Publications by authors named "Ali Ali Asgari"

26 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in the general population and high-risk occupational groups across 18 cities in Iran: a population-based cross-sectional study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2021 04 15;21(4):473-481. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Digestive Oncology Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; Digestive Diseases Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Electronic address:

Background: Rapid increases in cases of COVID-19 were observed in multiple cities in Iran towards the start of the pandemic. However, the true infection rate remains unknown. We aimed to assess the seroprevalence of antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 18 cities of Iran as an indicator of the infection rate.

Methods: In this population-based cross-sectional study, we randomly selected and invited study participants from the general population (from lists of people registered with the Iranian electronic health record system or health-care centres) and a high-risk population of individuals likely to have close social contact with SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals through their occupation (from employee lists provided by relevant agencies or companies, such as supermarket chains) across 18 cities in 17 Iranian provinces. Participants were asked questions on their demographic characteristics, medical history, recent COVID-19-related symptoms, and COVID-19-related exposures. Iran Food and Drug Administration-approved Pishtaz Teb SARS-CoV-2 ELISA kits were used to detect SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG and IgM antibodies in blood samples from participants. Seroprevalence was estimated on the basis of ELISA test results and adjusted for population weighting (by age, sex, and city population size) and test performance (according to our independent validation of sensitivity and specificity).

Findings: From 9181 individuals who were initially contacted between April 17 and June 2, 2020, 243 individuals refused to provide blood samples and 36 did not provide demographic information and were excluded from the analysis. Among the 8902 individuals included in the analysis, 5372 had occupations with a high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and 3530 were recruited from the general population. The overall population weight-adjusted and test performance-adjusted prevalence of antibody seropositivity in the general population was 17·1% (95% CI 14·6-19·5), implying that 4 265 542 (95% CI 3 659 043-4 887 078) individuals from the 18 cities included were infected by the end of April, 2020. The adjusted seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies varied greatly by city, with the highest estimates found in Rasht (72·6% [53·9-92·8]) and Qom (58·5% [37·2-83·9]). The overall population weight-adjusted and test performance-adjusted seroprevalence in the high-risk population was 20·0% (18·5-21·7) and showed little variation between the occupations included.

Interpretations: Seroprevalence is likely to be much higher than the reported prevalence of COVID-19 based on confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iran. Despite high seroprevalence in a few cities, a large proportion of the population is still uninfected. The potential shortcomings of current public health policies should therefore be identified to prevent future epidemic waves in Iran.

Funding: Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

Translation: For the Farsi translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30858-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7833828PMC
April 2021

Sofosbuvir/daclatasvir regimens for the treatment of COVID-19: an individual patient data meta-analysis.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2021 01;76(2):286-291

Department of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, UK.

Background: The combination of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir has a well-established safety profile and improves clinical outcomes in HCV patients. In silico and in vitro studies suggest that sofosbuvir/daclatasvir may show antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: Three clinical trials comparing sofosbuvir/daclatasvir-based regimens with a comparator in hospitalized COVID-19 patients were combined in a meta-analysis. The primary outcomes measured were clinical recovery within 14 days of randomization, time to clinical recovery and all-cause mortality. A two-step approach was used to analyse individual-level patient data. The individual trial statistics were pooled using the random-effects inverse-variance model.

Results: Our search identified eight studies of which three met the inclusion criteria (n = 176 patients); two studies were randomized and one was non-randomized. Baseline characteristics were similar across treatment arms. Clinical recovery within 14 days of randomization was higher in the sofosbuvir/daclatasvir arms compared with control arms [risk ratio = 1.34 (95% CI = 1.05-1.71), P = 0.020]. Sofosbuvir/daclatasvir improves time to clinical recovery [HR = 2.04 (95% CI = 1.25-3.32), P = 0.004]. The pooled risk of all-cause mortality was significantly lower in the sofosbuvir/daclatasvir arms compared with control arms [risk ratio = 0.31 (95% CI = 0.12-0.78), P = 0.013].

Conclusions: Available evidence suggests that sofosbuvir/daclatasvir improves survival and clinical recovery in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19. However, the sample size for analysis was relatively small, one of the trials was not randomized and the designs were not standardized. These results need to be confirmed in larger randomized controlled trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkaa418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7665526PMC
January 2021

Sofosbuvir and daclatasvir compared with standard of care in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with moderate or severe coronavirus infection (COVID-19): a randomized controlled trial.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2020 11;75(11):3379-3385

Liver and Pancreatobiliary Diseases Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Currently no effective antiviral therapy has been found to treat COVID-19. The aim of this trial was to assess if the addition of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir improved clinical outcomes in patients with moderate or severe COVID-19.

