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Concept: Medical signs


BACKGROUND: Enhancing athletic performance is a great desire among the athletes, coaches and researchers. Mint is one of the most famous natural herbs used for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant, and vasoconstrictor effects. Even though inhaling mint aroma in athletes has been investigated, there were no significant effects on the exercise performance. METHODS: Twelve healthy male students every day consumed one 500 ml bottle of mineral water, containing 0.05 ml peppermint essential oil for ten days. Blood pressure, heart rate, and spirometry parameters including forced vital capacity (FVC), peak expiratory flow rate (PEF), and peak inspiratory flow (PIF) were determined one day before, and after the supplementation period. Participants underwent a treadmill-based exercise test with metabolic gas analysis and ventilation measurement using the Bruce protocol. RESULTS: The FVC (4.57 +/- 0.90 vs. 4.79 +/- 0.84; p < 0.001), PEF (8.50 +/- 0.94 vs. 8.87 +/- 0.92; p < 0.01), and PIF (5.71 +/- 1.16 vs. 6.58 +/-1.08; p < 0.005) significantly changed after ten days of supplementation. Exercise performance evaluated by time to exhaustion (664.5 +/- 114.2 vs. 830.2 +/- 129.8 s), work (78.34 +/-32.84 vs. 118.7 +/- 47.38 KJ), and power (114.3 +/- 24.24 vs. 139.4 +/- 27.80 KW) significantly increased (p < 0.001). In addition, the results of respiratory gas analysis exhibited significant differences in VO2 (2.74 +/- 0.40 vs. 3.03 +/- 0.351 L/min; p < 0.001), and VCO2 (3.08 +/- 0.47 vs. 3.73 +/- 0.518 L/min; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The results of the experiment support the effectiveness of peppermint essential oil on the exercise performance, gas analysis, spirometry parameters, blood pressure, and respiratory rate in the young male students. Relaxation of bronchial smooth muscles, increase in the ventilation and brain oxygen concentration, and decrease in the blood lactate level are the most plausible explanations.

Concepts: Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Respiratory physiology, Medical signs, Spirometry, Exercise physiology, Vital capacity, Peak flow meter


A 46-year-old farmer presented to the emergency department 3 hours after his penis was bitten by a snake while he was urinating in an open field. Examination revealed stable vital signs, with a grossly swollen penis and formation of hemorrhagic bullae at the puncture sites.

Concepts: Vital signs, Medical signs, Squamata, Penis, Viperidae, Snake, Bite, Dublin


Urine output (UO) is a vital sign for critical ill patients but standards for monitoring and reporting vary widely between ICUs. Careful monitoring of UO could lead to earlier recognition of acute kidney injury (AKI) and better fluid management. We sought to determine if intensity of UO monitoring is associated with outcomes in patients with and without AKI.

Concepts: Blood pressure, Vital signs, Acute kidney injury, Medical signs


Reliable, real-time heart and respiratory rates are key vital signs used in evaluating the physiological status in many clinical and non-clinical settings. Measuring these vital signs generally requires superficial attachment of physically or logistically obtrusive sensors to subjects that may result in skin irritation or adversely influence subject performance. Given the broad acceptance of ingestible electronics, we developed an approach that enables vital sign monitoring internally from the gastrointestinal tract. Here we report initial proof-of-concept large animal (porcine) experiments and a robust processing algorithm that demonstrates the feasibility of this approach. Implementing vital sign monitoring as a stand-alone technology or in conjunction with other ingestible devices has the capacity to significantly aid telemedicine, optimize performance monitoring of athletes, military service members, and first-responders, as well as provide a facile method for rapid clinical evaluation and triage.

Concepts: Physiology, Heart, The Canon of Medicine, Blood pressure, Avicenna, Vital signs, Medical signs, Biotelemetry


Intra-lesional chemotherapy for treatment of cutaneous malignancies has been used for many decades, allowing higher local drug concentrations and less toxicity than systemic agents. Here we describe a novel diterpene ester, EBC-46, and provide preclinical data supporting its use as an intra-lesional treatment. A single injection of EBC-46 caused rapid inflammation and influx of blood, followed by eschar formation and rapid tumor ablation in a range of syngeneic and xenograft models. EBC-46 induced oxidative burst from purified human polymorphonuclear cells, which was prevented by the Protein Kinase C inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide-1. EBC-46 activated a more specific subset of PKC isoforms (PKC-βI, -βII, -α and -γ) compared to the structurally related phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Although EBC-46 showed threefold less potency for inhibiting cell growth than PMA in vitro, it was more effective for cure of tumors in vivo. No viable tumor cells were evident four hours after injection by ex vivo culture. Pharmacokinetic profiles from treated mice indicated that EBC-46 was retained preferentially within the tumor, and resulted in significantly greater local responses (erythema, oedema) following intra-lesional injection compared with injection into normal skin. The efficacy of EBC-46 was reduced by co-injection with bisindolylmaleimide-1. Loss of vascular integrity following treatment was demonstrated by an increased permeability of endothelial cell monolayers in vitro and by CD31 immunostaining of treated tumors in vivo. Our results demonstrate that a single intra-lesional injection of EBC-46 causes PKC-dependent hemorrhagic necrosis, rapid tumor cell death and ultimate cure of solid tumors in pre-clinical models of cancer.

Concepts: Cancer, Oncology, Benign tumor, Tumor, Neoplasm, Protein kinase, Medical signs, Protein kinase C


Children with brain tumors (CBT) are at high risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes compared to the general population. Recently, adiposity has been reported to be more informative for cardiometabolic risk stratification than body mass index (BMI) in the general population. The goal of this study is to describe the adiposity phenotype in CBT, and to establish adiposity determinants. We recruited CBT (n = 56) and non-cancer controls (n = 106). Percent body fat (%FM), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) were measured to determine total and central adiposity, respectively. Regression analyses were used to evaluate adiposity determinants. CBT had higher total and central adiposity compared to non-cancer controls despite having similar BMI measurements. Those with tumors at the supratentorial region had increased total and central adiposity, while those who received radiotherapy had increased total adiposity. In conclusion, CBT have increased total and central adiposity in the presence of similar BMI levels when compared to non-cancer controls. Adiposity, especially central adiposity, is a potential cardiometabolic risk factor present relatively early in life in CBT. Defining interventions to target adiposity may improve long-term outcomes by preventing cardiometabolic disorders in CBT.

Concepts: Cancer, Obesity, Brain tumor, Adipose tissue, Body mass index, Medical signs, Body fat percentage, Waist-hip ratio


STUDY DESIGN.: Retrospective case series. OBJECTIVE.: This report provides long-term follow-up on athletes who have sustained a cervical spinal cord contusion. Their magnetic resonance (MR) image is correlated with clinical signs and symptoms. Mechanism of injury and a hypothesis of etiology are reported. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA.: Current return-to-play criteria for athletes who sustain a cervical cord contusion are based on expert opinion only. Decision making for this clinical situation in athletes carries significant clinical, legal, and economic ramifications. The natural history, clinical correlation, and effect of surgery for athletic cervical cord contusions have not been established. The mechanism of injury for this entity has historically emphasized axial loading. METHODS.: The case histories, physical examination, and MR images were reviewed for 4 professional athletes. All athletes had documented cervical cord contusions. None of the athletes had an acute disc herniation, fracture, instability, or focal cord compression. All athletes were contacted by telephone to assess symptoms at a minimum follow-up of 2 years after injury. RESULTS.: All 4 athletes had congenital stenosis, defined as lack of CSF signal around the cord on an MR image. All underwent anterior fusions at the level of their contusion. In follow-up, 2 athletes developed new contusions: one more than 5 years later, adjacent to a fusion; and 1, 2 years later, not adjacent to his previous fusion. No athlete developed permanent neurological sequelae. The presence of a contusion did not correlate with athletes' signs and symptoms. The mechanism of injury was hyperextension. CONCLUSION.: It is hypothesized that the horizontal facet orientation of the C3-C4 level, congenital stenosis, and relative hypermobility in extension are the contributing factors in the cause of this clinical entity. An anterior fusion at the C3-C4 level seems to be the most reliable method of preventing or delaying the return of symptoms. Return-to-play guidelines should emphasize the athletes' history of symptoms in context with their MR image because there is poor correlation between the finding of a contusion and the clinical presentation. Recurrence of symptoms is common and the long-term consequences of repeated episodes remain unknown.

Concepts: Spinal cord, Symptom, Magnetic resonance imaging, Medical diagnosis, Medical signs, Correlation and dependence, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Medical sign


BACKGROUND: Primary vitreous floaters can be highly bothersome in some patients. In the case of persistently bothersome floaters, pars plana vitrectomy may be the most effective treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the incidence of complications, and patient satisfaction, after pars plana vitrectomy for disabling primary vitreous opacities. METHODS: We included a total of 110 eyes that underwent pars plana vitrectomy between February 1998 and August 2010. Fifty-seven eyes (51.8 %) underwent 20-gauge vitrectomy, whereas 53 eyes (48.2 %) underwent 23-gauge vitrectomy. In a retrospective manner, we assessed intraoperative and postoperative complications. There was a considerable range of time between surgery and questionnaire (range: 4-136 months). Patient satisfaction was assessed by a questionnaire based on a modified NEI VFQ-25 questionnaire. RESULTS: A retinal detachment occurred in 10.9 % of cases, and the incidence did not differ significantly between the 20-gauge and 23-gauge vitrectomy groups. In 4.5 % of the eyes, a retinal detachment developed within the first 3 months, and 6.4 % occurred later in the postoperative period. Cystoid macular edema occurred in 5.5 %, and an epiretinal membrane was seen postoperatively in 3.6 % of cases. Development of glaucoma requiring glaucoma surgery, a macular hole, and postoperative scotoma, each occurred in 0.9 % of cases. No cases of endophthalmitis occurred. Eighty-five percent of patients were satisfied or very satisfied with the results of the vitrectomy. Eighty-four percent of all patients were completely cured from their troublesome vitreous floaters, and an additional 9.3 % of patients were less troubled by vitreous floaters. Ten patients (9.3 %) were dissatisfied, and six of these patients (5.6 %) had a serious complication that resulted in permanent visual loss. CONCLUSIONS: Pars plana vitrectomy is an effective approach to treat primary vitreous floaters, resulting in a high rate of patient satisfaction. Postoperative complications may be more frequent than previously reported, so patients should be well-informed about the complication rate before reaching informed consent about this surgical intervention. Additional preventive measures should be considered to reduce this complication rate.

