows a poor outcome due to the difficulty of its early diagnosis and its rapid growth. Once this disease becomes clinically evident, it is frequently accompanied by distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis. A recent multicenter study in Japan revealed that patients with the early stage of this disease (stage 0 and I) showed favorable prognosis after surgical resection, indicating the importance of early detection for improvement of PDAC prognosis. PDAC develops through a stepwise progression from the precursor lesion, and over the last few decades molecular analyses have shown the detailed genetic alterations that occur in this process. Since advances in molecular technologies have enabled the detection of genetic changes from a very small quantity of samples, a large number of non-invasive molecular approaches have been utilized in an attempt to find precursor or non-invasive carcinoma lesions. In this review, the current efforts in terms of the molecular approaches applied for the early detection of PDAC—especially using body fluids such as pancreatic juice, blood, and saliva—are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Deformation Parameters of the Heart in Endurance Athletes and in Patients with Dilated Cardiomyopathy—A Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020374 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 538
Abstract
A better understanding of the left ventricle (LV) and right ventricle (RV) functioning would help with the differentiation between athlete’s heart and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We aimed to analyse deformation parameters in endurance athletes relative to patients with DCM using cardiac magnetic resonance [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the left ventricle (LV) and right ventricle (RV) functioning would help with the differentiation between athlete’s heart and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). We aimed to analyse deformation parameters in endurance athletes relative to patients with DCM using cardiac magnetic resonance feature tracking (CMR-FT). The study included males of a similar age: 22 ultramarathon runners, 22 patients with DCM and 21 sedentary healthy controls (41 ± 9 years). The analysed parameters were peak LV global longitudinal, circumferential and radial strains (GLS, GCS and GRS, respectively); peak LV torsion; peak RV GLS. The peak LV GLS was similar in controls and athletes, but lower in DCM (p < 0.0001). Peak LV GCS and GRS decreased from controls to DCM (both p < 0.0001). The best value for differentiation between DCM and other groups was found for the LV ejection fraction (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.990, p = 0.0001, with 90.9% sensitivity and 100% specificity for ≤53%) and the peak LV GRS diastolic rate (AUC = 0.987, p = 0.0001, with 100% sensitivity and 88.4% specificity for >−1.27 s−1). The peak LV GRS diastolic rate was the only independent predictor of DCM (p = 0.003). Distinctive deformation patterns that were typical for each of the analysed groups existed and can help to differentiate between athlete’s heart, a nonathletic heart and a dilated cardiomyopathy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Lung Ultrasound versus Chest X-ray for Detection of Pulmonary Infiltrates in COVID-19
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020373 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Point-of-care lung ultrasound (LUS) is an attractive alternative to chest X-ray (CXR), but its diagnostic accuracy compared to CXR has not been well studied in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We conducted a prospective observational study to assess the correlation between LUS and [...] Read more.
Point-of-care lung ultrasound (LUS) is an attractive alternative to chest X-ray (CXR), but its diagnostic accuracy compared to CXR has not been well studied in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. We conducted a prospective observational study to assess the correlation between LUS and CXR findings in COVID-19 patients. Ninety-six patients with a clinical diagnosis of COVID-19 underwent an LUS exam and CXR upon presentation. Physicians blinded to the CXR findings performed all LUS exams. Detection of pulmonary infiltrates by CXR versus LUS was compared between patients categorized as suspected or confirmed COVID-19 based on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Sensitivities and correlation by Kappa statistic were calculated between LUS and CXR. LUS detected pulmonary infiltrates more often than CXR in both suspected and confirmed COVID-19 subjects. The most common LUS abnormalities were discrete B-lines, confluent B-lines, and small subpleural consolidations. Most important, LUS detected unilateral or bilateral pulmonary infiltrates in 55% of subjects with a normal CXR. Substantial agreement was demonstrated between LUS and CXR for normal, unilateral or bilateral findings (Κ = 0.48 (95% CI 0.34 to 0.63)). In patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, LUS detected pulmonary infiltrates more often than CXR, including more than half of the patients with a normal CXR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implementation Science for Point-of-Care Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Has the Flood Entered the Basement? A Systematic Literature Review about Machine Learning in Laboratory Medicine
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020372 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 470
Abstract
This article presents a systematic literature review that expands and updates a previous review on the application of machine learning to laboratory medicine. We used Scopus and PubMed to collect, select and analyse the papers published from 2017 to the present in order [...] Read more.
