Spasticity after stroke has been internationally recognized as an important health problem causing impairment of mobility, deformity, and pain. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of first-ever and recurrent stroke and of subsequent spastic and flaccid paresis. Factors influencing the development of spasticity were analyzed. A further major aim was to provide a “real-life” assessment of the treatment of spasticity in Germany and to discuss this in view of the treatment recommended by German and international clinical guidelines.
The database used in this study comprised a cohort of 242,090 insurants from a large statutory health insurance fund in the federal state of Hesse, Germany. A first hospital discharge diagnosis in 2009 with any of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes I60–I64 was used to identify patients with acute stroke (hemorrhage and ischemic). These patients were followed up six months after stroke to monitor whether they developed spastic or flaccid paresis (hospital or ambulatory care diagnoses ICD-10 code G81–G83 [excluding G82.6/G83.4/G83.8]). For patients with spastic paresis after stroke the spasticity treatment was analyzed for a six-month period (physiotherapy, oral muscle relaxants, intrathecal baclofen, and botulinum toxin).
Standardized to the population of Germany, 3.7 per 1000 persons suffered a stroke in 2009 (raw 5.2/1000). Of all surviving patients, 10.2% developed spasticity within 6 months. Cox regression revealed no significant influence of patient age, gender, morbidity (diabetes, hypertensive diseases, ischemic heart diseases) or type of stroke on development of spasticity. 97% of surviving patients with spasticity received physiotherapy (inpatient care 89%, ambulatory care 48%). Oral muscle relaxants were prescribed to 13% of the patients. No patient received intrathecal baclofen or botulinum toxin.
Claims data enabled analysis of the occurrence of stroke and post-stroke spasticity. These data provide insight into real-life treatment for spasticity in Germany. The proportion of patients who receive physiotherapy, which is the international guideline-recommended basic therapy after transition into ambulatory care, can be improved on. Botulinum toxin as an international guideline-based treatment option for focal spasticity has not been implemented in practice in Germany as yet.
health care utilization; physiotherapy; drug therapy; claims data
Neurilemomas are benign usually encapsulated nerve sheath tumors derived from the Schwann cells. These tumors commonly arise from the cranial nerves as acoustic neurinomas but they are extremely rare in the pelvis and the retroperitoneal area (less than 0.5% of reported cases), unless they are combined with von Recklinghausen disease (type 1 neurofibromatosis). We report the case of a 58-year-old female with pelvic schwannoma, 6.5 × 5.5 cm in size, in the right parametrium. This is the first case reported in the literature. Based on the rarity of this tumor and in order to ensure optimum treatment and survival for our patient, we performed laparotomy with total abdominal hysterectomy and en-block tumor excision. A frozen section was taken during the surgery before complete resection of the mass, which was ambiguous. Because of the possibility of malignancy, complete excision of the mass was performed, with pelvic blunt dissection. Histological examination showed a benign neoplasm, originating from the cells of peripheral nerve sheaths; diagnosis was a schwannoma. There were degenerative areas, including cystic degeneration, hemorrhagic infiltrations, ischemic foci with pycnotic cells, and collagen replacement. Pelvic schwannomas are rare neoplasms that can be misdiagnosed. Laparoscopy is a safe and efficient option for approaching benign pelvic tumors and might offer the advantage of better visualization of structures due to the magnification in laparoscopic view, especially in narrow anatomic spaces.
pelvis; schwannoma; laparoscopy; neoplasm
Asthma continues to be a global health problem and currently available treatments such as corticosteroids can cause unwanted side effects. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are recommended as first-line therapy for reducing airway inflammation and have a distinct advantage over oral preparations as they provide a direct route of delivery to the lungs. However, local deposition of ICS in the oropharynx can lead to oral candidiasis, dysphonia, and pharyngitis. The pharmaceutical quality is a primary concern of any ICS asthma treatment, with a higher quality product resulting in improved efficacy and safety profiles. The particle size distribution and the spray force velocity of an ICS may directly influence lung deposition, and the spray duration of a device is another important factor when coordinating inhalation. Recent advances in ICS device and formulation technology have resulted in significant improvements in the efficacy of available asthma treatments. In particular, hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) solution technology and the development of smaller particle sizes have resulted in the production of new ICS formulations that have the ability to directly target drug delivery to the site of airway inflammation. Both the ICS formulation and the pressurized metered-dose inhaler device used to administer ciclesonide (CIC) HFA have been developed to treat the underlying chronic inflammation associated with asthma. CIC is administered as a prodrug which is activated in the lungs, leading to minimal oropharyngeal deposition. The small particle size of CIC results in the delivery of a high fraction of respirable particles to the small airways of the lungs, resulting in high lung deposition and continual dose consistency. This review summarizes how CIC administered as an HFA formulation is an effective treatment for asthma.
