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Abstract

Background

Esophageal cancer remains a disease with poor survival and many complications. Measuring muscle mass and quality can identify patients with diminished muscle mass (sarcopenia) and muscle fat infiltration (myosteatosis). We studied the impact of sarcopenia and myosteatosis in resectable esophageal cancer on overall survival and complications.

Patients and methods

139 patients received a radical esophagectomy. Skeletal muscle area (SMA) and muscle attenuation (MA) in CT images at L3 level were recorded and groups with and without sarcopenia and myosteatosis were compared for overall survival (OS), perioperative mortality, conduit complications, pleuropulmonary complications, respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation and other significant complications.

Results

Prevalence of sarcopenia and myosteatosis at presentation was 16.5% and 51.8%, respectively. Both were associated with decreased OS. Median survival was 18.3 months (CI 5.4–31.1) vs 31.0 months (CI 7.4–54.6) for sarcopenia/no sarcopenia (log rank p = 0.042) and 19.0 months (CI 13.3–24.7) vs 57.1 months (CI 15.2–99.0) for myosteatosis (log rank p = 0.044), respectively. A relationship between sarcopenia and myosteatosis and other negative outcomes after esophagectomy could not be established.

Conclusion

Sarcopenia and myosteatosis before esophagectomy are associated with decreased overall survival but not with more frequent perioperative complications. Identification of patients at risk can guide therapeutic decisions and interventions aimed at replenishing muscle reserves.

Abstract

Background: Ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) treatment in case of iron deficient (ID) patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) has shown great promise according to the findings of recent studies in improvement of symptoms and quality of life, New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification, and exercise capacity.

Aim of the study: The purpose of the current study is to assess the budget impact of treating CHF patients with FCM in a sample of Romanian hospitals.

Material and methods: Calculations have been based on the budget impact model developed by Theidel et al. The assumptions and clinical outcomes of the current study were based on a multivariate statistical approach used in the same German study. The predicted outcomes were based on data pooled from four double-blind randomized controlled trials. The time horizon of the model was 1 year. Budget impact calculations were performed from the public payer perspective. Two scenarios have been handled: one without applying the Clawback tax and one with applying the tax to the cost of medication.

Results: The yearly budget impact of FCM vs. no iron-replacement treatment without applying the tax ranged between €678,383 and €641,588 for 1,000 patients, resulting in €37 of additional costs per patient per year. The yearly budget impact of FCM vs. no iron-replacement treatment with applying the tax ranged between €616,934 and €641,588 for 1,000 patients, resulting in €9 of cost reduction per patient per year. Key cost drivers included the cost of outpatient visits and the cost of hospitalization due to HF worsening. Sensitivity analysis for both scenarios proved the robustness of the results.

Conclusions: The FCM treatment of CHF patients has a moderate budget impact. Moreover, this budget impact/saving translates into a reduction of the rate and length of hospitalization stay and a better symptomatic profile of the patients.

Abstract

Introduction: Acute upper extremity ischemia is an uncommon vascular emergency due to a relatively rich collateral network and low workload of the upper limb. Its consequences depend on the site and etiology of the arterial occlusion.

Case presentation: Aiming to emphasize the emerging role of Doppler ultrasound in the diagnosis of acute upper limb ischemia, we report the case of a 70-year-old female, with severe left arm resting pain and digital cyanosis. Due to the patient’s age and the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, cardioembolic or thrombotic arterial occlusion would have been the most likely diagnosis in this case, but the color Doppler ultrasound revealed severe left axillary arterial stenosis with hypoechoic wall swelling, being highly suggestive for arteritis. Temporal artery biopsy was performed, which confirmed giant cell arteritis. An excellent clinical response was obtained after initiation of treatment.

Conclusion: In acute upper limb ischemia, color duplex ultrasound provides quick information about the etiology and localization of arterial lesions, offering characteristic findings in case of large-vessel giant cell arteritis.

Abstract

Hypertensive emergencies (HE) represent critical conditions in which extremely high blood pressure values are accompanied by acute hypertension-mediated organ damage. In this clinical setting, the main therapeutic goal is represented by the immediate reduction of blood pressure, in order to limit the extension or promote the regression of target organ damage. At present, HE are classified according to the condition or target organ involved, into: (1) malignant hypertension with or without thrombotic microangiopathy; (2) coronary ischemia or acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema; (3) acute stroke or hypertensive encephalopathy; (4) acute aortic dissection or aneurysm; and (5) eclampsia or severe preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome. The management of these conditions is different in relation to the complex pathophysiology involved in each of these types. This mini-review presents the main characteristics and management strategy for different forms of HE, revealing the particularities of management strategy for each of them.

