Lege Artis Medicinae



NOVEMBER 20, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(11)

[The role of vascular wall inflammation in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is becoming increasingly clear. However, the causal relationship between the inflammation and the course of atherosclerosis, which begins in childhood and continues for life, is debated in the literature. The interpretation of the basic pathophysiologial essence of inflammation is also controversial. This paper summarizes the basics and various features of inflammation, the body's defensive and aversive reaction. The “acute phase reaction syndrome” is a general, immediate, non-specific defense reaction of the organism, which is strongly associated with the specific, adaptive immune response. There are inflammatory processes that are chronic from the start. When looking at the main types and functions of the arterial wall proteoglycans, it is clear that they, along with the lipoprotein receptors and HDL cholesterol, are closely connected to the process, course and characteristics of the inflammation. The arterial wall proteoglycans are definitely capable of directly and indirectly influencing the inflammatory process. The issue of a possible target of statin derivatives other than the inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis has not been resolved. Atherosclerosis may be considered a primarily chronic individual vasculitis syndrome that involves all layers of the blood vessels, and is determined by the risk factors and by the special structure of the arterial wall. The presence of inflammation is a prerequisite to the development and throughout the entire course of atherosclerosis.]



Further articles in this publication

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[The 17th Congress of the European Respiratory Society]


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[Gastrolienalis fistula caused by acute pancreatitis]


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[What’s behind a pathological liver finding]


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[Surgical aspects of the gastrointestinal diseases]

JAKAB Ferenc

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[INTRODUCTION - Persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels, which occur in a fraction of patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus, do not rule out the presence of chronic hepatitis C, even of that with advanced inflammation and fibrosis. Here we report our results of the treatment of these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Patients with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis C received combined antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon (alfa-2a 1×180 μg/week or alfa-2b 1×1.5 μg/kg/week) and ribavirin (800- 1200 mg/day) for 48-52 weeks. The alanineaminotransferase levels of 21 patients (14 females, 7 males, age: 20-54, mean 38 years) did not reach the upper limit of normal (40 U/l) during the period of observation (≥6 months). There were 19 and 2 cases with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b and 3, respectively. The patients' hepatitis activity index was 3.7 1.75, fibrosis score: 0.9 0.64, baseline viral titer: 1.18 1.12×106 IU/ml, alanine-aminotransferase level: 33.51 7.2 U/l. The last 100 unselected patients with elevated alanine-aminotransferase levels enrolled in treatment for chronic hepatitis C and who were followed for at least 6 months served as the control group with the following parameters: 41 females and 59 males (age: 18- 65, mean: 45.65 years), viral genotypes: 98 and 2 cases of type 1 and 3, respectively, hepatitis activity index: 5.44±4.03, stage: 1.29±1.00, baseline viral titer: 4.13±6.25×106 IU/ml. RESULTS - In the study group, all patients were hepatitis C virus RNA negative at the end of the treatment and with one exception remained so by the end of the 6-month follow-up period (20/21), while the sustained virologic response was 36% in the control group. The pretreatment normal alanine aminotransferase level decreased significantly (15.26 4.9 vs 33.51 7.2 U/l, p<0.001) by the end of the treatment, and remained at this level during the follow-up in all except one relapse case. CONCLUSION - The efficacy of the combined antiviral treatment is high in patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels, possibly due to the relatively younger age, the higher proportion of females, the lower baseline viral titer, and the less advanced liver disease (lower inflammatory activity and less or absent fibrosis) observed in this group. Combined antiviral treatment is recommended for patients with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis C with normal alanine aminotransferase levels, even with mild inflammatory activity and minimal or absent fibrosis in the liver tissue. The previous suggestions based on published evidence to revise the upper limit of the normal range of alanine aminotransferase level are supported by the results of this study.]

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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.

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[Cholesterol-lowering is not the Holy Grail, but neither is the work of the devil]


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Could red cell distribution width and mean platelet volume be a predictor for lumbar disc hernias?


Background - Lumbar disc herniation (LDH) causes major disabilities worldwide. Several studies in the literature had reported the correlation between radiculopathy and inflammatory markers. Mean platelet volume (MPV), red cell distribution width (RDW) and neutrophil to lymphocyte (N/L) ratio are parameters of hemogram which have been found to be associated with inflammatory conditions. Purpose - Since inflammation has an important role in lumbar disc hernias, and RDW, MPV and N/L ratio are also known to be in correlation with inflammation, we have investigated these parameters of the patients with lumbar disc hernias and compared them with the results of the healthy subjects. Methods - Our study group was composed of patients with lumbar disc hernia, whereas the control group was consisted of healthy volunteers whom visited our outpatient clinics for a routine check-up. Patient characteristics and hemogram parameters of the study cohort were obtained from computerized database system of our institution. SPSS software (SPSS 15.0 for Windows, Chicago, IL, USA) was used for the analysis. Results - There was no significant difference between study and control groups in terms of WBC, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, neu\lym ratio, Hb, Htc, MCV, and PLT levels (all p>0.05). RDW was significantly increased in study group [15.6 (12.3-22.5)] when compared to control group [14.5(11.9-16.3)] (p=0.004). And MPV in the study group [9.25 (6.38-14.5)] was also significantly increased in comparison to the control subjects [8.8 (6-10.1)] (p=0.013). Discussion - In this retrospective study, we found that, RDW and MPV values in hemograms were increased in patients with lumbar disc herniation when compared to the control group. Conclusions - We suggest that, elevated RDW and MPV may help physicians in decision taking to order radiological imagings in patients with symptoms which can be associated with possible LDH diagnosis. However, for the sake of precision, prospective studies with larger populations are needed.

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KISS Róbert Gábor, BÉRES Bernát János

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