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Diagnostics, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Clinical microbiology is experiencing the emergence of the syndromic approach of diagnosis. To [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Anthropomorphic Breast and Head Phantoms for Microwave Imaging
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040085
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
This paper deals with breast and head phantoms fabricated from 3D-printed structures and liquid mixtures whose complex permittivities are close to that of the biological tissues within a large frequency band. The goal is to enable an easy and safe manufacturing of stable-in-time
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This paper deals with breast and head phantoms fabricated from 3D-printed structures and liquid mixtures whose complex permittivities are close to that of the biological tissues within a large frequency band. The goal is to enable an easy and safe manufacturing of stable-in-time detailed anthropomorphic phantoms dedicated to the test of microwave imaging systems to assess the performances of the latter in realistic configurations before a possible clinical application to breast cancer imaging or brain stroke monitoring. The structure of the breast phantom has already been used by several laboratories to test their measurement systems in the framework of the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action TD1301-MiMed. As for the tissue mimicking liquid mixtures, they are based upon Triton X-100 and salted water. It has been proven that such mixtures can dielectrically mimic the various breast tissues. It is shown herein that they can also accurately mimic most of the head tissues and that, given a binary fluid mixture model, the respective concentrations of the various constituents needed to mimic a particular tissue can be predetermined by means of a standard minimization method. Full article
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Open AccessReview Quiescent-Interval Single-Shot Magnetic Resonance Angiography
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040084
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 15 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract
Lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a chronic, debilitating disease with a significant global burden. A number of diagnostic imaging techniques exist, including computed tomography angiography (CTA) and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CEMRA), to aid in PAD diagnosis and subsequent treatment planning.
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Lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a chronic, debilitating disease with a significant global burden. A number of diagnostic imaging techniques exist, including computed tomography angiography (CTA) and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography (CEMRA), to aid in PAD diagnosis and subsequent treatment planning. Due to concerns of renal toxicity or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) for iodinated and gadolinium-based contrasts, respectively, a number of non-enhanced MRA (NEMRA) protocols are being increasingly used in PAD diagnosis. These techniques, including time of flight and phase contrast MRA, have previously demonstrated poor image quality, long acquisition times, and/or susceptibility to artifacts when compared to existing contrast-enhanced techniques. In recent years, Quiescent-Interval Single-Shot (QISS) MRA has been developed to overcome these limitations in NEMRA methods, with promising results. Here, we review the various screening and diagnostic tests currently used for PAD. The various NEMRA protocols are discussed, followed by a comprehensive review of the literature on QISS MRA to date. A particular emphasis is placed on QISS MRA feasibility studies and studies comparing the diagnostic accuracy and image quality of QISS MRA versus other diagnostic imaging techniques in PAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging-Based Diagnostics in Interventional Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics of a Surgical Snare Using Microwave Energy
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040083
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 12 December 2018 / Accepted: 12 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
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Abstract
Currently, minimally invasive treatments that insert various treatment devices into an endoscope are actively being performed. A high-frequency (HF) snare is commonly used as an energy device inserted into an endoscope. However, using a high-frequency snare, problems usually occur, such as the obstruction
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Currently, minimally invasive treatments that insert various treatment devices into an endoscope are actively being performed. A high-frequency (HF) snare is commonly used as an energy device inserted into an endoscope. However, using a high-frequency snare, problems usually occur, such as the obstruction of the visual field caused by smoke. On the other hand, microwave heating produces less smoke and provides a better visual field. In this study, a snare using microwave energy inserted into an endoscope is proposed, and its characteristics are evaluated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Systemic Response of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Regulators in Campylobacter and Salmonella Patients
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040082
Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract
Campylobacters are major enteropathogens worldwide with a substantial financial burden. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic metalloendopeptidases with ability to modify immune response and shown to be upregulated in patients with several tissue destructive diseases, including infections. We measured here serum concentrations of MMP-8
