Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Hepatitis B Viral Infection as a Predictor of Hepatic Enzymes and Compounds Alteration among Antenatal Patients
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(4), 24; doi:10.3390/medsci5040024 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Worldwide, hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection continues to be a major public health issue. The study was aimed at assessing HBV infection as a predictor of hepatic enzymes and compounds alteration among antenatal patients in Kano State, Nigeria. Sera were screened for HBV
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Worldwide, hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection continues to be a major public health issue. The study was aimed at assessing HBV infection as a predictor of hepatic enzymes and compounds alteration among antenatal patients in Kano State, Nigeria. Sera were screened for HBV markers using immunochromatograhy and ELISA. Serum levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), asphatate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), albumin and bilirubin were also determined. Out of the 160 patients, 6.9% and 31.3% tested positive for HBsAg and HBcAb, respectively. None tested positive for HBeAg. These markers also appeared in other combinations. Of the HBsAg seropositives, 72.7% showed abnormal levels of both AST and ALP, 36.7% showed abnormal levels of both total and direct bilirubin, 9.1% showed abnormal levels of albumin, and none showed abnormal levels of ALT. HBsAg seropositivity shows significant association with ALP elevation (p = 0.02).The study revealed that few subjects (1.3%) that tested positive for HBsAg and HBeAb with normal ALT were in the inactive carrier phase of chronic hepatitisand6.9% that were seronegatives for all HBV markers equally had altered hepatic enzymes. The presence of HBeAg in the serum during HBV infection seems to cause a marked elevation of ALT level, while the reverse happens if HBeAg is absent. HBV infection can alter levels of hepatic enzymes and compounds and thus serve as one of its predictors, however; pregnancy can also lead to some of these alterations, which makes it difficult to establish the origin of these alterations among antenatal patients. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Cytokine Signaling in Multiple Sclerosis and Its Therapeutic Applications
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(4), 0023; doi:10.3390/medsci5040023 -
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders in young adults. The etiology of MS is not known but it is widely accepted that it is autoimmune in nature. Disease onset is believed to be initiated by the activation of
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological disorders in young adults. The etiology of MS is not known but it is widely accepted that it is autoimmune in nature. Disease onset is believed to be initiated by the activation of CD4+ T cells that target autoantigens of the central nervous system (CNS) and their infiltration into the CNS, followed by the expansion of local and infiltrated peripheral effector myeloid cells that create an inflammatory milieu within the CNS, which ultimately lead to tissue damage and demyelination. Clinical studies have shown that progression of MS correlates with the abnormal expression of certain cytokines. The use of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model further delineates the role of these cytokines in neuroinflammation and the therapeutic potential of manipulating their biological activity in vivo. In this review, we will first present an overview on cytokines that may contribute to the pathogenesis of MS or EAE, and provide successful examples and roadblock of translating data obtained from EAE to MS. We will then focus in depth on recent findings that demonstrate the pathological role of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in MS and EAE, and briefly discuss the potential of targeting effector myeloid cells as a treatment strategy for MS. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Massively Parallel Sequencing of Genes Implicated in Heritable Cardiac Disorders: A Strategy for a Small Diagnostic Laboratory
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(4), 22; doi:10.3390/medsci5040022 -
Abstract
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in people before the age of 35 years is a devastating event for any family. The causes of SCD in the young can be broadly divided into two groups: heritable cardiac disorders that affect the heart structure (cardiomyopathies) and