Methods: This was an open-label, multicentre, randomized controlled clinical trial in adults with moderate or severe COVID-19 admitted to four university hospitals in Iran. Patients were randomized into a treatment arm receiving sofosbuvir and daclatasvir plus standard care, or a control arm receiving standard care alone. The primary endpoint was clinical recovery within 14 days of treatment. The study is registered with IRCT.ir under registration number IRCT20200128046294N2.

Results: Between 26 March and 26 April 2020, 66 patients were recruited and allocated to either the treatment arm (n = 33) or the control arm (n = 33). Clinical recovery within 14 days was achieved by 29/33 (88%) in the treatment arm and 22/33 (67%) in the control arm (P = 0.076). The treatment arm had a significantly shorter median duration of hospitalization [6 days (IQR 4-8)] than the control group [8 days (IQR 5-13)]; P = 0.029. Cumulative incidence of hospital discharge was significantly higher in the treatment arm versus the control (Gray's P = 0.041). Three patients died in the treatment arm and five in the control arm. No serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: The addition of sofosbuvir and daclatasvir to standard care significantly reduced the duration of hospital stay compared with standard care alone. Although fewer deaths were observed in the treatment arm, this was not statistically significant. Conducting larger scale trials seems prudent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkaa334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454592PMC
November 2020

Combination of different clinical reasoning tests in a national exam.

J Adv Med Educ Prof 2019 Oct;7(4):230-234

Medical School, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada.

Introduction: Clinical reasoning as a critical and high level of clinical competency should be acquired during medical education, and medical educators should attempt to assess this ability in medical students. Nowadays, there are several ways to evaluate medical students' clinical reasoning ability in different countries worldwide. There are some well-known clinical reasoning tests such as Key Feature (KF), Clinical Reasoning Problem (CRP), Script Concordance Test (SCT), and Comprehensive Integrative Puzzle (CIP). Each of these tests has its advantages and disadvantages. In this study, we evaluated the reliability of combination of clinical reasoning tests SCT, KF, CIP, and CRP in one national exam and the correlation between the subtest scores of these tests together with the total score of the exam.

Methods: In this cross sectional study, a total number of 339 high ranked medical students from 60 medical schools in Iran participated in a national exam named "Medical Olympiad". The ninth Medical Olympiad was held in Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education in summer 2017. The expert group designed a combination of four types of clinical reasoning tests to assess both analytical and non-analytical clinical reasoning. Mean scores of SCT, CRP, KF, and CIP were measured using descriptive statistics. Reliability was calculated for each test and the combination of tests using Cronbach's alpha. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the correlation between the score of each subtest and the total score. SPSS version 21 was used for data analysis and the level of significance was considered <0.05.

Results: The reliability of the combination of tests was 0.815. The reliability of KF was 0.81 and 0.76, 0.80, and 0.92 for SCT, CRP, and CIP, respectively. The mean total score was 169.921±41.54 from 240. All correlations between each clinical reasoning test and total score were significant (P<0.001). The highest correlation (0.887) was seen between CIP score and total score.

Conclusion: The study showed that combining different clinical reasoning tests can be a reliable way of measuring this ability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.30476/jamp.2019.83101.1083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6820014PMC
October 2019

Pharmacological prophylaxis versus pancreatic duct stenting plus pharmacological prophylaxis for prevention of post-ERCP pancreatitis in high risk patients: a randomized trial.

Endoscopy 2019 10 27;51(10):915-921. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

Liver and Pancreaticobiliary Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Acute pancreatitis is a serious complication of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). The aim of this noninferiority study was to evaluate the effectiveness of pancreatic duct (PD) stenting plus pharmacological prophylaxis vs. pharmacological prophylaxis alone in the prevention of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in high risk patients.

Methods: In this randomized, controlled, double-blind, noninferiority trial, patients at high risk of developing PEP were randomly allocated to pharmacological prophylaxis (rectal indomethacin, sublingual isosorbide dinitrate, and intravenous hydration with Ringer's lactate) plus PD stenting (group A) or pharmacological prophylaxis alone (group B). The rate and severity of PEP, serum amylase levels, and length of hospital stay after ERCP were assessed.

