Feature Papers in Medical Research

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Medical Research".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2023) | Viewed by 75359

Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Feature Paper Collection titled “Feature Papers in Medical Research” aims to collect high-quality research articles, review articles, and systematic reviews in all the fields of medical research filed. Since the aim of this Topical Collection is to illustrate, through selected works, frontier research in medical research, we encourage the Editorial Board Members of Life to contribute papers reflecting the latest progress in their research field or to invite relevant experts and colleagues to do so.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Dermatological research;
  • Cancer research;
  • Cardiovascular research;
  • General medicine;
  • Gastroenterological research;
  • Hematological research;
  • Immunological research;
  • Infectious diseases research;
  • Metabolism and endocrinology;
  • Nervous system research;
  • Nursing;
  • Pediatrics;
  • Pulmonary research;
  • Psychiatric research;
  • Rehabilitation;
  • Renal and urinary research;
  • Reproductive research and women's health;
  • Rheumatological research;
  • Skeletal and muscular research;
  • Vision research.

Prof. Dr. Christian Lehmann
Dr. Kevin Chang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (36 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

13 pages, 1113 KiB  
Article
The Early Initiation Advantages of Physical Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis—A Pilot Study
by Florin Mihai Marcu, Ilarie Brihan, Anamaria Ciubara, Vasile Valeriu Lupu, Nicoleta Negrut, Anamaria Jurcau, Ancuta Lupu, Stefan Lucian Burlea, Felicia Dragan, Lacramioara Ionela Butnariu, Alina Elena Ignat and Alexandru Bogdan Ciubara
Life 2023, 13(7), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13071501 - 3 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1980
Abstract
(1) Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic progressive neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system (CNS), can result in disorders of all the functions controlled by the CNS: motor, sensory, cognitive and emotional. Physical therapy (PT), conducted through proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic progressive neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system (CNS), can result in disorders of all the functions controlled by the CNS: motor, sensory, cognitive and emotional. Physical therapy (PT), conducted through proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) techniques, can be customized to the individual patient’s needs and has the potential to improve the patient’s evolution. This study aims to establish if PT based on PNF techniques has a beneficial role in MS treatment. (2) Methods: We performed a prospective study on 40 patients who were diagnosed with MS and previously treated only with MS drug treatment (DT). These patients have participated in a PT program throughout one year. At the beginning and at the end of our study, after one year, we have assessed the following parameters: timed walk for 25 feet (Timed 25-Foot Walk test- T25FW test), dexterity of the upper limbs (9-Hole Peg Test—9HPT), disability level (Expanded Disability Status Scale—EDSS) and cognitive function (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test—PASAT. (3) Results: In subjects in the early stages of MS, lower limb mobility improved significantly, T25FW decreasing from 6.46 to 5.80 (p < 0.001) and upper limb ability increased significantly in the dominant hand, 9HPT decreasing from 17.73 to 16.97 (p = 0.006) and not significantly in the non-dominant hand, 9HPT decreasing from 17.73 to 17.50 (p = 0.255). Furthermore, among these subjects, cognitive performance improved; their PASAT increased from 52.14 to 54.14 (p = 0.036), while the level of disability of these subjects improved only slightly, the EDSS scale evolving from 3.08 to 2.91 (p = 0.650). (4) Conclusions: In patients with early forms of MS, combining DT with a PT program based on PNF techniques results in: regaining muscle strength in the lower limbs, improving coordination while walking, correcting dexterity in the upper limbs and increasing the ability to concentrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2586 KiB  
Article
An Activation-Specific Anti-Mac-1 Designed-Ankyrin-Repeat-Protein Attenuates Colitis in Mice
by Istvan Bojti, Qianqi Wang, Tibor Bojti, Felicitas Bojti, Patrick Malcolm Siegel, Timo Heidt, Martin Moser, Christoph Bode, Dirk Westermann, Karlheinz Peter and Philipp Diehl
Life 2023, 13(7), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13071464 - 28 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
(1) Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases are complex and multifactorial disorders of unknown etiology. The extravasation of activated leukocytes is a critical step in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Leukocyte integrin Mac-1 (αMβ2; CD11b/CD18) is crucial for the extravasation of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases are complex and multifactorial disorders of unknown etiology. The extravasation of activated leukocytes is a critical step in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Leukocyte integrin Mac-1 (αMβ2; CD11b/CD18) is crucial for the extravasation of myeloid cells, and a novel activation-specific anti-Mac-1 Designed Ankyrin Repeat protein (DARPin F7) is a promising therapeutic agent for inflammatory diseases. In its activated conformation, Mac-1 expresses the high-affinity binding site I-domain, which the DARPin F7 selectively targets. In our study, we aimed to explore the therapeutic potential of anti-Mac-1 DARPin F7 in murine dextrane sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis. (2) Methods: C57BL/6J mice received 3% DSS drinking water for five days, followed by normal drinking water for one week. The mice were treated with DARPin F7 or a control substance daily via intraperitoneal injections. Disease activity index (DAI), colon length, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity measurements, H&E staining, and qRT-PCR were conducted after euthanizing the mice on day 12. (3) Results: Treatment with DARPin F7 resulted in less pronounced colon shortening and significantly lower histological scores. The DARPin F7-treated animals experienced substantially less disease and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity. Animals that received DARPin F7 treatment suffered less weight loss and recovered from the weight loss more efficiently. Treatment with DARPin F7 also led to significantly reduced mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines. (4) Conclusion: Anti-Mac-1 treatment markedly reduced disease activity and inflammatory reaction accompanying DSS-induced colitis in mice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 6133 KiB  
Communication
Cook with Different Pots, but Similar Taste? Comparison of Phase Angle Using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis According to Device Type and Examination Posture
by Jihyun Yang, Jeehyun Kim, Byung-chul Chun and Jae-myeong Lee
Life 2023, 13(5), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051119 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is gaining popularity as a tool for body composition assessment. Although BIA has been studied and validated in different populations, age groups, and clinical settings, including critically ill patients, there are concerns about BIA reproducibility and reliability for different [...] Read more.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is gaining popularity as a tool for body composition assessment. Although BIA has been studied and validated in different populations, age groups, and clinical settings, including critically ill patients, there are concerns about BIA reproducibility and reliability for different device types and postures. This study aimed to evaluate the reliability of BIA using different devices, postures, and lead types. Cross-sectional observational data were collected from 74 healthy volunteers (32 women, 42 men). We used two types of devices, three types of postures (standing, sitting, and lying), and two lead types (clamp lead and adhesive lead) to measure the whole-body phase angle (phA) at a single frequency of 50 kHz. The measurements were validated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and Bland–Altman plot analysis. All phA measurements recorded using the two types of devices, three different postures, and two types of leads were equivalent (mean ICC = 0.9932, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9905–0.0053, p < 0.001). The average mean difference in phA was 0.31 (95% CI 0.16–0.46). The largest phA value was measured using BWA with an adhesive-type lead in the supine position. There were no differences between the standing and sitting positions. We compared the consistency and reliability of phA using two devices, two lead types, and three postures. Seven different phA were interchangeable in healthy volunteers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 759 KiB  
Article
Thrombolysis Outcomes in Acute Ischaemic Stroke Patients with Pre-Existing Cognitive Impairment
by Isabela V. P. Ramnarine, Omar W. Rasheed, Peter J. Laud, Arshad Majid, Kirsty A. Harkness and Simon M. Bell
Life 2023, 13(4), 1055; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13041055 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1492
Abstract
Background: Thrombolysis treatment for ischaemic stroke in patients with pre-existing disabilities, including cognitive impairment, remains controversial. Previous studies have suggested functional outcomes post-thrombolysis are worse in patients with cognitive impairment. This study aimed to compare and explore factors contributing to thrombolysis outcomes, including [...] Read more.
Background: Thrombolysis treatment for ischaemic stroke in patients with pre-existing disabilities, including cognitive impairment, remains controversial. Previous studies have suggested functional outcomes post-thrombolysis are worse in patients with cognitive impairment. This study aimed to compare and explore factors contributing to thrombolysis outcomes, including haemorrhagic complications, in cognitively and non-cognitively impaired patients with ischaemic stroke. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of 428 ischaemic stroke patients who were thrombolysed between January 2016 and February 2021 was performed. Cognitive impairment was defined as a diagnosis of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, or clinical evidence of the condition. The outcome measures included morbidity (using NIHSS and mRS), haemorrhagic complications, and mortality, and were analysed using multivariable logistic regression models. Results: The analysis of the cohort revealed that 62 patients were cognitively impaired. When compared to those without cognitive impairment, this group showed worse functional status at discharge (mRS 4 vs. 3, p < 0.001) and a higher probability of dying within 90 days (OR 3.34, 95% CI 1.85–6.01, p < 0.001). A higher risk of a fatal ICH post-thrombolysis was observed in the cognitively impaired patients, and, after controlling for covariates, cognitive impairment remained a significant predictor of a fatal haemorrhage (OR 4.79, 95% CI 1.24–18.45, p = 0.023). Conclusions: Cognitively impaired ischaemic stroke patients experience increased morbidity, mortality, and haemorrhagic complications following thrombolytic therapy. However cognitive status is not independently predictive of most outcome measures. Further work is required to elucidate contributing factors to the poor outcomes observed in these patients and help guide thrombolysis decision-making in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 838 KiB  
Article
SH3YL1 Protein Predicts Renal Outcomes in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
by Sang Youb Han, Seung Hyun Han, Jung Yeon Ghee, Jin Joo Cha, Young Sun Kang and Dae Ryong Cha
Life 2023, 13(4), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040963 - 7 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1103
Abstract
NADPH oxidase (NOX)-derived oxidative stress is an important factor in renal progression, with NOX4 being the predominant NOX in the kidney. Recently, Src homology 3 (SH3) domain-containing YSC84-like 1 (SH3YL1) was reported to be a regulator of NOX4. In this study, we tested [...] Read more.
