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Medicina, Volume 56, Issue 12 (December 2020) – 95 articles

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Open AccessCase Report
Abdominal Wall Endometriosis: Two Case Reports and Literature Review
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120727 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Background and objectives: Abdominal wall endometriosis, also known as scar endometriosis, is a rare condition that is becoming increasingly common. The recent rise in incidence is attributed primarily to the surge of cesarean births, figures that could be influenced in a positive manner [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Abdominal wall endometriosis, also known as scar endometriosis, is a rare condition that is becoming increasingly common. The recent rise in incidence is attributed primarily to the surge of cesarean births, figures that could be influenced in a positive manner considering the improvements brought towards the ultrasound diagnostic methods that have been made in recent years. Materials and Methods: Here we report the cases of two Caucasian women of 38- (G2P2) and 36-years old (G1P1), both subjected to an ultrasound examination due to a specific symptomatic panel reported during anamnesis. Independently of the current status, in the first patient, there were no reported symptom-specific associations with endometriosis, but she had a known history of mild hereditary thrombophilia; the second woman suffered from two conditions positively associated with endometriosis. Results: In both cases, abnormal structures were revealed, with the diagnostic(s) of endometriosis being histologically confirmed based on a set of features observed during the investigation. Conclusions: This paper aims to highlight the importance of reducing cesarean births and to consider the diagnosis of scar endometriosis in women with a history of obstetric or gynaecological surgeries who present with cyclic, recurrent abdominal pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Manifestations and Treatment of Endometriosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Fatigue and Physical Activity in a Polish Cohort of Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 726; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120726 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 394
Abstract
Background and objectives: Fatigue is one of the most common and disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It can be defined as a subjective lack of physical and mental energy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and severity of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Fatigue is one of the most common and disabling symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It can be defined as a subjective lack of physical and mental energy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and severity of fatigue in patients with MS and its relationship with overall physical activity and disease-related disability. Materials and Methods: The study included 100 patients with a clinical relapsing-remitting form of MS. Patients with severe depression were excluded. Neurological impairment was rated using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Fatigue was assessed using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) and the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), with FSS scores greater than 36 indicating patients with fatigue. Physical activity was evaluated with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and categorized on three levels: low, moderate, and high, using standard metabolic equivalents (MET). Results: The average FSS and MFIS scores were (mean ± SD) 31.3 ± 15.2 and 30.1 ± 17.0, respectively. The mean EDSS score was 2.5 ± 1.5. 42%. Patients were classified as fatigued based on FSS. Fatigued patients had higher mean EDSS scores than non-fatigued (3.0 ± 1.6 vs. 2.2 ± 1.4, respectively, p = 0.002). Low, moderate, and high levels of physical activity were reported in 35%, 20%, and 45% of patients, respectively. Higher scores of fatigue in FSS and MFIS were inversely correlated with the intensity of physical activity (r = −0.38, p < 0.001 and r = −0.33, p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: In patients with MS, fatigue is a common symptom. Patients with lower physical activity and greater MS-related disability have a higher severity of fatigue, which negatively affects cognitive, psychosocial, and physical functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurology)
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Open AccessReview
Suicidality in Patients with Brain Tumors: A Brief Literature Review with Clinical Exemplar
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 725; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120725 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Background: Suicidality and brain tumors are two life-threatening conditions and, somewhat unexpectedly, the associations between them have scarcely been reported. Objective: In this study, we aimed to provide a brief literature review of epidemiological studies on suicidal ideation (SI) and suicidal [...] Read more.
Background: Suicidality and brain tumors are two life-threatening conditions and, somewhat unexpectedly, the associations between them have scarcely been reported. Objective: In this study, we aimed to provide a brief literature review of epidemiological studies on suicidal ideation (SI) and suicidal behavior (SB) in patients with brain tumors. To illustrate various aspects of brain tumors that potentially underlie the emergence of suicidality, the review is supplemented with a clinical exemplar of a long-term survivor of brain tumor (glioblastoma) who experienced persistent SI. Furthermore, we discuss putative both neurobiological (including anatomical and immunological) and psychosocial mechanisms that might be accountable for the development of SI and SB in patients with brain tumors. Conclusions: While the etiology of this phenomenon appears to be multifactorial and still remains a subject of much debate, it is of critical importance to identify patients for which a psychiatric evaluation could recognize, in a timely manner, a possible suicide risk and alleviate the deep related suffering, by appropriate psychopharmacological and supportive and psychotherapeutic interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatry)
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Open AccessArticle
Predictive Validity of a Functional Movement Screen in Professional Basketball Players
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120724 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 311
Abstract
Background and objectives: Striking a balance between maximizing performance and preventing injury remains elusive in many professional sports. The purpose of this study was to assess the relative risk of non-contact injuries in professional basketball players based on predictive cut scores on [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Striking a balance between maximizing performance and preventing injury remains elusive in many professional sports. The purpose of this study was to assess the relative risk of non-contact injuries in professional basketball players based on predictive cut scores on the Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS). Materials and Methods: Thirty-two professional basketball players from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) participated in this study. This observational pilot cohort study assessed and scored each participant using the FMS during training camp. Each athlete was then tracked throughout the season while recording the number, type, and time lost due to injuries. Possible exposures, actual exposures, and exposures missed due to non-contact injury (NCI) for each athlete were calculated and then used to determine the crude and specific incident rates for exposures missed due to NCI per 1000 exposures. Results: Linear regression models were used to evaluate the predictive ability of the FMS score for total missed exposures, NCI, and CI missed exposures. In all models, the FMS total score failed to attain significance as a predictor (p > 0.05). FMS scores ranged from 5 to 18. The recommended cut score of 14 showed a sensitivity of 0.474 and a specificity of 0.750. The cut score of 15 showed the best combination, exhibiting a sensitivity of 0.579 and specificity of 0.625. A total of 5784 exposures to NCI were possible for the men and women combined, and 681 possible exposures were missed. Of these, 23.5% were due to NCI, 16.5% were due to contact injuries (CI), and 60% were due to illnesses and personal reasons. Conclusions: The FMS proved to be a measure that was not associated with any injury measure in this sample of professional basketball players, suggesting the instrument lacks predictive validity in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Science)
