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J. Clin. Med., Volume 9, Issue 7 (July 2020) – 147 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Sjögren’s Syndrome Minor Salivary Gland CD4+ Memory T Cells Associate with Glandular Disease Features and have a Germinal Center T Follicular Helper Transcriptional Profile
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2164; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072164 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
To assess the types of salivary gland (SG) T cells contributing to Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), we evaluated SG T cell subtypes for association with disease features and compared the SG CD4+ memory T cell transcriptomes of subjects with either primary SS (pSS) [...] Read more.
To assess the types of salivary gland (SG) T cells contributing to Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), we evaluated SG T cell subtypes for association with disease features and compared the SG CD4+ memory T cell transcriptomes of subjects with either primary SS (pSS) or non-SS sicca (nSS). SG biopsies were evaluated for proportions and absolute numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. SG memory CD4+ T cells were evaluated for gene expression by microarray. Differentially-expressed genes were identified, and gene set enrichment and pathways analyses were performed. CD4+CD45RA T cells were increased in pSS compared to nSS subjects (33.2% vs. 22.2%, p < 0.0001), while CD8+CD45RA T cells were decreased (38.5% vs. 46.0%, p = 0.0014). SG fibrosis positively correlated with numbers of memory T cells. Proportions of SG CD4+CD45RA T cells correlated with focus score (r = 0.43, p < 0.0001), corneal damage (r = 0.43, p < 0.0001), and serum Ro antibodies (r = 0.40, p < 0.0001). Differentially-expressed genes in CD4+CD45RA cells indicated a T follicular helper (Tfh) profile, increased homing and increased cellular interactions. Predicted upstream drivers of the Tfh signature included TCR, TNF, TGF-β1, IL-4, and IL-21. In conclusion, the proportions and numbers of SG memory CD4+ T cells associate with key SS features, consistent with a central role in disease pathogenesis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Autism Spectrum Disorders in Greece: Nationwide Prevalence in 10–11 Year-Old Children and Regional Disparities
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2163; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072163 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) constitute a public health concern with increasing prevalence worldwide. We aimed to estimate prevalence and age at diagnosis in Greece, where no large-scale prevalence study has ever been conducted. Aggregate data were collected on ASD diagnoses by gender and [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) constitute a public health concern with increasing prevalence worldwide. We aimed to estimate prevalence and age at diagnosis in Greece, where no large-scale prevalence study has ever been conducted. Aggregate data were collected on ASD diagnoses by gender and calendar year of diagnosis up to 2019, for children born in 2008 and 2009, from the Centers for Educational and Counseling Support, which evaluate children to receive special educational support in school. Coverage was 87.1% of centers and 88.1% of schoolchildren born in 2008–9. ASD prevalence overall was 1.15% (1.83% males, 0.44% females; ratio 4.14:1), ranging from 0.59% to 1.50% in Greece’s 13 regions. In five regions, prevalence differed significantly between centers. Overall, only 3.8% of diagnoses were made before the fourth year after birth and 42.7% before the sixth year, with considerable variation between regions. Approximate mean age at diagnosis was six years and one month, and about three months earlier for girls than for boys. Our results provide evidence-based information to guide service planning and development at national and regional levels. Particular attention should be paid to smoothing out inequalities regarding service accessibility and provision. Emphasis should be given to earlier identification and diagnosis of ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Distinct Microbiota Dysbiosis in Patients with Non-Erosive Reflux Disease and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2162; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072162 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) are often
regarded as bookends in the gastroesophageal reflux disease spectrum. However, there is limited
clinical evidence to support this disease paradigm while the underlying mechanisms of disease
progression remain unclear. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) are often
regarded as bookends in the gastroesophageal reflux disease spectrum. However, there is limited
clinical evidence to support this disease paradigm while the underlying mechanisms of disease
progression remain unclear. In this study, we used 16S rRNA sequencing and mass-spectrometerbased
proteomics to characterize the esophageal microbiota and host mucosa proteome,
respectively. A total of 70 participants from four patient groups (NERD, reflux esophagitis, Barrett’s
esophagus, and EAC) and a control group were analyzed. Our results showed a unique NERD
microbiota composition, distinct to control and other groups. We speculate that an increase in
sulfate-reducing Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes along with hydrogen producer Dorea are
associated with a mechanistic role in visceral hypersensitivity. We also observed a distinct EAC
microbiota consisting of a high abundance of lactic acid-producing bacteria (Staphylococcus,
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus), which may contribute towards carcinogenesis
through dysregulated lactate metabolism. This study suggests the close relationship between
esophageal mucosal microbiota and the appearance of pathologies of this organ. Full article
Open AccessReview
Adipose Tissue: A Source of Stem Cells with Potential for Regenerative Therapies for Wound Healing
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072161 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Interest in adipose tissue is fast becoming a focus of research after many years of being considered as a simple connective tissue. It is becoming increasingly apparent that adipose tissue contains a number of diverse cell types, including adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) with [...] Read more.
Interest in adipose tissue is fast becoming a focus of research after many years of being considered as a simple connective tissue. It is becoming increasingly apparent that adipose tissue contains a number of diverse cell types, including adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) with the potential to differentiate into a number of cell lineages, and thus has significant potential for developing therapies for regenerative medicine. Currently, there is no gold standard treatment for scars and impaired wound healing continues to be a challenge faced by clinicians worldwide. This review describes the current understanding of the origin, different types, anatomical location, and genetics of adipose tissue before discussing the properties of ASCs and their promising applications for tissue engineering, scarring, and wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Trends in Regenerative Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
A Multidisciplinary Approach for Improving Quality of Life and Self-Management in Diabetic Kidney Disease: A Crossover Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2160; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072160 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Individuals with diabetic kidney disease are at high risk of complications and challenged to self-manage. Previous research suggested that multidisciplinary approaches would improve health outcomes. This study investigated the effect of a multidisciplinary self-management approach of diabetic kidney disease on quality of life, [...] Read more.
