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  • Laine, Mikael (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Sjögren s syndrome (SS) is a common autoimmune disease affecting the lacrimal and salivary glands. SS is characterized by a considerable female predominance and a late age of onset, commonly at the time of adreno- and menopause. The levels of the androgen prohormone dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEA-S) in the serum are lower in patients with SS than in age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. The eventual systemic effects of low androgen levels in SS are not currently well understood. Basement membranes (BM) are specialized layers of extracellular matrix and are composed of laminin (LM) and type IV collagen matrix networks. BMs deliver messages to epithelial cells via cellular LM-receptors including integrins (Int) and Lutheran blood group antigen (Lu). The composition of BMs and distribution of LM-receptors in labial salivary glands (LSGs) of normal healthy controls and patients with SS was assessed. LMs have complex and highly regulated distribution in LSGs. LMs seem to have specific tasks in the dynamic regulation of acinar cell function. LM-111 is important for the normal acinar cell differentiation and its expression is diminished in SS. Also LM-211 and -411 seem to have some acinar specific functional tasks in LSGs. LM-311, -332 and -511 seem to have more general structure maintaining and supporting roles in LSGs and are relatively intact also in SS. Ints α3β1, α6β1, α6β4 and Lu seem to supply structural basis for the firm attachment of epithelial cells to the BM in LSGs. The expression of Ints α1β1 and α2β1 differed clearly from other LM-receptors in that they were found almost exclusively around the acini and intercalated duct cells in salivons suggesting some type of acinar cell compartment-specific or dominant function. Expression of these integrins was lower in SS compared to healthy controls suggesting that the LM-111 and -211-to-Int α1β1 and α2β1 interactions are defective in SS and are crucial to the maintenance of the acini in LSGs. DHEA/DHEA-S concentration in serum and locally in saliva of patients with SS seems to have effects on the salivary glands. These effects were first detected using the androgen-dependent CRISP-3 protein, the production and secretion of which were clearly diminished in SS. This might be due to the impaired function of the intracrine DHEA prohormone metabolizing machinery, which fails to successfully convert DHEA into its active metabolites in LSGs. The progenitor epithelial cells from the intercalated ductal area of LSGs migrate to the acinar compartment and then undergo a phenotype change into secretory acinar cells. This migration and phenotype change seem to be regulated by the LM-111-to-Int α1β1/Int α2β1 interactions. Lack of these interactions could be one factor limiting the normal remodelling process. Androgens are effective stimulators of Int α1β1 and α2β1 expression in physiologic concentrations. Addition of DHEA to the culture medium had effective stimulating effect on the Int α1β1 and α2β1 expression and its effect may be deficient in the LSGs of patients with SS.
  • Savinko, Terhi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common pruritic skin disease with prevalence rates up to 20 % in children and 3 % in adults. Skin barrier defects combined with modified immune responses of the innate and adaptive immune system activate complex pathophysiological pathways that are involved in the development of this disease. AD is characterized by acute flare-ups as well as chronic eczematous pruritic skin lesions and dry skin. It is crucial to clarify the mechanisms underlying AD in order to devise mechanism-based therapeutic approaches. However, the immunological mechanisms participating in AD are far from being completely understood. This thesis investigates mechanisms believed to be involved in atopic skin inflammation by utilizing an AD-like experimental animal model as well as human patients. The AD-like mouse model was also used to examine the model's suitability for evaluating topical medications for treating AD. In addition, this thesis investigates some of the mechanisms in the so-called atopic march. Results highlight new molecular mechanisms involved in AD and the atopic march. Microbial superantigen, derived from Staphylococcus aureus exacerbates the allergen-induced skin inflammation mostly by a mixed Th1/Th2 type inflammation in the presence of both CD8+ and CD4+ T cells and elevated IgE concentrations. This kind of severe inflammation, induced by allergen and superantigen in the murine skin, was declined with topical corticosteroid and calcineurin inhibitor. According to these results, this AD model is both reproducible and suitable for testing novel treatment options in AD. Finally, a recently characterized Th2-promoting cytokine, IL-33, and its receptor, ST2, were investigated in murine models of AD and allergic asthma as well as in human AD and in different cell models. The results obtained from ST2-/- mice suggest that the IL-33/ST2 pathway can regulate innate immune responses and CD8+ T cell mediated responses in the skin and in lung tissue. However, ST2 appeared to be dispensable for the development of Th2 response in the sensitized skin, whereas it was the main inducer of Th2 cytokines in asthmatic airways. Together, these results obtained from the murine model of AD and from the skin of patients with AD reveal new molecular mechanisms involved in AD.
