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)
Expression of nitric oxide synthase in inflammatory bowel disease is not affected by corticosteroid treatment.
AIM: To examine the effect of corticosteroid treatment on the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the colon of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: Four groups of patients were studied: (1) ulcerative colitis treated with high dose corticosteroids (six patients, 10 blocks); (2) ulcerative colitis patients who had never received corticosteroids (10 patients, 16 blocks); (3) Crohn's disease treated with high dose corticosteroids (12 patients, 24 blocks); (4) Non-inflammatory, non-neoplastic controls (four patients, six blocks). Full thickness paraffin sections of colons removed at surgery were immunostained with an antibody raised against the C terminal end of iNOS. Sections were assessed semiquantitatively for the presence and degree of inflammation and immunoreactivity for nitric oxide synthase. RESULTS: Cases of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease with active inflammation showed strong staining for nitric oxide synthase. The staining was diffuse in ulcerative colitis and patchy in Crohn's disease, in accordance with the distribution of active inflammation. Staining was seen in epithelial cells and was most intense near areas of inflammation such as crypt abscesses. Non-inflamed epithelium showed no immunoreactivity. Treatment with corticosteroids made no difference to the amount of nitric oxide synthase. CONCLUSIONS: Expression of nitric oxide synthase is increased in both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and appears to be unaffected by treatment with corticosteroids. Disease severity necessitated surgery in all the cases included in this study, regardless of whether or not the patients had received long term corticosteroid treatment. It seems therefore that a high level of iNOS expression and, presumably, production of nitric oxide characterise cases which are refractory to clinical treatment; this suggests that specific inhibition of the enzyme may be a useful therapeutic adjunct. (+info)
Analysis of Chinese herbal creams prescribed for dermatological conditions.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether Chinese herbal creams used for the treatment of dermatological conditions contain steroids. DESIGN: 11 herbal creams obtained from patients attending general and paediatric dermatology outpatient clinics were analysed with high resolution gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. SETTING: Departments of dermatology and clinical biochemistry. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Presence of steroid. RESULTS: Eight creams contained dexamethasone at a mean concentration of 456 micrograms/g (range 64 to 1500 micrograms/g). All were applied to areas of sensitive skin such as face and flexures. CONCLUSION: Greater regulation needs to be imposed on Chinese herbalists to prevent illegal and inappropriate prescribing of potent steroids. (+info)
Effective control of Epstein-Barr virus-related hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis with immunochemotherapy. Histiocyte Society.
The familial form of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a lethal disorder. Although the prognosis for Epstein-Barr virus-associated HLH (EBV-HLH) remains uncertain, numerous reports indicate that it can also be fatal in a substantial proportion of cases. We therefore assessed the potential of immunochemotherapy with a core combination of steroids and etoposide to control EBV-HLH in 17 infants and children who met stringent diagnostic criteria for this reactive disorder of the mononuclear phagocyte system. Treatment of life-threatening emergencies was left to the discretion of participating investigators and typically included either intravenous Ig or cyclosporin A (CSA). Five patients (29%) entered complete remission during the induction phase (1 to 2 months), whereas 10 others (57%) required additional treatment to achieve this status. In 2 cases, immunochemotherapy was ineffective, prompting allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Severe but reversible myelosuppression was a common finding; adverse late sequelae were limited to epileptic activity in one child and chronic EBV infection in 2 others. Fourteen of the 17 patients treated with immunochemotherapy have maintained their complete responses for 4+ to 39+ months (median, 15+ months), suggesting a low probability of disease recurrence. These results provide a new perspective on EBV-HLH, showing effective control (and perhaps cure) of the majority of EBV-HLH cases without bone marrow transplantation, using steroids and etoposide, with or without immunomodulatory agents. (+info)
Ethanol-like discriminative stimulus effects of endogenous neuroactive steroids: effect of ethanol training dose and dosing procedure.
A number of endogenous steroids exhibit rapid, nongenomic effects on the central nervous system and are called neuroactive steroids. The rapid mechanisms of action include modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are two receptors implicated in the behavioral effects of ethanol. It was hypothesized that neuroactive steroids that positively modulate GABAA receptors or negatively modulate NMDA receptors, analogous to the actions of ethanol, would produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to ethanol. Two groups of male Long-Evans rats (n = 6-8/group) were trained to discriminate between 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg ethanol (i.g.) and water (i.g.). The neuroactive steroids allopregnanolone, pregnanolone, epipregnanolone, allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone, pregnanolone sulfate, epipregnanolone sulfate, dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, pregnenolone, and pregnenolone sulfate (PS), all administered i.p., were tested for substitution with acute and cumulative dosing procedures (n = 4-8/steroid). The GABAA-positive modulatory steroids allopregnanolone, pregnanolone, and allotetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone substituted for ethanol, as did the low-efficacy steroid 3beta,5beta-P. GABAA-negative modulators, such as dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and PS, and all of the NMDA modulators tested, including PS, pregnanolone sulfate, and epipregnanolone sulfate, did not substitute for ethanol. These results show that certain endogenously occurring neuroactive steroids produce discriminative stimulus effects similar to those of ethanol. (+info)
Clinicopathological features of Churg-Strauss syndrome-associated neuropathy.
