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Medicina, Volume 59, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 219 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Helicobacter pylori infection, mainly by inducing hyperhomocysteinemia, appears to play an important role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and/or glaucoma, termed as “ocular Alzheimer’s disease”. Therefore, by controlling the impact of Helicobacter pylori-related hyperhomocysteinemia on neurodegenerative disorders might offer benefits; thus, further research is warranted to elucidate this crucial topic. View this paper
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10 pages, 1060 KiB  
Article
Role of Nutrition in the Etiopathogenesis and Prevention of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in a Group of Obese Adults
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030638 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1693
Abstract
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is liver damage characterized by an accumulation of triglycerides in hepatocytes of >5% (due to an alteration of the balance of the lipid metabolism in favour of lipogenesis compared to lipolysis) that is not induced by the consumption [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is liver damage characterized by an accumulation of triglycerides in hepatocytes of >5% (due to an alteration of the balance of the lipid metabolism in favour of lipogenesis compared to lipolysis) that is not induced by the consumption of alcohol. The pathology includes simple steatosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH (steatosis associated with microinflammatory activities), which can evolve in 15% of subjects with hepatic fibrosis to cirrhosis and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of this study is to report the role of macro- and micronutrients in the pathogenesis and prevention of NAFLD in obese subjects. A total of 22 obese or overweight patients with hepatic steatosis were monitored periodically, evaluating their eating habits, fasting glycaemia, lipid picture, liver enzymes, anthropometric parameters, nutrition status, liver ultrasound, oxidative stress, and adherence to the Mediterranean diet. A statistical analysis shows a significant positive relationship between total cholesterol and the Mediterranean adequacy index (MAI) (r = −0.57; p = 0.005) and a significant negative relationship between ALT transaminases and the MAI (r = −0.56; p = 0.007). Nutrition and diet are important factors in the pathogenesis and prevention of NAFLD. The dietary model, based on the canons of the Mediterranean diet, prevents and reduces the accumulation of fat in hepatocytes. Therefore, in agreement with other studies in the literature, we can state that a dietary model characterized by foods rich in fibre, carotenoids, polyphenols, ω3 fatty acids, folic acid, and numerous other molecules is inversely correlated with the serum levels of ALT transaminases, an enzyme whose level increases when the liver is damaged and before the most obvious symptoms of organ damage appear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
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14 pages, 2285 KiB  
Article
Importance of Retesting for the Final Diagnosis of Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030637 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) has been defined as all problems in cognitive function that occur following a stroke. Studies published thus far on the prevalence of PSCI and post-stroke dementia (PSD) have shown conflicting estimates. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Post-stroke cognitive impairment (PSCI) has been defined as all problems in cognitive function that occur following a stroke. Studies published thus far on the prevalence of PSCI and post-stroke dementia (PSD) have shown conflicting estimates. The aim of this study was screening for cognitive impairment (CogI) in patients with an ischaemic stroke and finding the relationship between CogI (and its changes) and cardiovascular risk factors and imaging procedures—CT/MRI. Materials and Methods: We prospectively included patients with an ischaemic stroke admitted in the period from October 2019 to May 2022. In this period, 1328 patients were admitted, 305 of whom met the established inclusion criteria and underwent an examination of cognitive functions using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Of these, 50 patients appeared for the control examination after 6 months. Results: In the retested group, CogI at discharge was diagnosed in 37 patients (74%). In follow-up testing after 6 months, CogI was present in 30 patients (60%). Only arterial hypertension (OR: 15; 95% CI; Pearson r: 0.001), lower education level (less than 13 years) (OR: 9.7; 95% CI 2.0–48.5; Pearson r: 0.002), and higher age were significantly associated with CogI after stroke. Conclusions: We established the prevalence of CogI and its course after 6 months in a well-defined group of patients after a mild ischaemic stroke (mean NIHSS: 2 and mean mRS: 1 at the discharge). Our results show that the prevalence of CogI after an ischaemic stroke at discharge is relatively high (74%), and it tends to be a spontaneous reduction. Cognitive functions were changed in 35% of patients. The definition of PSCI was completed in only 24% of individuals. Only an examination several months after a stroke can give us more accurate information about the true prevalence of persistent CogI after a stroke. Full article
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18 pages, 1609 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review on Bariatric Endoscopy: Where We Are Now and Where We Are Going
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030636 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3498
Abstract
Background: Obesity is a chronic disease that impairs quality of life and leads to several comorbidities. When conservative therapies fail, bariatric surgical options such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) are the most effective therapies to induce persistent weight loss. [...] Read more.
Background: Obesity is a chronic disease that impairs quality of life and leads to several comorbidities. When conservative therapies fail, bariatric surgical options such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG) are the most effective therapies to induce persistent weight loss. Over the last two decades, bariatric endoscopy has become a valid alternative to surgery in specific settings. Primary bariatric endoscopic therapies: Restrictive gastric procedures, such as intragastric balloons (IGBs) and endoscopic gastroplasty, have been shown to be effective in inducing weight loss compared to diet modifications alone. Endoscopic gastroplasty is usually superior to IGBs in maintaining weight loss in the long-term period, whereas IGBs have an established role as a bridge-to-surgery approach in severely obese patients. IGBs in a minority of patients could be poorly tolerated and require early removal. More recently, novel endoscopic systems have been developed with the combined purpose of inducing weight loss and improving metabolic conditions. Duodenal mucosal resurfacing demonstrated efficacy in this field in its early trials: significant reduction from baseline of HbA1c values and a modest reduction of body weight were observed. Other endoscopic malabsorptive have been developed but need more evidence. For example, a pivotal trial on duodenojejunal bypasses was stopped due to the high rate of severe adverse events (hepatic abscesses). Optimization of these more recent malabsorptive endoscopic procedures could expand the plethora of bariatric patients that could be treated with the intention of improving their metabolic conditions. Revisional bariatric therapies: Weight regain may occur in up to one third of patients after bariatric surgery. Different endoscopic procedures are currently performed after both RYGB and SG in order to modulate post-surgical anatomy. The application of argon plasma coagulation associated with endoscopic full-thickness suturing systems (APC-TORe) and Re-EndoSleeve have shown to be the most effective endoscopic treatments after RYGB and SG, respectively. Both procedures are usually well tolerated and have a very low risk of stricture. However, APC-TORe may sometimes require more than one session to obtain adequate final results. The aim of this review is to explore all the currently available primary and revisional endoscopic bariatric therapies focusing on their efficacy and safety and their potential application in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digestive Endoscopy: Inside the Evidence and Outside)
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10 pages, 677 KiB  
Article
A Retrospective Comparative Study of Endoscopic Treatment of Gastrocnemius Contracture using the Modified Soft Tissue Release Kit
