Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 462

Medical and Health Sciences

Social Health and Adaptation of Armenian Physicians

Ability of adaptation of the organism is considered as an important component of health in maintaining relative dynamic constancy of the hemostasis and functioning of all organs and systems. Among the various forms of adaptation (individual, species and mental), social adaptation of the organism has a particular role. The aim of this study was to evaluate the subjective perception of social factors, social welfare and the level of adaptability of Armenian physicians. The survey involved 2,167 physicians (592 men and 1,575 women). According to the survey, most physicians (75.1%) were married. It was found that 88.6% of respondents had harmonious family relationships, 7.6% of respondents – tense relationships, and 1.0% – marginal relationships. The results showed that the average monthly salary with all premium payments amounted to 88 263.6±5.0 drams, and 16.7% of physicians heavily relied on the material support of parents or other relatives. Low material welfare was also confirmed by the analysis of the living conditions. Analysis of the results showed that the degree of subjective perception of social factors of different specialties averaged 11.3±3.1 points, which corresponds to satisfactory results (a very good result – 4.0 points). The degree of social adaptation of physicians on average makes 4.13±1.9 points, which corresponds to poor results (allowable less than 3.0 points). The distribution of the results of social adaptation severity revealed that the majority of physicians (58.6%) showed low social adaptation, average social adaptation is observed in 22.4% of the physicians and high adaptation – in only 17.4% of physicians. In conclusions, the findings of this study suggest that the degree of social adaptation of currently practicing physicians is low.

Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio: A Predictor of Cardiometabolic Complications in Morbid Obese Girls
Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory state. Childhood obesity is a multisystem disease, which is associated with a number of complications as well as potentially negative consequences. Gender is an important universal risk factor for many diseases. Hematological indices differ significantly by gender. This should be considered during the evaluation of obese children. The aim of this study is to detect hematologic indices that differ by gender in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 134 MO children took part in this study. The parents filled an informed consent form and the approval from the Ethics Committee of Namik Kemal University was obtained. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their genders (64 females aged 10.2±3.1 years and 70 males aged 9.8±2.2 years; p ≥ 0.05). Waist-to-hip as well as head-to-neck ratios and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. The children, whose WHO BMI-for age and sex percentile values were > 99 percentile, were defined as MO. Hematological parameters [haemoglobin, hematocrit, erythrocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin, mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, red blood cell distribution width, leukocyte count, neutrophil %, lymphocyte %, monocyte %, eosinophil %, basophil %, platelet count, platelet distribution width, mean platelet volume] were determined by the automatic hematology analyzer. SPSS was used for statistical analyses. P ≤ 0.05 was the degree for statistical significance. The groups included children having mean±SD value of BMI as 26.9±3.4 kg/m2 for males and 27.7±4.4 kg/m2 for females (p ≥ 0.05). There was no significant difference between ages of females and males (p ≥ 0.05). Males had significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios (0.95±0.08 vs 0.91±0.08; p=0.005) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration values (33.6±0.92 vs 33.1±0.83; p=0.001) compared to those of females. Significantly elevated neutrophil (4.69±1.59 vs 4.02±1.42; p=0.011) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios (1.70±0.71 vs 1.39±0.48; p=0.004) were detected in females. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of C-reactive protein values (p ≥ 0.05). Adipose tissue plays important roles during the development of obesity and associated diseases such as metabolic syndrom and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These diseases may cause changes in complete blood cell count parameters. These alterations are even more important during childhood. Significant gender effects on the changes of neutrophils, one of the white blood cell subsets, were observed. The findings of the study demonstrate the importance of considering gender in clinical studies. The males and females may have distinct leukocyte-trafficking profiles in inflammation. Female children had more circulating neutrophils, which may be the indicator of an increased risk of CVDs, than male children within this age range during the late stage of obesity. In recent years, females represent about half of deaths from CVDs; therefore, our findings may be the indicator of the increasing tendency of this risk in females starting from childhood.
Eosinophils and Platelets: Players of the Game in Morbid Obese Boys with Metabolic Syndrome
Childhood obesity, which may lead to increased risk for heart diseases in children as well as adults, is one of the most important health problems throughout the world. Prevalences of morbid obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS) are being increased during childhood age group. MetS is a cluster of metabolic and vascular abnormalities including hypercoagulability and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). There are also some relations between some components of MetS and leukocytes. The aim of this study is to investigate complete blood cell count parameters that differ between morbidly obese boys and girls with MetS diagnosis. A total of 117 morbid obese children with MetS consulted to Department of Pediatrics in Faculty of Medicine Hospital at Namik Kemal University were included into the scope of the study. The study population was classified based upon their genders (60 girls and 57 boys). Their heights and weights were measured and body mass index (BMI) values were calculated. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Waist-to-hip and head-to-neck ratios as well as homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) were calculated. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Hematological variables were measured. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS. The degree for statistical significance was p ≤ 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the ages (11.2±2.6 years vs 11.2±3.0 years) and BMIs (28.6±5.2 kg/m2 vs 29.3±5.2 kg/m2) of boys and girls (p ≥ 0.05), respectively. Significantly increased waist-to-hip ratios were obtained for boys (0.94±0.08 vs 0.91±0.06; p=0.023). Significantly elevated values of hemoglobin (13.55±0.98 vs 13.06±0.82; p=0.004), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (33.79±0.91 vs 33.21±1.14; p=0.003), eosinophils (0.300±0.253 vs 0.196±0.197; p=0.014), and platelet (347.1±81.7 vs 319.0±65.9; p=0.042) were detected for boys. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratios as well as HOMA-IR values (p ≥ 0.05). Statistically significant gender-based differences were found for hemoglobin as well as mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration and hence, separate reference intervals for two genders should be considered for these parameters. Eosinophils may contribute to the development of thrombus in acute coronary syndrome. Eosinophils are also known to make an important contribution to mechanisms related to thrombosis pathogenesis in acute myocardial infarction. Increased platelet activity is observed in patients with MetS and these individuals are more susceptible to CVDs. In our study, elevated platelets described as dominant contributors to hypercoagulability and elevated eosinophil counts suggested to be related to the development of CVDs observed in boys may be the early indicators of the future cardiometabolic complications in this gender.
Ethnic Andean Concepts of Health and Illness in the Post-Colombian World and Its Relevance Today
—‘MEDICINE’ is a new project funded under the EC Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions, to determine concepts of health and healing from a culturally specific indigenous context, using a framework of interdisciplinary methods which integrates archaeological-historical, ethnographic and modern health sciences approaches. The study will generate new theoretical and methodological approaches to model how peoples survive and adapt their traditional belief systems in a context of alien cultural impacts. In the immediate wake of the conquest of Peru by invading Spanish armies and ideology, native Andeans responded by forming the Taki Onkoy millenarian movement, which rejected European philosophical and ontological teachings, claiming “you make us sick”. The study explores how people’s experience of their world and their health beliefs within it, is fundamentally shaped by their inherent beliefs about the nature of being and identity in relation to the wider cosmos. Cultural and health belief systems and related rituals or behaviors sustain a people’s sense of identity, wellbeing and integrity. In the event of dislocation and persecution these may change into devolved forms, which eventually inter-relate with ‘modern’ biomedical systems of health in as yet unidentified ways. The development of new conceptual frameworks that model this process will greatly expand our understanding of how people survive and adapt in response to cultural trauma. It will also demonstrate the continuing role, relevance and use of TM in present-day indigenous communities. Studies will first be made of relevant pre-Colombian material culture, and then of early colonial period ethnohistorical texts which document the health beliefs and ritual practices still employed by indigenous Andean societies at the advent of the 17th century Jesuit campaigns of persecution - ‘Extirpación de las Idolatrías’. Core beliefs drawn from these baseline studies will then be used to construct a questionnaire about current health beliefs and practices to be taken into the study population of indigenous Quechua peoples in the northern Andean region of Ecuador. Their current systems of knowledge and medicine have evolved within complex historical contexts of both the conquest by invading Inca armies in the late 15th century, followed a generation later by Spain, into new forms. A new model will be developed of contemporary  Andean concepts of health, illness and healing demonstrating  the way these have changed through time. With this, a ‘policy tool’ will be constructed as a bridhging facility into contemporary global scenarios relevant to other Indigenous, First Nations, and migrant peoples to provide a means through which their traditional health beliefs and current needs may be more appropriately understood and met. This paper presents findings from the first analytical phases of the work based upon the study of the literature and the archaeological records. The study offers a novel perspective and methods in the development policies sensitive to indigenous and minority people’s health needs.
Antibody-Conjugated Nontoxic Arginine-Doped Fe3O4 Nanoparticles for Magnetic Circulating Tumor Cells Separation
Nano-sized materials present new opportunities in biology and medicine and they are used as biomedical tools for investigation, separation of molecules and cells. To achieve more effective cancer therapy, it is essential to select cancer cells exactly. This research suggests that using the antibody-functionalized nontoxic Arginine-doped magnetic nanoparticles (A-MNPs), has been prosperous in detection, capture, and magnetic separation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in tumor tissue. In this study, A-MNPs were synthesized via a simple precipitation reaction and directly immobilized Ep-CAM EBA-1 antibodies over superparamagnetic A-MNPs for Mucin BCA-225 in breast cancer cell. The samples were characterized by vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), FT-IR spectroscopy, Tunneling Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). These antibody-functionalized nontoxic A-MNPs were used to capture breast cancer cell. Through employing a strong permanent magnet, the magnetic separation was achieved within a few seconds. Antibody-Conjugated nontoxic Arginine-doped Fe3O4 nanoparticles have the potential for the future study to capture CTCs which are released from tumor tissue and for drug delivery, and these results demonstrate that the antibody-conjugated A-MNPs can be used in magnetic hyperthermia techniques for cancer treatment.
Design and Fabrication of a Scaffold with Appropriate Features for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Poor ability of cartilage tissue when experiencing a damage leads scientists to use tissue engineering as a reliable and effective method for regenerating or replacing damaged tissues. An artificial tissue should have some features such as biocompatibility, biodegradation and, enough mechanical properties like the original tissue. In this work, a composite hydrogel is prepared by using natural and synthetic materials that has high porosity. Mechanical properties of different combinations of polymers such as modulus of elasticity were tested, and a hydrogel with good mechanical properties was selected. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells were also seeded into the pores of the sponge, and the results showed the adhesion and proliferation of cells within the hydrogel after one month. In comparison with previous works, this study offers a new and efficient procedure for the fabrication of cartilage like tissue and further cartilage repair.
A Nutritional Wellness Program for Overweight Health Care Providers in Hospital Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial Pilot Study
Background: The prevalence of workplace obesity is rising worldwide; therefore, the workplace is an ideal venue to implement weight control intervention. This pilot randomized controlled trial aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate a nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers working in a hospital. Methods: This hospital-based nutritional wellness program was an 8-week pilot randomized controlled trial for obese health care providers. The primary outcomes were body weight and body mass index (BMI). The secondary outcomes were serum fasting glucose, fasting cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL) lipoprotein, body fat percentage, and body mass. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 20) or control (n = 22) group. Participants in both groups received individual nutrition counselling and nutrition pamphlets, whereas only participants in the intervention group were given mobile phone text messages. Results: 42 participants completed the study. In comparison with the control group, the intervention group showed approximately 0.98 kg weight reduction after two months. Participants in intervention group also demonstrated clinically significant improvement in BMI, serum cholesterol level, and HDL level. There was no improvement of body fat percentage and body mass for both intervention and control groups. Conclusion: The nutritional wellness program for obese health care providers was feasible in hospital settings. Health care providers demonstrated short-term weight loss, decrease in serum fasting cholesterol level, and HDL level after completing the program.
Exploring the Spatial Characteristics of Mortality Map: A Statistical Area Perspective

The analysis of geographic inequality heavily relies on the use of location-enabled statistical data and quantitative measures to present the spatial patterns of the selected phenomena and analyze their differences. To protect the privacy of individual instance and link to administrative units, point-based datasets are spatially aggregated to area-based statistical datasets, where only the overall status for the selected levels of spatial units is used for decision making. The partition of the spatial units thus has dominant influence on the outcomes of the analyzed results, well known as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). A new spatial reference framework, the Taiwan Geographical Statistical Classification (TGSC), was recently introduced in Taiwan based on the spatial partition principles of homogeneous consideration of the number of population and households. Comparing to the outcomes of the traditional township units, TGSC provides additional levels of spatial units with finer granularity for presenting spatial phenomena and enables domain experts to select appropriate dissemination level for publishing statistical data. This paper compares the results of respectively using TGSC and township unit on the mortality data and examines the spatial characteristics of their outcomes. For the mortality data between the period of January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2010 of the Taitung County, the all-cause age-standardized death rate (ASDR) ranges from 571 to 1757 per 100,000 persons, whereas the 2nd dissemination area (TGSC) shows greater variation, ranged from 0 to 2222 per 100,000. The finer granularity of spatial units of TGSC clearly provides better outcomes for identifying and evaluating the geographic inequality and can be further analyzed with the statistical measures from other perspectives (e.g., population, area, environment.). The management and analysis of the statistical data referring to the TGSC in this research is strongly supported by the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. An integrated workflow that consists of the tasks of the processing of death certificates, the geocoding of street address, the quality assurance of geocoded results, the automatic calculation of statistic measures, the standardized encoding of measures and the geo-visualization of statistical outcomes is developed. This paper also introduces a set of auxiliary measures from a geographic distribution perspective to further examine the hidden spatial characteristics of mortality data and justify the analyzed results. With the common statistical area framework like TGSC, the preliminary results demonstrate promising potential for developing a web-based statistical service that can effectively access domain statistical data and present the analyzed outcomes in meaningful ways to avoid wrong decision making.

Numerical Simulation of Bio-Chemical Diffusion in Bone Scaffolds
Previously, some materials like solid metals and their alloys have been used as implants in human’s body. In order to amend fixation of these artificial hard human tissues, some porous structures have been introduced. In this way, tissues in vicinity of the porous structure can be attached more easily to the inserted implant. In particular, the porous bone scaffolds are useful since they can deliver important biomolecules like growth factors and proteins. This study focuses on the properties of the degradable porous hard tissues using a three-dimensional numerical Finite Element Method (FEM). The most important studied properties of these structures are diffusivity flux and concentration of different species like glucose, oxygen, and lactate. The process of cells migration into the scaffold is considered as a diffusion process, and related parameters are studied for different values of production/consumption rates.
Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Ukrainian Men with Obesity

Osteoporosis and obesity are widespread diseases in people over 50 years associated with changes in structure and body composition. Нigher body mass index (BMI) values are associated with greater bone mineral density (BMD). However, trabecular bone score (TBS) indirectly explores bone quality, independently of BMD. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between the BMD and TBS parameters in Ukrainian men suffering from obesity. We examined 396 men aged 40-89 years. Depending on their BMI all the subjects were divided into two groups: Group I – patients with obesity whose BMI was ≥ 30 kg/m2 (n=129) and Group II – patients without obesity and BMI of < 30 kg/m2 (n=267). The BMD of total body, lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck and forearm were measured by DXA (Prodigy, GEHC Lunar, Madison, WI, USA). The TBS of L1- L4 was assessed by means of TBS iNsight® software installed on DXA machine (product of Med-Imaps, Pessac, France). In general, obese men had a significantly higher BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck, total body and ultradistal forearm (p < 0.001) in comparison with men without obesity. The TBS of L1-L4 was significantly lower in obese men compared to non-obese ones (p < 0.001). BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4, femoral neck and total body significantly differ in men aged 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 80-89 years (p < 0.05). At the same time, in men aged 70-79 years, BMD of lumbar spine L1-L4 (p=0.46), femoral neck (p=0.18), total body (p=0.21), ultra-distal forearm (p=0.13), and TBS (p=0.07) did not significantly differ. A significant positive correlation between the fat mass and the BMD at different sites was observed. However, the correlation between the fat mass and TBS of L1-L4 was also significant, though negative.

Bone Mineral Density and Frequency of Low-Trauma Fractures in Ukrainian Women with Metabolic Syndrome

Osteoporosis is one of the important problems in postmenopausal women due to an increased risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. This study is aimed to determine the connection between bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in Ukrainian women suffering from metabolic syndrome. Participating in the study, 566 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into two groups: Group A included 336 women with no obesity (BMI ≤ 29.9 kg/m2), and Group B – 230 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used for measuring of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm BMD and bone quality indexes (last according to Med-Imaps installation). Data were analyzed using Statistical Package 6.0. A significant increase of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and ultradistal radius BMD was found in women with metabolic syndrome compared to those without obesity (p < 0.001) both in their totality and in groups of 50-59 years, 60-69 years, and 70-79 years. TBS was significantly higher in non-obese women compared to metabolic syndrome patients of 50-59 years and in the general sample (p < 0.05). Analysis showed significant positive correlation between body mass index (BMI) and BMD at all levels. Significant negative correlation between BMI and TBS (L1-L4) was established. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were significantly higher in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of vertebral and non-vertebral fractures did not differ significantly in the groups of patients.

Bone Mineral Density and Quality, Body Composition of Women in the Postmenopausal Period

In the diagnostics of osteoporosis, the gold standard is considered to be bone mineral density; however, X-ray densitometry is not an accurate indicator of osteoporotic fracture risk under all circumstances. In this regard, the search for new methods that could determine the indicators not only of the mineral density, but of the bone tissue quality, is a logical step for diagnostic optimization. One of these methods is the evaluation of trabecular bone quality. The aim of this study was to examine the quality and mineral density of spine bone tissue, femoral neck, and body composition of women depending on the duration of the postmenopausal period, to determine the correlation of body fat with indicators of bone mineral density and quality. The study examined 179 women in premenopausal and postmenopausal periods. The patients were divided into the following groups: Women in the premenopausal period and women in the postmenopausal period at various stages (early, middle, late postmenopause). A general examination and study of the above parameters were conducted with General Electric X-ray densitometer. The results show that bone quality and mineral density probably deteriorate with advancing of postmenopausal period. Total fat and lean mass ratio is not likely to change with age. In the middle and late postmenopausal periods, the bone tissue mineral density of the spine and femoral neck increases along with total fat mass.

Current Cosmetic Treatments in Pregnancy

The goal of this work is to report the main dermatological alterations occurring during pregnancy and actual cosmetic protocols available and recommended for safe use. Throughout pregnancy, woman's body undergoes many transformations such as hormonal changes and weight gain. These alterations can result in undesirable skin aspects that end up affecting the future mother's life. The main complaints of pregnant women involve melasma advent, varicose veins, edema, and natural skin aging. Even if most of the time is recommended to wait for the birth to use cosmetics, there are some alternatives to prevent and to treat these alterations during pregnancy. For all these cases, there is a need to update information about safety and efficacy of new actives and technologies in cosmetic products. The purpose of this study was to conduct a literature review about the main skin alterations during pregnancy and actual recommended treatments, according to the current legislation.

A Retrospective Study of Vaginal Stenosis Following Treatment of Cervical Cancers and the Effectiveness of Rehabilitation Interventions

Vaginal stenosis is a common side effect associated with pelvic radiotherapy in cervical cancer patients which contributes negatively to woman’s health and prevents adequate vaginal/cervical examination. Vaginal dilation with a dilator is routine practice and is internationally advocated as a prophylactic measure to preserve vaginal patency. This retrospective study was carried out with the aim to know the usefulness of vaginal dilation following pelvic radiation therapy in cervical cancer patients in India. Data from medical records of 183 cervical cancer patients, which met the study criteria, were collected related to the stage of the disease, treatment received, commencement period of dilation post radiation therapy, sexual status and side effects associated to dilation practice. Data related to vaginal dimensions as per the length of insertion of a small, medium and large dilator were collected on regular follow-ups until 36 months and/or more. Vaginal dimensions as measured with the length of medium dilator insertion were used for analysis of dilation therapy results using paired t-test. Patients who underwent vaginal dilation with dilator maintained vaginal patency, also the mean vaginal length significantly increased, from 8.02 cm ± 2.69 to 9.96 ± 2.89 cm with a p value <0.001. There was no significant difference found on vaginal patency with different intervals of initiation of dilation therapy. At the third year and more following dilation therapy, significant increase in vaginal length observed with a p value of 0.0001 in both sexually active and inactive patients. Compilation of vaginal dosage during brachytherapy was inadequate, and hence, the secondary objective of the study to determine the effect of radiotherapy on the outcome of rehabilitation intervention was not studied in detail. This retrospective study has found that dilation therapy with vaginal dilators post pelvic radiotherapy is effective in preventing vaginal stenosis and improving vaginal patency and cannot be substituted with vaginal intercourse. Sexual quality of life assessment in the Indian population needs much attention.

Role of Pro-Inflammatory and Regulatory Cytokines in Pathogenesis of Graves’ Disease in Association with Autoantibody Thyroid and Regulatory FoxP3 T-Cells

Background: Graves’ disease (GD) is an autoimmune thyroid disease. Imbalance of Th1/Th2 cells and T-regulatory (Treg)/Th17 cells was thought to play pivotal role in the pathogenesis of GD. Treg FoxP3 produced TGF-β to maintain regulatory function, and Th17 cells produced IL-17 as cytokines that were thought in mediating several autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study is to assess the role of IL-17 and TGF-β in the pathogenesis of GD and to investigate its correlation with Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Receptor Antibody (TRAb) and Treg FoxP3 expression. Method: 30 GD patients and 27 age and sex-matched controls were enrolled in this study. Diagnosis of GD was based on clinical and biochemical of GD. Serum IL-17, TGF-β, TRAb, and FoxP3 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were analyzed by using SPSS 21.0 (SPSS Inc.). Spearman rank correlation test was used for assessment of correlation. The statistical significance was accepted as P<0.05. Result: There was no significant correlation between IL-17 and TGF-β serum with expression of FoxP3 level in GD, but there was significant correlation between TGF-β and TRAb serum level (P<0.05). Serum levels of IL-17 and TGF-β were found to be elevated in patient group compared to control, where mean values of IL-17 were 14.43±2.15 pg/mL and TGF-β were 10.44±3.19 pg/mL in patients group; and in control group, level of IL-17 were 7.1±1.45 pg/mL and TGF-β were 4.95±1.35 pg/mL. Conclusion: Serum Il-17 and TGF-β were elevated in GD patients that reflect the role of inflammatory and regulatory cytokines activation in pathogenesis of GD. There was significant correlation between TGF-β and TRAb, revealing that Treg cytokines may play a role in pathogenesis of GD.

MiR-200a/ZEB1 Pathway in Liver Fibrogenesis of Biliary Atresia
Objective: Biliary atresia (BA) is characterized by progressive liver fibrosis. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) has been implicated as a key mechanism in the pathogenesis of organ fibrosis. MiR-200a has been shown to repress EMT. We aim to explore the role of miR-200a in the fibrogenesis of BA. Methods: We obtained the plasma samples and liver samples from patients with BA or controls to examine the role of miR-200a. Histological liver fibrosis was assessed using the Ishak fibrosis scores. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was performed to detect the expression of miR-200a in plasma. We also evaluated the expression of miR-200a in liver tissues using tyramide signal amplification fluorescence in situ hybridization (TSA-FISH). The expression of EMT related proteins zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1), E-cadherin and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) in the liver sections were detected by immunohistochemical staining. Results: We found that the expression of miR-200a was both elevated in the plasma and liver tissues from BA patients compared with the controls. The hepatic expression of ZEB1 and α-SMA were markedly increased in the liver sections from BA patients compared to the controls, whereas E-cadherin was downregulated in the BA group. Simultaneously, we noted that the hepatic expression of miR-200a, E-cadherin and α-SMA were upregulated with the progression of liver fibrosis in the BA group, while ZEB1 was downregulated with the progression of liver fibrosis in BA patients. Conclusion: These findings suggest EMT has a critical effect on the fibrotic process of BA, and the interaction between miR-200a and ZEB1 may regulate EMT and eventually influence liver fibrogenesis of BA.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy
Human Immunodeficiency Virus is known to affect almost all organ systems in the body. In addition to central nervous system it also affects the autonomic nervous system. Autonomic nervous dysfunction has been known to severely affect the quality of life in human immunodeficiency virus positive patients. It is known to have caused fatal consequences in late stages of the disease in patients who go in for invasive diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. The aim of this review is to determine the incidence, clinical significance and frequency of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in patients human immunodeficiency virus infection.
Characterization of Screening Staphylococcus aureus Isolates Harboring mecA Genes among Intensive Care Unit Patients from Tertiary Care Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia
The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) harboring mecA genes from screening isolates among intensive care unit (ICU) patients. All MRSA screening isolates from ICU’s patients of Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital during 2011 and 2014 were included in this study. Identification and susceptibility test was performed using Vitek2 system (Biomereux®). PCR was conducted to characterize the SCCmec of S. aureus harboring the mecA gene on each isolate. Patient’s history of illness was traced through medical record. 24 isolates from 327 screening isolates were MRSA positive (7.3%). From PCR, we found 17 (70.8%) isolates carrying SCCmec type I, 3 (12.5%) isolates carrying SCCmec type III, and 2 (8.3%) isolates carrying SCCmec type IV. In conclusion, SCCmec type I is the most prevalent MRSA colonization among ICU patients in Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.
Nebulized Magnesium Sulfate in Acute Moderate to Severe Asthma in Pediatric Patients

