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1.  The why and wherefore of hepatic encephalopathy 
Hepatic encephalopathy is a common neuropsychiatric abnormality, which complicates the course of patients with liver disease. It was probably first described by Hippocrates over 2000 years ago, who said that “those whose madness arises from phlegm are quiet and neither shout nor make a disturbance, while those whose madness arises from bile shout, play tricks and will not keep still, but are always up to some mischief ”. He was presumably describing the differences between patients with pneumonia and acute liver failure. Despite the fact that the syndrome was probably first recognized thousands of years ago, the exact pathogenesis still remains unclear. Furthermore, a precise definition of the syndrome is lacking, as are definitive methods of diagnosing this condition. It is important as both patients with cirrhosis and the general population with whom they interact may be affected as a consequence. At a minimum, the individual may be affected by impaired quality of life, impaired ability to work, and slowed reaction times, which are relevant to the population at large if affected individuals operate heavy machinery or drive a car. Pathogenic mechanisms, diagnostic tools, and treatment options are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4687726  PMID: 26719720
hepatic encephalopathy; cirrhosis; ammonia; pathology; treatment; rifaximin; lactulose
2.  Assessment of preclinical students’ academic motivation before and after a three-day academic affair program 
Medical students’ motivation is an important driving factor for academic performance, and therefore medical teachers and educators are often highly interested in this topic. This study evaluated the impact of an academic affair program upon preclinical year medical students’ motivation to study.
Design and methods
An intervention study was conducted using a pretest-posttest study design. A total of 296 preclinical year medical students who had just passed their first year and were about to attend their second year at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, participated in the study. The intervention comprised of dialogues for personality development, pictorial expression in groups, as well as small group lectures delivered by senior students giving information on how to prepare for the forthcoming classes. Students’ academic motivation was measured before and after the intervention program, applying the transculturally translated Academic Motivation Scale (AMS). Cronbach’s alpha of Thai version AMS was 0.8992. The average scores in seven scales of AMS were compared between the pre- and posttest results, using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The differences were confirmed by using the multivariate analysis of variance.
Students’ academic motivation increased after participation in the three-day academic program. There was also a significant increase in introjected extrinsic motivation, which can enhance the students’ self-esteem and feeling of self-worth (P<0.001). Moreover, intrinsic motivation toward accomplishment increased significantly (P<0.001). This is related to the enjoyment of passing academic milestones, and a step ahead of autonomous motivation. Amotivation level declined significantly (P<0.001). The change of academic motivational constructs before and after the intervention was altogether significant (P=0.036, multivariate analysis of variance).
After experiencing a three-day intervention, the new students’ motivation advanced along the continuum of self-determination toward autonomous motivation. Therefore, it is considered to be worthwhile conducting an academic intervention to catalyze the evolution of preclinical year medical students’ academic motivation. Moreover, educators and faculties should evaluate the impact of interventions in evidence-based approaches to secure both controlled and autonomous types of motivation.
Video abstract
PMCID: PMC4687725  PMID: 26719719
medical education; motivation; Academic Motivation Scale; intervention; AMS; medical students
3.  Impact of inpatient caseload, emergency department duties, and online learning resource on General Medicine In-Training Examination scores in Japan 
Both clinical workload and access to learning resource are important components of educational environment and may have effects on clinical knowledge of residents.
We conducted a survey with a clinical knowledge evaluation involving postgraduate year (PGY)-1 and -2 resident physicians at teaching hospitals offering 2-year postgraduate training programs required for residents in Japan, using the General Medicine In-Training Examination (GM-ITE). An individual-level analysis was conducted to examine the impact of the number of assigned patients and emergency department (ED) duty on the residents’ GM-ITE scores by fitting a multivariable generalized estimating equations. In hospital-level analysis, we evaluated the relationship between for the number of UpToDate reviews for each hospital and for the hospitals’ mean GM-ITE score.
A total of 431 PGY-1 and 618 PGY-2 residents participated. Residents with four or five times per month of the ED duties exhibited the highest mean scores compared to those with greater or fewer ED duties. Those with largest number of inpatients in charge exhibited the highest mean scores compared to the residents with fewer inpatients in charge. Hospitals with the greater UpToDate topic viewing showed significantly greater mean score.
