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J. Clin. Med., Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 262 articles

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Open AccessReview
Biomarkers in Community-Acquired Pneumonia (Cardiac and Non-Cardiac)
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020549 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Abstract
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) remains the first cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide due to infection. Several aspects such as severity and host response are related to its clinical course and outcome. Beyond the acute implications that the infection provokes in the host, pneumonia [...] Read more.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) remains the first cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide due to infection. Several aspects such as severity and host response are related to its clinical course and outcome. Beyond the acute implications that the infection provokes in the host, pneumonia also has long-term negative consequences. Among them, cardiovascular complications and mortality are the most outstanding. Therefore, an adequate recognition and stratification of the risk of complications and mortality is crucial. Many biomarkers have been studied for these reasons, considering that each biomarker mirrors a different aspect. Moreover, the clinical application of many of them is still being deliberated because of their limitations and the heterogeneity of the disease. In this review, we examine some of the most relevant biomarkers that we have classified as cardiac and non-cardiac. We discuss some classic biomarkers and others that are considered novel biomarkers, which are mainly involved in cardiovascular risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis and Treatment of Pneumonia)
Open AccessArticle
Dysfunction of Salivary Glands, Disturbances in Salivary Antioxidants and Increased Oxidative Damage in Saliva of Overweight and Obese Adolescents
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 548; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020548 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Obesity is inseparably connected with oxidative stress. This process may disturb the functioning of the oral cavity, although the effect of oxidative stress on salivary gland function and changes in the qualitative composition of saliva are still unknown. Our study is the first [...] Read more.
Obesity is inseparably connected with oxidative stress. This process may disturb the functioning of the oral cavity, although the effect of oxidative stress on salivary gland function and changes in the qualitative composition of saliva are still unknown. Our study is the first to evaluate salivary redox homeostasis in 40 overweight and obese adolescents and in the age- and gender-matched control group. We demonstrated strengthening of the antioxidant barrier (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase, uric acid, total antioxidant capacity (TAC)) with a simultaneous decrease in reduced glutathione concentration in saliva (non-stimulated/stimulated) in overweight and obese teenagers compared to the controls. The concentration of the products of oxidative damage to proteins (advanced glycation end products), lipids (malondialdehyde, 4-hydroxynonenal) and DNA (8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) as well as total oxidative status were significantly higher in both non-stimulated and stimulated saliva as well as plasma of overweight and obese adolescents. Importantly, we observed more severe salivary and plasma redox alterations in obese adolescents compared to overweight individuals. In the study group, we also noted a drop in stimulated salivary secretion and a decrease in total protein content. Interestingly, dysfunction of parotid glands in overweight and obese teenagers intensified with the increase of BMI. We also showed that the measurement of salivary catalase and TAC could be used to assess the central antioxidant status of overweight and obese adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Saliva and Oral Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
Measuring Vitamin D Status in Chronic Inflammatory Disorders: How does Chronic Inflammation Affect the Reliability of Vitamin D Metabolites in Patients with IBD?
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020547 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Evidence gained from recent studies has generated increasing interest in the role of vitamin D in extraskeletal functions such as inflammation and immunoregulation. Although vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), evidence as [...] Read more.
Evidence gained from recent studies has generated increasing interest in the role of vitamin D in extraskeletal functions such as inflammation and immunoregulation. Although vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in the pathophysiology of inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), evidence as to whether vitamin D supplementation may cure or prevent chronic disease is inconsistent. Since 25OH-vitamin D (25OHD) has been suggested to be an acute-phase protein, its utility as a vitamin D status marker is therefore questionable. In this study, possible interactions of vitamin D and inflammation were studied in 188 patients with IBD, with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels ≥ 5 mg/dL and/or fecal calprotectin ≥ 250 µg/g defined as biochemical evidence of inflammatory activity. Levels of 25OHD and vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) were determined by ELISA, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25OHD) and dihydroxycholecalciferol (24,25OHD) by LC-MS/MS. Free and bioavailable vitamin D levels were calculated with the validated formula of Bikle. Serum 1,25OH2D and vitamin D binding protein (VDBP) levels were shown to differ between the inflammatory and noninflammatory groups: patients with inflammatory disease activity had significantly higher serum concentrations of 1,25OH2D (35.0 (16.4–67.3) vs. 18.5 (1.2–51.0) pg/mL, p < 0.001) and VDBP (351.2 (252.2–530.6) vs. 330.8 (183.5–560.3) mg/dL, p < 0.05) than patients without active inflammation. Serum 24,25OH2D levels were negatively correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (−0.155, p = 0.049) while concentrations of serum 1,25OH2D correlated positively with hsCRP (0.157, p = 0.036). Correlations with serum VDBP levels were found for ESR (0.150, p = 0.049), transferrin (0.160, p = 0.037) and hsCRP (0.261, p < 0.001). Levels of serum free and bioavailable 25OHD showed a negative correlation with ESR (−0.165, p = 0.031, −0.205, p < 0.001, respectively) and hsCRP (−0.164, p = 0.032, −0.208, p < 0.001 respectively), and a moderate negative correlation with fecal calprotectin (−0.377, p = 0.028, −0.409, p < 0.016, respectively). Serum total 25OHD concentration was the only vitamin D parameter found to have no specific correlation with any of the inflammatory markers. According to these results, the traditional parameter, total 25OHD, still appears to be the best marker of vitamin D status in patients with inflammatory bowel disease regardless of the presence of inflammation. Full article
Open AccessReview
Treatment with CPAP in Elderly Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020546 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
The population pyramid is changing as a result of the ever-increasing life expectancy, which makes it crucial to acquire an in-depth understanding of the diseases that most often affect the elderly. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects 15%–20% of the population aged over 65 [...] Read more.
