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Professor Richard Hobbs, Director of the NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, is appointed CBE for services to medical research, and receives the RCGP Discovery Prize.
Pressure-controlled intermittent coronary sinus occlusion improves the vasodilatory microvascular capacity and reduces myocardial injury in patients with STEMI.
BACKGROUND: Preliminary data suggest that pressure-controlled intermittent coronary sinus occlusion (PICSO) might reduce the infarct size (IS) in patients with anterior ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). However, the applicability of this therapy to patients with inferior STEMI and its exact mechanism of action is uncertain. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-six patients (27 anterior and 9 inferior) with STEMI underwent PICSO-assisted-primary percutaneous intervention (PPCI) and were compared with matched controls who underwent standard PCI (n = 72). Median age was 63 (55-70) years and 82% were male. Coronary microvascular status was assessed using thermodilution-derived index of microcirculatory resistance (IMR) and the vasodilatory capacity was assessed using the resistive reserve ratio (RRR). IS and microvascular obstruction (MVO) were assessed using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) within 48 h and 6 months of follow-up. At completion of PPCI, IMR improved significantly in PICSO-treated patients compared with controls in patients with either anterior (63.7 [49.8-74.6] vs. 35.9 [27.9-47.6], p
Rationale: Inflammation is a basic component of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. CD200 is an immune checkpoint known to control macrophage activation. CD200 recently emerged in the Framingham Heart Study and 2 other cohorts as being potentially relevant in CVD. The role of this pathway in CVD is unknown. Objective: We sought to examine the role of CD200 in atherosclerosis. Methods and Results: Using hypercholesterolemic ApoE-/- mice, we demonstrate that whole-body CD200 deficiency augments atherosclerotic lesion formation and vulnerability. Administration of a CD200-Fusion protein reduces neointima formation. Our data show that the CD200-CD200R pathway restrains activation of CD200R+ lesional macrophages, their production of CCR2 ligands, and monocyte recruitment in vitro and in vivo in an air pouch model. Loss of CD200 leads to an excessive accumulation of classical Ly6Chi monocytes and CCR2+ macrophages within the atherosclerotic aorta, as assessed by mass cytometry. Moreover, we uncover a previously uncharacterised effect of the CD200/CD200R pathway in limiting dysregulated monopoiesis and Ly6Chi monocytosis in hypercholesterolemic mice. Bone marrow chimera experiments demonstrate that the CD200-CD20R pathway enables two complementary and tissue-dependent strategies to limit atherogenesis: CD200 expression by bone-marrow derived cells limits systemic monocytosis, while CD200 expression by non-haematopoietic cells, e.g. endothelial cells, prevents local plaque growth. We show that CD200R signalling controls monopoiesis and macrophage activation through inhibiting phosphorylation of STAT1. Finally, CD200R expression on classical monocytes in peripheral blood of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is associated with a lower burden of CAD and a more favourable Virtual Histology plaque profile. Conclusions: The CD200 checkpoint is a key limiting factor for monopoiesis, monocyte-macrophage activation and recruitment in atherosclerosis with conserved features in human and mouse. It thus offers a novel potential therapeutic pathway to treat CVD.
Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a non-receptor kinase best known for its role in B lymphocyte development that is critical for proliferation, and survival of leukaemia cells in B cell malignancies. However, BTK is expressed in myeloid cells, particularly monocytes and macrophages where its inhibition has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, we explored the role of BTK on the migration of myeloid cells in vitro and in vivo. Using the zymosan induced peritonitis model of sterile inflammation we demonstrated that acute (1 h prior to zymosan) inhibition of BTK using a wide range of FDA (Ibrutinib and Acalabrutinib) and non-FDA approved inhibitors (ONO-4059, CNX-774, Olumatinib and LFM-A13) reduced neutrophil and monocyte recruitment. XID mice, which have a point mutation in the Btk gene had reduced neutrophil and monocyte recruitment to the peritoneum following zymosan challenge. To better understand the role of BTK in myeloid cell recruitment we investigated both chemotaxis and chemokine production in monocytes and macrophages. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of BTK signalling substantially reduced human monocyte and murine macrophage chemotaxis to a range of chemoattractants (complement C5a and CCL2). We also demonstrated that inhibition of BTK in tissue resident macrophages significantly decreases chemokine secretion by reducing NF-kB activity and Akt signalling. Our work has identified a new role of BTK in regulating myeloid cell recruitment via two mechanisms, 1) reducing monocyte/macrophages’ ability to undergo chemotaxis, and 2) reducing chemokine secretion, via reduced NF-kB activity in tissue resident macrophages.