NADPH oxidase (NOX)-derived oxidative stress is an important factor in renal progression, with NOX4 being the predominant NOX in the kidney. Recently, Src homology 3 (SH3) domain-containing YSC84-like 1 (SH3YL1) was reported to be a regulator of NOX4. In this study, we tested whether the SH3YL1 protein could predict 3-year renal outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. A total of 131 patients with type 2 diabetes were enrolled in this study. Renal events were defined as a 15% decline in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from the baseline, the initiation of renal replacement therapy, or death during the 3 years. The levels of the urinary SH3YL1-to-creatinine ratio (USCR) were significantly different among the five stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the three groups, based on albuminuria levels. The USCR levels showed a significant negative correlation with eGFR and a positive correlation with the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR). Plasma SH3YL1 levels were significantly correlated with UACR. The highest tertile group of USCR and plasma SH3YL1 had a significantly lower probability of renal event-free survival. Furthermore, the highest tertile group of USCR showed a significant association with the incidence of renal events after full adjustment: adjusted hazard ratio (4.636: 95% confidence interval, 1.416–15.181, p = 0.011). This study suggests that SH3YL1 is a new diagnostic biomarker for renal outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2826 KiB  
Article
Identification of BACE-1 Inhibitors against Alzheimer’s Disease through E-Pharmacophore-Based Virtual Screening and Molecular Dynamics Simulation Studies: An Insilco Approach
by Kumarappan Chidambaram
Life 2023, 13(4), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13040952 - 5 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1912
Abstract
Alzheimer is a severe memory and cognitive impairment neurodegenerative disease that is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and characterized by the pathological accumulation of tau protein and amyloid-beta peptides. In this study, we have developed E-pharmacophore modeling to screen the eMolecules [...] Read more.
Alzheimer is a severe memory and cognitive impairment neurodegenerative disease that is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and characterized by the pathological accumulation of tau protein and amyloid-beta peptides. In this study, we have developed E-pharmacophore modeling to screen the eMolecules database with the help of a reported co-crystal structure bound with Beta-Site Amyloid Precursor Protein Cleaving Enzyme 1 (BACE-1). Flumemetamol, florbetaben, and florbetapir are currently approved drugs for use in the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Despite the benefits of commercially approved drugs, there is still a need for novel diagnostic agents with enhanced physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties compared to those currently used in clinical practice and research. In the E-pharmacophore modeling results, it is revealed that two aromatic rings (R19, R20), one donor (D12), and one acceptor (A8) are obtained, and also that similar pharmacophoric features of compounds are identified from pharmacophore-based virtual screening. The identified screened hits were filtered for further analyses using structure-based virtual screening and MM/GBSA. From the analyses, top hits such as ZINC39592220 and en1003sfl.46293 are selected based on their top docking scores (−8.182 and −7.184 Kcal/mol, respectively) and binding free energy (−58.803 and −56.951 Kcal/mol, respectively). Furthermore, a molecular dynamics simulation and MMPBSA study were performed, which revealed admirable stability and good binding free energy throughout the simulation period. Moreover, Qikprop results revealed that the selected, screened hits have good drug-likeness and pharmacokinetic properties. The screened hits ZINC39592220 and en1003sfl.46293 could be used to develop drug molecules against Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 3794 KiB  
Article
Vitamin D3 Supplementation: Comparison of 1000 IU and 2000 IU Dose in Healthy Individuals
by Eva Dědečková, Roman Viták, Michal Jirásko, Markéta Králová, Ondřej Topolčan, Ladislav Pecen, Tomáš Fürst, Pavel Brož and Radek Kučera
Life 2023, 13(3), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030808 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4878
Abstract
Background: Scientific studies point to a significant global vitamin D deficiency. The recommended dose of vitamin D for the adult population in Central Europe is 800–2000 IU/day. The aim of our study was to determine whether doses of 1000 IU or 2000 IU [...] Read more.
Background: Scientific studies point to a significant global vitamin D deficiency. The recommended dose of vitamin D for the adult population in Central Europe is 800–2000 IU/day. The aim of our study was to determine whether doses of 1000 IU or 2000 IU of vitamin D3 are adequate to achieve the sufficiency reference values of [25(OH)D]. Methods: Seventy-two healthy volunteers, average age twenty-two, took part in the study. The study was conducted from October to March in order to eliminate intra-dermal vitamin D production. Vitamin D3 in an oleaginous mixture was used. The participants used either 1000 IU or 2000 IU/daily for two 60-day periods with a 30-day break. Results: The dose of 1000 IU, taken for 60 days, increased vitamin D levels relatively little. Furthermore, serum vitamin D levels decreased in the 30 days following the cessation of supplementation. Taking 2000 IU daily led to a sharp increase in serum levels which plateaued 30 days after the subjects stopped using vitamin D3 drops. Conclusions: Both doses, taken daily, can help maintain adequate vitamin D levels during the winter months. A daily dose of 2000 IU, however, maintained the desired levels of vitamin D for a longer period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1797 KiB  
Article
Impact of Sex and Exercise on Femoral Artery Function: More Favorable Adaptation in Male Rats
by Márton Vezér, Attila Jósvai, Bálint Bányai, Nándor Ács, Márton Keszthelyi, Eszter Soltész-Katona, Mária Szekeres, Attila Oláh, Tamás Radovits, Béla Merkely, Eszter M. Horváth, György L. Nádasy, Marianna Török and Szabolcs Várbíró
Life 2023, 13(3), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030778 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1538
Abstract
Blood flow increases in arteries of the skeletal muscles involved in active work. Our aim was to investigate the gender differences as a result of adaptation to sport in the femoral arteries. Vascular reactivity and histology of animals were compared following a 12-week [...] Read more.
Blood flow increases in arteries of the skeletal muscles involved in active work. Our aim was to investigate the gender differences as a result of adaptation to sport in the femoral arteries. Vascular reactivity and histology of animals were compared following a 12-week swimming training. Animals were divided into sedentary male (MS), trained male (MTr), sedentary female (FS), and trained female (FTr) groups. Isolated femoral artery rings were examined by wire myography. Contraction induced by phenylephrine (Phe) did not differ between the four groups. The contractile ability in the presence of indomethacin (INDO) was decreased in both sedentary groups. However, we found a specific cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) role only in FS rats. After exercise training, we observed increased vasoconstriction in both sexes, when nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) was present. The COX-dependent vasoconstriction effect disappeared in MTr animals, and the COX-2-dependent vasoconstriction effect disappeared in FTr ones. Relaxation was reduced significantly, when L-NAME was present in MTr animals compared to in FTr rats. The training was associated with greater endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression in males, but not in females. The present study proves that there are gender differences regarding adaptation mechanisms of musculocutaneous arteries to sports training. In males, relaxation reserve capacity was markedly elevated compared to in females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 528 KiB  
Article
Conventional Biological versus Sutureless Aortic Valve Prostheses in Combined Aortic and Mitral Valve Replacement
by Alina Zubarevich, Marcin Szczechowicz, Arian Arjomandi Rad, Lukman Amanov, Arjang Ruhparwar and Alexander Weymann
Life 2023, 13(3), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030737 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1499
Abstract
Background: Sutureless aortic valve prostheses have proven to provide a significant decrease in procedural, cardiopulmonary bypass and cross-clamp time, leading to a significant reduction in mortality risk in elderly high-risk cohorts. In this study, we sought to review our institutional experience on the [...] Read more.
