Archive of mass spectral data files on recordable CD-ROMs and creation and maintenance of a searchable computerized database.
A database containing names of mass spectral data files generated in a forensic toxicology laboratory and two Microsoft Visual Basic programs to maintain and search this database is described. The data files (approximately 0.5 KB/each) were collected from six mass spectrometers during routine casework. Data files were archived on 650 MB (74 min) recordable CD-ROMs. Each recordable CD-ROM was given a unique name, and its list of data file names was placed into the database. The present manuscript describes the use of search and maintenance programs for searching and routine upkeep of the database and creation of CD-ROMs for archiving of data files. (+info)
LocaLisa: new technique for real-time 3-dimensional localization of regular intracardiac electrodes.
BACKGROUND: Estimation of the 3-dimensional (3D) position of ablation electrodes from fluoroscopic images is inadequate if a systematic lesion pattern is required in the treatment of complex arrhythmogenic substrates. METHODS AND RESULTS: We developed a new technique for online 3D localization of intracardiac electrodes. Regular catheter electrodes are used as sensors for a high-frequency transthoracic electrical field, which is applied via standard skin electrodes. We investigated localization accuracy within the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle by comparing measured and true interelectrode distances of a decapolar catheter. Long-term stability was analyzed by localization of the most proximal His bundle before and after slow pathway ablation. Electrogram recordings were unaffected by the applied electrical field. Localization data from 3 catheter positions, widely distributed within the right atrium, right ventricle, or left ventricle, were analyzed in 10 patients per group. The relationship between measured and true electrode positions was highly linear, with an average correlation coefficient of 0.996, 0.997, and 0.999 for the right atrium, right ventricle, and left ventricle, respectively. Localization accuracy was better than 2 mm, with an additional scaling error of 8% to 14%. After 2 hours, localization of the proximal His bundle was reproducible within 1.4+/-1.1 mm. CONCLUSIONS: This new technique enables accurate and reproducible real-time localization of electrode positions in cardiac mapping and ablation procedures. Its application does not distort the quality of electrograms and can be applied to any electrode catheter. (+info)
Using a multidisciplinary automated discharge summary process to improve information management across the system.
We developed and implemented an automated discharge summary process in a regional integrated managed health system. This multidisciplinary effort was initiated to correct deficits in patients' medical record documentation involving discharge instructions, follow-up care, discharge medications, and patient education. The results of our team effort included an automated summary that compiles data entered via computer pathways during a patient's hospitalization. All information regarding admission medications, patient education, follow-up care, referral at discharge activities, diagnosis, and other pertinent medical events are formulated into the discharge summary, discharge orders, patient discharge instructions, and transfer information as applicable. This communication process has tremendously enhanced information management across the system and helps us maintain complete and thorough documentation in patient records. (+info)
Mapping of atrial activation with a noncontact, multielectrode catheter in dogs.
BACKGROUND: Endocardial mapping of sustained arrhythmias has traditionally been performed with a roving diagnostic catheter. Although this approach is adequate for many tachyarrhythmias, it has limitations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a novel noncontact mapping system for assessing atrial tachyarrhythmias. METHODS AND RESULTS: The mapping system consists of a 9F multielectrode-array balloon catheter that has 64 active electrodes and ring electrodes for emitting a locator signal. The locator signal was used to construct a 3-dimensional right atrial map; it was independently validated and was highly accurate. Virtual electrograms were calculated at 3360 endocardial sites in the right atrium. We evaluated right atrial activation by positioning the balloon catheter in the mid right atrium via a femoral venous approach. Experiments were performed on 12 normal mongrel dogs. The mean correlation coefficient between contact and virtual electrograms was 0.80+/-0.12 during sinus rhythm. Fifty episodes of atrial flutter induced in 11 animals were evaluated. In the majority of experiments, complete or almost complete reentrant circuits could be identified within the right atrium. Mean correlation coefficient between virtual and contact electrograms was 0.85+/-0.17 in atrial flutter. One hundred fifty-six episodes of pacing-induced atrial fibrillation were evaluated in 11 animals. Several distinct patterns of right atrial activation were seen, including single-activation wave fronts and multiple simultaneous-activation wave fronts. Mean correlation coefficient between virtual and contact electrograms during atrial fibrillation was 0.81+/-0.18. The accuracy of electrogram reconstruction was lower at sites >4.0 cm from the balloon center and at sites with a high spatial complexity of electrical activation. CONCLUSIONS: This novel noncontact mapping system can evaluate conduction patterns during sinus rhythm, demonstrate reentry during atrial flutter, and describe right atrial activation during atrial fibrillation. The accuracy of electrogram reconstruction was good at sites <4.0 cm from the balloon center, and thus the system has the ability to perform high-resolution multisite mapping of atrial tachyarrhythmias in vivo. (+info)