A prospective double-blind placebo controlled trial carried out on 60 children known to be asthmatic who presented to the emergency department at Alexandria University of Children’s Hospital at El-Shatby with acute asthma exacerbations to assess the efficacy of adding inhaled magnesium sulfate to β-agonist, compared with β-agonist in saline, in the management of acute asthma exacerbations in children. The participants in the study were divided in two groups; Group A (study group) received inhaled salbutamol solution (0.15 ml/kg) plus isotonic magnesium sulfate 2 ml in a nebulizer chamber. Group B (control group): received nebulized salbutamol solution (0.15 ml/kg) diluted with placebo (2 ml normal saline). Both groups received inhaled solution every 20 minutes that was repeated for three doses. They were evaluated using the Pediatric Asthma Severity Score (PASS), oxygen saturation using portable pulse oximetry and peak expiratory flow rate using a portable peak expiratory flow meter at initially recorded as zero-minute assessment and every 20 minutes from the end of each nebulization (nebulization lasts 5-10 minutes) recorded as 20, 40 and 60-minute assessments. Regarding PASS, comparison showed non-significant difference with p-value 0.463, 0.472, 0.0766 at 20, 40 and 60 minutes. Regarding oxygen saturation, improvement was more significant towards group A starting from 40 min with significant p-value=0.000. At 60 min p-value=0.000. Although mean PEFR significantly improved from zero-min in both groups; however, improvement was more significant in group A with significant p-value = 0.015, 0.001, 0.001 at 20 min, 40 min and 60 min, respectively. The conclusion this study suggests is that inhaled magnesium sulfate is an efficient add on drug to standard β- agonist inhalation used in the treatment of moderate to severe asthma exacerbations.

Evaluation of Microleakage of a New Generation Nano-Ionomer in Class II Restoration of Primary Molars
Objective: This in vitro study was carried out to assess the microleakage properties of nano-filled glass ionomer in comparison to resin-reinforced glass ionomers. Material and Methods: 40 deciduous molar teeth were included in this study. Class-II cavity was prepared in a standard form for all the specimens. The teeth were randomly distributed into two groups (20 per group) according to the restorative material used either nano-glass ionomer or Photac Fill glass ionomer restoration. All specimens were thermocycled for 1000 cycles between 5 and 55 °C. After that, the teeth were immersed in 2% methylene blue dye then sectioned and evaluated under a stereomicroscope. Microleakage was assessed using linear dye penetration and on a scale from zero to five. Results: Two way ANOVA test revealed a statistically significant lower degree of microleakage in both occlusal and gingival restorations (0.4±0.2), (0.9±0.1) for nano-filled glass ionomer group in comparison to resin modified glass ionomer (2.3±0.7), (2.4±0.5). No statistical difference was found between gingival and occlusal leakage regarding the effect of the measured site. Conclusion: Nano-filled glass ionomer shows superior sealing ability which enables this type of restoration to be used in minimum invasive treatment.
Poststreptococcal Reactive Arthritis in Children: A Serial Case

Infection by group A streptococci (GAS) can trigger an autoantibody that cause a poststreptococcal reactive arthritis (PSRA). Four patients with PSRA aged 10 years to 14 years old with the main complaint of joint pain for five days to 10 days after suffering a fever and sore throat. The joint pain was persistent, additive, and non migratory. All patients revealed an increase in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and anti-streptolysin O (ASLO), but the chest x-ray, electrocardiography, and echocardiography were normal. Bone imaging showed no destruction on the affected joint. Jones Criteria were not fulfilled in all patients. Erythromycin and ibuprofen were given in all patients and an improvement was shown. Erythromycin was continued for one year and routine controls were conducted for cardiac evaluation. The prognosis of all the patients was good.

Thread Lift: Classification, Technique, and How to Approach to the Patient

Background: The thread lift technique has become popular because it is less invasive, requires a shorter operation, less downtime, and results in fewer postoperative complications. The advantage of the technique is that the thread can be inserted under the skin without the need for long incisions. Currently, there are a lot of thread lift techniques with respect to the specific types of thread used on specific areas, such as the mid-face, lower face, or neck area. Objective: To review the thread lift technique for specific areas according to type of thread, patient selection, and how to match the most appropriate to the patient. Materials and Methods: A literature review technique was conducted by searching PubMed and MEDLINE, then compiled and summarized. Result: We have divided our protocols into two sections: Protocols for short suture, and protocols for long suture techniques. We also created 3D pictures for each technique to enhance understanding and application in a clinical setting. Conclusion: There are advantages and disadvantages to short suture and long suture techniques. The best outcome for each patient depends on appropriate patient selection and determining the most suitable technique for the defect and area of patient concern.

