Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is a dialysis modality used to treat patients with severe acute kidney injury. Nevertheless, there is limited information on the predictors of weaning from CRRT. The present study examined whether the N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) can predict weaning from CRRT, based on the fact that this cardiac neurohormone is known to predict kidney dysfunction. Plasma NT-proBNP and several other baseline parameters at the time of starting CRRT were retrieved from 160 patients. The odds ratio (OR) for weaning from the CRRT within two weeks was calculated using a multivariate stepwise logistic model. We calculated the cut off value predicting weaning outcome by using the receiver operating characteristic curve and corresponding Youden index, and then divided patients into high (n = 74) and low (n = 86) NT-proBNP groups. The high NT-proBNP group had a lower weaning rate than the low NT-proBNP group [adjusted OR, 0.36 (0.170-0.756); P = 0.007]. We additionally found other predictors of weaning, such as sex, serum creatinine, urine output, and the score from the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation, but all of these were not better than NT-proBNP in the predictability of weaning outcome. Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, a well-known biomarker of acute kidney injury and originating from kidney, was not related with the CRRT weaning, which indicated the usefulness of NT-proBNP in the cases of CRRT despite originating from heart. The present study addresses the potential of NT-proBNP as an independent predictor of weaning from CRRT.
Bladder cancer is common in Western countries, but not in Japan. Established risk factors are smoking and high-risk jobs such as printing and manufacturing. The risk of alcohol consumption in bladder cancer has been the recent focus; however, available literature on alcohol consumption and bladder cancer has been limited from Japanese population, thought to have a weak genetic tolerance to acetaldehyde. We aimed to determine whether alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for bladder cancer among Japanese. The study was a matched case-control study from the nationwide Japanese clinical database administered by the Rosai Hospital group. We identified 739 cases of bladder cancer diagnosed between 2005 (when the database was established) and 2014 and 7,196 controls matched by sex, age, hospital, and admission period. We estimated the odds ratio of alcohol consumption for bladder cancer adjusted for the amount of smoking, high-risk occupations, and comorbidities (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hyperuricemia, and obesity) with conditional logistic regression. The risk of bladder cancer was significantly higher in ever drinkers than in never drinkers (odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.66). Furthermore, the risk threshold for alcohol consumption was more than 15 g of alcohol intake per day (one, 180-mL cup equivalent to 6 ounces of Japanese sake containing 23 grams of alcohol). Among Japanese, alcohol consumption may be an independent risk factor for bladder cancer, with a lower risk threshold.
Osteoporosis (OP) is the most common multifactorial metabolic bone disorder worldwide. It remains unclear whether bisphosphonate (BP) pre-treatment affects the anabolic bone metabolism in OP patients treated with teriparatide (TPTD), a recombinant form of parathyroid hormone 1-34. This study is the first to evaluate the clinical outcomes of daily TPTD administration in Japanese OP patients and aimed to clarify how BP pre-treatment influences the efficacy of TPTD. We enrolled 112 patients diagnosed as primary OP who received TPTD. Subjects were classified as OP treatment-naïve patients (TPTD alone group) or patients previously treated with BP (BP pre-treated group). We measured serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) as a bone formation marker, urinary cross-linked N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX) as a bone resorption marker, and bone mineral density (BMD) of lumbar vertebrae (L-BMD) and bilateral total hips (H-BMD). In both groups, BAP and NTX increased until 6 months and then decreased thereafter. The percent changes of both markers in BP pre-treated group were more increased than those in TPTD alone group. L-BMD increased significantly in both groups. The percent increase of L-BMD in the TPTD alone group was significantly higher than that in the BP pre-treated group. H-BMD rose significantly in the TPTD alone group, but not in BP pre-treated group. BP pre-treatment appears to diminish the degree of the TPTD-mediated increase in BMD. Thus, it is preferable to administer TPTD ahead of BP treatment in patients with severe OP.
Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential heavy metal with high toxicity potential. Humans are exposed to Cd present in diet, polluted air, and cigarette smoke. Cd exposure has been associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and nephropathy, all of which could be attributable to dysfunctional endothelial and smooth muscle cells. Cd toxicity is correlated with increased reactive oxygen formation and depletion of antioxidants, resulting in an oxidative stress. Chelation of Cd has proved useful in the removal of the Cd burden. However, several chelating agents cause side effects in clinical usage. Recent studies have shown that the antioxidant compounds curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin can alleviate vascular dysfunction and high blood pressure caused by Cd toxicity. In chronic Cd exposure, these antioxidants protect vascular endothelium by increasing nitric oxide (NO•) bioavailability and improving vascular function. Antioxidant activity against Cd intoxication results directly and/or indirectly through free radical scavenging, metal chelation, enhanced expression of the antioxidant defense system, regulation of inflammatory enzymes, increase in NO• bioavailability, and reduction of gastrointestinal absorption and tissue Cd accumulation. This review summarizes current knowledge of Cd-induced oxidative stress and cardiovascular dysfunction and a possible protective effect conferred by the antioxidants curcumin and tetrahydrocurcumin.
