Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Clinics]]> vol. 71 num. 5 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[The urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio is a reliable indicator for evaluating complications of chronic kidney disease and progression in IgA nephropathy in China]]> OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the correlation between the albumin-to-creatinine ratio in the urine and 24-hour urine proteinuria and whether the ratio can predict chronic kidney disease progression even more reliably than 24-hour proteinuria can, particularly in primary IgA nephropathy. METHODS: A total of 182 patients with primary IgA nephropathy were evaluated. Their mean urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio and 24-hour proteinuria were determined during hospitalization. Blood samples were also analyzed. Follow-up data were recorded for 44 patients. A cross-sectional study was then conducted to test the correlation between these parameters and their associations with chronic kidney disease complications. Subsequently, a canonical correlation analysis was employed to assess the correlation between baseline proteinuria and parameters of the Oxford classification. Finally, a prospective observational study was performed to evaluate the association between proteinuria and clinical outcomes. Our study is registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, and the registration number is ChiCTR-OCH-14005137. RESULTS: A strong correlation (r=0.81, p&lt;0.001) was found between the ratio and 24-hour proteinuria except in chronic kidney disease stage 5. First-morning urine albumin-to-creatinine ratios of ≥125.15, 154.44 and 760.31 mg/g reliably predicted equivalent 24-hour proteinuria ‘thresholds’ of ≥0.15, 0.3 and 1.0 g/24 h, respectively. In continuous analyses, the albumin-to-creatinine ratio was significantly associated with anemia, acidosis, hypoalbuminemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperkalemia, hypercholesterolemia and higher serum cystatin C. However, higher 24-hour proteinuria was only associated with hypoalbuminemia and hypercholesterolemia. Higher tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis scores were also associated with a greater albumin-to-creatinine ratio, as observed in the canonical correlation analysis. Finally, the albumin-to-creatinine ratio and 24-hour proteinuria were associated with renal outcomes in univariate analyses. CONCLUSION: This study supports the recommendation of using the albumin-to-creatinine ratio, rather than 24-hour proteinuria, to monitor proteinuria and prognosis in primary IgA nephropathy. <![CDATA[The serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 level is an independent predictor of recurrence after ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation]]> OBJECTIVES: This study investigated whether the serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 level is an independent predictor of recurrence after catheter ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation. METHODS: Fifty-eight consecutive patients with persistent atrial fibrillation were enrolled and underwent catheter ablation. The serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 level was detected before ablation and its relationship with recurrent arrhythmia was analyzed at the end of the follow-up. RESULTS: After a mean follow-up of 12.1±7.2 months, 21 (36.2%) patients had a recurrence of their arrhythmia after catheter ablation. At baseline, the matrix metalloproteinase-9 level was higher in the patients with recurrence than in the non-recurrent group (305.77±88.90 vs 234.41±93.36 ng/ml, respectively, p=0.006). A multivariate analysis showed that the matrix metalloproteinase-9 level was an independent predictor of arrhythmia recurrence, as was a history of atrial fibrillation and the diameter of the left atrium. CONCLUSION: The serum matrix metalloproteinase-9 level is an independent predictor of recurrent arrhythmia after catheter ablation in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. <![CDATA[The relationship between serum albumin levels and 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring recordings in non-diabetic essential hypertensive patients]]> OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to evaluate the relationship between serum albumin levels and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (24-h ABPM) recordings in non-diabetic essential hypertensive patients. METHODS: A total of 354 patients (mean [SD] age: 55.5 [14.3] years, 50% females) with essential hypertension and 24-h ABPM recordings were included. Patient 24-h nighttime and daytime ABPM values, systolic and diastolic dipping status and average nocturnal dipping were recorded. The correlations between serum albumin levels and nocturnal systolic and diastolic dipping were evaluated, and correlates of average nocturnal systolic dipping were determined via a linear regression model. RESULTS: Overall, 73.2% of patients were determined to be non-dippers. The mean (SD) levels of serum albumin (4.2 [0.3] g/dL vs. 4.4 [0.4] g/dL, p&lt;0.001) and the average nocturnal systolic (15.2 [4.8] mmHg vs. 0.3 [6.6] mmHg, p&lt;0.001) and diastolic dipping (4.2 [8.6] mmHg vs. 18.9 [7.0] mmHg, p&lt;0.001) were significantly lower in non-dippers than in dippers. A significant positive correlation was noted between serum albumin levels and both systolic (r=0.297, p&lt;0.001) and diastolic dipping (r=0.265, p&lt;0.001). The linear regression analysis revealed that for each one-unit increase in serum albumin, the average nocturnal dip in systolic BP increased by 0.17 mmHg (p=0.033). CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate an association between serum albumin levels and the deterioration of circadian BP rhythm among essential hypertensive patients along with the identification of a non-dipper pattern in more than two-thirds of patients. Our findings emphasize the importance of serum albumin levels, rather than urinary albumin excretion, as an independent predictor of nocturnal systolic dipping, at least in non-diabetic essential hypertensive patients with moderate proteinuria. <![CDATA[Efficacy and safety of a NiTi CAR 27 compression ring for end-to-end anastomosis compared with conventional staplers: A real-world analysis in Chinese colorectal cancer patients]]> OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new nickel-titanium shape memory alloy compression anastomosis ring, NiTi CAR 27, in constructing an anastomosis for colorectal cancer resection compared with conventional staples. METHODS: In total, 234 consecutive patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer receiving sigmoidectomy and anterior resection for end-to-end anastomosis from May 2010 to June 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. The postoperative clinical parameters, postoperative complications and 3-year overall survival in 77 patients using a NiTi CAR 27 compression ring (CAR group) and 157 patients with conventional circular staplers (STA group) were compared. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the patients in the two groups in terms of general demographics and tumor features. A clinically apparent anastomotic leak occurred in 2 patients (2.6%) in the CAR group and in 5 patients (3.2%) in the STA group (p=0.804). These eight patients received a temporary diverting ileostomy. One patient (1.3%) in the CAR group was diagnosed with anastomotic stricture through an electronic colonoscopy after 3 months postoperatively. The incidence of postoperative intestinal obstruction was comparable between the two groups (p=0.192). With a median follow-up duration of 39.6 months, the 3-year overall survival rate was 83.1% in the CAR group and 89.0% in the STA group (p=0.152). CONCLUSIONS: NiTi CAR 27 is safe and effective for colorectal end-to-end anastomosis. Its use is equivalent to that of the conventional circular staplers. This study suggests that NiTi CAR 27 may be a beneficial alternative in colorectal anastomosis in Chinese colorectal cancer patients. <![CDATA[Pleural effusion adenosine deaminase: a candidate biomarker to discriminate between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space]]> OBJECTIVES: Delay in the treatment of pleural infection may contribute to its high mortality. In this retrospective study, we aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of pleural adenosine deaminase in discrimination between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space prior to selecting antibiotics. METHODS: A total of 76 patients were enrolled and grouped into subgroups according to Gram staining: 1) patients with Gram-negative bacterial infections, aged 53.2±18.6 years old, of whom 44.7% had empyemas and 2) patients with Gram-positive bacterial infections, aged 53.5±21.5 years old, of whom 63.1% had empyemas. The pleural effusion was sampled by thoracocentesis and then sent for adenosine deaminase testing, biochemical testing and microbiological culture. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to examine the differences in adenosine deaminase levels between the groups. Correlations between adenosine deaminase and specified variables were also quantified using Spearman’s correlation coefficient. Moreover, receiver operator characteristic analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of pleural effusion adenosine deaminase. RESULTS: Mean pleural adenosine deaminase levels differed significantly between Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space (191.8±32.1 U/L vs 81.0±16.9 U/L, p&lt;0.01). The area under the receiver operator characteristic curve was 0.689 (95% confidence interval: 0.570, 0.792, p&lt;0.01) at the cutoff value of 86 U/L. Additionally, pleural adenosine deaminase had a sensitivity of 63.2% (46.0-78.2%); a specificity of 73.7% (56.9-86.6%); positive and negative likelihood ratios of 2.18 and 0.50, respectively; and positive and negative predictive values of 70.6% and 66.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Pleural effusion adenosine deaminase is a helpful alternative biomarker for early and quick discrimination of Gram-negative from Gram-positive bacterial infections of the pleural space, which is useful for the selection of antibiotics. <![CDATA[Randomized clinical trial comparing lumbar percutaneous hydrodiscectomy with lumbar open microdiscectomy for the treatment of lumbar disc protrusions and herniations]]> OBJECTIVES: Hydrodiscectomy is a new technique used for percutaneous spinal discectomy that employs a high-intensity stream of water for herniated disc ablation and tissue aspiration. No previous clinical study has examined the effects of percutaneous hydrodiscectomy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the outcomes of hydrodiscectomy compared to open microdiscectomy regarding pain, function, satisfaction, complications and recurrence rates. METHODS: In this randomized clinical trial, patients referred to our tertiary hospital for lumbar back pain were recruited and included in the study if they had disc protrusion or small herniation in only one level, without neurological deficits and with no resolution after six weeks of conservative treatment. One group underwent open microdiscectomy, and the other group underwent percutaneous microdiscectomy via hydrosurgery. Function was evaluated using the Oswestry Disability Index and pain was assessed using a visual analog scale. Evaluations were performed preoperatively, and then during the first week and at one, three, six and twelve months postoperatively. Personal satisfaction was verified. NCT01367860. RESULTS: During the study period, 20 patients were included in each arm and 39 completed one-year of follow-up (one patient died of unrelated causes). Both groups exhibited equal improvement on the visual analog scale and Oswestry evaluations after treatment, without any significant differences. The improvement in the lumbar visual analog scale score was not significant in the hydrodiscectomy group (p=0.138). The rates of infection, pain, recurrence and satisfaction were similar between the two groups. CONCLUSION: Percutaneous hydrodiscectomy was demonstrated to be as effective as open microdiscectomy for reducing pain. The rates of complications and recurrence of herniation were similar between groups. Patient satisfaction with the treatment was also similar between groups. <![CDATA[Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma: Brazilian survey]]> OBJECTIVE: The majority of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma have been reported in individuals with cirrhosis due to chronic viral hepatitis and alcoholism, but recently, the prevalence has become increasingly related to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis around the world. The study aimed to evaluate the clinical and histophatological characteristics of hepatocellular carcinoma in Brazilians' patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis at the present time. METHODS: Members of the Brazilian Society of Hepatology were invited to complete a survey regarding patients with hepatocellular carcinoma related to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Patients with a history of alcohol intake (&gt;20 g/day) and other liver diseases were excluded. Hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis was performed by liver biopsy or imaging methods according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases’ 2011 guidelines. RESULTS: The survey included 110 patients with a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease from nine hepatology units in six Brazilian states (Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul). The mean age was 67±11 years old, and 65.5% were male. Obesity was observed in 52.7% of the cases; diabetes, in 73.6%; dyslipidemia, in 41.0%; arterial hypertension, in 60%; and metabolic syndrome, in 57.2%. Steatohepatitis without fibrosis was observed in 3.8% of cases; steatohepatitis with fibrosis (grades 1-3), in 27%; and cirrhosis, in 61.5%. Histological diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma was performed in 47.2% of the patients, with hepatocellular carcinoma without cirrhosis accounting for 7.7%. In total, 58 patients with cirrhosis had their diagnosis by ultrasound confirmed by computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Of these, 55% had 1 nodule; 17%, 2 nodules; and 28%, ≥3 nodules. CONCLUSIONS: Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a relevant risk factor associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in patients with and without cirrhosis in Brazil. In this survey, hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in elevated numbers of patients with steatohepatitis without cirrhosis. <![CDATA[Is the difference in the volume of the pharyngeal space, as measured by acoustic pharyngometry, before and after tonsillectomy proportional to the volume of the excised tonsils?]]> OBJECTIVE: Adenotonsillectomy is recognized as an effective therapy for snoring and sleep disorders in children. It is important to understand whether adenotonsillectomy significantly increases the volume of the pharyngeal space. The goal of this study was to evaluate the change in oropharyngeal volume after adenotonsillectomy and the correlation of this change with the objective volume of the tonsils and body mass index. METHODS: We included 27 subjects (14 males) with snoring caused by tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy. The mean age of the subjects was 7.92 (±2.52) years. Children with craniofacial malformations or neuromuscular diseases or syndromes were excluded. The parents/caregivers answered an adapted questionnaire regarding sleep-disordered breathing. All patients were subjected to weight and height measurements and body mass index was calculated. The subjects underwent pharyngometry before and after adenotonsillectomy and the volume of both excised tonsils together was measured in cm3 in the operating room. RESULTS: Pharyngometric analysis showed that the mean pharyngeal volume was 28.63 (±5.57) cm3 before surgery and 31.23 (±6.76) cm3 after surgery; the volume of the oropharynx was significantly increased post-surgery (p=0.015, Wilcoxon test). No correlation was found between the objective tonsil volume and the post-surgical volume increase (p=0.6885). There was a fair correlation between the oropharyngeal volume and body mass index (p=0.0224). CONCLUSION: Adenotonsillectomy increases the volume of the pharyngeal space, but this increase does not correlate with the objective tonsil size. Furthermore, greater BMI was associated with a smaller increase in the pharyngeal volume. Oropharyngeal structures and craniofacial morphology may also play a role in the increase in oropharyngeal volume. <![CDATA[Effect of a gel containing pilocarpine on vaginal atrophy in castrated rats]]> OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effect of Carbopol gel formulations containing pilocarpine on the morphology and morphometry of the vaginal epithelium of castrated rats. METHODS: Thirty-one female Wistar-Hannover rats were randomly divided into four groups: the control Groups I (n=7, rats in persistent estrus; positive controls) and II (n=7, castrated rats, negative controls) and the experimental Groups, III (n=8) and IV (n=9). Persistent estrus (Group I) was achieved with a subcutaneous injection of testosterone propionate on the second postnatal day. At 90 days postnatal, rats in Groups II, III and IV were castrated and treated vaginally for 14 days with Carbopol gel (vehicle alone) or Carbopol gel containing 5% and 15% pilocarpine, respectively. Next, all of the animals were euthanized and their vaginas were removed for histological evaluation. A non-parametric test with a weighted linear regression model was used for data analysis (p&lt;0.05). RESULTS: The morphological evaluation showed maturation of the vaginal epithelium with keratinization in Group I, whereas signs of vaginal atrophy were present in the rats of the other groups. Morphometric examinations showed mean thickness values of the vaginal epithelium of 195.10±12.23 μm, 30.90±1.14 μm, 28.16±2.98 μm and 29.84±2.30 μm in Groups I, II, III and IV, respectively, with statistically significant differences between Group I and the other three groups (p&lt;0.0001) and no differences between Groups II, III and IV (p=0.0809). CONCLUSION: Topical gel formulations containing pilocarpine had no effect on atrophy of the vaginal epithelium in the castrated female rats.