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Abstract

Background: Systemic sclerosis (Ssc) is an autoimmune disease characterized by graduate cutaneous and tissue fibrosis development and irreversible fibroproliferative vascular changes. The aim of the current systematic review was to update the list of proteomic candidate biomarkers identified from Ssc samples with mass spectrometry techniques.

Methods: Medline and Scopus databases were searched on 1st September 2020. Relevant articles were searched from March 2014 until September 2020. Two independent reviewers evaluated the retrieved articles.

Results: From a total of 97 articles, 9 articles were included in the final analysis summarizing 539 candidate proteomic biomarkers from various samples from Ssc patients (a larger number compared to the previous systematic review). Most biomarkers were identified from cutaneous biopsies. Only 5 articles included a validation step of the findings with only 13 biomarkers being validated.

Conclusions: Although many candidate biomarkers were additionally identified, independent validation studies are needed in order to evaluate the importance of these biomarkers for Ssc patients.

Abstract

Background: Renal transplant recipients are at increased risk for developing complications of vaccine-preventable diseases. They benefit from a comprehensive pre-transplant evaluation when they might safely receive live vaccines. The primary aim of our study was to investigate the number of renal transplant recipients who were evaluated for serologic status against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and varicella. Secondarily, we investigated if pre-transplant Infectious Diseases consultation (IDC) improved vaccination rates.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 282 kidney-alone and kidney-plus adult transplant recipients who were born in or after 1957. Patients were evaluated at Mayo Clinic, Florida Transplant Center between January 2015 and December 2017. Serologic status evaluation and vaccination rates were compared in two groups created based on IDC and no ID consultation (NIDC).

Results: 235 (83%) of a total 282 patients received an IDC pre-transplantation. Varicella IgG levels were screened in all 235 IDC candidates. Among the IDC patients, mumps, measles and rubella IgG serologies were performed in 7 (3%), 143 (61%) and 144 (61%), respectively. Among 44 patients seronegative for any of MMR, 24 (55%) were vaccinated. Ten (66%) of 15 varicella seronegative patients were vaccinated. Zostavax was not given to 18% of IDC patients. Zostavax and MMR were administered more frequently in the IDC group compared to NIDC (p<.001 and p=0.0016, respectively).

Conclusion: Although the majority of patients had IDC, the screening rate for MMR serologies was lower than varicella. A protocol-driven serologic screening similar to the one for VZV is required for MMR. Pre-transplant IDC increases vaccination rates.

Abstract

Liver abscesses are rare entities for which percutaneous drainage is traditionally employed. The technique is simple, but associated with a significant rate of side effects and patient discomfort. We herein report a case of fungal left liver lobe abscess that was successfully treated by using EUS-guided drainage, with insertion of a large caliber lumenapposing metal stent. The literature review we performed on the topic seems to favor, at least for abscess in the left and/or caudate liver lobes, EUS as compared to percutaneous drainage.

Abstract

Background. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a multifunctional cytokine has been seen to play a relevant role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. We examined the association between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in IL-10 -1082G/A in patients with sepsis in Cali city.

Methods A total of 100 patients with sepsis and 50 control subjects were enrolled in this study. Blood samples were collected from all patients in EDTA containing tubes. IL-10-1082G/A gene promoter polymorphism was analyzed by Sequence Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction (SS-PCR), while levels of serum IL-10 were measured by Enzyme Linked Immunoassay Assay (ELISA) in patients with sepsis and healthy controls.

Results. AA homozygous genotype was found more frequently in patients (32%), compared with controls (18%). AA homozygous patients showed had a increased risk of developing infection by Gram-negative bacteria (OR=2,875; 95% CI = 1.162-7.113; p = 0.020), and significantly high plasma levels of IL-10 (OR= 4.800, 95% CI 1.652–13.944; p=0.002). AA homozygous patients high plasma IL-10 levels have greater risk of developing sepsis (63.6%; OR = 4,894; 95% CI: 1,337-17,909; p = 0.002). In this group, Afro-Colombian individuals were overrepresented among the sepsis patients with high plasma IL-10 levels (OR=1.661; 95% CI: 1.408-1.959; p=0.036).

