Marine mammals, as top predators in the marine food web, are sentinels of changes in the oceans and public health. Pollution in the sea and overfishing of seafood resources affects these organisms just as much as it affects human beings. Medics, especially doctors, have an influential reach to patients, and are in an ideal position to get better acquainted with ongoing marine environmental issues and subsequently disseminating such information to them. While seemingly an out-of-the-box approach, it is one that can help with environmental conservation and preservation for the future of humanity.
conservation; environment; marine mammal; public health
Definitive determination of the cause of articular swelling may be difficult based on just the clinical symptoms, physical examinations and laboratory tests. Joint disorders fall under the realms of rheumatology and general orthopaedics; however, patients with joint conditions manifesting primarily as intra-articular and peri-articular soft tissue swelling may at times be referred to an orthopaedic oncology department with suspicion of a tumour. In such a situation, an onco-radiologist needs to think beyond the usual neoplastic lesions and consider the diagnoses of various non-neoplastic arthritic conditions that may be clinically masquerading as masses. Differential diagnoses of articular lesions include infectious and non-infectious synovial proliferative processes, degenerative lesions, deposition diseases, vascular malformations, benign and malignant neoplasms and additional miscellaneous conditions. Many of these diseases have specific imaging findings. Knowledge of these radiological characteristics in an appropriate clinical context will allow for a more confident diagnosis.
intra-articular; peri-articular; synovial; tumours
Gene expression data often contain missing expression values. Therefore, several imputation methods have been applied to solve the missing values, which include k-nearest neighbour (kNN), local least squares (LLS), and Bayesian principal component analysis (BPCA). However, the effects of these imputation methods on the modelling of gene regulatory networks from gene expression data have rarely been investigated and analysed using a dynamic Bayesian network (DBN).
In the present study, we separately imputed datasets of the Escherichia coli S.O.S. DNA repair pathway and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle pathway with kNN, LLS, and BPCA, and subsequently used these to generate gene regulatory networks (GRNs) using a discrete DBN. We made comparisons on the basis of previous studies in order to select the gene network with the least error.
We found that BPCA and LLS performed better on larger networks (based on the S. cerevisiae dataset), whereas kNN performed better on smaller networks (based on the E. coli dataset).
The results suggest that the performance of each imputation method is dependent on the size of the dataset, and this subsequently affects the modelling of the resultant GRNs using a DBN. In addition, on the basis of these results, a DBN has the capacity to discover potential edges, as well as display interactions, between genes.
Bayesian method; DNA microarrays; gene expression; gene regulatory networks; gene expression regulation
Osteoarthritis is the most intervening factors in producing mechanical low back pain (LBP). We aimed to evaluate the correlation between radiologic signs of osteoarthritis and functional status in patients with chronic mechanical LBP.
Severity of osteoarthritis and disability were evaluated with Kellgren and Lawrence Grading Scale (K&L) by simple lumbar X-ray and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) respectively.
Although there was no significant correlation between ODQ and K&L score in general, the correlation was seen in female group (P = 0.024, r = 0.207).
Mechanical LBP provides more disability in females suffering from more advanced osteoarthritis.
disability; low back pain; osteoarthritis; radiography; spondylosis
Asymptomatic bacteriuria describes a condition in which urine culture reveals a significant growth of pathogenic bacteria, specifically greater than 105 of colony-forming units per millilitre of urine. It has a direct bearing on the health of a pregnant woman, her pregnancy and consequently the foetus. Thus, this study investigated the prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria of pregnancy in Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, the premiere tertiary hospital in Brunei Darussalam.
A total of 170 pregnant women who were visiting the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at RIPAS Hospital for routine antenatal care between February and March 2011 volunteered for this cross-sectional study. They did not present with any clinical symptoms of bacteriuria or indeed any other illness. They were investigated for bacteriuria by urine microscopy, culture, and sensitivity.
Urine samples from seven of the women produced significant bacterial growth, showing a prevalence of 4.1%. The organisms isolated were Klebsiella species (2.94%) and Escherichia coli (1.18%); these bacteria were both sensitive to amoxicillin, vancomycin, tetracycline, and erythromycin.
Brunei has a similar prevalence of asymptomatic bacteriuria to other South-East Asian countries.
asymptomatic; bacteriuria; infections; pregnancy complications; urinary tract infections
The objectives of this study were to investigate whether severity of clubfoot, age, and weight of the patients at initial manipulation and casting influence the total number of castings required.
