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Medicina, Volume 55, Issue 10 (October 2019) – 103 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Health behaviors such as physical activity, diet, and smoking have a significant impact on [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Left Ventricular Morphology and Function as a Determinant of Pulmonary Hypertension in Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis: Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100711 - 22 Oct 2019
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The influence of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) derived left ventricular (LV) parameters on the prognosis of patients with aortic stenosis (AS) was analyzed in several studies. However, the data on the relations between the LV parameters and the development of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The influence of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) derived left ventricular (LV) parameters on the prognosis of patients with aortic stenosis (AS) was analyzed in several studies. However, the data on the relations between the LV parameters and the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in severe AS is lacking. Our objectives were to evaluate the CMR-derived changes of the LV size, morphology, and function in patients with isolated severe AS and PH, and to investigate the prognostic impact of these parameters on elevated systolic pulmonary artery pressure (sPAP). Materials and Methods: Thirty patients with isolated severe AS (aortic valve area ≤1 cm2) underwent a 2D-echocardiography (2D echo) and CMR before aortic valve replacement. Indices of the LV mass and volumes and ejection fraction were analyzed by CMR. The LV global longitudinal (LV LGS) and circumferential strain (LV CS) were calculated using CMR feature tracking (CMR-FT) software (Medis Suite QStrain 2.0, Medis Medical Imaging Systems B.V., Leiden, The Netherlands). The LV fibrosis expansion was assessed using a late gadolinium enhancement sequence. PH was defined as having an estimated sPAP of ≥45 mm Hg. The statistical analysis as performed using SPSS version 23.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL, USA) Results: 30 patients with severe AS were included in the study, 23% with severe isolated AS had PH (mean sPAP 55 ± 6.6 mm Hg). More severe LV anatomical and functional abnormalities were observed in patients with PH when compared with patients without PH—a higher LV end-diastolic volume index (EDVi) (140 [120.0–160.0] vs. 90.0 mL/m² [82.5–103.0], p = 0.04), larger LV fibrosis area (7.8 [5.6–8.0] vs. 1.3% [1.2–1.5], p = 0.005), as well as lower LV global longitudinal strain (GLS; −14.0 [−14.9–(−8.9)] vs. −21.1% [−23.4–(−17.8)], p = 0.004). By receiver–operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, LV EDVi > 107.7 mL/m² (Area Under the Curve (AUC) 95.7%), LV GLS < −15.5% (AUC 86.3%), and LV fibrosis area >5% (AUC 89.3) were found to be robust predictors of PH in severe AS patients. Conclusions: In patients with severe aortic stenosis, a larger end-diastolic LV volume, impaired LV global longitudinal strain, and larger LV fibrosis extent can predict the development of pulmonary hypertension. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Association of Elevated Zonulin Concentration in Stool with Increased Intestinal Permeability in Active Professional Athletes
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100710 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 724
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The causative factors or conditions leading to increased intestinal permeability (IIP) have only been partly elucidated, suggesting excessive zonulin release to be a key factor among them. Likewise, it is known that athletic activity predisposes individuals towards the development [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The causative factors or conditions leading to increased intestinal permeability (IIP) have only been partly elucidated, suggesting excessive zonulin release to be a key factor among them. Likewise, it is known that athletic activity predisposes individuals towards the development of IIP; however, little is understood about the nature of this phenomenon. We decided to test the actual coincidence between IIP and increased stool zonulin (ISZ) in actively training athletes. Materials and Methods: We compared intestinal permeability tested with lactulose/mannitol differential absorption (lactulose/mannitol (L/M) test) and zonulin concentration in stool in 20 professional athletes (PRO), 9 amateur athletes (AMA), and 9 non-athletes (CTR). Results: The results confirmed that professional athletic activity showed significant positive association with intestinal permeability. ISZ was observed exclusively in athletes (CTR vs. AMA vs. PRO, respectively, 0% vs. 22% vs. 55%), and its prevalence was significantly higher in PRO than CTR. When we divided the participants into four categories related to exceeding the upper reference limits for both tested parameters (ISZ + or − and IIP + or −), significant differences were found between CTR and PRO; however, no significant differences were found between CTR and AMA or AMA and PRO. Conclusions: Our trial confirmed previous findings that professional athletic activity predisposes individuals to IIP. We also demonstrated that although ISZ was associated with intense training, there was no statistically significant association between ISZ and IIP in the tested group of professional athletes, which suggests the existence of additional mechanisms causing IIP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Left Atrial Function after Atrial Fibrillation Cryoablation Concomitant to Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair: A Pilot Study on Long-Term Results and Clinical Implications
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100709 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 734
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Surgical atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation concomitant to minimally invasive mitral valve repair has been proven to offer improved short- and long-term sinus rhythm (SR) maintenance compared to mitral valve surgery only. The objective of the present study was to explore, [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Surgical atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation concomitant to minimally invasive mitral valve repair has been proven to offer improved short- and long-term sinus rhythm (SR) maintenance compared to mitral valve surgery only. The objective of the present study was to explore, by thorough echocardiographic assessment, long-term morphological and functional left atrial (LA) outcomes after this combined surgical procedure. Materials and Methods: From October 2006 to November 2015, 48 patients underwent minimally invasive mitral valve repair and concomitant surgical AF cryoablation. Results: After 3.8 ± 2.2 years, 30 (71.4%) of those completing the follow-up (n = 42, 87.5%) presented SR. During follow-up, four (9.5%) patients suffered from cerebrovascular accidents and two of these subjects had a long-standing persistent AF relapse and were in AF at the time of the event, while the other two were in SR. An echocardiographic study focused on LA characteristics was performed in 29 patients (69.0%). Atrial morphology and function (e.g., maximal LA volume indexed to body surface area and total LA emptying fraction derived from volumes) in patients with stable SR (60.6 ± 13.1 mL/mq and 25.1 ± 7.3%) were significantly better than in those with AF relapses (76.8 ± 16.2 mL/mq and 17.5 ± 7.4%; respectively, p = 0.008 and p = 0.015). At follow-up, patients who suffered from ischemic cerebral events had maximal LA volume indexed to body surface area 61 ± 17.8 mL/mq, with total LA emptying fraction derived from volumes 23.6 ± 13.7%; patients with strokes in SR showed very enlarged LA volume (>70 mL/mq). Conclusions: AF cryoablation concomitant with minimally invasive mitral valve repair provides a high rate of SR maintenance and this relates to improved long-term morphological and functional LA outcomes. Further prospective studies are needed to define the cut-off values determining an increase in the risk for thromboembolic complications in patients with restored stable SR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stroke, Dementia and Atrial Fibrillation) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Maternal Blood Concentration of Tadalafil and Uterine Blood Flow in Pregnancy
