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Open access

Tanja Kosak Soklic, Matija Rijavec, Mira Silar, Ana Koren, Izidor Kern, Irena Hocevar-Boltezar and Peter Korosec

Abstract

Background

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) current therapeutic approaches still fail in some patients with severe persistent symptoms and recurrences after surgery. We aimed to evaluate the master transcription factors gene expression levels of T cell subtypes in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) and chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps (CRSsNP) that could represent new, up-stream targets for topical DNAzyme treatment.

Patients and methods

Twenty-two newly diagnosed CRS patients (14 CRSwNP and 8 CRSsNP) were prospectively biopsied and examined histopathologically. Gene expression levels of T-box transcription factor (T-bet, TBX21), GATA binding protein 3 (GATA3), Retinoic acid-related orphan receptor C (RORC) and Forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) were analyzed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR).

Results

Eosinophilic CRSwNP was characterized by higher level of GATA3 gene expression compared to noneosinophilic CRSwNP, whereas there was no difference in T-bet, RORC and FOXP3 between eosinophilic and noneosinophilic CRSwNP. In CRSsNP, we found simultaneous upregulation of T-bet, GATA3 and RORC gene expression levels in comparison to CRSwNP; meanwhile, there was no difference in FOXP3 gene expression between CRSwNP and CRSsNP.

Conclusions

In eosinophilic CRSwNP, we confirmed the type 2 inflammation by elevated GATA3 gene expression level. In CRSsNP, we unexpectedly found simultaneous upregulation of T-bet and GATA3 that is currently unexplained; however, it might originate from activated CD8+ cells, abundant in nasal mucosa of CRSsNP patients. The elevated RORC in CRSsNP could be part of homeostatic nasal immune response that might be better preserved in CRSsNP patients compared to CRSwNP patients. Further data on transcription factors expression rates in CRS phenotypes are needed.

Open access

Natally Horvat, Serena Monti, Brunna Clemente Oliveira, Camila Carlos Tavares Rocha, Romina Grazia Giancipoli and Lorenzo Mannelli

Open access

Vincenza Granata, Roberta Fusco, Salvatore Filice, Paola Incollingo, Andrea Belli, Francesco Izzo and Antonella Petrillo

Open access

Maria Scuderi, Matej Rebersek, Damijan Miklavcic and Janja Dermol-Cerne

Abstract

Background

In electrochemotherapy (ECT), chemotherapeutics are first administered, followed by short 100 μs monopolar pulses. However, these pulses cause pain and muscle contractions. It is thus necessary to administer muscle relaxants, general anesthesia and synchronize pulses with the heart rhythm of the patient, which makes the treatment more complex. It was suggested in ablation with irreversible electroporation, that bursts of short high-frequency bipolar pulses could alleviate these problems. Therefore, we designed our study to verify if it is possible to use high-frequency bipolar pulses (HF-EP pulses) in electrochemotherapy.

Materials and methods

We performed in vitro experiments on mouse skin melanoma (B16-F1) cells by adding 1–330 μM cisplatin and delivering either (a) eight 100 μs long monopolar pulses, 0.4–1.2 kV/cm, 1 Hz (ECT pulses) or (b) eight bursts at 1 Hz, consisting of 50 bipolar pulses. One bipolar pulse consisted of a series of 1 μs long positive and 1 μs long negative pulse (0.5–5 kV/cm) with a 1 μs delay in-between.

Results

With both types of pulses, the combination of electric pulses and cisplatin was more efficient in killing cells than cisplatin or electric pulses only. However, we needed to apply a higher electric field in HF-EP (3 kV/cm) than in ECT (1.2 kV/cm) to obtain comparable cytotoxicity.

Conclusions

It is possible to use HF-EP in electrochemotherapy; however, at the expense of applying higher electric fields than in classical ECT. The results obtained, nevertheless, offer an evidence that HF-EP could be used in electrochemotherapy with potentially alleviated muscle contractions and pain.

Open access

Martina Pezdirec, Primoz Strojan and Irena Hocevar Boltezar

Abstract

Background

Dysphagia is a common consequence of treatment for head and neck cancer (HNC). The purpose of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of dysphagia in a group of patients treated for HNC in Slovenia, and to identify factors contributing to the development of dysphagia.

