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Med. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 17 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Vasopressors and inotropes (V/I) are widely used in the treatment of cardiogenic shock (CS). Despite improvements in hemodynamic variables and end-organ perfusion, these agents have been associated with an increase in mortality, potentially due to the increased risk of tachyarrhythmias—which may be mitigated by beta-blockers (BBs). Based on a retrospective chart review of 227 patients who received a V/I for CS, concurrent BB usage with a V/I was not associated with a reduction in in-hospital mortality based on the multivariable logistic regression analysis. The present study sheds light on the importance of large, carefully designed clinical studies to optimize inpatient medical therapy, particularly evaluating the combination of V/I and BB, in this high-risk patient population. View this paper
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9 pages, 551 KiB  
Article
T-Peak to T-End Interval for Prediction of Positive Response to Ajmaline Challenge Test in Suspected Brugada Syndrome Patients
by Mananchaya Thapanasuta, Ronpichai Chokesuwattanaskul, Pattranee Leelapatana, Voravut Rungpradubvong and Somchai Prechawat
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040069 - 19 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Background: Brugada syndrome (BrS) is diagnosed in patients with ST-segment elevation with coved-type morphology in the right precordial leads, occurring spontaneously or after provocative drugs. Due to electrocardiographic (ECG) inconsistency, provocative drugs, such as sodium-channel blockers, are useful for unmasking BrS. Ajmaline is [...] Read more.
Background: Brugada syndrome (BrS) is diagnosed in patients with ST-segment elevation with coved-type morphology in the right precordial leads, occurring spontaneously or after provocative drugs. Due to electrocardiographic (ECG) inconsistency, provocative drugs, such as sodium-channel blockers, are useful for unmasking BrS. Ajmaline is superior to flecainide and procainamide to provoke BrS. Prolonged T-peak to T-end (TpTe) is associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in Brugada syndrome patients. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the predictive value of T-peak to T-end interval and corrected T-peak to T-end interval for predicting the positive response of the ajmaline challenge test in suspected Brugada syndrome patients. Methods: Patients who underwent the ajmaline test in our center were enrolled. Clinical characteristics and electrocardiographic parameters were analyzed, including TpTe, corrected TpTe, QT, corrected QT(QTc) interval, and S-wave duration, compared with the result of the ajmaline challenge test. Results: The study found that TpTe and corrected TpTe interval in suspected BrS patients were not significantly associated with a positive response to the ajmaline challenge test. Conclusions: The T-peak to T-end interval and corrected T-peak to T-end interval could not predict the positive response of the ajmaline challenge test in suspected Brugada syndrome patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
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21 pages, 1813 KiB  
Review
Antioxidant Defense and Pseudoexfoliation Syndrome: An Updated Review
by Stylianos Mastronikolis, Konstantinos Kagkelaris, Marina Pagkalou, Evangelos Tsiambas, Panagiotis Plotas and Constantinos D. Georgakopoulos
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040068 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
Oxidative stress (OS) affects the anterior ocular tissues, rendering them susceptible to several eye diseases. On the other hand, protection of the eye from harmful factors is achieved by unique defense mechanisms, including enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. The imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress (OS) affects the anterior ocular tissues, rendering them susceptible to several eye diseases. On the other hand, protection of the eye from harmful factors is achieved by unique defense mechanisms, including enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. The imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants could be the cause of pseudoexfoliation syndrome (PEXS), a condition of defective extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. A systematic English-language literature review was conducted from May 2022 to June 2022. The main antioxidant enzymes protecting the eye from reactive oxygen species (ROS) are superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), which catalyze the reduction of specific types of ROS. Similarly, non-enzymatic antioxidants such as vitamins A, E and C, carotenoids and glutathione (GSH) are involved in removing ROS from the cells. PEXS is a genetic disease, however, environmental and dietary factors also influence its development. Additionally, many OS products disrupting the ECM remodeling process and modifying the antioxidative defense status could lead to PEXS. This review discusses the antioxidative defense of the eye in association with PEXS, and the intricate link between OS and PEXS. Understanding the pathways of PEXS evolution, and developing new methods to reduce OS, are crucial to control and treat this disease. However, further studies are required to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of PEXS. Full article
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15 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Population Risk Factors for Severe Disease and Mortality in COVID-19 in the United States during the Pre-Vaccine Era: A Retrospective Cohort Study of National Inpatient Sample
by Kavin Raj, Karthik Yeruva, Keerthana Jyotheeswara Pillai, Preetham Kumar, Ankit Agrawal, Sanya Chandna, Akhilesh Khuttan, Shalini Tripathi, Ramya Akella, Thulasi Ram Gudi, Abi Watts, Christian C Toquica Gahona, Umesh Bhagat, Surya Kiran Aedma, Ayesha Tamkinat Jalal, Shyam Ganti, Padmini Varadarajan and Ramdas G Pai
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040067 - 4 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2621
Abstract
Background-Previous studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were limited to specific geographical locations and small sample sizes. Therefore, we used the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) 2020 database to determine the risk factors for severe outcomes and mortality in COVID-19. Methods-We included adult patients [...] Read more.
