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Featured Articles

  • August 12, 2019

    Cellular Engines of Wound Repair Have Distinct Roles

    Following tissue injury, fibroblast cells activate, divide and play key roles in both tissue repair and pathological scarring—fibrosis—that can drive organ failure. Vanderbilt investigators have now discovered that, in contrast to prevailing dogma, fibroblasts are not all alike; instead, they have distinctive functions following tissue injury. "Our work offers a new perspective over the currently held thinking that fibroblasts are a single population of cells working in the same manner to coordinate wound repair," said Pampee Young, MD, Ph.D., adjunct professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology.  Read More  

    Discordant Themes Exist in Skin Cancer Assessment Outcomes Among Physicians, Patients 

    Areas of disagreement between patients and physicians on skin cancer-related outcomes include patient fear of the unknown, recurrence and empowering patients to make treatment choices, according to researchers in Dermatologic Surgery. “The shift from a physician/disease-specific point of view to a patient-oriented one has created a new set of qualitative outcomes,” Anthony M. Rossi, MD, of the dermatology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and colleagues wrote. Read More

    Researchers Identify Barriers to Fungal Infection Diagnosis

    There are several barriers that prevent the consistent use of fungal diagnostic preparations to correctly identify cutaneous fungal infections, according to a survey from a team at the George Washington University (GW). The study is published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Cutaneous fungal infections account for between 3.5 and 6.5 million dermatologist office visits per year. Despite their frequency, the diverse presentations of fungal infections often lead to misdiagnosis, resulting in additional costs, time, and delays in proper care. Read More

    Heat-Activated Wound Dressing Has Potential to Heal Chronic Wounds, Pressure Sores

    Active adhesive dressing technology was created by Harvard biomedical engineers.Biomedical engineers said they have created a new wound dressing that contracts in response to body heat, is stretchy, adhesive, antimicrobial and helps to speed healing. The material, called active adhesive dressing, closes wounds “significantly faster” than other commonly used materials and prevents bacterial growth without the need for additional apparatus, the engineers reported. Read More

  • August 6, 2019

    Genetic Mutations Link Rare Skin Disorder and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

    Fatty liver disease is often associated with alcoholism, but more than a third of Americans have fatty livers despite moderate or absent alcohol consumption. They suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. Many patients require liver transplants to beat the disorder. Now researchers led by Jouni Uitto, MD, PhD, Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology at Thomas Jefferson University report mutations in a gene called ABHD5 involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The finding provides a genetic basis for the condition.  Read More  

    New Study Examines How Polarity Regulators Control Cellular Mechanics in Skin 

    The cell polarity protein Par3 controls mechanic changes in the skin and plays an important role in cell division. Malfunction can lead to DNA damages. The balance of the system is of great importance: while too much differentiation leads to loss of stem cells and therefore premature aging, too many cell divisions can be a cause of skin cancer. The new study by a team around Sandra Iden about how polarity regulators control cellular mechanics in the skin was now published in Nature Communications. Read More

    Living Tissue Graft Aids Wound Healing

    Some medical topics are not for the faint of heart or those with a weaker stomach. One obvious example is that of chronic wounds and their care. As a specialist in foot and ankle medicine, I find this a fascinating topic which occupies a fair amount of my attention. Although not everyone’s cup of tea, wound care is challenging. An extremely common concern, these non-healing sores (technically known as ulcers), are not only a common problem but often very difficult to resolve. Numerous physicians, in a variety of specialties, encounter them in the course of their work. Thus, some healthcare providers practice some degree of wound care. Read More

    Diet Matters in Atopic Dermatitis

    Dermatologists who think diet and food don’t matter in atopic dermatitis should think again, according to Peter A. Lio, M.D., clinical assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Food and diet matter, if for no other reason than the fact that our patients really want to know about it and discuss it,” Dr. Lio says. “There is no doubt that true food allergy is a significant problem for patients with atopic dermatitis, affecting some one-third of patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Read More

  • July 30, 2019

    Nasal Decolonization: Potential Mupirocin Alternatives for SSI Prevention

    Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage is a proven risk factor for the development of staphylococcal surgical site infections, or SSIs. S. aureus infections are associated with increased length of hospital stays, increased mortality and higher costs of medical care. Nasal colonization rates with S. aureus have been reported to reach up to 30%, with 1% to 3% having methicillin-resistant organisms.Nasal decolonization strategies have proven beneficial in reducing not only S. aureus colonization but also S. aureus SSIs.  Read More  

