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Medicina, Volume 60, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 154 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Testosterone replacement therapy has been associated with several side effects, especially male infertility. Indeed, traditional long-acting testosterone preparations often trigger negative feedback on the HPGA, strongly suppressing sperm production. However, novel testosterone formulations and indirect methods can decrease the risk of the occurrence of infertility. This review provides an overview of the newest treatment methods for hypogonadal patients, focusing on minimizing the side effects associated with infertility. View this paper
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10 pages, 870 KiB  
Article
Safety Parameters for the Use of Holmium:YAG Laser in the Treatment of Biliary Calculi: The Ex-Vivo Model
by Sandeep Patel, Dustin Kiker, Utpal Mondal, Hari Sayana, Shreyas Saligram, Laura Rosenkranz and Samuel Han
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020346 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 804
Abstract
Background and Objectives: While studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cholangioscopy-guided Holmium-Yttrium aluminum garnet (Ho:YAG) laser lithotripsy for the treatment of refractory bile duct stones, data regarding the safety of the operating parameters for laser lithotripsy are lacking. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: While studies have demonstrated the efficacy of cholangioscopy-guided Holmium-Yttrium aluminum garnet (Ho:YAG) laser lithotripsy for the treatment of refractory bile duct stones, data regarding the safety of the operating parameters for laser lithotripsy are lacking. The aim of this study was to determine safe, yet effective, energy settings for Ho:YAG laser in the ex-vivo model. Materials and Methods: This ex vivo experimental study utilized the Ho:YAG laser on porcine bile duct epithelium and human gallstones. Ho:YAG laser lithotripsy was applied in different power settings from 8 to 15 Watts (W) to six explanted porcine bile ducts. Settings that appeared safe were then utilized to fragment seventy-three human gallstones. Results: The median bile duct perforation times with the Ho:YAG laser between 8–15 W were: >60 s (8 W); 23 s (9 W); 29 s (10 W); 27 s (12 W); 12 s (14 W); and 8 s (15 W). Statistically significant differences in the median perforation times were noted between 8 W vs. 15 W, 9 W vs. 15 W, 10 W vs. 15 W, and 12 W vs. 15 W (p < 0.05). When using a 365 µm Ho:YAG laser probe at 8–12 W, the fragmentation rates on various size stones were: 100% (<1.5 cm); 80–100% (1.6–2.0 cm) and 0–32% (>2.0 cm). Optimal fragmentation was seen utilizing 12 W with high energy (2.4 J) and low frequency (5 Hz) settings. Using a larger 550 µm probe at these settings resulted in 100% fragmentation of stones larger than 2 cm. Conclusions: The Ho:YAG laser appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of large bile duct stones when used between 8–12 W in 5 s bursts in an ex vivo model utilizing porcine bile ducts and human gallstones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Hepatobiliary Surgery)
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15 pages, 847 KiB  
Article
Influence of the COVID-19 Outbreak in Vulnerable Patients (Pediatric Patients, Pregnant Women, and Elderly Patients) on an Emergency Medical Service System: A Pre- and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Comparative Study Using the Population-Based ORION Registry
by Koshi Ota, Masahiko Nitta, Tomonobu Komeya, Tetsuya Matsuoka and Akira Takasu
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 345; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020345 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Background and Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread all over the world. To assess the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency medical services (EMS) for vulnerable patients transported by ambulance. Materials and [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread all over the world. To assess the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency medical services (EMS) for vulnerable patients transported by ambulance. Materials and Methods: This study was a retrospective, descriptive study with a study period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021 using the Osaka Emergency Information Research Intelligent Operation Network (ORION) system. We included all pediatric patients, pregnant women, and elderly patients ≥ 65 years of age transported by ambulance in Osaka Prefecture. The main outcome of this study was difficult-to-transport cases. We calculated the rate of difficult-to-transport cases under several conditions. Results: For the two year-long periods of 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 and 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021, a total of 887,647 patients were transported to hospital by ambulance in Osaka Prefecture. The total number of vulnerable patients was 579,815 (304,882 in 2019 and 274,933 in 2021). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that difficult-to-transport cases were significantly more frequent in 2021 than in 2019. Difficult-to-transport cases were significantly less frequent in the vulnerable population than in the non-vulnerable population (adjusted odds ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.80–0.83; p < 0.001). Conclusion: During the pandemic (2021), difficult-to-transport cases were more frequent compared to before the pandemic (2019); however, vulnerable patients were not the cause of difficulties in obtaining hospital acceptance for transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Public Health and Healthcare in the Context of Big Data)
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19 pages, 1057 KiB  
Review
How I Follow Hodgkin Lymphoma in First Complete (Metabolic) Remission?
by Vibor Milunović
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020344 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1080
Abstract
Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by a high cure rate in the modern era of medicine regardless of stage, but patients suffer from a high risk of comorbidity associated with the administered therapy. The main aim of this review article is to assess and [...] Read more.
Hodgkin lymphoma is characterized by a high cure rate in the modern era of medicine regardless of stage, but patients suffer from a high risk of comorbidity associated with the administered therapy. The main aim of this review article is to assess and analyze the various comorbidities associated with Hodgkin lymphoma and address the survivorship of patients, including fertility, secondary cancers due to cardiovascular toxicity, and quality of life. Furthermore, this review explores the optimal strategy for detecting relapse. The treatment paradigm of Hodgkin lymphoma has shifted, with a paradigm shift toward achieving a high cure rate and low toxicity as a standard of care in this patient population. Checkpoint inhibitors, especially nivolumab, in combination with chemotherapy are increasingly being studied in the first line of therapy. However, their long-term toxicity remains to be assessed in longer follow-up. In conclusion, Hodgkin lymphoma survivors, regardless of their treatment, should be followed up individually by a multidisciplinary survivorship team in order to detect and properly treat the long-term side effects of therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Outcomes and Therapeutic Strategies of Hodgkin Lymphoma)
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15 pages, 4076 KiB  
Case Report
A Novel Approach for the Treatment of Recurrent Oroantral Fistula Occurring at an Infected Sinus Augmentation Site
by Won-Bae Park, Min-Soo Bae, Wonhee Park, Hyun-Chang Lim and Ji-Young Han
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020343 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Closing a recurrent oroantral fistula (OAF) that occurs at an infected sinus augmentation site is a challenge for clinicians. The recurrent OAF has a detrimental impact on bone regeneration and subsequent implant placement. This case report includes three cases in which sinus graft [...] Read more.