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Campylobacters are major enteropathogens worldwide with a substantial financial burden. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic metalloendopeptidases with ability to modify immune response and shown to be upregulated in patients with several tissue destructive diseases, including infections. We measured here serum concentrations of MMP-8 and MMP-9 together with their regulators myeloperoxidase (MPO), human neutrophil elastase (HNE), and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 in 80 Campylobacter and 25 Salmonella patients as well as in 27 healthy controls. Paired serum samples were available for 73 and 23 patients, respectively. When the initial serum samples were compared to those from controls, both Campylobacter and Salmonella patients showed elevated concentrations of all biomarkers tested (p ≤ 0.037). In the follow-up samples, collected about 25 days afterwards, MMP-8 levels of Campylobacter patients had already turned to normal but all the other biomarkers still showed elevated, although from the initial levels significantly dropped, levels. For the follow-up samples of Salmonella patients, only MMP-9 and MPO levels were at a significantly higher level than in controls. It remains to be studied if the systematically enhanced neutrophil-derived proteolytic and oxidative stress, induced by Campylobacter infection as shown here and persisting for several weeks, is important for the development of late sequelae. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis of Bacterial Pathogens)
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Thermal Ablation via Microwave Tomography: An Ex Vivo Experimental Assessment
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040081
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 2 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
Thermal ablation treatments are gaining a lot of attention in the clinics thanks to their reduced invasiveness and their capability of treating non-surgical patients. The effectiveness of these treatments and their impact in the hospital’s routine would significantly increase if paired with a
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Thermal ablation treatments are gaining a lot of attention in the clinics thanks to their reduced invasiveness and their capability of treating non-surgical patients. The effectiveness of these treatments and their impact in the hospital’s routine would significantly increase if paired with a monitoring technique able to control the evolution of the treated area in real-time. This is particularly relevant in microwave thermal ablation, wherein the capability of treating larger tumors in a shorter time needs proper monitoring. Current diagnostic imaging techniques do not provide effective solutions to this issue for a number of reasons, including economical sustainability and safety. Hence, the development of alternative modalities is of interest. Microwave tomography, which aims at imaging the electromagnetic properties of a target under test, has been recently proposed for this scope, given the significant temperature-dependent changes of the dielectric properties of human tissues induced by thermal ablation. In this paper, the outcomes of the first ex vivo experimental study, performed to assess the expected potentialities of microwave tomography, are presented. The paper describes the validation study dealing with the imaging of the changes occurring in thermal ablation treatments. The experimental test was carried out on two ex vivo bovine liver samples and the reported results show the capability of microwave tomography of imaging the transition between ablated and untreated tissue. Moreover, the discussion section provides some guidelines to follow in order to improve the achievable performances. Full article
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Open AccessReview Imaging as a Personalized Biomarker for Prostate Cancer Risk Stratification
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040080
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 15 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
Biomarkers provide objective data to guide clinicians in disease management. Prostate-specific antigen serves as a biomarker for screening of prostate cancer but has come under scrutiny for detection of clinically indolent disease. Multiple imaging techniques demonstrate promising results for diagnosing, staging, and determining
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Biomarkers provide objective data to guide clinicians in disease management. Prostate-specific antigen serves as a biomarker for screening of prostate cancer but has come under scrutiny for detection of clinically indolent disease. Multiple imaging techniques demonstrate promising results for diagnosing, staging, and determining definitive management of prostate cancer. One such modality, multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI), detects more clinically significant disease while missing lower volume and clinically insignificant disease. It also provides valuable information regarding tumor characteristics such as location and extraprostatic extension to guide surgical planning. Information from mpMRI may also help patients avoid unnecessary biopsies in the future. It can also be incorporated into targeted biopsies as well as following patients on active surveillance. Other novel techniques have also been developed to detect metastatic disease with advantages over traditional computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, which primarily rely on defined size criteria. These new techniques take advantage of underlying biological changes in prostate cancer tissue to identify metastatic disease. The purpose of this review is to present literature on imaging as a personalized biomarker for prostate cancer risk stratification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
Open AccessArticle A Pilot Study to Non-Invasively Track PIK3CA Mutation in Head and Neck Cancer
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040079
