The level of significance

was alpha = 0 01 (after Bonferr

The level of significance

was alpha = 0.01 (after Bonferroni correction for 5 comparisons).

Results. All 3 stabilization techniques significantly decreased range of motion across C0-C2 compared to the intact spine (P < 0.01). There was no statistical difference among the 3 stabilization methods in flexion/extension and axial rotation. In lateral bending, the technique using C2 crossing laminar screws demonstrated a trend toward increased range of motion compared to the other 2 techniques. CT scans in both axial and sagittal views demonstrated greater proximity to the vertebral artery in the pedicle and transarticular screw techniques compared to the crossing laminar screw technique.

Conclusion. Occipitoatlantoaxial stabilization

techniques using C2 crossing laminar screws, C2 pedicles screws, and C1-C2 transarticular DZNeP cell line screws offer similar bio-mechanical stability. Using the C2 crossing find more laminar screw technique may offer an advantage over the other techniques due to the reduction of the risk to the vertebral artery during C2 screw placement.”
“Pasteurella multocida serotype A:3 is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen, one of the causative agents of shipping fever of cattle. In this study, outer membrane protein H (ompH) and Pasteurella lipoprotein E (plpE) genes were cloned and plpEC-ompH fusion was constructed and expressed in Escherichia coil. Recombinant PlpE, OmpH and PlpEC-OmpH fusion proteins were purified and formulated with oil-based and oil-based CpG ODN adjuvants. Antibody responses in mice vaccinated with recombinant PlpE and PlpEC-OmpH proteins formulated with both adjuvants were significantly (p < 0.05) increased. However, a significant (p < 0.05) increment in serum IFN-gamma level was only observed upon immunization with oil-based CpG formulations. Protectivity of the vaccines were evaluated via intraperitoneal challenge

of mice with 10 LD50 of P. multocida A:3. The recombinant proteins PlpE and PlpEC-OmpH fusion conferred 100% protection when formulated with TPCA-1 ic50 oil-based CpG ODN while the protectivity was found to be 80% and 60%, respectively when only oil-based adjuvant was used in respective formulations. These findings indicated that the recombinant PIPE or PlpEC-OmpH fusion proteins formulated with oil-based CpG ODN adjuvant are possible acellular vaccine candidates against shipping fever. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the leading causes of death in the developed world and associated with a high individual and socioeconomic burden. Despite emerging preventive efforts and ongoing clinical trials, the frequency and mortality of COPD are expected to continue to rise over the next decades.

None of these trials found revascularization superior to OMT in i

None of these trials found revascularization superior to OMT in improving survival of ICM patients. Additionally, the STICH trial’s viability substudy suggested that pretreatment viability testing was not beneficial.SummaryICM patients remain a clinical conundrum. The numerous limitations of the recent RCTs have led to uncertainty about optimal management. Revascularization

continues to be offered to patients with evidence of myocardial viability. Further studies are required to answer the outstanding questions in the management of patients learn more with ICM.”
“SETTING: Uzbekistan has had 100% DOTS coverage since 2005; however, the treatment success rate has remained at around 80% for the last 4 years. Surveys from the capital city of Tashkent and from western Uzbekistan have shown high levels of primary multidrug resistance.

OBJECTIVE: To assess treatment regimens prescribed for new cases of tuberculosis (TB), including the prescription of additional non-TB drugs, and the cost Implications for the patient. DESIGN: We randomly sampled 30 clusters of seven new TB patients. Enrolled patients were interviewed and, their medical records were reviewed.

RESULTS: In general, the treatment regimens prescribed were correct; doses were high rather than low. Second-line anti-tuberculosis drugs were rarely prescribed. In addition to anti-tuberculosis

drugs, CH5183284 clinical trial patients were prescribed on average seven to eight non-TB drugs. The rationale for prescribing the non-TB drugs was, however, questionable. Patients incurred substantial costs

for these drugs, some of which were not without risk.

