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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, Volume: 38, Issue: 5, Published: 2005
  • The modest but growing Brazilian presence in psychiatric, psychobiological and mental health research: assessment of the 1998-2002 period Concepts And Comments

    Bressan, R.A.; Gerolin, J.; Mari, J.J.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present survey was to assess the Brazilian scientific production in psychiatry, psychobiology, and mental health during the 1998-2002 period. The universities' graduate programs concentrate the vast majority of the scientific production in Brazil. We assessed the annual reports from the graduate programs to the Brazilian Ministry of Education concerning master's and doctoral theses and the articles published in journals indexed by the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI). There are nine Master's and Doctoral graduate programs dedicated to research in psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, psychobiology, and mental health in the country, seven being located in southern states. During the 5-year period, from 1998 to 2002, 186 students received their doctorate degree (37/year). The programs published 637 articles in journals indexed by ISI, the majority of them in journals with an impact factor higher than 2. The research advisors' productivity varied among graduate programs, ranging from 0.6 to 2.0 articles per year in ISI-indexed journals. Despite the substantial barriers faced by the Brazilian scientific community (mainly financial and writing difficulties), Brazil's scientific mental health production is on the rise. The number of articles published in ISI-indexed journals has doubled without a significant increase in the number of graduate theses, suggesting that there was an improvement in both the quality of the scientific production and the productivity of the graduate programs. Based on these data, it is reasonable to predict a tendency to an increase in production over the next few years.
  • Compensatory enlargement of human coronary arteries identified by magnetic resonance imaging Analytical, Diagnostic And Therapeutic Techniques And Equipment

    Bertini, P.J.; Parga, J.R.; Chagas, A.C.P.; Rochitte, C.E.; Ávila, L.F.; Favarato, D.; Luz, P.L. da

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the non-invasive detection of coronary abnormalities and specifically the remodeling process in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). MRI was performed in 10 control healthy subjects and 26 patients with angiographically proven CAD of the right coronary (RCA) or left anterior descending (LAD) artery; 23 patients were within two months of acute coronary syndromes, and 3 had stable angina with a positive test for ischemia. Wall thickness (WT), vessel wall area (VWA), total vessel area (TVA), and luminal area (LA) were measured. There were significant increases in WT (mean ± SEM, RCA: 2.62 ± 0.75 vs 0.53 ± 0.15 mm; LAD: 2.21 ± 0.69 vs 0.62 ± 0.24 mm) and in VWA (RCA: 30.96 ± 17.57 vs 2.1 ± 1.2 mm²; LAD: 19.53 ± 7.25 vs 3.6 ± 2.0 mm²) patients compared to controls (P < 0.001 for each variable). TVA values were also greater in patients compared to controls (RCA: 44.56 ± 21.87 vs 12.3 ± 4.2 mm²; LAD: 31.89 ± 11.31 vs 17.0 ± 6.2 mm²; P < 0.001). In contrast, the LA did not differ between patients and controls for RCA or LAD. When the LA was adjusted for vessel size using the LA/TVA ratio, a significant difference was found: 0.33 ± 0.16 in patients vs 0.82 ± 0.09 in controls (RCA) and 0.38 ± 0.13 vs 0.78 ± 0.06 (LAD) (P < 0.001). As opposed to normal controls, positive remodeling was present in all patients with CAD, as indicated by larger VWA. We conclude that MRI detected vessel wall abnormalities and was an effective tool for the noninvasive evaluation of the atherosclerotic process and coronary vessel wall modifications, including positive remodeling that frequently occurs in patients with acute coronary syndromes.
  • Frequency of Fanconi anemia in Brazil and efficacy of screening for the FANCA 3788-3790del mutation Blood, Immunology And Organ Transplantation

    Magdalena, N.; Pilonetto, D.V.; Bitencourt, M.A.; Pereira, N.F.; Ribeiro, R.C.; Jeng, M.; Pasquini, R.

