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1.  Endoscopic Ultrasonography in the Diagnosis of Gastric Subepithelial Lesions 
Clinical Endoscopy  2016;49(5):425-433.
Subepithelial lesions occasionally found in the stomach of patients undergoing endoscopy may be either benign lesions or tumors with malignant potential. They may also appear due to extrinsic compression. Discrimination of gastric subepithelial lesions begins with meticulous endoscopic examination for size, shape, color, mobility, consistency, and appearance of the overlying mucosa. Accurate diagnosis can be achieved with endoscopic ultrasonography, which provides useful information on the exact size, layer-of-origin, and characteristic morphologic features to support a definitive diagnosis. Endoscopic ultrasonography also aids in the prediction of malignant potential, especially in gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Features of subepithelial lesions identified on endoscopic ultrasonography can be used to determine whether further diagnostic procedures such as endoscopic resection, fine needle aspiration, or core biopsy are required. Endoscopic ultrasonography is a valuable tool for diagnosis and clinical decision making during follow-up of gastric subepithelial lesions.
PMCID: PMC5066408  PMID: 27744661
Endosonography; Stomach neoplasms; Diagnosis
2.  Endoscopic Findings of Upper Gastrointestinal Involvement in Primary Vasculitis 
Gut and Liver  2016;10(4):542-548.
Gastrointestinal involvement in vasculitis may result in life-threatening complications. However, its variable clinical presentations and endoscopic features, and the rarity of the disease, often result in delayed diagnosis.
Clinical characteristics, endoscopic features, and histopathological findings were reviewed from medical records.
Of 6,477 patients with vasculitis, 148 were diagnosed as primary vasculitis with upper gastrointestinal involvement. Of these, 21 cases (14.2%) were classified as large-vessel vasculitis, 17 cases (11.5%) as medium-vessel vasculitis, and 110 cases (74.3%) as small-vessel vasculitis. According to the specific diagnosis, IgA vasculitis (Henoch-Schönlein purpura) was the most common diagnosis (56.8%), followed by Takayasu arteritis (14.1%), microscopic polyangiitis (10.1%), and polyarteritis nodosa (6.8%). Gastrointestinal symptoms were present in 113 subjects (76.4%), with abdominal pain (78.8%) the most common symptom. Erosion and ulcers were striking endoscopic features, and the second portion of the duodenum was the most frequently involved site. Biopsy specimens were obtained from 124 patients, and only eight (5.4%) presented histopathological signs of vasculitis.
Diagnosis of vasculitis involving the upper gastrointestinal tract is difficult. Because of the widespread use of endoscopy, combining clinical features with endoscopic findings may facilitate making appropriate diagnoses; however, the diagnostic yield of endoscopic biopsy is low.
PMCID: PMC4933413  PMID: 27226428
Vasculitis; Gastrointestinal tract; Endoscopy
3.  Is Follow-Up Endoscopy Necessary in Upper Gastrointestinal Cytomegalovirus Disease? 
Medicine  2016;95(19):e3389.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text
Gastrointestinal (GI) cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Diagnosis of GI CMV disease mostly relies on endoscopy examination and histopathologic findings. There are limited data on the need for follow-up endoscopy with histopathologic examination in patients with upper gastrointestinal (UGI) CMV disease. All adult patients with confirmed and probable UGI CMV disease at a tertiary hospital over a 16-year period whose follow-up endoscopy was available were enrolled. The patients were classified as endoscopic responders if they showed complete or partial improvement on follow-up endoscopy, and as endoscopic nonresponders if there was no improvement or worsening. CMV tissue clearance was defined as absence of any visible CMV inclusion bodies, negative CMV immunohistochemistry and negative CMV polymerase chain reaction in follow-up biopsy tissues. During the study period, 77 patients with UGI CMV disease were analyzed. The median time to follow-up endoscopy was 19 days (interquartile range, 14–27). Of these 77 patients, 52 (68%) were classified as responders, and the remaining 25 (32%) as nonresponders. GI bleeding was more common in the nonresponders than the responders (36% vs 12%, respectively; P = 0.02). There was no significant difference in CMV tissue clearance between the responders and nonresponders (56% vs 69%, respectively; P = 0.38), median durations of treatment (20 days vs 21 days, respectively; P = 0.48), and relapse rates (10% vs 8%, respectively; P > 0.99). Multivariate analysis showed that the only independent predictive factor for relapse of CMV antigenemia or CMV GI disease was multiorgan CMV disease (odds ratio = 12.4, 95% confidence interval 1.6–97.9; P = 0.02). Endoscopic responses were obtained in about two-thirds of patients with UGI CMV disease 2 or 3 weeks after antiviral therapy. However, these follow-up endoscopic findings neither reflected CMV tissue clearance nor predicted disease relapse. These findings suggest that the routine follow-up endoscopy may not be warranted in patients with UGI CMV disease.
