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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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December 2018
Raviv Allon BsC, Yahav Levy MD, Idit Lavi MA, Aviv Kramer MD, Menashe Barzilai MD and Ronit Wollstein MD

Because fragility fractures have an enormous impact on the practice of medicine and global health systems, effective screening is imperative. Currently, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which has limited ability to predict fractures, is being used. We evaluated the current literature for a method that may constitute a better screening method to predict fragility fractures. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound to evaluate screening methods to predict fragility fractures. We found that ultrasound had sufficient data on fracture prediction to perform meta-analysis; therefore, we analyzed prospective ultrasound cohort studies. Six study populations, consisting of 29,299 individuals (87,296 person-years of observation) and including 992 fractures, were analyzed. MRI was found to be sensitive and specific for osteoporosis, but its use for screening has not been sufficiently evaluated and more research is needed on cost, accessibility, technical challenges, and sensitivity and specificity. CT could predict fracture occurrence; however, it may be problematic for screening due to cost, exposure to radiation, and availability. Ultrasound was found to predict fracture occurrence with an increased risk of 1.45 (95% confidence interval 1.21–1.73) to fracture. Ultrasound has not replaced DXA as a screening tool for osteoporosis, perhaps due to operator-dependency and difficulty in standardization of testing.

April 2007
S. Alroy, M. Preis, M. Barzilai, A. Cassel, L. Lavie, D. A. Halon, O. Amir, B. S. Lewis and M. Y. Flugelman

Background: The etiology of chest pain with normal epicardial coronary arteries (cardiac syndrome X) seems to be related to endothelial cell dysfunction. Multiple factors are implicated in the pathophysiology, including evelated levels of homocysteine in the blood. Mutations in the MTHFR gene are associated with evelated levels of homocysteine.

Objectives: To test whether abnormal homocysteine metabolism is associated with syndrome X.

Methods: Forty-two women with chest pain, positive stress test and normal coronary arteries (syndrome X) and 100 asymptomatic women (controls) were studied for the C677T mutation. Vitamin B12, folic acid, and plasma levels of homocysteine were also measured. Endothelial cell function was studied in 10 patients with syndrome X and homozygosity for C677T mutation, and in 10 matched healthy controls. Folic acid (5 mg daily) was prescribed to syndrome X patients after initial measurements of ECF[1]. Following 13 weeks of treatment, ECF and blood tests were repeated and compared to baseline measurements.

Results: Homozygosity for C677T mutation was doubled in syndrome X vs. control (33%, 14/42 vs. 16%, 16/100, P < 0.02), and homocysteine levels were increased (9.16 ± 2.4 vs. 8.06 ± 2.6 μmol/L, P = 0.02). In the 10 homozygous patients, homocysteine levels decreased significantly after treatment with 5 mg/day folic acid (10 ± 3.3 vs. 5.4 ± 1.1 µmol/L, P = 0.004). Abnormal baseline ECF improved after treatment with folic acid: flow-mediated dilatation was greater (11.3 ± 7.9% vs. 0.7 ± 4.5%, P < 0.002), as was nitroglycerin-mediated dilatation (15.2 ± 9.0% vs. 5.6 ± 6.4%, P < 0.003). Frequency of chest pain episodes was significantly reduced after 13 weeks of folic acid treatment.

Conclusion: Our findings establish the association between the C677T mutation, endothelial cell dysfunction and cardiac syndrome X, and provide a novel and simple therapy for a subset of patients with syndrome X and homozygosity for the C677T mutation.

[1] ECF = endothelial cell function

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