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Medicina, Volume 55, Issue 7 (July 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Food allergy has now become a significant pediatric health issue in many developed countries [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Supplementation of Adiantum capillus-veneris Modulates Alveolar Apoptosis under Hypoxia Condition in Wistar Rats Exposed to Exercise
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070401
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Several studies have reported that some conditions such as exercise and hypoxia induce DNA damage and dysfunction and apoptosis. Some plant foods contain numerous bioactive compounds and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight DNA damage. Therefore, the current study evaluated [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Several studies have reported that some conditions such as exercise and hypoxia induce DNA damage and dysfunction and apoptosis. Some plant foods contain numerous bioactive compounds and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight DNA damage. Therefore, the current study evaluated the effect of supplementation of Adiantum capillus-veneris (ACV) extract on Bax/B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) ratio apoptotic index and remodeling of pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells in lung tissue of healthy Wistar rats during stressful conditions (hypoxia). Materials and Methods: Twenty-seven Wistar male rats (four-week old, 72 ± 9 g) were randomly assigned into three groups: normoxic, sedentary, and not-supplemented (NG, n = 9); exercise and hypoxia and not-supplemented (HE, n = 9); and exercise and hypoxia and supplemented group (HS, n = 9). The NG remained sedentary in the normoxia environment for nine weeks. The HE group participated in a high-intensity (IT) program for six weeks, then remained sedentary in the hypoxia environment for three weeks. The low-pressure chamber simulated a ~2800 M altitude 24 h/d. HS participated in IT, then entered and remained sedentary in the hypoxia environment for three weeks, and they consumed 500 mg per kg of body weight ACV extract. Results: The Bax/Bcl-2 ratio of the HE group increased significantly (+50.27%, p ≤ 0.05), the average number of type I pneumocytes was reduced significantly (−18.85%, p ≤ 0.05), and the average number of type II pneumocytes was increased significantly (+14.69%, p ≤ 0.05). Also, after three weeks of consuming the ACV extract, the HS group in comparison with the HE group had their Bax/Bcl-2 ratio reduced significantly (−24.27%, p ≤ 0.05), the average number of type I pneumocytes increased significantly (+10.15%, p ≤ 0.05), and the average number of type II pneumocytes reduced significantly (−7.18%, p ≤ 0.05). Conclusion: The findings show that after three weeks of hypoxia following six weeks of high-intensity interval training in Wistar rats, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the number of type II pneumocytes were increased and the number of type I pneumocytes was reduced significantly. These results strongly suggest that an apoptosis state was induced in the lung parenchyma, and consuming ACV extract modulated this state. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Wheat Allergy in Children: A Comprehensive Update
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070400
Received: 21 June 2019 / Revised: 14 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential [...] Read more.
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential role of several external factors that can influence the risk to developing wheat allergy, but results are still inconclusive. It can be responsible for several clinical manifestations depending on the route of allergen exposure: food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA), occupational rhinitis or asthma (also known as baker’s asthma), and contact urticaria. The prognosis of IgE-mediated wheat allergy in children is generally favorable, with the majority of children becoming tolerant by school age. Patients who experienced an anaphylactic reaction prior to 3 years of age and patients with higher level of wheat- or ω-5 gliadin-specific IgE antibodies seem to be at higher risk of persistent wheat allergy. The current management of patients is dietary avoidance. Nowadays, oral immunotherapy has been proposed for wheat allergy with promising results, even if further studies are necessary to establish the best protocol in order to promote tolerance in wheat-allergic children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Open AccessArticle
Addition of 100 mg of Tramadol to 40 mL of 0.5% Ropivacaine for Interscalene Brachial Plexus Block Improves Postoperative Analgesia in Patients Undergoing Shoulder Surgeries as Compared to Ropivacaine Alone—A Randomized Controlled Study
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070399
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 23 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Brachial plexus block is commonly used in shoulder surgery, as it provides satisfactory surgical conditions and adequate postoperative pain control. However, there are contradictory reports regarding the addition of tramadol to the injected regional anesthetic solution. We performed a prospective [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Brachial plexus block is commonly used in shoulder surgery, as it provides satisfactory surgical conditions and adequate postoperative pain control. However, there are contradictory reports regarding the addition of tramadol to the injected regional anesthetic solution. We performed a prospective randomized study to evaluate the effectiveness of tramadol as an adjuvant to ropivacaine during interscalene brachial plexus block and assess its impact on the opioid consumption and the early postoperative pain in patients that underwent shoulder surgery. Materials and Methods: Eighty patients scheduled for elective shoulder surgery and anesthesia via interscalene brachial plexus block were randomly divided into two groups. In group A (n = 40), a solution of 40 mL of ropivacaine 0.5% and 2 mL (100 mg) of tramadol was administered during the brachial plexus block, while in group B (n = 40), a solution of 40 mL of ropivacaine 0.5% and 2 mL NaCl 0.9% (placebo) was administered. The effectiveness and duration of sensory and motor blocks were recorded in both groups. The sensory block was assessed recording the loss of sensation to pin prick test over the skin distribution of the axillary, radial, and musculocutaneous nerves. The motor block was assessed using the modified 3-point Bromage score (0–2 points). Cumulative morphine consumption and pain, using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), were evaluated in both groups at 2, 4, 8, and 24 h after surgery. Results: Sensory block onset was achieved earlier in group A than in group B (5.21 ± 3.15 minutes (min) vs. 7.1 ± 4.51 min, p = 0.029). The motor block onset was similar between the two groups (13.08 ± 6.23 min vs. 13.28 ± 6.59 min; p = 0.932). The duration of the sensory block was longer in group A as compared to group B (13 ± 2.3 h vs. 12 ± 2.8 h; p = 0.013). The duration of the motor block did not present any difference between the groups (10 ± 2.2 h vs. 10 ± 2.8 h; p = 0.308). Differences in morphine administration were not significant at 2, 4, and 8 h, however, morphine consumption was found to be decreased in group A 24 h postoperatively A (p = 0.04). The values of VAS were similar at 2, 4, and 8 h, however, they were lower in group A at 24 h (p < 0.013). Conclusions: Combined regional administration of tramadol and ropivacaine during interscalene brachial plexus block improves the time of onset and the duration of the sensory block, while it is associated with reduced morphine consumption during the first 24 h after shoulder surgery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beliefs, Practices and Health Care Seeking Behavior of Parents Regarding Fever in Children
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070398
