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Now showing items 760-779 of 1560
  • Palmu, Sauli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Every fourth injured child seeking medical aid has sustained a fracture. Tibial fracture (annual incidence in less than 17 year old citizens in Finland is 1/1000) is the third most common fracture in children and femoral fracture (0.3/1000) among the most common pediatric injuries leading to hospitalization. Long-term treatment result of these fractures is not well known and there are no studies of treatment injuries in this pediatric patient population. Altogether 94 tibial and 74 femoral fractures were treated under anesthesia in Aurora Hospital, Helsinki between 1980-89. All but 5 of the tibial fractures were manipulated under anesthesia and casted. A remanipulation was performed in 41 patients. Femoral fractures were treated with skeletal traction in 62 patients, with internal fixation in 8 patients and by cast-immobilization 4 patients. A patients assessment form and an invitation to participate in a clinical and radiological examination at a mean follow-up of more than 20 years (16-32) was sent to all 168 patients. Six of the 58 tibial fracture patients that responded reported pain as their only memory of treatment. Results of tibial fracture treatment were satisfactory with few exceptions: functionally significant axial malalignment, limb length discrepancies nor arthritis was not found excluding four patients with >20° rotational deformity of the tibia. On the contrary 21/52 of the femoral fracture patients examined had angular malalignment of the femur exceeding 10°. Ten patients walked with a limp and leg-length discrepancy of more than 15 mm was measured in 8 patients. Knee arthritis had developed in 6/15 patients who were older than 10 years at the time of the injury. There was a positive correlation between angular deformity and knee arthritis. Treatment injuries were evaluated using patient compensation data from the Finnish Patient Insurance Centre (PIC): 50 claims involving tibial fracture treatment, 30 involving femoral fracture treatment were filed during the study period between 1997-2004. Compensation was granted in 35/50 claims after tibial fracture treatment and in 16/30 after femoral fracture treatment. The most common reasons for compensations in tibial fractures were missed diagnosis and inappropriate casting technique and delay in treatment, unnecessary or inappropriate treatment in femoral fractures. Most of the treatment injuries were regarded in retrospect as avoidable. Satisfactory long-term results in pediatric tibial fractures treated with closed manipulation and cast-immobilization can be expected. Many children require remanipulation to maintain satisfactory alignment, however. Over 10 year old patients with femoral malunion run a high risk of early knee arthritis. Most treatment injuries in pediatric tibial and femoral fractures can be avoided by accurate primary diagnostics, correct casting techniques and appropriate surgery.
  • Kirjavainen , Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    Background: Brachial plexus birth palsy (BPBP) most often occurs as a result of foetal-maternal disproportion. The C5 and C6 nerve roots of the brachial plexus are most frequently affected. In contrast, roots from the C7 to Th1 that result in total injury together with C5 and C6 injury, are affected in fewer than half of the patients. BPBP was first described by Smellie in 1764. Erb published his classical description of the injury in 1874 and his name became linked with the paralysis that is associated with upper root injury. Since then, early results of brachial plexus surgery have been reasonably well documented. However, from a clinical point of view not all primary results are maintained and there is also a need for later follow-up results. In addition most of the studies that are published emanate from highly specialized clinics and no nation wide epidemiological reports are available. One of the plexus injuries is the avulsion type, in which the nerve root or roots are ruptured at the neural cord. It has been speculated whether this might cause injury to the whole neural system or whether shoulder asymmetry and upper limb inequality results in postural deformities of the spine. Alternatively, avulsion could manifest as other signs and symptoms of the whole musculoskeletal system. In addition, there is no available information covering activities of daily living after obstetric brachial plexus surgery. Patients and methods: This was a population-based cross-sectional study on all patients who had undergone brachial plexus surgery with at least 5 years of follow-up. An incidence of 3.05/1000 for BPBP was obtained from