Treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) using intensive chemotherapy has resulted in high cure rates but also substantial morbidity. Infective complications represent a significant proportion of treatment-related toxicity. The objective of this study was to describe the microbiological aetiology and clinical outcome of episodes of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropaenia in a cohort of children treated for ALL at our institution.
Intensive care unit (ICU) prognostic models are predominantly used in more developed nations such as the United States, Europe and Australia. These are not that popular in Southeast Asian countries due to costs and technology considerations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the suitability of the acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) IV model in a single centre Malaysian ICU.
Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy has evolved tremendously from the early days when candlelight was used to illuminate scopes to the extent that it has now become an integral part of the practice of modern gastroenterology. The first gastroscope was a rigid scope first introduced by Adolf Kussmaul in 1868. However this scope suffered from the 2 drawbacks of poor illumination and high risk of instrumental perforation. Rudolf Schindler improved on this by inventing the semiflexible gastroscope in 1932. But it was Basil Hirschowitz, using the principle of light conduction in fibreoptics, who allowed us to "see well" for the first time when he invented the flexible gastroscopy in 1958. With amazing speed and innovation, instrument companies, chiefly Japanese, had improved on the Hirschowitz gastroscope and invented a flexible colonoscope. Walter McCune introduced the technique of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in 1968 which has now evolved into a sophisticated procedure. The advent of the digital age in the 1980s saw the invention of the videoendoscope. Videoendoscopes have allowed us to start seeing the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) "better" with high magnification and resolution and optical/digital enhancements. Fusing confocal and light microscopy with endoscopy has allowed us to perform an "optical biopsy" of the GI mucosa. Development of endoscopic ultrasonography has allowed us to see "beyond" the GIT lumen. Seeing better has allowed us to do better. Endoscopists have ventured into newer procedures such as the resection of mucosal and submucosal tumours and the field of therapeutic GI endoscopy sees no end in sight.
In Singapore, the age-standardised event rates of myocardial infarction (MI) are 2- and 3-fold higher for Malays and Indians respectively compared to the Chinese. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and quantity of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and non-calcified plaques across these 3 ethnic groups.
INTRODUCTION: This study aims to identify the predictors of a 6-month quitting success among employees involved in workplace smoking cessation with low-intensity smoke-free policy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multicentre prospective cohort study was conducted among employees from 2 different public universities in Malaysia. Interventions include at least 2 sessions of behavioural therapy combined with free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for 8 weeks. Participants were followed up for 6 months. Independent variables assessed were on sociodemographic and environmental tobacco smoke. Their quit status were determined at 1 week, 3 months and 6 months.
RESULTS: One hundred and eighty- five smokers volunteered to participate. Among the participants, 15% and 13% sustained quit at 3 months and 6 months respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that at 6 months, attending all 3 behavioural sessions predicted success. None of the environmental tobacco exposure variables were predictive of sustained cessation.
CONCLUSION: Individual predictors of success in intra-workplace smoking cessation programmes do not differ from the conventional clinic-based smoking cessation. Furthermore, environmental tobacco exposure in low intensity smoke-free workplaces has limited influence on smokers who succeeded in maintaining 6 months quitting.
Metastatic adenocarcinoma from the gastrointestinal tract to the sinonasal tract is rare. The histological morphology of this lesion is indistinguishable from the colonic variant of primary sinus adenocarcinoma or intestinal-type adenocarcinoma (ITAC).
Issues pertaining to the diagnosis and management of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) in Malaysia included low awareness of atypical and variable presentations in IEMs leading to delayed diagnosis or treatment, absence of reliable population data on IEMs and involvement of multiple siblings in the same family due to consanguinity. The importance of careful family history taking and genetic counselling are emphasised. Selected testing of ill infants and children for IEM yielded a positive 2% (264/13,500) results for IEMs in Malaysia. Out of the 264 patients, the spectrum of IEMs in Malaysia included organic acidurias (98), aminoacidopathies (78), urea cycle defects (54), neurotransmitter conditions (12) and lysosomal disorders, mainly mucopolysaccharidosis (14). Confirmatory studies of IEMs are an important aspect of management of IEMs. There is a need for more metabolic specialists and funding for diagnosis and treatment of IEMs in Malaysia. Long-term care issues and cost-effectiveness of IEM therapy, supportive and preventive aspects will need further studies in Malaysia.
