Category Archives: Current

The Association between Various Lifestyle Patterns and the Body Mass Index in Adolescents

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0023

Objective: The study aims to analyze obesogenic behavioral patterns of adolescents living in Mureş County, Romania, as well as to establish a relationship between these behaviors and their Body Mass Index (BMI), in an attempt to provide effective prevention strategies for obesity.
Material and Methods: 153 students between 9th to 12th grade, aged between 14 and 19 years old, from the Vocational and Art Highschool of Târgu Mureş were included in the study. All the candidates filled out an evaluation questionnaire of lifestyle and risky behaviors. The analyzed data were sex, age, residence, BMI and risky eating behavior defined as the consumption of carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, sweets), sodas, junk food, alcohol (wine, distilled beverages, beer), beer separately, level of physical activity (school and extra-school sports activities), sedentary behaviors (≥2 hours/day in front of a screen: personal computer-PC and television-TV), and spending ≥2 hours/day separately on the PC and on the TV.
Results: A statistically significant association was observed between BMI and consumption of fast-food, tobacco, beer, sedentary behavior and spending ≥2 hours/day in front of the PC. Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference between the BMI values of adolescents presenting all studied risk behaviors compared to those who did not.
Conclusions: Obesity among adolescents from Mureș County is influenced by lifestyle choices like fast-food, tobacco, beer, sedentary behavior and spending ≥2 hours/day in front of the PC.

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Markers of Atherosclerosis in Hypertensive Patients with Less Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0022

Objective: Our study aimed to validate the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) as a marker for aortic arch calcification in hypertensive patients with less advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Methods: A number of forty-four hypertensive patients with chronic kidney disease (categories G3a and G3b – 2012 KDIGO nomenclature) were included in the study. Considering the presence of aortic arch calcification (AAC) on chest X-ray, the study population was divided into two groups: 27 patients AAC present and seventeen without aortic arch calcification. Laboratory data were collected for each patient and NLR was computed. Comorbidities were also recorded: stable coronary artery disease, lower extremity arterial disease and hypertensive heart disease.
Results: A positive correlation between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and aortic arch calcification in hypertensive CKD patients was identified. Furthermore, advanced age, increased alkaline phosphatase and increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate had a positive association with aortic arch calcification. We found no statistical correlation between neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and other laboratory features in both groups of patients.
Conclusions: Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio may be viewed as a potential risk factor for vascular calcification in patients with moderate chronic kidney disease; nevertheless, future extensive studies are necessary. In the management of hypertensive patients, general medicine might particularly benefit of this simple, readily available inflammatory marker.

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Atrial Fibrillation – An Orchestra of Classic and Modern Risk Factors

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0020

Over the past years, prevention and control of risk factors has begun to play an important role in the management of patients prone to develop atrial fibrillation (AF). A considerable number of risk factors that contribute to the creation of a predisposing substrate for AF has been identified over the years. Although certain AF risk factors such as age, gender, genetic predisposition, or race are unmodifiable, controlling modifiable risk factors may represent an invaluable tool in the management of AF patients. In the recent decades, numerous studies have evaluated the mechanisms linking different risk factors to AF, but the exact degree of atrial remodeling induced by each factor remains unknown. Elucidating these mechanisms is essential for initiating personalized therapies in patients prone to develop AF. The present review aims to provide an overview of the most relevant modifiable risk factors involved in AF occurrence, with a focus on the mechanisms by which these factors lead to AF initiation and perpetuation.

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Silent Ischemic Stroke Was Revealed after Screening for Cognitive Dysfunction in a Hypertensive Patient with New Onset Atrial Fibrillation – Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0018

Introduction: Hypertension is one of the most important modifiable risk factor related to cognitive decline and dementia. However, screening for cognitive dysfunction is not part of the routine clinical assessment.
Case presentation: In this report, we present the case of a 75 year old hypertensive male patient with new-onset atrial fibrillation, admitted to the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Clinic Târgu Mureș. Apart from the routine clinical assessment, the evaluation of cognitive functions was performed with three different screening instruments which identified cognitive dysfunction. Depressive state was assessed with the shortened 13 items form of the Beck Depression Inventory BDI-13 (BDI-13) and it showed moderate depression which could influence the results of cognitive tests. Detection of cognitive impairment was followed by magnetic resonance imaging, which revealed not only hypertension specific microvascular impairment but also a sequelae of a former stroke in the territory of the left middle cerebral artery and a possible meningioma.
Conclusion: Screening for cognitive dysfunction in high-risk hypertensive patients can be easily performed and in several cases like ours, can unmask silent cerebrovascular pathologies, leading to prognostic and therapeutic consequences.

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MicroRNAs as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets in Heart Failure

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0016

Heart failure still represents a real challenge both in everyday practice and research, due to the complex issues related to its pathogenesis and management. Humoral biomarkers have emerged in the last decades as useful tools in the diagnosis, risk stratification and guiding the treatment of heart failure. These molecules are related to different pathological and adaptive processes, like myocardial injury, neurohormonal activation and cardiac remodeling, their most widespread representatives being the natriuretic peptides (e.g. NT-proBNP). The role of altered gene expression and transcription as the basis of myocardial structural and functional changes in heart failure is largely recognized. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs which have a major role in post-transcriptional gene expression by interfering with messenger RNA molecules. Our short review summarizes the molecular biology of miRNAs and their possible role as biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of heart failure. Furthermore, the therapeutical perspectives conferred by these molecules are also presented.
Keywords: miRNA, biomarkers, heart failure

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Postoperative Lymphorrhagia – a Possible Complication Following Cephalic Duodenopancreatectomy

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0013

Surgery associated with lymphadenectomy may sometimes result in a lymphorrhagia, which usually resolves spontaneously within a few days, sometimes becoming a refractory complication to the treatment. In the case of large flows, particular attention should be paid to hydroelectrolytic and protein losses. We present the case of a patient with persistent lymphorrhagia after a cephalic duodenopancreatectomy for a pancreatic head tumor. From the 5th postoperative day, the patient had a milky-like secretion on the subhepatic drainage tube. The discharge rate was variable, between 500 and 1500 ml per day, requiring parenteral administration of amino acids, plasma and electrolyte solutions. The postoperative progression was slowly favorable, with the patient discharge on the 25th day following surgery. There are several treatment options for a lymphorrhagia following an extended lymphadenectomy, from intensive parenteral therapy to peritoneal-venous shunt or ligation of the lymphatic vessel responsible for the production of lymphorrhagia. In this case the conservative treatment had a favorable result.

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The Complication Rates of Oral Anticoagulation Therapy in Deep Venous Thrombosis

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0012

The objective of the current study is to evaluate the complication rates (embolic and hemorrhagic events) in deep venous thrombosis (DVT) patients on different types of oral anticoagulation therapy (OAC): direct oral anticoagulant therapy and vitamin K antagonist therapy.
Methods: A number of 62 DVT patients were included and divided in two groups, depending on the type of oral anticoagulation therapy administered. The first group was composed of patients treated with direct oral anticoagulant treatment (Dabigatran, Rivaroxaban) and the second group was composed of patients treated with vitamin K antagonist (Acenocumarol). General data, including BMI and comorbidities were noted. Embolic and hemorrhagic events were noticed.
Results: in the first group of patients (DOAC therapy), a number of 34 patients were included (14 of them with BMI higher than 25 kg/m2 and 14 with concomitant atrial fibrillation), while the second group comprised of 28 patients treated with VKA (21 of them with a high BMI and only 3 of them with atrial fibrillation). After a mean period of 36 months of anticoagulant therapy, complications were present in 17 patients, hematuria (8 episodes) and pulmonary embolism (4 cases) were the most frequent, with no difference regarding the treatment applied. Conclusion: No statistically significant difference was encountered regarding embolic and hemorrhagic event rates in our deep vein thrombosis patients.

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Urinary Sodium/Potassium Ratio in Acute Kidney Injury Accurately Differentiates Prerenal Azotemia from Acute Tubular Necrosis

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0011

Objective: To develop a more accurate, cost effective, non-invasive test to differentiate between pre-renal renal failure (PRA) and acute tubular necrosis (ATN) in acute kidney injury (AKI).
Methods: Urine sodium/potassium (Na/K) ratios were compared with fractional excretion of sodium (FeNa) and renal failure index (RFI) as well as other commonly used indices to differentiate patients with PRA from ATN. Patients with a rise in serum creatinine > 0.5 mg/d identified from medical records for a six- to eighteen-month period, were reviewed and categorized either as PRA or ATN based on presenting findings, course in hospital or renal biopsy. All patients had urinary sodium and potassium, creatinine, and serum creatinine done.
Results: The Na/K was < 1 in PRA and > 1 in ATN, correctly identifying all 42 cases of PRA and all 28 patients with ATN. The FeNa was >1 and misdiagnosed 9 of 42 patients with PRA and was >1 and correctly diagnosed all patients with ATN. The RFI was >1 and misdiagnosed 11 of 42 patients with PRA but was >1 and correctly diagnosed all patients with ATN. The BUN/creatinine ratio, urine sodium concentration and U/P creatinine ratio all had a very poor correlation with the correct diagnosis.
Conclusion: The Na/K ratio correctly diagnosed all 42 cases of PRA and all 28 cases of ATN. It is easy to do, is cost effective, non-invasive, and is useful for following patients with PRA to see if and when they develop ATN.

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A Prospective Study about the Influence of Selenium Based Supplements on the Autoimmune Process Evolution and the Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients with Chronic Autoimmune Thyroiditis

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2019-0009

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the benefits of two different Selenium based supplements on patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.
Methods: We conducted a prospective study on 50 patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis, who were divided into three different treatment groups, one group taking Selenium 100 µg, one Procor T (a combination of Selenium 100 µg and other elements like copper, Zinc and Q10 Conenzyme) and one control group taking Placebo pills. We measured on two follow up visits the antibody levels (anti-thyroidperoxidase- TPO Ab) and offered each patient a standardized questionnaire regarding the thyroid-related quality of life (THYPROro).
Results: At the 6 months follow up visit there was a statistically significant decrease in the antibody levels for each treatment group compared to the base levels. The THYPROro questionnaire scores showed an improvement in most aspects regarding the quality of life as well, but there was no significant difference between the placebo and the treated groups in the magnitude of this improvement.
Conclusions: Based on our results, we could not identify a certain benefit in improving quality of life with the supplementation of Selenium, as the improvements were at a similar level for the patients who took Placebo pills. Further studies with more patients, as well as taking the Selenium deficiency in consideration (by measuring the basal serum level of Selenium for each patient) would be required to find the target group of patients who could have most benefits of Selenium-based supplementation.

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