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Abstract

Background

The intima-media thickness of the carotid artery (cIMT) and endothelial dysfunction are associated with cardiovascular (CV) disease.

Objectives

To evaluate the correlation between cIMT, brachial intraluminal diameter and flow-mediated vasodilation on the reactive hyperemia phase in adolescents with obesity with predictors of CV risk.

Methods

Seventy-three pubertal patients with overweight or obesity were evaluated (45 girls) with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of 12.9 (2.5) years. Patients underwent anthropometric measurements and had the lipid profile, oral glucose tolerance test (oGTT) and serum intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) levels analyzed. The ratios of the waist circumference (WC)/height (WHtR) and triglycerides (TG)/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), the Matsuda index and insulin area under the curve (AUC) were calculated. All patients were evaluated for cIMT and arterial blood flow velocity of the brachial artery.

Results

75.3% of the patients had high cIMT values. We found a positive correlation between WHtR and cIMT (r = 0.233; p = 0.050). There was a positive correlation between sICAM-1 and insulin AUC (r = 0.323; p = 0.012) and WHtR (r = 0.258; p = 0.047). Patients with abnormal arterial dilation had higher sICAM-1 values (p = 0.02) despite having smaller WHtR (p = 0.046).

Conclusions

These adolescents with obesity had high cIMT values. Insulin resistance was associated with sICAM-1. Endothelial dysfunction was positively correlated with sICAM-1. There is no consensus about what the best laboratorial approach to evaluate insulin resistance in adolescents is, and the cutoff values of each method are arbitrary. So, as we saw earlier, the association between anthropometric data (WHtR) and ultrasound findings could be useful to evaluate the CV risk of these adolescents with obesity, because of its practical, direct and low-cost value.

Abstract

The objective of this short communication was the relationship between vitamin D and precocious puberty (PP). In this study, a comprehensive search of multiple databases was performed to identify studies focused on the association between vitamin D deficiency and PP. Studies that compared serum vitamin D levels between patients with PP and controls were selected for the systematic meta-analysis. The main outcome was the mean difference in serum vitamin D levels between PP and controls. Vitamin D-deficient subjects were more likely to develop PP. Our findings suggest that PP may be linked to vitamin D deficiency. Thus, providing supplements of vitamin D to PP patients may improve their nutritional status and prevent diseases. But, the amount of vitamin D required is uncertain, so it is important to be careful when taking vitamin D supplements.

Abstract

Background

The amino acids glutamine plus glutamate, phenylalanine and tyrosine are implicated in neurotransmission. We aimed to evaluate these amino acid blood concentrations in full-term breastfed infants with different birth weight (BW) perinatally.

Methods

Breastfed full-term infants (n = 6000, males 3000, females 3000) BW 2000–4000 g were divided into four equal groups. Both males and females Groups A, 2000–2500 g, B 2500–3000 g, C 3000–3500 g, D 3500–4000 g. Blood samples on Guthrie cards, were taken on the 3rd day of life and quantified via a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method.

Results

Glutamine plus glutamate mean values were found to be statistically significantly different between males vs. females in all the studied groups. The highest values were determined in both males and females in group D. Statistically significantly higher values of phenylalanine appeared in group D vs. other groups. Tyrosine mean values were calculated to be statistically significantly different in both sexes in group A compared to other groups.

Conclusions

Differences of glutamine plus glutamate, phenylalanine and tyrosine levels among full-term newborns with different BW are presented for the first time in the literature. Newborns with BW 3000–4000 g are benefited by having higher concentrations of the mentioned neurotransmission related amino acids. Neonatal screening reference values for these amino acids in relation to BW could be established, not only for preterm and low BW infants but also for full-term newborns with BW >3000 g.

Abstract

Background

Juvenile breast hypertrophy is characterised by massive enlargement of the breast in the peri-pubertal period. We aimed to analyse body size measurements (body mass index [BMI], waist-to-hip circumference ratio [WHR]), digit ratio (ratio of II and IV digits’ length [2D:4D]) and oestrogen receptor (ER) alpha (ERα) and progesterone receptors (PRs) in the breast gland in women with juvenile gigantomastia.

Methods

The study involved 30 women (mean age 25.7 years) (mean age of onset – 14.8 years). ERα and PR expressions were detected immunohistochemically in breast gland samples. For comparison, 100 controls (50 women and 50 men) were included.

Results

BMI and WHR in women with gigantomastia were higher than in control women and the former had a higher WHR than expected for their BMI. 2D:4D in the examined women did not differ from that in control women. However, left 2D:4D was negatively related to the age of gigantomastia onset. There were no correlations between ER and PR expressions and the analysed body and digit ratios.

Conclusions

The lack of a relationship between 2D:4D and juvenile breast hypertrophy may suggest that foetal exposure to sex hormones may not be crucial in its aetiology. However, the link between high left 2D:4D and early development of gigantomastia suggests that prenatal sex hormones have a role in its development timing. High WHR, and particularly high WHR relative to BMI, may indicate that these women had at some stage of development higher circulating androgens, which may have been converted to oestrogens in breasts due to local aromatase activity. Verification of this hypothesis could allow consideration of the role of aromatase inhibitors in juvenile breast hypertrophy.

Abstract

Background

Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (pPROM) occurs in 30% of preterm births; thus, this complication is a major contributor to maternal and neonatal morbidity. However, the cellular immune responses in amniotic fluid of women with pPROM have not been investigated.