This article presents a systematic literature review that expands and updates a previous review on the application of machine learning to laboratory medicine. We used Scopus and PubMed to collect, select and analyse the papers published from 2017 to the present in order to highlight the main studies that have applied machine learning techniques to haematochemical parameters and to review their diagnostic and prognostic performance. In doing so, we aim to address the question we asked three years ago about the potential of these techniques in laboratory medicine and the need to leverage a tool that was still under-utilised at that time. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Salivary Biomarkers in the Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020371 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Many neurodegenerative diseases present with progressive neuronal degeneration, which can lead to cognitive and motor impairment. Early screening and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are necessary to begin treatment before the onset of clinical symptoms [...] Read more.
Many neurodegenerative diseases present with progressive neuronal degeneration, which can lead to cognitive and motor impairment. Early screening and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are necessary to begin treatment before the onset of clinical symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. Biomarkers have shown great potential as a diagnostic tool in the early diagnosis of many diseases, including AD and PD. However, screening for these biomarkers usually includes invasive, complex and expensive methods such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sampling through a lumbar puncture. Researchers are continuously seeking to find a simpler and more reliable diagnostic tool that would be less invasive than CSF sampling. Saliva has been studied as a potential biological fluid that could be used in the diagnosis and early screening of neurodegenerative diseases. This review aims to provide an insight into the current literature concerning salivary biomarkers used in the diagnosis of AD and PD. The most commonly studied salivary biomarkers in AD are β-amyloid1-42/1-40 and TAU protein, as well as α-synuclein and protein deglycase (DJ-1) in PD. Studies continue to be conducted on this subject and researchers are attempting to find correlations between specific biomarkers and early clinical symptoms, which could be key in creating new treatments for patients before the onset of symptoms. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Local Laboratory Testing of Germline BRCA Mutations vs. Myriad: A Single-Institution Experience in Korea
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020370 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Genetic diagnosis for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer patients with the germline BRCA (gBRCA) mutation has been emphasized since the development of polyadenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase inhibitors. Myriad Genetics, Inc.’s (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) companion diagnostics service is almost [...] Read more.
Genetic diagnosis for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer patients with the germline BRCA (gBRCA) mutation has been emphasized since the development of polyadenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase inhibitors. Myriad Genetics, Inc.’s (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) companion diagnostics service is almost exclusively used for genetic testing. The aim of this study was to compare the results of germline BRCA mutation tests returned by a local laboratory and those performed by Myriad. Between April 2014 and February 2018, 31 patients with gBRCA 1/2 mutation test results from both Samsung Medical Center (Seoul, Korea) and Myriad were enrolled. “Discordant: Opposite classification” was observed for only one among 27 (3.7%). This discrepancy was due to the detection of a deleterious large genomic rearrangement of BRCA 1 by Myriad. Samsung Medical Center performed multiple ligation-dependent probe amplifications (MLPA) to detect large genomic rearrangements only in high-risk patients. This one case was not suspected as high risk and MLPA was not performed. The concordant rate was 74.1% for all 27 patients. “Discordant: Laboratory’s uncertain classification” was found in 22.2% of the sample (six patients). All discrepancies were generated during interpretation of BRCA 2 gene sequencing. Further studies and standardization of genetic testing for BRCA 1/2 genes are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multi-Center, Multi-Vendor Study to Evaluate the Generalizability of a Radiomics Model for Classifying Prostate cancer: High Grade vs. Low Grade
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020369 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 411
Abstract
Radiomics applied in MRI has shown promising results in classifying prostate cancer lesions. However, many papers describe single-center studies without external validation. The issues of using radiomics models on unseen data have not yet been sufficiently addressed. The aim of this study is [...] Read more.
Radiomics applied in MRI has shown promising results in classifying prostate cancer lesions. However, many papers describe single-center studies without external validation. The issues of using radiomics models on unseen data have not yet been sufficiently addressed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the generalizability of radiomics models for prostate cancer classification and to compare the performance of these models to the performance of radiologists. Multiparametric MRI, photographs and histology of radical prostatectomy specimens, and pathology reports of 107 patients were obtained from three healthcare centers in the Netherlands. By spatially correlating the MRI with histology, 204 lesions were identified. For each lesion, radiomics features were extracted from the MRI data. Radiomics models for discriminating high-grade (Gleason score ≥ 7) versus low-grade lesions were automatically generated using open-source machine learning software. The performance was tested both in a single-center setting through cross-validation and in a multi-center setting using the two unseen datasets as external validation. For comparison with clinical practice, a multi-center classifier was tested and compared with the Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System version 2 (PIRADS v2) scoring performed by two expert radiologists. The three single-center models obtained a mean AUC of 0.75, which decreased to 0.54 when the model was applied to the external data, the radiologists obtained a mean AUC of 0.46. In the multi-center setting, the radiomics model obtained a mean AUC of 0.75 while the radiologists obtained a mean AUC of 0.47 on the same subset. While radiomics models have a decent performance when tested on data from the same center(s), they may show a significant drop in performance when applied to external data. On a multi-center dataset our radiomics model outperformed the radiologists, and thus, may represent a more accurate alternative for malignancy prediction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
MR-Imaging and Histopathological Diagnostic Work-Up of Patients with Spontaneous Lobar Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Results of an Institutional Prospective Registry Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 368; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020368 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a frequently disabling or fatal disease. The localization of ICH often allows an etiological association. However, in atypical/lobar ICH, the cause of bleeding is less obvious. Therefore, we present prospective histopathological and radiological studies which were conducted within the [...] Read more.
