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Journal: Journal of clinical medicine


Current strategies for preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease to offspring include techniques known as mitochondrial replacement and mitochondrial gene editing. This technology has already been applied in humans on several occasions, and the first baby with donor mitochondria has already been born. However, these techniques raise several ethical concerns, among which is the fact that they entail genetic modification of the germline, as well as presenting safety problems in relation to a possible mismatch between the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, maternal mitochondrial DNA carryover, and the “reversion” phenomenon. In this essay, we discuss these questions, highlighting the advantages of some techniques over others from an ethical point of view, and we conclude that none of these are ready to be safely applied in humans.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Cell, Bacteria, Mitochondrion, Mitochondrial DNA, Ethics, Mitochondrial disease


Peptic ulcer is a chronic disease affecting up to 10% of the world’s population. The formation of peptic ulcers depends on the presence of gastric juice pH and the decrease in mucosal defenses. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection are the two major factors disrupting the mucosal resistance to injury. Conventional treatments of peptic ulcers, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonists, have demonstrated adverse effects, relapses, and various drug interactions. On the other hand, medicinal plants and their chemical compounds are useful in the prevention and treatment of numerous diseases. Hence, this review presents common medicinal plants that may be used for the treatment or prevention of peptic ulcers.


The impact of diabetes on perioperative outcomes remains incompletely understood. Our purpose is to evaluate post-operative complications and mortality in patients with diabetes. Using the institutional and clinical databases of three university hospitals from 2009⁻2015, we conducted a matched study of 16,539 diabetes patients, aged >20 years, who underwent major surgery. Using a propensity score matching procedure, 16,539 surgical patients without diabetes who underwent surgery were also selected. Logistic regressions were used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for post-operative complications and in-hospital mortality associated with diabetes. Patients with diabetes had a higher risk of postoperative septicemia (OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.01⁻1.74), necrotizing fasciitis (OR 3.98, 95% CI 1.12⁻14.2), cellulitis (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.46⁻3.03), acute pyelonephritis (OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.01⁻3.41), infectious arthritis (OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.19⁻12.7), and in-hospital mortality (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.07⁻2.13) compared to people without diabetes. Previous admission for diabetes (OR 2.33, 95% CI 1.85⁻2.93), HbA1c >8% (OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.64⁻2.33) and fasting glucose >180 mg/dL (OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.68⁻2.16) were predictors for post-operative adverse events. Diabetes patients who underwent surgery had higher risks of infectious complications and in-hospital mortality compared with patients without diabetes who underwent similar major surgeries.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease associated with a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is commonly used to control disease activity in patients with SLE. We evaluated its potential additional therapeutic effect for reducing CVD in SLE patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study, in which one million participants were sampled from 23 million beneficiaries and data were collected from 2000 to 2013. In total, 826 SLE patients receiving HCQ medication were included after exclusion for previous CVD. The total number of SLE patients was 795 after follow-up for more than one year. After adjusting for chronic comorbidity, a significantly decreased hazard ratio (HR) for coronary artery disease (CAD) was found among SLE patients with a high usage of HCQ for at least 318 days (HR = 0.31, 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.12-0.76). A low HR for CAD was observed in SLE patients with a high cumulative dose of at least 100,267 mg HCQ (HR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.09-0.66). However, there was no significant lowering of the HR for stroke. Long-term HCQ therapy decreases the HR of CVD in SLE patients. The cardiovascular protective effect of HCQ therapy was associated with decrease in CAD, but not stroke.


Background: Most pregnancy-related medical complications appear to resolve at delivery or shortly thereafter. Common examples are preterm labor, placental abruption, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Women who developed such complications are known to be at increased risk of developing similar complications in future pregnancies. It has recently become evident that these women are at an increased risk of long term medical complications. Methods: A search through scientific publications in English regarding the association of obstetric complications and long-term maternal illness. Results: There is a clear association between various obstetric complications and long-term effects on maternal health. Conclusions: Women with a history of adverse pregnancy outcomes are at increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life. Data increasingly links maternal vascular, metabolic, and inflammatory complications of pregnancy with an increased risk of vascular disease in later life.

Concepts: Medicine, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Obstetrics, Gestational diabetes, Placenta, Caesarean section


Drug-induced interstitial lung disease (DIILD) occurs as a result of numerous agents, but the risk often only becomes apparent after the marketing authorisation of such agents.


