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Concept: Pediatrics

174

BACKGROUND: Chronic childhood malnutrition remains common in India. As part of an initiative to improve maternal and child health in urban slums, we collected anthropometric data from a sample of children followed up from birth. We described the proportions of underweight, stunting, and wasting in young children, and examined their relationships with age. METHODS: We used two linked datasets: one based on institutional birth weight records for 17 318 infants, collected prospectively, and one based on follow-up of a subsample of 1941 children under five, collected in early 2010. RESULTS: Mean birth weight was 2736 g (SD 530 g), with a low birth weight (<2500 g) proportion of 22%. 21% of infants had low weight for age standard deviation (z) scores at birth (<-2 SD). At follow-up, 35% of young children had low weight for age, 17% low weight for height, and 47% low height for age. Downward change in weight for age was greater in children who had been born with higher z scores. DISCUSSION: Our data support the idea that much of growth faltering was explained by faltering in height for age, rather than by wasting. Stunting appeared to be established early and the subsequent decline in height for age was limited. Our findings suggest a focus on a younger age-group than the children over the age of three who are prioritized by existing support systems.FundingThe trial during which the birth weight data were collected was funded by the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth (Centre for Child Health and Nutrition), and The Wellcome Trust (081052/Z/06/Z). Subsequent collection, analysis and development of the manuscript was funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award: Population Science of Maternal and Child Survival (085417ma/Z/08/Z). D Osrin is funded by The Wellcome Trust (091561/Z/10/Z).

Concepts: Nutrition, The Age, Anthropometry, Child, Childhood, Pediatrics, Standard deviation, Slum

170

There is a need for neonatal screening tools to improve the long-term clinical outcome of patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases (PID). Recently, a PCR-based screening method for both TRECs and KRECs using Guthrie card samples has been developed. However, the applicability of these excision circle assays is limited to patients with severe T or B cell lymphopenia (SCID, XLA and A-T), whereas the most common forms of PID are not detected. Absence of serum IgA is seen in a major fraction of patients with immunological defects. As serum IgA in newborns is considered to be of fetal origin, eluates from routinely collected dried blood spot samples might thus be suitable for identification of children with PID. To assess the applicability of such screening assays, stored Guthrie card samples were obtained from 47 patients with various forms of primary immunodeficiency diseases (SCID, XLA, A-T, HIGM and IgAD), 20 individuals with normal serum IgA levels born to IgA-deficient mothers and 51 matched healthy newborns. Surprisingly, normal serum IgA levels were found in all SCID, XLA, A-T and HIGM patients and, additionally, in all those IgAD patients born to IgA-sufficient mothers. Conversely, no serum IgA was found in any of the 16 IgAD patients born by IgA-deficient mothers. Moreover, half of the IgA-sufficient individuals born by IgA-deficient mothers also lacked IgA at birth whereas no IgA-deficient individuals were found among the controls. IgA in neonatal dried blood samples thus appears to be of both maternal and fetal origin and precludes its use as a reliable marker for neonatal screening of primary immunodeficiency diseases.

Concepts: Immune system, Infant, Fetus, Maternal bond, Pediatrics, Immunodeficiency, Primary immunodeficiency, Dried blood spot testing

169

BACKGROUND: Hyperbilirubinemia is emerging as an increasingly common problem in newborns due to a decreasing hospital length of stay after birth. Jaundice is the most common disease of the newborn and although being benign in most cases it can lead to severe neurological consequences if poorly evaluated. In different areas of medicine, data mining has contributed to improve the results obtained with other methodologies.Hence, the aim of this study was to improve the diagnosis of neonatal jaundice with the application of data mining techniques. METHODS: This study followed the different phases of the Cross Industry Standard Process for Data Mining model as its methodology.This observational study was performed at the Obstetrics Department of a central hospital (Centro Hospitalar Tamega e Sousa – EPE), from February to March of 2011. A total of 227 healthy newborn infants with 35 or more weeks of gestation were enrolled in the study. Over 70 variables were collected and analyzed. Also, transcutaneous bilirubin levels were measured from birth to hospital discharge with maximum time intervals of 8 hours between measurements, using a noninvasive bilirubinometer.Different attribute subsets were used to train and test classification models using algorithms included in Weka data mining software, such as decision trees (J48) and neural networks (multilayer perceptron). The accuracy results were compared with the traditional methods for prediction of hyperbilirubinemia. RESULTS: The application of different classification algorithms to the collected data allowed predicting subsequent hyperbilirubinemia with high accuracy. In particular, at 24 hours of life of newborns, the accuracy for the prediction of hyperbilirubinemia was 89%. The best results were obtained using the following algorithms: naive Bayes, multilayer perceptron and simple logistic. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of our study sustain that, new approaches, such as data mining, may support medical decision, contributing to improve diagnosis in neonatal jaundice.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Fetus, Bilirubin, Data mining, Pediatrics, Neonatal jaundice

