Clinical Neuroscience

[Assessment of severity and time course of critical illness neuropathy in septic patients: a prospective observational study]


JANUARY 30, 2015

Clinical Neuroscience - 2015;68(01-02)

[Objective - In this prospective observational study we investigated electrophysiological alterations in the early phase of critical illness and correlated electrophysiological findings with the clinical picture and outcome. Methods - We enrolled 21 critically ill surgical patients having ≥12 Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores on admission. Routine non-invasive bilateral electroneurography (ENG) examination of median and ulnar nerves was done on five consecutive days starting in two days after admission. Then weekly follow-up was performed. Motor and sensory nerve conduction indices were calculated and correlated with APACHE II and Simplified Acute Physiology Score II severity scores. Results - On the first examination 18/21 patients had >20% reduction in the motor and sensory nerve conduction indices. Severity score systems showed significant negative correlation with the daily change of CMAP and SNAP amplitudes and calculated nerve conduction indices (Spearman’s correlation, p<0,001). Mortality was higher in the patients with worse admission ENG and/or stagnant electrophysiological status or declining tendency in the first week. Conclusions - Electrophysiological alterations appeared soon after the development of critical illness. Early phase alterations showed a strong correlation with patients’ general condition and more severe electrophysiological alterations predisposed to higher mortality. In several cases early alterations proved to be reversible. ]



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Intraoperativ electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgery on eloquent structures]

FEKETE Gábor, NOVÁK László, ERÕSS Loránd, FABÓ Dániel, BOGNÁR László

[Objective - We summarize our experiences on intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring during neurosurgical procedures on eloquent neuronal structures. Patients, methods - Sixty patients were enrolled retrospectively in our study with pathologies involving eloquent neuronal structures. They were operated between May 2011. and March 2012. at the University of Debrecen, Department of Neurosurgery and at the National Institute of Neurosciences. Patients underwent standard preoperative examinations due to the primary pathology. In all cases we used intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring. We had 22 cases with cranial nerve monitoring, 10 cases with cauda monitoring, 16 cases with motor system monitoring, six cases with complex spinal cord monitoring, three degenerative spine reconstructions and 3 awake surgeries. Results - We found that with the use of intraoperative electrophysiology we could make these neurosurgical procedures safer, and were able to optimize the extent of resection in the cases of oncological pathologies. Conclusions - Our experiences as well as the international literature suggests that in certain high risk neurosurgical procedures intraoperative electrophysiology is indispensible for safe and optimally extended operation.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture with PMMA augmented pedicle screw fixation]


[Background - Over the last few decades many innovative operation technique were developed due to the increase of porotic vertebral fractures. These new techniques aim to reach the required stability of the vertebral column. In case of significant instability, spinal canal stenosis or neural compression, decompressive intervention may be necessary, which results in further weakening of the column of the spine, the minimal invasive percutan vertebroplasty is not an adequate method to reach the required stability, that is why insertion of complementary pedicular screws is needed. Considering the limited screw-fixing ability of the porotic bone structure, with this new technique we are able to reach the appropriate stability of cement-augmented pedicle screws by dosing cement carefully through the screws into the vertebral body. We used this technique in our Institute in case of 12 patients and followed up the required stability and the severity of complications. Methods - Fifteen vertebral compression fractures of 12 patients were treated in our Institute. Using the classification proposed by Genant et al. we found that the severity of the vertebral compression was grade 3 in case of 13, while grade 2 in case of two fractures. The average follow up time of the patients was 22 months (12-39), during this period X-ray, CT and clinical control examinations were taken. During the surgery the involved segments were localised by using X-ray and after the exploration the canulated screws were put through the pedicles of the spine and the vertebral body was filled through the transpedicular screws with bone cement. Depending on the grade of the spinal canal stenosis, we made the decompression, vertebroplasty or corpectomy of the fractured vertebral body, and the replacement of the body. Finally the concerned segments were fixed by titanium rods. Results - In all cases the stenosis of spinal canal was resolved and the bone cement injected into the corpus resulted in adequated stability of the spine. In case of six patients we observed cement extravasation without any clinical signs, and by one patient - as a serious complication - pulmonary embolism. Neurological progression or screw loosening were not detected during the follow up period. Part of the patients had residual disability after the surgery due to their older ages and the problem of their rehabilitation process. Conclusion - After the right consideration of indications, age, general health condition and the chance of successful rehabilitation, the technique appears to be safe for the patients. With the use of this surgical method, the stability of the spine can be improved compared to the preoperative condition, the spinal canal stenosis can be solved and the neural structures can be decompressed. The severity of complications can be reduced by a precise surgical technique and the careful use of the injected cement. The indication of the surgical method needs to be considered in the light of the expected outcome and the rehabilitation.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The first identified Central-Eastern European patient with genetically confirmed dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy]


