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Abstract

There is a close relationship between melatonin as a circadian regulator and insulin, glucagon and somatostatin production. This study aimed to describe subgroups of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients that may benefit from melatonin clock-targeting properties. The study involved 38 participants: 26 T2DM patients, and 12 participants without diabetes in the control group. Subjects were asked to complete the questionnaire of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Standard biochemical venous sample testing was performed, and a sample of saliva was collected for melatonin testing. Melatonin concentration in participants without obesity (body mass index (BMI) < 30 kg/m2) was significantly higher than in obese participants: 13.2 (6.4; 23.50) pg/ml vs 5.9 (0.78; 13.1) pg/ml, p = 0.035. Subjects with BMI 30 kg/m2 had a significantly higher PSQI score than non-obese subjects: 7 (4.5; 10) vs 5.5 (3; 7), p = 0.043. T2DM patients showed significantly lower levels of melatonin than the control group: 6.1 (0.78; 12.2) pg/ml vs 17.8 (8.2; 25.5) pg/ml, p = 0.003. T2DM patients using short-acting insulin analogues showed a significantly higher PSQI score than patients not using insulin: 9 (6; 10) vs 6 (3; 8), respectively (p = 0.025). Poor sleep quality was more prevalent in patients with diabetic retinopathy than in those without this complication (p = 0.031). Lower melatonin levels were detected in T2DM and obese patients. Furthermore, poor sleep quality was observed in T2DM patients using short-acting insulin analogues and those with diabetic retinopathy, and obese individuals.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of using monocytes/macrophages as mediators in human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) infection of thyroid gland tissues in autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT). Seventy-three AIT patients were enrolled in this study. The control group consisted of 80 blood donors. Monocyte/macrophage isolation for AIT patient samples was performed by adherence. HHV-6 was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) DNA samples using nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR). Gene expression of HHV-6 active infection marker (U79/80) and chemokine receptors (U12, U51) in patient monocyte/macrophage samples and blood donor PBMC samples was detected using reverse-transcription PCR. HHV-6 viral load was detected by using quantitative-PCR technique. The HHV-6 genomic sequence was found significantly more frequently among AIT patient than control group samples. Markers of active infection were found in 8 AIT patient monocyte/macrophage samples (11%) and in none of control group PBMC samples. HHV-6 U51 mRNA expression was detected only in AIT patient samples (2/24 previously positive for HHV-6). Since HHV-6 genomic sequences were found significantly more frequently in AIT patient samples and active infection markers were found in patient monocytes/macrophages, our results suggest that monocytes/macrophages may be used by HHV-6 as mediators for thyroid gland infection.

Abstract

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious complication in the perioperative period and is consistently associated with increased morbidity and case fatality rate. This has been best studied in the cardiac surgery setting where it has been shown that up to 11.5–86.0% of patients exposed to cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) will develop AKI, with 2.0–18.9% requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT). A prospective uncontrolled cohort study was conducted between 2011 and 2015, in which 93 children with various congenital heart lesions undergoing CPB were enrolled. Serum creatinine (SCr) level was determined by Jaffé’s method (Cobas 6000 analyser, Roche). Postoperative fluid balance was estimated as the difference between fluid intake and output. Data for further processing were retrieved from anaesthesia and intensive care data management system flowsheets (IntelliView, Philips). AKI developed in 42 patients (45.6%) by meeting at least KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) stage I criteria (with SCr rise by more than 50% from the baseline). Thirty eight patients complied with the 1st stage of AKI, three with 2nd stage and two with 3rd stage, according the KDIGO classification and staging system. One patient having severity stage II and two patients having severity stage III of AKI required initiation of RRT using peritoneal dialysis. Two patients from the RRT group survived, one died. The median intraoperative urine output was 2.32 ml/kg/h, (range from 0.42–5.87 ml/kg/h). Median CPB time was 163 min., median aortic cross-clamping time was 97.9 min., cooling during CPB to 29.5 °C. The diagnosis of AKI using SCr was delayed by 48 hours after CPB. Median fluid balance (FB) on the first postoperative day in non-AKI patients was 13.58 ml/kg (IQR 0–37.02) vs 49.38 ml/kg (IQR 13.20–69.32) in AKI patients, p < 0.001. AKI is a frequent complication after open heart surgery in children with congenital heart lesions. From 93 patients included in the study, 42 (45.2%) met at least KDIGO Stage I criteria for AKI. FB is a sensitive marker of kidney dysfunction. Median FB in the 1st postoperative day significantly differed between AKI patients: 49.38 ml/kg (13.20–69.32) versus 13.58 ml/kg in patients with intact kidney function (AUC = 0.84; p = 0.001). Thus it can be used as a marker of AKI.

Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is still one of the top ten leading causes of death in the world. Compared to other Baltic and Eastern European countries, TB incidence (24.8 new cases per 100 000 people in 2017) in Latvia is relatively high. One of the regions with the highest TB incidence is Latgale (31.1 cases per 100 000 people). The aim of this pilot study was to identify markers of genetic predisposition to TB in Latgale. The study included 26 patients (16 males and 10 females) aged between 18 and 85 with bilateral TB pneumonia and without HIV infection. HLA typing was performed in HLA-DRB1, -DQA1, and -DQB1 loci by a polymerase chain reaction with low resolution sequence-specific primers. HLA-DRB1*07 and HLA-DRB1*11 alleles were identified as risk alleles for TB. HLA-DRB1*15 allele was a protective allele. Due to the limitations of this exploratory study, a broader study needs to be conducted to revealing specific risk and protective HLA Class II alleles for TB in the subpopulation of Latgale.

Abstract

Viral infections have been frequently cited as important environmental factors implicated in autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) development, although no specific virus has yet been conclusively associated with the disease. Some evidence implicates human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) in this disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of the HHV-6 U83 gene expression in autoimmune thyroiditis development. Fifty-one patients with AIT following thyroidectomy and a control group of 30 autopsied subjects without thyroid pathologies for comparing virology results and 30 healthy blood donors for comparing serology results were enrolled in this study. HHV-6 U83 gene expression was determined using nested PCR with complementary DNA as the template acquired from thyroid gland extracted RNA. Plasma samples of AIT patients and blood donors were tested for IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, sTNF-RII and IL-1beta levels by ELISA. Virology results were compared with pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels to determine possible interaction of HHV-6 with host immune response. HHV-6 U83 gene expression was found only in 24% (12/49) of AIT patient thyroid gland tissue samples and in none of the control group individuals, showing possible involvement of this gene in AIT development. However, no interaction between HHV-6 and changes in cytokine levels was found.

Abstract

Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality of children in the world. In addition to respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus types A and B, parainfluenza types 1, 2 and 3, and adenoviruses, several new respiratory viruses associated with LRTI were discovered in the 21st century. These are metapneumovirus, coronaviruses NL63 and HKU1, parainfluenza virus type four and human bocavirus one (HBoV1). HBoV1 was discovered in 2005 and is considered as the fourth most prevalent respiratory virus worldwide. However, the high frequency of co-infections detected together with HBoV1 raises doubt about whether HBoV1 is a true pathogen or just a bystander. This is the first study aimed to determine the presence of HBoV1 and 18 other respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) of children with LRTI in Latvia. Using multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction method, the HBoV1 genomic sequence was detected in 60.0% of NPA samples, showing that HBoV1 prevalence is high among children with LRTI in Latvia. HBoV1 mono-infection was revealed in 6.67%. The most common co-infections associated with HBoV1 were rhinovirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus A and B, metapneumovirus, and enterovirus.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate plasma levels of chemerin, myeloperoxidase (MPO), fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21), thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR1), and matrix metallopeptidase-9 (MMP-9) in acquired aortic valve (AoV) stenosis patients to determine correlations between the studied cellular factors, and also clarify the predictive values of these factors as biomarkers in AoV stenosis. AoV stenosis patients were classified into three groups: 17 patients with mild AoV stenosis; 19 with moderate and 15 with severe AoV stenosis. Twenty-four subjects without AoV stenosis were selected as a control group. Our findings suggest that AoV stenosis might be associated with increased chemerin, TrxR1, MPO, and FGF-21 levels in plasma. Moreover, these factors and also MMP-9 already reached statistically significantly elevated levels in the early stages of AoV stenosis, but MPO levels were more pronounced in patients with moderate and severe AoV stenosis. Chemerin was correlated with all of the studied cytokines; TrxR1 and MMP-9 were correlated with several other cellular factors. Our findings (by ROC analysis) suggest that MPO and chemerin might serve as specific and sensitive biomarkers for AoV stenosis without grading the severity, but, in relation to mild AoV stenosis, TrxR1, FGF-21, and MMP-9 also reached good or moderate levels as biomarkers. The cellular factors might serve as novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in AoV stenosis patients, while chemerin and MPO may be more powerful.

