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Medicina, Volume 56, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 45 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Gastrointestinal Symptoms of and Psychosocial Changes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Nursing-Led Cross-Sectional Study of Patients in Clinical Remission
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010045 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Nursing management in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is focused on global patient care. Starting from basic knowledge of diagnostic and therapeutic management, nurses can assess the impact of IBD on patients’ quality of life not only at the physical level, but also at the psychological, social, and emotional levels. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of gastrointestinal symptoms on psychosocial changes in IBD patients in remission through nursing-led Patient-Reported Outcomes. Materials and Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study of 109 IBD patients in clinical and endoscopic remission. Specialist nurses invited patients to complete questionnaires on gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life through the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS). Results: We found that the gastrointestinal symptoms that the patients reported had a significant impact on the analyzed aspects of health. More specifically, belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating were associated with depressive symptoms (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), fatigue (p < 0.001), and sleep disturbances (p < 0.001). Moreover, these symptoms also significantly affected patients’ social dimension in terms of satisfaction with participation in social roles (p < 0.001, p < 0.05, and p < 0.001 for belly pain, diarrhea, and bloating, respectively) and physical functions (p < 0.001). The results were virtually the same in a multivariable analysis adjusted by age, gender, body mass index (BMI), and disease duration. Conclusions: Even during remission, gastrointestinal symptoms are the main factors that influence quality of life in IBD patients. This exploratory study highlights the need to adopt validated questionnaires in clinical practice, and demonstrates that PROMIS is a valid, objective, and standardized instrument that can help nursing staff to better define the consequences of the disease in a patient’s daily life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional and Structural Reliability of Optic Nerve Head Measurements in Healthy Eyes by Means of Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010044 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: the aim of the study was to evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of optical microangiography (OMAG)-based optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in the optic nerve head (ONH) and radial peripapillary capillary (RPC) perfusion assessment of healthy eyes. Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: the aim of the study was to evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of optical microangiography (OMAG)-based optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in the optic nerve head (ONH) and radial peripapillary capillary (RPC) perfusion assessment of healthy eyes. Materials and Methods: in this observational study, a total of 40 healthy subjects underwent ONH evaluation, using an OMAG-based OCTA system at baseline (T0), after 30 min (T1), and after 7 days (T2). The main outcome measures were the vessel density (VD) and flux index (FI) of the RPCs, as well as peri-papillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) thickness. The analysis was performed by two observers independently. The coefficient of repeatability (CR), within the subject coefficient of variation (CVw) and intrasession correlation coefficient (ICC), to evaluate intrasession repeatability of measurements was calculated for each observer. Results: the high intrasession and intersession repeatability and reproducibility were assessed in the two observers for all three outcome measures. Of note, the CRs for the first and the second observer were 0.011 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.009–0.014) and 0.016 (95% CI 0.013–0.020) for FI, 0.016 (95% CI 0.013–0.021) and 0.017 (95% CI 0.014–0.021) for VD, and 2.400 (95% CI 1.948–3.092) and 3.732 (95% CI 3.064–4.775) for pRNFL thickness, respectively. The agreement between them was excellent for pRNFL assessment and very good for FI and VD. Conclusion: OCTA has a great potential in the accurate assessment of ONH and peri-papillary microcirculation. It allows for repeated and reproducible measurements without multiple scans-related bias, thus guaranteeing an independent operator analysis with good reproducibility and repeatability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging in Retinal Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Infracyanine Green vs. Brilliant Blue G in Inverted Flap Surgery for Large Macular Holes: A Long-Term Swept-Source OCT Analysis
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010043 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: To compare the long-term toxicity of infracyanine green (IFCG) to brilliant blue G (BBG) in inverted internal limiting membrane flap surgery (I-ILMFS) for large, full-thickness macular holes (FTMHs). Materials and Methods: Prospective randomized study including 39 eyes with ≥ 400 [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To compare the long-term toxicity of infracyanine green (IFCG) to brilliant blue G (BBG) in inverted internal limiting membrane flap surgery (I-ILMFS) for large, full-thickness macular holes (FTMHs). Materials and Methods: Prospective randomized study including 39 eyes with ≥ 400 µm idiopathic FTMH who underwent I-ILMFS with either IFCG or BBG. Postoperative 6- and 12-month corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), closure rate, and swept-source optical coherence tomography parameters, including ellipsoid zone (EZ) and external limiting membrane (ELM) mean defect length, central foveal thicknesses (CFT), parafoveal macular thickness (MT), ganglion cells and inner plexiform layer (GCL++) thickness, and peripapillary nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness, were compared. Results: Nineteen eyes were included in the IFCG group and 20 eyes in the BBG group. In all cases a FTMH closure was found. CDVA improved at 6 and 12 months in both groups (p < 0.0005); the increase at 12 months was greater in the BBG group (p = 0.036). EZ and ELM defects did not differ between groups at either follow-up time. CFT at 12 months was greater in the BBG group (p = 0.041). A 12-months compared to 6-months MT decrease was present in both groups (p < 0.01). The GCL++ superior inner sector was thicker in the BBG group at 12 months (p = 0.036), as were the superior outer sector (p = 0.039 and p = 0.027 at 6 and 12 months, respectively) and inferior outer sector (p = 0.011 and p = 0.009 at 6 and 12 months, respectively). Conclusion: In our study BBG in I-ILMFS exhibits better long-term CDVA and retinal thickness than does IFCG, suggesting a lesser toxicity from BBG. These findings support the use of BBG over IFCG in I-ILMFS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accuracy of the qSOFA Score and RED Sign in Predicting Critical Care Requirements in Patients with Suspected Infection in the Emergency Department: A Retrospective Observational Study
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010042 - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and objectives: We aimed to compare the accuracy of positive quick sequential organ failure assessment (qSOFA) scores and the RED sign in predicting critical care requirements (CCRs) in patients with suspected infection who presented to the emergency department (ED). Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: We aimed to compare the accuracy of positive quick sequential organ failure assessment (qSOFA) scores and the RED sign in predicting critical care requirements (CCRs) in patients with suspected infection who presented to the emergency department (ED). Materials and Methods: In this retrospective observational study, we examined adult patients with suspected infection in the ED from June 2018 to September 2018. A positive qSOFA (qSOFA+) was defined as the presence of ≥2 of the following criteria: altered mental status (AMS), systolic blood pressure (SBP) < 100 mmHg, and respiratory rate (RR) ≥ 22 breaths/min. A positive RED sign (RED sign+) was defined as the presence of at least one of the RED sign criteria: AMS, skin mottling, SBP < 90 mmHg, heart rate >130 beats/min, or RR > 30 breaths/min. A qSOFA/RED+ was defined as the presence of qSOFA+ or RED+. We applied these tools twice using the initial values upon ED arrival and all values within 2 h after ED arrival. The accuracy of qSOFA+, RED+, and qSOFA/RED+ in predicting CCR was assessed. Results: Data from 5353 patients with suspected infection were analyzed. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of RED+ (0.67, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.65–0.70) and that of qSOFA/RED+ (0.68, 95% CI: 0.66–0.70, p < 0.01) were higher than the AUC of qSOFA+ (0.59, 95% CI: 0.57–0.60) in predicting CCR on ED arrival. The qSOFA/RED+ within 2 h showed the highest accuracy (AUC 0.72, 95% CI: 0.70–0.75, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The accuracy of the RED sign in predicting CCR in patients with suspected infection who presented at ED was better than that of qSOFA. The combined use of the RED sign and qSOFA (positive qSOFA or RED sign) showed the highest accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Medicina in 2019
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010041 - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months[...] Full article
Open AccessReview
To Treat or Not to Treat Subclinical Hypothyroidism, What Is the Evidence?
