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1.  Low Iodine Diet for Preparation for Radioactive Iodine Therapy in Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma in Korea 
Endocrinology and Metabolism  2013;28(3):157-163.
Preparation for radioactive iodine (RAI) therapy includes an increased serum thyroid stimulating hormone level and a low iodine diet (LID). Because of extremely high iodine intake, some physicians have advocated a more stringent LID for greater than 2 weeks in Korean patients with thyroid cancer prior to RAI therapy; however, it is very difficult to maintain a stringent LID for a longer period of time. According to recent reports in Korea, a nonstringent, simple LID for only 1 week might be enough prior to RAI therapy, if the patients can be educated intensively by specially trained staff. The measurement of simple urinary iodine concentration (UIC; µg/L) may underestimate daily iodine excretion in patients with a urinary volume of more than 1 L/day and can also be affected by dilution status. Simple UIC had a weaker correlation than the iodine/creatinine (I/Cr) ratio. Therefore, the urinary I/Cr ratio can replace 24-hour urine iodine excretion instead of simple UIC, although it may overestimate iodine intake in patients with malnutrition or poor muscle mass. The measurement of serum iodine level might be useful as an adjunct parameter for assessing LID preparation, but its sensitivity and specificity were relatively low compared to the urinary I/Cr ratio.
PMCID: PMC3811704  PMID: 24396673
Radioactive iodine; Iodine; Low iodine diet; Urinary iodine concentration; Urinary iodine excretion
2.  Overexpression of USF Increases TGF-β1 Protein Levels, But G1 Phase Arrest was not Induced in FRTL-5 Cells 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(5):870-876.
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is a potent inhibitor of cellular growth and proliferation by G1 phase arrest or apoptosis. We investigated the association of TGF-β1 with the anti-proliferative effect of upstream stimulatory factor (USF) in Fischer rat thyroid cell line (FRTL-5) cells. [Methyl-3H] thymidine uptake was measured after treatment of FRTL-5 cells with TGF-β1 to identify its anti-proliferative effect. USF-1 and USF-2 proteins were in vitro translated, and an electrophoretic mobility shift assay was performed to identify the interaction between USF and the TGF-β1 promoter. FRTL-5 cells were transfected with USF cDNA, and then the expression of TGF-β1 was examined with Northern and Western blotting. The cell cycle-regulating proteins associated with TGF-β1 were also measured. TGF-β1 significantly inhibited [methyl-3H] thymidine uptake in FRTL-5 cells. Two specific binding sites for USF were found in the TGF-β1 promoter: -1,846~-1,841 (CACATG) and -621~-616 (CATGTG). Overexpression of USF increased both the mRNA levels and protein levels of TGF-β1. However, the expression of cyclin D1, CDK4, cyclin E, and CDK2, and the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein remained unchanged. Overexpression of USF in FRTL-5 cells increased the expression of TGF-β10 through specific binding to TGF-β1 promoter. However, the USF-induced expression of TGF-β1 did not cause G1 arrest.
PMCID: PMC2580023  PMID: 18955796
Upstream Stimulatory Factor; Transforming Growth Factor beta1; FRTL-5 Cells
3.  A Case of Partial Congenital Pericardial Defect Presenting as Acute Coronary Syndrome 
Korean Circulation Journal  2013;43(12):845-848.
Congenital pericardial defects are rare and asymptomatic for both partial and complete defects. However, some patients can experience syncope, arrhythmia, and chest pain. When a patient experiences a symptom, it may be caused by herniation and dynamic compression or torsion of a heart structure including the coronary arteries. Diagnosis of a congenital pericardial defect may be difficult, especially in old patients with concomitant coronary artery disease. The clinical importance of congenital pericardial defect has not been stressed and congenital pericardial defects are regarded as benign, but in this case, pericardial defect was responsible for myocardial ischemia. The authors report a case of partial congenital pericardial defect causing herniation and dynamic compression of the coronary arteries, presenting as an acute coronary syndrome in an old man, with an emphasis on the unique features of the coronary angiogram that support the diagnosis of partial pericardial defects.