Background-Previous studies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were limited to specific geographical locations and small sample sizes. Therefore, we used the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) 2020 database to determine the risk factors for severe outcomes and mortality in COVID-19. Methods-We included adult patients with COVID-19. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was performed to determine the predictors of severe outcomes and mortality in COVID-19. Results-1,608,980 (95% CI 1,570,803–1,647,156) hospitalizations with COVID-19 were included. Severe complications occurred in 78.3% of COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and 25% of COVID-19 pneumonia patients. The mortality rate for COVID-19 ARDS was 54% and for COVID-19 pneumonia was 16.6%. On multivariate analysis, age > 65 years, male sex, government insurance or no insurance, residence in low-income areas, non-white races, stroke, chronic kidney disease, heart failure, malnutrition, primary immunodeficiency, long-term steroid/immunomodulatory use, complicated diabetes mellitus, and liver disease were associated with COVID-19 related complications and mortality. Cardiac arrest, septic shock, and intubation had the highest odds of mortality. Conclusions-Socioeconomic disparities and medical comorbidities were significant determinants of mortality in the US in the pre-vaccine era. Therefore, aggressive vaccination of high-risk patients and healthcare policies to address socioeconomic disparities are necessary to reduce death rates in future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Critical Care Medicine)
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1 pages, 155 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Brown, R.B. Sodium Chloride, Migraine and Salt Withdrawal: Controversy and Insights. Med. Sci. 2021, 9, 67
by Ronald B. Brown
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040066 - 2 Dec 2022
Viewed by 845
Abstract
There was an error in the original publication [...] Full article
11 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Real-World Experience of Monitoring Practice of Endocrinopathies Associated with the Use of Novel Targeted Therapies among Patients with Solid Tumors
by Atika AlHarbi, Majed Alshamrani, Mansoor Khan, Abdelmajid Alnatsheh and Mohammed Aseeri
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040065 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1567
Abstract
Background: Cancer treatments have gradually evolved into targeted molecular therapies characterized by a unique mechanism of action instead of non-specific cytotoxic chemotherapies. However, they have unique safety concerns. For instance, endocrinopathies, which are defined as unfavorable metabolic alterations including thyroid disorders, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer treatments have gradually evolved into targeted molecular therapies characterized by a unique mechanism of action instead of non-specific cytotoxic chemotherapies. However, they have unique safety concerns. For instance, endocrinopathies, which are defined as unfavorable metabolic alterations including thyroid disorders, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and adrenal insufficiency necessitate additional monitoring. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of monitoring errors and develop strategies for monitoring cancer patients who receive targeted therapies. Method: A retrospective chart review was used to assess the prevalence of monitoring errors of endocrinopathies among cancer patients who received targeted therapies over one year. All of the adult cancer patients diagnosed with a solid tumor who received targeted therapies were included. The primary outcome was to determine the prevalence of monitoring errors of endocrinopathies. The secondary outcomes were to assess the incidences of endocrinopathies and referral practice to endocrinology services. Results: A total of 128 adult patients with solid tumors were involved. The primary outcome revealed a total of 148 monitoring errors of endocrinopathies. Monitoring errors of the lipid profile and thyroid functions were the most common error types in 94% and 92.6% of the patients treated with novel targeted therapies, respectively. Subsequently, 57% of the monitoring errors in the blood glucose measures were identified. Targeted therapies caused 63 events of endocrinopathies, hyperglycemia in 32% of the patients, thyroid disorders in 15.6% of them and dyslipidemia in 1.5% of the patients. Conclusion: Our study showed a high prevalence of monitoring errors among the cancer patients who received targeted therapies which led to endocrinopathies. It emphasizes the importance of adhering to monitoring strategies and following up on the appropriate referral process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cancer and Cancer-Related Research)
7 pages, 234 KiB  
Article
The Usage of Concomitant Beta-Blockers with Vasopressors and Inotropes in Cardiogenic Shock
by Rachel Ryu, Christopher Hauschild, Khaled Bahjri and Huyentran Tran
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040064 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2819
Abstract
Vasopressors and inotropes (Vs/Is) are widely used in the treatment of cardiogenic shock (CS). Despite improvements in hemodynamic variables and end-organ perfusion, these agents have been associated with an increase in mortality, potentially due to the increased risk of tachyarrhythmias—which we hypothesize may [...] Read more.