  • Kajander, Kajsa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Gastrointestinal symptoms and impaired quality of life caused by irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affect up to 20% of the adult population worldwide. The exact aetiology and pathophysiology of IBS are incompletely understood. Clinical studies suggest that supplementation with certain probiotics may be beneficial in IBS, but there is not enough evidence to make general recommendations. The aim of this thesis was to investigate microbiota- and mucosa-associated pathophysiological factors of IBS, and to evaluate the long-term effects of multispecies probiotic supplementation on symptoms, quality of life, intestinal microbiota and systemic inflammatory markers in IBS. The intestinal microbiota composition in IBS patients and healthy control subjects was analysed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Significantly lower counts for the Clostridium coccoides and the Bifidobacterium catenulatum groups were found in IBS compared to controls. Quantitative differences also appeared in subgroup analysis based on the predominant bowel habit: diarrhoea patients harboured significantly lower numbers of Lactobacillus spp. than the constipation-predominant patients, while higher counts for Veillonella spp. were detected in constipation-predominant patients compared to healthy controls. Analysis of mucosal biopsies by a metabolomic approach revealed multiple differences between patients and controls. The most prominent finding was an upregulation of specific lipid species, principally lysophosphatidylcholines and ceramides, in IBS. The effects of multispecies probiotic supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Lc705, Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii JS, and Bifidobacterium breve Bb99 or Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb12 was evaluated in two, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Compared to placebo, the probiotic supplementation significantly reduced the total symptoms of IBS. No effects on bowel habit were seen. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is reduced in patients with IBS in comparison with the Finnish population on the whole. The probiotic supplementation improved one IBS-specific domain of quality of life (bowel symptoms), whereas no other effects on HRQOL were seen. The probiotics had no major effects on the predominant microbiota as measured by qPCR, but a microarray-based analysis suggested that the probiotic consumption stabilised the microbiota. No effects on serum sensitive-CRP or cytokines were detected. In conclusion, alterations in the microbiota composition and in the mucosal metabolite profile are potential pathophysiological factors of IBS. Multispecies probiotic supplementation alleviates the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS, and improves the bowel symptoms domain of HRQOL. Probiotic supplementation in IBS is associated with a stabilisation of microbiota, but it does not influence systemic inflammatory markers.
  • Kuusniemi, Arvi-Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type (NPHS1) is an autosomal recessive disease which is highly enriched in the Finnish population. It is caused by mutations in the NPHS1 gene encoding for nephrin, which is a major component of the glomerular filtration barrier in the kidney. Patients with NPHS1 have heavy proteinuria and nephrotic syndrome (NS) from birth and develop renal fibrosis in early childhood. Renal transplantation (TX) is the only curative treatment for NPHS1. These patients form the largest group of pediatric kidney transplant children in our country. The NPHS1 kidneys are removed in infancy and they serve as an excellent human material for studies of the pathophysiology of proteinuric kidney diseases. Sustained proteinuria is a major factor leading to end-stage renal failure and understanding this process is crucial for nephrology. In this study we investigated the glomerular and tubulointerstitial changes that occur in the NPHS1 kidneys during infancy as well as the expression of nephrin in non-renal tissues. We also studied the pathology and management of recurrent proteinuria in kidney grafts transplanted to NPHS1 children. Severe renal lesions evolved in patients with NPHS1 during the first months of life. Glomerular sclerosis developed through progressive mesangial sclerosis, and capillary obliteration was an early consequence of this process. Shrinkage of the glomerular tuft was common, whereas occlusion of tubular opening or protrusion of the glomerular tuft into subepithelial space or through the Bowman's capsule were not detected. Few inflammatory cells were detected in the mesangial area. The glomerular epithelial cells (podocytes) showed severe ultrastructural changes and hypertrophy. Podocyte proliferation and apoptosis were rare, but moderate amounts of podocytes were detached and ended up in the urine. The results showed that endocapillary lesions not extracapillary lesions, as generally believed were important for the sclerotic process in the NPHS1 glomeruli. In the tubulointerstitium, severe lesions developed in NPHS1 kidneys during infancy. Despite heavy proteinuria, tubular epithelial cells (TECs) did not show transition into myofibroblasts. The most abundant chemokines in NPHS1 tissue were neutrophil activating protein-2 (NAP-2), macrophage inhibiting factor (MIF), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Interstitial inflammation and fibrosis were first detected in the paraglomerular areas and the most abundant inflammatory cells were monocytes/macrophages. Arteries and arterioles showed intimal hypertrophy, but the pericapillary microvasculature remained quite normal. However, excessive oxidative stress was evident in NPHS1 kidneys. The results indicated that TECs were relatively resistant to the heavy tubular protein load. Nephrin was at first thought to be podocyte specific, but some studies especially in experimental animals have suggested that nephrin might also be expressed in non-renal tissues such as pancreas and central nervous system. The knowledge of nephrin biology is important for the evaluation of nephrin related diseases. In our study, no significant amounts of nephrin protein or mRNA were detected in non-renal tissues of man and pig as studied by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. The phenotype analysis of NPHS1 children, who totally lack nephrin, revealed no marked impairment in the neurological, testicular, or pancreatic function speaking against the idea that nephrin would play an important functional role outside the kidney. The NPHS1 kidneys do not express nephrin and antibodies against this major glomerular filter protein have been observed in NPHS1 children after renal TX most likely as an immune reaction against a novel antigen. These antibodies have been associated with the development of recurrent NS in the kidney graft of NPHS1 patients. In our study, a third of the NPHS1 patients homozygous for Fin-Major mutation developed recurrent NS in the transplanted graft. Re-transplantations were performed to patients who lost their graft due to recurrent NS and heavy proteinuria immediately developed in all cases. While 73% of the patients had detectable serum anti-nephrin antibodies, the kidney biopsy findings were minimal. Introduction of plasma exchange (PE) to the treatment of recurrent nephroses increased the remission rate from 54% to 89%. If remission was achieved, recurrent NS did not significantly deteriorate the long term graft function. In conclusion, the results show that the lack of nephrin in podocyte slit diaphragm in NPHS1 kidneys induces progressive mesangial expansion and glomerular capillary obliteration and inflicts interstitial fibrosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress with surprisingly little involvement of the TECs in this process. Nephrin appears to have no clinical significance outside the kidney. Development of antibodies against nephrin seems to be a major cause of recurrent NS in kidney grafts of NPHS1 patients and combined use of PE and cyclophosphamide markedly improved remission rates.
