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Volume 11, September

Clin. Pract., Volume 11, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 9 articles

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Review
Analysis of the Delta Variant B.1.617.2 COVID-19
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 778-784; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040093 - 21 Oct 2021
Viewed by 235
Abstract
With the delta variant of COVID-19, known as B.1.617.2, quickly ramping up infections around the world, we need to understand what makes this variant more contagious. One study has reported that the delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant. As [...] Read more.
With the delta variant of COVID-19, known as B.1.617.2, quickly ramping up infections around the world, we need to understand what makes this variant more contagious. One study has reported that the delta variant is 60% more transmissible than the alpha variant. As of August 2021, the delta variant has quickly become the dominant strain. Despite countries like the US, where most of the population is vaccinated, COVID-19 has made a resurgence in infections. Collectively, as a country, we ask: is it more deadly? What makes it more “contagious” or “transmissible”? This review article delves into the information we already know about the delta variant and how it compares with the other SARS-CoV-2 variants. The current vaccine companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna have reported that their vaccines can provide protection against this variant but with a slightly reduced efficacy. In this article, we do a comprehensive review and summary of the delta B.1.617.2 variant and what makes it more contagious. Full article
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Case Report
Regurgitation under the ERAS Program: A Case Report
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 775-777; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040092 - 17 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Introduction: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is an evidence-based concept that reduces the recovery period after major abdominal surgery. Ingestion of carbohydrate solutions up until two hours before elective surgery has shown positive results. The authors present a case of regurgitation in a [...] Read more.
Introduction: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) is an evidence-based concept that reduces the recovery period after major abdominal surgery. Ingestion of carbohydrate solutions up until two hours before elective surgery has shown positive results. The authors present a case of regurgitation in a patient with apparently low risk for delayed gastric emptying who drank a carbohydrate solution two hours before induction of anaesthesia. Case report: An 80-year-old male patient with a relevant history of ischemic heart disease, atrial fibrillation, stage 3 chronic kidney disease and hypertension, was diagnosed with rectal cancer. He was scheduled for an anterior rectal resection hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery under the ERAS program, which included a 200 mL carbohydrate drink the night before and in the morning of the surgery, no less than two hours before the induction of anaesthesia. Immediately after loss of consciousness, there was regurgitation of a significant amount of clear fluid. Discussion: Even though ingestion of oral carbohydrate drinks is considered to be safe up to two hours before anaesthesia, further evaluation (e.g., gastric ultrasonography) may be considered in non-high-risk patients. Full article
Article
Prostate Magnetic Resonance Imaging Analyses, Clinical Parameters, and Preoperative Nomograms in the Prediction of Extraprostatic Extension
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 763-774; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040091 - 09 Oct 2021
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Abstract
Introduction: Proper planning of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients with prostate cancer (PCa) is crucial to achieving good oncological results with the possibility of preserving potency and continence. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the radiological and clinical parameters [...] Read more.
Introduction: Proper planning of laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RP) in patients with prostate cancer (PCa) is crucial to achieving good oncological results with the possibility of preserving potency and continence. Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the radiological and clinical parameters that can predict the risk of extraprostatic extension (EPE) for a specific site of the prostate. Predictive models and multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) data from patients qualified for RP were compared. Material and methods: The study included 61 patients who underwent laparoscopic RP. mpMRI preceded transrectal systematic and cognitive fusion biopsy. Martini, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), and Partin Tables nomograms were used to assess the risk of EPE. The area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for the models and compared. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the combination of variables that best predicted EPE risk based on final histopathology. Results: The combination of mpMRI indicating or suspecting EPE (odds ratio (OR) = 7.49 (2.31–24.27), p < 0.001) and PSA ≥ 20 ng/mL (OR = 12.06 (1.1–132.15), p = 0.04) best predicted the risk of EPE for a specific side of the prostate. For the prediction of ipsilateral EPE risk, the AUC for Martini’s nomogram vs. mpMRI was 0.73 (p < 0.001) vs. 0.63 (p = 0.005), respectively (p = 0.131). The assessment of a non-specific site of EPE by MSKCC vs. Partin Tables showed AUC values of 0.71 (p = 0.007) vs. 0.63 (p = 0.074), respectively (p = 0.211). Conclusions: The combined use of mpMRI, the results of the systematic and targeted biopsy, and prostate-specific antigen baseline can effectively predict ipsilateral EPE (pT3 stage). Full article
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Article
COVID-19 in Multimorbid Patients—A Controlled Microcost Description Analysis of Diagnosis Related Group (DRG)-Case Series in Acute Care without Non-Invasive Ventilation
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 755-762; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040090 - 08 Oct 2021
Viewed by 313
Abstract
Diagnosis-related cost analyzes are important for health economic planning and decision-making. They form the basis for further developing of remuneration systems for health services. The rapid increase in hospital stays by COVID-19 patients requires a valid and exact calculation of the treatment costs. [...] Read more.
