Next Issue
Volume 9, December
Previous Issue
Volume 9, June

Diseases, Volume 9, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 20 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this study, the unsupervised machine learning consensus clustering algorithm identified a total of three unique patient clusters of hyponatremia based on demographic information, principal diagnoses, comorbidities, and laboratory data. The three clusters represented clinically distinct subgroups derived from multidimensional baseline data, and carried different mortality risk. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Communication
Melatonin as an Add-On Treatment of COVID-19 Infection: Current Status
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030064 - 20 Sep 2021
Viewed by 465
Abstract
This brief review was written to provide a perspective on the flurry of reports suggesting that melatonin can be an important add-on therapy for COVID-19. Despite the passage of more than 60 years since its discovery and much evidence representing the contrary, there [...] Read more.
This brief review was written to provide a perspective on the flurry of reports suggesting that melatonin can be an important add-on therapy for COVID-19. Despite the passage of more than 60 years since its discovery and much evidence representing the contrary, there has been great reluctance to conceive melatonin as anything other than a hormone. Many other body chemicals are known to have multiple roles. Melatonin was first shown to be a hormone derived from the pineal gland, to be actively synthesized there only at night, and to act on targets directly or via the G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) superfamily. It is of note that over 40 years ago, it was also established that melatonin is present, synthesized locally, and acts within the gastrointestinal tract. A wider distribution was then found, including the retina and multiple body tissues. In addition, melatonin is now known to have non-hormonal actions, acting as a free radical scavenger, an antioxidant, and as modulating immunity, dampening down innate tissue responses to invaders while boosting the production of antibodies against them. These actions make it a potentially excellent weapon against infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Early published results support that thesis. Recently, a randomized controlled study reported that low doses of melatonin significantly improved symptoms in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, leading to more rapid discharge with no side effects, while significantly decreasing levels of CRP, proinflammatory cytokines, and modulating dysregulated genes governing cellular and humoral immunity. It is now critical that these trials be repeated, with dose-response studies conducted and safety proven. Numerous randomized controlled trials are ongoing, which should complete those objectives while also allowing for a more thorough evaluation of the mechanisms of action and possible applications to other severe diseases. Full article
Interesting Images
Papillary Meningioma: Case Presentation with Emphasis on Surgical and Medical Therapy of a Rare Variant of Meningioma
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030063 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Meningioma is one of the most frequent neoplasms of all in the central nervous system. Different variants are known, and of these some have peculiar characteristics, both from a morphological point of view and from a biological point of view. Here, we present [...] Read more.
Meningioma is one of the most frequent neoplasms of all in the central nervous system. Different variants are known, and of these some have peculiar characteristics, both from a morphological point of view and from a biological point of view. Here, we present a rare case of relapsed papillary meningioma in a young patient, focusing on histological characteristics, medical-surgical therapy and focusing on the risk of progression and/or recurrence of the lesion if not completely eradicated. Finally, we provide detailed molecular characteristics of the case in question. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
A Curve Maybe to Narrow: Description of an Anomalous Course of the Right Coronary Artery
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030062 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Congenital coronary artery anomalies are rare but well-described causes of chest pain and, in some cases, link to sudden cardiac death. With the spread of advanced imaging techniques, the number of incidental findings is staggering, but little information has been given in order [...] Read more.
Congenital coronary artery anomalies are rare but well-described causes of chest pain and, in some cases, link to sudden cardiac death. With the spread of advanced imaging techniques, the number of incidental findings is staggering, but little information has been given in order to rule out potential malignant cases in symptomatic adult patients. Here, we describe a case of an anomalous course of the coronary artery with an acute (<45°) take-off angle, as well as an inter-arterial course between a dilated ascending aorta and a dilated pulmonary artery, and how we could manage this patient in our clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Population Based Study of Liver Function amongst Adults with Hyperuricemia and Gout in the United States
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030061 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
To examine the association between uric acid levels and liver enzyme functions amongst adults with hyperuricemia and gout in the United States. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2007 to 2016 was used to study the research objective. Data [...] Read more.
