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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.

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Medicina, Volume 53, Issue 6 (December 2017) , Pages 357-425

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Open AccessReview
Alloxan-induced diabetes, a common model for evaluating the glycemic-control potential of therapeutic compounds and plants extracts in experimental studies
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 365-374; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.02.001 - 27 Feb 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 525
Abstract
Glycemic homeostasis refers to glucose balance or control within circulation in living organisms. It is normally and largely compromised in diabetes. The compromise when exacerbated, leads to several complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy which are collectively known as diabetic complications and are [...] Read more.
Glycemic homeostasis refers to glucose balance or control within circulation in living organisms. It is normally and largely compromised in diabetes. The compromise when exacerbated, leads to several complications including retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy which are collectively known as diabetic complications and are the principal actors in co-morbidity and eventual mortality often associated with diabetes. The ability of therapeutic compounds including medicinal plants to restore glycemic balance or homeo- stasis in hyperglycemic condition is an index of their antidiabetic function and relevance. Alloxan and streptozotocin are the most popular diabetogenic agents used for assessing the antidiabetic or hypoglycemic capacity of test compounds. Notably, alloxan is far less expensive and more readily available than streptozotocin. On this ground, one will logically expect a preference for use of alloxan in experimental diabetes studies. Surprisingly, a sub meta-analysis of randomly selected studies conducted within the last one and half decade revealed otherwise. This observation necessitated the review of alloxan as a diabetogenic agent in animal studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Subjective visual vertical assessment with mobile virtual reality system
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 394-402; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.02.002 - 19 Feb 2018
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 501
Abstract
Background and objective: The subjective visual vertical (SVV) is a measure of a subject's perceived verticality, and a sensitive test of vestibular dysfunction. Despite this, and consequent upon technical and logistical limitations, SVV has not entered mainstream clinical practice. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Background and objective: The subjective visual vertical (SVV) is a measure of a subject's perceived verticality, and a sensitive test of vestibular dysfunction. Despite this, and consequent upon technical and logistical limitations, SVV has not entered mainstream clinical practice. The aim of the study was to develop a mobile virtual reality based system for SVV test, evaluate the suitability of different controllers and assess the system's usability in practical settings.
Materials and methods: In this study, we describe a novel virtual reality based system that has been developed to test SVV using integrated software and hardware, and report normative values across healthy population. Participants wore a mobile virtual reality headset in order to observe a 3D stimulus presented across separate conditions – static, dynamic and an immersive real-world (‘‘boat in the sea’’) SVV tests. The virtual reality environment was controlled by the tester using a Bluetooth connected controllers. Participants controlled the movement of a vertical arrow using either a gesture control armband or a general-purpose gamepad, to indicate perceived verticality. We wanted to compare 2 different methods for object control in the system, determine normal values and compare them with literature data, to evaluate the developed system with the help of the system usability scale questionnaire and evaluate possible virtually induced dizziness with the help of subjective visual analog scale.
Results: There were no statistically significant differences in SVV values during static, dynamic and virtual reality stimulus conditions, obtained using the two different controllers and the results are compared to those previously reported in the literature using alternative methodologies. The SUS scores for the system were high, with a median of 82.5 for the Myo controller and of 95.0 for the Gamepad controller, representing a statistically significant difference between the two controllers (P < 0.01). The median of virtual reality-induced dizziness for both devices was 0.7.
Conclusions: The mobile virtual reality based system for implementation of subjective visual vertical test, is accurate and applicable in the clinical environment. The gamepad-based virtual object control method was preferred by the users. The tests were well tolerated with low dizziness scores in the majority of patients. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Paleoimaging of a modern mummy from Lithuania (circa 19th–20th century)
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 410-419; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.002 - 14 Feb 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 405
Abstract
An anthropogenic human mummy curated in the Museum of the History of Medicine, Vilnius University, was recently examined by means of computed tomography. Although the mummy lacked data regarding its specific context and historical information on its identity and chronology, the investigation focused [...] Read more.
An anthropogenic human mummy curated in the Museum of the History of Medicine, Vilnius University, was recently examined by means of computed tomography. Although the mummy lacked data regarding its specific context and historical information on its identity and chronology, the investigation focused on the embalming method adopted to preserve it. Some pathological alterations were also recorded. This research appears to suggest that this body was prepared for educational and/or scientific purposes rather than funerary purposes. Hence, the case could be categorized as a ‘‘medical mummy’’ prepared between the mid-19th and the mid-20th centuries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Factors associated with sputum culture conversion in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 386-393; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.005 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 502
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine what factors are associated with sputum culture conversion after 1 month of tuberculosis (TB) treatment.
Materials and methods: A total of 52 patients with new drug susceptible pulmonary TB were included in the study. [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine what factors are associated with sputum culture conversion after 1 month of tuberculosis (TB) treatment.
