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J. Clin. Med., Volume 13, Issue 7 (April-1 2024) – 328 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Innovations in anesthesia play a fundamental role to allow better patient management, especially while using complex airway equipment or techniques. A double-lumen tube or bronchial blocker positioning using flexible bronchoscopy for lung isolation and one-lung ventilation requires specific technical competencies. Training remains a challenge in thoracic anesthesia.
Recent technological and innovative developments in the field of simulation have opened up exciting new horizons, in particular the use of emergent techniques such as virtual reality bronchoscopy simulation, virtual airway endoscopy, or the preoperative 3D printing of airways.
This special edition concentrates on innovations in the field of thoracic anesthesia, including existing and future applications of simulators and virtual reality for training flexible bronchoscopy and lung isolation for thoracic anesthesia. View this paper
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17 pages, 1669 KiB  
Article
Impaired Carbohydrate Metabolism among Women with Chronic Low Back Pain and the Role of Dietary Carbohydrates: A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Experiment
by Ömer Elma, Sevilay Tümkaya Yılmaz, Jo Nijs, Peter Clarys, Iris Coppieters, Evelien Mertens, Anneleen Malfliet and Tom Deliens
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2155; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072155 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 904
Abstract
Background: Impaired glucose regulation is suggested to be related to chronic low back pain (CLBP), although it is not clear how they interact with each other. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to investigate differences in postprandial glycemic responses (PPGRs) (the [...] Read more.
Background: Impaired glucose regulation is suggested to be related to chronic low back pain (CLBP), although it is not clear how they interact with each other. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to investigate differences in postprandial glycemic responses (PPGRs) (the first sign of impaired glucose metabolism) to high- (sucrose) and low-glycemic index (GI) (isomaltulose) beverages in normoglycemic women with CLBP and healthy controls (HCs) and explore whether any group that showed greater PPGRs to high-GI beverage intake would benefit when the high-GI beverage was replaced with a low-GI beverage. Secondly, this study aimed to explore the association between PPGR and pain in patients with CLBP. Methods: This study was registered at clinicaltrials.org (NCT04459104) before the start of the study. In this study, 53 CLBP patients and 53 HCs were recruited. After 11–12 h of fasting, each participant randomly received isomaltulose or sucrose. Blood glucose levels were measured during the fasting state and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 min after the beverage intake, and each participant underwent experimental pain measures. Results: Compared to the HCs, the CLBP group showed significantly higher PPGRs to sucrose (p < 0.021). Additionally, the CLBP group showed a significantly higher decrease in PPGR (p = 0.045) when comparing PPGR to sucrose with PPGR to isomaltulose. Correlation analysis revealed a positive association between self-reported pain sensitivity and PPGR to sucrose, while there was no association found between any experimental pain measures and glycemic responses. Conclusions: Overall, these findings suggest that normoglycemic CLBP patients might have a higher risk of developing impaired glucose tolerance than the HCs and might benefit more when high-GI foods are replaced with low-GI ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Anesthesiology)
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20 pages, 1408 KiB  
Article
An International, Multidisciplinary Consensus Set of Patient-Centered Outcome Measures for Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
by Nicola Black, Sophie Chung, Calvert Tisdale, Luz Sousa Fialho, Apinun Aramrattana, Sawitri Assanangkornchai, Alex Blaszczynski, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Wim van den Brink, Adrian Brown, Qiana L. Brown, Linda B. Cottler, Maury Elsasser, Marica Ferri, Maria Florence, Ralitza Gueorguieva, Ryan Hampton, Suzie Hudson, Peter J. Kelly, Nicholas Lintzeris, Lynette Murphy, Abhijit Nadkarni, Joanne Neale, Daniel Rosen, Hans-Jürgen Rumpf, Brian Rush, Gabriel Segal, Gillian W. Shorter, Marta Torrens, Christopher Wait, Katherine Young and Michael Farrelladd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2154; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072154 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1179
Abstract
Background: In 1990, the United States’ Institute of Medicine promoted the principles of outcomes monitoring in the alcohol and other drugs treatment field to improve the evidence synthesis and quality of research. While various national outcome measures have been developed and employed, no [...] Read more.
Background: In 1990, the United States’ Institute of Medicine promoted the principles of outcomes monitoring in the alcohol and other drugs treatment field to improve the evidence synthesis and quality of research. While various national outcome measures have been developed and employed, no global consensus on standard measurement has been agreed for addiction. It is thus timely to build an international consensus. Convened by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM), an international, multi-disciplinary working group reviewed the existing literature and reached consensus for a globally applicable minimum set of outcome measures for people who seek treatment for addiction. Methods: To this end, 26 addiction experts from 11 countries and 5 continents, including people with lived experience (n = 5; 19%), convened over 16 months (December 2018–March 2020) to develop recommendations for a minimum set of outcome measures. A structured, consensus-building, modified Delphi process was employed. Evidence-based proposals for the minimum set of measures were generated and discussed across eight videoconferences and in a subsequent structured online consultation. The resulting set was reviewed by 123 professionals and 34 people with lived experience internationally. Results: The final consensus-based recommendation includes alcohol, substance, and tobacco use disorders, as well as gambling and gaming disorders in people aged 12 years and older. Recommended outcome domains are frequency and quantity of addictive disorders, symptom burden, health-related quality of life, global functioning, psychosocial functioning, and overall physical and mental health and wellbeing. Standard case-mix (moderator) variables and measurement time points are also recommended. Conclusions: Use of consistent and meaningful outcome measurement facilitates carer–patient relations, shared decision-making, service improvement, benchmarking, and evidence synthesis for the evaluation of addiction treatment services and the dissemination of best practices. The consensus set of recommended outcomes is freely available for adoption in healthcare settings globally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Addictive Disorders and Clinical Psychiatry—Part II)
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10 pages, 996 KiB  
Article
Impaired Hand Grip Strength Correlates with Greater Disability and Symptom Severity in Post-COVID Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Anna Paffrath, Laura Kim, Claudia Kedor, Elisa Stein, Rebekka Rust, Helma Freitag, Uta Hoppmann, Leif G. Hanitsch, Judith Bellmann-Strobl, Kirsten Wittke, Carmen Scheibenbogen and Franziska Sotzny
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072153 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 4721
Abstract
Background: Post-COVID syndrome (PCS) encompasses a diverse array of symptoms persisting beyond 3 months after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, with mental as well as physical fatigue being the most frequent manifestations. Methods: In 144 female patients with PCS, hand grip strength (HGS) parameters were [...] Read more.
Background: Post-COVID syndrome (PCS) encompasses a diverse array of symptoms persisting beyond 3 months after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, with mental as well as physical fatigue being the most frequent manifestations. Methods: In 144 female patients with PCS, hand grip strength (HGS) parameters were assessed as an objective measure of muscle fatigue, with 78 meeting the Canadian Consensus Criteria for postinfectious myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). The severity of disability and key symptoms was evaluated using self-reported questionnaires. Results: Patients with ME/CFS exhibited heightened overall symptom severity, including lower physical function (p < 0.001), a greater degree of disability (p < 0.001), more severe fatigue (p < 0.001), postexertional malaise (p < 0.001), and autonomic dysfunction (p = 0.004) compared to other patients with PCS. While HGS was impaired similarly in all patients with PCS and exhibited a significant correlation with physical function across the entire patient group, HGS of patients with ME/CFS uniquely demonstrated associations with key symptoms. Conclusions: Thus, impaired HGS serves as an objective marker of physical function in patients with PCS. Only in patients meeting ME/CFS criteria is impaired HGS also associated with the severity of hallmark symptoms. This suggests a common mechanism for muscle fatigue and other symptoms in the ME/CFS subtype, distinct from that in other types of PCS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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15 pages, 21658 KiB  
Review
Rationale for Using High-Frequency Ultrasound as a Routine Examination in Skin Cancer Surgery: A Practical Approach
by Diana Crisan, Evelyne Tarnowietzki, Lukas Bernhard, Melina Möller, Karin Scharffetter-Kochanek, Maria Crisan and Lars Alexander Schneider
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072152 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Ultrasound and high-frequency ultrasound assessment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in the pre-therapeutical setting is becoming increasingly popular in the field of dermatosurgery and dermatooncology, as it can provide clinicians with relevant, ”in vivo“ parameters regarding tumor lateral and depth extension as [...] Read more.