Results: During 21 months, a total of 414 patients (mean age 55.5 ± 17.0 years; 60.2 % female) were enrolled (207 in each group). PEP occurred in 59 patients (14.3 %, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 11.1 % - 17.9 %: 26 patients [12.6 %, 95 %CI 8.6 % - 17.6 %] in group A and 33 [15.9 %, 95 %CI 11.4 % - 21.4 %] in group B). There was no significant difference between the two groups in PEP severity ( = 0.59), amylase levels after 2 hours ( = 0.31) or 24 hours ( = 0.08), and length of hospital stay ( = 0.07).

Conclusions: The study failed to demonstrate noninferiority or inferiority of pharmacological prophylaxis alone compared with PD stenting plus pharmacological prophylaxis in the prevention of PEP in high risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0977-3119DOI Listing
October 2019

Esophageal Aperistalsis in a Patient with Lipoid Proteinosis.

Middle East J Dig Dis 2018 Jan 14;10(1):55-58. Epub 2018 Jan 14.

Digestive Disease Research Center, Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Lipoid proteinosis is a rare disorder with autosomal recessive inheritance, characterized by progressive deposition of hyaline material in the skin, mucous membrane, and different organs of the body, resulting in a multitude of clinical manifestations. A 34-year-old woman presented with hoarseness, dysphagia, eyelid beeding, and acneiform scars on the facial skin and extremities. The patient was diagnosed clinically as having lipoid proteinosis, which was confirmed by laryngeal biopsy. The objective of the present report is to describe this rare entity. This case report also illustrates that lipoid proteinosis may show protean clinical features and yet may remain undiagnosed for many years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15171/mejdd.2017.92DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5903930PMC
January 2018

Inappropriate Packed RBC Transfusion in a Tertiary Care Center.

Arch Iran Med 2017 Feb;20(2):83-85

Associate Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; Director, Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum.

Introduction: Transfusion of packed red blood cells (pRBC) with appropriate indications is not only important for patient safety and well-being but is also crucial for proper utilization of resources and health care-related cost reduction. We aimed to investigate the clinical appropriateness of blood transfusion in Shariati Hospital, one of the largest academic medical centers in Tehran.

Methods: In this prospective observational study, 1000 transfusions of allogenic pRBCs from April 1st to October 31st, 2015 were included. The patients' characteristics, reason for hospitalization, indications for pRBC transfusions and ordering wards were collected.

Results: The mean level of hemoglobin before transfusion was 7.4 ± 2.3 g/dL in the emergency department, 7.5 ± 1.0 g/dL in medical wards, 10.4 ± 2.6 g/dL in surgical wards, and 9.1 ± 2.2 g/dL in the intensive care unit. The baseline hemoglobin levels differed significantly between the departments (P < 0.001). Approximately 22% (219 patients) with hemoglobin level ≥ 10 g/dL received pRBC, which appeared to be unnecessary and inappropriate.

Conclusion: Despite current international guidelines emphasizing the importance of restricted transfusion policy, the transfusion of pRBC with insufficient indications occurred frequently in Shariati Hospital, particularly in surgical wards.
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http://dx.doi.org/0172002/AIM.004DOI Listing
February 2017

Giant abdominal wall hernia in a patient with cryptogenic cirrhosis.

Middle East J Dig Dis 2014 Jul;6(3):165-7

Shariati Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abdominal wall hernias are common problems found in patients with cirrhosis because of persistently high intra-abdominal pressure. When abdominal hernias are neglected in such patients, they may become larger and could result in cosmetic problems and pressure effects that are also difficult to treat. We found a voluminous mass in the anterior abdominal wall of a 40-year-old patient with cirrhosis. The patient was operated on for acute cholecystitis 12 years earlier. Abdominal computed tomography revealed an epigastric hernia presenting as a grossly distended hernia sac filled with serous fluid and intestinal loops. The patient was not operated on and was discharged with sodium-restricted diet and diuretics.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4119675PMC
July 2014

Response to Kumar.

Am J Gastroenterol 2014 Aug;109(8):1293

Digestive Disease Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2014.208DOI Listing
August 2014

Fulminant Hepatic Failure due to Primary Hepatic Lymphoma: a Case Report.