Closing a recurrent oroantral fistula (OAF) that occurs at an infected sinus augmentation site is a challenge for clinicians. The recurrent OAF has a detrimental impact on bone regeneration and subsequent implant placement. This case report includes three cases in which sinus graft infection and OAF occurred after maxillary sinus augmentation (MSA). In these cases, treatments to control sinus infection were performed using an otolaryngologist; then, intraoral interventions comprising mucosal flap procedures, bone grafts, and barrier membrane applications were performed 2–5 times by oral surgeons. Nevertheless, OAF recurred persistently. The failure to stop OAF recurrence may be due to the inability to effectively block air pressure at the OAF site. Following a comprehensive debridement of the infected tissue at the previous sinus augmentation site, a pouch was created through sinus mucosal elevation. The perforated sinus mucosa at the OAF site was covered with a non-resorbable membrane in one case and with resorbable collagen membranes in the other two cases, followed by bone grafting within the pouch. Lastly, this procedure was completed by blocking the entrance of the pouch with a cortical bone shell graft and a resorbable collagen membrane. The cortical bone shell graft, obstructing the air pressure from the nasal cavity, facilitated bone formation, and, ultimately, allowed for implant placement. Within the limitations of the present case report, the application of a guided bone regeneration technique involving a cortical bone shell graft and a barrier membrane enabled the closure of the recurrent OAF and subsequent implant placement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Periodontics and Dental Implantology: Part II)
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24 pages, 1850 KiB  
Article
Harmony in Chaos: Deciphering the Influence of Ischemic Cardiomyopathy and Non-Cardiac Comorbidities on Holter ECG Parameters in Chronic Heart Failure Patients: A Pilot Study
by Ștefania-Teodora Duca, Minerva Codruta Badescu, Alexandru-Dan Costache, Adriana Chetran, Radu Ștefan Miftode, Ionuț Tudorancea, Ovidiu Mitu, Irina Afrăsânie, Radu-George Ciorap, Ionela-Lăcrămioara Șerban, D. Robert Pavăl, Bianca Dmour, Maria-Ruxandra Cepoi and Irina-Iuliana Costache-Enache
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020342 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Background and Objective: In the landscape of heart failure, non-cardiac comorbidities represent a formidable challenge, imparting adverse prognostic implications. Holter ECG monitoring assumes a supplementary role in delineating myocardial susceptibility and autonomic nervous system dynamics. This study aims to explore the potential [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: In the landscape of heart failure, non-cardiac comorbidities represent a formidable challenge, imparting adverse prognostic implications. Holter ECG monitoring assumes a supplementary role in delineating myocardial susceptibility and autonomic nervous system dynamics. This study aims to explore the potential correlation between Holter ECG parameters and comorbidities in individuals with ischemic cardiomyopathy experiencing heart failure (HF), with a particular focus on the primary utility of these parameters as prognostic indicators. Materials and Methods: In this prospective inquiry, a cohort of 60 individuals diagnosed with heart failure underwent stratification into subgroups based on the presence of comorbidities, including diabetes, chronic kidney disease, obesity, or hyperuricemia. Upon admission, a thorough evaluation of all participants encompassed echocardiography, laboratory panel analysis, and 24 h Holter monitoring. Results: Significant associations were uncovered between diabetes and unconventional physiological indicators, specifically the Triangular index (p = 0.035) and deceleration capacity (p = 0.002). Pertaining to creatinine clearance, notable correlations surfaced with RMSSD (p = 0.026), PNN50 (p = 0.013), and high-frequency power (p = 0.026). An examination of uric acid levels and distinctive Holter ECG patterns unveiled statistical significance, particularly regarding the deceleration capacity (p = 0.045). Nevertheless, in the evaluation of the Body Mass Index, no statistically significant findings emerged concerning Holter ECG parameters. Conclusions: The identified statistical correlations between non-cardiac comorbidities and patterns elucidated in Holter ECG recordings underscore the heightened diagnostic utility of this investigative modality in the comprehensive evaluation of individuals grappling with HF. Furthermore, we underscore the critical importance of the thorough analysis of Holter ECG recordings, particularly with regard to subtle and emerging parameters that may be overlooked or insufficiently acknowledged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chronic Coronary Syndrome and Coronary Heart Disease)
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14 pages, 1869 KiB  
Article
Different Chemotherapy Regimens and Pathologic Complete Response in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: An Updated Network Meta-Analysis of Phase 3 Trials
by Fausto Petrelli, Gianluca Tomasello, Maria Chiara Parati, Antonio Ghidini, Michele Ghidini, Karen Borgonovo, Mary Cabiddu, Mara Ghilardi, Roberto Reduzzi, Donatella Gambini, Alberto Zaniboni, Giovanni Faustinelli and Ornella Garrone
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020341 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 995
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Currently, the standard treatment for non-metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) consists of a systemic neoadjuvant (or perioperative) anthracycline plus taxane-based chemotherapy, delivered either sequentially or concomitantly. We performed a network meta-analysis (NMA) to compare the relative efficacy of different [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Currently, the standard treatment for non-metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) consists of a systemic neoadjuvant (or perioperative) anthracycline plus taxane-based chemotherapy, delivered either sequentially or concomitantly. We performed a network meta-analysis (NMA) to compare the relative efficacy of different neoadjuvant treatments for TNBC in terms of pathologic complete response (pCR). Materials and Methods: The MEDLINE, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched from database inception to 1 November 2023. Randomized clinical trials were used that enrolled adults with stage I-III TNBC and provided data on pCR defined as residual ypT0/TisN0M0. Between-group comparisons were estimated using risk ratios (RRs) with 95% credible intervals (95% CrIs). The primary outcome was the pCR rate. Results: 1129 citations were screened, and 12 randomized clinical trials were included. In Bayesian comparisons, all regimens, except anthracycline/taxanes plus gemcitabine or capecitabine, resulted in a higher pCR than the standard regimen in both direct and indirect comparisons. In particular, immunotherapy-based regimens resulted in more than double the pCR compared to historical regimens (RR = 2.3, 95% CI 1.9–2.9) and ranked as being the optimal regimen with a probability of 97%. Disease-free survival was better for immune checkpoint inhibitor-based chemotherapy (HR = 0.36, 95% 1.21–2.09) than for historical regimens. Conclusion: This meta-analysis confirmed that incorporating immunotherapy with neoadjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy is the best option to guarantee remarkable pathologic downstaging and improve clinical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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18 pages, 1623 KiB  
Review
Endoscopic Management of Difficult Biliary Stones: An Evergreen Issue
by Magdalini Manti, Jimil Shah, Apostolis Papaefthymiou, Antonio Facciorusso, Daryl Ramai, Georgios Tziatzios, Vasilios Papadopoulos, Konstantina Paraskeva, Ioannis S. Papanikolaou, Konstantinos Triantafyllou, Marianna Arvanitakis, Livia Archibugi, Giuseppe Vanella, Marcus Hollenbach and Paraskevas Gkolfakis
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020340 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 877
Abstract
Choledocholithiasis is one of the most common indications for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in daily practice. Although the majority of stones are small and can be easily removed in a single endoscopy session, approximately 10–15% of patients have complex biliary stones, requiring additional [...] Read more.
