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Open access

Piotr Boguta, Dariusz Juchnowicz, Paulina Wróbel-Knybel, Agnieszka Biała-Kędra and Hanna Karakuła-Juchnowicz

Abstract

Introduction: Warfarin has been considered as a “gold standard” in the prevention and treatment of thromboembolic events since 1954. Since the introduction of direct oral anticoagulants in the last few years (NOAC-Non-Vitamin K antagonist Oral Anticoagulants) prescriptions volume for apixaban, edoxaban, dabigatran and rivaroxaban have been gradually surpassing warfarin. The benefits include: anticoagulation from day one, fixed daily dosing, elimination for the need of international normalised ratio (INR) monitoring, fewer interactions with food and co-administered medicines with reduced risk of bleeding and better overall life quality.

Objectives: Assessing evidence for the safe use of Non-vitamin K Oral Anticoagulants (NOAC) with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) and Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI).

Method: Review of literature published between 2014 and 2016 was made using the key words: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors, apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, rivaroxaban, bleeding, interaction, depression with time description from 2014 to 2018. Evidence within the literature was then compared with guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK), British National Formulary (UK), Clinical Excellence Commission (Australia), Thrombophilia and Anticoagulation Clinic (USA) and Summaries of Product Characteristics (SPC).

Results: 1. Serotonin plays a critical role in maintaining homeostasis. Use of SSRI/SNRI compromises its platelet reuptake increasing risk of bleeding.

2. Increased tolerability and safety of NOAC over Warfarin, although caution is advised when NOAC is used with SSRI/SNRI with less evidence suggesting pharmacodynamic interactions.

3. It is not recommended to use NOAC with strong CYP and P-gp inhibitors.

Conclusions: With limited literature evidence, caution is advised when co-prescribed NOACs with SSRI/SNRI, especially with other cofactors and interacting medicines further increasing risk of bleeding.

Open access

Jakub Siembida and Kaja Karakuła

Abstract

Introduction: Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is commonly known as a recreation drug or the so-called “date rape drug”. It is also used in medicine to treat narcolepsy and alcohol addiction. GHB has an affinity for two types of receptors: GABAB and the relatively recently discovered GHB receptors. GHB receptors were first cloned in 2003 in mice and then in 2007 in humans. So far, evidence has been presented for their impact on dopaminergic transmission, which may imply that they play a role in the pathogenesis of diseases such as schizophrenia. At the same time, it has been demonstrated that benzamide antipsychotic drugs have an affinity for GHB receptors, which is why it is postulated that some of the effects of these drugs may result precisely from this affinity.

Aim: The study presents the current state of knowledge about GHB receptors and their potential role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, and discusses drugs which show an affinity for this receptor.

Material and method: The literature review was based on a search of articles indexed between 1965 and 2018 in Medline, Google Scholar, ScienceDirect and Research Gate databases. The following search terms were used: GHB receptor, GHB, sulpiride, and amisulpride.

Result and discussion: 1. It is possible that GHB receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia, although more research is needed in this area.

2. Part of the effects of some benzamide antipsychotic drugs (such as amisulpride) may be due to their affinity for GHB receptors.

Open access

Karolina Mielko, Ewelina Soroka, Karolina Sprawka and Marcin Olajossy

Abstract

Introduction. The authors present an overview of current views on the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder refractory to pharmacological and psychological treatment.

Aim: To review the mechanisms of stimulation of deep brain structures and to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Method: Review and analysis of the Polish and foreign scientific articles from the years 1999-2016.

Conclusions: According to the literature considered, in half of the examined patients there was an improvement of over 35% on the Y-BOCS scale, in some patients even a reduction of symptoms reaching 81-83% was described. Previous studies have been carried out on small groups of patients. Since 2009, the method of invasive treatment with deep brain stimulation of the obsessive-compulsive syndrome is registered in the EU. In spite of the above, additional studies are necessary on a larger group of patients in order to precisely estimate the effectiveness of the procedure and elaborate the criteria for qualifying patients for inclusion in the procedure.

