Abstract in English:Biliary atresia, the most common cause of liver transplantation in children, remains a challenge for clinicians and investigators. The development of new therapeutic options, besides the typical hepatoportoenterostomy, depends on a greater understanding of its pathogenesis and how it relates to the clinical phenotypes at diagnosis and the rate of disease progression. In this review, we present a perspective of how recent research has advanced the understanding of the disease and has improved clinical care protocols. Molecular and morphological analyses at diagnosis point to the potential contributions of polymorphism in the CFC1 and VEGF genes to the pathogenesis of the disease, and to an association between the degree of bile duct proliferation and long-term outcome. In experimental models, cholangiocytes do not appear to have antigen-presenting properties despite a substantial innate and adaptive immune response that targets the biliary epithelium and produces duct obstruction. Initial clinical trials assessing the efficacy of corticosteroids in decreasing the inflammation and improving outcome do not show a superior effect of corticosteroids as an adjuvant treatment following hepatoportoenterostomy. The best outcome still remains linked to an early diagnosis and surgical treatment. In this regard, the Yellow Alert campaign by the Sociedade Brasileira de Pediatria and the inclusion of the Stool Color Card in the health booklet given to every neonate in Brazil have the potential to decrease the age of diagnosis, shorten the time between diagnosis and surgical treatment, and improve the long-term outcome of children with this devastating disease.
Abstract in English:Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a world-wide public health problem, with adverse outcomes of kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. This finding has led to the hypothesis that earlier recognition of kidney disease and successful intervention may improve outcome. The National Kidney Foundation, through its Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI), and other National institutions recommend glomerular filtration rate (GFR) for the definition, classification, screening, and monitoring of CKD. Blood creatinine clearance, the most widely used clinical marker of kidney function, is now recognized as an unreliable measure of GFR because serum creatinine is affected by age, weight, muscle mass, race, various medications, and extra-glomerular elimination. Cystatin C concentration is a new and promising marker for kidney dysfunction in both native and transplanted kidneys. Because of its low molecular weight, cystatin C is freely filtered at the glomerulus and is almost completely reabsorbed and catabolized, but not secreted, by tubular cells. Given these characteristics, cystatin C concentration may be superior to creatinine concentration in detecting chronic kidney disease. This review aims to evaluate from recent literature the clinical efficiency and relevance of these GFR markers in terms of screening CKD.
Abstract in English:Occupational therapy (OT) is a profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation, by enabling handicapped people to participate in the activities of everyday life. OT is part of the clinical rehabilitation of progressive genetic neurodegenerative diseases such as spinocerebellar ataxias; however, its effects have never been determined in these diseases. Our aim was to investigate the effect of OT on both physical disabilities and depressive symptoms of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) patients. Genomically diagnosed SCA3 patients older than 18 years were invited to participate in the study. Disability, as evaluated by functional independence measurement and Barthel incapacitation score, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and World Health Organization Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), was determined at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of treatment. Twenty-six patients agreed to participate in the study. All were treated because OT prevents blinding of a control group. Fifteen sessions of rehabilitative OT were applied over a period of 6 months. Difficult access to food, clothing, personal hygiene, and leisure were some of the main disabilities focused by these patients. After this treatment, disability scores and quality of life were stable, and the Hamilton scores for depression improved. Since no medication was started up to 6 months before or during OT, this improvement was related to our intervention. No association was found between these endpoints and a CAG tract of the MJD1 gene (CAGn), age, age of onset, or neurological scores at baseline (Spearman test). Although the possibly temporary stabilization of the downhill disabilities as an effect of OT remains to be established, its clear effect on depressive symptoms confirms the recommendation of OT to any patient with SCA3 or spinocerebellar ataxia.
Abstract in English:Early diagnosis plays a vital role in controlling tuberculosis. The conventional methodology is slow, with results taking several weeks, in addition to having low sensitivity, especially in clinical paucibacillary samples. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on solid medium culture for a rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis, mainly in cases of negative sputum smears. Forty sputum samples were collected from inpatients with tuberculosis treated for less than 2 days. Bacilloscopy, PCR for sputum, culture on Löwestein-Jensen (LJ) solid medium, and daily PCR from culture were performed on each sample. DNA extracted from the BCG vaccine, which contains attenuated bacillus Calmette-Guérin, was used as the positive control. Smear microscopy showed 68.6% sensitivity, 80% specificity, 96% positive predictive value, and 26.7% negative predictive value, with culture on LJ medium as the gold standard. Culture at day 28 showed 74.3% sensitivity and 100% specificity. PCR of DNA extracted from sputum amplified a 1027-bp fragment of the 16s RNA gene, showing 22.9% sensitivity and 60% specificity. PCR performed with DNA extracted from daily culture showed that, from the 17th to the 40th day, the sensitivity (85.7%) and specificity (60%) were constant. We conclude that a 17-day culture is a good choice for rapid diagnosis and to interfere with the transmission chain of tuberculosis.
