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Med Sci (Basel), Volume 8, Issue 3 (September 2020) – 16 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) An increasing number of women are diagnosed with new onset subclinical hypothyroidism in pregnancy. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Antibiotic Prescribing in Primary Care for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Pregnancy: An Audit Study
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030040 - 17 Sep 2020
Viewed by 365
Abstract
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are associated with negative pregnancy outcomes and are treated with antibiotics. Although beneficial, antibiotic use causes antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and therefore their use needs to be carefully balanced. Antimicrobial guidelines are developed to facilitate appropriate prescribing of antibiotics. This [...] Read more.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are associated with negative pregnancy outcomes and are treated with antibiotics. Although beneficial, antibiotic use causes antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and therefore their use needs to be carefully balanced. Antimicrobial guidelines are developed to facilitate appropriate prescribing of antibiotics. This study assessed antibiotic prescribing for UTIs in pregnancy against the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline NG109. Fifty antibiotic prescribing records dated from 1st October 2018 to 1st July 2019 were identified from three London-based GP practices. The results show that a mid-stream sample of urine, which is important for the review and tailoring of antibiotic treatment, was collected in 77.6% of cases. Prescribing the first-line antibiotic is important for adequate treatment and good antimicrobial stewardship and results show that 44% of prescriptions were for the first-choice antibiotic. Most prescriptions (56%) were for a second-line or non-recommended antibiotic. Providing self-care advice is key to empowering pregnant women in managing their own health but only 16% of records documented provision of self-care advice. This study highlights important areas of concern in the management of UTIs in pregnancy. However, due to the retrospective design, future work is needed to evaluate the role of AMR in the prescriber’s treatment decision-making process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Incidence and Impacts of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases among Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Meta-Analysis
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030039 - 16 Sep 2020
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Background: The incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and its significance in kidney transplant recipients is not well established. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the incidence of and complications from IBD in adult kidney transplant recipients. Methods: Eligible articles [...] Read more.
Background: The incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and its significance in kidney transplant recipients is not well established. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the incidence of and complications from IBD in adult kidney transplant recipients. Methods: Eligible articles were searched through Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from inception through April 2020. The inclusion criteria were adult kidney transplant patients with reported IBD. Effect estimates from the individual studies were extracted and combined using the fixed-effects model when I2 ≤ 50% and random-effects model when I2 > 50%. Results: of 641 citations, a total of seven studies (n = 212) were included in the systematic review. The mean age was 46.2 +/− 6.9 years and up to 51.1% were male. The mean duration of follow-up was 57.8 +/− 16.8 months. The pooled incidence of recurrent IBD was 27.6% (95% CI, 17.7–40.5%; I2 0%) while the pooled incidence of de novo IBD was 18.8% (95% CI, 10.7–31.0%; I2 61.3%). The pooled incidence of post-transplant IBD was similar across subgroup analyses. Meta-regression analyses showed no association between the incidence of IBD and age, male sex, and follow-up duration. For post-transplant complications, the pooled incidence of post-transplant infection was 4.7% (95% CI, 0.5–33.3%; I2 73.7%). The pooled incidence of graft rejection and re-transplantation in IBD patients was 31.4% (95% CI, 14.1–56.1%; I2 76.9%) and 30.4% (95% CI, 22.6–39.5%; I2 0%). Conclusion: Recurrent and de novo IBD is common among kidney transplant recipients and may result in adverse outcomes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Candidate Gene Polymorphism with Metabolic Syndrome among Mongolian Subjects: A Case-Control Study
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030038 - 02 Sep 2020
