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Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Atherosclerosis: an ancient process in a new interpretation]


[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

JUNE 07, 2021

[Inflammation and autoimmunity in COVID-19]

SZEKANECZ Zoltán, SZAMOSI Szilvia, SZŰCS Gabriella

[The course of COVID-19 has several stages according to the elapsed time and severity. Cytokine storm-induced multisystemic inflammatory syndrome (MIS) and consequent multiorgan failure occur in severe and critical phases. From a pathological point of view, there is important the co-presenting of inflammation (endothelitis) and microthrombotic events. Beyond respiratory failure, they may harm the cardiovascular and nervous system, the liver and the kidneys. COVID-19 may be associated also with production of autoantibodies and development of autoimmune diseases. Multisystemic inflammatory syndrome can be attenuated by corticosteroids, anti-cytokine antibodies and JAK inhibitors (“repurposing”). Most IL-6 inhibitors, and barici­tinib proved to be effective in several stu­dies, when applied in appropriate stage by MIS identification.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

JUNE 07, 2021

[Hypertension, COPD and COVID-19. Focus on antihypertensive therapy]


[Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a very common comorbidity of hypertension and it is often unrecognised by physicians. The factors involved in the pathomechanism of both diseases should be realised when choosing treatment. Among factors, hypoxia, increased tone of sympathetic nervous system and activation of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system should primarily be considered. Vascular wall damage and endothelial dysfunction has an important role in both conditions. The goals of treatment are elimination of risk factors, optimizing the blood pressure, the consequential prevention of cardio-cerebrovascular, renal and pulmonary damage; finally prolonging the patients’ life and improving their quality of life as well. Both hypertension and COPD significantly worsen the condition of COVID-19 patients since they increase the severity of the disease and the rate of in-patients’ and their mortality. In the treatment of hypertension among COPD and COVID-19 patients there must be emphasized the medication inhibiting of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, such as angiotensin-converting en­zyme inhibitors or angiotensin-II AT1 re­cep­tor antagonists. Special attention concerned the beneficial effect of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. Other antihypertensive drugs (calcium channel blockers, thiazide-like diu­retics, high selectivity β1 receptor antagonists) may supplement the treatment if necessary. Long-acting β2 receptor agonists, muscarinic receptor antagonists and inhalation corticosteroids may be administered in double or triple combination also in hypertension and COPD as well. It is important to note, that statin therapy and also vitamin D3 improve the condition of COVID-19 patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

MARCH 30, 2021

[Treatment options for enormous carotid thrombus as a complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection]

KONCZ Júlia, OROSZ Viktor, SULYOK Zoltán, ANDRÁS Emőke, KÁDÁR Balázs, OLÁH Csaba

[In SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with corresponding neurological symptoms the presence of carotid bifurcation macrothrombus should always be considered. Hypercoagulopathy caused by viral endotheliitis, systemic inflammation and cytokine storm play an important role in its development. Here we present two patients treated with different treatment strategies because of carotid bifurcation macrothrombus as a complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In both cases, the soft macrothrombus was eliminated and the patients’ neurological condition were improved. Intravenous thrombolysis, acute carotid stenting with embolic filter protection device and mechanical thrombectomy with aspiration are effective treatments.]

Hypertension and nephrology

FEBRUARY 24, 2021

[Gender differences in sport-adaptation of intramural coronary resistance arteries]

TÖRÖK Marianna

[Biomechanical and functional remodeling of coronary resistance arteries in physiological left ventricular hypertrophy has not been analyzed yet, and the possible sex differences are unknown. We aimed to study the biomechanics and function of these arteries during an exercise intervention. Wistar rats were divided into four groups: male and female sedentary controls (MSe and FSe) and male and female animals undergoing a 12-week intensive swim training programme (MEx and FEx). After the training sessions, LV morphology and function were checked by echocardiography, the coronary artery biomechanics and function were examined by pressure arteriography. Elastica remodeling was studied in resorcin-stained histological sections. The female animals had enhanced heart weight/body weight ratio compared to male rats. A similar outer radius and reduced inner radius resulted in an elevated wall-to-lumen ratio in the MEx and FEx animals compared to the sedentary controls. The wall elastic moduli increased in the MEx and FEx rats. The spontaneous tone and TxA2 agonist-induced tone was raised only in ExF animals, whereas the endotheliumdependent relaxation became more effective in ExM rats. Arteries of ExF rats had stronger contraction, whereas arteries of ExM animals had improved dilation. Range of coronary vascular reactivity increased in both exercised male and female rats, but its mechanism was different depending on sex. According to our results the coronary arterioles adapted to an elevated load during long-term exercise and this adaptation depended on sex. The observed sex differences in the biomechanics and function of the coronary resistance arteries of rats may contribute to better understanding of the physiological and pathological function of these arteries in active and retired athletes.]

