Publications by authors named "Min Woo Lee"

314 Publications

Outcome of No-Touch Radiofrequency Ablation for Small Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Multicenter Clinical Trial.

Radiology 2021 Jul 27:210309. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

From the Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea (D.H.L., J.M.L.); Department of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, -Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (M.W.L.); Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (J.M.L.); Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul 05505, Korea (P.N.K.); Department of Radiology, Eunpyeong St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (J.Y.L.); and Department of Radiology, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea (H.S.P.).

Background Recently introduced no-touch radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has the potential to improve local tumor control. Purpose To evaluate midterm clinical outcomes of monopolar no-touch RFA in single HCCs 2.5 cm or smaller. Materials and Methods In this multicenter clinical trial (: NCT03375281), participants were evaluated for eligibility from November 2017 to January 2019. Patients with single HCCs 2.5 cm or smaller planning to be treated with no-touch RFA were enrolled. The rate of successful no-touch RFA, defined as performing RFA without violation of the tumor itself, was recorded. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to determine associated factors for failure of no-touch RFA. Development of major complication after no-touch RFA was also recorded. Cumulative incidence of local tumor progression (LTP) and recurrence-free survival were estimated by using the Kaplan-Meier method. Results A total of 140 participants (mean age, 62 years ± 9 [standard deviation]; 106 men) were evaluated. No-touch RFA was successfully performed in 128 participants (128 of 140; 91.4%), and conversion to tumor puncture RFA was undertaken in 12 participants because of the lack of a safe access route. By using either no-touch RFA or conversion to tumor puncture RFA, all participants achieved technical success of RFA, which was defined as complete coverage of target tumor by ablation zone. Insufficient peritumoral parenchyma (<5 mm width around more than half portion of tumor; odds ratio, 74; 95% CI: 18, 309; < .001) was the only significant predictive factor for failure of the no-touch technique. Among the 140 participants, LTP developed in two participants, and the estimated 1- and 2-year cumulative incidence of LTP was 0.7% and 1.6%, respectively. The estimated 1- and 2-year recurrence-free survival was 82.8% and 74.1%, respectively. Conclusion No-touch radiofrequency ablation was an effective and safe treatment method for small hepatocellular carcinomas (≤2.5 cm), with 1.6% of cumulative incidence of local tumor progression at 2 years. © RSNA, 2021 See also the editorial by Soulen and García-Mónaco in this issue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2021210309DOI Listing
July 2021

Comparison of the Effect of Oral Versus Intravenous Bisphosphonate Administration on Osteoclastogenesis in Advanced-Stage Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Patients.

J Clin Med 2021 Jul 4;10(13). Epub 2021 Jul 4.

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, Dankook University, 119 Dandae-ro, Cheonan 31116, Korea.

It is yet unknown whether the intravenous administration route alone can fully account for the exacerbation of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). The purpose of this retrospective study was to identify the potential role of the bisphosphonate (BP) administration route as an independent prognostic factor for non-cancerous, stage III MRONJ patients. Bone samples were retrospectively obtained from two groups of osteoporosis patients who underwent surgery for the treatment of stage III MRONJ. Among the subjects, 10 had a history of only oral BP consumption and 10 of intravenous (IV) BP administration. The samples were assessed for osteoclast morphology and immunohistochemical expression of the receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG), and potassium calcium-activated channel subfamily N member 4 (Kcnn4). Although the osteoclasts derived from both groups exhibited no significant differences in the mean quantity, diameter, and nuclearity, significantly attenuated tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity was noted among the IV BP-induced MRONJ bones compared to those of the oral BP group. Significant suppression of the RANKL/OPG ratio and Kcnn4 expression among the retrieved bones of IV BP group patients was also noted. Our results indicate the potential of the BP administration route as an independent prognostic factor for advanced-stage MRONJ, regardless of the dosage or indication for which the BP was prescribed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm10132988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8268194PMC
July 2021

Assay System for Simultaneous Detection of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2021 Jun 13;11(6). Epub 2021 Jun 13.

Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Seegene Medical Foundation, Seoul 04805, Korea.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) triggers disease with nonspecific symptoms that overlap those of infections caused by other seasonal respiratory viruses (RVs), such as the influenza virus (Flu) or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). A molecular assay for accurate and rapid detection of RV and SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to manage these infections. Here, we compared the analytical performance and clinical reliability of Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB/RSV (SC2FabR; Seegene Inc., Seoul, South Korea) kit with those of four commercially available RV detection kits. Upon testing five target viral strains (SARS-CoV-2, FluA, FluB, RSV A, and RSV B), the analytical performance of SC2FabR was similar to that of the other kits, with no significant difference ( ≥ 0.78) in z-scores. The efficiency of SC2FabR (E-value, 81-104%) enabled reliable SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal RV detection in 888 nasopharyngeal swab specimens processed using a fully automated nucleic acid extraction platform. Bland-Altman analyses revealed an agreement value of 95.4% (SD ± 1.96) for the kits, indicating statistically similar results for all five. In conclusion, SC2FabR is a rapid and accurate diagnostic tool for both SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal RV detection, allowing for high-throughput RV analysis with efficiency comparable to that of commercially available kits. This can be used to help manage respiratory infections in patients during and after the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11061084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231941PMC
June 2021

Development of a multiplex real-time PCR assay for the simultaneous detection of four bacterial pathogens causing pneumonia.