Patients and methods

One-hundred-nine consecutive patients treated for HNC at two tertiary centers were recruited during their follow-up visits. They fulfilled EORTC QLQ-H&N35 and “Swallowing Disorders after Head and Neck Cancer Treatment questionnaire” questionnaires. Patients with dysphagia were compared to those without it.

Results

Problems with swallowing were identified in 41.3% of the patients. Dysphagia affected their social life (in 75.6%), especially eating in public (in 80%). Dysphagia was found the most often in the patients with oral cavity and/or oropharyngeal cancer (in 57.6%) and in those treated less than 2 years ago (p = 0.014). In univariate analysis, a significant relationship was observed between dysphagia prevalence and some of the consequences of anti-cancer treatment (impaired mouth opening, sticky saliva, loss of smell, impaired taste, oral and throat pain, persistent cough, and hoarseness), radiotherapy (p = 0.003), and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (p = 0.027). After multiple regression modelling only persistent cough remained.

Conclusions

In order to improve swallowing abilities and, consequently, quality of life of the patients with HNC a systematic rehabilitation of swallowing should be organized. A special emphasis should be given to gastroesophageal reflux treatment before, during and after therapy for HNC

Open access

Theodora Benedek and Roxana Hodas

Open access

Yiğit Çanga, Ayşe Emre, Mehmet Baran Karataş, Ali Nazmi Çalık, Nizamettin Selçuk Yelgeç, Ufuk Yıldız and Sait Terzi

Abstract

Background: Acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is an uncommon diagnosis in patients less than 40 years of age. Over the last two decades, there is an increase in the frequency of cardiovascular events among young adults. However, at present there is only limited clinical data on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of STEMI in young patients who were treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI). Plaque erosion is the underlying pathological mechanism leading to STEMI in the vast majority of young adults. Thrombi that complicate superficial erosion seem more platelet-rich than the fibrinous clots precipitated by plaque rupture. Mean platelet volume (MPV) is recognized as a marker of the platelet activation process and may be a better indicator of short-term prognosis than the inflammatory markers in young patients with STEMI. Therefore, we aimed to investigate clinical and angiographic characteristics, risk factors and the independent value of MPV on predicting short-term major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in young adults with STEMI. Methods: A total of 349 patients aged 40 years or younger who underwent pPCI at our center between 2010–2015 with the diagnosis of STEMI were retrospectively analyzed. Results: The mean age of the patients was 36.4 ± 3.6 years and 90% of them were men. Smoking was by far the most frequent cardiovascular risk factor. MACEs were observed in 23 patients (6.6%), and according to the multivariate regression analysis, Killip IIIIV (OR 7.52, 95% CI 1.25–45.24, p = 0.03), lower admission SBP (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90–0.98, p <0.01) and increased MPV (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.05–2.67, p = 0.03) were found to be independently correlated with MACE in the study population. Conclusion: Our results indicate that MPV is an independent predictor of MACEs at the short-term follow-up in young patients with STEMI undergoing pPCI. Accordingly, we suggested that MPV, a marker of platelet activation, could play a significant role in predicting clinical evolution in young patients with STEMI.

Open access

Lidija Savic, Igor Mrdovic, Milika Asanin, Sanja Stankovic, Gordana Krljanac and Ratko Lasica

