Diagnostics2015, 5(4), 513-545; doi:10.3390/diagnostics5040513 (registering DOI) - published 27 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is crucial for optimizing treatment outcome. Ongoing advances are being made in imaging of HCC regarding detection, grading, staging, and also treatment monitoring. This review gives an overview of the current international guidelines for diagnosing HCC and their discrepancies as well as critically summarizes the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) techniques for imaging in HCC. The diagnostic performance of MRI with nonspecific and hepatobililiary contrast agents and the role of functional imaging with diffusion-weighted imaging will be discussed. On the other hand, CT as a fast, cheap and easily accessible imaging modality plays a major role in the clinical routine work-up of HCC. Technical advances in CT, such as dual energy CT and volume perfusion CT, are currently being explored for improving detection, characterization and staging of HCC with promising results. Cone beam CT can provide a three-dimensional analysis of the liver with tumor and vessel characterization comparable to cross-sectional imaging so that this technique is gaining an increasing role in the peri-procedural imaging of HCC treated with interventional techniques.
Diagnostics2015, 5(4), 504-512; doi:10.3390/diagnostics5040504 (registering DOI) - published 27 November 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Early and accurate diagnosis of dementia is key to appropriate treatment and management. Clinical assessment, including the use of cognitive screening instruments, remains integral to the diagnostic process. Many cognitive screening instruments have been described, varying in length and hence administration time, but it is not known whether longer tests offer greater diagnostic accuracy than shorter tests. Data from several pragmatic diagnostic test accuracy studies examining various cognitive screening instruments in a secondary care setting were analysed to correlate measures of test diagnostic accuracy and test duration, building on the findings of a preliminary study. High correlations which were statistically significant were found between one measure of diagnostic accuracy, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, and surrogate measures of test duration, namely total test score and total number of test items/questions. Longer cognitive screening instruments may offer greater accuracy for the diagnosis of dementia, an observation which has possible implications for the optimal organisation of dedicated cognitive disorders clinics.
Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is frequently detected in pre-existing liver cirrhosis, but can also develop without such pre-conditions. There is an increasing trend of HCC incidence worldwide. In patients with liver cirrhosis, HCC has become the leading cause of death. At diagnosis the tumor has very often reached an advanced stage and curative treatment options are missing. Thus, early diagnosis would help the patient and prevent increasing healthcare costs. In our review we will summarize the recommendations of the German S3 guideline for the early diagnosis of HCC and will discuss the current literature in this context. The reader will learn which diagnostic tools are available and in what order they can be usefully applied. Surveillance should be done with ultrasound by a skilled examiner, additional imaging at best with state-of-the-art dynamic magnetic resonance.
Abstract: Using a combination of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), we investigated the prevalence of possible dementia (DEM) in community-dwelling elderly in Shanghai. Subsequently, we investigated significant risk factors for DEM and generated a DEM self-checklist for early DEM detection and case management. We found that among a total of 521 participants using a HVLT cut-off score of <19 and a MMSE cut-off score of <24, a total of 69 DEM cases were identified. Risk factors, such as advanced age (≥68 years), low education (no or primary level), self-reported history of hypertension, and self-reported subjective memory complaints (SMC) were significantly predictive of DEM. The presence of ≥3 out of four of the above mentioned risk factors can effectively discriminate DEM cases from non-DEM subjects.
Abstract: This study explores whether the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) could reliably exclude definite dementia and dementia-free cases from requiring more extensive neuropsychological investigations in memory clinic settings in Singapore. Patients with memory complaints referred for possible dementia underwent the MMSE, followed by standardized neuropsychological and clinical assessments which led to a consensus diagnosis. MMSE cut-off points were derived stratified for education (less and equal/above primary level). Results show that after education stratification, using an optimal Positive Likelihood Ratio (PLR) and optimal Negative Likelihood Ratio (NLR), a higher percentage of patients were correctly identified as having dementia or dementia-free, with minimal misclassification rate. The finding suggests the MMSE can be used to exclude patients not requiring full neuropsychological assessments in a memory clinic.
Abstract: Management of patients with prostate cancer is currently based on imperfect clinical, biological, radiological and pathological evaluation. Prostate cancer aggressiveness, including metastatic potential, remains difficult to accurately estimate. In an attempt to better adapt therapeutics to an individual (personalized medicine), reliable evaluation of the intrinsic molecular biology of the tumor is warranted, and particularly for all tumor sites (primary tumors and secondary sites) at any time of the disease progression. As a consequence of their natural tendency to grow (passive invasion) or as a consequence of an active blood vessel invasion by metastase-initiating cells, tumors shed various materials into the bloodstream. Major efforts have been recently made to develop powerful and accurate methods able to detect, quantify and/or analyze all these circulating tumor materials: circulating tumors cells, disseminating tumor cells, extracellular vesicles (including exosomes), nucleic acids, etc. The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge about these circulating tumor materials and their applications in translational research.