PLoS One 2021 17;16(6):e0253402. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Molecular Diagnostics, Seegene Medical Foundation, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Classification of clinical symptoms and diagnostic microbiology are essential to effectively employ antimicrobial therapy for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in a timely manner. Empirical antibiotic treatment without microbial identification hinders the selective use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics and effective patient treatment. Thus, the development of rapid and accurate diagnostic procedures that can be readily adopted by the clinic is necessary to minimize non-essential or excessive use of antibiotics and accelerate patient recovery from LRTI-induced damage. We developed and validated a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (mRT-PCR) assay with good analytical performance and high specificity to simultaneously detect four bacterial pathogens causing pneumonia: Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Moraxella catarrhalis. The analytical performance of mRT-PCR against target pathogens was evaluated by the limit of detection (LOD), specificity, and repeatability. Two hundred and ten clinical specimens from pneumonia patients were processed using an automatic nucleic acid extraction system for the "respiratory bacteria four" (RB4) mRT-PCR assay, and the results were directly compared to references from bacterial culture and/or Sanger sequencing. The RB4 mRT-PCR assay detected all target pathogens from sputum specimens with a coefficient of variation ranging from 0.29 to 1.71 and conservative LOD of DNA corresponding to 5 × 102 copies/reaction. The concordance of the assay with reference-positive specimens was 100%, and additional bacterial infections were detected from reference-negative specimens. Overall, the RB4 mRT-PCR assay showed a more rapid turnaround time and higher performance that those of reference assays. The RB4 mRT-PCR assay is a high-throughput and reliable tool that assists decision-making assessment and outperforms other standard methods. This tool supports patient management by considerably reducing the inappropriate use of antibiotics.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253402PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8211157PMC
June 2021

Changes in each retinal layer and ellipsoid zone recovery after full-thickness macular hole surgery.

Sci Rep 2021 May 31;11(1):11351. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Ophthalmology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Konyang University Hospital, #158 Gwanjeodong-ro, Seo-gu, Daejeon, 35365, Republic of Korea.

To analyze the changes in each retinal layer and the recovery of the ellipsoid zone (EZ) after full-thickness macular hole (FTMH) surgery. Patients who underwent surgery for FTMH were included. Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) was performed preoperatively and postoperatively at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. A total of 32 eyes were enrolled. Ganglion cell layer, inner plexiform layer, and inner nuclear layer showed significant reductions over time after surgery (P = 0.020, P = 0.001, and P = 0.001, respectively), but were significantly thicker than those of fellow eyes at 12 months postoperatively. The average recovery duration of the external limiting membrane (ELM), outer nuclear layer (ONL), and EZ was 1.5, 2.1, and 6.1 months, respectively. Baseline best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (P = 0.003), minimum linear diameter (MLD) (P = 0.025), recovery of EZ (P = 0.008), and IRL thickness (P < 0.001) were significant factors associated with changes in the BCVA. Additionally, axial length (P < 0.001), MLD (P = 0.020), and IRL thickness (P = 0.001) showed significant results associated with EZ recovery. The IRL gradually became thinner after FTMH surgery but was still thicker than that of the fellow eye at 12 months postoperatively. The recovery of ELM and ONL may be a prerequisite for the EZ recovery. The BCVA change was affected by baseline BCVA, MLD, recovery of EZ, and IRL thickness. Additionally, axial length, MLD, and IRL thickness were significantly associated with EZ recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-90955-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8167100PMC
May 2021

Quantitative analysis of contrast-enhanced ultrasonography following living donor liver transplantation: early diagnosis of middle hepatic venous occlusion.

Med Ultrason 2021 May 20. Epub 2021 May 20.

Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center.

Aim: This study aimed to evaluate whether a quantitative contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) study is feasible to diagnose middle hepatic venous occlusion after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT).

Materials And Methods: From December 2018 to July 2019, the CEUS study on the first postoperative day had been conducted in patients who underwent LDLT. 46 patients were finally included in the study. To obtain CEUS parameters from time-intensity curves (TICs) on the hepaticparenchyma, the two regions of interests (ROIs) were located in the right hepatic vein (RHV) territory and middle hepatic vein (MHV) territory of the right hepatic graft. The measured CEUS parameters were wash-in slope (WIS), peak intensity (PI), time to peak (TTP), and area under the curve (AUC). The subjects were classified into the occlusion and non-occlusion groups. In each group, the parameters measured in the RHV and MHV territories were compared with paired-sample Student'st-tests.

Results: Hepatic venous occlusion was diagnosed in 25 patients (54%). The WIS, TTP, and AUC of the MHV territory (2.95 dB/sec; 22.39 sec; 204.27 dB·sec, respectively) were significantly different from those of the RHV territory (2.16 dB/sec; 25.81 sec; 165.66 dB·sec; all p<0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in PI between the MHV and RHV territories (19.08 dB vs. 18.27 dB, respectively; p=0.259). In the non-occlusion group, there was no parameter which was significantly different between MHV and RHV territories (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The parametric analysis of CEUS can help diagnose middle hepatic venous occlusion after LDLT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-2906DOI Listing
May 2021

Effects of Induced Exosomes from Endometrial Cancer Cells on Tumor Activity in the Presence of Extract.

Molecules 2021 Apr 12;26(8). Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Science, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea.

Endometrial cancer (EC) cells metastasize to various regions, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, blood, liver, bone, and brain. Various carcinogens are known to cause EC. Exosomes are released from several types of cells and contain various cellular components. In this study, flow cytometry and quantitative PCR were used to evaluate marker levels, cell migration, cell invasion, and mitochondrial membrane potential, and cellular senescence tests were used to estimate cancer activity. The microRNAs were profiled using next-generation sequencing. Although tocopherol-α and rutin content in is high, extract was more useful in modulating tumor activity compared to the two aforementioned substances. Notably, we established that the extract induced bioactive exosomes in EC cells, and profiling of miRNAs in the extract-inducing exosomes (EIE) indicated their potency to be developed as a biological drug. The extract and EIE contributed to the following five biological process categories for EC cells: (1) cell migration and invasion suppression, (2) cellular senescence activation by attenuating mitochondrial membrane potential and enhancing autophagy, (3) reproductive cancer activity attenuation, (4) drug susceptibility activation, and (5) EIE containing miRNAs associated with decreasing inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068874PMC
April 2021

Characterization of the Gene Encoding a Putative APSES Transcription Factor in .

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Apr 6;22(7). Epub 2021 Apr 6.

Department of Microbiology, Graduate School, Daejeon University, Daejeon 34520, Korea.