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Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in people before the age of 35 years is a devastating event for any family. The causes of SCD in the young can be broadly divided into two groups: heritable cardiac disorders that affect the heart structure (cardiomyopathies) and primary electrical disorders (cardiac ion channelopathies). Genetic testing is vital as those suffering from cardiac ion channelopathies have structurally normal hearts, and those with cardiomyopathies may only show subtle abnormalities in the heart and these signs may not be detected during an autopsy. Post-mortem genetic testing of SCD victims is important to identify the underlying genetic cause. This is important as family cascade screening may be undertaken to identify those who may be at risk and provide vital information about risk stratification and clinical management. The development of massively parallel sequencing (MPS) has made it possible for the simultaneous screening of multiple patients for hundreds of genes. In light of this, we opted to develop an MPS approach for SCD analysis that would allow us to screen for mutations in genes implicated in cardiomyopathies and cardiac ion channelopathies. The rationale behind this panel was to limit it to genes carrying the greatest mutation load. If no likely pathogenic gene variant were found then testing could cascade to whole exome/genome sequencing as a gene-discovery exercise. The overarching aim was to design and validate a custom-cardiac panel that satisfies the diagnostic requirements of LabPLUS (Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, NZ) and the guidelines provided by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and the Association for Clinical Genetic Science. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification of Age‐Related Lung Tissue Mechanics under Mechanical Ventilation
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(4), 21; doi:10.3390/medsci5040021 -
Abstract
Elderly patients with obstructive lung diseases often receive mechanical ventilation to support their breathing and restore respiratory function. However, mechanical ventilation is known to increase the severity of ventilator‐induced lung injury (VILI) in the elderly. Therefore, it is important to investigate the effects
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Elderly patients with obstructive lung diseases often receive mechanical ventilation to support their breathing and restore respiratory function. However, mechanical ventilation is known to increase the severity of ventilator‐induced lung injury (VILI) in the elderly. Therefore, it is important to investigate the effects of aging to better understand the lung tissue mechanics to estimate the severity of ventilator‐induced lung injuries. Two age‐related geometric models involving human bronchioles from generation G10 to G23 and alveolar sacs were developed. The first is for a 50‐year‐old (normal) and second is for an 80‐year old (aged) model. Lung tissue mechanics of normal and aged models were investigated under mechanical ventilation through computational simulations. Results obtained indicated that lung tissue strains during inhalation (t = 0.2 s) decreased by about 40% in the alveolar sac (G23) and 27% in the bronchiole (G20), respectively, for the 80‐year‐old as compared to the 50‐year‐old. The respiratory mechanics parameters (work of breathing per unit volume and maximum tissue strain) over G20 and G23 for the 80‐year‐old decreased by about 64% (three‐fold) and 80% (four‐fold), respectively, during the mechanical ventilation breathing cycle. However, there was a significant increase (by about threefold) in lung compliance for the 80‐year‐old in comparison to the 50‐year‐old. These findings from the computational simulations demonstrated that lung mechanical characteristics are significantly compromised in aging tissues, and these effects were quantified in this study. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Healthcare Cost and Utilization before and after Diagnosis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa among Patients with Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis in the U.S.
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(4), 20; doi:10.3390/medsci5040020 -
Abstract
Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFBE) is a rare, chronic lung disease characterized by bronchial inflammation and permanent airway dilation. Chronic infections with P. aeruginosa have been linked to higher morbidity and mortality. To understand the impact of P. aeruginosa in NCFBE on health care
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Non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis (NCFBE) is a rare, chronic lung disease characterized by bronchial inflammation and permanent airway dilation. Chronic infections with P. aeruginosa have been linked to higher morbidity and mortality. To understand the impact of P. aeruginosa in NCFBE on health care costs and burden, we assessed healthcare costs and utilization before and after P. aeruginosa diagnosis. Using data from 2007 to 2013 PharMetrics Plus administrative claims, we included patients with ≥2 claims for bronchiectasis and >1 claim for P. aeruginosa; then excluded those with a claim for cystic fibrosis. Patients were indexed at first claim for P. aeruginosa and were required to have >12 months before and after the index P. aeruginosa. The mean differences in utilization and costs were assessed using paired Student’s t-tests for statistical significance. Mean total healthcare costs per patient were $36,213 pre-P. aeruginosa diagnosis versus $67,764 post-P. aeruginosa, an increase of 87% (p < 0.0001). Inpatient costs represented the largest proportion of total healthcare costs post-P. aeruginosa (54%) with an increase of four hospitalizations per patient (p < 0.0001). NCFBE patients with evidence of P. aeruginosa incur substantially greater healthcare costs and utilization after P. aeruginosa diagnosis. Future research should explore methods of earlier identification of NCFBE patients with P. aeruginosa, as this may lead to fewer severe exacerbations, thereby resulting in a reduction in hospitalizations and healthcare costs. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Molecular Characterization of Peripheral Extracellular Vesicles in Clinically Isolated Syndrome: Preliminary Suggestions from a Pilot Study