To examine the association between uric acid levels and liver enzyme functions amongst adults with hyperuricemia and gout in the United States. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2007 to 2016 was used to study the research objective. Data were analyzed for descriptive statistics and for differences using the t test, Chi-square test and ANOVA. A regression analysis was performed to determine association between demographics and liver enzymes. A p value of <0.05 or <0.001 was considered statistically significant. A total of 14,946 adults (≥20 yrs.) were included in this study. Sample mean age was 49 ± 0.15 yrs., and 54% were female. Overall, 15% adults had elevated uric acid levels (≥6.8 mg/dL), men had significantly higher uric acid levels than women (6 mg/dL vs. 4.8 mg/dL). High uric acid levels were associated with more than two times higher odds of elevated ALT, AST and GGT (p < 0.001). Similarly, gender-based target uric acid values were associated with two-fold increased odds of GGT, over one-and-a-half fold higher odds of ALT and AST (p < 0.001). Regression analysis showed significant association between age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index, and hypertension and ALT, AST, ALP, total bilirubin and GGT (p < 0.001). Adults with hyperuricemia and gout are most likely to develop liver dysfunctions and suffer associated morbidities. Such patients need to be appropriately monitored and managed for their liver functions and to prevent associated morbidities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Novel Insights into the Role of Probiotics in Respiratory Infections, Allergies, Cancer, and Neurological Abnormalities
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030060 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 630
Abstract
In recent years, probiotics have attracted public attention and transformed the social perception of microorganisms, convening a beneficial role/state on human health. With aging, the immune system, body physiology, and intestinal microbiota tend to change unfavorably, resulting in many chronic conditions. The immune-mediated [...] Read more.
In recent years, probiotics have attracted public attention and transformed the social perception of microorganisms, convening a beneficial role/state on human health. With aging, the immune system, body physiology, and intestinal microbiota tend to change unfavorably, resulting in many chronic conditions. The immune-mediated disorders can be linked to intestinal dysbiosis, consequently leading to immune dysfunctions and a cluster of conditions such as asthma, autoimmune diseases, eczema, and various allergies. Probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species are considered probiotic species that have a great immunomodulatory and anti-allergic effect. Moreover, recent scientific and clinical data illustrate that probiotics can regulate the immune system, exert anti-viral and anti-tumoral activity, and shields the host against oxidative stress. Additionally, microbiota programming by probiotic bacteria can reduce and prevent the symptoms of respiratory infections and ameliorate the neurological status in humans. This review describes the most recent clinical findings, including safe probiotic therapies aiming to medicate respiratory infections, allergies, cancer, and neurological disorders due to their physiological interconnection. Subsequently, we will describe the major biological mechanism by which probiotic bacteriotherapy expresses its anti-viral, anti-allergic, anticancer, and neuro-stimulatory effects. Full article
Article
Efficacy of Urine Dipstick Test in Diagnosing Urinary Tract Infection and Detection of the blaCTX-M Gene among ESBL-Producing Escherichia coli
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030059 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
A urine dipstick test used for prompt diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) is a rapid and cost-effective method. The main objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of the urine dipstick test with culture methods in screening for UTIs along [...] Read more.
A urine dipstick test used for prompt diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) is a rapid and cost-effective method. The main objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of the urine dipstick test with culture methods in screening for UTIs along with the detection of the blaCTX-M gene in extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli. A total of 217 mid-stream urine samples were collected from UTI-suspected patients attending Bharatpur Hospital, Chitwan, and tested by dipstick test strip (COMBI-10SL, Germany) prior to the culture. E. coli isolates were identified by standard microbiological procedures and subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing by Kirby Bauer disc diffusion method following CLSI guideline. Primary screening of ESBL-producing E. coli isolates was conducted using ceftriaxone, cefotaxime and ceftazidime discs and phenotypically confirmed by combined disk diffusion test. Plasmid DNA of ESBL-producing strains was extracted by phenol-chloroform method and subjected to PCR for detection of the blaCTX-M gene. Out of 217 urine samples, 48 (22.12%) showed significant bacteriuria. Among 46 (21.20%) Gram negative bacteria recovered, the predominant one was E. coli 37 (77.08%) of which 33 (89.19%) were multidrug resistant (MDR). E. coli isolates showed a higher degree of resistance towards cefazolin (62.16%) while 81.08% of the isolates were sensitive towards amikacin followed by nitrofurantoin (70.27%). Among 14 (37.84%) phenotypically confirmed ESBL isolates, only eight (21.62%) isolates carried the blaCTX-M gene. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) of urine dipstick test were 43.75%, 77.51%, 35.59% and 82.91%, respectively. Besides, the use of dipstick test strip for screening UTI was associated with many false positive and negative results as compared to the gold standard culture method. Hence, dipstick nitrite test alone should not be used as sole method for screening UTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Brief Report
Skin Adverse Reactions to Novel Messenger RNA Coronavirus Vaccination: A Case Series
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030058 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 440
Abstract
Vaccines are actually the most effective strategy to control the COVID-19 spread and reduce mortality, but adverse reactions can occur. Skin involvement with novel messenger RNA coronavirus vaccines seems frequent but is not completely characterized. A real-world experience in the recent vaccination campaign [...] Read more.
