Category Archives: AMM 2017, Volume 63, Number 3

The Dipper Status – Do We Really Need to Fight for It?

The idea of 24 hours blood pressure monitoring started more than 20 years ago [1] using semi-automatic devices, but even today we still need to inflate a cuff and listen to the Korotkoff sounds or to assess the maximum expansion of the artery when the pressure inside the cuff equals the mean blood pressure (the oscillometric method, used in actual ABPM devices). It is generally accepted that ABPM is a useful technique to evaluate the efficiency of the antihypertensive therapy, but there are more and more discussions about the relation between non-dipper status and cardiovascular risk.
The “dipper” status is defined by the European Society of Cardiology as a minimum of 10% decrease in the blood pressure [BP] during the night [2]. Patients without this BP dip are considered “non-dippers”, although more dipping profiles exist today (mild dippers, extreme dippers, reverse dippers, etc), even if those patterns are not easily reproducible [3]. Several published articles are suggesting that the non-dipper status is associated with increased cardiovascular risk [4, 5] especially in chronic renal disease patients [6] and some authors recommended changing the medication timing, in order to convert non-dipper patients to dipping status. [More]

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Immersive VR in Phantom Limb Pain Therapy of Amputee Patients Due to Critical Limb Ischemia

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0031

Introduction: Phantom limb pain (PLP) occurs in approximately 75% of patients who undergo limb amputation. In identifying the etiopathogenic mechanisms, multidisciplinary approaches are increasingly important in explaining the causality based on neurological and psychological factors. PLP has many negative effects on the amputee’s physical and mental integrity, which is why a variety of treatments have been conceived, whose effectiveness is rather limited.
Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an immersive virtual reality (IVR) intervention program using the mirror therapy principles in decreasing PLP.
Method: Twenty participants suffering from PLP were randomly assigned to one of the two intervention groups: IVR and kinesiotherapy, respectively. Pre- and post-intervention measurements were performed both on pain level and on several psychological variables: depression and anxiety symptoms, pain catastrophizing, quality of life, body representation and coping strategies.
Results: Preliminary data show a significant pain relief in patients in the IVR group compared to those in the kinesiotherapy group. Besides, significant improvement was found in the case of the patients in the IVR group, in terms of life quality improvement, reducing irrational pain catastrophizing-related thoughts and positive coping strategies (positive refocusing and reappraisal). There were no differences identified between the two groups in terms of anxiety and depression symptoms. Despite expectations, patients in the IVR group experienced a significant increase in one negative coping strategy: rumination.
Conclusions: The results obtained are advocating the use of IVI intervention as a method phantom limb pain alleviation, with positive consequences on patients’ life quality.

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Can a Person with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder be an Athlete?

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0030

Attention-deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that impairs academic, social and occupational functioning in children, adolescents and adults. It is characterized by excessive activity, restlessness, and nervousness. The disease occurs in general at children before the age of 7 and usually is not easy to be detected, due to various symptoms. When the diagnosis is established the physician can prescribe two types of drugs, stimulants: amphetamine, dexamphetamine, lisdexamphetamine, methylphenidate, and non-stimulants such as: guanfacine, atomoxetine, and clonidine. So what can be done for a person who has ADHD, and wants to be an elite athlete? Due to the rules established by the World Anti-Doping Agency the stimulant drugs are prohibited in competition and if traces of a prohibited substance are detected in the sample of blood of the athlete his access to competition can be blocked from 2-4 years, from that date of the incident. Fortunately for some athletes the disease was acute in childhood but as they grew up the symptoms were reminiscent and they could concentrate at the sporting task that was supposed to be achieved. What about those athletes that still have the symptoms? Well, they can be treated with the non-stimulant drugs, but their doctor must monthly verify if the list of prohibited drugs has been changed. In conclusion we can say that ADHD can be an impediment, but with the help of parents, teachers, and physicians the athlete can achieve very good performances.

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A Standardized Dissection Protocol to Generate Aortic Valvular Scaffolds from Porcine Hearts

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0029

Objective: To describe a particular harvesting procedure for isolating intact porcine aortic heart valve roots as potential sources for biologic scaffolds.
Methods: Fresh porcine hearts were brought to the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Targu Mures. The aortic roots were extracted from the porcine hearts by anatomical dissection. For this purpose, we used a basic surgical instrument kit. This initial phase was the first step in obtaining acellular extracellular matrix as a biologic scaffold material.
Results: Aortic roots were isolated with preservation of the ascending aorta as well as the intact aortic sinus and coronaries together with the adjacent myocardial tissue and anterior leaflet of the mitral valve. This approach allowed for safe mounting of roots into mounting rings for perfusion decellularization.
Conclusions: The described procedure is a feasible protocol for obtaining intact biological valvular scaffolds from porcine hearts. Reduced requirements regarding tools and personnel underline the easiness of aortic root harvesting using this particular procedure.

