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1.  Risk factors for latent tuberculosis infection in close contacts of active tuberculosis patients in South Korea: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2014;14(1):566.
The diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) have become mandatory to reduce the burden of tuberculosis worldwide. Close contacts of active TB patients are at high risk of both active and LTBI. The aim of this study is to identify the predominant risk factors of contracting LTBI, persons in close contact with TB patients were recruited. This study also aimed to compare the efficacy of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and QuantiFERON®-TB GOLD (QFT-G) to diagnose LTBI.
Close contacts of active pulmonary TB patients visiting a hospital in South Korea were diagnosed for LTBI using TST and/or QFT-G. The association of positive TST and/or QFT-G with the following factors was estimated: age, gender, history of Bacillius Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination, history of pulmonary TB, cohabitation status, the acid-fast bacilli smear status, and presence of cough in source cases.
Of 308 subjects, 38.0% (116/305) were TST positive and 28.6% (59/206) were QFT-G positive. TST positivity was significantly associated with male gender (OR: 1.734; 95% CI: 1.001-3.003, p =0.049), history of pulmonary TB (OR: 4.130; 95% CI: 1.441-11.835, p =0.008) and household contact (OR: 2.130; 95% CI: 1.198-3.786, p =0.01) after adjustment for confounding variables. The degree of concordance between TST and QFT-G was fair (70.4%, κ =0.392).
A prevalence of LTBI among close contacts of active pulmonary TB patients was high, and prior TB history and being a household contact were risk factors of LTBI in the study population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0566-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4237765  PMID: 25404412
Tuberculin test; Interferon-gamma release tests; Latent tuberculosis; Independent living; Tuberculosis, pulmonary
2.  Risk Factors for Death during Pulmonary Tuberculosis Treatment in Korea: A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(9):1226-1231.
The data regarding risk factors for death during tuberculosis (TB) treatment are inconsistent, and few studies examined this issue in Korea. The purpose of this study was to evaluate baseline prognostic factors for death during treatment of adult patients with pulmonary TB in Korea. A multicenter retrospective cohort study of 2,481 patients who received TB treatment at eight hospitals from January 2009 to December 2010 was performed. Successful treatment included cure (1,129, 45.5%) and treatment completion (1,204, 48.5%) in 2,333 patients (94.0%). Unsuccessful treatment included death (85, 3.4%) and treatment failure (63, 2.5%) occurred in 148 patients (6.0%). In multivariate analysis, male sex, anemia, dyspnea, chronic heart disease, malignancy, and intensive care unit (ICU) admission were significant risk factors for death during TB treatment. Therefore, male sex, anemia, dyspnea, chronic heart disease, malignancy, and ICU admission could be baseline prognostic factors for death during treatment of adult patients with pulmonary TB in Korea.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4168175  PMID: 25246740
Tuberculosis, Pulmonary; Therapeutics; Mortality, Korea
3.  Body Mass Index and Mortality in Korean Intensive Care Units: A Prospective Multicenter Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e90039.
The level of body mass index (BMI) that is associated with the lowest mortality in critically ill patients in Asian populations is uncertain. We aimed to examine the association of BMI with hospital mortality in critically ill patients in Korea.
We conducted a prospective multicenter cohort study of 3,655 critically ill patients in 22 intensive care units (ICUs) in Korea. BMI was categorized into five groups: <18.5, 18.5 to 22.9, 23.0 to 24.9 (the reference category), 25.0 to 29.9, and ≥30.0 kg/m2.
The median BMI was 22.6 (IQR 20.3 to 25.1). The percentages of patients with BMI<18.5, 18.5 to 22.9, 23.0 to 24.9, 25.0 to 29.9, and ≥30.0 were 12, 42.3, 19.9, 22.4, and 3.3%, respectively. The Cox-proportional hazard ratios with exact partial likelihood to handle tied failures for hospital mortality comparing the BMI categories <18.5, 18.5 to 22.9, 25.0 to 29.9, and ≥30.0 with the reference category were 1.13 (0.88 to 1.44), 1.03 (0.84 to 1.26), 0.96 (0.76 to 1.22), and 0.68 (0.43 to 1.08), respectively, with a highly significant test for trend (p = 0.02).
A graded inverse association between BMI and hospital mortality with a strong significant trend was found in critically ill patients in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3991578  PMID: 24747262
4.  Usefulness of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide in patients admitted to the intensive care unit: a multicenter prospective observational study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2014;14:16.
The role of N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-pro-BNP) as a prognostic factor in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) is not yet fully established. We aimed to determine whether NT-pro-BNP is predictive of ICU mortality in a multicenter cohort of critically ill patients.
A total of 1440 patients admitted to 22 ICUs (medical, 14; surgical, six; multidisciplinary, two) in 15 tertiary or university-affiliated hospitals between July 2010 and January 2011 were assessed. Patient data, including NT-pro-BNP levels and Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) 3 scores, were recorded prospectively in a web-based database.
The median age was 64 years (range, 53–73 years), and 906 (62.9%) patients were male. The median NT-pro-BNP level was 341 pg/mL (104–1,637 pg/mL), and the median SAPS 3 score was 57 (range, 47–69). The ICU mortality rate was 18.9%, and hospital mortality was 24.5%. Hospital survivors showed significantly lower NT-pro-BNP values than nonsurvivors (245 pg/mL [range, 82–1,053 pg/mL] vs. 875 pg/mL [241–5,000 pg/mL], respectively; p < 0.001). In prediction of hospital mortality, the area under the curve (AUC) for NT-pro-BNP was 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64–0.70) and SAPS 3 score was 0.83 (95% CI, 0.81–0.85). AUC increment by adding NT-pro-BNP is minimal and likely no different to SAPS 3 alone.
The NT-pro-BNP level was more elevated in nonsurvivors in a multicenter cohort of critically ill patients. However, there was little additional prognostic power when adding NT-pro-BNP to SAPS 3 score.
PMCID: PMC3975327  PMID: 24612820
N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide; Intensive care unit; Critical care; Prognosis
5.  Sunitinib Treatment for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in Patients with Von Hippel-Lindau Disease 
Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an autosomal dominant disease that produces a variety of tumors and cysts in the central nervous system and visceral organs, including renal cell carcinoma (RCC). RCC in patients with VHL disease does not frequently metastasize, therefore, the response to treatment and prognosis of metastatic RCC developed in patients with VHL disease has not been reported. Sunitinib is an oral, multitargeted receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic and antitumor activity. Here, we report on four patients with metastatic RCC in VHL disease who received sunitinib and achieved partial responses that have lasted for a prolonged period of time.
PMCID: PMC3893333  PMID: 24454008
Von Hippel-Lindau disease; Neoplasm metastasis; Renal cell carcinoma; Sunitinib
6.  A Case of Isolated Pulmonary Mucormycosis in an Immunocompetent Host 
Mucormycosis is a rare fungal disease that holds a fatal opportunistic fungal infection in diabetes mellitus, hematological malignancy, and immunocompromised host. Isolated pulmonary mucormycosis is extremely rare. Optimal therapy is a combined medical-surgical approach and a management of the patient's underlying disease. Herein, we report a case-study of isolated pulmonary mucormycosis which was being presented as multiple lung nodules in a patient with no underlying risk factors. Considering that the patient had poor pulmonary functions, we treated him with only antifungal agent rather than a combined medical-surgical approach. After treatment with antifungal agent for six months, the nodules of pulmonary mucormycosis were improved with the prominent reductions of size on the computed tomography.
PMCID: PMC3695309  PMID: 23814599
Mucormycosis; Lung; Immunocompetence; Posaconazole
7.  Role of IL-15 in Sepsis-Induced Skeletal Muscle Atrophy and Proteolysis 
Muscle wasting in sepsis is associated with increased proteolysis. Interleukin-15 (IL-15) has been characterized as an anabolic factor for skeletal muscles. Our study aims to investigate the role of IL-15 in sepsis-induced muscle atrophy and proteolysis.
Mice were rendered septic either by cecal ligation and puncture or by intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 mg/kg i.p.). Expression of IL-15 mRNA and protein was determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis in the control and septic limb muscles. C2C12 skeletal muscle cells were stimulated in vitro with either LPS or dexamethasone in the presence and absence of IL-15 and sampled at different time intervals (24, 48, or 72 hours). IL-15 (10µg/kg) was intraperitoneally administered 6 hours before sepsis induction and limb muscles were sampled after 24 hours of sepsis. Cathepsin L activity was determined to measure muscle proteolysis. Atrogin-1 and muscle-specific ring finger protein 1 (MuRF1) expressions in limb muscle protein lysates was analyzed.
IL-15 mRNA expression was significantly lower in the limb muscles of septic mice compared to that of controls. Cathepsin L activity in C2C12 cells was significantly lower in presence of IL-15, when compared to that observed with individual treatments of LPS or dexamethasone or tumor necrosis factor α. Further, the limb muscles of mice pre-treated with IL-15 prior to sepsis induction showed a lower expression of atrogin-1 and MuRF1 than those not pre-treated.
IL-15 may play a role in protection against sepsis-induced muscle wasting; thereby, serving as a potential therapeutic target for sepsis-induced skeletal muscle wasting and proteolysis.