This prospective study was conducted on 38 idiopathic clubfoot patients undergoing weekly manipulation and casting using the method recommended by Ponseti. The patients’ age, weight, and foot Pirani score at the start of manipulation and casting were analysed against the total number of castings required to achieve correction to 60° abduction.
Simple linear regression analysis on the influence of weight, age, and Pirani score at the time of cast initiation showed that the Pirani score was the only significant predictor for the total number of castings required.
The total number of castings required to treat clubfoot was determined by the severity of clubfoot but not by the weight and age of patients.
age; clubfoot; plaster cast; weight
There was strong evidence from studies conducted in developed countries that second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure is detrimental to the birth weight of newborn. This study was conducted to determine the effect of exposure to SHS smoke during pregnancy on the weight of newborns.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted. The exposed group consists of 209 postnatal women who experienced SHS exposure at home because of a husband or other housemate who smoked inside the house throughout the pregnancy. The non-exposed group included 211 women who did not experience SHS exposure at home or at work during pregnancy. We excluded non-Malay ethnicity, multiple births, and congenital defects.
There was a significant difference in the adjusted mean birth weight between exposed infants [2893.0 g (95% confidence interval (CI): 2781.3, 3004.7)] and not exposed infants to SHS [3046.1 g (95% CI 2929.5, 3162.6) (P < 0.001)] after controlling for significant maternal factors. There was a 12.9 g (95% CI: 7.01, 18.96) reduction in birth weight for a corresponding increase in the exposure to the smoke of one cigarette (P < 0.001). The incidence of low birth weight (LBW) was higher in exposed women, [10% (95% CI: 5.94, 14.06)] compared to non-exposed women [4.7% (95% CI: 1.85, 7.55)].
This study found a significant association between SHS exposure during pregnancy and decreased birth weight.
environmental tobacco smoke; low birth weight; passive smoking; prenatal exposure; second-hand smoke
Telemedicine in neurosurgery or teleneurosurgery has been widely used for transmission of clinical data and images throughout the country since its implementation in 2006. The impact is a reduction of patient number that need to be reviewed in the level III hospitals and an increment in the number of patients that are kept in level II hospitals for observation by the primary team. This translates to reduction of unnecessary transfer of patients and subsequently cost benefits for patients and medical providers. The main aim is to determine the amount of reduction in unnecessary transfer by the implementation of teleneurosurgery in the management of referrals to neurosurgical department in Hospital Sultanah Amninah Johor Bahru (HSAJB). Other factors associated with transfer decision are also evaluated.
This prospective cohort study was conducted in HSAJB, Johor over four months. A total of 349 subjects referred to HSAJB are included with 12 subjects excluded. The subjects are followed up from the time of referral until three months post-referrals. Related data includes the decision before and after reviewing the radiological images on teleconsultation website with clinical data available.
There was a significant reduction in the number of inter-hospital transfer. 37% of transfer is avoided and patients are best kept in their original hospitals. However, there are additional findings in which there are 20.1% of patients that thought does not require transfer based on clinical data alone, would have to be transferred when the clinical data and images are reviewed. This translates to an increment of 20.1% need to be observed in neurosurgical center. Without the images, these patients might be observed in the referral hospitals with higher risk of deterioration. Other factors that are related to transfer decision apart from images include Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and diagnosis. The GCS significantly associated with transfer when only clinical data is reviewed. However, in situation where clinical data and images are reviewed together, the GCS and diagnosis are significantly associated with transfer decision. On multi-factorial analysis, more of mild head injury being transferred for observation in neurosurgical unit after images and clinical data reviewed which correlates to an increment from 1.85% to 3.9%. Another finding is reduced of risk of patients transferred for trauma from 1.85% to 0.519% after the data reviewed.
