Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Clinics]]> vol. 70 num. 9 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Comparison of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients]]> OBJECTIVE:In this study, we aimed to compare the cardiovascular risk factors that might be associated with inflammation, atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients.METHODS:Fifty hemodialysis and 50 peritoneal dialysis patients who had been receiving dialysis therapy for at least one year were included in the study. Venous blood samples were taken after 12 hours of fasting, and serum glucose, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and homocysteine levels were measured. The presence of atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery was evaluated by carotid Doppler ultrasound. These data were analyzed by Student’s t test, the chi-square test and the Mann-Whitney U test, as appropriate.RESULTS:No difference was found between the hemodialysis (n=50) and peritoneal dialysis (n=50) patient groups regarding mean age, gender distribution, body mass index or dialysis duration (p=0.269, 0.683, 0.426, and 0.052, respectively). LDL-cholesterol, fibrinogen and homocysteine levels were significantly higher in peritoneal dialysis patients (p=0.006, 0.001, and 0.002, respectively). In patients with diabetes mellitus (n=17) who were undergoing renal replacement therapy, LDL-cholesterol and fibrinogen levels were significantly higher than in patients without diabetes mellitus who were undergoing renal replacement therapy (p=0.001 and 0.004, respectively).CONCLUSION:In our study, cardiovascular risk factors (especially LDL-cholesterol) were more frequent in peritoneal dialysis patients than in hemodialysis patients. <![CDATA[Temporal resolution in individuals with neurological disorders]]> OBJECTIVE:Temporal processing refers to the ability of the central auditory nervous system to encode and detect subtle changes in acoustic signals. This study aims to investigate the temporal resolution ability of individuals with mesial temporal sclerosis and to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the gaps-in-noise test in identifying this type of lesion.METHOD:This prospective study investigated differences in temporal resolution between 30 individuals with normal hearing and without neurological lesions (G1) and 16 individuals with both normal hearing and mesial temporal sclerosis (G2). Test performances were compared, and the sensitivity and specificity were calculated.RESULTS:There was no difference in gap detection thresholds between the two groups, although G1 revealed better average thresholds than G2 did. The sensitivity and specificity of the gaps-in-noise test for neurological lesions were 68% and 98%, respectively.CONCLUSIONS:Temporal resolution ability is compromised in individuals with neurological lesions caused by mesial temporal sclerosis. The gaps-in-noise test was shown to be a sensitive and specific measure of central auditory dysfunction in these patients. <![CDATA[The impact of tracheotomy on levels of procalcitonin in patients without sepsis: a prospective study]]> OBJECTIVE:Procalcitonin is a reliable biomarker of infection and sepsis. We aimed to determine whether tracheotomy influences the procalcitonin concentrations in patients without sepsis and assess whether operative duration and procedure affect the peak procalcitonin level.METHODS:A total of 38 non-septic patients who required a tracheotomy underwent either a percutaneous dilatational tracheotomy (n=19) or a surgical tracheotomy (n=19). Procalcitonin levels were measured at the beginning of the tracheotomy and at 2 h, 4 h, 8 h, 24 h, 48 h and 72 h after the procedure.RESULTS:The baseline procalcitonin concentration before the tracheotomy was 0.24±0.13 ng/mL. The postoperative levels increased rapidly, with a 4-fold elevation after 2 h, reaching a peak 4 h later with a 5-fold increase over baseline. Thereafter, the levels gradually returned to 2-fold greater than the baseline level within 72 h. The peak levels of procalcitonin showed a significant positive correlation with operative durations (r=0.710, p&lt;0.001) and procedures (rho=0.670, p&lt;0.001).CONCLUSION:In patients without sepsis, tracheotomy induces a rapid release of serum procalcitonin, and the operative duration and procedure have significant impacts on the peak procalcitonin levels. Thus, the nonspecific increase in procalcitonin levels following tracheotomy needs to be considered when this measure is used to evaluate infection. <![CDATA[Differences between the real and the desired worlds in the results of clinical trials]]> OBJECTIVE:We refer to the effectiveness (known as pragmatic or real world) and efficacy (known as explanatory or desired or ideal world) of interventions. However, these terms seem to be randomly chosen by investigators who design clinical trials and do not always reflect the true purpose of the study. A pragmatic-explanatory continuum indicator summary tool was thus developed with the aim of identifying the characteristics of clinical trials that distinguish between effectiveness and efficacy issues. We verified whether clinical trials used the criteria proposed by the indicator summary tool, and we categorized these clinical trials according to a new classification.METHOD:A systematic survey of randomized clinical trials was performed. We added a score ranging from 0 (more efficacious) to 10 (more effective) to each domain