the registers for this study period. A total of 1706 BPBP patients needing hospital treatment out of 1 717 057 newborns were registered in Finland between 1971 and 1997 inclusive. Of these BPBP patients, 124 (7.3%) underwent brachial plexus surgery at a mean age of 2.8 months (range: 0.4―13.2 months). Surgery was most often performed by direct neuroraphy after neuroma resection (53%). Depending on the phase of the study, 105 to 112 patients (85-90%) participated in a clinical and radiological follow-up assessment. The mean follow up time exceeded 13 years (range: 5.0―31.5 years). Functional status of the upper extremity was evaluated using Mallet, Gilbert and Raimondi scales. Isometric strength of the upper limb, sensation of the hand and stereognosis were evaluated for both the affected and unaffected sides then the differences and their ratios were calculated and recorded. In addition to the upper extremity, assessment of the spine and lower extremities were performed. Activities of daily living (ADL), participation in normal physical activities, and the use of physiotherapy and occupational therapy were recorded in a questionnaire. Results: The unaffected limb functioned as the dominant hand in all, except four patients. The mean length of the affected upper limb was 6 cm (range: 1-13.5 cm) shorter in 106 (95%) patients. Shoulder function was recorded as a mean Mallet score of 3 (range: 2―4) which was moderate. Both elbow function and hand function were good. The mean Gilbert elbow scale value was 3 (range: -1―5) and the mean Raimondi hand scale was 4 (range:1―5). One-third of the patients experienced pain in the affected limb including all those patients (n=9) who had clavicular non-union resulting from surgery. A total of 61 patients (57%) had an active shoulder external rotation of less than 0° and an active elbow extension deficiency was noted in 82 patients (77%) giving a mean of 26° (range: 5°―80°). In all, expect two patients, shoulder external rotation strength at a mean ratio 35% (range: 0―83%) and in all patients elbow flexion strength at a mean ratio of 41% (range: 0―79%) were impaired compared to the unaffected side. According to radiographs, incongruence of the glenohumeral joint was noted in 15 (16%) patients, whereas incongruence of the radiohumeral joint was found in 20 (21%) patients. Fine sensation was normal for 34/49 (69%) patients with C5-6 injury, for 15/31 (48%) with C5-7 and for only 8/25 (32%) of patients with total injury. Loss of protective sensation or absent sensation was noted in some palmar areas of the hand for 12/105 patients (11%). Normal stereognosis was recorded for 88/105 patients (84%). No significant inequalities in leg length were found and the incidence of structural scoliosis (1.7%) did not differ from that of the reference population. Nearly half of the patients (43%) had asynchronous motion of the upper limbs during gait, which was associated with impaired upper limb function. Data obtained from the completed questionnaires indicated that two thirds (63%) of the patients were satisfied with the functional outcome of the affected hand although one third of all patients needed help with ADL. Only a few patients were unable to participate in physical activities such as: bicycling, cross-country skiing or swimming. However, 71% of the patients reported problems related to the affected upper limb, such as muscle weakness and/or joint stiffness during the aforementioned activities. Incongruity of the radiohumeral joints, extent of the injury, avulsion type injury, age less than three months of age at the time of plexus surgery and inexperience of the surgeon was related to poor results as determined by multivariate analyses. Conclusions: Most of the patients had persistent sequelae, especially of shoulder function. Almost all measurements for the total injury group were poorer compared with those of the C5-6 type injury group. Most of the patients had asymmetry of the shoulder region and a shorter affected upper limb, which is a probable reason for having an abnormal gait. However, BPBP did not have an effect on normal growth of the lower extremities or the spine. Although, participation in physical activities was similar to that of the normal population, two-thirds of the patients reported problems. One-third of the patients needed help with ADL. During the period covered by this study, 7.3% BPBP of patients that needed hospital treatment had a brachial plexus operation, which amounts to fewer than 10 operations per year in Finland. It seems that better results of obstetric plexus surgery and more careful follow-up including opportunities for late reconstructive procedures will be expected, if the treatment is solely concentrated on by a few specialised teams.
