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J. Clin. Med., Volume 13, Issue 4 (February-2 2024) – 263 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global seroprevalence of HBV in 2019 was 3.9%, with an estimated 820,000 HBV-associated deaths. Advanced fibrosis is a risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver decompensation, and assessment of liver disease severity is important for treatment decisions in patients with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) with phases of infection and hepatitis. This review provides updated information on currently available non-invasive serum and imaging elastography tests for assessment of fibrosis severity. Imaging elastography may have better diagnostic performance for advanced disease, but simple blood-based tests continue to have utility for resource-limited areas. Optimal combinations of serum and imaging tests have not been established for assessment of fibrosis severity in CHB infection. View this paper
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13 pages, 249 KiB  
Review
A Review of Animal Models Investigating the Reproductive Effects of Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy
by Nicholas S. Raja, Elizabeth S. Rubin and Molly B. Moravek
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041183 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) is an important component in the process of transitioning for many transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals. Multiple medical organizations recommend fertility preservation counseling prior to initiation of GAHT; however, there remains little high-quality data regarding the impact of GAHT [...] Read more.
Gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) is an important component in the process of transitioning for many transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) individuals. Multiple medical organizations recommend fertility preservation counseling prior to initiation of GAHT; however, there remains little high-quality data regarding the impact of GAHT on fertility and reproductive function. A PubMed literature review was performed using Boolean search operators linking keywords or phrases such as “mouse”, “rat”, “primate”, “animal model”, “transgender”, “gender”, “estrogen”, “testosterone”, “fertility”, and “fertility preservation”. Recent research has produced a number of animal models of GAHT that utilize similar hormonal regimens and produce similar phenotypic results to those used and observed in human patients. Specific to testosterone(T)-containing GAHT, animals demonstrate loss of menstrual cyclicity with therapy, resumption of menses on cessation of therapy, suppression of gonadotropin levels, and physical changes such as clitoromegaly. Models mimicking GAHT for transmasculine individuals in the peripubertal period demonstrate that pretreatment with GnRHa therapy does not modify the effects of subsequent T administration, which were similar to those described in adult models. Both models suggest promising potential for future fertility with cessation of T. With estradiol (E)-containing GAHT, animals exhibit decreased size of testicles, epididymis, and seminal vesicles, as well as ongoing production of spermatocytes, and seminiferous tubule vacuolization. Given the ethical challenges of conducting human studies in this area, high-fidelity animal models represent a promising opportunity for investigation and could eventually transform clinical counseling about the necessity of fertility preservation. Future studies should better delineate the interactions (if any exist) between treatment attributes such as dosing and duration with the extent of reversibility of reproductive perturbations. The development of models of peripubertal feminizing GAHT is an additional area for future work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fertility Preservation: Recent Developments and New Insights)
16 pages, 320 KiB  
Review
Management of Neuromuscular Blocking Agents in Critically Ill Patients with Lung Diseases
by Ida Giorgia Iavarone, Lou’i Al-Husinat, Jorge Luis Vélez-Páez, Chiara Robba, Pedro Leme Silva, Patricia R. M. Rocco and Denise Battaglini
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041182 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The use of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) is common in the intensive care unit (ICU). NMBAs have been used in critically ill patients with lung diseases to optimize mechanical ventilation, prevent spontaneous respiratory efforts, reduce the work of breathing and oxygen consumption, and [...] Read more.
The use of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) is common in the intensive care unit (ICU). NMBAs have been used in critically ill patients with lung diseases to optimize mechanical ventilation, prevent spontaneous respiratory efforts, reduce the work of breathing and oxygen consumption, and avoid patient–ventilator asynchrony. In patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), NMBAs reduce the risk of barotrauma and improve oxygenation. Nevertheless, current guidelines and evidence are contrasting regarding the routine use of NMBAs. In status asthmaticus and acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, NMBAs are used in specific conditions to ameliorate patient–ventilator synchronism and oxygenation, although their routine use is controversial. Indeed, the use of NMBAs has decreased over the last decade due to potential adverse effects, such as immobilization, venous thrombosis, patient awareness during paralysis, development of critical illness myopathy, autonomic interactions, ICU-acquired weakness, and residual paralysis after cessation of NMBAs use. The aim of this review is to highlight current knowledge and synthesize the evidence for the effects of NMBAs for critically ill patients with lung diseases, focusing on patient–ventilator asynchrony, ARDS, status asthmaticus, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Full article
14 pages, 1342 KiB  
Article
Development and Internal Validation of a Model for Predicting Overall Survival in Subjects with MAFLD: A Cohort Study
by Caterina Bonfiglio, Angelo Campanella, Rossella Donghia, Antonella Bianco, Isabella Franco, Ritanna Curci, Claudia Beatrice Bagnato, Rossella Tatoli, Gianluigi Giannelli and Francesco Cuccaro
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041181 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Background & Aims: Fatty liver disease with metabolic dysfunction (MAFLD) is a new concept proposed to replace the previous concept of Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis (NAFLD). We developed and internally validated a prognostic model to predict the likelihood of death in a cohort [...] Read more.
Background & Aims: Fatty liver disease with metabolic dysfunction (MAFLD) is a new concept proposed to replace the previous concept of Non-Alcoholic Hepatic Steatosis (NAFLD). We developed and internally validated a prognostic model to predict the likelihood of death in a cohort of subjects with MAFLD. Methods: Our work involved two steps: the first was the construction of a bootstrapped multivariable Cox model for mortality risk prognosis and the second was its validation. Results: The study cohort included 1506 subjects, of which 907 were used for internal validation. Discriminant measures for the final model were R2D 0.6845 and Harrell’s C 0.8422 in the development and R2D 0.6930 and Harrell’s C 0.8465 in the validation. We used the nine independent prognostic factors selected by the LASSO Cox procedure and fitted by the bootstrap Cox survival model, and observed β were: Gender 0.356 1.42 (p < 0.008), Age 0.146 (p < 0.001), Glycemia 0.004 (p < 0.002), Total Cholesterol −0.0040 (p < 0.009), Gamma Glutamyl Transpeptidase 0.009 (p < 0.001), SBP 0.009 (p < 0.036), DBP −0.016 (p < 0.041), ALP 0.008 (p < 0.071) and Widowhood 0.550 (p < 0.001). Conclusions: We produced and validated a model to estimate the probability of death in subjects with MAFLD. The instruments we used showed satisfactory predictive capabilities. Full article
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15 pages, 672 KiB  
Article
Recognizing and Appreciating the Partner’s Support Protects Relationship Satisfaction during Cardiac Illness
by Giada Rapelli, Silvia Donato, Emanuele Maria Giusti, Giada Pietrabissa, Miriam Parise, Ariela Francesca Pagani, Chiara A. M. Spatola, Anna Bertoni and Gianluca Castelnuovo
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041180 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 553
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to examine whether dyadic coping (DC) is associated with relationship satisfaction (RS) among couples facing cardiac diseases. Furthermore, the moderating role of both partners’ anxiety and depression was tested. Methods: One hundred cardiac patients (81.5% men) and their partners [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to examine whether dyadic coping (DC) is associated with relationship satisfaction (RS) among couples facing cardiac diseases. Furthermore, the moderating role of both partners’ anxiety and depression was tested. Methods: One hundred cardiac patients (81.5% men) and their partners (81.5% women) completed a self-report questionnaire during hospitalization. The Actor–Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) and moderation analyses were used to assess the above associations. Results: Results showed that positive DC was significantly related to higher levels of RS, and negative DC was related to lower levels of RS. Furthermore, patient and partner psychological distress significantly moderated the link between DC and RS: patient-perceived positive DC was associated with higher partner RS when partner depression was high; partner-perceived positive DC was associated with higher patient RS when patient anxiety was low; patient-perceived negative DC has associated with lower patient RS when patient anxiety and depression were high. Conclusion: This study showed that positive DC is associated with a more satisfying relationship and identified under what conditions of cardiac-related distress this can happen. Furthermore, this study underlined the importance of examining DC in addition to the individual coping skills as a process pertaining to personal well-being and couple’s outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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11 pages, 250 KiB  
Review
Interactions between the Exocrine and the Endocrine Pancreas
by Roberto Valente, Alessandro Coppola, Chiara Maria Scandavini, Asif Halimi, Annelie Magnusson, Augusto Lauro, Ira Sotirova, Urban Arnelo and Oskar Franklin
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041179 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 876
Abstract
The pancreas has two main functions: to produce and secrete digestive enzymes (exocrine function) and to produce hormones that regulate blood glucose and splanchnic secretion (endocrine function). The endocrine and exocrine portions of the pancreas are central regulators in digestion and metabolism, with [...] Read more.
The pancreas has two main functions: to produce and secrete digestive enzymes (exocrine function) and to produce hormones that regulate blood glucose and splanchnic secretion (endocrine function). The endocrine and exocrine portions of the pancreas are central regulators in digestion and metabolism, with continuous crosstalk between their deeply interconnected components, which plays a role in disease. Pancreatic neoplasms, inflammation, trauma, and surgery can lead to the development of type 3c diabetes when an insult simultaneously damages both acini and islets, leading to exocrine and endocrine dysfunction. In diabetes mellitus patients, pancreatic exocrine insufficiency is highly prevalent, yet little is known about the associations between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic exocrine function. This review aims to provide an overview of the physiology of the pancreas, summarize the pathophysiology and diagnostic work-up of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency, and explore the relationships between exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and diabetes mellitus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Medicine)
17 pages, 2665 KiB  
Article
Behavioral Disorders of Spatial Cognition in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s Disease: Preliminary Findings from the BDSC-MCI Project
by Davide Maria Cammisuli, Valeria Isella, Federico Verde, Vincenzo Silani, Nicola Ticozzi, Simone Pomati, Virginia Bellocchio, Valentina Granese, Benedetta Vignati, Gloria Marchesi, Lorenzo Augusto Prete, Giada Pavanello and Gianluca Castelnuovo
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041178 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 886
Abstract
(1) Background: Spatial cognition (SC) is one of the earliest cognitive domains to be impaired in the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), resulting in spatial disorientation and becoming lost even in familiar surroundings as later dementia symptoms. To date, few studies have identified [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Spatial cognition (SC) is one of the earliest cognitive domains to be impaired in the course of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), resulting in spatial disorientation and becoming lost even in familiar surroundings as later dementia symptoms. To date, few studies have identified initial alterations of spatial navigation (SN) in the premorbid AD phase by real-world paradigms, and none have adopted an innovative technological apparatus to better detect gait alterations as well as physiological aspects correlated to spatial disorientation (SD). The present study aimed at exploring initial SN defects in patients with prodromal AD via a naturalistic task by using a sensory garment. (2) Methods: 20 community-dwelling patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) due to AD and 20 age/education controls were assessed on their sequential egocentric and allocentric navigation abilities by using a modified version of the Detour Navigation Test (DNT-mv). (3) Results: When compared to controls, patients with MCI due to AD exhibited higher wrong turns (WT) and moments of hesitation (MsH) in the DNT-mv, reflecting difficulties both in sequential egocentric and allocentric navigation, depending on hippocampal deterioration. Moreover, they reported more complaints about their SN competencies and lower long-term visuospatial memory abilities than controls. Remarkably, WTs and MsH manifested in the allocentric naturalistic task of the DNT-mv were associated with autonomic nervous system alteration pertaining to cardiac functioning in the whole sample. (4) Conclusions: Naturalistic navigation tests of hippocampal function using a continuous non-invasive monitoring device can provide early markers of spatial disorientation in patients with MCI due to AD. Future studies should develop cognitive remediation techniques able to enhance SC residual abilities in patients at high risk of conversion into dementia and ecological paradigms to be replicated on a large scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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15 pages, 1063 KiB  
Article
Immediate Effect of Cryo-Compression Therapy on Biomechanical Properties and Perfusion of Forearm Muscles in Mixed Martial Arts Fighters
by Robert Trybulski, Adrian Kużdżał, Marta Bichowska-Pawęska, Andriy Vovkanych, Adam Kawczyński, Grzegorz Biolik and Jarosław Muracki
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041177 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 888
Abstract
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters use their arms and hands for striking with the fists, grappling, and defensive techniques, which puts a high load on the forearms and hand muscles. New methods are needed to decrease the risk of injury and increase the [...] Read more.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters use their arms and hands for striking with the fists, grappling, and defensive techniques, which puts a high load on the forearms and hand muscles. New methods are needed to decrease the risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of regeneration. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of cryo-compression (CC) therapy of different times (3 and 6 min) on forearm muscles in MMA fighters by investigating muscle pain, stiffness, tension, elasticity strength, and perfusion. Twenty professional male MMA fighters aged 26.5 ± 4.5 years, with training experience of 10.3 ± 5.0 years, were enrolled on an experimental within-group study design. The participants underwent CC therapy at a temperature of 3 °C and compression of 75 mmHg for 3 min and, in the second session, for 6 min. The investigated parameters were in the following order: (1) perfusion in non-reference units (PU), (2) muscle tone (T—[Hz]), (3) stiffness (S—[N/m]), (4) elasticity (E—[arb]), (5) pressure pain threshold (PPT—[N/cm]), and (6) maximum isometric force (Fmax [kgf]) at two time points: (1) at rest—2 min before CC therapy (pre) and (2) 2 min after CC therapy (post). There were significant differences between 3 and 6 min of CC therapy for PU and T. Meanwhile, F, E, PPT, and S were significantly different when comparing pre- to post-conditions. These results provide evidence that CC therapy is a stimulus that significantly affects parameters characterizing muscle biomechanical properties, pain threshold, strength, and tissue perfusion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Aspects of Return to Sport after Injuries)
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18 pages, 340 KiB  
Review
Do Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death in End-Stage Renal Disease Patients on Dialysis?
