Echocardiograms may help with patient selection for transcatheter mitral valve repair: New research finds echocardiography valuable before and after procedure

Clinicians should use echocardiography, an ultrasound that shows the heart’s structure and function, when determining whether patients with heart failure and a leaking heart valve are likely to benefit from valve repair, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session. The new study offers…

Non-invasive imaging technique valid for identifying small airway disease in lung: Discovery holds promise for developing urgently needed new therapies in COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an inflammatory disease of the small airways in the lungs, affects 16 million Americans and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Identifying small airway disease in its earliest stages, when…

Hip replacement patients can skip hip precautions, study suggests

Low-risk patients undergoing a total hip replacement with a posterior approach can skip the standard hip precautions currently recommended for post-surgical recovery, according to a new study conducted at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in New York City. Eliminating standard precautions in this population did not increase the risk of…

Potential way to improve cancer surgery outcomes by managing nontraditional risk factors: Depression, lack of coping strategies, availability of patient’s ’emergency’ resources tied to complications

In a study of 142 patients preparing for cancer surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that psychological or social risk factors such as depression, limited resilience and lack of emergency resources along with standard medical risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes are linked with…

How the microbiota controls neutrophil activity

A host protein called Serum Amyloid A (Saa) is a major factor mediating the effects of the microbiota on the function of immune cells called neutrophils, according to a study published March 7 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by John Rawls of Duke University School of Medicine, and colleagues….

Drug interactions in ER’s common but preventable

In a recent Rutgers study, 38 percent of patients discharged from the emergency department had at least one drug interaction resulting from a newly prescribed medicine. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, identified the most common prescription drug combinations that may result in a…

What happens when sand fleas burrow in your skin?

Tungiasis, a tropical disease associated with poverty, is caused by the penetration of female sand fleas into a person’s skin, usually in their toes or feet. This week in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, researchers report five cases of severe tungiasis to illustrate how the disease may develop into a life-threatening…