Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Clinics]]> vol. 70 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Relationship of the total atrial conduction time to subclinical atherosclerosis, inflammation and echocardiographic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus]]> OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to evaluate the total atrial conduction time and its relationship to subclinical atherosclerosis, inflammation and echocardiographic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. METHODS: A total of 132 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (mean age 54.5±9.6 years; 57.6% male) and 80 age- and gender-matched controls were evaluated. The total atrial conduction time was measured by tissue-Doppler imaging and the carotid intima-media thickness was measured by B-mode ultrasonography. RESULTS: The total atrial conduction time was significantly longer in the patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus than in the control group (131.7±23.6 vs. 113.1±21.3, p&lt;0.001). The patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus had significantly increased carotid intima-media thicknesses, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratios and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels than those of the controls. The total atrial conduction time was positively correlated with the high-sensitivity C-reactive protein level, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, carotid intima-media thickness and left atrial volume index and negatively correlated with the early diastolic velocity (Em), Em/late diastolic velocity (Am) ratio and global peak left atrial longitudinal strain. A multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio, carotid intima-media thickness and global peak left atrial longitudinal strain were independent predictors of the total atrial conduction time. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that subclinical atherosclerosis and inflammation may represent a mechanism related to prolonged total atrial conduction time and that prolonged total atrial conduction time and impaired left atrial myocardial deformation may be represent early subclinical cardiac involvement in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. <![CDATA[Immunohistochemical analysis of the neural structures of the posterior cruciate ligament in osteoarthritis patients submitted to total knee arthroplasty: an analysis of thirty-four cases]]> OBJECTIVES: Many authors recommend posterior cruciate ligament-retaining arthroplasty with the intention to maintain the proprioception properties of this ligament. Preservation of the neuroreceptors and nervous fibers may be essential for retaining the proprioception function of the posterior cruciate ligament. The present study was thus developed to evaluate the presence of neural structures in the posterior cruciate ligament resected during posterior stabilized arthroplasty in osteoarthritis patients. In particular, clinical, radiographic and histological parameters were correlated with the presence or absence of neural structures in the posterior cruciate ligament. METHODS: In total, 34 posterior cruciate ligament specimens were stained with hematoxylin-eosin and Gomori trichrome. An immunohistochemical analysis using antibodies against the S100 protein and neurofilaments was also performed. The presence of neural structures was correlated with parameters such as tibiofemoral angulation, histological degeneration of the posterior cruciate ligament, Ahlbäck radiological classification, age, gender and the histologic pattern of the synovial neurovascular bundle around the posterior cruciate ligament. RESULTS: In total, 67.5% of the cases presented neural structures in the posterior cruciate ligament. In 65% of the cases, the neurovascular bundle was degenerated. Nervous structures were more commonly detected in varus knees than in valgus knees (77% versus 50%). Additionally, severe histologic degeneration of the posterior cruciate ligament was related to neurovascular bundle degeneration. CONCLUSIONS: Severe posterior cruciate ligament degeneration was related to neurovascular bundle compromise. Neural structures were more commonly detected in varus knees. Intrinsic neural structures were detected in the majority of the posterior cruciate ligaments of patients submitted to knee arthroplasty for osteoarthritis. <![CDATA[Excess body weight in children may increase the length of hospital stay]]> OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence of excess body weight in the pediatric ward of University Hospital and to test both the association between initial nutritional diagnosis and the length of stay and the in-hospital variation in nutritional status. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study based on information entered in clinical records from University Hospital. The data were collected from a convenience sample of 91 cases among children aged one to 10 years admitted to the hospital in 2009. The data that characterize the sample are presented in a descriptive manner. Additionally, we performed a multivariate linear regression analysis adjusted for age and gender. RESULTS: Nutritional classification at baseline showed that 87.8% of the children had a normal weight and that 8.9% had excess weight. The linear regression models showed that the average weight loss z-score of the children with excess weight compared with the group with normal weight was −0.48 (p = 0.018) and that their length of stay was 2.37 days longer on average compared with that of the normal-weight group (p = 0.047). CONCLUSIONS: The length of stay and loss of weight at the hospital may be greater among children with excess weight than