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Journal: Yonsei medical journal


Purpose: Imaging features and clinical characteristics of degenerated leiomyoma in patients referred for uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) were analyzed to assess the incidence of degenerated leiomyoma. Materials and Methods: Patients referred for UFE between 2008 and 2009 were retrospectively analyzed (n=276). Patients ranged in age from 27 to 51 years (mean 38.0 years). All patients underwent screening MRI with contrast enhancement. Medical histories and clinical symptoms were evaluated. Results: Among the 276 patients who underwent MRI, 14 (5.1%) showed degenerated leiomyomas. Symptoms were abdominal pain (n=4, 26.7%), menorrhagia (n=5, 35.7%) and bulk-related symptoms (n=5, 35.7%) and no symptoms (n=5, 35.7%). Of the 14 patients with degenerated leiomyomas, 5 (42.9%) had a history of pregnancy in the past two years. For T1-weighted imaging (T1WI), a high signal intensity (SI) of the leiomyoma was the most common finding (n=9, 64.3%) and a hyperintense rim (n=4, 28.6%) was the second most common. On T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), a low SI of the leiomyoma was found in six patients (42.9%), a high SI in four (28.6%) and a heterogeneous SI in four (28.6%) patients. Conservative management was performed in 11 (78.6%) patients, surgery in 3 (21.4%) and uterine artery embolization in one (7.1%) patient. Conclusion: The incidence of degeneration of leiomyoma in patients referred for UFE was 5.1%. Patients presented with variable clinical symptoms with or without a history of pregnancy. MR imaging showed a high SI on T1WI and various SIs on T2WI without contrast enhancement. An understanding of the degeneration of leiomyomata is essential when considering UFE.

Concepts: Uterus, Anatomical pathology, Radiology, Gynecology, Uterine fibroids, Leiomyoma, Myometrium, Uterine artery embolization


Purpose: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) increases transcription of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene. Inhibition of VEGF abolishes VEGF mediated induction of HIF-1α. Recent reports suggested that HIF-1α also mediated the induction of class III β-tubulin (TUBB3) in hypoxia. TUBB3 confers resistance to taxanes. Inhibition of VEGF may decrease the expression of HIF-1α and TUBB3. This study was undertaken to investigate the roles of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) in gastric cancer cell behavior and to identify methods to overcome paclitaxel resistance in vitro. Materials and Methods: The protein expression levels of HIF-1α and TUBB3 were measured in human gastric cancer cell lines (AGS) under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The relationship between TUBB3 and paclitaxel resistance was assessed with small interfering TUBB3 RNA. AGS cells were treated with anti-VEGFR-1, anti-VEGFR-2, placental growth factor (PlGF), bevacizuamb, and paclitaxel. Results: Hypoxia induced paclitaxel resistance was decreased by knockdown of TUBB3. Induction of HIF-1α and TUBB3 in AGS is VEGFR-1 mediated and PlGF dependent. Hypoxia-dependent upregulation of HIF-1α and TUBB3 was reduced in response to paclitaxel treatment. Expressions of HIF-1α and TUBB3 were most decreased when AGS cells were treated with a combination of paclitaxel and anti-VEGFR-1. AGS cell cytotoxicity was most increased in response to paclitaxel, anti-VEGFR-1, and anti-VEGFR-2. Conclusion: We suggest that blockade of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 enhances paclitaxel sensitivity in TUBB3-expressing gastric cancer cells.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Gene, Gene expression, Lung cancer, Growth factor, VEGF receptors, Placental growth factor


This study aims to investigate the additive effect of the Hedera helix (HH) and Rhizoma coptidis (RC) extracts mixture on antitussive and expectorant activities in animals.

Concepts: Ivy, Hedera helix


The intestinal microbiota is a complex ecosystem consisting of various microorganisms that expands human genetic repertoire and therefore affects human health and disease. The metabolic processes and signal transduction pathways of the host and intestinal microorganisms are intimately linked, and abnormal progression of each process leads to changes in the intestinal environment. Alterations in microbial communities lead to changes in functional structures based on the metabolites produced in the gut, and these environmental changes result in various bacterial infections and chronic enteric inflammatory diseases. Here, we illustrate how antibiotics are associated with an increased risk of antibiotic-associated diseases by driving intestinal environment changes that favor the proliferation and virulence of pathogens. Understanding the pathogenesis caused by antibiotics would be a crucial key to the treatment of antibiotic-associated diseases by mitigating changes in the intestinal environment and restoring it to its original state.

Concepts: Immune system, Disease, Infectious disease, Bacteria, Metabolism, Organism, Microbiology, Infection


The therapeutic potential of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells, especially human adipose tissue-derived stem cells (hASC), is promising. However, there are concerns about the safety of infusion of hASC in human. Recently, we have experienced pulmonary embolism and infarct among family members who have taken multiple infusions of intravenous autologous hASC therapy. A 41-year-old man presented with chest pain for one month. Chest CT showed multiple pulmonary artery embolism and infarct at right lung. Serum D-dimer was 0.8 μg/mL (normal; 0-0.5 μg/mL). He had received intravenous autologous adipose tissue-derived stem cell therapy for cervical herniated intervertebral disc three times (one, two, and three months prior to the visit). His parents also received the same therapy five times and their chest CT also showed multiple pulmonary embolism. These cases represent artificial pulmonary embolisms and infarct after IV injection of hASC. Follow-up chest CT showed spontaneous resolution of lesions in all three patients.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Stem cell, Mesenchymal stem cell, Stem cells, Heart, Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary artery, Embolism


Podostroma cornu-damae is a rare fungus that houses a fatal toxin in its fruit body. In this case report, two patients collected and boiled the wild fungus in water, which they drank for one month. One patient died, presenting with desquamation of the palms and soles, pancytopenia, severe sepsis and multiple organ failure. The other patient recovered after one month of conservative care after admission. We found a piece of Podostroma cornu-damae in the remaining clusters of mushrooms. Mushroom poisoning by Podostroma cornu-damae has never been previously reported in Korea.

Concepts: Fungus, Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, Sepsis, Mycelium, Mushroom, Amanita muscaria


Intraductal carcinoma of the prostate (IDC-P) is characterized by prostatic carcinoma involving ducts and/or acini. The presence of IDC-P is usually associated with a high-grade Gleason score, large tumor volume, and adverse prognostic parameters, including extraprostatic extension and seminal vesicle invasion. When present, IDC-P is associated with worse outcomes, regardless of treatment status. IDC-P is included in a broader diagnostic category of atypical cribriform lesions of the prostate gland. This category of lesions also includes high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), urothelial carcinoma involving prostatic ducts or acini, and prostatic ductal adenocarcinoma, amongst other intraductal proliferations. Differentiating between these entities is important as they have differing therapeutic and prognostic implications for patients, although differential diagnosis thereof is not always straightforward. The present review discusses IDC-P in regards to its morphological characteristics, molecular features, and clinical outcomes. Given the current state of knowledge, the presence of IDC-P should be evaluated and documented correctly in both radical prostatectomy and needle biopsy specimens, and the clinical implications thereof should be taken into consideration during treatment and follow up.

Concepts: Cancer, Prostate cancer, Urology, Epithelium, Testosterone, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostate, Male reproductive system


We report our initial experience with transurethral injection of autologous adipose-derived regenerative cells (ADRCs) for the treatment of urinary incontinence after radical prostatectomy.

Concepts: DNA, Clinical trial, Urology, Urinary incontinence, Ion, Benign prostatic hyperplasia, Prostatectomy


Purpose: The association between autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) and vitamin D deficiency is controversial. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] and anti-thyroid antibody levels. Materials and Methods: 25(OH)D3, anti-thyroid antibodies, and thyroid function measured in 304 patients who visited the endocrinology clinic were analyzed. The patients were subgrouped into the AITDs or non-AITDs category according to the presence or absence of anti-thyroid antibodies. The relationship between anti-thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb) and 25(OH)D3 was evaluated. Results: The patients with elevated anti-thyroid antibodies had lower levels of serum 25(OH)D3 than those who did not (12.6±5.5 ng/mL vs. 14.5±7.3 ng/mL, respectively, p<0.001). Importantly, after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index, a negative correlation (r=-0.252, p<0.001) was recognized between 25(OH)D3 and TPOAb levels in the AITDs group, but this correlation did not exist in the non-AITDs group (r=0.117, p=0.127). 25(OH)D3 level was confirmed as an independent factor after adjusting for co-factors that may affect the presence of TPOAb in the AITDs group. Conclusion: 25(OH)D3 level is an independent factor affecting the presence of TPOAb in AITDs. The causal effect of 25(OH)D3 deficiency to AITDs is to be elucidated.

Concepts: Immune system, Vitamin D, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid, Graves' disease, Endocrine system, Thyroid peroxidase


Empathy is the ability to identify with or make a vicariously experience of another person’s feelings or thoughts based on memory and/or self-referential mental simulation. The default mode network in particular is related to self-referential empathy. In order to elucidate the possible neural mechanisms underlying empathy, we investigated the functional connectivity of the default mode network in subjects from a general population. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 19 low-empathy subjects and 18 medium-empathy subjects. An independent component analysis was used to identify the default mode network, and differences in functional connectivity strength were compared between the two groups. The low-empathy group showed lower functional connectivity of the medial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann areas 9 and 32) within the default mode network, compared to the medium-empathy group. The results of the present study suggest that empathy is related to functional connectivity of the medial prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex within the default mode network. Functional decreases in connectivity among low-empathy subjects may reflect an impairment of self-referential mental simulation.

Concepts: Brain, Magnetic resonance imaging, Cerebrum, Limbic system, Brodmann area, Brodmann area 24, Anterior cingulate cortex, Cingulate cortex