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1.  Predictive factors for interferon and ribavirin combination therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C 
AIM: To confirm the predictive factors for interferon (IFN)-α and ribavirin combination therapy for chronic hepatitis patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1b.
METHODS: HCV RNA from 50 patients infected with HCV genotype 1b was studied by cloning and sequencing of interferon sensitivity determining region (ISDR), PKR-eIF2α phosphorylation homology domain (PePHD). Patients were treated with IFN-α and ribavirin for 6 mo and grouped by effectiveness of the therapy. A variety of factors were analyzed.
RESULTS: Our data showed that age, HCV RNA titer, and ISDR type could be used as the predictive factors for combined IFN-α and ribavirin efficacy. Characteristically, mutations in PePHD appeared only when the combination therapy was effective. Other factors, such as sex and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, were not related to its efficacy. Adjusting for age and HCV RNA titer indicated that the ISDR type was the most potent predictive factor.
CONCLUSION: HCV RNA ISDR type is an important factor for predicting efficacy of IFN-α and ribavirin combination therapy in Korean patients.
PMCID: PMC4171236  PMID: 18069766
Hepatitis C virus -1b; Interferon-α; Ribavirin; Interferon sensitivity determining region; PKR-eIF2α phosphorylation homology domain
2.  Cutoff Value of Pharyngeal Residue in Prognosis Prediction After Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Therapy for Dysphagia in Subacute Stroke Patients 
Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine  2014;38(5):612-619.
To determine the cutoff value of the pharyngeal residue for predicting reduction of aspiration, by measuring the residue of valleculae and pyriformis sinuses through videofluoroscopic swallowing studies (VFSS) after treatment with neuromuscular electrical stimulator (VitalStim) in stroke patients with dysphagia.
VFSS was conducted on first-time stroke patients before and after the VitalStim therapy. The results were analyzed for comparison of the pharyngeal residue in the improved group and the non-improved group.
A total of 59 patients concluded the test, in which 42 patients improved well enough to change the dietary methods while 17 did not improve sufficiently. Remnant area to total area (R/T) ratios of the valleculae before treatment in the improved group were 0.120, 0.177, and 0.101 for solid, soft, and liquid foods, respectively, whereas the ratios for the non-improved group were 0.365, 0.396, and 0.281, respectively. The ratios of the pyriformis sinuses were 0.126, 0.159, and 0.121 for the improved group and 0.315, 0.338, and 0.244 for the non-improved group. The R/T ratios of valleculae and pyriformis sinus were significantly lower in the improved group than the non-improved group in all food types before treatment. The R/T ratio cutoff values were 0.267, 0.250, and 0.185 at valleculae and 0.228, 0.218, and 0.185 at pyriformis sinuses.
In dysphagia after stroke, less pharyngeal residue before treatment serves as a factor for predicting greater improvement after VitalStim treatment.
PMCID: PMC4221389  PMID: 25379490
Deglutition disorder; Dysphagia; Electric stimulation therapy; Pharyngeal residue; Cutoff value
3.  Association between Workplace Risk Factor Exposure and Sleep Disturbance: Analysis of the 2nd Korean Working Conditions Survey 
Sleep is essential for human beings to live and work properly. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between occupational exposures to workplace risk factors and sleep disturbance in Korean workers.
The data were drawn from the second Korean Working Conditions Survey (KWCS); a total of 7,112 paid workers were analyzed. The independent variables were occupational exposures such as physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial risk factor in the workplace, and psychosocial risk factor was divided into five categories (job demand, job control, social support, job insecurity, lack of reward). We estimated the relationship between various occupational exposures and sleep disturbance using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The results showed that people who exposed to physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial (high job demand, inadequate social support, lack of reward) risk factors were more likely to increase the risk of sleep disturbance. Furthermore, after adjusting for general and occupational characteristics, we found significant positive associations between exposures to physical (odds ratios [OR] 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.05-2.07) and psychosocial (high job demand (OR 2.93, 95% CI 2.16-3.98), inadequate social support (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.14-2.15), lack of reward (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.08-1.96)) risk factors and sleep disturbance.
