In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Tinea incognito (TI) is a dermatophytic infection which has lost its typical clinical appearance because of improper use of steroids or calcineurin inhibitors. The incidence of TI is increasing nowadays. We conducted retrospective review on 283 patients with TI from 25 dermatology training hospitals in Korea from 2002-2010 to investigate the demographical, clinical, and mycological characteristics of TI, and to determine the associated risk factors. More than half (59.3%) patients were previously treated by non-dermatologists or self-treated. The mean duration of TI was 15.0 ± 25.3 months. The most common clinical manifestations were eczema-like lesion, psoriasis-like, and lupus erythematosus-like lesion. The trunk and face were frequently involved, and 91 patients (32.2%) also had coexisting fungal infections. Among 67 isolated strains, Trichophyton rubrum was the most frequently detected (73.1%). This is the largest study of TI reported to date and the first investigational report concerning TI in Korea. We suggest that doctors should consider TI when a patient has intractable eczema-like lesions accompanied by tinea pedis/unguium. Furthermore, there should be a policy change, which would make over-the-counter high-potency topical steroids less accessible in some countries, including Korea.
Calcineurin Inhibitor; Dermatophytoses; Korea; Steroid; Tinea; Tinea Incognito
The prevalence of Behcet's disease is the highest in the East Asian and the Mediterranean countries. Behcet's disease is also distributed in the Asian countries, but the nationwide survey has not been performed in Korea yet. The Korean Study Group for Behcet's Disease, founded in 1999, conducted a multicenter, retrospective survey on epidemiologic and clinical features of the patients with Behcet's disease from 20 hospitals around the nation from 1997 to 1999. Of 3,497 patients, 1,527 were classified into complete or incomplete type of Behcet's disease according to the revised Shimizu's classification. The sex ratio was 1:1.75 with the female predominance. Geographical distribution showed the highest frequency in Seoul (38.5%). Clinically, 98.8% had oral ulcers, 83.2% had genital ulcers, 84.3% had skin lesions and 50.9% had ocular lesions. As for the minor clinical manifestations, articular symptoms were the most frequent. The pathergy test showed positive in 15.4% of patients and revealed a higher positive rate in males (20.2%) than in females (12.7%). In conclusion, we performed the first multicenter study on Behcet's disease in Korea and revealed the female predominance, higher frequency of ocular lesions, and lower positivity of pathergy test in the patients.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous disease and responses to therapies are highly variable. The aim of this study was to identify the predictors of pulmonary function response to 3 months of treatment with salmeterol/fluticasone in patients with COPD. A total of 127 patients with stable COPD from the Korean Obstructive Lung Disease (KOLD) Cohort, which were prospectively recruited from June 2005 to September 2009, were analyzed retrospectively. The prediction models for the FEV1, FVC and IC/TLC changes after 3 months of treatment with salmeterol/fluticasone were constructed by using multiple, stepwise, linear regression analysis. The prediction model for the FEV1 change after 3 months of treatment included wheezing history, pre-bronchodilator FEV1, post-bronchodilator FEV1 change and emphysema extent on CT (R = 0.578). The prediction models for the FVC change after 3 months of treatment included pre-bronchodilator FVC, post-bronchodilator FVC change (R = 0.533), and those of IC/ TLC change after 3 months of treatment did pre-bronchodilator IC/TLC and post-bronchodilator FEV1 change (R = 0.401). Wheezing history, pre-bronchodilator pulmonary function, bronchodilator responsiveness, and emphysema extent may be used for predicting the pulmonary function response to 3 months of treatment with salmeterol/fluticasone in patients with COPD.
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Emphysema; Corticosteroids; Adrenergic beta-Agonists; Respiratory Function Tests
Recent advances in sequencing technologies have initiated an era of personal genome sequences. To date, human genome sequences have been reported for individuals with ancestry in three distinct geographical regions: a Yoruba African, two individuals of north-west European origin, and a person from China1–4. Here we provide a highly annotated, whole-genome sequence for a Korean individual, known as AK1. The genome of AK1 was determined by an exacting, combined approach that included whole-genome shotgun sequencing (27.8× coverage), targeted bacterial artificial chromosome sequencing, and high-resolution comparative genomic hybridization using custom microarrays featuring more than 24 million probes. Alignment to the NCBI reference, a composite of several ethnic clades5,6, disclosed nearly 3.45 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including 10,162 non-synonymous SNPs, and 170,202 deletion or insertion polymorphisms (indels). SNP and indel densities were strongly correlated genome-wide. Applying very conservative criteria yielded highly reliable copy number variants for clinical considerations. Potential medical phenotypes were annotated for non-synonymous SNPs, coding domain indels, and structural variants. The integration of several human whole-genome sequences derived from several ethnic groups will assist in understanding genetic ancestry, migration patterns and population bottlenecks.
