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December 2007 Briefing - Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for December 2007. 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.

Child's Tantrum Style May Indicate Mental Disorder

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In preschool children, certain tantrum behaviors may be signs of a psychiatric disorder requiring medical attention, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Fabry Disease Patients Have Gastrointestinal Symptoms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- About half of patients with the genetic disorder Fabry disease have gastrointestinal symptoms similar to diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, which are somewhat resolved after enzyme replacement therapy, according to a report in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Inherited Mental Retardation Reversed in Mice

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Many of the neurological and psychiatric symptoms of Fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of mental retardation, can be reversed by reducing the expression of a gene unrelated to the underlying genetic defect of the disease in mice, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 20 issue of Neuron.

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Liver Dysfunction in Sickle Cell Disease Takes Many Forms

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The patterns of liver disease encountered in patients with sickle cell disease are diverse but with considerable overlap, defying broad characterization, reports an article published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in December.

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Structure of Synaptic Protein May Provide Clues to Autism

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A new study provides insight into the molecular structure of neuroligins, a family of postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins required for neural synapse formation. These findings are relevant to the study of autism because mutations in the genes encoding neuroligins have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation. The research is published in the December issue of Neuron.

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OTC Wart-Freezing Products May Not Be Cold Enough

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients should be cautioned against claims that over-the-counter (OTC) wart-freezing products are comparable to in-office cryotherapy, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Pneumococcal Rates Fall Despite Vaccination Shortage

TUESDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Programs to vaccinate children against invasive pneumococcal disease in the United States got off to a fast start in 2001-2002, but many children did not receive a complete series of recommended doses during a period of vaccine shortages, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Neonatal Heart Can Grow After Valve Surgery

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In neonates who underwent surgery for aortic valve stenosis, some left heart structures can eventually reach normal size, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 18/25 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Researchers Rap Infantile Hemangiomas Web Sites

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among Internet sites that address infantile hemangiomas, most do not accurately depict the full disease spectrum from innocuous to severe, and many present a biased view of treatment options, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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300-Year History of U.K. Hospital Visiting Times Reviewed

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A review of visiting times for patients in U.K. hospitals during the past three centuries reveals an evolving philosophy influenced by fears of infection, concerns about stress caused to the patient from visitors, and staff sentiments about interference from outsiders. The review was published in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Active Video Games Require More Energy to Play

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The newer generation of video games, in which players move in simulated sports activities, require significantly greater expenditures of energy than passive video games, researchers report in the Dec. 22 issue of BMJ.

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Disadvantage Follows Children Through Time, Location

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Living in a severely disadvantaged neighborhood reduces the later verbal ability of black children by a magnitude comparable to losing a year or more of school, according to a report published online Dec. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Sex Education Linked to Abstinence, Later First Sex

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who receive sex education prior to the initiation of sexual activity are more likely to abstain from sex, postpone the initiation of sexual activity, and use contraception the first time they have sex, according to an article published in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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CDC: Defer Hib Boosters Until Vaccine Supply Improves

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In response to a shortage of Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that health care providers temporarily defer routine Hib vaccine boosters in children aged 12 to 15 months until the vaccine situation improves, according to a report in the Dec. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the CDC.

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Smoke Exposure in Infancy May Cause Atopic Sensitization

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke in early infancy may be at increased risk of developing atopic sensitization to common inhalant and food allergens, according to an article published online Dec. 18 in Thorax.

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Abortion Raises Risk of Future Preterm Delivery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have had previous abortions are more likely to give birth to low birth weight and premature babies, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Childhood Environment Affects Adult Liver Function

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Environmental exposures during early life affect adult liver function, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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U.S. Influenza Activity Low This Season

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Since the current U.S. influenza season began on Sept. 30, activity to Dec. 1 has been low, according to an article published in the Dec. 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Healthy Preterm Infants Have Altered Lung Development

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy premature infants exhibit decreased airway function throughout the first two years of life even though their lung volumes are normal, suggesting that premature birth may be associated with altered lung development, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine.

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Maternal Corticosteroid Use Linked to Orofacial Clefts

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal use of corticosteroids during early pregnancy may moderately increase the risk of orofacial clefts in infants, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Traffic Linked to Worse Lung Measures in Kids with Asthma

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Traffic-related exposures are associated with reduced lung volumes and increased airway inflammation in children with asthma, according to research published in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine.

