Many gynaecological units have a policy of performing routine coagulation tests in cases of missed abortion. For many years now, it has been accepted practice in our unit to perform routinely a platelet count, bleeding time (BT), clotting time (CT) and plasma fibrinogen (P. fib) level prior to evacuation in cases of missed abortion. We are not sure how or why these 4 tests came to be chosen as a coagulation 'screen'. As they are not totally adequate in detecting disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), we wondered if these tests added to the management in any way.
Two identical groups of females underwent caesarean operations. One group was induced with propofol 2.04 (SD 0.023) mg per kilogram and the other group induced with methohexitone 1.05 (SD 0.15) mg per kilogram body weight. Maintenance of anaesthesia was identical in both groups. Post-intubation blood pressure in the methohexitone group was significantly raised whereas with propofol the changes were not significant. There were no significant differences in the Apgar scores, uterine contractility and umbilical venous or arterial blood gases. There was a significant difference in the analgesic requirement in the first hour of the post-operative period; in the propofol group, patients needed less analgesia compared to the methohexitone group. There was no maternal awareness in both groups.
In a single-blind study conducted at our centres, 78 hypertensive patients were enrolled with 58 completing the study according to the protocol. Mean supine and standing blood pressures were significantly reduced after treatment with felodipine, reductions being 27/21 mmHg (p < 0.0001) and 25/19 mmHg (p < 0.0001) respectively. Of 46 patients given felodipine 5 mg, 44 (95.7%) achieved target blood pressure defined as a diastolic blood pressure of < 90 mmHg, while all 12 patients on felodipine 10 mg did so. The 2 patients who did not achieve target pressure at the final visit did so on previous visits. There were no differences in pre and post-treatment laboratory variables. Treatment was discontinued in 6 patients because of headaches. No adverse events of clinical significance were reported in the 58 patients who completed the study. In conclusion, we found felodipine given once daily to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate hypertension.
Bleeding gastroesophageal varices is associated with a high morbidity and mortality. Forty-four cases of bleeding gastroesophageal varices were treated at the Department of Surgery, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur over four and a half years. Thirty-two of them had liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis B infection was noted in 13 and alcoholic abuse was present in 14 patients. Five patients had associated hepatoma. Thirty-four percent had gastric fundal varices and a third of these bled from them. A total of 179 endoscopic injection sclerotherapy sessions were performed averaging 4 per person. Rebleeding rate was 4% and mortality was high (50%) in these cases. It was concluded that injection sclerotherapy is a safe and effective means of controlling bleeding oesophageal varices. Operative surgery was employed in those who rebled after injection and would be considered in those in Child's A.
A retrospective study of cases with carcinoma of the larynx seen in the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and General Hospital Kuala Lumpur (GHKL) between 1981 to 1988 was performed. The aim was to document the distribution and the pattern of behaviour of this tumour amongst our patients. There were 137 cases, the majority of whom were Chinese (54%). The peak incidence was in the seventh decade and the male to female ratio was 7.6:1. The most common symptom at presentation was hoarseness (90%). The most common histological type was squamous cell carcinoma (87%) whilst by site, transglottic involvement was commonest (55%). The overall 3 year survival rate was 68%. Supraglottic carcinoma behaved differently in that a significantly large number presented with dysphagia (33.3%) and neck nodes (42%). Compared to tumours of other sites of the larynx, they had the poorest 3 year survival rate of 50%. Amongst the T2 and T3 tumours, the results of surgery appeared better than primary radiotherapy. Considering that 26% of patients presented with stridor, 20% with neck nodes and 55% with multiple site involvement, it can be concluded that our patients present themselves late.
A prospective randomised controlled study was conducted over a 6 month period on the value of administering prophylactic antibiotics in patients undergoing emergency caesarean section at the Ipoh General Hospital. A total of 222 patients were randomised to receive 24 hours of ampicillin (500 mg per dose), cefoperazone (1 gm per dose) or no antibiotics. In all parameters of patient morbidity, the group receiving cefoperazone showed significantly better results as compared to the group not receiving antibiotics. The ampicillin group also had favourable results but generally not achieving statistical significance. Prophylactic antibiotics appear to be beneficial and consideration should be given to make it a routine in all emergency caesarean sections.
A 1 year longitudinal study of 156 Malaysian children from urban and suburban areas in the Klang Valley revealed that the incidence rate of diarrhoea was 23.6 per 100 person-year with abnormal faeces reported on 0.26% of the total days of observation. Diarrhoea cases were detected in children from all socioeconomic classes. Rotavirus was isolated from 12% of the diarrheic children and asymptomatic rotavirus infection occurred in 3.2% of the children. All rotaviruses isolated were group A rotaviruses with long electrophoretypic pattern.
