Next Issue
Volume 56, July
Previous Issue
Volume 56, May

Table of Contents

Medicina, Volume 56, Issue 6 (June 2020) – 64 articles

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessCase Report
Combined Robotic Surgery for Double Renal Masses and Prostate Cancer: Myth or Reality?
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060318 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
With the widespread use of imaging modalities performed for the staging of prostate cancer, the incidental detection of synchronous tumors is increasing in frequency. Robotic surgery represents a technical evolution in the treatment of solid tumors of the urinary tract, and it can [...] Read more.
With the widespread use of imaging modalities performed for the staging of prostate cancer, the incidental detection of synchronous tumors is increasing in frequency. Robotic surgery represents a technical evolution in the treatment of solid tumors of the urinary tract, and it can be a valid option in the case of multi-organ involvement. We reported a case of synchronous prostate cancer and bifocal renal carcinoma in a 66-year-old male. We performed the first case of a combined upper- and lower-tract robotic surgery for a double-left-partial nephrectomy associated with radical prostatectomy by the transperitoneal approach. A comprehensive literature review in this field has also been carried out. Total operative time was 265 min. Renal hypotension time was 25 min. Blood loss was 250 mL. The patient had an uneventful postoperative course. No recurrence occurred after 12 months. In the literature, 10 cases of robotic, radical, or partial nephrectomy and simultaneous radical prostatectomy have been described. Robotic surgery provides less invasiveness than open surgery with comparable oncological efficacy, overcoming the limitations of the traditional laparoscopy. During robotic combined surgery for synchronous tumors, the planning of the trocars’ positioning is crucial to obtain good surgical results, reducing the abdominal trauma, the convalescence, and the length of hospitalization with a consequent cost reduction. Rare complications can be related to prolonged pneumoperitoneum. Simultaneous robotic prostatectomy and partial nephrectomy appears to be a safe and feasible surgical option in patients with synchronous prostate cancer and renal cell carcinoma. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of Risk Factors in Declined Kidneys from Donation after Brain Death and Circulatory Death
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060317 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Background and objectives: Kidneys from donation after circulatory death (DCD) are more likely to be declined for transplantation compared with kidneys from donation after brain death (DBD). The aim of this study was to evaluate characteristics in the biopsies of human DCD and [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Kidneys from donation after circulatory death (DCD) are more likely to be declined for transplantation compared with kidneys from donation after brain death (DBD). The aim of this study was to evaluate characteristics in the biopsies of human DCD and DBD kidneys that were declined for transplantation in order to rescue more DCD kidneys. Materials and Methods: Sixty kidney donors (DCD = 36, DBD = 24) were recruited into the study and assessed using donor demographics. Kidney biopsies taken post cold storage were also evaluated for histological damage, inflammation (myeloperoxidase, MPO), von Willebrand factor (vWF) expression, complement 4d (C4d) deposition and complement 3 (C3) activation using H&E and immunohistochemistry staining, and Western blotting. Results: More DBD donors (16/24) had a history of hypertension compared with DCDs (8/36, p = 0.001). The mean warm ischemic time in the DCD kidneys was 12.9 ± 3.9 min. The mean cold ischemic time was not significantly different between the two groups of kidney donors (DBD 33.3 ± 16.7 vs. DCD 28.6 ± 14.1 h, p > 0.05). The score of histological damage and MPO, as well as the reactivity of vWF, C4d and C3, varied between kidneys, but there was no significant difference between the two donor types (p > 0.05). However, vWF reactivity might be an early indicator for loss of tissue integrity, while C4d deposition and activated C3 might be better predictors for histological damage. Conclusions: Similar characteristics of DCD were shown in comparison with DBD kidneys. Importantly, the additional warm ischemic time in DCD appeared to have no further detectable adverse effects on tissue injury, inflammation and complement activation. vWF, C4d and C3 might be potential biomarkers facilitating the evaluation of donor kidneys. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Recurrent Pheochromocytoma in an Elderly Patient
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060316 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
Pheochromocytomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors that can affect people of all ages and are commonly diagnosed in the 4th and 5th decades of life. Familial pheochromocytomas are diagnosed mostly between the 2nd and 3rd decades of life. They can be benign or metastatic [...] Read more.
Pheochromocytomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors that can affect people of all ages and are commonly diagnosed in the 4th and 5th decades of life. Familial pheochromocytomas are diagnosed mostly between the 2nd and 3rd decades of life. They can be benign or metastatic and often present as isolated tumors or along with other neuroendocrine syndromes. We present a case of an elderly man who underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy for pheochromocytoma at the age of 60 years but developed recurrence of metastatic pheochromocytoma after ten years. We also conducted a literature review to understand the epidemiology and presentation of the tumor and to emphasize that there should be a low threshold of suspicion for timely diagnosis and management of recurrent pheochromocytoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Geriatrics/Aging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Analysis of Clinical Trials in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060315 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Background and objective: Despite medical advances, we are facing the unprecedented disaster of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic without available treatments and effective vaccines. As the COVID-19 pandemic has approached its culmination, desperate efforts have been made to seek proper treatments and [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Despite medical advances, we are facing the unprecedented disaster of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic without available treatments and effective vaccines. As the COVID-19 pandemic has approached its culmination, desperate efforts have been made to seek proper treatments and response strategies, and the number of clinical trials has been rapidly increasing. In this time of the pandemic, it is believed that learning lessons from it would be meaningful in preparing for future pandemics. Thus, this study aims at providing a comprehensive landscape of COVID-19 related clinical trials based on the ClinicalTrials.gov database. Materials and methods: Up to 30 March 2020, we identified a total of 147 eligible clinical trials and reviewed the overview of the studies. Results: Until then, the most clinical trials were set up in China. Treatment approaches are the most frequent purpose of the registered studies. Chloroquine, interferon, and antiviral agents such as remdesivir, lopinavir, and ritonavir are agents under investigation in these trials. Conclusions: In this study, we introduced the promising therapeutic options that many researchers and clinicians are interested in, and to address the hidden issues behind clinical trials in this COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Lung Ultrasound and Clinical Progression of Acute Bronchiolitis: A Prospective Observational Single-Center Study
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060314 - 26 Jun 2020
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Recent literature suggests that lung ultrasound might have a role in the diagnosis and management of bronchiolitis. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between an ultrasound score and the clinical progression of bronchiolitis: need for supplemental [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Recent literature suggests that lung ultrasound might have a role in the diagnosis and management of bronchiolitis. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between an ultrasound score and the clinical progression of bronchiolitis: need for supplemental oxygen, duration of oxygen therapy and hospital stay. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational single-center study, conducted in a pediatric unit during the 2017–2018 epidemic periods. All consecutive patients admitted with clinical signs of acute bronchiolitis, but without the need for supplemental oxygen, underwent a lung ultrasound in the first 24 h of hospital care. The lung involvement was graded based on the ultrasound score. During clinical progression, need for supplemental oxygen, duration of oxygen therapy and duration of hospital stay were recorded. Results: The final analysis included 83 patients, with a mean age of 4.5 ± 4.1 months. The lung ultrasound score in patients that required supplemental oxygen during hospitalization was 4.5 ± 1.7 (range: 2.0–8.0), different from the one of the not supplemented infants (2.5 ± 1.8; range: 0.0–6.0; p < 0.001). Ultrasound score was associated with the need for supplemental oxygen (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.5–3.3; p < 0.0001). Duration of oxygen therapy was not associated with LUS score (p > 0.05). Length of hospital stay (coef. = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.2–0.7; p < 0.0001) correlates with LUS score. Conclusion: Lung ultrasound score correlates with the need of supplemental oxygen and length of hospital stay in infants with acute bronchiolitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatrics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Comparison of WBGTs over Different Surfaces within an Athletic Complex
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060313 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 143
Abstract
Many athletic governing bodies are adopting on-site measurement of the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) as part of their heat safety policies. It is well known, however, that microclimatic conditions can vary over different surface types and a question is whether more than one [...] Read more.