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Open AccessArticle
Three-Dimensional Volumetric Changes and Clinical Outcomes after Decompression with DIAM™ Implantation in Patients with Degenerative Lumbar Spine Diseases
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120723 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Background and objectives: The prevalence of degenerative lumbar spine diseases has increased. In addition to standard lumbar decompression and/or fusion techniques, implantation of interspinous process devices (IPDs) can provide clinical benefits in highly selected patients. However, changes in spinal structures after IPD [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The prevalence of degenerative lumbar spine diseases has increased. In addition to standard lumbar decompression and/or fusion techniques, implantation of interspinous process devices (IPDs) can provide clinical benefits in highly selected patients. However, changes in spinal structures after IPD implantation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have rarely been discussed. This volumetric study aimed to evaluate the effect of IPD implantation on the intervertebral disc and foramen using three-dimensional assessment. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients with lumbar degenerative disc diseases treated with IPD implantation and foraminotomy and/or discectomy between January 2016 and December 2019. The mean follow-up period was 13.6 months. The perioperative lumbar MRI data were processed for 3D-volumetric analysis. Clinical outcomes, including the Prolo scale and visual analog scale (VAS) scores, and radiographic outcomes, such as the disc height, foraminal area, and translation, were analyzed. Results: Fifty patients were included in our study. At the one-year follow-up, the VAS and Prolo scale scores significantly improved (both p < 0.001). The disc height and foraminal area on radiographs also increased significantly, but with limited effects up to three months postoperatively. MRI revealed an increased postoperative disc height with a mean difference of 0.5 ± 0.1 mm (p < 0.001). Although the mean disc volume difference did not significantly increase, the mean foraminal volume difference was 0.4 ± 0.16 mm3 (p < 0.05). Conclusions: In select patients with degenerative disc diseases or lumbar spinal stenosis, the intervertebral foramen was enlarged, and disc loading was reduced after IPD implantation with decompression surgery. The 3D findings were compatible with the clinical benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery)
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Open AccessArticle
Tadalafil Treatment Ameliorates Hypoxia and Alters Placental Expression of Proteins Downstream of mTOR Signaling in Fetal Growth Restriction
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 722; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120722 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 307
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is associated with fetal mortality and is a risk factor for cerebral palsy and future lifestyle-related diseases. Despite extensive research, no effective treatment strategy is available for FGR. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is important [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is associated with fetal mortality and is a risk factor for cerebral palsy and future lifestyle-related diseases. Despite extensive research, no effective treatment strategy is available for FGR. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling is important for the growth of fetal organs and its dysregulation is associated with miscarriage. Here, we focused on mTOR signaling and investigated how the activities of phospho-ribosomal protein S6 (rps6) and phospho-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF-4E), which act downstream of mTOR signaling in the human placenta, change following treatment of FGR with tadalafil and aimed to elucidate the underlying mechanism of action. Placental hypoxia was investigated by immunostaining for hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-2α. Materials and Methods: Phosphor-rps6 and phosphor-eIF4E expression were examined by Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Results: HIF-2α expression significantly increased in FGR placenta compared with that in the control placenta but decreased to control levels after tadalafil treatment. Levels of phospho-rps6 and phospho-eIF-4E were significantly higher in FGR placenta than in control placenta but decreased to control levels after tadalafil treatment. Conclusions: Tadalafil restored the levels of HIF-2α, phospho-rps6, and eIF-4E in FGR placenta to those observed in control placenta, suggesting that it could be a promising treatment strategy for FGR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Affecting Quality of Work Life in a Sample of Cancer Survivor Female Nurses
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 721; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120721 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 266
Abstract
Background and objectives: Identifying the factors affecting the Quality of Work Life (QWL) of cancer survivor female nurses is important and necessary to overcome the various challenges experienced by these professionals upon returning to work following recovery from the disease. Therefore, this study [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Identifying the factors affecting the Quality of Work Life (QWL) of cancer survivor female nurses is important and necessary to overcome the various challenges experienced by these professionals upon returning to work following recovery from the disease. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the factors affecting the level of nurses’ QWL. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 115 registered female nurses who had survived cancer, in general hospitals and clinics in South Korea. SPSS statistics version 21 was used for ordinary least squares, and Stata version 12.0 was used for quantile regression analysis. Results: Workplace spirituality affected all quantiles of QWL except the 90% quantile; fatigue was an affecting factor in the 20%, 30%, and 70% quantiles; and job stress in the 20%, 30%, 40%, and 60%, 70%, 80% quantiles. For workplace spirituality, the effect size was 0.33 (p < 0.001) in the 10% quantile, increasing to 0.45 (p < 0.001) in the 80% quantile. Conclusions: Based on the results of this study, suggestions for clinical practice include providing the mediating strategies and programs to manage fatigue and job stress as well as workplace spirituality. Job-related factors such as shift work should also be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment for Diseases Specific to Women)
Open AccessArticle
Incidence of Recurrent Exertional Heat Stroke in a Warm-Weather Road Race
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120720 - 21 Dec 2020
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) survivors may be more susceptible to subsequent EHS; however, the occurrence of survivors with subsequent EHS episodes is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of participants with repeated EHS (EHS-2+) [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Exertional heat stroke (EHS) survivors may be more susceptible to subsequent EHS; however, the occurrence of survivors with subsequent EHS episodes is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of participants with repeated EHS (EHS-2+) cases in a warm-weather road race across participation years compared to those who experienced 1 EHS (EHS-1). Materials and Methods: A retrospective observational case series design was utilized. Medical record data from 17-years at the Falmouth Road Race between 2003–2019 were examined for EHS cases. Incidence of EHS-2+ cases per race and average EHS cases per EHS-2+ participant were calculated (mean ± SD) and descriptive factors (rectal temperature (TRE), finish time (FT), Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), age, race year) for each EHS was collected. Results: A total of 333 EHS patients from 174,853 finishers were identified. Sixteen EHS-2+ participants (11 males, 5 females, age = 39 ± 16 year) accounted for 11% of the total EHS cases (n = 37/333). EHS-2+ participants had an average of 2.3 EHS cases per person (range = 2–4) and had an incidence rate of 2.6 EHS per 10 races. EHS-2+ participants finished 93 races following initial EHS, with 72 of the races (77%) completed without EHS incident. Initial EHS TRE was not statistically different than subsequent EHS initial TRE (+0.3 ± 0.9 °C, p > 0.050). Initial EHS-2+ participant FT was not statistically different than subsequent EHS FT (−4.2 ± 7.0 min, p > 0.050). The years between first and second EHS was 3.6 ± 3.5 year (Mode: 1, Range: 1–12). Relative risk ratios revealed that EHS patients were at a significantly elevated risk for subsequent EHS episodes 2 years following their initial EHS (relative risk ratio = 3.32, p = 0.050); however, the risk from 3–5 years post initial EHS was not statistically elevated, though the relative risk ratio values remained above 1.26. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that 11% of all EHS cases at the Falmouth Road Race are EHS-2+ cases and that future risk for a second EHS episode at this race is most likely to occur within the first 2 years following the initial EHS incident. After this initial 2-year period, risk for another EHS episode is not significantly elevated. Future research should examine factors to explain individuals who are susceptible to multiple EHS cases, incidence at other races and corresponding prevention strategies both before and after initial EHS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