    Abstract in English:

    Fanconi anemia (FA) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease characterized by progressive bone marrow failure, susceptibility to cancer and multiple congenital anomalies. There is important clinical variability among patients and the knowledge of factors which might predict outcome would greatly help the decision making regarding the choices of treatment and the appropriate time to start it. Future studies of the possible correlation between specific mutations with specific clinical presentations will provide the answer to one of these factors. At our Center we standardized a rapid and precise screening test using a mismatch PCR assay for a specific mutation (3788-3790del in exon 38 of gene FANCA) in Brazilian FA patients. We present the results obtained after screening 80 non-consanguineous FA patients referred from all regions of Brazil with a clinical diagnosis of FA supported by cellular hypersensitivity to diepoxybutane. We were able to detect the 3788-3790del allele in 24 of the 80 (30%) FA patients studied. Thirteen of the 80 (16.25%) were homozygotes and 11 of the 80 (13.75%) were compound heterozygotes, thus confirming the high frequency of the FANCA 3788-3790del mutation in Brazilian FA patients. The identification of patients with specific mutations in the FA genes may lead to a better clinical description of this condition, also providing data for genotype-phenotype correlations, to a better understanding of the interaction of this specific mutation with other mutations in compound heterozygote patients, and ultimately to the right choices of treatment for each patient with improvement of the prognosis on future studies.
  • Risk factors for alloimmunization by patients with sickle cell disease Blood, Immunology And Organ Transplantation

    Murao, M.; Viana, M.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Blood transfusion in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) is limited by the development of alloantibodies to erythrocytes. In the present study, the frequency and risk factors for alloimmunization were determined. Transfusion records and medical charts of 828 SCD patients who had been transfused and followed at the Belo Horizonte Blood Center, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil, were retrospectively reviewed. Alloimmunization frequency was 9.9% (95% CI: 7.9 to 11.9%) and 125 alloantibodies were detected, 79% of which belonged to the Rhesus and Kell systems. Female patients developed alloimmunization more frequently (P = 0.03). The median age of the alloimmunized group was 23.3 years, compared to 14.6 years for the non-alloimmunized group (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analyses were applied to the data for 608 hemoglobin (Hb) SS or SC patients whose number of transfusions was recorded accurately. Number of transfusions (P = 0.00006), older age (P = 0.056) and Hb SC (P = 0.02) showed independent statistical associations with alloimmunization. Hb SC patients older than 14 years faced a 2.8-fold higher (95% CI: 1.3 to 6.0) risk of alloimmunization than Hb SS patients. Female Hb SC patients had the highest risk of developing alloantibodies. In patients younger than 14 years, only the number of transfusions was significant. We conclude that an increased risk of alloimmunization was associated with older patients with Hb SC, specially females, even after adjustments were made for the number of transfusions received, the most significant variable.
  • Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic relationships of FTY720 in kidney transplant recipients Blood, Immunology And Organ Transplantation

    Park, S.I.; Felipe, C.R.; Machado, P.G.; Garcia, R.; Skerjanec, A.; Schmouder, R.; Tedesco-Silva Jr., H.; Medina-Pestana, J.O.

    Abstract in English:

    FTY720 is a new and effective immunosuppressive agent, which produces peripheral blood lymphopenia through a lymphocyte homing effect. We investigated the relationship between the dose of FTY720 or blood concentration (pharmacokinetics, PK) and peripheral lymphopenia (pharmacodynamics, PD) in 23 kidney transplant recipients randomized to receive FTY720 (0.25-2.5 mg/day) or mofetil mycophenolate (2 mg/day) in combination with cyclosporine and steroids. FTY720 dose, blood concentrations and lymphocyte counts were determined weekly before and 4 to 12 weeks after transplantation. The effect of PD was calculated as the absolute lymphocyte count or its reductions. PK/PD modeling was used to find the best-fit model. Mean FTY720 concentrations were 0.36 ± 0.05 (0.25 mg), 0.73 ± 0.12 (0.5 mg), 3.26 ± 0.51 (1 mg), and 7.15 ± 1.41 ng/ml (2.5 mg) between 4 and 12 weeks after transplantation. FTY720 PK was linear with dose (r² = 0.98) and showed low inter- and intra-individual variability. FTY720 produced a dose-dependent increase in mean percent reduction of peripheral lymphocyte counts (38 vs 42 vs 56 vs 77, P < 0.01, respectively). The simple Emax model [E = (Emax * C)/(C + EC50)] was the best-fit PK/PD modeling for FTY720 dose (Emax = 87.8 ± 5.3% and ED50 = 0.48 ± 0.08 mg, r² = 0.94) or concentration (Emax = 78.3 ± 2.9% and EC50 = 0.59 ± 0.09 ng/ml, r² = 0.89) vs effect (% reduction in peripheral lymphocytes). FTY720 PK/PD is dose dependent and follows an Emax model (EC50 = 0.5 mg or 0.6 ng/ml). Using lymphopenia as an FTY720 PD surrogate marker, high % reductions (~80%) in peripheral lymphocytes are required to achieve best efficacy to prevent acute allograft rejection.
  • Identification of clonally rearranged T-cell receptor beta chain genes in HTLV-I carriers as a potential instrument for early detection of neoplasia Blood, Immunology And Organ Transplantation

    Sales, M.M.; Bezerra, C.N.A.; Hiraki, Y.; Melo, N.B.; Rebouças, N.A.

