Lege Artis Medicinae

[MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT WITH COMPLETE LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS DUE TO VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE]

VARGA Emma, WÓRUM Ferenc, SZABÓ Zoltán, VARGA Mihály, BARTA Kitti, LŐRINCZ István

OCTOBER 20, 2003

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2003;13(07)

[INTRODUCTION - Vasovagal syncope is one of the most common causes of complete or partial loss of consciousness, thus it might cause harm to the patients themselves or innocent bystanders while driving a car. CASE REPORT - In our case report we introduce the case of a 60-year-old man who was admitted to hospital after a serious motor vehicle accident due to loss of consciousness. We demonstrate the process and results of complete cardiologic and neurological assessment. Our case report illustrates the importance of recognition of patients with a high risk for incapacitating symptoms due to vasodepressor type vaso vagal syncope and the use of head-up tilt-table test to determine the diagnosis and to guide combined management. CONCLUSION - As transient loss of consciousness during driving may cause potentially fatal accident, it has to be taken into consideration during decision making for issue of driving license in patients with vaso vagal syncope.]

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[Antibiotic Treatment of Community-Acquired Respiratory Infections: Strategies Intended to Ensure Optimal Outcome and to Minimize the Development of Resistance]

BALL P., BAQUERO F., CARS O., FILE T., GARAU J., KLUGMAN K., LOW E. D., RUBINSTEIN E., WISE R.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The 18th International Conference on Allergy and Clinical Immunology 7-12 September 2003, Vancouver]

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[THE USE OF EARLY BIOMARKERS IN PREVENTION. - THE MARKERS OF THE EXPOSITION, EARLY EFFECT AND INDIVIDUAL SENSITIVITY]

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[The molecular and predictive epidemiology plays more and more important role in the prevention of cancer. With the help of early biomarkers, high risk population could be identified for primary preventive intervention modalities. It uses both molecular biological methods and elements of risk assessment plus a testing system based on animal experiments. Its specificity is not high enough to establish the diagnosis but it can be used to monitor the disease and to follow the effectivity of the therapy (e.g. "minimal residual disease") and the preventive interventions. It is also suitable for risk assessment with the markers of individual susceptibility. As to everyday practice there are many problems because of limited therapeutic possibilities, but we hope that the molecular and predictive epidemiology becomes an important part of medicine in the near future.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[NEW MODALITIES IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS C: PEGYLATED INTERFERONS]

GERVAIN Judit, NEMESÁNSZKY Elemér, CSEPREGI Antal

[Interferon-α proved to be the most effective therapy of chronic hepatitis C. Its combination with ribavirin enhances the antiviral activity and this modality has become the therapeutic standard recommended worldwide during the past few years. Metaanalysis of the international studies revealed that only 12-19% of the patients became virus-free following a 48-week long course of α interferon monotherapy. The combination treatment with ribavirin for 48 weeks increased the proportion of sustained responders to 35-45%. The introduction of pegylated interferons resulted in significantly higher response rates. The new therapeutic possibilities are due to the modified pharmacokinetic characteristics of the drug by changing the size and the structure of the molecules. Multicentre studies investigating the clinical effectiveness of the 40 kD sized pegylated interferon α-2a as well as the 12 kD sized pegylated interferon α-2b in combination with ribavirin reported 56% and 54% response rate, respectively. However, there is significant heterogeneity in the results according to the type of drug administered and to the genotype of the hepatitis C virus, as well as in the basal viral level and the stage of hepatic fibrosis, respectively. The message and the conclusion of the viral kinetic studies are worth remembering: if the result of the HCV nucleic acid test is still positive at week 12 or 24, therapy should be ceased due to the patient non-responder status. Since pegylated interferons are also available in Hungary the authors felt useful to give an overview of the current knowledge, summarizing the results of the relevant studies and provide a suggested state-of-the-art therapeutic protocol based on international consensus.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Motor vehicle accident with complete loss of consciousness due to vasovagal syncope]

VARGA Emma, WÓRUM Ferenc, SZABÓ Zoltán, VARGA Mihály, BARTA Kitti, LŐRINCZ István

[INTRODUCTION - Vasovagal syncope is one of the most common causes of complete or partial loss of consciousness, causing harm to drivers or innocent bystanders. CASE REPORT - In our case, we report the case of a 60-year-old man who was admitted to hospital after a serious motor vehicle accident due to loss of consciousness. The process and results of complete cardiologic and neurological assessment are presented. The case report illustrates the importance of recognition of patients with a high risk for incapacitating symptoms due to vasodepressor type vasovagal syncope as well as the use of head-up tilt-table test to determine the diagnosis and also to guide combined management. CONCLUSION - As transient loss of consciousness during driving may cause potentially fatal accident, it has to be taken into consideration during decision making when issuing driving license for patients with vasovagal syncope.]

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.

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Focus on Lege Artis Medicinae (LAM)]

VASAS Lívia, GEGES József

[Three decades ago, LAM was launched with the goal of providing scientific information about medicine and its frontiers. From the very beginning, LAM has also concerned a special subject area while connecting medicine with the world of art. In the palette of medical articles, it remained a special feature to this day. The analysis of the history of LAM to date was performed using internationally accepted publication guidelines and scientific databases as a pledge of objectivity. We examined the practice of LAM if it meets the main criteria, the professional expectations of our days, when publishing contents of the traditional printed edition and its electronic version. We explored the visibility of articles in the largest bibliographic and scientific metric databases, and reviewed the LAM's place among the Hun­ga­rian professional journals. Our results show that in recent years LAM has gained international reputation des­pite publishing in Hungarian spoken by a few people. This is due to articles with foreign co-authors as well as references to LAM in articles written exclusively by foreign researchers. The journal is of course full readable in the Hungarian bibliographic databases, and its popularity is among the leading ones. The great virtue of the journal is the wide spectrum of the authors' affiliation, with which they cover almost completely the Hungarian health care institutional sys­tem. The special feature of its columns is enhanced by the publication of writings on art, which may increase Hungarian and foreign interest like that of medical articles.]