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010040 - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Objective: levothyroxine prescriptions have increased remarkably during the last decade, and it is most likely to be prescribed in subclinical hypothyroidism. The aim of this review was to present data on when levothyroxine treatment should be initiated, and the effects of treatment in [...] Read more.
Objective: levothyroxine prescriptions have increased remarkably during the last decade, and it is most likely to be prescribed in subclinical hypothyroidism. The aim of this review was to present data on when levothyroxine treatment should be initiated, and the effects of treatment in subclinical hypothyroidism on symptoms such as weight, quality of life, vitality, cognition, and cardiovascular disease. We also discuss evidence for different thyroid-hormone medications. In addition, the option to withhold medication when there is uncertain diagnosis or lack of clinical improvement is discussed. Methods: a literature search in PubMed on the term “treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism” in combination with “quality of life”, “weight”, “cognition”, and “cerebrovascular disease”. Results: current research supports that levothyroxine should be initiated in patients with a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) >10 mIU/L. Treatment for hypothyroidism is becoming more frequent. Symptoms related to vitality, weight, and quality of life in subclinical disease often persist with levothyroxine treatment, and other causes should be explored. Patients with cardiovascular-risk factors may benefit from treatment, especially younger patients. Caution is necessary when treating elderly subjects with levothyroxine. Conclusion: lifelong treatment with levothyroxine should normally only be considered in manifest hypothyroidism. However, in subclinical hypothyroidism with a TSH >10 mIU/L, therapy is indicated. In milder subclinical forms, a wait-and-see strategy is advocated to see if normalization occurs. Subgroups with cardiovascular risk and subclinical hypothyroidism may benefit from levothyroxine therapy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Age-Specific Differences in Foreign Bodies Ingested by Children: A Cohort Study of 252 Japanese Cases
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010039 - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: When children accidentally ingest foreign bodies, they may be unable to communicate adequately; it is often difficult to identify the causative foreign body unless someone is watching over them. In such instances, to identify the causative foreign body during clinical [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: When children accidentally ingest foreign bodies, they may be unable to communicate adequately; it is often difficult to identify the causative foreign body unless someone is watching over them. In such instances, to identify the causative foreign body during clinical practice, we aimed to determine if it varies according to age. Materials and Methods: From April 2013 to June 2018, 252 records of pediatric patients with a confirmed diagnosis of foreign-body ingestion were retrospectively examined in a Japanese university hospital. Comparisons among multiple age groups, according to type of ingested foreign body, were analyzed using Kruskal‒Wallis tests. The differences between the individual data were tested using the Steel‒Dwass test. Results: The median age of the patients was 15 months, and of the total patients, 140 were boys (55.5%). The types of foreign bodies ingested were as follows, in order of frequency: cigarettes (n = 44, 17%, median age: 12 months), plastics (n = 43, 17%, median age: 11 months), chemicals (n = 27, 11%, median age: 13 months), internal medicines (n = 26, 10%, median age: 33 months), and metals (n = 26, 10%, median age: 35 months). The median age was significantly different among the types of causative foreign bodies (p < 0.01). The patient age for the ingestion of cigarettes was significantly younger than that for ingesting metals or coins. The age for ingesting internal medicines was significantly older than that for ingesting plastics, cigarettes, paper, or chemicals (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The causative foreign body ingested differed according to age. This will be valuable information for physicians that encounter pediatric patients who may have ingested an unknown foreign body in Japanese pediatric emergency or general practice settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Open AccessReview
Irritable Bowel Syndrome between Molecular Approach and Clinical Expertise—Searching for Gap Fillers in the Oxidative Stress Way of Thinking
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010038 (registering DOI) - 19 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains to date an intriguing functional gastrointestinal disorder. Recent studies described a multitude of exogenous factors that work together in IBS, gradually impairing intestinal lining cellular metabolism, including oxidative status balance, with or without a genetic background. Although the [...] Read more.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) remains to date an intriguing functional gastrointestinal disorder. Recent studies described a multitude of exogenous factors that work together in IBS, gradually impairing intestinal lining cellular metabolism, including oxidative status balance, with or without a genetic background. Although the current biomarkers support the differentiation between IBS subtypes and other functional gastrointestinal disorder, they are mostly non-specific, referring to clinical, biochemical, and inflammatory imbalances. Since IBS could be also the result of deficient signaling pathways involving both gastrointestinal secretion and neuro-vegetative stimulation, IBS makes no exception from the oxidative hypothesis in the pathological mechanisms. Regarding the oxidative stress implication in IBS, the previous research efforts showed controversial results, with some animal models and patient studies reporting clear oxidative imbalance both on systemic and local levels, but still with no concrete evidence to point to a direct correlation between oxidative stress and IBS. Additionally, it seems that a major role could be also attributed to gut microbiota and their ability to shape our bodies and behaviors. Moreover, the genetic features study in IBS patients showed that several genetic similarities point to a possible correlation of IBS with affective spectrum disorders. Thus, we focus here the discussion on the assumption that IBS could in fact be more likely a stress-related disorder rather than a gastrointestinal one. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix—Single-Center Study Over a 10-Year Period