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030635 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of endoscopic gastrocnemius recession using the self-developed Modified Soft Tissue Release Kit. Materials and Methods: This retrospective review followed up 22 patients (34 feet) who underwent endoscopic surgery and 20 [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of endoscopic gastrocnemius recession using the self-developed Modified Soft Tissue Release Kit. Materials and Methods: This retrospective review followed up 22 patients (34 feet) who underwent endoscopic surgery and 20 patients (30 feet) who received open surgery between January 2020 and January 2022. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle-hindfoot score and the maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle were evaluated preoperatively and at the last follow-up. Postoperative complications were recorded. Patient satisfaction was surveyed at the last follow-up. The comparison between quantitative data was analyzed with the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The comparison between qualitative data was analyzed with the chi-square test. Results: There was no significant difference in the baseline characteristics between the two groups. The AOFAS score in the endoscopic group increased from 50 (18) points preoperatively to 90 (13) points at the last follow-up; the maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle increased from −7.7 (2.8) degrees to 10.6 (3.6) degrees. The AOFAS score in the open group improved from 47 (15) points preoperatively to 90 (18) points at the last follow-up; the maximum ankle dorsiflexion angle increased from −7.6 (4.0) degrees to 10.7 (3.3) degrees. The change values of the AOFAS scores in the endoscopic and open groups were 39 (15) and 40.5 (11) points, respectively, and there was no significant difference between them. The change values of the maximum ankle dorsiflexion angles in the endoscopic and open groups were 19.5 (4.3) and 19.1 (4.9) degrees, respectively, and there was no significant difference between them. There were no complications, such as sural nerve injury, in both groups. There was no significant difference between the two groups in satisfaction with the surgical outcome. Conclusions: Endoscopic gastrocnemius recession using the Modified Soft Tissue Release Kit can significantly improve the foot function with significant mid-term efficacy and high safety. Full article
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16 pages, 2249 KiB  
Systematic Review
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate versus Human Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Combined Cartilage Regeneration Procedure in Patients Undergoing High Tibial Osteotomy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030634 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2631
Abstract
Background and objectives: Cartilage regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been attempted to improve articular cartilage regeneration in varus knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients undergoing high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) and human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) have been [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Cartilage regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been attempted to improve articular cartilage regeneration in varus knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients undergoing high tibial osteotomy (HTO). Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) and human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (hUCB-MSCs) have been reported to be effective. However, whether BMAC is superior to hUCB-MSCs remains unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the clinical efficacy of cartilage repair procedures with BMAC or hUCB-MSCs in patients undergoing HTO. Materials and Methods: A systematic search was conducted using three global databases, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library, for studies in which the clinical outcomes after BMAC or hUCB-MSCs were used in patients undergoing HTO for varus knee OA. Data extraction, quality control, and meta-analysis were performed. To compare the clinical efficacy of BMAC and hUCB-MSCs, reported clinical outcome assessments and second-look arthroscopic findings were analyzed using standardized mean differences (SMDs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: The present review included seven studies of 499 patients who received either BMAC (BMAC group, n = 169) or hUCB-MSCs (hUCB-MSC group, n = 330). Improved clinical outcomes were found in both BMAC and hUCB-MSC groups; however, a significant difference was not observed between procedures (International Knee Documentation Committee score; p = 0.91, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities OA Index; p = 0.05, Knee Society Score (KSS) Pain; p = 0.85, KSS Function; p = 0.37). On second-look arthroscopy, the hUCB-MSC group showed better International Cartilage Repair Society Cartilage Repair Assessment grade compared with the BMAC group (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Both BMAC and hUCB-MSCs with HTO improved clinical outcomes in varus knee OA patients, and there was no difference in clinical outcomes between them. However, hUCB-MSCs were more effective in articular cartilage regeneration than BMAC augmentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knee Surgery)
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5 pages, 1831 KiB  
Case Report
McKittrick–Wheelock Syndrome: A Case Report
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 633; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030633 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1372
Abstract
An adenoma is the most typical large bowel tumor found in 30% of all screening colonoscopies. However, it is often asymptomatic but sometimes might lead to abdominal pain or bleeding of the rectum. Critical electrolyte disbalance and acute kidney injury caused by secretory [...] Read more.
An adenoma is the most typical large bowel tumor found in 30% of all screening colonoscopies. However, it is often asymptomatic but sometimes might lead to abdominal pain or bleeding of the rectum. Critical electrolyte disbalance and acute kidney injury caused by secretory diarrhea is an untypical clinical manifestation of adenoma. It has rarely been reported in the literature and is defined as McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome. A 61-year-old patient was hospitalized for heavy dyselectrolytemia, diarrhea, acute kidney injury, sepsis, and fever. After the renal function was corrected and electrolyte imbalance persisted, visual instrumental diagnostics tests revealed a large tumor in the sigmoid colon. Subsequently, the patient underwent surgical resection, which exhibited evidence of tubulovillous adenoma on pathology. The atypical signs of McKittrick–Wheelock syndrome and comorbidities can make the diagnostics challenging. When severe hyponatremia and hypokalemia are followed by persistent mucous diarrhea, the clinicians should suspect MWS as a possible reason for it. Full article
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12 pages, 441 KiB  
Article
How Accurate Is the Diagnosis of “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” in Patients Hospitalized with an Acute Exacerbation?
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030632 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1499
Abstract
Rationale: COPD diagnosis requires relevant symptoms and an FEV1/FVC ratio of <0.7 post-bronchodilator on spirometry. Patients are frequently labeled as COPD based on clinical presentation and admitted to the hospital with this diagnosis even though spirometry is either not available or has [...] Read more.
Rationale: COPD diagnosis requires relevant symptoms and an FEV1/FVC ratio of <0.7 post-bronchodilator on spirometry. Patients are frequently labeled as COPD based on clinical presentation and admitted to the hospital with this diagnosis even though spirometry is either not available or has never been performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of COPD diagnosis based on post-bronchodilator spirometry, following hospital admission for COPD exacerbation. Methods: This is a retrospective study with a cross-sectional analysis of a subgroup of patients. Demographic and clinical data and pre-admission spirometry were collected from electronic records of patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COPD. Patients without available spirometry were contacted for a pulmonary consultation and spirometry. Three groups were compared: patients with a confirmed COPD diagnosis (FEV1/FVC < 0.7), without COPD (FEV1/FVC > 0.7), and those who have never performed spirometry. Results: A total of 1138 patients with a recorded diagnosis of COPD were identified of which 233 patients were included in the analysis. Only 44.6% of patients had confirmed COPD according to GOLD criteria. In total, 32.6% of the patients had never undergone spirometry but were treated as COPD, and 22.7% had performed spirometry without evidence of COPD. Recurrent admission due to COPD was a strong predictor of a confirmed COPD diagnosis. Conclusions: Among the patients admitted to the hospital with a COPD diagnosis, a high proportion were not confirmed by the current GOLD report or had never performed spirometry. Stricter implementation of the diagnostic criteria of COPD in admitted patients is necessary to improve diagnosis and the treatment outcomes in these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
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7 pages, 3601 KiB  
Case Report
Programmed Death-Ligand 1-Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Spontaneously Regressed after Percutaneous Needle Biopsy
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030631 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1301
Abstract
Spontaneous lung cancer regression is a very rare course of disease. A 60-year-old male patient was admitted to our hospital with pneumonia and a 19 mm-sized nodule shadow in the S4 of the left lung on chest computed tomography (CT). A percutaneous needle [...] Read more.
