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  • Author: Alexandra Lazăr x
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Radial Nerve Injury after Brachial Nerve Block - Case Series


Adding epinephrine to local anesthetics is recommended to extend the duration of peripheral nerve blocks. We describe in this article two cases of radial nerve injury possible due to coadministration of epinephrine during brachial plexus block.

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Valorification of Jerusalem Artichoke Tubers (Helianthus Tuberosus) for Achieving of Functional Ingredient with High Nutritional Value


Jerusalem artichoke tubers (Helianthus tuberosus) are distinguished by their protein, minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.) and inulin content. Inulin can be used in the diet of diabetics as a substitute of sugar, without having an impact on blood glucose. At the same time, an international study had shown that due to their inulin content, regular consumption of Jerusalem artichoke tubers can help to prevent type 2 diabetes. In this paper are presented the results of the researches performed to achieve a functional ingredient (powder) with high nutritional value by processing of Jerusalem artichoke tubers. Thus, the Jerusalem artichoke tubers (Red Jerusalem artichoke and White Jerusalem artichoke varieties) were subjected to a convective drying process at 50°C, to protect bioactive components (vitamins, phenolic compounds, etc.) to a moisture content that allow their milling and turning them into powder and, at the same time, their stability in terms of quality. The achieved functional ingredient was evaluated sensory, physicchemically and microbiologically. The powder obtained from Jerusalem artichoke tubers is characterized by their inulin-type fructans (51.60... 57.45%), crude fiber (6.85...8.27%), total polyphenols (18.51... 44.03 mg GAE/g), proteins (8.75...9.26%), iron (12.45...13.88 mg/100g), potassium (1905.44...2100.35 mg/100g), calcium (50.21...57.45mg/100g), magnesium (84.55...89.95mg/100g) and phosphorus content (300.12...345.35 mg/100g). At the same time, powder achieved from Jerusalem artichoke tubers has antioxidant potential. Due to its complex biochemical composition, the functional ingredient achieved from Jerusalem artichoke tubers can be used to fortify food and also as a sweetening agent for products destined to diabetics.

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Combination of Ropivacaine and Lidocaine for Long Lasting Locoregional Anesthesia


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of Ropivacaine 0.5% and Lidocaine 0.5% anestethic combination in performing locoregional anesthesia, using either peripheral nerve stimulator or ultrasounds for brachial plexus block.

Study design: A prospective randomized clinical study was performed at the County Emergency Clinical Hospital of Tîrgu Mureș, between January and May 2013 on patients undergoing elective or emergency surgical interventions on upper limbs with locoregional anesthesia. Brachial plexus block with axillary approach was performed in 65 patients using randomly the nerve stimulator or the ultrasound guided technique. The parameters recorded were the duration of the anesthetic technique, the installation time and the length of anesthesia. All anesthetic incidents during and after anesthesia were observed as well. The recorded data were analyzed and statistically processed.

Results: We enrolled 40 (61.5%) patients for the nerve stimulation technique and 25 (38.5%) patients for ultrasound guidance. The quality of the block was acceptable, an inadequate anesthesia was reported in 9 patients (13.8%). The mean time of installation of anesthesia was 34.36 (± 11.56) minutes, time recorded from the initiation of the anesthetic technique until complete motor block. The mean duration of the motor block was 481.3 (± 128.6) minutes which represents over 8 hours. None of the patients required conversion of the anesthesia due to the extended period of the surgical intervention. One patient presented a mild allergic reaction to the anesthetic drugs.

Conclusion: Combination of the ropivacaine and lidocaine can be safely used for locoregional anesthesia, especially in those cases where long surgical intervention time is anticipated or in order to achieve a better postoperative analgesia

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Recurrent Incisional Hernia Associated with Interferon Treatment for Virus C Hepatitis: Case Report


Background: Hepatitis C prevalence in Romania is 3.5%. Nowadays, the treatment of this condition comprise of interferon. One of the interferon’s side effects is the reduction of collagen synthesis, substance that is necessary in the process of abdominal wall healing.

Case report: We report the case of a 56 years old female patient, admitted in our Clinic for a giant, recurrent incisional hernia. The patient’s history was eventful: a hysterectomy for uterine fibroma in 2009, incisional hernia repair in 2010, the treatment with Interferon in 2011 and 2012 for viral hepatitis C. A well represented subcutaneous tissue is observed intraoperator, a wall defect of 15 cm in diameter with a 5 mm thick muscle aponeurosis lay. We performed abdominal wall plasty by components separation technique, reinforced with a polypropylene mesh disposed on lay. Postoperative analgesia was provided by inserting a wound catheter through which Ropivacaine 0,5% was continuously injected for 72 hours. The postoperative evolution was uneventful, the patient being discharged 7 days after the surgical intervention.