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010037 (registering DOI) - 18 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Adenosquamous cancer of the uterine cervix is a rare type of cervical cancer with both malignant squamous and glandular components. A very rare subtype is mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), which was first described as a salivary gland tumor. It has been [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Adenosquamous cancer of the uterine cervix is a rare type of cervical cancer with both malignant squamous and glandular components. A very rare subtype is mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), which was first described as a salivary gland tumor. It has been described as having the appearance of a squamous cell carcinoma without glandular formation and contains intracellular mucin. The postoperative evolution of this tumor and the potentially poorer prognosis may indicate an intensification of the follow-up. The objective of our study was to analyze the frequency of mucoepidermoid carcinoma in hospitalized women with cervical cancer, clinical characteristics and prognosis. Material and Methods: A retrospective study of all cases of mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the cervix at Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University Hospital—Pleven, Pleven Bulgaria between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2016 was performed. All patients were followed-up till December 2019. We analyzed certain clinical characteristics of the patients; calculated the frequency of mucoepidermoid carcinoma of the cervix from all patients with stage I cervical cancer; and looked at the overall survival rate, correlation between overall survival, lymph node status and the size of the tumor. Results: The frequency of MEC was 1.12% of all patients with stage I cervical cancer in this study. The median age of the patients with MEC was 46.7 years (range 38–62). Four patients (57.1%) were staged as FIGO IB1, and three patients (42.8%) were FIGO IB2. The size of the primary tumor was <2 cm in 2 patients (28.57%), 2–4 cm in 2 patients (28.57%) and >4 cm in 3 patients (42.8%). Metastatic lymph nodes were found in two patients (28.57%), and nonmetastatic lymph nodes were found in five patients (71.43%). There were two (28.57%) disease-related deaths during the study period. The five-year observed survival in the MEC group was 85.7% and in the other subtypes of adenosquamous cancer group was 78.3%. Conclusions: MEC of the uterine cervix is a rare entity diagnosis. As a mucin-producing tumor, it is frequently regarded as a subtype with worse clinical behavior and patients’ outcomes. Nevertheless, our data did not confirm this prognosis. New molecular markers and better stratification are needed for better selection of patients with CC, which may benefit more from additional treatment and new target therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
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Open AccessArticle
A Pilot Study of Circulating Monocyte Subsets in Patients Treated with Stem Cell Transplantation for High-Risk Hematological Malignancies
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010036 - 18 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: Autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation is used in the treatment of high-risk hematological malignancies, and monocytes are probably involved in hematological reconstitution as well as posttransplant immunoregulation. The aim of our study was to investigate the levels of circulating [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation is used in the treatment of high-risk hematological malignancies, and monocytes are probably involved in hematological reconstitution as well as posttransplant immunoregulation. The aim of our study was to investigate the levels of circulating monocyte subsets in allotransplant recipients. Materials and Methods: The levels of the classical, intermediate, and nonclassical monocyte subsets were determined by flow cytometry. Sixteen patients and 18 healthy controls were included, and the levels were analyzed during pretransplant remission (n = 13), early posttransplant during cytopenia (n = 9), and early reconstitution (n = 9). Results: Most patients in remission showed a majority of classical monocytes. The patients showed severe early posttransplant monocytopenia, but the total peripheral blood monocyte counts normalized very early on, and before neutrophil and platelet counts. During the first 7–10 days posttransplant (i.e., during cytopenia) a majority of the circulating monocytes showed a nonclassical phenotype, but later (i.e., 12–28 days posttransplant) the majority showed a classical phenotype. However, the variation range of classical monocytes was wider for patients in remission and during regeneration than for healthy controls. Conclusions: The total peripheral blood monocyte levels normalize at the very early stages and before neutrophil reconstitution after stem cell transplantation, and a dominance of classical monocytes is reached within 2–4 weeks posttransplant. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Integrative Medicine in Interventional Oncology: A Virtuous Alliance
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010035 (registering DOI) - 17 Jan 2020
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Abstract
This review aimed to identify the potential role of integrative medicine in interventional oncology. The music therapy; stress management techniques; guided imagery, including virtual reality; clinical hypnosis; and digital sedation may all be efficient on anxiety and pain during procedures performed in interventional [...] Read more.
This review aimed to identify the potential role of integrative medicine in interventional oncology. The music therapy; stress management techniques; guided imagery, including virtual reality; clinical hypnosis; and digital sedation may all be efficient on anxiety and pain during procedures performed in interventional oncology. Beyond pharmacological sedation, the implementation of integrative medicine to interventional oncology may, therefore, improve the support and care of cancer patients, which may further create a virtuous alliance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interventional Oncology)
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Open AccessCase Report
Fibroblast Growth Factor 23-Producing Phosphaturic Mesenchymal Tumor with Extraordinary Morphology Causing Oncogenic Osteomalacia
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010034 (registering DOI) - 16 Jan 2020
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Abstract
A possible cause of hypophosphatemia is paraneoplastic secretion of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23). Tumors secreting FGF-23 are rare, mostly of mesenchymal origin, usually benign, and may be located anywhere in the body, including hands and feet, which are often not represented in [...] Read more.
A possible cause of hypophosphatemia is paraneoplastic secretion of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23). Tumors secreting FGF-23 are rare, mostly of mesenchymal origin, usually benign, and may be located anywhere in the body, including hands and feet, which are often not represented in conventional imaging. A 50-year-old woman presented with diffuse musculoskeletal pain and several fractures. Secondary causes of osteoporosis were excluded. Laboratory analysis revealed hypophosphatemia and elevated alkaline phosphatase, parathyroid hormone, and FGF-23. Thus, oncogenic osteomalacia due to neoplastic FGF-23 secretion was suspected. FDG-PET-CT and DOTATATE-PET-CT imaging demonstrated no tumor. Cranial MRI revealed a tumorous mass in the left cellulae ethmoidales. The tumor was resected and histopathological examination showed a cell-rich tumor with round to ovoid nuclei, sparse cytoplasm, and sparse matrix, resembling an olfactory neuroblastoma. Immunohistochemical analysis first led to diagnosis of olfactory neuroblastoma, which was later revised to phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor. Following the resection, FGF-23 and phosphate levels normalized. In conclusion, we here describe a patient with an FGF-23-secreting phosphaturic mesenchymal tumor with an unusual morphology. Furthermore, we emphasize diagnostic pitfalls when dealing with FGF-23-induced hypophosphatemia. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Total Exenteration En Bloc with a Nephrectomy for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer Invading a Pelvic Kidney—A Case Report and Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010033 - 15 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Introduction: Extended pelvic resection might be the option of choice in patients presenting locally advanced cervical cancer. However, the possibility of a co-existence of an ectopic, pelvic kidney that is invaded by such a tumor is extremely rare. Case Presentation: A [...] Read more.
