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  • Author: Predrag Radovanović x
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Narrow Banking – Banking System Without Private Issuance of Credit Money as a Solution for More Resistant Banks and More Stable Financial System

Abstract

The global financial crisis has revived interest in the introduction of the “narrow banking”, which has become a topical issue in both political and academic circles. There are attitudes that banks have maximized yields by excessive credit expansion, while the losses associated with the excessive risks undertaken in pre-crisis period fell at the expense of taxpayers. Based on the idea that modern financial systems have structural problems whose solution requires fundamental reform, a new wave of regulatory proposals is launched for solving the problems. They are generally aimed to eliminate the banks’ ability to issue credit money that enjoys both implicit and explicit government guarantees. The concept of narrow banking, as one of the variants of full-reserve banking, provides ex-ante a level of bank deposits’ protection which is the same as the level of central bank’s money protection. Motives for the application of this concept are the following: to make banks more resistant to bank runs; to avoid creating a speculative “bubbles”; and to make the financial system more stable. The paper gives an overview of historical and new proposals of narrow banking. In addition, the concept of narrow banking is analyzed from the point of view of its basic characteristics and objectives, followed by a discussion on the problems and possible success of its implementation.

Open access
Usefulness of NT-proBNP in the Follow-Up of Patients after Myocardial Infarction

Summary

Background: Since serial analyses of NT-proBNP in patients with acute coronary syndromes have shown that levels measured during a chronic, later phase are a better predictor of prognosis and indicator of left ventricular function than the levels measured during an acute phase, we sought to assess the association of NT-proBNP, measured 6 months after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), with traditional risk factors, characteristics of in-hospital and early postinfarction course, as well as its prognostic value and optimal cut-points in the ensuing 1-year follow-up.

Methods: Fasting venous blood samples were drawn from 100 ambulatory patients and NT-proBNP concentrations in lithium-heparin plasma were determined using a one-step enzyme immunoassay based on the »sandwich« principle on a Dimension RxL clinical chemistry system (DADE Behring-Siemens). Patients were followed-up for the next 1 year, for the occurrence of new cardiac events.

Results: Median (IQR) level of NT-proBNP was 521 (335–1095) pg/mL. Highest values were mostly associated with cardiac events during the first 6 months after AMI. Negative association with reperfusion therapy for index infarction confirmed its long-term beneficial effect. In the next one-year follow-up of stable patients, multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed the independent prognostic value of NT-proBNP for new-onset heart failure prediction (p=0.014), as well as for new coronary events prediction (p=0.035). Calculation of the AUCs revealed the optimal NT-proBNP cut-points of 800 pg/mL and 516 pg/mL, respectively.

Conclusions: NT-proBNP values 6 months after AMI are mainly associated with the characteristics of early infarction and postinfarction course and can predict new cardiac events in the next one-year follow-up.

Open access
Pharmacogenetics May Influence Tacrolimus Daily Dose, But Not Urinary Tubular Damage Markers In The Long-Term Period After Renal Transplantation

Summary

Background: The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the influence of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A5 (6986A>G) and ABCB1 (3435C>T) polymorphisms on tacrolimus (TAC) dosage regimen and exposure. Second, we evaluated the influence of TAC dosage regimen and the tested polymorphisms on renal oxidative injury, as well as the urinary activities of tubular ectoenzymes in a long-term period after transplantation. Also, we aimed to determine the association between renal oxidative stress and tubular damage markers in the renal transplant patients.

Methods: The study included 72 patients who were on TAC based immunosuppression. Allele-specific PCR was used for polymorphism determination. We measured the urinary thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and reactive carbonyl derivates (RCD) in order to evaluate oxidative injury, as well as the urinary activities of ectoenzymes (N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase, aminopeptidase N and dipeptidyl peptidase IV) to evaluate tubular damage.

Results: The carriers of CYP 3A5*1 allele required statistically higher daily doses of TAC than CYP *3/*3 carriers, as well as the carriers of C allele of ABCB1 gene compared to those with TT genotype. Also, there were no differences in TBARS, RCD and the activities of ectoenzymes between the patients’ genotypes. Our results showed significant correlations between urinary TBARS and RCD and the ectoenzymes’ activities.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that CYP 3A5 and ABCB1 3435 polymorphism may affect TAC daily doses, but not the drug’s tubular toxicity. Furthermore, tubular damage may be associated with increased renal oxidative stress.