Central sleep apnea (CSA) is characterized by recurring cycles of crescendo-decrescendo ventilation during sleep, and enhances sympathetic nerve activity. Thus CSA has a prognostic impact in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF). Although nocturnal oxygen (O2) therapy decreases frequency of CSA and improves functional exercise capacity, it is also known that some non-responders to the therapy exist. We thus aimed to identify predictors of responders to nocturnal O2 therapy in CHF patients with CSA. In 12 CHF patients with CSA hospitalized at our department, sleep study was performed at 2 consecutive nights. Patients nasally inhaled O2 at either the first or second night in a randomized manner. To predict the percentage reduction in apnea-hypopnea index (%ΔAHI) in response to the nocturnal O2 therapy, we performed multiple regression analysis with a stepwise method with variables including age, brain-natriuretic peptide, circulation time, baseline AHI, hypercapnic ventilatory response and end-tidal carbon dioxide tension (PETCO2). Nocturnal O2 therapy significantly decreased AHI (from 32 ± 13 /h to 12 ± 10 /h, P < 0.0001). Among the possible predictors, PETCO2 was the only variable that is predictive of % changes in AHI. Receiver operating characteristics analysis determined 4.25% as the optimal cutoff PETCO2 level to identify responder to nocturnal O2 therapy (> 50% reduction of AHI), with 88.9% of sensitivity and 66.7% of specificity.In conclusion, PETCO2 is useful to predict the efficacy of O2 therapy in CHF patients with CSA, providing important information to the current nocturnal O2 therapy.
Peripheral platelet counts decrease after partial hepatectomy; however, the implications of this phenomenon are unclear. We assessed if the observed decrease in platelet counts was associated with postoperative liver function and morbidity (complications grade ≤ II according to the Clavien-Dindo classification). We enrolled 216 consecutive patients who underwent partial hepatectomy for primary liver cancers, metastatic liver cancers, benign tumors, and donor hepatectomy. We classified patients as either low or high platelet percentage (postoperative platelet count/preoperative platelet count) using the optimal cutoff value calculated by a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and analyzed risk factors for delayed liver functional recovery and morbidity after hepatectomy. Delayed liver function recovery and morbidity were significantly correlated with the lowest value of platelet percentage based on ROC analysis. Using a cutoff value of 60% acquired by ROC analysis, univariate and multivariate analysis determined that postoperative lowest platelet percentage ≤ 60% was identified as an independent risk factor of delayed liver function recovery (odds ratio (OR) 6.85; P < 0.01) and morbidity (OR, 4.90; P < 0.01). Furthermore, patients with the lowest platelet percentage ≤ 60% had decreased postoperative prothrombin time ratio and serum albumin level and increased serum bilirubin level when compared with patients with platelet percentage ≥ 61%. A greater than 40% decrease in platelet count after partial hepatectomy was an independent risk factor for delayed liver function recovery and postoperative morbidity. In conclusion, the decrease in platelet counts is an early marker to predict the liver function recovery and complications after hepatectomy.
The fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene contains a highly polymorphic trinucleotide (CGG) repeat and consists of various allelic forms. Traditionally, 55-200 repeats and over 200 CGG repeats have been highlighted to be associated with ovarian dysfunction and neuro-psychiatric risks. However, previous studies had paid little attention to the allelic forms of 5-55 CGG repeats. Herein, we sought to evaluate the pathological features of FMR1 allelic category with a range of 5-55 CGG repeats. We further classified the spectrum of CGG sizes (5-55 repeats) into three sub-groups as low numbers of CGG repeat (< 26 repeats), normal CGG count (26-34 repeats), and small CGG expansion (35-54 repeats). Our systematic review documented that low numbers of CGG repeat (< 26 repeats) revealed a close relationship with premature ovarian failure. Correspondingly, the meta-analysis showed that small CGG expansion, involving allelic sizes with 35-54 (n = 8, OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 0.75-2.00, P > 0.05) and 41-54 (n = 7, OR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.14-2.30, P < 0.05), was both linked to the risk of ovarian dysfunction. Additionally, small CGG expansion exerts significant influence on male Parkinsonism cohorts (OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.50-3.14, P < 0.05), mental retardation, and repeat instability. Our data provide evidence that the CGG-repeat numbers below 26 or above 34 of FMR1 gene are also associated with disease risks and thus should be regarded as pathological genotypes for a routine test.