Abstract

Toxoplasmosis is an important infection caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is a zoonotic parasite causing widespread human and animal diseases, mostly involving the central nervous system. Humans can acquire toxoplasmosis by ingestion of raw or undercooked meat containing T. gondii tissue cysts, ingestion of oocysts shed by infected felids via contaminated food or water, and by vertical transmission to the fetus through the placenta from the mother during pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence of specific anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies using a large set of clinical diagnostic laboratory data obtained over a 14-year period. In total, 25 069 unique patients were included in the present study. The overall specific anti-T. gondii IgG prevalence were 36.3%, which was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than IgM prevalence (2.4%). Mean age for IgG antibody-positive patients was 33.7 ± 12.2 years. A significant positive correlation (r = 0.99; p < 0.01) was observed between age group and anti-T. gondii IgG antibody prevalence, which ranged from 4.2% to 66.7%. The most prevalent (69.9%; 95% CI 69.2–70.7) comorbidities of patients tested for presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies were classified as factors affecting health status which includes also monitoring of normal pregnancy.

Abstract

Histogenesis and organogenesis in mammals normally transpires in a hypoxic environment. Oxygen diffusing capacity is dependent on diffusion distance, which may vary with the thickness of placental barrier and with the level of tissue vascularity. Since the epidermis is avascular, its development fully depends on dermal blood vessels. Despite the large number of studies focusing on uteroplacental circulation and embryogenesis, it is clear that the current knowledge of how placental changes in pregnancy contribute to skin development is incomplete. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between structural changes in the placental barrier and development of the integumentary system, with special reference to dermal angiogenesis. The study included specimens of six embryos and ten foetuses from 5 to 24 developmental weeks, and 21 specimens of placental tissue 6–40 weeks gestational age. The panel of antibodies used was S- 100, SMA, CD31, CD34, AE1/AE3 (PCKT), CKRT7, CD 56 and hCG. During the first trimester, maternal blood flow to the placenta appears to be initially restricted by trophoblast plugs. Natural killer cells appear in great abundance in subendothelium of decidual blood vessels, potentially stimulating extensive angiogenesis. By the end of the first trimester, new capillary beds organise to supply the developing epidermal derivatives. During the second trimester, the placental barrier becomes progressively thinner, and uteroplacental circulation is established due to dissolution of endovascular trophoblast plugs. Progression of the formation of skin appendages, hypodermal adipose tissue, demarcation of papillary and reticular dermis, and keratinisation of interfollicular epidermis in the second trimester strongly accompanies the dermal angiogenesis and placental maturation.

Abstract

Patients with atrial fibrillation are faced with an increased risk of thromboembolic events, myocardial infarction, chronic heart failure and death. For some patients with atrial fibrillation, direct current cardioversion (DCCV) is a strategy that can be used to reacquire sinus rhythm. Our aim was to analyse the most commonly used medications after an electrical cardioversion, the reasons for not using them, the effects of pharmacotherapy on recurrence rates, and compare results with data from studies in 2014. The prospective study includes patients with electrocardiographically confirmed atrial fibrillation who underwent direct current cardioversion, hospitalised at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (Rīga, Latvia). The average age was 64.6 years. 50% of the patients were female. During the six-month study period, 14.3% patients were using amiodarone, 8.3% patients were on etacizine, 7.1% received propafenone, and 57.1% used beta blockers in monotherapy or in combination. Warfarin was used in 28.0% patients, direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC’s) in 29.9%, 21,4% of patients received aspirin and 16.7% did not use any antithrombotic therapy. Comparing the recurrence rate in patients using different antiarrhythmic drugs, amiodarone showed a statistically significant superiority compared to etacizine and propafenone (p = 0.02). The obtained data showed that over four years, the use of anticoagulants increased by 11.6%.