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Volume 44, February
Medicina is published by MDPI from Volume 54 Issue 1 (2018). Articles in this Issue were published by another publisher in Open Access under a CC-BY (or CC-BY-NC-ND) licence. Articles are hosted by MDPI on mdpi.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Lithuanian Medical Association, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and Vilnius University.

Table of Contents

Medicina, Volume 44, Issue 1 (January 2008)

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Open AccessArticle
Immune system alterations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease during remission
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010005 - 16 Jan 2008
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 242
Abstract
Objective. Perturbed immune homeostasis elicited by misbalanced production of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines is characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate cytokine profile in patients with different forms of inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis and [...] Read more.
Objective. Perturbed immune homeostasis elicited by misbalanced production of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines is characteristic of inflammatory bowel disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate cytokine profile in patients with different forms of inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – during clinical remission phase.
Material and methods. Production of proinflammatory Th1 cytokines (tumor necrosis factoralpha (TNF-a), interferon-gamma (IFN-g)) and anti-inflammatory Th2 cytokines (interleukin- 10 (IL-10) and interleukin-13 (IL-13)) was analyzed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (9 with ulcerative colitis and 9 with Crohn’s disease) and control subjects (n=11) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (two-site ELISA).
Results
. The results of the study revealed that the level of TNF-a after stimulation with phytohemagglutinin in patients with Crohn’s disease was significantly higher in comparison to both patients with ulcerative colitis and controls (P<0.001 and P<0.01, respectively). The secretion of IFN-g both in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis was lower than that in controls (P=0.05 and P<0.01, respectively), but it normalized after stimulation with phytohemagglutinin. The levels of IL-10 and IL-13 were significantly (P<0.01) higher in patients with Crohn’s disease than in patients with ulcerative colitis and control group before and after stimulation with phytohemagglutinin.
Conclusions
. The results of our study provide evidence that in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, the imbalance between production of proinflammatory Th1 and anti-inflammatory Th2 cytokines persists even during remission of the disease, and disturbances of immune homeostasis are significantly more expressed in patients with Crohn’s disease than in patients with ulcerative colitis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The evaluation of physicians’ and patients’ opinion on confidence and confidentiality
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010010 - 13 Jan 2008
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 188
Abstract
The aim of the study was to compare the opinions of physicians and patients about confidence and confidentiality in inpatient personal healthcare institutions.
Material and methods
. From November 2006 to February 2007, a survey was performed in seven randomly selected hospitals of [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to compare the opinions of physicians and patients about confidence and confidentiality in inpatient personal healthcare institutions.
Material and methods
. From November 2006 to February 2007, a survey was performed in seven randomly selected hospitals of two counties of Lithuania. The study included all patients who on the day of the inquiry were undergoing treatment in the departments of internal diseases and surgery, as well as all physicians who were working in these departments on that day. The exclusion criteria were severe health condition and recent admission to the department. In total, 494 questionnaires were distributed; 366 of them were distributed among patients (response rate was 71.3%) and 128 among physicians (response rate was 70.3%).
Results
. Nearly all inquired patients (94.2%) stated that they trusted their physician. There were no differences between the physicians’ and the patients’ opinions in this respect. Respectful communication is one of the preconditions for confidence between a physician and a patient. According to the findings of our study, 94.2% of patients thought that physicians communicated with them in a respectful manner, whereas according to 62.8% of physicians, patients communicated with them respectfully, and according to 36% of physicians – partially respectfully. Confidentiality was evidently associated with confidence. According to the findings of our study, 38.3% of patients thought that information about their disease and the results of their medical examinations were classified, but as much as 39.5% of patients did not have any clear opinion on this issue. The majority of the physicians thought that they ensured confidentiality of information about their patients’ health status (97.7%), diagnosis (100%), the findings of medical examinations (100%), applied treatment methods (97.7%), and prognosis of treatment (94.2%).
