A 73-year-old man with a history of severe aortic regurgitation underwent aortic valve replacement with a bioprosthesis. Nine years later, he presented with heart failure and was diagnosed with chronic type A dissection and severe aortic stenosis. During surgery, a fistula from the ascending aortic aneurysm to the right atrium was found incidentally. Replacement of the aortic valve and ascending aorta were performed successfully. The fistula was closed with sutures. The patient was discharged uneventfully on postoperative day 16.
Although the pulmonary position has been preferred for the placement of homografts or bioprosthetic valves, the limited longevity of these implants makes reoperation almost unavoidable. Good durability of mechanical valves in the pulmonary position has been reported. The mid-term outcomes were analyzed of patients who received an On-X mechanical heart valve for pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) with a relatively low International Normalized Ratio (INR).
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been documented for its beneficial effects protecting oxidative stress to cardiac cells. Previously, we have shown the EGCG-mediated cardiac protection by attenuating reactive oxygen species and cytosolic Ca2+ in cardiac cells during oxidative stress and myocardial ischemia. Here, we aimed to seek a deeper elucidation of the molecular anti-oxidative capabilities of EGCG in an H2O2-induced oxidative stress model of myocardial ischemia injury using H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts.
We aimed to provide systemic, empirical evidence on the coverage expansion of primary health care (PHC) linking to good health in low- and middle-income countries. We conducted a pooled, cross-sectional analysis using the 2011 World Health Statistics for World Health Organization Member States at low- and middle-income levels (n = 102). With life expectancy, infant mortality, and under-5 mortality as health indicators, we examined the effect of service coverage rate using variables under 2 domains: health expenditure and PHC (public health provision, primary care access). Our results indicated that after controlling for gross national income per capita, higher total health expenditure as share of gross domestic product was associated with shorter life expectancy (? = -0.99; P = .014), higher infant mortality (? = 1.65; P = .155), and under-5 mortality (? = 4.82; P = .020). Multivariate analysis showed higher coverage of public health services was significantly associated with improved population health. Making public health and primary care services accessible and be used by everyone is the wise means toward improved health.
Renal transplant is the preferred treatment for patients with uremia. The renal transplant procedure is well established with a high success rate, but surgical complications are encountered occasionally. We report a case of sudden onset of anuria of the graft kidney owing to acute external iliac artery dissection diagnosed by Doppler sonography. Urgent endarterectomy with thrombus removal of false lumen prevented ischemia and occlusion of the right femoral artery. Without accurate diagnosis and management, this complication could have caused graft loss and death. We believe that renal transplant requires attentive teamwork to keep the graft functioning well.
Gastric carcinoma is one of the most common and mortal types of malignancy worldwide. To date, the mechanisms controlling its aggressiveness are not yet fully understood. Notch signal pathway can function as either an oncogene or a tumor suppressor in tumorigenesis. Four members (Notch1-4) of Notch receptors were found in mammals and each exhibits distinct roles in tumor progression. Previous study showed that the activated Notch1 receptor promoted gastric cancer progression through cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). This study addressed whether Notch2 signal pathway is also involved in gastric cancer progression. Constitutive expression of Notch2 intracellular domain (N2IC), the activated form of Notch2 receptor, promoted both cell proliferation and xenografted tumor growth of human stomach adenocarcinoma SC-M1 cells. The colony formation, migration, invasion, and wound-healing abilities of SC-M1 cells were enhanced by N2IC expression, whereas these abilities were suppressed by Notch2 knockdown. Similarly, Notch2 knockdown inhibited cancer progressions of AGS and AZ521 gastric cancer cells. Expression of N2IC also caused epithelial-mesenchymal transition in SC-M1 cells. Furthermore, N2IC bound to COX-2 promoter and induced COX-2 expression through a CBF1-dependent manner in SC-M1 cells. The ability of N2IC to enhance tumor progression in SC-M1 cells was suppressed by knockdown of COX-2 or treatment with NS-398, a COX-2 inhibitor. Moreover, the suppression of tumor progression by Notch2 knockdown in SC-M1 cells was reversed by exogenous COX-2 or its major enzymatic product PGE(2) . Taken together, this study is the first to demonstrate that the Notch2-COX-2 signaling axis plays an important role in controlling gastric cancer progression.
Successful rehabilitation of patients after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should include psychosocial outcomes such as sexual activity. However, little has been reported regarding the sexual quality of life of patients after CABG.
