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Medicina, Volume 57, Issue 3 (March 2021) – 112 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The novel SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives, and urgent measures in terms of safe and effective vaccines are required. Within this narrative review, the burden of COVID-19 on society is explained and the history of vaccines is also briefly mentioned. Considering the classical Hippocratic principle “ofeleein i mi vlaptein”, which means either to help or not harm the patient, the procedures from bench-to-bed towards the development of COVID-19 vaccines are explained and potential pitfalls as a consequence of the accelerated vaccine development are underlined. View this paper
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Article
Clinical Impact of Supraclavicular Lymph Node Involvement of Stage IIIC Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030301 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 564
Abstract
Background and Objective: Investigations on the clinical impact of supraclavicular lymph node (SCN) involvement in stage IIIC non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain scarce. We evaluated the oncological outcomes of definitive radiochemotherapy and the clinical significance of SCN involvement. Materials and Methods: Between [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Investigations on the clinical impact of supraclavicular lymph node (SCN) involvement in stage IIIC non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain scarce. We evaluated the oncological outcomes of definitive radiochemotherapy and the clinical significance of SCN involvement. Materials and Methods: Between November 2009 and June 2019, a total of 40 patients with N3-positivity and NSCLC were evaluated. Most patients received concomitant chemotherapy, but six patients who received radiotherapy (RT) alone were also included. Twenty-one patients (52.5%) received 3D-conformal RT (3DCRT), and the remainder received intensity-modulated RT (IMRT). Results: The median follow-up duration was 10.7 months (range: 1.7–120.6 months). Median overall survival (OS) and cause-specific survival (CSS) times were 10.8 months and 16.3 months, respectively. Among the 40 patients, 17 (42.5%) had SCN involvement. SCN involvement negatively affected progression-free survival (hazard ratio (HR): 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–4.17, p = 0.039) and local control (HR: 3.05, 95% CI: 1.09–8.50, p = 0.034). However, IMRT use was correlated with higher local control (HR: 0.28, 95% CI: 0.09–0.86, p = 0.027). Grade ≥3 esophagitis and pneumonitis accounted for 7.5% and 15.0% of all cases, respectively. A higher RT dose (mean dose: 66.6 vs. 61.7 Gy) was significantly correlated with grade ≥3 pneumonitis (p = 0.001). RT modality was a significant factor (p = 0.042, five of six cases occurred in the IMRT group). Conclusions: SCN involvement could negatively affect oncologic outcomes of stage IIIC NSCLC patients. High-dose irradiation with IMRT could increase local control but may cause lung toxicities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Radiotherapy in Current Oncology)
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Article
Comparative Survey of People with ME/CFS in Italy, Latvia, and the UK: A Report on Behalf of the Socioeconomics Working Group of the European ME/CFS Research Network (EUROMENE)
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030300 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Background and Objectives: A comparative survey of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) patients was carried out in three countries, with the aim of identifying appropriate policy measures designed to alleviate the burden of disease both on patients and their families, and also [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: A comparative survey of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) patients was carried out in three countries, with the aim of identifying appropriate policy measures designed to alleviate the burden of disease both on patients and their families, and also on public institutions. The survey addressed demographic features, the economic impact of the disease on household incomes, patterns of medical and social care, specific therapies, social relationships, and the impact of the illness on quality of life. Materials and Methods: Parallel surveys were undertaken in Italy, Latvia, and the UK. There were 88 completed responses from Italy, 75 from Latvia, and 448 from the UK. To facilitate comparisons, 95% confidence intervals were calculated in respect of responses to questions from all three countries. To explore to what extent general practitioners (GPs) manage ME/CFS disease, a separate questionnaire for GPs, with questions about the criteria for granting a diagnosis, laboratory examinations, the involvement of specialists, and methods of treatment, was undertaken in Latvia, and there were 91 completed responses from GPs. Results: The results are presented in respect of sociodemographic information, household income, disease progression and management, perceived effectiveness of treatment, responsibility for medical care, personal care, difficulty explaining the illness, and quality of life. Demographic details were similar in all three countries, and the impact of illness on net household incomes and quality of life. There were significant differences between the three countries in illness progression and management, which may reflect differences in patterns of health care and in societal attitudes. Graded exercise therapy, practiced in the UK, was found to be universally ineffective. Conclusions: There were similarities between respondents in all three countries in terms of demographic features, the impact of the illness on household incomes and on quality of life, and on difficulties experienced by respondents in discussing their illness with doctors, but also differences in patterns of medical care, availability of social care, and societal attitudes to ME/CFS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS: Causes, Clinical Features and Diagnosis)
Article
Self-Expandable Metal Stents for Left Sided Colon Obstruction from Diverticulitis. A Single Center Retrospective Series
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030299 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 466
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The incidence of diverticulitis is increasing in western countries. Complicated diverticulitis is defined as diverticulitis associated with localized or generalized perforation, localized or distant abscess, fistula, stricture or obstruction. Colonic symptomatic strictures are often treated with segmental colectomy. The [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The incidence of diverticulitis is increasing in western countries. Complicated diverticulitis is defined as diverticulitis associated with localized or generalized perforation, localized or distant abscess, fistula, stricture or obstruction. Colonic symptomatic strictures are often treated with segmental colectomy. The aim of our study is to report our experience with Self Expandable Metal Stents (SEMS) placement to relieve sigmoid obstruction secondary to diverticulitis, either as a permanent solution or as a bridge to elective colectomy. Material and Methods: From January 2016 to December 2018, 21 patients underwent SEMS placement for sigmoid obstruction secondary to diverticulitis at our institution. In four patients with poor general conditions, SEMS was considered the definitive form of treatment. In 17 patients, the stent was placed as bridge to elective colectomy. Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively analyzed. Primary outcomes were postoperative mortality and morbidity after SEMS and subsequent elective colectomy. Results: There was no mortality or major morbidity after SEMS placement or subsequent elective colectomy. No stoma was performed. Conclusions: Placement of Colorectal Self Expandable Stent represents a useful tool to relieve obstruction in patients with left-sided colonic diverticulitis. SEMS placement makes it possible to transform an emergency clinical condition into an elective condition, giving time to resolve the inflammation and the infection inevitably associated with complicated diverticulitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present Role of Gastrointestinal Stenting)