Teleneurosurgery is beneficial in the management of referrals from level II hospitals. The inter-hospital transfer is significantly reduced, however there is an increased in the number of patients that need to be observed in neurosurgery unit for the risk of potential deterioration.
teleconference; remote consultation; neurosurgery; craniocerebral trauma; coma; post-head injury
Newborn screening (NBS) program is an important tool for the early diagnosis and preventive treatment of life-long impairments. NBS is one of the strategies recommended by the World Health Organization to promote the primary prevention of congenital anomalies and the health of children with these conditions. However, NBS initiation and implementation in developing countries, especially South-East Asian and North African regions, are slow and challenging. Expanded NBS is not mandatory and has not yet been incorporated into the public healthcare system in our country. Limited funding, manpower shortages, inadequate support services, low public awareness, and uncertain commitment from healthcare practitioners are the main challenges in establishing this program at the national level. Involvement and support from policy makers are very important to the success of the program and the benefit of the entire population.
newborn screening; inborn error of metabolism; congenital disorders; Malaysia
Ileocaecal intussusception is a common cause of acute intestinal obstruction presenting as a surgical emergency. We report a case of amoebic colitis in a 62 years old man complaining of acute colicky pain in the right iliac fossa, associated with a three-day history of constipation but no other gastrointestinal tract symptoms. There was rebound tenderness on palpation of the right iliac fossa. Ultrasound scans revealed free fluid and a loop within a loop image in this area. At laparotomy, we discovered an Ileocaecal intussusception associated with a gangrenous caecum. A right hemicolectomy was performed with satisfactory outcome. The final diagnosis of amoebic colitis was obtained post-operatively using serology and pathology. This rare aetiology must be considered in patients with acute pain in the right iliac fossa in the tropical regions. Tropical surgeons must be aware of this scenario before they label a case of intussusception as idiopathic. The identification and treatment of invasive amoebic infection may reduce the recurrence of idiopathic intussusception.
amoebic; intussusception; ileocaecal; colitis; idiopathic
Henoch-Schönlein Purpura (HSP) is a leucocytoclastic vasculitis of unclear aetiology characterised by symmetrical, non-traumatic, nonthrombocytopenic purpura mostly involving the lower limbs and buttocks, as well as arthritis, gastrointestinal manifestations, and occasional nephritis. A 35 years old male presented with purpuric rash on the lower extremities, abdominal pain, fever, arthralgia, and melaena. A diagnosis of HSP with appendicitis was made, which is an exceedingly rare phenomenon.
abdominal pain; appendicitis; purpura; purpuric; rash; Schonlein-Henoch; vasculitis
We present one of the largest lingual hamartomas of the tongue base to have been reported, along with a review of the current literature and a description of the management of this case, as well as insights into the histopathology of the lesion. A 21-year-old woman presented with a mass on the base of her tongue, extending to the vallecula. The mass was found to be over 4 cm and enhancing on computed tomography. The size, vascularity, and site of the lesion merited its excision using the suprahyoid pharyngotomy approach. Histopathology confirmed the mass to be a vascular hamartoma. In reviewing the literature, we encountered 61 reported cases of lingual hamartomas, which are described with a number of pathological variants and sites of occurrence and with different methods of surgical excision. The size, vascularity, and site of the lesion we found merited a different approach from the conventional transoral approach that was used in all of the previous reports. Also, our study agrees with current world literature that histopathological examination plays an important role in the final diagnosis.
lingual; hamartomas; tongue; vascular
A young man was admitted with sudden onset of right-sided weakness. He was assessed in the emergency department, and an immediate computed tomography (CT) perfusion study of the brain was arranged, which showed a left middle cerebral artery territory infarct with occlusion of the M1 segment. There was a significant penumbra measuring approximately 50% of the arterial territory. By the time his assessment was completed, it was 5.5 hours from the onset of symptoms. He was nonetheless administered intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) based on the significant penumbra. He was discharged from the hospital after one week with significant residual deficit. At 2 months clinic follow-up, he showed almost complete recovery with a Modified Rankin Score of 1. We hope to demonstrate that a significant penumbra is an important determinant for good neurological recovery and outcome following stroke thrombolysis, even when patients present outside the 4.5 hours onset-to-treatment time window.
stroke; computed tomography; perfusion; rtPA; thrombolysis; developing countries
Malaria parasitaemia is an important predictor of bacteremia, concomitant invasive bacterial infections and malaria parasitaemia are strongly associated with death.
Blood samples were collected from 500 patients (281 males and 219 females) with fevers of unknown origin. The blood samples were processed to diagnose malaria and bacterial septicaemia using standard microbiological techniques.
The prevalence of concomitant bacterial septicaemia and malaria parasitaemia was 7.8%. The prevalence of malaria parasitaemia alone (26.2%) was significantly (P < 0.0001) higher than that of bacterial septicaemia (13%). Patients 61 years old and older had higher prevalences of malaria parasitaemia, bacterial septicaemia, and concomitant infections. The most prevalent organism causing bacterial septicaemia were of the Klebsiella species, while ceftriaxone and ceftazidime were the most effective antibacterial agents.