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 21 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
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Abstract
Background: PIK3CA pathways are the most frequently mutated oncogenic pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), including virally driven HNCs. PIK3CA is involved in the PI3K-PTEN-mTOR signalling pathway. PIK3CA has been implicated in HNSCC progression and PIK3CA mutations may serve as
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Background: PIK3CA pathways are the most frequently mutated oncogenic pathway in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), including virally driven HNCs. PIK3CA is involved in the PI3K-PTEN-mTOR signalling pathway. PIK3CA has been implicated in HNSCC progression and PIK3CA mutations may serve as predictive biomarkers for therapy selection. Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) derived from necrotic and apoptotic tumour cells are thought to harbour tumour-specific genetic alterations. As such, the detection of PIK3CA alterations detected by ctDNA holds promise as a potential biomarker in HNSCC. Methods: Blood samples from treatment naïve HNSCC patients (n = 29) were interrogated for a commonly mutated PIK3CA hotspot mutation using low cost allele-specific Plex-PCRTM technology. Results: In this pilot, cross sectional study, PIK3CA E545K mutation was detected in the plasma samples of 9/29 HNSCC patients using the Plex-PCRTM technology. Conclusion: The results of this pilot study support the notion of using allele-specific technologies for cost-effective testing of ctDNA, and further assert the potential utility of ctDNA in HNSCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnosis)
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Open AccessReview Challenges and Progress with Diagnosing Pulmonary Tuberculosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040078
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
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Abstract
Case finding and the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) are key activities to reach the World Health Organization’s End TB targets by 2030. This paper focuses on the diagnosis of pulmonary TB (PTB) in low- and middle-income countries. Sputum smear microscopy, despite its many
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Case finding and the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) are key activities to reach the World Health Organization’s End TB targets by 2030. This paper focuses on the diagnosis of pulmonary TB (PTB) in low- and middle-income countries. Sputum smear microscopy, despite its many limitations, remains the primary diagnostic tool in peripheral health facilities; however, this is being replaced by molecular diagnostic techniques, particularly Xpert MTB/RIF, which allows a bacteriologically confirmed diagnosis of TB along with information about whether or not the organism is resistant to rifampicin within two hours. Other useful diagnostic tools at peripheral facilities include chest radiography, urine lipoarabinomannan (TB-LAM) in HIV-infected patients with advanced immunodeficiency, and the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (TB-LAMP) test which may be superior to smear microscopy. National Reference Laboratories work at a higher level, largely performing culture and phenotypic drug susceptibility testing which is complemented by genotypic methods such as line probe assays for detecting resistance to isoniazid, rifampicin, and second-line drugs. Tuberculin skin testing, interferon gamma release assays, and commercial serological tests are not recommended for the diagnosis of active TB. Linking diagnosis to treatment and care is often poor, and this aspect of TB management needs far more attention than it currently receives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Treatment of Tuberculosis)
Open AccessArticle Innovative DendrisChips® Technology for a Syndromic Approach of In Vitro Diagnosis: Application to the Respiratory Infectious Diseases
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040077
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 November 2018 / Published: 11 November 2018
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Abstract
Clinical microbiology is experiencing the emergence of the syndromic approach of diagnosis. This paradigm shift will require innovative technologies to detect rapidly, and in a single sample, multiple pathogens associated with an infectious disease. Here, we report on a multiplex technology based on
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Clinical microbiology is experiencing the emergence of the syndromic approach of diagnosis. This paradigm shift will require innovative technologies to detect rapidly, and in a single sample, multiple pathogens associated with an infectious disease. Here, we report on a multiplex technology based on DNA-microarray that allows detecting and discriminating 11 bacteria implicated in respiratory tract infection. The process requires a PCR amplification of bacterial 16S rDNA, a 30 min hybridization step on species-specific oligoprobes covalently linked on dendrimers coated glass slides (DendriChips®) and a reading of the slides by a dedicated laser scanner. A diagnostic result is delivered in about 4 h as a predictive value of presence/absence of pathogens using a decision algorithm based on machine-learning method, which was constructed from hybridization profiles of known bacterial and clinical isolated samples and which can be regularly enriched with hybridization profiles from clinical samples. We demonstrated that our technology converged in more than 95% of cases with the microbiological culture for bacteria detection and identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section In Vitro Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle Retrospective Side Effect Profiling of the Metastatic Melanoma Combination Therapy Ipilimumab-Nivolumab Using Adverse Event Data
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040076