The population pyramid is changing as a result of the ever-increasing life expectancy, which makes it crucial to acquire an in-depth understanding of the diseases that most often affect the elderly. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) affects 15%–20% of the population aged over 65 years. Despite this prevalence, there have been very few specific studies on the management of OSA in this age group, even though over 60% of the patients aged over 65-70 years who attend sleep units with suspicion of OSA receive treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), on the basis of an extrapolation of the positive results achieved by CPAP in clinical trials involving middle-aged males. However, the latter’s form of presentation, evolution and, probably, prognosis comparing with OSA are not the same as those of elderly patients. Recent clinical trials performed on an exclusive series of elderly patients have shed light on the possible role of CPAP treatment in elderly patients with OSA, but there are still many questions that need to be answered. The physiological increase in the number of sleep-related disorders with the passing of years, and the lack of validated diagnostic and therapeutic tools for this age group are probably the greatest obstacles to define, diagnose and treat OSA in the elderly. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Approach to Fragmented QRS in Arrhythmogenic Cardiomyopathy: From Disease towards Asymptomatic Carriers of Pathogenic Variants
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 545; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020545 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Fragmented QRS complexes (fQRS) are common in patients with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM). A new method of fQRS quantification may aid early disease detection in pathogenic variant carriers and assessment of prognosis in patients with early stage ACM. Patients with definite ACM (n [...] Read more.
Fragmented QRS complexes (fQRS) are common in patients with arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (ACM). A new method of fQRS quantification may aid early disease detection in pathogenic variant carriers and assessment of prognosis in patients with early stage ACM. Patients with definite ACM (n = 221, 66%), carriers of a pathogenic ACM-associated variant without a definite ACM diagnosis (n = 57, 17%) and control subjects (n = 58, 17%) were included. Quantitative fQRS (Q-fQRS) was defined as the total amount of deflections in the QRS complex in all 12 electrocardiography (ECG) leads. Q-fQRS was scored by a single observer and reproducibility was determined by three independent observers. Q-fQRS count was feasible with acceptable intra- and inter-observer agreement. Q-fQRS count is significantly higher in patients with definite ACM (54 ± 15) and pathogenic variant carriers (55 ± 10) compared to controls (35 ± 5) (p < 0.001). In patients with ACM, Q-fQRS was not associated with sustained ventricular arrhythmia (p = 0.701) at baseline or during follow-up (p = 0.335). Both definite ACM patients and pathogenic variant carriers not fulfilling ACM diagnosis have a higher Q-fQRS than controls. This may indicate that increased Q-fQRS is an early sign of disease penetrance. In concealed and early stages of ACM the role of Q-fQRS for risk stratification is limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Hereditary Heart Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Modulation of SERCA in Patients with Persistent Atrial Fibrillation Treated by Epicardial Thoracoscopic Ablation: The CAMAF Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 544; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020544 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Objectives: To evaluate atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence and Sarcoplasmic Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase (SERCA) levels in patients treated by epicardial thoracoscopic ablation for persistent AF. Background: Reduced levels of SERCA have been reported in the peripheral blood cells of patients with AF. We [...] Read more.
Objectives: To evaluate atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence and Sarcoplasmic Endoplasmic Reticulum Calcium ATPase (SERCA) levels in patients treated by epicardial thoracoscopic ablation for persistent AF. Background: Reduced levels of SERCA have been reported in the peripheral blood cells of patients with AF. We hypothesize that SERCA levels can predict the response to epicardial ablation. Methods: We designed a prospective, multicenter, observational study to recruit, from October 2014 to June 2016, patients with persistent AF receiving an epicardial thoracoscopic pulmonary vein isolation. Results: We enrolled 27 patients. Responders (n = 15) did not present AF recurrence after epicardial ablation at one-year follow-up; these patients displayed a marked remodeling of the left atrium, with a significant reduction of inflammatory cytokines, B type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and increased levels of SERCA compared to baseline and to nonresponders (p < 0.05). Furthermore, mean AF duration (Heart rate (HR) 1.235 (1.037–1.471), p < 0.05), Left atrium volume (LAV) (HR 1.755 (1.126–2.738), p < 0.05), BNP (HR 1.945 (1.895–1.999), p < 0.05), and SERCA (HR 1.763 (1.167–2.663), p < 0.05) were predictive of AF recurrence. Conclusions: Our data indicate for the first time that baseline values of SERCA in patients with persistent AF might be predictive of failure to epicardial ablative approach. Intriguingly, epicardial ablation was associated with increased levels of SERCA in responders. Therefore, SERCA might be an innovative therapeutic target to improve the response to epicardial ablative treatments. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Clarithromycin Versus Metronidazole in First-Line Helicobacter Pylori Triple Eradication Therapy Based on Resistance to Antimicrobial Agents: Meta-Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020543 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: International treatment guidelines for Helicobacter pylori infection recommend a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)/amoxicillin/clarithromycin (CAM) regimen (PAC) or PPI/amoxicillin/metronidazole (MNZ) regimen (PAM) as first-line therapy based on culture and sensitivity testing. As incidence rates of antimicrobial agent-resistant strains are changing year by year, [...] Read more.
Background: International treatment guidelines for Helicobacter pylori infection recommend a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)/amoxicillin/clarithromycin (CAM) regimen (PAC) or PPI/amoxicillin/metronidazole (MNZ) regimen (PAM) as first-line therapy based on culture and sensitivity testing. As incidence rates of antimicrobial agent-resistant strains are changing year by year, it is important to reevaluate the efficacy of eradication regimens. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of PAC and PAM based on different locations categorized by the reported incidence of CAM- and MNZ-resistant strains. Methods: Randomized control trials (RCTs) comparing eradication rates between PAC and PAM first-line treatment up to December 2018 were included. We divided RCTs into four groups based on resistance to CAM (< 15% or ≥ 15%) and MNZ (< 15% or ≥ 15%). Results: A total of 27 studies (4825 patients) were included. Overall eradication rates between PAC and PAM were similar (74.8% and 72.5%, relative risk (RR): 1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.91–1.39, P = 0.27) in the intention-to-treat analysis. In areas with low MNZ- and high CAM-resistance rates, PAM had a significantly higher eradication rate than PAC (92.5% vs. 70.8%, RR: 0.29, 95% CI: 0.13–0.68). In areas with high MNZ- and low CAM-resistance rates, the eradication rate with PAC was only 72.9%. Conclusions: Overall eradication rates with PAC and PAM were equivalent worldwide. In low MNZ-resistance areas, PAM may be recommended as first-line therapy. However, the efficacy of PAC may be insufficient, irrespective of susceptibility to CAM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Helicobacter Pylori Infection and Related Diseases)
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Open AccessReview
Progress in Microneedle-Mediated Protein Delivery
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020542 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
The growing demand for patient-compliance therapies in recent years has led to the development of transdermal drug delivery, which possesses several advantages compared with conventional methods. Delivering protein through the skin by transdermal patches is extremely difficult due to the presence of the [...] Read more.
