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Open access

Katarina Cerne, Benjamin Hadzialjevic, Erik Skof, Ivan Verdenik and Borut Kobal

Abstract

Background

Osteopontin (sOPN) is a promising blood tumour marker for detecting epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, other clinical uses of sOPN as a tumour marker in EOC are still lacking. Since sOPN concentrations in serum are not associated with those in ascites, we compared clinical value of sOPN concentrations in the two body fluids.

Patients and methods

The study included 31 women with advanced EOC and 34 women with benign gynaecological pathology. In the EOC group, serum for sOPN analysis was obtained preoperatively, after primary debulking surgery and after chemotherapy. In the control group, serum was obtained before and after surgery. Ascites and peritoneal fluid were obtained during surgery. sOPN concentrations were determined by flow cytometry bead-based assay.

Results

The sensitivity and specificity of sOPN in detecting EOC was 91.2% and 90.3% (cut-off = 47.4 ng/ml) in serum, and 96.8% and 100% (cut-off = 529.5 ng/ml) in ascites. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant association between higher serum sOPN concentration and overall survival (p = 0.018) or progression free survival (p = 0.008). Higher ascites sOPN concentrations were associated with suboptimally debulked tumour and unresectable disease. Higher serum sOPN concentrations were associated with refractory disease or incomplete response to platinum-based chemotherapy.

Conclusions

The study showed that ascites sOPN level mirrors present disease and is superior to serum level for diagnostic purposes and surgical planning, although the end result of treatment is the response of the whole body in fighting the disease. The preoperative sOPN concentration in serum thus better reflects disease outcome.

Open access

Janez Simenc, Damijana Mojca Juric and Metoda Lipnik-Stangelj

Abstract

Background

Astrocytes maintain central nerve system homeostasis and are relatively resistant to cell death. Dysfunction of cell death mechanisms may underlie glioblastoma genesis and resistance to cancer therapy; therefore more detailed understanding of astrocytic death modalities is needed in order to design effective therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of VAS2870, a pan-NADPH oxidase inhibitor, on staurosporine-induced cell death in astrocytes.

Materials and methods

Cultured rat astrocytes were treated with staurosporine as activator of cell death. Cell viability, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial potential were examined using flow cytometric analysis, while chemiluminescence analysis was performed to assess caspase 3/7 activity and cellular ATP.

Results

We show here for the first time, that VAS2870 is able to prevent staurosporine-induced cell death. Staurosporine exerts its toxic effect through increased generation of ROS, while VAS2870 reduces the level of ROS. Further, VAS2870 partially restores mitochondrial inner membrane potential and level of ATP in staurosporine treated cells.

Conclusions

Staurosporine induces cell death in cultured rat astrocytes through oxidative stress. Generation of ROS, mitochondrial membrane potential and energy level are sensitive to VAS2870, which suggests NADPH oxidases as an important effector of cell death. Consequently, NADPH oxidases activation pathway could be an important target to modulate astrocytic death.

Open access

Gábor Stelczer, Tibor Major, Norbert Mészáros, Csaba Polgár and Csilla Pesznyák

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to evaluate and compare four different external beam radiotherapy techniques of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) considering target coverage, dose to organs at risk and overall plan quality. The investigated techniques were three dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), “step and shoot” (SS) and “sliding window” (SW) intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), intensity-modulated arc therapy (RA).

Patients and methods

CT scans of 40 APBI patients were selected for the study. The planning objectives were set up according to the international recommendations. Homogeneity, conformity and plan quality indices were calculated from volumetric and dosimetric parameters of target volumes and organs at risk. The total monitor units and feasibility were also investigated.

Results

There were no significant differences in the coverage of the target volume between the techniques. The homogeneity indices of 3D-CRT, SS, SW and RA plans were 0.068, 0.074, 0.058 and 0.081, respectively. The conformation numbers were 0.60, 0.80, 0.82 and 0.89, respectively. The V50% values of the ipsilateral breast for 3D-CRT, SS, SW and RA were 47.5%, 40.2%, 39.9% and 31.6%, respectively. The average V10% and V40% values of ipsilateral lung were 13.1%, 28.1%, 28%, 36% and 2.6%, 1.9%, 1.9%, 3%, respectively. The 3D-CRT technique provided the best heart protection, especially in the low dose region. All contralateral organs received low doses. The SW technique achieved the best plan quality index (PQI).