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Open AccessReview
Pharmacogenetics Update on Biologic Therapy in Psoriasis
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120719 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Background and objectives: Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease caused by several complex factors, both environmental and genetic, many of which are still not fully understood. Nowadays, several groups of biological drugs are being used for psoriasis treatment. Although these therapies are [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease caused by several complex factors, both environmental and genetic, many of which are still not fully understood. Nowadays, several groups of biological drugs are being used for psoriasis treatment. Although these therapies are very effective, they show significant variability in efficacy among individuals. Therefore, there is a need for biomarkers to predict treatment outcomes in order to guide personalized therapeutic decisions. Pharmacogenetics is the study of variations in DNA sequences related to drug response. Materials and Methods: In this article, we review pharmacogenetics studies on the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis focusing on anti-interleukin (IL) 12/23 (ustekinumab) and anti-IL17 drugs (secukinumab and ixekizumab), as well as recent studies concerning anti-TNF drugs. Results: Several polymorphisms have been studied over the years in reference to anti-TNF drugs; some of the most recent studies included the performance of a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and pharmacogenetics studies focused on the optimization of a treatment regimen. Various polymorphisms in different genes have been related to ustekinumab response; among them, the most commonly studied is the HLA-C*06:02 allele. Conclusions: Although not confirmed in some studies, most studies have shown that patients carrying this allele present a significantly higher response rate to ustekinumab. Some polymorphisms have been studied in patients treated with anti-IL17 drugs, mostly related to secukinumab; however, up to now, no association has been found between any of these polymorphisms and response. Nevertheless, further studies involving larger cohorts are needed in order to confirm these results before the implementation of this biomarker in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Maximal Strength Training on Perceived-Fatigue and Functional Mobility in Persons with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120718 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 498
Abstract
Background and objectives: Fatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms that limit daily life activities in persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of maximal strength training (MST) on perceived-fatigue and functional mobility in pwMS. Materials [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Fatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms that limit daily life activities in persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). This study aimed to evaluate the effects of maximal strength training (MST) on perceived-fatigue and functional mobility in pwMS. Materials and Methods: 26 participants with MS were balanced according to their pre-intervention fatigue scores and distributed into an MST group (n = 13) and a control group (CG; n = 13). The MST group completed eight weeks using high loads, evaluating detraining after ten weeks. Quadriceps and hamstring isokinetic (QPTIK; HPTIK) and isometric (QPTIM; HPTIM) peak torques were assessed using an isokinetic dynamometer. Effect size differences were estimated with the Hedges’ g index (dg). Fatigue was evaluated through the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), while functional mobility was assessed via the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG). Results: The MST significantly improved all the strength measurements after the intervention (Δ6.43–29.55%; p < 0.05) compared to the control group. FSS showed a significant reduction (59.97%, dg = 5.41, large). The MST group also reduced the TUG time (19.69%; dg = 0.93, large) compared to the control group. Improvements caused by the intervention did not remain after a 10-week follow-up, with decreases in strength performance from 4.40% to 13.86% (dg = 0.24–0.56, small to moderate), 112.08% in the FSS (dg = −3.88, large), and 16.93% in TUG (dg = −1.07, large). Conclusions: MST (up to 90% 1RM) seems to be a feasible and useful way to obtain clinically relevant improvements in the perceived-fatigue symptoms and functional mobility. Still, symptom improvements decrease after a 10-week detraining period. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Myofascial Injection Using Fascial Layer-Specific Hydromanipulation Technique (FLuSH) and the Delineation of Multifactorial Myofascial Pain
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120717 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Background and objectives: The aims of this study were to delineate the contribution of specific fascial layers of the myofascial unit to myofascial pain and introduce the use of ultrasound-guided fascial layer-specific hydromanipulation (FLuSH) as a novel technique in the treatment of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: The aims of this study were to delineate the contribution of specific fascial layers of the myofascial unit to myofascial pain and introduce the use of ultrasound-guided fascial layer-specific hydromanipulation (FLuSH) as a novel technique in the treatment of myofascial pain. Materials and Methods: The clinical data of 20 consecutive adult patients who underwent myofascial injections using FLuSH technique for the treatment of myofascial pain were reviewed. The FLuSH technique involved measuring the pain pressure threshold using an analog algometer initially and after each ultrasound guided injection of normal saline into the specific layers of the myofascial unit (superficial fascia, deep fascia, or muscle) in myofascial points corresponding with Centers of Coordination/Fusion (Fascial Manipulation®). The outcome measured was the change in pain pressure threshold after injection of each specific fascial layer. Results: Deep fascia was involved in 73%, superficial fascia in 55%, and muscle in 43% of points. A non-response to treatment of all three layers occurred in 10% of all injected points. The most common combinations of fascial layer involvement were deep fascia alone in 23%, deep fascia and superficial fascia in 22%, and deep fascia and muscle in 18% of injected points. Each individual had on average of 3.0 ± 1.2 different combinations of fascial layers contributing to myofascial pain. Conclusions: The data support the hypothesis that multiple fascial layers are responsible for myofascial pain. In particular, for a given patient, pain may develop from discrete combinations of fascial layers unique to each myofascial point. Non-response to treatment of the myofascial unit may represent a centralized pain process. Adequate treatment of myofascial pain may require treatment of each point as a distinct pathologic entity rather than uniformly in a given patient or across patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connective Tissue Disorders)
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Open AccessReview
COVID-19 and Pulmonary Hypertension in Children: What Do We Know So Far?
