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1.  The Role of Biological Agents in the Management of Large Vessel Vasculitis (LVV): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115026.
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) and Takayasu's arteritis (TAA) are large vessel vasculitides (LVV) for which corticosteroids (CS) are the mainstay for treatment. In patients with LVV unable to tolerate CS, biological agents have been used with variable effectiveness.
To systematically review the effectiveness and safety of biological agents in patients with LVV.
We searched 5 electronic databases (inception to October 2012) and conference abstracts with no language restrictions. Two reviewers independently selected studies, extracted data and assessed methodological quality. Our protocol was registered in PROSPERO.
We included 25 studies (3 RCTs and 22 case series with ≥2 cases). 95 GCA and 98 TAA patients received biological agents. The RCTs using anti-TNF agents (infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab) did not suggest a benefit in GCA. GCA patients receiving tocilizumab, in case series, achieved remission (19 patients) and reduction of corticosteroid dose (mean difference, –16.55 mg/day (95% CI: –26.24, –6.86)). In case series, 75 patients with refractory TAA treated with infliximab discontinued CS 32% of the time. Remission was variably defined and the studies were clinically heterogeneous which precluded further analysis.
This systematic review demonstrated a weak evidence base on which to assess the effectiveness of biological treatment in LVV. Evidence from RCTs suggests that anti-TNF agents are not effective for remission or reduction of CS use. Tocilizumab and infliximab may be effective in the management of LVV and refractory TAA, respectively, although the evidence comes from case series. Future analytical studies are needed to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC4269410  PMID: 25517966
2.  Chest Pain Associated with Moderator Band Pacing 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2014;41(5):551-553.
A 65-year-old man was evaluated for chronic chest pain that had been present for 8 years after placement of a dual-chamber implantable cardioverter-defibrillator to treat inducible ventricular tachycardia. Previous coronary angiography had revealed nonobstructive coronary artery disease and a left ventricular ejection fraction of 0.45 to 0.50, consistent with mild idiopathic nonischemic cardiomyopathy. Evaluation with chest radiography and transthoracic echocardiography showed the implantable cardioverter-defibrillator lead to be embedded within the right ventricle at the moderator band, which had mild calcification. Treatment included extraction of the dual-coil lead and placement of a new single-coil right ventricular lead at the mid septum. The patient had complete relief of symptoms after the procedure. This case shows that chest pain can be associated with the placement of a right ventricular implantable cardioverter-defibrillator lead in the moderator band and that symptomatic relief can occur after percutaneous lead extraction and the implantation of a new right ventricular lead to the mid septal region.
PMCID: PMC4189363  PMID: 25425994
Electrodes, implanted; heart conduction system; moderator band, right ventricular; pacemaker, artificial/adverse effects; pacemaker lead extraction; percutaneous intervention
3.  Oxidized low density lipoprotein and total antioxidant capacity in type-2 diabetic and impaired glucose tolerance Saudi men 
Oxidative modification of low density lipoproteins (LDL) convert these native particles into pathogenic, immunogenic and atherogenic particles. Factors enhance LDL oxidation are poorly understood, especially in conditions of hyperglycemia. The present study was conducted to investigate which metabolic conditions are associated with the promotion of LDL oxidation in different glycemic situations.
Adult male participants (274) were selected from patients admitted to the outpatient department of Diabetes Center in Al-Noor Specialized Hospital in Makkah and other citizens and residents in the city. The studied group was classified into three sub-groups: Group-I: control group of non-diabetic normal subjects, Group-II: subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and Group-III: cases of type-2 diabetes mellitus (DM). Measurement of fasting blood glucose, 2 hour post-prandial blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), triglycerides, serum cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, ox-LDL, Total Antoxidant capacity (TAC) and Malondialdehyde (MDA) were performed. The obtained results were statistically analyzed.
Oxidation of native LDL increase nearly two folds in Type-2 DM group compared to controls. There is also significant increase in Ox-LDL of IGT group compared to controls. The correlation between Ox-LDL concentration and HbA1c in the whole population of the study confirms the increased Ox-LDL in subjects with hyperglycemia. A negative correlation exists between the concentration of Ox-LDL and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) in each studied group and in the whole population of the study as well. A positive correlation also exists between Ox-LDL concentrations and LDL values, more clear in controls and Type-2 DM, while this correlation was not significant in IGT group. The ratio of LDL oxidation as expressed by ox-LDL/LDL was increased in IGT group compared to control. More significant increase was observed in type-2 DM group.