Ultrasound and high-frequency ultrasound assessment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer in the pre-therapeutical setting is becoming increasingly popular in the field of dermatosurgery and dermatooncology, as it can provide clinicians with relevant, ”in vivo“ parameters regarding tumor lateral and depth extension as well as potential locoregional spread, cancelling the need of more extensive imaging methods and avoiding a delay in diagnosis. Furthermore, preoperative sonography and color Doppler can aid in orienting the clinical diagnosis, being able in numerous situations to differentiate between benign and malignant lesions, which require a different therapeutic approach. This preoperative knowledge is of paramount importance for planning an individualized treatment regimen. Using sonography at the time of diagnosis, important surgical complications, such as neurovascular damage, can be avoided by performing a preoperative neurovascular mapping. Furthermore, sonography can help reduce the number of surgical steps by identifying the lesions’ extent prior to surgery, but it can also spare unnecessary surgical interventions in cases of locally advanced lesions, which infiltrate the bone or already present with locoregional metastases, which usually require modern radiooncological therapies in accordance to European guidelines. With this review, we intend to summarize the current indications of sonography in the field of skin cancer surgery, which can help us improve the therapeutic attitude toward our patients and enhance patient counseling. In the era of modern systemic radiooncological therapies, sonography can help better select patients who qualify for surgical procedures or require systemic treatments due to tumoral extension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dermatology)
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13 pages, 1276 KiB  
Systematic Review
Efficacy of Trimetazidine in the Prevention of Contrast-Induced Nephropathy in Patients Undergoing Contrast Coronary Intervention: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA)
by Tiny Nair, Saumitra Ray, Jacob George and Arindam Pande
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2151; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072151 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Objective: The present systematic review assessed the efficacy of peri-procedurally administered trimetazidine in the prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in patients undergoing coronary interventions with contrast agents. Methods: We performed a systematic literature review of articles published in PubMed and Google [...] Read more.
Objective: The present systematic review assessed the efficacy of peri-procedurally administered trimetazidine in the prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) in patients undergoing coronary interventions with contrast agents. Methods: We performed a systematic literature review of articles published in PubMed and Google Scholar by 7 December 2023 and included articles from the last 15 years that evaluated the efficacy of trimetazidine in preventing CIN in cardiac patients undergoing coronary intervention. Results: After title/abstract and full-text screening, this systematic review included 9 randomized controlled trials (N = 2158 patients) with two groups: Trimetazidine (60–70 mg/day 24 to 48 h before and up to 72 h after the procedure) with hydration and the control group with only hydration. A total of 234/2158 patients developed CIN (Incidence rate [IR], 10.8%) as per the CIN definition of the Contrast Media Safety Committee of the European Society of Urogenital Radiology. The incidence of CIN in the trimetazidine vs. control group was 6.4% (69/1083) vs. 15.4% (165/1075), and the odds ratio (95% CI) was 0.3753 (0.279–0.504). Conclusions: In conclusion, the trimetazidine group had a lower incidence of CIN. Trimetazidine offers a reno-protective effect and helps in reducing the CIN incidence in patients undergoing cardiac intervention. Peri-procedure administration of trimetazidine significantly decreases the risk of CIN in patients despite comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cardiology)
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14 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Association of Obesity with Telomere Length in Human Sperm
by Efthalia Moustakli, Athanasios Zikopoulos, Charikleia Skentou, Stefanos Dafopoulos, Sofoklis Stavros, Konstantinos Dafopoulos, Peter Drakakis, Ioannis Georgiou and Athanasios Zachariou
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2150; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072150 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1279
Abstract
Background: Telomere attrition and mitochondrial dysfunction are two fundamental aspects of aging. Calorie restriction (CR) is the best strategy to postpone aging since it can enhance telomere attrition, boost antioxidant capacity, and lower the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since ROS is [...] Read more.
Background: Telomere attrition and mitochondrial dysfunction are two fundamental aspects of aging. Calorie restriction (CR) is the best strategy to postpone aging since it can enhance telomere attrition, boost antioxidant capacity, and lower the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Since ROS is produced by mitochondria and can readily travel to cell nuclei, it is thought to be a crucial molecule for information transfer between mitochondria and cell nuclei. Important variables that affect the quality and functionality of sperm and may affect male reproductive health and fertility include telomere length, mitochondrial content, and the ratio of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to nuclear DNA (nDNA). Telomere damage results from mitochondrial failure, whereas nuclear DNA remains unaffected. This research aims to investigate potential associations between these three variables and how they might relate to body mass index. Methods: Data were collected from 82 men who underwent IVF/ICSI at the University Hospital of Ioannina’s IVF Unit in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. Evaluations included sperm morphology, sperm count, sperm motility, and participant history. To address this, male participants who were categorized into three body mass index (ΒΜΙ) groups—normal, overweight, and obese—had their sperm samples tested. Results: For both the normal and overweight groups, our results show a negative connection between relative telomere length and ΒΜI. As an illustration of a potential connection between mitochondrial health and telomere maintenance, a positive correlation was found for the obese group. Only the obese group’s results were statistically significant (p < 0.05). More evidence that longer telomeres are associated with lower mitochondrial content can be found in the negative connection between telomere length and mitochondrial content in both the normal and overweight groups. However, the obese group showed a positive association. The data did not reach statistical significance for any of the three groups. These associations may affect sperm quality since telomere length and mitochondrial concentration are indicators of cellular integrity and health. Moreover, the ratio of mtDNA to nDNA was positively correlated with the relative telomere lengths of the obese group, but negatively correlated with the normal and overweight groups. In every group that was studied, the results were not statistically significant. According to this, male fertility may be negatively impacted by an imbalance in the copy number of the mitochondrial genome compared to the nuclear DNA in sperm. Conclusions: Essentially, the goal of our work is to determine whether mitochondria and telomere length in human sperm interact. Understanding these connections may aid in the explanation of some male infertility causes and possibly contribute to the creation of new treatment modalities for problems pertaining to reproductive health. The functional implications of these connections and their applications in therapeutic settings require further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment of Infertility)
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17 pages, 2721 KiB  
Article
Two Methods of Forward Head Posture Assessment: Radiography vs. Posture and Their Clinical Comparison
by Paul A. Oakley, Ibrahim M. Moustafa, Jason W. Haas, Joseph W. Betz and Deed E. Harrison
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2149; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072149 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1939
Abstract
Background: Forward head posture (FHP) and altered cervical lordotic curvatures are common spine displacements often associated with neck pain and disability. Two primary categories for determining FHP exist: radiographic and postural measurements. Methods: This study investigated the correlation between the craniovertebral angle (CVA), [...] Read more.