Many athletic governing bodies are adopting on-site measurement of the wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) as part of their heat safety policies. It is well known, however, that microclimatic conditions can vary over different surface types and a question is whether more than one WBGT sensor is needed to accurately capture local environmental conditions. Our study collected matched WBGT data over three commonly used athletic surfaces (grass, artificial turf, and hardcourt tennis) across an athletic complex on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. Data were collected every 10 min from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. over a four-day period during July 2019. Results indicate that there is no difference in WBGT among the three surfaces, even when considered over morning, midday, and afternoon practice periods. We did observe microclimatic differences in dry-bulb temperature and dewpoint temperature among the sites. Greater dry-bulb and lower dewpoint temperatures occurred over the tennis and artificial turf surfaces compared with the grass field because of reduced evapotranspiration and increase convective transfers of sensible heat over these surfaces. The lack of difference in WBGT among the surfaces is attributed to the counterbalancing influences of the different components that comprise the index. We conclude that, in a humid, subtropical climate over well-watered grass, there is no difference in WBGT among the three athletic surfaces and that, under these circumstances, a single monitoring site can provide representative WBGTs for nearby athletic surfaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention, Recognition, and Treatment of Exertional Heat Illnesses)
Open AccessArticle
Patterns and Factors Associated with Self-Medication among the Pediatric Population in Romania
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060312 - 25 Jun 2020
Viewed by 205
Abstract
Background and objectives: Self-medication is a global phenomenon in both developed and emerging countries. At present, data regarding the practice, patterns, and factors associated with self-medication in Romanian patient groups of various ages and health are relatively scarce. A pilot study that uses [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Self-medication is a global phenomenon in both developed and emerging countries. At present, data regarding the practice, patterns, and factors associated with self-medication in Romanian patient groups of various ages and health are relatively scarce. A pilot study that uses a questionnaire was conducted to observe the attitudes as well as the behaviors of a group of Romanian parents related to self-medication, specifically their beliefs and perceived risks of the administration of medicine to their children without medical advice, frequency of self-medications, symptoms, and types of medications most commonly used without medical advice. Materials and Methods: The questionnaire was sent via e-mail or WhatsApp link on a mobile phone using the existing data at the general practitioner’s office together with the protection of data form and the informed consent form; some participants completed the questionnaire when they came for a regular visit at the general practitioner’s office. Of 246 applied questionnaires, we had a rate of responses of 98%. Results: We found a high percentage (70%) of parents who self-medicate their children. The data reveals a significant relation between parents’ beliefs on self-medication and their tendency to administrate drugs to their children without medical advice. A significant relation was also found between the likelihood of parental self-medication for their children and the number of illnesses experienced by their children over the six-month period prior to the survey. Even when parents have a correct understanding of self-medication risks, these are not aligned with actual behavior; therefore, parents continue to administer drugs to their children without medical advice. Conclusions: Our study helps to describe the patterns of parents’ decisions about self-medicating their children and to identify parents who are more predisposed to administering self-medication to their children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interdisciplinary Medicine)
Open AccessArticle
Prognostic Factors for All-Cause Mortality in Thai Patients with Fragility Fracture of Hip: Comorbidities and Laboratory Evaluations
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060311 - 24 Jun 2020
Viewed by 242
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Although the types of comorbidities and laboratory evaluations are major factors associated with mortality after hip fractures, there have been no studies of the association of these factors and mortality in Thai hip-fracture patients. This study aimed to identify [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Although the types of comorbidities and laboratory evaluations are major factors associated with mortality after hip fractures, there have been no studies of the association of these factors and mortality in Thai hip-fracture patients. This study aimed to identify prognostic factors associated with mortality after a hip fracture in the Thai population, including types of comorbidities, treatment-related factors, and laboratory evaluations. Materials and Methods: This five-year retrospective study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Thailand. A total of 775 Thai patients who had been admitted with a hip fracture resulting from a simple fall were identified using the International Classification of Disease 10 codes, and a review of their medical charts was conducted. Associations between general factors, comorbidities, laboratory evaluations, treatment factors including type of treatment, and time to death were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazard regression and the hazard ratio (HR). Results: The overall mortality rate of hip fracture patients was 13.94%. Independent prognostic factors found to be significantly associated with mortality were nonoperative treatment (HR = 3.29, p < 0.001), admission glomerular filtration rate (GFR) < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2 (HR = 3.40, p < 0.001), admission hemoglobin concentration <10 g/dL. (HR = 2.31, p < 0.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (HR = 2.63, p < 0.001), dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (HR = 4.06, p < 0.001), and active malignancy (HR = 6.80, p < 0.001). Conclusion: The types of comorbidities and laboratory evaluation findings associated with mortality in Thai patients with hip fractures include chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, active malignancy, admission GFR < 30 mL/min/1.73 m2, and admission hemoglobin concentration <10 g/dL. The risks of mortality for Thai hip-fracture patients with these comorbidities or laboratory evaluation findings were 2.5, 4, 7, 3.5, and 2.5 times higher, respectively, than patients without those factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Surgery)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Surgical Treatment of Oroantral Fistulae in Smokers Versus Non-Smokers
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060310 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 191
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Smoking has been found to interfere with wound healing processes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare surgical treatment of oroantral fistulae (OAFs) in smokers and non-smokers. Materials and Methods: Medical records of all consecutive patients [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Smoking has been found to interfere with wound healing processes. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare surgical treatment of oroantral fistulae (OAFs) in smokers and non-smokers. Materials and Methods: Medical records of all consecutive patients who underwent surgical closure of OAFs between 2003 and 2016 at the oral and maxillofacial surgery department, Rabin Medical Center, Israel were reviewed. Patients’ demographic data, preoperative signs and symptoms, surgical method of repair, and postoperative complications were recorded. Results: The cohort consisted of 38 smokers and 59 non-smokers. Age and gender distributions were similar in both groups. The main etiology in both groups was tooth extraction, followed by pre-prosthetic surgery in smokers and odontogenic infection in non-smokers (p = 0.02). Preoperative conditions were not significantly different between smokers and non-smokers in terms of size of soft tissue fistula and bony defect, chronic sinusitis and foreign bodies inside the sinus. OAFs were repaired by local soft tissue flaps without consideration of smoking status. Smokers experienced more moderate-severe postoperative pain (p = 0.05) and requested more weak opioids (p = 0.06). Postoperative complications included infection, delayed wound healing, residual OAF, pain, sensory disturbances and sino nasal symptoms. These were mostly minor and tended to be more frequent in smokers (p = 0.35). Successful closure of OAFs was obtained in all patients except one smoker who required revision surgery. Conclusions: Smokers may be more susceptible to OAFs secondary to preprosthetic surgery. In this cohort, there was no statistically significant difference in outcome between smokers and non-smokers in terms of failure. However, smokers tended to have more severe postoperative pain and discomfort and to experience more postoperative complications. Further studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted to validate these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Surgery – Minimizing Postoperative Morbidity)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Oral Administration of Cannabis and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Preparations: A Systematic Review
