Introduction: Asthma is a condition characterized by eosinophilic airway inflammation and remodelling that in- volves several pathological changes, including subepithelial fibrosis, mucus hypersecretion, smooth muscle growth, and vascular changes. The present study aimed to determine the effect of tHGA administered intraperitoneally in a chronic asthma mouse model that closely mimics the human asthma. Methods: Ovalbumin-sensitized and chal- lenged BALB/c mice were i.p. administered with tHGA at different doses (20 and 2 mg/kg). Respiratory function was measured, and brochoalveolar lavage, blood and lung samples were then obtained and analyzed. Results: The airways of OVA-induced mice developed increased pulmonary inflammation with increased levels of cytokines, chemokines, and changes in vascular permeability. Intraperitoneal administration of tHGA in OVA-induced mice significantly and dose-dependently inhibited the airway inflammation, production of immunoglobulin E, Th2-type cytokines and chemokines, and inflammatory mediators. Treatment with tHGA also significantly reduced the airway hyperresposiveness in response to increased methacholine doses. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the effi- cacy of tHGA in alleviating chronic asthmatic symptoms in mouse model improved significantly when administered intraperitoneally compared to oral route. Furthermore, this study also supports that tHGA has a therapeutic potential in chronic asthma management by acting as a cysteinyl leukotrienes (CysLT) inhibitor.
Introduction: Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in Malaysia, predominantly among women under age of 60 and they often presented late. Borneo is home to multi-racial indigenous with heterogeneous background and breast cancer profile can be absolutely unique. This study aims to examine the demographic characteristics and stage at presentation in Sandakan women with newly diagnosed breast cancer. Methods: This is a cross-sectional, retrospec-tive study involving those women who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer from January 2016 to December 2018 in Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan identified via hospital cancer registry and patient records. Only breast cancer with epithelial origin was included. Age, ethnicity and stages at presentation of breast cancer were analysed. Logistic regression was used to study their relationships. Results: 110 women were newly diagnosed as breast cancer. Mean age was 53.5 (SD 12.7), the youngest at 30 and the eldest at 97. Majority (64.6%) were local indigenous wom-en, constituted by 25.4% Sungai, 14.1% Kadazan-Dusun, 12.7% Bugis and the minorities. Chinese women are the main local non-indigenous (32.7%) followed by 2.7% Malay. 52.1% presented at late stages (stage III/IV). Subgroup analysis of T-staging revealed 41.7% had advanced symptoms (T3/T4). Indigenous group was more likely to present at younger ages (OR 12.0; 95%CI 1.5-93.8) and with advanced symptoms (OR 3.1; 95%CI 1.2-8.0). Conclusion: Awareness on breast cancer remains inadequate particularly among indigenous women. Difficult healthcare accessi-bility and incline towards traditional medicine could attribute to late presentation. Outreach awareness programmes are warranted in addition to mobile screening services.
Exercise has been suggested as the best and the most affordable way for managing blood pressure. The insertion/ deletion of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) I/D gene polymorphism had been reported to be linked with sev- eral diseases such as hypertension and diabetic nephropathy. Several studies showed that blood pressure response to exercise training for health management also vary among individuals with different genotypes of ACE I/D gene poly- morphism. A study of 9 months of endurance exercise training at 75 to 85 % of VO2max showed that the decrease of resting blood pressure in I allele carriers wass greater than D allele carriers. In contrast, other study discovered that adult women with D allele had greater reduction in resting blood pressure than those with I allele, following a 12-week combined aerobic and resistance exercise training. Despite the inconsistencies of some findings, it has remained unknown if the ACE I/D gene polymorphism would also influence blood pressure response to isometric handgrip training that had been found to be superior to the dynamic resistance exercise training in controlling and preventing high blood pressure. Thus, this article was to review the literature on ACE I/D gene polymorphism and blood pressure response to exercise training that could serve as the basis for future research to identify individuals who will lower resting blood pressure the most with exercise training program for health management.
