In his opinion piece for STAT, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Derek Angus, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of both the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the UPMC Healthcare System, states:
When it comes to diagnosing suspected endometrial cancer and several other endometrial pathologies in post-menopausal women, physicians in the U.S. have two choices: Pipelle biopsy, a minimally invasive procedure that has a 60 to 80 percent chance of success, or a more expensive, riskier procedure that works nearly every time called dilation and curettage (D&C).
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steven Belle, PhD, MScHyg, co-director of the Epidemiology Data Center at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, has been named a Fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials, a prestigious honor that only a few scientists achieve each year.
More than half of patients hospitalized for a concussion receive no follow-up care within three months of their discharge, according to a national multi-center study published recently. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Okonkwo, MD, PhD, is a co-author on the study. Dr. Okonkwo is Professor and Executive Vice Chair of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Sports Medicine and Nutrition. He serves as Director of Neurotrauma and of the Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Program at UPMC. In addition, he is the Clinical Director of the Brain Trauma Research Center. Dr. Okonkwo is also a member of the Medical Staff for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Families of critically ill hospital patients report higher satisfaction with clinician communication and a better perception of patient-centered care when the care team uses a low-cost strategy involving intensive emotional support and frequent meetings, according to the results of a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine randomized trial presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2018 International Conference in San Diego and scheduled for publication in the June 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Recent research published in the journal Circulation estimated the impact of lifestyle factors on premature mortality and life expectancy in the US population. The researchers recommended the following 5 simple lifestyle changes:
Ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) has developed as a novel organ preservation method in lung transplantation. EVLP allows physicians to evaluate lung graft function and condition prior to transplantation, leading to the possibility to utilize marginal lung grafts and/or high-risk donor lungs including donation after circulatory death (DCD), atelectasis lung, lung with slight edema and functional problem without other concerns, as well as the lung grafts met to normal criteria. Also, EVLP allows reconditioning of such lung grafts on ex vivo prior to transplantation using various options for treatment including high dose drug administration, stem cell transplantation, gene transfection, ex vivo surgery, and so on.
The following is an excerpt from an article published in The Conversation and authored by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Abhinav Humar, MD, Clinical Director of the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and the Chief, Division of Transplantation in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is also a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a Staff Physician at the Pittsburgh VA Medical Healthcare System. Read the entire article here.
In response to repeated calls for an integrated and coordinated emergency and trauma care system in the U.S., University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists and UPMC physicians—including McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Derek Angus, MD, MPH, who is a co-author on the study—rose to the challenge and divided the nation into hundreds of referral regions that describe how patients access advanced care, in a way that respects geopolitical borders. Dr. Angus is Chair of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of both the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the UPMC Healthcare System. At the University, he holds the rank of Distinguished Professor and the Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair in Critical Care Medicine with secondary appointments in Medicine, Health Policy and Management, and Clinical and Translational Science and he directs the CRISMA (Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illnesses) Center. He also co-directs the UPMC ICU Service Center, responsible for the provision of ICU services across the 20-plus hospital system.
Lisfranc injury, also known as Lisfranc fracture, is an injury of the foot in which one or more of the metatarsal bones (five long bones in the foot) are displaced from the tarsus (a cluster of seven articulating bones in each foot situated between the lower end of tibia and fibula of the lower leg and the metatarsus. Lisfranc injuries are caused when excessive kinetic energy is applied either directly or indirectly to the midfoot. This foot injury is treated by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member MaCalus Hogan, MD, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering and Vice Chair of Education and Residency Program Director in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
As reported by the Associated Press Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione, new research from Vanderbilt University calls into question what’s in those IV bags that nearly every hospitalized patient gets. Using a different intravenous fluid instead of the usual saline greatly reduced the risk of death or kidney damage, two large studies found. The difference could mean 50,000 to 70,000 fewer deaths and 100,000 fewer cases of kidney failure each year in the U.S., researchers estimate. Some doctors are hoping the results will persuade more hospitals to switch.
The University of Pittsburgh recently announced the launch of LifeXTM, an initiative that will provide expertise, capital and working space to new companies addressing the most complex challenges facing modern medicine. The 10-year goal of the project is to deliver new solutions to tackle prevalent and intractable global diseases. Led by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Dietrich Stephan, PhD, the renowned human geneticist and entrepreneur and professor and chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, the initiative’s initial focus will be on cancer, Alzheimer’s, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity and diabetes, and rare genetic diseases.