    Abstract in English:

    We analyzed the genetic recombination pattern of the T-cell receptor beta-chain gene (TCR-beta) in order to identify clonal expansion of T-lymphocytes in 17 human T-lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I)-positive healthy carriers, 7 of them with abnormal features in the peripheral blood lymphocytes. Monoclonal or oligoclonal expansion of T-cells was detected in 5 of 7 HTLV-I-positive patients with abnormal lymphocytes and unconfirmed diagnosis by using PCR amplification of segments of TCR-beta gene, in a set of reactions that target 102 different variable (V) segments, covering all members of the 24 V families available in the gene bank, including the more recently identified segments of the Vbeta-5 and Vbeta-8 family and the two diversity beta segments. Southern blots, the gold standard method to detect T-lymphocyte clonality, were negative for all of these 7 patients, what highlights the low sensitivity of this method that requires a large amount of very high quality DNA. To evaluate the performance of PCR in the detection of clonality we also analyzed 18 leukemia patients, all of whom tested positive. Clonal expansion was not detected in any of the negative controls or healthy carriers without abnormal lymphocytes. In conclusion, PCR amplification of segments of rearranged TCR-beta is reliable and highly suitable for the detection of small populations of clonal T-cells in asymptomatic HTLV-I carriers who present abnormal peripheral blood lymphocytes providing an additional instrument for following up these patients with potentially higher risk of leukemia.
  • Effect of sexual steroids on the calcium content of aortic atherosclerotic plaque of oophorectomized rabbits Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Aldrighi, J.M.; Lanz, J.R.; Mansur, A.P.; Martinez, T.L.R.; Ramires, J.A.F.

    Abstract in English:

    We determined the effect of conjugated equine estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate on calcium content of aortic atherosclerotic lesions in oophorectomized adult New Zealand rabbits submitted to a cholesterol rich diet. Five groups of 10 animals each were studied: G1 = control, G2 = cholesterol diet only, G3 = diet plus conjugated equine estrogen (0.625 mg/day); G4 and G5 = diet, conjugated equine estrogen (0.625 mg/day) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (5 and 10 mg/day, respectively). Mean weight varied from 2.7 ± 0.27 to 3.1 ± 0.20 kg (P = 0.38) between groups at the beginning and 3.1 ± 0.27 to 3.5 ± 0.20 kg (P = 0.35) at the end of the experiment. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels were determined at the time of oophorectomy, 21 days after surgery (time 0), and at the end of follow-up of 90 days. The planimetric method was used to measure plaque and caryometric method for histopathologic examination of the aorta. Calcium content was determined by the method of von Kossa. A similar increase in cholesterol occurred in all treated groups without differences between them at the end of the study. Groups G4 and G5 had smaller areas of atherosclerotic lesions (2.33 ± 2.8 and 2.45 ± 2.1 cm², respectively) than the groups receiving no progestogens (G2: 5.6 ± 4 and G3: 4.6 ± 2.8 cm²; P = 0.02). The relation between lesion area and total aorta area was smaller in groups treated with combined drugs compared to the groups receiving no progesterone (G4: 14.9 ± 13 and G5: 14.2 ± 13.4 vs G2: 35.8 ± 26 and G3: 25 ± 8 cm², respectively; P = 0.017). Oral conjugated equine estrogen (0.625 mg/day) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (5 or 10 mg/day) provoked a greater reduction in atherosclerotic plaque area and calcium content in treated groups, suggesting a dose-dependent effect.
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass alters the pharmacokinetics of propranolol in patients undergoing cardiac surgery Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Carmona, M.J.C.; Malbouisson, L.M.S.; Pereira, V.A.; Bertoline, M.A.; Omosako, C.E.K.; Le Bihan, K.B.; Auler Jr., J.O.C.; Santos, S.R.C.J.