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060309 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 290
Abstract
Background and objective: Changes in cannabis legalization regimes in several countries have influenced the diversification of cannabis use. There is an ever-increasing number of cannabis forms available, which are gaining popularity for both recreational and therapeutic use. From a therapeutic perspective, oral [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Changes in cannabis legalization regimes in several countries have influenced the diversification of cannabis use. There is an ever-increasing number of cannabis forms available, which are gaining popularity for both recreational and therapeutic use. From a therapeutic perspective, oral cannabis containing Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) is a promising route of administration but there is still little information about its pharmacokinetics (PK) effects in humans. The purpose of this systematic review is to provide a general overview of the available PK data on cannabis and THC after oral administration. Materials and Methods: A search of the published literature was conducted using the PubMed database to collect available articles describing the PK data of THC after oral administration in humans. Results: The literature search yielded 363 results, 26 of which met our inclusion criteria. The PK of oral THC has been studied using capsules (including oil content), tablets, baked goods (brownies and cookies), and oil and tea (decoctions). Capsules and tablets, which mainly correspond to pharmaceutical forms, were found to be the oral formulations most commonly studied. Overall, the results reflect the high variability in the THC absorption of oral formulations, with delayed peak plasma concentrations compared to other routes of administration. Conclusions: Oral THC has a highly variable PK profile that differs between formulations, with seemingly higher variability in baked goods and oil forms. Overall, there is limited information available in this field. Therefore, further investigations are required to unravel the unpredictability of oral THC administration to increase the effectiveness and safety of oral formulations in medicinal use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Synthetic Cannabinoids)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Rates of Intracranial Hemorrhage in Mild Head Trauma Patients Presenting to Emergency Department and Their Management: A Comparison of Direct Oral Anticoagulant Drugs with Vitamin K Antagonists
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060308 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
Background and objectives: Anticoagulants are thought to increase the risks of traumatic intracranial injury and poor clinical outcomes after blunt head trauma. The safety of using direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) after intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is unclear. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Anticoagulants are thought to increase the risks of traumatic intracranial injury and poor clinical outcomes after blunt head trauma. The safety of using direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) compared to vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) after intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is unclear. This study aims to compare the incidence of post-traumatic ICH following mild head injury (MHI) and to assess the need for surgery, mortality rates, emergency department (ED) revisit rates, and the volume of ICH. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective, single-center observational study on all patients admitted to our emergency department for mild head trauma from 1 January 2016, to 31 December 2018. We enrolled 234 anticoagulated patients, of which 156 were on VKAs and 78 on DOACs. Patients underwent computed tomography (CT) scans on arrival (T0) and after 24 h (T24). The control group consisted of patients not taking anticoagulants, had no clotting disorders, and who reported an MHI in the same period. About 54% in the control group had CTs performed. Results: The anticoagulated groups were comparable in baseline parameters. Patients on VKA developed ICH more frequently than patients on DOACs and the control group at 17%, 5.13%, and 7.5%, respectively. No significant difference between the two groups was noted in terms of surgery, intrahospital mortality rates, ED revisit rates, and the volume of ICH. Conclusions: Patients with mild head trauma on DOAC therapy had a similar prevalence of ICH to that of the control group. Meanwhile, patients on VKA therapy had about twice the ICH prevalence than that on the control group or patients on DOAC, which remained after correcting for age. No significant difference in the need for surgery was determined; however, this result must take into account the very small number of patients needing surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traumatic Brain Injury: Current Efforts in Research and Clinical Care)
Open AccessArticle
Association between Osteoporosis and Cognitive Impairment during the Acute and Recovery Phases of Ischemic Stroke
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060307 - 23 Jun 2020
Viewed by 199
Abstract
Background and objectives: Little is known about the effect of osteoporosis on cognitive function in the acute and recovery phases of stroke. Early bone mineral density assessments during acute stroke may be a useful marker of cognitive function. We evaluated the effect of [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Little is known about the effect of osteoporosis on cognitive function in the acute and recovery phases of stroke. Early bone mineral density assessments during acute stroke may be a useful marker of cognitive function. We evaluated the effect of osteoporosis on cognitive function at the early and recovery phase of ischemic stroke in patients aged >50 years. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively examined consecutive patients with acute stroke hospitalized between 2016 and 2018. Osteoporosis was defined as a T-score <–2.5 for the femoral neck or lumbar spine bone mineral density. The primary outcome was cognitive impairment measured by the Korean Mini-Mental State Examination in the acute phase and recovery phase of ischemic stroke. Results: Of the 260 included subjects (107 men and 153 women), 70 (26.9%) had osteoporosis. Cognitive impairment was more severe in the osteoporosis group than in the non-osteoporosis group (30.5% versus 47.1%, p = 0.001). After the recovery phase of stroke, the proportion of patients with cognitive impairment remained higher in the osteoporosis group. The multivariate analysis revealed a correlation between a low femoral neck bone mineral density and severe cognitive impairment in the acute and recovery phases of stroke (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 4.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11–15.14 in the acute phase, and adjusted OR 11.17, 95% CI 1.12–110.98 in the recovery phase). Conclusions: Low bone mineral density is associated with poor cognitive function in the acute and recovery phases of stroke. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCase Report
Report of Positive Placental Swabs for SARS-CoV-2 in an Asymptomatic Pregnant Woman with COVID-19
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060306 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Currently, limited data on maternal and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women with infection and pneumonia related to SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are available. Our report aims to describe a case of placental swabs positive for the molecular research on severe acute respiratory syndrome [...] Read more.
