INTRODUCTION: Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) being a cost effective and easily performed technique is useful in the detection of subclinical atherosclerosis and has been shown to be a prognosticator of cardiovascular events. The primary objective of this study was to obtain the distribution of CIMT measurements, highly sensitive C reactive protein (hs-CRP) and assessing health awareness and attitudes of the Malaysian population at cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and not receiving lipid lowering agents. Secondarily the study sought to assess the significance of the relationship between these measurements against various patient characteristics.
METHODS: Measurements of CIMT are obtained by ultrasonography of 12 sites within the common carotid artery was recorded for 123 subjects from a single centre tertiary hospital of Malaysia who had two or more CVD risk factors but were not receiving lipid lowering therapy. CVD risk factors and lipid and glucose profiles were analyzed with respect to distribution of CIMT and high-sensitivity Creactive protein (hs-CRP) values.
RESULTS: The mean-max CIMT was 0.916±0.129mm (minimum 0.630mm, maximum 1.28mm) and the mean-mean CIMT was 0.743±0.110mm (minimum 0.482mm, maximum 1.050mm) and mean hs-CRP was 0.191mg/dL (minimum 0.030mg/dL, maximum 5.440mg/dL). Multivariate analyses confirmed a significant association between increasing CIMT and increasing age, total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol while log-transformed hs-CRP levels showed significant association with increasing body mass index, waist circumference, high blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Our patients had good health awareness on CVD.
CONCLUSION: Newly defined CIMT measurements and hs-CRP levels may be useful adjunctive tools to screen for atherosclerosis in the Malaysian population. It may help in refining risk stratification on top of traditional clinical assessment.
A Health Technology Assessment (HTA) was conducted in 2011 to evaluate whether transnasal oesophagoscopy (TNE) should be made available at otorhinolaryngology (ORL) clinics in the Ministry of Health facilities. The safety, efficacy or effectiveness and economic implication of using transnasal oesophagoscopy (TNE) were reviewed. This review provides a summary of the HTA and an updated literature review as well as how this technology might potentially affect services in the Ministry of Health.
INTRODUCTION: Glycohemoglobin (HbA1c) most accurately reflects the previous two to three months of glycaemic control. HbA1c should be measured regularly in all patients with diabetes, and values should be maintained below 7% to prevent the risk of chronic complications. Apart from the genetic variants of haemoglobins many other conditions also known to affect HbA1c measurements. In this study we evaluated the conditions that cause low HbA1c results.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The data was collected retrospectively HbA1c was measured in our laboratory by Biorad Variant II turbo 2.0. The method is based on chromatographic separation of HbA1c on a cation exchange cartridge. This method has been certified by National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Programme (NGSP). 58437 requests were received in a period of one year (January to December 2011). Medical records were reviewed to identify the conditions that might be associated with these low values.
RESULTS: Among 58437 samples analysed, 53 patients had HbA1c levels < 4.0%. Fourteen patients had haemoglobinopathy. In 34 patients without Hb variants had conditions such as chronic liver disease, chronic kidney disease, haemolytic anaemia, pregnancy, and anaemia of chronic disease. Five non-pregnant individuals who were screened for diabetes mellitus had HbA1c levels < 4%.
CONCLUSION: Our study underscores the importance of that both laboratories and the physicians should be aware of the factors that can influence the HbA1c results. The haematological status should be taken into consideration for proper interpretation of HbA1c results.
AIM OF STUDY: This study investigated the consistency in Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) waveform evaluations between two audiologists (inter-audiologist agreement) and within each of the audiologist (intra-audiologist agreement).
METHODS: Two audiologists from one of the audiology clinics in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia were involved in this study. Both audiologists were required to identify and mark the presence of Waves I, III and V in 66 ABR waveforms. Over a one-month interval, each audiologist was required to carry out the same procedure on the same ABR waveforms. This process was continued until we had three separate reviews from each audiologist.