    Abstract in English:

    The pharmacokinetics of propranolol may be altered by hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), resulting in unpredictable postoperative hemodynamic responses to usual doses. The objective of the present study was to investigate the pharmacokinetics of propranolol in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) by CPB under moderate hypothermia. We evaluated 11 patients, 4 women and 7 men (mean age 57 ± 8 years, mean weight 75.4 ± 11.9 kg and mean body surface area 1.83 ± 0.19 m²), receiving propranolol before surgery (80-240 mg a day) and postoperatively (10 mg a day). Plasma propranolol levels were measured before and after CPB by high-performance liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic Solutions 2.0 software was used to estimate the pharmacokinetic parameters after administration of the drug pre- and postoperatively. There was an increase of biological half-life from 4.5 (95% CI = 3.9-6.9) to 10.6 h (95% CI = 8.2-14.7; P < 0.01) and an increase in volume of distribution from 4.9 (95% CI = 3.2-14.3) to 8.3 l/kg (95% CI = 6.5-32.1; P < 0.05), while total clearance remained unchanged 9.2 (95% CI = 7.7-24.6) vs 10.7 ml min-1 kg-1 (95% CI = 7.7-26.6; NS) after surgery. In conclusion, increases in drug distribution could be explained in part by hemodilution during CPB. On the other hand, the increase of biological half-life can be attributed to changes in hepatic metabolism induced by CPB under moderate hypothermia. These alterations in the pharmacokinetics of propranolol after CABG with hypothermic CPB might induce a greater myocardial depression in response to propranolol than would be expected with an equivalent dose during the postoperative period.
  • Effect of salbutamol on pulmonary responsiveness in chronic pulmonary allergic inflammation in guinea pigs Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Kasahara, D.I.; Perini, A.; Lopes, F.D.T.Q.S.; Arantes-Costa, F.M.; Martins, M.A.; Nunes, M.P.T.

    Abstract in English:

    Beta-2-agonists have been widely used by asthmatic subjects to relieve their obstructive symptoms. However, there are reports that continuous use could lead to loss of bronchial protection and exacerbation of asthma symptoms. We evaluated the effect of two regimens of salbutamol administration (twice and five times a week) in a model of chronic airway inflammation in male Hartley guinea pigs (protocol starting weight: 286 ± 30 g) induced by repeated exposures to aerosols of ovalbumin (OVA). After sensitization, guinea pigs were exposed to aerosols of 0.1 mg/ml salbutamol solution twice a week (OVA + S2x, N = 7) or five times a week (OVA + S5x, N = 8). We studied allergen-specific (OVA inhalation time) and -nonspecific (response to methacholine) respiratory system responsiveness. Seventy-two hours after the last OVA challenge, guinea pigs were anesthetized and tracheostomized, respiratory system resistance and elastance were measured and a dose-response curve to inhaled methacholine chloride was obtained. Specific IgG1 was also quantified by the passive cutaneous anaphylactic technique. OVA-sensitized guinea pigs (N = 8) showed reduction of the time of OVA exposure before the onset of respiratory distress, at the 5th, 6th and 7th exposures (P < 0.001). The OVA + S2x group (but not the OVA + S5x group) showed a significant increase in OVA inhalation time. There were no significant differences in pulmonary responsiveness to methacholine among the experimental groups. OVA + S2x (but not OVA + S5x) animals showed a decrease in the levels of IgG1-specific anaphylactic antibodies compared to the OVA group (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that, in this experimental model, frequent administration of ß2-agonists results in a loss of some of their protective effects against the allergen.
  • Identification of anaerobic threshold using heart rate response during dynamic exercise Cardiovascular, Respiratory And Sport Medicine

