Latest articles in this journal
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090528
Abstract:Mastocytosis is a rare disease in which heightened amounts of mast cells accumulate in the skin, bone marrow, and other visceral organs. Upon activation, mast cells release a wide variety of preformed or newly synthesized mediators which can induce allergic symptoms and inflammatory reactions. Mastocytosis is diagnosed by biopsy and can be divided into cutaneous and systemic mastocytosis (SM). The first one affects the skin and is relatively benign, whilst SM, which involves bone marrow and other organs, may be aggressive and associate with both myelodisplastic and myeloproliferative diseases. Here we present a case of SM associated with essential thrombocythemia and complicated by severe osteoporosis, successfully treated with hydroxyurea, low-dose aspirin and zolendronic acid.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090529
Abstract:Background: Cycling is a popular source of recreation and physical activity for children and adults. With regard to the total number of sports injuries, cycling has the highest absolute number of injuries per year in the United States population. Cycling injuries can be classified into bicycle contact, traumatic, or overuse injuries. Aim of this study: The aims of this case report are to report a rare clinical complication of glenohumeral joint anterior dislocation that resulted in a patient experiencing continuous GHJ dislocations secondary to involuntary violent muscular spasms and emphasize the role of the physical therapist’s differential diagnosis and clinical decision-making process in a patient following direct access referral. Case presentation: A professional 23-year-old cyclist presented to a physical therapist with spontaneous multidirectional dislocations to the right shoulder after the recurrence of trauma occurred during a recent cycling race. The dislocations do not occur at night, but occur during the day, randomly, and mostly associated with changes in the patient’s psychological conditions. Directly from the clinical history, the physical therapist identified a neuro-physiological orange flag as well as an orthopedic red flag and, therefore, decided it was appropriate to refer the patient to a neurologist. It was determined by the physical therapist to be a priority to focus on the patient’s neurologic status and then to evaluate the orthopedic problem. The neurological examination revealed a condition of spontaneous multidirectional dislocation associated with recurrent antero-posterior pain spasms of the shoulder joint. The neurologist prescribed medication. Following the second cycle of medication assumption, the patient was able to continue physiotherapy treatment and was referred to the orthopedic specialist to proceed with shoulder stabilization surgery. Discussion and conclusion: Currently, the diagnosis of this unusual clinical condition is still unclear. It is a shared opinion of the authors that the trauma during the past bicycle race awakened an underlying psychological problem of the patient that resulted in a clinical condition of weakness of all the structures of the shoulder, such that these spasms could result in multiple multidirectional dislocations.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090522
Abstract:Kidneys have an important role in regulating water volume, blood pressure, secretion of hormones and acid-base and electrolyte balance. Kidney dysfunction derived from acute injury can, under certain conditions, progress to chronic kidney disease. In the late stages of kidney disease, treatment is limited to replacement therapy: Dialysis and transplantation. After renal transplant, grafts suffer from activation of immune cells and generation of oxidant molecules. Anesthetic preconditioning has emerged as a promising strategy to ameliorate ischemia reperfusion injury. This review compiles some significant aspects of renal physiology and discusses current understanding of the effects of anesthetic preconditioning upon renal function and ischemia reperfusion injury, focusing on opioids and its properties ameliorating renal injury. According to the available evidence, opioid preconditioning appears to reduce inflammation and reactive oxygen species generation after ischemia reperfusion. Therefore, opioid preconditioning represents a promising strategy to reduce renal ischemia reperfusion injury and, its application on current clinical practice could be beneficial in events such as acute renal injury and kidney transplantation.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090523
Abstract:Background and objectives: Here we report a rare case of a pancreatic polypeptide-secreting tumour (PPoma) discovered by accident during an autopsy. These PPomas occur in less than 2% of all pancreatic neoplasms and are almost exclusively silent, i.e., they are non-functional. Symptoms arising from PPoma are due to its compression of surrounding tissue. Materials and methods: The autopsy was performed on a 68-year-old male diagnosed with multiple endocrine neoplasm type 1 (MEN1) due to the patient’s sudden death. Results: A solitary, densely fibrotic, pink-brown tumour, 18 mm in size tumorous mass, was localised in the head of the pancreas. Microscopically, the tumour had a glandular structure with a tubuloacinar arrangement of the cells. Immunohistochemically, we detected strong PP (pancreatic polypeptide) intracytoplasmic activity and negative glucagon activity. The PPoma was located in the head of the pancreas, likely resulting in the obstruction of the main pancreatic and common bile duct. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report suggesting the association of PPomas with MEN1. Also, the PPoma could be the cause of acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis due to its location.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090524