Cytoplasmic presence of Hsp60, which is principally a nuclear gene-encoded mitochondrial chaperonin, has frequently been stated, but its role in intracellular signaling is largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that the cytosolic Hsp60 promotes the TNF-α-mediated activation of the IKK/NF-κB survival pathway via direct interaction with IKKα/β in the cytoplasm. Selective loss or blockade of cytosolic Hsp60 by specific antisense oligonucleotide or neutralizing antibody diminished the IKK/NF-κB activation and the expression of NF-κB target genes, such as Bfl-1/A1 and MnSOD, which thus augmented intracellular ROS production and ASK1-dependent cell death, in response to TNF-α. Conversely, the ectopic expression of cytosol-targeted Hsp60 enhanced IKK/NF-κB activation. Mechanistically, the cytosolic Hsp60 enhanced IKK activation via upregulating the activation-dependent serine phosphorylation in a chaperone-independent manner. Furthermore, transgenic mouse study showed that the cytosolic Hsp60 suppressed hepatic cell death induced by diethylnitrosamine in vivo. The cytosolic Hsp60 is likely to be a regulatory component of IKK complex and it implicates the first mitochondrial factor that regulates cell survival via NF-κB pathway.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the mucosa-tracking technique is effective for improving precutting-related pancreatitis and the sustained failure of bile duct cannulation in precut papillotomy (PP) with the Iso-Tome (MTW Endoskopie).
From September 2004 to June 2006, PP was performed with the Iso-Tome if biliary cannulation failed by conventional methods for approximately 5 minutes. The pink intrapapillary mucosa (PIPM) exposed by PP was tracked and classified into four groups: fully exposed and oriented to the direction of the bile duct (group A) or the pancreatic duct (group B), partially exposed (group C), or unexposed (group D). The success rate of bile duct cannulation (SRBC), the procedure time required for successful bile duct cannulation (PTBC), and the complications in the first session were compared between the mucosa-exposed groups (MEGs; group A, B, and C) and the mucosa-unexposed group (MUEG; group D).
A total of 59 patients (25 females, 34 males) with a mean age of 65.2 years were enrolled. The MEGs and MUEG comprised 52 (88.1%) and 7 (11.9%) patients, respectively. SRBC in the first session was 86.4% (51/59) in total and 92.3% (48/52) in the MEGs, compared to only 42.9% (3/7) in the MUEG (p=0.005). The mean PTBC in the MEGs and MUEG was 8.7 minutes and 16.3 minutes, respectively (p=0.23). Complications occurred in 6.8% of the patients (4/59; all pancreatitis); there were no differences between the MEGs (5.8%, 3/52) and MUEG (14.3%, 1/7; p=0.41). All four patients with pancreatitis were managed medically.
The mucosa-tracking technique in PP with the Iso-Tome is a feasible and useful method of enhancing SRBC. PIPM is an important endoscopic landmark for successful PP.
Precut papillotomy; Iso-Tome; Mucosatracking technique; Pink intrapapillary mucosa
We prospectively conducted a multi-center, open-label, randomized phase II trial to compare the efficacy and safety of docetaxel plus cisplatin (DC) and etoposide plus cisplatin (EC) for treating advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Materials and Methods
Seventy-eight previously untreated patients with locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic NSCLC were enrolled in this study. The patients received cisplatin 75 mg/m2 on day 1 and either docetaxel 75 mg/m2 on day 1 or etoposide 100 mg/m2 on days 1 to 3 in the DC or EC arm, respectively, every 3 weeks.