Introduction: Extended pelvic resection might be the option of choice in patients presenting locally advanced cervical cancer. However, the possibility of a co-existence of an ectopic, pelvic kidney that is invaded by such a tumor is extremely rare. Case Presentation: A 54-year-old female patient, diagnosed with locally advanced cervical cancer in the presence of a pelvic kidney, was submitted to surgery with curative intent. A large, abscessed cervical tumor invading the urinary bladder and the rectum was found, so a total exenteration was planned. Intraoperatively, tumor invasion of the left kidney, which was found in an ectopic, pelvic position was also encountered; therefore, total pelvic exenteration in association with a left nephrectomy was successfully performed. Conclusions: The presence of an ectopic, pelvic disposition of the kidney makes it susceptible to be invaded by locally advanced pelvic tumors; in such cases, a nephrectomy might also be needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes of Assisted Reproduction Technology: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010032 - 15 Jan 2020
Viewed by 133
Abstract
Background: To evaluate maternal and neonatal outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Materials and Methods: Pregnant women registered from 2015 through 2017 (n = 6994) at five perinatal centers that managed high-risk pregnancies in Mie, Japan, retrospectively. Rates of preterm birth (<37 [...] Read more.
Background: To evaluate maternal and neonatal outcomes of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Materials and Methods: Pregnant women registered from 2015 through 2017 (n = 6994) at five perinatal centers that managed high-risk pregnancies in Mie, Japan, retrospectively. Rates of preterm birth (<37 gestational weeks), early onset preeclampsia (<34 gestational weeks), late onset preeclampsia (≥34 gestational weeks), low-lying placenta, placenta previa, placenta accreta, placental abruption, atonic bleeding, uterine rupture, and amniotic fluid embolism after ART were evaluated. ART was defined as in vitro fertilization and micro-fertilization. Fisher’s exact test, Mann–Whitney’s U test, and logistic regression analysis were used to analyze the data. Results: Rates of obstetrical complications including low-lying placenta, placenta previa, placenta accreta, and atonic bleeding were increased with ART compared to those with the control. Particularly, ART was associated with a significantly increased rate of placenta accreta (adjusted odds ratio: 7.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.20–16.6) and significantly decreased rate of placental abruption (adjusted odds ratio: 0.24, 95% CI: 0.07–0.61). Conclusions: This study showed that ART may reduce placental abruption and increase placenta previa. There is a possibility that the placenta attaches deeper in the myometrium because of ART. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
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Open AccessArticle
Mobbing and Violence at Work as Hidden Stressors and Work Ability among Emergency Medical Doctors in Serbia
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010031 - 13 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: People employed in emergency medical services represent a professional group which encounters events beyond ordinary human experience, great work demands, the risk of professional disputes, and stressful situations. The goal of this study is to examine the presence of mobbing and violence at work, as well as their influence on work ability of emergency medical doctors. Materials and Methods: The survey is conducted in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in Niš in the period between December 2017 and January 2018. Using standardized questionnaires on psychosocial conditions in work environment (COPSOQ II) and work ability index (WAI) this study encompasses 79 doctors. For estimation of the examined factors’ influence on WAI linear regression analysis was used. Results: EMS doctors were exposed to abuse in 30.4% of the cases. The decline in WAI is significantly related with exposure to violence by patients (β = 0.727), exposure to physical violence (β = 0.896), exposure to abuse several times (β = 0.691) and exposure to ill-treatment by patients (β = 0.750). Conclusion: The results indicate that in the examined doctors mobbing and workplace violence are very much present and have a negative impact on their work, and therefore on the quality of health care. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Illnesses Encountered during Medical Volunteering in Takeo Province, Cambodia
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010030 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 212
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Medical volunteering seeks to meet the clinical needs of underserved areas, but has been criticized for difficulties in addressing local health issues and resultant lack of sustainability. Our team has visited rural Cambodia annually since 2012. This study reports [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Medical volunteering seeks to meet the clinical needs of underserved areas, but has been criticized for difficulties in addressing local health issues and resultant lack of sustainability. Our team has visited rural Cambodia annually since 2012. This study reports the illnesses encountered during the recent mission and share our experiences to improve the efficiency of medical volunteering. Materials and Methods: Infrastructure, such as public electricity or water, was unavailable, hence most medical care and records were hand-performed. We categorized (1) primary diagnoses (chief complaints) by duration of symptoms, and (2) primary and secondary diagnoses (illnesses that were not related to the chief complaint) by severity of illness since patients commonly reported multiple symptoms. Blood pressure and anthropometric values were also checked and analyzed. Results: We encountered 317 adult and 141 pediatric patients. Among adults, 61.3% had persistent chronic (>6 month) symptoms of their chief complaints. The commonest diagnoses of chronic symptoms were musculoarthritis (31.5%) and gastroesophageal reflux disease and/or gastritis (21.7%). Hypertension and/or cardiac problems were relatively common among males (13.6%). The most common diagnosis among the severest cases (specialized or intensive care recommended) was cardiac problems (14.8%), often with abnormalities in sonography or electrocardiogram. For children, the overwhelming majority of diagnoses were related to acute symptoms and low severity, and approximately half were cases of the common cold. Commonly prescribed drugs were antacids or mucosal protectors (31.3%), Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other painkillers (27.6%), and antiparasites (17.7%) in adults, and NSAIDs (44.7%) and antiparasites (23.2%) in children. Among adults, 32.7% were diagnosed with hypertension, and body mass index (p = 0.003) and age (p < 0.001) were both correlated with hypertension and its grade. Conclusions: Our study offers practical help to volunteer health workers planning to visit Southeast Asia. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Extemporaneous Prescriptions Prescribed by Dermatovenerologists in Latvia and Comparison with Standardized Compounded Preparation Monographs of Germany and USA