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a frequently disabling or fatal disease. The localization of ICH often allows an etiological association. However, in atypical/lobar ICH, the cause of bleeding is less obvious. Therefore, we present prospective histopathological and radiological studies which were conducted within the diagnostic workup to identify causes for lobar ICH other than hypertension. From 2016 to 2018, 198 patients with spontaneous, non-traumatic ICH requiring neurosurgical monitoring were enrolled in an institutional prospective patient registry. Patients with deep-seated ICH and/or hemorrhagically transformed cerebral infarcts were excluded from further analysis. Data to evaluate the source of bleeding based on histopathological and/or radiological workup were prospectively evaluated and analyzed. After applying the inclusion criteria and excluding patients with incomplete diagnostic workup, a total of 52 consecutive patients with lobar ICH were further analyzed. Macrovascular disease was detected in 14 patients with lobar ICH (27%). In 11 patients, diagnostic workup identified cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related ICH (21%). In addition, five patients with tumor-related ICH (10%) and six patients with ICH based on infectious pathologies (11%) were identified. In four patients, the cause of bleeding remained unknown despite extensive diagnostic workup (8%). The present prospective registry study demonstrates a higher probability to identify a cause of bleeding other than hypertension in patients with lobar ICH. Therefore, a thorough diagnostic work-up in patients with ICH is essential to accelerate treatment and further improve outcome or prevent rebleeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke)
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Open AccessArticle
Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling Regulates CXCR4 Expression and [68Ga] Pentixafor Internalization in Neuroendocrine Tumor Cells
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020367 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 354
Abstract
Loss of Somatostatin Receptor 2 (SSTR2) expression and rising CXC Chemokine Receptor Type 4 (CXCR4) expression are associated with dedifferentiation in neuroendocrine tumors (NET). In NET, CXCR4 expression is associated with enhanced metastatic and invasive potential and worse prognosis but might be a [...] Read more.
Loss of Somatostatin Receptor 2 (SSTR2) expression and rising CXC Chemokine Receptor Type 4 (CXCR4) expression are associated with dedifferentiation in neuroendocrine tumors (NET). In NET, CXCR4 expression is associated with enhanced metastatic and invasive potential and worse prognosis but might be a theragnostic target. Likewise, activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling may promote a more aggressive phenotype in NET. We hypothesized an interaction of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway with CXCR4 expression and function in NET. The NET cell lines BON-1, QGP-1, and MS-18 were exposed to Wnt inhibitors (5-aza-CdR, quercetin, and niclosamide) or the Wnt activator LiCl. The expressions of Wnt pathway genes and of CXCR4 were studied by qRT-PCR, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. The effects of Wnt modulators on uptake of the CXCR4 ligand [68Ga] Pentixafor were measured. The Wnt activator LiCl induced upregulation of CXCR4 and Wnt target gene expression. Treatment with the Wnt inhibitors had opposite effects. LiCl significantly increased [68Ga] Pentixafor uptake, while treatment with Wnt inhibitors decreased radiopeptide uptake. Wnt pathway modulation influences CXCR4 expression and function in NET cell lines. Wnt modulation might be a tool to enhance the efficacy of CXCR4-directed therapies in NET or to inhibit CXCR4-dependent proliferative signaling. The underlying mechanisms for the interaction of the Wnt pathway with CXCR4 expression and function have yet to be clarified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Theranostic Agents)
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Open AccessArticle
Zinc Protoporphyrin Is a Reliable Marker of Functional Iron Deficiency in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 366; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020366 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Iron deficiency (ID) is a common manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), arising primarily due to chronic inflammation and/or blood loss. There is no gold standard for ID diagnosis, which is often complicated by concomitant inflammation. Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) correlates with parameters of [...] Read more.
