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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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Analysis of factors influencing the efficacy of Hungarian acute cardiac care]

BECKER Dávid, SKODA Réka, BOKOR Laura, BÁRCZI György, VÁGÓ Hajnalka, MERKELY Béla, GAJDÁCSI József, BELICZA Éva, NEMES Attila, DINYA Elek, TÖRŐCSIK Klára

[Despite the modern invasive acute cardiac care available for all, as opposed to short-term mortality, the long-term mortality of Hungarian myocardial infarction patients exceeds significantly those of European patients getting similar treatment. In order to change this situation, it is necessary to assess and analyse exactly the factors behind. While analysing retrospectively the data of Hungarian acute myocardial infarction patients, we identified the influencing factors of short- and long-term mortality. This study processed data from 2003 to the present days from a number of registries (Heart- and Vascular Center of Semmelweis University VMAJOR I and VMAJOR II registry, Stent for Life I and II Programs of the European Society of Cardiology, National Public Health Service’s registry about Cardiac Care in Central Hungary, Budapest Modell database). According to our detailed examination, the proportion of primary per­cutaneous coronary intervention in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction is at Western-European level, however the invasive treatment of acute coronary attack patients with Non-ST segment myocardial infarction is below the required. The so-cal­led hesitation span of Hungarian pa­tients with ST-segment myocardial infarc­tion is substantially longer than that of neighbouring countries thus the average cardiovascular risk of relevant Hungarian patients is significantly higher than those of the GRACE Register’s population. Based on our results a complex strategy can be developed which may have impact also on strategic health­care decisions in order to reduce the long-term mortality of patients surviving myocardial infarction.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Targeted and immune therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma: Predictions for 2019 and beyond]

MASATOSHI Kudo

[Systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has markedly advanced since the survival benefi t of a molecular targeted agent, sorafenib, were demonstrated in the SHARP and Asia Pacifi c trials in 2007. Treatment options for patients with advanced HCC increased by sorafenib, and long-term survival for patients with advanced stage HCC has become possible to some extent. However, development of a more potent fi rst-line novel molecular targeted agent replacing sorafenib and a potent second-line agent after disease progression on or intolerant to sorafenib has been warranted because sorafenib lacks tumor shrinking/necrotizing effects and induces relatively severe adverse events such as hand foot skin reaction. Many agents in the 1st line and 2nd line setting were attempted to develop between 2007 and 2016, but all of these clinical trials failed. On the other hand, clinical trials of 4 agents (regorafenib, lenvatinib, cabozantinib, and ramucirumab) succeeded in succession in 2017 and 2018, and their use in clinical practice is possible (regorafenib and lenvatinib) or underway (cabozantinib and ramucirumab). Furthermore, all of 5 clinical trials of combination therapy with transcatheter chemoembolization (TACE) plus a molecular targeted agent failed to date, however, the combination of TACE and sorafenib (TACTICS trials) was reported to be successful and presented at ASCO in 2018. Phase 3 clinical trials of immune checkpoint inhibitors and a combination therapy of immune checkpoint inhibitors and molecular targeted agents are also ongoing, which suggests treatment paradigm of HCC in all stages from early, intermediate and advanced stage, is expected to be changed drastically in the very near future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Post-career development of cardiometabolic changes and hypertension in competitive athletes]

LELBACH Ádám, KÁNTOR Márk, KOLLER Ákos

[Regular physical activity is essential in delaying the aging processes (e.g. arterial remodelling – stiffening, metabolism, bodyweight), the beneficial effects of competitive sports – especially strength sports – according to the recent data of the literature are questionable. The beneficial effects of physical activity on the cardiovascular (CV) system are well known, however less is known regarding the delayed impacts of high intensity competitive sports on the CV system, especially after the sport career is over. This review summarizes the effects of active competitive sport and the post-career period on the cardiometabolic system with special attention to the systemic blood pressure and the development of metabolic syndrome. After sport career, the welldeveloped high performance cardiovascular- and metabolic system suddenly is much less used, but still supported by sport-level diet. It is well known that hypertension is a significant pathogenic factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases, characterized – among others – by reduced elasticity of large- and medium- sized vessels thereby importantly contributing to the development of systolic hypertension. Inflammation and thrombus formation both play an important role in the development of vascular injury and atherosclerosis. The increased tone of microvessels can impair the blood supply of certain organs, including the coronary circulation. It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. Such pathological changes become more evident after the development of post-career obesity, as well as the development of hypertension due to the activation of the renin-angiotensin system through sodium retention and other metabolic changes (increased glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, type II diabetes mellitus). It has been ample shown, that regular non-competitive, dynamic aerobic exercise activities are important factors in preventing hypertension. The frequency, intensity, type, and time (FITT) principle of exercise prescription is the first and common therapeutic approach, which represents the translation of cardiovascular basic science research results into hypertension treatment, thus can provide a personalized physical activity program/therapy according to medical needs not just for the post-career sportspersons, but the wide range of patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

Neuroscience highlights: Main cell types underlying memory and spatial navigation

KRABOTH Zoltán, KÁLMÁN Bernadette

Interest in the hippocampal formation and its role in navigation and memory arose in the second part of the 20th century, at least in part due to the curious case of Henry G. Molaison, who underwent brain surgery for intractable epilepsy. The temporal association observed between the removal of his entorhinal cortex along with a significant part of hippocampus and the developing severe memory deficit inspired scientists to focus on these regions. The subsequent discovery of the so-called place cells in the hippocampus launched the description of many other functional cell types and neuronal networks throughout the Papez-circuit that has a key role in memory processes and spatial information coding (speed, head direction, border, grid, object-vector etc). Each of these cell types has its own unique characteristics, and together they form the so-called “Brain GPS”. The aim of this short survey is to highlight for practicing neurologists the types of cells and neuronal networks that represent the anatomical substrates and physiological correlates of pathological entities affecting the limbic system, especially in the temporal lobe. For that purpose, we survey early discoveries along with the most relevant neuroscience observations from the recent literature. By this brief survey, we highlight main cell types in the hippocampal formation, and describe their roles in spatial navigation and memory processes. In recent decades, an array of new and functionally unique neuron types has been recognized in the hippocampal formation, but likely more remain to be discovered. For a better understanding of the heterogeneous presentations of neurological disorders affecting this anatomical region, insights into the constantly evolving neuroscience behind may be helpful. The public health consequences of diseases that affect memory and spatial navigation are high, and grow as the population ages, prompting scientist to focus on further exploring this brain region.

Clinical Neuroscience

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

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

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

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. ]