Dahl, Aaron; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Sinha, Madhumita (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Objective: Effective physician‐patient communication is critical to the clinical decision making process. The informed consent process for any intervention can be one of the most important moments for effective physician‐patient communication in regards to outcome and liability. We studied parental recall of information provided during an informed consent discussion process prior to performance of emergency medical procedures in a pediatric emergency department of an inner city hospital with a large bi‐lingual population. Methods: Parent/child dyads undergoing emergency medical procedures were surveyed prospectively in English/Spanish, post‐procedure for recall of informed consent information. Logistic regression analysis was used; outcome variables were the ability to name a risk, a benefit, and an alternative to the procedure and predictors were language, education, and acculturation. Results: Fifty‐five parent/child dyads completed the survey. Logistic regression analysis showed that respondents with less than high school education were approximately 80% less likely to be able to name a risk or a benefit, while respondents with a high school education were approximately 24 times more likely to be able to name an alternative procedure. Conclusion: A gap in communication exists between physicians and patients during the consent taking; it is significantly impacted by socio‐demographic factors like education level, language and acculturation.

      Bala, Shruti; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Coonrod, Dean (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)

      Dulude, Alexandra; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Ramanathan, Ramesh (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Introduction: Thousands of people die from influenza or its complications each year despite the fact that it is one of the few vaccine preventable diseases. Immunocompromised cancer patients are among the most vulnerable to this infection and flu‐related complications, and therefore vaccination is highly recommended in these patients; however, current vaccination rates and attitudes towards vaccination remain unknown. We hypothesize that immunization rates are lower than the 100% recommendation rate, and hope to understand the reasoning behind the discrepancy. The purpose of this study is to assess cancer patient attitudes towards influenza vaccination in an effort to minimize barriers to vaccination and eventually increase vaccination rates in this immunocompromised population. Methods: Cancer patients enrolled in phase I clinical oncology trials at the Virginia G Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare were invited to participate in a voluntary survey. The 15‐item survey consisted of demographic information, knowledge regarding the flu vaccine, vaccination status after cancer diagnosis and while on treatment, and general attitudes towards vaccination. A total of 84 cancer patients completed the survey. Results were stratified by age, gender, education level, and vaccination status. As this was a descriptive study, no statistical analyses were performed. Results: A total of 84 (n=84) advanced cancer patients enrolled in phase I clinical oncology trials completed the survey. Results indicate that although 71% of patients received the vaccine prior to cancer diagnosis, only 58% of patients have received the vaccine since their cancer diagnosis, and only 48% have been vaccinated while on cancer treatment. Of those vaccinated since cancer diagnosis, 94% reported doctor recommendation of the vaccine and most vaccinate to protect themselves from the virus. Of those not vaccinated since cancer diagnosis, only 37% report their doctor recommends the vaccine and the majority avoid vaccination because they believe the vaccine can cause the flu, they do not feel at risk of infection, and they do not believe the vaccine is effective. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that although the CDC strongly recommends influenza vaccination in cancer patients due to the risk of secondary complications and even death in these immunocompromised individuals, vaccination rates remain low. Our data demonstrates that patients who receive a doctor recommendation for the vaccine are more likely to be vaccinated, but not all doctors recommend the vaccine. Furthermore, false information regarding the vaccine, its efficacy, and its ability to cause infection continues to deter patients from vaccination. Together, this information offers profound insight into the cancer patient population and suggests the need for increased physician and patient education regarding the benefits of annual influenza vaccination to improve vaccination rates and decrease influenza infection and complications in the future.

