Perioperative growth hormone treatment and functional outcome after major abdominal surgery: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. (1/21739)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate short- and long-term effects of perioperative human growth hormone (hGH) treatment on physical performance and fatigue in younger patients undergoing a major abdominal operation in a normal postoperative regimen with oral nutrition. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Muscle wasting and functional impairment follow major abdominal surgery. METHODS: Twenty-four patients with ulcerative colitis undergoing ileoanal J-pouch surgery were randomized to hGH (12 IU/day) or placebo treatment from 2 days before to 7 days after surgery. Measurements were performed 2 days before and 10, 30, and 90 days after surgery. RESULTS: The total muscle strength of four limb muscle groups was reduced by 7.6% in the hGH group and by 17.1% in the placebo group at postoperative day 10 compared with baseline values. There was also a significant difference between treatment groups in total muscle strength at day 30, and at the 90-day follow-up total muscle strength was equal to baseline values in the hGH group, but still significantly 5.9% below in the placebo group. The work capacity decreased by approximately 20% at day 10 after surgery, with no significant difference between treatment groups. Both groups were equally fatigued at day 10 after surgery, but at day 30 and 90 the hGH patients were less fatigued than the placebo patients. During the treatment period, patients receiving hGH had reduced loss of limb lean tissue mass, and 3 months after surgery the hGH patients had regained more lean tissue mass than placebo patients. CONCLUSIONS: Perioperative hGH treatment of younger patients undergoing major abdominal surgery preserved limb lean tissue mass, increased postoperative muscular strength, and reduced long-term postoperative fatigue.  (+info)

Symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: double blind controlled study of intermittent treatment with omeprazole or ranitidine. The European Study Group. (2/21739)

OBJECTIVE: To assess intermittent treatment over 12 months in patients with symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. DESIGN: Randomised, multicentre, double blind, controlled study. Patients with heartburn and normal endoscopy results or mild erosive changes received omeprazole 10 mg or 20 mg daily or ranitidine 150 mg twice daily for 2 weeks. Patients remaining symptomatic had omeprazole 10 mg or ranitidine dose doubled for another 2 weeks while omeprazole 20 mg was continued for 2 weeks. Patients who were symptomatic or mildly symptomatic were followed up for 12 months. Recurrences of moderate or severe heartburn during follow up were treated with the dose which was successful for initial symptom control. SETTING: Hospitals and primary care practices between 1994 and 1996. SUBJECTS: 677 patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Total time off active treatment, time to failure of intermittent treatment, and outcomes ranked from best to worst. RESULTS: 704 patients were randomised, 677 were eligible for analyses; 318 reached the end of the study with intermittent treatment without recourse to maintenance antisecretory drugs. The median number of days off active treatment during follow up was 142 for the entire study (281 for the 526 patients who reached a treatment related end point). Thus, about half the patients did not require treatment for at least 6 months, and this was similar in all three treatment groups. According to outcome, 378 (72%) patients were in the best outcome ranks (no relapse or one (or more) relapse but in remission until 12 months); 630 (93%) had three or fewer relapses in the intermittent treatment phase. Omeprazole 20 mg provided faster relief of heartburn. The results were similar in patients with erosive and non-erosive disease. CONCLUSIONS: Intermittent treatment is effective in managing symptoms of heartburn in half of patients with uncomplicated gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. It is simple and applicable in general practice, where most patients are seen.  (+info)

Irbesartan reduces QT dispersion in hypertensive individuals. (3/21739)

Angiotensin type 1 receptor antagonists have direct effects on the autonomic nervous system and myocardium. Because of this, we hypothesized that irbesartan would reduce QT dispersion to a greater degree than amlodipine, a highly selective vasodilator. To test this, we gathered electrocardiographic (ECG) data from a multinational, multicenter, randomized, double-blind parallel group study that compared the antihypertensive efficacy of irbesartan and amlodipine in elderly subjects with mild to moderate hypertension. Subjects were treated for 6 months with either drug. Hydrochlorothiazide and atenolol were added after 12 weeks if blood pressure (BP) remained uncontrolled. ECGs were obtained before randomization and at 6 months. A total of 188 subjects (118 with baseline ECGs) were randomized. We analyzed 104 subjects who had complete ECGs at baseline and after 6 months of treatment. Baseline characteristics between treatments were similar, apart from a slight imbalance in diastolic BP (irbesartan [n=53] versus amlodipine [n=51], 99.2 [SD 3. 6] versus 100.8 [3.8] mm Hg; P=0.03). There were no significant differences in BP normalization (diastolic BP <90 mm Hg) between treatments at 6 months (irbesartan versus amlodipine, 80% versus 88%; P=0.378). We found a significant reduction in QT indexes in the irbesartan group (QTc dispersion mean, -11.4 [34.5] milliseconds, P=0.02; QTc max, -12.8 [35.5] milliseconds, P=0.01), and QTc dispersion did not correlate with the change in BP. The reduction in QT indexes with amlodipine (QTc dispersion, -9.7 [35.4] milliseconds, P=0.06; QTc max, -8.6 [33.2] milliseconds, P=0.07) did not quite reach statistical significance, but there was a correlation between the change in QT indexes and changes in systolic BP. In conclusion, irbesartan improved QT dispersion, and this effect may be important in preventing sudden cardiac death in at-risk hypertensive subjects.  (+info)

Maternal vitamin A or beta-carotene supplementation in lactating bangladeshi women benefits mothers and infants but does not prevent subclinical deficiency. (4/21739)

The effects of maternal postpartum vitamin A or beta-carotene supplementation on maternal and infant serum retinol concentrations, modified relative dose-response (MRDR) ratios and breast milk vitamin A concentrations were assessed during a community-based trial in Matlab, Bangladesh. At 1-3 wk postpartum, women were randomly assigned to receive either (1) a single dose of 200,000 international units [60,000 retinol equivalents (RE)] vitamin A followed by daily placebos (n = 74), (2) daily doses of beta-carotene [7.8 mg (1300 RE)] (n = 73) or (3) daily placebos (n = 73) until 9 mo postpartum. Compared to placebos, vitamin A supplementation resulted in lower maternal MRDR ratios (i.e., increased liver stores) and higher milk vitamin A concentrations at 3 mo, but these improvements were not sustained. The beta-carotene supplementation acted more slowly, resulting in milk vitamin A concentrations higher than the placebo group only at 9 mo. Irrespective of treatment group, over 50% of women produced milk with low vitamin A concentrations (/=0. 06. We conclude that while both interventions were beneficial, neither was sufficient to correct the underlying subclinical vitamin A deficiency in these women nor to bring their infants into adequate vitamin A status.  (+info)

Interferon-alpha does not improve outcome at one year in patients with diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. (5/21739)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) reduces the severity of skin involvement in early (<3 years) diffuse scleroderma. METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 35 patients with early scleroderma received subcutaneous injections of either IFNalpha (13.5 x 10(6) units per week in divided doses) or indistinguishable placebo. Outcomes assessed were the modified Rodnan skin score, as determined by a single observer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months, as well as data on renal, cardiac, and lung function. Pre- and posttreatment skin biopsy samples were analyzed and blood was obtained for assessment of procollagen peptide levels. RESULTS: There were 11 withdrawals from the IFNalpha group and 3 from the placebo group due to either toxicity, lack of efficacy, or death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, there was a greater improvement in the skin score in the placebo group between 0 and 12 months (mean change IFNalpha -4.7 versus placebo -7.5; P = 0.36). There was also a greater deterioration in lung function in patients receiving active therapy, as assessed by either the forced vital capacity (mean change IFNalpha -8.2 versus placebo +1.3; P = 0.01) or the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (mean change IFNalpha -9.3 versus placebo +4.7; P = 0.002). Skin biopsy showed no significant decrease in collagen synthesis in the IFNalpha group, and no significant differences in the levels of procollagen peptides were seen between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that IFNalpha is of no value in the treatment of scleroderma, and that it may in fact be deleterious.  (+info)

Dose-loading with hydroxychloroquine improves the rate of response in early, active rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized, double-blind six-week trial with eighteen-week extension. (6/21739)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the usefulness of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) dose-loading to increase the percentage of responders or rate of response in treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: Two hundred twelve patients with early RA (mean duration 1.5 years) were enrolled in a 24-week trial. Patients were stabilized with 1,000 mg naproxen/day and then began a 6-week, double-blind trial comparing treatment with HCQ at 400 mg/day (n = 71), 800 mg/day (n = 71), and 1,200 mg/day (n = 66), followed by 18 weeks of open-label HCQ treatment at 400 mg/day. RESULTS: All patients had mild, active disease at the time of initiation of HCQ treatment (31-43% rheumatoid factor positive; no previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs; mean swollen joint count 8.6-10.4). Based on the Paulus criteria, response during the 6-week double-blind portion of the study was 47.97%, 57.7%, and 63.6% in the 400 mg/day, 800 mg/day, and 1,200 mg/day groups, respectively (P = 0.052). Discontinuations for adverse events were dose related (3 in the 400 mg/day group, 5 in the 800 mg/day group, 6 in the 1,200 mg/day group). Most involved the gastrointestinal (GI) system, with the background naproxen treatment possibly contributing. Ocular abnormalities occurred in 17 of 212 patients (8%) but were not dose related. CONCLUSION: Dose-loading with HCQ increased the degree of response at 6 weeks in this group of patients with early, predominantly seronegative RA. Adverse GI events were dose related, while adverse ocular events were not.  (+info)

