Lege Artis Medicinae

[The relevancy of measuring the level of D-dimer test in clinical practice]

PINCZÉS István, SPEER Gábor

DECEMBER 10, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(12)

[Plasma levels of D-dimer may rise in a number of pathological conditions, which might be relevant for diagnosis as well as for prognosis. Its concentration increases with age, perhaps because of the wide-spread co-morbidity. In this article we demonstrate the diagnostic role of Ddimer in the well-known thromboembolic diseases. Beyond that, we highlight the importance of measuring D-dimer levels in other, lesser-known conditions, about which important findings have been published, such as cardiovascular, inflammatory or malignant diseases. It seems that in these disorders - provided that appropriate clinical conditions are available -, measuring D-dimer levels might have a role not only in diagnosis but in the prognosis as well. Furthermore, our aim was to discourage inappropriate clinical practice. Ignoring to measure the D-dimer levels (for fear of it being high) might lead to diagnostic errors. On the other hand, routinely performing the D-dimer test without clinical consideration (in the hope of it being negative) might cause diagnostic confusion in case of unexpected positivity and - mostly because of false interpretation - lead to further, unnecessary examinations.]

COMMENTS

0 comments

Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Christmas vaccine]

FRENKL Róbert

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Systemic adjuvant pharmacotherapy of colorectal cancer]

BODOKY György

[Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent cancer in the postindustrial world; its most common form is adenocarcinoma. In Hungary, colorectal cancer has the second highest mortality among tumours. If diagnosed early, it might be successfully treated by surgery, however, chemotherapy is necessary to prevent tumor relapse and development of metastases and achieve adequate palliation. In the past few years, adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer has improved substantially. Many new drugs have been developed, which are also being used in combination with previously known agents. This article will discuss the novelties in the field of adjuvant chemotherapy for colorectal cancer and the main guidelines of adjuvant treatment.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Insulin analogues and pregnancy]

TAMÁS GYULA, KERÉNYI ZSUZSA

[Near-normoglycaemic metabolic control in pregnant women with diabetes - started before conception in pregestational diabetes - decreases the frequency of maternal and foetal complications. Such control can be achieved by using optimalised systems of insulin therapy. A number of (ultra)rapid and long-acting insulin analogues became available during the last decade, which - on the basis of theoretical considerations - might be used to maintain normoglycaemia. Summarising the data available today, the use of rapid insulin analogues (lispro, aspart) seem to be effective and safe during pregnancy. Some questions arise, however, about their modes of application. The use of long-acting insulin analogues in pregnancy is currently not indicated. Further trials are needed to prove their efficacy and safety in diabetic pregnancy.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Resistant hypertension - differential diagnosis and therapy]

TISLÉR András

[Hypertension is considered resistant to therapy if the target blood pressure is not achieved despite treatment with three different types of antihypertensive drugs, including a diuretic. Causes of therapy resistance may be grouped into three broad categories: Pseudoresistance can be the result of inadequate blood pressure measurement technique, the “white-coat” effect or the patients’ noncompliance with pharmacological and nonpharmacological medical advices. Evaluation of the measurement technique - including the size of the cuff used - and blood pressure monitoring at home can help identify the causes of pseudoresistance. Secondary resistance comprises drug interactions and concomitant medical conditions that elevate blood pressure or antagonize antihypertensive therapy. In addition, secondary resistance can result from disorders associated with secondary hypertension, among which appropriate screening for hyperaldosteronism as well as for renoparenchymal and renovascular hypertension need special emphasis. Suboptimal therapy is frequently related to subclinical volume overload and the use of inappropriate type or dosing of diuretics. Furthermore, when choosing the optimal drug combination, care should be taken to inhibit the various systems that regulate blood pressure as much as possible. In addition to combining the most frequently used antihypertensive drugs, the use of aldosterone antagonists, vasodilators, nitrates or drugs affecting the central nervous system might help to optimise treatment.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Rituximab therapy in rheumatoid arthritis]

SÜTŐ Gábor

[Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, lifelong disease that causes severe joint deformity, reduces quality of life, and, if not treated appopriately, leads to disability and substantial premature mortality. Its treatment is a multistep procedure, where different grades of treatment options follow each other. Besides traditional, diseasemodifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological therapies inhibiting TNF, a new therapautic option is the use of a chimeric antibody, rituximab, which inhibits B lymphocyte function. This drug is an effective and safe choice for those patients who have received various anti- TNF therapies or do not tolerate TNF inhibition.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: A single center experience and systemic analysis of cases in Turkey

