Hematocrit level and associated mortality in hemodialysis patients.
Although a number of clinical studies have shown that increased hematocrits are associated with improved outcomes in terms of cognitive function, reduced left ventricular hypertrophy, increased exercise tolerance, and improved quality of life, the optimal hematocrit level associated with survival has yet to be determined. The association between hematocrit levels and patient mortality was retrospectively studied in a prevalent Medicare hemodialysis cohort on a national scale. All patients survived a 6-mo entry period during which their hematocrit levels were assessed, from July 1 through December 31, 1993, with follow-up from January 1 through December 31, 1994. Patient comorbid conditions relative to clinical events and severity of disease were determined from Medicare claims data and correlated with the entry period hematocrit level. After adjusting for medical diseases, our results showed that patients with hematocrit levels less than 30% had significantly higher risk of all-cause (12 to 33%) and cause-specific death, compared to patients with hematocrits in the 30% to less than 33% range. Without severity of disease adjustment, patients with hematocrit levels of 33% to less than 36% appear to have the lowest risk for all-cause and cardiac mortality. After adjusting for severity of disease, the impact of hematocrit levels of 33% to less than 36% is vulnerable to the patient sample size but also demonstrates a further 4% reduced risk of death. Overall, these findings suggest that sustained increases in hematocrit levels are associated with improved patient survival. (+info)
Induction of parturition in bitches with minimal side effects by two injections of a low dose of fenprostalene, a prostaglandin F2alpha analogue, and pretreatment with prifinium bromide.
An experiment using 16 Beagle bitches (aged 11 months to 6 years and 2 months) in their 56th to 58th day of pregnancy was carried out to investigate the effects of two injections of a low dose of fenprostalene, a long-acting prostaglandin F2alpha analogue, and pretreatment with prifinium bromide, a parasympathetic nerve blocking agent, on the induction of parturition and severity of side effects. The bitches were divided into three treatment groups: one injection of 5 microg/kg of fenprostalene (group I, n=5); one injection of 7.5 mg/head of prifinium bromide followed by one injection of 5 microg/kg of fenprostalene at 5 min after prifinium bromide injection (group II, n=6); and one injection of 7.5 mg/head of prifinium bromide followed by two injections of 2.5 microg/kg of fenprostalene, one injection at 5 min after prifinium bromide injection and the next at 1 hr after the fenprostalene first injection (group III, n=5). Following the injection of fenprostalene, side effects such as salivation, vomiting, colic symptoms, and watery diarrhea occurred most frequently (80-100% of cases) in group I bitches. Apart from colic symptoms, no side effects were observed in group III bitches. Group III bitches also showed the smallest increase in plasma cortisol concentration. No significant difference in the time to initiation of parturition was found between the three groups. The one-week survival rate of newborn puppies was highest in group III. The results showed that pretreatment with prifinium bromide and two injections of 2.5 microg/kg of fenprostalene can alleviate side effects following fenprostalene administration and have no adverse effect on the survival of newborn puppies, indicating that this method is a reliable and safe way of inducing parturition in bitches. (+info)
Evaluation and management of dyspepsia.
Dyspepsia, often defined as chronic or recurrent discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, can be caused by a variety of conditions. Common etiologies include peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. Serious causes, such as gastric and pancreatic cancers, are rare but must also be considered. Symptoms of possible causes often overlap, which can make initial diagnosis difficult. In many patients, a definite cause is never established. The initial evaluation of patients with dyspepsia includes a thorough history and physical examination, with special attention given to elements that suggest the presence of serious disease. Endoscopy should be performed promptly in patients who have "alarm symptoms" such as melena or anorexia. Optimal management remains controversial in young patients who do not have alarm symptoms. Although management should be individualized, a cost-effective initial approach is to test for Helicobacter pylori and treat the infection if the test is positive. If the H. pylori test is negative, empiric therapy with a gastric acid suppressant or prokinetic agent is recommended. If symptoms persist or recur after six to eight weeks of empiric therapy, endoscopy should be performed. (+info)
Management of co-existing intra-abdominal disease in aortic surgery.
OBJECTIVES: the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms more than 5 cm in diameter is well accepted, but controversy surrounds the management of concomitant serious intra-abdominal lesions diagnosed in the perioperative period. This study was undertaken to demonstrate that synchronous surgery is feasible and safe in this group of patients. DESIGN: in 1978 a decision was made to undertake combined operations on all patients with an aortic aneurysm of 5 cm or more in diameter and a significant non-vascular intra-abdominal lesion requiring surgery. METHODS: the case records of 676 patients who had aortic grafting for aneurysmal disease or the urgent management of occlusive disease between 1978 and 1998 were analysed retrospectively. SETTING: district general hospital. RESULTS: fifty-six (8%) patients had co-existing intra-abdominal disease treated at the time of aortic graft surgery. There were three (5%) hospital deaths and seven patients required early reoperation. One patient developed a subphrenic abscess and there were three superficial wound infections. There has been no clinical evidence of aortic graft infection in this series. CONCLUSION: this single centre experience with synchronous surgery demonstrates that it is safe and does not appear to predispose to an increased risk of graft infection. (+info)
Sigmoid endometriosis and ovarian stimulation.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) and ovarian stimulation are frequently performed in patients with endometriosis. Although endometriosis is a hormone-dependent disease, the rate of IVF complications related to endometriosis is low. We report four cases of severe digestive complications due to the rapid growth of sigmoid endometriosis under ovarian stimulation. In three patients, sigmoid endometriosis was diagnosed at laparoscopy for sterility. Because of the absence of digestive symptoms or repercussion on the bowel, no bowel resection was performed before ovarian stimulation. All patients experienced severe digestive symptoms during ovarian stimulation, and a segmental sigmoid resection had to be performed. Analysis of endoscopic and radiological data demonstrated that bowel lesions of small size may rapidly enlarge and become highly symptomatic under ovarian stimulation. At immunohistochemistry, these infiltrating lesions displayed high populations of steroid receptors and a high proliferative index (Ki-67 activity), suggesting a strong dependence on circulating ovarian hormones and a potential for rapid growth under supraphysiological oestrogen concentrations. Clinicians should be aware of this rare but severe digestive complication of ovarian stimulation. The early diagnosis of such lesions may help the patients to avoid months of morbidity falsely attributed to ovarian stimulation side effects. Further experience is necessary to determine the optimal attitude when diagnosing a small and asymptomatic endometriotic bowel lesion before ovarian stimulation. (+info)
Defective dietary fat processing in transgenic mice lacking aquaporin-1 water channels.