CONCLUSION: Prescriptions of anti-tuberculosis drugs for new TB patients arc adequate; however, the practice of prescribing additional non-TB drugs needs to be reconsidered.”
“Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) has become the most widely used separation tool in proteomic analysis. 2-DE is especially useful in expression proteomics, where comparative analysis of the expression of proteins exposed see more to environmental factors and those physiologically undisturbed is the essence of research. A comparative analysis of changes in protein expression provides information that may be utilized (e.g., in drug design and biomarker research). Furthermore, the technique of 2-DE is gaining popularity due to the possibility of coupling it with numerous analytical techniques and bioinformatics methods. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Objective: In this article, we tried to provide all those involved in perinatal medicine with a concise guide to detect mothers at risk of developing post-partum depression. Motherhood is a critical situation characterized by role conflicts because conflicts among the role of mother, worker and wife are the norm in the post-partum period and may jeopardize the mother’s existence.

The gradient-index metamaterials are designed to transform the sp

The gradient-index metamaterials are designed to transform the spherical wave-front into the planar wave-front and to minimize the reflection loss. A prototype lens antenna, which consists of a metal conical horn and the gradient-index lens, are simulated, constructed, and measured. The resemblance of simulation and measurement results shows that the prototype lens antenna maintains low return loss and high directivity on the whole X-band (from 8 GHz to 12 GHz). Compared to the traditional

horn antenna, the metamaterial GRIN lens antenna has much superior performance-for instance, the gain increases by 6 dBi at 12 GHz. These results learn more demonstrate the feasibility of such a light weight slab metamaterial lens for broadband and high-directivity antenna applications, such as in radar and communication systems. We have used the lens antennas in the measurements of a three-dimensional invisibility cloak due to the high directivity. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. VS-6063 solubility dmso [doi:10.1063/1.3622596]“
“Background: Pancreatic occlusion failure (POF) after distal pancreatectomy remains a common source of morbidity. Here, we review our experience with distal pancreatectomy and attempt to identify factors which influence POF rates.

Patients and Methods: One hundred sixty-nine distal pancreatectomies were performed between 2002 and 2007. Review of the computerized medical records and physician

office records was performed for all patients. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine factors which might influence the incidence of POF. The data set was analysed for factors which might influence the pancreatic occlusion rate. Analysis included patient and disease characteristics including: age, gender, body mass index (BMI), diagnosis, consistency of the pancreas and history of pancreatitis, as well as intra-operative variables including: surgeon, absorbable mesh reinforcement and operative approach.

Results: POF was the most common peri-operative

complication. POF was identified in 32 out of 169 patients (19%). Transection technique (hand sewn, stapled, stapled with mesh) and procedure complexity were factors associated with differences A-1210477 in POF rates by both univariate and multivariate analyses. POF was identified in 7 out of 70 patients (10%) when an absorbable mesh was utilized, and 25 of 99 patients (25%) when mesh was not utilized (P < 0.02).

Discussion: These data suggest that a randomized controlled trial will be required to determine if mesh reinforcement reduces the rate and severity of POF after distal pancreatectomy.”
“BACKGROUND: The prevalence, prognostic importance, and factors that predict the presence and degree of pulmonary hypertension (PH) diagnosed with right heart catheterization (RHC) in patients with end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remain unclear.

Conclusions: The intervention has not only improved skills of hea

Conclusions: The intervention has not only improved skills of health providers, decreased the mortality and morbidity of birth asphyxia, but also resulted in effective implementation of guidelines and protocols within hospitals. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Background: Dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) is increasingly used LY411575 concentration to quantify microvessels and permeability in atherosclerosis. Accurate quantification depends on

reliable sampling of both vessel wall (VW) uptake and contrast agent dynamic in the blood plasma (the so called arterial input function, AIF). This poses specific challenges in terms of spatial/temporal resolution and matched dynamic MR signal range, which are suboptimal in current vascular DCE-CMR protocols. In this study we describe a novel dual-imaging approach, which allows acquiring simultaneously

AIF and VW images using different spatial/temporal resolution and optimizes imaging parameters for the two compartments. We refer to this new acquisition as SHILO, Simultaneous HI-/LOw-temporal (low-/hi-spatial) resolution DCE-imaging.

