OBJECTIVES: Telomeres are a terminal “DNA cap” that prevent chromosomal fusion and degradation. However, aging is inherent to life, and so is the loss of terminal sequences. Telomerase is a specialized reverse transcriptase encoded by self-splicing introns that counteract chromosome erosion. Telomerase activity is observed during early embryonic development, but after the blastocyst stage, the expression of telomerase reduces. The consequences of either insufficient or unrestrained telomerase activity underscore the importance of ongoing studies aimed at elucidating the regulation of telomerase activity in humans. In the present study, we aimed to standardize a simplified telomerase repeat-amplification protocol (TRAP) assay to detect telomerase activity in unstimulated and PHA-stimulated mononuclear cells. METHODS and RESULTS: Our optimized qPCR-based can efficiently evaluate telomerase activity. Quantification of protein and DNA between unstimulated and PHA-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed cellular activation and cell-cycle entry. The assay also showed that relative telomerase activity is significantly different between these two conditions, supporting the applicability of the assay. Furthermore, our findings corroborated that telomerase activity decreases with age. CONCLUSIONS: Telomeres and telomerase are implicated in aging and development of chronic diseases and cancer; however, difficulty in accessing commercial kits to investigate these aspects is a critical constraint in health surveillance studies. Our optimized assay was successfully used to differentiate telomerase activity between unstimulated and stimulated cells, clearly showing the reactivation of telomerase upon cell activation. This assay is affordable, reproducible, and can be executed in resource-limited settings.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency of the antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA), antiproteinase-3 and antimyeloperoxidase, in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) with or without inflammatory bowel disease (IBD+ or IBD-) and in different types of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Additionally, to verify the agreement between ANCA patterns by indirect immunofluorescence and their antigenic specificities by ELISA. METHODS: For this study, 249 patients were enrolled (42 PSC/IBD+; 33 PSC/IBD-; 31 AIH type-1; 30 AIH type-2; 31 AIH type-3; 52 primary biliary cirrhosis; 30 healthy controls) whose serum samples were tested for ANCA autoantibodies. RESULTS: There were fewer female subjects in the PSC/IBD- group (p=0.034). Atypical perinuclear-ANCA was detected more frequently in PSC/IBD+ patients than in PSC/IBD- patients (p=0.005), and was significantly more frequent in type-1 (p<0.001) and type-3 AIH (p=0.012) than in type-2 AIH. Proteinase-3-ANCA was detected in 25 samples (only one with cytoplasmic-ANCA pattern), and more frequently in PSC/IBD+ than in PSC/IBD- patients (p=0.025). Myeloperoxidase-ANCA was identified in eight samples (none with the perinuclear-ANCA pattern). Among the 62 reactive samples for atypical perinuclear-ANCA, 13 had antigenic specific reactions for proteinase-3 and myeloperoxidase. CONCLUSIONS: PSC/IBD+ differed from PSC/IBD- in terms of sex and proteinase 3-ANCA and atypical perinuclear-ANCA reactivity, the latter of which was more frequently detected in type-1 and type-3 AIH than in type-2 AIH. There was no agreement between ANCA patterns and antigenic specificities in IBD and autoimmune liver diseases, which reinforces the need for proteinase-3 and myeloperoxidase antibody testing.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) gel in the treatment of refractory pressure injuries and its effect on wound healing time and quality of life of patients. METHODS: A random number table method was used to group 102 patients with refractory pressure injuries into either a control group (CG) (51 cases) receiving negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) or a study group (SG) (51 cases) receiving NPWT+PRP gel. RESULTS: The total efficacy rate in the SG (92.16%) was higher than that in the CG (76.47%) (p<0.05). The SG exhibited lower visual analog scale (VAS) scores and pressure ulcer scale for healing (PUSH) scores, smaller wound sizes and depths, and shorter wound healing times than the CG after 21 days of treatment (p<0.05). After 6 months of treatment, the SG scored higher than the CG on the psychological, physiological, social functions, and daily activity domains on the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) scale (p<0.05). The incidence of postoperative complications in the SG (13.73%) was not significantly different from that of the CG (7.84%) (p>0.05). CONCLUSION: In the treatment of refractory pressure injuries, PRP gel can accelerate wound healing, reduce wound pain, shorten the treatment cycle, regulate tissue inhibitor matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) levels and the expression of specific proteins in granulation tissue, reduce the levels of the inflammatory factors interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and improve the quality of life of patients without increasing complications.