Spontaneous lung cancer regression is a very rare course of disease. A 60-year-old male patient was admitted to our hospital with pneumonia and a 19 mm-sized nodule shadow in the S4 of the left lung on chest computed tomography (CT). A percutaneous needle biopsy was performed, and a diagnosis of programmed death-ligand 1-positive squamous cell lung carcinoma was made based on pathological findings. The patient was followed up with imaging because the lesion has reduced in size on chest CT. We report the possibility that cellular immune mechanisms triggered by needle biopsy contributed to spontaneous regression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
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11 pages, 11148 KiB  
Article
The Recurrence of Ptosis after Correction Surgery Is Associated with Refractive Error
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030630 - 22 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3629
Abstract
Background and objectives: Previous studies on ptosis recurrence after correction surgery have tended to focus on postoperative complications, surgical methods and suspension materials, few have mentioned refractive error. This research is to investigate the potential relation between refractive error and recurrence after [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Previous studies on ptosis recurrence after correction surgery have tended to focus on postoperative complications, surgical methods and suspension materials, few have mentioned refractive error. This research is to investigate the potential relation between refractive error and recurrence after correction surgery in pediatric patients with simple congenital ptosis. Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of data from patients with simple congenital ptosis who were treated at Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center (ZOC) between 2017 and 2020. In total, 111 eyelids of 85 patients without surgery-related complications who underwent frontalis muscle flap suspension (FMFS) for simple congenital ptosis were included. Postoperative changes in eyelid height were assessed. Cycloplegic refraction was assessed before surgery and during the follow-up period (every 3 months after surgery). Recurrence in the postoperative period was defined as a marginal reflex distance 1 (MRD1) of <1 mm. Results: There were 16 recurrence and 69 non-recurrence cases, with no statistically significant differences, in terms of patient age at the time of surgery, patient sex, or preoperative MRD1, between the recurrence and non-recurrence groups. The postoperative cylindrical diopter (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.432, p = 0.005), laterality (adjusted OR = 0.202, p = 0.006), and preoperative MRD1 (adjusted OR = 0.617, p = 0.019) were associated with ptosis recurrence after surgery. Differences between the recurrence and non-recurrence groups in spherical diopter and spherical equivalent (SE) before and after surgery were not statistically significant. In addition, preoperative refractive error and postoperative spherical diopter were not significantly associated with ptosis recurrence after correction surgery. Conclusions: Ptosis recurrence after FMFS in pediatric cases of congenital ptosis is associated with refractive error. Timely refractive correction and amblyopia treatment may help to reduce ptosis recurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Innovations in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine)
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14 pages, 3779 KiB  
Article
Optical Coherence Tomography Biomarkers in Predicting Treatment Outcomes of Diabetic Macular Edema after Ranibizumab Injections
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030629 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1935
Abstract
Background and Objectives: The identification of possible biomarkers that can predict treatment response among DME eyes is important for the individualization of treatment plans. We investigated optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based biomarkers that may predict the one-year real-life outcomes among diabetic macular edema [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: The identification of possible biomarkers that can predict treatment response among DME eyes is important for the individualization of treatment plans. We investigated optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based biomarkers that may predict the one-year real-life outcomes among diabetic macular edema (DME) eyes following treatment by intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) injections. Materials and Methods: A total of 65 eyes from 35 treatment-naïve patients with DME treated with ranibizumab injection were recruited. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central retinal thickness (CRT), intraocular pressure (IOP), and OCT scans were retrospectively recorded at baseline before treatment and at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after treatment. The OCT scans were evaluated for biomarkers of interest, which included central retinal thickness (CRT), amount and locations of hyperreflective foci (HRF), subretinal fluid (SRF), intraretinal cysts (IRC), large outer nuclear layer cyst (LONLC), ellipsoid zone disruption (EZD), disorganization of retinal inner layers (DRIL), hard exudates (HE), epiretinal membrane (ERM), and vitreomacular interface (VMI). Correlations between these OCT biomarkers and outcome measures (visual and structural) were statistically analyzed. Results: A total of 65 eyes from 35 patients with DME were enrolled. The mean age was 64.2 ± 10.9 years old. Significant improvement in terms of mean BCVA (p < 0.005) and mean CRT was seen at final follow-up compared to baseline. The biomarkers of DRIL, LONLC, and SRF were found to be predictive for at least 50 μm CRT reduction after treatment (with odds ratio of 8.69, 8.5, and 17.58, respectively). The biomarkers of IRC, LONLC, and SRF were predictive for significant improvement in terms of BCVA and CRT after treatment. Finally, the number of HRF was predictive for both BCVA improvement and a CRT reduction of less than 100 μm after treatment. No serious complications were reported during the study. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated the utility of OCT biomarkers as therapeutic predictors of ranibizumab treatment among DME eyes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ophthalmology)
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9 pages, 1503 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Radiochromic Film Use for Source Position Verification through a LINAC On-Board Imager (OBI)
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030628 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Quality assurance is an integral part of brachytherapy. Traditionally, radiographic films have been used for source position verification, however, in many clinics, computerized tomography simulators have replaced conventional simulators, and computerized radiography systems have replaced radiographic film processing units. With [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Quality assurance is an integral part of brachytherapy. Traditionally, radiographic films have been used for source position verification, however, in many clinics, computerized tomography simulators have replaced conventional simulators, and computerized radiography systems have replaced radiographic film processing units. With these advances, the problem of controlling source position verification without traditional radiographic films and conventional simulators has appeared. Materials and Methods: In this study, we investigated an alternative method for source position verification for brachytherapy applications. Source positions were evaluated using Gafchromic™ RTQA2 and EBT3 film and visually compared to exposed RTQA radiochromic film when using a Nucletron Oldelft Simulix HP conventional simulator and a Gammamed 12-i brachytherapy device for performance evaluation. Gafchromic film autoradiography was performed with a linear accelerator (LINAC) on-board imager (OBI). Radiochromic films are very suitable for evaluation by visual inspection with a LINAC OBI. Results: The results showed that this type of low-cost, easy-to-find material can be used for verification purposes under clinical conditions. Conclusions: It can be concluded that source-position quality assurance may be performed through a LINAC OBI device. Full article
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10 pages, 2734 KiB  
Case Report