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120716 - 19 Dec 2020
Viewed by 409
Abstract
The interplay between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pulmonary hypertension (PH) in children is unknown. Adults with PH are at potential risk for severe complications and high mortality due to associated comorbidities. It is difficult to extrapolate the outcomes of COVID-19 in adults [...] Read more.
The interplay between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pulmonary hypertension (PH) in children is unknown. Adults with PH are at potential risk for severe complications and high mortality due to associated comorbidities. It is difficult to extrapolate the outcomes of COVID-19 in adults to pediatric PH patients. Overall, a small number of COVID-19 cases is reported in patients with preexisting PH. Several factors may be responsible for the low incidence of COVID-19 in children with PH. Pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease, testing is not universal, and patients may have followed more rigorously the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines recommended for personal protection with mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand sanitization through ongoing health education. The small number of COVID-19 cases in patients with preexisting PH does not support that PH is protective for COVID-19. However, medications used to treat PH may have some protection against COVID-19. This review discusses the pathophysiology of PH occurring with COVID-19, differences between children and adults with COVID-19, strategies for management of preexisting PH in children during the ongoing pandemic, and its impact within the field of PH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focused Update on Pulmonary Hypertension in Children)
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Less Invasive Fixation of Acute Avulsions of the Achilles Tendon: A Technical Note
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120715 - 19 Dec 2020
Viewed by 312
Abstract
Purpose: Nowadays, surgical treatment of acute avulsions of the Achilles tendon represents a hard challenge. There is often the possibility that the calcaneus remains completely uncovered from the tendon, making the reinsertion of its distal stub complex. At the same time, the standard [...] Read more.
Purpose: Nowadays, surgical treatment of acute avulsions of the Achilles tendon represents a hard challenge. There is often the possibility that the calcaneus remains completely uncovered from the tendon, making the reinsertion of its distal stub complex. At the same time, the standard open surgical technique could cause difficult wound healing because of the weak blood supply, the increasing possibility of rupture, and the bacterial contamination. To overcome these risks, less invasive procedures should be considered. Methods: We developed an innovative minimally invasive procedure for fixation of acute avulsions of the Achilles tendon employing an integration of four longitudinal stab incisions and one distal semicircular Cincinnati incision. In this way, the distal Achilles tendon stub and the calcaneal insertion are exhibited. Results: We basted the tendon through percutaneous sutures performed across the four stab incisions with a Mayo needle threaded with Ultrabraid. The procedure is repeated with another loop of Ultrabraid. After having bruised the calcaneus bone insertion of the tendon, two sites for two suture anchors were prepared using a specific hole preparation device for the anchors’ footprint. Finally, we placed two suture anchors to reinsert the tendon to the calcaneal insertion. Conclusion: Our new less invasive technique is a promising alternative optional procedure for the Achilles tendon (AT) avulsion repair allowing clear exposure of the Achilles tendon insertion, maintaining the longitudinal wholeness of the dermis, and minimizing possible associated complications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation between Preoperative Coronary Artery Stenosis Severity Measured by Instantaneous Wave-Free Ratio and Intraoperative Transit Time Flow Measurement of Attached Grafts
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120714 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 294
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To assess the correlation between the degree of target coronary artery stenosis measured by instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) and the intraoperative transit time flow measurement (TTFM) of attached grafts as well as evaluate flow competition between the native coronary artery [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To assess the correlation between the degree of target coronary artery stenosis measured by instantaneous wave-free ratio (iFR) and the intraoperative transit time flow measurement (TTFM) of attached grafts as well as evaluate flow competition between the native coronary artery and the attached graft according to the severity of stenosis. Materials and Methods: In total, 89 grafts were subjected to intraoperative transit time flow measurement after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 25 patients with multivessel coronary artery disease (CAD). The iFR was evaluated for all coronary arteries with grafts. The coronary artery stenoses were divided into three groups based on the iFR value: iFR < 0.86 (group 1); iFR 0.86–0.90 (group 2); and iFR > 0.90 (group 3). Results: The mean graft flow (MGF) was 46.9 ± 18.4 mL/min for group 1, 45.3 ± 20.9 mL/min for group 2, and 31.3 ± 18.5 mL/min for group 3. A statistically significant difference was confirmed between groups 1 and 3 (p = 0.002) and between groups 2 and 3 (p = 0.025). The pulsatility index (PI) was 2.49 ± 1.20 for group 1, 2.66 ± 2.13 for group 2, and 4.70 ± 3.66 for group 3. A statistically significant difference was found between groups 1 and 3 (p = 0.006) and between groups 2 and 3 (p = 0.032). Backward flow was detected in 7.5% of grafts for group 1, in 16.6% of grafts for group 2, and in 16% of grafts for group 3. A statistically significant difference was found between groups 1 and 2 (p = 0.025) and between groups 1 and 3 (p = 0.029). Conclusions: The iFR is a useful tool for predicting the impact of competitive flow observed between a native artery and an attached graft. The effect of competitive flow significantly increases when the graft is attached to a vessel with mild coronary stenosis. In a coronary artery where the iFR was not hemodynamically significant, the MGF was lower, the PI was higher, and a larger proportion of grafts with backward flow (BF) was detected compared to when there was significant stenosis (iFR < 0.86). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
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Open AccessReview
Variant Anatomy and Its Terminology
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120713 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Variant anatomy, which is an integral part of anatomical science, is related to abnormalities in the human body structure. Our understanding of variant anatomy is based on thousand years of anatomical experience. These abnormalities generally do not interfere with the function of the [...] Read more.