The growing demand for patient-compliance therapies in recent years has led to the development of transdermal drug delivery, which possesses several advantages compared with conventional methods. Delivering protein through the skin by transdermal patches is extremely difficult due to the presence of the stratum corneum which restricts the application to lipophilic drugs with relatively low molecular weight. To overcome these limitations, microneedle (MN) patches, consisting of micro/miniature-sized needles, are a promising tool to perforate the stratum corneum and to release drugs and proteins into the dermis following a non-invasive route. This review investigates the fabrication methods, protein delivery, and translational considerations for the industrial scaling-up of polymeric MNs for dermal protein delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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Open AccessArticle
TLR2 Expression on Select Lymphocyte Subsets as a New Marker in Glomerulonephritis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 541; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020541 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling may be involved in autoimmune kidney disorders and has been implicated in proliferative and non-proliferative glomerulonephritis (PGN and NPGN). In this study, we investigated the expression of TLR2 on T and B lymphocytes in relation to selected clinical parameters [...] Read more.
Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling may be involved in autoimmune kidney disorders and has been implicated in proliferative and non-proliferative glomerulonephritis (PGN and NPGN). In this study, we investigated the expression of TLR2 on T and B lymphocytes in relation to selected clinical parameters in patients with PGN and NPGN. We collected peripheral blood from the ulnar vein of patients with PGN (n = 15) or NPGN (n = 22) and healthy volunteers (n = 20). The percentage of peripheral blood mononuclear cells expressing TLR2 was determined with flow cytometry. TLR2 expression on T and B lymphocytes was increased in PGN patients compared with NPGN patients and controls (p ≤ 0.001). In patients with PGN, TLR2 expression correlated negatively with the serum concentrations of IgG and albumin and positively with urine protein excretion. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that TLR2 expression is a highly specific marker to distinguish PGN patients from NPGN patients and controls, especially on CD4+ T lymphocytes. Its use as a non-invasive marker of disease should be further investigated. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Apical Periodontitis and Diabetes Mellitus Type 2: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 540; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020540 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Objective: Investigate if there is an association between apical periodontitis and diabetes mellitus. Material and methods: A bibliographic search was performed on Medline/PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane databases using the keywords apical periodontitis and diabetes mellitus. Published papers written in English and performed on [...] Read more.
Objective: Investigate if there is an association between apical periodontitis and diabetes mellitus. Material and methods: A bibliographic search was performed on Medline/PubMed, Scopus and Cochrane databases using the keywords apical periodontitis and diabetes mellitus. Published papers written in English and performed on animals or humans were included. Meta-analysis was performed using the OpenMeta (analyst) tool for the statistical analysis. The variables analyzed were the prevalence of Apical Periodontitis (AP) among teeth and patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM). Results: Of the total studies found, only 21 met the inclusion criteria. Ten clinical studies on animals, ten studies on humans and a systematic review were included. Meta-analysis shows that the prevalence of teeth with apical periodontitis among patients with diabetes mellitus has an odds ratio of 1.166 corresponding to 507 teeth with AP + DM and 534 teeth with AP without DM. The prevalence of patients with AP and DM shows an odds ratio of 1.552 where 91 patients had AP + DM and 582 patients AP without DM. Conclusion: Scientific evidence suggests that there could be a common physiopathological factor between apical periodontitis and diabetes mellitus but more prospective studies are needed to investigate the association between these two diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health and Systemic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle
Diagnosis of Inherited Platelet Disorders on a Blood Smear
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020539 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Inherited platelet disorders (IPDs) are rare diseases featured by low platelet count and defective platelet function. Patients have variable bleeding diathesis and sometimes additional features that can be congenital or acquired. Identification of an IPD is desirable to avoid misdiagnosis of immune thrombocytopenia [...] Read more.
Inherited platelet disorders (IPDs) are rare diseases featured by low platelet count and defective platelet function. Patients have variable bleeding diathesis and sometimes additional features that can be congenital or acquired. Identification of an IPD is desirable to avoid misdiagnosis of immune thrombocytopenia and the use of improper treatments. Diagnostic tools include platelet function studies and genetic testing. The latter can be challenging as the correlation of its outcomes with phenotype is not easy. The immune-morphological evaluation of blood smears (by light- and immunofluorescence microscopy) represents a reliable method to phenotype subjects with suspected IPD. It is relatively cheap, not excessively time-consuming and applicable to shipped samples. In some forms, it can provide a diagnosis by itself, as for MYH9-RD, or in addition to other first-line tests as aggregometry or flow cytometry. In regard to genetic testing, it can guide specific sequencing. Since only minimal amounts of blood are needed for the preparation of blood smears, it can be used to characterize thrombocytopenia in pediatric patients and even newborns further. In principle, it is based on visualizing alterations in the distribution of proteins, which result from specific genetic mutations by using monoclonal antibodies. It can be applied to identify deficiencies in membrane proteins, disturbed distribution of cytoskeletal proteins, and alpha as well as delta granules. On the other hand, mutations associated with impaired signal transduction are difficult to identify by immunofluorescence of blood smears. This review summarizes technical aspects and the main diagnostic patterns achievable by this method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Incubation Period and Other Epidemiological Characteristics of 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infections with Right Truncation: A Statistical Analysis of Publicly Available Case Data
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020538 (registering DOI) - 17 Feb 2020
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Abstract
The geographic spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from the epicenter of Wuhan, China, has provided an opportunity to study the natural history of the recently emerged virus. Using publicly available event-date data from the ongoing epidemic, the present study investigated the [...] Read more.
