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Diagnostics, Volume 14, Issue 5 (March-1 2024) – 114 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The advent of high-sensitivity assays of cardiac troponin, which plays a central role in evaluating patients with angina, has come at the cost of decreased specificity. More than ever, interpreting troponin elevation requires clinical judgment and careful integration of findings from electrocardiography, echocardiography, the physical exam and patient interview, and other imaging and laboratory data. This state-of-the-art review presents a comprehensive survey of the prevalence, mechanisms, and prognostic implications of troponin elevations in each cardiac and non-cardiac etiology to assist the clinician in distinguishing between presentations of myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, and myocardial injury. View this paper
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11 pages, 3545 KiB  
Article
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks Provide Motion Grading for High-Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography of the Scaphoid
by Stefan Benedikt, Philipp Zelger, Lukas Horling, Kerstin Stock, Johannes Pallua, Michael Schirmer, Gerald Degenhart, Alexander Ruzicka and Rohit Arora
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050568 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 630
Abstract
In vivo high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) studies on bone characteristics are limited, partly due to the lack of standardized and objective techniques to describe motion artifacts responsible for lower-quality images. This study investigates the ability of such deep-learning techniques to assess [...] Read more.
In vivo high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) studies on bone characteristics are limited, partly due to the lack of standardized and objective techniques to describe motion artifacts responsible for lower-quality images. This study investigates the ability of such deep-learning techniques to assess image quality in HR-pQCT datasets of human scaphoids. In total, 1451 stacks of 482 scaphoid images from 53 patients, each with up to six follow-ups within one year, and each with one non-displaced fractured and one contralateral intact scaphoid, were independently graded by three observers using a visual grading scale for motion artifacts. A 3D-CNN was used to assess image quality. The accuracy of the 3D-CNN to assess the image quality compared to the mean results of three skilled operators was between 92% and 96%. The 3D-CNN classifier reached an ROC-AUC score of 0.94. The average assessment time for one scaphoid was 2.5 s. This study demonstrates that a deep-learning approach for rating radiological image quality provides objective assessments of motion grading for the scaphoid with a high accuracy and a short assessment time. In the future, such a 3D-CNN approach can be used as a resource-saving and cost-effective tool to classify the image quality of HR-pQCT datasets in a reliable, reproducible and objective way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Biomedical Diagnostics and Analysis)
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15 pages, 4872 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Single-Plane Fluoroscopy: A Self-Calibrating Bundle Adjustment for Distortion Modeling
by Jackson Cooper, Jacky C. K. Chow and Derek Lichti
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050567 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Single-plane fluoroscopy systems with image intensifiers remain commonly employed in a clinical setting. The imagery they capture is vulnerable to several types of geometric distortions introduced by the system’s components and their assembly as well as interactions with the local and global magnetic [...] Read more.
Single-plane fluoroscopy systems with image intensifiers remain commonly employed in a clinical setting. The imagery they capture is vulnerable to several types of geometric distortions introduced by the system’s components and their assembly as well as interactions with the local and global magnetic fields. In this study, the application of a self-calibrating bundle adjustment is investigated as a method to correct geometric distortions in single-plane fluoroscopic imaging systems. The resulting calibrated imagery is then applied in the quantitative analysis of diaphragmatic motion and potential diagnostic applications to hemidiaphragm paralysis. The calibrated imagery is further explored and discussed in its potential impact on areas of surgical navigation. This work was accomplished through the application of a controlled experiment with three separate Philips Easy Diagnost R/F Systems. A highly redundant (~2500 to 3500 degrees-of-freedom) and geometrically strong network of 18 to 22 images of a low-cost target field was collected. The target field comprised 121 pre-surveyed tantalum beads embedded on a 25.4 mm × 25.4 mm acrylic base plate. The modeling process resulted in the estimation of five to eight distortion coefficients, depending on the system. The addition of these terms resulted in 83–85% improvement in terms of image point precision (model fit) and 85–95% improvement in 3D object reconstruction accuracy after calibration. This study demonstrates significant potential in enhancing the accuracy and reliability of fluoroscopic imaging, thereby improving the overall quality and effectiveness of medical diagnostics and treatments. Full article
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16 pages, 1630 KiB  
Systematic Review
Cutting-Edge Strategies for Renal Tumour-like Lesions in Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis: A Systematic Review
by Luca Iorio, Marco Pizzi, Diego Cecchin, Federica Davanzo, Anna Ghirardello, Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, Andrea Doria and Roberto Padoan
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050566 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is characterised by granulomatous inflammation and small-to-medium vessel necrotising vasculitis, mainly affecting respiratory tract and kidneys. Renal involvement presenting as tumour-like lesions poses diagnostic and treatment challenges. Methods: Following the observation of a GPA patient presenting with multiple [...] Read more.
Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is characterised by granulomatous inflammation and small-to-medium vessel necrotising vasculitis, mainly affecting respiratory tract and kidneys. Renal involvement presenting as tumour-like lesions poses diagnostic and treatment challenges. Methods: Following the observation of a GPA patient presenting with multiple renal tumour-like lesions, we conducted a systematic literature review on MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. Data gathered from the literature were analysed to summarise the diagnostic approach, management, and outcome of renal GPA-related tumour-like lesions. Results: a 49-year-old female presented with persistent constitutional symptoms and multiple bilateral renal lesions. Renal biopsy showed chronic interstitial inflammation with necrotising granulomas. Laboratory tests disclosed positive anti-proteinase 3 (PR3) anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) leading to a final diagnosis of GPA. She was effectively treated with high-dose glucocorticoids and rituximab. Literature search yielded 41 articles, concerning 42 GPA patients with renal masses, presenting bilaterally in 23.8% of the cases. Positive PR3-ANCA was observed in 86.5% of the cases. Half of 42 patients showed kidney abnormalities. Treatment with glucocorticoids (83.3%) and immunosuppressive agents (80.9%) resulted in an overall good remission rate and favourable prognosis. Conclusions: GPA should be considered in the differential diagnoses of kidney tumour-like lesions. The diagnosis is challenging, and histological examination greatly contributes to the diagnostic work-up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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5 pages, 1786 KiB  
Interesting Images
Hangeshashinto-Associated Mesenteric Phlebosclerosis and Highly Atypical Adenoma Requiring Laparoscopic Right Hemicolectomy
by Ryo Nishiwaki, Yasuhiro Inoue, Masataka Sugao, Natsuko Sugimasa, Tetsuya Hamaguchi, Midori Noji, Kenji Takeuchi, Yoshiyuki Ito, Toshio Kato, Taro Yasuma, Corina N. D’Alessandoro-Gabazza, Esteban C. Gabazza and Ichiro Imoto
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050565 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Mesenteric phlebosclerosis is a rare ischemic colonic disorder caused by impaired venous drainage. Its prevalence is higher in East Asia, where herbal medicine is widely used. Treatment remains controversial. A 76-year-old woman who had taken Hangeshashinto, an herbal medicine, for 11 years was [...] Read more.
