Some patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) develop systolic dysfunction, called the dilated phase of HCM (d-HCM), which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We conducted a retrospective study using an HCM database to clarify the incidence, clinical characteristics, and long-term outcomes of d-HCM. We analyzed an HCM cohort consisting of 434 patients (273 with apical HCM and 161 with non-apical HCM; 18 had obstructive HCM, 16 had dilated HCM, and 127 had other HCM) diagnosed by echocardiography in our hospital between 1991 and 2010. The follow-up period was 8.4 ± 6.7 years. The mean age at final follow-up was 67 ± 14 years, and 304 patients (70%) were men. The mean age of the 16 d-HCM patients at the initial visit was 45 ± 17 years, the age at final follow-up was 59 ± 18 years, and 13 were men. Thirteen d-HCM patients developed atrial fibrillation and six patients developed ischemic stroke. Twelve d-HCM patients were implanted with cardiac devices: one pacemaker, nine implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and two cardiac resynchronization therapy with defibrillator. Five patients died of progressive heart failure at the age of 61 ± 23 years. The age at the initial visit and final follow-up were lower and the NYHA class, brain natriuretic peptide levels, and left ventricular function at initial evaluation were worse in the d-HCM group. Univariate analysis demonstrated that a lower age at the initial visit was associated with d-HCM (hazard ratio 0.955/1 year increase; 95% CI 0.920–0.991, P = 0.015). In our HCM cohort, the incidence of d-HCM was 4%. A high prevalence of atrial fibrillation and cerebral infarction and poor prognosis were noted in this group, despite patients undergoing medication and device implantation.
This cross-sectional study investigated the associations of business type with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and lifestyle characteristics among workers in small- and medium-sized enterprises. In total, data from 167,736 workers (114,746 men and 52,990 women) who participated in health checkups in 2013 were analyzed using multilevel logistic regression models. The odds ratios (ORs) of having MetS, defined based on the criteria of the joint interim statement, were significantly higher in employees of transportation businesses (reference OR =1) than in other business types among men (OR: 0.67–0.85) and similar result was observed among women (OR: 0.70–0.88). The prevalence of a smoking habit was significantly higher in transportation workers than in employees of other businesses for both men and women. Furthermore, male transportation workers were more likely to skip breakfast, engage in <1 h/day of walking, walk at a slower speed, and eat dinner just before going to bed. Female transportation workers were more likely to have gained 10 kg since the age of 20 years. In conclusion, the prevalence of MetS was higher in transportation workers than in workers from other businesses; the associated risk factors may also vary by sex. To effectively promote public health, the labor environment, such as the business type, should be considered.
Previous reports have suggested that direct oral anticoagulants exert a prothrombolytic effect against intracardiac thrombi. We hypothesized that these anticoagulants may also help recanalize occluded intracranial arteries via prothrombolytic effects. In this study, we evaluated the effects of rivaroxaban, a direct oral anticoagulant, on fibrin emboli within the cerebrocortical microvessels in a mouse model of embolic stroke. Fibrin emboli prepared ex vivo were injected into the common carotid artery of male C57BL/6 mice, and embolization in the microvessels on the brain surface was observed through a cranial window. Oral administration of rivaroxaban was initiated a week before injection of the emboli. The number and sizes of the emboli were measured at two time points: immediately after and 3 h after the embolus injection in the rivaroxaban-treated mice (n =6) and untreated mice (n =7). The rates of recanalization and change in the embolus size were analyzed between the two groups. Complete recanalization was observed only in the rivaroxaban group (three mice in the rivaroxaban group compared with none in the control group). A significantly higher rate of reduction of the embolus size was observed in the rivaroxaban group than in the control group (P=0.0216). No significant differences between the two groups were observed in the serum levels of the following coagulation markers: thrombin–antithrombin III complexes, D-dimers, or plasmin–α2-plasmin inhibitor complex. Our findings indicate that rivaroxaban may promote reduction in the size of stagnated fibrin emboli in cerebrocortical microvessels in cases of embolic stroke.