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Fever in children is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention. Parents often have misconceptions about the effects to fever, which leads to inappropriate use of medication and nonurgent visits to emergency departments (ED). The aim of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Fever in children is one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention. Parents often have misconceptions about the effects to fever, which leads to inappropriate use of medication and nonurgent visits to emergency departments (ED). The aim of this study was to clarify the beliefs on the effects and management of fever and to identify healthcare seeking patterns among parents of febrile children in Latvia. Materials and Methods: Parents and legal guardians of children attending ED with febrile illness were included in the study. Participants were recruited in Children’s Clinical University Hospital (CCUH) in Riga, and in six regional hospitals in Latvia. Data on beliefs about fever, administration of antipyretics, healthcare-seeking behavior, and experience in communication with health care workers were collected via questionnaire. Results: In total, 355 participants were enrolled: 199 in CCUH and 156 in regional hospitals; 59.2% of participants considered fever itself as indicative of serious illness and 92.8% believed it could raise the child’s body temperature up to a dangerous level. Antipyretics were usually administered at median temperature of 38.0 °C, and the median temperature believed to be dangerous was 39.7 °C; 56.7% of parents usually contacted a doctor within the first 24 h of the illness. Parents who believed that lower temperatures are dangerous to a child were more likely to contact a doctor earlier and out-of-hours; 60.1% of participants had contacted their family doctor prior their visit to ED. Parental evaluation of satisfaction with the information and reassurance provided by the doctors at the hospital was higher than of that provided by their family doctor; 68.2% of participants felt safer when their febrile children were treated at the hospital. Conclusions: Fever itself was regarded as indicative of serious illness and potentially dangerous to the child’s life. These misconceptions lead to inappropriate administration of antipyretics and early-seeking of medical attention, even out-of-hours. Hospital environment was viewed as safer and more reassuring when dealing with febrile illness in children. More emphasis must be placed on parental education on proper management of fever, especially in primary care Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Children in School Canteens Depending on Selected Sociodemographic Factors
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070397
Received: 27 May 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Eating habits acquired or changed during childhood are likely to track into adulthood. Due to the fact that nutritional behaviours are not so strongly formed among children, it is easier to change and develop them in children than in adults. [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Eating habits acquired or changed during childhood are likely to track into adulthood. Due to the fact that nutritional behaviours are not so strongly formed among children, it is easier to change and develop them in children than in adults. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of selected sociodemographic factors affecting fruit and vegetable consumption (i.e., age, parents’ body mass index, parents’ level education, duration of breastfeeding, child’s time spent in front of computer/television) among children in school canteens. Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 106 participants (52 girls, 54 boys) aged 6–12. The frequency of consuming fruits and vegetables at a school canteen was assessed using bar code cards for two weeks. Body composition estimates were obtained using a foot-to-foot bioelectrical impedance analysis, body height was measured using a stadiometer Seca 213. The questionnaire contained questions about selected factors which can have an influence on fruit and vegetable consumption. In the study group, 13.2% of participants were overweight and 17.9% were obese. Results: Our results showed a statistically significant relationship between age and fruit and vegetable consumption, and it increased with age in both sexes. Conclusions: Bearing in mind the various conditions discussed when shaping the eating habits of pre-school- and early-school-aged children, the importance of proper nutritional education should be stressed both among children and parents. Full article
Open AccessReview
Neuropsychiatric and Behavioral Involvement in AAS Abusers. A Literature Review
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070396
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) are a complex group of molecules that include both steroidal androgens and synthetic compounds, derived from testosterone. AASs are commonly used to support pharmacological therapy in cases of primary or secondary hypogonadism, major burns, and neoplastic [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Anabolic androgenic steroids (AASs) are a complex group of molecules that include both steroidal androgens and synthetic compounds, derived from testosterone. AASs are commonly used to support pharmacological therapy in cases of primary or secondary hypogonadism, major burns, and neoplastic cachexia. Their prolonged and supra-physiological consumption can provoke several adverse effects on various organs and systems. Among these, the physiopathological mechanisms that induce neuropsychiatric disorders related to AAS abuse are poorly known. For this reason, the proposed review aims to retrace the pathway of action of testosterone to focus on the effects on the central nervous system and specifically highlight the effects of AASs on neuropsychiatric and behavioral functions, as well as on lifestyle. Materials and Methods: This review was conducted using PubMed and Google Scholar databases. On these database websites, we searched for articles from 1 January 1980 to March 2019 using the key terms: “AAS,” “Anabolic Androgenic Steroids,” “brain,” and “neurology.” Results: The use of AASs through self-administration yields circulating androgens levels, inducing neuron apoptosis, which is linked to thinner cortex and, in general, less cortical volume. The same alterations affect the putamen. These differences were more evident when correlated with longer use. From a functional point of view, prolonged AAS consumption seemed to be related to lower connectivity between amygdala and frontal, striatal, limbic, hippocampal and visual cortical areas. On the other hand, AAS use seems to negatively condition the positive effects of the sport exercise, reducing its important anti-apoptotic and pro-proliferative functions on the hippocampus, implicated in anxiolytic control. Conclusion: This review clarifies the major aspects of the side effects related to AAS use/abuse highlighting the complex mechanisms on neuropsychiatric and cognitive pathological alterations and also the emotional and behavioral dysfunctions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Factors Contrasted with Fibrinolysis Disorders in the Blood of Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070395