      Kim, Nathan; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Brachman, David (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)
      Significance: Contrast‐enhanced (CE) and Fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) MRI are current standard of care tools for delineating radiation treatment targets in high‐grade glioma (HGG) patients. However, in the setting of retreatment, tumor regrowth and non‐tumor therapy‐related inflammation, known as post‐treatment radiation effect (PTRE), have identical MRI appearances. As a result, FLAIR MRI can be an unreliable tool for treatment planning. Surgical biopsy can definitively distinguish recurrent tumors from PTRE but has many disadvantages, namely operative risk and cost. Dynamic Susceptibility‐weighted Contrast‐ Enhanced (DSC) MRI Perfusion can non‐invasively detect distinct characteristics of tumor and PTRE through measurements of relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV). PTRE exhibits decreased microvascular density, whereas tumor recurrence displays angiogenesis and microvascular proliferation. Thus, DSC‐MRI affords the opportunity to better define tumor burden within and possibly outside of these nonspecific regions. Objective: To assess the extent with which rCBV maps correlate with re‐radiation treatment plans in patients with recurrent tumor in order to identify potential differences in treatment planning. Design: This study enrolled 8 previously treated HGG patients presenting for re‐irradiation of suspected recurrent tumor at a single hospital on an IRB‐approved trial. All patients underwent DSC‐MRI and routine MRI imaging prior to re‐irradiation treatment planning, and underwent treatment as per routine clinical protocol. Following therapy, rCBV and radiation dose maps were overlaid on conventional MR to delineate differences in identified tumor burden. Results: Of the 8 patients, four rCBV images showed evidence of tumor outside of the RT planning volumes, while the other 4 showed fully treated tumor but with large volumes of uninvolved brain receiving radiation. Conclusion: DSC‐MRI better identified unique regions of potential tumor burden in recurrent HGG patients compared to conventional MRI and could be used to improve radiation treatment planning in re‐radiated patients.

      Ewbank, Clifton; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Dougherty, Jan; Lomay, Vicky (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Purpose: compare the Southwestern Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (SWICA), a novel tool for screening AI older adults in Arizona, with The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a commonly used memory screening tool, for comparison of cultural bias. Methods: Cultural bias was assessed by retrospectively comparing coded participant responses to 16 questions about their cultural context. Intrasample variation on MoCA and SWICA tests was controlled by using the participants as their own controls. Data were analyzed using a multiple regression general linear model on SPSS software. Results: Scores on the SWICA test were independently associated with English use in the home (Beta = .396, p = .026), years of education (Beta = 335, p = .027), and ease of learning (Beta = .361, p = .029), but not age (Beta = .366, p = .054). Scores on the MoCA test were independently associated with age (Beta = ‐.491, p = .001), English use in the home (Beta = ‐.320, p = .039) , and years of education (Beta = ‐.284. p = .030), but not ease of learning (Beta = ‐.267, p = .067). Conclusions: Scores were similar on both tests (t=3.934, p=.001), and were independently associated with English use in the home and years of education. SWICA was uniquely associated with ease of learning and MoCA was uniquely associated with age. This preliminary comparison demonstrates the usefulness of SWICA, and validation of this tool is recommended.