by Beata Franczyk, Jacek Rysz, Robert Olszewski and Anna Gluba-Sagr
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041176 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease patients appear to be predisposed to heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, ventricular arrhythmias, and supraventricular tachycardias, which increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. The pathophysiological factors underlying arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in patients with end-stage renal [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease patients appear to be predisposed to heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation/atrial flutter, ventricular arrhythmias, and supraventricular tachycardias, which increase the risk of sudden cardiac death. The pathophysiological factors underlying arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death in patients with end-stage renal disease are unique and include timing and frequency of dialysis and dialysate composition, vulnerable myocardium, and acute proarrhythmic factors triggering asystole. The high incidence of sudden cardiac deaths suggests that this population could benefit from implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy. The introduction of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators significantly decreased the rate of all-cause mortality; however, the benefits of this therapy among patients with chronic kidney disease remain controversial since the studies provide conflicting results. Electrolyte imbalances in haemodialysis patients may result in ineffective shock therapy or the appearance of non-shockable underlying arrhythmic sudden cardiac death. Moreover, the implantation of such devices is associated with a risk of infections and central venous stenosis. Therefore, in the population of patients with heart failure and severe renal impairment, periprocedural risk and life expectancy must be considered when deciding on potential device implantation. Harmonised management of rhythm disorders and renal disease can potentially minimise risks and improve patients’ outcomes and prognosis. Full article
8 pages, 1113 KiB  
Case Report
Treatment and Rehabilitation of a Patient with Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder-Induced Complete Spinal Cord Injury Following COVID-19 Vaccination: A Case Report
by Jun-Sang Han, Seong-Mun Ryu, Young-Hwan Lim, Ae-Ryoung Kim and Tae-Du Jung
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041175 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1943
Abstract
Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disease (NMOSD) is a rare autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system characterized by optic neuritis, myelitis, or brain lesions. Its symptoms overlap with those of multiple sclerosis (MS), making a diagnosis of NMOSD challenging. Here, we report a rare [...] Read more.
Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disease (NMOSD) is a rare autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system characterized by optic neuritis, myelitis, or brain lesions. Its symptoms overlap with those of multiple sclerosis (MS), making a diagnosis of NMOSD challenging. Here, we report a rare case of NMOSD-induced complete spinal cord injury following COVID-19 vaccination. A 52-year-old female patient developed NMOSD-induced complete spinal cord injury after receiving their third dose of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2). Despite the initial diagnosis of complete spinal cord injury, the patient underwent intensive treatment, including rituximab therapy and rehabilitation. As a result, she made a full recovery and transitioned from the ASIA Impairment Scale(AIS)-A to AIS-E. The remarkable neurological recovery from complete spinal cord injury to functional independence highlights the efficacy of a comprehensive treatment approach. In addition, this case emphasizes the need to recognize NMOSD as a potential adverse outcome of COVID-19 vaccination and emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis, timely intervention, and thorough rehabilitation for optimizing patient results. Further case reports and studies are needed to investigate the association between COVID-19 vaccination and the occurrence of NMOSD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Rehabilitation)
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15 pages, 2943 KiB  
Systematic Review
Oral Dexmedetomidine Achieves Superior Effects in Mitigating Emergence Agitation and Demonstrates Comparable Sedative Effects to Oral Midazolam for Pediatric Premedication: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Studies
by Chun-Kai Jen, Kuo-Ching Lu, Kuan-Wen Chen, Yun-Ru Lu, I-Tao Huang, Yu-Chen Huang and Chun-Jen Huang
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041174 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 635
Abstract
Background: Oral midazolam is the most commonly used sedative premedication agent in pediatric patients. While effective, oral midazolam cannot reduce the incidence of emergence agitation. Oral dexmedetomidine may be effective in providing satisfactory sedation and reduce the incidence of emergence agitation, although [...] Read more.
Background: Oral midazolam is the most commonly used sedative premedication agent in pediatric patients. While effective, oral midazolam cannot reduce the incidence of emergence agitation. Oral dexmedetomidine may be effective in providing satisfactory sedation and reduce the incidence of emergence agitation, although the results of different randomized controlled trials are conflicting. Methods: This study enrolled randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining premedication with oral dexmedetomidine versus oral midazolam in pediatric patients undergoing general anesthesia. PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, and the Web of Science database were searched from their inception until June 2023. The outcomes were the incidence of satisfactory preoperative sedation, satisfactory sedation during separation from parents, satisfactory sedation during anesthesia induction using an anesthesia mask, and the incidence of emergence agitation. Results: A total of 9 RCTs comprising 885 patients were analyzed. Our data revealed comparable effects of dexmedetomidine and midazolam with respect to satisfactory preoperative sedation and a satisfactory incidence of sedation during parental separation and mask acceptance before anesthesia induction. Notably, our data revealed that the rate of emergence agitation was significantly lower in pediatric patients receiving dexmedetomidine (n = 162) than in those receiving midazolam (n = 159) (odds ratio = 0.16; 95% confidence interval: 0.06 to 0.44; p < 0.001; I2 = 35%). Conclusions: Data from this meta-analysis revealed comparable effects for premedication with oral dexmedetomidine or oral midazolam with respect to satisfactory sedation; furthermore, premedication with oral dexmedetomidine more effectively mitigated emergence agitation in pediatric patients receiving general anesthesia compared with oral midazolam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anesthesia in General Surgery: Clinical Management and Challenges)
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11 pages, 1682 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Correlation between Ptosis Improvement and Immediate Postoperative Lagophthalmos following Blepharoptosis Surgery under General Anesthesia in Pediatric Patients
by Jae Hoon Jeong and Chong Soo Park
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041173 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 454
Abstract
Background: The objective of this study is to establish a potential correlation between postoperative improvement in upper eyelid ptosis, measured by the marginal reflex distance 1 (MRD1), and the immediate postoperative degrees of lagophthalmos (IPDL). The established correlation is then used to [...] Read more.