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Article
Use of Public Automated External Defibrillators in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Poland
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030298 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 645
Abstract
Background and objectives: National medical records indicate that approximately 350,000–700,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. The guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) indicate that in addition to resuscitation, it is important—in [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: National medical records indicate that approximately 350,000–700,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. The guidelines of the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) indicate that in addition to resuscitation, it is important—in the case of so-called defibrillation rhythms—to perform defibrillation as quickly as possible. The aim of this study was to assess the use of public automated external defibrillators in out of hospital cardiac arrest in Poland between 2008 and 2018. Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty cases of use of an automated external defibrillator placed in a public space between 2008 and 2018 were analyzed. The study material consisted of data on cases of use of an automated external defibrillator in adults (over 18 years of age). Only cases of automated external defibrillators (AED) use in a public place other than a medical facility were analysed, additionally excluding emergency services, i.e., the State Fire Service and the Volunteer Fire Service, which have an AED as part of their emergency equipment. The survey questionnaire was sent electronically to 1165 sites with AEDs and AED manufacturers. A total of 298 relevant feedback responses were received. Results: The analysis yielded data on 120 cases of AED use in a public place. Conclusions: Since 2016, there has been a noticeable increase in the frequency of use of AEDs located in public spaces. This is most likely related to the spread of public access to defibrillation and increased public awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
Review
Serum BDNF Levels in Acute Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 297; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030297 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1100
Abstract
Background and objectives: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most studied neurotrophins. Low BDNF concentrations have been noted in patients with traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and have been associated with the increased risk of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA). We aimed [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the most studied neurotrophins. Low BDNF concentrations have been noted in patients with traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and have been associated with the increased risk of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA). We aimed to study the correlation of BDNF serum levels with acute stroke severity and its potential role as a biomarker in predicting functional outcome. Materials and methods: We systematically searched PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database using specific keywords. The endpoints examined were the correlation of BDNF with functional outcome, the National Institute of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) measured at the acute phase, and stroke infarct volume. We also compared serum BDNF levels between stroke patients and healthy controls. Results: Twenty-six records were included from the initial 3088 identified. Twenty-five studies reported NIHSS and BDNF levels on the first day after acute stroke. Nine studies were further meta-analyzed. A statistically significant negative correlation between NIHSS and BDNF levels during the acute phase of stroke was noted (COR: −0.3013, 95%CI: (−0.4725; −0.1082), z = −3.01, p = 0.0026). We also noted that BDNF levels were significantly lower in patients with stroke compared to healthy individuals. Due to the heterogeneity of studies, we only conducted a qualitative analysis regarding serum BDNF and functional outcome, while no correlation between BDNF levels and stroke infarct volume was noted. Conclusions: We conclude that in the acute stroke phase, stroke severity is negatively correlated with BDNF levels. Concurrently, patients with acute stroke have significantly lower BDNF levels in serum compared to healthy controls. No correlations between BDNF and stroke infarct volume or functional outcome at follow-up were noted. Full article
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Case Report
Healing of Chronic Wounds by Copper Oxide-Impregnated Wound Dressings—Case Series
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030296 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Novel antimicrobial wound dressings impregnated with copper oxide micro-particles have been cleared for treatment of acute and chronic wounds. Our objective is to provide preliminary data regarding the potential benefit of using these novel wound dressings including in non-infected wounds. Methods involved the [...] Read more.
Novel antimicrobial wound dressings impregnated with copper oxide micro-particles have been cleared for treatment of acute and chronic wounds. Our objective is to provide preliminary data regarding the potential benefit of using these novel wound dressings including in non-infected wounds. Methods involved the treatment of wounds that responded partially or poorly to conventional wound healing treatments with copper oxide impregnated wound dressings in patients with a range of etiologies. Ten cases of patients with etiologies such as diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease, renal failure, and necrotizing fasciitis, in which the application of copper oxide impregnated wound dressings in infected and non-infected wounds, which resulted in significant enhanced wound healing, are presented. This was exemplified by clearing of the wound infections, reduction of the fibrous and/or necrotic tissue and by intense granulation, epithelialization, and wound closure. The described 10 case reports support our hypothesis that the copper oxide-containing wound dressing not only confers protection to the wound and the dressing from microbial contamination, and in some cases may help clear the wound infections, but in addition and more importantly, stimulate skin regeneration and wound healing. Our findings are in line with previous animal and in vitro studies showing that copper plays a key role in angiogenesis and skin regeneration. These case reports support the notion that the use of copper oxide impregnated wound dressings may be an important intervention in the arsenal of wound treatment modalities, especially in hard to heal wounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dermatology)
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Article
QT Interval Prolongation in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis—Are the Holter ECG Recordings a Better Option for QT Interval Evaluation?
