Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100619
Abstract:Background and objectives: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) has shown good results in improving static and dynamic sitting balance in persons with spinal cord injuries. There is limited information about how regular surface FES combined with therapeutic exercise (TE) affect dynamic sitting balance and muscle tone. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a six-week physical therapy program consisting of FES and TE on muscle tone and sitting balance in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). It was also important to explore the relationship between muscle tone and dynamic sitting balance. The third objective was to assess the change of characteristics over a six month period, when no intervention was carried out. Material and methods: Five men with SCI were alternately allocated to two study groups: SCI_FES+TE and SCI_TE. Eight healthy control group participants were recruited to collect reference data. SCI participants’ intervention lasted for six weeks in their homes. SCI_FES+TE conducted exercises with FES applied on erector spinae (ES) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles. SCI_TE conducted exercises only. Muscle oscillation frequency (MOF; characterizing muscle tone) and limits of stability (LOS; characterizing sitting balance) were measured. A crossover study design was used. The time between the initial intervention and the crossover was seven months (ClinicalTrials registration ID NCT03517787). Results: MOF in SCI_FES+TE increased by 6.0% for ES and 6.1% for RA muscles. LOS of flexion increased 30.1% in SCI_FES+TE. Increase in lateral directions was similar for both study groups. Moderate to high negative correlation was found between MOF and LOS. After seven months, MOF of ES decreased 0.8%, MOF or RA decreased 1.4%, LOS of flexion decreased 31.9%, and LOS of lateral flexion to the left decreased 46.4%. Conclusions: The six-week therapy program combining FES and TE increased trunk muscle tone and dynamic sitting balance in flexion more than TE alone. Higher antagonist muscle tone negatively affects dynamic sitting balance and center of pressure (COP) trajectory distance in various directions. After seven months, a slight decline in trunk muscles tone values and an extensive decrease in sitting balance values were noticed.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100610
Abstract:Background and objectives: Congenital thumb hypoplasia is a rare deformity of upper extremity. The incidence for thumb hypoplasia grade II–V is 1:10,000 newborns per year in Latvia. A technique for extensor indicis proprius (EIP) tendon transfer with subperiosteal fixation was developed and used for thumb hypoplasia grades II and IIIa. Pollicization or second-toe-to-hand transplantation with metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint arthrodesis was used for the reconstruction of hypoplasia grade IIIb–V. The aim of this retrospective cohort study is to evaluate the outcomes for reconstruction techniques used in one surgical center during a ten-year period by one surgeon to evaluate functional and aesthetical outcomes for new techniques. Materials and Methods: In total, 21 patients were operated on during 2007–2017, and 18 of these patients were involved in this study. Long-term follow-up was completed to evaluate the functions and aesthetics of the hands. Results: disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) was 9.35 (8–10.7) for the second-toe-to-hand with MTP joint arthrodesis transplantation method for pollicization method 19.8 (6–26.7), and for the EIP tendon transposition, 14.54 (0.9–56.3). Conclusions: The postoperative functional parameters of congenital hand hypoplasia patients, regardless of the surgical method, are worse than the functional results of healthy patients. The use of the second-toe-to-hand with MTP joint arthrodesis transplantation method provides patients with congenital hand IIIb–V hypoplasia a stable and functional first finger formation. The functional results are comparable to the clinical results of the pollicization method while ensuring the creation of a five-digit hand.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100609
Abstract:Background and Objectives: Recurrence of pericarditis (ROP) is an important complication of the acute pericarditis. The aim of this study was to analyse the influence of aetiology, clinical findings and treatment on the outcome of acute pericarditis. Methods: Data were retrospectively collected from medical records of patients treated from 2011 to 2019 at a tertiary referent heart paediatric center. Results: Our investigation included 56 children with idiopathic and viral pericarditis. Relapse was registered in 8/56 patients, 2/29 (7.41%) treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and 6/27 (28.57%) treated with corticosteroids (CS) and NSAID. Independent risk factors for ROP were viral pericarditis (p = 0.01, OR 31.46), lack of myocardial affection (p = 0.03, OR 29.15), CS use (p = 0.02, OR 29.02) and ESR ≥ 50 mm/h (p = 0.03, OR 25.23). In 4/8 patients the first recurrence was treated with NSAID and colchicine, while treatment of 4/8 patients included CS. Children with ROP treated with CS had higher median number of recurrence (5, IQR: 2–15) than those treated with colchicine (0, IQR: 0–0.75). Conclusions: Independent risk factors for recurrence are CS treatment, viral aetiology, pericarditis only and ESR ≥ 50 mm/h. Acute pericarditis should be treated with NSAID. Colchicine and NSAID might be recommended in children with the first ROP.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100611
