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J. Clin. Med., Volume 10, Issue 15 (August-1 2021) – 253 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Chronic venous disease (CVD) is a multifactorial condition affecting an important percentage of the global population. The explicit mechanisms of the disease are not well understood. It seems that genetics and a plethora of environmental agents play an important role in the development and progression of CVD. Exposure to these factors leads to altered hemodynamics of the venous system, described as ambulatory venous hypertension, therefore promoting microcirculatory changes, inflammatory responses, hypoxia, venous wall remodeling, and epigenetic variations. The aim of the present review is to collect the current knowledge of CVD, including its epidemiology, etiology, and risk factors, but emphasizing the pathophysiology and medical care of these patients, including clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatments. View this paper
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Article
Reliability of Pelvic Floor Muscle Assessment with Transabdominal Ultrasound in Young Nulliparous Women
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3449; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153449 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of pelvic floor muscles evaluation via transabdominal ultrasonography in young nulliparous women and to present the methodology for quantitative assessment of the ultrasound image of the pelvic floor muscles visible as displacement of [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of pelvic floor muscles evaluation via transabdominal ultrasonography in young nulliparous women and to present the methodology for quantitative assessment of the ultrasound image of the pelvic floor muscles visible as displacement of the posterior wall of the bladder, caused by action of the pelvic floor muscles. The study comprised 30 young, Caucasian, nulliparous women (age 22–27; 168.6 ± 5.1 cm; 57.1 ± 11.8 kg) without pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions. The intra-rater, test-retest and inter-rater reliability of pelvic floor muscles evaluation was performed using transabdominal ultrasound at rest and during voluntary contraction. The reliability was assessed at three points of the image (at the middle, on the right and left side). The reliability of the three-point measurement of the pelvic floor muscles transabdominal ultrasound is excellent in the case of intra-rater assessments, both at rest (ICC = 0.98–0.99) and during contraction (ICC = 0.97–0.98); moderate at rest (ICC = 0.54–0.62) and poor during contraction (ICC = 0.22–0.50) in the case of test–retest assessment; excellent at rest (ICC = 0.95–0.96), and good during contraction (ICC = 0.81–0.87) in the case of inter-rater assessment. Transabdominal ultrasound is a reliable method of pelvic floor muscle evaluation. The three-points of assessment used in our study allowed for broader and more comprehensive imaging of the pelvic floor muscle, e.g., for quantitative detection contractility imbalances between the left and right side Due to the fact that understanding mechanisms of pelvic floor muscle functioning is crucial in the therapy of pelvic floor dysfunctions, therefore, reliable, valid tests and instruments are important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics & Gynecology)
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Article
Utility of the SARC-F Questionnaire for Sarcopenia Screening in Patients with Chronic Liver Disease: A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study in Japan
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3448; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153448 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Diagnosing sarcopenia is challenging. This multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the utility of the SARC-F score system for identifying sarcopenia in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). We enrolled 717 patients from five participating centers who completed the SARC-F between November 2019 [...] Read more.
Diagnosing sarcopenia is challenging. This multicenter cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate the utility of the SARC-F score system for identifying sarcopenia in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). We enrolled 717 patients from five participating centers who completed the SARC-F between November 2019 and March 2021. Sarcopenia was diagnosed based on the Japan Society of Hepatology Working Group on Sarcopenia in Liver Disease Consensus. Muscle strength was estimated using a grip dynamometer, and muscle mass was assessed using computed tomography or bioelectrical impedance analysis. The association between SARC-F and sarcopenia was analyzed using a logistic regression model. The optimal SARC-F cutoff value for identifying sarcopenia was determined using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Of the 676 eligible patients, 15% were diagnosed with sarcopenia. The SARC-F distribution was 0 points in 63% of patients, 1 point in 17%, 2 points in 7%, 3 points in 4%, and ≥4 points in 8%. The SARC-F items of “Strength” (odds ratio (OR), 1.98; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03–3.80) and “Falls” (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.48–4.03) were significantly associated with sarcopenia. The SARC-F value of 1 point showed a higher discriminative ability for identifying sarcopenia than the 4 points that are conventionally used (p < 0.001), with an area under the ROC curve of 0.68, sensitivity of 0.65, specificity of 0.68, positive predictive value of 0.27, and negative predictive value of 0.92. SARC-F is useful for identifying patients with CLD who are at risk of sarcopenia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sarcopenia: Skeletal Muscle Health and Ageing)
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Article
Transcatheter versus Isolated Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in Young High-Risk Patients: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3447; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153447 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
Background: Younger patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis are a particularly challenging collective with regard to the choice of intervention. High-risk patients younger than 75 years of age are often eligible for both the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and the isolated surgical [...] Read more.
Background: Younger patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis are a particularly challenging collective with regard to the choice of intervention. High-risk patients younger than 75 years of age are often eligible for both the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and the isolated surgical aortic valve replacement (iSAVR). Data on the outcomes of both interventions in this set of patients are scarce. Methods: One hundred and forty-four propensity score-matched patients aged 75 years or less who underwent TAVR or iSAVR at the Hietzing Heart Center in Vienna, Austria, were included in the study. The mean age was 68.9 years (TAVR 68.7 vs. SAVR 67.6 years; p = 0.190) and the average EuroSCORE II was 5.4% (TAVR 4.3 [3.2%] vs. iSAVR 6.4 (4.3%); p = 0.194). Results: Postprocedural adverse event data showed higher rates of newly acquired atrial fibrillation (6.9% vs. 19.4%; p = 0.049), prolonged ventilation (2.8% vs. 25.0%; p < 0.001) and multi-organ failure (0% vs. 6.9%) in the surgical cohort. The in-hospital and 30-day mortality was significantly higher for iSAVR (1.4% vs. 13.9%; p = 0.012; 12.5% vs. 2.8%; p = 0.009, respectively). The long-term survival (median follow-up 5.0 years (2.2–14.1 years)) of patients treated with the surgical approach was superior to that of patients undergoing TAVR (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Although the survival analysis revealed a higher in-hospital and 30-day survival rate for high-risk patients aged ≤75 years who underwent TAVR, iSAVR was associated with a significantly higher long-term survival rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcatheter Structural Heart Disease Interventions: Clinical Update)
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Article
Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis, and Atopic Dermatitis Incidence in Korean Adolescents before and after COVID-19
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3446; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153446 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
With changes in personal habits (masks and handwashing) during the COVID-19 outbreak, the study analyzed the reporting of physician-diagnosed cases (incidence) of allergic diseases (asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis) using the data for years 2019 and 2020 from the Korean adolescent risk [...] Read more.