Middle East J Dig Dis 2013 Jul;5(3):168-70

Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Research Center (GILDRC), Firoozgar Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Primary hepatic lymphoma is a rare malignancy usually presenting withsymptoms of fever, hepatomegaly, jaundice and weight loss. This picture mimicsinfectious and inflammatory disorders and thus delays the diagnosis. Here,we present a 47-year old man with prolonged fever who underwent several investigationsand, in the meantime, developed fulminant hepatic failure beforethe diagnosis could be reached.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3990175PMC
July 2013

A randomized trial of rectal indomethacin and sublingual nitrates to prevent post-ERCP pancreatitis.

Am J Gastroenterol 2014 Jun 11;109(6):903-9. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Liver and Pancreatobiliary Diseases Research Center, Digestive Diseases Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Objectives: Acute pancreatitis is the most common adverse event of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Recent data suggest that indomethacin can reduce the risk of post-ERCP pancreatitis (PEP) in high-risk individuals. However, whether the combination of indomethacin and sublingual nitrates is superior to indomethacin alone is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of rectally administered indomethacin plus sublingual nitrate compared with indomethacin alone to prevent PEP.

Methods: During a 17-month period, all eligible patients who underwent ERCP were enrolled in this study. We excluded patients who had undergone a prior endoscopic sphincterotomy. In a double-blind controlled randomized trial, patients received a suppository containing 100 mg of indomethacin, plus 5 mg of sublingual nitrate (group A), or a suppository containing 100 mg of indomethacin, plus sublingual placebo (group B), before ERCP. Serum amylase levels and clinically pertinent evaluations were measured in all patients after ERCP.

Results: Of the 300 enrolled patients, 150 received indomethacin plus nitrate. Thirty-three patients developed pancreatitis: 10 (6.7%) in group A and 23 (15.3%) in group B (P=0.016, risk ratio=0.39, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.18-0.86). More than 80% of the patients were at high risk of developing pancreatitis after ERCP. Absolute risk reduction, relative risk reduction, and number needed to treat for the prevention of PEP were 8.6% (95% CI: 4.7-14.5), 56.2% (95% CI: 50.6-60.8), and 12 (95% CI: 7-22), respectively.

Conclusions: Combination of rectal indomethacin and sublingual nitrate given before ERCP was significantly more likely to reduce the incidence of PEP than indomethacin suppository alone. Multicenter trials to confirm these promising findings are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ajg.2014.9DOI Listing
June 2014

Diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic ultrasonography in patients with inconclusive magnetic resonance imaging diagnosis of biliopancreatic abnormalities.

Indian J Gastroenterol 2011 Jul 17;30(4):156-60. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran.

Aim: To determine the sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) in patients with inconclusive magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRI/MRCP) in pancreatobiliary abnormalities.

Methods: During 10 months, patients with pancreatobiliary diseases referred to endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) because of inconclusive MRI/MRCP diagnosis were scheduled to undergo endoscopic ultrasonography. Patients were divided into four major groups: patients with (i) resectable periampullary neoplasms who were referred to a surgeon, (ii) unresectable periampullary cancer who underwent ERCP for biliary stenting, (iii) bile duct stone who were referred to ERCP for stone extraction, and (iv) normal pancreatobiliary tract. Reference standards for comparison were ERCP, surgery, a biopsy confirming malignancy, or the clinical course during follow up (at least 12 months) in cases without evidences of malignancy.

Results: One hundred and seven patients (51 men; mean [SD] age 60.0 [15.5]) were included in the study. Final diagnoses were common bile duct (CBD) stone (n = 24), periampullary neoplasms (n = 46), others (n = 23) and no pathologic findings (n = 14). EUS determined the staging for clinical decision-making in 47 patients with neoplasms which showed that tumors in 34 patients (79.1%) were unresectable (advanced stage). After EUS, 47 patients (43.9%) did not require ERCP. The accuracy of EUS for the diagnosis of CBD stone and periampullary neoplasms were 96.3% and 99.1%, respectively.

Conclusions: EUS is a useful modality in cases of inconclusive MRI/MRCP indicating pancreatobiliary disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12664-011-0120-xDOI Listing
July 2011

Long-term follow-up of common bile duct diameter after endoscopic sphincterotomy in patients with common bile duct stones.

Indian J Gastroenterol 2010 Jan 6;29(1):22-5. Epub 2010 Apr 6.

