Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

April 5, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 4/5/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Mayo Clinic research and faculty experts were featured in a variety of news stories including 3D printed surgical models, early treatment for smoldering multiple myeloma, and heart attacks in women.


Updated guideline highlights new therapies, considerations in anaplastic thyroid cancer

Healio, 4/1/2021

An updated guideline for best practices in managing anaplastic thyroid cancer stresses the need for patient-centered care, considering disease stage and quality of life before attempting aggressive disease management.

… “Much has changed in the management of anaplastic thyroid cancer since publication of the prior guidelines, including new drug approvals and changing therapeutic options,” co-author Keith C. Bible, MD, PhD, emeritus professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Healio. “The new guideline highlights these changes and presents more detailed information, checklists and decision trees to assist in anaplastic thyroid cancer clinical decision-making and management.”


Study: Patients with chronic kidney disease have high risk of acute kidney injury

News Medical Life Sciences, 3/30/2021

Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurred in nearly 20 percent of patients who underwent surgery with implantation of antibiotic-loaded "spacers" and intravenous (IV) antibiotics for the treatment of deep infections after total knee arthroplasty, reports a study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.

Patients with preexisting chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at particularly high risk of AKI, according to the new research by Matthew P. Abdel, MD, and colleagues of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. …


Study sheds light on reverse-order heart-liver transplant's benefits for certain patients

ANI, 4/2/2021

Traditionally, surgeons transplant the heart first followed by the liver. But Mayo Clinic heart transplant team decided to reverse the order for highly sensitized patients in the hopes that the liver would absorb some of the patient's antibodies, removing them from circulation and lowering the risk of antibody-mediated rejection. The strategy worked, according to a study. The study was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.


Richard Hill, who led the efforts to bring Mayo Clinic to Arizona, dies at 94

The Arizona Republic, 3/30/2021

Dr. Richard Hill, the man credited with establishing the first Mayo Clinic in Arizona, died Wednesday. He was 94.

Hill "has long been recognized for his strong and impassioned leadership," said a Mayo Clinic press release. Hill served as chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Hematology from 1972 to 1975 and served on the Mayo Clinic Board of Governors from 1975 to 1982. Hill became the first chair of the board in 1987 where he continued to lead the clinic until his retirement in 1992.

Hill's background in education and research extended far beyond Arizona. …


Virtual surgical planning, 3D printing enhance maxillectomies

AuntMinnie, 4/2/2021

Virtual surgical planning and 3D-printed models can yield lower complication rates in maxillectomy reconstructions, according to research from the Mayo Clinic published online April 1 in JAMA Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

In a retrospective study, researchers led by Dr. Eric Moore found that a group of patients who had received virtual surgical planning with 3D-printed models for maxillectomies that required microvascular reconstruction had a much lower rate of lateral rhinotomy than a cohort of similar patients treated prior to adoption of these methods.


New diagnosis scores make it easier to identify heart failure

UAB News, 4/1/2021

In a recent study published in the ESC Heart Failure by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, two newly recommended scores are very effective in diagnosing heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, a type of heart failure that is challenging to detect. The scores may also be helpful to predict long-term outcomes in these patients. …

The two scores were developed to help in the diagnosis of this disease in outpatient setting. The H2FPEF score was developed by cardiologists at Mayo Clinic, and the HFA-PEFF score was developed by a consensus recommendation by the European Society of Cardiology. The two scores, which were developed in parallel, had not been directly compared previously.


AI in Cardiology: Where We Are Now and Where to Go Next

TCTMD, 3/30/2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in every cardiology subspecialty from imaging to electrophysiology, and researchers across the field’s spectrum are increasingly using it to look at big data sets and mine electronic health records (EHRs). …

Peter Noseworthy, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), who studies AI-enabled ECG identification of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, told TCTMD that although “the term ‘low-hanging fruit’ is overused, [this ECG approach] basically readily available data and an opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of.”

Based on his findings and others, his institution now offers a research tool that allows any Mayo clinician to enable the AI-ECG to look for a variety of conditions. Noseworthy said the dashboard has been used thousands of times since it was made available a few months ago. It is not currently available to clinicians at other institutions, but eventually, if it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, “then we could probably build a widget in the Epic [EHR] that would allow other people to be able to run these kinds of dashboards.” …

NOTE: The article also contains discussion from Mayo Clinic pediatric cardiologist Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., whose interest is hereditary cardiovascular conditions; as well as other experts.


Where to Now, Phospho-Tau?

ALZForum, 4/1/2021 (part of conference series – International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases 2021)

Plasma phospho-tau took the Alzheimer’s field by storm in 2020. Paper after paper described how p-tau181, p-tau217, and p-tau231 specifically and sensitively picked up the disease, especially in its presymptomatic phase. So: Are we ready for a simple phospho-tau blood test for AD? At this year’s virtual ADPD meeting last month, the collective answer was: Not quite.