  • Heikkinen, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The aim of the study was to evaluate long-term results of operative treatment for Hirschsprung's disease(HD) and internal anal sphincter achalasia. Fecal continence and quality of life were evaluated by a questionnaire in 100 adult patients who had undergone surgery for HD, during 1950-75. Fecal continence was evaluated using a numerical scoring described by Holschneider. Fifty-four of the 100 patients underwent clinical examination, rigid sigmoidoscopy and manometric evaluation. In anorectal manometry basal resting pressure(BRP)and maximal squeeze pressure(MSP) were measured and voluntary sphincter force(VSF) was calculated by subtracting the BRP from MSP. The results of operative treatment for adult HD were compared with the results of the patients operated in childhood. In adult HD the symptoms are such mild that the patients attain adolescence or even adulthood. The patients with HD and cartilage-hair-hypoplasia were specifically evaluated. The outcome of the patients with internal anal sphincter achalasia operated on by myectomy was evaluated by a questionnaire and continence was evaluated using a numerical scoring described by Holschneider. Of the 100 patients operated on for HD 38 patients had completely normal bowel habits. A normal or good continence score was found in 91 our of 100 patients. Nine patients had fair continence. One of the patients with fair continence had Down's syndrome and two were mentally retarded for other reasons. Only one patient suffered from constipation. In anorectal manometry the difference in BRP between patients with normal and good continence was statistically significant, whereas the difference between good and fair continence groups was not statistically significant. The differences on MSP and VSF between patient groups with different continence outcome were not statistically significant. The differences between patient groups and normal controls were statistically significant in BRP and MSP. In VSF there was not statistically significant difference between the patients and the normal controls. The VSF reflects the working power of the muscles including external sphincter, levator ani and gluteal muscles. The patients operated at adult age had as good continence as patients operated in childhood. The patients with HD and cartilage-hair-hypoplasia had much more morbidity and mortality than non-cartilage-hair-hypoplasia HD patients. The mortality was as high as 38%. In patients with internal anal sphincter achalasia the constipation was cured or alleviated by myectomy whereas a significant number suffered from soiling-related social problems.
  • Raulio, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Work has a central role in the lives of big share of adult Finns and meals they eat during the workday comprise an important factor in their nutrition, health, and well-being. On workdays, lunch is mainly eaten at worksite canteens or, especially among women, as a packed meal in the workplace s break room. No national-level data is available on the nutritional quality of the meals served by canteens, although the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health laid out the first nutrition recommendations for worksite canteens in 1971. The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of various socio-demographic, socioeconomic, and work-related factors to the lunch eating patterns of Finnish employees during the working day and how lunch eating patterns influence dietary intake. Four different population-based cross-sectional datasets were used in this thesis. Three of the datasets were collected by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (Health Behaviour and Health among the Finnish Adult Population survey from 1979 to 2001, n=24746, and 2005 to 2007, n=5585, the National Findiet 2002 Study, n=261), and one of them by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Work and Health in Finland survey from 1997, 2000, and 2003, n=6369). The Health Behaviour and Health among the Finnish Adult Population survey and the Work and Health in Finland survey are nationally representative studies that are conducted repeatedly. Survey information was collected by self-administered questionnaires, dietary recalls, and telephone interviews. The frequency of worksite canteen use has been quite stable for over two decades in Finland. A small decreasing trend can be seen in all socioeconomic groups. During the whole period studied, those with more years of education ate at worksite canteens more often than the others. The size of the workplace was the most important work-related determinant associated with the use of a worksite canteen. At small workplaces, other work-related determinants, like occupation, physical strain at work, and job control, were also associated with canteen use, whereas at bigger workplaces the associations were almost nonexistent. The major social determinants of worksite canteen availability were the education and occupational status of employees and the only work-related determinant was the size of the workplace. A worksite canteen was more commonly available to employees at larger workplaces and to those with the higher education and the higher occupational status. Even when the canteen was equally available to all employees, its use was nevertheless determined by occupational class and the place of residence, especially among female employees. Those with higher occupational status and those living in the Helsinki capital area ate in canteens more frequently than the others. Employees who ate at a worksite canteen consumed more vegetables and vegetable and fish dishes at lunch than did those who ate packed lunches. Also, the daily consumption of vegetables and the proportion of the daily users of vegetables were higher among those male employees who ate at a canteen. In conclusion, life possibilities, i.e. the availability of a canteen, education, occupational status, and work-related factors, played an important role in the choice of where to eat lunch among Finnish employees. The most basic prerequisite for eating in a canteen was availability, but there were also a number of underlying social determinants. Occupational status and the place of residence were the major structural factors behind individuals choices in their lunch eating patterns. To ensure the nutrition, health, and well-being of employees, employers should provide them with the option to have good quality meals during working hours. The availability of worksite canteens should be especially supported in lower socioeconomic groups. In addition, employees should be encouraged to have lunch at a worksite canteen when one is available by removing structural barriers to its use.
