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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: PLoS ONE, 01 January 2015, Vol.10(4), p.e0124373
    Description: Haemophilus ducreyi resists the cytotoxic effects of human antimicrobial peptides (APs), including α-defensins, β-defensins, and the cathelicidin LL-37. Resistance to LL-37, mediated by the sensitive to antimicrobial peptide (Sap) transporter, is required for H. ducreyi virulence in humans. Cationic APs are attracted to the negatively charged bacterial cell surface. In other gram-negative bacteria, modification of lipopolysaccharide or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) by the addition of positively charged moieties, such as phosphoethanolamine (PEA), confers AP resistance by means of electrostatic repulsion. H. ducreyi LOS has PEA modifications at two sites, and we identified three genes (lptA, ptdA, and ptdB) in H. ducreyi with homology to a family of bacterial PEA transferases. We generated non-polar, unmarked mutants with deletions in one, two, or all three putative PEA transferase genes. The triple mutant was significantly more susceptible to both α- and β-defensins; complementation of all three genes restored parental levels of AP resistance. Deletion of all three PEA transferase genes also resulted in a significant increase in the negativity of the mutant cell surface. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed that LptA was required for PEA modification of lipid A; PtdA and PtdB did not affect PEA modification of LOS. In human inoculation experiments, the triple mutant was as virulent as its parent strain. While this is the first identified mechanism of resistance to α-defensins in H. ducreyi, our in vivo data suggest that resistance to cathelicidin LL-37 may be more important than defensin resistance to H. ducreyi pathogenesis.
    Keywords: Sciences (General)
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 2
    In: Neurology, 2017, Vol.89(24), pp.2422-2430
    Description: OBJECTIVE:: To identify key barriers and facilitators to the delivery of guideline-based care of patients with TIA in the national Veterans Health Administration (VHA). METHODS:: We conducted a cross-sectional, observational study of 70 audiotaped interviews of multidisciplinary clinical staff involved in TIA care at 14 VHA hospitals. We de-identified and analyzed all transcribed interviews. We identified emergent themes and patterns of barriers to providing TIA care and of facilitators applied to overcome these barriers. RESULTS:: Identified barriers to providing timely acute and follow-up TIA care included difficulties accessing brain imaging, a constantly rotating pool of housestaff, lack of care coordination, resource constraints, and inadequate staff education. Key informants revealed that both stroke nurse coordinators and system-level factors facilitated the provision of TIA care. Few facilities had specific TIA protocols. However, stroke nurse coordinators often expanded upon their role to include TIA. They facilitated TIA care by (1) coordinating patient care across services, communicating across service lines, and educating clinical staff about facility policies and evidence-based practices; (2) tracking individual patients from emergency departments to inpatient settings and to discharge for timely follow-up care; (3) providing and referring TIA patients to risk factor management programs; and (4) performing regular audit and feedback of quality performance data. System-level facilitators included clinical service leadership engagement and use of electronic tools for continuous care across services. CONCLUSIONS:: The local organization within a health care facility may be targeted to cultivate internal facilitators and a systemic infrastructure to provide evidence-based TIA care.
    Keywords: Medicine;
    ISSN: 0028-3878
    E-ISSN: 1526632X
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  • 3
    In: Stroke, 2018, Vol.49(2), pp.296-303
    Description: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE—: The Veterans Health Administration has engaged in quality improvement to improve vascular risk factor control. We sought to examine blood pressure (〈140/90 mm Hg), lipid (LDL [low-density lipoprotein] cholesterol 〈100 mg/dL), and glycemic control (hemoglobin A1c 〈9%), in the year post-hospitalization for acute ischemic stroke or acute myocardial infarction (AMI). METHODS—: We identified patients who were hospitalized (fiscal year 2011) with ischemic stroke, AMI, congestive heart failure, transient ischemic attack, or pneumonia/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The primary analysis compared risk factor control after incident ischemic stroke versus AMI. Facilities were included if they cared for ≥25 ischemic stroke and ≥25 AMI patients. A generalized linear mixed model including patient- and facility-level covariates compared risk factor control across diagnoses. RESULTS—: Forty thousand two hundred thirty patients were hospitalized (n=75 facilities): 2127 with incident ischemic stroke and 4169 with incident AMI. Fewer stroke patients achieved blood pressure control than AMI patients (64%; 95% confidence interval, 0.62–0.67 versus 77%; 95% confidence interval, 0.75–0.78; P〈0.0001). After adjusting for patient and facility covariates, the odds of blood pressure control were still higher for AMI than ischemic stroke patients (odds ratio, 1.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.21–1.51). There were no statistical differences for AMI versus stroke patients in hyperlipidemia (P=0.534). Among patients with diabetes mellitus, the odds of glycemic control were lower for AMI than ischemic stroke patients (odds ratio, 0.72; 95% confidence interval, 0.54–0.96). CONCLUSIONS—: Given that hypertension control is a cornerstone of stroke prevention, interventions to improve poststroke hypertension management are needed.