Conclusions: The treatment with Interferon of hepatitis C can favor the recurrence of an incisional hernia. The Oscar Ramirez procedure seemed to be the best choice for surgical treatment of this giant incisional hernia. Postoperative analgesia can be accomplished by a wound catheter through which Ropivacaine 5% is continuously infiltrated.

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Influence of Ventilation Parameters on Intraabdominal Pressure


Introduction: Intraabdominal pressure monitoring is not routinely performed because the procedure assumes some invasiveness and, like other invasive procedures, it needs to have a clear indication to be performed. The causes of IAH are various. Mechanically ventilated patients have numerous parameters set in order to be optimally ventilated and it is important to identify the ones with the biggest interference in abdominal pressure. Although it was stated that mechanical ventilation is a potential factor of high intraabdominal pressure the set parameters which may lead to this diagnostic are not clearly named.

Objectives: To evaluate the relation between intraabdominal pressure and ventilator parameters in patients with mechanical ventilation and to determine the correlation between intraabdominal pressure and body mass index. Material and method: This is an observational study which enrolled 16 invasive ventilated patients from which we obtained 61 record sheets. The following parameters were recorded twice daily: ventilator parameters, intraabdominal pressure, SpO2, Partial Oxygen pressure of arterial blood. We calculated the Body Mass Index (BMI) for each patient and the volume tidal/body weight ratio for every recorded data point.

Results: We observed a significant correlation between intraabdominal pressure (IAP) and the value of PEEP (p=0.0006). A significant statistical correlation was noted regarding the tidal volumes used for patient ventilation. The mean tidal volume was 5.18 ml/kg. Another significant correlation was noted between IAP and tidal volume per kilogram (p=0.0022). A positive correlation was found between BMI and IAP (p=0.0049), and another one related to the age of the enrolled patients. (p=0.0045).

Conclusions: The use of positive end-expiratory pressures and high tidal volumes during mechanical ventilation may lead to the elevation of intraabdominal pressure, a possible way of reducing this risk would be using low values of PEEP and also low volumes for the setting of ventilation parameters. There is a close positive correlation between the intraabdominal pressure levels and body mass index.

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The Role of Angiopoietine-2 in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Sepsis


Introduction: Angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2) is a new biomarker whose blood-serum values increase in sepsis and its expression is elevated in line with the severity of the degree of inflammation. The aim of this study was to identify the diagnostic role of ANG-2 in patients with non-surgical sepsis addmitted to an intensive care unit.

Material and methods: This was a prospective randomized study including 74 patients admitted in the Clinic of Intensive Care of the County Clinical Emergency Hospital Tirgu Mure., divided into two groups: Group S: patients with sepsis (n=40, 54%) and Group C: control, without sepsis (n=34, 46%). ANG-2 levels were determined in both groups.

Results: From the Group S, 14 patients (35%) had positive haemocultures. ANG-2 values varied between 1 and 43 ng/mL, with an average of 6.0 ng/mL in patients without sepsis and 10.38 ng/mL in patients with sepsis (p=0.021). A positive correlation between ANG-2 and SAPS II, SOFA and APACHE II severity scores was demonstrated, as was a positive correlation between serum levels of ANG-2 and procalcitonine. ANG-2 had a 5.71% specificity and 74.36% sensitivity for diagnosis of sepsis.

Conclusions: ANG-2 serum levels were elevated in sepsis, being well correlated with PCT values and prognostic scores. ANG-2 should be considered as a useful biomarker for the diagnosis and the prognosis of this pathology.

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Ultrasound Guidance Versus Peripheral Neurostimulation for Brachial Plexus Block Anesthesia with Axillary Approach and Multiple Injection Technique


Introduction: There are several approaches for brachial plexus anesthesia: supraclavicular, infraclavicular, interscalenic and axillary. Out of these, the axillary approach is considered to be the safest because of the low risk of lesioning the adjacent structures, low risk of phrenic nerve blockade or of producing an iatrogenic pneumothorax. The block can be performed by one single injection at the site, by two injections or by several injection, among each nerve of the plexus. Ultrasound was introduced in regional anesthesia since 1978, being used initially as an auxiliary method to peripheral neurostimulator.

Objectives: The evaluation of ultrasound efficiency as an auxiliary method for brachial plexus block performance, in terms of success rate, vascular punctures. The influence of obesity on performing time, total duration of the block, and success rate of brachial plexus block.

Material and method: Prospective, randomized study which enrolled adult patients, scheduled for surgical emergency or elective surgical intervention on upper limb with brachial plexus block by axillary approach, using either the peripheral nerve stimulation or the ultrasound guidance.

Results: We enrolled 160 patients, grouped in two sets- the ultrasound group= 82 patients (US) the neurostimulation group = 78 patients (NS). Vascular punctures were statistically significant different p= 0, 04. The success rate was not influenced by the obesity.

Conclusions: Ultrasound guidance makes axillary brachial plexus block safer, we can recommend ultrasound guidance as routine for axillary brachial plexus block. The obese patient can beneficiate by both methods of brachial plexus blockage.