The geographic spread of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections from the epicenter of Wuhan, China, has provided an opportunity to study the natural history of the recently emerged virus. Using publicly available event-date data from the ongoing epidemic, the present study investigated the incubation period and other time intervals that govern the epidemiological dynamics of COVID-19 infections. Our results show that the incubation period falls within the range of 2–14 days with 95% confidence and has a mean of around 5 days when approximated using the best-fit lognormal distribution. The mean time from illness onset to hospital admission (for treatment and/or isolation) was estimated at 3–4 days without truncation and at 5–9 days when right truncated. Based on the 95th percentile estimate of the incubation period, we recommend that the length of quarantine should be at least 14 days. The median time delay of 13 days from illness onset to death (17 days with right truncation) should be considered when estimating the COVID-19 case fatality risk. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Behaviors and Metabolic Syndrome in Schizophrenia Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020537 (registering DOI) - 16 Feb 2020
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Abstract
The metabolic syndrome (MS) is highly prevalent in schizophrenia patients, resulting from both pharmacotherapy and their lifestyle. To avoid its development, the analysis of patients’ eating behaviors followed by the necessary nutritional changes should become a routine element of treatment. The aim of [...] Read more.
The metabolic syndrome (MS) is highly prevalent in schizophrenia patients, resulting from both pharmacotherapy and their lifestyle. To avoid its development, the analysis of patients’ eating behaviors followed by the necessary nutritional changes should become a routine element of treatment. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of dietary habits on the course of schizophrenia and MS, cognitive performance, symptom severity, and subjective assessment of eating behaviors in schizophrenia patients. Total of 87 participants (63.2% women) aged 19 to 67 years (M = 41.67; SD = 12.87), of whom 60 met the IDF criteria for MS, completed the PANSS, the verbal fluency test, the Stroop Color-Word Test, and the digit span task, followed by a thorough nutritional interview. There were no significant differences in the dietary behaviors between investigated schizophrenia patients with and without comorbid MS. Interestingly, their eating habits compared quite favorably to those described in the literature. No associations were found between positive eating habits and other tested variables in patients with MS. They were, however, linked to lower PANSS scores in the entire sample. In addition, positive eating habits correlated with better cognitive performance and a more adequate subjective assessment of dietary habits. It would be amiss to assume that schizophrenia patients lack the ability to control their eating behaviors. Nutrition education may foster desirable dietary changes and improve the sense of agency, thus helping to reduce symptom severity and enhancing cognitive performance in this patient population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Psychology)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of High-Dose Cytarabine, Mitoxantrone, and Pegaspargase (HAM-pegA) to High-Dose Cytarabine, Mitoxantrone, Cladribine, and Filgrastim (CLAG-M) as First-Line Salvage Cytotoxic Chemotherapy for Relapsed/Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020536 (registering DOI) - 16 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Currently, no standard of care exists for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We present our institutional experience with using either CLAG-M or HAM-pegA, a novel regimen that includes pegaspargase. This is a retrospective comparison of 34 patients receiving [...] Read more.
Currently, no standard of care exists for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We present our institutional experience with using either CLAG-M or HAM-pegA, a novel regimen that includes pegaspargase. This is a retrospective comparison of 34 patients receiving CLAG-M and 10 receiving HAM-pegA as first salvage cytotoxic chemotherapy in the relapsed or refractory setting. Composite complete response rates were 47.1% for CLAG-M and 90% for HAM-pegA (p = 0.027). Event-free survival was significantly different in favor of HAM-pegA (p = 0.045), though overall survival was similar between groups. There were no significant differences in toxicities experienced by patients treated with the two regimens, including adverse events of special interest related to pegaspargase (venous thromboembolism, hemorrhage, hepatotoxicity, pancreatitis, and hypersensitivity reactions). HAM-pegA is a novel regimen for relapsed or refractory AML that resulted in improved response rates and similar toxicities compared to CLAG-M. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Acute Myeloid Leukemia)
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Open AccessReview
Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy: A Brief Review of Past Perspectives, Present Developments, and Future Directions
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020535 (registering DOI) - 16 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the most common cause of spinal cord injury in developed countries; its prevalence is increasing due to the ageing of the population. DCM causes neurological dysfunction and is a significant cause of disability in the elderly. It has [...] Read more.
Degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) is the most common cause of spinal cord injury in developed countries; its prevalence is increasing due to the ageing of the population. DCM causes neurological dysfunction and is a significant cause of disability in the elderly. It has important negative impacts on the quality of life of those affected, as well as on their caregivers. DCM is triggered by a variety of degenerative changes in the neck, which affect one or more anatomical structures, including intervertebral discs, vertebrae, and spinal canal ligaments. These changes can also lead to structural abnormalities, leading to alterations in alignment, mobility, and stability. The principle unifying problem in this disease, regardless of the types of changes present, is injury to the spinal cord due to compression by static and/or dynamic forces. This review is partitioned into three segments that focus on key elements of the past, the present, and the future in the field, which serve to introduce the focus issue on “Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy and the Aging Spine”. Emerging from this review is that tremendous progress has been made in the field, particularly in recent years, and that there are exciting possibilities for further advancements of patient care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy and the Aging Spine)
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Open AccessArticle
Subacute Thyroiditis is Associated with HLA-B*18:01, -DRB1*01 and -C*04:01—The Significance of the New Molecular Background
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020534 (registering DOI) - 16 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Subacute thyroiditis (SAT) is a thyroid inflammatory disease whose pathogenesis is still not completely defined. Previous viral infection is considered to be a triggering factor in genetically predisposed individuals. In about 70% of patients, susceptibility to SAT is associated with the HLA-B*35 allele. [...] Read more.