Digestive Diseases Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background And Aims: To determine the time to normalization of common bile duct (CBD) diameter after endoscopic sphincterotomy and stone extraction in patients with choledocholithiasis.

Methods: Patients with CBD dilation due to choledocholithiasis were enrolled. CBD diameter was measured by transabdominal ultrasonography before, and repeated after one, three, six and twelve months after endoscopic sphincterotomy and stone extraction, until normalization of CBD diameter.

Results: Of 115 cases enrolled over a 36-month period, CBD diameter reversed to normal in 71 (61.7%) patients after one month. Of the remaining 44 patients, CBD diameter reversed to normal in 36 patients (including 3 in whom repeat ERCP revealed choledocholithiasis) at the end of three months. CBD diameter had not reversed to normal diameter in 8 (18.2%) patients; none of these patients had symptoms. Two of them had asymptomatic dilated CBD after 6 months with no abnormal liver function tests (LFT); the duct reversed to normal at the last follow-up (month 12).

Conclusions: Asymptomatic CBD dilation may persist in a minority of patients (18% at the end of 3 months) after removal of CBD stones. A dilated CBD can be attributed to retained choledocholithiasis within the first month, if it is associated with symptoms and abnormal LFT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12664-010-0004-5DOI Listing
January 2010

Colonoscopic evaluation of minimal rectal bleeding in average-risk patients for colorectal cancer.

World J Gastroenterol 2008 Nov;14(42):6536-40

Department of Internal Medicine, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Kamali Street, South Kargar Ave., Tehran, 1333631151, Iran.

Aim: To assess the prevalence of clinically significant lesions in patients with minimal bright red bleeding per rectum (BRBPR).

Methods: Consecutive outpatients prospectively underwent colonoscopy at Loghman Hakim Hospital, Tehran. Minimal BRBPR was defined as small amounts of red blood after wiping or in the toilet bowl. Patients with the following alarm signs were excluded: Positive personal history of colorectal neoplasms or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), positive first degree family history of colorectal neoplasms, history of altered bowel habits, recent significant weight loss, and presence of iron deficiency anemia. Neoplastic polyps, colorectal carcinoma, and IBD were defined as significant lesions.

Results: A total of 402 patients (183 female and 219 male, aged 43.6 +/- 15.7 years) were studied. Hemorrhoids (54.2%), anal fissures (14.2%) and ulcerative colitis (14.2%) were the most common lesions and colonoscopy was normal in 8.0%. Significant lesions were found in 121 (30.1%) patients, including 26 patients (6.5%) with adenocarcinoma and 30 (7.5%) with adenomatous polyps. Almost all patients with significant lesions had at least one lesion in the distal colon; an adenocarcinoma and an adenomatous polyp in the proximal colon were found in 2 patients with hemorrhoids.

Conclusion: Flexible sigmoidoscopy appears to be sufficient for the evaluation of average risk patients with minimal BRBPR. Rigid sigmoidoscopy may be used as an alternative in patients less than 40 years of age in settings where the former is not available. The choice of colonoscopy over flexible sigmoidoscopy in patients aged over 50 years should be individualized.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2773342PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.14.6536DOI Listing
November 2008

Management of cystic craniopharyngiomas with intracavitary irradiation with 32P.

Arch Iran Med 2008 Jan;11(1):30-4

Department of Neurosurgery, Loghman Hakim Medical Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Cystic craniopharyngiomas are the most frequent intracranial neoplasm of nonglial origin in children. Follow-up data were analyzed to assess the value of intracavitary irradiation with stereotactically applied 32P radioisotopes for the treatment of patients with craniopharyngioma cysts admitted to Shohada Tajrish Hospital, Tehran, Iran, between 1998 and 2005.

Methods: Patients with predominantly cystic craniopharyngiomas, who underwent stereotactic intracavitary irradiation, were followed for tumor response and complications. Beta-emitting 32P isotopes were injected into cysts using a computed tomography-guided and computer-assisted three-dimensional stereotactic treatment planning and application system. The cumulative dose to the inner surface of the cyst wall was 250 Gy.

Results: Twenty-two (12 females and 10 males) patients with a mean+/-SD age of 14.0+/-6.6 (range: six to 35) years were studied. The tumor response rate gained with 32P-labeled chromic phosphate was 73% (16 of 22 cysts). The mean+/-SD survival after intracavitary irradiation was 25.4+/-6.8 (95% CI: 12.0 - 38.7) months.