Vasopressors and inotropes (Vs/Is) are widely used in the treatment of cardiogenic shock (CS). Despite improvements in hemodynamic variables and end-organ perfusion, these agents have been associated with an increase in mortality, potentially due to the increased risk of tachyarrhythmias—which we hypothesize may be mitigated by beta-blockers (BBs). We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients who received a V/I (dobutamine, milrinone, dopamine, and norepinephrine) for CS. The primary objective was to assess the effect of BB in patients receiving Vs/Is for CS. In our final analysis of 227 patients, those in the BB group were younger, were more likely to have acute coronary syndrome as the reason for admission, had more reduced left ventricular ejection fraction, were more likely to have coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation as pre-existing co-morbidities, and had a lower rate of in-hospital mortality. Nevertheless, in our multivariable logistic regression analysis, concurrent BB usage with a V/I was not associated with a reduction in in-hospital mortality. Our present study sheds light on the importance and urgency of large, carefully designed clinical studies to optimize inpatient medical therapy, particularly evaluating the combination of V/I and BB, in this high-risk patient population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Disease)
16 pages, 2998 KiB  
Article
Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 Signaling Is Independent on Protein Kinase A Phosphorylation of Ankyrin-Rich Membrane Spanning Protein
by Antonio Pellegrino, Sandra Mükusch, Viola Seitz, Christoph Stein, Friedrich W. Herberg and Harald Seitz
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040063 - 17 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1367
Abstract
The sensory ion channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is mainly expressed in small to medium sized dorsal root ganglion neurons, which are involved in the transfer of acute noxious thermal and chemical stimuli. The Ankyrin-rich membrane spanning protein (ARMS) interaction with [...] Read more.
The sensory ion channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is mainly expressed in small to medium sized dorsal root ganglion neurons, which are involved in the transfer of acute noxious thermal and chemical stimuli. The Ankyrin-rich membrane spanning protein (ARMS) interaction with TRPV1 is modulated by protein kinase A (PKA) mediating sensitization. Here, we hypothesize that PKA phosphorylation sites of ARMS are crucial for the modulation of TRPV1 function, and that the phosphorylation of ARMS is facilitated by the A-kinase anchoring protein 79 (AKAP79). We used transfected HEK293 cells, immunoprecipitation, calcium flux, and patch clamp experiments to investigate potential PKA phosphorylation sites in ARMS and in ARMS-related peptides. Additionally, experiments were done to discriminate between PKA and protein kinase D (PKD) phosphorylation. We found different interaction ratios for TRPV1 and ARMS mutants lacking PKA phosphorylation sites. The degree of TRPV1 sensitization by ARMS mutants is independent on PKA phosphorylation. AKAP79 was also involved in the TRPV1/ARMS/PKA signaling complex. These data show that ARMS is a PKA substrate via AKAP79 in the TRPV1 signaling complex and that all four proteins interact physically, regulating TRPV1 sensitization in transfected HEK293 cells. To assess the physiological and/or therapeutic significance of these findings, similar investigations need to be performed in native neurons and/or in vivo. Full article
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14 pages, 1860 KiB  
Communication
17β-estradiol Enhances 5-Fluorouracil Anti-Cancer Activities in Colon Cancer Cell Lines
by Amani A. Mahbub
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040062 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Background: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) represents one of the major constituents of chemotherapy combination regimens in colon cancer (CRC) treatments; however, this regimen is linked with severe adverse effects and chemoresistance. Thus, developing more efficient approaches for CRC is urgently needed to overcome these problems [...] Read more.
