This study was performed to determine the incidence and seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in young soldiers in the Republic of Korea Army. From January 2000 through December 2004, a total of 147 hepatitis A cases were reported to the Armed Forces Medical Command. The annual incidence rates were 7.4 per 100,000 persons in 2000, 1.6 in 2001, 4.4 in 2002, 9.8 in 2003, and 6.2 in 2004, based on the reported cases among approximately 500,000 soldiers. All patients were males with a median age of 21 yr (range, 19-27). The most common symptom was nausea (86.5%), and all patients had recovered without complications. In addition, in order to evaluate the seroprevalence of HAV infection in young adults, serum samples were obtained from randomly selected young subjects among those who had been admitted to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital from September 2005 to February 2006. A total of 200 subjects were enrolled in the study to analyze the anti-HAV immune status. The overall anti-HAV IgG seropositive rate was 2% (4/200, 95% CI, 0.60-5.21%). Given the changing epidemiology of the disease and the associated increase in morbidity, it was suggested that the routine HAV vaccination for Korean military personnel might be necessary.
Hepatitis A; Incidence; Military Personnel; Seroprevalence
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) can be life threatening, necessitating emergency therapy with prompt diagnosis by morphologic findings, immunophenotyping, cytogenetic analysis, or molecular studies. This study aimed to assess the current routine practices in APL and the clinico-pathologic features of APL.
We reviewed the medical records of 48 Korean patients (25 men, 23 women; median age, 51 (20-80) years) diagnosed with APL in 5 university hospitals between March 2007 and February 2012.
The WBC count at diagnosis and platelet count varied from 0.4 to 81.0 (median 2.0)×109/L and 2.7 to 124.0 (median 54.5)×109/L, respectively. The median values for prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time were 14.7 (11.3-44.1) s and 29 (24-62) s, respectively. All but 2 patients (96%) showed a fibrin/fibrinogen degradation product value of >20 µg/mL. The D-dimer median value was 5,000 (686-55,630) ng/mL. The t(15;17)(q22;q12 and PML-RARA fusion was found in all patients by chromosome analysis and/or multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), with turnaround times of 8 (2-19) d and 7 (2-13) d, respectively. All patients received induction chemotherapy: all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) alone (N=11, 26%), ATRA+idarubicin (N=25, 58%), ATRA+cytarabine (N=3, 7%), ATRA+idarubicin+cytarabine (N=4, 9%).
Since APL is a medical emergency and an accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite for prompt treatment, laboratory support to implement faster diagnostic tools to confirm the presence of PML-RARA is required.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; PML-RARA; Immunophenotyping; Cytogenetic analysis; All-trans retinoic acid
To compare verbal and visual memory performances between patients with bipolar I disorder (BD I) and patients with bipolar II disorder (BD II) and to determine whether memory deficits were mediated by impaired organizational strategies.
Performances on the Korean-California Verbal Learning Test (K-CVLT) and the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF) in 37 patients with BD I, 46 patients with BD II and 42 healthy subjects were compared. Mediating effects of impaired organization strategies on poor delayed recall was tested by comparing direct and mediated models using multiple regression analysis.
Both patients groups recalled fewer words and figure components and showed lower Semantic Clustering compared to controls. Verbal memory impairment was partly mediated by difficulties in Semantic Clustering in both subtypes, whereas the mediating effect of Organization deficit on the visual memory impairment was present only in BD I. In all mediated models, group differences in delayed recall remained significant.
Our findings suggest that memory impairment may be one of the fundamental cognitive deficits in bipolar disorders and that executive dysfunctions can exert an additional influence on memory impairments.