    Marães, V.R.F.S.; Silva, E.; Catai, A.M.; Novais, L.D.; Moura, M.A.S.; Oliveira, L.; Gallo Jr., L.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to characterize the heart rate (HR) patterns of healthy males using the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model over a power range assumed to correspond to the anaerobic threshold (AT) during discontinuous dynamic exercise tests (DDET). Nine young (22.3 ± 1.57 years) and 9 middle-aged (MA) volunteers (43.2 ± 3.53 years) performed three DDET on a cycle ergometer. Protocol I: DDET in steps with progressive power increases of 10 W; protocol II: DDET using the same power values as protocol 1, but applied randomly; protocol III: continuous dynamic exercise protocol with ventilatory and metabolic measurements (10 W/min ramp power), for the measurement of ventilatory AT. HR was recorded and stored beat-to-beat during DDET, and analyzed using the ARIMA (protocols I and II). The DDET experiments showed that the median physical exercise workloads at which AT occurred were similar for protocols I and II, i.e., AT occurred between 75 W (116 bpm) and 85 W (116 bpm) for the young group and between 60 W (96 bpm) and 75 W (107 bpm) for group MA in protocols I and II, respectively; in two MA volunteers the ventilatory AT occurred at 90 W (108 bpm) and 95 W (111 bpm). This corresponded to the same power values of the positive trend in HR responses. The change in HR response using ARIMA models at submaximal dynamic exercise powers proved to be a promising approach for detecting AT in normal volunteers.
  • A spectral analysis of the myoelectric activity of the left colon in patients with schistosomiasis mansoni Digestive System

    Ferraz, A.A.B.

    Abstract in English:

    The objective of the present study was to perform a spectral analysis of the electrical activity of the left colon of patients with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis. Thirty patients were studied, divided into 2 groups: group A was composed of 14 patients (9 males and 5 females) with hepatosplenic schistosomiasis and group B was composed of 16 female patients without schistosomiasis mansoni. Three pairs of electrodes were implanted in the left colon at the moment of the surgical treatment. The signals of the electric activity of the colon were captured after postoperative recovery from the ileus and fed into a computer by means of a DATAQ data collection system which identified and captured frequencies between 0.02 and 10 Hz. Data were recorded, stored and analyzed using the WINDAQ 200 software. For electrical analysis, the average voltage of the electrical wave in the three electrodes of all patients, expressed as millivolts (mV), was considered, together with the maximum and minimum values, the root mean square (RMS), the skewness, and the results of the fast Fourier transforms. The average RMS of the schistosomiasis mansoni patients was 284.007 mV. During a long period of contraction, the RMS increased in a statistically significant manner from 127.455 mV during a resting period to 748.959 mV in patients with schistosomiasis mansoni. We conclude that there were no statistically significant differences in RMS values between patients with schistosomiasis mansoni and patients without the disease during the rest period or during a long period of contraction.
  • Serum laminin, type IV collagen and hyaluronan as fibrosis markers in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Digestive System

    Santos, V.N. dos; Leite-Mór, M.M.B.; Kondo, M.; Martins, J.R.; Nader, H.; Lanzoni, V.P.; Parise, E.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Hepatic fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with progression of the disease. In the present study, we analyzed the discriminative ability of serum laminin, type IV collagen and hyaluronan levels to predict the presence of fibrosis in these patients. In this preliminary report, we studied 30 overweight patients divided into two groups according to the absence (group I, N = 19) or presence (group II, N = 11) of fibrosis in a liver biopsy. Triglycerides, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidade, hyaluronan (noncompetitive fluoroassay), type IV collagen, and laminin (ELISA) were determined. Group II presented significantly higher mean laminin, hyaluronan, type IV collagen, and aspartate aminotransferase values, which were due to the correlation between these parameters and the stage of fibrosis in the biopsy (Spearman's correlation coefficient, rS = 0.65, 0.62, 0.53, and 0.49, respectively). Analysis of the ROC curve showed that laminin values >282 ng/ml were those with the best diagnostic performance, with 87% accuracy. Association of laminin with type IV collagen showed improvement in the positive predictive value (100%), but with reduction in diagnostic sensitivity (64%). When compared with the criteria of Ratziu et al. [Gastroenterology (2000) 118: 1117-1123] for the diagnosis of septal fibrosis, laminin values presented a better diagnostic accuracy (83 vs 70%). Determination of extracellular matrix components in serum, especially of laminin, may identify patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and fibrosis and these components may be used as indicators for liver biopsy in these patients.
  • Atherogenic lipid profile of Brazilian near-term newborns Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Pardo, I.M.C.G.; Geloneze, B.; Tambascia, M.A.; Barros-Filho, A.A.

