Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 42, Issue: 8, Published: 2009
  • Methodological approaches to planar and volumetric scintigraphic imaging of small volume targets with high spatial resolution and sensitivity Review

    Mejia, J.; Galvis-Alonso, O.Y.; Braga, J.; Corrêa, R.; Leite, J.P.; Simões, M.V.

    Abstract in English:

    Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a non-invasive imaging technique, which provides information reporting the functional states of tissues. SPECT imaging has been used as a diagnostic tool in several human disorders and can be used in animal models of diseases for physiopathological, genomic and drug discovery studies. However, most of the experimental models used in research involve rodents, which are at least one order of magnitude smaller in linear dimensions than man. Consequently, images of targets obtained with conventional gamma-cameras and collimators have poor spatial resolution and statistical quality. We review the methodological approaches developed in recent years in order to obtain images of small targets with good spatial resolution and sensitivity. Multipinhole, coded mask- and slit-based collimators are presented as alternative approaches to improve image quality. In combination with appropriate decoding algorithms, these collimators permit a significant reduction of the time needed to register the projections used to make 3-D representations of the volumetric distribution of target’s radiotracers. Simultaneously, they can be used to minimize artifacts and blurring arising when single pinhole collimators are used. Representation images are presented, which illustrate the use of these collimators. We also comment on the use of coded masks to attain tomographic resolution with a single projection, as discussed by some investigators since their introduction to obtain near-field images. We conclude this review by showing that the use of appropriate hardware and software tools adapted to conventional gamma-cameras can be of great help in obtaining relevant functional information in experiments using small animals.
  • Spot urine porphyrins/creatinine ratio profile of healthy Brazilian individuals adjusted for personal habits Analytica, Diagnostic And Therapeutic Techniques And Instruments

    Alves, A.N.L.; Sumita, N.M.; Burattini, M.N.; Della Rosa, H.V.

    Abstract in English:

    Changes in urinary porphyrin excretion may be the result of hereditary causes and/or from environmental or occupational exposure. The objective of this study was to measure the amount of some porphyrins in spot urine samples obtained from volunteers randomly selected from a healthy adult population of São Paulo with a sensitive HPLC method and to estimate normal ranges for a non-exposed population. Spot urine samples were collected from 126 subjects (both genders, 18 to 65 years old) not occupationally exposed to porphyrinogenic agents. Porphyrin fractions were separated on RP-18 HPLC column eluted with a methanol/ammonium acetate buffer gradient, pH 4.0, and measured fluorometrically (excitation 405 nm/emission 620 nm). The amount of porphyrins was corrected for urinary creatinine excretion. Only 8-carboxyl (uro) and 4-carboxyl (copro) porphyrins were quantified as µg/g creatinine. Data regarding age, gender, occupational activities, smoking and drinking habits were analyzed by Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Uroporphyrin results did not differ significantly between the subgroups studied. Copro and uro + copro porphyrins were significantly different for smokers (P = 0.008) and occupational activities (P = 0.004). With respect to alcohol consumption, only men drinking >20 g/week showed significant differences in the levels of copro (P = 0.022) and uro + copro porphyrins (P = 0.012). The 2.5-97.5th percentile limit values, excluding those for subjects with an alcohol drinking habit >20 g/week, were 0-20.8, 11.7-93.1, and 15.9-102.9 µg/g creatinine for uro, copro and uro + copro porphyrins, respectively. These percentile limit values can be proposed as a first attempt to provide urinary porphyrin reference values for our population, serving for an early diagnosis of porphyrinopathies or as biomarkers of exposure to porphyrinogenic agents.
  • Flow rate, pH and calcium concentration of saliva of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus Analytica, Diagnostic And Therapeutic Techniques And Instruments

    Moreira, A.R.; Passos, I.A.; Sampaio, F.C.; Soares, M.S.M.; Oliveira, R.J.