A female patient who presented with left empyema thoracis caused by Actinomyces odontolyticus is reported. She responded to treatment with penicillin and metronidazole but after 3 weeks developed leucopenia complicated by gram-negative septicaemia. Leucopenia improved rapidly on withdrawal of metronidazole. Treatment was continued with a prolonged course of penicillin and she made an uneventful recovery.
A case of respiratory infection in a child due to Chlamydia pneumoniae is reported. The diagnosis was made by the detection of chlamydial antigen in the tracheal secretion and a significant increase in C. pneumoniae antibody titre. The infection responded well to erythromycin therapy.
Respiratory function testing was done using a portable electronic spirometer in 223 normal Malay subjects between the ages of 15 to 75 years. Tests of FEV1, FVC, PEFR, and MMF were recorded using standard forced expiratory maneuvers. Malay adults have lower respiratory function values compared to Caucasians and other Asians.
The neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a potentially fatal complication of antipsychotic therapy. A retrospective study of nine patients seen over six years at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur (UHKL), is described. The estimated annualised incidence was 1.2 per 1000 in-patients with psychosis. No ethnic difference was detected. Clinical features were similar to experiences elsewhere, with wide variability seen in the severity of illness. The neuroleptic drugs implicated were haloperidol, trifluoperazine, chlorpromazine, fluphenazine and clopenthixol. Treatment consisted of withdrawal of offending drugs and supportive measures. Specific therapy was given to five patients. There was one death. At follow-up no deterioration was detected. A different neuroleptic drug was successfully re-introduced in four patients. In view of the wide usage of major tranquillizers, a high degree of clinical awareness of this serious complication is necessary for early diagnosis to reduce morbidity and mortality.
The identification of the Hepatitis C virus using molecular cloning techniques, besides making the term Non-A Non-B Hepatitis obsolete, enables the development of specific assays for the detection of antibodies in HCV-infected individuals, thus making it possible to obtain sero-epidemiological data of the disease. The carriage of Hepatitis C antibody varies worldwide. The disease is most prevalent in intravenous drug abusers or haemophiliacs. Parenteral transmission is the most important route of transmission. Sexual, intra-familial and perinatal transmissions are uncommon. About 40% could be community-acquired (sporadic). Diagnostic tests include enzyme-linked immunosorbant (ELISA) anti-HCV assay, recombinant immunoblot assay, HCV-RNA by polymerase chain reaction and HCV-Ag. More than 50% of acute cases becomes chronic and runs a benign and indolent course. About 20% progress to cirrhosis and some of these develop hepatocellular carcinoma. Several published trials have consistently shown that treatment with interferon in some patients is useful. There is however a relapse rate of 50%. Further trials with interferon and other anti-viral agents like ribavirin are awaited for more effective treatment.
One thousand consecutive Brunei Darussalam patients referred with low Hb, and/or low MCV and MCH (Hb < 12.5g/dl, MCV < 76fl, MCH < 27pg) were studied in the laboratory for underlying haemoglobinopathies. 30.0% of such patients were proved to have either beta-thalassaemia trait, beta-thalassaemia major, Hb AE, Hb EE, Hb E beta-thalassaemia or Hb H disease. In some, the haemoglobin abnormality was not identified precisely. Alpha-thalassaemia was suspected in an additional 4.3% of cases but confirmation study by globin-chain synthesis was not available. Beta-thalassaemia trait which was the predominant disorder was equally distributed among the three major race groups of Brunei Darussalam. Hb E was found exclusive among the Malay population. Hb H disease appeared as more common among the Chinese or the Malays (p > 0.05). This study reveals that thalassaemia and haemoglobinopathies are prevalent in Brunei Darussalam.
A case of an adenoid cystic carcinoma of the minor salivary glands of then nasal cavity is reported. The tumour had spread locally and by perineural spread to the internal auditory mentus, causing facial nerve palsy.
A review of the records at a teaching hospital in Kelantan revealed that 175 new cases of peptic ulcer disease were diagnosed endoscopically over a period of 5 years. The ratio of duodenal to gastric ulcers was 2:1. Male patients outnumbered females by 2.7:1. There was a disproportionately high number of Chinese patients. A striking observation was that an unusually large proportion (45%) of patients had presented with acute gastrointestinal bleeding. The implication is that peptic ulcer disease in this region may be underdetected; the diagnosis often coming to light only after a serious complication has supervened.