      Hickle, Kelli; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Shennib, Hani (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      In 2005, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded eligibility criteria for patients to receive carotid artery stenting (CAS) as an alternative to carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The goal of this study is to examine the outcomes of wider utilization of CAS and the sustainability of favorable outcomes reported in pre-marketing FDA approval trials. A cohort of 169 patients undergoing either CEA or CAS, at two institutions with CMS approval, and experience in both procedures was retrospectively analyzed for outcomes and their determinants. From 2007 to 2012, patients underwent either CEA (n = 70) or CAS (n = 99) at one of two institutions selected for study. The two groups had similar baseline characteristics with the exception of more symptomatic patients in the CEA group (55.7% CEA vs. 17.2 % CAS; p < 0.001) and previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) (72.5% CEA vs. 39.4%; p < 0.001). Lesion characteristics between the two groups differed in terms of the presence of a thrombus (16.0% CEA vs. 2.02% CAS; p = 0.002), stenosis 2: 80% (69.6% CEA vs. 95.0% CAS; p < 0.001) and length of lesion 2: 2cm (70.6% CEA vs. 24.4% CAS; p < 0.001). Major adverse events within 30-days of the procedure were higher in the CAS group (0% CEA vs. 5.05% CAS; p = 0.077), but not statistically significant. Three of the five patients who suffered a major adverse event had a stroke; all three patients were 2:80 years old, asymptomatic, and had 2: 80% stenosis. Acute neurologic events, including strokes and TIAs, were higher in the CAS group (1.4% CEA vs. 12.1% CAS; p = 0.016). No myocardial infarction occurred in either group. Minor adverse events occurred in 49.5% of CAS and 7.1% of CEA patients (p < 0.001). When total minor adverse events were subdivided by event type and analyzed, only hemodynamic instability was significantly different between the CEA and CAS group (1.4% CEA versus 41.4% CAS; p < 0.001). Asymptomatic CAS patients with high-grade stenosis (2: 80%) had more hemodynamic instability (p < 0.001) compared to matched CEA patients. Hemodynamic instability in CAS procedures correlated with embolic protection device performance issues (p = 0.004), successful stent placement (p = 0.018), and post-stenting dilation (p < 0.001). Post-market, real-world utilization of CAS results in higher rates of neurologic events and hemodynamic instability. However, overall stroke rate was comparable to that reported in pre-marketing FDA approval trials. CEA or CAS can be offered with a stroke rate ≤3% at institutions with large experience. CEA should remain the procedure of choice for asymptomatic carotid stenosis, particularly in elderly patients. Hemodynamic instability is a minor, but important, adverse event associated with CAS and should be further investigated.

      Parsons, Christine; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Yaari, Roy; Dougherty, Jan (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-13)
      Memory screening in the community promotes early detection of memory problems, as well as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related illnesses, and encourages appropriate intervention. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a rapid and sensitive screening tool for cognitive impairment that can be readily employed at the clinical level, but little is known about its utility as a community screening tool. Also, little is known regarding the demographics of the population that presents for a community screen. The research aims to evaluate the demographics of the participants that attended community memory screens in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and to evaluate the prevalence of screen positives using the MoCA. It is hypothesized that cognitive impairment will be significantly prevalent in the screened population and that age and family history of dementia will correlate with the presence of cognitive impairment. The study methods involve descriptive analysis and application of statistical tests to evaluate for significant relationships between demographic variables and MoCA scores. The population (n=346) had a mean age of 72 (SD =10.7), was primarily female (70%), primarily Caucasian (68%) and 86% had greater than a high school education. A 58% prevalence of cognitive impairment was found in the population as defined by the MoCA. Increased age, male gender, and non‐Caucasian race correlated with lower MoCA scores. Lower education correlated with lower MoCA scores despite the inherent educational correction in the MoCA. Diabetes and a family history of AD were not significant factors. Although the number of true positives following methodical diagnosis is unknown, given the validity of the MoCA in discerning cognitive impairment, the screen was likely worthwhile and supports more routine use of community memory screens. Variables identified that were associated with increased cognitive impairment better describe the population at risk and can be utilized to focus future screening efforts.

      Hintzen, Calliandra; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Quan, Dan (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Renal stones (or “calculi”) are a relatively common condition, affecting up to 12 percent of people during their lifetime. Typical presentation of renal calculi is acute, intermittent flank pain, termed “renal colic”, which may radiate to the groin. Pain may be accompanied by hematuria, nausea, or vomiting.1 Acute renal colic is a common cause for presentation to the Emergency Department, accounting for an estimated 1 million emergency room visits annually in the United States.2 The severe pain associated with renal calculi requires immediate analgesia, and effective analgesia is associated with improved functional capacity after drug administration.3 In this trial, we compare the efficacy of IV ketorolac vs. IV ibuprofen for pain control in patients with renal colic in a three‐armed double‐blind prospective trial. Patients were randomized to one of three treatment groups, receiving parenteral infusions of either IV ibuprofen + morphine, IV ketorolac + morphine, or morphine monotherapy. Outcome of drug administration was measured by patients’ self‐assessment of pain on a verbal scale at 15 mins, 30 mins, 60 min, and 120 min after drug administration. We hypothesized that IV ibuprofen would provide effective, non‐opioid pain relief in the emergency setting and might have a lower incidence of adverse effects than ketorolac. Need for rescue analgesia (with 4 mg morphine) was observed as an indirect measure of analgesic efficacy. A total of 11 patients completed the study. There was no significant difference in area under the curve of pain score in any of the three treatment arms (p>0.4). The ibuprofen group demonstrated consistent improvement in pain over the course of 120 min of study, with 100% of the patients in that arm demonstrating downtrending pain scores. Though the sample size was too small to identify a statistically significant difference in need for rescue medication, there was a trend toward increased opioid in the ibuprofen group, with 50% of those participants receiving rescue analgesia with morphine. The sample size of this pilot study is inadequate to fully assess the analgesic efficacy of IV ibuprofen for renal colic. A trend toward improved pain control in the ibuprofen group was observed, with 100% of the patients in the ibuprofen arm reporting decreased pain after 120 minutes (as compared to 66% in the ketorolac arm and 75% in the placebo arm). Further study of efficacy and need for rescue analgesia is warranted.

