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1.  Swallowing in Parkinson Patients versus Healthy Controls: Reliability of Measurements in Videofluoroscopy 
Objective. To determine and describe the pathophysiological aspects of oropharyngeal swallowing in patients with Parkinson's disease more accurately, a pilot study of qualitative as well as quantitative parameters of swallowing was performed using videofluoroscopy (VFS). Methods. Ten patients with a diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease having dysphagic complaints and ten healthy age- and gender-matched control subjects underwent a standardized videofluoroscopic swallowing protocol. Information on the swallowing function was derived from temporal, spatial, and descriptive visuoperceptual parameters. Intra- and interrater reliability was calculated. Results. No significant differences were found between Parkinson patients and healthy control subjects for the majority of the reliable variables. Conclusions. It was concluded that swallowing function seemed to be preserved in the early stages of Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, the reliability of many quantitative as well as qualitative swallowing parameters proved insufficient, raising questions about the interpretation of study outcomes in videofluoroscopy.
PMCID: PMC3185253  PMID: 21977026
2.  Clinical implications of microvascular obstruction and intramyocardial haemorrhage in acute myocardial infarction using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging 
European Radiology  2010;20(11):2572-2578.
To investigate the clinical implications of microvascular obstruction (MVO) and intramyocardial haemorrhage (IMH) in acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
Ninety patients with a first AMI undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) were studied. T2-weighted, cine and late gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging was performed at 5 ± 2 and 103 ± 11 days. Patients were categorised into three groups based on the presence or absence of MVO and IMH.
MVO was observed in 54% and IMH in 43% of patients, and correlated significantly (r = 0.8, p < 0.001). Pre-PCI thrombolysis in myocardial infarction 3 flow was only observed in MVO(−)/IMH(−) patients. Infarct size and impairment of systolic function were largest in MVO(+)/IMH(+) patients (n = 39, 23 ± 9% and 47 ± 7%), smallest in MVO(−)/IMH(−) patients (n = 41, 8 ± 8% and 55 ± 8%) and intermediate in MVO(+)/IMH(−) patients (n = 10, 16 ± 7% and 51 ± 6%, p < 0.001). LVEF increased in all three subgroups at follow-up, but remained intermediate in MVO(+)/IMH(−) and was lowest in MVO(+)/IMH(+) patients. Using random intercept model analysis, only infarct size was an independent predictor for adverse LV remodelling.
Intramyocardial haemorrhage and microvascular obstruction are strongly related. Pre-PCI TIMI 3 flow is less frequently observed in patients with MVO and IMH. Only infarct size was an independent predictor of LV remodelling.
PMCID: PMC2948162  PMID: 20577881
Myocardial infarction; Intramyocardial haemorrhage; Microvascular obstruction; Magnetic resonance imaging; Ventricular remodelling
3.  IL6 and CRP haplotypes are associated with COPD risk and systemic inflammation: a case-control study 
BMC Medical Genetics  2009;10:23.
Elevated circulating levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6 and fibrinogen (FG) have been repeatedly associated with many adverse outcomes in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). To date, it remains unclear whether and to what extent systemic inflammation is primary or secondary in the pathogenesis of COPD.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between haplotypes of CRP, IL6 and FGB genes, systemic inflammation, COPD risk and COPD-related phenotypes (respiratory impairment, exercise capacity and body composition).
Eighteen SNPs in three genes, representing optimal haplotype-tagging sets, were genotyped in 355 COPD patients and 195 healthy smokers. Plasma levels of CRP, IL-6 and FG were measured in the total study group. Differences in haplotype distributions were tested using the global and haplotype-specific statistics.
Raised plasma levels of CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen were demonstrated in COPD patients. However, COPD population was very heterogeneous: about 40% of patients had no evidence of systemic inflammation (CRP < 3 mg/uL or no inflammatory markers in their top quartile). Global test for haplotype effect indicated association of CRP gene and CRP plasma levels (P = 0.0004) and IL6 gene and COPD (P = 0.003). Subsequent analysis has shown that IL6 haplotype H2, associated with an increased COPD risk (p = 0.004, OR = 4.82; 1.64 to 4.18), was also associated with very low CRP levels (p = 0.0005). None of the genes were associated with COPD-related phenotypes.
Our findings suggest that common genetic variation in CRP and IL6 genes may contribute to heterogeneity of COPD population associated with systemic inflammation.
PMCID: PMC2660301  PMID: 19272152

Results 1-3 (3)