Abstract in English:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common disease in adults over 40 years of age and has a great social and economic impact. It remains little recognized and undertreated even in developed countries. However, there are no data about its diagnosis and treatment in Brazil. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the proportion of COPD patients who had never been diagnosed and to determine if the COPD patients who had been identified were receiving appropriate treatment. The Latin American Project for the Investigation of Obstructive Lung Disease (PLATINO) was a randomized epidemiological study of adults over 40 years living in five metropolitan areas, including São Paulo. The studied sample was randomly selected from the population after a division of the metropolitan area of São Paulo in clusters according to social characteristics. All subjects answered a standardized questionnaire on respiratory symptoms, history of smoking, previous diagnosis of lung disease, and treatments. All subjects performed spirometry. The criterion for the diagnosis of COPD was defined by a post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC ratio lower than 0.7. A total of 918 subjects were evaluated and 144 (15.8%) met the diagnostic criterion for COPD. However, 126 individuals (87.5%) had never been diagnosed. This undiagnosed group of COPD patients had a lower proportion of subjects with respiratory symptoms than the previously diagnosed patients (88.9 vs 54.8%) and showed better lung function with greater FEV1 (86.8 ± 20.8 vs 68.5 ± 23.6% predicted) and FVC (106.6 ± 22.4 vs 92.0 ± 24.1% predicted). Among the COPD patients, only 57.3% were advised to stop smoking and 30.6% received the influenza vaccine. In addition, 82.3% did not receive any pharmacological treatment. In conclusion, COPD is underdiagnosed and a large number of COPD patients are not treated appropriately.
Abstract in English:Whether the regression of gastric metaplasia in the duodenum can be achieved after eradication of Helicobacter pylori is not clear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between H. pylori infection and gastric metaplasia in patients with endoscopic diffuse nodular duodenitis. Eighty-six patients with endoscopically confirmed nodular duodenitis and 40 control patients with normal duodenal appearance were investigated. The H. pylori-positive patients with duodenitis received anti-H. pylori triple therapy (20 mg omeprazole plus 250 mg clarithromycin and 400 mg metronidazole, all twice daily) for one week. A control endoscopy was performed 6 months after H. pylori treatment. The H. pylori-negative patients with duodenitis received 20 mg omeprazole once daily for 6 months and a control endoscopy was performed 2 weeks after treatment. The prevalence of H. pylori infection was 58.1%, and the prevalence of gastric metaplasia was 57.0%. Seventy-six patients underwent endoscopy again. No influence on the endoscopic appearance of nodular duodenitis was found after eradication of H. pylori or acid suppression therapy. However, gastric metaplasia significantly decreased and complete regression was achieved in 15/28 patients (53.6%) 6 months after eradication of H. pylori, accompanied by significant improvement of other histological alterations. Only mild chronic inflammation, but not gastric metaplasia, was found in the control group, none with H. pylori infection in the duodenal bulb. Therefore, H. pylori infection is related to the extent of gastric metaplasia in the duodenum, but not to the presence of diffuse nodular duodenitis.
Abstract in English:Dipyrone (Dp) delays gastric emptying (GE) in rats. There is no information about whether 4-aminoantipyrine (AA), one of its metabolites, has the same effect. The objectives of the present study were to assess the effects of AA and Dp on GE when administered intravenously (iv) and intracerebroventricularly (icv) (240 µmol/kg and 4 µmol/animal, respectively) and on gastric compliance when administered iv (240 µmol/kg). GE was determined in male Wistar rats weighing 250-300 g (5-10 per group) after icv or iv injection of the drug by measuring percent gastric retention (GR) of a saline meal labeled with phenol red 10 min after administration by gavage. Gastric compliance was estimated in anesthetized rats (10-11 per group), with the construction of volume-pressure curves during intragastric infusion of a saline meal. Compliance was significantly greater in animals receiving Dp (mean ± SEM = 0.26 ± 0.009 mL/mmHg) and AA (0.24 ± 0.012 mL/mmHg) than in controls (0.19 ± 0.009 mL/mmHg). AA and Dp administered iv significantly increased GR (64.4 ± 2.5 and 54.3 ± 3.8%, respectively) compared to control (34 ± 2.2%), a phenomenon observed only with Dp after icv administration. Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy reduced the effect of AA (GR = 31.4 ± 1.5%) compared to sham-treated animals. Baclofen, a GABA B receptor agonist, administered icv significantly reduced the effect of AA (GR = 28.1 ± 1.3%). We conclude that Dp and AA increased gastric compliance and AA delayed GE, with the participation of the vagus nerve, through a pathway that does not involve a direct action of the drug on the central nervous system.
