In the literature: May 2023 highlights

Click here to read some interesting recently published papers from our community. If you have published an article in the field of in silico medicine, send it to us: we will include it in this section of the newsletter!

Frontiers: Mapping the use of computational modelling and simulation in clinics: A survey

Raphaëlle Lesage et al

Abstract

In silico medicine describes the application of computational modelling and simulation (CM&S) to the study, diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a disease. Tremendous research advances have been achieved to facilitate the use of CM&S in clinical applications. Nevertheless, the uptake of CM&S in clinical practice is not always timely and accurately reflected in the literature. A clear view on the current awareness, actual usage and opinions from the clinicians is needed to identify barriers and opportunities for the future of in silico medicine. The aim of this study was capturing the state of CM&S in clinics by means of a survey toward the clinical community. Responses were collected online using the Virtual Physiological Human institute communication channels, engagement with clinical societies, hospitals and individual contacts, between 2020 and 2021. Statistical analyses were done with R. Participants (n = 163) responded from all over the world. Clinicians were mostly aged between 35 and 64 years-old, with heterogeneous levels of experience and areas of expertise (i.e., 48% cardiology, 13% musculoskeletal, 8% general surgery, 5% paediatrics). The CM&S terms “Personalised medicine” and “Patient-specific modelling” were the most well-known within the respondents. “In silico clinical trials” and “Digital Twin” were the least known. The familiarity with different methods depended on the medical specialty. CM&S was used in clinics mostly to plan interventions. To date, the usage frequency is still scarce. A well-recognized benefit associated to CM&S is the increased trust in planning procedures. Overall, the recorded level of trust for CM&S is high and not proportional to awareness level. The main barriers appear to be access to computing resources, perception that CM&S is slow. Importantly, clinicians see a role for CM&S expertise in their team in the future. This survey offers a snapshot of the current situation of CM&S in clinics. Although the sample size and representativity could be increased, the results provide the community with actionable data to build a responsible strategy for accelerating a positive uptake of in silico medicine. New iterations and follow-up activities will track the evolution of responses over time and contribute to strengthen the engagement with the medical community.

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European Heart Journal: Use of computer models in cardiovascular therapy to advance precision medicine

Giulio Stefanini, Giulia Luraghi et al

Abstract

The complexity of living organisms has always required approaches to investigate their behaviour in a different way from those required for the study of inanimate matter. The methodologies employed in biology and medicine differ substantially from those used in physics and engineering, the former being guided by field experience and statistical approaches, while the latter is based on theory followed by field demonstration. However, these distinctions have blurred in recent decades as principles and methodologies once unique to particular scientific fields are now being applied across disciplines. This cross-disciplinary trend is perhaps best exemplified by the emergence of in silico technologies,1 which leverage computational models to investigate problems with an unprecedented level of complexity. Indeed, when coupled with imaging and molecular diagnostics, in silico technologies can provide granular information on the physiology and pathology of single individuals in a non-invasive way. Thanks to these developments, there are several examples showing how computer models are capable of predicting quantities of a specific patient that would be impossible, or very difficult, to measure directly, allowing physicians to make the best possible decision regarding the clinical management of that patient. As the study of living organisms is called in vivo and that of bench experiments is called in vitro, by analogy, today, the use of computational technologies to study living organisms has led to the coining of the term ‘in silico medicine’ in reference to the in silico technologies used in these applications. In silico medicine adopts state-of-the-art methodologies to create computer models of individual subjects that can optimize the diagnosis, predict the prognosis, and simulate the effect of available therapeutic strategies, with the potential of becoming a valid, practical, and effective tool for cardiovascular diseases in view of the intrinsic characteristics of the cardiovascular system.

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PLoS one: Ventricular anatomical complexity and sex differences impact predictions from electrophysiological computational models