Abstract

Background: Acute myocarditis, a primary inflammatory cardiac disease commonly caused by viral infection, is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children. Data obtained from forensic studies found an incidence of 15–33% for acute myocarditis in sudden deaths in the pediatric age group. Currently, there is a lack of data regarding the incidence and factors associated with short-term outcomes in pediatric patients admitted for acute myocarditis.

The aim of the study was to identify predictors for in-hospital mortality in a pediatric population admitted with acute myocarditis.

Material and methods: We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study that included 21 patients admitted for acute myocarditis. Clinical, laboratory, ECG, and imaging data acquired via 2D transthoracic echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging were collected from the medical charts of each included patient. The primary end-point of the study was all-cause mortality occurring during hospitalization (period ranging from 10 to 14 days). The study population was divided into 2 groups according to the occurrence of the primary end-point.

Results: The mean age of the study population was 99.62 ± 77.25 months, and 61.90% (n = 13) of the patients were males. The in-hospital mortality rate was 23.9% (n = 5). Patients in the deceased group were significantly younger than the survivors (55.60 ± 56.18 months vs. 113.4 ± 78.50 months, p = 0.039). Patients that had deceased presented a significantly higher level of LDH (365 ± 21.38 U/L vs. 234.4 ± 63.30 U/L, p = 0.0002) and a significantly higher rate of ventricular extrasystolic dysrhythmias (60% vs. 6.25%, p = 0.02, OR: 22.5, 95% CI: 1.5–335) compared to survivors. The 2D echocardiography showed that patients that had deceased presented more frequently an impaired left ventricular ejection fraction (<30%) (p = 0.001) and a significantly higher rate of severe mitral regurgitation (p = 0.001) compared to survivors.

Conclusions: The most powerful predictors for in-hospital mortality in pediatric patients admitted for acute myocarditis were the presence of ventricular extrasystolic dysrhythmias on the 24h Holter ECG monitoring, impaired left ventricular systolic function (LVEF <30%), the presence of severe mitral regurgitation, and confirmed infection with Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

Abstract

Background

Glioblastoma is the most frequent and aggressive brain tumour in humans with median survival from 12 to 15 months after the diagnosis. This is mostly due to therapy resistant glioblastoma stem cells in addition to intertumour heterogeneity that is due to infiltration of a plethora of host cells. Besides endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cells and their differentiated progenies, immune cells of various differentiation states, including monocytes, comprise resident, brain tumour microenvironment. There are compelling evidence for CCL5/CCR5 in the invasive and metastatic behaviour of many cancer types. CCR5, a G-protein coupled receptor, known to function as an essential co-receptor for HIV entry, is now known to participate in driving tumour heterogeneity, the formation of cancer stem cells and the promotion of cancer invasion and metastasis. Clinical trials have recently opened targeting CCR5 using a humanized monoclonal antibody (leronlimab) for metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) or a small molecule inhibitor (maraviroc) for metastatic colon cancer. There are important CCL5 and CCR5 structure and signalling mechanisms in glioblastoma. In addition, the CCL5/CCR5 axis directs infiltration and interactions with monocytes/macrophages and mesenchymal stem cells, comprising glioblastoma stem cell niches.

Conclusions

CCR5 is highly expressed in glioblastoma and is associated with poor prognosis of patients. CCL5/CCR5 is suggested to be an excellent new target for glioblastoma therapy. The molecular mechanisms, by which chemoattractant and receptor respond within the complex tissue microenvironment to promote cancer stem cells and tumour heterogeneity, should be considered in forthcoming studies.

Abstract

Background

Definitive radiochemotherapy is the preferred treatment option in patients with the cancer of the cervical esophagus and a viable treatment option in patients with the cancer of lower two thirds of the esophagus, who decline proposed surgical treatment. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the treatment results with definitive radiochemotherapy of patients with esophageal cancer, treated in a single institution in the period from 2010 to 2017.