Malaria prophylaxis using azithromycin: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. (7/21739)

New drugs are needed for preventing drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The prophylactic efficacy of azithromycin against P. falciparum in malaria-immune Kenyans was 83%. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to determine the prophylactic efficacy of azithromycin against multidrug-resistant P. falciparum malaria and chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium vivax malaria in Indonesian adults with limited immunity. After radical cure therapy, 300 randomized subjects received azithromycin (148 subjects, 750-mg loading dose followed by 250 mg/d), placebo (77), or doxycycline (75, 100 mg/d). The end point was slide-proven parasitemia. There were 58 P. falciparum and 29 P. vivax prophylaxis failures over 20 weeks. Using incidence rates, the protective efficacy of azithromycin relative to placebo was 71.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 50.3-83.8) against P. falciparum malaria and 98.9% (95% CI, 93.1-99.9) against P. vivax malaria. Corresponding figures for doxycycline were 96.3% (95% CI, 85.4-99.6) and 98% (95% CI, 88.0-99.9), respectively. Daily azithromycin offered excellent protection against P. vivax malaria but modest protection against P. falciparum malaria.  (+info)

Beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism and bronchoprotective sensitivity with regular short- and long-acting beta2-agonist therapy. (8/21739)

The aim of the present study was to investigate bronchoprotective sensitivity in patients receiving regular treatment with short- and long-acting beta2-agonists and to evaluate any possible association with genetic polymorphism. Thirty-eight patients with stable mild to moderate asthma and receiving inhaled corticosteroids were randomized in a parallel group, double-blind, double-dummy fashion to receive 2 weeks of treatment with either formoterol (12 microg once daily, 6 microg twice daily or 24 microg twice daily) or terbutaline (500 microg four times daily). Bronchoprotection against methacholine challenge (as a provocative dose to produce a 20% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1.0 s: PD20) was measured at baseline (unprotected) after an initial 1 week run-in without beta2-agonist, and at 1 h after the first and last doses of each treatment. The PD20 values were log-transformed and calculated as change from baseline. Percentage desensitization of log PD20 for first- versus last-dose bronchoprotection was calculated and analysed according to effects of treatment and beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. The mean degree of desensitization for bronchoprotection was comparable with all four treatments and there were no significant differences in absolute PD20 values after 2 weeks of chronic dosing. The PD20 values were (as microg of methacholine, geometric means+/-S. E.M.): formoterol, 12 microg once daily, 99+/-42 microg; formoterol, 6 microg twice daily, 107+/-44 microg; formoterol, 24 microg twice daily, 108+/-45 microg; terbutaline, 500 microg four times daily, 88+/-37 microg. All patients receiving formoterol, 24 microg twice daily, exhibited a loss of protection greater than 30% which was unrelated to polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. For codon 16, the use of lower doses of formoterol (12 microg once daily or 6 microg twice daily) showed wider variability in the propensity for protection loss in patients who were heterozygous, in contrast to a more uniform protection loss seen with homozygous glycine patients. The amount of protection loss was not significantly related to polymorphism at codon 16 or 27, expressed as values (mean+/-S.E.M.) for percentage desensitization according to each genotype (pooled treatments): Gly-16, 66+/-11%; Het-16, 53+/-8%; Arg-16, 69+/-18%; Glu-27, 68+/-12%; Het-27, 58+/-8%; Gln-27, 52+/-12%. The results of this preliminary study showed that bronchoprotective desensitization occurred readily in response to short- or long-acting beta2-agonist exposure irrespective of beta2-adrenoceptor polymorphism at codon 16 or 27. Further studies with larger patient numbers are required to further evaluate the effects of polymorphisms with lower doses of regular formoterol.  (+info)