Received: 12 October 2017 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract
Recent studies suggest that combining nivolumab with ipilimumab is a more effective treatment for melanoma patients, compared to using ipilimumab or nivolumab alone. However, treatment with these immunotherapeutic agents is frequently associated with increased risk of toxicity, and (auto-) immune-related adverse events. The
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Recent studies suggest that combining nivolumab with ipilimumab is a more effective treatment for melanoma patients, compared to using ipilimumab or nivolumab alone. However, treatment with these immunotherapeutic agents is frequently associated with increased risk of toxicity, and (auto-) immune-related adverse events. The precise pathophysiologic mechanisms of these events are not yet clear, and evidence from clinical trials and translational studies remains limited. Our retrospective analysis of ~7700 metastatic melanoma patients treated with ipilimumab and/or nivolumab from the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) demonstrates that the identified immune-related reactions are specific to ipilimumab and/or nivolumab, and that when the two agents are administered together, their safety profile combines reactions from each drug alone. While more prospective studies are needed to characterize the safety of ipilimumab and nivolumab, the present work constitutes perhaps the first effort to examine the safety of these drugs and their combination based on computational evidence from real world post marketing data. Full article
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Open AccessReview Liquid Biopsy in Gastrointestinal Cancers
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040075
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 24 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 29 October 2018
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Abstract
Liquid biopsy is the sampling of any biological fluid in an effort to enrich and analyze a tumor’s genetic material. Peripheral blood remains the most studied liquid biopsy material, with circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) allowing the examination and
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Liquid biopsy is the sampling of any biological fluid in an effort to enrich and analyze a tumor’s genetic material. Peripheral blood remains the most studied liquid biopsy material, with circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) allowing the examination and longitudinal monitoring of a tumors genetic landscape. With applications in cancer screening, prognostic stratification, therapy selection and disease surveillance, liquid biopsy represents an exciting new paradigm in the field of cancer diagnostics and offers a less invasive and more comprehensive alternative to conventional tissue biopsy. Here, we examine liquid biopsies in gastrointestinal cancers, specifically colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers, with an emphasis on applications in diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging-Based Diagnostics in Interventional Medicine)
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Open AccessCommunication Point-of-Care/Chairside aMMP-8 Analytics of Periodontal Diseases’ Activity and Episodic Progression
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040074
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 18 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Traditional periodontal disease diagnostics are based mainly on clinical examination and radiographs. They assess only past tissue destruction and provide no information on the current disease status or its future progression. The objective is to find out if an active matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8)
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Traditional periodontal disease diagnostics are based mainly on clinical examination and radiographs. They assess only past tissue destruction and provide no information on the current disease status or its future progression. The objective is to find out if an active matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8) point-of-care (PoC) test could provide a cost-effective way to get around this limitation. This cross-sectional study used 47 adolescents and 70 adults, who were clinically examined and their aMMP-8 PoC tested. The aMMP-8 PoC test results and patients’ treatment need, based on the community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN), were compared and analyzed using Fisher’s exact test. In terms of CPITN, the aMMP-8 PoC test gave no false positives for both adolescents and adults. All healthy patients got a negative test result, while a positive test result indicated periodontal treatment need correctly. Finally, there was a significant association between a patient’s aMMP-8 PoC test result and his/her treatment need (p = 0.001 for adolescents, p = 0.001 for adults). In conclusion, more accurate diagnostics of periodontal diseases’ activity and progression using an aMMP-8 PoC test may help to reduce oral health care costs by reducing patient overtreatment, improving patient outcome, and reducing the need for complex periodontal therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Point-of-Care Technologies in Diagnostics 2018)
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Open AccessArticle Challenges and Potential Solutions of Psychophysiological State Monitoring with Bioradar Technology
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040073
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 15 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
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Abstract
Psychophysiological state monitoring provides a promising way to detect stress and accurately assess wellbeing. The purpose of the present work was to investigate the advantages of utilizing a new unobtrusive multi-transceiver system on the accuracy of remote psychophysiological state monitoring by means of