  • Mazanikov, Maxim (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is the radiographic examination of the biliary and/or pancreatic ductus via endoscopically cannulated duodenal papilla.The method of choice for sedation of patients during ERCP is still to be defined.Self administration of propofol by the patients (patient-controlled sedation, PCS)might be one of the possibilities of this kind. Dexmedetomidine has not been previously evaluated for sedation of alcoholics during ERCP. Four prospective randomized control trials consisting of 293 ERCP patients were performed. PCS was compared with anesthesiologist administered sedation (AAS) using manually adjusted propofol infusion (I) and target-controlled infusion (TCI) (III). Remifentanil and alfentanil were compared in sedative mixture for PCS (II) and dexmedetomidine was evaluated for sedation of patients with chronic alcohol-ism (IV). Self-administration device was adjusted to deliver 1ml single bolus-dose of propofol or propo-fol-opioid mixture. Loading dose of 1 mcg kg-1 of dexmedetomidine was infused in 10 minutes before ERCP start thereafter maintenance infusion at the constant rate of 0.7 mcg kg-1 h-1 was continued un-til the end of procedure (IV). In control groups sedation was administered by anesthesiologist. Hy-poxemia, respiratory depression, hypotension, arrhythmia, and pulmonary aspiration were considered as sedation related adverse events (SRAE). Consumption of propofol was the main objective. Secondary objectives were success rate of PCS, SRAE, patient satisfaction with sedation, easiness of ERCP per-formance, and rapidity of the recovery. With the use of PCS propofol consumption was significantly lesser than with AAS. The success rate of PCS was 88 -100 %. Patients received PCS recovered faster than received AAS. Combined with propo-fol, remifentanil depressed spontaneous respiration and produced nausea more frequently than alfen-tanil. Increase of alfentanil concentration in sedative mixture from 0.04 mg ml-1 to 0.08 mg ml-1 did not provide any demonstrable benefit. The studied regimen of dexmedetomidine administration showed poor suitability for sedation of alcoholics during ERCP. Instead, PCS might be successful in such pa-tients. In conclusion, PCS with combination of propofol and alfentanil is recommended as a primary method of sedation during ERCP.
  • Uutela, Marko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2004)
  • Koroknay-Pál, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Objectives. Intracranial aneurysms in children are rare and population-based long-term follow-up studies are limited. In this study, a large clinical and angiographic long-term follow-up was carried out. The special characteristics of the patients and their aneurysms were assessed together with factors affecting early and long-term morbidity and mortality. Materials and Methods. All pediatric (≤18 years) aneurysm patients treated at the Department of Neurosurgery in Helsinki during 1937-2009 were followed from diagnosis until death or the end of the year 2011. Later patient data were gathered from the referring hospitals, and a new follow-up was organized. The long-term excess mortality was calculated by using relative survival ratio. Results. Patients comprised 114 individuals with 130 aneurysms. Most aneurysms were ruptured and of medium size. Internal carotid artery bifurcation was the most common location, and boys were predominantly affected. The majority of the aneurysms were treated surgically. After a mean follow-up time of 25 years, 62% of the patients had a good outcome, 3% were dependent and 35% had died. Of the survivors, 91% lived independently at home and were meaningfully employed. Twenty-eight percent of the survivors were high school graduates. Factors correlating with a favorable long-term outcome were aneurysm location in the anterior circulation, operative treatment, and complete aneurysm closure postoperatively. Fourteen patients (12%) had a family history of aneurysms. Fifty-nine patients had long-term angiographic follow-up data (median follow-up 34 yrs). Of these patients, 41% were diagnosed with a total of 36 new aneurysms. Seven new subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAH) occurred. The annual rate of development of new aneurysm was 1.9% and that of hemorrhage 0.4%. Current or previous smoking (odds ratio 3.39, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-11.29, p=0.047) was the only significant risk factor for new aneurysm formation. No independent risk factors for new SAH emerged. Cumulative risk of new SAH 40 years after the initial diagnosis was 15% (95% CI 5-25%). There was an overall excess mortality of 10% and 19% at 20 and 40 years after the diagnosis among the one-year survivors, respectively. The excess mortality was particularly high in male patients, and was mainly aneurysm-related. Conclusions. Most patients had a good recovery, but almost half of them developed new aneurysms during a follow-up of 34 years, with smoking being a major risk factor. A long-term excess mortality exists in pediatric aneurysm patients, especially males, even decades after successful treatment of a ruptured aneurysm. The excess mortality is mainly aneurysm-related. A life-long angiographic follow-up is mandatory in these patients.