Materials and methods: A total of 52 patients with new drug susceptible pulmonary TB were included in the study. Patients completed St. George respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ), they were asked about smoking, alcohol use, living conditions and education. Body mass index (BMI) measurements, laboratory tests (C reactive protein [CRP], vitamin D, albumin) were performed, and chest X-ray was done. After 1 month of treatment sputum culture was repeated.
Results: Culture conversion after 1 month of treatment was found in 38.5% cases. None of investigated social factors appeared to have an effect on conversion, but worse overall health status (as reported in SGRQ) and longer duration of tobacco smoking were detected in the ‘‘no conversion’’ group. Concentrations of albumin, CRP, X-ray score and the time it took Mycobacterium tuberculosis culture to grow also differed. Patients who scored 30 or more on SGRQ were more than 7 times as likely to have no conversion. However, the most important factor predicting sputum culture conversion was sputum smear grade at the beginning of treatment: patients with grade of 2+ or more had more than 20-fold higher relative risk for no conversion. Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, we also developed a risk score for no conversion.
Conclusions: The most important factors in predicting sputum culture conversion after 1 month of treatment were grades of acid-fast bacilli in sputum smears at time of diagnosis and scores of SGRQ. Full article
Open AccessReview
Fetal biometry: Relevance in obstetrical practice
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 357-364; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.004 - 09 Feb 2018
Viewed by 436
Abstract
Ultrasound imaging in obstetrics and gynecology dates back to 1958 when The Lancet published the first article about the use of ultrasonography for fetal and gynecological assessments. It is now almost inconceivable, 60 years later, to think of effective performance in obstetrics and [...] Read more.
Ultrasound imaging in obstetrics and gynecology dates back to 1958 when The Lancet published the first article about the use of ultrasonography for fetal and gynecological assessments. It is now almost inconceivable, 60 years later, to think of effective performance in obstetrics and gynecology without the variety of ultrasound, for example, real time imaging, power and color Doppler, 3D/4D ultrasonography, etc. Such examinations facilitate the assessment of intrauterine fetal growth and development during pregnancy, provide alerts about the risk of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth, help identify anatomic reasons for infertility, diagnose ectopic pregnancies, uterine, ovary and tubal pathology. Ultrasonogra- phy is also used for diagnostic and treatment procedures during pregnancy or for the treatment of infertility. This article is an overview of the development of fetal ultrasound, the methodology and interpretation of ultrasound in the assessment of intrauterine fetal growth and fetal biometry standards both worldwide and in Lithuania. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Perceived changes in knowledge and confidence of doctors and midwives after the completion of the Standardized Trainings in Obstetrical Emergencies
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 403-409; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.006 - 08 Feb 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 448
Abstract
Background and objectives: There are only few training programs in obstetric emergencies currently in use and only some of them were evaluated with an adequate sample of participants. Therefore, we present the evaluation of the novel Standardized Trainings in Obstetrical Emergencies (STrObE), conducted [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: There are only few training programs in obstetric emergencies currently in use and only some of them were evaluated with an adequate sample of participants. Therefore, we present the evaluation of the novel Standardized Trainings in Obstetrical Emergencies (STrObE), conducted in Lithuania. The aim of this study was to analyze whether participants' self-reported knowledge and confidence increased after the trainings, and whether the impact of the trainings was long-lasting.
Materials and methods: Data was collected across the majority of hospitals providing secondary and tertiary obstetrical care in Lithuania in 2015. A total of 650 obstetricians- gynecologists and midwives attended the trainings; 388 (response rate 59.7%) of them filled in the initial questionnaire before the trainings, 252 (64.9%) immediately after, 160 (41.2%) 6 weeks after, and 160 (41.2%) 6 months after the trainings, which was the final sample for the analyses. Participants used a Likert-type scale to evaluate their knowledge and confidence about management of urgent obstetrical situations: vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery, shoulder dystocia, postpartum hemorrhage, preeclampsia/eclampsia, early preterm labor, and dystocia. We assessed how participants' self-reported knowledge and confidence changed after the trainings (compared to before the trainings) and how long the effect was retained for.
Results: The mean score of self-reported knowledge in obstetrical emergencies increased immediately after the trainings comparing to the scores before the trainings (P < 0.001) and it did not differ further between the three time points after the trainings (i.e. immediately, 6 weeks, and 6 months; P > 0.05). The same pattern was observed for self-reported confidence scores. The increase in self-reported knowledge and confidence after the trainings was stable. Moreover, the self-reported knowledge and confidence gains were greater for those participants with lower work experience, although benefit was seen across all experience levels.
Conclusions: STrObE improved participants' self-reported knowledge and confidence and lasting positive effects were observed for at least 6 months after the initial trainings. Moreover, the trainings were more beneficial for those with lower work experience, although they benefited all the participants. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Characteristics of headache in relation to the manifestation of Susac syndrome
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 420-425; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.003 - 03 Feb 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 438
Abstract
Susac syndrome is characterized by a clinical triad of encephalopathy, branch retinal artery occlusion, and hearing loss. Due to the absence of the whole complex of the triad in the majority of cases at disease presentation, the syndrome often remains underdiagnosed and untreated. [...] Read more.