Bipolar I disorder; Bipolar II disorder; Memory; Organization; Executive function; Path analysis
In this study, we report the first Korean case of an anti-Gerbich (Ge) alloantibody to a high-incidence antigen that belongs to the Ge blood group system. The alloantibody was detected in a middle-aged Korean woman who did not have a history of transfusion. Her blood type was B+, and findings from the antibody screening test revealed 1+ reactivity in all panels except the autocontrol. The cross-matching test showed incompatible results with all 5 packed red blood cells. Additional blood type antigen and antibody tests confirmed the anti-Ge alloantibody. While rare, cases of hemolytic transfusion reaction or hemolytic disease in newborns due to anti-Ge have been recently reported in the literature. Therefore, additional further studies on alloantibodies to high-incidence antigens, including anti-Ge, are necessary in the future.
Ge; Blood group antigens; Transfusion
The pandemic H1N1/09 emerged rapidly in Korea. Here, we describe the clinical characteristics of outpatients in Seoul, Korea who were infected in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. We reviewed the cases of outpatients with pandemic H1N1/09 who visited a tertiary care teaching hospital between September 1 and December 31, 2009. Infection with pandemic H1N1/09 was confirmed by molecular tests. Of a total of 7,182 tests, 3,020 (42.0%) were positive. Compared with 473 cases of influenza-like illness (ILI), the 586 confirmed cases of pandemic H1N1/09 differed in age [odds ratio (OR) 0.975] and fulfilling at least one of the following factors: age <5 or ≥65 years, history of contact with other pandemic H1N1/09-infected individuals (OR 0.611), fever ≥37.8℃ (OR 3.567), cough (OR 2.290), and myalgia (OR 1.559). The sensitivity of the best criteria, "fever (≥37.8℃) plus cough" (41.03%) in this study was lower than that of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) criteria (47.95%), whereas the positive likelihood ratio (3.55) and positive predictive value (81.6) of this criteria was higher than those of the KCDC criteria (2.98 and 78.7, respectively). The clinical characteristics of pandemic H1N1/09 are, in many regards, indistinguishable from those of ILI. Moreover, the accuracy and predictability of criteria which include only symptoms or signs were not sufficient to diagnose pandemic H1N1/09 infection. Therefore, use of a combination of symptoms with confirmatory laboratory testing is necessary for accurate diagnosis of pandemic H1N1/09.
Influenza A virus; H1N1 subtype; pandemic H1N1/09; outpatients; characteristics
Recently, the XE-2100 hematology analyzer was investigated in a rather small patient group; pseudoeosinophilia or abnormal white blood cell (WBC) scattergrams reported by this instrument were considered as significantly valuable diagnostic parameters in detecting vivax malaria. This study was conducted not only to assess the usefulness of pseudoeosinophilia or abnormal WBC scattergram in vivax malaria-endemic areas with large patient groups (N = 1,801) but also to investigate the correlation of parasitemia and platelet count with pseudoeosinophilia and abnormal WBC scattergrams. Of the 1,801 analyzed patients, 413 (22.9%) were found to have malaria by Wright–Giemsa stained blood smears. Overall, either pseudoeosinophilia or abnormal WBC scattergram was detected in 191 of 413 malaria patients and 4 of 1,388 patients without malaria (sensitivity = 46.2%, specificity = 99.7%). We suggest that clinical hematology laboratories using the XE-2100 analyzer should be aware of such specific parameters, even with the absence of a clinical request.
Background and Purpose
The importance of bioactive lipid signaling under physiologic and pathophysiologic conditions is progressively becoming recognized. The disparate distribution of sphingosine kinase (SphK) isoform activity in normal and ischemic brain, particularly the large excess of SphK2 in cerebral microvascular endothelial cells, suggests potentially unique cell- and region-specific signaling by its product sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). The present study sought to test the isoform-specific role of SphK as a trigger of hypoxic preconditioning (HPC)-induced ischemic tolerance.
Temporal changes in microvascular SphK activity and expression were measured following HPC. The SphK inhibitor dimethylsphingosine (DMS) or sphingosine analog FTY720 was administered to adult male Swiss-Webster ND4 mice prior to HPC. Two days later, mice underwent a 60-min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion and, at 24 h of reperfusion, infarct volume, neurological deficit, and hemispheric edema were measured.