PMCID: PMC3875704  PMID: 24385999
Heart defects, congenital; Pericardium; Coronary artery disease
4.  Expression of Heat Shock Protein 27 in Prostate Cancer Cell Lines According to the Extent of Malignancy and Doxazosin Treatment 
The World Journal of Men's Health  2013;31(3):247-253.
Heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) is known as the material that plays a role in apoptosis control in tumor and cell protection including the immune response, drug tolerance, and so on. In this study, HSP27 expression according to the prostate cancer malignancy level was evaluated, and HSP27 expression was also analyzed after inducing apoptosis by doxazosin treatment of the prostate cancer cell lines.
Materials and Methods
Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunofluorescence staining of the HSP27 was implemented by the culture of RWPE-1, LNCaP, androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC-3), and TSU-Pr1 cell lines. Analysis was separately conducted in the control group, control vector group treated by dimethyl sulfoxide, and groups treated with 10 µM or 25 µM doxazosin. The expression of HSP27 in RT-PCR and immunofluorescence staining was observed and evaluated after conversion to numerical values.
In the RT-PCR results, depending on the cell type, LNCaP, TSU-Pr1 showed the highest HSP27 expression followed by PC-3, LNCaP and RWPE-1 in sequence. After doxazosin treatment, the expression detected by RT-PCR was stronger at a 25-µM doxazosin concentration compared to that at a 10-µM concentration, and the result was similar by immunofluorescence staining.
HSP27 expression increased depending on the prostate cancer cell line. This meant that HSP27 expression was related to the prostate cancer malignancy level. Additionally, the higher the treatment concentration in PC-3 was, the higher the HSP27 expression was. This result showed that doxazosin induced apoptosis of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3888895  PMID: 24459659
Fluorescent antibody technique; Heat-shock proteins; Polymerase chain reaction; Reverse transcription
5.  A Quality Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials about Erectile Dysfunction 
The World Journal of Men's Health  2013;31(2):157-162.
A low quality clinical trial could produce errors, and these errors could, in turn, distort the results of the clinical trial. To avoid applying distorted results of trials clinically, a quality analysis of clinical trials is needed.
Materials and Methods
We selected randomized controlled trials (RCTs) about erectile dysfunction (ED) conducted in Korea using Medline and KoreaMed. Quality assessment of selected RCTs was performed using three assessment tools (Jadad scales, van Tulder scale, Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool [CCRBT]).
The first RCT about ED conducted in Korea was published in 2002. Since 2002, a total of 20 RCTs have been published in medical journals. Among the 20 articles, only 1 article was found to have a low risk of bias according to the CCRBT. On the Jadad scale, there were 17 high quality articles, while 19 articles were assessed as high quality by the VTS. Only 2 RCTs described the randomization method adequately. Only 1 RCT presented allocation concealment.
A low quality clinical trial could produce errors, and these errors could, in turn, distort the results of the clinical trial. To avoid applying distorted results of trials clinically, a quality analysis of clinical trials is needed. The quality of RCTs was found to be high because almost all of the selected RCTs were double blinded studies. However, the quality of RCTs was inadequate with regard to the lack of randomization and absence of allocation concealment. Therefore, performing adequate randomization and adding a description of the appropriate concealment of allocation may improve the quality of RCTs.
PMCID: PMC3770851  PMID: 24044111
Randomized controlled trial; Journal article; Erectile dysfunction
6.  Assessing the Quality of Randomized Controlled Urological Trials Conducted by Korean Medical Institutions 
Korean Journal of Urology  2013;54(5):289-296.
To assess the quality of randomized controlled urological trials conducted by Korean medical institutions.
