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Open access

Carmen Ardelean, Daniel Lighezan, Raluca Morar, Sorin Pescariu and Stefan Mihăicuță

Abstract

Background: Patients with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) and heart failure (HF) have concomitant different comorbidities and increased risk of morbidity.

Aim: The aim of this study was to analyze differences between patients with SAS and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF; ejection fraction [EF]≥50%) – group 1 and those with SAS and heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF; EF<50%) – group 2.

Methods: We evaluated 51 patients with SAS and HF in the sleep laboratory of Timisoara Victor Babes Hospital. We collected general data, sleep questionnaires, anthropometric measurements (neck circumference [NC], abdominal circumference [AC]), somnography for apnea–hypopnea index (AHI), oxygen desaturation index (ODI), echocardiographic data, comorbidities, and laboratory test.

Results: The study included 51 patients who were divided into two groups depending on EF, with the following characteristics: Group 1 (HFpEF): 26 patients, 19 males, seven females, age 61.54±9.1 years, body mass index (BMI) 37±6.4 kg/m2, NC 45.4±3.6 cm, AC 126.6±12.9 cm, AHI 48.3±22.6 events/hour, central apnea 5.6±11.4 events/hour, obstructive apnea 25.7±18.7 events/hour, ODI 41.2±21.2/hour and lowest SpO2 –72.1±14%.

Group 2 (HFrEF): 25 patients, 18 males, seven females, age 63.6±8.8 years, BMI 37.9±7.5 kg/m2, NC 46±4.4 cm, AC 127.2±13.9 cm, AHI 46.4±21.7 events/hour, central apnea 4.6±8.3 events/hour, obstructive apnea 25.9±18.5 events/hour, ODI 44.8±27.1/hour and lowest SpO2 –70.6±12.1%. Differences between groups regarding anthropometric and somnographic measurements and lipidic profile were not statistically significant.

Significant differences were observed regarding stroke (23% vs. 4%, p=0.04) in the group with HFpEF and regarding creatinine measurements (1.1±0.2 vs. 1.4±0.7, p=0.049), aortic insufficiency (11.5% vs. 36%, p=0.04) and tricuspid insufficiency (6.1% vs. 80%, p=0.01) in the group with HFrEF.

Conclusions: Patients with SAS and HFpEF have a higher risk of stroke. Patients with SAS and HFrEF have a significantly increased risk of developing a life-long chronic kidney disease and aortic and tricuspid insufficiency. These results may suggest pathogenic links between SAS and the mentioned comorbidities, and this may explain the higher mortality when this association is present.

Open access

Cristina Călărașu, Mimi Niţu, Mădălina Olteanu, Andreea Loredana Golli, Florentina Dumitrescu and Mihai Olteanu

Abstract

Background: People coinfected with tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are 20–37 times more likely to develop active TB disease than non-HIV-infected people. Syndemic interaction between HIV and TB epidemics has made testing for TB a must for HIV-infected people and vice versa. We present the case of a young male diagnosed with HIV infection, due to mandatory HIV testing for all TB cases in Romania.

Case presentation: A 30-year-old man was hospitalized for fever, chills and productive cough not influenced by previous antibiotic home treatment. He was admitted with tachycardia and bilateral presence of coarse crackles in lower pulmonary areas. Chest X-ray suggested bilateral bronchopneumonia; the results from blood tests showed inflammation, leukocytosis and anaemia. Hemocultures were negative. Under wide-spectrum antibiotic treatment, his general condition partially improved, but on the seventh day, chest X-ray revealed abscess in the left inferior lobe and the progression of previous lesions. Chest computed tomography revealed multiple large consolidation areas in both lung areas, a 13 cm diameter abscess and multiple mediastinal adenopathy of 2–4 cm in diameter. Acid fast bacilli smear from sputum was positive. After the diagnosis of pulmonary TB, anti-TB treatment was started; the patient was subsequently diagnosed with HIV infection. He received specific anti-TB treatment, and 3 weeks later, retroviral treatment was initiated. Clinical evolution was favourable and radiological appearance improved. In addition, he did not present any adverse effects of therapy.

Conclusions: HIV testing for all TB cases is a must because HIV-TB coinfection raises important diagnostic and treatment problems.

Open access

Ioana Cojocaru, Livia Luculescu, Daniela Negoescu and Irina Strâmbu

Abstract

Clostridium difficile is an anaerobic bacterium than can colonise the lower intestine and cause enterocolitis in susceptible patients. Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is typically a nosocomial infection, favoured by treatment with antibiotics (especially with broad-spectrum drugs), proton pump inhibitors, but also comorbidities, old age and prolonged hospitalisation. Based on the observation that in the past years, the frequency of nosocomial CDI has increased in the Institute of Pulmonology, Bucharest, this retrospective observational study aimed to analyse the characteristics of admitted patients who develop CDI, in order to identify possible particular features and risk factors. Accordingly, medical files from 80 patients admitted from January 2015 to August 2017 were analysed for demographic data, respiratory diagnosis, comorbidities, blood tests, treatments prescribed, time of CDI onset, evolution and outcome. The number of patients studied was 29 in 2015, 16 in 2016 and 35 in 2017, with slight male predominance. Totally, 54 patients (67.5%) had tuberculosis (pulmonary or pleural), 12 had lung cancer, five had respiratory infections, two had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and seven had other diseases. All patients but nine were receiving antibiotics: tuberculosis drugs, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and beta-lactams. About half of the patients received proton pump inhibitors. Most patients had several comorbidities. Mean time since admittance to onset of diarrhoea was 20 days. CDI was treated with metronidazole or vancomycin. The evolution was favourable in 90% of patients, but eight patients (10%) died.

