Bacterial translocation (BT) may cause infections, in particular, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). In the absence of overt infection, BT may further stimulate the immune system and contribute to haemodynamic alterations and complications. Bacterial DNA (bDNA) is claimed to be a promising surrogate marker for BT, although its clinical relevance has been questioned.
In 38 cirrhotic patients with and without SBP, bDNA in blood and ascites were assessed by 16S rDNA quantitative PCR. Levels of lipopolysaccharide-binding protein in plasma and highly sensitive C-reactive protein, tumour necrosis factor-a, soluble urokinase plasminogen activating receptor, interleukin-6, interleukin 8, interferon-? inducible protein-10 and vascular endothelial growth factor in plasma and ascites were measured by multiplex cytokine and ELISA assays.
In patients without signs of SBP or positive cultures, we found a high frequency of bDNA but low concordance of bDNA between blood and ascites. Markers of inflammation were not significantly different between blood bDNA-positive (22%), ascites bDNA-positive (52%), and bDNA-negative patients. The 16S rDNA PCR failed to show bDNA in two out of six samples with SBP. Sequencing of positive samples did not determine the source of bDNA.
bDNA as assessed by this PCR method was largely unrelated to markers of inflammation and does not seem to be of clinical value in the diagnosis of SBP. According to our results, bDNA is not a reliable marker of BT.
The inflammatory biomarkers soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) independently predict cardiovascular disease (CVD). The prognostic implications of suPAR and CRP combined with Framingham Risk Score (FRS) have not been determined.
From 1993 to 1994, baseline levels of suPAR and CRP were obtained from 2315 generally healthy Danish individuals (mean [SD] age: 53.9 [10.6] years) who were followed for the composite outcome of ischemic heart disease, stroke and CVD mortality.
During a median follow-up of 12.7 years, 302 events were recorded. After adjusting for FRS, women with suPAR levels in the highest tertile had a 1.74-fold (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-2.81, p=0.027) and men a 2.09-fold (95% CI: 1.37-3.18, p20%) risk categories, respectively. This was reflected in a significant improvement of C statistics for men (p=0.034) and borderline significant for women (p=0.054), while the integrated discrimination improvement was highly significant (P=0.001) for both genders.
suPAR provides prognostic information of CVD risk beyond FRS and improves risk prediction substantially when combined with CRP in this setting.
The present paper reviews the American epidemic of West Nile Fever (WNF), which is the largest recorded outbreak ever. The epidemiological consequences of introducing a novel and immunologically unknown pathogen in a previously unexposed population and the possible evolution of a more pathogenic viral strain are discussed. In view of recent reports of imported cases in Denmark the issue of possible disease spread to Scandinavia is likewise addressed. However, the main scope of the article is to provide the clinician with an overview of the natural history, epidemiology and clinical characteristics of the disease.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly patients, and the most important cause of death in the developed world. Optimised treatment and care will benefit patients as well as the health economy. This study investigated in-hospital compliance with guidelines for treatment and care of patients with CAP.
A retrospective nationwide study examining 100 patient records from 20 Danish hospitals regarding patients 65 years and older admitted for CAP.
A total of 74 patients with a mean age 81.6 years were included. The mean length of stay was 9.2 days, 30- and 90-day mortality rates were 12.2 and 17.6% and readmission rates 4% (seven days) and 9.5% (30 days). Severity assessment was made in two cases. Observations of vital parameters were unsystematic and the respiratory rate was measured only in six cases. Diagnostic tests and treatment initiation were mostly in accordance with guidelines. The mean number of days on intravenous antibiotics was 5.5. Nutrition and mobilisation were neglected or only sporadically addressed. No systematic plan for treatment and care was found.
While medical treatment mainly concurred with guidelines, a potential for reduced costs by early discharge planning and use of systematic assessment tools for site-of-care and treatment decisions was indicated. The lack of systematic interventions in the prevention and treatment of malnutrition and functional decline constitutes a threat to a successful final patient outcome.
The Danish Ministry of Health funded the study.
The Danish Data Register approved the project (J. No. 2010-41-5358).
To examine mechanisms underlying the increased inflammatory state of HIV-infected patients, by investigating the association of HIV-related factors, demography, lifestyle, and body composition with the inflammatory marker soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR).
suPAR was measured in EDTA-plasma and associated with HIV-related factors (HIV-duration, combination antiretroviral treatment (cART), nadir CD4+ cell count, CD4+ cell count, and HIV RNA); demography; lifestyle; and body composition determined by Dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scan, in multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for biological relevant covariates, in a cross-sectional study of 1142 HIV-infected patients.
Increased suPAR levels were significantly associated with age, female sex, daily smoking, metabolic syndrome and waist circumference. cART was associated with 17% lower suPAR levels. In cART-treated patients 10-fold higher HIV RNA was associated with 21% higher suPAR, whereas there was no association in untreated patients. Patients with CD4+ cell count
Cites: Blood. 2000 Dec 15;96(13):4091-511110678
Cites: Int J Cardiol. 2013 Aug 10;167(3):781-522459389
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey among athletes competing at the national elite level in cross-country skiing, rowing, and orienteering, as well as a matched nonathletic control group. OBJECTIVE: To compare the prevalence of symptoms of low back pain between endurance sports with different loading characteristics on the lumbar region: cross-country skiing, rowing, and orienteering, as well as a nonathletic control group. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Although it is claimed that back pain is a frequent problem in endurance sports loading the lower spine such as rowing or cross-country skiing, the prevalence of low back problems in such sports has not been compared with relevant control groups. METHODS: Self-reported questionnaire on low back pain adapted for sports based on standardized Nordic questionnaires for musculoskeletal symptoms. Responders were 257 cross-country skiers (response rate: 100%), 199 rowers (99.5%), and 278 orienteerers (99.3%), and 197 control subjects (66%). RESULTS: Low back pain was reported to be somewhat more common among cross-country skiers and rowers than orienteerers and nonathletic controls. The prevalence among cross-country skiers of reported low back pain ever (65.4%) and low back pain during the previous 12 months (63.0%) was higher than nonathletic controls (OR [95% CI]: 1.94 [1.29-2.92]). Rowers (25.6%) reported missing training because of low back pain more frequently than orienteerers did (13.7%, OR: 2.16 [1.25-3.74]). The athletes reported more low back pain during periods when training and competition load was higher, and cross-country skiers more frequently reported having low back problems using classic than freestyle skiing techniques. CONCLUSIONS: Low back pain appears to be somewhat more common in endurance sports that specifically load the low back during training and competition. The relationship between seasonal training patterns and specific skiing techniques indicate that there is a relationship between low back pain and the specific loading patterns of skiing and rowing.
Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is the soluble form of the membrane-bound receptor (uPAR) expressed predominantly on various immune cells. Elevated plasma suPAR concentration is associated with increased mortality in various patient groups, and it is speculated that suPAR is a low-grade inflammation marker reflecting on disease severity. The aim of this prospective observational study was to determine if the plasma concentration of suPAR is associated with admission time, re-admission, disease severity/Charlson Comorbidity Index Score, and mortality.
We included 543 patients with various diseases from a Danish Acute Medical Unit during a two month period. A triage unit ensured that only medical patients were admitted to the Acute Medical Unit. SuPAR was measured on plasma samples drawn upon admission. Patients were followed-up for three months after inclusion by their unique civil registry number and using Danish registries to determine admission times, readmissions, International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) diagnoses, and mortality. Statistical analysis was used to determine suPAR's association with these endpoints.
Increased suPAR was significantly associated with 90-day mortality (4.87 ng/ml in survivors versus 7.29 ng/ml in non-survivors, P
Today, highly active antiretroviral therapy is lifesaving for most HIV-infected patients, but the treatment can result in facial lipoatrophy, which changes the face so radically that patients may develop severe psychological and social problems. Since 2001 polyacrylamide gel (PAAG) has been used successfully in HIV patients abroad. This article describes the results of a Danish study.
Forty HIV patients recruited from two major referral hospitals in the capitol area of Copenhagen, Denmark, each received a series of PAAG gel injections (small deposits in several sessions) with a 14-day interval. Patient satisfaction, injector's evaluation, evaluation by an external specialist in plastic surgery, and long-term aesthetic effect and complications were registered with follow-up until 2 years.
All patients were very satisfied or satisfied with the result. The injector found the result very satisfying in 33 cases and a slight irregularity in 7. The external specialist found improvement in all cases with a one-grade reduction of the lipoatrophy in 11 cases, a two-grade reduction in 20, and a three-grade reduction in 3 cases. No filler-associated complications were recorded.
This study has shown that PAAG can normalize contours in patients suffering from facial lipoatrophy within 3-6 sessions, with a mean amount of gel per session of 1.8 ml and a mean total amount of 8.8 ml. The results are in accordance with those of other large studies, confirming a high degree of biocompatibility and safety.
The use of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) is common in the older population. Inappropriate medications as well as polypharmacy expose older people to a greater risk of adverse drug reactions and may result in hospitalizations.
To evaluate the prevalence of PIMs among acutely hospitalized patients aged =65 years in an acute medical unit, and to investigate the relationship between use of PIMs and weakness.
This longitudinal observational study was undertaken in the Acute Medical Unit, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Patients aged =65 years admitted to the acute medical unit during the period October to December 2011 were included. Patients were interviewed at admission and at a follow-up visit 30 days after discharge. Data included information about medications, social status, functional status, cognitive status, handgrip strength, health-related quality of life, visual acuity, days of hospitalization, and comorbidities, and was prospectively collected. Polypharmacy was defined as regular use of 5 or more drugs. The Charlson Comorbidity Index was used to categorize comorbidities.
The prevalence of PIMs and the association with PIMs and functional status handgrip strength, HRQOL, comorbidities, social demographic data and vision.
Seventy-one patients (55 % men) with a median age of 78.7 years participated. The median number of medications was eight per person. Eighty percent were exposed to polypharmacy. PIMs were used by 85 % of patients, and PIMs were associated with low functional status (p = 0.032), low handgrip strength (p = 0.006), and reduced health-related quality of life (p = 0.005), but not comorbidities (p = 0.63), age (p = 0.60), sex (p = 0.53), education (p = 0.94), cognition (p = 0.10), pain (p = 0.46), or visual acuity (p = 0.55).
Use of PIMs was very common among older people admitted to an acute medical unit. The use of PIMs is associated with low functional status, low handgrip strength, and reduced health-related quality of life.
Stromal cell-derived factor 1a (SDF-1a), is a chemokine and is able to home hematopoietic progenitor cells to injured areas of heart tissue for structural repair. Previous studies have found increased levels of SDF-1a in several cardiac diseases, but only few studies have investigated SDF-1a in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We aimed to test SDF-1a in a large cohort of patients with AF and its role as a prognostic marker.
Between January 1st 2008 to December 1st 2012, 290 patients with ECG documented AF were enrolled from the in- and outpatient clinics at the Department of Cardiology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, Denmark. Plasma levels of SDF-1a were measured using ELISA technique. Clinical data were registered and patient follow-up was conducted.
Patients with permanent AF had significantly higher SDF-1a levels (2199.5?pg/ml) than the patients with paroxysmal AF (1982.0?pg/ml) and persistent AF (1906.0?pg/ml), p?