Lege Artis Medicinae

[How Public Hospitals Developed, the Saint John Hospital ]

LUGOSI Lugo László, ZÖLDI Anna

OCTOBER 20, 2019

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2019;29(10)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Thiazide- or thiazide-like diuretics should be used in the treatment of patients with hypertension? Particularities of the situation in Hungary]


[Diuretics have remained the cornerstone of the antihypertensive treatment since their widespreading in the 1960s. According to the 2018 ESC/ESH Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension, in the absence of evidence from direct comparator trials and recognizing that many of the approved single-pill combinations are based on hydrochlorothiazide, this drug and thiazide-like indapamide can be considered suitable antihypertensive agents. In the 2018 Hungarian guidelines indapamide is named as the most efficacious diuretic in the treatment of patients with hypertension. The aim of the publication is redefining thiazide- and thiazide-like diuretic use in the treatment of hypertensive patients, with particular attention to presently available hydrochlorothia­zide and indapamide, and their combination drugs in Hungary.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Return of the Lost Son, or the Last Joining Together ]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Sexually transmitted infections: whose concern they are?]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Medical therapy of peripherial artery disease]


[Care of PAD (peripherial arterial disease) is one of the most negligent area of cardiovascular diseases: on one hand patients suffering from PAD are the most uncared, less educated and health-minded population (it’s enough to keep in mind the high rate of smoking and alcohol-abuse among them) in addition the number of angiologists is insufficient for the treatment of PAD. Although detection of PAD would be easy as a widely applicable, cheap screening method, the ankle-brachial index is available which is an obligatory screening investigation in general care. Therapeutic options are better and better since cilostazol was launched we have an evidence-based treatment which can solve the symptoms, slower the progression which is strongly recommended (IA recommendation) in both American and Hungarian guidelines. Cilostazol, a PDE3-inhibitor has complex pharmacological effect but contraindicated in several clinical conditions as pentoxiphylline is not totally excluded from the therapeutic arsenal of PAD. The place of antiplatelet agents is well-defined in the most recent European guidelines in the treatment of PAD. The jumping development of interventional radiology beyond medical therapy contributed a lot to prevent limb amputations in the case of early detection of PAD. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Donizetti's ailment: mood disorder, Barbaja, or luetic derailment?]


[The occurrence of specific forms of mood disorders is significantly higher among eminent creative persons, thus the talent and creative skills show some connections or may have common roots with mood swings. This phenomenon can be observed among composers as well. Our paper briefly summarizes several aspects of Gaetano Do­ni­zetti’s life (1797-1848), and some characteristic features of his operas. After his musical studies and initial successes Donizetti was hired by the opera impresario Domenico Bar­baja who pressed him under contract to write operas in a considerable number. Do­ni­zetti’s personal tragedy was that his wife and three children have died young. He composed more than 70 operas, wrote the librettos for some of them, had drawing skills, and a sense for theatre Gesamtkunst. His composing technique was incredibly fast, partly due to the external pressure (es­pecially by the impresario Barbaja). Beside the feverish speed (hypomania) he suffered of episodes with genuine fever, headache, and nausea. From 1845 onward full apathy, depression (occurred already earlier), and paralysis (progressiva?) developed hindering any creative power and meaningful interpersonal contact, so he was admitted to a closed mental facility. His illness was considered syphilis, but prevailing bipolar mood disorder may strongly be presumed today which is supported by early emerging creativity and hypomanic signs, transient mood swings, the composing technique, his multimodal talent, the abundance of his works (output of 3-4 operas a year), the vein (mood) streaming from the operas (’maddening scenes’ alongside lax and sparkling characters) and by certain circumstances (he was able to write opera buffas during his greatest personal tragedies). To all these com­ponents there can certainly be added an exogenous environmental pressure factor: Domenico Barbaja, the ’prince’ (and taskmaster) of opera impresarios. ]

All articles in the issue

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Fluoxetine use is associated with improved survival of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia: A retrospective case-control study

NÉMETH Klára Zsófia, SZÛCS Anna , VITRAI József , JUHÁSZ Dóra , NÉMETH Pál János , HOLLÓ András

We aimed to investigate the association between fluoxetine use and the survival of hospitalised coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pneumonia patients. This retrospective case-control study used data extracted from the medical records of adult patients hospitalised with moderate or severe COVID-19 pneumonia at the Uzsoki Teaching Hospital of the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary between 17 March and 22 April 2021. As a part of standard medical treatment, patients received anti-COVID-19 therapies as favipiravir, remdesivir, baricitinib or a combination of these drugs; and 110 of them received 20 mg fluoxetine capsules once daily as an adjuvant medication. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between fluoxetine use and mortality. For excluding a fluoxetine-selection bias potentially influencing our results, we compared baseline prognostic markers in the two groups treated versus not treated with fluoxetine. Out of the 269 participants, 205 (76.2%) survived and 64 (23.8%) died between days 2 and 28 after hospitalisation. Greater age (OR [95% CI] 1.08 [1.05–1.11], p<0.001), radiographic severity based on chest X-ray (OR [95% CI] 2.03 [1.27–3.25], p=0.003) and higher score of shortened National Early Warning Score (sNEWS) (OR [95% CI] 1.20 [1.01-1.43], p=0.04) were associated with higher mortality. Fluoxetine use was associated with an important (70%) decrease of mortality (OR [95% CI] 0.33 [0.16–0.68], p=0.002) compared to the non-fluoxetine group. Age, gender, LDH, CRP, and D-dimer levels, sNEWS, Chest X-ray score did not show statistical difference between the fluoxetine and non-fluoxetine groups supporting the reliability of our finding. Provisional to confirmation in randomised controlled studies, fluoxetine may be a potent treatment increasing the survival for COVID-19 pneumonia.

