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  • Inhabitants of Metsovo, North-West Greece have been exposed to asbestos from use of a tremolite containing whitewash. As a result they have increased incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma and pleural calcifications. However, those with calcifications have a much lower incidence of mesothelioma, than those without. Study of the two groups with bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), revealed intense lymphocytic alveolitis, among those with calcifications. We suggested then, that this alveolitis may be somehow correlated with "protection" against neoplasia (S.H. Constantopoulos et al., Am Rev Respir Dis 1992). In the present report, we examine the liquid phase of BAL in the two groups. We evaluated 43 Metsovites with and 30 without pleural calcifications. The most obvious finding was the presence of two additional protein spots, corresponding to the electrophoretical site of immunoglobulin heavy chain and C4 component of complement. The two proteins were present in all Metsovites with pleural calcifications but in none without and also none of the control groups. Our study further separates two groups of Metsovites with different reaction to the asbestos fiber, possibly as a result of different activation of alveolar macrophages. This difference leads the first group to the formation of pleural calcifications, alveolitis and relatively low tendency to malignancy and the second group to no calcifications, no alveolitis, but also no "protection" against malignancy. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 14-22
  • SUMMARY: Hereby we review the role of some adhesion molecules, mainly among integrins and immumoglubulin superfamily members in patients with asthma, acute lung injury or pulmonary infections. Furthemore, we discuss the role of leukocyte adhesion molecules in lung and airways related to the above diseases.We briefly give scientific knowledge for what is known about the expression of adhesion molecules on various resident and migratory lung cells. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 50-56
  • Bitsakou Ch.
    cough, asthma
    Asthma is generally reported as a frequent cause of chronic cough especially in children. Cough due to asthma is commonly accompanied by wheezing or dyspnea but it can be the sole manifestation of asthma (cough variant asthma). The possible mechanisms for the asthmatic cough is inflammation mainly localized at the central airways, bronchoconstriction or increased sensitivity of the cough receptors. The diagnosis of asthma in case of cough variant asthma is not always easy and the bronchial provocation test is of great value especially when spirometry and reversibility tests are negative. The asthmatic cough is treated just like classic asthma and the use of per os steroids is sometimes necessary. The response of cough to the antiasthmatic treatment is a safe criterion for the diagnosis of asthma. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 57-63
  • Sarcoidosis is a chronic, multiorgan inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. Genetic alterations in the microsatellite level have been described in benign and malignant diseases of the lung. In the present study we investigated the incidence of Microsatellite lnstability (MSI) and Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH) in sputum cytological specimens from 30 patients with sarcoidosis, using 10 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers located at several chromosomal arms. Specimens from 30 healthy, matched subjects were used as a control group. Our results showed that 14 (47%) sarcoidosis patients showed genetic alterations, either MSI or LOH. Six (20%) patients exhibited MSI and 9 (30%) exhibited LOH in at least one microsatellite marker. One of the patients exhibited MSI in two microsatellite markers and 3 (10%) showed LOH in more than one marker. One patient showed complete deletion of the chromosomal arm l7q11.2-q21. None of the healthy subjects exhibited any genetic alteration in the studied markers. No correlation was found between the genetic alterations detected and age, disease duration, blood gases or spirometric parameters of the patients. Our findings suggest that MSI is a detectable phenomenon in sarcoidosis and seems not to be related with the severity of the disease. The detection of LOH indicates the presence of putative tumor-suppressor genes at loci examined, which may play an important role in the aetiopathogenesis of sarcoidosis. Further studies are needed to detect a possible prognostic value of our findings in lung cancer development. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 64-72
  • Tuberculosis remains a major public health problem in industrialized countries, especially since 1985, when an increase of tuberculosis epidemiological rates, associated with ageing, transplantations, intravenous drug use, HIV infection, homelessness and a decline in adequate treatment and prevention programs was reported. The increase of immigrants from countries with high prevalence of tuberculosis has also contributed to this phenomenon. In this study epidemiological and clinical features of tuberculosis among immigrant and native patients in Northern Greece during the period 1988-97 are compared, when a migration wave foremost derived from the countries of ex-USSR to Greece was observed. For this purpose a retrospective-prospective study was developed using the data of a Pulmonary Clinic of a Regional Hospital in Thessaloniki, during the above mentioned period. A group of 79 immigrants were compared with 641 native patients. An increasing ratio of immigrants to natives was observed during the calendar time, especially since 1991. The age pattern of immigrant patients had an increase of cases in ages 20-40 years, in contrast with native patients, who mainly belong to the >50 years age group. Statistical significant differences, with greater values for the immigrant group, were observed in terms of positivity of direct smears and cultures. Individual and family history of tuberculosis were more prevalent in the immigrants, compared to natives. No differences were observed between the two subgroups of patients, in terms of family status, educational level, smoking habit and alcohol use. Among the native group patients, COPD, hypertension and diabetes mellitus, due to the age pattern of this group, were more frequent in contrast to the immigrant group patients, who were younger. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 73-83
  • The death and chronic disease of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine the Monomachus is examined in the present study. Soon after his enthronement, the emperor presented with symptoms of a systemic arthritis which came in waves and left him with severe distortions and handicaps. After 12 years of continuous deterioration he developped pleural effusion with severe respiratory insufficiency. This condition led to his death few days later. A differential diagnosis of the emperor's disease is presented which concludes that it probably concerned a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis with systemic and lung involvement (possibly bilateral pleural eflusion). Lung involvement and the presence of respiratory insufficiency was the cause of Constantine the Monornachus’ death in 1055. After his death the imperial throne was left without legal succession which put an end to the glorious Macedonian dynasty. Pneumon 2000, 13 (1): 84-89
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