Conclusions

Good target volume coverage and tolerable dose to the organs at risk are achievable with all four techniques. Taking into account all aspects, we recommend the SW IMRT technique for APBI.

Open access

Vincenza Granata, Roberta Fusco, Sergio Venanzio Setola, Raffaele Palaia, Vittorio Albino, Mauro Piccirillo, Robert Grimm, Antonella Petrillo and Francesco Izzo

Abstract

Background

The aim of the study was to evaluate diagnostic performance of functional parameters derived by conventional mono-exponential approach of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and by diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI) in the assessment of pancreatic tumours treated with electrochemotherapy (ECT).

Patients and methods

Twenty-one consecutive patients with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma subjected to ECT were enrolled in a clinical approved trial. Among twenty-one enrolled patients, 13/21 (61.9%) patients were subjected to MRI before and after ECT. DWI was performed with a 1.5 T scanner; a free breathing axial single shot echo planar DWI pulse sequence parameters were acquired using seven b value = 0, 50, 100, 150, 400, 800, 1000 s/mm2. Apparent diffusion coefficient by conventional mono-exponential approach and mean of diffusion coefficient (MD) and mean of diffusional kurtosis (MK) by DKI approach were derived from DWI. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed and sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value were calculated.

Results

Among investigated diffusion parameters, only the MD derived by DKI showed a significant variation of values between pre and post treatment (p = 0.02 at Wilcoxon test) and a significant statistically difference for percentage change between responders and not responders (p = 0.01 at Kruskal Wallis test). MD had a good diagnostic performance with a sensitivity of 80%, a specificity of 100% and area under ROC of 0.933.

Conclusions

MD derived by DKI allows identifying responders and not responders patients subject to ECT treatment. MD had higher diagnostic performance to assess ECT response compared to conventional DWI derived parameters.

Open access

Wenbin Yang, Sen Jiang, Jianbang Lin and Yangkang Li

Abstract

Background

Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) is an uncommon disease with poor clinical outcomes. Radiological reports on the survival of patients with PTCL are scarce. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prognostic value of CT findings to predict clinical outcomes in fifty-one patients with histologically proven PTCL.

Patients and methods

The clinical data and CT images of all patients were retrospectively reviewed. CT features including number of involvement sites, lesion size, shape, margin, density, peritumoral invasion, intratumoral necrosis, lymph node involvement, and degree of contrast enhancement were evaluated. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis were used to determine the association between the clinical outcome and radiologic factors.

Results

Multiple site involvement, an ill-defined margin with peritumoral invasion, inhomogeneous density, and intratumoral necrosis were found to be associated with poor outcomes in univariate analysis (P < 0.05). An ill-defined margin with peritumoral invasion, was identified as an independent risk sign by further multivariate logistic regression analysis (P < 0.05). The area under the ROC curve of this CT feature was 0.745 (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

An ill-defined margin with peritumoral invasion was a valuable prognostic factor to predict the worse clinical outcomes in patients with PTCL.

Open access

Crt Langel and Katarina Surlan Popovic

Abstract

Background

Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is the method of choice in reperfusion treatment of patients with signs and symptoms of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) lasting less than 4.5 hours. Hemorrhagic transformation (HT) of acute ischemic stroke is a serious complication of IVT and occurs in 4.5–68.0% of clinical cases. The aim of our study was to determine the infarct core CT perfusion parameter (CTPP) most predictive of HT.

Patients and methods

Seventy-five patients with AIS who had undergone CT perfusion (CTP) imaging and were treated with IVT were enrolled in this retrospective study. Patients with and without HT after IVT were defined as cases and controls, respectively. Controls were found by matching for time from AIS symptom onset to IVT ± 0.5 h. The following CTPPs were measured: cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral blood volume (CBV), mean transit time (MTT), relative CBF (rCBF) and relative CBV (rCBV). Receiver operating characteristic analysis curves of significant CTPPs determined cut-off values that best predict HT.