Abstract in English:Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease of the colon and rectum characterized by a nonspecific chronic inflammation mediated by the concerted response of cellular and humoral events. Prostaglandins are synthesized by cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 and exhibit both pro- and anti-inflammatory activity. To evaluate COX-1 and COX-2 immunoexpression in 42 cases of UC and to correlate it with clinicopathological parameters, COX-1 and COX-2 expression was investigated by the immunohistochemistry method. Only patients with all pertinent clinical and evolutive data as well as with adequate biopsy material were included in the study. Fifteen samples of colorectal adenocarcinoma and 14 of large bowel with no histological changes were used for positive and negative controls, respectively. UC patients showed COX-1 immunoreactivity in epithelial cells in 29% of the cases and in inflammatory cells in 43%. COX-2 positivity in epithelial and inflammatory cells was found in 69% of the samples. The comparison between UC and the control groups revealed that the UC group had significantly more positive cases for COX-1 and COX-2 in inflammatory cells. Immunohistochemistry allowed the identification of COX-1 and COX-2 expression in epithelial and inflammatory cells in UC biopsies. No significant difference between COX-1 and COX-2 immunoreactivity in epithelial and inflammatory cells was observed regarding the clinicopathological parameters. COX-2 presented low expression in normal colon and high expression in colorectal adenocarcinoma. COX-2 might play a role in the pathophysiologic processes of inflammatory bowel disease and the development of neoplasia. Treatment with selective COX-2 inhibitors might be an additional option for therapy.
Abstract in English:The aim of the present study was to determine if there is an association between the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and apolipoprotein E (apo E) genes and the serum lipid profile in pregnancy and puerperium. Non-diabetic women of European descent in the third semester of pregnancy (N = 120) were selected. Those with diseases or other condition that could modify their lipid profile were excluded from the study (N = 32). Serum lipids were measured by routine laboratory procedures and genomic DNA was extracted by a salting out method. LPL (PvuII and HindIII) and apo E (HhaI) SNPs were detected by the polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism. Categorical and continuous variables were compared by the chi-square test and Student t-test or ANOVA, respectively. Women carrying the LPL P1P1 genotype had higher serum LDL cholesterol (N = 21; 155 ± 45 mg/dL) than women carrying the P1P2/P2P2 genotypes (N = 67; 133 ± 45 mg/dL; P = 0.032). During the puerperium period, serum levels of triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol were significantly reduced in women carrying the P1P1 (73%, P = 0.006) and P1P2 (51%, P = 0.002) genotypes but not in women carrying the P2P2 genotype (23%, P > 0.05). On the other hand, serum concentrations of lipids did not differ between the LPL HindIII and apo E genotypes during pregnancy and after delivery. We conclude that LPL PvuII SNP is associated with variations in serum lipids during pregnancy and the puerperal period in non-diabetic women.
Abstract in English:The contribution of genetic factors to the development of obesity has been widely recognized, but the identity of the genes involved has not yet been fully clarified. Variation in genes involved in adipocyte differentiation and energy metabolism is expected to have a role in the etiology of obesity. We assessed the potential association of a polymorphism in one candidate gene, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARGg), involved in these pathways and obesity-related phenotypes in 335 Brazilians of European descent. All individuals included in the sample were adults. Pregnant women, as well as those individuals with secondary hyperlipidemia due to renal, liver or thyroid disease, and diabetes, were not invited to participate in the study; all other individuals were included. The gene variant PPARG Pro12Ala was studied by a PCR-based method and the association between this genetic polymorphism and obesity-related phenotypes was evaluated by analysis of covariance. Variant allele frequency was PPARG Ala12 = 0.09 which is in the same range as described for European and European-derived populations. No statistically significant differences were observed for mean total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglyceride levels among PPARG genotypes in either gender. In the male sample, an association between the PPARG Pro12Ala variant and body mass index was detected, with male carriers of the Ala variant presenting a higher mean body mass index than wild-type homozygotes (28.3 vs 26.2 kg/m², P = 0.037). No effect of this polymorphism was detected in women. This finding suggests that the PPARG gene has a gender-specific effect and contributes to the susceptibility to obesity in this population.