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 19; doi:10.3390/medsci5030019 -
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanoparticles originated from different cell types, seem to be implicated in several cellular activities. In the Central Nervous System (CNS), glia and neurons secrete EVs and recent studies have demonstrated that the intercellular communication mediated by EVs has versatile functional
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Extracellular vesicles (EVs), nanoparticles originated from different cell types, seem to be implicated in several cellular activities. In the Central Nervous System (CNS), glia and neurons secrete EVs and recent studies have demonstrated that the intercellular communication mediated by EVs has versatile functional impact in the cerebral homeostasis. This essential role may be due to their proteins and RNAs cargo that possibly modify the phenotypes of the targeted cells. Despite the increasing importance of EVs, little is known about their fluctuations in physiological as well as in pathological conditions. Furthermore, only few studies have investigated the contents of contemporary EVs subgroups (microvesicles, MVs and exosomes, EXOs) with the purpose of discriminating between their features and functional roles. In order to possibly shed light on these issues, we performed a pilot study in which MVs and EXOs extracted from serum samples of a little cohort of subjects (patients with the first clinical evidence of CNS demyelination, also known as Clinically Isolated Syndrome and Healthy Controls) were submitted to deep small-RNA sequencing. Data were analysed by an in-home bioinformatics platform. In line with previous reports, distinct classes of non-coding RNAs have been detected in both the EVs subsets, offering interesting suggestions on their origins and functions. We also verified the feasibility of this extensive molecular approach, thus supporting its valuable use for the analysis of circulating biomarkers (e.g., microRNAs) in order to investigate and monitor specific diseases. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Association between Sleep and Theory of Mind in School Aged Children with ADHD
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 18; doi:10.3390/medsci5030018 -
Abstract
Theory of Mind (ToM) is defined as the ability to infer a range of internal mental states of others, including beliefs, intentions, desires, and emotions. These abilities are associated with children’s ability to socialize effectively with peers. ToM impairments are associated with peer
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Theory of Mind (ToM) is defined as the ability to infer a range of internal mental states of others, including beliefs, intentions, desires, and emotions. These abilities are associated with children’s ability to socialize effectively with peers. ToM impairments are associated with peer rejection and psychiatric disorders such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Previous studies have found poor sleep negatively impacts executive functioning (EF) and emotional information processing, which are essential for the effective use of ToM. Youth with ADHD have EF deficits and sleep problems. However, the relationship between sleep, executive functioning, and ToM in children with ADHD has not been studied. In this review, we propose that the poor social and interpersonal skills characterizing individuals with ADHD could be explained by the impact of poor sleep on the emotional and cognitive mechanisms underlying ToM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
VEGF-B Levels in the Vitreous of Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Patients with Ocular Diseases and Its Correlation with Structural Parameters
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 17; doi:10.3390/medsci5030017 -
Abstract
Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is one of the enigmatic members of the VEGF family. The knowledge gap about VEGF-B expression and how its levels are altered in diabetic eyes were the focus of this investigation that was addressed by comparing and
