The use of rivaroxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor, has been increasing for prevention of ischemic stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) in Japan. We conducted the nationwide multicenter study, termed as the EXPAND Study, to address its effectiveness and safety in the real-world practice of patients with non-valvular AF in Japan. The EXPAND Study is a prospective, non-interventional, observational cohort study to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of rivaroxaban in non-valvular AF patients in a real-world clinical practice. A total of 7,178 patients with non-valvular AF were enrolled in 684 medical institutes between November 20, 2012 and June 30, 2014. As for the baseline demographic and clinical characteristics of 7,164 patients, the proportion of female patients was 32.2%, and those of patients with creatinine clearance < 50 mL/min and non-paroxysmal (persistent or permanent) AF were 21.8% and 55.1%, respectively. The proportions of patients complicated with hypertension, congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, and a history of ischemic stroke were 70.9%, 25.9%, 24.3%, and 20.2%, respectively. The proportions of patients with a CHADS2 score ≤ 1 and a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≤ 1 were 37.3% and 13.6%, respectively. They were followed up until March 31, 2016 for a mean follow-up period of approximately 2.5 years. The findings of the EXPAND Study will help to establish an appropriate treatment with rivaroxaban for Japanese patients with non-valvular AF.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is an autoimmune chronic liver disease with worldwide increasing morbidity. However, the etiology of PBC is still unclear. Recently, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and interleukin-17A (IL-17A), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, were proposed to be involved in the pathogenesis of PBC. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to clarify the roles of IL-17A and/or EMT in the onset of PBC. The results showed that the median serum IL-17A level was significantly higher in 29 PBC patients (average course of 40.69 months) than that of 11 healthy controls. The intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (IBECs), the major target of destruction in PBC, underwent EMT in PBC patients. The immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the protein levels of IL-17A receptor were increased in IBECs and the IL-17A protein was accumulated around the IBECs in the PBC patients. These results imply that the IL-17A-mediated signaling and EMT of intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (IBEC-EMT) are key pathogenic processes of PBC. To study the association between IL-17A and IBECs-EMT, we then examined if IL-17A induced EMT using a human cell line of IBECs (HIBECs). After the treatment with IL-17A for 48 h, HIBECs changed into bipolar cells with a fibroblastic morphology. Additionally, the results of real-time PCR and Western blot analyses demonstrated that IL-17A up-regulated the expression of a mesenchymal marker vimentin and down-regulated the expression of an epithelial marker E-cadherin in HIBECs in the dose- and time-dependent manners. These results suggest that IL-17A may play an important role in the IBECs-EMT.
Liver cirrhosis is the end stage of chronic liver disease, but no definitive pharmacological treatment is currently available. It has been reported that thrombopoietin (TPO) promotes liver regeneration and improves liver cirrhosis by increasing platelet count. We have shown the direct effect of platelet transfusion on the improvement of liver function in patients with chronic liver disease. However, platelet transfusion often causes adverse events, such as platelet transfusion refractoriness and pruritus. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory clinical trial and administered eltrombopag, an orally bioavailable, small-molecule, non-peptide TPO receptor agonist that has been approved for the treatment of chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The study included five male patients, aged from 49 to 75 years (57.6 ± 10.4 years), with both chronic liver disease and hepatitis C virus infection, who presented with thrombocytopenia but without cancer. Eltrombopag, ranged from 6.25 to 50 mg/day (18.75 ± 18.22 mg/day), was administrated to the five patients during six months. All of the patients maintained platelet counts between 10 and 15 × 1010/L during the study. The indicators of liver function in patients were stable throughout the clinical trial, although we had predicted the same degree of the improvement of liver function, compared to platelet transfusion. Importantly, the liver volumes were also stable, and no cancerous lesions were observed. These results indicate the safety of long-term eltrombopag administration for patients with chronic liver disease and hepatitis C virus infection.
Gastrectomy is a proxy of malnutrition, which may lead to increased risk for developing pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Malabsorption in gastrectomy patients could lead to low serum levels of rifampicin, which may be related to higher treatment failure. However, there is limited information on treatment outcomes of TB in patients who have undergone gastrectomy. This study aims to determine treatment outcomes and adverse effects in patients treated for TB after undergoing gastrectomy for gastric cancer. During the study period, 112 patients were treated for active TB that developed after gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Among them, we selected 15 patients who were culture positive at initial diagnosis and had evidence of active TB on imaging studies; namely, the remaining 97 patients without initial culture or imaging studies were excluded. We thus performed a case-control study of gastric cancer patients treated for TB after undergoing gastrectomy (n = 15). The control group was defined as age- and sex-matched TB patients who had not received gastrectomy (n = 45). Treatment failure in clinical, microbiological aspects, and adverse events were analyzed. Patients who had undergone gastrectomy exhibited higher 4-month clinical failure rates, compared to non-gastrectomy patient: 4 (26.7%) vs. 1 (2.2%), P = 0.012. Gastrointestinal adverse effects were more frequent in patients with gastrectomy, compared to non-gastrectomy patients: 9 (60%) vs. 5 (11.1%), P < 0.001. In conclusion, patients treated for TB after undergoing gastrectomy are associated with higher rates of gastrointestinal adverse events and treatment failure.