Appropriate ED workload and inpatient caseload, as well as use of evidence-based electronic resources, were associated with greater clinical knowledge of residents.
PMCID: PMC4634823  PMID: 26586961
workload; online resource; knowledge; resident; postgraduate; Japan
4.  Validation of Siriraj Stroke Score in southeast Nigeria 
The aim of the study is to validate the use of Siriraj Stroke Score (SSS) in the diagnosis of acute hemorrhagic and acute ischemic stroke in southeast Nigeria. This was a prospective study on validity of SSS in the diagnosis of stroke types in southeast Nigeria. Subjects diagnosed with stroke for whom brain computerized tomography (CT) scan was performed on admission were recruited during the study period. SSS was calculated for each subject, and the SSS diagnosis was compared with brain CT scan-based diagnosis. A total of 2,307 patients were admitted in the hospital medical wards during the study period, of whom 360 (15.6%) were stroke patients and of these, 113 (31.4%) adult subjects met the inclusion criteria. The mean age of the subjects was 66.5±2.6 years. The mean interval between ictus and presentation was 2.5±0.4 days. Ischemic stroke was confirmed by CT in 74 subjects; however, SSS predicted 60 (81.1%) of these subjects correctly (P<0.05). Hemorrhagic stroke was confirmed by CT in 39 subjects, and SSS predicted 36 (92.3%) of them correctly (P<0.05). In acute ischemic stroke, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of SSS were 92%, 94%, 97%, 86%, and 93%, respectively, while in patients with hemorrhagic stroke, the corresponding percentages were 94%, 92%, 86%, 97%, and 93%, respectively. SSS is not reliable enough to clinically differentiate stroke types in southeast Nigeria to warrant interventions like thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke.
PMCID: PMC4629972  PMID: 26604813
stroke; Siriraj Stroke Score (SSS); hemorrhagic stroke; acute ischemic stroke; CT scan
5.  A case of polymyalgia rheumatica following influenza B infection 
Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is relatively common among the elderly, and is characterized by multiple body aches with an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Even though the etiology of PMR remains unknown, a number of infectious agents have been suggested to cause PMR. Also, there are reports of PMR after influenza vaccination. The exact role of influenza vaccination on the development of PMR remains unknown, but may be associated with specific human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), such as HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQB1. Whether postvaccination PMR is caused by influenza virus antigen or adjuvants in the vaccine is another unanswered question. We herein report a case of an 85-year-old woman who developed PMR shortly after contracting influenza virus B. Even though infections are hypothesized to be one of the causes of PMR, this is the first-ever case of PMR following influenza virus infection. Further studies may elucidate the exact role of influenza virus infection on the etiology and pathogenesis of PMR.
PMCID: PMC4621214  PMID: 26527896
polymyalgia rheumatica; influenza; etiology
6.  Managing neurocysticercosis: challenges and solutions 
Taenia solium neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a major cause of neurological morbidity in the world. Variability in the neuropathology and clinical presentation of NCC often make it difficult to diagnose and manage. Diagnosis of NCC can be challenging especially in endemic and resource-limited countries where laboratory and imaging techniques are often lacking. NCC management can also be challenging as current treatment options are limited and involve symptomatic agents, antiparasitic agents, or surgery. Although antiparasitic treatment probably reduces the number of active lesions and long-term seizure frequency, its efficacy is limited and strategies to improve treatment regimens are warranted. Treatment decisions should be individualized in relation to the type of NCC. Initial measures should focus on symptomatic management, with antiparasitic therapy only to be considered later on, when appropriate. Symptomatic treatment remains the cornerstone in NCC management which should not only focuses on epilepsy, but also on other manifestations that cause considerable burden (recurrent headaches, cognitive decline). Accurate patients’ categorization, better antiparasitic regimens, and definition of new clinical outcomes for trials on NCC could improve management quality and prognosis of NCC. Prevention strategies targeting tapeworm carriers and infected pigs are yielding good results in local models. If local elimination of transmission is confirmed and replicated, this will open the door to cysticercosis eradication efforts worldwide.