of the indicator summary tool and proposed the following classifications: high efficacy (&lt;25), moderate efficacy (25-50), moderate effectiveness (51-75), and high effectiveness (&lt;75).RESULTS:A total of 844 randomized trials were analyzed. No analyzed trials used the criteria proposed by the indicator summary tool. Approximately 44% of the trials were classified as having moderate effectiveness, and 43.82% were classified as having moderate efficacy.CONCLUSIONS:Most clinical trials used the term “efficacy” to illustrate the application of results in clinical practice, but the majority of those were classified as having moderate effectiveness according to our proposed score. The classification based on the 0-100 score is still highly subjective and can be easily misunderstood in all domains based on each investigator’s own experiences and knowledge. <![CDATA[The impact of a discrepancy between actual and preferred living arrangements on life satisfaction among the elderly in China]]> OBJECTIVES:To explore the effects of a discrepancy between actual and preferred living arrangements on the relationship between living arrangements and life satisfaction among the elderly in China.METHODS:Secondary analysis of the 2005 dataset of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey was performed. A binary logistic regression model was used to analyze the relationship between life satisfaction and living arrangements.RESULTS:Among those with concordant actual and preferred living arrangements, living in a nursing home increased the likelihood of life satisfaction, whereas living alone and living with a spouse decreased the likelihood of life satisfaction compared to living with the next generation and a spouse. Among those with discordant living arrangements, there were no differences in life satisfaction between the various living arrangements, except that living with a spouse increased life satisfaction compared to living with the next generation and a spouse.CONCLUSIONS:A discrepancy between actual and preferred living arrangements modifies the relationship between life satisfaction and actual living arrangement. Living in a nursing home is a good option for Chinese elder care only if the older individual emotionally accepts it. Living alone or with a spouse is not a good arrangement for elder care, even though it is often preferred by the elderly. Those with discordant living arrangements are more satisfied living with their spouses. <![CDATA[Serum bilirubin value predicts hospital admission in carbon monoxide-poisoned patients. Active player or simple bystander?]]> OBJECTIVES:Although carbon monoxide poisoning is a major medical emergency, the armamentarium of recognized prognostic biomarkers displays unsatisfactory diagnostic performance for predicting cumulative endpoints.METHODS:We performed a retrospective and observational study to identify all patients admitted for carbon monoxide poisoning during a 2-year period. Complete demographical and clinical information, along with the laboratory data regarding arterial carboxyhemoglobin, hemoglobin, blood lactate and total serum bilirubin, was retrieved.RESULTS:The study population consisted of 38 poisoned patients (23 females and 15 males; mean age 39±21 years). Compared with discharged subjects, hospitalized patients displayed significantly higher values for blood lactate and total serum bilirubin, whereas arterial carboxyhemoglobin and hemoglobin did not differ. In a univariate analysis, hospitalization was significantly associated with blood lactate and total serum bilirubin, but not with age, sex, hemoglobin or carboxyhemoglobin. The diagnostic performance obtained after combining the blood lactate and total serum bilirubin results (area under the curve, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.81-0.99; p&lt;0.001) was better than that obtained for either parameter alone.CONCLUSION:Although it remains unclear whether total serum bilirubin acts as an active player or a bystander, we conclude that the systematic assessment of bilirubin may, alongside lactate levels, provide useful information for clinical decision making regarding carbon monoxide poisoning. <![CDATA[Influence of hyperprolactinemia on collagen fibers in the lacrimal gland of female mice]]> OBJECTIVE:To quantify the collagen fibers in the lacrimal gland of female mice with hyperprolactinemia.METHODS:Forty adult female mice were randomly divided into two groups with 20 animals each: nonpregnant control (CTR1, control group, 0.2 mL of saline solution) and nonpregnant experimental (HPRL1, experimental group, 200 µg/day metoclopramide). Treatments lasted for 50 consecutive days. On day 50, 10 females from each group (control and experimental) were euthanized in the proestrus phase; then, the blood was collected and the lacrimal glands were removed. Thereafter, the remaining females were placed with the mates and continued to receive treatment with saline solution or metoclopramide. On the 6th post-coital day, 10 pregnant females from the control group (CTR2) and 10 pregnant females from the experimental group (HPRL2) were euthanized, after which blood was collected and the lacrimal glands removed. The lacrimal glands were processed for morphological analyses and collagen quantification, and prolactin and sex steroid levels were measured in the blood samples. Data were statistically analyzed using an unpaired Student t test (p&lt;0.05).RESULTS:Morphological analysis revealed greater structural