  • Harve, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Sudden cardiac arrest (CA) is one of the leading causes of death in Europe. It has been estimated that about 40 % of CA victims have ventricular fibrillation (VF) at the time of the first heart rhythm analysis. The treatment for VF is immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and rapid defibrillation. The automated external defibrillator (AED) and the concept of public access defibrillation (PAD) may be a key to shortening defibrillation delays. Recent studies have shown that PAD programs are associated with high survival rates from VF when devices have been placed in certain risk sites and used by trained laypersons. Today many public places are equipped with AEDs. The purpose of this study was to find new ways of utilizing layperson defibrillation and promote the concept of public access defibrillation (PAD). The study explored the use of AEDs by non-medical first responders in Finland and cabin crew on board a commercial aircraft. A simulated study was performed to explore the role of dispatcher assistance in layperson CPR and defibrillation. A 15-year follow-up study of 59 one-year survivors after successful out-of-hospital resuscitation was performed to evaluate the long-term quality of life of the CA patients. Although there are many AEDs in use by non-medical first responders in Finland, the results of the study showed that there are large variations between individual first response units. This is considered to be caused by the lack of national standards and regulations that would define a full integration of first-responder programmes into the Emergency Medical Services system. The goal of rapid defibrillation in five minutes after the onset of CA is difficult to achieve in Finland due to sparse population and long distances. Local PAD programs may shorten the defibrillation delays. Dispatcher assistance in defibrillation by a layperson not trained to use an AED seems feasible and does not compromise the performance of CPR. In a simulated study, the quality of mouth-to-mouth ventilation performed by laypersons was found to be better after CPR training compared with performance with dispatcher assistance before training. Training was not found to have an influence on the quality of compressions or defibrillation compared with dispatcher assistance of untrained laypersons. The target groups for CPR and defibrillation training need further evaluation. The placements of the AEDs in public areas should be known by the emergency response center and the location should be marked with an international sign. The finding that once a good neurological outcome after CA is achieved, it can be maintained for more than 10 years, encourages further efforts to improve the survival of CA patients.
  • Toivonen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Uveal melanoma (UM) is the most common primary ocular malignancy in adults. In Finland, approximately 50 new cases are diagnosed yearly. Up to 50% of UM metastasize, mostly to the liver, although other organs are also affected. Despite improvements in the management of the primary tumour, the survival rates of patients with metastatic UM are poor. Until the 1970s, UMs were treated by enucleation i.e. removal of the eye. Currently, UM is usually treated by brachytherapy, which is known to influence tumour cells and blood vessels. UMs enucleated both primarily and secondarily after brachytherapy contain tumour-infiltrating macrophages, and a high number of macrophages in primary UM is associated with a shorter survival and a higher microvascular density (MVD) within the tumour tissue. The latter is independently associated with a shorter time to metastatic death. Macrophages have several diverse roles depending on their response to variable signals from the surrounding microenvironment. They function as scavengers, as producers of angiogenic and growth factors as well as proteases, which modulate extracellular matrix. Thus, tumour invasiveness and the risk for metastasis increase with increasing macrophage density. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of regression and progression of UM on macrophage numbers and microcirculation factors. Tumour regression is induced by primary brachytherapy, and tumour progression is evidenced by the development of metastases. Understanding the biological behaviour of UMs in the both states may help us in finding new treatment modalities against this disease. To achieve these aims case-control analyses of irradiated UMs and primarily-enucleated eyes (34 matched pairs) were performed. UMs were stained immunohistochemically to detect macrophages, extravascular matrix (EVM) loops and networks, and MVD. Following brachytherapy, a lower MVD was observed. The average number of macrophages remained unchanged. Considering that irradiated melanomas may still contain proliferating tumour cells, a clinically-relevant consequence of my study would be the reassurance that the risk for metastasis is likely to be reduced, given that the low MVD in untreated UMs indicates a favourable prognosis. The effect of progression on macrophages was studied in a paired analysis of primarily-enucleated UM and their corresponding hepatic metastases (48 pairs). A cross-sectional histopathological analysis of these pairs was carried out by staining both specimens in a similar way to the first study. MVD was