The APSES family proteins are transcription factors (TFs) with a basic helix-loop-helix domain, known to regulate growth, development, secondary metabolism, and other biological processes in species. In the genome of the human opportunistic pathogenic fungus , five genes predicted to encode APSES TFs are present. Here, we report the characterization of one of these genes, called (Afu7g05620). The deletion (Δ) of resulted in significantly decreased hyphal growth and asexual sporulation (conidiation), and lowered mRNA levels of the key conidiation genes , and . Moreover, Δ resulted in reduced spore germination rates, elevated sensitivity toward Nikkomycin Z, and significantly lowered transcripts levels of genes associated with chitin synthesis. The deletion also resulted in significantly reduced levels of proteins and transcripts of genes associated with the SakA MAP kinase pathway. Importantly, the cell wall hydrophobicity and architecture of the Δ asexual spores (conidia) were altered, notably lacking the rodlet layer on the surface of the Δ conidium. Comparative transcriptomic analyses revealed that the Δ mutant showed higher mRNA levels of gliotoxin (GT) biosynthetic genes, which was corroborated by elevated levels of GT production in the mutant. While the Δ mutant produced higher amount of GT, Δ strains showed reduced virulence in the murine model, likely due to the defective spore integrity. In summary, the putative APSES TF MbsA plays a multiple role in governing growth, development, spore wall architecture, GT production, and virulence, which may be associated with the attenuated SakA signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8038847PMC
April 2021

Retinal nerve fibre layer/ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness ratio in patients with systemic hypertension.

Acta Ophthalmol 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Ophthalmology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.

Purpose: Acute and chronic hypertension may have different pathophysiological mechanisms in the retina. Here, we compared the retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL)/ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) thickness ratios of patients with 'relieved' severe hypertensive retinopathy (relieved HTNR) and chronic hypertension without retinopathy (chronic HTN) to those of normal controls.

Methods: We performed cross-sectional study. The eyes were divided into the following groups: normal controls (Group A, age ≥50 years; Group D, age <50 years); chronic HTN (Group B, <10 years of HTN; TNHT; Group C, ≥10 years of HTN); and relieved HTNR (previously diagnosed with grade IV HTNR and relieved retinopathy for >1 year; Group E), and the RNFL/GC-IPL thickness ratio was compared among Groups A-C and between Groups D and E.

Results: A total of 379 eyes were included in this study. Groups A-E consisted of 145, 59, 63, 60 and 52 eyes, respectively. The RNFL/GC-IPL thickness ratios were 1.161 ± 0.093, 1.158 ± 0.082 and 1.162 ± 0.089 in groups A-C, respectively, and did not showed a statistically difference (p = 0.966). The RNFL/GC-IPL thickness ratio of groups D and E were 1.169 ± 0.080 and 1.221 ± 0.080, respectively, and showed a statistically difference (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The RNFL/GC-IPL thickness ratios of the chronic HTN group did not show a difference compared with the normal controls. However, relieved HTNR patients showed a higher ratio than the normal controls. Physicians should be aware that acute hypertensive injury could affect the RNFL/GC-IPL thickness ratio.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aos.14884DOI Listing
April 2021

Repeatability of Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Measurements in Patients with Retinal Vein Occlusion.

Korean J Ophthalmol 2021 04 5;35(2):159-167. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Ophthalmology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.

Purpose: To analyze the repeatability of vessel density (VD) measurements and manual foveal avascular zone (FAZ) measurements using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) in patients with retinal vein occlusion (RVO) without macular edema.

Methods: The study population consisted of patients with RVO and central macular thickness <300 μm. For each subject, measurements were performed twice with a 5-minute interval. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV) were calculated to analyze the repeatability of results obtained with the OCTA device. To identify factors related to repeatability, we performed Pearson correlation analyses based on the CV of potential factors.

Results: A total of 48 eyes were included in the study. The ICCs of the VDs in superficial capillary plexus (SCP) and the deep capillary plexus (DCP) were 0.748 and 0.665, respectively, and the CVs of the VDs in SCP and DCP were 9.1% and 12.6%, respectively. The ICCs associated with the FAZ of the superficial layer (SFAZ) and that of the deep layer (DFAZ) were 0.965 and 0.956, respectively, and the CV of the SFAZ and DFAZ were 8.8% and 9.7%, respectively. From Pearson correlation analyses, OCTA quality was significantly correlated with the CV of the VDs of SCP and DCP. However, there were no variables that were significantly correlated with the CV of SFAZ and DFAZ, including OCTA quality.

Conclusions: VD measurements in the SCP layer using OCTA exhibited good repeatability, and VD measurements in the DCP layer exhibited relatively low repeatability compared to that of SCP layer measurements in patients with RVO without macular edema after treatment with bevacizumab. Manual measurement of the FAZ area in both SCP and DCP layers resulted in good repeatability. In addition, the repeatability of VD measurements in SCP and DCP layers was correlated with OCTA image quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3341/kjo.2020.0143DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8046611PMC
April 2021

Effect of Ag doping on Pd/Ag-CeO catalysts for CO and CH oxidation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Aug 24;415:125373. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 02841, South Korea; Super Ultra Low Energy and Emission Vehicle (SULEEV) Center, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 02841, South Korea; Graduate School of Energy and Environment (KU-KIST Green School), Korea University, Seoul 02841, South Korea. Electronic address:

To achieve high fuel efficiency and low emission in automobiles, it is necessary to develop highly active diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs). Pd/CeO catalysts have been widely used as active catalysts for CO and CH oxidation reactions. Additionally, Ag has been reported to enhance the oxygen storage capacity (OSC) of CeO, which contributes to the oxidation ability of Pd/CeO. In this study, Pd/Ag-CeO catalysts were used for CO and CH oxidation reactions. When CeO was doped with appropriate amounts of Ag, reducibility and CO desorption rate were increased, which confirmed the high OSCs of Ag-doped catalysts. However, Ag particles were formed and the Ce/Ce ratio decreased when CeO was doped with excess amounts of Ag. In addition, reduced Pd (Pd), which is an active species for CH oxidation, was formed and maintained even under oxidative reaction conditions. Since the removal of CH is important for the oxidation of CO and CH, the catalyst with the highest Pd fraction (Pd/0.1Ag-CeO and Pd/0.3Ag-CeO) presented improved catalytic activity. Consequently, the optimal amount of Ag enhanced the OSC of Pd/Ag-CeO catalysts and formed active Pd species under oxidative conditions, which resulted in the excellent catalytic activity of Pd/Ag-CeO for the CO and CH oxidation reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125373DOI Listing
August 2021

Effects of prolonged type 2 diabetes on changes in peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness in diabetic eyes without clinical diabetic retinopathy.