With changes in personal habits (masks and handwashing) during the COVID-19 outbreak, the study analyzed the reporting of physician-diagnosed cases (incidence) of allergic diseases (asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis) using the data for years 2019 and 2020 from the Korean adolescent risk behavior web-based survey (KYRBWS-15 and 16). Altogether, 92,659 adolescents (48,443 in 2019 and 44,216 in 2020) were enrolled. The crude and adjusted odd ratios (ORs) were calculated for each disease in 2020 compared to that in 2019 using multiple logistic regression. Subgroup analyses were performed according to sex and economic status. The incidence of asthma decreased from 1.5% in 2019 to 1.0% 2020 (p < 0.001). The incidence of allergic rhinitis in 2019 and 2020 was 19.5% and 16.3%, respectively (p < 0.001). Compared with 2019, the adjusted OR (aOR) in 2020 was 0.68 (95% CI = 0.66–0.77, p value < 0.001) for asthma and 0.82 (95% CI = 0.78–0.85, p < 0.001) for allergic rhinitis. In contrast, there was no statistically significant difference between the incidence of atopic dermatitis in 2019 and that in 2020 (6.4%, vs. 6.4%, p > 0.05, respectively). Subgroup analyses results were consistent. In conclusion, there was decrease in the incidence of asthma and allergic rhinitis but not in that of atopic dermatitis from 2019 to 2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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Article
Association of Body Composition and Sarcopenia with NASH in Obese Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3445; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153445 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Obese patients often suffer from sarcopenia or sarcopenic obesity (SO) that can trigger inflammatory diseases including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Sarcopenia and SO can be diagnosed through measuring parameters of body composition such as skeletal muscle mass (SMM), skeletal muscle index (SMI) and fat [...] Read more.
Obese patients often suffer from sarcopenia or sarcopenic obesity (SO) that can trigger inflammatory diseases including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Sarcopenia and SO can be diagnosed through measuring parameters of body composition such as skeletal muscle mass (SMM), skeletal muscle index (SMI) and fat mass (FM) obtained by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of body composition and NASH in patients with obesity. A total of 138 patients with obesity that underwent bariatric surgery were included in this study. BIA was used to estimate body composition. A liver biopsy was taken intraoperatively and histological assessment of NASH was performed. A total of 23 patients (17%) were classified as NASH and 65 patients (47%) met the criteria for borderline NASH. Body mass index (BMI) was significantly higher in patients with NASH compared to borderline NASH and no NASH (56.3 kg/m2 vs. 51.6 kg/m2 vs. 48.6 kg/m2, p = 0.004). Concerning body composition, FM, but also SMM and SMI were significantly higher in patients with NASH (p-values 0.011, 0.005 and 0.006, resp.). Fat mass index (FMI) and weight-adjusted skeletal muscle index (SMI_weight) failed to reach statistical significance (p-values 0.067 and 0.661). In patients with obesity, higher FM were associated with NASH. Contrary to expectations, SMM and SMI were also higher in patients with NASH. Therefore, higher body fat, rather than sarcopenia and SO, might be decisive for development of NASH in patients with obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis)
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Review
The Role of the 3Rs for Understanding and Modeling the Human Placenta
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3444; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153444 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Modeling the physiology of the human placenta is still a challenge, despite the great number of scientific advancements made in the field. Animal models cannot fully replicate the structure and function of the human placenta and pose ethical and financial hurdles. In addition, [...] Read more.
Modeling the physiology of the human placenta is still a challenge, despite the great number of scientific advancements made in the field. Animal models cannot fully replicate the structure and function of the human placenta and pose ethical and financial hurdles. In addition, increasingly stricter animal welfare legislation worldwide is incentivizing the use of 3R (reduction, refinement, replacement) practices. What efforts have been made to develop alternative models for the placenta so far? How effective are they? How can we improve them to make them more predictive of human pathophysiology? To address these questions, this review aims at presenting and discussing the current models used to study phenomena at the placenta level: in vivo, ex vivo, in vitro and in silico. We describe the main achievements and opportunities for improvement of each type of model and critically assess their individual and collective impact on the pursuit of predictive studies of the placenta in line with the 3Rs and European legislation. Full article
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Article
Left Atrial Remodeling and Brain Natriuretic Peptide Levels Variation after Left Atrial Appendage Occlusion
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3443; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153443 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 387
Abstract
Background: Few data are available about brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) variation and left atrial remodeling after the left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) technique. Methods: Prospective study included all consecutive patients successfully implanted with an LAAO device. Contrast-enhanced cardiac computed tomography (CT) was performed [...] Read more.
Background: Few data are available about brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) variation and left atrial remodeling after the left atrial appendage occlusion (LAAO) technique. Methods: Prospective study included all consecutive patients successfully implanted with an LAAO device. Contrast-enhanced cardiac computed tomography (CT) was performed before and 6 weeks after the procedure with reverse left atrial remodeling defined by an increase in LA volume >10%, together with blood sampling obtained before, 48 h after device implantation and at the first visit after discharge (30–45 days) for BNP measurement. Results: Among the 43 patients implanted with a complete dataset, mean end-diastolic LA volume was 139 ± 64 mL and 141 ± 62 mL at baseline and during follow-up (45 ± 15 days), respectively, showing no statistical difference (p = 0.45). No thrombus was seen on the atrial side of the device. Peridevice leaks (defined as presence of dye in the LAA beyond the device) were observed in 17 patients (40%) but were trivial or mild. Reverse atrial remodeling (RAR) at 6 weeks was observed in six patients (14%). Despite no difference in BNP levels on admission, median BNP levels at 48 h were slightly increased in RAR patients when compared with controls. During FU, BNP levels were strictly identical in both groups. These results were not modified even when each RAR case was matched with two controls on age, LVEF, creatinine levels and ACE inhibitors treatment to avoid potential confounders. Conclusion: Our study showed that despite the fact that the LAAO technique can induce left atrial remodeling measured by a CT scan, it does not seem to impact BNP levels on the follow-up. The results need to be transposed to clinical outcomes of this expanding population in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspective in Atrial Fibrillation)
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Review
Current Lack of Evidence for an Effect of Physical Activity Intervention Combined with Pharmacological Treatment on Bone Turnover Biomarkers in People with Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: A Systematic Review
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153442 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 570
Abstract
The process of bone loss occurs silently and progressively with age, often appearing as osteopenia or osteoporosis or related fractures. Given the rapid raise in disease burden and socio-economic costs of these conditions worldwide, drug therapy combined with physical activity can be a [...] Read more.