Abstract

Background: A significant proportion of patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) have multivessel coronary artery disease (MVD), and they are at high risk for recurrent cardiac events. The aim of the present study was to analyze the impact of MVD on long-term cardiovascular mortality in STEMI patients treated with primary percutaneous coronary intervention (pPCI). Method: This study included 3,115 consecutive STEMI patients hospitalized in the Coronary Care Unit of the Clinical Centre of Serbia, between November 2005 and January 2012. Patients were divided in two groups: MVD and no MVD. MVD disease was defined as stenosis greater than 50% by visual assessment in more than one major coronary artery. Primary PCI was limited to the infarct-related artery (IRA). Cardiovascular mortality was defined as any death from cardiovascular reason (myocardial reinfarction, low-output heart failure, and sudden death). Patients presenting with cardiogenic shock were excluded. Patients were followed-up for 6 years after enrollment. Results: Among 3,115 analyzed patients, 1,352 (43.4%) patients had no MVD and 1,763 (56.6%) had MVD; among patients with MVD, 926 (52.6%) had two-vessel disease and 837 (47.4%) had three-vessel disease. Compared with patients with single-vessel disease, patients with MVD were older, had longer pain duration, and presented more often with heart failure; they were more likely to have previous coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease; post-procedural flow TIMI <3 was more frequently observed in patients with MVD than in patients with no MVD (5.9% vs. 3.1%, p <0.001). Patients with MVD had lower left ventricular ejection fraction than patients with single-vessel disease: 45% (interquartile range [IQR] 40¬–55%) vs. 50% (IQR 43–55%), p <0.001. Revascularization of non-IRA lesions was performed at index hospitalization in 1,075 (61%) patients, and in 602 (34.1%) patients revascularization was performed in the first few months after pPCI (median 1.5 months, IQR 1–2.5 months); coronary artery bypass grafting was performed in 291 (18.4%) patients and PCI (with stent implantation) in 1,368 (81.6%) patients. Six-year cardiovascular mortality was significantly higher in patients with MVD than in patients with single-vessel disease (10.4% vs. 4.6%, p <0.001). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, MVD remained an independent predictor for 6-year cardiovascular mortality (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.11–2.06, p = 0.041). Conclusion: In STEMI patients treated with pPCI, the presence of MVD remained an independent predictor for higher long-term cardiovascular mortality despite early revascularization of the remaining stenosis in non-IRA.

Open access

Dan Păsăroiu, Zsolt Parajkó, Noémi Mitra and Diana Opincariu

Abstract

Electrical storm is defined by at least three episodes of sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmias or appropriate shocks given by implantable cardiac defibrillator devices (ICD), occurring within a period of 24 hours. In the present manuscript, we present the case of a 69-year-old female patient with previous aortocoronary bypass, who was admitted from the Emergency Department after presenting several episodes of syncope in prehospital settings and presented 4 episodes of sustained ventricular tachycardia which required electrical cardioversion. The arrhythmia disappeared after percutaneous revascularization of a chronic occlusion in the right coronary artery. In this case, the implantation of an ICD was avoided, as a reversible cause of ES has been identified and treated.

Open access

Yoriyasu Suzuki, Akira Murata, Satoshi Tsujimoto, Yusuke Ochiumi and Tatsuya Ito

Abstract

Background: There is no known therapy with proven efficacy for improving clinical outcomes in elderly patients with heart failure (HF) and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of tolvaptan (TLV) in elderly HFpEF patients. Methods: This retrospective observational study involved 100 consecutive elderly HFpEF patients hospitalized at the Nagoya Heart Center, Japan. Inclusion criteria were: (1) patients aged ≥75 years; (2) first hospitalization secondary to HF; (3) received medical therapy for HF, without invasive treatment; and (4) clinical follow-up for >6 months after discharge. The primary endpoint was rehospitalization due to worsening HF, and the secondary endpoint was worsening renal function (WRF) during hospitalization and at 6 months after discharge. Sixty background-matched HFpEF patients were divided into 2 groups: with TLV therapy (TLV (+), n = 29) and without TLV therapy (TLV (–), n = 31). In the TLV (+) group, TLV therapy was continued after discharge. Clinical outcomes of these patients were evaluated. Results: Bed rest period and length of hospital stay were significantly shorter in the TLV (+) group than in the TLV (−) group. The dose of loop diuretics, mean serum creatinine levels, and incidence of WRF development were significantly lower in the TLV (+) group. Incidence of rehospitalization was also significantly lower in the TLV (+) group (log-rank test; p = 0.018). The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that TLV therapy reduces the incidence of rehospitalization in elderly patients with HFpEF. Conclusions: TLV therapy reduced the bed rest period, length of hospital stay, and rate of rehospitalization without WRF in elderly HFpEF patients, suggesting that TLV could represent an effective therapy for this group of patients.