Despite improvement in the rates of people dying of sepsis in the hospital, the condition is still a leading cause of hospital readmissions and costs, as well as long-term disabilities and impairments, prompting University of Pittsburgh and University of Michigan (U-M) medical scientists to develop thorough recommendations for post-hospital recovery care and future clinical trials.
Heat, moisture, and force, in addition to other factors, can lead to pressure injuries — or bed sores — which are common among immobile patients and individuals who use wheelchairs. Many technologies and guidelines exist to help prevent and treat pressure injuries, but there is little evidence to prove which technologies are most effective for patients with different risk factors.
While the proportion of adults with severe obesity using prescription opioids initially declines in the months after bariatric surgery, it increases within a matter of years, eventually surpassing pre-surgery rates of patients using the potentially addictive pain medications, according to new research from a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded multicenter study led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steven Belle, PhD, MScHyg, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Co-Director in the Epidemiology Data Center in the Graduate School of Public Health, is a co-author on the study.
In a feat of medical and scientific coordination, doctors across 138 hospitals in seven countries shared treatment protocols and harmonized data collection of three clinical trials resulting in the most comprehensive analysis to date on care for sepsis, the leading killer of hospital patients worldwide. The international evaluation was overseen by physicians at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who expect the work to serve as a model for future research of this scale. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Derek Angus, MD, MPH, Distinguished Professor and Mitchell P. Fink Chair, Department of Critical Care Medicine at Pitt, and John Kellum, MD, Professor in the Departments of Critical Care Medicine, Medicine, Bioengineering, and Clinical and Translational Science at Pitt, are co-authors on the study.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Per the American Heart Association, practicing meditation and mindfulness may reduce death, heart attack, and stroke in heart patients. Meditation is a practice — often using deep breathing, quiet contemplation, or sustained focus on something benign, such as a color, phrase, or sound — that helps you let go of stress and feel peaceful and maintain a relaxed state of mind. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Physical activity is good for our overall well-being. Yet, science has never determined exactly why that is. The University of Pittsburgh has been chosen by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a large-scale collaboration to investigate why being active is beneficial for our health.
A team of University of Pittsburgh researchers—including McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Louis Falo, MD, PhD, and Valerian Kagan, PhD, DSc—has demonstrated that a newly developed topical therapy applied before or after radiation exposure prevents skin damage in both animal and human models.
The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences has been awarded a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) contract that could lead to $90 million in research over the next decade to improve trauma care for both civilians and military personnel.
Concussions, often viewed by the public as dire and perplexing, can be effectively treated despite their complexity, according to experts from around the U.S. in a Statement of Agreement available online and to be published in the December issue of the journal Neurosurgery.
Fifty years after the release of the iconic sci-fi movie “Fantastic Voyage,” researchers are beginning to launch fleets of tiny swimming robots with biomedical applications. These super-small submarines have the potential to navigate the human body less invasively and with more maneuverability than some current surgical and medical procedures. However, since the physicians and surgeons won’t actually be on board the vessels like in the movie, the ability to accurately control the movement of these robots has become the focus of many studies.
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers—including McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Timothy Billiar, MD, George Vance Foster Endowed Professor and Chair in the Department of Surgery, and Derek Angus, MD, MPH, Distinguished Professor and the Mitchell P. Fink Endowed Chair of Critical Care Medicine—have demonstrated for the first time that changes over time in the volume of patients seen by trauma centers influence the likelihood of seriously injured patients living or dying.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Schwartzman, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a member of the UPMC Cardiovascular Institute and the UPMC Center for Atrial Fibrillation. He specializes in the evaluation and management of disorders of heart rhythm. Among the diseases he treats is atrial fibrillation, which is potentially dangerous. The occurrence of atrial fibrillation is often caused by poor lifestyle choices, and for maximal benefit, its treatment must include lifestyle optimization.
In the 3 years following bariatric surgery, the majority of patients experience an improvement in pain and walking ability, according to the preliminary results of a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led analysis presented recently in Los Angeles at ObesityWeek, the annual international conference of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steven Belle, PhD, MScHyg, professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh and a co-director in the Epidemiology Data Center in the Graduate School of Public Health, is a co-author of the study.