Methods: In SHILO, the acquisition of low spatial resolution single-shot AIF images is interleaved with segments of higher spatial resolution images of the VW. This allows sampling the AIF and VW with different spatial/temporal resolution and acquisition parameters, at independent spatial locations. We show the adequacy of this temporal sampling scheme by using numerical simulations. Following, we validate the MR signal KU-57788 clinical trial of SHILO against a standard 2D spoiled gradient recalled echo (SPGR) acquisition with in vitro and in vivo experiments. Finally, we show feasibility of using SHILO imaging in subjects with carotid atherosclerosis.

Results: Our simulations SB203580 cost confirmed the superiority of the SHILO temporal sampling scheme over conventional strategies that sample AIF and tissue curves at the same time resolution. Both

the median relative errors and standard deviation of absolute parameter values were lower for the SHILO than for conventional sampling schemes. We showed equivalency of the SHILO signal and conventional 2D SPGR imaging, using both in vitro phantom experiments (R-2 = 0.99) and in vivo acquisitions (R-2 = 0.95). Finally, we showed feasibility of using the newly developed SHILO sequence to acquire DCE-CMR data in subjects with carotid atherosclerosis to calculate plaque perfusion indices.

Conclusions: We successfully demonstrate the feasibility of using the newly developed SHILO dual-imaging technique for simultaneous AIF and VW imaging in DCE-CMR of atherosclerosis. Our initial results are promising and warrant further investigation of this technique in wider studies measuring kinetic parameters of plaque neovascularization with validation against gold standard techniques.

Results: Administration of DAF significantly reduced intestinal a

Results: Administration of DAF significantly reduced intestinal and lung tissue damage in a dose-dependent manner (5, 25, and 50 mu g/kg). In addition, DAF treatment improved hemorrhage-induced hyperkalemia. The protective effects of DAF appear to be related to its ability to reduce tissue complement activation and deposition on affected tissues.

Conclusions: DAF treatment decreased tissue complement activation and deposition in hemorrhaged animals and attenuated

tissue damage at 200 minutes after treatment. The observed beneficial effects of DAF treatment on tissue injury after 20 minutes of severe hypotension presents an attractive model of small volume resuscitation, particularly in situations with a restrictive medical logistical footprint such as far-forward access to first responders in the battlefield Belnacasan or in remote rural or mountainous environments.”

The aim of this study was to explore

Greek problem drug users’ perceptions of the reasons that led them to quit using drugs and engage in treatment of their own volition.


Qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews.


Two state drug agencies in Thessaloniki, Greece.


A total of 40 adult problem drug-using men and women participated in the study.


Participants were asked to reflect on their decisions to wean themselves from drugs and enter treatment.


Participants reported that their decisions centred on the re-conceptualization of the drug-using community and their membership in it, the desire to restore aspects of identities that were deemed to be selleck inhibitor spoiled, and finally memories of their drug-free selves. The importance of the distinctively Greek notion of filotimo in this discussion is highlighted.


Primarily find more in relation to filotimo (a concept that represents a complex array of virtues that regulates behaviour towards one’s family), the desire to restore one’s spoiled identity plays a pivotal role in Greek problem drug users’ decisions to cease drug use and engage in treatment.”
“Background: Treatment outcomes for antiretroviral therapy (ART) patients may vary by gender, but estimates

from current evidence may be confounded by disease stage and adherence. We investigated the gender differences in treatment response among HIV-positive patients virally suppressed within 6 months of treatment initiation.

Methods: We analyzed data from 7,354 patients initiating ART between April 2004 and April 2010 at Themba Lethu Clinic, a large urban public sector treatment facility in South Africa. We estimated the relations among gender, mortality, and mean CD4 response in HIV-infected adults virally suppressed within 6 months of treatment initiation and used inverse probability of treatment weights to correct estimates for loss to follow-up.

Results: Male patients had a 20% greater risk of death at both 24 months and 36 months of follow-up compared to females.