Background: The objective of this study is to establish a potential correlation between postoperative improvement in upper eyelid ptosis, measured by the marginal reflex distance 1 (MRD1), and the immediate postoperative degrees of lagophthalmos (IPDL). The established correlation is then used to assess whether IPDL can be used as a reliable indicator of successful treatment of eyelid ptosis. Methods: This retrospective study involved 19 patients, aged 1 to 11, with a total of 28 eyes affected by ptosis, who underwent surgery under general anesthesia at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital from January 2018 to December 2022. We monitored the MRD1 of the patients for over six months postoperatively and measured the IPDL. Results: After ptosis correction surgery, no statistically significant correlation was observed between the improvement in MRD1 and IPDL. Furthermore, the degree of postoperative eyelid ptosis improvement was found to vary and was not consistently sustained, attributable to a range of factors. Conclusions: Our study did not establish a statistically significant correlation between IPDL and ptosis improvement as measured by MRD1. Further research is needed to draw definitive conclusions about their correlation. Full article
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24 pages, 2847 KiB  
Article
Efficacy and Safety of Antidiabetic Agents for Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Depression: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trials
by Jian Zhang, Rongyi Sun, Yang Cai, Bo Peng, Xi Yang and Keming Gao
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041172 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 796
Abstract
Background: This meta-analysis aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of antidiabetic agents in the treatment of major depressive disorder and bipolar depression. Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of antidiabetic agents in major depressive disorder or bipolar depression were searched in three electronic [...] Read more.
Background: This meta-analysis aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of antidiabetic agents in the treatment of major depressive disorder and bipolar depression. Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of antidiabetic agents in major depressive disorder or bipolar depression were searched in three electronic databases and three clinical trial registry websites from their inception up to October 2023. The differences in changes in the depression rating scale scores from baseline to endpoint or pre-defined sessions, response rate, remission rate, rate of side effects and dropout rate between antidiabetic agents and placebo were meta-analyzed. Results: Six RCTs involving 399 participants were included in the final meta-analysis, which did not find that antidiabetics outperformed the placebo in reducing depressive symptoms. The standardized mean difference (SMD) in the depression scores from baseline to endpoint was 0.25 (95% CI −0.1, 0.61). However, a subgroup analysis found a significant difference between antidiabetics and placebos in reducing depressive symptoms in Middle Eastern populations, with an SMD of 0.89 (95% CI 0.44, 1.34). Conclusions: The current meta-analysis does not support the efficacy of antidiabetics being superior to the placebo in the treatment of unipolar and bipolar depression. However, a subgroup analysis indicates that patients from the Middle East may benefit from adding an antidiabetic medication to their ongoing medication(s) for their depression. Larger studies with good-quality study designs are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuropsychopharmacology: Advances, Challenges and Opportunities)
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4 pages, 172 KiB  
Editorial
Current Challenges in the Management of Vitreoretinal Conditions
by Georgios D. Panos
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041171 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 424
Abstract
In the dynamic realm of ophthalmology, the management of vitreoretinal conditions stands as a testament to both significant progress and ongoing challenges [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Challenges in the Management of Vitreoretinal Conditions)
14 pages, 2580 KiB  
Article
Validation of the Italian Version of the Web Screening Questionnaire for Common Mental Disorders
by Giada Pietrabissa, Michelle Semonella, Gloria Marchesi, Stefania Mannarini, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Gerhard Andersson and Alessandro Alberto Rossi
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041170 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 549
Abstract
Background: The ever-increasing spread of Internet-based systems for common mental disorders has generated the need for brief online screening methods. This study aims to test the psychometric properties of the Web Screening Questionnaire (WSQ) to examine its suitability for screening for common mental [...] Read more.
Background: The ever-increasing spread of Internet-based systems for common mental disorders has generated the need for brief online screening methods. This study aims to test the psychometric properties of the Web Screening Questionnaire (WSQ) to examine its suitability for screening for common mental health problems among a community sample of Italian adults. Methods: A total of 1282 subjects (F = 819; mean age = 42.05) answered the WSQ. Its discriminant characteristics were examined with other validated selected scales for measuring mental health widely used in the Italian population using sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC), as well as positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV). Results: Most of the WSQ subscales exhibited moderate to high specificity values. Specifically, the scales of ‘agoraphobia’ (0.947; 95%CI [0.934, 0.960]), ‘anxiety’ (0.959; 95%CI [0.946, 0.970]), and ‘panic disorder’ (0.973; 95%CI [0.964, 0.981]) showed the highest values whilst the ‘obsessive-compulsive’ dimension had the lowest value at 0.838, 95%CI [0.815, 0.861]. With exceptions observed for ‘depression’ (0.716; 95%CI [642, 798]) and ‘alcohol abuse’ (0.760; 95%CI [560, 920]), instead, the WSQ demonstrated critical sensitivity values (<0.6) in all dimensions. Conclusions: The WSQ was appropriate for discriminating between people with and without a psychiatric condition, as it helps to confirm the absence of disorders. However, further diagnostic procedures are required, in case of a positive WSQ screening result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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2 pages, 151 KiB  
Reply
Reply to Ronsivalle, S.; Di Luca, M. Exploring the Choice of Graft Materials in Tympanoplasty: A Perspective on the Use of Temporalis Fascia and Cartilage Grafts. Comment on “Ferlito et al. Type 1 Tympanoplasty Outcomes between Cartilage and Temporal Fascia Grafts: A Long-Term Retrospective. J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11, 7000”
by Antonino Maniaci, Jerome R. Lechien, Miguel Mayo-Yanez, Mario Lentini and Federico Merlino
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041169 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 289
Abstract
We sincerely appreciate the valuable insights Ronsivalle et al [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Otolaryngology)
15 pages, 1334 KiB  
Article
Expression of Tissue Inhibitors of Metalloproteinases (TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TIMP-3, TIMP-4) in Blood Serum of Patients with Keratoconus
by Marta Nowak-Wąs, Paweł Wąs, Zenon Czuba, Romuald Wojnicz and Dorota Wyględowska-Promieńska
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041168 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Background: The etiology of keratoconus is unclear. Current evidence suggests that inflammatory and systemic mechanisms might play a role in its pathophysiology. The proper interaction of proteolytic enzymes—matrix metalloproteinases—and their specific tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) within the cornea is essential in maintaining its structure, [...] Read more.