Background: Forward head posture (FHP) and altered cervical lordotic curvatures are common spine displacements often associated with neck pain and disability. Two primary categories for determining FHP exist: radiographic and postural measurements. Methods: This study investigated the correlation between the craniovertebral angle (CVA), the radiographically measured C2–C7 sagittal vertical axis (SVA), and cervical lordosis (absolute rotation angle: ARA C2–C7) in a sample of participants with chronic myofascial pain (CMP). In 120 participants, we performed both a postural measurement of the CVA and a lateral cervical radiograph, where the C2–C7 SVA and ARA C2–C7 were measured. A linear-regression R2 value to assess the correlation between the CVA, C2–C7 SVA, and ARA C2–C7 was sought. Results: A statistically significant weak linear fit was identified (Spearman’s r = 0.549; R2 = 0.30, p < 0.001) between the CVA and C2–C7 SVA, having considerable variation between the two measures. A statistically significant linear fit (very weak) was identified for the lordosis ARA C2–C7 and the CVA: Spearman’s r = 0.524; R2 = 0.275; p < 0.001. A value of 50° for the CVA corresponded to a value of 20 mm for the C2–C7 SVA on an X-ray. Conclusion: While the CVA and radiographic C2–C7 SVA are weakly correlated in an individual, they seem to represent different aspects of sagittal cervical balance. The CVA cannot replace radiographically measured cervical lordosis. We recommend that more emphasis be given to radiographic measures of sagittal cervical alignment than the CVA when considering patient interventions. Full article
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11 pages, 1554 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Changes in Cap and Residual Stromal Thickness Values during a 6-Month Observation after Refractive Lenticule Extraction Small Incision Lenticule Extraction
by Dominika Janiszewska-Bil, Barbara Czarnota-Nowakowska, Izabela Kuciel-Polczak, Dariusz Dobrowolski, Beniamin Oskar Grabarek, Anita Lyssek-Boroń, Edward Wylęgała and Joanna Wierzbowska
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2148; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072148 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 492
Abstract
Background: In this study, the changes in corneal cap and residual stromal thickness (RST) values during a 180-day observation period after refractive lenticule extraction small incision lenticule extraction (ReLEx SMILE) were assessed. Methods: Fifty patients underwent ReLEx SMILE using the VisuMax 500 [...] Read more.
Background: In this study, the changes in corneal cap and residual stromal thickness (RST) values during a 180-day observation period after refractive lenticule extraction small incision lenticule extraction (ReLEx SMILE) were assessed. Methods: Fifty patients underwent ReLEx SMILE using the VisuMax 500 femtosecond laser, with corneal imaging conducted pre and post procedure via anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT). Cap thickness in the center and 1.5 mm from the center in four meridians was measured at various intervals. Results: The results showed a significant decrease in cap thickness 180 days post procedure compared to earlier intervals (p < 0.05). Similarly, RST decreased gradually and significantly post procedure (p < 0.05). Notably, changes in cap thickness within the central 1.5 mm area were more dynamic than RST changes during the 6-month observation period following SMILE. Conclusions: The corneal cap thickness measured with swept-source AS-OCT within the central 1.5 mm area underwent more dynamic changes than the residual stromal thickness during the 6-month observation following SMILE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refractive Surgery—Where Are We Now?)
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10 pages, 1410 KiB  
Article
Immunomodulation Driven by Theranova Filter during a Single HD Session
by Carlotta Caprara, Grazia Maria Virzì, Katia Chieregato, Nicola Marchionna, Valentina Corradi, Alessandra Brendolan, Claudio Ronco and Monica Zanella
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072147 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Background: Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have altered immunity. Patients on hemodialysis (HD) present a coexistence of immunodeficiency and activation of the immune system. We evaluated the immunophenotypic profile induced by the medium cut-off of Theranova filter during a single HD [...] Read more.
Background: Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have altered immunity. Patients on hemodialysis (HD) present a coexistence of immunodeficiency and activation of the immune system. We evaluated the immunophenotypic profile induced by the medium cut-off of Theranova filter during a single HD session in the same individual. Methods: This pilot observational study explored 11 patients (75 ± 8 years and 73% male). Blood samples were collected prior to (predialytic, PRE) and after 4 h (postdialytic, POST) standard HD session with a medium cut-off, polyarylethersulfone and polyvinylpyrrolidone blend, BPA-free membrane. We performed an immunophenotyping characterization by using flow cytometry. We evaluated eryptosis RBCs and HLA-DR expression on monocytes and Treg cells. Results: The percentages of eryptosis in lymphocytes (CD3+), lymphocyte T helper (CD3+ and CD4+) cells, and monocytes (CD45+ and CD14+) were similar pre- and post-HD. On the contrary, HLA-DR expression and Treg cell numbers significantly decreased after HD. Conclusions: Many studies have focused on the comparison between healthy volunteers and HD patients, but very few have focused on the changes that occur after an HD session in the same individual. With this pilot observational study, we have revealed an immunomodulation driven by HD treatment with Theranova filter. Our preliminary results can be considered to be a hypothesis, generating and stimulating further studies with better designs and larger populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemodialysis)
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11 pages, 237 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Tumor Laterality (Unilateral vs. Bilateral) on Presentation and Management Outcome in Patients with Retinoblastoma
by Mona Mohammad, Mustafa Mehyar, Hadeel Halalsheh, Reham Shehada, Omar Al Adawi, Jakub Khzouz, Imad Jaradat, Maysa Al-Hussaini, Iyad Sultan, Ibrahim Alnawaiseh and Yacoub A. Yousef
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2146; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072146 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Background: This study compares the outcomes of managing retinoblastoma between patients with unilateral and bilateral presentations. Methods: The study, conducted at the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, retrospectively analyzed cases of retinoblastoma treated between March 2003 and December 2019. Evaluation criteria [...] Read more.
Background: This study compares the outcomes of managing retinoblastoma between patients with unilateral and bilateral presentations. Methods: The study, conducted at the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan, retrospectively analyzed cases of retinoblastoma treated between March 2003 and December 2019. Evaluation criteria included clinical features, disease stage, treatment methods, and overall management outcomes. Results: The study comprised 697 eyes from 478 patients with retinoblastoma, with 52% being males. Bilateral disease was observed in 70% of patients, and a family history of retinoblastoma was more prevalent in cases with bilateral disease (20%) compared to those with unilateral disease (4%). Unilateral cases had a median age at diagnosis of 28 months, whereas bilateral cases were diagnosed at a median age of 6 months. Extra-ocular retinoblastoma was detected in 1% of eyes. According to the International Intraocular Retinoblastoma Classification (IIRC), 88% of unilateral cases presented with advanced disease (IIRC group D/E), compared to 46% in bilateral cases. Primary enucleation was performed in 29% of unilateral cases and 16% of bilateral cases (p-value 0.0007). Eye salvage rates were 31% in unilateral cases and 68% in bilateral cases (p-value < 0.0001). At 120 months of follow-up, 5% of patients died from secondary neoplasms or metastases, 81% were alive, and 14% were lost to follow-up. There was no significant difference in metastasis, secondary neoplasms, or mortality between patients with unilateral and bilateral retinoblastoma. Conclusions: This study highlights the nuanced differences in clinical characteristics and outcomes between unilateral and bilateral retinoblastoma, emphasizing the necessity of customized management and early detection strategies. It demonstrates that while bilateral retinoblastoma benefits from earlier detection and has a higher rate of eye salvage, there is no significant difference in metastasis or mortality rates when compared to unilateral cases. The critical roles of primary enucleation in advanced cases, along with effective communication and patient education, are also underscored to improve treatment adherence. Overall, these findings point to the importance of tailored approaches in optimizing outcomes for the diverse patient population affected by retinoblastoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ophthalmology)
16 pages, 264 KiB  
Review
The Contribution of Proteomics in Understanding Endometrial Protein Expression in Women with Recurrent Implantation Failure
by Anastasios Potiris, Eleni Alyfanti, Eirini Drakaki, Despoina Mavrogianni, Theodoros Karampitsakos, Pavlos Machairoudias, Spyridon Topis, Athanasios Zikopoulos, Chara Skentou, Periklis Panagopoulos, Peter Drakakis and Sofoklis Stavros
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2145; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072145 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 994
Abstract
Recurrent implantation failure (RIF) poses a significant challenge in assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes. The endometrium plays a crucial role in embryo implantation, and its protein expression profile is integral in determining receptivity. Proteomics has emerged as a valuable tool in unraveling the [...] Read more.
