Lege Artis Medicinae

[Surgical aspects of the gastrointestinal diseases]

JAKAB Ferenc

NOVEMBER 20, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(11)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The 17th Congress of the European Respiratory Society]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[Gastrolienalis fistula caused by acute pancreatitis]


Lege Artis Medicinae

[What’s behind a pathological liver finding]


Lege Artis Medicinae



[INTRODUCTION - Persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels, which occur in a fraction of patients chronically infected with hepatitis C virus, do not rule out the presence of chronic hepatitis C, even of that with advanced inflammation and fibrosis. Here we report our results of the treatment of these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - Patients with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis C received combined antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon (alfa-2a 1×180 μg/week or alfa-2b 1×1.5 μg/kg/week) and ribavirin (800- 1200 mg/day) for 48-52 weeks. The alanineaminotransferase levels of 21 patients (14 females, 7 males, age: 20-54, mean 38 years) did not reach the upper limit of normal (40 U/l) during the period of observation (≥6 months). There were 19 and 2 cases with hepatitis C virus genotype 1b and 3, respectively. The patients' hepatitis activity index was 3.7 1.75, fibrosis score: 0.9 0.64, baseline viral titer: 1.18 1.12×106 IU/ml, alanine-aminotransferase level: 33.51 7.2 U/l. The last 100 unselected patients with elevated alanine-aminotransferase levels enrolled in treatment for chronic hepatitis C and who were followed for at least 6 months served as the control group with the following parameters: 41 females and 59 males (age: 18- 65, mean: 45.65 years), viral genotypes: 98 and 2 cases of type 1 and 3, respectively, hepatitis activity index: 5.44±4.03, stage: 1.29±1.00, baseline viral titer: 4.13±6.25×106 IU/ml. RESULTS - In the study group, all patients were hepatitis C virus RNA negative at the end of the treatment and with one exception remained so by the end of the 6-month follow-up period (20/21), while the sustained virologic response was 36% in the control group. The pretreatment normal alanine aminotransferase level decreased significantly (15.26 4.9 vs 33.51 7.2 U/l, p<0.001) by the end of the treatment, and remained at this level during the follow-up in all except one relapse case. CONCLUSION - The efficacy of the combined antiviral treatment is high in patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels, possibly due to the relatively younger age, the higher proportion of females, the lower baseline viral titer, and the less advanced liver disease (lower inflammatory activity and less or absent fibrosis) observed in this group. Combined antiviral treatment is recommended for patients with histologically confirmed chronic hepatitis C with normal alanine aminotransferase levels, even with mild inflammatory activity and minimal or absent fibrosis in the liver tissue. The previous suggestions based on published evidence to revise the upper limit of the normal range of alanine aminotransferase level are supported by the results of this study.]

Lege Artis Medicinae



[The use of opioids to relieve strong, unbearable pain is a method that has been known for thousands of years and is still effective today. In contrast to the earlier view, opioids today are not only given to cancer patients. The application area of morphine derivatives is generally the relief of exceptionally strong pain regardless of the diagnosis, but opiates are undoubtedly most commonly used to treat cancer-related or strong acute pain. Strong pain reducers are used much more in developed countries for the treatment of non-cancer related severe pain refractory to other approaches. Today the use of opiates and their derivatives (fentanyl, oxycodon) for non-cancer related pain relief is recognized by the national health insurance in that it allows general practitioners to prescribe them, upon the recommendation of a neurosurgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, traumatologist or rheumatologist, with a significant 90% subsidy for six months to ensure easy access for patients in severe, refractory pain due to degenerative musculoskelatal diseases (ICD: M47, M48, M16.9, M17.9, M54.4, M51.0, M51.1). The indications of opioid use, however, are not limited to strong nociceptive pain since they are also effective in certain types of peripheral neuropathic pain. In brief, a basic principle of the use of major analgetics is that their indication is primarily based on the intensity of pain and not on the nature of the disease, even though the latter has a major influence on the clinician's strategy of pain relief.]

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[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]


[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of the effectiveness of transforaminal epidural steroid injection in far lateral lumbar disc herniations

EVRAN Sevket, KATAR Salim

Far lateral lumbar disc herniations (FLDH) consist approximately 0.7-12% of all lumbar disc herniations. Compared to the more common central and paramedian lumbar disc herniations, they cause more severe and persistent radicular pain due to direct compression of the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion. In patients who do not respond to conservative treatments such as medical treatment and physical therapy, and have not developed neurological deficits, it is difficult to decide on surgical treatment because of the nerve root damage and spinal instability risk due to disruption of facet joint integrity. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of transforaminal epidural steroid injection (TFESI) on the improvement of both pain control and functional capacity in patients with FLDH. A total of 37 patients who had radicular pain caused by far lateral disc herniation which is visible in their lumbar magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, had no neurological deficit and did not respond to conservative treatment, were included the study. TFESI was applied to patients by preganglionic approach. Pre-treatment Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) scores of the patients were compared with the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month scores after the procedure. The mean initial VAS score was 8.63 ± 0.55, while it was 3.84 ± 1.66, 5.09 ± 0.85, 4.56 ± 1.66 at the 3rd week, 3rd month and 6th month controls, respectively. This decrease in the VAS score was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). ODI score with baseline mean value of 52.38 ± 6.84 was found to be 18.56 ± 4.95 at the 3rd week, 37.41 ± 14.1 at the 3rd month and 34.88 ± 14.33 at the 6th month. This downtrend of pa­tient’s ODI scores was found statistically significant (p = 0.001). This study has demonstrated that TFESI is an effective method for gaining increased functional capacity and pain control in the treatment of patients who are not suitable for surgical treatment with radicular complaints due to far lateral lumbar disc hernia.

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Risk of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Focus on aceclofenac]


[Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the most frequently used pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, a number of studies emphasized that NSAIDs were damaging not only the gastrointestinal (GI), but also the cardiovascular (CV) system, could increase the blood pressure, the frequency of coronary events (angina, myocardial infarction) and stroke incidence, as well as they might deterio­rate renal functions. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) did not find evidence that administering NSAIDs could increase the risk of developing COVID-19 or worsened the condition of COVID-19 patients. However, unwanted effects of specific drugs differ substantially in their occurrence and seriousness as well. It seemed to be for a long time that the NSAIDs provoked higher GI-risk was closely related to the COX1/COX2 selectivity, like the cardiovascular (CV) risk to the COX2/COX1 selectivity, however, the recent data did not prove it clearly. Based on the available literature while pondering the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular adverse events, among all NSAIDs the aceclofenac profile seemed to be the most favourable.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

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 effects of 30 Hz, 50 Hz AND 100 Hz continuous theta burst stimulation via transcranial magnetic stimulation on the electrophysiological parameters in healthy individuals

OZDEMIR Zeynep, ACAR Erkan, SOYSAL Aysun

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a non-invasive procedure that uses robust magnetic fields to create an electrical current in the cerebral cortex. Dual stimulation consists of administering subthre­shold conditioning stimulation (CS), then suprathreshold test stimulation (TS). When the interstimulus interval (ISI) is 1-6 msec, the motor evoked potential (MEP) decreases in amplitude; this decrease is termed “short interval intracortical inhibition” (SICI); when the ISI is 7-30 msec, an increase in MEP amplitude occurs, termed “short interval intracortical facilitation” (SICF). Continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), often applied at a frequency of 50 Hz, has been shown to decrease cortical excitability. The primary objective is to determine which duration of cTBS achieves better inhibition or excitation. The secondary objective is to compare 50 Hz cTBS to 30 Hz and 100 Hz cTBS. The resting motor threshold (rMT), MEP, SICI, and SICF were studied in 30 healthy volunteers. CS and TS were administered at 80%-120% and 70%-140% of rMT at 2 and 3-millisecond (msec) intervals for SICI, and 10- and 12-msec intervals for SICF. Ten individuals in each group received 30, 50, or 100 Hz, followed by administration of rMT, MT-MEP, SICI, SICF immediately and at 30 minutes. Greater inhibition was achieved with 3 msec than 2 msec in SICI, whereas better facilitation occurred at 12 msec than 10 msec in SICF. At 30 Hz, cTBS augmented inhibition and suppressed facilitation, while 50 Hz yielded less inhibition and greater inter-individual variability. At 100 Hz, cTBS provided slight facilitation in MEP amplitudes with less interindividual variability. SICI and SICF did not differ significantly between 50 Hz and 100 Hz cTBS. Our results suggest that performing SICI and SICF for 3 and 12 msec, respectively, and CS and TS at 80%-120% of rMT, demonstrate safer inhibition and facilitation. Recently, TBS has been used in the treatment of various neurological diseases, and we recommend preferentially 30 Hz over 50 Hz cTBS for better inhibition with greater safety and less inter-individual variability.