Iron deficiency (ID) is a common manifestation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), arising primarily due to chronic inflammation and/or blood loss. There is no gold standard for ID diagnosis, which is often complicated by concomitant inflammation. Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) correlates with parameters of iron homeostasis and has been identified as a promising marker for ID, irrespective of inflammation. We investigated the diagnostic performance of ZnPP in ID, iron deficiency anemia, anemia of chronic disease and mixed anemia in a cross-sectional study in 130 patients with IBD. Different parameters were compared by receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis as detectors of iron-restricted erythropoiesis (IRE). IRE was detected in 91 patients (70.0%); fifty-nine (64.8%) had absolute ID and 23 (25.4%) functional ID. When inflammation was present, ZnPP was a more reliable sole biomarker of IRE than MCV, transferrin saturation (TSAT) or ferritin (AUC; 0.855 vs. 0.763, 0.834% and 0.772, respectively). The specificity of TSAT was significantly lower than ZnPP when inflammation was present (38% vs. 71%, respectively). We conclude that ZnPP is a reliable biomarker of functional ID in patients with IBD and more dependable than ferritin or TSAT, which are influenced by chronic inflammation. We propose that ZnPP may also have utility in patients with other chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke Patients in Acute, Subacute and Chronic Stage: A Construct Validity Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020365 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
(1) Background: Observational scales are the most common methodology used to assess postural control and balance in people with stroke. The aim of this paper was to analyse the construct validity of the Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke Patients (PASS) scale in post-stroke [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Observational scales are the most common methodology used to assess postural control and balance in people with stroke. The aim of this paper was to analyse the construct validity of the Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke Patients (PASS) scale in post-stroke patients in the acute, subacute, and chronic stroke phases. (2) Methods: Sixty-one post-stroke participants were enrolled. To analyze the construct validity of the PASS, the following scales were used: the Functional Ambulatory Category (FAC), the Wisconsin Gait Scale (WGS), the Barthel Index (BI) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). (3) Results: The construct validity of the PASS scale in patients with stroke at acute phase was moderate with the FAC (r = −0.791), WGS (r = −0.646) and FIM (r = −0.678) and excellent with the BI (r = 0.801). At subacute stage, the construct validity of the PASS scale was excellent with the FAC (r = 0.897), WGS (r = −0.847), FIM (r = −0.810) and BI (r = −0.888). At 6 and 12 months, the construct validity of the PASS with the FAC, WGS, FIM and BI was also excellent. (4) Conclusions: The PASS scale is a valid instrument to assess balance in post-stroke individuals especially, in the subacute and chronic phases (at 6 and 12 months). Full article
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Open AccessReview
Motor Pathophysiology Related to Dyspnea in COPD Evaluated by Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 364; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020364 - 21 Feb 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exertional dyspnea, which increases with the disease’s progression, reduces exercise tolerance and limits physical activity, leading to a worsening prognosis. It is necessary to understand the diverse mechanisms of dyspnea and take appropriate measures to reduce exertional [...] Read more.
In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exertional dyspnea, which increases with the disease’s progression, reduces exercise tolerance and limits physical activity, leading to a worsening prognosis. It is necessary to understand the diverse mechanisms of dyspnea and take appropriate measures to reduce exertional dyspnea, as COPD is a systemic disease with various comorbidities. A treatment focusing on the motor pathophysiology related to dyspnea may lead to improvements such as reducing dynamic lung hyperinflation, respiratory and metabolic acidosis, and eventually exertional dyspnea. However, without cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), it may be difficult to understand the pathophysiological conditions during exercise. CPET facilitates understanding of the gas exchange and transport associated with respiration-circulation and even crosstalk with muscles, which is sometimes challenging, and provides information on COPD treatment strategies. For respiratory medicine department staff, CPET can play a significant role when treating patients with diseases that cause exertional dyspnea. This article outlines the advantages of using CPET to evaluate exertional dyspnea in patients with COPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of COPD and Asthma)
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Open AccessReview
Diagnosis of SARS-Cov-2 Infection by RT-PCR Using Specimens Other Than Naso- and Oropharyngeal Swabs: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020363 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
The rapid and accurate testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection is still crucial to mitigate, and eventually halt, the spread of this disease. Currently, nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and oropharyngeal swab (OPS) are the recommended standard sampling techniques, yet, these have some limitations such as the [...] Read more.