    Bioinspired Wound Dressing Contracts in Response to Body Heat to Speed Healing

    Cuts, scrapes, blisters, burns, splinters, and punctures—there are a number of ways our skin can be broken. Most treatments for skin wounds involve simply placing a barrier over it (usually an adhesive gauze bandage) to keep it moist, limit pain, and reduce exposure to infectious microbes, but do not actively assist in the healing process. More sophisticated wound dressings that can monitor aspects of healing such as pH and temperature and deliver therapies to a wound site have been developed in recent years, but they are complex to manufacture, expensive, and difficult to customize, limiting their potential for widespread use. Read More

    Discordant Themes Exist in Skin Cancer Assessment Outcomes Among Physicians, Patients

    Areas of disagreement between patients and physicians on skin cancer-related outcomes include patient fear of the unknown, recurrence and empowering patients to make treatment choices, according to researchers in Dermatologic Surgery. “The shift from a physician/disease-specific point of view to a patient-oriented one has created a new set of qualitative outcomes,” Anthony M. Rossi, MD, of the dermatology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and colleagues wrote. Read More

    Rare Skin Lymphoma Appears Treatable with Antibiotics

    It is common for patients with a rare lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), to also contract staphylococcal infections in the skin. CTCL is a cancer of the T-cells in the skin. CTCL can also involve the blood, lymph nodes, and other internal organs. Researchers with the LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, the University of Copenhagen, showed that aggressive antibiotic treatment could not only inhibit the staph infection, but also the cancer cells. Read More

  • July 23, 2019

    Biofilm Researchers Help Doctors Understand, Treat Chronic Wounds

    When patients would come into his Texas clinic with the small and seemingly harmless sores, caused by the disease restricting blood flow and damaging nerves, the wounds would often resist traditional antibiotics and refuse to heal. In many cases, infection would spread to the bone and become life-threatening. Wolcott saw firsthand why diabetes is the leading cause of lower-extremity amputations not associated with traumatic injury. And when an amputation caused complications, he saw how the ulcers can, ultimately, result in death. Read More  

    Nasal Decolonization: Potential Mupirocin Alternatives for SSI Prevention

    Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage is a proven risk factor for the development of staphylococcal surgical site infections, or SSIs. S. aureus infections are associated with increased length of hospital stays, increased mortality and higher costs of medical care. Nasal colonization rates with S. aureus have been reported to reach up to 30%, with 1% to 3% having methicillin-resistant organisms. Nasal decolonization strategies have proven beneficial in reducing not only S. aureus colonization but also S. aureus SSIs. The most common nasal decolonization strategy is to administer mupirocin to the nares starting a few days before surgery. A consequence of mupirocin use, however, has been the development of mupirocin-resistant staphylococci. Because of concerns about resistance and whether patients can be relied upon to apply mupirocin before surgery, alternative approaches to nasal decolonization are being investigated. Read More

    Recognizing Kidney Injury Due to Burns Is Improved by Artificial Intelligence

    Many burn victims suffer acute kidney injury (AKI), but early recognition of AKI remains challenging. Now an Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML) model developed at UC Davis Health and reported in a new study can predict acute kidney injury quicker and more accurately than ever. "The ability to predict AKI in burn patients using AI is a potential breakthrough for burn centers," said Tina Palmieri, professor and director of the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis Medical Center. Read More

    5 Leader-Driven Strategies for Pressure Injury Prevention

    New OR technologies and procedures are increasing length of surgery in many cases. For patients already at high-risk for co-morbidities, this combination is leading to increased pressure injuries such as alopecia and deep tissue sacral injury caused by unrelieved pressure. “These injuries are occurring even with evidence-based positioning practices and device placement because the mindset toward changes in practice, even simple ones such as adding a one-minute pause during lengthy surgery to reposition, are not being discussed at the leadership level,” according to Cassendra Munro, PhDc, MSN, RN, RNFA, CNOR, magnet, professional practice, and care experience manager at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., consultant, and creator of the Munro Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Scale for Perioperative Patients©. With pressure injury on the rise, she says it’s going to take collaboration between leadership, the frontline and industry to tackle pressure injury on several fronts. Read More