Takayasu arteritis (TA) is a type of vasculitis that affects the large elastic arteries, specifically the aorta and its main branches. It has been reported that TA occurred most frequently in Nagasaki Prefecture, the western area in Japan. We retrospectively collected the information of 34 patients with TA, diagnosed using the American College of Rheumatology 1990 criteria for the classification of TA, from the medical records of Nagasaki University Hospital from 2003 to 2015, and we investigated the clinical characteristics of these TA patients. Among the 35 patients, 25 patients were examined for the existence of the HLA-B52 allele that has been reported to influence TA susceptibility. Seventeen patients (68.0%) of the 25 patients were HLA-B52-allele-positive, which was defined as the state of having at least one HLA-B52 allele. There was a significant difference in the rate of smokers: HLA-B52-allele-positive: six patients (35.3%) vs. HLA-B52-allele-negative: 0 (0.0%). The C-reactive protein level in the HLA-B52-positive patients (9.0 ± 6.4 mg/dL) was significantly higher than that in the HLA-B52-negative patients (3.2 ± 3.9 mg/dL). All HLA-B52-allele-positive patients were found to be active according to Kerr’s criteria. The HLA-B52-positive patients’ initial prednisolone dosage (37.7 ± 8.6 mg/day) was significantly higher than that of the HLA-B52-allele-negative patients (23.1 ± 13.1 mg/day). Thus, the HLA-B52 allele is associated with the disease activity and the steroid requirements of TA patients. Furthermore, our present findings have revealed for the first time that the HLA-B52 allele and smoking might be associated with the onset of TA.
Diabetic polyneuropathy is the most common neurologic complication of diabetes mellitus. Underlying mechanisms of diabetic polyneuropathy are related to various metabolic and inflammatory pathways. Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is an acute phase protein that is produced locally at the inflammatory sites by several cell types. Thioredoxin binding protein 2 (TBP2) is a thioredoxin regulator involved in intracellular energy pathways and cell growth. We measured the plasma levels of PTX3 and TBP2 in type 2 diabetic patients (n = 27) with pain complaints and compared their levels with those of healthy age- and sex-matched subjects (n = 24). Moreover, the diabetic patients were divided into two groups using the Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (LANSS) pain scale: patients with nociceptive pain that is caused by tissue damage and patients with neuropathic pain that is caused by nerve damage. Patients with LANSS scores of < 12 were considered to have nocicceptive pain (n = 15), while patients with LANSS scores of ≥ 12 were considered to have neuropathic pain (n = 12). We found that PTX3 levels were significantly higher in diabetic patients compared to controls (p = 0.03), but there was no significant difference in the TBP2 levels. Importantly, patients with nociceptive pain had significantly higher PTX3 levels compared to patients with neuropathic pain (p < 0.05). Thus, plasma PTX3 levels can be helpful for discrimination of nociceptive pain from neuropathic pain in diabetic patients. We propose that PTX3 may contribute to the onset of nociceptive pain.
When a transparent cornea becomes opaque due to infectious diseases, trauma, or ophthalmic surgery, the impaired cornea is replaced with a donor cornea to improve visual function. In this corneal transplantation, the graft survival rate is comparatively high, partly because of lacking vascular and lymphatic vessel in cornea. However, the transplanted corneas sometimes become opaque if allograft rejection occurs. Suppression of allograft rejection is critical for favorable outcomes of corneal transplantation. The essential effects of endogenous monomeric soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs) 1 and 2 have been reported in corneal angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. This study investigated the effects of dimeric soluble VEGFR2/Fc chimera protein on corneal allograft rejection for future clinical application. Allogeneic full-thickness corneal transplantation was performed in C57BL/6 to BALB/c mice. The recipients were treated by intrastromal injection of soluble VEGFR1/Fc chimera (sR1/Fc group), soluble VEGFR2/Fc chimera (sR2/Fc group), or human IgG1/Fc protein (IgG/Fc group) at 0, 7, and 14 days after surgery. Both hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were significantly suppressed in the corneas of the sR2/Fc group compared with the IgG/Fc group. All grafts failed due to corneal wound rupture in the sR1/Fc group. In the sR2/Fc group, respective donor-derived MHC class II+/CD11c+ cells and CD11b-positive macrophage infiltration were reduced in the DLNs and the corneas showing a negative delayed-type hypersensitivity, compared with the IgG/Fc group. Our findings demonstrate that soluble VEGFR2/Fc chimera protein efficiently suppresses corneal allo-rejection, while reducing hemangiogenesis and lymhangiogenesis, and immune-competent cell-trafficking and may be a powerful tool for corneal allograft survival.