BACKGROUND: Type-2 autoimmune hepatitis is a subgroup of chronic hepatitis characterized by the presence of liver/kidney microsomal autoantibodies type 1 (LKM-1). A frequent association with chronic hepatitis C suggests that hepatitis virus might trigger autoimmune reactivity. LKM-1-positive chronic hepatitis is not uncommon in southern Europe but is rarely seen in the USA and the UK. The prevalence in Scandinavia is hitherto unknown. METHODS: We used an automated prototype LKM-1 immunometry-based assay (IMx) to detect LKM-1 antibodies in sera from 350 Swedish patients with chronic liver diseases (100 with primary biliary cirrhosis, 80 with primary sclerosing cholangitis, 100 with hepatitis C, and 70 patients with various forms of chronic hepatitis, including 36 autoimmune cases), and from 17 children with autoimmune hepatitis. Sera reactive in the IMx assay were subjected to immunofluorescence testing. RESULTS: No clearly LKM-reactive sera were detected. Serum samples from 29 patients were borderline reactive in the IMx assay but tested negative in the confirmatory immunofluorescence test. Positive tests in the former assay were likely caused by reactivity against microsomal antigens other than LKM-1/cytochrome P450IID6. CONCLUSIONS: LKM-1-positive type-2 autoimmune hepatitis is very rare in Sweden. Furthermore, chronic hepatitis C did not trigger this type of autoimmune reactivity in our patients, probably owing to genetic insusceptibility.
The results of clinical trials have shown that the general level of side-effects is substantially lower with zimeldine than with tricyclic antidepressants. Data from ordinary clinical usage in Sweden and the U.K. (as opposed to clinical research experience) shows a similar picture. Hypersensitivity reactions, characterized by fever, myalgia and/or arthralgia, and transient increases in transaminases, occur in approximately 1.5% of patients. In rare cases potentially serious neuropathies have been reported.
Recent reports show that androgenic anabolic steroids are used by many teenagers, not as a deliberate attempt to give them strength, better athletic performance, etc., but to improve their looks. The so-called macho cult among young boys tempts them into using androgenic anabolic steroids to give them bigger muscles and a more powerful appearance. This study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of androgenic anabolic steroid use among teenagers in a small town and to create a platform for future work with the aim of decreasing the misuse of these drugs. In Falkenberg, a town in the county of Halland in the west of Sweden, the pupils at two high schools were investigated by means of an anonymous multiple-choice questionnaire. A total of 1383 students (688 males and 695 females) aged 14-19 years participated in the study, giving a participation rate of 96%. The number of answers completed was 99%. The use of androgenic anabolic steroids is a reality among male teenagers in Falkenberg, with 5.8% of them using the drugs. Among 15- to 16-year-old boys misuse of these drugs is as high as 10%, and of these 50% (5.0% of total) also inject ampoules of the drugs. This prevalence is alarming since the adverse effects of androgenic anabolic steroids are more serious in teenagers. Serious action must be taken to inform teenagers of the consequences of misusing drugs.
Ii is shown from statistical data reported to the Swedish Cancer Registry that in cases of prostatic carcinoma the long-term T-year survival rate is the final outcome of a complex interplay of multiple factors including diagnostic technology and techniques for staging and grading. Assessment of the value of specific therapy is not possible except in controlled clinical trials. The T-year survival rate per se does not give an accurate estimate of the effect of treatment.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential contribution of genetic variants in the estrogen receptor beta gene to the aetiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Several lines of evidence from human and animal studies suggest a protective role for estrogen in PD. Recently the estrogen receptor beta subtype was reported to be an important mediator of estrogen actions in the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms at position 1730 and 1082 in the ER beta gene were genotyped, using pyrosequencing, in 260 patients with PD and 308 controls recruited from the Swedish population. Neither of the two estrogen receptor beta polymorphisms was associated with an increased risk for PD. However, the G allele of the A1730G polymorphism was more frequent in patients with an early age of onset than in patients with a late age of onset of PD (P = 0.006). Patients carrying the GG genotype had an odds ratio of 2.2 for having an early onset of PD compared to non-carriers. In conclusion, our results indicate that genetic variation in the estrogen receptor beta gene may influence the age of onset of PD.
AIMS: Primary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a fatal childhood disorder. The diagnosis is difficult to establish, clinically as well as histopathologically, and it is markedly underdiagnosed. Because of these difficulties, we wanted to elucidate the histopathological findings in population-based patient material. METHODS AND RESULTS: The post-mortem findings in 27 children with primary HLH diagnosed in Sweden between 1971 and 1986 was reviewed. Twelve of these patients had an affected sibling and three additional children had parental consanguinity. Some of the children showed generalized disease, whereas in others only one or a few organs were affected. The major histological alteration was an accumulation of primarily lymphocytes, but also of histiocytes, some of which exhibited evidence of haemophagocytosis. The haemophagocytic activity may be difficult to detect if there are pronounced post-mortem changes, particularly in the spleen, and it is therefore preferable to perform the autopsy as soon as possible after death in order to minimize autolysis. Haemophagocytosis was most commonly observed in the spleen (17/24), the lymph nodes (17/23) and the bone marrow (9/23), indicating that a negative bone marrow examination does not rule out this diagnosis. Three additional patients had discrete signs of haemophagocytosis in the bone marrow. In the spleen, the lymph nodes and the bone marrow, lymphocytic depletion, pronounced in some cases, could be observed, even without prior treatment with steroids or cytostatics. In the liver, most of the patients demonstrated an infiltration of lymphocytes into the portal tracts similar to that seen in chronic persistent hepatitis (22/27), a finding which is uncommon in infancy and therefore suggestive of the diagnosis HLH. Other organs involved included the thymus, lungs intestine, pancreas, kidney, heart and striated muscle. CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of HLH must be based on clinical, histological and additional laboratory findings. A negative bone marrow examination is common. Previous treatment with steroids and/or cytostatic drugs may attenuate or even eliminate the typical histological findings. Liver findings similar to those in chronic persistent hepatitis are common.
BACKGROUND: Chest pain is the main symptom of first presentation with ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Little is known about the incidence of IHD among patients consulting the general practitioner (GP) for chest pain. AIMS: To estimate the occurrence of IHD among patients consulting for chest pain, to study the results of the bicycle exercise test, and to estimate the incidence of IHD in the population. DESIGN OF STUDY: Prospective descriptive study. SETTING: Three primary health centres in south-eastern Sweden. METHOD: All patients without a current IHD diagnosis, aged 20 to 79 years, and consulting for a new episode of chest pain, were included consecutively. The outcome was classified as IHD, possible IHD or not IHD, according to the results of a postal questionnaire, an exercise test or hospital care. Data from the hospital registry on patients with a diagnosis of IHD were analysed retrospectively. RESULTS: Out of 38,075 GP consultations, 577 (1.5%) were for chest pain. IHD was diagnosed in 41 (8%) of the chest pain patients, in 441 (83%) the diagnosis was excluded, and in 50 (9%) the diagnosis was judged as being uncertain. Even though the diagnostic criteria were strict, the exercise tests led to a diagnostic conclusion in 77% of the cases, most frequently a normal test result. Combining data from primary and hospital care, the yearly incidence of IHD was 6.5 diagnosed per 1000 inhabitants (aged 20 to 79 years old). CONCLUSION: The incidence of a new episode of chest pain bringing the patients to the GP was low. Eight per cent of the patients received an IHD diagnosis, and in 9% further investigation or clinical assessment is needed.