Ahmadreza Dehpour, PharmD, PhD
Acta Medica Iranica is the official journal of the School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
The journal is the oldest scientific medical journal in the country pulished in English, from 1956 onward. Although since 2004 it had been published bimonthly, the journal has been published monthly from first issue of 2011.
Acta Medica Iranica is an international journal with multidisciplinary scope which publishes original research papers, review articles, case reports, and letters to the editor from all over the world. The journal has a wide scope and allows scientists, clinicians, and academic members to publish their original works in this field.
The editorial board of the journal hopes that the journal would be welcomed by researchers and academics in universities and related centers in Asia and in the world at large.
Following the discovery of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China, it has been transmitted to travelers through respiratory droplets and distributed worldwide. Viral, environmental, and host factors all play a role in getting infected with the virus and having severe forms of the disease named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Diabetes is one of the most important host risk factors in the progression and severity of COVID-19. In diabetes, hyperglycemia and protein glycosylation increase pro-inflammatory cytokines levels and suppress innate and adaptive immune system by impairing the function of neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes, especially regulatory T lymphocytes. The compromised immune system in diabetic patients makes them vulnerable to infectious diseases like COVID-19. Correspondingly, people with diabetes are usually treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II Type-I receptor blockers (ARBs), which increase ACE2 expression as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, diabetic patients are more likely to develop severe forms of COVID-19 and die due to chronic inflammation and impaired immune function.
Changes in the expression of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2 (NOD2) play an important role in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). It seems that epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, have an important role in the suppression of gene activity. In this study, the relationship between DNA methylation patterns of the promoter region of the NOD2 gene and the pathogenesis of CD was assessed. Colonic mucosal samples were obtained from 15 Iranian patients with CD and 15 matched healthy controls with no history of autoimmune diseases. After bisulfite conversion of genomic DNA, the DNA methylation status of three CpG sites in the promoter region of the NOD2 gene was determined by the real-time quantitative multiplex methylation-specific PCR assay. Using this approach, we identified a decreased level of methylation of the NOD2 promoter in the colonic mucosa of patients with CD (0.128±0.093 vs. 0.025±0.016, unmethylated DNA in CD vs. healthy controls, respectively, P<0.000). According to our findings, promoter hypomethylation of the NOD2 gene in the colonic mucosa might contribute to the development and severity of CD.
Outpatient use of misoprostol is assessed in a few studies and usually in low doses and vaginal routes. This study aimed to evaluate cervical ripening by outpatient administration of misoprostol to prevent post-term pregnancy. This randomized clinical trial study was performed on 140 patients that were randomly allocated into two groups: 25 μg sublingual SL (group A) and 50 μg PO misoprostol (group B). The patients were primigravid with a gestational age of 40 weeks, with an amniotic fluid index (AFI) of ≥5 cm, a reactive non-stress test (NST) with no evident uterine contraction, Bishop Score of <8, and no notable past medical history. Patients who had a normal vaginal delivery before 41 weeks were considered successful delivery. Maternal age, the number of misoprostol doses, vaginal examination, type of interventions before delivery, the indication of hospitalization, delivery route, the indication of cesarean section, delivery complications, and neonatal outcomes were compared using SPSS software. P<0.05 was considered statistically significant. group A had mean age of 23.27±4.03 years and Group B had a mean age of 24.61±5.46 years with no significant difference (P=0.223). The number of misoprostol doses (P=0.001), extra misoprostol, and oxytocin application were significantly lower in group B (P=0.003). Maternal and neonatal complications showed no significant difference between the two groups (P>0.05). Outpatient cervical ripening with misoprostol appears to be an optimal method. More prospective studies with higher sample sizes are required to ensure its safety for routine recommendations for cervical ripening to prevent post-term pregnancy.
