Background and objective: Medical thoracoscopy (MT) is useful for the management of pleural disease. Rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) of transbronchial needle aspirates proved to be useful during bronchoscopy. We aimed to evaluate the diagnostic performance of ROSE of MT biopsy specimens and thoracoscopists' impression of the macroscopic appearance and assess the intermodality agreement between ROSE and final histopathologic diagnosis. Methods: Sixty two patients with exudative pleural effusions further investigated with MT were enrolled. MT was performed under local anaesthesia and conscious sedation, using the rigid pleuroscope. ROSE with the Hemacolor rapid staining method of the biopsy specimens was performed. Thoracoscopists' impression of the macroscopic appearance was recorded. The final diagnosis was established following histopathological examination. Results: Thoracoscopic pleural biopsies were diagnosed in 61 patients (98.4%). Group A (n = 25) consisted of patients with malignancy and group B (n = 37) with benign disorders. Area under the curve of ROSE for the diagnosis of malignancy was 0.86 (95% CI: 0.76-0.96, P < 0.001), with a sensitivity of 79.17%, specificity of 94.59%, diagnostic accuracy of 88.5%, positive predictive value of 90.5% and negative predictive value of 87.5%. Intermodality agreement between ROSE and histopathology was good (κ ± SE = 0.615 ± 0.084, P < 0.001). Area under the curve of the thoracoscopists' impression of macroscopic appearance was 0.72 (95% CI: 0.58-0.85, P = 0.001), with a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 44.7%, positive predictive value of 53.33% and negative predictive value of 100%. Conclusion: Rapid on-site evaluation during MT was found to have high accuracy for predicting malignancy. ROSE can provide the thoracoscopist with an on-site
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with an increased risk of cardiac and overall mortality. Restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm is of paramount importance if it can be accomplished without the use of antiarrhythmic drugs. Catheter ablation has evolved into a well-established treatment option for patients with symptomatic, drug-refractory AF. Ablation strategies which target the pulmonary veins are the cornerstone of AF ablation procedures, irrespective of the AF type. Ablation strategies in the setting of persistent and long-standing persistent AF are more complex. Many centers follow a stepwise ablation approach including pulmonary vein antral isolation as the initial step, electrogram-based ablation at sites exhibiting complex fractionated atrial electrograms, and linear lesions. Up to now, no single strategy is uniformly effective in patients with persistent and long-standing persistent AF. The present study reviewed the efficacy of the current ablation strategies for persistent and long-standing persistent AF.
Multiple Myeloma (MM), the second most common hematologic malignancy, has been the target of many therapeutic advances over the past two decades. The introduction of novel agents, such as proteasome inhibitors, immunomodulatory drugs, and monoclonal antibodies, along with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT) in the current standard of care, has increased the median survival of myeloma patients significantly. Nevertheless, a curative treatment option continues to elude us, and MM remains an incurable disease, with patients relapsing even after achieving deep conventionally defined responses, underscoring the need for the development of sensitive methods that will allow for proper identification and management of the patients with a higher probability of relapse. Accurate detection of Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) from a bone marrow biopsy represents a relatively new approach of evaluating response to treatment with data showing clear benefit from obtaining MRD(-) status at any point of the disease course. As life expectancy for patients with MM continues to increase and deep responses are starting to become the norm, establishing and refining the role of MRD in the disease course is more relevant than ever. This review examines the different methods used to detect MRD and discusses future considerations regarding the implementation in day-to-day clinical practice and as a prospective primary endpoint for clinical trials.
Peak shaving applications provided by energy storage systems enhance the utilization of existing grid infrastructure to accommodate the increased penetration of renewable energy sources. This work investigates the provision of peak shaving services from a flywheel energy storage system installed in a transformer substation. A lexicographic optimization scheme is formulated to define the flywheel power set-points by minimizing the transformer power limit violations and the flywheel energy losses. Convex functions that represent the flywheel power losses and its maximum power are derived and integrated in the proposed scheme. A two-level hierarchical control framework is introduced to operate the transformer-flywheel-system in a way that handles prediction errors and modelling inaccuracies. At the higher level, a model predictive controller is developed that solves the lexicographic optimization scheme using linear programming. At the lower-level, a secondary controller corrects the power set-points of the model predictive controller using realtime measurements. A software platform has been developed for integrating the proposed controllers in an experimental setup to test their effectiveness in a realistic testbed setting, and the flywheel system characteristics are experimentally identified. Simulation and experimental results validate and verify the modelling, identification, control and operation of a real flywheel system for peak shaving services.
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