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 19 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 22 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Both in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (DM 2) and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a vital role is played by endothelial dysfunction. Metabolic disorders found in DM 2 (hyperglycemia, insulin resistance), endothelial dysfunction, and increased inflammation lead to intensified [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Both in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (DM 2) and Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a vital role is played by endothelial dysfunction. Metabolic disorders found in DM 2 (hyperglycemia, insulin resistance), endothelial dysfunction, and increased inflammation lead to intensified atherothrombosis. The fibrinolysis system comprises a natural compensatory mechanism in case of hypercoagulability. The aim of this study was to assess concentrations of selected fibrinolysis parameters in the blood of patients with symptomatic PAD, including in particular concurrent DM 2 and other cardiovascular factors. Materials and Methods: In the group of 80 patients with PAD (27 F/53 M) and 30 healthy volunteers (10 F/20 M), the following parameters were measured: Concentrations of fibrinogen, tissue-Plasminogen Activator (t-PA Ag), Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1 Ag), D-dimer, and platelet (PLT) count. Results: In the blood of patients with PAD and concomitant DM 2 significantly higher concentrations of fibrinogen were found in comparison with patients with PAD and without diabetes (p = 0.044). No significant impact was observed in individuals with atherosclerotic complications (manifested by coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis of cerebral arteries) and selected cardiovascular risk factors (smoking, LDL and triglyceride concentrations, BP values) on the levels of t-PA, PAI-1, D-dimer, and PLT count. It was found that t-PA Ag and PAI-1 Ag values tended to rise along with a BMI increase in the subgroups of subjects (with normal body mass, overweight, and obesity), but no statistically significant differences were observed. However, two significant positive correlations were reported between t-PA Ag and BMI, as well as between PAI-1 Ag and BMI. Conclusions: Type 2 diabetes in peripheral arterial disease affects the concentration of fibrinogen causing its increase, which is connected with the inflammation and prothrombotic process in the course of both conditions. The concurrence of atherosclerosis of coronary or cerebral arteries, smoking, LDL and TG concentrations, and BP value do not have a significant impact on the levels of analyzed fibrinolysis parameters. A positive correlation between BMI and t-PA Ag and PAI-1 Ag concentrations needs to be supported in further studies on a larger number of overweight and obese patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance)
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Bowel Preparation on ADC Measurements: Comparison between Conventional DWI and DWIBS Sequences
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070394
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: The aim of the study was to assess whether there were differences between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion-weighted imaging with background body signal suppression (DWIBS) sequences in non-prepared and prepared bowels before and after [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The aim of the study was to assess whether there were differences between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion-weighted imaging with background body signal suppression (DWIBS) sequences in non-prepared and prepared bowels before and after preparation with an enteric hyperosmolar agent, to assess whether ADC measurements have the potential to avoid bowel preparation and whether ADC-DWIBS has advantages over ADC-DWI. Materials and Methods: 106 adult patients without evidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) underwent magnetic resonance (MR) enterography before and after bowel preparation. ADC-DWI and ADC-DWIBS values were measured in the intestinal and colonic walls demonstrating high signal intensity (SI) at DWI tracking images of b = 800 s/mm2 before and after preparation. Results: There were significant difference (p < 0.0001) in both ADC-DWI and ADC-DWIBS results between non-prepared and prepared jejunum for DWI being 1.09 × 10−3 mm2/s and 1.76 × 10−3 mm2/s, respectively, and for DWIBS being 0.91 × 10−3 mm2/s and 1.75 × 10−3 mm2/s, respectively. Both ADC-DWI and DWIBS also showed significant difference between non-prepared and prepared colon (p < 0.0001), with DWI values 1.41 × 10−3 mm2/s and 2.13 × 10−3 mm2/s, and DWIBS—1.01 × 10−3 mm2/s and 2.04 × 10−3 mm2/s, respectively. No significant difference between ADC-DWI and ADC-DWIBS was found in prepared jejunum (p = 0.84) and prepared colon (p = 0.58), whereas a significant difference was found in non-prepared jejunum and non-prepared colon (p = 0.0001 in both samples). Conclusions: ADC between DWI and DWIBS does not differ in prepared bowel walls but demonstrates a difference in non-prepared bowel. ADC in non-prepared bowel is lower than in prepared bowel and possible overlap with the ADC range of IBD is possible in non-prepared bowel. ADC-DWIBS has no advantage over ADC-DWI in regard to IBD assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Intra-Nasally Administered Oligopeptide Lunasin Acts as a Possible Anti-Psychotic Agent in Mice Models
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070393
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 19 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Previously we have shown that synthetic lunasin, a 43 amino acid residue-containing peptide, after its central (intracisternal) administration in mice demonstrated antagonism against dopaminergic drug behavioural effects, indicating a putative antipsychotic/anti-schizophrenic profile of lunasin. The aims of the present studies [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Previously we have shown that synthetic lunasin, a 43 amino acid residue-containing peptide, after its central (intracisternal) administration in mice demonstrated antagonism against dopaminergic drug behavioural effects, indicating a putative antipsychotic/anti-schizophrenic profile of lunasin. The aims of the present studies were: to test whether lunasin would show an influence on the dopaminergic system after intranasal administration, and to examine the effect(s) of lunasin on serotonin and glutamatergic systems, which could play an essential role in antipsychotic action. Materials and Methods: Lunasin was administered intra-nasally at doses 0.1 and 1 nmol/mouse in ICR mice (n = 7–8) and tested in an open field on hyperlocomotion caused by amphetamine; serotonin 5-HT 2A/2C receptor agonist 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)- 2-aminopropane (DOI); and glutamate NMDA receptor antagonist phencyclidine. Following behavioural testing, the contents of neurotransmitters and their metabolites in brain hemispheres (n = 6–8) were assessed by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-time of flight mas-spectrometry (UHPLC-TOF-MS) method. Also, lunasin binding to serotonin receptors was assessed. Results: Lunasin intra-nasally fully normalized hyper-locomotion and brain monoamine levels in amphetamine- and DOI-treated mice brains. Phencyclidine behavioural effects were not influenced. In vitro receptor binding data demonstrated a low affinity of lunasin (at µM concentrations) compared with DOI (nM concentrations) for the 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors. Conclusions: These results demonstrated, for the first time, that the intranasal administration of oligopeptide lunasin normalized mice behaviour and brain monoamine levels in experimental psychosis mice models. Its neuro-regulatory effects indicated a usefulness of this peptide molecule for the design of novel psychotropic agents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Dyslipidaemia Using an Algorithm of Lipid Profile Measures among Newly Diagnosed Type II Diabetes Mellitus Patients: A Cross-Sectional Study at Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital, Ghana
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070392
