Lege Artis Medicinae

[ASCOT-LLA ]

MATOS Lajos

OCTOBER 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(07)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Antibiotic Treatment of Community-Acquired Respiratory Infections: Strategies Intended to Ensure Optimal Outcome and to Minimize the Development of Resistance]

BALL P., BAQUERO F., CARS O., FILE T., GARAU J., KLUGMAN K., LOW E. D., RUBINSTEIN E., WISE R.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The 18th International Conference on Allergy and Clinical Immunology 7-12 September 2003, Vancouver]

HIRSCHBERG Andor

Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE USE OF EARLY BIOMARKERS IN PREVENTION. - THE MARKERS OF THE EXPOSITION, EARLY EFFECT AND INDIVIDUAL SENSITIVITY]

EMBER István, KISS István, SÁNDOR János, FEHÉR Katalin, NÉMETH Katalin, LUKÁCS Péter

[The molecular and predictive epidemiology plays more and more important role in the prevention of cancer. With the help of early biomarkers, high risk population could be identified for primary preventive intervention modalities. It uses both molecular biological methods and elements of risk assessment plus a testing system based on animal experiments. Its specificity is not high enough to establish the diagnosis but it can be used to monitor the disease and to follow the effectivity of the therapy (e.g. "minimal residual disease") and the preventive interventions. It is also suitable for risk assessment with the markers of individual susceptibility. As to everyday practice there are many problems because of limited therapeutic possibilities, but we hope that the molecular and predictive epidemiology becomes an important part of medicine in the near future.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[NEW MODALITIES IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS C: PEGYLATED INTERFERONS]

GERVAIN Judit, NEMESÁNSZKY Elemér, CSEPREGI Antal

[Interferon-α proved to be the most effective therapy of chronic hepatitis C. Its combination with ribavirin enhances the antiviral activity and this modality has become the therapeutic standard recommended worldwide during the past few years. Metaanalysis of the international studies revealed that only 12-19% of the patients became virus-free following a 48-week long course of α interferon monotherapy. The combination treatment with ribavirin for 48 weeks increased the proportion of sustained responders to 35-45%. The introduction of pegylated interferons resulted in significantly higher response rates. The new therapeutic possibilities are due to the modified pharmacokinetic characteristics of the drug by changing the size and the structure of the molecules. Multicentre studies investigating the clinical effectiveness of the 40 kD sized pegylated interferon α-2a as well as the 12 kD sized pegylated interferon α-2b in combination with ribavirin reported 56% and 54% response rate, respectively. However, there is significant heterogeneity in the results according to the type of drug administered and to the genotype of the hepatitis C virus, as well as in the basal viral level and the stage of hepatic fibrosis, respectively. The message and the conclusion of the viral kinetic studies are worth remembering: if the result of the HCV nucleic acid test is still positive at week 12 or 24, therapy should be ceased due to the patient non-responder status. Since pegylated interferons are also available in Hungary the authors felt useful to give an overview of the current knowledge, summarizing the results of the relevant studies and provide a suggested state-of-the-art therapeutic protocol based on international consensus.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[CARDIOVASCULAR PREVENTION BY INHIBITION OF THE ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME IN VIEW OF THE RESULTS OF RECENT TRIALS]

PAPP Előd, TÓTH Kálmán

[Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors have long been basic drugs in the treatment of heart failure. In the preventive treatment of ischaemic heart disease, however, their mortality-reducing effect has only been proved recently. The HOPE was the first trial that showed a beneficial effect of the angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor ramipril in patients at high risk for cardiovascular diseases. The EUROPA trial showed a positive role of perindopril in the reduction of hard clinical endpoints in relatively low risk patients with known coronary artery disease. The PEACE trial was designed to show a possible group effect of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, but it failed to demonstrate a beneficial effect of trandolapril in patients with coronary artery disease. The latest data from the EUROPA trial and results from three new prevention trials with perindopril or amlodipine plus perindopril combination and with quinapril have been presented recently. Perindopril was administered in patients over 65 years with previous myocardial infarction and with good left ventricle function in the PREAMI study. By the end of the study period, the combined end point and remodelling had decreased significantly. The ASCOT-BPLA trial (amlodipine plus perindopril versus beta-blocker plus diuretic) showed a reduction in all coronary events, in the risk of stroke and in the prevalence of new-onset diabetes mellitus. Quinapril was used in the IMAGINE trial in patients after coronary bypass surgery; the results did not support the hypothesis that early treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors improves clinical outcome. Based on these new results, the indication of perindopril has been extended to the reduction of cardiovascular risk in patients with stable coronary artery disease after myocardial infarction or revascularization.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Treatment of cardiovascular risk of patients with hypertension: the role of fixed combination amlodipin-atorvastatin therapy in light of recent studies]

