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Research round-up

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Inflammation and CAD

July 25, 2000

NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Low-grade inflammation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Danesh and colleagues studied the association of inflammatory markers and subsequent CAD in middle-aged British men. Coronary artery disease was associated with baseline levels of plasma C reactive protein, serum amyloid A protein, and serum albumin, and baseline leukocyte counts. However, these markers were not associated with Helicobacter pylori seropositivity, Chla

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NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Left ventricular systolic function is preserved in many patients with symptoms of heart failure, often prompting a diagnosis of diastolic heart failure. Caruana and colleagues evaluated underlying causes of symptoms in patients referred for echocardiography because of suspected heart failure. In 94% of patients who did not have left ventricular systolic dysfunction, valvular disease, or atrial fibrillation, symptoms suggestive of heart failure were traced to obes

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NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) The differential diagnosis of arterial occlusive disease includes a host of conditions that cause embolism or thrombosis. Dingli and colleagues report a case of severe digital occlusive disease with an unusual infectious etiology. A woman with flulike illness subsequently developed cyanosis and pain in her fingers. Vascular studies revealed a fixed arterial occlusion, and an enzyme immunoassay revealed acute seroconversion for parvovirus B19. Parvovirus B19 infec

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NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Previous reports have documented that sodium cromoglicate has antisickling activity in vitro. Toppet and colleagues studied this antisickling activity in sickle-cell patients given sodium cromoglicate by inhalation or nasal route. Both treatments significantly decreased the percentage of sickle cells in venous blood; this effect was largely retained when the blood was deoxygenated. Sodium cromoglicate may be a clinically useful antisickling drug that has the adde

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Suplatast and asthma

July 25, 2000

NEW YORK, July 24 (Praxis Press) Th2 cytokines are strongly implicated in the immunopathology of asthma. Tamaoki and colleagues evaluated the steroid-sparing effect of suplatast tosilate, a selective Th2 cytokine inhibitor, relative to placebo in patients with steroid-dependent asthma. When steroid doses were halved, patients in the suplatast tosilate group had less deterioration of pulmonary function, asthma symptoms, and reliance on beta2-agonists for relief. These benefits were achieved with

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A cell of few modes

By | July 24, 2000

A mathematical re-analysis of microarray gene expression data reveals that the vast majority of expression patterns can be represented by just a few 'characteristic modes'.

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NEW YORK, July 18 (Praxis Press) The complexity of antiretroviral regimens may be an obstacle to adherence among patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Paterson and colleagues evaluated the importance of adherence to protease inhibitor therapy among HIV-infected patients (see paper). Good adherence was associated with decreased virologic failure, fewer days of hospitalization, and fewer opportunistic infections. An adherence level of 95% was identified as a critical level

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and endoscopy

July 21, 2000

NEW YORK, July 17 (Praxis Press) Cross-sectional epidemiologic studies have disagreed about the occupational risk of Helicobacter pylori infection among gastroenterologists. Hildebrand and colleagues performed a prospective, case-control study of 54 gastroenterologists and 103 controls who were negative for H. pylori infection at baseline (paper). Seven of the gastroenterologists acquired H. pylori infection during 270 person-years of follow-up, whereas only one of the controls acquired infectio

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NEW YORK, July 20 (Praxis Press) Radiographic contrast agents can cause a reduction in renal function, possibly due to the effects of reactive oxygen species, and the usefulness of antioxidants in preventing this effect is unclear. Tepel and colleagues prospectively studied 83 patients with chronic renal insufficiency undergoing computed tomography with the contrast agent iopromide (see paper). Patients were randomly assigned to receive either the antioxidant, acetylcysteine, or a placebo, befor

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NEW YORK, July 19 (Praxis Press) Using serum cholesterol levels to predict coronary heart disease (CHD) and whether to treat hypercholesterolemia in people under the age of 40 is controversial. To evaluate the long-term impact of unfavorable serum cholesterol levels on risk of death from CHD, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and all causes, Stamler and colleagues evaluated a total of 11,017 men aged 18 through 39 years from three large prospective studies (see paper). The researchers measured cause

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