Latest articles in this journal
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060631
Background and Objectives: Urinary levels of dickkopf-3 (DKK-3) are associated with poor renal survival in patients with non-dialytic chronic kidney disease. However, it remains unknown whether urinary DKK-3 levels can predict residual renal function (RRF) decline in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis (PD). Therefore, we investigated the correlation between urinary levels of DKK-3 and the subsequent rate of RRF decline in PD patients. Materials and Methods: This study included 36 PD patients who underwent multiple peritoneal equivalent tests during 2011–2021. The relationship between baseline clinical characteristics and the subsequent annual rate of Kt/V decline was investigated. Results: The annual rate of renal Kt/V decline was 0.29 (range: 0.05–0.48), which correlated with renal Kt/V (r = 0.55, p = 0.0005) and 24 h urinary DKK-3 excretion (r = 0.61, p< 0.0001). Similarly, 24 h urinary DKK-3 excretion (β = 0.44, p = 0.0015) and renal Kt/V (β = 0.38, p = 0.0059) were independently associated with the annual rate of renal Kt/V decline in multivariate analyses. Conclusions: Urinary DKK-3 assessment may help identify PD patients at a high risk of RRF decline.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060632
Background and Objectives: A hospital-based stroke registry is a useful tool for systematic analyses of the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, and natural course of stroke. Analyses of stroke registry data can provide information that can be used by health services to improve the quality of care for patients with this disease. Materials and Methods: Data were collected from the Riga East University Hospital (REUH) Stroke Registry in order to evaluate the etiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, treatment, functional outcomes, and other relevant data for acute stroke during the period 2016–2020. Results: During a five-year period, 4915 patients (3039 females and 1876 males) with acute stroke were registered in the REUH Stroke Registry. The causative factors of stroke were cardioembolism (45.7%), atherosclerosis (29.9%), lacunar stroke (5.3%), stroke of undetermined etiology (1.2%), and stroke of other determined causes (1.2%). The most frequent localizations of intracerebral hemorrhage were subcortical (40.0%), lobar (18.9%), and brainstem (9.3%). The most prevalent risk factors for stroke were hypertension (88.8%), congestive heart failure (71.2%), dyslipidemia (46.7%), and atrial fibrillation (44.2%). In addition, 1018 (20.7%) patients were receiving antiplatelet drugs, 574 (11.7%) were taking statins, and 382 (7.7%) were taking anticoagulants. At discharge, 35.5% of the patients were completely independent (mRS (modified Rankin Scale) score: 0–2), while 49.5% required some form of assistance (mRS score: 3–5). The intrahospital mortality rate was 13.7%, although it was higher in the hemorrhage group (30.9%). Conclusions: Our stroke registry data are comparable to those of other major registries. Analysis of stroke registry data is important for improving stroke care and obtaining additional information for stroke studies.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060629
Background and Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate parameters that can be used to predict mortality in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the emergency department (ED). Materials and Methods: Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ED were included in this prospective study. The patients were divided into two groups. The surviving patients were included in Group 1 (survivors), and the patients who died were included in Group 2 (non-survivors). The electrocardiogram (ECG), laboratory results and chest computerized tomography (CCT) findings of the two groups were compared. The CCT images were classified according to the findings as normal, mild, moderate and severe. Results: Of the 419 patients included in the study, 347 (83%) survived (survivor) and 72 (17%) died (non-survivor). The heart rate and respiratory rate were found to be higher, and the peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were found to be lower in the non-survivor patients. QRS and corrected QT interval (QTc) were measured as longer in the non-survivor patients. In the CCT images, 79.2% of the non-survivor patients had severe findings, while 11.5% of the survivor patients had severe findings. WBC, neutrophil, NLR, lactate, D-dimer, fibrinogen, C- Reactive Protein (CRP), urea, creatinine, creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) and hs-Troponin I levels were found to be higher and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), base excess (BE), bicarbonate (HCO3), lymphocyte eosinophil levels were found to be lower in non-survivor patients. The highest AUC was calculated at the SpO2 level and the eosinophil level. Conclusions: COVID-19 is a fatal disease whose mortality risk can be estimated when the clinical, laboratory and imaging studies of the patients are evaluated together in the ED. SpO2 that is measured before starting oxygen therapy, the eosinophil levels and the CT findings are all important predictors of mortality risk.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060630