among children with normal weight. <![CDATA[Increased risk of depression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a seven-year population-based cohort study]]> OBJECTIVE: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a costly and crippling autoimmune disease that can lead to the development of depression, contributing to suboptimal clinical outcomes. However, no longitudinal studies have identified an association between rheumatoid arthritis and subsequent depression. This study aimed to investigate the incidence and risk factors of depression among RA patients in Taiwan. METHODS: Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 3,698 newly diagnosed RA patients aged 18 years or older, together with 7,396 subjects without RA matched by sex, age and index date, between 2000 and 2004. The incidence of depression and the risk factors among RA cases were evaluated using Cox proportional-hazard regression. RESULTS: The incidence of depression was 1.74-fold greater in the RA cohort than in the non-RA cohort (11.80 versus 6.89 per 1,000 person-years; p&lt;0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that RA subjects who were female, were older, or had comorbidities such as stroke, chronic kidney disease, or cancer had a significantly greater risk of depression compared with those without these conditions. CONCLUSION: This population-based cohort study showed a strong relationship between RA and a subsequent risk of depression. The findings could be beneficial to healthcare providers for identifying individuals with a higher predisposition for depression, thereby possibly facilitating the provision of an appropriate rehabilitation intervention after RA onset to support the patient's adaptation. <![CDATA[Comparison of pre- and post-levothyroxine high-sensitivity c-reactive protein and fetuin-a levels in subclinical hypothyroidism]]> OBJECTIVE: The objective of this trial was to determine the levels of inflammatory markers, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fetuin-A pre- and post-levothyroxine treatment in cases of subclinical hypothyroidism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 32 patients with a diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism and a control group of 30 healthy individuals were tested for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fetuin-A, followed by the administration of 50 µg of levothyroxine in the patient group for 3 months. During the post-treatment stage, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fetuin-A levels in the patient group were re-assessed and compared with pre-treatment values. RESULTS: Pre-treatment levels of both high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and fetuin-A were observed to be higher in the patient group than in the control group. The decrease in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels during the post-treatment stage was not statistically significant. However, the decrease observed in post-treatment fetuin-A levels was found to be statistically significant. CONCLUSION: The decrease in fetuin-A levels in subclinical hypothyroidism cases indicates that levothyroxine treatment exerts anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. Although the decrease in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels was statistically non-significant, it is predicted to reach significance with sustained treatment. <![CDATA[Improvement in medication adherence and self-management of diabetes with a clinical pharmacy program: a randomized controlled trial in patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing insulin therapy at a teaching hospital]]> OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a clinical pharmacy program on health outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing insulin therapy at a teaching hospital in Brazil. METHOD: A randomized controlled trial with a 6-month follow-up period was performed in 70 adults, aged 45 years or older, with type 2 diabetes who were taking insulin and who had an HbA1c level ≥8%. Patients in the control group (CG) (n = 36) received standard care, patients in the intervention group (IG) (n = 34) received an individualized pharmacotherapeutic care plan and diabetes education. The primary outcome measure was change in HbA1c. Secondary outcomes included diabetes and medication knowledge, adherence to medication, insulin injection and home blood glucose monitoring techniques and diabetes-related quality of life. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline and 6 months using questionnaires. RESULTS: Diabetes knowledge, medication knowledge, adherence to medication and correct insulin injection and home blood glucose monitoring techniques significantly improved in the intervention group but remained unchanged in the control group. At the end of the study, mean HbA1c values in the control group remained unchanged but were significantly reduced in the intervention group. Diabetes-related quality of life significantly improved in the intervention group but worsened significantly in the control group. CONCLUSION: The program improved health outcomes and resulted in better glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes undergoing insulin therapy. <![CDATA[What is the influence of hormone therapy on homocysteine and crp levels in postmenopausal women?]]> OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the influence of estrogen therapy and estrogen-progestin therapy on homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels in postmenopausal women. METHODS: In total, 99 postmenopausal women were included in this double-blind, randomized clinical trial and divided into three groups: Group A used estrogen therapy alone (2.0 mg of 17β-estradiol), Group B received estrogen-progestin therapy (2.0 mg of 17 β-estradiol +1.0 mg of norethisterone acetate) and Group C received a placebo (control). The length of treatment was six months. Serum measurements of homocysteine and C-reactive protein were carried out prior to the onset of treatment and following six months of therapy. RESULTS: After six months of treatment, there was a 20.7% reduction in homocysteine levels and a 100.5% increase in C-reactive protein levels in the group of women who used estrogen therapy. With respect to the estrogen-progestin group, there was a 12.2% decrease in homocysteine levels and a 93.5% increase in C-reactive protein levels. CONCLUSION: Our data suggested that hormone therapy (unopposed estrogen or estrogen associated with progestin) may have a positive influence on decreasing cardiovascular risk due to a significant reduction in homocysteine levels. <![CDATA[Surgical treatment of the osteoporotic spine with bone cement-injectable cannulated pedicle screw fixation: technical description and preliminary application in 43 patients]]> OBJECTIVES: To describe a new approach for the application of polymethylmethacrylate augmentation of bone cement-injectable cannulated pedicle screws. METHODS: Between June 2010 and February 2013, 43 patients with degenerative spinal disease and osteoporosis (T-score &lt;-2.5) underwent lumbar fusion using cement-injectable cannulated pedicle screws. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using a Visual Analog Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index. Patients were given radiographic follow-up examinations after 3, 6, and 12 months and once per year thereafter. RESULTS: All patients were followed for a mean of 15.7±5.6 months (range, 6 to 35 months). The Visual Analog Scale and Oswestry Disability Index scores showed a significant reduction in back pain (p = 0.018) and an improvement in lower extremity function (p = 0.025) in patients who underwent lumbar fusion using the novel screw. Intraoperative cement leakage occurred in four patients, but no neurological complications were observed. Radiological observation indicated no loosening or pulling out of the novel screw, and bone fusion was excellent. CONCLUSIONS: The described polymethylmethacrylate augmentation technique using bone cement-injectable cannulated pedicle screws can reduce pain and improve spinal dysfunction in osteoporotic patients undergoing osteoporotic spine surgery. <![CDATA[Repeated microendoscopic discectomy for recurrent lumbar disk herniation]]> OBJECTIVES: To explore the microendoscopic discectomy technique and inclusion criteria for the treatment of recurrent lumbar disc herniation and to supply feasible criteria and technical notes to avoid complications and to increase the therapeutic effect. METHODS: A consecutive series of 25 patients who underwent posterior microendoscopic discectomy for recurrent lumbar disc herniation were included. The inclusion criteria were as follows: no severe pain in the lumbar region, no lumbar instability observed by flexion-extension radiography and no intervertebral discitis or endplate damage observed by magnetic resonance imaging. All patients were diagnosed by clinical manifestations and imaging examinations. RESULTS: Follow-up visits were carried out in all cases. Complications, such as nerve injuries, were not observed. The follow-up outcomes were graded using the MacNab criteria. A grade of excellent was given to 12 patients, good to 12 patients and fair to 1 patient. A grade of excellent or good occurred in 96% of cases. One patient relapsed 3 months after surgery and then underwent lumbar interbody fusion and inner fixation. The numerical rating scale of preoperative leg pain was 7.4± 1.5, whereas it decreased to 2.1±0.8 at 7 days after surgery. The preoperative Oswestry disability index of lumbar function was 57.5±10.0, whereas it was 26.0±8.5 at 7 days after surgery. CONCLUSION: In these cases, microendoscopic discectomy was able to achieve satisfactory clinical results. Furthermore, it has advantages over other methods because of its smaller incision, reduced bleeding and more efficient recovery. <![CDATA[Effects of ischemic preconditioning in a pig model of large-for-size liver transplantation]]> OBJECTIVE: In most cases of pediatric liver transplantation, the clinical scenario of large-for-size transplants can lead to hepatic dysfunction and a decreased blood supply to the liver graft. The objective of the present experimental investigation was to evaluate the effects of ischemic preconditioning on this clinical entity. METHODS: Eighteen pigs were divided into three groups and underwent liver transplantation: a control group, in which the weights of the donors were similar to those of the recipients, a large-for-size group, and a large-for-size + ischemic preconditioning group. Blood samples were collected from the recipients to evaluate the pH and the sodium, potassium, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels. In addition, hepatic tissue was sampled from the recipients for histological evaluation, immunohistochemical analyses to detect hepatocyte apoptosis and proliferation and molecular analyses to evaluate the gene expression of Bax (pro-apoptotic), Bcl-XL (anti-apoptotic), c-Fos and c-Jun (immediate-early genes), ischemia-reperfusion-related inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, TNF-alpha and IL-6, which is also a stimulator of hepatocyte regeneration), intracellular adhesion molecule, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (a mediator of the protective effect of ischemic preconditioning) and TGF-beta (a pro-fibrogenic cytokine). RESULTS: All animals developed acidosis. At 1 hour and 3 hours after reperfusion, the