In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to evaluate epidemiologic data, survival, and prognosis of pediatric patients diagnosed with neuroblastoma who were referred to Mahak Pediatric Cancer Treatment and Research Center (MPCTRC). One-hundred thirty-seven children younger than 15 years with neuroblastoma from April 2008 to March 2020 were included in this study. Data were retrospectively extracted from their documents, and follow-up was done for alive individuals. Collected data were analyzed using SPSS software version 25 for parametric and non-parametric variables. Of all patients, 51.82% (n=71) were male (M/F ratio was 1.07:1) with a mean age of 2.48±0.26 years. According to the International Neuroblastoma Staging System (INSS), more than 70% of patients were diagnosed with stages 3, 4, and 4S. Primary tumors were located mostly in the adrenal glands (42.34%) and abdomen (29.20%), respectively. Additionally, 62% of children experienced metastasis, with the most common site being bone marrow. Moreover, patients' overall survival, progression-free survival, and event-free survival were 55.2%±5.6, 41.0%±7.9, and 30.0%±5.1, respectively. Early diagnosis and effective treatment of neuroblastoma can directly influence patients' survival, and those who are diagnosed with neuroblastoma within one month of its symptoms onset are more likely to have higher survival rates.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is responsible for different post-natal adverse outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the post-natal psychomotor development status in 6 and 12-month-old IUGR infants who received early preventive interventions. A historical cohort study was done at an Iranian Hospital (2019). The case group included one-year-old infants with a history of IUGR at birth. This group was visited every 2 months to evaluate their growth and neurodevelopmental status. Their parents had also received some training to improve their infant's sensory and motor skills. The control group comprised one-year-old healthy infants with a history of appropriate for gestational age (AGA) at birth. Data related to psychomotor developmental indices based on the ASQ questionnaire at 6 and 12-month for both groups was extracted from subjects' records. Infants' psychomotor development status was compared between groups. Forty-one infants with a history of IUGR and 43 healthy control infants were included in this study. There were significant differences between 2 groups associated with abnormalities in all evaluated psychomotor skills, including gross motor (P=0.014), problem-solving ability (P=0.049), communication (P=0.031), fine motor (P=0.016) and personal-social (P=0.016) at 6 months. After one year of family-based interventions for the case group, significant differences between groups were notable in only fine motor (P=0.016) and personal-social skills (P=0.031). At 12 months, the psychomotor disorders related to gross motor, problem-solving ability, and communication were significantly alleviated in the IUGR group. Early preventive family-based interventions can improve the neurodevelopmental outcomes in 12-month-old IUGR infants.
Some studies have shown that giardia infection is associated with some abdominal symptoms. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between giardia duodenalis infection and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In this clinical trial study, 60 patients with non-constipation predominant IBS based on Rome III criteria were enrolled in the study. 30 patients with giardiasis who were diagnosed with stool Eliza as patients, and 30 other patients who did not have giardiasis as control enrolled to study. All patients were treated with 250 milligrams of metronidazole TDS for 5 days. Abdominal symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea were determined and compared in both groups before and after treatment. The mean age and sex distribution of the two groups were similar (P>0.5). The pain, bloating, and diarrhea severity before treatment with metronidazole were not significantly different in the two groups. The pain and bloating and diarrhea severity in both groups significantly decreased after the treatment period, but reductions were significantly higher in the case group (P<0.001 and P<0.001 P<0.001, respectively). The mean score of global symptoms before treatment in both case and control groups was similar. (P=0.88), but after treatment it was 4.85±2.18 (P<0.001) and 10.48±2.14 (P<0.001) respectively and the difference between the two groups was significant (P<0.001). The recovery percentage was 0.61±0.16 in the case group and 0.14±0.17 in the control group (P<0.001). Giardia infection in patients with IBS seems to play a significant role in clinical manifestations of non-constipation IBS and treatment with metronidazole can improve these symptoms significantly.
