Lege Artis Medicinae

[Non-HDL-cholesterol and its significance]


FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2012;22(02)

[The role of LDL-cholesterol in cardiovascular risk has been established in a number of studies. According to current recommendations, therefore, the primary goal of lipidlowering therapy is reducing the level of LDL-cholesterol. Of lipid-lowering drugs, statins are the most efficient in reducing cardiovascular risk. According to large studies on statins, however, there is a significant residual risk even in patients receiving aggressive treatment. It is well known that many patients continue to have dyslipidaemia despite statin therapy, and not all patients with cardiovascular disease have elevated LDL-cholesterol levels. These observations indicate that lipids other than LDL-cholesterol also have a role in the development of atherosclerosis. A growing attention is paid to non-HDL-cholesterol as a cardiovascular risk factor. Calculating non-HDL-cholesterol target is easy: LDL-cholesterol measurement plus 0,8. Non-HDL-cholesterol incorporates a number of atherogenic lipoprotein particles [VLDL-cholesterol, IDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and lipoprotein(a)]. As the atherogenic effect of apoB-containing lipoproteins (LDL, IDL-C és VLDL) is significant, they may be stronger predictors of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk than LDL-cholesterol is. Considering the strong correlation between apoB and non-HDLcholesterol and the limitations of apoB measurement (standardisation, cost), non- HDL-cholesterol is a more useful parameter and therapeutic target, especially if triglyceride levels are greater than 2.26 mmol/l.]



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Lege Artis Medicinae

[The risk of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs]


[During the past ten years, a number of original publications, reviews and metaanalyses were published on the cardiovascular (CV) safety of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These data were summarised in several previous publications. As this group of medicines is very frequently used and many of them are available over the counter (OTC), their risks require particular attention. Recently, new analyses have been published on previously discussed preparations as well as on new drugs that had been omitted from previous analyses (paracetamol, aceclofenac), thus, it is important to review these data and draw attention again to differences in side effects among NSAIDs.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Current status of the laboratory diagnosis of tuberculosis in Hungary]

KÖDMÖN Csaba, SZABÓ Nóra, NAGY Erzsébet

[In the past decade, the epidemiological status of tuberculosis has significantly improved in Hungary. The incidence is today lower than 20 per 100 000 inhabitant, therefore, the laboratory network performing diagnosis needs to look for new challenges. As the yearly number of cases decreases, less examinations will be needed, but a greater emphasis should be placed on shortening the time needed for diagnosis, more efficient culturing, resistance tests and molecular typing performed for epidemiological purposes. Our aim is to provide an overview of the status of the diagnostic network of tuberculosis in Hungary and the future challenges it faces, on the basis of data published by the National Korányi Institute of TBC and Pulmonology and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.]

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[His Vengeful Heart was Struck by a Bullet – Variations for a Duel on Pushkin’s Anniversary ]

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[Association of diabetes mellitus and peritoneal dialysis]

MÁCSAI Emília, TÖLGYESI Katalin, BENKE Attila

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[Cardiovascular aging]


[The world population in both industrialized and developing countries is aging. The clinical and economic implications of this demographic shift are staggering because age is the most powerful risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The incidence and prevalence of hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and stroke increase steeply with advancing age. Although epidemiologic studies have discovered that some aspects of lifestyle and genetics are risk factors for these diseases, age, per se, confers the major risk. There is a continuum of age-related alterations of cardiovascular structure and function in healthy humans, however these alterations are not synonymous with diseases processes. Old age is not a disease. Although cardiovascular aging changes are considered “normative”, they lower the threshold for development of cardiovascular disease, and appear to influence the steep increases in hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, left ventricular hypertrophy, chronic heart failure, and atrial fibrillation with increasing age. Specific pathophysiologic mechanisms that underlie these diseases become superimposed on cardiac and vascular substrates that have been modified by an “aging process”, and the latter modulates disease occurrence and severity. Age-associated changes in cardiovascular structure and function become “partners” with pathophysiologic disease mechanisms, lifestyle, genetics, and other presently unknown factors in determining the threshold, severity, prognosis, and therapeutic response of cardiovascular disease in older persons. However, the role of specific age-associated changes in cardiovascular structure and function in such age-disease interactions has not been considered in most epidemiologic and clinical studies of cardiovascular disease. Quantitative information on age-associated alterations in cardiovascular structure and function in health is essential to unravel age-disease interactions and to target the specific characteristics of cardiovascular aging that render it such a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Such information is also of practical value to differentiate between the limitations of an older person that relate to disease and those that might be expected, within limits, to accompany advancing age or a sedentary lifestyle.]