Conclusions
. Patients evaluated their confidence in physicians very highly. Both physicians and patients provided positive evaluations of mutual communication. The situation with information provided to the patients and the confidentiality of the results of medical examinations in inpatient personal healthcare units remains indeterminate. More than one-third (38.3%) of patients thought that information about their disease and the results of medical examinations were classified, whereas 39.5% of patients did not have any clear opinion on this issue. Nearly all of the physicians thought that they ensured the confidentiality of information about their patients, but they also stated that the assurance of the confidentiality of information is the responsibility of all parties involved, including patients themselves, rather than only the medical personnel. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The structure of myocardial nerve plexus of human auricle of the right atrium and its relation to myocardial ischemia, functional status of the heart, and age
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010007 - 13 Jan 2008
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate morphometrically the relationship between changes in the structure of myocardial nerve plexus of the right atrium auricle and myocardial ischemia, parameters reflecting functional status of the heart, and age. A total of 56 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate and evaluate morphometrically the relationship between changes in the structure of myocardial nerve plexus of the right atrium auricle and myocardial ischemia, parameters reflecting functional status of the heart, and age. A total of 56 females and males aged 20–94 years were investigated. Ischemic heart disease group consisted of 39 persons (their mean age was 63.83±15.67 years). The control group comprised 17 persons (the mean age was 60.53±9.89 years). Control group consisted of deceased persons who according to the pathologic and anatomic examination were not diagnosed with cardiac pathology leading to heart lesions or overload. Ischemic heart disease group consisted of patients who underwent aorta-coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. In ischemic heart disease group, degree of coronary artery stenosis was evaluated as well as the major indicators reflecting the size of atria and formation of postinfarction scar. After examination, postinfarction scars were found in 18 (46.2%) persons; no scars were found in 21 (53.8%) persons. Neurohistochemical method and video microscopy were employed for the evaluation of quantitative changes in the structure of the myocardial nerve plexus. In ischemic heart disease group, the structures of nerve plexus occupied 5.0±1.0% of the area, perimeter was 10 488±2134 mm, and number of the structures was 2698±981; the same parameters in the control group were 6.0±1.4%, 13 008±443 mm, and 3469±1511, respectively. In persons with postinfarction scar, the number of nerve plexus structures was lower by 9.3%, area by 8.9%, perimeter by 9.7% on average as compared to ischemic heart disease group without a scar. Regression analysis did not reveal any statistically significant correlation between the degree of coronary artery stenosis and quantitive parameters of nerve plexus (P>0.05). Changes in quantitative parameters of nerve plexus were not related to compensatory dilation of the atria – echoscopy parameters of long and short axes. The results showed that the number, area, and perimeter of nerve plexus structures decreases at the same rate both in healthy subjects and patients with ischemic heart disease starting the fifth decade of life. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Heart rate and systolic blood pressure response during the early exercise test and cardiovascular mortality after myocardial infarction
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010006 - 12 Jan 2008
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 217
Abstract
Exercise cardiography still remains the cornerstone of noninvasive evaluation of functional status of cardiovascular system and is almost uniformly performed after myocardial infarction. The patients after myocardial infarction can be divided into relative high- and low-risk groups for subsequent cardiac events if all [...] Read more.
Exercise cardiography still remains the cornerstone of noninvasive evaluation of functional status of cardiovascular system and is almost uniformly performed after myocardial infarction. The patients after myocardial infarction can be divided into relative high- and low-risk groups for subsequent cardiac events if all information available on the exercise test is used.
Objective. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic significance of the shape of heart rate and systolic blood pressure curves (their dynamic characteristics) during the early exercise testing and after it and to design the prognostic system capable to recognize patients with a high risk of coronary death during 2 years after myocardial infarction.
Material and methods. The submaximal exercise testing within 3 weeks of acute myocardial infarction was performed on 894 patients. Cases of noncardiac deaths or patients subjected to coronary bypass surgery were excluded from the further analysis. At the end of 2 years after myocardial infarction, there were 426 survivors and 42 cases of cardiac death. At 2-year follow-up after infarction in the nonsurvivor group, there were only 42.2% of patients with exercise-induced ST segment depression. This shows that prognostic importance of ST depression is insufficient and demands research of more consistent signs.