Abstract in English:To efficiently examine the association of glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody (GADA) positivity with the onset and progression of diabetes in middle-aged adults, we performed a case-cohort study representing the ~9-year experience of 10,275 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study participants, initially aged 45-64 years. Antibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) were measured by radioimmunoassay in 580 incident diabetes cases and 544 non-cases. The overall weighted prevalence of GADA positivity (³1 U/mL) was 7.3%. Baseline risk factors, with the exception of smoking and interleukin-6 (P £ 0.02), were generally similar between GADA-positive and -negative individuals. GADA positivity did not predict incident diabetes in multiply adjusted (HR = 1.04; 95%CI = 0.55, 1.96) proportional hazard analyses. However, a small non-significant adjusted risk (HR = 1.29; 95%CI = 0.58, 2.88) was seen for those in the highest tertile (³2.38 U/mL) of positivity. GADA-positive and GADA-negative non-diabetic individuals had similar risk profiles for diabetes, with central obesity and elevated inflammation markers, aside from glucose, being the main predictors. Among diabetes cases at study's end, progression to insulin treatment increased monotonically as a function of baseline GADA level. Overall, being GADA positive increased risk of progression to insulin use almost 10 times (HR = 9.9; 95%CI = 3.4, 28.5). In conclusion, in initially non-diabetic middle-aged adults, GADA positivity did not increase diabetes risk, and the overall baseline profile of risk factors was similar for positive and negative individuals. Among middle-aged adults, with the possible exception of those with the highest GADA levels, autoimmune pathophysiology reflected by GADA may become clinically relevant only after diabetes onset.
Abstract in English:Asthma is a common chronic illness that imposes a heavy burden on all aspects of the patient's life, including personal and health care cost expenditures. To analyze the direct cost associated to uncontrolled asthma patients, a cross-sectional study was conducted to determine costs related to patients with uncontrolled and controlled asthma. Uncontrolled patient was defined by daytime symptoms more than twice a week or nocturnal symptoms during two consecutive nights or any limitations of activities, or need for relief rescue medication more than twice a week, and an ACQ score less than 2 points. A questionnaire about direct cost stratification in health services, including emergency room visits, hospitalization, ambulatory visits, and asthma medications prescribed, was applied. Ninety asthma patients were enrolled (45 uncontrolled/45 controlled). Uncontrolled asthmatics accounted for higher health care expenditures than controlled patients, US$125.45 and US$15.58, respectively [emergency room visits (US$39.15 vs US$2.70) and hospitalization (US$86.30 vs US$12.88)], per patient over 6 months. The costs with medications in the last month for patients with mild, moderate and severe asthma were US$1.60, 9.60, and 25.00 in the uncontrolled patients, respectively, and US$6.50, 19.00 and 49.00 in the controlled patients. In view of the small proportion of uncontrolled subjects receiving regular maintenance medication (22.2%) and their lack of resources, providing free medication for uncontrolled patients might be a cost-effective strategy for the public health system.