Choledocholithiasis is one of the most common indications for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in daily practice. Although the majority of stones are small and can be easily removed in a single endoscopy session, approximately 10–15% of patients have complex biliary stones, requiring additional procedures for an optimum clinical outcome. A plethora of endoscopic methods is available for the removal of difficult biliary stones, including papillary large balloon dilation, mechanical lithotripsy, and electrohydraulic and laser lithotripsy. In-depth knowledge of these techniques and the emerging literature on them is required to yield the most optimal therapeutic effects. This narrative review aims to describe the definition of difficult bile duct stones based on certain characteristics and streamline their endoscopic retrieval using various modalities to achieve higher clearance rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Advances in Pancreatobiliary Endoscopy)
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12 pages, 38416 KiB  
Article
Virtual Surgical Planning for Temporomandibular Joint Reconstruction with Stock TMJ Prostheses: Pilot Study
by José Luis del Castillo Pardo de Vera, José Luis Cebrián Carretero, Íñigo Aragón Niño, Marta María Pampín Martínez, José Tadeo Borjas Gómez, Ignacio Navarro Cuéllar, Ana María López López, Estela Gómez Larren, Carlos Navarro Vila, Pablo Montes Fernández-Micheltorena, Álvaro Pérez Sala and Carlos Navarro Cuéllar
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020339 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 842
Abstract
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints in the human anatomy. In advanced degenerative stages, conservative or minimally invasive surgical therapies have failed to restore joint function, and joint replacement with prostheses has been required. Stock prostheses, compared to [...] Read more.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints in the human anatomy. In advanced degenerative stages, conservative or minimally invasive surgical therapies have failed to restore joint function, and joint replacement with prostheses has been required. Stock prostheses, compared to custom-made prostheses, are much less expensive and require less pre-operative preparation time. Four patients followed for years for temporomandibular dysfunction and previously operated on by arthroscopy or open joint surgery that have been reconstructed with stock TMJ prostheses (STMJP) through virtual surgical planning (VSP) and an STL model with surgical and positioning guides were included. The median follow-up was 15 months; the median number of previous TMJ surgeries was 2. The mean preoperative MIO was 24.6 mm and at longest follow-up was 36.4 mm. The median preoperative TMJ pain score was 8, and the median postoperative TMJ pain was 3. All patients have improved their mandibular function with a clear improvement of their initial situation. In conclusion, we believe that stock TMJ prostheses with virtual surgical planning and surgical guides are a good alternative for TMJ reconstruction at the present time. Nonetheless, prospective and randomized trials are required with long-term follow up to assess their performance and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on Facial Traumatology and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery)
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14 pages, 12683 KiB  
Review
Complications Subsequent to Urinary Tract Stent Placement: An Overview Focusing on the Imaging of Cancer Patients
by Antonio Corvino, Luigi Basile, Giulio Cocco, Andrea Delli Pizzi, Domenico Tafuri, Fabio Corvino and Orlando Catalano
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020338 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Ureteral involvement by a tumor is common, and both partial and complete obstructions can result in symptoms that are distressing and debilitating, especially in cancer patients for whom the resection of the primary tumor is not considered an option. Maintaining ureteric patency in [...] Read more.
Ureteral involvement by a tumor is common, and both partial and complete obstructions can result in symptoms that are distressing and debilitating, especially in cancer patients for whom the resection of the primary tumor is not considered an option. Maintaining ureteric patency in these patients is a challenge. In addition, in cases where a patient has undergone nephroureterectomy due to primary transitional cell cancer, it becomes necessary to decompress the urinary tract to preserve the contralateral kidney from irreversible damage. This is possibly due to ureteral stenting, both retrograde and anterograde, and percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN). Since imaging plays an important role in the routine monitoring of stents, their more and more increasing use requires radiologists to be familiar with these devices, their correct position, their potential complications, and their consequences. The aim of this review is to offer a comprehensive review of the imaging features of some urinary stents and to show the complications encountered in cancer patients as a direct consequence of an invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedure. Specifically, we focus on ureteral stents and PCN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Urology & Nephrology)
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14 pages, 963 KiB  
Review
Psoriasis: What Is New in Markers of Disease Severity?
by Mircea Tampa, Madalina Irina Mitran, Cristina Iulia Mitran, Clara Matei and Simona Roxana Georgescu
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020337 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 846
Abstract
Introduction. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease and is the result of the interaction between numerous external and internal factors. Psoriasis presents a wide range of skin manifestations encompassing individual lesions varying from pinpoint to large plaques that can evolve into [...] Read more.
Introduction. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease and is the result of the interaction between numerous external and internal factors. Psoriasis presents a wide range of skin manifestations encompassing individual lesions varying from pinpoint to large plaques that can evolve into generalised forms. The lesions mirror the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in psoriasis pathogenesis, such as inflammation, dysregulation of immune response, uncontrolled proliferation of keratinocytes and angiogenesis. In this article, we present the latest advances achieved regarding markers that correlate with psoriasis severity. Material and method. We have performed a narrative review on markers of psoriasis severity, including articles published between March 2018–March 2023. Results. We have identified four categories of markers: inflammation markers, oxidative stress markers, hormonal markers and cancer-related markers. The main focus was on inflammation biomarkers, including immunomodulatory molecules, haematological parameters, inflammatory cells and costimulatory molecules. Conclusions. The analysed data indicate that markers associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and hormones, and cancer-related markers could be useful in assessing the severity of psoriasis. Nevertheless, additional research is required to ascertain the practical importance of these biomarkers in clinical settings. Full article
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15 pages, 3597 KiB  
Article
Multilevel Venous Obstruction in Patients with Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices
by Marek Czajkowski, Anna Polewczyk, Wojciech Jacheć, Jarosław Kosior, Dorota Nowosielecka, Łukasz Tułecki, Paweł Stefańczyk and Andrzej Kutarski
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020336 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 567
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The nature of multilevel lead-related venous stenosis/occlusion (MLVSO) and its influence on transvenous lead extraction (TLE) as well as long-term survival remains poorly understood. Materials and Methods: A total of 3002 venograms obtained before a TLE were analyzed [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The nature of multilevel lead-related venous stenosis/occlusion (MLVSO) and its influence on transvenous lead extraction (TLE) as well as long-term survival remains poorly understood. Materials and Methods: A total of 3002 venograms obtained before a TLE were analyzed to identify the risk factors for MLVSO, as well as the procedure effectiveness and long-term survival. Results: An older patient age at the first system implantation (OR = 1.015; p < 0.001), the number of leads in the heart (OR = 1.556; p < 0.001), the placement of the coronary sinus (CS) lead (OR = 1.270; p = 0.027), leads on both sides of the chest (OR = 7.203; p < 0.001), and a previous device upgrade or downgrade with lead abandonment (OR = 2.298; p < 0.001) were the strongest predictors of MLVSO. Conclusions: The presence of MLVSO predisposes patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED) to the development of infectious complications. Patients with multiple narrowed veins are likely to undergo longer and more complex procedures with complications, and the rates of clinical and procedural success are lower in this group. Long-term survival after a TLE is similar in patients with MLVSO and those without venous obstruction. MLVSO probably better depicts the severity of global venous obstruction than the degree of vein narrowing at only one point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