ciclesonide; asthma; small airways; lung deposition
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks 18th on the 2007 Forbes list of fattest countries with 68.3% of its citizens with an unhealthy weight and it is well known that weight gain and obesity are important determinants in the progression of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of symptoms and risk of OSAS in the primary health care setting in Dubai, and the relationship between obesity and sleep apnea.
In this prospective survey, a trained medical nurse administered the Berlin Questionnaire to a consecutive random sample of patients in the age group older than 14 years, who attended the primary health care center in Dubai Health Authority, Dubai, UAE, from September 2011 to March 2012. Based on the questionnaire answers, individuals were classified into high risk and low risk groups for OSAS.
Based on the responses and measurement of the Berlin Questionnaire of 1214 subjects studied, 58% (n = 704) of the respondents were female, while 42% (n = 510) were male. Two-hundred-fifty-four respondents met the criteria for the high risk scoring. This gives a prevalence rate of 20.9% (out of which 22.9% of the male respondents were high risk for OSAS, while 19.5% of the females were high risk for OSAS), while the remainder of the participants were classified as low risk. The overall mean age of the high risk for OSAS female respondents was 39.95 years (standard deviation [SD] 11.73 years) and was 41.18 years (SD 14.95 years) for male respondents The highest prevalence was observed between age 51 to 60 in both genders. Seventy percent of the high risk group had a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg/m2 and nearly 75% of the low risk group had a BMI < 30 kg/m2, and the mean BMI was 32.06 kg/m2 (SD 5.67 kg/m2) for males and 33.59 kg/m2 (SD 6.44 kg/m2) for females.
In the primary health care setting, the prevalence of symptoms of OSAS among adult UAE citizens is very high, and UAE patients are at risk for OSAS and may benefit from proper evaluation for OSAS.
obstructive sleep apnea; snoring; daytime sleepiness; prevalence primary care; Berlin Questionnaire; Dubai
To correlate cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., hypertension, obesity, hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, sedentariness) in childhood and adolescence with the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.
A systematic review of books and selected articles from PubMed, SciELO and Cochrane from 1992 to 2012.
Summary of findings
Risk factors for atherosclerosis are present in childhood, although cardiovascular disease arises during adulthood. This article presents the main studies that describe the importance of investigating the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases in childhood and their associations. Significant rates of hypertension, obesity, dyslipidemia, and sedentariness occur in children and adolescents. Blood pressure needs to be measured in childhood. An increase in arterial blood pressure in young people predicts hypertension in adulthood. The death rate from cardiovascular disease is lowest in children with lower cholesterol levels and in individuals who exercise regularly. In addition, there is a high prevalence of sedentariness in children and adolescents.
Studies involving the analysis of cardiovascular risk factors should always report the prevalence of these factors and their correlations during childhood because these factors are indispensable for identifying an at-risk population. The identification of risk factors in asymptomatic children could contribute to a decrease in cardiovascular disease, preventing such diseases as hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia from becoming the epidemics of this century.
Cardiovascular risk; Children; Hypertension; Obesity; Dyslipidemia; Sedentariness; Metabolic syndrome
Engaged employees are an asset to any organization. They are instrumental in ensuring good commercial outcomes through continuous innovation and incremental improvement. A health care facility is similar to a regular work setting in many ways. A health care provider and a patient have roles akin to a team leader and a team member/stakeholder, respectively. Hence it can be argued that the concept of employee engagement can be applied to patients in health care settings in order to improve health outcomes.
Patient engagement data were collected using a survey instrument from a primary care clinic in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Canonical correlation equations were formulated to identify combinations which were strongly related to each other. In addition, the cause-effect relationship between patient engagement and patient-perceived health outcomes was described using structural equation modeling.