Open access

Gordana Stanic, Valentina Opancina, Nemanja Rancic, Jelena Jovic and Dragana Ignjatovic-Ristic

Abstract

Dementia is characterized by a progressive decrease in cognitive functions, and the term includes different etiologies. Cognitive decline includes loss of memory and deterioration in executive functions, such as planning and organizing skills, sufficient to influence social activities. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the attitudes (knowledge, emotions and behaviour) of students at the High Medical College of Professional Studies and nurses towards people suffering from dementia. The study was designed as a qualitative study with the use of a questionnaire. The Dementia Attitudes Scale (DAS) was used in our study. A total of 283 respondents answered the survey: 56.25% were students, and 43.75% were nurses. The internal consistency of the DAS was found to be good with a Cronbach’s α of 0.792. In the overall score for attitudes, a significant difference was found between students (100.47±10.91) and nurses (95.51±16.10). The students had a better score regarding questions describing their behaviour towards these individuals (p<0.001) and emotions for these patients (p<0.001). For knowledge, there was no difference between the two groups of subjects (p=0.901). Regarding the overall score, attitudes of students and nurses towards people with dementia were positive. This research suggested that the training of senior team members who then had dementia expertise was a key component in developing attitudes and improving care practices and outcomes for these patients. Continuous education of all medical staff who have contact with people who suffer from dementia is important.

Open access

Stamatis Karakonstantis, Mina Koulouridi, Kyriakos Pitsillos, Eirini Kalokyri, Anna Kozyri, Galateia Gourniezaki and Charalampos Lydakis

Abstract

Introduction: Several diagnoses have been associated with leukemoid reaction (LR). In patients with LR the diagnostic and prognostic value of detailed manual blood smear counts (such as the percentage of band cells or grading of neutrophil toxic changes) has not been studied previously.

Methods: We prospectively recorded all hospitalized adult (>18 years old) patients with LR (≥30000/ul) of neutrophilic predominance, excluding patients with pre-existing leukocytosis due to hematological malignancies. We examined the diagnoses and prognosis (in-hospital mortality and post-discharge mortality up to a year after the end of the study) of these patients as well as the value of manual peripheral smear review.

Results: We recorded a total of 93 patients with LR from January 2017 to December 2017. Infection was the most common diagnosis (70%), followed by malignancy (7.5%) and bleeding (6.5%). In-hospital mortality (45%) and post-discharge mortality (35% of those discharged) were very high. Among blood smear findings, only neutrophil vacuolation was significantly more common in patients with infections (34%), although it was also observed in many patients without any infection (13%). Blood smear findings were not associated with prognosis

Conclusion: Detailed manual smear review is a labor-intensive procedure and has limited diagnostic and prognostic value in unselected hospitalized patients with neutrophilic LR.

Open access

Mile Bosilkovski, Marija Dimzova, Marija Cvetkova, Kostadin Poposki, Katerina Spasovska and Ivan Vidinic

Abstract

Introduction: The study aimed to compare the etiologic spectrum of diseases causing fever of unknown origin (FUO) and methods for definitive diagnosis in a tertiary care hospital in Republic of North Macedonia during two different time periods.

Patients and methods: retrospectively were analysed the causes for FUO and final diagnostic approaches in 185 patients with classic FUO that were treated at the University Hospital for Infectious diseases in Skopje during two time periods. Seventy nine patients were treated during 1991 to 1995 and 106 patients during 2011 to 2015.

Results: When comparing these two periods, infections were present in 46.8% and 29.2% (p=0.014), non-infective inflammatory disorders in 22.8% and 25.5% (p=0.674), neoplasms in 10.1% and 13.2% (p=0.522), miscellaneous in 8.9% and 12.3% (p=0.461) and undiagnosed cases in 11.4% and 19.8% (p=0.124), respectively. The most common causes for FUO during the first period were abscesses (8.9%), tuberculosis and systemic lupus erythematosus (7.6% each), whereas in the second period the commonest causes were adult onset Still disease and solid organ neoplasm (7.6% each), polymyalgia rheumatica, abscesses and visceral leishmaniasis (5.7% each). The newer imaging techniques and clinical course evaluation had superior diagnostic significance during the second period.

Conclusion: A changing pattern of diseases causing FUO during the examined periods was evident. Infections continue to be the most common cause but with decreasing incidence when compared to 20 year ago. Even nowadays clinical evaluation and follow-up still remain the vital diagnostic tools in determining the etiology of FUO.