  • Sipilä, Raija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    Clinical practices are not sufficiently in line with current evidence compiled in evidence based guidelines. Changing practice behaviour is challenging. Therefore active, tailored and often local interventions are needed to lead these changes. ---- The aims of the present study were to describe a local, practical and comprehensive multifaceted guideline implementation intervention, assess the feasibility of the intervention and its effects on care processes. The second aim was to approximate the time resources needed for preventive activities. The third aim was at patient level to evaluate long-term effects of an individualised lifestyle intervention on cardiovascular risk factor levels. ---- The key components of the two-year intervention were internal pair facilitation, education and consensus meetings, local guideline development, audit and feedback, and marketing. The feasibility of the intervention, and structure and process changes were measured with questionnaires and clinical audit recordings during appointments (BP measurements, diabetes and dyslipidaemia patients). National Prescription register data was used to evaluate changes in antihypertensive drug prescribing and chart audits to assess long-term clinical outcomes. ---- For different patient groups changes in the division of tasks had been made at 22 29 of 31 practices, different local guidelines were adopted at 22 31 practices and self-measurement sites were set up for all practices. BP measurements were reduced and targeted at those with poor treatment balance. Using modelling the time allocations by nurses for BP measurements and lifestyle counselling were reduced from 11.9% to 6.3% of their total working time. No statistical changes between intervention and control GPs were detected in time in antihypertensive prescribing. The main advantages of the intervention were mutual clinical practices and clarified professional roles. The main barrier to change was time constrains. ---- In conclusion, internal facilitation is a feasible way of promoting changes in care processes in primary care. However, support and leadership are needed to adopt systematic and sustained quality improvement (QI). Multiprofessionality is important in QI initiatives in primary care, but some practices, such as prescribing, need more individualised interventions.
  • Meretoja, Atte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Stroke is a major cause of death and disability, incurs significant costs to healthcare systems, and inflicts severe burden to the whole society. Stroke care in Finland has been described in several population-based studies between 1967 and 1998, but not since. In the PERFECT Stroke study presented here, a system for monitoring the Performance, Effectiveness, and Costs of Treatment episodes in Stroke was developed in Finland. Existing nationwide administrative registries were linked at individual patient level with personal identification numbers to depict whole episodes of care, from acute stroke, through rehabilitation, until the patients went home, were admitted to permanent institutional care, or died. For comparisons in time and between providers, patient case-mix was adjusted for. The PERFECT Stroke database includes 104 899 first-ever stroke patients over the years 1999 to 2008, of whom 79% had ischemic stroke (IS), 14% intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), and 7% subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). A 18% decrease in the age and sex adjusted incidence of stroke was observed over the study period, 1.8% improvement annually. All-cause 1-year case-fatality rate improved from 28.6% to 24.6%, or 0.5% annually. The expected median lifetime after stroke increased by 2 years for IS patients, to 7 years and 7 months, and by 1 year for ICH patients, to 4 years 5 months. No change could be seen in median SAH patient survival, >10 years. Stroke prevalence was 82 000, 1.5% of total population of Finland, in 2008. Modern stroke center care was shown to be associated with a decrease in both death and risk of institutional care of stroke patients. Number needed to treat to prevent these poor outcomes at one year from stroke was 32 (95% confidence intervals 26 to 42). Despite improvements over the study period, more than a third of Finnish stroke patients did not have access to stroke center care. The mean first-year healthcare cost of a stroke patient was ~20 000 , and among survivors ~10 000 annually thereafter. Only part of this cost was incurred by stroke, as the same patients cost ~5000 over the year prior to stroke. Total lifetime costs after first-ever stroke were ~85 000 . A total of 1.1 Billion , 7% of all healthcare expenditure, is used in the treatment of stroke patients annually. Despite a rapidly aging population, the number of new stroke patients is decreasing, and the patients are more likely to survive. This is explained in part by stroke center care, which is effective, and should be made available for all stroke patients. It is possible, in a suitable setting with high-quality administrative registries and a common identifier, to avoid the huge workload and associated costs of setting up a conventional stroke registry, and still acquire a fairly comprehensive dataset on stroke care and outcome.