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010029 - 10 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Background and objectives: Even though many industrially manufactured medicines are available, extemporaneous preparations still have their niche in dermatology. In several countries, dermatovenerologists are one of the specialists prescribing extemporaneous medicines the most. In order to increase the quality of compounded medications [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Even though many industrially manufactured medicines are available, extemporaneous preparations still have their niche in dermatology. In several countries, dermatovenerologists are one of the specialists prescribing extemporaneous medicines the most. In order to increase the quality of compounded medications and minimize risks to patient safety, several countries, for example, Germany and the United States of America (USA), created standardized compounded preparation monographs. Latvia, unlike these countries, does not have any officially approved standardized compounded preparation monographs. The purpose of this survey is to analyze the extemporaneous prescriptions prescribed by Latvian dermatovenerologists to identify the active ingredients, combinations of active ingredients, and excipients prescribed by dermatovenerologists the most often, and to find out how many active ingredients are most often compounded in different dosage forms. To understand whether the extemporaneous formulations used in Latvia for dermatological indications are evidence-based, they were compared with German and USA formulations. Materials and Methods: A database was created entering data on all the prescriptions prepared in the selected pharmacies in 2017 to summarize information on extemporaneous prescriptions. The prescriptions prescribed by Latvian dermatovenerologists were selected and compared with German and USA formulations. Results: Data from 17 Latvian pharmacies were collected, and 2521 extemporaneous formulations were analyzed. In preparation of semi-solid dosage forms, 25 bulk drug substances and 37 industrially manufactured preparations were used; in preparation of suspensions, 25 bulk drug substances and 10 industrially manufactured preparations were used; in preparation of topical solutions, 23 bulk drug substances and two industrially manufactured preparations were used; in preparation of topical powders, nine bulk drug substances were used; in preparation of oral solutions, five bulk drug substances were used. Conclusions: The analyzed prescriptions contained active ingredients used in Germany and the USA, as well as active ingredients, the use of which is limited in Germany and the USA. In Latvia, topical dosage forms containing two or more active ingredients are widely prescribed. Full article
Open AccessReview
Nutrition for Female Soccer Players—Recommendations
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010028 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 179
Abstract
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. As its number of players is increasing, the number of female players is also on the rise. However, there are limited data about how the diets of female soccer players should be [...] Read more.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. As its number of players is increasing, the number of female players is also on the rise. However, there are limited data about how the diets of female soccer players should be designed. Thus, the aim of our work is to deliver concise nutritional recommendations for women practicing this sport. Based on a literature review, we emphasize that individual adjustment of the energy value of the diet is the key factor for the physical performance of female soccer players. Appropriate macronutrient intake makes it possible to achieve the proper energy value of the diet (5–10 g/kg body mass/day carbohydrates; 1.2–1.7 g/kg body mass/day proteins; <30% fats from energy). The micronutrients should be consumed in amounts corresponding to individual values recommended in national standards. Soccer players should pay special attention to the proper consumption of such micronutrients, as well as vitamins such as iron, calcium, and vitamin D. The right amount of fluid intake, consistent with the player’s needs, is crucial in maximizing exercise performance. The diet of a female practicing soccer is usually characterized with low energy values, which increases the risk of various health consequences related to low energy availability. Monitoring the diets of female soccer players is, therefore, necessary. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Role of Cardiac T-Cadherin in the Indicating Heart Failure Severity of Patients with Non-Ischemic Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010027 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Background and objectives: T-cadherin (T-cad) is one of the adiponectin receptors abundantly expressed in the heart and blood vessels. Experimental studies show that T-cad sequesters adiponectin in cardiovascular tissues and is critical for adiponectin-mediated cardio-protection. However, there are no data connecting cardiac [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: T-cadherin (T-cad) is one of the adiponectin receptors abundantly expressed in the heart and blood vessels. Experimental studies show that T-cad sequesters adiponectin in cardiovascular tissues and is critical for adiponectin-mediated cardio-protection. However, there are no data connecting cardiac T-cad levels with human chronic heart failure (HF). The aim of this study was to assess whether myocardial T-cad concentration is associated with chronic HF severity and whether the T-cad levels in human heart tissue might predict outcomes in patients with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy (NI-DCM). Materials and Methods: 29 patients with chronic NI-DCM and advanced HF were enrolled. Patients underwent regular laboratory investigations, echocardiography, coronary angiography, and right heart catheterization. TNF-α and IL6 in serum were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, endomyocardial biopsies were obtained, and the levels of T-cad were assessed by ELISA and CD3, CD45Ro, CD68, and CD4- immunohistochemically. Mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) was used as a marker of HF severity, subdividing patients into two groups: mean PCWP > 19 mmHg vs. mean PCWP < 19 mmHg. Patients were followed-up for 5 years. The study outcome was composite: left ventricular assist device implantation, heart transplantation, or death from cardiovascular causes. Results: T-cad shows an inverse correlation with the mean PCWP (rho = −0.397, p = 0.037). There is a tendency towards a lower T-cad concentration in patients with more severe HF, as indicated by the mean PCWP > 19 mmHg compared to those with mean PCWP ≤ 19 mmHg (p = 0.058). Cardiac T-cad levels correlate negatively with myocardial CD3 cell count (rho = −0.423, p = 0.028). Conclusions: Univariate Cox regression analysis did not prove T-cad to be an outcome predictor (HR = 1, p = 0.349). However, decreased T-cad levels in human myocardium can be an additional indicator of HF severity. T-cad in human myocardium has an anti-inflammatory role. More studies are needed to extend the role of T-cad in the outcome prediction of patients with NI-DCM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Serum Albumin and Severity of Pulmonary Embolism
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010026 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 235