Conclusion Our study concluded that AA genotype of IL-10 -1082G/A polymorphism is a risk factor for high IL-10 production and development of sepsis by Gram negative bacteria, especially, Afro-Colombian patients.

Abstract

Introduction: COVID-19 presents a special challenge to the kidney transplant population.

Methods: A systematic review of articles that examined COVID-19 in kidney transplant recipients was performed. Patients’ demographics, clinical, laboratory and radiological presentations, immunosuppression modification, and COVID-19 specific management were abstracted and analyzed. COVID-19 severity was classified into mild, moderate, and severe. Disease outcome was classified by whether the patient was discharged, still hospitalized, or died.

Results: 44 articles reporting individual data and 13 articles reporting aggregated data on 149 and 561 kidney transplant recipients respectively with COVID-19 from Asia, Europe and America fulfilled all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Among studies reporting case specific data, 76% of cases had severe disease. Compared to patients with mild/moderate disease, patients with severe disease had higher CRP, LDH, Ferritin, D-dimer and were more likely to have bilateral lung involvement at presentation and longer time since transplantation (P<0.05 for all). Recipients’ age, gender and comorbidities did not impact disease severity. Patients with severe disease had a more aggressive CNI reduction and more antiviral medications utilization. Outcome was reported on 145 cases, of those 34 (23%) died all with severe disease. Longer duration from transplant to disease diagnosis, hypoxia and higher LDH were associated with mortality (P<0.05). Different immunosuppression reduction strategies, high dose parenteral corticosteroids use and various antiviral combinations did not demonstrate survival advantage. Similar finding was observed for studies reporting aggregated data.

Conclusion: COVID-19 in kidney transplant patients is associated with high rate of disease severity and fatality. Higher LDH and longer time since transplantation predicted both disease severity and mortality. None of the COVID-19 specific treatment correlated with, or improved disease outcome in kidney transplant recipients.

Abstract

Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most frequent hospitalized arrhythmia. It associates increased risk of death, stroke and heart failure (HF). Stroke risk scores, especially CHA2DS2-VASc, have been applied also for populations with different diseases. There is, however, limited data focusing on the ability of these scores to predict HF decompensation.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational study on a cohort of 204 patients admitted for cardiovascular pathology to the Cardiology Ward of our tertiary University Hospital. We aimed to determine whether the stroke risk scores could predict hospitalisations for acute decompensated HF in AF patients.

Results: C-statistics for CHADS2 and R2CHADS2 showed a modest predictive ability for hospitalisation with decompensated HF (CHADS2: AUC 0.631 p=0.003; 95%CI 0.560-0.697. R2CHADS2: AUC 0.619; 95%CI 0.548-0.686; p=0.004), a marginal correlation for CHA2DS2-VASc (AUC 0.572 95%CI 0.501-0.641 with a p value of only 0.09, while the other scores failed to show a correlation. A CHADS2≥2 showed a RR=2.96, p<0.0001 for decompensated HF compared to a score <2. For R2CHADS2 ≥2, RR= 2.41, p=0.001 compared to a score <2. For CHA2DS2-VASc≥2 RR=2.18 p=0.1, compared to CHA2DS2-VASc <2. The correlation coefficients showed a weak correlation for CHADS2 (r=0.216; p=0.001) and even weaker for R2CHADS2 (r=0.197; p=0.0047 and CHA2DS2-VASc (r=0.14; p=0.035).

Conclusions: Among AF patients, CHADS2, CHA2DS2-VASc and R2CHADS2 were associated with the risk of hospitalisation for decompensated HF while ABC and ATRIA failed to show an association. However, predictive accuracy was modest and the clinical utility for this outcome remains to be determined.