The rapid and accurate testing of SARS-CoV-2 infection is still crucial to mitigate, and eventually halt, the spread of this disease. Currently, nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) and oropharyngeal swab (OPS) are the recommended standard sampling techniques, yet, these have some limitations such as the complexity of collection. Hence, several other types of specimens that are easier to obtain are being tested as alternatives to nasal/throat swabs in nucleic acid assays for SARS-CoV-2 detection. This study aims to critically appraise and compare the clinical performance of RT-PCR tests using oral saliva, deep-throat saliva/posterior oropharyngeal saliva (DTS/POS), sputum, urine, feces, and tears/conjunctival swab (CS) against standard specimens (NPS, OPS, or a combination of both). In this systematic review and meta-analysis, five databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ClinicalTrial.gov and NIPH Clinical Trial) were searched up to the 30th of December, 2020. Case-control and cohort studies on the detection of SARS-CoV-2 were included. The methodological quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS 2). We identified 1560 entries, 33 of which (1.1%) met all required criteria and were included for the quantitative data analysis. Saliva presented the higher accuracy, 92.1% (95% CI: 70.0–98.3), with an estimated sensitivity of 83.9% (95% CI: 77.4–88.8) and specificity of 96.4% (95% CI: 89.5–98.8). DTS/POS samples had an overall accuracy of 79.7% (95% CI: 43.3–95.3), with an estimated sensitivity of 90.1% (95% CI: 83.3–96.9) and specificity of 63.1% (95% CI: 36.8–89.3). The remaining index specimens could not be adequately assessed given the lack of studies available. Our meta-analysis shows that saliva samples from the oral region provide a high sensitivity and specificity; therefore, these appear to be the best candidates for alternative specimens to NPS/OPS in SARS-CoV-2 detection, with suitable protocols for swab-free sample collection to be determined and validated in the future. The distinction between oral and extra-oral salivary samples will be crucial, since DTS/POS samples may induce a higher rate of false positives. Urine, feces, tears/CS and sputum seem unreliable for diagnosis. Saliva testing may increase testing capacity, ultimately promoting the implementation of truly deployable COVID-19 tests, which could either work at the point-of-care (e.g. hospitals, clinics) or at outbreak control spots (e.g., schools, airports, and nursing homes). Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Diagnostic Virology)
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Open AccessReview
Cardiac Adiposity and Arrhythmias: The Role of Imaging
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 362; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020362 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 489
Abstract
Increased cardiac fat depots are metabolically active tissues that have a pronounced pro-inflammatory nature. Increasing evidence supports a potential role of cardiac adiposity as a determinant of the substrate of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. The underlying mechanism appears to be multifactorial with [...] Read more.
Increased cardiac fat depots are metabolically active tissues that have a pronounced pro-inflammatory nature. Increasing evidence supports a potential role of cardiac adiposity as a determinant of the substrate of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. The underlying mechanism appears to be multifactorial with local inflammation, fibrosis, adipocyte infiltration, electrical remodeling, autonomic nervous system modulation, oxidative stress and gene expression playing interrelating roles. Current imaging modalities, such as echocardiography, computed tomography and cardiac magnetic resonance, have provided valuable insight into the relationship between cardiac adiposity and arrhythmogenesis, in order to better understand the pathophysiology and improve risk prediction of the patients, over the presence of obesity and traditional risk factors. However, at present, given the insufficient data for the additive value of imaging biomarkers on commonly used risk algorithms, the use of different screening modalities currently is indicated for personalized risk stratification and prognostication in this setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging Cardiac Arrhythmia/Sudden Cardiac Death)
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Multiple Glycemic Parameters at Hospital Admission with Mortality and Short-Term Outcomes in Acutely Poisoned Patients
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020361 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 415
Abstract
The prognostic value of multiple glycemic parameters in poisoned patients was never assessed. We aim to explore the effects of glucose variability on short-term outcomes in nondiabetic and diabetic patients acutely poisoned with undifferentiated xenobiotics. We performed a prospective observational study in a [...] Read more.
The prognostic value of multiple glycemic parameters in poisoned patients was never assessed. We aim to explore the effects of glucose variability on short-term outcomes in nondiabetic and diabetic patients acutely poisoned with undifferentiated xenobiotics. We performed a prospective observational study in a tertiary center for toxicology in northeastern Romania. Over the course of 3 years, we included 1076 adults, older than 18 years, admitted for acute poisoning with a xenobiotic. The mortality rate was 4.1%. The admission blood glucose level (BGL) predicted mortality (OR 1.015, 95% CI 1.011–1.019, p < 0.001) and complications (OR 1.005, 95% CI 1.001–1.009, p 0.02). The mean glucose level (MGL) after admission (OR 1.007, 95% CI 1.000–1.013, p 0.034) and coefficient of glucose variability (CV) were predictive for complications (OR 40.58, 95% CI 1.35–1220.52, p 0.033), using the same multivariable model. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis revealed that BGL had good predictive value for in-hospital mortality (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.744, 95% CI = 0.648–0.841, p < 0.001), and complications (AUC = 0.618, 95% CI = 0.584–0.653, p < 0.001). In patients acutely poisoned with xenobiotics, the BGL, MGL and CV can be useful as mortality and short-outcome predictors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessCommunication
Quality Assessment of Endoscopic Forceps Biopsy Samples under Magnifying Narrow Band Imaging for Histological Diagnosis of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Feasibility Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020360 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 396
Abstract
The current standard for diagnosing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is colposcopy followed by punch biopsy. We have developed flexible magnifying endoscopy with narrow band imaging (ME-NBI) for the diagnosis of CIN. Here, we investigated the feasibility of targeted endoscopic forceps biopsy (E-Bx) under [...] Read more.
