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Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 22, 2013

[Letrozol therapy of postmenopausal women with early-stage breast carcinoma after four-six years of tamoxifen therapy: tolerability and quality of life]

TÓTH Éva Katalin, NEMESKÉRI Csaba, SZABÓ Barna, URBANCSEK Hilda, MÉSZÁROS Edina, NAGYKÁLNAI Tamás, PESTI Lajos, MARKÓ László, NAGY Beatrix, LANDHERR László

[INTRODUCTION - In patients with hormone- dependent breast cancer, five-year postoperative tamoxifen therapy is a standard treatment approach. Continuing this therapy for more than five years can increase the risk of recurrence of the disease. It has been shown that treatment with the third-generation aromatase inhibitor letrozol after discontinuation of tamoxifen therapy significantly improves disease-free survival. It is important to assess whether the substantial decrease of estrogen level shows a correlation with the occurrence of unwanted events/side effects or with changes in the quality of life. PATIENTS AND METHOD - Between 2005 and 2009, 921 women (mean age 63 years, age 40-94 years) with early-stage breast carcinoma were treated with expanded adjuvant letrozol therapy following tamoxifen treatment. Of these patients, 541 received previous tamoxifen therapy for 4-6 years. We studied relapses and quality of life - measured by the SF-36 survey - during letrozol therapy in the latter patient group and the occurrence of unwanted events and side effects in all 921 patients. The patients were examined eight times and completed the survey four times. RESULTS - At the check-ups, relapses were recorded in case of 20 patients. Quality of life scores significantly increased in two main categories - physical and mental health -, and within these in three subcategories, whereas decreasing scores were not recorded in any categories. In 921 patient taking letrozol, 73 experienced unwanted events/side effects, of which nine were severe and three patient died. The two most common side effects were joint and bone pain (18 patients) and heat rash (12 patients). CONCLUSION - Extended adjuvant therapy with letrozol efficiently decreased the number of relapses and the number of patients continuing therapy. On the basis of the SF-36 survey the patients’ quality of life generaly improved. Letrozol therapy was well tolerated by most patients, which can have a favourable effect on the outcome of the therapy.]

Clinical Neuroscience

OCTOBER 05, 2013

[Split laminotomy and complementary spacer insertion for opening and enlargement of the thoracic spinal canal at infiltrative intramedullary tumor removal]

PAPP Zoltán, VAJDA János, BANCZEROWSKI Péter

[Objective - The author main objective was to improve the previously developed technique of split laminotomy and moderate enlargement of the spinal canal with preservation of the majority of posterior structures, and to avoid the complications of the classic autologous bone grafting procedure. Methods - A multilevel spinous process splitting and distracting laminotomy technique with complementary spacer insertion between the laminar parts was developed. We used Poly-Ether-Ether-Ketone (PEEK) cages. This improved method was used in five patients to remove malignant intramedullary tumors at the thoracic level. Results - Adequate surgery of the tumors located intramedullary, and permanent decompression of the spinal canal was achieved in all patients using our new modified procedure. The results have been postoperatively confirmed with MRI and CT. The affected spine was the thoracic in all cases. The numbers of split laminae were three to five. Histological results were as follows: four intramedullary astrocytomas, one ependymoma. The ependymoma was completely, while the astrocytomas were only subtotally removed. In all cases heterologous grafts were inserted between the sides of the distracted laminas, to achieve the enlargement of the spinal canal. The mean duration of the whole surgical procedure was 118 minutes (range 91 to 145 minutes). The average follow-up was 11.2 months, with the range from five to 16 months. Upon postoperative neurological follow-up, no complications were revealed related to the newly developed procedure. The postoperative followup CT scans demonstrated bony healing, with a cage between the osteotomized faces. No compression or dislocation of the spacer was seen. Instability was not detected in any of the patients by flexion or extension lateral radiographs. Conclusion - This modification of the split laminotomy and heterologous grafting method fulfills the requirements of other laminotomy techniques. The split laminotomy is suitable for removing intramedullary tumors, and the posterior stabilizing structures of the spine, as the vertebral laminae and the longitudinal musculature are completely prevented. Due to use of allograft the complications of the classic hip bone grafting procedures are avoided. The spacers, inserted between the osteotomized faces, provided permanent decompression of the spinal canal, and bony healing - throughout the spacer - of the splitted vertebral laminae, without iliac graft complications.]

LAM KID

OCTOBER 04, 2013

[Is a paradigm shift possible in the clinical practice of preventing recurrent fractures?]

TAKÁCS István

[Recurrent osteoporotic bone fractures are less and less considered “natural”, due to the immense variety of products available for treatment. In order to prevent recurrent fractures, treatment should be started in time, and a careful approach is needed to choose the appropriate treatment, and, if needed, to switch therapy. When choosing the therapeutic approach, we have to decide whether it corresponds to the severity of the osteoporosis and the risk of fracture. In order to do this, we have to consider bone quality, previous fractures, the condition of cortical bones and the mode of action of the selected treatment, in addition to the easily evaluated density value. The aim of this article is to provide practical help for the above mentioned decisionmaking process.]

LAM KID

OCTOBER 04, 2013

[Sacral insufficiency fractures]

FERENC Mária, PUHL Mária, VARGA Péter Pál

[BACKGROUND - The spontaneous osteoporotic fracture of the sacrum, known as a sacral insufficiency fracture (SIF) was first described as an unrecognized syndrome of the elderly by Laurie, in 1982. Numerous case histories and a few series of cases have been discussed in medical journals; however, none have been reported in Hungary. GOAL - To delineate the leading diagnostic steps in the recognition of SIF and review the therapeutic guidelines. CASE HISTORIES, METHODS - Between January 2009 and the first six months of 2010 11 cases of SIF were diagnosed at the National Center for Spinal Disorders. We examined the clinical aspects of the illness, the radiological modalities, the fracture markings, the pace of recovery and duration. RESULTS - The 11 patients were found to have various SIF predestining etiological factors and the following classic fractures - H-type, unilateral, horizontal, unilateralhorizontal and vertical as well as a bilateral pattern. In cases often not showing obvious clinical symptoms and in cases resulting in conventional radiological examinations of low sensitivity and specificity, we used mapping techniques in setting up the exact diagnosis. CONCLUSION - If we consider SIF from patient history and known risk factors, diagnostic procedure (primer original) may be shortened and a number of unnecessary tests (biopsy) may be avoided.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

AUGUST 20, 2013

[Medical anthropology - medical students fieldwork experiences]

ZANA Ágnes, ZSINKÓ-SZABÓ Zoltán

[The experience gained in teaching medical anthropology at Semmelweis University of Medicine is reported in the study. Very often medical anthropology is identified by the physical anthropology of “Dr. Bone”, although this discipline is a branch within cultural anthropology which deals with applied anthropology. During practices, students following their preclinical studies - that is already not lay but still not doing healing work - had to carry out fieldwork and participate as observants at a medical facility of their choice: inpatient, primary care clinic or alternative medical center/ clinic. The purpose of the field work was the examination and the analysis of the different healing systems, and of the doctorpatient relationship. During the nine years, more hundreds of fieldworks were made. In the study, we attempted to sum up these experiences for a better understanding of pluralism of the Hungarian medical system, the usability and eventual faults of different healing systems, and ultimately the effectiveness of the medical anthropology course.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2013

[Sacral insufficiency fractures]

FERENC Mária, PUHL Mária, VARGA Péter Pál

[Background - The spontaneous osteoporotic fracture of the sacrum, known as a sacral insufficiency fracture (SIF) was first described as an unrecognized syndrome of the elderly by Laurie, in 1982. Numerous case histories and a few series of cases have been discussed in medical journals; however, none have been reported in Hungary. Goal - To delineate the leading diagnostic steps in the recognition of SIF and review the therapeutic guidelines. Case histories, methods - Between January 2009 and the first six months of 2010 11 cases of SIF were diagnosed at the National Center for Spinal Disorders. We examined the clinical aspects of the illness, the radiological modalities, the fracture markings, the pace of recovery and duration. Results - The 11 patients were found to have various SIF predestining etiological factors and the following classic fractures - H-type, unilateral, horizontal, unilateral-horizontal and vertical as well as a bilateral pattern. In cases often not showing obvious clinical symptoms and in cases resulting in conventional radiological examinations of low sensitivity and specificity, we used mapping techniques in setting up the exact diagnosis. Conclusion - If we consider SIF from patient history and known risk factors, diagnostic procedure (primer original) may be shortened and a number of unnecessary tests (biopsy) may be avoided.]

LAM KID

MAY 30, 2013

[A magnézium és csonthatásai]

BAJNOK Éva

[Since 1932, a number of animal studies have demonstrated the correlation of hypomagnesaemia and hypocalcaemia, and the variety of skeletal abnormalities resulting from low magnesium (Mg) intake. Several studies have shown that patients with osteoporosis have a decreased serum magnesium level, which is related to decreased bone mineral content and increased bone fragility. Mg has multiple physiological effects, thus it is not surprising that dozens of hypomagnesaemia-related diseases and symptoms have been reported. Adequate Mg concentration is necessary for the secretion of parathormone and its effect on target organs, activation of vitamin D in the kidney, the maintenance of calcium homeostasis, bone mineralisation and regeneration. Mild hypomagnesaemia is associated with general, atypical symptoms, whereas severe Mg deficiency is a life-threatening condition. Its concentration should be measured in serum and urine. Mg metabolism is determined by its absorption from the intestines and reabsorption in the kidneys. Recently revealed details of these processes give some insights into the mechanisms underlying a number of Mg deficient conditions related to genetic or medical reasons. Mg supplementation may be indicated for patient populations with the highest risk of hypomagnesaemia. For supplementation, the recommended total Mg dose is 350 mg, first in higher doses, several times per day for a longer period, complemented with Ca and K supplementation. Overdosing can only occur in patients with impaired renal function, which necessitates careful monitoring. Adequate Mg supplementation is an inexpensive, safe and effective preventive and therapeutic option for many diseases.]