Open access
Extramedullary Involvement of Lymph Nodes in Multiple Myeloma

Abstract

Myeloma multiplex is a malignant disease of bone marrow plasma cells. It is usually confined to the bone marrow, but in rare cases, patients can develop extramedullary disease. The involvement of lymph nodes is rare and can be a diagnostic challenge. Here, we describe a 36-year-old male patient who presented with abdominal pain and discomfort initially. An abdominal ultrasound followed by computed tomography (CT) revealed retroperitoneal and mesenteric lymph node enlargement. Biopsies of the abdominal lymph node and infiltrated colon showed a plasma cell infiltrate positive for CD79α, CD38, CD138, kappa light chain and VEGF2. Multiple myeloma with extramedullary localization was diagnosed. After six cycles of chemotherapy consisting of doxorubicin, dexamethasone and thalidomide followed by autologous haematopoietic cell transplantation, the patient achieved complete remission. Specifically, a CT scan after therapy showed enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen, but PET CT scans did not detect any metabolically active foci. Thee years after the completion of therapy, the patient remains in remission. This case illustrates a rare presentation of extramedullary myeloma involving the abdominal lymph nodes, which could have been potentially mistaken for a lymphoid malignancy.

Open access
External Fixation in the Management of Closed Segmental Tibial Fractures

Summary

Segmental fractures represent the interruption of bone integrity at two or more levels. In these fractures, a wide zone of injury (damage of all structures of the lower leg) creates very unsuitable biological conditions for healing of the fracture. Because of the damage of both intramedullary and periostal vascularization, segmental fractures are predisposed to slow healing and development of pseudoarthrosis.

The aim of the paper was to present the results of treatment of patients with closed segmental tibial fractures treated by external fixation.

Within the period between January 1, 1998 and June 31, 2012 in the Clinical Center Niš, 26 patients with closed segmental fractures of the tibia were treated. The assessment of outcomes of treatment of closed segmental tibial fractures by external fixation was performed on a series of 24 patients. The mean age was 43.57 years. All the patients were treated by Mitković unilateral external fixator produced by “Trafix” firm.

Fracture healing occurred in 20 (83.33%) patients; four (16.67%) patients reported significant complications in the course of treatment that required further surgical treatment.

By applying the method of external fixation in the treatment of closed segmental tibial fractures, reposition of fragments is achieved through a small incision, with pins of exteranal fixator placed outside the fracture zone to prevent further damage of intramedullary and periosteal bone vascularisation, which is very important for fracture healing.

Open access
Analysis of Treatment-Related Factors Affecting Mortality in Patients with Severe Necrotizing Acute Pancreatitis

Summary

The aim of the paper was to determine the factors related to the initial therapy that may contribute to death from severe necrotizing acute pancreatitis and to analyze their clinical importance as well as possible additive effects.

A retrospective case-control study included all adult patients treated for severe necrotizing acute pancreatitis in the Clinical Center of Kragujevac, Serbia, during the five-year period (2006-2010.). The cases (n = 41) were patients who died, while the controls (n = 69) were participants who survived. In order to estimate the relationship between potential risk factors and observed outcome, crude and adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were calculated in logistic regression models.

Significant association with observed outcome was shown for the use of gelatin and/or hydroxyethyl starch (adjusted OR 12.555; 95 % CI 1.150-137.005), use of albumin (adjusted OR 27.973; 95 % CI 1.741-449.373), use of octreotide (adjusted OR 16.069; 95 % CI 1.072-240.821) and avoiding of enteral feeding (adjusted OR 3.933; 95 % CI 1.118-13.829), while the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs had protective role (adjusted OR 0.057; 95 % CI 0.004-0.805).

The risk of death in patients with predicted severe necrotizing acute pancreatitis could be reduced with avoidance of treatment with colloid solutions, albumin and octreotide, as well as with an early introduction of oral/enteral nutrition and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Open access