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J. Clin. Med., Volume 5, Issue 9 (September 2016)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Advances in the Microbiome: Applications to Clostridium difficile Infection
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090083 - 21 Sep 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5257
Abstract
Clostridium difficile is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing over 400,000 infections and approximately 29,000 deaths in the United States alone each year. C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in the developed world, and, in recent [...] Read more.
Clostridium difficile is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, causing over 400,000 infections and approximately 29,000 deaths in the United States alone each year. C. difficile is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in the developed world, and, in recent years, the emergence of hyper-virulent (mainly ribotypes 027 and 078, sometimes characterised by increased toxin production), epidemic strains and an increase in the number of community-acquired infections has caused further concern. Antibiotic therapy with metronidazole, vancomycin or fidaxomicin is the primary treatment for C. difficile infection (CDI). However, CDI is unique, in that, antibiotic use is also a major risk factor for acquiring CDI or recurrent CDI due to disruption of the normal gut microbiota. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative, non-antibiotic therapeutics to treat or prevent CDI. Here, we review a number of such potential treatments which have emerged from advances in the field of microbiome research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Human Microbiome)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Advanced Therapeutic Strategies for Chronic Lung Disease Using Nanoparticle-Based Drug Delivery
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090082 - 20 Sep 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3620
Abstract
Chronic lung diseases include a variety of obstinate and fatal diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and lung cancers. Pharmacotherapy is important for the treatment of chronic lung diseases, and current progress in nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Chronic lung diseases include a variety of obstinate and fatal diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis (CF), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and lung cancers. Pharmacotherapy is important for the treatment of chronic lung diseases, and current progress in nanoparticles offers great potential as an advanced strategy for drug delivery. Based on their biophysical properties, nanoparticles have shown improved pharmacokinetics of therapeutics and controlled drug delivery, gaining great attention. Herein, we will review the nanoparticle-based drug delivery system for the treatment of chronic lung diseases. Various types of nanoparticles will be introduced, and recent innovative efforts to utilize the nanoparticles as novel drug carriers for the effective treatment of chronic lung diseases will also be discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Ono, S.; Lam, S.; Nagahara, M.; Hoon, D.S.B. Circulating microRNA Biomarkers as Liquid Biopsy for Cancer Patients: Pros and Cons of Current Assays. J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4, 1890–1907
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090081 - 12 Sep 2016
Viewed by 1340
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [1]:[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Plasma Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Concentration and Alveolar Nitric Oxide as Potential Predictors of Disease Progression and Mortality in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090080 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
Background: Declining lung function signifies disease progression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentration is associated with declining lung function in 6 and 12-month studies. Alveolar nitric oxide concentration (CANO) is increased in patients with IPF, however its [...] Read more.
Background: Declining lung function signifies disease progression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) concentration is associated with declining lung function in 6 and 12-month studies. Alveolar nitric oxide concentration (CANO) is increased in patients with IPF, however its significance is unclear. This study investigated whether baseline plasma VEGF concentration and CANO are associated with disease progression or mortality in IPF. Methods: 27 IPF patients were studied (maximum follow-up 65 months). Baseline plasma VEGF concentration, CANO and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were measured. PFTs were performed the preceding year and subsequent PFTs and data regarding mortality were collected. Disease progression was defined as one of: death, relative decrease of ≥10% in baseline forced vital capacity (FVC) % predicted, or relative decrease of ≥15% in baseline single breath diffusion capacity of carbon monoxide (TLCO-SB) % predicted. Results: Plasma VEGF concentration was not associated with progression-free survival or mortality. There was a trend towards shorter time to disease progression and death with higher CANO. CANO was significantly higher in patients with previous declining versus stable lung function. Conclusion: The role of VEGF in IPF remains uncertain. It may be of value to further investigate CANO in IPF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Adherence to Glaucoma Medications Over 12 Months in Two US Community Pharmacy Chains
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090079 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
This study determined the degree of adherence to medications for glaucoma among patients refilling prescriptions in community pharmacies. Methods: Data abstracted from the dispensing records for 3615 adult patients (18 years or older, predominantly over 45) receiving glaucoma medications from two retail pharmacy [...] Read more.
This study determined the degree of adherence to medications for glaucoma among patients refilling prescriptions in community pharmacies. Methods: Data abstracted from the dispensing records for 3615 adult patients (18 years or older, predominantly over 45) receiving glaucoma medications from two retail pharmacy chains (64 stores in total) were analyzed. From a 24-month historic data capture period, the 12-month levels of adherence were determined using standard metrics, the proportion of days covered (PDC) and the medication possession ratio (MPR). The overall 12-month mean PDC was only 57%, and the mean MPR was 71%. Using a criterion by which 80% coverage was considered satisfactory adherence, only 30% had satisfactory overall 12-month PDC coverage, and only 37% had satisfactory overall 12-month MPR coverage. Refill adherence increased with age and was highest in the 65-and-older age group (p < 0.001). Differential adherence was found across medication classes, with the highest satisfactory coverage seen for those taking alpha2-adrenergic agonists (PDC = 36.0%; MPR = 47.6%) down to those taking direct cholinergic agonists (PDC = 25.0%; MPR = 31.2%) and combination products (PDC = 22.7%; MPR = 31.0%). Adherence to glaucoma medications in the community setting, as measured by pharmacy refill data, is very poor and represents a critical target for intervention. Community pharmacists are well positioned to monitor and reinforce adherence in this population. Full article
Open AccessReview
Real World Experiences: Pirfenidone and Nintedanib are Effective and Well Tolerated Treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090078 - 02 Sep 2016
Cited by 54 | Viewed by 4337
Abstract
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) now has two licensed treatments available. Pirfenidone was the first drug to be licensed and approved for use, followed by nintedanib. We set out our real world experience with these agents in terms of their adverse events profile outside [...] Read more.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) now has two licensed treatments available. Pirfenidone was the first drug to be licensed and approved for use, followed by nintedanib. We set out our real world experience with these agents in terms of their adverse events profile outside the restrictions of a clinical trial. We have demonstrated in the real world setting, that side effects are common and predominantly gastrointestinal with both therapies. Our study shows that the side effects can be effectively managed in the majority of patients with an acceptable discontinuation rate similar to that seen in the clinical trials. These findings are compelling despite the fact that the patients in our study are older, have severer disease as depicted by baseline lung function and more co-morbidities. Our data provides ongoing evidence of the safety and tolerability of both pirfenidone and nintedanib in patients who would not have met the rigorous criteria to be included in a clinical trial. Both these agents are effective in the management of IPF and slow the progression of this debilitating life limiting condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Why do We Find It so Hard to Discuss Spirituality? A Qualitative Exploration of Attitudinal Barriers
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090077 - 01 Sep 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2592
Abstract
Background: Despite known health benefits of spiritual care and high patient interest in discussing spirituality with their physicians, the frequency of spiritual discussions in the medical consultation is low. We investigated spiritual conversations for doctors caring for patients with advanced cancer; why these [...] Read more.
Background: Despite known health benefits of spiritual care and high patient interest in discussing spirituality with their physicians, the frequency of spiritual discussions in the medical consultation is low. We investigated spiritual conversations for doctors caring for patients with advanced cancer; why these conversations so difficult; and what the underlying challenges are for discussing spirituality with patients; Methods: Participants were contacted through the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine and the Medical Oncology Group of Australia, including physicians from two secular countries. Semi-structured interviews were taped and transcribed verbatim. The text was analyzed using thematic analysis; Results: Thematic saturation was reached after 23 participants had been interviewed. The following themes were identified: (1) confusing spirituality with religion; (2) peer pressure; (3) personal spirituality; (4) institutional factors; (5) historical factors; Conclusion: This study explored the underlying attitudes contributing to the reluctance doctors have to discuss spirituality in the medical consultation. Underlying confusion regarding the differences between religion and spirituality, and the current suspicion with which religion is regarded in medicine needs to be addressed if discussion of spirituality in the medical consultation is to become routine. Historical opposition to a biopsychosocial-spiritual model of the human being is problematic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychosocial Interaction between Physicians and Patients)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Dysregulation of TGFβ1 Activity in Cancer and Its Influence on the Quality of Anti-Tumor Immunity
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090076 - 31 Aug 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2553
Abstract
TGFβ1 is a pleiotropic cytokine that exhibits a variety of physiologic and immune regulatory functions. Although its influence on multiple cell types is critical for the regulation of numerous biologic processes in the host, dysregulation of both TGFβ1 expression and activity is frequently [...] Read more.
TGFβ1 is a pleiotropic cytokine that exhibits a variety of physiologic and immune regulatory functions. Although its influence on multiple cell types is critical for the regulation of numerous biologic processes in the host, dysregulation of both TGFβ1 expression and activity is frequently observed in cancer and contributes to various aspects of cancer progression. This review focuses on TGFβ1’s contribution to tumor immune suppression and escape, with emphasis on the influence of this regulatory cytokine on the differentiation and function of dendritic cells and T cells. Clinical trials targeting TGFβ1 in cancer patients are also reviewed, and strategies for future therapeutic interventions that build on our current understanding of immune regulation by TGFβ1 are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological and Clinical Aspects of TGF-beta in Carcinogenesis)
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Open AccessReview
Pulmonary Hypertension Due to Common Respiratory Conditions: Classification, Evaluation and Management Strategies
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090075 - 26 Aug 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) due to chronic respiratory disease and/or hypoxia is classified as World Health Organization (WHO) Group III pulmonary hypertension. The patients most commonly encountered in clinical practice with group III PH include those with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), diffuse parenchymal [...] Read more.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) due to chronic respiratory disease and/or hypoxia is classified as World Health Organization (WHO) Group III pulmonary hypertension. The patients most commonly encountered in clinical practice with group III PH include those with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), diffuse parenchymal lung disease, and sleep-disordered breathing. The purpose of this review is to outline the variable clinical significance of pulmonary hypertension in the most common pulmonary disease states and how a clinician may approach the management of these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
Open AccessReview
Adult Status Epilepticus: A Review of the Prehospital and Emergency Department Management
J. Clin. Med. 2016, 5(9), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm5090074 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4234
Abstract
Seizures are a common presentation in the prehospital and emergency department setting and status epilepticus represents an emergency neurologic condition. The classification and various types of seizures are numerous. The objectives of this narrative literature review focuses on adult patients with a presentation [...] Read more.
Seizures are a common presentation in the prehospital and emergency department setting and status epilepticus represents an emergency neurologic condition. The classification and various types of seizures are numerous. The objectives of this narrative literature review focuses on adult patients with a presentation of status epilepticus in the prehospital and emergency department setting. In summary, benzodiazepines remain the primary first line therapeutic agent in the management of status epilepticus, however, there are new agents that may be appropriate for the management of status epilepticus as second- and third-line pharmacological agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Understanding and Treatment of Status Epilepticus)
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