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17 pages, 683 KiB  
Systematic Review
Augmented Reality Integration in Skull Base Neurosurgery: A Systematic Review
by Emir Begagić, Hakija Bečulić, Ragib Pugonja, Zlatan Memić, Simon Balogun, Amina Džidić-Krivić, Elma Milanović, Naida Salković, Adem Nuhović, Rasim Skomorac, Haso Sefo and Mirza Pojskić
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020335 - 16 Feb 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 795
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To investigate the role of augmented reality (AR) in skull base (SB) neurosurgery. Materials and Methods: Utilizing PRISMA methodology, PubMed and Scopus databases were explored to extract data related to AR integration in SB surgery. Results: The majority of 19 [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To investigate the role of augmented reality (AR) in skull base (SB) neurosurgery. Materials and Methods: Utilizing PRISMA methodology, PubMed and Scopus databases were explored to extract data related to AR integration in SB surgery. Results: The majority of 19 included studies (42.1%) were conducted in the United States, with a focus on the last five years (77.8%). Categorization included phantom skull models (31.2%, n = 6), human cadavers (15.8%, n = 3), or human patients (52.6%, n = 10). Microscopic surgery was the predominant modality in 10 studies (52.6%). Of the 19 studies, surgical modality was specified in 18, with microscopic surgery being predominant (52.6%). Most studies used only CT as the data source (n = 9; 47.4%), and optical tracking was the prevalent tracking modality (n = 9; 47.3%). The Target Registration Error (TRE) spanned from 0.55 to 10.62 mm. Conclusion: Despite variations in Target Registration Error (TRE) values, the studies highlighted successful outcomes and minimal complications. Challenges, such as device practicality and data security, were acknowledged, but the application of low-cost AR devices suggests broader feasibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Skull Base Surgery)
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14 pages, 2052 KiB  
Article
To What Extent Does Cardiovascular Risk Classification of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Differ between European Guidelines from 2023, 2021, and 2019? A Cross-Sectional Study
by Silvia Ana Luca, Raluca Malina Bungau, Sandra Lazar, Ovidiu Potre and Bogdan Timar
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020334 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 721
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) is intricately associated with an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk, highlighting the imperative for tailored intervention in the prevention and management of CV diseases. To assess the CV risk and subsequent interventions in patients with diabetes, [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) is intricately associated with an increased cardiovascular (CV) risk, highlighting the imperative for tailored intervention in the prevention and management of CV diseases. To assess the CV risk and subsequent interventions in patients with diabetes, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has been consistently developing and updating specific guidelines for risk assessment and patient management since 2019. The 2023 risk classification method has significantly changed, introducing a novel probability-based assessment through the implementation of SCORE2-Diabetes instrument. This marks a shift from the risk factor-based classification employed in the 2019 and 2021 methods, representing an innovative approach in risk assessment for individuals with T2DM. This study aims to evaluate the differences in the CV risk classification among hospitalized patients with T2DM using the three proposed methods within the Romanian population, a European population considered to be at very high cardiovascular risk. Materials and Methods: in a consecutive-case, population-based study design, 70 patients hospitalized with T2DM from a European population characterized by very high CV risk were assessed for CV risk using the three proposed methods. The differences between these classifications were subsequently analyzed. Results: In the study group, according to 2023 classification, one patient (1.4%) was classified with moderate CV risk, eight (11.4%) with high cardiovascular risk, and sixty-one (87.2%) with very high cardiovascular risk. A total of 36 patients (51.4%) were classified differently compared to 2021 criteria, the differences being statistically significant (p = 0.047), while 13 (18.6%) were different compared to 2019 criteria, the differences being statistically non-significant (p = 0.731). By comparing the 2021 to the 2019 ESC Guidelines recommendations, 40 patients had a one-step decrease in cardiovascular risk category, from very high to high risk. Conclusions: Most patients included in the analysis were classified as very high CV risk (87.2%). Within a European population characterized by very high CV risk, the SCORE2-Diabetes instrument proves to be a valuable tool, contributing to most step-ups in CV risk classes within the 2023 classification. In a very-high-risk demographic, the 2023 algorithm resulted in different classifications in contrast to the 2021 method but similar classifications observed with the 2019 method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology)
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17 pages, 6983 KiB  
Review
Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Drainage of Pancreatic Fluid Collections: Not All Queries Are Already Solved
by Cecilia Binda, Stefano Fabbri, Barbara Perini, Martina Boschetti, Chiara Coluccio, Paolo Giuffrida, Giulia Gibiino, Chiara Petraroli and Carlo Fabbri
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020333 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 839
Abstract
Pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) are well-known complications of acute pancreatitis. The overinfection of these collections leads to a worsening of the prognosis with an increase in the morbidity and mortality rate. The primary strategy for managing infected pancreatic necrosis (IPN) or symptomatic PFCs [...] Read more.
Pancreatic fluid collections (PFCs) are well-known complications of acute pancreatitis. The overinfection of these collections leads to a worsening of the prognosis with an increase in the morbidity and mortality rate. The primary strategy for managing infected pancreatic necrosis (IPN) or symptomatic PFCs is a minimally invasive step-up approach, with endosonography-guided (EUS-guided) transmural drainage and debridement as the preferred and less invasive method. Different stents are available to drain PFCs: self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs), double pigtail stents (DPPSs), or lumen-apposing metal stents (LAMSs). In particular, LAMSs are useful when direct endoscopic necrosectomy is needed, as they allow easy access to the necrotic cavity; however, the rate of adverse events is not negligible, and to date, the superiority over DPPSs is still debated. Moreover, the timing for necrosectomy, the drainage technique, and the concurrent medical management are still debated. In this review, we focus attention on indications, timing, techniques, complications, and particularly on aspects that remain under debate concerning the EUS-guided drainage of PFCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Advances in Pancreatobiliary Endoscopy)
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32 pages, 2577 KiB  
Systematic Review
Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality Applications for Surgical Rehearsal, Operative Execution, and Patient Education in Spine Surgery: A Scoping Review
by Tim Bui, Miguel A. Ruiz-Cardozo, Harsh S. Dave, Karma Barot, Michael Ryan Kann, Karan Joseph, Sofia Lopez-Alviar, Gabriel Trevino, Samuel Brehm, Alexander T. Yahanda and Camilo A Molina
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020332 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1235
