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1.  Serum Procalcitonin is a sensitive and specific marker in the diagnosis of septic arthritis and acute osteomyelitis 
Background
Early diagnosis of Acute Osteomyelitis (OM) and Septic Arthritis (SA) is of vital importance to avoid devastating complications. There is no single laboratory marker which is sensitive and specific in diagnosing these infections accurately. Total Count, ESR and CRP are not specific as they can also be elevated in non pyogenic causes of inflammation. Pus Culture and sensitivity is not a true gold standard due to its varied positivity rates (40 – 70%). Serum Procalcitonin (PCT), at 0.5 ng/ml is found to be an accurate marker for pyogenic infections. The objectives of this study were to show that PCT is an accurate marker in differentiating Acute Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis from viral and non infective inflammatory bone and joint conditions.
Methods
Patients of all age groups (n = 82) with suspected Acute Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis were prospectively included in this study. All patients were subjected to TC, CRP, PCT, IgM Dengue, IgM Chikungunya, pus and blood culture and sensitivity. At the end of the study, patients were classified into 3 groups: Group 1 = Confirmed Pyogenic (n = 27); Group 2 = Presumed Pyogenic (n = 21); Group 3 = Non – infective inflammatory (n = 34).
Results
Group 1 has higher mean PCT levels than Group 2 and 3 (p < 0.05). PCT, at 0.4 ng/ml, was 85.2% sensitive and 87.3% specific in diagnosing Septic Arthritis and Acute Osteomyelitis. In comparison, PCT at conventional cut – off of 0.5 ng/ml is 66.7% sensitive and 91% specific.
Conclusion
Serum Procalcitonin, at a cut – off of 0.4 ng/ml, is a sensitive and specific marker in the diagnosis of Septic Arthritis and Acute Osteomyelitis.
doi:10.1186/1749-799X-8-19
PMCID: PMC3718669  PMID: 23826894
Serum; Procalcitonin; Septic; Arthritis; Acute; Osteomyelitis; Diagnosis; Inflammatory; Marker
2.  Body mass index contributes to sympathovagal imbalance in prehypertensives 
Background
The present study was conducted to assess the nature of sympathovagal imbalance (SVI) in prehypertensives by short-term analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) to understand the alteration in autonomic modulation and the contribution of BMI to SVI in the genesis of prehypertension.
Methods
Body mass index (BMI), basal heart rate (BHR), blood pressure (BP), rate pressure product (RPP) and HRV indices such as total power (TP), low-frequency power (LF), normalized LF (LFnu), high-frequency power (HF), normalized HF (HFnu), LF-HF ratio, mean heart rate (mean RR), square root of the mean squared differences of successive normal to normal intervals (RMSSD), standard deviation of normal to normal RR interval (SDNN), the number of interval differences of successive NN intervals greater than 50 ms (NN50) and the proportion derived by dividing NN50 by the total number of NN intervals (pNN50) were assessed in three groups of subjects: normotensives having normal BMI (Group 1), prehypertensives having normal BMI (Group 2) and prehypertensives having higher BMI (Group 3). SVI was assessed from LF-HF ratio and correlated with BMI, BHR, BP and RPP in all the groups by Pearson correlation. The contribution of BMI to SVI was assessed by multiple regression analysis.
Results
LF and LFnu were significantly increased and HF and HFnu were significantly decreased in prehypertensive subjects in comparison to normotensive subjects and the magnitude of these changes was more prominent in subjects with higher BMI compared to that of normal BMI. LF-HF ratio, the sensitive indicator of sympathovagal balance had significant correlation with BMI (P = 0.000) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (P = 0.002) in prehypertensives. BMI was found to be an independent contributing factor to SVI (P = 0.001) in prehypertensives.
Conclusions
It was concluded that autonomic imbalance in prehypertensives manifested in the form of increased sympathetic activity and vagal inhibition. In prehypertensives with higher BMI, vagal withdrawal was predominant than sympathetic overactivity. Magnitude of SVI (alteration in LF-HF ratio) was linked to changes in BMI and DBP. BMI had an independent influence on LF-HF ratio. It was advised that life-style modifications such as yoga and exercise would enable achieve the sympathovagal balance and blood pressure homeostasis in prehypertensives.
doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-54
PMCID: PMC3441642  PMID: 22812583
Prehypertension; Heart rate variability; Body mass index; Sympathovagal imbalance; LF-HF ratio

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