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is complex and determined by the interaction between genetic and environmental factors and their influence on obesity, insulin resistance, and related traits associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. Some dynamic markers, including adiponectin (ADIPOQ), brain-derived neurotrophic factor [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is complex and determined by the interaction between genetic and environmental factors and their influence on obesity, insulin resistance, and related traits associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk. Some dynamic markers, including adiponectin (ADIPOQ), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and lipoprotein lipase (LPL), are implicated in MetS; however, the influence of their genetic variants on MetS susceptibility varies in racial and ethnic groups. We investigated the association of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-SNP interactions among nine SNPs in six genes with MetS’s genetic predisposition in Mongolian subjects. A total of 160 patients with MetS for the case group and 144 healthy individuals for the control group were selected to participate in this study. Regression analysis of individual SNPs showed that the ADIPOQ + 45GG (odds ratio (OR) = 2.09, p = 0.011) and P+P+ of LPL PvuII (OR = 2.10, p = 0.038) carriers had an increased risk of MetS. Conversely, G allele of LPL S447X (OR = 0.45, p = 0.036) and PGC-1α 482Ser (OR = 0.26, p = 0.001) allele were estimated as protective factors, respectively. Moreover, a haplotype containing the G-P+-G combination was related to MetS. Significant loci were also related to body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceride (TG), and fasting blood glucose (FBG), adipokines, and insulin as well as insulin resistance (p < 0.05). Our results confirm that ADIPOQ + 45T > G, LPL PvII, and PGC-1α Gly482Ser loci are associated with MetS in Mongolian subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Hospital-Acquired Dysmagnesemia and In-Hospital Mortality
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030037 - 01 Sep 2020
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to report the incidence of hospital-acquired dysmagnesemia and its association with in-hospital mortality in adult general hospitalized patients. Materials and Methods: We studied 26,020 adult hospitalized patients from 2009 to 2013 who had normal admission serum magnesium [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to report the incidence of hospital-acquired dysmagnesemia and its association with in-hospital mortality in adult general hospitalized patients. Materials and Methods: We studied 26,020 adult hospitalized patients from 2009 to 2013 who had normal admission serum magnesium levels and at least two serum magnesium measurements during hospitalization. The normal range of serum magnesium was 1.7–2.3 mg/dL. We categorized in-hospital serum magnesium levels based on the occurrence of hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia and/or hypermagnesemia. We assessed the association between hospital-acquired dysmagnesemia and in-hospital mortality using multivariable logistic regression. Results: 28% of patients developed hospital-acquired dysmagnesemia. Fifteen per cent had hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia only, 10% had hospital-acquired hypermagnesemia only, and 3% had both hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia. Compared with patients with persistently normal serum magnesium levels in hospital, those with hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia only (OR 1.77; p < 0.001), hospital-acquired hypermagnesemia only (OR 2.31; p < 0.001), and both hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia (OR 2.14; p < 0.001) were significantly associated with higher in-hospital mortality. Conclusions: Hospital-acquired dysmagnesemia affected approximately one-fourth of hospitalized patients. Hospital-acquired hypomagnesemia and hypermagnesemia were significantly associated with increased in-hospital mortality. Full article
Open AccessReview
Zinc and Traumatic Brain Injury: From Chelation to Supplementation
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030036 - 17 Aug 2020
Viewed by 375
Abstract
With a worldwide incidence rate of almost 70 million annually, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent cause of both disability and death. Our modern understanding of the zinc-regulated neurochemical, cellular, and molecular mechanisms associated with TBI is the result of a continuum [...] Read more.
With a worldwide incidence rate of almost 70 million annually, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent cause of both disability and death. Our modern understanding of the zinc-regulated neurochemical, cellular, and molecular mechanisms associated with TBI is the result of a continuum of research spanning more than three decades. This review describes the evolution of the field beginning with the initial landmark work on the toxicity of excess neuronal zinc accumulation after injury. It further shows how the field has expanded and shifted to include examination of the cellular pools of zinc after TBI, identification of the role of zinc in TBI-regulated gene expression and neurogenesis, and the use of zinc to prevent cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with brain injury. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spectrum of MEFV Variants and Genotypes among Clinically Diagnosed FMF Patients from Southern Lebanon
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030035 - 17 Aug 2020
Viewed by 353
Abstract
Background: Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive auto-inflammatory disease characterized by pathogenic variants in the MEFV gene, with allele frequencies greatly varying between countries, populations and ethnic groups. Materials and methods: In order to analyze the spectrum of MEFV variants and [...] Read more.