PMCID: PMC3538184  PMID: 23319993
Interleukin-15; Muscular Atrophy; Proteolysis; Muscle Retardation; Sepsis
8.  Clinical Features according to the Frequency of Acute Exacerbation in COPD 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is now regarded as a heterogenous disease, with variable phenotypes. Acute exacerbation of COPD is a major event that alters the natural course of disease. The frequency of COPD exacerbation is variable among patients. We analyzed clinical features, according to the frequency of acute exacerbation in COPD.
Sixty patients, who visited Gyeongsang National University Hospital from March 2010 to October 2010, were enrolled. Patients were divided into two groups, according to their frequency of acute exacerbation. Frequent exacerbator is defined as the patient who has two or more exacerbation per one year. We reviewed patients' medical records and investigated modified Medical Research Council (MMRC) dyspnea scale, smoking history and frequency of acute exacerbation. We also conducted pulmonary function test and 6-minute walking test, calculated body mass index, degree of airway obstruction and dyspnea and exercise capacity (BODE) index and measured CD146 cells in the peripheral blood.
The number of frequent exacerbators and infrequent exacerbators was 20 and 40, respectively. The frequent exacerbator group had more severe airway obstruction (forced expiratory volume in one second [FEV1], 45% vs. 65.3%, p=0.001; FEV1/forced vital capacity, 44.3% vs. 50.5%, p=0.046). MMRC dyspnea scale and BODE index were significantly higher in the frequent exacerbator group (1.8 vs. 1.1, p=0.016; 3.9 vs. 2.1, p=0.014, respectively). The fraction of CD146 cells significantly increased in the frequent exacerbator group (2.0 vs. 1.0, p<0.001).
Frequent exacerbator had more severe airway obstruction and higher symptom score and BODE index. However, circulating endothelial cells measured by CD146 needed to be confirmed in the future.
PMCID: PMC3510288  PMID: 23227078
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Phenotype; Endothelial Cells
9.  Endobronchial Aspergilloma: Report of 10 Cases and Literature Review 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2011;52(5):787-792.
A retrospective investigation of the clinical and radiologic features as well as the bronchoscopic appearance was carried out in patients with endobronchial aspergilloma.
Materials and Methods
Ten patients with endobronchial aspergilloma diagnosed by bronchoscopy and histological examination were identified at the Gyeongsang University Hospital of Korea, from May 2003 to May 2009.
The patients included 9 men and 1 woman, and the age of the patients ranged from 36 to 76 (median, 58 years). The associated diseases or conditions were: previous pulmonary tuberculosis in 7 patients, lung cancer in 2 patients, pulmonary resection in 1 patient, and foreign body of the bronchus in 1 patient. The chest radiologic finding showed fibrotic changes as a consequence of previous tuberculosis infection in 6 patients and a mass-like lesion in 2 patients. Two patients had a co-existing fungus ball, and an endobronchial lesion was suspected in only 2 patients on the CT scan. The bronchoscopic appearance was a whitish to yellow necrotic mass causing bronchial obstruction in 7 patients, foreign body with adjacent granulation tissue and whitish necrotic tissue in 1 patient, whitish necrotic tissue at an anastomosis site in 1 patient, and a protruding mass with whitish necrotic tissue in 1 patient.
An endobronchial aspergilloma is a rare presentation of pulmonary aspergilosis and is usually incidentally found in immunocompetent patients with underlying lung disease. It usually appears as a necrotic mass causing bronchial obstruction on bronchoscopy and can be confirmed by biopsy.
PMCID: PMC3159936  PMID: 21786444
Endobronchial aspergilloma
10.  A Case of Anaphylaxis After the Ingestion of Yacon 
Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening systemic allergic reaction, often with an explosive onset; the symptoms range from mild flushing to upper respiratory obstruction, with or without vascular collapse. Foods are common offending allergens and remain the leading cause of outpatient anaphylaxis in most surveys. Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius) is a plant native to the Andes region, where its root is cultivated and consumed mainly as food. Unlike most edible roots, yacon contains large amounts of ructooligosaccharides. Traditionally, yacon tubers have been used as a source of natural sweetener and syrup for people suffering from various disorders. We report the case of a 55-year-old woman who developed syncope and generalized urticaria after ingesting yacon roots. The patient had positive skin prick and intradermal tests to yacon extract. An open food challenge test was performed to confirm food anaphylaxis and was positive 10 minutes after the consumption of yacon roots. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of anaphylaxis after the ingestion of yacon roots.
PMCID: PMC2846740  PMID: 20358031
Yacon; anaphylaxis; syncope; urticaria; hypotension
11.  Skeletal muscle dysfunction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating disease characterized by inflammation-induced airflow limitation and parenchymal destruction. In addition to pulmonary manifestations, patients with COPD develop systemic problems, including skeletal muscle and other organ-specific dysfunctions, nutritional abnormalities, weight loss, and adverse psychological responses. Patients with COPD often complain of dyspnea on exertion, reduced exercise capacity, and develop a progressive decline in lung function with increasing age. These symptoms have been attributed to increases in the work of breathing and in impairments in gas exchange that result from airflow limitation and dynamic hyperinflation. However, there is mounting evidence to suggest that skeletal muscle dysfunction, independent of lung function, contributes significantly to reduced exercise capacity and poor quality of life in these patients. Limb and ventilatory skeletal muscle dysfunction in COPD patients has been attributed to a myriad of factors, including the presence of low grade systemic inflammatory processes, nutritional depletion, corticosteroid medications, chronic inactivity, age, hypoxemia, smoking, oxidative and nitrosative stresses, protein degradation and changes in vascular density. This review briefly summarizes the contribution of these factors to overall skeletal muscle dysfunction in patients with COPD, with particular attention paid to the latest advances in the field.
PMCID: PMC2650609  PMID: 19281080
skeletal muscles; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; diaphragm; quadriceps; fatigue; disuse; atrophy; smoking; exercise
12.  Endobronchial Tuberculosis Presenting as Right Middle Lobe Syndrome: Clinical Characteristics and Bronchoscopic Findings in 22 Cases 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2008;49(4):615-619.
Endobronchial tuberculosis (EBTB) presenting as right middle lobe syndrome (RMLS) is an uncommon clinical condition. We investigated the clinical characteristics in patients with EBTB presenting as RMLS.
Patients and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed the records of 22 patients with EBTB presenting as RMLS who were diagnosed at our hospital from 2003 to 2006.
Its occurrence was more common in females than males (F, 18; M, 4). The mean age was 70.3 ± 8.5 years, and 17 patients were above the age of 65 years. Cough with sputum was the most common manifestation and 2 patients were asymptomatic. In bronchoscopic analysis, the most common finding was edematous-type EBTB, which was found in 15 patients, followed by actively caseating type in 6 and tumorous type in 1. Acid-fast bacilli (AFB) staining for bronchial washing fluid was positive in only 5 patients: 1 with edematous type and 4 with actively caseating type. Bronchoscopic biopsy showed chronic granulomatous inflammation in 16 patients. Follow-up chest X-ray after treatment showed complete disappearance of the lesion in 2 patients, more than 50% improvement in 5, less than 50% improvement in 5, and no change of lesion in 4.
Edematous-type EBTB was the most common type of EBTB presenting as RMLS, and it usually occurred in elderly patients. Culturing for mycobacterium and histologic examination by bronchoscopy are necessary for proper diagnosis in these patients.
PMCID: PMC2615288  PMID: 18729304
Endobronchial tuberculosis; right middle lobe syndrome
13.  Mycobacterium Avium Complex Infection Presenting as an Endobronchial Mass in a Patient with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 
Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection is a common opportunistic infection in patients with AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Pulmonary involvement of MAC may range from asymptomatic colonization of the respiratory tract to invasive parenchymal or cavitary disease. However, endobronchial lesions with MAC infection are rare in immunocompetent and immunosuppressed hosts. Here, we report MAC infection presenting as an endobronchial mass in a patient with AIDS.
PMCID: PMC2687693  PMID: 17939342
Mycobacterium avium complex; Endobronchial mass; AIDS
14.  Langerhans Cell Sarcoma Arising from Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis: A Case Report 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2006;21(3):577-580.
Langerhans cell sarcoma (LCS) is a neoplastic proliferation of Langerhans cells that have overtly malignant cytologic features. It is a very rare disease and theoretically, it can present de novo or progress from an antecedent Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH). However, to our knowledge, LCS arising from an antecedent LCH has not been reported on. We present here a case of LCS arising from a pulmonary LCH. A 34 yr-old man who was a smoker, had a fever and a chronic cough. Computed tomographic (CT) scan revealed multiple tiny nodules in both lungs. The thoracoscopic lung biopsy revealed LCH. The patient quit smoking, but he received no other specific treatment. One year later, the follow up chest CT scan showed a 4 cm-sized mass in the left lower lobe of the lung. A lobectomy was then performed. Microscopic examination of the mass revealed an infiltrative proliferation of large cells that had malignant cytologic features. Immunohistochemical stains showed a strong reactivity for S-100 and CD68, and a focal reactivity for CD1a. We think this is the first case of LCS arising from LCH.
PMCID: PMC2729972  PMID: 16778410
Histiocytosis, Langerhans-Cell; Sarcoma; Lung

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