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030295 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cardiac involvement in systemic sclerosis has important consequences on patient survival. Myocardial fibrosis and microcirculation involvement can generate arrhythmic complications, which can be associated with a higher death risk. QT interval prolongation is considered as a risk factor for ectopic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cardiac involvement in systemic sclerosis has important consequences on patient survival. Myocardial fibrosis and microcirculation involvement can generate arrhythmic complications, which can be associated with a higher death risk. QT interval prolongation is considered as a risk factor for ectopic ventricular events and can be evaluated using standard short ECG recordings or 24-h Holter ECG recordings. Materials and Methods: 39 patients with systemic sclerosis were submitted to a standard ECG recording at admission and 24-h Holter ECG monitoring. Results: QT interval values resulted from Holter ECG monitoring are higher than the values generated by the short-term ECG recordings. Holter ECG monitoring permits the detection of ventricular ectopy in patients with no events on standard ECG. Conclusions: In patients with systemic sclerosis, 24-h Holter ECG recordings can realize a more precise evaluation of the extent of QTc interval prolongation and ventricular ectopic events associated with myocardial involvement. Full article
Review
The Most Common Lesions Detected by Neuroimaging as Causes of Epilepsy
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030294 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by chronic, unprovoked and recurrent seizures, which are the result of rapid and excessive bioelectric discharges in nerve cells. Neuroimaging is used to detect underlying structural abnormalities which may be associated with epilepsy. This paper reviews [...] Read more.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder characterized by chronic, unprovoked and recurrent seizures, which are the result of rapid and excessive bioelectric discharges in nerve cells. Neuroimaging is used to detect underlying structural abnormalities which may be associated with epilepsy. This paper reviews the most common abnormalities, such as hippocampal sclerosis, malformations of cortical development and vascular malformation, detected by neuroimaging in patients with epilepsy to help understand the correlation between these changes and the course, treatment and prognosis of epilepsy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reveals structural changes in the brain which are described in this review. Recent studies indicate the usefulness of additional imaging techniques. The use of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) improves surgical outcomes in MRI-negative cases of focal cortical dysplasia. Some techniques, such as quantitative image analysis, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and fibre tract reconstruction, can detect small malformations—which means that some of the epilepsies can be treated surgically. Quantitative susceptibility mapping may become the method of choice in vascular malformations. Neuroimaging determines appropriate diagnosis and treatment and helps to predict prognosis. Full article
Case Report
The Pulmonary Venous Return from Normal to Pathological—Clinical Correlations and Review of Literature
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030293 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from lungs to the left atrium of the heart. The anatomy of the pulmonary veins is variable with some anatomic variants. In clinical practice the difference between the normal anatomy of pulmonary veins with its variants and abnormal [...] Read more.
Pulmonary veins carry oxygenated blood from lungs to the left atrium of the heart. The anatomy of the pulmonary veins is variable with some anatomic variants. In clinical practice the difference between the normal anatomy of pulmonary veins with its variants and abnormal anatomy is very important for clinicians. Variants of pulmonary veins may occur in number, diameter and normal venous return. We present a case report and a review of the literature with the pulmonary venous return that deviates from the usual anatomical configuration and ranges from normal variant drainage to anomalous pulmonary—systemic communication. Initially, it was considered as an anatomical variant of the pulmonary venous return associated with the persistence of the left superior vena cava. Upon detailed exploration it was established that it was an anomaly of the pulmonary venous return which led in time to the installation of its complications. Diagnosis can be difficult, sometimes missed, or only made late in adulthood when complications were installed. Knowledge of variant anatomy and anomalous pulmonary venous return play a crucial role in the diagnostically challenging patient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variational Anatomy and Developmental Anomalies in Clinical Practice)
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Article
Does the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Have an Independent Impact on Systemic Inflammation?
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030292 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This paper aims to show whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity increases the level of systemic inflammation markers regardless of body mass index (BMI) and body composition. Materials and Methods: In total, 128 patients with OSA were included [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This paper aims to show whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) severity increases the level of systemic inflammation markers regardless of body mass index (BMI) and body composition. Materials and Methods: In total, 128 patients with OSA were included in the study. Examinees were divided into two groups: one with mild OSA (apnea–hypopnea index (AHI) < 15) and one with moderate and severe OSA (AHI ≥ 15). Nutritional status was assessed using body mass index, body composition by dual X-ray absorptiometry. Systemic inflammation was assessed on the basis of plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and serum level of C-reactive protein (CRP). Results: We found elevated mean values of the evaluated systemic inflammation markers (CRP, TNF-α, IL-6) in a group with AHI ≥ 15, although there was no statistical significance. Our research found a significant positive correlation with BMI (r = 0.633, p < 0.001), as well as with body fat percentage (r = 0.450, p = 0.024) and serum CRP values. Significant correlation was found between the plasma IL-6 concentration and body fat percentage (FM%) (r = 0.579, p = 0.003) and lean body mass (r = −0.501, p = 0.013). Multivariate regression analysis did not show any independent predictor (parameters of OSA, nutritional status, body composition) of the systemic inflammation markers. Conclusions: Neither one tested parameter (nutritional status and body composition) of the severity of OSA was identified as an independent prognostic factor for the severity of systemic inflammation in patients with OSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis and Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea)
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Article
Percutaneous CT-Guided Renal Cryoablation: Technical Aspects, Safety, and Long-Term Oncological Outcomes in a Single Center
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030291 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
Background and objectives: Cryoablation is emerging as a safe and effective therapeutic option for treating renal cell carcinoma. This study analyzed the safety and long-term oncological outcomes of cryoablation in our center. Materials and methods: Patients who underwent computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous cryoablation [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Cryoablation is emerging as a safe and effective therapeutic option for treating renal cell carcinoma. This study analyzed the safety and long-term oncological outcomes of cryoablation in our center. Materials and methods: Patients who underwent computed tomography (CT)-guided percutaneous cryoablation between February 2011 and June 2020 for one or more clinically localized renal tumors were identified. Technical success and treatment efficacy were assessed. Post-procedural complications were classified according to the Clavien-Dindo system. Recurrence–free survival was determined for biopsy-proven malignant renal tumors. Results: A total of 174 renal tumors, 78 of which were biopsy-proven malignant carcinomas, were treated in 138 patients (97 males and 41 females, mean age: 73 years, range: 43–89 years). Mean tumor size was 2.25 cm and 54.6% of the lesions required a complex approach. Technical success was achieved in 171 out of 174 tumors (98.3%). Primary treatment efficacy was 95.3% and increased to 98.2% when retreats were taken into account. The overall complication rate was 29.8%. No complications of Clavien-Dindo grade III or more were encountered. Median follow-up was 21.92 months (range: 0.02–99.87). Recurrence-free survival was 100% at 1 year, 95.3% (95% CI: 82.1%–98.8%) at 3 years, and 88.6% (95% CI: 71.8%–95.7%) at 5 years. Conclusions: Cryoablation is a safe and effective technique for the treatment of small renal lesions, with no major complications when performed by expert interventional radiologists. The multidisciplinary discussion is essential, especially considering the high number of histologically undetermined lesions. Our long-term oncological outcomes are encouraging and in line with the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging of the Kidney and Urinary Tract)
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Case Report
SARS-CoV-2 Detection in Fecal Sample from a Patient with Typical Findings of COVID-19 Pneumonia on CT but Negative to Multiple SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR Tests on Oropharyngeal and Nasopharyngeal Swab Samples
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030290 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1558
Abstract
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) negative results in the upper respiratory tract represent a major concern for the clinical management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Herein, we report the case of a 43-years-old man with a strong clinical suspicion of COVID-19, [...] Read more.
Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) negative results in the upper respiratory tract represent a major concern for the clinical management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Herein, we report the case of a 43-years-old man with a strong clinical suspicion of COVID-19, who resulted in being negative to multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RT-PCR tests performed on different oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swabs, despite serology having confirmed the presence of SARS-CoV-2 IgM. The patient underwent a chest computed tomography (CT) that showed typical imaging findings of COVID-19 pneumonia. The presence of viral SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed only by performing a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test on stool. Performing of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test on fecal samples can be a rapid and useful approach to confirm COVID-19 diagnosis in cases where there is an apparent discrepancy between COVID-19 clinical symptoms coupled with chest CT and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests’ results on samples from the upper respiratory tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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Article
Affective Temperaments, Panic Disorder and Their Bipolar Connections
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030289 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 644
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The role of affective temperament in the genesis and outcome of major mood disorders is well studied, but there are only a few reports on the relationship between panic disorder (PD) and affective temperaments. Accordingly, we aimed to study the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The role of affective temperament in the genesis and outcome of major mood disorders is well studied, but there are only a few reports on the relationship between panic disorder (PD) and affective temperaments. Accordingly, we aimed to study the distribution of affective temperaments (depressive (DE); cyclothymic (CT); irritable (IRR); hyperthymic (HT) and anxious (ANX)) among outpatients with PD. Materials and Methods: Affective temperaments of 118 PD outpatients (80 females and 38 males) with or without agoraphobia but without any other psychiatric disorder at the time of inclusion were evaluated using the Temperament Evaluation of the Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A) and compared with the affective temperament scores of control subjects. All patients were followed up for at least 1.5 years in order to detect the onset of any major affective disorders, substance use disorders and suicide attempts. Results: Among females, the dominant ANX and DE temperaments were four and three times as common as in a large normative Hungarian sample (for both cases p < 0.01). Among male PD patients, only the dominant DE temperament was slightly overrepresented in a non-significant manner. Females with PD obtained significantly higher scores on ANX, DE and CT subscales of the TEMPS-A, whereas males with PD showed significantly higher scores on ANX, DE and HT temperament subscales compared with the members of a large normative Hungarian sample and also with a gender- and age-matched control group. During the follow-up, newly developed unipolar major depression and bipolar spectrum (bipolar I or II and cyclothymic) disorders appeared in 64% and 22% of subjects, respectively. Conclusions: Our preliminary findings suggest that a specific, ANX-DE-CT affective temperament profile is characteristic primarily for female patients, and an ANX-DE-HT affective temperament profile is characteristic for male patients with PD, respectively. These findings are in line with expectations because PD is an anxiety disorder par excellence on the one hand, whereas, on the other hand, it is quite frequently comorbid with mood (including bipolar) disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Bipolar Disorder)
Review
Effectiveness of Dental and Maxillary Transverse Changes in Tooth-Borne, Bone-Borne, and Hybrid Palatal Expansion through Cone-Beam Tomography: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030288 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 856
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Palatal expansion is a common orthodontic technique able to increase the transverse changes for subjects with constricted maxillary arches. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate through a systematic review the tomography effectiveness of different palatal expander [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Palatal expansion is a common orthodontic technique able to increase the transverse changes for subjects with constricted maxillary arches. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate through a systematic review the tomography effectiveness of different palatal expander approaches. Materials and Methods: The database used to perform the screening and determine the eligibility of the clinical papers was PubMed (Medline). Results: The database search included a total of 284 results, while 271 articles were excluded. A total of 14 articles were included for the qualitative assessment. Conclusions: The effectiveness of the present studies reported that skeletal expansion was a useful approach to increase the transverse changes for subjects with constricted maxillary arches. Full article
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Case Report
Safety and Performance of Titanium Suture Anchors Used in Knee Ligament Repair Procedures
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030287 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Injuries to the knee ligaments can be particularly disabling in young patients, given the risk of long-term disability if adequate fixation is not achieved during initial repair. The TWINFIX™ titanium (Ti) suture anchor with ULTRABRAID™ Suture (Smith and Nephew, London, UK) was designed [...] Read more.
