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Open access

Bing Wang, Jian-Liang Wu and Lin Sun

Abstract

A total-k-coloring of a graph G is a coloring of VE using k colors such that no two adjacent or incident elements receive the same color. The total chromatic number χ′′(G) of G is the smallest integer k such that G has a total-k-coloring. Let G be a graph embedded in a surface of Euler characteristic ε ≥ 0. If G contains no 3-cycles adjacent to 4-cycles, that is, no 3-cycle has a common edge with a 4-cycle, then χ′′(G) ≤ max{8,Δ+1}.

Open access

Jian Liang, Meng Zhou, Lin-Yu Li, Ji-Cheng Shu, Yong-Hong Liang, Feng-Qin Li, Li Xiong and Hui-Lian Huang

Abstract

Flow-injection mass spectrometry (FIMS) coupled with a chemometric method is proposed in this study to profile and distinguish between rhizomes of Smilax glabra (S. glabra) and Smilax china (S. china). The proposed method employed an electrospray-time-of-flight MS. The MS fingerprints were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) with the aid of SIMCA software. Findings showed that the two kinds of samples perfectly fell into their own classes. Further predictive study showed desirable predictability and the tested samples were successfully and reliably identified. The study demonstrated that the proposed method could serve as a powerful tool for distinguishing between S. glabra and S. china.

Open access

Guang-Quan Chen, Liang Yi, Xing-Yong Xu, Hong-Jun Yu, Jian-Rong Cao, Qiao Su, Lin-Hai Yang, Yong-Hang Xu, Jun-Yi Ge and Zhong-Ping Lai

Abstract

It has been suggested that the standardized growth curve (SGC) method can be used to accurately determinate equivalent dose (De) and reduce measurement time. However, different opinions regarding the applicability of the SGC method exist. In this paper, we evaluated quartz OSL SGCs of marine and coastal sediments of different grain sizes and different cores in the south Bohai Sea in China, and tested their applicability to the determination of De values. Our results suggested as follows: (1) The SGC method is applicable to both multiple- and single-aliquot regenerative-dose (MAR and SAR) protocols of OSL dating and efficiently provides reliable estimates of De. (2) Finesand quartz of different palaeodoses showed highly similar dose-response curves and an SGC was developed, but old samples using the SGC method have large uncertainties. (3) For coarse-silt quartz, two different types of dose-response curves were recorded: low-dose (≤60Gy) and high-dose (≥100Gy). The growth curves of low-dose quartz were similar to each other, facilitating the use of SGC in De estimations, but errors tended to be larger than those obtained in the SAR method. For high-dose (100–300Gy) quartz, the SGC was also found to be reliable, but there was large uncertainty in De (>300Gy) estimation. We suggest that SGC could be employed for the dating of marine and coastal sediments dating using either MAR or SAR OSL protocol and either fine-silt, coarse-silt or fine-sand quartz.

Open access

Chih-Yen Tu, Te-Chun Hsia, Hsin-Yuan Fang, Ji-An Liang, Su-Tso Yang, Chia-Chin Li and Chun-Ru Chien

Abstract

Background

Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a promising option for non-operated early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) compared to conventional fractionated radiotherapy (CFRT). However, results from conclusive randomized controlled trials are not yet available. The aim of our study was to explore the effectiveness of SABR vs. CFRT for non-operated early-stage NSCLC.

Patients and methods

We used a comprehensive population-based database to identify clinical stage I non-operated NSCLC patients in Taiwan diagnosed from 2007 to 2013 who were treated with either SABR or CFRT. We used inverse probability weighting and the propensity score as the primary form of analysis to address the nonrandomization of treatment. In the supplementary analyses, we constructed subgroups based on propensity score matching to compare survival between patients treated with SABR vs. CFRT.

Results

We identified 238 patients in our primary analysis. A good balance of covariates was achieved using the propensity score weighting. Overall survival (OS) was not significantly different between those treated with SABR vs. CFRT (SABR vs. CFRT: probability weighting adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.586, 95% confidence interval 0.264–1.101, p = 0.102). However, SABR was significantly favored in supplementary analyses.

Conclusions

In this population-based propensity-score adjusted analysis, we found that OS was not significantly different between those treated with SABR vs. CFRT in the primary analysis, although significance was observed in the supplementary analyses. Our results should be interpreted with caution given the database (i.e., nonrandomized) approach used in our study. Overall, further studies are required to explore these issues.

