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J. Clin. Med., Volume 6, Issue 6 (June 2017) – 7 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In this paper, we have reviewed the previous findings in animal and human studies with regard to the role of gut microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We and others have reported that the increased abundance of Prevotella copri was found in some early RA patients. We produced gut microbiota-humanized mice and showed that Prevotella copri –dominated microbiota directly contributes to the aggravation of arthritis. View the paper here.
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Review
Fibrotic Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis: Key Issues in Diagnosis and Management
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060062 - 15 Jun 2017
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 5404
Abstract
The diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) relies on the clinical evaluation of a number of features, including a history of significant exposure to potentially causative antigens, physical examination, chest CT scan appearances, bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocytosis, and, in selected cases, histology. The presence of [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) relies on the clinical evaluation of a number of features, including a history of significant exposure to potentially causative antigens, physical examination, chest CT scan appearances, bronchoalveolar lavage lymphocytosis, and, in selected cases, histology. The presence of fibrosis is associated with higher morbidity and mortality. Differentiating fibrotic HP from the idiopathic interstitial pneumonias can be a challenge. Furthermore, even in the context of a clear diagnosis of fibrotic HP, the disease behaviour can parallel that of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in a subgroup, with inexorable progression despite treatment. We review the current knowledge on the diagnosis, management, and prognosis of HP with particular focus on the fibrotic phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Respiratory Diseases)
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Review
Renin Inhibition with Aliskiren: A Decade of Clinical Experience
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060061 - 09 Jun 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3586
Abstract
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a key role in the pathophysiology of arterial hypertension as well as in more complex mechanisms of cardiovascular and renal diseases. RAAS-blocking agents like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, have long been key components [...] Read more.
The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays a key role in the pathophysiology of arterial hypertension as well as in more complex mechanisms of cardiovascular and renal diseases. RAAS-blocking agents like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers, have long been key components in the treatment of essential hypertension, heart failure, diabetic nephropathy, and chronic kidney disease, showing benefits well beyond blood pressure reduction. Renin blockade as the first step of the RAAS cascade finally became possible in 2007 with the approval of aliskiren, the first orally active direct renin inhibitor available for clinical use and the newest antihypertensive agent on the market. In the last decade, many clinical trials and meta-analyses have been conducted concerning the efficacy and safety of aliskiren in comparison to other antihypertensive agents, as well as the efficacy and potential clinical use of various combinations. Large trials with cardiovascular and renal endpoints attempted to show potential benefits of aliskiren beyond blood pressure lowering, as well as morbidity and mortality outcomes in specific populations such as diabetics, heart failure patients, and post-myocardial infarction individuals. The purpose of this review is to present the currently available data regarding established and future potential clinical uses of aliskiren. Full article
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Review
Role of Gut Microbiota in Rheumatoid Arthritis
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060060 - 09 Jun 2017
Cited by 89 | Viewed by 9499
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease, caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Recently, investigators have focused on the gut microbiota, which is thought to be an environmental agent affecting the development of RA. Here we review the evidence from animal [...] Read more.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease, caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Recently, investigators have focused on the gut microbiota, which is thought to be an environmental agent affecting the development of RA. Here we review the evidence from animal and human studies that supports the role of the gut microbiota in RA. We and others have demonstrated that the abundance of Prevotella copri is increased in some early RA. We have also used gnotobiotic experiments to show that dysbiosis in RA patients contributed to the development of Th17 cell-dependent arthritis in intestinal microbiota-humanized SKG mice. On the other hand, Prevotella histicola from human gut microbiota suppressed the development of arthritis. In summary, Prevotella species are involved in the pathogenesis of arthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Th17 Cell in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases)
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Article
Social Factors Determine the Emergency Medical Admission Workload
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060059 - 09 Jun 2017
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
We related social factors with the annual rate of emergency medical admissions using census small area statistics. All emergency medical admissions (70,543 episodes in 33,343 patients) within the catchment area of St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, were examined between 2002 and 2016. Deprivation Index, [...] Read more.
We related social factors with the annual rate of emergency medical admissions using census small area statistics. All emergency medical admissions (70,543 episodes in 33,343 patients) within the catchment area of St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, were examined between 2002 and 2016. Deprivation Index, Single-Parent status, Educational level and Unemployment rates were regressed against admission rates. High deprivation areas had an approximately fourfold (Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR) 4.0 (3.96, 4.12)) increase in annual admission rate incidence/1000 population from Quintile 1(Q1), from 9.2/1000 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 9.0, 9.4) to Q5 37.3 (37.0, 37.5)). Single-Parent families comprised 40.6% of households (95% CI: 32.4, 49.7); small areas with more Single Parents had a higher admission rate-IRR (Q1 vs. for Q5) of 2.92 (95% CI: 2.83, 3.01). The admission incidence rate was higher for Single-Parent status (IRR 1.50 (95% CI: 1.46, 1.52)) where the educational completion level was limited to primary level (Incidence Rate Ratio 1.45 (95% CI: 1.43, 1.47)). Small areas with higher educational quintiles predicted lower Admission Rates (IRR 0.85 (95% CI: 0.84, 0.86)). Social factors strongly predict the annual incidence rate of emergency medical admissions. Full article
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Article
An Effective, Versatile, and Inexpensive Device for Oxygen Uptake Measurement
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060058 - 08 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3052
Abstract
In the last ten years, the use of fluorescent probes developed to measure oxygen has resulted in several marketed devices, some unreasonably expensive and with little flexibility. We have explored the use of the effective, versatile, and inexpensive Redflash technology to determine oxygen [...] Read more.
In the last ten years, the use of fluorescent probes developed to measure oxygen has resulted in several marketed devices, some unreasonably expensive and with little flexibility. We have explored the use of the effective, versatile, and inexpensive Redflash technology to determine oxygen uptake by a number of different biological samples using various layouts. This technology relies on the use of an optic fiber equipped at its tip with a membrane coated with a fluorescent dye (www.pyro-science.com). This oxygen-sensitive dye uses red light excitation and lifetime detection in the near infrared. So far, the use of this technology has mostly been used to determine oxygen concentration in open spaces for environmental studies, especially in aquatic media. The oxygen uptake determined by the device can be easily assessed in small volumes of respiration medium and combined with the measurement of additional parameters, such as lactate excretion by intact cells or the membrane potential of purified mitochondria. We conclude that the performance of by this technology should make it a first choice in the context of both fundamental studies and investigations for respiratory chain deficiencies in human samples. Full article
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Review
Minimal Residual Disease in Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Still a Work in Progress?
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060057 - 03 Jun 2017
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3452
Abstract
Minimal residual disease evaluation refers to a series of molecular and immunophenotypical techniques aimed at detecting submicroscopic disease after therapy. As such, its application in acute myeloid leukemia has greatly increased our ability to quantify treatment response, and to determine the chemosensitivity of [...] Read more.
Minimal residual disease evaluation refers to a series of molecular and immunophenotypical techniques aimed at detecting submicroscopic disease after therapy. As such, its application in acute myeloid leukemia has greatly increased our ability to quantify treatment response, and to determine the chemosensitivity of the disease, as the final product of the drug schedule, dose intensity, biodistribution, and the pharmakogenetic profile of the patient. There is now consistent evidence for the prognostic power of minimal residual disease evaluation in acute myeloid leukemia, which is complementary to the baseline prognostic assessment of the disease. The focus for its use is therefore shifting to individualize treatment based on a deeper evaluation of chemosensitivity and residual tumor burden. In this review, we will summarize the results of the major clinical studies evaluating minimal residual disease in acute myeloid leukemia in adults in recent years and address the technical and practical issues still hampering the spread of these techniques outside controlled clinical trials. We will also briefly speculate on future developments and offer our point of view, and a word of caution, on the present use of minimal residual disease measurements in “real-life” practice. Still, as final standardization and diffusion of the methods are sorted out, we believe that minimal residual disease will soon become the new standard for evaluating response in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Minimal Residual Disease Assessment in Hematological Cancers)
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Review
Use of the Ketogenic Diet to Treat Intractable Epilepsy in Mitochondrial Disorders
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(6), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6060056 - 26 May 2017
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4281
Abstract
Mitochondrial disorders are a clinically heterogeneous group of disorders that are caused by defects in the respiratory chain, the metabolic pathway of the adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) production system. Epilepsy is a common and important feature of these disorders and its management can be [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial disorders are a clinically heterogeneous group of disorders that are caused by defects in the respiratory chain, the metabolic pathway of the adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) production system. Epilepsy is a common and important feature of these disorders and its management can be challenging. Epileptic seizures in the context of mitochondrial disease are usually treated with conventional anti-epileptic medication, apart from valproic acid. However, in accordance with the treatment of intractable epilepsy where there are limited treatment options, the ketogenic diet (KD) has been considered as an alternative therapy. The use of the KD and its more palatable formulations has shown promising results. It is especially indicated and effective in the treatment of mitochondrial disorders due to complex I deficiency. Further research into the mechanism of action and the neuroprotective properties of the KD will allow more targeted therapeutic strategies and thus optimize the treatment of both epilepsy in the context of mitochondrial disorders but also in other neurodegenerative disorders. Full article
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