Ph-Positive B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Occurring after Receipt of Bivalent SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Booster: A Case Report
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030627 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 11422
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a universal emergency public health issue. A large proportion of the world’s population has had several spike antigen exposures to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and/or COVID-19 vaccinations in a relatively short-term period. [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a universal emergency public health issue. A large proportion of the world’s population has had several spike antigen exposures to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections and/or COVID-19 vaccinations in a relatively short-term period. Although sporadic hematopoietic adverse events after COVID-19 vaccine inoculation were reported, there is currently no sufficient evidence correlating anti-spike protein immune responses and hematopoietic adverse events of vaccinations. We reported the first case of Ph-positive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurring after a bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine inoculation. The otherwise healthy 43-year-old female patient had a total of six spike antigen exposures in the past 1.5 years. Informative pre-vaccine tests and bone marrow study results were provided. Although the causal relationship between bivalent vaccinations and the subsequent development of Ph–positive B-cell ALL cannot be determined in the case report, we propose that anti-spike protein immune responses could be a trigger for leukemia. Clinicians must investigate the hematopoietic adverse events closely after COVID-19 vaccinations. Further pre-clinical studies to investigate the safety of bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emergency Medicine and Emergency Room Medical IssuesⅡ)
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13 pages, 1137 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Characteristics and Outcomes of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, Kawasaki Disease and Toxic Shock Syndrome in Children
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030626 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1505
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Since the first cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in April 2020, the diagnostic challenge has been to recognize this syndrome and to differentiate it from other clinically similar pathologies such as Kawasaki disease (KD) and toxic shock [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Since the first cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) in April 2020, the diagnostic challenge has been to recognize this syndrome and to differentiate it from other clinically similar pathologies such as Kawasaki disease (KD) and toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Our objective is to compare clinical signs, laboratory data and instrumental investigations between patients with MIS-C, KD and TSS. Materials and Methods: This retrospective observational study was conducted at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital, Latvia (CCUH). We collected data from all pediatric patients <18 years of age, who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition for MIS-C, and who presented to CCUH between December 2020 and December 2021. We also retrospectively reviewed data from inpatient medical records of patients <18 years of age diagnosed as having KD and TSS at CCUH between December 2015 and December 2021. Results: In total, 81 patients were included in this study: 39 (48.1%) with KD, 29 (35.8%) with MIS-C and 13 (16.1%) with TSS. In comparison with TSS and KD, patients with MIS-C more often presented with gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain (p < 0.001), diarrhea (p = 0.003)), shortness of breath (p < 0.02) and headache (p < 0.003). All MIS-C patients had cardiovascular involvement and 93.1% of MIS-C patients fulfilled KD criteria, showing higher prevalence than in other research. Patients with KD had higher prevalence of cervical lymphadenopathy (p < 0.006) and arthralgias (p < 0.001). In comparison with KD and TSS, MIS-C patients had higher levels of ferritin (p < 0.001), fibrinogen (p = 0.04) and cardiac biomarkers, but lower levels of platelets and lymphocytes (p < 0.001). KD patients tended to have lower peak C-reactive protein (CRP) (p < 0.001), but higher levels of platelets. Acute kidney injury was more often observed in TSS patients (p = 0.01). Pathological changes in electrocardiography (ECG) and echocardiography were significantly more often observed in MIS-C patients (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This research shows that MIS-C, KD and TSS have several clinical similarities and additional investigations are required for reaching final diagnosis. All the patients with suspected MIS-C diagnosis should be examined for possible cardiovascular involvement including cardiac biomarkers, ECG and echocardiography. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pediatrics)
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15 pages, 357 KiB  
Article
Incidence and Predicting Factors of Histopathological Features at Robot-Assisted Radical Prostatectomy in the mpMRI Era: Results of a Single Tertiary Referral Center
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030625 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
Background and Objectives: To describe the predictors of cribriform variant status and perineural invasion (PNI) in robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) histology. To define the rates of upgrading between biopsy specimens and final histology and their possible predictive factors in prostate cancer (PCa) patients [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: To describe the predictors of cribriform variant status and perineural invasion (PNI) in robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) histology. To define the rates of upgrading between biopsy specimens and final histology and their possible predictive factors in prostate cancer (PCa) patients undergoing RARP. Material and Methods: Within our institutional database, 265 PCa patients who underwent prostate biopsies and consecutive RARP at our center were enrolled (2018–2022). In the overall population, two independent multivariable logistic regression models (LRMs) predicting the presence of PNI or cribriform variant status at RARP were performed. In low- and intermediate-risk PCa patients according to D’Amico risk classification, three independent multivariable LRMs were fitted to predict upgrading. Results: Of all, 30.9% were low-risk, 18.9% were intermediate-risk and 50.2% were high-risk PCa patients. In the overall population, the rates of the cribriform variant and PNI at RARP were 55.8% and 71.1%, respectively. After multivariable LRMs predicting PNI, total tumor length in biopsy cores (>24 mm [OR: 2.37, p-value = 0.03], relative to <24 mm) was an independent predictor. After multivariable LRMs predicting cribriform variant status, PIRADS (3 [OR:15.37], 4 [OR: 13.57] or 5 [OR: 16.51] relative to PIRADS 2, all p = 0.01) and total tumor length in biopsy cores (>24 mm [OR: 2.47, p = 0.01], relative to <24 mm) were independent predicting factors. In low- and intermediate-risk PCa patients, the rate of upgrading was 74.4% and 78.0%, respectively. After multivariable LRMs predicting upgrading, PIRADS (PIRADS 3 [OR: 7.01], 4 [OR: 16.98] or 5 [OR: 20.96] relative to PIRADS 2, all p = 0.01) was an independent predicting factor. Conclusions: RARP represents a tailored and risk-adapted treatment strategy for PCa patients. The indication of RP progressively migrates to high-risk PCa after a pre-operative assessment. Specifically, the PIRADS score at mpMRI should guide the decision-making process of urologists for PCa patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue News in Robotic Surgery)
12 pages, 2155 KiB  
Article
Health Information Technology Usability Evaluation Scale (Health-ITUES) and User-Experience Questionnaire (UEQ) for 3D Intraoperative Cognitive Navigation (ICON3DTM) System for Urological Procedures
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030624 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1906
Abstract
Backgound and objectives: In recent years, the adoption of 3D models for surgical planning and intraoperative guidance has gained a wide diffusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the surgeons’ perception and usability of ICON3DTM platform for robotic and laparoscopic [...] Read more.