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100708 - 21 Oct 2019
Viewed by 728
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Tadalafil for treatment of fetal growth restriction (FGR) or preeclampsia is given once a day orally. The drug kinetics of tadalafil were investigated to determine the ideal dosage to promote uterine blood flow. Materials and Methods: We recruited five pregnant [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Tadalafil for treatment of fetal growth restriction (FGR) or preeclampsia is given once a day orally. The drug kinetics of tadalafil were investigated to determine the ideal dosage to promote uterine blood flow. Materials and Methods: We recruited five pregnant women with FGR or preeclampsia before administration of tadalafil, all of which were administered tadalafil (20 mg/day, once-daily dosing). The blood concentration of tadalafil was measured 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 h after administration, and uterine blood flow was measured before tadalafil administration and 2–4 and 20–24 h after. We then analyzed the correlation between tadalafil blood concentration and uterine artery blood flow. Results: The blood concentration of tadalafil correlated with uterine artery blood flow in pregnant women. The blood concentration of tadalafil and uterine artery blood flow decreased 5 h after administration of tadalafil. Conclusions: The blood concentration of tadalafil and uterine artery blood flow fluctuate in parallel, the latter was decreased by reduced blood concentration. Thus, a study of tadalafil administered twice a day in pregnant women will be needed to stabilize uterine artery blood flow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
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Open AccessReview
Predictive and Prognostic Factors in HCC Patients Treated with Sorafenib
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100707 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1278
Abstract
Sorafenib is an oral kinase inhibitor that enhances survival in patients affected by advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to the results of two registrative trials, this drug represents a gold quality standard in the first line treatment of advanced HCC. Recently, lenvatinib showed [...] Read more.
Sorafenib is an oral kinase inhibitor that enhances survival in patients affected by advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to the results of two registrative trials, this drug represents a gold quality standard in the first line treatment of advanced HCC. Recently, lenvatinib showed similar results in terms of survival in a non-inferiority randomized trial study considering the same subset of patients. Unlike other targeted therapies, predictive and prognostic markers in HCC patients treated with sorafenib are lacking. Their identification could help clinicians in the daily management of these patients, mostly in light of the new therapeutic options available in the first. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between the Soluble Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products and Oxidative Stress in Patients with Palmoplantar Warts
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100706 - 20 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 757
Abstract
Background and objectives: Warts are the most common lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Recent research suggests that oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of HPV-related lesions. It has been shown that the soluble receptor for advanced glycation end [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Warts are the most common lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Recent research suggests that oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of HPV-related lesions. It has been shown that the soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) may act as a protective factor against the deleterious effects of inflammation and oxidative stress, two interconnected processes. However, in HPV infection, the role of sRAGE, constitutively expressed in the skin, has not been investigated in previous studies. Materials and Methods: In order to analyze the role of sRAGE in warts, we investigated the link between sRAGE and the inflammatory response on one hand, and the relationship between sRAGE and the total oxidant/antioxidant status (TOS/TAS) on the other hand, in both patients with palmoplantar warts (n = 24) and healthy subjects as controls (n = 28). Results: Compared to the control group, our results showed that patients with warts had lower levels of sRAGE (1036.50 ± 207.60 pg/mL vs. 1215.32 ± 266.12 pg/mL, p < 0.05), higher serum levels of TOS (3.17 ± 0.27 vs. 2.93 ± 0.22 µmol H2O2 Eq/L, p < 0.01), lower serum levels of TAS (1.85 ± 0.12 vs. 2.03 ± 0.14 µmol Trolox Eq/L, p < 0.01) and minor variations of the inflammation parameters (high sensitivity-CRP, interleukin-6, fibrinogen, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate). Moreover, in patients with warts, sRAGE positively correlated with TAS (r = 0.43, p < 0.05), negatively correlated with TOS (r = −0.90, p < 0.01), and there was no significant correlation with inflammation parameters. There were no significant differences regarding the studied parameters between groups when we stratified the patients according to the number of the lesions and disease duration. Conclusions: Our results suggest that sRAGE acts as a negative regulator of oxidative stress and could represent a mediator involved in the development of warts. However, we consider that the level of sRAGE cannot be used as a biomarker for the severity of warts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that sRAGE could be involved in HPV pathogenesis and represent a marker of oxidative stress in patients with warts. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
A Case of Paraphilia with Osteoporosis and Administered with Depot Leuprorelin
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100705 - 20 Oct 2019
Viewed by 685
Abstract
Paraphilia is a complex psychological and psychiatric disorder that has been difficult to treat. Leuprorelin has been used as one of the therapeutic methods for paraphilia. Leuprorelin administration could change insulin resistance and accelerate bone loss. The case study in this work was [...] Read more.
Paraphilia is a complex psychological and psychiatric disorder that has been difficult to treat. Leuprorelin has been used as one of the therapeutic methods for paraphilia. Leuprorelin administration could change insulin resistance and accelerate bone loss. The case study in this work was a 59-year-old man who visited a hospital with the chief complaints of frotteuristic behaviors in public places, a continuous increase in sexual desire, and sexual molestation behavior that started in 2007. We injected leuprorelin (3.6 mg) intramuscularly every month for this patient with paraphilia and comorbidities of osteoporosis and hyperthyroidism. The clinical global impression (CGI), Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST), Wilson Sex Fantasy Questionnaire (WSFQ), physical examination, and laboratory tests were performed. After 12 months of leuprorelin injection for paraphilia, we found a significant improvement in abnormal sexual behavior/desire without aggravation of osteoporosis/hyperthyroidism. Gonadotrophin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) analogs could be used as alternative or supplementary treatment methods for paraphilia with osteoporosis/hyperthyroidism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Geographic Distribution, Phenotype and Epidemiological Tendency in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients in Romania
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100704 - 20 Oct 2019
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Background and objective: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) over the past years in Romania has been on the rise, but epidemiologic data are lacking. The aim of this study was to define the characteristics of IBD, the trends and phenotype among [...] Read more.