Individuals with diabetic kidney disease are at high risk of complications and challenged to self-manage. Previous research suggested that multidisciplinary approaches would improve health outcomes. This study investigated the effect of a multidisciplinary self-management approach of diabetic kidney disease on quality of life, and self-management, glycemic control, and renal function. A uniform balanced crossover design was used because it attains a high level of statistical power with a lower sample size. A total of 32 participants (aged 67.8 ± 10.8) were randomized into four study arms. In differing sequences, each participant was treated twice with three months of usual care alternated with three months of multidisciplinary management. The intervention improved the present dimension of quality of life demonstrating higher mean rank as compared to usual care (52.49 vs 41.01; p = 0.026, 95% CI) and three self-care activities, general diet habits, diabetes diet habits, and blood sugar testing (respectively: 55.43 vs. 38.31 p = 0.002, 56.84 vs. 37.02 p = 0.000, 53.84 vs. 39.77 p = 0.008; 95% CI). Antihypertensive medication engagement was high across the study period (Mean = 95.38%, Min = 69%, Max = 100%). Glycemic control and renal function indicators were similar for the intervention and the usual care. Studies are needed to determine how the new recommended therapies for diabetic kidney disease such as SGLT2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists impact on self-management and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Management and Health Promotion in Chronic Disease)
Open AccessReview
Role of Helicobacters in Neuropsychiatric Disease: A Systematic Review in Idiopathic Parkinsonism
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2159; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072159 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Interest in an aetiopathogenic role for Helicobacter in neuropsychiatric diseases started with idiopathic parkinsonism (IP), where the cardinal signs can be assessed objectively. This systematic review, using an EMBASE database search, addresses Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine based questions on the inter-relationship of [...] Read more.
Interest in an aetiopathogenic role for Helicobacter in neuropsychiatric diseases started with idiopathic parkinsonism (IP), where the cardinal signs can be assessed objectively. This systematic review, using an EMBASE database search, addresses Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine based questions on the inter-relationship of Helicobacter and IP, the benefits of eradicating Helicobacter in IP and the outcome of not treating. The search strategy was based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines: 21 of 204 articles met the inclusion criteria. The results show that the assumption that any benefit of Helicobacter eradication results from improved levodopa bioavailability is unjustified. The inter-relationship between Helicobacter and IP is well-established. H. pylori virulence markers (associated with autoimmunity and immune tolerance) influence the risk, severity and progression of IP. The birth cohort effect for virulence marker antibodies, seen in controls, is obliterated in IP, suggesting causality. Successful H. pylori eradication in IP is disease-modifying (even in anti-parkinsonian treatment-naïve patients) but not preventive. Hypokinesia regresses with eradication and overall motor severity lessens. Eradication may influence gastrointestinal microbiota adversely, unlocking the next stage in the natural history, the development of rigidity. Failed eradication worsens hypokinesia, as does the presence/persistence of H. pylori at molecular level only. Adequate prognostic assessment of the consequences of not treating Helicobacter, for IP, is prevented by a short follow-up. We conclude that Helicobacter is a pathophysiological driver of IP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Medicine)
Open AccessReview
Obesity and COVID-19: Oro-Naso-Sensory Perception
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2158; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072158 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Through a recent upsurge of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, the clinical assessment of most of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) patients clearly presents a health condition with the loss of oro-naso-sensory (ONS) perception, responsible for the detection of flavor and [...] Read more.
Through a recent upsurge of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, the clinical assessment of most of the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) patients clearly presents a health condition with the loss of oro-naso-sensory (ONS) perception, responsible for the detection of flavor and savor. These changes include anosmia and dysgeusia. In some cases, these clinical manifestations appear even before the general flu-like symptoms, e.g., sore throat, thoracic oppression and fever. There is no direct report available on the loss of these chemical senses in obese COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, obesity has been shown to be associated with low ONS cues. These alterations in obese subjects are due to obesity-induced altered expression of olfacto-taste receptors. Besides, obesity may further aggravate the SARS-CoV-2 infection, as this pathology is associated with a high degree of inflammation/immunosuppression and reduced protection against viral infections. Hence, obesity represents a great risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it may hide the viral-associated altered ONS symptoms, thus leading to a high mortality rate in these subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology & Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-atherogenic Modification of Serum Lipoprotein Function in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis after Tocilizumab Treatment, a Pilot Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2157; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072157 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Lipid metabolism derangement contributes to increased cardiovascular risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is still debated whether and how tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor used in active RA, impacts cardiovascular risk. We studied the effect of tocilizumab on the regulation of macrophage cholesterol [...] Read more.
Lipid metabolism derangement contributes to increased cardiovascular risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is still debated whether and how tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor inhibitor used in active RA, impacts cardiovascular risk. We studied the effect of tocilizumab on the regulation of macrophage cholesterol homeostasis, measuring patient serum ability to respectively load (cholesterol loading capacity, CLC) and discharge (cholesterol efflux capacity, CEC) cells with cholesterol. Patients with RA (n = 8) were studied before and after 4 and 12 weeks of tocilizumab treatment. CLC was measured by a fluorimetric assay of intracellular cholesterol content in human macrophages and CEC was measured for the three main pathways, mediated by the transporters Scavenger Receptor class B-type I (SR-BI), ATP binding cassette-G1 (ABCG1) and -A1 (ABCA1) in specific cell models. After 12 weeks of tocilizumab treatment, serum LDL cholesterol levels were increased, while CLC was reduced. HDL cholesterol levels were unchanged, but CEC was significantly ameliorated for the SR-BI and ABCG1 pathways with respect to baseline. Tocilizumab reduces LDL pro-atherogenic potential despite increasing their serum levels and increases HDL protective activity in RA. The data of our pilot study suggest that tocilizumab regulates lipoprotein function in selected patient populations and lay the groundwork for future larger studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Radiomics Based on Thyroid Ultrasound Can Predict Distant Metastasis of Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2156; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072156 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
We aimed to evaluate whether radiomics analysis based on gray-scale ultrasound (US) can predict distant metastasis of follicular thyroid cancer (FTC). We retrospectively included 35 consecutive FTCs with distant metastases and 134 FTCs without distant metastasis. We extracted a total of 60 radiomics [...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate whether radiomics analysis based on gray-scale ultrasound (US) can predict distant metastasis of follicular thyroid cancer (FTC). We retrospectively included 35 consecutive FTCs with distant metastases and 134 FTCs without distant metastasis. We extracted a total of 60 radiomics features derived from the first order, shape, gray-level cooccurrence matrix, and gray-level size zone matrix features using US imaging. A radiomics signature was generated using the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator and was used to train a support vector machine (SVM) classifier in five-fold cross-validation. The SVM classifier showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.90 on average on the test folds. Age, size, widely invasive histology, extrathyroidal extension, lymph node metastases on pathology, nodule-in-nodule appearance, marked hypoechogenicity, and rim calcification on the US were significantly more frequent among FTCs with distant metastasis compared to those without metastasis (p < 0.05). Radiomics signature and widely invasive histology were significantly associated with distant metastasis on multivariate analysis (p < 0.01 and p = 0.003). The classifier using the results of the multivariate analysis showed an AUC of 0.93. The radiomics signature from thyroid ultrasound is an independent biomarker for noninvasively predicting distant metastasis of FTC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Oncology - Head and Neck Cancers)
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Open AccessArticle
Mitochondrial Alterations and Enhanced Human Leukocyte/Endothelial Cell Interactions in Type 1 Diabetes
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072155 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Type 1 diabetes has been associated with oxidative stress. This study evaluates the rates of oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, leukocyte–endothelium interactions and adhesion molecules in type 1 diabetic patients. The study population consisted of 52 diabetic patients and 46 body-composition and age-matched controls. [...] Read more.