169

It has been proposed that neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) concentrations are a good indicator of iodine deficiency in the population. A frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L below 3% has been proposed as the threshold indicating iodine sufficiency. The objective of the present study was to evaluate feasibility and usefulness of nation-wide neonatal TSH concentration screening results to assess iodine status in Belgium. All newborns born in Belgium during the period 2009-2011 (n = 377713) were included in the study, except those suffering from congenital hypothyroidism and premature neonates. The frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L from 2009 to 2011 in Belgium fluctuated between 2.6 and 3.3% in the centres using the same TSH assay. There was a significant inverse association between neonatal TSH level and birth weight. The longer the duration between birth and screening, the lower the TSH level. Neonatal TSH levels were significantly lower in winter than in spring or autumn and significantly lower in spring and summer than in autumn while significantly higher in spring compared to summer. In conclusion, despite that pregnant women in Belgium are mildly iodine deficient, the frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L was very low, suggesting that the neonatal TSH threshold proposed for detecting iodine deficiency needs to be re-evaluated. Although neonatal TSH is useful to detect severe iodine deficiency, it should not be recommended presently for the evaluation of iodine status in mildly iodine deficient regions.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Thyroid-stimulating hormone, Hypothyroidism, Pediatrics, Winter, Cretinism

168

To evaluate perceptions of being mistreated during internship among first year Oman Medical Specialty Board residents.

Concepts: Medicine, Oncology, Physician, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Specialty

168

BACKGROUND: Propionic acidemia is an inherited disorder caused by deficiency of propionyl-CoA carboxylase. Although it is one of the most frequent organic acidurias, information on the outcome of affected individuals is still limited.Study design/methods: Clinical and outcome data of 55 patients with propionic acidemia from 16 European metabolic centers were evaluated retrospectively. 35 patients were diagnosed by selective metabolic screening while 20 patients were identified by newborn screening. Endocrine parameters and bone age were assessed. In addition, IQ testing was performed and the patients' and their families' quality of life was assessed. RESULTS: The vast majority of patients (>85%) presented with metabolic decompensation in the neonatal period. Asymptomatic individuals were the exception. About three quarters of the study population was mentally retarded, median IQ was 55. Apart from neurologic symptoms, complications comprised hematologic abnormalities, cardiac diseases, feeding problems and impaired growth. Most patients considered their quality of life high. However, according to the parents' point of view psychic problems were four times more common in propionic acidemia patients than in healthy controls. CONCLUSION: Our data show that the outcome of propionic acidemia is still unfavourable, in spite of improved clinical management. Many patients develop long-term complications affecting different organ systems. Impairment of neurocognitive development is of special concern. Nevertheless, self-assessment of quality of life of the patients and their parents yielded rather positive results.