Hypertension and nephrology

DECEMBER 19, 2020

[Possibility of ARNI (angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibitor) treatment in hypertension]


[The natriuretic peptide (NP) is an important endocrine, autocrine and paracrine system that is in constant interaction with RAAS and the sympathetic nervous system in order to ensure a continuous cardio-renal homeostasis. In abnormal conditions – if the pressure/volume load develops in the heart or there are some disorder in the vascular tone or in sodium-water balance, the NP system triggers the body’s defense mechanism. The neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inactivates the vasodilator NPs, bradykinin and vasoconstrictor angiotensin II and endothelin I as well. From this knowledge, the idea that inhibition of the effect of NEP (NEPg) offers a potentially beneficial option in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension was initiated, only the stimulatory effect of angiotensin II needs to be blocked. After a lengthy search, they arrived at a dualacting molecule with a beneficial effect of NEP inhibition (secubitrile) and the angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonist valsartan (ARNI). Several clinical studies have shown that ARNI alone and in combination with other antihypertensive agents significantly reduces SBP and DBP in hypertensive patients. Its effect is also present in isolated systolic hypertension and in chronic kidney disease with high risk. Do not administer with an ACE inhibitor. Based on clinical experience to date, there is a logic expectation that ARNI will also be classified as a useful antihypertensive agent in the near future.]

Hypertension and nephrology

OCTOBER 23, 2019

[The importance of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in psychopathology and cardiovascular conditions: psychosomatic connections]


[Cardiovascular diseases and mood disorders are common public health problems worldwide. Their connections are widely studied, and the role of neurotrophins, especially brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is already supposed in both conditions. However, no reviews are available describing possible associations between cardiovascular risk and mood disorders based on BDNF. Decreased level of BDNF is observed in depression and its connection to hypertension has also been demonstrated with affecting the arterial baroreceptors, reninangiotensin system and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activity. BDNF was also found to be the predictor of cardiovascular outcome in different patient populations. Our aim was to overview the present knowledge in this area demonstrating a new aspect of the associations between mood disorders and cardiovascular diseases through the mediation of BDNF. These findings might enlighten a new psychosomatic connection and suggest a new therapeutic target that is beneficial both in respect of mood disorders and cardiovascular pathology.]

Hypertension and nephrology

FEBRUARY 20, 2019

[The importance of statin therapy in hypertension]

PARAGH György, PÁLL Dénes

[Hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia often co-occur and promote early cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have shown that antihypertensive treatment may be more effective if LDL cholesterol is also reduced. This may be due to the increased expression of angiotensin-1 receptor in hypercholesterolaemia, which increases peripheral vascular resistance through angiotensin-2, and adversely affects endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Other authors indicate that high cholesterol levels increase the production of angiotensin-2 through the activation of the chymase system. High cholesterol levels increase the amount of circulating oxidized LDL which binds to the transmembrane oxidized LDL receptor (LOX- 1) also activates the angiotensin-1 receptor. In addition, angiotensin-2 has an effect on intracellular cholesterol synthesis by enhancing the key enzyme of the synthesis of intracellular cholesterol, HMG-CoA reductase. The authors present the studies that support cholesterol lowering can contribute to lowering blood pressure and other major meta-analyses in which the beneficial effects of cholesterol lowering and lipid lowering on blood pressure reductions were not proven. In the background, it may well be that these studies are not designed to evaluate the effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs on hypertension in patients with hypercholesterolaemia, and non-statin-treated patients are not randomized.]

Hypertension and nephrology

FEBRUARY 20, 2020