    Abstract in English:

    Alterations in salivary parameters may increase the caries risk in diabetic children, but, contradictory data on this issue have been reported. The aims of this study were to compare salivary parameters (flow rate, pH and calcium concentration) between healthy and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) individuals. The sample consisted of 7- to 18-year-old individuals divided into two groups: 30 subjects with T1DM (group A) and 30 healthy control subjects (group B). Fasting glucose levels were determined. Unstimulated and stimulated saliva was collected. The pH of unstimulated saliva was measured with paper strips and an electrode. Calcium concentrations in stimulated saliva were determined with a selective electrode. Group A individuals had inadequate blood glucose control (HbA1C >9%), with means ± SD unstimulated salivary flow rate of 0.15 ± 0.1 mL/min compared to 0.36 ± 0.2 mL/min for group B (P < 0.01). Stimulated salivary flow rate was similar by both groups and above 2.0 mL/min. Saliva pH was 6.0 ± 0.8 for group A and significantly different from 7.0 ± 0.6 for group B (P < 0.01). Salivary calcium was 14.7 ± 8.1 mg/L for group A and significantly higher than 9.9 ± 6.4 mg/L for group B (P < 0.01). Except for elevated calcium concentrations in saliva, salivary parameters favoring caries such as low saliva pH and unstimulated salivary flow rate were observed in T1DM individuals.
  • Classification and hearing evolution of patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss Analytica, Diagnostic And Therapeutic Techniques And Instruments

    Penido, N.O.; Cruz, O.L.M.; Zanoni, A.; Inoue, D.P.

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of this study was to analyze clinical aspects, hearing evolution and efficacy of clinical treatment of patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). This was a prospective clinical study of 136 consecutive patients with SSNHL divided into three groups after diagnostic evaluation: patients with defined etiology (DE, N = 13, 10%), concurrent diseases (CD, N = 63, 46.04%) and idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL, N = 60, 43.9%). Initial treatment consisted of prednisone and pentoxifylline. Clinical aspects and hearing evolution for up to 6 months were evaluated. Group CD comprised 73% of patients with metabolic decompensation in the initial evaluation and was significantly older (53.80 years) than groups DE (41.93 years) and ISSHL (39.13 years). Comparison of the mean initial and final hearing loss of the three groups revealed a significant hearing improvement for group CD (P = 0.001) and group ISSHL (P = 0.001). Group DE did not present a significant difference in thresholds. The clinical classification for SSNHL allows the identification of significant differences regarding age, initial and final hearing impairment and likelihood of response to therapy. Elevated age and presence of coexisting disease were associated with a greater initial hearing impact and poorer hearing recovery after 6 months. Patients with defined etiology presented a much more limited response to therapy. The occurrence of decompensated metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and the possibility of first manifestation of auto-immune disease and cerebello-pontine angle tumors justify an adequate protocol for investigation of SSNHL.
  • Association of angiotensin-converting enzyme activity and polymorphism with echocardiographic measures in familial and nonfamilial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Buck, P.C.; Fernandes, F.; Arteaga, E.; Matsumoto, A.Y.; Araujo, A.Q.; Oliveira, E.M.; Ianni, B.M.; Ramires, F.J.A.; Krieger, J.E.; Mady, C.

    Abstract in English:

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity and polymorphism contribute significantly to the prognosis of patients with cardiomyopathy. The aim of this study was to determine the activity and type of ACE polymorphism in patients with familial and nonfamilial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and to correlate these with echocardiographic measurements (echo-Doppler). We studied 136 patients (76 males) with HCM (69 familial and 67 nonfamilial cases). Mean age was 41 ± 17 years. DNA was extracted from blood samples for the polymerase chain reaction and the determination of plasma ACE levels. Left ventricular mass, interventricular septum, and wall thickness were measured. Mean left ventricular mass index, interventricular septum and wall thickness in familial and nonfamilial forms were 154 ± 63 and 174 ± 57 g/m² (P = 0.008), 19 ± 5 and 21 ± 5 mm (P = 0.02), and 10 ± 2 and 12 ± 3 mm (P = 0.0001), respectively. ACE genotype frequencies were DD = 35%, ID = 52%, and II = 13%. A positive association was observed between serum ACE activity and left ventricular mass index (P = 0.04). Logistic regression showed that ACE activity was twice as high in patients with familial HCM and left ventricular mass index ≥190 g/m² compared with the nonfamilial form (P = 0.02). No other correlation was observed between ACE polymorphisms and the degree of myocardial hypertrophy. In conclusion, ACE activity, but not ACE polymorphisms, was associated with the degree of myocardial hypertrophy in the patients with HCM.
  • Circadian cardiac autonomic function in perinatally HIV-infected preschool children Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Benchimol-Barbosa, P.R.

