Lege Artis Medicinae

[Sentinel node biopsy in melanoma malignum]

OLÁH Judit, GYULAI Rolland, VARGA János, MOHOS Gábor, KAPITÁNY Klára, PAPOS Miklós, PÁVICS László, VARGA Erika, KOROM Irma, DOBOZY Attila

SEPTEMBER 10, 2001

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2001;11(08-09)

[INTRODUCTION - For many decades there has been no adequate treatment for affected regional lymph nodes in melanoma malignum. In the last couple of years with the implementation of the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique, it became possible to perform selective lymphadenectomy, i.e. to perform radical block dissection only in cases of histologically proven metastases in the sentinel lymph nodes. Since the lymphatic involvement in melanoma malignum is the most important prognostic factor, it is essential to treat lymphatic etastases as early as possible to get the best results. PATIENTS AND METHODS - In the past two years we have removed the sentinel lymph nodes together with primary tumors being 1 mm or thicker, ulcerated and regressive, based on clinical appearance in 120 melanoma cases. RESULTS - Of the 120 sentinel lymph node biopsies 58 contained metastatic cells. Beside tumor thickness, histological features of regression were found to correlate with the positivity of the sentinel nodes in thin melanoma cases. CONCLUSIONS - Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a relatively simple procedure with minimal complication rate. It allows early therapeutical block dissection and the selection of patients who require adjuvant therapy. Our clinical observations suggest that beside tumor thickness and ulceration, the clinical and histological signs of regression are important factors to consider for the indication of sentinel node biopsy.]

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[Chlamydia pneumoniae in coronary arteries of young adults]

HORTOVÁNYI Eszter, ILLYÉS György, GLASZ Tibor, KULKA Janina, KÁDÁR Anna

[INTRODUCTION - An association of Chlamydia pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) with coronary heart disease has been found with seroepidemiological methods. This organism was demonstrated in atheromatous plaques by electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction. MATERIAL AND METHODS - To better understand the significance of the presence of C. pneumoniae in atheromatous plaques, we examined coronary artery segments from young adults (15-34 years) with and without atherosclerosis. 74 samples of left anterior descending artery were examined immunohistochemically for the presence of C. pneumoniae by the monoclonal antibody RR402. RESULTS - C. pneumoniae was identified in the atheroma in 11 of 17 cases (65%) and in preatheroma in 6 of 15 cases (40%), in fatty streak in 7 of 23 cases (30%) and in intimal thickening in 1 of 14 cases (7%). C. pneumoniae was not found in the intimal and medial layer of the normal-appearing coronary arteries. C. pneumoniae was detected in the adventitia in 51 cases (67%) of the coronary arteries: in the normal arteries and initial lesions in 27 of 42 cases (63%), and in the advanced lesions in 24 of 32 cases (75%). Correlation was observed between the C. pneumoniae positive cases and cigarette smoking. CONCLUSION - Our results suggest that C. pneumoniae may relate to the severity of atherosclerosis in the youth, thus may initiate atherosclerotic injury or facilitate its progression along with other risk factors.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Wild privatisation or a remarkable model solution? - The pathology in the privatisation of health services in Szeged]

VAJDA Angéla

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Anti-atherosclerotic effects of Ca-antagonists in the light of new clinical data]

ALFÖLDI Sándor

[Based on in vitro and animal research, it has been found that calcium antagonist drugs are capable of inhibiting directly the atherosclerotic process. In spite of their advantegous antiatherosclerotic effect, the fast-release, first-generation dihydropyridines had an unfortunate effect on the number of newly developed myocardial infarctions and on cardiovascular mortality. New, controlled clinical studies have found long acting calcium antagonists to decrease significantly the progression of the atherosclerosis in the carotid artery - verified with B-mode ultrasound scans - and the appearance of cardiovascular clinical events, when either proven coronary sclerosis (PREVENT, CAPARES studies) or hypertension (INSIGHT, ELSA, VHAS) was present. If further clinical trials (CAMELOT, NORMALISE - now under way) justify these promising clinical data, then long-acting calcium channel blockers may become new and significant tools in the prevention of the progression and clinical complications of atherosclerotic disease.]

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[MANAGEMENT OF CUTANEOUS MALIGNANT MELANOMAS]

OLÁH Judit

[Malignant melanoma, the disease originating from pigment cells of the skin, mucous membrane, eye and rarely from other tissues, shows increasing incidence in the Caucasian population. The Hungarian statistical data correspond with the data of other countries. In the early stages of malignant melanoma surgical removal of the tumor is often curative, but patients with disseminated tumors have a poor survival rate. Regrettably, in Hungary the majority of melanoma patients are diagnosed with advanced tumors, with nodal or systemic metastasis. Physicians working in other fields of medicine have a great responsibility in patient education and in early detection of susceptible pigmented lesions. Diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma requires an experienced dermatologist. The clinical diagnosis of melanoma is aided by several new techniques, like digital dermatoscopy. In recent years, surgical therapy of malignant melanoma has changed: today we routinely perform sentinel node biopsy. This type of surgical technique requires experience. In advanced disease the use of chemotherapy and immunotherapy requires onco-dermatological experience. Educating the public and physicians provides the basis for prevention. Survival rate is mainly dependent on the quality of primary care which determines survival rate, therefore it is essential that patients with melanomas are followed up in onco-dermatological centers.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Life threatening rare lymphomas presenting as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis: a diagnostic challenge