With the increase in the particles size, H(EB) decreases monotono

With the increase in the particles size, H(EB) decreases monotonously. Furthermore, vertical magnetization shift was also observed for the small particles. Exchange bias is attributed to the exchange coupling interactions between ferromagnetic and spin-glass-like (or antiferromagnetic) phase interface layers.”
“PURPOSE: To compare the efficacy of epi-Shugarcaine solution (epinephrine 0.025% and lidocaine 0.75% in fortified balanced salt solution [BSS Plus]) (epi-S) and Lundberg and Behndig’s intracameral dilation solution (cyclopentolate 0.1%, phenylephrine 1.5%, and lidocaine 1%) (LB) for intracameral dilation

for cataract surgery.

SETTING: Private clinic, Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA.

METHODS: In this paired-eye single-masked prospective study, the first eye scheduled Dorsomorphin in vivo for surgery was randomized selleck compound library to receive LB solution or epi-S solution intracamerally at the time of cataract surgery; the second eye to have surgery received the alternative solution. Each eye received I drop of tropicamide 1% at least 20 minutes before the

start of surgery. Pupil measurements were made before the incision was created, 1 minute after intracameral solution injection, after the anterior chamber was filled with an ophthalmic viscosurgical device, and at the conclusion of the case. Pupil size was objectively graded via software operated by a video technician who was masked to which solution was used.

RESULTS: Eighty-four eyes of 42 patients were enrolled in the study. At each time point after instillation, the pupil was statistically significantly larger with epi-S solution than with LB solution, averaging 0.528 mm larger 1 minute after instillation (mean 7.183 versus 6.665 mm) to 0.34 mm larger (mean 7.381 GSK1120212 concentration versus 7.040 mm) by the end of the case.

CONCLUSION: When combined with 1 drop of tropicamide 1% preoperatively, both formulations provided safe and effective intracameral dilation for cataract

surgery; however, the epi-S solution was the more efficacious at each step of the procedure.”
“Aggressive donor management, including the placement of a pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) to monitor hemodynamic status and tissue perfusion, has been associated with a significant increase in the number of organs recovered for transplantation. Nonetheless, there has been growing scrutiny over the use of PACs because of their known complications and lack of therapeutic effect. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of PACs in the management of organ donors. The records of all patients who successfully donated organs between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2005 were reviewed. A total of 96 patients underwent successful organ donation during the four-yr study period. Of these, 49 (51.0%) were managed with a PAC. Compared with donors managed without a PAC, there were significantly more hearts recovered from donors managed with a PAC (71.4% vs. 44.7%; p = 0.

Interestingly also, a gold36 knock-out mutant mirrored the GOLD36

Interestingly also, a gold36 knock-out mutant mirrored the GOLD36 subcellular phenotype. These data indicate that GOLD36 is a protein destined to post-ER compartments and suggest that its export from the ER is a requirement to ensure steady-state maintenance of the organelle’s organization and functional activity in relation

to other secretory compartments. We speculate that GOLD36 may be a factor that is necessary for ER integrity because of its ability to limit deleterious effects of other secretory proteins on the ER.”
“The triage theory posits that some functions of micronutrients (the approximate to 40 essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids) are restricted during shortage and that functions required for short-term survival take precedence over those that are less essential. Insidious changes accumulate as a consequence of restriction, which increases Anlotinib manufacturer the risk of diseases of aging. For 16 known vitamin K-dependent (VKD) proteins, we evaluated the relative lethality of 11 known mouse knockout mutants to categorize essentiality. Results indicate that 5 VKD proteins that are required for coagulation had critical functions (knockouts were embryonic lethal), whereas the knockouts of

5 less critical VKD proteins [ osteocalcin, matrix Gla protein (Mgp), growth arrest specific protein 6, transforming growth factor beta-inducible protein (Tgfbi or STI571 datasheet beta ig-h3), and periostin] survived buy Pitavastatin at least through weaning. The VKD gamma-carboxylation of the 5 essential VKD proteins in the liver and the 5 nonessential proteins in non-hepatic tissues sets up a dichotomy that takes advantage of the preferential distribution of