Background: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) represents one of the major constituents of chemotherapy combination regimens in colon cancer (CRC) treatments; however, this regimen is linked with severe adverse effects and chemoresistance. Thus, developing more efficient approaches for CRC is urgently needed to overcome these problems and improve the patient survival rate. Currently, 17β-estradiol (E2) has gained greater attention in colon carcinogenesis, significantly lowering the incidence of CRC in females at reproductive age compared with age-matched males. Aims: This study measured the effects of E2 and/or 5-FU single/dual therapies on cell cycle progression and apoptosis against human HT-29 female and SW480 male primary CRC cells versus their impact on SW620 male metastatic CRC cells. Methods: The HT-29, SW480, and SW620 cells were treated with IC50 of E2 (10 nM) and 5-FU (50 μM), alone or combined (E+F), for 48 h before cell cycle and apoptosis analyses using flow cytometry. Results: The data here showed that E2 monotherapy has great potential to arrest the cell cycle and induce apoptosis in all the investigated colon cancer cells, with the most remarkable effects on metastatic cells (SW620). Most importantly, the dual therapy (E+F) has exerted anti-cancer activities in female (HT-29) and male (SW480) primary CRC cells by inducing apoptosis, which was preferentially provoked in the sub-G1 phase. However, the dual treatment showed the smallest effect in SW620 metastatic cells. Conclusion: this is the first study that demonstrated that the anti-cancer actions of 17β-estradiol and 5-Fluorouracil dual therapy were superior to the monotherapies in female and male primary CRC cells; it is proposed that this treatment strategy could be promising for the early stages of CRC. At the same time, 17β-estradiol monotherapy could be a better approach for treating the metastatic forms of the disease. Nevertheless, additional investigations are still required to determine their precise therapeutic values in CRC. Full article
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7 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
Mental Health of Nurses Working in a Judicial Psychiatry Hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Italy: An Online Survey
by Gianluca La Rosa, Maria Grazia Maggio, Antonino Cannavò, Daniele Tripoli, Federico Di Mauro, Carmela Casella, Giuseppe Rao, Alfredo Manuli and Rocco Salvatore Calabrò
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040061 - 24 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1335
Abstract
The onset of this new pandemic has highlighted the numerous critical issues at the organizational level, which involve both national healthcare and the judicial system. For this reason, nurses working in prisons may exhibit a poor quality of life, mainly related to their [...] Read more.
The onset of this new pandemic has highlighted the numerous critical issues at the organizational level, which involve both national healthcare and the judicial system. For this reason, nurses working in prisons may exhibit a poor quality of life, mainly related to their high level of work stress. This cross-sectional survey aimed to assess the emotional state of nurses working in the Judicial Psychiatry Hospital of Barcellona PG (Messina, Italy) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data collection occurred twice: from 1 April to 20 May 2020 (i.e., during the Italian lockdown) and from 15 October to 31 December 2021 (during the second wave). At baseline, the 35 enrolled nurses presented medium to high levels of stress. At T1, they had a reduction in perceived personal achievement (MBI-PR p = 0.01), an increase in emotional exhaustion (MBI-EE p < 0.001), and stress (PSS p = 0.03), as well as anxiety (STAI Y1/Y2 p < 0.001). Most participants underlined the high usability of the online system (SUS: 69.50/SD 19.9). We also found increased stress, anxiety, and burnout risk in nursing staff. The study clearly demonstrates that the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy caused a worsening of mental health among nurses working in prisons. We believe that monitoring the mental state of healthcare professionals is fundamental to improving their quality of life and healthcare services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing Research)
8 pages, 532 KiB  
Case Report
Polymicrobial Infections in the Immunocompromised Host: The COVID-19 Realm and Beyond
by Eibhlin Higgins, Aanchal Gupta and Nathan W. Cummins
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040060 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Immunosuppression changes both susceptibility to and presentation of infection. Infection with one pathogen can also alter host response to a different, unrelated pathogen. These interactions have been seen across multiple infection domains where bacteria, viruses or fungi act synergistically with a deleterious impact [...] Read more.
