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Journal: Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation

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While von Willebrand factor (vWF) has been reported to be elevated in smokers, there are no reports on the effects of smoking on its cleaving protease ADAMTS-13, particularly in subjects of Arab ethnicity. This study was conducted to determine the effects of smoking on vWF and ADAMTS-13 antigen and activity levels in Arab males. Venous blood samples from 80 smoking (at rest) and 80 non-smoking healthy males were collected after asking subjects to fast and refrain from smoking for 8 hours. Similar sampling was done for 40 smokers (acute smokers), who were asked to smoke one cigarette immediately before blood collection. Plasma was used to measure ADAMTS-13 antigen and activity levels, as well as vWF antigen and collagen binding activity levels using commercial ELISA kits. Compared to non-smokers, ADAMTS-13 and vWF activities were significantly lower in smokers at rest (p < 0.05). Acute smokers had significantly higher levels of vWF activity and ADAMTS-13 antigen and activity levels (p < 0.01), compared to smokers at rest. Our results suggest that high vWF activity is accompanied by an increase in ADAMTS-13 activity as a natural physiological mechanism to degrade the elevated vWF molecules. If not followed by a subsequent smoke, the activities of both proteins subside. It is possible that the repeated increase in vWF and constant degradation by ADAMTS-13 results in lower overall levels of both proteins in smokers (at rest) compared to nonsmokers who do not experience a similar (repeated) injury to the endothelium.

Concepts: Blood, Platelet, Hematology, Von Willebrand factor, Von Willebrand disease, ABO blood group system, Heyde's syndrome, Weibel-Palade body

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Introduction. Besides hypogammaglobulinemia and recurrent infections, abnormalities of T-cells might contribute to lung damage in common variable immunodeficiency disorders (CVID). Materials and methods. In 16 adult patients, the majority of whom had pulmonary abnormalities, we studied T-cell subsets and markers of inflammation in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and blood and their relations with pulmonary function and high resolution computed tomography (HRCT). Results. We demonstrated that some of the lymphocyte abnormalities previously demonstrated in peripheral blood from CVID patients, such as low CD4/CD8 T-cell ratio, were also present in BALF. Moreover, low BALF CD4/CD8 ratio (≤ 1), found in seven patients, was significantly associated with higher blood CD8(+) cell count and to lower values of the lung function variables; forced expiratory volume (FVC), total lung capacity (TLC), vital capacity (VC) and residual volume (RV) in % of predicted. The expression of the inflammatory markers HLA-DR and CCR5 on T-cells was significantly higher, and the expression of CCR7 significantly lower, in BALF compared to blood, possibly reflecting an inflammatory/cytotoxic T-cell phenotype within pulmonary tissue in CVID. Furthermore, patients with bronchiectasis had higher concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα in plasma, compared to those without. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that inflammation and T-cell activation may be involved in the immunopathogenesis of pulmonary complications in CVID.

Concepts: Immune system, Pulmonology, Asthma, Lung, Respiratory physiology, Bronchoalveolar lavage, Lung volumes, Spirometer

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Background. Unbound iron binding capacity (UIBC) in serum, which is s-total iron binding capacity (2 times s- transferrin) minus s-iron, may be a more accurate marker of empty iron stores than serum transferrin saturation. Previously we have shown this for healthy females of childbearing age. Methods. Now we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis to compare the diagnostic accuracy of s-iron, s-transferrin, s-transferrin saturation and s-UIBC in diagnosing empty iron stores in 29,251 female and 19,652 male outpatients. Empty iron stores were defined as s-ferritin less than 10, 15 or 20 μg/L. Results. At all definitions of empty iron stores s-UIBC had a better diagnostic accuracy than the other tests in both male and female outpatients, with an area under the ROC curve of 0.85-0.97. Also in subpopulations with elevated s-CRP or low b-hemoglobin s-UIBC was more accurate than the other tests. All tests performed better in males than in females, and generally they were more accurate in adults than in children. Conclusion. When diagnosing empty iron stores calculation of s-UIBC is a better way to utilize the information in s-iron and s-transferrin than the calculation of s-transferrin saturation.

Concepts: Male, Female, Receiver operating characteristic, Transferrin, Transferrin saturation, Serum iron, Total iron-binding capacity

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Objectives. The aim of this study was to determine the normal values of serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in Turkish children and adults (1-79 years). Material and methods. The study included 571 healthy children and 625 healthy adults from the West Black Sea region of Turkey. Serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 concentrations were determined using a chemiluminescent immunometric assay on an Immulite 1000 analyzer. Results. IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels tended to be higher in girls compared to boys among the children. The differences were statistically significant in puberty from age 12-14 years for IGF-1 and prepubertally from age 9-10 years for IGFBP-3. Peaks of serum IGF-1 levels were observed 2 years earlier in girls (14 years) than boys (16 years). The general pattern of IGFBP-3 was similar to IGF-1 during puberty. In adults, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels decreased by age. There was no significant difference in IGF-1 and IGFBP3 values between men and women in any age group. Conclusions. This study established age- and sex-specific reference values for serum IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in healthy Turkish children and adults.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Difference, Growth factors, Turkey, Insulin-like growth factor, IGFBP3, Black Sea

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To evaluate pre-analytical variables of circulating cell-free nucleosomes containing 5-methylcytosine DNA (5mC) or histone modification H3K9Me3 (H3K9Me3).