Diagnosis-related cost analyzes are important for health economic planning and decision-making. They form the basis for further developing of remuneration systems for health services. The rapid increase in hospital stays by COVID-19 patients requires a valid and exact calculation of the treatment costs. COVID-19 patients with many accompanying illnesses increase the requirements for a cost calculation. The focus of this work is to carry out a DRG-related micro-cost analysis, considering the age, length of stay and comorbidities of COVID-19 patients. So far, there is little information about treatment costs for multimorbid patients with COVID-19 who have not received invasive ventilation. The method is based on a standardized cost unit calculation for determining the treatment costs in a German hospital. The costs (€) of inpatients treated with COVID-19 were compared with a control group of the same DRGs of patients without COVID-19. The average total costs for inpatient treatment were €2866. The highest share of costs falls on nursing, personnel, and material costs of the non-medical infrastructure. Frequent comorbidities were heart failure, diabetes mellitus, other respiratory diseases, dizziness, and impairment of the musculoskeletal system. Full article
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Case Report
Delayed Onset Minimal Change Disease as a Manifestation of Lupus Podocytopathy
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 747-754; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040089 - 06 Oct 2021
Viewed by 303
Abstract
Lupus podocytopathy (LP) is an uncommon manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and is not included in the classification of lupus nephritis. The diagnosis of LP is confirmed by the presence of diffuse foot process effacement in the absence of capillary wall deposits [...] Read more.
Lupus podocytopathy (LP) is an uncommon manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and is not included in the classification of lupus nephritis. The diagnosis of LP is confirmed by the presence of diffuse foot process effacement in the absence of capillary wall deposits with or without mesangial immune deposits in a patient with SLE. Here we describe a 13-year-old female who presented with nephrotic syndrome (NS) seven years after the diagnosis of SLE. The renal function had been stable for seven years since the SLE diagnosis, as manifested by the normal serum creatinine, serum albumin and absence of proteinuria. Renal biopsy showed evidence of minimal change disease without immune complex deposits or features of membranous nephropathy. Renal function was normal. The patient had an excellent response to steroid therapy with remission within two weeks. The patient remained in remission five months later during the most recent follow-up. This report highlights the importance of renal histology to determine the accurate etiology of NS in patients with SLE. Circulating factors, including cytokines such as interleukin 13, may play a role in the pathophysiology of LP and needs to be studied further in future larger studies. Full article
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Article
Local Defence System in Healthy Lungs
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 728-746; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040088 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Background: The respiratory system is one of the main entrance gates for infection. The aim of this work was to compare the appearance of specific mucosal pro-inflammatory and common anti-microbial defence factors in healthy lung tissue, from an ontogenetic point of view. Materials [...] Read more.
Background: The respiratory system is one of the main entrance gates for infection. The aim of this work was to compare the appearance of specific mucosal pro-inflammatory and common anti-microbial defence factors in healthy lung tissue, from an ontogenetic point of view. Materials and methods: Healthy lung tissues were collected from 15 patients (three females and 12 males) in the age range from 18 to 86. Immunohistochemistry to human β defensin 2 (HBD-2), human β defensin 3 (HBD-3), human β defensin 4 (HBD-4), cathelicidine (LL-37) and interleukine 17A (IL-17A) were performed. Results: The lung tissue material contained bronchial and lung parenchyma material in which no histological changes, connected with the inflammatory process, were detected. During the study, various statistically significant differences were detected in immunoreactive expression between different factors in all lung tissue structures. Conclusion: All healthy lung structures, but especially the cartilage, alveolar epithelium and the alveolar macrophages, are the main locations for the baseline synthesis of antimicrobial proteins and IL-17A. Cartilage shows high functional plasticity of this structure, including significant antimicrobial activity and participation in local lung protection response. Interrelated changes between antimicrobial proteins in different tissue confirm baseline synergistical cooperation of all these factors in healthy lung host defence. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Patient, Physician, Caregiver, and Healthcare Provider-Related Factors Influencing “Glycemic Happiness” of Persons with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: An Observational Survey
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 715-727; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040087 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
A multicentric cross-sectional observational survey was conducted to understand the patient, physician, nurse, caregiver, and diabetes counselor/educator-related factors that define the “glycemic happiness” of persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Five sets of questionnaires based on a five-point Likert scale were used. [...] Read more.