    Keywords: Blood Pressure – Health Aspects ; Cardiac Patients – Health Aspects ; Heart Attack – Risk Factors ; Heart Attack – Control ; Heart Attack – Comparative Analysis ; Stroke – Risk Factors ; Stroke – Control ; Stroke – Comparative Analysis ; Stroke Patients – Health Aspects;
    ISSN: 0039-2499
    E-ISSN: 15244628
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  • 4
    In: Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, 2017, Vol.10(9), pp.e003157-e003157
    Description: BACKGROUND—: Despite interest in using electronic health record (EHR) data to assess quality of care, the accuracy of such data is largely unknown. We sought to develop and validate transient ischemic attack and minor ischemic stroke electronic quality measures (eQMs) using EHR data. METHODS AND RESULTS—: A random sample of patients with transient ischemic attack or minor ischemic stroke, cared for in Veterans Health Administration facilities (fiscal year 2011), was identified. We constructed 31 eQMs based on existing quality measures. Chart review was the criterion standard for validating the eQMs. To evaluate eQMs in terms of eligibility, we calculated the proportion of patients who were genuinely not eligible to receive a process (based on chart review) and who were correctly identified as not eligible by the EHR data (specificity). To assess eQMs about classification of whether patients received a process, we calculated the proportion of patients who actually received the process (based on chart review) and who were classified correctly by the EHR data as passing (sensitivity). Seven hundred sixty-three patients were included. About eligibility, specificity varied from 25% (brain imaging; carotid imaging) to 99% (anticoagulation quality). About pass rates, sensitivity varied from 30% (antihypertensive class) to 100% (coronary risk assessment; international normalized ratio measured). The 16 eQMs with ≥70% specificity in eligibility and ≥70% sensitivity in pass rates included coronary risk assessment, international normalized ratio measured, HbA1c measurement, speech language pathology consultation, anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, discharge on statin, lipid management, neurology consultation, Holter, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, oral hypoglycemic intensification, cholesterol medication intensification, antihypertensive intensification, antihypertensive class, carotid stenosis intervention, and substance abuse referral for alcohol. CONCLUSIONS—: It is feasible to construct valid eQMs for processes of transient ischemic attack and minor ischemic stroke care. Healthcare systems with EHRs should consider using electronic data to evaluate care for their patients with transient ischemic attack and to complement and expand quality measurement programs currently focused on patients with stroke.
    Keywords: Medicine;
    ISSN: 1941-7713
    ISSN: 19417705
    E-ISSN: 19417705
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  • 5
    In: Neurology: Clinical Practice, 2018, Vol.8(3), pp.192-200
    Description: BACKGROUND: American Heart Association/American Stroke Association expert consensus guidelines recommend consideration of cardiac stress testing to screen for occult coronary heart disease (CHD) among patients with ischemic stroke/TIA who have a high-risk Framingham Cardiac Risk Score (FCRS). Whether this guideline is being implemented in routine clinical practice, and the association of its implementation with mortality, is less clear. METHODS: Study participants were Veterans with stroke/TIA (n = 11,306) during fiscal year 2011 who presented to a VA Emergency Department or who were admitted. Patients were excluded (n = 6,915) based on prior CHD/angina/chest pain history, receipt of cardiac stress testing within 18 months prior to cerebrovascular event, death within 90 days of discharge, discharge to hospice, transfer to a non-VA acute care facility, or missing/unknown race. FCRS ≥20% was classified as high risk for CHD. ICD-9 and Common Procedural Terminology codes were used to identify receipt of any cardiac stress testing. RESULTS: Among 4,391 eligible patients, 62.8% (n = 2,759) had FCRS ≥20%. Cardiac stress testing was performed infrequently and in similar proportion among high-risk (4.5% [123/2,759]) vs low/intermediate-risk (4.4% [72/1,632]) patients (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.54–1.10). Receipt of stress testing was not associated with reduced 1-year mortality (aOR 0.59, CI 0.26–1.30). CONCLUSIONS: In this observational cohort study of patients with cerebrovascular disease, cardiac screening was relatively uncommon and was not associated with 1-year mortality. Additional work is needed to understand the utility of CHD screening among high-risk patients with cerebrovascular disease.