HPC rapidly increased microvascular SphK2 protein expression (1.7±0.2 fold) and activity (2.5±0.6 fold) peaking at 2h, while SphK1 was unchanged. SphK inhibition during HPC abrogated reductions in infarct volume, neurological deficit, and ipsilateral edema in HPC-treated mice. FTY720 given 48 h prior to stroke also promoted ischemic tolerance; when combined with HPC, even greater (and DMS-reversible) protection was noted.
These findings indicate hypoxia-sensitive increases in SphK2 activity may serve as a proximal trigger that ultimately leads to S1P-mediated alterations in gene expression that promote the ischemia-tolerant phenotype. Thus, components of this bioactive lipid signaling pathway may be suitable therapeutic targets for protecting the neurovascular unit in stroke.
bioactive lipids; neuroprotection; endothelium; neurovascular unit; focal stroke
Infantile or capillary hemangioma is the most common vascular tumor of childhood. The tumors most frequently affect the head and neck area, but rare cases of intracranial lesions have been reported. Their natural history is marked by initial rapid growth velocity followed by a plateau and, in most cases, subsequent involution. Although the lesions are considered benign, 10% of affected children develop life-threatening complications (mortality rate 20–80% in this subgroup). When surgical intervention or other methods of local control are not possible, therapeutic options are limited. Corticosteroids have been the mainstay of therapy but therapeutic response is not predictable and the infectious risk is not negligible. Interferon α-2a may also be effective but has significant toxicities.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of hemangiomas, and antiangiogenesis agents are being evaluated in the treatment of these tumors. Thalidomide may be an ideal therapy for life-threatening hemangiomas because it inhibits new blood vessel formation by antagonizing both the bFGF and VEGF pathways and has a more acceptable toxicity profile than other agents. The authors present the case of an infant born with a life-threatening, unresectable intracranial hemangioma in which treatment with thalidomide resulted in a good clinical outcome.
intracranial hemangioma; thalidomide; vascular endothelial growth factor
In this investigation the authors attempted to predict change in function following selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and intensive physical therapy in patients with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP) based on multidomain preintervention measures.
Data pertaining to 22 children with CP were collected before the SDR and again 20 months afterward. Although equations for predicting change in gait speed and function (such as the Gross Motor Function Measure) were derived, the 95% confidence interval (CI) widths were too broad to make accurate predictions that were clinically useful outside the study group.
Future work should be focused on developing additional measures such as lower-extremity motor control and balance in an attempt to reduce the CIs to more clinically relevant values.
cerebral palsy; gait spasticity; strength; rhizotomy; predictive measure; pediatric neurosurgery
In this investigation the authors compared impairment and functional outcomes between two groups of children with cerebral palsy (CP): one group underwent selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) followed by intensive physical therapy (PT), and the other group underwent the latter only (PT group). Data from an age-matched group of children without disability (nondisabled [ND] group) were also collected.
Data pertaining to the 68 children with CP were collected before any intervention and again 8 and 20 months afterwards. Data regarding the 40 children in the ND group were collected in a single session.
Although patients in both groups with CP were weaker than those in the ND group, they did have strength gains. Gait speed in the SDR-PT group was slower than that in the ND group preoperatively but not at 20 months postoperatively. Gait speed in the PT group remained slower than that in the ND group. The pre- to postoperative change in the Gross Motor Abilities Estimate score was significantly greater in the SDR-PT group than in the PT-only group. An effective treatment for children with CP, SDR offers gains in strength, gait speed, and overall gross motor function.
cerebral palsy; rhizotomy; spasticity; strength; gait; Gross Motor Function Measure; pediatric neurosurgery
We report a case of two consecutive episodes of acute hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTRs) due to multiple alloantibodies in a 34-yr-old man who suffered from avascular necrosis of left femoral head. He received five units of packed red blood cells (RBCs) during surgery. Then the transfusion of packed RBCs was required nine days after the surgery because of the unexplained drop in hemoglobin level. The transfusion of the first two units resulted in fever and brown-colored urine, but he received the transfusion of another packed RBCs the next day. He experienced even more severe symptoms during the transfusion of the first unit. We performed antibody screening test, and it showed positive results. Multiple alloantibodies including anti-E, anti-c and anti-Jkb were detected by antibody identification study. Acute HTRs due to multiple alloantibodies were diagnosed, and the supportive cares were done for 6 days. We suggest the antibody screening test should be included in the panel of pretransfusion tests for safer transfusion, and it is particularly mandatory for the patients with multiple transfusions, pregnant women, and preoperative patients.