      OShea, Michele; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Tang, Jennifer (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-13)
      Background and Significance: Both HIV and unintended pregnancies have been associated with adverse maternal, perinatal, and infant outcomes. Malawi is a country with both high HIV prevalence and rates of unintended pregnancy, where 13% of women aged 15‐49 years have HIV, and 41% of pregnancies are unintended. Research Question: The objectives of this study were to describe the most recent pregnancy intentions and family planning preferences of HIV‐infected and HIV‐uninfected postpartum Malawian women, and to assess whether HIV status is associated with fertility desire and knowledge of intrauterine contraception (IUC) and the subdermal contraceptive implant. Methods: We conducted a cross‐sectional analysis of the baseline characteristics of Malawian women enrolled in a prospective cohort study assessing postpartum contraceptive uptake and continuation. Women at a government hospital completed a baseline survey assessing reproductive history, family planning preferences, and knowledge of IUC and the implant. We used Pearson’s chi‐square tests to compare these parameters between HIV‐infected and HIV‐uninfected women. Modified Poisson regression was performed to assess the association between HIV status and fertility desire and knowledge about IUC and the implant. Results: Of 634 postpartum women surveyed, HIV‐infected women were more likely to report their most recent pregnancy was unintended (49% versus 37%, p=0.004). Nearly all women (97%) did not want a child in the next two years but HIV‐infected women were more likely to desire no more children (adjusted PR: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.33, 1.89). HIV‐ infected women were also less likely to know that IUC (adjusted PR 0.72; 95% CI: 0.61, 0.84) and the implant (adjusted PR 0.83; 95% CI: 0.75, 0.92) are safe during breastfeeding. Conclusion: Postpartum women strongly desire family spacing and many HIV‐infected postpartum women desire no more children, suggesting an important role for these long‐acting methods. Education about the efficacy and safety of IUC and the implant particularly during breastfeeding may facilitate postpartum use.