Immunosuppression changes both susceptibility to and presentation of infection. Infection with one pathogen can also alter host response to a different, unrelated pathogen. These interactions have been seen across multiple infection domains where bacteria, viruses or fungi act synergistically with a deleterious impact on the host. This phenomenon has been well described with bacterial and fungal infections complicating influenza and is of particular interest in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Modulation of the immune system is a crucial part of successful solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Herein, we present three cases of polymicrobial infection in transplant recipients. These case examples highlight complex host–pathogen interactions and the resultant clinical syndromes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Immunology and Infectious Diseases)
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8 pages, 440 KiB  
Communication
Improvement of Gait after Robotic-Assisted Training in Children with Cerebral Palsy: Are We Heading in the Right Direction?
by Rosaria De Luca, Mirjam Bonanno, Carmela Settimo, Rosalia Muratore and Rocco Salvatore Calabrò
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040059 - 13 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1892
Abstract
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive congenital neurological disorder that affects different physical and cognitive functions in children. In addition to standard rehabilitation, advanced robotic gait devices are novel tools that are becoming progressively more common as part of the treatment of CP. [...] Read more.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a non-progressive congenital neurological disorder that affects different physical and cognitive functions in children. In addition to standard rehabilitation, advanced robotic gait devices are novel tools that are becoming progressively more common as part of the treatment of CP. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effects of Lokomat training, in addition to conventional rehabilitation, on the motor function and quality of life of children with ataxic-spastic CP (ASCP). Ten children with ASCP who attended the Robotic Rehabilitation OutClinic of the IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino Pulejo”, from April to June 2019, were enrolled in this study. They received twenty-four robotic rehabilitation sessions, twice a week for three months, each session lasting about 45 min. They were also provided with conventional physical and occupational therapy. After the innovative training, we found significant changes in the children’s outcomes, i.e., in GMFM (p < 0.001), with significant improvements in sitting (p < 0.03) and walking (p < 0.03). Moreover, the quality of life of the young patients, evaluated by their parents, significantly improved (p < 0.005). The use of robotic systems could be considered to be an effective complementary treatment to improve gait, as well as quality of life, in children with CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neurorehabilitation: Robotics, Virtual Reality and Beyond)
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23 pages, 939 KiB  
Review
SARS-CoV-2-Infection (COVID-19): Clinical Course, Viral Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Cause(s) of Death
by Giuliano Pasquale Ramadori
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040058 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3505
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2-infected symptomatic patients often suffer from high fever and loss of appetite which are responsible for the deficit of fluids and of protein intake. Many patients admitted to the emergency room are, therefore, hypovolemic and hypoproteinemic and often suffer from respiratory distress accompanied [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2-infected symptomatic patients often suffer from high fever and loss of appetite which are responsible for the deficit of fluids and of protein intake. Many patients admitted to the emergency room are, therefore, hypovolemic and hypoproteinemic and often suffer from respiratory distress accompanied by ground glass opacities in the CT scan of the lungs. Ischemic damage in the lung capillaries is responsible for the microscopic hallmark, diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) characterized by hyaline membrane formation, fluid invasion of the alveoli, and progressive arrest of blood flow in the pulmonary vessels. The consequences are progressive congestion, increase in lung weight, and progressive hypoxia (progressive severity of ARDS). Sequestration of blood in the lungs worsens hypovolemia and ischemia in different organs. This is most probably responsible for the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the ischemic peripheral tissues, the release of acute-phase mediators, and for the persistence of elevated serum levels of positive acute-phase markers and of hypoalbuminemia. Autopsy studies have been performed mostly in patients who died in the ICU after SARS-CoV-2 infection because of progressive acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In the death certification charts, after respiratory insufficiency, hypovolemic heart failure should be mentioned as the main cause of death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pneumology and Respiratory Diseases)