Background and objective: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) over the past years in Romania has been on the rise, but epidemiologic data are lacking. The aim of this study was to define the characteristics of IBD, the trends and phenotype among IBD patients in Romania. Material and methods: We conducted a prospective study over a period of 12 years, from 2006 to 2017. All patients diagnosed with IBD on clinical, radiological, endoscopic and histological features were included. We divided the country into eight regions: west (W), north-east (NE), north-west (NW), south-east (SE), south-west (SW), south (S), central (C) and Bucharest-Ilfov (B), and data were analyzed accordingly. Results: A total of 2724 patients were included in this database, but only 2248 were included in the final analysis, with all data available. Of the 2248 patients, 935 were Crohn’s disease (CD), 1263 were ulcerative colitis (UC) and 50 were IBD-undetermined. In UC phenotypes we observed more frequent left-sided colitis (50.5%, p < 0.0001), and in CD phenotype we observed more frequent colonic and ileo-colonic localization (37.8% and 37.6%, p < 0.0001). The region with the most IBD cases was NE (25.1%) and with the least IBD cases was SW (4.9%). UC was found more frequently in NE (32%), while CD was found more frequently in Bucharest (28.6%). Conclusions: In Romania, ulcerative colitis is more frequent than CD. UC is predominant in the northern part of Romania, while CD has become predominant in the southern part of the country. IBD occurs more in the male population, and in urban and industrialized areas. There are differences between the regions in Romania regarding IBD phenotypes, gender distributions, age distribution, treatment, smoking status and complications. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Body of Evidence in Favor of Adopting 130/80 mm Hg as New Blood Pressure Cut-Off for All the Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100703 - 20 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1067
Abstract
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) updated its guideline redefining the classification of hypertension and the blood pressure cut-off in 2017. The current cut-offs for stage 1 hypertension of 130 mm Hg systolic blood pressure or 80 mm Hg diastolic blood [...] Read more.
The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) updated its guideline redefining the classification of hypertension and the blood pressure cut-off in 2017. The current cut-offs for stage 1 hypertension of 130 mm Hg systolic blood pressure or 80 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure replace the previous cut-offs of 140 mm Hg systolic blood pressure or 90 mm Hg diastolic blood pressure which were based on the ACC/AHA guidelines from 1988. However, the blood pressure cut-off for the obstetric population still remains as 140/90 mm Hg despite the scarcity of evidence for it. Recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) bulletins for pregnant women have not reflected the new ACC/AHA change of guideline. We reviewed a mounting body of evidence prompting the implementation of the new ACC/AHA guidelines for the obstetric population. These studies examined maternal and fetal outcomes applying the new ACC/AHA guidelines during antepartum or postpartum care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pregnancy: Diagnosis, Misdiagnosis, Complications and Outcomes)
Open AccessReview
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Lung Transplantation: When it is Feasible
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100702 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1051
Abstract
Despite the availability of antifibrotic therapies, many patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) will progress to advanced disease and require lung transplantation. International guidelines for transplant referral and listing of patients with interstitial lung disease are not specific to those with IPF and [...] Read more.
Despite the availability of antifibrotic therapies, many patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) will progress to advanced disease and require lung transplantation. International guidelines for transplant referral and listing of patients with interstitial lung disease are not specific to those with IPF and were published before the widespread use of antifibrotic therapy. In this review, we discussed difficulties in decision-making when dealing with patients with IPF due to the wide variability in clinical course and life expectancy, as well as the acute deterioration associated with exacerbations. Indeed, the ideal timing for referral and listing for lung transplant remains challenging, and the acute deterioration might be influenced after transplant outcomes. Of note, patients with IPF are frequently affected by multimorbidity, thus a screening program for occurring conditions, such as coronary artery disease and pulmonary hypertension, before lung transplant listing is crucial to candidate selection, risk stratification, and optimal outcomes. Among several comorbidities, it is of extreme importance to highlight that the prevalence of lung cancer is increased amongst patients affected by IPF; therefore, candidates’ surveillance is critical to avoid organ allocation to unsuitable patients. For all these reasons, early referral and close longitudinal follow-up for potential lung transplant candidates are widely encouraged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Intraocular Pressure Measurements in Standing Position with a Rebound Tonometer
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100701 - 18 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 617
Abstract
Background and Objectives: It has been established that body position can play an important role in intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuation. IOP has been previously shown to increase significantly when lying down, relative to sitting; this type of investigation has not been extensively reported [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: It has been established that body position can play an important role in intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuation. IOP has been previously shown to increase significantly when lying down, relative to sitting; this type of investigation has not been extensively reported for the standing (ST) position. Therefore, this study aims to look for eventual significant IOP changes while ST, sitting, and lying down. Materials and Methods: An Icare PRO was used to measure the IOP of 120 eyes of 60 healthy individuals, with age ranging from 21 to 55 years (mean 29.22 ± 9.12 years), in sitting, supine and ST positions; IOP was measured again, 5 min after standing (ST-5m). Results: Mean IOP difference between sitting and ST position was 0.39 ± 1.93 mmHg (95% CI: 0.04 to 0.74 mmHg) (p = 0.027); between sitting and ST-5m, it was −0.48 ± 1.79 mmHg (95% CI: −0.8 to −0.16 mmHg) (p = 0.004); between the sitting and supine position, it was −1.16±1.9 mmHg (95% CI: −1.5 to −0.82 mmHg) (p < 0.001); between the supine and ST position, it was 1.55 ± 2.04 mmHg (95% CI: 1.18 to 1.92 mmHg) (p < 0.001); between supine and ST-5m, it was 0.68 ± 1.87 mmHg (95% CI: 0.34 to 1.02 mmHg) (p < 0.001); and between ST-5m and ST, it was 0.94 ± 1.95 mmHg (95% CI: 0.58 to 1.29 mmHg) (p < 0.001). Mean axial eye length was 24.45 mm (95% CI: 24.22 to 24.69 mm), and mean central corneal thickness was 535.30 μm (95% CI: 529.44 to 541.19 μm). Conclusion: Increased IOP in the ST-5m position suggests that IOP measurements should be performed in this position too. The detection of higher IOP values in the ST-5m position than in the sitting one, may explain the presence of glaucoma damage or progression in apparently normal-tension or compensated patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Daily Heart Rate Variability Indices in Subjects with and Without Metabolic Syndrome Before and After the Elimination of the Influence of Day-time Physical Activity
