Publications by authors named "Nergiz Ekmen"

6 Publications

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Evaluation of Non-invasive Fibrosis Markers in Predicting Esophageal Variceal Bleeding.

Clin Endosc 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Department of Gastroenterology Gazi University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey.

Background/aims: Esophageal variceal bleeding (EVB) is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in liver cirrhosis. In this study, we aimed to predict the possibility of EVB in patients with cirrhosis using a non-invasive score.

Methods: A total of 359 patients with cirrhosis were divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of EVB. ChildTurcotte-Pugh (CTP) score, a model for end-stage liver disease, aspartate aminotransferase to alanine aminotransferase ratio, aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), fibrosis-4-index (FIB-4), aspartate aminotransferase to alanine aminotransferase ratio/platelet ratio index (AARPRI), and S-index were measured for all participants. Receiver operating characteristic curves were obtained for all parameters, and the optimal cut-off value was determined in predicting EVB.

Results: In patients with EVB, the number of platelets (PLT) were low (p<0.001) and APRI, AARPRI, FIB-4, and S-index were significantly higher than those in patients without EBV. APRI, AARPRI, FIB-4, PLT, and S-index were statistically significant predictors of EVB (p<0.05).

Conclusions: FIB-4 and AARPRI, which are non-invasive markers of fibrosis, can be used to predict EVB. In addition, the 66.5 109/L cut-off value for PLT is important for EVB.
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May 2021

Preliminary examination of the relations between disease stage, illness perceptions, coping strategies, and psychological morbidity in chronic hepatitis B and C guided by the Common-Sense Model of Illness.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 06;33(6):932-939

Department of Nephrology, Faculty of Medicine, İnönü University, Malatya, Turkey.

Background And Aims: Chronic viral hepatitis (CVH) has a spectrum from asymptomatic disease to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In our study, we aimed to establish the relations between disease stage, illness perception, coping strategies and psychological morbidity in CVH.

Methods: A total of 182 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) (n = 136) and chronic hepatitis C (CHC) (n = 46) were enrolled. Illness perceptions were measured with the Brief Illness Perceptions Questionnaire. Coping strategies were measured with the Carver Brief Coping Questionnaire. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Relations were evaluated by structural equation modeling (SEM).

Results: In CHB, combining the questionnaire data using SEM resulted in a final model with an excellent fit [χ2 (2) = 0.00, P = 1.000, χ2/N = 0.00, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) < 0.001, comparative fit index (CFI) = 1.000, goodness-of-fit index (GFI) = 1.000]. Disease stage had a significant direct influence on illness perceptions (β = 0.23, P = 0.006). Illness perceptions had a significant direct influence on emotional coping strategy, depression and anxiety (β = 0.20, P = 0.019; β = 0.33, P < 0.001; β = 0.59, P < 0.001, respectively). While the use of emotional coping strategies was associated significantly (P = 0.01) with the presence of anxiety, problem-focused coping strategy was associated with depression (P = 0.004). In CHC, SEM resulted in a final model with an excellent fit [χ2 (2) = 0.078, P = 0.962, χ2/N = 0.039, RMSEA<0.001, CFI = 1.000, GFI = 0.999]. Disease stage did not have a significant direct influence on illness perceptions (P > 0.05). Illness perceptions had a significant direct influence on depression and anxiety (β = 0.27, P = 0.023; β = 0.44, P < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion: The psychological consequences of the disease vary depending on the person's perception of illness and coping strategies.
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June 2021

Evaluation of epicardial adipose tissue and carotid intima-media thickness as a marker of atherosclerosis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Rev Esp Enferm Dig 2021 Sep;113(9):643-648

Radiology, Faculty of Medicine. Tekirdağ Namik Kemal University, Turkey.

Background And Aim: this study aimed to compare carotid intima media (CIMT) and epicardial adipose tissue (EAT) measurements, which are considered as markers for the detection of early atherosclerosis in healthy controls and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cases.

Methods: a total of 60 IBD patients (25 Crohn's disease and 35 ulcerative colitis) and 60 healthy patients (as a control group) were included in the study. The measurements of CIMT and EAT were performed using echocardiography and ultrasonography, respectively. Statistical analysis was used to determine the relationship between the parameters.

Results: the thickness of bilateral (right and left) CIMT and EAT were significantly higher in IBD than in the control group (p < 0.05). There was a positive correlation between EAT and bilateral (right and left) CIMT in IBD patients (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: IBD is associated with an increased thickness of EAT and CIMT. Chronic inflammation in IBD may increase the risk of atherosclerotic heart disease. Thus, only measuring the thickness of EAT and CIMT can be used as an objective, easy, simple, affordable, non-invasive and accessible assessment method in order to screen for this risk.
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September 2021

Social stigmatization in Turkish patients with chronic hepatitis B and C.

Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 May 20;44(5):330-336. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Gastroenterology, Gazi University, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.

Background And Aim: Viral hepatitis is the most important cause of chronic hepatitis worldwide. Stigmatization is defined as a feeling of rejection and isolation of patients by society due to illness. There are no studies on chronic viral hepatitis in the literature in English, which has its own religious and socio-cultural structure. In our study, we aimed to investigate the presence of social stigmatism and psychosocial effects on patients with different stages of chronic viral hepatitis B and C.

Methods: Forty-five patients with chronic hepatitis C and 114 patients with chronic hepatitis B were enrolled in the study. Berger's scale was used for stigmatization, composed of 40 four-point Likert items that have four subscales: personalized stigma, disclosure, negative self-image, and public attitude. Stigma score ranges between one and four. Stigma is accepted as present if the overall score is above two.

Results: Overall the mean stigma scores were 1.97±0.58 and 2.14±0.57 for chronic hepatitis B and C, respectively. There was stigma in 47.4% of the patients with chronic hepatitis B, and 60% of the patients with chronic hepatitis C. Being male was the risk factor on overall stigma, disclosure and public attitude in chronic hepatitis C. Living in an urban setting was the risk factor on negative self-image in chronic hepatitis C and on personalized stigma and disclosure in chronic hepatitis B.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that provides qualitative information about chronic hepatitis-related stigma. Stigmatization is a major problem in Turkey and worldwide. We believe that increasing the knowledge of the patients and society by teaching about the transmission routes of the disease and focusing on vaccination studies will prevent stigmatization.
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May 2021

Relationship between pruritus and autotaxin in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Feb 1;44(2):96-102. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Tekirdag Namık Kemal University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Tekirdag, Turkey.

Objective: Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is a temporary, pregnancy-specific disease that resolves with delivery, characterized by itching (pruritus), as well as high transaminase and serum bile acid levels in the third trimester of pregnancy. Due to the effects of Autotaxin on the physiology of pregnancy, we aimed to investigate Autotaxin activity in patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

Patients And Methods: Sixty-nine patients diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and 20 healthy pregnant women were enrolled in the study. Fasting serum bile acid, pruritus intensity, serum parameters, gestational week of the patients at the time of diagnosis were recorded, and birth week and birth weight were monitored. Autotaxin serum level was measured enzymatically.

Results: The mean serum bile acid level (n=69; 38.74±35.92μmol/L) in patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (n=69) was detected to be higher than healthy pregnant women (n=20; 5.05±1.88μmol/L) (p<0.001). Weak correlation was detected between serum bile acid level and itch intensity (p=0.014, r=0.295), while no relation was detected between Autotaxin and itch intensity (p=0.446, r=0.09). Although mean Autotaxin (intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy: 678.10±424.42pg/mL, control: 535.16±256.47pg/mL) levels were high in patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, it was not statistically significant (p=0.157).

Conclusion: In our study, we observed that the serum Autotaxin level did not make a significant difference in patients with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy compared to healthy pregnant women. These findings suggest that larger clinical studies are required to reveal the physio-pathological effects of Autotaxin on pregnancy.
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February 2021

The Role of e-NOS in Chronic Cholestasis-Induced Liver and Renal Injury in Rats: The Effect of N-Acetyl Cysteine.

Gastroenterol Res Pract 2014 9;2014:564949. Epub 2014 Nov 9.

Department of Gastroenterology, Florence Nightingale Hospital, Bilim University, Sisli, 34321 Istanbul, Turkey.

Introduction. The role of chronic cholestasis (CC) in liver injury and fibrosis remains unclear. The aims of this study were to define the role of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (e-NOS) in CC and the protective effect of N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) in liver and kidney injury. Materials and Methods. Group A (sham group); Group B (CBDL); and Group C (CBDL + NAC). Group C received daily dosage of NAC (100 mg/kg) intraperitoneally for up to 4 weeks. Results. The rate of bridging fibrosis was higher (100% versus 20%, P = .025), but the intensity of e-NOS in liver was lower in rats that received NAC (1.3 versus 2.7, P = .046). The necrotic area in the kidneys among rats that received NAC was lower at week 4 (48% versus 57%; P < .001). The numbers of e-NOS stained cells in kidney were similar in sham group and the two groups with CBDL. Discussion. NAC reduced the stimulus for liver fibrosis in this rat model of CC and attenuated liver and kidney injury. Our study showed that e-NOS expression increased in liver tissue of rats with CC and that this was reversed by NAC. Treatment with NAC might restore e-NOS protein expression and prevent liver injury in CC.
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November 2014