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 21 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Dyslipidaemia and its associated complications have been reported to increase mortality among type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. However, there is a dearth of data on the incidence of dyslipidemia among Ghanaian patients with T2DM. This study evaluated dyslipidemia [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Dyslipidaemia and its associated complications have been reported to increase mortality among type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. However, there is a dearth of data on the incidence of dyslipidemia among Ghanaian patients with T2DM. This study evaluated dyslipidemia among newly diagnosed T2DM patients at Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital, Ghana. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited a total of 215 participants at the Presbyterian Hospital, Dormaa-Ghana. A well-structured questionnaire was administered to collect demographic data. Predisposing factors of dyslipidemia such as BMI, hypertension, and family history of diabetes were also obtained. Lipid profile was performed on the serum obtained from each respondent. Dyslipidaemia was defined as total cholesterol (TC) >200 mg/dL, triglyceride (TG) >150 mg/dL, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) >100 mg/dL, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) <40 in males and <50 mg/dL in females. Combinations of the individual parameters of dyslipidaemia were further evaluated. Results: Of the total (215) participants, 86 (40%) were males and 129 (60%) were females, representing a ratio of 1:1.5. High total cholesterol was more prevalent in females (69.0%) than males (53.5%). Generally, dyslipidaemia was predominant among those aged >40 years, with the exception of increased LDL-c (25.1%), which was higher among the 20–40 years age group. The male participants exhibited significantly (p < 0.001) higher percentages of all combined measures of dyslipidaemia—such as high TG and reduced HDL-c (77.9%), high TG and elevated LDL-c (75.6%) and high LDL and low HDL (65.1%). BMI was significantly associated with HDL levels (p = 0.02), whereas family history of diabetes was associated with TC (p = 0.004) and TG levels (p = 0.019). Conclusion: Combined dyslipidaemia is relatively high among newly diagnosed T2DM patients in Ghana, and in those >40 years. Gender is significantly associated with combined dyslipidaemia in T2DM, and males may be at a higher risk than females. BMI and family history of diabetes are potential risk factors of dyslipidaemia in T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnitude and Determinants of Patients at Risk of Developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea in a Non-Communicable Disease Clinic
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070391
Received: 12 May 2019 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 16 July 2019 / Published: 20 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common chronic disorder worldwide, which can adversely affect the cardiovascular system among non-communicable disease (NCD) patients. It is underdiagnosed—or rather not diagnosed—in primary care settings due to the costly diagnostic techniques involved. This [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common chronic disorder worldwide, which can adversely affect the cardiovascular system among non-communicable disease (NCD) patients. It is underdiagnosed—or rather not diagnosed—in primary care settings due to the costly diagnostic techniques involved. This study aimed to assess the number of study participants at risk of developing OSA and to assess and quantify the risk factors associated with this disorder. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in an NCD clinic of a rural health training center, Karikalampakkam, Puducherry of South India from August 2018 to October 2018. A Modified Berlin Questionnaire (MBQ) was used to screen the study participants at risk for OSA. Four-hundred-and-seventy-three people aged 18 years and above were included in the study, using systematic random sampling. Respondents’ socio-demographic and morbidity characteristics, as well as clinical and anthropometric parameters including body weight, height, blood pressure, neck, hip and waist circumference were collected. Data was captured using Epicollect5 and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Results: One-fourth (25.8%) of the respondents were at high risk of developing OSA. In terms of gender, 27.9% of the men and 23.8% of the women were at high risk for OSA. In univariate analyses, the risk of developing OSA was significantly associated with a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and gastro-esophageal reflux disease, weight, body mass index, neck, waist and hip circumference, waist–hip ratio, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that a history of dyslipidemia (aOR, 95% CI = 2.34, 1.22–4.48), body mass index (aOR, 95% CI = 1.15, 1.06–1.22) and waist circumference (aOR, 95% CI = 1.10, 1.07–1.14) emerged as significant predictors of risk for OSA. Conclusions: A considerable proportion of NCD patients with easily detectable attributes are at risk of developing OSA, but still remain undiagnosed at a primary health care setting. The results obtained using MBQ in this study were comparable to studies performed using polysomnography. Dyslipidemia, body mass index and waist circumference were independent risk factors for predicting a risk of developing OSA. Prospective studies are needed to confirm whether a reduction in these risk factors could reduce the risk for OSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Epidemiology, Pathomechanism and Treatment)
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Open AccessArticle
Affective Temperaments and Clinical Course of Bipolar Disorder: An Exploratory Study of Differences among Patients with and without a History of Violent Suicide Attempts
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070390
Received: 11 June 2017 / Revised: 13 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Suicide is the leading cause of death in patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD). In particular, the high mortality rate is due to violent suicide attempts. Several risk factors associated with suicide attempts in patients with BD have been identified. Affective [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Suicide is the leading cause of death in patients with Bipolar Disorder (BD). In particular, the high mortality rate is due to violent suicide attempts. Several risk factors associated with suicide attempts in patients with BD have been identified. Affective temperaments are associated with suicidal risk, but their predictive role is still understudied. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between affective temperaments and personal history of violent suicide attempts. Materials and Methods: 74 patients with Bipolar Disorder type I (BD-I) or II (BD-II) were included. All patients filled in the short version of Munster Temperament Evaluation of the Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (short TEMPS-M) and the Temperament and Character Inventory, revised version (TCI-R). The sample was divided into two groups on the basis of a positive history for suicidal attempts and the suicidal group was further divided into two subgroups according to violent suicide attempts. Results: Violent suicide attempts were positively associated with the cyclothymic temperament and inversely to the hyperthymic one. BD-I patients and patients with a clinical history of rapid cycling were significantly more represented in the group of patients with a history of violent suicide attempts. Conclusions: Our study highlights that several clinical and temperamental characteristics are associated with violent suicide attempts, suggesting the importance of affective temperaments in the clinical management of patients with BPI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventing Suicide in Patients with Mental Disorders)
Open AccessCase Report
A New ABCA3 Gene Mutation c.3445G>A (p.Asp1149Asn) as a Causative Agent of Newborn Lethal Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070389
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Mutations in adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter A3 (ABCA3) (OMIM: 601615) gene constitute the most frequent genetic cause of severe neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) in children. Interstitial lung disease in children and especially in infants, in [...] Read more.