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Advances in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies have resulted in their increased application across many medical specialties. VR’s main application has been for teaching and preparatory roles, while AR has been mostly used [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Advances in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies have resulted in their increased application across many medical specialties. VR’s main application has been for teaching and preparatory roles, while AR has been mostly used as a surgical adjunct. The objective of this study is to discuss the various applications and prospects for VR, AR, and MR specifically as they relate to spine surgery. Materials and Methods: A systematic review was conducted to examine the current applications of VR, AR, and MR with a focus on spine surgery. A literature search of two electronic databases (PubMed and Scopus) was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). The study quality was assessed using the MERSQI score for educational research studies, QUACS for cadaveric studies, and the JBI critical appraisal tools for clinical studies. Results: A total of 228 articles were identified in the primary literature review. Following title/abstract screening and full-text review, 46 articles were included in the review. These articles comprised nine studies performed in artificial models, nine cadaveric studies, four clinical case studies, nineteen clinical case series, one clinical case–control study, and four clinical parallel control studies. Teaching applications utilizing holographic overlays are the most intensively studied aspect of AR/VR; the most simulated surgical procedure is pedicle screw placement. Conclusions: VR provides a reproducible and robust medium for surgical training through surgical simulations and for patient education through various platforms. Existing AR/MR platforms enhance the accuracy and precision of spine surgeries and show promise as a surgical adjunct. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Application of Augmented Reality (AR) in Neurosurgery)
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13 pages, 1328 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors (INSTIs) and Protease-Boosted Inhibitors (PIs) on the Reduction in Chronic Immune Activation in a Virally Suppressed, Mainly Male Population Living with HIV (PLWH)
by Thomas Nitsotolis, Konstantinos G. Kyriakoulis, Anastasios Kollias, Alexia Papalexandrou, Helen Kalampoka, Elpida Mastrogianni, Dimitrios Basoulis and Mina Psichogiou
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020331 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The success of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to a dramatic improvement in the life expectancy of people living with HIV (PLWH). However, there has been an observed increase in cardiometabolic, bone, renal, hepatic, and neurocognitive manifestations, as well [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The success of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to a dramatic improvement in the life expectancy of people living with HIV (PLWH). However, there has been an observed increase in cardiometabolic, bone, renal, hepatic, and neurocognitive manifestations, as well as neoplasms, known as serious non-AIDS events/SNAEs, compared to the general population of corresponding age. This increase is linked to a harmful phenomenon called inflammaging/immunosenescence, which is driven by chronic immune activation and intestinal bacterial translocation. In this study, we examined immunological and metabolic parameters in individuals receiving current cART. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at Laiko General Hospital in Athens, Greece. Plasma concentrations of sCD14, IL-6, SuPAR, I-FABP, and LBP were measured in virally suppressed PLWH under cART with at least 350 CD4 lymphocytes/μL. We compared these levels between PLWH receiving integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs) and protease inhibitors (PIs) and attempted to correlate them with chronic immune activation and metabolic parameters. Results: Data from 28 PLWH were analyzed, with a mean age of 52 and 93% being males. Among the two comparison groups, IL-6 levels were higher in the PIs group (5.65 vs. 7.11 pg/mL, p = 0.03). No statistically significant differences were found in the other measured parameters. A greater proportion of PLWH under INSTIs had normal-range LBP (33% vs. 0%, p = 0.04). When using inverse probability of treatment weighting, no statistically significant differences in the measured parameters were found between the two groups (sCD14 p = 0.511, IL-6 p = 0.383, SuPAR p = 0.793, I-FABP p = 0.868, and LBP p = 0.663). Glucose levels were found to increase after viral suppression in the entire sample (92 mg/dL vs. 98 mg/dL, p = 0.009). Total (191 mg/dL vs. 222 mg/dL, p = 0.005) and LDL cholesterol (104 mg/dL vs. 140 mg/dL, p = 0.002) levels were higher in the PIs group. No significant differences were observed in liver and renal function tests. Conclusions: Further investigation is warranted for PLWH on cART-containing INSTI regimens to explore potential reductions in chronic immune activation and intestinal bacterial translocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease)
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14 pages, 3788 KiB  
Article
Predicting the Feasibility of Curative Resection in Low Rectal Cancer: Insights from a Prospective Observational Study on Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Accuracy
by Cristian-Constantin Volovat, Dragos-Viorel Scripcariu, Diana Boboc, Simona-Ruxandra Volovat, Ingrid-Andrada Vasilache, Corina Lupascu-Ursulescu, Liliana Gheorghe, Luiza-Maria Baean, Constantin Volovat and Viorel Scripcariu
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020330 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 778
Abstract
Background and Objectives: A positive pathological circumferential resection margin is a key prognostic factor in rectal cancer surgery. The point of this prospective study was to see how well different MRI parameters could predict a positive pathological circumferential resection margin (pCRM) in [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: A positive pathological circumferential resection margin is a key prognostic factor in rectal cancer surgery. The point of this prospective study was to see how well different MRI parameters could predict a positive pathological circumferential resection margin (pCRM) in people who had been diagnosed with rectal adenocarcinoma, either on their own or when used together. Materials and Methods: Between November 2019 and February 2023, a total of 112 patients were enrolled in this prospective study and followed up for a 36-month period. MRI predictors such as circumferential resection margin (mCRM), presence of extramural venous invasion (mrEMVI), tumor location, and the distance between the tumor and anal verge, taken individually or combined, were evaluated with univariate and sensitivity analyses. Survival estimates in relation to a pCRM status were also determined using Kaplan–Meier analysis. Results: When individually evaluated, the best MRI predictor for the detection of a pCRM in the postsurgical histopathological examination is mrEMVI, which achieved a sensitivity (Se) of 77.78%, a specificity (Sp) of 87.38%, a negative predictive value (NPV) of 97.83%, and an accuracy of 86.61%. Also, the best predictive performance was achieved by a model that comprised all MRI predictors (mCRM+ mrEMVI+ anterior location+ < 4 cm from the anal verge), with an Se of 66.67%, an Sp of 88.46%, an NPV of 96.84%, and an accuracy of 86.73%. The survival rates were significantly higher in the pCRM-negative group (p < 0.001). Conclusions: The use of selective individual imaging predictors or combined models could be useful for the prediction of positive pCRM and risk stratification for local recurrence or distant metastasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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13 pages, 1523 KiB  
Article
Improved Glycemic Control through Robot-Assisted Remote Interview for Outpatients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Pilot Study
by Kunimasa Yagi, Michiko Inagaki, Yuya Asada, Mako Komatsu, Fuka Ogawa, Tomomi Horiguchi, Naoto Yamaaki, Mikifumi Shikida, Hideki Origasa and Shuichi Nishio
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020329 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Our research group developed a robot-assisted diabetes self-management monitoring system to support Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCESs) in tracking the health status of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Our research group developed a robot-assisted diabetes self-management monitoring system to support Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCESs) in tracking the health status of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of this system on glycemic control and to identify suitable candidates for its use. Materials and Methods: After obtaining written informed consent from all participants with T2D, the CDCESs conducted remote interviews with the patients using RoBoHoN. All participants completed a questionnaire immediately after the experiment. HbA1c was assessed at the time of the interview and two months later, and glycemic control status was categorized as either “Adequate” or “Inadequate” based on the target HbA1c levels outlined in the guidelines for adult and elderly patients with type 2 diabetes by the Japan Diabetes Society. Patients who changed their medication regimens within the two months following the interview were excluded from the study. Results: The clinical characteristics of the 28 eligible patients were as follows: 67.9 ± 14.8 years old, 23 men (69%), body mass index (24.7 ± 4.9 kg/m2), and HbA1c levels 7.16 ± 1.11% at interview and two months later. Glycemic control status (GCS) was Adequate (A) to Inadequate (I): 1 case; I to A: 7 cases; A to A good: 14 cases; I to I: 6 cases (p-value = 0.02862 by Chi-square test). Multiple regression analyses showed that Q1 (Did RoBoHoN speak clearly?) and Q7 (Was RoBoHoN’s response natural?) significantly contributed to GCS, indicating that the naturalness of the responses did not impair the robot-assisted interviews. The results suggest that to improve the system in the future, it is more beneficial to focus on the content of the conversation rather than pursuing superficial naturalness in the responses. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the efficacy of a robot-assisted diabetes management system that can contribute to improved glycemic control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Clinical Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolic Diseases)