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Heterozygous Deletion in Exons 4-5 of SHOX Gene in a Patient Diagnosed as Idiopathic Short Stature

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0028

Introduction: Isolated Short Stature Homeobox (SHOX) gene haploinsufficiency can be found in 2-15% of individuals diagnosed with idiopathic short stature determining different skeletal phenotypes.
Case presentation: We present the history of an 11-year-old female patient diagnosed with idiopathic short stature. Clinically, she was moderately disproportionate, with cubitus valgus and palatum ogivale. Her breast development was in Tanner stage 1 at the time of diagnosis. The endocrine diagnostic tests did not reveal any abnormalities except a slightly elevated thyroid stimulating hormone. We have also assessed the bone radiological findings. Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification technique used for the identification of SHOX gene haploinsufficiency showed a heterozygous deletion spanning exons 4-5 of SHOX gene.
Conclusions: This case is determined by deletions in exons 4-5 of SHOX gene and indicates the necessity of screening for SHOX deletions in patients diagnosed with idiopathic short stature, especially in children having increased sitting height-to-height ratio or decreased extremities-to-trunk ratio.

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Transthoracic 3D Echocardiographic Imaging of Type A Aortic Dissection – Case Presentation

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0027

In type A aortic dissection (AoD) an early and accurate diagnosis is essential to improve survival, by applying urgent surgical repair. 3D transthoracic echocardiography (3D-TTE), an advanced noninvasive imaging technique, could offer a comprehensive evaluation of the ascending aorta and aortic arch in this regard. Both modalities of real-time 3D imaging – live 3D and full-volume aquisition – proved to be useful in evaluating the localization and extent of AoD. Our case illustrates the utility of 3D-TTE in the complex assessment AoD. By providing the proper anatomical dataset, 3D-TTE could facilitate considerably the diagnosis of type A AoD.

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Ultrasound Guidance Versus Peripheral Neurostimulation for Brachial Plexus Block Anesthesia with Axillary Approach and Multiple Injection Technique

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0025

Introduction: There are several approaches for brachial plexus anesthesia: supraclavicular, infraclavicular, interscalenic and axillary. Out of these, the axillary approach is considered to be the safest because of the low risk of lesioning the adjacent structures, low risk of phrenic nerve blockade or of producing an iatrogenic pneumothorax. The block can be performed by one single injection at the site, by two injections or by several injection, among each nerve of the plexus. Ultrasound was introduced in regional anesthesia since 1978, being used initially as an auxiliary method to peripheral neurostimulator.
Objectives: The evaluation of ultrasound efficiency as an auxiliary method for brachial plexus block performance, in terms of success rate, vascular punctures. The influence of obesity on performing time, total duration of the block, and success rate of brachial plexus block.
Material and method: Prospective, randomized study which enrolled adult patients, scheduled for surgical emergency or elective surgical intervention on upper limb with brachial plexus block by axillary approach, using either the peripheral nerve stimulation or the ultrasound guidance.
Results: We enrolled 160 patients, grouped in two sets- the ultrasound group= 82 patients (US) the neurostimulation group = 78 patients (NS). Vascular punctures were statistically significant different p= 0, 04. The success rate was not influenced by the obesity.
Conclusions: Ultrasound guidance makes axillary brachial plexus block safer, we can recommend ultrasound guidance as routine for axillary brachial plexus block. The obese patient can beneficiate by both methods of brachial plexus blockage.

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The Wnt Signalling Pathways: A Short Review and Specific Roles in Bone Biochemistry

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0026

As musculoskeletal diseases become an emerging healthcare problem worldwide, profound and comprehensive research has been focused on the biochemistry of bone metabolism in the past decades. Wnt signalling, one of the novel described pathways influencing bone metabolism from the early stages of tissue development, has been recently in the centre of attention. Several Wnt ligands are implied in bone forming pathways via canonical (β-catenin dependent) and non-canonical (β-catenin independent) signalling. Osteoporosis, a catabolic bone disease, has its pathologic background related, inter alia, to alterations in the Wnt signalling, thus key modulators of these pathways became one of the most promising targets in the treatment of osteoporosis. Antibodies inhibiting the activity of endogenous Wnt pathway inhibitors (sclerostin, dickkopf) are recently under clinical trials. The current article offers a brief review of the Wnt signalling pathways, its implication in bone metabolism and fate, and the therapeutic possibilities of osteoporosis through Wnt signalling.

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Assessment of Post-Occlusive Reactive Hyperaemia in the Evaluation of Endothelial Function in Patients with Lower Extremity Artery Disease

DOI: 10.1515/amma-2017-0024

Background: The aim was to assess endothelial function with photoplethysmography (PPG), by post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia (PORH) combined with alprostadil challenge test in patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Methods: Forty-nine PAD patients stage II-III Fontaine (39 male, 10 female, mean age 68.45±5.86 years) and a control group of 49 healthy individuals (24 male, 25 female; mean age 25.1±3.8 for a young subgroup; 71.0±0.16 years for an elderly subgroup) were included. Ankle-brachial index (ABI) was assessed at baseline, peripheral perfusion (PP) and PORH were assessed at baseline and after the 30 minutes administration of parenteral alprostadil.
Results: After 3 minutes of arterial occlusion, peripheral perfusion increased from 0.69±0.94 mV/V to 2.27±2.42 mV/V (p<0.0001). After alprostadil challenge, peripheral perfusion increased from 0.84±1.24 mV/V to 4.52±3.52 mV/V (p<0.0001). In controls PP was 2.4±1.7 mV/V versus 3.8±1.5 mV/V, p<0.0001.
Conclusion: In patients with PAD, an increase in PORH after alprostadil challenge due to the release of nitric oxide (NO), provides information on the endothelial function and could reflect the presence of collaterals. In the healthy control group, the increase in PORH could reflect the integrity of main arterial branch. In PAD patients with an increase in PORH, conservative therapy should be preferred over surgical revascularisation.

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