Variant anatomy, which is an integral part of anatomical science, is related to abnormalities in the human body structure. Our understanding of variant anatomy is based on thousand years of anatomical experience. These abnormalities generally do not interfere with the function of the human body and do not typically manifest as pathological nosological units. However, under certain conditions, these abnormalities can worsen existing pathological states or even evoke new ones. Understanding variant anatomy is a basic skill not only of mere anatomists, but also of clinicians who work in fields involving both diagnostic techniques and therapeutic interventions. To gain and retain a good knowledge of the most frequent and clinically relevant anatomical variations, a simple, clear, and exactly defined nomenclature of variant structures is needed. A list of items comprising variant anatomy, which have been incorporated into the internationally accepted nomenclatures Terminologia Anatomica (1998) and Terminologia Neuroanatomica (2017), is described and analyzed. Examples of the most common anatomical variations related to terminology are mentioned, and variant anatomy as a whole and its role in understanding current anatomy are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Variational Anatomy and Developmental Anomalies in Clinical Practice)
Open AccessReview
On the Neurobiology of Meditation: Comparison of Three Organizing Strategies to Investigate Brain Patterns during Meditation Practice
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120712 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Three broad organizing strategies have been used to study meditation practices: (1) consider meditation practices as using similar processes and so combine neural images across a wide range of practices to identify the common underlying brain patterns of meditation practice, (2) consider meditation [...] Read more.
Three broad organizing strategies have been used to study meditation practices: (1) consider meditation practices as using similar processes and so combine neural images across a wide range of practices to identify the common underlying brain patterns of meditation practice, (2) consider meditation practices as unique and so investigate individual practices, or (3) consider meditation practices as fitting into larger categories and explore brain patterns within and between categories. The first organizing strategy combines meditation practices defined as deep concentration, attention to external and internal stimuli, and letting go of thoughts. Brain patterns of different procedures would all contribute to the final averages, which may not be representative of any practice. The second organizing strategy generates a multitude of brain patterns as each practice is studied individually. The rich detail of individual differences within each practice makes it difficult to identify reliable patterns between practices. The third organizing principle has been applied in three ways: (1) grouping meditations by their origin—Indian or Buddhist practices, (2) grouping meditations by the procedures of each practice, or (3) grouping meditations by brain wave frequencies reported during each practice. Grouping meditations by their origin mixes practices whose procedures include concentration, mindfulness, or effortless awareness, again resulting in a confounded pattern. Grouping meditations by their described procedures yields defining neural imaging patterns within each category, and clear differences between categories. Grouping meditations by the EEG frequencies associated with their procedures yields an objective system to group meditations and allows practices to “move” into different categories as subjects’ meditation experiences change over time, which would be associated with different brain patterns. Exploring meditations within theoretically meaningful categories appears to yield the most reliable picture of meditation practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Medicine: Frontiers in Integrative Health and Medicine)
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Open AccessReview
Ultrasound Assessment of Extracranial Carotids and Vertebral Arteries in Acute Cerebral Ischemia
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120711 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Assessing ischemic etiology and mechanism during the acute phase of an ischemic stroke is crucial in order to tailor and monitor appropriate treatment and determine prognosis. Cervical Duplex Ultrasound (CDU) has evolved since many years as an excellent screening tool for the evaluation [...] Read more.
Assessing ischemic etiology and mechanism during the acute phase of an ischemic stroke is crucial in order to tailor and monitor appropriate treatment and determine prognosis. Cervical Duplex Ultrasound (CDU) has evolved since many years as an excellent screening tool for the evaluation of extracranial vasculature. CDU has the advantages of a low cost, easily applicable, bed side examination with high temporal and spatial resolution and without exposing the patients to any significant complications. It represents an easily repeatable test that can be performed in the emergency room as a first-line examination of cervical artery pathology. CDU provides well validated estimates of the type of the atherosclerotic plaque, the degree of stenosis, as well as structural and hemodynamic information directly about extracranial vessels (e.g., subclavian steal syndrome) and indirectly about intracranial circulation. CDU may also aid the diagnosis of non-atherosclerotic lesions of vessel walls including dissections, arteritis, carotid-jugular fistulas and fibromuscular dysplasias. The present narrative review outlines all potential applications of CDU in acute stroke management and also highlights its potential therapeutic implications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study between Full-Endoscopic Discectomy and Microendoscopic Discectomy for the Treatment of Lumbar Disc Herniation
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120710 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 281
Abstract
Background and objectives: Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is a common disease in the meridian of life. Although surgical discectomy is commonly used to treat LDH, there are several different strategies. We compared the outcomes of uniportal full-endoscopic discectomy (FED) with those of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is a common disease in the meridian of life. Although surgical discectomy is commonly used to treat LDH, there are several different strategies. We compared the outcomes of uniportal full-endoscopic discectomy (FED) with those of microendoscopic discectomy (MED) in treating LDH. Materials and Methods: FED was performed using a 4.1-mm working channel endoscope, and MED was performed using a 16-mm diameter tubular retractor and endoscope. Data of patients with LDH treated with FED (n = 39) or MED (n = 27) by the single surgeon were retrospectively reviewed. Patient background information and operative data were collected. Pre- and postoperative low back and leg pain were evaluated using the numerical rating scale (NRS) score. Pre- and postoperative disc height index (DHI) values were calculated from plain radiographs, and the disc height loss was evaluated using the ratio (DHI ratio); Results: The median (interquartile range (IQR) Q25–75) operation times for FED and MED were 42 (33–61) and 43 (33–50) minutes, respectively. The median (IQR Q25–75) pre- and postoperative NRS scores for low back pain were 5 (2–7) and 1 (0–4), respectively, for FED and 6 (3–8) and 1 (0–2), respectively, for MED. The median (IQR Q25–75) pre- and postoperative NRS scores for leg pain were 7 (5–8) and 0 (0–2), respectively, for FED and 6 (5–8) and 0 (0–2), respectively, for MED. These data were not different between the FED and MED groups. The median (IQR Q25–75) DHI ratios of FED and MED were 0.94 (0.89–1.03) and 0.90 (0.79–0.95), respectively. The DHI ratio was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the FED group than in the MED group, and there was less blood loss; Conclusions: The pain-relieving effect of FED in treating LDH was almost identical to that of MED. However, FED was superior to MED in preventing disc height loss, which is one of the indicators of postoperative disc degeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex and Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery)
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Open AccessReview
Echocardiography, an Indispensable Tool for the Management of Diabetics, with or without Coronary Artery Disease, in Clinical Practice
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120709 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Diabetes mellitus is a major factor contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease. As morbidity and mortality rates rise dramatically, when target organ damage develops pre-symptomatic assessment is critical for the management of diabetic patients. Echocardiography is a noninvasive and reproducible method that [...] Read more.
