Lege Artis Medicinae

[CHRONIC LYMPHOEDEMA - PREVENTION AND TREATMENT]

STIRCZER Gabriella

SEPTEMBER 18, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2004;14(08-09)

[The congenital or acquired damage of the lymphatic system can lead to the increase of the interstitial fluid in the affected extremity which can lead to chronic lymphoedema. Congenital lymphoedema is relatively rare. The interest in chronic lymphoedema is relatively high as the frequency of tumours is increasing (with surgical and irradiation therapy in the background) and of the growing numbers of the secondary lymphoedema cases due to chronic venous insufficiency in the extremities. The diagnosis and early treatment of the disease is important because the illness without therapy can be progressive and lead in severe complications, such as permanent disability of the patient. In the last 10-15 years the conservative therapy protocol of chronic lymphoedema has been introduced in Hungary and the necessary appliances are financed by the National Health Service (OEP). However, it is unfortunate that there are not enough lymphoedemic centres and patients often visit the outpatient departments only after the advice of a fellow-patient. These days, a great proportion of the patients are without treatment and in many cases the therapy can only concentrate for the prevention of the complications.]

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[Target blood pressure and reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality have to be accomplished always with the consideration of target organ lesion. Fixed-combination antihypertensive therapy has become accepted based on the recommendations of international and Hungarian medical associations that are aware of the results of evidence based medicine. The fix combinational treatment is more favorable for patients’ compliance. The daily dosage of drugs with 24 hour effect improves the patients’ cooperativeness. During fix combinational treatment higher efficiency, smaller dose and fewer side effects were observed. In combination, the effects of the drugs on blood pressure are additive without any increase in adverse effects. Last, but not least the cost of drugs of fixed combination are lower than buying the drugs separately. After careful consideration the fixed combination therapy can be recommended to the everyday practice.]

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[RISKS AND BENEFITS OF MEDICATION IN PREGNANT WOMEN]

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[The Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance System of Congenital Abnormalities can provide appropriate data for the evaluation of risk and benefits of drugs and pregnancy supplements in pregnant women. Among the main principles, the importance of time factor (the first trimester concept is outdated) and the explanation of frequent false teratogenic findings (e.g. recall bias, chance effect, etc.) are discussed. The main conclusion is that at present the exaggerated teratogenic risk of drugs is much more harmful for the fetus than the rare teratogenic effect of some drugs themselves. Medical doctors and other experts therefore need more education to know the principles and findings of modern human teratology because it may help us to have a better balance between the risks and benefits of drug use during pregnancy. On the other hand, the primary prevention of neural-tube defects and some other congenital abnormalities is demonstrated by periconceptional folic acid or folic acid-containing multivitamin supplementation. Unfortunately, this new method is used rarely and inappropriately (due to the late onset of supplementation) in Hungary.]

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