Injuries to the knee ligaments can be particularly disabling in young patients, given the risk of long-term disability if adequate fixation is not achieved during initial repair. The TWINFIX™ titanium (Ti) suture anchor with ULTRABRAID™ Suture (Smith and Nephew, London, UK) was designed to secure tendon and ligament reconstructions with increased boney ingrowth at the anchor site with minimal invasive technique. This retrospective analysis looked at 33 patients (41 implants) operated with this device between 2015 and 2019 at a single institution. The average age of patients was 33.18 years (standard deviation [SD], 15.26), with an average body mass index of 24.88 (SD, 3.49). The indications were lateral extra-articular tenodesis during anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction, quadriceps or patellar tendon repair and medial collateral ligament repair. After an average follow up of 24.3 + 6.53 months, there was no reports of clinical failure or radiographic evidence of implant failure or loosening. One patient experienced a complication unrelated to the study device, requiring manipulation under anesthesia with resolution of symptoms. This case series supports the safety and performance of this implants for the knee procedures in which its use is indicated. Additional follow-up will be required to determine whether these effects are sustained at medium- and long-term durations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgery)
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Article
Clinical Reality and Treatment for Local Recurrence of Rectal Cancer: A Single-Center Retrospective Study
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030286 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Despite advances in treatment, local recurrence remains a great concern in patients with rectal cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and risk factors of local recurrence of rectal cancer in our single center over a [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Despite advances in treatment, local recurrence remains a great concern in patients with rectal cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and risk factors of local recurrence of rectal cancer in our single center over a 7-year-period. Materials and Methods: Patients with stage I-III rectal cancer were treated with curative intent. The necessity for radiotherapy and chemotherapy was determined before surgery and/or postoperative histopathological results. Results: Of 365 rectal cancer patients, 76 (20.8%) developed recurrent disease. In total, 27 (7.4%) patients presented with a local tumor recurrence (isolated in 40.7% of cases). Radiotherapy was performed in 296 (81.1%) patients. The most often used schema was 5 × 5 Gy followed by immediate surgery (n = 214, 58.6%). Local recurrence occurred less frequently in patients treated with 5 × 5 Gy radiotherapy followed by surgery (n = 9, 4%). Surgical procedures of relapses were performed in 12 patients, six of whom were operated with radical intent. Only two (7.4%) patients lived more than 5 years after local recurrence treatment. The incidence of local recurrence was associated with primary tumor distal location and worse prognosis. The median overall survival of patients after local recurrence treatment was 19 months. Conclusions: Individualized rectal cancer patient selection and systematic treatment algorithms should be used clinical practice to minimize likelihood of relapse. 5 × 5 Gy radiotherapy followed by immediate surgery allows good local control in resectable cT2N+/cT3N0 patients. Radical resection of isolated local recurrence offers the best chances of cure. Full article
Article
Effects of Vitamin and Amino Acid-Enriched Hyaluronic Acid Gel on the Healing of Oral Mucosa: In Vivo and In Vitro Study
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030285 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 892
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Wound healing is a dynamic process that can be compromised in patients with chronic and metabolic conditions or unhealthy lifestyles. Numerous medical substances designed for topical use, charged with compounds that promote the healing process, have been developed to [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Wound healing is a dynamic process that can be compromised in patients with chronic and metabolic conditions or unhealthy lifestyles. Numerous medical substances designed for topical use, charged with compounds that promote the healing process, have been developed to improve wound healing, especially in compromised subjects. The present study aimed to extend our understanding of the in vivo effects of a hyaluronic acid gel charged with amino acids (HAplus gel, Aminogam gel® Errekappa Euroterapici spa, Milan, Italy) and study the in vitro effects of the same gel charged with additional substances in an attempt to optimize its formulation. Materials and Methods: In a randomized controlled split-mouth clinical and histological trial, HAplus gel was tested on the gingival tissue of the lower third molar post-extraction socket. The gingiva was collected at the time of extraction (T0) and ten days after the extraction (T1) to be histologically analyzed. During the second stage of the study, culture media with HAplus gel and vitamin C and E at different concentrations (TEST) were tested on human gingival fibroblasts and compared to the HAplus-enriched medium (HA-Control). Results: Histological and immunohistochemical analysis of collected gingiva showed higher microvascular density and collagen fibers organized in closely packed and well-oriented bundles in sites treated with HAplus gel. In the in vitro study, all TEST groups showed an increased viability from 24 h to 48 h. After 24 h, the viability percentage in all experimental groups was below 100% of the HA-Control, demonstrating a mild toxicity. After 48 h from seeding, the TEST groups’ viability grew significantly compared to HA-Control. Conclusions: These encouraging preliminary results suggest that the use of HAplus gel enriched with vitamins C and E may be beneficial in patients with conditions that impair soft tissue healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalized Periodontics: From Basic Research to Clinical Activity)
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Article
Impact of Lactate Clearance on Early Outcomes in Pediatric ECMO Patients
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030284 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support is often the ultimate therapy for neonatal and pediatric patients with congenital heart defects after cardiac surgery. The impact of lactate clearance in pediatric patients during ECMO therapy on outcomes has been analyzed. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support is often the ultimate therapy for neonatal and pediatric patients with congenital heart defects after cardiac surgery. The impact of lactate clearance in pediatric patients during ECMO therapy on outcomes has been analyzed. Materials andMethods: We retrospectively analyzed data from 41 pediatric vaECMO patients between January 2006 and December 2016. Blood lactate and lactate clearance have been recorded prior to ECMO implantation and 3, 6, 9 and 12 h after ECMO start. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to identify cut-off levels for lactate clearance. Results: Lactate levels prior to ECMO therapy (9.8 mmol/L vs. 13.5 mmol/L; p = 0.07) and peak lactate levels during ECMO support (10.4 mmol/L vs. 14.7 mmol/L; p = 0.07) were similar between survivors and nonsurvivors. Areas under the curve (AUC) of lactate clearance at 3, 9 h and 12 h after ECMO start were significantly predictive for mortality (p = 0.017, p = 0.049 and p = 0.006, respectively). Cut-off values of lactate clearance were 3.8%, 51% and 56%. Duration of ECMO support and respiratory ventilation was significantly longer in survivors than in nonsurvivors (p = 0.01 and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: Dynamic recording of lactate clearance after ECMO start is a valuable tool to assess outcomes and effectiveness of ECMO application. Poor lactate clearance during ECMO therapy in pediatric patients is a significant marker for higher mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure)
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Opinion
Post COVID-19 Organizing Pneumonia: The Right Time to Interfere
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030283 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2278