Canonical correlation analysis showed that the first set of canonical variables had a fairly strong relationship, ie, a magnitude > 0.80 at the 95% confidence interval, for five dimensions of patient engagement. Structural equation modeling analysis yielded a β ≥ 0.10 and a Student’s t statistic ≥ 2.96 for these five dimensions. The threshold Student’s t statistic was 1.99. Hence it was found the β values were significant at the 95% confidence interval for all census regions.
A scaled reliable survey instrument was developed to measured patient engagement. Better patient engagement is associated with better patient-perceived health outcomes. This study provides preliminary evidence that patient engagement has a causal relationship with patient-perceived health outcomes.
patient engagement; health outcomes; communication; provider effectiveness; patient incentive
Histoplasmosis is a common endemic mycosis. The majority of infections involving this dimorphic fungus are asymptomatic. Manifestations in symptomatic patients are diverse, ranging from flu-like illness to a more serious disseminated disease. We present here a case of chronic disseminated histoplasmosis mimicking a metastatic cancer. We reviewed the literature for cases of disseminated histoplasmosis presenting with hypercalcemia, focusing particularly on clinical presentation, risk factors predisposing for fungal infection, and outcome. We report a case of a 65-year-old diabetic male who presented with unexplained weight loss and hypercalcemia. Multiple brain space-occupying lesions and bilateral adrenal enlargement were evident on imaging studies. Biopsies showed caseating granulomas with budding yeast, consistent with histoplasmosis. The patient’s symptoms resolved after liposomal amphotericin B and itraconazole therapy. Granulomatous diseases, including fungal infections, should be considered alongside malignancies, in patients with similar presentation.
disseminated histoplasmosis; hypercalcemia
Athletes intending to compete in Ironman Hawaii need to qualify in an age-group based qualification system. We compared participation and top ten performances of athletes in various age groups between Ironman Hawaii and its qualifier races.
Finishes in Ironman Hawaii and in its qualifier races in 2010 were analyzed in terms of performance, age, and sex. Athletes were categorized into age groups from 18–24 to 75–79 years and split and race times were determined for the top ten athletes in each age group.
A higher proportion of athletes aged 25–49 years finished in the qualifier races than in Ironman Hawaii. In athletes aged 18–24 and 50–79 years, the percentage of finishes was higher in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races. For women, the fastest race times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for those aged 18–24 (P<0.001), 25–29 (P<0.05), and 60–64 (P<0.05) years. Swim split times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for all age groups (P<0.05). Cycling times were slower in Ironman Hawaii for 18–24, 25–29, 40–44, 50–54, and 60–64 years (P<0.05) in age groups. For men, finishers aged 18–24 (P<0.001), 40–44 (P<0.001), 50–54 (P<0.01), 55–59 (P<0.001), 60–64 (P<0.01), and 65–69 (P<0.001) years were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races. Swim split times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for all age groups (P<0.05). Cycling times were slower in Ironman Hawaii for those aged 18–24 and those aged 40 years and older (P<0.05).
There are differences in terms of participation and performance for athletes in different age groups between Ironman Hawaii and its qualifier races. Triathletes aged 25–49 years and men generally were underrepresented in Ironman Hawaii compared with in its Ironman qualifier races. These athletes may have had less chance to qualify for Ironman Hawaii than female athletes or younger (<25 years) and older (>50 years) athletes.
triathlon; ultra-endurance; swimming; cycling; running
Not all medical injuries are the result of negligence. In fact, most medical injuries are the result either of the inherent risk in the practice of medicine, or due to system errors, which cannot be prevented simply through fear of disciplinary action. This paper will discuss the differences between adverse events, negligence, and system errors; the current medical malpractice tort system in the United States; and review current and future solutions, including medical malpractice reform, alternative dispute resolution, health courts, and no-fault compensation systems. The current political environment favors investigation of non-cap tort reform remedies; investment into more rational oversight systems, such as health courts or no-fault systems may reap both quantitative and qualitative benefits for a less costly and safer health system.
medical malpractice; tort reform; no fault compensation; alternative dispute resolution; system errors
Childhood obesity due to the consumption of excess calories is a severe problem in developed countries. In a previous investigation on toddlers, hospital laboratory measurements showed an association of food-demand behavior with constant lower blood glucose before meals than for scheduled meals. We hypothesize that maternal scheduling of meals for toddlers results in excess energy intake compared to feeding only on demand (previously “on request”).
