Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Clinics]]> vol. 70 num. 1 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Can contrast-enhanced ultrasound with second-generation contrast agents replace computed tomography angiography for distinguishing between occlusion and pseudo-occlusion of the internal carotid artery?]]> OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of contrast-enhanced ultrasound with a second-generation contrast agent in distinguishing between occlusion and pseudo-occlusion of the cervical internal carotid artery, comparing it with that of conventional Doppler ultrasound and the gold standard, computed tomography angiography. METHOD: Between June 2006 and June 2012, we screened 72 symptomatic vascular surgery outpatients at a public hospital. Among those patients, 78 cervical internal carotid arteries were previously classified as occluded by Doppler ultrasound (without contrast). The patients were examined again with Doppler ultrasound, as well as with contrast-enhanced ultrasound and computed tomography angiography. The diagnosis was based on the presence or absence of flow. RESULTS: Among the 78 cervical internal carotid arteries identified as occluded by Doppler ultrasound, occlusion was confirmed by computed tomography angiography in only 57 (73.1%), compared with 59 (77.5%) for which occlusion was confirmed by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (p&gt;0.5 vs. computed tomography angiography). Comparing contrast-enhanced ultrasound with Doppler ultrasound, we found that the proportion of cervical internal carotid arteries classified as occluded was 24.4% higher when the latter was used (p&lt;0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that, in making the differential diagnosis between occlusion and pseudo-occlusion of the cervical internal carotid artery, contrast-enhanced ultrasound with a second-generation contrast agent is significantly more effective than conventional Doppler ultrasound and is equally as effective as the gold standard (computed tomography angiography). Our findings suggest that contrast-enhanced ultrasound could replace computed tomography angiography in this regard. <![CDATA[Effects of resistance training in older women with knee osteoarthritis and total knee arthroplasty]]> OBJECTIVES: This study sought to analyze the effects of resistance training on functional performance, lower-limb loading distribution and balance in older women with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and osteoarthritis (OA) in the contralateral knee. In addition, this older knee OA and TKA group (OKG) was compared to older (OG) and young women (YG) without musculoskeletal diseases who underwent the same resistance training program. METHODS: Twenty-three women divided into OKG (N = 7), OG (N = 8) and YG (N = 8) had their functional performance, lower-limb loading distribution and balance compared before and after 13 weeks of a twice-weekly progressive resistance training program. RESULTS: At baseline, the OKG showed lower functional performance and unilateral balance, and impaired lower-limb loading distribution compared to the OG and the YG (p&lt;0.05). After resistance training, the OKG showed improvements in functional performance (∼13% in sit-to-stand and rising from the floor, ∼16% in stair-climbing and ∼23% in 6-minute walking (6 MW)), unilateral balance (∼72% and ∼78% in TKA and OA leg, respectively) and lower-limb loading distribution, which were greater than those observed in the OG and the YG. The OKG showed post-training 6 MW performance similar to that of the OG at baseline. Sit-to-stand performance and unilateral stand balance were further restored to post-training levels of the OG and to baseline levels of the YG. CONCLUSIONS: Resistance training partially restored functional, balance and lower-limb loading deficits in older women with TKA and OA in the contralateral knee. These results suggest that resistance training may be an important tool to counteract mobility impairments commonly found in this population. <![CDATA[Relationship between retinal sensitivity and disease activity in patients with psoriasis vulgaris]]> OBJECTIVES: Psoriasis is a hyperproliferative chronic inflammatory skin disease of unknown etiology and ocular structures and visual pathways can also be affected during the course of this disease. Subclinical optic neuritis has previously been observed in psoriatic patients in visual evoked potential studies. This trial was designed to evaluate retinal sensitivity in patients with psoriasis vulgaris. METHODS: A total of 40 eyes of 40 patients with chronic plaque-type psoriasis and 40 eyes of 40 age- and sex-matched control subjects were included in this study. The diagnosis of psoriasis was confirmed by skin biopsy. The severity was determined using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and the duration of the disease was recorded. After a full ophthalmological examination, including tests for color vision and pupil reactions, the visual field of each subject was assessed using both standard achromatic perimetry and short wavelength automated perimetry. RESULTS: The mean Psoriasis Area and Severity Index was 22.05±6.40′. There were no significant differences in the visual field parameters of subjects versus controls using either method. There were correlations between disease severity and the mean deviations in standard achromatic perimetry and short wavelength automated perimetry and between disease severity and the corrected pattern standard deviation and pattern standard deviation of short wavelength automated perimetry (r = -0.363, r = -0.399, r = 0.515 and r = 