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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Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE PROSPECTS OF SURGICAL TREATMENT OF END-STAGE EMPHYSEMA (COPD): THE LUNG VOLUME REDUCTION SURGERY]

KECSKÉS László

[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[HUMAN DENDRITIC CELLS AND INFECTIVE AGENTS]

KIS Zoltán

[Dendritic cells represent important components of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Human dendritic cells can be divided into two major subsets: myeloid and plasmacytoid (lymphoid) dendritic cells. The unique function of the dendritic cells is to capture antigens, present and to activate the antigenic peptides to the T lymphocytes. Dendritic cells go through a maturation process both in vitro and in vivo. By the use of pathogenrecognition- receptors the immature dendritic cells sense diverse pathogens or their various components, or cellular factors produced by the infected neighboring non-dendritic cells, and maturation signals are transduced for the dendritic cells. The heterogeneity of the pathogen-recognition-receptors and the microbial stimuli initiate a broad range of interactions between dendritic cells and infectious agents. Dendritic cells infected with certain viruses produce only a few infectious particles, but express and present viral antigens to T lymphocytes and immune response is initiated (influenza virus). Dendritic cells infected with certain pathogens not only initiate immune response but also disseminate the pathogen (human immunodeficiency virus, Mycobacterium tuberculosis). Some pathogens are killed in the dendritic cells, but the antigens are presented to the T cells, and immune responses are induced (Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia psittaci). Dendritic cells capture antigens produced by infected neighbouring cells and present them to T lymphocytes, thus immune response is initiated (human cyto-megalovirus, herpes simplex virus). Dendritic cells are responsible for virus-induced immunosupp-ression; dendritic cells infected with certain pathogens form syncytia with T cells, thereby contribute to the suppression of T cell functions directed against opportunistic infections (measles virus). Dendritic cells can present not only foreign antigens but also self-antigens and when immature dendritic cells become mature upon exposure to inflammatory processes or to pathogens capable of activating them they can induce autoimmunity.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Preliminary concept of the bill on protecting personal genetic data, on genetic research, on genetic test, screening, and on the biobanks]

SÁNDOR Judit, KOSZTOLÁNYI György, FALUS ANDRÁS

Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE IMPORTANCE OF HYPERTENSION IN CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES]

SZAPÁRY László

[Stroke is a highly prevalent disorder worldwide; it is the third main cause of death and the leading cause of severe disability. Recent data showed that 72-86% of cerebrovascular disorders are of ischaemic type. Arterial hypertension is the most prevalent risk factor for both haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke, it is present in approximately 70% of cases. All forms of hypertension, isolated systolic or diastolic and combined hypertension increase stroke risk about 3-4 times and the relationship with systolic blood pressure may even be stronger than with diastolic blood pressure. Hypertension is very common after acute stroke. In this phase the cerebral autoregulation is disturbed in the region of focal brain ischaemia or haemorrhage such that cerebral blood flow is directly dependent on systemic blood pressure. It is therefore essential to avoid systemic hypotension in acute stroke patients and the reduction of high blood pressure may lower cerebral blood flow in the ischemic penumbra. Evidence from clinical data shows that control of blood pressure leads to lower risk of first or reccurent stroke and patients have shown beneficial effects especially of ACE inhibitors and diuretics. In the PROGRESS study both hypertensive and non-hypertensive cerebrovascular patients benefited from antihypertensive therapy. Previous results suggests that there may be additional beneficial effects of the ACEinhibitor therapy not related to blood pressure lowering in the prevention of stroke.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Actual questions of the longterm anticoagulant therapy]

SAS Géza

[In the last few years we have witnessed some changes in the area of the chronic oral anticoagulant therapy. The nomenclature of the anticoagulant drugs has been modified and concern has arisen about the possible vascular calcification in patients on long-term warfarin therapy. Because of the novelty of the “new” anticoagulants (dabigatran etc.) has been lost, instead of their previous acronym (NOAC) the DOAC (direct oral anticoagulants) term has been accepted for their marking. Experimental and clinical data suggested that vitamin K-antagonists (VKA) in addition to the coagulation factors disturb the production of other proteins, too. By inhibiting the matrix Gla protein (MGP), the chronic warfarin therapy promotes the calcification in media of the arteries as it was shown in women participating in routine mammography. However, the clinical importance of this observation is dubious, because the incidence of acute coronary events is not increased in cases of warfarin therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation. Notwith­standing, in addition to the bleeding complications we have to take into account of the possible harmful vascular calcification, too, at the indication of chronic coumarin therapy. Therefore, this therapy should be applied only in proper cases, such as non-valvular atrial fibrillation with a high risk of ischaemic stroke or unprovoked venous thromboembolic disease with a high risk of recurrence. The results of the Swedish anticoagulant register show that the efficacy and safety of the well-managed coumarin therapy may be superior to the treatments with DOACs. However, DOACs are indispensable in certain cases in which a previous “probe” coumarin treatment is unfounded.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

SENGUL Yildizhan, KOCAK Müge, CORAKCI Zeynep, SENGUL Serdar Hakan, USTUN Ismet

Cognitive dysfunction (CD) is a common non-motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Alexithy­mia is a still poorly understood neuropsychiatric feature of PD. Cognitive impairment (especially visuospatial dysfunction and executive dysfunction) and alexithymia share com­mon pathology of neuroanatomical structures. We hypo­thesized that there must be a correlation between CD and alexithymia levels considering this relationship of neuroanatomy. Objective – The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between alexithymia and neurocognitive function in patients with PD. Thirty-five patients with PD were included in this study. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale–20 (TAS-20), Geriatric Depression Inventory (GDI) and a detailed neuropsychological evaluation were performed. Higher TAS-20 scores were negatively correlated with Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) similarities test score (r =-0.71, p value 0.02), clock drawing test (CDT) scores (r=-0.72, p=0.02) and verbal fluency (VF) (r=-0.77, p<0.01). Difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was negatively correlated with CDT scores (r=-0.74, p=0.02), VF scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04), visual memory immediate recall (r=-0.74, p=0.01). VF scores were also correlated with difficulty describing feelings (DDF) scores (r=-0.66, p=0.04). There was a reverse relationship bet­ween WAIS similarities and DDF scores (r=-0.70, p=0.02), and externally oriented-thinking (r=-0.77,p<0.01). Executive function Z score was correlated with the mean TAS-20 score (r=-62, p=0.03) and DDF subscale score (r=-0.70, p=0.01) Alexithymia was found to be associated with poorer performance on visuospatial and executive function test results. We also found that alexithymia was significantly correlated with depressive symptoms. Presence of alexithymia should therefore warn the clinicians for co-existing CD.

Hypertension and nephrology

[About the care of patients with hyperuricaemia and gout]

[This consensus document is intended to provide guidance for the effective and efficient treatment of asymptomatic individuals with high uric acid levels and gout patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[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.]