Pablo Gonzalez-Martin et al

Abstract

The aim of this work was to analyze the influence of sex hormones and anatomical details (trabeculations and false tendons) on the electrophysiology of healthy human hearts. Additionally, sex- and anatomy-dependent effects of ventricular tachycardia (VT) inducibility are presented. To this end, four anatomically normal, human, biventricular geometries (two male, two female), with identifiable trabeculations, were obtained from high-resolution, ex-vivo MRI and represented by detailed and smoothed geometrical models (with and without the trabeculations). Additionally one model was augmented by a scar. The electrophysiology finite element model (FEM) simulations were carried out, using O'Hara-Rudy human myocyte model with sex phenotypes of Yang and Clancy. A systematic comparison between detailed vs smooth anatomies, male vs female normal hearts was carried out. The heart with a myocardial infarction was subjected to a programmed stimulus protocol to identify the effects of sex and anatomical detail on ventricular tachycardia inducibility. All female hearts presented QT-interval prolongation however the prolongation interval in comparison to the male phenotypes was anatomy-dependent and was not correlated to the size of the heart. Detailed geometries showed QRS fractionation and increased T-wave magnitude in comparison to the corresponding smoothed geometries. A variety of sustained VTs were obtained in the detailed and smoothed male geometries at different pacing locations, which provide evidence of the geometry-dependent differences regarding the prediction of the locations of reentry channels. In the female phenotype, sustained VTs were induced in both detailed and smooth geometries with RV apex pacing, however no consistent reentry channels were identified. Anatomical and physiological cardiac features play an important role defining risk in cardiac disease. These are often excluded from cardiac electrophysiology simulations. The assumption that the cardiac endocardium is smooth may produce inaccurate predictions towards the location of reentry channels in in-silico tachycardia inducibility studies.

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Spine - Epidemiology: External Validation of SpineNet, an Open-Source Deep Learning Model for Grading Lumbar Disk Degeneration MRI Features, Using the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966

Terence P Sweeney et al

Abstract

Deep learning models such as SpineNet offer the possibility of automating the process of disk degeneration (DD) classification from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). External validation is an essential step to their development. The aim of this study was to externally validate SpineNet predictions for DD using Pfirrmann classification and Modic changes (MCs) on data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 (NFBC1966).

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European Spine Journal:Are current machine learning applications comparable to radiologist classification of degenerate and herniated discs and Modic change? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Roger Compte et al

Abstract

Low back pain is the leading contributor to disability burden globally. It is commonly due to degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral discs (LDD). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the current best tool to visualize and diagnose LDD, but places high time demands on clinical radiologists. Automated reading of spine MRIs could improve speed, accuracy, reliability and cost effectiveness in radiology departments. The aim of this review and meta-analysis was to determine if current machine learning algorithms perform well identifying disc degeneration, herniation, bulge and Modic change compared to radiologists.

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Frontiers: Physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling of the role of CYP2D6 polymorphism for metabolic phenotyping with dextromethorphan

Jan Grzegorzewski, Janosch Brandhorst, Matthias König

Abstract

The cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) is a key xenobiotic-metabolizing enzyme involved in the clearance of many drugs. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP2D6 contribute to the large inter-individual variability in drug metabolism and could affect metabolic phenotyping of CYP2D6 probe substances such as dextromethorphan (DXM). To study this question, we (i) established an extensive pharmacokinetics dataset for DXM; and (ii) developed and validated a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model of DXM and its metabolites dextrorphan (DXO) and dextrorphan O-glucuronide (DXO-Glu) based on the data. Drug-gene interactions (DGI) were introduced by accounting for changes in CYP2D6 enzyme kinetics depending on activity score (AS), which in combination with AS for individual polymorphisms allowed us to model CYP2D6 gene variants. Variability in CYP3A4 and CYP2D6 activity was modeled based on in vitro data from human liver microsomes. Model predictions are in very good agreement with pharmacokinetics data for CYP2D6 polymorphisms, CYP2D6 activity as described by the AS system, and CYP2D6 metabolic phenotypes (UM, EM, IM, PM). The model was applied to investigate the genotype-phenotype association and the role of CYP2D6 polymorphisms for metabolic phenotyping using the urinary cumulative metabolic ratio (UCMR), DXM/(DXO + DXO-Glu). The effect of parameters on UCMR was studied via sensitivity analysis. Model predictions indicate very good robustness against the intervention protocol (i.e. application form, dosing amount, dissolution rate, and sampling time) and good robustness against physiological variation. The model is capable of estimating the UCMR dispersion within and across populations depending on activity scores. Moreover, the distribution of UCMR and the risk of genotype-phenotype mismatch could be estimated for populations with known CYP2D6 genotype frequencies. The model can be applied for individual prediction of UCMR and metabolic phenotype based on CYP2D6 genotype. Both, model and database are freely available for reuse.

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Date: 16/05/2023 | Tag: | News: 1455 of 1557
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