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1.  Quality of life and physicians' perception in myelodysplastic syndromes 
To detect factors associated with quality of life (QOL) of patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and to compare the MDS patients’ self-assessed QOL with that perceived by their physicians. In an observational, non-interventional, prospective, multicentre study, QOL was evaluated in 148 patients with newly diagnosed low- and intermediate-risk IPSS MDS. QOL measures (QOL-E v.2, LASA and EQ-5D) and patient-related candidate determinants of QOL were assessed for up to 18 months. Patients' QOL scores were compared with those obtained by appointed hematologists’ assessment and with ECOG performance status (PS). Fatigue was not prevalent at diagnosis, though physical QOL and energy levels were low. Transfusion-dependent patients had worse QOL scores. In multivariate analysis, Hb levels and comorbidities were a major determinant of QOL. Physicians’ perception of patients’ well-being correlated with patients’ QOL. Physicians underestimated the impact of disturbances on patients’ QOL, mainly in the MDS-specific components. ECOG PS did not discriminate patients according to QOL status. In conclusion, the association of anemia with QOL is confirmed, while co-morbidities emerge as an independent predictor of QOL in MDS. Fatigue is not a major concern. ECOG PS is not a valuable surrogate of patient’s QOL, thus highlighting that physician’s judgment of patient’s well-being must not substitute patient-reported outcomes. Appropriate questionnaires should be used to assess MDS patients’ QOL in order to improve communication and therapeutic choice.
PMCID: PMC3384400  PMID: 22762033
Myelodysplastic syndromes; quality of life; comorbidities; anemia; transfusion-dependence; patient-reported outcomes
2.  Absidia Corymbifera in an immune competent accident victim with multiple abdominal injuries: case report 
Background
We report a case of mucormycosis in a healthy 17-year-old accident victim with multiple abdominal injuries which was caused by infection with Absidia Corymbifera, a ubiquitous saphrophyte in the ground.
Case presentation
The patient was admitted to hospital with massive abdominal trauma. During an 8-hour emergency operation he received transfusions of compacted red blood cells, plasma, platelets and hemagel. He developed a crush syndrome with acute renal failure, resolved with extra-corporeal dialysis and had to undergo splenectomy because of spleen hematoma. As wound secretion and central venous catheter (CVC) blood cultures and drainage fluid were positive for Enterococcus Faecium, Providentia Rettgeri, Hafnia Alvei and Candida Albicans, tecoplanin, metronidazole, imipenem, and flucanozole were administered.
Although the CVC was changed high fever persisted and discharge continued from the large abdominal wound. Repeated tampons in different sections and wound secretion smears were positive for A. corymbifera. Flucanozole was stopped and liposomal amphotericin (Ambisome; 5 mg/Kg i.v.) given for over 3 months.
The patient improved; fever gradually disappeared. After 8 days, tampons and wound secretion smears were negative for A. corymbifera. No other fungal infections developed. Drainage fluid was later positive for tecoplanin-resistant E. faecium and Pseudomonas Aeroginosa responding only to meropenem and ciprofloxacin. Abdominal computerized tomography visualized fluid accumulation around the iliac-femoral bypass. Abcess was ruled out when scintigraphy showed no tracer uptake. The lesion was drained. Drainage fluid cultures were negative for bacteria and fungi. Fluid accumulation gradually disappeared with prolonged antibiotic and antifungal therapy.
One year after the accident the patient is in good health, with normal quality of life.
Conclusion
Successful outcome was due to early, specific antifungal therapy, at sufficiently high dosage which was prolonged for an adequate period of time. Early diagnosis of mucormycosis is essential for efficacious anti-fungal treatment and prevention of irreversible spread of mucormycosis to vital organs. It presupposes awareness that A. corymbifera infection can develop in healthy individuals who are stressed and traumatized through skin-ground contact in accidents.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-46
PMCID: PMC1891108  PMID: 17531089

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