Lege Artis Medicinae

[Ethical aspects of the autonomy of the medical profession]

KAPOCSI Erzsébet1

APRIL 01, 2000

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2000;10(04)

[The term autonomy - as one of bioethics principle - in the domestic and foreign ethics literature dealing with medicine, it primarily means the autonomy of patients. A significant change in recent decades is that the emphasis has shifted in the doctor-patient relationship, which occupies a central place in the relationship system of medical activity, and the law and ethics have also focused on the principle and autonomy of patients. In addition, a number of processes have taken place that warrant an examination of how these changes affect the other side, medical activity. The present dissertation deals with the autonomy of the medical profession (it is intended not so much as critical but rather descriptive), attempts to outline its basis based partly on professional peculiarities and partly on socio-consensus, and then - without claiming to be exhaustive - issues of medical morality are necessary or worth rethinking.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Szegedi Tudományegyetem Általános Orvostudományi Kar, Magatartástudományi Csoport, Szeged

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[THE ROLE OF INFECTIOUS AGENTS IN THE ETIOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS]

VÁLYI-NAGY István, PETŐ Mónika, CSÁSZÁR Albert, VIRÓK Dezső, BURIÁN Katalin, HELTAI Krisztina, GÖNCZÖL Éva

[The well-known risk factors of atherosclerosis (high level of serum cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking) can only be re cognized in about half of the patients. Athero sclerosis begins in childhood. In vivo and in vitro data suggest that certain pathogens, like the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia pneu moniae (member of the Chlamydia genus) and cytomegalovirus (member of the herpesvirus family) may play a role in the development of atherosclerosis. Both pathogens infect the pop- ulation in childhood. Infected patients are often symptom-free, sometimes Chlamydia pneumoniae may cause respiratory disease. Both Chlamydia pneumoniae and cytomega- lovirus can be detected in atherosclerotic plaques and patients with atherosclerosis carry pathogen-specific antibodies more frequently and in higher titers. Aortic lesions similar to human atherosclerotic plaques can be indu ced by infection with Chlamydia pneumoniae or cytomegalovirus in experimental animals. Antichlamydial treatment results in the regres sion of these lesions in the infected animals. In vitro infection of tissue culture cells of human arterial origin with Chlamydia pneumoniae or cytomegalovirus results in the induction of cel- lular changes characteristic to atherosclerosis. Strategies to prevent or treat atherosclerosis might be complemented by antimicrobial treatment if the infectious origin of the disease is further confirmed. ]

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[Disparity in the perception of the disease in asthmatics and their pulmonologists plus resource in Hungary (HUNAIR study)]

MAGYAR Pál, GYURKOVITS Kálmán, HERJAVECZ Irén, BÖSZÖRMÉNYI Nagy György

[INTRODUCTION - Bronchial asthma is a chro­nic disease having an increasing prevalence in childhood and adulthood, affecting about 3-5% of the population in the developed countries. The AIR study in the United Kingdom compared the perception of the disease in asthmatic patients' to the view of their physicians (pulmonologists). Based on the results of AIR Study the Hungarian Board of Pulmonologists conducted a partially different survey in Hungary (H UNAIR Study). The fundamental objective of the HUNAIR Study was to address the following questions: 1. The persisting symptoms and limitations in daily activity of treated pediatric and adult asth­matic patients. 2. Comparison of the GINA classification of asthmatic patients (based on self-assessed symptom severity) and their pulmonologists. 3. Determination of the total asthma-related drug costs in different severity categories. 4. Determination of the total asthma-related cost for the society and its components (total drug costs, cost of lost workdays, cost of emergency visits, cost of specialist visits, cost of GP visits, cost of hospitalisation) in the different severity categories. 5. Potential differences in total cost between adult and pediatric asthmatic patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Data collection based on questionnaires was carried out from October 1998 to May 1999 and was directed by the Board of Pulmonologist. 699 adults and 375 children participated in the survey. The study was conducted in 19 adult and 8 pediatric cent­res in Hungary with the participation of 103 pulmonologists. RESULTS - Significant difference was found in the severity classification (based on GINA ) done by the physicians or the patients themselves. Substantial proportion of patients complained of more symptoms and limitations considering their own condition more severe than indicated by their physicians. Minor difference was found in the use of inhaled steroids among patients with mild, moderate and severe persistent asth­ma. An approximate "one-third " rule could be set up by the health economic evaluation: about 1/3 of the total cost was made up by lost work­ days, 1/3 by drug costs and 1/ 3 by other costs. One-third of the total drug cost was made up by controller and reliever antiasthmatics , 1/3 by emergency medicines and 1/3 by other medi­cines. Cost distribution of controller and reliever medicines: in case of adult patients 1/3 of the costs was constituted by controller medication and 2/3 (73%) by reliever medicines. That ratio was reversed in children: about 2/3 (73%) of the costs was spent on controller and '1 3 on reliever medicines. Further findings: 1. The increased health care resource utilisation correlated with the physician's perception more than the patient's self-assessment; 2. the resource utilisa­tion was twice as high in asthmatic children as in adults ; 3. the resource utilisati on was not affected by the usage of inhaled steroids during the 14 days of the study. CONCLUSIONS - lt can be concluded that in real life situations the current medical treatment of asthmatic patients is unsatisfactory (vs. in clinical trials). The cost-effectiveness of any medication can only be studied in a complex way, considering all the costs incurred in real life situations. New end-points are needed to assess the condition of asthmatics, which con­sider the limitations of patients in their daily routine activities and are not based exclusively on lung function tests.]