Results
. The cardiovascular response to exercise was interpreted as transiting process of self-regulation of cardiovascular system, and the new predictive signs were found based on the curves of heart rate and systolic blood pressure during the exercise and after it. The prognostic value of these signs was established. The combined use of both the new predictive signs and usual data of early exercise test shows the high predictive possibility of test – the early cardiac death was predicted in 80% of cases.
Conclusion. The combined use of both, the widely accepted data of early exercise test after myocardial infarction and dynamic characteristics of heart rate and systolic blood pressure, increased the predictive power of the test. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Changes of heart geometry in patients with ischemic heart disease
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010002 - 23 Dec 2007
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 189
Abstract
Objective. The aim of the study was to determine ventricular and atrial cardiometric parameters at preinfarction and postinfarction stage of ischemic heart disease.
Object and methods. Cardiometric parameters (mass, endocardial surface area, the tracts of flow and outflow, etc.) of 132 [...] Read more.
Objective. The aim of the study was to determine ventricular and atrial cardiometric parameters at preinfarction and postinfarction stage of ischemic heart disease.
Object and methods. Cardiometric parameters (mass, endocardial surface area, the tracts of flow and outflow, etc.) of 132 men (mean age of 49.7±8.9 years) who had died suddenly during prehospital period (within 6 hours) after the first or repeated acute event of “pure” ischemic heart disease were investigated. These patients had no other, except ischemia, factors predisposing myocardial hypertrophy as well as clinical symptoms of heart failure. The decedents were divided into preinfarction (71 men) and postinfarction ischemic heart disease (61 men) groups.
Results.
At preinfarction stage of ischemic heart disease, mass and endocardial surface area of all parts of the heart were increased, the tracts of flow and outflow – longer. At postinfarction stage, only corresponding left ventricular and atrial parameters were more increased.
Conclusions. Eccentric type of left ventricular hypertrophy (proportional increase of mass and endocardial surface area) and concentric type of right ventricular and right and left atrial hypertrophy (the part of myocardium mass per unit of endocardial area is greater) were determined at preinfarction stage of ischemic heart disease. At postinfarction stage, at least as far as evidence of heart failure is not overt, only the corresponding left ventricular and atrial hypertrophy progresses. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Environmental risk factors in prediction of childhood prediabetes
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010009 - 23 Dec 2007
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 188
Abstract
Objective. The damage of beta cells occurs during the asymptomatic prodromal period called prediabetes before onset of diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by the presence of islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs). The aim of this study was to find out what environmental factors [...] Read more.
Objective. The damage of beta cells occurs during the asymptomatic prodromal period called prediabetes before onset of diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by the presence of islet cell autoantibodies (ICAs). The aim of this study was to find out what environmental factors predict ICA seroconversion in healthy schoolchildren in Lithuania.
Material and methods
. Sera from 3053 nondiabetic schoolchildren living in Lithuania were investigated for ICAs. ICAs were measured in undiluted sera by indirect immunofluorescence method. All ICA-positive and randomly selected ICA-negative children were invited to participate in the study. Response rate in the families of ICA-positive children was 100% and in ICA-negative – 76.5%. Data from 13 ICA-positive and 199 ICA-negative schoolchildren were included in the analysis. Information on the environmental factors was collected via questionnaires.
Results.
Proportions of breastfed children were similar in ICA-positive and ICA-negative schoolchildren. Full cow’s milk was introduced at one month of age or earlier more often in ICApositive than ICA-negative schoolchildren (8.3% and 1.1%, respectively; P=0.05). Cereal before 3 months of age was introduced more often in ICA-positive than ICA-negative schoolchildren (7.7% and 0.5%, respectively; P=0.01). The mothers of cases took medicine during pregnancy more often than mothers of controls did (61.5% and 14.1%, respectively; P<0.001). More than half (53.8%) of ICA-positive children lived in homes where family members were smoking indoors, while this was recorded only for 26.6% of controls (P=0.04).
