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Abstract

Subacute thyroiditis is a relatively rare thyroid disease that develops after acute viral upper respiratory tract infection and manifests with neck pain, fever and transient hyperthyroidism. The diagnosis is often delayed due to the non-specific presentation and laboratory findings. It is misdiagnosed with upper respiratory tract infections, cervical lymph-adenitis, even with acute pyelonephritis. The authors present a series of 12 patients with subacute thyroiditis and discuss the main steps in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Abstract

COVID-19 epidemic caused by an influenza-like virus strain (SARS-CoV-2) invaded the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced this infection outbreak as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. From one day to another the number of new cases is growing and also the number of deaths. This infection emerged earlier in Wuhan City and rapidly spread throughout China and around the world since December 2019. Another silent pandemic disease spreading mainly in industrialized countries is obesity. The best example is US were about 34% of the Americans are obese.

In actual context, it can be said there is a coalition of 2 pandemics. In Romania, obesity and overweight prevalence assessed by Predatorr study is at a high level: 34,7% overweight and 31,9% obesity. Systemic inflammation in obesity is the central mechanism leading to lung function decline. There are two main questions a) is obese more sensible to viral infection or b) potentially more contagious? The answer is positive to both. Recent WOF official position stated that obesity is a risk factor for developing severe forms of COVID-19. Donna Ryan’s message, as president of World Obesity Federation WOF, US emphasized at the beginning of April the risk for severe complications for persons with obesity who contracted the infection with SARS-CoV-2. Nutritional support in COVID-19 should prefer oral feeding, whenever is possible. A special attention should be dedicated to a healthy microbiome and intestinal immunity. Energy intake should be 25-30 kcal/body weight, with 1.2-2 g/kg proteins. Enteral nutrition will be recommended in severe cases. Evidence is supporting the recommendation that for people at risk of developing COVID-19 to consider for few weeks a dosage of 10000 UI/day of vitD3, than a maintainance dose of 5000 UI/day. The target must be to stabilize a level of 40-60 ng/ml for 25(OH) D concentration. Pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking cessation, included in a healthy lifestyle will be further steps after patients recovery from this infection.

Facing this pandemic coalition, our messages should be stronger in stimulating prevention of obesity. Since more than a half of Romanian population is already overweight or obese, healthy lifestyle should become a daily prescription, not just a luxury recommendation. Daily, right messages from doctors acting like role models, in a partnership between general practitioner and other specialties like diabetologists, pneumologists, cardiologists, nutritionists will be efficient weapons against this cruel coalition: Obesity and COVID 19.

Abstract

The European Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Coronary Syndromes (CCS) were published in 2019 with a different title than the previous 2013 Guidelines that referred to “chronic stable coronary heart disease”, underlining the dynamic nature of the atherosclerotic process. The main changes in these guidelines refer to the most frequent clinical presentations of CCS, to the assessment of the pretest probability of atherosclerotic coronary heart disease with the recommendation to include cardiovascular risk factors and other factors, as well as the choice of invasive anatomical and/or functional diagnostic tests, invasive and/or non-invasive, depending on the probability of the existence of the disease.

Regarding the treatment, these guidelines underline the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the modalities for the implementation and the strategy of anti-ischemic drug treatment, antithrombotic therapy being more widely addressed. Recommendations for myocardial revascularization on top of drug treatment for symptoms control and for improving prognosis are less restrictive in these guidelines. The recommendations of the CCS guidelines are harmonized with the recommendations of the other European guidelines, especially with those on diabetes, prediabetes and cardiovascular diseases which were also published in 2019.

Abstract

Background and aims. The incidence of Barrett’s Esophagus (BE) is increasing worldwide, thus diagnosis is becoming a major key of interest in preventing esophageal adenocarcinoma. Because the status of BE in Romania is unclear, we performed a narrative review to comprehensively evaluate all published articles on BE from Romania.

Methods. We conducted a systematic literature search of PubMed data base and of all Romanian medical journals. The abstract and title of studies identified were reviewed to exclude studies that did not answer the search question. In addition we performed a manual search to identify articles on this topic published earlier in local journals or not indexed on internet.

