Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a rare disorder in child psychiatric practice. A case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy that was managed in the Child Psychiatric clinic, Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital is reported. Factors that suggest the diagnosis are discussed. Multidisciplinary approach to the management of such cases is warranted.
In confronting the advances in the new treatment for incurable illnesses there is an increasing need for doctors to be aware of their patients' cognition and feeling related to their quality of life (QOL). Recognizing this need the authors translated and pilot tested the WHOQOL-100, a genuinely international measure of QOL by the World Health Organization (quality of life group). The WHOQOL-100 Malay version was pilot tested on 50 healthy controls and 250 ill subjects, suffering from hypertension, diabetes mellitus, those suffering from both hypertension and ischaemic heart disease, epilepsy and schizophrenia. The results showed several unique features of the QOL, which were influenced by different types of illnesses. The information obtained is different and probably not observable from clinical consultations. This study will be an impetus for further studies using the WHOQOL-100 assessment tool in the local population.
The development of antibody-based biosensor has grown steadily during recent years, and their use as a routine instrument in clinical application is not far from reality. This study has demonstrated the capability of conductometric sensor to quantitate human Follicle Stimulating Hormone (hFSH) from urine samples. The principles are adopted from Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique. Self fabricated gold coated electrode was dipped in the microtiter well containing antibody-antigen complex. Substrate was added to the system to initiate a secondary reaction, which produced electroactive species and change the conductivity of the solution. The changes were proportional with the concentration of the hormone present. The results obtained correlate well with the conventional ELISA technique. Inter and intra assay variation (%CV) were under 6% and the lowest detection limit is 0.75 mIU/ml which was well under the physiological range of the hormone. This system offered advantages such as simplicity, reliability, minimal addition of reagents, freedom from turbidity and color problem, probability of miniaturizing the electrode thus minimizing the sample volume and the ability of on line data analysis. This study proved that Antigen-Antibody reaction via EIA could be detected electronically and it has a potential to be used as one of the measuring mode in clinical analysis.
Nosocomial infection is a common problem in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a knowledge of the pattern of nosocomial infection will contribute greatly to the intensification of infection control measures and the development of antibiotic policies in the NICU. This study aims to compare the incidence and clinical characteristics of neonates with nosocomial infection in NICU of both Kuala Terengganu Hospital (HKT) and Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM). Neonates who had both clinical signs of sepsis and positive blood cultures, 48 hours after admission to NICU, from 1(st) January to 31(st) December 1998, in both hospitals were retrospectively studied. Among neonates admitted to NICU, 30 (5.4%) in HKT and 65 (3.6%) in HUSM had nosocomial infection (p = 0.07). The mean duration of hospitalisation was shorter (HUSM 37 days, HKT 49 days; p = 0.02), and the number of neonates with predisposing factors for infection is higher (HUSM 100%, HKT 73.3%; p < 0.001) in HUSM compared with HKT. There were no differences in gestation, mean age of onset of infection and mortality between both hospitals. The most common organism isolated from the blood in HKT was Klebsiella pneumoniae (33.3%), and in HUSM Klebsiella aerogenes (24.6%). Half of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates were resistant to cephalosporins and aminoglycosides in HKT and a similar number of Klebsiella aerogenes isolates were resistant to piperacillin and aminoglycosides in HUSM. In conclusion nosocomial infection is a common problem in both hospitals. Except for more frequent predisposing factors for infection in HUSM, and a longer duration of hospital stay among neonates in HKT, the clinical characteristics of neonates with nosocomial infection in both hospitals were similar.