Mesenteric phlebosclerosis is a rare ischemic colonic disorder caused by impaired venous drainage. Its prevalence is higher in East Asia, where herbal medicine is widely used. Treatment remains controversial. A 76-year-old woman who had taken Hangeshashinto, an herbal medicine, for 11 years was admitted for endoscopic treatment of high-grade dysplasia in the ascending colon. She had diarrhea and mesenteric phlebosclerosis diagnosed by abdominal computed tomography at age 71. At age 75, small polyps were detected in the ascending colon. A subsequent study revealed an increase in polyp size to 15 mm. Endoscopic mucosal resection failed to remove the lesion. A biopsy showed high-grade dysplasia with possible colon cancer risk. Conservative therapy did not improve mesenteric phlebosclerosis-related diarrhea; therefore, a laparoscopic right hemicolectomy was performed. Intraoperatively, the cecum was adherent to the abdominal wall and the right ovary. The specimen showed high-grade dysplasia in the mucosa and severe submucosal fibrosis. No metastasis was observed. This case shows the link between mesenteric phlebosclerosis and high-grade dysplasia in the ascending colon. Endoscopic mucosal resection was unsuccessful in removing the tumor. Endoscopic submucosal dissection was an alternative, but its safety in mesenteric phlebosclerosis-affected colonic segments remains uncertain. A laparoscopic right hemicolectomy was performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Optical Diagnostics)
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17 pages, 356 KiB  
Review
Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Ablation of Premalignant Pancreatic Cysts and Pancreatic Cancer
by Alejandra Vargas, Priyata Dutta, Eileen S. Carpenter and Jorge D. Machicado
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050564 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and expected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2030. Up to a one-fifth of pancreatic cancers may arise from mucinous pancreatic cysts, which are frequently present in the general population. Currently, surgical resection [...] Read more.
Pancreatic cancer is on the rise and expected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death by 2030. Up to a one-fifth of pancreatic cancers may arise from mucinous pancreatic cysts, which are frequently present in the general population. Currently, surgical resection is the only curative approach for pancreatic cancer and its cystic precursors. However, only a dismal proportion of patients are eligible for surgery. Therefore, novel treatment approaches to treat pancreatic cancer and precancerous pancreatic cysts are needed. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided ablation is an emerging minimally invasive method to treat pancreatic cancer and premalignant pancreatic cysts. Different ablative modalities have been used including alcohol, chemotherapy agents, and radiofrequency ablation. Cumulative data over the past two decades have shown that endoscopic ablation of mucinous pancreatic cysts can lead to cyst resolution in a significant proportion of the treated cysts. Furthermore, novel data are emerging about the ability to endoscopically ablate early and locally advanced pancreatic cancer. In this review, we aim to summarize the available data on the efficacy and safety of the different EUS-ablation modalities for the management of premalignant pancreatic cysts and pancreatic cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Pancreatic Cancer)
21 pages, 2404 KiB  
Article
Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Breast Cancer Tissue In Vitro after PDT Therapy
by Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher, Wiktoria Mytych, Klaudia Dynarowicz, Angelika Myśliwiec, Agnieszka Machorowska-Pieniążek, Grzegorz Cieślar, Aleksandra Kawczyk-Krupka and David Aebisher
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050563 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is increasingly used in modern medicine. It has found application in the treatment of breast cancer. The most common cancer among women is breast cancer. We collected cancer cells from the breast from the material received after surgery. We focused [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is increasingly used in modern medicine. It has found application in the treatment of breast cancer. The most common cancer among women is breast cancer. We collected cancer cells from the breast from the material received after surgery. We focused on tumors that were larger than 10 mm in size. Breast cancer tissues for this quantitative non-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study could be seen macroscopically. The current study aimed to present findings on quantitative non-contrast MRI of breast cancer cells post-PDT through the evaluation of relaxation times. The aim of this work was to use and optimize a 1.5 T MRI system. MRI tests were performed using a clinical scanner, namely the OPTIMA MR360 manufactured by General Electric HealthCare. The work included analysis of T1 and T2 relaxation times. This analysis was performed using the MATLAB package (produced by MathWorks). The created application is based on medical MRI images saved in the DICOM3.0 standard. T1 and T2 measurements were subjected to the Shapiro–Wilk test, which showed that both samples belonged to a normal distribution, so a parametric t-test for dependent samples was used to test for between-sample variability. The study included 30 sections tested in 2 stages, with consistent technical parameters. For T1 measurements, 12 scans were performed with varying repetition times (TR) and a constant echo time (TE) of 3 ms. For T2 measurements, 12 scans were performed with a fixed repetition time of 10,000 ms and varying echo times. After treating samples with PpIX disodium salt and bubbling with pure oxygen, PDT irradiation was applied. The cell relaxation time after therapy was significantly shorter than the cell relaxation time before PDT. The cells were exposed to PpIX disodium salt as the administered pharmacological substance. The study showed that the therapy significantly affected tumor cells, which was confirmed by a significant reduction in tumor cell relaxation time on the MRI results. Full article
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4 pages, 10345 KiB  
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Giant Lipoma of the Bauhin’s Valve
by Cosmina Fugărețu and Catalin Misarca
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050562 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Lipomas are benign tumors that can affect the digestive tract, everywhere from the hypopharynx to the rectum. Lipomas affecting the large intestine are the second most common benign tumor, after colon adenoma. We present the case of a 46-year-old patient who was initially [...] Read more.
Lipomas are benign tumors that can affect the digestive tract, everywhere from the hypopharynx to the rectum. Lipomas affecting the large intestine are the second most common benign tumor, after colon adenoma. We present the case of a 46-year-old patient who was initially hospitalized in the Gastroenterology Clinic with a diagnosis of gastrointestinal bleeding. The colonoscopy raised the suspicion of a malignant tumor of the transverse colon, but the computed tomography scan showed the existence of a lipoma that measured 16/11/12 cm that occupied the ascending and transverse colon, though the CT examination could not determinate the origin of the lipoma. After restoring the hydro-electrolytic and fluid balance of the patient, surgery was performed and a huge lipoma of the ileocecal valve was discovered. Extended right hemicolectomy was performed, with good subsequent postoperative recovery of the patient, who was discharged on the fifth day after the surgery. The peculiarity of this case is the huge size of the benign tumor. Lipomas with digestive system localization, although rare, must be considered in patients arriving at the Emergency Department with digestive hemorrhages, intussusception and even intestinal obstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abdominal Diseases: Diagnosis, Treatment and Management)
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13 pages, 1877 KiB  
Article
Use of Sensor Array Analysis to Detect Ovarian Cancer through Breath, Urine, and Blood: A Case-Control Study
by Roberto Angioli, Marco Santonico, Giorgio Pennazza, Roberto Montera, Daniela Luvero, Alessandra Gatti, Alessandro Zompanti, Panaiotis Finamore and Raffaele Antonelli Incalzi
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050561 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Ovarian cancer (OC) is the eighth most common cancer in women. Since screening programs do not exist, it is often diagnosed in advanced stages. Today, the detection of OC is based on clinical examination, transvaginal ultrasound (US), and serum biomarker (Carbohydrate Antigen 125 [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer (OC) is the eighth most common cancer in women. Since screening programs do not exist, it is often diagnosed in advanced stages. Today, the detection of OC is based on clinical examination, transvaginal ultrasound (US), and serum biomarker (Carbohydrate Antigen 125 (CA 125) and Human Epididymis Protein 4 (HE4)) dosage, with a sensitivity of 88% and 95%, respectively, and a specificity of 84% for US and 76% for biomarkers. These methods are clearly not enough, and OC in its early stages is often missed. Many scientists have recently focused their attention on volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are gaseous molecules, found in the breath, that could provide interesting information on several diseases, including solid tumors. To detect VOCs, an electronic nose was invented by a group of researchers. A similar device, the e-tongue, was later created to detect specific molecules in liquids. For the first time in the literature, we investigated the potential use of the electronic nose and the electronic tongue to detect ovarian cancer not just from breath but also from urine, blood, and plasma samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Point-of-Care Diagnostics and Devices)
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8 pages, 610 KiB  
Article
Clinical Evaluation of a New Spectral-Domain Optical Coherence Tomography-Based Biometer
by Jorge L. Alió, Marina José-Martínez, Antonio Martínez-Abad, Alejandra E. Rodríguez, Francesco Versaci, Jesper Hjortdal, Joaquim Neto Murta, Ana B. Plaza-Puche, Mario Cantó-Cerdán and David P. Piñero
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050560 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 545
Abstract
The VEMoS-AXL system is a new optical biometer based on spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) that has been tested in terms of intrasession repeatability and compared with a swept-source optical coherence tomography biometer (SS-OCT), which is recognized as the gold standard for [...] Read more.