Background: The etiology of keratoconus is unclear. Current evidence suggests that inflammatory and systemic mechanisms might play a role in its pathophysiology. The proper interaction of proteolytic enzymes—matrix metalloproteinases—and their specific tissue inhibitors (TIMPs) within the cornea is essential in maintaining its structure, transparency and healing processes. The aim of the study was to determine the concentration of the TIMPs TIMP-1, TIMP-2, TIMP-3, and TIMP-4 in the blood serum samples of patients with keratoconus compared to the control group. Methods: The study encompassed 132 patients, of which 83 people constituted the study group and 49 the control group. The concentration of selected TIMPs was determined using the Human Magnetic Luminex® Performance Assay method. Results: In the study group, the concentrations of TIMP-1 and TIMP-3 were statistically significantly reduced, and TIMP-2 and TIMP-4 increased compared to the control group. The analysis of individual TIMPs in terms of their usefulness as potential predictors of keratoconus showed high results of diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for all TIMPs, in particular for TIMP-1 and TIMP-2. Conclusion: The above results may indicate systemic disturbances in the TIMPs regulation among keratoconus patients. High diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of all TIMPs, in particular TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, may confirm their participation in the etiopathogenesis of this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Keratoconus Diagnosis and Management—Part II)
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13 pages, 818 KiB  
Article
Complications and Outcomes in 39,864 Patients Receiving Standard Care Plus Mechanical Circulatory Support or Standard Care Alone for Infarct-Associated Cardiogenic Shock
by Jan-Sören Padberg, Jannik Feld, Leonie Padberg, Jeanette Köppe, Lena Makowski, Joachim Gerß, Patrik Dröge, Thomas Ruhnke, Christian Günster, Stefan Andreas Lange and Holger Reinecke
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041167 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 815
Abstract
Background: Temporary mechanical circulatory support devices (tMCS) are increasingly being used in patients with infarct-associated cardiogenic shock (AMICS). Evidence on patient selection, complications and long-term outcomes is lacking. We aim to investigate differences in clinical characteristics, complications and outcomes between patients receiving no [...] Read more.
Background: Temporary mechanical circulatory support devices (tMCS) are increasingly being used in patients with infarct-associated cardiogenic shock (AMICS). Evidence on patient selection, complications and long-term outcomes is lacking. We aim to investigate differences in clinical characteristics, complications and outcomes between patients receiving no tMCS or either intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) or Impella® for AMICS, with a particular focus on long-term outcomes. Methods: Using health claim data from AOK—Die Gesundheitskasse (local health care funds), we retrospectively analysed complications and outcomes of all insured patients with AMICS between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2017. Results: A total of 39,864 patients were included (IABP 5451; Impella 776; V-A ECMO 833; no tMCS 32,804). In-hospital complications, including renal failure requiring dialysis (50.3% V-A ECMO vs. 30.5% Impella vs. 29.2 IABP vs. 12.1% no tMCS), major bleeding (38.1% vs. 20.9% vs. 18.0% vs. 9.3%) and sepsis (22.5% vs. 15.9% vs. 13.9% vs. 9.3%) were more common in V-A ECMO patients. In a multivariate analysis, the use of both V-A ECMO (HR 1.57, p < 0.001) and Impella (HR 1.25, p < 0.001) were independently associated with long-term mortality, whereas use of IABP was not (HR 0.89, p < 0.001). Kaplan–Meier estimates showed better survival for patients on IABP compared with Impella, V-A ECMO and no-tMCS. Short- and long-term mortality was high across all groups. Conclusions: Our data show noticeably more in-hospital complications in patients on tMCS and higher mortality with V-A ECMO and Impella. The use of both devices is an independent risk factor for mortality, whereas the use of IABP is associated with a survival benefit. Full article
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11 pages, 1832 KiB  
Article
Suitable Patient Selection and Optimal Timing of Treatment for Persistent Air Leak after Lung Resection
by Yoshikane Yamauchi, Hiroyuki Adachi, Nobumasa Takahashi, Takao Morohoshi, Taketsugu Yamamoto, Makoto Endo, Tsuyoshi Ueno, Tekkan Woo, Yuichi Saito and Noriyoshi Sawabata
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041166 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Objectives: The choice of therapeutic intervention for postoperative air leak varies between institutions. We aimed to identify the optimal timing and patient criteria for therapeutic intervention in cases of postoperative air leaks after lung resection. Methods: This study utilized data from a prospective [...] Read more.
Objectives: The choice of therapeutic intervention for postoperative air leak varies between institutions. We aimed to identify the optimal timing and patient criteria for therapeutic intervention in cases of postoperative air leaks after lung resection. Methods: This study utilized data from a prospective multicenter observational study conducted in 2019. Among the 2187 cases in the database, 420 cases with air leaks on postoperative day 1 were identified. The intervention group underwent therapeutic interventions, such as pleurodesis or surgery, while the observation group was monitored without intervention. A comparison between the intervention group and the observation group were analyzed using the cumulative distribution and hazard functions. Results: Forty-six patients (11.0%) were included in the intervention group. The multivariate analysis revealed that low body mass index (p = 0.019), partial resection (p = 0.010), intraoperative use of fibrin glue (p = 0.008), severe air leak on postoperative day 1 (p < 0.001), and high forced expiratory volume in 1 s (p = 0.021) were significant predictors of the requirement for intervention. The proportion of patients with persistent air leak in the observation group was 20% on postoperative day 5 and 94% on postoperative day 7. The hazard of air leak cessation peaked from postoperative day 3 to postoperative day 7. Conclusions: This research contributes valuable insights into predicting therapeutic interventions for postoperative air leaks and identifies scenarios where spontaneous cessation is probable. A validation through prospective studies is warranted to affirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Latest Advances in Thoracic Surgery)
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16 pages, 3234 KiB  
Article
Influence of Cementation Mode and Ferrule Design on the Fatigue Resistance of Monolithic Zirconia Endocrowns
by Milan Stoilov, Tobias Boehmer, Lea Stoilov, Helmut Stark, Michael Marder, Norbert Enkling and Dominik Kraus
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041165 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Background: Classic endocrowns made of dental ceramics are considered a promising alternative to traditional post-endodontic restorations. The use of circular ferrules in endocrowns is a topic of controversial discussion. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the effect of ferrule design and [...] Read more.
Background: Classic endocrowns made of dental ceramics are considered a promising alternative to traditional post-endodontic restorations. The use of circular ferrules in endocrowns is a topic of controversial discussion. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the effect of ferrule design and cementation mode on the fatigue resistance of zirconia endocrowns. Methods: Eighty human molars were divided into four groups (n = 20): NFC (no-ferrule, conventional cementation), NFA (no-ferrule, adhesive luting), FC (ferrule, conventional cementation) and FA (ferrule, adhesive luting). Both the classic and the modified endocrown preparation with a two-millimeter ferrule design were carried out. Endocrowns were fabricated from zirconia using the CEREC system. After thermocycling, specimens were loaded according to the step-stress test up to 1500 N. Results: Failure rate was low; 88.8% of total specimens passed the step-stress test. Fractures were distributed between all groups; no significant differences in fatigue resistance were detected for preparation design and cementation mode. Conclusions: Endocrowns appear to be a promising concept for endodontically treated molars. Ferrule and also cementation mode have only a minor influence on fatigue resistance of zirconia endocrowns. However, at very high forces, the marginal area of the ferrule represents a weak point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modern Patient-Centered Dental Care)
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13 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Caries Experience before and after COVID-19 Restrictions: An Observational Study
by Eduardo Guerreiro, João Botelho, Vanessa Machado, Luís Proença, José João Mendes and Ana Cristina Manso
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041164 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 691
Abstract
Background: The declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2020 led to the suspension of several clinical practices globally, including dentistry. This study investigates the impact of these restrictions on dental caries experience. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study [...] Read more.
