The 5th Uro-oncology Winter Congress was held in Skopje, at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts on January 30 - February 03, 2013. The Congress was co-organized by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Istanbul University, the Turkish Urology Association, Macedonian Society of Urology and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Macedonia. Topics of the Congress were tumors of urinary tract (kidney, vesica urinaria) and prostate. The latest achievements in the diagnosis and treatment of the above-mentioned disease were presented. Around 300 participants from the Balkans took part at the meeting. There were simultaneous sessions on different uro-oncological issues with around 60 presentations. In addition, there were poster presentations and training courses. It is important to point out that we had a session with participation of Balkan uro-oncologists - Balkan Urology Session, which is the first time in recent years.
Background and objectives: Laryngectomy with extensive extirpational neck dissection is still the treatment of choice for patients with advanced laryngeal cancer. During the initial part of laryngectomy – tracheostomy, there is a significant upper airway obstruction, caused by the cancer process itself and worsened by surgical pressure and manipulation during creation of tracheostomy. This study aims to make comparative assessment of the patient’s hemodynamic parameters, operated using three of the most popular approaches during tracheostomy: local anesthesia with preserved spontaneous ventilation; general anesthesia with ventilation by endotracheal intubation and general anesthesia with ventilation by laryngeal mask airway.
Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary referral center. Sixty patients with advanced laryngeal cancer appointed for total laryngectomy, were enrolled in the study. They were randomly assigned into three groups, according to the ventilation method used during the tracheostomy.
Results: Patients who underwent tracheostomy under local anesthesia displayed statistically the highest levels of SAP, DAP, MAP and heart rate intraoperatively. The group of patients who underwent tracheostomy with endotracheal intubation, also displayed significantly higher levels of hemodynamic parameters during the procedure compared with the group with laryngeal mask airway ventilation, despite the fact that both groups were under general anesthesia.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that laryngeal mask ventilation during tracheostomy improves intraoperative hemodynamic stability in patients undergoing total laryngectomy compared to endotracheal intubation.
Stefan P. Popov, Nonka G. Mateva, Yanko T. Iliev, Ivan D. Dechev and Rositsa V. Karalilova
Sexual fears, sometimes in the form of phobias, lead to aversive or sexually avoidant behavior blocking sexual closeness and resulting in deep personal and interpersonal distress. OBJECTIVE: To determine the types of sexual fears and aversive behavior in young people of reproductive age (students) and their degree of markedness as to encourage a further implementation of prevention programs and interventions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 116 fifth-year medical students in Plovdiv Medical University. Of these, 55 men and 61 women were assessed with the Sexual Aversion Scale, a 30-item self-rating questionnaire. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria of sexual aversion were used. The statistical analyses used were descriptive statistics and independent samples t-test. RESULTS: Sexual fears and aversive or blocking behavior are mild to moderate, mean score of 1.54 ± 0.04, without statistically significant gender differences. Both sexes have established fear-related sexual aversive motives of sexual behavior related to the risk of unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection. Women have significantly higher average scores for the following statements: fear of sexual intercourse (1.61 vs 1.25), avoidance of situations in which they may be involved sexually (1.95 vs 1.51), avoidance of genital sexual contact (1.44 vs 1.16), fear of catching a sexually transmitted disease (2.46 vs 2.09 ), fear of pregnancy (2.61 vs 2.15) and concerns what other people think of them (2.34 vs 1.93 ). CONCLUSIONS: Sexual fears and aversive or blocking behavior were mild to moderate. In both sexes similar fears - aversive or blocking patterns of sexual behavior were found, mainly associated with the fear of unwanted pregnancy and the risk of HIV infection, more expressed in women.
Hristo Y. Ivanov, Vili K. Stoyanova, Nikolay T. Popov and Tihomir I. Vachev
Autism spectrum disorder is an entity that reflects a scientific consensus that several previously separated disorders are actually a single spectrum disorder with different levels of symptom severity in two core domains - deficits in social communication and interaction, and restricted repetitive behaviors. Autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups and because of its increased prevalence, reported worldwide through the last years, made it one of the most discussed child psychiatric disorders. In term of aetiology as several other complex diseases, Autism spectrum disorder is considered to have a strong genetic component.
