Weekly Updates in Pediatrics         December 26, 2012 

EDITOR:  Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP 


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Paternal influences on adolescent sexual risk behaviors 

A retrospective examination of the literature pertaining to the effects fathers have on their adolescent childrens' sexual behavior appears to indicate, that while paternal attitudes about sex seem to play a limited role, the emotional quality of the father-adolescent relationship is most consistently associated with adolescent sexual behavior.


Source:   Pediatrics

Nasopharyngeal (NP) airway pressures in Bronchiolitis patients treated with high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy

A small prospective pilot study of 25 infants (mean age: 78.1 days, weight: 5.3 kg) was undertaken to determine the nasopharyngeal (NP) pressures generated by heated, humidified, high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy (HHHFNC).


On average, NP pressures increased linearly 0.45 cm H2O for each 1 L/min increase in flow rate, to flow rates of 6L/min. Pressures with an "open" or "closed" mouth at 6L/min, were 2.47cm H2O and 2.74cm H2O respectively.


Increasing flow rates of HHHFNC are associated with linear increases in NP pressures in small infants with Bronchiolitis.


Source:  Pediatric Emergency Care 

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Circulating micro-RNA is a biomarker of Biliary Atresia (BA)


There is a lack of reliable noninvasive diagnostic bio markers for BA, which frequently results in a delay in diagnosis and a worsened outcome.


Circulating micro-RNA's (miRNA's) appear to be a new path of noninvasive biomarkers.  Elevated BA-specific serum miRNA's (miR-200b/429 cluster) appears to be a promising diagnostic tool in separating BA from other causes of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia.


Source:  Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 

Video Feature
MicroRNA Explanation
MicroRNA Explanation
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Video Feature
Biliary Atresia: The Most Common Reason for Liver Transplant | St. Louis Children's Hospital 
Biliary Atresia: The Most Common Reason for Liver Transplant St. Louis Children's Hospital
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Organic foods: advantages & disadvantages 


The US market for organic foods has grown from $3.5 billion in 1996 to $28.6 billion in 2010. While organic product advertisements claim many benefits (at additional cost!) few products are standardized or regulated.


Organic diets expose children to fewer pesticides and have less detrimental environmental impact than conventional food production, however there is no evidence to support any nutritional or health benefit, or disease protection, from consuming a potentially costly organic diet.  Pediatricians will find this report of great value in guiding patients towards appropriate food choices.


Source:  Pediatrics  

Diagnostic value of procalcitonin in well appearing young febrile infants

The role of PCT measurements in well-appearing infants < 3 months of age with fever of unknown origin (FUO ) has not been clearly delineated.


1112 well-appearing infants (< 3 months of age ) with FUO had blood and CSF cultures done, 2.1% of them being diagnosed with a serious invasive bacterial infection (positive cultures).


On multivariate analysis, a PCT level >2ng/ml and a C-reactive protein (CRP) >40 mg/ml are more likely to be associated with a serious bacterial infection-PCT level remaining the best marker (particularly FUO patients with a normal urine dipstick) to exclude serious bacterial infection.


Source:  Pediatrics