Video abstract
PMCID: PMC4621219  PMID: 26527895
neurocysticercosis; Taenia solium; epilepsy; headache; albendazole; praziquantel
7.  Feet swelling in a multistage ultraendurance triathlete: a case study 
Recent studies investigating ultraendurance athletes showed an association between excessive fluid intake and swelling of the lower limbs such as the feet. To date, this association has been investigated in single-stage ultraendurance races, but not in multistage ultraendurance races. In this case study, we investigated a potential association between fluid intake and feet swelling in a multistage ultraendurance race such as a Deca Iron ultratriathlon with ten Ironman triathlons within 10 consecutive days. A 49-year-old well-experienced ultratriathlete competed in autumn 2013 in the Deca Iron ultratriathlon held in Lonata del Garda, Italy, and finished the race as winner within 129:33 hours:minutes. Changes in body mass (including body fat and lean body mass), foot volume, total body water, and laboratory measurements were assessed. Food and fluid intake during rest and competing were recorded, and energy and fluid turnovers were estimated. During the ten stages, the volume of the feet increased, percentage body fat decreased, creatinine and urea levels increased, hematocrit and hemoglobin values decreased, and plasma [Na+] remained unchanged. The increase in foot volume was significantly and positively related to fluid intake during the stages. The poststage volume of the foot was related to poststage total body water, poststage creatinine, and poststage urea. This case report shows that the volume of the foot increased during the ten stages, and the increase in volume was significantly and positively related to fluid intake during the stages. Furthermore, the poststage volume of the foot was related to poststage total body water, poststage creatinine, and poststage urea. The continuous feet swelling during the race was most probably due to a combination of a high fluid intake and a progressive decline in renal function (ie, continuous increase in creatinine and urea), leading to body fluid retention (ie, increase in total body water).
PMCID: PMC4610799  PMID: 26508884
swimming; cycling; running; fluid
8.  Effect of fluid loading with normal saline and 6% hydroxyethyl starch on stroke volume variability and left ventricular volume 
The aim of this clinical trial was to investigate changes in stroke volume variability (SVV) and left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) after a fluid bolus of crystalloid or colloid using real-time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3D-TEE) and the Vigileo-FloTrac™ system.
Materials and methods
After obtaining Institutional Review Board approval, and informed consent from the research participants, 22 patients undergoing scheduled peripheral vascular bypass surgery were enrolled in the study. The patients were randomly assigned to receive 500 mL of hydroxyethyl starch (HES; HES group, n=11) or normal saline (Saline group, n=11) for fluid replacement therapy. SVV was measured using the Vigileo-FloTrac system. LVEDV, stroke volume, and cardiac output were measured by 3D-TEE. The measurements were performed over 30 minutes before and after the fluid bolus in both groups.
SVV significantly decreased after fluid bolus in both groups (HES group, 14.7%±2.6% to 6.9%±2.7%, P<0.001; Saline group, 14.3%±3.9% to 8.8%±3.1%, P<0.001). LVEDV significantly increased after fluid loading in the HES group (87.1±24.0 mL to 99.9±27.2 mL, P<0.001), whereas no significant change was detected in the Saline group (88.8±17.3 mL to 91.4±17.6 mL, P>0.05). Stroke volume significantly increased after infusion in the HES group (50.6±12.5 mL to 61.6±19.1 mL, P<0.01) but not in the Saline group (51.6±13.4 mL to 54.1±12.8 mL, P>0.05). Cardiac output measured by 3D-TEE significantly increased in the HES group (3.5±1.1 L/min to 3.9±1.3 L/min, P<0.05), whereas no significant change was seen in the Saline group (3.4±1.1 L/min to 3.3±1.0 L/min, P>0.05).
Administration of colloid and crystalloid induced similar responses in SVV. A higher plasma-expanding effect of HES compared to normal saline was demonstrated by the significant increase in LVEDV.