Abstract in English:Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a pharmacogenetic disease triggered by volatile anesthetics and succinylcholine. Deaths due to MH have been reported in Brazil. The first Malignant Hyperthermia Diagnostic and Research Center in Latin America was inaugurated in 1993 at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The center followed the diagnostic protocols of the North America MH Group, in which the contractures of biopsies from the vastus lateralis muscle are analyzed after exposure to caffeine and halothane (CHCT). CHCT was performed in individuals who survived, their relatives and those with signs/symptoms somewhat related to MH susceptibility (MHS). Here, we report data from 194 patients collected over 16 years. The Southeast (N = 110) and South (N = 71) represented the majority of patients. Median age was 25 (4-70) years, with similar numbers of males (104) and females (90). MHS was found in 90 patients and 104 patients were normal. Abnormal responses to both caffeine and halothane were observed in 59 patients and to caffeine or halothane in 20 and 11 patients, respectively. The contracture of biopsies from MHS exposed to caffeine and halothane was 1.027 ± 0.075 g (N = 285) and 4.021 ± 0.255 g (N = 226), respectively. MHS was found in patients with either low or high blood creatine kinase and also, with a low score on the clinical grading scale. Thus, these parameters cannot be used with certainty to predict MHS. We conclude that the CHCT protocol described by the North America MH Group contributed to identification of MHS in suspected individuals at an MH center in Brazil with 100% sensitivity and 65.7% specificity.
Abstract in English:Interstitial fibrosis and tubular atrophy (IF/TA) are the most common cause of renal graft failure. Chronic transplant glomerulopathy (CTG) is present in approximately 1.5-3.0% of all renal grafts. We retrospectively studied the contribution of CTG and recurrent post-transplant glomerulopathies (RGN) to graft loss. We analyzed 123 patients with chronic renal allograft dysfunction and divided them into three groups: CTG (N = 37), RGN (N = 21), and IF/TA (N = 65). Demographic data were analyzed and the variables related to graft function identified by statistical methods. CTG had a significantly lower allograft survival than IF/TA. In a multivariate analysis, protective factors for allograft outcomes were: use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI; hazard ratio (HR) = 0.12, P = 0.001), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF; HR = 0.17, P = 0.026), hepatitis C virus (HR = 7.29, P = 0.003), delayed graft function (HR = 5.32, P = 0.016), serum creatinine ≥1.5 mg/dL at the 1st year post-transplant (HR = 0.20, P = 0.011), and proteinuria ≥0.5 g/24 h at the 1st year post-transplant (HR = 0.14, P = 0.004). The presence of glomerular damage is a risk factor for allograft loss (HR = 4.55, P = 0.015). The presence of some degree of chronic glomerular damage in addition to the diagnosis of IF/TA was the most important risk factor associated with allograft loss since it could indicate chronic active antibody-mediated rejection. ACEI and MMF were associated with better outcomes, indicating that they might improve graft survival.
Abstract in English:Genetic polymorphisms of adrenergic receptors (ARs) have been associated with the development, progression, and prognosis of patients with heart failure (HF), with few data for the Brazilian population. We evaluated the role of the β2-AR Thr164Ile polymorphism at codon 164 on prognosis in a prospective study on 315 adult Brazilian HF patients, predominantly middle-aged Caucasian men in functional class I-II, with severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood and β2-AR164 genotypes were detected by PCR followed by restriction fragment length analysis. During a median follow-up of 3 years, 95 deaths occurred and 57 (60%) were HF-related. Unexpectedly, Ile164 carriers (N = 12) had no HF-related events (log-rank P value = 0.13). Analysis using genotype combination with β1-AR polymorphisms at codons 49 and 389 identified patients with favorable genotypes (Thr164Ile of β2-AR, Gly49Gly of β1-AR and/or Gly389Gly of β1-AR), who had lower HF-related mortality (P = 0.01). In a Cox proportional hazard model adjusted for other clinical characteristics, having any of the favorable genotypes remained as independent predictor of all-cause (hazard ratio (HR): 0.41, 95%CI: 0.17-0.95) and HF-related mortality (HR: 0.12, 95%CI: 0.02-0.90). These data show that the β2-AR Thr164Ile polymorphism had an impact on prognosis in a Brazilian cohort of HF patients. When combined with common β1-AR polymorphisms, a group of patients with a combination of favorable genotypes could be identified.