Conclusions. Early introduction of cow’s milk and cereal, the intake of medicine during pregnancy, and indoor smoking of family members are risk factors that predict the development of prediabetes among Lithuanian children. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mažos šalies žurnalų citavimo rodiklis: realybė ar iliuzija?
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010001 - 23 Dec 2007
Viewed by 203
Abstract
2007 m. gruodžio 20 d. Kaune, Senamiestyje, Rotušės aikštėje esančiuose senoviniuose rūsiuose įrengtoje kavinėje „Sadutė“ įvyko medicinos mokslo žurnalų leidybos aktualiems klausimams skirtas renginys, kuriame dalyvavo Lietuvos prestižinių ir recenzuojamų žurnalų „Medicina“[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of phenolic acids and phenylpropanoids in the crude drugs
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010008 - 10 Dec 2007
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 232
Abstract
Phenolic acids and phenylpropanoids have an important biological activity and are therapeutic agents of crude drugs. Development of validated analysis techniques of these phytotherapeutic agents (fingerprinting and assay procedures) is an important practice for efficacy, safety, and quality control of herbal drug preparations. [...] Read more.
Phenolic acids and phenylpropanoids have an important biological activity and are therapeutic agents of crude drugs. Development of validated analysis techniques of these phytotherapeutic agents (fingerprinting and assay procedures) is an important practice for efficacy, safety, and quality control of herbal drug preparations. The aim of the present work was to study analytical capabilities of the evaluation of selected phenolic acids and phenylpropanoids: caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, gallic acid, protocatechuic (3,4-dihydroxybenzoic) acid, rosmarinic acid, vanillic acid, and vanillin. Optimization and validation procedures of rapid and simple method of reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography were carried out. The mobile phase of the optimized chromatographic method consisted of methanol and 0.5% acetic acid solvent in water. For the application of method, two kinds of raw materials were chosen: propolis and the Herba Origani. Coumaric acid is the dominating phenolic acid of propolis (2785 mg/g). Results of analysis of Herba Origani demonstrated high quantities (6376 mg/g) of rosmarinic and protocatechuic (1485 mg/g) acids in the samples. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relevance of examination and treatment of the most common gastrointestinal disorders in children in Lithuania during the last decade
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010011 - 25 Nov 2007
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 270
Abstract
In the last decade, scientific studies in the field of children’s gastroenterology performed in Lithuania explored different problems: pathology of Helicobacter pylori infection and food allergy. Our studies Helirevealed that children with atopic dermatitis had gastrointestinal complaints (abdominal pain, diarrhea, distension and unstable [...] Read more.
In the last decade, scientific studies in the field of children’s gastroenterology performed in Lithuania explored different problems: pathology of Helicobacter pylori infection and food allergy. Our studies Helirevealed that children with atopic dermatitis had gastrointestinal complaints (abdominal pain, diarrhea, distension and unstable stool, which appeared with the exacerbation of skin rash) more often as compared to nonallergic children of the control group. Abdominal pain in children with atopic dermatitis with local rash was more frequent and lasted longer than in control group children, whereas children with extended rash had stools more frequently. Gastrointestinal disorders in children with atopic dermatitis statistically significantly did not depend on the extent of skin rash and severity of atopic dermatitis. In our scientific research on the importance of H. pylori infection on children’s gastrointestinal system, children with chronic dyspepsia were examined. Endoscopy, rapid urease test, biopsies from antrum and corpus of stomach and their histological examination as well as serologic tests were done. According to the results obtained, we recommend to examine children with chronic dyspepsia in a complex way: not only endoscopic examination, but H. pylori diagnostic tests should be performed as well. Serologic test is not suitable for screening H. pylori infection in children. Considering this, we recommend to use no fewer than two different methods to diagnose this infection. The highest frequency of H. pylori infection was found in children with duodenal ulcer; histological changes in their gastric pylorus and corpus mucosa were greatest. More than half of children with nonulcer dyspepsia were infected with H. pylori. After eradication of H. pylori infection, the prevalence of dyspepsia in children with duodenal ulcer decreased. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Surgical treatment of Graves’ disease: Subtotal thyroidectomy might still be the preferred option
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010004 - 22 Oct 2007
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 205
Abstract
Objective. The aim of this prospective study was to report our results after thyroidectomy for Graves’ disease. In addition, the relationship between the thyroid remnant and postoperative thyroid function was studied.
