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Clinical Oncology

FEBRUARY 28, 2020

[Opportunities and challenges in online support of cancer patients]

B. PAPP László

[The online support of oncological care may increase patients’ adherence, and by this it can contribute to the effectiveness of treatment, the improvement of quality of life and physician-patient communication as well as to a higher sense of control over the disease. With the online support of supportive care, patients and their relatives can get information on what they can do in order to improve their conditions, how they can recognize side effects and alarming symptoms of complications, what kind of changes they need to make in their lifestyle and how they can reduce the level of distress. Though the positive outcomes are feasible in many cases, quite considerable number of reports in the fi eld do not meet the requirements of evidence. The online support of oncological care may offer considerable opportunities, however, it may further increase inequality: the more educated and well-off patients with higher level of health awareness may benefi t more, meanwhile for the ones at the bottom of digital divide, the disadvantages may increase. The Hungarian internet coverage and accessibility make the broader online support technologically possible, however, its effectiveness may be hindered by the lack of human skills. Therefore, it is a real challenge to establish such platforms that can be used by the broadest spectrum of society, they are comprehensible for patients and their relatives with lower education, but also satisfying for patients and their relatives with higher level of literacy and expectations.]

Clinical Oncology

DECEMBER 30, 2019

[Systemic anticancer therapy in patients undergoing hemodialysis]

VÉGH Éva, LAKATOS Gábor, TOKODI Zsófia

[The number of cancer patients receiving regular dialysis treatment is increasing. These patients could benefi t similarly from the regular anticancer therapies. Data of the use of antineoplastic therapies in this vulnerable patient population mainly come from case reports and small case series. The lack of knowledge and lack of practical experiences in this patient group may lead to suboptimal cancer treatment. Defi ning the indication for antineoplastic treatment and choosing the appropriate drug is a challenging task and the patients’ prognosis and quality of life aspects should be evaluated carefully. The timing of anticancer treatment and the dialysis is also an important issue in this decision-making process. Close cooperation between the oncologists and nephrologists is essential in the proper antineoplastic treatment of the dialysed patients.]

Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2020

The applications of transcranial Doppler in ischemic stroke

FINNSDÓTTIR Herdis, SZEGEDI István, OLÁH László, CSIBA László

Background: This overview provides a summary of the applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) in ischemic stroke. Results: A fast-track neurovascular ultrasound protocol has been developed for detecting occlusion or stenosis. The technique is more reliable in the carotid area than in the posterior circulation. By monitoring the pulsatility index the in­crea­sed intracranial pressure can be diagnosed. TIBI score was developed for grading residual flow. TCD has been shown to accurately predict complete or any recanalization. Regarding recanalization, TCD has a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, a positive predictive value of 96%, a negative predictive value of 78% and an overall accuracy of 91%, respectively. Sonothrombolysis seemed to be a promising application but randomized controlled trials have shown that it does not improve clinical outcome. TCD examination can detect microembolic signals (MES) which are associated with an increased risk of stroke. Micro­em­boli were detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis and during carotid endarterectomy. The number of microemboli can be decreased by antithrombotic therapy. Contrast en­chan­ced examination and Valsalva maneuver with continuous TCD monitoring can accurately screen for right-to-left shunt.

Clinical Oncology

AUGUST 30, 2019

[Beyond second line therapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: a systematic review]

D. Arnold, G. W. Prager, A. Quintela, A. Stein, S. Moreno Vera, J. Taieb

[Background: The optimal chemotherapeutic regimen for use beyond the second line for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) remains unclear. Materials and methods: We systematically searched the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE and Medline for records published between January 2002 and May 2017, and cancer congress databases for records published between January 2014 and June 2017. Eligible studies evaluated the effi cacy, safety and patient-reported outcomes of monotherapies or combination therapies at any dose and number of treatment cycles for use beyond the second line in patients with mCRC. Studies were assessed for design and quality, and a qualitative data synthesis was conducted to understand the impact of treatment on overall survival and other relevant cancer-related outcomes. Results: The search yielded 938 references of which 68 were included for qualitative synthesis. There was limited evidence to support rechallenge with chemotherapy, targeted therapy or both. Compared with placebo, an overall survival benefi t for trifl uridine/tipiracil (also known as TAS-102) or regorafenib has been shown for patients previously treated with conventional chemotherapy and targeted therapy. There was no evidence to suggest a difference in effi cacy between these treatments. Patient choice and quality of life at this stage of treatment should also be considered when choosing an appropriate therapy. Conclusions: These fi ndings support the introduction of an approved agent such as trifl uridine/tipiracil or regorafenib beyond the second line before any rechallenge in patients with mCRC who have failed second line treatment.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

OCTOBER 21, 2020

[Epidemiology of diabetes mellitus and diabetes-related eye complications in Hungary]

TÓTH Gábor, NÉMETH János

[Diabetes mellitus is a disease of civilization and a leading cause of blindness among people of working age in developed countries. It’s prevalence is estimated to be 9.9% in the adult population in Hungary, based on this, the estimated number of people with diabetes mellitus was 807 000 in 2015 in our country. Almost every fifth people with diabetes mellitus has some form of diabetic retinopathy in Hungary. Among diabetic persons 0.3% is blind and 0.3% has serious visual impairment due to not adequately treated diabetes mellitus. The total prevalence-based diabetes retinopathy-associated economic burden was 43.66 billion HUF in 2018 in our country. The two major cost drivers were anti-VEGF injections and vitrectomies; they covered almost the four-fifths of the total cost among people with diabetes mellitus. We have to emphasize the importance of prevention, healthy nutrition and frequent sport activity in the fight against diabetes mellitus and overweight. With at least annually performed eye examinations in people with diabetes mellitus and timely treatment of diabetic retinopathy, visual impairment and blindness due to complications of diabetes mellitus can be prevented. ]

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

[Routes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection]

KÉKES Ede

[The modes of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus have been analyzed in detail recently. It can be stated that the deposition of micro-sized virus particles on different surfaces and in the air is the main reason for the strength and spread of the epidemic all over the world. Spread of virus is present in practically every event of our lives and daily activities. The usual movements of human-human contact, the specific habits of our own lives (face smoothing, eye rubbing etc.) increase the spread. The greatest threat is posed by infected but asymptomatic individuals as carriers of the virus, and the main concern is the speed of transmission dynamics. We have strong evidence that 1.5-2 meter distance, mask wearing, and eye protection are crucial in reducing the rate of virus transmission. It can be assumed that, like normal influenza virus infections, the appearance of the coronavirus shows a seasonal appearance.]

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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

[Case report about the choice of care at Olajág Elderly Home in Budapest during the COVID-19 epidemic in spring 2020]

PETRÓ Kata, PETKE Zsolt, RADNAI Zoltán, SZIRMAI Viktor

[During the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, elderly people in long-term nursing homes were espe­cially risks exposed. In this study, the au­thors analyse the causes of local outbreak at the Olajág Elderly Home Vezér street facility in Budapest and the means and ways to curb the spreading of infection. They summarise the measures, which proved to be effective in isolation and treat­ing the patients. The number of infected residents as well as the course of the disease are demonstrated by statistical data. The authors consider as pre-eminently important to identify asymptomatic but in­fec­ted residents, further the rapid introduc­tion of screening tests, strict compliance with protocols, patient path regulation and the use of enhanced, supportive communication.]

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.]