We tested the cross-sectional null hypothesis of no difference in energy intake between scheduled (automatic) and demanded meals (administered after evaluation) in 24 mother–toddler (21 months old at entry) pairs with chronic, nonspecific diarrhea presenting at a clinic. We tested the same hypothesis in a subset of 14 toddlers by measuring the resting (sleeping) metabolic rate 4 hours after lunch, as well as the total daily energy expenditure (TEE) in 10 toddlers.
We trained mothers to recognize meal demands (as in the previous investigation) and to provide food in response, but required no blood glucose measurements before meals. Energy intake was assessed by a 10-day food diary, resting metabolic rate (RMR) by respiratory analyses (indirect calorimetry) in 14 toddlers, and TEE by doubly labeled water in 10 toddlers. Their blood parameters, anthropometry, and number of days with diarrhea were assessed before training and 50 days after training.
RMR decreased from 58.6 ± 7.8 to 49.0 ± 9.1 kcal/kg/d (P < 0.001) and TEE decreased from 80.1 ± 6.9 to 67.8 ± 10.0 kcal/kg/d (P < 0.001). Energy intake decreased from 85.7 ± 15.3 to 70.3 ± 15.8 kcal/kg/d (P < 0.001). The height Z-score increased significantly, while weight growth was normal. Toddlers entering the study over the median RMR decreased their RMR significantly more than those below the median RMR (P < 0.01).
Scheduled meal suspension induces meal demand frequency to increase. Demanded meals are associated with significantly lower energy intake, RMR, and TEE than scheduled meals. Feeding on demand may be an effective skill in a strategy for reducing excess energy intake in the long term and in regulating body weight in toddlers and children.
hunger; intake; meals; energy; homeostasis; blood glucose; meal pattern; intake habit; overweight; balance; chronic diarrhea
Acromegaly is a rare disease most often caused by the prolonged secretion of excess growth hormone from a pituitary adenoma. The disease is associated with multiple significant comorbidities and increased mortality. The delay to diagnosis is often long. This may be because of low disease awareness among health care professionals, the insidious onset of differentiating features, and because patients are likely to present with complaints typical of other conditions more frequently seen in primary care. Early identification of acromegaly facilitates prompt treatment initiation and may minimize the permanent effects of excess growth hormone. The primary treatment for many patients will be pituitary surgery, although not all patients will be eligible for surgery or achieve a surgical cure. If biochemical control is not achieved following surgery, other treatment options include medical therapy and radiation therapy. Improved biochemical control may only alleviate rather than reverse the associated comorbidities. Thus, lifelong monitoring of patient health is needed, with particular attention to the management of cardiovascular risk factors. It is additionally important to consider the impact of both disease and treatment on patients’ quality of life and minimize that impact where possible, but particularly for chronic therapies. For the majority of patients, chronic therapy is likely to include somatostatin analog injections. In some circumstances, it may be possible to extend the dosing interval of the analog once good biochemical control is achieved. Additional convenience may be gained from the possibility of self-/partner administration of treatment or administration of treatment by a health care professional at home. Overall, it is clear that the care of patients with acromegaly requires a highly coordinated approach involving numerous specialties (eg, endocrinology, surgery, cardiology). Further, patients’ needs must be at the core of management and every effort must be made to improve health care experiences and minimize treatment burdens.
acromegaly; diagnosis; treatment; quality of life; convenience
The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of sarcopenic obesity and its association with obesity and sarcopenia in elderly Brazilian women. Two hundred and seventy-two sedentary women with a mean age of 66.75 ± 5.38 years were recruited for participation in this study. Obesity was determined by both body mass index and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) evaluations. Sarcopenic obesity diagnosis was established from the ratio between fat-free mass and body surface area as obtained by DXA. There was no association of obesity with sarcopenic obesity (P = 0.424). In contrast, sarcopenia was significantly related to sarcopenic obesity (P < 0.001), although most of the elderly women with sarcopenia (n = 171) did not exhibit sarcopenic obesity. These results highlight the importance of diagnosing sarcopenic obesity as elderly women exhibiting sarcopenia could be either eutrophic or obese.
sarcopenic obesity; aging; obesity; sarcopenia; health
To determine whether low dose aspirin has any deleterious effects on renal function in elderly patients.