We assessed the clinicopathological features of 28 patients with peripheral neuropathy associated with Churg-Strauss syndrome. Initial symptoms attributable to neuropathy were acute painful dysaesthesiae and oedema in the dysaesthetic portion of the distal limbs. Sensory and motor involvement mostly showed a pattern of mononeuritis multiplex in the initial phase, progressing into asymmetrical polyneuropathy, restricted to the limbs. Parallel loss of myelinated and unmyelinated fibres due to axonal degeneration was evident as decreased or absent amplitudes of sensory nerve action potentials and compound muscle action potentials, indicating acute massive axonal loss. Epineurial necrotizing vasculitis was seen in 54% of cases; infiltrates consisted mainly of CD8-positive suppressor/cytotoxic and CD4-positive helper T lymphocytes. Eosinophils were present in infiltrates, but in smaller numbers than lymphocytes. CD20-positive B lymphocytes were seen only occasionally. Deposits of IgG, C3d, IgE and major basic protein were scarce. The mean follow-up period was 4.2 years, with a range of 8 months to 10 years. Fatal outcome was seen only in a single patient, indicating a good survival rate. The patients who responded well to the initial corticosteroid therapy within 4 weeks regained self-controlled functional status in longterm follow-up (modified Rankin score was < or = 2), while those not responding well to the initial corticosteroid therapy led a dependent existence (P < 0.01). In addition the patients with poor functional outcomes had significantly more systemic organ damage caused by vasculitis (P < 0.05). Necrotizing vasculitis mediated by cytotoxic T cells, leading to ischaemic changes, appears to be a major cause of Churg-Strauss syndrome-associated neuropathy. The initial clinical course and the extent of systemic vasculitic lesions may influence the long-term functional prognosis. (+info)
Antioxidant effects of aminosalicylates and potential new drugs for inflammatory bowel disease: assessment in cell-free systems and inflamed human colorectal biopsies.
BACKGROUND: The therapeutic efficacy of 5-aminosalicylic acid in inflammatory bowel disease may be related to its antioxidant properties. AIM: To compare in vitro the antioxidant effects of conventional drugs (5-aminosalicylic acid, corticosteroids, metronidazole), with new aminosalicylates (4-aminosalicylic acid, balsalazide) and other potential therapies (ascorbate, N-acetylcysteine, glutathione, verapamil). METHODS: Compounds were assessed for efficacy in reducing the in vitro production of reactive oxygen species by cell-free systems (using xanthine/xanthine oxidase, with or without myeloperoxidase) and by colorectal biopsies from patients with ulcerative colitis using luminol-amplified chemiluminescence. RESULTS: 5-aminosalicylic acid and balsalazide were more potent antioxidants than 4-aminosalicylic acid or N-acetyl-5-aminosalicylic acid in cell-free systems. 5-aminosalicylic acid (20 mM) and balsalazide (20 mM) inhibited rectal biopsy chemiluminescence by 93% and 100%, respectively, compared with only 59% inhibition by 4-aminosalicylic acid (20 mM). Hydrocortisone, metronidazole and verapamil had no significant effect on chemiluminescence in any system. Ascorbate (20 mM) inhibited chemiluminescence by 100% in cell-free systems and by 60% in rectal biopsies. N-acetyl cysteine (10 mM), and both oxidized and reduced glutathione (10 mM), completely inhibited chemiluminescence in cell-free systems, but not with rectal biopsies. CONCLUSIONS: The antioxidant effects of compounds varies between cell-free systems and inflamed colorectal biopsies. The effect of drugs on the chemiluminescence produced by these two assay systems is useful for screening potentially new antioxidant treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. Ascorbate seems worth further study as a novel therapy. (+info)
The diagnosis, classification, and management of asthma according to severity.
This activity is designed for primary care and specialist physicians. GOAL: To provide prompt and appropriate treatment for asthma of all levels of severity resulting in improved level of activity and decreased need for urgent care and hospitalization with a possible reduction in the annual decline of lung function, degree of permanent airway damage, and mortality. OBJECTIVES: 1. To provide a framework on the basis of history, physical findings, and laboratory results for the diagnosis of asthma. 2. To improve the ability to classify asthma by degree of severity. 3. To describe an incremental therapeutic approach to asthma by degree of severity. 4. To provide a systematic approach with regard to periodic reevaluation of asthma severity and modification of the treatment plan. (+info)