Lege Artis Medicinae

[SERUM ALANIN AMINOTRANSFERASE VALUES AND CHRONIC HEPATITIS C - HOW MUCH IS “NORMAL”, AND WHO SHOULD BE TREATED?]

HUNYADY Béla

MAY 16, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(04-05)

[Serum aminotransferases (= transaminases), especially alanin aminotransferase have been used in the diagnosis of liver diseases, including viral hepatitis, for decades. However, reliability of these biochemical markers was challenged in various respects by recent clinical studies. First, it has been shown not to be sensitive enough in screening for viral hepatitis in high risk populations (viral hepatitis may be present with normal values). Second, normal range is exceeded in a large number of subjects without genuine liver disease due to the increased proportion of people with metabolic disease (diabetes, dyslipidaemia) or high body weight, i.e., the upper limit of normal is too strict. Moreover, decision on treatment of patients with viral hepatitis infection and persistently normal aminotransferases poses a challenge for the clinician. Based on the current literature, this review attempts to provide guidelines for the everyday clinical practice.]

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[SEVERE GASTROINTESTINAL AND RENAL MANIFESTATIONS OF HENOCH-SCHÖNLEIN PURPURA]

GECSE Krisztina, ONDRIK Zoltán, KAIZER László, VARGA Erika, LONOVICS János, CZAKÓ László

[INTRODUCTION - Henoch-Schönlein purpura is a systemic small vessel vasculitis characterized by vascular and/or mesangial IgA deposits, primarily affecting the vasculature of the skin, joints, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal findings of various severity occur in 50 to 85% of the cases. We report on a 70-year-old woman who developed ileocaecal invagination and upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage as manifestations of Henoch-Schönlein purpura. CASE REPORT - The patient presented with two days history of palpable purpuric rash localized on the lower extremities. Based on the result of the skin biopsy, which showed leukocytoclastic vasculitis, IgA and C3 deposits, Henoch-Schönlein purpura was suspected. On the second night after admission colicky abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea developed. Radiological examination showed an ileocaecal invagination and since symptoms deteriorated caecum resection and ileo-ascendestomy was performed. On the third postoperative day the patient became oligo-anuric, which was attributed to her Henoch-Schönlein disease, and systemic steroid pulse therapy was given. One month after the admission the patient experienced haematochezia. Emergency upper endoscopy revealed petechiae, haemorrhagic erosions and mucosal oedema, primarily in the descending part of the duodenum. Since these lesions were also considered as presentations of Henoch-Schönlein disease, another bolus of parenteral steroid was administered. Upper endoscopy repeated 3 days later showed remarkable improvement of the gastric and intestinal lesions. CONCLUSION - Gastrointestinal symptoms are common manifestations of Henoch-Schönlein purpura, thus their recognition, in which endoscopy plays a crucial role, is of major importance. Methylprednisolone pulse therapy is an effective therapeutic option not only in the management of severe renal or joint symptoms, but also in the treatment of gastrointestinal manifestations.]

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[Patients with chronic liver disease, mostly the elderly, due to their impaired immune response, frequently suffer from infections worsening the clinical course. This is sometimes overlooked in the everyday praxis. In patients with alcoholic liver disease both hepatitis A virus (HAV) and acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections can lead to fulminant hepatic failure, therefore their immunization with HAV and HBV vaccines is highly recommended, similarly, vaccination against flu and pneumococcus also may be indicated for alcoholics. In chronic viral hepatitis, alcohol abuse can result in rapid progression to cirrhosis and reduces the efficacy of antiviral treatment. Patients with chronic hepatitis C should also be vaccinated against superinfections by HAV and HCV. Co-infections by hepatotropic viruses and human immundeficiency virus (HIV) are frequent due to the shared routes of transmission. In HIVpositive patients the efficacy of the vaccination against HAV and HBV depends on the CD4 cell count, which also determined the timing of anti- HBV or anti-HCV treatment. Concerning the bacterial infections, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is the most severe complication of cirrhosis. The prevention of SBP is orally administered, moderately absorbed quinolon (norfloxacin) as long-term selective intestinal decontamination against Gram-negative pathogens. Alcoholic patients are also susceptible for tuberculosis. Bacterial infections play a role even in portal hypertension and variceal rupture, furthermore, both gastrointestinal haemorrhage and invasive endoscopic procedures increase the risk of infection, therefore in such situations a short-term (5- 8 day) antibiotic profilaxis is necessary with norfloxacin or ciprofloxacin. Taking into consideration these points of view, it may be of privotal significance for the management of patients with liver disease.]

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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.

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[What happens to vertiginous population after emission from the Emergency Department?]

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[Background – Dizziness is one of the most frequent complaints when a patient is searching for medical care and resolution. This can be a problematic presentation in the emergency department, both from a diagnostic and a management standpoint. Purpose – The aim of our study is to clarify what happens to patients after leaving the emergency department. Methods – 879 patients were examined at the Semmel­weis University Emergency Department with vertigo and dizziness. We sent a questionnaire to these patients and we had 308 completed papers back (110 male, 198 female patients, mean age 61.8 ± 12.31 SD), which we further analyzed. Results – Based on the emergency department diagnosis we had the following results: central vestibular lesion (n = 71), dizziness or giddiness (n = 64) and BPPV (n = 51) were among the most frequent diagnosis. Clarification of the final post-examination diagnosis took several days (28.8%), and weeks (24.2%). It was also noticed that 24.02% of this population never received a proper diagnosis. Among the population only 80 patients (25.8%) got proper diagnosis of their complaints, which was supported by qualitative statistical analysis (Cohen Kappa test) result (κ = 0.560). Discussion – The correlation between our emergency department diagnosis and final diagnosis given to patients is low, a phenomenon that is also observable in other countries. Therefore, patient follow-up is an important issue, including the importance of neurotology and possibly neurological examination. Conclusion – Emergency diagnosis of vertigo is a great challenge, but despite of difficulties the targeted and quick case history and exact examination can evaluate the central or peripheral cause of the balance disorder. Therefore, to prevent declination of the quality of life the importance of further investigation is high.]