    Keywords: Medicine;
    ISSN: 2163-0402
    E-ISSN: 21630933
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Academic Pediatrics, May 2018, Vol.18(4), pp.418-424
    Description: To examine primary care provider (PCP) screening practice for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and predictive factors for screening habits. A secondary objective was to describe the polysomnography completion proportion and outcome. We hypothesized that both provider and child health factors would predict PCP suspicion of OSA. A computer decision support system that automated screening for snoring was implemented in 5 urban primary care clinics in Indianapolis, Indiana. We studied 1086 snoring children aged 1 to 11 years seen by 26 PCPs. We used logistic regression to examine the association between PCP suspicion of OSA and child demographics, child health characteristics, provider characteristics, and clinic site. PCPs suspected OSA in 20% of snoring children. Factors predicting PCP concern for OSA included clinic site (  〈 .01; odds ratio [OR] = 0.13), Spanish language (  〈 .01; OR = 0.53), provider training (  = .01; OR = 10.19), number of training years (  = .01; OR = 4.26) and child age (  〈 .01), with the youngest children least likely to elicit PCP concern for OSA (OR = 0.20). No patient health factors (eg, obesity) were significantly predictive. Proportions of OSA suspicion were variable between clinic sites (range, 6–28%) and between specific providers (range, 0–63%). Of children referred for polysomnography (n = 100), 61% completed the study. Of these, 67% had OSA. Results suggest unexplained small area practice variation in PCP concern for OSA among snoring children. It is likely that many children at risk for OSA remain unidentified. An important next step is to evaluate interventions to support PCPs in evidence-based OSA identification.
    Keywords: Computer Decision Support ; Obstructive Sleep Apnea ; Pediatric ; Primary Care Provider ; Sleep Disorders ; Medicine
    ISSN: 1876-2859
    E-ISSN: 1876-2867
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  • 7
    In: Journal of Clinical Hypertension, February 2018, Vol.20(2), pp.382-387
    Description: Many ischemic stroke patients do not achieve goal blood pressure ( 〈 140/90 mm Hg). To identify barriers to post‐stroke hypertension management, we examined healthcare utilization and control in the year after index ischemic stroke admission. This retrospective cohort study included patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke to a hospital in fiscal year 2011 and who were discharged with a  ≥ 140/90 mm Hg. One‐year post‐discharge, trajectories, utilization of primary care, specialty and ancillary services were studied. Among 265 patients, 246 (92.8%) were seen by primary care () during the 1‐year post‐discharge; a median time to the first visit was 32 days (interquartile range: 53). Among N = 245 patients with post‐discharge data, 103 (42.0%) achieved a mean  〈 140/90 mm Hg in the year post‐discharge. Provider follow‐ups were: neurology (51.7%), cardiology (14.0%), nephrology (7.2%), endocrinology (3.8%), and geriatrics (2.6%) and ancillary services ( monitor [30.6%], pharmacy [20.0%], nutrition [8.3%], and telehealth [8%]). Non‐adherence to medications was documented in 21.9% of patients and was observed more commonly among patients with uncontrolled compared with controlled (28.7% vs 15.5%;  = .02). The recurrent stroke rate did not differ among patients with uncontrolled (4.2%) compared with controlled (3.8%;  = .89). Few patients achieved goal in the year post‐stroke. Visits to primary care were not timely. Underuse of specialty as well as ancillary services and provider perception of medication non‐adherence were common. Future intervention studies seeking to improve post‐stroke hypertension management should address these observed gaps in care.
    Keywords: Hypertension—General ; Outcomes Of Care ; Stroke ; Stroke Prevention
    ISSN: 1524-6175
    E-ISSN: 1751-7176
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: JAMA neurology, 01 April 2018, Vol.75(4), pp.419-427
    Description: The timely delivery of guideline-concordant care may reduce the risk of recurrent vascular events for patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke. Although many health care organizations measure stroke care quality, few evaluate performance for patients with TIA or minor stroke, and most include only a limited subset of guideline-recommended processes. To assess the quality of guideline-recommended TIA and minor stroke care across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system nationwide. This cohort study included 8201 patients with TIA or minor stroke cared for in any VHA emergency department (ED) or inpatient setting during federal fiscal year 2014 (October 1, 2013, through September 31, 2014). Patients with length of stay longer than 6 days, ventilator use, feeding tube use, coma, intensive care unit stay, inpatient rehabilitation stay before discharge, or receipt of thrombolysis were excluded. Outlier facilities for each process of care were identified by constructing 95% CIs around the facility pass rate and national pass rate sites when the 95% CIs did not overlap. Data analysis occurred from January 16, 2016, through June 30, 2017. Ten elements of care were assessed using validated electronic quality measures. In the 8201 patients included in the study (mean [SD] age, 68.8 [11.4] years; 7877 [96.0%] male; 4856 [59.2%] white), performance varied across elements of care: brain imaging by day 2 (6720/7563 [88.9%]; 95% CI, 88.2%-89.6%), antithrombotic use by day 2 (6265/7477 [83.8%]; 95% CI, 83.0%-84.6%), hemoglobin A1c measurement by discharge or within the preceding 120 days (2859/3464 [82.5%]; 95% CI, 