Background: Sutureless aortic valve prostheses have proven to provide a significant decrease in procedural, cardiopulmonary bypass and cross-clamp time, leading to a significant reduction in mortality risk in elderly high-risk cohorts. In this study, we sought to review our institutional experience on the sutureless aortic valve replacement (SU-AVR) and the concomitant mitral valve replacement (SMVR), comparing the combined conventional surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) with SMVR. Methods and Material: Between March 2018 and July 2022, 114 consecutive patients underwent a combined aortic and mitral valve replacement at our institution. We stratified the patients according to the operative procedures into two groups and matched them 1:2: Group 1 underwent a combined conventional SAVR and SMVR (n = 46), and Group 2 included combined SU-AVR with Perceval prosthesis and SMVR (n = 23). Results: No significant differences in the preoperative characteristics were present. SU-AVR combined with SMVR demonstrated excellent haemodynamic performance, comparable to that of SAVR plus SMVR, with median postoperative gradients over the aortic valve of 4 mmHg (IQR 3.0–4.0) in Group 1 and 4 mmHg (IQR 3.0–4.0) in Group 2 (p = 0.67). There was no significant difference in the occurrence of postoperative major adverse events such as death, stroke, myocardial infarction and kidney failure between the groups. There was also no significant difference in the permanent pacemaker implantation rate, paravalvular leakage or valve dislocation. We also could not detect any significant difference in postoperative mortality between the groups. Conclusions: SU-AVR has proven to be a reliable alternative to conventional valve prostheses in patients with multivalve disease undergoing combined aortic and mitral valve replacement, offering shorter procedural time and outstanding hemodynamic performance compared to the conventional surgical method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 418 KiB  
Communication
Safety and Feasibility of Analgosedation for Electrochemotherapy of Liver Lesions
by Roberto Iezzi, Alessandro Posa, Cosimo Tommaso Caputo, Davide De Leoni, Fabio Sbaraglia, Marco Rossi, Giampaolo Tortora, Luca Tagliaferri, Vincenzo Valentini and Cesare Colosimo
Life 2023, 13(3), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13030631 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
Interventional Oncology treatments grant low-risk mini-invasive alternatives to surgery for cancer patients. Percutaneous ablative therapies represent a cornerstone for treatment of liver cancer patients. Among these, a newly emerging one is represented by electrochemotherapy. Improvements in analgesia and sedation can nowadays offer optimal [...] Read more.
Interventional Oncology treatments grant low-risk mini-invasive alternatives to surgery for cancer patients. Percutaneous ablative therapies represent a cornerstone for treatment of liver cancer patients. Among these, a newly emerging one is represented by electrochemotherapy. Improvements in analgesia and sedation can nowadays offer optimal support for ablative procedures, serving as a valid alternative to general anesthesia. The intention of this retrospective monocentric study is to report our preliminary experience on feasibility and safety of electrochemotherapy for treatment of complex liver tumors unfit for thermal ablation, using analgosedation instead of general anesthesia. Five patients were enrolled in the study, undergoing electrochemotherapy under analgosedation. Mean procedural time and hospitalization time were recorded. Immediate post-procedural cone-beam CT showed complete coverage of the lesion without complications. One-month CT examination showed an overall response rate of 100% (four complete responses, one partial response). Electrochemotherapy under analgosedation seems to be a safe, feasible, and effective option for liver cancer patients not amenable to other ablative techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 725 KiB  
Article
The Joint Link of the rs1051730 and rs1902341 Polymorphisms and Cigarette Smoking to Peripheral Artery Disease and Atherosclerotic Lesions of Different Arterial Beds
by Sergey Zhabin, Victor Lazarenko, Iuliia Azarova, Elena Klyosova, Marina Bykanova, Svetlana Chernousova, Daniil Bashkatov, Ekaterina Gneeva, Anna Polonikova, Mikhail Churnosov, Maria Solodilova and Alexey Polonikov
Life 2023, 13(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020496 - 10 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1877
Abstract
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) contributing to peripheral artery disease (PAD), but their joint effects with risk factors like cigarette smoking (CS) on disease susceptibility have not been systematically investigated. The present study looked into whether CS [...] Read more.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) contributing to peripheral artery disease (PAD), but their joint effects with risk factors like cigarette smoking (CS) on disease susceptibility have not been systematically investigated. The present study looked into whether CS mediates the effects of GWAS loci on the development of PAD and atherosclerotic lesions in different arterial beds. DNA samples from 1263 unrelated individuals of Slavic origin including 620 PAD patients and 643 healthy subjects were genotyped by the MassArray-4 system for rs1051730, rs10134584, rs1902341, rs10129758 which are known as PAD-associated GWAS loci. The rs1051730 polymorphism was strongly associated with an increased risk of PAD (p = 5.1 × 10−6), whereas rs1902341 did not show an association with disease risk. The rs1051730 polymorphism was associated with increased plasma levels of LDL cholesterol (p = 0.001), and conferred a greater risk of PAD in cigarette smokers than in nonsmokers (p < 0.01). Interestingly, the rs1902341T allele was associated with an increased risk of PAD in smokers and a decreased disease risk in nonsmokers. SNPs and CS were both linked to unilateral and/or bilateral atherosclerotic lesions of peripheral vessels, as well as the abdominal aorta, coronary, and cerebral arteries. The studied polymorphisms exert pleiotropic and cigarette smoking-mediated effects on atherosclerotic lesions of different arterial beds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

7 pages, 2201 KiB  
Communication
The Role of V-Set Ig Domain-Containing 4 in Chronic Kidney Disease Models
by Sang Youb Han, Jung Yeon Ghee, Jin Joo Cha, Young Sun Kang, Han Seong Kim, Dae Young Hur and Dae Ryong Cha
Life 2023, 13(2), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020277 - 19 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1143
Abstract
V-set Ig domain-containing 4 (VSIG4) regulates an inflammatory response and is involved in various diseases. However, the role of VSIG4 in kidney diseases is still unclear. Here, we investigated VSIG4 expression in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), doxorubicin-induced kidney injury mouse, and doxorubicin-induced podocyte [...] Read more.
V-set Ig domain-containing 4 (VSIG4) regulates an inflammatory response and is involved in various diseases. However, the role of VSIG4 in kidney diseases is still unclear. Here, we investigated VSIG4 expression in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO), doxorubicin-induced kidney injury mouse, and doxorubicin-induced podocyte injury models. The levels of urinary VSIG4 protein significantly increased in the UUO mice compared with that in the control. The expression of VSIG4 mRNA and protein in the UUO mice was significantly upregulated compared with that in the control. In the doxorubicin-induced kidney injury model, the levels of urinary albumin and VSIG4 for 24 h were significantly higher than those in the control mice. Notably, a significant correlation was observed between urinary levels of VSIG4 and albumin (r = 0.912, p < 0.001). Intrarenal VSIG4 mRNA and protein expression were also significantly higher in the doxorubicin-induced mice than in the control. In cultured podocytes, VSIG4 mRNA and protein expressions were significantly higher in the doxorubicin-treated groups (1.0 and 3.0 μg/mL) than in the controls at 12 and 24 h. In conclusion, VSIG4 expression was upregulated in the UUO and doxorubicin-induced kidney injury models. VSIG4 may be involved in pathogenesis and disease progression in chronic kidney disease models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 7498 KiB  
Article
Morphological Evaluation of the Splenic Artery, Its Anatomical Variations and Irrigation Territory
by Serghei Covantsev, Fariza Alieva, Karina Mulaeva, Natalia Mazuruc and Olga Belic
Life 2023, 13(1), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010195 - 9 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4277
Abstract
Background: Precise knowledge of the topographic features of the splenic artery and its branches in the hilum region is of practical interest due to the various interventions on the vessels of the spleen. Materials and methods: The anatomy of the spleen was studied [...] Read more.
Background: Precise knowledge of the topographic features of the splenic artery and its branches in the hilum region is of practical interest due to the various interventions on the vessels of the spleen. Materials and methods: The anatomy of the spleen was studied by means of macroscopic dissection on 330 organ complexes, which were carefully documented and analyzed statistically. Results: The analysis of the splenic artery trajectory led to identification of four types: straight (43.03%), sinusoidal (27.58%), serpentine (20.91%) and alternating (8.48%). To assess the relation between the trajectory of the splenic artery and its branches we performed a chi square test. Sinuous or serpentine trajectory was associated with the presence of long splenic artery branches (dorsal pancreatic artery or the great pancreatic artery), X2 (2, N = 330) = 12.85, p = 0.001. The artery was located suprapancreatic in 70.30% of cases, anteropancreatic in 4.55%, the vessel had an intrapancreatic course in 14.85% and in 10.00% of cases the artery was located retropancreatic. The presence of inferior polar arteries was associated with a longer pancreas (Spearman’s correlation; r = 0.37; p = 0.037). In a multiple regression analysis, inferior polar arteries predicted the length of the pancreas although only a small number of cases could be explained by this model (R2 = 0.127, Adjusted R2 = 0.098; Betta = 0.357; t(330) = 2.091; p = 0.045). There were 30 (9.09%) cases of accessory spleens. Conclusions: The arterial supply of the spleen is highly variable in its trajectory, terminal branches, and relation to other organs. The splenic artery tends to be sinuous or serpentine in zones when a large artery branches off (e.g., the dorsal pancreatic or greater pancreatic artery). Multiple short branches tend to stabilize the trajectory of the splenic artery. Inferior polar arteries and accessory spleens contribute to the length of the pancreas, most likely due to increased vascular supply to the tail of the gland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1495 KiB  
Article
Is the 4C Score Still a Valid Item to Predict In-Hospital Mortality in People with SARS-CoV-2 Infections in the Omicron Variant Era?
by Andrea De Vito, Agnese Colpani, Laura Saderi, Mariangela Puci, Beatrice Zauli, Maria Chiara Meloni, Marco Fois, Alessandra Bitti, Cosimo Di Castri, Vito Fiore, Ivana Maida, Sergio Babudieri, Giovanni Sotgiu and Giordano Madeddu
Life 2023, 13(1), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13010183 - 8 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, several scores have been proposed to identify infected individuals at a higher risk of progression and death. The most famous is the 4C score. However, it was developed in early 2020. Our study aimed to evaluate [...] Read more.
Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, several scores have been proposed to identify infected individuals at a higher risk of progression and death. The most famous is the 4C score. However, it was developed in early 2020. Our study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the 4C score during the wave in which the Omicron variant was prevalent. An observational study was conducted at an Italian University Hospital between 1 January and 31 July 2022. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to evaluate the ability of the 4C score to predict mortality. Overall, 1186 people were recruited, of which 160 (13.5%) died. According to the 4C score, 177 (11.6%) were classified as having a low risk of mortality, 302 (25.5%) were intermediate, 596 (50.3%) were high, and 151 (12.7%) were very high. The ROC curve of the 4C score showed an AUC (95% CI) value of 0.78 (0.74–0.82). At the criterion value of > 10, the sensitivity was 76.2% and the specificity was 62.67%. Similar to previous studies, the 4C mortality score performed well in our sample, and it is still a useful tool for clinicians to identify patients with a high risk of progression. However, clinicians must be aware that the mortality rate reported in the original studies was higher than that observed in our study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 977 KiB  
Article
A Comparative Study of Stone Re-Treatment after Lithotripsy
by Yueh-Er Chiou, Chi-Hsiang Chung, Wu-Chien Chien, Pei-Kwei Tsay, Hung-Cheng Kan and Wen-Hui Weng
Life 2022, 12(12), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122130 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
The high recurrence rate has always been a problem associated with urolithiasis. This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of single interventions, combined therapies, and surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Herein, three lithotripsy procedures—extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), and ureteroscopic lithotripsy [...] Read more.
The high recurrence rate has always been a problem associated with urolithiasis. This study aimed to explore the effectiveness of single interventions, combined therapies, and surgical and nonsurgical interventions. Herein, three lithotripsy procedures—extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL), percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), and ureteroscopic lithotripsy (URSL)—were assessed and a retrospective cohort was selected in order to further analyze the association with several risk factors. Firstly, a population-based cohort from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) from 1997 to 2010 was selected. In this study, 350 lithotripsy patients who underwent re-treatment were followed up for at least six years to compare re-treatment rates, with 1400 patients without any lithotripsy treatment being used as the comparison cohort. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was applied. Our results indicate that the risk of repeat urolithiasis treatment was 1.71-fold higher in patients that received lithotripsy when compared to patients that were not treated with lithotripsy (hazard ratio (HR) 1.71; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.427–2.048; p < 0.001). Furthermore, a high percentage of repeated treatment was observed in the ESWL group (HR 1.60; 95% CI = 1.292–1.978; p < 0.001). Similarly, the PCNL group was also independently associated with a high chance of repeated treatment (HR 2.32; 95% CI = 1.616–3.329; p < 0.001). Furthermore, age, season, level of care, and Charlson comorbidities index (CCI) should always be taken into consideration as effect factors that are highly correlated with repeated treatment rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3904 KiB  
Article
Effect of Photodynamic Therapy with Chlorin e6 on Canine Tumors
by Rajeev Shrestha, Hyun Ji Lee, Junmo Lim, Pallavi Gurung, Til Bahadur Thapa Magar, Young-Tak Kim, Kija Lee, Seulgi Bae and Yong-Wan Kim
Life 2022, 12(12), 2102; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122102 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
This work aims to prepare pure Chlorin e6 (Ce6) and establish Ce6-mediated photodynamic therapy (Ce6-PDT) as a better therapy option for canine tumors as well as mouse tumor models. Five dogs suffering from various cancers were treated with Ce6-PDT from one to several [...] Read more.
This work aims to prepare pure Chlorin e6 (Ce6) and establish Ce6-mediated photodynamic therapy (Ce6-PDT) as a better therapy option for canine tumors as well as mouse tumor models. Five dogs suffering from various cancers were treated with Ce6-PDT from one to several times. After receiving the Ce6 (2.5 mg/kg) for 3 h, tumors were illuminated superficially or interstitially with 660 nm light. Two dogs underwent Ce6-guided fluorescence imaging by photodynamic diagnosis (PDD). Cell proliferation and apoptosis were detected by the 4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and western blot assay, respectively. Ce6-PDT efficacy was also determined using melanoma and pancreatic cancer mouse models. Two veterinary patients with mammary carcinoma and histiocytic sarcoma had their tumors significantly diminished and showed improved health after receiving Ce6-PDT. Moreover, in the cases of canine tumors, the adjunctive use of Ce6-PDD revealed cancers that were not visible with white light viewing and provided a visual contrast from surrounding tissues. Also, in vivo, Ce6-PDT remarkably reduced melanoma and pancreatic tumors in the mouse model. These findings could pave the way for a better understanding of the underlying processes of Ce6-PDT, making it an effective and safe candidate for use in human and veterinary applications to abolish various cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1237 KiB  
Article
Performance of Derived Laboratory Biomarkers with Regard to 30-Day Mortality in Kidney Transplant Recipients with COVID-19
by Josipa Domjanović, Tea Domjanović Škopinić, Josipa Radić, Mirko Luketin, Ivo Jeličić and Andrija Matetic
Life 2022, 12(12), 2068; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122068 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
There are limited data on the performance of laboratory-derived biomarkers in kidney transplant recipients (KTR) with COVID-19. This observational study enrolled 65 KTR with COVID-19 who were treated at the University Hospital of Split up to March 2022. Laboratory-derived biomarkers (neutrophile-to-lymphocyte (NLR) ratio, [...] Read more.
There are limited data on the performance of laboratory-derived biomarkers in kidney transplant recipients (KTR) with COVID-19. This observational study enrolled 65 KTR with COVID-19 who were treated at the University Hospital of Split up to March 2022. Laboratory-derived biomarkers (neutrophile-to-lymphocyte (NLR) ratio, platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio, monocyte-to-lymphocyte ratio, De Ritis ratio, C-reactive protein (CRP)-to-albumin ratio, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-to-hemoglobin ratio, CRP-to-lymphocyte ratio, red cell distribution width-to-albumin ratio, platelet-to-albumin ratio, D-Dimer-to-albumin ratio, D-Dimer-to-NLR ratio, LDH-to-albumin ratio, and LDH-to-white blood cell (WBC) ratio) were calculated, and their performance with regard to 30-day mortality was determined. Mortality events occurred in 12 patients (18.5%), which was significantly associated with increased De Ritis (HR 3.83, 95% CI 1.57–9.35, p = 0.003), CRP-to-albumin (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.13–1.64, p = 0.001), LDH-to-hemoglobin (HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.07–1.92, p = 0.015), CRP-to-lymphocyte (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01–1.07, p = 0.003), D-dimer-to-albumin (HR 4.94, 95% CI 1.38–7.24, p = 0.038), LDH-to-albumin (HR 1.20, 95% CI 1.05–1.36, p = 0.008), and LDH-to-WBC (HR 1.03 95% CI 1.01–1.05, p = 0.024) ratios. Out of these, the best area-under-the-curve (AUC) values were achieved with De Ritis (AUC 0.691), CRP-to-albumin (AUC 0.764), LDH-to-hemoglobin (AUC 0.877), CRP-to-lymphocyte (AUC 0.739), and LDH-to-albumin (AUC 0.827) ratios, while the best discrimination displayed LDH-to-hemoglobin ratio (Harrell’s C 0.808 and Somers’ D 0.616). The overall calibration was satisfactory for all models. Derived laboratory biomarkers such as the de Ritis, CRP-to-albumin, LDH-to-hemoglobin, CRP-to-lymphocyte, and LDH-to-albumin ratios show significant association and discrimination with all-cause mortality in KTR with COVID-19, suggesting its potential risk stratification role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

7 pages, 556 KiB  
Communication
Nasal Microbiota and Neuroinflammation: Relationship between Nasal Flora and Multiple Sclerosis Onset/Progression
by Federico Maria Gioacchini, Salvatore Ferlito, Massimo Ralli, Alfonso Scarpa, Ignazio La Mantia, Massimo Re, Luigina Romani and Arianna Di Stadio
Life 2022, 12(12), 2043; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122043 - 7 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
The role of nasal microbiota in contributing to neuroinflammation is gradually emerging. Multiple sclerosis and chronic rhinosinusitis share important clinical and epidemiological similarities, and the hypothetical connection among these two pathological entities should be carefully investigated. This editorial is based on a review [...] Read more.