There is evidence for a negative correlation between green tea consumption and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present study was to examine whether green tea extract (GTE) given before regional myocardial ischemia could improve depression of myocardial contractility by preventing cytosolic Ca(2+) overload. Regional ischemia-reperfusion (IR) was induced in rats by ligating the left anterior descending branch for 20 min, then releasing the ligature. Ligation induced ventricular arrhythmias in rats without GTE pretreatment, but decreased arrhythmogenesis was seen in rats pretreated 30 min earlier with GTE (400 mg/kg). During reperfusion, arrhythmias only occurred during the initial 5 min, and GTE pretreatment had no effect. After overnight recovery, serum cTnI levels were greatly increased in control post-IR rats but only slightly elevated in GTE-pretreated post-IR rats. Myocardial contractility measured by echocardiography was still depressed after 3 days in control post-IR rats, but not in GTE-pretreated post-IR rats. No myocardial ischemic injury was seen in post-IR rats with or without GTE pretreatment. Using freshly isolated single heart myocytes, GTE was found to attenuate the post-IR injury-associated cytosolic Ca(2+) overload and modulate changes in the levels and distribution of myofibril, adherens junction, and gap junction proteins. In summary, GTE pretreatment protects cardiomyocytes from IR injury by preventing cytosolic Ca(2+) overload, myofibril disruption, and alterations in adherens and gap junction protein expression and distribution.
Mitochondrial dysfunction and associated apoptosis have been reported in the pathogenesis of neuron degeneration. The effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and arachidonic acid (AA) on the mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial biogenesis, and mitochondrial function of rat C6 glioma cells were determined in this study. Increased cytochrome c release and activated caspase-3 expression were determined in cells treated with >20 microM C(2) ceramide. There were significant repressive effects on ceramide-induced cell death with 25-100 microM EPA and 25 microM AA pretreatment. However, significantly increased membrane potentials were detected in cells pretreated with 25 and 50 microM EPA compared to ceramide-treated cells, but not in AA pretreatment groups. In cells pretreated with EPA, ATP production loss was prevented from ceramide-induced mitochondrial dysfunction. In mitochondrial biogenesis related assay, both EPA and AA enhanced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma-coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha) and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam) transcriptional activities. However, elevated PGC-1alpha transcriptional activities in groups pretreated with 25, 50, and 100 microM EPA and only in the 100 microM AA group were analyzed. The Tfam transcriptional activities were enhanced in groups pretreated with 25 and 50 microM EPA and AA. Increased NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 (ND6) mRNA expression was determined in cells pretreated with 25 and 50 microM EPA and 25 microM AA. Elevated protein levels of Tfam, flavoprotein, and cytochrome oxidase subunit III (COX III) were determined in cells pretreated with 25 and 50 microM EPA. The EPA-provided a more protective effect than AA against ceramide-induced cell death, which might mainly be due to maintaining the membrane potential and sustaining the mitochondrial ATP production function. EPA has more potential to elevate mitochondrial biogenesis through enhanced PGC-1alpha, and Tfam transcriptional activities may provide partial protection against ceramide cytotoxicity.
The c-Myc promoter binding protein 1 (MBP-1) is a transcriptional suppressor of c-myc expression and involved in control of tumorigenesis. Gastric cancer is one of the most frequent neoplasms and lethal malignancies worldwide. So far, the regulatory mechanism of its aggressiveness has not been clearly characterized. Here we studied roles of MBP-1 in gastric cancer progression. We found that cell proliferation was inhibited by MBP-1 overexpression in human stomach adenocarcinoma SC-M1 cells. Colony formation, migration, and invasion abilities of SC-M1 cells were suppressed by MBP-1 overexpression but promoted by MBP-1 knockdown. Furthermore, the xenografted tumor growth of SC-M1 cells was suppressed by MBP-1 overexpression. Metastasis in lungs of mice was inhibited by MBP-1 after tail vein injection with SC-M1 cells. MBP-1 also suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition in SC-M1 cells. Additionally, MBP-1 bound on cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) promoter and downregulated COX-2 expression. The MBP-1-suppressed tumor progression in SC-M1 cells were through inhibition of COX-2 expression. MBP-1 also exerted a suppressive effect on tumor progression of other gastric cancer cells such as AGS and NUGC-3 cells. Taken together, these results suggest that MBP-1-suppressed COX-2 expression plays an important role in the inhibition of growth and progression of gastric cancer.
Linoleic acid (LA) improves insulin resistance and prevents diabetes. To investigate whether linoleic acid could protect against streptozotocin (STZ)-induced cell death, rat RIN-m5F cells were exposed to STZ. SL and SO groups consisted of cells treated with STZ and then LA or oleic acid (OA) respectively. STZ treatment decreased the mitochondrial membrane potential in the STZ, SO, and SL groups. Cells of the SL group had more intact mitochondria. Increased mRNA expression of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA (nDNA), as well as of the mitochondrial biogenesis regulators peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator-1alpha (PGC-1alpha), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (Tfam), were found in the LA group. The insulin content was significantly decreased in all three groups. These results suggest that the effects of LA on cell viability after STZ damage occur through maintenance of mitochondrial structure and increased mitochondrial biogenesis.
The purpose was to compare the findings of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) in prosthetic valve disorders using the operative findings as a gold standard. In a 3-year period, we prospectively enrolled 25 patients with 31 prosthetic heart valves. MDCT and transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) were done to evaluate pannus formation, prosthetic valve dysfunction, suture loosening (paravalvular leak) and pseudoaneurysm formation. Patients indicated for surgery received an operation within 1 week. The MDCT findings were compared with the operative findings. One patient with a Björk-Shiley valve could not be evaluated by MDCT due to a severe beam-hardening artifact; thus, the exclusion rate for MDCT was 3.2% (1/31). Prosthetic valve disorders were suspected in 12 patients by either MDCT or TTE. Six patients received an operation that included three redo aortic valve replacements, two redo mitral replacements and one Amplatzer ductal occluder occlusion of a mitral paravalvular leak. The concordance of MDCT for diagnosing and localizing prosthetic valve disorders and the surgical findings was 100%. Except for images impaired by severe beam-hardening artifacts, MDCT provides excellent delineation of prosthetic valve disorders.
Comb-like PEMLn polymers with pendent PEG-PLLA side chains were synthesized as tissue anti-adhesion barriers. The comb-like structure improved the flexibility of the films. Fluorescent polymer-biocompatible polymer guest-host materials were printed on the films as marking dots. Without sacrificing rats on different days after surgery, degradation behaviors of the marked films can be investigated non-invasively in the in-vivo imaging system (IVIS) by monitoring the location of fluorescent signals. Degradation properties of PEML1/G26L35 films were adjusted by incorporating G26L35 oligomers. PEML1 and PEML1/G26L35 films were very effective in preventing post-surgical tissue-adhesions. Degradation behaviors of various films observed in the animal study were consistent with those investigated by the in-vivo imaging method. Fluorescent polymer/biocompatible polymer blends were promising candidates for in-vivo imaging applications.
There is increasing evidence that green tea polyphenols can protect against myocardial damage. Recently, we showed that they bind to cardiac troponin C and alter myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in cardiac muscle. In the present study, we examined whether green tea extract (GTE) could prevent the progressive remodeling seen in ischemic myocardium and improve cardiac function by modulation of the contractile apparatus utilizing a myocardial infarction (MI) model in the rat involving ligation of the left anterior descending branch. Using this model, severe myocardial injury was found, including altered cardiac performance and the appearance of extensive fibrosis and left ventricular (LV) enlargement. Supplementation with 400 mg/kg/day of GTE for 4, 18, or 46 days had beneficial effects in preventing the hemodynamic changes. Histopathological studies showed that GTE attenuated the progressive remodeling seen after myocardial injury. Echocardiography confirmed that GTE prevented LV enlargement and improved LV performance in post-MI rats. In addition, we showed that GTE supplementation for 18 or 46 days increased the myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity of the ischemic myocardium in post-MI rats. These results validate the novel action of green tea polyphenols in protecting against myocardial damage and enhancing cardiac contractility by modulating myofilament Ca(2+) sensitivity in post-MI rats.
Lung cancer is not only one of the most prevalent cancers but is also a lethal disease with a very low 5-year survival rate. Delay in diagnosis further reduces the chance of early treatment and worsens patients survival. The purpose of this study was to understand the delay in the diagnosis of lung cancer under the healthcare system in Taiwan, and to identify the factors associated with it.
Gastric carcinoma is one of the most common malignancies and a lethal cancer in the world. Notch signaling and transcription factors STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) and Twist regulate tumor development and are critical regulators of gastric cancer progression. Herein, the relationship among Notch, STAT3 and Twist pathways in the control of gastric cancer progression was studied. We found that Twist and phosphorylated STAT3 levels were promoted by the activated Notch1 receptor in human stomach adenocarcinoma SC-M1, embryonic kidney HEK293 and erythroleukemia K562 cells. Notch1 signaling dramatically induced Twist promoter activity through a C promoter binding factor-1-independent manner and STAT3 phosphorylation. Overexpression of Notch1 receptor intracellular domain (N1IC) enhanced the interaction between nuclear STAT3 and Twist promoter in cells. Gastric cancer progression of SC-M1 cells was promoted by N1IC through STAT3 phosphorylation and Twist expression including colony formation, migration and invasion. STAT3 regulated gastric cancer progression of SC-M1 cells via Twist. N1IC also elevated the progression of other gastric cancer cells such as AGS and KATO III cells through STAT3 and Twist. The N1IC-promoted tumor growth and lung metastasis of SC-M1 cells in mice were suppressed by the STAT3 inhibitor JSI-124 and Twist knockdown. Furthermore, Notch1 and Notch ligand Jagged1 expressions were significantly associated with phosphorylated STAT3 and Twist levels in gastric cancer tissues of patients. Taken together, these results suggest that Notch1/STAT3/Twist signaling axis is involved in progression of human gastric cancer and modulation of this cascade has potential for the targeted combination therapy.
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