Type 1 diabetes has been associated with oxidative stress. This study evaluates the rates of oxidative stress, mitochondrial function, leukocyte–endothelium interactions and adhesion molecules in type 1 diabetic patients. The study population consisted of 52 diabetic patients and 46 body-composition and age-matched controls. We assessed anthropometric and metabolic parameters, oxidative stress and mitochondrial function by evaluating reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial ROS production, mitochondrial membrane potential and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) expression in polymorphonuclear leukocytes from type 1 diabetic patients. In addition, we evaluated interactions between leukocytes and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), and serum expression of adhesion molecules (P-selectin, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1), proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNFα) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). HbA1C and glucose levels were higher in diabetic patients than in control subjects, as expected. Mitochondrial function was altered and leukocyte–endothelium interactions were enhanced in diabetic patients, which was evident in the increase in total and mitochondrial ROS production, higher mitochondrial membrane potential, enhanced leukocyte rolling and adhesion, and decreased rolling velocity. Furthermore, we observed an increase in levels of adhesion molecules P-selectin, VCAM-1, and ICAM-1 in these subjects. In addition, type 1 diabetic patients exhibited an increase in proinflammatory mediators TNFα and MPO, and a decreased expression of SOD. The enhancement of leukocyte–endothelium interactions and proinflammatory markers correlated with glucose and HbA1Clevels. Mitochondrial alteration, oxidative stress, and enhanced leukocyte–endothelium interactions are features of type 1 diabetes and may be related to cardiovascular implications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Motor and Cognitive Performance in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis with Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072154 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with mild cognitive impairment and frailty. This study aims to identify cognitive and motor differences in cirrhotic patients with and without MHE, and the correlations between motor signs and cognitive performance. Gait, balance, hand strength and motor [...] Read more.
Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with mild cognitive impairment and frailty. This study aims to identify cognitive and motor differences in cirrhotic patients with and without MHE, and the correlations between motor signs and cognitive performance. Gait, balance, hand strength and motor speed performance were evaluated in 66 cirrhotic patients (38 without and 28 with MHE, according to the Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES). Cognitive performance was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination, Verbal Fluency Test, Aprendizaje Verbal España-Complutense Test (TAVEC), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III, Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Rating Scale and Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST). MHE patients performed worse than patients without MHE in cognitive and autonomous functioning, learning and long-term memory, and verbal fluency. The same pattern was found in gait, center of pressure movement, variability of hand strength performance and hand motor speed. In MHE patients, high correlations were found between balance and FAST test, gait velocity and verbal skills, hand strength variability and anxiety and depression, and motor speed and FAST and TAVEC. MHE patients showed worse motor and cognitive performance than patients without MHE. MHE patients could have impaired movement control expressed as bradykinesia, and this reduced motor performance could correlate with cognitive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Clinical Psychology)
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Open AccessReview
Should Lung-Sparing Surgery Be the Standard Procedure for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma?
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072153 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: Surgical procedures for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) include extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and P/D. EPP has been applied to MPM for a long time, but the postoperative status is extremely poor due to the loss of one whole lung. We [...] Read more.
Background: Surgical procedures for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) include extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), extended pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) and P/D. EPP has been applied to MPM for a long time, but the postoperative status is extremely poor due to the loss of one whole lung. We compared the mortality, morbidity and median survival time (MST) of lung-sparing surgery (extended P/D or P/D) and lung-sacrificing surgery (EPP) for MPM by performing a systematic review. Methods: We extracted the number of events and patients from the literature identified in electronic databases. Ultimately, 15 reports were selected, and 2674 MPM patients, including 1434 patients undergoing EPP and 1240 patients undergoing extended P/D or P/D, were analyzed. Results: Our systematic review showed that lung-sparing surgery was significantly superior to lung-sacrificing surgery in both the surgical-related mortality (extended P/D vs. EPP: 3.19% vs. 7.65%, p < 0.01; P/D vs. EPP: 1.85% vs. 7.34%, p < 0.01) and morbidity (extended P/D vs. EPP: 35.7% vs. 60.0%, p < 0.01; P/D vs. EPP: 9.52% vs. 20.89%, p < 0.01). Lung-sparing surgery was not inferior to EPP in terms of MST. Conclusion: Although no prospective randomized controlled trial has been conducted, it may be time to change the standard surgical method for MPM from lung-sacrificing surgery to lung-sparing surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Management of Perioperative Respiratory Failure)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrical reverse remodeling of the native cardiac conduction system after cardiac resynchronization therapy
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072152 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: Little is known about electrical remodeling of the native conduction systems,
particularly how the PR interval changes, after cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). We
investigated the effects of CRT on the intrinsic PR interval (i-PRi) and QRS duration (i-QRSd).
Methods and results: In [...] Read more.