The role of nasal microbiota in contributing to neuroinflammation is gradually emerging. Multiple sclerosis and chronic rhinosinusitis share important clinical and epidemiological similarities, and the hypothetical connection among these two pathological entities should be carefully investigated. This editorial is based on a review of available literature on this topic. The main international databases were searched using the following keywords: neuroinflammation, nasal microbiota, multiple sclerosis, chronic rhino-sinusal disorders, chronic sinusitis. Four fully-consistent articles that investigated nasal microbiota alteration and/or chronic rhinosinusitis presence in subjects affected by multiple sclerosis were identified. Overall, these studies showed a significant connection between nasal microbiota dysbiosis and the presence of multiple sclerosis. New specific studies to analyze the nasal microbiota and its metabolism in patients affected by multiple sclerosis should be performed. In fact, a series of treatments able to change this flora could improve the rhino-sinusal state with consequent reduction of recurrent episodes of neuro-inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 386 KiB  
Article
Excessive Sedation as a Risk Factor for Delirium: A Comparison between Two Cohorts of ARDS Critically Ill Patients with and without COVID-19
by Frank Anthony Rasulo, Rafael Badenes, Yaroslava Longhitano, Fabrizio Racca, Christian Zanza, Mattia Marchesi, Simone Piva, Silvia Beretta, Gian Piero Nocivelli, Basil Matta, Daniel Cunningham, Sergio Cattaneo, Gabriele Savioli, Francesco Franceschi, Chiara Robba and Nicola Latronico
Life 2022, 12(12), 2031; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122031 - 5 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Excessive sedation is associated with poor outcome in critically ill acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. Whether this prognostic effect varies among ARDS patients with and without COVID-19 has yet to be determined. We compared the prognostic value of excessive sedation—in terms of [...] Read more.
Excessive sedation is associated with poor outcome in critically ill acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. Whether this prognostic effect varies among ARDS patients with and without COVID-19 has yet to be determined. We compared the prognostic value of excessive sedation—in terms of delirium, length of stay in intensive care unit (ICU-LOS) and ICU mortality—between COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 critically ill ARDS patients. This was a second analysis of prospectively collected data in four European academic centers pertaining to 101 adult critically ill ARDS patients with and without COVID-19 disease. Depth of sedation (DOS) and delirium were monitored through processed electroencephalogram (EEG) and the Confusion Assessment Method for ICU (CAM-ICU). Our main exposure was excessive sedation and how it relates to the presence of delirium, ICU-LOS and ICU mortality. The criterion for excessive sedation was met in 73 (72.3%) patients; of these, 15 (82.2%) and 58 (69.1%) were in non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 ARDS groups, respectively. The criteria of delirium were met in 44 patients (60.3%). Moreover, excessive sedation was present in 38 (86.4%) patients with delirium (p < 0.001). ICU death was ascertained in 41 out of 101 (41.0%) patients; of these, 37 (90.2%) had excessive sedation (p < 0.001). The distribution of ICU-LOS among excessive-sedated and non-sedated patients was 22 (16–27) vs. 14 (10.5–19.5) days (p < 0.001), respectively. In a multivariable framework, excessive sedation was independently associated with the development of delirium (p = 0.001), increased ICU mortality (p = 0.009) and longer ICU-LOS (p = 0.000), but only in COVID-19 ARDS patients. Independent of age and gender, excessive sedation might represent a risk factor for delirium in COVID-19 ARDS patients. Similarly, excessive sedation shows to be an independent predictor of ICU-LOS and ICU mortality. The use of continuous EEG-based depth of sedation (DOS) monitoring and delirium assessment in critically ill COVID-19 patients is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1426 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with the Uptake of Genetic Testing for Cancer Risks: A Pathway Analysis Using the Health Information National Trends Survey Data
by Xiangning Dong, Jingxian Huang, Yanze Yi, Lanwei Zhang, Tenglong Li and Ying Chen
Life 2022, 12(12), 2024; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12122024 - 4 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Our study aimed to identify pathways from the source of information to the uptake of cancer genetic testing, with consideration of intermediate variables including perceptional, attitudinal and psychosocial factors. We used the Health Information National Trends Survey (2020 database) and constructed a structural [...] Read more.
Our study aimed to identify pathways from the source of information to the uptake of cancer genetic testing, with consideration of intermediate variables including perceptional, attitudinal and psychosocial factors. We used the Health Information National Trends Survey (2020 database) and constructed a structural equation model for pathway analysis (using SPSS version 24). Variables for socio-demographic, lifestyle and health information were also collected and used for confounding adjustment. A total of 2941 participants were analyzed (68.5%, non-Hispanic white; 59.7%, females; 58 years, median age; and 142 (4.8%) had undertaken genetic testing for cancer risk previously). Our pathway analysis found that only information from particular sources (i.e., healthcare providers and genetic counsellors) had positive and significant effects on people’s perceptions of cancer regarding its prevention, detection and treatment (standardized β range, 0.15–0.31, all p-values < 0.01). Following the paths, these perceptional variables (cancer prevention, detection and treatment) showed considerable positive impacts on the uptake of genetic testing (standardized β (95% CIs): 0.25 (0.20, 0.30), 0.28 (0.23, 0.33) and 0.12 (0.06, 0.17), respectively). Pathways involving attitudinal and psychosocial factors showed much smaller or insignificant effects on the uptake of genetic testing. Our study brings several novel perspectives to the behavior model and may underpin certain issues regarding cancer risk genetic testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 739 KiB  
Article
Muscular Response in ALS Patients during Maximal Bilateral Isometric Work of the Biceps Brachii until Fatigue
by Jorge Alarcón-Jimenez, Jose Enrique de la Rubia Ortí, Julio Martín Ruiz, Nieves de Bernardo, Belén Proaño and Carlos Villarón-Casales
Life 2022, 12(12), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12121978 - 25 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative and fatal disease, characterized by the loss of motor neurons and progressive musculoskeletal deterioration. The clinical onset is mainly bulbar or spinal. Considering that there is no effective medical treatment, there is a need to understand [...] Read more.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative and fatal disease, characterized by the loss of motor neurons and progressive musculoskeletal deterioration. The clinical onset is mainly bulbar or spinal. Considering that there is no effective medical treatment, there is a need to understand the muscle activation patterns to design better physical exercise routines. The objective of this study was to determine muscle strength and fatigue in patients with ALS performing a unilateral exercise, and according to sex and type of ALS. A cross-sectional, analytical study was conducted with 23 patients. Five maximal unilateral isometric contractions were performed with the right and left biceps brachii. Muscle activation was calculated by surface electromyography bilaterally in the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, rectus femoris anterior, and tibialis anterior. The results showed more accentuated fatigue in men than in women, between the first and last contractions performed and especially on the dominant side (p = 0.016). In addition, there was evidence of a coactivation effect on the muscles around the work joint, which reflects a growing activation of synergists, regardless of sex or type of ALS. These findings support the use of systematic and extensive resistance exercise as a non-invasive option for maintaining the functional capacity of patients with ALS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 2225 KiB  
Article
Feasibility of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy Monitoring in Oily, Acne-Prone Facial Skin Treated with a Topical Combination of Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, Anti-Inflammatory Molecules, and Herculane Thermal Water: A Blinded, One-Month Study
by Mihai Lupu, Ana Maria Malciu and Vlad Mihai Voiculescu
Life 2022, 12(12), 1973; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12121973 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
Oily, acne-prone skin is a common skin type which may be monitored in vivo using reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM). The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of RCM in evaluating the effectiveness of a topical combination of alpha- and beta-hydroxy [...] Read more.
Oily, acne-prone skin is a common skin type which may be monitored in vivo using reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM). The aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of RCM in evaluating the effectiveness of a topical combination of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial molecules, and Herculane thermal water on acne-prone skin. Thirty-five subjects with oily, acne-prone skin were prescribed topical combination products and were evaluated by clinical, Wood’s lamp, and RCM imaging at baseline and after 28 days. At 28 days, the RCM-evaluated number of dilated infundibula, infundibula filled with keratotic material, and infundibula with thickened bright borders, as well as the density of the inflammatory infiltrate, were significantly decreased. Wood’s light images at 28 days showed a significantly reduced number of C. acnes-colonized infundibula, and both the median area and the intensity of the red-orange fluorescence were decreased. The reduction in the clinical score was concurrent with the improvement in the RCM parameters, suggesting that this non-invasive imaging technique is appropriate for efficiency evaluations of topical acne treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 619 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Cardiac Comorbidity Sequence at Baseline and Mortality Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Retrospective Population-Based Cohort Study
by Sharen Lee, Helen Huang, Teddy Tai Loy Lee, Cheuk To Chung, Oscar Hou In Chou, Keith Sai Kit Leung, Abraham Ka Chung Wai, Wing Tak Wong, Tong Liu, Carlin Chang and Gary Tse
Life 2022, 12(12), 1956; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12121956 - 22 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1230
Abstract
Introduction: The presence of multiple comorbidities increases the risk of all-cause mortality, but the effects of the comorbidity sequence before the baseline date on mortality remain unexplored. This study investigated the relationship between coronary heart disease (CHD), atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure [...] Read more.