We conducted a prospective pilot study of 30 Nigerians older than 60 years with various chronic ailments necessitating the use of low dose aspirin. Patients gave their consent, and institutional ethical clearance was obtained. Each patient’s baseline samples at enrolment (before commencing aspirin use) served as a control, and subsequent weekly samples were compared. The weekly mean of each parameter was calculated, and the differences of means from baseline were determined, and values were compared for statistical differences with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 16.
We found that a majority of patients (86.67%) had basal renal functions at chronic kidney disease stages 1 and 2. When compared with the corresponding baseline parameters, the mean weekly serum and urinary electrolytes, urea, creatinine, and uric acid parameters did not change, and the P-value did not show any statistical significance. However, there was positive statistical significance for the creatinine clearance (P = 0.025). Also, unlike in previous studies, anemia and hypoalbuminemia did not affect the renal function parameters.
This study did not show any deleterious effects with short-term, low dose (75 mg daily) aspirin use on kidney functions in elderly patients. However, caution should be exercised when dealing with patients in renal stages 3–5 and the very elderly, aged ≥ 80 years.
elderly; low dose aspirin; renal functions
To investigate the diagnostic utility of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and adenosine deaminase (ADA) in tuberculous pleural effusions by determining the best cutoff levels of these two markers for pleural tuberculosis, in the context of the local epidemiological settings in Qatar.
We prospectively studied IFN-γ and ADA levels in the pleural fluid of patients presenting to Hamad General Hospital between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010.
We studied 103 patients with pleural effusions, 72 (69.9%) with pleural tuberculosis, and 31 (30.1%) with nontuberculous etiologies. The mean IFN-γ concentration for the group with tuberculous effusions was significantly higher than that in the group with nontuberculous effusions (1.98 ± 81 vs 0.26 ± 10 pg/mL [P < 0.0001]). The mean ADA activity for the tuberculous effusions group was significantly higher than that in group with nontuberculous effusions (41.30 ± 20.09 vs 14.93 ± 14.87 U/L [P < 0.0001]). By analysis of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, the best cutoff values for IFN-γ and ADA were 0.5 pg/mL and 16.65 U/L, respectively. The results for IFN-γ vs ADA were: for sensitivity, 100% vs 86%, respectively; for specificity, 100% vs 74%, respectively; for positive predictive value, 100% vs 88.5%, respectively; and for negative predictive value, 100% vs 69.7%, respectively.
IFN-γ and ADA could be used as valuable parameters for the differentiation of tuberculous from nontuberculous effusion, and IFN-γ was more sensitive and specific for tuberculous effusion than ADA.
pleural effusion; parapneumonic effusion; malignant effusion
Patients with univentricular heart malformations are at increased risk of suffering from thromboembolic events. We present a case of a 19-year-old woman born with a univentricular heart who suffered a major stroke while being treated with only salicylic acid. At least 20% of patients with univentricular hearts have been reported to experience thromboembolic events, of which 25% are fatal. Despite the high incidence of thromboembolic events, no consensus has been reached regarding the role of long-term anti-thrombotic treatment in this group of patients. This lack of consensus warrants future studies that compare the different therapeutic strategies.
univentricle; stroke; antithrombotic treatment
Nosocomial candidiasis remains a potential risk in intensive care units (ICUs), wherein Candida albicans is most responsible for its occurrence. Equally, non-C. albicans species, especially C. glabrata, are also involved. These infections are frequently associated with biofilms that contaminate medical devices, such as catheters. These biofilms constitute a significant clinical problem, and cause therapeutic failures, because they can escape the immune response and considerably decrease sensitivity to antifungal therapy. The diagnosis of catheter-related candidiasis is difficult; however, the differentiation between an infection of the catheter (or other medical implant) and a simple contamination is essential to start an antifungal treatment. Among the methods used for this type of study is the Brun-Buisson method, but this method only examines the infectivity of catheters caused by bacteria. For this reason, we wanted to adapt this method to the yeast cells of Candida spp. To assess the various types of infectivity of catheters (contamination, colonization, or infection) and their corresponding rates, as well as the responsible yeast species, we conducted our study, between February 2011 and January 2012, in the ICU at the University Hospital Center of Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria; during this study, we took photographic images of the tongue of one patient and of that patient’s implanted orobronchial catheter. In addition, catheters contaminated by C. albicans biofilms were observed by scanning electron microscopy.
