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J. Clin. Med., Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 334-678

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review, Other

Open AccessEditorial The Role of RNAs and microRNAs in Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 440-452; doi:10.3390/jcm3020440
Received: 8 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 6 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract In this paper, all possible clinical applications of circulating mRNA and miRNA for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis appearing in the medical literature so far are described. Data from the literature have also been reported and commented on along with some possible future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessArticle Can Characteristics of Reciprocal Translocations Predict the Chance of Transferable Embryos in PGD Cycles?
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 348-358; doi:10.3390/jcm3020348
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 10 March 2014 / Published: 2 April 2014
PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Translocation carriers have an increased risk of miscarriage or the birth of a child with congenital anomalies. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed in translocation carriers to select for balanced embryos and, thus, increase the chance of an ongoing pregnancy. However, a common
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Translocation carriers have an increased risk of miscarriage or the birth of a child with congenital anomalies. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed in translocation carriers to select for balanced embryos and, thus, increase the chance of an ongoing pregnancy. However, a common experience is that reciprocal translocation carriers produce a high percentage of unbalanced embryos, which cannot be transferred. Therefore, the pregnancy rates in PGD in this patient group are low. In a cohort of 85 reciprocal translocation carriers undergoing PGD we have searched for cytogenetic characteristics of the translocations that can predict the percentage of balanced embryos. Using shape algorithms, the most likely segregation mode per translocation was determined. Shape algorithm, breakpoint location, and relative chromosome segment sizes proved not to be independent predictors of the percentage of balanced embryos. The ratio of the relative sizes of the translocated segments of both translocation chromosomes can give some insight into the chance of transferable embryos: Very asymmetrical translocations have a higher risk of unbalanced products (p = 0.048). Counseling of the couples on the pros and cons of all their reproductive options remains very important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Hyponatremia: A Risk Factor for Early Overt Encephalopathy after Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt Creation
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 359-372; doi:10.3390/jcm3020359
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2014 / Accepted: 7 March 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a frequent complication in cirrhotic patients undergoing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). Hyponatremia (HN) is a known contributing risk factor for the development of HE. Predictive factors, especially the effect of HN, for the development of overt HE within
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Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a frequent complication in cirrhotic patients undergoing transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). Hyponatremia (HN) is a known contributing risk factor for the development of HE. Predictive factors, especially the effect of HN, for the development of overt HE within one week of TIPS placement were assessed. A single-center, retrospective chart review of 71 patients with cirrhosis who underwent TIPS creation from 2006–2011 for non-variceal bleeding indications was conducted. Baseline clinical and laboratory characteristics were collected. Factors associated with overt HE within one week were identified, and a multivariate model was constructed. Seventy one patients who underwent 81 TIPS procedures were evaluated. Fifteen patients developed overt HE within one week. Factors predictive of overt HE within one week included pre-TIPS Na, total bilirubin and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD)-Na. The odds ratio for developing HE with pre-TIPS Na <135 mEq/L was 8.6. Among patients with pre-TIPS Na <125 mEq/L, 125–129.9 mEq/L, 130–134.9 mEq/L and ≥135 mEq/L, the incidence of HE within one week was 37.5%, 25%, 25% and 3.4%, respectively. Lower pre-TIPS Na, higher total bilirubin and higher MELD-Na values were associated with the development of overt HE post-TIPS within one week. TIPS in hyponatremic patients should be undertaken with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyponatremia: Advances in Diagnosis and Management)
Open AccessArticle Cortical Volume Alterations in Conduct Disordered Adolescents with and without Bipolar Disorder
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 416-431; doi:10.3390/jcm3020416
Received: 24 December 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 16 April 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (562 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: There is increasing evidence that bipolar disorder (BD) and conduct disorder (CD) are co-occurring disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging has revealed differences in the structure and function of the frontal cortex in these disorders when studied separately; however, the impact of BD comorbidity
