The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of transcorneal electrical stimulation in subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma. Five eyes of four male subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma (average age: 52.25 ± 14.68 years) were enrolled. The subjects underwent transcorneal electrical stimulation every 3 months according to the following procedure. A Dawson-Trick-Litzkow electrode was placed on the cornea, and biphasic electric current pulses (10 ms, 20 Hz) were delivered using a stimulator (BPG-1,BAK Electronics) and a stimulus isolation unit (BSI-2). A current that evoked a phosphene that the subject perceived in the whole visual area was delivered continuously for 30 min. Humphrey visual field testing was performed after every third transcorneal electrical stimulation treatment. Changes in mean deviation (MD) values were evaluated with a linear regression model. Transcorneal electrical stimulation was performed 18.2 ± 9.4 times over a period of 49.8 ± 23.0 months. The average pretranscorneal electrical stimulation intraocular pressure, best corrected visual acuity, and MD values were 11.8 ± 1.79 mmHg, 0.14 ± 0.19 (logMAR) and −17.28 ± 6.24 dB, respectively. No significant differences were observed in intraocular pressure before and after transcorneal electrical stimulation. However, there was a significant positive linear relationship between changes in MD values and the number of transcorneal electrical stimulation treatments (R2 = 0.176, P = 0.005, Spearman correlation R =0.294, P = 0.008). Transcorneal electrical stimulation treatment may improve glaucomatous visual field defects in subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma. Large-scale studies are necessary to confirm these preliminary findings.
In this study, we investigated the correlations between biochemical and hematological test results obtained using microliter-scale fingertip blood samples collected with a newly developed blood collection device and those obtained using conventional venous blood. Eighty volunteer subjects were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were drawn from the fingertip of the ring finger by a single puncture, and 60-µL samples were promptly and accurately aspirated into a blood collection chip. Then the chip was tightly sealed in a chip container and was shaken to mix the contents without dispersion. For biochemical tests other than that for HbA1c, blood was collected without anticoagulant and centrifuged to obtain 15 µL of serum which was then diluted with 190 µL of physiological saline for the assay. For hematological tests and the test for HbA1c, the sample was assayed with blood collected using EDTA-2 K. Good correlations were obtained between the test results of the assay using fingertip blood and that using venous blood. The correlation coefficients were ≥0.97 for TG, T-CHO, HDL-C, LDL-C, GLU, ALT, γ-GTP, UA, BUN, and HbA1c and ≥0.95 for WBC, RBC, Hgb, and Hct. These results suggest that our microliter-scale blood testing system is comparable to assays using venous blood and may be useful as a rapid and simple test to determine basic clinical parameters that are close to the reference intervals.
Depression is common among cancer patients and their families, and may lead to in substantial clinical consequences. Clinicians should routinely screen cancer patients for comorbid depression and should provide appropriate care at both primary and specialized care levels. Good quality care is beneficial not only for cancer patients themselves but also for their family members. It includes good communication between patients and health providers, and addressing of unmet needs of cancer patients. Specialized care comprises pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. The advancement of psychotherapy for cancer patients parallels the advancement of general psychotherapy. Among the many types of psychotherapies, mindfulness-based interventions have been attracting growing attention. Some relevant studies that have been conducted in Keio University Hospital are described herein.
Unlinked total elbow arthroplasty (TEA), which has no mechanical connection between the humeral and ulnar components, has theoretical advantages based on its near-normal elbow kinematics and the preservation of bone stock. Unlinked TEA is appropriate only for patients who have limited bone loss or limited deformity and good ligamentous function. This is because postoperative instability has been a major complication of unlinked prostheses. The concept and goal of unlinked TEA is to share the loading stress on the bone implant interface with the surrounding tissues. Although the loosening rate of unlinked prostheses theoretically should be lower than that of linked prostheses (which have a mechanical connection between the humeral and ulnar components), there is no clear evidence that unlinked TEAs are superior to linked TEAs in this respect. However, we believe that primary TEA should be performed using an unlinked TEA, especially for younger patients, because revision surgery for unlinked TEA results in longer prosthesis survival than revision surgery for linked TEA. Improvement of the design of unlinked prostheses and the introduction of less invasive surgical techniques are required to reduce postoperative instability.
The suprapatellar approach for intramedullary tibial nailing has become widely accepted over the past decade. A round sleeve is passed beneath the patella to protect the surface of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ). However, the round sleeve cannot be easily stabilized in the PFJ because it does not conform to the shape of the patellar apex. Consequently, we produced a heart-shaped sleeve to simplify the insertion of the entry sleeve during the suprapatellar approach. Using the new sleeve, the following procedure is used: (1) make a longitudinal 4 cm skin incision proximal to the patella to reach the PFJ, (2) insert the guide pin manually to the ventral edge of the tibial plateau, (3) insert the cannulated trocar along the guide pin, (4) insert the heart-shaped sleeve along the cannulated trocar, (5) remove the cannulated trocar, (6) ream the entry point through the heart-shaped sleeve. Then, continue insertion of the nail in the standard manner. Among 44 patients (29 men, mean age 45.6 years, range 26–87 years) with tibial fractures treated between 2010 and 2015, the first 18 consecutive cases were performed using a round sleeve and the rest were performed using the heart-shaped sleeve. The surgery time until entry reaming commenced was 8.9 min (range 6–12 min) using the round sleeve and 6.2 min (range 3–12 min) using the heart-shaped sleeve (P < 0.05). The heart-shaped sleeve is easily stabilized in the PFJ and greatly simplifies the intramedullary nailing of tibial shaft fractures using the suprapatellar approach.
The hypoxia response is a fundamental phenomenon mainly regulated by hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). For more than a decade, we have investigated and revealed the roles of the hypoxia response in the development, physiology, and pathophysiology of the retina by generating and utilizing cell-type-specific conditional knockout mice. To investigate the functions of genes related to the hypoxia response in cells composing the retina, we generated various mouse lines that lack HIFs and/or related genes specifically in retinal neurons, astrocytes, myeloid cells, or retinal pigment epithelium cells. We found that these genes in the different types of retinal cells contribute in various ways to the homeostasis of ocular vascular and visual function. We hypothesized that the activation of HIFs is likely involved in the development and progress of retinal diseases, and we subsequently confirmed the pathological roles of HIFs in animal models of neovascular and atrophic ocular diseases. Currently, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy is a first-line treatment widely used for neovascular retinal diseases. However, alternative or additional targets are now required because several recent large-scale clinical trials and animal studies, including our own research, have indicated that VEGF antagonism may induce retinal vascular and neuronal degeneration. We have identified and confirmed a microRNA as a candidate for an alternative target against neovascular retinal diseases, and we are now working to establish a novel HIF inhibitor for clinical use based on the disease mechanism that we identified.