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  Karger Kompass
   Full-text available via subscription Subscription journal
   ISSN (Print) 2296-0368 - ISSN (Online) 2296-0317
   Published by Karger Homepage  [104 journals]
  • The Cost Effectiveness of Erythropoietin-Stimulating Agents for Treating
           Anemia in Patients on Dialysis: A Systematic Review
    • Abstract: Background: Anemia is a common complication associated with kidney failure and is marked by poor health and increased risk of morbidity and mortality. There are ongoing concerns with the use of Erythropoietin Stimulating Agents (ESAs) to treat anemia in patients with kidney failure on dialysis. Questions as to their benefits, harms and overall effect on quality of life are still relevant today. Our objective was to systematically review studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of ESAs in patients with kidney failure on dialysis. Methods: We performed a systematic review of studies determining the cost-effectiveness of ESAs in adult patients on dialysis. Databases, including PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, were searched from their establishment until June 2013. Studies that reported an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of hemoglobin correction strategies based on ESA treatments in comparison to red blood cell transfusions, lower hemoglobin targets, or no ESA treatment were included. Results: Seven studies met inclusion criteria. Reported cost/quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) ratios ranged from USD 931-677,749/QALY across five studies comparing ESAs to red blood cell transfusions. There was heterogeneity in results when considering higher hemoglobin targets, with studies finding higher targets to be both dominant and dominated. Mortality, hospitalization, and utility estimates were major drivers. Conclusions: There is substantial variability in the estimates of the cost-effectiveness of using ESAs in the dialysis population. New models incorporating recent meta-analyses for estimates of utility, mortality, and hospitalization changes would allow for a more comprehensive answer to this question.
      Am J Nephrol 2015;41:89-97
  • Phase Changing Material: An Alternative Method for Cooling Babies with
           Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy
    • Abstract: Background: Therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) has been proved effective. Standard equipment is expensive, while ice packs used in low resource settings are labour intensive and associated with wider temperature fluctuations. Objectives: To assess the feasibility of using phase changing material (PCM) as an alternative method for providing therapeutic hypothermia. Methods: We retrospectively analysed 41 babies with HIE who had been cooled with PCM (OM 32™ or HS 29™) to a target rectal temperature of 33-34°C. Rectal temperature was continuously monitored and recorded every hour. If the rectal temperature was >33.8°C, cool gel packs were applied, and if the temperature was
  • Clinical Value of Maternal Bile Acid Quantification in Intrahepatic
           Cholestasis of Pregnancy as an Adverse Perinatal Outcome Predictor
    • Abstract: Aims: To evaluate the correlation between perinatal outcome and bile acid levels in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP), and to evaluate variations in the mean bile acid level when stratifying by maternal and perinatal factors. A comparison between mild and severe ICP was made. Methods: A prospective observational study was performed in pregnant patients who underwent blood tests for bile acids due to persistent pruritus. Based on bile acid levels, maternal and neonatal data were obtained and were compared between patients presenting with ICP and gestational pruritus (normal bile acid level). Results: A total of 145 patients were included, 47 of whom were diagnosed as ICP (52 newborns) and 98 as gestational pruritus (102 newborns). The ICP group had a higher rate of NICU admission (14/42 vs. 6/98, p < 0.001) and global neonatal morbidity (13/42 vs. 9/98, p = 0.002), but these differences were no longer seen after adjusting for gestational age, singleton pregnancies and induction of labour. Patients presenting with severe ICP (maximum bile acids levels above 40 µmol/l) showed a higher rate of meconium-stained amniotic fluid (0/28 vs. 4/14, p = 0.009), NICU admission (9/34 vs. 11/17, p = 0.01) and neonatal global morbidity (5/32 vs. 8/17, p = 0.02). Conclusions: ICP patients have higher rates of adverse neonatal outcomes when compared to those with gestational pruritus. Some of this neonatal morbidity may be secondary to late spontaneous preterm deliveries, multiple gestation and a policy of elective induction of labour after 37 weeks of gestation. A comparison of outcomes among patients with mild and severe ICP shows that the severely affected group has higher rates of meconium-stained amniotic fluid and neonatal morbidity.