Abstract in English:The objective of this study was to identify intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), angiographic and metabolic parameters related to restenosis in patients with dysglycemia. Seventy consecutive patients (77 lesions) selected according to inclusion and exclusion criteria were evaluated by the oral glucose tolerance test and the determination of insulinemia after a successful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with a bare-metal stent. The degree of insulin resistance was calculated by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Six-month IVUS and angiogram follow-up were performed. Thirty-nine patients (55.7%) had dysglycemia. The restenosis rate in the dysglycemic group was 37.2 vs 23.5% in the euglycemic group (P = 0.299). The predictors of restenosis using bivariate analysis were reference vessel diameter (RVD): £2.93 mm (RR = 0.54; 95%CI = 0.05-0.78; P = 0.048), stent area (SA): <8.91 mm² (RR = 0.66; 95%CI = 0.24-0.85; P = 0.006), stent volume (SV): <119.75 mm³ (RR = 0.74; 95%CI = 0.38-0.89; P = 0.0005), HOMA-IR: >2.063 (RR = 0.44; 95%CI = 0.14-0.64; P = 0.027), and fasting plasma glucose (FPG): ≤108.8 mg/dL (RR = 0.53; 95%CI = 0.13-0.75; P = 0.046). SV was an independent predictor of restenosis by multivariable analysis. Dysglycemia is a common clinical condition in patients submitted to PCI. The degree of insulin resistance, FPG, RVD, SA, and SV were correlated with restenosis. SV was inversely correlated with an independent predictor of restenosis in patients treated with a bare-metal stent.
Abstract in English:Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) is rare in the pediatric population, accounting for 2-3% of childhood leukemia cases, with an annual incidence of one case per million children. The low toxicity profile of imatinib mesylate has led to its approval as a front-line therapy in children for whom interferon treatment has failed or who have relapsed after allogeneic transplantation. We describe the positive responses of 2 children (case 1 - from a 7-year-old male since May 2005; case 2 - from a 5-year-old female since June 2006) with Philadelphia-positive chromosome CML treated with imatinib (300 mg/day, orally) for up to 28 months, as evaluated by morphological, cytogenetic, and molecular approaches. Our patients are alive, are in the chronic phase, and are in continuous morphological complete remission.
Abstract in English:The effect of physical exercise on the treatment of depressive elderly adults has not been investigated thus far in terms of changes in cortical hemispheric activity. The objective of the present study was to identify changes in depressive symptoms, quality of life, and cortical asymmetry produced by aerobic activity. Elderly subjects with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (DSM-IV) were included. Twenty patients (70% females, 71 ± 3 years) were divided into an exercise group (pharmacological treatment plus aerobic training) and a control group (undergoing pharmacological treatment) in a quasi-experimental design. Pharmacological treatment was maintained stable throughout the study (antidepressants and anxiolytics). Subjects were evaluated by depression scales (Beck Depression Inventory, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale) and the Short Form Health Survey-36, and electroencephalographic measurements (frontal and parietal alpha asymmetry) before and after 1 year of treatment. After 1 year, the control group showed a decrease in cortical activity on the right hemisphere (increase of alpha power), which was not observed in the exercise group. The exercise group showed a significant decrease of depressive symptoms, which was not observed in the control group. This result was also accompanied by improved treatment response and remission rate after 1 year of aerobic exercise associated with treatment. This study provides support for the effect of aerobic training on alpha activity and on depressive symptoms in elderly patients. Exercise facilitates the treatment of depressive elderly adults, leading to clinical and physical improvement and protecting against a decrease in cortical activity.
Abstract in English:Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is an appropriate method for the evaluation of axillary status in cases of early breast cancer. We report our experience in treating cases evaluated using SLNB. We analyzed a total of 1192 cases assessed by means of SLNB from July 1999 to December 2007. SLNB processing was successfully completed in 1154 cases with the use of blue dye or radiolabeled 99mTc-Dextran-500, or both. Of these 1154 patients, 857 were N0(i-) (no regional lymph node metastasis, negative immunohistochemistry, IHC), 96 were N0(i+) (no regional lymph node metastasis histologically, positive IHC, no IHC cluster greater than 0.2 mm) and 201 were N1mi (greater than 0.2 mm, none greater than 2.0 mm). Most of the tumors (70%) were invasive ductal carcinomas and tumors were staged as T1 in 770 patients (65%). A total of 274 patients underwent SLNB and axillary dissections up to April 2003. The inclusion criteria were tumor size equal to or less than 3 cm in diameter, no clinically palpable axillary lymph nodes, no neoadjuvant therapy. In 19 cases, the SLN could not be identified intraoperatively. A false-negative rate of 11% and a negative predictive value of 88.2% were obtained for the 255 assessable patients. The overall concordance between SLNB and axillary lymph node status was 92%. SLNB sensitivity for nodes was 81% and specificity was 100%. The higher sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and lower false-negative rates of SLNB suggest that this method may be an appropriate alternative to total axillary dissection in early breast cancer patients.