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed medical care. Healthcare professionals are faced with new issues. Patients who survived COVID-19 have plenty of different continuing symptoms, of which the most common are fatigue and breathlessness. It is not well known how to care for patients [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed medical care. Healthcare professionals are faced with new issues. Patients who survived COVID-19 have plenty of different continuing symptoms, of which the most common are fatigue and breathlessness. It is not well known how to care for patients with persistent or worsening respiratory symptoms and changes on chest X-ray following COVID-19 pneumonia. In this article, we talk about a subgroup of patients with organizing pneumonia following COVID-19 pneumonia that could be effectively treated with systemic glucocorticoids. It is important that patients with COVID-19 pneumonia be followed-up at least three weeks after diagnosis, in order to recognize early lung damage. We are providing a management algorithm for early diagnosis of lung diseases after COVID-19 pneumonia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
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Article
Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps: Age and Disease Severity Differences in the Levels of Inflammatory Markers
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030282 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Background and objectives: The aim of our study was to analyze the concentrations of inflammatory markers in the nasal tissue of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNPs) and controls of different age groups, as well as to find associations between age, [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The aim of our study was to analyze the concentrations of inflammatory markers in the nasal tissue of patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNPs) and controls of different age groups, as well as to find associations between age, inflammation development, and NPs. Materials and methods: Patients were divided into two groups—patients with CRSwNPs and control subjects who had nasal surgery for another reason beside CRS. Our analysis was performed across three different age groups (18–30 years, 31–50 years, and 51 years and more). Tissue biopsies from the sinus cavity for all study participants were taken and frozen at −80 °C, until use. The concentrations of IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-10, IL-13, IL-21, and IL-22, were quantified using a magnetic bead-based multiplex assay. Results: In the group aged 18–30 years, the levels of inflammatory markers IL-1, IL-2, IL-5, and IL-22 were significantly higher in patients with CRSwNPs than the control subjects. Among patients aged 31–50 years, significantly higher concentrations of IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-22 were recorded in patients with CRSwNPs, as compared to the control subjects. In the oldest group (aged 51 years and more), patients with CRSwNPs had significantly higher concentrations of IL-2, IL-4, and IL-22, as compared to the control group. In the CRSwNP group, only the concentration of IL-21 was significantly higher among patients aged 31–50 years, as compared with those aged 51 years and older (p = 0.013). Conclusions: IL-2 and IL-22 levels were significantly higher in patients with CRSwNP than the control, across all age groups. Only the concentration of IL-21 was higher among patients with CRSwNP in the middle age group, as compared to the oldest group. IL-2, IL-4, and IL-22 levels correlated with the severity of CRSwNPs. Elevated concentrations of IL-2, IL-4, and IL-22 were determined in patients’ groups with higher sinonasal outcome test (SNOT-22) scores, pointing to more severe clinical symptoms. Full article
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Case Report
Phenotypic Diversity of Cardiomyopathy Caused by an MYBPC3 Frameshift Mutation in a Korean Family: A Case Report
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030281 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 693
Abstract
Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is one of the rarest cardiac disorders, with a very poor prognosis, and heart transplantation is the only long-term treatment of choice. We reported that a Korean family presented different cardiomyopathies, such as idiopathic RCM and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), caused [...] Read more.
Restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) is one of the rarest cardiac disorders, with a very poor prognosis, and heart transplantation is the only long-term treatment of choice. We reported that a Korean family presented different cardiomyopathies, such as idiopathic RCM and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), caused by the same MYBPC3 mutation in different individuals. A 74-year-old male was admitted for the evaluation of exertional dyspnea, palpitations, and pitting edema in both legs for several months. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) showed RCM with biatrial enlargement and pericardial effusion. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images revealed normal left ventricular chamber size, borderline diffuse left ventricular hypertrophy and very large atria. In contrast to the proband, CMR images showed asymmetric septal hypertrophy of the left ventricle, consistent with a diagnosis of HCM in the proband’s two daughters. Of the five heterozygous variants identified as candidate causes of inherited cardiomyopathy by whole exome sequencing in the proband, Sanger sequencing confirmed the presence of a heterozygous frameshift mutation (NM_000256.3:c.3313_3314insGG; p.Ala1105Glyfs*85) in MYBPC3 in the proband and his affected daughters, but not in his unaffected granddaughter. There is clinical and genetic overlap of HCM with restrictive physiology and RCM, especially when HCM is combined with severe myocardial fibrosis. Family screening with genetic testing and CMR imaging could be excellent tools for the evaluation of idiopathic RCM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics)
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Case Report
Primary Hepatic Extranodal Marginal Zone Lymphoma of Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue in a Patient with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection: Case Report and Summary of the Literature
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030280 - 18 Mar 2021
Viewed by 849
Abstract
Background: The incidence of extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT lymphoma) is low, at 7–8% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. The most common site of MALT lymphoma occurrence is the stomach. Primary hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT is [...] Read more.
Background: The incidence of extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT lymphoma) is low, at 7–8% of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. The most common site of MALT lymphoma occurrence is the stomach. Primary hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT is classified as a type of non-gastric MALT lymphoma and is considered extremely rare, with no consensus on imaging study findings or treatment due to a limited number of reports. We herein describe a rare case of primary hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT with underlying hepatitis B infection (HBV) and present useful diagnostic findings of various imaging modalities, including contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) with Sonazoid. Case presentation: A 66-year-old woman was diagnosed as being a non-active carrier of HBV at 51 years of age at the time of total hysterectomy and bilateral adnexectomy for uterine cervical cancer. She was admitted to our hospital following the incidental detection of two focal liver lesions on computed tomography. The lesions were considered malignant based on clinical and other radiologic imaging findings. Her CEUS results of hypo-enhancement in the portal and late phases were consistent with those of previously reported cases of hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT, and histological liver biopsy findings were compatible with the diagnosis. Conclusions: Primary hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT is a rare condition that can appear in HBV carriers. Characteristic CEUS findings may help in disease diagnosis. Clinicians should bear primary hepatic extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of MALT in mind when encountering patients with focal liver lesions which exhibit image findings different from those of typical hepatocellular carcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research Progress in Hepatitis B Virus)
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Case Report
The Important Role of the Radiologist in Determining the Indications for the Surgical Treatment of Neuroblastoma with Vascular Image-Defined Risk Factors: A Case Report
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030279 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 603
Abstract
The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Staging System (INRGSS) is based on the age of patients and preoperative imaging, with attention paid to whether the primary tumor is affected by one or more of specific image-defined risk factors (IDRFs). This publication presents a 2.5-year-old [...] Read more.
