Lege Artis Medicinae

[Coalition pathology]


JULY 14, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(06-07)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae



[Diuretics are an integral part of the management of chronic heart failure. Although there are no large, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicentric studies available to show that loop- and thiazid diuretics improve survival, the efficacy of these drugs in relieving heart failure symptoms and fluid retention is indisputable. The third class of diuretics used in heart failure is aldosterone antagonists, whose beneficial effects on mortality and morbidity were demonstrated in the RALES and EPHESUS trials. In this paper, the effects and side effects of the various diuretics, as well as the indications and recommendations on their use are reviewed. New options in diuretic treatment, including adenosine receptor blockers, vasopressin antagonists, atrial natriuretic peptide analogues and ultrafiltration are also presented.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[The rennin-angiotensin system plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases. In the past decade, extensive research investigated the possible clinical benefit of the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors in various clinical conditions. Their benefits have been clearly demonstrated in many cardiovascular conditions and agreement as to their potential usefulness has been established in chronic heart failure, asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction, acute myocardial infarction and hypertension, and in the primary prevention in patients with high risk for cardiovascular events. Numerous randomised clinical trials over the past two decades established their efficacy in reducing adverse outcomes (mortality, hospitalitazion, and physical limitation) in patients with heart failure and left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Based on these results, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are indicated in all patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction regardless of etiology, in the absence of intolerance or a contraindication. Despite the recent improvements in the treatment of heart failure, mortality remains high, with approximately 50% patients dead at five years. Although angiotensinconverting enzyme inhibitors decrease mortality, they incompletely suppress angiotenzin-2 when used chronically. Since angiotensin receptor blockers block the biologic effects of angiotenzin-2 more completely than angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, they may be beneficial in the treatment of heart failure. In comparison trials, angiotensin receptor blockers were found to have no benefit over angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy. Thus, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors should remain first-line treatment for heart failure. However, in case of intolerance, angiotensin receptor blocker therapy is a reasonable substitute and provides excellent tolerability.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[The beneficial effects of treatment with betablockers in patients with chronic heart failure have been demonstrated in several large, prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials. In large trials with mortality as the endpoint, the long-term use of bisoprolol, carvedilol, nevibolol and metoprolol succinate have been associated with a reduction in total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, sudden cardiac death and death due to progression of heart failure in patients of functional classes II-IV. These favorable clinical experiences warrant a recommendation that beta-blockers should be used in all haemodynamically stable heart failure patients with reduced left ventricular systolic function who are on standard treatment, unless contraindicated. In this review, the most important data of clinical trials and practical considerations of therapy with beta-blockers in heart failure are summarized.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[The beneficial effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors on biochemical and vascular markers have been proven by many experimental studies. Reduction of the angiotensin-II level has a positive effect on oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation, apoptosis, inflammatory and prothrombotic processes. Two large multicentric trials, EUROPA and HOPE, showed that perindopril and ramipril significantly reduce mortality and the risk of both fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in patients with atherosclerosis, thereby making them the base drugs of secondary prevention of coronary artery disease.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Hydrotherapy, of Curing with Water Following the Path of Priessnitz and Kneipp]


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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.

Hungarian Radiology

[Differential diagnosis of malignant cervical lymph nodes with real-time ultrasonographic elastography and Doppler ultrasonography]

ARDA Kemal, CILEDAG Nazan, GUMUSDAG Demir Pelin

[PURPOSE - Real-time ultrasonographic elastography is a new imaging technique which is used in characterizing the difference in hardness between pathologic and normal tissue. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of real-time ultrasonographic elastography and Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) individually and combined in differentiation of benign and malignant cervical lymph nodes (LN). PATIENTS AND METHODS - Fifty-one patients (12 men, 39 women) referred for fine-needle aspiration or surgical biopsies of suspected cervical lymph nodes were examined with gray scale ultrasonography, power DUS, and realtime ultrasonographic elastography. During DUS examination vascularity and resistance index (RI) values were evaluated. A five-group elastographic colour code pattern was used to evaluate the ultrasonographic elastograms for LN (pattern 1, an absent or a very small hard area; pattern 2, hard area <45%; pattern 3, hard area ≥45%; pattern 4, peripheral hard and central soft areas; pattern 5, hard area occupying entire solid component with or without soft rim). In addition, strains of LN and surrounding muscles were measured on elastograms, and the muscle-to-LN ratio (strain index) was calculated. Real-time ultrasonographic elastography and DUS results were compared with the final diagnosis obtained by fine-needle aspiration cytology analysis and/or by surgical pathology. The diagnostic potential of the examined criteria for malignancy was evaluated with univariate analysis and multivariate generalized estimating equation regression p≤0.05 indicated statistical significance. RESULTS - A strain index higher than 2.45 and colour pattern 4-5 had high utility in malignant LN classification with 93.8% sensitivity, 89.5% specificity (p<0.001). The results were significantly better than those obtained by using DUS characterization - that is, RI greater than 0.57 - which had 78.9% sensitivity (p<0.001). CONCLUSION - Real-time ultrasonographic elastography had 93.8% sensitivity and 89.5% specificity in the differentiation of benign and malignant cervical LN in patients referred for fine-needle aspiration or surgical biopsies with suspicion of malignancy. Real-time ultrasonographic elastography and DUS in addition to gray scale ultrasonography may improve the differential diagnosis of LN.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Frontotemporal dementia - Part III - Clinical diagnosis and treatment]