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13 pages, 897 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Post-Surgical Rehabilitation Outcomes in Patients with Chronic Ankle Instability: Impact of Subtalar Joint Axis Balance Exercises Following Arthroscopic Modified Broström Operation
by Ji-Myeong Park, Sang-Ho Han, Byeong-Chae Cho, Se-Min Lee, Mal-Soon Shin, Jae-Ho Yu, Ho-Jin Kim, Hyun-Dong Noh, Min-Suk Cho and Myung-Ki Kim
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020328 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 798
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of subtalar joint axis-based balance exercises on the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) thickness, ankle strength, and ankle stability after an arthroscopic modified Broström operation (AMBO) for chronic ankle instability (CAI). Materials and Methods: [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of subtalar joint axis-based balance exercises on the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) thickness, ankle strength, and ankle stability after an arthroscopic modified Broström operation (AMBO) for chronic ankle instability (CAI). Materials and Methods: The study included 47 patients diagnosed with CAI who underwent AMBO and were randomly divided into three groups: control (n = 11), general balance exercise (n = 17), and subtalar joint axis balance exercise (n = 19), regardless of the affected area. Participants in the exercise rehabilitation group performed exercises for 60 min twice a week for six weeks, starting six weeks after AMBO. ATFL thickness, ankle strength, and ankle dynamic stability were measured using musculoskeletal ultrasonography, Biodex, and Y-balance test, respectively, before and after treatment. Results: Compared with the remaining groups, the subtalar joint axis balance exercise group had reduced ATFL thickness (p = 0.000), improved ankle strength for eversion (p = 0.000) and inversion (p = 0.000), and enhanced ankle stability (p = 0.000). Conclusions: The study results suggest that subtalar joint axis-based balance exercises may contribute to the early recovery of the ankle joint after AMBO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Medicine and Sports Traumatology)
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11 pages, 3128 KiB  
Article
Explainable Model Using Shapley Additive Explanations Approach on Wound Infection after Wide Soft Tissue Sarcoma Resection: “Big Data” Analysis Based on Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service Hub
by Ji-Hye Choi, Yumin Choi, Kwang-Sig Lee, Ki-Hoon Ahn and Woo Young Jang
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020327 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 920
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Soft tissue sarcomas represent a heterogeneous group of malignant mesenchymal tissues. Despite their low prevalence, soft tissue sarcomas present clinical challenges for orthopedic surgeons owing to their aggressive nature, and perioperative wound infections. However, the low prevalence of soft [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Soft tissue sarcomas represent a heterogeneous group of malignant mesenchymal tissues. Despite their low prevalence, soft tissue sarcomas present clinical challenges for orthopedic surgeons owing to their aggressive nature, and perioperative wound infections. However, the low prevalence of soft tissue sarcomas has hindered the availability of large-scale studies. This study aimed to analyze wound infections after wide resection in patients with soft tissue sarcomas by employing big data analytics from the Hub of the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA). Materials and Methods: Patients who underwent wide excision of soft tissue sarcomas between 2010 and 2021 were included. Data were collected from the HIRA database of approximately 50 million individuals’ information in the Republic of Korea. The data collected included demographic information, diagnoses, prescribed medications, and surgical procedures. Random forest has been used to analyze the major associated determinants. A total of 10,906 observations with complete data were divided into training and validation sets in an 80:20 ratio (8773 vs. 2193 cases). Random forest permutation importance was employed to identify the major predictors of infection and Shapley Additive Explanations (SHAP) values were derived to analyze the directions of associations with predictors. Results: A total of 10,969 patients who underwent wide excision of soft tissue sarcomas were included. Among the study population, 886 (8.08%) patients had post-operative infections requiring surgery. The overall transfusion rate for wide excision was 20.67% (2267 patients). Risk factors among the comorbidities of each patient with wound infection were analyzed and dependence plots of individual features were visualized. The transfusion dependence plot reveals a distinctive pattern, with SHAP values displaying a negative trend for individuals without blood transfusions and a positive trend for those who received blood transfusions, emphasizing the substantial impact of blood transfusions on the likelihood of wound infection. Conclusions: Using the machine learning random forest model and the SHAP values, the perioperative transfusion, male sex, old age, and low SES were important features of wound infection in soft-tissue sarcoma patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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11 pages, 4957 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Vascular Structures in OLIF51 and the Lateral Corridor Approach under Supine MRI and Intraoperative Enhanced CT in the Lateral Decubitus Position
by Yoshihisa Kotani, Hiroyuki Tachi, Atsushi Ikeura, Takahiro Tanaka and Takanori Saito
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 326; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020326 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Background and Objectives: As the oblique lateral interbody fusion at L5/S1 (OLIF51) and the lateral corridor approach (LCA) have gained popularity, an understanding of the precise vascular structure at the L5/S1 level is indispensable. The objectives of this study were to investigate [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: As the oblique lateral interbody fusion at L5/S1 (OLIF51) and the lateral corridor approach (LCA) have gained popularity, an understanding of the precise vascular structure at the L5/S1 level is indispensable. The objectives of this study were to investigate the vascular anatomy at the L5/S1 level, and to compare the movement of vascular tissue between the supine and lateral decubitus positions using intraoperative enhanced CT and MRI. Materials and Methods: A total of 43 patients who underwent either OLIF51 or LCA were investigated with an average age at surgery of 60.4 (37–80) years old. The preoperative MRI was taken to observe the axial and sagittal anatomy of the vascular position under the supine position. The intraoperative vein-enhanced CT was taken just before incision in the right decubitus position, and compared to supine MRI anatomy. Iliolumbar vein appearance and its types were also classified. Results: The average vascular window allowed for OLIF51 was 22.8 mm and 34.1 mm at either the L5 caudal endplate level or the S1 cephalad endplate level, respectively. The LCA was 14.2 mm and 12.6 mm at either level, respectively. The left common iliac vein moved 3.8 mm and 6.9 mm to the right direction at either level from supine to the right decubitus position, respectively. The bifurcation moved 6.3 mm to the caudal direction from supine to right decubitus. The iliolumbar vein was located at 31 mm laterally from the midline, and the MRI detection rate was 52%. Conclusions: The precise measurement of vascular anatomy indicated that the OLIF51 approach was the standard minimally invasive anterior approach for the L5/S1 disc level compared to LCA; however, there were many variations in quantitative anatomy as well as significant vascular movements between the supine and right decubitus positions. In the clinical setting of OLIF51 and LCA surgeries, careful preoperative evaluation and intraoperative 3D imaging are recommended for safe and accurate surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution in Treatment and Diagnosis of Spine Disorders)
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12 pages, 323 KiB  
Review
Association of Obesity and Bariatric Surgery on Hair Health
by Katarzyna Smolarczyk, Blazej Meczekalski, Ewa Rudnicka, Katarzyna Suchta and Anna Szeliga
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020325 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Obesity and obesity-related conditions today constitute a public health problem worldwide. Obesity is an “epidemic” chronic disorder, which is defined by the WHO as normal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It is also defined for adults as a BMI that [...] Read more.