The process of bone loss occurs silently and progressively with age, often appearing as osteopenia or osteoporosis or related fractures. Given the rapid raise in disease burden and socio-economic costs of these conditions worldwide, drug therapy combined with physical activity can be a useful strategy and bone biomarkers, can represent a useful evaluation tool to assess their effects. The objective of this systematic review, conducted according to PRISMA statement, was to investigate the effects of physical activity interventions combined with drug treatments on bone biomarkers in people with osteopenia and osteoporosis. Through PubMed, Cochrane, Cinahl, Embase, Trip, a comprehensive literature search was performed. Each study’s quality was assessed according to the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. Out of 582 identified articles, 50 full texts were screened. Only one matched the eligibility criteria. The study, scored as high quality, showed, in both experimental and control groups, an increase of CTX and P1NP bone biomarkers, without statistically significant differences. Based on available evidence, no exhaustive conclusion can be drawn. However, this systematic review critically analyses the literature, highlighting the knowledge gap on combined treatments efficacy assessed by bone biomarkers. Moreover, an outlook is provided for the planning of future studies. Full article
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Review
SARS-CoV-2 and the Brain: What Do We Know about the Causality of ‘Cognitive COVID?
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3441; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153441 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1903
Abstract
The second year of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic has seen the need to identify and assess the long-term consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection on an individual’s overall wellbeing, including adequate cognitive functioning. ‘Cognitive COVID’ is an informal term coined to interchangeably refer [...] Read more.
The second year of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic has seen the need to identify and assess the long-term consequences of a SARS-CoV-2 infection on an individual’s overall wellbeing, including adequate cognitive functioning. ‘Cognitive COVID’ is an informal term coined to interchangeably refer to acute changes in cognition during COVID-19 and/or cognitive sequelae with various deficits following the infection. These may manifest as altered levels of consciousness, encephalopathy-like symptoms, delirium, and loss of various memory domains. Dysexecutive syndrome is a peculiar manifestation of ‘Cognitive COVID’ as well. In the previous major outbreaks of viruses like SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and Influenza. There have been attempts to understand the underlying mechanisms describing the causality of similar symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection. This review, therefore, is attempting to highlight the current understanding of the various direct and indirect mechanisms, focusing on the role of neurotropism of SARS-CoV-2, the general pro-inflammatory state, and the pandemic-associated psychosocial stressors in the causality of ‘Cognitive COVID.’ Neurotropism is associated with various mechanisms including retrograde neuronal transmission via olfactory pathway, a general hematogenous spread, and the virus using immune cells as vectors. The high amounts of inflammation caused by COVID-19, compounded with potential intubation, are associated with a deleterious effect on the cognition as well. Finally, the pandemic’s unique psychosocial impact has raised alarm due to its possible effect on cognition. Furthermore, with surfacing reports of post-COVID-vaccination cognitive impairments after vaccines containing mRNA encoding for spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2, we hypothesize their causality and ways to mitigate the risk. The potential impact on the quality of life of an individual and the fact that even a minor proportion of COVID-19 cases developing cognitive impairment could be a significant burden on already overwhelmed healthcare systems across the world make it vital to gather further evidence regarding the prevalence, presentation, correlations, and causality of these events and reevaluate our approach to accommodate early identification, management, and rehabilitation of patients exhibiting cognitive symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Challenges during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Review
Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Current Treatment
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3440; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153440 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 551
Abstract
Management of takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is currently empirical and supportive, via extrapolation of therapeutic principles worked out for other cardiovascular pathologies. Although it has been emphasized that such non-specific therapies for TTS are consequent to its still elusive pathophysiology, one wonders whether it [...] Read more.
Management of takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is currently empirical and supportive, via extrapolation of therapeutic principles worked out for other cardiovascular pathologies. Although it has been emphasized that such non-specific therapies for TTS are consequent to its still elusive pathophysiology, one wonders whether it does not necessarily follow that the absence of knowledge of TTS’ pathophysiological underpinnings should prevent us for searching, designing, or even finding, therapies efficacious for its management. Additionally, it is conceivable that therapy for TTS may be in response to pathophysiological/pathoanatomic/pathohistological consequences (e.g., “myocardial stunning/reperfusion injury”), common to both TTS and coronary artery disease, or other cardiovascular disorders). The present review outlines the whole range of management principles of TTS during its acute phase and at follow-up, including considerations pertaining to the recurrence of TTS, and commences with the idea that occasionally management of TTS should consist of mere observation along the “first do no harm” principle, while self-healing is under way. Finally, some new therapeutic hypotheses (i.e., large doses of insulin infusions in association with the employment of intravenous short- and ultrashort-acting β-blockers) are being entertained, based on previous extensive animal work and limited application in patients with neurogenic cardiomyopathy and TTS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiomyopathies: Current Treatment and Future Options)
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Article
Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia as a Complication of Congenital Anemias. A Case Series and Review of the Literature
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3439; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153439 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 393
Abstract
Congenital anemias may be complicated by immune-mediated hemolytic crisis. Alloantibodies are usually seen in chronically transfused patients, and autoantibodies have also been described, although they are rarely associated with overt autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), a serious and potentially life-threatening complication. Given the lack [...] Read more.
Congenital anemias may be complicated by immune-mediated hemolytic crisis. Alloantibodies are usually seen in chronically transfused patients, and autoantibodies have also been described, although they are rarely associated with overt autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), a serious and potentially life-threatening complication. Given the lack of data on the AIHA diagnosis and management in congenital anemias, we retrospectively evaluated all clinically relevant AIHA cases occurring at a referral center for AIHA, hemoglobinopathies, and chronic hemolytic anemias, focusing on clinical management and outcome. In our cohort, AIHA had a prevalence of 1% (14/1410 patients). The majority were warm AIHA. Possible triggers were recent transfusion, infection, pregnancy, and surgery. All the patients received steroid therapy as the first line, and about 25% required further treatment, including rituximab, azathioprine, intravenous immunoglobulins, and cyclophosphamide. Transfusion support was required in 57% of the patients with non-transfusion-dependent anemia, and recombinant human erythropoietin was safely administered in one third of the patients. AIHA in congenital anemias may be challenging both from a diagnostic and a therapeutic point of view. A proper evaluation of hemolytic markers, bone marrow compensation, and assessment of the direct antiglobulin test is mandatory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Management of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemias)
Article
Comparison of Distal Radial, Proximal Radial, and Femoral Access in Patients with ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3438; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153438 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 498
Abstract
Recent studies have indicated that distal radial access (DRA) is feasible in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The present study aimed to compare DRA, proximal radial access (PRA), and femoral access (FA) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing PCI. Data [...] Read more.
Recent studies have indicated that distal radial access (DRA) is feasible in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The present study aimed to compare DRA, proximal radial access (PRA), and femoral access (FA) in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing PCI. Data were analyzed for 109 patients with STEMI treated via primary PCI from March 2020 to May 2021. The success rate of DRA was 83.3% (35/42), including seven cases of failed puncture (puncture failure = 5, severe radial artery spasm = 2). Primary PCI via the DRA was successful in all 35 patients. After classifying the patients requiring crossover into a separate group, the percentage of the puncture time in the door-to-wiring time was 2.7% [2.2–4.3], 3.3% [2.3–4.0], 2.6% [1.2–4.9], and 27.0% [13.5–29.3] in the DRA (n = 35), PRA (n = 24), FA (n = 26), and crossover (n = 9) groups, respectively (p < 0.01). Only two local hematomas (≤5 cm) occurred in the DRA group, while one patient in the FA group required surgical treatment and a transfusion for an access-site vascular injury. When performed by an experienced operator, DRA may represent a feasible alternative to other access routes in select patients with STEMI undergoing PCI, such as those with a high risk of bleeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Advances in Complex Coronary Interventions)
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Article
Analyses of Swallowing Function and Its Related Factors in Community-Dwelling Elderly Patients: A Case-Control Study
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3437; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153437 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 346
Abstract
This retrospective case-control study evaluated the prevalence of declined swallowing function and the association with oral functions and gender in community-dwelling elderly patients. Their profiles, the results of swallowing function (Eating Assessment Tool: EAT-10) and other oral functions (oral dryness, maximum occlusal force [...] Read more.
This retrospective case-control study evaluated the prevalence of declined swallowing function and the association with oral functions and gender in community-dwelling elderly patients. Their profiles, the results of swallowing function (Eating Assessment Tool: EAT-10) and other oral functions (oral dryness, maximum occlusal force (MOF), tongue–lip motor function (oral diadochokinesis: ODK), maximum tongue pressure (MTP) and masticatory performance (MP)) were extracted for analyses. The patients were categorized into three groups according to EAT-10 score (Group 1: 0, Group 2: 1 and 2, Group 3: ≥3). In total, 242 patients were enrolled and 46 of them (19.0%) were categorized into declined swallowing function (Group 3). In two-group comparisons (Group 1, 2 versus Group 3), significant differences were identified in age and the number of remaining teeth, but they were not identified in three-group comparisons. The patients with declined swallowing function (Group 3) had significantly lower function in ODK and MTP. Multiple logistic regression analyses identified that declined swallowing function was independently associated with declined functions in ODK /ka/ (OR: 5.31, 95% CI: 1.03–27.23, p = 0.04) and in MTP (OR: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.12–6.66, p = 0.03). This study could confirm the critical role of tongue functions in swallowing in community-dwelling elderly patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health for Special Needs, Compromised and Elderly Patients)
Article
Longitudinal Changes in Body Composition of Long-Term Survivors of Pancreatic Head Cancer and Factors Affecting the Changes
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3436; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153436 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 476
Abstract
Previous studies on changes in body composition of pancreatic cancer patients have only focused on short-term survivors. We studied longitudinal body composition changes and factors affecting them in long-term survivors by analyzing many abdominal computed tomography images using artificial intelligence technology. Of 302 [...] Read more.
Previous studies on changes in body composition of pancreatic cancer patients have only focused on short-term survivors. We studied longitudinal body composition changes and factors affecting them in long-term survivors by analyzing many abdominal computed tomography images using artificial intelligence technology. Of 302 patients who survived for >36 months after surgery were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for factors affecting body composition changes and repeated-measures analysis of variance to observe differences in the course of change according to each factor were performed. In logistic analysis, preoperative sarcopenia and recurrence were the main factors influencing body composition changes at 1 and 3 years after surgery, respectively. In changes of longitudinal body composition, the decrease in body composition was the greatest at 3–6 months postoperatively, and the preoperative status did not recover even 3 years after surgery. Especially, males showed a greater reduction in skeletal muscle (SKM) after surgery than females (p < 0.01). In addition, SKM (p < 0.001) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (p < 0.05) mass rapidly decreased in case of recurrence. In conclusion, long-term survivors of pancreatic cancer did not recover their preoperative body composition status, and preoperative sarcopenia and recurrence influenced body composition changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Medicine)
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Article
Role of Annual Influenza Vaccination against Lung Cancer in Type 2 Diabetic Patients from a Population-Based Cohort Study
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3434; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153434 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer due to immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation. They also have increased morbidity and mortality related to influenza, and it is recommended that they receive an annual influenza vaccination. [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients are at a higher risk for developing lung cancer due to immune dysfunction and chronic inflammation. They also have increased morbidity and mortality related to influenza, and it is recommended that they receive an annual influenza vaccination. In this study, we evaluate whether influenza vaccination could reduce the incidence of lung cancer in DM patients. This cohort study included DM patients (≥55 years old) between 1 January 2002 and 31 December 2012 by using the Taiwan Health Insurance Database. Cox proportional hazard regression method was used to compare the relation between the influenza vaccination and lung cancer incidence after adjusting for potential confounders. Sub-group analyses were done according to vaccination status (unvaccinated, total number of vaccinations: 1, 2–3, ≥4) and evaluated the dose-dependent effects on lung cancer events. Among 22,252 eligible DM patients, 7860 (35.32%) received an influenza vaccination and 67.68% (14392) did not receive an influenza vaccination. Lung cancer incidence was significantly lower in the vaccinated group versus the unvaccinated group (adjusted HR 0.77; 95% CI 0.62–0.95, p < 0.05). Significant protective effects were observed among male sex (adjusted HR 0.72; 95% CI 0.55–0.94, p < 0.05) and 55–64 year (adjusted HR 0.61; 95% CI 0.40–0.94, p < 0.05) and ≥75 year (adjusted HR 0.63; 95% CI 0.42–0.92, p < 0.05) age groups, respectively. A dose-dependent protective effect was noted with a significant protective effect in those that received ≥4 vaccinations (adjusted HR 0.42; 95% CI 0.29–0.61, p < 0.001). In sub-group analysis, elder patients with ≥65 years of age were significantly protected from ≥4 vaccinations (adjusted HR 0.37; 95% CI 0.23–0.62, p < 0.001 in 65–74 years and adjusted HR 0.31; 95% CI 0.15–0.66, p = 0.002 in ≥75 years group, respectively). Male sex with ≥4 vaccinations had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer (adjusted HR 0.35; 95% CI 0.21–0.57, p < 0.001). Patients with comorbid conditions that received ≥4 vaccinations were also protected, and was especially significant among those with CCI ≥ 3 (adjusted HR 0.38; 95% CI 0.18–0.80, p = 0.009) as compared to 1 and 2–3 vaccination groups, including those with hypertension (adjusted HR 0.35; 95% CI 0.22–0.57, p < 0.001). This population-based cohort study demonstrated that annual influenza vaccination significantly reduced the lung cancer risk in DM patients and specifically demonstrates that a higher number of vaccinations is related with a more protective effect. Whether this is due to vaccine booster effects on anti-tumor immune regulation among DM patients still needs to be explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology & Metabolism)
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Article
Systemic Vulnerability, as Expressed by I-CAM and MMP-9 at Presentation, Predicts One Year Outcomes in Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction—Insights from the VIP Clinical Study
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3435; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153435 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 465
Abstract
(1) Background: The prediction of recurrent events after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) does not sufficiently integrate systemic inflammation, coronary morphology or ventricular function in prediction algorithms. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of inflammatory biomarkers, in association with angiographical and echocardiographic parameters, in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The prediction of recurrent events after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) does not sufficiently integrate systemic inflammation, coronary morphology or ventricular function in prediction algorithms. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of inflammatory biomarkers, in association with angiographical and echocardiographic parameters, in predicting 1-year MACE after revascularized AMI. (2) Methods: This is an extension of a biomarker sub-study of the VIP trial (NCT03606330), in which 225 AMI patients underwent analysis of systemic vulnerability and were followed for 1 year. Hs-CRP, MMP-9, IL-6, I-CAM, V-CAM and E-selectin were determined at 1 h after revascularization. The primary end-point was the 1-year MACE rate. (3) Results: The MACE rate was 24.8% (n = 56). There were no significant differences between groups in regard to IL-6, V-CAM and E-selectin. The following inflammatory markers were significantly higher in MACE patients: hs-CRP (11.1 ± 13.8 vs. 5.1 ± 4.4 mg/L, p = 0.03), I-CAM (452 ± 283 vs. 220.5 ± 104.6, p = 0.0003) and MMP-9 (2255 ± 1226 vs. 1099 ± 706.1 ng/mL p = 0.0001). The most powerful predictor for MACE was MMP-9 of >1155 ng/mL (AUC-0.786, p < 0.001) even after adjustments for diabetes, LVEF, acute phase complications and other inflammatory biomarkers. For STEMI, the most powerful predictors for MACE included I-CAM > 239.7 ng/mL, V-CAM > 877.9 ng/mL and MMP-9 > 1393 ng/mL. (4) Conclusions: High levels of I-CAM and MMP-9 were the most powerful predictors for recurrent events after AMI for the overall study population. For STEMI subjects, the most important predictors included increased levels of I-CAM, V-CAM and MMP-9, while none of the analyzed parameters had proven to be predictive. Inflammatory biomarkers assayed during the acute phase of AMI presented a more powerful predictive capacity for MACE than the LVEF. Full article
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Review
Biomarkers in Cardiorenal Syndrome
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3433; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153433 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 563
Abstract
Cardiorenal syndrome is a clinical manifestation of the bidirectional interaction between the heart and kidney diseases. Over the last years, in patients with cardiovascular diseases, several biomarkers have been studied in order to better assess renal function as well as to identify patients [...] Read more.
Cardiorenal syndrome is a clinical manifestation of the bidirectional interaction between the heart and kidney diseases. Over the last years, in patients with cardiovascular diseases, several biomarkers have been studied in order to better assess renal function as well as to identify patients prone to experiencing chronic or acute worsening of renal function. The aim of this review is to focus on the possible clinical usefulness of the most recent biomarkers in the setting of cardiorenal syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomakers in Heart Failure)
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Article
Dentin Growth after Direct Pulp Capping with the Different Fractions of Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF) vs. MTA: Experimental Study in Animal Model
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3432; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153432 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 468
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the area of dentin growth in rabbit incisors after pulp capping with plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) compared with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) by fluorescence. Methods: twenty-seven upper and lower incisors of rabbits were divided into [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the area of dentin growth in rabbit incisors after pulp capping with plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) compared with mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) by fluorescence. Methods: twenty-seven upper and lower incisors of rabbits were divided into 4 groups: poor PRGF (F1) (n = 9 teeth), rich PRGF (F2) (n = 8 teeth), ProRoot MTA (positive control, n = 5 teeth), and untreated (NC) (negative control, n = 5). Fluorochrome markers were injected 24 h before surgery and the day before euthanasia, 28 days after the vital pulp therapy (VPT). Two transverse cuts were performed to every tooth: the first cut (A), 1 mm incisal to the gingival margin, and the second cut (B), 5 mm apical to the first cut. The sections were assessed with histomorphometric evaluation by fluorescence microscopy, comparing the dentin area between fluorescence marks and the total mineralized area. Results: The higher percentage of dentin growth was observed in the F2 group (B = 63.25%, A = 36.52%), followed by F1 (B = 57.63%, A = 30,12%) and MTA (B = 38.64%, A = 15.74%). The group with lowest percentage of dentin growth was the NC group (B = 29.22%, A = 7.82%). Significant difference (p < 0.05) was found between F2 group and MTA, also statistically significant difference has been observed comparing dentin growth areas of NC group with F1 and F2 groups. Conclusions: The application of PRGF rich and poor fraction as a pulp capping material stimulated dentin formation more intensively than MTA and NC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Root Canal Treatment (RCT): Latest Advances and Prospects)
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Article
Are Patients with Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Undertreated? A Population-Based Study from Southern Italy
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3431; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153431 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 407
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the pattern of use of different treatment lines in psoriasis (PsO) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients from Southern Italy. A retrospective cohort study was performed during the years 2010–2018 using data from the Caserta Local Health Unit (LHU) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the pattern of use of different treatment lines in psoriasis (PsO) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) patients from Southern Italy. A retrospective cohort study was performed during the years 2010–2018 using data from the Caserta Local Health Unit (LHU) claims database. All of the PsO or PsA patients were identified. The proportion of PsO/PsA patients untreated or treated with ≥1 drug classes (i.e., non-disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (non-DMARDs), conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs), biological drugs (bDMARDs) or targeted synthetic small molecules (tsDMARDs)) was calculated in the years 2016–2018. Among the bDMARD users, the median times from the first registered PsO/PsA diagnosis/from the first csDMARD to the first bDMARD were calculated. Overall, 10,296 (1.1%) and 1724 (0.2%) PsO and PsA patients were identified. More than half of the PsO patients (N = 5301; 51.6%) and 15% of the PsA patients (N = 251) were not treated with any drug. A very low proportion of PsO patients (N = 121; 1.2%) received csDMARDs/bDMARDs dispensing. Instead, 538 (32.2%) PsA patients were treated with bDMARDs. The median times from the first diagnosis to the first bDMARD dispensing were 54.0 (Q1–Q3: 30.5–72.2) and 13.3 (Q1–Q3: 3.1–43.9) months in the PsO and PsA patients, respectively. The median time from the first csDMARD to the first bDMARD dispensing was shorter in the PsO [9.2 months (Q1–Q3: 5.5–30.0)] than in the PsA [14.5 months (Q1–Q3: 8.6–33.5)] patients. A potential undertreatment of PsO (much less for PsA) in an LHU from Southern Italy, with a particularly low use of more recently marketed drugs, such as biological ones, was shown. Full article
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Article
The Comparison of Breast Reconstruction Using Two Types of Acellular Dermal Matrix after Breast-Conserving Surgery
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3430; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153430 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Breast reconstruction during breast-conserving surgery (BCS) can improve the breast shape. This study introduces breast reconstruction in BCS with two types of acellular dermal matrix (ADM). The study included 134 patients who underwent BCS due to breast cancer from February 2018 to May [...] Read more.
Breast reconstruction during breast-conserving surgery (BCS) can improve the breast shape. This study introduces breast reconstruction in BCS with two types of acellular dermal matrix (ADM). The study included 134 patients who underwent BCS due to breast cancer from February 2018 to May 2021. This study was conducted by one surgeon, and is the result of a three-year study. The patient group who underwent BCS using ADM was mainly targeted at patients with minor to severe defects after the operation. The average age of the patients was 51.8 years, and the body mass index (BMI) was 23.8 kg/m. The specimen weight was 30–120 g. The average surgical time, including reconstruction, was 100.4 min, combined with reconstruction. There were minor complications in six patients. The advantage of using ADM is that it can quickly correct the shape of the breast after conventional BCS surgery. Pellet-type ADM, rather than sheet-type, can create a breast shape similar to that before surgery. Breast reconstruction using ADM can be an easy and convenient method for making a better shape from BCS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cosmetology Medicine)
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Review
Neurotransmitter Dysfunction in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Emerging Approaches for Management
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3429; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153429 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder whose aetiology is still unknown. Most hypotheses point out the gut-brain axis as a key factor for IBS. The axis is composed of different anatomic and functional structures intercommunicated through neurotransmitters. However, the implications [...] Read more.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder whose aetiology is still unknown. Most hypotheses point out the gut-brain axis as a key factor for IBS. The axis is composed of different anatomic and functional structures intercommunicated through neurotransmitters. However, the implications of key neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, glutamate, GABA or acetylcholine in IBS are poorly studied. The aim of this review is to evaluate the current evidence about neurotransmitter dysfunction in IBS and explore the potential therapeutic approaches. IBS patients with altered colorectal motility show augmented norepinephrine and acetylcholine levels in plasma and an increased sensitivity of central serotonin receptors. A decrease of colonic mucosal serotonin transporter and a downregulation of α2 adrenoceptors are also correlated with visceral hypersensitivity and an increase of 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid levels, enhanced expression of high affinity choline transporter and lower levels of GABA. Given these neurotransmitter dysfunctions, novel pharmacological approaches such as 5-HT3 receptor antagonists and 5-HT4 receptor agonists are being explored for IBS management, for their antiemetic and prokinetic effects. GABA-analogous medications are being considered to reduce visceral pain. Moreover, agonists and antagonists of muscarinic receptors are under clinical trials. Targeting neurotransmitter dysfunction could provide promising new approaches for IBS management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Advances in Chronic Intestinal Diseases Treatment)
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Article
Control of Glucose, Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol among Adults with Diabetes: The Brazilian National Health Survey
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3428; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153428 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 550
Abstract
ABC (glucose, blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol) goals are basic standards of diabetes care. We aimed to assess ABC control and related factors in a representative sample of Brazilian adults with diabetes. We analyzed 465 adults with known diabetes in the Brazilian National Health [...] Read more.
ABC (glucose, blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol) goals are basic standards of diabetes care. We aimed to assess ABC control and related factors in a representative sample of Brazilian adults with diabetes. We analyzed 465 adults with known diabetes in the Brazilian National Health Survey. The targets used were <7% for glycated hemoglobin (A1C); <140/90 mmHg for blood pressure; and <100 mg/dL for LDL-C, with stricter targets for the latter two for those with high cardiovascular (CVD) risk. Individual goals were attained by 46% (95% CI, 40.3–51.6%) for A1C, 51.4% (95% CI, 45.7–57.1%) for blood pressure, and 40% (95% CI, 34.5–45.6%) for LDL-C. The achievement of all three goals was attained by 12.5% (95% CI, 8.9–16.2%). Those with high CVD risk attained blood pressure and LDL-C goals less frequently. A1C control improved with increasing age and worsened with greater duration of diabetes. Achievement of at least two ABC goals decreased with increasing BMI and greater duration of diabetes. In sum, about half of those with known diabetes achieved each ABC goal and only a small fraction achieved all three goals. Better access and adherence to treatment and strategies to personalize goals according to specific priorities are of the essence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes Epidemiology, Prevention and Treatment)
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Article
Effects of Statins on the Incidence and Mortality of Sepsis in Patients with New Cancer Diagnosis
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3427; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153427 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 317
Abstract
Statins have been associated with improved survival in cancer patients and with decreased incidence and mortality of sepsis in different populations. Our objective was to assess whether newly diagnosed cancer patients on statins had decreased incidence and mortality of sepsis. We analyzed a [...] Read more.
Statins have been associated with improved survival in cancer patients and with decreased incidence and mortality of sepsis in different populations. Our objective was to assess whether newly diagnosed cancer patients on statins had decreased incidence and mortality of sepsis. We analyzed a US database and included 119,379 patients with a new cancer diagnosis (age 55 (50–60) years, 61% female), 19,468 of them (16%) receiving statins. Statins users were older and presented more comorbidities. After adjustment for baseline characteristics, statin use was associated with decreased death hazard (HR 0.897, 95% CI 0.851–0.945, p < 0.0001). The cumulative incidence of sepsis reached 10% at 5 years but statin use was not significantly associated with sepsis hazard (subdistribution hazard ratio 0.990, 95% CI 0.932–1.050, p = 0.73), including in sensitivity analyzes in patients with hematological malignancy or sepsis within 1 year. In patients subsequently hospitalized with sepsis, hospital mortality was 23% and statin use was not associated with mortality (odds ratio 0.952, 95% CI 0.829–1.091, p = 0.48), including in sensitivity analyzes in patients with septic shock and use of statins at the time of sepsis. In summary, treatment with statin at the time of new cancer diagnosis is not associated with a decreased incidence and mortality of sepsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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Article
How to Predict the Suitability for Corneal Donorship?
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3426; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153426 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Background: In Germany, more than one-third of donor corneas harvested are not suitable for transplantation. We evaluated the factors associated with the usability of donor corneas. Method: Data from 2032 consecutive donor corneas harvested at the Rhineland-Palatinate Eye Bank in Mainz, Germany, were [...] Read more.
Background: In Germany, more than one-third of donor corneas harvested are not suitable for transplantation. We evaluated the factors associated with the usability of donor corneas. Method: Data from 2032 consecutive donor corneas harvested at the Rhineland-Palatinate Eye Bank in Mainz, Germany, were retrospectively analyzed. Factors of interest were age, sex, lens status, cause of death, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), death-to-explantation-interval (DEI), and the influence of these factors on the proportion of discarded donor corneas. Factors associated with endothelial cell density (ECD) were analyzed in a linear regression mixed model. Results: Higher donor age, male gender, pseudophakic lens status, and longer DEI were associated with significantly reduced ECD. With respect to DEI, the estimated cell loss was 7 ± 2 cells/mm2/hour (p < 0.001). Age was associated with a lower ECD of 6 ± 2 cells/mm2 per year (p = 0.001). Female ECD was 189 ± 44 cells/mm2 higher than male ECD (p < 0.001). Pseudophakic eyes had 378 ± 42 cells/mm2 less compared with phakic eyes (p < 0.001). Cause of death did not affect the ECD. Of note, 55% and 38% of corneas harvested on the second and third postmortem day, respectively, and 45% of corneas from donors older than 80 years were still suitable for transplantation. Conclusions: In the context of a growing need for donor corneas, we do not recommend limiting donor age and collection time to 24 h or excluding oncology donors, as is the practice in many countries. Therefore, we propose a mathematical model for better donor preselection. Full article
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Depression and Insomnia among Psychiatric Patients and the General Population
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3425; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153425 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 366
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and limited access to healthcare professionals pose a serious risk of worsening mental conditions. This study was designed to examine the changes in symptoms of insomnia and depression during the pandemic as compared to before the pandemic, as well [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic and limited access to healthcare professionals pose a serious risk of worsening mental conditions. This study was designed to examine the changes in symptoms of insomnia and depression during the pandemic as compared to before the pandemic, as well as the factors correlated with abovementioned mental state deterioration. Methods: The study was conducted from 1 April to 15 May 2020, on 212 psychiatric outpatients and 207 healthy controls. Participants completed a survey focused on symptoms during and prior to COVID-19 (the Beck Depression Inventory, the Athens Insomnia Scale). The following correlations were analyzed: demographics, social support, work status, income, and possible participants’ and their relatives’ COVID-19 diagnoses. Results: Insomnia and depression severity intensified during the pandemic in both groups and were associated with age, gender, education, employment, and financial status. No correlations between social support nor becoming sick with COVID-19 and insomnia or depression were observed. Maintaining work and enough money for one’s own needs were found to be significant protective factors of depression (OR 0.37 and 0.29, respectively). Conclusions: Exacerbation of insomnia and depression during the pandemic needs to be addressed. Economic crisis seems to influence mental state even more than COVID diagnosis among study subjects/relatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders)
Article
Periprosthetic Stress Shielding of the Humerus after Reconstruction with Modular Shoulder Megaprostheses in Patients with Sarcoma
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3424; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153424 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 324
Abstract
(1) Background: Modular megaprosthetic reconstruction using a proximal humerus replacement has emerged as a commonly chosen approach after bone tumor resection. However, the long-term risk for revision surgery is relatively high. One factor that might be associated with mechanical failures is periprosthetic osteolysis [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Modular megaprosthetic reconstruction using a proximal humerus replacement has emerged as a commonly chosen approach after bone tumor resection. However, the long-term risk for revision surgery is relatively high. One factor that might be associated with mechanical failures is periprosthetic osteolysis around the stem, also known as stress shielding. The frequency, potential risk factors, and the effect on implant survival are unknown. (2) Methods: A retrospective single-center study of 65 patients with sarcoma who underwent resection of the proximal humerus and subsequent reconstruction with a modular endoprosthesis. Stress shielding was defined as the development of bone resorption around the prosthesis stem beginning at the bone/prosthesis interface. The extent of stress shielding was measured with a new method quantifying bone resorption in relation to the intramedullary stem length. All patients had a minimum follow-up of 12 months with conventional radiographs available and the median follow-up amounted to 36 months. (3) Results: Stress shielding was observed in 92% of patients (60/65). The median longitudinal extent of stress shielding amounted to 14% at last follow-up. Fifteen percent (10/65) showed bone resorption of greater than 50%. The median time to the first radiographic signs of stress shielding was 6 months (IQR 3–9). Patients who underwent chemotherapy (43/65) showed a greater extent of stress shielding compared to those without chemotherapy. Three percent (2/65) of patients were revised for aseptic loosening, and one patient had a periprosthetic fracture (1/65, 1.5%). All these cases had >20% extent of stress shielding (23–57%). (4) Conclusions: Stress shielding of the proximal humerus after shoulder reconstruction with modular megaprosthesis is common. It occurs within the first year of follow-up and might be self-limiting in many patients; however, about one third of patients shows progression beyond the first year. Still, mechanical complications were rare, but stress shielding might be clinically relevant in individual cases. The extent of stress shielding was increased in patients who underwent perioperative chemotherapy. Stress shielding can be quantified with an easy method using the stem length as a reference. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Replacement Surgery and Rehabilitation of the Shoulder)
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Article
Fetal Cardiac Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic: How Does It Affect Parental Counseling?