Background: Little is known about electrical remodeling of the native conduction systems,
particularly how the PR interval changes, after cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). We
investigated the effects of CRT on the intrinsic PR interval (i-PRi) and QRS duration (i-QRSd).
Methods and results: In 100 consecutive CRT recipients with sinus rhythm and long-term followup
(>1 year), the i-PRi and i-QRSd were measured at baseline and at the last echocardiographic
follow-up (33.4 ± 17.9 months) with biventricular pacing temporarily withdrawn. The relative
decrease in the left ventricular end-systolic volume (LVESV) was measured to define CRTresponders
(≥15%) and super-responders (≥30%). Following CRT, the left ventricular (LV) ejection
fraction increased significantly (p < 0.001). In CRT-responders (n = 71), the LVESV and i-QRSd
decreased markedly (170 ± 39 to 159 ± 24 ms, p = 0.012). However, the i-PRi was not shortened with
CRT response and was actually likely to increase, even in the super-responder group (n = 33).
Moreover, lengthening of the i-PRi was observed consistently irrespective of the CRT response
status, beta-blocker use, or amiodarone use. CRT non-responders were associated with a remarkable
PR prolongation (p = 0.005) and QRS widening (p = 0.001), along with positive ventricular
remodeling. Conclusion: LV volume and i-QRSd decreased markedly with CRT response.
However, the i-PRi was not shortened, but rather increased regardless of the degree of CRT
response. CRT non-response was associated with a considerable increase in the i-PRi and i-QRSd,
along with positive ventricular remodeling. CRT-induced electrical reverse remodeling might occur
preferentially in the intraventricular, but not the atrioventricular, conduction system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
Open AccessArticle
Epileptiform Discharge and Electrographic Seizures during the Hypothermia Phase as Predictors of Rewarming Seizures in Children after Resuscitation
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072151 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, timing, and predictors of rewarming seizures in a cohort of children undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after resuscitation. We retrospectively reviewed consecutive pediatric patients undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after resuscitation admitted to our pediatric intensive care [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, timing, and predictors of rewarming seizures in a cohort of children undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after resuscitation. We retrospectively reviewed consecutive pediatric patients undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after resuscitation admitted to our pediatric intensive care unit between January 2000 and December 2019. Continuous electroencephalographic monitoring was performed during hypothermia (24 h for cardiac aetiologies and 72 h for asphyxial aetiologies), rewarming (72 h), and then an additional 12 h of normothermia. Thirty comatose children undergoing therapeutic hypothermia after resuscitation were enrolled, of whom 10 (33.3%) had rewarming seizures. Two (20%) of these patients had their first seizure during the rewarming phase. Four (40%) patients had electroclinical seizures, and six (60%) had nonconvulsive seizures. The median time from starting rewarming to the onset of rewarming seizures was 37.3 h (range 6 to 65 h). The patients with interictal epileptiform activity and electrographic seizures during the hypothermia phase were more likely to have rewarming seizures compared to those without interictal epileptiform activity or electrographic seizures (p = 0.019 and 0.019, respectively). Therefore, in high-risk patients, continuous electroencephalographic monitoring for a longer duration may help to detect rewarming seizures and guide clinical management. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Impact of Dysphagia in Myositis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2150; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072150 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: Dysphagia is a clinical hallmark and part of the current American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) diagnostic criteria for idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM). However, the data on dysphagia in IIM are heterogenous and partly conflicting. The aim of this [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Dysphagia is a clinical hallmark and part of the current American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism (ACR/EULAR) diagnostic criteria for idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM). However, the data on dysphagia in IIM are heterogenous and partly conflicting. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review on epidemiology, pathophysiology, outcome and therapy and a meta-analysis on the prevalence of dysphagia in IIM. (2) Methods: Medline was systematically searched for all relevant articles. A random effect model was chosen to estimate the pooled prevalence of dysphagia in the overall cohort of patients with IIM and in different subgroups. (3) Results: 234 studies were included in the review and 116 (10,382 subjects) in the meta-analysis. Dysphagia can occur as initial or sole symptom. The overall pooled prevalence estimate in IIM was 36% and with 56% particularly high in inclusion body myositis. The prevalence estimate was significantly higher in patients with cancer-associated myositis and with NXP2 autoantibodies. Dysphagia is caused by inflammatory involvement of the swallowing muscles, which can lead to reduced pharyngeal contractility, cricopharyngeal dysfunction, reduced laryngeal elevation and hypomotility of the esophagus. Swallowing disorders not only impair the quality of life but can lead to serious complications such as aspiration pneumonia, thus increasing mortality. Beneficial treatment approaches reported include immunomodulatory therapy, the treatment of associated malignant diseases or interventional procedures targeting the cricopharyngeal muscle such as myotomy, dilatation or botulinum toxin injections. (4) Conclusion: Dysphagia should be included as a therapeutic target, especially in the outlined high-risk groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases—Clinical Rheumatic Challenges)
Open AccessArticle
Organ Stiffness in the Work-Up of Myelofibrosis and Philadelphia-Negative Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072149 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
To define the role of spleen stiffness (SS) and liver stiffness (LS) in myelofibrosis and other Philadelphia (Ph)-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), we studied, by ultrasonography (US) and elastography (ES), 70 consecutive patients with myelofibrosis (MF) (no.43), essential thrombocythemia (ET) (no.10), and polycythemia vera [...] Read more.
