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  • Article
    Open Access
    The Legitimization Effect of Crowdfunding Success: A Consumer Perspective
    (2023-03-07) Maier, Lukas; Baccarella, Christian V.; Block, Jörn H.; Wagner, Timm F.; Voigt, Kai-Ingo
    Based on legitimacy and consumer inference theory, we examine when, how, and why past crowdfunding success influences the perceptions and behaviors of consumers. Across five studies (four controlled experiments and one field experiment), our findings demonstrate that a young venture’s past crowdfunding success enhances consumers’ perceptions of its cognitive legitimacy. This “legitimization effect of crowdfunding success” leads to positive outcomes with respect to purchase intentions, brand attitudes, and consumers’ willingness to recommend young ventures to others. These effects are robust across different product categories. However, our findings also reveal that these positive effects occur exclusively for young ventures, whereas they disappear or even reverse for established ones.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Expert opinion on COVID-19 vaccination and the use of cladribine tablets in clinical practice
    (2023-03-07) Rieckmann, Peter; Centonze, Diego; Giovannoni, Gavin; Hua, Le H.; Oreja-Guevara, Celia; Selchen, Daniel; Soelberg Sørensen, Per; Vermersch, Patrick; Wiendl, Heinz; Salloukh, Hashem; Yamout, Bassem
    ackground: Gaps in current evidence and guidance leave clinicians with unanswered questions on the use of cladribine tablets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular relating to COVID-19 vaccination. Objective: We describe a consensus-based program led by international MS experts with the aim of supplementing current guidelines and treatment labels by providing timely recommendations relating to COVID-19 vaccination and the use of cladribine tablets in clinical practice. Methods: A steering committee (SC) of 10 international MS experts identified 7 clinical questions to answer concerning the use of cladribine tablets and COVID-19 vaccination, which addressed issues relating to patient selection, timing and efficacy, and safety. Clinical recommendations to address each question were drafted using available evidence combined with expert opinion from the SC. An extended faculty of 28 MS experts, representing 19 countries, in addition to the 10 SC members, voted on the recommendations. Consensus on recommendations was achieved when ⩾75% of respondents expressed an agreement score of 7–9, on a 9-point scale. Results: Consensus was achieved on all 13 recommendations. Clinical recommendations are provided on whether all patients with MS receiving cladribine tablets should be vaccinated against COVID-19, and whether they should be prioritized; the timing of vaccination around dosing of cladribine tablets (i.e. before and after a treatment course); and the safety of COVID-19 vaccination for these patients. Conclusion: These expert recommendations provide timely guidance on COVID-19 vaccination in patients receiving cladribine tablets, which is relevant to everyday clinical practice.
  • Article
    Open Access
    The Formation and Benefits of Natural Mentoring for African American Sexual and Gender Minority Adolescents: A Qualitative Study
    (2023-03-07) Kaufmann, Michelle R.; Lin, Chichun; Levine, Deb; Salcido, Maritza; Casella, Albert; Simon, Jeannette; DuBois, David L.
    This study explored how mentoring begins and the benefits provided for African American sexual and/or gender minority (SGM) youth. Participants were mentors and mentees living in three Mid-Atlantic cities. Mentees (ages 15–21, n = 14) identified as African American; cisgender male, transgender female, or non-binary assigned male; and had sexual interest in men. Mentor participants (ages 18+, n = 13) mentored such youth. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with mentoring relationship partners (both partners did not necessarily participate). All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and imported into Atlas.ti. Using a basic interpretive qualitative analysis, a codebook was developed through inductive and deductive techniques. Analysis focused on mentees’ and mentors’ descriptions and interpretations about how they formed a mentoring relationship and any observed benefits that arose. Themes showed mentoring relationships were formed through introductions via social circles or social media. Mentoring was described as providing a trusted confidant and support with identity formation, relationships, transitioning to adulthood, and health. Results indicate a potential for natural mentoring relationships to provide trusted adult support to SGM adolescents in ways that are experienced as authentic and beneficial to the mental health of African American SGM male youth.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Autoimmune glomerulonephritis in a multiple sclerosis patient after cladribine treatment
    (2023-03-07) Schönfelder, Kristina; Schuh, Helene; Pfister, Frederick; Krämer, Julia; Eisenberger, Ute; Skuljec, Jelena; Hackert, Jana; Ruck, Tobias; Pfeuffer, Steffen; Fleischer, Michael; Gäckler, Anja; Hagenacker, Tim; Kribben, Andreas; G Meuth, Sven; Kleinschnitz, Christoph; Pul, Refik