A Four-Year Study of Thyroid Carcinoma in Hail Region: Increased Incidence

Background and Objective: In most areas of the world, the incidence of thyroid cancer has been increasing over the last decade, mostly due to a combination of early detection of the neoplasm resulting from sensitive procedures and increased population exposure to radiation and unrecognized carcinogens. Methods: Cases of thyroid cancer have been retrieved from the cancer registry at King Khalid Hospital during the period from August 2012 to April 2016. Age, gender and histopathologic types have been recorded. Results: Thyroid carcinoma ranked as the second most common malignancy in females (25%) after breast cancer (31%). It constituted 20.8% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases. As for males, it ranked the 4th type of malignancy after gastrointestinal cancer, lymphomas and soft tissue sarcomas. Mean age for females and males was 38.7 +/- 13.2 and 60.25 +/- 11.5 years, respectively, and the difference between the two groups was statistically significant (p value = 0.0001). Fifty-five (82%) were papillary carcinomas including 10 follicular variant of papillary (FVPC), and eight papillary micro carcinomas (PMC) and two tall cell/oncocytic variants. Follicular carcinomas constituted two (3.1%), while two (3.1%) were anaplastic, and two (3.1%) were medullary. Conclusion: Thyroid cancer incidence in Hail is ranking as the 2nd most common female malignancy similar to other regions in the Kingdom. However, this high incidence contrasts with much lower rates worldwide.

Hypertension and Its Association with Oral Health Status in Adults: A Pilot Study in Padusunan Adults Community
The association between general and oral health is clearly important, particularly in adults with medical conditions. Many of the medical systemic conditions are either caused or aggravated by poor oral hygiene and vice versa. Hypertension is one of common medical systemic problem which has been a public health concern worldwide due to its known consequences. Those consequences must be related to oral health status as well, whether it may cause or worsen the oral health conditions. The objective of this study was to find out the association between hypertension and oral health status in adults. This study was an analytical observational study by using cross-sectional method. A total of 42 adults both male and female in Padusunan Village, Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia were selected as subjects by using purposive sampling. Manual sphygmomanometer was used to measure blood pressure and dental examination was performed to calculate the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) scores in order to represent oral health status. The data obtained was analyzed statistically using One Way ANOVA to determine the association between hypertensive adults and their oral health status. The result showed that majority age of the subjects was ranging from 51-70 years (40.5%). Based on blood pressure examination, 57.1% of subjects were classified to prehypertension. Overall, the mean of DMFT score calculated in normal, prehypertension and hypertension group was not considered statistically significant. There was no significant association (p>0.05) between hypertension and oral health status in adults.
Long Term Follow-Up, Clinical Outcomes and Quality of Life after Total Arterial Revascularisation versus Conventional Coronary Surgery: A Retrospective Study

Graft patency underpins long-term prognosis after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery (CABG). The benefits of the combined use of only the left internal mammary artery and radial artery, referred to as total arterial revascularisation (TAR), on long-term clinical outcomes and quality of life are relatively unknown. The aim of this study was to identify whether there were differences in long term clinical outcomes between recipients of TAR compared to a cohort of mostly arterial revascularization involving the left internal mammary, at least one radial artery and at least one saphenous vein graft. A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients who underwent TAR or were re-vascularized with supplementary saphenous vein graft from February 1996 to December 2004. Telephone surveys were conducted to obtain clinical outcome parameters including major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) and Short Form (SF-36v2) Health Survey responses. A total of 176 patients were successfully contacted to obtain postop follow up results. The mean follow-up length from time of surgery in our study was TAR 12.4±1.8 years and conventional 12.6±2.1. PCS score was TAR 45.9±8.8 vs LIMA/Rad/ SVG 44.9±9.2 (p=0.468) and MCS score was TAR 52.0±8.9 vs LIMA/Rad/SVG 52.5±9.3 (p=0.723). There were no significant differences between groups for NYHA class 3+ TAR 9.4% vs. LIMA/Rad/SVG 6.6%; or CCS 3+ TAR 2.35% vs. LIMA/Rad/SVG 0%.

Radon-222 Concentration and Potential Risk to Workers of Al-Jalamid Phosphate Mines, North Province, Saudi Arabia

Usually, phosphate deposits contain 238U and 232Th in addition to their decay products. Due to their different pathways in the environment, the 238U/232Th activity concentration ratio usually found to be greater than unity in phosphate sediments. The presence of these radionuclides creates a potential need to control exposure of workers in the mining and processing activities of the phosphate minerals in accordance with IAEA safety standards. The greatest dose to workers comes from exposure to radon, especially 222Rn from the uranium series, and has to be controlled. In this regard, radon (222Rn) was measured in the atmosphere (indoor and outdoor) of Al-Jalamid phosphate-mines working area using a portable radon-measurement instrument RAD7, in a purpose of radiation protection. Radon was measured in 61 sites inside the open phosphate mines, the phosphate upgrading facility (offices and rooms of the workers, and in some open-air sites) and in the dwellings of the workers residence-village that lies at about 3 km from the mines working area. The obtained results indicated that the average indoor radon concentration was about 48.4 Bq/m3. Inside the upgrading facility, the average outdoor concentrations were 10.8 and 9.7 Bq/m3 in the concentrate piles and crushing areas, respectively. It was 12.3 Bq/m3 in the atmosphere of the open mines. These values are comparable with the global average values. Based on the average values, the annual effective dose due to radon inhalation was calculated and risk estimates have been done. The average annual effective dose to workers due to the radon inhalation was estimated by 1.32 mSv. The potential excess risk of lung cancer mortality that could be attributed to radon, when considering the lifetime exposure, was estimated by 53.0x10-4. The results have been discussed in detail.

