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Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070323
Background and objectives: Dupuytren’s contracture is a chronic fibroproliferative hand disorder with a varying pattern of genetic predisposition across different regions and populations. Traumatic events have been found to have influence on the development of this illness and are likely to trigger different clinical forms of this disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phenomenon of development of Dupuytren’s contracture (DC) following an acute injury to the hand, and to observe the incidence and clinical diversity of such cases in daily clinical practice. Materials and Methods: We collected data of patients presenting with primary Dupuytren’s contracture in the Lithuanian population and evaluated the occurrence and clinical manifestation of this specific type of DC, arising following acute hand trauma. The diagnosis of DC was based on clinical signs and physical examination. Digit contractures were measured by goniometry, and the staging was done according to Tubiana classification. Injury-induced (injury-related) cases were identified using the “Criteria for recognition of Dupuytren’s contracture after acute injury” (established by Elliot and Ragoowansi). Results: 29 (22%) of a total of 132 cases were injury-induced DCs. Twenty-six of 29 patients in this group presented with stage I–II contractures. Duration of symptoms was 6 (SD 2.2) and 3.8 (SD 2.2) years in the injury-related and injury-unrelated DC groups, respectively. Mean age on the onset of symptoms in the injury-induced and non-injury-induced groups was 52 (SD 10.7) and 56 (SD 10.9), respectively. Patients from both groups expressed strong predisposition towards development of DC. Conclusions: Around one-fifth of patients seeking treatment for primary Dupuytren’s contracture seemed to suffer from injury-induced Dupuytren’s contracture. We noted that injury to the wrist and hand seems to trigger the development of less progressive Dupuytren’s contracture in younger age. Prospective randomized studies are required to confirm our findings.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070325
Background and Objectives: Patients undergoing mastectomy and implant-based breast reconstruction have significant acute postsurgical pain. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of intercostal nerve blocks (ICNBs) for reducing pain after direct-to-implant (DTI) breast reconstruction. Materials and Methods: Between January 2019 and March 2020, patients who underwent immediate DTI breast reconstruction were included in this study. The patients were divided into the ICNB or control group. In the ICNB group, 4 cc of 0.2% ropivacaine was injected intraoperatively to the second, third, fourth, and fifth intercostal spaces just before implant insertion. The daily average and maximum visual analogue scale (VAS) scores were recorded by the patient from operative day to postoperative day (POD) seven. Pain scores were compared between the ICNB and control groups and analyzed according to the insertion plane of implants. Results: A total of 67 patients with a mean age of 47.9 years were included; 31 patients received ICNBs and 36 patients did not receive ICNBs. There were no complications related to ICNBs reported. The ICNB group showed a significantly lower median with an average VAS score on the operative day (4 versus 6, p = 0.047), lower maximum VAS scores on the operative day (5 versus 7.5, p = 0.030), and POD 1 (4 versus 6, p = 0.030) as compared with the control group. Among patients who underwent subpectoral reconstruction, the ICNB group showed a significantly lower median with an average VAS score on the operative day (4 versus 7, p = 0.005), lower maximum VAS scores on the operative day (4.5 versus 8, p = 0.004), and POD 1 (4 versus 6, p = 0.009), whereas no significant differences were observed among those who underwent pre-pectoral reconstruction. Conclusions: Intraoperative ICNBs can effectively reduce immediate postoperative pain in subpectoral DTI breast reconstruction; however, it may not be effective in pre-pectoral DTI reconstruction.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070324
Background and objectives: Obstructive Sleep Apnea represents a widespread problem in the population, but it is often not diagnosed and not considered a true pathology. Different diagnostic tools are available for the diagnosis of sleep apnea. This study aims to demonstrate the ability of the STOP-Bang (Snoring, Tiredness, Observed apnea, high blood Pressure, Body mass index, Age, Neck circumference, and Gender) questionnaire in identifying subjects with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Syndrome, highlighting the role of dentists as epidemiological sentinels. Materials and methods: the STOP-Bang questionnaire was administered to a cohort of 1000 patients, assessing three private dental clinics in Italy. Excessive daytime sleepiness was measured using Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) and defined as ≥ 10. Subjects were considered at risk of OSA if they had three or more positive items at STOP-Bang and were invited to undergo further examination with a type 3 polygraph. Presence of OSA was measured with the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and defined as AHI ≥ 5. Results: 482/1000 subjects (48.2%) had three or more positive items in the STOP-Bang questionnaire and were considered at risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS). Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS ≥ 10) was more frequent among subjects at risk for OSAS (73/482, 15.1%) vs. those not at risk for OSAS (30/518, 5.8%) (p < 0.0001). Moreover, 153/482 subjects at risk for OSAS (31.7%) accepted further examination with a type 3 polygraph. Presence of OSAS (AHI ≥ 5) was suggested in 121/153 subjects (79.1%, 95% CI 71.6% to 85.1%), with 76/121 subjects (62.8%) needing treatment (AHI ≥ 15). Conclusion: the high prevalence of OSAS highlights the role of dentists as “epidemiological sentinels”. The STOP-Bang questionnaire is a simple and efficacious instrument for screening sleep apnea patients.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070322