Conclusion: Intracavitary irradiation using 32P is highly effective in the treatment of cystic craniopharyngiomas. In patients with solitary cyst treated exclusively with this method, it has been the only necessary therapy over a long period. It seems reasonable to recommend intracavitary irradiation as the initial treatment for selected patients and as palliative therapy in those with recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/08111/AIM.009DOI Listing
January 2008

Needle-knife fistulotomy versus standard method for cannulation of common bile duct: a randomized controlled trial.

Arch Iran Med 2008 Jan;11(1):16-20

Digestive Diseases Research Center, Medical Sciences/University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with endoscopic sphincterotomy has become widely available for the treatment of pancreatobiliary diseases; however, it has mortality and complications. The aim of this study was to compare the success rates and complications of two different methods of common bile duct cannulation.

Methods: From June 2003 though February 2004, patients who were candidates for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and/or endoscopic sphincterotomy were randomly divided into two groups: standard cannulation (group A) and suprapapillary needle-knife fistulotomy (group B). Postendoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography pancreatitis, cholangitis, bleeding, and perforation were evaluated.

Results: Two hundred and eighteen cases (86 males and 132 females with a mean+/-SD age of 56.2+/-17.5 years) were enrolled in this study. Group A, contained 112 patients and group B included 106 patients. In group A, the final cannulation success was achieved in 100 patients (89.3%). Cannulation was successful in 88 patients (83.0%) in group B. Difficulty in cannulation occurred more frequently in group A (25.5% vs. 2.6%, P=0.002). There were two patients in group B and three patients in group A who developed pancreatitis after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Perforation occurred in one patient in group B, which was improved with medical support. Bleeding and cholangitis were not occurred in any of the groups. The overall complication rate was 3/112 in group A and 3/106 in group B.

Conclusion: Needle-knife fistulotomy is safe and can be applied as an effective alternative to standard technique for common bile duct cannulation in expert hands.
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http://dx.doi.org/08111/AIM.006DOI Listing
January 2008

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy for treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus.

Arch Iran Med 2007 Oct;10(4):498-503

Department of Neurosurgery, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Kamali Avenue, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Endoscopic third ventriculostomy has become the preferred treatment for obstructive hydrocephalus. The purpose of this paper is to present our experience with ventriculostomy at our center.

Methods: Twenty-four patients underwent ventriculostomy for the treatment of obstructive hydrocephalus between May 2000 and May 2006. The follow-up period lasted between one and 51 (median: four) months. The mean age of the patients was 31 (range: 0.5 - 67) years. It was determined that the obstructive hydrocephalus was caused by space-occupying lesions in nine patients (eight tumors and one with calcified arteriovenous malformation), aqueductal stenosis in 14 patients, and shunt infection and entrapped fourth ventricle in one patient. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the proportion of functioning ventriculostomies became stable at rates of 80% to 90% after the third postoperative month.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the aqueductal stenosis and tumor subgroups (P=0.716). A high rate of functioning ventriculostomies was found in both subgroups: 12 of 14 in the aqueductal stenosis subgroup and eight of nine in the tumor subgroup. In cases of intraventricular tumors, in addition to ventriculostomy, biopsy was performed that successfully helped the patient management. In the present study, the procedure failed in three patients (13%). Ventriculostomy failures occurred within three months after the operation. The cases of treatment failure were one with aqueductal stenosis, one with Chiari I, and one with pineocytoma. There was no permanent morbidity after ventriculostomy in our patients.

Conclusion: The results indicated that ventriculostomy is an effective treatment in cases of obstructive hydrocephalus that is caused by aqueductal stenosis and space-occupying lesions. This procedure is worthy for controlling hydrocephalus without shunt and its complications. Early clinical picture after the operation plays an important role in predicting patient's outcome after endoscopic third ventriculostomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/07104/AIM.0013DOI Listing
October 2007

Role of endoscopic ultrasonography in prevention of unnecessary endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography: a prospective study of 150 patients.

J Ultrasound Med 2007 Apr;26(4):455-60

Digestive Disease Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of substituting endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in cases of a low to intermediate risk for choledocholithiasis.