Free light chains (FLCs) are tumour markers of monoclonal gammopathies. Detection of urinary FLC or also known as Bence-Jones protein through urinary protein and its immunofixation electrophoreses (UPE and uIFE, respectively) have been considered the gold standard for its biochemical diagnosis. This is mainly due to their superior detection limits compared to their counterpart investigations in serum. However, urinalysis is limited in many ways. The emergence of serum FLC assay with markedly improved detection limit circumvents many of these problems and has gained much importance in biochemical investigations of monoclonal gammopathies. Nevertheless, they are not without limitations. This review discusses the advantages and limitations of serum and urinary FLC assays.
With advancement in genetic studies, familial phaeochromocytoma (PCC) and paraganglioma (PGL)
are increasingly being recognized. Characteristically, correlations exist between genotypes and clinical
and biochemical phenotypes. We report a phaeochromocytoma in a young patient with intriguing family
histories, raising the possibility of his being a familial case.
Clinical vampirism in psychiatric practice is very rare and usually associated with schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder or paraphilia. An Asian case of clinical vampirism is described. It is about a 24-year-old Malay female, paramedic student, who craved for blood since childhood. She injured her sister and herself so that she could access and drink blood. There was no associated psychosis or medical problems. The craving for blood may represent her underlying craving for parental love and attention.
Myeloid sarcoma (MS) is an uncommon type of malignancy, and its diagnosis is comparable to acute myeloid leu- kaemia (AML). In the rare circumstances in which MS does present without AML, it is known as MS de novo. We report a case of a 10-month old child who presented with bilateral proptosis and a pelvic mass due to synchronous primary MS de novo. She was initially misdiagnosed with neuroblastoma, which has this typical presentation. The histopathological result from the biopsy of the orbital mass also showed a small blue round cell tumour (SBRCT) as seen in cases of neuroblastoma. However, the diagnosis of MS was confirmed using immunohistochemistry (IHC) from the orbital biopsy specimen, which usually plays a major role in the diagnosis of orbital tumours and as a prog- nostic indicator. Our patient remains in clinical remission two years after antileukemic treatment, with no relapse or progression to AML.
The current focus of perioperative management of anaemia has shifted from allogeneic transfusion to optimising and conserving the patient’s blood through the implementation of patient blood management (PBM) strategies. We here- by report a case to illustrate the success of applying PBM strategies in managing a surgical patient with an extremely rare red blood cells (RBC) phenotype. An 80-year-old Malay man was planned for urgent major abdominal surgery following diagnosis of intestinal obstruction secondary to an advanced rectosigmoid tumour. A request of two units packed RBC was made given anticipated blood loss intraoperatively. His pre-operative haemoglobin was 135 g/L. His previous immunohaematological record showed that he had an extremely rare P k (P1-, P-, Pk+) phenotype with clinically significant anti-P, anti-PX2, and anti-P1. The elements of PBM strategies were explored and applied. Even- tually, the patient successfully underwent a surgical operation without any allogeneic RBC transfusion.
Introduction: Ascariasis is a parasitic infection, which commonly affects immunocompromised patients. Most pa-tients remained asymptomatic during the early larval migration stage and respond well with conventional anti-hel-minthic drugs. Previous literature had reported symptomatic Ascaris infection mimicking bacterial pneumonia and the typical eosinophilia found in Loeffler syndrome was absent in patients on corticosteroids. Thus, a high index of suspicion for ascariasis is needed for immunosuppressed patients presented with infection. We present here a case of severe ascariasis infection in a systemic lupus erythematosus patient. Case description: A 16-year-old boy presented with fever, generalized maculopapular rash associated with neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. He was treated initially as Dengue Fever initially. However his symptoms did not resolve at even day 14 of admission. On further assessment, we were convinced he has SLE based upon presence of malar rash, oral ulcers, urinary protein-uria, persistent leucopenia, thrombocytopenia with low complements and ANA positive. He was promptly started on IV hydrocortisone. He showed a good progress in the first few days. On day 5 of admission, he coughed out a round worm which later identified as Ascarisis lumbricoides. He was started on Albendazole. Unfortunately he developed hemoptysis and respiratory compromisation where he required intubation. Post intubation he went into cardiac arrest, which required CPR. Following that event, his condition further deteriorated with multi organ failure. He succumbed to his illness three days later. Conclusion: Immunocompromised patients are prone to opportunistic infections including parasitic infections. we present here a case of ascariasis in an SLE patient who unfortunately succumbed to the illness. Due to the variable clinical symptoms that mimic other infections, screening for parasitic infections needs to be considered especially if the patients do not respond to antibiotics and routine treatments.
The incidence of Addison’s disease (AD) is rare. One of the most common causes of AD in developed countries is autoimmune. On the other hand, in developing countries, infective causes still predominate. The symptoms are mostly insidious in onset and non-specific, making it challenging to diagnose AD. The delay in starting the right treatment predisposes to high mortality due to Addison’s crisis. Hence, biochemical parameters play a vital role in diagnosing AD since they usually will present with prominent hyponatraemia, hyperkalaemia and hypoglycaemia. Here, we report a case of a 66-year-old man with multiple co-morbidities and disseminated histoplasmosis who pre- sented with asymptomatic hyponatraemia and hyperkalaemia and was eventually diagnosed with Addison’s disease. Although the non-specific symptoms from his multiple co-morbidities obscured the diagnosis of AD, comprehensive biochemical tests have helped in establishing the diagnosis.
Introduction: Secondary Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) is a condition seen in severe dengue that can be potentially fatal. Timely management using HLH-directed treatment such as steroids or etoposide have been seen to improve the outcome of patients however there is no protocol on how to manage the disease. Two criteria commonly used to guide the direction of treatment are namely the HLH-2004 criteria and the Hscore; with the latter being used more often. The best cut-off H score is 169 corresponding to a sensitivity of 93%, specificity of 86% and accurate classification of 90% of the patients. We described of five patients diagnosed with severe dengue compli-cated with HLH. Methods: 5 cases that were diagnosed with severe dengue with secondary HLH and received dexa-methasone were reviewed retrospectively and clinical data extracted. Results: All patients had fever beyond critical or leaking phase. Four out of five cases had Hscore higher than 169 and had a mean score of 181 with only one bone marrow performed. Three patients had concurrent leaking and bleeding and three patients had fast progression of se-vere transaminitis during the critical phase. The mean peak ferritin level was 21077 micro/L. The only bone marrow aspiration done revealed increased macrophages and hemophagocytic activity. All patients received a short course of dexamethasone and discharged well. Conclusion: Short course dexamethasone is effective in treatment of HLH in dengue despite the concerns of administration of steroids in bleeding dengue patient. Secondary HLH in dengue remains a clinical diagnosis with no conclusive diagnostic criteria. It should be suspected in a severe dengue patient with hyperferritinemia and persistent fever. Technical difficulty of performing bone marrow during severe dengue makes conclusive diagnosis remains elusive.
Introduction: Proper gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) care is essential for optimal control and thus prevents adverse perinatal outcomes. This audit aimed to determine the quality of GDM care provided by a public polyclinic.
Methods: The audit was performed on the clinic-based medical record of GDM patients who had undergone at least
three prenatal follow-ups and one postnatal follow-up between January and November 2012. Patients with pre-existing diabetes mellitus were excluded. Results: A total of 74 medical records were audited and it showed that 94.6%
of patients were of age 25 and above, 91.9% were Malays, 71.6% were multigravida and 98.6% had risk factors of
GDM. 54.1% of diagnoses were made during the second trimester, while 25.7% and 20.2% of cases were detected
during the first and third trimester respectively. All of the GDM patients had their weight and blood pressure monitored, 85.1% had their fundal height checked as scheduled and 85.1% were referred for diet counselling. 81.9% and
100% of GDM patients who were not on treatment and on treatment correspondingly had their blood sugar profile
monitoring done as recommended. Only 13.5% of GDM patients were given prenatal family planning counselling
and 35.1% were given a six weeks’ postnatal oral glucose tolerance test appointment. Monthly ultrasound screening
and HbA1c monitoring was done in merely 51.4% and 58.1% of the GDM patients respectively. Conclusion: The
GDM care process in this public polyclinic could be improved further to achieve the standard recommendations.