… In various memory center cohorts, p-tau181, p-tau217, and p-tau231 distinguish Alzheimer’s disease from controls with such high accuracy that some have suggested these markers are good enough to become AD diagnostics by themselves. Not all are on board with this idea, even based on the cohorts that exist today. At ADPD, Cliff Jack, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, argued that these markers are not quite up to snuff. “For this notion of a stand-alone, one point of caution is that these markers should differentiate amyloid-positive from -negative in individuals at all points along the disease spectrum. Studies cast doubt on this,” he said.

… n the larger Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, a prospective population-based cohort, Michelle Mielke at Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota, had previously found that this tau marker identified 72 amyloid-positives among 172 cognitively unimpaired with an AUC of 0.7. At ADPD, Mielke reported that in a larger sample of 892 cognitively unimpaired people, p-tau181 performed only slightly better, with an AUC of 0.78. …


Clinical Challenges: Early Treatment of Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

MedPage Today, 4/1/2021

…"So the overall risk of that group of smoldering multiple myeloma patients changed because of the removal of this extremely high-risk group from that population," explained Shaji Kumar, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. This also meant that changes were needed on how high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma is defined.

"This was done over the past 2 or 3 years, during which two different efforts came to the same conclusion, that a risk-stratification model referred to as the 20/2/20 criteria could be used to risk stratify patients at diagnosis," he said.

In a study published in Blood Cancer Journal, Kumar and colleagues analyzed 421 patients with smoldering myeloma and were able to categorize patients as having low, intermediate, or high risk of progression based on the presence of 20% or more bone marrow plasma cells, a serum M protein spike of greater than 2 g/dL, and a free light chain ratio over 20 -- hence the term "20/2/20."

NOTE: Read the article for more on the current state of research and from Dr. Kumar.


What's NMOSD? A Neurologist’s POV

Never heard of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder? An expert explains the nuances of diagnosing and treating this rare disease.

HealthCentral, 3/30/2021

Dr. Rensel: In 2005, Dr. Vanda Lennon’s lab at the Mayo Clinic discovered the blood test for aquaporin-4 antibodies, which helps diagnose NMOSD. That was super-exciting because early diagnosis is so important to try to prevent relapses. Unfortunately, this is one of the diseases where I’ve had young patients who have died due to very severe relapses.

NOTE: Read the article for the full interview with Dr. Rensel, from Cleveland Clinic. Visit Dr. Lennon's research profile to learn more about her work.


Meet Dr. Q, the Farmer Who Became One of the World's Best Neurosurgeons

Entrepreneur, 3/30/2021

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

This story originally appeared on México Desconocido

Alfredo Quiñones Hinojosa, popularly called Dr. Q, is a Mexican neurosurgeon, whose story is capable of moving anyone. He was born in the city of Mexicali, Baja California , in 1968.

NOTE: Read the full article for more on Dr. Q's life and work at Mayo Clinic.


Banner Alzheimer’s Institute gets $27.5M NIH grant for genetic risk study

AZ Big Media, 4/1/2021

Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) has received a grant expected to total $27.5 million over five years from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further investigate biological and cognitive changes preceding the onset of memory and thinking problems in people at different levels of genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Led by researchers from Banner and Mayo Clinic in Arizona, the five-year grant will study healthy people with six forms of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, create a shared scientific resource of data and biological samples to support a wide range of future studies, and help to advance the understanding, treatment, and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. …


Why Are Women's Heart Attack Symptoms Overlooked?

HealthCentral, 3/31/2021

… “With women, the story ends up being far more detailed, including symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and discomfort between the shoulder blades,” adds Rekha Mankad, M.D., a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, who specializes in women with heart disease.

NOTE: Read the article for more on the topic and from Dr. Mankad.


Precision medicine, digital technology hold potential as powerful tools against tuberculosis

Saudi Gazette, 3/24/2021

The global fight against tuberculosis is gaining some powerful tools. Precision medicine — already used to personalize diagnosis and treatment of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer — and health care technologies such as telemedicine have the potential to advance the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., an infectious diseases expert and medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis.

Mayo’s Center for Tuberculosis is a World Health Organization collaborating center on digital health and precision medicine for tuberculosis. The center partners with institutions around the world to improve the quality of care for tuberculosis patients. …


COVID-19 news with Mayo Clinic experts

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Tags: 3D printing, About, Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, Alzheimer's disease, artificial intelligence, blood cancer, chronic kidney disease, Clifford Jack Jr., COVID-19, digital health, Eric Moore, Findings, genetic testing, genetics, heart failure, heart transplant, hematology, hereditary diseases, Keith Bible, knee replacement, liver transplant, Matthew Abdel, Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, Michael Ackerman, Michelle Mielke, multiple myeloma, neurology, News, oncology, pediatric cardiology, People, Peter Noseworthy, precision medicine, quality of life, Rekha Mankad, Shaji Kumar, shared decision making, surgical outcomes, thyroid cancer, transplant, tuberculosis, Vanda Lennon, virtual health care, women's health, Zelalem Temesgen

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