Abstract:Background and Objectives: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is the most common occupational disorder due to its associated disability and high risk of recurrence and chronicity. However, the mechanisms underlying physical and psychological variables in patients with CLBP remain unclear. The main objective of this study was to assess whether there were differences between physically active patients with nonspecific CLBP compared with asymptomatic individuals in sensorimotor and psychological variables. Materials and Methods: This was an observational cross-sectional design with a nonprobabilistic sample. The sample was divided into two groups: individuals with nonspecific CLBP (n = 30) and asymptomatic individuals as a control (n = 30). The psychological variables assessed were low back disability, fear of movement, pain catastrophizing, and self-efficacy. The sensorimotor variables assessed were two-point discrimination, pressure pain threshold, lumbopelvic stability, lumbar flexion active range of motion, and isometric leg and back strength. Results: Statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of catastrophizing levels (p = 0.026) and fear of movement (p = 0.001) were found, but no statistically significant differences between groups were found in self-efficacy (p > 0.05). No statistically significant differences between the groups in any of the sensorimotor variables were found (p > 0.05). Conclusion: No sensorimotor differences were found between patients with asymptomatic and chronic low back pain, but differences were found in the psychological variables of catastrophizing and fear of movement.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090525
Abstract:Background and Objectives: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder resulting from a traumatic event, is manifested through hyperarousal, anxiety, depressive symptoms, and sleep disturbances. Despite several therapeutic approaches being available, both pharmacological and psychological, recently a growing interest has developed in using cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids stems from their consideration as more efficient and better tolerated alternatives for the treatment of this condition. The present paper aims to evaluate the clinical and therapeutic potentials of medical cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids in treating PTSD patients. Methods: A systematic electronic search was performed, including all papers published up to May 2019, using the following keywords (((cannabis[Title/Abstract]) OR (synthetic cannabinoids [Title/Abstract])) AND ((PTSD[Title/Abstract]) OR (Posttraumatic stress disorder[Title/Abstract]))) for the topics ‘Cannabis’, ‘Synthetic Cannabinoids’, ‘PTSD’, and MESH terms, on the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science online databases. For data gathering purposes, PRISMA guidelines were followed. Results were organized into two groups, considering cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids as different therapeutic approaches for PTSD. Results: Present data show that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids, both acting on the endocannabinoids system, may have a potential therapeutic use for improving PTSD symptoms, e.g., reducing anxiety, modulating memory-related processes, and improving sleep. Conclusions: Even though the current literature suggests that cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids may have a role in the treatment of PTSD, there is currently limited evidence regarding their safety and efficacy. Therefore, additional research is needed in order to better understand the effectiveness and therapeutic usage of these drug classes and monitor their safety.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090526
Abstract:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and lethal malignant tumors worldwide. HCC is a complex process that is associated with several etiological factors, which in turn result in aberrant activation of different cellular and molecular pathways and the disruption of balance between activation and inactivation of protooncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, respectively. Since HCC most often occurs in the setting of a diseased or cirrhotic liver and most of the patients are diagnosed at the late stage of disease, prognosis is generally poor. At present, limited treatment options with marginal clinical benefits are available. Systemic therapy, particularly in the form of conventional cytotoxic drugs, are generally ineffective. In recent years, molecular-targeted therapies have been clinically used to treat various cancers, including liver cancer. This approach inhibits the growth of tumor cells by interfering with molecules that are involved in carcinogenesis, which makes it more selective and specific than cytotoxic chemotherapy. Many clinical trials have been carried out while using molecular targeted drugs in advanced HCC with many more in progress. The clinical trials in HCC to date have evaluated a single-targeted therapy alone, or two or more targeted therapies in parallel. The aim of this review is to provide insight of various molecular mechanisms, leading to HCC development and progression, and also the range of experimental therapeutics for patients with advanced HCC. The review will summarize different clinical trials data the successes and failures of these treatments, as well as the most effective and approved drugs designed against HCC.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090527