RESULTS: There was a high inter-audiologist ABR waveform identification agreement (over the range 81.71-89.77%), but a lower intra-audiologist ABR waveform identification agreement (over the range 50%-78%) for both audiologists. Our results also showed a high intra-audiologist ABR latency agreement within 0.2 ms (>90%), but a slightly lower inter-audiologist latency agreement (75-84%) within 0.2 ms.
CONCLUSION: Our results support the need for the clinic to implement further strategies for improving the respective lower agreements and consistencies. These include conducting a continuous education program and using an objective algorithm to support their interpretations.
Study site:; International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM) Hearing
and Speech Clinic
Tuberculosis, an ancient disease continues to be a health care burden in Malaysia in the 21st century. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis is a less common presentation of tuberculosis and in particular peripancreatic tuberculous lymphadenitis is rarely seen. We report a case of a young immunocompetent boy presenting with a two month history of non productive chronic cough associated with loss of appetite and loss of weight. Investigations including CT Scan and Endoscopic ultrasound revealed multiple mediastinal lymphadenopathy and peripancreatic lymphadenopathy with central caseation necrosis. Histology of cervical lymph node was suggestive of tuberculosis and mycobacterium PCR was positive. The patient was subsequently treated with antituberculous therapy and had marked clinical improvement of his symptoms. This case outlines a rare presentation of a common disease and the application of newer investigative tools in making the diagnosis.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the management and clinical outcome of transfusion-dependent thalassaemia children receiving care in the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Centre, Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar Seremban in comparison to The Malaysian Clinical Practice Guidelines. The demography, management and clinical outcome of the patients were documented using a checklist. Information on compliance to chelation agents was obtained through interview. There were twenty-six patients recruited in this study out of thirty seven patients registered in the centre. This study showed that more effort and vigilance should be given to ensure that the management of these patients adheres to the guidelines and clinical outcome of these patients monitored closely.
Study site: Paediatric Ambulatory Care Centre, Hospital Tunku Ja'afar, Seremban.
AIM: This was a randomized single blinded study to determine optimal size for Ambu®LMA (ALMA) among Malaysian adult population.
METHODS: One hundred and twenty six non-paralyzed anaesthetized adult patients were block randomized into size 3, 4 and 5 Ambu®LMA. Optimal size is defined primarily by oropharyngeal pressure (OLP). Pharyngeal injury and ease of insertion are also taken into consideration.
RESULTS: Mean OLP was significantly higher for Size 4 and 5 compared to size 3 (p<0.001) but similar between size 4 and 5. Number of insertion attempts and insertion time were similar between sizes. Size 5 required more manipulations during insertion (p<0.005) and had higher pharyngeal injury (p=0.001) compared to size 3 and 4.
DISCUSSION: We recommend size 4 ALMA as the optimal size for Malaysian adults in view of the higher OLP compared to size 3, yet less pharyngeal injury than size 5 in spontaneously breathing patients.
A 6 years old girl accidentally aspirated a plastic whistle while playing. Computed Tomography of thorax showed foreign body at carina level. Rigid bronchoscope under general anesthesia was attempted but unable to extract the whistle through vocal cord. Tracheostomy was later performed and foreign body was removed.
OBJECTIVE: The aim is to find rate of return to work of surgically treated thoracolumbar fracture patients and to know if back pain, compensation issues or neurological status influence this rate.
METHODOLOGY: A retrospective cohort study analysing the patients with thoracolumbar fractures treated surgically from January 2008 till December 2009.
RESULTS: Neurological status is the main factor deciding return to work in this group. Back pain and compensation related issues were not statistically significant in influencing return to work. 74% of patients in this group return to work.
CONCLUSION: Return to work among the patients with thoracolumbar fracture, treated surgically, is mainly dependent on neurological status and not the compensation related issues or back pain.