Open access
Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin as a Marker for Renal Dysfunction Detection in Critically Ill Patients with Increased Intraabdominal Pressure


Introduction: Elevated intraabdominal pressure (IAP) it is known to have an impact on renal function trough the pressure transmitted from the abdominal cavity to the vasculature responsible for the renal blood flow. Intraabdominal pressure is found to be frequent in intensive care patients and also to be a predictor of mortality. Intra-abdominal high pressure is an entity that can have serious impact on intensive care admitted patients, studies concluding that if this condition progresses to abdominal compartment syndrome mortality is as high as 80%.

Aim: The aim of this study was to observe if a link between increased intraabdominal pressure and modification in renal function exists (NGAL, creatinine clearance).

Material and Method: The study enrolled 30 critically ill patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit of SCJU Tîrgu Mures between November 2015 and August 2016. The study enrolled adult, hemodynamically stable patients admitted in intensive critical care - defined by a normal blood pressure maintained without any vasopressor or inotropic support, invasive monitoring using PICCO device and abdominal pressure monitoring.

Results: The patients were divided into two groups based on the intraabdominal pressure values: normal intraabdominal pressure group= 52 values and increased intraabdominal group= 35 values. We compared the groups in the light of NGAL values, 24 hours diuresis, GFR and creatinine clearance. The groups are significantly different when compared in the light of NGAL values and GFR values. We obtained a statistically significant correlation between NGAL value and 24 hour diuresis. No other significant correlations were encountered between the studied items.

Conclusions: NGAL values are increased in patients with high intraabdominal pressure which may suggest its utility as a cut off marker for patients with increased intraabdominal pressure. There is a significant decreased GFR in patient with elevated intraabdominal pressure, observation which can help in early detection of renal injury in patients due to high intraabdominal pressure. No correlation was found between creatinine clearance and increased intraabdominal pressure.

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An Evaluation of Serum Procalcitonin and C-Reactive Protein Levels as Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers of Severe Sepsis


Background: Recommendations have been made, following the multicenter Surviving Sepsis Campaign study, to standardize the definition of severe sepsis with reference to several parameters such as haemodynamic stability, acid-base balance, bilirubin, creatinine, International Normalized Ratio (INR), urine output and pulmonary functional value of the ratio between arterial oxigen partial pressure and inspiratory oxigen concentration. Procalcitonin (PCT) is considered to be a gold standard biomarker for the inflammatory response, and recent studies have shown that it may help to discover whether a seriously ill person is developing sepsis. C-reactive protein (CRP) is also used as a marker of inflammation in the body, as its blood levels increase if there is any inflammation in the body. The aim of this study was to evaluate serum procalcitonin and C-reactive protein levels as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of severe sepsis.

Material and method: Sixty patients, diagnosed as being “septic”, were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Based on laboratory results and clinical findings a diagnosis of “severe sepsis“ was made, and correlated with PCT and CRP values. The APACHE II, SAPS II and SOFA severity scores were calculated, analyzed and correlated with PCT and CRP.

Results: Fifty two patients (86.67%) presented with criteria for severe sepsis. Multivariate correlation analysis indicated a significant positive association between procalcitonin and all severity scores (APACHEII p<0.0001, SOFA p<0.0001, SAPS II p<0.0001). CRP proved to be significantly correlated only with the SAPS II score (p=0.0145). Mortality rate was high, with 48 patients (80%) dying. There was no significant correlation between the levels of the PCT and CRP biomarkers and severe sepsis (p=0.2059 for PCT, p=0.6059 for CRP).

Conclusions: The procalcitonin levels are highly correlated with the severity scores (APACHE II, SAPS II, SOFA) regularly used in ICUs and therefore can be used for determining the severity of the septic process. Quantitive procalcitonin and C-reactive protein analysis was not shown to be useful in diagnosing severe sepsis. However, PCT and CRP can be used to predict the fatal progression of the septic patient.

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Precision Medicine and its Role in the Treatment of Sepsis: A Personalised View


In recent years, a new form of medicine has become increasingly significant, namely, personalised medicine (PM). PM is a form of care in which treatment is tailored for an individual patient.

PM is about using multiple data sets to create a digital human mapping. A person’s biological traits are determined by the interactions of hundreds of genes and gene networks, as well as external factors such as diet and exercise. Combining and then investigating these multiple databases with powerful statistical tools, allows a new understanding of how genetic intricacy drives health and disease and so leads to a closer personalised medical approach that targets each individual’s unique genetic make-up.

Sepsis is a systemic inflammatory response to infection, ranging from systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) to septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS). Sepsis is the most common cause of death in intensive care patients. Treatments in an ICU may need to be adapted to the continuous and rapid changes of the disease, making it challenging to identify a single target. PM is thus seen as the future of sepsis treatment in the ICU.

The fact that individual patients respond differently to treatment should be regarded as a starting point in the approach to providing treatment. The disease itself comes secondary to this concept.

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