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Open access

Zeynep Yildiz, Abdulkadir Koçer, Şahin Avşar and Göksel Cinier

Abstract

Background and purpose. Cardiac troponin I (cTnI) is a reliable marker to diagnose acute myocardial infarction, but the pathophysiological explanation for the increase in cTnI levels in patients with acute ischemic stroke (IS) remains unknown. To overcome this question, we aimed to compare serum cTnI levels in acute coronary syndrome (ACS) concomitant with and without stroke. By doing like this, we thought that we could demonstrate the effect of stroke on TrpI level. Methods. Serum cTnI levels of 41 patients having ACS with acute IS during hospitalization were compared with 97 control patients having only ACS. Cranial CT was performed to evaluate the lesions. The severity of IS was evaluated objectively by national institutes of health stroke scale. Results. cTnI levels were found to be similar in both groups. Presence of diabetes mellitus, coronary artery disease and previous myocardial infarction were more frequent in patients with acute IS. The cTnI levels in the patients with the cranial lesion in the anterior circulation was higher (p = 0.039). Presence of acute IS, cTnI level higher than 20 ng/mL and left ventricular ejection fraction < 40% were found to be independent risk factors for mortality (p < 0.05). Conclusions. We found that abnormal troponin levels were more likely to be due to cardiac causes than cerebral ones in this first study evaluating the cTnI levels in patients with ACS concomitant with acute IS. The severity of IS, lesion location in the anterior circulation and higher troponin levels were associated with mortality.

Open access

Pașc Priscilla, Ioana Alexandra Coţe and Mircea Ioachim Popescu

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the world, causing over 17 million deaths annually, of which 7.2 million by coronary heart disease. They are a major public health problem worldwide, of which acute coronary syndromes show special attention due to increased prevalence and incidence and poor prognosis. Although advanced therapies can improve the morbidity and mortality associated with acute coronary syndromes in well-developed countries, developing countries remain exposed to the ravages of these diseases. Of the patients admitted for acute coronary syndrome, about 30% suffer from diabetes mellitus, considered a major risk factor and a predictor for unfavorable evolution regardless of the type of acute coronary syndrome.

Open access

Lucian Liviu Pop, Iulia Antonia Mureşan and Dan Lucian Dumitraşcu

Abstract

The irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic gastrointestinal disorder referred to gastroenterologists. One of the most common manifestations of IBS is bloating. Abdominal bloating is defined as subjective sensation of abdominal distension associated with girth increment. Therefore, it is described in the Rome IV criteria as bloating/abdominal distension. Bloating symptoms are reported by 10-30% of the general population and it was rated as the most bothersome symptom by 60% of IBS patients; the lack of specificity of this complaint prevented bloating to be included between the diagnostic criteria for IBS. Indeed, bloating may be reported also in healthy people or in other functional conditions. This paper looks to the evolutions of the concepts on bloating according to the Rome working groups from the beginning until now and it represents a comprehensive review on the prevalence and pathogenesis of bloating.

Open access

Sandra Burtica, Adriana Gurghean and Ion Bruckner

Abstract

Objectives. The aim of this paper is to compare the degree of accuracy between the BASDAI and mini-BASDAI indices in assessing the activity of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), especially in patients without peripheral manifestations.

Materials and method. Our cross-sectional study consisted of a group of 124 patients with AS, according to the modified New York criteria. All patients offered their informed consent. All the individual characteristics of the patients were documented, both demographic and disease-related. The activity of the disease was measured using the BASDAI questionnaire, from which we calculated the mini-BASDAI by eliminating the questions about peripheral arthritis and entesitis. The functional impairment of mobility in the spine and sacro-iliac joints was measured by the Schober index, lateral spinal flexion, occiput-wall, menton-sternum and finger-ground index.

Results. The mean age of the patients was 43.43 +/− 13.27 years, mean height 174.3 +/− 8.46 cm, weight 78.23 +/− 14.19 kg, duration of disease in years 15.06 +/− 9.19 and number of years from initiation of biological therapy 6.42 +/− 3.08. The BASDAI score was 1.26 +/− 1.93, while the mini-BASDAI score was 1.51 +/− 2.08. In the group of patients without peripheral manifestations, both BASDAI and mini-BASDAI correlated significantly with the occiput-wall index, besides ESR, CRP, ASDAS-CRP and the Schober index.