Abstract:Subclinical atrial fibrillation (SCAF) describes asymptomatic episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF) that are detected by cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED). The increased utilization of CIEDs renders our understanding of SCAF important to clinical practice. Furthermore, 20% of AF present initially as a stroke event and prolonged cardiac monitoring of stroke patients is likely to uncover a significant prevalence of SCAF. New evidence has shown that implanting cardiac monitors into patients with no history of atrial fibrillation but with risk factors for stroke will yield an incidence of SCAF approaching 30–40% at around three years. Atrial high rate episodes lasting longer than five minutes are likely to represent SCAF. SCAF has been associated with an increased risk of stroke that is particularly significant when episodes of SCAF are greater than 23 hours in duration. Longer episodes of SCAF are incrementally more likely to progress to episodes of SCAF >23 hours as time progresses. While only around 30–40% of SCAF events are temporally related to stroke events, the presence of SCAF likely represents an important risk marker for stroke. Ongoing trials of anticoagulation in patients with SCAF durations less than 24 hours will inform clinical practice and are highly anticipated. Further studies are needed to clarify the association between SCAF and clinical outcomes as well as the factors that modify this association.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100613
Abstract:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, pulmonary-limited, interstitial lung disease with a poor prognosis. This condition is characterized by different clinical scenarios, ranging from the most typical slow and progressive deterioration of symptoms to a rapid and abrupt decline of lung function. Rapid worsening of clinical course is due to superimposed complications and comorbidities that can develop in IPF patients, with a higher incidence rate compared to the general population. These conditions may require a different management of the patient and a therapy adjustment, and thus it is fundamental to recognize them. High Resolution Computed Tomography (HRCT) is sensitive, but not specific, in detecting these complications, and can evaluate the presence of radiological variations when previous examinations are available; it recognizes ground glass opacities or consolidation that can be related to a large spectrum of comorbidities, such as infection, lung cancer, or acute exacerbation. To reach the final diagnosis, a multidisciplinary discussion is required, particularly when the clinical context is related to imaging findings.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100612
Abstract:Background and objectives: Familial adenomatous polyposis is one of the APC-associated polyposis conditions described as genetically predetermined colorectal polyposis syndrome with a variety of symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine sequence variants of the APC gene in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) phenotype and positive or negative family history. Materials and Methods: Eight families with defined criteria of adenomatous polyposis underwent molecular genetic testing. Coding regions and flanking intron regions of the APC gene were analyzed by Sanger sequencing. Results: Eight allelic variants of the APC gene coding sequence were detected. All allelic variants of the APC gene were predicted to be pathogenic based on criteria according to the “Joint Consensus Recommendation of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and the Association for Molecular Pathology” (2015), four of them c.1586_1587insAT, c.2336delT, c.3066_3067insGA, and c.4303_4304insC, were considered novel. Conclusions: The timely molecular genetic analysis of APC germline variants and standardized interpretation of the pathogenicity of novel allelic variants has a high impact on choice for treatment, cancer prevention, and family genetic counseling.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100614