    Background: Oral cladribine is an approved disease-modifying drug for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis. In controlled clinical trials as well as in post marketing safety assessments, autoimmune conditions have not yet been reported as a specific side effect of cladribine. Objective and Results: Here, we report a case of anti-glomerular basement membrane antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis that occurred shortly after the fourth cladribine treatment cycle. Conclusion: Neurologists should be attentive to the development of secondary autoimmunity in cladribine-treated patients.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Idiopathic granulomatous interstitial nephritis and isolated renal sarcoidosis: Two diagnoses of exclusion
    (2023-03-06) Janssen, Ulf; Naderi, Shirin; Amann, Kerstin
    Granulomatous interstitial nephritis is a rare finding in renal biopsy caused by drugs, infections, and inflammatory or autoimmune diseases. Idiopathic cases account for 18% of granulomatous interstitial nephritis in native kidneys. Sarcoidosis and drugs are the most common causes of granulomatous interstitial nephritis in Western countries, while in India tuberculosis prevails. Few cases of renal sarcoidosis without extrarenal involvement, that is, isolated renal sarcoidosis, have been reported. The diagnostic criteria of isolated renal sarcoidosis remain, however, unclear. Extrarenal sarcoidosis and other etiologies of granulomatous interstitial nephritis, in particular drug-related, have to be excluded. Some of these patients may develop extrarenal manifestations during follow-up. Changes in calcium and vitamin D metabolism are frequently observed in renal sarcoidosis and support its diagnosis. While non-necrotizing granulomas are a feature of sarcoidosis and drug-induced granulomatous interstitial nephritis, they also prevail in tuberculosis-associated granulomatous interstitial nephritis. Granulomatous interstitial nephritis caused by sarcoidosis and drugs usually responds to steroid therapy. A poor response to steroids may indicate an infectious etiology such as tuberculosis and should lead to a review of the initial diagnosis. This article gives an overview of the various etiologies of granulomatous interstitial nephritis, their frequency and histopathological characteristics, as well as potential biomarkers associated with renal sarcoidosis.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Transient Noise Reduction Using a Deep Recurrent Neural Network: Effects on Subjective Speech Intelligibility and Listening Comfort
    (2023-03-06) Keshavarzi, Mahmoud; Reichenbach, Tobias; Moore, Brian C. J.
    A deep recurrent neural network (RNN) for reducing transient sounds was developed and its effects on subjective speech intelligibility and listening comfort were investigated. The RNN was trained using sentences spoken with different accents and corrupted by transient sounds, using the clean speech as the target. It was tested using sentences spoken by unseen talkers and corrupted by unseen transient sounds. A paired-comparison procedure was used to compare all possible combinations of three conditions for subjective speech intelligibility and listening comfort for two relative levels of the transients. The conditions were: no processing (NP); processing using the RNN; and processing using a multi-channel transient reduction method (MCTR). Ten participants with normal hearing and ten with mild-to-moderate hearing loss participated. For the latter, frequency-dependent linear amplification was applied to all stimuli to compensate for individual audibility losses. For the normal-hearing participants, processing using the RNN was significantly preferred over that for NP for subjective intelligibility and comfort, processing using the RNN was significantly preferred over that for MCTR for subjective intelligibility, and processing using the MCTR was significantly preferred over that for NP for comfort for the higher transient level only. For the hearing-impaired participants, processing using the RNN was significantly preferred over that for NP for both subjective intelligibility and comfort, processing using the RNN was significantly preferred over that for MCTR for comfort, and processing using the MCTR was significantly preferred over that for NP for comfort.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Big Data and Digital Aesthetic, Arts, and Cultural Education: Hot Spots of Current Quantitative Research
    (SAGE Publications, 2023-03-06) Christ, Alexander; Penthin, Marcus; Kröner, Stephan