These results suggest that occupational exposures to physical and psychosocial workplace risk factors are significantly related to sleep disturbance.
PMCID: PMC3923362  PMID: 24472113
Sleep disturbance; Physical risk factor; Chemical risk factor; Biological risk factor; Psychosocial risk factor; Workplace; Korean Working Conditions Survey
4.  CD133 expression is not an independent prognostic factor in stage II and III colorectal cancer but may predict the better outcome in patients with adjuvant therapy 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:166.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are notorious for their capacity of tumor progression, metastasis or resistance to chemo-radiotherapy. However, the undisputed role of cancer stem marker, CD133, in colorectal cancers (CRCs) is not clear yet.
We assessed 271 surgically-resected stage II and III primary CRCs with (171) and without (100) adjuvant therapy after surgery. CD133 expression was analyzed by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and real-time RT-PCR. CD133 promoter methylation was quantified by pyrosequencing.
The CD133 IHC expression was significantly correlated with mRNA expression (p=0.0257) and inversely correlated with the promoter methylation (p=0.0001). CD133 was expressed more frequently in rectal cancer (p=0.0035), and in moderately differentiated tumors (p=0.0378). In survival analysis, CD133 expression was not significantly correlated with overall survival (OS) (p=0.9689) as well as disease-free survival (DFS) (p=0.2103). However, CD133+ tumors were significantly associated with better OS in patients with adjuvant therapy compared to those without adjuvant therapy (p<0.0001, HR 0.125, 95% CI 0.052-0.299). But the patients with CD133- tumors did not show any significant difference of survival according to adjuvant therapy (p=0.055, HR 0.500, 95% CI 0.247-1.015).
In stage II and III CRCs, CD133 IHC expression may signify the benefit for adjuvant therapy although it is not an independent prognostic factor.
PMCID: PMC3621413  PMID: 23537343
Cancer stem cell; CD133 protein; Human; Colorectal neoplasms; Immunohistochemistry; Chemoradiotherapy; Adjuvant; Prognosis
5.  Plasma B-type Natriuretic Peptide Level in Patients with Acute Cerebral Infarction according to Infarction Subtype and Infarction Volume 
Background: Plasma B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is used as a diagnostic marker of cardiovascular diseases. BNP is secreted mainly from the myocardium and has been detected by immunoreactivity in brain and cerebral arteries. The aim of our study was to investigate plasma BNP in patients with acute cerebral infarction according to infarction subtype and infarction volume.
Methods: We studied 141 patients with acute cerebral infarction, classified as large artery atherosclerosis (LAA), cardioembolism (CE), or small vessel disease (SA) according to the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment classification. Plasma BNP level was measured in patients and 61 healthy controls. We analyzed various clinical and laboratory variables of patients according to plasma BNP level.
Results: Compared to controls, the patients had higher plasma BNP (11.9 ± 11.7 pg/mL versus 124.6 ± 228.8 pg/mL, p <0.01). The highest quartile BNP group was associated with advanced age, female gender, current non-smoker, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, CE group, increased white blood cell counts, increased high sensitivity C-reactive protein, increased left atrium size, decreased left ventricular ejection fraction, increased initial National Institute of Health Stroke Scale, and increased infarction volume. According to multiple regression analysis, CE group, female gender, and infarction volume were independently associated with plasma BNP. Plasma BNP level showed statistically significant differences among LAA (n = 71), CE (n = 50), and SA (n = 20) groups (p <0.001), and the expression decreased in order of CE (253.8 ± 337.1 pg/mL), LAA (61.6 ± 78.8 pg/mL), and SA (25.3 ± 24.8 pg/mL). Increased plasma BNP correlated with increased infarction volume (r = 0.42, p <0.001).
Conclusions: Plasma BNP may be helpful for prediction of etiologic classification of acute cerebral infarction and infarction volume.