Introduction: The presence of multiple comorbidities increases the risk of all-cause mortality, but the effects of the comorbidity sequence before the baseline date on mortality remain unexplored. This study investigated the relationship between coronary heart disease (CHD), atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF) through their sequence of development and the effect on all-cause mortality risk in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Methods: This study included patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus prescribed antidiabetic/cardiovascular medications in public hospitals of Hong Kong between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2009, with follow-up until death or 31 December 2019. The Cox regression was used to identify comorbidity sequences predicting all-cause mortality in patients with different medication subgroups. Results: A total of 249,291 patients (age: 66.0 ± 12.4 years, 47.4% male) were included. At baseline, 7564, 10,900 and 25,589 patients had AF, HF and CHD, respectively. Over follow-up (3524 ± 1218 days), 85,870 patients died (mortality rate: 35.7 per 1000 person-years). Sulphonylurea users with CHD developing later and insulin users with CHD developing earlier in the disease course had lower mortality risks. Amongst insulin users with two of the three comorbidities, those with CHD with preceding AF (hazard ratio (HR): 3.06, 95% CI: [2.60–3.61], p < 0.001) or HF (HR: 3.84 [3.47–4.24], p < 0.001) had a higher mortality. In users of lipid-lowering agents with all three comorbidities, those with preceding AF had a higher risk of mortality (AF-CHD-HF: HR: 3.22, [2.24–4.61], p < 0.001; AF-HF-CHD: HR: 3.71, [2.66–5.16], p < 0.001). Conclusions: The sequence of comorbidity development affects the risk of all-cause mortality to varying degrees in diabetic patients on different antidiabetic/cardiovascular medications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

12 pages, 1676 KiB  
Article
Computer-Aided Diagnosis of Pulmonary Nodules in Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Anca Emanuela Mușetescu, Florin Liviu Gherghina, Lucian-Mihai Florescu, Liliana Streba, Paulina Lucia Ciurea, Alesandra Florescu and Ioana Andreea Gheonea
Life 2022, 12(11), 1935; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111935 - 20 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2149
Abstract
(1) Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered a systemic inflammatory pathology characterized by symmetric polyarthritis associated with extra-articular manifestations, such as lung disease. The purpose of the present study is to use CAD in the detection of rheumatoid pulmonary nodules. In addition, we [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered a systemic inflammatory pathology characterized by symmetric polyarthritis associated with extra-articular manifestations, such as lung disease. The purpose of the present study is to use CAD in the detection of rheumatoid pulmonary nodules. In addition, we aim to identify the characteristics and associations between clinical, laboratory and imaging data in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lung nodules. (2) Methods: The study included a number of 42 patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis according to the 2010 American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria, examined from January 2017 to November 2022 in the Departments of Rheumatology and Radiology and Medical Imaging of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Craiova. Medical records were reviewed. A retrospective blinded review of CT for biopsy-proven pulmonary nodules in RA using Veolity LungCAD software was performed (MeVis Medical Solutions AG, Bremen, Germany). Imaging was also reviewed by a senior radiologist. (3) Results: The interobserver agreement proved to be moderate (κ = 0.478) for the overall examined cases. CAD interpretation resulted in false positive results in the case of 12 lung nodules, whereas false negative results were reported in the case of 8 lung nodules. The mean time it took for the detection of lung nodules using CAD was 4.2 min per patient, whereas the detection of lung nodules by the radiologist was 8.1 min per patient. This resulted in a faster interpretation of lung CT scans, almost reducing the detection time by half (p < 0.001). (4) Conclusions: The CAD software is useful in identifying lung nodules, in shortening the interpretation time of the CT examination and also in aiding the radiologist in better assessing all the pulmonary lung nodules. However, the CAD software cannot replace the human eye yet due to the relative high rate of false positive and false negative results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 605 KiB  
Article
Refractive Changes after Glaucoma Surgery—A Comparison between Trabeculectomy and XEN Microstent Implantation
by Caroline Bormann, Catharina Busch, Matus Rehak, Manuela Schmidt, Christian Scharenberg, Focke Ziemssen and Jan Darius Unterlauft
Life 2022, 12(11), 1889; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111889 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
Best-corrected visual acuity often decreases temporarily or permanently after trabeculectomy (TE). The purpose of this study was to compare visual acuity and refractive changes after TE or XEN microstent implantation (XEN) in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) or pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEX) cases naïve to [...] Read more.
Best-corrected visual acuity often decreases temporarily or permanently after trabeculectomy (TE). The purpose of this study was to compare visual acuity and refractive changes after TE or XEN microstent implantation (XEN) in primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) or pseudoexfoliation glaucoma (PEX) cases naïve to prior glaucoma surgery over a 24-month follow-up period. We analyzed 149 consecutive glaucoma patients who received either TE or XEN because of medically uncontrollable POAG or PEX. Intraocular pressure (IOP), IOP-lowering medication use, subjective and objective refraction and best-corrected visual acuity were evaluated. In addition, surgically induced astigmatism (SIA) was calculated and compared using the vector analysis method described by Jaffe and Clayman. A total of 93 eyes (85 POAG; 8 PEX) were treated with TE and 56 eyes (50 POAG; 6 PEX) with XEN. After 24 months, the mean IOP and number of IOP-lowering medications used decreased significantly after TE (p < 0.01) and XEN (p < 0.01). In the TE group, mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) changed from 0.16 ± 0.26 to 0.23 ± 0.28 logMAR (p < 0.01) after 24 months, while mean BCVA did not change significantly in the XEN group (preoperative: 0.40 ± 0.50 logMAR, postoperative: 0.36 ± 0.49 logMAR; p = 0.28). SIA was almost the same in both groups at the end of the 24-month follow-up period (0.75 ± 0.60 diopters after TE and 0.81 ± 0.56 diopters after XEN; p = 0.57). In addition, there was no significant correlation between SIA and the observed BCVA changes or SIA and IOP reduction 12 or 24 months after TE or XEN. Our results demonstrate that TE and XEN are effective methods for reducing IOP and IOP-lowering medication use. The SIA was nearly similar in both groups. The SIA does not seem responsible for the decreased visual acuity after TE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 3627 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Evaluation of Zinc Oxide Tetrapods as a New Material Component for Glaucoma Implants
by Svenja Rebecca Sonntag, Stefanie Gniesmer, Anna Gapeeva, Klaus Jakob Offermann, Rainer Adelung, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Ala Cojocaru, Sören Kaps, Swaantje Grisanti, Salvatore Grisanti and Aysegül Tura
Life 2022, 12(11), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111805 - 7 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
In our previous study we were able to show that zinc oxide (ZnO) tetrapods inhibit wound healing processes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the antiproliferative effect of two types of porous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/ tetrapodal zinc oxide (ZnO-T) materials, as [...] Read more.
In our previous study we were able to show that zinc oxide (ZnO) tetrapods inhibit wound healing processes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the antiproliferative effect of two types of porous polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/ tetrapodal zinc oxide (ZnO-T) materials, as well as their usability for glaucoma implants. To find the best implant material, two different porous PDMS/ZnO-T materials were examined. One consisted of 3D interconnected PDMS coarse-pored foams with protruding ZnO-T particles; the other consisted of fine-pored 3D interconnected ZnO-T networks homogeneously coated by a thin PDMS film in the nanometer range. Fibroblast cell viability was investigated for both materials via MTT dye, and some implant material samples were further processed for electron microscopy. Both PDMS/ZnO-T materials showed reduced cell viability in the MTT staining. Furthermore, the electron microscopy revealed barely any fibroblasts growing on the implant materials. At the surface of the fine-pored implant material, however, fibroblasts could not be observed in the etched control samples without ZnO-T. It was found that post-processing of the material to the final stent diameter was highly challenging and that the fabrication method, therefore, had to be adapted. In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate the antiproliferative potential of the two different PDMS/ZnO-T materials. Furthermore, smaller pore size (in the range of tens of micrometers) in the implant material seems to be preferable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 14224 KiB  
Article
Zinc Oxide Tetrapods Modulate Wound Healing and Cytokine Release In Vitro—A New Antiproliferative Substance in Glaucoma Filtering Surgery
by Svenja Rebecca Sonntag, Stefanie Gniesmer, Anna Gapeeva, Rainer Adelung, Ala Cojocaru, Yogendra Kumar Mishra, Sören Kaps, Aysegül Tura, Swaantje Grisanti, Salvatore Grisanti and Khaled Nassar
Life 2022, 12(11), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111691 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2004
Abstract
Glaucoma filtering surgery is applied to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in cases of uncontrolled glaucoma. However, postoperative fibrosis reduces the long-term success of both standard trabeculectomy and microstents. The aim of this study was to test the antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potential of ZnO-tetrapods [...] Read more.
