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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-I) status was assessed in 994 patients attending a sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic in Kingston, Jamaica, between November 1990 and January 1991 for a new STD complaint. Of 515 heterosexual men, 36 (7.0%) were HTLV-I seropositive, as were 38 (7.9%) of 479 women. HTLV-I seroprevalence increased with age in women. A history of blood transfusion was associated with HTLV-I in both sexes, significantly so in men [odds ratio (OR) 4.7, confidence interval (CI) 1.1-17 for men; OR 1.9, CI 0.6-5.0 for women]. Further analysis excluded all persons reporting a transfusion. On multiple logistic regression analysis, independent associations with HTLV-I infection in men were shown for marital status (OR 3.5, CI 1.2-10 for married/common law vs. single/visiting unions), agricultural occupation (OR 9.0, CI 2.0-41), bruising during sex (OR 2.9, CI 1.0-8.1), > or = 15 years at first sexual intercourse (OR 2.9, CI 1.0-8.2), and a positive test for hepatitis B surface antigen (OR 7.3, CI 1.2-52). In women, associations were shown for two or more sex partners in the 4 weeks prior to complaint (OR 4.9, CI 1.8-13), 11 or more lifetime sexual partners (OR 5.9, CI 1.3-27), aged < 15 years at first sexual intercourse (OR 2.3, 1.0-5.4), bruising during sex (OR 2.7, CI 1.1-6.6), microhaemagglutination-Treponema pallidum positivity (OR 3.6, CI 1.6-8.4), and human immunodeficiency virus infection (OR 14, CI 2.1-92).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
A whole blood hemostasis system (Hepcon) provides both activated clotting time and accurate whole blood heparin concentration measurements via an automated protamine titration method. This study was designed to prospectively evaluate the impact of heparin and protamine administration using this system on the incidence and treatment of bleeding after cardiopulmonary bypass. Two hundred fifty-four patients requiring cardiopulmonary bypass were enrolled in this prospective study over a 7-month period. Patients treated with antifibrinolytic agents (aprotinin, epsilon-aminocaproic or tranexamic acid) were excluded. Patients were randomly assigned to either a control (n = 127) or intervention (n = 127) group. For control patients, the anticoagulation protocol consisted of an initial fixed dose of 250 U/kg of heparin, and additional 5000 U heparin doses were administered if the activated clotting time was less than 480 seconds. Heparin was neutralized with an initial fixed dose of protamine (0.8 mg protamine per milligram total heparin). For the intervention group, an initial dose of heparin was based on an automated heparin dose-response assay. Additional heparin doses were administered if the heparin concentration was less than the reference concentration or for an activated clotting time less than 480 seconds. The protamine dose was based on the residual heparin concentration. Treatment of excessive bleeding after cardiopulmonary bypass was based on an algorithm using point-of-care testing with whole blood prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, heparinase activated clotting time, and platelet count. No differences between the two treatment groups were identified in reference to demographic factors, preoperative anticoagulant medications, preoperative coagulation data, number of reoperations, or combined procedures and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass. Indirect evidence for coagulation factor consumption was demonstrated in control patients by more prolonged whole blood prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time values after cardiopulmonary bypass when compared with values obtained in the intervention group. Patients in the intervention cohort received greater doses of heparin (intervention: 612 +/- 147, control: 462 +/- 114 U/kg, p < 0.0001) and had lower protamine to heparin ratios (intervention: 0.70 +/- 0.64, control: 0.94 +/- 0.21, p = 0.0001) compared with control patients. Patients in the intervention cohort received significantly fewer platelet (intervention: 1.7 +/- 3.6 U, control: 3.7 +/- 6.7 U, p = 0.003), plasma (intervention: 0.4 +/- 1.3 U, control: 1.4 +/- 2.5 U, p = 0.0001), and cryoprecipitate units (intervention: 0.0 +/- 0.0 U, control: 0.2 +/- 1.2 U, p = 0.04) during the perioperative interval than control patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
It has been proposed that a defect in tocopherol transport may lead to a chronic vitamin deficiency in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). To test this hypothesis, a pilot clinical trial which involved the infusion of tocopherol-laden plasma was carried out. An increased uptake of tocopherol into erythrocyte membranes during infusions failed to produce a significant reduction in plasma enzyme levels or to arrest the dystrophic process in the two children examined. Further studies to investigate treatments with increased amounts of tocopherol, in conjunction with other antioxidants, may prove a more fruitful avenue of research.