Recurrent implantation failure (RIF) poses a significant challenge in assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes. The endometrium plays a crucial role in embryo implantation, and its protein expression profile is integral in determining receptivity. Proteomics has emerged as a valuable tool in unraveling the molecular intricacies underlying endometrial receptivity and RIF. The aim of the present review is to analyze the contribution of proteomics to the understanding of endometrial protein expression in women with RIF, based on the results of significant proteomic studies. Medline/Pubmed databases were searched using keywords pertaining to proteomics combined with terms related to RIF. 15 studies were included in the present review. Several proteins have been found to exbibit differential expression in endometrial biopsies and fluid samples between fertile women and women with RIF during the receptive endometrial phase. The profile of endometrial proteins varied significantly among the studies. Nevertheless, similar changes in the expression levels of annexin-6, progesterone receptor, MMP-2, and MMP-9 in the endometrium of women with RIF, were found in more than one study indicating that certain proteins could potentially be effective biomarkers of endometrial receptivity. Proteomics contributes significantly to the understanding of protein expression in the endometrium of women with RIF and the analysis of proteins in endometrial fluid are promising for improving the clinical management of RIF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment of Infertility)
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13 pages, 415 KiB  
Review
Review of Temperature Management in Traumatic Brain Injuries
by Kenya Kawakita, Hajime Shishido and Yasuhiro Kuroda
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2144; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072144 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 918
Abstract
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) for severe traumatic brain injury has seen restricted application due to the outcomes of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted since 2000. In contrast with earlier RCTs, recent trials have implemented active normothermia management in control groups, ensuring comparable intensities of [...] Read more.
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) for severe traumatic brain injury has seen restricted application due to the outcomes of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted since 2000. In contrast with earlier RCTs, recent trials have implemented active normothermia management in control groups, ensuring comparable intensities of non-temperature-related therapeutic interventions, such as neurointensive care. This change in approach may be a contributing factor to the inability to establish the efficacy of TH. Currently, an active temperature management method using temperature control devices is termed “targeted temperature management (TTM)”. One of the goals of TTM for severe traumatic brain injury is the regulation of increased intracranial pressure, employing TTM as a methodology for intracranial pressure management. Additionally, fever in traumatic brain injury has been acknowledged as contributing to poor prognosis, underscoring the importance of proactively preventing fever. TTM is also employed for the preemptive prevention of fever in severe traumatic brain injury. As an integral component of current neurointensive care, it is crucial to precisely delineate the targets of TTM and to potentially apply them in the treatment of severe traumatic brain injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Review Special Issue Series: Recent Advances in Intensive Care)
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13 pages, 531 KiB  
Article
Associations between Sleep Disturbances, Personality Traits and Self-Regulation in a Sample of Healthy Adults
by Ali Zakiei, Dena Sadeghi-Bahmani, Habibolah Khazaie, Zeinab Lorestani, Mohammad Sadeghi, Dariuosh Korani, Zeinab Sahraei, Saeid Komasi, Zeno Stanga, Annette B. Brühl and Serge Brand
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2143; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072143 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Background: Scientific evidence and everyday experience show that sleep disturbances and self-regulation as a proxy of stress reactivity are linked. Particular personality traits such as neuroticism, internalizing and externalizing problems are also associated with sleep disturbances. Here, we combined self-regulation and personality traits [...] Read more.
Background: Scientific evidence and everyday experience show that sleep disturbances and self-regulation as a proxy of stress reactivity are linked. Particular personality traits such as neuroticism, internalizing and externalizing problems are also associated with sleep disturbances. Here, we combined self-regulation and personality traits and associated these variables with subjective sleep disturbances. Methods: A total of 846 adults (mean age: 33.7 years; 78.7% females) completed questionnaires covering sleep disturbances, self-regulation and personality traits. Results: Higher scores for sleep disturbances were associated with higher scores for externalization, internalization, and instability and with lower scores for stability (all trait variables) and with poorer self-regulation (state variable). The regression model showed that higher scores for externalization and internalization (traits), and lower scores for self-regulation (state) predicted higher scores for sleep disturbance. Next, self-regulation had both a direct effect on sleep disturbance, and an indirect effect via personality traits. Conclusions: Sleep disturbances were related to both state (i.e., self-regulation) and trait (e.g., internalization and instability) dimensions. The current data analysis leapfrogs the state–trait dichotomy discussion and reconciles the state-and-trait approach in the prediction of poor sleep, though self-regulation appeared to have both direct and indirect effects on sleep disturbances. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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10 pages, 1998 KiB  
Article
Eyelid Skin Grafting in Young Patients with Facial Nerve Palsy
by Yinon Shapira, Katja Ullrich, Sundas Masqood, Linda Okafor and Raman Malhotra
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072142 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 421
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study is to report outcomes of eyelid full-thickness skin grafting augmentation in facial nerve palsy (FNP) patients younger than 50 years of age. Methods: In a retrospective, consecutive case series, nine eyelid skin grafts performed on [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study is to report outcomes of eyelid full-thickness skin grafting augmentation in facial nerve palsy (FNP) patients younger than 50 years of age. Methods: In a retrospective, consecutive case series, nine eyelid skin grafts performed on eight FNP patients with skin contraction (five females; median age 42 years [range, 17–47]) are presented. In most cases, upper eyelid skin grafting was combined with levator recession and anterior lamellar repositioning. Lower eyelid skin grafting was combined with lower retractors recession in all cases. Functional and cosmetic outcomes were measured preoperatively and at early (1–3 months), intermediate (3–6 months), and late (≥12 months) follow-up. Results: The corneal score improved at early follow-up (p = 0.03) and remained improved at late follow-up (p = 0.042). The gentle closure lagophthalmos was improved at late follow-up (p = 0.042). (p = 0.048). The grades of graft color, edge/skin interface, and size improved at 3–6 months post-grafting and remained improved at late follow-up (p < 0.05). Over the follow-up, four patients (50%) were recommended to have further surgical procedures. Conclusions: The preliminary results from this small cohort suggest that eyelid skin grafting is a viable option for young patients prioritizing cosmesis. This technique warrants consideration for its functional benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Facial Palsy Management)
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12 pages, 1389 KiB  
Review
Peripheral Arterial Disease and the Diabetic Foot Syndrome: Neuropathy Makes the Difference! A Narrative Review
by Gerhard Rümenapf, Nour Abilmona, Stephan Morbach and Martin Sigl
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072141 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Background: In vascular medicine, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) are often considered synonymous with respect to the need for revascularization. In PAD patients, clinical symptoms reflect the degree of atherosclerotic disease, since peripheral innervation, including pain sensation, is [...] Read more.