Obesity and obesity-related conditions today constitute a public health problem worldwide. Obesity is an “epidemic” chronic disorder, which is defined by the WHO as normal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It is also defined for adults as a BMI that is greater than or equal to 30. The most common obesity-related diseases are type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, chronic kidney disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancer. It has been also proven that obesity can have a negative effect on hair. It can lead to hair thinning. Patients with obesity can undergo bariatric surgery if they meet the inclusion criteria. The four common types of weight loss surgery include a duodenal switch with biliopancreatic diversion, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy. Bariatric surgery can affect skin and hair and is associated with telogen effluvium due to weight loss, microelement deficiency, anesthesia, low calorie intake, and low protein intake. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery can experience post-bariatric surgery depression. Hair loss can have a major impact on self-esteem, negatively affecting one’s self-image. The purpose of this narrative review is to critically review how obesity, obesity-related diseases, and bariatric surgery affect hair health in general and the hair development cycle, and how they influence hair loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Guidelines for Bariatric Surgery)
10 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Female Sexual Dysfunction and Trunk Stability Post-Stroke: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Irene del Mar Robledo-Resina, Carlos Romero-Morales, Patricia Martín-Casas, Jorge Hugo Villafañe and Vanesa Abuín-Porras
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020324 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Stroke can lead to a variety of consequences, the severity and nature of which are contingent upon the affected brain region or lesion type. These consequences manifest with distinct clinical presentations and recovery trajectories. This study aims to investigate [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Stroke can lead to a variety of consequences, the severity and nature of which are contingent upon the affected brain region or lesion type. These consequences manifest with distinct clinical presentations and recovery trajectories. This study aims to investigate the potential correlation between feminine sexual dysfunction and trunk stability among stroke survivors. Materials and Methods: Thirty-eight women (stroke group n = 19 and control group n = 19) were recruited. A cross-sectional observational study was designed. Outcome measures were recorded using the Feminine Sexual Function Index, the National Institute of Health Stroke Score, the Newcastle Stroke-specific Quality of Life Measure Beck Depression Index, the Barthel Index, the Urge-urinary Distress Inventory, and the Trunk Impairment Scale. Spearman’s correlation was tested between different factors influencing feminine sexual dysfunction and trunk stability. Results: Statistically significant differences were found in sexual function between the stroke group versus the control group (Z = 88; p = 0.007; rb = 0.51). The correlation showed a relationship between feminine sexual dysfunction and trunk stability (p < 0.05). A relationship between quality of life and sexual dysfunction was also found (p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant results for the association between dependency, severity of stroke, time after stroke type of stroke, and sexual dysfunction (p = 0.378). Conclusions: The results of this study support the existence of a correlation between feminine sexual dysfunction and trunk stability, probably due to trunk and pelvic floor muscle synergy. Multidisciplinary teams assessing sexual dysfunction after stroke should include a physical therapist to assess the physical components that may interfere with feminine sexual health post-stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurology)
17 pages, 4797 KiB  
Article
The Association between the Extent of the Osteoarthritic Meniscus Degeneration and Cigarette Smoking—A Pilot Study
by Maria Zabrzyńska, Maciej Pasiński, Maciej Gagat, Michał Kułakowski, Łukasz Woźniak, Karol Elster, Paulina Antosik and Jan Zabrzyński
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020323 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The negative effects of smoking on the musculoskeletal system were presented by many authors, although the relationship between smoking and osteoarthritis remains unclear. The aim of this paper was to investigate the negative effects of smoking on meniscal tissue [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The negative effects of smoking on the musculoskeletal system were presented by many authors, although the relationship between smoking and osteoarthritis remains unclear. The aim of this paper was to investigate the negative effects of smoking on meniscal tissue in osteoarthritic knees by microscopic examination, by adapting the Bonar scoring system and its modifications. Materials and Methods: The study involved 34 patients with varus knees, from whom 65 samples of knee menisci were obtained. The mean age in the studied group was 65.385 years. The smoking status of the patients concluded that there were 13 smokers and 21 nonsmokers. Results: Among smokers, the mean classical Bonar score was 8.42 and the mean modified Bonar score was 6.65, while nonsmokers were characterized by scores of 8.51 and 7.35, respectively. There was a statistically significant negative correlation between the number of cigarettes and the collagen in the medial meniscus (p = 0.0197). Moreover, in the medial meniscus, the modified Bonar score correlated negatively with the number of cigarettes (p = 0.0180). Similarly, such a correlation was observed between the number of cigarettes and the modified Bonar score in the lateral meniscus (p = 0.04571). Furthermore, no correlation was identified between the number of cigarettes and the classical Bonar score in the lateral meniscus. There was a statistically significant difference in the collagen variable value between the smokers and nonsmokers groups (p = 0.04525). Conclusions: The microscopic investigation showed no differences in the menisci of smokers and nonsmokers, except for the collagen, which was more organized in smokers. Moreover, the modified Bonar score was correlated negatively with the number of cigarettes, which supports the role of neovascularization in meniscus pathology under the influence of tobacco smoking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cutting-Edge Concepts in Knee Surgery)
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10 pages, 1225 KiB  
Article
Can a Total Knee System Providing 1 mm Increment of Polyethylene Insert Thickness Offer a Clinical Benefit?
by Dhong-Won Lee, Hyuk-Jin Jang, Man-Soo Kim, Keun-Young Choi, Sung-An Hong and Yong In
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020322 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and polyethylene (PE) insert thickness between total knee arthroplasty (TKA) systems providing 1 mm and 2 mm increments. Materials and Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 50 patients [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare clinical outcomes and polyethylene (PE) insert thickness between total knee arthroplasty (TKA) systems providing 1 mm and 2 mm increments. Materials and Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, 50 patients (100 knees) undergoing same-day or staggered bilateral TKA were randomized to receive a TKA system providing 1 mm increments in one knee (1 mm group) and a TKA system providing 2 mm increments in the other knee (2 mm group). At 2 years postoperatively, Knee Society Score (KSS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score, Forgotten Joint Score (FJS), range of motion (ROM), and insert thicknesses were compared between the groups. Results: A total of 47 patients (94 knees) participated in follow-up analysis. In each group, patient-reported outcomes improved significantly after TKA (all, p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in patient-reported outcomes. The mean ROM was not significantly different between groups at preoperative and 2-year points. The rate of postoperative flexion contracture ≥ 5° was 2.1% and 4.3%, and the rate of postoperative recurvatum ≥ 5° was 4.3% and 2.1% in the 1 mm group and 2 mm, respectively (all, p = 1.000). Mean insert thickness was significantly thinner in the 1 mm group than the 2 mm group (p = 0.001). The usage rate of a thick insert (≥14 mm) was 12.7% and 38.3% in the 1 mm group and 2 mm group (p = 0.005). Conclusions: The use of a TKA system providing 1 mm PE insert thickness increments offered no clinical benefit in terms of patient reported outcomes over systems with 2 mm increments at 2 years of follow-up. However, the TKA system with 1 mm increments showed significantly thinner PE insert usage. As a theoretical advantage of 1 mm increments has yet to be proven, the mid- to long-term effects of thinner PE insert usage must be determined. Full article
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14 pages, 688 KiB  
Review
Current Role and Future Prospects of Positron Emission Tomography (PET)/Computed Tomography (CT) in the Management of Breast Cancer
by Nicole Robson and Dinesh Kumar Thekkinkattil
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020321 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Breast cancer has become the most diagnosed cancer in women globally, with 2.3 million new diagnoses each year. Accurate early staging is essential for improving survival rates with metastatic spread from loco regional to distant metastasis, decreasing mortality rates by 50%. Current guidelines [...] Read more.