Covered stents versus balloon angioplasty for failure of arteriovenous access: a systematic review and meta-analysis
IntroductionPatients with end-stage renal disease may require arteriovenous (AV) access in the form of arteriovenous fistulae (AVFs) or arteriovenous grafts (AVGs) for haemodialysis. AV access dysfunction requires intervention such as plain balloon angioplasty or covered stents to regain patency.AimTo systematically review and meta-analyse the patency outcomes of covered stents in failing haemodialysis AV access, compared with balloon angioplasty.MethodsThe review was first registered on the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (CRD42018069955) before data collection. We searched six electronic databases to identify relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) up until August 2020, without language restriction. Two reviewers assessed the suitability and quality of studies for inclusion using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines. We meta-analysed data using a random-effects model.ResultsWe included seven studies including 1147 patients in the systematic review, of which 867 had AVGs and 280 had AVFs. One study was an ongoing RCT. In the meta-analyses, we assessed patients with failing AVGs only. Overall risk of bias was moderate. Covered stents were associated with lower loss of patency versus angioplasty alone at 6, 12 and 24 months (OR 4.48, 95% CI 1.98 to 10.14, p<0.001; OR 4.07, 95% CI 1.74 to 9.54, p=0.001; OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.17 to 4.29, p=0.01, respectively). Covered stents afforded superior access circuit primary patency compared with angioplasty alone at 6 and 12 months (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.31 to 2.80, p<0.001; OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.14 to 3.41, p=0.02, respectively). This was not significant at 24 months. There was no significant difference in loss of secondary patency between groups at 12 or 24 months (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.23, p=0.25; OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.154, p=0.34, respectively).ConclusionOur results support use of covered stents over angioplasty alone, at 6, 12 and 24 months in failing AVGs. Further clinical trials are warranted.
AbstractBackgroundAir travel may be associated with the spread of viruses via infected passengers and potentially through in-flight transmission. Given the novelty of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, transmission associated with air travel is based on what is known about the dynamics of transmission of other respiratory virus infections, especially those due to other coronaviruses and influenza. Our objective was to provide a rapid summary and evaluation of relevant data on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard aircraft, report important policy implications, and highlight research gaps requiring urgent attention.MethodsThis review is part of an Open Evidence Review on Transmission Dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. We searched LitCovid, medRxiv, Google Scholar, and the WHO Covid-19 database from 1 February 2020 to 27 January 2021 and included studies on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard aircraft. We assessed study quality based on five criteria and reported important findings.ResultsWe included 18 studies on in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2, representing 130 unique flights and two studies on wastewater from aircraft. The overall quality of reporting was low. Two wastewater studies reported PCR-positive SARS-CoV-2 samples, but with relatively high Cycle threshold values ranging from 36 to 40. The definition of an index case was very heterogeneous across the studies. The proportion of contacts traced ranged from 0.68% to 100%. In total, the authors successfully traced 2800/19729 passengers, 140/180 crew members, and 8/8 medical staff. Altogether, 273 index cases were reported, with 64 secondary cases. No secondary cases were reported in three studies, each investigating one flight. The secondary attack rate among the studies that followed up >80% of the passengers and crew (including data on 10 flights) varied between 0% and 8.2%. The included studies reported on the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, and symptomatic individuals. Viral cultures were performed in two studies, with 10 positive results reported. Genomic sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were performed in individuals from four flights, with the completeness of genomic similarity ranging from 81-100%.ConclusionCurrent evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted during aircraft travel, but the published data do not permit any conclusive assessment of the likelihood and extent. Furthermore, the quality of evidence from most published studies is low. The variation in study design and methodology restricts the comparison of findings across studies. Standardized guidelines for conducting and reporting future studies of transmission on aircrafts should be developed.
Background: The ROAdmap for MEntal health Research in Europe project aimed to create an integrated European roadmap for mental health research. Leading mental health research experts across Europe have formulated consensus-based recommendations for future research within the public mental health field. Methods: Experts were invited to compile and discuss research priorities in a series of topic-based scientific workshops. In addition, a Delphi process was carried out to reach consensus on the list of research priorities and their rank order. Three web-based surveys were conducted. Nearly 60 experts were involved in the priority setting process. Results: Twenty priorities for public mental health research were identified through the consensus process. The research priorities were divided into summary principles - encompassing overall recommendations for future public mental health research in Europe - and thematic research priorities, including area-specific top priorities on research topics and methods. The priorities represent three overarching goals mirroring societal challenges, that is, to identify causes, risk and protective factors for mental health across the lifespan; to advance the implementation of effective public mental health interventions and to reduce disparities in mental health. Conclusions: The importance of strengthening research on the implementation and dissemination of promotion, prevention and service delivery interventions in the mental health field needs to be emphasized. The complexity of mental health and its broader conceptualisation requires complementary research approaches and interdisciplinary collaboration to better serve the needs of the European population.