Vaccines are actually the most effective strategy to control the COVID-19 spread and reduce mortality, but adverse reactions can occur. Skin involvement with novel messenger RNA coronavirus vaccines seems frequent but is not completely characterized. A real-world experience in the recent vaccination campaign among health care workers in Sardinia (Italy) is reported. In over a total of 1577 persons vaccinated, 9 cases of skin adverse reactions were observed (0.5%). All reactions have been reported to the Italian Pharmacovigilance Authority. Eight occurred in women (mean age 46 years), and five were physicians and four nurses. All patients had a significant allergology history but not for the known vaccine excipients. After dose one, no injection site reactions were observed, but widespread pruritus (n = 3), mild facial erythema (n = 1), and maculopapular rash (n = 3) occurred in the following 24–48 h in three patients. These three patients were excluded from the second dose. Of the remaining six patients, one developed mild anaphylaxis within the observation period at the vaccination hub and five delayed facial erythematous edema and maculopapular lesions, requiring antihistamines and short-course corticosteroid treatment. Spontaneous reporting is paramount to adjourning vaccination guidance and preventive measures in order to contribute to the development of a safe vaccine strategy. Dermatologist’ expertise might provide better characterization, treatment, and screening of individuals at high risk of skin adverse reactions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Synthetic mRNAs; Their Analogue Caps and Contribution to Disease
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030057 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 4614
Abstract
The structure of synthetic mRNAs as used in vaccination against cancer and infectious diseases contain specifically designed caps followed by sequences of the 5′ untranslated repeats of β-globin gene. The strategy for successful design of synthetic mRNAs by chemically modifying their caps [...] Read more.
The structure of synthetic mRNAs as used in vaccination against cancer and infectious diseases contain specifically designed caps followed by sequences of the 5′ untranslated repeats of β-globin gene. The strategy for successful design of synthetic mRNAs by chemically modifying their caps aims to increase resistance to the enzymatic deccapping complex, offer a higher affinity for binding to the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (elF4E) protein and enforce increased translation of their encoded proteins. However, the cellular homeostasis is finely balanced and obeys to specific laws of thermodynamics conferring balance between complexity and growth rate in evolution. An overwhelming and forced translation even under alarming conditions of the cell during a concurrent viral infection, or when molecular pathways are trying to circumvent precursor events that lead to autoimmunity and cancer, may cause the recipient cells to ignore their differential sensitivities which are essential for keeping normal conditions. The elF4E which is a powerful RNA regulon and a potent oncogene governing cell cycle progression and proliferation at a post-transcriptional level, may then be a great contributor to disease development. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) axis manly inhibits the elF4E to proceed with mRNA translation but disturbance in fine balances between mTOR and elF4E action may provide a premature step towards oncogenesis, ignite pre-causal mechanisms of immune deregulation and cause maturation (aging) defects. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Case Report
Cesarean Hysterectomy in Abnormally Invasive Placenta: The Role of Prenatal Diagnosis
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030056 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 389
Abstract
An abnormally invasive placenta (AIP) is a placenta that cannot be removed spontaneously or manually without causing severe bleeding. It is a dangerous condition associated with a high rate of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality due to the high rate of massive [...] Read more.