Materials and Methods
Quality assessment was conducted by using the Jadad scale; in addition, the van Tulder scale and the Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool were used as individual indices. All assessments were performed by two reviewers. If the outcomes differed, the two reviewers and a third reviewer adjusted the discrepancy in the results through discussion. Starting from 1986, a quality analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted in 1-year and 5-year units. The quality assessment was conducted by subject, type of intervention, presence of double blinding, presence of funding, and review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Whereas the number of RCTs published has gradually increased, there was no significant difference in the quality of the RCTs according to publication year. Drug studies, double-blind studies, studies with funding, and studies reviewed by IRBs had higher quality scores and a higher percentage of high-quality RCTs than did other studies. Thirty-six RCTs were published in journals included in the Science Citation Index and 20 RCTs were published in journals included in the Science Citation Index Expanded. The largest number of RCTs (32.32%) were published by the Korean Journal of Urology.
A quantitative increase was observed in RCTs over time, but no qualitative improvement in the RCTs was observed. It seems necessary to put effort into the quality improvement of RCTs at the design stage.
PMCID: PMC3659221  PMID: 23700493
Journal article; Randomized controlled trial
7.  Right Coronary Artery to Left Ventricular Fistula Associated with Infective Endocarditis of the Mitral Valve 
Korean Circulation Journal  2013;43(4):281-283.
A 27-year-old man with bacterial endocarditis of the mitral valve and embolic episodes was bound to have a large right coronary artery fistula communicating with the left ventricle, immediately inferior to the posterior mitral annulus. The perforation of the posterior leaflet and coronary arteriovenous fistula was identified using two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography. The diagnosis was confirmed by coronary angiography, and the patient underwent a successful operation.
PMCID: PMC3654119  PMID: 23682291
Endocarditis, bacterial; Fistula; Coronary vessel anomalies
8.  Brain and Skin Metastasis From Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder 
Korean Journal of Urology  2013;54(1):66-68.
Brain and skin metastasis from urothelial carcinoma of the bladder is rare. There have been few case reports of the clinical course of patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma of the brain and skin. In the present case, a 60-year-old man had undergone radical cystectomy with an ileal conduit owing to urothelial carcinoma (T1N0M0). The patient developed dizziness 9 years later and a solitary brain tumor was discovered in his left cerebellar hemisphere. The tumor was totally resected and the mass was verified to be metastatic urothelial carcinoma. One year after the metastasectomy of the brain lesion, multiple erythematous nodular lesions developed on his abdominal skin. The skin lesions were excised and verified to be metastatic urothelial carcinoma. This report describes this case of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder that metastasized to the brain and abdominal skin.
PMCID: PMC3556557  PMID: 23362451
Neoplasm metastasis; Skin; Urinary bladder neoplasms
9.  Autophagy induction by tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1323-1334.
Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) deficiency is a genetic disorder associated with a variety of metabolic syndromes such as phenylketonuria (PKU). In this article, the signaling pathway by which BH4 deficiency inactivates mTORC1 leading to the activation of the autophagic pathway was studied utilizing BH4-deficient Spr-/- mice generated by the knockout of the gene encoding sepiapterin reductase (SR) catalyzing BH4 synthesis. We found that mTORC1 signaling was inactivated and autophagic pathway was activated in tissues from Spr-/- mice. This study demonstrates that tyrosine deficiency causes mTORC1 inactivation and subsequent activation of autophagic pathway in Spr-/- mice. Therapeutic tyrosine diet completely rescued dwarfism and mTORC1 inhibition but inactivated autophagic pathway in Spr-/- mice. Tyrosine-dependent inactivation of mTORC1 was further supported by mTORC1 inactivation in Pahenu2 mouse model lacking phenylalanine hydroxylase (Pah). NIH3T3 cells grown under the condition of tyrosine restriction exhibited autophagy induction. However, mTORC1 activation by RhebQ64L, a positive regulator of mTORC1, inactivated autophagic pathway in NIH3T3 cells under tyrosine-deficient conditions. In addition, this study first documents mTORC1 inactivation and autophagy induction in PKU patients with BH4 deficiency.
PMCID: PMC3242797  PMID: 21795851
tetrahydrobiopterin; autophagy; mTORC1; tyrosine; phenylalanine; phenylketonuria; Akt; AMPK
10.  A Case of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Mimicking Cushing's Syndrome 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(11):1439-1443.