81.2%-83.8%), anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation by day 7 after discharge (1003/1222 [82.1%]; 95% CI, 80.0%-84.2%), deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis by day 2 (3253/4346 [74.9%]; 95% CI, 73.6%-76.2%), hypertension control by day 90 after discharge (4292/5979 [71.8%]; 95% CI, 70.7%-72.9%), neurology consultation by day 1 (5521/7823 [70.6%]; 95% CI, 69.6%-71.6%), electrocardiography by day 2 or within 1 day prior (5073/7570 [67.0%]; 95% CI, 65.9%-68.1%), carotid artery imaging by day 2 or within 6 months prior (4923/7685 [64.1%]; 95% CI, 63.0%-65.2%), and moderate- to high-potency statin prescription by day 7 after discharge (3329/7054 [47.2%]; 95% CI, 46.0%-48.4%). Performance varied substantially across facilities (eg, neurology consultation had a facility outlier rate of 53.0%). Performance was higher for admitted patients than for patients cared for only in EDs with the greatest disparity for carotid artery imaging (4478/5927 [75.6%] vs 445/1758 [25.3%]; P 〈 .001). This national study of VHA system quality of care for patients with TIA or minor stroke identified opportunities to improve care quality, particularly for patients who were discharged from the ED. Health care systems should engage in ongoing TIA care performance assessment to complement existing stroke performance measurement.
    Keywords: Medicine;
    ISSN: 21686149
    E-ISSN: 2168-6157
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: JAMA network open, 03 July 2019, Vol.2(7), pp.e196716
    Description: Early evaluation and management of patients with transient ischemic attack (TIA) and nonsevere ischemic stroke improves outcomes. To identify processes of care associated with reduced risk of death or recurrent stroke among patients with TIA or nonsevere ischemic stroke. This cohort study included all patients with TIA or nonsevere ischemic stroke at Department of Veterans Affairs emergency department or inpatient settings from October 2010 to September 2011. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model associations of processes of care and without-fail care, defined as receiving all guideline-concordant processes of care for which patients are eligible, with risk of death and recurrent stroke. Data were analyzed from March 2018 to April 2019. Risk of all-cause mortality and recurrent ischemic stroke at 90 days and 1 year was calculated. Overall, 28 processes of care were examined. Without-fail care was assessed for 6 processes: brain imaging, carotid artery imaging, hypertension medication intensification, high- or moderate-potency statin therapy, antithrombotics, and anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation. Among 8076 patients, the mean (SD) age was 67.8 (11.6) years, 7752 patients (96.0%) were men, 5929 (73.4%) were white, 474 (6.1%) had a recurrent ischemic stroke within 90 days, 793 (10.7%) had a recurrent ischemic stroke within 1 year, 320 (4.0%) died within 90 days, and 814 (10.1%) died within 1 year. Overall, 9 processes were independently associated with lower odds of both 90-day and 1-year mortality after adjustment for multiple comparisons: carotid artery imaging (90-day adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.49; 95% CI, 0.38-0.63; 1-year aOR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.52-0.72), antihypertensive medication class (90-day aOR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.45-0.74; 1-year aOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.60-0.83), lipid measurement (90-day aOR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.51-0.90; 1-year aOR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.53-0.78), lipid management (90-day aOR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.33-0.65; 1-year aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.53-0.85), discharged receiving statin medication (90-day aOR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.36-0.73; 1-year aOR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.55-0.88), cholesterol-lowering medication intensification (90-day aOR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.26-0.83; 1-year aOR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.41-0.77), antithrombotics by day 2 (90-day aOR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.40-0.79; 1-year aOR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55-0.87) or at discharge (90-day aOR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.41-0.86; 1-year aOR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54-0.88), and neurology consultation (90-day aOR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.52-0.87; 1-year aOR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63-0.87). Anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation was associated with lower odds of 1-year mortality only (aOR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.40-0.85). No processes were associated with reduced risk of recurrent stroke after adjustment for multiple comparisons. The rate of without-fail care was 15.3%; 1216 patients received all guideline-concordant processes of care for which they were eligible. Without-fail care was associated with a 31.2% lower odds of 1-year mortality (aOR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.55-0.87) but was not independently associated with stroke risk. Patients who received 6 readily available processes of care had lower adjusted mortality 1 year after TIA or nonsevere ischemic stroke. Clinicians caring for patients with TIA and nonsevere ischemic stroke should seek to ensure that patients receive all guideline-concordant processes of care for which they are eligible.
    Keywords: Research ; Original Investigation ; Online Only ; Health Policy;
    E-ISSN: 2574-3805
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