An abnormally invasive placenta (AIP) is a placenta that cannot be removed spontaneously or manually without causing severe bleeding. It is a dangerous condition associated with a high rate of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality due to the high rate of massive bleeding and visceral injuries. The standardized ultrasound diagnostic criteria have helped improve its early diagnosis, which is essential to plan coordinated actions to reduce associated morbimortality. We present a case report in which ultrasound diagnosis played a decisive role, enabling the coordination of a multidisciplinary team and improving the immediate care of both mother and newborn. Cesarean hysterectomy was performed with minimal blood loss and a good postsurgical recovery. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Precision Medicine and Adverse Drug Reactions Related to Cardiovascular Drugs
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 55; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030055 - 12 Aug 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading global cause of death. Early intervention, with lifestyle advice alongside appropriate medical therapies, is fundamental to reduce patient mortality among high-risk individuals. For those who live with the daily challenges of cardiovascular disease, pharmacological management aims to relieve [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading global cause of death. Early intervention, with lifestyle advice alongside appropriate medical therapies, is fundamental to reduce patient mortality among high-risk individuals. For those who live with the daily challenges of cardiovascular disease, pharmacological management aims to relieve symptoms and prevent disease progression. Despite best efforts, prescription drugs are not without their adverse effects, which can cause significant patient morbidity and consequential economic burden for healthcare systems. Patients with cardiovascular diseases are often among the most vulnerable to adverse drug reactions due to multiple co-morbidities and advanced age. Examining a patient’s genome to assess for variants that may alter drug efficacy and susceptibility to adverse reactions underpins pharmacogenomics. This strategy is increasingly being implemented in clinical cardiology to tailor patient therapies. The identification of specific variants associated with adverse drug effects aims to predict those at greatest risk of harm, allowing alternative therapies to be given. This review will explore current guidance available for pharmacogenomic-based prescribing as well as exploring the potential implementation of genetic risk scores to tailor treatment. The benefits of large databases and electronic health records will be discussed to help facilitate the integration of pharmacogenomics into primary care, the heartland of prescribing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Medicine: Update and Priorities)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Machine Learning Consensus Clustering of Hospitalized Patients with Admission Hyponatremia
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 54; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030054 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Background: The objective of this study was to characterize patients with hyponatremia at hospital admission into clusters using an unsupervised machine learning approach, and to evaluate the short- and long-term mortality risk among these distinct clusters. Methods: We performed consensus cluster analysis based [...] Read more.
Background: The objective of this study was to characterize patients with hyponatremia at hospital admission into clusters using an unsupervised machine learning approach, and to evaluate the short- and long-term mortality risk among these distinct clusters. Methods: We performed consensus cluster analysis based on demographic information, principal diagnoses, comorbidities, and laboratory data among 11,099 hospitalized adult hyponatremia patients with an admission serum sodium below 135 mEq/L. The standardized mean difference was utilized to identify each cluster’s key features. We assessed the association of each hyponatremia cluster with hospital and one-year mortality using logistic and Cox proportional hazard analysis, respectively. Results: There were three distinct clusters of hyponatremia patients: 2033 (18%) in cluster 1, 3064 (28%) in cluster 2, and 6002 (54%) in cluster 3. Among these three distinct clusters, clusters 3 patients were the youngest, had lowest comorbidity burden, and highest kidney function. Cluster 1 patients were more likely to be admitted for genitourinary disease, and have diabetes and end-stage kidney disease. Cluster 1 patients had the lowest kidney function, serum bicarbonate, and hemoglobin, but highest serum potassium and prevalence of acute kidney injury. In contrast, cluster 2 patients were the oldest and were more likely to be admitted for respiratory disease, have coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Cluster 2 patients had lowest serum sodium and serum chloride, but highest serum bicarbonate. Cluster 1 patients had the highest hospital mortality and one-year mortality, followed by cluster 2 and cluster 3, respectively. Conclusion: We identified three clinically distinct phenotypes with differing mortality risks in a heterogeneous cohort of hospitalized hyponatremic patients using an unsupervised machine learning approach. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Lymphocytes as a Biomarker of Frailty Syndrome: A Scoping Review
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 53; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030053 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Frailty is a geriatric syndrome characterized by a decrease in physiological reserve and reduced resistance to stress, as a result of an accumulation of multiple deficits in physiological systems. Frailty increases the vulnerability to adverse events and is associated with the aging process. [...] Read more.