Currently, limited data on maternal and neonatal outcomes of pregnant women with infection and pneumonia related to SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are available. Our report aims to describe a case of placental swabs positive for the molecular research on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 RNA in an asymptomatic woman with positive rhino-pharyngeal swab for SARS-CoV-2 who underwent an urgent cesarean section in our obstetrics unit. Sample collection, processing, and laboratory testing were conducted in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. In the next months, conclusive data on obstetrical outcomes concerning the gestational age and pregnancy comorbidity as well as the eventual maternal–fetal transmission are needed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Global Longitudinal Strain of the Systemic Ventricle Is Correlated with Plasma Galectin-3 and Predicts Major Cardiovascular Events in Adult Patients with Congenital Heart Disease
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060305 - 22 Jun 2020
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Backround and Objective: We sought to assess in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients the prognostic value of plasma galectin-3 (Gal-3) levels and systemic ventricular global longitudinal strain (SV GLS) as well as their association with NTproBNP and arrhythmogenesis. Materials and Methods [...] Read more.
Backround and Objective: We sought to assess in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients the prognostic value of plasma galectin-3 (Gal-3) levels and systemic ventricular global longitudinal strain (SV GLS) as well as their association with NTproBNP and arrhythmogenesis. Materials and Methods: We studied 58 patients (26 men, mean age 37 ± 16.8 years) with various congenital heart diseases. Patients underwent echocardiogram, 24 h ambulatory ECG monitoring, while NTproBNP and Gal-3 were measured. They were followed up (median of 790.5 days -IQR 350.3 days) and major cardiovascular events (MACE) were recorded. Results. Mean Gal-3 levels were 17.07 ± 6.38 ng/m. Plasma Gal-3 was correlated with LogNTproBNP (r = 0.456, p = 0.001).Gal-3 levels associated with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) (p < 0.001) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) (p < 0.001), but was not associated with MACE (HR 1.018, 95% CI 0.944–1.098, p = 0.641).Mean SVGLS in patients with systemic left ventricle was −15.91% ± 4.09%, which was significantly lower compared to patients with systemic right ventricle and patients with single ventricle (−11.42% ± 3.37% and −11.9% ± 5.06%, respectively, p = 0.021).SV GLS correlated with plasma Gal-3 (r = 0.313, p = 0.027) and logNTproBNP (r = 0.479, p < 0.001). SVGLS correlated with VT arrhythmias (p = 0.004). NTproBNP predicted MACE (AUC 0.750, p = 0.03). SVGLS also predicted MACE (AUC 0.745, p = 0.03. In multivariate analysis, SVGLS and logNTproBNP maintained their predictive value (p = 0.004 and p = 0.009, respectively) Conclusion: In ACHD patients, SV GLS was found to predict MACE independently from NTproBNP and correlated with VT. Gal-3 correlated with NTproBNP and SVGLS as well as SVT and VT, but has not been shown to bear significant prognostic potential. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cervical-Vaginal Mucin in Fertility Assessment: CA125 as a Predictor of the Fertile Phase of the Normal Menstrual Cycle
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060304 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 309
Abstract
To evaluate the cervical-vaginal mucin, CA125, as a measure of fertility and possible method for natural family planning (NFP). Cervical-vaginal fluid (CVF) swab samples have been previously used to measure CA125, ‘Qvaginal CA125 levels’, as a function of time of cycle relative to [...] Read more.