Methods

Amniotic fluid samples were obtained from women with pPROM and a positive (n = 7) or negative (n = 10) microbiological culture. Flow cytometry was performed to evaluate the phenotype and number of amniotic fluid leukocytes. The correlation between amniotic fluid immune cells and an interleukin-6 (IL-6) concentration or a white blood cell (WBC) count in amniotic fluid was calculated.

Results

Women with pPROM and a positive amniotic fluid culture had (1) a greater number of total leukocytes in amniotic fluid, including neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages and (2) an increased number of total T cells in amniotic fluid, namely CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells, but not B cells. The numbers of neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages were positively correlated with IL-6 concentrations and WBC counts in amniotic fluid of women with pPROM.

Conclusion

Women with pPROM and a positive amniotic fluid culture exhibit a more severe cellular immune response than those with a negative culture, which is associated with well-known markers of intra-amniotic inflammation.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study was to compare Philips and TomTec two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE) software measurements of strain and dyssynchrony values in healthy fetuses.

Methods

This was an explorative observational study in which the echocardiographic data of 93 healthy fetuses between the 20th and 38th week of gestation were determined from a four-chamber view using 2D speckle tracking. The global and segmental longitudinal strain values of both ventricles, inter-ventricular and left intra-ventricular dyssynchrony were analyzed using QLab version 10.8 (Philips Medical Systems, Andover, MA, USA) and TomTec-Arena version 2.30 (TomTec, Unterschleißheim, Germany).

Results

TomTec showed persistently lower values for all of the assessed strain and dyssynchrony variables. For all variables, the bias between vendors tended to increase with gestational age, though not to a significant extent. Left ventricular dyssynchrony and longitudinal strain within the mid segment of the septum correlated best between vendors; however, the limits of agreement were wide in both cases. None of the variables assessed in the two-chamber view compared well between QLAB and TomTec.

Conclusion

Speckle tracking software cannot be used interchangeably between vendors. Further investigations are necessary to standardize fetal 2D-STE.

Abstract

Background

Recently, urinary excretion of the tetrasaccharide 6-α-D-glucopyranosyl-maltotriose (Glc4) has been proposed as a marker for the diagnosis and monitoring of Pompe disease (PD). We aimed to determine the reference intervals and reliable decision-making levels of urine tetrasaccharide concentrations for the diagnosis of infantile- and late-onset Pompe patients in the Turkish population.

Methods

In this study, nine patients with PD (five of them with late-onset PD [LOPD]) and 226 healthy individuals (aged 0–64 years) were included. Urine Glc4 concentrations were determined using the ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) method.

Results

Our data showed that the urine tetrasaccharide levels decreased with age in healthy individuals (p < 0.001, r = −0.256). It was higher especially during the first year of life compared to that in the elder subjects. The tetrasaccharide level of Pompe patients was higher compared to that of healthy controls of the same age: 99 ± 68 mmol/mol creatinine for infantile onset vs. 4.0 ± 3.0 mmol/mol creatinine for healthy controls of the same age group and 12.1 ± 17.4 mmol/mol creatinine for late onset vs. 1.7±1.2 mmol/mol creatinine for healthy controls of the same age group.

Conclusions

The results of this study showed that the reference intervals of tetrasaccharide in urine changed over time; therefore, it is critically important to define age-based decision levels for the diagnosis of LOPD.

Abstract

Background:

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRH-a) are common treatment options for central precocious puberty (CPP) in childhood. GnRH-a treatment is useful and has a good safety profile, with minimal adverse effects and no severe long-term consequences. The common side effects in children are menopause-like symptoms and local adverse events at the injection site.

Case presentation:

We present the case of a girl with CPP who developed arterial hypertension from treatment with GnRH-a (triptorelin). Comprehensive diagnostic studies ruled out other causes for her hypertension and its complications. After therapy was interrupted, her blood pressure remained within normal limits for age. Consequently, we hypothesize that the hypertension presented by our patient was related to triptorelin treatment.

Conclusions:

Although the etiology of this adverse event is not known and only some hypotheses can be made, clinicians should be aware that arterial hypertension might appear during triptorelin treatment in childhood with CPP. Therefore, they should routinely monitor the arterial blood pressure of patients under treatment.

Abstract

Background

The aim of this systematic review was to describe the effects of drug exposure during pregnancy on fetal cardiac function.

Methods

We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane and SCOPUS for studies assessing fetal cardiac function in drug-exposed human pregnancies. Risk of bias was assessed by the Risk Of Bias In Non-randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBIN-I) tool.

Results

We included 32 studies on eight different drug groups. They included 51 outcome variables, which were all based on ultrasound techniques primarily assessing systolic function: pulsed wave Doppler, tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), and B- and M-mode. Overall, the risk of bias was moderate. β2 agonists increased the systolic velocity in the ductus arteriosus and the fetal heart rate. β-blockers caused unchanged or decreased systolic velocity of the pulmonary trunk. Corticosteroids increased the velocity in the ductus arteriosus. Furthermore, in growth-restricted fetuses with an increased myocardial performance index (MPI′) on the right side, corticosteroids normalized this variable. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but not acetylsalicylic acid, increased the flow velocities in the ductus arteriosus, decreased the shortening fraction and increased the end-diastolic ventricular diameters. Metformin and insulin normalized the diastolic strain and global longitudinal strain in diabetic pregnancies. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) exposure increased the E/A ratio on the right side, prolonged the isovolumic relaxation time (IRT) and ejection time, shortened the isovolumic contraction time (ICT), and decreased left myocardial systolic peak velocities. Chemotherapy did not cause detectable changes.

Conclusion

Six of the eight drug groups caused detectable changes in fetal cardiac function. However, the evidence was hampered by only a few studies for some drugs.