Background: Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is an autosomal recessive auto-inflammatory disease characterized by pathogenic variants in the MEFV gene, with allele frequencies greatly varying between countries, populations and ethnic groups. Materials and methods: In order to analyze the spectrum of MEFV variants and genotypes among clinically diagnosed FMF patients from South Lebanon, data were collected from 332 participants and 23 MEFV variants were screened using a Real-Time PCR Kit. Results: The mean age at symptom onset was 17.31 ± 13.82 years. The most prevalent symptoms were abdominal pain, fever and myalgia. MEFV molecular analysis showed that 111 patients (63.79%) were heterozygous, 16 (9.20%) were homozygous, and 47 (27.01%) carried two variants or more. E148Q was the most encountered variant among heterozygous subjects. E148Q/M694V was the most frequent in the compound heterozygous/complex genotype group, while M694I was the most common among homozygous patients. Regarding allele frequencies, M694V was the most common variant (20.7%), followed by E148Q (17.1%), V726A (15.7%) and M694I (13.2%). Conclusion: The high percentage of heterozygous patients clinically diagnosed as FMF highlights the pseudo-dominant transmission of the disease in Lebanon and emphasizes the importance of molecular testing for a more accurate diagnosis and better management and treatment of FMF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnostics and Personalized Therapy)
Open AccessReview
Integrative Management of Metabolic Syndrome in Youth Prescribed Second-Generation Antipsychotics
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030034 - 17 Aug 2020
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Weight gain and metabolic syndrome are common side effects of second-generation antipsychotics and carry significant health consequences both in childhood and into adulthood. This review highlights evidence-based, non-pharmacologic interventions to assist in the management of these side effects. Such intervention categories include dietary, [...] Read more.
Weight gain and metabolic syndrome are common side effects of second-generation antipsychotics and carry significant health consequences both in childhood and into adulthood. This review highlights evidence-based, non-pharmacologic interventions to assist in the management of these side effects. Such intervention categories include dietary, physical activity, sleep, stress management, and nutritional supplementation. Interventions with the highest quality evidence include increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, increasing physical activity, improving sleep, and fish oil supplementation. We suggest that clinicians work with patients on managing metabolic side effects in a patient-centered way, incorporating principles of motivational interviewing, to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Full article
Open AccessCommunication
Development of an ELISA for Measurement of Urinary 3-Hydroxypropyl Mercapturic Acid (3-HPMA), the Marker of Stroke
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030033 - 16 Aug 2020
Viewed by 373
Abstract
We previously observed an inverse correlation between stroke and urinary 3-hydroxypropyl mercapturic acid (3-HPMA), an acrolein-glutathione metabolite, through its measurement by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). However, the cost of equipment for LC-MS/MS and its maintenance fee is very expensive and [...] Read more.
We previously observed an inverse correlation between stroke and urinary 3-hydroxypropyl mercapturic acid (3-HPMA), an acrolein-glutathione metabolite, through its measurement by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). However, the cost of equipment for LC-MS/MS and its maintenance fee is very expensive and a cost-efficient method is required. In this study, we have developed a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) system to measure 3-HPMA using a chicken antibody recognizing 3-HPMA-conjugated chicken albumin as antigen. Linearity to measure 3-HPMA was obtained from 0 to 10 μM, indicating that this ELISA system is useful for measurement of urine 3-HPMA. It was confirmed that 3-HPMA in urine of stroke patients decreased significantly compared with that of control subjects using the ELISA system. Using the ELISA kit, it became possible to evaluate the risk of brain stroke by not only plasma but also by urine. These results confirm that shortage of glutathione to detoxify acrolein is one of the major causes of stroke incidence. Our method contributes to maintenance of quality of life (QOL) of the elderly. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antimicrobial Susceptibilities and Laboratory Profiles of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Proteus mirabilis Isolates as Agents of Urinary Tract Infection in Lebanon: Paving the Way for Better Diagnostics
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030032 - 13 Aug 2020
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are major healthcare problems that are usually treated empirically. However, antimicrobial resistance has been increasing across many settings. This study aims to elucidate the antibiotic resistance profiles of three common uropathogens, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella [...] Read more.
Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are major healthcare problems that are usually treated empirically. However, antimicrobial resistance has been increasing across many settings. This study aims to elucidate the antibiotic resistance profiles of three common uropathogens, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae), and Proteus mirabilis (P. mirabilis) and compare between extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and non-ESBL strains among Lebanese patients. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at multiple tertiary healthcare centers in South Lebanon, between January and September 2017, including 551 patients of all age groups. Demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of patients were collected and analyzed statistically. Results: The prevalence of UTI in Lebanon was highest in adults between 19 and 64 years (44%). E. coli was the predominant uropathogenic organism (67.1%) followed by K. pneumoniae (10%) and P. mirabilis (3.7%). ESBL represented 32.9% of the UTI agents. The three common uropathogens studied were found to be most susceptible to imipenem (100%) and meropenem (100%). Interestingly, 115 (25.1%) out of the 458 E. coli isolates were resistant to more than eight antibiotics while 107 (23.4%) were susceptible to all antibiotics studied. Conclusions: Our study underlined the importance of adequate antimicrobial prescription for UTIs in Lebanon to avoid multidrug resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnostics and Personalized Therapy)
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Effects of Air Pollution on Coronary Events in Strasbourg, France—Importance of Seasonal Variations
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030031 - 07 Aug 2020
Viewed by 343
Abstract
The aim of this study, is to investigate the effects of a short-term exposure to air pollutants, as assessed by Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter PM2,5 and PM10 concentrations, on coronary event onsets in Strasbourg, France. An observational, analytical, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study, is to investigate the effects of a short-term exposure to air pollutants, as assessed by Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter PM2,5 and PM10 concentrations, on coronary event onsets in Strasbourg, France. An observational, analytical, retrospective, epidemiological study was conducted in Strasbourg between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2014. Higher daily coronary events rates were evidenced when NO2 concentrations were measured above 40 µg/m3 (1.258 (95% CI 1.142–1.374) vs. 1.110 (95% CI 1.033–1.186); p = 0.015). The NO2 concentration was higher than 30 µg/m3 for 677 days (61.8%). Higher daily coronary events rates were evidenced when NO2 concentrations were measured above 30 µg/m3 (1.208 (95% CI 1.128–1.289) vs. 1.067 (95% CI 0.961–1.172) p = 0.009). A marked seasonality of NO2, PM2.5, and PM10 concentrations characterized by an increase during winter and a decrease during the summer could be established. The seasonality of coronary events was evidenced simultaneously. After adjustments were made to account for the time and the month, no independent impact of NO2, PM2.5 or PM10 on daily coronary events could be demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Cumulative Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure and Chronic Physiological Stress on Hepatic Dysfunction—A Preliminary Study
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030030 - 05 Aug 2020
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Chronic physiological stress and hepatic injury were explored in this cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010. Lead exposure was measured using Blood Lead Levels (BLL), which were divided into quartiles of exposure based on the [...] Read more.
Chronic physiological stress and hepatic injury were explored in this cross-sectional study using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010. Lead exposure was measured using Blood Lead Levels (BLL), which were divided into quartiles of exposure based on the distribution within the database. Allostatic load (AL), a variable representing chronic physiological stress, was operationalized using ten clinical markers. The geometric mean values for markers of liver injury of interest (a) Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST), (b) Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), (c) Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP), and (d) Gamma glutamyl-transferase (GGT) were explored in quartiles of lead exposure. Associations between AL and AST, ALT, ALP, and GGT among those exposed to lead were analyzed using linear regression models. In examining lead exposure in increasing quartiles, the geometric mean of the liver injury markers showed significant elevations as lead exposure levels increased. Simple linear regression revealed AL was positively associated with several markers of hepatic injury in all degrees of lead exposure. This study demonstrates the potential dangers of social and environmental exposures to liver health. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Postpartum Follow-Up of Women Who Developed Subclinical Hypothyroidism during Pregnancy
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030029 - 03 Aug 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
There is inconsistency in the literature regarding the management of women diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) during pregnancy in the postpartum period. The purpose of our study was to assess the need for continuation of levothyroxine (LT4) treatment after delivery. We conducted a [...] Read more.