  • Wu, Zhuochun (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Background and context Since the economic reforms of 1978, China has been acclaimed as a remarkable economy, achieving 9% annual growth per head for more than 25 years. However, China's health sector has not fared well. The population health gains slowed down and health disparities increased. In the field of health and health care, significant progress in maternal care has been achieved. However, there still remain important disparities between the urban and rural areas and among the rural areas in terms of economic development. The excess female infant deaths and the rapidly increasing sex ratio at birth in the last decade aroused serious concerns among policy makers and scholars. Decentralization of the government administration and health sector reform impacts maternal care. Many studies using census data have been conducted to explore the determinants of a high sex ratio at birth, but no agreement has been so far reached on the possible contributing factors. No study using family planning system data has been conducted to explore perinatal mortality and sex ratio at birth and only few studies have examined the impact of the decentralization of government and health sector reforms on the provision and organization of maternal care in rural China. Objectives The general objective of this study was to investigate the state of perinatal health and maternal care and their determinants in rural China under the historic context of major socioeconomic reforms and the one child family planning policy. The specific objectives of the study included: 1) to study pregnancy outcomes and perinatal health and their correlates in a rural Chinese county; 2) to examine the issue of sex ratio at birth and its determinants in a rural Chinese county; 3) to explore the patterns of provision, utilization, and content of maternal care in a rural Chinese county; 4) to investigate the changes in the use of maternal care in China from 1991 to 2003. Materials and Methods This study is based on a project for evaluating the prenatal care programme in Dingyuan county in 1999-2003, Anhui province, China and a nationwide household health survey to describe the changes in maternal care utilization. The approaches used included a retrospective cohort study, cross sectional interview surveys, informant interviews, observations and the use of statistical data. The data sources included the following: 1) A cohort of pregnant women followed from pregnancy up to 7 days after birth in 20 townships in the study county, collecting information on pregnancy outcomes using family planning records; 2) A questionnaire interview survey given to women who gave birth between 2001 and 2003; 3) Various statistical and informant surveys data collected from the study county; 4) Three national household health interview survey data sets (1993-2003) were utilized, and reanalyzed to described the changes in maternity care utilization. Relative risks (RR) and their confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for comparison between parity, approval status, infant sex and township groups. The chi-square test was used to analyse the disparity of use of maternal care between and within urban and rural areas and its trend across the years in China. Logistic regression was used to analyse the factors associated with hospital delivery in rural areas. Results There were 3697 pregnancies in the study cohort, resulting in 3092 live births in a total population of 299463 in the 20 study townships during 1999-2000. The average age at pregnancy in the cohort was 25.9 years. Of the women, 61% were childless, 38% already had one child and 0.3% had two children before the current pregnancy. About 90% of approved pregnancies ended in a live birth while 73% of the unapproved ones were aborted. The perinatal mortality rate was 69 per thousand births. If the 30 induced abortions in which the gestational age was more than 28 weeks had been counted as perinatal deaths, the perinatal mortality rate would have been as high as 78 per thousand. The perinatal mortality rate was negatively associated with the wealth of the township. Approximately two thirds of the perinatal deaths occurred in the early neonatal period. Both the still birth rate and the early neonatal death rate increased with parity. The risk of a stillbirth in a second pregnancy was almost four times that for a first pregnancy, while the risk of early neonatal deaths doubled. The early neonatal mortality rate was twice as high for female as for male infants. The sex difference in the early neonatal mortality rate was mainly attributable to mortality in second births. The male early neonatal mortality rate was not affected by parity, while the female early neonatal mortality rate increased dramatically with parity: it was about six times higher for second births than for first births. About 82% early neonatal deaths happened within 24 hours after birth, and during that time, girls were almost three times more likely to die than boys. The death rate of females on the day of birth increased much more sharply with parity than that of males. The total sex ratio at birth of 3697 registered pregnancies was 152 males to 100 females, with 118 and 287 in first and second pregnancies, respectively. Among unapproved pregnancies, there were almost 5 live-born boys for each girl. Most prenatal and delivery care was to be taken care of in township hospitals. At the village level, there were small private clinics. There was no limitation period for the provision of prenatal and postnatal care by private practitioners. They were not permitted to provide delivery care by the county health bureau, but as some 12% of all births occurred either at home or at private clinics; some village health workers might have been involved. The county level hospitals served as the referral centers for the township hospitals in the county. However, there was no formal regulation or guideline on how the referral system should work. Whether or not a woman was referred to a higher level hospital depended on the individual midwife's professional judgment and on the clients' compliance. The county health bureau had little power over township hospitals, because township hospitals had in the decentralization process become directly accountable to the township government. In the township and county hospitals only 10-20% of the recurrent costs were funded by local government (the township hospital was funded by the township government and the county hospital was funded by the county government) and the hospitals collected user fees to balance their budgets. Also the staff salaries depended on fee incomes by the hospital. The hospitals could define the user charges themselves. Prenatal care consultations were however free in most township hospitals. None of the midwives made postnatal home visits, because of low profit of these services. The three national household health survey data showed that the proportion of women receiving their first prenatal visit within 12 weeks increased greatly from the early to middle 1990s in all areas except for large cities. The increase was much larger in the rural areas, reducing the urban-rural difference from more than 4 times to about 1.4 times. The proportion of women that received antenatal care visits meeting the Ministry of Health s standard (at least 5 times) in the rural areas increased sharply from 12% in 1991-1993 to 36% in 2001-2003. In rural areas, the proportion increase was much faster in less developed areas than in developed areas. The hospital delivery rate increased slightly from 90% to 94% in urban areas while the proportion increased from 27% to 69% in rural areas. The fastest change was found to be in type 4 rural areas, where the utilization even quadrupled. The overall difference between rural and urban areas was substantially narrowed over the period. Multiple logistic regression analysis shows that time periods, residency in rural or urban areas, income levels, age group, education levels, delivery history, occupation, health insurance and distance from the nearest health care facilities were significantly associated with hospital delivery rates. Conclusions 1. Perinatal mortality in this study was much higher than that for urban areas as well as any reported rate from specific studies in rural areas of China. Previous studies in which calculations of infant mortality were not based on epidemiological surveys have been shown to underestimate the rates by more than 50%. 