The International Neuroblastoma Risk Group Staging System (INRGSS) is based on the age of patients and preoperative imaging, with attention paid to whether the primary tumor is affected by one or more of specific image-defined risk factors (IDRFs). This publication presents a 2.5-year-old boy with neuroblastoma who had an accidental ligation of the celiac trunk during tumor resection. The consequences of this complication were pancreatic and spleen ischemia and necrosis, ischemia, and perforation of the common bile duct, gallbladder, stomach, and duodenum. The aim of this publication was to highlight the great role of the radiologist in determining the indications for neuroblastoma tumor removal, especially with current vascular IDRFs, and to show how the radiologist’s insightful approach can save the patient from irreversible complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Pediatric Trauma)
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Review
Endovascular Interventional Radiology of the Urogenital Tract
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030278 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 713
Abstract
Interventional radiology of the male urogenital system includes percutaneous and endovascular procedures, and these last consist mostly of transcatheter arterial embolizations. At the kidney level, arterial embolizations are performed mainly for palliative treatment of parenchymal tumors, for renal traumas and, less frequently, for [...] Read more.
Interventional radiology of the male urogenital system includes percutaneous and endovascular procedures, and these last consist mostly of transcatheter arterial embolizations. At the kidney level, arterial embolizations are performed mainly for palliative treatment of parenchymal tumors, for renal traumas and, less frequently, for arteriovenous fistulas and renal aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms. These latter may often require emergency intervention as they can cause renal or peri-renal hematomas or significant hematuria. Transcatheter arterial embolization is also an effective therapy for intractable severe bladder hematuria secondary to a number of neoplastic and inflammatory conditions in the pelvis, including unresectable bladder cancer and radiation-induced or cyclophosphamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis. Endovascular interventional procedures for the penis are indicated for the treatment of post-traumatic priapism. In this article, we review the main endovascular radiological interventions of the male urogenital system, describing the technical aspects, results, and complications of each procedure at the various anatomical districts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging of the Kidney and Urinary Tract)
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Review
Myocardial Inflammation, Sports Practice, and Sudden Cardiac Death: 2021 Update
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030277 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Myocardial inflammation is an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and sudden cardiac death in athletes. The relationship between sports practice and myocardial inflammation is complex, and recent data from studies concerning cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and endomyocardial biopsy have substantially added to our [...] Read more.
Myocardial inflammation is an important cause of cardiovascular morbidity and sudden cardiac death in athletes. The relationship between sports practice and myocardial inflammation is complex, and recent data from studies concerning cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and endomyocardial biopsy have substantially added to our understanding of the challenges encountered in the comprehensive care of athletes with myocarditis or inflammatory cardiomyopathy (ICM). In this review, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of myocarditis, ICM, and myopericarditis/perimyocarditis in athletes, with a special emphasis on arrhythmias, patient-tailored therapies, and sports eligibility issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes)
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Case Report
A Huge Hemorrhagic Epidermoid Cyst of the Perineum with Hypoechoic Semisolid Ultrasonographic Feature Mimicking Scar Endometriosis
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030276 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 482
Abstract
Epidermoid cysts are small, solitary, and slow-growing lesions that rarely appear in the perineum and mostly arise because of trauma. This study examined a huge perineal epidermoid cyst that slowly grew over eight years in a premenopausal woman. Ultrasonography showed that the hemorrhage [...] Read more.
Epidermoid cysts are small, solitary, and slow-growing lesions that rarely appear in the perineum and mostly arise because of trauma. This study examined a huge perineal epidermoid cyst that slowly grew over eight years in a premenopausal woman. Ultrasonography showed that the hemorrhage in the cyst was a semisolid hypoechoic mass, which mimicked endometrioma, and was tentatively diagnosed as scar endometriosis in the perineum after vaginal delivery. This case study highlights the importance of wide surgical excision and histopathologic diagnosis, even with typical ultrasonography and surgical findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Manifestations and Treatment of Endometriosis)
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Article
Relationship between Nutrient Intake and Human Gut Microbiota in Monozygotic Twins
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 275; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030275 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The gut microbiota is associated with human health and dietary nutrition. Various studies have been reported in this regard, but it is difficult to clearly analyze human gut microbiota as individual differences are significant. The causes of these individual [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The gut microbiota is associated with human health and dietary nutrition. Various studies have been reported in this regard, but it is difficult to clearly analyze human gut microbiota as individual differences are significant. The causes of these individual differences in intestinal microflora are genetic and/or environmental. In this study, we focused on differences between identical twins in Japan to clarify the effects of nutrients consumed on the entire gut microbiome, while excluding genetic differences. Materials and Methods: We selected healthy Japanese monozygotic twins for the study and confirmed their zygosity by matching 15 short tandem repeat loci. Their fecal samples were subjected to 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatics analyses to identify and compare the fluctuations in intestinal bacteria. Results: We identified 12 genera sensitive to environmental factors, and found that Lactobacillus was relatively unaffected by environmental factors. Moreover, we identified protein, fat, and some nutrient intake that can affect 12 genera, which have been identified to be more sensitive to environmental factors. Among the 12 genera, Bacteroides had a positive correlation with retinol equivalent intake (rs = 0.38), Lachnospira had a significantly negative correlation with protein, sodium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 intake (rs = −0.38, −0.41, −0.39, −0.63, −0.42, −0.49, respectively), Lachnospiraceae ND3007 group had a positive correlation with fat intake (rs = 0.39), and Lachnospiraceae UCG-008 group had a negative correlation with the saturated fatty acid intake (rs = −0.45). Conclusions: Our study is the first to focus on the relationship between human gut microbiota and nutrient intake using samples from Japanese twins to exclude the effects of genetic factors. These findings will broaden our understanding of the more intuitive relationship between nutrient intake and the gut microbiota and can be a useful basis for finding useful biomarkers that contribute to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Focus on Twin Studies)