Subacute thyroiditis (SAT) is a thyroid inflammatory disease whose pathogenesis is still not completely defined. Previous viral infection is considered to be a triggering factor in genetically predisposed individuals. In about 70% of patients, susceptibility to SAT is associated with the HLA-B*35 allele. The correlation between SAT and other human leukocyte antigens (HLA) has not yet been unequivocally demonstrated and the genetic background is still unknown in about 30% of patients. The purpose of our study was to perform HLA genotyping using a next-generation sequencing method, to find out whether alleles other than HLA-B*35 are correlated with SAT morbidity. HLA-A, -B, -C, -DQB1, -DRB1 were genotyped using a next-generation sequencing method in 1083 subjects, including 60 SAT patients and 1023 healthy controls. Among 60 patients diagnosed with SAT, 81.7% of subjects were identified as having allele HLA-B*35, 23.3% had HLA-B*18:01, 28.3% had HLA-DRB1*01 and 75.5% had HLA-C*04:01. These alleles occurred in the control group at frequencies of 10.2%, 7.2%, 12.9% and 12.5%, respectively. The differences were statistically significant, with p < 0.05. In addition to its previously described relationship with HLA-B*35, genetic susceptibility to SAT was associated with the presence of HLA-B*18:01, DRB1*01 and C*04:01. The alleles HLA-B*18:01 and DRB1*01 were independent SAT risk factors. The assessment of these four alleles allows the confirmation of genetic predisposition in almost all patients with SAT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessArticle
Plasma Lysyl-tRNA Synthetase 1 (KARS1) as a Novel Diagnostic and Monitoring Biomarker for Colorectal Cancer
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020533 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of world cancer deaths. To improve the survival rate of CRC, diagnosis and post-operative monitoring is necessary. Currently, biomarkers are used for CRC diagnosis and prognosis. However, these biomarkers have limitations of specificity and [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of world cancer deaths. To improve the survival rate of CRC, diagnosis and post-operative monitoring is necessary. Currently, biomarkers are used for CRC diagnosis and prognosis. However, these biomarkers have limitations of specificity and sensitivity. Levels of plasma lysyl-tRNA synthetase (KARS1), which was reported to be secreted from colon cancer cells by stimuli, along with other secreted aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs), were analyzed in CRC and compared with the currently used biomarkers. The KARS1 levels of CRC patients (n = 164) plasma were shown to be higher than those of healthy volunteers (n = 32). The diagnostic values of plasma KARS1 were also evaluated by receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Compared with other biomarkers and ARSs, KARS1 showed the best diagnostic value for CRC. The cancer specificity and burden correlation of plasma KARS1 level were validated using azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) model, and paired pre- and post-surgery CRC patient plasma. In the AOM/DSS model, the plasma level of KARS1 showed high correlation with number of polyps, but not for inflammation. Using paired pre- and post-surgery CRC plasma samples (n = 60), the plasma level of KARS1 was significantly decreased in post-surgery samples. Based on these evidence, KARS1, a surrogate biomarker reflecting CRC burden, can be used as a novel diagnostic and post-operative monitoring biomarker for CRC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Biomarkers as a Liquid Biopsy for Cancer)
Open AccessEditorial
Why Internists Should Care About Dry Eye Disease
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 532; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020532 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 105
Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED) has been diagnosed and managed under the purview of the eye care professional, with internists typically not paying much attention to the condition [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dry Eye Syndrome: New Insights on Epidemiology and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Time-Dependent Response of Human Deciduous Tooth-Derived Dental Pulp Cells Treated with TheraCal LC: Functional Analysis of Gene Interactions Compared to MTA
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020531 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 94
Abstract
Pulp capping material should facilitate hard tissue regeneration on the injured pulp tissue. TheraCal LC (TC) was recently developed. Although TC has shown reliable clinical outcomes after direct pulp capping, there are still remaining concerns regarding its detrimental effect on pulp cells. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Pulp capping material should facilitate hard tissue regeneration on the injured pulp tissue. TheraCal LC (TC) was recently developed. Although TC has shown reliable clinical outcomes after direct pulp capping, there are still remaining concerns regarding its detrimental effect on pulp cells. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the gene expression of human deciduous tooth-derived dental pulp cells exposed to TC compared to mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA). The cells were cultured and exposed to TC and MTA for 24 and 72 h. Next, total RNA was isolated. QuantSeq 3′ mRNA-sequencing was used to examine differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in exposed to TC and MTA. Functional analysis of DEGs was performed using bioinformatics analysis. In gene ontology (GO) functional enrichment analysis, cells in TC for 24 h presented significantly enriched immune response (p < 0.001) and inflammatory response (p < 0.01) compared to MTA. TC showed enriched positive regulation of cell migration at 72 h (p < 0.001). In Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis, neuroactive ligand–receptor interaction (p = 1.19 × 10−7) and calcium signaling pathway (p = 2.96 × 10−5) were confirmed in the shared DEGs in TC. In conclusion, DEGs in TC may be involved in pathways associated with osteoclastogenesis and osteoclastic differentiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Ways to Disinfect and Fill Dental Hard Tissues)
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Open AccessArticle
New Biopsy Techniques and Imaging Features of Transrectal Ultrasound for Targeting PI-RADS 4 and 5 Lesions
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020530 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
Viewed by 109
Abstract
Purpose: To introduce new biopsy techniques and imaging features of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) for targeting Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) 4 and 5 lesions Methods: TRUS-guided targeted and/or systematic biopsies were performed in 432 men with PI-RADS 4 and 5 lesions [...] Read more.