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is characterized by decreased adrenal hormone production due to enzymatic defects and subsequent rise of adrenocorticotrophic hormone that stimulates the adrenal cortex to become hyperplastic, and sometimes tumorous. As the pathophysiology is basically a defect in the biosynthesis of cortisol, one may not consider CAH in patients with hypercortisolism. We report a case of a 41-yr-old man with a 4 cm-sized left adrenal tumorous lesion mimicking Cushing's syndrome who was diagnosed with CAH. He had central obesity and acanthosis nigricans involving the axillae together with elevated 24-hr urine cortisol level, supporting the diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. However, the 24-hr urine cortisol was suppressed by 95% with the low dose dexamethasone suppression test. CAH was suspected based on the history of precocious puberty, short stature and a profound suppression of cortisol production by dexamethasone. CAH was confirmed by a remarkably increased level of serum 17-hydroxyprogesterone level. Gene mutation analysis revealed a compound heterozygote mutation of CYP21A2 (I173N and R357W).
PMCID: PMC3492685  PMID: 23166432
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia; 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency; Hypercortisolism
11.  RhoB deficiency in thymic medullary epithelium leads to early thymic atrophy 
International Immunology  2011;23(10):593-600.
RhoB, a member of the Rho subfamily of small GTPases, mediates diverse cellular functions, including cytoskeletal organization, cell transformation and vesicle trafficking. The thymus undergoes progressive decline in its structure and function after puberty. We found that RhoB was expressed in thymic medullary epithelium. To investigate a role of RhoB in the regulation of thymic epithelial organization or thymocyte development, we analyzed the thymi of RhoB-deficient mice. RhoB-deficient mice were found to display earlier thymic atrophy. RhoB deficiency showed significant reductions in thymus weight and cellularity, beginning as early as 5 weeks of age. The enhanced expression of TGF-β receptor type II (TGFβRII) in thymic medullary epithelium was observed in RhoB-null mice. In addition, the expression of fibronectin, which is shown to be regulated by TGF-β signaling, was accordingly increased in the mutant thymic medulla. Since there is no age-related change of RhoB expression in the thymus, it is unlikely that RhoB in thymic epithelium directly contributes to age-related thymic involution. Nevertheless, our findings strongly support a physiological role of RhoB in regulation of thymus development and maintenance through the inhibition of TGF-β signaling in thymic medullary epithelium.
PMCID: PMC3182298  PMID: 21865151
atrophy; RhoB; thymus; TGF-β
12.  Assessing the Quality of Randomized Controlled Trials Published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science from 1986 to 2011 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(9):973-980.
Low quality clinical trials have a possibility to have errors in the process of deriving the results and therefore distort the study. Quality assessment of clinical trial is necessary in order to prevent any clinical application erroneous results is important. Randomized controlled trial (RCT) is a design for evaluate the effectiveness of medical procedure. This study was conducted by extracting the RCTs from the original articles published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science (JKMS) from 1986 to 2011 and conducting a qualitative analysis using three types of analysis tools: Jadad scale, van Tulder scale and Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias Tool. To compare the quality of articles of JKMS, quality analysis of the RCTs published in Yonsei Medical Journal (YMJ) and Korean Journal of Internal Medicine was also conducted. In the JKMS, YMJ and Korean Journal of Internal Medicine, the quantitative increase of RCT presented over time was observed but no qualitative improvement of RCT was observed over time. From the results of this study, it is required for the researchers to plan for and perform higher quality studies.
PMCID: PMC3429837  PMID: 22969240
Randomized Controlled Trial; Journal Article
13.  Abnormalities in Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Early Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
Brain Connectivity  2011;1(3):207-217.