Dengue is life-threatening and the paediatric population is highly susceptible to complications. Deterioration can occur rapidly and ability to recognise early warning signs is crucial. This study aims to determine the knowledge and awareness of parents and carers and to predict their ability in recognising life-threatening symptoms and signs of dengue in children and to assess their health-seeking behaviour in dengue emergency. Methods This is a crosssectional study involving parents and carers of children ≤ 12 years old in schools and kindergartens in the Gombak district. Demographic details, knowledge on life-threatening symptoms and signs of dengue and health-seeking behaviour were collected using a self-administered questionnaire and knowledge scoring was done. The questionnaire was pilot tested with a Cronbach alpha of 0.82. The results were analysed using SPSS version 20.0. Results Total respondents were 866 with 44.8% men and 55.2% women. The mean age was 40.3 years (SD ± 5.7). Knowledge score of dengue life threatening features among respondents were good (30.0%) to average (56.8%). Respondents were able to recognise fever (98.5%), petechial rash (97.1%) and bleeding (65.2%) but were less able to recognise abdominal pain (22.3%) and passing less urine (28.2%) as life threatening dengue features. However, the ability to recognise fever is a poor predictor in recognising life threatening dengue in children compared to all other symptoms which were good predictors. A respondent that recognise stomach pain or neck stiffness were five times more likely to recognise life-threatening dengue. Respondents preferred to bring their children to the clinic (50.8%) or hospital (37.8%) themselves Instead of calling for ambulance. Worryingly, some would give antipyretics (3.6%) or wait for improvements (7.8%). Conclusion Concerted efforts by the schools, healthcare professionals and health authorities are required to educate parents and carers to identify life-threatening features of dengue and to improve their health seeking-behaviour.
BACKGROUND: The indiscriminate use of cough and cold medicines (CCMs) in children has become a public health concern. The study evaluates the prescription pattern of CCMs in primary care setting.
METHODS: Analysis of CCMs prescription data among children aged 12 years and below who had participated in the National Medical Care Survey (NMCS) 2010. Data was extracted from NMCS 2010, a cross-sectional survey on the primary healthcare service which was carried out from December 2009 to April 2010 in public and private primary care clinics in Malaysia.
RESULT: Of 21,868 encounters for NMCS 2010, 3574 (16.3%) were children 12 years old and below; 597 (17%) were from public clinics and 2977 (83%) were from private clinics. Of these 3574 encounters, 1748 (49%) children were prescribed with CCM with total of 2402 CCMs. On average, CCMs were prescribed at a rate of 1.3 CCMs per encounter in public clinics and 1.4 CCMs per encounter in private clinics. CCMs containing single ingredient constituted 77% of the prescriptions while 23% were of multiple ingredient preparations. There were 556 (23%) CCMs prescribed to children younger than 2 years. Majority (65%) were prescribed with one CCM per visit, 32% received two CCMs and 3% of the children received three or more CCMs per visit.
CONCLUSION: Prescription of CCMs to children is common. Prevalence of CCM prescriptions among young children is of concern, in view of concerns about the safety and adverse effects related to the use of CCMs in this age group. Firmer policies and greater effort is needed to monitor the prescriptions of CCMs to children.
We report a case of neonatal Bartter syndrome in a 31 weeks premature baby girl with antenatal unexplained polyhydramnios requiring amnioreduction. She presented with early onset E. coli septicaemia and severe dehydration leading to pre-renal renal impairment which obscure the typical biochemical changes of hypokalaemic hypochloraemic metabolic alkalosis.
Portal biliopathy is a term to describe the spectrum of abnormalities of the entire biliary tract or gallbladder associated with portal hypertension. The most common cause of portal biliopathy is extra-hepatic portal vein obstruction (EHPVO). We report a case of patient with portal biliopathy presenting with bleeding varices.
Haemothorax is one of the less common presentations that requires hospital admission. Most cases are associated with underlying causes, but there is such an entity called spontaneous haemothorax. Spontaneous haemothorax is commonly associated with adhesions within the pleural cavity. Here, we reported two cases of young adults who presented with massive spontaneous haemothorax and required emergency thoracotomy for haemostasis purpose.
The scapula is a flat, triangular bone overlying the posterior chest wall and forming the posterior aspect of the shoulder girdle. To the best of our knowledge, there is no previous description of a notch of the medial aspect of the superior border of the scapula in the literature. The imaging findings of a supero-medial scapula border notch mimicking a bone tumour are presented in this case report.