Background: In vascular medicine, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and diabetic foot syndrome (DFS) are often considered synonymous with respect to the need for revascularization. In PAD patients, clinical symptoms reflect the degree of atherosclerotic disease, since peripheral innervation, including pain sensation, is not usually compromised. In DFS patients, however, symptoms of relevant foot ischemia are often absent and progression of ischemia goes unnoticed owing to diabetic polyneuropathy, the loss of nociception being the main trigger for foot ulcers. This review analyzes the fundamental differences between PAD and DFS against the background of polyneuropathy. Methods: The literature research for the 2014 revision of the German evidence-based S3-PAD-guidelines was extended to 2023. Results: Vascular examination is imperative for both, PAD and DFS. Stage-dependent revascularization is of utmost importance in PAD patients, especially those suffering from critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI). Successful therapy of DFS goes further, including infection and metabolic control, wound management, offloading the foot and lifelong prophylaxis in the course of a multidisciplinary treatment concept. Revascularization is not needed in all cases of DFS. Conclusions: There are fundamental differences between PAD and DFS with respect to pathophysiology, the anatomical distribution of arterial occlusive processes, the clinical symptoms, the value of diagnostic tools such as the ankle-brachial index, and classification. Also, therapeutic concepts differ substantially between the two patient populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Updates on the Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease)
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14 pages, 852 KiB  
Article
Accumulation of Microvascular Target Organ Damage in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients Is Associated with Increased Cardiovascular Risk
by Nikolaos Koletsos, Antonios Lazaridis, Areti Triantafyllou, Panagiota Anyfanti, Stamatina Lamprou, Anastasia Stoimeni, Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos, Evaggelia-Evdoxia Koravou and Eugenia Gkaliagkousi
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2140; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072140 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 562
Abstract
Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototype autoimmune disease associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) burden. Besides increased arterial stiffness and subclinical atherosclerosis, microvascular dysfunction is considered an important component in the pathophysiology of CV disease. However, there is a lack of [...] Read more.
Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototype autoimmune disease associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) burden. Besides increased arterial stiffness and subclinical atherosclerosis, microvascular dysfunction is considered an important component in the pathophysiology of CV disease. However, there is a lack of data regarding the effect of multiple target organ damage (TOD) on CV health. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate (i) the presence of microvascular changes in SLE in various vascular beds, (ii) the possible associations between the accumulation of microvascular TOD and CV risk and (iii) whether Galectin-3 represents a predictor of combined microvascular TOD. Methods: Participants underwent (i) evaluation of skin microvascular perfusion (laser speckle contrast analysis), (ii) fundoscopy (non-mydriatic fundus camera), (iii) indirect assessment of myocardial perfusion (subendocardial viability ratio) and (iv) determination of urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR). CV risk was calculated using the QResearch Risk Estimator version 3 (QRISK3). Serum Galectin-3 levels were determined. Results: Forty-seven SLE patients and fifty controls were studied. SLE patients demonstrated impaired skin microvascular reactivity (160.2 ± 41.0 vs. 203.6 ± 40.1%), retinal arteriolar narrowing (88.1 ± 11.1 vs. 94.6 ± 13.5 μm) and higher UACR levels compared to controls. Furthermore, SLE individuals had significantly higher Galectin-3 levels [21.5(6.1) vs. 6.6(6.6) ng/dL], QRISK3 scores [7.0(8.6) vs. 1.3(3.6)%] and a greater chance for microvascular dysfunction. In the SLE group, patients with multiple TOD exhibited higher QRISK3. In the multivariate analysis, the accumulation of TOD correlated with disease activity and Galectin-3 (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our study showed for the first time that SLE patients exhibit a greater number of cases of TOD. The accumulation of TOD was associated with increased CV risk. Clinicians dealing with SLE should be aware and seek microvascular alterations. Full article
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10 pages, 219 KiB  
Article
Acute Appendicitis in the Elderly: A Nationwide Retrospective Analysis
by Malkiely Gal, Paran Maya, Kobo Ofer, Khan Mansoor, Abbou Benyamine and Kessel Boris
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072139 - 8 Apr 2024
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Background: Acute appendicitis (AA) in older individuals remains understudied. We aimed to assess AA characteristics in patients older than 60 years and evaluate the impact of comorbidities. Methods: This retrospective study analyzed data from the American National Inpatient Sample between 2016 and 2019 [...] Read more.
Background: Acute appendicitis (AA) in older individuals remains understudied. We aimed to assess AA characteristics in patients older than 60 years and evaluate the impact of comorbidities. Methods: This retrospective study analyzed data from the American National Inpatient Sample between 2016 and 2019 to compare AA characteristics in patients younger and older than 60 years. Results: Of the 538,400 patients included, 27.5% were older than 60 years. Younger patients had a higher appendectomy rate (p < 0.01), while the complicated appendicitis rate was higher in older patients. Superficial wound infection, systemic infection, and mortality rates were higher in older patients (p < 0.01). Risk factors for superficial wound infection in patients younger than 60 years included cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, heart failure, and obesity, whereas only heart failure was a risk factor in older patients. Risk factors for systemic infection in young patients included hypertension, heart failure, obesity, and diabetes mellitus, while in older patients they included hypertension, heart failure, and obesity. Complicated appendicitis was not a risk factor for infections in either group. Conclusions: This study highlights a higher incidence of AA in older individuals than previously reported, with comorbidities posing differing risks for infections between age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Acute Care and Emergency Surgery)
10 pages, 692 KiB  
Article
Trifecta Outcomes of Robot-Assisted Partial Nephrectomy Using the New Hugo™ RAS System Versus Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy
by Francesco Prata, Alberto Ragusa, Francesco Tedesco, Matteo Pira, Andrea Iannuzzi, Marco Fantozzi, Angelo Civitella, Roberto Mario Scarpa and Rocco Papalia
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2138; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072138 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 527
Abstract
(1) Background: Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) is still performed in many referred urological institutions, representing a valid alternative to robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN). We aimed to compare trifecta outcomes of LPN and RAPN with the Hugo™ RAS System. (2) Methods: Between [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Laparoscopic partial nephrectomy (LPN) is still performed in many referred urological institutions, representing a valid alternative to robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN). We aimed to compare trifecta outcomes of LPN and RAPN with the Hugo™ RAS System. (2) Methods: Between October 2022 and September 2023, eighty-nine patients underwent minimally invasive partial nephrectomy (group A, RAPN = 27; group B, Laparoscopic PN = 62) for localized renal tumors at our Institution. Continuous variables were presented as median and IQR and compared by means of the Mann–Whitney U test, while categorical variables were presented as frequencies (%) and compared by means of the χ2 test. (3) Results: Group A showed a higher rate of male patients (81.5% vs. 59.7%, p = 0.04) and a higher trend towards larger clinical tumor size (34 vs. 29 mm, p = 0.14). All the other baseline variables were comparable between the two groups (all p > 0.05). Regarding post-operative data, group A displayed a lower operative time (92 vs. 149.5 min, p = 0.005) and a shorter hospital stay (3 vs. 5, p = 0.002). A higher rate of malignant pathology was evidenced in group A (77.8% vs. 58.1%, p = 0.07) as well as a lower trend towards positive surgical margins (3.7% vs. 4.8%, p = 0.82), even if not statistically significant. (4) Conclusions: The rate of trifecta achievement was 92.6% and 82.3% for group A and B (p = 0.10), respectively. In terms of trifecta outcomes, RAPN using the Hugo™ RAS System showed comparable results to LPN performed by the same experienced surgeon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery in Urology)
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16 pages, 856 KiB  
Review
The Frontal Fibrosing Alopecia Treatment Dilemma
by Wiktoria Julia Krzesłowska and Anna Woźniacka
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072137 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 980
Abstract
Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a type of cicatricial alopecia predominantly observed in postmenopausal women, with the incidence rising since its initial description in 1994. The exact etiopathogenesis of the disease has not been completely elucidated. FFA is characterized by an inflammatory process [...] Read more.