We concluded that the concentration of Ox-LDL increased in subjects with type-2 DM and IGT compared to controls. Moreover, oxidation of native LDL was associated with low levels of TAC and positively correlated with LDL levels, total cholesterol, HbA1c, body mass index (BMI) and increased age.
PMCID: PMC4161898  PMID: 25221629
Oxidized LDL (Ox-LDL); Total antioxidant capacity; Prediabetics; Malondialdehyde (MDA)
4.  Phase II trial of temozolomide and reirradiation using conformal 3D-radiotherapy in recurrent brain gliomas 
This phase II trial was designed to assess the response rate, survival benefits and toxicity profile of temozolomide, and brain reirradiation using conformal radiotherapy (RT) for treatment of recurrent high grade glioma.
Open-label phase II trial.
Twenty-nine patients had been enrolled in the study between February 2006 and June 2009. Patients had to show unequivocal evidence of tumour recurrence on gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after failing conventional RT with or without temozolomide and surgery for initial disease. Histology included recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma, glioblastoma multiforme.
Patients were treated by temozolomide at a dose of 200 mg/m2/day for chemonaïve patients, and at a dose of 150 mg/m2/day to previously treated patients, for 4-5 cycles. Then, patients underwent reirradiation by conformal RT at a dose of 30-40 Gy by conventional fractionation.
Main outcome measures
The primary end point of the study was response. The secondary end points included survival benefit.
All the 29 patients were treated with temozolomide and reirradiation. Two patients achieved complete remission (CR), 4 achieved partial remission (PR), with an overall objective response rate of 20.6%, and further 10 patients had stable disease (SD), with a SD rate of 34.4%. The mean progression free survival (PFS) was 10.1 months, and the mean overall survival (OS) was 11.4 months. Additionally, treatment significantly improved quality of life (QOL). Treatment was tolerated well with mild grade 1, 2 nausea/vomiting in 40% of cycles, and mild grade 1, 2 haematological toxicities (neutropenia/thrombocytoprnia) in 8.6% of cycles.
Temozolomide and conformal RT had an anti-tumor activity in recurrent high grade glioma, and represented a good treatment hope for patients with recurrent brain glioma.
PMCID: PMC4200682  PMID: 25333019
Reirradiation; glioma; recurrent; temozolomide; survival; quality
5.  For Stage II Node-Positive Breast Cancer, is it Worthwhile to Consider Adjuvant Radiotherapy Following Mastectomy? 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:326.
Purpose: To evaluate overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), loco-regional recurrence (LRR), and toxicities for early breast-cancer patients with one to three positive axillary lymph nodes, by the addition of radiotherapy to adjuvant chemotherapy.
Patients and methods: Patients were eligible for enrollment into the study if they had pathologically proven stages II breast cancer, with one to three positive axillary lymph nodes. Patients were assigned to one of the two groups; Group 1; adjuvant chemotherapy then radiotherapy, and group 2; adjuvant chemotherapy only.
Results: Between September 2008 and August 2014, 75 patients were enrolled. Forty patients group 1, and 35 group 2. The 4-year OS for group 1, and two were 77.5 and 71.4%, respectively. The 4-year PFS for group 1 and 2 were 72.5 and 60%, respectively. During the 54 months follow-up period, 11 patients from group 1 had recurrence (three locoregional, seven metastatic, and one both), and 14 patients from group 2 had recurrence (seven locoregional, three metastatic, and four both). The distant metastasis rate was the same in the two groups. However, the metastasis sites were different in the two groups.
Conclusion: The addition of radiotherapy in stage II breast cancer with one to three positive lymph nodes improved the PFS, and LRR. Radiotherapy improved OS in patients with high-risk features.
PMCID: PMC4237050  PMID: 25478324
radiotherapy; breast; survival; group; toxicity
6.  Small bowel capsule endoscopy in patients with cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators: Outcome analysis using telemetry review 
AIM: To determine if there were any interactions between cardiac devices and small bowel capsules secondary to electromagnetic interference (EMI) in patients who have undergone small bowel capsule endoscopy (SBCE).
METHODS: Authors conducted a chart review of 20 patients with a cardiac pacemaker (CP) or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) who underwent continuous electrocardiographic monitoring during their SBCE from 2003-2008. authors searched for unexplained electrocardiogram (ECG) findings, changes in CP and ICD set parameters, any abnormality in transmitted capsule data, and adverse clinical events.
RESULTS: There were no adverse events or hemodynamically significant arrhythmias reported. CP and ICD set parameters were preserved. The majority of ECG abnormalities were also found in pre- or post- SBCE ECG tracings and the CP behavior during arrhythmias appeared appropriate. Two patients seemed to have episodes of undersensing by the CP. However, similar findings were documented in ECGs taken outside the time frame of the SBCE. One patient was observed to have a low signal encountered from the capsule resulting in lack of localization, but no images were lost.
CONCLUSION: Capsule-induced EMI remains a possibility but is unlikely to be clinically important. CP-induced interference of SBCE is also possible, but is infrequent and does not result in loss of images transmitted by the capsule.
PMCID: PMC3309898  PMID: 22442746
Small bowel capsule endoscopy; Cardiac pacemakers; Implantable cardioverter defibrillators; Electromagnetic interference; Telemetry review
7.  The impact of diurnal fasting during Ramadan on the lipid profile, hs-CRP, and serum leptin in stable cardiac patients 
To study the effect of strict prolonged fasting on lipid profile, serum leptin, and high- sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in patients with different stable cardiac illnesses and look for associated new cardiac events and any correlation between entire variables.
A total of 56 patients of different stable cardiac illnesses were followed in our cardiology outpatient for 3 months. Data concerning their ability to fast were collected: New York Heart Association class of congestive cardiac failure, angina class, previous myocardial infarction, previous coronary artery bypass graft, percutaneous coronary intervention, severity of valvular lesion, metallic prosthetic valve, and traditional risk factors (diabetes mellitus, insulin requirement, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking habit, and obesity). Detailed clinical examination and electrocardiography were performed in all patients in three consecutive visits before, during, and after Ramadan. Echocardiographic and angiographic findings and medication plans were collected from patient records. Lipid profile, serum leptin, and hs-CRP were assessed before, during, and after Ramadan.
All patients fasted during Ramadan: 80.4% were male, 67.9% were aged >50 years, 71.4% had no change in their symptoms during fasting while 28.6% felt better. No patient has deteriorated. 91.1% of the patients were compliant with medicine during Ramadan, 73.2% after. 89.3% were compliant with diet during Ramadan with no significant change in body weight in the follow-up period. No cardiac or noncardiac morbidity or mortality was reported. High- density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) decreased significantly during compared to before fasting (P = 0.012). Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) significantly increased during compared to before fasting (P = 0.022). No statistically significant changes were observed in total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), serum leptin, or hs-CRP. Significant correlation was observed between TC and hs-CRP during fasting (P = 0.036), but not with TG, LDL-C, or HDL-C (P > 0.05). Neither of these correlated with serum leptin (P > 0.05), but significant correlation was observed between hs-CRP and serum leptin (P < 0.05).
Ramadan fasting in stable cardiac patients has no effect on their clinical status, serum leptin, or hs-CRP, but results in decrease in HDL-C, increase in LDL-C, with significant correlation between TC and hs-CRP during Ramadan, but not with TG, LDL-C, or HDL-C, and with significant correlation between hs-CRP and serum leptin before, during, and after fasting.
PMCID: PMC3262481  PMID: 22272070
serum leptin; hs-C-reactive protein; lipid profile; cardiac disease; Ramadan fasting
8.  Obesity modulate serum hepcidin and treatment outcome of iron deficiency anemia in children: A case control study 
Recently, hepcidin expression in adipose tissue has been described and shown to be increased in patients with severe obesity. We tried to assess the effect of obesity on hepcidin serum levels and treatment outcome of iron deficiency anemia in children.
This was a case control study included 70 children with iron deficiency anemia "IDA" (35 obese and 35 non-obese) and 30 healthy non-obese children with comparable age and sex(control group). Parameters of iron status (Serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, total iron binding capacity and transferrin saturation) and serum hepcidin levels were assessed initially and after 3 months of oral iron therapy for IDA.
Compared to the control group, serum hepcidin was significantly lower in non-obese children with IDA(p < 0.01) and significantly higher in obese children with IDA (p < 0.01). Hepcidin increased significantly in non-obese children with IDA after 3 months of iron therapy (P < 0.01). On the other hand, obese children showed non-significant change in hepcidin level after iron therapy (p > 0.05). Although hepcidin showed significant positive correlations with Hb, serum iron and transferrin saturation in non-obese children with IDA, it showed significant negative correlations with Hb, serum iron and transferrin saturation in obese children with IDA (P < 0.05).
Obesity increased hepcidin levels and was associated with diminished response to oral iron therapy in childhood iron deficiency anemia.
PMCID: PMC3154149  PMID: 21771327
Obesity; Hepcidin; Iron deficiency; Children
9.  Use of antenatal care services in Kassala, eastern Sudan 
Antenatal care is named as one of the four pillars initiatives of the Safe Motherhood Initiative. While many of routine antenatal care procedure have little effect on maternal mortality and morbidity, some of these have been ascertained as beneficial. The aim of this study was to investigate coverage of antenatal care and identify factors associated with inadequacy of antenatal care in Kassala, eastern Sudan.
A cross-sectional community-based study was carried out in Kassala, eastern Sudan during September-October 2009. Household surveys were conducted. Structured questionnaires were used to gather data from women who had been pregnant within the last year, or pregnant more than 14 weeks.
Out of 900 women investigated for antenatal care coverage, 811(90%) women had at least one visit. Only 11% of the investigated women had ≥ four antenatal visits, while 10.0% had not attended at all. Out of 811 women who attended at least one visit, 483 (59.6%), 303 (37.4%) and 25 (3.1%) women attended antenatal care in the first, second and third trimester, respectively. In logistic regression analyses, while maternal age and residence were not associated with inadequacy of antenatal care (<2 visits), high parity (OR = 2.0, CI = 1.1-3.5; P = 0.01) and husband education ≤ secondary level (OR = 2.4, CI = 1.3-4.2; P = 0.002) were associated with inadequacy of antenatal care.
Antenatal care showed a low coverage in Kassala, eastern Sudan. This low coverage was associated with high parity and low husband education.
PMCID: PMC2987884  PMID: 20973972
10.  The Role of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in the Management of Locally Advanced Cervix Cancer: A Systematic Review 
Oncology Reviews  2014;8(2):250.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced cervix cancer has comparable benefits to concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), but with fewer side effects. This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the benefits of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the management of locally advanced cervix cancer from stage IB2 (tumor >4.0 cm) to IIIB (tumor extending to the pelvic wall and/or hydronephrosis). Our primary objective was to assess benefits in terms of survival. The data source included the USA national library of medicine, Medline search, and the National Cancer Institute PDQ Clinical Protocols. Inclusion criteria for consideration in the current systematic review included studies published between January 1997 and December 2012. In terms of histology, they had to be focused on squamous cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, and/or adenocarcinoma. Patients should be either chemotherapy naïve or cervix cancer chemotherapy naïve, and have a performance status ≤2. The search in the above-mentioned scientific websites led to identify 49 publications, 19 of which were excluded, as they did not meet the inclusion criteria of this systematic review. Therefore only 30 studies were deemed eligible. Data was collected from 1760 patients enrolled in the current systematic review study. The mean age was 45.2 years. The mean tumor size was 4.7 cm. The most commonly used chemotherapies were cisplatin doublets. Paclitaxel was the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agent in the doublets. The mean chemotherapy cycles were 2.7. After chemotherapy, patients underwent surgery after a mean time of 2.5 weeks. The standard operation was radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy. Chemotherapy achieved an objective response rate of 84%. The 5-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 61.9% and 72.8% respectively. The treatment protocol was associated with a mild early toxicity profile. Leucopenia and neutropenia were the most common side effects. Late toxicity was also generally mild and mainly associated with bladder dysfunction and vaginal dehiscence. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy achieved comparable survival results to CCRT, and was associated with less toxicity.
PMCID: PMC4419645  PMID: 25992238
neoadjuvant cervix chemotherapy; systemic quality survival

Results 1-10 (10)