    Abstract in English:

    The 24-h heart rate variability and QT-interval adaptation was investigated in perinatally HIV-infected preschool children classified according to immunological status in order to assess autonomic function at early stages of infection. Thirty-five perinatally HIV-infected and clinically stable children (4.8 ± 0.3 years) were enrolled after approval of the study by the University Hospital Pedro Ernesto Ethics Committee and written informed parental consent was obtained. The children were classified according to peripheral CD4+ count (cells/µL) as follows: group 1, N = 11 (≥1000); group 2, N = 7 (≥500 and <1000); group 3, N = 17 (<500). Left ventricular ejection fraction (>55%), 24-h RR interval variability (RRV) indexes (NN, SDANN, SDNN index, r-MSSD) and 24-h QT and Bazett-corrected QT (QTc) were determined, and groups were matched for age, body surface area, and left ventricular ejection fraction, reducing biases in RRV. The peak differences (∆) between the highest and lowest RRV and QT indexes were extracted from nocturnal (1 am-6 am) and daytime (1 pm-6 pm) hourly assessed segments, respectively. Pearson’s correlation (r) and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA were used to compare groups. CD4+ count correlated positively with ∆NN (r = 0.45; P = 0.003). There were no significant differences in daytime NN among groups. Nighttime SDNN index (P = 0.01), nighttime r-MSSD (P = 0.003), ∆NN (P = 0.01), ∆SDNN index (P = 0.03) and ∆r-MSSD (P = 0.004) were significantly lower in group 3 than in the other groups. Expected nighttime QTc-interval lengthening was not observed in all groups. In perinatally HIV-infected preschool children with preserved left ventricular systolic function, parasympathetic-mediated autonomic dysfunction parallels immune status, impairing both RRV and circadian QTc interval adaptation.
  • Variable positive end-expiratory pressure can maintain oxygenation in experimental acute respiratory distress syndrome induced by oleic acid in dogs Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Lanza, F.C.; Damasceno, M.C.P.; Leme, F.; Yagui, A.C.Z.; Paiva, K.C.; Luque, A.; Beppu, O.S.

    Abstract in English:

    The use of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) or lung recruitment maneuvers (RM) to improve oxygenation in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is used but it may reduce cardiac output (CO). Intermittent PEEP may avoid these complications. Our objective was to determine if variable PEEP compared with constant PEEP is capable of maintaining arterial oxygenation and minimizing hemodynamic alterations with or without RM. Eighteen dogs with ARDS induced by oleic acid were randomized into three equal groups: group 1, low variable PEEP; group 2, high variable PEEP, and group 3, RM + high variable PEEP. All groups were submitted to constant PEEP, followed by variable PEEP (PEEP was increased from 5 to 10 cmH2O in group 1, and from 5 to 18 cmH2O in the other two groups). PaO2 was higher in group 3 (356.2 ± 65.4 mmHg) than in group 1 (92.7 ± 29.7 mmHg) and group 2 (228.5 ± 72.4 mmHg), P < 0.05. PaO2 was maintained during variable PEEP except in group 2 (318.5 ± 82.9 at constant PEEP to 228.5 ± 72.4 at variable PEEP). There was a reduction in CO in group 3 after RM (3.9 ± 1.1 before to 2.7 ± 0.5 L·min-1·(m2)-1 after; P < 0.05), but there was not any difference between constant and variable PEEP periods (2.7 ± 0.5 and 2.4 ± 0.7 L·min-1·(m2)-1; P > 0.05. Variable PEEP is able to maintain PaO2 when performed in combination with RM in dogs with ARDS. After RM, CO was reduced and there was no relevant difference between the variable and constant PEEP periods.
  • Salt and insulin sensitivity after short and prolonged high salt intake in elderly subjects Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Lima, N.K.C.; Tozetto, D.J.O.; Lima, L.G.; Nobre, F.; Moriguti, J.C.; Ferriolli, E.; Foss, M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Salt sensitivity and insulin resistance are correlated with higher cardiovascular risk. There is no information about changes in salt sensitivity (SS) and insulin sensitivity (IS) after a chronic salt overload in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate these parameters in the elderly. Seventeen volunteers aged 70.5 ± 5.9 years followed a low-salt diet (LSD) for 1 week and a high-salt diet (HSD) for 13 weeks. We evaluated SS after one week (HSD1) and after 13 weeks (HSD13), and subjects’ IS and lipids on their usual diet (UD) at HSD1, and at HSD13. Blood pressure (BP) was measured at each visit and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) was performed twice. SS was the same at HSD1 and HSD13. Systolic BP was lower on LSD than on UD (P = 0.01), HSD1 (P < 0.01) and HSD13 (P < 0.01). When systolic and diastolic BP were evaluated by ABPM, they were higher at HSD13 during the 24-h period (P = 0.03 and P < 0.01) and during the wakefulness period (P = 0.02 and P < 0.01) compared to the UD. Total cholesterol was higher (P = 0.04) at HSD13 than at HSD1. Glucose and homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) were lower at HSD1 (P = 0.02 and P = 0.01) than at HSD13. Concluding, the extension of HSD did not change the SS in an elderly group. The higher IS found at HSD1 did not persist after a longer HSD. A chronic HSD increased BP as assessed by ABPM.
  • How frequently should a patient taking amiodarone be screened for thyroid dysfunction? Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Pazin-Filho, A.; de Jesus, A.M.X.; Magalhães, P.K.R.; Melato, L.H.; Campos, D.; Maciel, B.C.; Maciel, L.M.Z.

    Abstract in English:

    Amiodarone-induced thyroid dysfunction (AITD) is a common complication of amiodarone therapy and its prevalence varies according to iodine intake, subclinical thyroid disorders and the definition of AITD. There is no consensus about the frequency of screening for this condition. We evaluated 121 patients on chronic regular intake of amiodarone (mean intake = 248.5 ± 89 mg; duration of treatment = 5.3 ± 3.9 years, range = 0.57-17 years) and with stable baseline cardiac condition. Those with no AITD were followed up for a median period of 3.2 years (range: 0.6-6.7) and the incidence rate of AITD, defined by clinical and laboratorial findings as proposed by international guidelines, was obtained (62.8 per 1000 patients/year). We applied the Cox proportional hazard model to adjust for potential confounding factors and used sensitivity analysis to identify the best screening time for follow-up. We detected thyroid dysfunction in 59 (48.7%) of the 121 patients, amiodarone-induced hypothyroidism in 50 (41.3%) and hyperthyroidism in 9 (7.5%). Compared with patients without AITD, there was no difference regarding dosage or duration of therapy, heart rhythm disorder or baseline cardiac condition. During the follow-up of the 62 patients without AITD at baseline evaluation, 11 developed AITD (interquartile range, IR: 62.8 (95%CI: 31.3-112.3) cases per 1000 patients/year), 9 of them with hypothyroidism - IR: 11.4 (95%CI: 1.38-41.2), and 2 hyperthyroidism - IR: 51.3 (95%CI: 23.4-97.5). Age, gender, dose, and duration of treatment were not significant after adjustment. During the first 6 months of follow-up the incidence rate for AITD was 39.3 (9.2-61.9) cases per 1000 patients/year. These data show that AITD is quite common, and support the need for screening at 6-month intervals, unless clinical follow-up dictates otherwise or further information regarding the prognosis of untreated subclinical AITD is available.
  • Raising awareness of chronic kidney disease in a Brazilian urban population Health Care