0.369, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Retinal sensitivity appears to be affected by the severity of psoriasis vulgaris. <![CDATA[Red blood cell distribution width is associated with myocardial injury in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome]]> OBJECTIVES: The red blood cell distribution width has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events. In the present study, we assessed the relationship between red cell distribution width values and cardiac troponin I levels in patients admitted with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. METHODS: We analyzed blood parameters in 251 adult patients who were consecutively admitted to the intensive coronary care unit with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome over a 1-year period. For all patients, a baseline blood sample was collected for routine hematological testing. Cardiac troponin I was measured at baseline and after 6 h. The patients were diagnosed with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction or unstable angina based on the elevation of cardiac troponin I levels. RESULTS: The red cell distribution width was higher in the group with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction compared with the patient group with unstable angina (14.6±1.0 vs 13.06±1.7, respectively; p = 0.006). Coronary thrombus was detected more frequently in the group of patients with non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction than in the patients with unstable angina (72% vs 51%, respectively; p = 0.007). Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for the prediction of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction based on the red cell distribution width, the area under the curve was 0.649 (95% confidence interval: 0.546-0.753; p = 0.006), suggesting a modest model for the prediction of non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction using the red cell distribution width. At a cut-off value of 14%, the sensitivity and specificity of the red cell distribution width were 73% and 59%, respectively. Additionally, the red cell distribution width was positively correlated with cardiac troponin I (r = 0.19; p = 0.006). CONCLUSION: A greater baseline red cell distribution width value was associated with myocardial injury and elevated cardiac troponin I levels in non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome. Therefore, the red cell distribution width could be considered for risk stratification of acute coronary syndrome patients admitted to emergency departments. <![CDATA[Tetrodotoxin poisoning caused by Goby fish consumption in southeast China: a retrospective case series analysis]]> OBJECTIVES: To investigate an unusual outbreak of tetrodotoxin poisoning in Leizhou, southeast China, a case series analysis was conducted to identify the source of illness. METHODS: A total of 22 individuals experienced symptoms of poisoning, including tongue numbness, dizziness, nausea and limb numbness and weakness. Two toxic species, Amoya caninus and Yongeichthys nebulosus, were morphologically identified from the batches of gobies consumed by the patients. Tetrodotoxin levels in the blood and Goby fish samples were detected using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The tetrodotoxin levels in the remaining cooked Goby fish were determined to be 2090.12 µg/kg. For Amoya caninus, the toxicity levels were 1858.29 µg/kg in the muscle and 1997.19 µg/kg in the viscera and for Yongeichthys nebulosus, they were 2783.00 µg/kg in the muscle and 2966.21 µg/kg in the viscera. CONCLUSION: This outbreak demonstrates an underestimation of the risk of Goby fish poisoning. Furthermore, the relationships among the toxic species, climates and marine algae present should be clarified in the future. <![CDATA[Clinical and epidemiological differences between septic arthritis of the knee and hip caused by oxacillin-sensitive and -resistant <em>s. aureus</em>]]> OBJECTIVE: To establish the risk factors for joint infection by oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using clinical and epidemiological data. METHODS: All septic arthritis cases of the knee and hip diagnosed and treated in our institution from 2006 to 2012 were evaluated retrospectively. Only patients with cultures identified as microbial agents were included in the study. The clinical and epidemiological characteristics of the patients were analyzed, seeking the differences between populations affected by MRSA and oxacillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). RESULTS: S. aureus was isolated in thirty-five patients (46.0%) in our total sample, 25 in the knee and 10 in the hip. Of these 35 patients, 22 presented with MSSA and 13 presented with MRSA. Provenance from a health service-related environment, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was the only variable associated with oxacillin-resistant strains of this bacterium (p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: Provenance from a health service-related environment was associated with a higher incidence of MRSA-related septic arthritis, suggesting that this agent should be considered in the initial choice of antibiotic treatment. Previous surgeries of the knee or affected limb and the absence of leukocytes might also be related to infection with this agent. <![CDATA[Increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio predicts persistent coronary no-flow after wire insertion in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention]]> OBJECTIVES: Acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients presenting persistent no-flow after wire insertion have a lower survival rate despite successful mechanical intervention. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio has been associated with increased mortality and worse clinical outcomes in ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. We hypothesized that an elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio would also be associated with a persistent Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade of 0 after wire insertion in patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. METHODS: A total of 644 patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction who underwent primary percutaneous coronary intervention within 12 hours of symptom onset were included in our study. Blood samples were drawn immediately upon hospital admission. The patients were divided into 3 groups according to their Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade: Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 0 after wire insertion, Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 1-3 after wire insertion and Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 1-3 at baseline. RESULTS: The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio was significantly higher in the group with Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 0 after wire insertion compared with the group with Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 1-3 after wire insertion and the group with Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 1-3 at baseline. The group with Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction flow grade 0 after wire insertion also had a significantly higher in-hospital mortality rate. Persistent coronary no-flow after wire insertion was independently associated with the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. CONCLUSIONS: An increased neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio on admission is significantly associated with persistent coronary no-flow after wire insertion in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention. <![CDATA[Tongue forces and handgrip strength in normal individuals: association with swallowing]]> OBJECTIVES: To describe and correlate tongue force and grip strength measures and to verify the association of these measures with water swallowing in different age groups. METHOD: Tongue force was evaluated using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument and grip strength using the Hand Grip in 90 normal individuals, who were divided into three groups: young (18-39 years old), adult (40-59 years old) and elderly (above 60 years old) individuals. The time and number of swallows required for the continuous ingestion of 200 ml of water were also measured. RESULTS: A reduction in tongue force and grip strength, as well as an increase in the time required to drink 200 ml of water, were observed with increasing participant age. There was no difference in the number of swallows among the three groups. A correlation was observed between reductions in tongue force and grip strength in the groups of young and elderly individuals. CONCLUSION: There were differences in the measures of tongue force in young, adult and elderly individuals. Greater variations within these differences were observed when repeated movements were performed; in addition, a decrease in strength was associated with an increase in age. The decrease in tongue force among the elderly was offset by the increase in time needed to swallow the liquid. There was an association between the measures of tongue force and grip strength in the different age groups. The results of this study can be applied clinically and may act as a basis for guidelines in healthy or vulnerable elderly populations. <![CDATA[The influence of aerobic fitness status on ventilatory efficiency in patients with coronary artery disease]]> OBJECTIVE: To test the hypotheses that 1) coronary artery disease patients with lower aerobic fitness exhibit a lower ventilatory efficiency and 2) coronary artery disease patients with lower initial aerobic fitness exhibit greater improvements in ventilatory efficiency with aerobic exercise training. METHOD: A total of 123 patients (61.0±0.7 years) with coronary artery disease were divided according to aerobic fitness status into 3 groups: group 1 (n = 34, peak VO2&lt;17.5 ml/kg/min), group 2 (n = 67, peak VO2&gt;17.5 and &lt;24.5 ml/kg/min) and group 3 (n = 22, peak VO2&gt;24.5 ml/kg/min). All patients performed a cardiorespiratory exercise test on a treadmill. Ventilatory efficiency was determined by the lowest VE/VCO2 ratio observed. The exercise training program comprised moderate-intensity aerobic exercise performed 3 times per week for 3 months. NCT02106533 RESULTS: Before intervention, group 1 exhibited both lower peak VO2 and lower ventilatory efficiency compared with the other 2 groups (p&lt;0.05). After the exercise training program, group 1 exhibited greater improvements in aerobic fitness and ventilatory efficiency compared with the 2 other groups (group 1: ▵ = -2.5±0.5 units; group 2: ▵ = -0.8±0.3 units; and group 3: ▵ = -1.4±0.6 units, respectively; p&lt;0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Coronary artery disease patients with lower aerobic fitness status exhibited lower ventilatory efficiency during a graded exercise test. In addition, after 3 months of aerobic exercise training, only the patients with initially lower levels of aerobic fitness exhibited greater improvements in ventilatory efficiency. <![CDATA[Neuroprotective effect of atorvastatin in spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion injury]]> OBJECTIVES: Prevention of the development of paraplegia during the repair of the damage caused by descending thoracic and thoracoabdominal aneurysms remains an important issue. Therefore, we investigated the protective effect of atorvastatin on ischemia-induced spinal cord injury in a rabbit model. METHOD: Thirty-two rabbits were divided into the following four equally sized groups: group I (control), group II (ischemia-reperfusion), group III (atorvastatin treatment) and group IV (atorvastatin withdrawal). Spinal cord ischemia was induced by clamping the aorta both below the left renal artery and above the iliac bifurcation. Seventy-two hours postoperatively, the motor function of the lower limbs of each animal was evaluated according to the Tarlov score. Spinal cord and blood samples were obtained for histopathological and biochemical analyses. RESULTS: All of the rabbits in group II exhibited severe neurological deficits. Atorvastatin treatment (groups III and IV) significantly reduced the level of motor dysfunction. No significant differences were observed between the motor function scores of groups III and IV at the evaluated time points. Light microscopic examination of spinal cord tissue samples obtained at the 72nd hour of reperfusion indicated greater tissue preservation in groups III and IV than in group II. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the considerable neuroprotective effect of atorvastatin on the neurological, biochemical and histopathological status of rabbits with ischemia-induced spinal cord injury. Moreover, the acute withdrawal of atorvastatin therapy following the induction of spinal cord ischemia did not increase the neuronal damage in this rabbit model. <![CDATA[Evaluation of the effects of ischemic preconditioning on the hematological parameters of rats subjected to intestinal ischemia and reperfusion]]> OBJECTIVES: Intestinal ischemia/reperfusion often leads to acute lung injury and multiple organ failure. Ischemic preconditioning is protective in nature and reduces tissue injuries in animal and human models. Although hematimetric parameters are widely used as diagnostic tools, there is no report of the influence of intestinal ischemia/reperfusion and ischemic preconditioning on such parameters. We evaluated the hematological changes during ischemia/reperfusion and preconditioning in rats. METHODS: Forty healthy rats were divided into four groups: control, laparotomy, intestinal ischemia/reperfusion and ischemic preconditioning. The intestinal ischemia/reperfusion group received 45 min of superior mesenteric artery occlusion, while the ischemic preconditioning group received 10 min of short ischemia and reperfusion before 45 min of prolonged occlusion. A cell counter was used to analyze blood obtained from rats before and after the surgical procedures and the hematological results were compared among the groups. RESULTS: The results showed significant differences in hematimetric parameters among the groups. The parameters that showed significant differences included lymphocyte, white blood cells and granulocyte counts; hematocrit; mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration; red cell deviation width; platelet count; mean platelet volume; plateletcrit and platelet distribution width. CONCLUSION: The most remarkable parameters were those related to leukocytes and platelets. Some of the data, including the lymphocyte and granulocytes counts, suggest that ischemic preconditioning attenuates the effect of intestinal ischemia/reperfusion on circulating blood cells. Our work contributes to a better understanding of the hematological responses after intestinal ischemia/reperfusion and IPC, and the present findings may also be used as predictive values. <![CDATA[The prevalence of <em>helicobacter pylori</em> among dyspeptic patients in an earthquake-stricken area]]> OBJECTIVES: Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative, spiral-shaped, urease-producing bacterium with multiple unipolar flagella. Humans are a major reservoir for H. pylori; however, there are no data on the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptic patients who have experienced natural disasters. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of H. pylori in dyspeptic patients who survived a recent natural disaster and to compare the data between the pre-disaster and post-disaster periods. METHODS: Between December 2011 and February 2012 (∼ one month following an earthquake), 209 dyspeptic patients who underwent gastroscopy were included in the study. For microorganism identification, gastric biopsy materials from the 209 disaster survivors with dyspeptic complaints were tested for urease activity in a medium containing urea and a pH indicator. The obtained results were compared with pre-disaster data from dyspeptic patients in the same city during the corresponding period of the previous year. Furthermore, the current H. pylori prevalence was evaluated among 139 dyspeptic patients between January 2014 and May 2014. RESULTS: We found a significantly higher prevalence of H. pylori in disaster survivors with dyspepsia compared with dyspeptic patients in the pre-disaster period (p&lt;0.005). Interestingly, the current H. pylori prevalence was found to be significantly higher than the prevalence in both the disaster and pre-disaster periods (p&lt;0.005). CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a recent earthquake could contribute to the development of H. pylori infection in subjects who live in the disaster-stricken area. These data also highlight the exceptionally high H. pylori prevalence in dyspeptic patients. Regional variations require further analyses.