Conclusion. Mini-BASDAI is not superior to BASDAI in evaluating patients with ankylosing spondylitis without peripheral manifestations, but it has shown a better correlation in addition to BASDAI with the indices of flexion of the cervico-dorsal spine.

Open access

Simella Provatopoulou, Dimitra Kalavrizioti, Maria Stangou, Maria-Nikoleta Kouri, Pantellitsa Kalliakmani, Marios Papasotiriou, Evangelos Papachristou, Dimitrios S. Goumenos and Aikaterini Papagianni

Abstract

Introduction: Circulating autoantibodies against phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R) are recognized as key elements in the pathogenesis of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. In current clinical practice, they are increasingly gaining attention as novel tools for diagnosis and disease monitoring. We investigated the diagnostic and prognostic utility of anti-PLA2R antibody measurements in Greek patients with biopsy-proven membranous nephropathy. Methods:Anti-PLA2R levels were measured in serum samples from 33 patients at diagnosis using ELISA and were associated with treatment outcome. Moreover, serial anti-PLA2R measurements were performed in 15 patients under different clinical conditions and level alterations were correlated with disease activity. Results:Positive anti-PLA2R antibodies at diagnosis were found in 16 of 33 patients (48.5%). Anti-PLA2R levels were independently associated with the achievement of complete remission of nephrotic syndrome after immunosuppressive treatment compared to partial remission (p=0.02, R2= 0.265, 95%CI -0.019 to -0.0003). Higher detectable antibody levels at diagnosis were correlated with higher proteinuria levels (r=0.813, p=0.0001, 95%CI 0.532 to 0.933) and lower eGFR at the end of follow-up (r=-0.634, p=0.0083, 95%CI -0.86 to -0.202). Serial antibody measurements during follow-up showed that anti-PLA2R titers were significantly reduced at the end of treatment after complete remission was achieved, remained low under sustained clinical remission, and increased during relapse. Conclusions: Our findings confirm the usefulness of anti-PLA2R measurements in the diagnosis of idiopathic membranous nephropathy. Low levels of anti-PLA2R antibodies at diagnosis are predictive of complete remission of nephrotic syndrome following immunosuppressive treatment. Serial anti-PLA2R measurements correlate well with clinical status throughout the follow-up period and could be used routinely for monitoring of disease activity and treatment planning.

Open access

Larisa Pinte and Cristian Baicuș

Abstract

Background: In the last years an uprising interest for a relatively unknown entity, eosinophilic ascites (EA), has been recorded. Our aim is to investigate the potential causes of EA development, as well as clinical, laboratory, endoscopic and radiologic features, management and outcome in these patients. Methods: The following research was performed on PubMed (MEDLINE) database using the medical subject headings [Mesh] terms "Ascites" AND "Eosinophils". Results: A total of 284 results, dating from 1962 onwards, were found and abstracts were examined. 131 papers were excluded and the remaining 153 publications, consisting in case reports and series of cases, were analyzed. From 171 patients with EA, 127 subjects (74%) had EGE, 17 (10%) parasitic and fungal infections, 11(7%) Hypereosinophilic syndrome and 16 patients (9%) less common diseases (eosinophilic pancreatitis, chronic eosinophilic leukemia, myelofibrosis, T-cell lymphoma, Churg Strauss Syndrome, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Familial paroxysmal polyserositis and Ménétrier's disease). High eosinophil blood count and IgE levels as well as gastrointestinal symptoms are frequent. The diagnosis is based on ascitic fluid analysis, imaging and endoscopic biopsies. Therapy with corticosteroids results in resolution of eosinophilic ascites in almost all patients. Conclusion: In most cases, in the absence of allergy, parasitic infections, malignancy, hematological disorders, peritoneal tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease or autoimmune disease, EA develops as a manifestation of eosinophilic gastroenteritis.