    Mazza Nascimento, M.; Riella, M.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The incidence and prevalence of chronic kidney disease have been increasing in recent years in developing countries. The aim of this study was to report the results of a general chronic kidney disease awareness program applied to an urban population in a large Brazilian city. From January 2002 to January 2005 a total of 8883 individuals in the city of Curitiba (PR, Brazil) were screened for hypertension, body mass index, hematuria, and proteinuria. A family history and previous medical diagnosis of hypertension and diabetes mellitus (DM) were also recorded. Of the 8883 individuals assessed, 56% were women, subject median age was 47 years (range: 17-93 years) and more than 90% were Caucasian. Thirty percent had signs of hematuria, 6% had proteinuria, and 3% had hematuria and proteinuria. The median of mean arterial pressure values was 93 mmHg (range: 71-135 mmHg) and 16% of the population screened had a history of hypertension. A significant positive family history of both hypertension or DM was present in 42% (P < 0.0001; chi-square = 83.18) and 7% (P < 0.0001; chi-square = 161.31) of the hypertensive group, respectively. Finally, the prevalence of hypertension and DM was significantly higher in older individuals with proteinuria. In the present study, a higher prevalence of hematuria and proteinuria was found in older individuals with hypertension and diabetes compared to the general population. These data confirm the need for public awareness of renal disease in high-risk individuals.
  • The first report in Brazil of severe infection caused by community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) Infectious Agents And Diseases

    Rozenbaum, R.; Sampaio, M.G.; Batista, G.S.; Garibaldi, A.M.; Terra, G.M.F.; Souza, M.J.; Vieira, E.N.; Silva-Carvalho, M.C.; Teixeira, L.A.; Figueiredo, A.M.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) is an emergent pathogen in Brazil. However, there are no data on the prevalence of CA-MRSA. We report here the first well-characterized case of severe life-threatening CA-MRSA infection in a child living in Rio de Janeiro city. The patient had many complications including hematogenous osteomyelitis and involvement of multiple sites requiring drainage of soft-tissue abscess, and pleural and pericardial empyema. The MRSA isolates recovered were genotyped using PFGE, SCCmec typing and multilocus sequence typing. Disk diffusion tests were performed following Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute recommendations. In addition, the presence of Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) was assessed by PCR amplification, using specific primers for lukF-pv (encoding for the F subunit of the PVL). The bacterial isolates were related to the ST30-SCCmecIV lineage (Oceania Southwest Pacific clone), a PVL producer CA-MRSA previously detected in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. Also, the isolates analyzed were susceptible to all non-β-lactam antibiotics tested. The present report demonstrates that disseminated CA-MRSA disease is also occurring in Rio de Janeiro. Thus, the empirical treatment of moderate or severe infections suspected of being associated with CA-MRSA needs to be reviewed in order to allow prompt initiation of an effective therapy that also covers these microorganisms.
  • High HTLV-1 proviral load, a marker for HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis, is also detected in patients with infective dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 Infectious Agents And Diseases

    Primo, J.; Siqueira, I.; Nascimento, M.C.F.; Oliveira, M.F.; Farre, L.; Carvalho, E.M.; Bittencourt, A.L.

    Abstract in English:

    Salvador (BA, Brazil) is an endemic area for human T-cell lymphotrophic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). The overall prevalence of HTLV-1 infection in the general population has been estimated to be 1.76%. HTLV-1 carriers may develop a variety of diseases such as adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma, HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and infective dermatitis associated with HTLV-1 (IDH). IDH is a chronic and severe form of childhood exudative and infective dermatitis involving mainly the scalp, neck and ears. It has recently been observed that 30% of patients with IDH develop juvenile HAM/TSP. The replication of HTLV-1 has been reported to be greater in adult HAM/TSP patients than in asymptomatic HTLV-1 carriers. In the current study, the proviral load of 28 children and adolescents with IDH not associated with HAM/TSP was determined and the results were compared to those obtained in 28 HTLV-1 adult carriers and 28 adult patients with HAM/TSP. The proviral load in IDH patients was similar to that of patients with HAM/TSP and much higher than that found in HTLV-1 carriers. The high levels of proviral load in IDH patients were not associated with age, duration of illness, duration of breast-feeding, or activity status of the skin disease. Since proviral load is associated with neurological disability, these data support the view that IDH patients are at high risk of developing HAM/TSP.
  • Trailing end-point phenotype antibiotic-sensitive strains of Candida albicans produce different amounts of aspartyl peptidases Infectious Agents And Diseases

    Braga-Silva, L.A.; Mesquita, D.G.A.; Ribeiro, M.D.; Carvalho, S.M.F.; Fracalanzza, S.E.L.; Santos, A.L.S.

    Abstract in English:

    Candida albicans is an opportunistic fungal pathogen that causes severe systemic infections in immunosuppressed individuals. C. albicans resistance to antifungal drugs is a severe problem in patients receiving prolonged therapy. Moreover, trailing yeast growth, which is defined as a resistant MIC after 48 h of incubation with triazole antifungal agents but a susceptible MIC after 24 h, has been noted in tests of antifungal susceptibility against some C. albicans isolates. In this context, we recently noticed this phenomenon in our routine susceptibility tests with fluconazole/itraconazole and C. albicans clinical isolates. In the present study, we investigated the production of cell-associated and secreted aspartyl peptidases (Saps) in six trailing clinical isolates of C. albicans, since this class of hydrolytic enzymes is a well-known virulence factor expressed by this fungal pathogen. Sap2, which is the best-studied member of the Sap family, was detected by flow cytometry on the cell surface of yeasts and as a 43-kDa polypeptide in the culture supernatant, as demonstrated by Western blotting assay using an anti-Sap1-3 polyclonal antibody. Released aspartyl peptidase activity was measured with BSA hydrolysis and inhibited by pepstatin A, showing distinct amounts of proteolytic activity ranging from 5.7 (strain 44B) to 133.2 (strain 11) arbitrary units. Taken together, our results showed that trailing clinical isolates of C. albicans produced different amounts of both cellular and secreted aspartyl-type peptidases, suggesting that this phenotypic feature did not generate a regular pattern regarding the expression of Sap.
  • Fatigue in a cohort of geriatric patients with and without Parkinson's disease Skeletal, Muscle And Nervous Systems

    Goulart, F.O.; Godke, B.A.; Borges, V.; Azevedo-Silva, S.M.C.; Mendes, M.F.; Cendoroglo, M.S.; Ferraz, H.B.

    Abstract in English:

    We evaluated the frequency of fatigue in geriatric patients with and without Parkinson's disease (PD) and correlated it with depression and excessive daytime sleepiness. We evaluated 100 patients from Hospital São Paulo, 50 with PD from the Neurologic Outpatient Clinic and 50 with non-neurologic diseases or oncologic diseases from the Geriatric Outpatient Clinic (controls). All patients who scored 28 or more on the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) were considered to have fatigue. Also, all patients were submitted to a structured interview to diagnose depression by the criteria of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV, 4th version) and were evaluated by the Modified Impact of Fatigue Scale and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESE) to detect excessive daytime sleepiness. Demographic and disease details of all PD patients were recorded and the patients were examined and rated by the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Sale (UPDRS) and Hoehn-Yahr staging. Frequency of fatigue (FSS ≥28) was 70% for PD and 22% for controls. Twenty of 35 PD patients with fatigue had concomitant depression. Compared to controls, PD patients were found more frequently to have depression by DSM-IV criteria (44 vs 8%, respectively) and excessive daytime sleepiness by the ESE (44 vs 16%), although only depression was associated with fatigue. Fatigue was more frequent among depressed PD and control patients and was not correlated with PD duration or with UPDRS motor scores. ESE scores did not differ between patients with or without fatigue.
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