Concepts: Surgery, Medical signs, Retina, Ophthalmology, Vitrectomy, Diabetic retinopathy, Vision loss, Floater


Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the functional and anatomical outcome after intravitreal ranibizumab injection in 2 patients with cystoid macular edema (CME) related to Irvine-Gass syndrome. Methods: Two patients with pseudophakic CME refractory to current standard topical treatment were enrolled in this study. Intravitreal (0.5 mg/0.05 mL) ranibizumab injection was performed. Baseline visits included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), a fundus examination, optical coherence tomography (OCT), and fundus fluorescein angiography (FA). The main outcome measures were changes in visual acuity, retinal thickness on OCT, and complications related to treatment. Results: FA and OCT confirmed the diagnosis of pseudophakic CME in both cases. The initial BCVA was 5/100 in the first case. After 1 injection of intravitreal ranibizumab, retinal edema totally regressed and BCVA improved to 6/10. The central macular thickness (CMT) measured with OCT was 379 μm at baseline and decreased to 227 μm at the 16-month visit. The initial BCVA was 5/10 in the second case. It improved to 8/10 after 2 ranibizumab injections and remained unchanged at the 21-month visit. The CMT measured with OCT was 419 μm at baseline and decreased to 243 μm at the final follow-up. There were no ocular or systemic complications related to the intravitreal injections. Conclusion: Intravitreal ranibizumab appeared to be an effective treatment of macular edema related to Irvine-Gass syndrome. Prospective controlled studies are warranted to compare the long-term safety and efficacy between intravitreal ranibizumab and other treatment options in cases of Irvine-Gass syndrome.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Medical signs, Retina, Ophthalmology, Diabetic retinopathy, Optical coherence tomography, Fluorescein angiography, Macular edema


Purpose: To evaluate the diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging characteristics of nonmalignant lesion subtypes assessed as false-positive findings at conventional breast magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Materials and Methods: This HIPAA-compliant retrospective study had institutional review board approval, and the need for informed patient consent was waived. Lesions assessed as Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System category 4 or 5 at clinical dynamic contrast material-enhanced MR imaging that subsequently proved nonmalignant at biopsy were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred seventy-five nonmalignant breast lesions in 165 women were evaluated. Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) from DW imaging (b = 0, 600 sec/mm(2)) were calculated for each lesion and were compared between subtypes and with an ADC threshold of 1.81 × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec (determined in a prior study to achieve 100% sensitivity). Results: Eighty-one (46%) lesions exhibited ADCs greater than the predetermined threshold. The most prevalent lesion subtypes with mean ADCs above the threshold were fibroadenoma ([1.94 ± 0.38 {standard deviation}] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 30), focal fibrosis ([1.84 ± 0.48] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 19), normal tissue ([1.81 ± 0.47] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 13), apocrine metaplasia ([2.01 ± 0.38] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 13), usual ductal hyperplasia ([1.83 ± 0.49] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 12), and inflammation ([1.95 ± 0.46] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 10). Atypical ductal hyperplasia ([1.48 ± 0.36] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 23) was the most common lesion subtype with ADC below the threshold. Lymph nodes exhibited the lowest mean ADC of all nonmalignant lesions ([1.28 ± 0.23] × 10(-3) mm(2)/sec; n = 4). High-risk lesions (atypical ductal hyperplasia and lobular neoplasia) showed significantly lower ADCs than other benign lesions (P < .0001) and were the most common lesions with ADCs below the threshold. Conclusion: Assessing ADC along with dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging features may decrease the number of avoidable false-positive findings at breast MR imaging and reduce the number of preventable biopsies. The ability of DW imaging to help differentiate high-risk lesions requiring additional work-up from other nonmalignant subtypes may further improve patient care. © RSNA, 2012 Supplemental material:

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Anatomical pathology, Magnetic resonance imaging, Medical signs, Mammography, Lesion, Breast lump