Three patients with fever and malaise, one of whom also had joint pains, were extensively investigated before their condition was attributed to dental sepsis. Each patient recovered fully after appropriate dental treatment. Dental sepsis should be added to the list of possible causes of pyrexia of undetermined origin, and a routine dental examination should be carried out in each case. (+info)
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy and quality of life.
The quality of life (QOL) of 79 people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and 37 non-diabetic controls was assessed using the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP). The NHP consists of six domains assessing energy, sleep, pain, physical mobility, emotional reactions and social isolation. Symptomatic diabetic neuropathy was present in 41 of the patients. The neuropathy patients had significantly higher scores (impaired QOL) in 5/6 NHP domains than either the other diabetic patients (p < 0.01) or the non-diabetic (p < 0.001) controls. These were: emotional reaction, energy, pain, physical mobility and sleep. The diabetic patients without neuropathy also had significantly impaired QOL for 4/6 NHP domains compared with the non-diabetic control group (p < 0.05) (energy, pain, physical mobility and sleep). This quantification of the detrimental effect on QOL of diabetes, and in particular of chronic symptomatic peripheral diabetic neuropathy, emphasizes the need for further research into effective management of these patients. (+info)
Relative efficacy of 32P and 89Sr in palliation in skeletal metastases.
32p and 89Sr have been shown to produce significant pain relief in patients with skeletal metastases from advanced cancer. Clinically significant pancytopenia has not been reported in doses up to 12 mCi (444 MBq) of either radionuclide. To date, no reports comparing the relative efficacy and toxicity of the two radionuclides in comparable patient populations have been available. Although a cure has not been reported, both treatments have achieved substantial pain relief. However, several studies have used semiquantitative measures such as "slight," "fair," "partial" and "dramatic" responses, which lend themselves to subjective bias. This report examines the responses to treatment with 32P or 89Sr by attempting a quantification of pain relief and quality of life using the patients as their own controls and compares toxicity in terms of hematological parameters. METHODS: Thirty-one patients with skeletal metastases were treated for pain relief with either 32P (16 patients) or 89Sr (15 patients). Inclusion criteria were pain from bone scan-positive sites above a subjective score of 5 of 10 despite analgesic therapy with narcotic or non-narcotic medication, limitation of movement related to the performance of routine daily activity and a predicted life expectancy of at least 4 mo. The patients had not had chemotherapy or radiotherapy during the previous 6 wk and had normal serum creatinine, white cell and platelet counts. 32P was given orally as a 12 mCi dose, and 89Sr was given intravenously as a 4 mCi (148 MBq) dose. The patients were monitored for 4 mo. RESULTS: Complete absence of pain was seen in 7 of 16 patients who were given 32P and in 7 of 15 patients who were given 89Sr. Pain scores fell by at least 50% of the pretreatment score in 14 of 16 patients who were given 32P and 14 of 15 patients who were given 89Sr. Mean duration of pain relief was 9.6 wk with 32P and 10 wk with 89Sr. Analgesic scores fell along with the drop in pain scores. A fall in total white cell, absolute granulocyte and platelet counts occurred in all patients. Subnormal values of white cells and platelets were seen in 5 and 7 patients, respectively, with 32P, and in 0 and 4 patients, respectively, after 89Sr therapy. The decrease in platelet count (but not absolute granulocyte count) was statistically significant when 32P patients were compared with 89Sr patients. However, in no instance did the fall in blood counts require treatment. Absolute granulocyte counts did not fall below 1000 in any patient. There was no significant difference between the two treatments in terms of either efficacy or toxicity. CONCLUSION: No justification has been found in this study for the recommendation of 89Sr over the considerably less expensive oral 32P for the palliation of skeletal pain from metastases of advanced cancer. (+info)
Use of positron emission tomography in evaluation of brachial plexopathy in breast cancer patients.
18-Fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has previously been used successfully to image primary and metastatic breast cancer. In this pilot study, 19 breast cancer patients with symptoms/signs referrable to the brachial plexus were evaluated with 18FDG-PET. In 11 cases computerized tomography (CT) scanning was also performed. Of the 19 patients referred for PET study, 14 had abnormal uptake of 18FDG in the region of the symptomatic plexus. Four patients had normal PET studies and one had increased FDG uptake in the chest wall that accounted for her axillary pain. CT scans were performed in 9 of the 14 patients who had positive brachial plexus PET studies; six of these were either normal or showed no clear evidence of recurrent disease, while three CTs demonstrated clear brachial plexus involvement. Of two of the four patients with normal PET studies, one has had complete resolution of symptoms untreated while the other was found to have cervical disc herniation on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. The remaining two patients almost certainly had radiation-induced plexopathy and had normal CT, MRI and PET study. These data suggest that 18FDG-PET scanning is a useful tool in evaluation of patients with suspected metastatic plexopathy, particularly if other imaging studies are normal. It may also be useful in distinguishing between radiation-induced and metastatic plexopathy. (+info)
Intensive weekly chemotherapy is not effective in advanced pancreatic cancer patients: a report from the Italian Group for the Study of Digestive Tract Cancer (GISCAD).