Open access

Tomasz Michalik, Rafał Matkowski, Przemyslaw Biecek, Jozef Forgacz and Bartlomiej Szynglarewicz

Abstract

Background

Anterior resection with total mesorectal excision (TME) of ultralow rectal cancer may result in the increased risk of the anastomotic leakage (AL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the gentamicin-collagen sponge (GCS) for the protection against symptomatic AL and investigate association between AL and local relapse (LR).

Patients and methods

A series of 158 patients with ultralow rectal cancer was studied. All the patients underwent R0 sphincter-saving TME with anastomosis wrapping using GCS. In none of the cases a temporary protective stoma was constructed.

Results

AL rate was 3.2% (5/158) while median time to AL diagnosis was 5 days following surgery (range 3-15). There was no postoperative and leakage-related mortality. Patient age > 75 years and smoking were independent risk factors related to significantly increased AL rate: 12.5% vs. 0.8% (P = 0.0004) and 5.7% vs. 0% P = 0.043), respectively. LR was observed in 12% of cases. It was highly significantly more common and developed earlier in patients who have had AL when compared with non-AL group: 80% vs. 9% (P = 0.00001) and 8.5 vs. 17 months (P = 0.014), respectively.

Conclusions

Anastomosis wrapping with GCS after anterior resection with TME is a safe procedure resulting in the low incidence of anastomotic leakage which may be also associated with decreased risk of local relapse.

Open access

Niklas Verloh, Isabel Jensch, Lukas Lürken, Michael Haimerl, Marco Dollinger, Philipp Renner, Philipp Wiggermann, Jens Martin Werner, Florian Zeman, Christian Stroszczynski and Lukas Philipp Beyer

Abstract

Background

To compare the frequency of adverse events of thermal microwave (MWA) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) with non-thermal irreversible electroporation (IRE) in percutaneous ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Patients and methods

We retrospectively analyzed 117 MWA/RFA and 47 IRE procedures (one tumor treated per procedure; 144 men and 20 women; median age, 66 years) regarding adverse events, duration of hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) stays and occurrence of a post-ablation syndrome. Complications were classified according to the Clavien & Dindo classification system.

Results

70.1% of the RFA/MWA and 63.8% of the IRE procedures were performed without complications. Grade I and II complications (any deviation from the normal postinterventional course, e.g., analgesics) occurred in 26.5% (31/117) of MWA/RFA and 34.0% (16/47) of IRE procedures. Grade III and IV (major) complications occurred in 2.6% (3/117) of MWA/RFA and 2.1% (1/47) of IRE procedures. There was no significant difference in the frequency of complications (p = 0.864), duration of hospital and ICU stay and the occurrence of a post-ablation syndrome between the two groups.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that thermal (MWA and RFA) and non-thermal IRE ablation of malignant liver tumors have comparable complication rates despite the higher number of punctures and the lack of track cauterization in IRE.

Open access

Manca Garbajs, Primoz Strojan and Katarina Surlan-Popovic

Abstract

Background

In the study, the value of pre-treatment dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and diffusion weighted (DW) MRI-derived parameters as well as their changes early during treatment was evaluated for predicting disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy (cCRT) with cisplatin.

Patients and methods

MRI scans were performed in 20 patients with locoregionally advanced HNSCC at baseline and after 10 Grays (Gy) of cCRT. Tumour apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and DCE parameters (volume transfer constant [Ktrans], extracellular extravascular volume fraction [ve], and plasma volume fraction [Vp]) were measured. Relative changes in parameters from baseline to 10 Gy were calculated. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis were conducted. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was employed to identify parameters with the best diagnostic performance.

Results

None of the parameters was identified to predict for DFS. On univariate analysis of OS, lower pre-treatment ADC (p = 0.012), higher pre-treatment Ktrans (p = 0.026), and higher reduction in Ktrans (p = 0.014) from baseline to 10 Gy were identified as significant predictors. Multivariate analysis identified only higher pre-treatment Ktrans (p = 0.026; 95% CI: 0.000–0.132) as an independent predictor of OS. At ROC curve analysis, pre-treatment Ktrans yielded an excellent diagnostic accuracy (area under curve [AUC] = 0.95, sensitivity 93.3%; specificity 80 %).

Conclusions

In our group of HNSCC patients treated with cisplatin-based cCRT, pre-treatment Ktrans was found to be a good predictor of OS.