PMCID: PMC4598218  PMID: 26491368
colloid–crystalloid controversy; fluid responsiveness; three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3D-TEE)
9.  Managing comorbidities in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Major risk factors for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) include older age and a history of smoking, which predispose to several pulmonary and extra-pulmonary diseases. IPF can be associated with additional comorbidities through other mechanisms as either a cause or a consequence of these diseases. We review the literature regarding the management of common pulmonary and extra-pulmonary comorbidities, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, venous thromboembolism, sleep-disordered breathing, gastroesophageal reflux disease, coronary artery disease, depression and anxiety, and deconditioning. Recent studies have provided some guidance on the management of these diseases in IPF; however, most treatment recommendations are extrapolated from studies of non-IPF patients. Additional studies are required to more accurately determine the clinical features of these comorbidities in patients with IPF and to evaluate conventional treatments and management strategies that are beneficial in non-IPF populations.
PMCID: PMC4590408  PMID: 26451121
interstitial lung disease; management; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; comorbidities
10.  Presumed paradoxical embolus in a patient with diabetic ketoacidosis 
Thrombotic complications figure among the most frequent causes of mortality in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hyperosmolar state. We report the case of a 55-year-old woman presenting with DKA whereby a newly discovered patent foramen ovale was found due in part to the observation of bilateral deep vein thrombosis in legs, bilateral multiple pulmonary embolisms, and left subclavian acute artery thrombosis. Diabetes is known as a hypercoagulability state, and DKA is rising as a risk factor for vascular events. The importance of prophylactic anticoagulation should be emphasized in this setting.
PMCID: PMC4590547  PMID: 26445558
thrombosis; hypercoagulability; prophylactic anticoagulation; pulmonary embolism
11.  Oral use of Streptococcus salivarius K12 in children with secretory otitis media: preliminary results of a pilot, uncontrolled study 
Secretory otitis media (SOM) remains a common disease among children. Although its cause is not yet perfectly established, the pathology, often a sequel of acute otitis media (AOM), is mainly characterized by persistent fluid in the middle ear cavity. Twenty-two children with a diagnosis of SOM were treated daily for 90 days with an oral formulation containing the oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®). After treatment, the children were evaluated for AOM episodes and subjected to tone audiometry, tympanometry, endonasal endoscopy, otoscopy, and tonsillar examination. Subject compliance and probiotic tolerability and side effects have also been evaluated. Our results indicate a good safety profile, a substantial reduction of AOM episodes, and a positive outcome from the treatment for all of the clinical outcomes tested. We conclude that strain K12 may have a role in reducing the occurrence and/or severity of SOM in children. From our perspective, this study constitutes a starting point toward the organization of a more extensive placebo-controlled study aimed at critically appraising our preliminary observations.
PMCID: PMC4576902  PMID: 26396541
BLIS K12; Bactoblis®; acute otitis media; exudative otitis media
12.  Urinary tract infection caused by Chromobacterium violaceum 
Chromobacterium violaceum, a proteobacterium, is a facultative anaerobe, which is generally present as the normal flora of water and soil in tropical and subtropical regions. The infection due to Chromobacterium violaceum is rare but mostly fatal. It is responsible for causing fatal cases of septicemia, visceral abscesses, skin and soft tissue infections, meningitis, diarrhea, and rarely urinary tract infection. The bacteria has high propensity to spread causing sepsis. Delayed proper treatment due to limited awareness related to the C. violaceum infection is responsible for the high mortality rate. Here, we describe a rare case of urinary tract infection by C. violaceum in a chronic kidney disease patient, which was managed with timely proper antimicrobial therapy as per the culture sensitivity report.
PMCID: PMC4573204  PMID: 26392784
Chromobacterium violaceum; proteobacterium; septicemia; visceral abscesses; nephrectomy
13.  Practical and clinical considerations in assessing patients with atrial fibrillation for switching to non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in primary care 
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an important risk factor for thromboembolic events, and anticoagulation therapy can reduce this risk. Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), such as warfarin, have been used for decades in patients with AF for stroke prevention. Currently, non-VKA oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are approved and available for non-valvular AF patients who are at increased risk of stroke. These agents are safe and effective and have important advantages over VKAs, such as significant reduction in intracranial hemorrhage and no need for routine laboratory monitoring. Thus, should all VKA-treated patients be switched to a NOAC? The aims of this article are: 1) to review the advantages of NOACs over VKAs; 2) to identify the group of patients who most benefit from receiving a NOAC and, therefore, are higher priority to be switched from VKAs; and 3) to provide clinical and practical guidance on how to switch patients safely from VKAs to NOACs.
