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  • Author: Ruxandra Jurcuţ x
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What Lies Behind A Pleurisy?

Abstract

Erdheim-Chester syndrome, a non-Langerhans histiocytosis, is a very rare disease, in the present approximately 500 cases being reported in literature. It is characterized by the histiocytic infiltration of various organs and systems, therefore clinical signs and symptoms are miscellaneous. Despite that, there are a few patognomonic elements that help recognizing the disease: symmetrical involvement in the long bones of the lower limbs, bilateral perirenal infiltration (“hairy kidneys”) and circumferential aortic infiltration (“coated aorta”). However, in order to confirm the diagnosis, biopsy is required, histopathologic examination revealing “foamy” histiocytes. Currently, interferon alpha serves as the first line of treatment, most literature data showing that it might improve survival rate in patients diagnosed with Erdheim-Chester syndrome.

Open access
Thrombophilia genetic testing in Romanian young women with acute thrombotic events: role of Factor V Leiden, Prothrombin G20210A, MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms / Evaluarea genetică a trombofiliilor la femei tinere din România cu evenimente acute trombotice: rolul Factorului V Leiden, Protrombinei G20210A, polimorfismelor MTHFR C677T și A1298C

Abstract

Objective: The present case-control study aimed at evaluating the contribution of thrombophilic polymorphisms to acute venous (VTE) as well as arterial thrombotic events (ATE) in a population of young women with few traditional thrombotic factors (CVRF).

Methods: We consecutively enrolled patients under 45 years of age, with less than 3 CVRF, evaluated for VTE or ATE, women and men as a comparator. The control group consisted of healthy young women. A thrombophilia panel and genetic testing for Factor V Leiden (FVL), G20210A Prothrombin and MTHFR polimorphisms were done.

Results: A total of 323 persons were enrolled: 71 women and 121 men with thromboembolic events, and 131 healthy female as controls. Hyperhomocysteinemia was more frequent in ATE (30.4%) than VTE female patients (6.25%), p<0.01. Genetic testing was available in 45 women and 84 men with acute thrombotic events and in all controls. Homozygous FVL was associated with VTE in young women (10.3% vs 0% controls, p<0.01). Prothrombin G20210A polymorphism had the lowest prevalence – 5.4% and only heterozygosity was found. MTHFR C677T heterozygosity showed no significant difference between women patients and controls (62.2 % vs 43.5% respectively, p=0.1). The homozygous status, less frequent (6.6%), was not associated with ATE or VTE. Homozygous MTHFR A1298C was associated with VTE in women (17.2% patients vs 4.5% controls, OR 4.34, p 0.02, CI 1.22-15.3).

Conclusion: In young women with few CVRF, mild hyperhomocysteinemia, homozygosity for FVL and for MTHFR A1298C polymorphisms increase the risk for VTE but not ATE. MTHFR polymorphisms are found with increased frequency in both healthy persons and patients therefore, their significance as an important thrombotic risk modifier remains unclear.

Open access
Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease: a rare cause of pulmonary hypertension in systemic sclerosis. Case presentation and review of the literature

Abstract

Pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD) is a rare cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Because of the similar clinical picture of dyspnea on exertion and signs of right heart failure, PVOD is difficult to distinguish from idiopathic PAH. However, the distinction is mandatory because PVOD has a worse prognosis and, more importantly, the administration of PAH specific therapy (vasodilators) can precipitate severe acute pulmonary oedema. We present a challenging case of PAH in a patient with systemic sclerosis in whom a marked decrease in functional capacity after the initiation of bosentan therapy led to the diagnosis of PVOD. Management of PVOD patients is challenging and referral for lung transplantation should be done at the moment of diagnosis.

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Romanian Registry of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – overview of general characteristics and therapeutic choices at a national level

Abstract

Introduction. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease with increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness not solely explained by abnormal loading conditions, with great heterogeneity regarding clinical expression and prognosis. The aim of the present study was to collect data on HCM patients from different centres across the country, in order to assess the general characteristics and therapeutic choices in this population.

Methods. Between December 2014 and April 2017, 210 patients from 11 Romanian Cardiology centres were enrolled in the National Registry of HCM. All patients had to fulfil the diagnosis criteria for HCM according to the European Society of Cardiology guidelines. Clinical, electrocardiographic, imaging and therapeutic characteristics were included in a predesigned online file.

Results. Median age at enrolment was 55 ± 15 years with male predominance (60%). 43.6% of the patients had obstructive HCM, 50% non-obstructive HCM, while 6.4% had an apical pattern. Maximal wall thickness was 20.3 ± 4.8 mm (limits 15-37 mm) while LV ejection fraction was 60 ± 8%. Heart failure symptoms dominated the clinical picture, mainly NYHA functional class II (51.4%). Most frequent arrhythmias were atrial fibrillation (28.1%) and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (19.9%). Mean sudden cardiac death risk score (SCD-RS) was 3.0 ± 2.3%, with 10.4% of the patients with high risk of SCD. However, only 5.7% received an ICD. Patients were mainly treated with beta-blockers (72.9%), diuretics (28.1%) and oral anticoagulants (28.6%). Invasive treatment of LVOT obstruction was performed in a small number of patients: 22 received myomectomy and 13 septal ablation. Cardiac magnetic resonance was reported in only 14 patients (6.6%).

Conclusions. The Romanian registry of HCM illustrates patient characteristics at a national level as well as the gaps in management which need improvement – accessibility to high-end diagnostic tests and invasive methods of treatment.

Open access
Romanian version of SDM-Q-9 validation in Internal Medicine and Cardiology setting: a multicentric cross-sectional study

Abstract

Background. Shared decision making (SDM) is becoming more and more important for the patient-physician interaction. There has not been a study in Romania evaluating patients’ point of view in the SDM process yet. Therefore, the present study aims to evaluate the psychometric parameters of the translated Romanian version of SDM-Q-9.

Material and methods. A multicentric cross-sectional study was performed comprising eight recruitment centers. The sample consisted of in- and outpatients who referred to Hospital Units for treatment for atrial fibrillation or collagen diseases. Furthermore, patients who were members of Autoimmune Disease Patient Society were able to participate via an online survey. All participants completed the Romanian translated SDM-Q-9.

Results. Altogether, 665 questionnaires were filled in within the hospital setting (n = 324; 48.7%) and online (n = 341; 51.3%). The Romanian version had good internal consistency (Cronbach α coefficient of 0.96.) Corrected item correlations were good ranging from 0.64 to 0.89 with low corrected item correlations for item 1 and item 7. PCA found a one-factorial solution (similar with previous reports) but the first item had the lowest loading.

Conclusion. SDM-Q-9 is a useful tool for evaluation and improvement in health care that was validated in Romania and can be used in clinical setting in this country.

Open access