Glaucoma filtering surgery is applied to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in cases of uncontrolled glaucoma. However, postoperative fibrosis reduces the long-term success of both standard trabeculectomy and microstents. The aim of this study was to test the antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potential of ZnO-tetrapods (ZnO-T) on human Tenon’s fibroblasts (HTFs) for glaucoma surgery. The toxicity of ZnO-T on HTFs was determined using an MTT test. For analysis of fibroblast proliferation, migration, and transdifferentiation, cultures were stained for Ki67, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), and p-SMAD. A fully quantitative multiplex ELISA was used to determine the concentrations of different cytokines, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in culture supernatants with and without previous ZnO-T treatment. Treatment with higher concentrations (10 and 20 µg/mL) was associated with HTF toxicity, as shown in the wound healing assay. Furthermore, the number of Ki67, α-SMA-positive, and pSMAD-positive cells, as well as IL-6 and HGF in supernatants, were significantly reduced following incubation with ZnO-T. In conclusion, we were able to show the antiproliferative and anti-inflammatory potentials of ZnO-T. Therefore, the use of ZnO-T may provide a new approach to reducing postoperative fibrosis in glaucoma filtering surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

13 pages, 553 KiB  
Review
Contributing Role of High Mobility Group Box 1 Signaling in Oral Cancer Development and Therapy
by Grigorios Plemmenos, Valentini Tzimogianni, Christina Fili and Christina Piperi
Life 2023, 13(7), 1577; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13071577 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most frequent type of oral cancer of multifactorial origin, characterized by histological and clinical manifestations. To date, there are no specific biomarkers or treatment modalities available to efficiently manage this neoplasia, demanding further research on the [...] Read more.
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most frequent type of oral cancer of multifactorial origin, characterized by histological and clinical manifestations. To date, there are no specific biomarkers or treatment modalities available to efficiently manage this neoplasia, demanding further research on the molecular background of OSCC pathology. Elucidation of signal transduction pathways and associated molecules with differential expression and function in OSCC are expected to enhance the future development of molecular targeted therapies. Among signaling proteins with a potential functional role in OSCC, the High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) protein has stimulated scientific interest due to frequent upregulation, and implication in the progression of many types of head and neck cancer types. HMGB1 is a nuclear nonhistone protein and an extracellularly secreted cytokine that can interact with several signaling molecules implicated in the pathogenic pathways of OSCC. Binding of HMGB1 to specific receptors on OSCC cells such as the receptor of AGE (RAGE) and the toll-like receptor (TLR) has been shown to initiate several intercellular signaling cascades that can promote OSCC growth, invasion, and metastasis, indicating a potential target for patient prognosis and therapeutic approaches. The purpose of this review is to explore the functional role and associated signaling of HMGB1 in OSCC in order to reveal potential therapeutic targeting options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

24 pages, 1431 KiB  
Review
Immune Cell Functionality during Decidualization and Potential Clinical Application
by Matthias B. Stope, Alexander Mustea, Nicole Sänger and Rebekka Einenkel
Life 2023, 13(5), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051097 - 27 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2425
Abstract
Due to a vast influx in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle, leukocytes represent 40–50% of the decidua at the time of implantation. Their importance for the implantation, maintenance of pregnancy, and parturition are known yet not fully understood. Thus, in idiopathic [...] Read more.
Due to a vast influx in the secretory phase of the menstrual cycle, leukocytes represent 40–50% of the decidua at the time of implantation. Their importance for the implantation, maintenance of pregnancy, and parturition are known yet not fully understood. Thus, in idiopathic infertility, decidual immune-related factors are speculated to be the cause. In this review, the immune cell functions in the decidua were summarized, and clinical diagnostics, as well as interventions, were discussed. There is a rising number of commercially available diagnostic tools. However, the intervention options are still limited and/or poorly studied. In order for us to make big steps towards the proper use of reproductive immunology findings, we need to understand the mechanisms and especially support translational research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 3579 KiB  
Review
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis: Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Variants and Their Implication in Surgery and Neck Pathologies, Using the Anatomical Quality Assurance (AQUA) Checklist
by Juan José Valenzuela-Fuenzalida, Vicente Baeza-Garrido, María Fernanda Navia-Ramírez, Carolina Cariseo-Ávila, Alejandro Bruna-Mejías, Álvaro Becerra-Farfan, Esteban Lopez, Mathias Orellana Donoso and Walter Loyola-Sepulveda
Life 2023, 13(5), 1077; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051077 - 24 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2691
Abstract
Introduction: The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is the structure responsible for sensory and motor innervation of the larynx, and it has been shown that its lesion due to a lack of surgical rigor led to alterations such as respiratory obstruction due to vocal [...] Read more.
Introduction: The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) is the structure responsible for sensory and motor innervation of the larynx, and it has been shown that its lesion due to a lack of surgical rigor led to alterations such as respiratory obstruction due to vocal cords paralysis and permanent phonation impairment. The objectives of this review were to know the variants of the RLN and its clinical relevance in the neck region. Methods: This review considered specific scientific articles that were written in Spanish or English and published between 1960 and 2022. A systematic search was carried out in the electronic databases MEDLINE, WOS, CINAHL, SCOPUS, SCIELO, and Latin American and Caribbean Center for Information on Health Sciences to compile the available literature on the subject to be treated and was enrolled in PROSPERO. The included articles were studies that had a sample of RLN dissections or imaging, intervention group to look for RLN variants, or the comparison of the non-recurrent laryngeal nerve (NRLN) variants, and finally, its clinical correlations. Review articles and letters to the editor were excluded. All included articles were evaluated through quality assessment and risk of bias analysis using the methodological quality assurance tool for anatomical studies (AQUA). The extracted data in the meta-analysis were interpreted to calculate the prevalence of the RLN variants and their comparison and the relationship between the RLN and NRLN. The heterogeneity degree between included studies was assessed. Results: The included studies that showed variants of the RLN included in this review were 41, a total of 29,218. For the statistical analysis of the prevalence of the RLN variant, a forest plot was performed with 15 studies that met the condition of having a prevalence of less than 100%. As a result, the prevalence was shown to be 12% (95% CI, SD 0.11 to 0.14). Limitations that were present in this review were the publication bias of the included studies, the probability of not having carried out the most sensitive and specific search, and finally, the authors’ personal inclinations in selecting the articles. Discussion: This meta-analysis can be considered based on an update of the prevalence of RLN variants, in addition to considering that the results show some clinical correlations such as intra-surgical complications and with some pathologies and aspects function of the vocal cords, which could be a guideline in management prior to surgery or of interest for the diagnostic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1116 KiB  
Review
Application of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Neuropathic Pain: A Narrative Review
by Yuan-Yuan Tsai, Wei-Ting Wu, Der-Sheng Han, Kamal Mezian, Vincenzo Ricci, Levent Özçakar, Po-Cheng Hsu and Ke-Vin Chang
Life 2023, 13(2), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020258 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2233
Abstract
Neuropathic pain, affecting 6.9–10% of the general population, has a negative impact on patients’ quality of life and potentially leads to functional impairment and disability. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)—a safe, indirect and non-invasive technique—has been increasingly applied for treating neuropathic pain. The [...] Read more.
Neuropathic pain, affecting 6.9–10% of the general population, has a negative impact on patients’ quality of life and potentially leads to functional impairment and disability. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)—a safe, indirect and non-invasive technique—has been increasingly applied for treating neuropathic pain. The mechanism underlying rTMS is not yet well understood, and the analgesic effects of rTMS have been inconsistent with respect to different settings/parameters, causing insufficient evidence to determine its efficacy in patients with neuropathic pain. This narrative review aimed to provide an up-to-date overview of rTMS for treating neuropathic pain as well as to summarize the treatment protocols and related adverse effects from existing clinical trials. Current evidence supports the use of 10 Hz HF-rTMS of the primary motor cortex to reduce neuropathic pain, especially in patients with spinal cord injury, diabetic neuropathy and post-herpetic neuralgia. However, the lack of standardized protocols impedes the universal use of rTMS for neuropathic pain. rTMS was hypothesized to achieve analgesic effects by upregulating the pain threshold, inhibiting pain impulse, modulating the brain cortex, altering imbalanced functional connectivity, regulating neurotrophin and increasing endogenous opioid and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Further studies are warranted to explore the differences in the parameters/settings of rTMS for treating neuropathic pain due to different disease types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1238 KiB  
Review
Altered Serum Uric Acid Levels in Kidney Disorders
by Gheun-Ho Kim and Jae-Bum Jun
Life 2022, 12(11), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111891 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 5738
Abstract
Serum uric acid levels are altered by kidney disorders because the kidneys play a dominant role in uric acid excretion. Here, major kidney disorders which accompany hyperuricemia or hypouricemia, including their pathophysiology, are discussed. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hyperuricemia are frequently associated, [...] Read more.