tissue disorganization of the lacrimal glands in the metoclopramide-treated groups. The total collagen content was significantly higher in the HPRL1 group than in the CTR1 group (p&lt;0.05), whereas the difference between the CTR2 and HPRL2 groups was not significant.CONCLUSION:Our data suggest an impairment in the functioning of the lacrimal gland as a consequence of increased prolactin levels and decreased serum levels of estrogen and progesterone. <![CDATA[Driving evaluation methods for able-bodied persons and individuals with lower extremity disabilities: a review of assessment modalities]]> Assessing the driving abilities of individuals with disabilities is often a very challenging task because each medical condition is accompanied by physical impairments and because relative individual functional performance may vary depending on personal characteristics.We identified existing driving evaluation modalities for able-bodied and lower extremity-impaired subjects (spinal cord injury patients and amputees) and evaluated the potential relationships between driving performance and the motor component of driving.An extensive scoping review of the literature was conducted to identify driving assessment tools that are currently used for able-bodied individuals and for those with spinal cord injury or lower extremity amputation. The literature search focused on the assessment of the motor component of driving. References were electronically obtained via Medline from the PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases.This article compares the current assessments of driving performance for those with lower extremity impairments with the assessments used for able-bodied persons. Very few articles were found concerning “Lower Extremity Disabilities,” thus confirming the need for further studies that can provide evidence and guidance for such assessments in the future. Little is known about the motor component of driving and its association with the other driving domains, such as vision and cognition. The available research demonstrates the need for a more evidenced-based understanding of how to best evaluate persons with lower extremity impairment. <![CDATA[Analgesia for total knee arthroplasty: a meta-analysis comparing local infiltration and femoral nerve block]]> Patients frequently experience postoperative pain after a total knee arthroplasty; such pain is always challenging to treat and may delay the patient’s recovery. It is unclear whether local infiltration or a femoral nerve block offers a better analgesic effect after total knee arthroplasty.We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to compare local infiltration with a femoral nerve block in patients who underwent a primary unilateral total knee arthroplasty. We searched Pubmed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library through December 2014. Two reviewers scanned abstracts and extracted data. The data collected included numeric rating scale values for pain at rest and pain upon movement and opioid consumption in the first 24 hours. Mean differences with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for each end point. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to evaluate potential sources of heterogeneity.While the numeric rating scale values for pain upon movement (MD-0.62; 95%CI: -1.13 to -0.12; p=0.02) in the first 24 hours differed significantly between the patients who received local infiltration and those who received a femoral nerve block, there were no differences in the numeric rating scale results for pain at rest (MD-0.42; 95%CI:-1.32 to 0.47; p=0.35) or opioid consumption (MD 2.92; 95%CI:-1.32 to 7.16; p=0.18) in the first 24 hours.Local infiltration and femoral nerve block showed no significant differences in pain intensity at rest or opioid consumption after total knee arthroplasty, but the femoral nerve block was associated with reduced pain upon movement. <![CDATA[Partial epilepsy: A pictorial review of 3 TESLA magnetic resonance imaging features]]> Epilepsy is a disease with serious consequences for patients and society. In many cases seizures are sufficiently disabling to justify surgical evaluation. In this context, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most valuable tools for the preoperative localization of epileptogenic foci. Because these lesions show a large variety of presentations (including subtle imaging characteristics), their analysis requires careful and systematic interpretation of MRI data. Several studies have shown that 3 Tesla (T) MRI provides a better image quality than 1.5 T MRI regarding the detection and characterization of structural lesions, indicating that high-field-strength imaging should be considered for patients with intractable epilepsy who might benefit from surgery. Likewise, advanced MRI postprocessing and quantitative analysis techniques such as thickness and volume measurements of cortical gray matter have emerged and in the near future, these techniques will routinely enable more precise evaluations of such patients. Finally, the familiarity with radiologic findings of the potential epileptogenic substrates in association with combined use of higher field strengths (3 T, 7 T, and greater) and new quantitative analytical post-processing techniques will lead to improvements regarding the clinical imaging of these patients. We present a pictorial review of the major pathologies related to partial epilepsy, highlighting the key findings of 3 T MRI.