Mapping of Adrenal Gland Diseases Research in Middle East Countries: A Scientometric Analysis, 2007-2013

The aim of the study was to map scientific research on adrenal gland diseases in the Middle East countries through the Web of Science database using scientometric analysis. Data were analyzed with Excel software; and HistCite was used for mapping of the scientific texts. In this study, from a total of 268 retrieved records, 1125 authors from 328 institutions published their texts in 138 journals. Among 17 Middle East countries, Turkey ranked first with 164 documents (61.19%), Israel ranked second with 47 documents (15.53%) and Iran came in the third place with 26 documents. Most of the publications (185 documents, 69.2%) were articles. Among the universities of the Middle East, Istanbul University had the highest science production rate (9.7%). The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism had the highest TGCS (243 citations). In the scientific mapping, 7 clusters were formed based on TLCS (Total Local Citation Score) & TGCS (Total Global Citation Score). considering the study results, establishment of scientific connections and collaboration with other countries and use of publications on adrenal gland diseases from high ranking universities can help in the development of this field and promote the medical practice in this regard. Moreover, investigation of the formed clusters in relation to Congenital Hyperplasia and puberty related disorders can be research priorities for investigators.

Effectiveness of a Malaysian Workplace Intervention Study on Physical Activity Levels

Physical activity levels are low in Malaysia and this study was undertaken to determine if a four week work-based intervention program would be effective in changing physical activity levels. The study was conducted in a Malaysian Government Department and had three stages: baseline data collection, four-week intervention and two-month post intervention data collection. During the intervention and two-month post intervention phases, physical activity levels (determined by a pedometer) and basic health profiles (BMI, abdominal obesity, blood pressure) were measured. Staff (58 males, 47 females) with an average age of 33 years completed baseline data collection. Pedometer steps averaged 7,102 steps/day at baseline, although male step counts were significantly higher than females (7,861 vs. 6114). Health profiles were poor: over 50% were overweight/obese (males 66%, females 40%); hypertension (males 23%, females 6%); excess waist circumference (males 52%, females 17%). While 86 staff participated in the intervention, only 49 regularly reported their steps. There was a significant increase (17%) in average daily steps from 8,965 (week 1) to 10,436 (week 4). Unfortunately, participation in the intervention program was avoided by the less healthy staff. Two months after the intervention there was no significant difference in average steps/day, despite the fact that 89% of staff reporting they planned to make long-term changes to their lifestyle. An unexpected average increase of 2kg in body weight occurred in participants, although this was less than the 5.6kg in non-participants. A number of recommendations are made for future interventions, including the conclusion that pedometers were a useful tool and popular with participants.

Apolipoprotein E Gene Polymorphism and Its Association with Cardiovascular Heart Disease Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene polymorphism has influence on serum lipids which relates to cardiovascular risk. The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency distribution of APOE alleles among Malaysian Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) patients with and without coronary artery disease (CAD) and their association with serum lipid profiles. A total of 115 patients were recruited in which 78 patients had Type 2 DM without CAD and 37 patients had Type 2 DM with CAD. The APOE polymorphism was detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). The APOE ɛ3 allele was the most common one in both groups. There was no significant association between the APOE genotypes and the CAD status in Type 2 DM using Pearson χ2 test. Further analysis indicated there were no significant differences in all lipid parameters between E2, E3 and E4 subgroups in both groups. The study showed that the E4 allele carriers of Type 2 DM with CAD patients had higher LDL-C level and lower HDL-C level compared to the other allele carriers. However, analyses showed these levels were not statistically different. The study also showed that the Type 2 DM with CAD group with E2 allele had higher triglyceride (TG). In conclusion, further study with larger sample size is needed to confirm role of E4 as a marker of CAD among Type 2 DM patients in Malaysian population.

Development of a Telemedical Network Supporting an Automated Flow Cytometric Analysis for the Clinical Follow-up of Leukaemia
In patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), treatment response is increasingly evaluated with minimal residual disease (MRD) analyses. Flow Cytometry (FCM) is a fast and sensitive method to detect MRD. However, the interpretation of these multi-parametric data requires intensive operator training and experience. This paper presents a pipeline-software, as a ready-to-use FCM-based MRD-assessment tool for the daily clinical practice for patients with ALL. The new tool increases accuracy in assessment of FCM-MRD in samples which are difficult to analyse by conventional operator-based gating since computer-aided analysis potentially has a superior resolution due to utilization of the whole multi-parametric FCM-data space at once instead of step-wise, two-dimensional plot-based visualization. The system developed as a telemedical network reduces the work-load and lab-costs, staff-time needed for training, continuous quality control, operator-based data interpretation. It allows dissemination of automated FCM-MRD analysis to medical centres which have no established expertise for the benefit of an even larger community of diseased children worldwide. We established a telemedical network system for analysis and clinical follow-up and treatment monitoring of Leukaemia. The system is scalable and adapted to link several centres and laboratories worldwide.
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