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Pathophysiology, Volume 31, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 9 articles

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11 pages, 3432 KiB  
Article
Histologic Analysis of ‘Distraction Vaginogenesis’ in a Rat Model
by Hannah Meyer, Lexus Trosclair, Sean D. Clayton, Collyn O’Quin, Carol Crochet, Joshua C. Colvin, Valerie Welch, Ahmed Alhaque, Giovanni Solitro, Mila Shah-Bruce, J. Steven Alexander and Donald L. Sorrells
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 298-308; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020022 - 8 Jun 2024
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Vaginal agenesis (VA) is frequently associated with mullerian agenesis. VA treatments include mechanical dilation and surgical vaginoplasty. We created a vaginal expansion sleeve (VES) as a novel device to progressively lengthen the vaginal canal. This study evaluated the histologic effects of the VES [...] Read more.
Vaginal agenesis (VA) is frequently associated with mullerian agenesis. VA treatments include mechanical dilation and surgical vaginoplasty. We created a vaginal expansion sleeve (VES) as a novel device to progressively lengthen the vaginal canal. This study evaluated the histologic effects of the VES on rat vaginal tissue. The VES is a spring-like device made of proprietary woven cylindrical material and flat resin caps. The VESs were constructed as 25–30 mm, pre-contracted springs, which were secured into the vaginas of six Sprague Dawley rats and allowed to re-expand post-surgically. After one week, the VESs were removed, and the vaginas were harvested and measured in length. Test (n = 6) and control (n = 4) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues were stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), Masson’s trichrome, and anti-Desmin antibodies. The VESs achieved significant vaginal lengthening. The mean vaginal canal length increased from 20.0 ± 2.4 mm to 23.8 ± 1.2 mm after removal of the VESs (n = 6, p < 0.001), a 19% increase. There was a positive correlation between the expander/tension generated in the vagina and the amount of acute and chronic inflammation. H&E staining revealed increased submucosal eosinophilia in five of the six test tissues. One VES sample that was lengthened to 30 mm long showed evidence of lymphocytic and neutrophilic inflammation. Desmin immunostaining and Masson’s trichrome stain revealed a thinner muscularis with more infiltrative fibrous tissue between muscle fibers in the test tissue compared to the control tissue. Although effective, the VES may provoke at least a transient increase in eosinophils consistent with a localized immune reaction during muscularis remodeling. Full article
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10 pages, 346 KiB  
Review
Fertility Preservation and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome Management in Cancer Care: A Pathophysiological Perspective on Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Agonists and Antagonists
by Giuliano Bedoschi, Caroline Ingold and Paula Andrea Navarro
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 288-297; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020021 - 7 Jun 2024
Viewed by 882
Abstract
This narrative review delves into the evolving landscape of fertility preservation techniques, with a particular focus on their use in patients undergoing oncology treatment that carries a risk of ovarian insufficiency. Advances in established methods such as cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos are [...] Read more.
This narrative review delves into the evolving landscape of fertility preservation techniques, with a particular focus on their use in patients undergoing oncology treatment that carries a risk of ovarian insufficiency. Advances in established methods such as cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos are highlighted, and the increasing use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists is discussed. The review also addresses the complexities and controversies associated with these approaches, such as the ‘flare-up’ effect associated with GnRH agonists and the potential of GnRH antagonists to reduce the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Despite advances in fertility preservation, the report highlights the challenges we face, including the need for personalized treatment protocols and the management of associated risks. It calls for continued research and collaboration between healthcare professionals to refine these techniques and ultimately improve reproductive outcomes for patients facing the prospect of fertility-impairing treatment. Full article
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19 pages, 914 KiB  
Review
Bronchial Asthma and COVID-19: Etiology, Pathological Triggers, and Therapeutic Considerations
by Anna Starshinova, Anastasia Borozinets, Anastasia Kulpina, Vitaliy Sereda, Artem Rubinstein, Igor Kudryavtsev and Dmitry Kudlay
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 269-287; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020020 - 27 May 2024
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Bronchial asthma (BA) continues to be a difficult disease to diagnose. Various factors have been described in the development of BA, but to date, there is no clear evidence for the etiology of this chronic disease. The emergence of COVID-19 has contributed to [...] Read more.
