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July 2008 Briefing - Pathology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for July 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Glomerular Filtration Screening Should Not Be Universal

THURSDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) should not be used to universally screen for chronic kidney disease and should be restricted to high-risk groups due to the potential to falsely diagnose women and particularly the elderly, according to two articles published online July 30 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Abstract - Glassock
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Abstract - Melamed
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Joint Replacement Linked to Cardiac Complications

THURSDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Among total joint replacement surgery patients, two new risk factors -- revision surgery and bilateral joint replacement -- as well as traditional risk factors increase odds of cardiac complications, according to an article published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Adverse Outcomes in IVF Babies Analyzed

THURSDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Babies conceived spontaneously and as a result of assisted fertilization by the same woman have similar risks of adverse outcomes, meaning that adverse outcomes among assisted fertilization babies may be attributable to the underlying causes of infertility rather than the fertility treatment itself, according to a report published online July 31 in The Lancet.

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PAND Doesn't Add to Survival With Gastric Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing gastrectomy for curable gastric cancer, the addition of para-aortic nodal dissection (PAND) to D2 lymphadenectomy isn't advisable, according to research in the July 31 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Salmonella Slows Tumor Growth in Some Cancers

WEDNESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Salmonella typhimurium inhibits the growth of breast and colon tumors and decreases pulmonary metastasis in breast cancer models without inducing severe toxicity, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .

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FDA Approves First Generic Divalproex Sodium

WEDNESDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved generic versions of Depakote delayed-release tablets (divalproex sodium) for the first time, according to a press release issued by the FDA this week.

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Diabetes-Diet Link Examined in Trio of Studies

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of diabetes mellitus, while increased consumption of fruit drinks may increase risk, and diets low in fat have no effect on development of diabetes, according to three articles published in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Fecal Occult Blood Tests Offer Different Results

MONDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of an immunochemical fecal occult blood test (I-FOBT) resulted in higher participation and detection rates for advanced adenomas and cancer than use of a guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (G-FOBT), according to research published in the July Gastroenterology.

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West Nile Virus Cases Reported in 14 States

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- There were 43 cases of West Nile virus reported from 14 states this year up to July 22, according to a report published in the July 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HIV Survival Increases with Antiretroviral Therapy

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Significant declines in mortality and an increase in life expectancy have been seen among HIV-positive patients using combination antiretroviral therapy, according to study findings published in the July 26 issue of The Lancet.

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Non-Pharmaceutical Fentanyl Linked to Overdose Deaths

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Illicitly manufactured non-pharmaceutical fentanyl was associated with 1,013 deaths in six U.S. counties or states from April 2005 to March 2007, according to a report published in the July 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Oxidation Found to Have Role in Cell-Death Alerts

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- The different immune system responses following necrosis or apoptosis of cells is influenced by high-mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) that may be released by the dying cells, as well as by reactive oxygen species (ROS), according to research published in the July 18 issue of Immunity.

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'Tier 4' Drugs Raise Questions About Affordability

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of a fourth tier of copayment for expensive drugs calls into question how Americans are going to handle the rising costs of health care, according to a perspective article in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Genes Implicated in Myopathy in Individuals on Simvastatin

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Variants in the SLC01B1 gene, which plays a role in the hepatic uptake of statins, may raise the risk of myopathy in individuals taking simvastatin, according to research published online July 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Consequences of Genetic Non-Discrimination Act Examined

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), recently signed into U.S. law, creates a troublesome distinction between those at genetic risk for a disease and those with other characteristics that predispose them to a condition, according to a perspective article published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Standard of Care Proposed for Metastatic Kidney Cancer

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Everolimus improves progression-free survival compared to placebo in patients with progressive, metastatic renal cell carcinoma that failed other targeted therapies, according to research published online July 23 in The Lancet.

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Physicians to Get Bonus for Electronic Prescribing

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors using an electronic prescriptions system will be eligible for a bonus from Medicare from 2009 onwards for four years, according to U.S. health officials.

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Shifts in Focus Could Reduce Tuberculosis

TUESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- Focusing on some foreign-born individuals with latent tuberculosis infection may represent one of the more effective options for improving TB control in this group in the United States, and a framework of strategic activities in HIV care programs could address pressing global concerns related to TB, according to two studies in the July 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Abstract - Cain
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Abstract - Havlir
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Ratio Estimates Cardiac Risk Across Multiple Ethnic Groups

FRIDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- The non-fasting apolipoprotein B100/apolipoprotein A1 (ApoB/ApoA1) ratio provides a better risk estimate for acute myocardial infarction than the low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ratio or the total cholesterol/HDL ratio, according to an article published in the July 19 issue of The Lancet.

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Exception Reporting Improves Pay-for-Performance Benefits

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pay-for-performance programs benefit from use of exclusion reporting, whereby certain patients are excluded from quality calculations, and the practice of excluding patients to disguise missed targets, known as gaming, is rare, according to study findings published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical Education Must Adapt to Changing Times

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools must adapt their admission requirements and curricula to changes in scientific theory, and are also facing a challenge to the traditional definition of who is suited to the study of medicine, according to two articles published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA Actions Fostered U.S. Medical Racial Divide

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- From the post-Civil War years to the civil rights era a century later, the American Medical Association (AMA) made decisions that helped support a division between white and black Americans in the field of medicine in the United States, according to an article in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Simvastatin Not Linked to Neurofibromatosis Benefits

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- The use of simvastatin was not associated with cognitive improvements in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), contrary to findings in mouse models suggesting efficacy of this treatment, according to research published in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Non-Invasive Biomarker May Help Screen for Liver Fibrosis

MONDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes patients who are at high risk for liver fibrosis may benefit from a screening test using a non-invasive biomarker, according to a report published in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Pegylated Interferon Boosts Melanoma Survival Rates

FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates for melanoma patients improve if they are treated with a pegylated form of interferon alfa-2 versus observation alone, according to a report published in the July 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Gene Mutation Associated with Atrial Fibrillation Identified

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- In a subgroup of patients with atrial fibrillation, the condition is hereditary and has been attributed to a gene mutation that encodes atrial natriuretic peptide, according to study findings published in the July 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Multiple Myeloma Family Merits Long-Term Follow-Up

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Five cases of multiple myeloma, three of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and five cases of prostate cancer across two generations of one family points to a pattern consistent with autosomal dominant transmission and warrants on-going study of the family, according to an article published in the July 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Health Cash Incentives for Poor People Debated

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Should disadvantaged people be paid to take care of their health? That's the question of a "Head to Head" debate published online July 8 in BMJ.

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Physician's Briefing