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Luzern, Switzerland

Cuculi F.,Oxford Heart Center | Erne P.,Luzerner Kantonsspital
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2011

Introduction: The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of hypertension and heart failure. ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor II blockers (AT-II blockers) and aldosterone antagonists have been used to tackle the RAAS in the past but combined ACE and neutral endopeptidase (NEP) inhibitors have been shown to be more potent in reducing blood and especially pulse pressure in patients with hypertension. Areas covered: Different NEP inhibitors have been tested but omapatrilat is the most widely studied in the setting of hypertension, heart failure and chronic angina. We have undertaken a PubMed search on NEP with a special focus on omapatrilat and its efficacy in hypertension and heart failure. The incidence of angioedema is more frequent in patients taking combined ACE and NEP inhibitors and this has prevented these medications from finding a widespread use. Combinations of NEP inhibitors and AT-II blockers are currently being studied and have been shown to reduce the blood pressure significantly. These medications have so far not been associated with angioedema and have a great potential to be safe and effective alternatives in the near future. Expert opinion: NEP inhibitors were effective in the treatment of hypertension and heart failure but the relatively high incidence of angioedema stopped their widespread use. New hope has risen with the introduction of combined NEP inhibitors and AT-II blockers and early studies are encouraging. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Adaequate stimulation of the hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis (cortisol- axis) is essential for the adaptation of the human organism to stress and the preservation of homeostasis. Clinical and laboratory changes in adrenal insufficiency are often non-specific, therefore stimulation tests are needed in the assessment of the cortisol-axis. The most common cause of primary adrenal insufficiency is autoimmune adrenalitis (as part of the polyglandular autoimmune syndrome), while treatment with glucocorticoids is responsible for secondary adrenal insufficiency. Chronic adrenal insufficiency is reliably diagnosed by conventional or low-dose ACTH test. However, in the acute stage or in critically ill patients, cortisol deficiency is diagnosed on clinical grounds, namely hemodynamic instability and catecholamine resistance along with the results of the ACTH test. The dose of glucocorticoid replacement depends on body surface and has to be adjusted in stressful events. Source

Kohl S.,University of Bern | Evangelopoulos D.S.,University of Bern | Siebenrock K.A.,University of Bern | Beck M.,Luzerner Kantonsspital
Journal of Arthroplasty | Year: 2012

Scarring or detachment of the hip abductors, particularly of the gluteus medius, from their insertion may lead to severe abductor weakness, recurrent dislocations, pain, and diminished quality of life. We performed a retrospective study to evaluate whether vastus lateralis shift is associated with satisfactory results and low rate of complications. Eleven adults underwent vastus lateralis shift to bridge a well-documented abductor muscles' insertion defect. Preoperative and postoperative hip functions were assessed applying the Merle d'Aubigne score, British Medical Council scale, and Visual Analog Scale. Significant postoperative improvement was noted in mean Merle d'Aubigne score, gluteus medius muscle force, and quality of life. Vastus lateralis shift represents a viable treatment option for hip abductor deficiency, significantly improving abductor strength and overall quality of life. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Kothbauer K.F.,Luzerner Kantonsspital | Deletis V.,Rush University Medical Center
Child's Nervous System | Year: 2010

Purpose: Intraoperative neurophysiological techniques are becoming routine tools for neurosurgical practice. Procedures affecting the lumbosacral nervous system are frequent in adult and pediatric neurosurgery. This review provides an overview of the techniques utilized in cauda and conus operations. Methods: Two basic methodologies of intraoperative neurophysiological testing are utilized during surgery in the lumbosacral spinal canal. Mapping techniques help identify functional neural structures, namely, nerve roots and their respective spinal levels. Monitoring is referred to as the technology to continuously assess the functional integrity of pathways and reflex circuits. For mapping direct electrical stimulation of a structure within the surgical field and recording at a distant site, usually a muscle is the most commonly used setup. Sensory nerve roots or spinal cord areas can be mapped by stimulation of a distant sensory nerve or skin area and recording from a structure within the surgical field. Continuous monitoring of the motor system is done with motor evoked potentials. These are evoked by transcranial electrical stimulation and recorded from lower extremity and sphincter muscles. Presence or absence of muscle responses are the monitored parameters. To monitor the sensory pathways, sensory potentials evoked by tibial, peroneal, or pudendal nerve stimulation and recorded from the dorsal columns with a spinal electrode or as cortical responses from scalp electrodes are used. Amplitudes and latencies of these responses are measured for interpretation. The bulbocavernosus reflex, with stimulation of the pudendal nerve and recording from the external anal sphincter, is used for continuous monitoring of the reflex circuitry. The presence of absence of this response is the pertinent parameter monitored. Stimulation of individual dorsal nerve roots is used to identify those segments that generate spastic activity and which may be cut during selective dorsal rhizotomy. Electromyographic activity can be continuously observed during surgery, and monitoring concepts developed in cranial nerve surgery may be used in the cauda equina as well. Conclusion: A range of intraoperative neurophysiological techniques are available for neurophysiological testing of the neural structures of conus medullaris and cauda equina. © 2009 Springer-Verlag. Source

Valsesia G.,Center for Laboratory Medicine | Valsesia G.,ETH Zurich | Rossi M.,Luzerner Kantonsspital | Bertschy S.,Luzerner Kantonsspital | Pfyffer G.E.,Center for Laboratory Medicine
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2010

The hospital epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has changed in the past few years due to the encroachment of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) strains into health care settings. MRSA strains that were isolated during a 2-year period from patients of the Luzerner Kantonsspital were analyzed to elucidate their epidemiology. Moreover, extended surveillance of individuals who were contacts of those patients was carried out for 6 months to identify the routes of spread and to assess the quality of the infection control measures used in our setting. Patient data were collected to distinguish CA-MRSA strains from health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA) strains by epidemiological criteria, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). On the basis of the CDC definition, the majority of the strains were considered to be HA-MRSA. However, 87% of them belonged to staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) types IV and V, which are traditionally associated with CA-MRSA. Surprisingly, classical nosocomial SCCmec types I and II represented a minority, whereas SCCmec type III was completely absent. By PFGE analysis, four predominant clonal lineages and 21 highly variable sporadic genotypes were detected. Twentyeight percent of the MRSA strains studied carried the genes encoding the Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL), of which 21% and 83% were associated with SCCmec types IV and V, respectively. Among 289 contact individuals screened for MRSA carriage throughout the extended surveillance, a single secondary patient was discovered. The possibility of nosocomial transmission could be excluded. The high proportions of SCCmec type IV and V strains as well as PVL-positive strains suggest strong infiltration of CA-MRSA into our institution. Moreover, the low endemic prevalence of MRSA demonstrates that current infection control measures are sufficient to limit its spreading and the emergence of large epidemic outbreaks. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

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