Mutations in adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter A3 (ABCA3) (OMIM: 601615) gene constitute the most frequent genetic cause of severe neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) in children. Interstitial lung disease in children and especially in infants, in contrast to adults, is more likely to appear as a result of developmental deficits or is characterized by genetic aberrations of pulmonary surfactant homeostasis not responding to exogenous surfactant administration. The underlying ABCA3 gene mutations are commonly thought, regarding null mutations, to determine the clinical course of the disease while there exist mutation types, especially missense variants, whose effects on surfactant proteins are difficult to predict. In addition, clinical and radiological signs overlap with those of surfactant proteins B and C mutations making diagnosis challenging. We demonstrate a case of a one-term newborn male with lethal respiratory failure caused by homozygous missense ABCA3 gene mutation c.3445G>A (p.Asp1149Asn), which, to our knowledge, was not previously reported as a causative agent of newborn lethal RDS. Therapeutic strategies for patients with ABCA3 gene mutations are not sufficiently evidence-based. Therefore, the description of the clinical course and treatment of the disease in terms of a likely correlation between genotype and phenotype is crucial for the development of the optimal clinical approach for affected individuals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Nano-Paramagnetic Oleuropein to Induce KRAS Over-Expression: A New Mechanism to Inhibit AGS Cancer Cells
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070388
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Human gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS) is one of the most common malignant cancers worldwide. The present study aimed to transfer oleuropein into cancer cells using synthetic paramagnetic nanoparticles and study their effect on the AGS (ATCC® CRL1739™) cell line. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Human gastric adenocarcinoma (AGS) is one of the most common malignant cancers worldwide. The present study aimed to transfer oleuropein into cancer cells using synthetic paramagnetic nanoparticles and study their effect on the AGS (ATCC® CRL1739™) cell line. Materials and Methods: Paramagnetic nano-oleuropein was synthesized using four-stage co-precipitation by developing NH-connected bridges and was evaluated by EDS, SEM and FTIR methods. Different concentrations of magnetic oleuropein (0, 0.15, 0.45, 1.37, 4.12, 12.35, 37.04, 111.11, 333.33, 1000 µg/mL) were used to treat the AGS cell line in a completely randomized design using a statistical framework with three replicates. The relative expression rate of miR-200 and KRAS oncogenes was evaluated using real-time PCR. The inhibition rate of the AGS cells was assessed using the MTT test at 24, 48 and 72 h intervals. Results: The results showed that there was a significant difference between the inhibition rates of magnetic nano-oleuropein at IC50-24h (23.6 µg/mL), IC50-48h (15.2 µg/mL) and IC50-72h (9.2 µg/mL). Real-time PCR indicated that the relative expression of KRAS and miR-200 genes was highest at IC50 at these intervals. Conclusions: Magnetic nano-oleuropein can be subjected to objective testing and clinical evaluations as a natural antioxidant to prevent and treat gastric adenocarcinoma. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Utilisation of and Attitude towards Traditional and Complementary Medicine among Ebola Survivors in Sierra Leone
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070387
Received: 5 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: In addition to conventional healthcare, Ebola survivors are known to seek traditional and complementary healthcare (T&CM) options to meet their healthcare needs. However, little is known about the general beliefs of Ebola survivors regarding T&CM and the impact of these [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: In addition to conventional healthcare, Ebola survivors are known to seek traditional and complementary healthcare (T&CM) options to meet their healthcare needs. However, little is known about the general beliefs of Ebola survivors regarding T&CM and the impact of these beliefs in influencing their decisions around T&CM use. This study examines Ebola survivors’ attitudes towards T&CM use in Sierra Leone. Materials and Methods: We conducted a nationwide quantitative cross-sectional study of 358 Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone between January and August 2018. We used descriptive analysis, chi-square tests and backward stepwise binary logistic regression for data analysis. Results: Close to half of the survivors (n = 163, 45.5%) had used T&CM since their discharge from an Ebola treatment centre. Survivors who viewed T&CM as boosting their immune system/resistance were 3.89 times (95%CI: 1.57–9.63, p = 0.003) more likely to use T&CM than those who did not view T&CM as boosting their immune system/resistance. Additionally, survivors who viewed T&CM as having fewer side effects than conventional medicine were more likely to use T&CM [OR = 5.03 (95%CI: 1.92–13.19, p = 0.001)]. Ebola survivors were more influenced to use T&CM based on their personal experience of the effectiveness of T&CM than by clinical evidence [OR = 13.72 (95%CI: 6.10–30.84, P < 0.001)]. Ebola survivors who perceived T&CM as providing them with more control than conventional medicine over their health/body were more likely to use T&CM [OR = 4.15 (95%CI: 1.74–9.89, p = 0.001)] as opposed to those who did not perceive T&CM in this way. Conclusions: Considering the widespread use of T&CM, an understanding of Ebola survivors’ attitudes/beliefs towards T&CM is useful to healthcare providers and policymakers with regard to public education and practitioner–survivors communication, T&CM regulation and research in Sierra Leone. Ebola survivors appear to turn to T&CM not only for treatment, but also to fill gaps in conventional health care services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complementary and Integrative Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
The Administration of the New Pyrimidine Derivative—4-{2-[2-(3,4-Dimethoxyphenyl)-Vinyl]-6-Ethyl-4-Oxo-5-Phenyl-4H-Pyrimidine-1-Il}Benzsulfamide Restores the Activity of Brain Cells in Experimental Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy by Maintaining Mitochondrial Function
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070386
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 11 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: To evaluate the effect of a new pyrimidine derivative on the change of mitochondrial function in experimental chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Materials and methods: The study was performed on male mice of the BALB/c line (acute toxicity was assessed) and male [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: To evaluate the effect of a new pyrimidine derivative on the change of mitochondrial function in experimental chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Materials and methods: The study was performed on male mice of the BALB/c line (acute toxicity was assessed) and male rats of the Wistar line, which were modeled chronic traumatic encephalopathy by the method of free fall of the load (weight 150 g from a 50 cm height). The injury to rats was reproduced once a day for 7 days. Further, cognitive functions, changes in sensorimotor deficiency, cerebral blood flow, neuron-specific enolase(NSE), S100β, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (in blood serum) and β-amyloid, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (in brain tissue supernatant) were evaluated. Mitochondrial respiration was also measured. Choline alfoscerate (100 mg/kg) was used as a reference drug. Results: The study found that the use of a new pyrimidine derivative contributed to the preservation of the mitochondrial respirometric function and cognitive functions in rats. In addition, against the administration of test-object marked increase in the concentration of ATP, the velocity of cerebral blood flow was 4.2 times (p < 0.05) and 35.6% (p < 0.05), respectively, as well as reduced concentration and GFAP, NSE, S100β, β-amyloid and sensorimotor deficit at 2.7 (p < 0.05) times; 2 times (p < 0.05); 2.4 times (p < 0.05); of 30.4% (p < 0.05 and 46.5% (p < 0.05), respectively. The LD50 (per os) for the test-object was 4973.56 ± 573.72 mg/kg. Conclusion: Based on the obtained data, high therapeutic efficacy and low systemic toxicity of the application are assumed 4-{2-[2-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-vinyl]-6-ethyl-4-oxo-5-phenyl-4H-pyrimidine-1-Il}benzsulfamide in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Depression in Sickle Cell Disease Hospitalization-Related Outcomes: An Analysis of the National Inpatient Sample (NIS)
