Publications by authors named "Andrea Blažević"

2 Publications

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The anatomy lesson of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: irreplaceable tradition (cadaver work) and new didactics of digital technology.

Croat Med J 2021 Apr;62(2):173-186

Zdravko Petanjek, Department of Anatomy and Clinical Anatomy and Croatian Institute for Brain Research, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Šalata 11, 10 000 Zagreb, Croatia,

Aim: To compare the efficacy of different components of online and contact anatomy classes as perceived by medical students.

Methods: An anonymous course evaluation survey was conducted at the end of the academic year 2019/2020. The organization of classes due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic provided our students with a unique opportunity to compare online and contact classes. Students' responses were analyzed according to the type of obtained data (ratio, ordinal, and categorical).

Results: The response rate was 95.58%. Approximately 90% of students found anatomical dissection and practical work in general to be the most important aspect of teaching, which could not be replaced by online learning. During online classes, students missed the most the interaction with other students, followed by the interaction with student teaching assistants and teaching staff. Very few students found contact lectures useful, with most students reporting that they could be replaced with recorded video lectures. In contrast, recorded video lectures were perceived as extremely helpful for studying. Regular weekly quizzes were essential during online classes as they gave students adequate feedback and guided their learning process. Students greatly benefitted from additional course materials and interactive lessons, which were made easily available via e-learning platform.

Conclusions: Anatomical dissection and interaction during contact classes remain the most important aspects of teaching anatomy. However, online teaching increases learning efficiency by allowing alternative learning strategies and by substituting certain components of contact classes, thus freeing up more time for practical work.
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April 2021

Intraspinal calcinosis mimicking intervertebral disc extrusion: A clinical and surgical case report.

Surg Neurol Int 2018 14;9:166. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Department of Neurosurgery, Dubrava University Hospital, Zagreb, Croatia.

Background: Subcutaneous calcinosis is a well-recognized manifestation of systemic sclerosis that usually involves multiple pressure points and may also be found in the paraspinal or intraspinal regions. In this case, intraspinal calcinosis uniquely led to a severe neurological deficit.

Case Description: A patient with severe systemic sclerosis/calcinosis exhibited left greater than right lower extremity radiculopathy attributed to intraspinal left-sided L4-L5 calcinosis. On examination, the patient exhibited bilateral positive Lasegue signs, distal lower extremity weakness (left greater than right), and bilaterally decreased Achilles responses. When the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a significant intracanalicular mass on the left side at the L4-L5 level, the patient underwent a left-sided L4-L5 decompressive laminectomy. The MRI scan 5 years later revealed no recurrence of the calcinosis, and the patient had no residual neurological deficit.

Conclusions: Spinal calcinosis rarely involves the lumbar spinal canal. Here, a patient with a large left-sided L4-L5 focus of intraspinal calcinosis, mimicking a disc herniation, required a laminectomy to resect the lesion. Lumbar calcinosis should be radiologically evaluated utilizing using X-ray, MRI, and computed tomography studies to adequately document the pathology. Patients, when symptomatic, may require surgical decompression and excision of these lesions.
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August 2018