Frontal fibrosing alopecia (FFA) is a type of cicatricial alopecia predominantly observed in postmenopausal women, with the incidence rising since its initial description in 1994. The exact etiopathogenesis of the disease has not been completely elucidated. FFA is characterized by an inflammatory process affecting the hair follicles of the fronto-temporal hairline, leading to its gradual recession. Eyebrows, particularly the lateral parts, may also be affected. Early diagnosis and an implementation of effective therapy to limit the inflammatory process are crucial in halting disease progression. Various treatment possibilities have been reported, including anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents, as well as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, retinoids, and antimalarial agents. The use of phototherapy and surgical procedures has also been described. However, most available data have been obtained retrospectively, frequently consisting of descriptions of case reports or small case series, and not from randomized controlled trials. In addition, the etiopathogenesis of FFA remains unclear and its course unpredictable, occasionally being linked with spontaneous stabilization. Hence, no precise guidelines exist regarding treatment modalities. Therefore, the aims of this study were to provide a comprehensive review of the efficacy of existing therapeutic modalities for FFA and to highlight novel therapeutic options. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dermatology)
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15 pages, 1640 KiB  
Systematic Review
Is a Higher Amniotic Fluid Viral Load Associated with a Greater Risk of Fetal Injury in Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Noa Gilad, Swati Agrawal, Eleni Philippopoulos, Kellie E. Murphy and Shiri Shinar
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2136; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072136 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 572
Abstract
Background: Numerous studies have aimed to predict prenatal and neonatal outcomes for pregnancies complicated by congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Presently, assessing CMV severity prenatally relies largely on fetal imaging. A controversy exists regarding CMV viral load (VL) and its association with fetal and [...] Read more.
Background: Numerous studies have aimed to predict prenatal and neonatal outcomes for pregnancies complicated by congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV). Presently, assessing CMV severity prenatally relies largely on fetal imaging. A controversy exists regarding CMV viral load (VL) and its association with fetal and neonatal sequelae. Objective: To perform a systematic review and meta-analysis investigating the association between CMV DNA VL in amniotic fluid and fetal and neonatal outcomes in pregnancies with congenital CMV. Results: All cohort, case-control and observational studies that compared outcomes of fetuses with congenital CMV and provided information on individual patient CMV VL quantified in copies per milliliter (c/mL) from inception to January 2023 were included, with no geographical or language restrictions. A total of 1251 citations were reviewed with eight studies meeting inclusion criteria and included in meta-analysis. Affected pregnancies had a higher VL in the amniotic fluid compared to those unaffected with a mean difference of 2.2e+7 (range 1.5e+7 to 2.8e+7). In subgroup analysis, the VL was significantly higher in the fetuses, with imaging findings related to CMV compared to asymptomatic fetuses with a mean difference of 4.1e+7 (95% CI 2.8e+7–5.4e+7). However, among babies with congenital CMV, the VL was not significantly different between symptomatic and asymptomatic babies. Conclusions: Amniotic fluid CMV VL is associated with fetal sequalae in congenital CMV, with a higher VL conferring a greater risk for prenatal injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Pregnancy Complications)
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11 pages, 743 KiB  
Article
Spinal Postures and Mobility in Children with Achondroplasia vs. Age- and Sex-Matched Healthy Individuals: A Preliminary Report
by Munkh-Erdene Bayartai, Hannu Luomajoki, Andrea Aliverti, Antonella LoMauro, Gabriella Tringali and Alessandro Sartorio
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072135 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Background: Achondroplasia is a rare genetic disease, yet the most common form of dwarfism, characterized by limb shortening and disproportionate short stature along with musculoskeletal changes, such as postural deviations. Although postural changes in the spine in children with achondroplasia have been well [...] Read more.
Background: Achondroplasia is a rare genetic disease, yet the most common form of dwarfism, characterized by limb shortening and disproportionate short stature along with musculoskeletal changes, such as postural deviations. Although postural changes in the spine in children with achondroplasia have been well investigated, little is known about the association of achondroplasia with spinal movements/mobility. Methods: This preliminary study aims to explore the association of achondroplasia with spinal mobility in children with achondroplasia compared to age- and sex-matched healthy individuals. Spinal posture and mobility were assessed using a radiation-free back scan, the Idiag M360 (Idiag, Fehraltorf, Switzerland). Between-group differences were determined using a two-way analysis of variance. Results: Children with achondroplasia had smaller thoracic lateral flexion [difference between groups (Δ) = 20.4°, 95% CI 0.1°–40.6°, p = 0.04], lumbar flexion (Δ = 17.4°, 95% CI 5.5°–29.4°, p = 0.006), lumbar extension (Δ = 14.2°, 95% CI 5.7°–22.8°, p = 0.002) and lumbar lateral flexion (Δ = 19.6°, 95% CI 10.7°–28.4°, p < 0.001) than age- and sex-matched healthy individuals, except for thoracic extension (Δ = 16.5°, 95% CI 4.4°–28.7°, p = 0.009) which was greater in children with achondroplasia. No differences were observed in global spinal postures between the two groups. Conclusions: Spinal mobility appears to be more influenced by achondroplasia than global spinal postures in childhood. These results also highlight the importance of considering the musculoskeletal assessment of segmental spinal postures and rehabilitative interventions aimed at promoting spinal flexibility in children with achondroplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology & Metabolism)
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12 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Sensitization-Associated Symptoms and Neuropathic-like Features in Patients with Cervical Dystonia and Pain
by Diego de-la-Hoz-López, María L. Cuadrado, Eva López-Valdés, Rocío García-Ramos, Fernando Alonso-Frech, Ana Fernández-Revuelta, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas and Víctor Gómez-Mayordomo
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2134; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072134 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Background: This exploratory study evaluated the presence of sensitization-associated and neuropathic-like symptoms and identified their association with pressure sensitivity, pain, and disability in patients with cervical dystonia (CD). Methods: Thirty-one patients with CD (74.2% women, age: 61.2 years, SD 10.1) participated. Data collected [...] Read more.
Background: This exploratory study evaluated the presence of sensitization-associated and neuropathic-like symptoms and identified their association with pressure sensitivity, pain, and disability in patients with cervical dystonia (CD). Methods: Thirty-one patients with CD (74.2% women, age: 61.2 years, SD 10.1) participated. Data collected included clinical variables, the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (TWSTRS), the Central Sensitization Inventory (CSI), the Self-administered Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (S-LANSS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), as well as widespread pressure pain thresholds (PPTs). Results: Patients with CD with pain (n = 20, 64.5%) showed higher scores on the TWSTRS disability subscale and the CSI (p < 0.001), and lower PPTs (p < 0.05). Fifteen patients (15/31, 48%) showed sensitization-associated symptoms (CSI ≥ 40), whereas five of the patients with pain (5/20, 25%) exhibited neuropathic-like symptoms (S-LANSS ≥ 12). The CSI and S-LANSS were positively associated with the TWSTRS, HADS-A and HADS-D, and negatively associated with PPTs. HADS-D and S-LANSS explained 72.5% of the variance of the CSI (r2: 0.725), whereas CSI explained 42.3% of the variance of the S-LANSS (r2: 0.423). Conclusions: Pain is an important source of disability in CD, and may be a consequence of different mechanisms, including sensitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Neurology)
23 pages, 1092 KiB  
Review
System-Wide Thromboprophylaxis Interventions for Hospitalized Patients at Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: Focus on Cross-Platform Clinical Decision Support
by Nikolaos Tsaftaridis, Mark Goldin and Alex C. Spyropoulos
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2133; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072133 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Thromboprophylaxis of hospitalized patients at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) presents challenges owing to patient heterogeneity and lack of adoption of evidence-based methods. Intuitive practices for thromboprophylaxis have resulted in many patients being inappropriately prophylaxed. We conducted a narrative review summarizing system-wide thromboprophylaxis [...] Read more.
