Abstract: A large number of studies link H. pylori infection with a reduced risk of developing extra-gastric conditions such as allergy, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease and multiple sclerosis. The strength of the evidence for these protective associations is quite variable, and published studies often do not agree. This review article discusses some of the reasons for these discrepancies, and the difficulties faced when designing studies. Examples of some protective disease associations are described in detail, where the evidence is most abundant and thought to be more reliable. The most convincing of these are supported by published mechanistic data, for example with animal models,or incidence of disease exacerbation in humans following H. pylori eradication. Although controversial, this field is very important as the prevalence of H. pylori is decreasing throughout the world whilst many chronic diseases are becoming more common. These trends are likely to continue in the future, therefore it is important that we fully understand if and how H. pylori confers protection.
Abstract: Due to age dependent organ manifestation, diagnosis of Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a challenge, especially in childhood. It is important to identify children at risk of MFS as soon as possible to direct those to appropriate treatment but also to avoid stigmatization due to false diagnosis. We published the Kid-Short Marfan Score (Kid-SMS) in 2012 to stratify the pre-test probability of MFS in childhood. Hence we now evaluate the predictive performance of Kid-SMS in a new cohort of children. We prospectively investigated 106 patients who were suspected of having MFS. At baseline, children were examined according to Kid-SMS. At baseline and follow-up visit, diagnosis of MFS was established or rejected using standard current diagnostic criteria according to the revised Ghent Criteria (Ghent-2). At baseline 43 patients were identified with a risk of MFS according to Kid-SMS whereas 21 patients had Ghent-2 diagnosis of MFS. Sensitivity was 100%, specificity 77%, negative predictive value 100% and Likelihood ratio of Kid-SMS 4.3. During follow-up period, three other patients with a stratified risk for MFS were diagnosed according to Ghent-2. We confirm very good predictive performance of Kid-SMS with excellent sensitivity and negative predictive value but restricted specificity. Kid-SMS avoids stigmatization due to diagnosis of MFS and thus restriction to quality of life. Especially outpatient pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists can use it for primary assessment.
Abstract: Introduction: The submaximal exercise test (SET), which gives both a measure of exercise tolerance, as well as disease severity, should be a more robust functional and prognostic marker than the six-minute walk test (6MWT). This study aimed to determine the prognostic value of SET as predicted by the validated REVEAL (Registry to Evaluate Early and Long-Term Pulmonary Artery Hypertension Disease Management) registry risk score (RRRS). Methods: Sixty-five consecutive patients with idiopathic and associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) underwent right-heart catheterization, echocardiogram, 6MWT and a three-minute SET (Shape-HF™). Analyses explored the association between SET variables and prognosis predicted by the RRRS. Results: Although multiple SET variables correlated with the RRRS on univariate analyses, only VE/VCO2 (r = 0.57, p < 0.0001) remained an independent predictor in multivariate analysis (β = 0.05, p = 0.0371). Additionally, the VE/VCO2 was the most discriminatory (area under receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.84) in identifying the highest-risk category (RRRS ≥ 10), with an optimal cut-off of 40.6, resulting in a high sensitivity (92%) and negative-predictive value (97%), but a lower specificity (67%). Conclusion: SETs, particularly the VE/VCO2, appear to have prognostic value when compared to the RRRS. If validated in prospective trials, SET should prove superior to the 6MWT or the RRRS, with significant implications for both future clinical trials and clinical practice.
Abstract: Personalised external aortic support was first proposed in 2000 by Tal Golesworthy, an engineer with familial Marfan syndrome and an aortic root aneurysm. After putting together a research and development team, and finding a surgeon to take on the challenge to join him in this innovative approach, he was central to the manufacture of the device, custom made for his own aorta. He was the patient for the ‘first in man’ operation in 2004. Ten years later he is well and 45 other people have had their own personalised device implanted. In this account, the stepwise record of proof of principle, comparative quantification of the surgical and perioperative requirements, 10 years of results, and development and research plans for the future are presented.
Abstract: Our aim is to investigate the recent liver biopsy findings of autoimmune liver diseases at a university hospital located in an urban area of Japan. The study included 259 patients (mean age 56.8 ± 12.5; male/female, 46/213) who underwent a liver biopsy for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) or autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). We analyzed their liver biopsy findings according to age and gender. Among 127 PBC patients, Scheuer stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 were 42, 54, 18, and 13, respectively. Among 101 AIH patients, fibrosis stages F1, F2, F3, and F4 were 37, 32, 19, and 13, respectively, and inflammatory activity grades A1, A2, and A3 were 22, 25, and 54, respectively. Among PBC aged ≥65 years, Scheuer stages 1–3 and 4 patients were 27 and 6, respectively. The proportion of Scheuer stage 4 patients in PBC aged ≥65 years tended to be higher than that in PBC aged <65 years (p = 0.0659). Of interest, the proportion of AIH patients with moderate or severe activity (A2 or A3) in males was higher than in females (p = 0.0311). From the point of view of fibrosis stage or inflammatory activity grade of the liver, the proportion of AIH patients aged ≥65 years was similar to that aged <65 years. Although we identified six older cirrhotic patients with AIH, three of them were male. The progression of fibrosis and inflammatory activity of the liver should be noted when we treat older patients suffering from autoimmune liver diseases. Liver biopsy plays an important role in obtaining accurate information on autoimmune liver diseases in older patients.