To evaluate the cervical-vaginal mucin, CA125, as a measure of fertility and possible method for natural family planning (NFP). Cervical-vaginal fluid (CVF) swab samples have been previously used to measure CA125, ‘Qvaginal CA125 levels’, as a function of time of cycle relative to Day 0, the first day of positive urine LH (luteinizing hormone). Data from 15 women, 20 cycles were used with an algorithm to establish the Fertile Start Day (FSD) for the cycles. The FSD was determined as either the second consecutive day of ≥20% Qvaginal CA125 rise or the first day of ≥400% rise. The interval, (FSD to Day +3), was used as the theoretical window of fertility, and conception rates assuming abstinence during this predicted period of fertility were computed using published day-specific probabilities of conception (PoC). The mean FSD was Day −4.8 ± 0.5 (SE), 95% CI (−5.9, −3.7). The estimated pregnancy failure rate (PFR) with abstinence during [FSD, +3] was 10.7% ± 2.0% (SE), 95% CI (6.9%, 14.8%); with exclusion of one cycle with very low levels of Qvaginal CA125, the estimated PFR was 9.8% ± 1.9%, 95% CI (6.3%, 13.8%). Furthermore, the day-specific Qvaginal CA125 values were normalized to the respective peak Qvaginal CA125 for each cycle, and a mean normalized day-specific Qvaginal CA125 plot was generated. The first derivative of the mean normalized day-specific Qvaginal CA125 plot showed a significant increase between Day −4.5 and Day −3.5, which correlated with the mean FSD. A Qvaginal CA125-based method holds promise as a means to identify the start of the fertile window and may prove useful in NFP, especially when combined with available home hormonal fertility awareness kits. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Right Ventricle Mechanics and Function during Stress in Patients with Asymptomatic Primary Moderate to Severe Mitral Regurgitation and Preserved Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060303 - 20 Jun 2020
Viewed by 193
Abstract
Background and objectives. Mitral regurgitation (MR) is usually dynamic and increasing with exertion. Stress may provoke symptoms, cause the progression of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and unmask subclinical changes of the left and right ventricle function. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Background and objectives. Mitral regurgitation (MR) is usually dynamic and increasing with exertion. Stress may provoke symptoms, cause the progression of pulmonary hypertension (PH) and unmask subclinical changes of the left and right ventricle function. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes of right ventricle (RV) functional parameters during stress and to find out determinants of RV function in patients with MR. Materials and methods. We performed a prospective study that included patients with asymptomatic primary moderate to severe MR and preserved left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) at rest (≥60%). Conventional 2D echocardiography at rest and during stress (bicycle ergometry) and offline speckle tracking analysis were performed. Results. 80 patients were included as MR (50) and control (30) groups. Conventional functional and myocardial deformation parameters of RV were similar in both groups at all stages of exercise (p > 0.05). The grade of MR (p = 0.004) and higher LV global longitudinal strain (p = 0.037) contributed significantly to the changes of tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) from rest to peak stress. Changes of MR ERA from the rest to peak stress were related to RV free wall longitudinal strain (FWLS) and four chambers longitudinal stain (4CLS) at rest (p = 0.011; r = −0.459 and p = 0.001; r = −0.572, respectively). Significant correlations between LV EF, stroke volume, cardiac output and RV fractional area change, S′, TAPSE, FWLS, 4CLS were obtained. However, systolic pulmonary artery pressure and RV functional, deformation parameters were not related (p > 0.05). Conclusions. Functional parameters of LV during exercise and severity of MR were significant determinants of RV function while PH has no correlation with it in patients with primary asymptomatic moderate to severe MR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Risk Factors and Management of Osteoporosis Post-Transplant
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 302; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060302 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 254
Abstract
Bone and mineral disorders are common after organ transplantation. Osteoporosis post transplantation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Pathogenesis of bone disorders in this particular sub set of the population is complicated by multiple co-existing factors like preexisting bone disease, Vitamin D [...] Read more.
Bone and mineral disorders are common after organ transplantation. Osteoporosis post transplantation is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Pathogenesis of bone disorders in this particular sub set of the population is complicated by multiple co-existing factors like preexisting bone disease, Vitamin D deficiency and parathyroid dysfunction. Risk factors include post-transplant immobilization, steroid usage, diabetes mellitus, low body mass index, older age, female sex, smoking, alcohol consumption and a sedentary lifestyle. Immunosuppressive medications post-transplant have a negative impact on outcomes, and further aggravate osteoporotic risk. Management is complex and challenging due to the sub-optimal sensitivity and specificity of non-invasive diagnostic tests, and the underutilization of bone biopsy. In this review, we summarize the prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnostic tests and management of osteoporosis in solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Can the Computed Tomographic Aspect of Porto-Systemic Circulation in Cirrhotic Patients Be Associated with the Presence of Variceal Hemorrhage?
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060301 - 19 Jun 2020
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Background and objectives: Variceal bleeding is a serious complication caused by portal hypertension, frequently encountered among cirrhotic patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the aspect of the collateral, porto-systemic circulation, as detected by CT are associated with the presence [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Variceal bleeding is a serious complication caused by portal hypertension, frequently encountered among cirrhotic patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the aspect of the collateral, porto-systemic circulation, as detected by CT are associated with the presence variceal hemorrhage (VH). Materials and Methods: 81 cirrhotic patients who underwent a contrast-enhanced CT examination were retrospectively included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups: Cirrhotic patients with variceal hemorrhage during the hospital admission concomitant, with the CT examination (n = 33) and group 2-cirrhotic patients, without any variceal hemorrhage in their medical history (n = 48). The diameter of the left gastric vein, the presence or absence and dimensions of oesophageal and gastric varices, paraumbilical veins and splenorenal shunts were the indicators assessed on CT. Results: The univariate analysis showed a significant association between the presence of upper GI bleeding and the diameters of paraoesophageal veins, paragastric veins and left gastric vein respectively, all of these CT parameters being higher in patients with variceal bleeding. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, only the diameter of the left gastric vein was independently associated with the presence of variceal hemorrhage (OR = 1.6 (95% CI: 1.17–2.19), p = 0.003). We found an optimal cut-off value of 3 mm for the diameter of the left gastric vein useful to discriminate among patients with variceal hemorrhage from the ones without it, with a good diagnostic performance (AUC = 0.78, Se = 97%, Sp = 45.8%, PPV = 55.2%, NPV = 95.7%). Conclusions: Our observations point out that an objective CT quantification of porto-systemic circulation can be correlated with the presence of variceal hemorrhage and the diameter of the left gastric vein can be a reliable parameter associated with this condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hepatology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
B-Cell Lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and Regulation of Apoptosis after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Clinical Perspective