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100700 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The available research shows conflicting data on the heart rate variability (HRV) in metabolic syndrome (MetS) subjects. The discrepancy suggests a methodical shortcoming: due to the influence of physical activity, the standard measuring of HRV at rest is not comparable [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The available research shows conflicting data on the heart rate variability (HRV) in metabolic syndrome (MetS) subjects. The discrepancy suggests a methodical shortcoming: due to the influence of physical activity, the standard measuring of HRV at rest is not comparable with HRV assessment based on 24 h Holter monitoring, which is preferred because of its comprehensiveness. To obtain a more reliable measure and to clarify to what extent HRV is altered in MetS, we assessed a 24 h HRV before and after the elimination of the influence of physical activity. Materials and Methods: We investigated 69 metabolic syndrome (MetS) and 37 control subjects, aged 50–55. In all subjects, 24 h monitoring of electrocardiogram, blood pressure, and actigraphy profiles were conducted. To eliminate the influence of day-time physical activity on RR intervals (RRI), a linear polynomial autoregressive model with exogenous terms (ARX) was used. Standard spectral RRI analysis was performed. Results: Subjects with MetS had blunted HRV; the diurnal SDNN index was reliably lower in the MetS group than in control subjects. The elimination of the influence of physical activity did not reveal a significant HRV change in long-term indices (SDNN, SDANN, and SD2), whilst adjacent RRI values (RMSSD, pNN50, and SD1) and SDNN index significantly increased (p < 0.001). An increase in the latter indices highlighted the HRV difference between the MetS and control groups; a significant (p < 0.001) decrease of all short-term HRV variables was found in the MetS group (p < 0.01), and low-frequency spectral components were less pronounced in the MetS group. Conclusion: The application of a polynomial autoregressive model in 24 h HRV assessment allowed for the exclusion of the influence of physical activity and revealed that MetS is associated with blunted HRV, which reflects mitigated parasympathetic tone. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Impact of Pruritus on Sleep Quality of Hemodialysis Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100699 - 17 Oct 2019
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Background and objectives: Chronic kidney disease (CKD)-associated pruritus is a common and disturbing condition which has a negative impact on sleep quality, as well as overall health-related quality of life of patients receiving hemodialysis. To date, no systematic review has been undertaken, and [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Chronic kidney disease (CKD)-associated pruritus is a common and disturbing condition which has a negative impact on sleep quality, as well as overall health-related quality of life of patients receiving hemodialysis. To date, no systematic review has been undertaken, and there is a lack of concise evidence that statistically quantifies the impact of pruritus based on published data. Materials and Methods: A systematic search was done for original articles published in peer-reviewed English journals from database inception on 20 December, 2018, in the following databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid, CINHAL, ProQuest, and Scopus. Results: A total of 9217 research articles were identified. After removal of duplicates and screening for titles and abstracts, 28 articles were selected. The prevalence of disturbed sleep was 4–94%, while the pooled proportion on random effect in the study was 40% (95% CI = 0.30 to 0.49); I2 = 99.8%. However, the prevalence of disturbed sleep quality and quantity due to pruritus was 9–76%, and the pooled proportion on random effect in the study was 50% (95% CI = 0.37 to 0.64); I2 = 99.8%. Conclusions: Patients undergoing hemodialysis who are affected by CKD-associated pruritus have a higher chance of experiencing sleep disturbances. The prevalence of disturbed sleep due to CKD-associated pruritus was found to be 9–76% in the included studies for patients receiving hemodialysis therapy. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Role of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100698 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary liver cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A total of 70–80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with a dismal prognosis. Sorafenib had been the standard care for almost a [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary liver cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. A total of 70–80% of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with a dismal prognosis. Sorafenib had been the standard care for almost a decade until 2018 when the Food and Drug Administration approved an alternative first-line agent namely lenvatinib. Cabozantinib, regorafenib, and ramucirumab also displayed promising results in second line settings. FOLFOX4, however, results in an alternative first-line treatment for the Chinese clinical oncology guidelines. Moreover, nivolumab and pembrolizumab, two therapeutics against the Programmed death (PD)-ligand 1 (PD-L1)/PD1 axis have been recently approved for subsequent-line therapy. However, similar to other solid tumors, the response rate of single agent targeting PD-L1/PD1 axis is low. Therefore, a lot of combinatory approaches are under investigation, including the combination of different immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), the addition of ICIs after resection or during loco-regional therapy, ICIs in addition to kinase inhibitors, anti-angiogenic therapeutics, and others. This review focuses on the use of ICIs for the hepatocellular carcinoma with a careful assessment of new ICIs-based combinatory approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver Cancer: Molecular Mechanisms and Targeted Therapies)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasonographic Evaluation of Fatty Pancreas in Serbian Patients with Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease—A Cross Sectional Study
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100697 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 772
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the association between presences of fatty pancreas (FP) with the features of metabolic syndrome (MeS) in patients with non–alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and to establish a new noninvasive scoring system [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the association between presences of fatty pancreas (FP) with the features of metabolic syndrome (MeS) in patients with non–alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and to establish a new noninvasive scoring system for the prediction of FP in patients with NAFLD. Material and Methods: 143 patients with NAFLD were classified according to FP severity grade into the two groups and evaluated for diagnostic criteria of MeS. All patients underwent sonographic examination with adiposity measurements and the liver biopsy. Liver fibrosis was evaluated semi-quantitatively according to the METAVIR scoring system and using non-invasive markers of hepatic fibrosis. Results: Waist circumference (WC) was predictive for increased risk of FP in NAFLD patients. Elevated fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, serum amylase and lipase levels were associated with presence of severe FP (p value = 0.052, p value = 0.007, p value = 0.014; p value = 0.024, respectively). Presence of increased amounts of mesenteric fat was associated with severe FP (p value = 0.013). The results of this study demonstrated highly significant association between NAFLD and presence of FP. The model for predicting the presence of FP was designed with probability value above 6.5. Conclusion: Pancreatic fat accumulation leads to worsening of pancreatic function which in turns exacerbates severity of metabolic syndrome associated with both, NAFLD and NAFPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hepatology)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Significance of Isolates Known to Be Blood Culture Contaminants in Pediatric Patients
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100696 - 17 Oct 2019
Viewed by 540
Abstract