Abstract:Background and Objectives: This study aimed to translate the Hip disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (HOOS) into the Polish language, to determine its validity and reliability, and to assess its main psychometric properties. Materials and Methods: A total of 332 hip osteoarthritis (OA) subjects were recruited to the study group and 90 healthy subjects to the control group. The study consisted of the HOOS translation and the assessment of the discriminative power, internal consistency, and the potential floor and ceiling effects followed by the determination of the construct validity and test-retest reliability. The analysis was performed using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) and SF-36 questionnaires. Results: The translation process consisted of forward translation, reconciliation, backward translation, review, harmonization, and proofreading. The hip OA patients reported a reduced HOOS score when compared to the control subjects. The discriminant validity of the questionnaire was confirmed. A Cronbach’s alpha of 0.97 was found, indicating a high internal consistency. The HOOS showed a significant correlation with the SF-36 and WOMAC, which ranged from r = −0.93, p-value < 0.05 for WOMAC total score to r = 0.92, and p-value < 0.05 for WOMAC daily living. No floor or ceiling effects were found. A very high intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was found (0.93–0.97) for the total score and the individual domains of the HOOS. Conclusions: The Polish HOOS is valid and reliable for evaluating the outcomes of hip OA patients in Poland. This questionnaire may be used with confidence for clinical and research purposes.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100615
Abstract:The aim of this review is to provide an overview of genitourinary health in peri- and postmenopause, particularly of vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA), which is part of genitourinary syndrome (GSM). This condition has a high prevalence among post-menopausal women and negatively affects a woman’s quality of life. Epidemiology, signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria of VVA and target treatments for restoring vaginal health are discussed in light of the most recent literature. Issues related to this condition in menopausal women are under-diagnosed, lack objective diagnostic criteria, and consequently under-treated. Over the years, many treatments have been developed but their long-term effectiveness and safety have yet to be clearly defined. Patients are often dissatisfied and stop treatment, suggesting the need for a more personalized and tailored approach to achieve better compliance and thereby effectiveness. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the most recent literature on VVA in order to help the gynecologist in the management of this condition.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100616
Abstract:Background and Objectives: The knowledge that the cholinergic neurons from pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) are vulnerable to the degeneration in early stages of the Parkinson disease progression has opened new perspectives to the development of experimental model focused in pontine lesions that could increase the risk of nigral degeneration. In this context it is known that PPN lesioned rats exhibit early changes in the gene expression of proteins responsible for dopaminergic homeostasis. At the same time, it is known that nicotinic cholinergic receptors (nAChRs) mediate the excitatory influence of pontine-nigral projection. However, the effect of PPN injury on the expression of transcription factors that modulate dopaminergic neurotransmission in the adult brain as well as the α7 nAChRs gene expression has not been studied. The main objective of the present work was the study of the effects of the unilateral neurotoxic lesion of PPN in nuclear receptor-related factor 1 (Nurr1), paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 3 (Pitx3), and α7 nAChRs mRNA expression in nigral tissue. Materials and Methods: The molecular biology studies were performed by means of RT-PCR. The following experimental groups were organized: Non-treated rats, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-lesioned rats, and Sham operated rats. Experimental subjects were sacrificed 24 h, 48 h and seven days after PPN lesion. Results: Nurr1 mRNA expression, showed a significant increase both 24 h (p < 0.001) and 48 h (p < 0.01) after PPN injury. Pitx3 mRNA expression evidenced a significant increase 24 h (p < 0.001) followed by a significant decrease 48 h and seven days after PPN lesion (p < 0.01). Finally, the α7 nAChRs nigral mRNA expression remained significantly diminished 24 h, 48 h (p < 0.001), and 7 days (p < 0.01) after PPN neurotoxic injury. Conclusion: Taking together these modifications could represent early warning signals and could be the preamble to nigral neurodegeneration events.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55100617
Abstract:Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia, ranging from 0.1% in patients 9% in octogenarian patients. One important issue is represented by the 5-fold increased ischemic stroke risk in AF patients. Hence, the role of anticoagulation is central. Until a few years ago, vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) and low molecular weight heparin represented the only option to prevent thromboembolisms, though with risks. Novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have radically changed the management of AF patients, improving both life expectancy and life quality. This review aims to summarize the most recent literature on the use of VKAs and NOACs in AF, in light of the new findings.