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Cancer Risk Studied in Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Carriers of a genetic mutation associated with Nijmegen breakage syndrome, which in homozygotes is associated with an increased risk of cancer, also have an increased cancer risk, according to study findings published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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New European Laws to Improve Child Drug Safety

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation introduced by the European Parliament will help the pharmaceutical industry to produce high-quality research into pediatric use of drugs and should stimulate interest in pediatric clinical pharmacology, according to an editorial in the Dec. 15 issue of BMJ.

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FDA Approves Drug for Treatment of Phenylketonuria

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it has approved Kuvan (sapropterin dihydrochloride) for the treatment of tetrahydrobiopterin-responsive phenylketonuria (PKU). PKU is a rare genetic disorder in which an enzyme deficiency leads to build-up of phenylalanine in the body to toxic levels, resulting in mental retardation, seizures and other neurologic complications.

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Many with Psoriasis Undertreated, Survey Finds

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to major guidelines and consensus statements on recommended treatments for psoriasis, a sizable percentage of people with the condition report they're receiving no treatment, according to survey results published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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FDA & CDC Advise Public on Childhood Vaccine Recall

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Merck & Co. has voluntarily recalled 1.2 million doses of the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine due to an error in manufacturing that could allow the potential for contamination. But the vaccine does not pose a health threat to children, announced officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.

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Yeast Unrelated to Pustular Condition in Newborns

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Colonization of newborns' skin with Malassezia yeast is common after the first week of life, and the yeast does not appear to be correlated with the development of neonatal cephalic pustulosis, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Conflicting Data on Steroid Use in Bacterial Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A study of adults in sub-Saharan Africa with acute bacterial meningitis showed no benefit of corticosteroid adjuvant therapy, while a study of Vietnamese adults and adolescents reported a beneficial effect in only those with microbiologically confirmed disease, according to research published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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First Partial Face Transplant Proves Successful

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The surgeons who performed the first partial face transplantation on a woman with severe disfigurement from a dog bite report a positive functional and cosmetic result 18 months after the surgery, according to an article published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Obesity Impairs Anti-Bacterial Immune Response

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Obese mice display an impaired immune response to bacterial infection, developing more severe periodontitis and alveolar bone loss than lean mice, according to study findings published online Dec. 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Common Pollutant Transported into Breast Milk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Perchlorate, exposure to which is common in the United States, is transported into breast milk by the sodium-iodine symporter and would affect thyroidal iodine uptake, according to the results of a study in rats published online Dec. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Blood Pressure Linked to Physical Activity in Children

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are more physically active have lower blood pressures, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 10 in Hypertension.

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U.S. Emergency Departments Lack Pediatric Preparedness

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The pediatric preparedness of U.S. hospital emergency departments is only average and is in much need of improvement, according to a report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Maternal Depression Linked to Higher Risk of Child Injury

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Recognizing and treating maternal depression may help reduce the risk of injuries and behavioral problems in children, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Head Injuries on the Rise in Skiers and Snowboarders

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are increasing among alpine skiers and snowboarders, especially in young males who perform daredevil stunts, researchers report in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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CDC Reports Decline in Childhood Cancer Death Rates

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Mortality due to childhood cancers declined overall from 1990 to 2004 in the United States, but there were significant variations across regions and between ethnic/racial groups, according to a report in the Dec. 7 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Patients' Charter Raises Range of Ethical Questions

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A patients' charter, which spells out the responsibilities of health care service users, should be discarded in favor of the concept of health responsibilities instead, but even such a charter can raise ethical issues that are difficult to resolve, according to an analysis published in the Dec. 8 issue of BMJ.

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Medical Indications for Male Circumcision Sparse

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- One in six of the world's males are circumcised, predominantly for religious or cultural rather than medical reasons, according to a review published in the Dec. 8 issue of BMJ.