PMCID: PMC4567236  PMID: 26379443
anticoagulation; atrial fibrillation; clinical practice; stroke prevention
14.  Changes in retinal microvascular diameter in patients with diabetes 
Background and objectives
Diabetic retinopathy is the main microvascular complication in diabetes mellitus and needs to be diagnosed early to prevent severe sight-threatening retinopathy. The purpose of this study was to quantify the retinal microvasculature pattern and analyze the influence of blood glucose level and the duration of diabetes mellitus on the retinal microvasculature.
Two groups were analyzed: patients with diabetes (N=26) and patients without diabetes, ie, controls (N=26). A quantitative semiautomated method analyzed retinal microvasculature. The diameters of arterioles and venules were measured. The total numbers of arterioles and venules were counted. The ratio of arteriole diameter to venule diameter was calculated. The retinal microvasculature pattern was related to clinical and biochemical parameters.
Patients with diabetes exhibited larger venule diameters in the upper temporal quadrant of the retina compared to the lower temporal quadrant (124.85±38.03 µm vs 102.92±15.69 µm; P<0.01). Patients with diabetes for 5 or more years had larger venule diameters in the upper temporal quadrant than patients without diabetes (141.62±44.44 vs 112.58±32.11 µm; P<0.05). The degree of venodilation in the upper temporal quadrant was positively correlated with blood glucose level and the estimated duration of diabetes mellitus.
Interpretation and conclusion
The employed quantitative method demonstrated that patients with diabetes exhibited venule dilation in the upper temporal quadrant, and the duration of diabetes mellitus was positively correlated with blood glucose level. Therefore, the early assessment of retinal microvascular changes is possible prior to the onset of diabetic retinopathy.
PMCID: PMC4554448  PMID: 26345217
diabetic retinopathy; diabetes mellitus; diabetic microangiopathy
15.  Sleep Apnea Clinical Score, Berlin Questionnaire, or Epworth Sleepiness Scale: which is the best obstructive sleep apnea predictor in patients with COPD? 
The Sleep Apnea Clinical Score (SACS) and the Berlin Questionnaire (BQ) are used to predict the likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) is used to assess daytime sleepiness, a common OSA symptom. These clinical tools help prioritize individuals with the most severe illness regarding on whom polysomnography (PSG) should be performed. It is necessary to check the applicability of these tools in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study is to compare SACS, BQ, and ESS performance in patients with COPD.
The SACS, BQ, and ESS were applied to 91 patients with COPD. From this group, 24 underwent PSG. In this transversal study, these three tests were compared regarding their likelihood to predict OSA in patients with COPD using receiver-operating characteristic curve statistics.
In this sample, 58 (63.7%) patients were men, and their mean age was 69.4±9.6 years. Fourteen patients (15.4%) had a high probability of OSA by SACS, 32 (32.5%) had a high probability by BQ, and 37 (40.7%) had excessive diurnal somnolence according to the ESS. From the 24 patients who underwent PSG, OSA diagnosis was confirmed in five (20.8%), according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria. BQ and ESS did not accurately predict OSA in this group of patients with COPD, with a receiver-operating characteristic curve area under the curves of 0.54 (95% CI: 0.329–0.745, P=0.75) and 0.69 (95% CI: 0.47–0.860, P=0.10), respectively. SACS performance was significantly better, with an area under the curve of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.606–0.943, P=0.02).
SACS was better than BQ and ESS in predicting OSA in this group of patients with COPD.
PMCID: PMC4554480  PMID: 26345497
overlap syndrome; COPD; emphysema; questionnaire; polysomnography; diagnosis
16.  Is stoma care effective in terms of morbidity in complicated ileostomies? 
Performing transient or permanent ileostomy is one of the common procedures involved in colorectal surgery. Complication rates up to 40% have been reported in ileostomies. In this report, the effect of specific stoma care unit on ileostomy and its complications were investigated.
A total of 141 patients, who were operated and underwent ileostomy, due to different causes, at Department of General Surgery, Uludağ University, Bursa, Turkey, between 2003 and 2006, were examined, retrospectively. Patient records were examined in terms of age, sex, surgery indications, urgent/elective state, benign/malign origin, ileostomy type, complications and stoma care, and education. χ2 test was used to compare the categorical data.
