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Med Sci Monit [journal]
- Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio predicts response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:373-377.
Background Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (N/L) ratio has been associated with adverse outcomes in patients with acute coronary syndromes and increased risk for long-term mortality in patients with acute decompensated heart failure. We aimed to investigate the prognostic value of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio on response to cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Material and Methods Seventy consecutive patients (mean age 58±13 years; 40 men) undergoing CRT were included in the study. Hematological and echocardiographic parameters were measured before and 6 months after CRT. Echocardiographic response to CRT was defined as a ≥15% reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume at 6-month follow-up. Results After 6 months of CRT, 49 (70%) patients were responders. After 6 months, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) had significantly increased, from 21±7% to 34±11% in responder patients (p=0.001). N/L ratio decreased significantly, from 2.4±1 to 2.1±0.7 in responders (p=0.04). In multivariate analysis, significant associates of echocardiographic response to CRT was evaluated adjusting for age, etiology of cardiomyopathy, baseline LVEF, New York Heart Association functional class, C-reactive protein, and baseline N/L ratio. Baseline N/L ratio was the only predictor of response to CRT (OR 1.506, 95% CI, 1.011-2.243, p=0.035). Conclusions N/L ratio at baseline could help to identify patients with response to CRT.
- Effects of carvedilol therapy on cardiac autonomic control, QT dispersion, and ventricular arrhythmias in children with dilated cardiomyopathy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:366-372.
Background The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of carvedilol therapy on autonomic control of the heart and QT-interval dispersion (QTd) among children with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) whose symptoms were not adequately controlled with standard congestive heart failure therapy. Material and Methods Patients with DCM who were treated with carvedilol were enrolled in the study. All patients had undergone carvedilol therapy in addition to standard therapy for at least 6 months. Clinical, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic parameters, and 24-h Holter records of patients were retrospectively evaluated before and after carvedilol treatment. Results A total 34 patients (mean age: 7.4±4.3 years) with DCM were analyzed in the study. The median follow-up period was 9.5 months. After the 6 months of carvedilol therapy the clinical score significantly improved, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and fractional shortening (LVFS) significantly increased, and left ventricle end-diastolic dimensions and end-systolic dimensions significantly decreased. There were statistically significant increases in mean SDNN, SDANN, rMSSD, and pNN50 (p=0.002, p=0.001, p=0.008, and p=0.026, respectively). After the carvedilol therapy, SDNN was correlated with the clinical score, heart rate, LVEF, LVFS, and total premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). In addition, rMSSD and pNN50 were correlated with heart rate, LVEF and LVFS. A significant reduction was observed in QTc-minimum, QTc-maximum, and QTd values (434.9±40.7 vs. 416.1±36.5, 497.8±43.6 vs. 456.3±41.7, 58.6±17.1 vs. 49.3±15.6; p<0.001, p=0.001, and p=0.008, respectively). QTd was significantly related to PVCs (r=0.62, p=0.02). Conclusions We conclude that the addition of carvedilol to standard therapy can improve clinical symptoms and heart rate variability, and reduce in arrhythmia markers in children with DCM.
- Age-related differences in the quality of life in end-stage renal disease in patients enrolled in hemodialysis or continuous peritoneal dialysis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:378-385.
Background The aim of the present study was to compare the experience elderly and younger patients in terms of emotional status, disease perception, methods of coping with the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) stress, and health-related quality of life in 2 different settings of renal replacement therapy: hemodialysis (HD) and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis programs (CAPD). Specifically, we hypothesized that younger people will more frequently use goal-oriented strategies to cope with illness-related stress and elderly patients will use more strategies related to the control of emotion. Material and Methods A total of 69 HD patients, 40 CAPD patients, and 89 healthy volunteers were analyzed. The Situation and Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Profile of Mood States, the Cognitive Stress Appraisal Questionnaire, and the Nottingham Health Profile were used to assess anxiety, long-term emotional status, coping mechanisms, and health-related quality of life. Data were collected on several biochemical and demographic variables. Results Our study revealed that younger and elderly people on dialysis faced quite different problems. Younger people in both RRT groups had statistically higher assessment of ESRD as loss or challenge and they more frequently used distractive and emotional preoccupation coping strategies. Depression, confusion, and bewilderment dominate the emotional status of both patient populations, especially in the younger cohort. Both HDyoung and CAPDyoung patients complained more about lack of energy, mobility limitations, and sleep disturbances as compared to their elderly HD and CAPD counterparts. Conclusions There are different needs and problems in younger and elderly patients on renal replacement therapy. Younger people required more ESRD-oriented support to relieve their health-related complaints to the level observed in their peers and needed extensive psychological assistance in order to cope with negative emotions related to their disease.
- What is more damaging to vascular endothelial function: Diabetes, age, high BMI, or all of the above? [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:257-63.
Background It is well established that there is a reduction in the skin blood flow (SBF) in response to heat with age and diabetes. While it is known that high BMI creates a stress on the cardiovascular system and increases the risk of all cause of morbidity and mortality, little is known of the effect of high BMI on SBF response to heat. Since diabetes is associated with age and a higher BMI, the interrelationship between age, BMI and SBF needs to be investigated to better understand the contribution diabetes alone has to endothelial impairment. Material and Methods This study examined the SBF to heat in young and old people with low and high BMI and people with diabetes with high BMI to determine the contribution these variables have on SBF. Subjects were ten young and older people with BMI <20 and ten young and older people with BMI >20 and ten subjects with diabetes with BMI >20. The SBF response, above the quadriceps, was determined during a 6 minutes exposure to heat at 44°C. Results Even in young people, SBF after the stress of heat exposure was reduced in subjects with a high BMI. The effect of BMI was greatest in young people and lowest in older people and people with diabetes; in people with diabetes, BMI was a more significant variable than diabetes in causing impairment of blood flow to heat. BMI, for example, was responsible for 49% of the reduction in blood flow after stress heat exposure (R=-0.7) while ageing only accounted for 16% of the blood flow reduction (R=-0.397). Conclusions These results would suggest the importance of keeping BMI low not only in people with diabetes to minimize further circulatory vascular damage, but also in young people to diminish long term circulatory vascular compromise.
- Obesity in hospitalized type 2 diabetes patients: A descriptive study. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:359-65.
Background The association between obesity and type 2 diabetes has been well documented in epidemiological studies. Patients with type 2 diabetes have a higher body weight than control populations. Relatively few studies, however, have examined the prevalence of obesity in a cohort of hospitalized type 2 diabetes mellitus patients using an electronic health records database. This study measured the prevalence of obesity in hospitalized type 2 diabetes patients and described demographic and clinical characteristics using electronic health records from Convergence CT sites located in the southwestern United States. Material and Methods Hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were identified in electronic health records from the Convergence Global Research Network. Demographic and clinical characteristics were examined for hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes. Comparisons were made between males and females across different clinical characteristics as well as between obese patients (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) and patients with BMI <30 kg/m2. Results Approximately 26.8% of hospitalized type 2 diabetes patients were overweight (BMI=25-29.9 kg/m2) and 57.7% were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2). A higher percentage of females (61.3%) were obese compared to males (54.6%) (p=0.002). Obese patients with type 2 diabetes were younger, appeared to have inadequate glycemic control, exhibited higher blood pressure, and had worse lipid profiles compared to type 2 diabetes patients with BMI <30 kg/m2. Conclusions Approximately 84.5% of the hospitalized type 2 diabetes patients identified in this study were overweight or obese (BMI ≥25 kg/m2), suggesting the need for effective weight loss intervention in this population.
- Comparison of effects of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine analgesia on patient recovery following elective abdominal aortic surgery. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:347-52.
Background The efficacy of epidural anesthesia and analgesia in management of perioperative stress has been established. Perioperative pain management strategies decrease surgical complications and aid recovery. In this study, we aimed to document and compare the efficacy of epidural bupivacaine and intravenous meperidine on recovery of patients with elective abdominal aortic surgery performed under general anesthesia. Material and Methods Patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery between February 2009 and November 2011 were studied prospectively. Patients were randomized into epidural bupivacaine (n=40) and intravenous meperidine (n=40) groups regarding postoperative analgesia strategy. The preoperative demographic characteristics, perioperative outcomes, postoperative adverse effects of analgesia strategy, time to initiate oral intake, sedation scores, visual analogue scale results, and mobility scores were compared. Results The mean ages of the patients were 61.7±8.1 in the epidural group and 59.4±9.7 in the intravenous group (p>0.05). The preoperative demographic characteristics of the patients were comparable between the groups. There were no statistically significant differences between groups regarding anesthesia times, intubation times, intensive care unit stay, hospital length of stay, postoperative vomiting, and postoperative cardiac, renal, and cerebral complications. Postoperative nausea was more prevalent in the meperidine group (p<0.05). In the epidural group, time to begin oral intake was shorter, sedation scores and visual analogue scale results were lower, and mobility scores were higher (p<0.05 each). Conclusions Epidural analgesia allowed earlier recovery compared to intravenous analgesia in patients undergoing elective abdominal aortic surgery, but did not affect postoperative outcomes and complications.
- CoQ10 and Endothelial Function in Asians from Korea compared to Asians born in the United States and US Born Caucasians. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:339-46.
Background The vascular endothelium is the interface between the blood and vascular smooth muscle in arteries. It is easily damaged by oxidative stress. Recent studies show that Asians are more susceptible than Caucasians to impairment of endothelial function. This study examined endothelial function in US-born Caucasians, Asians from Korea, and US-born Asians (almost all Korean decent) and examined the effect of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) on endothelial function. Material and Methods Twenty Caucasians and 30 Asians participated (<35 years old, males and females). Endothelial function was assessed by the skin blood flow response to local heat using a thermode for 6 minutes at 44°C and by vascular occlusion for 4 minutes followed by release and measurement of skin blood flow for 2 minutes. In the US-born subjects, the experiments were repeated after 2-week administration of CoQ10 or a placebo. Results When applying 6 minutes of local heat at 44°C, the skin blood flows were significantly higher in Caucasians than both Asian groups Asians. Likewise after vascular occlusion, the blood flow response was greater in Caucasians compared to Asians. Asians born in Asia had the lowest response of the 3 groups of subjects. Administering CoQ10 for 2 weeks eliminated much of the difference between the groups, whereas there was no difference with a placebo. Conclusions These findings suggest that Asians either born in Asia or the US may have lower endothelial function than Caucasians. This may be explained, in part, by genetic variations causing increased oxidative stress from westernized diets in Asians. Co enzyme Q10 administration narrows the difference between the groups.
- Convergent dysregulation of frontal cortical cognitive and reward systems in eating disorders. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:353-8.
A substantive literature has drawn a compelling case for the functional involvement of mesolimbic/prefrontal cortical neural reward systems in normative control of eating and in the etiology and persistence of severe eating disorders that affect diverse human populations. Presently, we provide a short review that develops an equally compelling case for the importance of dysregulated frontal cortical cognitive neural networks acting in concert with regional reward systems in the regulation of complex eating behaviors and in the presentation of complex pathophysiological symptoms associated with major eating disorders. Our goal is to highlight working models of major eating disorders that incorporate complementary approaches to elucidate functionally interactive neural circuits defined by their regulatory neurochemical phenotypes. Importantly, we also review evidence-based linkages between widely studied psychiatric and neurodegenerative syndromes (e.g., autism spectrum disorders and Parkinson's disease) and co-morbid eating disorders to elucidate basic mechanisms involving dopaminergic transmission and its regulation by endogenously expressed morphine in these same cortical regions.
- Clinical significance of knowledge about the structure, function, and impairments of working memory. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:327-38.
A review of contemporary research on the working memory system (WMS) is important, both due to the need to focus the discussion on further necessary investigations on the structure and function of this key part of the human brain, as well as to share this knowledge with clinicians. In our introduction we try to clarify the actual terminology and provide an intuitively understandable model for 3 basic cognitive operations: perception, recognition, imagery, and manipulation of recalled mental images. We emphasize the importance of knowledge of the structure and function of the WMS for the possibility to demonstrate the links between genetic polymorphisms and the prevalence to some mental disorders. We also review current knowledge of working memory dysfunction in the most common diseases and specific clinical situations such as maturation and aging. Finally, we briefly discuss methods for assessment of WMS capacity. This article establishes a kind of compendium of knowledge for clinicians who are not familiar with the structure and operation of the WMS.
- Molecular characterization and drug resistance of Escherichia coli strains isolated from urine from long-term care facility residents in Cracow, Poland. [Journal Article]
- Med Sci Monit 2013.:317-26.
Background The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli and extended-spectrum â-lactamases (ESBL) pathogens isolated from asymptomatic bacteriuria and urinary tract infections (UTIs), and the relationship between the phylogeny, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence among isolates in residents of 3 long-term care facilities (LTCF) in Krakow, Poland. Material and Methods This was point prevalence study and prospective infection control in a group of 217 people. Urine samples were examined with standard microbiological methods and screened for the presence of blaCTX-M, blaSHV, and blaTEM. E. coli isolates were screened for 6 common virulence factors (VFs) and classified according to the rapid phylogenetic grouping technique. Results Among all the strains tested, 14 isolates (13.9%) expressed ESBL activity. A significant proportion of isolates were resistant to ciprofloxacin (32.7%, n=33). Resistance to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole was identified among 45 isolates (44.5%). Independent risk factors for the presence of an ESBL-producing strain were: UTI, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, bedridden, and low values of the Barthel and Katz Indexes. Gene sequencing identified 8 blaCTX-M-15, 1 blaCTX-M-3, 9 blaTEM-1, and 1 blaSHV-12. Among E. coli, no relationship between number of VF genes and phylogeny was found. The most prevalent virulence factor was fimH (82.1%). Conclusions The findings of this study emphasize the need for further research on the epidemiology of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) and ESBL in LTCF, including transmission patterns, rates of infection, and factors associated with infections. It may be necessary to extend the requirements and precautions to MDRO and ESBL-producers.