Radiation-induced leukocyte entrapment in the rat retinal microcirculation.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects of irradiation on leukocyte dynamics in the rat retinal microcirculation. METHODS: Thirty-five Brown-Norway rats received a dose of 10 Gy irradiation in one fraction. Leukocyte dynamics were studied with acridine orange digital fluorography, in which a nuclear fluorescent dye of acridine orange is used and examined by scanning laser ophthalmoscope. This technique allowed visualization of fluorescent leukocytes in vivo. The leukocyte dynamics were evaluated at 0, 4, 7, 14, 30, and 60 days after the irradiation. RESULTS: Mean leukocyte velocity in the retinal capillaries decreased immediately. It partially recovered on day 4 but then gradually decreased up to the 2-month mark. Low-dose irradiation induced entrapment of leukocytes in the retinal microcirculation. The number of entrapped leukocytes gradually increased with time. The major retinal vessels significantly constricted immediately after irradiation. The diameter was reduced by 76% in arteries and 75% in veins, 2 months after irradiation. CONCLUSIONS: Entrapped leukocytes may be activated and exacerbate vascular injury and microinfarction and thus may participate in the pathogenesis of radiation retinopathy. (+info)
Shift work-related problems in 16-h night shift nurses (1): Development of an automated data processing system for questionnaires, heart rate, physical activity and posture.
To assess the shift work-related problems associated with a 16-h night shift in a two-shift system, we took the following important factors into consideration; the interaction between circadian rhythms and the longer night shift, the type of morningness and eveningness experienced, the subjective sleep feeling, the subjects' daily behavior, the effectiveness of taking a nap during the long night shift, and finally the effectiveness of using several different kinds of measuring devices. Included among the measuring devices used were a standard questionnaire, repetitive self-assessment of subjective symptoms and daily behavior at short intervals, and a continuous recording of such objective indices as physical activity and heart rate. A potential problem lies in the fact that field studies that use such measures tend to produce a mass of data, and are thus faced with the accompanying technical problem of analyzing such a large amount of data (time, effort and cost). To solve the data analysis problem, we developed an automated data processing system. Through the use of an image scanner with a paper feeder, standard paper, an optical character recognition function and common application software, we were able to analyze a mass of data continuously and automatically within a short time. Our system should prove useful for field studies that produce a large amount of data collected with several different kinds of measuring devices. (+info)
Use of bar code readers and programmable keypads to improve the speed and accuracy of manual data entry in the clinical microbiology laboratory: experience of two laboratories.
AIM: To assess the effect of the use of bar code readers and programmable keypads for entry of specimen details and results in two microbiology laboratories. METHODS: The solutions selected in each laboratory are described. The benefits resulting from the implementation were measured in two ways. The speed of data entry and error reduction were measured by observation. A questionnaire was completed by users of bar codes. RESULTS: There were savings in time and in reduced data entry errors. Average time to enter a report by keyboard was 21.1 s v 14.1 s for bar coded results entry. There were no observed errors with the bar code readers but 55 errors with keystroke entries. The laboratory staff of all grades found the system fast, easy to use, and less stressful than conventional keyboard entry. CONCLUSIONS: Indirect time savings should accrue from the observed reduction in incorrectly entered data. Any microbiology laboratory seeking to improve the accuracy and efficiency of data entry into their laboratory information systems should consider the adoption of this technology which can be readily interfaced to existing terminals. (+info)
ProbeDesigner: for the design of probesets for branched DNA (bDNA) signal amplification assays.
MOTIVATION: The sensitivity and specificity of branched DNA (bDNA) assays are derived in part through the judicious design of the capture and label extender probes. To minimize non-specific hybridization (NSH) events, which elevate assay background, candidate probes must be computer screened for complementarity with generic sequences present in the assay. RESULTS: We present a software application which allows for rapid and flexible design of bDNA probesets for novel targets. It includes an algorithm for estimating the magnitude of NSH contribution to background, a mechanism for removing probes with elevated contributions, a methodology for the simultaneous design of probesets for multiple targets, and a graphical user interface which guides the user through the design steps. AVAILABILITY: The program is available as a commercial package through the Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery program at Chiron Diagnostics. (+info)