Advanced information technologies have entered all spheres of human activities. In healthcare, this happens much too fast and encompasses all its branches. How does the Internet form the relationship between patients and medical staff? What information do patients seek and how do they get it? What problems arise during the communication process via new means? How can we describe an e-patient? How does the Internet model the doctor-patient relationship in case of cancer, one of the most dramatic diseases? Are students prepared to face an e-patient and how are they trained to do it? What is to be done to optimize internet communication between patients and health providers? This review analyzes information on these issues and outlines some opportunities for solving problems arising against the background of IT use in health care.
Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most common sexual dysfunction in men, yet it is not well studied. Its frequency reaches 30% for men from 18 to 59 years of age in different countries. The aim of this article was to investigate the quality of sexual life in men with primary PE operated on with microsurgical penile denervation, using the Brief Male Sexual Functional Inventory (BMSFI). From September 2011 to March 2014, 22 patients were operated on with microsurgical penile denervation in the urology clinic of the University Hospital - Pleven and the Department of Urology at UMHAT Ruse AD. The mean result from the BMSFI in patients was 22 points preoperatively, indicating significant worsening of sexual function and quality of life in all five questionnaire domains. After surgery, the results increased to 28, 33 and 39 respectively, at 3, 6 and 12 months, respectively. Premature ejaculation not only leads to problems in controlling ejaculation but also worsens the overall sexual function and quality of life of patients.
The phenomenon “vessels within vessels” was initially described by Merchant S et al. as arteries found free-floating inside the lumen of veins. We have described another version of the “vessels within vessels”complex, composed of arteries found inside the lumen of lymphatic vessels. The purpose of the present study was to describe the structure of the lympho-arterial vascular complex in a breast tissue specimen from a male subject using three- dimensional tissue reconstruction. A histological specimen from a 64 year-old male subject diagnosed with gynecomastia was used. The tissue sample was sectioned in a multi-step manner. An overall of approximately 150pm thick tissue material was sampled. Immunostaining with anti-CD34 antibody and anti-podoplanin antibody was performed. Three-dimensional reconstruction of the vessel within the vessel structure was performed with “Reconstruct” software When the reconstruction of the breast parenchyma was revealed as a 3D image, it became apparent that the arterial vessel was situated inside the lymphatic vessel and could be followed along the entire length of the vascular segment studied. We have proved that these vascular complexes are not artificial phenomenon and do exist. The function of the vascular complexes is still uncertain, and is probably related to lymph propulsions in the initial collector vessels.
We performed a retrospective evaluation of the criteria for suspected pulmonary embolism (PE) and requests for computed tomography angiography (CTA) by the emergency room (ER) teams. Simultaneously, we tried to find irregularities in their work. Then we designed new behavioral protocols, and yearly we evaluated the effect on the workload of the computed tomography (CT) unit of the Roentgenology and Radiology at the University Hospital – Pleven and the total impact on the behavior of the teams in cases of suspected for PE. The data from before and after the intervention was evaluated. After the implementation of the protocols, matching the criteria of PE rule-out criteria (PERC), the number of D-dimer testing, echocardiography, and computed tomography pulmonary angiographies (CTPA) was significantly higher. We found that the number of patients urgently transported for primary thrombectomy had increased, and the reduction of PE mortality in the Emergency Unit proves the safety of our intervention. Overall, the intervention in the attitude of the ER teams has a significant positive effect on the management of patients with suspected PE.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the commonest type of arrhythmia seen in everyday clinical practice, which leads to a significant increase in both morbidity and mortality. Its incidence increases with age and tends to turn into an epidemic. The cause of AF in 10-20% of cases remains unknown. Several mutations and polymorphism that might be responsible for the development of AF have been found, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - rs2200733 and rs10033464 in the long arm of the fourth chromosome. These polymorphisms are selected o the basis of genome- wide association study in Iceland from 2007, the results from which were later confirmed in 4 other large populations. The rs2200733 is a common noncoding polymorphism, described in National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database dbSNP like NC_000004.12:g.110789013C>T, with a frequency of the less common allele between 0.1 and 0.24. In order to investigate the association between the rs2200733 polymorphism in chromosome 4q25 and the development of AF, we studied the frequency of this polymorphism in patients with heart diseases from the Pleven region, and thus evaluate the relationship between the individual genotype and the clinical condition of the patients. We carried out a case-control study on 80 patients: 40 with AF and 40 without AF- from the Pleven region. None of these had structural heart disease. The study was conducted between November 2015 and November 2017. With deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, we determined rs2200733 polymorphism, using a TaqMan-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The Cochran-Armitage trend test, the Chi-Squared Pearson correlation, Fisher test we used confirmed the statistically significant association between the rs2200733 polymorphism in chromosome 4q25 and the development of AF. In the population examined, the genotypic frequencies were as follows: CC - 45 (56.2%), CT - 19 (23.8%), TT - 16 (20%), with value of Chi-Square (χ2) 24.496, df=2, p<0.001. Screening for SNPs could be a useful marker for the detection of patients predisposed to AF.