Abstract

Background: Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) is a rare disease characterized by humoral immunodeficiency, often causing sinopulmonary and gastrointestinal infections, and may cause enteropathy in some patients, which leads to severe malnutrition and electrolyte deficiencies. Although many autoimmune diseases are seen with increased frequency in CVID patients, primary hypoparathyroidism is extremely rare.

Case presentation: A 50-year-old man with CVID presented with diarrhea. The patient had complaints for 2 years and was cachectic. He had severe electrolyte and vitamin deficiencies that did not respond to oral treatment. The diarrhea causes such as celiac, inflammatory bowel diseases, and gastrointestinal infections were excluded and the endoscopy showed enteropathic changes in the duodenum and colon. Concomitant hypoparathyroidism was also detected in the patient with hypocalcemia despite adequate replacement.

Conclusion: Parenteral therapy should be considered in the management of CVID enteropathy cases that do not respond to oral replacement. Although very rare, hypoparathyroidism should be considered in the differential diagnosis of CVID patients with treatment-resistant hypocalcemia.

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to overwhelm global healthcare systems. While the disease primarily causes pulmonary complications, reports of central nervous system (CNS) involvement have recently emerged ranging from encephalopathy to stroke. This raises a practical dilemma for clinicians as to when to pursue neuroimaging and lumbar tap with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis in COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms. We present a case of an encephalopathic patient infected with SARS-CoV-2 with no pulmonary symptoms. We propose a three-tier risk stratification for CNS COVID-19 aiming to help clinicians to decide which patients should undergo CSF analysis. The neurological examination remains an integral component of screening and evaluating patients for COVID-19 considering the range of emerging CNS complications.

Abstract

Introduction: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide. Lipid accumulation in the liver triggers inflammation and leads to NAFLD. Prolonged inflammation will worsen the disease progression. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-12, plays a role in the inflammatory process. This study aimed to determine the association between IL-12 and NAFLD severity.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between January and July 2019 in Haji Adam Malik Hospital Medan, Indonesia. Subjects were patients aged 18 years or older diagnosed with NAFLD based on ultrasound. Exclusion criteria were excessive alcohol consumption, other primary liver diseases, malignancies, and cardio-metabolic disturbances. Serum IL-12 level was determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The severity of NAFLD was assessed using the BARD score and NAFLD fibrosis score.

Results: A total of 100 subjects were enrolled with male predominant. The mean age of subjects was 54.97 ± 8.85 years, and the most frequent comorbidity was obesity. Most subjects had mild to moderate disease progression. Serum IL-12 level was higher in more severe NAFLD based on ultrasound grading (P < 0.001), BARD score (P = 0.003), and NAFLD fibrosis score (P = 0.005). A positive correlation was observed between serum IL-12 level and BARD score (P < 0.001) with sufficient accuracy (AUC = 0.691, P = 0.014).

Conclusion: Serum IL-12 level was associated with the severity of NAFLD. Higher serum IL-12 level was observed in more severe NAFLD progression.

Abstract

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is considered one of the most frequent chronic gastrointestinal diseases globally with high costs due to treatment and investigations.

First line therapy is with proton pump inhibitors, those who do not respond to initial treatment usually require further investigations such as upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or ambulatory 24-hours esophageal pH monitoring. The total time of exposure to acid and the DeMeester score represent the most useful parameters associated with conventional pH-metry, because they can identify gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Although pH-metry is considered the gold standard for the evaluation of gastroesophageal reflux disease, new impedance-based parameters have been introduced in recent years with the role of increasing the accuracy of diagnosing gastroesophageal reflux disease and characterizing the type of reflux. The development of multichannel intraluminal pH-impedance has improved the ability to detect and quantify gastroesophageal reflux. New parameters such as post-reflux swallowing peristaltic wave (PSPW) index and the mean nocturnal basal impedance (MNBI) have recently been introduced to assess GERD phenotypes more accurately. This review evaluates current GERD diagnotic tools while also taking a brief look at newer diagnostic parameters like PSPW and MNBI.