Tatyana M. Kichukova, Nikolay T. Popov, Hristo Y. Ivanov and Tihomir I. Vachev
Neuropsychiatric diseases, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are a huge burden on society, impairing the health of those affected, as well as their ability to learn and work. Biomarkers that reflect the dysregulations linked to neuropsychiatric diseases may potentially assist the diagnosis of these disorders. Most of these biomarkers are found in the brain tissue, which is not easily accessible. This is the challenge for the search of novel biomarkers that are present in various body fluids, including serum or plasma. As a group of important endogenous small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at post-transcriptional level, microRNAs (miRNAs) play a crucial role in many physiological and pathological processes. Previously, researchers discovered that miRNAs contribute to the neurodevelopment and maturation, including neurite outgrowth, dendritogenesis and dendritic spine formation. These developments underline the significance of miRNAs as potential biomarkers for diagnosing and prognosing central nervous system diseases. Accumulated evidence indicates that there are considerable differences between the cell-free miRNA expression profiles of healthy subjects and those of patients. Therefore, circulating miRNAs are likely to become a new class of noninvasive, sensitive biomarkers. Despite the fact that little is known about the origin and functions of circulating miRNAs, their essential roles in the clinical diagnosis and prognosis of neuropsychiatric diseases make them attractive biomarkers. In this review we cover the increasing amounts of dataset that have accumulated in the last years on the use of circulating miRNAs and their values as potential biomarkers in most areas of neuropsychiatric diseases.
Nikolay T. Popov, Vili K. Stoyanova, Nadezhda P. Madzhirova and Tihomir I. Vachev
Epidemiological evidence suggests that etiology of schizophrenia may involve both the influence of genetic factors specific for the individual and the impact of the environment. It is quite likely that a crucial role in the disease development is played by molecular mechanisms mediating the interaction between genes and environment. Modern research have shown that epigenetic mechanisms or chemical modifications of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA) and histone proteins remain unstable throughout life and can be changed by environmental factors. Thus the epigenetic mechanisms outline an attractive molecular hypothesis of the environment modelling role and the environmental contribution to schizophrenia progression. We give in the present study a general outline of schizophrenia as a pathological entity and discuss the role and involvement of environment versus genetic determinant (nature versus nurture) in the pathophysiolgical processes. Additionally, we focus on DNA methylation discussing the evidence for the role of that process in schizophrenia. Thirdly, we review the post-translational histone modifications and their role in schizophrenia. These investigations might surely lead further to the development of epigenetic therapy that looks promising in regard to symptom alleviation and the disease-associated cognitive deficit.
Tatyana M. Kichukova, Nikolay T. Popov, Ivan S. Ivanov and Tihomir I. Vachev
Background: Development of biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has still remained a challenge to date. Recently, alterations of the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in peripheral blood, serum and post-mortem brain tissue have been linked to ASD. miRNAs are known to be secreted by various cell types and can mediate transmission of information into recipient cells and to modulate their physiological functions. On this basis it is assumed that circulating miRNAs could be useful biomarkers for the diagnosis or prognosis of pathological conditions.
Aim: The aim of this study was to test whether circulating miRNAs display differential expression profile in serum of ASD patients.
Patients and methods: The relative expression levels of 42 miRNAs were analyzed by stem-loop qRT-PCR assay in the serum of ASD patients compared to healthy controls.
Results: The results indicated that 11 miRNAs in ASD patients were substantially higher expressed than these in control subjects, and 29 miRNAs were lower expressed, respectively. In addition, target gene analysis displayed that the altered serum miRNAs targeted some important genes like alpha 1C subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channel, L type, (CACNA1C), beta 1 subunit of voltage-dependent calcium channel (CACNB1) and other genes involved in epigenetic processes like dicer 1, coding ribonuclease type III (DICER).
Conclusion: Our results suggested that differentially expressed miRNAs in serum might be involved in ASD molecular pathways, and serum miR-424-5p, miR-197- 5p, miR-328-3p, miR-500a-5p, miR-619-5p, miR-3135a, miR-664a-3p, and miR- 365a-3p might be able to serve as potential biomarkers for ASD because they displayed significant alterations in the expression profile in children diagnosed with ASD.