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of direct costs of percutaneous full-endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy and microdiscectomy: Results from Turkey

ÜNSAL Ünlü Ülkün, ŞENTÜRK Salim

Microdiscectomy (MD) is a stan­dard technique for the surgical treatment of lumbar disc herniation (LDH). Uniportal percutaneous full-endoscopic in­terlaminar lumbar discectomy (PELD) is another surgical op­tion that has become popular owing to reports of shorter hos­pitalization and earlier functional recovery. There are very few articles analyzing the total costs of these two techniques. The purpose of this study was to compare total hospital costs among microdiscectomy (MD) and uniportal percutaneous full-endoscopic interlaminar lumbar discectomy (PELD). Forty patients aged between 22-70 years who underwent PELD or MD with different anesthesia techniques were divided into four groups: (i) PELD-local anesthesia (PELD-Local) (n=10), (ii) PELD-general anesthesia (PELD-General) (n=10), (iii) MD-spinal anesthesia (MD-Spinal) (n=10), (iv) MD-general anesthesia (MD-General) (n=10). Health care costs were defined as the sum of direct costs. Data were then analyzed based on anesthetic modality to produce a direct cost evaluation. Direct costs were compared statistically between MD and PELD groups. The sum of total costs was $1,249.50 in the PELD-Local group, $1,741.50 in the PELD-General group, $2,015.60 in the MD-Spinal group, and $2,348.70 in the MD-General group. The sum of total costs was higher in the MD-Spinal and MD-General groups than in the PELD-Local and PELD-General groups. The costs of surgical operation, surgical equipment, anesthesia (anesthetist’s costs), hospital stay, anesthetic drugs and materials, laboratory wor­kup, nur­sing care, and postoperative me­dication diffe­red significantly among the two main groups (PELD-MD) (p<0.01). This study demonstrated that PELD is less costly than MD.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The connection between the socioeconomic status and stroke in Budapest]


[The well-known gap bet­ween stroke mortality of Eastern and Western Euro­pean countries may reflect the effect of socioeconomic diffe­rences. Such a gap may be present between neighborhoods of different wealth within one city. We set forth to compare age distribution, incidence, case fatality, mortality, and risk factor profile of stroke patients of the poorest (District 8) and wealthiest (District 12) districts of Budapest. We synthesize the results of our former comparative epidemiological investigations focusing on the association of socioeconomic background and features of stroke in two districts of the capital city of Hungary. The “Budapest District 8–12 project” pointed out the younger age of stroke patients of the poorer district, and established that the prevalence of smoking, alcohol-consumption, and untreated hypertension is also higher in District 8. The “Six Years in Two Districts” project involving 4779 patients with a 10-year follow-up revealed higher incidence, case fatality and mortality of stroke in the less wealthy district. The younger patients of the poorer region show higher risk-factor prevalence, die younger and their fatality grows faster during long-term follow-up. The higher prevalence of risk factors and the higher fatality of the younger age groups in the socioeconomically deprived district reflect the higher vulnerability of the population in District 8. The missing link between poverty and stroke outcome seems to be lifestyle risk-factors and lack of adherence to primary preventive efforts. Public health campaigns on stroke prevention should focus on the young generation of socioeconomi­cally deprived neighborhoods. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Comprehensive Aphasia Test in Hungarian]


[In this paper we present the Comprehensive Aphasia Test-Hungarian (CAT-H; Zakariás and Lukács, in preparation), an assessment tool newly adapted to Hungarian, currently under standardisation. The test is suitable for the assessment of an acquired language disorder, post-stroke aphasia. The aims of this paper are to present 1) the main characteristics of the test, its areas of application, and the process of the Hungarian adaptation and standardisation, 2) the first results from a sample of Hungarian people with aphasia and healthy controls. Ninety-nine people with aphasia, mostly with unilateral, left hemisphere stroke, and 19 neurologically intact control participants were administered the CAT-H. In addition, we developed a questionnaire assessing demographic and clinical information. The CAT-H consists of two parts, a Cognitive Screening Test and a Language Test. People with aphasia performed significantly worse than the control group in all language and almost all cognitive subtests of the CAT-H. Consistent with our expectations, the control group performed close to ceiling in all subtests, whereas people with aphasia exhibited great individual variability both in the language and the cognitive subtests. In addition, we found that age, time post-onset, and type of stroke were associated with cognitive and linguistic abilities measured by the CAT-H. Our results and our experiences clearly show that the CAT-H provides a comprehensive profile of a person’s impaired and intact language abilities and can be used to monitor language recovery as well as to screen for basic cognitive deficits in aphasia. We hope that the CAT-H will be a unique resource for rehabilitation professionals and aphasia researchers in aphasia assessment and diagnostics in Hungary. ]