Methods: During a 16-month period, patients who were referred for suspected choledocholithiasis, biliary colic, or acute biliary pancreatitis on the basis of alterations in liver enzyme values with or without gallstones seen on transabdominal ultrasonography were included. Endoscopic ultrasonography was performed for all patients. Patients with common bile duct stones underwent ERCP. Cholecystectomy was recommended in all patients with symptomatic gallstones. Cases were followed for 12 months.

Results: A total of 150 patients were included. Choledocholithiasis was diagnosed by EUS in 39 patients (26.0%) and was confirmed by ERCP in 30 (77.0%). Fifty-one patients had a normal common bile duct, and follow-up for 12 months showed no abnormalities except in 1 patient. Cholecystectomy without ERCP was recommended for the remaining 60 patients who had symptomatic gallstones or sludge. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was avoided by this approach in 110 patients (73.3%).

Conclusions: In a low to intermediate risk for choledocholithiasis, EUS can preclude the need for ERCP in most cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7863/jum.2007.26.4.455DOI Listing
April 2007

Furazolidone-based, metronidazole-based, or a combination regimen for eradication of Helicobacter pylori in peptic ulcer disease.

Arch Iran Med 2007 Apr;10(2):161-7

Department of Gastroenterology, Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Furazolidone has been effective against Helicobacter pylori in Iran, with no resistance, but with intolerable side effects in the second week. One-week regimens have not been useful here. We compared the efficacy and side effect profiles of three anti-H. pylori regimens.

Methods: Patients with peptic ulcer disease and positive H. pylori infection were randomly allocated into three groups. The patients in group A received omeprazole 20 mg + amoxicillin 1g + metronidazole 500 mg, and bismuth subcitrate 240 mg twice daily each, for two weeks; the patients in group B received the same regimen but metronidazole was replaced by furazolidone 200 mg twice daily; and the patients in group C received regimen B for the first week and regimen A for the second week. H. pylori eradication was verified with 13C-urea breath test at the tenth week.

Results: Three hundred and fourteen patients were enrolled; 107, 104, and 103 patients in groups A-C, respectively but 278 patients completed the study. Seven, three, and six patients discontinued their medication in groups A-C, respectively. Fever, dizziness, and weakness were more common in group B than group C (P < 0.05). Vomiting, pruritus, and rash were more common in group C than group A (P < 0.05). Per-protocol eradication rates were 83.1%, 95.2%, and 95.3% in groups A-C, respectively (P = 0.005, groups A and C). Intention to treat eradication rates were 74.5%, 87.0%, and 86.6% in groups A-C, respectively (P = 0.02, groups A and C).

Conclusion: One-week furazolidone followed by one-week metronidazole regimen is as efficient as two-week furazolidone regimen but with fewer side effects. Furazolidone-based regimens are superior to metronidazole-based ones for H. pylori eradication in Iran.
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http://dx.doi.org/07102/AIM.007DOI Listing
April 2007

Silent liver diseases in autopsies from forensic medicine of Tehran.

Arch Iran Med 2006 Oct;9(4):324-8

Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background: Histology is the unique method for diagnosis of silent liver diseases; so, we aimed to determine the prevalence of fatty liver and other silent liver diseases among those who passed away for causes other than liver diseases in Tehran.

Methods: Over a two-year period (2002 - 2004) we enrolled autopsies performed at the Forensic Medicine Center in Tehran. Demographic information, history of known acute and chronic liver diseases, and causes of death were determined. Samples from the right and left lobe and one sample from deeper areas of the liver as well as specimens from any grossly visible lesions were obtained in each case. Tissue sections stained by hematoxylin and eosin were evaluated. Reticulin and Masson's trichrome stains were also performed for evaluation of liver architecture and degree of fibrosis when necessary.

Results: Satisfactory tissue samples for histologic evaluation were available in 896 cases (777 males) with a mean age of 43.8 years. Normal histology was found in 467 cases (52.1%). Important findings included: steatosis in 283 (31.6%), steatohepatitis in 19 (2.1%), chronic hepatitis in 23 (2.6%), and cirrhosis in 7 (0.8%) cases. Causes of death were: trauma (35%), acute myocardial infarction (30%), opiate overdose (13%), cerebrovascular accidents (4%), infectious diseases (3%), and others (15%).

Conclusion: Silent diseases of the liver are not uncommon. Steatosis is the most common finding but inflammatory disorders comprise a significant minority.
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October 2006

Peptic ulcer bleeding: is Helicobacter pylori a risk factor in an endemic area?