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Background: There is increasing evidence that bipolar disorder (BD) and conduct disorder (CD) are co-occurring disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging has revealed differences in the structure and function of the frontal cortex in these disorders when studied separately; however, the impact of BD comorbidity on brain structure in adolescents with CD has not yet been examined. Method: We conducted an optimized voxel based morphometry (VBM) study of juvenile offenders with the following diagnoses: conduct disorder with comorbid bipolar disorder (CD-BD; n = 24), conduct disorder without bipolar disorder (CD; n = 24) and healthy controls (HC, n = 24). Participants were 13–17 years of age, in a residential treatment facility for repeat offenders. The three groups in this study were similar in age, gender, socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Results: We found CD-BD subjects had decreased volume relative to controls at the voxel level in the right medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). Using a Threshold-Free Cluster Enhancement (TFCE) technique, the CD-BD subjects had significantly decreased volumes of the right medial prefrontal cortex and portions of the superior and inferior frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate and temporal gyrus. The CD subjects did not have differences in brain volume compared to control subjects or CD-BD subjects. Conclusions: Our findings suggest the comorbidity between CD and BD is associated with neurobiological impact namely volumetric differences from healthy controls. Furthermore subjects with this comorbidity had poorer lifetime functioning, more mood and attentional dysfunction, and more medication exposure than subjects with CD who were not BD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)
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Open AccessArticle Prenatal Isolated Ventricular Septal Defect May Not Be Associated with Trisomy 21
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 432-439; doi:10.3390/jcm3020432
Received: 19 December 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 4 March 2014 / Published: 23 April 2014
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine if isolated fetal ventricular septal defect (VSD) is associated with trisomy 21. One hundred twenty six cases with prenatal VSD diagnosed by a pediatric cardiologist were reviewed. Cases with known risk factors for congenital heart
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine if isolated fetal ventricular septal defect (VSD) is associated with trisomy 21. One hundred twenty six cases with prenatal VSD diagnosed by a pediatric cardiologist were reviewed. Cases with known risk factors for congenital heart disease, the presence of other major anomalies, soft signs for trisomy 21 or a positive screen test for trisomy 21 were excluded. Ninety two cases formed the study group. None of the cases in the study group had trisomy 21. The upper limit of prevalence for trisomy 21 in isolated VSD is 3%. When prenatal VSD is not associated with other major anomalies, soft markers for trisomy 21 or a positive nuchal translucency or biochemical screen, a decision whether to perform genetic amniocentesis should be individualized. The currently unknown association between isolated VSD and microdeletions and microduplications should be considered when discussing this option. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle First Trimester Aneuploidy Screening Markers in Women with Pre-Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 480-490; doi:10.3390/jcm3020480
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 19 March 2014 / Published: 8 May 2014
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Abstract
Objective: To investigate whether maternal serum pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), total β human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels and nuchal translucency (NT) measurements differ in women with pre-gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) compared to non-diabetic controls and to assess whether correction factors are needed
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Objective: To investigate whether maternal serum pregnancy associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A), total β human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels and nuchal translucency (NT) measurements differ in women with pre-gestational diabetes mellitus (PGDM) compared to non-diabetic controls and to assess whether correction factors are needed for diabetic women in calculation of aneuploidy risks. Study Design: We performed a retrospective study of all women who underwent first trimester aneuploidy screening (11 + 0 to 13 + 6 weeks) from 2005 to 2011. The primary study outcome was the difference in PAPP-A, β-hCG and NT multiples of median between women with PGDM and non-diabetic women. Results: Of 6741 eligible patients, 103 patients with PGDM were using insulin and 4 patients were using oral hypoglycemic agents; the latter were excluded due to small number. There was 12% reduction of median PAPP-A (p = 0.001) and 18% reduction of median hCG (p = 0.006) in women with PGDM receiving insulin. There was no difference in NT. Conclusions: In women with PGDM receiving insulin, PAPP-A and β-hCG levels are significantly lower compared to non-diabetic women. This suggests that when calculating risks for aneuploidy, correction factors should be considered to adjust PAPP-A and β-hCG concentrations to those seen in non-diabetic women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
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Open AccessArticle It’s More Than a Blood Test: Patients’ Perspectives on Noninvasive Prenatal Testing
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 614-631; doi:10.3390/jcm3020614
Received: 5 April 2014 / Revised: 3 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 May 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) offers pregnant women a new risk assessment tool for fetal aneuploidy that is superior to conventional screening tests. We conducted focus groups with women who were currently pregnant or had recently delivered in the past year to characterize their
[...] Read more.
Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) offers pregnant women a new risk assessment tool for fetal aneuploidy that is superior to conventional screening tests. We conducted focus groups with women who were currently pregnant or had recently delivered in the past year to characterize their perspectives about NIPT and to explore factors they would consider during decision making about its use. Women identified accuracy, early timing, testing ease, and determination of fetal sex as advantages of NIPT over other screens, and the noninvasive method of NIPT as an advantage over diagnostic tests. False positive and false negative results, anxiety, cost and insurance coverage were seen as disadvantages of NIPT. Women who do not want fetal aneuploidy information most likely will not undergo NIPT, despite its advantages over other screening tests. However, given its advantages, the decision to have NIPT is straightforward for women who want genetic information about the fetus. Women emphasized the need to make autonomous, private, and informed choices about NIPT, as they would with any prenatal genetic testing option. These perspectives may guide clinicians to conduct effective and clinically relevant counseling with pregnant women who consider utilizing this new genetic technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessArticle Knowledge and Educational Needs about Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) among Oncology Nurses
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 632-645; doi:10.3390/jcm3020632
Received: 31 March 2014 / Revised: 20 May 2014 / Accepted: 22 May 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (254 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a form of assisted reproductive technology, is a new technology with limited awareness among health care professionals and hereditary cancer families. Nurses play a key role in the care of patients and are often in an ideal position to
[...] Read more.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a form of assisted reproductive technology, is a new technology with limited awareness among health care professionals and hereditary cancer families. Nurses play a key role in the care of patients and are often in an ideal position to discuss and refer patients on sensitive quality of life issues, such as PGD. Two hundred and one nurses at Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) responded to an online survey assessing knowledge and educational needs regarding PGD and families with hereditary cancer. The majority of respondents were female (n = 188), white (n = 175), had an RN/BSN degree (n = 83), and provided outpatient care at the cancer center (n = 102). More than half of respondents (78%) were unfamiliar with PGD prior to the survey and respondents who had heard of PGD had limited knowledge. More than half of the participants reported PGD was an acceptable option for families with hereditary cancer syndromes and thought individuals with a strong family or personal history should be provided with information about PGD. This study indicates that oncology nurses may benefit from and desire education about PGD. With advances in reproductive technology and options, further PGD education is needed among healthcare professionals. An examination of current oncology nursing curriculum and competencies regarding genetic education may identify need for future revisions and updates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Open AccessReview The Power and the Promise of Cell Reprogramming: Personalized Autologous Body Organ and Cell Transplantation
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 373-387; doi:10.3390/jcm3020373
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 17 February 2014 / Accepted: 19 February 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
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Abstract
Reprogramming somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or direct reprogramming to desired cell types are powerful and new in vitro methods for the study of human disease, cell replacement therapy, and drug development. Both methods to reprogram cells are unconstrained by
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Reprogramming somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) or direct reprogramming to desired cell types are powerful and new in vitro methods for the study of human disease, cell replacement therapy, and drug development. Both methods to reprogram cells are unconstrained by the ethical and social questions raised by embryonic stem cells. iPSC technology promises to enable personalized autologous cell therapy and has the potential to revolutionize cell replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. Potential applications of iPSC technology are rapidly increasing in ambition from discrete cell replacement applications to the iPSC assisted bioengineering of body organs for personalized autologous body organ transplant. Recent work has demonstrated that the generation of organs from iPSCs is a future possibility. The development of embryonic-like organ structures bioengineered from iPSCs has been achieved, such as an early brain structure (cerebral organoids), bone, optic vesicle-like structures (eye), cardiac muscle tissue (heart), primitive pancreas islet cells, a tooth-like structure (teeth), and functional liver buds (liver). Thus, iPSC technology offers, in the future, the powerful and unique possibility to make body organs for transplantation removing the need for organ donation and immune suppressing drugs. Whilst it is clear that iPSCs are rapidly becoming the lead cell type for research into cell replacement therapy and body organ transplantation strategies in humans, it is not known whether (1) such transplants will stimulate host immune responses; and (2) whether this technology will be capable of the bioengineering of a complete and fully functional human organ. This review will not focus on reprogramming to iPSCs, of which a plethora of reviews can be found, but instead focus on the latest developments in direct reprogramming of cells, the bioengineering of body organs from iPSCs, and an analysis of the immune response induced by iPSC-derived cells and tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Stem Cell Treatments)
Open AccessReview Beyond Trisomy 21: Additional Chromosomal Anomalies Detected through Routine Aneuploidy Screening
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 388-415; doi:10.3390/jcm3020388
Received: 13 January 2014 / Revised: 6 February 2014 / Accepted: 18 February 2014 / Published: 8 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Prenatal screening is often misconstrued by patients as screening for trisomy 21 alone; however, other chromosomal anomalies are often detected. This study aimed to systematically review the literature and use diagnostic meta-analysis to derive pooled detection and false positive rates for aneuploidies other
[...] Read more.