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8 pages, 260 KiB  
Review
Resuming Swallowing and Oral Feeding in Tracheostomized COVID-19 Patients: Experience of a Swiss COVID-Center and Narrative Literature Review
by Ruben Forni, Etienne Jacot, Giovanni Ruoppolo, Antonio Amitrano and Adam Ogna
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040057 - 29 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2450
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, percutaneous tracheostomy proved to be an effective option in the management of patients with prolonged periods of intubation. In fact, among other things, it allowed early discharge from ICUs and contributed to reducing overcrowding in intensive care settings, a [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, percutaneous tracheostomy proved to be an effective option in the management of patients with prolonged periods of intubation. In fact, among other things, it allowed early discharge from ICUs and contributed to reducing overcrowding in intensive care settings, a central and critical point in the COVID pandemic. As a direct consequence, the management and the weaning of frail, tracheostomized and ventilated patients was diverted to sub-intensive or normal hospitalization wards. One central challenge in this setting is the resumption of swallowing and oral feeding, which require interdisciplinary management involving a phoniatrician, ENT, pneumologist, and speech therapist. With this article, we aim to share the experience of a Swiss COVID-19 Center and to draw up a narrative review on the issues concerning the management of the tracheostomy cannula during swallowing resumption, integrating the most recent evidence from the literature with the clinical experiences of the professionals directly involved in the management of tracheostomized COVID-19 patients. In view of the heterogeneity of COVID-19 patients, we believe that the procedures described in the article are applicable to a larger population of patients undergoing tracheostomy weaning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Lesion: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments)
7 pages, 224 KiB  
Article
A Pilot Study of Electrocardiographic Features in Patients with Obesity from a Tertiary Care Centre in Southern India (Electron)
by Aditya John Binu, Sirish Chandra Srinath, Kripa Elizabeth Cherian, John Roshan Jacob, Thomas V. Paul and Nitin Kapoor
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040056 - 28 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2116
Abstract
Background: Obesity is associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD). An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be used to screen for subtle signs of CVD or altered cardiac morphology in the obese. Methodology: This observational cross-sectional analysed ECG changes in patients with obesity [...] Read more.
Background: Obesity is associated with increased all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD). An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be used to screen for subtle signs of CVD or altered cardiac morphology in the obese. Methodology: This observational cross-sectional analysed ECG changes in patients with obesity at a tertiary care centre in southern India. Results: One hundred and fifty adult patients with a mean (SD) BMI of 39.9 (6.7) kg/m2 were recruited in the study after excluding those with comorbidities (diabetes mellitus, systemic hypertension) or on chronic medications (ACE inhibitors). The cohort showed a female predominance (69.3%), with a mean (SD) age of 45.4 (11.2) years. Most patients exhibited a sinus rhythm (78%), with one patient showing features of first-degree conduction block. Sinus tachycardia was seen in 32 (21.3%) patients. We observed left and right ventricular hypertrophy in five (3.3%) and three (2%) patients, respectively. Observed ECG patterns included a prolonged QTc in 16 (10.7%) patients, inverted T-waves (mostly in the inferior leads) in 39 (26%) patients and ST-segment depression (predominantly in the lateral leads) in 14 (9.3%) patients. A greater prevalence was noted for morbid obesity. No deaths were reported in our cohort. Conclusions: The predominant ECG variations in this cohort included tachycardia, atrial enlargement, ventricular hypertrophy, conduction defects, LAD, features of ischemia or old infarction and repolarization abnormalities, with a greater prevalence in morbid obesity. Further studies are needed to assess the impact of weight reducing measures on reversibility of these changes and determine the association with outcomes in obese patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
12 pages, 1375 KiB  
Article
Training-Induced Muscle Fatigue with a Powered Lower-Limb Exoskeleton: A Preliminary Study on Healthy Subjects
by Renato Baptista, Francesco Salvaggio, Caterina Cavallo, Serena Pizzocaro, Svonko Galasso, Micaela Schmid and Alessandro Marco De Nunzio
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040055 - 26 Sep 2022
Viewed by 2431
Abstract
Powered lower-limb exoskeletons represent a promising technology for helping the upright stance and gait of people with lower-body paralysis or severe paresis from spinal cord injury. The powered lower-limb exoskeleton assistance can reduce the development of lower-limb muscular fatigue as a risk factor [...] Read more.