Lateral ankle sprains are one of the most common injuries among the physically active subjects. Ankle inversion-eversion laxity is greater and dynamic postural control is less in women compared with men. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in postural sway and its effects on the neuromuscular activities of the ankle stabilizing muscles during the menstrual cycle in young women. Fourteen young women with regular menstrual cycles participated in this experiment. Postural sway and electromyographic signals of the lateral gastrocnemius, peroneus longus (PL), and tibialis anterior (TA) were recorded while the participants performed eight different balance tasks at ovulation and early follicular phase during one full menstrual cycle. Significantly greater postural sway in the two most difficult balance tasks was observed at ovulation compared to that in the early follicular phase (p < 0.001). A similar pattern was also observed in terms of PL activity, while TA activity was significantly greater in the most difficult balance task at ovulation. In addition, TA-PL co-contraction (TA/PL ratio) was significantly higher at ovulation compared with that in the follicular phase in the two most difficult balance tasks (p < 0.01). Young women could benefit from increased understanding of the varying neuromuscular activation patterns throughout the menstrual cycle. The results of this study suggest that health professionals should be aware of the physiological effects and the shifts in neuromuscular strategies in each menstrual cycle phase in order to prevent increased risk of lower extremity injury.
Esophageal cancer is one of the common malignancies worldwide, particularly in eastern African and Asian countries including Japan. Taxane (paclitaxel or docetaxel) is one of the effective chemotherapeutic reagents for patients with esophageal cancer, but acquisition of chemoresistance frequently occurs; this is one of the most frequent causes for therapeutic failure. In this study, we established three taxane resistant esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines and explored possible mechanisms for the acquisition of chemoresistance. Microarray analyses indicated that the ABCB1 (ATP binding cassette subfamily B member 1) gene was significantly upregulated in taxane resistant esophageal cancer cell lines. Moreover, we found that siRNA mediated ABCB1 knockdown successfully restored drug sensitivity in both paclitaxel and docetaxel resistant esophageal cancer cell lines. In conclusion, we propose that ABCB1 might play a pivotal role in acquisition of taxane resistance and could be a promising target for treatment of patients with esophageal cancer after acquisition of taxane resistance.
The first stage of early childhood caries (ECC) is infection by mutans streptococci, of which the primary infection source is the child’s mother. Early intervention programs including antenatal and postnatal phases are effective for reducing ECC. This study was conducted to assess the respective effects of antenatal health care and postnatal care such as regular dental check-ups on reducing ECC among 3-year-old Japanese children. This nested case-control study of 155 three-year-old children (49.0% boys) was conducted at a dental clinic that provides collaborative health services with the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, Okayama. Child characteristics and the mothers’ antenatal data were collected retrospectively from the dental charts. They were divided into two groups: caries-free children (n = 77) and children without ECC (n = 78). Most of the children (81.9%) received regular check-ups with topical fluoride application. Most of the mothers reported morning sickness during pregnancy (81.3%), normal delivery (72.9%), and used antenatal health care (80.6%). Over half (55.5%) were primigravida. Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidential interval (95% CI) were computed to assess the strength of association using logistic regression analysis. Receiving antenatal health care (AOR, 3.27; 95% CI, 1.30-8.24) and child’s having regular check-ups (AOR, 3.42; 95% CI, 1.35-8.69) were significantly associated with caries-free status among three-year old children. For ECC prevention, antenatal health care is as effective as regular check-ups up to three years of age. The results of this retrospective study demonstrate that maternal health education during pregnancy is effective for ECC prevention.
Health benefits of fermented foods are attracting attention worldwide, and they have been traditionally eaten in Japan. Moreover, a recent study showed the association between the higher intake of yogurt and lower prevalence of depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, during pregnancy are serious health concerns and may increase the risk of adverse outcomes in children. In this study, we explored the association between fermented food consumption and psychological distress in 10,129 pregnant Japanese women, using the fixed data of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS), an ongoing nation-wide birth cohort study. Food consumption was assessed with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), and the Kessler 6-item psychological distress scale (K6) was administered to eligible women during their second or third trimester to eliminate overlap with the period of hyperemesis gravidarum. The mean median gestation in the subjects was 24.8 weeks. In total, 9,030 subjects completed the K6 questionnaire and FFQ. Importantly, the prevalence of the K6 score of ≥ 13 was 3.1% (280 subjects). This value was lower compared to precedent studies, which may reflect that cooperative and health conscious subject participated in the survey. The multivariate logistic regression analysis indicates that the intake of yogurt, lactic acid beverages, cheese, Japanese pickles, miso soup, or fermented soybeans was not significantly associated with a K6 score of ≥ 13. In conclusion, the present cohort study shows no association between fermented food consumption and psychological distress symptoms during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
Citrin deficiency, an inherited defect of the liver-type mitochondrial aspartate/glutamate carrier isoform (citrin), may cause impairment of glycolysis because of an increase in the cytosolic NADH/NAD+ ratio. We report a Japanese boy whose main complaint was recurrent hypoglycemic episodes. He was suspected as having citrin deficiency because of his peculiar preference for protein- and fat-rich food. His young sister also had a similar food preference. Both siblings were diagnosed with citrin deficiency by genetic analysis. The brother and sister underwent an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) at 10 and 7 yr of age, respectively. Blood glucose, ammonia, lactic acid, pyruvic acid, and insulin levels were monitored before starting the test, and then every 30 min. During this test, they maintained blood glucose levels until 180 min. At 210 min, they experienced vomiting, feeling ill, and decreased blood glucose levels (2.9 and 2.8 mmol/l in the brother and sister, respectively). The sister and brother recovered uneventfully by intravenous glucose injection. In a second OGTT, 4 months after medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil supplementation, they had no major symptoms and normal glucose levels were maintained, even after 240 min. Additionally, after MCT oil therapy, their food preference slightly changed as they started eating more carbohydrates. Our OGTT data suggest excess carbohydrate intake has adverse consequences in patients with citrin deficiency, including hypoglycemia after a few hours. MCT oil therapy may be effective in preventing such hypoglycemia and improving metabolic derangement, even during the so-called apparently healthy period.