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Inflammation is considered a risk factor for venous thromboembolism. The association between inflammatory markers and the severity of acute pulmonary embolism (APE) has not been explored. Methods: We studied the association between two crude markers of inflammation, serum albumin, and [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Inflammation is considered a risk factor for venous thromboembolism. The association between inflammatory markers and the severity of acute pulmonary embolism (APE) has not been explored. Methods: We studied the association between two crude markers of inflammation, serum albumin, and red cell distribution width (RDW) and massive versus non-massive APE. Results: Among 552 consecutive cases of CT-angiogram-confirmed APE, a total of 46 cases (8.3%) had massive APE. Despite similar demographics and comorbidities, patients with massive APE had higher frequency of acute kidney injury (P = 0.005), higher lactic acid (P = 0.011), higher troponin (P = 0.001), higher BNP (P < 0.001), higher frequency of RV dilation (P = 0.017) and hypokinesis (P = 0.003), and higher in-hospital mortality (15.2% vs. 2%, P < 0.001). Patients with massive APE had significantly lower albumin level (median (IQR): 2.8 (2.2, 3.0) vs. 3.2 (2.8, 3.6) gm/dL, P < 0.001) and higher RDW (median (IQR): 14.7 (13.8, 17.1) vs. 14.2 (13.3, 15.6), P = 0.006) compared with non-massive APE. ROC curves showed that albumin and RDW had an AUC of 0.750 (P < 0.001) and 0.621 (P = 0.006) in predicting a massive APE, respectively. The optimal cutoff values for albumin and RDW that had the highest combined sensitivity and specificity for predicting APE was ≤3 gm/dL and >14, for albumin and RDW, respectively. Restricted cubic splines showed a significant association between albumin (P = 0.0002) and RDW (P = 0.0446) and the occurrence of massive APE. After adjustment for patients’ age, body mass index, white blood cell count, the requirement of antibiotics during hospitalization, diabetes, RDW, and peak creatinine, serum albumin was independently associated with massive APE (OR 0.234, 95% CI 0.129–0.4242, P < 0.001). Conclusion: low serum albumin is associated with massive APE. This association is likely a proxy for higher inflammatory state in massive compared with non-massive APE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Emergency Medicine)
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Open AccessReview
Current Pharmacological Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: A Narrative Review
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010025 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes mellitus. Although it is usually characterized by progressive sensory loss, some patients may develop chronic pain. Assessment of DSPN is not difficult, but the biggest [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN) is one of the most common chronic complications of diabetes mellitus. Although it is usually characterized by progressive sensory loss, some patients may develop chronic pain. Assessment of DSPN is not difficult, but the biggest challenge is making the correct diagnosis and choosing the right treatment. The treatment of DSPN has three primary objectives: glycemic control, pathogenic mechanisms, and pain management. The aim of this brief narrative review is to summarize the current pharmacological treatment of painful DSPN. It also summarizes knowledge on pathogenesis-oriented therapy, which is generally overlooked in many publications and guidelines. Materials and Methods: The present review reports the relevant information available on DSPN treatment. The search was performed on PubMed, Cochrane, Semantic Scholar, Medline, Scopus, and Cochrane Library databases, including among others the terms “distal symmetrical polyneuropathy”, “neuropathic pain treatment”, “diabetic neuropathy”, “diabetes complications”, ”glycaemic control”, “antidepressants”, “opioids”, and “anticonvulsants”. Results: First-line drugs include antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants) and pregabalin. Second- and third-line drugs include opioids and topical analgesics. While potentially effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain, opioids are not considered to be the first choice because of adverse reactions and addiction concerns. Conclusions: DSPN is a common complication in patients with diabetes, and severely affects the quality of life of these patients. Although multiple therapies are available, the guidelines and recommendations regarding the treatment of diabetic neuropathy have failed to offer a unitary consensus, which often hinders the therapeutic options in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain Management)
Open AccessReview
Challenges and Opportunities in Preclinical Research of Synthetic Cannabinoids for Pain Therapy
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010024 - 09 Jan 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Cannabis has been used in pain management since 2900 BC. In the 20th century, synthetic cannabinoids began to emerge, thus opening the way for improved efficacy. The search for new forms of synthetic cannabinoids continues and, as such, the aim of this review [...] Read more.
Cannabis has been used in pain management since 2900 BC. In the 20th century, synthetic cannabinoids began to emerge, thus opening the way for improved efficacy. The search for new forms of synthetic cannabinoids continues and, as such, the aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive tool for the research and development of this promising class of drugs. Methods for the in vitro assessment of cytotoxic, mutagenic or developmental effects are presented, followed by the main in vivo pain models used in cannabis research and the results yielded by different types of administration (systemic versus intrathecal versus inhalation). Animal models designed for assessing side-effects and long-term uses are also discussed. In the second part of this review, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of synthetic cannabinoid biodistribution, together with liquid chromatography–mass spectrometric identification of synthetic cannabinoids in biological fluids from rodents to humans are presented. Last, but not least, different strategies for improving the solubility and physicochemical stability of synthetic cannabinoids and their potential impact on pain management are discussed. In conclusion, synthetic cannabinoids are one of the most promising classes of drugs in pain medicine, and preclinical research should focus on identifying new and improved alternatives for a better clinical and preclinical outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
Open AccessArticle
Predictive Factors of Adrenal Insufficiency in Outpatients with Indeterminate Serum Cortisol Levels: A Retrospective Study
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010023 - 08 Jan 2020
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To diagnose adrenal insufficiency (AI), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation tests may need to be performed, but those tests may not be available in some institutions. In addition, they may not be necessary for some patients. The objective of this [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To diagnose adrenal insufficiency (AI), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation tests may need to be performed, but those tests may not be available in some institutions. In addition, they may not be necessary for some patients. The objective of this study was to identify clinical and biochemical factors that could facilitate AI diagnosis in outpatient departments and decrease the number of unnecessary dynamic tests. Materials and Methods: This seven-year retrospective study was performed in a tertiary care medical center. A total of 517 patients who had undergone ACTH stimulation tests in the outpatient department were identified. AI was described as a peak serum cortisol level of <18 µg/dL at 30 or 60 min after stimulation. The associations between clinical factors, biochemical factors, and AI were analyzed using the Poisson regression model and reported by the risk ratio (RR). Results: AI was identified in 128 patients (24.7%). Significant predictive factors for the diagnosis of AI were chronic kidney disease (RR = 2.52, p < 0.001), Cushingoid appearance (RR = 3.44, p < 0.001), nausea and/or vomiting (RR = 1.84, p = 0.003), fatigue (RR = 1.23, p < 0.001), serum basal cortisol <9 µg/dL (RR = 3.36, p < 0.001), serum cholesterol <150 mg/dL (RR = 1.26, p < 0.001), and serum sodium <135 mEq/L (RR = 1.09, p = 0.001). The predictive ability of the model was 83% based on the area under the curve. Conclusion: The easy-to-obtain clinical and biochemical factors identified may facilitate AI diagnosis and help identify patients with suspected AI. Using these factors in clinical practice may also reduce the number of nonessential dynamic tests for AI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Analgesic Effect of Ropivacaine with Fentanyl and Ropivacaine Alone in Continuous Epidural Infusion for Acute Herpes Zoster Management: A Retrospective Study