The VEMoS-AXL system is a new optical biometer based on spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) that has been tested in terms of intrasession repeatability and compared with a swept-source optical coherence tomography biometer (SS-OCT), which is recognized as the gold standard for the performance of an agreement analysis. A biometric analysis was performed three consecutive times in 120 healthy eyes of 120 patients aged between 18 and 40 years with the SD-OCT system, and afterwards, a single measurement was obtained with the SS-OCT system. Within-subject standard deviations were 0.004 mm, 4.394 µm, and 0.017 mm for axial length (AL), central corneal thickness (CCT), and anterior chamber depth (ACD) measures obtained with the SD-OCT biometer, respectively. The agreement between devices was good for AL (limits of agreement, LoA: −0.04 to 0.03 mm) and CCT (LoA: −4.36 to 14.38 µm), whereas differences between devices were clinically relevant for ACD (LoA: 0.03 to 0.21 mm). In conclusion, the VEMoS-AXL system provides consistent measures of anatomical parameters, being most of them interchangeable with those provided by the SS-OCT-based gold standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging in Ophthalmology)
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19 pages, 2515 KiB  
Review
Diagnostic, Management, and Neonatal Outcomes of Colorectal Cancer during Pregnancy: Two Case Reports, Systematic Review of Literature and Metanalysis
by Arianna Galante, Marco Cerbone, Francesco Mannavola, Marco Marinaccio, Luca Maria Schonauer, Miriam Dellino, Gianluca Raffaello Damiani, Vincenzo Pinto, Gennaro Cormio, Ettore Cicinelli and Antonella Vimercati
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050559 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Objective: Colorectal cancer (CRC) during pregnancy is a rare occurrence, with a reported incidence of 0.8 cases per 100,000 pregnancies. Managing CRC during pregnancy poses substantial challenges for clinicians: the diagnosis is often complicated and delayed due to symptom overlap with pregnancy-related manifestations, [...] Read more.
Objective: Colorectal cancer (CRC) during pregnancy is a rare occurrence, with a reported incidence of 0.8 cases per 100,000 pregnancies. Managing CRC during pregnancy poses substantial challenges for clinicians: the diagnosis is often complicated and delayed due to symptom overlap with pregnancy-related manifestations, and medical imaging is constrained by safety concerns for the foetus. Methods: This article presents two cases of advanced CRC diagnosed and managed during pregnancy. Additionally, we conducted a systematic review of the literature to assess diagnostic and prognostic factors involved in CRC in pregnant individuals. The systematic review, with pre-registration and approval through Prospero, involved an extensive search of medical databases (Pubmed, Web of Science, Scopus and Scholar) and statistical analysis using t-test for continuous variables and chi square for dichotomous variables. Results: A total of 1058 studies were identified. After applying exclusion criteria, sixty-six studies were included. Women whose initial symptoms were severe abdominal pain not responsive to common medical treatments and constipation (acute abdomen) had a mean gestational age at delivery lower than those who presented with paucisymptomatic onset. In our study groups, women who underwent chemotherapy during pregnancy had a higher mean gestational age at delivery and did not experience worse neonatal outcomes compared to those who did not undergo chemotherapy. Conclusions: CRC during pregnancy poses unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Collaborative efforts among various medical disciplines are essential to manage CRC during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging and Theranostics)
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16 pages, 12252 KiB  
Article
Hybrid Quantum Image Classification and Federated Learning for Hepatic Steatosis Diagnosis
by Luca Lusnig, Asel Sagingalieva, Mikhail Surmach, Tatjana Protasevich, Ovidiu Michiu, Joseph McLoughlin, Christopher Mansell, Graziano de’ Petris, Deborah Bonazza, Fabrizio Zanconati, Alexey Melnikov and Fabio Cavalli
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050558 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 767
Abstract
In the realm of liver transplantation, accurately determining hepatic steatosis levels is crucial. Recognizing the essential need for improved diagnostic precision, particularly for optimizing diagnosis time by swiftly handling easy-to-solve cases and allowing the expert time to focus on more complex cases, this [...] Read more.
In the realm of liver transplantation, accurately determining hepatic steatosis levels is crucial. Recognizing the essential need for improved diagnostic precision, particularly for optimizing diagnosis time by swiftly handling easy-to-solve cases and allowing the expert time to focus on more complex cases, this study aims to develop cutting-edge algorithms that enhance the classification of liver biopsy images. Additionally, the challenge of maintaining data privacy arises when creating automated algorithmic solutions, as sharing patient data between hospitals is restricted, further complicating the development and validation process. This research tackles diagnostic accuracy by leveraging novel techniques from the rapidly evolving field of quantum machine learning, known for their superior generalization abilities. Concurrently, it addresses privacy concerns through the implementation of privacy-conscious collaborative machine learning with federated learning. We introduce a hybrid quantum neural network model that leverages real-world clinical data to assess non-alcoholic liver steatosis accurately. This model achieves an image classification accuracy of 97%, surpassing traditional methods by 1.8%. Moreover, by employing a federated learning approach that allows data from different clients to be shared while ensuring privacy, we maintain an accuracy rate exceeding 90%. This initiative marks a significant step towards a scalable, collaborative, efficient, and dependable computational framework that aids clinical pathologists in their daily diagnostic tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics)
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11 pages, 2017 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Stability and Accuracy Compared to the Westergren Method of ESR Samples Analyzed at VES-MATIC 5
by Maria Lorubbio, Daniela Diamanti, Alessandro Ghiandai, Carolina Pieroni, Donatella Bonini, Massimiliano Pettinari, Gabriele Gorini, Stefania Bassi, Paola Meloni and Agostino Ognibene
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050557 - 06 Mar 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 549
Abstract
The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) is a diagnostic estimator of systemic inflammation as a reflection of acute phase proteins circulating in the blood. The purpose of this manuscript is to evaluate the blood stability at room temperature (RT) and at 4 °C to [...] Read more.
The Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) is a diagnostic estimator of systemic inflammation as a reflection of acute phase proteins circulating in the blood. The purpose of this manuscript is to evaluate the blood stability at room temperature (RT) and at 4 °C to avoid ESR diagnostic errors, as well as the accuracy of the VES-MATIC 5 analyzer. The ESR stability evaluation at RT for 24 h (4 h “T1”, 6 h “T2”, 8 h “T3”, 10 h “T4”, 24 h “T5”) and at 4 °C (24 h, 36 h, 48 h) was carried out using 635 total samples, starting with T0 (2 h of venipuncture). For method comparison, 164 patients were analyzed using VES-MATIC 5 and then the Westergren reference method. The sample at RT is established by a significant gradual decrease in correlation R = 0.99 (T0 vs. T1), R = 0.97 (T0 vs. T2), R = 0.92 (T0 vs. T3), R = 0.87 (T0 vs. T4), and R = 0.40 (T0 vs. T5). The stability at 4 °C after 24 h, 36 h, and 48 h showed a regression of R = 0.99, R = 0.97, and R = 0.95, respectively. Therefore, ESR measurements on RT samples beyond 6 h after collection cannot be carried out, but the ESR can be measured until 36 h for samples stored at 4 °C. Moreover, the VES-MATIC 5 accuracy performance compared to the Westergren method (R = 0.96) is confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diagnostic Pathology)
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9 pages, 236 KiB  
Review
Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy—Diagnostics and Clinimetrics
by Józef Opara and Martyna Odzimek
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050556 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Cervical myelopathy is referred to in many ways in the English literature, for example, as cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), spondylotic radiculomyelopathy (SRM) or degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). In addition, more frequent occurrences are noted in older adults [...] Read more.
Cervical myelopathy is referred to in many ways in the English literature, for example, as cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM), spondylotic radiculomyelopathy (SRM) or degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). In addition, more frequent occurrences are noted in older adults and to a greater extent in men. The causes of the effects of cervical myelopathy may be the appearance of lesions on the spinal cord, ischemia due to compression of the vertebral artery and repeated micro-injuries during maximal movements—hyperflexion or hyperextension. It is well known that lesions on the spinal cord may occur in a quarter of the population, and this problem is clearly noted in people over 60 years old. The symptoms of SCM develop insidiously, and their severity and side (unilateral or bilateral) are associated with the location and extent of spinal cord compression. Neurological examination most often diagnoses problems in the upper limbs (most often paresis with developing hand muscle atrophy), pyramidal paralysis in one or both lower limbs and disorders in the urinary system. To make a diagnosis of CSM, it is necessary to perform MRI and neurophysiological tests (such as EMG or sensory and/or motor-evoked potentials). The use of appropriately selected scales and specific tests in diagnostics is also crucial. This narrative review article describes the latest knowledge on the diagnosis and clinimetrics of cervical spondylotic myelopathy in adults and provides future directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spinal Cord Injury: Diagnostics, Treatment, and Rehabilitation)
5 pages, 2709 KiB  
Interesting Images
A Unique Case of Appendiceal Intussusception (Inversion): A Case in Bloom
by Stylianos Mantalovas, Eleni Paschou, Ismini Kountouri, Christina Sevva, Konstantinos Papadopoulos, Panagiota Roulia, Marios Dagher, Styliani Laskou, Vasileios Lagopoulos, Charilaos Koulouris, Fedra Louloudopoulou, Periklis Kopsidas, Konstantinos Sapalidis, Isaak Kesisoglou and Christoforos Kosmidis
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050555 - 06 Mar 2024
Viewed by 482
Abstract
A 40-year-old female patient presented to a secondary facility with dull lower abdominal pain and a persistent low-grade fever. Her laboratory results showed elevated inflammation markers. A CT scan revealed two abscesses in the lesser pelvic region in direct contact with the apex [...] Read more.
A 40-year-old female patient presented to a secondary facility with dull lower abdominal pain and a persistent low-grade fever. Her laboratory results showed elevated inflammation markers. A CT scan revealed two abscesses in the lesser pelvic region in direct contact with the apex of the appendix, the posterior wall of the uterus, and the right-side appendages. The patient responded well to intravenous antibiotics, and an MRI scan revealed the cause to be an appendiceal rupture. The patient was scheduled for an appendectomy. The procedure started laparoscopically but had to be converted to an open one with a midline infra-umbilical incision in order to protect the right appendages. A standard appendectomy was conducted, and the histology report revealed rupture of the appendix with concomitant wall inversion in the context of fibrous adhesions as well as obstruction due to a fecalith. Patient recovery and follow-up were excellent. Acute appendicitis, while frequently encountered in surgical practice, can present a diagnostic conundrum when it manifests in an atypical manner. This unique form of inversion appeared to confer a protective role against peritonitis, primarily through the mechanism of obstruction occurring centrally to the rupture. We suggest that this case should be included in current classifications as a partial inversion of the appendix after rupture and inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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3 pages, 137 KiB  
Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue “Skin and Cutaneous Adnexal Tumors: Diagnosis and Management”
by Dimitra Koumaki
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050554 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 521
Abstract
We are delighted to present the Special Issue on “Skin and Cutaneous Adnexal Tumors: Diagnosis and Management” in Diagnostics [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skin and Cutaneous Adnexal Tumors: Diagnosis and Management)
15 pages, 1686 KiB  
Review
Tumor-to-Tumor Metastasis of Lung Cancer to Kidney Cancer: A Review of the Literature and Our Experience
by Catalin Baston, Andreea Ioana Parosanu, Mihaela Mihai, Oana Moldoveanu, Ioana Miruna Stanciu and Cornelia Nitipir
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050553 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Tumor-to-tumor metastasis (TTM) is a rare phenomenon documented in patients with multiple primary cancers. This condition is defined as a metastasis between two true primary tumors. The most frequently reported recipient tumor is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and the lung carcinomas are the [...] Read more.
Tumor-to-tumor metastasis (TTM) is a rare phenomenon documented in patients with multiple primary cancers. This condition is defined as a metastasis between two true primary tumors. The most frequently reported recipient tumor is renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and the lung carcinomas are the most common metastatic tumor donors. Therefore, this paper attempts to address the current gap in knowledge about this rare phenomenon. The first part of this review outlines the recently proposed models and mechanisms involved in the TTM process. The second part then summarizes and analyzes previous case reports in the literature. We also present our experience with the case of lung cancer that metastasized into RCC. Given the sporadic incidence of TTM, no specific management guidelines exist. Therefore, considering TTM in patients with multiple primary tumors is important as it could potentially modify the oncological management offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Urologic Disorders)
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14 pages, 878 KiB  
Article
Visualization Methods for Uterine Sentinel Lymph Nodes in Early-Stage Endometrial Carcinoma: A Comparative Analysis
by Linas Andreika, Karolina Vankevičienė, Diana Ramašauskaitė and Vilius Rudaitis
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050552 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Background: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in early-stage endometrial cancer is recommended over systematic lymphadenectomy due to reduced morbidity and comparable detection rates. The main objective of this study was to compare the overall and bilateral detection rates of SLN in early-stage endometrial [...] Read more.