M. Belitova, S. Ivanov, Ts. Marinov, T. Popov and R. Pandev
Background: Most thyroid nodules are benign and do not need intervention. Toxic adenoma and toxic multinodular goiter (MNG) are common causes of hyperthyroidism, second in prevalence only to Graves’ disease. Toxic adenoma and MNG are the result of focal or diffuse hyperplasia of thyroid follicular cells whose functional capacity is independent from regulation by the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). When conservative treatment modalities fail to ensure an euthyroid state, surgical intervention is required, typically surgical left or right thyroid lobectomy. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a new percutaneous treatment option that results in thermal tissue necrosis and fibrosis. As a result of this process, the thyroid nodules shrink.
Case presentation: We describe a case of a young woman with a large toxic thyroid adenoma who refused surgery. She was admitted to a one-day surgery unit and underwent radiofrequency ablation under total intravenous anesthesia. Using “moving shot technique” the procedure went uneventfully and the toxic adenoma displayed a significant volume reduction with resolution of the hyperthyroid symptoms. The patient also reported a significant improvement of her neck symptoms (from 7/10 to 1/10 on a Visual Analogue Scale).
Conclusions: Radiofrequency ablation is a new, well tolerated, safe and effective treatment option in selected patients with benign thyroid nodules, toxic adenomas of the thyroid gland and multinodular goiter. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such treatment modality is used in Bulgaria.
T.I. Vachev, V.K. Stoyanova, H.Y. Ivanov, I.N. Minkov and N.T. Popov
Schizophrenia (SZ) is a chronic neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by affective, neuromorphological and cognitive impairment, deteriorated social functioning and psychosis with underlying molecular abnormalities, including gene expression changes. Observations have suggested that fasciculation and elongation protein ζ-1 (FEZ1) may be implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of the expression of FEZ1 in peripheral blood of schizophrenia patients remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristic gene expression patterns of FEZ1 in peripheral blood samples from schizophrenia patients. We performed quantitative reverse-transcriptase (qRT-PCR) analysis using peripheral blood from drug-free schizophrenia patients (n = 29) and age and gender-matched general population controls (n = 24). For the identification of FEZ1 gene expression patterns, we applied a comparative threshold cycle (CT) method. A statistically significant difference of FEZ1 mRNA level was revealed in schizophrenia subjects compared to healthy controls (p = 0.0034). To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first describing a down-regulation of FEZ1 gene expression in peripheral blood of patients with schizophrenia. Our results suggested a possible functional role of FEZ1 in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and confirmed the utility of peripheral blood samples for molecular profiling of psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. The current study describes FEZ1 gene expression changes in peripheral blood of patients with schizophrenia with significantly down-regulation of FEZ1 mRNA. Thus, our results provide support for a model of SZ pathogenesis that includes the effects of FEZ1 expression.
Valentina P. Popova, Mariya P. Sredkova, Hristina H. Hitkova, Kaloyan T. Ivanov and Vladimir G. Popov
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) enterococci are a growing threat. The aim of this study was to determine the species distribution and prevalence of multidrug resistance among 100 enterococcal strains, isolated from patients treated in the University Hospital in Pleven, Bulgaria. Susceptibility to 11 antimicrobial agents was determined, using the disc diffusion method according to the performance standards of Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLS1), 2012. All isolates were screened for high-level aminoglycoside resistance and resistance to vancomycin according to the recommendations of CLS1, 2012. For strains with reduced susceptibility to vancomycin, minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of glycopeptides were determined by Etest (Liofilchem, Italy) and by Vitek 2 automated system. Our results demonstrated decreased susceptibility of enterococci to almost all intensively used anti-enterococcal drugs. Resistance to both penicillins (ampicillin and penicillin) among E.faecium strains was significantly higher (83-87%) than among E.faecalis isolates (4-27%). HLGR was detected in 70% of E.faecium and 38% of E.faecalis isolates. All HLGR strains were foundtobemultiple-drug resistant. Of particular note was the emergence of concomitant resistance to 6 antimicrobials in almost 50% of E.faecium isolates. Despite the wide dissemination of MDR E.faecium strains penicillins in our hospital, acquired resistance to vancomycin was not found.