This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine auxiliary therapy (CHMAT) in treating childhood cough variant asthma (CVA). A systematic literature review was conducted on RCTs that compared CHMAT, i.e., Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) plus pharmacotherapy (PT), versus the same PT alone in the treatment of CVA. All included trials were assessed for quality and risk bias and analyzed according to the criteria of the Cochrane Handbook based on the Review Manager 5.3 software program. Twenty studies were identified and the CHMAT group had a positive effect on the total effective rate and a lower recurrence rate compared with the control group. CHMAT may have positive effects on CVA, leading to better improvement in disorders of cough and asthma and less adverse effects. However, the methodology and reporting quality of current studies are generally low. Further studies should include larger sample sizes with a strict design to confirm these findings.
Objective The objectives of this study were to investigate the mRNA and protein expression of biomarkers related to absorption in the small intestinal mucosa of humans and determine the relationships between small intestinal diseases and nutrition.
Methods The study subjects consisted of patients scheduled to undergo double-balloon endoscopy (DBE) or total colonoscopy for suspected gastrointestinal disorder in a clinical practice. Biopsies were taken from apparently normal mucosa in the visible areas of 6 parts of the intestines from the duodenum to the colon. The mRNA expression of specific biomarkers (SGLT1, SGLT5, GIP, GLP, LAT1, LAT2, and NPC1L1) in the mucosa was compared among three patient groups: Inflammation, Tumor, and Control.
Results Sixty-six patients participated in this study. Both routes of DBE were performed in 20 patients, in whom biopsy samples were obtained from the mucosa for all sections. There were no remarkable differences in the mRNA expression levels among the 3 groups. However, SGLT1, GIP, GLP, and NPC1L1 exhibited specific distribution patterns. The expression levels of GIP and NPC1L1 were highest in the upper jejunum, but were extremely low in the terminal ileum and colon. A comparison of the mRNA expression profile in each intestinal section revealed that the SGLT1 mRNA expression in the Tumor group and the GIP mRNA expression in the Inflammation group were significantly higher than the corresponding levels in the Control group in the upper jejunum.
Conclusion The gastrointestinal mucosa of patients with small bowel diseases can maintain proper nutrient absorption, except in the upper jejunum.
Objective Some patients with malignant gastric outlet obstruction require combined biliary and gastroduodenal stenting (double stenting). However, biliary stent dysfunction can often disturb biliary route maintenance, thus making the optimal biliary stenting for these patients unclear. The present study was designed to assess the factors associated with the long-term maintenance of biliary drainage routes.
Methods The clinical features and long-term outcomes were assessed in patients who underwent double stenting.
Patients The outcomes were reviewed in 43 consecutive patients who successfully underwent endoscopic double stenting with metallic stents.
Results An univariate analysis of all patients with biliary stent dysfunction showed the separate type of double stenting (two stents placed in a non-crossed position) to be the only predictive factor related to successful biliary re-intervention for stent dysfunction (odds ratio 73.67, p=0.001). A comparison of the clinical features in patients who underwent separate and cross (two stents placed in a crossed position) stenting showed the functional success rate to be higher for the separate (93.3%) than for the cross (61.5%) stent type, with the median times to biliary stent dysfunction differing significantly (330 vs. 298 days, respectively; p=0.048). The success rates of re-intervention in patients with separate and cross type stents were 88.9% and 0.0%, respectively (p=0.001), and the initial biliary route maintenance rates were 96.7% and 53.8%, respectively (p=0.002).
Conclusion The separate type of double stenting may enhance successful biliary re-intervention for stent dysfunction and also maintain the initial drainage route longer. The biliary drainage outcomes should therefore be considered when choosing the type of double stenting.
Objective We retrospectively investigated the relationship between the tumor response and serial changes in α-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) during hepatic arterial infusion of a cisplatin powder formulation (CDDP powder) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Methods Seventy-six advanced HCC patients were analyzed. All HCC patients received high-concentration cisplatin (1.43 mg/mL) via the haptic artery at a dose of 65 mg/m2. AFP and DCP were measured at baseline and four to eight weeks after treatment, and the antitumor responses were evaluated according to the response evaluation criteria in solid tumours (RECIST) criteria after one or two courses of treatment. The patients were classified into two groups, a decreased group and a non-decreased group, according to the change in the serum levels of AFP and DCP at four to eight weeks compared to baseline.
Results The response to treatment of the decreased group (n=16) and non-decreased group (n=60) was complete response/partial response/stable disease/progressive disease (CR/PR/SD/PD) in 4/4/5/3 and 1/11/8/40 patients, respectively. The response rate and disease control rate of the decreased group were significantly higher than those of the non-decreased group (p=0.016 and p<0.001, respectively). The median survival time (MST) of the decreased/non-decreased groups were 25.9/10.6 months, respectively. The cumulative survival rates for the decreased group were significantly higher than those of the non-decreased group (p=0.042). In the multivariate analysis, vascular invasion and the decreased group were significant factors that affected the therapeutic efficacy.
Conclusion A decrease in the levels of AFP and DCP after the first treatment with CDDP powder is a good predictor for the antitumor effect and the prognosis.