Purpose: To introduce new biopsy techniques and imaging features of transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) for targeting Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) 4 and 5 lesions Methods: TRUS-guided targeted and/or systematic biopsies were performed in 432 men with PI-RADS 4 and 5 lesions following magnetic resonance imaging examination. A TRUS operator who was familiar with the new techniques and imaging features performed lesion detection. Overall and significant cancer detection rates (CDRs) were compared among the men with PI-RADS 4 and 5 lesions. The CDRs in the peripheral and transition zones were compared. Additionally, we assessed whether targeted or systematic biopsies contributed to cancer detection. The standard reference was a biopsy examination. Results: The overall CDRs in the men with PI-RADS 4 and 5 lesions were 49.5% (139/281) and 74.8% (113/151) (p < 0.0001); significant CDRs were 33.1% (93/281) and 58.3% (88/151) (p < 0.0001); and CDRs in the peripheral and transition zones were 53.6% (187/349) and 78.3% (65/83) (p < 0.0001), respectively. Of the 139 men with clinically significant cancer PI-RADS 4 lesions, 107 (77.0%) were diagnosed by targeted biopsy, 5 (3.6%) by systematic biopsy, and 27 (19.4%) by both. Of the 113 men with clinically significant cancer PI-RADS 5 lesions, 97 (85.8%) were diagnosed by targeted biopsy, 3 (2.7%) by systematic biopsy, and 13 (11.5%) by both. Conclusions: Most PI-RADS 4 and 5 lesions can be targeted with TRUS if the new techniques and imaging features are applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nuclear Medicine Imaging of Prostate Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
The Preliminary Results of Bortezomib Used as A Primary Treatment for An Early Acute Antibody-Mediated Rejection after Kidney Transplantation—A Single-Center Case Series
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020529 (registering DOI) - 15 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been used in the treatment of refractory cases of acute and chronic antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in kidney transplant recipients. However, its efficacy and safety as a primary treatment for early AMR has been scarcely investigated. We herein present our [...] Read more.
Proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been used in the treatment of refractory cases of acute and chronic antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) in kidney transplant recipients. However, its efficacy and safety as a primary treatment for early AMR has been scarcely investigated. We herein present our preliminary experience with bortezomib- and plasmapheresis-based primary treatment for early AMR. Thirteen patients transplanted between October 2015 and September 2019 were treated (starting at median 19th post-transplant day) with bortezomib/plasmapheresis protocol for early biopsy-proven AMR. Twelve out of thirteen patients received 4 doses and one patient recieved 3 doses of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m2 per dose). In 11/13 patients, 4–7 concomitant plasmapheresis sessions were performed, with or without intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Of note, rituximab was not used in all study patients. The kidney graft and patient survival were 100%. The mean 3-month estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 55.3 (95%CI: 44.9–65.8) mL/min/1.73m2, 8/13 patients completed 12-month follow-up with mean eGFR 60.4 (45.4–75.4) mL/min/1.73m2, and 6/13 patients completed a 24-month follow-up period with mean eGFR 73.9 (56.7–91.1) mL/min/1.73m2. Neutropenia < 1 G/L was observed in one patient, third or fourth grade thrombocytopenia in two patients, and eleven patients needed a blood transfusion (median: 2 units/patient). The mid-term results of a primary bortezomib-based treatment for kidney AMR showed its non-inferiority as compared to preceding regimens and acceptable safety. However, our data should be validated in a multicenter randomized trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Clinical Outcomes of Kidney Transplantation)
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Open AccessReview
Photochemical Internalization for Intracellular Drug Delivery. From Basic Mechanisms to Clinical Research
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 528; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020528 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 170
Abstract
Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a unique intervention which involves the release of endocytosed macromolecules into the cytoplasmic matrix. PCI is based on the use of photosensitizers placed in endocytic vesicles that, following light activation, lead to rupture of the endocytic vesicles and the [...] Read more.
Photochemical internalisation (PCI) is a unique intervention which involves the release of endocytosed macromolecules into the cytoplasmic matrix. PCI is based on the use of photosensitizers placed in endocytic vesicles that, following light activation, lead to rupture of the endocytic vesicles and the release of the macromolecules into the cytoplasmic matrix. This technology has been shown to improve the biological activity of a number of macromolecules that do not readily penetrate the plasma membrane, including type I ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), gene-encoding plasmids, adenovirus and oligonucleotides and certain chemotherapeutics, such as bleomycin. This new intervention has also been found appealing for intracellular delivery of drugs incorporated into nanocarriers and for cancer vaccination. PCI is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Data from the first-in-human phase I clinical trial as well as an update on the development of the PCI technology towards clinical practice is presented here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Past, Present and Future of Photodynamic Therapy for Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Lung Compliance on Neurological Outcome in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020527 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
(1) Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following cardiac arrest is common and associated with in-hospital mortality. We aim to investigate whether lung compliance during targeted temperature management is associated with neurological outcome in patients with ARDS after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). (2) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) following cardiac arrest is common and associated with in-hospital mortality. We aim to investigate whether lung compliance during targeted temperature management is associated with neurological outcome in patients with ARDS after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). (2) Methods: This observational study is conducted in the emergency intensive care unit from January 2011 to April 2019 using data from a prospective patient registry. Adult patients (age ≥18 years) who survived non-traumatic OHCA and subsequently developed ARDS based on the Berlin definition are included. Mechanical ventilator parameters such as plateau pressure, tidal volume, minute ventilation, positive end expiratory pressure, and compliance are recorded for 7 days or until death, and categorized as maximum, median, and minimum. The primary outcome is a favorable neurological outcome defined as a Cerebral Performance Category score of 1 or 2 at hospital discharge. (3) Results: Regarding 246 OHCA survivors, 119 (48.4%) patients developed ARDS. A favorable neurologic outcome was observed in 23 (19.3%). Patients with a favorable outcome have a significantly higher lung compliance (38.6 mL/cm H2O versus 27.5 mL/cm H2O), lower inspiratory pressure (12.0 cm H2O versus 16.0 cm H2O), and lower plateau pressure (17.0 cm H2O versus 21.0 cm H2O) than those with a poor neurologic outcome (all p < 0.01). Concerning time-dependent cox regression models, all maximum (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02–1.09), minimum (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03–1.13), and median (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02–1.09) compliances are independently associated with a good neurologic outcome. Maximum compliance, >32.5 mL/cm H2O at day 1, has the highest area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.745) with a positive predictive value of 90.4%. (4) Conclusions: Lung compliance may be an early predictor of intact neurologic survival in patients with ARDS following cardiac arrest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonology)
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Sexual Desire in Women and Their Partners during Pregnancy
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020526 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 189
Abstract
When studying sexual desire during pregnancy, most research focuses on the pregnant woman’s sexual desire and almost never takes into account her sexual partner. The novelty of this study is that sexual desire during pregnancy is studied from the point of view of [...] Read more.
