Hypertension and nephrology

[On the safety of angiotensin-receptor blockers - A new attack on this drug class]

FARSANG Csaba

SEPTEMBER 09, 2010

Hypertension and nephrology - 2010;14(04)

[Up until now, angiotensin-receptor blockers have been considered to be the safest cardio-, cerebro-, reno- and vasculoprotective drugs. In a previous metaanalysis, ARBs were accused of increasing the risk of myocardial infarction, but a number of metaanalyses and randomised, controlled trials have disproved this hypothesis. In a recent metaanalysis, ARBs were associated with an increased risk of tumours. The author reviews this issue, discusses the flaws of the above metaanalysis and, on the basis of the most up-to-date data in the literature, expert opinions and official statements (FDA, EMA), concludes that members of this drug class should continue to be used according to their approved indications, which is supported by their cardio-, reno-, cerebro- and vasculoprotective effects demonstrated in a number of appropriate, large-scale clinical studies.]

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Hypertension and nephrology

[The importance of assessing subclinical organ damage in risk prediction of hypertensive patients]

GODINA Gabriella, JÁRAI Zoltán

[As the cardiovascular risk influences the quality and intensity of blood pressure lowering therapy, the goal blood pressure values and the frequency of medical control of hypertensive patients, as well as global risk assessment has an important role in the management of hypertension. In the last couple of years many data have been accumulated showing the poor prognostic value of traditional cardiovascular risk factors. This is the reason why recent Hungarian and international guidelines on the management of hypertension advise the screening for subclinical organ damage. Our goal was to summarize the importance of subclinical organ damage by discussing recently published literature on this topic. An overview has been made on the markers of vascular subclinical damage, like carotid atherosclerosis proved with carotid ultrasonography, peripheral arterial disease assessed with ankle-brachial pressure index measurements and vascular rigidity defined with pulse wave velocity measurements. The prognostic values of myocardial hypertrophy assessed with ECG and/or echocardiography and renal damage proved with decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate and proteinuria are also discussed. Summing up what has been said so far, the assessment of subclinical organ damage has a role in cardiovascular risk prediction, however more randomized and prospective studies have to be performed to define the most suitable (i.e. the most reliable and the most cost-effective) markers for this purpose.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Evaluation of arterial stiffness in children. Guidelines for the practice]

CSEPREKÁL Orsolya, KIS Éva, SZABÓ J. Attila, REUSZ György

[Assessment of early atherosclerosis and decreased arterial elasticity to recognise the cardiovascular dysfunction in high-risk patients has gained importance in the past decade. Since 1990, more than 630 papers have been published in the adult and pediatric literature. Methods of early risk assessment in adults are well determined in international recommendations. The aim of the present work is to review the suggestions of the American Heart Association helping us to find the most appropriate method for the non invasive methods of cardiovascular assessment of young adults and children. Furthermore, multicentric studies should be conducted to create a Framingham like score system for pediatric patients, to render cardiovascular risk assessment much easier for the every day routine.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Update on diagnostics and therapy of the renal artery stenosis in 2010]

KOLOSSVÁRY Endre, FARKAS Katalin, KERKOVITS Lóránt, KISS István

[Results of epidemiological studies indicate the atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis is a common condition, thus development of its diagnostics and therapy has significant importance. Renal artery narrowing can cause hypertension, renal function decline, cardiac failure and the increased cardiovascular risk seriously affects survival perspective of the patients. The evolution of MR technology has a prominent role in renovascular diagnostics. Beyond the detection of arterial stenosis this technique is capable of the functional characterization of the stenosis and the detailed description of the regional kidney tissue damage. Based on the results of clinical studies the relevance of revascularization of the renal artery stenosis remains uncertain. The trials focusing on this issue show methodological imperfections. It remains to be elucidated whether these methodological problems will be tackled in the future based on the present information. This review focuses on the actual findings corresponding to these problems.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Diuretikumok hypertoniában - 2010]

BARNA István

[Diuretics (especially thiazide derivatives and indapamide that also has vasodilator efficacy) are considered as first line treatment in hypertension. They are particularly favourable in the treatment of overweight, elderly, isolated systolic hypertensive patients suffering from type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome or in mild renal and cardiac insufficiency. They can be ideally combined with other antihypertensive agents (primarily with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blocking agents és béta-blockers). If hypertension is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy or stroke indapamide is the appropriate choice. In case of left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure thiazide and/or furosemide is the adequate option. Low dose diuretics have no clinically relevant side effects and reduce cardiac mortality to the same extent as other pharmaceutical interventions.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[The 27th Great Assembly of the Hungarian Society of Nephrology]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[On the safety of angiotensin-receptor blockers - A new attack on this drug class]

FARSANG Csaba

[Up until now, angiotensin-receptor blockers have been considered to be the safest cardio-, cerebro-, reno- and vasculoprotective drugs. In a previous metaanalysis, ARBs were accused of increasing the risk of myocardial infarction, but a number of metaanalyses and randomised, controlled trials have disproved this hypothesis. In a recent metaanalysis, ARBs were associated with an increased risk of tumours. The author reviews this issue, discusses the flaws of the above metaanalysis and, on the basis of the most up-to-date data in the literature, expert opinions and official statements (FDA, EMA), concludes that members of this drug class should continue to be used according to their approved indications, which is supported by their cardio-, reno-, cerebro- and vasculoprotective effects demonstrated in a number of appropriate, large-scale clinical studies.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Electrophysiological investigation for autonomic dysfunction in patients with myasthenia gravis: A prospective study

NALBANTOGLU Mecbure, AKALIN Ali Mehmet, GUNDUZ Aysegul, KIZILTAN Meral

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of neuromuscular transmission. Autonomic dysfunction is not a commonly known association with MG. We conducted this study to evaluate autonomic functions in MG & subgroups and to investigate the effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. This study comprised 30 autoimmune MG patients and 30 healthy volunteers. Autonomic tests including sympathetic skin response (SSR) and R-R interval variation analysis (RRIV) was carried out. The tests were performed two times for patients who were under acetylcholinesterase inhibitors during the current assessment. The RRIV rise during hyperventilation was better (p=0.006) and Valsalva ratio (p=0.039) was lower in control group. The SSR amplitudes were lower thereafter drug intake (p=0.030). As much as time went by after drug administration prolonged SSR latencies were obtained (p=0.043).Valsalva ratio was lower in the AchR antibody negative group (p=0.033). The findings showed that both ocular/generalized MG patients have a subclinical parasympathetic abnormality prominent in the AchR antibody negative group and pyridostigmine has a peripheral sympathetic cholinergic noncumulative effect.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[A short chronicle of three decades ]

KAPRONCZAY Katalin

[Hungarian professional periodicals started quite late in European context. Their publish­ing, editing and editorial philosophy were equally influenced by specific historical and political situations. Certain breaking points of history resulted in termina­tion of professional journals (War of In­de­pendence 1848-1849, First and Se­cond World Wars), however there were pe­riods, which instigated the progress of sciences and founding of new scientific journals. Both trends were apparent in years after the fall of former Hungarian regime in 1990. The structure of book and journal publishing has changed substantially, some publishers fell “victim” others started successfully as well. The latters include the then-established publishing house Literatura Medica and its own scientific journal, Lege Artis Me­di­cinae (according to its subtitle: New Hun­garian Medical Herald) issued first in 1990. Its appearance enhanced significantly the medical press market. Its scientific publications compete with articles of the well-established domestic medical journals however its philosophy set brand-new trends on the market. Concerning the medical community, it takes on its problems and provides a forum for them. These problems are emerging questions in health care, economy and prevention, in close interrelation with system of public health institutions, infrastructure and situation of those providing individual health services. In all of them, Lege Artis Medicinae follows consequently the ideas of traditional social medicine.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Second game, 37th move and Fourth game 78th move]

VOKÓ Zoltán

[What has Go to do with making clinical decisions? One of the greatest intellectual challenges of bedside medicine is making decisions under uncertainty. Besides the psychological traps of traditionally intuitive and heuristic medical decision making, lack of information, scarce resources and characteristics of doctor-patient relationship contribute equally to this uncertainty. Formal, mathematical model based analysis of decisions used widely in developing clinical guidelines and in health technology assessment provides a good tool in theoretical terms to avoid pitfalls of intuitive decision making. Nevertheless it can be hardly used in individual situations and most physicians dislike it as well. This method, however, has its own limitations, especially while tailoring individual decisions, under inclusion of potential lack of input data used for calculations, or its large imprecision, and the low capability of the current mathematical models to represent the full complexity and variability of processes in complex systems. Nevertheless, clinical decision support systems can be helpful in the individual decision making of physicians if they are well integrated in the health information systems, and do not break down the physicians’ autonomy of making decisions. Classical decision support systems are knowledge based and rely on system of rules and problem specific algorithms. They are utilized widely from health administration to image processing. The current information revolution created the so-called artificial intelligence by machine learning methods, i.e. machines can learn indeed. This new generation of artificial intelligence is not based on particular system of rules but on neuronal networks teaching themselves by huge databases and general learning algorithms. This type of artificial intelligence outperforms humans already in certain fields like chess, Go, or aerial combat. Its development is full of challenges and threats, while it presents a technological breakthrough, which cannot be stopped and will transform our world. Its development and application has already started also in the healthcare. Health professionals must participate in this development to steer it into the right direction. Lee Sedol, 18-times Go world champion retired three years after his historical defeat from AlphaGo artificial intelligence, be­cause “Even if I become the No. 1, there is an entity that cannot be defeated”. It is our great luck that we do not need to compete or defeat it, we must ensure instead that it would be safe and trustworthy, and in collaboration with humans this entity would make healthcare more effective and efficient. ]