greater in hepatic metastases than in corresponding primary tumours, and the survival of the patient tended to be shorter if hepatic metastases had a higher MVD. Hepatic metastases had also more dendritic macrophages than the primary UMs. Thus, the progression to metastasis seems to alter the inflammatory status within the tumour. Furthermore, determining MVD of biopsied hepatic metastases may serve as a supplementary tool in estimating the prognosis of patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. After irradiation, the majority of treated eyes have been clinically observed to have pigmented episcleral deposits. A noncomparative clinical case series of 211 irradiated UM eyes were studied by recording the number and location of pigmented episcleral deposits during follow-up visits after brachytherapy. For the first time, the study described pigmented episcleral deposits, which are found in the most UM eyes after brachytherapy, and proved them to consist of macrophages full with engulfed melanin particles. This knowledge may save patients from unnecessary enucleation, because episcleral pigmented deposits might be mistaken for extrascleral tumour growth. The presence of pigmented macrophage-related episcleral deposits was associated with plaque size and isotope rather than with tumour size, suggesting that, in addition to tumour regression, radiation atrophy of retinal pigment epithelium and choroid contributes to the formation of the deposits. In the paired (the same 34 pairs as in the first study) cross-sectional study of irradiated and non-irradiated UMs, clinically-visible episcleral deposits and migrating macrophages in other extratumoral tissues were studied histopathologically. Resident macrophages were present in extratumoral tissues in eyes with both irradiated and non-irradiated UM. Irradiation increased both the number of CD68+ macrophages in the sclera beneath the tumour and the number of clinically-observed episcleral macrophages aggregates. Brachytherapy seemed to alter the route of migration of macrophages: after irradiation, macrophages migrated preferentially through the sclera while in non-irradiated UMs they seemed to migrate more along the choroid. In order to understand the influence of these routes on tumour progression and regression in the future, labelling and tracking of activated macrophages in vivo is required.
  • Pöyhiä, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI) is caused by stretching, tearing or avulsion of the C5-C8 or Th1 nerve roots during delivery. Foetal-maternal disproportion is the main reason for BPBI. The goal of this study was to find out the incidence of posterior subluxation of the humeral head during first year of life in BPBI and optimal timing of the ultrasonographic screening of the glenohumeral joint. The glenohumeral congruity and posterior subluxation of the humeral head associated to muscle atrophy were assessed and surgical treatment of the shoulder girdle as well as muscle changes in elbow flexion contracture were evaluated. The prospective, population based part of the study included all neonates born in Helsinki area during years 2003-2006. Patients with BPBI sent to the Hospital for Children and Adolescents because of decreased external rotation, internal rotation contracture or deformation of the glenohumeral joint as well as patients with elbow flexion contracture were also included in this prospective study. The incidence of BPBI was calculated to be 3.1/1000 newborns in Helsinki area. About 80% of the patients with BPBI recover totally during the follow-up within the first year of life. Permanent plexus injury at the age of one year was noted in 20% of the patients (0.64/1000 newborns). Muscle imbalance resulted in sonographically detected posterior subluxation in one third of the patients with permanent BPBI. If muscle imbalance and posterior subluxation are left untreated bony deformities will develop. All patients with internal rotation contracture of the glenohumeral joint presented muscle atrophy of the rotator cuff muscles. Especially subscapular and infraspinous muscles were affected. A correlation was found particularly between greatest thickness of subscapular muscle and subluxation of the humeral head, degree of glenoid retroversion, as well as amount of internal rotation contracture. Supinator muscle atrophy was evident among all the studied patients with elbow flexion contracture. Brachial muscle pathology seemed to be an important factor for elbow flexion contracture in BPBI. Residual dysfunction of the upper extremity may require operative treatment such as tendon lengthening, tendon transfers, relocation of the humeral head or osteotomy of the humerus. Relocation of the humeral head improved the glenohumeral congruency among patients under 5 years of age. Functional improvement without remodeling of the glenohumeral joint was achieved by other reconstructive procedures. In conclusion: Shoulder screening by US should be done to all patients with permanent BPBI at the age of 3 and 6 months. Especially atrophy of the subscapular muscle correlates with glenohumeral deformity and posterior subluxation of the humeral head, which has not been reported in previous studies. Permanent muscle changes are the main reason for diminished range of motion of the elbow and forearm. Relocation of the humeral head, when needed, should be performed under the age of 5 years.