Prenatal screening is often misconstrued by patients as screening for trisomy 21 alone; however, other chromosomal anomalies are often detected. This study aimed to systematically review the literature and use diagnostic meta-analysis to derive pooled detection and false positive rates for aneuploidies other than trisomy 21 with different prenatal screening tests. Non-invasive prenatal testing had the highest detection (DR) and lowest false positive (FPR) rates for trisomy 13 (DR: 90.3%; FPR: 0.2%), trisomy 18 (DR: 98.1%; FPR: 0.2%), and 45,X (DR: 92.2%; FPR: 0.1%); however, most estimates came from high-risk samples. The first trimester combined test also had high DRs for all conditions studied (trisomy 13 DR: 83.1%; FPR: 4.4%; trisomy 18 DR: 91.9%; FPR: 3.5%; 45,X DR: 70.1%; FPR: 5.4%; triploidy DR: 100%; FPR: 6.3%). Second trimester triple screening had the lowest DRs and highest FPRs for all conditions (trisomy 13 DR: 43.9%; FPR: 8.1%; trisomy 18 DR: 70.5%; FPR: 3.3%; 45,X DR: 77.2%; FPR: 9.3%). Prenatal screening tests differ in their ability to accurately detect chromosomal anomalies. Patients should be counseled about the ability of prenatal screening to detect anomalies other than trisomy 21 prior to undergoing screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview The Roles of Vitamin A in the Regulation of Carbohydrate, Lipid, and Protein Metabolism
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 453-479; doi:10.3390/jcm3020453
Received: 12 February 2014 / Revised: 6 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 7 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Currently, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. This high prevalence of overweight/obesity negatively affects the health of the population, as obese individuals tend to develop several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Due to obesity’s impact on
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Currently, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. This high prevalence of overweight/obesity negatively affects the health of the population, as obese individuals tend to develop several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Due to obesity’s impact on health, medical costs, and longevity, the rise in the number of obese people has become a public health concern. Both genetic and environmental/dietary factors play a role in the development of metabolic diseases. Intuitively, it seems to be obvious to link over-nutrition to the development of obesity and other metabolic diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Dietary nutrients not only provide energy derived from macronutrients, but also factors such as micronutrients with regulatory roles. How micronutrients, such as vitamin A (VA; retinol), regulate macronutrient homeostasis is still an ongoing research topic. As an essential micronutrient, VA plays a key role in the general health of an individual. This review summarizes recent research progress regarding VA’s role in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. Due to the large amount of information regarding VA functions, this review focusses on metabolism in metabolic active organs and tissues. Additionally, some perspectives for future studies will be provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
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Open AccessReview Genetic Testing in the Diagnosis of Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia: State-of-the-Art and Future Perspectives
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 491-503; doi:10.3390/jcm3020491
Received: 21 February 2014 / Revised: 24 March 2014 / Accepted: 24 March 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a heterogeneous autosomal recessive condition affecting around 1:15,000. In people with PCD, microscopic motile cilia do not move normally resulting in impaired clearance of mucus and debris leading to repeated sinopulmonary infection. If diagnosis is delayed, permanent bronchiectasis
[...] Read more.
Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a heterogeneous autosomal recessive condition affecting around 1:15,000. In people with PCD, microscopic motile cilia do not move normally resulting in impaired clearance of mucus and debris leading to repeated sinopulmonary infection. If diagnosis is delayed, permanent bronchiectasis and deterioration of lung function occurs. Other complications associated with PCD include congenital heart disease, hearing impairment and infertility. A small number of longitudinal studies suggest that lung function deteriorates before diagnosis of PCD but may stabilise following diagnosis with subsequent specialist management. Early diagnosis is therefore essential, but for a number of reasons referral for diagnostic testing is often delayed until older childhood or even adulthood. Functional diagnostic tests for PCD are expensive, time consuming and require specialist equipment and scientists. In the last few years, there have been considerable developments to identify genes associated with PCD, currently enabling 65% of patients to be identified by bi-allelic mutations. The rapid identification of new genes continues. This review will consider the evidence that early diagnosis of PCD is beneficial. It will review the recent advances in identification of PCD-associated genes and will discuss the role of genetic testing in PCD. It will then consider whether screening for PCD antenatally or in the new born is likely to become a feasible and acceptable for this rare disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
Open AccessReview Prenatal Screening Using Maternal Markers
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 504-520; doi:10.3390/jcm3020504
Received: 24 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Maternal markers are widely used to screen for fetal neural tube defects (NTDs), chromosomal abnormalities and cardiac defects. Some are beginning to broaden prenatal screening to include pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia. The methods initially developed for NTDs using a single marker have
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Maternal markers are widely used to screen for fetal neural tube defects (NTDs), chromosomal abnormalities and cardiac defects. Some are beginning to broaden prenatal screening to include pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia. The methods initially developed for NTDs using a single marker have since been built upon to develop high performance multi-maker tests for chromosomal abnormalities. Although cell-free DNA testing is still too expensive to be considered for routine application in public health settings, it can be cost-effective when used in combination with existing multi-maker marker tests. The established screening methods can be readily applied in the first trimester to identify pregnancies at high risk of pre-eclampsia and offer prevention though aspirin treatment. Prenatal screening for fragile X syndrome might be adopted more widely if the test was to be framed as a form of maternal marker screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 1)
Open AccessReview Prevention of Bone Metastases in Breast Cancer Patients. Therapeutic Perspectives
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 521-536; doi:10.3390/jcm3020521
Received: 2 February 2014 / Revised: 3 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 9 May 2014
PDF Full-text (237 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One in four breast cancer patients is at risk of developing bone metastases in her life time. The early prevention of bone metastases is a crucial challenge. It has been suggested that the use of zoledronic acid (ZOL) in the adjuvant setting may
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One in four breast cancer patients is at risk of developing bone metastases in her life time. The early prevention of bone metastases is a crucial challenge. It has been suggested that the use of zoledronic acid (ZOL) in the adjuvant setting may reduce the persistence of disseminated tumor cells and thereby might improve outcome, specifically in a population of patients with a low estrogen microenvironment. More recently, the results of a large meta-analysis from 41 randomized trials comparing a bisphosphonate (BP) to placebo or to an open control have been presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Meeting. Data on 17,016 patients confirm that adjuvant BPs, irrespective of the type of treatment or the treatment schedule and formulation (oral or intra-venously (IV)), significantly reduced bone recurrences and improved breast cancer survival in postmenopausal women. No advantage was seen in premenopausal women. BPs are soon likely to become integrated into standard practice. Published data on the mechanisms involved in tumor cell seeding from the primary site, in homing to bone tissues and in the reactivation of dormant tumor cells will be reviewed; these might offer new ideas for innovative combination strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Treatment of Bone Metastases from Breast Cancer)
Open AccessReview Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing Using Cell Free DNA in Maternal Plasma: Recent Developments and Future Prospects
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 537-565; doi:10.3390/jcm3020537
Received: 20 February 2014 / Revised: 11 April 2014 / Accepted: 14 April 2014 / Published: 21 May 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent advances in molecular genetic technologies have facilitated non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) through the analysis of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma. NIPT can be used to identify monogenic disorders including the identification of autosomal recessive disorders where the maternally inherited mutation needs
[...] Read more.