PMCID: PMC3534883  PMID: 23289011
cerebral infarction; brain natriuretic peptide; etiology; cardiovascular diseases; embolism; infarction volume
6.  Ankle-brachial blood pressure differences in the beach-chair position of the shoulder surgery 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2012;63(6):515-520.
During shoulder surgery, blood pressure is frequently measured at the ankle. Anesthetic complications may result when ankle blood pressure is higher than brachial blood pressure and anesthesiologists misinterpret ankle blood pressure as brachial blood pressure. Therefore, we investigated whether ankle blood pressure is significantly higher than brachial blood pressure before anesthesia induction, during induction, after tracheal intubation, before beach chair position, and in the beach chair position.
Thirty patients requiring general anesthesia for shoulder surgery were included in this study. Ankle and brachial blood pressure were simultaneously measured before induction, during induction, after intubation, before beach chair position, and in the beach chair position.
Ankle blood pressure was higher than brachial blood pressure before induction, during induction, after intubation, before beach chair position, and in the beach chair position. Ankle-brachial blood pressure differences in the beach chair condition were much higher than in four other conditions. The correlation coefficient between mean ankle-brachial blood pressure differences before the beach chair position and mean ankle-brachial blood pressure differences in the beach chair position was 0.616. Brachial systolic blood pressure could be predicted by regression equations (R2 = 0.306-0.771).
These results suggest that anesthesiologists should consider these ankle-brachial blood pressure differences when monitoring anesthesia in the beach chair position.
PMCID: PMC3531530  PMID: 23277812
Ankle blood pressure; Ankle-brachial blood pressure index; Beach chair position; Blood pressure; Brachial blood pressure; Shoulder surgery
7.  The diagnostic values of preoperative laboratory markers in children with complicated appendicitis 
Accurate diagnosis and optimal management of acute appendicitis, despite being the most common surgical emergency encountered in emergency departments, is often delayed in pediatric patients due to nonspecific symptoms and communication barriers, often leading to more complicated cases. The aim of this study is to investigate the diagnostic significance of common laboratory markers.
A total of 421 patients aged 15 and younger underwent surgical treatment for acute appendicitis. We conducted a retrospective analysis for white blood cell (WBC), C-reactive protein (CRP) and bilirubin. All patients were classified into simple or complicated appendicitis groups based on postoperative histology.
The mean age of the patients in the complicated appendicitis group was younger than that in the simple group (P = 0.005). WBC, CRP and bilirubin levels were significantly higher in the complicated appendicitis group (P < 0.001, <0.001, 0.002). The relative risk for complicated appendicitis was calculated using age, WBC, CRP and bilirubin. Elevated CRP levels were associated with the highest risk for complicated appendicitis (hazard ratio [HR], 2.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38 to 4.65) followed by WBC (HR, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.07 to 5.46) and bilirubin (HR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.09 to 3.82). The most sensitive markers for diagnosing complicated appendicitis were WBC (95.2%) and CRP (86.3%). Bilirubin levels showed the highest specificity at 74.8%.
The risk of complicated appendicitis was significantly higher in patients younger than 10 years old. Preoperative WBC, CRP and bilirubin have clinical value in diagnosing complicated appendicitis with a HR of 2.0 to 2.5. Our results suggest that the utilization of WBC, CRP, and bilirubin can assist in the diagnosis of complicated appendicitis in pediatric patients, allowing prompt diagnosis and optimal management.
PMCID: PMC3467390  PMID: 23091796
Appendicitis; Child; Leukocytes; C-reactive protein; Bilirubin
8.  Current Trends of the Incidence and Pathological Diagnosis of Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (GEP-NETs) in Korea 2000-2009: Multicenter Study 
As a result of various independently proposed nomenclatures and classifications, there is confusion in the diagnosis and prediction of biological behavior of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs). A comprehensive nationwide study is needed in order to understand the biological characteristics of GEP-NETs in Korea.