The objective response rate was 39.4% (15/38) and 18.4% (7/38) (p=0.023) in the DC and EC arms, respectively. The median time to progression (TTP) was 5.9 and 2.7 months (p=0.119), and the overall survival was 12.1 and 8.7 months (p=0.168) in the DC and EC arms, respectively. The prognostic factors for longer survival were an earlier disease stage (stage III, p=0.0095), the responders to DC (p=0.0174) and the adenocarcinoma histology (p=0.0454). The grades 3 and 4 toxicities were similar in both arms, with more febrile neutropenia (7.9% vs. 0%) and fatigue (7.9% vs. 0%) being noted in the DC arm.
DC offered a superior overall response rate than does EC, along with tolerable toxicity profiles, although the DC drug combination did not show significantly improved survival and TTP.
Docetaxel; Etoposide; Cisplatin; Non-small-cell lung carcinoma
The solid pseudopapillary tumor (SPT) of the pancreas is a rare but low-grade malignant tumor with a good prognosis after surgical excision. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a minimally invasive, safe and reliable way of diagnosing SPT by providing characteristic cytological and immunochemical specimens. Definitive preoperative diagnosis leads to targeted and minimally invasive surgical resection. In this study, we report three cases of SPTs that were diagnosed through EUS-FNA and underwent successful laparoscopic surgery.
Endosonography; Biopsy, fine-needle; Pancreatic neoplasms; Solid pseudopapillary tumor; Pancreas
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-activating mutations are major determinants in predicting the tumor response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Noninvasive test for the detection of EGFR mutations is required, especially in NSCLC patients from whom tissue is not available. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of detection of EGFR mutations in free DNA circulating in plasma.
Plasma samples of 60 patients with partial response to gefitinib were analyzed to detect EGFR-activating mutations in exons 19 and 21. Forty (66.7%) of patients had tumor EGFR mutation results. EGFR mutations in plasma were detected using the peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-mediated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) clamping method. All clinical data and plasma samples were obtained from 11 centers of the Korean Molecular Lung Cancer Group (KMLCG).
Of the 60 patients, 39 were female and the median age was 62.5 years. Forty-three patients never smoked, 53 had adenocarcinomas, and seven had other histologic types. EGFR-activating mutation was detected in plasma of 10 cases (exon 19 deletion in seven and exon 21 L858R point mutation in three). It could not be found in plasma after treatment for 2 months. When only patients with confirmed EGFR mutation in tumor were analyzed, 17% (6 of 35) of them showed positive plasma EGFR mutation and the mutation type was completely matched with that in tumor. There was no statistically significant difference in clinical parameters between patients with EGFR mutations in plasma and those without EGFR mutations.
The detection rate of EGFR mutations from plasma was not so high despite highly sensitive EGFR mutation test suggesting that more advances in detection methods and further exploration of characteristics of circulating free DNA are required.
Plasma; EGFR mutation; PNA-mediated PCR clamping method; Non-small cell lung cancer
Several Western guidelines recommend the routine use of pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis for cancer surgery patients to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, the necessity of routine pharmacologic perioperative thromboprophylaxis in Asian gastric cancer (GC) patients has not been clearly determined. To determine the necessity of routine perioperative pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in Korean gastric cancer patients, the incidence of postoperative VTE was prospectively evaluated in gastric cancer patients receiving surgery. Among 610 GC patients who had received surgery, 375 patents underwent routine duplex Doppler ultrasonography (DUS) on days 5–12 following surgery to detect VTE and then VTE-related symptoms and signs were checked at 4 weeks after surgery (cohort A). The 235 patients that declined DUS were registered to cohort B and the occurrence of postoperative VTE was retrospectively analyzed. In cohort A, symptomatic or asymptomatic VTE until 4 weeks after surgery was detected in 9 patients [2.4%; 95% confidence interval (CI); 0.9–3.9]. Tumor stage was a significant factor related to VTE development [stage I, 1.4%; stage II/III, 2.4%; stage IV, 9.7% (P = 0.008)]. In multivariate analysis, patients with stage IV had a higher postoperative VTE development [odds ratio, 8.18 (95% CI, 1.54–43.42)] than those with stage I. In cohort B, a low incidence of postoperative VTE was reaffirmed; only one postoperative VTE case (0.4%) was observed. In conclusion, the incidence of postoperative VTE in Korean GC patients was only 2.4%. Risk-stratified applications of perioperative pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis are thought to be more appropriate than the routine pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in Korean GC patients receiving surgery.