Immunocytochemistry showed expression of aquaporin-1 (AQP1) water channels at sites involved in dietary fat processing, including intrahepatic cholangiocytes, gallbladder, pancreatic microvascular endothelium, and intestinal lacteals. To determine whether AQP1 has a role in dietary fat digestion and/or absorption, mice were placed on a diet that contained 50% fat. Whereas wild-type mice (3-3.5 wk of age, 10-12 g) gained 49 +/- 5% (SE, n = 50) body weight in 8 days, and heterozygous mice gained 46 +/- 4%, AQP1 null mice gained only 4 +/- 3%; weights became similar after return to a 6% fat diet after 6 days. The null mice on a high-fat diet acquired an oily appearance, developed steatorrhea with increased stool triglyceride content, and manifested serum hypotriglyceridemia. Supplementation of the high-fat diet with pancreatic enzymes partially corrected the decreased weight gain in null mice. Absorption of [(14)C]oleic acid from small intestine was not affected by AQP1 deletion, as determined by blood radioactivity after duodenal infusion. Lipase activity in feces and small intestine was remarkably greater in AQP1 null than wild-type mice on low- and high-fat diets. Fluid collections done in older mice (that are less sensitive to a high-fat diet) by ductal cannulation showed threefold increased pancreatic fluid flow in response to secretin/cholecystokinin, but volumes, pH, and amylase activities were affected little by AQP1 deletion, nor were bile flow rates and bile salt concentrations. Together, these results establish a dietary fat misprocessing defect in AQP1 null mice. (+info)
Treatment of cystic fibrosis in the adult.
There has been a dramatic increase in the life expectancy of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) over the last 20 years. CF used to be fatal in childhood but now, over a third of the patients are adults. The reasons for improved survival are multi-factorial. The disease affects most systems of the body although the majority of morbidity and mortality is due to lung disease. As in any life-threatening disease, in addition to medical issues, there are many psychosocial and spiritual issues, which need attention. Transition from paediatric to adult care needs to be handled very sensitively. Arranging a balanced and reliable system of care - out-patient, in-patient and home care - is essential to ensure the patient's survival and quality of life is as good as possible. (+info)
[Comparison of endoscopic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in severe pelvic endometriosis].
Deep pelvic endometriosis may lead to severe pain, the treatment of which may require complete surgical resection of lesions. Digestive infiltration is a difficult therapeutic problem. Preoperative diagnosis is difficult and digestive infiltration may remain unknown with incomplete resection and sometimes repeated surgery. Both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and endoscopic ultrasonography are able to detect rectosigmoid infiltration but their usefulness in the preoperative staging is still to be evaluated. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare both techniques in the preoperative detection of deep pelvic endometriosis, particularly digestive infiltration. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 1996 to 1998, 48 women with painful deep pelvic endometriosis had preoperative imaging exploration with endoscopic ultrasonography and MRI, and were operated on in order to attempt complete endometriosis resection. Patients were proposed for laparoscopic resection if endoscopic ultrasonography and/or MRI did not reveal digestive infiltration or for open resection if endoscopic ultrasonography and/or MRI were positive for digestive infiltration. RESULTS: Endoscopic ultrasonography and/or MRI led to suspicion of digestive endometriosis in 16 patients. Surgical resection was performed in 12 and digestive wall invasion was histologically demonstrated. At final follow-up, all patients had a dramatic decrease of their symptoms. The remaining 4 patients refused digestive resection and had only laparoscopic gynecologic resection. Infiltration although not histologically proven was very likely both on operative findings and clinical evolution. Digestive infiltration was preoperatively excluded in the 32 other patients. All had a laparoscopic treatment without digestive resection and pain diminished in all patients. In the 12 patients group who had digestive resection, digestive infiltration was correctly diagnosed by endoscopic ultrasonography in all cases (no false negative) whereas MRI, even with the use of endocoil antenna, led to correct diagnosis in 8 out of 12 cases. When endoscopic ultrasonography was negative for digestive infiltration, laparoscopic resection of lesions at surgery appeared complete in all cases. For the 16 patients with presumed digestive infiltration, sensitivity of endoscopic ultrasonography and MRI was 100 and 75% respectively, with a 100% specificity in both cases. MRI appeared very accurate for the detection of ovarian endometriotic locations. MRI was more sensitive but less specific than endoscopic ultrasonography for the diagnosis of isolated endometriotic recto-vaginal septum and utero-sacral ligaments lesions. CONCLUSION: Endoscopic ultrasonography was the best technique for the diagnosis of digestive endometriotic infiltration, which complicates the therapeutic strategy. MRI, however, allows more complete staging of other pelvic endometriotic lesions. (+info)