Lege Artis Medicinae

[ANTICOAGULATION AND THROMBOEMBOLIC DISEASES - INDICATIONS, PROBLEMS AND PRACTICAL ASPECTS]

SAS Géza

APRIL 21, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2004;14(04)

[The widespread application of the LMW heparins promoted the prevention and therapy of the thromboembolic diseases in Hungary. Their propagation is mainly due to their simple clinical application and the active promotion of the producing pharmaceutical companies. However, the recommended “unnecessary” (in the reality the lack of) laboratory control may cause severe complications (bleeding, thromboembolism etc.) sometimes especially at the therapeutic application. For this reason, unfractionated (UF) heparin is advised in case of acute deep vein thrombosis when a patient is in the particular danger of bleeding because of its better controllability and the opportunity to stop anticoagulation immediately. In recent years, the indication of the long-term anticoagulation therapy expanded significantly. The number of patients is ever growing who need continuous anticoagulation because of atrial fibrillation or venous thromboembolic episode taken place earlier. Large randomised multicenter trials proved the efficacy of prolonged coumarin therapy in the prevention of recurrence of thromboembolic episodes in these diseases. Due to its advantageous pharmacological characteristics warfarin is especially suitable for the attainment of continuous anticoagulation. The direct thrombin inhibitor melagatran (and its orally applicable form, ximelagatran) may open a new era in the prophylaxis and therapy of the thromboembolic diseases. Its advantageous pharmacological characteristics and its simple application may make them to the antithrombotics of the future in case of a reasonable price and/or subsidisation.]

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[On the basis of relevant international literature the author presents the indications, contraindications, risks and results of the lung volume reduction surgery applicable in cases of therapyresistant end-stage COPD. These interventions, which require strong interdisciplinary cooperation of a pneumonologist, a thoracic surgeon, an anaesthesiologist and a physiotherapeutist were introduced in 1995 as a result of Cooper's study. A multicentric prospective study analysed the efficiency of this new surgical procedure. The results were evaluated in 2003 and it is important to be emphasised that in short term (3-6 months) and medium term (2-4 years) an improvement of lung function and of the quality of life can be observed in those patients who have heterogeneous emphysema, mainly in the upper lobe. Also, in case of homogenous emphysema this surgical procedure can be effective but perioperative mortality is higher and a deterioration in the health-state can occur as soon as six month after the intervention. The follow-up analyses of COPD patients with alpha- 1 antitrypsin deficiency show similarly moderate results. In Szombathely, Hungary 67 such interventions were carried out on 55 patients between 1997 and 2002, with a 4.4 % mortality rate which corresponds the international standard. Our own experience also supports the fact that in short and medium term the FEV1, RV, paO2, paCO2 and the quality of life take a positive change, the continuous O2-demand of patients will cease to exist and they regain parts of the former activity. The LVRS bears remarkable cost due to the use of staplers and surgical materials as well as longer hospital stay with the need of intensive care unit. Today in Hungary the LVRS is a realistic alternative in case of severe COPD to lung transplantation. The cost of an LVRS is maximum 10% of a lung transplantation. Patients having undergone an LVRS as well as patients unacceptable for LVRS may be suitable for lung transplantation.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

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Clinical Neuroscience

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[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]