Abstract:Background and Objectives: Assisted reproductive techniques today have helped many infertile couples achieve their desired pregnancy. However, unsuccessful implantation is usually the key failure in in vitro fertilization cycles. Many factors are now being studied to improve the implantation rate, one being endometrial artificial injury (endometrial scratching). The purpose of this study was to assess whether local endometrial artificial injury improved pregnancy rate, in long agonist and antagonist protocols. Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out at the JSC Baltic American Clinic from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. Women who were undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment were enrolled in the study. Medical data including demographic factors, menstrual history, and anamnesis of infertility were collected from medical records. Subjects were divided into intervention and control groups. The outcome of this study was clinical pregnancy rate (CPR). Results: A total of 137 women presenting with primary or secondary infertility were enrolled in the study. Clinical pregnancy was observed in 44/71 (61.9%) patients in the intervention group and 33/66 (50%) in the group without endometrial scratching (p value = 0.16). CPR in the intervention group was significantly higher in the patient group that had undergone ovarian stimulation with a long agonist protocol rather than the antagonist protocol (73.8% vs. 41.4%; p value = 0.006). In the multivariable logistic regression model, previously failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) (odds ratio (OR) = 0.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.47), stimulation with the long agonist protocol (OR = 19.89, 95% CI 3.57–18.63), antagonist protocol (OR = 0.05, 95% CI 0.01–0.34), number of embryos (OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.05–1.38), and number of blastocysts (OR = 2.96, 95% CI 1.43–8.36) remained important independent prognostic factors for clinical pregnancy. Conclusions: Our study findings indicate that randomized controlled studies are required to define patients for this procedure and to prove the effect and safety of local endometrial injury, before it is introduced to routine clinical practice.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090516
Abstract:Background and Objectives: Within the clinical evaluation of multiple pathologies of the lower limb, the measurement of range of motion (ROM) of its joints is fundamental. To this end, there are various tools, from the goniometer as a reference to more recent devices such as inclinometry-based applications, photo capture applications, or motion capture systems. This study aimed to assess the validity, intra-rater, and inter-rater reliability of the VeloFlex system (VS), which is a new camera-based tool designed for tracking joint trajectories and measuring joint ROM. Materials and Methods: Thirty-five healthy volunteers (16 females; aged 18–61 years) participated in this study. All participants were assessed on two separate occasions, one week apart. During the first assessment session, measurements were obtained using a goniometer and the VS, whereas, in the second session, only the VS was used. In each assessment session, nine active movements were examined. For each movement, three trials were tested, and the mean of these three measures was used for analysis. To evaluate the concurrent validity and agreement, the Pearson correlation coefficient (r) and Bland-Altmann plots were used. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliability were evaluated using intra-class correlation (ICC), standard error of measurement (SEM), and minimal detectable change (MDC). Results: Both devices showed excellent correlations for all movements (r ranged from 0.992 to 0.999). The intra-rater reliability of the VS was excellent (ICC ranged from 0.93 to 0.99), SEMs ranged from 0.53% to 2.61% and the MDC ranged from 0.68° to 3.26°. The inter-rater reliability of the VS was also excellent (ICC ranged from 0.88 to 0.98), SEMs ranged from 0.81% to 4.76% and the MDC ranged from 2.27° to 4.42°. Conclusions: The VS is a valid and reliable tool for the measurement of ROM of lower limb joints in healthy subjects.
Medicina, Volume 55; doi:10.3390/medicina55090517
Abstract:Background and objectives: Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly often finding applications in physiotherapy and health promotion. Recent years have seen the use of advanced technologies in the promotion of physical activity (PA) in society. New simulators, e.g., treadmills, enable the performance of PA (e.g., locomotive movements) in VR (artificially created virtual world). The question of how such movements are similar to natural forms of human locomotion (march, run) inspired the comparative analysis of physiological gait and gait in VR on a multidirectional Omni treadmill. Materials and Methods: The tests involved the use of the BTS Smart system for the triplanar analysis of motion. The test involved 10 healthy females aged 20–24 (weight: 52 ± 3.1 kg, height 162 ± 5.4 cm). Measurements were performed at two stages. The first stage involved the standard assessment of physiological gait, whereas the second was focused on gait forced by the Omni treadmill. The following gait parameters were analyzed: Flexion-extension in the ankle, knee joint and hip joint, rotation in the hip joint and knee joint, foot progression, adduction-abduction in the knee joint and hip joint, pelvic obliquity, pelvic tilt, pelvic rotation as well as energy expenditure and the movement of the body center of mass. Results: The analysis of the test results revealed the existence of differences in the kinematics of physical gait and gait on the treadmill. The greatest differences were recorded in relation to the dorsal-plantar flexion in the ankle, the foot progression, the rotation of the knee joint, pelvic tilt and rotation. In addition, the gait on the treadmill is characterized by the longer duration of the stance phase and reduced ranges of the following movements: Flexion-extension in the ankle, knee joint and hip joint, adduction-abduction in the hip joint as well as rotation in the ankle and hip joint. The values of potential, kinetic and total energy recorded in relation to forced gait are significantly lower than those of physiological gait. Conclusions: Because of the fact that the parameters of gait on the Omni platform vary significantly from the parameters of physical gait, the application of the Omni treadmill in the re-education of gait during rehabilitation should be treated with considerable care. Nonetheless, the treadmill has adequate potential to become a safe simulator enabling active motion in VR using locomotive movements.