Background and objectives: The prognostic role of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase (ADAM) 17 has been widely assessed in gastric cancer. However, the results are inconsistent. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the prognostic significance of ADAM17 and its association with clinicopathological parameters. Methods: The databases of PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase were searched for relevant articles published up to April 2020. The reported hazard ratios (HRs) and odds ratios (ORs) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to evaluate the strength of the association. Stata 12.1 was used to perform statistical analyses. Results: Seven studies, including 1757 patients, were screened for the meta-analysis. Compared with the high ADAM17 expression group, the pooled HR was higher in the low ADAM17 expression group (HR = 2.04, 95% CI 1.66–2.50; I2 = 18.1%; p = 0.299). High ADAM17 expression was also related to the tumor node metastasis (TNM) stages (OR = 4.09, 95% CI 1.85–9.04; I2 = 84.1%; p = 0.000), lymph node metastasis (OR = 3.08, 95% CI 1.13–8.36; I2 = 79.7%; p = 0.007), and ages (OR = 1.65, 95% CI 1.24–2.21; I2 = 0%; p = 0.692) of the gastric patients. Conclusions: This meta-analysis revealed that ADAM17 is a significant biomarker for poor prognosis in gastric cancer.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070321
Background and objectives: Skin grafting is a method usually used in reconstructive surgery to accelerate skin regeneration. This method results frequently in unexpected scar formations. We previously showed that cutaneous wound-healing in normal mice is accelerated by a micrograft (MG) technique. Presently, clinical trials have been performed utilizing this technology; however, the driving mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of this approach remain unclear. In the present study, we focused on five major tissue reactions in wound-healing, namely, regeneration, migration, granulation, neovascularization and contraction. Methods: Morphometrical analysis was performed using tissue samples from the dorsal wounds of mice. Granulation tissue formation, neovascularization and epithelial healing were examined. Results: The wound area correlated well with granulation sizes and neovascularization densities in the granulation tissue. Vascular distribution analysis in the granulation tissue indicated that neovessels extended and reached the subepidermal area in the MG group but was only halfway developed in the control group. Moreover, epithelialization with regeneration and migration was augmented by MG. Myofibroblast is a known machinery for wound contraction that uses α-smooth muscle actin filaments. Their distribution in the granulation tissue was primarily found beneath the regenerated epithelium and was significantly progressed in the MG group. Conclusions: These findings indicated that MG accelerated a series of wound-healing reactions and could be useful for treating intractable wounds in clinical situations.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070320
Pharmacological therapy in the elderly is particularly complicated and challenging. Due to coexistence of three main predisposing factors (advanced age, multiple morbidity and polypharmacotherapy), this group of patients is prone to occurrence of drug interactions and adverse effects of incorrect drug combinations. Since many years patient safety during the treatment process has been one of key elements for proper functioning of healthcare systems around the world, thus different preventive measures have been undertaken in order to counteract factors adversely affecting the therapeutic effect. One of the avoidable medical errors is pharmacological interactions. According to estimates, one in six elderly patients may be at risk of a significant drug interaction. Hence the knowledge about mechanisms and causes of drug interactions in the elderly, as well as consequences of their occurrence are crucial for planning the process of pharmacotherapy. For the purpose of pharmacovigilance, a review of available methods and tools gives an insight into possible ways of preventing drug interactions. Additionally, recognizing the actual scale of this phenomenon in geriatric population around the world emphasizes the importance of a joint effort among medical community to improve quality of pharmacotherapy.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56070319