Background: The declaration of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2020 led to the suspension of several clinical practices globally, including dentistry. This study investigates the impact of these restrictions on dental caries experience. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted at Egas Moniz University’s dental hospital in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area from June 2019 to June 2021. The study involved 3380 participants who were divided into two cohorts: after and before COVID-19 restrictions. Data collection included a questionnaire, full-mouth clinical examinations, and radiographs (panoramic X-rays, bitewings). Results: Before the COVID-19 restrictions, the prevalence of dental caries was 91.8%, with an average DMFT (decayed, missing, and filled teeth) index of 12.13. Post-restrictions, the prevalence decreased to 84.5%, with a DMFT index of 10.99. There was an increase in missing teeth and a decrease in decayed and filled teeth. Additionally, the frequency of toothbrushing declined among participants. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have significantly impacted dental caries experiences and oral health, highlighting a decrease in dental caries, but also a concerning reduction in oral hygiene practices. These results emphasize the importance of customized dental healthcare during public health emergencies to reduce impacts and maintain oral health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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13 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Functional Limitations on Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Emotion-Triggered Takotsubo Syndrome
by Jean Pierre Jabbour, Luca Arcari, Luca Cacciotti, Damiano Magrì, Tommaso Recchioni, Livia Valeri, Enrico Maggio, Carmine Dario Vizza, Roberto Badagliacca and Silvia Papa
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041163 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Background: In patients with prior Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), long-lasting functional cardiac limitations were described as compared with normal subjects. Emotion-triggered Takotsubo syndrome (E-TTS) has more favorable outcomes than TTS preceded by a physical trigger or by no identifiable factors. The aim of the [...] Read more.
Background: In patients with prior Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), long-lasting functional cardiac limitations were described as compared with normal subjects. Emotion-triggered Takotsubo syndrome (E-TTS) has more favorable outcomes than TTS preceded by a physical trigger or by no identifiable factors. The aim of the present study was to assess long-term cardiac functional limitations in a cohort of asymptomatic E-TTS patients. Methods: We enrolled n = 40 asymptomatic patients with a diagnosis of E-TTS. Cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPET) were performed at 30 (12–40) months median follow-up from the acute event. A cohort of n = 40 individuals matched for age, sex, body mass index and comorbidities served as control. Results: Despite recovery of left ventricular ejection fraction, patients with prior E-TTS had lower peak VO2 and percentage of predicted peak VO2 (17.8 ± 3.6 vs. 22.1 ± 6.5; p < 0.001 and 75.2 ± 14.1% vs. 100.6 ± 17.1%, p < 0.001), VO2 at anaerobic threshold (AT) (11.5 [10.1–12.9] vs. 14.4 [12.5–18.7]; p < 0.001), peak O2 pulse (9.8 ± 2.5 vs. 12.9 ± 3.5; p < 0.001) and higher VE/VCO2 slope (30.5 ± 3.7 vs. 27.3 ± 3.5; p < 0.001) compared with matched controls. We found no statistically significant differences in heart rate reserve (HRR), respiratory equivalent ratio (RER), mean blood pressure and peak PetCO2 between patients and controls. Conclusions: Despite its favorable outcome, patients with E-TTS in our population were found to have subclinical long-term functional cardiac limitations as compared with a control cohort. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Sports Cardiology)
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10 pages, 529 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Mechanical Bowel Preparation and Oral Antibiotics in Colorectal Cancer Surgery (MECCA Study): A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial
by Maximos Frountzas, Victoria Michalopoulou, Georgia Georgiou, Despoina Kanata, Maria Matiatou, Despina Kimpizi, Georgia Matthaiou, Spilios Spiliotopoulos, Dimitrios Vouros, Konstantinos G. Toutouzas and George E. Theodoropoulos
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041162 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Background: Colorectal cancer surgery has been associated with surgical site infections (SSIs), leading to an increase in postoperative morbidity, length of stay and total cost. The aim of the present randomized study was to investigate the relationship between the preoperative administration of oral [...] Read more.
Background: Colorectal cancer surgery has been associated with surgical site infections (SSIs), leading to an increase in postoperative morbidity, length of stay and total cost. The aim of the present randomized study was to investigate the relationship between the preoperative administration of oral antibiotic therapy and SSI rate, as well as other postoperative outcomes in patients undergoing colorectal cancer surgery. Material and Methods: Patients who underwent colorectal cancer surgery in a university surgical department were included in the present study. Patients were randomized into two groups using the “block randomization” method. The intervention group received three doses of 400 mg rifaximin and one dose of 500 mg metronidazole per os, as well as mechanical bowel preparation the day before surgery. The control group underwent only mechanical bowel preparation the day before surgery. The study has been registered in ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03563586). Results: Two hundred and five patients were finally included in the present study, 97 of whom received preoperative antibiotic therapy per os (intervention group). Patients of this group demonstrated a significantly lower SSI rate compared with patients who did not receive preoperative antibiotic therapy (7% vs. 16%, p = 0.049). However, preoperative antibiotic administration was not correlated with any other postoperative outcome (anastomotic leak, overall complications, readmissions, length of stay). Conclusions: Preoperative antibiotic therapy in combination with mechanical bowel preparation seemed to be correlated with a lower SSI rate after colorectal cancer surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advancements and Challenges in Colorectal Surgery)
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8 pages, 217 KiB  
Article
Diagnostic Value of Ileal Lesions Found during Colonoscopy with Reference to Endoscopic Indications and Findings
by Dae Sung Kim, Ji Eun Ryu, Jieun Shin, Hoon Sup Koo, Sanghyuk Lee, Hwanhyi Cho, Jongheon Na and Kyu Chan Huh
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041161 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 575
Abstract
The diagnostic value of ileoscopy is not well established, and its routine practice is controversial. We aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of biopsy for macroscopically abnormal lesions in the terminal ileum and to identify the association between endoscopic indications and findings and [...] Read more.
