The endothelium plays a crucial role in maintaining vascular homeostasis by producing several vasodilating factors, including nitric oxide (NO), prostacyclin (PGI2), and endothelium-dependent hyperpolarisation (EDH); however, the balance between endothelial relaxing and contracting factors is disrupted in disease states such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Most reported studies of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes focused on the actions of NO; however, there is accumulating evidence demonstrating that in addition to NO, PGI2 and EDH are likely to contribute to the vasodilatation of blood vessels. EDH plays an important role as a regulator of vascular tone and reactivity in resistance and conduit arteries of animal models and humans. PGI2 only plays a minimal role in endothelium-dependent vasodilatation but may serve as an important compensatory mechanism in conditions in which NO and EDH activities are decreased. Further studies are needed to determine the exact roles of EDH and PGI2 in the development of endothelial dysfunction and clinical vasculopathy in humans with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The detection and analysis of microsatellites is very important for the mapping of genetic diseases because they are commonly used as genetic markers. Microsatellite marker D19S884 has been associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common reproductive endocrine disease of women in their childbearing years. It is responsible for an estimated 70% of cases of anovulatory infertility. In this work, we detected microsatellites in DNA extracted from the blood of PCOS patients.
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to recognise their mistakes. These unskilled people therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their own abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.
BACKGROUND: Client characteristics provide useful information for designing programs that target individuals with risk factors for substance use and for determining client retention. Therefore, this study examined the profiles of clients attending a methadone clinic.
METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of clients of a methadone clinic was conducted through a survey to obtain a profile of methadone clients.
RESULTS: Of the 51 patients who responded (response rate: 66.2%), the mean (SD) age at which they started substance use was 19.8 (5.1) years. Friends were cited as the most regular source of drugs (82.4%), and heroin was the most commonly used drug (98%). Daily substance use was reported by 72.5% of the respondents; 23.5% admitted to having stolen money to purchase drugs; 92.2% tried quitting substance use on their own and 98% stated that the main reason for registering at the clinic was that they wanted to stop their drug dependence. Approximately 60% of clients were receiving methadone doses of less than 60 mg/day.
CONCLUSION: Heroin is still the most popular drug of abuse and most clients still receive methadone doses below the recommended level, despite evidence of poor patient retention rates associated with these low doses.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; methadone; patient appointments; profile; substance use
Study site: Methadone clinic, hospital, Malaysia.
BACKGROUND: Aspirin resistance has posed a major dilemma in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. There have been many factors that have been associated with aspirin resistance. Among these factors, the inflammatory processes of diabetes and glycaemic control have been significantly associated with aspirin resistance. Our study evaluated the prevalence of aspirin resistance and its associated factors.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, interventional study, which was implemented from October to November 2012 at the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM). Sixty-nine patients with diabetes who were taking aspirin were enrolled. The glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured in these patients. The thromboelastography (TEG) level was measured using a TEG machine by a trained technician employing standard methods. The variables obtained were analysed for prevalence of aspirin resistance, HbA1c, CRP, and TEG level. The Chi-square test (and Fisher exact test where applicable) were used to evaluate the associations between aspirin resistance with glycaemic control (HbA1c) and inflammatory markers (CRP).
RESULTS: The prevalence of aspirin resistance was 17.4% (95%; CI 9.3, 28.4). Glycaemic control (HbA1c) and inflammatory markers (CRP) were not associated with aspirin resistance. Aspirin resistance was prevalent in our study population and was comparable to other studies. The mean HbA1c in the aspirin-resistant group was 8.9%, whereas the mean HbA1c in the aspirin-sensitive group was 8.6%.
CONCLUSION: There was no significant difference in HbA1c between the two groups. There was no significant association between CRP levels and aspirin resistance.
KEYWORDS: aspirin resistance; diabetes mellitus; thromboelastography
Study site: NeuroMedical Specialist Clinic, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan, Malaysia
BACKGROUND: Studies from the West have demonstrated that ready-to-eat cereals (RTECs) are a common form of breakfast and more likely to be consumed by children. This study aimed to investigate the breakfast eating pattern and RTECs consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 382 schoolchildren, aged 10 and 11 years old, were recruited from seven randomly selected primary schools in Kuala Lumpur. Information on socio-demographics, breakfast eating patterns, and perceptions of RTECs and dietary intake (24-hour dietary recalls) were obtained.
RESULTS: Among the respondents, only 22% of them consumed breakfast on a regular basis. The most commonly eaten food by children at breakfast was bread (27.2%), followed by biscuits (22.2%) and RTECs (20.5%). The majority of them (93%) reported that they consumed RTECs sometimes during the week. Chocolate RTECs (34.1%), corn flake RTECs (30.3%), and RTECs coated with honey (25.1%) were the most popular RTECs chosen by children. Respondents who consumed RTECs showed a significantly higher intake in calories, carbohydrate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and fibre (P < 0.05), compared to those who skipped breakfast and those who had breakfast foods other than RTECs.
CONCLUSION: The lower levels of breakfast consumption among schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur need serious attention. RTEC is a nutritious food which is well accepted by a majority of the schoolchildren in Kuala Lumpur. Nutrition intervention should be conducted in the future to include a well-balanced breakfast with the utilisation of RTECs for schoolchildren.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; breakfast; calorie; cereals; children
Petrol is known to be hazardous to human health and is associated with various health effects, such as haematotoxicity and oxidative stress. Although Malaysia has adopted the European fuel quality standards in recent years in order to reduce petroleum pollutants and to improve air quality, gasoline with research octane number 95 (RON95), believed to contain benzene and other toxic substances, is still widely used all over the country. This study assessed the effect of RON95 gasoline on haemtological parameters of rats after 11 weeks of exposure.
In the contemporary era, the demand for orthodontic treatment is ever rising. Orthodontic treatment duration can range from a year to a few years. Our aim is to assess the available techniques of categorising treatment effectiveness in patients with cleft lip and palate (CLP) and to study their effect on improvement of treatment outcomes. The electronic databases including Medline-PUBMED, Science Direct, and ISI Web of Knowledge were searched from 1987 to 2013, and 40 311 relevant articles were found. Of these, we identified 22 articles including original articles as well as literature reviews. The different parameters and indices that are applied to speed-up orthodontic treatment outcomes in patients with CLP were identified as the GOSLON Yardstick, 5-year-old index, EUROCRAN index, Huddart Bodenham system, modified Huddart Bodenham system, GOAL Yardstick and, Bauru-Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Yardstick. This overview can create better awareness regarding the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of the different indices. It can enable better assessment and provide the impetus needed for a sustained upgrade in the standards of care for CLP in daily orthodontics.
Obesity is a fast-emerging epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region, with numbers paralleling the rising global prevalence within the past 30 years. The landscape of gut diseases in Asia has been drastically changed by obesity. In addition to more non-specific abdominal symptoms, obesity is the cause of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, various gastrointestinal cancers (colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, oesophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, pancreatic cancer and gallbladder cancer) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Abnormal cross-talk between the gut microbiome and the obese host seems to play a central role in the pathogenesis, but more studies are needed.
BACKGROUND: Optimisation of average glandular dose (AGD) for two-dimensional (2D) mammography is important, as imaging using ionizing radiation has the probability to induce cancer resulting from stochastic effects. This study aims to observe the effects of kVp, anode/filter material, and exposure mode on the dose and image quality of 2D mammography.
METHODS: This experimental study was conducted using full-field digital mammography. The entrance surface air kerma was determined using thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) 100H and ionization chamber (IC) on three types of Computerized Imaging Reference System (CIRS) phantom with 50/50, 30/70, and 20/80 breast glandularity, respectively, in the auto-time mode and auto-filter mode. The Euref protocol was used to calculate the AGD while the image quality was evaluated using contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), figure of merit (FOM), and image quality figure (IQF).
RESULTS: It is shown that AGD values in the auto-time mode did not decrease significantly with the increasing tube voltage of the silver filter (r = -0.187, P > 0.05) and rhodium filter (r = -0.131, P > 0.05) for all the phantoms. The general linear model showed that AGD for all phantoms had a significant effect between different exposure factors [F (6,12.3) = 4.48 and mode of exposure F (1,86) = 4.17, P < 0.05, respectively] but there is no significant difference between the different anode/filter combination [F (1,4) = 0.571].
CONCLUSION: In summary, the 28, 29, and 31 kVp are the optimum kVp for 50%, 30%, and 20% breast glandularity, respectively. Besides the auto-filter mode is suitable for 50%, 30%, and 20% breast glandularity because it is automatic, faster, and may avoid error done by the operator.
KEYWORDS: CDMAM; digital mammography; radiation dose
The present study investigated the effects of Quercus infectoria (QI) gall extract on the proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin, and the morphology of a human fetal osteoblast cell line (hFOB 1.19).
Hydatid cysts are not endemic in Malaysia and are rarely seen. We hereby report a case of hydatid cyst of the liver in a 55-year-old Chinese-Australian lady who presented with a calcified liver cyst and negative hydatid serology. A liver segmentectomy was performed and revealed a well-circumscribed, calcified liver cyst containing only creamy whitish material without the typical daughter cyst. A histological examination revealed different layers of the cyst wall and the presence of loose, calcified scolices without a daughter cyst. The case highlights the importance of considering hydatid cyst in the differential diagnosis of liver cyst even in non-endemic areas, as the ease of travelling and migration allows the condition to be seen outside the endemic region.
Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) accounts for approximately 10-20% of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). This figure is thought to be higher in the elderly population. With the increasing life expectancy of our population, we anticipate that the prevalence of CAA- related ICH will increase in tandem. Although CAA-related ICH and hypertension-related ICH are distinct entities based on histopathology and imaging, the clinical presentation of the two conditions is similar. The use of brain computed tomography (CT) scans remain the ICH imaging modality of choice in Malaysia due to its availability, cost, and sensitivity in detecting acute bleeds. On the other hand, the use of brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) sequencing enables the clinician to determine the presence of chronic blood products in the brain, especially clinically silent microbleeds associated with CAA. However, the use of brain MRI scans in our country is limited and leads to a blurring of lines when differentiating between hypertension-related ICH and CAA-related ICH. How this misrepresentation affects the management of these conditions is unclear. In this study, we present two cases of ICH to illustrate this point and to serve as a springboard to question current practice and promote discussion.
Pilomatricomas can be confidently diagnosed cytologically due to their characteristic cytomorphological features. However, these lesions are rarely encountered by cytopathologists and thus pose a diagnostic dilemma to even experienced individuals, especially when the lesions are focally sampled. We describe two cases of histologically confirmed pilomatricoma. The first case is of a 13-year-old boy with posterior cervical 'lymphadenopathy', and the second one is of a 12-year-old girl with a lower cheek swelling. Both aspirates comprised predominantly atypical basal-like cells, with prominent nucleoli. 'Ghost cells' were readily identified by cell block in case two, but cell block in case one yielded no diagnostic material. In case two, pilomatricoma was accurately diagnosed pre-operatively. A cytological suspicion of a neoplastic process was raised in case one. Despite being diagnostically challenging, pilomatricoma can be diagnosed with careful observation of two unique cytological features of the lesions: (1) pathognomonic 'ghost cells' and (2) irregular, saw-toothed, loosely cohesive basaloid cells, with prominent nucleoli. The role of thorough sampling of the lesion, with multiple passes of various sites, cannot be overemphasized.
Malignant chest wall tumour is rare. The presentation is usually aggressive that requires extensive resection to prevent recurrence. However, the extensive resection is to the expense of causing defect on the chest wall and hence, respiratory mechanics. Two cases of chest wall tumour are discussed including the surgical approach of radical tumour resection which was combined with placement of titanium mesh and Tranverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneus (TRAM) flap to cover the defect and preserve respiratory mechanical functions. The morbidity of using titanium mesh demonstrated in the case series were infection and injury to surrounding tissue due to its rigidity and large size which required its removal. However the formation of 'pseudopleura' made the thoracic cage return back as closed cavity even after the removal of the titanium mesh and allow normal respiratory functions.
Cerebral tuberculosis is the most severe type of extrapulmonary disease that is in developing countries highly predominant in children. Meningeal tuberculosis is the most common form and usually begins with respiratory infection followed by early haematogenous dissemination to extrapulmonary sites involving the brain. In comparison with the lung, Mycobacterium tuberculosis induces a very different immune response when infect the central nervous system. Herein, we review several aspects of the pathogenesis and immune response in pulmonary and cerebral tuberculosis in humans and experimental models and discuss the implications of this response in the cerebral infection outcome.
Post-traumatic parotid sialocoele is a subcutaneous extravasation of saliva from the parotid gland secondary to traumatic disruption of its duct or parenchyma. Currently, there is no consensus regarding the best therapy for parotid sialocoele, as it is resistant to conservative management. The present paper puts forward a relatively simple, safe and effective technique for the treatment of parotid sialocoele, specifically a peroral drainage technique. The results justify our recommendation to use this approach for the treatment of sialocoele.
BACKGROUND: Work-family conflict has received increasing attention in recent decades in the area of workplace stressors, which can affect employees' health. However, the dimensionality of the work-family conflict construct among the Malay-speaking population has not been clarified. In order to do so, it is crucial to use an instrument that is appropriate and valid for the Malay-speaking population. As such, the goal of this study was to validate and test the dimensionality of the Malay version of the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire.
METHODS: The present study conducted exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency, using Cronbach's alpha, of the work-family conflict construct among 332 working women in Malaysia.
RESULTS: The results supported the existence of four dimensions in the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire that distinguish between time based and strain-based work-family conflict and family-work conflict. The discriminant validity, convergent validity, and internal consistency of this construct are adequately supported.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study supported the existence of discriminant and convergent validity, as well as adequate reliability, for the construct. Thus, the Work-Family Conflict Questionnaire is a valid and reliable instrument among Malay-speaking working women.
KEYWORDS: factor analysis; professional-family relation; validity and reliability; working women
Lemierre's syndrome (LS) is a rare life-threatening infective condition typically starting with an oropharyngeal infection causing thrombophlebitis and metastatic abscesses. The most common aetiology of LS is Fusobacterium necrophorum; however, it can also occur after infection with other organisms. LS mainly affects young healthy adults. The initial infection site can be in the head and neck or in the abdomen. The morbidity rate of this disease is high despite aggressive treatments. In this article, we report a 63-year-old male patient with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, presenting with Klebsiella pneumoniae infection-induced necrotizing fasciitis on the right side of the neck, leading to LS.