Chronic exposure to arsenic can lead to stem cell dysfunction that impairs muscle healing and regeneration, according to a pre-clinical study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health. In a report published in Stem Cells, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty members Fabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, and Donna Stolz, PhD, and colleagues noted that inhibiting a certain protein in an inflammatory pathway can reverse the harmful effects and that environmental exposures might explain why some people don’t recover easily after injury or surgery.
Among obese participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus, bariatric surgery with 2 years of a low-level lifestyle intervention resulted in more disease remission than did lifestyle intervention alone, according to a study published online in JAMA Surgery. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Steven Belle, PhD, MScHyg, professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh, and a co-director in the Epidemiology Data Center in the Graduate School of Public Health, is a co-author of the study.
It remains to be established whether bariatric surgery is a durable and effective treatment for type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and how bariatric surgery compares with intensive lifestyle modification and medication management with respect to T2DM-related outcomes. As demonstrated in observational studies and several small randomized clinical trials of short duration, T2DM is greatly improved after bariatric surgery. However, more information is needed about the longer-term effectiveness and risks of all types of bariatric surgical procedures compared with lifestyle and medical management for those with T2DM and obesity, according to background information in the article.
Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh to Lead New Center to Identify Toxic Chemicals
Each day we are bathed in thousands of man-made chemicals that never existed in nature. They are in cosmetics and shampoo, food packaging and plastic containers, clothing and building materials, furniture and electronic devices.
Integrating Mental Health Services in Pediatric Practices Feasible, Effective, Pitt Finds
Brief behavioral and mental health programs for children can be effectively provided within pediatric practices as an alternative to being referred to a community specialist, University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences researchers found in a National Institutes of Health-funded randomized trial. McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Stephen Wisniewski, PhD, Associate Dean for Research in the Graduate School of Public Health, Executive Deputy Director in the Epidemiology Data Center, Associate Professor (secondary) in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in the Graduate School of Public Health, and Guest Scientist in the Safer Center for Resuscitation Research, is a co-author on the study.
Multicenter, Multidisciplinary Effort to Study Hemorrhaging in Trauma Patients
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Stephen Wisniewski, PhD, senior associate dean and co-director of the Epidemiology Data Center at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, will coordinate a new, multicenter, multidisciplinary effort – supported by a 5-year, $23.8 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant – to study a deadly bleeding syndrome called coagulopathy, which occurs without warning in some trauma patients.
Weighing In: Three Years Post-Op Bariatric Surgery Patients See Big Benefits
For millions of Americans struggling with obesity and considering surgical procedures to achieve weight loss and alleviate obesity-related health complications, a new study adds weight to the health benefits attributed to bariatric surgery.
Study Finds Late-Life Depression Associated with Increased Risk for Dementia
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Mary Amanda Dew, PhD, professor of psychiatry, psychology, epidemiology, and biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh and the director of Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, is the co-author of a new meta-analysis published recently in the British Journal of Psychiatry which concludes that late-life depression is associated with an increased risk for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and, most predominantly, vascular dementia.
Endoscopic Therapy is an Effective Treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member David Whitcomb, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology, and human genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, as well as the founder and director of the Center for Genomic Sciences, and researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report that endoscopic therapy was found to be effective for patients with chronic pancreatitis. The team’s findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
$8.3 Million NIH Grant to Study Sarcoidosis, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Awarded
A multidisciplinary team at the University of Pittsburgh, which includes McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Stephen R. Wisniewski, PhD, professor, Department of Epidemiology, and associate dean for research, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, will be leading a national effort to explore the relationships between the bacteria that live in the lungs, gene activation patterns, and disease progression. The project aims to learn more about the causes and progression of two potentially deadly yet under-studied lung diseases, alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency and sarcoidosis, as well as possibly to identify new treatments for them.
‘Kidney Attack’ As Serious as Heart Attack, Warns UPMC Critical Care Expert
Kidney complications during hospitalization are as frequent and as dangerous to patients as heart attacks, and the medical community must implement recently developed guidelines to better detect and respond to the problem, said a critical care expert at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the online version of the Journal of the American Medical Association.