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Brief Report
Somatic Comorbidities and Cardiovascular Safety in Ketamine Use for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 274; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030274 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is evidence for ketamine efficacy in treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Several safety and tolerability concerns arise that some psychotropic agents may provide blood pressure or/and heart rate alterations. The aim of this study is to review blood pressure measurements in [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is evidence for ketamine efficacy in treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Several safety and tolerability concerns arise that some psychotropic agents may provide blood pressure or/and heart rate alterations. The aim of this study is to review blood pressure measurements in course of the treatment with ketamine on treatment refractory inpatients with somatic comorbidities in the course of MDD and BP. Materials and Methods: The study population of 49 patients comprised MDD and BP subjects treated with ketamine registered in the naturalistic observational protocol of treatment-resistant mood disorders (NCT04226963). Results: The conducted analysis showed that among people suffering from hypertension there is a higher increase in systolic blood pressure (RR) after infusion 2 (p = 0.004) than among people who do not suffer from hypertension. Patients with hypertension have a higher increase in diastolic RR compared to those not suffering from hypertension (p = 0,038). Among the subjects with diabetes mellitus, significant differences occurred for infusions 2 (p = 0.020), 7 (p = 0.020), and 8 (p = 0.035) for heart rate (HR), compared to subjects without diabetes mellitus. A higher increase in diastolic RR was noted in the group of subjects suffering from diabetes mellitus (p = 0.010) compared to those who did not. In the hyperlipidemic patients studied, a significantly greater decrease in HR after infusion 5 (p = 0.031) and systolic RR after infusion 4 (p = 0.036) was noted compared to nonpatients. People after a stroke had significantly higher increases in diastolic RR after infusions 4 (p = 0.021) and 6 (p = 0.001) than those who did not have a stroke. Patients suffering from epilepsy had a significantly greater decrease in systolic RR after the 8th infusion (p = 0.017) compared to those without epilepsy. Limitations: The study may be underpowered due to the small sample size. The observations apply to inhomogeneous TRD population in a single-site with no blinding and are limited to the acute administration. Conclusions: This study supports evidence for good safety and tolerability profile for short-term IV ketamine use in TRD treatment. However, risk mitigation measures are to be considered in patients with metabolic and cardiovascular comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychocardiology – the Mind-Body Interaction)
Article
Protective Effect of Spirulina-Derived C-Phycocyanin against Ultraviolet B-Induced Damage in HaCaT Cells
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030273 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 952
Abstract
Background and objectives: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) overwhelm the antioxidant defense system, induce oxidative stress, and increase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, resulting in skin aging. Thus, preventing ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin damage can attenuate skin aging. Spirulina (a biomass of cyanobacteria, also called [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) overwhelm the antioxidant defense system, induce oxidative stress, and increase matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, resulting in skin aging. Thus, preventing ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced skin damage can attenuate skin aging. Spirulina (a biomass of cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae) is comprised of prokaryotes, whereas microalgae are eukaryotes and are rich in phycocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. Materials and Methods: Here, we investigated the photoprotective effects of spirulina-derived C-phycocyanin (C-PC) against UVB radiation using keratinocytes (HaCaT cells). Results: UVB radiation increased MMP-1 and MMP-9 expression but decreased involucrin, filaggrin, and loricrin expression. C-PC showed no toxicity at concentrations of 5–80 μg/mL in terms of HaCaT cell viability. UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells had a 50.8% survival rate, which increased to 80.3% with C-PC treatment. MMP expression increased with UVB treatment, whereas MMP-1 and MMP-9 concentrations decreased with C-PC treatment. UVB reduced involucrin, filaggrin, and loricrin expression in HaCaT cells, but 80 μg/mL C-PC increased their expression by >25%. In the UVB radiation group, dichlorofluorescin diacetate fluorescence intensity in HaCaT cells increased by 81.6% compared with that in the control group, whereas ROS production was reduced by 51.2% and 55.1% upon treatment with 40 and 80 μg/mL C-PC, respectively. Conclusions: C-PC might reduce or prevent skin aging by reducing UVB irradiation-induced skin wrinkles and free radicals. Full article
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Case Report
A Rare Cause of Refractory Severe Polyhydramnios: Antenatal Bartter Syndrome
Medicina 2021, 57(3), 272; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/medicina57030272 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Background: Antenatal Bartter syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder causing severe polyuria that leads to severe polyhydramnios and preterm labor. Prenatal diagnosis of antenatal Bartter syndrome is difficult because the genetic diagnosis can only be confirmed following a clinical diagnosis in infants. [...] Read more.
Background: Antenatal Bartter syndrome is an autosomal recessive disorder causing severe polyuria that leads to severe polyhydramnios and preterm labor. Prenatal diagnosis of antenatal Bartter syndrome is difficult because the genetic diagnosis can only be confirmed following a clinical diagnosis in infants. Reports of prenatal diagnosis and treatment of antenatal Bartter syndrome are limited. Case Presentation: We present the case of a 33-year-old pregnant woman with refractory polyhydramnios at 31 weeks of gestation. There were no structural anomalies or placental problems on ultrasonography; therefore, antenatal Bartter syndrome was suspected. With repeated amniocentesis and indomethacin therapy, the pregnancy continued to 36 weeks of gestation. The clinical features of the infant and subsequent genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis of antenatal Bartter syndrome. The baby was in good clinical condition at the 3-month follow-up visit. Conclusions: For pregnant women with early onset and refractory severe polyhydramnios without morphological anomalies, antenatal Bartter syndrome should be highly suspected. Full article
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