Indian J Gastroenterol 2005 Mar-Apr;24(2):59-61

Digestive Diseases Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Background/objective: A high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection has been reported in Iran. Although the importance of H. pylori in the induction of peptic ulcer disease is clearly defined, only few studies have addressed its role in bleeding from peptic ulcers. We evaluated the role of H. pylori in peptic ulcer bleeding.

Methods: Patients with acute peptic ulcer bleeding (PUB) and those with peptic ulcer disease without bleeding ('controls') were enrolled. Upper GI endoscopy and rapid urease test were performed in both groups. Histological study for detection of H. pylori was performed in patients with active bleeding, if RUT was negative. Other variables evaluated included sex, age, smoking, previous history of bleeding, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs use, ulcer size, ulcer location, and duration of acid-peptic disease. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent risk factors.

Results: 161 patients with PUB and 287 control patients were enrolled. H. pylori infection was seen more frequently in patients with duodenal ulcer than gastric ulcer (88.9% vs. 60.5%, p< 0.001). Univariate analysis showed that patients with PUB were more often male, older in age, used NSAID, had history of PUB in the past, had ulcer located in the stomach and not in the duodenum, and more often had large ulcer (>1 cm). Logistic regression analysis showed that H. pylori infection was protective in PUB after controlling for confounders (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.21-0.79), when ulcer location was not entered in the model. A second model including ulcer location (to test for a residual effect) showed that H. pylori infection was not a significant risk factor in PUB (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.30-1.24).

Conclusions: H. pylori may not be an independent factor in bleeding from peptic ulcers. The lower frequency of this infection in these patients can be described by the higher frequency of bleeding from gastric ulcers, which are less H. pylori related compared with duodenal ulcer.
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June 2005

Telmisartan vs. enalapril in type 2 diabetes.

N Engl J Med 2005 Feb;352(8):835-6; author reply 835-6

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJM200502243520819DOI Listing
February 2005

Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and their relation with socio-economic factors and hygienic habits in Tehran primary school students.

Acta Trop 2004 Nov-Dec;92(3):179-86

Department of Mycology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Azad University of Tehran, Zargande, Gholhak, Dr. Shariati Street, Tehran, Iran.

School age children carry the heaviest burden of morbidity due to intestinal parasitic infections. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of these infections in primary school children living in Tehran and their association with socio-economic factors and hygienic habits. In September 1998, a total of 19,213 subjects were invited to participate. Data on health and socio-economic status and health-related behaviours, collected via questionnaires, physical examinations and stool sample analyses, were available for 19,209 persons, with a participation rate greater than 99.99%. All participants were subjected to three methods of microscopic examinations on the stool sample and an adhesive cellophane tape slide evaluation. The prevalence rate of intestinal parasitic infection among the students was 18.4%. Coinfection with two or three parasites was seen in 2%. With increase in educational level of parents (especially mothers), the infection rate of children was decreased. Girls showed a significantly higher positive rate than boys. Using piped water, correct method of washing vegetables and increase in the economic score of the family, resulted in a decrease in the infection rate. According to the results, low level of education and consequently poor socio-economic and hygienic condition of families appear to be powerful determinants of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2004.06.010DOI Listing
February 2005

Healthy ranges of serum alanine aminotransferase levels in Iranian blood donors.

World J Gastroenterol 2003 Oct;9(10):2322-4

Digestive Disease Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Aim: The healthy ranges for serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels are less well studied. The aim of this study was to define the upper limit of normal (ULN) for serum ALT levels, and to assess factors associated with serum ALT activity in apparently healthy blood donors.

Methods: A total of 1,939 blood donors were included. ALT measurements were performed for all cases using the same laboratory method. Healthy ranges for ALT levels were computed from the population at the lowest risk for liver disease. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate associations between clinical factors and ALT levels.

Results: Serum ALT activity was independently associated with body mass index (BMI) and male gender, but not associated with age. Association of ALT with BMI was more prominent in males than in females. Upper limit of normal for non-overweight women (BMI of less than 25) was 34 U/L, and for non-overweight men was 40 U/L.

Conclusion: Serum ALT is strongly associated with sex and BMI. The normal range of ALT should be defined for male and female separately.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4656486PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v9.i10.2322DOI Listing
October 2003