Background and Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of physiotherapy with aerobic exercise together with temporomandibular joint range of motion exercises (supervised) and physiotherapy with aerobic exercise only (unsupervised), also to review the correlations between neck movements, pain, temporomandibular joint range of motion movements and quality of life in individuals with migraine. Methods: The flexion, extension and lateral flexion of the cervical spine were measured in degrees with a mechanical goniometer and pressure pain thresholds with algometer. Quality of life was assessed with the SF-36 questionnaire and temporomandibular joint range of motion with a centimeter. Results: The study showed statistically significant cervical flexion results in both groups (p< 0.05), masticatory muscle results and temporomandibular joint range of motion between the groups (p< 0.05). A correlation between left upper trapezius muscle pain and cervical lateral flexion was observed in the intervention group. Physical activity correlated with cervical extension, activity limitation due to physical ailments and general health. A correlation between temporomandibular joint and right-side masticatory muscles pain was found. A correlation between upper trapezius muscle pain and left- as well as right-side temporalis muscles were found in the control group. Strong correlations were found between pain and activity limitation due to physical ailments and emotional state. The temporomandibular joint range of motion strongly correlated with activity limitation due to physical ailments. Conclusions: Physiotherapy based on aerobic exercises together with temporomandibular joint exercises was more effective than physiotherapy based on aerobic exercise for decreasing pain, increasing pressure pain thresholds and cervical range of motion.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060625
Background and Objectives: GISTs (Gastrointestinal stromal tumors) are the most common mesenchymal gastrointestinal tract tumours and are mainly located in the stomach. Their malignant potential depends on size, location, and type. Endoscopic techniques are a less invasive modality for patients not eligible for surgery. ESD (endoscopic submucosal dissection) is mainly used for the removal of smaller GISTs, with intraluminal growth and a more superficial location. Thus, R0 resection capability in some cases may be not sufficient, limited by tumour size, location in the gastric wall, and its connection level with the muscularis propria. In such cases, an endoscopic full-thickness resection can become a new alternative. In this retrospective pilot study, we evaluated ESD and hybrid resection techniques in terms of safety, efficacy, and disease recurrence for selected types of gastric GISTs. Materials and Methods: A retrospective comparison was conducted in a group of patients who underwent ESD or a hybrid technique combining endoscopic resection with endoscopic suturing using the OverStitch system (HT) for type II or III gastric GISTs. A total of 21 patients aged 70 ± 8 years underwent endoscopic resection. Seventeen lesions were treated with ESD and four with the HT. Results: R0 resection was achieved in all patients treated using HT (type III lesions) and in 53% of those treated with ESD (p = 0.08). None of the type III lesions treated with ESD were excised with R0. Lesions treated with R0 ESD resections were significantly smaller (1.76 ± 0.35 cm) than those with R1 ESD resections (2.39 ± 0.40 cm) (p< 0.01). The mean lesion size treated with the HT was 2.88 ± 0.85 cm. Conclusions: HT may be a new resection modality for large gastric GISTs with high muscularis propria connection grades. Further studies are required to evaluate its safety and efficacy and to form precise inclusion criteria for endoscopic resection techniques.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060627
Background and Objectives: Emotional dysfunction is considered a key component in personality disorders; however, only few studies have examined the relationship between the two. In this study, emotional dysfunction was operationalized through the Affect Integration Inventory, and the aim was to examine the relationships between the level of affect integration and the levels of symptom distress, interpersonal problems, and personality functioning in patients diagnosed with personality disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition. Materials and Methods: Within a hospital-based psychiatric outpatient setting, 87 patients with personality disorder referred for treatment were identified for assessment with the Affect Integration Inventory and other measures (e.g., the Symptom Checklist-90, Revised, the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems 64 circumplex version, and the Severity Indices of Personality Problems). Results: The analyses revealed that problems with affect integration were strongly and statistically significantly correlated with high levels of symptom distress, interpersonal problems, and maladaptive personality functioning. Additionally, low scores on the Affect Integration Inventory regarding discrete affects were associated with distinct and differentiated patterns of interpersonal problems. Conclusion: Taken together, emotional dysfunction, as measured by the Affect Integration Inventory, appeared to be a central component of the pathological self-organization associated with personality disorder. These findings have several implications for the understanding and psychotherapeutic treatment of personality pathology. Furthermore, they highlight the importance of considering the integration of discrete affects and their specific contributions in the conceptualization and treatment of emotional dysfunction in patients with personality disorders.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060626
Oro-antral communication (OAC) acts as a pathway for bacteria between the maxillary sinus and oral cavity, and is a common complication after the removal of a dental implant or extraction of a tooth from the maxillary posterior area. In the case of an untreated OAC, oro-antral fistula develops and becomes epithelialized. We aimed to introduce a treatment for OAC closure via a sinus bone grafting procedure using bone tacks and a collagen membrane with an allograft. The procedure was performed by applying an absorbable membrane made in pouch form. This membrane acted as a barrier for closing the large sinus membrane perforation. Bone tacks were used to fix the membranes. Subsequently, the maxillary sinus was filled with the allograft, and the absorbable membrane was reapplied. Primary closure was achieved by performing a periosteum-releasing incision for a tension-free suture. After 6 months, sufficient bone dimensions were gained without any occurrence of maxillary sinusitis or recurrence of OAC. Additional bone grafts and implantation could be performed to rehabilitate the maxillary posterior area. We conclude that this technique might be a useful treatment for reconstructing the maxillary posterior area with simultaneous sinus bone graft and OAC closure.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060628