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Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is one of the enigmatic members of the VEGF family. The knowledge gap about VEGF-B expression and how its levels are altered in diabetic eyes were the focus of this investigation that was addressed by comparing and correlating vitreous VEGF-B between diabetic and non-diabetic patients. VEGF-B levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in vitreous samples (n = 33) from diabetic (n = 25) and non-diabetic (n = 8) patients. Results were compared between groups. Optical coherence tomography from diabetic patients was evaluated for central retinal thickness (CRT) and macular volume (MV). Mean vitreous VEGF-B concentration was higher in diabetic (18.82 ± 1.44 pg/mL ) vs. non-diabetic patients (17.90 ± 0.32 pg/mL) (p = 0.006), and in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (19.03 ± 1.52 pg/mL) vs. non-PDR (NPDR) patients (18.18 ±0.96 pg/mL) (p = 0.025). In diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients, correlation between VEGF-B and CRT (μm) was positive and moderate: rs = 0.441 (p ≤ 0.05) and the correlation between VEGF-B and MV (mm3) was positive and robust: rs = 0.716 (p ≤ 0.01). VEGF-B levels are overexpressed in vitreous of diabetic patients, and the levels are higher in developed stages of DR. Correlation results show that CRT and MV increase with increased levels of VEGF-B. Targeting VEGF-B inhibition may have therapeutic beneficial implications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Disparities in Brain Cancer in the United States: A Literature Review of Gliomas
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 16; doi:10.3390/medsci5030016 -
Abstract
In the human body, the central regulatory system of homeostasis is maintained by the brain. Its complexity is mesmerizing and many of its functions are largely uncharted. Unfortunately, its functionality is often impaired through neoplastic growths, like gliomas, which are devastating to patients
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In the human body, the central regulatory system of homeostasis is maintained by the brain. Its complexity is mesmerizing and many of its functions are largely uncharted. Unfortunately, its functionality is often impaired through neoplastic growths, like gliomas, which are devastating to patients and their families. Annually, gliomas are the most common primary brain tumours affecting over 20,000 people in the United States. However, despite their status as the third most common cause of cancer related death for individuals between ages 20 and 39, the aetiology of gliomas remains unknown. This paper aims to review the latest information regarding the 2016 World Health Organization (WHO) 4th edition classifications of gliomas, their malignant effects, and disparities within these classifications, as well as identify areas for further research. These suggestions for future inquiry may contribute to a better understanding of the pathology of these cancers enabling improvement in prevention, screening, and treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Acute High-Intensity Interval Training on Hematological Parameters in Sedentary Subjects
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(3), 15; doi:10.3390/medsci5030015 -
Abstract
The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on hematological parameters in sedentary men. Ten healthy, non-smoker, and sedentary men aged between 18 and 24 years participated in the study. All subjects performed four Wingate
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The objective of the study was to determine the effects of acute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on hematological parameters in sedentary men. Ten healthy, non-smoker, and sedentary men aged between 18 and 24 years participated in the study. All subjects performed four Wingate tests with 4 min intervals between the tests. Blood samples were collected at pre-exercise, immediately after, 3 and 6 h after the fourth Wingate test. Hematological parameters were analyzed in these samples. The results showed that hematocrit percentage, hemoglobin values, red cell count, mean cell volume, platelet count, total white cell count, and counts of the white cell subgroups increased immediately after the acute HIIT and their values began to return to resting levels 3 h after exercise, and completely returned to resting levels 6 h after exercise. In conclusion, acute HIIT causes an inflammatory response in blood. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Repurposing Established Compounds to Target Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs)
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 14; doi:10.3390/medsci5020014 -
Abstract
The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current
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The diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) carries a dismal prognosis, in particular, when patients present with unresectable disease. While significant progress has been made in understanding the biology of PDAC, this knowledge has not translated into a clear clinical benefit and current chemotherapeutic strategies only offer a modest improvement in overall survival. Accordingly, novel approaches are desperately needed. One hypothesis that could—at least in part—explain the desolate response of PDAC to chemotherapy is the so-called cancer stem cell (CSC) concept, which attributes specific traits, such as chemoresistance, metastatic potential and a distinct metabolism to a small cellular subpopulation of the whole tumor. At the same time, however, some of these attributes could make CSCs more permissive for novel therapeutic strategies with compounds that are already in clinical use. Most recently, several publications have tried to enlighten the field with the idea of repurposing established drugs for antineoplastic use. As such, recycling drugs could present an intriguing and fast-track method with new therapeutic paradigms in anti-cancer and anti-CSC treatments. Here, we aim to summarize important aspects and novel findings of this emerging field. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Bronchiectasis Toolbox—A Comprehensive Website for the Management of People with Bronchiectasis
