Category Archives: AMM 2023, Volume 69, Number 3

Glial fibrillary acidic protein as a serum neuromarker of brain injury in pediatric patients with congenital heart defects undergoing cardiac surgery

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0037

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as a marker of short-term neurodevelopmental delay in pediatric patients with congenital defects (CHD) after cardiovascular surgical intervention.
Methods: Included patients were screened by Denver Developmental Screening Test II scale a few days before and then at 4 to 6 months after the surgical intervention. Blood samples were collected preoperatory and at 24 hours after surgery; GFAP levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using commercial kit form BioVendor.
Results: Forty children were enrolled and dichotomized into two groups based on peripheric oxygen saturation: cyanotic (<95%) and non-cyanotic (>=95%) group. 63% from our population had an abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome. Significant differences between groups were found in language domain scores preoperatory (p=0.03) and in fine motor domain postoperatory (p=0.03). In the postoperatory period, GFAP had significantly higher values (p=0.0248) in the cyanotic CHD group. Association between GFAP and NIRS were analyzed and significant differences were found in both groups with a good predicting model in the non-cyanotic CHD group (aria under curve of 0.7 for receiver operative characteristic). Higher GFAP levels from the postoperatory period correlated with neurodevelopmental impairment (mean value of: 0.66 ± 0.02ng/ml in those with good neurodevelopmental score, 0.69 ± 0.02ng/ml in those with low neurodevelopmental score, p=0.01).
Conclusions: GFAP could be a reliable neuromarker in identifying early acute brain injury documented by NIRS monitorization during perioperatory period and it also could identify short term neurodevelopmental impairment documented by lower neurodevelopmental scores.

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Predictors of anemia without active bleeding signs in patients referred for endoscopy

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0036

Objective: The objective of the present study is to clarify the value of clinic, endoscopic, and histologic variables that may predict anemia in patients performing esophagogastroduodenoscopy for gastrointestinal complaints in the absence of bleeding signs or lower digestive disease.
Methods: This study included 654 patients referred for endoscopy that were divided based on biological parameters performed in the same day in the study group (306 patients diagnosed with anemia) and the control group (348 patients without anemia).
Results: Anemia is frequent in elderly patients, especially in the presence of premalignant gastric lesions, and it is associated with multiple comorbidities. In two multivariate regression models antivitamin K oral anticoagulants were found to be independently associated with anemia (p = 0.01), but not with antiplatelet therapy, or with non-antivitamin K anticoagulants. Multiple regression models support that epigastric pain and heartburn are inversely associated with anemia, while weight loss remained an independent predictor for simultaneous anemia and premalignant lesions. Non-infectious chronic gastritis (p<0.001) is an independent predictor for anemia and premalignant gastric lesions, increasing the odds of anemia by 2.2 times, while reactive gastropathy is inversely associated. Gastric erosions and ulcer remained independent predictors for concomitant anemia and premalignant lesions. 
Conclusions: Chronic inactive gastritis and premalignant gastric histologic lesions are predictors for anemia in endoscopic population, while active H. pylori infection is not. Dyspeptic symptoms, epigastric pain (p<0.001,OR 0.2-0.5) and heartburn (p<0.001,OR 0.07-0.3) are inversely associated with anemia alone or associated with premalignant gastric lesions.

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Diagnostic difficulties in a very rare case of mycoplasma pneumoniae uveitis

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0035

Introduction: Mycoplasma pneumoniae is known as a common cause of respiratory tract infections, especially in children. Regarding extrapulmonary manifestations, many dysfunctions have been linked to circulating IgM antibodies, including eye diseases and disorders. In this report, we aim to highlight the importance of considering Mycoplasma pneumoniae a potential etiological agent that can cause significant eye structures inflammation. Case presentation: We present a case of a 22-year-old male patient who arrived at the Emergency Department complaining of visual acuity decrement. Fundoscopic examination outlined a pale optic nerve, covered by pre-papillary infiltrates and peripheric inflammatory infiltrates, accompanied by signs of vasculitis. Investigations were performed and a multidisciplinary assessment was conducted. General antibiotic and antimycotic treatment and topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drops were administrated but his symptoms were aggravating, although it was continuously upgraded. Antibodies for Mycoplasma pneumoniae were determined with positive IgM and macrolide antibiotherapy was administrated, with favorable evolution. Conclusions: Mycoplasma pneumoniae should not be excluded as a possible cause of severe ocular inflammations, even in asymptomatic patients. The patient’s management should include multidisciplinary assessment for an easier diagnosis in cases of uncertainty.

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Renal Ewing sarcoma with extensive neuroectodermal differentiation: Case report and literature review

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0034

Ewing sarcoma with renal localization is one of the rarest members of the Ewing sarcoma family with less than 200 cases reported in the Medline database. Considering the fact that the majority of data published on the Ewing sarcoma with neuroectodermal differentiation is obtained through a few case reports and case series, it becomes understandable why we currently have no universally accepted treatment regimens.
Case summary: A 33-year-old patient presented to the Emergency Department with right lumbar pain following a mild trauma and an episode of macroscopic hematuria. Physical examination confirmed hematuria and flank pain and a palpable flank mass was identified. MRI showed a cystic lesion of the upper pole of the right kidney of 127/110/123 mm. After prior agreement of the multidisciplinary team, a 3D laparoscopic right radical nephrectomy was done. The histopathological diagnosis revealed an Ewing sarcoma with extensive neuroectodermal differentiation staged as pT3N1M0L1V2R0. Despite swift implementation of the chemotherapy protocol, the progression of the disease was quickly noted. Currently, one year after diagnosis, the disease is still progressing despite the chemotherapy treatment, the patient being a third line chemotherapy candidate. As renal localization of Ewing sarcoma with extensive neuroectodermal differentiation is extremely rare, multimodal treatment strategies must be established by a multidisciplinary team. Despite its aggressive biological behavior, a proper therapeutic management might increase patient life expectancy.

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Evaluating demand of High Dependency Unit beds in a hospital with insights on return on capital investment

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0033

Introduction: Hospital administration will have to constantly work around predicting demand of the critical care beds and evaluating the options of expanding the existing capacity. These expansions will be constantly requested by clinicians in private hospitals in India. It becomes imperative to infuse capital into such expansions predicting the utilisation pattern of the new beds. This study concentrates on factors considered for estimating the infrastructure enhancement in step down beds in progression of patient care.
Methodology: Retrospective measurement of past bed occupancy rates of existing critical care beds, number of patients denied admissions through emergency department due to lack of intensive care beds was counted during previous 1 year. Cost estimates of building, equipment, manpower was collected. The prices that can be charged per rack basis was estimated, for revenue calculation. Return on investment tool using annual revenues divided by annual investment was used to measure the outputs.
Results: For setting up a 34 bed HDU (High Dependency Unit), 4760 square feet of space was utilised, with USD 594,555 as investment, at a revenue of USD 527,425, which is 75% return in first year, provided occupancy is at 100%. At occupancy of 60%, which was seen within 6 months of commissioning new HDU, the breakeven can be achieved at 450 days. At 100% occupancy breakeven can be achieved in 290 days.
Conclusion: Demand estimation and Utilisation analysis is valuable tools for administration to make decisions on major capital investments.

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Iron metabolism and metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0031

Objective: The primary objective of this study was to investigate the association between biomarkers of iron metabolism and metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease in individuals with type 2 diabetes and non-diabetic individuals compared to a control group. We also examined the possible association between estimated liver fibrosis and serum ferritin levels in all three groups.
Methods: We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional, comparative study involving subjects diagnosed with diabetes and/or metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease from an outpatient diabetology clinic and two general practices in Târgu Mureș. The patient population was divided into 3 groups: first group including diabetic patients suffering from fatty liver disease, second group including patients without fatty liver disease and third group with non-diabetic patients suffering from fatty liver disease. We compared the three groups based on specific laboratory tests.
Results: Patients with fatty liver disease had significantly higher ferritin and transferrin saturation levels than non-fatty liver disease sufferers (p<0.05). Transferrin saturation of the first group was significantly (p<0.05) higher compared to the non-diabetic fatty liver disease group. Ferritin correlated well with Fibrosis-4 index level (τ= 0.193, p<0.01) considering the whole sample and especially in the first group.
Conclusions: In our study, there was a clear association between higher ferritin levels and the presence of metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease. The higher transferrin saturation observed in diabetic patients suffering from metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease may indicate the possible etiological significance of iron overload. Higher ferritin levels in diabetes increase the risk of liver fibrosis.

