Various forms of chemically induced liver injury and their detection by diagnostic procedures.
A large number of chemical agents, administered for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes, can produce various types of hepatic injury by several mechanisms. Some agents are intrinsically hepatotoxic, and others produce hepatic injury only in the rare, uniquely susceptible individual. Idiosyncrasy of the host is the mechanism for most types of drug-induced hepatic injury. It may reflect allergy to the drug or a metabolic aberation of the host permitting the accumulation of hepatotoxic metabolites. The syndromes of hepatic disease produced by drugs have been classified hepatocellular, hepatocanalicular, mixed and canalicular. Measurement of serum enzyme activities has provided a powerful tool for studies of hepatotoxicity. Their measurement requires awareness of relative specificity, knowledge of the mechanisms involved, and knowledge of the relationship between known hepatotoxic states and elevated enzyme activities. (+info)
Comparison of a parasite lactate dehydrogenase-based immunochromatographic antigen detection assay (OptiMAL) with microscopy for the detection of malaria parasites in human blood samples.
Microscopic examination of blood smears remains the gold standard for malaria diagnosis, but is labor-intensive and requires skilled operators. Rapid dipstick technology provides a potential alternative. A study was conducted in The Gambia to compare the performance of OptiMAL, an immunochromatographic antigen detection assay for the diagnosis of malaria using parasite lactate dehydrogenase, against standard microscopy in patients with suspected malaria. For initial diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum, irrespective of stage, this assay had a sensitivity of 91.3%, a specificity of 92%, a positive predictive value of 87.2%, and a negative predictive value of 94.7%. The sensitivity of the test decreased markedly at parasitemias < 0.01%. This assay can be used for the diagnosis of malaria in areas where microscopy is not available and for urgent malaria diagnosis at night and at weekends, when routine laboratories are closed and when relatively inexperienced microscopists may be on duty. (+info)
Underestimation of acute pancreatitis: patients with only a small increase in amylase/lipase levels can also have or develop severe acute pancreatitis.
BACKGROUND: In most treatment studies on acute pancreatitis, pancreatologists base their diagnosis on amylase/lipase levels more than three times above the upper limit of normal (>3n) and thus exclude patients with smaller enzyme level increases. The recommendations derived from the results of treatment studies do not take into account such patients. Non-pancreatologists frequently believe that only patients with high enzyme levels have a serious prognosis. AIMS: To question the assumption that high enzyme levels indicate severe, and conversely low enzyme levels indicate mild, acute pancreatitis. PATIENTS/METHODS: This retrospective study includes 284 consecutive patients with a first attack of acute pancreatitis. The cause was biliary in 114 (40%) patients, alcoholism in 83 (29%), other in 21 (7%), and unknown in 66 (23%). Patients were divided into two groups according to their serum enzyme levels (amylase: 3n, n = 196; lipase: 3n, n = 233). Renal impairment, indication for dialysis and artificial ventilation, development of pseudocysts, necessity for surgery, and mortality were taken as parameters of severity. RESULTS: The incidence of severity was the same for both the 3n groups. CONCLUSIONS: The severity of acute pancreatitis is independent of the elevation in serum amylase/lipase level (3n) on admission. Patients with only a slight increase can also have or develop severe acute pancreatitis. Patients with +info)
Myocardial infarction in a pre-menopausal woman with angiographically normal coronary arteries.
A young pre-menopausal non-drug-addict woman without risk factors for coronary artery disease suffered from a non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction. She presented with epigastric pain and vomiting. Diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction was not suspected at first because of her young age and lack of risk factors. She was treated for gastritis but worsening of epigastric pain and its radiation to chest warranted the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, which was confirmed by serial serum cardiac enzymes. Subsequent coronary angiogram revealed normal coronary arteries. (+info)
In situ zymographic localisation of type II collagen degrading activity in osteoarthritic human articular cartilage.