Susac syndrome is characterized by a clinical triad of encephalopathy, branch retinal artery occlusion, and hearing loss. Due to the absence of the whole complex of the triad in the majority of cases at disease presentation, the syndrome often remains underdiagnosed and untreated. Headache is estimated to affect up to 80% of Susac syndrome patients, but the relevance of headache characteristics and profile is not yet clear. The proposed diagnostic criteria of the European Susac Consortium acknowledge headache as a possible brain manifestation if it is new, described as migrainous or oppressive, and precedes the other symptoms by not more than 6 months.
Herein, a case series of different migraine-like headache associations attributed to Susac syndrome is presented and discussed in relevance with previously published literature. Our patients experienced different presentations of migraine-like headache related with Susac syndrome: exacerbation and chronification of headache just before the manifestation of the first symptoms of Susac syndrome, the manifestation of headache during the first episode of the syndrome, and an increasing frequency of headache during the course of the disease. The diagnosis of Susac syndrome in all three cases was confirmed by typical clinical symptoms and findings in retinal fluorescein angiography, audiometry, and brain magnetic resonance imaging, based on the diagnostic criteria of the European Susac Consortium.
Based on the analysis of our presented cases, we conclude that headache attributed to Susac's syndrome is of migraine-like type but could be of different presentations in relation to the onset of the syndrome. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Genetic variations of MTHFR gene and their association with preterm birth in Korean women
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 380-385; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2018.01.001 - 03 Feb 2018
Viewed by 415
Abstract
Background and objective: The MTHFR gene encodes the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase known to be involved in the homocysteine–methionine pathway. It has been reported that the deficiency of MTHFR activity may cause hyperhomocysteinemia which results in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Previous studies reported a correlation between [...] Read more.
Background and objective: The MTHFR gene encodes the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase known to be involved in the homocysteine–methionine pathway. It has been reported that the deficiency of MTHFR activity may cause hyperhomocysteinemia which results in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Previous studies reported a correlation between the MTHFR gene polymorphisms (677 T/C and 1298 A/C) and lower MTHFR activity and its association with preterm birth in various populations. Since these results were conflicting, we analyzed the genetic association of MTHFR gene 677 T/C and 1298 A/C polymorphisms with preterm birth in Korean women.
Materials and methods: The subjects for case–control study were collected a total of 226 Korean women (98 preterm-birth patients and 128 controls). Genotype frequency differences between the case and the control were assessed using chi-square tests. Mann–Whitney t-test was used to estimate the effects of 1298 A/C genotype on clinicopathological characteristics (systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, birth weight, and gestational age at delivery) in preterm-birth patients.
Results: Our results showed that the MTHFR 677 C/T polymorphism was significantly associated with preterm-birth patients in the analysis of genotype frequency (P = 0.044) and the over-dominant model (OR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.320–0.920; P = 0.023). The recessive model showed a marginal trend toward significance (OR = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.220–1.010; P = 0.046). The 1298 A/C polymorphism was also associated with reduced preterm-birth risk in the recessive model (P = 0.032). In the correlation analysis, the 1298 C allele was significantly associated with increasing of gestational age at delivery in preterm-birth patients (P = 0.034).
Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the MTHFR gene 677 C/T and 1298 A/C polymorphisms might have protective effects for preterm birth in the Korean women. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relationship between diabetes mellitus and heart rate variability in community-dwelling elders
Medicina 2017, 53(6), 375-379; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medici.2017.12.001 - 03 Feb 2018
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Background and objective: Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and may influence the autonomic nervous system. This study aims to analyze the autonomic control, through heart rate variability (HRV), from community- dwelling elders with (DM+) and without diabetes [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Diabetes mellitus is one of the most common non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and may influence the autonomic nervous system. This study aims to analyze the autonomic control, through heart rate variability (HRV), from community- dwelling elders with (DM+) and without diabetes mellitus (DM−).
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study, in which 205 elders (≥ 60 years old), from the urban area of Aiquara municipality gave their written consent to participate. HRV data was collected through a Polar RS800CX monitor with a 5-min initial record at rest, followed by the command to quickly stand up.
Results: The mean age was 71 years (SD, 7.32). The population was mostly made up of women 121 (59%), with low or no schooling 123 (60%), and low income 166 (81%). HRV analysis in a frequency domain showed no difference when comparing the two groups of DM + and DM−. Henceforth in a time domain, the rMSSD showed a median value of 16.09 (interquartile range, 9.91–30.68); pNN50 median of 0.79 (interquartile range, 0.00–6.62), with a statistical significance between the group of DM+ and DM−.
Conclusions: There is a difference between the studied groups principally in what concerns the time domain, which reflects the parasympathetic activity, suggesting that elders with diabetes mellitus may have a worse parasympathetic control. Full article
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