When studying sexual desire during pregnancy, most research focuses on the pregnant woman’s sexual desire and almost never takes into account her sexual partner. The novelty of this study is that sexual desire during pregnancy is studied from the point of view of the pregnant woman and from that of her male partner. The goal of this study is to see how sexual desire behaves during pregnancy in both partners. For this, a descriptive, longitudinal, and multistage study was designed. Methodologically, in the first stage, the different study variables were described through a single-variate analysis. In the second stage, one variable was related to others by means of a bivariate analysis. Finally, in the third stage, a multivariate analysis was done, composed of binary logistic regression models and latent growth curves. The results confirm that pregnancy influences the sexual desire of both partners, and that sexual desire behaves differently in women than in men during pregnancy. Men have higher levels of sexual desire throughout pregnancy as compared to women. The first trimester of pregnancy is the period when women have less sexual desire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Open AccessArticle
Urinary Excretion of 6-Sulfatoxymelatonin, the Main Metabolite of Melatonin, and Mortality in Stable Outpatient Renal Transplant Recipients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 525; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020525 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Melatonin is a multifaceted hormone which rises upon the onset of darkness. Pineal synthesis of melatonin is known to be disturbed in patients with end-stage renal disease, but it is not known if its production is restored to normal after successful renal transplantation. [...] Read more.
Melatonin is a multifaceted hormone which rises upon the onset of darkness. Pineal synthesis of melatonin is known to be disturbed in patients with end-stage renal disease, but it is not known if its production is restored to normal after successful renal transplantation. We hypothesized that urinary excretion of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin, the major metabolite of melatonin, is lower in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) compared to healthy controls and that this is associated with excess mortality. Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin was measured via LC-MS/MS in 701 stable outpatient RTRs and 285 healthy controls. Median urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in RTR was 13.2 nmol/24h, which was 47% lower than in healthy controls. Urinary 6-sufatoxymelatonin appeared undetectable in the majority of 36 RTRs with diabetic nephropathy as primary renal disease. Therefore, this subgroup was excluded from further analyses. Of the remaining 665 RTRs, during 5.4 years of follow-up, 110 RTRs died, of whom 38 died due to a cardiovascular cause. In Cox-regression analyses, urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin was significantly associated with all-cause mortality (0.60 (0.44–0.81), p = 0.001) and cardiovascular mortality (0.49 (0.29–0.84), p = 0.009), independent of conventional risk factors and kidney function parameters. Based on these results, evaluation and management of melatonin metabolism could be considered for improvement of long-term outcomes in RTRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Complications after Kidney Transplantation)
Open AccessArticle
Results of PCI with Drug-Eluting Stents in an All-Comer Population Depending on Vessel Diameter
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020524 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 144
Abstract
Long-term outcome after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) depends on vessel diameter; however, there is insufficient evidence on particular drug-eluting stent (DES) types in this setting. The aim of the study was to assess long-term performance of PCI depending on stented vessel size and [...] Read more.
Long-term outcome after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) depends on vessel diameter; however, there is insufficient evidence on particular drug-eluting stent (DES) types in this setting. The aim of the study was to assess long-term performance of PCI depending on stented vessel size and DES generations. This observational study from a prospective Registry of PCI with DES assessed safety (stent thrombosis) and efficacy (major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular event (MACCE)) of the implantation of first- (DES1) or second-generation DESs (DES2) in small and large vessels. Of 699 patients included in the analysis, 337 (48%) patients underwent PCI in small vessels. PCI in small vessels, especially the left anterior descending artery (LAD) (hazard ratio (HR) 2.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5–4.5), was associated with a higher rate of MACCEs than that in large vessels (20% vs. 14%, p = 0.025) with no difference in the rate of stent thrombosis (ST). No significant difference in safety and efficacy was found between DES1 and DES2 in small vessels. For large vessels, a higher incidence of MACCEs (21% vs. 9.2%, p = 0.002) driven by a higher rate of re-PCI (15% vs. 6%, p = 0.006) and a higher rate of cumulative stent thrombosis (3.5% vs. 0.5%, p = 0.04) was shown for DES1 than DES2. In multivariate analysis, DES1 was a significant risk factor for MACCEs in large, but not in small vessels. The risk of PCI in small vessels, especially LAD, remains high independent of the type of DES. In contrast, DES2 as a modifiable variable during PCI of a large lesion might improve long-term prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Real-Time Estimation of the Risk of Death from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection: Inference Using Exported Cases
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020523 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 243
Abstract
The exported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection that were confirmed outside China provide an opportunity to estimate the cumulative incidence and confirmed case fatality risk (cCFR) in mainland China. Knowledge of the cCFR is critical to characterize the severity and understand [...] Read more.