Backgound and objectives: In recent years, the adoption of 3D models for surgical planning and intraoperative guidance has gained a wide diffusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate the surgeons’ perception and usability of ICON3DTM platform for robotic and laparoscopic urological surgical procedures. Materials and Methods: During the 10th edition of the Techno-Urology Meeting, surgeons and attendees had the opportunity to test the new ICON3DTM platform. The capability of the user to manipulate the model with hands/mouse, the software usability, the quality of the 3D model’s reproduction, and the quality of its use during the surgery were evaluated with the Health Information Technology Usability Evaluation Scale (Health-ITUES) and the User-Experience Questionnaire (UEQ). Results: Fifty-three participants responded to the questionnaires. Based on the answers to the Health-ITUES questionnaire, ICON3DTM resulted to have a positive additional value in presurgical/surgical planning with 43.4% and 39.6% of responders that rated 4 (agree) and 5 (strongly agree), respectively. Regarding the UEQ questionnaire, both mouse and infrared hand-tracking system resulted to be easy to use for 99% of the responders, while the software resulted to be easy to use for 93.4% of the responders. Conclusions: In conclusion, ICON3DTM has been widely appreciated by urologists thanks to its various applications, from preoperative planning to its support for intraoperative decision-making in both robot-assisted and laparoscopic settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Urologic Oncology Biology and Therapy)
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10 pages, 793 KiB  
Article
Effects of Age, Metabolic and Socioeconomic Factors on Cardiovascular Risk among Saudi Women: A Subgroup Analysis from the Heart Health Promotion Study
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030623 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in women. Along with the effect of age on the risk of CVD, the reproductive profile of women can influence cardiac health among women. Objectives: The objective of this study is [...] Read more.
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in women. Along with the effect of age on the risk of CVD, the reproductive profile of women can influence cardiac health among women. Objectives: The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of age and reproductive stages on the development and progression of cardiovascular disease risks in Saudi women. Methods: For this study, we included 1907 Saudi women from the Heart Health Promotion Study. The study cohort was divided into five age groups (less than 40 years, 40–45 years, 46–50 years, 51–55 years, and ≥56 years). The cohort stratification was meant to correspond to the social and hormonal changes in women’s life, including reproductive, perimenopausal, menopausal, and postmenopausal age groups. The groups were compared with respect to the prevalence of metabolic, socioeconomic, and cardiac risks, and the age group of less than 40 years was considered as the reference group. The World Health Organization stepwise approach to chronic disease risk factor Surveillance-Instrument v2.1 was used in this study to collect the anthropometric and biochemical measurements and the Framingham Coronary Heart Risk Score was used to calculate the cardiovascular risk (CVR). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the independent effect of age on CVD risks after adjustment of sociodemographic factors. Results: Metabolic and CVR increased progressively with the increase in age. There was a sharp increase in obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, from the age group <40 years to 41–45 years and then again between the age groups of 46–50 and ≥56 years. A similar noticeable increase in metabolic risk factors (high cholesterol, high triglyceride, high Low-Density Lipoprotein) was observed between the age group <40 years and 41–45 years, but with a steady increase with the increase in age between the other age groups. The high and intermediate Framingham Coronary Heart Risk Scores showed a progressive increase in prevalence with the increase in age, where the proportion doubled from 9.4% at the age group 46–50 years, to 22% at the age group 51–55 years. It doubled again at the age group ≥56 years to 53%—these sharp inflections in the risk of CVD correspond to the women’s reproductive lives. Conclusions: In Saudi women, CVR increases with the increase of age. The influence of pregnancy and menopause is apparent in the prevalence of increased risks for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology)
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24 pages, 32179 KiB  
Review
Anatomical Variations of the External Jugular Vein: A Pictorial and Critical Review
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030622 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5269
Abstract
(1) Background: The external jugular vein (EJV) descends on the sternocleidomastoid muscle to drain deep into the subclavian vein. Anatomical variations of the EJV are relevant for identification of the greater auricular nerve, flap design and preparation, or EJV cannulation. (2) Methods [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The external jugular vein (EJV) descends on the sternocleidomastoid muscle to drain deep into the subclavian vein. Anatomical variations of the EJV are relevant for identification of the greater auricular nerve, flap design and preparation, or EJV cannulation. (2) Methods: Different publications were comprehensively reviewed. Dissections and three-dimensional volume renderings of peculiar cases were used to sample the review. (3) Results: Different anatomical possibilities of the EJV were critically reviewed and documented: fenestrations and double fenestrations, true or false duplications, triplication, absence, aberrant origin or course, or bifurcation. Tributaries of the EJV, such as the facial and posterior external jugular veins, are discussed. The internal jugular vein termination of the EJV is also presented. (4) Conclusions: Care should be taken when different morphological features of the EJV are encountered or reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Anatomy and Pathophysiology, 2nd Volume)
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7 pages, 1211 KiB  
Article
Maternal Periodontal Status as a Factor Influencing Obstetrical Outcomes
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030621 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1399
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Preterm birth as a complex phenomenon is influenced by numerous endogenic and exogenic factors, although its exact cause often remains obscure. According to epidemiological studies, maternal periodontal diseases, in addition to affecting general health, can also cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Preterm birth as a complex phenomenon is influenced by numerous endogenic and exogenic factors, although its exact cause often remains obscure. According to epidemiological studies, maternal periodontal diseases, in addition to affecting general health, can also cause adverse pregnancy outcomes. Nonetheless, the existing results in the literature regarding this topic remain controversial. Consequently, our study aimed to determine the connection between poor maternal periodontal status and neonatal birth weight. Materials and Methods: A total of 111 primigravida–primiparous pregnant, healthy women underwent a periodontal examination in the second trimester of their pregnancies. Probing depth (PD) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were determined, and based on these diagnostic measurements, the patients were divided into three subgroups according to their dental status: healthy (H, n = 17), gingivitis (G, n = 67), and periodontitis (P, n = 27). Results: Considering that poor maternal oral status is an influencing factor for obstetrical outcomes, the presence of PD and BOP (characterized by the sulcus bleeding index, SBI) was evaluated. In the case of P, defined as PD ≥ 4 mm in at least one site and BOP ≥ 50% of the teeth, a significant correlation between BOP and a low neonatal birth weight at delivery (p = 0.001) was found. An analysis of the relationship between SBI and gestational age (GA) at the time of the periodontal examination in the different dental status groups showed a significant correlation between these parameters in the G group (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Our results suggest that a worse periodontal status during pregnancy may negatively affect obstetrical outcomes, especially the prematurity rate and newborn weight. Therefore, the importance of periodontal screening to prevent these complications is undeniable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Management of Diseases during Pregnancy)
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9 pages, 1116 KiB  
Article
Tinnitus Prevalence in the Adult Population—Results from the Gutenberg Health Study
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030620 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3099
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Tinnitus is a common symptom in medical practice, although data on its prevalence vary. As the underlying pathophysiological mechanism is still not fully understood, hearing loss is thought to be an important risk factor for the occurrence of tinnitus. [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Tinnitus is a common symptom in medical practice, although data on its prevalence vary. As the underlying pathophysiological mechanism is still not fully understood, hearing loss is thought to be an important risk factor for the occurrence of tinnitus. The aim of this study was to assess tinnitus prevalence in a large German cohort and to determine its dependence on hearing impairment. Materials and Methods: The Gutenberg Health Study (GHS) is a population-based cohort study and representative for the population of Mainz and its district. Participants were asked whether they suffer from tinnitus and how much they are burdened by it. Extensive audiological examinations using bone- and air-conduction were also performed. Results: 4942 participants (mean age: 61.0, 2550 men and 2392 women) were included in the study. The overall prevalence of tinnitus was 26.1%. Men were affected significantly more often than women. The prevalence of tinnitus increased with age, peaking at ages 75 to 79 years. Considering only annoying tinnitus, the prevalence was 9.8%. Logistic regression showed that participants with severe to complete hearing loss (>65 dB) were more likely to have tinnitus. Conclusions: Tinnitus is a common symptom, and given demographic changes, its prevalence is expected to increase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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15 pages, 1367 KiB  
Review
Potential Protective Role of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding in Delaying Onset Symptoms Related to Multiple Sclerosis
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030619 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1768
Abstract
The impact of pregnancy and breastfeeding on the development and outcomes of Multiple sclerosis (MS) has been debated for decades. Since several factors can influence the evolution of the disease, the protective role of multiparity and breastfeeding remains uncertain, as well the role [...] Read more.