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010022 - 08 Jan 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Currently, few studies have reported the effects of opioids during continuous epidural infusion (CEI) to control pain owing to herpes zoster (HZ). This study aimed to retrospectively compare the effectiveness of epidural opioids in the treatment of acute HZ [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Currently, few studies have reported the effects of opioids during continuous epidural infusion (CEI) to control pain owing to herpes zoster (HZ). This study aimed to retrospectively compare the effectiveness of epidural opioids in the treatment of acute HZ pain. Materials and Methods: We reviewed medical records of 105 patients who were divided into two groups: R group (CEI with ropivacaine) and RF group (CEI with ropivacaine and fentanyl). Clinical efficacy was evaluated using the numeric rating scale (NRS) score for 6 months after the procedures. We compared the percentage of patients with complete remission in each group. We investigated the complication rates during CEI. Results: No significant differences in the NRS scores were observed between the two groups in the 6-month period. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for patients included in the complete remission was 0.6 times lower in the RF group than in the R group (95% confidence interval: 0.22–1.71, p = 0.35). The OR for complications during CEI was higher in the RF group than in the R group. However, the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusions: No difference was observed in the management of HZ pain and the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia between the two groups. The incidence of complications tended to be higher in the RF group than in the R group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain Management)
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Open AccessCase Report
Pain and Function in the Runner a Ten (din) uous Link
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010021 - 07 Jan 2020
Viewed by 213
Abstract
A male runner (30 years old; 10-km time: 33 min, 46 s) had been running with suspected insertional Achilles tendinopathy (AT) for ~2 years when the pain reached a threshold that prevented running. Diagnostic ultrasound (US), prior to a high-volume stripping injection, confirmed [...] Read more.
A male runner (30 years old; 10-km time: 33 min, 46 s) had been running with suspected insertional Achilles tendinopathy (AT) for ~2 years when the pain reached a threshold that prevented running. Diagnostic ultrasound (US), prior to a high-volume stripping injection, confirmed right-sided medial insertional AT. The athlete failed to respond to injection therapy and ceased running for a period of 5 weeks. At the beginning of this period, the runner completed the Victoria institute of sports assessment–Achilles questionnaire (VISA-A), the foot and ankle disability index (FADI), and FADI sport prior to undergoing an assessment of bi-lateral gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscle architecture (muscle thickness (MT) and pennation angle (PA); US), muscle contractile properties (maximal muscle displacement (Dm) and contraction time (Tc); Tensiomyography (TMG)) and calf endurance (40 raises/min). VISA-A and FADI scores were 59%/100% and 102/136 respectively. Compared to the left leg, the right GM had a lower MT (1.60 cm vs. 1.74 cm), a similar PA (22.0° vs. 21.0°), a lower Dm (1.2 mm vs. 2.0 mm) and Tc (16.5 ms vs. 17.7 ms). Calf endurance was higher in the right leg compared to the left (48 vs. 43 raises). The athlete began a metronome-guided (15 BPM), 12-week progressive eccentric training protocol using a weighted vest (1.5 kg increments per week), while receiving six sessions of shockwave therapy concurrently (within 5 weeks). On returning to running, the athlete kept daily pain (Numeric Rating Scale; NRS) and running scores (miles*rate of perceived exertion (RPE)). Foot and ankle function improved according to scores recorded on the VISA-A (59% vs. 97%) and FADI (102 vs. 127/136). Improvements in MT (1.60 cm vs. 1.76 cm) and PA (22.0° vs. 24.8°) were recorded via US. Improvements in Dm (1.15 mm vs. 1.69 mm) and Tc (16.5 ms vs. 15.4 ms) were recorded via TMG. Calf endurance was lower in both legs and the asymmetry between legs remained (L: 31, R: 34). Pain intensity (mean weekly NRS scores) decreased between week 1 and week 12 (6.6 vs. 2.9), while running scores increased (20 vs. 38) during the same period. The program was maintained up to week 16 at which point mean weekly NRS was 2.2 and running score was 47. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Cardiac Repolarization Indices in Epilepsy Patients Treated with Carbamazepine and Valproic Acid
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010020 - 06 Jan 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Epilepsy patients have a higher risk of sudden unexplained death compared to the rest of the population. Cardiac repolarization abnormalities might be seen in epilepsy during interictal periods. We aimed to evaluate the changes in electrocardiography (ECG) parameters in [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Epilepsy patients have a higher risk of sudden unexplained death compared to the rest of the population. Cardiac repolarization abnormalities might be seen in epilepsy during interictal periods. We aimed to evaluate the changes in electrocardiography (ECG) parameters in generalized tonic-clonic seizure patients treated with carbamazepine or valproic acid (VPA) drug. Materials and Methods: A totally of 129 subjects (66 epilepsy patients, 63 healthy subjects) were enrolled in the study. Of the patients, 36 were on carbamazepine and 30 were on VPA. There were 12-lead ECGs obtained from all participants. RR interval (time between consecutive R peaks), QT interval (defines the period of ventricular repolarization), corrected QT (QT interval corrected for heart rate; QTc), QTc-maximum (QTc-max), QTc-minimum (QTc-min), QTc dispersion (QTcd), P (atrial depolarization )-maximum (P-max), P-minimum (P-min) and P dispersion (Pd) were measured. Results: QTd (QT dispersion), QTcd, and Pd values were significantly higher in the patients compared to the controls (p < 0.01). QTcd, Pd, and P-max values were statistically higher in male patients compared to healthy male controls. QTcd values were significantly higher in female patients using carbamazepine compared to the female patients on VPA and healthy controls (p = 0.01). Male patients using VPA had significantly higher QTcd values against the male population in carbamazepine and control groups. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that QTd, QTcd, and Pd values were significantly higher in epilepsy patients than in healthy controls. In addition, female patients using carbamazepine and male patients using VPA were prone to ventricular arrhythmia compared to the control group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prognostication of Poor Survival After Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010019 - 04 Jan 2020
Viewed by 272
