Lege Artis Medicinae

[Reference price system as a potential method for pharmaceutical cost containment]

KALÓ Zoltán, VINCZE Zoltán, LOVAS Kornélia, BODROGI József

SEPTEMBER 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(09)

[Reference pricing is one of the potential cost containment methods for pharmaceuticals. Authors describe its main types and the international examples of reference pricing together with technical details of its introduction. Consequences of the system are grouped into 5 categories: pharmaceutical expenditure, other health care expenditure, medical implications, consequences on patients and their health status, and political effects. They propose that reference pricing should be introduced only gradually based upon recommendations by multiprofessional teams. The system should be evidence based which includes clinical effectiveness, safety, compliance and cost-effectiveness. ”Real” active substance based reference pricing is justifiable for broad ranges of pharmaceuticals. General introduction of therapeutic reference pricing in Hungary, however, may result in serious negative consequences.]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[”I am responsible for my health but irresponsible for my illness”]

SZÁNTÓ Zsuzsa, SUSÁNSZKY Éva, RÓZSA Sándor

[INTRODUCTION - The aim of our study was to examine lay beliefs about illness causation of age groups with similar health status. METHODS - In 1997, research was conducted among the adult population of Budapest (N=720), in order to examine their health status and illness explanations. Based on self-rated health, ages of the 40s and the 60s were considered as the age-thresholds of significant decline in health status. Thus, the study concentrated on the three age groups of people: under 40, between 40 and 60, over 60 years of age. The Health and Illness Scale of Stainton Rogers and Furnham was employed. For identifying the patterns of illness explanations, factor analysis (varimax method) was used. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION - 5 factors were found as the basic types of illness explanations: psychical condition, external environmental determinants, work and life style, health care, internal predetermination. Parallel to deterioration of health, dominant illness explanations are also changing: emphasis moves from work and life style to biological predetermination.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[The effect of angiotensin receptor antagonists in diabetic nephropathy]

BÍBOK György

[Influencing the renin-angiotensin system through receptor blockade has become a new therapeutic approach toward the treatment of several morbidities, i.e. hypertension, cardiac failure and diabetic nephropathy. The current paper reviews the importance of diabetic nephropathy, the physiology of the renin-angiotensin system and specific effects of receptor blockade on different organs based on 3 new studies (published last year) using angiotensin-II receptor blockers. The paper gives a summary of the IRMA, IDNT and RENAAL studies, including their clinical and therapeutic significance in general practice as well as in specialized diabetes care. The new therapeutic approach (with an excellent safety profile, and infrequent side effects) could delay the progression or might even prevent the manifestation of diabetic nephropathy not only with lowering blood pressure but with its direct effects on target tissues as well. The angiotensin-II receptor blocking agents might be useful for the treatment of cardiac failure in hypertensive patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[How Drug Advertisements Perceive the World]

NÉMETH Éva

Lege Artis Medicinae

[QT dispersion - the surface ECG marker of arrhythmic risk]

KUN Csaba, CZURIGA István, LŐRINCZ István

[During the past decade numerous publications have reported the pathophysiological and clinical value of QT dispersion. Increased QT dispersion was observed to be associated with proarrhythmic drug effects, prediction of mortality in heart failure and risk assessment after acute myocardial infarction. Based on the results of the repolarization process research and other significant clinical studies, the meaning and the usefulness of QT dispersion seems to be challenged. The original concept of portraying QT dispersion as a direct measure of regional heterogeneity of myocardial refractoriness is seriously flawed. At the same time, disproving this concept is not a good reason for stating that QT dispersion does not exist. The measurement of QT dispersion seems to be an approximate expression of repolarization abnormalities and should not be taken as a gold standard for a noninvasive estimate of repolarization abnormalities. However, we presently have no decent and widely available alternative to address repolarization abnormalities in standard 12-lead ECG. The authors present the pathophysiological meaning of QT dispersion, the controversies of automatic and manual methodology and the possible clinical relevances based on the most recent studies.]

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Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

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Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

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Clinical Neuroscience

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Clinical Neuroscience

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Clinical Neuroscience

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[The majority of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease are treated at specialized movement disorder centers. Currently, there is no clear consensus on how to define the stages of Parkinson’s disease; the proportion of Parkinson’s patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, the referral process, and the clinical features used to characterize advanced Parkinson’s disease are not well delineated. The primary objective of this observational study was to evaluate the proportion of Parkinson’s patients identified as advanced patients according to physician’s judgment in all participating movement disorder centers across the study. Here we evaluate the Hungarian subset of the participating patients. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional, non-interventional, multi-country, multi-center format in 18 countries. Data were collected during a single patient visit. Current Parkinson’s disease status was assessed with Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) parts II, III, IV, and V (modified Hoehn and Yahr staging). Non-motor symptoms were assessed using the PD Non-motor Symptoms Scale (NMSS); quality of life was assessed with the PD 8-item Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (PDQ-8). Parkinson’s disease was classified as advanced versus non-advanced based on physician assessment and on questions developed by the Delphi method. Overall, 2627 patients with Parkinson’s disease from 126 sites were documented. In Hungary, 100 patients with Parkinson’s disease were documented in four movement disorder centers, and, according to the physician assessment, 50% of these patients had advanced Parkinson’s disease. Their mean scores showed significantly higher impairment in those with, versus without advanced Parkinson’s disease: UPDRS II (14.1 vs. 9.2), UPDRS IV Q32 (1.1 vs. 0.0) and Q39 (1.1 vs. 0.5), UPDRS V (2.8 vs. 2.0) and PDQ-8 (29.1 vs. 18.9). Physicians in Hungarian movement disorder centers assessed that half of the Parkinson’s patients had advanced disease, with worse motor and non-motor symptom severity and worse QoL than those without advanced Parkinson’s disease. Despite being classified as eligible for invasive/device-aided treatment, that treatment had not been initiated in 25% of these patients.]