Latest articles in this journal
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061048
Background and Objective: This study aimed to compare the surface finish of milled leucite-reinforced ceramics polished with ceramic and composite polishing systems based on the manufacturers’ recommendations. Materials and Methods: Sixty subtractive computer-aided manufactured (s-CAM) leucite-reinforced glass-ceramic specimens (IPS-Empress-CAD) were assigned into six groups: no polishing, a ceramic polishing kit, and four composite kit groups. The roughness average (Ra) was evaluated in microns using a profilometer, and scanning electron micrographs were obtained for qualitative analysis. A Tukey HSD posthoc test (α = 0.05) was used to determine significant intergroup differences. Results: After surface evaluation of the ceramics, the Ra values of the polishing systems ranked OptraFine (0.41 ± 0.26) < Enhance (1.60 ± 0.54) < Shofu (2.14 ± 0.44) < Astropol (4.05 ± 0.72) < DiaComp (5.66 ± 0.62) < No Polishing (5.66 ± 0.74). Discussion: Composite polishing systems did not provide as smooth surfaces as the ceramic polishing kit for CAD-CAM leucite-reinforced ceramics. Thus, using ceramic polishing systems, polishing leucite ceramics is recommended, whereas composite polishing systems should not be considered as an alternative for use in minimally invasive dentistry.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061047
The importance of fluid resuscitation therapy during the early stages of sepsis management is a well-established principle. Current Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) guidelines recommend the early administration of intravenous crystalloid fluids for sepsis-related hypotension or hyperlactatemia due to tissue hypoperfusion, within the first 3 h of resuscitation and suggest using balanced solutions (BSs) instead of normal saline (NS) for the management of patients with sepsis or septic shock. Studies comparing BS versus NS administration in septic patients have demonstrated that BSs are associated with better outcomes including decreased mortality. After initial resuscitation, fluid administration has to be judicious in order to avoid fluid overload, which has been associated with increased mortality, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and worsening of acute kidney injury. The “one size fits all” approach may be “convenient” but it should be avoided. Personalized fluid management, based on patient-specific hemodynamic indices, provides the foundations for better patient outcomes in the future. Although there is a consensus on the need for adequate fluid therapy in sepsis, the type, the amount of administered fluids, and the ideal fluid resuscitation strategy remain elusive. Well-designed large randomized controlled trials are certainly needed to compare fluid choices specifically in the septic patient, as there is currently limited evidence of low quality. This review aims to summarize the physiologic principles and current scientific evidence regarding fluid management in patients with sepsis, as well as to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest data on the optimal fluid administration strategy in sepsis.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061046
Background and Objectives: An altered sympathetic function is established in primary arterial hypertension (PAH) development. Therefore, PAH could be targeted by applying an electric current to the medulla where reflex centers for blood pressure control reside. This study aims to evaluate the electric caudal ventrolateral medulla (CVLM) stimulation effect on blood pressure and animal survivability in a freely moving rat model. Materials and Methods: A total of 20 Wistar rats aged 12–16 weeks were randomly assigned to either: the experimental group (n = 10; electrode tip implanted in CVLM region) or the control group (n = 10; tip implanted 4 mm above the CVLM in the cerebellum). After a period of recovery (4 days), an experimental phase ensued, divided into an “OFF stimulation” period (5–7 days post-surgery) and an “ON stimulation” period (8–14 days post-surgery). Results: Three animals (15%, one in the control, two in the experimental group) dropped out due to postoperative complications. Arterial pressure in the experimental group rats during the “OFF stimulation” period decreased by 8.23 mm Hg (p = 0.001) and heart rate by 26.93 beats/min (p = 0.008). Conclusions: From a physiological perspective, CVLM could be an effective deep brain stimulation (DBS) target for drug-resistant hypertension: able to influence the baroreflex arc directly, having no known direct integrative or neuroendocrine function. Targeting the baroreflex regulatory center, but not its sensory or effector parts, could lead to a more predictable effect and stability of the control system. Although targeting neural centers in the medullary region is considered dangerous and prone to complications, it could open a new vista for deep brain stimulation therapy. A possible change in electrode design would be required to apply CVLM DBS in clinical trials in the future.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061045
The exact mechanism involved in the development of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is not yet known. The objective of this study was to evaluate longitudinal functional connectivity (FC) changes in the neuroimaging case series of patients with acute herpes zoster (HZ). Cases: This study included five patients who had symptoms of HZ. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was conducted at enrollment and 3 months to determine FC changes. Of the five patients, three developed PHN. In the PHN subjects, the FC of the left superior frontal gyrus (SFG) and the right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were activated. The left SFG is known to contribute to higher cognitive functions and working memory. The right IFG is associated with pain processing and empathy for pain. Conclusions: Although only a few patients were enrolled in this study, the PHN could be affected by pain itself, as well as pain memory and psychological aspects such as empathy for pain.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061044
Background and Objectives: Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) can occur as a result of micronutrient deficiencies. Hibiscus sabdarifa, a plant used in traditional medicine, contains ingredients that can help prevent this process. This study looked at the potency of Hibiscus sabdariffa Ethanol Extract (HSE) to prevent homocysteine-induced liver damage in animals that were deficient in vitamin B12. Materials and Methods: A comparative study of the effects of roselle extract is presented in an experimental design. Thirty Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into six groups using randomization. To demonstrate the absence of liver damage in the experimental animals under normal conditions, a control group was fed a normal diet without HSE. For the induction of liver damage in the experimental animals, the vitamin B12-restricted group was administered a vitamin B12-restricted diet. To test the effect of HSE on liver damage, the treatment group was given HSE along with a vitamin B12-restricted diet. Each group was given two treatment periods of eight and sixteen weeks. These results were compared with the results of the parameter examination between the vitamin B12 restriction group, with and without HSE, using an ANOVA statistic. The data were analyzed with licensed SPSS 20.0 software. Results: HSE significantly increased the blood levels of vitamin B12 while lowering homocysteine levels. The administration of HSE reduced liver damage based on the activity of liver function enzymes in the plasma due to a limitation of vitamin B12. HSE decreased Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein-1c (SREBP1c) and Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NFkB) protein expressions in the liver tissue, but did not decrease Glucose-Regulated Protein 78 (GRP78) protein expression. Significantly, the levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-a) and IL-6 in the liver tissue were lower, while the levels of IL-10 and Nuclear factor-erythroid-2 Related Factor 2 (NRF2) were higher with HSE administration. HSE produced a better histopathological profile of the Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E)–Masson tricrome for inflammation, fat and fibrosis in the liver. Conclusions: In this study, HSE was found to slow the development of liver damage in experimental animals that were given a vitamin B12-deficient diet.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061043
Purpose: To determine the 6-month effect of conventional (CXL30) and accelerated cross-linking with a UVA intensity of 9 mW/cm2 (CXL10) on corneal stability and to investigate whether there was a difference in ABCD grading system parameters regarding the two different procedures. Methods: Twenty-eight eyes of 28 patients with a documented keratoconus (KN) progression were included. Patients were selected to undergo either epi off CXL30 or CXL10. At the baseline and the follow-up visits after one (V1), three (V2), and six months (V3), the patients underwent complete ophthalmic examination and corneal tomography. Results: In the CXL30 group, all the parameters from the ABCD grading system significantly changed from baseline to V3; parameter A decreased (p = 0.048), B and C increased (p = 0.010, p < 0.001), and D decreased (p < 0.001). In the CXL10 group, there were no changes in parameters A (p = 0.247) and B (p = 0.933), though parameter C increased (p = 0.001) and D decreased (p < 0.001). After an initial decline after one month, visual acuity (VA) recovered on V2 and V3 (p < 0.001), and median maximal keratometry (Kmax) decreased in both groups (p = 0.001, p = 0.035). In the CXL30 group, there were significant changes in other parameters; average pachymetric progression index (p < 0.001), Ambrósio relational thickness maximum (ARTmax) (p = 0.008), front and back mean keratometry (p < 0.001), pachymetry apex (PA) (p < 0.001), and front elevation (p = 0.042). However, in the CXL10 group, there were significant changes only in ARTmax (p = 0.019) and PA (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Both epi-off CXL protocols showed similar short-term efficacy in improving VA and Kmax, halting the progression of KN, and both similarly changed tomographic parameters. However, the conventional protocol modified the cornea more significantly.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061042
Background and Objectives: Acrylic resins remain the materials of choice for removable prosthesis due to their indisputable qualities. The continuous evolution in the field of dental materials offers practitioners today a multitude of therapeutic options. With the development of digital technologies, including both subtractive and additive methods, workflow has been considerably reduced and the precision of prosthetic devices has increased. The superiority of prostheses made by digital methods compared to conventional prostheses is much debated in the literature. Our study’s objective was to compare the mechanical and surface properties of three types of resins used in conventional, subtractive, and additive technologies and to determine the optimal material and the most appropriate technology to obtain removable dentures with the highest mechanical longevity over time. Materials and Methods: For the mechanical tests, 90 samples were fabricated using the conventional method (heat curing), CAD/CAM milling, and 3D printing technology. The samples were analyzed for hardness, roughness, and tensile tests, and the data were statistically compared using Stata 16.1 software (StataCorp, College Station, TX, USA). A finite element method was used to show the behavior of the experimental samples in terms of the crack shape and its direction of propagation. For this assessment the materials had to be designed inside simulation software that has similar mechanical properties to those used for obtaining specimens for tensile tests. Results: The results of this study suggested that CAD/CAM milled samples showed superior surface characteristics and mechanical properties, comparable with conventional heat-cured resin samples. The propagation direction predicted by the finite element analysis (FEA) software was similar to that observed in a real-life specimen subjected to a tensile test. Conclusions: Removable dentures made from heat-cured resins remain a clinically acceptable option due to their surface quality, mechanical properties, and affordability. Three-dimensional printing technology can be successfully used as a provisional or emergency therapeutic solution. CAD/CAM milled resins exhibit the best mechanical properties with great surface finishes compared to the other two processing methods.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061041
The multidrug-resistant (MDR) human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infection is an unmet medical need. HIV-1 capsid plays an important role at different stages of the HIV-1 replication cycle and is an attractive drug target for developing therapies against MDR HIV-1 infection. Lenacapavir (LEN) is the first-in-class HIV-1 capsid inhibitor approved by the USFDA, EMA, and Health Canada for treating MDR HIV-1 infection. This article highlights the development, pharmaceutical aspects, clinical studies, patent literature, and future directions on LEN-based therapies. The literature for this review was collected from PubMed, authentic websites (USFDA, EMA, Health Canada, Gilead, and NIH), and the free patent database (Espacenet, USPTO, and Patent scope). LEN has been developed by Gilead and is marketed as Sunlenca (tablet and subcutaneous injection). The long-acting and patient-compliant LEN demonstrated a low level of drug-related mutations, is active against MDR HIV-1 infection, and does not reveal cross-resistance to other anti-HIV drugs. LEN is also an excellent drug for patients having difficult or limited access to healthcare facilities. The literature has established additive/synergistic effects of combining LEN with rilpivirine, cabotegravir, islatravir, bictegravir, and tenofovir. HIV-1 infection may be accompanied by opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis (TB). The associated diseases make HIV treatment complex and warrant drug interaction studies (drug–drug, drug–food, and drug–disease interaction). Many inventions on different aspects of LEN have been claimed in patent literature. However, there is a great scope for developing more inventions related to the drug combination of LEN with anti-HIV/anti-TB drugs in a single dosage form, new formulations, and methods of treating HIV and TB co-infection. Additional research may provide more LEN-based treatments with favorable pharmacokinetic parameters for MDR HIV-1 infections and associated opportunistic infections such as TB.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061040
Background and Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of ankle muscles on performance of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) among individuals with stable ankles, a history of ankle sprain, and chronic ankle instability (CAI). Materials and Methods: Sixty subjects (twenty per group) performed the SEBT in each of the anterior (A), posteromedial (PM), and posterolateral (PL) directions. Normalized maximum reach distance (NMRD) and normalized mean amplitude of the tibialis anterior (NMA_TA), fibularis longus (NMA_FL), and medial gastrocnemius (NMA_MG) were measured during performance of the SEBT. Results: Copers have greater NMRD than subjects with stable ankles and those with CAI, and subjects with stable ankles also have greater NMRD than those with CAI in only the PL direction. Subjects with stable ankles and those with CAI showed greater NMA_TA than copers. The A direction showed greater NMA_TA than the PM and PL directions. Copers showed greater NMA_FL than subjects with stable ankles. Subjects with CAI showed greater NMA_MG than copers and subjects with stable ankles. The A and PL directions showed greater NMA_MG than the PM direction. Conclusions: Overall, copers and/or subjects with CAI demonstrated altered neuromuscular function by compensating for their ankle muscles when compared to subjects with stable ankles due to a history of ankle sprain.
Medicina, Volume 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59061039
Laser treatments have become popular in Dermatology. In parallel to technologic development enabling the availability of different laser wavelengths, non-invasive skin imaging techniques, such as reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM), have been used to explore morphologic and qualitative skin characteristics. Specifically, RCM can be applied to cosmetically sensitive skin areas such as the face, without the need for skin biopsies. For these reasons, apart from its current use in skin cancer diagnosis, our systematic review reveals how RCM can be employed in the field of laser treatment monitoring, being particularly suitable for the evaluation of variations in epidermis and dermis, and pigmentary and vascular characteristics of the skin. This systematic review article aims to provide an overview on current applications of RCM laser treatment monitoring, while describing RCM features identified for different applications. Studies on human subjects treated with laser treatments, monitored with RCM, were included in the current systematic review. Five groups of treatments were identified and described: skin rejuvenation, scar tissue, pigmentary disorders, vascular disorders and other. Interestingly, RCM can assist treatments with lasers targeting all chromophores in the skin and exploiting laser induced optical breakdown. Treatment monitoring encompasses assessment at baseline and examination of changes after treatment, therefore revealing details in morphologic alterations underlying different skin conditions and mechanisms of actions of laser therapy, as well as objectify results after treatment.