      Gynecol Obstet Invest
  • Prospective Evaluation of a Transfusion Policy of RhD-Positive Red Blood
           Cells into DEL Patients in China
    • Abstract: Background: The D antigen is highly immunogenic, requiring only a small quantity of transfused red blood cells (RBCs) to cause alloimmunization in D- immunocompetent recipients. DEL was reported arousing alloimmunization to true Rh- patients. Molecular studies of the RHD gene have revealed that DEL individuals retain a grossly intact RHD gene or have a portion of RHD in their genomes. Avoiding immunization with clinically important antibodies is a primary objective in transfusion medicine. Methods: In order to determine whether pregnant DEL women carrying an RhD+ fetus are at risk of anti-D alloimmunization, 808 Rh- pregnant women with a history of gestations or parturitions who regularly visited hospitals for their prenatal anti-D screening and postpartum care from January 2011 to December 2012 were investigated. Samples were analyzed for DEL by PCR with specific primers, PCR-sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP), reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR), PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), and by gene sequencing to characterize different alleles. Results: Among the 808 Rh- pregnant women of our sample, 178 (22.0%) were typed as DEL; 168 DEL samples were confirmed to have the RHD (1,227 G>A) allele, 8 DEL samples were characterized by one base mutation of the RHD (3G >A) allele, and the remaining two DEL samples were determined to carry RHD-CE(4-9)-D or RHD-CE(2-5)-D. The observation of allo-anti-D in two prominent D epitope loss cases confirmed the partial nature of these DEL phenotypes. Conclusions: In conclusion, evidence is provided that different DEL genotypes code either for partial or complete D antigen expression. It is suggested that the use of RhD+ RBCs in complete D antigen DEL patients does not induce adverse reaction.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • Monitoring of Hematopoietic Chimerism by Real-Time Quantitative PCR of
           Micro Insertions/Deletions in Samples with Low DNA Quantities
    • Abstract: Background: Sensitive and accurate methods to detect hematopoietic chimerism after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are essential to evaluate engraftment and to monitor response to therapeutic procedures such as donor lymphocyte infusion. Continuous long-term follow up, however, requires large amounts of pre-HSCT samples limiting the application of many widely used techniques for sensitive chimerism monitoring. Methods: DNAs from 42 normal healthy donors and 16 HSCT donor/recipient pairs were employed to validate the use of allele-specific insertion/deletion (indel) quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to quantify chimerism in samples with low amounts of DNA. Consequently, indel-qPCR analyses of samples from 16 HSCT patients were compared to short-tandem repeat (STR) specific PCR analyses. Results: Typing with reduced amounts of input DNA (15 vs. 60 ng) allowed for the reliable distinction of positive (mean threshold cycle (ct) 28.05) and negative (ct >36) signals. The high informativity of primer/probe sets, with 12 out of 19 markers exceeding 20% informativity, was confirmed in our cohort (n = 74). Importantly, a fourfold reduction of input DNA compared to published protocols did not alter PCR efficiencies and allowed for a more sensitive detection of chimerism in 7 of 16 HSCT patients compared to results obtained by STR-PCR. Conclusions: Our data suggest that indel-qPCR is a more sensitive technique for the detection of hematopoietic chimerism compared to STR-PCR and works efficiently for samples with low amounts of DNA.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • A Unique Case Involving a Female Patient with Upshaw-Schulman Syndrome:
           Low Titers of Antibodies against ADAMTS13 prior to Pregnancy Disappeared
           after Successful Delivery
    • Abstract: Background: Upshaw-Schulman syndrome (USS) is usually suspected based on severe deficiency of ADAMTS13 activity without ADAMTS13 antibody, but the definitive diagnosis is made by ADAMTS13 gene analysis. We present a unique case of USS with low titers of ADAMTS13 antibodies before pregnancy. Interestingly, titers of ADAMTS13 antibodies decreased to almost undetectable levels after delivery. Case Report: In patient LL4, the diagnosis of USS was confirmed at age 27 by ADAMTS13 gene analysis. She became pregnant at age 30. During the pregnancy, she received regular fresh frozen plasma (FFP) infusion. Plasma von Willebrand factor levels increase as pregnancy progresses. To prevent platelet thrombi, much more ADAMTS13 supplementation is necessary during late gestation in patients with USS. Therefore, we shortened the interval between and increased the volume of FFP infusions as pregnancy progressed. At 39 weeks, she delivered a healthy baby girl. Before pregnancy, she had low titers of both neutralizing and binding anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies. Despite frequent FFP infusions, titers of the antibodies did not increase, but rather decreased to almost undetectable levels during pregnancy. Conclusion: Both the neutralizing and binding antibodies against ADAMTS13 decreased to almost undetectable levels after delivery in this patient, which can be caused by an immunological reset.
      Transfus Med Hemother
  • Impact of Prophylactic Mastectomy in
           BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers
    • Abstract: Unlike the general decrease in invasive oncologic care, the trend for prophylactic bilateral mastectomy in healthy women and prophylactic contralateral mastectomy in women with unilateral breast cancer is steadily rising. This is even more surprising when considering that for e.g. prophylactic contralateral mastectomy no clear survival benefit has been demonstrated so far. The decision-making process around risk-reducing surgery may be influenced by several conflicting parameters such as the patient's fears and desire to achieve a survival advantage, the surgeon's financial motivations, or the oncologist's paternalistic approach to the above trend. Physicians should support their patients throughout the decision-making process, guide them through the dense fog of information, and encourage them to reconsider all options and alternatives before embarking on an irreversible surgical intervention. Healthy and diseased women should be comprehensively informed about their absolute individual risks for cancer, the benefits and harms of the surgery, alternative preventive strategies, and last but not least the competing risks of preceding carcinomas and cancer in general. Within the framework of non-directive counseling in the specialized centers of the German Consortium for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (GC-HBOC), decision-making aids are being developed with grants from the Federal Ministry of Health and the German Cancer Aid to support women in making conclusive and satisfactory decisions.
      Breast Care 2014;9:385-389
  • Reproduction and Breast Cancer Risk
    • Abstract: Reproduction is doubtlessly one of the main biological meanings of life. It is therefore not surprising that various aspects of reproduction impact on breast cancer risk. Various developmental levels may become targets of breast tumorigenesis. This review follows the chronologic sequence of events in the life of a female at risk, starting with the intrauterine development. Furthermore, the influence of both contraceptive measures and fertility treatment on breast cancer development is dealt with, as well as various pregnancy-associated factors, events, and perinatal outcomes. Finally, the contribution of breast feeding to a reduced breast cancer risk is discussed.
      Breast Care 2014;9:398-405
  • Effect of Intravitreal Bevacizumab Injection before Ahmed Glaucoma Valve
           Implantation in Neovascular Glaucoma
    • Abstract: Ophthalmologica 2013;229:94–100
  • Long-Term Outcome of Polymyositis Treated with High Single-Dose
           Alternate-Day Prednisolone Therapy
    • Abstract: Eur Neurol 2012;68:117–121
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