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Psychophysiological state monitoring provides a promising way to detect stress and accurately assess wellbeing. The purpose of the present work was to investigate the advantages of utilizing a new unobtrusive multi-transceiver system on the accuracy of remote psychophysiological state monitoring by means of a bioradar technique. The technique was tested in laboratory conditions with the participation of 35 practically healthy volunteers, who were asked to perform arithmetic and physical workload tests imitating different types of stressors. Information about any variation in vital signs, registered by a bioradar with two transceivers, was used to detect mental or physical stress. Processing of the experimental results showed that the designed two-channel bioradar can be used as a simple and relatively easy approach to implement a non-contact method for stress monitoring. However, individual specificity of physiological responses to mental and physical workloads makes the creation of a universal stress-detector classifier that is suitable for people with different levels of stress tolerance a challenging task. For non-athletes, the proposed method allows classification of calm state/mental workload and calm state/physical workload with an accuracy of 89% and 83% , respectively, without the usage of any additional a priori information on the subject. Full article
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Open AccessInteresting Images 18 F-FDG PET/CT in Extensive Graft-Versus-Host Disease of the Gastrointestinal Tract Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040072
Received: 20 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) following stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a common complication in patients that have undergone allogenic SCT but rare in recipients of autologous SCT. Gastro-intestinal tract (GIT)-GVHD can be difficult to diagnose due to non-specific symptoms such as fever, nausea, diarrhea, and
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Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) following stem cell transplantation (SCT) is a common complication in patients that have undergone allogenic SCT but rare in recipients of autologous SCT. Gastro-intestinal tract (GIT)-GVHD can be difficult to diagnose due to non-specific symptoms such as fever, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting; a histological confirmation is therefore required. Here, we present the findings of a whole-body 18FDG PET/CT with extensive and multifocal involvement of the GIT in a patient that developed severe acute GVHD 93 days post autologous SCT for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. PET and CT findings included characteristic patterns of bowel inflammation with bowel wall thickening, mural stratification and enhancement with high FDG-uptake of the involved regions, as well as typical extra intestinal findings such as ascites, engorgement of the vasa recti and stranding of the mesenteric fat. Although, the above-mentioned findings are not exclusive to GIT-GVHD and can be seen in other settings of inflammatory bowel disease such as enterocolitis or Mb Crohn our findings were used for targeted biopsy that confirmed acute GIT-GVHD. This case demonstrates that 18F-FDG-PET/CT can be a valuable non-invasive tool in mapping the activity and distribution of intestinal GVHD and direct for targeted biopsies of involved regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
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Open AccessArticle Validation of a Novel Modified Aptamer-Based Array Proteomic Platform in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040071
Received: 15 August 2018 / Revised: 24 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 8 October 2018
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Abstract
End stage renal disease (ESRD) is characterized by complex metabolic abnormalities, yet the clinical relevance of specific biomarkers remains unclear. The development of multiplex diagnostic platforms is creating opportunities to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. SOMAscan is an innovative multiplex proteomic platform
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End stage renal disease (ESRD) is characterized by complex metabolic abnormalities, yet the clinical relevance of specific biomarkers remains unclear. The development of multiplex diagnostic platforms is creating opportunities to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. SOMAscan is an innovative multiplex proteomic platform which can measure >1300 proteins. In the present study, we performed SOMAscan analysis of plasma samples and validated the measurements by comparison with selected biomarkers. We compared concentrations of SOMAscan-measured prostate specific antigen (PSA) between males and females, and validated SOMAscan concentrations of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1), and FGFR4 using Enzyme-Linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The median (25th and 75th percentile) SOMAscan PSA level in males and females was 4304.7 (1815.4 to 7259.5) and 547.8 (521.8 to 993.4) relative fluorescence units (p = 0.002), respectively, suggesting biological plausibility. Pearson correlation between SOMAscan and ELISA was high for FGF23 (R = 0.95, p < 0.001) and FGFR4 (R = 0.69, p < 0.001), indicating significant positive correlation, while a weak correlation was found for FGFR1 (R = 0.13, p = 0.16). In conclusion, there is a good to near-perfect correlation between SOMAscan and standard immunoassays for FGF23 and FGFR4, but not for FGFR1. This technology may be useful to simultaneously measure a large number of plasma proteins in ESRD, and identify clinically important prognostic markers to predict outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnosis)
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Open AccessReview Selenium and Selenoproteins in Immune Mediated Thyroid Disorders