Bronchial asthma (BA) continues to be a difficult disease to diagnose. Various factors have been described in the development of BA, but to date, there is no clear evidence for the etiology of this chronic disease. The emergence of COVID-19 has contributed to the pandemic course of asthma and immunologic features. However, there are no unambiguous data on asthma on the background and after COVID-19. There is correlation between various trigger factors that provoke the development of bronchial asthma. It is now obvious that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is one of the provoking factors. COVID-19 has affected the course of asthma. Currently, there is no clear understanding of whether asthma progresses during or after COVID-19 infection. According to the results of some studies, a significant difference was identified between the development of asthma in people after COVID-19. Mild asthma and moderate asthma do not increase the severity of COVID-19 infection. Nevertheless, oral steroid treatment and hospitalization for severe BA were associated with higher COVID-19 severity. The influence of SARS-CoV-2 infection is one of the protective factors. It causes the development of severe bronchial asthma. The accumulated experience with omalizumab in patients with severe asthma during COVID-19, who received omalizumab during the pandemic, has strongly suggested that continued treatment with omalizumab is safe and may help prevent the severe course of COVID-19. Targeted therapy for asthma with the use of omalizumab may also help to reduce severe asthma associated with COVID-19. However, further studies are needed to prove the effect of omalizumab. Data analysis should persist, based on the results of the course of asthma after COVID-19 with varying degrees of severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Pathophysiology)
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25 pages, 1591 KiB  
Review
Neuromodulation and the Gut–Brain Axis: Therapeutic Mechanisms and Implications for Gastrointestinal and Neurological Disorders
by Baha’ Aljeradat, Danisha Kumar, Sulaiman Abdulmuizz, Mrinmoy Kundu, Yasser F. Almealawy, Dima Ratib Batarseh, Oday Atallah, Michelle Ennabe, Muath Alsarafandi, Albert Alan and Martin Weinand
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 244-268; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020019 - 17 May 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
The gut–brain axis (GBA) represents a complex, bidirectional communication network that intricately connects the gastrointestinal tract with the central nervous system (CNS). Understanding and intervening in this axis opens a pathway for therapeutic advancements for neurological and gastrointestinal diseases where the GBA has [...] Read more.
The gut–brain axis (GBA) represents a complex, bidirectional communication network that intricately connects the gastrointestinal tract with the central nervous system (CNS). Understanding and intervening in this axis opens a pathway for therapeutic advancements for neurological and gastrointestinal diseases where the GBA has been proposed to play a role in the pathophysiology. In light of this, the current review assesses the effectiveness of neuromodulation techniques in treating neurological and gastrointestinal disorders by modulating the GBA, involving key elements such as gut microbiota, neurotrophic factors, and proinflammatory cytokines. Through a comprehensive literature review encompassing PubMed, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library, this research highlights the role played by the GBA in neurological and gastrointestinal diseases, in addition to the impact of neuromodulation on the management of these conditions which include both gastrointestinal (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)) and neurological disorders (Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and neuropsychiatric disorders). Despite existing challenges, the ability of neuromodulation to adjust disrupted neural pathways, alleviate pain, and mitigate inflammation is significant in improving the quality of life for patients, thereby offering exciting prospects for future advancements in patient care. Full article
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19 pages, 1575 KiB  
Review
Biophysical Mechanisms of Vaginal Smooth Muscle Contraction: The Role of the Membrane Potential and Ion Channels
by Chitaranjan Mahapatra and Ravinder Kumar
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 225-243; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020018 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 1055
Abstract
The vagina is an essential component of the female reproductive system and is responsible for providing female sexual satisfaction. Vaginal smooth muscle contraction plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including sexual arousal, childbirth, and urinary continence. In pathophysiological conditions, such as [...] Read more.
The vagina is an essential component of the female reproductive system and is responsible for providing female sexual satisfaction. Vaginal smooth muscle contraction plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including sexual arousal, childbirth, and urinary continence. In pathophysiological conditions, such as pelvic floor disorders, aberrations in vaginal smooth muscle function can lead to urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. A set of cellular and sub-cellular physiological mechanisms regulates the contractile properties of the vaginal smooth muscle cells. Calcium influx is a crucial determinant of smooth muscle contraction, facilitated through voltage-dependent calcium channels and calcium release from intracellular stores. Comprehensive reviews on smooth muscle biophysics are relatively scarce within the scientific literature, likely due to the complexity and specialized nature of the topic. The objective of this review is to provide a comprehensive description of alterations in the cellular physiology of vaginal smooth muscle contraction. The benefit associated with this particular approach is that conducting a comprehensive examination of the cellular mechanisms underlying contractile activation will enable the creation of more targeted therapeutic agents to control vaginal contraction disorders. Full article
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15 pages, 1415 KiB  
Article
Early and Long-Term Results of Simultaneous and Staged Revascularization of Coronary and Carotid Arteries
by Elena Golukhova, Igor Sigaev, Milena Keren, Inessa Slivneva, Bektur Berdibekov, Nina Sheikina, Olga Kozlova, Valery Arakelyan, Irina Volkovskaya, Tatiana Zavalikhina and Susanna Avakova
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 210-224; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020017 - 13 Apr 2024
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Background: Carotid artery disease is prevalent among patients with coronary heart disease. The concomitant severe lesions in the carotid and coronary arteries may necessitate either simultaneous or staged revascularization involving coronary bypass and carotid endarterectomy. However, there is presently a lack of consensus [...] Read more.