USLU Ilgen Ferda, ELIF Gökçal, GÜRSOY Esra Azize, KOLUKISA Mehmet, YILDIZ Babacan Gulsen

We aimed to analyze the clinical, laboratory and neuroimaging findings in patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in a single center as well as to review other published cases in Turkey. Between January 1st, 2014 and June 31st, 2017, all CJD cases were evaluated based on clinical findings, differential diagnosis, the previous misdiagnosis, electroencephalography (EEG), cerebrospinal fluid and cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in our center. All published cases in Turkey between 2005-2018 were also reviewed. In a total of 13 patients, progressive cognitive decline was the most common presenting symptom. Two patients had a diagnosis of Heidenhain variant, 1 patient had a diagnosis of Oppenheimer-Brownell variant. Seven patients (53.3%) had been misdiagnosed with depression, vascular dementia, normal pressure hydrocephalus or encephalitis. Eleven patients (87%) had typical MRI findings but only 5 of these were present at baseline. Asymmetrical high signal abnormalities on MRI were observed in 4 patients. Five patients (45.4%) had periodic spike wave complexes on EEG, all appeared during the follow-up. There were 74 published cases in Turkey bet­ween 2005 and 2018, with various clinical presentations. CJD has a variety of clinical features in our patient series as well as in cases reported in Turkey. Although progressive cognitive decline is the most common presenting symptom, unusual manifestations in early stages of the disease might cause misdiagnosis. Variant forms should be kept in mind in patients with isolated visual or cerebellar symptoms. MRI and EEG should be repeated during follow-up period if the clinical suspicion still exists.

Clinical Neuroscience

[New, innovative prognosis calculator for patients with metastatic spinal tumors]

MEZEI Tamás, BÁSKAY János, POLLNER Péter , HORVÁTH Anna, NAGY Zoltán , CZIGLÉCZKI Gábor , BANCZEROWSKI Péter

[The aim of our research was to create a scoring system that predicts prognosis and recommends therapeutic options for patients with metastatic spine tumor. Increasing oncological treatment opportunities and prolonged survival have led to a growing need to address clinical symptoms caused by meta­stases of the primary tumor. Spinal metastases can cause a significant reduction in quality of life due to the caused neurological deficits. A scoring system that predicts prognosis with sufficient accuracy could help us to achieve personalised treatment options. Methods – We performed a retrospective clinical research of data from patients over 18 years of age who underwent surgery due to symptomatic spinal metastasis at the National Institute of Mental Disorders, Neurology and Neurosurgery between 2008 and 2018. Data from 454 patients were analysed. Survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier, log-rank, Cox model) was performed, network science-based correlation analysis was used to select the proper prognostic factors of our scoring system, such that its C value (predictive ability index) was maximized. Multivariate Cox analysis resulted in the identification of 5 independent prognostic factors (primary tumour type, age, ambulatory status, internal organ metastases, serum protein level). Our system predicted with an average accuracy of 70.6% over the 10-year study period. Our large case series of surgical dataset of patients with symptomatic spinal metastasis was used to create a risk calculator system that can help in the choice of therapy. Our risk calculator is also available online at https://emk.semmelweis.hu/gerincmet.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Blood pressure variability and its clinical importance]

KÉKES Ede, VÁLYI Péter

[The 24-hour and longer-term (weeks, months, years) as well as seasonal, regional variations and fluctuations of blood pressure have been known for long time in both normotensive and hypertensive patients. It is also well known and established that blood pressure variability is greater in patients with more severe hypertension and in the elderly population. In the last decade and actually, the variability of blood pressure has come into new light by meticulous analysis of numerous causal factors and consequences influencing its fluctuation. The real diagnostic and prognostic value of blood pressure variability and its role in the assessment of successful antihypertensive treatment have also been favoured. In our review, we summarise the physiological and pathophysiological principles of blood pressure variability, including also the significant importance of allostasis in the new approach. We overview the methods of measuring the blood pressure variability and its real importance related to the results obtained. We analyse the importance of non-adaptive levels of blood pressure variability in asymptomatic cases and apparent conditions, further in diagnostic projections and monitoring the treatment. Based on our own experience, we also present the future options of exploring the fluctuating blood pressure.]

Clinical Neuroscience

Evaluation of ischemic stroke patients with systemic cancer

UFUK Emre, TASKIN Gunes, IREM Pinar, FURUZAN Kokturk, ESENGUL Liman, ORHAN Yağiz

Purpose - In cancer patients, an ischemic stroke can be seen as both a direct effect of cancer and a complication of treatment. This condition can negatively affect the follow-up and treatment of these patients. For this research, we aimed to evaluate the clinical features, stroke types and etiological features of ischemic stroke patients with histories of cancer or found to have cancer during the aetiological investigation. Materials and methods - We retrospectively evaluated 100 patients (57 males, 43 females) who were hospitalized with acute stroke and determined to have the presence of cancer or a cancer history during the aetiological investigation between 2011 and 2016. All the demographic features, stroke types and localizations, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores, Rankin Scale scores, durations of cancer and cancer treatments were recorded. Results - The mean age of the patients was 67.07 ± 10.9 years old, the median NIHSS score was 5, and the median Rankin Scale score was 4. While 79% of patients had ischemic stroke risk factors, 21% did not. Atherosclerotic stroke was the most common stroke type (49%, n=49) and cryptogenic strokes were detected in 21% (n=21). In addition, 63% of the patients had chronic cancer (later than 6 months), 31% of the patients had recent cancer histories (less than 6 months), and 29% of the patients had metastases. Among all the malignancies, lung cancer (n=23), gastrointestinal cancer (n=20) and gynaecological-breast cancer (n=16) were the three most common. Moreover, 37% of the patients underwent chemotherapy, 29% underwent radiotherapy, and 88% of the patients had Carotid/Vertebral Doppler USG abnormalities. Conclusion - Similar to what is stated in the literature, an atherosclerotic stroke was the most common type of stroke in the cancer patients. Stroke risk factors were not detected in 21% of the patients, and in the majority of the patients, atherosclerotic changes in the carotid artery were observed in the Doppler examinations. In the aetiology and prognosis of ischemic stroke, it is important to keep in mind the existence of cancer in addition to the classical stroke risk factors.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Prognostic significance of invasion in glioblastoma]

SZIVÓS László, VIRGA József, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, ZAHUCZKY Gábor, URAY Iván, JENEI Adrienn, BOGNÁR László, ÁRKOSY Péter, KLEKNER Álmos

[Glioblastoma is the most common malignant CNS tumor, its surgical removal is hindered by the tumors invasive nature, while current anti-tumor therapies show limited effectiveness – mean overall survival is 16-24 months. Some patients show minimal response towards standard oncotherapy, however there are no routinely available prognostic and predictive markers in clinical practice to identify the background of mentioned differences in prognosis. This research aims to identify the prognostic significance of invasion-related extracellular (ECM) components. Patient groups with different prognoses were created (OS: group A <16 months, group B > 16 months), and internationally recognized prognostic markers (IDH1 mutation and MGMT promoter hyper-methylation) were tested in the flash-frozen tumor samples. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of 46 invasion-related ECM molecules were measured. Clinical data of the patients who have been operated on at the University of Debrecen Clinical Center Department of Neurosurgery and treated at the Department of Clinical Oncology showed no significant differences except for survival data (OS and PFS), and reoperation rate. All samples were IDH wild type. MGMT promoter hypermethylation rate showed significant differences (28.6% vs 68.8%). The expressional pattern of the invasion-related ECM molecules, i.e. the invasion spectrum also showed major differences, integrin β2, cadherin-12, FLT4/VEGFR-3 and versican molecules having signficantly different mRNA levels. The accuracy of the inivasion spectrum was tested by statistical classifier, 83.3% of the samples was sorted correctly, PPV was 0.93. The difference found in the reoperation rate when comparing different prognostic groups aligns with literature data. MGMG promoter region methylation data in Hungarian samples has not been published yet, and further confirming current knowledge urges the implementation of MGMT promoter analysis in clinical practice. Studying the invasion spectrum provides extra information on tumors, as a prognostic marker it helps recognizing more aggressive tumors, and calls attention to the necessity of using anti-invasive agents in GBM therapies in the future.]