Lege Artis Medicinae

[Performance funding: dream or reality? Part I]

AJKAY Zoltán

DECEMBER 29, 1993

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1993;3(12)

[Today is a time of almost unbelievably rapid change. For decades our main concern has been that nothing has happened, nothing has changed. Now all our energy and knowledge is needed to adapt to at least one of the most fundamental and serial changes. Even those in the health sector who have been waiting, advocating and developing reforms for decades are somewhat surprised at the changes that are unfolding in response to fundamental influences. Only now are we beginning to sense the scale of the risk: the chances of health care's survival in an environment of a collapsing economy. The dream we are waking up from has not been easy (our Mother did not promise us this...), but the reality is surely even harder. Because it takes not rosy dreams, but often sweaty ones, to wake up to something other than disillusionment.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The significance of vasodilator drugs and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in the treatment of congestive heart failure]


[The significance of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in the treatment of congestive heart failure is outlined. The results of multicenter, randomized trials are summarized confirming the beneficial effect on survival of vasodilator therapy and/or angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in the treatment of patients with congestive heart failure.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Medical management of inland catastrophes]


[The author details the medical consequences of disasters and mass casualty situations. The concept of disaster is definied and compared with that of mass accident. It is pointed out that in principle there are no essential differences between them since both disasters and mass accidents require the application of compromise medicine princliples at the site of the catastrophe and during the course of the hospital treatment. The main point of medical support at the site is the triage based on a numeric system of classification. In hospital treatment it is of great importance to adopt uniform (doctrinarian) principles and practice in order to prevent or decrease complications occurring in almost every extreme situation. Further co-operation of our medical organizations and development of common disaster plans may improve the effectiveness of coping with a possible emergency in our country.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The value of colposcopical and cytological examination in the screening of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia]


[ From 1980 to 1991, 1379 women with abnormal colposcopic and/or cytologic findings were examined at the Department of Gynecological Oncology at the National Institute of Oncology, Budapest. The sensitivity and specificity of these screening tests were studied retrospectively. All women underwent either cervical excision or conisation. Cytological and colposcopical findings were compared with the histological findings. Sensitivity and specificity of cytology were 49% and 77%, retrospectively. The corresponding figures for colposcopy were 88% and 12%, and for cytology and colposcopy together, 96% and 14%. 1. The low sensitivity of cytology suggests that as many as 50% of CIN lesions will be missed if cytology alone is used for screening. This finding probably justifies our screening policy (i. e., colposcopy should be used as a primary tool). 2. We found 194 asymptomatic patients with carcinoma in situ, 40 with microinvasive and 8 with frank invasive carcinoma. This finding emphasizes the importance of cervical cancer screening. 3. To decrease the false positive and negative rates, the introduction of new scientific results into the every day screening practice is urgently needed. 4. Our data suggest the superiority of a colposcopical screening method to a cytological one; however histological examination must be done independently of a screening method if the suspicion of cervical dysplasia arises. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Digoxin 2 days a week; Can what is wrong be safe?]

[The last 20-25 years have seen significant advances in the use of medication. Blood levels of drugs can now be measured using available laboratory methods, and many effects can now be accurately measured in addition to general clinical monitoring. This has created the basis for the everyday use of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and a separate discipline, clinical pharmacology.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Coronary Angioplasty Versus Excisional Atherectomy Trial]


[Atherectomy reduced coronary stenosis 50% or more often (89%) than angioplasty (80%, p<0.001), and the acute increase in vessel diameter was more pronounced (p<0.001). Atherectomy was associated with more early complications (11%) than angioplasty (5%, p<0.001) and hospital costs were also higher ($11 904 vs $10 637, p<0.006). After six months, the restenosis rate was 50% for atherectomy and 57% for angioplasty (p<0.06). However, the probability of infarction or death at six months was higher in the group treated with atherectomy (86%) than after angioplasty (4,6%, p<0,007).]

All articles in the issue

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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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Covid-19 – testing the reality]

SVÉD Tamás

Clinical Neuroscience

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

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

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Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The importance of patient reported outcome measures in Pompe disease]

MOLNÁR Mária Judit, MOLNÁR Viktor, LÁSZLÓ Izabella, SZEGEDI Márta, VÁRHEGYI Vera, GROSZ Zoltán

[In recent decades it has become increasingly important to involve patients in their diagnostic and treatment process to improve treatment outcomes and optimize compliance. By their involvement, patients can become active participants in therapeutic developments and their observations can be utilized in determining the unmet needs and priorities in clinical research. This is especially true in rare diseases such as Pompe disease. Pompe disease is a genetically determined lysosomal storage disease featuring severe limb-girdle and axial muscle weakness accompanied with respiratory insufficiency, in which enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) now has been available for 15 years. In our present study, patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for individuals affected with Pompe disease were developed which included questionnaires assessing general quality of life (EuroQoL, EQ-5D, SF36), daily activities and motor performance (Fatigue Severity Score, R-PAct-Scale, Rotterdam and Bartel disability scale). Data were collected for three subsequent years. The PROM questionnaires were a good complement to the physician-recorded condition assessment, and on certain aspects only PROMs provided information (e.g. fatigue in excess of patients’ objective muscle weakness; deteriorating social activities despite stagnant physical abilities; significant individual differences in certain domains). The psychological effects of disease burden were also reflected in PROMs. In addition to medical examination and certain endpoints monitored by physicians, patient perspectives need to be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of new, innovative treatments. With involvement of patients, information can be obtained that might remain uncovered during regular medical visits, although it is essential in determining the directions and priorities of clinical research. For all orphan medicines we emphasize to include patients in a compulsory manner to obtain general and disease-specific multidimensional outcome measures and use them as a quality indicator to monitor treatment effectiveness.]