To define the role of spleen stiffness (SS) and liver stiffness (LS) in myelofibrosis and other Philadelphia (Ph)-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), we studied, by ultrasonography (US) and elastography (ES), 70 consecutive patients with myelofibrosis (MF) (no.43), essential thrombocythemia (ET) (no.10), and polycythemia vera (PV) (no.17). Overall, the median SS was not different between patients with MF and PV (p = 0.9); however, both MF and PV groups had significantly higher SS than the ET group (p = 0.011 and p = 0.035, respectively) and healthy controls (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.002, respectively). In patients with MF, SS values above 40 kPa were significantly associated with worse progression-free survival (PFS) (p = 0.012; HR = 3.2). SS also correlated with the extension of bone marrow fibrosis (BMF) (p < 0.0001). SS was higher in advanced fibrotic stages MF-2, MF-3 (W.H.O. criteria) than in pre-fibrotic/early fibrotic stages (MF-0, MF-1) (p < 0.0001) and PFS was significantly different in the two cohorts, with values of 63% and 85%, respectively (p = 0.038; HR = 2.61). LS significantly differed between the patient cohort with MF and healthy controls (p = 0.001), but not between the patient cohorts with ET and PV and healthy controls (p = 0.999 and p = 0.101, respectively). We can conclude that organ stiffness adds valuable information to the clinical work-up of MPNs and could be employed to define patients at a higher risk of progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hematology)
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Open AccessArticle
Association of Hypertensive Intracerebral Hemorrhage with Left Ventricular Hypertrophy on Transthoracic Echocardiography
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072148 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Introduction: Arterial hypertension is the most frequent cause for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) and may also cause left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). We sought to analyze whether hypertensive sICH etiology is associated with LVH. Methods: We analyzed consecutive patients with sICH who were admitted [...] Read more.
Introduction: Arterial hypertension is the most frequent cause for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) and may also cause left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). We sought to analyze whether hypertensive sICH etiology is associated with LVH. Methods: We analyzed consecutive patients with sICH who were admitted to our tertiary stroke center during a four-year period and underwent transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) as part of the diagnostic work-up. We defined hypertensive sICH as typical localization of hemorrhage in patients with arterial hypertension and no other identified sICH etiology. We defined an increased end-diastolic interventricular septal wall thickness of ≥11 mm on TTE as a surrogate parameter for LVH. Results: Among 395 patients with sICH, 260 patients (65.8%) received TTE as part of their diagnostic work-up. The median age was 71 years (interquartile range (IQR) 17), 160 patients (61.5%) were male, the median baseline National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score was 8 (IQR 13). Of these, 159 (61.2%) patients had a hypertensive sICH and 156 patients (60%) had LVH. In univariable (113/159 (71.1%) vs. 43/101 (42.6%); odds ratio (OR) 3.31; 95% confidence interval (CI95%) 1.97–5.62); and multivariable (adjusted OR 2.95; CI95% 1.29–6.74) analysis, hypertensive sICH was associated with LVH. Conclusions: In patients with sICH, LVH is associated with hypertensive bleeding etiology. Performing TTE is meaningful for diagnosis of comorbidities and clarification of bleeding etiology in these patients. Future studies should include long-term outcome parameters and assess left ventricular mass as main indicator for LVH. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sequential Strategy Including FFRCT Plus Stress-CTP Impacts on Management of Patients with Stable Chest Pain: The Stress-CTP RIPCORD Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072147 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Stress computed tomography perfusion (Stress-CTP) and computed tomography-derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) are functional techniques that can be added to coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA) to improve the management of patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). This retrospective analysis from [...] Read more.
Stress computed tomography perfusion (Stress-CTP) and computed tomography-derived fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) are functional techniques that can be added to coronary computed tomography angiography (cCTA) to improve the management of patients with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD). This retrospective analysis from the PERFECTION study aims to assess the impact of their availability on the management of patients with suspected CAD scheduled for invasive coronary angiography (ICA) and invasive FFR. The management plan was defined as optimal medical therapy (OMT) or revascularization and was recorded for the following strategies: cCTA alone, cCTA+FFRCT, cCTA+Stress-CTP and cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP. In 291 prospectively enrolled patients, cCTA+FFRCT, cCTA+Stress-CTP and cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP showed a similar rate of reclassification of cCTA findings when FFRCT and Stress-CTP were added to cCTA. cCTA, cCTA+FFRCT, cCTA+Stress-CTP and cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP showed a rate of agreement versus the final therapeutic decision of 63%, 71%, 89%, 84% (cCTA+Stress-CTP and cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP vs cCTA and cCTA+FFRCT: p < 0.01), respectively, and a rate of agreement in terms of the vessels to be revascularized of 57%, 64%, 74%, 71% (cCTA+Stress-CTP and cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP vs cCTA and cCTA+FFRCT: p < 0.01), respectively, with an effective radiation dose (ED) of 2.9 ± 1.3 mSv, 2.9 ± 1.3 mSv, 5.9 ± 2.7 mSv, and 3.1 ± 2.1 mSv. The addition of FFRCT and Stress-CTP improved therapeutic decision-making compared to cCTA alone, and a sequential strategy with cCTA+FFRCT+Stress-CTP represents the best compromise in terms of clinical impact and radiation exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Coronary Artery Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comprehensive Machine-Learning Model Applied to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to Predict Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in Older Subjects
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072146 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Increasing evidence suggests the utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an important technique for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and for predicting the onset of this neurodegenerative disorder. In this study, we present a sophisticated machine learning (ML) model of great [...] Read more.
Increasing evidence suggests the utility of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as an important technique for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and for predicting the onset of this neurodegenerative disorder. In this study, we present a sophisticated machine learning (ML) model of great accuracy to diagnose the early stages of AD. A total of 373 MRI tests belonging to 150 subjects (age ≥ 60) were examined and analyzed in parallel with fourteen distinct features related to standard AD diagnosis. Four ML models, such as naive Bayes (NB), artificial neural networks (ANN), K-nearest neighbor (KNN), and support-vector machines (SVM), and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve metric were used to validate the model performance. Each model evaluation was done in three independent experiments. In the first experiment, a manual feature selection was used for model training, and ANN generated the highest accuracy in terms of ROC (0.812). In the second experiment, automatic feature selection was conducted by wrapping methods, and the NB achieved the highest ROC of 0.942. The last experiment consisted of an ensemble or hybrid modeling developed to combine the four models. This approach resulted in an improved accuracy ROC of 0.991. We conclude that the involvement of ensemble modeling, coupled with selective features, can predict with better accuracy the development of AD at an early stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addressing Alzheimer’s Disease: Blueprints and Therapeutic Hints)
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Open AccessArticle
Quality of Life Outcomes in Frontal Sinus Surgery
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072145 (registering DOI) - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Introduction: Although significant experience has been gained in the technical nuances of endoscopic sinus surgery procedures, the patient-reported outcomes of frontal endoscopic sinus surgery procedures are still poorly understood. In this study we used the validated patient outcome measure Sino Nasal Outcome Test-22 [...] Read more.