      Scotch, Allison; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Henry, Michael (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-13)
      Background. Rates of childhood obesity in the United States have risen dramatically in recent decades, with more than 31% of children currently classified as overweight or obese. This raises concerns about the effects of weight on outcomes for pediatric illness, including cancer. There is some evidence of poorer outcomes for pediatric leukemia patients who are overweight or obese, and studies in adults have suggested negative impacts of obesity in numerous cancer types. To date, there are no studies investigating outcomes in overweight and obese children with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Our hypothesis was that higher body mass index (BMI) at diagnosis is associated with increased risk for HL relapse. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 101 pediatric HL patients treated between 1980 and 2010 at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, a large pediatric oncology referral center in the Southwestern United States. Data was abstracted from electronic and paper medical charts as well as survival clinic follow‐up records. We performed logistic regression and conducted a survival analysis to test whether body mass index (BMI) at diagnosis was associated with time to disease relapse. For this pilot study, we conducted a primary analysis as well as several exploratory secondary analyses with the goal of generating hypotheses to be tested in future large studies of this population. Results. In the primary analysis comparing underweight and normal children to overweight and obese children, none of the patient characteristics – sex, race, age, clinical risk level, or radiation status – were significantly associated with BMI group. In the univariate analysis of HL relapse, children in the overweight/obese group had an increased unadjusted odds ratio of 1.58 (95% CI: 0.50‐5.28), but this was not statistically significant. Exploratory analyses categorizing BMI groups in various ways also suggested an association between increased BMI and risk for HL relapse, though this failed to reach statistical significance. No potential confounders were associated with HL relapse except radiation status (p=0.004), although we were unable to calculate an odds ratio due to a lack of patients in some subgroups. In the survival analysis, radiation was the only variable significantly associated with time to HL relapse. Kaplan‐Meier curves of relapse‐free survival time did not show a significant difference between BMI groups in the primary analysis, but secondary analyses suggested a nonsignificant trend toward decreased long‐term disease‐free survival in patients with higher BMI. Discussion. The relatively small sample size for this pilot study precluded demonstration of statistically significant differences in HL relapse risk or time to relapse between BMI groups. However, exploratory analyses suggested a trend toward increased risk for relapse and shorter disease‐free survival in patients with higher BMI, and these results merit further investigation in larger studies. Multi‐center collaborative studies will be required to attain sufficient sample sizes to accurately assess clinical prognosis in this patient population. Improving our understanding of how BMI affects pediatric cancer outcomes is an important step toward identifying patients at increased risk and determining how best to individualize treatment and monitoring plans for overweight and obese children.

      Akhtar, Shaan; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Krishnamurthi, Narayanan; Dhall, Rohit (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)
      Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is widely used and proven to be highly effective in helping alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Nevertheless, although high‐frequency DBS (>120 Hz) is initially effective in improving patients’ motor symptoms (mainly bradykinesia and tremors), many patients still develop gait disturbances, such as freezing of gait (FOG). Recent studies have reported that stimulation of the STN with low frequencies produce positive effects on gait disorders and reduces the number of FOG events. As research is being done to investigate how reduced DBS frequencies will affect gait and balance control, it is also important to understand what effects reduced DBS stimulation will have on their PD symptoms. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects that reduced DBS frequencies have on the severity of PD patients’ symptoms. The effects were studied in twelve PD patients (receiving DBS treatment) after reducing their DBS frequency. The varied DBS frequencies included: their clinically determined stimulation setting (CDS), a low stimulation setting (30 Hz), and an intermediate stimulation frequency (80 Hz). Symptom severity was measured using the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS‐III), and the Hoehn‐Yahr (HY) stage score. The results were supportive of what we expected; that as DBS frequencies are decreased from the patients’ clinically determined setting, the clinical symptoms worsened. This is an important observation which will allow the appropriate clinical decisions be made as we continue to investigate the effects of reduced frequency DBS on gait and posture control.
    • End-of-Life Care in American Indian Populations of the Southwest

      Law, Emily; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Trujillo, Michael (The University of Arizona., 2015-05-13)
      American Indians and American Native (AI/AN) populations have faced health disparities for a period of time. Although their incidence for some chronic diseases such as cancer, may be lower than the general population, they suffer from the poorest survival rates of any ethnic group. As the AI/AN populations age and live longer with chronic disease as seen with the rest of the general population, the discussion of palliative care is becoming more important. Currently, there is not a lot of literature about palliative care that is specific to the AI/AN population. The paucity of research serves as an impetus to learn and examine the need of available palliative care resources for the AI/AN populations. We present the analysis of twenty interviews with staff members of local hospice organizations and hospitals. The interview questions ask participants about their views and experiences in delivering palliative care. Through these discussions, we investigate the current needs, social and cultural barriers, and the infrastructure of how palliative care is accessed and delivered.

