Lege Artis Medicinae

[How Drug Advertisements Perceive the World]

NÉMETH Éva

SEPTEMBER 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(09)

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Drug treatment possibilities in chronic liver diseases]

HAGYMÁSI Krisztina, LENGYEL Gabriella, FEHÉR János

[Alcoholic and drug induced liver diseases, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatitis C and B chronic hepatitis, autoimmune diseases (primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis) and metabolic disorders (hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease) are the main chronic liver diseases. Authors summarize, based on the latest literature data, the medications of chronic liver diseases, emphasizing the treatment of the everyday practice. Natural and synthetic antioxidants are approved for the treatment of chronic alcoholic liver diseases besides abstinence, with diet of adequate quality and quantity. Nucleoside analogues (lamivudin) are recommended for the first-line therapy of the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Interferon is presently considered the optimal treatment for only certain patients. Interferon and ribavirin combined therapy is well-established in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Ursodeoxycholic acid is the beneficial treatment option for primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Prednisolon and azathioprine constitute the basic therapy of autoimmune hepatitis. Presumably, in the future, new strategies based on immunosuppressive combinations will play a crucial role. The chelating deferoxamine has less important part in the treatment of hemochromatosis. D-penicillamine still plays principle role in the medication of Wilson's disease.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[QT dispersion - the surface ECG marker of arrhythmic risk]

KUN Csaba, CZURIGA István, LŐRINCZ István

[During the past decade numerous publications have reported the pathophysiological and clinical value of QT dispersion. Increased QT dispersion was observed to be associated with proarrhythmic drug effects, prediction of mortality in heart failure and risk assessment after acute myocardial infarction. Based on the results of the repolarization process research and other significant clinical studies, the meaning and the usefulness of QT dispersion seems to be challenged. The original concept of portraying QT dispersion as a direct measure of regional heterogeneity of myocardial refractoriness is seriously flawed. At the same time, disproving this concept is not a good reason for stating that QT dispersion does not exist. The measurement of QT dispersion seems to be an approximate expression of repolarization abnormalities and should not be taken as a gold standard for a noninvasive estimate of repolarization abnormalities. However, we presently have no decent and widely available alternative to address repolarization abnormalities in standard 12-lead ECG. The authors present the pathophysiological meaning of QT dispersion, the controversies of automatic and manual methodology and the possible clinical relevances based on the most recent studies.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Oral clodronate for the prevention and therapy of bone metastasis of breast cancer]

NAGYKÁLNAI Tamás

[1600 mg/d oral clodronate has been shown to reduce the incidence of skeletal complications significantly in advanced breast cancer cases with lytic bone metastases. Analysis of clinical trials revealed that the adjuvant, prophylactic administration of clodronate possibly decreases the number of non-skeletal metastases and might prolong survival.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Nobel Prize for Medicine 2002]

SZENDE Béla

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effect of angiotensin receptor antagonists in diabetic nephropathy]

BÍBOK György

[Influencing the renin-angiotensin system through receptor blockade has become a new therapeutic approach toward the treatment of several morbidities, i.e. hypertension, cardiac failure and diabetic nephropathy. The current paper reviews the importance of diabetic nephropathy, the physiology of the renin-angiotensin system and specific effects of receptor blockade on different organs based on 3 new studies (published last year) using angiotensin-II receptor blockers. The paper gives a summary of the IRMA, IDNT and RENAAL studies, including their clinical and therapeutic significance in general practice as well as in specialized diabetes care. The new therapeutic approach (with an excellent safety profile, and infrequent side effects) could delay the progression or might even prevent the manifestation of diabetic nephropathy not only with lowering blood pressure but with its direct effects on target tissues as well. The angiotensin-II receptor blocking agents might be useful for the treatment of cardiac failure in hypertensive patients.]

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Clinical Neuroscience

[Zonisamide: one of the first-line antiepileptic drugs in focal epilepsy ]

JANSZKY József, HORVÁTH Réka, KOMOLY Sámuel

[Chronic administration of antiepileptic drugs without history of unprovoked epileptic seizures are not recommended for epilepsy prophylaxis. Conversely, if the patient suffered the first unprovoked seizure, then the presence of epileptiform discharges on the EEG, focal neurological signs, and the presence of epileptogenic lesion on the MRI are risk factors for a second seizure (such as for the development of epilepsy). Without these risk factors, the chance of a second seizure is about 25-30%, while the presence of these risk factors (for example signs of previous stroke, neurotrauma, or encephalitis on the MRI) can predict >70% seizure recurrence. Thus the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) re-defined the term ’epilepsy’ which can be diagnosed even after the first seizure, if the risk of seizure recurrence is high. According to this definition, we can start antiepileptic drug therapy after a single unprovoked seizure. There are four antiepileptic drugs which has the highest evidence (level „A”) as first-line initial monotherapy for treating newly diagnosed epilepsy. These are: carbamazepine, phenytoin, levetiracetam, and zonisamide (ZNS). The present review focuses on the ZNS. Beacuse ZNS can be administrated once a day, it is an optimal drug for maintaining patient’s compliance and for those patients who have a high risk for developing a non-compliance (for example teenagers and young adults). Due to the low interaction potential, ZNS treatment is safe and effective in treating epilepsy of elderly people. ZNS is an ideal drug in epilepsy accompanied by obesity, because ZNS has a weight loss effect, especially in obese patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