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070385
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 9 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: This study aimed to analyze and discern the differences in demographics and inpatient outcomes (length of stay (LOS), total charges, disease severity, and mortality) between depressed versus non-depressed sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. Materials and Methods: A retrospective [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: This study aimed to analyze and discern the differences in demographics and inpatient outcomes (length of stay (LOS), total charges, disease severity, and mortality) between depressed versus non-depressed sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (2010–2014). We identified 73,225 SCD hospitalizations and comorbid depression (6317, 8.6%) as the primary and the other diagnosis, respectively, using International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 codes. We used linear and logistic regression model to evaluate the changes in inpatient outcomes. Results: Comorbid depression was more prevalent among middle-aged adults (11.5%), females (10.63%), and whites (12.43%). We did not find any association between income and comorbid depression among SCD patients. After adjusting for the demographic covariates, comorbid depression remained a significant risk factor for longer LOS (mean difference −1.16 days, 95% CI −1.30 to −1.03) and higher total charges (mean difference −USD5058, 95% CI −6261 to −3855) during hospitalization. SCD with comorbid depression was also significantly associated with a higher number of chronic conditions (mean difference −2.08, 95% CI −2.13 to −2.03) and 1.5 times (95% CI 1.39 to 1.63) higher odds of major severity of illness. Conclusion: Comorbid depression was significantly associated with longer LOS, more severity of illness, and higher hospital charges. Healthcare providers caring for adults with SCD should consider screening for and treating comorbid depression to improve the health-related quality of life. Full article
Open AccessReview
Key Molecular Events in Cervical Cancer Development
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070384
Received: 11 June 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main aetiology for the development of cervical cancer. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and the integration of the HPV genome into the host chromosome [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main aetiology for the development of cervical cancer. Infection by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and the integration of the HPV genome into the host chromosome of cervical epithelial cells are key early events in the neoplastic progression of cervical lesions. The viral oncoproteins, mainly E6 and E7, are responsible for the initial changes in epithelial cells. The viral proteins inactivate two main tumour suppressor proteins, p53, and retinoblastoma (pRb). Inactivation of these host proteins disrupts both the DNA repair mechanisms and apoptosis, leading to rapid cell proliferation. Multiple genes involved in DNA repair, cell proliferation, growth factor activity, angiogenesis, as well as mitogenesis genes become highly expressed in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. This genomic instability encourages HPV-infected cells to progress towards invasive carcinoma. The key molecular events involved in cervical carcinogenesis will be discussed in this review. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Symmetrical Peripheral Gangrene Associated with Low Output Cardiac Failure
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070383
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 17 July 2019
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Abstract
Symmetrical peripheral gangrene (SPG) is a rare entity characterized by ischemic changes of the distal extremities with maintained vascular integrity. We present the case of a 64-year-old man with bilateral necrotic toes and deranged liver function tests. This was thought to be related [...] Read more.
Symmetrical peripheral gangrene (SPG) is a rare entity characterized by ischemic changes of the distal extremities with maintained vascular integrity. We present the case of a 64-year-old man with bilateral necrotic toes and deranged liver function tests. This was thought to be related to severely depressed ejection fraction from non-ischemic etiology, presumably chronic alcohol ingestion. We hope that awareness of SPG and association with a low output state will aid in early detection and prevention. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Antihypertensive Treatment in Diabetic Kidney Disease: The Need for a Patient-Centered Approach
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070382
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Diabetic kidney disease affects up to forty percent of patients with diabetes during their lifespan. Prevention and treatment of diabetic kidney disease is currently based on optimal glucose and blood pressure control. Renin–angiotensin aldosterone inhibitors are considered the mainstay treatment for hypertension in [...] Read more.
Diabetic kidney disease affects up to forty percent of patients with diabetes during their lifespan. Prevention and treatment of diabetic kidney disease is currently based on optimal glucose and blood pressure control. Renin–angiotensin aldosterone inhibitors are considered the mainstay treatment for hypertension in diabetic patients, especially in the presence of albuminuria. Whether strict blood pressure reduction entails a favorable renal outcome also in non-albuminuric patients is at present unclear. Results of several clinical trials suggest that an overly aggressive blood pressure reduction, especially in the context of profound pharmacologic inhibition of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system may result in a paradoxical worsening of renal function. On the basis of this evidence, it is proposed that blood pressure reduction should be tailored in each individual patient according to renal phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbohydrate and Insulin Metabolism in Chronic Kidney Disease)
Open AccessReview
Percutaneous Interspinous Spacer in Spinal-Canal-Stenosis Treatment: Pros and Cons
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070381
Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
A comprehensive description of the literature regarding interspinous process devices (IPD) mainly focused on comparison with conservative treatment and surgical decompression for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Recent meta-analysis and articles are listed in the present article in order to establish [...] Read more.
A comprehensive description of the literature regarding interspinous process devices (IPD) mainly focused on comparison with conservative treatment and surgical decompression for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. Recent meta-analysis and articles are listed in the present article in order to establish IPD pros and cons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interventional Procedures of the Spine)
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Open AccessArticle
TRP Channels Expression Profile in Human End-Stage Heart Failure
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070380
Received: 17 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing [...] Read more.