Experience of acute medical, surgical conditions, and clinical procedures of undergraduate students were assessed via a questionnaire survey during the final week of the 1993/1998 programme at the School of Medical Sciences, Univestiti Sains Malaysia. Individual performances were assessed by a scoring system. One hundred and twenty four students responded, (response rate 97%). More than 90% had seen myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, pneumonia, respiratory distress, gastroenteritis, coma, and snake bite. Less than 33% had witnessed acute psychosis, diabetic ketoacidosis, acute hepatic failure, status epilepticus, near drowning, hypertensive encephalopathy, acute haemolysis or child abuse.Acute surgical/obstetrics cases, seen by >90% students, included fracture of long bones, head injury, acute abdominal pain, malpresentation and foetal distress. Less than 33% had observed epistaxis, sudden loss of vision, peritonitis or burns. Among operations only herniorrhaphy, Caesarian section, internal fixation of fracture and cataract extraction were seen by >80% students. The main deficits in clinical procedures are in rectal and vaginal examinations, urine collection and microscopic examinations. The performance of individual students, assessed by a scoring system, showed 15 students had unacceptably low scores (<149/230, 50%), 37 had good scores (>181.4/230, 70%) and 5 had superior scores (197.6/230, 80%).
The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of H. pylori in functional dyspepsia among the three main races in Malaysia. Gastric antral biopsies from 233 (98 males, 135 females; age range: 17-75 years, mean age 39.5 years) patients attending the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) gastroenterology clinic were assessed for the presence of H. pylori by culture and histology. About a third of the cases (79 of 233 (34%); 34 males, 45 females; mean age 42.6 yrs) were positive for H. pylori. The presence of H. pylori was always associated with antral gastritis. Malay patients were least likely to be positive for H. pylori (10 of 88 (11.4%); 5 males, 5 females; mean age 35.7 yrs) compared to the Chinese (43 of 95 (45%); 19 males; 24 females; mean age 40.2 yrs) and Indian patients (23 of 41 (56%); 10 males, 13 females; mean age 48.1 yrs). We found that H. pylori were most common among Chinese followed by Indians. However, the relative risk for the Indians was 8.58 and 6.29 for the Chinese compared to Malays. We conclude that the prevalence of H. pylori in patients with functional dyspepsia differs considerably with respect to ethnic groups.
Familial defective apolipoprotein B-100 (FDB) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder associated with hypercholesterolaemia and premature coronary heart disease. FDB is caused by mutations in and around the codon 3500 of the apolipoprotein B (apo B) gene. Apo B R3500Q mutation is the first apo B mutation known to be associated with FDB and it is the most frequently reported apo B mutation in several different populations. The objective of the present study was to determine the association of apo B R3500Q mutation with elevated plasma cholesterol concentration in Kelantanese population in which both hypercholesterolaemia and coronary heart disease are common. Sixty-two Malay subjects with hyperlipidaemia, attending the lipid clinic at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, were selected for this study. The DNA samples were analysed for the presence of apo B R3500Q mutation by polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment analysis method using mutagenic primers. This mutation was not detected in the subjects selected for this study. Apo B R3500Q mutation does not appear to be a common cause of hypercholesterolaemia in Kelantanese Malays.
In direct age-adjustment, a common age-structured population is used as standard. This population may actually exist (e.g., United States population, 1999) or may be fictitious (e.g., two populations may be combined to create a standard). In indirect age-adjustment, a common set of age-specific rates is applied to the populations whose rates are to be standardized. The simplest and most useful form of indirect adjustment is the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) (5).
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is the most common medical complication and metabolic disorder of pregnancy. This review provides an overview into the morbidity associated with GDM as well as the current methods of screening, diagnosis and management with the aim of early recognition and prevention of complications to both the mother and foetus.
Short course hypo-fractionated radiotherapy is a standard regime for the palliation of stage IV head and neck cancers. However few patients respond favorably and require further radiotherapy in curative intent. We have used split-course radiotherapy technique to find out this conversion rate from palliative to curative intent. This was a prospective study conducted from November 1998 to October 1999; twenty-six (26) patients with stage IV head & neck cancers were treated with a hypofractionated regime of radiotherapy. A tumor dose of 30 Gy in 10 fractions [time dose fraction (TDF) 62] over 2 weeks was delivered using a 6 MV linear accelerator. A conventional 2 field or 3 field technique was used. Patients were assessed for the regression of tumor on fifth day, tenth day of radiotherapy and 4 weeks after the completion of radiotherapy. Patients showing complete response and good partial response were allowed to receive further radiotherapy of 30 Gy in 15 fractions [TDF 49]. There were 21 males and 5 females in the study with a median age of 44 years (range 19-77 years). All patients completed the initial regime. Complete responses were observed among 14 patients (54%); partial response in 6 patients (23%), and no response was seen among 6 patients (23%). Sixteen patients (61%) were suitable for radical radiotherapy after phase-I course of the above schedule. Seventeen patients (65%) showed an improvement in the general well being with a better quality of life. One year actuarial survival was (76%), with a median survival time of 12 months. Split-course technique is a useful radiotherapy treatment in stage IV head and neck cancers to distinguish between the subset of patients who would require curative treatment and who would not.
Absorbed dose to water was measured with ionisation chambers NE 2561 (#267), NE 2581 (#334), NE 2571 (#1028), using the IAEA standard water phantom. The ionisation chamber was inserted in the water phantom at a reference depth dependent on the type of the radiation quality used. Three radiation qualities were used namely 1.25 MeV gamma ray, 6 MV x-rays and 10 MV x-rays. The values of the absorbed dose to water were determined by the N(K)- and N(X)- based methods, i.e with the use of IAEA, HPA, NACP, AAPM, NCRP and ICRU protocols. The aim of this study was to make an intercomparison of the results, by taking the IAEA protocol as a standard. The largest deviation contributed by any of these protocols was recorded for each quality. It was found that AAPM, NCRP and ICRU protocols contributed 0.94% for 1.25 MeV gamma ray, NACP contributed 2.12% for the 6 MV x-rays, and NACP contributed 2.35% for 10 MV x-rays. Since the acceptable limit of deviation set by the IAEA for this absorbed dose work is ± 3%, it is clear that the overall deviations obtained were all satisfactory.
Previous studies have shown that stress on the vergence and accommodation systems, either artificially induced or naturally occurring, results in small misalignment of the visual axes, reduces binocular visual acuity and produces symptoms of ocular discomfort. This study examines the effect of artificially induced visual stress using ophthalmic prisms on three dimensional perception on 30 optometry students ages ranging from 19 to 29 years old. 6D base-in prisms, equally divided between the eyes (3D base-in each) was used to induce stress on the visual system producing misalignment of visual axes known as fixation disparity. The fixation disparity is quantified using near vision Mallett Unit and an enlarged scaled diagram. Stereoscopic perception was measured with the TNO test, with and without the presence of stress and the results was compared. Wilcoxon's matched pair ranked tests show statistically significant difference in the stereo thresholds of both conditions, p = 0.01 for advancing stereopsis and p = 0.01 for receding stereopsis, respectively. The study concludes that visual stress induced by prisms, produce misalignment of the visual axes and thus reduces three dimensional performance.
A cross sectional study was carried out to evaluate the extent of occupational health problems focusing on some aspects of musculoskeletal symptoms among batik workers in Kelantan, Malaysia. The workers selected must have been in that industry for at least one year. Using cluster sampling, 202 workers were selected from 21 factories. More than half (60.2%) of the workers had been troubled with musculoskeletal symptoms at work. The most common symptoms were pain over the shoulders (41.0%), lower back (34.4%) and ankle (34.4%). Duration of employment, younger age group, prolonged standing and awkward working task were among contributing factors. It is therefore necessary to improve on both ergonomic and psychosocial environments of batik workers in order to prevent these musculoskeletal symptoms.
To aid future curriculum revision and planning, a batch of newly graduated medical students were surveyed using a questionnaire containing items representing possible areas of concern during house-officership. Students rated items representing communication issues as areas of concern. They did not agree that areas concerning responsibilities as a doctor, continuing medical education, theoretical and practical skills and potentially stressful working conditions were problem areas. Communication skills should remain among the priority areas for undergraduate training. Students should also be given more information about the house-officership period prior to graduation. Further study is needed to confirm perceived strengths of the USM curriculum suggested by the study, which are skills in finding resources for further learning and skills in leadership. A task-analysis of the house-officership period is also needed.
