ISSN / EISSN : 2075-4418 / 2075-4418
Published by: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 2,949
Latest articles in this journal
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081367
Capsule endoscopy (CE) is the only non-invasive diagnostic tool that enables the direct visualization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Even though CE was initially developed for small-bowel investigation, its clinical application is expanding, and technological advances continue. The final iteration of CE will be a mouth to anus (M2A) capsule that investigates the entire GI tract by the ingestion of a single capsule. This narrative review describes the current developmental status of CE and discusses the possibility of realizing an M2A capsule and what needs to be overcome in the future.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081365
Despite an early understanding of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as a disease affecting the motor system, including motoneurons in the motor cortex, brainstem, and spinal cord, today, many cases involving dementia and behavioral disorders are reported. Therefore, we currently divide ALS not only based on genetic predisposition into the most common sporadic variant (90% of cases) and the familial variant (10%), but also based on cognitive and/or behavioral symptoms, with five specific subgroups of clinical manifestation—ALS with cognitive impairment, ALS with behavioral impairment, ALS with combined cognitive and behavioral impairment, the fully developed behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia in combination with ALS, and comorbid ALS and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Generally, these cases are referred to as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal spectrum disorder (ALS-FTSD). Clinical behaviors and the presence of the same pathognomonic deposits suggest that FTLD and ALS could be a continuum of one entity. This review was designed primarily to compare neuropathological findings in different types of ALS relative to their characteristic locations as well as the immunoreactivity of the inclusions, and thus, foster a better understanding of the immunoreactivity, distribution, and morphology of the pathological deposits in relation to genetic mutations, which can be useful in specifying the final diagnosis.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081363
The ciliary ultrastructure can be damaged in various situations. Such changes include primary defects found in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and secondary defects developing in secondary ciliary dyskinesia (SCD). PCD is a genetic disease resulting from impaired ciliary motility causing chronic disease of the respiratory tract. SCD is an acquired condition that can be caused, for example, by respiratory infection or exposure to tobacco smoke. The diagnosis of these diseases is a complex process with many diagnostic methods, including the evaluation of ciliary ultrastructure using transmission electron microscopy (the golden standard of examination). Our goal was to create a program capable of automatic quantitative analysis of the ciliary ultrastructure, determining the ratio of primary and secondary defects, as well as analysis of the mutual orientation of cilia in the ciliary border. PCD Quant, a program developed for the automatic quantitative analysis of cilia, cannot yet be used as a stand-alone method for evaluation and provides limited assistance in classifying primary and secondary defect classes and evaluating central pair angle deviations. Nevertheless, we see great potential for the future in automatic analysis of the ciliary ultrastructure.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081362
Despite the growing number of biologic and JAK inhibitor therapeutic agents available to treat various systemic autoimmune illnesses, the lack of a validated companion diagnostic (CDx) to accurately predict drug responsiveness for an individual results in many patients being treated for years with expensive, ineffective, or toxic drugs. This review will focus primarily on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapeutics where the need is greatest due to poor patient outcomes if the optimum drug is delayed. We will review current FDA-approved biologic and small molecule drugs and why RA patients switch these medications. We will discuss the sampling of various tissues for potential CDx and review early results from studies investigating drug responsiveness utilizing advanced technologies including; multiplex testing of cytokines and proteins, autoantibody profiling, genomic analysis, proteomics, miRNA analysis, and metabolomics. By using these new technologies for CDx the goal is to improve RA patient outcomes and achieve similar successes like those seen in oncology using precision medicine guided therapeutics.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081366
The early detection of skin cancer, especially through the examination of lesions with malignant characteristics, has been reported to significantly decrease the potential fatalities. Segmentation of the regions that contain the actual lesions is one of the most widely used steps for achieving an automated diagnostic process of skin lesions. However, accurate segmentation of skin lesions has proven to be a challenging task in medical imaging because of the intrinsic factors such as the existence of undesirable artifacts and the complexity surrounding the seamless acquisition of lesion images. In this paper, we have introduced a novel algorithm based on gamma correction with clustering of keypoint descriptors for accurate segmentation of lesion areas in dermoscopy images. The algorithm was tested on dermoscopy images acquired from the publicly available dataset of Pedro Hispano hospital to achieve compelling equidistant sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy scores of 87.29%, 99.54%, and 96.02%, respectively. Moreover, the validation of the algorithm on a subset of heavily noised skin lesion images collected from the public dataset of International Skin Imaging Collaboration has yielded the equidistant sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy scores of 80.59%, 100.00%, and 94.98%, respectively. The performance results are propitious when compared to those obtained with existing modern algorithms using the same standard benchmark datasets and performance evaluation indices.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081368