Recent advances in molecular genetic technologies have facilitated non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) through the analysis of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma. NIPT can be used to identify monogenic disorders including the identification of autosomal recessive disorders where the maternally inherited mutation needs to be identified in the presence of an excess of maternal DNA that contains the same mutation. In the future, simultaneous screening for multiple monogenic disorders is anticipated. Several NIPT methods have been developed to screen for trisomy. These have been shown to be effective for fetal trisomy 21, 18 and 13. Although the testing has been extended to sex chromosome aneuploidy, robust estimates of the efficacy are not yet available and maternal mosaicism for gain or loss of an X-chromosome needs to be considered. Using methods based on the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms, diandric triploidy can be identified. NIPT is being developed to identify a number of microdeletion syndromes including α-globin gene deletion. NIPT is a profoundly important development in prenatal care that is substantially advancing the individual patient and public health benefits achieved through conventional prenatal screening and diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 1)
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Open AccessReview Molecular Mechanisms of Retinoid Receptors in Diabetes-Induced Cardiac Remodeling
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 566-594; doi:10.3390/jcm3020566
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 17 March 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 4 June 2014
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Abstract
Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients, is characterized by ventricular dysfunction, in the absence of coronary atherosclerosis and hypertension. There is no specific therapeutic strategy to effectively treat patients with DCM, due to a lack of
[...] Read more.
Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients, is characterized by ventricular dysfunction, in the absence of coronary atherosclerosis and hypertension. There is no specific therapeutic strategy to effectively treat patients with DCM, due to a lack of a mechanistic understanding of the disease process. Retinoic acid, the active metabolite of vitamin A, is involved in a wide range of biological processes, through binding and activation of nuclear receptors: retinoic acid receptors (RAR) and retinoid X receptors (RXR). RAR/RXR-mediated signaling has been implicated in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Recently, it has been reported that activation of RAR/RXR has an important role in preventing the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy, through improving cardiac insulin resistance, inhibition of intracellular oxidative stress, NF-κB-mediated inflammatory responses and the renin-angiotensin system. Moreover, downregulated RAR/RXR signaling has been demonstrated in diabetic myocardium, suggesting that impaired RAR/RXR signaling may be a trigger to accelerate diabetes-induced development of DCM. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of retinoid receptors in the regulation of cardiac metabolism and remodeling under diabetic conditions is important in providing the impetus for generating novel therapeutic approaches for the prevention and treatment of diabetes-induced cardiac complications and heart failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Open AccessReview Optimal Pharmacologic Treatment Strategies in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 595-613; doi:10.3390/jcm3020595
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
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Abstract
The prevalence of obesity has increased to pandemic levels worldwide and is related to increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Metabolic comorbidities are commonly associated with obesity and include metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Even if the prevalence of obesity remains
[...] Read more.