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060300 - 18 Jun 2020
Viewed by 228
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The injury burden after head trauma is exacerbated by secondary sequelae, which leads to further neuronal loss. B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) is an anti-apoptotic protein and a key modulator of the programmed cell death (PCD) pathways. The current study evaluates [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The injury burden after head trauma is exacerbated by secondary sequelae, which leads to further neuronal loss. B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) is an anti-apoptotic protein and a key modulator of the programmed cell death (PCD) pathways. The current study evaluates the clinical evidence on Bcl-2 and neurological recovery in patients after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Materials and Methods: All studies in English were queried from the National Library of Medicine PubMed database using the following search terms: (B-cell lymphoma 2/Bcl-2/Bcl2) AND (brain injury/head injury/head trauma/traumatic brain injury) AND (human/patient/subject). There were 10 investigations conducted on Bcl-2 and apoptosis in TBI patients, of which 5 analyzed the pericontutional brain tissue obtained from surgical decompression, 4 studied Bcl-2 expression as a biomarker in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and 1 was a prospective randomized trial. Results: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) in 94 adults with severe TBI showed upregulation of Bcl-2 in the pericontusional tissue. Bcl-2 was detected in 36–75% of TBI patients, while it was generally absent in the non-TBI controls, with Bcl-2 expression increased 2.9- to 17-fold in TBI patients. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) positivity for cell death was detected in 33–73% of TBI patients. CSF analysis in 113 TBI subjects (90 adults, 23 pediatric patients) showed upregulation of Bcl-2 that peaked on post-injury day 3 and subsequently declined after day 5. Increased Bcl-2 in the peritraumatic tissue, rising CSF Bcl-2 levels, and the variant allele of rs17759659 are associated with improved mortality and better outcomes on the Glasgow Outcome Score (GOS). Conclusions: Bcl-2 is upregulated in the pericontusional brain and CSF in the acute period after TBI. Bcl-2 has a neuroprotective role as a pro-survival protein in experimental models, and increased expression in patients can contribute to improvement in clinical outcomes. Its utility as a biomarker and therapeutic target to block neuronal apoptosis after TBI warrants further evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traumatic Brain Injury: Current Efforts in Research and Clinical Care)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Lactation Ketoacidosis: A Systematic Review of Case Reports
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060299 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 319
Abstract
Background and Objective: Lactation ketoacidosis is a rare cause of high anion gap metabolic acidosis affecting breastfeeding mothers. We aim to review and analyze all cases of lactation ketoacidosis reported. Materials and Methods: A systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE and Cumulative Index [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Lactation ketoacidosis is a rare cause of high anion gap metabolic acidosis affecting breastfeeding mothers. We aim to review and analyze all cases of lactation ketoacidosis reported. Materials and Methods: A systematic search of PubMed/MEDLINE and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), identifying relevant case reports published from 1 January 1970 to 31 December 2019. We extracted the following data: the first author, country, year of publication, age of the mother, age of the child, weight/body mass index (BMI) of the mother, precipitating factors, presenting symptoms, biochemical results, treatment, breastfeeding, and time from presentation to the resolution of ketoacidosis. Results: Sixteen case reports and 1 case series reporting 18 cases of lactation ketoacidosis were found. Presenting symptoms were nausea (72%, 13/18), vomiting (67%, 12/18), malaise (56%, 10/18), abdominal pain (44%, 8/18), dyspnea (33%, 6/18), headache (22%, 4/18), and palpitation (11%, 2/18). Dieting and physical exercise to lose weight were reported in 76% (14/18). The treatments included IV dextrose, sodium bicarbonate, insulin, rehydration, monitoring and replacement of electrolytes, and resumption of a balanced diet. The prognoses were good, with no mortalities. Conclusions: lactation ketoacidosis should be suspected in unwell breastfeeding women with high anion gap metabolic acidosis, after excluding other causes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Tumor Suppressors—HTRA Proteases and Interleukin-12—in Pediatric Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis Patients
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060298 - 17 Jun 2020
Viewed by 232
Abstract
Background and objective: Allergy belongs to a group of mast cell-related disorders and is one of the most common diseases of childhood. It was shown that asthma and allergic rhinitis diminish the risk of various cancers, including colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic [...] Read more.
Background and objective: Allergy belongs to a group of mast cell-related disorders and is one of the most common diseases of childhood. It was shown that asthma and allergic rhinitis diminish the risk of various cancers, including colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. On the other hand, asthma augments the risk of lung cancer and an increased risk of breast cancer in patients with allergy has been observed. Thus, the relation between allergy and cancer is not straightforward and furthermore, its biological mechanism is unknown. The HTRA (high temperature requirement A) proteases promote apoptosis, may function as tumor suppressors and HTRA1 is known to be released by mast cells. Interleukin-12 (Il-12) is an important cytokine that induces antitumor immune responses and is produced mainly by dendritic cells that co-localize with mast cells in superficial organs. Material and methods: In the present study we have assessed with ELISA plasma levels of the HTRA proteins, Il-12, and of the anti-HTRA autoantibodies in children with allergy (40) and in age matched controls (39). Children are a special population, since they usually do not have comorbidities and take not many drugs the processes we want to observe are not influenced by many other factors. Results: We have found a significant increase of HTRA1, 2 and 3, and of the Il-12 levels in the children with atopy (asthma and allergic rhinitis) compared to controls. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the HTRA1–3 and Il-12 levels might be useful in analyzing the pro- and antioncogenic potential in young atopic patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Allergy and Immunology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Residual Pulmonary Hypertension More than 20 Years after Repair of Shunt Lesions
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060297 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 251
Abstract
Background and Objectives: After successful surgical repair of a congenital shunt lesion, pulmonary hypertension (PH) often disappears. However, PH can persist long-term after the closure. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of PH long-term after surgical repair of congenital heart disease (CHD), [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: After successful surgical repair of a congenital shunt lesion, pulmonary hypertension (PH) often disappears. However, PH can persist long-term after the closure. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of PH long-term after surgical repair of congenital heart disease (CHD), and to evaluate the outcomes and preoperative factors related to residual PH. Materials and Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we reviewed patients who underwent right heart catheterisation in Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos during the period of 1985–2007. Among 4118 right heart catheterisations performed, 160 patients underwent congenital systemic-to-pulmonary shunt repair at a young age (<18 years) and had pre-operative PH. Half of the patients were foreigners whose follow-up data were unavailable. Eventually, 88 patients with available follow-up data were included in this study. Results: The median age at diagnosis of CHD with PH was 0.8 (0.6–3.0) and 1.1 (0.6–3.9) years at surgery (50% females). Residual PH was assessed 9.5 years after surgery and observed in 30.7% (n = 27) of the patients. It was associated with having more than one shunt (44.4% (n = 12), p = 0.016) and higher median pulmonary vascular resistance (3.4 (2.5–6.5) vs. 2.2 (1.0–3.7), p = 0.035) at baseline. After a median follow-up of 21 (15–24) years, 9.1% of the patients were deceased. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis revealed significantly higher mortality in the residual PH group (p = 0.035). Conclusions: Residual PH affects a significant proportion of patients after surgical repair of a shunt lesion and is associated with worse long-term outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Nipple–Areola Complex Reconstruction
