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   2020| July-December  | Volume 5 | Issue 2  
    Online since January 8, 2021

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Correlation between maternal copper deficiency and premature rupture of membranes: A case–Control study
Hamdi Nawfal, Ahmad Alhamid, Abd Al-Hamid Abd Al-Jawad, Abdurrahman Waez, Razan Hallak, Sherine Hagi Shammou, Somayya Tabsho, Muhammad Mazketly, Muhammad Nour Sa'adi, Amir Alhaj Sakur
July-December 2020, 5(2):32-36
Background: The association between maternal serum copper levels and premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is debated. Aims: This study aims to study the relationship between maternal serum copper levels and the incidence of PROM and to determine risk factors of PROM in Aleppo University Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Settings and Design: Sixty pregnant women were subjected for this study. Materials and Methods: Pregnant women were subjected for analyzing serum copper concentrations. Maternal serum copper levels were measured by atomic absorption spectroscope. Statistical Analysis: By SPSS (version 22.0). Results: A significant correlation was found between maternal serum copper levels and the incidence of PROM. The relationship presents when copper level is considered as a categorical variable, as mothers with copper deficiency were significantly more vulnerable for PROM (Odds ratios = 0.15, confidence intervals: 0.04–0.61, P = 0.002). Furthermore, the relationship presents when copper level is considered as a numerical variable, as mothers with lower serum copper levels were at significantly higher risk to develop PROM. Difference in means between the two groups was 40.87 μg/dL with CI (14.98–66.75) μg/dL (P = 0.003). Conclusion: Within its limitations, this study suggests a significant relationship between maternal serum copper levels and PROM.
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Doxycycline: An antibiotic with brain protective function in vanadium-intoxicated rats
Negia Abdullah Emtawel Mohamed, Ezeddin Salem Gassar, Sara A Abdulla, Mustafa Mohamed Elfakhri, Ayyub Patel, Syed Saleem Haider
July-December 2020, 5(2):37-47
Background: Exposure to vanadium exhibits deleterious neurotoxicity. Doxycycline is a potential antioxidant that prevents the progression of disease through inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Objectives: This research investigates the neuroprotective effects of doxycycline, in different rat brain areas in an animal model intoxicated with vanadium. Materials and Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were equally divided into the following four groups: control group, doxycycline-treated group, vanadium-treated group, and concomitant doses of doxycycline plus vanadium-treated group, all given orally for 10 consecutive days. The animals were watched daily for any signs of neurological defects. They were sacrificed by decapitation 24 h after the last dose. Brain was removed rapidly and dissected into cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brain stem. Biochemical studies including the concentrations of phospholipids, cholesterol, cerebrosides, glutathione (GSH), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, gangliosides, ascorbic acid, calcium, and lipid peroxidation levels were determined. Results: The results revealed that vanadium produced significant reduction in body and absolute brain weight, with neurological function deficits. Vanadium significantly decreased the concentrations of phospholipids, cholesterol, cerebrosides, and GSH and inhibited AChE activity together with significant increase in gangliosides, ascorbic acid, calcium, and lipid peroxidation levels compared to saline controls. Animals which were given the combined treatment of vanadium and doxycycline regained weight and became normal. Moreover, doxycycline reversed the effect of vanadium on the metabolic variables and inhibited lipid peroxidation nearing to normal levels to that of saline controls. Conclusion: These findings demonstrated the antioxidant or chelating action of doxycycline against vanadium neurotoxicity and its therapeutic potential to avert neurodegenerative changes in different rat brain areas.
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Sulforaphane in experimental hypertension
Ali Banigesh, Vijitha Senanayake, Salma Bukhatwa, Bernhard Juurlink
July-December 2020, 5(2):27-31
Background: Hypertension is defined as a failure to achieve a blood pressure (BP) target – smaller than 140/90 mmHg. The worldwide burden of hypertension has been associated with globally increased rates of death and disability. There is increasing evidence of strong relation between hypertension and oxidative stress, where either increased oxidative stress or depressed antioxidant level may lead to hypertension. Using stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) rats, previous studies in our laboratory have shown that broccoli sprouts (high in sulforaphane, a phase-2 protein inducer) attenuate BP and inflammation. Objectives: The question this study addressed was whether sulforaphane (a potent phase-2 protein inducer) can attenuate hypertension in the experimental model using the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRsp). Materials and Methods: Sulforaphane (LKT Laboratories) or vehicle was orally gavaged to SHRsp or Sprague–Dawley rats (SD) daily for 15 weeks. The body weight and BP were determined weekly, using a standard tail-cuff BP measurement. Tissues such as hearts and kidneys were collected, weighed, and stored under −80°C for further analysis. Results: When compared to BP in SHRsp control rats (179.9 ± 4.32), sulforaphane significantly reduced BP to 157 ± 5.21 (10 μmol/kg body weight), 136.57 ± 1.96 (20 μmol/kg body weight), and 129.33 ± 6.10 (5 μmol/kg body weight), respectively, in SHRsp rats. Conclusion: Administration of sulforaphane, a potent phase-2 enzyme inducer, daily for more than 3 months, significantly improves BP in SHRsp rats, but it did not have any effects on normotensive rats – SD.