dietary vitamin K1 to the liver to preserve coagulation function when vitamin K1 is limiting. Genetic loss of less critical VKD proteins, dietary vitamin K inadequacy, human polymorphisms or mutations, and vitamin K deficiency induced by chronic anticoagulant (warfarin/coumadin) therapy are all linked to age-associated conditions: bone fragility after estrogen loss (osteocalcin) and arterial calcification linked to cardiovascular disease (Mgp). There is increased spontaneous cancer in Tgfbi mouse knockouts, and knockdown of Tgfbi causes mitotic spindle abnormalities. A triage perspective reinforces recommendations of some experts that much of the population and warfarin/coumadin patients may not receive sufficient vitamin K for optimal function of VKD proteins that are important to maintain long-term health. Am J Clin Nutr 2009; 90: 889-907.”
“PRINCIPLES: Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), an important glycoprotein in the transport, uptake and redistribution of cholesterol, is necessary in nerve tissue repair. The APOE gene (APOE) is involved in neurodegenerative diseases, the best-known association being that between the APOE epsilon 4 allele and Alzheimer’s disease. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory neurological disease.

These results show that inelastic deformation due to hindered and

These results show that inelastic deformation due to hindered and unhindered shear in PETN occurs PND-1186 molecular weight through mechanisms that are physically different. In addition, results for shock propagation normal to the (101) crystal plane suggest that the primary slip system identified from quasistatic indentation tests is not activated under shock wave loading. Overall, results from our continuum simulations are consistent with a previously proposed molecular mechanism for shock-induced chemical reaction in PETN in which the formation

of polar conformers, due to hindered shear, facilitates the development of ionic reaction pathways. (C) 2010 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3369161]“
“The aim of this study is to examine the exercise capacity in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Women with SLE underwent exercise testing; their performance was compared to nomogram predictions. We assessed the potential effects of disease activity and cumulative damage on exercise capacity.

We evaluated 52 female SLE patients aged > 35 years. The mean workload achieved was somewhat higher than the nomogram Small molecule library mouse predictions. However, over one fifth of the women performed at a very poor level, which in the general population is associated with a twofold increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Compared to other subjects, participants who did poorly tended toward higher disease activity, higher body mass index, and greater smoking prevalence, although the results were not definitive. Exercise testing may be used to identify a subpopulation of lupus patients with a low level of fitness. Extrapolating from general population data, these individuals are likely at particular risk for cardiovascular disease and may, therefore, benefit the most from aggressive cardiovascular risk factor reduction.”
“Objective To evaluate the psychometric properties of the National Eye Institute Visual

Function Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25) and Visual Function Questionnaire Utility Index (VFQ-UI) in patients with non-infectious intermediate and posterior uveitis.

Methods Secondary analysis of pooled data from a 26-week, multicenter, masked, BTSA1 mouse randomized, sham-controlled Phase 3 clinical trial. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the NEI VFQ-25, the EQ-5D, and SF-36. Internal consistency reliability, reproducibility, convergent validity, and known groups of BCVA and vitreous haze severity were assessed. Clinically significant difference was assessed using anchor-based and distribution-based methods.

Results The study included 224 subjects with non-infectious intermediate (80.4 %) or posterior uveitis (19.6 %). The NEI VFQ-25 and the VFQ-UI demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha 0.87-0.94) and test-retest reliability (ICCs 0.58-0.88). Spearman’s product-moment rank correlations between the NEI VFQ-25 and VFQ-UI scores and the SF-6D, EQ-5D, and BCVA ranged from small to moderate.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, 30 children found to

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, 30 children found to have SOB by PSG who have undergone either PITA (15 participants) or T&A (15 participants) as treatment were evaluated with standardized history and physical examination and unattended home overnight PSG.