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060296 - 16 Jun 2020
Viewed by 266
Abstract
The reconstruction of the nipple–areola complex is the last step in the breast reconstruction process. Several techniques have been described over the years. The aim of this review is to provide clarity on the currently available reconstructive options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates in Breast Reconstruction: Review from Evidence)
Open AccessCommunication
Who Consult an Adult Psychiatric Emergency Department? Pertinence of Admissions and Opportunities for Telepsychiatry
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 295; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060295 - 13 Jun 2020
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Psychiatric disorders constitute frequent causes of emergency department (ED) admissions and these rates are increasing. However, referring to ED a whole range of conditions that could or should be dealt with elsewhere is imposing itself as a problematic situation. We aimed: (1) to provide a descriptive picture of the socio-demographic and diagnostic characteristics of the visits among adults at the psychiatric ED; (2) to estimate the clinical pertinence of these visits. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of diagnostic/socio-demographic characteristics and clinical trajectories of patients admitted for a psychiatric condition at the adult psychiatric ED of the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG), Switzerland, during a 6-week timespan. Results: In our sample (n = 763 total admissions for psychiatric conditions; n = 702 for inclusion of patients having received a medical evaluation), depression/anxiety, suicidal behavior (SB), psychotic episode, and substance use disorder (SUD), in descending order, were the most common diagnoses for referral. Patients belonged to younger age groups (≤65 years), had a familial status other than married/in couple, and did not present an unfavorable socio-demographic profile. Concerning the pertinence for a psychiatric ED, primary diagnosis of depression/anxiety is the only variable significantly associated with different grade of degree. By the examination of the patients’ trajectory from admission to discharge, the clinical pertinence for a psychiatric ED admission existed for cases assigned to the Echelle Suisse du Tri (EST®) scale degree 1 (corresponding to most urgent and severe conditions), particularly for diagnoses of depression/anxiety associated with SB, SB as primary or comorbid diagnosis, and psychotic and manic/hypomanic episode. However, diagnoses of depression/anxiety without urgent and severe features (degrees 2, 3, 4) constituted the most frequent mode of presentation. Conclusions: Ambulatory and community-integrated settings could be more appropriate for the majority of patients admitted to adult psychiatric EDs. Moreover, the implementation of telepsychiatry strategies represents a very promising opportunity to offer these patients care continuity, reduce costs and filter the demand for psychiatric ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatry)
Open AccessOpinion
Dental Care Provision during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic: The Importance of Continuous Support for Vulnerable Patients
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060294 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 384
Abstract
As a result of the ongoing 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the medical and dental services across the world have to tackle unprecedented situations, providing essential care and professional support. The global health care crisis caused directly by the vast number of severe [...] Read more.
As a result of the ongoing 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the medical and dental services across the world have to tackle unprecedented situations, providing essential care and professional support. The global health care crisis caused directly by the vast number of severe COVID-19 cases, and indirectly by reduced access to health care, as well as by limited secondary care provision, had a major impact on specialist services, and subsequently the deterioration of medical and dental conditions, particularly in vulnerable persons. In particular, at present, special care dentistry seems to play a unique role, dealing with a wide range of patients with underlying medical conditions and co-morbidities, phobic individuals, and persons with learning/physical disabilities. The effective adaptation of health services to the current new reality, based on an empathetic approach and recent guidelines, would allow us to maintain an adequate care provision, minimizing the long-term impact of the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ectopic Cervical Pregnancy: Treatment Route
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060293 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 226
Abstract
Background and objectives: Cervical pregnancy (CP) is a rare form of ectopic pregnancy (EP) in which the embryo implants and grows inside the endocervical canal. Early diagnosis is essential in order to allow conservative medical and surgical treatments. Although many treatment approaches are [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Cervical pregnancy (CP) is a rare form of ectopic pregnancy (EP) in which the embryo implants and grows inside the endocervical canal. Early diagnosis is essential in order to allow conservative medical and surgical treatments. Although many treatment approaches are disponible, the most effective is still unclear. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of hysteroscopic management in early CP in order to preserve future fertility. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective observational case series. Five patients with a diagnosis of CP, hemodynamically stables and managed conservatively between 2014 and 2019 at the Institute of Child and Maternal Health Burlo Garofolo in Trieste, Italy, were included. Four patients, with βhCG levels > 5000 mUi/mL were managed by hysteroscopy, with or without a previous systemic Methotrexate (MTX). One case with βhCG levels < 5000 mUi/mL was treated using MTX combined to Mifepristone and Misoprostol. Results: In one patient treated by hysteroscopy alone it occurred a profuse vaginal bleeding with necessity for blood transfusion. Haemorrhage was controlled by a second hysteroscopic procedure. No complications, such as vaginal bleeding, were recorded in the other cases. Serum β-hCG levels become undetectable in a range of 15–40 days after hysteroscopic management; after medical treatment it become undetectable after 35 days. Serum βhCG levels had a faster drop the day after hysteroscopy than post medical management. The onset of a spontaneous pregnancy at the normal implantation site occurred after five months in one case treated by hysteroscopy. Conclusions: Many therapeutic approaches are effective for CP treatment. Hysteroscopy, alone or in combination with MTX, may provide a greater effect on the descent of βhCG, leading to a reduction of the hospitalization stay, decreasing costs and period for attempt pregnancy. Further prospective studies on larger samples are needed to define therapeutic protocols for CP management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Acute Effects of a Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Product on Pulmonary Function
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060292 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 351
Abstract