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Current screening and diagnostic approaches of
retinoblastoma in limited setting

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0032

As the most common intraocular malignancy in children, retinoblastoma poses a vision, globe, and life-threatening risk and hence requires thorough evaluation and surveillance. While the disease is one of the most curable malignancies in established countries, children of lower-middle-income countries are not so fortunate, especially those with familial history of retinoblastoma. The delay of diagnosis proposes a grave prognosis, thus screening is a must. This study aimed to review the literature on various screening programs and applications described for the early detection of retinoblastoma, especially in a setting where genetic examination performance is limited. A literature search across PubMed®, ProQuest, and EbscoHost (MEDLINE Full text) with the topic of current methods and programs of retinoblastoma screening in neonates, infants, and children were carried out denoting various guideline and recommendations but the implementation is not uniform. Examination under anesthesia and red-reflex tests are among the most frequently conducted but the practices vastly vary especially in a place with low resources. Recent updates in mobile phone freeware should be rigorously upgraded due to its current inadequate sensitivity and specificity in detecting retinoblastoma but pose a promising future for retinoblastoma screening and diagnosis, especially in lower-middle-income countries.

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Knowledge, attitudes, and willingness of community pharmacy staff in Mures County, Romania, to provide the brief advice to stop smoking: A cross-sectional study

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0030

Background and objective: Providing brief advice to stop smoking (BASS) can significantly increase motivation to quit, long-term smoking cessation rates, and substantially impact public health. The study aimed to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and willingness of community pharmacy staff in Mures County, Romania, to provide BASS to smokers.
Methods: The observational, cross-sectional study included a sample of 96 professionals working in community pharmacies in Mures County, Romania. Data were collected using an online questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Results: Generally, more than 90% of the respondents acknowledged that smoking is addictive, represents a health hazard, and increases the risk of lung and laryngeal cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, and stroke. Up to 70% of the respondents recognized the most common scientifically proven quit medications, such as nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion, and varenicline. Most pharmacists agreed that they should regularly ask the patients about their smoking status and encourage smokers to quit. They also declared they should receive continual education regarding quit services, medications, and techniques. BASS was credited with very high efficacy by 17.1%, high efficacy by 26.8%, and moderate efficacy by 46.3% of the respondents. The most common perceived barriers to providing BASS in community pharmacies were lack of demand from smokers (78.0%), lack of time (73.2%), and lack of educational materials (39.0%). About 70% of the pharmacists received no formal training regarding quit services, but more than 75% were interested in earning such a qualification. About 65% of the respondents estimated they could dedicate 10-15 minutes of their daily working time to provide BASS to interested customers. Conclusions: Overall, the study found an acceptable level of knowledge and willingness of the participants in offering BASS, suggesting that a program to provide BASS in Mures County community pharmacies may be feasible and useful.

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The digital presence of the leading brands in the
category of Food for Special Medical Purposes

DOI: 10.2478/amma-2023-0029

Objective: Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) is a niche area in the food and healthcare industries that produces foods to meet the dietary requirements of people with specific medical conditions. These products provide specific nutrient amounts and ratios, which can be used as a supplement to a conventional diet, part of an entire medical treatment plan, or as a sole source of Nutrition. The market is expected to generate revenues of $19.67 billion in 2028. Most FSMPs products are purchased individually by patients or caregivers. Although these products are not advertised directly to the public might be bought online from pharmacies and other online shops. This research aims to evaluate the online presence of the most important brands within the FSMPs category and how the patients get to the online shops without direct-to-consumer advertisement.
Methods: This exploratory qualitative research study examines the online presence of FSMP products and key brands using SEO as the main digital technique. Data sources included Romanian websites, Google SERPs,, Semrush, and Ubersuggest.
Results: The findings showed that these websites received only a small amount of direct traffic, with only a few hundred monthly visits. To increase organic visibility, businesses must follow regulatory requirements, collaborate with medical experts, engage with potential clients, and exhibit their products at medical events and fairs. Content marketing is crucial for FSMP brands to engage with their target audience and deliver valuable information.
Conclusions: FSMP brands cannot advertise directly to consumers. Instead, they should focus on SEO, reputable online pharmacies, e-commerce shops, and content marketing. This research applies to FSMP brands, digital marketers, and online pharmacies to effectively connect with target demographics, promote products, navigate regulatory constraints, and enhance online presence, improving accessibility and awareness.

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