Introduction: The incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing globally and it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The importance of a better quality of diabetes care is increasingly acknowledged. Objective: This clinical audit was conducted to assess the quality of care given to type 2 DM patients in public primary care clinics. Methods: A clinical audit was conducted in two selected urban public primary care clinics, between April and June of 2005. The indicators and criteria of quality care were based on the current Malaysian clinical practice guidelines for type 2 DM. A structured pro forma was used to collect data. Results: A total of 396 medical records of patients with type 2 DM were included in this audit. Most of the patients had measurements of fasting blood glucose and blood pressure recorded in more than 90% of the visits over the previous one year. Twenty-seven percent of the patients had glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) done every 6 months with a mean of 8.3%. Only 15.6% had HbA1c values less than 6.5 %. Fifty percent had blood pressure controlled at 130/80 mmHg and below; and 13.0% had low density lipoprotein cholesterol values of 2.6 mmol/L or less. The majority of the patients were overweight or obese. Conclusions: The quality of diabetes care in this study was
found to be suboptimal. There is a gap between guidelines and clinical practice. Certain measures to improve the quality of diabetes care need to be implemented with more rigour.
The National Clinical Practice Guideline in Tuberculosis (TB) was designed to improve the quality of tuberculosis care. However, it remains unknown whether primary care doctors adhere to it well. This audit aims to assess the quality of care in the process of TB contact tracing in a primary care setting. Methods: Data on TB contact tracing from 1st February 2013 to 15th February 2013 was obtained retrospectively from all medical records of diagnosed pulmonary TB in a public primary care clinic. All patients who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in the study. Results: A total of 102 medical records of adult TB contacts were recruited. The median age of the TB contact was 34 (IQR=10) years and 65 % were male. Seventy two percent of the adult TB contact had a TBIS 10C3 form created, and 95% of the medical records were fully documented. History taking and physical examination were recorded on 97% and 99% of patients respectively during the first follow-up at the polyclinic. Eighty five percent and 100% of the patients had a chest-x-ray and sputum direct smear for acid-fast bacilli done respectively. The turn-up rate for the first, second, third and fourth visit was 100% to 32%, 10% and 2% respectively. Conclusion: The quality of care for adult TB contacts tracing in this clinical audit was found to be suboptimal. There is a difference between the current national guidelines and practice in the clinic. Certain measures to improve the quality of care for adult TB contact tracing
are urgently needed.
Introduction: It is estimated that 4.9 million people worldwide died in 2000 as a result of their addiction to nicotine, about half of them prematurely. This huge death toll is rising rapidly, especially in low and middle income countries where most of the world’s 1.2 billion tobacco users live.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine (i) the prevalence of smoking among the community aged 18 and above in Terengganu state, and (ii) the relationship between smoking and age, sex, educational level, family and peer influence.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used in this study and data was collected using a standardised pre-tested structured questionnaire.
Results: The overall mean age of the respondents was 38.9 (95% CI= 37.7 – 40.2) years. The majority of the respondents were Malays (99.1%). Of the 653 respondents, 32.2% and 23.6% were ever and current smokers respectively. Of this, 211 ever smokers, 199 (94.3%) were males and only 12 (5.7%) were females. The prevalence of ever and current smokers for males was 73.2% and 53.7% respectively compared to the females (3.1% and 2.1% respectively). There was a significant association between smoking status and sex (p<0.001). The prevalence of ever smokers was lowest amongst respondents with college or university educational level. However, for current smokers, those with college or university education had the highest prevalence. The overall mean initiation age of ever smokers was 19.7 years (95% CI = 18.8 – 20.7). The mean initiation age for the males (19. 1 years) was significantly lower compared to 29.8 years for the females (p<0.001). The mean duration of smoking for the current smokers was 21.6 (95% CI= 19.1 – 24) years. There was also no significant difference in the mean duration of current smoking for males compared to the females (p = 0.5). The majority (93.4%) of the ever smokers started either because their friends asked them to try or they were trying for fun. The quit ratio was 27%.