PMCID: PMC4902479  PMID: 27175637
4.  Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Gastric Cancer Patients Aged over 80 Years: A Retrospective Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167615.
Background and Aims
The average human life expectancy is increasing worldwide, thus the proportion of elderly gastric cancer patients is also increasing. In this case-control study, we investigated the clinical and oncologic outcomes of gastric cancer in patients over 80 years old.
From January 2004 to December 2010, 291 patients aged over 80 years old (case group) were diagnosed and treated with gastric cancer at Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. From the same period, 291 patients aged 18 to 80 years old were selected as the control group. The clinical findings and clinical outcomes of gastric cancer were retrospectively reviewed and compared between the two groups.
There were significant differences in the overall 5-year survival rate between the case and control groups (30.9% vs. 73.8%, respectively; P<0.001). In patients who received the curative treatment, overall 3- and 5-year survival rates showed 74.3% and 57.9% in case group and 91.6% and 86.5% in the control group. When analysis was confined to resectable elderly patients with a favorable performance, the curative resection group showed significantly better overall 3- and 5-year survival rates than the conservative treatment group (73.7% and 58.8% vs. 29.8% and 0%, respectively).
Although elderly gastric cancer patients show an advanced stage at diagnosis and poor prognosis compared with non-elderly patients, elderly patients with good performance could benefit from curative resection. Thus, the clinical decision whether to undergo curative resection or conservative management should be made on an individualized basis.
PMCID: PMC5152853  PMID: 27942044
5.  Glomerular Filtration Rate and Urine Albumin to Creatinine Ratio Associated With Hearing Impairment Among Korean Adults With Diabetes 
Medicine  2016;95(17):e3423.
The objective of this study was to examine the association of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) with hearing impairment among diabetic adults in Korea. The study was based on data from Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 to 2012. Participants were 1206 diabetic adults, aged over 19 years, who completed audiometric testing supervised by nationally certified clinicians. Hearing impairment was defined in three grades: no hearing impairment (pure-tone average 0–25 dB), slight hearing impairment (26–40 dB), and disabling hearing impairment (>40 dB) in the better ear at frequencies 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 kHz. Using logistic regression, risk of hearing impairment was assessed after having controlled for confounding factors. Higher levels of ACR and lower levels of eGFR correlated with an increase in percentage of disabling hearing impairment both unilaterally and bilaterally (P < 0.001). Controlling for possible confounding covariates, odds ratios for hearing impairment showed tendency to increase in higher ACR groups (P for trend = 0.029). Similar pattern was examined between eGFR and hearing impairment (P for trend = 0.006). Odds ratios were 1.981 (1.146, 3.424) for ACR Q4 and 2.773 (1.286, 5.983) for eGFR < 60 mL/min. Fall in eGFR and rise in ACR correlated with severity of hearing impairment. The association existed independently of age, sex, body mass index (BMI), smoking, drinking, exercise, new onset of diabetes, education, income, mental stress, noise exposure, and metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4998690  PMID: 27124027
6.  Relationship Between Dyslipidemia and Albuminuria in Hypertensive Adults 
Medicine  2016;95(16):e3224.
This study aimed to estimate the relationship between various lipid abnormalities and albuminuria in hypertensive Korean adults. Data obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2011 to 2012 were analyzed. The study included 2330 hypertensive participants. Total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were measured. Dyslipidemia parameters were defined as high TG ≥200 mg/dL, low HDL-C as HDL-C <40 mg/dL, high TC/HDL-C as TC/HDL-C ratio ≥4, high TG/HDL-C as TG/HDL-C ratio ≥3.8, and high LDL-C/HDL-C as LDL-C/HDL-C ratio ≥2.5. Albuminuria was defined as a urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) ≥30 mg/g. Women with albuminuria showed significantly higher levels of TG, TC/HDL-C, and TG/HDL-C and a lower level of HDL-C than women without albuminuria (all P < 0.05). LogTG, TC/HDL-C, and logTG/HDL-C were positively correlated with ACR in both men and women; however, HDL-C was negatively correlated with ACR in women and non-HDL-C was positively correlated with ACR in men. In men, there was no association between ACR and lipid parameters. However, in women, higher values for logTG, TC/HDL-C, and logTG/HDL-C were associated with an increased odds ratio (OR) for albuminuria (OR [95% confidence interval]: 1.53 [1.06–2.21], 1.21 [1.02–1.45], and 1.78 [1.21–2.63], respectively) and HDL-C with a decreased OR for albuminuria (0.78 [0.67–0.92]) after adjusting for all covariates. LogTG, TC/HDL-C, and logTG/HDL-C were associated with an increased prevalence of albuminuria in hypertensive women. Screening and treatment for dyslipidemia may be necessary for hypertensive women to address potential albuminuria.
PMCID: PMC4845816  PMID: 27100412
7.  Analysis of Clinical Factors for the Determination of Optimal Serum Level of Thyrotropin After Recombinant Human Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Administration 
To determine the optimal levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels after administration of recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) to patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), we have analyzed the clinical parameters that affected the degree of the increase in serum levels of TSH.
We retrospectively analyzed 276 patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC), post-thyroidectomy and remnant ablation. Pearson’s correlation coefficient test was used to evaluate the correlation between serum levels of TSH after rhTSH stimulation and various clinical factors, including age, sex, height, weight, body mass index (BMI), body surface area (BSA), serum blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Linear regression analysis was used to determine the predictors of the degree of increase in serum TSH level after rhTSH stimulation.
After the rhTSH injections, all subjects achieved TSH levels of >30 μU/mL, with a mean of 203.8 ± 83.4 μU/mL. On univariate analysis, age (r = 0.255) and serum creatinine (r = 0.169) level were positive predictors for higher levels of serum TSH after rhTSH stimulation, while weight (r = –0.239), BMI (r = –0.223), BSA (r = –0.217), and estimated GFR (r = –0.199) were negative predictors. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that serum creatinine was the most powerful independent predictor for serum levels of TSH, followed by age, BSA, and BMI.
An increment in serum TSH after rhTSH stimulation was significantly affected by age, BSA, BMI, and creatinine, with creatinine being the most powerful predictor. By understanding the difference in the increased levels of TSH in various subjects, their dose of rhTSH can be adjusted during scheduling for radioiodine ablation, or during follow-up (recurrence surveillance) after surgery and ablation.
PMCID: PMC4630326  PMID: 26550045
Recombinant human thyroid-stimulating hormone; RhTSH; Thyrotropin; Differentiated thyroid cancer; Thyroid cancer
8.  Complications and Short-Term Outcomes of Medial Opening Wedge High Tibial Osteotomy Using a Locking Plate for Medial Osteoarthritis of the Knee 
Knee Surgery & Related Research  2016;28(4):289-296.
The purpose of this study was to investigate complications and radiologic and clinical outcomes of medial opening wedge high tibial osteotomy (MOWHTO) using a locking plate.
Materials and Methods
This study reviewed 167 patients who were treated with MOWHTO using a locking plate from May 2012 to June 2014. Patients without complications were classified into group 1 and those with complications into group 2. Medical records, operative notes, and radiographs were retrospectively reviewed to identify complications. Clinically, Oxford Knee score and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome score (KOOS) were evaluated.
Overall, complications were observed in 49 patients (29.3%). Minor complications included lateral cortex fracture (15.6%), neuropathy (3.6%), correction loss (2.4%), hematoma (2.4%), delayed union (2.4%), delayed wound healing (2.4%), postoperative stiffness (1.2%), hardware irritation (1.2%), tendinitis (1.2%), and hardware failure without associated symptoms (0.6%). Major complications included hardware failure with associated symptoms (0.6%), deep infection (0.6%), and nonunion (0.6%). At the first-year follow-up, there were no significant differences in radiologic measurements between groups 1 and 2. There were no significant differences in knee scores except for the KOOS pain score.
Our data showed that almost all complications of the treatment were minor and the patients recovered without any problems. Most complications did not have a significant impact on radiologic and clinical outcomes.
PMCID: PMC5134783  PMID: 27894176
Knee; Osteoarthritis; Osteotomy; Open wedge; Plate; Complication
9.  The Relationship between Serum Endocan Levels and Depression in Alzheimer's Disease 
Disease Markers  2016;2016:8254675.
Objectives. Growing evidence suggests that angiogenic vascular factors may be involved in the pathogenic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease (AD), and recently endocan has been proposed as an angiogenic biomarker. The aim of this study was to measure serum endocan levels according to the presence of depression in AD and to investigate the association among the serum endocan levels, cognitive function, and depression in these patients. Methods. Serum endocan levels were measured in 26 AD patients with depression, 29 AD patients without depression, and 29 healthy controls using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. The Mini-Mental State Examination-Korean version (MMSE-KC) and the Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (SGDS-K) were used to evaluate cognitive function and depressive symptoms, respectively. Results. Serum endocan levels were significantly lower in AD patients with depression than in AD patients without depression or healthy controls. Serum endocan levels were negatively correlated with SGDS-K scores but not with MMSE-KC scores in AD patients. Conclusions. This study suggests that serum endocan levels might be associated with depression in AD. Future studies are needed to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms or the role of endocan in AD with depression.
PMCID: PMC4746338  PMID: 26924874
10.  Ten-year experience of esophageal endoscopic submucosal dissection of superficial esophageal neoplasms in a single center 
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) of a superficial esophageal neoplasm (SEN) is a technically difficult procedure. We investigated the clinical outcomes of ESD to determine its feasibility and effectiveness for the treatment of SEN.
Patients who underwent ESD for SEN between August 2005 and June 2014 were eligible for this study. The clinical features of patients and tumors, histopathologic characteristics, adverse events, results of endoscopic resection, and survival were investigated.
ESD was performed in 225 patients with 261 lesions, including 70 cases (26.8%) of dysplasias and 191 cases (73.2%) of squamous cell carcinomas. The median age was 65 years (range, 44 to 86), and the male to female ratio was 21.5:1. Median tumor size was 37 mm (range, 5 to 85) and median procedure time was 45 minutes (range, 9 to 160). En bloc resection was performed in 245 of 261 lesions (93.9%), with complete resection in 234 lesions (89.7%) and curative resection in 201 lesions (77.0%). Adverse events occurred in 33 cases (12.6%), including bleeding (1.5%), perforation (4.6%), and stricture (6.5%). During a median follow-up period of 35.0 months (interquartile range, 18 to 62), none of the patients showed local recurrence. The 5-year overall and disease-specific survival rates were 89.7% and 100%, respectively.
ESD is a feasible and effective procedure for the treatment of SEN based on our 10-year experience, which showed favorable outcomes.
PMCID: PMC5094928  PMID: 27618866
Esophageal neoplasms; Endoscopic submucosal dissection; En bloc resection
11.  Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Menstrual Irregularity in Middle-Aged Korean Women 
Menstrual irregularity is a common major complaint in women of reproductive age. It is also a known marker for underlying insulin resistance. We investigated the association between menstrual irregularity and metabolic syndrome in the general population of middle-aged women in Korea.
This cross-sectional study used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010–2012. A total of 2,742 subjects were included in the analysis. Participants were divided into two categories based on their menstrual cycle regularity and the relationship between metabolic syndrome and its variables was investigated by multiple logistic regression analysis.
Adjusted analyses revealed significantly higher odds ratios for metabolic syndrome, high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels with the presence of menstrual irregularity.
Metabolic syndrome and its components (high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels) were significantly associated with menstrual irregularity in women of reproductive age.
PMCID: PMC4754284  PMID: 26885320
Menstrual Cycle; Metabolic Syndrome; Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Insulin Resistance; Obesity
12.  Serum Gamma-Glutamyltransferase Levels are Associated With Concomitant Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Korean Hypertensive Patients 
Medicine  2015;94(50):e2171.
Previous studies suggested that serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) levels were associated with the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors including hypertension, diabetes mellitus (DM), and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the general population. We aimed to investigate the relationship between serum GGT levels and CVD risk factors in Korean hypertensive patients.
This cross-sectional study was based on data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2011 to 2012. The analysis included 1541 hypertensive participants. Study participants were divided into groups according to tertiles of serum GGT with cutoff points of 20 and 35 U/L.
Serum GGT levels were positively associated with the components of MetS (P value < 0.05, except for systolic blood pressure and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol). After adjusting for possible confounders, serum GGT levels were associated with an increased risk of MetS, high waist circumference, high triglyceride level, fasting plasma glucose, DM, and the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (P = 0.001).
In hypertensive patients, serum GGT levels are positively associated with major cardiovascular risk factors such as MetS, DM, and urinary albumin excretion.
PMCID: PMC5058898  PMID: 26683926
13.  Preoperative Prediction of Cervical Lymph Node Metastasis Using Primary Tumor SUVmax on 18F-FDG PET/CT in Patients with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(12):e0144152.
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the value of preoperative 18F-FDG (FDG) PET/CT in predicting cervical lymph node (LN) metastasis in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC).
One hundred and ninety-three newly diagnosed PTC patients (M: F = 25:168, age = 46.8 ± 12.2) who had undergone pretreatment FDG PET/CT and had neck node dissection were included in this study. The FDG avidity of the primary tumor and the SUVmax of the primary tumor (pSUVmax) were analyzed for prediction of LN metastasis. Detectability by ultrasonography (US) and FDG PET/CT for cervical LN metastasis were also assessed and compared with the pSUVmax.
The FDG avidity of the primary tumor was identified in 118 patients (FDG avid group: 61.0%, M: F = 16:102, age 47.0 ± 12.7 years) and pSUVmax ranged from 1.3 to 35.6 (median 4.6) in the FDG avid group. The tumor size in the FDG avid group was bigger and there was a higher incidence of LN metastasis compared to the FDG non-avid group (0.93 vs. 0.59 cm, p <0.001 and 49.2 vs. 33.3%, p <0.05). In the FDG avid group, patients with LN metastasis had higher pSUVmax than patients without LN metastasis (8.7 ± 8.3 vs. 5.7 ± 5.1, p <0.001). The incidence of central LN metastasis in patients with a pSUVmax >4.6 was 54%; however, the detectability of central LN metastasis by US and FDG PET/CT were 10.3% and 3.6%, respectively.
A high FDG avidity of the primary tumor was related to LN metastasis in PTC patients. Therefore, patients with a high pSUVmax should be cautiously assessed for LN metastasis and might need a more comprehensive surgical approach.
PMCID: PMC4670197  PMID: 26636824
14.  Differential Control Efficacies of Vitamin Treatments against Bacterial Wilt and Grey Mould Diseases in Tomato Plants 
The Plant Pathology Journal  2016;32(5):469-480.
Bacterial wilt and grey mould in tomato plants are economically destructive bacterial and fungal diseases caused by Ralstonia solanacearum and Botrytis cinerea, respectively. Various approaches including chemical and biological controls have been attempted to arrest the tomato diseases so far. In this study, in vitro growths of bacterial R. solanacearum and fungal B. cinerea were evaluated using four different vitamins including thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and menadione (vitamin K3). In planta efficacies of the four vitamin treatments on tomato protection against both diseases were also demonstrated. All four vitamins showed different in vitro antibacterial activities against R. solanacearum in dose-dependent manners. However, treatment with 2 mM thiamine was only effective in reducing bacterial wilt of detached tomato leaves without phytotoxicity under lower disease pressure (106 colony-forming unit [cfu]/ml). Treatment with the vitamins also differentially reduced in vitro conidial germination and mycelial growth of B. cinerea. The four vitamins slightly reduced the conidial germination, and thiamine, pyridoxine and menadione inhibited the mycelial growth of B. cinerea. Menadione began to drastically suppress the conidial germination and mycelial growth by 5 and 0.5 mM, respectively. Grey mould symptoms on the inoculated tomato leaves were significantly reduced by pyridoxine and menadione pretreatments one day prior to the fungal challenge inoculation. These findings suggest that disease-specific vitamin treatment will be integrated for eco-friendly management of tomato bacterial wilt and grey mould.
PMCID: PMC5051566  PMID: 27721697
bacterial wilt; grey mould; menadione; thiamine; tomato
15.  The Efficacy of a Newly Designed, Easy-to-Manufacture Training Simulator for Endoscopic Biopsy of the Stomach 
Gut and Liver  2016;10(5):764-772.
We developed a new endoscopic biopsy training simulator and determined its efficacy for improving the endoscopic biopsy skills of beginners.
This biopsy simulator, which presents seven biopsy sites, was constructed using readily available materials. We enrolled 40 participants: 14 residents, 11 first-year clinical fellows, 10 second-year clinical fellows, and five staff members. We recorded the simulation completion time for all participants, and then simulator performance was assessed via a questionnaire using the 7-point Likert scale.
The mean times for completing the five trials were 417.7±138.8, 145.2±31.5, 112.7±21.9, and 90.5±20.0 seconds for the residents, first-year clinical fellows, second-year clinical fellows, and staff members, respectively. Endoscopists with less experience reported that they found this simulator more useful for improving their biopsy technique (6.8±0.4 in the resident group and 5.7±1.0 in the first-year clinical fellow group). The realism score of the simulator for endoscopic handling was 6.4±0.5 in the staff group.
This new, easy-to-manufacture endoscopic biopsy simulator is useful for biopsy training for beginner endoscopists and shows good efficacy and realism.
PMCID: PMC5003200  PMID: 27563021
Endoscopy; Training; Simulator; Biopsy; Education
16.  Helicobacter pylori Eradication Therapy Is Effective as the Initial Treatment for Patients with H. pylori-Negative and Disseminated Gastric Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma 
Gut and Liver  2016;10(5):706-713.
We investigated the effectiveness of Helicobacter pylori eradication therapy for gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma regardless of the H. pylori infection status or disease stage.
From November 1995 to September 2014, 345 subjects who were diagnosed with gastric MALT lymphoma and had received eradication therapy as their first-line treatment were eligible for inclusion in this study. A retrospective review was performed using the medical records.
Of the 345 patients, H. pylori infection was detected in 317 patients (91.9%). The complete remission (CR) rate after eradication therapy was 82.3%, which was higher in H. pylori-positive patients than in H. pylori-negative patients (84.5% vs 57.1%, p=0.001). CR rates after eradication did not present significant differences between stages, and the CR rate was 83.3% for stage IE1 and 74.4% for stage IE2 or above (p=0.167). The overall CR rate was 87.2% after additional treatment, and neither H. pylori infection status nor stage showed differences according to the treatment response.
Eradication therapy led to CR in 57.1% of H. pylori-negative patients and in 74.4% of patients with stage IE2 or above. Eradication therapy is worthwhile as an initial treatment for gastric MALT lymphoma regardless of the H. pylori infection status and stage.
PMCID: PMC5003192  PMID: 27114423
Helicobacter pylori; Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma; Remission
17.  A Case of Pulmonary Cryptococcosis in an Immunocompetent Male Patient Diagnosed by a Percutaneous Supraclavicular Lymph Node Biopsy 
Cryptococcal pneumonia usually occurs in immunocompromised patients with malignancy, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, organ transplantations, immunosuppressive chemotherapies, catheter insertion, or dialysis. It can be diagnosed by gaining tissues in lung parenchyma or detecting antigen in blood or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Here we report an immunocompetent 32-year-old male patient with diabetes mellitus diagnosed with cryptococcal pneumonia after a ultrasound-guided percutaneous supraclavicular lymph node core needle biopsy. We treated him with fluconazole at 400 mg/day for 9 months according to the guideline. This is the first case that cryptococcal pneumonia was diagnosed from a percutaneous lymph node biopsy in South Korea.
PMCID: PMC4499599  PMID: 26175785
Cryptococcosis; Pneumonia; Lymph Nodes; Biopsy, Fine-Needle
18.  Superficial Esophageal Neoplasms Overlying Leiomyomas Removed by Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection: Case Reports and Review of the Literature 
Clinical Endoscopy  2015;48(4):322-327.
The coexistence of an epithelial lesion and a subepithelial lesion is uncommon. In almost all such cases, the coexistence of these lesions appears to be incidental. It is also extremely rare to encounter a neoplasm in the surface epithelium that overlies a benign mesenchymal tumor in the esophagus. Several cases of a coexisting esophageal neoplasm overlying a leiomyoma that is treated endoscopically or surgically have been reported previously. Here, three cases of a superficial esophageal neoplasm that developed over an esophageal leiomyoma and was then successfully removed by endoscopic submucosal dissection are described.
PMCID: PMC4522425  PMID: 26240807
Esophageal neoplasms; Leiomyoma; Endoscopic submucosal dissection
19.  Clinical Significance of Early Detection of Esophageal Cancer in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer 
Gut and Liver  2014;9(2):159-166.
The efficacy of surveillance for esophageal squamous cell neoplasia (ESCN) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains controversial. Our study aimed to provide clinical data concerning the necessity of surveillance for detecting early ESCN in patients with HNSCC.
We retrospectively reviewed the data from 714 patients who were pathologically confirmed as having HNSCC (n=236 oral cavity cancers, 137 oropharyngeal cancers, 87 hypopharyngeal cancers, and 254 laryngeal cancers).
Of 714 patients, during a median follow-up of 31 months, 48 ESCNs (37 synchronous and 11 metachronous) were detected in 36 patients (5%). Fifteen synchronous lesions (40.3%) were early ESCN, whereas nine metachronous lesions (81.8%) were early ESCN. The 3-year survival rates of HNSCC only and HNSCC combined with ESCN were 71.2% and 48.2%, respectively (p<0.001). Among 36 patients with ESCN, the 3-year survival rates for early and advanced ESCN were 77.7% and 21.7%, respectively (p=0.01). In the multivariate analysis, alcohol consumption and hypopharyngeal cancer were significant factors associated with the development of ESCN.
HN-SCC patients with early ESCN were similar in prognosis with patients without ESCN, in contrast to patients with advanced ESCN. Therefore, surveillance for the early detection of ESCN in patients with HNSCC, especially in alcohol drinkers and those with hypopharyngeal cancer, is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4351021  PMID: 25167869
Esophageal neoplasms; Head and neck neoplasms; Early detection of cancer; Prognosis
20.  Blonanserin Augmentation of Atypical Antipsychotics in Patients with Schizophrenia-Who Benefits from Blonanserin Augmentation?: An Open-Label, Prospective, Multicenter Study 
Psychiatry Investigation  2016;13(4):458-467.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of atypical antipsychotics (AAPs) with augmentation by blonanserin in schizophrenic patients.
aA total of 100 patients with schizophrenia who were partially or completely unresponsive to treatment with an AAP were recruited in this 12-week, open-label, non-comparative, multicenter study. Blonanserin was added to their existing AAP regimen, which was maintained during the study period. Efficacy was primarily evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 8, and 12. Predictors for PANSS response (≥20% reduction) were investigated.
The PANSS total score was significantly decreased at 12 weeks of blonanserin augmentation (-21.0±18.1, F=105.849, p<0.001). Moreover, 51.0% of participants experienced a response at week 12. Premature discontinuation of blonanserin occurred in 17 patients (17.0%); 4 of these patients dropped out due to adverse events. The patients who benefited the most from blonanserin were those with severe symptoms despite a treatment with a higher dose of AAP.
Blonanserin augmentation could be an effective strategy for patients with schizophrenia who were partially or completely unresponsive to treatment with an AAP.
PMCID: PMC4965658  PMID: 27482249
Blonanserin; Schizophrenia; Augmentation; Treatment response; Antipsychotics
21.  Dietary Magnesium Intake and Metabolic Syndrome in the Adult Population: Dose-Response Meta-Analysis and Meta-Regression 
Nutrients  2014;6(12):6005-6019.
Increasing evidence has suggested an association between dietary magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome. However, previous research examining dietary magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome has produced mixed results. Our objective was to determine the relationship between dietary magnesium intake and metabolic syndrome in the adult population using a dose-response meta-analysis. We searched the PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library databases from August, 1965, to May, 2014. Observational studies reporting risk ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for metabolic syndrome in ≥3 categories of dietary magnesium intake levels were selected. The data extraction was performed independently by two authors, and the quality of the studies was evaluated using the Risk of Bias Assessment Tool for Nonrandomized Studies (RoBANS). Based on eight cross-sectional studies and two prospective cohort studies, the pooled relative risks of metabolic syndrome per 150 mg/day increment in magnesium intake was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.84–0.93; I2 = 36.3%). The meta-regression model showed a generally linear, inverse relationship between magnesium intake (mg/day) and metabolic syndrome. This dose-response meta-analysis indicates that dietary magnesium intake is significantly and inversely associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome. However, randomized clinical trials will be necessary to address the issue of causality and to determine whether magnesium supplementation is effective for the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
PMCID: PMC4277012  PMID: 25533010
magnesium intake; metabolic syndrome; meta-analysis; meta-regression
22.  Association of Urinary Sodium Excretion With Insulin Resistance in Korean Adolescents 
Medicine  2016;95(17):e3447.
High sodium intake is a well-known risk factor for elevated blood pressure and is responsible for a higher incidence of cardiovascular events. Reports have suggested an association of sodium intake with insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults. However, evidence on an association between sodium intake assessed on the basis of urinary sodium excretion and IR in adolescents is scarce. The present study aimed at investigating the association between urinary sodium excretion and IR among South Korean adolescents.
This population-based, cross-sectional study analyzed the data obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2009 to 2010. The data of a total of 1353 adolescents (779 boys and 574 girls) were included in the final analysis. Spot urine samples were collected, and urinary sodium excretion was estimated by using the urinary sodium concentration (U[Na+]), U[Na+] to urinary creatinine ratio (U[Na+]/Cr), and U[Na+] to specific gravity unit (SGU) ratio (U[Na+]/SGU). IR was assessed by using the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR). Hierarchical multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the risk for a high HOMA-IR according to urinary sodium excretion.
The mean levels of U[Na+], U[Na+]/Cr, and U[Na+]/SGU were significantly higher in subjects in the highest HOMA-IR quartile (Q4) than in subjects in the lowest, second, or third quartiles (Q1–3) of HOMA-IR. The mean values of HOMA-IR and several cardiometabolic parameters tended to progressively increase with the U[Na+], U[Na+]/Cr, and U[Na+]/SGU quartiles. Q3 of U[Na+] was at a significantly higher risk than Q1 of U[Na+] of an association with Q4 of HOMA-IR, after adjustment for confounding variables. Q3 and Q4 of U[Na+]/Cr and U[Na+]/SGU, respectively, had significantly higher risks, than the respective Q1s, of an association with Q4 of HOMA-IR. The risk of an association with Q4 of HOMA-IR demonstrated significantly increasing trends with increasing quartiles of U[Na+], U[Na+]/Cr, and U[Na+]/SGU irrespective of confounding factors.
Urinary sodium excretion was positively associated with IR in South Korean adolescents. The monitoring and control of urinary sodium excretion may be recommended as an important intervention for the prevention of IR and related diseases in adolescents.
PMCID: PMC4998700  PMID: 27124037
23.  Decreased Total Antioxidant Activity in Major Depressive Disorder Patients Non-Responsive to Antidepressant Treatment 
Psychiatry Investigation  2016;13(2):222-226.
This study aimed to evaluate the total antioxidant activity (TAA) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and the effect of antidepressants on TAA using a novel potentiometric method.
Twenty-eight patients with MDD and thirty-one healthy controls were enrolled in this study. The control group comprised 31 healthy individuals matched for gender, drinking and smoking status. We assessed symptoms of depression using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). We measured TAA using potentiometry. All measurements were made at baseline and four and eight weeks later.
There was a significant negative correlation between BDI scores and TAA. TAA was significantly lower in the MDD group than in controls. When the MDD group was subdivided into those who showed clinical response to antidepressant therapy (response group) and those who did not (non-response group), only the non-response group showed lower TAA, while the response group showed no significant difference to controls at baseline. After eight weeks of antidepressant treatment, TAA in both the response and non-response groups was similar, and there was no significant difference among the three groups.
These results suggest that the response to antidepressant treatment in MDD patients might be predicted by measuring TAA.
PMCID: PMC4823199  PMID: 27081384
Major depressive disorder; Total antioxidant activity; Antidepressant treatment
24.  Association of Periodontitis With Urinary Albumin Excretion in Korean Adults With Diabetes 
Medicine  2015;94(42):e1839.
Albuminuria and periodontitis are both commonly associated with systemic inflammation. However, the association between urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and periodontitis in patients with type 2 diabetes has not been fully investigated. This study aimed to investigate the association between UAE and periodontitis in Korean adults with type 2 diabetes.
This study performed a cross-sectional analysis and used hierarchical multivariable logistic regression analysis models. Data from the 2012 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed. A total of 547 patients, with type 2 diabetes without renal impairment, were included in this study. UAE was assessed using the urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (UACR). A community periodontal index greater than or equal to code 3 was used to define periodontitis.
The risk of periodontitis tended to increase as UACR increased even after adjustment for potential confounders (P for trend in the odds ratios = 0.05 in model 1; 0.02 in model 2; and 0.01 in model 3). In a subgroup analysis, the prevalence of periodontitis was significantly higher in the patients with albuminuria (UACR >30 mg/g) than in those without albuminuria among patients younger than 65 years (P = 0.03), those with newly diagnosed diabetes (P = 0.04), or those without obesity (P = .04).
UAE was positively associated with the risk of periodontitis in Korean adults with type 2 diabetes. In the patients who were younger, were newly diagnosed with diabetes, or had normal body mass index, individuals with albuminuria were more likely to have a higher prevalence of periodontitis. Early identification of periodontitis may be helpful in Korean diabetic adults with increased UAE.
PMCID: PMC4620835  PMID: 26496329
25.  Efficacy and safety of generic escitalopram (Lexacure®) in patients with major depressive disorder: a 6-week multicenter, randomized, rater-blinded, escitalopram-comparative, non-inferiority study 
The primary aim of this non-inferiority study was to investigate the clinical effectiveness and safety of generic escitalopram (Lexacure®) versus branded escitalopram (Lexapro®) for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
The present study included 158 patients, who were randomized (1:1) to receive a flexible dose of generic escitalopram (n=78) or branded escitalopram (n=80) over a 6-week single-blind treatment period. The clinical benefits in the two groups were evaluated using the Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity scale (CGI-S), and the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale (CGI-I) at baseline, week 1, week 2, week 4, and week 6. The frequency of adverse events (AEs) was also assessed to determine safety at each follow-up visit.
During the 6-week study period, 30 patients (38.5%) from the generic escitalopram group and 28 patients (30.0%) from the branded escitalopram group dropped out of the study (P=0.727). The MADRS, HDRS, CGI-S, and CGI-I scores significantly decreased in both groups, and there were no significant differences between the groups. At week 6, 28 patients (57.1%) in the generic escitalopram group and 35 patients (67.3%) in the branded escitalopram group had responded to treatment (as indicated by a ≥50% decrease from the baseline MADRS score; P=0.126), and the remission rates (MADRS score: ≤10) were 42.9% (n=21) in generic escitalopram group and 53.8% (n=28) in the branded escitalopram group (P=0.135). The most frequently reported AEs were nausea (17.9%), sleepiness/somnolence (7.7%), weight gain (3.8%), and dry mouth (2.6%) in the generic escitalopram group and nausea (20.0%), sleepiness/somnolence (3.8%), weight gain (2.5%), and dry mouth (2.5%) in the branded escitalopram group.
The present non-inferiority study demonstrated that generic escitalopram is a safe and an effective initial treatment for patients with MDD and may also be considered as an additional therapeutic option for this population.
PMCID: PMC4605251  PMID: 26504387
depression; branded escitalopram; Lexapro®; generic escitalopram; Lexacure®

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