Limited information is available concerning changes that occur in the brain early in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This investigation evaluated resting-state functional connectivity, which is based on correlations of spontaneous blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) oscillations between brain regions, in 15 subjects within the first year of HIV infection and in 15 age-matched controls. Resting-state fMRI data for each session were concatenated in time across subjects to create a single 4D dataset and decomposed into 36 independent component analysis (ICA) using Multivariate Exploratory Linear Optimized Decomposition into Independent Components. ICA components were back-reconstructed for each subject's 4D data to estimate subject-specific spatial maps using the dual-regression technique. Comparison of spatial maps between HIV and controls revealed significant differences in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) network. Reduced coactivation in left inferior parietal cortex within the LOC network was identified in the HIV subjects. Connectivity strength within this region correlated with performance on tasks involving visual-motor coordination (Grooved Pegboard and Rey Figure Copy) in the HIV group. The findings indicate prominent changes in resting-state functional connectivity of visual networks early in HIV infection. This network may sustain injury in association with the intense viremia and brain viral invasion before immune defenses can contain viral replication. Resting-state functional connectivity may have utility as a noninvasive neuroimaging biomarker for central nervous system impairment in early HIV infection.
PMCID: PMC3621309  PMID: 22433049
early HIV infection; lateral occipital cortex network; resting-state functional connectivity
14.  Parathyroid Carcinoma Presenting as a Hyperparathyroid Crisis 
PMCID: PMC3372810  PMID: 22707898
Parathyroid neoplasms; Parathyroid cancer, adult; Hypercalcemia
15.  Identification of a Rare 3 bp BRAF Gene Deletion in a Thyroid Nodule by Mutant Enrichment with 3'-Modified Oligonucleotides Polymerase Chain Reaction 
Annals of Laboratory Medicine  2012;32(3):238-241.
Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common malignant thyroid tumor, and 36-69% of PTC cases are caused by mutations in the BRAF gene. The substitution of a valine for a glutamic acid (V600E) comprises up to 95-100% of BRAF mutations; therefore, most diagnostic methods, including allele-specific PCR and real-time PCR, are designed to detect this mutation. Nevertheless, other mutations can also comprise the genetic background of PTC. Recently, a novel and sensitive technique called mutant enrichment with 3'-modified oligonucleotides (MEMO) PCR has been introduced. When we applied allelespecific PCR and MEMO-PCR for the detection of the BRAF V600E mutation, we found an unusual 3' bp deletion mutation (c.1799_1801delTGA) only when using MEMO-PCR. This deletion results in the introduction of a glutamic acid into the B-Raf activation segment (p.V600_K601delinsE), leading to an elevated basal kinase activity of BRAF. This is the first report of a rare 3 bp BRAF deletion in a PTC patient that could not be detected by allele-specific PCR.
PMCID: PMC3339308  PMID: 22563563
Papillary thyroid carcinoma; BRAF; Deletion; Mutation; Mutant enrichment with 3'-modified oligonucleotides (MEMO) PCR; Korean
16.  Fate of Abstracts Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Korean Urological Association 
Korean Journal of Urology  2012;53(4):280-284.
The acceptance rate for journal publication of the abstracts presented at the annual Korean Urological Association (KUA) meeting, the time to publication, and the effect of abstract characteristics on the publication pattern were analyzed and compared with data for abstracts from other major urological meetings.
Materials and Methods
A total of 1,005 abstracts listed in the abstract books of the 2006 (58th) and 2007 (59th) annual KUA meetings were analyzed, and their subsequent publication as listed in PubMed or KoreaMed between August 2006 and August 2011 was evaluated.
A total of 41.59% of abstracts were published as full-length reports. Abstracts on sexual dysfunction, neurourology, prostate cancer, basic research, and benign prostatic hyperplasia showed the highest publication rates (54%, 52.27%, 48%, 47.56%, and 45%, respectively). It took 19.01±12.83 months on average for abstracts to be published in a journal, whereas it took 25.24±14.64 months and 17.51±11.89 months for publication in foreign and Korean journals, respectively (p<0.001).
Approximately 40% of studies presented as abstracts at the KUA meeting are subsequently published as full-length articles. The KJU is the most targeted journal. The mean time to publication is 1.5 years, and publication seems to be influenced by the study subject.
