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Polyphenols treatment in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects 25–30% of the general population worldwide and this high prevalence is linked with lifestyle and dietetic changes, not only in Western countries, but also in the urban areas of developing countries. Several pharmacological approaches were proposed in the treatment of NAFLD, but the reported results are inconclusive. International guidelines recommended the reduction of dietary fat and fructose, in association with some physical activity. In this context, it was reported that the protective effects of traditional Mediterranean diet, related to the high concentration of antioxidant compounds, particularly of polyphenols. Polyphenols are a heterogeneous class of plant derived compounds, with some proven hepatoprotective effects. Our opinion is that the adherence to traditional Mediterranean diet characterized by the consumption of antioxidant-rich foods in general and of polyphenols in particular, can be considered as a potential new approach in the treatment of NAFLD.

Open access
Effects of a low FODMAP diet and specific carbohydrate diet on symptoms and nutritional adequacy of patients with irritable bowel syndrome: Preliminary results of a single-blinded randomized trial

Abstract

Background and Objectives

IBS is the most common functional disease of the low gastrointestinal tract. Recently, the interest towards a diet approach has increased, for example, a diet with low content of fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of a low FODMAP diet and a specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) conducted for 3 months on symptoms and to evaluate the deficiencies of vitamin D and folic acid in patients affected by IBS, matching the Rome IV criteria.

Methods

We evaluated 73 patients divided into 2 groups: one submitted to low FODMAP diet and one to SCD, for 3 months. Patients were assigned to one of the 2 groups randomly and blinded. All the patients filled a visual analogue scale (VAS) to evaluate the severity of symptoms and a diary to evaluate the number of days with symptoms, and this was repeated after 3 months. Final evaluation was made by a blinded investigator.

Results

In the end, the patients with low FODMAP diet had a significant improvement in bloating and distension (P = 0.000); the group with SCD instead had a low but not a significant improvement. One way ANOVA showed comparable severity of symptoms in the 2 groups pre-diet (P = 0.215), but a difference in the same symptoms after 12 days (P = 0.000). Tukey test showed a significant improvement in the low FODMAP diet group and only a trend of improvement in the second group of SCD. The vitamin D mean value in both groups at the time of enrollment was 38 ng/mL; in the end, the mean value in the low FODMAP diet group was 32 ng/mL and in the SCD group was 22 ng/mL, with a statistically significant difference. The folic acid mean value at the time of enrollment was 18 mg/dL; in the end, the mean value in the low FODMAP diet group was 15 mg/dL and in the SCD group was 8 mg/dL, with a statistically significant difference.

Conclusion

Patients affected by IBS seem to have benefitted from a low FODMAP diet but not from an SCD, and a low FODMAP diet doesn’t seem to cause vitamin D and folic acid deficiencies.

Open access
Effects of eplerenone on resistance to antihypertensive medication in patients with primary or secondary hyperaldosteronism

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Resistant hypertension is an important problem; nearly half of diagnosed hypertensives are not controlled to target blood pressure levels, and approximately 90% of strokes occur among patients with resistant hypertension. Primary aldosteronism accounts for approximately 20% of resistant hypertension, but the role of secondary hyperaldosteronism in resistant hypertension is seldom considered. We assessed the effects of eplerenone in patients with hypertension and either primary or secondary hyperaldosteronism.

Methods

Patients with a history of resistant hypertension and a supine plasma aldosterone level ≥ 360 pmol/L were randomized to eplerenone versus placebo in a fully blinded study for one year. A medication intensity score was developed to assess the resistance of hypertension to medication (blood pressure × medication intensity). We assessed the effects of eplerenone on blood pressure and on resistance to concomitant medication.