Abstract in English:Several studies have reported that symptoms of anxiety and depression are significantly associated with diseases characterized by painful crises. However, there is little information about the psychological aspects of recurrent painful episodes of renal stone disease. Our objective was to evaluate the association of symptoms of anxiety, depression and recurrent painful renal colic in a case-control study involving 64 subjects (32 cases/32 controls) matched for age and sex. Cases were outpatients with a confirmed diagnosis of nephrolithiasis as per their case history, physical examination, image examination and other laboratory exams. Patients had a history of at least two episodes within a 3-year period, and were currently in an intercrisis interval. The control group consisted of subjects seen at the Ophthalmology Outpatient Clinic of this University Hospital with only eye refraction symptoms, and no other associated disease. Symptoms of anxiety were evaluated by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and symptoms of depression by the Beck Depression Inventory. Statistically significant differences were observed between patients with nephrolithiasis and controls for anxiety state (P = 0.001), anxiety trait (P = 0.005) and symptoms of depression (odds ratio = 3.74; 95%CI = 1.31-10.62). The Beck Depression Inventory showed 34.5% of respondents with moderate and 6% with severe levels of depression. There was a significant linear correlation between symptoms of anxiety (P = 0.002) and depression (P < 0.001) and the number of recurrent colic episodes (anxiety-state: P = 0.016 and anxiety-trait: P < 0.001). These data suggest an association between recurrent renal colic and symptoms of both anxiety and depression.
Abstract in English:Limited evidence is available regarding antiretroviral (ARV) safety for uninfected infants exposed to these drugs in utero. Our objective was to determine if ARV administered to pregnant women is associated with decreasing umbilical arterial pH and base excess in uninfected infants. A prospective study was conducted on 57 neonates divided into three groups: ZDV group, born to mothers taking zidovudine (N = 20), triple therapy (TT) group, born to mothers taking zidovudine + lamivudine + nelfinavir (N = 25), and control group (N = 12), born to uninfected mothers. Umbilical cord blood was used to determine umbilical artery gases. A test was performed to calculate the sample by comparing means by the unpaired one-tailed t-test, with a = 0.05 and ß = 20%, indicating the need for a sample of 18 newborn infants for the study groups to detect differences higher than 20%. The control and ARV groups were similar in gestational age, birth weight, and Apgar scores. Values of pH, pCO2, bicarbonate, and base excess in cord arterial blood obtained at delivery from the newborns exposed to TT were 7.23, 43.2 mmHg, 19.5 mEq/L, and -8.5 nmol/L, respectively, with no significant difference compared to the control and ZDV groups. We conclude that intrauterine exposure to ARV is not associated with a pathological decrease in umbilical arterial pH or base excess. While our data are reassuring, follow-up is still limited and needs to be continued into adulthood because of the possible potential for adverse effects of triple antiretroviral agents.
Abstract in English:Since there are some concerns about the effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy in developing countries, we compared the initial combination antiretroviral therapy with zidovudine and lamivudine plus either nelfinavir or efavirenz at a university-based outpatient service in Brazil. This was a retrospective comparative cohort study carried out in a tertiary level hospital. A total of 194 patients receiving either nelfinavir or efavirenz were identified through our electronic database search, but only 126 patients met the inclusion criteria. Patients were included if they were older than 18 years old, naive for antiretroviral therapy, and had at least 1 follow-up visit after starting the antiretroviral regimen. Fifty-one of the included patients were receiving a nelfinavir-based regimen and 75 an efavirenz-based regimen as outpatients. Antiretroviral therapy was prescribed to all patients according to current guidelines. By intention-to-treat (missing/switch = failure), after a 12-month period, 65% of the patients in the efavirenz group reached a viral load <400 copies/mL compared to 41% of the patients in the nelfinavir group (P = 0.01). The mean CD4 cell count increase after a 12-month period was also greater in the efavirenz group (195 x 10(6) cells/L) than in the nelfinavir group (119 x 10(6) cells/L; P = 0.002). The efavirenz-based regimen was superior compared to the nelfinavir-based regimen. The low response rate in the nelfinavir group might be partially explained by the difficulty of using a regimen requiring a higher patient compliance (12 vs 3 pills a day) in a developing country.