The diagnostic value of ileoscopy is not well established, and its routine practice is controversial. We aimed to investigate the diagnostic value of biopsy for macroscopically abnormal lesions in the terminal ileum and to identify the association between endoscopic indications and findings and the presence of significant disease. This retrospective study included 551 patients who underwent biopsy of abnormal lesions in the terminal ileum (TI) during colonoscopy between February 2000 and June 2019. Biopsy results were analyzed in relation to the endoscopic indications and gross findings. Significant disease was defined as a case in which a specific disease was suspected or confirmed by the biopsy results, requiring additional examination or treatment. Among the 551 biopsies from macroscopically abnormal lesions in the TI, 44 (8.0%) had significant diseases. The frequency of significant disease was high in patients with clinically suspected inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (50.0%), anemia (31.6%), right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain (28.6%), and radiological abnormalities in the TI (27.5%). The frequency of Crohn’s disease (CD) was high in patients with clinically suspected IBD. A concurrent abnormality in the ileocecal valve (ICV) (14.3%) and the presence of an ulcer (14.2%), mass, or polyp (25.4%) correlated with a high incidence of significant disease, particularly CD. In cases of suspected IBD, anemia, RLQ pain, and radiologic abnormalities in the TI, there is a high possibility of significant disease. Ulcers, masses, polyps, and concurrent abnormalities in the ICV were also associated with significant disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gastroenterology & Hepatopancreatobiliary Medicine)
17 pages, 3494 KiB  
Article
TGF-β1, pSmad-2/3, Smad-7, and β-Catenin Are Augmented in the Pulmonary Arteries from Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF): Role in Driving Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EndMT)
by Archana Vijay Gaikwad, Mathew Suji Eapen, Surajit Dey, Prem Bhattarai, Affan Mahmood Shahzad, Collin Chia, Jade Jaffar, Glen Westall, Darren Sutherland, Gurpreet Kaur Singhera, Tillie-Louise Hackett, Wenying Lu and Sukhwinder Singh Sohal
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041160 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 820
Abstract
Background: We have previously reported that endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is an active process in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) contributing to arterial remodelling. Here, we aim to quantify drivers of EndMT in IPF patients compared to normal controls (NCs). Methods: Lung resections [...] Read more.
Background: We have previously reported that endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) is an active process in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) contributing to arterial remodelling. Here, we aim to quantify drivers of EndMT in IPF patients compared to normal controls (NCs). Methods: Lung resections from thirteen IPF patients and eleven NCs were immunohistochemically stained for EndMT drivers, including TGF-β1, pSmad-2/3, Smad-7, and β-catenin. Intima, media, and adventitia were analysed for expression of each EndMT driver in pulmonary arteries. Computer- and microscope-assisted Image ProPlus7.0 image analysis software was used for quantifications. Results: Significant TGF-β1, pSmad-2/3, Smad-7, and β-catenin expression was apparent across all arterial sizes in IPF (p < 0.05). Intimal TGF-β1, pSmad-2/3, Smad-7, and β-catenin were augmented in the arterial range of 100–1000 μm (p < 0.001) compared to NC. Intimal TGF-β1 and β-catenin percentage expression showed a strong correlation with the percentage expression of intimal vimentin (r′ = 0.54, p = 0.05 and r′ = 0.61, p = 0.02, respectively) and intimal N-cadherin (r′ = 0.62, p = 0.03 and r′ = 0.70, p = 0.001, respectively). Intimal TGF-β1 and β-catenin expression were significantly correlated with increased intimal thickness as well (r′ = 0.52, p = 0.04; r′ = 0.052, p = 0.04, respectively). Moreover, intimal TGF-β1 expression was also significantly associated with increased intimal elastin deposition (r′ = 0.79, p = 0.002). Furthermore, total TGF-β1 expression significantly impacted the percentage of DLCO (r′ = −0.61, p = 0.03). Conclusions: This is the first study to illustrate the involvement of active TGF-β/Smad-2/3-dependent and β-catenin-dependent Wnt signalling pathways in driving EndMT and resultant pulmonary arterial remodelling in patients with IPF. EndMT is a potential therapeutic target for vascular remodelling and fibrosis in general in patients with IPF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonology)
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12 pages, 2815 KiB  
Article
Linear IgA Bullous Dermatosis in Korea Using the Nationwide Health Insurance Database
by Yu Rim Kim, Ji Hyeon Kim, Sang Won Kim, Jae Min Lee and Jacob S. Bae
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041159 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
(1) Background: Linear immunoglobulin A bullous dermatosis (LABD) is a rare autoimmune, subepidermal blistering disease, characterized by linear IgA deposits along the epidermal basement membrane. LABD is idiopathic and is associated with medication and systemic autoimmune diseases. (2) Methods: We investigated the demographic [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Linear immunoglobulin A bullous dermatosis (LABD) is a rare autoimmune, subepidermal blistering disease, characterized by linear IgA deposits along the epidermal basement membrane. LABD is idiopathic and is associated with medication and systemic autoimmune diseases. (2) Methods: We investigated the demographic characteristics, disease course, causative agents, and associated diseases in Korean patients with LABD. The Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service database was used to obtain data. We identified 670 LABD cases between 2010 and 2022. (3) Results: The annual incidence of LABD was 1.3 per 100,000 persons, with a higher prevalence in individuals ≥60 years old. The patients were treated with dapsone for 30.7 ± 56.7 days, had 1.3 ± 0.7 hospital visits, and were hospitalized for 19.8 ± 19.7 days. Risk factors, including malignancy, commonly preceded LABD. Antibiotic use, specifically vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins, was a risk factor. The mean age of LABD diagnosis was 55.9 ± 21.7 years. (4) Conclusion: This is the first published study to assess a nationwide cohort for LABD. The incidence of LABD was higher than that in other studies. Most case reports have linked LABD with the administration of specific antibiotics; however, this study shows there were more associations with other conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Public Health and Healthcare in the Context of Big Data)
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9 pages, 685 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Steatotic Liver Disease Based on a New Nomenclature in the Japanese Population: A Health Checkup-Based Cross-Sectional Study
by Takao Miwa, Satoko Tajirika, Nanako Imamura, Miho Adachi, Ryo Horita, Tatsunori Hanai, Taku Fukao, Masahito Shimizu and Mayumi Yamamoto
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041158 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 731
Abstract
This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence and characteristics of steatotic liver disease (SLD) based on a recently introduced nomenclature in the Japanese health checkup population. SLD was evaluated using liver ultrasonography, and participants were categorized into metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), metabolic [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence and characteristics of steatotic liver disease (SLD) based on a recently introduced nomenclature in the Japanese health checkup population. SLD was evaluated using liver ultrasonography, and participants were categorized into metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), metabolic dysfunction and alcohol associated steatotic liver disease (MetALD), alcohol-associated/related liver disease (ALD), and cryptogenic SLD groups. The prevalence and characteristics of the SLD subclasses were assessed, and subgroup analyses were conducted for the non-obese (body mass index [BMI] ≤ 25 kg/m2) and lean (BMI ≤ 23 kg/m2) populations. Among the 694 participants, with a median age of 47 years and comprising 54% males, the prevalence of MASLD, MetALD, ALD, and cryptogenic SLD was 26%, 2%, 1%, and 2%, respectively. A remarkable difference was observed in the prevalence of SLD subclasses according to age, sex, and BMI. Subgroup analyses revealed heterogeneous demographic, clinical, and biochemical parameters between the SLD categories. Individuals with MetALD had higher gamma-glutamyl transferase levels, lower platelet counts, and higher fibrosis-4 index than did those with MASLD. Furthermore, the prevalence of non-obese and lean MASLD was 13% and 6%, respectively. This study provides preliminary information on the prevalence of SLD based on a new nomenclature in the Japanese population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Clinical Research on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease)
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11 pages, 531 KiB  
Review
New Designs of Spectacle Lenses for the Control of Myopia Progression: A Scoping Review
by Marta Lupon, Carme Nolla and Genis Cardona
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041157 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Myopia control with new designs of spectacle lenses is a flourishing area of research. The present work reviews the effectiveness of new designs (DIMSs, defocus-incorporated multiple segments; CARE, cylindrical annular refractive element; HALs/SALs, highly/slightly aspherical lenslets; DOT, diffusion optics technology) aiming at slowing [...] Read more.