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 13; doi:10.3390/medsci5020013 -
Abstract
While the health burden of bronchiectasis is increasing worldwide, medical and physiotherapy treatment strategies have progressed significantly over the past decade. For this reason, clinicians require readily accessible current evidence based information on the management of this condition. E-learning is a suitable educational
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While the health burden of bronchiectasis is increasing worldwide, medical and physiotherapy treatment strategies have progressed significantly over the past decade. For this reason, clinicians require readily accessible current evidence based information on the management of this condition. E-learning is a suitable educational forum for the development and maintenance of professional skills, however a comprehensive, evidence based, multidisciplinary website for bronchiectasis was not available. The Bronchiectasis Toolbox at www.bronchiectasis.com.au was developed by a team of clinicians in Australia and New Zealand with extensive experience in bronchiectasis. The content of this website, based on national and international guidelines, is presented under the headings: ‘Bronchiectasis’, ‘Assessment’, ‘Physiotherapy’, ‘Indigenous’, ‘Paediatrics’, and ‘Resources’. Through a blend of multimedia resources, this website provides information to consolidate the knowledge and practical skills for health professionals caring for people with this condition. After launching in 2015 the website has received 64,549 hits from over 100 countries and the videos have been viewed 10,205 times in 89 countries. The Bronchiectasis Toolbox is a comprehensive multidisciplinary resource accessible to health professionals worldwide who manage people with bronchiectasis and is a unique solution to an educational need. Regular updates will ensure that the website continues to be relevant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Stroke Bacteriuria: A Longitudinal Study among Stroke Outpatients and Inpatients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Ghana
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 11; doi:10.3390/medsci5020011 -
Abstract
Infections of the urinary tract constitute an important post-stroke complication but in Africa, little is known about such infections in relation to stroke patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemiology of bacteriuria among stroke patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching
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Infections of the urinary tract constitute an important post-stroke complication but in Africa, little is known about such infections in relation to stroke patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the epidemiology of bacteriuria among stroke patients at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Ghana including the prevalence, incidence, risk factors and aetiological agents. This was a longitudinal study involving 55 outpatients and 16 inpatients of stroke from the physiotherapy clinic and stroke admission ward of KBTH respectively. Urine cultures for inpatient subjects were done each day until the patient was discharged. With outpatients, urine specimens were analysed every week or two for 6 months. Information on demographics and clinical history of the study participants were extracted from their clinical records. The results showed that the prevalence of bacteriuria among stroke outpatients and inpatients were 10.9% (6/55) and 18.8% (3/16) respectively (p = 0.411). Among both the outpatients and inpatients, there was one new case of bacteriuria each during the period of follow-up. Overall, 1/9 (11%) of the bacteriuria cases among the stroke patients was symptomatic. Severe stroke (OR = 17.7, p = 0.008) and pyuria (OR = 38.7, p = 0.002) were identified as predictors of bacteriuria. Escherichia coli was the most common organism implicated in bacteriuria and was susceptible to amikacin, but resistant to augmentin, ampicillin, cefuroxime, cotrimoxazole, meropenem, norfloxacin and tetracycline. Overall, bacteriuria is a common complication among both stroke inpatients and outpatients at KBTH, though it appears to be more common among the former. Stroke severity appears to be the main stroke-related determinant of bacteriuria among stroke patients. Bacteriuria among stroke patients is mainly asymptomatic and E. coli is the most important aetiological agent. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