Results. A total of 17 articles were found. There were identified 8 studies and 9 reviews, with a total of 8.829 participants enrolled. The results showed that the median age ranges between 54-59 years, with a predominance for male sex, the main risk factors, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, obesity, smoking, hiatal hernia, are also present in Romania and infection with H. pylori has a protective effect. The diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus in Romania is established in agreement with international guidelines.

Conclusions. There are not many publications on BE in Romania. However the data in this country are similar to those reported in other countries. The management is carried out according to standard guidelines. Diagnosing BE relies on endoscopic techniques and classification systems. Risk factors such as gastroesophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, obesity and Helicobacter pylori are considered in Romanian articles. More studies are welcome on this matter in our country.

Abstract

Pancreatic cancer (PC) is an exceptionally lethal malignancy with increasing incidence and mortality worldwide. One of the principal challenges in the treatment of PC is that the diagnosis is usually made at a late stage when potentially curative surgical resection is no longer an option. General clinicians including internists and family physicians are well positioned to identify high-risk individuals and refer them to centers with expertise in PC screening and treatment where screening modalities can be employed. Here, we provide an up-to-date review of PC precursor lesions, epidemiology, and risk factors to empower the general clinician to recognize high-risk patients and employ risk reduction strategies. We also review current screening guidelines and modalities and preview progress that is being made to improve screening tests and biomarkers. It is our hope that this review article will empower the general clinician to understand which patients need to be screened for PC, strategies that may be used to reduce PC risk, and which screening modalities are available in order to diminish the lethality of PC.

Abstract

Introduction Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy involving the urinary system. Recent research tends to emphasize the role of oxidative stress products in the carcinogenesis of bladder cancer. The level of oxidative stress can be measured by assessing the MDA levels. This study aimed to evaluate serum MDA levels in patients with bladder cancer, as well as to determine its potential role as a biomarker in the diagnosis of the disease and progression risk considerations.

Methods The study was designed as a cross-sectional study and included 90 patients, divided into three groups with 30 patients each: Ta, T1and T2-T4 group, based on histopathological findings after transurethral resection of the tumor. The control group included 30 healthy volunteers. MDA level was determined using the spectrophotometric method.

Results Serum MDA level in patients with bladder cancer [0,86 (0,78-1,05) μmol/L] was significantly higher than the serum MDA level in control group [0,70 (0,69-0,72) μmol/L] (p<0,001). Serum MDA level in Ta group [0,73 (0,70-1,05) μmol/L], T1 group [0,85 (0,80-1,12) μmol/L] and in T2-T4 group [0,91 (0,84-1,04) μmol/L] was significantly higher than the serum MDA level in control group [0,70 (0,69-0,72) μmol/L] (p <0,01). MDA level in T1 and T2-T4 group was significantly higher than the MDA level in Ta group (p<0,01). No significant difference was observed in MDA level between T1 and T2-T4 group (p=NS). A statistically significant positive correlation was found between tumor size and serum MDA level in patients with bladder cancer (rho = 0.254 p <0.01).

Conclusion The results of the present study suggest that MDA serum level might play a significant role as a biomarker in the diagnosis of bladder cancer, as well as in the monitoring of its progression.

Abstract

Cardiac abnormalities are frequently reported in acute subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients. However, frank ST-elevation and myocardial dysfunction mimicking acute coronary syndrome is a rare occurrence. Systemic and local catecholamine release mediate myocardial injury and may explain raised troponin levels, concordant regional wall motion abnormalities and systolic dysfunction. These findings can pose a significant problem in the acute setting where “time-is-muscle” paradigm can rush clinicians towards a “rule - in” diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction.

We present the case of a 60-year-old male who presented to a regional emergency department with loss of consciousness, chest pain and headache. His ECG showed ST-elevation in precordial leads with corresponding region wall motion abnormalities and dynamically elevated troponin levels which supported a diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. Percutaneous coronary intervention was attempted but found no hemodynamically significant lesions and the patient was managed conservatively with antithrombotic treatment. Further work-up for his headache led to the diagnosis of aneurysmal SAH and subsequent endovascular coiling. The patient was discharged with a good clinical outcome. We discuss the potential catastrophic consequences of interpreting neurologic myocardial stunning as STEMI. Use of potent antithrombotic therapies, like bridging thrombolysis, in this setting can lead to dismal consequences. Clinical history should still be carefully obtained in the acute setting in this era of sensitive biomarkers.