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040070
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
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Abstract
Selenium is an essential micronutrient that is required for the synthesis of selenocysteine-containing selenoproteins, processing a wide range of health effects. It is known that the thyroid is one of the tissues that contain more selenium. The “selenostasis” maintenance seems to contribute to
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Selenium is an essential micronutrient that is required for the synthesis of selenocysteine-containing selenoproteins, processing a wide range of health effects. It is known that the thyroid is one of the tissues that contain more selenium. The “selenostasis” maintenance seems to contribute to the prevention of immune mediated thyroid disorders. Prospective, observational studies, randomized, controlled studies evaluating selenium supplementation, and review articles that are available in Medline and PubMed have undergone scrutiny. The differences concerning methodology and results variability have been analyzed. Several authors support the idea of a potential efficacy of selenium (mainly selenomethionine) supplementation in reducing antithyroperoxidase antibody levels and improve thyroid ultrasound features. In mild Graves’ orbitopathy, selenium supplementation has been associated with a decrease of the activity, as well as with quality of life improvement. Future research is necessary to clearly understand the selenium supplementation biologic effects while considering the basal selenium levels/biomarkers, selenoprotein gene polymorphisms that may be involved, underlying comorbidities and the major clinical outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary Experience Applying the Guidelines for Reporting Reliability and Agreement Studies (GRRAS) Indicated Five Questions Should Be Addressed in the Planning Phase from a Statistical Point of View
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040069
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 17 September 2018 / Accepted: 18 September 2018 / Published: 24 September 2018
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Abstract
The Guidelines for Reporting Reliability and Agreement Studies (GRRAS) were proposed in 2011 to support transparent and accurate reporting. These studies may be conducted with the primary aim of estimating reliability and/or agreement itself, but are more often than not part of larger
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The Guidelines for Reporting Reliability and Agreement Studies (GRRAS) were proposed in 2011 to support transparent and accurate reporting. These studies may be conducted with the primary aim of estimating reliability and/or agreement itself, but are more often than not part of larger diagnostic accuracy studies, clinical trials, or epidemiological studies. As such, the study design may be compromised in terms of practicability issues, preventing the collection of sufficient results. We presented an example from a consultancy with a difficult mission and discussed five questions that concern the very nature of such a study (agreement vs. reliability; intra- vs. interrater), the rater population, explanatory factors in a multivariable model, and the statistical analysis strategy. Discussion of such basic methodological and statistical questions must take place before an investigation is started in order to ensure adequate data collection, to predict possible complications in the study, to plan sufficient statistical analyses, and to request timely assistance from an experienced statistician. GRRAS and its accompanying checklist of 15 items proved to be most helpful. Hopefully, our commentary will help improve the planning of agreement and reliability studies, which, in turn, will then be more focused, more appropriate, and more easily reported using GRRAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
Open AccessViewpoint Liquid Biopsy Potential Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer
Diagnostics 2018, 8(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics8040068
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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Abstract
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in men worldwide with an incidence of 14.8% and a mortality of 6.6%. Shortcomings in comprehensive medical check-ups in low- and middle-income countries lead to delayed detection of PCa and are causative of high
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Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in men worldwide with an incidence of 14.8% and a mortality of 6.6%. Shortcomings in comprehensive medical check-ups in low- and middle-income countries lead to delayed detection of PCa and are causative of high numbers of advanced PCa cases at first diagnosis. The performance of available biomarkers is still insufficient and limited applicability, including logistical and financial burdens, impedes comprehensive implementation into health care systems. There is broad agreement on the need of new biomarkers to improve (i) early detection of PCa, (ii) risk stratification, (iii) prognosis, and (iv) treatment monitoring. This review focuses on liquid biopsy tests distinguishing high-grade significant (Gleason score (GS) ≥ 7) from low-grade indolent PCa. Available biomarkers still lack performance in risk stratification of biopsy naïve patients. However, biomarkers with highly negative predictive values may help to reduce unnecessary biopsies. Risk calculators using integrative scoring systems clearly improve decision-making for invasive prostate biopsy. Emerging biomarkers have the potential to substitute PSA and improve the overall performance of risk calculators. Until then, PSA should be used and may be replaced whenever enough evidence has accumulated for better performance of a new biomarker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnostic Biomarkers in Prostate Cancer)
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