Serum uric acid levels are altered by kidney disorders because the kidneys play a dominant role in uric acid excretion. Here, major kidney disorders which accompany hyperuricemia or hypouricemia, including their pathophysiology, are discussed. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hyperuricemia are frequently associated, but recent clinical trials have not supported the pathogenic roles of hyperuricemia in CKD incidence and progression. Diabetes mellitus (DM) is often associated with hyperuricemia, and hyperuricemia may be associated with an increased risk of diabetic kidney disease in patients with type 2 DM. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors have a uricosuric effect and can relieve hyperuricemia in DM. Autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial kidney disease (ADTKD) is an important hereditary kidney disease, mainly caused by mutations of uromodulin (UMOD) or mucin-1 (MUC-1). Hyperuricemia and gout are the major clinical manifestations of ADTKD-UMOD and ADTKD-MUC1. Renal hypouricemia is caused by URAT1 or GLUT9 loss-of-function mutations and renders patients susceptible to exercise-induced acute kidney injury, probably because of excessive urinary uric acid excretion. Hypouricemia derived from renal uric acid wasting is a component of Fanconi syndrome, which can be hereditary or acquired. During treatment for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B or cytomegalovirus, tenofovir, adefovir, and cidofovir may cause drug-induced renal Fanconi syndrome. In coronavirus disease 2019, hypouricemia due to proximal tubular injury is related to disease severity, including respiratory failure. Finally, serum uric acid and the fractional excretion of uric acid are indicative of plasma volume status; hyperuricemia caused by the enhanced uric acid reabsorption can be induced by volume depletion, and hypouricemia caused by an increased fractional excretion of uric acid is the characteristic finding in syndromes of inappropriate anti-diuresis, cerebral/renal salt wasting, and thiazide-induced hyponatremia. Molecular mechanisms by which uric acid transport is dysregulated in volume or water balance disorders need to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 781 KiB  
Review
Trauma and Remembering: From Neuronal Circuits to Molecules
by Szabolcs Kéri
Life 2022, 12(11), 1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111707 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2723
Abstract
Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience intrusions of vivid traumatic memories, heightened arousal, and display avoidance behavior. Disorders in identity, emotion regulation, and interpersonal relationships are also common. The cornerstone of PTSD is altered learning, memory, and remembering, regulated by a complex [...] Read more.
Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience intrusions of vivid traumatic memories, heightened arousal, and display avoidance behavior. Disorders in identity, emotion regulation, and interpersonal relationships are also common. The cornerstone of PTSD is altered learning, memory, and remembering, regulated by a complex neuronal and molecular network. We propose that the essential feature of successful treatment is the modification of engrams in their unstable state during retrieval. During psychedelic psychotherapy, engrams may show a pronounced instability, which enhances modification. In this narrative review, we outline the clinical characteristics of PTSD, its multifaceted neuroanatomy, and the molecular pathways that regulate memory destabilization and reconsolidation. We propose that psychedelics, acting by serotonin-glutamate interactions, destabilize trauma-related engrams and open the door to change them during psychotherapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

25 pages, 4250 KiB  
Systematic Review
Regional Citrate Anticoagulation in Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy: Is Metabolic Fear the Enemy of Logic? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials
by Rita Jacobs, Walter Verbrugghe, Karolien Dams, Ella Roelant, Marie Madeleine Couttenye, Dirk Devroey and Philippe Jorens
Life 2023, 13(5), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13051198 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2514
Abstract
Background: Anticoagulation is recommended to maintain the patency of the circuit in continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). However, anticoagulation-associated complications can occur. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of citrate anticoagulation to heparin anticoagulation in critically [...] Read more.
Background: Anticoagulation is recommended to maintain the patency of the circuit in continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). However, anticoagulation-associated complications can occur. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of citrate anticoagulation to heparin anticoagulation in critically ill patients treated with CRRT. Methods: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating the safety and efficacy of citrate anticoagulation and heparin in CRRT were included. Articles not describing the incidence of metabolic and/or electrolyte disturbances induced by the anticoagulation strategy were excluded. The PubMed, Embase, and MEDLINE electronic databases were searched. The last search was performed on 18 February 2022. Results: Twelve articles comprising 1592 patients met the inclusion criteria. There was no significant difference between the groups in the development of metabolic alkalosis (RR = 1.46; (95% CI (0.52–4.11); p = 0.470)) or metabolic acidosis (RR = 1.71, (95% CI (0.99–2.93); p = 0.054)). Patients in the citrate group developed hypocalcaemia more frequently (RR = 3.81; 95% CI (1.67–8.66); p = 0.001). Bleeding complications in patients randomised to the citrate group were significantly lower than those in the heparin group (RR 0.32 (95% CI (0.22–0.47); p < 0.0001)). Citrate showed a significantly longer filter lifespan of 14.52 h (95% CI (7.22–21.83); p < 0.0001), compared to heparin. There was no significant difference between the groups for 28-day mortality (RR = 1.08 (95% CI (0.89–1.31); p = 0.424) or 90-day mortality (RR 0.9 (95% CI (0.8–1.02); p = 0.110). Conclusion: regional citrate anticoagulation is a safe anticoagulant for critically ill patients who require CRRT, as no significant differences were found in metabolic complications between the groups. Additionally, citrate has a lower risk of bleeding and circuit loss than heparin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 1361 KiB  
Systematic Review
Masticatory Function in Individuals with Temporomandibular Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Vanessa Marcelino, Solène De Rovere, Maria Paço, Maria Gonçalves, Sandra Marcelino, António Sérgio Guimarães and Teresa Pinho
Life 2023, 13(2), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/life13020472 - 8 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2310
Abstract
The literature search was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) protocol in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, LILACS, EBSCO, Scielo, between 2012 and 2022. The methodological quality was assessed by using the Newcastle–Ottawa Study Quality Assessment Scale. [...] Read more.
The literature search was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) protocol in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, LILACS, EBSCO, Scielo, between 2012 and 2022. The methodological quality was assessed by using the Newcastle–Ottawa Study Quality Assessment Scale. Mean differences and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and combined in meta-analyses. A total of 1202 participants were included in this systematic review (690 with TMD; 512 without TMD), with 22 articles being included in the qualitative analysis. Only three studies enabled the comparative analysis of the results. Ten articles showed a high methodological quality and a low risk of bias, and twelve had a low methodological quality and an increased risk of bias. The meta-analysis showed that the differences between the intervention and control groups were not statistically significant for the percentage overlapping coefficient of the anterior temporal muscle, for the masseter, and for the torque coefficient. The parameters analyzed with the compound technique for chewing showed altered mandibular functions in individuals with TMD. With the EMG method, it was possible to suggest that TMD in adult individuals causes compensatory muscle behaviors, and several changes in the masticatory function were found. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1268 KiB  
Systematic Review
Efficacy of Topical Administration of Corticosteroids for the Management of Dry Eye Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Julia Prinz, Nicola Maffulli, Matthias Fuest, Peter Walter, Andreas Bell and Filippo Migliorini
Life 2022, 12(11), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12111932 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
The efficacy of corticosteroids (CS) for dry eye disease (DED) has been investigated in the clinical setting. The present study investigated whether topical CS application improves the clinical outcome at last follow-up compared to the baseline. The present study was conducted according to [...] Read more.
The efficacy of corticosteroids (CS) for dry eye disease (DED) has been investigated in the clinical setting. The present study investigated whether topical CS application improves the clinical outcome at last follow-up compared to the baseline. The present study was conducted according to the PRISMA 2020. All the randomized clinical trials (RCTs), which investigated the efficacy of corticosteroids in the management of DED, were accessed. In September 2022, the following databases were accessed: Pubmed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Embase. The following data were extracted at baseline and at last follow-up: Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), tear breakup time test (TBUT), Schirmer I test (SIT), and corneal staining. Data from 425 patients were retrieved. A total of 69.4% (295 of 425 patients) were women. CS were effective to improve SIT (p = 0.02) and corneal staining (p = 0.003) at the last follow-up of 10.0 ± 15.3 weeks. TBUT was greater in the CS than in the control group at the last follow-up (p = 0.002). Concluding, topical CS administration led to an increase of SIT and a reduction of corneal staining at a mean of 10 weeks follow-up in patients with DED. Compared to a control group, topical CS administration evidenced greater values of TBUT. Altogether, a good safety profile was witnessed in DED patients receiving CS. However, different safety profiles of different CS formulations were not investigated due to a lack of quantitative data. The exact dosing frequency, duration of therapy, and favorable potency of the CS are still under investigation. Future randomized, controlled trials with larger sample sizes are warranted to provide higher-quality evidence to establish the role of CS in DED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop