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Journal: Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research


BACKGROUND Obstructive jaundice is a serious, life-threatening condition that can lead to death as a result of sepsis and multiorgan failure due to bacterial translocation. Treatment should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis. MATERIAL AND METHODS Forty 24-week-old male Sprague Dawley rats, with an average weight of 250 g to 300 g, were included in this study. The rats were randomly placed into five groups, each group consisted of eight rats. The sham group underwent only common bile duct (CBD) dissection and no ligation was performed. CBD ligation was applied to the other groups. After the operation, one CBD group was fed with rat chow only, the others were fed with rat chow supplemented with honey, or immunonutrients, or honey plus immunonutrients. After 10 to 12 days, all rats were sacrificed; blood and tissue samples were collected for biochemical, microbiological, and histopathological evaluation. RESULTS In the groups that were fed with honey and immunonutrients, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were decreased significantly compared to the other groups. Statistically significant differences were detected in terms of bacterial translocation (BT) rates among liver and spleen samples, and laboratory values of serum, except for MLNs of the BDL+HI group, when compared to other groups. We found mean mucosal thickness of ileum samples have been improved notably in the BDL+HI group compared to the other groups, especially compared to the C/BDL group. CONCLUSIONS Immunonutrition applied with honey had immunostimulant effects, decreased BT due to an additive effect, and had positive effects on intestinal mucosa.


BACKGROUND VSMC proliferation plays a key role in atherosclerosis, but the role of XPD in VSMC proliferation remains unknown. We investigated the expression of XPD, which is involved in cell cycle regulation, and its role in VSMC proliferation response to atherogenic stimuli. MATERIAL AND METHODS Human umbilical vein VSMCs were transfected with recombinant plasmid pEGFP-N2/XPD and pEGFP-N2 and incubated with PDGF-BB in vitro. Cell viability was determined by MTT assay. The expressions of XPD, GSK3β, p-GSK3β, CDK4, and cyclin D1 protein were detected by Western blot analysis. Cell cycle was examined by flow cytometry. RESULTS PDGF inhibited the expression of XPD in VSMCs and promoted VSMC proliferation. Overexpression of XPD significantly augmented cell cycle arrest, and attenuated protein expression levels of CDK4 and cyclin D1 in VSMCs. XPD overexpression suppressed the effects of PDGF-BB in promoting G1/S transition and accelerating protein expression levels of CDK4 and cyclin D1. XPD diminished the phosphorylation of GSK3β, and SB216763 inhibited the reduction effect of XPD on CDK4 and cyclin D1. CONCLUSIONS XPD induces VSMC cell cycle arrest, and the activation of GSK3β plays a crucial role in inhibitory effect of XPD on VSMC proliferation.


Background Fatigue is a common symptom in modern society. There has been a recent resurgence of interest in traditional remedies for fatigue. Chicken essence, which is rich in anserine and carnosine, has been widely taken in Asian countries as a traditional remedy with various aims, including attenuation of physical and mental fatigue. However, the evidence for its efficacy specifically for mental fatigue remains unclear. We examined the effect of essence of chicken on mental fatigue in humans, using our established fatigue-inducing task and evaluation methods. Material and Methods In this placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 healthy male volunteers were randomized to receive daily oral administration of essence of chicken or placebo drink provided by Cerebos Pacific Ltd. via Suntory holdings Ltd. for 4 weeks. The participants performed 2-back test trials as a fatigue-inducing mental task and then had a rest session. Just before and after each session, they completed cognitive task trials focusing on selective attention to evaluate the level of mental fatigue. Results After essence of chicken intake for 1 and 4 weeks, the reaction times on the cognitive task trials after the rest session were significantly shorter than those at baseline, and significant changes were not observed with placebo intake. The reaction times before and after the fatigue-inducing session were not altered by either essence of chicken or placebo intake. Conclusions We showed that daily intake of essence of chicken could be effective for the recovery from mental fatigue and is a promising candidate for use as an anti-fatigue food.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical trial, Human, Male, Attention, Effect, Effectiveness, Cognitive psychology


Background The aim of the conducted study was to analyze the phenomenon of Couvade Syndrome amongst fathers expecting their children in Poland. The authors examined the frequency of couvade symptoms in male subjects as well as their associations with male empathy. Material and Methods The research involved 143 expectant fathers. All subjects attended antenatal classes, and their female partners were in their third trimester. Before the start of classes, participants were asked to fill in the following questionnaires: a survey for measurement of Couvade Syndrome (which includes a set of 16 symptoms identified by Lipkin and Lamb (19) and translated into Polish), and the Empathic Sensitiveness Scale (SWE). Although participants, on average, did not experience Couvade Syndrome, they did experience symptoms that are commonly linked with the syndrome, namely those related to weight (weight gain, changes in appetite and flatulence). Results The results indicate that expectant fathers experience couvade symptoms related to weight (weight gain, changes in appetite and flatulence). The only empathic component that positively correlates with Couvade Syndrome is personal distress, i.e. the tendency to take on the negative emotions of others. Demographic characteristics are not associated with Couvade Syndrome. Conclusions The frequency of couvade symptoms in male subjects is associated with male empathy. In other words, men who are emotionally sensitive or prone to distress may physiologically experience the pregnancy of their female partners, which can be interpreted as compathy.

Concepts: Psychology, Pregnancy, Male, Greek loanwords, Empathy, Emotion, Empathic concern, Sympathy


Background Ultrasonographic (US) screening of the urinary tract (UT) in infants was used to determine if there is a connection between the frequency of pyelocaliceal dilation (PCD) in asymptomatic infants with normal antenatal US screening and occurrence of congenital anomalies of kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) and urinary tract infections (UTI). Material and Methods US screening of the UT was performed on 1000 healthy infants, 7 days to 6 months old. Two subgroups of kidneys were described: subgroup 1 contained kidneys with anterior posterior pelvic diameter (APPD) of 5-9.9 mm, and subgroup 2 with APPD over 10 mm. US examinations and methods for detection of UTI and CAKUT were used. Results PCD was found in 74 infants (7.4%): 1.9% of infants had CAKUT, and 8.4% had UTI. In subgroup 1, CAKUT was found in 4 (6.3%) and UTI in 9 (14.3%) infants. In subgroup 2, CAKUT was found in 6 (54.5%), and UTI in 4 (36.4%) infants. Conclusions Mild PCD significantly increases the risk for CAKUT but not for UTI. Moderate to severe PCD significantly increases risk for both CAKUT and UTI. The postnatal US screening of UT is recommended for improved detection of PCD and associated CAKUT. Indirectly, postnatal US screening of UT can help in detecting people at risk for UTI in the first year of life, and therefore help prevent possible kidney damage.

Concepts: Kidney, Nephrology, Urinary tract infection, Urine, Urinary bladder, Urinary system, Ureter, Normal subgroup


BACKGROUND The circle of Willis is a major collateral pathway important in ischemic conditions. The aim of our study was to assess the structural characteristics of the circle of Willis within the Turkish adult population, along with variations and arteries involved in the measurement of diameters and lengths on cranial computed tomography angiography (CTA). MATERIAL AND METHODS One hundred adult patients who underwent CTA images were evaluated retrospectively. RESULTS Results of the study revealed 82% adult, 17% fetal, and 1% transitional configurations. A complete polygonal structure was observed in 28% of cases. Variations of the circle of Willis were more common in the posterior portion. Hypoplasia was found to be the most common variation and was observed as a maximum in the posterior communicating artery (AComP). CONCLUSIONS The patency and size of arteries in the circle of Willis are important in occlusive cerebrovascular diseases and cerebrovascular surgery. Although CTA is an easily accessible non-invasive clinical method for demonstrating the vascular structure, CTA should be evaluated taking into account image resolution quality and difficulties in the identification of small vessels.

Concepts: Blood vessel, Medical imaging, Posterior communicating artery, Cardiovascular system, Circle, Circle of Willis, Posterior cerebral artery


Background Post-stroke cognitive impairment is common and a decisive prognostic factor. However, few studies have reported on post-stroke cognition in young adults, especially long-term cognition. This study was designed to investigate the influence of baseline factors, treatments, and functional outcome on the long-term cognitive outcome in young adults with ischemic stroke. Material and Methods Consecutive patients aged 18-45 years between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010, with a first-ever ischemic stroke, were recruited for cognitive assessment by telephone from December 10 to December 31, 2013 using modified versions of “Telephone Instrument for Cognitive Status” (TICS-m) scale. The relationship of cognitive impairment with baseline factors, treatments, and functional outcome were evaluated. Results A total of 350 patients with an average age of 41.0±6.8 years (69.7% males and 30.3% females) were reviewed. The average follow-up period was 5.8±3.2 years, and cognitive impairment existed in 39.4% of patients at follow-up. Stroke severity on admission, functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale, mRS >2) at discharge, left anterior circulation syndrome, and stroke recurrence were markedly associated with post-stroke cognitive impairment (all P<0.01). Post-stroke cognition was also significantly related to mRS at follow-up (r=-0.563, P<0.001). Conclusions Post-stroke cognition was related to functional outcome: hence, treatment directed toward reducing functional disability might also reduce cognitive impairment.

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Educational psychology, Disability, Reasoning, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine, Young adult


Asthma is characterized by airway inflammation, airway obstruction, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), and it affects 300 million people worldwide. However, our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie asthma remains limited. Recent studies have suggested that transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), one of the transient receptor potential cation channels, may be involved in airway inflammation in asthma. The present review discusses the relationship between TRPA1 and neurogenic inflammation in asthma, hoping to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of airway inflammation in asthma.

Concepts: Immune system, Present, Electron, Atom, Ion channel, Obstructive lung disease, Channel, Receptors


BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to use a three-dimensional (3D) visualization technology to illustrate and describe the anatomical features of the penile suspensory ligamentous system based on the Visible Human data sets and to explore the suspensory mechanism of the penis for the further improvement of the penis-lengthening surgery. MATERIAL AND METHODS Cross-sectional images retrieved from the first Chinese Visible Human (CVH-1), third Chinese Visible Human (CVH-3), and Visible Human Male (VHM) data sets were used to segment the suspensory ligamentous system and its adjacent structures. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of this system were studied and compared with those from the Visible Human data sets. The 3D models reconstructed from the Visible Human data sets were used to provide morphological features of the penile suspensory ligamentous system and its related structures. RESULTS The fundiform ligament was a superficial, loose, fibro-fatty tissue which originated from Scarpa’s fascia superiorly and continued to the scrotal septum inferiorly. The suspensory ligament and arcuate pubic ligament were dense fibrous connective tissues which started from the pubic symphysis and terminated by attaching to the tunica albuginea of the corpora cavernosa. Furthermore, the arcuate pubic ligament attached to the inferior rami of the pubis laterally. CONCLUSIONS The 3D model based on Visible Human data sets can be used to clarify the anatomical features of the suspensory ligamentous system, thereby contributing to the improvement of penis-lengthening surgery.

Concepts: Magnetic resonance imaging, Computer graphics, Pelvis, Penis, Male reproductive system, Pubic symphysis, Corpus cavernosum penis, Suspensory ligament of the penis


BACKGROUND The increased prevalence of temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) requires searching for new, easily accessible diagnostic methods. In addition to routine clinical examination, various methods of imaging temporomandibular joints are available, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography scans, or scintigraphy. Ultrasound imaging, due to short examination time, low cost, and non-invasiveness, should be recommended as a routine diagnostic procedure. The aim of the study was to investigate whether ultrasound imaging can be used in the diagnosis of temporomandibular joint disorders. MATERIAL AND METHODS Publications during the period 2006 to March 2017 from the US National Library of Medicine database were selected for analysis by entering the terms “ultrasonography”, “ultrasound”, “USG”, “temporomandibular joint”, “TMJ”, “temporomandibular disorders”, and “TMD”. Papers were chosen if they met the required criteria relating to the sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of this diagnostic technique with regard to imaging articular disc displacement, joint effusion, and condylar abnormalities. RESULTS The search yielded 1883 publications, of which 8 were selected that met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis. For articular disc displacement examinations, the following results were obtained: sensitivity 75.6%; specificity 69.1%; accuracy 76.1%; positive predictive value 72.2%; negative predictive value 65.6%. When the examinations of joint effusion and condylar abnormalities were included, the results were respectively 66.9%; 70.8%; 69.9%; 75.8%; and 62.4%. CONCLUSIONS The use of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of temporomandibular disorders requires standardizing the method as well as further research to confirm its effectiveness.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Medical imaging, Joint, Ultrasound, Joints, Temporomandibular joint, Temporomandibular joint disorder