Material and methods
. Forty-nine consecutive patients were operated on for [...] Read more.
Objective. The aim of this prospective study was to report our results after thyroidectomy for Graves’ disease. In addition, the relationship between the thyroid remnant and postoperative thyroid function was studied.
Material and methods
. Forty-nine consecutive patients were operated on for Graves’ disease. The indications for surgery were persistent or recurrent hyperthyroidism after medical treatment in 34 patients (69.4%), mechanical symptoms due to a large goiter in 7 (14.3%), increased ophthalmopathy in 7 (14.3%), and allergy to antithyroid medications in 1 patient (2.0%). Total thyroidectomy (TT) was performed in 28 and subtotal thyroidectomy (STT) in 21 patients. Followup lasted 24 to 70 months.
Results. There was no statistically significant difference in the rate of postoperative complications comparing TT and STT. The patients who underwent TT had no recurrence during a mean follow-up of 47 months. After STT, with the mean weight of the thyroid remnant 3.0±1.0 g, there was no relapse of Graves’ disease during a mean follow-up of 52 months. After STT, postoperative hypothyroidism developed in 14 patients (66.7%); 7 patients (33.3%) remained euthyroid during follow-up. Comparison of the euthyroid patients and the hypothyroid patients revealed no difference in the weight of the remnant (3.3 g vs. 2.8 g), but a statistically significant difference occurred in the weight of the resected gland (61.0 g vs. 94.4 g, P=0.026) and in the proportion of the remnant (5.6% vs. 3.3%, P=0.030).
Conclusions
. Both TT and STT are safe procedures regarding postoperative complication rate. STT with the thyroid remnant of about 3 g allows to permanently cure hyperthyroidism ensuring the euthyroid state in a significant proportion of patients. Postoperative thyroid function after STT is best predicted by the proportion of the remnant. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Natural clearance of hepatitis C virus in hemophilia patients
Medicina 2008, 44(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina44010003 - 26 Jun 2007
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 253
Abstract
Objective. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection in hemophilia patients in Latvia and to analyze association between natural clearance of HCV and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genes.
Material and methods. [...] Read more.
Objective. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection in hemophilia patients in Latvia and to analyze association between natural clearance of HCV and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II genes.
Material and methods. From 61 hemophilic patients participating in this study, 38 were adults and 23 were pediatric patients younger than 18 years. To analyze association between HLA class II alleles and natural clearance of HCV, the gene frequency was compared in hemophilia patients group and the control group of 60 healthy subjects, all men. Serum HCV RNA was qualitatively determined and HLA class II alleles were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method.
Results. HCV infection is common among hemophilia patients in Latvia. Antibodies to HCV were found in 45 of 61 (74%) hemophilia patients. In 41% of hemophilia patients (18 of 44), HCV infection resolved spontaneously. Children cleared HCV more frequently than adults (7 of 11 comparing to 11 of 33, respectively; OR=3.50; P<0.05). The frequency difference was found to be statistically significant when comparing HLA alleles distribution in the sample of hemophilia patients who naturally cleared HCV (n=18) and in the control group (n=60) (corresponding frequency of HLA-DRB1*07 allele – 4 (11.11%) and 9 (1.67%); OR=7.38; P<0.05).
Conclusions
. Natural clearance of HCV infection is frequently found in hemophilia patients in Latvia. Children are more likely to clear virus naturally than adults. There is an association between natural clearance of HCV and HLA allele DRB1*07 in hemophilia patients. Full article
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