    Systematic reviews are the method of choice to synthesize research evidence. To identify main topics (so-called hot spots) relevant to large corpora of original publications in need of a synthesis, one must address the “three Vs” of big data (volume, velocity, and variety), especially in loosely defined or fragmented disciplines. For this purpose, text mining and predictive modeling are very helpful. Thus, we applied these methods to a compilation of documents related to digitalization in aesthetic, arts, and cultural education, as a prototypical, loosely defined, fragmented discipline, and particularly to quantitative research within it (QRD-ACE). By broadly querying the abstract and citation database Scopus with terms indicative of QRD-ACE, we identified a corpus of N = 55,553 publications for the years 2013–2017. As the result of an iterative approach of text mining, priority screening, and predictive modeling, we identified n = 8,304 potentially relevant publications of which n = 1,666 were included after priority screening. Analysis of the subject distribution of the included publications revealed video games as a first hot spot of QRD-ACE. Topic modeling resulted in aesthetics and cultural activities on social media as a second hot spot, related to 4 of k = 8 identified topics. This way, we were able to identify current hot spots of QRD-ACE by screening less than 15% of the corpus. We discuss implications for harnessing text mining, predictive modeling, and priority screening in future research syntheses and avenues for future original research on QRD-ACE.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Menu-Based Choice Models for Customization: On the Recoverability of Reservation Prices, Model Fit, and Predictive Validity
    (2023-03-06) Neuerburg, Christian; Koschate-Fischer, Nicole; Pescher, Christian
    An increasing number of companies engage in the customization of products to reap the benefits of increased sales and the potential to charge higher prices. Online configurators, which allow customers to assemble “customized” versions of a product, play an important role in customization. In particular, they help companies learn about user preferences and generate reliable forecasts. Therefore, menu-based choice experiments have gained increased attention in recent years. Despite their high relevance, little is known about the properties of the different modeling approaches under varying study conditions. We compare four prominent modeling approaches in an extensive simulation study that systematically varies respondent heterogeneity, choice menu complexity, the available sample size, the number of individual tasks, and the underlying behavioral model. We evaluate the models for reservation price recoverability, model fit, and predictive validity. The findings show that in most cases, one obtains better results for simple and straightforward representations of respondent behavior (e.g., separate multinomial logit models for different functional areas) than for the more sophisticated modeling approaches (e.g., probit-based approaches).
  • Article
    Open Access
    IT management and change at an energy firm: A teaching case on strategic alignment and business process management
    (2023-03-06) Maier, Christian; Laumer, Sven; Weitzel, Tim
    This teaching case illustrates how important concepts and tools of information system management practice and literature are used in a young firm, challenged by strong growth and the need to integrate business processes and information technology systems. The case is typical of many smaller organizations that are substantially different from large firms. Among others, the firm does not have a dedicated information technology unit. As most of our information technology management knowledge stems from research in large companies, the teaching case demonstrates and combines many proven information technology management methods, and how they can be applied in smaller firms as well. Students will learn about strategic alignment, business process management, work system theory, business process management, and notation, and user resistance during information technology-induced change projects in small- and medium-sized organizations.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Longitudinal Change in Knee Cartilage Thickness and Function in Subjects with and without MRI-Diagnosed Cartilage Damage
    (SAGE Publications, 2023-03-06) Wisser, Anna; Lapper, Andreas; Roemer, Frank; Fuerst, David; Maschek, Susanne; Wirth, Wolfgang; Duda, Georg N.; Eckstein, Felix
    Objective Cartilage damage diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is highly prevalent in the population. In this article, we explore whether such cartilage damage is associated with greater longitudinal change in 3D cartilage thickness and knee function in subjects without (risk factors of) knee osteoarthritis. Design Eighty-two knees of Osteoarthritis Initiative healthy reference cohort participants had baseline and 4-year follow-up MRI and knee function data. Baseline presence of semiquantitatively assessed MRI-based cartilage damage (MOAKS [MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score] ≥ grade 1.0) was recorded by an experienced radiologist. Longitudinal femorotibial cartilage thickness change was determined after segmentation, using location-independent methodology. Knee function was evaluated by patient-reported outcomes and functional performance measures. Statistical comparisons included analysis of covariance adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index. Results Forty-five percent of the participants had cartilage damage in at least one femorotibial subregion; the cartilage thickness change score was 15% greater in participants with than in those without damage (1216 ± 434 vs. 1058 ± 277 µm). This difference reached borderline statistical significance with and without adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index (P = 0.05). No significant differences in the change of patient-reported outcomes of knee function (PASE [physical activity score of the elderly] and WOMAC [Western Ontario McMaster Osteoarthritis Index]) or chair stand test results were detected. Of those without femorotibial damage, 58% had cartilage damage in at least one femoropatellar subregion; these had a 9% greater femorotibial cartilage change score than those without femoropatellar or femorotibial damage (difference not statistically significant). Conclusions In the absence of osteoarthritis risk factors, semiquantitatively assessed MRI-based cartilage damage appears to be associated with greater longitudinal location-independent femorotibial cartilage thickness changes, but not with greater functional deteriorations.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Data sovereignty: A review
    (2023-03-03) Hummel, Patrik; Braun, Matthias; Tretter, Max; Dabrock, Peter
    New data-driven technologies yield benefits and potentials, but also confront different agents and stakeholders with challenges in retaining control over their data. Our goal in this study is to arrive at a clear picture of what is meant by data sovereignty in such problem settings. To this end, we review 341 publications and analyze the frequency of different notions such as data sovereignty, digital sovereignty, and cyber sovereignty. We go on to map agents they concern, in which context they appear, and which values they allude to. While our sample reveals a considerable degree of divergence and an occasional lack of clarity about intended meanings of data sovereignty, we propose a conceptual grid to systematize different dimensions and connotations. Each of them relates in some way to meaningful control, ownership, and other claims to data articulated by a variety of agents ranging from individuals to countries. Data sovereignty alludes to a nuanced mixture of normative concepts such as inclusive deliberation and recognition of the fundamental rights of data subjects.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Age-dependent clinical outcomes in primary versus oral anticoagulation-related intracerebral hemorrhage
    (2023-03-03) Sprügel, Maximilian I.; Kuramatsu, Joji B.; Gerner, Stefan T.; Sembill, Jochen A.; Madžar, Dominik; Reindl, Caroline; Bobinger, Tobias; Müller, Tamara; Hoelter, Philip; Lücking, Hannes; Engelhorn, Tobias; Huttner, Hagen B.
    Aims This study determined the influence of age on bleeding characteristics and clinical outcomes in primary spontaneous (non-OAC), vitamin K antagonist-related (VKA-) and non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant-related (NOAC-) ICH. Methods Pooled individual patient data of multicenter cohort studies were analyzed by logistic regression modelling and propensity-score-matching (PSM) to explore the influence of advanced age on clinical outcomes among non-OAC-, VKA-, and NOAC-ICH. Primary outcome measure was functional outcome at three months assessed by the modified Rankin Scale, dichotomized into favorable (mRS = 0–3) and unfavorable (mRS = 4–6) functional outcome. Secondary outcome measures included mortality, hematoma characteristics, and frequency of invasive interventions. Results In VKA-ICH 33.5% (670/2001), in NOAC-ICH 44.2% (69/156) and in non-OAC-ICH 25.2% (254/1009) of the patients were ≥80 years. After adjustment for treatment interventions and relevant parameters, elderly ICH patients comprised worse functional outcome at three months (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) in VKA-ICH: 1.49 (1.21–1.84); p < 0.001; NOAC-ICH: 2.01 (0.95–4.26); p = 0.069; non-OAC-ICH: 3.54 (2.50–5.03); p < 0.001). Anticoagulation was significantly associated with worse functional outcome below the age of 70 years, (aOR: 2.38 (1.78–3.16); p < 0.001), but not in patients of ≥70 years (aOR: 1.21 (0.89–1.65); p = 0.217). The differences in initial ICH volume and extent of ICH enlargement between OAC-ICH and non-OAC-ICH gradually decreased with increasing patient age. Conclusions As compared to elderly ICH-patients, in patients <70 years OAC-ICH showed worse clinical outcomes compared to non-OAC-ICH because of larger baseline ICH-volumes and extent of hematoma enlargement. Treatment strategies aiming at neutralizing altered coagulation should be aware of these findings.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Cochlear Implantation Following Explorative Tympanotomy in Patients With Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Surgical Features and Audiological Outcomes
    (2023-03-03) Rupp, Robin; Hornung, Joachim; Balk, Matthias; Sievert, Matti; Müller, Sarina; Hoppe, Ulrich; Iro, Heinrich; Gostian, Antoniu-Oreste
    Objective: To investigate the anatomical status of the round window niche and hearing outcome of cochlear implantation (CI) after explorative tympanotomy (ExT) with sealing of the round window membrane in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss at a tertiary referral medical center. Methods: Between January 1, 2007, and July 30, 2020, 1602 patients underwent CI at our department. Out of these, all patients previously treated by ExT with sealing of the round window membrane because of unilateral sudden hearing loss were included in the study. A retrospective chart review was conducted concerning method of round window membrane sealing, intraoperative findings during CI, postoperative imaging, and hearing results. Results: Twenty one patients (9 females; 8 right ears; 54.3 years [± 12.9 years]) underwent ExT with sealing of the round window membrane with subsequent CI after 26.6 months (± 32.9 mo) on average. During CI, in 76% of cases (n = 16), the round window niche was blocked by connective tissue due to the previous intervention but could be removed completely in all cases. The connective tissue itself and its removal had no detrimental effects on the round window membrane. Postoperative computed tomography scan showed no electrode dislocation. Mean postoperative word recognition score after 3 months was 57.4% (± 17.2%) and improved significantly to 73.1% (± 16.4%, P = .005) after 2 years. Conclusion: Performing CI after preceding ExT, connective tissue has to be expected blocking the round window niche. Remaining tissue can be removed safely and does not alter the round window membrane allowing for a proper electrode insertion. Short- and long-term hearing results are satisfactory. Consequently, ExT with sealing of the round window membrane in patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss does not impede subsequent CI that can still be performed safely.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Air inclusions in the polymer melt functioning as intrinsic physical blowing agents for the generation of foams in rotational molding
    (2023-03-03) Werner, Jannik; Vetter, Lukas; Hertle, Sebastian; Wolf, Michael; Drummer, Dietmar
    In recent years, foams have experienced a major economic uprise, not least due to their lightweight construction potential. In this article, a new process variation is presented, which enables the generation of foamed structures in rotational molding by the utilization of vacuum. The novel method is based on entrapped air in the melt as an intrinsic physical blowing agent. By applying negative pressure in the cooling or solidification phase, the air bubbles expand. The crystallization freezes the existing conditions and thus forms the foamed structure. The investigations presented consider influences by different pressures as well as the temperature at which the vacuum is applied. The results with polyethylene show that by varying the pressure as well as the application temperature of the vacuum, components with different densities and cell characteristics result. The resulting foamed components excel by an improved stiffness per unit weight ratio.
  • Article
    Open Access
    From misinformation to racism: Assessing the Twitter President
    (2023-03-03) Holtz-Bacha, Christina
    Made for each other: Donald Trump and Twitter
  • Article
    Open Access
    The Mkwawa complex: A Tanzanian-European history about provenance, restitution, and politics
    (2023-02-28) Brockmeyer, Bettina; Edward, Frank; Stoecker, Holger
  • Article
    Open Access
    Physiologic MR imaging of the tumor microenvironment revealed switching of metabolic phenotype upon recurrence of glioblastoma in humans
    (2023-02-28) Stadlbauer, Andreas; Oberndorfer, Stefan; Zimmermann, Max; Renner, Berthold; Buchfelder, Michael; Heinz, Gertraud; Doerfler, Arnd; Kleindienst, Andrea; Roessler, Karl
    Treating recurrent glioblastoma (GB) is one of the challenges in modern neurooncology. Hypoxia, neovascularization, and energy metabolism are of crucial importance for therapy failure and recurrence. Twenty-one patients with initially untreated GB who developed recurrence were examined with a novel MRI approach for noninvasive visualization of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Imaging biomarker information about oxygen metabolism (mitochondrial oxygen tension) and neovascularization (microvascular density and type) were fused for classification of five different TME compartments: necrosis, hypoxia with/without neovascularization, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. Volume percentages of these TME compartments were compared between untreated and recurrent GB. At initial diagnosis, all 21 GB showed either the features of a glycolytic dominant phenotype with a high percentage of functional neovasculature (N = 12) or those of a necrotic/hypoxic dominant phenotype with a high percentage of defective tumor neovasculature (N = 9). At recurrence, all 21 GB revealed switching of the initial metabolic phenotype: either from the glycolytic to the necrotic/hypoxic dominant phenotype or vice-versa. A necrotic/hypoxic phenotype at recurrence was associated with a higher rate of multifocality of the recurrent lesions. Our MRI approach may be helpful for a better understanding of treatment-induced metabolic phenotype switching and for future studies developing targeted therapeutic strategies for recurrent GB.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Two- to five-year follow-up of 78 patients after treatment with the Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device
    (2023-02-28) Luecking, Hannes; Doerfler, Arnd; Goelitz, Philipp; Hoelter, Philip; Engelhorn, Tobias; Lang, Stefan