Background: Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in early-stage endometrial cancer is recommended over systematic lymphadenectomy due to reduced morbidity and comparable detection rates. The main objective of this study was to compare the overall and bilateral detection rates of SLN in early-stage endometrial cancer using three techniques. Methods: a prospective cohort study was designed to detect the difference in SLN detection rate in three cohorts: Indocyanine green (ICG), methylene blue (MB), and tracer combination (ICG + MB). Mapping characteristics, detection rate, number of SLNs, and positive SLNs of the three cohorts were compared. Results: A total of 99 patients were enrolled. A total of 109 SLN sites with 164 lymph nodes were detected. No differences were found between the three cohorts in terms of age, BMI, tumor diameter, or other histologic characteristics. The overall SLN detection rate (DR) was 54.3% in the MB group, 72.7% in ICG, and 80.6% in the ICG-MB group. Bilateral DR was 22.9%, 39.4%, and 54.8% in groups, respectively, with the MB method yielding significantly inferior results. Conclusions: The ICG-MB group demonstrated superior overall and bilateral detection rates, but a significant difference was found only in the MB cohort. Combining tracer agents can enhance the accuracy of SLN identification in initial-stage endometrial cancer without additional risk to the patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gynecological Oncology: Advanced Diagnosis and Management)
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13 pages, 3277 KiB  
Article
Clinicopathologic and Endosonographic Characteristics of Colon Subepithelial Tumors Discovered Incidentally
by Aryoung Kim, Sung Noh Hong, Dong Kyung Chang, Young-Ho Kim, Ji Eun Kim and Eun Ran Kim
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050551 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Background/Aims: Colonoscopy is commonly used for colorectal cancer screening; therefore, the detection of colon subepithelial tumors (SETs) has also increased. Several research studies have been undertaken to diagnose and treat stomach and rectal SETs. The purpose of this study was to determine a [...] Read more.
Background/Aims: Colonoscopy is commonly used for colorectal cancer screening; therefore, the detection of colon subepithelial tumors (SETs) has also increased. Several research studies have been undertaken to diagnose and treat stomach and rectal SETs. The purpose of this study was to determine a diagnostic point for colon SETs by comparing histological findings with the endoscopic characteristics of colon SETs discovered by chance. Methods: A total 194 patients underwent an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for suspicious colon SETs during a colonoscopy from May 2014 to December 2021. A total of 105 colon SETs, which were histologically diagnosed, were finally included. Fisher’s exact test was used to determine the factors associated with malignant SETs. Results: Colon SETs were predominantly present in the right colon (n = 73, 69.5%), particularly in the transverse colon (n = 32, 30.5%). The majority were smaller than 10 mm (n = 88, 83.8%), and they had hard consistencies (n = 84, 80%) and exhibited no surface changes (n = 96, 91.4%). Most of them were found in the submucosal layers (n = 54, 51.4%) and had a hypoechoic pattern (n = 56, 53.3%) in the EUS. Of the histologically confirmed cases, only three (3/105, 2.9%) were malignant. Most benign lesions were lipomas, suspected parasitic infections, or lesions caused by various inflammatory reactions, including fibrous/fibrocalcific lesions and necrotic nodules. All soft lesions were benign. Two of the three malignant lesions were adenocarcinomas, and the other was lymphoma. For the malignant SETs, there was a statistically significant alteration in the surface of the tumors (p < 0.001), and they were located where the muscularis mucosa layer was included (p = 0.008). The potential malignant SETs, granular cell tumors, and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) had similar features, such as yellowish hypoechoic masses. Colon NETs were only found in the rectosigmoid junction. Parasitic infections and lesions, resulting in various inflammatory reactions, were observed as pale and hard SETs and mostly revealed as mixed echogenic masses located in the muscularis mucosa, submucosa, or multi-layers in the EUS. Conclusion: This study showed that small colon SETs were mostly benign lesions. Despite its rarity, pathological confirmation is crucial in cases where the SET has surface changes and has been located in a position where the muscularis mucosa layer was included on the EUS, due to the risk of malignancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging and Theranostics)
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13 pages, 2543 KiB  
Article
Quantitative CT Texture Analysis of COVID-19 Hospitalized Patients during 3–24-Month Follow-Up and Correlation with Functional Parameters
by Salvatore Claudio Fanni, Federica Volpi, Leonardo Colligiani, Davide Chimera, Michele Tonerini, Francesco Pistelli, Roberta Pancani, Chiara Airoldi, Brian J. Bartholmai, Dania Cioni, Laura Carrozzi, Emanuele Neri, Annalisa De Liperi and Chiara Romei
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050550 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 534
Abstract
Background: To quantitatively evaluate CT lung abnormalities in COVID-19 survivors from the acute phase to 24-month follow-up. Quantitative CT features as predictors of abnormalities’ persistence were investigated. Methods: Patients who survived COVID-19 were retrospectively enrolled and underwent a chest CT at baseline (T0) [...] Read more.
Background: To quantitatively evaluate CT lung abnormalities in COVID-19 survivors from the acute phase to 24-month follow-up. Quantitative CT features as predictors of abnormalities’ persistence were investigated. Methods: Patients who survived COVID-19 were retrospectively enrolled and underwent a chest CT at baseline (T0) and 3 months (T3) after discharge, with pulmonary function tests (PFTs). Patients with residual CT abnormalities repeated the CT at 12 (T12) and 24 (T24) months after discharge. A machine-learning-based software, CALIPER, calculated the CT percentage of the whole lung of normal parenchyma, ground glass (GG), reticulation (Ret), and vascular-related structures (VRSs). Differences (Δ) were calculated between time points. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were performed to test the baseline parameters as predictors of functional impairment at T3 and of the persistence of CT abnormalities at T12. Results: The cohort included 128 patients at T0, 133 at T3, 61 at T12, and 34 at T24. The GG medians were 8.44%, 0.14%, 0.13% and 0.12% at T0, T3, T12 and T24. The Ret medians were 2.79% at T0 and 0.14% at the following time points. All Δ significantly differed from 0, except between T12 and T24. The GG and VRSs at T0 achieved AUCs of 0.73 as predictors of functional impairment, and area under the curves (AUCs) of 0.71 and 0.72 for the persistence of CT abnormalities at T12. Conclusions: CALIPER accurately quantified the CT changes up to the 24-month follow-up. Resolution mostly occurred at T3, and Ret persisting at T12 was almost unchanged at T24. The baseline parameters were good predictors of functional impairment at T3 and of abnormalities’ persistence at T12. Full article
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12 pages, 11620 KiB  
Article
Use of Dynamic Spinal Instruments (Dynesys) in Adult Spinal Deformities According to Silva–Lenke and Berjano–Lamartina Classifications
by Mehmet Yigit Akgun, Ege Anil Ucar, Cemil Cihad Gedik, Caner Gunerbuyuk, Mehdi Hekimoglu, Onder Cerezci, Tunc Oktenoglu, Mehdi Sasani, Ozkan Ates and Ali Fahir Ozer
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050549 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Background: Adult spinal deformities (ASD) present complex challenges in spine surgery. The diverse nature of these deformities requires a comprehensive understanding of their classification and treatment options. Traditional approaches, such as fusion and rigid stabilization are associated with complications, including screw loosening, breakage, [...] Read more.