The Effects of Dietary Nutrition Education on Weight and Health Biomarkers in Breast Cancer Survivors
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 12; doi:10.3390/medsci5020012 -
Abstract
Weight gain after breast cancer diagnosis portends a poorer prognosis, and the majority of sufferers appear to gain weight. Metabolic syndrome is a common co-condition with breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been used to reduce excess weight, metabolic syndrome, and to improve
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Weight gain after breast cancer diagnosis portends a poorer prognosis, and the majority of sufferers appear to gain weight. Metabolic syndrome is a common co-condition with breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been used to reduce excess weight, metabolic syndrome, and to improve the inflammatory profile, and therefore may offer the breast cancer survivor specific benefits over and above the currently recommended nutrition guidelines to eat a low fat, healthy diet. The aim of this randomised controlled trial was to investigate whether a Mediterranean (MD) or low-fat diet (LF) reduce weight and general health in survivors of stage 1–3 breast cancer through a six-month, six-session education package to support dietary change. A control dietary arm received no intervention. Outcome measures for weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood lipids, blood glucose, dietary adherence, 3-day food diary, and PREDIMED questionnaire and quality of life were assessed. Both dietary intervention arms, on average, lost weight over the course of the intervention, with significant (p < 0.05) decreases seen in BMI and waist circumference measurements. The control arm gained weight and significantly (p < 0.05) increased BMI and waist circumference measurements overall (1.10 ± 3.03 kg, 0.40 ± 1.65 kg/m2, and 1.94 ± 2.94 cm respectively). Positive trends in blood biomarkers were observed for the intervention arms. Dietary adherence was sufficient. Nutritional education and group support appears to exert beneficial effects on health in breast cancer survivors, of lesser importance is the type of diet that forms the basis of the education. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cost and Distribution of Hysterectomy and Uterine Artery Embolization in the United States: Regional/Rural/Urban Disparities
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 10; doi:10.3390/medsci5020010 -
Abstract
Hysterectomy, the driving force for symptomatic uterine fibroids since 1895, has decreased over the years, but it is still the number one choice for many women. Since 1995, uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been proven by many researchers to be an effective treatment
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Hysterectomy, the driving force for symptomatic uterine fibroids since 1895, has decreased over the years, but it is still the number one choice for many women. Since 1995, uterine artery embolization (UAE) has been proven by many researchers to be an effective treatment for uterine fibroids while allowing women to keep their uteri. The preponderance of data collection and research has focused on care quality in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, with little on location and viability related to care utilization, accessibility and physical availability. The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the cost of UAE and classical abdominal hysterectomy with regard to race/ethnicity, region, and location. Data from National Hospital Discharge for 2004 through 2008 were accessed and analyzed for uterine artery embolization and hysterectomy. Frequency analyses were performed to determine distribution of variables by race/ethnicity, location, region, insurance coverage, cost and procedure. Based on frequency distributions of cost and length of stay, outliers were trimmed and categorized. Crosstabs were used to determine cost distributions by region, place/location, procedure, race, and primary payer. For abdominal hysterectomy, 9.8% of the sample were performed in rural locations accross the country. However, for UAE, only seven procedures were performed nationally in the same period. Therefore, all inferential analyses and associations for UAE were assumed for urban locations only. The pattern differed from region to region, regarding the volume of care (numbers of cases by location) and care cost. Comparing hysterectomy and UAE, the patterns indicate generally higher costs for UAE with a mean cost difference of $4223.52. Of the hysterectomies performed for fibroids on Black women in the rural setting, 92.08% were in the south. Overall, data analyzed in this examination indicated a significant disparity between rural and urban residence in both data collection and number of procedures conducted. Further research should determine the background to cost and care location differentials between races and between rural and urban settings. Further, factors driving racial differences in the proportions of hysterectomies in the rural south should be identified to eliminate disparities. Data are needed on the prevalence of uterine fibroids in rural settings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Not a ‘Straitjacket Affair’: Anthropometrically Derived Obesity Index Correlates of Elevated Blood Pressure among University Undergraduates