There is inconsistency in the literature regarding the management of women diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) during pregnancy in the postpartum period. The purpose of our study was to assess the need for continuation of levothyroxine (LT4) treatment after delivery. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 114 women with new-onset SCH during pregnancy and at 1-year follow-up postpartum. Criteria for continuation of LT4 after delivery were breastfeeding, thyrotropin (TSH) levels at diagnosis >5 mIU/L, positive antithyroid antibodies and LT4 dose before delivery >50 μg/day. On treatment initiation, mean TSH ± SD was 5.24 ± 2.55 mIU/L. One year after delivery, most patients (86/114) were still on LT4. This was related to TSH levels at the initiation of treatment in gestation (p = 0.004) and inversely related to primiparity (p = 0.019). In the group of patients who stopped LT4 postpartum, treatment was reinstated in 11 out of 39 (28.2%) due to SCH relapse (mean TSH ± SD = 9.09 ± 5.81 mIU/L). Most women in our study continued treatment after delivery, and a considerable number of women who had discontinued LT4 restarted treatment postpartum. These results stress the need to reassess thyroid function at 6 to 12 months postpartum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Epidemiology, Staging and Management of Prostate Cancer
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030028 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 905
Abstract
Prostate cancer is the second most common and fifth most aggressive neoplasm among men worldwide. It is particularly incident in high human development index (HDI) nations, with an estimated one in seven men in the US receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis in their [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer is the second most common and fifth most aggressive neoplasm among men worldwide. It is particularly incident in high human development index (HDI) nations, with an estimated one in seven men in the US receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. A rapid rise and then fall in prostate cancer incidence in the US and Europe corresponded to the implementation of widespread prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing in 1986 and then subsequent fall from favor due to high rates of false positives, overdiagnosis, and overtreatment (as many as 20–50% of men diagnosed could have remained asymptomatic in their lifetimes). Though few risk factors have been characterized, the best known include race (men of African descent are at higher risk), genetics (e.g., BRCA1/2 mutations), and obesity. The Gleason scoring system is used for histopathological staging and is combined with clinical staging for prognosis and treatment. National guidelines have grown more conservative over the past decades in management, recommending watchful waiting and observation in older men with low to intermediate risk disease. Among higher risk patients, prostatectomy (robotic is preferred) and/or external beam radiotherapy is the most common interventions, followed by ADT maintenance. Following progression on androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) (known as castration-resistance), next generation endocrine therapies like enzalutamide, often in combination with cytotoxic agent docetaxel, are standard of care. Other promising treatments include Radium-223 for bone metastases, pembrolizumab for programmed death ligand-1 (PDL1) and microsatellite instability (MSI) high disease, and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors for those with mutations in homologous recombination (most commonly BRCA2). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Radiologists’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards CT Radiation Dose and Exposure in Saudi Arabia—A Survey Study
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030027 - 20 Jul 2020
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Computed tomography (CT) is a key imaging technique in diagnostic radiology, providing highly sensitive and specific information. While its use has increased dramatically in recent years, the quantity and associated risks of radiation from CT scans present major challenges, particularly in paediatrics. The [...] Read more.