Background: Adult spinal deformities (ASD) present complex challenges in spine surgery. The diverse nature of these deformities requires a comprehensive understanding of their classification and treatment options. Traditional approaches, such as fusion and rigid stabilization are associated with complications, including screw loosening, breakage, proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK), and pseudoarthrosis. Dynamic stabilization techniques have emerged as promising alternatives, to reduce these complications and preserve spinal motion. Objective: This study investigated the effectiveness of dynamic stabilization using the Dynesys system in the surgical treatment of adult degenerative spinal deformities, with a particular emphasis on their classification. Methods: ASDs were classified according to the Berjano–Lamartina (BL) and Silva–Lenke (SL) classifications. We analyzed the efficacy of the Dynesys system in enhancing sagittal balance, radiological parameters, and clinical outcomes in this context. Results: Dynamic stabilization of patients with ASDs using the Dynesys system significantly improved the visual analog scale and Oswestry Disability Index scores and decreased the complication rates. Patients with BL types 2, 3, and 4 experienced a significant improvement in sagittal balance followed by sagittal vertical axis measurements (p = 0.045, p = 0.015, and p < 0.0001, respectively). Conclusion: The SL and BL classifications, which were originally developed for rigid spinal stabilization, can be applied in dynamic stabilization. Furthermore, dynamic stabilization using the Dynesys system can be used as an alternative to rigid stabilization in SL levels 2 and 3, and BL types 1, 2, and 3, and in some patients with type 4 ASDs. Full article
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12 pages, 2205 KiB  
Article
Fetal Left Ventricle Function Evaluated by Two-Dimensional Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography across Clinical Stages of Severity in Growth-Restricted Fetuses
by Carla Domínguez-Gallardo, Nuria Ginjaume-García, Johana Ullmo, Juan Parra, Ana Vázquez, Mónica Cruz-Lemini and Elisa Llurba
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050548 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) can result in adverse perinatal outcomes due to cardiac dysfunction. This study used 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography to assess left ventricle (LV) longitudinal strain across FGR severity stages. A prospective longitudinal cohort study measured global (GLS) and segmental LV longitudinal [...] Read more.
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) can result in adverse perinatal outcomes due to cardiac dysfunction. This study used 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography to assess left ventricle (LV) longitudinal strain across FGR severity stages. A prospective longitudinal cohort study measured global (GLS) and segmental LV longitudinal strain in FGR fetuses, with evaluations conducted at various time points. FGR was classified into subtypes based on published criteria using fetal weight centile and Doppler parameters. A linear mixed model was employed to analyze repeated measures and compare Z-score measurements between groups throughout gestational age. The study included 40 FGR fetuses and a total of 107 evaluations were performed: 21 from small for gestational age (SGA), 74 from the FGR stage I, and 12 from the FGR stage ≥ II. The results indicate that SGA and stage I FGR fetuses exhibit higher LV GLS than stages ≥ II. Throughout gestation, SGA and FGR stage I fetuses showed similar behavior with consistently better LV GLS values when compared to FGR stages ≥ II. No significant differences were observed in LV GLS strain behavior between SGA and FGR stage I. In conclusion, all FGRs show signs of early cardiac dysfunction, with severe cases demonstrating significantly a lower LV GLS when compared to mild cases, suggesting deterioration of cardiac dysfunction with progression of fetal compromise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology)
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15 pages, 463 KiB  
Systematic Review
Optimizing Palliative Pelvic Radiotherapy in Gynecological Cancers: A Systematic Review and Analysis
by Beatrice Anghel, Mihai-Teodor Georgescu, Crenguta Sorina Serboiu, Andreea Nicoleta Marinescu, Cătălin Aliuș, Dragoș-Eugen Georgescu, Bogdan Mocanu, Sabina Sucuri and Anca Daniela Stanescu
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050547 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Background: Palliative radiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing symptomatic gynecological cancers (GCs). This article aims to systematically review literature studies on palliative pelvic radiotherapy in cervical, endometrial, ovarian, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. The primary focus is centered around evaluating symptom relief, quality [...] Read more.
Background: Palliative radiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing symptomatic gynecological cancers (GCs). This article aims to systematically review literature studies on palliative pelvic radiotherapy in cervical, endometrial, ovarian, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. The primary focus is centered around evaluating symptom relief, quality of life (QOL), and toxicity in order to ascertain optimal radiotherapy regimens. Methodology: For this thorough review, we mainly relied on Medline to gather papers published until November 2023. Selected studies specifically detailed symptomatology and QOL responses in palliative pelvic radiotherapy used for GCs. Results: Thirty-one studies, mostly retrospective studies and those lacking standardized outcome measures, showed varied responses. Encouraging outcomes were noted in managing hemorrhage (55%) and pain control (70%). However, comprehensively assessing overall symptom response rates and toxicity remained challenging. Investigations into 10 Gy fractionation revealed benefits in addressing tumor-related bleeding and pain in female genital tract cancers. Conclusions: Palliative pelvic radiotherapy effectively manages symptomatic GCs. Nonetheless, unresolved dosing and fractionation considerations warrant further investigation. Embracing modern therapies alongside radiotherapy offers improved symptom control, emphasizing the importance of selecting suitable patients for successful GC palliation interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Radiotherapy in Oncology: 2nd Edition)
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14 pages, 1062 KiB  
Article
Enterobacterales Biofilm-Specific Genes and Antimicrobial and Anti-Inflammatory Biomarkers in the Blood of Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease
by Agne Giedraitiene, Vacis Tatarunas, Kornelija Kaminskaite, Ugne Meskauskaite, Svitlana Boieva, Yu Ajima, Ieva Ciapiene, Audrone Veikutiene, Vaidotas Zvikas, Nora Kupstyte-Kristapone, Valdas Jakstas, Dalia Luksiene, Abdonas Tamosiunas and Vaiva Lesauskaite
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050546 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 638
Abstract
Background: Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the most prevalent type of cardiovascular disease. The main cause of IHD is atherosclerosis, which is a multifactorial inflammatory disease of blood vessels. Studies show that bacteria might have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis [...] Read more.