Auditory neuropathy is defined by the presence of normal evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and absent or abnormal auditory brainstem responses (ABR). The sites of lesion could be at the cochlear inner hair cells, spiral ganglion cells of the cochlea, synapse between the inner hair cells and auditory nerve, or the auditory nerve itself. Genetic, infectious or neonatal/perinatal insults are the 3 most commonly identified underlying causes. Children usually present with delay in speech and language development while adult patients present with hearing loss and disproportionately poor speech discrimination for the degree of hearing loss. Although cochlear implant is the treatment of choice, current evidence show that it benefits only those patients with endocochlear lesions, but not those with cochlear nerve deficiency or central nervous system disorders. As auditory neuropathy is a disorder with potential long-term impact on a child's development, early hearing screen using both OAE and ABR should be carried out on all newborns and infants to allow early detection and intervention.
For about 50 years, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics have been taught in the medical schools via traditional lectures and practical classes. During this time, significant changes have occurred in our understanding of medicine and basic sciences. Also the needs for our community have changed dramatically. The explosion of scientific discoveries, the use of new technologies in disease diagnosis, the availability of a wide range of therapeutic options, and the availability of knowledge to everyone via the Internet have necessitated new approaches for teaching medical and other health professional students. Finding information related to a topic has not become a priority in teaching, what has become more important is to teach undergraduate students how to think in addition to what to think. Applying information learnt and assessing its significance in real life situations has become mandatory. The aims of this paper were: (i) to discuss the model we used in introducing clinical pharmacology and therapeutics teaching in the undergraduate course at the University of Melbourne and the educational principles behind the model, and (ii) to discuss the new tools of assessment used in a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum.
Medical talks, newsletter circulars, scientific meetings and conferences, and interaction with members of the pharmaceutical industry, have become convenient means of carrying out continuing medical education (CME) for many busy doctors.
Refractive error remains one of the primary causes of visual impairment in children worldwide, and the prevalence of refractive error varies widely. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of refractive error and study the possible associated factors inducing refractive error among primary school children of Malay ethnicity in the suburban area of Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Setting, maintaining and re-evaluation of assessment standard periodically are important issues in medical education. The cut-off scores are often "pulled from the air" or set to an arbitrary percentage. A large number of methods/procedures used to set standard or cut score are described in literature. There is a high degree of uncertainty in performance standard set by using these methods. Standards set using the existing methods reflect the subjective judgment of the standard setters. This review is not to describe the existing standard setting methods/procedures but to narrate the validity, reliability, feasibility and legal issues relating to standard setting.
INTRODUCTION: The aims of this study were to cross-culturally adapt and evaluate the validity of the Singaporean Malay and Tamil versions of the EQ-5D.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The EQ- 5D was cross-culturally adapted and translated using an iterative process following standard guidelines. Consenting adult Malay- and Tamil-speaking subjects at a primary care facility in Singapore were interviewed using a questionnaire (including the EQ-5D, a single item assessing global health, the SF-8 and sociodemographic questions) in their respective language versions. Known-groups and convergent construct validity of the EQ-5D was investigated by testing 30 a priori hypotheses per language at attribute and overall levels.
RESULTS: Complete data were obtained for 94 Malay and 78 Indian patients (median age, 54 years and 51 years, respectively). At the attribute level, all 16 hypotheses were fulfilled with several reaching statistical significance (Malay: 4; Tamil: 5). At the overall level, 42 of 44 hypotheses related to the EQ-5D/ EQ-VAS were fulfilled (Malay: 22; Tamil: 20), with 21 reaching statistical significance (Malay: 9; Tamil: 12).
CONCLUSION: In this study among primary care patients, the Singapore Malay and Tamil EQ-5D demonstrated satisfactory known-groups and convergent validity.
Introduction: In Malaysia, Klebsiella pneumoniae ranks high as a cause of adult pneumonia requiring hospitalisation.
Patients and Methods: With concern over its rising microbial resistance, we explored the association of empiric antibiotics choices with the hospital outcomes of patients treated for microbial proven K. pneumoniae pneumonia in an urban-based teaching hospital.
Results: In 313 eligible cases reviewed retrospectively, hospital mortality and requirement for
ventilation were 14.3% and 10.8% respectively. Empiric regimes that had in vitro resistance to at least one empiric antibiotic (n = 90) were associated with higher hospital mortality (23.3% vs. 10.8%, P = 0.004) with risk increased by about two-fold [Odds ratio (OR), 2.5; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.3 to 4.8]. Regimes (n = 84) other than the commonly recommended “standard” regimes (a β-lactam stable antibiotic with or without a macrolide) were associated with higher ventilation rates (16.7% vs. 8.8%, P = 0.047) with similar increased risk [OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0 to 4.3].
Conclusions: Our findings reiterate the clinical relevance of in vitro microbial resistance in adult K. pneumoniae pneumonia and support empiric regimes that contain β-lactam stable antibiotics.
Key words: In vitro resistance, Malaysia