Thromboprophylaxis of hospitalized patients at risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) presents challenges owing to patient heterogeneity and lack of adoption of evidence-based methods. Intuitive practices for thromboprophylaxis have resulted in many patients being inappropriately prophylaxed. We conducted a narrative review summarizing system-wide thromboprophylaxis interventions in hospitalized patients. Multiple interventions for thromboprophylaxis have been tested, including multifaceted approaches such as national VTE prevention programs with audits, pre-printed order entry, passive alerts (either human or electronic), and more recently, the use of active clinical decision support (CDS) tools incorporated into electronic health records (EHRs). Multifaceted health-system and order entry interventions have shown mixed results in their ability to increase appropriate thromboprophylaxis and reduce VTE unless mandated through a national VTE prevention program, though the latter approach is potentially costly and effort- and time-dependent. Studies utilizing passive human or electronic alerts have also shown mixed results in increasing appropriate thromboprophylaxis and reducing VTE. Recently, a universal cloud-based and EHR-agnostic CDS VTE tool incorporating a validated VTE risk score revealed high adoption and effectiveness in increasing appropriate thromboprophylaxis and reducing major thromboembolism. Active CDS tools hold promise in improving appropriate thromboprophylaxis, especially with further refinement and widespread implementation within various EHRs and clinical workflows. Full article
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16 pages, 1361 KiB  
Article
Effect of an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention on Circulating Biomarkers of Atrial Fibrillation-Related Pathways among Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: Results from a Randomized Trial
by Linzi Li, Alvaro Alonso, Dora Romaguera, Angel M. Alonso-Gómez, Cristina Razquin, Lucas Tojal-Sierra, Miquel Fiol, Miguel Angel Martínez-González, Vinita Subramanya, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Montserrat Fito and Estefanía Toledo
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2132; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072132 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Background: Lifestyles influence atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. Determining the effect of lifestyle interventions on blood concentrations of biomarkers of AF-related pathways could help understand AF pathophysiology and contribute to AF prevention. Methods: We studied 532 participants enrolled in the PREDIMED-Plus trial, [...] Read more.
Background: Lifestyles influence atrial fibrillation (AF) risk. Determining the effect of lifestyle interventions on blood concentrations of biomarkers of AF-related pathways could help understand AF pathophysiology and contribute to AF prevention. Methods: We studied 532 participants enrolled in the PREDIMED-Plus trial, a Spanish randomized trial conducted in adults (55–75 years) with metabolic syndrome and body mass index between 27–40 kg/m2. Eligible participants were randomized 1:1 to an intensive lifestyle intervention, emphasizing physical activity, weight loss, and adherence to an energy-reduced Mediterranean diet or to a control group. Serum biomarkers [carboxy-terminal propeptide of procollagen type I (PICP), high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT), high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP), 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), and N-terminal propeptide of B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP)] were measured at baseline, 3 and 5 years after randomization. Mixed models were used to evaluate the effect of intervention on changes in biomarkers through year 5. Mediation analysis was performed to examine the proportion mediated by each component of the intervention. Results: At baseline, participants’ mean age was 65, 40% were female, and 50% were assigned to the intervention. After five years, mean changes in log-transformed biomarkers were −0.01 (PICP), 0.20 (hsTnT), −0.17 (hsCRP), 0.12 (3-NT), and 0.27 (NT-proBNP). Compared to the control group, participants in the intervention group experienced greater decreases in hsCRP (−14%, 95% confidence interval (CI) −26%, 0%) or smaller increases in 3-NT (−16%, 95% CI −25%, −5%) and NT-proBNP (−12%, 95% CI −23%, 1%). The intervention had minimal impact on hsTnT (−3%, 95% CI −7%, 2%) or PICP concentrations (−2%, 95% CI −9%, 6%). The effect of the intervention on hsCRP was primarily mediated by weight loss (89% at year 5). Conclusions: Over five years, a dietary and lifestyle intervention for weight-loss favorably affected concentrations of hsCRP, 3-NT, and NT-proBNP, pointing to specific mechanisms in pathways linking lifestyles and AF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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13 pages, 829 KiB  
Article
Association between Fish Consumption during Pregnancy and Maternal and Neonatal Outcomes: A Statistical Study in Southern Italy
by Angela Alibrandi, Agata Zirilli, Maria Le Donne, Carlo Giannetto, Maurizio Lanfranchi, Angelina De Pascale, Chiara Politi, Giosuè Giordano Incognito, Alfredo Ercoli and Roberta Granese
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2131; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072131 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 597
Abstract
Background: This research aimed to evaluate the association between the monthly consumption of fish (differentiated by type) and both gestational and neonatal outcomes. Methods: Women who were admitted for delivery in the last 6 months of 2023 were prospectively included and divided according [...] Read more.
Background: This research aimed to evaluate the association between the monthly consumption of fish (differentiated by type) and both gestational and neonatal outcomes. Methods: Women who were admitted for delivery in the last 6 months of 2023 were prospectively included and divided according to type of fish consumed (based on DHA and mercury content) and frequency of consumption. Neonatal outcomes included weight, length, head circumference, and 1st and 5th minute Apgar scores. Maternal outcomes were threats of abortion, preterm birth, gestational diabetes and hypertension, cesarean section, and differential body mass index (BMI). Results: Small-size oily fish with high DHA and low mercury content (type B fish) consumption was positively associated with neonatal weight and head circumference, and less weight gain in pregnancy. It was also significantly associated with lower incidences of gestational diabetes and hypertension, and cesarean section. Correlation between differential BMI and monthly consumption of fish resulted in statistical significance, especially in type B fish consumers. Conclusions: The consumption of type B fish was significantly associated with increased neonatal weight and head circumference and better maternal outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Obstetrics & Gynecology)
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8 pages, 207 KiB  
Article
The COVID-19 Tracheostomy Experience at a Large Academic Medical Center in New York during the First Year
by Dhruv Patel, Anthony Devivo, Evan Leibner, Atinuke Shittu, Usha Govindarajulu, Pranai Tandon, David Lee, Randall Owen, Gustavo Fernandez-Ranvier, Robert Hiensch, Michael Marin, Roopa Kohli-Seth and Adel Bassily-Marcus
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072130 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Background: New York City was the epicenter of the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Tracheostomy is a critical procedure in the care of patients with COVID-19. We hypothesized that early tracheostomy would decrease the length of time on [...] Read more.
Background: New York City was the epicenter of the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Tracheostomy is a critical procedure in the care of patients with COVID-19. We hypothesized that early tracheostomy would decrease the length of time on sedation, time on mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit length of stay, and mortality. Methods: A retrospective analysis of outcomes for all patients with COVID-19 who underwent tracheostomy during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, New York. All adult intensive care units at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. Patients/subjects: 888 patients admitted to intensive care with COVID-19. Results: All patients admitted to the intensive care unit with COVID-19 (888) from 1 March 2020 to 1 March 2021 were analyzed and separated further into those intubated (544) and those requiring tracheostomy (177). Of those receiving tracheostomy, outcomes were analyzed for early (≤12 days) or late (>12 days) tracheostomy. Demographics, medical history, laboratory values, type of oxygen and ventilatory support, and clinical outcomes were recorded and analyzed. Conclusions: Early tracheostomy resulted in reduced duration of mechanical ventilation, reduced hospital length of stay, and reduced intensive care unit length of stay in patients admitted to the intensive care unit with COVID-19. There was no effect on overall mortality. Full article
10 pages, 229 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Male Infertility: A Critical Retrospective Study
by Jawza F. Alsabhan, Haya M. Almalag, Lulu A. Alnuaim, Awatif B. Albaker and Maryam M. Alaseem
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2129; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072129 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Background: The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been associated with potential effects on male fertility, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between SSRIs and male infertility; Methods [...] Read more.