ICU; contamination; colonization; infection
Premature labor is a serious worldwide problem that can cause neonatal death and other serious disorders. This study aimed to determine the most important factors related to preterm labor in Yasuj, Iran.
This case-control study was conducted in the maternity ward of Imam Sajjad Hospital, the obstetrics and gynecology center of Yasuj, in 2010. Among eligible samples, mothers with preterm labor were selected as the case group, and for each sample in the case group, one mother with full-term labor was selected by using clipper-matched sampling to make up the control group. Data were collected by a researcher-made questionnaire and the 28-item General Health Questionnaire. Finally, after deleting imperfect questionnaires, collected data of 52 subjects of case group and the same amount in control group were analyzed.
Among the 5400 live birth infants in Yasuj in 2010, 130 infants were premature (2.4%). The preterm labor risk in women with two or more pregnancies was 5.5 times more than women with less than two pregnancies, its risk in women with low general health status was 2.9 times more than in women with normal general health status, and the preterm labor risk in women with a history of diabetes mellitus/thyroid dysfunction/cardiac disease was 2.3 times more than healthy mothers (P < 0.01).
With respect to the above and due to the role and importance of mother–infant health in community health, it is necessary that the health-care system improve health education with regard to the appropriate number of pregnancies, diagnose and cure disease during pregnancy, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease (hypertension and/or eclampsia), and recognize pregnant mothers with mental pressure or lack of sufficient support and help them.
premature labor; general health; psychosomatic disorder; number of pregnancies
Bronchiectasis is a common disease and a major cause of respiratory morbidity. Chest pain has been described as occurring in the context of bronchiectasis but has not been well characterized. This study was performed to describe the characteristics of chest pain in adult bronchiectasis and to define the relationship of this pain to exacerbations.
Subjects and methods
We performed a prospective study of 178 patients who were followed-up for 8 years. Subjects were reviewed on a yearly basis and assessed for the presence of chest pain. Subjects who had chest pain at the time of clinical review by the investigators were included in this study. Forty-four patients (25%) described respiratory chest pain at the time of assessment; in the majority of cases 39/44 (89%), this occurred with an exacerbation and two distinct types of chest pain could be described: pleuritic (n = 4) and non-pleuritic (n = 37), with two subjects describing both forms. The non-pleuritic chest pain occurred most commonly over both lower lobes and was mild to moderate in severity. The pain subsided as patients recovered.
Non-pleuritic chest pain occurs in subjects with bronchiectasis generally in association with exacerbations.
sputum; collapse; bronchitis; airway obstruction
Respiratory tract infections frequently occur in ill returned travelers, a minority of whom present with pneumonia. The most accurate and cost-effective diagnostic work-up remains an area of uncertainty. In this retrospective cohort study, the utility of routine chest radiography was evaluated.
This study was performed at the Institute for Tropical Diseases in Rotterdam and included all returned travelers in the period between 2007 and 2009 that were ill with symptoms lasting less than 1 month and had chest radiography on admission. Travelers’ demographic (including travel history), clinical, and laboratory data were collected on admission and evaluated for their diagnostic power to predict radiographic evidence of a pulmonary infiltrate.
Fifty-three (7%) of 750 ill returned travelers had radiographic evidence of a pulmonary infiltrate. Presentation with cough (odds ratio [OR] 2.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.46–5.38), or elevated C-reactive protein values (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.09–1.17), and white blood cell count (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.05–1.17) strongly correlated with the presence of a pulmonary infiltrate. Recursive partitioning analysis identified a subset of 384 patients presenting with both cough and fever, or C-reactive protein values in excess of 23 mg/L that would optimally benefit from chest radiography.