PMCID: PMC3332141  PMID: 22536473
Abstracts; Journal article; Peer review, research
17.  Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery for Benign Urologic Disease with a Homemade Single Port Device: Design and Tips for Beginners 
Korean Journal of Urology  2012;53(3):165-170.
A single surgeon skilled in conventional laparoscopic surgery used laparoendoscopic single-site surgery (LESS) to treat benign urological diseases. This study reports our surgical results and introduces a simple technique with tips based on our experience.
Materials and Methods
LESS surgery was performed on 116 patients by use of a homemade single-port device composed of an Alexis wound retractor and a powder-free surgical glove. Cases were 44 varicocelectomies (including 8 bilateral cases), 38 renal cyst marsupializations (including 3 bilateral cases), 26 ureterolithotomies (with 1 concomitant ureterolithotomy and contralateral renal cyst marsupialization), 4 prostatic enucleations, and 4 bladder rupture repairs. The mean patient age was 44.43±16.46 years (range, 11 to 76 years), and the male-to-female ratio was 87:29.
In one ureterolithotomy case, LESS was converted to conventional laparoscopic surgery. The mean operative time was 87.03±45.03 minutes, the estimated blood loss was 61.90 ml (range, 0 to 2,000 ml), and the mean hospital stay was 3.03±2.12 days. Two patients underwent single-port transvesical enucleation of the prostate (STEP) requiring patient-controlled anesthesia. No patients developed major complications, and all patients were satisfied, with 75.86% expressing a high degree of satisfaction.
We report successful treatment outcomes for LESS in 116 cases of benign urological disease. Our findings suggest that LESS can replace conventional laparoscopy.
PMCID: PMC3312064  PMID: 22468211
Laparoscopy; Surgical procedures, minimally invasive; Urology
18.  The Ability of β-Cells to Compensate for Insulin Resistance is Restored with a Reduction in Excess Growth Hormone in Korean Acromegalic Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(2):177-183.
The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of diabetes and to study the effects of excess growth hormone (GH) on insulin sensitivity and β-cell function in Korean acromegalic patients. One hundred and eighty-four acromegalic patients were analyzed to assess the prevalence of diabetes, and 52 naïve acromegalic patients were enrolled in order to analyze insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion. Patients underwent a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test with measurements of GH, glucose, insulin, and C-peptide levels. The insulin sensitivity index and β-cell function index were calculated and compared according to glucose status. Changes in the insulin sensitivity index and β-cell function index were evaluated one to two months after surgery. Of the 184 patients, 17.4% were in the normal glucose tolerance (NGT) group, 45.1% were in the pre-diabetic group and 37.5% were in the diabetic group. The insulin sensitivity index (ISI0,120) was significantly higher and the HOMA-IR was lower in the NGT compared to the diabetic group (P = 0.001 and P = 0.037, respectively). The ISI0,120 and disposition index were significantly improved after tumor resection. Our findings suggest that both insulin sensitivity and β-cell function are improved by tumor resection in acromegalic patients.
PMCID: PMC3271291  PMID: 22323865
Insulin Resistance; Acromegaly
19.  Analysis of Prescriptions of Alpha-Blockers and Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors from the Urology Department and Other Departments 
We analyzed the prescriptions of alpha-blockers and phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5Is) in the urology department as well as in other departments of the general hospital.
We investigated the frequency of prescription of alpha-blockers and PDE5Is from 3 general hospitals from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009. For alpha-blockers, data were collected from patients to whom alpha-blockers were prescribed from among patients recorded as having benign prostatic hyperplasia according to the 5th Korean Standard Classification of Diseases. For PDE5Is, data were collected from patients to whom PDE5Is were prescribed by the urology department and by other departments. Alpha-blockers were classified into tamsulosin, alfuzosin, doxazosin, and terazosin, whereas PDE5Is were classified into sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, udenafil, and mirodenafil.