Experiences and perceptions of trial participants and healthcare professionals in the UK Frozen Shoulder Trial (UK FROST): a nested qualitative study
ObjectivesTo explore the experiences and perceptions of trial participants and healthcare professionals in the UK Frozen Shoulder Trial (UK FROST), a multicentre randomised controlled trial that compared manipulation under anaesthesia (MUA), arthroscopic capsular release (ACR) with a 12-week early structured physiotherapy programme (ESP) in people with unilateral frozen shoulder referred to secondary care.DesignNested qualitative study with semistructured interviews. We used constant comparison method to develop our themes.SettingThis qualitative study was nested within the UK FROST.Participants44 trial participants (ESP: 14; MUA: 15; ACR: 15), and 8 surgeons and 8 physiotherapists who delivered the treatments in the trial.ResultsTrial participants found UK FROST treatments acceptable and satisfactory in terms of content, delivery and treatment benefits. Participants in all arms experienced improvements in pain, shoulder movements, and function. Participants said they would choose the same treatment that they received in the trial.Surgeons and physiotherapists felt that the content and delivery of UK FROST treatments was not significantly different to their routine practice except for the additional number of physiotherapy sessions offered in the trial. They had mixed feelings about the effectiveness of UK FROST treatments. Both stressed the value of including hydrodilatation as a comparator of other treatment options. Physiotherapists raised concerns about the capacity to deliver the number of UK FROST physiotherapy sessions in routine clinical settings.Shared perceptions of trial participants, surgeons and physiotherapists were: (1) Pain relief and return of shoulder movements and function are important outcomes and (2) Adherence to exercises leads to better outcomes.ConclusionIn general, our findings indicated that trial participants, and surgeons and physiotherapists who delivered the treatments had positive experiences and perceptions in the UK FROST. Early qualitative investigations to explore the feasibility of delivering treatments in real-world settings are suggested in future trials in the frozen shoulder.Trial registration numberInternational Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Register, ID: ISRCTN48804508. Registered on 25 July 2014; Results
BACKGROUND: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic disease of the pulmonary vasculature that can lead to heart failure and premature death. Assessment of patients with PAH includes performing a 6-minute walk test (6MWT) in clinics. We developed a smartphone app to compute the walked distance (6MWD) indoors, by counting U-turns, and outdoors, by using satellite positioning. OBJECTIVE: The goal of the research was to assess (1) accuracy of the indoor 6MWTs in clinical settings, (2) validity and test-retest reliability of outdoor 6MWTs in the community, (3) compliance, usability, and acceptance of the app, and (4) feasibility of pulse oximetry during 6MWTs. METHODS: We tested the app on 30 PAH patients over 6 months. Patients were asked to perform 3 conventional 6MWTs in clinic while using the app in the indoor mode and one or more app-based 6MWTs in outdoor mode in the community per month. RESULTS: Bland-Altman analysis of 70 pairs of conventional versus app-based indoor 6MWDs suggests that the app is sometimes inaccurate (14.6 m mean difference, lower and upper limit of agreement: -133.35 m to 162.55 m). The comparison of 69 pairs of conventional 6MWDs and community-based outdoor 6MWDs within 7 days shows that community tests are strongly related to those performed in clinic (correlation 0.89), but the interpretation of the distance should consider that differences above the clinically significant threshold are not uncommon. Analysis of 89 pairs of outdoor tests performed by the same patient within 7 days shows that community-based tests are repeatable (intraclass correlation 0.91, standard error of measurement 36.97 m, mean coefficient of variation 12.45%). Questionnaires and semistructured interviews indicate that the app is usable and well accepted, but motivation to use it could be affected if the data are not used for clinical decision, which may explain low compliance in 52% of our cohort. Analysis of pulse oximetry data indicates that conventional pulse oximeters are unreliable if used during a walk. CONCLUSIONS: App-based outdoor 6MWTs in community settings are valid, repeatable, and well accepted by patients. More studies would be needed to assess the benefits of using the app in clinical practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04633538; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04633538.