Objectives: COVID-19 may show no peculiar signs and symptoms that may differentiate it from other infective or non-infective etiologies; thus, early recognition and prompt management are crucial to improve survival. The aim of this study was to describe clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to those with other infective or non-infective etiologies. Methods: We performed a prospective study from March 2020 to February 2021. All patients hospitalized for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were prospectively recruited. All patients were evaluated according to a predefined protocol for diagnosis of suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection. The primary endpoint was evaluation of clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics associated or not with COVID-19 etiology at time of hospitalization in an emergency department. Results: A total of 1036 patients were included in the study: 717 (69%) patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 319 (31%) without COVID-19, hospitalized for other causes. The main causes of hospitalization among non-COVID-19 patients were acute heart failure (44%) and bacterial pneumonia (45.8%). Overall, 30-day mortality was 9% among the COVID-19 group and 35% in the non-COVID-19 group. Multivariate analysis showed variables (fever >3 days, dry cough, acute dyspnea, lymphocytes < 1000 × 103/uL, and ferritin >250 ng/mL) independently associated with COVID-19 etiology. A decision tree was elaborated to early detect COVID-19 patients in the emergency department. Finally, Kaplan–Meier curves on 30-day survival in COVID-19 patients during the first wave (March–May 2020, n = 289 patients) and the second wave (October–February 2021, n = 428 patients) showed differences between the two study periods (p = 0.021). Conclusions: Patients with confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 may show peculiar characteristics at time of hospitalization that could help physicians to distinguish from other infective or non-infective etiologies. Finally, a different 30-day mortality rate was observed during different periods of the pandemic.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081361
Background: Ghrelin is the orexigenic hormone secreted mainly by the stomach. Its involvement in neoplastic development has been studied in gastrointestinal adenocarcinomas. Our paper aims to evaluate the influence of the ghrelin axis in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Materials and Methods: The study design included two groups of patients, 46 with gastric GISTs and 30 with obesity. Archived tissue samples were evaluated for the presence of gastritis and H. pylori. Immunohistochemical expression of ghrelin and its receptor (GHS-R) was assessed. Results: All GISTs showed absent immunohistochemical expression for ghrelin, while GHS-R displayed a particular pattern, with notable differences in intensity (p = 0.0256) and percentage of stained cells (p< 0.00001) in the periphery vs. core of tumors. Positive ghrelin expression was lower in the gastric mucosa of the first group compared to the second group (p< 0.001). Conclusion: The ghrelin axis can influence GISTs carcinogenesis through activation of GHS-R. A previously described direct autocrine/paracrine mechanism is not supported by our findings.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081364
The use of serum anti-Helicobacter pylori IgG and pepsinogen (PG) detection as a diagnostic method was evaluated in Sri Lanka. Gastric biopsies were performed (353 patients), and the prevalence of H. pylori infection was 1.7% (culture) and 2.0% (histology). IgG serology testing showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.922 (cut-off, 2.95 U/mL; specificity, 91.56%; sensitivity, 88.89%). Histological evaluation showed mild atrophy (34.3%), moderate atrophy (1.7%), metaplasia (1.7%), chronic gastritis (6.2%), and normal tissue (56%). The PGI/PGII ratio was significantly higher in H. pylori-negative patients (p< 0.01). PGII and PGI/PGII levels were lower in patients with metaplasia than in those with normal mucosa (p = 0.049 and p< 0.001, respectively). The PGI/PGII ratio best discriminated metaplasia and moderate atrophy (AUC 0.88 and 0.76, respectively). PGI and PGII alone showed poor discriminative ability, especially in mild atrophy (0.55 and 0.53, respectively) and chronic gastritis (0.55 and 0.53, respectively). The best cut-off to discriminate metaplasia was 3.25 U/mL (95.19% specificity, 83.33% sensitivity). Anti-H. pylori IgG and PG assessment (ABC method) was performed (group B, 2.0%; group A, 92.1%). The new cut-off more accurately identified patients with metaplasia requiring follow-up (group B, 5.4%). Assessment of anti-H. pylori IgG and PG is valuable in countries with a low prevalence of H. pylori infection.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081369
Background: We aimed to identify clinical characteristics and outcomes for each placental type of vasa previa (VP). Methods: Placental types of vasa previa were defined as follows: Type 1, vasa previa with velamentous cord insertion and non-type 1, vasa previa with a multilobed or succenturiate placenta and vasa previa with vessels branching out from the placental surface and returning to the placental cotyledons. Results: A total of 55 cases of vasa previa were included in this study, with 35 cases of type 1 and 20 cases of non-type 1. Vasa previa with type 1 showed a significantly higher association with assisted reproductive technology, compared with non-type 1 (p = 0.024, 60.0% and 25.0%, respectively). The diagnosis was significantly earlier in the type 1 group than in the non-Type 1 group (p = 0.027, 21.4 weeks and 28.6 weeks, respectively). Moreover, the Ward technique for anterior placentation to avoid injury of the placenta and/or fetal vessels was more frequently required in non-type 1 cases (p < 0.001, 60.0%, compared with 14.3% for type 1). Conclusion: The concept of defining placental types of vasa previa will provide useful information for the screening of this serious complication, improve its clinical management and operative strategy, and achieve more preferable perinatal outcomes.
Diagnostics, Volume 11; doi:10.3390/diagnostics11081352
The transmission of Tuberculosis (TB) is very rapid and the burden it places on health care systems is felt globally. The effective management and prevention of this disease requires that it is detected early. Current TB diagnostic approaches, such as the culture, sputum smear, skin tuberculin, and molecular tests are time-consuming, and some are unaffordable for low-income countries. Rapid tests for disease biomarker detection are mostly based on immunological assays that use antibodies which are costly to produce, have low sensitivity and stability. Aptamers can replace antibodies in these diagnostic tests for the development of new rapid tests that are more cost effective; more stable at high temperatures and therefore have a better shelf life; do not have batch-to-batch variations, and thus more consistently bind to a specific target with similar or higher specificity and selectivity and are therefore more reliable. Advancements in TB research, in particular the application of proteomics to identify TB specific biomarkers, led to the identification of a number of biomarker proteins, that can be used to develop aptamer-based diagnostic assays able to screen individuals at the point-of-care (POC) more efficiently in resource-limited settings.