Alpha-blockers were prescribed to 11,436 patients in total over 3 years, and the total frequency of prescriptions was 68,565. Among other departments, the nephrology department had the highest frequency of prescription of 3,225 (4.7%), followed by the cardiology (3,101, 4.5%), neurology (2,576, 3.8%), endocrinology (2,400, 3.5%), pulmonology (1,102, 1.6%), and family medicine (915, 1.3%) departments in order. PDE5Is were prescribed to 2,854 patients in total over 3 years, and the total frequency of prescriptions was 10,558. The prescription frequency from the urology department was 4,900 (46.4%). Among other departments, the endocrinology department showed the highest prescription frequency of 3,488 (33.0%), followed by the neurology (542, 5.1%), cardiology (467, 4.4%), and family medicine (407, 3.9%) departments in order.
A high percentage of prescriptions of alpha-blockers and PDE5Is were from other departments. For more specialized medical care by urologists is required in the treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms and erectile dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC3256307  PMID: 22259736
Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists; Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors; Prescriptions
20.  Concomitant Laparoendoscopic Single-Site Surgery for Vesicolithotomy and Finger-Assisted Single-Port Transvesical Enucleation of the Prostate 
Transurethral resection of the prostate is the most common surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, it doesn't work best for men with very large prostate and bladder stones. Herein we report our initial experience with concomitant laparoendoscopic single-site surgery and finger-assisted single-port transvesical enucleation of the prostate for the treatment of the condition.
PMCID: PMC3256309  PMID: 22259738
Urinary bladder calculi; Prostatic hyperplasia; Laparoscopy; Minimally invasive surgical procedures
21.  Quality Assessment of Randomized Controlled Trials Published in the Korean Journal of Urology Over the Past 20 Years 
Korean Journal of Urology  2011;52(9):642-646.
Because low-quality trials may lead to erroneous conclusions, quality assessments are necessary. Thus, in this study, we scrutinized randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published in the Korean Journal of Urology (KJU) to assess their quantity and quality.
Materials and Methods
Upon extracting RCTs from all articles published in the KJU from 1991 to 2010, assessments were made on the basis of the Jadad scale and the adequacy of allocation concealment. The selections and assessments were performed independently by two researchers, and adjustment of the differences was done by a third-party researcher. In addition, the factors that may affect quality were analyzed.
A total of 3,516 original articles were searched and 28 RCTs were extracted. In the 1990s, RCTs constituted only 0.27% of the total original articles, but in the 2000s, RCTs constituted 1.34%. The mean total Jadad score increased from 1.6 points in the 1990s to 1.65 points in the 2000s. However, the percentage of "good quality" trials also increased from 20% to 30.43%. As for adequate allocation concealment, one study was observed in the 2000s. The aspect most lacking was appropriate dropout and double-blinding. Studies with medical interventions or funded or examined by institutional review boards tended to receive higher quality assessments.
Although RCTs consistently increased in both quantity and quality, in future studies, researchers should continue to strive toward achieving adequate allocation concealment and appropriate double-blinding. In addition, researchers must become more interested in receiving external funding and undergoing examination by institutional review boards.
PMCID: PMC3198240  PMID: 22025962
Korea; Prospective studies; Random allocation; Urology
22.  Decoding the genome with an integrative analysis tool: Combinatorial CRM Decoder 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(17):e116.
The identification of genome-wide cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) and characterization of their associated epigenetic features are fundamental steps toward the understanding of gene regulatory networks. Although integrative analysis of available genome-wide information can provide new biological insights, the lack of novel methodologies has become a major bottleneck. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis tool called combinatorial CRM decoder (CCD), which utilizes the publicly available information to identify and characterize genome-wide CRMs in a species of interest. CCD first defines a set of the epigenetic features which is significantly associated with a set of known CRMs as a code called ‘trace code’, and subsequently uses the trace code to pinpoint putative CRMs throughout the genome. Using 61 genome-wide data sets obtained from 17 independent mouse studies, CCD successfully catalogued ∼12 600 CRMs (five distinct classes) including polycomb repressive complex 2 target sites as well as imprinting control regions. Interestingly, we discovered that ∼4% of the identified CRMs belong to at least two different classes named ‘multi-functional CRM’, suggesting their functional importance for regulating spatiotemporal gene expression. From these examples, we show that CCD can be applied to any potential genome-wide datasets and therefore will shed light on unveiling genome-wide CRMs in various species.