Open access

Shang-Wen Chen, Ji-An Liang, Lian-Shung Yeh, Wei-Chun Chang, Wu-Chou Lin and Chun-Ru Chien

Background. Comparing initial 45 Gy of pelvic intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and non-IMRT in terms of the late toxicities associated with advanced cervical cancer that has also been treated with definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy and high-dose rate intracavitary brachytherapy (HDRICB).

Patients and methods. This retrospective study included 320 stage IB2-IIIB cervical cancer patients treated with CCRT (83 IMRT and 237 non-IMRT). The two groups had similar stage and HDRICB ratings. Following 45 Gy to the pelvis, HDRICB of 24 Gy in four courses was prescribed. Late toxicities, including rectal complications (RC), bladder complications (BC) and non-rectal intestinal injury (NRRII), were scored by the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. A logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of the complications.

Results. With a median follow-up duration of 33 and 77 months for IMRT and non-IMRT, 33 patients had Grade 2 or higher late RC (7.2% IMRT, 11.4% non-IMRT), whereas that for BC was 40 (9.6% IMRT, 13.5% non-IMRT) and for NRRII was 48 (12.0% IMRT, 16.0% non-IMRT). The cumulative rate for total grade 3 or higher gastrointestinal or genitourinary toxicities was 8.4% and 11.8% (p = 0.33). IMRT did not reduce the OR for all endpoints; however, the ORs for rectum and bladder reference doses to Point A were associated with RC and BC.

Conclusions. Locally advanced cervical cancer patients treated with initial 45Gy of pelvic IMRT and HDRICB have similar treatment-related late toxicities as those treated with non-IMRT. Optimization of the brachytherapy scheme is essential to minimize late toxicities.

Open access

Yi Chih Chang, Tien Hsing Chen, Pyng Jing Lin, Kuo Chun Hung, Fen Chiung Lin, Chun Chieh Wang, I Chang Hsieh, Jian Liang Wang, Hung Ta Wo and Chien Chia Wu

Abstract

Background: Maintaining continuity between the mitral valve and the subvalvular apparatus during mitral valve replacement (MVR) maximizes the left ventricular (LV) function and increases the survival rate. However, MVR potentially cause rupture of the papillary muscles, systemic embolization, or dehiscence of the mitral annulus from the transposed position.

Objective: We presented a case with severe rheumatic mitral valve disease treated with MVR and partial preservation of the posterior and anterior chordae tendineae.

Methods: Retrospectively review of medical records.

Results: Transthoracic echocardiography performed two weeks after surgery revealed a floating mass in the posterior inferior aspect of the left atrium and a lobulated mass joining the tip of the posterior papillary muscle in the left ventricle. Perioperative examination confirmed a large thrombus in the left atrium and the stump of the preserved posterior papillary muscle of the mitral valve.

Conclusion: Thus, the papillary muscle could present itself as an abnormal mass on echocardiography, resulting in misdiagnosing.

Open access

Qing He, Qi-yuan Tang, Xiao-hua Le, De-liang Lv, Xiang-mei Zhang, Fei-jian Ao, Yi-min Tang, Shan Huang, John Nunnari and Gui-lin Yang

Abstract

Objective The clinical significance of differential distribution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleocapsid antigen in hepatocytes remains unknown. The goal of this study is to determine the relationship between distinct HBV core antigen distribution pattern and alanine transaminase (ALT), liver histological inflammatory activity grades, serum HBeAg status and HBV DNA level.

Methods Total of 958 cases with chronic hepatitis B were recruited into this study. Liver function tests, serum HBV DNA level, serological HBV markers and liver immunohistochemistry were examined according to the conventional instructions. Chi Square tests were performed to analyze the differences among these groups.

Results It was found that 552 (58%) cases were tested positive for HBV core antigen by immunohistochemical staining. Cytoplasmic hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) expression correlated with ALT level and serum HBV DNA and liver inflammatory activity scores, however, nuclear HBcAg expression in hepatocytes was associated with normal ALT level, lower liver inflammatory activity score and higher serum HBV DNA level and rate of HBeAg positivity. Both nuclear and cytoplasmic HBcAg expression in hepatocytes associated with a middle ALT level and liver inflammatory activity score, higher rate of serum detectable HBeAg and a higher HBV DNA level. However, undetectable core antigen was related to a lower ALT level and histological inflammatory activity grade, lower positive HBeAg rate and HBV DNA level.

Conclusions Undetectable liver HBcAg is associated with HBV clearance, ALT normalization and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) seroconversion, and cytoplasmic HBcAg expression associated with higher hepatic inflammatory activity. However, nuclear HBcAg expression correlates with immune tolerance characterized with normal ALT and lower liver inflammatory activity, higher HBV replication level and higher rate of HBeAg positivity.