OBJECTIVES: Chondrocytic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are believed to be important in osteoarthritic cartilage degradation. The cartilage lesion of osteoarthritis (OA) is focal and often progressive. During its development chondrocytes differentially up and down regulate production of mRNA for individual MMPs. This observation has potential implications for understanding the disease processes that lead to progressive cartilage loss in OA and designing appropriate targeted treatment. The complex regulation of MMP mediated effects means there is a pressing need to establish whether visualisation of MMP mRNA or protein equates to enzyme activity. The technique of in situ zymography (ISZ) offers a way of examining diseased human tissue for in vivo production of an excess of degrading enzyme over inhibitor. The primary objective of this study was to assess, and if positive follow, collagen II degrading activity in cartilage during development of the OA lesion. A secondary objective was to assess whether there was any correlation between sites of collagen II degrading activity and expression of the collagenase (MMP-13), recently implicated in type II collagen degredation in this lesion. METHODS: Biopsied human normal and osteoarthritic cartilage, showing various degrees of damage, was examined by in situ zymography, with and without enzyme inhibitors, to establish sites of type II collagenase activity. Paired samples were probed for MMP-13 mRNA using 35S-labelled oligonucleotide probes. Comparative analyses were performed. RESULTS: In situ zymography showed collagen II degrading activity over chondrocytes only in osteoarthritic cartilage. Distribution and amount varied with the extent of cartilage damage and position of chondrocytes, being greatest in deep cartilage and in cartilage lesions where fissuring was occurring. The enzyme causing the degradation behaved as a matrix metalloproteinase. MMP-13 mRNA expression codistributed with the type II collagenase activity. CONCLUSION: In OA, chondrocytes can degrade type II collagen. The type II collagen degrading activity varies in site and amount as the cartilage lesion progresses and throughout codistributes with MMP-13 mRNA expression. (+info)
Ruling out acute myocardial infarction early with two serial creatine kinase-MBmass determinations.
AIMS: We studied the diagnostic value for acute myocardial infarction of serial creatine kinase-MBmass measurements on admission and at 7 h after the onset of symptoms. METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients presenting to our chest pain unit with symptoms of <5-h duration were eligible. Patients were kept under observation at least until 12 h after onset of symptoms. Blood samples were drawn on admission and 7 and 10 h after onset of symptoms. Creatine kinase-MBmass>7.0 microg x 1(-1) (upper reference limit for acute myocardial infarction), or an increase >2.0 microg x 1(-1) (reference change value) between admission and at 7 h was considered abnormal. Of a total of 470 patients, 248 patients had acute myocardial infarction: 100 out of the 248 patients had a single creatine kinase-MBmass>7.0 microg x 1(-1) on admission (sensitivity 40%, 95% CI:34-46%), 234/248 patients at 7 h (sensitivity 94%, 95% CI:91-97%), and 240/248 at 10 h (sensitivity 97%, 95% CI:94-99%). At 7 h, 246/248 patients had either a single creatine kinase-MB >7.0 microg x 1(-1) or a significant increase between admission and 7 h (sensitivity 99%, 95% CI:98-100%). Of 222 patients without acute myocardial infarction, 214 had a normal serial creatine kinase-MBmass (specificity 96%, 95% CI:93-98%). CONCLUSION: In patients with symptoms of <5-h duration, acute myocardial infarction can be ruled out using serial creatine kinase-MBmass taken on admission and at 7 h. (+info)
Examination of synovial fluid and serum hyaluronidase activity as a joint marker in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis patients (by zymography).
OBJECTIVE: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an important joint marker and the substrate for hyaluronidase (HAase). Synovial fluid (SF) and serum HAase were measured to investigate the potential use of HAase as a joint marker in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) patients. METHODS: The subjects were 39 patients with RA and 42 patients with OA. HAase activity was measured by zymography and its relation with various parameters examined statistically. RESULTS: In RA SF a positive correlation (r = 0.458, p = 0.0186) was found between SF HAase activity and the concentration of serum C reactive protein. A positive correlation (r = 0.45, p = 0.024) was also found between SF HAase activity and platelet count in the RA group. Serum HAase activity in the RA group was significantly higher than in the OA group (p < 0.0001) and normal controls (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that SF HAase activity could be used as a marker of synovial inflammation. (+info)
Biochemical evidence of thiamin deficiency in young Ghanian children.
Detailed biochemical studies for nutritional status were carried out on 146 Ghanaian children ages 6 months to 6 years over a 2-year period. Study children comprised three main groups: severe protein-calorie malnutrition; mild to moderate protein-calorie malnutrition and apparently healthy children. Erythrocyte transketolase activity and the percentage of erythrocyte transketolase pyrophosphate effect were also determined. In the first year of the study elevated percentage of transketolase pyrophosphate effect indicative of thiamin deficiency was found in all three of the above-mentioned groups, with the most widespread deficiency in the normal groups. In year 2, repeat studies of the severely malnourished group after 2 weeks of nutritional therapy with the administration of vitamin capsules, which included thiamin, resulted in the normalization of transketolase pyrophosphate effect. Apoenzyme activity was comparable in all groups studied. There were no obvious clinical signs of thiamin deficiency, although sensory testing was not performed. A relatively large number of children with high percentage of transketolase pyrosphosphate effect also had serum folic acid deficiency. This evidence of widespread biochemical thiamin deficiency is indicative of an at-risk population among young children for clinical thiamin deficiency. Further studies are needed to identify whether the problem is inadequate thiamin intake, destruction of thiamin by thiaminases or food preparation methods, or malabsorption of thiamin. (+info)