TOLVAJ Balázs, HAHN Katalin, NAGY Zsuzsanna, VADVÁRI Árpád, CSOMOR Judit, GELPI Ellen, ILLÉS Zsolt, GARZULY Ferenc

Background and aims – Description of two cases of rare intravascular large B-cell lymphoma and secondary T-cell lymphoma diagnosed postmortem, that manifested clinically as longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). We discuss causes of diagnostic difficulties, deceptive radiological and histological investigations, and outline diagnostic procedures based on our and previously reported cases. Case reports – Our first case, a 48-year-old female was admitted to the neurological department due to paraparesis. MRI suggested LETM, but the treatments were ineffective. She died after four weeks because of pneumonia and untreatable polyserositis. Pathological examination revealed intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL). Our second case, a 61-year-old man presented with headache and paraparesis. MRI showed small bitemporal lesions and lesions suggesting LETM. Diagnostic investigations were unsuccessful, including tests for possible lymphoma (CSF flow cytometry and muscle biopsy for suspected IVL). Chest CT showed focal inflammation in a small area of the lung, and adrenal adenoma. Brain biopsy sample from the affected temporal area suggested T-cell mediated lymphocytic (paraneoplastic or viral) meningoencephalitis and excluded diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The symptoms worsened, and the patient died in the sixth week of disease. The pathological examination of the presumed adenoma in the adrenal gland, the pancreatic tail and the lung lesions revealed peripheral T-cell lymphoma, as did the brain and spinal cord lesions. Even at histological examination, the T-cell lymphoma had the misleading appearance of inflammatory condition as did the MRI. Conclusion – Lymphoma can manifest as LETM. In cases of etiologically unclear atypical LETM in patients older than 40 years, a random skin biopsy (with subcutaneous adipose tissue) from the thigh and from the abdomen is strongly recommended as soon as possible. This may detect IVL and provide the possibility of prompt chemotherapy. In case of suspicion of lymphoma, parallel examination of the CSF by flow cytometry is also recommended. If skin biopsy is negative but lymphoma suspicion remains high, biopsy from other sites (bone marrow, lymph nodes or adrenal gland lesion) or from a simultaneously existing cerebral lesion is suggested, to exclude or prove diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, IVL, or a rare T-cell lymphoma.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[ALTERATIONS IN MYOCARDIAL CONTRACTILE PROTEIN COMPOSITION IN DIASTOLIC HEART FAILURE]

PAPP Zoltán, BORBÉLY Attila, ÉDES István

[Disturbances in ventricular relaxation may lead to the development of diastolic heart failure. The analysis of left ventricular endomyocardial biopsy specimens may help understand the underlying structural and functional changes. Such analyses have lead to the recognition that at the optimal sarcomere length of the Frank- Starling mechanism (i.e., at 2.2 μm), passive force values of the cardiomyocytes are significantly higher in individuals with diastolic heart failure than in healthy controls. As a probable explanation to this finding, increased expression of the stiffer N2B isoform of the myofilamental titin protein, at the expense of the more elastic N2BA titin isoform, has been recognized. Moreover, decreased phosphorylation of the contractile proteins was also suggested to contribute to the development of diastolic heart failure. These changes together, and along with an increase in extracellular collagen content, may greatly contribute to the relaxation disturbance observed in diastolic heart failure.]

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[The clinical importance of HER2 expression in breast cancer]

KAHÁN Zsuzsanna

[HER2 (neu/c-erbB-2) is a member of the EGF receptor family. It is activated without binding a specific ligand that leads to malignant transformation and tumor progression. Overexpression of HER2 is detected in approximately one quarter of human breast cancers. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization (FISH) are the most widely used techniques in studying HER2 expression. HER2 positivity indicates worse outcome in node positive breast cancer and increasing number of studies show unfavourable prognosis in node negative cases as well. Recent data indicate that the knowledge of HER2 status may promote therapeutic decision. The generally applied cyclophosphamide- methotrexate-5-fluorouracil (CMF) polychemotherapy seems to provide no benefit in HER2 positive cases in contrast with HER2 negative breast cancer patients. Interestingly, doseintensive doxorubicin based chemotherapy gives better results in HER2 positive than in HER2 negative tumors. Determination of HER2 expression has great importance before therapeutic application of the humanized antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). HER2 overexpression usually correlates well with estrogen and progesterone receptor negativity and hormone-resistance, therefore hormonal therapy is not justified for these patients. Some experimental and clinical data indicate that in case of simultaneous HER2 and ER positivity tamoxifen worsens treatment results which may be prevented by the coadministration of tamoxifen and trastuzumab. Emerging experimental and clinical data about HER2 has led to a new stage of individual treatment of breast cancer patients. The knowledge of HER2 status promotes antitumor intervention based on molecular characteristics of breast cancers. Therefore, reliable HER2 tests are needed in the everyday practice.]