Background: Carotid artery disease is prevalent among patients with coronary heart disease. The concomitant severe lesions in the carotid and coronary arteries may necessitate either simultaneous or staged revascularization involving coronary bypass and carotid endarterectomy. However, there is presently a lack of consensus on the optimal choice of surgical treatment tactics for patients with significant stenoses in both carotid and coronary arteries. The aim of the current study was to compare the 30-day and long-term outcomes of coronary and carotid artery revascularization surgery based on the simultaneous or staged surgical tactics. Material and Methods: This single-center retrospective study involved 192 patients with concurrent coronary artery disease and carotid artery stenosis ≥ 70%, of whom 106 patients underwent simultaneous intervention (CABG + CEA) and 86 patients underwent staged CABG/CEA. The mean time between stages ranged from 1 to 4 months (mean 1.88 ± 0.9 months). The endpoints included death from any cause, non-fatal stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) (death + non-fatal MI + non-fatal stroke) within 30 days after the last intervention and in the long-term follow-up period (median follow-up—6 years). Results: The 30-day all-cause mortality, incidence of postoperative non-fatal MI, non-fatal stroke, and MACEs did not exhibit differences between the groups after single-stage and staged interventions. However, the overall risk of postoperative complications (adjusted for the risk of any complication per patient) (OR 2.214, 95% CI 1.048–4.674, p = 0.035), as well as the duration of ventilatory support (p = 0.004), was elevated in the group after simultaneous interventions compared with the staged intervention group. This difference did not result in an increased incidence of death and MACEs in the group after simultaneous interventions. In the long-term follow-up period, there were no significant differences observed when comparing simultaneous or staged surgical tactics in terms of overall survival (54.9% and 62.6% in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, P log-rank = 0.068), non-fatal stroke-free survival (45.6% and 33.6% in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, P log-rank = 0.364), non-fatal MI-survival (57.6% and 73.5% in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, P log-rank = 0.169), and MACE-free survival (7.1% and 30.2% in Groups 1 and 2, respectively, P log-rank = 0.060). The risk factors associated with an unfavorable outcome included age, smoking, BMI, LV EF, and atherosclerosis of the lower extremity arteries. Conclusions: This study revealed no significant difference in the impact of simultaneous CABG + CEA or staged CABG/CEA on the incidence of death, stroke, MI, and MACEs over a 30-day and long-term follow-up period. Although the immediate results indicated an increased risk of a complicated course (attributable to overall complications) and more prolonged ventilation after simultaneous CABG + CEA compared with staged CABG/CEA, this did not lead to an increase in fatal complications. Therefore, the implementation of either tactic is considered eligible and appropriate following a thorough operative risk assessment. Full article
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13 pages, 868 KiB  
Review
COVID-19-Induced Diabetes Mellitus: Comprehensive Cellular and Molecular Mechanistic Insights
by Praise Tatenda Nhau, Mlindeli Gamede and Ntethelelo Sibiya
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 197-209; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020016 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
Despite evidence demonstrating the risks of developing diabetes mellitus because of SARS-CoV-2, there is, however, insufficient scientific data available to elucidate the relationship between diabetes mellitus and COVID-19. Research indicates that SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with persistent damage to organ systems due to [...] Read more.
Despite evidence demonstrating the risks of developing diabetes mellitus because of SARS-CoV-2, there is, however, insufficient scientific data available to elucidate the relationship between diabetes mellitus and COVID-19. Research indicates that SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with persistent damage to organ systems due to the systemic inflammatory response. Since COVID-19 is known to induce these conditions, further investigation is necessary to fully understand its long-term effects on human health. Consequently, it is essential to consider the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic when predicting the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the future, especially since the incidence of diabetes mellitus was already on the rise before the pandemic. Additional research is required to fully comprehend the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Therefore, this article delves deeper into the current literature and links the perceived relationship between SARS-CoV-2 and diabetes. In addition, the article highlights the necessity for further research to fully grasp the mechanisms that SARS-CoV-2 utilises to induce new-onset diabetes. Where understanding and consensus are reached, therapeutic interventions to prevent the onset of diabetes could be proposed. Lastly, we propose advocating for the regular screening of diabetes and pre-diabetes, particularly for the high-risk population with a history of COVID-19 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Pathophysiology)
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7 pages, 223 KiB  
Brief Report
Evaluation of Renal Function with Urinary NGAL and Doppler Ultrasonography in ICU Patients: A 1-Year Observational Pilot Study
by Etrusca Brogi, Rocco Rago and Francesco Forfori
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 190-196; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020015 - 3 Apr 2024
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Background: We estimated the diagnostic accuracy of urinary NGAL for the diagnosis of AKI. Methods: Urinary NGAL and Creatinine were measured daily for up to 3 days. Doppler ultrasonography was performed within 24 h of admission and for the following 3 days. Results: [...] Read more.
Background: We estimated the diagnostic accuracy of urinary NGAL for the diagnosis of AKI. Methods: Urinary NGAL and Creatinine were measured daily for up to 3 days. Doppler ultrasonography was performed within 24 h of admission and for the following 3 days. Results: Of the 21 patients, 44% had AKI during their ICU stay. The AKI group presented with higher values of serum Creatinine, renal length, MDRD as well as SAPS II already at admission. Urinary NGAL was significantly higher among patients with AKI and patients AKI-no at T0 (p < 0.0001) and increased steadily on T1 and T2. Urinary NGAL seemed to be a notable diagnostic marker for AKI from the first measurement (T0) with an area under the ROC of 0.93 (95% CI = 0.78–0.99) with a sensitivity of 99%. RRI levels were slightly higher in the AKI group at each time and increased gradually from T0 to T2 but reached statistical significance only at T2 (p = 0.02). Renal length and SAPS II at T0 showed high AuRoc and sensitivity. Conclusions: Urinary NGAL is a valuable marker for AKI in intensive care settings. It seemed that a pre-existing chronic renal disease, the SAPS II and the NGAL at admission represented the principal predictors of AKI. Full article
7 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Depth of SCUBA Diving Affects Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System
by Marina Vulić, Branislav Milovanovic, Ante Obad, Duška Glavaš, Igor Glavicic, Damir Zubac, Maja Valic and Zoran Valic
Pathophysiology 2024, 31(2), 183-189; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathophysiology31020014 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 924
Abstract
The present study investigated the influence of SCUBA dives with compressed air at depths of 10 and 20 m on ECG-derived HRV parameters in apparently healthy individuals. We hypothesized that cardiac sympathetic activity (measured by HRV parameters) adapts proportionally to diving depth, and [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the influence of SCUBA dives with compressed air at depths of 10 and 20 m on ECG-derived HRV parameters in apparently healthy individuals. We hypothesized that cardiac sympathetic activity (measured by HRV parameters) adapts proportionally to diving depth, and that both time- and frequency-domain parameters are sensitive enough to track changes in cardiac ANS function during diving activities and subsequently during the recovery period. Eleven healthy middle-aged recreational divers (nine men and two women, age 43 ± 8, all nonsmokers) volunteered to participate in the present study. The participants (all open-circuit divers) were equipped with dry suits and ECG Holter devices and were later randomly assigned to dive pairs and depths (10 m vs. 20 m), and each participant served as his or her own control. No interaction effects (diving depth x time epoch) were found for the most commonly used HRV markers. More precisely, in response to two different diving protocols, a significant post hoc effect of time was observed for HR and SDNN, as these parameters transiently decreased during the dives and returned to baseline after ascent (p < 0.001). The ULF, VLF (p < 0.003), TP, and LF parameters decreased significantly during the dives, while HF significantly increased (p < 0.003). SCUBA diving apparently challenges the cardiac ANS, even in healthy individuals. The observed changes reveal possible underwater methods of influencing the parasympathetic activity of the heart depending on the depth of the dive. These results identify autonomic nervous system markers to track the cardiovascular risk related to diving and point to the possibility of tracking cardiovascular system benefits during underwater activities in selected patients. Full article
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