The prevalence of obesity has increased to pandemic levels worldwide and is related to increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Metabolic comorbidities are commonly associated with obesity and include metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Even if the prevalence of obesity remains stable until 2030, the anticipated numbers of people with diabetes will more than double as a consequence of population aging and urbanization. Weight reduction is integral in the prevention of diabetes among obese adults with pre-diabetes. Lifestyle intervention and weight reduction are also key in the management of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss is challenging for most obese patients, but for those with diabetes, it can pose an even greater challenge due to the weight gain associated with many treatment regimens. This article will review optimal treatment strategies for patients with comorbid obesity and type 2 diabetes. The role of anti-obesity agents in diabetes will also be reviewed. This literature review will provide readers with current strategies for the pharmacologic treatment of obesity and diabetes with a focus on the weight outcomes related to diabetes treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
Open AccessReview Roles of Sphingolipid Metabolism in Pancreatic β Cell Dysfunction Induced by Lipotoxicity
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 646-662; doi:10.3390/jcm3020646
Received: 5 March 2014 / Revised: 10 April 2014 / Accepted: 11 April 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pancreatic β cells secrete insulin in order to maintain glucose homeostasis. However, various environmental stresses such as obesity have been shown to induce loss of secretory responsiveness in pancreatic β cells and pancreatic β cell apoptosis which can favor the development of type
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Pancreatic β cells secrete insulin in order to maintain glucose homeostasis. However, various environmental stresses such as obesity have been shown to induce loss of secretory responsiveness in pancreatic β cells and pancreatic β cell apoptosis which can favor the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Indeed, elevated levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) have been shown to induce β cell apoptosis. Importantly, the chronic adverse effects of FFAs on β cell function and viability are potentiated in the presence of hyperglycaemia, a phenomenon that has been termed gluco-lipotoxicity. The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of gluco-lipotoxicity in pancreatic β cells are not completely understood. Recent studies have shown that sphingolipid metabolism plays a key role in gluco-lipotoxicity induced apoptosis and loss of function of pancreatic β cells. The present review focuses on how the two main sphingolipid mediators, ceramides and sphingoid base-1-phosphates, regulate the deleterious effects of gluco-lipotoxicity on pancreatic β cells. The review highlights the role of a sphingolipid biostat on the dysregulation of β cell fate and function induced by gluco-lipotoxicity, offering the possibility of new therapeutic targets to prevent the onset of T2D. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome)
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Open AccessReview Microarray Technology for the Diagnosis of Fetal Chromosomal Aberrations: Which Platform Should We Use?
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 663-678; doi:10.3390/jcm3020663
Received: 19 February 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 1 April 2014 / Published: 20 June 2014
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Abstract
The advantage of microarray (array) over conventional karyotype for the diagnosis of fetal pathogenic chromosomal anomalies has prompted the use of microarrays in prenatal diagnostics. In this review we compare the performance of different array platforms (BAC, oligonucleotide CGH, SNP) and designs (targeted,
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The advantage of microarray (array) over conventional karyotype for the diagnosis of fetal pathogenic chromosomal anomalies has prompted the use of microarrays in prenatal diagnostics. In this review we compare the performance of different array platforms (BAC, oligonucleotide CGH, SNP) and designs (targeted, whole genome, whole genome, and targeted, custom) and discuss their advantages and disadvantages in relation to prenatal testing. We also discuss the factors to consider when implementing a microarray testing service for the diagnosis of fetal chromosomal aberrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Genetic Screening and Diagnosis-Part 2)
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Open AccessOpinion Biologism in Psychiatry: A Young Man’s Experience of Being Diagnosed with “Pediatric Bipolar Disorder”
J. Clin. Med. 2014, 3(2), 334-347; doi:10.3390/jcm3020334
Received: 9 December 2013 / Revised: 1 March 2014 / Accepted: 5 March 2014 / Published: 28 March 2014
PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pediatric bipolar disorder is a diagnosis that arose in the mid 1990s in the USA and has mostly remained confined to that nation. In this article a young American man (under a pseudonym) describes his experience of having the diagnosis throughout his adolescent
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Pediatric bipolar disorder is a diagnosis that arose in the mid 1990s in the USA and has mostly remained confined to that nation. In this article a young American man (under a pseudonym) describes his experience of having the diagnosis throughout his adolescent years. His story was conveyed via correspondence and a meeting with the author, an Australian child psychiatrist. The young American’s story reveals several issues that afflict contemporary psychiatry, particularly in the USA, where social and economic factors have contributed to the rise of a dominant biomedical paradigm—or “biologism”. This focus on the “bio” to the relative exclusion of the “psychosocial” in both diagnosis and treatment can have serious consequences as this young man’s story attests. The author explores aspects of his tale to analyze how the pediatric bipolar disorder “epidemic” arose and became emblematic of a dominant biologism. This narrative points to the need, depending on the service and country, to return to or retain/improve a balanced biopsychosocial perspective in child and adolescent mental health. Child psychiatry needs to advocate for health systems that support deeper listening to our patients. Then we can explore with them the full range of contextual factors that contribute to symptoms of individual and family distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents)

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