The exported cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection that were confirmed outside China provide an opportunity to estimate the cumulative incidence and confirmed case fatality risk (cCFR) in mainland China. Knowledge of the cCFR is critical to characterize the severity and understand the pandemic potential of COVID-19 in the early stage of the epidemic. Using the exponential growth rate of the incidence, the present study statistically estimated the cCFR and the basic reproduction number—the average number of secondary cases generated by a single primary case in a naïve population. We modeled epidemic growth either from a single index case with illness onset on 8 December, 2019 (Scenario 1), or using the growth rate fitted along with the other parameters (Scenario 2) based on data from 20 exported cases reported by 24 January 2020. The cumulative incidence in China by 24 January was estimated at 6924 cases (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4885, 9211) and 19,289 cases (95% CI: 10,901, 30,158), respectively. The latest estimated values of the cCFR were 5.3% (95% CI: 3.5%, 7.5%) for Scenario 1 and 8.4% (95% CI: 5.3%, 12.3%) for Scenario 2. The basic reproduction number was estimated to be 2.1 (95% CI: 2.0, 2.2) and 3.2 (95% CI: 2.7, 3.7) for Scenarios 1 and 2, respectively. Based on these results, we argued that the current COVID-19 epidemic has a substantial potential for causing a pandemic. The proposed approach provides insights in early risk assessment using publicly available data. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Examining Bone, Muscle and Fat in Middle-Aged Long-Term Endurance Runners: A Cross-Sectional Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 522; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020522 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 151
Abstract
Aerobic exercise training has many known cardiovascular benefits that may promote healthy aging. It is not known if long-term aerobic exercise training is also associated with structural benefits (e.g., lower fat mass, higher areal bone mineral density (BMD) and greater muscle mass). We [...] Read more.
Aerobic exercise training has many known cardiovascular benefits that may promote healthy aging. It is not known if long-term aerobic exercise training is also associated with structural benefits (e.g., lower fat mass, higher areal bone mineral density (BMD) and greater muscle mass). We evaluated these parameters in middle-aged long-term endurance runners compared to sex-, age‐, height-, and weight-matched non-running controls. Total and regional lean and fat mass and areal BMD were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Sagittal magnetic resonance images captured the cross-sectional area and thickness of the lumbar multifidus. Runners (n = 10; all male) had a mean (standard deviation; SD) age of 49 (4) years, height of 178.9 (4.9) cm, weight of 67.8 (5.8) kg, body mass index (BMI) of 21.4 (1.4) kg/m2 and had been running 82.6 (27.9) km/week for 23 (13) years. Controls (n = 9) had a mean (SD) age of 51 (5) years, height of 176.0 (5.1) cm, weight of 72.8 (7.1) kg, and BMI of 23.7 (2.1) kg/m2. BMI was greater in controls (p = 0.010). When compared to controls on average, runners had a 10 percentage-point greater total body lean mass than controls (p = 0.001) and 14% greater trunk lean mass (p = 0.010), as well as less total body (8.6 kg; p < 0.001), arm (58%; p = 0.002), leg (52%; p < 0.001), trunk (73%; p < 0.001), android (91%; p < 0.001), and gynoid fat mass (64%; p < 0.001). No differences were observed between groups for BMD outcomes or multifidus size. These results underscore the benefits of endurance running to body composition that carry over to middle-age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Orthopedics)
Open AccessArticle
A Novel Proposal of Salivary Lymphocyte Detection and Phenotyping in Patients Affected by Sjogren’s Syndrome
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020521 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 136
Abstract
A preliminary evaluation of the parotid secretion cellular composition in patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome (SS) and a diagnostic accuracy assessment of salivary lymphocyte detection and immunophenotyping in Sjogren’s Syndrome diagnosis and prognosis were performed. The study included 40 consecutive patients, aged 19–60 years, [...] Read more.
A preliminary evaluation of the parotid secretion cellular composition in patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome (SS) and a diagnostic accuracy assessment of salivary lymphocyte detection and immunophenotyping in Sjogren’s Syndrome diagnosis and prognosis were performed. The study included 40 consecutive patients, aged 19–60 years, with parenchymal sialadenitis associated with Sjogren’s Syndrome, and 20 healthy donors. The exclusion criteria were exacerbation of sialadenitis, chronic infections, malignant neoplasms, and lymphoproliferative diseases. The standard diagnostic tests were minor salivary gland biopsy and parotid sialography. Immunophenotyping of parotid secretion lymphocytes was performed by multicolor flow cytometry. Lymphocytes were detectable in parotid secretion of patients affected by Sjogren’s Syndrome, both primary (pSS) and secondary (sSS) form, but not in that from healthy donors. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values of lymphocytes detection in parotid saliva were 77.5%, 100%, 100%, and 69%, respectively. The mean numbers of the total T-cell population, T-helper cells, and T-cytotoxic cells were 71.7%, 41.6%, and 53%, respectively. The immunophenotype of lymphocytes obtained by patients’ parotid flow resembles the immunophenotypes of glandular biopsies currently known. Our preliminary data suggest the use of saliva as an alternative and non-invasive method for evaluating the prognosis of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Stomatology)
Open AccessReview
Dysregulation of Calcium Handling in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy: Mechanisms and Experimental Therapeutic Strategies
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(2), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9020520 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Viewed by 122
Abstract
: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disease resulting in the loss of dystrophin, a key cytoskeletal protein in the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Dystrophin connects the extracellular matrix with the cytoskeleton and stabilizes the sarcolemma. Cardiomyopathy is prominent in adolescents and young [...] Read more.
: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked recessive disease resulting in the loss of dystrophin, a key cytoskeletal protein in the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex. Dystrophin connects the extracellular matrix with the cytoskeleton and stabilizes the sarcolemma. Cardiomyopathy is prominent in adolescents and young adults with DMD, manifesting as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in the later stages of disease. Sarcolemmal instability, leading to calcium mishandling and overload in the cardiac myocyte, is a key mechanistic contributor to muscle cell death, fibrosis, and diminished cardiac contractile function in DMD patients. Current therapies for DMD cardiomyopathy can slow disease progression, but they do not directly target aberrant calcium handling and calcium overload. Experimental therapeutic targets that address calcium mishandling and overload include membrane stabilization, inhibition of stretch-activated channels, ryanodine receptor stabilization, and augmentation of calcium cycling via modulation of the Serca2a/phospholamban (PLN) complex or cytosolic calcium buffering. This paper addresses what is known about the mechanistic basis of calcium mishandling in DCM, with a focus on DMD cardiomyopathy. Additionally, we discuss currently utilized therapies for DMD cardiomyopathy, and review experimental therapeutic strategies targeting the calcium handling defects in DCM and DMD cardiomyopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Characterization and Clinical Management of Dilated Cardiomyopathy)
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