Abstract in English:Plasma amino acid levels have never been studied in the placental intervillous space of preterm gestations. Our objective was to determine the possible relationship between plasma amino acids of maternal venous blood (M), of the placental intervillous space (PIVS) and of the umbilical vein (UV) of preterm newborn infants. Plasma amino acid levels were analyzed by ion-exchange chromatography in M from 14 parturients and in the PIVS and UV of their preterm newborn infants. Mean gestational age was 34 ± 2 weeks, weight = 1827 ± 510 g, and all newborns were considered adequate for gestational age. The mean Apgar score was 8 and 9 at the first and fifth minutes. Plasma amino acid values were significantly lower in M than in PIVS (166%), except for aminobutyric acid. On average, plasma amino acid levels were significantly higher in UV than in M (107%) and were closer to PIVS than to M values, except for cystine and aminobutyric acid (P < 0.05). Comparison of the mean plasma amino acid concentrations in the UV of preterm to those of term newborn infants previously studied by our group showed no significant difference, except for proline (P < 0.05), preterm > term. These data suggest that the mechanisms of active amino acid transport are centralized in the syncytiotrophoblast, with their passage to the fetus being an active bidirectional process with asymmetric efflux. PIVS could be a reserve amino acid space for the protection of the fetal compartment from inadequate maternal amino acid variations.
Abstract in English:Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urothelium is often multifocal and subsequent tumors may occur anywhere in the urinary tract after the treatment of a primary carcinoma. Patients initially presenting a bladder cancer are at significant risk of developing metachronous tumors in the upper urinary tract (UUT). We evaluated the prognostic factors of primary invasive bladder cancer that may predict a metachronous UUT TCC after radical cystectomy. The records of 476 patients who underwent radical cystectomy for primary invasive bladder TCC from 1989 to 2001 were reviewed retrospectively. The prognostic factors of UUT TCC were determined by multivariate analysis using the COX proportional hazards regression model. Kaplan-Meier analysis was also used to assess the variable incidence of UUT TCC according to different risk factors. Twenty-two patients (4.6%). developed metachronous UUT TCC. Multiplicity, prostatic urethral involvement by the bladder cancer and the associated carcinoma in situ (CIS) were significant and independent factors affecting the occurrence of metachronous UUT TCC (P = 0.0425, 0.0082, and 0.0006, respectively). These results were supported, to some extent, by analysis of the UUT TCC disease-free rate by the Kaplan-Meier method, whereby patients with prostatic urethral involvement or with associated CIS demonstrated a significantly lower metachronous UUT TCC disease-free rate than patients without prostatic urethral involvement or without associated CIS (log-rank test, P = 0.0116 and 0.0075, respectively). Multiple tumors, prostatic urethral involvement and associated CIS were risk factors for metachronous UUT TCC, a conclusion that may be useful for designing follow-up strategies for primary invasive bladder cancer after radical cystectomy.
Abstract in English:The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of the direct addition of pentoxifylline (PF) to the ejaculates of men with poor sperm quality before freezing on post-thaw sperm motility, viability, acrosome integrity, and agonist-induced acrosome reaction. Semen specimens from 16 infertile men with impaired sperm count and motility (oligoasthenozoospermia) were divided into two equal aliquots: one received no treatment (control) while the other was incubated with 5 mM PF (treated). Both aliquots were cryopreserved by the liquid nitrogen vapor method. Motility was assessed according to WHO criteria. Acrosome integrity and spontaneous and calcium ionophore-induced acrosome reactions were assessed with fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated peanut agglutinin combined with a supra-vital dye (Hoechst-33258). Cryopreservation impaired sperm motility (percentage reduction: 87.4 (interquartile range, IQ: 70.3-92.9) vs 89.1 (IQ: 72.7-96.0%)), viability (25.9 (IQ: 22.2-29.7) vs 25.6 (IQ: 19.7-40.3%)) and acrosome integrity (18.9 (IQ: 5.4-38.9) vs 26.8 (IQ: 0.0-45.2%)) to the same extent in both treated and control aliquots. However, PF treatment before freezing improved the acrosome reaction to ionophore challenge test scores in cryopreserved spermatozoa (9.7 (IQ: 6.6-19.7) vs 4.8 (IQ: 0.5-6.8%); P = 0.002). These data show that pre-freeze treatment of poor quality human sperm with pentoxifylline did not improve post-thaw motility or viability nor did it prevent acrosomal loss during the freeze-thaw process. However, PF, as used, improved the ability of thawed spermatozoa to undergo the acrosome reaction in response to calcium ionophore. The present data indicate that treatment of poor quality human sperm with PF may enhance post-thaw sperm fertilizing ability.
