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Abstract

Background and Objectives

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an important cause of chronic liver disease. Aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and factors predicting response to treatment in patients with AIH.

Methods

In this prospective observational study, all patients diagnosed with AIH from 2017 to 2019 were included. Biochemical response to the treatment was checked three months after the start of the treatment. Response was considered good if transaminases normalized, or poor if either remained persistently elevated or improved partially.

Results

Of the total 56 patients, 41 (73.2%) were females. Mean age was 29.5 (±16.9) years. About half (53.6%; n = 30) the patients were aged < 25 years and majority [47 (83.9%)] were cirrhotic. Autoimmune serology was negative in 20 (35.7%). Seronegativity was associated with severe necroinflammation (P = 0.015) and esophageal varices (P = 0.021). Response to treatment was good in 34 (60.7%). Bivariate analysis showed that good response to treatment was associated with pre-treatment serum IgG level > 20 g/L (P = 0.024), presence of pseudorosettes on histopathology (P = 0.029) and three months post-immunosuppression serum total bilirubin < 2mg/dL (P < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that only pre-treatment serum IgG >20 g/L (P = 0.038) and post-treatment serum total bilirubin <2 mg/dL (P = 0.004) were independent predictors of good response to treatment.

Conclusion

Majority of AIH patients in our study were young and cirrhotic. A negative autoimmune serology does not rule out AIH and liver biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis. Seronegative AIH rapidly progresses to advanced liver disease. Response to treatment is good with pre-treatment IgG > 20g/L and post-treatment total bilirubin < 2 mg/dL.

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the characteristics of cytokine storm in patients with septic shock after abdominal surgery, examine its relationship with clinical data, and determine intervention timings.

Materials and Methods: We prospectively observed a cohort of patients with abdominal infection admitted to the surgical intensive care unit (ICU) after surgery (shock group). A control group of healthy individuals was used for comparison. Plasma samples and clinical data recorded at 0, 12, 24, 48, and 72 h after surgery were collected. Cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin [IL]-6, IL-8, IL-10, monocyte chemotactic protein [MCP]-1, IL-1 β, interferon-γ, IL-12p70, MCP-1α, IL-4, IL-2, and IL-13) were detected using the Luminex® technique.

Results: Concentrations of most cytokines were significantly higher in the shock group. When a cytokine storm intensity curve was considered with the vasopressor dependency index and a Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, time point of maximum cytokine storm intensity was earlier than that of the maximum vasopressor dependency index and SOFA score in the shock group.

Conclusions: Cytokine storm occurred in patients with septic shock shortly after the abdominal surgery and may be a main mechanism leading to septic shock. Cytokine storm interventions should ideally be initiated within 24 h after surgery and be guided by cytokine storm biomarkers.

Abstract

This article reports two asymptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Both cases came from Hubei Province. One was a 63-year-old male and the other was a 29-year-old female. Both were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the screening of high-risk personnel from the affected areas. During the 14-day isolation medical observation, they had no symptoms, their blood lymphocyte count and lung CT examinations were normal. An asymptomatic infection had been diagnosed, however, it was not “asymptomatic infection” state in incubation period. Due to the timely and effective isolation measures taken for the two cases, no other persons have been infected by them. Therefore, effective control of the source of infection, cutting off the route of transmission, and protecting vulnerable populations are currently effective measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infected disease.

Abstract

Background and Objective

Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a constellation of metabolic abnormalities including hypertension, obesity, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia, is highly prevalent in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our aim was to assess the magnitude of MetS and its determinants in RA patients and to evaluate different atherogenic indices that are reflective of the risk for future cardiovascular disease.

Patients and Methods

The study was conducted on 104 RA patients and 103 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. The frequency of MetS was assessed using the guidelines recommended for Asian Indians.

Results

A total of 104 RA patients participated with majority being females (85.6%), with a mean age of 43.82 ± 13.32 years. The frequency of MetS in patients with RA (36.5%) was significantly higher than in controls (15.5%). The atherogenic indices were found to be significantly higher in RA patients than controls (P < 0.01). On logistic regression, disease activity score (DAS28) scale for 28 joints and disease duration remained significant independent predictors of the presence of MetS in RA patients (P < 0.01 and 0.05, respectively).