Objectives: Many studies indicate the involvement of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in the development of heart hypertrophy. However, the data is often conflicted and has originated in animal models. Here, we provide systematic analysis of TRP channels expression in human failing myocardium. Methods and results: Left-ventricular tissue samples were isolated from explanted hearts of NYHA III-IV patients undergoing heart transplants (n = 43). Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to assess the mRNA levels of TRPC, TRPM and TRPV channels. Analysis of functional, clinical and biochemical data was used to confirm an end-stage heart failure diagnosis. Compared to myocardium samples from healthy donor hearts (n = 5), we detected a distinct increase in the expression of TRPC1, TRPC5, TRPM4 and TRPM7, and decreased expression of TRPC4 and TRPV2. These changes were not dependent on gender, clinical or biochemical parameters, nor functional parameters of the heart. We detected, however, a significant correlation of TRPC1 and MEF2c expression. Conclusions: The end-stage heart failure displays distinct expressional changes of TRP channels. Our findings provide a systematic description of TRP channel expression in human heart failure. The results highlight the complex interplay between TRP channels and the need for deeper analysis of early stages of hypertrophy and heart failure development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Physical Exercise Intervention on Psychological and Physical Fitness in Lymphoma Patients
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070379
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Lymphoma patients experience a psychological and physiological decline that could be reversed by exercise. However, little is known about the effects of the exercise on psychological and physical fitness variables. Therefore, the purpose of this longitudinal study was to assess [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Lymphoma patients experience a psychological and physiological decline that could be reversed by exercise. However, little is known about the effects of the exercise on psychological and physical fitness variables. Therefore, the purpose of this longitudinal study was to assess self-efficacy, fatigue and physical fitness before and after an eight-week exercise intervention. Materials and Methods: Thirty-six participants (54.4 ± 19.1 years) performed a supervised exercise program (~60 min, 2d·wk−1). Each session included a combined progressive training of cardiorespiratory, resistance, flexibility and postural education exercises. Self-efficacy and fatigue were measured with the Regulatory Emotional Self-Efficacy scale and 0–10 rating scale, respectively. Physical fitness was assessed with the body mass index, lower back flexibility, static balance, muscle strength and functional mobility. Results: Adherence to exercise was high (91.2% ± 4.8%) and no major health problems were noted in the patients over the intervention period. At baseline, significant differences were found between Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients by age and all dependent measures (p < 0.05). Fatigue significantly decreased and the perceived capability to regulate negative affect and to express positive emotions improved after exercise (p < 0.001). Significant improvements were found for body mass index, trunk lateral flexibility, monopodalic balance, isometric handgrip force and functional mobility (p < 0.001). Fatigue was significantly correlated with handgrip force (r = −0.56, p < 0.001) and functional mobility (r = −0.69, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The supervised exercise program improved psychological and physical fitness without causing adverse effects and health problems. Therefore, exercise to improve fitness levels and reduce perceived fatigue should be considered in the management of lymphoma patients. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Use of Plasmapheresis and Immunosuppressants to Treat Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage in a Patient with Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070378
Received: 29 April 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 15 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
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Abstract
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a systemic granulomatous inflammatory disease characterized by small-to-medium vessel vasculitis due to Central Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (C-ANCA). GPA commonly involves the lungs and the kidneys. Among the pulmonary manifestations, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DHA) is a rare presentation of [...] Read more.
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a systemic granulomatous inflammatory disease characterized by small-to-medium vessel vasculitis due to Central Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (C-ANCA). GPA commonly involves the lungs and the kidneys. Among the pulmonary manifestations, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DHA) is a rare presentation of GPA that can present with hemoptysis leading to acute onset of anemia and hemodynamic instability. An active diagnostic workup including serologic titer of C-ANCA, imaging, intensive care, and aggressive immunosuppression is the key to DAH management. We report a case of DAH secondary to GPA that presented with hemoptysis leading to severe anemia, initially resuscitated symptomatically and started on plasmapheresis with pulse steroids and cyclophosphamide. Timely diagnosis and management led to a remarkable recovery of the pulmonary symptoms and imaging findings of DAH. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Human Papillomavirus and Infertility
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070377
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 28 June 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection. Recent evidence suggests that an HPV infection may affect fertility. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HPV infections among couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) [...] Read more.
Background and objectives. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection. Recent evidence suggests that an HPV infection may affect fertility. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HPV infections among couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) and to identify their awareness of HPV. Material and Methods. A total of 200 samples were collected from couples who received IVF treatment during 2017–2018 in Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos (VUH SK) Santaros Fertility Centre (SFC). For HPV detection, cervical swabs from women and sperm samples from men were taken and a real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used for the identification of 14 high-risk HPV types. Sperm parameters were evaluated according to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for 2010. Research subjects answered an anonymous questionnaire to ascertain their knowledge of HPV. Results. After testing of HPV in couples undergoing IVF, it was found that 33 out of 100 couples (33%) were HPV positive. Of these, 19% of women (19/100) and 20% of men (20/100) tested positive. Using Fisher’s exact test, a statistically significant difference was found between HPV infections and abnormal sperm quality parameters (p = 0.023). Conclusions. HPV may have an impact in spermatogenesis, because an HPV infection was more frequently detected in men with abnormal sperm parameters. High-risk HPV 52 was the most common genotype among couples undergoing IVF treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Embryology and Reproductive Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between the No-Reflow Phenomenon and Soluble CD40 Ligand Level in Patients with Acute ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070376
Received: 19 June 2019 / Revised: 8 July 2019 / Accepted: 12 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: No-reflow (NR) phenomenon is defined as insufficient myocardial perfusion in coronary circulation in the absence of angiographic evidence of mechanical obstruction. The primary mechanisms of the NR occurrence are thought to be high platelet activity and thrombus burden. Soluble [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: No-reflow (NR) phenomenon is defined as insufficient myocardial perfusion in coronary circulation in the absence of angiographic evidence of mechanical obstruction. The primary mechanisms of the NR occurrence are thought to be high platelet activity and thrombus burden. Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), which is released into the plasma following platelet activation, accelerates the inflammatory process and causes further platelet activation. The aim of our study is to investigate the relationship between the NR phenomenon and sCD40L level in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Methods: A total of 81 acute STEMI patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention and 40 healthy participants were included in this study. Acute STEMI patients were classified into two groups: 41 patients with the NR phenomenon (NR group) and 40 patients without the NR phenomenon (non-NR group). The serum sCD40L level was measured for all groups. Results: The serum sCD40L level was significantly higher in the NR group than in non-NR and control groups (379 ± 20 pg/mL, 200 ± 15 pg/mL and 108 ± 6.53 pg/mL, respectively; p < 0.001). Univariate regression analysis demonstrated that male sex, age, Gensini score and sCD40L level were the possible factors affecting the occurrence of the NR phenomenon. In multivariate regression analysis, age (odds ratio [OR], 1.091; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.023–1.163; p < 0.008) and serum sCD40L (OR, 1.016; 95% CI, 1.008–1.024; p < 0.001) remained the independent predictor of the presence of NR. Conclusions: Our study showed that serum sCD40L level was an independent predictor of the NR phenomenon occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heart Failure and Inflammation)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Outcomes of Respiratory Failure Associated with Common Neuromuscular Emergencies: Myasthenia Gravis versus Guillain–Barré Syndrome
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070375
Received: 16 April 2019 / Revised: 9 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS) are autoimmune neuromuscular disorders that may present as neuromuscular emergencies requiring mechanical ventilation and critical care. Comparative outcomes of these disease processes, once severe enough to require mechanical ventilation, are not known. In [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS) are autoimmune neuromuscular disorders that may present as neuromuscular emergencies requiring mechanical ventilation and critical care. Comparative outcomes of these disease processes, once severe enough to require mechanical ventilation, are not known. In this study, we compared the patients requiring mechanical ventilation in terms of in-hospital complications, length of stay, disability, and mortality between these two disease entities at a national level. Materials and Methods: Mechanically ventilated patients with primary diagnosis of MG (n = 6684) and GBS (n = 5834) were identified through retrospective analysis of Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database for the years 2006 to 2014. Results: Even though mechanically ventilated MG patients were older (61.0 ± 19.1 versus 54.9 ± 20.1 years) and presented with more medical comorbidities, they had lower disease severity on admission, as well as lower in-hospital complications sepsis, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections as compared with GBS patients. In the multivariate analysis, after adjusting for confounders including treatment, GBS patients had significantly higher disability (odds ratio (OR) 15.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 10.9–22.2) and a longer length of stay (OR 3.48, 95% CI 2.22–5.48). There was no significant difference in mortality between the groups (8.45% MG vs. 10.0% GBS, p = 0.16). Conclusion: Mechanically ventilated GBS patients have higher disease severity at admission along with more in-hospital complications, length of stay, and disability compared with MG patients. Potential explanations for these findings include delay in the diagnosis, poor response to immunotherapy particularly in patients with axonal GBS variant, or longer recovery time after nerve damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
Open AccessCase Report
Ductus Venosus Agenesis as a Marker of Pallister–Killian Syndrome
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070374
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 10 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
The ductus venosus (DV) is a shunt that allows the direct flow of well-oxygenated blood from the umbilical vein (UV) to the coronary and cerebral circulation through the foramen ovale. Its agenesis has been associated with chromosomal abnormalities and rare genetic syndromes, structural [...] Read more.