Abstract in English:We assessed the risk factors associated with death in patients hospitalized for juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE) and evaluated the autopsy reports. A total of 57,159 hospitalizations occurred in our institution from 1994 to 2003, 169 of them involving 71 patients with JSLE. The most recent hospitalization of these patients was evaluated. Patients were divided into two groups based on mortality during hospitalization: those who survived (N = 53) and those who died (N = 18). The main causes of hospitalization were JSLE activity associated with infection in 52% and isolated JSLE activity in 44%. Univariate analysis showed that a greater risk of death was due to severe sepsis (OR = 17.8, CI = 4.5-70.9), systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index (SLEDAI) ³8 (OR = 7.6, CI = 1.1-53.8), general infections (OR = 6.1, CI = 1.5-25), fungal infections (OR = 5.4, CI = 3.2-9), acute renal failure (OR = 5.1, CI = 2.5-10.4), acute thrombocytopenia (OR = 3.9, CI = 1.9-8.4), and bacterial infections (OR = 2.3, CI = 1.2-7.5). Stratified analysis showed that severe sepsis and SLEDAI ³8 were not confounder variables. In the multivariate analysis, logistic regression showed that the only independent variable in death prediction was severe sepsis (OR = 98, CI = 16.3-586.2). Discordance between clinical diagnosis and autopsy was observed in 6/10 cases. Mortality of hospitalized JSLE patients was associated with severe sepsis. Autopsy was important to determine events not detected or doubtful in dead patients and should always be requested.
Abstract in English:Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi is one of the important medicinal herbs widely used for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases in Asia. Baicalin (BA) is a bioactive anti-inflammatory flavone found abundantly in Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi. To explore the therapeutic potential of BA, we examined the effects of systemic administration of the flavone (5 and 10 mg/kg, ip) on relapsing/remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by proteolipid protein 139-151 in SJL/J mice, an experimental model of multiple sclerosis. The mice treated with PBS or BA at day -1 and for 3 consecutive days were observed daily for clinical signs of disease up to 60 days after immunization. In the PBS-EAE group, neurological scores were: incidence (100%), mean day of onset (8.0 ± 0.73), peak clinical score (3.0 ± 0.4), and cumulative disease index (141.8 ± 19.4). In the BA-EAE group (5 or 10 mg kg-1 day-1, respectively), incidence (95 or 90%), mean day of onset (9.0 ± 0.80 or 9.2 ± 0.75; P = 0.000), peak clinical score (2.2 ± 0.3 or 2.0 ± 0.3; P = 0.000), and cumulative disease index (75.9 ± 10.1 or 62.9 ± 8.4; P = 0.000) decreased, accompanied by the histopathological findings (decrease of dense mononuclear infiltration surrounding vascellum) for the spinal cord. Additionally, the in vitro effects of BA (5, 10, and 25 µM) on mononuclear cells collected from popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes of day-10 EAE mice were evaluated using an MTT reduction assay for cell proliferation, and ELISA to measure IFN-g and IL-4 cytokines. Compared with the control group, BA caused an increase in IL-4 (EAE-DMSO: 3.56 ± 0.42 pg/mL vs EAE-BA (5, 10, and 25 µM): 6.03 ± 1.1, 7.83 ± 0.65, 10.54 ± 1.13 pg/mL, respectively; P < 0.001); but inhibited IFN-g (EAE-DMSO: 485.76 ± 25.13 pg/mL vs EAE-BA (5, 10, and 25 µM): 87.08 ± 9.24, 36.27 ± 5.44, 19.18 ± 2.93 pg/mL, respectively; P < 0.001) and the proliferation of mononuclear cells (EAE-DMSO: 0.73 ± 0.021 vs EAE-BA (5, 10, and 25 µM): 0.41 ± 0.015, 0.31 ± 0.018, 0.21 ± 0.11, respectively; P < 0.001) in a concentration-dependent manner. The results suggest that BA might be effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.