Among the patients, 95 (67%) were male and 46 (33%) were female. The mean age was 47 years (17–67). Some of the subjects (49%) were operated urgently and some (51%) were under elective conditions. The ileostomy types used included the following: end ileostomy (43%), loop ileostomy (46%), and double-barrel ileostomy (11%). Permanent ileostomy was performed in 23 patients and transient ileostomy was performed in 118 patients. The patients were operated because of either benign (48%) or malign (52%) causes. Complications developed in 37 (26%) patients. The rate of development of complication was markedly higher in ileostomies performed under urgent conditions (61% vs 39%) (P<0.001). The complications included mucocutaneous separation (12 patients), maceration in the peristomal skin (ten patients), retraction (five patients), necrosis (three patients), prolapsus (three patients), and other metabolic complications (four patients). The complications were treated with care (68%) and surgical revision (32%).
The rate of ileostomy was found to be higher in the male patients compared to female patients. The risk of development of complications was found to be higher in ileostomies performed under urgent conditions. The most common complication observed was mucocutaneous separation. Ileostomy complications can be treated conservatively with professional care and education.
PMCID: PMC4547692  PMID: 26316798
ileostomy; stoma care; complications
17.  Acute metabolic response to fasted and postprandial exercise 
The aim of this study was to analyze the acute metabolic response to exercise in fasting and postprandial. For this, ten individuals were submitted to an incremental treadmill test, with an initial speed of 5 and 1 km/h increments every minute, with no inclination, and a body composition assessment. After this 1st day, all volunteers were submitted to two experimental procedures (fasting and postprandial), with an aerobic exercise performed for 36 minutes at 65% of maximal oxygen consumption. At postprandial procedure, all subjects ingested a breakfast containing 59.3 g of carbohydrate (76.73%), 9.97 g of protein (12.90%), 8.01 g of lipids (10.37%), with a total energy intake of 349.17 kcal. An analysis of plasma concentration of triglycerides, lactate, and glucose was performed in two stages: before and after exercise. The Shapiro–Wilk test was used to verify the normality of the data. For analysis of glucose concentration, plasma lactate, and triglycerides, we used a repeated measures analysis of variance factorial 2×2, with Bonferroni multiple comparison test. The significance level of P<0.05 was adopted. The results indicated a maintenance level of glucose at fasting and a decrease in glucose concentration at postprandial exercise. Both conditions increase plasma lactate. Triglycerides also increased in the two experimental conditions; however, after exercise fasting, the increase was significantly higher than in the postprandial exercise. These data suggest that both exercises could increase plasma lactate and triglycerides. However, exercise performed in fasting condition decreases glucose concentration and increases triglycerides, even more than postprandial exercise.
PMCID: PMC4540134  PMID: 26316800
aerobic exercise; energy metabolism; blood glucose; lactic acid; triglycerides
18.  Physical symptoms in outpatients with psychiatric disorders consulting the general internal medicine division at a Japanese university hospital 
General practitioners have an important role in diagnosing a variety of patients, including psychiatric patients with complicated symptoms. We evaluated the relationship between physical symptoms and psychiatric disorders in general internal medicine (GIM) outpatients in a Japanese university hospital.
Materials and methods
We coded the symptoms and diagnoses of outpatients from medical documents using the International Classification of Primary Care, second edition (ICPC-2). The participants were new outpatients who consulted the GIM outpatient division at Jichi Medical University Hospital in Tochigi, Japan from January–June, 2012. We reviewed all medical documents and noted symptoms and diagnoses. These were coded using ICPC-2.
A total of 1,194 participants were evaluated, 148 (12.4%) of whom were diagnosed as having psychiatric disorders. The prevalence of depression, anxiety disorder, and somatization was 19.6% (number [n] =29), 14.9% (n=22), and 14.2% (n=21), respectively, among the participants with psychiatric disorders. The presence of several particular symptoms was associated with having a psychiatric disorder as compared with the absence of these symptoms after adjusting for sex, age, and the presence of multiple symptoms (odds ratio [OR] =4.98 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.66–14.89] for palpitation; OR =4.36 [95% CI: 2.05–9.39] for dyspnea; OR =3.46 [95% CI: 1.43–8.36] for tiredness; and OR =2.99 [95% CI: 1.75–5.13] for headache).