Conclusion : The prevalence of ever and current smokers in males is very high (73.2% and 53.7% respectively) compared with the females (3.1% and 2.1% respectively). The mean initiation age for the males (19.1 years) was significantly lower compared to 29.8 years for the females (p<0.001). Key words: Smoking, prevalence, initiation age, duration, Terengganu state
Introduction: Aerobic power reflects the physical fitness of the individual. Evidences support differences in phys-iological responses to exercise. There is less data on VO2 max among common ethnic population of Sabah. Ob-jective of this study was to investigate VO2 max among Kadazan, Dusun, Brunei Melayu, Bugis, Murut and others of Sabah in male and female young adult population. Methods: A total of 385 participants were randomly selected. Monark 894 E leg bicycle ergo meter was used to measure aerobic power VO2 max. Based on the heart rate male and female respectively 450 & 300 kilogram-force meter/minute was chosen. Based on Astrand rhyming nomogram (age correction factor included-VO2 Max multiplied by 1.05) calculations Vo2Max was calculated in l/min. The age correction done VO2 Max (l/min) was multiplied by 1000 and later divided by the body weight to derive the actual VO2Max in ml/kg/min. The recovery heart rate after 1 minute was taken and the difference were calculated for the further analysis. Data was tabulated and analysed by one way ANOVA test - Hocherberg’s GT2. Results: There was no significant difference in VO2 max between the common ethnic young adult population both in males and fe-males. Conclusion: There is no significant difference in VO2 max among the common ethnic adult but have a similar aerobic capacity in the study group.
Background: Existing techniques of predicting difficult laryngoscopy are inadequate requiring evaluation of Maxillopharyngeal Angle (MP-A) on lateral cervical radiograph described. Objectives: This study aimed to compare MP-A test with Modified Mallapati Test (MMT) in predicting their diagnostic values and Area Under Curve of Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AUCROCC) of both test. Methods: This is a double blinded interventional study of 93 patients. Each patient’s MMT score was assessed during preoperative assessment and subsequent MP-A test done by obtaining lateral cervical radiograph with the head in neutral position. Laryngeal view was assessed using Cormack-Lehane grade after induction of anesthesia, was used as reference standard to determine the diagnostic values of MMT and MP-A respectively. Results: The MP-A compared to MMT in predicting difficult larngoscopy had higher sensitivity (77.78 vs 44.44) specificity (88.10 vs 67.86) and accuracy (87.10 vs 65.59) with higher Odd Ratio(26.12 vs 1.68). The AUCROCC was significantly higher in MP-A test 0.83(95%CI: 0.67, 0.99) (P = 0.001) vs MMT 0.56(95%CI: 0.36, 0.76) (P = 0.546) with LR+ of 6.53 vs 1.38. Conclusion: The Maxillopharyngeal Angle test was superior in predicting difficult laryngoscopy as compared to Modified Mallampati Test.
Introduction: Secure attachment to parents prevents adolescents from externalizing behaviours especially in developing countries. The aim of this study was to identify the contributors to parental attachment in a developing society. Methodology: This cross sectional study was performed on urban secondary students (aged between 13 and 17 years) based on multistage sampling in Pasir Gudang District, Johor, Malaysia. The depression, anxiety and stress (DASS-21) and Inventory of parent and peer attachment (IPPA) questionnaires were used along with a questionnaire for demographic information. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to identify the main effect of study parameters on IPPA scores for father and mother. Results: A total of 2980 students (46.9% male and 53.1% female) participated in this study. Mean and SD for age was 14.39±1.28. Depression score and school form had a significant main effect on both paternal and maternal attachment (p
Introduction: Ovarian cancer is recognizable as the fourth leading cancer in Malaysia. Knowledge on ovarian cancer is low among Malaysian women, which may affect their interpretation of early symptoms and delay presentation of ovarian cancer cases. The aim of this study was to determine the level of ovarian cancer knowledge and its determinants among female nonacademic staff in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia. Methods: A crosssectional study was designed to collect the data from 366 participants via a validated self-administered questionnaire, from April to July 2015. Results: The mean age of participants was 34 ± 7.89. Most of the sample was Malay (96.4%), married (61.5%). A total of 51.4% of respondents reported low knowledge level. Knowledge of ovarian cancer was significantly associated with marital status (p
We report a case of a fatal gunshot injury to the chest which illustrates the compatibility of the Postmortem Multislice Computed Tomography (PMCT) features with that of conventional forensic autopsy findings. This case demonstrates that the PMCT has high potential to enhance the investigation and performance of conventional forensic autopsy.