Background: Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the most prevalent type of cardiovascular disease. The main cause of IHD is atherosclerosis, which is a multifactorial inflammatory disease of blood vessels. Studies show that bacteria might have a significant impact on the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and plaque rupture. This study aimed to evaluate the complexity of interactions between bacteria and the human body concerning metabolites and bacterial genes in patients with ischemic heart disease. Methods: Bacterial 16S rDNA and wcaF, papC, and sdhC genes were detected in whole blood using a real-time PCR methodology. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the concentration of the LL-37 protein. An analysis of ARA in blood plasma was performed. Results: Bacterial 16S rDNA was detected in 31% of the study patients, and the genes wcaF and sdhC in 20%. Enterobacterales genes were detected more frequently in patients younger than 65 years than in patients aged 65 years and older (p = 0.018) and in patients with type 2 diabetes (p = 0.048). Concentrations of the human antimicrobial peptide LL-37 and 12S-HETE concentrations were determined to be higher if patients had 16S rDNA and biofilm-specific genes. Conclusions: The results of this study enhance the understanding that Enterobacterales bacteria may participate in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and IHD. Bacterial DNA and host metabolites in higher concentrations appear to be detected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease)
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11 pages, 628 KiB  
Article
On the Dependence of the Critical Success Index (CSI) on Prevalence
by Gashirai K. Mbizvo and Andrew J. Larner
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050545 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
The critical success index (CSI) is an established metric used in meteorology to verify the accuracy of weather forecasts. It is defined as the ratio of hits to the sum of hits, false alarms, and misses. Translationally, CSI has gained popularity as a [...] Read more.
The critical success index (CSI) is an established metric used in meteorology to verify the accuracy of weather forecasts. It is defined as the ratio of hits to the sum of hits, false alarms, and misses. Translationally, CSI has gained popularity as a unitary outcome measure in various clinical situations where large numbers of true negatives may influence the interpretation of other, more traditional, outcome measures, such as specificity (Spec) and negative predictive value (NPV), or when unified interpretation of positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity (Sens) is needed. The derivation of CSI from measures including PPV has prompted questions as to whether and how CSI values may vary with disease prevalence (P), just as PPV estimates are dependent on P, and hence whether CSI values are generalizable between studies with differing prevalences. As no detailed study of the relation of CSI to prevalence has been undertaken hitherto, the dataset of a previously published test accuracy study of a cognitive screening instrument was interrogated to address this question. Three different methods were used to examine the change in CSI across a range of prevalences, using both the Bayes formula and equations directly relating CSI to Sens, PPV, P, and the test threshold (Q). These approaches showed that, as expected, CSI does vary with prevalence, but the dependence differs according to the method of calculation that is adopted. Bayesian rescaling of both Sens and PPV generates a concave curve, suggesting that CSI will be maximal at a particular prevalence, which may vary according to the particular dataset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Laboratory Medicine)
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28 pages, 1657 KiB  
Review
Radiographic Imaging for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients with Skeletal Class III Malocclusion
by Zhuoying Li, Kuo Feng Hung, Qi Yong H. Ai, Min Gu, Yu-xiong Su and Zhiyi Shan
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050544 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 907
Abstract
Skeletal Class III malocclusion is one type of dentofacial deformity that significantly affects patients’ facial aesthetics and oral health. The orthodontic treatment of skeletal Class III malocclusion presents challenges due to uncertainties surrounding mandibular growth patterns and treatment outcomes. In recent years, disease-specific [...] Read more.
Skeletal Class III malocclusion is one type of dentofacial deformity that significantly affects patients’ facial aesthetics and oral health. The orthodontic treatment of skeletal Class III malocclusion presents challenges due to uncertainties surrounding mandibular growth patterns and treatment outcomes. In recent years, disease-specific radiographic features have garnered interest from researchers in various fields including orthodontics, for their exceptional performance in enhancing diagnostic precision and treatment effect predictability. The aim of this narrative review is to provide an overview of the valuable radiographic features in the diagnosis and management of skeletal Class III malocclusion. Based on the existing literature, a series of analyses on lateral cephalograms have been concluded to identify the significant variables related to facial type classification, growth prediction, and decision-making for tooth extractions and orthognathic surgery in patients with skeletal Class III malocclusion. Furthermore, we summarize the parameters regarding the inter-maxillary relationship, as well as different anatomical structures including the maxilla, mandible, craniofacial base, and soft tissues from conventional and machine learning statistical models. Several distinct radiographic features for Class III malocclusion have also been preliminarily observed using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Full article
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19 pages, 3213 KiB  
Article
An Empirical Evaluation of a Novel Ensemble Deep Neural Network Model and Explainable AI for Accurate Segmentation and Classification of Ovarian Tumors Using CT Images
by Ashwini Kodipalli, Steven L. Fernandes and Santosh Dasar
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050543 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 698
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide among the female population. Early diagnosis is crucial for patient treatment. In this work, our main objective is to accurately detect and classify ovarian cancer. To achieve this, two datasets are considered: [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide among the female population. Early diagnosis is crucial for patient treatment. In this work, our main objective is to accurately detect and classify ovarian cancer. To achieve this, two datasets are considered: CT scan images of patients with cancer and those without, and biomarker (clinical parameters) data from all patients. We propose an ensemble deep neural network model and an ensemble machine learning model for the automatic binary classification of ovarian CT scan images and biomarker data. The proposed model incorporates four convolutional neural network models: VGG16, ResNet 152, Inception V3, and DenseNet 101, with transformers applied for feature extraction. These extracted features are fed into our proposed ensemble multi-layer perceptron model for classification. Preprocessing and CNN tuning techniques such as hyperparameter optimization, data augmentation, and fine-tuning are utilized during model training. Our ensemble model outperforms single classifiers and machine learning algorithms, achieving a mean accuracy of 98.96%, a precision of 97.44%, and an F1-score of 98.7%. We compared these results with those obtained using features extracted by the UNet model, followed by classification with our ensemble model. The transformer demonstrated superior performance in feature extraction over the UNet, with a mean Dice score and mean Jaccard score of 0.98 and 0.97, respectively, and standard deviations of 0.04 and 0.06 for benign tumors and 0.99 and 0.98 with standard deviations of 0.01 for malignant tumors. For the biomarker data, the combination of five machine learning models—KNN, logistic regression, SVM, decision tree, and random forest—resulted in an improved accuracy of 92.8% compared to single classifiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Generative AI and Deep Learning in Medical Diagnostics)
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39 pages, 1903 KiB  
Review
Ultrasound Image Analysis with Vision Transformers—Review
by Majid Vafaeezadeh, Hamid Behnam and Parisa Gifani
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050542 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Ultrasound (US) has become a widely used imaging modality in clinical practice, characterized by its rapidly evolving technology, advantages, and unique challenges, such as a low imaging quality and high variability. There is a need to develop advanced automatic US image analysis methods [...] Read more.