Fetuin-A is a major plasma glycoprotein released mainly by the liver. Its functions include inhibition of the activity of insulin receptor, regulation of response to inflammation, inhibition of calcified matrix metabolism and ectopic mineralization, etc. Three major functional domains of fetuin-A have been identified: one similar to the Ca-binding domains, one inhibiting cysteine protease, and a domain with high affinity to insulin receptor. The fetuin-A molecule may be considered as a highly pleomorphic protein with an important impact in a variety of clinically expressed metabolic and pathological processes. It could be used as a marker in clinical practice in the future.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a relatively common cardiovascular emergency, though its exact incidence is difficult to assess. Accurate diagnosis is critical because of the high 30-day mortality in patients in whom the diagnosis is missed on admission. Doubt for PE is often raised by the presence of risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE), which are categorized into inherited and acquired. Among these, the importance of inherited/genetic thrombophilic factors is increasingly recognized. The most frequent markers of inherited thrombophilia are Factor V Leiden (FVL) and G2021OA prothrombin gene mutation. Among the inherited factors causal to thrombophilia, the C677T variant in methylentetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene as well as factors like P1A1/P1A2 polymorphism in platelet glycoprotein Ilb/IIIa (P1A2) and hypofibrinolytic polymorphism 4G/4G in PAI-1 gene are discussed with controversial results. In our study, thrombophilic and hypofibrinolytic genetic variants were identified in 54.2% of 115 patients with PE. The most common significant genetic defects were FVL- 16.5% in patients versus 6.2% in controls (OR=3.102; p=0.05), G20210A PT 5.7% versus 2.1% (OR=2.983; p>0.05). P1A2 was found in 27.3% patients versus 19.9% in controls (OR= 1.523, p>0.05) and PAM 27.8% versus 22.6% (OR =1.501 p>0.05). MTHFR C677T carriage was inverse: 6.7% in patients versus 13.4% in controls. (OR=0.461 p=0.05). Of all the patients studied, 15.65% had a history of recurrent embolic incidents. The risk of recurrence was higher for the carriers of FVL and G20210A prothrombin gene mutation. The association between carriage of thrombophilic genetic factor and the early onset of the first embolic episode was found in the patients with PE. The awareness of risk factors and risk stratification is a critical issue in treatment and prevention policy. Preventive measures should be taken in particular medical conditions.
The incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) depends on the specific genotype, inheritance of prothrombotic polymorphisms and the influence of environmental risk factors. Rs1799889(-) polymorphism in the promotor of PAI-1 gene has been described as a risk factor for hypercoagulable state. Objective: To evaluate the contribution of thrombophilic rs1799889 (-) in the promotor of PAI-1 gene on the incidence of DVT in women and men in groups below and above 45 years of age. Тhere was significantly higher rs1799889 (-) polymorphism carriage among female patients with DVT vs controls (Chi squared =5.506, OR=2.170, p=0.021) but not in male patients (Chi squared =0.090 OR=1.147, p=0.825). A significant contribution of rs1799889 (-) polymorphism to early onset of the disease was found in female patients aged 45+ and carriers of the polymorphism (Chi squared =7.476, p=0.006), but not in young women.
The experience accumulated with low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LI-ESWT) from international clinical trials has demonstrated its safety, efficacy and good tolerance in treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). The aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the effect of LI-ESWT in patients with ED after bilateral nerve sparing radical surgery for prostate cancer. Twenty-seven patients underwent bilateral nerve sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy (BNSRRP) at the clinic of urology of the university hospital in Pleven between January 2016 and December 2016. Twenty-one of these patients had pre-operative preserved erectile function (EF), as reported according to the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5). Postoperatively, these 21 patients experienced a mild (18-21 points) impairment of EF. In 10 patients (group 1), LI-ESWT was performed. The procedure was performed once a week for 6 weeks with a LI-ESWT (BTL 6000 SWT Topline) instrument. The reading was obtained with IIEF-5 on the third and sixth month after the end of therapy. The other 11 patients (group 2) were used as a control group and did not receive treatment. In 5 patients in group 1, a recovery of EF (> 21 points) as per IIEF-5 was recorded at the third month after treatment. In two patients, the same score was recorded at the sixth month. No improvement was seen in three men in group 1. In the controls (group 2), a spontaneous EF improvement in four patients at sixth month was registered. Despite the small number of patients and their short-term follow-up, our initial results indicate that LI-ESWT is effective, safe and well-tolerated. It could be an alternative for early penis rehabilitation in patients who have undergone BNSRRP.
During the last few years, prostate cancer is more frequently diagnosed in young patients. This lays emphasis on the necessity to preoperatively evaluate the sexual function in patients undergoing bilateral nerve sparing radical retropubic prostatectomy (BNSRRP). The aim of our study was to make an objective evaluation of the basic sexual function in patients with clinically localized prostate cancer and candidates for BNSRRP, using internationally validated questionnaires. We also tried to find a correlation between these questionnaires and the individual assessment of candidates, on one hand, and between comorbidities of the patients and degree of erectile dysfunction (ED), on the other hand. From January 2014 to March 2017, at the urology clinic of University Hospital – Pleven, 64 patients opted BNSRRP and reported to have preserved erectile function (EF), wishing to maintain this function after surgery. The patients’ histories and comorbidities were recorded on the day of hospitalization. The subjective assessment of the patients’ potency was compared with International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). According to the EF domain of the IIEF, baseline EF was assessed in 28 patients. Twelve patients had mild ED, 9 patients had mild to moderate ED, seven patients had moderate, and eight had severe ED. The results showed that a significant number of patients with clinically localized prostate cancer who were candidates for BNSRRP reported to be fully potent but actually had impaired EF preoperatively. There was also a pronounced correlation between concomitant diseases and EF.