This study highlights a high frequency of CDI in patients treated for tuberculosis. Due to insufficient data, no epidemiological consideration could be made. Further studies are needed to assess the relationship among tuberculosis, tuberculosis treatment and CDI.

Open access

Tatiana Paola Pacheco Páez, German Gutierrez Parra, Alirio Rodrigo Bastidas Goyes, María Daniela Hernández Arcila, Paula Marcela Alcaraz Cañizares, Julio César García Casallas and Daniel Martin Arsanios

Abstract

Species from the genus Kocuria are strictly aerobic, catalase-positive, coagulase-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. This article deals with the case of a 71-year-old patient with severe community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) caused by Kocuria rosea. An exhaustive search of the available medical literature revealed no previous reports regarding pneumonia caused by K. rosea.

Open access

Gina Amanda, Dianiati Kusumo Sutoyo and Erlina Burhan

Abstract

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common aetiology of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). It has many virulence factors, the most important being a polysaccharide capsule (Cps). There are 97 different serotypes of pneumococcal based on Cps which include both colonization and invasive serotypes. Pneumococcal pneumonia may exist as a result of either aspiration of bacteria in the nasopharynx or inhalation of droplet nuclei which contains bacteria until they reach the lower respiratory tract. This condition will activate both innate and adaptive immune system. The diagnosis of pneumococcal pneumonia is established in a patient who has the signs and symptoms of pneumonia, accompanied by the detection of S. pneumoniae in microbiology examination. Pneumococcus may also penetrate into a normally sterile site such as bloodstream, meninges, and pleural cavity, and infection of pneumococcus in those sites are defined as an invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). High bacterial load, dysfunction of the immune system, and co-colonization of another microorganism may also lead to IPD.

Open access

Florin Mihălțan, Ruxandra Ulmeanu and Beatrice Mahler

Open access

Retno AS Soemarwoto, Jamsari, Yanwirasti, Andika Chandra Putra and Syazili Mustofa

Abstract

Background: Chronic mucus hypersecretion is a common feature in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is associated with epidermal growth factor (EGF) activity. Aberrant EGF and its receptor signalling can cause airway hyperproliferation, increase in mucous cell differentiation and mucus hyperproduction. Furthermore, it can also promote subepithelial fibrosis and excessive collagen deposition in COPD. The objective of this research was to investigate the plasma levels of EGF in smokers with COPD in comparison with clinically healthy smokers. In addition, the relationship between the plasma levels of EGF and clinical features was investigated.

Methods: A cross-sectional study included 82 clinically stable male patients with mild-to-very severe COPD (mean age: 64.5±8.6 years), and the control group consisted of 86 healthy male smokers (mean age: 61.6±9.5 years). To define COPD, we performed spirometry and classified COPD using Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) classification. We analyzed the levels of EGF by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in plasma.

Results: The mean serum levels of EGF were significantly lower in smokers with COPD than those in controls (69.30 and 83.82 pg/mL, respectively, p = 0.046). The plasma levels of EGF were significantly different (p = 0.004) between mild COPD and moderate-to-very severe COPD. There were no significant differences between the levels of EGF in plasma of spontaneous sputum producers (COPD patients) vs. nonsputum producers (p = 0.101) and between nonexacerbated COPD and exacerbated COPD patients(p = 0.138).

Conclusions: There is a significant difference in the plasma levels of EGF in male smokers with COPD as compared with male healthy smokers. Our findings suggest that the plasma levels of EGF may contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD.

Open access

Abdullah Alqallaf, Mariana Ahmad Zuber, Shehnoor Tarique and Alina A. Ionescu

Abstract

Background: Mortality from malignant mesothelioma is expected to peak in the UK in the current decade. Areas of the country which have historically high rates of industrial exposure to asbestos, such as South East Wales, are expected to bear a disproportionately high burden of mesothelioma, making a priority. Medical thoracoscopy is an effective and safe procedure, affording both a high diagnostic yield in mesothelioma and an opportunity to carry out therapeutic drainage of pleural effusion.

Methods: We evaluated the diagnostic yield and safety of medical thoracoscopy at our centre over a 5-year period from 2010 to 2015 including 104 consecutive patients.

Results: We found that thoracoscopy provided a conclusive result effected 91.6% of successful biopsies. Thoracoscopy was especially superior to pleural cytology in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, revealing 37 cases when cytology suggested only 5. The procedure was particularly safe with no mortality and only 6.7% of patients experiencing minor complications such as hypotension, and more than 75% of patients tolerated the procedure with mild or no discomfort.

Conclusion: We conclude that the awake sedation thoracoscopy service at our institution is safe and effective, particularly in the diagnosis of mesothelioma, which is common in our area.