Results

Final results were available in 37 patients (19 on eplerenone and 18 on placebo). Resistance to medication, as assessed by the intensity of concomitant medication required to maintain blood pressure control, was markedly reduced by eplerenone: medication intensity scores declined by –0.50 ± 1.04 (SD) on placebo versus –2.11 ± 1.45 with eplerenone (P = 0.0001), the Systolic Resistance Score declined by –80.00 ± 122.93 on placebo versus –334.05 ± 21.73 on eplerenone (P = 0.0001), and the Diastolic Resistance Score increased by 1.28 ± 31.65 on placebo and declined by –40.74 ± 57.08 on eplerenone (P = 0.009).

Conclusions

Eplerenone significantly reduced resistance to concomitant antihypertensive medication in both primary and secondary hyperaldosteronism.

Open access
Exploring patient characteristics and barriers to Hepatitis C treatment in patients on opioid substitution treatment attending a community based fibro-scanning clinic

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health issue. There is substandard uptake in HCV assessment and treatment among people who inject drugs (PWID). Community fibroscanning is used to assess disease severity and target treatment.

Methods

A survey was administered to a cohort of chronically HCV infected patients attending a community fibroscanning clinic. Questions targeted diagnosis of HCV, suitability, willingness and barriers to engagement in treatment. Descriptive and regression analysis, with thematic analysis of open-ended data was conducted.

Results

There was high acceptance of community fibroscanning among this cohort with over 90% (68) attending. High levels of unemployment (90%) and homelessness (40%) were identified. Most patients were on methadone treatment and had been HCV infected for greater than 10 years with length of time since HCV diagnosis being significantly longer in patients with fibroscan scores > 8.5 kPa (P = 0.016). With each unit increase in methadone dose, the odds of the >8.5 fibroscan group increased by 5.2%. Patient identified barriers to engagement were alcohol and drug use, fear of HCV treatment and liver biopsy, imprisonment, distance to hospital and early morning appointments.

Conclusion

The study highlights the usefulness of community fibroscanning. Identifying barriers to treatment in this cohort affords an opportunity to increase the treatment uptake. The availability of afternoon clinics and enhanced prison linkage are warranted.

Open access
Hepatitis B virus genotype E infection among Egyptian health care workers

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Health Care Workers (HCWs) are at a high risk of needle stick injuries and HBV infection in Egypt; this problem is further aggravated by low Hepatitis B (HB) vaccination coverage. Limited data are available on the prevalence of HBV infection in Egyptian HCWs. In this study, we aimed to assess the HBV infection rate and genotypes among Egyptian HCWs.

Methods

Five hundred and sixty-four (564) HCWs were included. Of them, 258 (45.74%) were health care providers and 306 (54.25%) were non-health care providers. All HCWs completed both the study questionnaires and provided a blood sample for HBV testing. Indeed, all HCWs were tested for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to Hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. HBVDNA was checked for HCWs who tested positive for HBsAg and/or anti-HBc, by nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). HBVDNA positive HCWs were further subjected to HBV genotyping.

Results

The mean age of included HCWs was 33.0 ± 9.8 years, of whom 319 (56.56%) were males. The mean duration of health care work was 9.3 ± 6.7 years. The frequency of HBsAg and anti-HBc were 1.4%, and 24.5%, respectively. Old age and prolonged duration of health care work were significantly associated with anti-HBc seropositivity. Among 140 HCWs positive for HBsAg and/or anti-HBc, 14 (10 %) had positive HBVDNA by PCR. HBV/E (n = 7), HBV/D (n = 3) and co-infection with E and D (n = 4) genotypes were detected.

Conclusion

Egyptian HCWs have a significantly high rate of HBV exposure. The detection of HBV/E genotype among Egyptian HCWs suggests prevalent transmission of HBV/E among Egyptian populations.

Open access
Is aortic aneurysm preventable?

