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Lege Artis Medicinae

DECEMBER 10, 2019

[Family medicine as a career. Medical students’ attitudes and vocational choice motivations]


[INTRODUCTION - The large number of vacant general practices is a burning issue in Hungary. The entering of new colleagues into the general practitioner speciality training does not pose a real solution to the human resources crisis in this field. Our aim is to assess medical students’ attitudes and knowledge about general practice. SAMPLE AND METHOD - Cross-sectional survey with self-completed questionnaires at the University of Szeged, with the participation of 94 fourth and fifth year medical students in 2016 and 78 first and fourth year medical students in 2017. RESULTS - In 2016 1% of students planned for sure, and 16% planned probably to work as a general practitioner in the future. In 2017 3.9% of first-year students planned definitely to be a general practitioner, and 15.4% planned that probably. Among fourth-year students 0% of students planned for sure, and 19.2% planned probably to work as a general practitioner in the future. Whatever the presence of family medicine in undergraduate training influenced the medical students’ opinion about the profession positively (0.4-1.3 on a scale based on the direction and strength of the effects of certain factors ranging from -5 to +5). Those who were interested in family medicine considered the situation of healthcare significantly worse (p=0.027), than those who were not interested. To make the profession more attractive the following factors may play the most important role: the more intense presentation (I: 37%) of general practice in undergraduate training, improving the prestige of family medicine (IV: 31%), high-quality work (IV: 39%). CONCLUSIONS - Few medical students plan to work as general practitioner in the future. The most effective way to raise interest in family medicine is to increase the students’ knowledge and awareness of this specialisation, and the more intensive presentation of family medicine in undergraduate training is a key issue.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 20, 2018

[Gene modified T cells against cancer]


[Chimeric antigen receptor modified (CAR) T cells are hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough in the field of oncology. CAR T cells were first applied, with outstanding success, in the treatment of various leukaemias, yielding unprecedented antitumor activity and long periods of disease free survival. Following the success of CAR T cell therapy in leukaemias, solid tumors should now be targeted. These are more complex targets, therefore CAR T cell therapy needs to be further optimized for this purpose. Also, some unfortunate side effects, including the potentially deadly global inflammation called cytokine storm have to be minimized and possibly even eradicated. The next decade will be an exciting time to define whether this therapy which is yet exclusively used for cancer patients is also successful in the treatment of other diseases. In a recent study, T cells reengineered with CAR derived chimeric autoantibody receptors (CAAR) efficiently prevented disease progression in pre-clinical animal models simulating the serious autoimmune disorder, pemphigus vulgaris. Therapy was based on CAAR constructs which have the unique ability to selectively recognize and eliminate the B-cell clones secreting autoantibodies against a self-protein, thus playing a key role in disease pathogenesis and progression. In this review, we would like to give an overview about the history of the CAR T-cell concept, summarize briefly the currently running clinical trials, and discuss the challenges and future prospects of CAR T-cell therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2021

Cause of recurrent rhabdomyolysis, carnitine palmitoyltransferase II deficiency and novel pathogenic mutation

ÇAKAR Emel Nafiye, GÖR Zeynep, YEŞIL Gözde

Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (CPT II) deficiency is an autosomal inherited metabolic disorder in which the β-oxidation of the long chain fatty acids is defective. The clinical presentation may be in various forms; it presents itself in the severe form during neonatal and infantile periods and as the less severe myopathic form in the school age and adolescence. While the severity of the rhabdomyolysis attacks varies, occasionally the clinical course may be complicated with acute renal failure. Acylcarnitine analysis may help in the diagnosis of CPT II, but its normality does not indicate the absence of the disease. If there is strong suspicion, genetic analysis should be performed on the cases. In this article, we present a 15-year-old male patient who had two rhabdomyolysis attacks triggered by infection and starvation. Acylcarnitine analysis of the case was normal, CPT II deficiency was considered when the history was evaluated, and CPT II gene c.137A>G (p.Gln46Arg) homozygous novel pathogenic mutation was detected. CPT II deficiency is one of the most common causes of metabolic rhabdomyolysis in patients with recurrent episodes of rhabdomyolysis.

Clinical Neuroscience

JANUARY 30, 2021

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.

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Sarcopenia – muscle loss – pathomechanism, clinical presentation and metabolic comorbidities]


[Sarcopenia, or the age-related involution of muscle strength and muscle mass, is a serious public health concern, due to the growing number of elderly population caused by nowadays demographic changes i.e. prolonged life expectancy. By ageing, the muscle tissue is shrinking gradually, leading to the loss of muscle strength and masses. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sar­co­penia is the simultaneous decrease of muscle mass, muscle strength and functional independence. In parallel the physical performance deteriorates (weakness, slowness and poor physical balancing). Fatigue, el­derly behaviour and weight loss are the consequences of these accumulating deficits, which associate with cognitive decline and result in increasing social isolation. The primary form of sarcopenia is the decrease of the energy production of muscle cells and then the death of muscle cells. Se­con­dary, endocrine dysfunctions, diseases of the nervous system, decreased physical activity, malnutrition or malabsorption, chronic infection accelerate the process and aggravate the patient’s condition. Complex genetic, biochemical and endocrine mechanisms take part in the development of sarcopenia. This involution is due to the impaired balance of restoring and depleting processes of muscles. A questionnaire and algorithm have been developed to recognize, screen and diagnose the risks of sarcopenic condition; these separate the sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic patients with specific cut-off values. Sar­co­penia can be diagnosed based on walking speed, decreased handgrip strength and measured or calculated muscle mass in persons over 65. Sarcopenia can be considered as a phenomenon of “physiological” aging, however, it becomes a disease when diagnostic cut-offs are exceeded and the patient experiences functional disability and declining quality of life. Prevention and treatment of sarcopenia and reducing the risk of falling are based on regular active resistance and coordination exercises. Options for pharmaceutical treatments are limited since despite of identified molecular targets there are no convincingly effective innovative therapy on the horizon. Nevertheless, there are some weak evidence for efficacy of the application of amino acids stimulating muscle cell differentiation, such as leucine or the analogue of beta-hydoxy-methylbutyrate beside exercise therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2020

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

MAIHOUB Stefani, MOLNÁR András, CSIKÓS András, KANIZSAI Péter, TAMÁS László, SZIRMAI Ágnes

[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.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MAY 30, 2020

[Early experiences in surgical treatment of thoracic disc herniation from posterior transdural approach at Neurosurgery Clinic Szeged University]


[Background – Because of the rare occurrence of thoracic disc herniation and surgery needed treatment the used approaches and their efficiency are still subjects of discussions. In Hungarian practice, the most frequent explorations are costotransversectomy and laminectomy, but there are many other important methods available like thoracoscopic and posterior transdural approaches. This case report will present the benefits and the surgical procedure of posterior transdural sequesterectomy, carry out for the first time in Hungary at the Neurosurgical Department on Szeged University. Case presentation – A 50-year-old female patient with achondroplasic nanism has been operated several times since 2011. She suffered from a progressive, multi-segment affected degenerative discopathy and myelopathy. Finally in the background of the recurrent paraparesis was confirmed thoracic disc herniations at the levels of T8 and T9. The use of intraoperative electrophysiology was not feasable, because the earlier described cervical myelopathy. For this reason we used the posterior transdural approach, as the best and safest, visual control warranted technique. Conclusions – The posterior transdural approach offers an alternative option for experienced surgeons, furthermore in contrast with traditional, technically difficult to implement or special instrumentation demanding approaches this technique seems to be more efficient.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

[Systemic thrombolysis and endovascular intervention in postpartum stroke]


[Introduction - There are no previously published cases about intravenously applied recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in acute ischemic stroke during puerperium. Case presentation - We report a 40-year-old woman with postpartum acute ischemic stroke caused by multiple cervical artery dissections treated by systemic thrombolysis and endovascular intervention. Discussion - There are only limited data regarding thrombolytic treatment in acute stroke during pregnancy and puerperium. Current acute stroke treatment guidelines - while considering pregnancy as a relative exclusion criterion - do not deal with the postpartum state. Conclusion - As the condition is rare, randomized controlled trials are not feasible, therefore further reports on similar cases could eventually help us suggest guidelines or at least propose recommendations for the acute thrombolytic treatment of strokes occurring in pregnancy and puerperium.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2016

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy related inflammation: is susceptibility weighted imaging the clue for diagnosis?


Background - Cerebral amyloid angiopathy-related inflammation (CAA-ri) is characterized by various neurological symptoms such as gradually developing confusion, progressive cognitive decline, seizure or headaches; T2 hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and neuropathological evidence of cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and associated vascular or perivascular inflammation. Although histological confirmation is necessary for accurate diagnosis, in case of typical clinical features and neuroimaging, the diagnosis can be established without biopsy. Case summary - We present the case of a 57-year-old man with a history of hypertension who presented to the emer¬gency department 3-week history of progressive headache and a gradually developing altered mental status. On examination, he was found to have left sided weakness and decreased pscyhomotility. Routine clinical work-up (lab investigations, CT, cerebrospinal fluid analysis) did not show obvious diagnosis, so we performed an MRI. It raised the suspicion of CAA-ri which diagnosis was verified by neuroradiological evaluation. High dose steroid treatment was initiated. The patient rapidly responded to treatment, his focal neurological signs resolved. Control MRI after 1.5 months showed multiple haemorrhagic laesions in the field of previous inflammation which posteriorly supported the previous supposed work-diagnosis. Conclusions - Although histopathology is the gold standard for the diagnosis of cerebral amyloid angiopathy, the typical clinical presentation, good response to steroids and accurate neuroradiological criteria make biopsy unnecessary to diagnose CAA-ri.

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 20, 2015

[Novel strategy in the radiotherapy of metastatic brain tumors: simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery]


[Background and purpose – Treatment of central nervous system (CNS) tumors has always played an important role in development of radiotherapy techniques. Precise patient immobilisation, non-coplanar field arrangement, conformal treatment, arc therapy, radiosurgery, application of image fusion to radiation planning or re-irradiation were first introduced into clinical routine in the treatment of brain tumors. Methods – A modern multifunctional radiation instrument, Novalis TX has been installed at the University of Pécs two years ago. New methods, such as real time 3D image guided therapy, dynamic arc therapy and ultra-conformity offer further progress in treatment of CNS tumors. Whole brain irradiation and simultaneous fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery or integrated boost seem to be an optimal method in the treatment of not only soliter or oligo, but even a higher number (4-9) and not typically radiosensitive brain metastases. The new treatment strategy is illustrated by presentation of four case histories. Results – Treatment protocol was completed in all cases. Treatment period of 1.5 to 3 weeks, and treatment time of only a few minutes were not stressful for the patients. A quite remarkable clinical improvement as to general condition of the patients was experienced in three cases. Follow-up images confirmed either remission or a stable disease. Conclusions – Simultaneous whole brain radiotherapy and integrated stereotactic radiosurgery is a reproducible, safe method that offers an effective irradiation with delivery of definitive dosage even in cases with radio-insensitive brain metastasis.]