Background and objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of isolates from blood stream infection known to be blood culture contaminants in pediatric patients. Materials and Methods: Microbiological reports and medical records of all blood culture tests issued [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical significance of isolates from blood stream infection known to be blood culture contaminants in pediatric patients. Materials and Methods: Microbiological reports and medical records of all blood culture tests issued from 2002 to 2012 (n = 76,331) were retrospectively reviewed. Evaluation for potential contaminants were done by reviewing medical records of patients with the following isolates: coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, viridans group Streptococcus, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Micrococcus, Aerococcus, and Proprionibacterium species. Repeated cultures with same isolates were considered as a single case. Cases were evaluated for their status as a pathogen. Results: Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus had clinical significance in 23.8% of all cases. Its rate of being a true pathogen was particularly high in patients with malignancy (43.7%). Viridans group Streptococcus showed clinical significance in 46.2% of all cases. Its rate of being a true pathogen was similar regardless of the underlying morbidity of the patient. The rate of being a true pathogens for remaining isolates was 27.7% for Bacillus and 19.0% for Corynebacterium species. Conclusions: Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus and viridans group Streptococcus isolates showed high probability of being true pathogens in the pediatric population, especially in patients with underlying malignancy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Muntingia calabura L. Stem Bark Extracts on Uric Acid Concentration and Renal Histopathology in Diabetic Rats
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100695 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Background and objectives: This study was designed to determine uric acid concentration and renal histopathology of Muntingia calabura L. stem bark extract in diabetic rats and to compare the natural product of M. calabura L. stem bark extract with allopurinol. Materials and Methods: [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: This study was designed to determine uric acid concentration and renal histopathology of Muntingia calabura L. stem bark extract in diabetic rats and to compare the natural product of M. calabura L. stem bark extract with allopurinol. Materials and Methods: A completely randomized design was used for the experiment, which consisted of six treatment groups, each consisting of four rats, as follows: 1) NR, normal rat; 2) KN, diabetic rat (negative control); 3) KP, diabetic rats given allopurinol 10 mg/kg body weight; 4) EM150, diabetic rats given the test extract 150 mg/kg body weight/day; 5) EM300, diabetic rats given the test extract 300 mg/kg body weight/day; and 6) EM450, diabetic rats given for extract 450 mg/kg body weight/ day. Results: The results showed that M. calabura L. stem bark extract decreased (p < 0.05) uric acid concentrations in diabetic rats and no specific damage to renal proximal tubular cells was seen. Conclusions: It was concluded that M. calabura L. stem bark extract has a potential as an antihyperuricemic in diabetic rats. The recommended dose was 300 mg/kg body weight to provide a significant effect on reducing the uric acid level in diabetic rats. Our results support the use of this plant for the treatment of degenerative and inflammatory diseases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations of Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality with Metabolic Syndrome in Hemodialysis Patients: A Prospective Single-Center Study
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100694 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Background and objectives: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of risk factors, such as abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension, that together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients have multiple comorbidities and many metabolic disorders, causing the frequent [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of risk factors, such as abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and hypertension, that together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients have multiple comorbidities and many metabolic disorders, causing the frequent occurrence of metabolic syndrome. The goal of this study was to assess the prevalence of MetS in HD patients, and its association with all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality. Patients and methods: A total of 138 HD patients were included in this prospective study. We analyzed demographic, anthropometric and biochemical data. Outcome measures were all-cause and CV mortality during the three-year follow-up. Results: MetS was diagnosed in 57.24% of enrolled patients. During the 36 months of follow-up, 33 patients died. MetS patients showed a significantly higher mortality rate than non-MetS (30.4% versus 16.36%, p < 0.001). The association of different MetS components with cardiovascular mortality reached significance when a minimum of three components were present (1.81 (95% confidence interval CI = 1.21–2.33)), with a grouped increase in effect size for subjects with four or five MetS components. Subjects with MetS exhibited nearly twice as high risk for all-cause (hazard ratio HR = 1.99 (95%CI) = 1.42–2.97) and 2.5 times for CV (HR = 2.51 (95%CI) = 1.25–3.83) mortality compared with those without MetS, after adjustment for age, gender, and cardiovascular disease. Conclusions: The study demonstrates that MetS is widespread in HD patients. In future, the focus must be on an active screening approach, and treatment of cardiometabolic risk factors, aiming to reduce mortality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of High-Flow Nasal Cannula on the Outcome of Immunocompromised Patients with Acute Respiratory Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100693 - 16 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 813
Abstract
Background and objectives: High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) can be used as a respiratory support strategy for patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). However, no clear evidence exists to support or oppose HFNC use in immunocompromised patients. Thus, this meta-analysis aims to assess [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) can be used as a respiratory support strategy for patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). However, no clear evidence exists to support or oppose HFNC use in immunocompromised patients. Thus, this meta-analysis aims to assess the effects of HFNC, compared to conventional oxygen therapy (COT) and noninvasive ventilation (NIV), on the outcomes in immunocompromised patients with ARF. The Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched up to November 2018. Materials and Methods: Only clinical studies comparing the effect of HFNC with COT or NIV for immunocompromised patients with ARF were included. The outcome included the rate of intubation, mortality and length of stay (LOS). Results: A total of eight studies involving 1433 immunocompromised patients with ARF were enrolled. The pooled analysis showed that HFNC was significantly associated with a reduced intubation rate (risk ratio (RR), 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.74–0.94, I2 = 0%). Among subgroup analysis, HFNC was associated with a lower intubation rate than COT (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75–0.95, I2 = 0%) and NIV (RR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.40–0.86, I2 = 0%), respectively. However, there was no significant difference between HFNC and control groups in terms of 28-day mortality (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.58–1.04, I2 = 48%), and intensive care unit (ICU) mortality (RR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.73–1.05, I2 = 57%). The ICU and hospital LOS were similar between HFNC and control groups (ICU LOS: mean difference, 0.49 days; 95% CI, −0.25–1.23, I2 = 69%; hospital LOS: mean difference, −0.12 days; 95% CI, −1.86–1.61, I2 = 64%). Conclusions: Use of HFNC may decrease the intubation rate in immunocompromised patients with ARF compared with the control group, including COT and NIV. However, HFNC could not provide additional survival benefit or shorten the LOS. Further large, randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm these findings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Strength Perception of Older Caregivers in Rural Areas
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100692 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 681
Abstract
Background and objective: In an aging population, it is increasingly common for older adults to take care of other older adults. Caregiving tasks may be conditioned by the aging process. This study aims to analyze the perceived physical strength of older caregivers [...] Read more.