Frailty is a geriatric syndrome characterized by a decrease in physiological reserve and reduced resistance to stress, as a result of an accumulation of multiple deficits in physiological systems. Frailty increases the vulnerability to adverse events and is associated with the aging process. Several studies show an association between frailty syndrome and altered blood lymphocyte levels, which is therefore potentially useful for monitoring interventions to improve or delay frailty. The main objective of this review is to provide an analysis of the current evidence related to changes in lymphocyte counts and their associations with frailty syndrome. To that end, the literature published in this field until March 2021 was in several databases: PubMed, SCOPUS, and Cochrane. Eighteen studies analyzed the association between lymphocyte counts, lymphocyte subtypes, and frailty syndrome. Eighteen studies were analyzed, and most of them reported associations. Interestingly, the association between frailty syndrome and lower lymphocytes counts appears in different clinical conditions. Further studies are needed to determine the sensitivity of lymphocyte counts and lymphocyte subtypes in the diagnosis and monitoring of frailty syndrome, and for this measure to be used as a biomarker of frailty status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Treating Postpartum Depression: What Do We Know about Brexanolone?
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030052 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
Postpartum depression (PPD) is defined as the onset of major depressive disorder in mothers, occurring during pregnancy or within 4 weeks post-delivery. With 7% of pregnancy-related death in the United States owing to mental health conditions, including PPD, and a global prevalence of [...] Read more.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is defined as the onset of major depressive disorder in mothers, occurring during pregnancy or within 4 weeks post-delivery. With 7% of pregnancy-related death in the United States owing to mental health conditions, including PPD, and a global prevalence of 12%, PPD is a growing public health concern. In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved brexanolone, an exogenous analog of allopregnanolone, as the first ever drug to be specifically indicated for treating patients with PPD. This approval was preceded by an open-label study and three randomized placebo-controlled trials, each assessing the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of brexanolone, using mean Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) score reduction as the primary outcome. In each randomized controlled trial, the drug was administered as an intravenous infusion given over 60 h. Enrolled participants were followed up on days 7 and 30 to evaluate the sustained effect. A statistically significant reduction in mean HAM-D score compared to placebo was observed in all three studies, supporting brexanolone’s use in treating moderate-to-severe PPD. Therefore, this article attempts to briefly review the pharmacology of brexanolone, evaluate the latest available clinical data and outcomes concerning its use, reevaluate its position as a ‘breakthrough’ in managing PPD, and review the cost-related barriers to its worldwide standardized use. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Commentary
Changes in Physical and Psychological States with Respect to the Gender of Outpatients Receiving Rehabilitation at Geriatric Health Services Facilities during the COVID-19 State of Emergency
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 51; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030051 - 03 Jul 2021
Viewed by 765
Abstract
This study was a sub-analysis of 20 consecutive elderly participants who underwent outpatient rehabilitation at a geriatric health services facility from January 2020 to the end of May 2020, based on our previous report. This study aimed to evaluate the longitudinal changes in [...] Read more.
This study was a sub-analysis of 20 consecutive elderly participants who underwent outpatient rehabilitation at a geriatric health services facility from January 2020 to the end of May 2020, based on our previous report. This study aimed to evaluate the longitudinal changes in their physical and psychological states with respect to gender in rehabilitation outpatients between the pre-nationwide (T1) and post-nationwide state of emergency (T2) caused by the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Gait speed (GS), timed up and go (TUG), handgrip strength (HG), and maximum phonation time (MPT) were measured as indices of physical status. The Japanese version of the Apathy Scale and five-level EuroQoL five-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) were used to assess the psychological state. Both states were measured in the male and female groups at T1 and T2 and then were compared. The final analysis was comprised of 13 outpatients. In males, the physical (GS, p = 0.463; TUG, p = 0.600; HG, p = 0.753; and MPT, p = 0.249) and psychological (Apathy Scale, p = 0.891 and EQ-5D-5L, p = 0.249) states did not change significantly between T1 and T2. In the females, the physical (GS, p = 0.600; TUG, p = 0.735; HG, p = 1.000; and MPT, p = 0.310) and psychological (Apathy Scale, p = 0.588 and EQ-5D-5L, p = 0.176) states also did not show significant change between T1 and T2. In both sexes, the continuance of outpatient rehabilitation might be recommended as one activity that can maintain physical and psychological states during a COVID-19-related state of emergency. Full article
Review
Abnormal Liver Biochemistry Tests and Acute Liver Injury in COVID-19 Patients: Current Evidence and Potential Pathogenesis
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 50; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030050 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
Globally, millions of persons have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the past several months, resulting in significant mortality. Health care systems are negatively impacted including the care of individuals with cancers and other chronic diseases such as chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis [...] Read more.
Globally, millions of persons have contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the past several months, resulting in significant mortality. Health care systems are negatively impacted including the care of individuals with cancers and other chronic diseases such as chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. There are various probable pathogenic mechanisms that have been presented to account for liver injury in COVID-19 patients such as hepatotoxicity cause by therapeutic drugs, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of the bile duct cells and hepatocytes, hypoxia and systemic inflammatory response. Liver biochemistry tests such as aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) are deranged in COVID-19 patients with liver injury. Hepatocellular damage results in the elevation of serum AST and ALT levels in early onset disease while a cholestatic pattern that develops as the disease progress causes higher levels of ALP, GGT, direct and total bilirubin. These liver biochemistry tests are prognostic markers of disease severity and should be carefully monitored in COVID-19 patients. We conducted a systematic review of abnormal liver biochemistry tests in COVID-19 and the possible pathogenesis involved. Significant findings regarding the severity, hepatocellular pattern, incidence and related clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Clinical Significance of B-Type Natriuretic Peptide Levels at 3 Months after Atrial Fibrillation Ablation
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 49; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030049 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 623
Abstract
The role of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels as a predictor of arrhythmia recurrence (AR) after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the association of BNP levels before and 3 months after ablation with the risk of AR. [...] Read more.
The role of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels as a predictor of arrhythmia recurrence (AR) after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the association of BNP levels before and 3 months after ablation with the risk of AR. A total of 234 patients undergoing their first session of AF ablation were included (68% male, mean age of 69 years). The cut-off value for discriminating AR was determined based on the maximum value of the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. The impact of BNP levels on AR was evaluated using Cox regression analysis. ROC curve analysis showed that the area under the curve for BNP at 3 months after the procedure was larger (0.714) compared to BNP levels before ablation (0.593). Elevated levels of BNP 3 months after the procedure (>40.5 pg/mL, n = 96) was associated with a higher risk of AR compared to those without elevated levels (34.4% vs. 10.9%, p < 0.01). Multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that elevated BNP levels were associated with an increased risk of AR (hazard ratio 2.43; p = 0.014). Elevated BNP levels 3 months after AF ablation were a significant prognostic factor in AR, while baseline BNP levels were not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Explaining Relationship of Periodontitis and Cardiovascular Diseases
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030048 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 776
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart diseases or stroke are among the leading cause of deaths globally, and evidence suggests that these diseases are modulated by a multifactorial and complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Genetic predisposition and chronic exposure to [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases such as ischemic heart diseases or stroke are among the leading cause of deaths globally, and evidence suggests that these diseases are modulated by a multifactorial and complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Genetic predisposition and chronic exposure to modifiable risk factors have been explored to be involved in the pathophysiology of CVD. Environmental factors contribute to an individual’s propensity to develop major cardiovascular risk factors through epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones via miRNA regulation of protein translation that are types of epigenetic mechanisms and participate in disease development. Periodontal disease (PD) is one of the most common oral diseases in humans that is characterized by low-grade inflammation and has been shown to increase the risk of CVDs. Risk factors involved in PD and CVD are determined both genetically and behaviorally. Periodontal diseases such as chronic inflammation promote DNA methylation. Epigenetic modifications involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis play an essential role in plaque development and vulnerability. Epigenetics has opened a new world to understand and manage human diseases, including CVDs and periodontal diseases. Genetic medicine has started a new era of epigenetics to overcome human diseases with various new methodology. Epigenetic profiling may aid in better diagnosis and stratification of patients showing potential predisposed states for disease. A better understanding of the exact regulatory mechanisms of epigenetic pathways driving inflammation is slowly emerging and will aid in developing novel tools for the treatment of disease. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
COVID-19-Associated Cardiovascular Complications