    Background and purpose Flow-diverter stents are well-established for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device differs from other flow-diverter stents by its dual-layer design and has proved equality to other devices in numerous short-term surveys. However, follow-up data covering substantially more than one year are still limited for this device. We present our long-term experience with Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device. Materials and methods Seventy-eight patients harboring distal internal carotid artery (91%) or vertebrobasilar (9%) cerebral aneurysms treated with Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device with or without adjunctive coiling met the inclusion criteria. All cases were evaluated for aneurysm occlusion (according to Modified Raymond Roy Classification, MRRC), for flow-diverter stents patency and configuration and for procedure- and device-related morbidity and mortality. Results Mean follow-up interval was 36.9 ± 9.5 months (<30 months: n = 18; 31–42 months: n = 31; >42 months: n = 24). Total and subtotal aneurysm occlusion after six months was assessed in 92.0% (MRRC1 = 77.3%, MRRC2 = 14.7%, MRRC3a =2.7%, MRRC3b = 4.1%) and increased to 95.9% (MRRC1 = 90.5%, MRRC2 = 5.4%, MRRC3a = 2.7%). There was one case of aneurysm growth requiring early re-treatment. Procedure-related morbidity was observed in three cases (3.8%; one transient hemiparesis, one suspected foreign-body reaction, and one micro-wire perforation). There was no procedure- or device-related mortality. In-stent stenosis due to intimal hyperplasia was observed in two cases and fish-mouthing in three cases. Conclusions Our long-term data covering two to five years after flow diversion confirm that Flow Redirection Endoluminal Device is a safe and effective device for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms with progressive high aneurysm occlusion rates; recurrence rates were very low. Overall device-related morbidity was low and was not observed later than six months after intervention.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Considerations for Continuing Semielective and Emergency Otolaryngological Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (2023-02-28) Mueller, Sarina K.; Traxdorf, Maximilian; Mantsopoulos, Konstantinos; Gostian, Antoniu-Oreste; Sievert, Matti; Koch, Michael; Huebner, Matthias J.; Iro, Heinrich
    Introduction: During the COVID-19 pandemic, worldwide over 600,000 human beings died due to the cause of the disease. In order to deescalate the transmission rate and to avoid crush loading the countries medical health systems social distancing, face masks, and lockdowns have been considered essential by the majority of governments. Whereas some countries have highly reduced or completely stopped otorhinolaryngological procedures, other countries have continued selected surgeries. The objective of this study was to analyze procedures and outcomes of continuing semielective and emergency surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Retrospective analysis of n = 750 patients who received semi-elective or emergency surgery between March 26 and June 16, 2020, in the Otolaryngology Department of the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. All patients were screened for COVID symptoms and swabbed for SARS-CoV-2 prior to surgery. Results: Of the n = 750 patients, n = 699 patients received semielective surgery and n = 51 emergency surgery. For 27 patients, the swab result could not be awaited due to a life-threatening condition. In these cases, surgery was performed in full protective equipment. No patient was tested positive during or after the surgery (follow-up 45 to 127 days). No member of the medical personnel showed symptoms or was tested positive after contact with patients. Due to the continuation of surgeries, patients’ lives were saved and improvement of long-term quality-of-life and outcomes is anticipated. Conclusions: Continuing selected otorhinolaryngological surgeries is crucial for patients’ health, survival, and long-time quality of life, yet, the protection of the medical personnel has to be granted.
  • Article
    Open Access
    Therapeutic molecular targets of SSc-ILD
    (2023-02-28) Zhang, Yun; Distler, Jörg h. W.
    Systemic sclerosis is a fibrosing chronic connective tissue disease of unknown etiology. A major hallmark of systemic sclerosis is the uncontrolled and persistent activation of fibroblasts, which release excessive amounts of extracellular matrix, lead to organ dysfunction, and cause high mobility and motility of patients. Systemic sclerosis–associated interstitial lung disease is one of the most common fibrotic organ manifestations in systemic sclerosis and a major cause of death. Treatment options for systemic sclerosis–associated interstitial lung disease and other fibrotic manifestations, however, remain very limited. Thus, there is a huge medical need for effective therapies that target tissue fibrosis, vascular alterations, inflammation, and autoimmune disease in systemic sclerosis–associated interstitial lung disease. In this review, we discuss data suggesting therapeutic ways to target different genes in distinct tissues/organs that contribute to the development of SSc.