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a heterogeneous disorder of significant societal impact that is proposed to involve both host and environmentally derived aetiologies that may be autoimmune in nature. Immune-related symptoms of at least moderate severity persisting for prolonged periods of time are common in ME/CFS patients and B cell depletion therapy is of significant therapeutic benefit. The origin of these symptoms and whether it is infectious or inflammatory in nature is not clear, with seeking evidence of acute or chronic virus infections contributing to the induction of autoimmune processes in ME/CFS being an area of recent interest. This article provides a comprehensive review of the current evidence supporting an infectious aetiology for ME/CFS leading us to propose the novel concept that the intestinal microbiota and in particular members of the virome are a source of the “infectious” trigger of the disease. Such an approach has the potential to identify disease biomarkers and influence therapeutics, providing much-needed approaches in preventing and managing a disease desperately in need of confronting.

Concepts: Medicine, Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Therapy, Symptom, Novel, Fatigue


By the sixth decade of life, nearly one quarter of the population has substantial muscle atrophy, or sarcopenia. Despite the creation of a standardized definition of sarcopenia by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People, variability may exist in the diagnostic criteria utilized for clinical sarcopenia research. The primary objectives of this review were to characterize diagnostic criteria used for measurement of sarcopenia in original studies, and to describe associations between sarcopenia and important clinical outcomes. We performed a literature review of the term “sarcopenia” in PubMed. Inclusion criteria were English language, original data, a clear and specific definition for diagnosing sarcopenia, and the analysis of sarcopenia’s effect on a clinical outcome. A total of 283 studies met inclusion criteria. More than half of the included sarcopenia investigations were level IV studies (54.1%), while 43.1% provided level II evidence. Under one third (27.6%) of studies examined sarcopenia with regard to surgical outcomes. In terms of diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia, 264 (93.3%) studies used measures of skeletal muscle mass, with dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) being the most common modality (43.6%). Sarcopenia was found to be a consistent predictor of chronic disease progression, all-cause mortality, poorer functional outcomes, and postoperative complications. In conclusion, there is substantial evidence that sarcopenia impacts both medical and surgical outcomes. However, current research has utilized heterogeneous diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia. Further efforts to standardize the modalities used to diagnose sarcopenia in clinical research and practice will help strengthen our ability to study this important phenomenon.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Medicine, Diagnosis, Muscle, Muscle atrophy, Sarcopenia, Clinical research, Atrophy


Quadrilateral space syndrome (QSS) is a rare disorder characterized by axillary nerve and posterior humeral circumflex artery (PHCA) compression within the quadrilateral space. Impingement is most frequently due to trauma, fibrous bands, or hypertrophy of one of the muscular borders. Diagnosis can be complicated by the presence of concurrent traumatic injuries, particularly in athletes. Since many other conditions can mimic QSS, it is often a diagnosis of exclusion. Conservative treatment is often first trialed, including physical exercise modification, physical therapy, and therapeutic massage. In patients unrelieved by conservative measures, surgical decompression of the quadrilateral space may be indicated.

Concepts: Muscle, Exercise, Physical therapy, Exercise physiology, Massage, Axillary nerve, Posterior humeral circumflex artery, Quadrangular space


A new application for omega-3 fatty acids has recently emerged, concerning the treatment of several mental disorders. This indication is supported by data of neurobiological research, as highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) are highly concentrated in neural phospholipids and are important components of the neuronal cell membrane. They modulate the mechanisms of brain cell signaling, including the dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways. The aim of this review is to provide a complete and updated account of the empirical evidence of the efficacy and safety that are currently available for omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. The main evidence for the effectiveness of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been obtained in mood disorders, in particular in the treatment of depressive symptoms in unipolar and bipolar depression. There is some evidence to support the use of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of conditions characterized by a high level of impulsivity and aggression and borderline personality disorders. In patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, small-to-modest effects of omega-3 HUFAs have been found. The most promising results have been reported by studies using high doses of EPA or the association of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In schizophrenia, current data are not conclusive and do not allow us either to refuse or support the indication of omega-3 fatty acids. For the remaining psychiatric disturbances, including autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders and substance use disorder, the data are too scarce to draw any conclusion. Concerning tolerability, several studies concluded that omega-3 can be considered safe and well tolerated at doses up to 5 g/day.

Concepts: Fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Mental disorder, Abnormal psychology, Schizophrenia, Borderline personality disorder, Eicosapentaenoic acid