Sci Rep 2021 Mar 24;11(1):6813. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Ophthalmology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, #640 Daesa-dong, Jung-gu, Daejeon, 301-721, Republic of Korea.

To identify the effects of prolonged type 2 diabetes (T2DM) on changes in peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) thickness in patients without clinical diabetic retinopathy. Subjects were divided into two groups: controls and patients with T2DM (DM group). After the initial visits, the pRNFL thicknesses were measured three more times at 1-year intervals. Subgroup analyses were performed in patients with T2DM duration ≥ 10 years. The mean pRNFL thickness at each visit was 95.8 ± 8.1, 95.4 ± 8.3, 94.9 ± 8.1, and 94.5 ± 8.3 μm in the control group (P = 0.138) (n = 55); and 93.4 ± 9.1, 92.1 ± 9.3, 90.9 ± 9.3, and 89.5 ± 9.2 μm in the DM group (P < 0.001) (n = 85). The estimated rate of reduction in mean pRNFL thickness was - 0.45 μm/year in the control group and - 1.34 μm/year in the DM group, respectively. In the DM group, the BCVA and HbA1c (both P = 0.001) were significant factors associated with pRNFL reduction. In patients with T2DM duration ≥ 10 years, the estimated pRNFL reduction rate was - 1.61 μm/year, and hypertension was a significant factor affecting the pRNFL reduction (P = 0.046). We confirmed rapid pRNFL reduction over time in T2DM, and the reduction rate was higher in patients with T2DM ≥ 10 years. Additionally, BCVA and HbA1c levels were significantly associated with the change in pRNFL thickness in T2DM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86306-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7991659PMC
March 2021

Peripapillary Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer and Microvasculature in Prolonged Type 2 Diabetes Patients Without Clinical Diabetic Retinopathy.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2021 02;62(2)

Department of Ophthalmology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Purpose: The purpose of this study to identify the effects of prolonged type 2 diabetes (T2DM) on the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (pRNFL) and peripapillary microvasculature in patients with prolonged T2DM without clinical diabetic retinopathy (DR).

Methods: Subjects were divided into 3 groups: controls (control group; 153 eyes), patients with T2DM < 10 years (DM group 1; 136 eyes), and patients with T2DM ≥ 10 years (DM group 2; 74 eyes). The pRNFL thickness and peripapillary superficial vessel density (VD) were compared. Linear regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with peripapillary VD in patients with T2DM.

Results: The mean pRNFL thicknesses of the control group, DM group 1, and DM group 2 were 96.0 ± 7.9, 94.5 ± 0.9, and 92.2 ± 8.2 µm, respectively (P < 0.001). The VDs were 18.24 ± 0.62, 17.60 ± 1.47, and 17.15 ± 1.38 mm-1 in the control group, DM group 1, and DM group 2, respectively (P < 0.001). In multivariate linear regression analyses, visual acuity (B = -2.460, P = 0.001), axial length (B = -0.169, P = 0.008), T2DM duration (B = -0.056, P < 0.001), and pRNFL (B = 0.024, P = 0.001) were significant factors affecting the peripapillary VD in patients with T2DM.

Conclusions: Patients with T2DM without clinical DR showed thinner pRNFL and lower peripapillary VD and perfusion density (PD) compared with normal controls, and such damage was more severe in patients with T2DM ≥ 10 years. Additionally, peripapillary VD was significantly associated with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), axial length, T2DM duration, and pRNFL thickness in patients with T2DM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.2.9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7873502PMC
February 2021

Rim-arterial enhancing primary hepatic tumors with other targetoid appearance show early recurrence after radiofrequency ablation.

Eur Radiol 2021 Mar 13. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81 Irwon-ro Gangnam-gu, Seoul, 06351, Republic of Korea.

Objectives: To evaluate early (≤ 2 years) local tumor progression (LTP), intrahepatic distant metastasis (IDR), and extrahepatic metastasis (EM) of primary hepatic malignant tumors with arterial rim enhancement (RE) after RFA in comparison with non-RE tumors.

Methods: Three hundred forty-nine patients who underwent RFA for primary hepatic malignant tumors between January 2009 and December 2016 were included. The patients' tumors were classified into non-RE, RE only (RO), and RE plus other targetoid appearances (REoT). Cumulative LTP, IDR, and EM rates at 1 and 2 years after RFA were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. Prognostic factors for the outcomes were assessed using a Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: There were 303 non-RE, 19 RO, and 27 REoT tumors. The REoT tumors had a significantly higher rate of IDR and EM than non-RE (p = 0.04 for IDR; and p < 0.01 for EM, respectively) at 1 year after RFA. At 2 years, LTP and EM rates were significantly higher for REoT than for non-RE (p = 0.001 for LTP; and p = 0.444 for EM, respectively). The RO tumors did not have different outcomes than non-RE at 1 and 2 years after RFA. Multivariable analysis verified that REoT was a significant factor for IDR (p = 0.04) and EM (p = 0.01) at 1 year and LTP (p = 0.02) at 2 years.

Conclusions: Tumors with REoT had poor LTP, IDR, and EM within 2 years after RFA than non-RE tumors. However, tumors with RO showed similar results as non-RE tumors.

Key Points: • Tumors with Rim enhancement plus other targetoid appearances (REoT) had a significantly higher rate of recurrence than non-rim enhancing (RE) tumors at 1 and 2 years after RFA. • Tumors with rim enhancement only did not have different outcomes than non-RE at 1 and 2 years after RFA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-021-07769-1DOI Listing
March 2021

Laparoscopic Liver Resection versus Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation for Small Single Nodular Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Comparison of Treatment Outcomes.