A multicentric cross-sectional observational survey was conducted to understand the patient, physician, nurse, caregiver, and diabetes counselor/educator-related factors that define the “glycemic happiness” of persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Five sets of questionnaires based on a five-point Likert scale were used. A total of 167 persons with T2DM, 167 caregivers, and 34 each of physicians, nurses, and diabetes counselors/educators participated. For persons with T2DM, an adequate understanding of diabetes (mean score ± standard deviation: 4.2 ± 0.9), happiness and satisfaction with life (4.1 ± 0.8), flexibility (4.2 ± 0.8) and convenience (4.2 ± 0.7) of treatment, and confidence to handle hypo/hyperglycemic episodes (4.0 ± 0.9) were the factors positively associated with glycemic happiness. Caregivers’ factors included information from physicians on patient care (4.5 ± 0.6), constructive conversations with persons with T2DM (4.2 ± 0.8), helping them with regular glucose monitoring (4.2 ± 0.9), and caregivers’ life satisfaction (4.2 ± 0.8). Factors for physicians, nurses, and diabetes counselors/educators were belief in their ability to make a difference in the life of persons with T2DM (4.8 ± 0.4, 4.4 ± 0.5, and 4.5 ± 0.5), satisfaction from being able to help them (4.9 ± 0.3, 4.6 ± 0.5, and 4.6 ± 0.5), and professional satisfaction (4.9 ± 0.4, 4.4 ± 0.6, and 4.7 ± 0.4). Our survey identified the key factors pertaining to different stakeholders in diabetes care, which cumulatively define the glycemic happiness of persons with T2DM. Full article
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Article
Nanosecond Q-Switched 1064/532 nm Laser to Treat Hyperpigmentations: A Double Center Retrospective Study
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 708-714; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040086 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 500
Abstract
(1) Benign hyperpigmentations are a common problem in cosmetic dermatology. Melasma, solar lentigo, and other acquired hyperpigmentations represent an aesthetic issue for an increasing number of patients. The gold standard in managing this condition is currently 1064/532 nanometers (nm) Q-Switched lasers. This study [...] Read more.
(1) Benign hyperpigmentations are a common problem in cosmetic dermatology. Melasma, solar lentigo, and other acquired hyperpigmentations represent an aesthetic issue for an increasing number of patients. The gold standard in managing this condition is currently 1064/532 nanometers (nm) Q-Switched lasers. This study reports our experience on the use of a Q-switched laser with a nanosecond pulse to treat these conditions. (2) Methods: A total of 96 patients asking for benign hyperpigmentation removal were consecutively enrolled at the Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro and Tor Vergata University of Rome. Treating parameters were the following: 1064 nm with a pulse duration of 6 nanoseconds (ns) for dermic lesions and 532 nm with 6 ns for epidermal ones. Up to five treatments with a minimum interval between laser treatments of thirty days were performed. A follow-up visit three months after the last session assessed patient satisfaction with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Two blinded dermatologists assessed the cosmetic result using a five-point scale comparing pictures before treatment and at follow-up. (3) Results: 96 patients were included; 47 participants were women (49.0%) and 49 men (51.0%). The mean reported age was 50.0 ± 17.3 years. All patients reached a good to complete hyperpigmentation removal at the dermatological evaluation with a mean VAS score of 8.91 ± 1.07. (4) Conclusions: Q Switched 1064/532 nm laser may be considered the gold standard treatment for benign hyperpigmentations. Our results confirm the literature findings on the effectiveness of these devices. Full article
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Brief Report
Hyperlipidemia and Obesity’s Role in Immune Dysregulation Underlying the Severity of COVID-19 Infection
Clin. Pract. 2021, 11(4), 694-707; https://doi.org/10.3390/clinpract11040085 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Obesity and hyperlipidemia are known to be risk factors for various pathological disorders, including various forms of infectious respiratory disease, including the current Coronavirus outbreak termed Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). This review studies the effects of hyperlipidemia and obesity on enhancing the inflammatory [...] Read more.
Obesity and hyperlipidemia are known to be risk factors for various pathological disorders, including various forms of infectious respiratory disease, including the current Coronavirus outbreak termed Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19). This review studies the effects of hyperlipidemia and obesity on enhancing the inflammatory response seen in COVID-19 and potential therapeutic pathways related to these processes. In order to better understand the underlying processes of cytokine and chemokine-induced inflammation, we must further investigate the immunomodulatory effects of agents such as Vitamin D and the reduced form of glutathione as adjunctive therapies for COVID-19 disease. Full article
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