Abstract

Background

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive highly sensitive tool for diagnosing chondromalacia patellae in the early stages. Many studies have evaluated patellar and trochlear morphology with different radiologic indices. We aimed to assess the discriminative power of tibial, patellar, and femoral indices in MRI for chondromalacia patellae.

Patients and methods

100 cases of chondromalacia, as well as 100 age-matched controls among the patients who underwent knee MRI between February 2017 and March 2019, were included. The standard protocol of knee MRI was applied and the diagnosis of chondromalacia was made on MRI findings. Chondromalacia subjects were also classified as grade 1 to 4 according to the Modified Outerbridge’s MRI grading system. We measured 25 MRI parameters in the knee and adjacent structures to determine the relation between chondromalacia patellae and anatomical MRI parameters.

Results

Tibial slope, trochlear depth, lateral trochlear inclination, and lateral patellar tilt angle had significant correlation with chondromalacia. Any increase in lateral trochlear inclination and lateral patellar tilt angle could increase the probability of the disease (Odds ratio [OR] 1.15, 1.13; 95% CI: 1.03–1.30; 1.02–1.26, respectively), while any increase in medial tibial slope and trochlear depth could decrease the probability of chondromalacia (OR 0.85, 0.06; 95% CI: 0.73–0.98, 0.02–0.17, respectively). We also designed a model for the severity of disease by using the patellar height index (relative odds ratio: 75.9).

Conclusions

The result of this study showed the novelty role of tibial anatomy in developing chondromalacia and its mechanism. We also concluded that patellar height might be an important factor in defining disease severity.

Abstract

Background

The goal of our study was to find out whether the immunohistochemical expression of nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-κB) p65 in biopsy samples with Gleason score 3 + 3 = 6 (GS 6) can be a negative predictive factor for Prostate cancer (PCa) indolence.

Patients and methods

Study was conducted on a retrospective cohort of 123 PCa patients with initial total PSA ≤ 10 ng/ml, number of needle biopsy specimens ≥ 8, GS 6 on biopsy and T1/T2 estimated clinical stage who underwent laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and whose archived formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostate needle biopsy specimens were used for additional immunohistochemistry staining for detection of NF-κB p65. Both cytoplasmic and nuclear NF-κB p65 expression in biopsy cores with PCa were correlated with postoperative pathological stage, positive surgical margins, GS and biochemical progression of disease.

Results

After follow-up of 66 months, biochemical progression (PSA ≥ 0.2 ng/ml) occurred in 6 (5.1%) patients, 3 (50%) with GS 6 and 3 (50%) with GS 7 after radical prostatectomy. Both cytoplasmic and nuclear NF-κB p65 expressions were not significantly associated with pathological stage, positive surgical margin and postoperative GS. Patients with positive cytoplasmic NF-kB reaction had significantly more frequent biochemical progression than those with negative cytoplasmic NF-kB reaction with PSA 0.2 ng/ml as cutoff point (p = 0.015) and a trend towards more biochemical progression with PSA ≥ 0.05 ng/ml as cutoff point (p = 0.068).

Conclusions

Cytoplasmic expression of NF-κB is associated with more biochemical progression and might be an independent prognostic factor for recurrence-free survival (RFS), but further studies including larger patient cohorts are needed to confirm these initial results.

Abstract

Background

Lung transplantation is a life-saving treatment for patients with end stage lung disease. There may be a higher incidence of lung cancer in lung transplant recipients, and these cancers tend to be diagnosed at a more advanced stage. There is very little data on the safety and efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for lesions in the native lung in lung-transplant recipients.

Patients and methods

A retrospective chart review of all patients who have undergone lung transplantation and were treated with SBRT for lung cancer in the native lung in the Davidoff Cancer Center was performed.

Results

Four patients who were treated with SBRT to a total of 5 lesions were included. Two patients were treated without histological confirmation of malignancy. All cases were discussed in a multidisciplinary tumor board before being referred for radiotherapy. Standard SBRT dosing was used. Responses were assessed by imaging. Three lesions exhibited a complete response and two lesions had a partial response. The patients who had partial responses developed distant metastases and died shortly. No patient developed measurable toxicity.

Conclusions

SBRT is effective and safe for the management of lung cancer in lung-transplant patients. Standard dose and fractionation can be used.