Liver Cancer 2021 Feb 14;10(1):25-37. Epub 2021 Jan 14.

Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Background: Treatment outcomes of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) and percutaneous radiofrequency ablation (p-RFA) for small single hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) have not yet been fully compared. The aim of this study was to compare LLR and p-RFA as first-line treatment options in patients with single nodular HCCs ≤3 cm.

Methods: From January 2014 to December 2016, a total of 566 patients with single nodular HCC ≤3 cm treated by either LLR ( = 251) or p-RFA ( = 315) were included. The recurrence-free survival (RFS) and cumulative incidence of local tumor progression (LTP) were estimated using Kaplan-Meier methods and compared using the log-rank test. Treatment outcome of 2 treatment modalities was compared in the subgroup of patients according to the tumor location.

Results: There were no significant differences in overall survival between LLR and p-RFA ( = 0.160); however, 3-year RFS was demonstrated to be significantly higher after LLR (74.4%) than after p-RFA (66.0%) ( = 0.013), owing to its significantly lower cumulative incidence of LTP (2.1% at 3 years after LLR vs. 10.0% after p-RFA, < 0.001). The complication rate of p-RFA was significantly lower than that of LLR (5.1 vs. 10.0%, = 0.026). LLR also provided significantly better local tumor control than p-RFA for subscapular tumors (3-year LTP rates: 1.9 vs. 8.8%, = 0.012), perivascular tumors (3-year LTP rates: 0.0 vs. 17.2%, = 0.007), and tumors located in anteroinfero-lateral liver portions (3-year LTP rates: 0.0 vs. 10.7%, < 0.001). However, there were no significant differences in LTP rates between LLR and p-RFA for non-subcapsular and non-perivascular tumors ( = 0.482) and for tumors in postero-superior liver portions ( = 0.380).

Conclusions: LLR can provide significantly better local tumor control than p-RFA for small single HCCs in subcapsular, perivascular, and anteroinferolateral liver portions and thus may be the preferred treatment option for these tumors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000510909DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923879PMC
February 2021

Effects of La incorporation in catalytic activity of Ag/La-CeO catalysts for soot oxidation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jul 24;414:125523. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Korea University, 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea; Super Ultra Low Energy and Emission Vehicle (SULEEV) Center, Korea University, 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea; KU-KIST Green School, Korea University, 145, Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Owing to strengthened regulations toward vehicle emissions, the use of diesel particulate filter technology to reduce particulate matter emissions has attracted significant attention. To achieve low temperature oxidation of particulate matter, numerous studies on Ag/CeO catalysts for soot oxidation have been reported. Herein, Ag/La-CeO catalysts with different La contents are synthesized and compared to analyze the effect of La. Hydrogen temperature programmed reduction analysis confirms that the reducibility increases with an increase in the La content in La-CeO. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Raman analysis confirm an increase of oxygen vacancies with La doping. Accordingly, the soot oxidation performances estimated by temperature programmed oxidation experiments increase with La doping. However, the catalytic activity of Ag/La-CeO exhibits a volcano trend. When an appropriate amount of La is incorporated in Ag/CeO, peroxide generation and reducibility improve, thereby enhancing the soot oxidation performance. Conversely, the catalytic activities gradually decrease with excess La-doping. Scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis and density functional theory calculations confirm that excess amounts of La induce the sintering of Ag particles, which lead to the degradation of peroxide generation and reducibility of the catalysts. Consequently, an optimal amount of La incorporation on Ag/La-CeO results in the best soot oxidation performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125523DOI Listing
July 2021

Comparison of ablation performance between dual internally cooled wet tip and conventional dual internally cooled tip radiofrequency electrodes: an experimental study in bovine liver.

Int J Hyperthermia 2021 ;38(1):332-340

Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Objective: To evaluate the performance of dual internally cooled wet tip (ICWT) radiofrequency electrodes in comparison to dual internally cooled tip (ICT) electrodes.

Methods: Twenty ablation zones were created for each type of electrodes. Planned procedure time was 6 min. Diameters of the ablation zone along the x-, y-, and z-axes (Dx, Dy, and Dz), ablation zone sphericity, quantitative sphericity measurement, and ablation volume were measured and compared between the two electrode types. Circularity of the ablation zone on the surface with x- and z- axes (zx plane) and amount of energy applied were also compared.

Results: Dx and Dz were significantly longer with ICWT than those with ICT (Dx: 3.0 vs. 2.8 cm, = .018; and Dz: 2.7 vs. 2.3 cm,  < .001, respectively). Dy was not significantly different (3.0 vs. 2.9 cm, = .220). Moreover, 85% (17/20) and 30% (6/20) of ablation zones from ICWT and ICT were spherical ( = .001), respectively. Quantitative measurement showed that ICWT was more spherical compared to ICT (0.962 vs. 0.881, = .001). The ablation volume was also significantly higher with ICWT (11.55 vs. 9.45 cm3, = .003). The ablation zone on the zx plane was more circular with ICWT (0.907 vs. 0.883, = .028). The amount of energy applied was significantly bigger with ICWT (18508 vs. 16998 WS, = .003).

Conclusion: Dual ICWT electrodes were better able to create more spherical and larger ablation zones than dual ICT electrodes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2021.1876255DOI Listing
July 2021

Reduction in endoplasmic reticulum stress activates beige adipocytes differentiation and alleviates high fat diet-induced metabolic phenotypes.

Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2021 May 6;1867(5):166099. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Soonchunhyang Institute of Medi-bio Science (SIMS), Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan-si, 31151, Republic of Korea; Department of Integrated Biomedical Science, Soonchunhyang University, Cheonan-si 31151, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is closely associated with various metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. Development of beige/brite adipocytes increases thermogenesis and helps to reduce obesity. Although the relationship between ER stress and white adipocytes has been studied considerably, the possible role of ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR) induction in beige adipocytes differentiation remain to be investigated. In this study we investigated how ER stress affected beige adipocytes differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. Phosphorylation of eIF2α was transiently decreased in the early phase (day 2), whereas it was induced at the late phase with concomitant induction of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) during beige adipocytes differentiation. Forced expression of CHOP inhibited the expression of beige adipocytes markers, including Ucp1, Cox8b, Cidea, Prdm16, and Pgc-1α, following the induction of beige adipocytes differentiation. When ER stress was reduced by the chemical chaperone tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA), the expression of the beige adipocytes marker uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) was significantly enhanced in inguinal white adipose tissue (iWAT) and high fat diet (HFD)-induced abnormal metabolic phenotype was improved. In summary, we found that ER stress and the UPR induction were closely involved in beige adipogenesis. These results suggest that modulating ER stress could be a potential therapeutic intervention against metabolic dysfunctions via activation of iWAT browning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2021.166099DOI Listing
May 2021

Longitudinal changes in the ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer thickness of age-related macular degeneration.

Acta Ophthalmol 2021 Feb 8. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Department of Ophthalmology, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.

Purpose: To determine longitudinal changes of the ganglion cell-inner plexiform layer (GC-IPL) thickness in patients with non-exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) without other ophthalmic disease.

Methods: Thirty-three eyes of 33 patients with early and intermediate non-exudative AMD (non-exudative AMD group) and 33 normal control eyes were followed for 2 years, and GC-IPL thickness was measured by spectral domain optical coherence tomography at 1-year intervals. The mean rate of GC-IPL reduction was estimated using a linear mixed model and compared between two groups.

Results: The mean age of patients in the non-exudative AMD group and control groups were 68.82 ± 6.81 years and 67.73 ± 5.87 years, respectively (p = 0.488). The mean GC-IPL thickness at the first visit was 76.61 ± 16.33 μm in the non-exudative AMD and 81.76 ± 3.69 μm in control group (p = 0.387), and these values significantly decreased over time, with an average reduction rate of average GC-IPL -0.86 μm/year in the non-exudative AMD group and -0.32 μm/year in the control group. The difference between two groups was statistically significant (p < 0.001), and there was also a significant interaction between group and duration in linear mixed models in mean GC-IPL thickness (p = 0.001).

Conclusions: The reduction rate of the GC-IPL thickness was greater in non-exudative AMD eyes, even at relatively early stages of the disease. Physicians should maintain awareness of the presence of non-exudative AMD in various cases of ophthalmic diseases where GC-IPL thickness evaluation is necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aos.14784DOI Listing
February 2021

Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation of subcapsular hepatocellular carcinomas: risk factors related to a technical failure.

Surg Endosc 2021 Feb 1. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81, Irwon-ro, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul, 06351, Republic of Korea.

Background: This study aimed to evaluate the risk factors related to a technical failure after laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for subcapsular hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs).

Materials And Methods: A total of 110 patients with 114 HCCs who underwent laparoscopic RFA for HCCs (new HCC [n = 85] and local tumor progression [LTP] [n = 29]) between January 2013 and December 2018 were included. We evaluated the incidence of technical failure on immediate post-RFA CT images. Risk factors for a technical failure after laparoscopic RFA were assessed using univariable logistic regression analyses. The cumulative LTP rate was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: Technical failure was noted in 3.5% (4/114) of the tumors. All four tumors that showed a technical failure were cases of LTP from previous treatment and were invisible on laparoscopy. On univariate analysis, LTP lesion, invisibility of the index tumor on laparoscopy, and peri-hepatic vein location of the tumor were identified as risk factors for a technical failure. The cumulative LTP rates at 1, 3, and 5 years were estimated to be 2.8%, 4.8%, and 4.8%, respectively.

Conclusions: LTP lesion, invisibility of the index tumor on laparoscopy, and peri-hepatic vein location of the tumor were identified as the risk factors for a technical failure after laparoscopic RFA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-021-08310-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Antibacterial Activity of Green-Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles Using Extract against Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Jan 14;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 14.

School of Health and Environmental Science, College of Health Science, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea.

In this work, the antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) synthesized using extracts against three species of antibiotic-susceptible and three species of resistant bacteria was investigated. The effects of this plant were more promising when compared with other medicinal plants tested. The hydrothermal extract of was mixed with silver nitrate to synthesize AgNPs. The synthesized particle characteristics were analyzed by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). Minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration tests were conducted to confirm antibacterial activity and the results showed that AgNPs synthesized using extracts effectively inhibited the growth of bacterial species. Moreover, the SEM images of the bacterial species treated with AgNPs synthesized with extracts showed that clusters of AgNPs were attached to the surface of the bacterial cell wall, which could induce destruction of the cell membranes. The results suggest that AgNPs synthesized with extracts have the potential to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as the major cause of nosocomial infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11010205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7830304PMC
January 2021

Short-term effect of anti-VEGF for chronic central serous chorioretinopathy according to the presence of choroidal neovascularization using optical coherence tomography angiography.

PLoS One 2021 11;16(1):e0245342. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Department of Ophthalmology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Purpose: To analyze the short-term therapeutic efficacy of intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (IVB) for chronic central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) according to the presence of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA).

Methods: A retrospective chart review was perfomed on cases of CSC with CNV (Group 1: n = 31) and an age-matched cases of CSC without CNV (Group 2: n = 30). The response to IVB was evaluated by changes in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), central macular thickness (CMT), choroidal thickness (CT), and pachyvessel diameter. Univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the visual outcome of chronic CSC with CNV after IVB.

Results: At baseline, the CT values differed significantly between Groups 1 and 2 (371.55 ± 67.09 vs. 417.33 ± 71.32 μm, p = 0.01). In Group 1, BCVA improved significantly (p < 0.001), and CMT (p < 0.001), CT (p = 0.001) and pachyvessel diameter (p = 0.045) decreased significantly, after IVB. In Group 2, only pachyvessel diameter (p = 0.001) was significantly smaller after IVB. Univariate analysis showed that the initial CT (B = 0.002, p = 0.026) and pachyvessel diameter (B = 0.002, p = 0.001) significantly affected visual outcome. In multivariate analysis, the initial pachyvessel diameter exhibited significant results (B = 0.002, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: IVB showed less effective short-term outcomes in chronic CSC patients without CNV than in patients with CNV. In chronic CSC with CNV, the short-term visual outcome after IVB was better in patients with a thinner choroid and smaller pachyvessels.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245342PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7799826PMC
June 2021

The complete chloroplast genome of (Betulaceae).