    Abstract in English:

    Cardiovascular disease is the primary cause of death in Brazil. Recent studies have shown that low birth weight and preterm birth are linked to a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present study was to compare the levels of lipids and apolipoproteins and atherogenic indexes between term and near-term newborn infants. A sample of umbilical cord blood was obtained from 135 newborns (66 males) divided into two groups: 25 near-term neonates (35-36.6 weeks of gestational age) and 110 term neonates (37-42 weeks of gestational age). The total cholesterol concentrations were higher in the near-term neonates than in the term group (94.04 ± 8.02 vs 70.42 ± 1.63 mg/dl, P < 0.01), due to an increase in the LDL-cholesterol fraction in the near-term group (57.76 ± 6.39 vs 34.38 ± 1.29 mg/dl, P < 0.001). The atherogenic indexes (total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I) were higher in the near-term group (P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P < 0.05, respectively). The gestational age of the newborns was inversely correlated with total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, and also with the total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol indexes. These findings demonstrate that the lipid profile is worse in the group of near-term neonates compared with the term group. Future studies are needed to determine if this atherogenic profile in near-term neonates can affect body metabolism, increasing the risk for cardiovascular diseases in adult life.
  • Profile of thyroid hormones in breast cancer patients Endocrine Diseases, Nutrition And Metabolism

    Saraiva, P.P.; Figueiredo, N.B.; Padovani, C.R.; Brentani, M.M.; Nogueira, C.R.

    Abstract in English:

    Estrogen involvement in breast cancer has been established; however, the association between breast cancer and thyroid diseases is controversial. Estrogen-like effects of thyroid hormone on breast cancer cell growth in culture have been reported. The objective of the present study was to determine the profile of thyroid hormones in breast cancer patients. Serum aliquots from 26 patients with breast cancer ranging in age from 30 to 85 years and age-matched normal controls (N = 22) were analyzed for free triiodothyronine (T3F), free thyroxine (T4F), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), antiperoxidase antibody (TPO), and estradiol (E2). Estrogen receptor ß (ERß) was determined in tumor tissues by immunohistochemistry. Thyroid disease incidence was higher in patients than in controls (58 vs 18%, P < 0.05). Subclinical hyperthyroidism was the most frequent disorder in patients (31%); hypothyroidism (8%) and positive anti-TPO antibodies (19%) were also found. Subclinical hypothyroidism was the only dysfunction (18%) found in controls. Hyperthyroidism was associated with postmenopausal patients, as shown by significantly higher mean T3 and T4 values and lower TSH levels in this group of breast cancer patients than in controls. The majority of positive ERß tumors were clustered in the postmenopausal patients and all cases presenting subclinical hyperthyroidism in this subgroup concomitantly exhibited Erß-positive tumors. Subclinical hyperthyroidism was present in only one of 6 premenopausal patients. We show here that postmenopausal breast cancer patients have a significantly increased thyroid hormone/E2 ratio (P < 0.05), suggesting a possible tumor growth-promoting effect caused by this misbalance.
  • HEV, TTV and GBV-C/HGV markers in patients with acute viral hepatitis Infectious Agents And Diseases

    Lyra, A.C.; Pinho, J.R.R.; Silva, L.K.; Sousa, L.; Saraceni, C.P.; Braga, E.L.; Pereira, J.E.; Zarife, M.A.S.; Reis, M.G.; Lyra, L.G.C.; Silva, L.C. da; Carrilho, F.J.

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prevalence of HEV, TTV and GBV-C/GBV-C/HGV in patients with acute viral hepatitis A, B and non-A-C. We evaluated sera of 94 patients from a sentinel program who had acute hepatitis A (N = 40), B (N = 42) and non-A-C (N = 12); 71 blood donors served as controls. IgM and anti-HEV IgG antibodies were detected by enzyme immunoassay using commercial kits. TTV and GBV-C/HGV were detected by nested PCR; genotyping was done by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Anti-HEV IgG was present in 38, 10 and 17% of patients with hepatitis A, B and non-A-C. Four patients with hepatitis A and 1 with non-A-C hepatitis also had anti-HEV IgM detected in serum. TTV was detected in 21% of patients with acute hepatitis and in 31% of donors. GBV-C/HGV was detected in 9% of patients with hepatitis, and in 10% of donors. We found TTV isolates of genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 4 and GBV-C/HGV isolates of genotypes 1 and 2. Mean aminotransferase levels were lower in patients who were TTV or GBV-C/HGV positive. In conclusion, the detection of anti-HEV IgM in some acute hepatitis A cases suggests co-infection with HEV and hepatitis E could be the etiology of a few cases of sporadic non-A-C hepatitis in Salvador, Brazil. TTV genotype 1, 2, 3 and 4 isolates and GBV-C/HGV genotype 1 and 2 strains are frequent in the studied population. TTV and GBV-C/HGV infection does not appear to have a role in the etiology of acute hepatitis.
  • Occurrence of Haemophilus influenzae strains in three Brazilian states since the introduction of a conjugate Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine Infectious Agents And Diseases

    de Almeida, A.E.C.C.; de Filippis, I.; Abreu, A.O. de; Ferreira, D.G.; Gemal, A.L.; Marzochi, K.B.F.