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[Practical aspects of therapy by erythropoiesis stimulating agents in renal anaemia]

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[Prevalence of renal anaemia due to insufficient production of erythropoietin increases progressively in the course of renal function deterioration. Renal anaemia is treated by erythropoesis stimulating agents (ESA). Outcomes of randomized clinical trials have taught us to avoid the strategy of normalization of hemoglobin (HGB) levels by ESA therapy as it may increase the risk of cardiovascular events and mortality. The Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Clinical Practice Guideline for Anaemia published in 2012 recommends to start ESA therapy in the 90-100 g/l HGB range and suggests to keep HGB concentrations below 115 g/l. It is an inappropriate strategy to aim at normalizing hemoglobin (HGB) levels by ESA therapy because it may lead to progressive escalation of ESA doses even in the presence of diminished ESA responsiveness. High ESA doses and diseases causing ESA hyporesponsiveness eg. infections, chronic inflammation, malnutrition, insufficient dose of dialysis, severe hyperparathyroidism, iron deficiency are related to increased risk of mortality. KDIGO Clinical Practice Guideline for Anaemia emphasizes the importance of assessing and treating causes of ESA hyporesponsiveness, limits ESA dose escalation and recommends gradually changing ESA doses to avoid high amplitude HGB oscillation.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ]


[Reading the title most of us (but not everyone) can recall from our memories the classic heroes of the movie of Sergio Leone and we can almost hear (or not?) the melody of Ennio Morricone. This sentence is full of strangeness, isn’t it? However it’s hardly at all sure that everyone had seen the movie (indeed certainly not) and the catching music is maybe elusive. Like or not we are related to classics of lipidology, as well. Most of the readers of this review of the three clinicians know much (but not everything!) of these topics but probably for some of them this paper will arise their further interest. We are going to separate the “inseparable”, only together functioning whole thing in order to build a model in our thinking regarding its operation. This is what we do with the scientific cognition. We are making models, simplifying indeed… (sometimes erroneously) proclaiming. Let’s throw out our (or at least try to do it) the stereotypes living inside us. Let’s talk about the “always” good HDL-cholesterol, the bad LDL-cholesterol and the ugly (or cruel) triglyceride, actually (and now the analogy is lost of the three key players of the classic western movie) about the other faces of the together ugly and bad lipoprotein(a) according to a lot of opinions! As everything is connected with everything in the human body and nothing is accidental - nothing can be only good, bad or ugly nor the Good, the Bad and the Ugly yet.]

LAM Extra for General Practicioners



[Administration of the alpha-glucosidase enzyme inhibitor acarbose leads to a prolonged absorption of carbohydrates, which has a smoothing effect on blood glucose excursions, and results in a more even daily blood glucose profile. The glucose lowering effect is mainly due to the reduction of postprandial blood glucose levels. Non-glycaemic effects of acarbose, including those on blood pressure, lipids and the coagulation system are also clearly beneficial. According to the available data, the preparation also reduces cardiovascular risk. If used as a monotherapy, acarbose does not cause hypoglycaemia. Flatulence and diaorrhea represent the main side effects. From a professional point of view, acarbose should be given if postprandial blood glucose excursions exceed 2.2 mmol/l.]