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1.  Treatment of hyperfunctioning thyroid nodules by percutaneous ethanol injection 
Background
Autonomous thyroid nodules can be treated by a variety of methods. We assessed the efficacy of percutaneous ethanol injection in treating autonomous thyroid nodules.
Methods
35 patients diagnosed by technetium-99 scanning with hyperfunctioning nodules and suppressed sensitive TSH (sTSH) were given sterile ethanol injections under ultrasound guidance. 29 patients had clinical and biochemical hyperthyroidism. The other 6 had sub-clinical hyperthyroidism with suppressed sTSH levels (<0.24 μIU/ml) and normal thyroid hormone levels. Ethanol injections were performed once every 1–4 weeks. Ethanol injections were stopped when serum T3, T4 and sTSH levels had returned to normal, or else injections could no longer be performed because significant side effects. Patients were followed up at 3, 6 and, in 15 patients, 24 months after the last injection.
Results
Average pre-treatment nodule volume [18.2 ± 12.7 ml] decreased to 5.7 ± 4.6 ml at 6 months follow-up [P < 0.001]. All patients had normal thyroid hormone levels at 3 and 6 months follow-up [P < 0.001 relative to baseline]. sTSH levels increased from 0.09 ± 0.02 μIU/ml to 0.65 ± 0.8 μIU/ml at the end of therapy [P < 0.05]. Only 3 patients had persistent sTSH suppression at 6 months post-therapy. T4 and sTSH did not change significantly between 6 months and 2 years [P > 0.05]. Ethanol injections were well tolerated by the patients, with only 2 cases of transient dysphonia.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate that ethanol injection is an alternative to surgery or radioactive iodine in the treatment of autonomous thyroid nodules.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-2-3
PMCID: PMC140013  PMID: 12470301
Hot Thyroid Nodules; Treatment; Ethanol; Thyrotoxicosis; Ultrasonography
2.  Islet expression of the DNA repair enzyme 8-oxoguanosine DNA glycosylase (Ogg1) in human type 2 diabetes 
Background
It has become increasingly clear that β-cell failure plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Free-radical mediated β-cell damage has been intensively studied in type 1 diabetes, but not in human type 2 diabetes. Therefore, we studied the protein expression of the DNA repair enzyme Ogg1 in pancreases from type 2 diabetics. Ogg1 was studied because it is the major enzyme involved in repairing 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanosine DNA adducts, a lesion previously observed in a rat model of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, in a gene expression screen, Ogg1 was over-expressed in islets from a human type 2 diabetic.
Methods
Immunofluorescent staining of Ogg1 was performed on pancreatic specimens from healthy controls and patients with diabetes for 2–23 years. The intensity and islet area stained for Ogg1 was evaluated by semi-quantitative scoring.
Results
Both the intensity and the area of islet Ogg1 staining were significantly increased in islets from the type 2 diabetic subjects compared to the healthy controls. A correlation between increased Ogg1 fluorescent staining intensity and duration of diabetes was also found. Most of the staining observed was cytoplasmic, suggesting that mitochondrial Ogg1 accounts primarily for the increased Ogg1 expression.
Conclusion
We conclude that oxidative stress related DNA damage may be a novel important factor in the pathogenesis of human type 2 diabetes. An increase of Ogg1 in islet cell mitochondria is consistent with a model in which hyperglycemia and consequent increased β-cell oxidative metabolism lead to DNA damage and the induction of Ogg1 expression.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-2-2
PMCID: PMC111186  PMID: 12003641
3.  Diagnostic criteria for diabetes revisited: making use of combined criteria 
Background
Existing cut-offs for fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and post-load glucose (2hPG) criteria are not equivalent in the diagnosis of diabetes and glucose intolerance. Adjusting cut-offs of single measurements have not helped so we undertook this project to see if they could be complementary.
Methods
We performed oral glucose tolerance tests and mean levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measurements on 43 patients referred to a diabetes clinic for possible diabetes. Results of single and combined use of the FPG and 2hPG criteria were evaluated against the levels of HbA1c and results re-interpreted in the light of existing reports in the literature.
Results
Our results confirm that the FPG and the 2hPG, being specific and sensitive respectively for the presence of glucose intolerance or diabetes, are not equivalent. They are shown to be indeed complementary and a re-definition of diagnostic criteria based on their combined use is proposed.
Conclusions
We conclude that altering single measurement cut-offs for the diagnosis of diabetes and altered glucose tolerance will not result in better outcomes. We present the case for a combined criteria in the diagnosis and definition of diabetes with a FPG≥7 mmol/L AND 2-hour glucose ≥7.8 mmol/L being used to define diabetes while a FPG<7 mmol/L AND 2-hour glucose <7.8 mmol/L being used to define normality. Discordant values will define impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). This proposal requires prospective evaluation in a large cohort.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-2-1
PMCID: PMC65682  PMID: 11866866

Results 1-3 (3)