Concepts: DNA, Histone, Nucleosome, Chromatin

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Behçet’s disease (BD) is a rare, chronic, inflammatory disorder characterized by multisystemic vasculitis including mucocutaneous, neurologic, and ophthalmic involvement. Our aim is to compare vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (sVEGFR-1) levels in BD, among the patients having or not having organ involvement, disease activation and especially vascular involvement. Fifty-five patients with BD, 25 of which were accompanied by vascular involvement, and 31 control subjects were included in the study. Disease activity was assessed with the Turkish version of Behçet Disease Current Activity Form (BDCAF) and active vasculitis lesions at the time of study were recorded. Age at diagnosis was 32.2 ± 4.6, while the mean duration of BD was 96.3 (72.3) months. The median for BDCAF score was 2.0 (range 0, 3.0), and 29 (52%) of patients had active BD. The serum VEGF and sVEGFR-1 levels in patients with BD were significantly higher than that in controls [(298 (338.5) pg/mL; 93 (93.5) pg/mL in patients and 136.2 (73) pg/mL; 56.5 (48.5) pg/mL in controls, respectively, p < .001 for both values] while difference in VEGF/sVEGFR-1 ratio was obtained close to borderline of significance (p = .03). Our study is the first report indicating elevated serum VEGF, sVEGFR-1, and more importantly VEGF/sVEGFR-1 ratio could play an important role in the development of trombosis in BD. VEGF and/or sVEGFR-1 should not be evaluated independently in the same patient group and the ratio of these two parameters is a more important indicator, especially in the evaluation of BD especially with vascular involvement together with the duration of disease.

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Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurement provides the most important medium to long-term marker of time-averaged glycemic status. Its relationship to clinical outcome in diabetes has been convincingly demonstrated for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The main HbA1c measurement methods for clinical routine are as follows: ion-exchange chromatography; affinity chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, immunoassay and enzymatic methods. In this study, we evaluated the analytical performances of a new HPLC instrument (Tosoh HLC-723 G11 in the VAR mode) in HbA1c analysis and compared it with a capillary electrophoresis instrument (Sebia Capillarys 2 Flex Piercing). HbA1c analysis was performed in parallel by both methods for 250 samples randomly chosen from healthy and diabetic subjects at ‘Tor Vergata’ University Hospital of Rome. Tosoh HLC-723 G11 showed good reproducibility for 10 days both in quality controls and in samples analyzed (%CV < 2%). We found good linearity for HbA1c values ranging from 15 mmol/mol (3.5%) to 178 mmol/mol (18.5%), with a correlation coefficient R2 = 1. In a comparison between Tosoh HLC-723 G11 and Capillarys 2FP a good correlation (r = 0.99) was found; however, Tosoh HLC-723 G11 showed higher values in the low range of HbA1c and lower in the high range (Tosoh HLC-723 G11 = 4.3043 + 0.913 Capillarys 2FP; p < 0.001). Tosoh HLC-723 G11 showed good repeatability, reproducibility, accuracy and automated simplicity, and it seemed suitable for routine use in clinical chemistry laboratories.

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Accurate quantification of aldosterone is essential in the diagnosis of primary aldosteronism. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS) analysis is increasingly being used to improve analytical sensitivity and specificity, since this technology reduces most of the interferences observed with immunological methods.

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Pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). D-dimer is a biomarker used as an exclusion criterion of VTE disease, but its usefulness during pregnancy shows limitations because D-dimer levels physiologically increase through pregnancy. The aim of our study was to follow the changes of D-dimer levels and to establish trimester-specific reference intervals during normal pregnancy. This is a longitudinal prospective study in which the reference population finally included 102 healthy pregnant women. Plasma D-dimer levels were measured during the three trimesters of pregnancy, using a latex-based immunoturbidimetric assay. Reference intervals were calculated according to the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute recommendations. D-dimer levels increased progressively and significantly through pregnancy and peaked in the third trimester, in which D-dimer levels were above the conventional cut-off point (500 µg/L) in 99% of pregnant women. The following reference intervals were defined: first trimester: 169-1202 µg/L, second trimester: 393-3258 µg/L and third trimester: 551-3333 µg/L. The study provides reference intervals of D-dimer during the pregnancy using latex-based immunoturbidimetry on the ACL 300 TOP automated coagulation analyser. Further prospective studies of pregnant women with clinical suspicion of VTE are needed to validate these results.

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Poor metabolic control is a well-recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, the relationship between such factor as body weight and metabolic control in children with diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) is unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between body weight, age, metabolic control, sex, and form of insulin therapy in children with DM1.