animals in the large-for-size and large-for-size + ischemic preconditioning groups had decreased serum levels of Na and increased serum levels of K and aspartate aminotransferase compared with the control group. The molecular analysis revealed higher expression of the Bax, TNF-alpha, I-CAM and TGF-beta genes in the large-for-size group compared with the control and large-for-size + ischemic preconditioning groups. Ischemic preconditioning was responsible for an increase in c-Fos, IL-1, IL-6 and e-NOS gene expression. CONCLUSION: Ischemia-reperfusion injury in this model of large-for-size liver transplantation could be partially attenuated by ischemic preconditioning. <![CDATA[Trypsin inhibitor from <em>tamarindus indica</em> L. seeds reduces weight gain and food consumption and increases plasmatic cholecystokinin levels]]> OBJECTIVES: Seeds are excellent sources of proteinase inhibitors, some of which may have satietogenic and slimming actions. We evaluated the effect of a trypsin inhibitor from Tamarindus indica L. seeds on weight gain, food consumption and cholecystokinin levels in Wistar rats. METHODS: A trypsin inhibitor from Tamarindus was isolated using ammonium sulfate (30-60%) following precipitation with acetone and was further isolated with Trypsin-Sepharose affinity chromatography. Analyses were conducted to assess the in vivo digestibility, food intake, body weight evolution and cholecystokinin levels in Wistar rats. Histological analyses of organs and biochemical analyses of sera were performed. RESULTS: The trypsin inhibitor from Tamarindus reduced food consumption, thereby reducing weight gain. The in vivo true digestibility was not significantly different between the control and Tamarindus trypsin inhibitor-treated groups. The trypsin inhibitor from Tamarindus did not cause alterations in biochemical parameters or liver, stomach, intestine or pancreas histology. Rats treated with the trypsin inhibitor showed significantly elevated cholecystokinin levels compared with animals receiving casein or water. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that the isolated trypsin inhibitor from Tamarindus reduces weight gain by reducing food consumption, an effect that may be mediated by increased cholecystokinin. Thus, the potential use of this trypsin inhibitor in obesity prevention and/or treatment should be evaluated. <![CDATA[Steroidogenesis-related gene expression in the rat ovary exposed to melatonin supplementation]]> OBJECTIVE: To analyze steroidogenesis-related gene expression in the rat ovary exposed to melatonin supplementation. METHODS: Thirty-two virgin adult female rats were randomized to two groups as follows: the control group GI received vehicle and the experimental group GII received melatonin supplementation (10 µg/night per animal) for 60 consecutive days. After the treatment, animals were anesthetized and the collected ovaries were immediately placed in liquid nitrogen for complementary deoxyribonucleic acid microarray analyses. A GeneChip¯ Kit Rat Genome 230 2.0 Affymetrix Array was used for gene analysis and the experiment was repeated three times for each group. The results were normalized with the GeneChip¯ Operating Software program and confirmed through analysis with the secondary deoxyribonucleic acid-Chip Analyzer (dChip) software. The data were confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. Genes related to ovarian function were further confirmed by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: We found the upregulation of the type 9 adenylate cyclase and inhibin beta B genes and the downregulation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element modulator and cytochrome P450 family 17a1 genes in the ovarian tissue of GII compared to those of the control group. CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that melatonin supplementation decreases gene expression of cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which changes ovarian steroidogenesis. <![CDATA[Psychosocial factors and T lymphocyte counts in Brazilian peacekeepers]]> OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations between psychosocial factors and peripheral blood CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte numbers in Brazilian peacekeepers. METHODS: Venous blood was collected from 759 peacekeepers who had just returned from a peace mission in Haiti. Among the 759 soldiers, 642 individuals completed the psychosocial measures. CD4 and CD8 T lymphocyte counts were measured by flow cytometry using a commercially available kit. Psychosocial factors, including military peace force stressors, clinical stress, anxiety and depression, were recorded. As a reference for T lymphocyte numbers, we measured T lymphocyte counts in 75 blood donors from the Instituto de Biologia do Exército, Rio de Janeiro. RESULTS: The median numbers of CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes in the blood donors were 819 cells/µl and 496 cells/µl, respectively, with a CD4:CD8 ratio of 1.6. Significantly (p&lt;0.05) lower CD4 T cell counts (759 cells/µl) were recorded for peacekeepers, with similar CD8 levels (548 cells/µl) and smaller CD4:CD8 ratios (1.3, p&lt;0.001) compared to blood donors. These differences were due to a group of 14 military personnel with CD4 and CD8 medians of 308 and 266 cells/µl, respectively. Only one (7.1%) of these 14 individuals was diagnosed with clinical stress compared with 13.5% of the individuals with normal levels of CD4 T lymphocytes. One individual out of 628 (0.16%) had a Lipp's Stress Symptom Inventory score of 3, indicating near exhaustion. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of psychological disorders was low and there were no associations with CD4 or CD8 T cell numbers.