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[Modern approach to functional gastrintestinal disorders]

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[Functional gastrointestinal disorders defined as a variable combination of chronic or recurrent gastrointestinal symptoms not explained by structural or biochemichal abnormalities, are everpresent in the society and in physicians' offices. These conditions account for half of the referrals to gastroenterologists, at least in the ,,developed countries". The pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of these disorders are complex. The symptoms are believed to be biologically multidetermined, abnormalities in motor activity, visceral sensation (hypersensitivity and hyperalgesia) and/or central perception are the best known pathogenetic factors. Cultural/familiar influence, psychosocial status, life stress and early life events may also play important role in the development or amplification of the symptoms. Since functional gastrointestinal disorders are interrelated in their pathophysiology and clinical expression, many patients will have overlapping clinical features. Predominant symptoms, however, may be used for classifying these disorders (functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome etc) and for the positive (symptom-based) diagnostic approach of the functional gastrointestinal disorders. A biopsychosocial model created to explain complex pathophysiology described above provides the rationale also for the use of a multidisciplinary approach in the therapy. ]

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[Funcitonal Dyspepsia]

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[Functional dyspepsia is defined as a group of different epigastric symptoms without definite morphological, biochemical or infectious origin, having overlapping clinical features. The pathogenesis of the syndrome is surely multi factorial, involving the alterations of visceral perception, as well. Gastric acid hypersecretion does not play an essential role in the development of symptoms, however its pharmacological inhibition may result in symptomatic improvement. Several clinical studies have proved recently that Helicobacter pylori infection has secondary importance in the clinical history of functional dyspepsia patients, nevertheless (in the ulcer-like functional dyspepsia subgroup) eradication therapy is generally accepted as a preventive tool. The dysmotility-type subgroup of the functional dyspepsia syndrome is caused primarily by a multifactorial mixture of gastrointestinal motility disorders and altered visceral perception. The need for positiv diagnosis is emphasized by the authors. The correct doctor-patient relationship plays the most important role in the management of functional dyspepsia patients, complete with a well proven series of acid-inhibitory, prokinetics and anti-anxiety drugs.]

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

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[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[A short chronicle of three decades ]

KAPRONCZAY Katalin

[Hungarian professional periodicals started quite late in European context. Their publish­ing, editing and editorial philosophy were equally influenced by specific historical and political situations. Certain breaking points of history resulted in termina­tion of professional journals (War of In­de­pendence 1848-1849, First and Se­cond World Wars), however there were pe­riods, which instigated the progress of sciences and founding of new scientific journals. Both trends were apparent in years after the fall of former Hungarian regime in 1990. The structure of book and journal publishing has changed substantially, some publishers fell “victim” others started successfully as well. The latters include the then-established publishing house Literatura Medica and its own scientific journal, Lege Artis Me­di­cinae (according to its subtitle: New Hun­garian Medical Herald) issued first in 1990. Its appearance enhanced significantly the medical press market. Its scientific publications compete with articles of the well-established domestic medical journals however its philosophy set brand-new trends on the market. Concerning the medical community, it takes on its problems and provides a forum for them. These problems are emerging questions in health care, economy and prevention, in close interrelation with system of public health institutions, infrastructure and situation of those providing individual health services. In all of them, Lege Artis Medicinae follows consequently the ideas of traditional social medicine.]