Diabetes mellitus is a major factor contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease. As morbidity and mortality rates rise dramatically, when target organ damage develops pre-symptomatic assessment is critical for the management of diabetic patients. Echocardiography is a noninvasive and reproducible method that may aid in risk stratification and in evaluation of treatment effects. The aim of this review is to analyze the echocardiographic techniques which can detect early alteration in cardiac function in patients with diabetes. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Unusual Case of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma with Bladder Metastasis
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120708 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Background: The pancreas can be the site of neoplasms of several histogenetic origins; in most cases, tumors derive from the exocrine component, and ductal adenocarcinoma certainly prevails over the others. This tumor displays remarkably aggressive behavior, and it is often diagnosed at [...] Read more.
Background: The pancreas can be the site of neoplasms of several histogenetic origins; in most cases, tumors derive from the exocrine component, and ductal adenocarcinoma certainly prevails over the others. This tumor displays remarkably aggressive behavior, and it is often diagnosed at a late stage of disease. Case presentation: We discuss the rare case of a 76-year-old male with locally advanced pancreatic head adenocarcinoma who developed uncommon metastatic disease. The bladder constitutes a very rare site of metastases, mostly deriving from melanoma, gastric, lung and breast cancers. The bladder’s secondary involvement in pancreatic malignancies represents an extremely unusual occurrence, and there are very few cases described in the literature to date. Conclusions: The finding of pancreatic adenocarcinoma metastases leads to a poor prognosis, and patients who are diagnosed at this stage constitute 53% of cases, with a 5-year survival of 3%. Although rare, therefore, the diagnostic hypothesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (DAC) metastases to the bladder must, in some cases, be considered, especially if accompanied by a clinical picture that may suggest it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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Open AccessOpinion
The Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic Strikes during the Flu Season: An Awareness Perspective
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120707 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Coinfection with both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses seems to be a real and severe problem. However, coinfection is far from a simple matter, and cannot be considered having more unfavorable outcomes as a direct consequence. In reality, the aftermath is powerfully nuanced by [...] Read more.
Coinfection with both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses seems to be a real and severe problem. However, coinfection is far from a simple matter, and cannot be considered having more unfavorable outcomes as a direct consequence. In reality, the aftermath is powerfully nuanced by the presence of risk factors and specific molecular mechanisms. Our objective was to raise awareness around the unpredictable association between COVID-19 pandemics and the upcoming flu season, and make arguments about the need to develop new routine testing protocols for both viruses, at least during the period with an expected high incidence. Our reasoning is built around the various impacts that the whole range of risk groups, common immunological mechanisms, and complex interactions, such as influenza vaccination, will have on patients’ prognosis. We show that the more flawed clinical course is due to managing only one of the infections (and, subsequently, neglecting the other condition). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Historical Perspectives on the Development of Current Standards of Care for Enzymatic Debridement
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120706 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Background and Objective: The use of plant-based products for burn treatment dates back to 1600 BC. Enzymatic debridement, which can be achieved as non-surgical or conservative debridement, has recently gained increasing attention. Several reviews have been published thus far. However, there has been [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: The use of plant-based products for burn treatment dates back to 1600 BC. Enzymatic debridement, which can be achieved as non-surgical or conservative debridement, has recently gained increasing attention. Several reviews have been published thus far. However, there has been no historical article including the achievements of the last 20 years, and this is the first review to present the achievements made in the field of enzymatic debridement in the last 20 years. This study aimed to present a historical overview of the development of enzymatic debridement until the present day. Methods: Enzymes from bacteria and plants were initially used for full-thickness burn treatment; however, they did not gain attention. Papain-derived products were the first plant-based products used for enzymatic debridement. Sutilains gained broad use in the 70s and 80s but came off market in the 1990s. Bromelain has been used for burn treatment owing to its strong debriding properties. NexoBrid is used as a minimally invasive approach for enzymatic debridement of deep dermal burns. However, its use has been limited due to commercially available bromelain and the presence of four distinct cysteine proteinases. NexoBrid involves faster eschar removal together with reduced blood loss, leading to improved long-term outcomes. However, research on nonoperative enzymatic debridement of burns has taken decades and is still ongoing. Results: Overall, the results of our study indicate that necrectomy, which has been used for a long time, remains the standard of care for burns. However, enzymatic debridement has several advantages, such as faster eschar removal, reduced blood loss, and reduced need for skin grafting, especially in cases of facial and hand burns. Enzymatic debridement cannot replace surgical intervention, as the enzyme only works on the surface of the eschar. Enzymatic debridement is not recommended in the early phase of scald burns. Conclusions: Enzymatic debridement has become an integral part of burn therapy and the standard of care in specific burn centers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A History of Burn Care)
Open AccessReview
CT Urography Findings of Upper Urinary Tract Carcinoma and Its Mimickers: A Pictorial Review
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120705 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is the fourth most frequent tumor in Western countries and upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), affecting pyelocaliceal cavities and ureter, accounts for 5–10% of all UCs. Computed tomography urography (CTU) is now considered the imaging modality of choice for diagnosis [...] Read more.
Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is the fourth most frequent tumor in Western countries and upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC), affecting pyelocaliceal cavities and ureter, accounts for 5–10% of all UCs. Computed tomography urography (CTU) is now considered the imaging modality of choice for diagnosis and staging of UTUC, guiding disease management. Although its specificity is very high, both benign and malignant diseases could mimic UTUCs and therefore have to be well-known to avoid misdiagnosis. We describe CTU findings of upper urinary tract carcinoma, features that influence disease management, and possible differential diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imaging of the Kidney and Urinary Tract)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Light-Induced Dynamic Dilation of Retinal Vessels and Echocardiographic Parameters of the Left Ventricular Function in Hypertensive Patients
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120704 - 17 Dec 2020
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The goal was to evaluate the association of dynamic retinal vessel analysis (DVA) with echocardiographic parameters assessing systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricle in hypertension (HT) patients with preserved left ventricle ejection fraction. Materials and Methods: [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The goal was to evaluate the association of dynamic retinal vessel analysis (DVA) with echocardiographic parameters assessing systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricle in hypertension (HT) patients with preserved left ventricle ejection fraction. Materials and Methods: This observational retrospective study recruited 36 patients with HT and 28 healthy controls. Retinal vessel diameter and reactions to flicker light were examined. Each patient was examined with echocardiography to assess left ventricular systolic and diastolic function. Results: Multivariate analysis revealed that hypertension was an independent factor associated with lower flicker-induced arterial vasodilatation (β = −0.31, p = 0.029). In the HT group, there was a significant positive association between left ventricular ejection fraction and flicker-induced arterial vasodilation (Rs = +0.31, p = 0.007). Additionally, end-diastolic left ventricular diameter negatively correlated with both arterial (Rs = −0.26, p = 0.02) and venous (Rs = −0.27, p = 0.02) flicker responses. Additionally, the echocardiographic characteristics of the left atrium (LA) remodeling in the course of HT, including the area of the LA and its antero-posterior dimension, were both negatively correlated with the arterial flicker response (Rs = −0.34, p = 0.003; Rs = −0.33, p = 0.004, respectively). From tissue Doppler parameters, the left ventricular filling index E/e’ negatively correlated with AVR (arteriovenous ratio) values (Rs = −0.36, p = 0.002). Conclusions: We revealed that systolic and diastolic function of the left ventricle in hypertensive patients is associated with retinal microvascular function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Treatment of Inherited Retinal Degenerations)
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Open AccessArticle
Reasons for the Early Introduction of Complementary Feeding to HIV-Exposed Infants in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: An Exploratory Qualitative Study
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120703 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Exclusive breastfeeding has many health benefits for the baby and the mother. This study explored the reasons for the early introduction of supplementary feeding before six months, and the issues faced by parturient women in practicing exclusive breast feeding (EBF) for their HIV-exposed [...] Read more.
Exclusive breastfeeding has many health benefits for the baby and the mother. This study explored the reasons for the early introduction of supplementary feeding before six months, and the issues faced by parturient women in practicing exclusive breast feeding (EBF) for their HIV-exposed infants in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Narratives from 319 parturient women with HIV (aged 18 years and above) were collected at three hospitals in the Eastern Cape through semi-structured interviews over a period of five months. Qualitative data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The maternal perception of HIV transmission from breast milk influenced the decision for the immediate introduction of formula feeding. Breast sores, lumps, surgery and perceived insufficiency of milk influenced the decision of mothers to initiate formula feeding within the first two months. However, mothers who initiated complementary feeding after two months were driven by factors common among newborns (refusal of breast milk, baby crying inconsolably and fear of losing weight) and social factors (economic or financial hardships and work-related challenges). Additionally, advice from family members weighed heavily in the decision to switch to complementary feeding, contrary to the healthcare providers’ recommendations. Early complementary feeding for HIV-exposed infants is influenced by maternal perceptions of breast milk transmission, breast and infant factors and socio-economic and cultural practices in the region. Thus, behavioural interventions tailored towards promoting exclusive breastfeeding practices in this population, starting from the pre-natal and continuing during the post-partum period, should also target the immediate family members. National policy should focus on creating an EBF-friendly environment at the workplace for women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Early-Stage Ovarian Malignancy Score versus Risk of Malignancy Indices: Accuracy and Clinical Utility for Preoperative Diagnosis of Women with Adnexal Masses
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120702 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 386
Abstract
Background and objectives: To compare the diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility of the Early-stage Ovarian Malignancy (EOM) score with the Risk of Malignancy Index (RMI) in the presurgical assessment of women presenting with adnexal masses. Materials and Methods: A secondary analysis was carried [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: To compare the diagnostic accuracy and clinical utility of the Early-stage Ovarian Malignancy (EOM) score with the Risk of Malignancy Index (RMI) in the presurgical assessment of women presenting with adnexal masses. Materials and Methods: A secondary analysis was carried out in a retrospective cohort of women who presented with an adnexal mass and were scheduled for surgery at Phrapokklao Hospital between September 2013 and December 2017. The clinical characteristics, ultrasonographic features of the masses, and preoperative CA-125 levels were recorded. The EOM and the RMI score were calculated and compared in terms of accuracy and clinical utility. Decision curve analysis (DCA), which examined the net benefit (NB) of applying the EOM and the RMI in practice at a range of threshold probabilities, was presented. Results: In this study, data from 270 patients were analyzed. Fifty-four (20.0%) women in the sample had early-stage ovarian cancer. All four RMI versions demonstrated a lower sensitivity for the detection of patients with early-stage ovarian cancer compared to an EOM score ≥ 15. An EOM ≥ 15 resulted in a higher proportion of net true positive or NB than all versions of the RMIs from a threshold probability of 5% to 30%. Conclusions: It also showed a higher capability to reduce the number of inappropriate referrals than the RMIs at a threshold probability between 5% and 30%. The EOM score showed higher diagnostic sensitivity and has the potential to be clinically more useful than the RMIs to triage women who present with adnexal masses for referral to oncologic gynecologists. Further external validation is required to support our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment for Diseases Specific to Women)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Association of Transfusion Transmitted Infections with ABO and Rh Blood Groups among Blood Donors at the National Blood Bank, Amman, Jordan
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120701 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 333
Abstract