Not only the psychiatric symptoms, but also some physical symptoms, were associated with psychiatric disorders in GIM outpatients at our university hospital. These results may be of help to general practitioners in appropriately approaching and managing patients with psychiatric disorders.
PMCID: PMC4540169  PMID: 26316801
physical symptoms; psychiatric disorders; university hospital; International Classification of Primary Care 2nd edition
19.  Health behaviors and quality of life predictors for risk of hospitalization in an electronic health record-linked biobank 
Hospital risk stratification models using electronic health records (EHRs) often use age and comorbid health burden. Our primary aim was to determine if quality of life or health behaviors captured in an EHR-linked biobank can predict future risk of hospitalization.
Participants in the Mayo Clinic Biobank completed self-administered questionnaires at enrollment that included quality of life and health behaviors. Participants enrolled as of December 31, 2010 were followed for one year to ascertain hospitalization. Data on comorbidities and hospitalization were derived from the Mayo Clinic EHR. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used, adjusted for age and sex. We used gradient boosting machines models to integrate multiple factors. Different models were compared using C-statistic.
Of the 8,927 eligible Mayo Clinic Biobank participants, 834 (9.3%) were hospitalized. Self-perceived health status and alcohol use had the strongest associations with risk of hospitalization. Compared to participants with excellent self-perceived health, those reporting poor/fair health had higher risk of hospitalization (HR =3.66, 95% CI 2.74–4.88). Alcohol use was inversely associated with hospitalization (HR =0.57 95% CI 0.45–0.72). The gradient boosting machines model estimated self-perceived health as the most influential factor (relative influence =16%). The predictive ability of the model based on comorbidities was slightly higher than the one based on the self-perceived health (C-statistic =0.67 vs 0.65).
This study demonstrates that self-perceived health may be an important piece of information to add to the EHR. It may be another method to determine hospitalization risk.
PMCID: PMC4540136  PMID: 26316799
alcohol; aging; multiple chronic conditions; EHR; health behavior; hospitalization; quality of life
20.  Atrial fibrillation in Sub-Saharan Africa: epidemiology, unmet needs, and treatment options 
Health care in Sub-Saharan Africa is being challenged by a double burden of disease as lifestyle diseases common in the developed world, such as stroke and atrial fibrillation (AF), increase, while, simultaneously, health issues of the developing world in terms of communicable disease persist. The prevalence of AF is lower in Africa than in the developed world but is expected to increase significantly over the next few decades. Patients with AF in Africa tend to be younger and have a higher prevalence of rheumatic valvular heart disease than patients with AF in other regions. Permanent AF is the most prevalent type of AF in Africa, possibly due to the lower use of rhythm control strategies than in the developed world. Mortality rates of patients with AF in Africa are high, due largely to poor health care access and suboptimal therapy. The risk of stroke in AF, which is moderate to high in Africans as in the developed world, contributes to the high mortality rate. Patients with AF in Africa are often undertreated with antithrombotics, as cost and access to monitoring are major barriers. Vitamin K antagonists, including warfarin, are the most commonly available oral anticoagulants, but regular monitoring can be challenging, especially for patients in remote areas. Several non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs) have been approved for use in countries across Sub-Saharan Africa and have the potential to reduce stroke burden. The higher cost of newer agents may be offset by the reduced need for regular monitoring, fixed dosing, and lower risk of intracranial bleeding; NOACs could provide a treatment option for patients in remote areas with limited access to regular monitoring. However, NOACs are not indicated in valvular AF. More work is needed to increase understanding of the epidemiology of AF and stroke, as well as to improve management strategies to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease predicted for Africa.