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Histopathologic changes in aborted placenta
A R. Guheina Ashour, Nabeia Ali Gheryani, Tunis M Meidan
July-December 2020, 5(2):48-52
Introduction: Histopathological examination of the placenta with clinical implications helps to make the diagnosis and deduce the cause of abortion, fetal mortality, morbidity, and pregnancy complications. Aim: This study aims to determine the frequencies and types of abnormalities of the chorionic villi in the aborted placentae.Materials and Methods: All specimens of products of conception submitted to a private histopathology laboratory in Benghazi during the period (from January 01, 2016 to December 31, 2018) were formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, and histopathology reviewed using hematoxylin and eosin stain under light microscopy. The data collected and statistically analyzed using SPSS version 22. Results: The study involved 92 specimens, of which 86 were abnormal and the pathological changes include partial mole (48%), hydropic changes (19%), increased vascularity (chorioangiosis) (13%), fibrosis (10%), numerous Hofbauer macrophages (8%), and abnormal premature calcification (2%). The rest of the specimens (6.5%) were normal placentae. Most of the cases of partial mole (73%) were at the age group of ≥30 years, and cases of abnormal premature calcification were at the age of >40 years. Conclusion: The histopathologic examination is an important tool for diagnosing the placental abnormalities. Most cases of abortion have abnormalities in chorionic villi; the most common abnormality is the partial mole, followed by hydropic change, then increased vascularity (chorioangiosis), fibrosis, and numerous Hofbauer macrophages. Abnormal premature calcification is the least finding. Partial mole occurs at an older age group of ≥30 years.
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Organizing online faculty development programs to strengthen medical education in India: Need of the hour
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava
July-December 2020, 5(2):66-69
There is an immense need to improve the skills of curricula delivery by training medical teachers. There arises the need to periodically train teachers through faculty development programs (FDPs). In fact, FDPs in the field of medical education have been acknowledged as an important component for the acquisition of skills for new faculty, for refinement of skills, and for better delivery of the medical curriculum. The implementation of online FDPs is a better option for improving the skills of medical teachers. These programs expose faculty to the domain of e-learning, which in itself is an important domain in medical education. However, the existing challenges in the smooth conduction of online FDPs cannot be ignored, and we have to support the staff in the smooth organization of these much-needed courses. In conclusion, online FDPs have the potential to enhance the skills and transform the effectiveness of medical teachers in their teaching–learning sessions and in their professional careers. Amidst the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it has become the need of the hour to conduct a series of online FDPs and empower faculty members in the domains of teaching–learning, assessment, research, curriculum planning, and evaluation.
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Computed tomographic pattern of intracerebral calcifications in a radiology center in Benghazi, Libya
Anas Abdelmaola Daghman, Anwaar Mukhtar Bennour
July-December 2020, 5(2):59-64
Background: Intracranial calcification (ICC) is frequently seen in noncontrast computed tomography (NCCT) in both adult and pediatric populations. Aim: We performed this study in order to illustrate and provide data regarding the CT pattern of ICC among adult patients. Setting and Design: This was a retrospective study of patients who underwent nonenhanced CT of the brain in the radiology center in Benghazi, Libya. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent NCCT of the head at a radiology center in Benghazi, Libya, from the period of May to December 2017. NCCT scan head was performed with a standardized protocol, using axial and bone window images as well as Hounsfield unit measurement for final evaluation. CT aspects of ICCs were illustrated. Data were expressed as median and ranges (numerical) or as number and percentage (categorical). Nonparametric Mann–Whitney U-test was used for comparison between unpaired groups. Results: We determined ICC in 159 patients, of which 88 (55%) were male. The median age was 66 (19–95) years. The most common site of ICC is pineal body representing 138 (86.8%), followed by choroid plexus, 136 (85.5%), falx cerebri 31 (19.5%), and basal ganglia 18 (11%). Calcification of the middle cerebral artery was seen in two patients only. Conclusions: We determined the frequency of different intracerebral calcifications in adult patients which provide new data in our setting that can be utilized in clinical use. This finding is similar to that reported in other studies.
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COVID-19 pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa: Addressing possible sociocultural factors that can prolong the pandemic
Olorunfemi Akinbode Ogundele
July-December 2020, 5(2):65-65
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Associations between anisometropia and depth of amblyopia in Benghazi, Libya
Sabah Saad Eldressi, Mariam M B. Gebril
July-December 2020, 5(2):53-58
Background: Amblyopia is a disorder characterized by a decrease in the best-corrected visual acuity in one or both eyes with no clear structural anomalies or ocular pathology. There are three primary types of amblyopia: anisometropic, strabismic, and sensory deprivation amblyopia. Anisometropic amblyopia occurs in children having a difference in refractive error between the two eyes and occurs in the more ametropic eye. Furthermore, there is a strong association of anisometropia with strabismus. Aim: The study aimed to investigate the association between age, sex, laterality, and type of refractive error on the depth of anisometropic amblyopia. Settings and Design: This was a retrospective (observational) study. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 23.0 software. Materials and Methods: One hundred and nine patient's files with anisometropic amblyopia were investigated, who were followed in a pediatric eye clinic in Sohail Elatrash's eye hospital Benghazi, Libya, between January 2008 and December 2018. Results: There is no effect of the type of gender on the depth amblyopia with P = 0.57. Furthermore, there is no difference in the predominance of amblyopia between the right and left eye (P = 0.93). Age is correlated in a positive manner with the depth of amblyopia (P = 0.035). Conclusions: in our study, eye laterality and gender had no effect on the depth of anisometropic amblyopia. The age and the smallest amount of astigmatism difference between both eyes had a direct proportion on the depth of anisometropic amblyopia.
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