2. Routine statistics collected by the Chinese family planning system proved to be a reliable data source for studying perinatal health, including still births, neonatal deaths, sex ratio at birth and among newborns. National Household Health Survey data proved to be a useful and reliable data source for studying population health and health services. Prior to this research there were few studies in these areas available to international audiences. 3.Though perinatal mortality rate was negatively associated with the level of township economic development, the excess female early neonatal mortality rate contributed much more to high perinatal mortality rate than economic factors. This was likely a result of the role of the family planning policy and the traditional preferences for sons, which leads to lethal neglect of female newborns and high perinatal mortality. 4. The selective abortions of female foetuses were likely to contribute most to the high sex ratio at birth. The underreporting of female births seemed to have played a secondary role. The higher early neonatal mortality rate in second-born as compared to first-born children, particularly in females, may indicate that neglect or poorer care of female newborn infants also contributes to the high sex ratio at birth or among newborns. Existing family planning policy proved not to effectively control the steadily increased birth sex ratio. 5. The rural-urban gap in service utilization was on average significantly narrowed in terms of maternal healthcare in China from 1991 to 2003. This demonstrates that significant achievements in reducing inequities can be made through a combination of socio-economic development and targeted investments in improving health services, including infrastructure, staff capacities, and subsidies to reduce the costs of service utilization for the poorest. However, the huge gap which persisted among cities of different size and within different types of rural areas indicated the need for further efforts to support the poorest areas. 6. Hospital delivery care in the study county was better accepted by women because most of women think delivery care was very important while prenatal and postnatal care were not. Hospital delivery care was more systematically provided and promoted than prenatal and postnatal care by township hospital in the study area. The reliance of hospital staff income on user fees gave the hospitals an incentive to put more emphasis on revenue generating activities such as delivery care instead of prenatal and postnatal care, since delivery care generated much profits than prenatal and postnatal care . Recommendations 1. It is essential for the central government to re-assess and modify existing family planning policies. In order to keep national sex balance, the existing practice of one couple one child in urban areas and at-least-one-son a couple in rural areas should be gradually changed to a two-children-a-couple policy throughout the country. The government should establish a favourable social security policy for couples, especially for rural couples who have only daughters, with particular emphasis on their pension and medical care insurance, combined with an educational campaign for equal rights for boys and girls in society. 2. There is currently no routine vital-statistics registration system in rural China. Using the findings of this study, the central government could set up a routine vital-statistics registration system using family planning routine work records, which could be used by policy makers and researchers. 3. It is possible for the central and provincial government to invest more in the less developed and poor rural areas to increase the access of pregnant women in these areas to maternal care services. Central government together with local government should gradually provide free maternal care including prenatal and postnatal as well as delivery care to the women in poor and less developed rural areas. 4. Future research could be done to explore if county and the township level health care sector and the family planning system could be merged to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of maternal and child care. 5. Future research could be done to explore the relative contribution of maternal care, economic development and family planning policy on perinatal and child health using prospective cohort studies and community based randomized trials. Key words: perinatal health, perinatal mortality, stillbirth, neonatal death, sex selective abortion, sex ratio at birth, family planning, son preference, maternal care, prenatal care, postnatal care, equity, China
  • Bakhshandeh, Soheila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    ABSTRACT Bakhshandeh, Soheila. Periodontal and dental health and oral self-care among adults with diabetes mellitus. Department of Oral Public Health, Institute of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. 2011. 49 pp. ISBN 978-952-10-7193-5(paperback). The aim of the present study was to assess oral health and treatment needs among Iranian adults with diabetes according to socio-demographic status, oral hygiene, diabetes related factors, and to investigate the relation between these determinants and oral health. Moreover, the effect of an educational oral health promotion intervention on their oral health and periodontal treatment needs was studied. The target population comprised adults with diabetes in Tehran, Iran. 299 dentate patients with diabetes, who were regular attendants to a diabetic clinic, were selected as the study subjects. Data collection was performed through a clinical dental examination and self-administered structured questionnaire. The questionnaire covered information of the subject s social background, medical history, oral health behaviour and smoking. The clinical dental examinations covered the registration of caries experience (DMFT), community periodontal index (CPI) and plaque index (PI). The intervention provided the adults with diabetes dental health education through a booklet. Reduction in periodontal treatment needs one year after the baseline examination was used as the main outcome. A high prevalence of periodontal pockets among the study population was found; 52% of the participants had periodontal pockets with a pocket depth of 4 to 5 mm and 35% had periodontal pockets with pocket depth of 6 mm or more. The mean of the DMFT index was 12.9 (SD=6.1), being dominated by filled teeth (mean 6.5) and missing teeth (mean 5.0). Oral self-care among adults with diabetes was inadequate and poor oral hygiene was observed in more than 80% of the subjects. The educational oral health promotion decreased periodontal treatment needs more in the study groups than in the control group. The poor periodontal health, poor oral hygiene and insufficient oral self-care observed in this study call for oral health promotion among adult with diabetes. An educational intervention showed that it is possible to promote oral health behaviour and to reduce periodontal treatment needs among adults with diabetes. The simplicity of the model used in this study allows it to be integrated to diabetes programmes in particular in countries with a developing health care system.
  • Safkan-Seppälä, Bedia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Kuula, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Tissue destruction associated with the periodontal disease progression is caused by a cascade of host and microbial factors and proteolytic enzymes. Aberrant laminin-332 (Ln-332), human beta defensin (hBD), and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) functions have been found in oral inflammatory diseases. The null-allele mouse model appears as the next step in oral disease research. The MMP-8 knock-out mouse model allowed us to clarify the involvement of MMP-8 in vivo in oral and related inflammatory diseases where MMP-8 is suggested to play a key role in tissue destruction. The cleaved Ln-332 γ2-chain species has been implicated in the apical migration of sulcular epithelial cells during the formation of periodontal pockets. We demonstrated that increased Ln-332 fragment levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) are strongly associated with the severity of inflammation in periodontitis. Porphyromonas gingivalis trypsin-like proteinase can cleave an intact Ln-332 γ2-chain into smaller fragments and eventually promote the formation of periodontal pockets. hBDs are components of an innate mucosal defense against pathogenic microbes. Our results suggest that P. gingivalis trypsin-like proteinase can degrade hBD and thus reduce the innate immune response. Elevated levels and the increased activity of MMPs have been detected in several pathological tissue-destructive conditions where MMPs are shown to cleave extracellular matrix (ECM) and basement membrane (BM) molecules and to facilitate tissue destruction. Elevated levels of MMP-8 have been reported in many inflammatory diseases. In periodontitis, MMP-8 levels in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) and in peri-implant sulcular fluid (PISF) are elevated at sites of active inflammation, and the increased levels of MMP-8 are mainly responsible for collagenase activity, which leads to tissue destruction. MMP-25, expressed by neutrophils, is involved in inflammatory diseases and in ECM turnover. MMP-26 can degrade ECM components and serve as an activator of other MMP enzymes. We further confirmed that increased levels and activation of MMP-8, -25, and -26 in GCF, PISF, and inflamed gingival tissue are associated with the severity of periodontal/peri-implant inflammation. We evaluated the role of MMP-8 in P. gingivalis-induced periodontitis by comparing MMP-8 knock-out (MMP8-/-) and wild-type mice. Surprisingly, MMP-8 significantly attenuated P. gingivalis-induced site-specific alveolar bone loss. We also evaluated systemic changes in serum immunoglobulin and lipoprotein profiles among these mouse groups. P. gingivalis infection increased HDL/VLDL particle size in the MMP-8-/- mice, which is an indicator of lipoprotein responses during systemic inflammation. Serum total LPS and IgG antibody levels were enhanced in both mice groups. P. gingivalis-induced periodontitis, especially in MMP-8-/- mice, is associated with severe alveolar bone loss and with systemic inflammatory and lipoprotein changes that are likely to be involved in early atherosclerosis.
  • Lindroos, Ann-Christine (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The major aims with fluid therapy for neurosurgical procedures are to minimize the risk for inadequate cerebral perfusion pressure and to maintain good neurosurgical conditions. Excessive fluid restriction to minimize cerebral oedema may lead to haemodynamic instability. Patient positioning, especially sitting and prone positions, may also promote haemodynamic changes due to diminished venous return to the heart. The effect of fluid therapy on coagulation must be considered, because normal coagulation capacity is of particular importance in neurosurgery to prevent bleeding complications. The haemodynamic profile and complications of the sitting position were analysed retrospectively in 72 neurosurgical patients. Stroke volume (SV)-directed administration of fluids (hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 (HES) or Ringer's acetate (RAC)) during neurosurgery in the sitting and the prone position were studied in 60 adult patients; the effects of a totally balanced fluid concept, and mannitol on blood coagulation in vitro was examined in 22 healthy volunteers. The sitting position is associated with hypotension and a risk for venous air embolism (VAE). The crystalloid vs. colloid volume ratio intraoperatively was 1.5. The formation and maximum strength of the fibrin clot were decreased after an aver-age dose of 440 mL of HES in one study, but in the other study an average dose of 460 mL of HES did not impair the coagu-lation profile. No difference appeared in blood loss between the groups. The combination of balanced colloid and crystalloid had similar coagulation effects in vitro as did their respective combinations of unbalanced solutions. Mannitol alone and in combination with HES delayed the initiation of coagulation and fibrin formation and reduced the maximum clot fimness in vitro. The sitting position induces hypotension and carries a risk for VAE. SV-directed administration of either crystalloid or colloid in the sitting and prone position stabilizes the haemodynamic parameters. Most of the patients undergoing neurosurgery in either position can be managed with an acceptable volume of RAC. The haemodynamic response of goal-directed HES administration was more favourable with regard to cardiac index, and a bolus of HES (< 500mL) may be administered when instant restoration of the intravascular volume with minimal fluid loading is indicated. The effect of fluid therapy with HES on coagulation measured in the studies with thromboelastometry varied, but he intraoperative blood loss in these patients was very low. No advantage with the totally balanced fluid therapy for coagulation emerged. Mannitol alone or in combination with HES in vitro impairs clot propagation and clot strength.