Concepts: Medicine, Infant, Pediatrics, Intelligence quotient, Mental retardation, Propionyl-CoA carboxylase, Propionic acidemia, Propionyl-CoA

167

The term “encephalopathy of prematurity” encompasses not only the acute brain injury [such as intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)] but also complex disturbance on the infant’s subsequent brain development. In premature infants, the most frequent recognized source of brain injury is IVH and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL). Furthermore 20-25% infants with birth weigh less than 1,500 g will have IVH and that proportion increases to 45% if the birth weight is less than 500-750 g. In addition, nearly 60% of very low birth weight newborns will have hypoxic-ischemic injury. Therefore permanent lifetime neurodevelopmental disabilities are frequent in premature infants. Innovative approach to prevent or decrease brain injury in preterm infants requires discovery of biomarkers able to discriminate infants at risk for injury, monitor the progression of the injury, and assess efficacy of neuroprotective clinical trials. In this article, we will review biomarkers studied in premature infants with IVH, Post-hemorrhagic ventricular dilation (PHVD), and PVL including: S100b, Activin A, erythropoietin, chemokine CCL 18, GFAP, and NFL will also be examined. Some of the most promising biomarkers for IVH are S100β and Activin. The concentrations of TGF-β1, MMP-9, and PAI-1 in cerebrospinal fluid could be used to discriminate patients that will require shunt after PHVD. Neonatal brain injury is frequent in premature infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care and we hope to contribute to the awareness and interest in clinical validation of established as well as novel neonatal brain injury biomarkers.

Concepts: Childbirth, Infant, Infant mortality, Pediatrics, Cerebrospinal fluid, Periventricular leukomalacia, Preterm birth

167

BACKGROUND: Variations in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) may impact on quality of care. The objective of this study was to identify and compare treatment approaches for JIA in two health care systems. METHODS: Paediatric rheumatologists in Canada (n=58) and Germany/Austria (n=172) were surveyed by email, using case-based vignettes for oligoarticular and seronegative polyarticular JIA. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics; responses were compared using univariate analysis. RESULTS: Total response rate was 63%. Physicians were comparable by age, level of training and duration of practice, with more Canadians based in academic centres. For initial treatment of oligoarthritis, only approximately half of physicians in both groups used intra-articular steroids. German physicians were more likely to institute DMARD treatment in oligoarthritis refractory to NSAID (p<0.001). Canadian physicians were more likely to switch to a different DMARD rather than a biologic agent in polyarthritis refractory to initial DMARD therapy. For oligoarthritis and polyarthritis, respectively, 86% and 90% of German physicians preferred regular physiotherapy over home exercise, compared to 14% and 15% in Canada. Except for a Canadian preference for naproxen in oligoarthritis, no significant differences were found for NSAID, intra-articular steroid preparations, initial DMARD and initial biologic treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of oligo- and polyarticular JIA with DMARD is mostly uniform, with availability and funding obviously influencing physician choice. Usage of intra-articular steroids is variable within physician groups. Physiotherapy has a fundamentally different role in the two health care systems.

Concepts: Medicine, Rheumatoid arthritis, Physician, Pediatrics, Arthritis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Canada, Preference

155

The incidence of neonatal late-onset sepsis (LOS) is inversely related to the degree of maturity and varies geographically from 0.61% to 14.2% among hospitalised newborns. Epidemiological data on very low birth weight infants shows that the predominant pathogens of neonatal LOS are coagulase-negative staphylococci, followed by Gram-negative bacilli and fungi. Due to the difficulties in a prompt diagnosis of LOS and LOS-associated high risk of mortality and long-term neurodevelopmental sequelae, empirical antibiotic treatment is initiated on suspicion of LOS. However, empirical therapy is often inappropriately used with unnecessary broad-spectrum antibiotics and a prolonged duration of treatment. The increasing number of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative micro-organisms in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) worldwide is a serious concern, which requires thorough and efficient surveillance strategies and appropriate treatment regimens. Immunological strategies for preventing neonatal LOS are not supported by current evidence, and approaches, such as a strict hygiene protocol and the minimisation of invasive procedures in NICUs represent the cornerstone to reduce the burden of neonatal LOS.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Bacteria, Microbiology, Staphylococcus, Intensive care medicine, Pediatrics, Antibiotic, Chloramphenicol

150

Psychosocial job stressors, such as low control and high demands, have been found to influence the health and wellbeing of doctors. However, past research in this area has relied on cross-sectional data, which limits causal inferences about the influence of psychosocial job stressors on health. In this study, we examine this relationship longitudinally while also assessing whether the relationship between psychosocial job stressors and health is modified by gender.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Physician, Pediatrics, Medical school, Health science, Specialty, Cross-sectional data