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030047 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to cause cardiovascular complications such as myocardial injury, thromboembolic events, arrhythmia, and heart failure. Multiple mechanisms—some overlapping, notably the role of inflammation and IL-6—potentially underlie these complications. The reported cardiac injury may be a result of [...] Read more.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been reported to cause cardiovascular complications such as myocardial injury, thromboembolic events, arrhythmia, and heart failure. Multiple mechanisms—some overlapping, notably the role of inflammation and IL-6—potentially underlie these complications. The reported cardiac injury may be a result of direct viral invasion of cardiomyocytes with consequent unopposed effects of angiotensin II, increased metabolic demand, immune activation, or microvascular dysfunction. Thromboembolic events have been widely reported in both the venous and arterial systems that have attracted intense interest in the underlying mechanisms. These could potentially be due to endothelial dysfunction secondary to direct viral invasion or inflammation. Additionally, thromboembolic events may also be a consequence of an attempt by the immune system to contain the infection through immunothrombosis and neutrophil extracellular traps. Cardiac arrhythmias have also been reported with a wide range of implicated contributory factors, ranging from direct viral myocardial injury, as well as other factors, including at-risk individuals with underlying inherited arrhythmia syndromes. Heart failure may also occur as a progression from cardiac injury, precipitation secondary to the initiation or withdrawal of certain drugs, or the accumulation of des-Arg9-bradykinin (DABK) with excessive induction of pro-inflammatory G protein coupled receptor B1 (BK1). The presenting cardiovascular symptoms include chest pain, dyspnoea, and palpitations. There is currently intense interest in vaccine-induced thrombosis and in the treatment of Long COVID since many patients who have survived COVID-19 describe persisting health problems. This review will summarise the proposed physiological mechanisms of COVID-19-associated cardiovascular complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Global Chronic Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
The Potential Use of Vitamin C to Prevent Kidney Injury in Patients with COVID-19
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030046 - 28 Jun 2021
Viewed by 759
Abstract
The newly found SARS-CoV-2 has led to the pandemic of COVID-19, which has caused respiratory distress syndrome and even death worldwide. This has become a global public health crisis. Unfortunately, elders and subjects with comorbidities have high mortality rates. One main feature of [...] Read more.
The newly found SARS-CoV-2 has led to the pandemic of COVID-19, which has caused respiratory distress syndrome and even death worldwide. This has become a global public health crisis. Unfortunately, elders and subjects with comorbidities have high mortality rates. One main feature of COVID-19 is the cytokine storm, which can cause damage in cells and tissues including the kidneys. Here, we reviewed the current literature on renal impairments in patients with COVID-19 and analyzed the possible etiology and mechanisms. In addition, we investigated the potential use of vitamin C for the prevention of renal injury in those patients. It appears that vitamin C could be helpful to improve the outcomes of patients with COVID-19. Lastly, we discussed the possible protective effects of vitamin C on renal functions in COVID-19 patients with existing kidney conditions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
The Link between Obesity, Microbiota Dysbiosis, and Neurodegenerative Pathogenesis
Diseases 2021, 9(3), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/diseases9030045 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
Current research in medicine in several parts of the world has attempted to establish a link between the occurrence of neurodegenerative pathologies, microbiota dysbiosis, and the incidence of obesity. The body’s response to different physicochemical factors has also been influenced by the proper [...] Read more.
Current research in medicine in several parts of the world has attempted to establish a link between the occurrence of neurodegenerative pathologies, microbiota dysbiosis, and the incidence of obesity. The body’s response to different physicochemical factors has also been influenced by the proper assimilation of bioactive compounds contained in the food that is ingested. Oxidative stress is one of the major factors that directly affects the functioning of the human microbiota. The body’s reaction to this imbalance is crucial to the progression of inflammatory processes, which are based on molecular mechanisms. Microbial dysbiosis can result in a possibly permanent alteration in the physiological response. This review aims to highlight recent contributions made to alleviating human dysbiosis in degenerative diseases, especially for neurodegenerative pathologies based on the rising prevalence of obesity. We discuss the significance of both microbiota modulation and possible alleviations of pathologies by a modulatory function. We argue that pre- and probiotics (including phenolic compounds stimulating the favorable strain from the microbiota) are an effective alternative that can support the microbiota pattern’s modulation over time and the attenuation of indirect causes that determine dysbiosis. Molecular aspects are presented in support of the modulating role of the microbiota following the use of probiotics. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop