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Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Atherosclerosis: an ancient process in a new interpretation]

REIBER István

[The progress of atherosclerosis starts in childhood and lasts until the body dies. Most cardiovascular diseases and deaths can be traced back to atherosclerotic vascular changes. The process is thousands of years old, but its complex pathophysiology becomes recognized and realised only nowadays. Based on the evidence available today, atherosclerosis is such a chronic inflammatory disease of large- and medium-sized arteries, which is characterized by lipoproteins and immune cells transformed through oxidative and other changes and subendothelial accumulation of extracellular matrix. Innate and adaptive immunity provide a complex regulating system of atherogenesis, which while directing specifically the pro-atherogenic inflammatory and atheroprotective anti-inflammatory processes intensify plaque progression or even stabilize them respectively. With our growing knowledge about the pathology of atherogenesis, we can further improve the identification of cardiovascular risk conditions and apply more personalized therapeutic strategies.]

Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Role of infl ammation in the carcinogenesis]

KOPPER László, TÍMÁR József

[Chronic infl ammation is an important promoter of the carcinogenesis of several cancer types and also an important contributor to mutagenicity beside the known carcinogens. Beside the continous regeneration of the affected epithelia chronic infl ammation provide a special microenvironment intra and extracellular environment which support malignant transformation and block emerging immune reactions. On the other hand, cancer is generating chronic infl ammation itself independent from its role in the carcinogenic process. It is due to cancer necrosis as well as to the production of infl ammatory cytokines. Cancer-induced infl ammatory reactions block antitumoral immune responses and continous monitoring of this process provide valuable clinical parameter of cancer progression.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Teleconsultations in general practice during coronavirus epidemiological emergency]

PAPP Renáta, OBERFRANK Ferenc, BALOGH Sándor

[Modifications of operating the health care belong to the preventive measures of the COVID-19 epidemic. Their priority period was the time interval between March 21, and May 3, 2020. Teleconsultation played an emphasized and dedicated role among General Practitioners (GPs) and the range of health services available through telemedicine was published by the legislation. In the present study, we evaluated the experiences of GPs according to the mandatory family practice guidelines in this period using electronically administered questionnaires sent back by the GPs themselves. 83% of respondents considered that the number of patients consulted by teleconsultations increased significantly if contrasted to the pre-epidemic period. Of the tools used in teleconsultation, all respondents mentioned the telephone, 85.5% mentioned e-mail, while 40% also included social media applica­tions. Prescribing drugs to known chronic patients and documentation were most feasible without face-to-face ap­pointment. 96.5% of GPs responded that they are ready to use teleconsultation even after the epidemiological emergency. We conclude that the GPs met the requirements and responded quickly to the introduction of telemedicine in the epidemiological emergency, which reduced effectively personal contacts in the health care, and according to the feedbacks, “remote” cases got solved successfully. Additionally, telemedicine has also its place in the GP offices in terms of patient care and specialist consultations as well. The implementation of telemedicine is expected to provide opportunities for more rational patient care and management. The development of telemedicine protocols is necessary and actual to support patient safety and medical responsibility.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Treatment and care of hypertensive patients during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. Possibilities and effectiveness of telemedicine]

KÉKES Ede, SZEGEDI János, VÁLYI Péter

[The course and outcome of an pandemic caused by coronaviruses are determined by many factors, such as the strength and dose of the infectious virus, the immune system of the affected individual, the underlying diseases, the speed of virus spread, age and environmental factors and methods of control. In old age, there is a significantly higher risk of developing severe cases and fatalities. The rate of loss of life is particularly high in social care and nursing homes. Hypertension as the underlying disease is the most common cause of death, but hypertension alone is not an independence risk factor, but the main reason is the co-morbidities and complications associated with viral infection. In the epidemic situation, the treatment and care of hypertensive patients poses special challenges for health and active primary and specialist care workers and, of course, for hypertonologists. The Hungarian Society of Hypertension expressed its opinions and recommendations to patients living at home and to doctors performing treatment and care during the Covid-19 virus epidemic and summarized the decision-making possibilities derived from the data obtained during the telemedicine consultation. We would like to present the details of the possibilities provided by telemedicine, the practical possibilities and advantages of the different methods of teleconsultation, and the models that can be implemented in a domestic environment. We have taken into account international experience to date, the new e-health strategy for chronic, non-communicable diseases and the WHO concept. Telemedicine, continuous teleconsultation ensures an optimal relationship between the patient and the doctor, increases the patient’s sense of security, improves drug adherence. The doctor receives reliable data about the patient’s condition and can send him instructions as well as information. The development of a harmonious balance between personal contact and telecommunications already shows the future, and the application of these methods must be developed in the epidemic-free period as well. Previous international (TASMINH-4, HOMED-BP etc.) and domestic (CONADPER-HU) studies have proved that telemonitoring of hypertensive patients can be successfully solved, improves patients’ drug adherence, increases the target blood pressure achievement rate and at the same time the patient will be the active part of the treatment. The method is especially useful in rural settlements without a doctor. Telemedicine monitoring of elderly and multimorbid patients is especially useful in social institutions and nursing homes. It is solved the continuous control of vital functions, ensures continuity of contact with the supervising physician and in urgent cases, allows for rapid intervention. Telemedicine is also of great importance due to the lack of human resources, as many things can be solved with such technology, there are no need so many personal encounters. In addition to influencing the course of this pandemic, it also plays an important role in efficiency, headcount, management and “convenience” in general practice and in all formes of medicine. The proposed models can not only be applied in an epidemic situation, but should continue to be part of everyday health work in future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Association between cyclothymic affective temperament and hypertension]

NEMCSIK János, BATTA Dóra, KŐRÖSI Beáta, RIHMER Zoltán

[Affective temperaments (cyclothymic, hypertymic, depressive, anxious, irritable) are stable parts of personality and after adolescent only their minor changes are detectable. Their connections with psychopathology is well-described; depressive temperament plays role in major depression, cyclothymic temperament in bipolar II disorder, while hyperthymic temperament in bipolar I disorder. Moreover, scientific data of the last decade suggest, that affective temperaments are also associated with somatic diseases. Cyclothymic temperament is supposed to have the closest connection with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is higher parallel with the presence of dominant cyclothymic affective temperament and in this condition the frequency of cardiovascular complications in hypertensive patients was also described to be higher. In chronic hypertensive patients cyclothymic temperament score is positively associated with systolic blood pressure and in women with the earlier development of hypertension. The background of these associations is probably based on the more prevalent presence of common risk factors (smoking, obesity, alcoholism) with more pronounced cyclothymic temperament. The scientific importance of the research of the associations of personality traits including affective temperaments with somatic disorders can help in the identification of higher risk patient subgroups.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[The pain-trigger role of cytokines in the nervous system – the direct analgesic effect of anti-cytokine therapy ]

HODINKA László, VERECKEI Edit

[Nociceptive, neuropathic and central me­chanisms are involved in the perception, transmission and processing of chronic pain and shaping of cerebral pain image. Alar­mins – molecules alarming defence and signing the presence of pathogens and tissue damage - trigger a series of pathogenic events resulting in inflammatory pain stimuli. Proinflammatory cytokines play a determining role in the pain perception at the level of the nervous system. Continuous inflammatory stimuli while sensitizing the periferic and central neurons activate the pain-related cerebral areas and develop the complex pain image, the pain matrix. Ce­reb­ral functional connections are operating in networks and can be visualized by functional MRI. Cytokines activate the neurons directly or indirectly by other neuromediators. Cytokine receptors are expressed on no­ciceptors and even on higher-level neurons and on various non-neural cells, such as microglia and astrocytes. The most ubiquitous cytokines are the Tumour Necrosis Factor and Interleukin 6 in the nervous sys­tem. The signaling pathways are the Nuclear Factor κB and the Janus-kinase enzyme system. The proinflammatory cytokines and the Janus-kinase are therefore primary therapeutic targets. Anti-cytokine biologicals and small molecular kinase inhibitors decrease the pain and improve functional activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Decrease of pain was more pronounced than expected only from the decrease of the clinical biomarkers of inflammation. The early and ra­pid painkiller effect of targeted biological and chemical-biological response modifiers is attributed to their direct analgesic effect on the brain.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

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

VERECKEI Edit, HODINKA László

[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JULY 01, 2020

[Avoiding unlimited energy drink consumption is a matter of our heart]

DOJCSÁKNÉ Kiss-Tóth Éva

[Energy drinks have been gaining unbroken popularity, especially among youngsters and children since they were introduced to the market. Manufacturers promise to improve performance and stamina with consuming the products, classified as non-alcoholic soft drinks. In addition to the vitamins and plant extracts, they contain a significant amount of caffeine and other stimulants (taurine, guarana). Among the active ingredients, caffeine has an outstanding effect and thereby a danger, since its overconsumption – in addition to milder he­mo­dynamic changes – can cause severe cardio­vascular consequences, cardiac arrhythmias, ion channel diseases, increased blood coagulation, myocardial infarction or reduced cerebral blood flow in susceptible consumers. Many case studies have also reported serious cardiovascular attacks among young chronic energy drink consumers. Health impairments of excessive and long-term consumption of energy drinks have been studied increasingly, however there is limited and contradictory evidence on the safety of consumption and the effectiveness of performance enhancement. ]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Covid-19 and the kidney]

PATÓ Éva, DEÁK György

[Covid-19 pandemy has emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019. The infection affects not only the lung but other organs such as the kidney, as well. The relation between Covid-19 infection and the kidney is bidirectional. On one hand, Covid-19 infection may cause kidney damage in 50-75% of the cases resulting in proteinuria, haematuria and acute kidney injury (AKI). The etiology of AKI is multifactorial. Main pathogenic mechanisms are direct proximal tubular cell damage, sepsis-related haemodinamic derangement, citokine storm and hypercoagulability. The virus enters proximal tubular cells and podocytes via the ACE2 receptor followed by multiplication in the lysomes and consequential cell lesion. Histopathology shows acute tubular necrosis and acute tubulointerstitial nephritis. AKI is a strong predictor of mortality in critically ill patients. On the other hand, the risk of Covid-19 infection and mortality is substantially increased in patients with chronic kidney disease – especially in those with a kidney transplant or on dialysis – due to their immunocompromised status. Among haemodialysis patients, infection may spread very easily due to the possibility of getting contacted in the ambulance car or at the dialysis unit. The mortality rate of patients on renal replacement therapy with Covid-19 infection is 20-35%. In order to avoid mass infection it is obligatory to employ preventive measures and implement restricions along with (cohors) isolation of infected patients. In Hungary, every dialysis or kidney transplant patient with Covid-19 infection should be admitted to dedicated Covid-19 wards.]

Hypertension and nephrology

JUNE 24, 2020

[Hypertension and Covid-19 – Part I. Significance of age, underlying diseases, and ACEI/ARB therapy in hypertension and co-morbidities during SARS-Cov2 infection]

KÉKES Ede, SZÉKÁCS Béla, NAGY Judit, KOVÁCS Tibor

[The appearance of the Covid-19 epidemic in different continents shows specific clinical features. Confirmed infected patients are detectable from approximately 30 years, with a maximum between 40 and 70 years of age. At the same time, however, a significant proportion of those who die from the infection come from patients over 65 years. The prevalence and mortality rates of the hypertensive population show a very similar formation. Based on the data collected, it is not surprising that hypertension as the underlying disease in the Covid- 19 epidemic is the first in all analysis. A more precise analysis clarified that it is not hypertension per se, but co-morbidities and complications of hypertension that play a primary role behind large-scale mortality in old age, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease. Data from China, North America, and Italy suggest that hypertension and diabetes – and in North America, pathological obesity – in infected patients actually only reflect the prevalence of these diseases in a given population. The presence of comorbidities (coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, chronic kidney disease) – based on multivariate logistic regression analysis – presents a more risk for severe clinical course and mortality. Some recent analyses have provided strong evidence that ACEI/ARB treatment does not pose a higher risk for the course or outcome of infection. Their administration is constantly needed in hypertension and comorbidities due to their organ protective and slowing the progression of diseases.]