Mitochondrial DNA B Resour 2020 Feb 3;5(1):976-977. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Division of Forest Bioinformation, National Institute of Forest Science, Suwon, Republic of Korea.

In the present study, we analyzed the complete chloroplast genome sequence of using the Ion Torrent platform. The chloroplast genome of was found to be 160,547 bp in length, with a large single-copy (LSC) region of 89,385 bp, a small single-copy (SSC) region of 19,038 bp, and a pair of inverted repeats (IRs) of 26,062 bp each. The overall GC content of the chloroplast genome was 36.1%. It contained 132 genes, including 87 protein-coding genes, 8 rRNA genes, and 37 tRNA genes. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that is closely related to and
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23802359.2020.1719928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7748461PMC
February 2020

A relationship between unrecognized anaemia and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in patient with cardiovascular risks.

Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 2021 04 19;48(4):455-462. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Department of Integrated Biomedical and Life Sciences, Korea University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea.

Studies on anaemia in diabetic patients are well known. However, the data regarding association of anaemia on the development of diabetes mellitus (DM) are very limited. We aimed to evaluate the association of anaemia on the development of DM and major clinical outcomes in a series of the Korean population during 5-year clinical follow-up. The patients were retrospectively enrolled using the electronic database of Korea University Guro Hospital from January 2004 to February 2013. A total of 17 515 subjects without a history of DM were analysed. The World Health Organization definition of anaemia was used. Patients were divided into the anaemia group (n = 2907 patients) and the non-anaemia group (n = 14 608 patients). The primary endpoint was the development of DM. To adjust baseline potential confounders, a propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed. After PSM analysis, two matched groups (2731 pairs) were generated and their baselines characteristics were balanced. During 5-year follow-up, the anaemia group had a higher incidence of type 2 DM (10.7% vs 7.7%; hazard ratio [HR], 1.356; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.021-1.802; P = .035), and total death (2.6% vs 1.2%; HR, 2.449; 95% CI, 1.337-4.486; P = .004) compared to the non-anaemia group. In the present study, anaemia was associated with higher rate of the development of DM and mortality during 5-year clinical follow-up. A randomized trial is needed to determine whether this results can be reproducible or not for the final conclusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1440-1681.13440DOI Listing
April 2021

Comparison of Retinal Layer Thicknesses of Highly Myopic Eyes and Normal Eyes.

Korean J Ophthalmol 2020 12 3;34(6):469-477. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Ophthalmology, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.

Purpose: To evaluate the differences in individual segmental retinal layer thickness in adult patients with high myopia.

Methods: This study compared the retinal layers of patients with high myopia (axial length of ≥26.0 mm) with those of normal controls using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. The thicknesses of the retinal layers were compared using nine Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study subfields. Choroidal thickness was also measured in the subfoveal area.

Results: We included 37 eyes with high myopia and 37 eyes of healthy subjects. The mean age was 42.95 and 47.73 years (p = 0.114), and the mean axial length was 27.28 and 24.47 mm (p < 0.001), respectively. The parafoveal areas (outer ring segment) of the ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer, all segmental areas except the subfoveal region of the inner nuclear layer, most segmental areas (inner superior, inner inferior, outer superior, outer temporal, and outer nasal) of outer plexiform layer, and most segmental areas (subfovea, inner temporal, inner inferior, inner nasal, outer temporal, and outer inferior) of outer nuclear layer were thinner in eyes with high myopia than in normal eyes (all p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences between the levels of photoreceptor layer, retinal pigment epithelium, and nerve fiber layer. The mean choroidal thickness was 153.81 ± 64.80 and 239.54 ± 44.28 μm in the high myopia and control groups, respectively, which were significantly different (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In high myopia without pathologic changes, there was a meaningful thinning of the retina and choroid, especially in most Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study subfield areas of the deep vascular complex, perifoveal area of the superficial vascular complex, and most areas of the outer nuclear layer in the outer retinal layer, which are associated with myopic axial elongation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3341/kjo.2020.0012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7738221PMC
December 2020

Comparison of procedure-related complications between percutaneous cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation for treating periductal hepatocellular carcinoma.

Int J Hyperthermia 2020 11;37(1):1354-1361

Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging Science, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the incidence and severity of biliary complications after treating periductal hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) using either cryoablation (CA) or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and assess independent risk factors for biliary complications after treatment.

Materials And Methods: Between July 2008 and August 2018, 949 patients with treatment-naïve HCCs underwent either RFA or CA in our institution. Of these, patients with multiple HCCs, tumors equal to or larger than 3 cm or smaller than 1 cm, and tumors with non-periductal locations were excluded. Finally, 31 patients and 25 patients were included in the RFA group and the CA group, respectively. The incidence and severity of biliary complications were compared between the RFA and CA groups. The risk factors for biliary complications were assessed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses using the following variables: age, sex, tumor size, Child-Pugh score, tumor location (peripheral duct versus central duct), ablation method (RFA versus CA), the number of applicators, ablation time, and ablation volume.

Results: The incidence and severity of biliary complications were significantly higher in the RFA group than in the CA group ( 0.007 and  0.002, respectively). In univariable and multivariable analyses, the ablation method was an independent risk factor for biliary complications ( 0.004 and 0.013, respectively).

Conclusions: The incidence and severity of biliary complications after treating HCCs abutting the bile duct are lower in CA than RFA, demonstrating that CA is safer than RFA for ablating small periductal HCCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2020.1849824DOI Listing
November 2020

Obesity and the risk of primary liver cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Clin Mol Hepatol 2021 01 26;27(1):157-174. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Background/aims: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to clarify the effect of obesity on the occurrence of and mortality from primary liver cancer.