The results of this study indicate that a more judicious use of chest radiography in the routine work-up of ill returned travelers is warranted.
chest radiography; chest X-ray; travelers; pneumonia; routine; lower respiratory tract infection
We report a rare case of giant prostatic hyperplasia treated by open surgery. A 70-year-old man was suffering from macrohematuria. Computed tomography revealed a markedly enlarged prostate measuring 580 mL. The serum prostate-specific antigen level was 9.430 ng/mL. Prostatic biopsy showed benign prostatic hyperplasia. We perfomed retropubic open prostatectomy, since macrohematuria continued and he was also suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms. The adenoma was completely enucleated in one piece. The removed specimen was 13 × 11 × 6 cm in size and weighed 475 g. Histological examination also demonstrated prostatic fibromuscular hyperplasia. This is the 15th-heaviest adenoma ever reported in English-language journals. Transurethral surgical techniques or other minimally invasive approaches are performed for patients with small to medium-sized prostates. However, open surgery is recommended for markedly enlarged prostatic hyperplasia.
benign prostatic enlargement; benign prostatic hyperplasia; giant; retropubic open prostatectomy
Umbilical endometrioma is a rare condition, with an estimated incidence of 0.5%–1% in all patients with endometrial ectopia. Spontaneous abdominal wall endometriosis is an even rarer and more unusual condition with unclear pathogenetic mechanisms. A 44-year-old parous woman presented with an umbilical skin lesion, and no history of bleeding from the umbilical mass or swelling in the umbilical area. The initial clinical diagnosis was granuloma, and excision was planned. Pathology examination revealed endometrial glands with mucinous-type metaplasia surrounded by a disintegrating mantle of endometrial stroma. Clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging did not reveal pelvic endometriosis lesions, and given that the umbilical endometrioma was totally excised, no further treatment with hormonal therapy was proposed for the patient. Three years after excision, she was free of disease and no recurrence has been observed. Complete excision and histology is highly recommended for obtaining a definitive diagnosis and optimal treatment in spontaneous abdominal wall endometriosis.
endometriosis; primary endometrioma; umbilical endometrioma
The oral probiotic Streptococcus salivarius K12 has been shown clearly to antagonize the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes, the most important bacterial cause of pharyngeal infections in humans, by releasing two bacteriocins named salivaricin A2 and salivaricin B. Unpublished observations indicate that it can also antagonize the growth of other bacteria involved in acute otitis media. Because of its ability to colonize the oral cavity and its safety profile, we have tested its efficacy in reducing the incidence of streptococcal pharyngitis and/or tonsillitis and episodes of acute otitis media.
We enrolled 82 children, including 65 with and 17 without a recent diagnosis of recurrent oral streptococcal pathology. Of those with recurrent pathology, 45 were treated daily for 90 days with an oral slow-release tablet containing five billion colony-forming units of S. salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®), and the remaining 20 served as an untreated control group. The 17 children without a recent diagnosis of recurrent oral pathology were used as an additional control group. After 90 days of treatment, a 6-month follow-up period without treatment was included to evaluate a possible persistent protective role for the previously administered product.
The 41 children who completed the 90-day course of Bactoblis showed a reduction in their episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infection (about 90%) and/or acute otitis media (about 40%), calculated by comparing infection rates in the previous year. The 90-day treatment also reduced the reported incidence of pharyngeal and ear infections by about 65% in the 6-month follow-up period during which the product was not administered. Subjects tolerated the product well, with no side effects or dropouts reported.
Prophylactic administration of S. salivarius K12 to children with a history of recurrent oral streptococcal pathology reduced episodes of streptococcal pharyngeal infections and/or tonsillitis as well as episodes of acute otitis media.
BLIS K12; bacteriocin-like inhibitory substance K12; Streptococcus salivarius K12; Bactoblis®; pharyngitis; tonsillitis; acute otitis media
The purpose of this study was to determine the cross-sectional association between some sociodemographic factors and antiretroviral therapy (ART), as well as the incidence and predictors of type 2 diabetes mellitus among Central Africans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease.
This study had a cross-sectional design and was a prospective analysis of 102 patients with HIV disease (49 on ART versus 53 not on ART) in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, between 2004 and 2008. A Cox regression model was used to assess for any relationship between type 2 diabetes and exposure to combination ART without protease inhibitors, after adjusting for known risk factors for type 2 diabetes, nadir CD4 and CD8 levels, viral load, marital status, and religion.