Background and objective: In an aging population, it is increasingly common for older adults to take care of other older adults. Caregiving tasks may be conditioned by the aging process. This study aims to analyze the perceived physical strength of older caregivers and its impact on the functional capacity to engage in caregiving activities. Methods: A discretionary sampling of caregivers (N = 107), ≥65 years old, in the rural health area of Badajoz (Spain) participated in this cross-sectional study. Measurements included questions about the caregiver’s role (experience, years, hours, difficulties, demands) and their perceived physical strength, ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), need for help or difficulty for caring. Results: Older caregivers from rural areas perceived a lack of physical strength (71%). These caregivers need more help, have more difficulties, and show less ability to perform ADL. Furthermore, around 80% of the people who had a lack of strength were caring for people with severe or total dependence. There is a direct correlation between the perceived lack of physical strength and the ability to perform basic (r = 0.382, p < 0.01) and instrumental (r = 0.370, p < 0.01) activities. Conclusions: Therefore, the perception of strength and the characteristics of the cared for person may be crucial variables to successfully conduct caregiving tasks. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Systemic and Local Factors’ Influence on the Topological Differences in Deep Vein Thrombosis
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100691 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 559
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common cause of intra-hospital morbidity and mortality, and its most severe complication is pulmonary thromboembolism. The risk factors that influence the apparition of DVT are generally derived from Virchow’s triad. Since the most severe [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common cause of intra-hospital morbidity and mortality, and its most severe complication is pulmonary thromboembolism. The risk factors that influence the apparition of DVT are generally derived from Virchow’s triad. Since the most severe complications of DVT occur in proximal rather than distal deep vein thrombosis, the aim of this study was to identify the factors influencing the apparition of proximal DVT. Materials and Methods: This was a transversal, cohort study. The study included 167 consecutive patients with lower limb DVT over a two-year period. The following data were recorded or determined: general data, conditions that are known to influence DVT, medical history and coagulation or thrombophilia-related genetic variations. Results: In the univariate analysis, male gender, neoplasia, previous DVT and mutated factor V Leiden were all associated with proximal DVT, while bed rest was associated with distal DVT. In the multivariate analysis, male gender, previous DVT and factor V Leiden mutation were independently correlated with proximal DVT, while bed rest was independently associated with distal deep vein thrombosis. Conclusion: Our observations point out that the factors indicating a systemic involvement of coagulation were correlated with proximal DVT, while local factors were associated with distal DVT. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Warm-Up Routine on the Ankle Injuries Prevention in Young Female Basketball Players: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100690 - 16 Oct 2019
Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Ankle joint is the most common site of injury for basketball athletes. An effective warm-up (WU) is a period of preparatory exercise to improve training performance and reduce sports injuries. Continuous examination of effective WU routines in basketball players [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Ankle joint is the most common site of injury for basketball athletes. An effective warm-up (WU) is a period of preparatory exercise to improve training performance and reduce sports injuries. Continuous examination of effective WU routines in basketball players is a necessity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of general and combined warm up on ankle injury range of motion (ROM) and balance in young female basketball players. Materials and Methods: A sample of 28 young female basketball players were randomly allocated to either global warm up control group (GWU) (n = 11) or combined warm up experimental group (CWU) (n = 17). All participants performed 7-min of run. The CWU group performed a single leg stance barefoot with eyes closed, plank forearm position and triceps sural stretching. Participants in GWU performed walking ball handling and core stability using a Swiss ball. Both WU routines were conducted 3 times per week for 10 weeks. Outcome measurements were the Stabilometric platform and dorsiflexion lunge test. Results: Twenty-eight young female basketball players completed the study. Participants in the experimental group improved significantly in the range of motion (ROM) in right and left ankle and the center of pressure displacement (CoP). The control group did not show any changes in ankle dorsiflexion and a significant reduction in all body balance parameters. Conclusions: An 8-min combined warm-up routine for 10 weeks improves the ankle dorsiflexion ROM and CoP displacement that plays a key role in ankle injuries prevention in basketball players. Further studies are strongly needed to verify our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Injuries and Epidemiology in Professional Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Polymorphisms of Proinflammatory Cytokines in Relation to APOE Epsilon 4 and Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Lithuanian Population
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100689 - 15 Oct 2019
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Background and objective: Neuroinflammation is one of the pathological pathways of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mediating the progression of neurodegeneration. Polymorphisms of proinflammatory cytokines have been linked to increased AD risk. Identification of certain combinations of polymorphisms could help predict disease in its preclinical [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Neuroinflammation is one of the pathological pathways of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mediating the progression of neurodegeneration. Polymorphisms of proinflammatory cytokines have been linked to increased AD risk. Identification of certain combinations of polymorphisms could help predict disease in its preclinical stage. The aim of the study was to evaluate differences in the prevalence of TNFα –850T (rs1799724), IL1A –889T (rs1800587), and IL6 –174C (rs1800795, Intron type) polymorphisms between AD patients and healthy controls (HC) and determine the impact of these SNPs in combination with the APOEε4 allele on AD risk. Materials and Methods: The study population is comprised of 107 patients with sporadic AD (AD group) and age- and gender-matched 110 persons without impaired cognitive functions (control group). TNFα –850C > T polymorphism was revealed by a PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method. Real time PCR was used for IL1A and IL6 SNP genotyping. APOEε genotyping was done via hybridization method. Results: The frequencies of TNFα –850T, IL1A –889T, IL6 –174C allele and genotype did not differ between the AD and HC groups (p > 0.05). IL6 –174C was not in HWE, and it was not analysed further. APOEε4 allele (p = 0.001) and 3/4 and 4/4 genotypes (p = 0.005) were more prevalent in AD patients. APOEε4 carriage increased the risk of AD (OR 2.65, p = 0.001), while TNFα –850T and IL1A –889T polymorphisms were not found as significant independent risk factors for AD. The presence of at least one IL1A –889T allele in combination with APOEε4+ was associated with a lower risk of AD (OR 2.24, p = 0.047) than the carriage of APOEε4+ alone (OR 2.70, p = 0.015). Conclusions: No significant differences of TNFα –850, IL1A –889, and IL6 –174 polymorphisms frequencies were found between AD and control groups. In APOEε4 carriers IL1A –889T polymorphism was found to reduce the AD risk determined by APOEε4 alone. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Screen Use During Meals Among Young Children: Exploration of Associated Variables