Methods: This study was conducted using a systematic literature search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library until November 2018 using the primary keywords "obesity," "overweight," "body mass index (BMI)," "body weight," "liver," "cancer," "hepatocellular carcinoma," "liver cancer," "risk," and "mortality." Studies assessing the relationship between BMI and occurrence of or mortality from primary liver cancer in prospective cohorts and those reporting hazard ratios (HRs) or data that allow HR estimation were included.

Results: A total of 28 prospective cohort studies with 8,135,906 subjects were included in the final analysis. These included 22 studies with 6,059,561 subjects for cancer occurrence and seven studies with 2,077,425 subjects for cancerrelated mortality. In the meta-analysis, an increase in BMI was associated with the occurrence of primary liver cancer (HR, 1.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.50-1.90, I2=56%). A BMI-dependent increase in the risk of occurrence of primary liver cancer was reported. HRs were 1.36 (95% CI, 1.02-1.81), 1.77 (95% CI, 1.56-2.01), and 3.08 (95% CI, 1.21-7.86) for BMI >25 kg/m2, >30 kg/m2, and >35 kg/m2, respectively. Furthermore, increased BMI resulted in enhanced liver cancer-related mortality (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.14-2.27, I2=80%).

Conclusion: High BMI increases liver cancer mortality and occurrence of primary liver cancer. Obesity is an independent risk factor for the occurrence of and mortality from primary liver cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3350/cmh.2020.0176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7820201PMC
January 2021

The Putative APSES Transcription Factor RgdA Governs Growth, Development, Toxigenesis, and Virulence in Aspergillus fumigatus.

mSphere 2020 11 11;5(6). Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Microbiology, Graduate School, Daejeon University, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

The APSES transcription factor (TF) in species is known to govern diverse cellular processes, including growth, development, and secondary metabolism. Here, we investigated functions of the gene (Afu3g13920) encoding a putative APSES TF in the opportunistic human-pathogenic fungus The deletion resulted in significantly decreased hyphal growth and asexual sporulation. Consistently, transcript levels of the key asexual developmental regulators , , and were decreased in the Δ mutant compared to those in the wild type (WT). Moreover, Δ resulted in reduced spore germination rates and elevated transcript levels of genes associated with conidium dormancy. The conidial cell wall hydrophobicity and architecture were changed, and levels of the RodA protein were decreased in the Δ mutant. Comparative transcriptomic analyses revealed that the Δ mutant showed higher mRNA levels of gliotoxin (GT)-biosynthetic genes and GT production. While the Δ mutant exhibited elevated production of GT, Δ strains showed reduced virulence in the mouse model. In addition, mRNA levels of genes associated with the cyclic AMP (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathway and the SakA mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway were increased in the Δ mutant. In summary, RgdA plays multiple roles in governing growth, development, GT production, and virulence which may involve attenuation of PKA and SakA signaling. Immunocompromised patients are susceptible to infections with the opportunistic human-pathogenic fungus This fungus causes systemic infections such as invasive aspergillosis (IA), which is one of the most life-threatening fungal diseases. To control this serious disease, it is critical to identify new antifungal drug targets. In fungi, the transcriptional regulatory proteins of the APSES family play crucial roles in controlling various biological processes, including mating, asexual sporulation and dimorphic growth, and virulence traits. This study found that a putative APSES transcription factor, RgdA, regulates normal growth, asexual development, conidium germination, spore wall architecture and hydrophobicity, toxin production, and virulence in Better understanding the molecular mechanisms of RgdA in human-pathogenic fungi may reveal a novel antifungal target for future drug development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00998-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7657592PMC
November 2020

Potential Benefits of Acupuncture and Herbs for Obesity-Related Chronic Inflammation by Adipokines.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2020 9;2020:3285363. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Department of Korean Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology, College of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University, 62, Daehak-ro, Dong-gu, Daejeon 34520, Republic of Korea.

The adipose tissue is an organ that stores energy in the form of fats. It also has been known as an endocrine playing an integral role in metabolic homeostasis by secreting various adipokines. In obesity, the adipokine components and secretion patterns are altered toward proinflammation with weight gain, causing low chronic inflammation, which is closely linked to various metabolic diseases. Acupuncture and herbs are used for the management of obesity and its comorbidities, and it has been observed that these therapies affect the amount of expression and concentration of adipokines with improved metabolic phenotypes in both animal and human metabolic diseases. In this review, we discuss the role of adipokines and summarize beneficial effects of the treatments such as electroacupuncture, pharmacopuncture, catgut embedding acupuncture, and single and multiple medicinal herbs on obesity and its relations to adipokine composition. It will provide a new insight for applying adipokines as surrogate markers in complementary and alternative medicine practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/3285363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7568779PMC
October 2020

Development of a Ga-labelled PET tracer for carbonic anhydrase IX-overexpressed tumors using the artificial sweetener saccharin.

J Labelled Comp Radiopharm 2021 Mar 9;64(3):129-139. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

School of Health and Environmental Science, College of Health Science, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea.

In this study, we developed a saccharin (SAC)-based radiopharmaceutical ( Ga-NOTA-SAC) and evaluated the possibility of its application as a PET tracer in the diagnosis of carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX)-overexpressed tumors. We did a water-soluble tetrazolium assay and flow cytometry analysis to identify the cell viability decrease by SAC. The radiochemical purity and stability of Ga- NOTA-SAC in human and mouse serum was greater than 98%. The small animal PET image-based radioactivity distribution of all organs decreased over time. Ga-NOTA-SAC presented the highest tumor-to-muscle ratio at 90 min post injection (p.i). The growth rates of tumor-to-muscle ratios of Ga-NOTA-SAC were 88% at 60 min and 220% at 90 min, compared to 30 min p.i. The potential of Ga-NOTA-SAC as a PET tracer is expected to contribute to the diagnostic research on CA IX-overexpressed tumors with the advantages of a relatively simple synthesis method.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jlcr.3893DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8048693PMC
March 2021
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