While gastric variceal bleeding (GVB) is not as prevalent as esophageal variceal bleeding, it is reportedly more serious, with high failure rates of the initial hemostasis (>30%), and has a worse prognosis than esophageal variceal bleeding. However, there is limited information regarding hemostasis and the prognosis for GVB. The aim of this study was to determine retrospectively the clinical outcomes of GVB in a multicenter study in Korea.
The data of 1,308 episodes of GVB (males:females=1062:246, age=55.0±11.0 years, mean±SD) were collected from 24 referral hospital centers in South Korea between March 2003 and December 2008. The rates of initial hemostasis failure, rebleeding, and mortality within 5 days and 6 weeks of the index bleed were evaluated.
The initial hemostasis failed in 6.1% of the patients, and this was associated with the Child-Pugh score [odds ratio (OR)=1.619; P<0.001] and the treatment modality: endoscopic variceal ligation, endoscopic variceal obturation, and balloon-occluded retrograde transvenous obliteration vs. endoscopic sclerotherapy, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt, and balloon tamponade (OR=0.221, P<0.001). Rebleeding developed in 11.5% of the patients, and was significantly associated with Child-Pugh score (OR=1.159, P<0.001) and treatment modality (OR=0.619, P=0.026). The GVB-associated mortality was 10.3%; mortality in these cases was associated with Child-Pugh score (OR=1.795, P<0.001) and the treatment modality for the initial hemostasis (OR=0.467, P=0.001).
The clinical outcome for GVB was better for the present cohort than in previous reports. Initial hemostasis failure, rebleeding, and mortality due to GVB were universally associated with the severity of liver cirrhosis.
Gastric variceal bleeding; Rebleeding; Mortality; Cirrhosis
AIM: To evaluate the treatment outcomes of clevudine compared with entecavir in antiviral-naive patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of CHB patients treated with clevudine 30 mg/d and compared their clinical outcomes with patients treated with entecavir 0.5 mg/d. The biochemical response, as assessed by serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity, virologic response, as assessed by serum hepatitis B virus DNA (HBV DNA) titer, serologic response, as assessed by hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status, and virologic breakthrough with genotypic mutations were assessed.
RESULTS: Two-hundred and fifty-four patients [clevudine (n = 118) vs entecavir (n = 136)] were enrolled. In clevudine-treated patients, the cumulative rates of serum ALT normalization were 83.9% at week 48 and 91.5% at week 96 (80.9% and 91.2% in the entecavir group, respectively), the mean titer changes in serum HBV DNA were -6.03 and -6.55 log10 copies/mL (-6.35 and -6.86 log10 copies/mL, respectively, in the entecavir group), and the cumulative non-detection rates of serum HBV DNA were 72.6% and 83.1% (74.4% and 83.8%, respectively, in the entecavir group). These results were similar to those of entecavir-treated patients. The cumulative rates of HBeAg seroconversion were 21.8% at week 48 and 25.0% at week 96 in patients treated with clevudine, which was similar to patients treated with entecavir (22.8% and 27.7%, respectively). The virologic breakthrough in the clevudine group occurred in 9 (7.6%) patients at weeks 48 and 15 (12.7%) patients at week 96, which primarily corresponded to genotypic mutations of rtM204I and/or rtL180M. There was no virologic breakthrough in the entecavir group.
CONCLUSION: In antiviral-naive CHB patients, long-term treatment outcomes of clevudine were not inferior to those of entecavir, except for virologic breakthrough.
Chronic hepatitis B; Hepatitis B virus; Clevudine; Entecavir; Treatment outcomes
NADH-quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) modulates cellular NAD+/NADH ratio which has been associated with the aging and anti-aging mechanisms of calorie restriction (CR). Here, we demonstrate that the facilitation of NQO1 activity by feeding β-lapachone (βL), an exogenous NQO1 co-substrate, prevented age-dependent decline of motor and cognitive function in aged mice. βL-fed mice did not alter their food-intake or locomotor activity but did increase their energy expenditure as measured by oxygen consumption and heat generation. Mitochondrial structure and numbers were disorganized and decreased in the muscles of control diet group but those defects were less severe in βL-fed aged mice. Furthermore, for a subset of genes associated with energy metabolism, mice fed the βL-diet showed similar changes in gene expression to the CR group (fed 70% of the control diet). These results support the potentiation of NQO1 activity by a βL diet and could be an option for preventing age-related decline of muscle and brain functions.