Introduction: Although significant experience has been gained in the technical nuances of endoscopic sinus surgery procedures, the patient-reported outcomes of frontal endoscopic sinus surgery procedures are still poorly understood. In this study we used the validated patient outcome measure Sino Nasal Outcome Test-22 (SNOT-22) to assess the preoperative and postoperative quality of life in patients undergoing extended endoscopic frontal sinus surgery (Draf type 2 and Draf type 3 procedures). Methods: Out of a total of 680 patients undergoing endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery and 186 patients undergoing frontal sinus surgery, 99 chronic rhinosinusitis patients with (CRSwNP) or without (CRSnNP) nasal polyps undergoing Draf 2 or Draf 3 were assessed. Results: The mean preoperative SNOT-22 was 45.6 points for patients undergoing Draf 2 and 59 for patients undergoing Draf 3, while the mean radiological Lund–Mackay Score was 14.3 and 14.5, respectively. Mean SNOT 22 improvement was 22.9 points for Draf 2 and 37 points for Draf 3 respectively and remained significant in all time intervals, including at 4 years after surgery. With the exception of loss of smell/taste, all symptoms improved by a far bigger extent in Draf 3 group, despite the considerably worse starting point. Effect size (Cohen / Standard Deviations) of Draf 3 was greatest in the following symptoms: “being frustrated/restless/irritable” (1.63), “nasal blockage” (1.43), “reduced concentration” (1.35), “fatigue” (1.29) “runny nose” (1.26) and “need to blow nose” (1.17). Frontal sinus (neo) ostium was patent (fully or partly) at last follow up in 98% of Draf 2 patients and in 88% of patients following Draf 3. Patients with non-patent frontal (neo-) ostium however had a mean postoperative SNOT 22 score of 43 compared to 20 of those with patent frontal sinus (neo-) ostium, although the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Patients undergoing Draf 3 have a greater burden of disease, including both nasal and emotional/general symptoms compared to Draf 2 patients; surgery results in improvement in both groups, although Draf 3 patients have the greatest benefit, especially in emotional / general symptons. In this way both groups achieve similar postoperative quality of life, despite the different starting points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management, Pathogenesis, and Treatment of Rhinosinusitis)
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Open AccessArticle
Insulin Resistance Predicts Severity of Coronary Atherosclerotic Disease in Non-Diabetic Patients
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072144 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Background: Insulin resistance (IR) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) represents a predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, how IR is able to impact the severity of coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic patients is unknown. Objectives. We investigated the relation between [...] Read more.
Background: Insulin resistance (IR) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) represents a predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD). However, how IR is able to impact the severity of coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic patients is unknown. Objectives. We investigated the relation between the IR and the extent and severity of coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic patients referred to coronary angiography (CA) Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing to CA for acute coronary syndromes or stable angina were analyzed. The IR was assessed by mean of the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) whereas the SYNTAX score (SS) was used as index of the severity of coronary atherosclerosis Results: Overall, 126 patients were included, with a median SS of 12 (IQR 5.25–20.5). Patients were divided in four groups according to the distribution in quartiles of SS (SS1-2-3-4). A significant correlation between HOMA-IR and SS was observed, especially in women. A progressive increase of HOMA-IR was observed in parallel with the increasing severity (from SS1 to SS4) and extension (1-2-3-vessel disease) of coronary atherosclerosis. Multivariable analysis showed that the HOMA-IR was the strongest independent predictor of severe (SS4) and extensive (three-vessel disease) coronary atherosclerosis. Conclusion: Insulin resistance goes hand in hand with the extension and severity of coronary atherosclerosis in non-diabetic patients. The HOMA index is an independent predictor of three-vessel disease at CA. The HOMA index could be useful for risk stratification of CAD even in absence of T2DM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Coronary Artery Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Syndrome Compared with Other Common Chronic Pain Diagnoses—A Study from the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2143; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072143 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Although chronic pain is common in patients with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) and hypermobility syndromes (HMS), little is known about the clinical characteristics of these groups. The main aim was to compare EDS/HMS with common local and generalized pain conditions with respect to Patient [...] Read more.
Although chronic pain is common in patients with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS) and hypermobility syndromes (HMS), little is known about the clinical characteristics of these groups. The main aim was to compare EDS/HMS with common local and generalized pain conditions with respect to Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). Data from the Swedish Quality Register for Chronic Pain (SQRP) from 2007 to 2016 (n = 40,518) were used, including patients with EDS/HMS (n = 795), fibromyalgia (n = 5791), spinal pain (n = 6693), and whiplash associated disorders (WAD) (n = 1229). No important differences in the PROMs were found between EDS and HMS. Women were represented in > 90% of EDS/HMS cases and fibromyalgia cases, and in about 64% of the other groups. The EDS/HMS group was significantly younger than the others but had a longer pain duration. The pain intensity in EDS/HMS was like those found in spinal pain and WAD; fibromyalgia had the highest pain intensity. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were very similar in the four groups. Vitality—a proxy for fatigue—was low both in EDS/HMS and fibromyalgia. The physical health was lower in EDS/HMS and fibromyalgia than in the two other groups. Patients with EDS/HMS were younger, more often female, and suffered from pain for the longest time compared with patients who had localized/regional pain conditions. Health-care clinicians must be aware of these issues related to EDS/HMS both when assessing the clinical presentations and planning treatment and rehabilitation interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improved Rehabilitation for Patients with Chronic Pain)
Open AccessReview
Minimal Residual Disease in Multiple Myeloma: State of the Art and Future Perspectives
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072142 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Minimal residual disease (MRD) detection represents a sensitive tool to appropriately measure the response obtained with therapies for multiple myeloma (MM). The achievement of MRD negativity has superseded the conventional complete response (CR) and has been proposed as a surrogate endpoint for progression-free [...] Read more.