Caring behaviors are crucial in intensive care units (ICU) because patients in these wards require high levels of care. Effective communication with patients is one of the most important factors in caring behaviors of nurses working in ICUs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of therapeutic communication skills training on the caring behaviors of ICU nurese. This experimental pre-test/post-test study was carried out on 105 nurses working in ICUs of hospitals affiliated to Yazd University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 2019. Nurses were randomly assigned into control (52 nurses) and intervention (53 nurses) groups. A two-day therapeutic communication training workshop was conducted for the participants. Data were collected using demographic information questionnaire and caring behaviors questionnaire before and one month after the intervention. The findings showed no significant difference between the control and intervention groups regarding the nurses' caring behaviors in the pretest (P = 0.148). However, after implementation of the training program, a significant difference was observed in the mean scores of caring behaviors between the two groups. In the control group, the mean scores of caring behaviors decreased significantly after the intervention (P = 0.001); whereas, the mean scores of intervention group increased significantly after the intervention (P = 0.001). According to the results, ICU nurses' training in therapeutic communication skills had a positive effect on their caring behaviors. Therefore, we suggest the authorities to prepare and implement educational packages of therapeutic communication skills as a coherent program for other nurses. As a result, the caring behaviors and the quality of cares can be improved for patients.
Caring behaviors are crucial in intensive care units (ICU) because patients in these wards require high levels of care. Effective communication with patients is one of the most important factors in the caring behaviors of nurses working in ICUs. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of therapeutic communication skills training on the caring behaviors of ICU nurses. This experimental pre-test/post-test study was carried out on 105 nurses working in ICUs of hospitals affiliated with Yazd University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 2019. Nurses were randomly assigned into control (52 nurses) and intervention (53 nurses) groups. A two-day therapeutic communication training workshop was conducted for the participants. Data were collected using a demographic information questionnaire and caring behaviors questionnaire before and one month after the intervention. The findings showed no significant difference between the control and intervention groups regarding the nurses' caring behaviors in the pretest (P=0.148). However, after the implementation of the training program, a significant difference was observed in the mean scores of caring behaviors between the two groups. In the control group, the mean scores of caring behaviors decreased significantly after the intervention (P=0.001); whereas, the mean scores of the intervention group increased significantly after the intervention (P=0.001). According to the results, ICU nurses' training in therapeutic communication skills had a positive effect on their caring behaviors. Therefore, we suggest the authorities prepare and implement educational packages of therapeutic communication skills as a coherent program for other nurses. As a result, the caring behaviors and the quality of care can be improved for patients.
Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (TC) is transient systolic dysfunction localized with electrocardiographic (ECG) changes, and it mimics acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Studies have shown that 95% of the patients have changes in ECG. ECG changes in TC syndrome may be similar to MI. ECG changes can be seen in the form of ST-segment elevation or deep T-wave inversion. TC can be considered a special form of ACS. TC is not a benign entity and conduction abnormalities can occur. The acute phase can be predicted based on decreased EF and the incidence of arrhythmia. A different treatment is used in the acute phase of TC, depending on the hemodynamic condition. Our case illustrates the importance of symptoms such as stress and emotions, age and female gender, clinical manifestations, ECG characteristics, and echocardiography. This paper describes a case of TC from a hospital affiliated to Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences. The case was a 75-year-old woman with no history of cardiovascular diseases, who has been admitted to the hospital with myocardial infarction.
The coronavirus disease is a recent pandemic infection, with the first case being discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Iran is one of the countries that has been afflicted by this pandemic. A 34-year-old man with no history of pre-existing disease and smoking has been hospitalized in another hospital for the past two weeks due to COVID-19 infection and symptoms of fever, cough, and dyspnea. He received standard medical treatments in that hospital. After two weeks, he was discharged from the hospital with his consent. In the afternoon of the same day, he came to the emergency department of our hospital with severe dyspnea. Tension pneumothorax in the left hemithorax, pulmonary collapse, and shifting mediastinal elements to the contralateral side were observed in his chest x-ray. Tension pneumothorax is an unusual symptom in patients with SARS-CoV-2. Pneumothorax has been reported in 1% of COVID-19 patients who need hospitalization, 2% of those who need intensive care unit admission, and 1% of those who die from the infection. Spontaneous pneumothorax must be ruled out in COVID-19 patients with dyspnea and chest pain, tachycardia, tachypnea, or hypoxemia. It is critical to be familiar with these symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. A thorough physical examination and serial chest X-rays can be helpful tools in the diagnosis and management of the disease.