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  • Author: Petr Nemec x
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Field Survey of Dracaena Cinnabari Populations in Firmihin, Socotra Island: Methodology and Preliminary Results

Abstract

Between 2010 and 2011 a field survey dedicated to Dracaena cinnabari (DC) population was conducted in Firmihin, Socotra Island (Yemen). It’s main goal was to collect data that would make it possible to unbiasedly estimate main characteristics of the local DC population. Our motivation was to provide reliable information to support decision-making processes as well as other research activities. At the same time we were not aware of a survey which could provide this kind of statistical-sound estimates for the whole population covering an area of almost 700 ha.

This article describes how the survey has been planned and carried out in practice. In addition, we also provide a set of preliminary estimates of the main DC population figures - totals and per hectare densities of stems, overall and partitioned according to predicted crown age. Among estimated parameters there are also mean crown age and proportions of predefined age classes on the total number of living DC stems. These estimates provide an explicit information on age structure of the whole DC population in Firmihin.

Although we collected data on more than one hundred randomly located plots, the reported accuracy of our estimates is still rather limiting. We discuss several possibilities to obtain more accurate results or at least to approach the supposedly lower true variance that can’t be calculated by approximate techniques applied here.

The design and concept of our survey makes it possible to evaluate changes over time on stem by stem bases and to generalize these stem-level details to the whole population. Mortality, regeneration and even change of population’s mean crown age can be estimated from a future repeated survey, which would be extremely useful to draw firm conclusions about the dynamic of the whole DC population in Firmihin.

Open access
PET/CT imaging in polymyalgia rheumatica: praepubic 18F-FDG uptake correlates with pectineus and adductor longus muscles enthesitis and with tenosynovitis

Abstract

Background

The role of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) is increasing in the diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), one of the most common inflammatory rheumatic diseases. In addition to other locations, increased 18F-FDG accumulation has been detected in the praepubic region in some patients. However, a deeper description and pathophysiological explanation of this increased praepubic accumulation has been lacking. The aim of the presented study is to confirm a decrease in praepubic 18F-FDG accumulation in response to therapy and to describe potential correlations to other 18F-FDG PET/CT scan characteristics during the course of disease. As a secondary objective, we describe the pathological aspects of the observed praepubic 18F-FDG uptake.

Patients and methods

A retrospective review of patients with newly suspected PMR undergoing baseline and follow up 18F-FDG PET/CT between February 2010 and March 2016 is given. Those with a visually detected presence of praepubic 18F-FDG accumulation were further analysed. The uptake was assessed visually and also semi-quantitatively in the defined region of interest by calculation of target-to-liver ratios. Other regions typical for PMR were systematically described as well (shoulders, hips, sternoclavicular joints, ischiogluteal bursae, spinous interspaces).

Results

Twenty-three out of 89 screened patients (26%) presented with initial praepubic 18F-FDG PET/CT positivity, 15 of whom also underwent follow up 18F-FDG PET/CT examination. Five out of 15 patients presented with increased 18F-FDG accumulation in large arteries as a sign of giant cell arteritis. During follow up examination, decrease in 18F-FDG accumulation caused by therapeutic intervention was observed in all evaluated locations in all analysed patients and no new positivity was indicated, including periarticular, extraarticular tissues or target large vessels. Praepubical accumulation of 18F-FDG was diminished in all patients (15/15, 100%) after treatment with steroids.

Conclusions

Increased praepubic 18F-FDG uptake in patients with PMR is relatively common and this region should be systematically evaluated during differential diagnosis of rheumatic and malignant disease. Praepubic inflammation is probably related to enthesitis and tenosynovitis at the origin of pectineus and adductor longus muscles ventrally from the pubis.

Open access