Objective Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a highly prevalent and debilitating functional disorder. The toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a family of pathogen-recognition receptors in the innate immune system. In the present study we aimed to investigate the TLR2, TLR4 and nitric oxide (NO) levels in patients with IBS. Methods Fifty-one IBS patients and 15 healthy controls were included in the present study. Colonic tissue levels of TLR2, TLR4 and NO were detected using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and through biochemical methods. Results The colonic tissue levels of TLR4 and NO were significantly higher in IBS patients than in healthy controls. A subgroup analysis, which was based on the presence of diarrhea and constipation, showed that TLR2 levels were significantly higher among individuals with diarrhea-predominant IBS than among constipation-predominant IBS patients and healthy controls. The TLR4 levels were significantly higher in the diarrhea-predominant IBS patients and constipation-predominant IBS patients than in comparison healthy controls. The colonic tissue levels of NO were higher in the constipation-predominant IBS patients than in the diarrhea-predominant IBS patients and healthy controls. Conclusion In the present study we found that the colonic tissue levels of TLR and NO were elevated in IBS patients. Our results support the presence of a degree of immune dysregulation and oxidative stress in patients with IBS.
Objective Hyperinsulinemia plays an important role in the pathophysiological processes of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, there are few reports on hepatic insulin clearance in patients with these diseases. Methods A total of 74 CHC patients and 37 NAFLD patients were enrolled in this study. We evaluated their hepatic insulin clearance, insulin sensitivity and β-cell function with an oral glucose tolerance test. Results Hepatic insulin clearance in the patients with CHC was significantly correlated with platelets (r=0.271, p=0.020) and liver fibrosis (r=-0.234, p=0.045) and was significantly affected by both steatosis (mild: 0.157±0.078, severe: 0.114±0.053, p=0.024) and fibrosis (mild: 0.167±0.0857, severe: 0.125±0.052, p=0.010). There were no significant differences in (homeostasis model assessment) HOMA-β among steatosis and fibrosis stages. In the NAFLD patients, those with severe fibrosis had significantly reduced hepatic insulin clearance (mild: 0.135±0.045, severe: 0.098±0.031, p=0.013) and significantly increased HOMA-β (mild: 115.6±67.1, severe: 172.8±65.7, p=0.018) compared with the patients with mild fibrosis. Conclusion Liver fibrosis development is associated with hepatic insulin clearance in both the CHC and NAFLD patients.
Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of various intensities of physical activity with glycemic control and insulin resistance in eastern China. Methods A population-based, cross-sectional study was conducted in eastern China. The subjects included 604 community-dwelling people. The participants were classified as insufficiently active (IA); sufficiently active (SA) and very active (VA) according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Insulin sensitivity was assessed using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Related social, biological, lifestyle factors and clinical characteristics were recorded and used as potential confounders. Results The cohort of 604 type 2 diabetes patients were classified according to the activity level: 107 subjects who were classified as IA, 329 met the criteria for SA, and the rest were VA. The proportion of obese patients, smokers, patients with hypertension, and the body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, hemoglobin A1c protein (HbA1c), and 2-h postprandial blood glucose (2hPG) were significantly lower in the SA and VA groups than in the IA group (p<0.05 or 0.01). The SA group had lower levels of fasting blood glucose (FPG) and HOMA-IR than the IA and VA groups (p<0.05 or 0.01). HOMA-IR was positively correlated with FPG, 2hPG, HbA1c, waist circumference and BMI. HOMA-IR was negatively correlated with the total walking activity (p<0.05). After adjusting for FPG, 2hPG, HbA1c, waist circumference and BMI among the groups, a partial correlation analysis showed a correlation between HOMA-IR and the total walking activity. Conclusion Physical activity is a significant factor regarding glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, although SA and walking may be superior to VA for ameliorating insulin sensitivity.
Objective Most small-cell lung cancers (SCLCs) are located within the central aspect of the chest and manifest as a mediastinal or hilar lymphadenopathy. Endobronchial ultrasound-guided transbronchial needle aspiration (EBUS-TBNA) makes it possible to perform mediastinal and hilar nodal examinations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of EBUS-TBNA in the diagnosis of SCLC. Methods The diagnostic performances of EBUS-TBNA and/or transesophageal bronchoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA-B/E) were calculated using the standard definitions. Patients The study consisted of a retrospective review of the medical records for all patients with histologically proven SCLC who previously underwent EBUS-TBNA and/or EUS-FNA-B/E from May 2009 to September 2014. Results The analysis was based on 161 patients and 299 aspirated specimens. The patient group included 144 males (89%); the median age was 66 years. EBUS-TBNA and/or EUS-FNA-B/E were performed in 239 mediastinal nodes, 39 hilar/interlobar nodes, and 21 lung parenchymal lesions. The median short diameter of the biopsied lesions was 17 mm. The overall sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value, positive predictive value, and accuracy of EBUS-TBNA and/or EUS-FNA-B/E on a per-person basis were 97.4%, 100%, 60%, 100%, and 97.5%, respectively. The corresponding values on a per-lesion basis were 91.8%, 100%, 73.0%, 100%, and 93.3%, respectively. There were no serious complications related to EBUS-TBNA. Conclusion In our series of patients with SCLC, EBUS-TBNA had an excellent diagnostic yield in the evaluation of mediastinal, hilar and lung parenchymal lesions. Thus, EBUS-TBNA could be a useful and safe diagnostic method with which to evaluate patients with SCLC.
Objective The frequency of pulmonary nontuberculous mycobacteriosis (pNTM), chronic lower respiratory tract infections (cLRTIs), and pneumonia in patients with allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (ABPM) without cystic fibrosis has not yet been fully investigated. Methods We retrospectively analyzed 42 patients with ABPM focusing on the frequency of pNTM and cLRTIs, acute exacerbation of cLRTIs, and pneumonia. Results During a median follow-up period of 2,299 days (range, 118-6,138 days), 7 patients developed pNTM (mainly Mycobacterium avium complex), and 21 patients developed cLRTI (mostly from Staphylococcus aureus followed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Twelve patients developed 21 episodes of acute exacerbation of cLRTIs, and 4 patients developed pneumonia. Conclusion Patients with ABPM can have concomitant NTM infection and, not uncommonly, cLRTI, and they can also sometimes develop pneumonia or an acute exacerbation of cLRTI.
Objective Karoshi, which is the Japanese term for death from over-work, is usually the extreme result of cardiovascular diseases, and occupational stress plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis. Depression is closely associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The present study was undertaken to examine the relationship between occupational stress and depression. Methods We enrolled 231 consecutive outpatients with lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension were enrolled. Occupational stress was measured by qualitative constructs assessing job control, job demands, and worksite social support using a job content questionnaire (JCQ). The job strain index measured by the ratio of job demands to job control was used as an indicator of the occupational stress. Depression was evaluated by the Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS). Results A univariate linear regression analysis showed the SDS scores to be positively correlated with job demands and the job strain index and negatively correlated with job control and worksite social support. Multiple regression analyses to predict the SDS scores demonstrated that job demands were positively associated with SDS scores and job control and worksite social support were negatively associated with SDS scores after controlling for other variables. The job strain index was positively related to SDS scores. Conclusion Occupational stress expressed as the job strain index was strongly associated with depression. By simultaneously using the SDS and JCQ, the health conditions of patients could be classified based on occupational stress and mental stress, and this classification could help to promote a healthy work environment and guide individual workers.
Objective In recent years, an increase has been observed in the incidence of bone metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In 2007, our institution established a team approach, which includes the provision of palliative care. In the present study we evaluate the effects of palliative care on the prognosis of HCC patients with bone metastases. Methods The subjects included 44 patients with bone metastases who were treated with radiotherapy between 2000 and 2014. The subjects were divided into groups that received radiotherapy from 2000 to 2006 and after 2007. The overall survival rates after radiotherapy were analyzed. Results The median survival time of the patients who received care between 2007 and 2014 was 6 months, which was significantly longer than that in the patients who received care between 2000 and 2006. Conclusion The present team approach in our hospital, which includes the provision of palliative care, started in 2007. This approach may have improved prognosis of patients with metastatic HCC.
Gastric bezoars are concretions of undigested material, and Coca-Cola therapy is an easy, efficacious and safe approach for bezoar treatment. Gastric outlet obstruction due to a migratory gastric bezoar during Coca-Cola therapy is an uncommon presentation and, to the best of our knowledge, no cases have been previously reported. We herein describe one such case with no known predisposing factors that recovered via the endoscopic technique. A thorough literature search was performed, which yielded eight relevant patients from seven publications, all of who developed gastrointestinal obstruction during dissolution treatment and recovered uneventfully after surgical intervention. In conclusion, this potential complication should be kept in mind in the event that alternative treatment is necessary.
A 52-year-old Japanese woman admitted to our hospital for the treatment of liver dysfunction due to an undetermined cause developed disorientation on the 58th hospital day and was diagnosed with late-onset liver failure. Abdominal ultrasound examinations were performed several times from the admission. Before the disorientation appeared, the results of the examinations revealed that the portal flow decreased, after which the hepatic arterial flow increased and the degree of liver stiffness became elevated. Although the pathophysiology of these changes remains unclear, hemodynamic changes and elevation of liver stiffness might be predictive markers of severe liver tissue damage.
A 32-year-old woman was referred due to abdominal pain and elevated liver enzymes. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed ectopic opening of the common bile duct (CBD) into the duodenal bulb. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy showed a hemispheric bulge in the duodenal bulb. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) revealed the bulge to be cystic dilatation of the CBD. ERCP also showed no communication between the ventral and dorsal pancreatic ducts. We diagnosed the patient with ectopic opening of the CBD accompanied by choledochocele and pancreas divisum. Endoscopic incision was performed for the treatment of the choledochocele. The patient's symptoms and elevated liver enzymes improved after treatment.
Left ventricular (LV) involvement in the advanced stage of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a well recognized phenomenon. T wave inversion in the lateral leads has been reported to be an electrocardiographic marker of LV involvement. Variants of ARVC that preferentially affect the left ventricle (left-dominant subtype of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy) have recently been recognized. We herein report a case in which an initial electrocardiogram that was similar to the left-dominant subtype of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy progressed to definitive ARVC over a period of 7 years. This case supports the hypothesis that LV involvement in ARVC may precede the evident onset of significant RV dysfunction.
Amyloidosis is a well-known but uncommon disease, and the physician must maintain a high index of suspicion in order to make a timely diagnosis. The expected survival of patients with cardiac amyloidosis is generally poor. In particular, survival has been reported to be 4-12 months for patients with amyloid light-chain amyloidosis with congestive heart failure. We herein report a rare case of cardiac amyloidosis in which the patient presented with cardiac hypertrophy after a 20-year history of dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
Having a relative with atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the risk factors for AF development, especially in young patients, which is known as familial AF. Although familial AF is considered to be associated with inherited factors, its genetic and pathophysiological backgrounds have not been fully identified. We report two young brothers undergoing radiofrequency catheter ablation for AF, who had a huge left atrial appendage (LAA). In both cases, the origins of the main triggers of the AF were not the huge LAA itself, but left pulmonary veins compressed by the LAA. Since catheter ablation including pulmonary vein isolation, the sinus rhythm has been maintained in both patients.