Lege Artis Medicinae

[Once again on euthanasia]

FÁKLYA Csaba

APRIL 27, 1994

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1994;4(04)

[One of the most prestigious of the burgeoning health think tanks is the Liberal Medical Club, which systematically takes on the most sensitive medical issues, from parasolvency to euthanasia.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Laboratory control of the oral anticoagulant therapy]

VAJDA Zoltán, PÁL András, SIKOS Zita, SAS Géza

[There are two basic requirements in the treatment and prophylaxis of thromboembo lic diseases by chronic anticoagulation with coumarin (Syncumar). The first is the preven tion of a new thrombosis while the second is the avoidance of concomitant bleeding complications. For this reason it is necessary to achieve an appropriate anticoagulation level which can be characterised by labora tory measurement of the prothrombin level. In this paper, the theoretical and practical as pects of the laboratory control of Syncumar treatment are reviewed. The most serious problem is that the prothrombin level (Quick time) determinations utilising thromboplastin preparations from different sources give diffe rent values in the same patient plasma, which makes comparison of data from different laboratories impossible. The paper gives a brief overview of the definition and practical use of the International Sensitivity Index (ISI), characterising the different thromboplastin preparations, and the International Normali sed Ratio (INR) which can be calculated on the basis of the ISI. In spite of unquestionable improvements, the uncertainty about instrument-thromboplastin-ISI relationships reduces confidence in the INR system, especially when differences in INR values have clinical significance. Efforts need to be directed toward providing local, laboratory/instrument specific ISI values. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The clinical significance of amaurosis fugax]

HORVÁTH Sándor, SOMLAI Judit

[The symptoms of amaurosis fugax (transient monocular loss of vision) indicate not only atherosclerotic disease of the ocular or extra cranial cerebral vessels, but also that of the systemic circulation. The prognostic significance of amaurosis fugax developing after the age of 50-55 years is similar to that of transient ischaemic attack of the brain: it could be a harbinger of atherosclerotic disease of the extra- and intracranial brain vessels as well as the coronary arteries. According to the mortality data, patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of amaurosis fugax will die due to heart disease, primarily myocardial infarct. Diagnostic evaluation should include not only ophthalmological, but also neurological and cardiovascular in vestigation to verify carotid and coronary atherosclerosis. Therapy of the whole disease and not just the symptoms will influence life expectancy in patients with amaurosis fugax. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Methylprednisolone pulse therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus]

GERGELY Péter

[The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone pulse therapy. Thirty five patients with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus nephritis, severe hemolysis and antiphospholipid syndrome with central nervous system involvement, arterial occlusion and thombocytopenia) were treated by pulse methylprednisolone, followed by long-term corticosteroid (and cyclophosphamide) therapy. Thirty four patients achieved remission, after a mean of 4.7 weeks, which lasted on average for > 2.7 years. Six patients presented with an exacerbation after 1-2.5 years. Twenty eight patients are still in remission. No side effects were observed during pulse therapy. Methylprednisolone bolus therapy is safe and effective in severe systemic lupus erythematosus, including cases of lupus nephritis and severe central nervous system manifestations, but an appropriate choice of long-term therapy is essential.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The value of immunoscintigraphy in patients with metastatic malignant melanoma]

PAPÓS Miklós, LÁNG Jenő, CSERNAY László, SZEKERES Lenke, KUBA Attila

[Immunoscintigraphy with 99MTc-labeled F(ab'),fragments of monoclonal antibody (reactive with a high molecular associated antigen) was performed in patients with malignant melanoma. 24 investigations on 23 patients were carried out. A total of 40 lesions in 23 patients were detected by chest radiography, ultrasound, CT, bone scintigraphy or histology. 24 of the 40 lesions (60%) were visualized by immunoscintigraphy. Following correction of the physiological liver background by digital subtraction, 3 liver metastases were localized. These results indicate that immunoscintigraphy with radiolabeled F(ab')2 fragments can provide clinically useful information. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Methodological letter from the Public Health and Epidemiology Technical College on vegetarian and similar diets in crèches and educational establishments]

[The nutritional status of vegetarians is strongly influenced by the type of diet they eat. While semi-vegetarian and lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets can meet the nutrient needs of young children, provided they are carefully and professionally planned, strict vegetarian or macrobiotic diets may not meet the needs for some nutrients and may be deficient in both children and adults. ]

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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

Matrix metalloproteinases and their tissue inhibitors in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: Possible markers and treatment agents

SANLI Arzu, OZTURK Musa, SOYSAL Aysun, DOVENTAS Yasemin, BASOGLU Fulya, GOZUBATIK-CELIK R. Gokcen, BAYBAS Sevim

