LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Alzheimer’s disease and arrhythmia: cause, effect, complication]

PETŐ Balázs, KOVÁCS Tibor

FEBRUARY 20, 2015

LAM Extra for General Practicioners - 2015;7(01)

[Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a new endemic of the 21st century which becomes the biggest health and social problem of the ageing societies in the next few decades. Vascular factors, such as cardiac arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation, play an important role in the pathogenesis of AD. Arrhythmias might develop as a consequence of AD, too, and they might be caused by the cholinergic medications used in the treatment of AD. In addition, AD has a major influence on the treatment of arrhythmias, especially atrial fibrillation. Because of these, AD and arrhythmias might accompany each other in the practice of several medical specialties; these interactions are reviewed in this paper. ]

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LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Treatment of hepatits C virus infected patients with cirrhosis in real-life conditions in Hungary with the two pegylated interferons]

[AIMS - In this trial we have analyzed the data of cirrhotic naiv as well as treatment experienced patients with chronic hepatitis C, treated in the East-Hungarian hepatology centers, between 2004 and 2010, because in the era of triple combinations, we mostly treat cirrhotic patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - We have found 272 patients and in most of them the cirrhosis was proven by biopsy. These patients were treated with pegylated interferon (pegIFN) alpha plus ribavirin in combination, 172 were naiv and 100 patients were treatment experienced. Data were collected retrospectively and the pretreatment parameters like age, sex, body weight, transaminase level, genotype, initial viral load, comorbidities, and proportion of first and repeated treatments have been analyzed. We have investigated the influence of the initial parameters as well as the type of pegIFN on the complete early virologic response (cEVR) and on the sustained virological response (SVR). RESULTS - The cEVR was 27% (74/272) and the SVR was 21% (58/272) in the whole patient population. With pegIFN a-2a, 32% (45/141) cEVR and 28% (39/141) SVR, whereas with pegIFN a-2b 22% (29/131) cEVR and 15% (19/131) SVR were achieved. Among this patient population the largest subgroup was the naiv patients with high viral load (HVL). In this subgroup the SVR was 21% (28/132). However, with pegIFN a-2a SVR was 29% (21/73), whereas with pegIFN a-2b SVR was only 12% (7/59). The above differences found between the two pegIFNs proved to be statistically significant. Age <40 years, low viral load (LVL) and treatment with pegIFN a-2a proved to be independent positive factors influencing cEVR as well as SVR, by multiple logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSION - According to these results, cirrhotic patients with hepatitis C may benefit if pegIFN a-2a is used as backbone therapy in triple combinations. ]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[Insertion of percutaneous peritoneal dialysis catheter using Seldinger technic with assistance of image amplifier ]

PETHŐ Ákos Géza, SZABÓ Réka, SZŰCS Attila, BALLA József

[INTRODUCTION - Continuous Ambula­tory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD) treatment is widespread used over the years as a result of technical progress. As with any renal replacement therapy, in hemodialysis patients in time made vascular access, also the success of the CAPD depends on the in time inserted catheter for peritoneal dialysis. PATIENTS AND METHOD - Inserting a catheter for chronic peritoneal dialysis in Hungary is currently exclusively surgical procedure. The successfully CAPD treatment is so essential to insert the peritoneal dialysis catheter by dedicated surgeon. The intervention is often not a priority in the surgical tender, and in many places queues delaying the surgery. Proposed as an alternative to the percutaneous technique introduction. If nephrologist are familiar with basic surgical procedures by providing appropriate means, the percutaneous catheter insertion technique can be performed. RESULTS - In the spring of 2014, we introduced in Hungary first this procedure, which reported in the international literature as percutaneous PD-catheter insertion method. The technique was modified to the primary entry point determined by the typical abdominal puncture site. Puncture of the abdomen is performed by physicians as a routine intervention, which is widely accepted. After selecting the appropriate patient population and detailed medical information, patients are prepeared, under x-ray fluoroscopy imaging the implants were made. So far 10 catheter were implanted under this technique, all of them successfully. Thanks to the minimal invasive intervention, the patients healing was significantly faster, after the day of catheter-insertion we were able to start drainage. By the traditional surgical implantation the recovery time is six weeks. CONCLUsiONS - In all cases, when a surgeon not willing to insert the peritoneal dialysis catheter, the percutaneous technique can be safe. All of the catheters made by us are working well. Of course, the surgical procedure is still indispensable, however, and this is the percutaneous technique’s advantage, the CAPD treatment can be started after the intervention. ]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio

YASAR Altun, ERDOGAN Yasar

Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effects of angiotensin receptor blockers on the nervous system in hypertension and dementia]

KOVÁCS Tibor

[The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is one of the most important mechanisms regarding the pathomechanism and treatment of hyprtension. The most of the elements of the RAS are found in the nervous system too. The effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) is based on the inhibition of the RAS. ARBs might have a special role in the central nervous system because they do not decrease the production of angiotensin but inhibit its harmful effects mediated through the AT1 receptor while allowing the stimulation of AT2 receptors with resulting pleiotrophic actions. Hypertension is the most important risk factor for stroke and has a negative effect on cognitive functions. Antihypertensive treatment has an effect on the nervous system; in addition to the consequences of the reduced blood pressure, ARBs might provide additional advantages in stroke and dementia prevention.]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Hypertension and atrial fibrillation. Part 1. - Epidemiological data. The pathomechanism of PF in hypertension]

KÉKES Ede

[Atrial fibrillation (PF) is the most common arrhythmia on the basis of analyzes conducted in different regions of the world. The main reason for this is the aging of the population. High blood pressure is one of the major factors of mortality in both developed and poor economical countries. The combined presence of the two diseases presents many hazards to our body. The most significant of these is the development of thromboembolic stroke, which is constantly increasing with age. The author analyzes in detail the aetiology called atrial cardiomyopathy, behind which there are complex structural, architectural, contractile and electro-physiological changes and leads to clinical manifestation of PF.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Everyday practice of atrial fibrillation treatment]

KISS István, BENCZÚR Béla

[The clinical importance of atrial fibrillation - the most frequent arrhythmia - is derived from the fact that it means a 5-fold risk of stroke/systemic embolism which contributes to the increased cardiovascular morbidity/mortality. Long-term oral anticoagulant therapy is a cornerstone of stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Until recently Vitamin-K antagonists were the only available therapeutic option but its everyday use has several limitations, eg. bleeding risk, narrow therapeutic range, drug and food interactions and the need of monthly INR-control. The advent of NOAC-s may prevent a lot of difficulties regarding VKA-treatment and lead to as efficacious as and safer therapy than VKAs. These benefits can help better adherence of patients to the anticoagulant therapy which is one of the most important element of more effective stroke prevention. NOACs can be used more safely both in real life and in special patient populations (eg. elderly, type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney injury) than VKAs so they can contribute to effective cardiovascular risk reduction.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Efficacy of anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists in acut stroke patients with atrial fibrillation - Hungarian results]

SAS Attila, CSONTOS Krisztina, LOVÁSZ Rita, VALIKOVICS Attila

[Background and objective - An estimated 20% of ischemic strokes are of cardiogenic origin, half of which is associated with atrial fibrillation (AF). Anticoagulation treatment of patients with this arrhythmia reduces their risk of stroke. Effectiveness and safety of oral anticoagulant therapy with vitamin K antagonists (VKA) is limited, however, by their well-known narrow therapeutic window and the substantial inter- and intraindividual variability of INR values depending on genetic and dietary factors as well as drug interactions. Our objective was to evaluate the prevalence of adequate anticoagulation and the level of anticoagulant effect actually achieved among patients with AF hospitalized for acute stroke. Methods - Patients with AF admitted to our hospital ward in 2012 for acute stroke (n=226) were included in the analysis. Using descriptive statistics, relevant clinical and therapeutic characteristics of the patients were assessed, with special reference to the INR values on admission (among patients with known AF), and the clinical outcomes. Results - Of the study cohort, 170 patients had a diagnosis of AF before the admission for stroke, but 47% of them did not take anticoagulants. Patients who suffered stroke while on anticoagulants (83 on VKA, 7 on low-molecular-weight heparins), were in most cases (75%) out of the therapeutic INR range, typically undertreated (INR<2). Overall, inadequate or completely absent anticoagulation was documented in 81% of the stroke cases occurring in patients with known AF. Of the entire study cohort, 41% was discharged home, 34% required continued institutional care, and 25% died. Conclusions - The inadequacy or lack of anticoagulation was observed in the vast majority of acute strokes in patients with known AF. These cases are often related to the well-documented limitations of VKA therapy in terms of its safety, tolerability and/or practical aspects. To prevent them, important changes are warranted in the anticoagulation practice, including the closer control of VKA therapy and the broader use of new oral anticoagulants.]