Objective Recent studies suggest that presepsin (soluble CD14-subtype) is a useful diagnostic and prognostic marker for sepsis, with secretion by activated macrophages potentially dependent on phagocytosis of microorganisms. As "hemophagocytosis" is one of the major characteristics in patients with hemophagocytic syndrome (HPS), we hypothesized that presepsin may reflect the phagocytic activity and be a useful prognostic marker for HPS. Therefore, we aimed to assess the prognostic potential of presepsin in secondary HPS in adult patients with hematological malignancies.
Methods Between April 2006 and August 2014, we retrospectively examined consecutive patients with HPS whose blood samples were available at our institution and compared the prognostic value of the following in HPS, singly and in combination: plasma presepsin, serum soluble interleukin (IL)-2 receptor (sIL-2R), ferritin, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-6 and IL-10.
Results A total of 14 patients were enrolled. The median age of the patients was 46.5 years (range, 22-65). In univariable Cox models, there were no significant variables associated with the prognosis. However, in 12 evaluable patients, only the combination of higher median values of presepsin (>1,935 pg/mL) and sIL-2R (>4,585 U/mL) at the onset of HPS was significantly associated with the 90-day mortality (hazard ratio 14.5; 95% CI, 1.47-143.36; p=0.02).
Conclusion These results suggest that a composite model of plasma presepsin and serum sIL-2R levels at the onset of HPS might be a novel predictor of the prognosis of patients with hematological malignancies and secondary HPS.
Objective It is difficult to compare directly the practical effects of lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive medications on reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD). The purpose of this study was to compare the hypothetical potential of lifestyle modifications with that of antihypertensive medications in reducing CVD in an aging society using a success rate-oriented simulation.
Methods We constructed a simulation model for virtual Japanese subpopulations according to sex and age at 10-year intervals from 40 years of age as an example of an aging society. The fractional incidence rate of CVD was calculated as the product of the incidence rate at each systolic blood pressure (SBP) level and the proportion of the SBP frequency distribution in the fractional subpopulations of each SBP. The total incidence rate was calculated by the definite integral of the fractional incidence rate at each SBP level in the sex- and age-specific subpopulations.
Results If we consider the effects of lifestyle modifications on metabolic factors and transfer them onto SBP, the reductions in the total incidence rate of CVD were competitive between lifestyle modifications and antihypertensive medications in realistic scenarios. In middle-aged women, the preventive effects of both approaches were limited due to a low incidence rate. In middle-aged men and extremely elderly subjects whose adherence to antihypertensive medications is predicted to be low, lifestyle modifications could be an alternative choice.
Conclusion The success rate-oriented simulation suggests that the effectiveness of lifestyle modifications or antihypertensive medications in preventing cardiovascular events largely depends on the baseline incidence rate and sex- and age-specific behavioral factors.
Intimal sarcoma is a rare disease with a poor prognosis. We herein report the case of a 71-year-old man with intimal sarcoma of the pulmonary artery treated with pazopanib. The tumor showed regression after 1 month of treatment. Hand-foot syndrome led to cessation of pazopanib, which triggered a disease flare. Pazopanib should be considered in patients with intimal sarcoma of the pulmonary artery that is unresectable or recurrent after surgery or cytotoxic chemotherapy. We must be careful about drug cessation, as it can lead to a disease flare.
Platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome (POS) is a rare condition characterized by interatrial right-to-left shunting that is exacerbated in the upright position. We herein report a 78-year-old woman with POS that remained undiagnosed for 2 years, despite repetitive transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). POS was ultimately diagnosed using contrast transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), which revealed a marked increase in right-to-left shunting in the sitting position, associated with simultaneous desaturation. Therefore, we propose that POS should be considered according to the clinical symptoms, regardless of the repetitive TTE results, and contrast TEE should be performed in both the supine and sitting positions to exclude a diagnosis of POS.
Hyperthyroidism and thyroid storm affect cardiac circulation in some conditions. Several factors including trauma can induce thyroid storms. We herein describe the case of a 57-year-old woman who experienced a thyroid storm and exacerbation of acute heart failure on thyroid echography. She initially demonstrated a good clinical course after medical rate control for atrial fibrillation; however, thyroid echography for evaluating hyperthyroidism led to a thyroid storm and she collapsed. A multidisciplinary approach stabilized her thyroid hormone levels and hemodynamics. Thus, the medical staff should be prepared for a deterioration in the patient's condition during thyroid echography in heart failure patients with hyperthyroidism.
A 46-year-old man was admitted to our hospital for near syncope and palpitations. An electrocardiogram showed a common type of atrial flutter (AFL) with 1:1 atrioventricular conduction. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a massive right atrial (RA) thrombus with a huge RA and right ventricle. The patient was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. It was difficult to control the heart rate with beta-blockers during AFL, which resulted in the deterioration of right-sided heart failure. The effect of anticoagulation therapy for the RA thrombus was also limited. Restoration to sinus rhythm by catheter ablation effectively improved the right-sided heart failure, and the massive RA thrombus eventually disappeared.