This study evaluates the effectiveness of immunochemotherapy and radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with primary bone lymphoma (PBL).
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 33 patients with PBL who were treated at 6 medical centers in Korea from 1992 to 2010. Clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes were analyzed.
The median age of the patients participating in our study was 40 years. The most common sites of involvement were the pelvis (12.36%) and femur (11.33%). CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisolone) or CHOP-like regimens were administered to 20 patients (61%), and R-CHOP (rituximab plus CHOP) was administered to the remaining 13 patients (39%). The overall response rate was 89% (complete response, 76%; partial response, 12%). The overall survival (OS) of patients with solitary bone lesions was longer than that of patients with multiple bone lesions (median OS: not reached vs. 166 months, respectively; P=0.089). Addition of rituximab to CHOP did not significantly affect either OS or progression-free survival (P=0.53 and P=0.23, respectively). Combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy also did not improve the OS or progression-free survival of patients with solitary bone lesions.
Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy remains an effective treatment option for patients with PBL. Additional benefits of supplementing chemotherapy with either rituximab or radiation therapy were not observed in this study. Further investigation is needed to characterize the role of immunochemotherapy in treating patients with PBL.
Bone lymphoma; Radiotherapy; Rituximab
Although approximately 25 common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified to be independently associated with breast cancer risk through genome-wide association studies (GWAS), the genetic risk variants reported to date only explain a small fraction of the heritability of breast cancer. Furthermore, GWAS-identified loci were primarily identified in women of European descent.
To evaluate previously identified loci in Korean women and to identify additional novel breast cancer susceptibility variants, we conducted a three-stage GWAS that included 6,322 cases and 5,897 controls.
In the validation study using Stage I of the 2,273 cases and 2,052 controls, seven GWAS-identified loci [5q11.2/MAP3K1 (rs889312 and rs16886165), 5p15.2/ROPN1L (rs1092913), 5q12/MRPS30 (rs7716600), 6q25.1/ESR1 (rs2046210 and rs3734802), 8q24.21 (rs1562430), 10q26.13/FGFR2 (rs10736303), and 16q12.1/TOX3 (rs4784227 and rs3803662)] were significantly associated with breast cancer risk in Korean women (Ptrend < 0.05). To identify additional genetic risk variants, we selected the most promising 17 SNPs in Stage I and replicated these SNPs in 2,052 cases and 2,169 controls (Stage II). Four SNPs were further evaluated in 1,997 cases and 1,676 controls (Stage III). SNP rs13393577 at chromosome 2q34, located in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 4 (ERBB4) gene, showed a consistent association with breast cancer risk with combined odds ratios (95% CI) of 1.53 (1.37-1.70) (combined P for trend = 8.8 × 10-14).
This study shows that seven breast cancer susceptibility loci, which were previously identified in European and/or Chinese populations, could be directly replicated in Korean women. Furthermore, this study provides strong evidence implicating rs13393577 at 2q34 as a new risk variant for breast cancer.
To date, clinico-physiologic indices have not been compared with quantitative CT imaging indices in determining the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbation. We therefore compared clinico-physiologic and CT imaging indices as risk factors for COPD exacerbation in patients with COPD. We retrospectively analyzed 260 COPD patients from pulmonary clinics at 11 hospitals in Korea from June 2005 to November 2009 and followed-up for at least one year. At the time of enrollment, none of these patients had COPD exacerbations for at least 2 months. All underwent clinico-physiologic and radiological evaluation for risk factors of COPD exacerbation. After 1 yr, 106 of the 260 patients had at least one exacerbation of COPD. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that old age, high Charlson Index, and low FEV1 were significant in a clinico-physiologic model, with C-statistics of 0.69, and that increased age and emphysema index were significant in a radiologic model, with C-statistics of 0.64. The difference between the two models was statistically significant (P = 0.04 by bootstrap analysis). Combinations of clinico-physiologic risk factors may be better than those of imaging risk factors in predicting COPD exacerbation.