Background: The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been associated with potential effects on male fertility, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between SSRIs and male infertility; Methods: A retrospective chart review of Saudi males who were treated with SSRIs and attended an infertility clinic in KSMC was undertaken. The medical records of men from an infertility clinic were reviewed to screen the quality of the sperm parameters in patients taking SSRIs; Results: In total, 299 men were identified, of whom 29 (9.6%) were exposed to SSRIs, while 270 (90.4%) did not receive SSRIs, defined as the control infertile group. When comparing the mean ages, a notable disparity was observed between the control group of infertile men (34.2 ± 6.9 years) and the infertile group using SSRIs (41.5 ± 3.2 years) (p < 0.001). Regarding the sperm analysis and the use of SSRIs, the impact of SSRIs use showed no significant differences in sperm liquefaction (p = 0.1), motility (p = 0.17), viscosity (p = 0.16), or count (p = 0.069) with escitalopram, fluoxetine, or paroxetine use; Conclusions: Our study showed no significant difference in the sperm analysis between the SSRI and non-SSRI cohorts. However, the relationship between SSRI use and sperm count warrants further investigation and consideration in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Reproductive Medicine & Andrology)
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11 pages, 2226 KiB  
Article
Endoportal Radiofrequency Ablation and Stent Placement in Patients with Portal Vein Tumor Thrombosis from Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Study on Feasibility and Safety
by Malkhaz Mizandari, Elene Gotsiridze, Pedram Keshavarz, Nariman Nezami, Tamta Azrumelashvili, Seyed Faraz Nejati, Nagy Habib, Jason Chiang and Steven S. Raman
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2128; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072128 - 7 Apr 2024
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer, with 10–40% of cases involving portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT), leading to poor outcomes and a short survival. The effectiveness of PVTT treatment in patients with HCC is still controversial. [...] Read more.
Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer, with 10–40% of cases involving portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT), leading to poor outcomes and a short survival. The effectiveness of PVTT treatment in patients with HCC is still controversial. Methods: This prospective dual-center study cohort comprised 60 patients with HCC and PVTT who underwent PVR-EPRFA-ST using a novel intravascular radiofrequency system followed by vascular stent placement across the PVTT stenosed segment under fluoroscopy guidance. Results: PVR-EPRFA-ST was technically and clinically successful in 54/60 (90%) and 37/54 (68.5%) patients, respectively. The mean tumor size, PVTT length, post-ablation luminal diameter, and median duration of the recanalized PV patency were 8.6 ± 3.4 cm, 4.1 ± 2.1 cm, 10.3 ± 1.8 mm, and 13.4 months. Higher technical and clinical success rates were associated with a longer survival (177 ± 17.3 days, HR: 0.3, 95%CI 0.12–0.71, p = 0.04; and 233 ± 18.3 days, HR: 0.14, 0.07–0.27, p < 0.001). A shorter survival was associated with Child–Pugh C (HR: 2.7, p = 0.04), multiple tumors (HR: 1.81, p = 0.03), and PVTT length (HR: 1.16, p = 0.04). Conclusions: PVR-EPRFA-ST was feasible and effective for the treatment of selected patients with PVTT, especially in patients with Child–Pugh A/B, single tumors, or a shorter PVTT length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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10 pages, 1597 KiB  
Case Report
Remediation of Perceptual Deficits in Progressive Auditory Neuropathy: A Case Study
by Gary Rance, Dani Tomlin, Eppie M. Yiu and Julien Zanin
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2127; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072127 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 885
Abstract
Background: Auditory neuropathy (AN) is a hearing disorder that affects neural activity in the VIIIth cranial nerve and central auditory pathways. Progressive forms have been reported in a number of neurodegenerative diseases and may occur as a result of both the deafferentiation and [...] Read more.
Background: Auditory neuropathy (AN) is a hearing disorder that affects neural activity in the VIIIth cranial nerve and central auditory pathways. Progressive forms have been reported in a number of neurodegenerative diseases and may occur as a result of both the deafferentiation and desynchronisation of neuronal processes. The purpose of this study was to describe changes in auditory function over time in a patient with axonal neuropathy and to explore the effect of auditory intervention. Methods: We tracked auditory function in a child with progressive AN associated with Charcot–Marie–Tooth (Type 2C) disease, evaluating hearing levels, auditory-evoked potentials, and perceptual abilities over a 3-year period. Furthermore, we explored the effect of auditory intervention on everyday listening and neuroplastic development. Results: While sound detection thresholds remained constant throughout, both electrophysiologic and behavioural evidence suggested auditory neural degeneration over the course of the study. Auditory brainstem response amplitudes were reduced, and perception of auditory timing cues worsened over time. Functional hearing ability (speech perception in noise) also deteriorated through the first 1.5 years of study until the child was fitted with a “remote-microphone” listening device, which subsequently improved binaural processing and restored speech perception ability to normal levels. Conclusions: Despite the deterioration of auditory neural function consistent with peripheral axonopathy, sustained experience with the remote-microphone listening system appeared to produce neuroplastic changes, which improved the patient’s everyday listening ability—even when not wearing the device. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Journey of Hearing and Hearing-Related Disorders over Time)
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14 pages, 6773 KiB  
Article
Platelet Activating Factor Receptor and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule–1 Expression Increases in the Small Airway Epithelium and Parenchyma of Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Implications for Microbial Pathogenesis
by Affan Mahmood Shahzad, Wenying Lu, Surajit Dey, Prem Bhattarai, Archana Vijay Gaikwad, Jade Jaffar, Glen Westall, Darren Sutherland, Gurpreet Kaur Singhera, Tillie-Louise Hackett, Mathew Suji Eapen and Sukhwinder Singh Sohal
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(7), 2126; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13072126 - 6 Apr 2024
Viewed by 817
Abstract
Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an irreversible lung fibrotic disorder of unknown cause. It has been reported that bacterial and viral co-infections exacerbate disease pathogenesis. These pathogens use adhesion molecules such as platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 [...] Read more.
Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is an irreversible lung fibrotic disorder of unknown cause. It has been reported that bacterial and viral co-infections exacerbate disease pathogenesis. These pathogens use adhesion molecules such as platelet activating factor receptor (PAFR) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM–1) to gain cellular entry, causing infections. Methods: Immunohistochemical staining was carried out for lung resections from IPF patients (n = 11) and normal controls (n = 12). The quantification of PAFR and ICAM–1 expression is presented as a percentage in the small airway epithelium. Also, type 2 pneumocytes and alveolar macrophages were counted as cells per mm2 of the parenchymal area and presented as a percentage. All image analysis was done using Image Pro Plus 7.0 software. Results: PAFR expression significantly increased in the small airway epithelium (p < 0.0001), type 2 pneumocytes (p < 0.0001) and alveolar macrophages (p < 0.0001) compared to normal controls. Similar trend was observed for ICAM–1 expression in the small airway epithelium (p < 0.0001), type 2 pneumocytes (p < 0.0001) and alveolar macrophages (p < 0.0001) compared to normal controls. Furthermore, the proportion of positively expressed type 2 pneumocytes and alveolar macrophages was higher in IPF than in normal control. Conclusions: This is the first study to show PAFR and ICAM–1 expression in small airway epithelium, type 2 pneumocytes and alveolar macrophages in IPF. These findings could help intervene microbial impact and facilitate management of disease pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pulmonology)
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