Lege Artis Medicinae

[SCREENING OF PSYCHIATRIC SIDE EFFECT OF INTERFERON THERAPY WITH QUESTIONNAIRE]

GAZDAG Gábor, SZABÓ Zsuzsa

NOVEMBER 20, 2005

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2005;15(11)

[INTRODUCTION - Interferon therapy is an effective treatment of several oncological, hematological and viral diseases but it can precipitate serious side effects too. Among others the most frequent are the psychiatric symptoms. These symptoms are also the most frequent reasons of non-compliance and early cessation of treatment which can be avoided with rapid recognition and adequate treatment. Therefore, the early recognition of the psychiatric symptoms is of high importance. METHODS AND RESULTS - Authors report a self-administered questionnaire developed to screen the most frequent psychiatric symptoms precipitated by interferon treatment. They also present the evaluation method for the questionnaire, which makes the evaluation of the data easier for non-psychiatrist doctors as well. Between September 2004 and July 2005 all interferon treated patients who also had psychiatric consultation filled in the questionnaire. The number of patients was 26. Authors set up a decision-making algorhythm for the evaluation, so the non-psychiatrist doctors were able to judge whether a psychiatric consultation was needed as well as its urgency. With the data of 26 interferon treated patients who all went through a psychiatric consultation during a 10 months period, authors discuss their first experience, going into details in the three false positive and the two false negative cases. CONCLUSION - Authors founded the questionnaire helpful in the clinical practice and recommended the use for doctors working in general practice. They also suggest to carry it further research with more patients to strengthen the results.]

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[TREATMENT OF PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC HEPATITIS C, USING PEGYLATED INTERFERON ALFA-2A AND RIBAVIRIN - THE FIRST EXPERIENCES IN HUNGARY BASED UPON A MULTICENTRIC, OPEN, PROSPECTIVE STUDY]

TORNAI István, DALMI Lajos, GERVAIN Judit, HORVÁTH Gábor, NAGY István, NEMESÁNSZKY Elemér, RIBICZEY Pál, TELEGDY László, VÁRKONYI Tibor, WERLING Klára

[INTRODUCTION - The treatment of patients with hepatitis C virus infection is one of the most challenging tasks in hepatology nowadays. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Between 2001 and 2004, during a phase III, prospective, multicentric, international open trial 69 patients (35 naive and 34 non-responder or relapser) with chronic hepatitis C were treated, using 180 μg pegylated interferon alfa-2a once weekly and 800-1200 mg daily ribavirin. The inclusion and exclusion criteria were the same as in the normal daily practice. Five patients were treated for 24 weeks and 54 were treated for 48 weeks. The treatment was stopped in 10 additional patients. Sustained virological response was the main end-point of the trial, after 24 weeks of follow-up. RESULTS - The mean age of the patients was 46 years. In all the patients virus genotype 1 could be detected. In none of the patients, treated for 24 weeks, sustained remission could be obtained. In patients, treated for 48 weeks, the overall sustained virological remission was 48%. The outcome of the treatment was better, if the patient was naive to the treatment, could receive the full dosage of drugs and had no liver cirrhosis. The best result could be obtained if the patient was naive to the therapy and younger than age 40. Viral load, however, did not show any effect on viral remission in our patients. At week 24, a negative HCV RNA had a positive predictive value of 68%, while a positive virus test had a negative predictive value of 93%, regarding sustained remission. CONCLUSION - Considering the high rate of genotype 1, pegylated interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin proved to be a very effective therapy in Hungarian chronic hepatitis C patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[MERCURY I]

NAGY Viktor

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[Background and purpose - Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a heterogenous syndrome considered as a prodromal state of dementia with clinical importance in the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease. We are currently developing an MCI screening instrument, the Early Mental Test (EMT) suitable to the needs of primary care physicians. The present study describes the validation process of the 6.2 version of the test. Methods - Only subjects (n=132, female 95, male 37) over the age of 55 (mean age 69.2 years (SD=6.59)) scoring at least 20 points on Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), mean education 11.17 years (SD=3.86) were included in the study. The psychometric evaluation consisted of Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog) and the 6.2 version of EMT. The statistical analyses were carried out using the 17.00 version of SPSS statistical package. Results - The optimalised cut-off point was found to be 3.45 points with corresponding 69% sensitivity, 69% specificity and 69% accuracy measures. The Cronbach-α, that describes the internal consistence of the test was 0.667, which is higher as compared with the same category in the case of the ADASCog (0.446). A weak negative rank correlation was found between the total score of EMT 6.2 and the age of probands (rs=-0.25, p=0.003). Similarly, only a weak correlation was found between the education levels and the total score of EMT 6.2 (rs=0.31, p<0.001). Two of the subtests, the repeated delayed short-time memory and the letter fluency test with a motorical distraction task had significantly better power to separate MCI and control groups than the other subtests of the EMT. Conclusion - The 6.2 version of EMT is a fast and simple detector of MCI with a similar sensitivity-specificity profile to the MMSE, but this version of the test definitely needs further development.]

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[NEUROFIBROMATOSIS, MALIGNANT MELANOMA AND HYPERTHYREOIDISM IN A HCV POSITIVE PATIENT]

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[INTRODUCTION - Similar occirrence of neurofibromatosis and malignant melanoma is rare. We report a patient with neurofibromatosis, cutaneous melanoma, hyperthyreoidism and HCV positivity. CASE REPORT - A 43-year-old woman has been under care for neurofibromatosis for 16 years when she presented with increased serum ?- glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase activity and anti-HCV antibody positivity at regular checkup. A pigmented lesion removed from her back histologically proved to be cutan melanoma. Interferon treatment was applied. She lost 8 kilograms in half a year which was caused not by the tumor progression, but hyperthyreoidism. A rapid clinical and laboratory improvement was observed for thyreostatic treatment and she regained her bodyweight. One year later she presented with a cough caused by pulmonary tumor. The tumor was surgically removed and histologically diagnosed as metastasis of melanoma. Cytostatic treatment was applied and she became asymptomatic. Four years after the diagnosis of melanoma she died of apoplexy. During the autopsy there was no sign of either melanoma or liver disease. CONCLUSIONS - The careful investigation of skin should be emphasised even in case of long established neurofibromatosis. The presented case shows an association of malignant melanoma and neurofibromatosis. In the background of loss of bodyweight even in a patient with history of malignant disease other causes should also be searched such as hyperthyreoidism especially during interferon therapy.]

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[The frequency of colorectal cancer is increasing all over the world. It is the second most frequent oncological disease leading to death in both sexes in Hungary. The main part of colorectal cancer develope after the age of 50. In case of patients having higher risk we have to calculate with the earlier appearance of the tumour and detectable molecular genetic disorders. The development of colorectal cancer needs a long time. Before the appearance of the cancer, precancerous processes (adenomas, polyps) can be detected in the large intestine. The development of colorectal cancer can be prevented by the removal of the adenomas (polypectomy). There are many different and efficient methods to detect the precancerous and early disorders. For increasing the compliance to screening programs the common efforts of the society, the National Health Care Services and medical doctors are necessary. The education of the population and the medical services would also be helpful. The colorectal cancer screening programs are costeffective and supported by the different health services independently from the type of the insurance. Screening the patients having higher risk is one of most important task. In these cases the use of colonoscopy is the most frequent method for the screening and follow up as well.]