Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE DIFFERENTIATION OF CHRONIC PANCREATITIS FROM PANCREATIC CANCER]

CZAKÓ László

FEBRUARY 22, 2007

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2007;17(02)

[The poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer is mainly due to late diagnosis. The differentiation between pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis is difficult, because the two diseases cause similar clinical symptoms and morphological alterations. Furthermore, chronic pancreatitis is associated with an increased risk of malignant transformation, thus the two diseases may be present simultaneously. The recent developments in molecular genetic tests and in imaging techniques, such as multidetector computed tomography, magnetic resonance cholangio- pancreatography, endoscopic ultrasoundguided fine needle aspiration and positron emission tomography/computed tomography, have fundamentally transformed the differentiation of the two disorders. This paper provides a systematic review of the recent evidence-based results concerning the differentiation of pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis.]

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[ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE AND THE ATTITUDES TO AGEING OF ELDERLY PEOPLE]

TRÓZNAI Tibor, KULLMANN Lajos

[BACKGROUND - The WHOQOL-OLD questionnaire was developed in a multicultural way. The authors were involved in this work as members of the international task force. In order to improve services for the elderly by learning their attitudes to ageing, an Attitudes to Ageing Questionnaire (AAQ) was also developed by the working group. In the present study the authors assessed a sample of Hungarian elderly people by these two methods. Answers by elderly persons related to their quality of life, social and health conditions, as well as their attitude to ageing were analysed. PERSONS AND METHOD - A total of 333 (190 unhealthy and 143 healthy) persons over sixty years of age filled in the questionnaires either by themselves or through verbal interview. The participants’ compliance with the research was generally good. The study sample reflected the general features of the Hungarian elderly population. For statistical analysis the Microsoft SPSS for Windows version 11.0 programme was used. RESULTS - Better health condition, better mood, and a better ability for self-care improve the quality of life. Better attitudes to ageing are associated with better quality of life. CONCLUSIONS - The use of the WHOQOLOLD questionnaire is recommended in the daily practice to assess elderly Hungarians’ quality of life. The results highlight the significance of mental health in the development of the elderly persons’ attitude to ageing. The use of the new questionnaires may help change negative stereotypes related to ageing.]

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[A RARE, HISTOLOGICALLY COMPLEX LIVER TUMOUR]

HIDVÉGI Judit, BAJTAI Attila, VARGA Árpád

[INTRODUCTION - Among the primary malignant tumours of the liver, hepatoblastoma is extremely rare in adults in contrast to its frequency in children. Only 23 such cases have been published to date. Mixed tumour of the liver and carcinosarcoma of the liver are used as synonyms for adult hepatoblastoma. The tumours have both mesenchymal and epithelial components (hepatocellular or cholangiocellular carcinoma) with focal bone and/or cartilage formation. CASE REPORT - A 78-year-old woman was admitted to the surgery department with increasing anaemia and persistent abdominal pain. An emergency operation was performed. Her peritoneal cavity was filled with blood due to the rupture of a tumour that occupied the right lobe of the liver. The neoplasm could only be removed partially. Despite an intensive care, the patient's state could not be stabilized and she died a day after the operation. The histological diagnosis was carcinosarcoma of the liver with an AFP- and cytokeratin-positive epithelial component and a spindle cell component positive for vimentin. The osteogen sarcoma found in the tumour was strongly positive for the S-100 protein. DISCUSSION - The authors review the hypotheses for the formation of adult primary hepatoblastoma, a combined tumour, they describe their various types and the immunohistochemical tests that are used in their identification.]

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[DIURETICS IN CARDIOLOGY: PRESCRIBE OR USE?]

NAGY Viktor

[Diuretics are essential therapeutic tools. They effectively reduce blood pressure and have been shown in numerous hypertension clinical trials to reduce both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. In addition, they are important components of the treatment of heart failure with apparent signs of congestion. While thiazides are recommended in mild forms, loop diuretics are used in the severe stages of congestive heart failure. Loop diuretics and thiazides often induce hypokalaemia, which has been demonstrated to be not as benign as thought before. Diuretic-induced hypokalaemia seems to be aldosterone dependent. Aldosterone levels increase during diuretic therapy. Aldosterone antagonists are unique among diuretics in that they improve survival of patients with heart failure independent of their effect on sodium metabolism. Because of this, diuretic treatment lives its renaissance in cardiology.]

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Hungarian Radiology

[Examination of pancreatic exocrine function with secretin stimulated magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography]

ENDES János, CZAKÓ László, TAKÁCS Tamás, BODA Krisztina, LONOVICS János

[INTRODUCTION - The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility and usefulness of SS-MRPD for evaluation of the pancreatic exocrine function. PATIENTS AND METHODS - SS-MRPD was performed in 20 patients with mild (n=8) or severe (n=12) chronic pancreatitis (according to the grade of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency indicated by the Lundh test) and in 10 volunteers without pancreatic disease. MRPD images were evaluated before and 10 min after the iv. administration of 0.5 IU/kg secretin. The changes in pancreatic tissue T2 signal intensity and duodenal filling after the injection of secretin were determined by means of SS-MRPD. The SSMRPD findings were then compared with those of the Lundh test. RESULTS - The basal pancreatic T2 signal intensity was significantly higher in the patients with a mild or a severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency as compared with the controls (826.5±36.36 and 908±80.51 vs 659.2±41.67). The pancreatic T2 signal intensity exhibited a significant elevation after secretin administration both in the volunteers and in the patients with mild or severe chronic pancreatitis. This elevation was significantly lower in both the mild and the severe chronic pancreatitis patients than in the volunteers (66.85±15.77 and 24.45±5.85, respectively, vs. 200.0± 45.07). After the administration of secretin, the diameter of the duodenum was significantly increased in all three groups. This duodenal filling was significantly reduced in patients with a mild or a severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency as compared with the volunteers (4.12±1.33 and 1.70±0.77 vs. 15.38± 1.73). There was no significant difference in pancreatic T2 signal intensity changes or in duodenal filling in patients with a mild or a severe exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. There were significant correlations between the pancreatic T2 signal intensity changes and the duodenal filling and the results of the Lundh test (r= -0.616 and -0.78). CONCLUSION - These results demonstrate that the administration of secretin increases the T2 signal intensity of the pancreatic tissue and the diameter of the duodenum to different extents in normal subjects and in patients with chronic pancreatitis. This suggests that SS-MRPD can provide information of value in the assessment of an exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.]

Clinical Oncology

[Management of pancreatic cancer today]

BODOKY György, LAKATOS Gábor

[Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a major health problem with a poor prognosis. The number of patients with PC is increasing globally. There are no screening tests for early detection of PC, but even when diagnosed early, surgery is possible in only a minority of cases. Managing PC remains a big challenge. For selected patients with borderline or unresectable disease, neoadjuvant therapy offers the potential for tumor downstaging. In patients with resectable disease, adjuvant chemotherapy improves the fi ve year survival rate, whereas the use of adjuvant radiochemotherapy is still controversial. In metastatic cancer, monotherapy with gemcitabine remained the main therapeutic option during more than 10 years. Many different combinations with other drugs and new targeted therapies have been tested with gemcitabine. Only a combination of erlotinib and gemcitabine has shown a modest survival benefi t until now. Many gene alterations that directly contribute to pancreas tumorigenesis have been identifi ed or are under active investigation. Recently, the FOLFIRINOX regimen has been reported to be more active than gemcitabine in selected metastatic patients. Quality of life is an extremly important factor, when treating a patient with PC. CA 19-9 serum level can provide important information with regards to prognosis, overall survival, and response to chemotherapy as well as predict post-operative recurrence. There is a strong need for other predictive biomarkers to select patients, who might benefi t from available and new therapeutic options.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[THE ROLE OF ENZYME REPLACEMENT THERAPY IN PANCREATIC DISEASES ASSOCIATED WITH MALDIGESTION]

TAKÁCS Tamás

[The pancreas synthesizes and secretes more than 20 digestive enzymes that hydrolyze the major nutritive components, i.e., carbohydrates, fat and protein, within the lumen of the small bowel. In several pancreatic diseases the secretory capacity of the pancreas gradually decreases and the release of pancreatic juice becomes blocked resulting in the characteristic symptoms of maldigestion. Pancreas-associated maldigestion is most often caused by chronic pancreatitis, which can be diagnosed primarily by imaging beside history and clinical symptoms. There is no decisive serological test. The goal of the treatment of pancreatic insufficiency is to reduce symptoms (bloating, abdominal pain, weight loss, and, most importantly, steatorrhea) and improve digestion. One way to do this is to replace pancreatic enzymes. The efficiency of the available enzyme preparations can be increased by the improvement of lipase activity.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[DISEASES OF THE EXOCRINE PANCREAS AND DIABETES MELLITUS]

CZAKÓ László

[Exocrine and endocrine pancreas constitutes close anatomical and functional links accordingly, any disease affecting one of these sectors will inevitably affect the other. Acute and chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic surgery, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer are those pancreatic conditions that might cause diabetes mellitus. The development of diabetes greatly influences the prognosis and quality of life of patients with exocrine pancreatic diseases. The lack of glucagon and the impaired absorption of nutrients may cause life-threatening complications, such as hypoglycaemia, and the micro- and macrovascular complications may impair the organ functions. Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor of mortality in those with exocrine pancreatic diseases. Pancreatic diabetes is a distinct metabolic and clinical form of diabetes, requires special treatment. Diet and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy may be sufficient in the early stages. Oral antidiabetic drugs are not recommended. If the diet proves inadequate to reach the glycaemic goals, regular insulin treatment is demanded. There are special impairments of the exocrine function and the pancreatic morphology at diabetic patients that resemble to chronic pancreatitis. Atrophy of the exocrine tissue may caused by the lack of trophic insulin. Hyperglycaemia can activate the stellate cells that lead to pancreatic fibrosis. The microangiopathy and neuropathy, as well as the lack of islet hormone action - responsible for the exocrine pancreas regulation - will cause further damage on the pancreas glandular tissue. In the event of a proven impairment of the pancreatic exocrine function in diabetes mellitus, pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is recommended. This may improve the nutritional condition and decrease the metabolic instability.]

Hungarian Radiology

[Radiology of pancreas: review from the last year - Gastro Update 2007]

FORRAI Gábor

[PURPOSE - To demonstrate the recent results in radiological diagnostics of pancreas, and the actual place of the imaging and interventional methods. METHOD - Systematic review of the most recent articles from the last year in the following subjects: acute, chronic and autoimmune pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and other tumors, PET and special imaging problems in pancreas transplantation. RESULTS - Annually, experience in pancreatic diagnostical methods are accumulating rapidly. Therefore, there is a continuous change in the examination algorithm with new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities making their way into the daily routine. Some of the algorithms become obsolete within a few years and their further application is considered mismanagement. Some other methods become obligatory steps in the diagnostics. These are the reasons why up-to-date knowledge of the literature is mandatory.]