The current standard for diagnosing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is colposcopy followed by punch biopsy. We have developed flexible magnifying endoscopy with narrow band imaging (ME-NBI) for the diagnosis of CIN. Here, we investigated the feasibility of targeted endoscopic forceps biopsy (E-Bx) under guidance of ME-NBI for the diagnosis of CIN. We prospectively enrolled 32 consecutive patients with confirmed or suspected high-grade CIN undergoing cervical conization. Next to colposcopy, the same patients underwent ME-NBI just before conization. ME-NBI was performed, and 30 E-Bx samples were taken from lesions suspicious for high-grade CIN and 15 from non-suspicious mucosa. We recalled 82 punch biopsy (P-Bx) specimens taken from lesions suspicious for high-grade CIN under colposcopic examination before enrollment. The proportion of sufficient biopsy samples, which had an entire mucosal layer with subepithelial tissue, for the diagnosis of CIN was evaluated by both methods. Performance of targeted E-Bx for the final diagnosis of at least high-grade CIN was calculated. Seventeen P-Bx specimens were unavailable. The proportion of sufficient samples with E-Bx was 84%, which was similar to that with P-Bx (87%) (p = 0.672). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of ME-NBI using E-Bx was 92%, 81%, and 88%, respectively. In conclusion, ME-NBI-guided E-Bx samples were feasible for histological diagnoses of CIN, and further investigation of its diagnostic accuracy is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management for Obstetric and Gynecologic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
MB-AI-His: Histopathological Diagnosis of Pediatric Medulloblastoma and its Subtypes via AI
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 359; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020359 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 544
Abstract
Medulloblastoma (MB) is a dangerous malignant pediatric brain tumor that could lead to death. It is considered the most common pediatric cancerous brain tumor. Precise and timely diagnosis of pediatric MB and its four subtypes (defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)) is [...] Read more.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is a dangerous malignant pediatric brain tumor that could lead to death. It is considered the most common pediatric cancerous brain tumor. Precise and timely diagnosis of pediatric MB and its four subtypes (defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)) is essential to decide the appropriate follow-up plan and suitable treatments to prevent its progression and reduce mortality rates. Histopathology is the gold standard modality for the diagnosis of MB and its subtypes, but manual diagnosis via a pathologist is very complicated, needs excessive time, and is subjective to the pathologists’ expertise and skills, which may lead to variability in the diagnosis or misdiagnosis. The main purpose of the paper is to propose a time-efficient and reliable computer-aided diagnosis (CADx), namely MB-AI-His, for the automatic diagnosis of pediatric MB and its subtypes from histopathological images. The main challenge in this work is the lack of datasets available for the diagnosis of pediatric MB and its four subtypes and the limited related work. Related studies are based on either textural analysis or deep learning (DL) feature extraction methods. These studies used individual features to perform the classification task. However, MB-AI-His combines the benefits of DL techniques and textural analysis feature extraction methods through a cascaded manner. First, it uses three DL convolutional neural networks (CNNs), including DenseNet-201, MobileNet, and ResNet-50 CNNs to extract spatial DL features. Next, it extracts time-frequency features from the spatial DL features based on the discrete wavelet transform (DWT), which is a textural analysis method. Finally, MB-AI-His fuses the three spatial-time-frequency features generated from the three CNNs and DWT using the discrete cosine transform (DCT) and principal component analysis (PCA) to produce a time-efficient CADx system. MB-AI-His merges the privileges of different CNN architectures. MB-AI-His has a binary classification level for classifying among normal and abnormal MB images, and a multi-classification level to classify among the four subtypes of MB. The results of MB-AI-His show that it is accurate and reliable for both the binary and multi-class classification levels. It is also a time-efficient system as both the PCA and DCT methods have efficiently reduced the training execution time. The performance of MB-AI-His is compared with related CADx systems, and the comparison verified the powerfulness of MB-AI-His and its outperforming results. Therefore, it can support pathologists in the accurate and reliable diagnosis of MB and its subtypes from histopathological images. It can also reduce the time and cost of the diagnosis procedure which will correspondingly lead to lower death rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Fetal Left Ventricular Myocardial Performance Index (MPI) by Using an Automated Measurement of Doppler Signals in Normal Pregnancies
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020358 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1998
Abstract
The myocardial performance index is widely used as an indicator of the heart’s performance. However, due to the subjective nature of ultrasonic testing, there are differences in the measurements among inspectors, requiring a quantitative and objective assessment. In this study, an automated program [...] Read more.