Background and objectives: Few data with regard to the relevance between depression and frailty in chronic liver disease (CLD) patients are currently available. We aimed to elucidate the relationship between frailty and depression as evaluated by the Beck Depression Inventory—2nd edition (BDI-II) in CLD patients (n = 340, median age = 65.0 years). Methods: Frailty was defined as a clinical syndrome in which three or more of the following criteria were met: body weight loss, exhaustion, muscle weakness, slow walking speed and low physical activity. Depressive state was defined as BDI-II score 11 or greater. Results: Robust (frailty score = zero), prefrail (frailty score = one or two) and frailty were identified in 114 (33.5%), 182 (53.5%) and 44 (12.9%). The median BDI-II score was five. Depressive state was identified in 84 patients (24.7%). The median BDI-II scores in patients with robust, prefrail and frail traits were 2, 7 and 12.5 (robust vs. prefrail, p < 0.0001; prefrail vs. robust, p = 0.0003; robust vs. frail, p < 0.0001; overall p < 0.0001). The proportions of depressive state in patients with robust, prefrail and frail traits were 3.51%, 30.77% and 54.55% (robust vs. prefrail, p < 0.0001; prefrail vs. robust, p = 0.0046; robust vs. frail, p < 0.0001; overall p < 0.0001). BDI-II score significantly correlated with frailty score (rs = 0.5855, p < 0.0001). Conclusions: The close correlation between frailty and depression can be found in CLD. Preventing frailty in CLD should be approached both physiologically and psychologically.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56060317
Background and objectives: Kidneys from donation after circulatory death (DCD) are more likely to be declined for transplantation compared with kidneys from donation after brain death (DBD). The aim of this study was to evaluate characteristics in the biopsies of human DCD and DBD kidneys that were declined for transplantation in order to rescue more DCD kidneys. Materials and Methods: Sixty kidney donors (DCD = 36, DBD = 24) were recruited into the study and assessed using donor demographics. Kidney biopsies taken post cold storage were also evaluated for histological damage, inflammation (myeloperoxidase, MPO), von Willebrand factor (vWF) expression, complement 4d (C4d) deposition and complement 3 (C3) activation using H&E and immunohistochemistry staining, and Western blotting. Results: More DBD donors (16/24) had a history of hypertension compared with DCDs (8/36, p = 0.001). The mean warm ischemic time in the DCD kidneys was 12.9 ± 3.9 min. The mean cold ischemic time was not significantly different between the two groups of kidney donors (DBD 33.3 ± 16.7 vs. DCD 28.6 ± 14.1 h, p > 0.05). The score of histological damage and MPO, as well as the reactivity of vWF, C4d and C3, varied between kidneys, but there was no significant difference between the two donor types (p > 0.05). However, vWF reactivity might be an early indicator for loss of tissue integrity, while C4d deposition and activated C3 might be better predictors for histological damage. Conclusions: Similar characteristics of DCD were shown in comparison with DBD kidneys. Importantly, the additional warm ischemic time in DCD appeared to have no further detectable adverse effects on tissue injury, inflammation and complement activation. vWF, C4d and C3 might be potential biomarkers facilitating the evaluation of donor kidneys.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56060314
Background and objectives: Recent literature suggests that lung ultrasound might have a role in the diagnosis and management of bronchiolitis. The aim of the study is to evaluate the relationship between an ultrasound score and the clinical progression of bronchiolitis: need for supplemental oxygen, duration of oxygen therapy and hospital stay. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective observational single-center study, conducted in a pediatric unit during the 2017–2018 epidemic periods. All consecutive patients admitted with clinical signs of acute bronchiolitis, but without the need for supplemental oxygen, underwent a lung ultrasound in the first 24 h of hospital care. The lung involvement was graded based on the ultrasound score. During clinical progression, need for supplemental oxygen, duration of oxygen therapy and duration of hospital stay were recorded. Results: The final analysis included 83 patients, with a mean age of 4.5 ± 4.1 months. The lung ultrasound score in patients that required supplemental oxygen during hospitalization was 4.5 ± 1.7 (range: 2.0–8.0), different from the one of the not supplemented infants (2.5 ± 1.8; range: 0.0–6.0; p < 0.001). Ultrasound score was associated with the need for supplemental oxygen (OR = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.5–3.3; p < 0.0001). Duration of oxygen therapy was not associated with LUS score (p > 0.05). Length of hospital stay (coef. = 0.5; 95% CI = 0.2–0.7; p < 0.0001) correlates with LUS score. Conclusion: Lung ultrasound score correlates with the need of supplemental oxygen and length of hospital stay in infants with acute bronchiolitis.
Medicina, Volume 56; doi:10.3390/medicina56060315
Background and objective: Despite medical advances, we are facing the unprecedented disaster of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic without available treatments and effective vaccines. As the COVID-19 pandemic has approached its culmination, desperate efforts have been made to seek proper treatments and response strategies, and the number of clinical trials has been rapidly increasing. In this time of the pandemic, it is believed that learning lessons from it would be meaningful in preparing for future pandemics. Thus, this study aims at providing a comprehensive landscape of COVID-19 related clinical trials based on the ClinicalTrials.gov database. Materials and methods: Up to 30 March 2020, we identified a total of 147 eligible clinical trials and reviewed the overview of the studies. Results: Until then, the most clinical trials were set up in China. Treatment approaches are the most frequent purpose of the registered studies. Chloroquine, interferon, and antiviral agents such as remdesivir, lopinavir, and ritonavir are agents under investigation in these trials. Conclusions: In this study, we introduced the promising therapeutic options that many researchers and clinicians are interested in, and to address the hidden issues behind clinical trials in this COVID-19 pandemic.