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 688; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100688 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: There is evidence that eating meals or snacks while watching TV is an obesogenic factor. Moreover, the patterns of TV and other screen use during meals begin early and persist. However, there are only a few studies to date which address the prevalence and predictors of young children’s exposure to screen during mealtimes. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the prevalence and the associated factors of screen use during meals in early childhood. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted in Lithuania. Data of 847 children aged 2 to 5 years old (51.5% boys) were analyzed in this study. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/1½-5) and reported their children’s daily screen time, exposure to background TV, screen use during child’s meals, child and parental height and weight, and sociodemographic data. Results: More than half of children were exposed to screen during meals: 33.7% occasionally, several times per week or per month, and 22%—daily or during every meal. Overall daily screen time, background TV, consumption of junk food, child age, and emotional and behavioral problems were related to mealtime screen use (all associations significant at p < 0.01). Longer daily screen time (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.00–1.01), more background TV (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.10–1.45), and elder child age (OR 1.02; 95% CI 1.00–1.03) were significant predictors of occasional use of screen during meals. Also, longer daily screen time (OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99), background TV (OR 0.78; 95% CI 0.66–0.91) together with no siblings’ status of a child (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.25–0.69) increased the probability that children were fed in front of screens daily. Conclusions: This study confirmed the unfavorable associations among screen use during meals, daily screen time and junk food consumption in early childhood. In addition, first-time parents should get particular health providers’ attention as they are more likely to use screens during child’s mealtime. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Epidemiology of Heart Disease of Uncertain Etiology: A Population Study and Review of the Problem
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 687; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100687 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
Background and objectives: Previous epidemiological studies have identified a group of heart diseases (here called heart diseases of uncertain etiology—HDUE) whose characteristics were rather different from cases classified as coronary heart disease (CHD), but frequently confused with them. This analysis had the purpose [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Previous epidemiological studies have identified a group of heart diseases (here called heart diseases of uncertain etiology—HDUE) whose characteristics were rather different from cases classified as coronary heart disease (CHD), but frequently confused with them. This analysis had the purpose of adding further evidence on this issue based on a large population study. Materials and Methods: Forty-five Italian population samples for a total of 25,272 men and 21,895 women, free from cardiovascular diseases, were examined with measurement of some risk factors. During follow-up, CHD deaths were those manifested as myocardial infarction, other acute ischemic attacks, and sudden death of probable coronary origin, after reasonable exclusion of other causes. Cases of HDUE were those manifested only as heart failure, chronic arrhythmia, and blocks in the absence of typical coronary syndromes. Cox proportional hazards models were computed separately for CHD and HDUE, with 11 risk factors as possible predictors. Results: During an average of 7.4 years (extremes 1–16) there were 223 CHD and 150 HDUE fatal events. Male sex, age, smoking habits, systolic blood pressure, serum cholesterol, and plasma glucose were significantly and directly related to CHD events, while high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was so in an inverse way. The same risk factors were predictive of HDUE events except serum cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Multivariable hazards ratio of serum cholesterol (delta = 1 mmol/L) was higher in the CHD model (1.24, 95% CI 1.11–1.39) than in the HDUE model (1.03, 0.5% C.I. 0.89–1.19) and the difference between the respective coefficients was statistically significant (p = 0.0444). Age at death was not different between the two end-points. Conclusions: CHD and HDUE are probably two different morbid conditions, only the first one is likely bound to gross atherosclerotic lesions of coronary arteries and linked to blood lipid levels. We reviewed the problem in epidemiological investigations and addressed inflammation as a potential cofactor to differentiate between CHD and HDUE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure and Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle
Foreign Body Ingestion in Pediatrics: Distribution, Management and Complications
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100686 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 843
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Foreign body (FB) ingestion is a common problem in children, causing serious complications. This study aimed to identify the distribution of types and locations of these foreign bodies and create Chiang Mai University (CMU) Guidelines. Materials and Methods: A retrospective [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Foreign body (FB) ingestion is a common problem in children, causing serious complications. This study aimed to identify the distribution of types and locations of these foreign bodies and create Chiang Mai University (CMU) Guidelines. Materials and Methods: A retrospective descriptive study was conducted. All patients under 15 years old with foreign body ingestion (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems; ICD-10 codes T18) treated in CMU Hospital from January 2006 to December 2017 were included. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The guidelines were created, which paralleled the standard guidelines. Results: In total, 194 episodes of FB ingestion were recorded. These included 53.6% males and 46.4% females with a median age of 43.5 months. A history of foreign body ingestion complaints occurred in 77.8% of cases. Presentation was divided into asymptomatic (44.3%) and symptomatic (55.7%). The most common symptom was vomiting (23.2%). In the majority of cases, foreign bodies were located in the esophagus (37%). The most common type of foreign body was a coin (41.2%). Management included spontaneous passing (60.3%), endoscopy (35.6%), and others (3.1%). Complications before treatment were recorded in 9.3% of cases and after treatment in 2.1% of cases. Conclusions: Foreign body ingestion is common among children younger than four years old. Coins are the most common foreign body found, and the esophagus is the most common location. We recommend our created CMU Guidelines for management. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Physical Exercise on the Stereotyped Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 685; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100685 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Recent studies have shown the existence of a positive relationship between physical exercise, symptomatic improvement, and reduction of damage caused by comorbidities associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, adolescents, and adults. The aim of this systematic review [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Recent studies have shown the existence of a positive relationship between physical exercise, symptomatic improvement, and reduction of damage caused by comorbidities associated with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, adolescents, and adults. The aim of this systematic review with meta-analysis (SRM) was to estimate the effects of physical exercise (PE) on the stereotyped behaviors of children with a diagnosis of ASD in intervention studies. Materials and Methods: The design followed the PRISMA guidelines and the TREND statement to assess the quality of information in each study. Nine non-randomized intervention trial studies with low, moderate, and vigorous physical exercise, with a duration varying from 8 to 48 weeks and a frequency of 3 times a week, were included in the SRM. The dependent variable episodes of stereotypical behaviors was analyzed in all studies and assessed as the number of episodes demonstrated by the child in pre- versus post-exercise intervention conditions. Results: The eight studies included a total 129 children (115 males and 14 females) with an average age of 8.93 ± 1.69 years. Children with ASD showed a reduction of 1.1 in the number of occurrences of stereotypical behaviors after intervention with physical exercise. Conclusion: Evidence was found to support physical exercise as an effective tool in reducing the number of episodes of stereotypical behaviors in children diagnosed with ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children with Complex Presentations)
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Open AccessReview
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT): A Personalized Medicine
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100684 - 13 Oct 2019
Viewed by 965
Abstract
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), a promising allergen-specific approach in the management of Food Allergies (FA), is based on the administration of increasing doses of the culprit food until reaching a maintenance dose. Each step should be adapted to the patient, and OIT should be [...] Read more.
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), a promising allergen-specific approach in the management of Food Allergies (FA), is based on the administration of increasing doses of the culprit food until reaching a maintenance dose. Each step should be adapted to the patient, and OIT should be considered an individualized treatment. Recent studies focused on the standardization and identification of novel biomarkers in order to correlate endotypes with phenotypes in the field of FA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessArticle
Clostridium difficile Infection and Colorectal Surgery: Is There Any Risk?
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100683 - 10 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 863
Abstract
Background and objectives: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an important healthcare-associated infection, with important consequences both from a medical and financial point of view, but its correlation with anastomotic leaks after colorectal surgeries is scarcely reported in the literature. Materials and Methods: We [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is an important healthcare-associated infection, with important consequences both from a medical and financial point of view, but its correlation with anastomotic leaks after colorectal surgeries is scarcely reported in the literature. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective study looking for patients who underwent open or laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancers between January 2012 and December 2017, excluding emergency surgeries for complicated colorectal tumors. We also examined patient history for risk factors for CDI such as age, sex, comorbidities, and clinical findings at admission or during hospital stay as well as tumor characteristics. Results: A total of 360 patients were included in the study, out of which 320 underwent surgeries that included anastomoses. There were 19 cases of anastomotic leaks, out of which 13 patients were diagnosed with CDI, with a statistic significance for association between CDI and anastomotic leakage (p < 0.0001). Most patients who developed both CDI and anastomotic leaks had left-sided resections or a type of rectal resection, while none of the patients with right-sided resections had this association, but with no statistical significance possibly due to the limited number of cases. Conclusions: CDI is a relevant risk factor and should be taken into consideration when trying to prevent anastomotic leaks in patients undergoing gastrointestinal surgery for colon or rectal cancer. Thorough assessment of risk factors at admission should be mandatory in order to adequately prepare the patient and plan an optimal course of treatment. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and a multidisciplinary approach, with a team which should always include the surgeon, is mandatory when it comes to CDI prevention. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Controlled Release of Metformin Hydrochloride from Core-Shell Nanofibers with Fish Sarcoplasmic Protein
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 682; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100682 - 10 Oct 2019
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Background and Objectives: A coaxial electrospinning technique was used to produce core/shell nanofibers of a polylactic acid (PLA) as a shell and a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) containing metformin hydrochloride (MH) as a core. Materials and Methods: Fish sarcoplasmic protein (FSP) was [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: A coaxial electrospinning technique was used to produce core/shell nanofibers of a polylactic acid (PLA) as a shell and a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) containing metformin hydrochloride (MH) as a core. Materials and Methods: Fish sarcoplasmic protein (FSP) was extracted from fresh bonito and incorporated into nanofiber at various concentrations to investigate the influence on properties of the coaxial nanofibers. The morphology, chemical structure and thermal properties of the nanofibers were studied. Results: The results show that uniform and bead-free structured nanofibers with diameters ranging from 621 nm to 681 nm were obtained. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis shows that FSP had a reducing effect on the crystallinity of the nanofibers. Furthermore, the drug release profile of electrospun fibers was analyzed using the spectrophotometric method. Conclusions: The nanofibers showed prolonged and sustained release and the first order kinetic seems to be more suitable to describe the release. MTT assay suggests that the produced drug and protein loaded coaxial nanofibers are non-toxic and enhance cell attachment. Thus, these results demonstrate that the produced nanofibers had the potential to be used for diabetic wound healing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano-Biosciences in the Field of Health-Care)
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