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/medsci5020009 -
Abstract
Obesity is known to correlate with measures of blood pressure (BP). The nature of the correlations has, however, remained a subject of scientific enquiry, especially when BP phenotypes are disaggregated and obesity is determined by a variety of methods. This study examined the
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Obesity is known to correlate with measures of blood pressure (BP). The nature of the correlations has, however, remained a subject of scientific enquiry, especially when BP phenotypes are disaggregated and obesity is determined by a variety of methods. This study examined the relationship between obesity and BP in young-adult Nigerians. A total of 1610 subjects (53.9% females) were recruited from five universities in the Igbo-speaking part of Nigeria. Relevant BP and anthropometric data were obtained following standard protocols. Appropriate statistical tools were used for data analyses. The results show that 42.2% (49.5% males, 36.1% females) and 13.3% (15.2% males, 11.6% females) of the population had point prehypertension and hypertension, respectively. By body mass index (BMI) standards, 20.6% (12.4% males, 27.5% females) of the population were overweight/obese. Despite the weak positive and significant correlations between BP and the measures of obesity in both males and females in the general population (r = +0.110 to +0.261; p < 0.05), the correlations were found to exist essentially in normotensives, taper in the prehypertensives, and disappear (or became negative) among hypertensives. When analysed along weight status lines, a discordant relationship was found between the sexes. Overall, the relationship between blood pressure and measures of obesity is not linear throughout the BP spectrum. Clearly the said relationship is not a ‘straitjacket affair’. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serum Creatine Kinase-MB Isoenzyme Activity among Subjects with Uncomplicated Essential Hypertension: Any Sex Differences
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 8; doi:10.3390/medsci5020008 -
Abstract
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major health challenge and more women than men are affected by the condition. Complications as a result of this condition often lead to disabilities and premature death. The objective of this study was to evaluate creatine kinase-MB
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Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major health challenge and more women than men are affected by the condition. Complications as a result of this condition often lead to disabilities and premature death. The objective of this study was to evaluate creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) activity in uncomplicated hypertension and to know whether sex differences exist in the activity of the enzyme. Serum creatine kinase-MB isoenzyme activity, troponin I, and lipid profile were evaluated in 140 male and 100 female Nigerians with hypertension. The control group was comprised of 100 (50 males and 50 females) normotensive subjects. Measured parameters were assayed using Selectra Pros chemistry analyzer. The means were compared between males and females using Students’t-test. The mean CK-MB activity of the female hypertensive subjects was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the males. Similarly, the mean cardiac troponin I (cTnI) of the female hypertensive subjects was significantly higher (p < 0.001) than the males. Conversely, the mean CK-MB activity of the female normotensive subjects was significantly lower (p < 0.001) than the male counterparts. There was no difference in the levels of cTnI between male and female normotensive subjects. Serum CK-MB activity was higher in female than male hypertensive subjects. In the light of these results, cardiac markers should be routinely done in the evaluation of hypertensive subjects and sex-specific consideration may be recognized in the management of these patients. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Exacerbations in COPD Patients with Bronchiectasis
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 7; doi:10.3390/medsci5020007 -
Abstract
There is evidence that coexisting bronchiectasis (BE) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) aggravates the course of the disease. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the frequency and severity of bacterial exacerbations in COPD patients with BE. The frequency and
