Lege Artis Medicinae

[Classification of lung fibroses - The clinical value of classification of idiopathic interstitial pneumonias]

ZSIRAY Miklós

AUGUST 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(06)

[The new classification by ATS/ERS classifies clinical, radiological and prognostic data to the reports of bronchial biopsies. Our article discusses the clinical value of the pathological results including a brief review of 7 sub-groups and the failures of the differential diagnosis. The identification of each entity can be carried out exactly only from surgical specimens obtained mostly with videothoracoscop.]

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[Over the past 20 years great progress has been made in understanding the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of allergic reactions caused by insect stings. The incidence of insect sting allergy in a general population is about 0.4- 3% but anaphylaxis to Hymenoptera venom can be fatal. The diagnosis of venom allergy is based on the history suggesting an allergic reaction and on the demonstration of the persistence of specific IgE antibody either by skin tests or RAST. Patients who had a severe allergic reaction and has positive venom skin test or RAST result should be advised to receive venom immunotherapy (VIT). The risk for subsequent life-threatening systemic sting reactions can be significantly reduced with VIT. VIT should be continued for at least 3 to 5 years and provides about 90 % protection from insect sting anaphylaxis.]

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[Clinical knowledge on the gastroesophageal reflux disease has been increased with the subject of extragastrointestinal complications in the last decade. Because of cardiological, pulmonological, laryngeal and dental complications, an interdisciplinary approach is required. The non-cardiac chest pain, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic caugh, posterior laryngitis and acidic damage of dental enamel are the most important complications. Authors study a less common connection between the gastroesophageal reflux disease and obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleeping can be considered as a risk factor of the reflux event by itself, because of the decrease of primary peristalsis, producing of saliva, and acidic and volume clearance of oesophagus as well. During obstructive sleep apnoea negative intrathoracic pressure increases extremely, resulting in increased transdiaphragmatic gradient of pressure as well. In addition, the powerful movement of diaphragm twitches the lower oesophageal sphincter through the phrenoesophageal ligament. These two mechanism practically promotes the reflux event in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. The new challenge for the gastroenterologists is to further research this new connection, to play more active role in the complex therapy, and to have a new diagnostic approach of serious gastroesophageal reflux disease.]

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[Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a severe irreversible lung disease with a progressive course. The disease onset is hard to discover due to the unspecific signs and symp­toms. It occurs mainly in elderly people. In the past decades its prevalence has increased continuously. Physical examination, restrictive pattern on lung function test with decreased diffusion capacity are characteristic features of the disease. Chest X-ray showing fibrotic pattern also points toward the diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Differential diagnosis is based on high resolution komputertomográfy. Diag­nosis of IPF is based on the appearance of usual interstitial pneumonia pattern together with the lack of external risk factors and autoimmune or other diseases also known to cause this pattern seen on chest imaging. If no firm diagnosis can be built lung biopsy is required. Multidis­ciplinary teams from clinician, radiologist and pathologist are set in predefined centres that could provide care with novel antifibrotic drugs. These can slow disease progression and are in the frontline in the treatment of the disease. Further research is required to understand the pathomechanism and foster the discovery of further treatment options. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

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Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.