TLR4 (Toll-like receptor-4) expression and frontal-cingulate volumes in schizophrenia

LI Hua, KÉRI Szabolcs

Evidence suggests that pathogen-associated pattern recognition receptors (Toll-like receptors, TLRs) are implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. TLRs are important in both peripheral immune responses and neuronal plasticity. However, the relationship between peripheral TLR expression and regional brain volumes is unknown in schizophrenia. We therefore assessed 30 drug-naïve, first-episode patients with schizophrenia. TLR4+/TLR1+ monocytes were measured using flow-cytometry. High resolution magnetic resonance images (T1 MRI) were obtained and analyzed with FreeSurfer. Results revealed significant negative correlations between the percentage of TLR4+ monocytes, mean fluorescent intensities, and brain volumes in frontal and anterior cingulate regions. The measures of TLR1+ monocytes did not show significant relationships with regional brain volumes. These results raise the possibility that abnormal TLR-activation is associated with decreased brain volumes in schizophrenia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Effects of valproate, carbamazepine and levetiracetam on Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratio

YASAR Altun, ERDOGAN Yasar

Aim - To evaluate P-wave dispersion before and after antiepileptic drug (AED) treatment as well as to investigate the risk of ventricular repolarization using the Tpeak-Tend (Tp-e) interval and Tp-e/QT ratio in patients with epileptic disorder. Methods - A total of 63 patients receiving AED therapy and 35 healthy adults were included. ECG recordings were obtained before and 3 months after anti-epileptic treatment among patients with epilepsy. For both groups, Tp-e and Tp-e/QT ratio were measured using a 12-lead ECG device. Results - Tp-e interval, Tpe/QT and Tp-e/QTc ratios were found to be higher in the patient group than in the control group (p<0.05, for all), while QTmax ratio was significantly lower in the patient group. After 3 months of AED therapy, significant increases in QT max, QTc max, QTcd, Tp-e, Tp-e/QT, and Tp-e/QTc were found among the patients (p<0.05). When the arrhythmic effects of the drugs before and after treatment were compared, especially in the valproic acid group, there were significant increases in Tp-e interval, Tp-e/QT and Tp-e/QTc values after three months of treatment (p<0.05). Carbamazepine and levetiracetam groups were not statistically significant in terms of pre- and post-treatment values. Conclusions - It was concluded that an arrhythmogenic environment may be associated with the disease, and patients who received AED monotherapy may need to be followed up more closely for arrhythmia.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Vigilance for Drug Safety: the SCOPE Project – An Interview with Mick Foy, Pharmacovigilance Working Group Leader of the British Medicines Authority (MHRA) ]

CZIGLÉNYI Boglárka

Clinical Neuroscience

[Decisional collisions between evidence and experience based medicine in care of people with epilepsy]

RAJNA Péter

[Background – Based on the literature and his long-term clinical practice the author stresses the main collisions of evidence and experience based medicine in the care of people with epilepsy. Purpose – To see, what are the professional decisions of high responsibility in the epilepsy-care, in whose the relevant clinical research is still lacking or does not give a satisfactory basis. Methods – Following the structure of the Hungarian Guideline the author points the critical situations and decisions. He explains also the causes of the dilemmas: the lack or uncertainty of evidences or the difficulty of scientific investigation of the situation. Results – There are some priorities of experience based medicine in the following areas: definition of epilepsy, classification of seizures, etiology – including genetic background –, role of precipitating and provoking factors. These are able to influence the complex diagnosis. In the pharmacotherapy the choice of the first drug and the optimal algorithm as well as the tasks during the care are also depends on personal experiences sometimes contradictory to the official recommendations. Same can occur in the choice of the non-pharmacological treatments and rehabilitation. Discussion and conclusion – Personal professional experiences (and interests of patients) must be obligatory accessories of evidence based attitude, but for achieving the optimal results, in some situations they replace the official recommendations. Therefore it is very important that the problematic patients do meet experts having necessary experiences and also professional responsibility to help in these decisions. ]