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: During the last decade, conventional tobacco smoking is experiencing a decline and new smoking products have been introduced. IQOS (“I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking”) is a type of “heat-not-burn” (HNB) tobacco product. The impact of IQOS on respiratory health is currently not defined. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the acute effects of IQOS on pulmonary function in non-smokers and current smokers. Materials and Methods: Fifty male healthy non-smokers and current smokers with no known co-morbidity underwent an exhaled CO measurement, oximetry (SaO2%), pulmonary function tests (flows, volumes and diffusion capacity), and a measurement of respiratory resistances with an impulse oscillometry system (IOS) before and immediately after IQOS use. Results: In the whole group of 50 participants, SaO2%, forced expiratory flow at 25% and 50% of vital capacity (FEF 25%, FEF 50%, respectively), peak expiratory flow (PEF), and diffusion lung capacity for carbon monoxide/VA (KCO) decreased significantly after IQOS use, whereas exhaled CO and airway resistance (R5 Hz, R10 Hz, r15 Hz, R20 Hz, R25 Hz, R35 Hz) increased. When the groups of smokers and non-smokers were compared, in both groups (all males, 25 smokers and 25 non-smokers), exhaled CO increased and SaO2% decreased after IQOS use (p < 0.001). In the group of non-smokers, PEF (pre 8.22 ± 2.06 vs. post 7.5 ± 2.16, p = 0.001) and FEF 25% (pre 7.6 ± 1.89 vs. 7.14 ± 2.06, p = 0.009) decreased significantly; respiratory resistances R20 Hz (pre 0.34 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.36 ± 0.09, p = 0.09) and R25 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.1 vs. post 0.38 ± 0.09, p = 0.08) increased almost significantly. In smokers, PEF (pre 7.69 ± 2.26 vs. post 7.12 ± 2.03, p = 0.007) and expiratory reserve volume (ERV) (pre 1.57 ± 0.76 vs. post1.23 ± 0.48, p = 0.03) decreased and R35 Hz (pre 0.36 ± 0.11 vs. post 0.39 ± 0.11, p = 0.047) increased. The differences in the changes after the use of IQOS did not differ between groups. Conclusions: IQOS had an impact on exhaled CO, SaO2%, and airways function immediately after use. Even though these changes were rather small to be considered of major clinical importance, they should raise concerns regarding the long-term safety of this product. Further research is needed for the short- and long-term effects of IQOS, especially in patients with respiratory disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
Open AccessArticle
Dropped Head Syndrome Attenuation by Hybrid Assistive Limb: A Preliminary Study of Three Cases on Cervical Alignment during Walking
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060291 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Dropped head syndrome (DHS) is characterized by apparent neck extensor muscle weakness and difficulty in extending the neck to raise the head against gravity. DHS affects forward vision and eating behavior, and hence impairs quality of life. However, standardized treatment [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Dropped head syndrome (DHS) is characterized by apparent neck extensor muscle weakness and difficulty in extending the neck to raise the head against gravity. DHS affects forward vision and eating behavior, and hence impairs quality of life. However, standardized treatment of DHS has not yet been established. The purpose of this preliminary study is to seek for a possibility of effective non-surgical, conservative treatment for DHS, by applying a robotic treatment. Materials and Methods: A wearable exoskeleton type robot suit hybrid assistive limb (HAL) was applied to three patients with DHS. A course of HAL treatment included 10 sessions of gait training using HAL. One session lasted about an hour. Case 1 completed the course twice, the first time in two weeks (one session per day) and second time in 10 months (one session per month). Case 2 and Case 3 completed the course once in 10 weeks (one session per week) and in 6 months (one session per 2.5 weeks), respectively. Immediate and lasting effects of HAL on the reduction of cervical sagittal vertical alignment (SVA) during gait was evaluated using a motion capture system. Results: Case 1 showed improvement of cervical alignment during gait after the HAL courses of both different frequencies. Case 2 did not show improvement of cervical alignment during gait. Case 3 showed improvement of cervical kyphosis but not of cervical sagittal alignment during gait. Conclusions: The results of the preliminary study suggest that gait training using HAL may be an effective option of conservative treatment for a part of DHS patients. They also suggest that a lack of immediate effects on the cervical alignment and a lack of ability to perform compensatory trunk motion may indicate a non-responding patient. Generalization of the results requires further research with more cases. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Effective Preoperative Plasmapheresis Treatment of Severe Hyperthyroidism in a Patient with Giant Toxic Nodular Goiter and Methimazole-Induced Agranulocytosis
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060290 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Agranulocytosis is a rare but very serious complication of thyrostatic therapy. In severe hyperthyroidism, the removal of circulating thyroid hormones by plasmapheresis may be an effective therapeutic option. This report describes the therapeutic difficulties and successful preoperative treatment with plasmapheresis in a 63-year-old [...] Read more.
Agranulocytosis is a rare but very serious complication of thyrostatic therapy. In severe hyperthyroidism, the removal of circulating thyroid hormones by plasmapheresis may be an effective therapeutic option. This report describes the therapeutic difficulties and successful preoperative treatment with plasmapheresis in a 63-year-old patient admitted to the Endocrinology Clinic with severe hyperthyroidism, during the course of giant toxic nodular goiter and agranulocytosis, which occurred after 2 weeks of taking methimazole. During hospitalization, methimazole treatment was discontinued and therapy with steroids, a beta blocker, propylthiouracil, Lugol’s solution, lithium carbonate, and antibiotics were initiated. Granulocyte colony growth stimulating factor was also used to resolve agranulocytosis. Due to the failure to achieve euthyreosis using this approach, we decided to conduct thyroid surgery, as a life-saving action, after preparation of the patient by plasmapheresis. Two plasmapheresis procedures were performed, resulting in a decrease in the concentration of free thyroid hormones. Total thyroidectomy was performed and there were no complications during surgery. We conclude that plasmapheresis may be considered as an effective alternative treatment option for the preparation of patients with hyperthyroidism for surgery, when the clinical situations prevent the use of conventional treatments for hyperthyroidism and when immediate life-saving surgery is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessProtocol
Nutritional Support in Coronavirus 2019 Disease
Medicina 2020, 56(6), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina56060289 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
The epidemic that broke out in Chinese Wuhan at the beginning of 2020 presented how important the rapid diagnosis of malnutrition (elevating during intensive care unit stay) and the immediate implementation of caloric and protein-balanced nutrition care are. According to specialists from the [...] Read more.
The epidemic that broke out in Chinese Wuhan at the beginning of 2020 presented how important the rapid diagnosis of malnutrition (elevating during intensive care unit stay) and the immediate implementation of caloric and protein-balanced nutrition care are. According to specialists from the Chinese Medical Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (CSPEN), these activities are crucial for both the therapy success and reduction of mortality rates. The Chinese have published their recommendations including principles for the diagnosis of nutritional status along with the optimal method for nutrition supply including guidelines when to introduce education approach, oral nutritional supplement, tube feeding, and parenteral nutrition. They also calculated energy demand and gave their opinion on proper monitoring and supplementation of immuno-nutrients, fluids and macronutrients intake. The present review summarizes Chinese observations and compares these with the latest European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism guidelines. Nutritional approach should be an inseparable element of therapy in patients with COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop