LAM Extra for General Practicioners


KISS István, TAVASZY Mariann, FARSANG Csaba

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

LAM Extra for General Practicioners - 2012;4(01)

[Polyphenols, which belong to the group of flavonoids, can be found in a number of plants, and are present in a high concentration in the French maritime pine bark. The authors summarise results of large-scale experimental and clinical studies on pycnogenol, the standardised extract of French maritime pine bark. Pycnogenol decreases production and effects of free radicals (antioxidant effect). It has antiinflammatory properties, and, by the stimulation of eNOSsynthesis, it increases the production of vasodilatory compounds (e.g. NO, prostacyclin) and decreases that of vascoconstrictor compounds (endothelin-1, thromboxane) materials. These changes lead to vasodilation, which results in increased tissue perfusion and decreased blood pressure. Pycnogenol also decreases platelet aggregation and LDL-cholesterol level and increases HDL-cholesterol level. Its antidiabetic effect has also been shown. Consequently, it may substantially decrease cardiovascular risk. In addition to these results, pycnogenol has been also found to have antibacterial and antiviral effects. It has been successfully used in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as in adults with dysmenorrhea, climacterial disturbances, glaucoma or asthma bronchiale.]



Further articles in this publication

LAM Extra for General Practicioners


NAGY Katalin

[Pain is the most common symptom in rheumatology, which can be of mechanical or inflammatory origin, acute and chronic, nociceptive, neuropathic and psychogenic. Pain can be relieved by analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids, adjuvants and special drugs depending on the etiology, for example a gout attack can be stopped by colchicine. For pain relief, we use therapeutic guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends the use of analgesics, NSAIDs and adjuvants as the first step, weaker opioids as the second, and strong opioids as the third step. In rheumatology, the first step's drugs are generally used. If possible, NSAIDs should be administered briefly, potentially combined with analgesics and muscle relaxants. If pain management is insufficient, tramadol should be given. Pain relief in rheumatology also include the use of local and intraarticular injections, physiotherapy, TENS and balneotherapy. Complex therapies that combine the above mentioned methods is often more effective than the use of medications only.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[According to the latest guidelines, the goal in cardiovascular prevention is to achieve an LDL-cholesterol level no higher than 1.8 mmol/l in the high risk and extra high risk groups. According to international recommendations, statin should be used at the highest tolerable dose rather than any combination treatments. In a number of cases, higher doses are associated with increased side effects, which rarely affect liver enzymes and CK-parameters. A metaanalysis published in 2011 made it clear that higher statin doses compared with low-medium doses can increase the occurence of newonset diabetes by about 12%. This is presumably a class effect, which is not significant according to the guidelines, and which is much lesser than the benefits of this therapy in the prevention of cardiovascular events, thus, it obviously does not question the justification of statin treatment. However, the observed association implies that during statin therapy of nondiabetic patients, blood glucose control should be performed every year, and, if needed, an oral glucose tolerance test should be performed to detect the potential development of diabetes.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Administration of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme inhibitor acarbose leads to a prolonged absorption of carbohydrates, which has a smoothing effect on blood glucose excursions, and results in a more even daily blood glucose profile. The glucose lowering effect is mainly due to the reduction of postprandial blood glucose levels. Non-glycaemic effects of acarbose, including those on blood pressure, lipids and the coagulation system are also clearly beneficial. According to the available data, the preparation also reduces cardiovascular risk. If used as a monotherapy, acarbose does not cause hypoglycaemia. Flatulence and diaorrhea represent the main side effects. From a professional point of view, acarbose should be given if postprandial blood glucose excursions exceed 2.2 mmol/l.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



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Hypertension and nephrology

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]


[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The role of steroid hormones in the protection against oxidative stress]


[The incidence of vascular diseases increases in postmenopausal women. This negative trend seems to be controllable favourably by hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Based on the free radical mediated mechanism of atherogenesis the authors try to find the reasons for these observations on the basis of their and others’ data. They consider the increase of activity and amount of neutrophil enzyme myeloperoxydase by certain steroid particulars one of the most important elements of the vasoprotective effect of HRT. This increase diminishes the production of superoxide anion by the inhibition of the NADPH-oxidase enzyme. The observation proved firstly by the authors, that the plasma levels of myeloperoxydase - and so the ability for the inhibition of superoxide anion production by neutrophils - decreases in elderly people, might explain the higher incidence of some free radical mediated illnesses in the elderly. The authors also give a short review of antioxidant effects of steroids in general.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


PÁLL Dénes

[Hypertension is one of the most common diseases with a prevalence of over 25%. Despite of the availability of modern therapeutic options, the proportion of well-controlled patients is low. Before starting the treatment of patients with hypertension, it is essential to assess cardiovascular risk factors, co-morbidities and damages to target organs, in addition to repeated blood pressure measurements. The author first reviews the non-pharmacological treatment options of hypertension, then summarizes the most important characteristics of first-line antihypertensive agents (diuretics, beta-receptor blockers, calcium channel antagonists, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers). Considering the complex pathomechanism of essential hypertension, the author details the advantages and options of combined antihypertensive therapy, touching on the combinations recommended in special conditions. The metabolic effects and side-effects of antihypertensive agents, which have recently gained increased significance, are also discussed. Modern hypertension care is aimed at maximally decreasing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and improving the patient's quality of life. Maximum decrease of cardiovascular risk not only involves proper blood pressure control, but also aggressive fight against other risk factors (e.g., diabetes, dyslipidaemia, smoking) and treatment of target organ damages and comorbidities.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in the elderly]

BARNA István

[The percentage of population aged ≥65 years is mounting worldwide, among them those over 75 years is also growing. Athe­ro­scle­rosis is one of the most important and common disorder in the elderly responsible primarily for premature death and cognitive declining and impaired quality of life. Adequate lipid lowering therapy can decrease the risk of cardiovascular events – the main cause behind mortality – can extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life of patients. Effect of dietary treatment on cardiovascular risk reduction is as beneficial as in the younger populations. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of cardiovascular and overall mortality by 26% in males and 20% in females aged ≥65 years. If the medical history is negative for vascu­lar disorders, statin administration as a primary prevention is indicated for patients 65>years. In the population aged 75≥years individual benefit/risk assessment is needed before statin administration. Larger risk reduction can be achieved between 65-75 years than in subjects over 75 years. Concerning secondary prevention, statin treatment is of pre-eminent significance, and its administration is evidence-based in the elderly. For achieving the lipid goals, combined therapy with statin and ezetimibe is recommended in the primary as well as secondary cardiovascular prevention. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

[Cardiovascular risk assessment in chronic kidney disease, significance of left ventricular myocardial mass index]

SÁGI Balázs, KÉSŐI István, VAS Tibor, CSIKY Botond, NAGY Judit, KOVÁCS Tibor

[Introduction: Earlier studies have shown that cardiovascular (CV) mortality and morbidity in chronic kidney disease (CKD) often exceed their average population, and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent risk factor for CV disease. However, in CKD, the relationship between LVH, arterial stiffness (AS) and renal function has not yet been fully elucidated. Little data is available on their prognostic role. Aims of our study a) cross-sectional examination of the relationship between left ventricular mass index (LVMI), arterial vascular stiffness, and renal function, b) in our follow-up study, clarification of the LVMI, the prognostic role of AS in patients with CKD, IgA nephropathy (IgAN). Methods: In our cross-sectional study, 79 IgAN patients were examined in our clinic. The myocardial mass index (LVMI) was determined using an estimation formula after echocardiographic measurements. Arterial stiffness was measured using a photoplethizmography technique (PulseTrace) and characterized by the stiffness index (SI). The MDRD formula was used to estimate renal function (GFR) (eGFR, ml/min/1.73 m2). In the prognostic study the primary combined endpoint was total mortality, the most important CV events (stroke, myocardial infarction or cardiovascular interventions such as revascularization) and end stage renal disease. Secondary endpoints were CV and renal endpoints separately. Results: Of the 79 patients included in our cross-sectional study, 50 were men, with an average age of 46 ± 11 years. The mean value of LVMI was 106.66 ± 22.98 g/m2. Patients were divided into groups of 115 g/m2 for males considered to be abnormal and 95 g/m2 for women. LVMI is closely correlated with SI and inversely with eGFR (corr. coeff: 0.358; p <0.05 or -0.526; p <0.001). In case of LVH, SI was significantly higher in both sexes (p = 0.005 in males, p = 0.04 in females). In case of higher LVMI, renal function was significantly lower (p = 0.002 in males, p = 0.01 in females). Metabolic syndrome occurred in several cases in both sexes with LVH, but the difference was only significant in male patients (males 6 vs. 10, p = 0.008; females 2 vs. 4, p = 0.29). In our follow-up study, the presence of LVH in men significantly reduced survival in both primary and secondary endpoints, whereas in women there was no significant difference. Conclusion: In IgAN decreasing of renal function is closely related to left ventricular hypertrophy and vascular stiffness, as well as a close relationship was found between LVMI and AS. Reduced renal function is associated with an increase in LVMI and an increase in AS, which may result in a worse prognosis for both CV and renal outcomes. The underlying role of all these can be assumed to be a common vascular and myocardial pathological remodeling.]