The Di(a) antigen is well known as one of the antigens with low incidence among Caucasians; however, it has been discovered with a relatively higher incidence among Mongoloid populations. Thus, it has been speculated that the incidence of unexpected antibody against the Di(a) antigen might be relatively higher among these populations. Hemolytic transfusion reactions (HTRs) and hemolytic disease of the newborns (HDNs) caused by anti-Di(a) have been reported sporadically. However, there has been no prospective study on the incidence of anti-Di(a) in Mongoloid populations particularly. The authors conducted a series of antibody screening tests on 11,219 Korean individuals for 25 months, by using three kinds of screening cells including Di(a) cell. Anti-Di(a) was detected in 8 patients, seven of whom had a history of transfusions or were multigravida. The incidence of anti-Di(a) measured in this study was higher than expected, ranked third among unexpected antibodies identified during the period of the study, so it is strongly recommended that the Di(a+) panel cell must be incorporated into antibody screening test for safer transfusion in Asian-Mongoloid populations.
The aim of this study was to determine the age-specific rubella seroprevalence and the related factors in Korean children. Subjects of the study were 5393 students from 8 elementary schools in Gyeonggi Province, Korea. Questionnaire surveys with blood sampling were conducted in 1993, 1996, and 1999. ELISA tests, used to detect rubella specific IgG antibody, were Imx (R) (Abbott, U.S.A.) in 1993 and 1999, and Enzygnost (Behring, Germany) in 1996. The age-adjusted rubella susceptibility rate was 22.9% (95% CI: 22.8-23.0%) and it increased with age from 14% to 28%. The susceptibility rates of vaccinees, nonvaccinees, and the unknown group were 21%, 35%, and 27%, respectively (p=0.000). The rates by parental education levels for elementary and below, middle school, high school, and college and over were 37%, 26%, 24%, and 20%, respectively. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) of nonvaccinees, the unknown group, and vaccinees were 47 IU/mL, 42 IU/mL, and 37 IU/mL, respectively (p=0.000). The susceptibility level was too high to prevent the rubella epidemic in Korea, which necessitates a programme that will enhance the coverage for 1st and 2nd MMR vaccination among school children. In particular, more attention should be paid to the vaccination of the children whose parental education level is relatively low.
Culture in the fluorimetric Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) treated with a combination of vancomycin, amphotericin B, and nalidixic acid (VAN) showed growth of most strains of 31 mycobacterial species with a less-than-1-day delay. The results were similar to those in the MGIT with polymyxin B, amphotericin B, nalidixic acid, trimethoprim, and azlocillin, but with respiratory specimens, the MGIT with VAN showed a lower contamination rate with no change in the detection rate or time.
The timely detection of blood-borne pathogens is one of the most important functions of the microbiology laboratory. Recently, methicillin-resistant staphylococci have become the most important pathogens seen by the laboratory. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Staphy agar, a novel screening medium, for the detection methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, or other coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) from positive blood cultures showing Gram-positive cocci in clusters. Eighty-six blood cultures that yielded Gram-positive cocci in clusters were included in this study. The organisms were finally identified by the Vitek system, and oxacillin resistance was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based mecA gene detection. The identification and oxacillin resistance of all S. aureus strains showed complete agreement with the Vitek and PCR results. The presumptive detection of S. epidermidis and other CNS were consistent with the Vitek system in 94.7%, and the screening of oxacillin resistance was consistent with the result of PCR in 92.1% of 38 strains. The Staphy agar method is reliable and rapid for differentiating Gram-positive cocci in clusters in blood and for determining their methicillin resistance.