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Exacerbation; Risk Factors; Computed Tomography
The purpose of this study was to establish a prediction rule for severe illness in adult patients hospitalized with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009. At the time of initial presentation, the baseline characteristics of those with severe illness (i.e., admission to intensive care unit, mechanical ventilation, or death) were compared to those of patients with non-severe illnesses. A total of 709 adults hospitalized with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 were included: 75 severe and 634 non-severe cases. The multivariate analysis demonstrated that altered mental status, hypoxia (PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 250), bilateral lung infiltration, and old age (≥ 65 yr) were independent risk factors for severe cases (all P < 0.001). The area under the ROC curve (0.834 [95% CI, 0.778-0.890]) of the number of risk factors were not significantly different with that of APACHE II score (0.840 [95% CI, 0.790-0.891]) (P = 0.496). The presence of ≥ 2 risk factors had a higher sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value than an APACHE II score of ≥ 13. As a prediction rule, the presence of ≥ 2 these risk factors is a powerful and easy-to-use predictor of the severity in adult patients hospitalized with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009.
pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009; Severity; Risk Factors; Prediction Rule
Ethylene glycol (EG)-based zinc oxide (ZnO) nanofluids containing no surfactant have been manufactured by one-step pulsed wire evaporation (PWE) method. Round-robin tests on thermal conductivity measurements of three samples of EG-based ZnO nanofluids have been conducted by five participating labs, four using accurate measurement apparatuses developed in house and one using a commercial device. The results have been compared with several theoretical bounds on the effective thermal conductivity of heterogeneous systems. This study convincingly demonstrates that the large enhancements in the thermal conductivities of EG-based ZnO nanofluids tested are beyond the lower and upper bounds calculated using the models of the Maxwell and Nan et al. with and without the interfacial thermal resistance.
Fabry disease is an X-linked recessive and progressive disease caused by α-galactosidase A (α-GaL A) deficiency. We sought to assess the prevalence of unrecognized Fabry disease in dialysis-dependent patients and the efficacy of serum globotriaosylceramide (GL3) screening.
A total of 480 patients of 1,230 patients among 17 clinics were enrolled. Serum GL3 levels were measured by tandem mass spectrometry. Additionally, we studied the association between increased GL3 levels and cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, or left ventricular hypertrophy.
Twenty-nine patients had elevated serum GL3 levels. The α-GaL A activity was determined for the 26 patients with high GL3 levels. The mean α-GaL A activity was 64.6 nmol/hr/mg (reference range, 45 to 85), and no patient was identified with decreased α-GaL A activity. Among the group with high GL3 levels, 15 women had a α-GaL A genetics analysis. No point mutations were discovered among the women with high GL3 levels. No correlation was observed between serum GL3 levels and α-GaL A activity; the Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.01352 (p = 0.9478). No significant correlation was observed between increased GL3 levels and the frequency of cardiovascular disease or cerebrovascular disease.
Fabry disease is very rare disease in patients with end-stage renal disease. Serum GL3 measurements as a screening method for Fabry disease showed a high false-positive rate. Thus, serum GL3 levels determined by tandem mass spectrometry may not be useful as a screening method for Fabry disease in patients with end stage renal disease.
Fabry disease; Globotriaosylceramide; End-stage renal disease
The percutaneous placement of a totally implantable vascular access port via the subclavian vein is commonly used in patients with a need for multiple intravenous infusions such as administration of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the use of central venous ports have been associated with adverse events that are hazardous to patients. Here we report the case of a 5-year-old child who died of catastrophic hemothorax after several attempts at insertion of an implantable subclavian venous access device and removal of an infected port. Massive hemothorax occurred on the side contralateral to unsuccessful attempts at insertion of a new port and ipsilateral to the removal of an infected port. We could not confirm the cause of death and hemothorax without autopsy, but we discuss several possible causes of massive hemothorax.
Cause of death; Hemothorax; Subclavian vein; Vascular access port
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the deposition of aggregated beta-amyloid (Aβ), which triggers a cellular stress response called the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR signaling pathway is a cellular defense system for dealing with the accumulation of misfolded proteins but switches to apoptosis when endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is prolonged. ER stress is involved in neurodegenerative diseases including AD, but the molecular mechanisms of ER stress-mediated Aβ neurotoxicity still remain unknown. Here, we show that treatment of Aβ triggers the UPR in the SK-N-SH human neuroblastoma cells. Aβ mediated UPR pathway accompanies the activation of protective pathways such as Grp78/Bip and PERK-eIF2α pathway, as well as the apoptotic pathways of the UPR such as CHOP and caspase-4. Knockdown of PERK enhances Aβ neurotoxicity through reducing the activation of eIF2α and Grp8/Bip in neurons. Salubrinal, an activator of the eIF2α pathway, significantly increased the Grp78/Bip ER chaperone resulted in attenuating caspase-4 dependent apoptosis in Aβ treated neurons. These results indicate that PERK-eIF2α pathway is a potential target for therapeutic applications in neurodegenerative diseases including AD.
Colonoscopy training programs and the minimal experience with colonoscopy required to be considered technically competent are not well established. The aim of this study was to determine the colonoscopy learning curves and factors associated with this difficult procedure at a single center.
A total of 3,243 colonoscopies were performed by 12 first-year gastroenterology fellows, and various clinical factors were assessed prospectively for 22 months. Acquisition of competence (success rate) was evaluated based on two objective criteria: (i) the adjusted completion rate (>90%) and (ii) cecal intubation time (<20 minutes).
The overall success rate in reaching the cecum in less than 20 minutes was 72.8%. The cecal intubation time was 9.34±4.13 minutes (mean±SD). Trainees' skill at performing cecal intubation in <20 minutes reached the requisite standard of competence after 200 procedures. Cecal intubation time decreased significantly from 11.3 to 9.4 minutes after 100 procedures and improved continuously thereafter. Female patients and advanced patient age (over 60 years) were associated with prolonged cecal intubation time (>20 minutes). Surgery of the uterus and ovaries was significantly correlated with delayed cecal intubation time, but not after sufficient colonoscopy experience.
The minimum number of procedures to reach technical competence was 200. The cecal intubation time was longer in female and older patients.
Colonoscopy; Learning curves; Fellows
AIM: To investigate prevalence of Clonorchis sinensis in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, and the relation of the infection to hepatobiliary diseases in 26 hospitals in Korea.
METHODS: Consecutive patients who had been admitted to the Division of Gastroenterology with gastrointestinal symptoms were enrolled from March to April 2005. Of those who had been diagnosed with clonorchiasis, epidemiology and correlation between infection and hepatobiliary diseases were surveyed by questionnaire.
RESULTS: Of 3080 patients with gastrointestinal diseases, 396 (12.9%) had clonorchiasis and 1140 patients (37.2%) had a history of eating raw freshwater fish. Of those with a history of raw freshwater fish ingestion, 238 (20.9%) patients had clonorchiasis. Cholangiocarcinoma was more prevalent in C. sinensis-infected patients than non-infected patients [34/396 (8.6%) vs 145/2684 (5.4%), P = 0.015]. Cholangiocarcinoma and clonorchiasis showed statistically significant positive cross-relation (P = 0.008). Choledocholithiasis, cholecystolithiasis, cholangitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and biliary pancreatitis did not correlate with clonorchiasis.
CONCLUSION: Infection rate of clonorchiasis was still high in patients with gastrointestinal diseases in Korea, and has not decreased very much during the last two decades. Cholangiocarcinoma was related to clonorchiasis, which suggested an etiological role for the parasite.
Clonorchis sinensis; Epidemiology; Cholangiocarcinoma; Korea; Multicenter study; Clonorchiasis
The authors examined whether the response to interferon (IFN) therapy can affect the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients.
Out of 353 biopsy-proven CHB patients, 229 (65%) were treated with IFN-α for 6 to 12 months. They were followed for a median period of 75 months (range, 6-120). In patients treated with IFN, biochemical and virologic responses were evaluated at the end of treatment (EOT). The cumulative incidence rates of HCC were calculated and analyzed in relation to baseline characteristics as well as biochemical and virologic responses to IFN therapy.
The overall cumulative incidence of HCC was 0%, 0.8%, 3.7% and 5.5% at 3, 5, 7 and 8 years, respectively. Age, serum AFP levels and the stage of fibrosis were significantly associated with the occurrence of HCC. As a whole, IFN therapy did not affect the occurrence of HCC. Among the patients treated with IFN, biochemical responders had low HCC incidence rates compared with non-responders (p=0.018). However, the HCC incidence rates of virologic responders were not different from non-responders (p=0.203).
Biochemical rather than virologic response to IFN therapy may be more closely associated with decrease of HCC incidence in CHB patients.
Chronic hepatitis B; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Interferon; Biochemical response; Virologic response