Open access

Tatiana Ashcheulova, Nina Gerasimchuk, Olga Kovalyova and Oleksii Honchar

Abstract

Introduction. Obesity is becoming one of the leading risk factors of coronary heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease. Despite the presence of a large number of antihypertensive agents and scientific substantiation of antihypertensive treatment principles it would be wrong to assume that the problem is completely solved. Development of endothelial dysfunction is one of the key pathogenic mechanisms in hypertension. This process is proven to have contributed by immune inflammation activation which is mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. Aims. To investigate the additional benefits of the combined antihypertensive therapy with lacidipine and candesartan on the basis of studying their antioxidant properties, impact on endothelial function and pro-inflammatory cytokines activity in hypertensive patients with overweight and obesity. Methods. A combination of a calcium channel blocker and angiotensin receptor blocker (lacidipine 2 mg, 4 mg, and candesartan 4mg, 8mg, 16mg) was prescribed to 30 patients with essential hypertension of grades 1-3, 30 to 65 years old (mean age - 54.7 ± 5.8 years), who previously have not been receiving regular antihypertensive therapy. Results. During the course of combined antihypertensive therapy with lacidipine and candesartan, a significant reduction in i-NOS activity, TNF-α to its type I soluble receptor ratio (TNF- α/sTNF-αRI), and oxidative stress marker - 8-iso-PgF2α has been observed. Activity of e-NOS, levels of SOD and catalase, in contrast, have increased by the end of observation period. Conclusion. The improvement of endothelial function due to lower level of oxidative stress and a significant decrease of immune activation has been observed in hypertensive patients with overweight and obesity under the influence of combined antihypertensive therapy with lacidipine and candesartan.

Open access

Alireza Sepehri Shamloo, Nikolaos Dagres, Arash Arya and Gerhard Hindricks

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF), as the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide, is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Successful therapeutic strategies have been introduced so far, but they are associated with significant costs. Therefore, identification of modifiable risk factors of AF and the development of appropriate preventive strategies may play a substantial role in promoting community health and reducing health care system costs. Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors including obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obstructive sleep apnea, alcohol consumption, smoking, and sedentary lifestyles have been proposed as possible contributors to the development and progression of AF. In this review, we discuss the role of modifiable risk factors in the development and management of AF and the evidence for the underlying mechanism for each of the potential risk factor.

Open access

Cristina Voicu and Sorin Rugină

Abstract

The intestinal transit disorders are polymorphic clinical manifestations requiring complex differential diagnosis and a multidisciplinary medical team.

A major challenge for the clinician is the differentiation of patients with organic suffering versus functional disorder.

Anemia is the most common extra-digestive manifestation of intestinal inflammatory diseases.

We have evaluated biologically and by imaging patients with diarrhea and alternating diarrhea/constipation without including infectious causes. We plan to determine in these patients the status and type of anemia, as well as its correlation with local and systemic inflammation.

Open access

Mojtaba Hedayat Yaghoobi, Abbas Taher, Mohamad Ali Seifrabie, Mohammadmahdi Sabahi and Farshid Rahimi-Bashar

Abstract

Background and Objective: Vitamin D deficiency is considered one of the most common nutritional deficiencies associated with weakened immune system and increased likelihood of sepsis. The current study was conducted to investigate the association between serum vitamin D level and the severity and prognosis of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) in inpatients in intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: Eighty-four consecutive patients with VAP were enrolled in this observational, prospective study conducted in the ICU of Besat Hospital, Hamadan. The patients were examined for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (vitD3) level and VAP severity and prognosis. Clinical pulmonary infection score was used for the diagnosis, and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) Score was used to determine the severity of VAP.

Results:Low level serum vitD3 (under 30 ng/ml) was found in 66 (78.6%) patients. In this series of VAP patients, there were no significant differences in blood culture results, 14 and 28-day sepsis-associated mortality, mechanical ventilation duration, or SOFA Score on days 3, 7, and 14 between the low level and normal level vitD3 patients (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Serum vitD3 level was not associated with mortality from VAP or complications due to sepsis in the inpatients in the ICU.