Results

There was a significant difference between cases and controls for CBF (p = 0.004), CBV (p = 0.009), rCBF (p < 0.001) and rCBV (p = 0.001). Receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that rCBF < 4.5% of the contralateral mean (area under the curve = 0.736) allowed prediction of HT with a sensitivity of 71.0% and specificity of 52.5%.

Conclusions

CTP imaging has a considerable role in HT prediction, assisting in selection of patients that are likely to benefit from IVT. rCBF proved to have the highest HT predictive value.

Open access

Pál Maurovich-Horvat, Milán Vecsey-Nagy, Judit Simon, Bálint Szilveszter, Júlia Karády, Ádám Jermendy and Béla Merkely

Abstract

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from symptomatic, severe aortic valve stenosis. Previously, only patients with prohibitive or high surgical risk were TAVI candidates; however, current guidelines already recommend TAVI as a treatment alternative for patients with intermediate surgical risk. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) has gained great importance in the periprocedural assessment of patients who undergo TAVI. Due to the three-dimensional image visualization, MDCT allows the evaluation of anatomical structures in a more comprehensive manner compared to echocardiography, the traditional tool used in TAVI patient work-up. By providing accurate measurements of the aortic root, MDCT helps to avoid potential patient-prosthesis mismatch throughout transcatheter valve sizing. Moreover, MDCT is also a feasible tool for access route evaluation and to determine the optimal projection angles for the TAVI procedure. Although the routine MDCT follow-up of patients is currently not recommended in clinical practice, if performed, it could provide invaluable information about valve integrity and asymptomatic leaflet thrombosis. Post-procedural MDCT can provide details about the position of the prosthesis and complications such as leaflet-thrombosis, aortic regurgitation, coronary occlusion, and other vascular complications that can represent major cardiac emergencies. The aim of the current review is to overview the role of MDCT in the pre- and post-procedural assessment of TAVI patients. In the first part, the article presents the role of pre-TAVI imaging in the complex anatomical assessment of the aortic valve and the selection of the most appropriate device. The second part of the review describes the role of MDCT in patients who underwent TAVI to assess potential complications, some of them leading to a major cardiovascular emergency.

Open access

Aura-Gabriela Casu

Abstract

Sudden cardiac death in children is one of the most devastating conditions that can be encountered in acute cardiac care. Intracardiac device therapy, providing prompt and effective treatment in malignant ventricular arrhythmia or in severe conduction abnormalities, is a promising tool to reduce the incidence of this fatal condition. However, the implementation of device-based therapy in the pediatric population is currently limited by the lack of clinical studies on large number of subjects. As a result, indications for device therapy in pediatric patients are still unclear in many circumstances. There are also several particularities related to device implantation in pediatric age, such as the somatic growth leading to a mismatch between chamber size and lead length, or the difficulties of implantation technique in children with small body weight. This study aims to present an update on the current advantages and limitations of device-based therapy for treating severe malignant arrhythmia or conduction disorders in children at risk for sudden cardiac death.

Open access

Adrian Corneliu Iancu, Mihaela Ioana Dregoesc, Aurelia Solomoneanu and Theodora Benedek

Abstract

Patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) complicated with cardiogenic shock (CS) present one of the highest mortality rates recorded in critical care. Mortality rate in this setting is reported around 45-50% even in the most experienced and well-equipped medical centers. The continuous development of ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) networks has led not only to a dramatic decrease in STEMI-related mortality, but also to an increase in the frequency of severely complicated cases who survive to be transferred to tertiary centers for life-saving treatments. The reduced effectiveness of vasoactive drugs on a severely altered hemodynamic status led to the development of new devices dedicated to advanced cardiac support. What’s more, efforts are being made to reduce time from first medical contact to initiation of mechanical support in this particular clinical context. This review aims to summarize the most recent advances in mechanical support devices, in the setting of CS-complicated AMI. At the same time, the review presents several modern concepts in the organization of complex CS centers. These specialized hubs could improve survival in this critical condition.