Patients and methods

All available medical data for 55 patients with esophageal cancer, who were treated with definitive radiochemotherapy with curative intent, were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were irradiated to a total dose to the tumor of 70 Gy (2 Gy per fraction) in upper third (cervical) tumors or to the mean total dose of 57.6 Gy (1.8 Gy per fraction) in middle third (intrathoracic) tumors. All but one patient received concomitant chemotherapy, with the majority of them (41 patients; 74.5%) receiving concomitant chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil in continuous 96 hours infusion and cisplatin. The main endpoints of the study were overall survival (OS; death of any cause), locoregional control (LRC; local and/or regional disease recurrence) and disease-free survival (DFS; recurrence of any kind and/or new primary malignoma). Univariate analysis testing the impact of different parameters on survivals and analysis of treatment related side effects were performed as well.

Results

The mean age of patients was 62 years (SD 9 years; range: 29–80 years). Majority of them had squamous cell cancer (53 patients; 96.4%) in the stage T3 or T4 (47 patients; 85.5%) and/or N+ disease (35 patients; 63.6%). Median follow-up time for the whole group of patients was 16.8 months (range: 0.3–81.8 months). At the time of analysis 14 (25.5%) patients were still alive. Rates for OS, LRC and DFS at two and five years were as follows: 47% and 19.4%; 43.7% and 41%; 32.1% and 11.5%, respectively.

Conclusions

The study results of treatment with definitive radiochemotherapy in patients with esophageal cancer are similar to the results of other studies. Majority of patients ended the treatment according to the protocol, which at least in part can be attributed to the adequate and well organized supportive treatment in our institution.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to determine the possible predictive value of various dosimetric parameters on the development of hypothyroidism (HT) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with (chemo)radiotherapy.

Patients and methods

This study included 156 patients with HNSCC who were treated with (chemo)radiotherapy in a primary or postoperative setting between August 2012 and September 2017. Dose-volume parameters as well as V10 toV70, D02 to D98, and the VS10 to VS70 were evaluated. The patients’ hormone status was regularly assessed during follow-up. A nomogram (score) was constructed, and the Kaplan-Maier curves and Log-Rank test were used to demonstrate the difference in incidence of HT between cut-off values of specific variables.

Results

After a median follow-up of 23.0 (12.0–38.5) months, 70 (44.9%) patients developed HT. In univariate analysis, VS65, Dmin, V50, and total thyroid volume (TTV) had the highest accuracy in predicting HT. In a multivariate model, HT was associated with lower TTV (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.11–0.87, P = 0.026) and Dmin (OR 9.83, 95% CI 1.89–108.08, P = 0.042). Hypothyroidism risk score (HRS) was constructed as a regression equation and comprised TTV and Dmin. HRS had an AUC of 0.709 (95% CI 0.627–0.791). HT occurred in 13 (20.0%) patients with a score < 7.1 and in 57 (62.6%) patients with a score > 7.1.

Conclusions

The dose volume parameters VS65, Dmin, V50, and TTV had the highest accuracy in predicting HT. The HRS may be a useful tool in detecting patients with high risk for radiation-induced hypothyroidism.

Abstract

Background

The 8th edition of tumor node metastasis (TNM) staging system for lung cancer introduced a revision of M descriptor. The limitation of new classification to predict prognosis is its focus on anatomical extent of the disease only. Information on molecular status of the tumor significantly influences treatment response and survival; however, data addressing this issue is scarce. This report points to the impact of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients on survival in view of new M descriptors of TNM classification system.

Patients and methods

Medical records of 479 consecutive metastatic NSCLC patients treated between 2009 and 2011, all tested for EGFR mutations, were retrospectively reviewed. For 355 patients medical records included sufficient information to be appropriately categorized into one of the new subgroups according to the M descriptor in 8th TNM classification, of those 89 (25.1%) patients harboured EGFR mutations (EGFR-m).

Results

Median overall survival (mOS) of EGFR-m patients was significantly longer than mOS of patients without EGFR mutations (20.6 months vs. 8.3 months, p < 0.001). Patients with limited disease burden (M1b sub-group) had the longest mOS among EGFR wild type patients (EGFR-wt) and also among EGFR-m patients, 14.4 months and 39.2 month, respectively. In spite of widespread metastatic disease of M1c EGFR-m patients, their mOS (18.8 months) was longer than mOS of oligometastatic EGFR-wt patients (M1b), who had the lowest disease burden (14.4 months). Median follow up was 53.9 months.

Conclusions

Incorporation of EGFR mutation status in advanced NSCLC further differentiates survival curves of M categories in 8th TNM classification and more precisely predicts survival compared to number of metastasis or number of metastatic sites alone.