Minimal residual disease (MRD) detection represents a sensitive tool to appropriately measure the response obtained with therapies for multiple myeloma (MM). The achievement of MRD negativity has superseded the conventional complete response (CR) and has been proposed as a surrogate endpoint for progression-free survival and overall survival. Several techniques are available for the detection of MRD inside (next-generation sequencing, flow cytometry) and outside (PET/CT, magnetic resonance) the bone marrow, and their complementary use allows a precise definition of the efficacy of anti-myeloma treatments. This review summarizes MRD data and results from previous clinical trials, highlights open issues related to the role of MRD in MM and discusses how MRD could be implemented in clinical practice to inform on patient prognosis and drive therapeutic decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Therapies and Therapeutic Approaches in Multiple Myeloma)
Open AccessReview
Intra-Abdominal Nocardiosis—Case Report and Review of the Literature
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072141 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 91
Abstract
Nocardiosis is primarily an opportunistic infection affecting immunosuppressed individuals, in whom it most commonly presents as pulmonary infection and sometimes cerebral abscesses. Isolated abdominal or retroperitoneal nocardiosis is rare. Here, we report the second case, to our knowledge, of isolated abdominal nocardiosis due [...] Read more.
Nocardiosis is primarily an opportunistic infection affecting immunosuppressed individuals, in whom it most commonly presents as pulmonary infection and sometimes cerebral abscesses. Isolated abdominal or retroperitoneal nocardiosis is rare. Here, we report the second case, to our knowledge, of isolated abdominal nocardiosis due to Nocardia paucivorans and provide a comprehensive review of intra-abdominal nocardiosis. The acquisition of abdominal nocardiosis is believed to occur via hematogenous spreading after pulmonary or percutaneous inoculation or possibly via direct abdominal inoculation. Cases of Nocardia peritonitis have been reported in patients on peritoneal dialysis. Accurate diagnosis of abdominal nocardiosis requires histological and/or microbiological examination of appropriate, radiologically or surgically obtained biopsy specimens. Malignancy may initially be suspected when the patient presents with an abdominal mass. Successful therapy usually includes either percutaneous or surgical abscess drainage plus prolonged combination antimicrobial therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of the 2019 European Guideline for Cardiovascular Risk Management: A Cross-Sectional Study in General Practice
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2140; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072140 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the 2019 published European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guideline on cardiovascular (CV) risk management compared with its predecessor from 2016 in a cohort in general practice. We performed a [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the 2019 published European Society of Cardiology (ESC)/European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) guideline on cardiovascular (CV) risk management compared with its predecessor from 2016 in a cohort in general practice. We performed a cross-sectional retrospective study with data from electronic medical records. The study cohort included 103,351 patients with known CV risk. We assessed changes in CV risk classification and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target values, the impact on LDL-C achievement rates, and the current lipid-lowering treatments. Under the 2019 ESC guideline, CV risk categories changed in 27.5% of patients, LDL-C target levels decreased in 71.4% of patients, and LDL-C target achievement rate dropped from 31.1% to 16.5%. Among non-achievers according to the 2019 guideline, 52.2% lacked lipid-lowering drugs entirely, and 41.5% had conventional drugs at a submaximal intensity. Of patients in the high-risk and very high-risk categories, at least 5% failed to achieve the LDL-C target level despite treatment at maximal intensity with conventional lipid-lowering drugs, making them eligible for PCSK-9 inhibitors. In conclusion, the 2019 ESC/EAS guideline lowered LDL-C target values for the majority of patients in general practice and halved LDL-C target achievement rates. There is still a large undeveloped potential to lower CV risk by introducing conventional lipid-lowering drugs, particularly in patients at high or very high CV risk. A substantial proportion of the patients can only achieve their LDL-C targets using PCSK-9 inhibitors, which would currently require an at least 10-fold increase in prescribing of these drugs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Prediabetes Is Independently Associated with Subclinical Carotid Atherosclerosis: An Observational Study in a Non-Urban Mediterranean Population
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072139 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 129
Abstract
This was a prospective, observational study to compare the burden of subclinical atherosclerosis as measured by carotid ultrasonography in a cohort of subjects with prediabetes vs. subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) from a non-urban Mediterranean population. Atherosclerosis was assessed through carotid intima-media [...] Read more.
This was a prospective, observational study to compare the burden of subclinical atherosclerosis as measured by carotid ultrasonography in a cohort of subjects with prediabetes vs. subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) from a non-urban Mediterranean population. Atherosclerosis was assessed through carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT), the presence/absence of carotid plaques, and plaque number. Among 550 subjects included, 224 (40.7%) had prediabetes. The mean c-IMT and the prevalence of carotid plaque were significantly higher in the prediabetes group compared to the NGT group (0.72 vs. 0.67 mm, p < 0.001; and 37.9% vs. 19.6%; p < 0.001, respectively). Older age, male gender, and increased systolic blood pressure were positively correlated with c-IMT and were independent predictors of the presence of plaques. In contrast, prediabetes and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-c were predictors of the presence of plaque (odds ratio [OR] = 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05–2.57; p = 0.03 and OR = 1.01; 95% CI = 1.00–1.02; p = 0.006, respectively) together with tobacco exposure and the leukocyte count (OR = 1.77; 95% CI = 1.08–2.89; p = 0.023 and OR = 1.20; 95% CI = 1.05–1.38; p = 0.008, respectively). In a non-urban Mediterranean population, prediabetes was associated with established subclinical carotid atherosclerosis. These findings could have implications for the prevention and treatment of CV risk in these subjects before the first symptoms of cardiovascular disease appear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathophysiology and Complications of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus)
Open AccessArticle
High Revision Rates of a Cementless Beta-Titanium Alloy Stem with Contamination-Free Roughened Surface in Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2138; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072138 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
Optimal osseointegration of cementless total hip arthroplasty is essential for high stability and long-term survival. The purpose of this follow-up study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcome, the complications, and survival rates of a beta-titanium alloy stem with a specific grit-blasted-free [...] Read more.
