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Abstract

Gas gangrene (GG) remains a life-threatening and deadly disease. Early recognition together with daily surgical debridement remains the mainstay of therapy. We sought to describe a fatal case of necrotizing soft tissue infection, which was a gas gagrene in this case. This case was remarkable as two main sites were infected simultaneously in geographical zones very far from each other making dissemination between both sites almost impossible. The other particularity was the fact that the infection was caused at the same time by four different bacteria that is atypical in GG similar to that in streptoccocal necrotizing fasciitis where one bacteria is the causative agent (Clostridium perfringens for GG and group A streptococcus for necrotizing fasciitis).

Abstract

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is one of the most common cardiovascular diseases and is the leading cause of death worldwide. Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy to promote cardiac regeneration and myocardial function recovery. Recently, the generation of human induced pluripotent cells (hiPSCs) and their differentiation into cardiomyocytes and vascular cells offer an unprecedented opportunity for the IHD treatment. This review briefly summarizes hiPSCs and their differentiation, and presents the recent advances in hiPSC injection, engineered cardiac patch fabrication, and the application of hiPSC derived extracellular vesicle. Current challenges and further perspectives are also discussed to understand current risks and concerns, identify potential solutions, and direct future clinical trials and applications.

Abstract

Background and objectives

According to recent guidelines, a diagnosis of celiac disease (CD) can be made without a biopsy, especially in children. There are no enough studies despite high prevalence and differences in genetic, race, and cultures. Therefore, we examined the correlation between tissue transglutaminase (TTG) and duodenal biopsy changes in our region because we are identical and different from others in culture, environment, and habits, and the correlation is same as that in different regions.

Methods

A retrospective cohort study at the Ministry of National Guard Health Affaires (NGHA) health care facilities that are distributed throughout kingdom of Saudi Arabia from April 19, 2015, till March 29, 2018. This study used the BESTCARE system that includes data from all NGHA facilities; data from 513 patients with CD were collected. All patients diagnosed with celiac disease aged 15 years or more, confirmed by improvement on gluten-free diet (GFD), and were not on GFD before endoscopy or serology test or both of them were included in the study, and the TTG IgA level was measured at the same time or within 2–3 months of biopsy date. The exclusion criteria were negative duodenal biopsy, which is less than 2; patients with negative biopsy and negative serology; patients who were on GFD before testing, and any patients known to have immunity diseases or illness causing mucosal changes. The TTG IgA level was measured in IU/ mL and was labeled as negative (<20 IU/mL) and positive (≥ 20 IU/mL) based on the cutoff value. However, Intestinal biopsy findings were identified as Marsh classification groups.

Results

One hundred thirty-four patients who met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. Median age of our sample was 24 years (16–37 years). Among these, 99 (73.88%) were female patients, whereas male patients were only 35 (26.12%). Histopathologic investigation of intestinal biopsy were Marsh 0 group was 16 cases (11.9%), Marsh 1 group was 8 cases (6%), Marsh 2 group was 4 cases (3%), Marsh 3a group was 32 cases (23.9%), Marsh 3b group was 64 cases (47.8%), and Marsh 3c group was 10 cases (7.5%). The TTG IgA antibody serology groups were <20 IU/mL in 13 cases (9.7%) and ≥20 IU/mL in 121 cases (90.3%). Among all patients with CD who had negative biopsy (Marsh 0 group), 16 (100%) of them had positive TTG IgA antibody. However, among patients with Marsh 1 group biopsy, 5 (62.5%) cases had negative TTG IgA antibody compared with 3 (37.5%) positive cases. Of the four cases (100%) with Marsh 2 group, all of them had positive TTG IgA antibody. However, in Marsh 3a group biopsy, 3 (9.4%) cases had negative TTG IgA antibody compared with 29 (90.6%) cases with positive TTG IgA antibody. Furthermore, among the patients with Marsh 3b group biopsy, 5 (7.8%) had negative antibody and 59 (92.2%) had positive serology. Of all biopsies of Marsh 3c group, 10 (100 %) had positive TTG IgA antibody.

Conclusions

In perspective of high prevalence of CD in KSA, even more than western countries, we can pretend that positive TTG antibody tests can be applied for the diagnosis of CD without biopsy, particularly in symptomatic patients along with high titer, that is, 5–10 times the upper limit of normal (ULN). However, to validate it further, we need larger prospective studies in which duodenal biopsies should be taken according to recommended protocol and should be interpreted by experienced pathologist. Furthermore, biopsy is still needed in patients who do not show clinical improvement on a gluten-free diet and in cases with mildly or moderately elevated TTG IgA.

Abstract

Background and Objectives

The importance of myocardial dysfunction in sickle cell disease (SCD) is currently debated. It is difficult to find a reliable index of function in patients with chronic overload as in SCD. Speckle tracking echocardiography, a new mean of evaluating cardiac function, might be a useful tool in SCD. It has been applied in many fields to detect early cardiac function deterioration, and it is less load dependent compared with other function parameters. Studies in patients with SCD are rare, and the results are conflicting. The present study aimed to determine whether left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LV-GLS) was abnormal in a population of adults with SCD and whether it was correlated with clinical or biological parameters.

Methods

We prospectively enrolled 37 patients and 34 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Echocardiography was performed in patients and controls.

Results

We found that the left ventricular diameter and mass were higher and the ejection fraction and longitudinal strain were lower in patients compared with controls. Diastolic dysfunction was uncommon. LV-GLS was abnormal in 21% of the patients. No correlation was observed between strain and clinical or biological parameters.