Myopia control with new designs of spectacle lenses is a flourishing area of research. The present work reviews the effectiveness of new designs (DIMSs, defocus-incorporated multiple segments; CARE, cylindrical annular refractive element; HALs/SALs, highly/slightly aspherical lenslets; DOT, diffusion optics technology) aiming at slowing myopia progression. A search through the PubMed database was conducted for articles published between 1 January 2003 and 28 February 2023. Publications were included if they documented baseline central refraction (SER) and/or axial length (AL) data, and the change in these parameters, in myopic children wearing new designs of spectacle lenses (treatment group) compared to myopic children using single-vision lenses, SVLs (control group). The selection process revealed nine suitable articles. Comparing the mean and standard error values of the treatment and control groups, the highest differences in the change in the SER and AL were −0.80 (1.23) D [95% CI: −1.053 to −0.547; p < 0.001] and 0.35 (0.05) mm [95% CI: 0.252 to 0.448; p < 0.001], respectively; the effect of treatment provided by a HAL design, compared to SVLs, led to a deceleration of 54.8% in the SER and 50.7% in the AL. However, the heterogeneity of the results prevents reaching strong conclusions about the effectiveness of these new designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research in Myopia and Other Visual Disorders)
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17 pages, 12188 KiB  
Case Report
Utilization of Tenting Pole Abutments for the Reconstruction of Severely Resorbed Alveolar Bone: Technical Considerations and Case Series Reports
by Dong-Seok Sohn, Albert Lui and Hyunsuk Choi
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041156 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1485
Abstract
Introduction: Although various surgical techniques have been utilized in the reconstruction of severely resorbed alveolar bone, its regeneration is still regarded as a major challenge. Most of the surgical techniques used in advanced ridge augmentation have the disadvantages of prolonging the patient’s edentulous [...] Read more.
Introduction: Although various surgical techniques have been utilized in the reconstruction of severely resorbed alveolar bone, its regeneration is still regarded as a major challenge. Most of the surgical techniques used in advanced ridge augmentation have the disadvantages of prolonging the patient’s edentulous healing and increasing the need for surgical revisits because simultaneous implant placement is not allowed. This report presents a new and simplified method for advanced ridge augmentation, which utilizes a vertical tenting device. Case Presentation: The first case presented the reconstruction of the mandibular posterior region with severely resorbed alveolar bone due to peri-implantitis using tenting pole abutment for ridge augmentation. The second and third cases presented three-dimensional ridge augmentations in severely resorbed ridges due to periodontitis. The last case presented horizontal ridge augmentation using a vertical tenting device. All cases were performed under local anesthesia. Implants were simultaneously placed in the bone defect area. A vertical tensioning device was then connected to the implant platform to minimize the collapse of the bone graft during the bone regeneration period due to the contraction of the soft tissue matrix. A sticky bone graft was transplanted onto the exposed surface of the implant and on top of the vertical tensioning device. After covering with an absorbable barrier membrane, the soft tissues were sutured without tension. Conclusions: In all cases, prosthetic restorations were provided to patients after a bone grafting period of 5–6 months, leading to a rapid restoration of masticatory function. Results tracked for up to 6 years revealed observed stable reconstruction of the alveolar bone. The use of a vertical tenting device can prevent the collapse of biomaterials in the augmented ridge during the healing period, leading to predictable outcomes when achieving three-dimensional ridge augmentation. Full article
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3 pages, 158 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Akbarpour et al. Dyslipidemia Treatment and Lipid Control in US Adults with Diabetes by Sociodemographic and Cardiovascular Risk Groups in the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative All of Us Research Program. J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12, 1668
by Meleeka Akbarpour, Divya Devineni, Yufan Gong and Nathan D. Wong
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041155 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 404
Abstract
In the original publication [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiovascular Medicine)
14 pages, 2808 KiB  
Article
Immuno-Diagnostic Interest in Monitoring CD16+CD56+ (Natural Killer) Cells and CD19+CD45+ (B Lymphocytes) in Individuals Newly Diagnosed with HIV in a Tertiary Care Center
by Jamil Al-Mughales
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(4), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13041154 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Background/Objective: Monitoring multiple cellular markers of immune cells may provide a more accurate evaluation of the immune status of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). This study assessed the value of CD16+CD56+ cells (NK cells) and CD19+ lymphocytes (B cells) phenotyping in [...] Read more.
Background/Objective: Monitoring multiple cellular markers of immune cells may provide a more accurate evaluation of the immune status of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV). This study assessed the value of CD16+CD56+ cells (NK cells) and CD19+ lymphocytes (B cells) phenotyping in indicating viral load, AIDS status, and treatment efficacy. Method: A retrospective, laboratory-based study was conducted at the Diagnostic immunology division of a referral tertiary hospital. It involved 82 newly diagnosed HIV patients treated between 2009–2016. We explored three objectives: (1) the paired change in CD16+CD56+ and CD19+CD45+ cells counts and percentages from baseline to 2-to-6 months after treatment; (2) the association of these phenotypes with 5 gradual categories of viral load; and (3) the accuracy of CD16+CD56+ and CD19+CD45+ cells counts in indicating AIDS stage defined as CD4+ < 200 cells/mm3. The second and third objectives were tested using a pooled analysis (N = 300–373). Result: The median CD19+CD45+ and CD16+CD56+ counts increased by 1.9-fold and 1.3-fold after treatment respectively (p < 0.001). A negative correlation of viral load with both CD16+CD56+ (ρ = −0.29, p < 0.001) and CD19+CD45+ (ρ = −0.34, p < 0.001) counts was observed. CD16+CD56+ count < 73 cells/mm3 and CD19+CD45+ count < 166.5 were indicative for AIDS with 95.5% and 63.6% sensitivity respectively. Conclusions: Findings advocate for the usefulness of CD16+CD56+ and CD19+CD45+ phenotyping in characterizing the severity of HIV infection and its impact on both the humoral and cellular immunity, as well as monitoring the effectiveness of treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Diseases)
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