Unexpectedly elevated rates of smoking, excess alcohol intake, and ART-related total, abdominal, and peripheral obesity were observed in our study group of HIV patients. At the end of follow-up, five patients were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (incidence rate 4.9%, 9.8 per 1000 person-years). Univariate risk factors for type 2 diabetes were male gender (relative risk [RR] 1.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.4; P = 0.019), traditional religion versus new charismatic religion (RR 1.1, 95% CI 1.01–1.3; P = 0.046), exposure to ART (RR 1.1, 95% CI 1.002–1.3; P = 0.034), and single status (RR 6.2, 95% CI 1.5–15; P = 0.047). In multivariate analysis, strong significant independent predictors of type 2 diabetes were belonging to a traditional religion (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1–4.2; P = 0.036) and a relative increase in nadir CD4 cell count (beta coefficient 0.003; P < 0.0001).
ART-related obesity and type 2 diabetes are becoming increasing problems in Central Africans with HIV disease. A relative increase in nadir CD4 count and traditional religion status appear to be the strongest independent predictors of type 2 diabetes.
human immunodeficiency virus; diabetes mellitus; risk factors; Africans; religion
Obstructive sleep apnea is commonly associated with metabolic changes and obesity, and changes in body weight by either medical or surgical approaches have been considered to affect the severity of sleep apnea and appetite-controlling hormones. This prospective study evaluated the effect of weight loss induced by laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) surgery on respiratory disturbance during sleep, oxygen saturation levels, sleep architecture, and leptin and ghrelin levels.
Participants were patients at a university-based medical center surgical weight loss program. All participants with a body mass index > 30 kg/m2 undergoing LAGB surgery for weight reduction were offered the opportunity to participate in the study. Procedures included overnight polysomnography followed by fasting hormone levels at baseline and 12 months postoperatively.
Thirty subjects (10 men, 20 women) of mean age 44.0 ± 12.5 years were recruited. At 12 months postoperatively, mean excess weight loss was 44.4% ± 14%. The apnea-hypopnea index decreased from 34.2 ± 35 to 19.0 ± 21.7 events per hour (P < 0.0001), while leptin levels decreased from 24.5 ± 17.42 pg/mL to 11.6 ± 10.6 pg/mL (P = 0.02). Ghrelin levels did not change substantially. Nadir oxygen saturation levels increased from 81% to 84% at 12 months (P = 0.03). Mean oxygen saturation improved and was positively correlated with ghrelin levels at both time points (r = 0.39, P = 0.07, and r = 0.60, P = 0.01).
LAGB surgery was associated with 44.4% excess weight loss at 12 months, accompanied by a 33.7% improvement in apnea-hypopnea index as well as a reduction in leptin levels by 31.7% in this group. An association between ghrelin and mean oxygen saturation was seen and deserves further investigation.
sleep apnea; obesity; bariatric surgery; weight loss; metabolism; leptin; ghrelin; sleep
Diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae generate substantial morbidity and mortality. Despite official recommendations to vaccinate everyone over the age of 64, the estimated vaccination rate for this target population is around 2%. In Switzerland, pneumococcal vaccinations are for the most part provided by general practitioners (GPs); in addition, a small number of patients get vaccinated during a hospital stay. We wanted to investigate GPs’ attitudes and opinions about the pneumococcal vaccination in primary care and why it is so rarely provided.
For this qualitative study, we conducted semistructured interviews with 20 GPs. Transcriptions of all interviews were analyzed following the technique of qualitative content analysis, supported by the ATLAS.ti© software.
Most GPs reported that they know pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for several risk groups and elderly patients. As to reasons for the low vaccination rate, GPs mentioned the pneumococcal vaccination had little priority in daily practice, especially in comparison with the importance of other vaccinations, namely influenza. This low level of priority was supported by the fact that the GPs rarely ever experienced a case of a severe pneumococcal disease in their daily work. Furthermore, perceived insufficient evidence resulting from existing epidemiologic data and clinical trials enhanced the little attention given to the pneumococcal vaccination.
We found the generally low level of priority given within a consultation, the missing awareness of this subject in daily practice, and the perception of epidemiologic and scientific data as insufficient, as the reasons for the low rate in pneumococcal vaccinations. Efforts to increase the epidemiologic data on the pneumococcal vaccination should be taken. To increase the vaccination rate, it would be necessary to raise the awareness and priority of the pneumococcal vaccination; a feasible way could be the combination of the seasonal flu vaccination campaign with a campaign for pneumococcal vaccination.
prevention; Swiss primary care; barriers and facilitators; Streptococcus pneumoniae