Administration of interleukin-2 (IL-2) in vitro or in vivo can activate a variety of immune effector functions involving T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. These immune cells and their secreted cytokines can potentially play a central role in the host antitumor response. With the isolation and cloning of the IL-2 gene, purified recombinant IL-2 has become available to test for clinical, immunologic, and antitumor effects. Early clinical studies suggest that the IL-2 doses required to induce antitumor effects are accompanied by severe life-threatening toxicity. Therefore, sustained treatment with lower doses of IL-2 has been developed that has a milder, acceptable toxicity. Most importantly, a small percentage of cancer patients experience significant shrinkage of their tumor with this IL-2 regimen alone. Further modification of this regimen is necessary. Preclinical studies indicate that combinations of IL-2 with other modalities may increase the therapeutic potential of the in vivo lymphokine-activated killer activity; combination therapy with other cytokines and monoclonal antibodies show significant promise. Furthermore, new technologic advances with the ability to produce human chimeric antibodies and bispecific hybrid antibodies has the potential to make combined IL-2 and antibody therapy more successful. IL-2 has been associated with overly optimistic expectations and overly negative reactions from physicians and the public. However, the immune activation induced by IL-2, the small number of clinical responses, and the preclinical data suggesting synergism with other approaches indicate that further development may make IL-2 part of a regimen that will enable better cancer treatment.
Twenty patients with refractory malignancies were treated with a protocol evaluating the addition of ex vivo-activated autologous lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells to a clinically tolerable interleukin-2 (IL-2) regimen (four weekly cycles of human recombinant IL-2 at 3 x 10(6) U/m2/day by continuous infusion for 4 days/week). Sixteen patients completed their induction month of therapy, two had a partial response, six had stable disease, and eight had progressive disease. Four patients had clinical toxicity preventing completion of the induction month of therapy, and one of these patients died during therapy. Significant clinical toxicities included decreased performance status, weight gain, catheter-related thromboses, infectious complications, fever, hypotension, and dyspnea or hypoxemia requiring oxygen. Thus, the addition of LAK cell infusions to this IL-2 regimen did not cause a noticeable change in antitumor response rate but did not cause more severe toxicity.
To test the hypothesis that low-dose recombinant human erythropoietin (r-HuEpo) would be effective and safe therapy for the anemia of end-stage renal failure, we studied 37 chronic hemodialysis patients for 3 months before and 6 months after beginning treatment with r-HuEpo, 3,000 U, administered initially intravenously (IV) three times weekly. Hematocrit increased from a mean of 25.2 vol% into the target range (mean, 32.2 vol%, a 28% increase) by 4 months. Transfusion requirements were dramatically reduced. Eight patients (22%) had exacerbated or new development of hypertension, while in trials using higher doses this occurred in 35%. Vascular access thrombosis, dialyzer clotting, and seizures were not seen more frequently during r-HuEpo therapy. Dialyzer reuse was not affected. Low-dose r-HuEpo therapy is effective in most hemodialysis patients and may be associated with less adverse effects because of the slower increase in blood viscosity. As targets are reached, downward dosage adjustments need to be smaller when using an initial low-dose regimen.
After mid-1987 fewer than the expected number of cases of AIDS were reported in the United States in some demographic and transmission groups but not in others. Gay men (regardless of intravenous drug use), adults with hemophilia, and transfusion recipients exhibited fewer cases than expected based on previously reliable models. These favorable trends could not be explained by assuming earlier cessation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Favorable AIDS incidence trends were not found in heterosexual intravenous drug users or in persons infected through heterosexual contact. White gay men from New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco experienced markedly favorable trends, whereas little changes was observed for nonwhite gay men from nonurban areas. AIDS incidence trends were quantitatively consistent with the fraction of AIDS-free persons with severe immunodeficiency who received zidovudine in three cohorts. Gay men in San Francisco used zidovudine more frequently than did adults with hemophilia, while little was used by intravenous drug users in New York City. Data describing the initial national distribution of zidovudine (March 31-September 18, 1987) indicated relatively high use by patients with severe immunodeficiency in those groups, such as urban white gay men, that subsequently experienced fewer cases of AIDS than expected. Available data suggest that zidovudine, perhaps in combination with other therapies, has been one factor contributing to favorable AIDS incidence trends in some groups. Broader application of therapy might further retard the incidence of AIDS, especially in intravenous drug users, persons infected through heterosexual contact, minorities, women, and persons diagnosed outside major metropolitan areas.