GALARIOTIS Vasilis, BÓDI Nikoletta, JANKA Zoltán, KÁLMÁN János

[The authors report a comprehensive publication consisting of three parts going into the details of history, prevalence, clinical forms, differential diagnosis, genetics, molecular pathomechanism, and pathology, clinical diagnosis and treatment of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The third part of the present review focuses on the clinical diagnosis and treatment of FTD. The diagnosis of FTD is problematic even today. Mental status, psychometric testing as well as imaging studies such as PET and SPECT, and laboratory examinations may be helpful in the diagnosis. Unfortunately, bedside tests are generally insensitive to mild dysexecutive deficits. Most of FTDs do not have characteristic laboratory abnormalities or brain atrophy sufficient to set up the diagnosis; these only allow to rule out other disorders and assume the diagnosis of FTD. An effective treatment for FTD is still to be established. The improvement of serotonin metabolism has been proposed as a biological treatment. Recent studies suggest that bromocriptine may improve selective frontal symptoms, but this and the efficacy of other dopaminergic drugs need further evaluation. Drugs that prevent the expression or accumulation of tau seem to be the most promising causal approach. In aphasia behavioral therapy may be attempted. In addition, caregiver management is essential, because as with those of Alzheimer’s dementia patients, they also carry a significant psychosocial stress.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[MR examination of thoracic herniation of the spinal cord]

KENÉZ József, BARSI Péter, VÁRALLYAY György, BOBEST Mátyás, VERES Róbert

[Transdural herniation of the spinal cord is thought to be previously extremely rare and very often misdiagnosed. Possible reasons may be iatrogenic and traumatic or in about one third of cases it may be unknown, where the probable origin might be a congenital dural defect. The pathology may show characteristic and misleading MR patterns of the thoracic spine, emphasising the importance of these patterns. This anomaly can lead to progressive Brown-Sequard syndrome. Surgical intervention, consisting the repair of the dural defect may result in improvement or even complete regression of the neurologic deficits.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio in essential tremor

TAK Zeynal Abidin Ali, SENGUL Yildizhan

Introduction - Although essential tremor (ET) is the most common cause of tremor, the pathology and underlying mechanisms have not fully understood yet. In addition to kinetic tremor, patients may present several types of tremor, gait ataxia, hearing deficits and eye movement abnormalities. Non-motor symptoms and signs have also added to definition of ET. There is significant evidence indicating the neurodegenerative nature of the disease. New studies indicate that inflammation may have a place in the etiology. The neutrophil-to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and the platelet-to lymphocyte ratio (PLR) have recently begun to be used as a marker of systemic inflammation. Our study aims at finding a clue for systemic inflammation in ET. Methods - 67 patients with ET and 40 healthy controls were recruited for the study. The total white blood cells (WBC), absolute neutrophil count, lymphocyte count and platelet count were retrieved. The NLR was calculated by dividing the neutrophil count by the lymphocyte count and the PLR was calculated by dividing the platelet count by the lymphocyte count. Results - Patient and control groups were similar in terms of age and gender. The mean age of patient group was 25.29 ± 8.24 years and that of control group was 26.77 ± 6.73 years. The NLRs were 1.85 ± 0.58 in the patient group and 1.96 ± 0.53 in the control group. For the patient group and the control group the PLRs were 103.52 ±32.80 and 91.26 ± 31.57 respectively. There were no statistically significant differences between the participants for both NLR and PLR. Conclusion - The pathophysiological mechanism for essential tremor (ET) remains unclear. However, there is an increasing amount of research being conducted on the subject. Discussions about ET’s definition as a neurodegenerative disease are ongoing. Although previous studies showed that neuroinflammation could be a part of etiology of disease, this study has failed to demonstrate systemic inflammation in ET.