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a successful treatment option for appropriately selected patients. However, one–third of recipients do not experience any positive outcome or their condition even declines. We aimed to assess preimplantation factors associated with worse survival after the [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) is a successful treatment option for appropriately selected patients. However, one–third of recipients do not experience any positive outcome or their condition even declines. We aimed to assess preimplantation factors associated with worse survival after the CRT. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective unicenter trial. The study cohort included 183 consecutive CRT-treated patients. Baseline demographic, clinical, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic characteristics were analyzed. Results: After the median follow-up of 15.6 months (9.3–26.3), 20 patients had died (11%). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, ischemic origin of heart failure (HF) was a significant predictor of poor survival (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 15.235, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.999–116.1), p = 0.009). In univariate Cox regression, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) <15.5 mm (sensitivity 0.824, specificity 0.526; HR 5.019, 95% CI (1.436–17.539), p = 0.012), post-implantation prescribed antiplatelet agents (HR 2.569, 95% CI (1.060–6.226), p = 0.037), statins (HR 2.983, 95% CI (1.146–7.764), p = 0.025), and nitrates (HR 3.694, 95% CI (1.342–10.171), p = 0.011) appeared to be related with adverse outcome. Conclusions: ischemic etiology of HF is a significant factor associated with worse survival after the CRT. Decreased TAPSE is also related to poor survival. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Metabolic Syndrome and Lifestyle Habits on the Risk of the First Event of Cardiovascular Disease: Results from a Cohort Study in Lithuanian Urban Population
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010018 - 03 Jan 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
Background and Objectives: In recent years, the impact of individual risk factors on mortality from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has been often investigated. However, there is a lack of studies that have evaluated the relationship between lifestyle habits, metabolic syndrome, and their combined influence [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: In recent years, the impact of individual risk factors on mortality from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has been often investigated. However, there is a lack of studies that have evaluated the relationship between lifestyle habits, metabolic syndrome, and their combined influence on the first event of CVD. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of metabolic syndrome and lifestyle habits on the risk of the first event of CVD in a Lithuanian urban population. Materials and Methods: The presented data were collected from a survey that was carried out within the framework of the international project Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe (HAPIEE). For statistical analysis, 4257 participants aged 45–72 years were selected (with a follow-up of 11 years). Results: The findings from the Cox proportional hazards regression multivariable analysis showed that metabolic syndrome, current smoking status, and former smoking status increased the risk of the first event of CVD among men (with respective hazard ratios (HR) of 1.53, 1.94, and 1.43; p < 0.01). In women, metabolic syndrome increased the risk of the first event of CVD (HR = 1.56; p = 0.001), while the increased consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits decreased the risk of the first event of CVD (HR = 0.80; p = 0.003). Multivariable logistic regression analysis results show that a level of increased physical activity by one hour can be linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome by 2% among men (odds ratio (OR) = 0.98; p = 0.001). Conclusions: Metabolic syndrome and lifestyle habits including cigarette smoking in men and low consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits in women are strong predictors of the first event of CVD. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Reconstruction for Defects of Total Nail Bed and Germinal Matrix Loss with Acellular Dermal Matrix Coverage and Subsequently Skin Graft
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010017 - 03 Jan 2020
Viewed by 203
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Nail bed and germinal matrix loss due to wide excision for fingertip tumors or malignancy are occasionally encountered complications. These defects also result from severely comminuted fingertip crush injuries. Large-area dorsal finger or toenail bed defects, which usually present with [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Nail bed and germinal matrix loss due to wide excision for fingertip tumors or malignancy are occasionally encountered complications. These defects also result from severely comminuted fingertip crush injuries. Large-area dorsal finger or toenail bed defects, which usually present with phalangeal bone exposure, remain challenging regardless of the usage of different reconstruction strategies. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcome of a staged operation with an acellular dermal matrix coverage and subsequent skin graft as reconstruction for defects of total nail bed, germinal matrix loss, and bone exposure. Materials and Methods: From April 2018 to October 2019, four patients with total nail bed, germinal matrix, and bone exposure loss after surgery were enrolled in our series. A staged operation of the acellular dermal matrix coverage with subsequent skin graft was performed on these patients. Skin graft take rate, oncological prognosis, and cosmetic outcome were evaluated. Patients were followed up for 5–13 months. An excellent skin graft take rate with a satisfying aesthetic result without local malignancy recurrence was noted. Minimal functional deficit and donor site morbidity were reported. Results: A staged operation with acellular dermal matrix coverage and subsequent skin graft proves to serve as a feasible strategy for patients who experience total nail bed, germinal matrix loss, and bone exposure after surgery. Conclusions: This reconstruction method provides a reliable repair result, satisfying aesthetic outcomes, as well as having minimal functional deficits and donor site morbidity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cervical Lymph Nodes Detected by F-18 FDG PET/CT in Oncology Patients: Added Value of Subsequent Ultrasonography for Determining Nodal Metastasis
Medicina 2020, 56(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56010016 - 31 Dec 2019
Viewed by 208
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To investigate the diagnostic performance of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and subsequent ultrasonography (US) for determining cervical nodal metastasis in oncology patients. Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine cervical lymph nodes (LNs) initially detected by PET/CT with [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To investigate the diagnostic performance of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and subsequent ultrasonography (US) for determining cervical nodal metastasis in oncology patients. Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine cervical lymph nodes (LNs) initially detected by PET/CT with subsequent neck US were included in this retrospective study. All LNs were subjected to US-guided fine-needle aspiration or core needle biopsy. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and sonographic features were assessed. Results: Forty-three of 59 cervical LNs detected by PET/CT were malignant. PET/CT alone showed a highest diagnostic value for metastatic LNs with 81.4% sensitivity, 68.8% specificity, and 78% accuracy when SUVmax ≥5.8 was applied as an optimal cut-off value. Combined PET/CT and subsequent US diagnoses for determining nodal metastasis showed the following diagnostic performance: 81.4% sensitivity, 87.5% specificity, and 83.1% accuracy. There was a significant difference in the diagnostic performance between the two diagnostic imaging approaches (p = 0.006). Conclusions: Combined diagnosis using subsequent US showed a significantly higher diagnostic performance for determining nodal metastasis in the neck. Therefore, we believe that our proposed diagnostic strategy using subsequent US can be helpful in evaluating cervical LNs on PET/CT. Moreover, our results clarify the need for US-guided tissue sampling in oncology patients. Full article
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