Results: Median change in apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) was 1.7 (-4.9 to 29.8) for the PITA group and 2.3 (-10.9 to 64.1) for the T&A group, although there was substantially more variability in

the T&A group. A mixed linear model evaluating the relation of surgical group with change in AHI demonstrated no significant differences in group means (F[1,13] = 0.31, P=.590) but the variances differed significantly (residual likelihood ratio U0126 chi-square = 5.24, df = 1, P=.022). Five of 15 (33%) PITA patients and 4 of 15 (27%) T&A patients had postoperative AHI scores of <= 5; this difference was not statistically significant (Fisher exact test P = 1.000). There was no significant interaction or substantial confounding effect of age, sex, race, preoperative tonsil size, preoperative AHI, or body mass index in the model relating surgery type to reduction of postoperative AHI to <= 5.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates no clinically or statistically significant differences

in PSG and clinical outcomes between PITA and T&A for treatment of pediatric SDB in otherwise healthy children. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Background: To overcome the complexity of acetabular fractures, several techniques, such as extensive surgical

exposure, transtrochanteric osteotomy, and columnar screw fixation, were reported. However, all these techniques have their disadvantages and limitations. We report the surgical results of a modified technique with posterior columnar screw insertion and neutralization plate in a single Kocher-Langenbeck approach for complex acetabular fractures.

Methods: We identified 30 patients with 30 acetabular fractures who had been treated by this technique between 1995 and 2004. Demographic data, perioperative results, and complications were all recorded. The detail of surgical procedure was described and illustrated.

Results: selleck chemicals llc There were 13 men and 17 women with mean age of 36.4 years (range, 19-66 years). Mean follow-up duration was 49.2 months (range, 24-112 months). All fractures achieved union, and there was no loss reduction and fixation during the follow-up period. There were five complications during hospital stay, including superficial and deep infection and transient sciatic nerve palsy. There was no loss of reduction during follow-up period. Five patients underwent total hip arthroplasty caused by posttraumatic osteoarthritis and preexisting osteoarthritis.

Natalia Bechtereva, a Russian neurophysiologist, pioneered the te

Natalia Bechtereva, a Russian neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of therapeutic chronic deep brain stimulation to treat various brain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease (PD). Denise Albe-Fessard, a French neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of microelectrode recording (MER) in stereotactic functional neurosurgery. Gunvor Kullberg, a Swedish neurosurgeon, contributed in early CT imaging as well as early functional imaging of stereotactic lesions in PD and psychiatric patients. Hilda Molina, a Cuban neurosurgeon, established the Centro Internacional de Restauracion Neurologica selleck chemicals llc (CIREN) and pioneered there MER-guided transplant surgery in PD patients. Veerle Vandewalle, a Belgian neurosurgeon, pioneered

in 1999 deep brain stimulation BEZ235 order (DBS) for Tourette Syndrome.

Conclusion: Although men constitute the great majority of neurosurgeons, neurologists and other neuro-specialists who have made groundbreaking contributions in basal ganglia surgery, there are women who have made equally important and unique contributions to the field. The principal

two techniques used today in functional stereotactic neurosurgery, MER and DBS, have once upon a time been pioneered by women. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Foreign body aspiration can be a fatal problem in all groups of ages. However, it is a leading cause of accidental deaths in children. Especially in the pediatric age group, diagnosis can be delayed because of various challenges. Children younger than 3 years carry the highest risk, as they are inclined to explore objects with their mouths. In most cases of inhaled foreign body, a positive history of aspiration is obtained. We are reporting a case of laryngeal foreign body that is mistreated for 1 week as a croup syndrome.”
“Background: In degenerative intervertebral discs (IVDs) collagen type X expression and calcifications have been demonstrated, resembling advanced osteoarthritis (OA), which is associated with hypertrophic

differentiation, characterized by the production of collagen type X, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), osteoprotegerin (OPG), alkaline phosphatase Selleck Fer-1 (ALP) and calcifications.

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if hypertrophic differentiation occurs during IVD degeneration.

Methods: IVDs from all Thompson degeneration grades were prepared for histology, extraction of nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosis (AF) tissue (N = 50) and micro-CT (N = 27). The presence of collagen type X, OPG and Runx2 was determined by immunohistochemistry, with OPG levels also determined by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The presence of calcification was determined by micro-CT, von Kossa and Alizarin Red staining.

Results: Immunohistochemical staining for collagen type X, OPG, Runx2 appeared more intense in the NP of degenerative compared to healthy IVD samples. OPG levels correlated significantly with degeneration grade (NP: P<0.