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Surgeon Preferences in Scoliosis Treatment Explored

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Orthopedic surgeons report greater satisfaction with Universal Spine System implants for surgical correction of scoliosis, despite the fact that patient outcomes do not differ between that system and the Moss Miami system, researchers report in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Fever Reduces Aberrant Behavior in Autistic Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- When children with autism spectrum disorders experience a fever, aberrant behavior may decline, which may add to the understanding of autism's causative mechanisms and treatment opportunities, according to a report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Crohn's Disease Has Low Odds of Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The outlook for Crohn's disease patients is better than was previously thought, with only a low risk of requiring surgery, but 90 percent of patients will experience a relapse, according to a study published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Obese Youths at Higher Risk of Future Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Children with a high body mass index (BMI) are at an increased risk of coronary heart disease in adulthood, according to a study published in the December issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. A second study estimates future morbidity based on current obesity trends in teens.

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Seizures Prompt New FDA Guidelines for Desmopressin

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- New prescribing guidelines have been issued for the anti-diuretic drug desmopressin acetate after reviews of 61 cases of hyponatremic-related seizures associated with its use, according to a Dec. 4 announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Education for Trainees May Counter Drug-Industry Pressure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In academic medical centers, educational interventions may help foster attitudes and behaviors in medical trainees that help them resist pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Immigrant Children at High Risk for Lead Poisoning

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Foreign-born children living in the United States, and especially those who have recently immigrated, are at an increased risk of lead poisoning compared to U.S.-born children, according to an article published online Nov. 29 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Troubled Teens Show High Hepatitis C Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Research on juvenile male legal offenders in Australia revealed findings that could be used in diagnosing early liver disease in adolescents, according to study findings published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Sex Hormones Implicated in Etiology of Eating Disorders

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The higher incidence of anorexia nervosa in women compared to men may be related to intrauterine sex hormone exposure, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A second study also points to the involvement of genetic effects in the development of disordered eating.

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Breast-Feeding, Early Diet Affect Infant Food Choices

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-fed infants whose mothers regularly eat certain fruits and vegetables may be more likely to accept those foods after weaning. But in both breast-fed and formula-fed infants, repeated dietary exposure to such foods may be more important in determining acceptability, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Hepatitis B Vaccine Not Linked to Childhood-Onset MS

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Being vaccinated against hepatitis B virus does not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis in children, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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ACP Article Proposes Fixes for U.S. Health System

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the high quality of health care and the latest medical technology that is available to Americans with adequate insurance coverage or financial means, the United States could learn many lessons from the positive attributes of health care systems in other nations, according to a three-part article developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and published online Dec. 4 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Utility of Breath Tests for GI Disorders Reviewed

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori is an accurate, non-invasive way to identify gastrointestinal (GI) infection before and after antibiotic therapy, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Study of Rare Brain Disorder Provides Clues to Dyslexia

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with the rare genetic brain malformation, periventricular nodular heterotopia (PNH), which is characterized by faulty neuronal migration and consequent abnormalities in white matter organization, share behavioral features with individuals with dyslexia, according to research published in the Dec. 4 issue of Neurology. The study authors postulate that structural brain changes may underlie the reading difficulties seen in PNH and propose that PNH might serve as a useful model in understanding dyslexia and other cognitive impairments.

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Metabolic Syndrome in Child Follows Obesity in Mom

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The waist circumference of a mother predicts the presence of metabolic syndrome in her child, researchers report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Katrina Survivors Suffer from Anxiety-Mood Disorders

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Hurricane survivors faced with ongoing stressors are more likely to experience anxiety-mood disorders, according to a report published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Dextromethorphan Loses to Honey As Cough Remedy

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with upper respiratory tract infections rate buckwheat honey as the most effective treatment for nighttime coughing compared to honey-flavored dextromethorphan (DM) or placebo, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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New Classification System Categorizes Infant Lung Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new classification system for disorders presenting with diffuse lung disease in infants provides new information on disease frequency, clinical settings and outcome, researchers report in the Dec. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Peanut Allergies Are Developing Earlier in Infants

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Despite medical recommendations urging the delayed introduction of peanuts to infants with a family history of allergy, the age of first exposure and reaction in peanut-allergic children appears to be declining, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Snoring and Apnea Affect Teens' Academic Performance

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers who snore or have sleep apnea perform more poorly in school, as do teens who do not get enough sleep in general, researchers report in the December issue of the journal Sleep.

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