Conclusions

RA is a kind of chronic disease of long course, and MetS and atherogenic indices are often concomitant in these patients. The study showed that the frequency of MetS was higher in patients with RA than in controls, and that DAS28 and disease duration remained significant independent predictors of the presence of MetS in RA patients.

Abstract

Vascular calcification (VC) was defined as the ectopic deposition of calcium–phosphorus complexes on the blood vessel walls. It was a process involving multiple factors and mechanisms, covering the phenotype transition of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and release of microvesicles. It was a common end-stage alteration of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondria were involved in the development of VC. Mitochondria provided energy to cells, maintained the stability of cell functions, and participated in a variety of biological behavior. Oxidative stress, autophagy, apoptosis, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage could affect the development of VSMCs calcification by alteration of mitochondrial function. This article reviewed the mechanism of calcification and the role of mitochondria in VC, aiming to raise a novel insight into drug development and clinical treatment.

Abstract

Ubiquitination is a modification after protein transcription that plays a vital role in maintaining the homeostasis of the cellular environment. The Homologous to E6AP C-terminus (HECT) family E3 ubiquitin ligases are a kind of E3 ubiquitin ligases with a C-terminal HECT domain that mediates the binding of ubiquitin to substrate proteins and a variable-length N-terminal extension. HECT-ubiquitinated ligases can be divided into three categories: NEDD4 superfamily, HERC superfamily, and other HECT superfamilies. HECT ubiquitin ligase plays an essential role in the development of many human diseases. In this review, we focus on the physiological and pathological processes involved in oxidative stress and the role of E3 ubiquitin ligase of the HECT family.

Abstract

COVID-19 has become a global pandemic and requires the whole world to respond together. There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended at present for COVID-19. The patients must receive the supportive care to help relieve the symptoms and ensure appropriate infection control. Whether or not to use corticosteroids clinically caused controversy. This article has summarized previous researches about the using of corticosteroids in other viral pneumonia, related clinical data in COVID-19, and recommendations in Chinese guideline.

Abstract

On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can be characterized as a pandemic based on the alarming levels of spread and severity and on the alarming levels of inaction. COVID-19 has received worldwide attention as emergency, endangering international public health and economic development. There is a growing body of literatures regarding severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as well as COVID-19. This review will focus on the latest advance of epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical characteristics about COVID-19. Meanwhile, tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading representative respiratory tract communicable disease threatening public health. There are limited data on the risk of severe disease or outcomes in patients with concurrence of TB and COVID-19. Nevertheless, co-infection of some virus would aggravate TB, such as measles. And tuberculosis and influenza co-infection compared with tuberculosis single infection was associated with increased risk of death in individuals. This review will also introduce the characteristics about the concurrence of TB and emerging infectious diseases to provide a hint to manage current epidemic.

Abstract

Introduction: Commonly prescribed medications are associated with various gastrointestinal (GI) side effects but few data are available on prescription medication use and polypharmacy in a gastroenterology outpatient practice. We aimed to examine the prevalence of polypharmacy, defined as the simultaneous use of 5 or more medications.

Methods: A descriptive correlational study of consecutive outpatient consultations in 988 patients referred to a tertiary gastroenterology practice. Main outcome measurements were frequency of prescription medication use and polypharmacy.

Results: The most common GI symptoms were abdominal pain (72%), nausea (57%), and constipation (53%). The frequency of polypharmacy was 10%. Eighty percent of patients took at least one medication and 60% took two or more. The most frequently used medication classes were proton pump inhibitors (43%), followed by benzodiazepines (30%), selective serotoninreuptake or norepinephrine-reuptake inhibitors (28%), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (27%), and opioids (21%).

Conclusion: There was a higher use of prescription medicine including antidepressants, and a lower frequency of polypharmacy in our study cohort compared to the general population. The use of medications may have contributed to the symptoms leading to our study’s population GI consultation.