Background and Objectives: to investigate the current state of art in the study of personality disorders in central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC), also taking into account the dimensional approach. Materials and Methods: this systematic review was conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. We included articles written in English or Italian, published in peer reviewed journals from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2020. Results: after the screening, 10 studies were included. The results suggest that CSC patients are not characterized by the prevalence of a formal personality disorder, but they are better explained by typical personality traits that may alter their relationship with others. CSC patients seems to be characterized by high levels of aggressiveness and anxiety traits along with low sociability. We propose a model of disease where stress exacerbates prior specific traits in a vicious circle where some traits might be involved in disease progression and manifestation. Conclusions: maladaptive personality traits might be an essential feature of the disease and may represent a possible link between psychiatric symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression, and endocrinological patterns. Further research should use a specific assessment scale evaluating both the level of interpersonal functioning and specific maladaptive traits.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060624
Background and Objectives: Unstable mixed episodes or rapid switching between opposite affective poles within the scope of short cycles was first characterized in 1967 by S. Mentzos as complex polymorphous states with chaotic overlap of manic and depressive symptoms. Well-known examples include antidepressant-induced mania/hypomania and rapid/ultra-rapid/ultradian cycling, when clinicians observe an almost continuous mixed state with a constant change of preponderance of manic or depressive symptoms. Achieving stable remission in these cases is challenging with almost no data on evidence-based treatment. When mood stabilizers are ineffective, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been suggested. Objectives: After reviewing the evidence from available literature, this article presents our own clinical experience of ECT efficacy and tolerability in patients with ultra-rapid cycling bipolar disorder (BD) and unstable mixed states. Materials and Methods: We conducted an open, one-year observational prospective study with a “mirror image” design, including 30 patients with rapid and ultra-rapid cycling BD on long-term mood stabilizer treatment (18 received lithium carbonate, 6 on valproate and 6 on carbamazepine) with limited effectiveness. A bilateral ECT course (5–10 sessions) was prescribed for regaining mood stability. Results: ECT was very effective in 12 patients (40%) with a history of ineffective mood stabilizer treatment who achieved and maintained remission; all of them received lithium except for 1 patient who received carbamazepine and 2 with valproate. Nine patients (30%) showed partial response (one on carbamazepine and two on valproate) and nine patients (30%) had no improvement at all (four on carbamazepine and two on valproate). For the whole sample, the duration of affective episodes was significantly reduced from 36.05 ± 4.32 weeks in the year prior to ECT to 21.74 ± 12.14 weeks in the year post-ECT (p< 0.001). Depressive episodes with mixed and/or catatonic features according to DSM-5 specifiers were associated with a better acute ECT response and/or long-term mood stabilizer treatment outcome after ECT. Conclusions: ECT could be considered as a useful option for getting mood instability under control in rapid and ultra-rapid cycling bipolar patients. Further randomized trials are needed to confirm these results.
Medicina, Volume 57; doi:10.3390/medicina57060622
Background and Objectives: Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), a very low cost, widely available marker of systemic inflammation, has been proposed as a potential predictor of short-term outcome in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Methods: Patients with ICH admitted to the Neurology Department during a two-year period were screened for inclusion. Based on eligibility criteria, 201 patients were included in the present analysis. Clinical, imaging, and laboratory characteristics were collected in a prespecified manner. Logistic regression models and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were used to assess the performance of NLR assessed at admission (admission NLR) and 72 h later (three-day NLR) in predicting in-hospital death. Results: The median age of the study population was 70 years (IQR: 61–79), median admission NIHSS was 16 (IQR: 6–24), and median hematoma volume was 13.7 mL (IQR: 4.6–35.2 mL). Ninety patients (44.8%) died during hospitalization, and for 35 patients (17.4%) death occurred during the first three days. Several common predictors were significantly associated with in-hospital mortality in univariate analysis, including NLR assessed at admission (OR: 1.11; 95% CI: 1.04–1.18; p = 0.002). However, in multivariate analysis admission, NLR was not an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality (OR: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.9–1.1; p = 0.3). The subgroup analysis of 112 patients who survived the first 72 h of hospitalization showed that three-day NLR (OR: 1.2; 95% CI: 1.09–1.4; p< 0.001) and age (OR: 1.05; 95% CI: 1.02–1.08; p = 0.02) were the only independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. ROC curve analysis yielded an optimal cut-off value of three-day NLR for the prediction of in-hospital mortality of ≥6.3 (AUC = 0.819; 95% CI: 0.735–0.885; p< 0.0001) and Kaplan–Meier analysis proved that ICH patients with three-day NLR ≥6.3 had significantly higher odds of in-hospital death (HR: 7.37; 95% CI: 3.62–15; log-rank test; p< 0.0001). Conclusion: NLR assessed 72 h after admission is an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality in ICH patients and could be widely used in clinical practice to identify the patients at high risk of in-hospital death. Further studies to confirm this finding are needed.