  • Lohman, Martina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Soljanlahti, Sami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are, in developed countries, the leading cause of mortality. The majority of premature deaths and disability caused by CVD are due to atherosclerosis, a degenerating inflammatory disease affecting arterial walls. Early identification of lesions and initiation of treatment is crucial because the first manifestations quite often are major disabling cardiovascular events. Methods of finding individuals at high risk for these events are under development. Because magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an excellent non-invasive tool to study the structure and function of vascular system, we sought to discover whether existing MRI methods are able to show any difference in aortic and intracranial atherosclerotic lesions between patients at high risk for atherosclerosis and healthy controls. Our younger group (age 6-48) comprised 39 symptomless familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) patients and 25 healthy controls. Our older group (age 48-64) comprised 19 FH patients and 18 type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and 29 healthy controls. Intracranial and aortic MRI was compared with carotid and femoral ultrasound (US). In neither age-group did MRI reveal any difference in the number of ischemic brain lesions or white matter hyperintensities (WMHIs) - possible signs of intracranial atherosclerosis - between patients and controls. Furthermore, MRI showed no difference in the structure or function of the aorta between FH patients and controls in either group. DM patients had lower compliance of the aorta than did controls, while no difference appeared between DM and FH patients. However, ultrasound showed greater plaque burden and increased thickness of carotid arterial walls in FH and DM patients in both age-groups, suggesting a more advanced atherosclerosis. The mortality of FH patients has decreased substantially after the late 1980´s when statin treatment became available. With statins, the progression of atherosclerotic lesions slows. We think that this, in concert with improvements in treatment of other risk factors, is one reason for the lack of differences between FH patients and controls in MRI measurements of the aorta and brain despite the more advanced disease of the carotid arteries assessed with US. Furthermore, whereas atherosclerotic lesions between different vascular territories correlate, differences might still exist in the extent and location of these lesions among different diseases. Small (<5 mm in diameter) WMHIs are more likely a phenomenon related to aging, but the larger ones may be the ones related to CVD and may be intermediate surrogates of stroke. The image quality in aortic imaging, although constantly improving, is not yet optimal and thus is a source of bias.