    Abstract in English:

    Few vaccines in history have induced such a dramatic decline in incidence over such a short period of time as the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate. This vaccine was introduced in 1988 in the United States, but only in 1999 was Hib immunization introduced by the Brazilian Ministry of Health as part of the routine infant National Immunization Program. The authors analyzed 229 H. influenzae (Hi) isolates from Public Health Laboratories in three Brazilian states: Pernambuco (Northeast, N = 54), Santa Catarina (South, N = 19), and Rio de Janeiro (Southeast, N = 156). The isolates were collected from Brazilian children 0-10 years of age with meningitis and other infections from 1990 to 2003 and were part of the research collection of the National Institute of Quality Control in Health, FIOCRUZ. Bacterial strains were characterized by serotyping and biotyping. During the pre-vaccination period the prevalence infection due to Hib was of 165 isolates and only 2 non-b Hi among all the notified meningitis infections caused by Hi. Our results showed a significant decrease in the prevalence of Hib meningitis from 165 to 33 isolates after 1999. However, during the post-vaccination period of 2001-2003 we observed an increase in the number of non-b Hi isolates: only 2 non-b strains isolated from 1990 to 1999 and 29 from 1999 to 2003. Based on the present data, the authors emphasize the need for more sensitive epidemiological and bacteriological studies aiming the improvement of the available Hib vaccine, in order to protect the susceptible population to infections due to other serological types of Hi and the reevaluation of immunization schedules used by the National Immunization Program.
  • Effect of hepatitis C serology on C-reactive protein in a cohort of Brazilian hemodialysis patients Infectious Agents And Diseases

    Nascimento, M.M.; Bruchfeld, A.; Suliman, M.E.; Hayashi, S.Y.; Pecoits-Filho, R.; Manfro, R.C.; Pachaly, M.A.; Renner, L.; Stenvinkel, P.; Riella, M.C.; Lindholm, B.

    Abstract in English:

    Hepatitis C (HCV) is not an uncommon feature in hemodialysis (HD) patients and may be a cause of systemic inflammation. Plasma cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is mainly produced by circulating and peripheral cells and induces the hepatic synthesis of C-reactive protein (CRP), which is the main acute phase reactant. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of HCV on two markers of systemic inflammation, serum CRP and IL-6, in HD patients. The study included 118 HD patients (47% males, age 47 ± 13 years, 9% diabetics) who had been treated by standard HD for at least 6 months. The patients were divided into two groups depending on the presence (HCV+) or absence (HCV-) of serum antibodies against HCV. Serum albumin (S-Alb), plasma high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), IL-6, and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were measured and the values were compared with those for 22 healthy controls. Median hsCRP and IL-6 values and hsCRP/IL-6 ratio were: 3.5 vs 2.1 mg/l, P < 0.05; 4.3 vs 0.9 pg/ml, P < 0.0001, and 0.8 vs 2.7, P < 0.0001, for patients and controls, respectively. Age, gender, S-Alb, IL-6 and hsCRP did not differ between the HCV+ and HCV- patients. However, HCV+ patients had higher ALT (29 ± 21 vs 21 ± 25 IU/l) and had been on HD for a longer time (6.1 ± 3.0 vs 4.0 ± 2.0 years, P < 0.0001). Moreover, HCV+ patients had a significantly lower median hsCRP/IL-6 ratio (0.7 vs 0.9, P < 0.05) compared to the HCV- group. The lower hsCRP/IL-6 ratio in HCV+ patients than in HCV- patients suggests that hsCRP may be a less useful marker of inflammation in HCV+ patients and that a different cut-off value for hsCRP for this population of patients on HD may be required to define inflammation.
  • Dialysis water treated by reverse osmosis decreases the levels of C-reactive protein in uremic patients Kidney And Extracellular Environmental

    Thomé, F.S.; Senger, M.; Garcez, C.; Garcez, J.; Chemello, C.; Manfro, R.C.