  • July 16, 2019

    Late Irrigation, Debridement of Open Fractures Did Not Increase Re-Operation Rates

    Irrigation and debridement performed more than 6 hours after the occurrence of an open fracture did not increase the risk of re-operation, based on research presented at a meeting. “The old dogma that open fractures need to be addressed within 6 hours of injury needs to be revisited,” Herman Johal, MD, orthopedic traumatologist and clinical scholar with the Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics (CEO) and department of surgery at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, told Orthopedics Today. Read More  

    Detecting Pressure Ulcers in Sweat and Sebum

    Pressure ulcers are a major burden to patients, carers and the healthcare system. Particularly vulnerable populations are elderly, bedridden and spinal cord injured individuals. Ph.D. researcher Jibbe Soetens investigated the response of the human skin to prolonged loading. Hospitals can use his results to detect and even predict pressure ulcers. Also the design of, for example, mattresses and wheelchairs can be improved with his findings. Read More

    Pilot Study Finds Collagen to Be Effective in Wound Closure

    Collagen powder is just as effective in managing skin biopsy wounds as primary closure with non-absorbable sutures, according to a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology by a team of physician researchers at the George Washington University. The team investigated the efficacy of topical collagen powder compared to primary closure on the rate and quality of full-thickness wound healing through histopathological analysis of healing and comparison of symptoms and early cosmetic outcomes.  Read More

    New Tool Predicts How Electrical Stimulation Promotes Healing

    Scientists have known for decades that electrical stimulation promotes healing of chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers and bedsores, but how it happens has been a mystery—until now. "Electrical stimulation is directing the cells to promote migration toward the center of the wound," said Assistant Professor Mark Messerli of the South Dakota State University Department of Biology and Microbiology in the College of Natural Sciences. Messerli and his team developed a tool that predicts how cellular migration and alignment happens.  Read More

  • July 9, 2019

    Diabetic Foot Ulcer Outcomes Improve With Better Access, More Comprehensive Care

    Fewer first-time diabetic foot ulcers were reported from 2013 to 2017 compared with 2003 to 2007 in a high-risk population that had access to more comprehensive podiatry care services, according to findings published in Diabetic Medicine. “Persons living with diabetes and loss of protective foot sensation, foot deformity and/or peripheral vascular disease are at high risk of diabetic foot ulceration, and those with previous ulceration are at even greater risk,” Richard B. Paisey, MD, of the Torbay and South Devon Integrated Care Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues wrote. “Attempts to reduce new and recurrent ulceration in high-risk persons have required intensive intervention and follow-up.” Read More  

    Inpatient Hypoglycemia Predicts Major Amputation in Diabetic Foot Disease

    Patients hospitalized with acute diabetic foot are more likely to undergo any or major amputations when experiencing a hypoglycemic event, independent of other amputation risk factors, according to an analysis of electronic medical records data. “This study is the first to assess the impact of glycemic control on patients with acute diabetic foot in the inpatient setting,” Avivit Cahn, MD, a senior physician at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, told Endocrine Today. “The study found an important association between inpatient glycemic control and amputations, with a stronger association of hypo- rather than hyperglycemia with adverse outcomes.” Read More

    US Study Finds Racial Disparities in Outcomes of Superficial Vein Treatments

    A US-based multicentre study has found that while chronic venous insufficiency is “primarily observed in white women”, there are other notable differences in the incidence and prevalence of disease severity and outcomes when comparing patients’ racial groups, with African Americans requiring a higher number of superficial vein treatments to achieve good results. Peter J Pappas (Center for Vein Restoration, Greenbelt, USA) presented the findings at the European Venous Forum (EVF; 27–29 June) in Zurich, Switzerland. Read More

    Combining Antibiotics, Researchers Deliver One-Two Punch Against Ubiquitouos Bacterium

    By combining two well-established antibiotics for the first time, a scientific team led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center has delivered a “double whammy” against the pervasive Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a potentially deadly form of bacteria that is a major source of hospital-based infections. In a recent Journal of Infectious Diseases study, investigators showed using two antibiotic drugs to fight P. aeruginosa in mouse models was significantly more effective than either antibiotic alone. The antibiotics were ceftazidime-avibactam, a combination drug used to treat a wide variety of serious bacterial infections, and fosfomycin, used to primarily treat infections of the urinary tract. Read More