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Ymittos Athens, Greece

Vourtsis S.A.,401 Military Hospital of Athens | Agrogiannis G.D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Ionac M.,Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara | Papalois A.E.,University of Patras
Journal of Investigative Surgery

Background: Induction of angiogenesis has been shown to be mediated by a number of glycoproteins called growth factors. Growth factors control the growth, differentiation, and metabolism of cells. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is believed to be the most potent regulator of this process. The effect of its exogenous administration on the distal third of a long random skin flap was examined. Materials and Methods: Eighteen Wistar rats were divided into two groups of nine. Rats were anesthetized, and a skin flap, measuring 1.5 × 7.5 cm, was elevated at their dorsum. The flap was standardized by centering the pedicle between the lower angles of the scapulae and by using a frame with the previously mentioned dimensions. The length of the flap was five times greater than its width. In group A (n = 9), the flap was elevated, one milliliter of normal saline was injected subdermally, at the distal third, and it was sutured back at its original place. In group B (n = 9), the flap was elevated, injections of 10 μg of VEGF were administrated subdermally, at the distal third, and it was again sutured back. Rats were euthanized a week later and flaps were excised. All specimens were measured, photographed, put in formalin 10%, and were sent for image and histological analysis. Image analysis was used both for the estimation of viable area and for the calculation of mean vessel density per mm 2. Results: Necrotic areas of the flaps were clearly demarcated within a week's time. In group A, the mean flap survival percentage was 38.9%. In group B, the percentage was 80.4%. Histological analysis demonstrated angiogenesis in group B, with mean vessel density per mm 2 being higher in group B than in group A. Conclusions: Administration of VEGF injections at the distal part of a long random skin flap (length to width ratio 5:1) has been shown to improve the survival rate of the flap and thus contributing to the salvage of greater peripheral segment of the flap. Neovascularization induced by exogenous VEGF seems to be the biological mechanism, which leads to the improvement of flap survival. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. Source

Karampeazis A.,Medical Oncology Unit | Voutsina A.,University of CreteCrete | Souglakos J.,University of CreteCrete | Souglakos J.,University of Crete | And 16 more authors.

BACKGROUND In this superiority study, pemetrexed was compared with erlotinib in pre-treated patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). METHODS Patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC who progressed after first-line or second-line treatment were randomized to receive either pemetrexed or erlotinib. In total, 21.7% of patients in the pemetrexed arm and 23.5% of patients in the erlotinib arm had squamous cell histology, and treatment was third line in 39.2% and 46.4% of patients, respectively. The primary study endpoint was time to tumor progression (TTP). Epidermal growth factor receptor/v-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (EGFR/KRAS) mutation status also was investigated. RESULTS There was no difference in terms of the TTP (P =.195), the objective response rate (P =.469), or overall survival (P =.986) between the 2 treatment arms. In patients who had squamous cell histology, erlotinib resulted in a superior TTP compared with pemetrexed (4.1 months vs 2.5 months, respectively; P =.006). The incidence of grade 3 and 4 neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, and asthenia was significantly higher in the pemetrexed arm, whereas the incidence of grade 3 and 4 skin rash was higher in the erlotinib arm. CONCLUSIONS Both pemetrexed and erlotinib had comparable efficacy in pre-treated patients with metastatic NSCLC, and the current results indicated that genotyping of tumor cells may have an important effect on treatment efficacy. © 2013 American Cancer Society. Source

Vourtsis S.A.,401 Military Hospital of Athens | Papalois A.E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Agrogiannis G.D.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Patsouris E.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Ionac M.,Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara
Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery

Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a heparin-binding glycoprotein which plays a significant role in angiogenesis and vascular permeability. The effect of various ways of local administration of VEGF on random skin flap survival was studied, using flaps with a relatively high length (L) to width (W) ratio (5:1). Materials and Methods: An 1.5 × 7.5 cm dorsal skin flap with the pedicle orientated, centered, and remaining attached between the lower angles of the scapulae was elevated in 45 Wistar rats in different phases, depending on the group. Rats were divided in five groups of nine. In group A, injections of saline were administered, in equally divided spaces, into flap's fascia and transposed to a created skin defect. In group B, injections of VEGF were applied subdermally, in equally divided spaces, within the limits of a predesigned flap, a week prior to flap dissection and transposition. In group C, injections of VEGF were applied into a recipient bed's fascia just before flap raising and transposition. In group D, injections of VEGF were applied subdermally, only in the distal third of the flap and then the flap was transposed to a recipient area. Finally, in group E, injections of VEGF were applied in the flap intrafascially and in equally divided spaces and then again, the flap was transposed to a recipient area. A week after final flap raising and positioning, rats were euthanatised and flaps were excised. Specimens were photographed, measured, put in formalin 10% and were sent for histological and image analysis. Results: Mean flap survival percentage was 35.4% in group A, and 33.7% in group B. In groups C and D, the mean survival area was 56.3% and 80.4%, respectively. In group E, the mean flap survival percentage was 28.3%. Histological analysis demonstrated increased angiogenesis in groups C and D. Conclusions: VEGF application improved skin flap survival when injected subdermally in the distal third of a random skin flap or into the fascia of a recipient area even though the length-to-width ratio was high. Source

Hadjigeorgiou G.,University Hospital of Larissa | Dardiotis E.,University Hospital of Larissa | Tsivgoulis G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Doskas T.,Athens Naval Hospital | And 20 more authors.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) results in an extensive use of the health care system, even within the first years of diagnosis. The effectiveness and accessibility of the health care system may affect patients' quality of life. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the health care resource use of MS patients under interferon beta-1b (EXTAVIA) treatment in Greece, the demographic or clinical factors that may affect this use and also patient satisfaction with the health care system. Structured interviews were conducted for data collection. In total, 204 patients (74.02% females, mean age (SD) 43.58 (11.42) years) were enrolled in the study. Analysis of the reported data revealed that during the previous year patients made extensive use of health services in particular neurologists (71.08% visited neurologists in public hospitals, 66.67% in private offices and 48.53% in insurance institutes) and physiotherapists. However, the majority of the patients (52.45%) chose as their treating doctor private practice neurologists, which may reflect accessibility barriers or low quality health services in the public health system. Patients seemed to be generally satisfied with the received health care, support and information on MS (84.81% were satisfied from the information provided to them). Patients' health status (as denoted by disease duration, disability status and hospitalization needs) and insurance institute were found to influence their visits to neurologists. Good adherence (up to 70.1%) to the study medication was reported. Patients' feedback on currently provided health services could direct these services towards the patients' expectations. © 2014 Hadjigeorgiou et al. Source

Einarson T.R.,University of Toronto | Geitona M.,University of Peloponnese | Chaidemenos A.,Psychiatric Hospital of Athens. | Karpouza V.,Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki | And 11 more authors.
Annals of General Psychiatry

Background: Patients having chronic schizophrenia with frequent relapses and hospitalizations represent a great challenge, both clinically and financially. Risperidone long-acting injection (RIS-LAI) has been the main LAI atypical antipsychotic treatment in Greece. Paliperidone palmitate (PP-LAI) has recently been approved. It is dosed monthly, as opposed to biweekly for RIS-LAI, but such advantages have not yet been analysed in terms of economic evaluation.Purpose: To compare costs and outcomes of PP-LAI versus RIS-LAI in Greece.Methods: A cost-utility analysis was performed using a previously validated decision tree to model clinical pathways and costs over 1 year for stable patients started on either medication. Rates were taken from the literature. A local expert panel provided feedback on treatment patterns. All direct costs incurred by the national healthcare system were obtained from the literature and standard price lists; all were inflated to 2011 costs. Patient outcomes analyzed included average days with stable disease, numbers of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).Results: The total annual healthcare cost with PP-LAI was €3529; patients experienced 325 days in remission and 0.840 QALY; 28% were hospitalized and 15% received emergency room treatment. With RIS-LAI, the cost was €3695, patients experienced 318.6 days in remission and 0.815 QALY; 33% were hospitalized and 17% received emergency room treatment. Thus, PP-LAI dominated RIS-LAI. Results were generally robust in sensitivity analyses with PP-LAI dominating in 74.6% of simulations. Results were sensitive to the price of PP-LAI.Conclusions: PP-LAI appears to be a cost-effective option for treating chronic schizophrenia in Greece compared with RIS-LAI since it results in savings to the health care system along with better patient outcomes. © 2012 Einarson et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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