    Abstract in English:

    Atherosclerosis is a major complication of chronic renal failure. Microinflammation is involved in atherogenesis and is associated with uremia and dialysis. The role of dialysate water contamination in inducing inflammation has been debated. Our aim was to study inflammatory markers in patients on chronic dialysis, before and 3 to 6 months after switching the water purification system from deionization to reverse osmosis. Patients had demographic, clinical and nutritional information collected and blood drawn for determination of albumin, ferritin, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in both situations. Acceptable levels of water purity were less than 200 colony-forming units of bacteria and less than 1 ng/ml of endotoxin. Sixteen patients died. They had higher median CRP (26.6 vs 11.2 mg/dl, P = 0.007) and lower median albumin levels (3.1 vs 3.9 g/l, P < 0.05) compared to the 31 survivors. Eight patients were excluded because of obvious inflammatory conditions. From the 23 remaining patients (mean age ± SD: 51.3 ± 13.9 years), 18 had a decrease in CRP after the water treatment system was changed. Overall, median CRP was lower with reverse osmosis than with deionization (13.2 vs 4.5 mg/l, P = 0.022, N = 23). There was no difference in albumin, cytokines, subjective global evaluation, or clinical and biochemical parameters. In conclusion, uremic patients presented a clinically significant reduction in CRP levels when dialysate water purification system switched from deionization to reverse osmosis. It is possible that better water treatments induce less inflammation and eventually less atherosclerosis in hemodialysis patients.
  • Validation of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C) in a sample of Brazilian children Psychological Processes, Behavior And Mental Diseases

    Gauer, G.J.C.; Picon, P.; Vasconcellos, S.J.L.; Turner, S.M.; Beidel, D.C.

    Abstract in English:

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the factor structure and psychometric properties of the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C), an instrument developed in the United States and applied to a sample of Brazilian schoolchildren. The process included the translation of the original material from English into Portuguese by two bilingual psychiatrists and a back translation by a bilingual physician. Both the front and back translations were revised by a bilingual child psychiatrist. The study was performed using a cross-sectional design and the Portuguese version of the SPAI-C was applied to a sample of 1954 children enrolled in 3rd to 8th grade attending 2 private and 11 public schools. Eighty-one subjects were excluded due to an incomplete questionnaire and 2 children refused to participate. The final sample consisted of 1871 children, 938 girls (50.1%) and 933 boys (49.8%), ranging in age from 9 to 14 years. The majority of the students were Caucasian (89.0%) and the remainder were African-Brazilian (11.0%). The Pearson product-moment correlation showed that the two-week test-retest reliability coefficient was r = 0.780 and Cronbach's alpha was 0.946. The factor structure was almost similar to that reported in previous studies. The results regarding the internal consistency, the test-retest reliability and the factor structure were similar to the findings obtained in studies performed on English speaking children. The present study showed that the Portuguese language version of SPAI-C is a reliable and valid measure of social anxiety for Brazilian children.
  • Hepatitis C virus seroprevalence and genotypes in patients with diffuse connective tissue diseases and spondyloarthropathies Skin And Connective Diseases

    Barbosa, V.S.; Silva, N.A. da; Martins, R.M.B.

    Abstract in English:

    Many extrahepatic manifestations, including rheumatic diseases, have been reported to be associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In order to investigate the prevalence of HCV infection among patients with rheumatic diseases, in the present study we interviewed 367 patients and tested their blood samples for HCV antibodies (anti-HCV) by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Anti-HCV-reactive samples were retested for confirmation by a line immunoassay and also for HCV RNA detection by the polymerase chain reaction. HCV RNA-positive samples were genotyped by INNO-LIPA. An overall HCV infection prevalence of 1.9% (7/367) was found. Of the 7 HCV-infected patients, 4 had systemic lupus erythematosus and 3 rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in positivity rates of 2.3 and 3.4%, respectively. HCV RNA genotyping revealed the presence of subtypes 1a (57.1%), 1b (28.6%) and 3a (14.3%). The clinical course was favorable for all HCV-infected patients, except one, who died due to renal insufficiency related to lupus nephritis. These results demonstrate a low HCV infection prevalence among the population studied. In the few positive cases, we observed no adverse influence of this infection on the clinical evolution of the rheumatic disease.
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