Powered lower-limb exoskeletons represent a promising technology for helping the upright stance and gait of people with lower-body paralysis or severe paresis from spinal cord injury. The powered lower-limb exoskeleton assistance can reduce the development of lower-limb muscular fatigue as a risk factor for spasticity. Therefore, measuring powered lower-limb exoskeleton training-induced fatigue is relevant to guiding and improving such technology’s development. In this preliminary study, thirty healthy subjects (age 23.2 ± 2.7 years) performed three motor tasks: (i) walking overground (WO), (ii) treadmill walking (WT), (iii) standing and sitting (STS) in three separate exoskeleton-based training sessions of 60 min each. The changes in the production of lower-limb maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) were assessed for knee and ankle dorsiflexion and extension before and after the three exoskeleton-based trained motor tasks. The MVIC forces decreased significantly after the three trained motor tasks except for the ankle dorsiflexion. However, no significant interaction was found between time (before-, and after-training) and the training sessions except for the knee flexion, where significant fatigue was induced by WO and WT trained motor tasks. The results of this study pose the basis to generate data useful for a better approach to the exoskeleton-based training. The STS task leads to a lower level of muscular fatigue, especially for the knee flexor muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neurorehabilitation: Robotics, Virtual Reality and Beyond)
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8 pages, 1992 KiB  
Brief Report
Easy Intra-Operative Localization of Pulmonary Nodules during Uniportal Video-Assisted Thoracoscopy: Experience with Hydrogel Plugs at Our Institution
by Filippo Longo, Rosario Francesco Grasso, Giovanni Tacchi, Luca Frasca, Eliodoro Faiella and Pierfilippo Crucitti
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040054 - 23 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1677
Abstract
Background: The diffusion of lung cancer screening programs has increased the detection of both solid and ground-glass opacity (GGO) sub-centimetric lesions, leading to the necessity for histological diagnoses. A percutaneous CT-guided biopsy may be challenging, thus making surgical excision a valid diagnostic alternative. [...] Read more.
Background: The diffusion of lung cancer screening programs has increased the detection of both solid and ground-glass opacity (GGO) sub-centimetric lesions, leading to the necessity for histological diagnoses. A percutaneous CT-guided biopsy may be challenging, thus making surgical excision a valid diagnostic alternative. CT-guided hydrogel plug deployment (BioSentry®) was recently proposed to simplify intraoperative nodule localization. Here, we report our initial experience. Methods: We evaluated 62 patients with single, small, peripheral, non-subpleural pulmonary GGO that was suspicious for cancer. All lesions were preoperatively marked, using CT-guidance, with a hydrogel plug (BioSentry®). Then, a uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopy (uniVATS) wedge resection was performed. If cancer was confirmed at the frozen section, a major lung resection was then performed. The study’s end points were the rates of intraoperative localization and of successful resection. Results: The hydrogel plug was correctly placed in 54 of the 62 cases, leading to an effective resection of the target lesion. In the remaining eight cases, the plug was displaced, and so the identification of pleural erosions due to the previous percutaneous procedure guided the resection. The uniVATS resection success rate was 98.3%. Conclusions: CT-guided hydrogel plug placement allowed for the successful detection of lung GGOs and resection with the uniVATS approach. This device allowed us to obtain lung cancer diagnoses and successfully treat 85.4% of cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pneumology and Respiratory Diseases)
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16 pages, 616 KiB  
Review
Time to Load Up–Resistance Training Can Improve the Health of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Scoping Review
by Chris Kite, Elizabeth Parkes, Suzan R. Taylor, Robert W. Davies, Lukasz Lagojda, James E. Brown, David R. Broom, Ioannis Kyrou and Harpal S. Randeva
Med. Sci. 2022, 10(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/medsci10040053 - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3906
Abstract
Background: Guidelines for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) focus on lifestyle changes, incorporating exercise. Whilst evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may be beneficial, less is known about the effectiveness of resistance training (RT), which may be more feasible for those that [...] Read more.
Background: Guidelines for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) focus on lifestyle changes, incorporating exercise. Whilst evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may be beneficial, less is known about the effectiveness of resistance training (RT), which may be more feasible for those that have low fitness levels and/or are unable to tolerate/participate in aerobic exercise. Objectives: To identify the available evidence on RT in women with PCOS and to summarise findings in the context of a scoping review. Eligibility criteria: Studies utilising pre-post designs to assess the effectiveness of RT in PCOS; all outcomes were included. Sources of evidence: Four databases (PubMed, CENTRAL, CINAHL and SportDiscus) were searched and supplemented by hand searching of relevant papers/reference lists. Charting methods: Extracted data were presented in tables and qualitatively synthesised. Results: Searches returned 42 papers; of those, 12 papers were included, relating to six studies/trials. Statistical changes were reported for multiple pertinent outcomes relating to metabolic (i.e., glycaemia and fat-free mass) and hormonal (i.e., testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin) profiles. Conclusions: There is a striking lack of studies in this field and, despite the reported statistical significance for many outcomes, the documented magnitude of changes are small and the quality of the evidence questionable. This highlights an unmet need for rigorously designed/reported and sufficiently powered trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases)
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