Breast cancer has become the most diagnosed cancer in women globally, with 2.3 million new diagnoses each year. Accurate early staging is essential for improving survival rates with metastatic spread from loco regional to distant metastasis, decreasing mortality rates by 50%. Current guidelines do not advice the routine use of positron emission tomography (PET)-computed tomography (CT) in the staging of early breast cancer in the absence of symptoms. However, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the use of PET-CT in this early stage can benefit the patient by improving staging and as a result treatment and outcomes, as well as psychological burden, without increasing costs to the health service. Ongoing research in PET radiomics and artificial intelligence is showing promising future prospects in its use in diagnosis, staging, prognostication, and assessment of responses to the treatment of breast cancer. Furthermore, ongoing research to address current limitations of PET-CT by improving techniques and tracers is encouraging. In this narrative review, we aim to evaluate the current evidence of the usefulness of PET-CT in the management of breast cancer in different settings along with its future prospects, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI), radiomics, and novel tracers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Innovations in Breast Cancer Surgery)
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11 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
High Uterosacral Ligaments Suspension for Post-Hysterectomy Vaginal Vault Prolapse Repair
by Marta Barba, Alice Cola, Tomaso Melocchi, Desirèe De Vicari, Clarissa Costa, Silvia Volontè, Lucia Sandullo and Matteo Frigerio
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020320 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Uterosacral ligaments (USLs) suspension is a well-studied, safe, and long-lasting technique for central compartment correction. Preliminary clinical experiences showed encouraging data for this technique, also for post-hysterectomy vaginal vault prolapse surgical treatment. However, up-to-date evidence for post-hysterectomy vaginal vault [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Uterosacral ligaments (USLs) suspension is a well-studied, safe, and long-lasting technique for central compartment correction. Preliminary clinical experiences showed encouraging data for this technique, also for post-hysterectomy vaginal vault prolapse surgical treatment. However, up-to-date evidence for post-hysterectomy vaginal vault prolapse repair through high uterosacral ligaments suspension is limited. Consequently, with this study, we aimed to assess the efficiency, complications frequency, and functional results of native-tissue repair through USLs in vaginal vault prolapse. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study. Women with symptomatic vaginal vault prolapse (≥stage 2) who underwent surgery with transvaginal native-tissue repair by high uterosacral ligaments were included. Patient characteristics, preoperative assessment, operative data, postoperative follow-up visits, and re-interventions were collected from the hospital’s record files. High uterosacral ligament suspension was performed according to the technique previously described by Shull. A transverse apical colpotomy at the level of the post-hysterectomy scar was performed in order to enter the peritoneal cavity. USLs were identified and transfixed from ventral to dorsal with three absorbable sutures. Sutures were then passed through the vaginal apex and tightened to close the transverse colpotomy and suspend the vaginal cuff. At the end of the surgical time, a diagnostic cystoscopy was performed in order to evaluate ureteral bilateral patency. Using the POP-Q classification system, we considered an objective recurrence as the descensus of at least one compartment ≥ II stage, or the need for a subsequent surgery for POP. The complaint of bulging symptoms was considered the item to define a subjective recurrence. We employed PGI-I scores to assess patients’ satisfaction. Results: Forty-seven consecutive patients corresponding to the given period were analyzed. No intraoperative complications were observed. We observed one postoperative hematoma that required surgical evacuation. Thirty-three patients completed a minimum of one-year follow-up (mean follow-up 21.7 ± 14.6 months). Objective cure rate was observed in 25 patients (75.8%). No patients required reintervention. The most frequent site of recurrence was the anterior compartment (21.2%), while apical compartment prolapse relapsed only in 6% of patients. An improvement in all POP-Q parameters was recorded except TVL which resulted in a mean 0.5 cm shorter. Subjective recurrence was referred by 4 (12.1%) patients. The mean satisfaction assessed by PGI-I score was 1.6 ± 0.8. Conclusion: This analysis demonstrated that native-tissue repair through high USL suspension is an effective and safe procedure for the treatment of post-hysterectomy vaginal vault prolapse. Objective, subjective, functional, and quality of life outcomes were satisfactory, with minimal complications. Full article
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22 pages, 479 KiB  
Review
Sports Diet and Oral Health in Athletes: A Comprehensive Review
by Antina Schulze and Martin Busse
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020319 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Food and fluid supply is fundamental for optimal athletic performance but can also be a risk factor for caries, dental erosion, and periodontal diseases, which in turn can impair athletic performance. Many studies have reported a high prevalence of oral diseases in elite [...] Read more.
Food and fluid supply is fundamental for optimal athletic performance but can also be a risk factor for caries, dental erosion, and periodontal diseases, which in turn can impair athletic performance. Many studies have reported a high prevalence of oral diseases in elite athletes, notably dental caries 20–84%, dental erosion 42–59%, gingivitis 58–77%, and periodontal disease 15–41%, caused by frequent consumption of sugars/carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fats, or deficient protein intake. There are three possible major reasons for poor oral health in athletes which are addressed in this review: oxidative stress, sports diet, and oral hygiene. This update particularly summarizes potential sports nutritional effects on athletes’ dental health. Overall, sports diet appropriately applied to deliver benefits for performance associated with oral hygiene requirements is necessary to ensure athletes’ health. The overall aim is to help athletes, dentists, and nutritionists understand the tangled connections between sports diet, oral health, and oral healthcare to develop mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of dental diseases due to nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dentistry)
17 pages, 1283 KiB  
Review
A Narrative Review of Stroke of Cortical Hand Knob Area
by Jamir Pitton Rissardo, Vishnu Vardhan Byroju, Sushni Mukkamalla and Ana Letícia Fornari Caprara
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020318 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1014
Abstract
The cortical hand knob region of the brain is a knob-like segment of the precentral gyrus, projecting into the middle genu of the central sulcus. This anatomic landmark is responsible for intricate control of hand motor movements and has often been implicated in [...] Read more.
The cortical hand knob region of the brain is a knob-like segment of the precentral gyrus, projecting into the middle genu of the central sulcus. This anatomic landmark is responsible for intricate control of hand motor movements and has often been implicated in motor weakness following stroke. In some instances, damage to this area has been mistaken for peripheral causes of hand weakness. Our article aims to consolidate clinically relevant information on the cortical hand knob area in a comprehensive review to guide clinicians regarding diagnosis and treatment strategies. We conducted a systematic search within the Medline/PubMed database for reports of strokes in the cortical hand knob region. All studies were published electronically up until December 2023. The search was conducted using the keyword “hand knob”. A total of 24 reports containing 150 patients were found. The mean and median ages were 65 and 67 years, respectively. Sixty-two percent of the individuals were male. According to the TOAST criteria for the classification of the stroke, 59 individuals had a stroke due to large-artery atherosclerosis, 8 had small-vessel occlusion, 20 had cardioembolism, 25 were determined, and 38 were undetermined. The most common etiologies for stroke in the hand knob area can be attributed to large vessel occlusions, small vessel occlusions, or cardioembolism. Presentations following damage to this area can mimic ulnar, median, or radial neuropathy as well. Our comprehensive review serves as a resource for recognizing and managing stroke in the cortical hand knob area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurology)
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14 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Role of Nutritional Habits during Pregnancy in the Developing of Gestational Diabetes: A Single-Center Observational Clinical Study
by Jelena Trifunovic-Kubat, Predrag Sazdanovic, Milos Ilic, Djordje Filipovic, Tamara Nikolic Turnic and Sladjana Mihajlovic
Medicina 2024, 60(2), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina60020317 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
(1) Background and Objective: Excessive gestational weight gain is associated with serious complications such as pre-eclampsia, fetal macrosomia and a more frequent need for cesarean section. The aim of this study is to develop a simple screening model that includes maternal age, [...] Read more.
(1) Background and Objective: Excessive gestational weight gain is associated with serious complications such as pre-eclampsia, fetal macrosomia and a more frequent need for cesarean section. The aim of this study is to develop a simple screening model that includes maternal age, BMI and nutritive habits in the second trimester in order to predict the risk of GDM in the population of pregnant women in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. (2) Materials and Methods: This single-center, prospective and case–control study was performed in the University Clinical Center “Dr. Dragisa Misovic Dedinje”, Belgrade, Serbia and included 54 women with singleton pregnancies during the second trimester from July 2023 to November 2023. We used basic demographic and socio-epidemiological data, as well as data of the present comorbidities and previous pregnancies/births. The Serbian version of the Nutritive Status Questionnaire (NSQ) was used to estimate the nutritive habits in GDM (n = 22) and non-GDM groups (n = 32). (3) Results: We observed less frequent vegetable and fruit consumption in the GDM group in comparison with the non-GDM group; meat and chicken intake was 2–3 times per week in both groups; meat products were consumed 2–3 times per week in the GDM group and 2–3 times per month in the non-GDM group; milk products were consumed once a day in 31.8% of GDM patients and twice per day in 24.1% of non-GDM patients. Sweets (cakes, ice creams, biscuits) were consumed very often (2–3 times per week) in the GDM group (36.4%), while in the non-GDM group this habit was less frequent (26.7%). Cronbach alpha and internal consistency for this instrument were very good (Cronbach alpha = 0.87). (4) Conclusions: We have found that a non-adequate intake of fruits/vegetables, dairy and whole grain, as well as an excessive intake of sugar/artificially sweetened beverages and dairy, was associated with a higher risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (OR = 0.04; 95% CI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Nutrition in Women and Children)
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