  • Kanerva, Mervi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The objective of this study was to assess the utility of two subjective facial grading systems, to evaluate the etiologic role of human herpesviruses in peripheral facial palsy (FP), and to explore characteristics of Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome (MRS). Intrarater repeatability and interrater agreement were assessed for Sunnybrook (SFGS) and House-Brackmann facial grading systems (H-B FGS). Eight video-recorded FP patients were graded in two sittings by 26 doctors. Repeatability for SFGS was from good to excellent and agreement between doctors from moderate to excellent by intraclass correlation coefficient and coefficient of repeatability. For H-B FGS, repeatability was from fair to good and agreement from poor to fair by agreement percentage and kappa coefficients. Because SFGS was at least as good in repeatability as H-B FGS and showed more reliable results in agreement between doctors, we encourage the use of SFGS over H-B FGS. Etiologic role of human herpesviruses in peripheral FP was studied by searching DNA of herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, varicella-zoster virus (VZV), human herpesvirus (HHV) -6A, -6B, and -7, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) by PCR/microarray methods in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of 33 peripheral FP patients and 36 controls. Three patients and five controls had HHV-6 or -7 DNA in CSF. No DNA of HSV-1 or -2, VZV, EBV, or CMV was found. Detecting HHV-7 and dual HHV-6A and -6B DNA in CSF of FP patients is intriguing, but does not allow etiologic conclusions as such. These DNA findings in association with FP and the other diseases that they accompanied require further exploration. MRS is classically defined as a triad of recurrent labial or oro-facial edema, recurrent peripheral FP, and plicated tongue. All three signs are present in the minority of patients. Edema-dominated forms are more common in the literature, while MRS with FP has received little attention. The etiology and true incidence of MRS are unknown. Characteristics of MRS were evaluated at the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Dermatology focusing on patients with FP. There were 35 MRS patients, 20 with FP and they were mailed a questionnaire (17 answered) and were clinically examined (14 patients). At the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, every MRS patient had FP and half had the triad form of MRS. Two patients, whose tissue biopsies were taken during an acute edema episode, revealed nonnecrotizing granulomatous findings typical for MRS, the other without persisting edema and with symptoms for less than a year. A peripheral blood DNA was searched for gene mutations leading to UNC-93B protein deficiency predisposing to HSV-1 infections; no gene mutations were found. Edema in most MRS FP patients did not dominate the clinical picture, and no progression of the disease was observed, contrary to existing knowledge. At the Department of Dermatology, two patients had triad MRS and 15 had monosymptomatic granulomatous cheilitis with frequent or persistent edema and typical MRS tissue histology. The clinical picture of MRS varied according to the department where the patient was treated. More studies from otorhinolaryngology departments and on patients with FP would clarify the actual incidence and clinical picture of the syndrome.
  • Laakkonen, Hanne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Although improved outcomes for children on peritoneal dialysis (PD) have been seen in recent years, the youngest patients continue to demonstrate inferior growth, more frequent infections, more neurological sequelae, and higher mortality compared to older children. Also, maintain-ing normal intravascular volume status, especially in anuric patients, has proven difficult. This study was designed to treat and monitor these youngest PD patients, which are relatively many due to the high prevalence of congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type (CNF, NPHS1) in Finland, with a strict protocol, to evaluate the results and to improve metabolic balance, growth, and development. A retrospective analysis of 23 children under two years of age at onset of PD, treated between 1995 and 2000, was performed to obtain a control population for our prospective PD study. Respectively, 21 patients less than two years of age at the beginning of PD were enrolled in prospective studies between 2001 and 2005. Medication for uremia and nutrition were care-fully adjusted during PD. Laboratory parameters and intravascular volume status were regu-larly analyzed. Growth was analyzed and compared with midparental height. In a prospective neurological study, the risk factors for development and the neurological development was determined. Brain images were surveyed. Hearing was tested. In a retrospective neurological study, the data of six NPHS1 patients with a congruent neurological syndrome was analyzed. All these patients had a serious dyskinetic cerebral palsy-like syndrome with muscular dysto-nia and athetosis (MDA). They also had a hearing defect. Metabolic control was mainly good in both PD patient groups. Hospitalization time shortened clearly. The peritonitis rate diminished. Hypertension was a common problem. Left ventricular hypertrophy decreased during the prospective study period. None of the patients in either PD group had pulmonary edema or dialysis-related seizures. Growth was good and catch-up growth was documented in most patients in both patient groups during PD. Mortality was low (5% in prospective and 9% in retrospective PD patients). In the prospective PD patient group 11 patients (52%) had some risk factor for their neuro-development originating from the predialysis period. The neurological problems, detected be-fore PD, did not worsen during PD and none of the patients developed new neurological com-plications during PD. Brain infarcts were detected in four (19%) and other ischemic lesions in three patients (14%). At the end of this study, 29% of the prospectively followed patients had a major impairment of their neurodevelopment and 43% only minor impairment. In the NPHS1+MDA patients, no clear explanation for the neurological syndrome was found. The brain MRI showed increased signal intensity in the globus pallidus area. Kernic-terus was contemplated to be causative in the hypoproteinemic newborns but it could not be proven. Mortality was as high as 67%. Our results for young PD patients were promising. Metabolic control was acceptable and growth was good. However, the children were significantly smaller when compared to their midparental height. Although many patients were found to have neurological impairment at the end of our follow-up period, PD was a safe treatment whereby the neurodevelopment did not worsen during PD.