The impact of pregnancy and breastfeeding on the development and outcomes of Multiple sclerosis (MS) has been debated for decades. Since several factors can influence the evolution of the disease, the protective role of multiparity and breastfeeding remains uncertain, as well the role of hormone replacement therapy in the perimenopausal period. We report two cases of relatively late-onset MS in two parous women, who developed their first neurological symptoms after six and nine pregnancies, respectively. Both women breastfed each of their children for 3 to 12 months. One of them underwent surgical menopause and received hormone replacement therapy for 7 years before MS onset. We performed a systematic literature review to highlight the characteristics shared by women who develop the disease in similar conditions, after unique hormonal imbalances, and to collect promising evidence on this controversial issue. Several studies suggest that the beneficial effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on MS onset and disability accumulation may only be realized when several pregnancies occur. However, these data on pregnancy and breastfeeding and their long-term benefits on MS outcomes suffer from the possibility of reverse causality, as women with milder impairment might choose to become pregnant more readily than those with a higher level of disability. Thus, the hypothesis that multiparity might have a protective role on MS outcomes needs to be tested in larger prospective cohort studies of neo-diagnosed women, evaluating both clinical and radiological features at presentation. Full article
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11 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Factors Associated with Psychotropic Medications Literacy among Community Pharmacists
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030618 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Background and objectives: Community pharmacists play an important role in ensuring the patient’s adherence to medications, thus achieving therapeutic outcomes. The present study had two aims: to measure the extent of knowledge that community pharmacists had about psychotropic medications and to determine [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Community pharmacists play an important role in ensuring the patient’s adherence to medications, thus achieving therapeutic outcomes. The present study had two aims: to measure the extent of knowledge that community pharmacists had about psychotropic medications and to determine the factors associated with higher knowledge scores. Methods: A cross-sectional design was employed, using a structured online questionnaire. The study instrument assessed demographics, general practice characteristics related to psychotropics and a battery of factual questions that assessed the knowledge of pharmacists about psychotropic medications using closed-ended responses. A total knowledge score consisting of the sum of correct responses was calculated; the passing score was 75%. A total of 676 pharmacists completed the survey. Results: Only 20% passed the threshold score (75%) for the factual knowledge questions, and only (11.0%) were very comfortable with their knowledge of psychotropic agents. A total of 49.0% of the respondents felt that they had been adequately trained to counsel patients on psychotropic agents. According to the regression model, pharmacists who reported higher knowledge were more experienced (0.63, (0.26–1.0), p < 0.001), reported studying the topic in the pharmacy school (0.77 (0.27–1.26), p = 0.002) holding a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degree (0.24 (0.05–0.43), p = 0.01), and reported a higher perceived knowledge (0.29 (0.01–0.38), p = 0.038). Conclusion: Community pharmacists reported poor knowledge of psychotropic medications, and continuous medical and professional education programs are mandatory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
18 pages, 4540 KiB  
Article
Multimodal Remote Home Monitoring of Lung Transplant Recipients during COVID-19 Vaccinations: Usability Pilot Study of the COVIDA Desk Incorporating Wearable Devices
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030617 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1647
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Remote patient monitoring (RPM) of vital signs and symptoms for lung transplant recipients (LTRs) has become increasingly relevant in many situations. Nevertheless, RPM research integrating multisensory home monitoring in LTRs is scarce. We developed a novel multisensory home monitoring [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Remote patient monitoring (RPM) of vital signs and symptoms for lung transplant recipients (LTRs) has become increasingly relevant in many situations. Nevertheless, RPM research integrating multisensory home monitoring in LTRs is scarce. We developed a novel multisensory home monitoring device and tested it in the context of COVID-19 vaccinations. We hypothesize that multisensory RPM and smartphone-based questionnaire feedback on signs and symptoms will be well accepted among LTRs. To assess the usability and acceptability of a remote monitoring system consisting of wearable devices, including home spirometry and a smartphone-based questionnaire application for symptom and vital sign monitoring using wearable devices, during the first and second SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Materials and Methods: Observational usability pilot study for six weeks of home monitoring with the COVIDA Desk for LTRs. During the first week after the vaccination, intensive monitoring was performed by recording data on physical activity, spirometry, temperature, pulse oximetry and self-reported symptoms, signs and additional measurements. During the subsequent days, the number of monitoring assessments was reduced. LTRs reported on their perceptions of the usability of the monitoring device through a purpose-designed questionnaire. Results: Ten LTRs planning to receive the first COVID-19 vaccinations were recruited. For the intensive monitoring study phase, LTRs recorded symptoms, signs and additional measurements. The most frequent adverse events reported were local pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance and headache. The duration of these symptoms was 5–8 days post-vaccination. Adherence to the main monitoring devices was high. LTRs rated usability as high. The majority were willing to continue monitoring. Conclusions: The COVIDA Desk showed favorable technical performance and was well accepted by the LTRs during the vaccination phase of the pandemic. The feasibility of the RPM system deployment was proven by the rapid recruitment uptake, technical performance (i.e., low number of errors), favorable user experience questionnaires and detailed individual user feedback. Full article
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13 pages, 1492 KiB  
Review
Post-COVID-19 Spondylodiscitis: A Case Study and Review of the Literature
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030616 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3734
Abstract
COVID-19 is currently a major health problem, leading to respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological complications, with additional morbidity and mortality. Spinal infections are rare, representing around 1% of all bone infections and comprising less than 2 per 10,000 of all hospitalizations in tertiary care [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is currently a major health problem, leading to respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological complications, with additional morbidity and mortality. Spinal infections are rare, representing around 1% of all bone infections and comprising less than 2 per 10,000 of all hospitalizations in tertiary care centers. Spondylodiscitis is a complex disease, with challenging diagnosis and management. We report the case of a 45-year-old man, non-smoker hospitalized for severe COVID-19 disease with respiratory failure. Post-COVID-19, in the 8th week after discharge, he was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging with spondylodiscitis, but etiology was not confirmed by microbiological investigations. Antibiotics were used, considering the identification of MRSA from cultures of pleural fluid and nasal swab, but surgical intervention was not provided. Clinic, biologic and imagistic were improved, but rehabilitation and long term follow up are necessary. We concluded that spondylodiscitis with spinal abscess is a rare but severe complication post-COVID-19 disease, due to dysbalanced immune response related to the respiratory viral infection, endothelial lesions, hypercoagulation and bacterial superinfection. Full article
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9 pages, 2302 KiB  
Case Report
Hereditary Congenital Methemoglobinemia Diagnosed at the Age of 79 Years: A Case Report
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 615; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030615 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Background: Cardiopulmonary disorders are the most common cause of central cyanosis, and methemoglobinemia is often overlooked in the differential diagnosis of patients with central cyanosis. In most cases, methemoglobinemia is acquired and hereditary congenital methemoglobinemia is rare. Only a few case reports [...] Read more.