The myocardial performance index is widely used as an indicator of the heart’s performance. However, due to the subjective nature of ultrasonic testing, there are differences in the measurements among inspectors, requiring a quantitative and objective assessment. In this study, an automated program was developed to quantitatively evaluate the myocardial performance index (MPI) and the cardiac time intervals in the left ventricle for each trimester. One hundred and thirty-three pregnant women who visited the hospital for prenatal examinations were studied, and skilled inspectors obtained left ventricular blood flow waveforms from 47 fetuses in the 12 weeks, 54 fetuses in the 22 weeks, and 32 fetuses in the 31 weeks of pregnancy using a pulse Doppler mode of ultrasound equipment. The acquired images automatically measured the isovolumetric contraction time (IVCT), isovolumetric relaxation time (IVRT,) ejection time (ET), and filling time (FT), and calculated the Tei index (TI) and the K-index (KI); each interval was manually measured during the actual inspection for comparison. In this study, the ultrasonic Doppler waveform was objectively analyzed and measured by the automated program, and it will help with the evaluation of fetal heart function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fetal Medicine)
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Open AccessEditorial
Procainamide for the Rapid Suppression of Premature Ventricular Contractions: An (Almost) Forgotten Tool in the Cardiologist’s Armamentarium
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020357 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 274
Abstract
In the last few years, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging has progressively acquired a central role in the diagnosis and management of patients with ventricular arrhythmias (VA) [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cardiovascular Imaging 2021)
Open AccessArticle
Soluble High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) Is a Promising Biomarker for Prediction of Therapy Response and Prognosis in Advanced Lung Cancer Patients
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020356 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Background: High mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is known for its significant elevation in a multitude of tumors and benign diseases. In this study, we investigated the relevance of soluble HMGB1 for the prediction and monitoring of therapy response as well as [...] Read more.
Background: High mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is known for its significant elevation in a multitude of tumors and benign diseases. In this study, we investigated the relevance of soluble HMGB1 for the prediction and monitoring of therapy response as well as the estimation of prognosis in advanced lung cancer. Materials and Methods: In a retrospective study, HMGB1 levels were assessed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in the sera of 96 patients with advanced lung cancer (79 non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC); 14 small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), 3 Mesothelioma) prior to cycles 1, 2, and 3 of chemotherapy and correlated with radiological therapy response after 2 and 4 cycles as well as with overall survival. In addition, HMGB1 was compared with established tumor markers cytokeratin 19-fragments (CYFRA 21-1), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and neuron specific enolase (NSE). Results: While pretherapeutic HMGB1 levels were not predictive or prognostically relevant in NSCLC patients, HMGB1 values prior to cycles 2 and 3 as well as kinetics from cycle 1 to 2 discriminated significantly between patients with good (remission and stable disease) and poor response (progression). Performance of HMGB1 in receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses of NSCLC patients, with areas under the curve (AUCs) of 0.690 at cycle 2 and 0.794 at cycle 3 as well as sensitivities of 34.4% and 37.5%, respectively, for progression at 90% specificity, was comparable with the best tumor-associated antigen CYFRA 21-1 (AUCs 0.719 and 0.799; sensitivities of 37.5% and 41.7%, respectively). Furthermore, high concentrations of HMGB1 at cycles 2 and 3 were associated with shorter overall survival in NSCLC patients. Conclusion: Soluble HMGB1 is a promising biomarker for prediction of therapy response and prognosis in advanced NSCLC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of PSIM (Prostatic Systemic Inflammatory Markers) Score in Predicting Pathologic Features at Robotic Radical Prostatectomy in Patients with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer Who Met the Inclusion Criteria for Active Surveillance
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 355; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020355 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Background: circulating levels of lymphocytes, platelets and neutrophils have been identified as factors related to unfavorable clinical outcome for many solid tumors. The aim of this cohort study is to evaluate and validate the use of the Prostatic Systemic Inflammatory Markers (PSIM) score [...] Read more.
