Lege Artis Medicinae

[Vast number of COVID-19 patient expected in the near future – Interview with Éva Rákóczi head of the infectious diseases and rheumatology post-COVID outpatient clinic of Debrecen University’s Clinical Centre]


SEPTEMBER 16, 2021

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2021;31(08-09)



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae

[RAAS inhibitors therapy – COVID-19 pandemic]


[Acute respiratory syndrome with various signs and outcomes caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the biggest challenge facing health systems worldwide today. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone and kinin-kallikrein systems and within these two endopeptidases (ACE and ACE2) play a crucial role in the developing clinical feature of COVID-19. Adverse effects of the ACE-stimulated Ang II/AT1R axis (oxidant, pro-inflammatory effect, vasoconstriction) are counterbalanced by the ACE2-induced AT2R and MasR activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effect, vasodilation). The severity of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and systemic inflammation explains the impairment of ACE2 (as an important defence factor of the lungs) caused by the biding spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2, which decreases the ACE2 levels. In parallel, bradykinin production also increases and intensifies the SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine storm through the BKB1 and BKB2 receptors. Since the RAAS inhibitors (ACEI, ARB) affect the two regulatory systems and enzymes at different sites and to different degrees, their role must urgently have been clarified in the COVID-19 since their use is essential and general of many population-wide diseases (hypertension, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic conditions). Based on pathophysiological and experimental data, it is reasonable to hypothesize that in COVID-19 with comorbidities, especially in the elderly, the decreased ACE2 expression may be restored by RAAS inhibitors and the missed or reduced protective effect may be revitalised. This protective effect applies to both RAAS inhibitors. Clinical trials clearly support the declared opinion of many international societies that the use of RAAS inhibitors does not increase the risk of the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 in itself let alone the severe and critical cases. Accordingly, initiated RAAS inhibitor therapy not only may rather must be continued during the development of COVID-19.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Manifestations of COVID-19 in pregnancy]

TÖRÖK Marianna, VEZÉR Márton, ZUBEK László, KESZTHELYI Márton, VÁRBÍRÓ Szabolcs

[There are confirmed COVID-19 infections in Hungary since March 2020. This disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was initially known not to impose special risk on pregnant women, but probably due to the increasing number of cases and the latest mutations, this is no longer true nowadays. Recent outcomes suggest that pregnancy increases the risk of hospital admission, invasive ventilation and death with higher odds of preterm birth and caesarean sec­tion. Seemingly, vertical infection occurs only in a small percentage of all cases. To our best knowledge, 7 expectant mothers lost their life in Hungary thus far due to COVID-19. However, further rigorous studies are needed for a more accurate understanding of pregnancy complica­tions.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Pulmonary aspects of COVID-19 infection]

BÖCSKEI Renáta Marietta

[COVID-19 caused already the most serious pandemic of the past 100 years with increasing morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Due to the aerosol-born virus, pneumonia develops in a significant part (ca. 20%) of patients with serious forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) ca. in 5-8% of all cases. For patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it is very important to save their well-controlled condition and to continue the maintenance therapy in co-morbid COVID-19 infection. The role of pulmonary exercises and rehabilitation is crucial. Thus, pulmonology outpatient clinics gained additional follow-up activities such as the long-term post-COVID care with complex functional assessments and regular structural imaging of discharged patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Psychiatric conditions not only influence the severity of clinical outcome of COVID-19 but also the medication of mental diseases]


[The disease process in psychiatric patients who contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection might become more severe because of their impaired general health, comorbidities and unhealthy lifestyle. However, among all psychiatric conditions statistically significant correlation with severe and lethal outcome have been found only in schizophrenia with possible association of multiple immune dysfunctions. While the antipsychotic clozapine used in treatment resistant schizophrenia seems to decrease the likelihood of recovery of patients who underwent COVID-19 infection, antidepressants treatment for major depression may result in more favourable outcome. Mainly the antidepressant fluvoxamine has been reliably found effective by inhi­biting cytokine storms observed in some COVID-19 infected patients.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Bradykinin-cytokin-storm and its pathomechanism in very severe Covid-19]


[The authors review the pathomechanism of severe COVID-19 leading to systemic uncontrollable inflammation, thrombotic events and other complications. The review includes the extremely complex interactions between the infecting coronavirus and the in loco cellular-tissue contact system, the kinin-kallikrein and the renin-angiotensin systems. Authors critically evaluate some potential therapeutic interventions aiming at the mitigation of the dominant bradykinin-cytokine storm in the background of severe COVID-19 by inhibiting bradykinin formation, facilitating its degradation, or blocking either the B2 receptor or the bradykinin induced cytokine response.]

All articles in the issue

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Cases of inborn errors of metabolism diagnosed in children with autism

CAKAR Emel Nafiye, YILMAZBAS Pınar

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder with a heterogeneous presentation, the etiology of which is not clearly elucidated. In recent years, comorbidity has become more evident with the increase in the frequency of autism and diagnostic possibilities of inborn errors of metabolism. One hundred and seventy-nine patients with diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who presented to the Pediatric Metabolism outpatient clinic between 01/September/2018-29/February/2020 constituted the study population. The personal information, routine and specific metabolic tests of the patients were analyzed retrospectively. Out of the 3261 patients who presented to our outpatient clinic, 179 (5.48%) were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and were included in the study. As a result of specific metabolic examinations performed, 6 (3.3%) patients were diagnosed with inborn errors of metabolism. Two of our patients were diagnosed with classical phenylketonuria, two with classical homocystinuria, one with mucopolysaccharidosis type 3D (Sanfilippo syndrome) and one with 3-methylchrotonyl Co-A carboxylase deficiency. Inborn errors of metabolism may rarely present with autism spectrum disorder symptoms. Careful evaluation of the history, physical examination and additional findings in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder will guide the clinician in the decision-making process and chose the appropriate specific metabolic investigation. An underlying inborn errors of metabolism may be a treatable cause of autism.

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Late simultaneous carcinomatous meningitis, temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting with mono-symptomatic vertigo – a clinico-pathological case reporT

KISS Geza Jozsef, JARABIN András János, MOLNÁR Anna Fiona, KLIVÉNYI Péter, TISZLAVICZ László, GION Katalin, FÖLDESI Imre, ROVÓ László, BELLA Zsolt

Although vertigo is one of the most common complaints, intracranial malignant tumors rarely cause sudden asymmetry between the tone of the vestibular peripheries masquerading as a peripheral-like disorder. Here we report a case of simultaneous temporal bone infiltrating macro-metastasis and disseminated multi-organ micro-metastases presenting as acute unilateral vestibular syndrome, due to the reawakening of a primary gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. Purpose – Our objective was to identify those pathophysiological steps that may explain the complex process of tumor reawakening, dissemination. The possible causes of vestibular asymmetry were also traced. A 56-year-old male patient’s interdisciplinary medical data had been retrospectively analyzed. Original clinical and pathological results have been collected and thoroughly reevaluated, then new histological staining and immunohistochemistry methods have been added to the diagnostic pool. During the autopsy the cerebrum and cerebellum was edematous. The apex of the left petrous bone was infiltrated and destructed by a tumor mass of 2x2 cm in size. Histological reexamination of the original gastric resection specimen slides revealed focal submucosal tumorous infiltration with a vascular invasion. By immunohistochemistry mainly single infiltrating tumor cells were observed with Cytokeratin 7 and Vimentin positivity and partial loss of E-cadherin staining. The subsequent histological examination of necropsy tissue specimens confirmed the disseminated, multi-organ microscopic tumorous invasion. Discussion – It has been recently reported that the expression of Vimentin and the loss of E-cadherin is significantly associated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, vascular and neural invasion and undifferentiated type with p<0.05 significance. As our patient was middle aged and had no immune-deficiency, the promoting factor of the reawakening of the primary GC malignant disease after a 9-year-long period of dormancy remained undiscovered. The organ-specific tropism explained by the “seed and soil” theory was unexpected, due to rare occurrence of gastric cancer to metastasize in the meninges given that only a minority of these cells would be capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Patients with past malignancies and new onset of neurological symptoms should alert the physician to central nervous system involvement, and the appropriate, targeted diagnostic and therapeutic work-up should be established immediately. Targeted staining with specific antibodies is recommended. Recent studies on cell lines indicate that metformin strongly inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of gastric cancer cells. Therefore, further studies need to be performed on cases positive for epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

Clinical Neuroscience

Alexithymia is associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease

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.

Clinical Neuroscience

[The role of sleep in the relational memory processes ]

ZÁMBÓ Ágnes, PROKECZ Lídia, CSÁBI Eszter

[A growing body of evidence suggests that sleep plays an essential role in the consolidation of different memory systems, but less is known about the beneficial effect of sleep on relational memory processes and the recognition of emotional facial expressions, however, it is a fundamental cognitive skill in human everyday life. Thus, the study aims to investigate the effect of timing of learning and the role of sleep in relational memory processes. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. 84 young adults (average age: 22.36 (SD: 3.22), 21 male/63 female) participated in our study, divided into two groups: evening group and morning group indicating the time of learning. We used the face-name task to measure relational memory and facial expression recognition. There were two sessions for both groups: the immediate testing phase and the delayed retesting phase, separated by 24 hours. Our results suggest that the timing of learning and sleep plays an important role in the stabilizing process of memory representation to resist against forgetting.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[COVID-19-cardiology at spring, 2020]