Background: Cardiopulmonary disorders are the most common cause of central cyanosis, and methemoglobinemia is often overlooked in the differential diagnosis of patients with central cyanosis. In most cases, methemoglobinemia is acquired and hereditary congenital methemoglobinemia is rare. Only a few case reports of congenital methemoglobinemia can be found in PubMed. To date, only four cases of congenital methemoglobinemia diagnosed after the age of 50 years have been reported. Case Presentation: A 79-year-old Japanese woman presented at our hospital with the chief complaints of dyspnea and cyanosis. She exhibited cyanosis of the lips and extremities, and her SpO2 was 80%, with oxygen administration at 5 L/min. Blood gas analysis revealed a PaO2 of 325.4 mmHg and methemoglobin level of 36.9%. The SpO2 and PaO2 values were dissociated, and methemoglobin levels were markedly elevated. Genetic analysis revealed a nonsynonymous variant in the gene encoding nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide cytochrome (NADH) B5 reductase 3 (CYB5R3), and the patient was diagnosed with congenital methemoglobinemia. Conclusions: It is important to consider methemoglobinemia in the differential diagnosis of patients with central cyanosis. At 79 years of age, our patient represents the oldest patient with this diagnosis. This report indicates that it is crucial to consider the possibility of methemoglobinemia regardless of the patient’s age. Full article
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11 pages, 580 KiB  
Article
The Survival Outcomes of Patients Requiring Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 614; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030614 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2295
Abstract
Background and objectives: Patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation typically experience poor long-term survival outcomes. However, there have been few studies conducted to investigate the five-year survival rate of these patients. This study aims to determine the factors that affect the five-year survival [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation typically experience poor long-term survival outcomes. However, there have been few studies conducted to investigate the five-year survival rate of these patients. This study aims to determine the factors that affect the five-year survival rate of patients who require prolonged mechanical ventilation, with the goal of improving their survival outcomes. Materials and Methods: The current retrospective, single-center study included all patients who required prolonged mechanical ventilation over a period of six years. We collected data on their age, sex, causes of acute respiratory failure leading to prolonged mechanical ventilation, comorbidities, receipt of a tracheostomy or not, weaning status, discharge conditions, and long-term outcomes. Results: The study examined the long-term outcomes of 403 patients who required prolonged mechanical ventilation until December 2018. Of the study population, 157 patients were successfully weaned from prolonged mechanical ventilation and discharged, 186 patients passed away in the hospital, and 60 patients remained ventilator-dependent. For all 403 patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation, the one-year and five-year survival rates were 24.3% and 14.6%, respectively. Among the 243 patients who were successfully weaned from prolonged mechanical ventilation, the corresponding rates were 32.6% and 21.0%. For the 157 discharged prolonged mechanical ventilation patients, the one-year and five-year survival rates were 50.3% and 32.6%, respectively. For the 60 ventilator-dependent patients, the one-year and five-year survival rates were 31.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The study revealed that successfully weaned from invasive mechanical ventilation and the receipt of a tracheostomy were influential factors in the five-year survival rate of patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation. Conclusions: Patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation may experience poor survival outcomes. Nevertheless, two key factors that can improve their long-term survival are successfully weaned from invasive mechanical ventilation and receipt of a tracheostomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonary)
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12 pages, 6413 KiB  
Article
Effect of Sevoflurane on the Proliferation of A549 Lung Cancer Cells
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030613 - 20 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1207
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Sevoflurane has opposing effects on cancer progression, depending on its concentration and the cancer type. This study investigated the effects of sevoflurane on the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells. Materials and Methods: In vitro, the number of [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Sevoflurane has opposing effects on cancer progression, depending on its concentration and the cancer type. This study investigated the effects of sevoflurane on the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells. Materials and Methods: In vitro, the number of A549 cells exposed to different concentrations of sevoflurane was counted. The size and weight of tumors from a xenograft mouse model exposed to air or sevoflurane were measured in vivo experiments. Additionally, hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemical detection of Ki-67 in the harvested tumor tissues were performed. Results: A total of 72 culture dishes were used and 24 dishes were assigned to each group: Air group; 2% Sevo group (air + 2% sevoflurane); and 4% Sevo group (air + 4% sevoflurane). The number of A549 cells in the 2% Sevo group was less than that in the Air and 4% Sevo groups (Air: 7.9 ± 0.5; 0.5, 2% Sevo: 6.8 ± 0.4, 4% Sevo: 8.1 ± 0.3; p = 0.000). The tumor size was not significantly different between the two groups (Air: 1.5 ± 0.7, 2% Sevo: 2.4 ± 1.9; p = 0.380). Conclusions: The in vitro data showed that sevoflurane inhibited the proliferation of A549 lung cancer cells in a concentration-specific manner. However, the in vivo data showed no correlation between sevoflurane exposure and A549 cell proliferation. Thus, further research is required to understand fully the effects of sevoflurane on cancer progression and to reconcile differences between the in vitro and in vivo experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Intensive Care/ Anesthesiology)
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22 pages, 1460 KiB  
Review
Mass Spectrometry Contribution to Pediatric Cancers Research
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030612 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1466
Abstract
For over four decades, mass spectrometry-based methods have provided a wealth of information relevant to various challenges in the field of cancers research. These challenges included identification and validation of novel biomarkers for various diseases, in particular for various forms of cancer. These [...] Read more.