Materials and Methods
We collected 4,951 pathology reports from 29 hospitals in Korea between 2000 and 2009. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was used to determine the prognostic significance of clinicopathological parameters.
Although the GEP-NET is a relatively rare tumor in Korea, its incidence has increased during the last decade, with the most significant increase found in the rectum. The 10-year survival rate for well-differentiated endocrine tumor was 92.89%, in contrast to 85.74% in well differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma and 34.59% in poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma. Disease related death was most common in the biliary tract (62.2%) and very rare in the rectum (5.2%). In Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, tumor location, histological classification, extent, size, mitosis, Ki-67 labeling index, synaptophysin expression, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymph node metastasis showed prognostic significance (p<0.05), however, chromogranin expression did not (p=0.148). The 2000 and 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) classification proposals were useful for prediction of the prognosis of GEP-NET.
The incidence of GEP-NET in Korea has shown a remarkable increase during the last decade, however, the distribution of tumors in the digestive system differs from that of western reports. Assessment of pathological parameters, including immunostaining, is crucial in understanding biological behavior of the tumor as well as predicting prognosis of patients with GEP-NET.
PMCID: PMC3467418  PMID: 23091441
Gastro-enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor; Incidence; Prognosis; Pathology
9.  Electrophysiological and Behavioral Changes by Phosphodiesterase 4 Inhibitor in a Rat Model of Alcoholic Neuropathy 
Alcoholic neuropathy is characterized by allodynia (a discomfort evoked by normally innocuous stimuli), hyperalgesia (an exaggerated pain in response to painful stimuli) and spontaneous burning pain. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of rolipram, a phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor, against alcohol-induced neuropathy in rats.
Allodynia was induced by administering 35% v/v ethanol (10 g/kg; oral gavage) to Spraue-Dawley rats for 8 weeks. Rolipram and saline (vehicle) were administered intraperitoneally. Mechanical allodynia was measured by using von Frey filaments. Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) was proposed as complementary measure to assess the integrity of nerve pathway.
The ethanol-induced mechanical allodynia began to manifest from 3 week, and then peaked within 1 week. Beginning from 3 week, latency significantly started to increased in control group. In rolipram treated rats, the shorter latency was sustained until 8 weeks (p<0.05). The mechanical allodynia, which began to manifest on the 3 weeks, intraperitoneal injections of rolipram sustained statistical difference until 8 weeks, the final week of the study (p<0.05).
This study suggests that rolipram might alleviate mechanical allodynia induced by alcohol in rats, which clearly has clinical implication.
PMCID: PMC3440500  PMID: 22993675
Alcoholic neuropathy; Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitor; Rolipram
10.  Current Trends in the Epidemiological and Pathological Characteristics of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors in Korea, 2003-2004 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2010;25(6):853-862.
Despite remarkable progress in understanding and treating gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) during the past two decades, the pathological characteristics of GISTs have not been made clear yet. Furthermore, concrete diagnostic criteria of malignant GISTs are still uncertain. We collected pathology reports of 1,227 GISTs from 38 hospitals in Korea between 2003 and 2004 and evaluated the efficacy of the NIH and AFIP classification schemes as well as the prognostic factors among pathologic findings. The incidence of GISTs in Korea is about 1.6 to 2.2 patients per 100,000. Extra-gastrointestinal GISTs (10.1%) are more common in Korea than in Western countries. In univariate analysis, gender, age, tumor location, size, mitosis, tumor necrosis, vascular and mucosal invasions, histologic type, CD34 and s-100 protein expression, and classifications by the NIH and AFIP criteria were found to be significantly correlated with patient's survival. However, the primary tumor location, stage and classification of the AFIP criteria were prognostically significant in predicting patient's survival in multivariate analysis. The GIST classification based on original tumor location, size, and mitosis is more efficient than the NIH criteria in predicting patient's survival, but the mechanism still needs to be clarified through future studies.
PMCID: PMC2877229  PMID: 20514305
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors; Epidemiology; Pathology; Prognosis

Results 1-10 (10)