      Khan, Maria; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Garcia‐Filion, Pamela; Notrica, David (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)

      Carter, Ashley; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Rosenfeld, Amy (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-09)
      Background: Great strides have been made in childhood cancer treatment efficacy over the past two decades leading to improved survival rates, and now attention is being directed toward identifying and understanding complications that affect many of these patients as they reach adulthood. Obesity is a well‐recognized late effect that has many potential long‐term consequences some of which include cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and even death. Materials/Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review to determine the prevalence of obesity among survivors of pediatric brain tumors 5 years after the completion of therapy and compare this to the general pediatric population of the same age. We also sought to identify potential risk factors for the development of obesity among survivors of childhood brain tumors. Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) greater than the 95th percentile for age and gender as defined by the most recent Center for Disease Control growth curves. Results: We identified 96 patients who met our inclusion criteria, however only 43 had follow‐up data at 5 years after the completion of therapy to be included in final analysis. Of 43 patients, 5 (11.63%) were obese 5 years after completion of therapy. The CDC sites general population obesity rates in three age groups: 2‐5 years (8.4% obesity rate), 6‐ 11 years (18% obesity rate), 12‐19 years (21% obesity rate). Using CDC guidelines, we found no significant difference between the obesity rate among the brain tumor survivor population for each age group and the general population, p‐values of 0.865, 0.865, and 0.249 respectively. Conclusion: Our small sample size was likely not adequate to find a significant difference between the two groups or identify risk factors associated with the development of obesity. Larger studies are needed to further examine the risk of obesity among pediatric brain tumor survivors and to identify risk factors associated with this late effect.

      Fegas, Rebecca K.; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Driver, Jane (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Background: The International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is commonly used to predict survival and assign treatment. We explored whether markers of frailty add prognostic information to the IPSS in a cohort of older patients. Design, Setting, Participants: Retrospective cohort study of 114 MDS patients ≥ age 65 who presented to Dana‐Farber Cancer Institute between 2006‐2011 and completed a baseline quality of life questionnaire. Measurements: We evaluated questions corresponding to frailty and extracted clinical‐ pathologic data from medical records. We used Kaplan‐Meier and Cox proportional hazards models to estimate survival. Results: 114 patients consented and were available for analysis. The median age was 72.5 years, and the majority of patients were white ( 94.7%), male ( 74.6%), and over half had a Charlson comorbidity score < 2. Few patients ( 23.7%) had an IPSS score consistent with low‐risk disease and the majority received chemotherapy. In addition to traditional prognostic factors (IPSS score and history of prior chemotherapy or radiation), significant univariate predictors of survival included low serum albumin, Charlson score, the ability to take a long walk, and interference of physical symptoms in family life. The multivariate model that best predicted mortality included low serum albumin (HR=2.3; 95%CI: 1.06‐5.14), previous chemotherapy or radiation (HR=2.1; 95%CI: 1.16‐4.24), IPSS score (HR=1.7; 95%CI: 1.14‐2.49), and ease taking a long walk (HR=0.44; 95%CI: 0.23‐0.90). Conclusions: In this study of older adults with MDS, we found that markers of nutritional status and self‐reported physical function added important prognostic information to the IPSS score. More comprehensive risk assessment tools for older patients with MDS that include markers of function and frailty are needed.

      Alcantar, Eduardo C. Jr.; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Wen, Li (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)
      The multifaceted phenotype of the B‐lymphocyte has a remarkably effective role in peptide derived pathogen clearance and the prevention of re‐infection. This mechanism of host tolerant defense can be attributed to the actions of particular cellular subsets that arise from Blymphocytes: memory cells and high‐affinity antibody secreting plasma cells. Notably B cell propagation does not commence without the help of follicular helper T cells (TFH), a specialized subset of CD4+ cells. TFH cells are involved in the maturation and differentiation of Blymphocytes after antigen stimulation with a thymus‐dependent peptide. With this specific stimulus the formation of germinal centers (GCs) within B‐cell follicles of secondary lymphoid organs is induced and it is within these centers that TFH cells are able to interact with B cells to facilitate immunoglobulin affinity maturation, somatic hypermutation, and isotype class switching. Importantly, these respective processes play a fundamental role in manufacturing high‐affinity antibodies for effective pathogen clearance. Conversely, by means not well understood, the occurrence of spontaneous GC formation and the mass production of high affinity autoreactive antibodies have been shown to occur simultaneously with the development of autoimmune diseases. By the same token this incident is of particular interest and could play a role in the destruction of pancreatic insulin secreting β cells consequently driving the pathogenesis of type I diabetes. Our objective is to identify a possible correlation between the evolution of type I diabetes and the proliferatory behavior of B‐lymphocytes and TFH cells within developing GCs of non‐obese diabetic (NOD) mouse models.

      Wheeler, Kellie; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Panchanathan, Sarada Soumya (The University of Arizona., 2015-04)
      Background and Significance The prevalence of pediatric hypertension (HTN) has increased in the past several decades and is projected to continue to rise.2 Because normal blood pressure (BP) values in children depend on age, sex, and height, HTN is difficult to recognize. If not diagnosed during childhood, HTN poses several long‐term health risks.4,10 Electronic medical records (EMR) have tools to help recognize elevated BP in children. Unfortunately, many clinicians are unaware of these support tools, and pediatric HTN is underdiagnosed. Research Question This study is designed to improve the detection of HTN in children. Methods This is a prospective quality improvement (QI) study completed at a teaching institution with rotating physicians. We reviewed the charts of 1697 children aged 3 to 18 years who were seen by physicians for well‐child visits in March, June, July, August, November 2014, and January 2015. We recorded children with elevated BP and determined if HTN was recognized (noted in the assessment/plan or BP repeated). We used March as our baseline detection rate and completed five interventions, one before each month. All interventions consisted of PowerPoint presentations for medical personnel (physicians, nurses, medical assistants). The last two interventions consisted of a change in the EMR (BP percentiles displayed in a summary page) and signs hung in the clinic. Pre‐ and post‐intervention data underwent analysis, and we examined factors that may impact early detection of HTN. Results Of the 1697 children, 188 (11.1%) had elevated BP. The prevalence of elevated BP declined from the pre‐intervention month to post‐intervention months (March 13.5%, June 10.3%, July 9.7%, August 9.2%, November 12.5%). The prevalence returned to baseline by January (13.5%). The recognition of elevated BP improved from 25% in March to 44% and 55% in June and July, respectively. There was a decline in detection from July to August and November (55% to 41% and 35%). There was improved detection again from November to January (35% to 48%). Factors that increased the detection of HTN were obesity (χ2=22.9, p=0.000002), systolic BP >120 (χ2=8.1, p=0.0045), and a past history of elevated BP (χ2=5.1, p=0.024). Conclusions Our educational interventions improved the absolute detection of HTN. Repetition of interventions and involvement of the whole care team were important for sustaining the improvements, especially for a teaching institution with rotating physicians. Repeated interventions may not be necessary for private practice clinics. The improved detection correlated with a steady decline in the prevalence of HTN, probably related to blood pressures that were falsely elevated due to patient anxiety and incorrect cuff sizing. Obesity, systolic BP>120, and past history of at least one elevated BP significantly improved the detection. This QI project was not intended to determine the efficacy of each intervention, but rather to improve the detection rate as a whole. We cannot conclude whether the monthly changes were due to chance, but we can conclude that we improved the overall detection.

      Little, Colin; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Sarko, John (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Background and Significance: The i‐STAT point of care blood analyzer is a handheld device used for a variety of laboratory analyses in medical settings. Much research has been performed to evaluate its validity, but it has not been exhaustively tested in real‐world emergency department settings, despite its increasingly popular use in such settings. Methods: We retrospectively examined medical records at the Maricopa Integrated Health Systems Emergency Department to find 100 instances between February 2014 and September 2014 in which a patient had electrolyte testing performed on both the i‐STAT and in the central laboratory within a 60 minute timeframe. These data were examined using variance of means and Bland‐Altman graphing for equivalency. Results: We set the clinical equivalence threshold for each lab to be 5% of the mean normal value. That is, if the i‐STAT differed from central lab by less than 5% of the middle of the normal range (137‐145 for sodium, 5% of which is 7) then we consider them to be clinically equivalent. At this level we were unable to show clinical equivalence. In additional, all electrolytes tested showed small but significant bias between the i‐STAT and the central laboratory. Re‐examination of the data excluding all measurements more than 15 minutes apart showed similar findings. Conclusions: At this time we cannot show equivalency between the i‐STAT device and the central laboratory when used under real‐life emergency department conditions. More research is needed is to support or refute these findings.