  • Kiuru, Martti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Korhonen, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Palikhe, Anil (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Most of the genes in the MHC region are involveed in adaptive and innate immunity, with essential function in inflammatory reactions and in protection against infections. These genes might serve as a candidate region for infection and inflammation associated diseases. CAD is an inflammatory disease. The present set of studies was performed to assess whether the MHC region harbors genetic markers for CAD, and whether these genetic markers explain the CAD risk factors: e.g., C. pneumoniae, periodontitis, and periodontal pathogens. Study I was performed using two separate patient materials and age- and sex-matched healthy controls, categorizing them into two independent studies: the HTx and ACS studies. Both studies consistently showed the HLA-A3– B35– DR1 (35 ancestral haplotype) haplotype as a susceptible MHC genetic marker for CAD. HLA-DR1 alone was associated not only with CAD, but also with CAD risk factor diseases, e.g., diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia. The ACS study further showed the HLA-B*07 and -DRB1*15 -related haplotype as a protective MHC haplotype for CAD. Study II showed that patients with CAD showed signs of chronic C. pneumoniae infection when compared to age- and sex-matched healthy controls. HLA-B*35 or -related haplotypes associated with the C. pneumoniae infection markers. Among these haplotype carriers, males and smokers associated with elevated C. pneumoniae infection markers. Study III showed that CAD patients with periodontitis had elevated serum markers of P. gingivalis and occurrence of the pathogen in saliva. LTA+496C strongly associated with periodontitis, while HLA-DRB1*01 with periodontitis and with the elevated serum antibodies of P. gingivalis. Study IV showed that the increased level of C3/C4 ratio was a new risk factor and was associated with recurrent cardiovascular end-points. The increased C3 and decreased C4 concentrations in serum explained the increased level of the C3/C4 ratio. Both the higher than cut-off value (4.53) and the highest quartile of the C3/C4 ratio were also associated with worst survival, increased end-points, and C4 null alleles. The presence of C4 null alleles associated with decreased serum C4 concentration, and increased C3/C4 ratio. In conclusion, the present studies show that the CAD susceptibility haplotype (HLA-A3− B35− DR1 -related haplotypes, Study I) partially explains the development of CAD in patients possessing several recognized and novel risk factors: diabetes mellitus, increased LDL, smoking, C4B*Q0, C. pneumnoiae, periodontitis, P. gingivalis, and complement C3/C4 ratio (Study II, III, and IV).
  • Paakkanen, Riitta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    Atherosclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory, lifestyle-disease that is also influenced by genetic factors. Coronary atherosclerosis manifests as silent, chronic and acute forms. The acute forms, acute coronary syndromes (ACS) are an important cause of death due to coronary atherosclerosis. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region is a collection of genes on chromosome 6 that are associated with immune response. The genes in this region are usually inherited as a strongly linked genetic combination, a haplotype. Certain alleles and haplotypes of the MHC region have been linked with different forms of coronary atherosclerosis. The Thesis was set to study the role of selected MHC genes/alleles in ACS. First aim of the Thesis was to develop a novel quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) method for complement component C4 analyses. A qPCR method with a novel concentration range approach and SYBR® Green dye was developed (I). It was validated by applying it to over 1600 patient samples with available C4 protein data and by analysing 129 samples that were also assessed with other methods for C4 gene analysis. The results indicated that the developed method can be used to reliably assess C4 copy number variation. The second aim was to confirm the role of selected MHC genes and haplotypes in different clinical forms of ACS. Based on previous studies, four MHC markers that had been reported to be associated with coronary atherosclerosis were selected (HLA-DRB1*01, HLA-B*35, deficiency of complement component C4A or C4B). A haplotype with DRB1*01, with neither C4 deficiencies nor B*35 was more frequently detected in patients suffering from ACS than in healthy controls (11 vs. 5%; III). None of the markers alone was associated with a significantly increased risk of ACS (II-IV). However, the power was too low to exclude a weak association of C4 deficiency and ACS (II, IV). If only men were studied, both DRB1*01 alone and the DRB1*01-haplotype were significantly associated with ACS. The third aim was to evaluate the possible inflammatory mechanisms through which the association of MHC genes/haplotypes and ACS could be mediated. The DRB1*01-haplotype was associated with higher hsCRP levels (III). C4 deficiency segregated patients that benefitted from macrolide treatment in secondary prevention of recurrent ACS (II). C4 deficiency was also associated with elevated heat shock protein 60 IgA autoantibody levels, which, in turn, was shown to be associated with ACS and recurrent cardiovascular end points (IV). C4 deficiency was also increased in patients suffering from recurrent infections (I). The genetic polymorphism in MHC may be linked with ACS by affecting the inflammatory responses. These data are observational and thus do not indicate causality. However, these data might help to elucidate the complex interplay of inflammatory reactions in ACS and in directing patient care.