Background: circulating levels of lymphocytes, platelets and neutrophils have been identified as factors related to unfavorable clinical outcome for many solid tumors. The aim of this cohort study is to evaluate and validate the use of the Prostatic Systemic Inflammatory Markers (PSIM) score in predicting and improving the detection of clinically significant prostate cancer (csPCa) in men undergoing robotic radical prostatectomy for low-risk prostate cancer who met the inclusion criteria for active surveillance. Methods: we reviewed the medical records of 260 patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria for active surveillance. We performed a head-to-head comparison between the histological findings of specimens after radical prostatectomy (RP) and prostate biopsies. The PSIM score was calculated on the basis of positivity according to cutoffs (neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) 2.0, platelets-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) 118 and monocyte-to-lymphocyte-ratio (MLR) 5.0), with 1 point assigned for each value exceeding the specified threshold and then summed, yielding a final score ranging from 0 to 3. Results: median NLR was 2.07, median PLR was 114.83, median MLR was 3.69. Conclusion: we found a significantly increase in the rate of pathological International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) ≥ 2 with the increase of PSIM. At the multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, prostate specific antigen (PSA), PSA density, prostate volume and PSIM, the latter was found the sole independent prognostic variable influencing probability of adverse pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
Open AccessReview
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Prostate Cancer Patient Management—Current Trends and Future Perspectives
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020354 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 505
Abstract
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the field of computer science that aims to build smart devices performing tasks that currently require human intelligence. Through machine learning (ML), the deep learning (DL) model is teaching computers to learn by example, something that human beings are [...] Read more.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the field of computer science that aims to build smart devices performing tasks that currently require human intelligence. Through machine learning (ML), the deep learning (DL) model is teaching computers to learn by example, something that human beings are doing naturally. AI is revolutionizing healthcare. Digital pathology is becoming highly assisted by AI to help researchers in analyzing larger data sets and providing faster and more accurate diagnoses of prostate cancer lesions. When applied to diagnostic imaging, AI has shown excellent accuracy in the detection of prostate lesions as well as in the prediction of patient outcomes in terms of survival and treatment response. The enormous quantity of data coming from the prostate tumor genome requires fast, reliable and accurate computing power provided by machine learning algorithms. Radiotherapy is an essential part of the treatment of prostate cancer and it is often difficult to predict its toxicity for the patients. Artificial intelligence could have a future potential role in predicting how a patient will react to the therapy side effects. These technologies could provide doctors with better insights on how to plan radiotherapy treatment. The extension of the capabilities of surgical robots for more autonomous tasks will allow them to use information from the surgical field, recognize issues and implement the proper actions without the need for human intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics)
Open AccessArticle
Early Confirmation of Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection by Two Short-Term Serologic IgM Examination
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020353 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 322
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to re-evaluate the clinical application of two-times serologic immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests using microparticle agglutination assay (MAA), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection. A retrospective [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to re-evaluate the clinical application of two-times serologic immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests using microparticle agglutination assay (MAA), an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay in diagnosing Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) infection. A retrospective analysis of 62 children with MP pneumonia during a recent epidemic (2019–2020) was conducted. The MAA and ELISA immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG measurements were conducted twice at admission and around discharge, and MP PCR once at presentation. Diagnostic rates in each test were calculated at presentation and at discharge. The seroconverters were 39% (24/62) of patients tested by MAA and 29% (18/62) by ELISA. At presentation, the diagnostic positive rates of MAA, ELISA, and PCR tests were 61%, 71%, and 52%, respectively. After the second examination, the rates were 100% in both serologic tests. There were positive correlations between the titers of MAA and the IgM values of ELISA. The single serologic IgM or PCR tests had limitations to select patients infected with MP in the early stage. The short-term, paired IgM serologic tests during hospitalization can reduce patient-selection bias in MP infection studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Infectious Disease and Microbiology)
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Open AccessArticle
Paravertebral Muscle Mechanical Properties and Spinal Range of Motion in Patients with Acute Neck or Low Back Pain: A Case-Control Study
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020352 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Our aims were to identify potential differences in muscle mechanical properties (MMPs) of cervical and lumbar tissues and in spinal range of motion (ROM) between patients with acute low back pain (LBP) or acute neck pain (NP) and healthy controls, and to identify [...] Read more.
Our aims were to identify potential differences in muscle mechanical properties (MMPs) of cervical and lumbar tissues and in spinal range of motion (ROM) between patients with acute low back pain (LBP) or acute neck pain (NP) and healthy controls, and to identify if ROMs and MMPs are able to identify subjects among the three groups. Clinical variables (pain, disability, fear of movement, kinesiophobia, quality of life), MMPs and ROMs were obtained in 33 subjects with acute LBP, 33 with acute NP, and 33 healthy control subjects. Between-groups differences and explanatory models to discriminate groups depending on MMPs and ROMs were calculated. The results showed that cervical tone was higher in patients with acute NP than in controls, while cervical decrement was higher in both spinal pain groups. Patients with acute NP showed reduced cervical flexion when compared to acute LBP and control groups, and also cervical rotation, but just against controls. Furthermore, lumbar flexion was reduced in patients with acute LBP when compared to those with acute NP. Cervical decrement was able to discriminate spinal pain individuals from controls in a multinominal regression (R2: Cox–Snell estimation = 0.533; Nagelkerke estimation = 0.600). Lumbar flexion differentiated patients with acute LBP and controls, whereas cervical flexion differentiated patients with acute NP and controls. This study supports a tendency of the affectation of other spinal regions when only one is affected. Full article
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