Ultrasound (US) has become a widely used imaging modality in clinical practice, characterized by its rapidly evolving technology, advantages, and unique challenges, such as a low imaging quality and high variability. There is a need to develop advanced automatic US image analysis methods to enhance its diagnostic accuracy and objectivity. Vision transformers, a recent innovation in machine learning, have demonstrated significant potential in various research fields, including general image analysis and computer vision, due to their capacity to process large datasets and learn complex patterns. Their suitability for automatic US image analysis tasks, such as classification, detection, and segmentation, has been recognized. This review provides an introduction to vision transformers and discusses their applications in specific US image analysis tasks, while also addressing the open challenges and potential future trends in their application in medical US image analysis. Vision transformers have shown promise in enhancing the accuracy and efficiency of ultrasound image analysis and are expected to play an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions using ultrasound imaging as technology progresses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Deep Learning in Medical Ultrasound)
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12 pages, 392 KiB  
Article
Exploration of Preliminary Objective Triage by Menopause Score and CA 125 Result Prior to Accelerating Fast-Track Booking for Suspected Ovarian Cancer—A Role for the Pathway Navigator?
by Robert Woolas, Lisa Young, Dirk Brinkmann, Francis Gardner, Richard Hadwin, Thomas Woolas and Natalia Povolotskaya
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050541 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 634
Abstract
The 28-days-to-diagnosis pathway is the current expected standard of care for women with symptoms of ovarian cancer in the UK. However, the anticipated conversion rate of symptoms to cancer is only 3%, and use of the pathway is increasing. A rapid triage at [...] Read more.
The 28-days-to-diagnosis pathway is the current expected standard of care for women with symptoms of ovarian cancer in the UK. However, the anticipated conversion rate of symptoms to cancer is only 3%, and use of the pathway is increasing. A rapid triage at the moment of receipt of the referral might allow resources to be allocated more appropriately. In secondary care, multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) use the risk of malignancy index (RMI) score, (multiply menopausal status pre = 1 or post = 3 × ultrasound score = 0 − 3 × the CA 125 level), using a score of >200, to triage urgency and management in possible ovarian cancer cases. The most powerful determinant of the RMI score variables is CA 125 level, an objective number. Could a simple modification of the RMI score retain a high sensitivity for cancer whilst improving specificity and, consequently, decrease the morbidity of false-positive classification? To test this hypothesis, a retrospective evaluation of an ovarian two-week-wait telephone clinic of one consultant gynaecological oncologist was undertaken. Enquiry re menopause status was scored as one for pre- and three for postmenopausal or uncertain. CA 125 levels of >67 u/mL for premenopausal and >23 u/mL for postmenopausal women were used to precipitate urgent cross-sectional imaging requests and MDT opinions. These CA 125 cut thresholds were calculated using an assumption that the RMI imaging score, regardless of whether the result was available, could be three. We contemplate that women who did not exceed a provisional RMI score of >200 might be informed they are extremely unlikely to have cancer, removed from the malignancy tracker and appropriate follow-up arranged. One hundred and forty consecutive cases were analysed; 43% were deemed premenopausal and 57% postmenopausal. Twenty of the women had cancer, eighteen (90%) of whom had an RMI > 200. One hundred and twenty were benign, and only twenty-three (19%) classified as urgent cases in need of accelerated referral to imaging. In contrast, CA 125 > 35 u/mL, whilst retaining the sensitivity of 90%, misclassified 36 (30%) of the benign cases. It is possible that a telephone triage via a questionnaire determining menopausal status and the CA 125 result could offer a sensitivity for cancer of 90% and urgent expert review of under 20% of benign cases. This rapid initial telephone assessment could be presented by a trained pathway navigator, physician associate or nurse specialist. Substantial savings in NHS cancer services resources, anxieties all around and reduced patient morbidity may occur as a result. Full article
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0 pages, 981 KiB  
Article
Insights into the Relationship between Periodontitis and Systemic Sclerosis Based on the New Periodontitis Classification (2018): A Cross-Sectional Study
by Andreea Ciurea, Alina Stanomir, Petra Șurlin, Iulia Cristina Micu, Cristina Pamfil, Daniel Corneliu Leucuța, Simona Rednic, Giulio Rasperini, Andrada Soancă, Adrian Bogdan Țigu, Alexandra Roman, Andrei Picoș and Ada Gabriela Delean
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050540 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 561
Abstract
(1) Background: This study aimed to assess the periodontitis burden in systemic sclerosis patients and the possible association between them, and the degree to which some potential risk factors and two potential diagnostic biomarkers may account for this association. (2) Methods: This cross-sectional [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study aimed to assess the periodontitis burden in systemic sclerosis patients and the possible association between them, and the degree to which some potential risk factors and two potential diagnostic biomarkers may account for this association. (2) Methods: This cross-sectional study included a test group (systemic sclerosis patients) and a control group (non-systemic sclerosis patients). Both groups benefited from medical, periodontal examination and saliva sampling to determine the salivary flow rate and two inflammatory biomarkers (calprotectin, psoriasin). A systemic sclerosis severity scale was established. (3) Results: In the studied groups, comparable periodontitis rates of 88.68% and 85.85%, respectively, were identified. There were no significant differences in the severity of periodontitis among different systemic sclerosis severity, or in the positivity for anti-centromere and anti-SCL70 antibodies. Musculoskeletal lesions were significantly more common in stage III/IV periodontitis (n = 33, 86.84%) than in those in stage I/II (n = 1, 100%, and n = 3, 37.5%, respectively) (p = 0.007). Comparable levels of the inflammatory mediators were displayed by the two groups. There were no significant differences in calprotectin and psoriasin levels between diffuse and limited forms of systemic sclerosis. (4) Conclusions: Within the limitations of the current study, no associations between systemic sclerosis and periodontitis, or between their risk factors, could be proven. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Periodontal Disease: Diagnosis and Management)
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4 pages, 1299 KiB  
Interesting Images
Bilateral Renal Ectopia—Prenatal Diagnosis
by Nicolae Gică, Livia Mihaela Apostol, Iulia Huluță, Corina Gică, Ana Maria Vayna, Anca Maria Panaitescu and Nicoleta Gana
Diagnostics 2024, 14(5), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14050539 - 03 Mar 2024
Viewed by 666
Abstract
This report explores the diverse spectrum of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), ranging from asymptomatic presentations to the most severe form characterized by bilateral renal agenesis. Genitourinary anomalies, a prevalent subset within this domain, account for a significant proportion, [...] Read more.
This report explores the diverse spectrum of congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT), ranging from asymptomatic presentations to the most severe form characterized by bilateral renal agenesis. Genitourinary anomalies, a prevalent subset within this domain, account for a significant proportion, constituting 15–20% of anomalies identified during prenatal screening. An ectopic kidney is defined by the presence of an empty renal fossa and the displacement of the kidney from the lumbar region to alternative locations, with the pelvic region emerging as the most prevalent site. The reported case involves bilateral renal ectopia with unilateral duplex kidney. Initial suspicions of a renal anomaly arose during the first trimester, leading to a definitive diagnosis in the second trimester. The patient underwent regular monitoring every four weeks, ultimately delivering a healthy baby at term. This case underscores the frequency of renal anomalies, emphasizing that a considerable proportion remains asymptomatic. These findings contribute to a broader understanding of congenital renal anomalies, their varied manifestations, and the importance of vigilant prenatal screening for early detection and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Interesting Images)
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