Renal oncocytoma is generally regarded as a benign renal tumor. We herein report a case of large renal oncocytoma with renal venous tumor thrombus. The patient may need to be carefully followed up because hematogenous metastasis may occur.
Radical esophagectomy for thoracic esophageal cancer is invasive and frequently results in postoperative pulmonary complications. Postoperative pneumonia is the most common such complication and affects hospital mortality and survival rates. Oral care has been very effective in reducing pneumonia. In Japan, preoperative professional oral care is highly recommended. However, there are few studies on the effect of preoperative improvements in oral hygiene as a result of intervention on the incidence of postoperative pneumonia. The primary end-point of this retrospective study was the incidence of postoperative pneumonia after radical esophagectomy. The oral health levels of 46 patients were individually categorized, and then patients were grouped according to whether they maintained or improved their oral hygiene. At the first dental examination, oral health levels were classified as good in 22 patients and bad in 24. Of the 46 patients studied, 39 patients maintained or improved their oral hygiene (good control group), whereas 7 showed no improvement (bad control group). Postoperative pneumonia occurred in eight patients: four in the good control group and four in the bad control group. Statistical analysis with postoperative pneumonia as a dependent variable showed a significant effect of oral hygiene improvement on the incidence of pneumonia. Logistic regression analysis with this factor as an independent variable demonstrated that the risk of postoperative pneumonia was reduced in the good control group (OR 0.086, 95% CI 0.014–0.529). Therefore, preoperative professional oral care may improve oral hygiene and oral health, which may in turn reduce the incidence of postoperative pneumonia.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 babies. Among CHDs, single ventricle (SV) physiologies, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tricuspid atresia, are particularly severe conditions that require multiple palliative surgeries, including the Fontan procedure. Although the management strategies for SV patients have markedly improved, the prevalence of ventricular dysfunction continues to increase over time, especially after the Fontan procedure. At present, the final treatment for SV patients who develop heart failure is heart transplantation; however, transplantation is difficult to achieve because of severe donor shortages. Recently, various regenerative therapies for heart failure have been developed that increase cardiomyocytes and restore cardiac function, with promising results in adults. The clinical application of various forms of regenerative medicine for CHD patients with heart failure is highly anticipated, and the latest research in this field is reviewed here. In addition, regenerative therapy is important for children with CHD because of their natural growth. The ideal pediatric cardiovascular device would have the potential to adapt to a child’s growth. Therefore, if a device that increases in size in accordance with the patient’s growth could be developed using regenerative medicine, it would be highly beneficial. This review provides an overview of the available regenerative technologies for CHD patients.
Living organisms enantioselectively employ L-amino acids as the molecular architecture of protein synthesized in the ribosome. Although L-amino acids are dominantly utilized in most biological processes, accumulating evidence points to the distinctive roles of D-amino acids in non-ribosomal physiology. Among the three domains of life, bacteria have the greatest capacity to produce a wide variety of D-amino acids. In contrast, archaea and eukaryotes are thought generally to synthesize only two kinds of D-amino acids: D-serine and D-aspartate. In mammals, D-serine is critical for neurotransmission as an endogenous coagonist of N-methyl D-aspartate receptors. Additionally, D-aspartate is associated with neurogenesis and endocrine systems. Furthermore, recognition of D-amino acids originating in bacteria is linked to systemic and mucosal innate immunity. Among the roles played by D-amino acids in human pathology, the dysfunction of neurotransmission mediated by D-serine is implicated in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Non-enzymatic conversion of L-aspartate or L-serine residues to their D-configurations is involved in age-associated protein degeneration. Moreover, the measurement of plasma or urinary D-/L-serine or D-/L-aspartate levels may have diagnostic or prognostic value in the treatment of kidney diseases. This review aims to summarize current understanding of D-amino-acid-associated biology with a major focus on mammalian physiology and pathology.