For over four decades, mass spectrometry-based methods have provided a wealth of information relevant to various challenges in the field of cancers research. These challenges included identification and validation of novel biomarkers for various diseases, in particular for various forms of cancer. These biomarkers serve various objectives including monitoring patient response to the various forms of therapy, differentiating subgroups of the same type of cancer, and providing proteomic data to complement datasets generated by genomic, epigenetic, and transcriptomic methods. The same proteomic data can be used to provide prognostic information and could guide scientists and medics to new and innovative targeted therapies The past decade has seen a rapid emergence of epigenetics as a major contributor to carcinogenesis. This development has given a fresh momentum to MS-based proteomics, which demonstrated to be an unrivalled tool for the analyses of protein post-translational modifications associated with chromatin modifications. In particular, high-resolution mass spectrometry has been recently used for systematic quantification of chromatin modifications. Data generated by this approach are central in the search for new therapies for various forms of cancer and will help in attempts to decipher antitumor drug resistance. To appreciate the contribution of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to biomarkers discovery and to our understanding of mechanisms behind the initiation and progression of various forms of cancer, a number of recent investigations are discussed. These investigations also include results provided by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry. Full article
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8 pages, 836 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Nitrous Oxide versus Pethidine/Midazolam for Pain Relief in Minor Gynecological Operative Procedures: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030611 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Aim and Objective: To compare the analgesic effectiveness of the patient-controlled inhaled nitrous oxide (Entonox®) with intravenous opioids (pethidine/midazolam) in reducing pain during minor gynecological operative procedures, including manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), fractional curettage and dilatation and curettage. Materials and Methods: Patients [...] Read more.
Aim and Objective: To compare the analgesic effectiveness of the patient-controlled inhaled nitrous oxide (Entonox®) with intravenous opioids (pethidine/midazolam) in reducing pain during minor gynecological operative procedures, including manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), fractional curettage and dilatation and curettage. Materials and Methods: Patients undergoing minor gynecological procedures from August 2021 to December 2022 were randomized to receive nitrous oxide or intravenous pethidine (50–75 micrograms) plus midazolam (2 mg). Pain scores during and post-procedure, satisfaction level, and side effects were assessed and compared. Results: A total of 106 patients met the inclusion criteria, including 53 in the pethidine/midazolam group and 53 in the nitrous oxide group. Baseline characteristics were comparable (p-value > 0.05). Pain scores during, immediately and 30 min after procedures were not significantly different in two groups (4.94 ± 3.15, 2.74 ± 2.57, 1.58 ± 2.13 vs. 5.47 ± 2.80, 2.98 ± 2.70, 1.64 ± 2.70; p-value: 0.174, 0.634, 0.889, for pethidine/midazolam vs. nitrous oxide group, respectively. Satisfaction scores were comparable in both groups (p-value > 0.05). However, the rate of side effects was significantly lower in the nitrous oxide group (3.8% vs. 28.3%; p-value 0.001). Additionally, the discharge scores showed a significantly faster recovery time in the nitrous oxide group at 60 and 90 min after the procedure; median (IQR): 10 (9–10) vs. 9 (8–10) and 10 (10–10) vs. 10 (8.5–10); p-value 0.002 and 0.029, respectively). Conclusions: Nitrous oxide is as effective as pethidine/midazolam for pain relief in minor gynecological operative procedures but associated with significantly lower side effects and significantly faster recovery time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Perioperative Pain Management)
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18 pages, 3310 KiB  
Article
Antiproliferative Activity, Multikinase Inhibition, Apoptosis- Inducing Effects and Molecular Docking of Novel Isatin–Purine Hybrids
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030610 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
The traditional single-treatment strategy for cancer is frequently unsuccessful due to the complexity of cellular signaling. However, suppression of multiple targets is vital to defeat tumor cells. In this research, new compounds for the treatment of cancer were developed successfully as novel hybrid [...] Read more.
The traditional single-treatment strategy for cancer is frequently unsuccessful due to the complexity of cellular signaling. However, suppression of multiple targets is vital to defeat tumor cells. In this research, new compounds for the treatment of cancer were developed successfully as novel hybrid anticancer agents. Based on a molecular hybridization strategy, we designed hybrid agents that target multiple protein kinases to fight cancer cells. The proposed hybrid agents combined purine and isatin moieties in their structures with 4-aminobenzohydrazide and hydrazine as different linkers. Having those two moieties in one molecule enabled the capability to inhibit multiple kinases, such as human epidermal receptor (EGFR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2). Anticancer activity was evaluated by performing cytotoxicity assays, kinase inhibition assays, cell cycle analysis, and BAX, Bcl-2, Caspase 3 and Caspase 9 protein level determination assays. The results showed that the designed hybrids tackled the cancer by inhibiting both cell proliferation and metastasis. A molecular docking study was performed to predict possible binding interactions in the active site of the investigated protein kinase enzymes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Promising Future of Anti-tumor Drugs)
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6 pages, 2702 KiB  
Brief Report
New Insights into the Communications of the Facial Vein with the Dural Venous Sinuses
Medicina 2023, 59(3), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59030609 - 19 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2602
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Anastomoses of the extracranial and intracranial venous system have been described in the literature. The presence of such anastomoses may facilitate a possible spread of infection into the dural venous sinuses. However, the frequency and relevance of such anastomoses [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Anastomoses of the extracranial and intracranial venous system have been described in the literature. The presence of such anastomoses may facilitate a possible spread of infection into the dural venous sinuses. However, the frequency and relevance of such anastomoses is highly debated. The aim of this study was to quantify frequencies of anastomoses between the facial vein and the dural venous sinuses. Materials and Methods: In 32 sides of 16 specimens, latex was injected into the facial vein. Dissection was carried out to follow and described these anastomoses, yielding the presence of latex in the intracranial venous system. Results: In 97% of cases, a dispersal of latex into the cavernous sinus as well as anastomoses was observed. A further dispersal of latex into other dural venous sinuses was found at rates ranging between 34% (transverse sinus)—88% (superior petrosal sinus), respectively. Conclusions: The presence of anastomoses between the extracranial and intracranial venous system in a majority of cases needs to be considered when dealing with pathologies as well as procedures in the facial region. Full article
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