Conclusions

We concluded that LV-GLS could be a useful tool for evaluating these patients. However, the clinical impact of reduced LV-GLS remains to be determined.

Abstract

Background and objectives

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is strongly associated with obesity. A weight loss of ≥10% is necessary to improve NASH severity, but this goal has rarely been achieved in published studies using different diet protocols. The effect of a ketogenic, hypocaloric, commercial diet (“Ideal Protein,” IP) on body weight, metabolic markers, and liver tests in a group of NASH patients is evaluated in this study. Daily calorie intake was tailored to achieve a weight loss of ≥10%.

Methods

We analyzed 38 patients with NASH who were placed on the IP diet between 2014 and 2018 and compared their outcomes with 6 control patients who declined the diet. All patients were evaluated by a trained health coach in weekly intervals throughout the study period. Clinical and laboratory data obtained before and at 6.5 months after intervention were compared using paired t-testing.

Results

The patients on the IP diet experienced a significant weight reduction (217 ± 8 lb vs. 194 ± 7 lb; mean ± S.E.M.), corresponding to an average weight loss of 9.7% ± 1.6%. Significant changes in systolic blood pressure (133 ± 3 mmHg vs. 123 ± 3 mmHg), triglycerides (200 ± 21 mmol/L vs. 132 ± 11 mmol/L), hemoglobin A1c (6.71% ± 0.29% vs. 5.74% ± 0.19%), SGPT (97.3 ± 11.1 IU/L vs. 44.2 ± 5.9 IU/L), SGOT (82.4 ± 10.5 IU/L vs. 32.8 ± 5.2 IU/L), and Fib-4 scores (2.25 ± 0.23 vs. 1.40 ± 0.13) were also observed (P<0.05 in all cases). In the IP group, 50.5% of patients lost ≥10% body weight. In contrast, no significant changes were observed in the control group. The IP diet was well tolerated, and no safety signals were noticed.

Conclusions

A ketogenic, hypocaloric resulted in striking weight loss and significant improvements in metabolic parameters and liver tests, suggesting that this approach carries promise for the dietary management of patients with NASH.

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer associated death globally. Serum micro RNAs are full of potential as noninvasive biomarkers. Here, we aim to assess the performance of serum MicroRNA-155 and MicroRNA-665 as diagnostic biomarker for HCC comparing to AFP.

Methods

Serum samples were collected from 200 subjects (40 healthy control, 80 chronic hepatitis C patients with cirrhosis and without HCC (LC) and 80 HCC patients currently infected by hepatitis C infection and didn’t start the treatment). The HCC patients didn’t include alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease nor autoimmune liver disease. MicroRNA-155 and MicroRNA-665 expression were measured by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), while AFP level was assessed by ELISA method.

Results

Both miR-155 and miR-665 were significantly elevated in HCC group as compared to both control and LC groups. The comparison between LC and HCC patients revealed that the serum level of miR-155 was a significant increase in HCC patients compared to LC patients; however, the serum level of miR-665 didn’t show any significant difference between the same two groups. MiR-665 expression level showed a direct correlation with tumor size in HCC patients.

Conclusions

Using measurement against AFP level in serum, miR-665 is considered a promising serum biomarker for the diagnosis of HCC patients among the LC patients without HCC. MiR-155 didn’t provide a better performance than serum AFP as a diagnostic biomarker among the same group. MiR-665 may serve as a good indicator for HCC prognosis.

Abstract

COVID-19 is the current public health threat all over the world. Unfortunately, there is no specific prevention and treatment strategy for this disease. We aim to explore the potential role of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in this regard through this literature review. As a crucial enzyme of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), ACE2 not only mediates the virus entry but also affects the pathophysiological process of virus-induced acute lung injury (ALI), as well as other organs’ damage. As interaction of COVID-19 virus spike and ACE2 is essential for virus infection, COVID-19-specific vaccine based on spike protein, small molecule compound interrupting their interaction, human monoclonal antibody based on receptor-binding domain, and recombinant human ACE2 protein (rhuACE2) have aroused the interests of researchers. Meanwhile, ACE2 could catalyze angiotensin II (Ang II) to form angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7), thus alleviates the harmful effect of Ang II and amplifies the protection effect of Ang1-7. ACE inhibitor and angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) have been shown to increase the level of expression of ACE2 and could be potential strategies in protecting lungs, heart, and kidneys. ACE2 plays a very important role in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection. Strategies targeting ACE2 and its ligand, COVID-19 virus spike protein, may provide novel method in the prevention and management of novel coronavirus pneumonia.

Abstract

This article reviews the most significant literature of the recent years on the treatment of idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). One major goal of the article is to classify and summarize the research on the clinical aspects and the associated mechanisms of the use of Chinese herbal compounds and single drugs to treat IMN. It was found that TCM treats IMN via two major approaches: by benefiting qi, activating blood circulation and eliminating dampness, or by benefiting qi and nourishing yin. The method of benefiting qi, to activate blood circulation and eliminate dampness for dredging channels, is the most popular. The commonly used drugs in this approach include Huang Qi (astragalus), Dang Shen (codonopsis root), Bai Zhu (white atractylodes rhizome), Fu Ling (poria cocos), Dang Gui (angelica sinensis), and so on. Several randomized, controlled, clinical trials are reviewed in the article, including a multicenter one.