PMCID: PMC3177223  PMID: 21724599
23.  Diagnostic Value of a Chimeric TSH Receptor (Mc4)-Based Bioassay for Graves' Disease 
Graves' disease (GD) is caused by thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) and thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI). We used a recently introduced, technically enhanced TSI bioassay to assess its diagnostic value and determine the cut-off in patients in high iodine intake area.
In a cross-sectional setting, we collected serum from 67 patients with untreated GD, 130 with GD under treatment, 22 with GD in remission, 42 with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, 12 with subacute thyroiditis, 20 with postpartum thyroiditis, and 93 euthyroid controls. TSI was measured using the Thyretain™ bioassay, which is based on Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with chimeric TSHR (Mc4). TSI levels are reported as a specimen-to-reference ratio percentage (SRR%).
The TSI levels in patients with GD (either treated or not) were significantly higher than those of the remaining patients (p < 0.05). The new bioassay showed a sensitivity of 97.0% and a specificity of 95.9% with a cut-off value of 123.0 SRR% for GD. A weak correlation was found between TSI and thyrotropin-binding inhibiting immunoglobulin (TBII) (rs = 0.259, p = 0.03), but no correlation was found between TSI and tri-iodothyronine or free thyroxine.
The Mc4-CHO bioassay showed comparable diagnostic value for GD with the conventional TBII assay. We propose a cut-off of 123.0 SRR% in areas where iodine intake is high.
PMCID: PMC3110850  PMID: 21716594
Graves disease; Immunoglobulins, thyroid-stimulating; Biological assay; Receptors, thyrotropin; Thyrotropin-binding inhibitory immunoglobulin
24.  The metabolic syndrome and body composition in childhood cancer survivors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(6):253-259.
Long-term survivors of childhood cancer appear to have an increased risk for the metabolic syndrome, subsequent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adulthood compared to healthy children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency of the metabolic syndrome and associated factors in childhood cancer survivors at a single center in Korea.
We performed a retrospective review of medical records of 98 childhood cancer survivors who were diagnosed and completed anticancer treatment at Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea between Jan. 1996 and Dec. 2007. Parameters of metabolic syndrome were evaluated between Jan. 2008 and Dec. 2009. Clinical and biochemical findings including body fat percentage were analyzed.
A total of 19 (19.4%) patients had the metabolic syndrome. The median body fat percentage was 31.5%. The body mass index and waist circumference were positively correlated with the cranial irradiation dose (r=0.38, P<0.001 and r=0.44, P<0.00, respectively). Sixty-one (62.2%) patients had at least one abnormal lipid value. The triglyceride showed significant positive correlation with the body fat percentage (r=0.26, P=0.03). The high density lipoprotein cholesterol showed significant negative correlation with the percent body fat (r=-0.26, P=0.03).
Childhood cancer survivors should have thorough metabolic evaluation including measurement of body fat percentage even if they are not obese. A better understanding of the determinants of the metabolic syndrome during adolescence might provide preventive interventions for improving health outcomes in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3174361  PMID: 21949520
Cancer survivor; Metabolic syndrome; Body composition; Fat percentage
25.  Bladder Reconstruction Using Bovine Pericardium in a Case of Enterovesical Fistula 
Korean Journal of Urology  2011;52(2):150-153.
The use of graft materials in bladder mucosa has been examined in animal models, but debate exists over which materials are effective. Intestine has been used as a substitute in augmentation cystoplasty for patients with neuropathic bladder, but serious adverse effects of the operation have occurred in some instances. We report a case of a successful repair of an enterovesical fistula by use of bovine pericardium. The patient has remained well for 2.5 years. We suggest that bovine pericardium may be a suitable option as a bladder substitute.
PMCID: PMC3045723  PMID: 21379435
Pericardium; Radiation injuries; Urinary bladder fistula

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