The ductus venosus (DV) is a shunt that allows the direct flow of well-oxygenated blood from the umbilical vein (UV) to the coronary and cerebral circulation through the foramen ovale. Its agenesis has been associated with chromosomal abnormalities and rare genetic syndromes, structural defects, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and even antepartum fetal demise. Pallister–Killian Syndrome (PKS) is a rare sporadic disorder with specific tissue mosaic distribution of an extra 12p isochromosome (i(12p)). Its main clinical features are moderate to severe intellectual disability/neuromotor delay, skin pigmentation abnormalities, typical facial appearance, variable association with multiple congenital malformations and epilepsy. Though prenatal findings (including congenital diaphragmatic hernia, ventriculomegaly, congenital heart disease, polyhydramnios, and rhizomelic shortening) have been described in literature, prenatal diagnosis is difficult as there are no associated identification signs no distinctive or pathognomonic signs, and some of these malformations are hard to identify prenatally. The tissue mosaicism linked to this syndrome and the decrease of the abnormal clone carrier of the i(p12) after successive trypsinizations of cultured cells makes the diagnosis even more challenging. We present the case of a 27.5 weeks pregnant woman with a fetal ductus venosus agenesis (DVA) as the main guide marker. To our knowledge this is the first case published in literature reporting a DVA as a guide sign to diagnose a complex condition as Pallister–Killian syndrome. We also underscore the key role of new genetic techniques as microarrays to avoid misdiagnosis when only a subtle sonographic sign is present in complex conditions like this. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Hematologic Manifestations in Celiac Disease—A Practical Review
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070373
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Celiac disease (CD) is a systemic autoimmune disease driven by gluten-ingestion in genetically predisposed individuals. Although it primarily affects the small bowel, CD can also involve other organs and manifest as an extraintestinal disease. Among the extraintestinal features of CD, hematologic ones are [...] Read more.
Celiac disease (CD) is a systemic autoimmune disease driven by gluten-ingestion in genetically predisposed individuals. Although it primarily affects the small bowel, CD can also involve other organs and manifest as an extraintestinal disease. Among the extraintestinal features of CD, hematologic ones are rather frequent and consist of anemia, thrombocytosis (thrombocytopenia also, but rare), thrombotic or hemorrhagic events, IgA deficiency, hyposplenism, and lymphoma. These hematologic alterations can be the sole manifestation of the disease and should prompt for CD testing in a suggestive clinical scenario. Recognition of these atypical, extraintestinal presentations, including hematologic ones, could represent a great opportunity to increase the diagnostic rate of CD, which is currently one of the most underdiagnosed chronic digestive disorders worldwide. In this review, we summarize recent evidence regarding the hematological manifestations of CD, with focus on practical recommendations for clinicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Celiac Disease)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Is Scientific Medical Literature Related to Endometriosis Treatment Evidence-Based? A Systematic Review on Methodological Quality of Randomized Clinical Trials
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070372
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 10 July 2019 / Accepted: 11 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Informed decision-making requires the ability to identify and integrate high-quality scientific evidence in daily practice. We aimed to assess whether randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on endometriosis therapy follow methodological criteria corresponding to the RCTs’ specific level in the hierarchy of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Informed decision-making requires the ability to identify and integrate high-quality scientific evidence in daily practice. We aimed to assess whether randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on endometriosis therapy follow methodological criteria corresponding to the RCTs’ specific level in the hierarchy of evidence in such details to allow the reproduction and replication of the study. Materials and Methods: Using the keywords “therapy” and “endometriosis” and “efficacy” three bibliographic databases were searched for English written scientific articles published from 1 January 2008 to 3 March 2018. Only the randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were evaluated in terms of whether they provided the appropriate level of scientific evidence, equivalent to level 1, degree 1b in the hierarchy of evidence. A list of criteria to ensure study replication and reproduction, considering CONSORT guideline and MECIR standards, was developed and used to evaluate RCTs’ methodological soundness, and scores were granted. Three types of bias, namely selection bias (random sequence generation and allocation concealment), detection bias (blinding of outcome assessment), and attrition bias (incomplete outcome data) were also evaluated. Results: We found 387 articles on endometriosis therapy, of which 38 were RCTs: 30 double-blinded RCTs and 8 open-label RCTs. No article achieved the maximum score according to the evaluated methodological criteria. Even though 73.3% of the double-blinded RCTs had clear title, abstract, introduction, and objectives, only 13.3% provided precise information regarding experimental design and randomization, and also showed a low risk of bias. The blinding method was poorly reported in 43.3% of the double-blinded RCTs, while allocation concealment and random sequence generation were inadequate in 33.3% of them. Conclusions: None of the evaluated RCTs met all the methodological criteria, none had only a low risk of bias and provided sufficient details on methods and randomization to allow for the reproduction and replication of the study. Consequently, the appropriate level of scientific evidence (level 1, degree 1b) could not be granted. On endometriosis therapy, this study evaluated the quality of reporting in RCTs and not the quality of how the studies were performed. Full article
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