Abstract

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a chronic inflammatory condition, triggered by the local accumulation of macrophages, oxidative stress and damage to the aortic wall. Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids seem to play a significant role in AAA. The pro-inflammatory events seen in AAA could be due to a deficiency of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids such as lipoxin A4 (LXA4), resolvins, protectins and maresins as a result of reduced tissue concentrations of their precursors: arachidonic acid (AA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Thus, an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids may underlie AAA. Angiotensin-II (Ang-II), a pro-inflammatory molecule, seems to have a role in AAA. I propose that AAA is due to the local (abdominal aortic wall) deficiency of AA and other PUFAs and their anti-inflammatory metabolites especially LXA4. The beneficial action of EPA and DHA reported in the animal experimental models of AAA induced by Ang-II infusion can be attributed to their (EPA and DHA) ability to enhance the formation of not only resolvins, protectins and maresins but also LXA4. It is likely that abdominal aortic tissue (endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells and other cells) may be deficient in AA, EPA and DHA, and have defective activity of 5-, 12-, and 15-lipoxygenases and cyclooxygenase, especially COX-2 resulting in decreased formation of LXA4, resolvins, protectins and maresins. Thus, methods designed to enhance the formation of LXA4 and other anti-inflammatory eicosanoids may form a new approach to prevent and manage AAA.

Open access
Peliosis hepatis complicating pregnancy: A rare entity

Abstract

Peliosis hepatis (PH) is a rare, benign condition of the liver characterized by the presence of blood-filled lacunar spaces in the parenchyma. It usually has a chronic presentation and is a rare cause of portal hypertension reported in adult patients. Its etiology is diverse and ranges from infectious agents to tumors to toxic substances and anabolic steroids; however, the cause remains unclear in 25–50% of patients. Similarly, the symptomatology and imaging findings are diverse. Biopsy is the definitive test to diagnose the condition. Herein, we present a case of a young female presenting in her seventh month of gestational amenorrhea with signs of portal hypertension and subsequently diagnosed to have PH. She was managed conservatively and delivered her baby normally. Later, she presented with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and hepatic encephalopathy and developed hepatorenal syndrome. She later succumbed to her illness. The condition should be kept in the differential diagnosis of the atypical liver masses and liver diseases causing portal hypertension.

Open access
Post-intensive care syndrome: An overview

Abstract

Survival of critically unwell patients has improved in the last decade due to advances in critical care medicine. Some of these survivors develop cognitive, psychiatric and /or physical disability after treatment in intensive care unit (ICU), which is now recognized as post intensive care syndrome (PICS). Given the limited awareness about PICS in the medical faculty this aspect is often overlooked which may lead to reduced quality of life and cause a lot of suffering of these patients and their families. Efforts should be directed towards preventing PICS by minimizing sedation and early mobilization during ICU.All critical care survivors should be evaluated for PICS and those having signs and symptoms of it should be managed by a multidisciplinary team which includes critical care physician, neuro-psychiatrist, physiotherapist and respiratory therapist, with the use of pharmacological and non-apharmacological interventions. This can be achieved through an organizational change and improvement, knowing the high rate of incidence of PICS and its adverse effects on the survivor’s life and daily activities and its effect on the survivor’s family.

Open access
Prediction of survival following percutaneous biliary drainage for malignant biliary obstruction

Abstract

Background and Objectives

Percutaneous transhepatic biliary drain is an intervention used to relieve malignant biliary obstruction. This study aims to explore survival after biliary drain insertion, predictive factors of survival and effectiveness to reduce total bilirubin level.

Methods

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 72 patients who had malignant biliary obstruction and received biliary drain during the time period between March 2005 and February 2015.

Results

Median patients’ age was 56 years. 38 (52.7%) were males, 34(47.2%) were females. Median survival post biliary drain insertion was 46 days, 95% C/I (37.92–54.02), range (2–453 days). 1, 3, and 6 month survival rates were 64.7%, 26.5%, and 7.4% respectively. Multivariate analysis by Cox proportional hazards regression model showed the presence of ascites to be significant predictors of survival, other factors analyzed were: total bilirubin, serum creatinine, international normalization ratio, serum albumin, pleural effusion and liver metastasis.

Conclusion

Survival after biliary drain insertion can vary from few days to few months. Presence of ascites is an independent predictor of survival after this intervention.

Open access