Computed tomography (CT) is a key imaging technique in diagnostic radiology, providing highly sensitive and specific information. While its use has increased dramatically in recent years, the quantity and associated risks of radiation from CT scans present major challenges, particularly in paediatrics. The fundamental principles of radiation protection require that radiation quantities be as low as reasonably achievable and CT use must be justified, particularly for paediatric patients. CT radiation knowledge is a key factor in optimising and minimising radiation risk. The objective of this study was to analyse knowledge level, expertise, and competency regarding CT radiation dose and its hazards in paediatrics among radiologists in Saudi Arabian hospitals. A self-reported, multiple-choice questionnaire assessed the attitudes and opinions of radiologists involved in imaging studies using ionising radiation. Among the total respondents, 65% ± 13.5% had a good comprehension of the dangers of carcinogenicity to the patient resulting from CT scans, with 80% presuming that cancer risks were elevated. However, only 48.5%, 56.5%, and 65% of the respondents were aware of specific radiation risks in head, chest, and abdominal paediatric examinations, respectively. Regular, frequent, and specific training courses are suggested to improve the fundamental knowledge of CT radiation among radiologists and other physicians. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Feasibility of Contrast-to-Noise Ratio on Measurements to Evaluate CT Image Quality in Terms of Low-Contrast Detailed Detectability
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030026 - 06 Jul 2020
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Background: To evaluate contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) measurements in assessing image quality, in the context of the detectability performance of low-contrast detail (LCD), in computed tomography (CT) images, since exposure to elevated ionising-type radiation is considered to present excessive carcinogenic risk, whilst also causing [...] Read more.
Background: To evaluate contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) measurements in assessing image quality, in the context of the detectability performance of low-contrast detail (LCD), in computed tomography (CT) images, since exposure to elevated ionising-type radiation is considered to present excessive carcinogenic risk, whilst also causing distress in study subjects. Methods: An LCD phantom module (CTP515) was utilised in the study. Three dissimilar contrast items were used to analyse the ramifications of the proportions of an object on the CNR. Three multidetector CT (MDCT) scanners were used, with 16-MDCT, 64-MDCT and 80-MDCT frameworks, respectively. The CT scans were recreated using three dissimilar remaking algorithms—soft, standard and lung. The effects exerted on the CNR by various remodelling algorithms, as well as the contrast of various objects along with the size of the objects, were explored. The Hounsfield units of each chosen object (one unit representing the outer portion of the object) and the background and the standard deviation of the noise parameter were quantified, and algorithms were developed using MATLAB. Results: The CNR information was greatly influenced by changing the image recreation calculations and was very much increased in the soft-tissue recreation images using 16-MDCT and 64-MDCT. The CNR information was also increased more in the optimum recreation images than in the reproduced images from the computational procedure used in the 80-MDCT. The results did not show any remarkable contrasts in the CNR values between the different object sizes. Overall, a higher kVp produced an improved CNR in all the CT scanners. In particular, there were prominent upgrades in the CNR information when the kVp was increased from 80 to 120. Higher mAs levels gave better CNR values overall, especially for greater section thicknesses. Based on the CNR estimations, the 64-MDCT provided the best correlation among the CT scanners. Conclusions: The objective LCD appraisal method, based on CNR measurements, was confirmed as being useful for checking the different impacts of kVp, mAs and section thickness on the nature of the picture. This procedure was similarly viable in assessing the impacts of the different reconstruction calculations and the different differentiation questions on the nature of the image. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Patent Foramen Ovale in Fetal Life, Infancy and Childhood
Med Sci (Basel) 2020, 8(3), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci8030025 - 01 Jul 2020
Viewed by 460
Abstract
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common, incidental echocardiographic finding in otherwise healthy and asymptomatic infants and children. However, a variety of clinical conditions have been ascribed to the presence of a PFO in childhood, such as cryptogenic stroke, platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome, decompression [...] Read more.
A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a common, incidental echocardiographic finding in otherwise healthy and asymptomatic infants and children. However, a variety of clinical conditions have been ascribed to the presence of a PFO in childhood, such as cryptogenic stroke, platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome, decompression sickness and migraine, although the data on these are controversial and sometimes contradictory. This review discusses embryology and correlation with post-natal anatomy, anatomical variations of the atrial septum, diagnostic modalities in special circumstances of PFO associated clinical syndromes, and the role of PFO in congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure in children who require an extracorporeal membrane oxygenator or ventricular assist device as life support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
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