      Sinha, Natasha; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Beyda, David (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-14)
      End‐of‐life (EOL) care and decision‐making in pediatrics is a challenging and complex aspect of patient care experienced by residents and physician attendings. Previous studies have evaluated determinants that contribute to physicians’ attitudes towards EOL care as well as preparedness of students and residents in EOL decision‐making. However, the determinants contributing to a physician’s ability to make such decisions and feel confident in addressing EOL issues are dynamic. Recognizing that decision‐making changes over time, identifying when these changes occur may demonstrate the need for educational interventions for medical students and residents early in their career to help prepare them for EOL decision‐making. A longitudinal assessment of changes in attitudes and knowledge of EOL discussions and how they impact EOL decision‐making was not previously evaluated. This preliminary study establishes a baseline for medical student, resident, and attendings for EOL decision‐making and those factors that contribute to their decisions. This preliminary data has demonstrated a difference amongst attendings compared to residents and students. Despite low probability of survival, residents and students are more likely to select more aggressive management options when compared to attendings. Data obtained after completion of future surveys will show when decision‐making changes, which factors contribute to these changes and their significance in making decisions, and when participants are comfortable addressing EOL care.

      Donovan, Derek; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Winkelman, Tyler; McEchron, Matthew (The University of Arizona., 2015-04-10)
      Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March of 2010, there have been multiple large survey studies focusing on physicians’ thoughts towards health care policy issues. 1‐6 Unfortunately, there has not been adequate attention paid to medical students’ feelings on reform in the literature. Today’s medical students will enter their practice at a vital time in the ACA’s implementation and will play an integral role in health care reform throughout their careers.7,8 This study is a national project that used a survey tool to demonstrate how well medical students know the details of the ACA and what their feelings are on the legislation. The survey was sent to eight different medical institutions across the country with ten total medical school campuses, using SurveyMonkey to collect results. The institutions were chosen based on their geographic location, mix between private and public institutions, and available investigators at each institution. The survey tool was developed by Tyler Winkelman, MD, from the University of Minnesota after a comprehensive literature review, adaptation of items from his previous survey of medical students in Minnesota performed in 2012, and consultation with physicians and policy experts.9 The survey focuses on student’s opinion of the ACA, knowledge of nine key provisions in the ACA, level of support of key health care policies, feelings towards health care policy education in medical schools, and socio‐demographic information, including political ideology, debt amount and intended specialty. Data analysis was performed using Pearson’s Chi‐square tests and multiple logistic regression models at The University of Minnesota to test for associations between students’ opinion of the ACA and five key predictors: debt, medical school year, political ideology, ACA knowledge, and intended specialty. A total of 2,761 out of 5,340 medical students (52%) responded to the survey, with 63% of students indicating support for the ACA, 75% agreeing that they understand the key ACA provisions, and 56% indicating professional obligation to assist in implementation of the ACA. Students intending to enter surgery or a surgical subspecialty and students who identified themselves as conservative were found to have less support and professional obligation of the ACA when compared to students entering primary care (Internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine/pediatrics, or emergency medicine) or identifying themselves as liberal or moderate. Students that were most knowledgeable of the ACA were found to more likely support the ACA and indicate professional obligation towards the legislation. In conclusion, our study found that the majority of medical students indicate support for the ACA and feel they have a professional obligation in assisting implementation. The views of the ACA differ based on student’s political ideology, anticipated specialty, and knowledge of key ACA provisions, but overall, there is optimism that this high level of support can lead to advocacy and successful health care reform down the road.