Overall prevalence of malaria parasitaemia, septicaemia and concomitant malaria parasitaemia, and bacterial septicaemia were 26.2%, 13%, and 7.8%, respectively. Bacteria from the Klebsiella species were the most common bacteria causing septicaemia. Although ceftriaxone and ceftazidime are the recommended treatments, there is need for urgent treatment of concomitant infections due to their poor prognosis.
malaria; bacterial septicaemia; prevalence
Cerebral tuberculosis is the most severe type of extrapulmonary disease that is in developing countries highly predominant in children. Meningeal tuberculosis is the most common form and usually begins with respiratory infection followed by early haematogenous dissemination to extrapulmonary sites involving the brain. In comparison with the lung, Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces a very different immune response when infect the central nervous system. Herein, we review several aspects of the pathogenesis and immune response in pulmonary and cerebral tuberculosis in humans and experimental models and discuss the implications of this response in the cerebral infection outcome.
tuberculosis; tuberculous meningitis; cerebrospinal fluid
Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) is rare in infants. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the most common cause of SVCS in children. Swelling in the face and neck are the most common clinical symptoms associated with this syndrome. However, these clinical findings are also observed in allergic diseases, which therefore often leads to misdiagnosis. Here, we reported the importance of echocardiography in diagnosing SVCS in an infant with advanced stage non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
superior vena cava syndrome; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; echocardiography; infant
The quality of life for women after menopause is one of the key health issues today, and osteoporosis is a silently progressing metabolic bone disease widely prevalent in post-menopausal women in India. Rapid bone loss occurs in post-menopausal women due to hormonal factors that lead to an increased risk of fractures. Thus, the present study was undertaken to observe the serum calcium and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels in post-menopausal women as these substances are biochemical markers of bone metabolism. In this small-scale cross-sectional study, 100 samples were taken. Of these, 50 were taken from post-menopausal women (experimental group) and 50 were taken from pre-menopausal women (control group). Serum calcium and serum ALP were measured in the blood samples of both groups. The findings demonstrated that the serum calcium level was significantly lower in the post-menopausal group than in the pre-menopausal group, while the ALP level was slightly higher. Therefore, an increase in bone turnover accelerates bone mass reduction in post-menopausal women, whereas a decrease in bone turnover is associated with the preservation of bone mass.
alkaline phosphatase; calcium; menopause; osteoporosis
We report a case of Mirizzi syndrome type II associated with biliary enteric fistula. It is important to identify this combination early, as it is associated with high morbidity. In our case, intraoperative findings were cholecystoduodenal fistula and communication of Hartmann’s pouch with common bile duct (CBD). A subtotal cholecystectomy with excision of cholecystoduodenal fistula was performed. A minimal surgical maneuver of Calot’s Triangle with repair of cholecystoduodenal fistula is required during the intraoperative period.
cholecystoduodenal fistula; gallstones; Mirizzi syndrome
Multiple challenges are faced by educators and trainees. These challenges are multidimensional and pertain to a scenario in which trainees have to become in a short period of time competent technical neurosurgeons, while at the same time conscious of economic and professional factors that will influence their practice. It is the duty of societies and leading educators to come together in developing continental methods of training aimed towards “organised learning”. The goal should strictly be the education of our residents, not just the utilisation of their manpower for a number of years.
certification; competency; education; neurosurgery; training
Tuberculosis of the extra-oral region is uncommon and is rarely primary. Extra-oral involvement of the cheek in the absence of tuberculosis elsewhere in the body is rare. To the best of our knowledge, we report here the first case of primary tuberculosis of the cheek in a 31-year-old male presenting as a nodular swelling of the cheek. Previous reported cases of extra-oral involvement of the cheek involved either fistula or sinus of the cheek. Excisional biopsy for tissue diagnosis and bacterial examination with culture should be performed for an early diagnosis as a delay in treatment can lead to devastating consequences.
cheek; extraoral; tuberculosis; primary
Work-family conflict has received increasing attention in recent decades in the area of workplace stressors, which can affect employees’ health. However, the dimensionality of the work–family conflict construct among the Malay-speaking population has not been clarified. In order to do so, it is crucial to use an instrument that is appropriate and valid for the Malay-speaking population. As such, the goal of this study was to validate and test the dimensionality of the Malay version of the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire.
The present study conducted exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency, using Cronbach’s alpha, of the work–family conflict construct among 332 working women in Malaysia.
The results supported the existence of four dimensions in the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire that distinguish between time based and strain-based work-family conflict and family-work conflict. The discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency of this construct are adequately supported.
The findings of this study supported the existence of discriminant and convergent validity, as well as adequate reliability, for the construct. Thus, the Work–Family Conflict Questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument among Malay-speaking working women.
factor analysis; validity and reliability; working women; professional-family relation
The aim of this study was to investigate the serum fibronectin (FN) levels and liver enzyme activities in patients with acute hepatitis (A, B, C) and chronic viral hepatitis (B, C); determine whether the virus types correlated with disease severity; and assess whether FN could be used as a marker of virus type or disease severity in patients.
A total of 60 subjects were enrolled in the study, including 20 patients with acute hepatitis (A, B, C), 20 with chronic hepatitis (B, C), and 20 healthy controls. Serum fibronectin (FN), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), and albumin were measured in all patients from blood samples.
Serum FN levels were significantly lower in acute (122.9 μg/mL (SD 43.1), P < 0.001) and chronic hepatitis patients (135.7 μg/mL (SD 46.0), P < 0 .001) compared to controls 221.4 μg/mL (SD 32.5). A negative correlation was found between serum FN and AST (r2 = 0.528, P < 0.001), ALT (r2 = 0.425, P < 0.001), and GGT (r2 = 0.339, P < 0.001). Additionally, high serum GGT levels (β = –0.375, P = 0.010), and low serum albumin levels (β = –0.305, P = 0.008) were associated with low serum FN levels.
Serum FN levels were lower in both acute and chronic hepatitis patients, and an inverse relationship between serum FN and serum AST, ALT, and GGT levels was found. A decrease in serum FN levels may indicate hepatitis severity as AST and ALT represent hepatocyte damage.
fibronectin; hepatitis; chronic hepatitis; liver fibrosis; albumin
Cognitive functions are impaired in patients with liver disease. Bile duct ligation causes cholestasis that impairs liver function. This study investigated the impact of cholestasis progression on the acquisition and retention times in the passive avoidance test and on the locomotor activity of rats.
Cholestasis was induced in male Wistar rats by ligating the main bile duct. Locomotor activity, learning and memory were assessed by the passive avoidance learning test at day 7, day 14, and day 21 post-bile duct ligation. The serum levels of bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase were measured.
The results showed that acquisition time and locomotor activity were not affected at day 7 and day 14, but they were significantly (P < 0.05) impaired at day 21 post-bile duct ligation compared with the results for the control group. Additionally, memory was significantly impaired on day 7 (P < 0.01), day 14, and day 21 (P < 0.001) compared with the control groups. The levels of total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, indirect bilirubin, alanine aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase were significantly higher at day 7, day 14, and day 21 post-bile duct ligation compared with the levels in the sham group.
Based on these findings, both liver and memory function were affected in the early stage of cholestasis (7 days after bile duct ligation), while learning and locomotor activity were impaired at 21 days after bile duct ligation following the progression of cholestasis.
cholestasis; passive avoidance; locomotor activity; BDL; rat
Anti-diabetic medications are integral for glycemic control in diabetes. Non-adherence to drugs can alter blood glucose levels, resulting in complications. Adherence to anti-diabetic medications reported by patients and the factors associated with medication adherence among adult patients with diabetes mellitus were explored.
This cross-sectional study was carried out among patients with type II diabetes mellitus attending the Internal Medicine Department of a hospital in the United Arab Emirates. Consecutive patients were selected, and data regarding their medication adherence were collected using a questionnaire. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS-20. The chi-square test was performed to examine the associations between categorical variables; a two-sided P Value < 0.05 was considered significant.
A total of 132 patients participated in the study (63 males; 69 females). The mean age (standard deviation) of the respondents was 54 years (SD 10.2). The self-reported adherence rate to anti-diabetic drugs was 84%. The most common reason for non-adherence was forgetfulness, and the adherence rate was similar in both genders. Patients with Bachelor’s and Master’s degree reported greater adherence rate to anti-diabetic medication in comparison to the secondary school educated.
The self-reported adherence rate to anti-diabetic medications was 84%, and forgetfulness was the most common reason for non-adherence. Future studies on strategies to improve adherence rate should be considered.
anti-diabetic drugs; compliance; diabetes mellitus; patient-physician relationship; patient adherence