Optimal osseointegration of cementless total hip arthroplasty is essential for high stability and long-term survival. The purpose of this follow-up study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological outcome, the complications, and survival rates of a beta-titanium alloy stem with a specific grit-blasted-free surface. In 192 patients (mean age of 64.4 years), 202 consecutive primary total hip arthroplasties were performed using a cementless Hipstar® stem (Stryker, Duisburg, DE). The Harris Hip Score (HHS) was assessed pre-operatively and post-operatively. Radiolucent lines were evaluated and the implant survival rate was calculated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. The mean follow-up was 7.71 years (range of 5.0–14.0 years). Overall, 15 revisions were performed. Early aseptic stem loosening was observed in six cases (2.97%). Radiolucent-lines adjacent to the stem were detected in 73 cases (83.02%), especially (70.46%) in the Gruen zones 1, 7, 8, and 14. The mean postoperative HHS was 92.65 points (range 42–100). The cumulative survival probability of the stem was 94.4% (95% CI 90.3 to 98.5%). Considering aseptic failure as an endpoint, the cumulative survival rate of the stem was 95.3% (95% CI 0.914 to 0.992) at six years of follow-up. Overall, an inferior mid-term implant survival was observed in comparison to well-established cementless stem designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Research on Hip and Knee Arthroplasty)
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Open AccessArticle
Computerized Cognitive Rehabilitation Training for Ugandan Seniors Living with HIV: A Validation Study
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072137 - 07 Jul 2020
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Abstract
The feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of computerized cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CCRT) for mitigating neurocognitive decline was evaluated in African adults ≥50 years old. Eighty-one Ugandans with (n = 40) and without (n = 41) chronic human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) were [...] Read more.
The feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of computerized cognitive rehabilitation therapy (CCRT) for mitigating neurocognitive decline was evaluated in African adults ≥50 years old. Eighty-one Ugandans with (n = 40) and without (n = 41) chronic human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) were allocated CCRT—i.e., 20–45-min cognitive training sessions with culturally adapted video games delivered via Captain’s Log Software, or standard of care (SOC). Pre and post (i.e., 8-weeks later) intervention performance based neurocognitive tests, quality of life (QOL) and frailty related phenotype (FRP) were determined in all respondents. Multivariable linear regression estimated CCRT- vs. SOC-related differences (β) in neurocognitive batteries, QOL and FRP. Effect sizes (ES) for estimated β were calculated. CCRT protocol was completed by 92.8% of persons allocated to it. Regardless of HIV status, CCRT was associated with higher performance in learning tests than SOC—interference list (β = 1.00, 95%CI: (0.02, 1.98); ES = 0.43) and delayed recall (β = 1.04, 95%CI: (0.06, 2.02); ES = 0.47). CCRT effect on verbal fluency was clinically important (ES = 0.38), but statistical significance was not reached (β = 1.25, 95%CI: (−0.09, 2.58)). Among HIV-positive adults, clinically important post-CCRT improvements were noted for immediate recall (ES = 0.69), working memory (ES = 0.51), verbal fluency (ES = 0.51), and timed gait (ES = −0.44) tasks. Among HIV-negative adults, CCRT resulted in moderate post-intervention improvement in learning tests (ES = 0.45) and large decline in FRP (ES = −0.71), without a positive effect on simple attention and visuomotor coordination tasks. CCRT intervention is feasible among older Ugandan adults with potential benefit for learning and verbal fluency tests regardless of HIV status and lowering FRP in HIV-negative older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Generation Relates with Early Stage and Vascular Complications in Systemic Sclerosis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072136 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 115
Abstract
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic disease characterized by a great clinical and immunological heterogeneity whose pathophysiology is still being unraveled. Recently, innate immunity has been proposed to participate to the pathogenesis of SSc. In this study, we investigated the release of neutrophil [...] Read more.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a systemic disease characterized by a great clinical and immunological heterogeneity whose pathophysiology is still being unraveled. Recently, innate immunity has been proposed to participate to the pathogenesis of SSc. In this study, we investigated the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) according to patient phenotype. Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) from 34 SSc patients and 26 healthy controls were stimulated by serum from SSc or healthy subject. NETs were visualized using epifluorescence microscope after DNA, myeloperoxidase, and Histone H3 tagging. Area of NETs were quantified using an original macro running in ImageJ® software. PMN from SSc patients were significantly more prone to releasing NETs than control PMN after autologous stimulation. PMN from patients with severe vascular complications (pulmonary arterial hypertension, digital ulcers) produced more NETs than PMN from other SSc patients and their aberrant NET production appeared to be sustained over time. In patients with pulmonary interstitial disease or extensive cutaneous fibrosis, NET production was high at an early stage of the disease before progressively decreasing. Both serum factors and PMN activation status were involved in the enhanced production of NETs in SSc. Consequently, neutrophils and especially NETosis represent new physiopathological and therapeutic fields in SSc. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hematuria Is Associated with More Severe Acute Tubulointerstitial Nephritis
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(7), 2135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9072135 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 159
Abstract
Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis (ATIN) is a common cause of acute kidney injury. Although haematuria is a risk factor for the development of renal disease, no previous study has analyzed the significance of haematuria in ATIN. Retrospective, observational analysis of 110 patients with biopsy-proven [...] Read more.
Acute tubulointerstitial nephritis (ATIN) is a common cause of acute kidney injury. Although haematuria is a risk factor for the development of renal disease, no previous study has analyzed the significance of haematuria in ATIN. Retrospective, observational analysis of 110 patients with biopsy-proven ATIN was conducted. Results: Haematuria was present in 66 (60%) ATIN patients. A higher percentage of ATIN patients with haematuria had proteinuria than patients without haematuria (89.4% vs. 59.1%, p = 0.001) with significantly higher levels of proteinuria (median (interquartile range) protein:creatinine ratio 902.70 (513–1492) vs. 341.00 (177–734) mg/g, p <0.001). Moreover, those patients with more haematuria intensity had a higher urinary protein:creatinine ratio (1352.65 (665–2292) vs. 849.60 (562–1155) mg/g, p = 0.02). Those patients with higher proteinuria were more likely to need renal replacement therapy (22.7 vs. 0%, p = 0.03) and to suffer relapse (4 vs. 0%, p = 0.03). At the end of follow up, haematuric ATIN patients had higher serum creatinine levels (3.19 ± 2.91 vs. 1.91 ± 1.17 mg/dL, p = 0.007), and a trend towards a higher need for acute dialysis (7 vs. 1%, p = 0.09) and renal replacement therapy (12.1 vs. 2.3%, p = 0.12). Haematuria is common in ATIN and it is associated with worse renal function outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Treatment of Acute Kidney Injury)
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