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There is evidence that coexisting bronchiectasis (BE) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) aggravates the course of the disease. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the frequency and severity of bacterial exacerbations in COPD patients with BE. The frequency and duration of bacterial exacerbations treated in a 12‐month period, as well as the duration of the exacerbation‐free interval, were evaluated in 54 patients with COPD (Group D) who were diagnosed and assessed according to official recommendations. In 27 patients, BE was diagnosed by high‐resolution computed tomography (HRCT), whereas an equal number of COPD patients who were confirmed negative for BE by HRCT, served as controls. We found a significantly higher mean number of exacerbations in a 12‐month period in COPD patients with BE (2.9 ± 0.5), as compared to their mean number in controls (2.5 ± 0.3) (p = 0.0008). The mean duration of exacerbation, i.e. the mean number of days elapsed before complete resolution of the symptoms or their return to the baseline severity, was significantly longer in COPD patients with BE as compared to their mean duration in controls (6.9 ± 1.8 vs. 5.7 ± 1.4; p = 0.0085). In addition, the mean exacerbation‐free interval expressed in days, in patients with COPD with BE, was significantly shorter than in COPD patients in whom BE were excluded (56.4 ± 17.1 vs. 67.2 ± 14.3; p = 0.0149). Overall, our findings indicate that coexisting BE in COPD patients may lead to more frequent exacerbations with a longer duration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of Pancreatic Endotherapy In Pancreatic Ascites And Pleural Effusion
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(2), 6; doi:10.3390/medsci5020006 -
Abstract
Pancreatic ascites and effusion is a challenging complication to manage, hence our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of pancreatic endotherapy in pancreatic ascites and pleural effusion. Endotherapy included endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with a pancreatogram and pancreatic stent placement across the leak
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Pancreatic ascites and effusion is a challenging complication to manage, hence our aim was to evaluate the efficacy of pancreatic endotherapy in pancreatic ascites and pleural effusion. Endotherapy included endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with a pancreatogram and pancreatic stent placement across the leak in patients with pancreatic ascites/effusion. A total of 53 patients were included after successful cannulation. The male:female ratio was 7.8:1. The pancreatogram revealed a leak from the pancreatic duct in 20/53 (37.73%) patients. The most common leak site was the pancreatic body in 10/53 (18.9%) patients followed by the tail in 6/53 (11.32%) patients and the genu in 4/53 (7.5%) patients. In 29/53 (54.7%) patients, stent was placed beyond the leak site. Sphincterotomy was done in 7/53 (13.2%) patients, and in five patients with an obscure leak site, stent was placed empirically. A total of 39/53 (73.6%) patients benefited in terms of achieving the complete resolution of ascites and pleural effusion. The factors which were significant for the success of pancreatic endotherapy in the multivariate analysis were the site of the pancreatic ductal leak (p value = 0.008) and the ability of the stent to cross the leak site (p value = 0.004). To sum up, bridging the pancreatic ductal leak by stent offers a high rate of success. Pancreatic endotherapy is less invasive and highly effective in managing pancreatic ascites/pleural effusion. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Prospective Randomized Trial of Postural Changes vs Passive Supine Lying during the Second Stage of Labor under Epidural Analgesia
Med. Sci. 2017, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/medsci5010005 -
Abstract
There exist very few studies comparing different postures or postural changes during labor in parturients with epidural analgesia. Aim: To disclose whether the intervention of a multidisciplinary nursing team including a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor improves the obstetric outcome in
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There exist very few studies comparing different postures or postural changes during labor in parturients with epidural analgesia. Aim: To disclose whether the intervention of a multidisciplinary nursing team including a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor improves the obstetric outcome in parturients with epidural analgesia. Design: Prospective randomized trial. Setting: University-affiliated hospital. Population: Women undergoing labor with epidural analgesia after a normal gestation. Methods: 150 women were randomized either to actively perform predefined postural changes during the passive phase of the second stage of labor under the guidance of the attending physiotherapist (study group), or to carry out the whole second stage of labor lying in the traditional supine position (control group). Results: There were significantly more eutocic deliveries (p = 0.005) and, conversely, significantly less instrumental deliveries (p < 0.05) and cesarean sections (p < 0.05) in the study group. The total duration of the second stage of labor was significantly shorter (p < 0.01) in the study group. This was at the expense of the passive phase of the second stage of labor (p < 0.01). Significantly less episiotomies were performed in the study group (31.2% vs 17.8%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: The intervention of a physiotherapist during the second stage of labor significantly improved the obstetric outcome. Full article