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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1440
    Keywords: ACTH ; Calcitonin ; ADH ; Tumor marker ; Bronchogenic carcinoma
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary We measured basal and dexamethasone-suppressed plasma ACTH in 246 patients with bronchogenic carcinoma (105 with small-cell carcinoma); in 138 of these patients (67 with small-cell carcinoma) basal and pentagastrin-stimulated serum calcitonin was also determined. In addition, in a subgroup of 120 patients (58 with small-cell carcinoma) plasma ADH with reference to plasma osmolality was also assayed. Non-suppressible plasma ACTH was found in 45% of patients with small-cell carcinoma but only in isolated cases of large-cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and squamous-cell carcinoma. Serum calcitonin was increased in 28% of patients with small-cell carcinoma but only in few patients with other tumor types. Stimulation of calcitonin by pentagastrin was ineffective. Plasma ADH was inappropriately high in 47% of patients with small-cell carcinoma. Strikingly high also was the incidence of increased ADH concentrations in patients with large-cell (40%), adenocarcinoma (46%) and squamous-cell carcinoma (29%). By measuring plasma ACTH after dexamethasone suppression and ADH with reference to osmolality, the sensitivity of these tumor markers in detecting pathological hormone secretion is markedly increased. In small-cell carcinoma the simultaneous measurement of ACTH, ADH, and calcitonin gives a high yield of positive results (74%), indicating that this set of tumor markers is a promising aid in diagnosis and therapy control.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1432-1440
    Keywords: Naloxone ; Circulatory shock ; Adrenocorticotrophic hormone ; β-endorphin
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The effect of naloxone (4.4–5.9 mg i.v.) was evaluated in 10 patients with circulatory shock (sepsis,n=7; intoxication,n=1; cardiogenic shock,n=2) not responding to full conventional therapy. In addition, we measured plasma ACTH and immunoreactive β-endorphin before and 60 min after administration of naloxone and compared the results with hormone concentrations in 10 intensive care patients without shock. Only in two patient with septic shock a transient increase (duration 15 min and 60 min, respectively) of systolic blood pressure was observed, while naloxone was ineffective in the remaining eight patients. No adverse effects of naloxone were found. Plasma ACTH and immunoreactive β-endorphin concentrations in patients with shock were not different from those in controls (ACTH, 79±28 vs 120±60 pg/ml; immunoreactive β-endorphin, 952±262 vs 1,070±378 pg/ml). Our findings suggest that naloxone in a single dose of 4.4–5.9 mg i.v. does not improve the management of circulatory shock unresponsive to conventional treatment. β-endorphin seems to play no major role in the hypotension of shock.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1440
    Keywords: Posttransfusion purpura ; Thrombocytopenia ; Blood transfusion ; Platelet antibodies ; HLA antigens
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary Thirteen cases of posttransfusion purpura (PTP) which were diagnosed in Germany and Austria from 1977–1985 are described. All patients were women with a mean age of 58.6 years (range, 36–77 years). All but one had been pregnant and received blood transfusions 2 to 12 days prior to the onset of PTP. The thrombocytopenic purpura was always severe with a nadir of platelet counts below 10×109/l and lasted between 3 and 60 days. All patients recovered from PTP. Optimal therapy consisted of administration of high-dose IgG. Twelve of the 13 patients had developed platelet-specific Zwa antibodies (eight of them together with HLA antibodies), in one Zwa positive individual only HLA antibodies were detectable. Five of six HLA-DR typed patients carried DR3 which is considered an immunogenetic risk factor in PTP. Clinical awareness of this rare, but serious iatrogenic transfusion complication is prerequisite for prompt diagnosis and improved therapy.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1440
    Keywords: ACTH ; Cushing's syndrome ; proopiomelanocortin ; Nelson's syndrome ; Addison's disease
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary We investigated the molecular size of circulating immunoreactive ACTH by gel chromatography in patients with ACTH hypersecretion due to various disorders of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. 4 patients with Addison's disease, 2 with Nelson's syndrome, 4 with Cushing's disease, 6 with the ectopic ACTH syndrome (2 bronchial carcinoma, 1 medullary carcinoma, 1 metastatic islett cell carcinoma, 1 benign bronchial carcinoid and 1 patient with occult ectopic Cushing's syndrome) and 1 patient with hypersecretion of ACTH from a clinically nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma were studied. Analysis of the molecular size of immunoreactive ACTH was performed by gel chromatography on a Sephadex G-75 column (superfine, 100×1.5 cm) equilibrated with 1% formic acid. 2 ml fractions were collected and evaporated to dryness. The ACTH content of the recovered samples was determined by RIA. In Addison's disease, Nelson's syndrome and Cushing's disease the plasma showed a single peak of ACTH immunoreactivity at the expected position of 1–39 ACTH. In the ectopic ACTH syndrome the plasma of 4 patients revealed at chromatography at least one other peak eluting between the void volume and 1–39 ACTH suggestive of a high molecular weight form of ACTH whereas plasma of 2 patients showed only a single ACTH peak at the position of labeled 1–39 ACTH. The patient with a clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma revealed a gel filtration pattern similar to the patients with ectopic ACTH syndrom and secretion of high molecular weight ACTH. We conclude that secretion of high molecular weight forms of ACTH is not a unique feature of the ectopic ACTH syndrome. It may therefore not serve as a marker of the ectopic Cushing's syndrome in the differential diagnosis of the ACTH dependent Cushing's syndrome. Vice versa, lack of high molecular weight ACTH does not exclude an ectopic source of ACTH secretion as cause of Cushing's syndrome.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1432-1440
    Keywords: Autoimmune diseases ; Diabetes mellitus type I ; Autoimmune thyroiditis ; HLA-D antigens ; Immune response
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Summary The inappropriate expression of HLA Class II molecules by the target cells of endocrine autoimmune diseases is a recent observation that has been intensively studied in thyroid autoimmunity and type I diabetes mellitus. In vitro studies have shown that interferon-γ can induce Class II expression, either alone, as in thyrocytes, or in combination with other mediators like tumour necrosis factor or lymphotoxin, as in islet cells, pointing to possible mechanisms operating in vivo. Endocrine cells expressing Class II molecules are able to present their autoantigens to helper T cells, thus possibly inducing the autoimmune process. However, until now it is still unclear if the expression of Class II molecules by the target cells is the primary immune phenomenon, which might possibly be triggered by a latent viral infection of the endocrine cell. Alternatively, it might be a secondary response in an ongoing autoimmune process. Particularly data obtained in the diabetic pancreas favour the first possibility, but only progress in our understanding of the role of HLA antigens in immunoregulation will make it possible to interpret the phenomenon properly.
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