[Aims - Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a trinucleotide repeat expansion. The disease mainly occurs amongst the Japanese and is extremely rare in the European population. The characteristic clinical symptoms are cerebellar ataxia, dementia, choreoathetoid movements, epileptic seizures and myoclonus. The aim of this study is to present the first genetically confirmed Hungarian case of DRPLA. Case report - The middle-aged female patient developed the characteristic clinical symptoms except myoclonus over her late thirties with positive family history. The major finding in the skull magnetic resonance imaging was the atrophy of infratentorial brain structures with the consequential dilation of related cerebrospinal fluid spaces. A detailed neuropsychological examination was also performed and it revealed moderate cognitive dysfunctions, mild depression and anxiety. As underlying conditions, Huntington’s disease and common spinocerebellar ataxia forms all came into consideration, but all the result of the respective genetic tests were negative. However, the test for mutation in the ATN1 gene revealed pathological heterozygous CAG repeat expansion. Conclusion - This case study serves as the first description of genetically confirmed DRPLA in the Central-Eastern region of Europe, the clinical features of which seems to be very similar to the previously reported cases.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Extending therapeutic possibilities in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: dimethyl fumarate]


[Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a novel oral therapy that has recently been approved for the treatment of relapsing- remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Dimethyl fumarate shows anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective properties that are thought to be mediated primarily via activation of the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 - Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which up-regulates the genes involved in the cellular response to oxidative stress. The drug was evaluated in 2 large, randomized, double-blind, multicentric, multinational, 2-year, phase III clinical trials. The DEFINE and CONFIRM trials, conducted with over 2600 adult patients suffering from RRMS, unequivocally confirmed the efficacy of DMF (2×240 mg daily) in reducing the annualized relapse rate (ARR) and reducing the proportion of patients with MS relapse at 2 years. Significantly reduced sustained disability progression was observed with the drug versus placebo in DEFINE, while the same tendency was seen in CONFIRM. The MRI results of the studies were also convincing: DMF significantly reduced the number of new/enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions and the number of Gd-enhancing lesions compared to placebo. Dimethyl fumarate was generally well tolerated and no safety concern has been raised. Adverse events that occurred most frequently included flushing and gastrointestinal events. The long- term efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate is currently being investigated in the ENDORSE trial, with interim results demonstrating the same results as the two previous studies. In conclusion, although further, mostly comparative data are needed to fully establish the relative efficacy and tolerability of dimethyl fumarate compared with other therapies, dimethyl-fumarate is a valuable addition to the therapeutic options available for RRMS.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The efficacy of lacosamide in relation to antiepileptic drug history. Clinical experiences in adult partial epilepsy]


[Objective - A retrospective study in adult partial epilepsy on the efficacy of lacosamide in relation to previous antiepileptic drug experiences. Method - We analysed 3-65 months’ data on epilepsy-care of 43 pharmacoresistant partial epilepsy patients treated with lacosamide. Further analysis of antiepileptic drug history was carried out in strictly selected subgroups of patients with good and poor therapeutic response to lacosamide (10 and 9 patients, respectively) for 2-10 years long retrospective follow up. Patients - Adult patients with partial-onset seizures had been treated previously with three or more lifetime antiepileptic drugs without permanent success. Results - Six patients (14%) were seizure free, eleven patients (25%) have experienced important improvement (their seizure-frequency decreased by at least 50%) for more than 12 months. Fourteen patients (32%) improved for less than 6 months and then have relapsed; and add-on lacosamide proved ineffective in 12 patients (28%). Those selected 10 patients successfully treated with lacosamide (seizure free for at least six months) favourably responded to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier and levetiracetam was ineffective or even caused worsening. The selected lacosamide-unresponsive nine patients responded unfavourably to carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier. Fifteen patients (35%) suffered side effects as dizziness or sleepiness, in 11 of them lacosamide was combined with a „traditional” sodium-channal blocker antiepileptic drug. Conclusion - Lacosamide is an effective add-on antiepileptic drug in difficult-to treat adult partial epilepsy patients. Our data suggest that good lacosamide response may be expected in those patients who reacted favourably to „traditional” sodium-channel blocker carabamazepine or oxcarbazepine earlier.]

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[Critical illness associated neuromuscular disorders - Keep them in mind]

NEMES Réka, MOLNÁR Levente, FÜLEP Zoltán, FEKETE Klára, BERHÉS Mariann, FÜLESDI Béla

[Neuromuscular disorders complicating sepsis and critical illness are not new and scarce phenomena yet they receive little attention in daily clinical practice. Critical illness polyneuropathy and myopathy affect nearly half of the patients with sepsis. The difficult weaning from the ventilator, the prolonged intensive care unit and hospital stay, the larger complication and mortality rate these disorders predispose to, put a large burden on the patient and the health care system. The aim of this review is to give an insight into the pathophysiological background, diagnostic possibilities and potential preventive and therapeutic measures in connection with these disorders to draw attention to their significance and underline the importance of preventive approach.]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[Practical role of nurses in early recognition in sepsis and curing process]

TÓTH Zoltánné

[Aim of the research: The aim of my research is to show detailed analysis of clinical categorizing of sepsis and clarifying its diagnostic difficulties. The study shows the elements of diagnostic and monitoring methodology during attendance including the importance of triage. Research and sampling methods: The research was done in a III progressive level hospital in the capital at the Emergecy Department emphasizing one group of illness: sepsis. 81 patients were analysed according to the 2013 data turnover. The method of the research is based on different document analysis and data gathering. In parallel with it, in the following parts of the study I was examining the competences of nurses with different qualifications at the department who were doing triage activity during attendance.Evaluation of the summarized results was created by SPSS 14.0 programme. Results: It was proved from the summarized data that triage activity done by nurses with septic patients was not influenced neither by professional experience nor by qualification of the nurses. More than half of the patients at the departments was not given the correct classification so they were not given the therapy in time. Conclusions: Nurses at the emergency department do not have the necessary knowledge on classification system of triage , that is why each nurse at the department must have the opportunity to improve their knowledge on triage or those not having it must acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diseases with peripheral motor symptoms ]

DELI Gabriella, KOMÁROMY Hedvig, PÁL Endre, PFUND Zoltán

[Diseases with peripheral motor symptoms are a rare, but important subgroup of the all peripheral neuropathies, radiculopathies and neuronopathies. In these mostly progressive neuropathies, the clinical features include pure motor symptoms with weakness and wasting of the striated muscles. The differentiation of these diseases is frequently a challenge for qualified clinical neurologists. A careful history taking, the disease time course, the findings of routine clinical physical examination and the electrophysiological studies are all necessary in the diagnostic procedure. The aim of this publication is to overview the clinical characteristics of the pure motor peripheral neuropathies, to consider the diagnostic steps and the differential diagnosis, and finally to summarize the treatment options. ]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[The role of nurses in the early recognition and treatment of sepsis]


[Aim of the study: The aim of the research was to gain a complex assessment of nurses’ skills related to sepsis. Sample and method: The survey was conducted at the University of Szeged, among nurses at four departments of the Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Institute, and at the Cardiac Surgery Post-operative Unit. The survey sample consisted of the specialist nurses at the aforementioned intensive-care departments. The nurses had to complete a questionnaire consisting of 37 questions, concerning the topics of sepsis, hand disinfection and continuous training. The answers were evaluated through a statistic analysis using the SPSS 21 program (Kruskal-Wallis test, binomial test, one-sample T-test and regression analysis), with a significance level of p =0.05. Results: Based on the results, 28.6% of the surveyed sample is capable of differentiating sepsis, severe sepsis and septic shock on the basis of the listed symptoms (p <0.001). The answers given to questions relating to the treatment and nursing of septic patients revealed that the level of knowledge is not satisfactory (p <0.001). No correlation could be demonstrated between the number of years spent working in the intensive-care department and the level of sepsis related knowledge (p =0.138). Conclusions: Based on the research results it can be concluded that there is a real need and demand for continuous training in relation to sepsis. ]

Journal of Nursing Theory and Practice

[The role of nurses and their tasks in early sepsis management]

VÁRADI Annamária, FEHÉR Gábor, FÖMÖTÖR Péter

[The Surviving Sepsis Guideline (SSG) is a document that proposed new solutions in the diagnostics and treatment of sepsis. The methods identified were the 100% oxygen therapy, fluid resuscitation, blood culture and microbiological analysis, empiric combination antibiotic therapy, lactate monitoring, comparison of PCT and CRP, and surgical opening. Using the above mentioned methods has proven to improve the quality of sepsis treatment and the safety of patients. Sepsis -6 protocol has been highlighted by the authors as a process that is easy to implement in terms of cost while remaining highly beneficial. This recommendation should also be well known for nurses that do not work in emergency units. This will help recognise sepsis at an early stage, and provide guideline in the analytical examination and the possibilities within the competence. ]