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are synthesized by many cell groups and responsible for the destruction of matrix proteins, and endogen tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) have a role in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by affecting the blood-brain barrier. We aimed to investigate the role of MMPs and TIMPs in the immunopathogenesis and in the course of multiple sclerosis (MS). We enrolled 25 relapsing remitting MS patients, who had a definite MS diagnosis according to McDonald criteria and 25 healthy subjects similar for age and gender as control group. MMP-9- and TIMP-1 levels were measured twice in patient group (one time during an attack and one in remission) and once in healthy subjects. MMP-9- and TIMP-levels of patients during attack and remission period and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio were found significantly higher than in the control subjects. In patient group MMP-9 and TIMP-1 levels and MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio during attacks were not significantly different than during remission period. However, when subdivided according to their number of attacks, patients with 2 attacks had significantly higher levels during attack period comparing to remission period (p<0.05); in case of patients with more than 2 attacks did not have a statistically significant difference in attack and remission periods. Matrix metalloproteinases are important actors in MS immunopathogenesis, particularly in the early period and inhibitor agents for these enzymes can be used as a treatment option.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The facets of creativity in the light of bipolar mood alterations]

SZAKÁCS Réka

[The link between creativity, as the highest expression form of human achievement, and bipolar disorder came into focus of scientific investigations and research. Accomplished writers, composers and visual artists show a substantially higher rate of affective disorders, prodominantly bipolar mood disorders, comparing to the general population. Then again, patients afflicted with bipolar II subtype (hypomania and depression), as well as persons presenting the mildest form of bipolar mood swings (cyclothymia) possess higher creative skills. It evokes therefore that certain forms and mood states of bipolar disorder, notably hypomania might convey cognitive, emotional/affective, and motivational benefits to creativity. The aim of this paper is to display expression forms of creativity (writing, visual art, scientific work) as well as productivity (literary and scientific work output, number of artworks and exhibitions, awards) in the light of clinically diagnosed mood states at an eminent creative individual, treated for bipolar II disorder. Analysing the affective states, we found a striking relation between hypomanic episodes and visual artistic creativity and achievement, as well as scientific performance, whereas mild-moderate depressed mood promoted literary work. Severe depression and mixed states were not associated with creative activities, and intriguingly, long-term stabilised euthymic mood, exempted from marked affective lability, is disadvantageous regarding creativity. It seems, thereby, that mood functions as a sluice of creativity. Nevertheless, it is likely that there is a complex interaction between bipolar mood disorder spectrum and psychological factors promoting creativity, influenced also by individual variability due to medication, comorbid conditions, and course of disorder.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Self-monitoring of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes]

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[Self-monitoring of blood sugar levels is an essential element in the treatment of diabetes, it provides an insight to the success of treatment and self-management, the development of metabolic processes, and ensures the early recognition and treatment of significant blood sugar fluctuations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the habits of self-monitoring of sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, and among them the frequency, recognition and treatment of hypo- and hyperglycemia. The research was conducted as a cross-sectional study in 2018 in the Health Centre in Subotica/Serbia. The sample included 107 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Data were collected through interviews with patients using a customized questionnaire, during the regular control examinations. The patients’ level of blood sugar in the capillary blood was measured by glucometer. The statistical package IBM-SPSS 20.0 and descriptive analytic methods were used for data analysis. The mean age of the sample was 63.7 ± 7.7 years. Two-thirds of them performed opportunistic self-monitoring mostly before breakfast. A large number of patients never recognized variations of blood glucose (in 65% hyperglycemia and in 51% hypoglycemia). However, a month before 81% of patients had hyper- and 31% hypoglycemic episodes respectively. 12% of patients did not take any action in such cases. It is recommended to emphasize again and again the importance and way of self-monitoring at each follow-up examination. The shortcomings identified in the study provide guidelines what to focus on when caring for diabetic patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Telephone based supporting program to quit tobacco smoking in Hungary]

TÓTH Erzsébet, CSELKÓ Zsuzsa, DARWISH Diána, PATAKI Erika, BARTA Veronika , CSÁNYI Péter, BOGOS Krisztina

[The National Korányi Institute of Pulmonology, Methodology Centre for Tobacco Smoking Cessation Support has been operating a free quitline since 2013. The aim of the program is to provide professional advice on how to quit smoking, to spread information about supporting services and to refer interested smokers to specialized health care providers. Proactive calls following a specific protocol are available once a week for a six week period. This study presents the activities of our service in the last six years. Data of our retrospective longitudinal study were analysed by descrip­tive statistical methods. Between 2015 and 2020, there were received 24 286 messages received on the answering machine of the quit-line service. We were able to initiate conversation with approximately 55% of the interested callers. The free of charge quit-line is used predominantly by lower educated and indigent people. Program participants had a serious nicotine addiction. The program is particularly useful for smokers who are otherwise less likely to receive expert support. Between 2015 and 2020, the average abstinence rate of program participants was 16% after their proactive calls. The initial abstinence rate was 19% in 2015, which dropped to 6% in 2020. In this period the average quit rate was 13% at the six-month and 9% at the one-year follow-up. One possible reason for the low cessation rate is that the telephone counselling program can focus only on changing the patients’ behaviour without the in-person help of pharmacological support. Thus healthcare workers play a key role in encouraging of quit smoking and managing the nicotine withdrawal.]