PMCID: PMC4527570  PMID: 26261423
stroke; real-world treatment; treatment guidelines; barriers to care; non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants
22.  Case report and literature review of popliteal artery entrapment syndrome 
Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES) is an uncommon condition resulting from an abnormal anatomic relationship between the popliteal artery and the surrounding musculature. The compression created by this variance in anatomy can lead to ischemia and vascular claudication. The diagnosis of PAES requires a thorough patient history and physical exam, a high index of suspicion, and dedicated imaging techniques. Several treatment options are available, including surgical intervention, thrombolysis, or a combination of these depending on the clinical indication. We present a case of PAES in a 34-year-old man who presented with typical symptoms illustrative of the complicated decision making related to this disorder.
PMCID: PMC4501224  PMID: 26185463
popliteal artery thrombosis; limb ischemia; revascularization
23.  A survey of French general practitioners on the epidemiology of wounds in family practice 
To measure the frequency and nature of wounds in patients treated in general practice and to describe the patients’ tetanus vaccination status and the sources providing information about this status.
A descriptive, prospective, week-long, national electronic survey was conducted among general practitioners within the Sentinelles network.
The participation rate was 12.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 10.6%–14.6%; 130 general practitioners): 197 patients with wounds were reported, and 175 of them were described. Wound frequency was 1.4 (95% CI, 1.2–1.6) per 100 consultations. These wounds had an acute character in 76 (95% CI, 69.7–82.3) of cases, were mostly of traumatic origin (54.8% of cases; 95% CI, 47.5%–62.1%), were more than 24 hours old (67.1%; 95% CI, 59.1%–75.1%), and were clean, without bone and/or muscle decay (94%; 95% CI, 90.5%–97.5%). Vaccination status was known for 71 (95% CI, 64–78) patients. According to the 2013 immunization schedule, 21% (95% CI, 13.9%–28.1%) of the patients had not updated their vaccinations, mostly among the patients older than 75 years.
This survey describes in detail the wounds treated in general practice in France and the associated patients’ immunization status. It also shows how difficult it is for general practitioners to assess the risk of contracting tetanus and the disease’s development. It highlights as well the fact that the ideal solution to assess tetanus risk is an up-to-date immunization schedule.
PMCID: PMC4476466  PMID: 26124675
general practice; tetanus; wound; incidence
24.  Treatment of refractory/relapsed adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia with bortezomib-based chemotherapy 
Nine pretreated patients aged >19 years with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were treated with a combination of bortezomib plus chemotherapy before allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Eight (88.9%) patients, including two Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL patients, achieved a complete remission. Furthermore, the evaluable patients have benefited from allo-HSCT after response to this reinduction treatment. We conclude that bortezomib-based chemotherapy was highly effective for adults with refractory/relapsed ALL before allo-HSCT. Therefore, this regimen deserves a larger series within prospective trials to confirm these results.
PMCID: PMC4472074  PMID: 26109875
acute lymphoblastic leukemia; refractory; relapsed; bortezomib
25.  A combined continuous and interval aerobic training improves metabolic syndrome risk factors in men 
Individuals with metabolic syndrome have significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes leading to premature death mortality. Metabolic syndrome has a complex etiology; thus, it may require a combined and multi-targeted aerobic exercise regimen to improve risk factors associated with it. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of combined continuous and interval aerobic training on patients with metabolic syndrome. Thirty adult male with metabolic syndrome (54±8 years) were randomly divided into two groups: test training group (TTG; n=15) and control group (CG; n=15). Subjects in TTG performed combined continuous and interval aerobic training using a motorized treadmill three times per week for 16 weeks. Subjects in CG were advised to continue with their normal activities of life. Twenty-two men completed the study (eleven men in each group). At the end of the study, in TTG, there were significant (for all, P<0.05) reductions in total body weight (−3.2%), waist circumference (−3.43 cm), blood pressure (up to −12.7 mmHg), and plasma insulin, glucose, and triacylglyceride levels. Moreover, there were significant (for all, P<0.05) increases VO2max (−15.3%) and isometric strength of thigh muscle (28.1%) and high-density lipoprotein in TTG. None of the above indices were changed in CG at the end of 16-week study period. Our study suggests that adoption of a 16-week combined continuous and interval aerobic training regimen in men with metabolic syndrome could significantly reduce cardiovascular risk factors in these patients.
PMCID: PMC4445945  PMID: 26056487
metabolic syndrome; combined continuous and interval training; blood pressure; insulin sensitivity

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