OBJECTIVES: In Brazil, descending thoracic aorta disease (TAD), including aneurysms and dissection, are preferentially managed by endovascular treatment (TEVAR) due to the feasibility and good results of this technique. In this study, we analyzed endovascular treatment of isolated TAD (ITAD) in the public health system over a 10-year period in São Paulo, a municipality in Brazil in which more than 5 million inhabitants depend on the governmental health system. METHODS: Public data from procedures performed between 2008 and 2019 were extracted using web scraping techniques. The following types of data were analyzed: demographic data, operative technique, elective or urgent status, number of surgeries, in-hospital mortality, length of hospital stay, mean length of stay in the intensive care unit, and reimbursement values paid by the government. Trauma cases and congenital diseases were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 1,344 procedures were analyzed; most patients were male and aged ≥65 years. Most individuals had a residential address registered in the city. Approximately one-third of all surgeries were urgent cases. There were 128 in-hospital deaths (9.52%), and in-hospital mortality was lower for elective than for urgent surgeries (7.29% vs. 14.31%, p=0.031). A total of R$ 24.766.008,61 was paid; an average of R$ 17.222,98 per elective procedure and R$ 18.558,68 per urgent procedure. Urgent procedures were significantly more expensive than elective surgeries (p=0.029). CONCLUSION: Over a 10-year period, the total cost of ITAD interventions was R$ 24.766.008,61, which was paid from the governmental system. Elective procedures were associated with lower mortality and lower investment from the health system when compared to those performed in an urgent scenario.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe and compare the performance of older adults with normal hearing and hearing impairments in mismatch negativity (MMN), correlate MMN with cognitive tasks and central auditory processing (CAP), and identify normal values for MMN in older adults. METHODS: This study had 54 participants. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used to assess cognition and the random gap detection test (RGDT), dichotic digit test (DDT), and speech to noise (SN) test were used to evaluate CAP. MMN was elicited with the verbal stimulus /da/ (frequent) and /ta/ (rare), and the latency, amplitude, duration, and area were analyzed. RESULTS: When comparing the normal-hearing group to those with hearing loss, there was no significant difference in MMN. When correlating MMN with MoCA, RGDT, DDT, and the SN test, there was a weak correlation between the MMN amplitude and the RGDT and DDT. When comparing the MMN of participants with normal and altered cognitive aspects and those with normal and altered DDT, the MMN duration was found to be affected by the DDT. The mean latency value of the MMN in the normal-hearing group was 199.8 ms, the amplitude was -2.2 µV, area was 116.1 µV/ms, and duration was 81.2 ms. CONCLUSION: Mild hearing loss did not influence MMN. There was no correlation between MMN and cognitive aspects, and there were weak correlations with CAP. Alterations in CAP led to longer durations in MMN. Normal values for MMN in adults aged between 60 and 77 years were generated.
OBJECTIVES: Positive fluid balance is frequent in critically ill patients and has been considered a potential biomarker for acute kidney injury (AKI). This study aimed to evaluate positive fluid balance as a biomarker for the early detection of AKI in critically ill patients. METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study. The sample was composed of patients ≥18 years old who stayed ≥3 days in an intensive care unit. Fluid balance, urinary output and serum creatinine were assessed daily. AKI was diagnosed by the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcome criteria. RESULTS: The final cohort was composed of 233 patients. AKI occurred in 92 patients (40%) after a median of 3 (2-6) days following ICU admission. When fluid balance was assessed as a continuous variable, a 100-ml increase in fluid balance was independently associated with a 4% increase in the odds of AKI (OR 1.04; 95% CI 1.01-1.08). Positive fluid balance categorized using different thresholds was always significantly associated with subsequent detection of AKI. The mixed effects model showed that increased fluid balance preceded AKI by 4 to 6 days. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a positive fluid balance might be an early biomarker for AKI development in critically ill patients.
OBJECTIVES To evaluate the results of radiotherapy (RT) for follicular lymphoma (FL) under different management scenarios. METHODS We retrospectively assessed consecutive patients with FL who had undergone irradiation between 2010 and 2018. All patients had biopsy-proven FL and were positron emission tomography-staged, although some (35.3%) were reassessed with computed tomography after treatment alone. Rituximab was only available to FL patients after 2016. RESULTS Thirty-four patients were selected, with a mean age at diagnosis of 61.6 years (34-89 years). The median follow-up duration was 49.4 months. Most patients were female (58.8%) and showed good performance on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) scale (ECOG 0-55.9%). The mean overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival were 48.7 and 33.6 months, respectively, with four deaths reported. OS rates at 2 and 3 years were 94.1% and 91.2%, respectively. Four patients showed transformation into aggressive lymphomas and underwent rituximab-based systemic treatment. Transformation-free survival was 47.8 months, and all patients with transformed disease were alive at assessment. Five patients had in-field relapse, all of them also relapsed elsewhere, and the mean relapse-free survival time was 40.3 months. No median end points were reached on assessment. CONCLUSION FL is an indolent disease. Our findings show good outcomes for patients treated with radiation, with a low transformation rate and excellent management of relapsed disease. RT is an important part of these results.
OBJECTIVES: The chemokine ligand (CCL) 21 regulates the maturation, migration, and function of dendritic cells, and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma. This study aimed to investigate the association between serum CCL21 levels and asthma control. METHODS: The serum levels of CCL21 and other inflammatory cytokines were analyzed in patients with asthma (n=44) and healthy controls (n=35) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IgE levels and eosinophil counts were determined by turbidimetric inhibition immunoassay and fully automatic blood analysis, respectively. The Asthma Control Test (ACT) questionnaire was used, and spirometry and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) measurements were performed. A multiple unpaired Student’s t-test was performed to analyze the differences in CCL21 and interleukin levels between patients with asthma and healthy controls. The correlation of CCL21 levels with disease severity was evaluated using the Pearson’s rank correlation test. RESULTS: Serum CCL21 levels were lower in patients with asthma (254.78±95.66 pg/mL) than in healthy controls (382.95±87.77 pg/mL) (p<0.001). Patients with asthma had significantly higher levels of IL-1β (19.74±16.77 vs. 2.63±5.22 pg/mL), IL-6 (7.55±8.65 vs. 2.37±2.47 pg/mL), and tumor necrosis factor-α (12.70±12.03 vs. 4.82±3.97 pg/mL) compared with the controls. CCL21 levels were positively correlated with the ACT score (rs=0.1653, p=0.0062), forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (rs=0.3607, p<0.0001), and FEV1 (rs=0.2753, p=0.0003), and negatively correlated with FENO (rs=0.1060, p=0.0310). CCL21 levels were negatively correlated with serum IgE levels (rs=0.1114, p=0.0268) and eosinophil counts (rs=0.3476, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Serum CCL21 levels may be a new biomarker for assessing asthma control.
OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to evaluate the clinical efficacy of controlled-release morphine tablets combined with celecoxib in relieving osteocarcinoma-related pain and the effects of the combination on WNK1 expression. METHODS: A total of 110 patients with osteocarcinoma-related pain were selected and divided into two groups based on the treatment administered, including the control group (treated with controlled-release morphine tablets alone) and the study group (treated with a combination of controlled-release morphine tablets and celecoxib). We compared the treatment efficacy, pain level (visual analog scale (VAS)), time of onset of breakthrough pain (BTP), dose of morphine, incidence of adverse events, quality of life (QOL) score, and With-no-lysine 1 (WNK1) expression in the peripheral blood (PB) as determined with qRT-PCR before and after treatment, of the two groups. RESULTS: The total effective rate of the study group was higher than that of the control group, while the VAS score, time of onset of BTP, dose of morphine, incidence of adverse events, QOL score, and relative WNK1 expression in the PB were lower than those of the control group (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Combination treatment with controlled-release morphine tablets and celecoxib can be extensively used in the clinical setting because it effectively improves the symptoms, QOL score, and adverse effects in patients with osteocarcinoma-related pain.
The practice of regional anesthesia is in a state of progressive evolution, mainly due to the advent of ultrasound as an anesthesiologist's instrument. Alternative techniques for postoperative analgesia of abdominal surgeries, such as transversus abdominis plane block, oblique subcostal transversus abdominis plane block, rectus abdominis muscle sheath block, ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerve block, and quadratus lumborum plane block, have proven useful, with good analgesic efficacy, especially when neuroaxial techniques (spinal anesthesia or epidural anesthesia) are not possible. This review discusses such blockades in detail, including the anatomical principles, indications, techniques, and potential complications.
Preeclampsia is a multifactorial disease. Among these factors, untreated hypertension during pregnancy can result in high morbidity and mortality rates and may also be related to the future development of cardiovascular diseases.Therefore, this systematic review aimed to determine the association of previous preeclampsia with the future development of cardiovascular diseases. Studies on the association between preeclampsia and future cardiovascular diseases published in the last 10 years (2009-2019) were identified from the PubMed/Medline (207 articles), Embase (nine articles), and Cochrane (three articles) databases using the keywords “preeclampsia” and “future cardiovascular diseases”, “preeclampsia” and “future heart attack”, and “preeclampsia” and “future cardiac disease”. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 15 articles were analyzed by systematic review and meta-analysis according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The meta-analysis and the determination of the quality of the articles were conducted using RevMan software, version 5.3. Statistically significant differences were observed between the control and previous preeclampsia groups with respect to systolic blood pressure (mean difference [MD] 4.32; 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 3.65, 4.99; p<0.001), diastolic blood pressure (MD): 2.11; 95%CI: 1.68, 2.55; p<0.0001), and insulin level (MD: 2.80; 95% CI: 0.50, 5.11; p<0.001). Body mass index (MD: 2.57, 95%CI: 2.06, 3.07; p=0.0001), total cholesterol (MD: 10.39; 95%CI: 8.91, 11.87; p=0.0001), HDL (MD: 2.83; 95%CI: 2.20, 3.46; p=0.0001), and LDL (MD: 1.77; 95%CI: 0.42, 3.13; p=0.0001) also differed significantly between groups. Thus, the results of the present study showed that women with a history of preeclampsia were more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.