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3423; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153423 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 403
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic impacts health care providers in multiple ways, even specialties that do not seem to be affected primarily, such as fetal cardiac services. We aimed to assess the effects on parental counseling for fetal congenital heart disease (CHD). In this multicenter [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacts health care providers in multiple ways, even specialties that do not seem to be affected primarily, such as fetal cardiac services. We aimed to assess the effects on parental counseling for fetal congenital heart disease (CHD). In this multicenter study, we used a validated questionnaire. Parents were recruited from four national tertiary medical care centers (n = 226); n = 169 had been counseled before and n = 57 during the pandemic. Overall counseling success including its dimensions did not differ between the two groups (p = n.s.). However, by applying the sorrow scale, we could demonstrate that parents counseled during the pandemic were significantly more concerned (p = 0.025) and unsure (p = 0.044) about their child’s diagnosis, therapy and outcome. Furthermore, parents expressed a significantly increased need for written and/or online information on fetal heart disease (p = 0.034). Other modifiers did not affect counseling success (p = n.s.). We demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic impacts effectiveness of parental counseling for fetal CHD, possibly by altering parental perceptions. This needs to be taken into consideration when counseling. Implementing alternative and innovative approaches (e.g., online conference or virtual reality tools) may aid in facilitating high-quality services in critical times such as in the present pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prenatal Diagnosis and Management of Congenital Heart Defects)
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Review
Ocular Complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153422 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, is characterized by repetitive episodes of paused breathing during sleep, which in turn induces transient nocturnal hypoxia and hypercapnia. The high prevalence of OSA and its associated health consequences place a heavy [...] Read more.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing, is characterized by repetitive episodes of paused breathing during sleep, which in turn induces transient nocturnal hypoxia and hypercapnia. The high prevalence of OSA and its associated health consequences place a heavy burden on the healthcare system. In particular, the consequent episodic oxygenic desaturation/reoxygenation series and arousals from sleep in patients with OSA have the potential to trigger oxidative stress, elevated systemic inflammatory responses, and autonomic dysfunction with sympathetic activation. Given these adverse side-effects, OSA is highly correlated to many eye diseases that are common in everyday ophthalmic practices. Some of these ocular consequences are reversible, but they may permanently threaten a patient’s vision if not treated appropriately. Here, this article seeks to review the ocular consequences and potential pathophysiologic associations in patients with OSA. Understanding these OSA-related eye diseases may help clinicians provide comprehensive care to their patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Eye in Systemic Diseases)
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Article
Improvement of Working Memory and Processing Speed in Patients over 70 with Bilateral Hearing Impairment Following Unilateral Cochlear Implantation
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3421; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153421 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Several studies demonstrated the association of hearing disorders with neurocognitive deficits and dementia disorders, but little is known about the effects of auditory rehabilitation on the cognitive performance of the elderly. Therefore, the research question of the present study was whether cochlear implantation, [...] Read more.
Several studies demonstrated the association of hearing disorders with neurocognitive deficits and dementia disorders, but little is known about the effects of auditory rehabilitation on the cognitive performance of the elderly. Therefore, the research question of the present study was whether cochlear implantation, performed in 21 patients over 70 with bilateral severe hearing impairment, could influence their cognitive skills. The measuring points were before implantation and 12 months after the first cochlear implant (CI) fitting. Evaluation of the working memory (WMI) and processing speed (PSI) was performed using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 4th edition (WAIS-IV). The audiological assessment included speech perception (SP) in quiet (Freiburg monosyllabic test; FMT), noise (Oldenburg sentence test; OLSA), and self-assessment inventory (Oldenburg Inventory; OI). Twelve months after the first CI fitting, not only the auditory parameters (SP and OI), but also the WMI and PSI, improved significantly (p < 0.05) in the cohort. The presented results imply that cochlear implantation of bilaterally hearing-impaired patients over 70 positively influences their cognitive skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cochlear Implantation and Hearing Rehabilitation)
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Review
Paracetamol: A Review of Guideline Recommendations
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(15), 3420; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10153420 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 590
Abstract
Musculoskeletal pain conditions are age-related, leading contributors to chronic pain and pain-related disability, which are expected to rise with the rapid global population aging. Current medical treatments provide only partial relief. Furthermore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids are effective in young and [...] Read more.
Musculoskeletal pain conditions are age-related, leading contributors to chronic pain and pain-related disability, which are expected to rise with the rapid global population aging. Current medical treatments provide only partial relief. Furthermore, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids are effective in young and otherwise healthy individuals but are often contraindicated in elderly and frail patients. As a result of its favorable safety and tolerability record, paracetamol has long been the most common drug for treating pain. Strikingly, recent reports questioned its therapeutic value and safety. This review aims to present guideline recommendations. Paracetamol has been assessed in different conditions and demonstrated therapeutic efficacy on both acute and chronic pain. It is active as a single agent and is additive or synergistic with NSAIDs and opioids, improving their efficacy and safety. However, a lack of significant efficacy and hepatic toxicity have also been reported. Fast dissolving formulations of paracetamol provide superior and more extended pain relief that is similar to intravenous paracetamol. A dose reduction is recommended in patients with liver disease or malnourished. Genotyping may improve efficacy and safety. Within the current trend toward the minimization of opioid analgesia, it is consistently included in multimodal, non-opioid, or opioid-sparing therapies. Paracetamol is being recommended by guidelines as a first or second-line drug for acute pain and chronic pain, especially for patients with limited therapeutic options and for the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmacological Management of Chronic Pain)
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