For effective management of typhoid, diagnosis of the disease must be done with speed and accuracy. Development of such a test would require antigens that are specific for typhoid diagnosis. Attempts at finding the specific antigen have been carried out throughout the years. The finding of such an antigen can lead to carrier detection as well. Candidate antigens have been used in the development of antigen or antibody detection tests with variation in sensitivity and specificity. Further characterization and understanding of the candidate antigens combined with use of innovative technologies will allow for the ideal test for typhoid and typhoid carriers to be within reach.
To identify gender difference in safe and unsafe practice of pesticide handling in tobacco farmers of Malaysia, we conducted a 20-item questionnaire interview on storage of pesticide (4 questions), mixing of pesticide (3 questions), use of personal protective equipment and clothing while spraying pesticide (7 questions), activities during and after spraying of pesticide (5 questions), and maintenance of pesticide sprayer (1 question) in 496 tobacco farmers (395 males and 101 females) in Bachok District, Kelantan, Malaysia. Duration of employment was significantly longer in females than those in males (p<0.001). In addition, proportion with no formal education in females was significantly higher than those in males (p<0.05). The following eight common factors were extracted from the 20 questionnaires by principal components factor analysis after varimax rotation in all farmers: (1) use of personal protective equipment, (2) unsafe work habit, (3) reading and following instructions on pesticide label, (4) security, storage and disposal of pesticide container, (5) safe work habit, (6) proper handling of pesticide and maintenance of pesticide sprayer, (7) use of personal protective clothing, and (8) safe handling of pesticide. Results of analysis of covariance for the eight factor scores of all male and female farmers, controlling for educational level and duration of employment, showed that: (1) factor scores for use of personal protective equipment (p<0.001), use of personal protective clothing (p<0.001) and safe work habit (p<0.001) in females were significantly lower than those in males; (2) conversely, factor scores for reading and following instruction on pesticide label (p<0.001) and proper handling of pesticide and maintenance of pesticide sprayer (p<0.01) in males were significantly lower than those in females; and (3) there were no significant differences in other three factor scores (p>0.05). We therefore conclude that: (1) for female tobacco farmers, choice of personal attire tend to result in lower scores on use of personal protective equipment and personal protective clothing while personal hygiene practices result in lower score on safe work habit; and, (2) for male tobacco farmers, the lower scores on reading and following instruction on pesticide label and mixing pesticide and maintenance of pesticide sprayer in good condition suggests that they were not primarily involved in these activities. It is postulated that these differences in safe and unsafe practices of pesticide handling across gender is related to the choice of personal attire, personal hygiene practices and division of labour within farming households which in turn is influenced by prevailing sociocultural norms in the community.
Hepatoblastoma is the most common primary liver tumour of childhood. This is a case report of a one-year-old boy who presented with a one-month history of progressive abdominal distension and weight loss. He was cachexic, anaemic, had gross hepatomegaly and ascites. He had been born prematurely with a birth weight of 1.23 kg, and his developmental milestones were delayed. Ultrasound and CT scan demonstrated a large solid tumour in the left lobe of the liver with a smaller superficial nodule in the right lobe. Serum alpha fetoprotein was significantly raised. A left lobe hepatectomy and complete excision of the right sided nodule was performed. There was no evidence of metastatic disease. Histopathological examination confirmed hepatoblastoma of the fetal type. The patient developed features of intestinal obstruction a few days after surgery and he succumbed ten days after re-laparotomy. The clinical presentation and investigation results in this case are characteristic. Recent reports have suggested a strong relationship between very low birth weight (< 1500gm)/prematurity and hepatoblastoma as is present in this case. Surgery is the mainstay of therapy in hepatoblastoma. A brief review of the literature on this tumour is presented.