Background and objectives: Blood screening is considered a compulsory procedure in health care services to reduce the occurrence of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs). This study estimated the distribution rates of ABO and Rh blood group systems, prevalence rates of TTIs among blood donors [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Blood screening is considered a compulsory procedure in health care services to reduce the occurrence of transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs). This study estimated the distribution rates of ABO and Rh blood group systems, prevalence rates of TTIs among blood donors and their association with the ABO blood group and Rh system. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted at the national blood bank, Amman, Jordan for a period of 6 years (from January 2013 to December 2018). For TTIs analysis, about 5 mL blood sample was collected from each volunteer. A total of 365,029 persons (346,048 (94.8%) males and 18,981 (5.2%) females) donated their blood at the national blood bank, Amman, Jordan from January 2013 to December 2018. Results: The results revealed that O and A were the most prevalent blood groups (37.44% and 36.82%, respectively), followed by B (18.62%) and AB (7.12%). The distribution of Rh + ve and Rh − ve among blood donors showed that Rh + ve donors were more prevalent (88.73%) compared with Rh − ve (11.27%). HBsAg was the most prevalent viral infection (0.38%) followed by HCV (0.13%), syphilis (0.02%), HIV (0.006%) and the male donors were highly infected when compared with female donors. The association between ABO/Rh blood groups and TTIs infections was nonsignificant. Conclusions: In conclusion, low frequency rates of TTIs among blood donors were detected in the current study, but improvements are still continuously required. Low percentages of female donors need to be managed via conducting health cultural education programs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Obesity on Nighttime Blood Pressure Dipping
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120700 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
Background and objectives: It is commonly known that obesity not only increases arterial hypertension (HT) risk but also impacts on the response to antihypertensives. This study aimed to assess blood pressure (BP) parameters based on Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement (ABPM) in obese patients. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: It is commonly known that obesity not only increases arterial hypertension (HT) risk but also impacts on the response to antihypertensives. This study aimed to assess blood pressure (BP) parameters based on Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement (ABPM) in obese patients. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 128 patients with obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), with an average age of 43.25 years (±12.42), including 55 males and 73 females. They were divided into 2 groups: 1-with BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 and <40 kg/m2, 2-with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2. Each patient underwent 24-h blood pressure monitoring. The average 24-h, daytime and nighttime systolic and diastolic pressure, as well as 24-h mean heart rate and % of nocturnal dip, were assessed. Results: Mean BMI in group 1 was 34.73 kg/m2 (±2.96), and in group 2 it was 47.6 kg/m2 (±6.3). Group 1 was significantly older than group 2 (46.5 vs. 39 years old). The analysis of ABPM revealed significantly higher BP values in all measurements in group 2 (i.e., systolic blood pressure (SBP) 24 h median = 132 mmHg; diastolic blood pressure (DBP) 24 h median = 84 mmHg). The nocturnal dip was greater in group 1 (8.95%). Mean 24-h heart rate was also higher in group 2 (median = 76 beats/min) than group 1 (median = 67.5 beats/min). More than half of patients in group 2 had been previously treated for HT, and based on ABPM, new HT was diagnosed in 6 patients from group 1 and 14 patients from group 2. Three groups of patients were identified based on nighttime dip: dipper, non-dipper, and reverse-dipper. No patient of the extreme dipper type was found. Group 2 comprised of significantly more patients of the reverse-dipper type. Conclusions: Patients with extreme morbid obesity frequently exhibit HT of the reverse-dipping pattern. This type is often linked with a higher risk of more advanced cardiovascular illness. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Hypercholesterolemia in Two Siblings with Resistance to Thyroid Hormones Due to Disease-Causing Variant in Thyroid Hormone Receptor (THRB) Gene
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120699 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 304
Abstract
Resistance to thyroid hormone beta (RTHβ) is a syndrome characterized by a reduced response of target tissues to thyroid hormones. In 85% of cases, a pathogenic mutation in the thyroid hormone receptor beta (THRB) gene is found. The clinical picture of [...] Read more.
Resistance to thyroid hormone beta (RTHβ) is a syndrome characterized by a reduced response of target tissues to thyroid hormones. In 85% of cases, a pathogenic mutation in the thyroid hormone receptor beta (THRB) gene is found. The clinical picture of RTHβ is very diverse; the most common findings are goiter and tachycardia, but the patients might be clinically euthyroid. The laboratory findings are almost pathognomonic with elevated free thyroxin (fT4) levels and high or normal thyrotropin (TSH) levels; free triiodothyronin (fT3) levels may also be elevated. We present three siblings with THRB mutation (heterozygous disease-variant c.727C>T, p.Arg243Trp); two of them also had hypercholesterolemia, while all three had several other clinical characteristics of RTHβ. This is the first description of the known Slovenian cases with RTHβ due to the pathogenic mutation in the THRB gene. Hypercholesterolemia might be etiologically related with RTHβ, since the severity of hormonal resistance varies among different tissues and hypercholesterolemia in patients with THRB variants might indicate the relatively hypothyroid state of the liver. We suggest that cholesterol levels are measured in all RTHβ patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perceptions of Practitioners on Telehealth and App Use for Smoking Cessation and COPD Care—An Exploratory Study
Medicina 2020, 56(12), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56120698 - 15 Dec 2020
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Background and objectives: With the digitalization of modern healthcare delivery, digital media adoption in clinical practice is increasing. Also, healthcare professionals are more and more confronted with patients using smartphone-based health applications (apps). This exploratory study aimed at surveying perceptions on such apps [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: With the digitalization of modern healthcare delivery, digital media adoption in clinical practice is increasing. Also, healthcare professionals are more and more confronted with patients using smartphone-based health applications (apps). This exploratory study aimed at surveying perceptions on such apps in the context of lung health among a cross section of Austrian practitioners involved in pulmonary care. Materials and Methods: The online questionnaire in German assessed socio-demographic characteristics, telehealth readiness as well as opinions on smoke-free and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) apps. We used descriptive statistics to report the finding. Results: We received valid responses from 55 participants (mean age 52.3 years, 69.1% males). Telehealth readiness was medium, indicating existence of certain barriers adversely impacting telehealth use. As for apps targeting smoking cessation and COPD, respondents indicated high relevance for visualization aspects for patients and control/overview features for the treating doctors. Only 40% of participants indicated that they would recommend a COPD app to an older patient. Conclusions: In smoking cessation therapy, doctors commonly adhere to the “5 A’s”: Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange. We suggest adding “App” as sixth A, assuming that in patient follow-up most of the other A’s could also be supported or even replaced by app features in the challenging task to tackle smoking-associated non-communicable diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco, Nicotine and Health)
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