Twenty-two patients, with locally advanced unresectable and/or metastatic pancreatic carcinoma, received weekly administration of cisplatin 40 mg m(-2), 5-fluorouracil 500 mg m(-2), epidoxorubicin 35 mg m(-2), 6S stereoisomer of leucovorin 250 mg m(-2) and glutathione 1.5 mg m(-2), supported by a daily administration of lenograstim at a dose of 5 microg kg(-1). Nineteen patients were men and three were women. Median age was 63 years (range 47-70). At study entry, pain was present in 15 out of 22 patients (68%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 27.6+/-23.8, whereas a weight loss >10% was present in 15 patients. After eight weekly treatments, three partial responses were achieved for a response rate of 13% (95% CI 0-26%), five patients had stable disease and 14 progressed on therapy. Pain was present in 9 out of 22 patients (40%) with a mean value of Scott-Huskisson scale of 12.3+/-18.4. Eight patients (36%) (three partial response and five stable disease) had a positive weight change. Toxicity was mild: WHO grade III or IV toxicity was recorded in terms of anaemia in 7 out of 188 cycles (3.7%), of neutropenia in 9 out of 188 cycles (4.7%) and of thrombocytopenia in 3 out of 188 cycles (1.5%). Median survival of all patients was 6 months. The outcome of this intensive chemotherapy regimen does not support its use in pancreatic cancer. (+info)
Paracrine changes in the peritoneal environment of women with endometriosis.
During the past decade, macrophage-derived substances such as prostanoids, cytokines, growth factors and angiogenic factors have been detected in the peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis. In particular, growth-promoting and angiogenic factors are considered to be substantially involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. In this study, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), substances recently detected in the peritoneal fluid of women with endometriosis, were assessed with regard to their concentrations in different stages of endometriosis and changes of the peritoneal paracrine activity after medical treatment with a gonadotrophin releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa). Peritoneal fluid was obtained from patients with endometriosis during laparoscopy before and after a 4-month treatment with a GnRHa. VEGF, TGF-beta and ICAM-1 could be detected in all women presenting with various stages of active endometriosis. After GnRHa therapy, all patients showed significant decreases in mean concentrations of VEGF (194+/-77 pg/ml), TGF-beta (902+/-273 pg/ml) and ICAM-1 (157+/-52 ng/ml). Patients with stage III and IV endometriosis (according to the rAFS score) had much higher concentrations of VEGF and TGF-beta before treatment compared with those patients with mild endometriosis (rAFS stages I and II). The most striking decrease in concentration was for TGF-beta, from 902 pg/ml before to 273 pg/ml after therapy. These results indicate an important role for paracrine activity in the establishment and maintenance of endometriosis. Indeed, treatment with a GnRHa may reduce paracrine activity in the peritoneal cavity via hypo-oestrogenism and provide proof of successful therapy. (+info)
Gabapentin suppresses ectopic nerve discharges and reverses allodynia in neuropathic rats.
Repetitive ectopic discharges from injured afferent nerves play an important role in initiation and maintenance of neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is effective for treatment of neuropathic pain but the sites and mechanisms of its antinociceptive actions remain uncertain. In the present study, we tested a hypothesis that therapeutic doses of gabapentin suppress ectopic afferent discharge activity generated from injured peripheral nerves. Mechanical allodynia, induced by partial ligation of the sciatic nerve in rats, was determined by application of von Frey filaments to the hindpaw. Single-unit afferent nerve activity was recorded proximal to the ligated sciatic nerve site. Intravenous gabapentin, in a range of 30 to 90 mg/kg, significantly attenuated allodynia in nerve-injured rats. Furthermore, gabapentin, in the same therapeutic dose range, dose-dependently inhibited the ectopic discharge activity of 15 injured sciatic afferent nerve fibers through an action on impulse generation. However, the conduction velocity and responses of 12 normal afferent fibers to mechanical stimulation were not affected by gabapentin. Therefore, this study provides electrophysiological evidence that gabapentin is capable of suppressing the ectopic discharge activity from injured peripheral nerves. This action may contribute, at least in part, to the antiallodynic effect of gabapentin on neuropathic pain. (+info)
The Sock Test for evaluating activity limitation in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Assessment within rehabilitation often must reflect patients' perceived functional problems and provide information on whether these problems are caused by impairments of the musculoskeletal system. Such capabilities were examined in a new functional test, the Sock Test, simulating the activity of putting on a sock. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Intertester reliability was examined in 21 patients. Concurrent validity, responsiveness, and predictive validity were examined in a sample of 337 patients and in subgroups of this sample. RESULTS: Intertester reliability was acceptable. Sock Test scores were related to concurrent reports of activity limitation in dressing activities. Scores also reflected questionnaire-derived reports of problems in a broad range of activities of daily living and pain and were responsive to change over time. Increases in age and body mass index increased the likelihood of Sock Test scores indicating activity limitation. Pretest scores were predictive of perceived difficulties in dressing activities after 1 year. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: Sock Test scores reflect perceived activity limitations and restrictions of the musculoskeletal system. (+info)