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Wenjuan Ding, Huayong Zhang, Fangjuan Zhang, Lijun Wang and Songbo Cui


Water level fluctuation and inorganic nitrogen enrichment are two serious problems caused by anthropogenic disturbances in aquatic ecosystems. They cause resource fluctuation and thus might influence the invasive-ness of alien plants. Alternanthera philoxeroides is an amphibious and widespread clonal plant which exhibits significant invasiveness. This experimental study examined the plant's morphological traits under different nitrogen concentrations and water levels. The responses of A. philoxeroides to water levels and nitrogen concentrations were similar for both land-like and riverbank-like initial conditions. A. philoxeroides showed an escape strategy of shoot elongation when its growth was suppressed by shallow submergence. No toxic symptoms but increased clonal spread was observed at high nitrogen concentrations, suggesting that A. philoxeroides not only tolerated but benefitted from nitrogen-polluted water. High nitrogen level mitigated the negative effects of submergence on its leaf survival, thereby enhancing its adaptation to water level fluctuation. Such strong adaptability and clonal spread helps A. philoxeroides to grow and invade successfully in shallow eutrophic water.

Open access

Xiaoli Yao, Wen Wei, Juanjuan Li, Lijun Wang, ZhiLiang Xu, Yingwen Wan, Kaiyang Li and Shengrong Sun


Background: Many breast-imaging techniques have been developed as primary clinical methods for identifying early-stage breast cancers and differentiating them from benign breast tumors. For the large population of China, any screening method that is rapid, economical, and accurate is worthy of evaluation.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of mammography, color Doppler ultrasonography, and far-infrared thermography in the screening and early diagnosis of breast cancer.

Methods: Data from 2036 women with breast disease between January 2007 and May 2011 were included in this study. All patients underwent mammography, ultrasonography, and far-infrared thermography imaging. The diagnostic accuracy of the three methods was determined using postoperative pathological results as the diagnostic criterion standard.

Results: There were 480 patients found to have breast malignancies on pathological examination. The lesion diameter was <2 cm in 853 cases. Among them, breast cancer was found in 73 patients and carcinoma in situ in 22 patients. There was no difference in the accuracy of mammography and ultrasonography (96.1% versus 95.8%). However, there were significant differences between the accuracy of far-infrared thermography (97.1%) and ultrasonography and mammography. The sensitivity and specificity of far-infrared thermography was superior to that of mammography and ultrasonography in lesions <2 cm in diameter.

Conclusion: Far-infrared thermography is more accurate for breast cancer screening than ultrasonography and mammography for lesions <2 cm. It has comparable diagnostic accuracy to ultrasound and better diagnostic accuracy than mammography for lesions >2 cm in diameter.

Open access

Li-jun Peng, Jin-sheng Guo, Zhe Zhang, Li-li Liu, Yi-rong Cao, Hong Shi, Jian Wang, Scott L. Friedman, John J. Sninsky and Ji-yao Wang


Objective Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have linked many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to the outcomes of a variety of liver diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of several candidate SNPs with the risk and severity of cirrhosis due to chronic hepatitis B in a Chinese population.

Methods A total of 714 Chinese participants with persistent HBV infection were studied. Patients were divided into cirrhotic (n = 429) and non-cirrhotic (n = 285) groups based on clinical and pathological evidence. The progression rate and severity of liver cirrhosis were evaluated with an arbitrary t-score system. Genotypes of six SNPs in five candidate genes were detected with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). The genotypic distributions of the SNPs were compared between the age-matched cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic subjects. The association between the risk of SNPs and the severity and progression rate of cirrhosis was further analyzed.

Results Rs2679757 polymorphism of the antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1) gene and Rs886277 in the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M, member 5 gene (TRPM5) were found to be associated with cirrhosis risk in CHB. They were also correlated with the overall severity and progression rate of cirrhosis. Genotype frequencies of other SNPs were not different between the cirrhosis and non-cirrhosis groups.

Conclusions AZIN1 rs2679757 and TRPM5 rs886277 are associated with the risk and the progression rate of HBV-related liver fibrosis in Chinese patients. The emerging SNPs associated with cirrhosis prognosis warrant further clinical validation in other CHB cohorts or ethnic groups, and merit mechanistic studies to reveal their roles in fibrosis progression.