ALFÖLDI Sándor

[Risk factors for cardiovascular disease commonly coexist in patients with hypertension: high blood pressure is accompanied by alterations of lipid and glucose metabolism, obesity or smoking in the vast majority (70-80%) of patients. In the presence of multiple risk factors, the increment of relative cardiovascular risk caused by individual risk factors is not additive but multiplied. Since the ASCOT trial was published, statin therapy is recommended to every hypertensive patients with LDL cholesterol >2.5 mmol/L and at least intermediate cardiovascular risk (Euro SCORE>3%). Some studies show, however, that in daily clinical practice, blood pressure and lipid targets are achieved in a small percentage of patients with hypertension and dyslipidaemia. This is partly due to the fact that borderline alterations of serum cholesterol and their risk-increasing effects are often neglected during the planning of the therapy, and therapeutic adherence and persistence of patients are insufficient. According to new studies, both factors can be improved significantly if the antihypertensive and lipid-lowering treatments are initiated simultaneously, using a single pill with dual effect.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Modern beta-blocker therapy from the cardiologist’s viewpoint]

ÉDES István

[Following the publication of some large, randomised trials (LIFE, ASCOT), the benefits of the use of beta-blockers in hypertension have been questioned. On the basis of these clinical trials it has been posited that beta-blockers administered for the treatment of hypertonia are less effecient for stroke prevention. It has been suggested that first-generation beta-blockers (atenolol) have adverse metabolic effects (insulin sensitivity, lipid parameteres), which might contribute to the differences observed in clinical outcomes. On the basis of a number of clinical trials and meta-analyses performed in recent years it is now evident that the most important goal is to reach target blood pressure levels, which is usually achieved by combination therapy. Choosing drugs on the basis of strict protocols is less important. In general, beta-blockers remain one of the most important drug class for the treatment of hypertension. The author reviews the pharmacology of the cardioselective, vasodilatory drug nebivolol in detail, as well as clinical trials on nebivolol. Nebivolol has a neutral (or rather beneficial) effect on metabolic parameters (lipid parameters, blood glucose level and insulin sensitivity) as well as on left ventricular function. If hypertension is associated with cardiovascular diseases (left ventricular dysfunction, ischaemic hears disease, atrial fibrillation), nebivolol offers an excellent therapeutic alternative due to its excellent tolerability and side effect profile.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners

[MODERN BETA-BLOCKER THERAPY FROM THE CARDIOLOGIST’S VIEWPOINT]

ÉDES István

[Following the publication of some large, randomised trials (LIFE, ASCOT), the benefits of the use of beta-blockers in hypertension have been questioned. On the basis of these clinical trials it has been posited that beta-blockers administered for the treatment of hypertonia are less effecient for stroke prevention. It has been suggested that first-generation beta-blockers (atenolol) have adverse metabolic effects (insulin sensitivity, lipid parameteres), which might contribute to the differences observed in clinical outcomes. On the basis of a number of clinical trials and meta-analyses performed in recent years it is now evident that the most important goal is to reach target blood pressure levels, which is usually achieved by combination therapy. Choosing drugs on the basis of strict protocols is less important. In general, beta-blockers remain one of the most important drug class for the treatment of hypertension. The author reviews the pharmacology of the cardioselective, vasodilatory drug nebivolol in detail, as well as clinical trials on nebivolol. Nebivolol has a neutral (or rather beneficial) effect on metabolic parameters (lipid parameters, blood glucose level and insulin sensitivity) as well as on left ventricular function. If hypertension is associated with cardiovascular diseases (left ventricular dysfunction, ischaemic hears disease, atrial fibrillation), nebivolol offers an excellent therapeutic alternative due to its excellent tolerability and side effect profile]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[ASCOT-BPLA]

MATOS Lajos